You are my father's murderer.
Her words still rang loud in his ears. Robin didn't want to believe it. That he would betray his commander and best friend.
He tried to look past it, believing in Chrom's word. That his trust in him was genuine, that it held them closer than brothers-in-arms, that it was their friendship that drove them to work so hard together.
It was too genuine.
All Validar would need is one small moment, where he was too close. One poor moment, and the Exalt's life would slip away in his hands. The risk was too high.
He was ready to accept Lucina's judgment. He was ready and expecting it when Validar forced him to take the Fire Emblem from a weakened Chrom. He was surprised it took so long for her to finally address the issue with him.
Perhaps she was hoping he would do it himself. And he had given it thought. But he found himself too cowardly to fall upon his own sword. Not when it meant it would be leaving his wife and both of his child and her younger self forever.
There was only one option left. He had to leave. Thankfully, his wife was on patrol that night. She would not immediately notice his absence, as Chrom often needed him to work nights with him to help plan. This meant that it was easy enough to pack whatever belongings and rations he could from their tent.
The next stop was the command post. If it was the last thing he would do for Chrom, he at least wanted him to have the notes to achieve victory in his absence. He began to pile books on strategy, taken from his tent, as well as the notes he had written on them and from their past battles.
When all was said and done, the sun had set and the stars were already twinkling against the black night. Scanning the dark horizon from the entrance to the command post, he could see a wide swath of trees west of the camp.
Perfect for losing the trail of pursuers. He began to make his way through the tents, wary not to wake its inhabitants. With a quick glance to make sure no patrollers were around, he quickly moved in the cover of darkness, holding a bag with necessities in tow.
It hurt to leave. His heart was heavy and his head hung low, watching his feet take one pounding footstep after the other. He knew that he may never see them again, but Chrom's safety mattered above all else.
"No horse to help you escape? It would be faster than going on foot." It was Chrom's voice, and it came from ahead of him. Looking up, he saw his friend staring back at him. He felt his eyes narrow into the Exalt's gaze.
He was the last person he wanted to speak to. "A horse would draw noise. The hoof beats and its breathing is bound to wake up someone," he spat out. He couldn't look into his eyes for long. There was too much trust in it, too much kindness for Chrom's own good. He broke off eye contact. "How did you know I would go west?"
"You've told me before. Forests are best for losing pursuers. Tactics and strategy isn't what I'm known for, but I pick up the bits and pieces you let out and commit them to memory." His voice was admonishing, like a parent to their child, but Robin drew his lips into an empty smile. It was a compliment to his ability that he would have welcomed under any other circumstances. "And you didn't exactly hide your plan from the start. I saw you moving around between your tent and the command post many times tonight. You never do that."
Chrom walked up to him, clapping his left hand against his shoulder. "I trust you, Robin. You've led us to victory after victory in battles we had little to no hope of winning. You are my strongest ally, no matter what the circumstances."
"I am your strongest ally," Robin's voice was low, "but I am also your greatest risk." He roughly brushed Chrom's hand off of him and backed away from him a little. "The only option that remains is to remove myself. I've left all my notes on strategy for you. I trust that you and Frederick will-"
"I will not accept that," Chrom interrupted. His voice was rough, but it lacked the grating hatred he expected, even wanted to hear, for abandoning the Shepherds. "I don't know what's going through your mind right now. I will not claim to even have a grasp of what's happening up there. But I know one thing. We need you, whether you want to take that risk or not as the pawn of Validar. And we need you now more than ever. You are our best hope at defeating the fell dragon. As the Prince of Ylisse and Commander of the Shepherds, I will not allow your foolishness and emotions to cloud your judgment and desert us," he saw Chrom pull out Falchion, its sharp edges glimmering in the light of the stars, "even if I have to beat it into you."
To think that he would see the hallowed blade drawn against him once more. But he looked down, eyes focusing on the ground before him. "Then I ask of you, not as the Prince of Ylisse, not as the Commander of the Shepherds, but as my truest friends, allow me at least a night's march to ensure your safety from me. The country and its company need their leader." He started to walk, moving towards his shield arm.
Where the Fire Emblem would have been, had he not taken it from him.
He wanted Chrom's arm to stop him, to either hold him from moving or pushing him back. He wanted the pain associated with being struck.
It never came. Chrom merely stared at him, letting him move. He turned his body as Robin passed by and continued to walk into the darkness of the west, towards the forest. Falchion fell to his side.
