Hello everyone! I can't stay away from this pairing! Enjoy and contribute to this minority of fics! This time, I'm switching up the point of view – it'll alternate.
They were finally back in West Ferox after gods know how long at sea. Robin was tempted to kiss the ground repeatedly at their return, but refrained. There was business to attend to. They'd gotten word that there was an abandoned shrine in the area dedicated to Naga that held a powerful relic; there was little doubt it would come in handy later on. And so, the wobbly band of Shepherds stumbled about to find the fabled item.
All the while, he had to fight to keep his focus because a certain Dark Flier found pleasure in pulling his attention away from his tactical studies. Perhaps he had underestimated what he'd agreed to when he decided to attempt to win Aversa's heart. It was too late, though, because she already held his in her enchanting grasp. Furthermore, he struggled with heartbreak; when they spent the night together, she was always gone before morning came. Of course, this roused bouts of insecurity in Robin's mind – something he wasn't used to. His actions were always perfectly calculated and he was confident in his strategies.
Not with Aversa.
Robin dismayed when they found that the shrine was overrun with Risen. On the other hand, he thought dryly, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing the temple's power was weakened. That way, he wouldn't run the risk of burning up. Would he? It didn't matter.
He fought off the wretched creatures with little interest. He slashed one and blasted another with fearsome lightning magic. As he went on, his fervor heightened to an intensity he hadn't felt in a long while. Soon, he was cutting a swath of space for his comrades to move in. He was angry and frustrated at something, but he refused to think about it. He barely saw Aversa swoop down and use a spell to blow a Risen to bits. Robin vented his emotions on the Risen. Why were there so many, anyway? It's not like they could use the mysterious object the shrine housed. Through his confused exasperation, he spotted a whirl of violet among the undead.
"Hold, there!" he called out to the person. If there were another human in the temple, surely he or she would be an ally. Robin found renewed strength to beat back the sacks of rotting flesh.
As he was about to cut down another Risen, waves of frigid cold made him stop in his tracks. He recognized the all-too familiar chill of the dark arts. The stranger had used dark magic. Now that he was close enough to see who it was, Robin was stumped.
The stranger was a young girl, no older than Lucina. She had very pale hair down to her neck and her skin was bronzy. Faint, curly purple marks ghosted about her cheeks and hands. The girl wore an exact copy of Robin's own cloak. Judging from her garb, the child should not have been able to utilize dark magic, yet the deep violet tome in her hand suggested otherwise. Her big, ruby eyes, looked at him with sudden recognition. "There you are, Father!" she smiled wide. "Wow, you look a lot younger here."
Father? Oh, gods…what was this child talking about? Was she from a wife he never knew about before losing his memories? If so, he was in for a world of trouble…
Aversa dismounted after the fighting died down. The little Ylissean ruler had gotten what he wanted. She patted her mount's neck absently as she scanned the crowd for Robin. While she had been "making friends" and "creating bonds of friendship" with the others, she still felt mildly uncomfortable around them. Perhaps they weren't outright glaring at her, but intuition and past experiences told her that her name was being whispered in hushed, angry tones behind her back. Not that she cared. Just because she had their precious tactician to herself didn't warrant the scorn of the group.
As of late, Robin had been acting odd around her. He always got a wounded expression on his face when he saw her and Aversa hadn't a clue why. She even kept her little quips down to a minimum! Men, she thought, they were so sensitive. They got defensive about every small topic. She only joked at his clumsiness when they were intimate – in fact, she thought it was rather endearing. He didn't try to act like he was her master.
"Hello, Aversa!" the bumbling Pegasus Knight greeted her – what was her name? Sumia. That's right. She was the mother of the equally klutzy girl who was constantly gallivanting about on a pegasus.
"Oh. Hello," She replied offhandedly, keeping her lips from curling into a sneer. "Now, if you wouldn't mind,"
"I just wanted to thank you again for the other day. Cynthia would have been in quite the predicament." The shorter woman smiled nervously; was she intimidated or just shy? Either way, she was being sincere. Even so, Sumia was talking about something that happened more than a fortnight beforehand.
Aversa bit back a comment about how good mothers kept track of their children. It wasn't like she was a parent, or ever would be. "You're all my comrades now." She mustered the most pleasant smile she could.
