It was late in the evening when Lissa suddenly burst into the chief tactician's personal tent unannounced. "Ah hah! I found out your secret!"
Rei jerked back from the book she was reading with a yelp, nearly falling out of her chair in the process, and turned to regard the princess with wide eyes, her face scarcely visible under her hood. "Secret? What secret?"
Lissa moved to Rei's side, practically looming over the tactician, a victorious, almost smug smile on her face. "Don't play dumb. I already got Chrom to confess everything."
Rei was silent as she considered what Lissa was talking about and could only think of one possibility. Hoping she was mistaken, she lowered her hood so that she could face the princess properly. "Really," she said, the words coming out like a sigh. "And just what was it you got Chrom to 'confess?'"
Lissa let out a noise of frustration. "That the two of you are getting married of course!"
A healthy shade of pink flooded Rei's cheeks, and she was on her feet in an instant. "K-keep your voice down!" she said, her tone low but anxious. "There's a reason why we haven't made a public announcement yet."
Lissa's irritation slowly faded as triumph crept in to replace it. "Yeah, yeah, Chrom told me already and made me swear to keep it a secret, but I can't believe you two thought you could get away with not telling me something like this!"
Rei sighed and shook her head. "I can't believe Chrom actually told you after we agreed not to say anything about it."
Lissa laughed and winked as she wagged a finger. "You didn't really think Chrom could keep a secret from his baby sister, did you? I always know whenever Chrom is keeping something from me, and I always manage to weasel it out of him sooner or later."
Rei folded her arms against her chest. "I suppose that's why you've been practically his shadow for the past two weeks."
"Exactly!" Lissa said. "Chrom was extra, extra, extra stubborn this time about keeping this from me, I'll give him that, but he should've remembered that I always make him crack in the end."
A heavy breath escaped Rei as she skewed her eyes shut. "And the thought of respecting your brother's privacy never crossed your mind?"
Lissa covered her mouth to stifle a giggle. "Nope! And if I knew the secret involved you sooner, I would've gone after you too. There's plenty of frogs in the lake nearby, you know."
Rei shuddered at the memory of a frog squirming around inside her clothes. "I suppose I should be grateful you didn't," she muttered, making a note to ask Chrom about what sort of interrogation techniques Lissa put him through.
Lissa leaned forward. "So, did Chrom give it to you yet?"
Rei blinked at the sudden closeness and leaned back on instinct. "Give what?"
Lissa seized Rei's left hand and held it up for emphasis. "Your engagement ring, of course! I should've known something was up when you started wearing different gloves."
Rei let out a sigh of resignation as she pulled her hand from Lissa's grip so that she could slip the glove off. "I knew it was a bad idea to start wearing a ring."
The instant the glove was gone, Lissa eagerly took Rei's hand again only to frown at what she saw. "What? This isn't Chrom's signet ring."
Rei shifted awkwardly in place as Lissa examined the ring from all angles. "It would've been too difficult to explain why I was wearing Chrom's ring without giving away our secret if someone happened to catch me without my gloves. Honestly, I think wearing anything so blatantly symbolic is a huge risk if anyone recognizes it, but Chrom was so disappointed that I wouldn't accept his signet ring yet that I just had to come up with a compromise."
Lissa's cheeks puffed out in a pout as she finally dropped Rei's hand. "He could've at least gotten you a nicer ring! There's not even any jewels on this one! It's so plain and boring, and it doesn't even look like it's real gold either!"
In spite of the situation, Rei could not hold back the urge to giggle at Lissa's disapproving look. As her gaze settled on the plain band wrapped around her finger, it conjured up the sweet memory of when she and Chrom went shopping for a ring in secret, bringing a warm smile to her face. "Actually, I was the one that picked this ring out. Chrom was ready to spend all of his personal savings on something ridiculously extravagant, but I talked him out of it. Besides, a diamond would just wear a hole through my glove during battle."
Lissa let out a displeased sound. "Geez! You're always so stingy, Rei! This is your engagement ring we're talking about! It's a big deal! If there's any time a girl should spoil herself, it's when she's about to become a bride!"
Rei chuckled and flashed Lissa a wry smile. "Not if the bride-to-be is trying to keep her engagement a secret." She slipped her glove back on. "Chrom and I will have plenty of time to spoil ourselves once the war is over and Ylisse is in more stable condition."
Lissa practically groaned as she skewed her eyes shut. "Don't tell me you haven't even done any planning for your wedding yet."
"I wouldn't know where to start," Rei said after a moment. She had nearly mentioned that her amnesia left many holes in her knowledge of the world, including things like wedding traditions – if she ever knew about such things to begin with – but managed to censor herself at the last moment. Her amnesia was a subject that almost always made everyone involved extremely uncomfortable, which urged her to do her best to avoid the issue whenever possible "I really need to research what goes into preparing for a wedding, but I can't exactly get any books on the topic without bringing up suspicion. Besides, there are more important things we need to focus on right now."
"I know, I know," Lissa said. "But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take time out to enjoy being engaged! If I had a fiancé, I'd make sure to spend time with him every day and talk about our future together."
Rei brushed back a few stray hairs from her face. "Chrom and I do that too."
Lissa's expression deadpanned. "I'm not talking about brainstorming war strategies."
A faint trace of pink appeared on Rei's cheeks as she gave Lissa an enigmatic smile. "Neither am I."
Lissa outright gawked at Rei. "What? Seriously? You two have already…?" She started to turn a faint shade of green as she cringed back. "Oh gross! I didn't need to think about my brother doing things like that!"
Pale pink turned to flaming red as Rei's amusement evaporated. "J-just what are you thinking about?"
Lissa made gagging noises as she shook her hands about, as though trying to ward off the revolting notion. "Gross, gross, gross! Look, I'm really happy for you a Chrom, but do me a favor and don't tell me when you two are… when you…" She shuddered and held herself. "Ugh! I can't even say it without getting sick!"
"Th-that's not what I was talking about at all!" Rei all but shouted, her blush spreading down to her neck. "Chrom and I just spend time enjoying each other's company. That's all there is to it! We have no intention of doing anything inappropriate before our wedding day!"
A new voice slithered into the tent, low and full of malice. "Wedding?"
Rei and Lissa immediately turned towards the tent flap to see it parted just enough to show a narrowed eye shadowed by dark bangs peering in at them.
"So…," Tharja muttered, her tone quiet but dangerous. "Chrom proposed to Rei, did he?" Her voice dropped until it almost went unheard by the two women in the tent. "How dare he…"
Rei felt her insides clench. Knowing she had to perform damage control quickly, she hurried to the tent entrance. "W-wait just a second Tha–"
Unfortunately, by the time Rei threw open the flap, Tharja was gone. The tactician hastily scanned the area, but the heavy shadows of the late hour had completely swallowed up the dark mage, leaving no trace behind.
Rei groaned and rubbed at her forehead where she felt a tension headache starting to form. "This isn't going to end well," she muttered.
"Oops," Lissa said. "Looks like you and Chrom aren't going to keep your engagement a secret for very long."
Rei exhaled a frustrated breath as she gave Lissa a reproachful scowl, which the princess answered with an innocent smile.