The lack of physical pain hurt more than the blow he wanted.
"No one will be happy with your choice, you know. Not even Lucina, and especially not your wife."
Robin's feet paused in the grass and he turned his head to Chrom. "I suspect no one will, but they will understand why I am removing myself. I swore fealty to Ylisse, we all did. This is the best choice of action for all of us."
"Tell your wife that," a hint of a smile cracked on Chrom's face. "The Shepherds will know of your desertion at the break of dawn and she will be the first in line to go out and drag you back," the commander turned around and walked back into the camp.
He knew that. But given the situation, Chrom would only be able to spare his fastest team while the other Shepherds guarded the camp. Barring the immediate start of a manhunt, there was no way Chrom could send the all of the Shepherds after him.
The best way to prevent that from happening was to put conflicting choices in front of Chrom – pursue his friend and let the entire world hang in the balance over the risk of betrayal, or let him go free and take away the most powerful tool Validar had against him. Chrom was always bad at making immediate decisions, after all. That is why he managed tactics in the heat of battle.
But his ace in the whole was that Chrom could not tell anyone except those closest to him. Conflicting opinions on the matter would tear the Shepherds apart at the objective level. Though he hoped many would want to bring him back, there would no doubt be those who understood the tactical side of leaving letting Robin leave. This would ensure that the pursuit team was small.
He could remove Frederick from the pool of candidates. Chrom would need him to plan strategy for the campaign. The fastest members were the other cavalry, meaning he would send Stahl and Sully. And if he wanted to reach Robin even faster, then there would be at least one pegasus rider, maybe even wyverns. But sending all of his airborne units meant that he would sacrifice the speed and mobility of the Shepherds, one of their strongest advantages as a small unit.
He would only be able to send one. He would send her.
And that was why Robin marched towards the forest in the first place. There would be time to rest after he was far, far away from the Shepherds. Now was time to prepare. He glanced up at the camp and gave a forlorn smiled. The camp had shrunk, and Chrom's form was lost in the night. He turned around again and started to march.
He was making good progress.
Chrom was seated at the head of the table in the command post. In front of him lay the books that Robin left for him and a spread map. The sun had just started to rise.
"Captain, what is the meaning for drawing us here this… sorry, Captain, this morn?" Stahl did his best to stifle a yawn, but it caught him at the end. "Usually we aren't privy to what occurs in this tent and especially not this early."
In front of him stood Stahl, Sully, and Cordelia, all three lined up at attention and ready to ride out at a moment's notice. If not for his respect for Robin, he would have had them in here sooner. Before the rays of the sun began to peek over the far hills, he had gone around camp to rouse the fastest members of the Shepherds and order them to get ready to move.
He was lucky that he caught Cordelia before she returned to her tent from her patrol. She would be calmer than if he hadn't. Chrom stood up from his seat. "Stahl, Sully, you two are here because on ground you are the fastest soldiers I have." He turned his eyes over to Cordelia. "You are here because your support is tantamount. What I am about to say to you three must not leave this tent," he looked at each of them in the eye. "Do I have your word?"
"We're not dealing with the Risen, is it? Risen don't make you like this, Cap'n," even Sully's usual tongue was being curbed by the sudden solemnness over Chrom's face.
"Do I have your word, Shepherds?" Chrom asked again, a command this time.
"Of course, Captain," Cordelia spoke. "What is it? And where is Robin? I would have thought that he would be in here with you planning."
Chrom felt is shoulders tense. He wished she would never speak for the rest of briefing duration, but knew that would be impossible. He took a breath, let it out, and then began the briefing.
"Robin has abandoned his post."
"You've got to be pulling my leg here, Cap'n."
Chrom steeled himself for Cordelia's response.
"… No, I refuse to believe that!" She began to leave the tent, no doubt going to check on hers.
"I do not remember dismissing you, Cordelia. Or did you already forget what I said about things leaving this tent?" Chrom's voice was laced with anger and sympathy.
She paused in her steps. Very slowly, she turned around and resumed her position, face kept at the ground. He could see the worry on her face, the mix of hurt and confusion. But she took a breath. Looking back up, the countenance had been replaced by a steel stare. "Forgive me, Captain."
He walked out from behind the table and moved to the front of it, standing close to all three of them. "Your objective is the live capture of Robin. With the revelation that he can be controlled by Validar, he has decided to leave to protect me from himself. Though honorable intentions, he is our only chance at victory, risk be damned. We need him back."