There was a sudden commotion near the front of the army. Some shouting was involved, as well as a loud bout of laughter, but she couldn't tell what it was all about. Aversa slinked her way through the Shepherds to see what in the gods' names the cause of the noise was.
"Wow, Robin, I never thought you'd have a kid!" The sprightly War Cleric snickered. She was Chrom's childish sister and a harmless gossip.
Robin had a child? Aversa's eyes found the tactician easily. His fair hair and dark eyes stood out from the rest of the crowd. He stood shifting his weight from side to side, coughing out nervous chuckles when questioned about the short girl next to him. Aversa's eyes narrowed when she laid eyes on "Robin's child". Who was the mother? Obviously this was not a new development – the girl was at least thirteen years old! There was no question the brat was Robin's – she had his eye shape and his silly facial expressions. Her attire was exactly like her father's. Suddenly, Aversa felt very agitated. She stormed off before she saw the father and daughter any longer than she had to.
Robin walked through camp, Morgan in tow. Morgan. What a nice name, he mused. He quickly got over his initial shock after he looked at the girl closer. She looked very much like him, but also very much like his lover. While Robin was practically bounding with happiness, there was the one huge stump in the way: Morgan had no recollection of her life – an affliction Robin empathized with greatly.
"Father, where are we going?" His newfound daughter inquired. Her eyes were earnestly taking in the sight of the camp. A long chain of questions had erupted from her mouth earlier, not many of which Robin could answer.
"Are you absolutely sure you don't remember who your mother is?"
"I told you – I only remember who you are, Father. My head hurts when I try to think about it." She said sadly, a hand going to her forehead.
He sighed. That was what had happened to him in the beginning. "Don't strain yourself, now. It's okay."
Chrom turned a corner and waved. "Robin," he grinned. "You must be shell shocked."
"I am, actually. Have you seen Aversa? I haven't seen her since last night."
His friend shook his head. "Look, I saw her walk by the pegasi, but I wouldn't talk to her right now. She looks angry. When Sully gets angry, there's no stopping her." There was a pause. "But if anyone's a diplomat, it's you. It's better you explain the situation – haha! It's like when Lucina appeared fully-grown! Whew, I'm glad she was there to clear that up or else Sully would have had my hide."
"Thank you for the sage advice."
"Any time, friend."
And so Robin led Morgan to the makeshift pen for the various creatures in camp. Aversa's stallion was off by himself, glancing warily at the other female pegasi.
"I wonder where she could be?" he wondered aloud. Usually, she tended to her winged horse after battles.
Morgan assumed a thinking pose – thumb and forefinger closed around her chin. "Well, when I feel down, I like to take swims. Does that help?"
"It does, actually." Robin conceded. Aversa was probably swimming in the nearby river. Perhaps it was best to wait for her return…she liked to take her dips in the nude. But why was Aversa going for a dip in broad daylight? She tended to go during the night, when her privacy was ensured.
"Let's go, then!"
"No!" He blurted out, blood rising to his face. "I mean, let's wait here. We can get to know each other better."
His daughter shrugged - her attention was all over the place. Although…she did glance at the pegasi quite a bit. "Sure! Right now, I'll take anything I can get."
Clearing his throat and regaining his composure, Robin sat on the soft grass next to the wooden stake they used to set the boundaries for the steeds. Morgan did the same, her eyes trained on his face; the only familiar feature in her reality. "So I suppose I'll just tell you a little about myself." Taking a deep breath, he began telling the tale of how he woke up in a field not much different from the one they were in at the moment…
After a very long and excited conversation, Robin took Morgan to the mess tent so she could get some food in her stomach. Knowing she was in good company with the other children from the future, he ventured back outside near the pegasi to continue his vigil for Aversa. It was getting late – not that he was especially worried about her safety. She was a powerful magic user and very resourceful. He was more concerned over whether she was offended for some reason or another.
It was excruciating for him to fuss over the Dark Flier. This was not something he'd have done earlier. Before, nothing could have distracted him from his work. He faced the jests from the rest of the Shepherds that he would become a hermit one day, his nose buried in maps and old texts. But it was also a euphoric feeling. Having someone he cared so incredibly dearly for was a foreign, yet welcome sensation.
So he waited by the pegasi, knowing full well that she would come by at some point to check on her steed.
