This is a sort-of-sequel to my other fic, "Impress Me". I hate sucky sequels, so forgive me if this one proves me to be a hypocrite. I guess you don't need to read the other one, but this would make a little more sense if you did, but again, you really don't have to… One more quick note: I'm sort of messing with the chapters in the game because it's like you have pause time in order to get supports with the SpotPass characters… so I sort of put in a stupid reason for them not kicking some dragon tushy. Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters in the slightest.
Another Risen attack successfully sidetracked the Shepherds. Chrom couldn't help himself; even in Valm he had to aid every last town and village. Although Robin agreed that innocent people should be protected from the decayed warriors, he wished that his friend would allot at least five minutes to think of a strategy that would not lead to them charging into the fray and risking their lives frivolously. Yarne thought he had it tough? He may be the last taguel, but, gods forbid, should Chrom and Lucina perish, no one would be able to seal the fell dragon.
Speaking of Grima, Robin constantly reminded himself why they were in Valm and not saving the world. First, Grima was not very strong at the moment, and so it was decided that traveling in the neighboring continent would be beneficial, and it was. They found out that old foes, like Walhart and even Gangrel had survived the blows meant to kill, and even had a change of heart. Among past enemies, of course, was Aversa, who had become the subject of Robin's spare thoughts.
Not so long ago, he had stupidly admitted his growing feelings for her. Robin would have preferred that he had kept his mouth shut. For days afterward, he felt, and in no way did he mean it in a derogatory manner, like Ricken. In other words, he felt as if Aversa would look down on him for saying such immature things. It was crazy, he knew, but he supposed that was Aversa's charm.
And now, it was because of that charm that Robin was walking through the camp to gather the needed items for his little plot to woo the Dark Flier. In an hour, he was to meet Aversa on a hill not too far from their camp. Robin was nervous, as it was only natural to be so when in the company of such…unpredictable company. Maybe that was why he was so enamored with her; because she was someone he couldn't read as easily as the others. Sure, he was able to deduce the underlying reasons for her provocative attitude, but he could not determine what the real Aversa was like.
As he neared his tent, Sumia seemed to pop up out of nowhere – or because Robin had been preoccupied with his own thoughts.
"Hi, Robin!" the cheery Pegasus Knight chirped, chipper as ever.
"Oh, hello, Sumia." Robin greeted bewilderedly. "Did you need something?"
"Yes!" she looked like she didn't know where to start. "I wanted to ask you what your opinion was about the last book I lent you."
Robin loved reading, though Sumia's choice of books was drastically different from his own tastes. Nonetheless, he read them to expand his knowledge. "Actually…" Robin winced inwardly. This book talk was going to take a while…
After what seemed like an eternity, Robin had been able to politely conclude his conversation with Sumia. While it had been a thoroughly intriguing chat, he was sure he was going to be late for his little meeting with Aversa.
Running up the hill with blanket and basket in hand, Robin saw that his companion had beat him there.
Aversa glanced at him coolly. "It is bad manners to leave a lady waiting, is it not?" she asked coyly. He noticed that she was not wearing the hood she usually wore over the top part of her head, letting her silvery locks flow down her shoulders.
"Yeah, sorry." He laughed uneasily as he set his belongings down.
"A hill overlooking a town… how droll." She remarked, taking in the view. Aversa waved her hand at him, motioning for him to get on with whatever he had in mind.
Hiding his offense, Robin laid out a small blanket, the one from his bedroll, and gestured for her to sit. The sun was sinking into the horizon and a little village bustled in the plains below. Personally, Robin thought it was the perfect scene for a nice evening. "Does it not please you?"
"It's not that. Just do whatever your little head came up with." She leaned over to muss his hair. Robin couldn't stop the blood rising in his face. If he kept that up, he really would be like Ricken.
"I thought we talked about belittling me." Robin muttered under his breath. "Anyway, I brought some food and Feroxi mead." He was suddenly grateful that the Khans of East and West Ferox were trying to get his services for their realm. "It's strong, though."