"I cannot spare more than a handful of our forces this morning. We do not know if the Risen will ambush us, and I need Frederick to start planning for our campaign against Validar. As I said, Stahl and Sully, you two are my fastest ground units. You can cover the most ground not just going out but also coming back."
He turned to Cordelia. "You are needed because aerial mobility allows you to not only scout out Robin's position, but also approach him freely. If needed, you are able to buy time for Stahl and Sully to flank him. Robin may be able to win a one-to-one fight, but I doubt he can handle all three of you." She looked like she barely heard him speak.
He began to move behind the table again, drawing their attention to the map on it. "Currently, Robin is moving westward."
"How d'ya know?" Sully again.
"He told me that forests are the best chance of losing pursuers," it was a half-lie. He couldn't say that he let Robin walk right past him. "Lots of hiding places and there are more tools to cover tracks. Also, the mobility of horses is reduced in many cases."
He drew his finger over the forest on the map. "Though it is a long forest, it is thankfully thin, no more than a mile wide at most. If Robin got past the forest, he will be easy to spot and it won't be difficult to catch up with him on the plains after it. I do not expect him to try to readily strike back, as he knows I need all of you, but he is strong in both sword and tome. Be ready to use aggression to capture him. Any questions?"
Silence. Only their thoughts permeated the air.
"This mission is to be treated with utmost secrecy. Do not speak with anyone else before you leave. If any questions are asked, ignore them. The camp must not know of Robin's desertion until after he has been returned." his voice was stern, unyielding. "Do not fail me. Dismissed." He quickly placed a hand onto Cordelia's shoulder, shaking her from her thoughts. "Except you."
Sully and Stahl took this as their cue to leave the tent. As soon as they were gone, Chrom turned and looked her in the eyes. "Robin is my closest friend and is shadowed only by my love for my wife and your love for him," he said slowly, reminiscing of better times. "Do you believe that he is a good man? A wise father?"
"More than anyone, Captain."
"Even if he is the vessel of Validar, our enemy, and that he may betray us?"
"We all saw what happened. He was not in control of himself and the pain on his face was strongest when I cradled him as he cried in his sleep."
"… Even if he may raise his hand against you in combat?"
She did not answer immediately. She blinked, her stare faltering for a moment.
"That you may have to cut him down before he does the same to you?"
"He is the man who puts everyone else in front of him and showed me my true worth," a single tear rolled down her cheeks. "Between you and Robin, I believe I made the better choice, especially now."
Chrom smiled at the backhanded comment. Any humor was welcome to him and his shoulders felt lightened with her confirmation. "I could not agree more with you," he let his arm fall. "Robin holds deep ties with everyone here. Releasing the information of his desertion would devastate us as a force. I do not care if you have to knock him senseless or drop your smallclothes and bed him on the open field. You will bring him back to the Shepherds. Dismissed."
Not even Gaius could have left the tent faster than her.
Robin's gloved fingers played with the edges of the Bolganone tome in his hands. Its edges were frayed and tattered, having seen much use in prior days. But that was fine. He did not want to deny Chrom the more ample supplies for the campaign, after all.
Sitting on a fallen tree just inside the perimeter of the forest, he was scanning the skies, looking for his wife's mount. If he spotted her now, with the sun barely rising over the edge, that would mean that Stahl and Sully would be close.
He looked down from the sky. Now wasn't the time to second-guess his own resolve. Rising from his seat, he opened up the tome. Normally, he could cast this from heart, the tome acting merely as a catalyst and amplifier to the spell. But this was different. He began to mutter words. The book rose from his hands, its many pages flipping and turning at a blinding rate.
Soon, they began to tear themselves out of the book, forming eleven stacks floating in front of him. Eleven casts. The pages began to crackle and burn, forming molten orbs, their raw heat making him sweat. Crossing his arms in front of his body, he threw them out to his sides.
Ten of the orbs flew out to the ends of the forest, traveling far and disappearing from sight. The remaining one floated for a small duration. Letting his left arm rest at his side, he cast a quick forward stroke with the other and the fireball flew to the front of the forest.
An eruption of lava spewed forth from the earth and the forest began to burn. The remainder of the book turned to dust, and Robin turned to trek to the other side of the forest, wind tome in hand.
It started with a series of small flashes in the forest. The summer season had just passed, and so parts of the woods were dry and burned easily, though the leaves smoldered and created a heavy smoke. But even the weather could not explain how the trees caught fire from one end to the other so quickly. Cordelia knew that Robin must have done it.