Aversa took her time walking back to camp. The river had done nothing to soothe the heat of her mood. She barely noticed the bone-chilling cold of the night that was amplified with the river water clinging to her skin and clothes. What was Robin playing at? He was always professing his affection and devotion to her at every chance he got. Aversa had started to believe him before the events of this afternoon. Another question was bothering her as well – why was she so affected by this turnout? She was usually the "other woman" in many cases! What was so special about Robin? He was like a lost dog, following someone who had given him a scrap of meat. But he was also a quick thinker and an honest person…No! Robin was the same as all men: a liar. The honesty he showed was a front, just like the rest of his kind.
A child? Out of nowhere? Impossible. Aversa steamed over the image of Robin fawning over another woman, showering her with his attention. Disgusting.
She slowed her pace when she saw a figure standing by the pegasi pasture. Who could be out at this time? It was suppertime! The Shepherds loved stuffing their faces!
The person turned. "There you are," he said, a curious look on his face. Aversa imagined that if her body could adjust to the temperature she was feeling, the water on her skin would turn to steam.
"I don't wish to see you."
Robin's face came into view anyway. "Are you angry with me?" His eyes searched her face.
"No," she said blandly. "I merely do not want to see you. Don't you have a brat to take care of?"
He looked confused. "Aversa, I don't understand – why does Morgan's presence bother you?"
"I didn't say that," she snapped, losing her composure for an instant. "You could have had the decency to have told me you had a wife – unless you slept around and got a poor farm girl pregnant. I'd pegged you as a one-woman man."
Robin had a hurt expression. "I am – Morgan is our child. I don't have a wife, at least, there isn't any proof." He held up his left hand for emphasis. "Why don't you trust me? I would never lie to you."
Words fought their way to her mouth, but died in her throat. The girl was their offspring? Oh, no. No, no, no, no! This couldn't be happening! It was worse than if the girl was from another woman!
"I'm going to dry off and go to bed." She said flatly before brushing past him. "Don't even think about following me."
Robin stood outside Aversa's tent, waiting for her to finish toweling herself off. Even though he had "seen it all before" Robin felt that there was still some sort of protocol to be followed. As a neophyte to the world of romance, there was much he could only guess at (to avoid being teased by the others). He heard the rustling of clothes being put on and he waited for a few seconds afterwards to ensure he wouldn't walk in too early. When he was certain she was clothed, he parted the tent flaps and entered. With a quick spell under his breath, he lit the oil lamp on a crate he presumed she used as a nightstand.
Aversa's eyes raked over him and she frowned. "I thought I told you not to follow."
"Morgan is our child. Is there something wrong with that?"
There was a long silence between them. "I'm not the motherly type."
"So? Not everything comes naturally to everyone." He offered. Robin wanted her to know what a gift Morgan was – a living symbol of their relationship.
"Father?" As if on cue, Morgan's head appeared between the tent flaps. Moonlight leaked in and bounced off of her silvery hair. She had her mother's locks for sure, Robin observed absently.
Aversa tensed, but only Robin could tell. She was impeccably good at masking her reactions. He had learned the subtle nuances of her body language over time; he was sure she must have picked up any odd habits he had as well.
"Morgan, we're a little busy right now, so could you,"
His daughter seemed to ignore him and scampered next to them, putting her face close to her mother's. "Holy wyvern scales! Are you my mother?"
Like a sleek queen cat, Aversa regarded the young kitten with general disdain. "I doubt it."
Robin looked Aversa in the eyes and frowned. He put a hand on Morgan's shoulder. "Yes, this is your mother."
"Wow, I can't believe I forgot such a pretty lady is my mom!" Sadness flickered in her eyes. "I'm sure I must've loved you as much as I loved Father." A hand went to her head, like she was having a headache.
A strange paternal instinct made Robin feel strangely angry and hopeless – there wasn't anything he could do to cure Morgan's condition; he couldn't even cure his own. He wanted nothing more than to search for the solution to restore his child's memory. He would go any distance and pay any price.
He looked between Aversa and Morgan, and it appeared to him there would be no progress tonight. With a resigned sigh, he stood up. "Come, Morgan, let's get you to bed. You need your rest after fending off those Risen."
With one last glance at her mother, Morgan obeyed his request. "I'll come see you later." She promised.