"You naughty boy!" Aversa giggled. "Did you think you would be able to drink me under the table? I may not look it, but I can hold my own…after all, how do you think I kept my wits when I did all those unspeakable acts we discussed?"
"It's not for that purpose!" Robin's face was hot. "I mean, it's just to accompany our dinner."
Aversa chuckled. "You can be so adorable, you know. Like a child."
"I'm twenty-five, and I would be taller than you if you didn't wear those gods-damned shoes." He grumbled. Those shoes did irritate them, though – they only gave Aversa an edge when they spoke. If she weren't so snarky, he would not mind the height difference so much.
"Very well, big guy. Show me what you've got."
Robin was all too eager to shut his mouth and get to work. First, he reached into the basket and told hold of the small bouquet of flowers he gathered. Blooms were so hard to come by nowadays… "Here you go."
The Dark Flier regarded him quizzically. "Well this is a first for me. And believe me when I say many of my firsts have been taken."
Ignoring the insinuation, Robin said, "I thought you might like them."
"Well, I suppose if you were willing to uproot these in such times I must like them." She sighed. "It's a nice thought."
"Can you make that any more condescending?"
"Yes," she said, "but I won't so as not to wound your little ego any further."
"Moving on," Robin laid out some bread, meat, and cheese. He felt around for the last items he needed… "Oh, gods." He moaned.
"What is it?"
He'd forgotten the mugs for the mead! "It's nothing. I'll just go back to camp and,"
Aversa put up a hand. "No, you already made me wait. I'm sure we can survive the evening without whatever you overlooked. After all, it can't possibly be that important if you forgot, right?" He wasn't sure if she was being sincere, but the statement made sense. Sort of.
"If you don't mind sharing a bottle of mead, then I guess it isn't that vital to our enjoyment."
"Enjoyment? Oh-ho! I see you aren't quite the naïve boy I thought you to be."
"Aversa, I thought we were past this."
"You just make it more fun for me, which is a rare occasion. Usually you men are the selfish ones," she cut herself off. "Truly, your reactions are priceless."
Robin said nothing in response and yanked the cork from the bottle of mead. He took a long swig, forcing himself to tear the vessel from his mouth. Wordlessly, he offered it to Aversa, which she accepted more handily than the flowers.
After a taste, his companion nodded her approval. "My, they do make this strong. I like it."
The bottle went back and forth a few times before they began eating. By that time, the stars were already winking in the night sky. Robin's head was buzzing with an alcohol-induced haze. Everything seemed softer, like the edges were taken away. He reached for the bottle only to find that it was empty.
"Hm?" She regarded him with a half-lidded expression.
"Have you ever been with someone who actually cared about you?" The words flowed out of his mouth just as the mead flowed out of the bottle.
Aversa tilted her head to one side, a sly smile quirking her lips upward. "What do mean by 'been with'? Oh, don't bother explaining; you'll get your smallclothes in a knot. I know what you meant. The answer is no." She gazed at the little village below. "It didn't matter then, anyway. I would have had to kill anyone like that in the end." It was odd, though. Aversa was acting like someone who had imbibed a fair amount of ale, but her eyes said she was quite sober.
"Oh." Now he felt very incredibly stupid.
"Why do you ask?"
Well, there was no going back now. "When I told you I cared about you, I was being sincere."
"I gathered that. My, my, you must have had too much to drink; you keep repeating yourself." She chided him. "I should get you back to camp before you slump over. What will the others think when I have to explain that you can't hold your own?" she sighed, but the playfulness in her voice rang out.
Robin's face flushed once more. "I haven't had too much to drink. In fact, you downed a good portion of the bottle in one swig." He grumbled, though he was a bit sad that the mead was gone so quickly.