By the time the three of them reached the edge of the forest, it had become an impassable wall. "We'll need to go around," Stahl said, "I'll head this way. Sully, you go the other way and I'll meet you on the other side."
"I'll go over the forest, then. If I can spot Robin through the smoke or somewhere else, I will stop him." Cordelia had already sped off into the sky, her eyes anxiously scanning. But the smoke was thick. She was glad for the tailwind behind her, as that meant the smoke was blowing away and not into her.
But she was more thankful for the fact that it gave her additional speed. Looking to her sides, she saw the fire burning into the morning horizon. With the flames that strong and far, there was no way Sully and Stahl was going to find Robin first.
"Hold your breath," she spoke to her mount. They would need to go through the smokescreen. With a quick dive, she flew close to the top of the trees, where the smoke would thickest, but for the shortest amount of time. Soon, her vision cleared and she was racing towards the end of the untouched forest.
There he was. His tousled and messy black hair and blue and beige cloak was a dead giveaway.
She kicked her steed to move faster. As she got closer, she saw him trying to climb up a small grassy hill. Directing the pegasus to land, she flew to the top and got off, staring down at Robin, who continued to climb. She held her spear to her side, the weapon standing on its end.
"Going somewhere?" It was not a question to him. It was rough, unlike how she would normally address him.
He looked up from his feet, pausing for a moment. He took a breath, knowing that this would happen but still found that he wasn't ready to deal with it, especially when he was staring into those narrowed red eyes. "Of course Chrom would send you," he sighed.
"I would be out here whether I was ordered or not, Robin."
"… I know."
"I can't let you leave," her grip on her lance tightened, but she made no motion to wield it.
"I can't allow myself to stay here." He started to walk again, moving towards her side.
She walked out to stop him, placing her free hand tightly on his shoulder, its squeeze giving away her anxiousness. "The Shepherds need you. Are you just going to go on and abandon us?" Her voice dropped low, "Are you going to abandon me?"
"Cordy…" He only called her that when they were alone.
"Don't use that name on me!" she yelled, her chest tightening and heaving with labored breath. "Not now, of all times!" he could start to see her eyes glisten.
He ignored it. He needed to play her feelings for her own good. "Cordy," he placed his hand over hers, squeezing it himself. He pushed it off of him, but did not let go. "What is the oath you took when you swore to serve Ylisse?"
"What are the oaths you swore at the altar? That you swore to me?" Her voice cracked, her grip tightened, her lips thin and trembling.
"What is it?" he almost yelled. He let out a breath. He needed to stay calm. "What is the oath that you and I took long ago to protect Ylisse?" he said, this time slower, softer.
She closed her eyes and looked down. "I swear allegiance to Exalt and country. I freely lay my life and my lineage upon the altar of the Halidom and serve with pride the blood that runs through the lines of the Hero King, His people, and His nation. May Naga be pleased with my offering."
"Good. I expect you to live up to it in my absence," his hand squeezed hers before letting go. "Be sure to teach that to Severa as well, to both of them." He began to walk again, moving past her.
Her spear fell to the grass. Moving behind him, she circled her arms around him. Her hold on him was needy. Lustful, even.
But most of all, pleading. "Robin, please… just come back!" She bit back the first sob, but could not stop the rest.
"I can't. Not when I pose such a great risk to Chrom."
"Damn Chrom! Damn Chrom and think of me and your family! I need you more than Chrom ever will!" she yelled into his back.
He didn't answer, but his back tensed. Finally, he brought himself to turn around and embrace her, holding her tight to him. He closed his eyes as she did her best to fit into him, as if desiring to become one.
"Would you leave your family, your daughters and me, to save just one man?" her voice was achingly slow.
He could barely see it, but the flames licked away at the base of the camp's image. Looking down, he was glad that she was still buried into his chest, eyes shut and tears streaming down instead of staring back into his eyes. He dragged a hand through her red hair, cursing his gloves. He kissed the top of her head.
"I do it not for one man, but for you and everyone in our company. I'm sorry, Cordy. Find someone that can make you happy and forget about me."
She heard the plink of a teardrop on her shoulder guard before noticing the wind spell charging up against her abdomen. The last thing she remembered of that encounter was tumbling down the side of the hill in darkness and desperately trying to grab something, anything that would give her a hold to get back to him, before her head hit the ground with a soft thud.