When Morgan had started walking back to her tent, Robin spun around to say some final words. "She needs her family right now. If you can't give her the same amount of effort she's putting into remembering you, then," he choked up. What was the "or else" he was threatening to use?
"Then what?" Aversa's eyes glinted with amusement. She was calling his bluff, just as he had a while back.
Robin took a deep breath. "Then…then I will find someone who can. Or I'll raise her myself." His voice sounded brittle in his own mind. It was a painful thing to say, but Morgan deserved a loving family after the hardships she must have endured to travel back in time. The other children from the future were showered with love from their parents. He left Aversa's tent quickly, so she wouldn't see the uncertainty in his face.
Aversa watched Robin walk off in a huff. She sat there, somewhat stunned. No man ever walked away from her. What really struck her as peculiar was that here was a male, a man, who actually gave a damn about a child he sired, one who may have been conceived out of wedlock (and therefore not an obligation according to society)! Aversa had seen many men turn a blind eye to the offspring of their lovers.
It appeared that once again, Robin was proving to be a different specimen. He was an exception to all the conclusions she had drawn about the opposite gender. Obviously he had his own flaws and conformities to her theories, but he was definitely unique. Never before had Aversa felt the desire to be close to someone. It unsettled her, sometimes. Love was a myth – a pleasant name for lust. It was a justification for heinous crimes. And so, she always slinked off after a night of intimacy. That was also a habit of hers; from past experience, she wasn't supposed to stay till morning. Aversa wasn't in love with Robin – she was merely…fond of him
That child – Robin's daughter – looked nothing like her! There was no way the brat was Aversa's! Not a chance! Besides, she had her methods of preventing such an unwanted pest. In any case, any child of hers would be scorned, she thought bitterly, for having Validar's whore for a mother.
Robin woke up with a weight on his chest. His first instinct was to jump up and grab his tome, but as his eyes adjusted to the muffled morning light shining through the material of his tent, he saw Morgan sitting on him.
"Good morning, Father!" She chirped happily. Where she got her energy from, he had no idea. "Can you teach me some advanced strategy today?"
Still bone-tired and weary from his disagreement from the previous night, Robin wasn't sure how to react. "I've got meetings all day," he said. Morgan's smile waned a fraction. "I think you should go and spend some time with your mother. She's a clever tactician too." He said quickly.
"Really? Okay! I'll see you later!" She got off his chest and ran off. In hindsight, Robin was beginning to question whether or not it was a good idea for Morgan to try and spend time with Aversa. After all, she hadn't seemed very excited to hear she had a child.
Heaviness weighed him down before he could get up. That's right, he thought, he'd given Aversa an ultimatum. Morgan was their daughter – she should have both parents to raise her. As much as Robin enjoyed Aversa's company, he had another person to care about, adding yet another name onto the list of his loved ones.
Perhaps it was his tactician's intuition, but a part of Robin felt that his lover's unwillingness stemmed from something else. But then again, he also realized that he often pointed out the cause of every little idiosyncrasy Aversa had. It wasn't that he wanted to change her – no, Robin adored her and recognized that he had his own quirks that arose from his fractured memory. He figured it would be extremely irritating to point this out, but his analytical mind would not relent.
Still, he held hope in his heart that Aversa would accept Morgan. He was willing to do anything to ensure they lived a peaceful life - together.
Aversa stroked her pegasus' neck, checking him over for any ticks that may have crawled on him for a snack. She whispered things in his ear, knowing full well an animal could not comprehend human language. It was better that way; animals would not and could not gossip about her.
"Mother!" A girlish voice called out. This was followed by the sound of grass being crushed underfoot. The scrawny girl from the other day came to a stop in front of her. Aversa kept herself from recoiling.
"And who are you talking to?"
The child tilted her head to one side, confused. "Well, you, of course." A steel sword was hastily shoved into to her belt, threatening to fall at any given moment. A worn-looking dark magic tome was also tucked into her belt. That was…different. She didn't look like a dark mage or otherwise.
In one smooth motion, Aversa swung herself up onto her pegasus. "Go play somewhere else, child." She said before giving her mount a light nudge. Soon, she was flying away from the little nuisance.