"Yet I feel fine." Aversa countered his argument smoothly. She rose from the ground and stretched in a manner Robin supposed would be considered provocative, but he was so accustomed to Aversa's habits that he was mostly unfazed. Still, to avoid giving her an edge and because he would feel like a lecher, he looked away for a moment, focusing on packing his basket and folding the blanket. Then, she took a deep breath, put two fingers to her mouth, and whistled loudly.
The sound of flapping wings was easy to hear in the stillness of the night. Robin was always impressed with Aversa's steed. It was a black pegasus, perhaps a good fifteen or sixteen hands high, dark as the deepest abyss, yet its coat shone like polished obsidian. The winged mount whinnied and skittered at the sight of him, so Robin took a generous step back while Aversa whispered something to it.
"Hm, he usually doesn't react like this." Aversa frowned. "It must be that blood of yours. Don't worry, I'll keep you safe."
"Yes, my steed is male. Is that a problem? Did you assume all pegasi were female? That's quite impossible, you know."
"Well, no, it's just that all of the ones at camp are mares, and I'm surprised that they haven't mated yet." And they could use some spare pegasi for reclassing purposes, Robin thought to himself, though that was not relevant to the subject at hand.
Aversa burst into laughter like she couldn't believe his statement. "I do believe that is the funniest thing you've said all evening, love! Obviously you know very little about pegasi and their mating habits."
He crossed his arms in the air. "And I would like to go on living without knowing, thank you very much! At least, I'd rather you not be the one to explain that bit to me."
"Aw, and why not?"
"You know very well why not."
"I was merely going to say my friend here hasn't been accepted into the pegasus hierarchy at camp yet. They are very similar to horses in that aspect. I'm surprised you didn't already know that since your nose is buried in books half the time."
"Oh." Robin felt terrible for assuming that Aversa would have said something more risqué. If he did that, then he would be no better than the lords Aversa once seduced.
"Though I can go into more detail if you wish," she added with a smirk. "No? Then come here." She motioned to her steed.
With basket and blanket in hand, Robin slowly approached the horse, not wanting to spook him. The black pegasus snorted as he came closer, but did not kick or bite. Soon, Robin's picnic items were tied to the saddle and he tentatively (and a little drunkenly) climbed onto the pegasus's back. The winged horse tensed beneath him, obviously aware that his rider was not the one in the saddle.
"You're going to have to move forward," Aversa said as she stood near her mount's flank, "I don't think you know how to ride one of these."
Robin complied and shifted forward, noting that the saddle might fit two people if they were seated right. There was a movement as Aversa came up onto the pegasus's back.
"Aversa, shouldn't I be in back so you can hold the reins?" Robin asked tensely, trying his best to block out the feeling of something soft against his back.
"If you start slipping, at least I'll be able to catch you, hm?" she replied as she reached around to the horn of the saddle where the reins were tied.
"I doubt I will slip."
"Besides, I rather dislike the feeling of someone hugging my waist while flying. It makes steering harder… and it's a bit distracting." She said loftily. Weren't they just going back to camp? It was only a short distance away…
Robin was careful not to turn his head when he spoke to her. "Aren't we going back to camp now?"
He felt her soft chuckles before she replied. "Yes, but I think I need to take over this little outing. Your attempt was not what I expected from you. I thought you would use some tactics. It's amusing how affection makes you men stupid."
"I was right then; you didn't like it."
"Oh, it was perfectly quaint, but it needed more…stimulation. I like it when a man gets my heart pounding." Before Robin could inquire what she meant, Aversa made a kissing sound, which spurred the pegasus into action. First, a brisk walk, then a trot into a canter until they were steadily gaining altitude.
Robin gripped the horn of the saddle for dear life. He had gone on a few rides with Sumia, Cordelia, and Cherche when a strategy called for it, but his last riding experience had been traumatic; Nowi had offered to take him to a nearby market and she had almost killed him with her flourishes.
"You need to relax, love, or else you won't enjoy the ride." Aversa purred into his ear, which made him shudder.