Sully was the first to arrive. She remained on her horse, staring at Cordelia's downed body. "Fealty over family, Robin?" Her countenance was one of disgust, but her voice held a grudging respect.
Stahl arrived not too long after. He did not have to ask to know what had happened. "Where is her pegasus?" They began to scan the area, eventually finding it at the top of the hill, where her spear lay.
"She tried to talk to him, I'll presume," Stahl's voice was low.
"Should have just punched him out then and there."
Reading the ground, his face darkened. "… Something's not right, though. The tracks lead back into the forest, and the fire has begun to reach this side, too."
Sully's voice rose. "So he's offing himself? After all the crap he's put us through?"
"There's no solid proof of it unless we find his body. But we can't leave Cordelia here." Stahl rode back to her body, pegasus in tow with Sully holding the extra spear.
"Help me secure her." The pair quickly worked, place Cordelia into a sitting position, leaning her against the neck of the mount.
"So we're not going to even try to find Robin?"
"Do you even want to walk into that burning forest, Sully? The risk is too high. A tree could fall on us, or even worse cut us off and we'd be dead. That's not something that Chrom can afford at this point." Stahl looked over to Cordelia.
"And if what Chrom says is right, he wants us alive to serve." Sully gave a frustrated groan, "Damn it all, Robin. Even in your desertion you hold us in the highest regard."
"The mission was a failure the moment Robin split us up with the fire. He knew that Chrom would send mounted units because of our speed and removed our number advantage, and he knew he would send Cordelia. She would be all alone, and it would be easier to overpower her then."
"Or trick her."
"Yes… That as well." Stahl took off, heading in the direction he came from. The pegasus followed with Sully keeping up behind them.
When they cleared the bend, disappearing behind the cover of the flames and smoke, a figure emerged from the burning forest. Wearing a traveler's cloak, he raised the hood over his tousled and messy black hair. Carrying a small sack of necessities, he began to travel towards the north.
He had told earlier Frederick what happened after sending them out, whose face turned grim and began to create strategies in place of Robin. Next to know was Libra. The monk was placid and loyal, someone that he could trust with utmost secrecy. He did not share the details of the mission, but told him that he needed a medical tent prepared, just in case.
Finally, Chrom went to his own tent and sat on the bed, his head hanging in between his shoulders. Sumia, awoken by the sudden weight and one of the few who could console him and bring him out of the depths of his mind, was unable to pry out the reason for his solemnness, only being told that she will know later, one way or another. She said no more, only resting her head on his shoulders and holding his hand, which he roughly squeezed back.
And now he stood at the edge of the camp, his eyes scanning the distance for his team. The fire and smoke had put the Shepherds on edge. None knew what was happening, exactly, but he could feel their eyes on his back. He couldn't tell them about Robin. Not yet, at least. Not after everyone learned of Lucina's attempt to murder the tool of Validar. To him, it was a miracle that none had abandoned the Shepherds after that.
Then he saw them. Specks in the distance. His heart rose until he realized that Cordelia was not flying in the air. He would have seen her first if that was the case, far ahead of the others.
As they drew closer, he could see them clearer. Two mounted knights moving at a slower-than-usual pace and a pegasus in between them. His eyes narrowed. He could feel the anger burning within him, mad at their failure, and mad at himself for letting it happen.
When they were close enough, he signaled for them to head to the medical tent and made his way towards it. He was sure that everyone could see his distaste at the situation, but he found that he could do nothing to remove it. Frederick was outside the tent, making sure that no others approached.
Walking inside, he heard their horses stop outside and they carried Cordelia into the tent, a patch of armor over her stomach missing. As soon as they placed her down and Libra began his work, Chrom turned to them. "What happened out there?" It was slow, placid, but he could not hide the anger behind it.
The two of them stood at attention, just like how they did in the morning. "Robin was expecting us. He knew exactly what the best plan was for his recapture given our circumstances and-"
"I don't need compliments to his character, Stahl. I need answers. What. Happened." To say Chrom wore his heart on his sleeve was an understatement.
"He lit up the forest, Cap'n. Knowing that Stahl and I couldn't go through, we had to go around the long way around. Cordelia flew up to go over it and must have spotted him."
"That is all we know, Captain," Stahl said. "Robin knew what was coming, and he prepared for it. The mission was a failure the moment Cordelia was separated from us."
"So he knocked out Cordelia. What happened when you found her?"