When she was higher up, above the tree line, Aversa took a deep breath of relief. Finally, she was free from any responsibility; no one could bother her in the air…
"Wait up!" Someone shouted. Looking back, Aversa saw the girl, clinging to the saddle of one of the spare pegasi. Apparently, she knew how to ride; but she wasn't sitting properly – the stirrups were adjusted for a grown rider, not an adolescent squirt. She must have hopped on the winged horse in a rush.
"Gods, take me," Aversa muttered under her breath. She steered her pegasus back towards camp, figuring that Robin would have a fit if something happened to his little treasure. How troublesome.
She landed moments before the brat, and even had time to dismount. When the other pegasus came in for a landing, it stumbled and sent its passenger flying at Aversa.
"Oof!" They both choked out, one high voice and one mature voice.
Aversa's head spun. The blue sphere of the sky danced in her line of sight. Then, the girl's face hovered in her view. Big eyes full of questions and raw curiosity begged to have a conversation.
"Whew, that was fun, huh, Mother? I didn't know I could ride!"
Using one hand to push her away, Aversa stood. "Not very well, I see."
"Well, it just came to me – I remembered it all of a sudden. You wanna go again? Last time I got on too quickly. I think I know how to correct it."
Was there something wrong with the girl? She obviously was too dense to see that Aversa did not want to be anywhere near her. "Have fun with that, then." She said before making to walk off.
"I'm getting the feeling you don't want to spend time with me." The brat said sadly, her bright smile fading. "I'm sorry if you're offended that I can't remember you, but I'm trying to follow Father's advice and focus on making new memories." She went on.
For a moment, Aversa was struck speechless. She could hear the same sort of vulnerable honesty Robin had in her voice. Regaining her thoughts, Aversa stifled a snort of derision. "I think you'd better run along now."
There was a long silence. "Yes, Mother." The child hung her head and trudged away, looking somewhat crushed.
Aversa had been having some sort of nagging feeling in her chest ever since the encounter with "her daughter". For some reason, it was similar to the nagging she'd felt when she had kept her distance from Robin. It must be a coincidence, she told herself. Besides, this feeling was a bit heavier, instead of a longing for something.
Three days had passed and the little brat hadn't bothered her since. Whenever she passed Robin by, he would give her a sorrowful look, but held his ground. It was pitiful! Yet, Aversa's thoughts refused to move on from the Shepherds' tactician and his new parasite. She'd gotten too attached! Her fondness for him kept drawing her attention to the angles of his face and his dark eyes that always seemed warm and bright towards his friends…and her. His calloused palms were always gentle and sometimes tentative against her skin, which was frustrating at times, but also foreign to her. He treated her with kindness – a quality that had been stripped from her being.
"This is madness," Aversa hissed under her breath as she stalked about. "Absolute madness!" The desire to talk with Robin was itching in her throat. She wanted to poke fun at him and, if she was in the mood, allow the conversation to bend in Robin's favor.
The maelstrom of clashing emotions in Aversa's mind came to a grinding halt when she overheard a familiar voice a short distance away.
"C'mon, Yarne, let me ride on your back into battle! That way, I can watch your back, get it?" It was the brat! And by the sound of it, she was asking for something from a boy. Aversa inched closer out of bored interest.
The taguel hybrid scratched his shaggy hair nervously. "I…I dunno, Morgan. It sounds like you might break my back by accident. Plus, you might slow me down and I'll be shot full of arrows."
Robin's daughter frowned. "Are you saying I'm fat? I'm way shorter than you and lighter besides! Geez, a simple answer would've been enough." She whirled around and put a foot out to storm off. The boy couldn't see the smirk growing on her lips, but Aversa could.
"Wait! I'm sorry – I wasn't trying to say that!" He blurted out. "Look – you can ride on my back any time, okay? Just…be mindful that I'm an endangered species." At that, Morgan grinned and hugged the taller boy, making him blush.
"Aw, thanks!" She said before skipping away.
For a moment, Aversa was glued to her spot. Did Morgan just use her feminine wiles to get what she wanted? Granted, she'd utilized offense and pity to get her way while Aversa would have appealed to a man's carnal desires – but the idea was the same. In fact, it was easier for Morgan to use her innocence, as she obviously hadn't bloomed into a mature woman yet.