"I know." Robin forced himself to loosen his hold and look down. At first, it was a dizzying sight, but then his eyes adjusted and his innards settled. It was a beautiful sight. There was a river that ran next to the village, and the moonlight bounced off the moving water just right. Mountains rose up from the earth, only dark masses of shadow in the night. The way Aversa guided her pegasus was so natural. Robin wondered if the winged horse had been her only companion for the years she spent with Validar.
He had no clue how long they were flying for, but Robin enjoyed every second of it. When they finally touched down in camp next to his tent, he wanted to go back up. Aversa dismounted first, taking the drop from the stallion with stride. She held a hand out to him.
"I got it." Robin mimicked the same movements he had seen her do, but the pegasus was tall enough so that he could not touch the ground by simply dangling with one foot in a stirrup. In a stubborn effort, Robin removed his other foot and stumbled as he found his footing. Besides a sore groin and wounded pride, he was fine.
"I can never understand why men say that when you do not 'have it'." Aversa rolled her eyes. "Accepting a little advice now and again is not such a big deal."
"I know – and you've been doing just that. Remember how we talked about integrating yourself into the army as a person instead of a unit?"
She looked at him like he was mad. "Are you certain you haven't had too much?"
Robin shook his head, though he did feel very fuzzy. "Sumia said you came to Cynthia's rescue today. They're both grateful to you."
"And? She is incompetent! I only defended her because she is an ally." She snapped defensively. "Had she been a random child, I'd have let the Risen devour her for her stupidity."
"I don't think you believe that. Look, don't be ashamed of the fact that you're warming up to everyone. As you said, accepting help is not such a bad thing." As he spoke, Robin couldn't tell if it was the mead or his own fascination, but all he could focus on was how lovely Aversa looked in the moonlight. Her pale hair caught the beams' glow and made it look like she had a faint halo.
He gulped, trying to keep his heart from bursting from his chest. It was phenomenal how he could keep his wits in the heat of battle, but when Aversa was added to the mix, his mindset fell apart. She was a tactician as well, and she definitely knew how to disarm and conquer him. That was the first reason he was so enamored with her – they were constantly calculating their next moves.
She gave a defeated sigh. "I suppose I have been trying to be more amicable around the others. Don't you dare tell anyone I said that."
"Your secret is safe with me." Robin knew his time was running out – he needed to know if she was interested in him, if it was worth pursuing her or else he would be quite heartbroken. "I am going to assume that you hated spending time with me tonight."
Aversa frowned a fraction. "No, I can't say that I did. To be perfectly honest, I…feel more comfortable around you. Ugh, look what you made me go and say." And it did sound like she had a hard time admitting it.
A spark of hope ignited in Robin's chest. "I promise I'll make our next outing more exciting." He offered cautiously, not wanting to make any suppositions too prematurely. "That is, if you'll let me."
In an unexpected yet unsurprising movement, Aversa came in close, close enough so that Robin could smell an intoxicating perfume on her skin, like flowers and honey, and he could make out the dark violet marks that curled around her body, her Shadowgift. "Yes, I do think your attempt should be rewarded." Her fingers brushed under his chin, and with his hazy slightly inebriated vision, Robin cursed himself for being as spellbound as he was. "Close your eyes."
As if under a charm, Robin's eyes fell shut, and his body was on high alert. The chilly night air was suddenly crisper than before, bringing him out of his drunken haze if even for a moment. In those short seconds, he felt something graze his cheek, something soft and fleeting - a ghost, a whisper of the feelings behind the act. Even so, he felt the intent from that sweet reward. In that instant, Robin's heart felt like it was going to burst from the overwhelming happiness of Aversa's reply to his affections.
It was only an acceptance of his courtship, and he knew he had a long way to go in order to secure her full trust and fondness, but it was well worthwhile.
So there you have it! The maybe-sequel to "Impress Me" whoo! Tell me what you think, please. If you other authors can do something way cooler, then PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF NAGA WRITE A FIC FOR THIS PAIRNG! Wow, that was intense. But seriously, please review or PM me or something so I know how you feel.