Sully spoke up. "I found her first, lying in the grass without her weapon. Stahl came a little later. We searched for her pegasus and weapon and he noticed that no tracks lead away from the forest, only into it. I wanted to go in and search for him, but Stahl concluded that with the encroaching flames the risk was too high. Anything could fall down and kill us or block us off, and leaving Cordelia behind in her state was dangerous."
Stahl spoke next. "I gave the order to split up and find him, as well as the order to retreat. I accept full responsibility for the failure of the mission," he did not dare look towards Chrom, whose glare was cold and harsh.
The captain said nothing, however, and exited the tent. If there was ever a time where Chrom wanted to give Robin a good beating, it was now. Frederick, as expected, was out and keeping a strict perimeter around the tent.
"You will need to tell them of what happened, my lord."
"I know… I know." Chrom took a breath, doing his best to stay calm. "What do I say, Frederick?"
"The truth is always the best answer, my lord. Even if it hurts. That way, you will have no regrets."
"… Thank you, Frederick, I-"
A voice came from the tent. "No, let me go!" Chrom bit his lip. Cordelia must have awoken.
There was a strike of metal against metal, gauntlets pushing at armor, and Cordelia opened the flap of the tent. For a moment, he was paralyzed, unsure what to do. But he saw her eyes scanning around. The moment she spotted her pegasus, she immediately moved towards it.
But she fell, clutching her stomach and crying in pain.
"Restrain her, Frederick," the retainer instantly moved towards her. Cordelia, still struggling to stand, did not realize his presence until his arms hooked under hers and lifted her up off the ground.
"Put me down! I have to find him! I need to find him!" She was hysterical, struggling and kicking against Frederick until the other two cavaliers came out and held down her extremities.
"Stand down, Cordelia."
"Please, Captain! I have to find him! I-"
"Stand down Cordelia! That is an order!" Chrom roared. "You will not throw yourself away on a wild goose chase! Not when Robin wants you here!" He could hear the crowd gathering. "Face it, Cordelia. The mission has ended in failure and we must pay the price."
"No! You said I must succeed! Under any circumstance! Failure is not an option!" Her voice was strained and loud. Chrom would not be able to calm her easily.
"Mother?" It was the softness of the voice that made Cordelia freeze. He felt his heart stop beating for a moment.
Severa walked up to them, "Mother, what happened?" Cordelia's once-proud demeanor began to hang low. She started to cry, tears falling onto the grass below. He was sure Cordelia saw only the black hair on her daughter's head and could only begin to truly grasp that Robin was gone.
Nothing broke parents like children.
"Put her down, Frederick." The knight complied and Severa moved up to hold her. There was no use in hiding it anymore. And with the Shepherds all here, now was the best time to address the issue.
Looking down and taking a breath, he raised his head to address them.
"Shepherds, I bring dire news," he was never one to mince words. "As many of us know, Validar is capable of controlling Robin to do his bidding. As a result, to protect us as a company, Robin has abandoned his post and is currently missing."
The only thing louder than their varied cries and murmurs was Cordelia's sobs. Chrom inwardly cursed, knowing that she would have to be debriefed.
A/N: Well, I always did want to get back into the Fire Emblem series. Honestly, I did not expect the first chapter to be so long, nor did I expect to touch upon so many facets in the relationship. I initially wanted to end it with Robin's departure, but as I kept writing I realized it needed more substance and I kept fleshing it out. Eventually it just made sense to include everything in this chapter. This fic also represents my first attempt at having an entire story planned out before publishing the first chapter. So far, I like it. It gives each chapter a direction, a goal, and it comes out so much stronger because of it. For now, it's planned to be at nine chapters. This can fluctuate depending on whether I combine chapters or extend them.
As the name and summary implies, this fic idea was heavily inspired by the song "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash. I ended up putting this song on repeat and let it go over and over again while I wrote. And though the path of the story won't exactly follow the immediate context of the song, of justice being served to the wrongdoer, I plan to explore a different context of it - that no matter how far one tries to run away, one will be drawn to what they must do. As a precaution, I think it is wise to say that this story is probably going to be far, far different than anything else I've written before. For now I've tentatively put this down as a part of the Hurt/Comfort and Drama genres, but I suspect this is bound to change in the future.
And hell, if there was a Bromance genre, I'd put this in there right away.
Disclaimer: I do not own Fire Emblem.
I look forward to your comments and criticisms.