Not many people participating in the Lovers' Day celebration paid any mind to Rei and Chrom while they stood off to the side of a street and spoke in hushed voices to one another. Those that turned a curious or coveting look their way soon had their attention drawn away to a street performance or some other form of diversion the festival had to offer. Only one person in the crowd kept their eyes fixed on the couple with unwavering dedication as they walked away together.
Lucina clutched a fistful of her shirt, but it did little to ease the ache she felt in her heart. "Father… Mother…" The words left her lips barely louder than her breath, each one hanging heavily in the air around her.
When Chrom's eyes met hers for the barest of an instant, Lucina had been seized with a terrible, crazy inclination to just stand there boldly, and let him and Rei come to her, as they surely would. The impulse lasted only a second before common sense made her hide before that could happen. It was feelings like those that told her she could not be trusted to get too close to Chrom or Rei. The temptation and risk were far too much.
In spite of that knowledge, Lucina continued to carefully wind her way through the crowd, keeping Chrom and Rei within her sight at all times. In her combat clothes with a sword by her side, she stood out amidst the cavorting couples dressed in finery, so she stuck close to shadowy alleys and the corners of buildings as best she could. Her body was tense like a coiled spring, ready to leap behind cover should either of her parents chance to look in her direction again.
Lucina knew that she was playing a dangerous game, like a mesmerized moth dancing by a flame, but she could not help herself. It was painful to watch her parents from afar, forbidden from revealing herself to them no matter how much she longed to be with them again. However, the ache was worse when she could not see them, when loneliness dug its claws into her and tore great gashes from her heart. It reminded her of the years that followed the loss of her parents, of hope slowly dying along with her world and its people. At least when she watched her parents from a distance in this place, at this time, they were alive and happy, and surrounded by many people who were happy that war did not exist, if just for a single day. She lost count of how many nights she had dreamed of seeing her father and mother just once more, even if only from the perspective from an outsider.
This was how Lucina got by in the long months since she first arrived into the past, on glimpses of her parents who were not even married yet, who had never given birth to a little girl named Lucina, a little girl who might never be born at all. She was vaguely familiar with the butterfly effect, how a single flap of a butterfly's wing could create devastating storms on the other side of the world. Her very presence was changing the course of history. The more she interacted with Chrom and Rei, the greater the risk that her very existence could be in jeopardy.
It was not just Lucina who was in danger. Her friends, her cousin, her brother… She was the oldest of all of them. Even if she waited two years to interfere further – assuming that her meddling had not sealed their fates already – and assured her place in history, it would be longer for the others to be born. Some of their parents were barely even liked each other at this point in time, if they knew each other at all.
The idea that Lucina might be responsible for the loss of any of them… particularly her little brother…
Lucina gave herself a hard mental shake to draw her thoughts away from such a terrifying direction. She returned her focus to where she last saw Chrom and Rei and panicked when she realized that she had lost sight of them at some point during her introspection.
Lucina wondered then if it was for the best. Perhaps it was a sign from Naga that she was playing with fire and needed to show more restraint instead of giving in to such a childish desire as wishing to glimpse at her parents' faces, to see them smiling and laughing together. They were happy with each other's company, without her interfering with them. That was the way it should be. Keeping her distance, save for the most dire of situations, was best for everyone.
Lucina already knew how the day would play out. What she had seen was more or less what Aunt Lissa told her when she was younger. This infamous Lovers' Day had fascinated her as a child, perhaps too much. Knowing where and when she could see her parents outside the fog of war was too great a temptation for her to resist. She could not stop herself from seizing the opportunity to see her parents, to get to know them at least a little better than as phantom figures haunting her foggy childhood memories.
In just a few hours, Lucina had seen sides to her parents that she had not known existed. Her hazy memories of Rei always painted her mother in dark robes. Seeing her mother in such a bright and pretty dress, looking so young and cheerful, had been a shock to her, but it was a wonderful one. It filled her with the childish images of dressing up with her mother and doing something that ordinary women did, such as shopping. Perhaps they would weave flowers in each other's hair like Maribelle did for her mother.
The surprise displays of affection Chrom showed Rei were less unexpected, but welcome to see all the same. Seeing Chrom steal a kiss from Rei or suddenly pull the tactician close revived previously forgotten memories the princess had of such moments in her childhood where she acted much like she did now, catching secret glimpses of how her parents behaved around one another when they thought no one was paying attention to them.
Surely, this was enough for Lucina. She had gotten a taste of what she had lost, and her parents were none the wiser. Her interference at this time and place was minor, inconsequential. There was no need for her to see more than this.
In spite of this, Lucina found herself searching for Chrom and Rei. Perhaps it was foolish – in fact, she was certain that it was. Yet, more than a childish need to see her mother and father, she wanted to be around when the rest of the day's events unfolded.
If what Lissa said about what happened on this day was accurate, then Lucina wanted to be nearby, just in case the flutter of her butterfly wings resulted in history taking a turn for the worse.