More to the point, Aversa thought, Robin would never teach his child to manipulate others in such way; he was much too soft! Glancing after the retreating figure of the young girl, Aversa finally thought hard about "her daughter's" features. She had pale hair that could easily have been Robin's – except Aversa recognized her own silky shade of white-blonde. For the first time, Aversa acknowledged the very obvious violet marks decorating the girl's skin. It was the Shadowgift, which would explain why she was able to utilize dark magic. The curve of Morgan's lips and cheekbones were also incredibly familiar. Although Aversa's body had matured at a younger age than Morgan was at the moment, she attributed the slow growth to Robin.
As realization washed over her, Aversa felt that she had known the girl was hers from the start, but had denied it. After all, it wasn't in her nature to be a mother – childbearing would ruin her figure! Who would be attracted to her after having a baby? Aversa had only lived this long because of her body. She was gorgeous, and she knew it. It was only by her beauty and wits that she had been able to wriggle out of sticky missions. Robin probably took Morgan and left, to find "greener pastures," in the future, as all men did; that must be why Morgan could not remember her mother. Surely Aversa had been abandoned and quickly forgotten. Bitterness at the thought welled up in her mind, but another, much more peculiar feeling was stronger.
Was this motherly pride?
No. It couldn't be. If she got pregnant, it was all over. Was it inevitable? Would she have to give birth to the Morgan of this world? Perhaps Robin would be satisfied with the one who came from the future. Aversa didn't want to lose him…because he was a means to slake her own carnal needs. Right? That was all their little get-togethers were, to her, at least. Right? She was in complete control of her emotions and she told herself that she held no special feelings for Robin.
Then why was she so bothered by his distance? Aversa was well and truly frustrated. She would have to have a chat with her stubborn tactician.
Every day Robin spent keeping Aversa away was painful. But he was upset over what she had said to Morgan three days ago...and maybe he was offended that she would think he was unfaithful. He was hoping his partner would warm up to the idea that they were a family, but he also had a feeling that she would not do so quickly. A man could hope…
Worse yet, his new dream of a small family was in jeopardy. There was the issue of stopping Grima, and with the Fire Emblem gone (no thanks to him); they would be running at the enemy like headless chickens. Robin felt entirely responsible for the entire crisis and vowed he would do anything and everything to make it right – even at the cost of his life. More than ever, he had a reason to follow through on his word.
"Robin." Aversa's voice was like a siren's call. With a small flinch, he faced the woman he had been making a point to avoid. Her luscious lips were curved downward, almost in a pout. The annoyance in her eyes, though, was a dead giveaway.
"Have you made your decision?"
"Will you be Morgan's mother in this world? Or will I raise her alone?" Robin found it easier to sound stern if he thought about Morgan's future. "She needs us."
Aversa was quiet for a while and Robin could tell she was putting up her guard. "Why are you so instantly attached to a child who appeared out of nowhere?"
"Because she's a part of me – and you." It sounded much nicer in his head. It was true, though. "Why are you so afraid of being a mother? Is this about us? Have I not been good enough for you?"
"No," She started slowly, "It's not about that at all."
"Then what? I've tried so hard to be the best partner for you, and I need to know: do you even care?" His voice was nearly hoarse. The idea that Aversa had merely been toying with him would break his spirits. He truly believed that there was something between them. In fact, he had from the moment he first saw her. Aside from knowing Chrom's name, Aversa had seemed familiar in a world Robin had forgotten.
Aversa sneered. "Oh? And if I am impregnated? What then? You'll leave and find another woman. When my youthful beauty fades with age, will you search elsewhere to satisfy your base urges?" There was such conviction in her tone it was like she had foreseen it. Perhaps it was the angle of the sun, but it seemed like her eyes were shiny with moisture.
Something clicked in Robin's head. "What? I would never,"
"Don't you lie to me."
"Hear me out, okay?" He waited for Aversa to back down for a moment. "I would never dream of leaving you behind. I think you are beautiful – more than any other woman – but you should have figured out that I'm not interested in your appearance." Robin took a deep breath. "I don't care what happens in the future – I'll always be by your side. I promise on my life."
There was still a wary look in Aversa's eyes. She was unsure of his sincerity, as he expected, but there was very little he could do to reverse years of abuse. "Why me? Out of all the women in this army, why are you bothering to be with me?" Now, her voice was soft, fragile.
"I can't say. I know it sounds mad to say it – and I am a man of rational thought – but when I first laid eyes on you…well, I felt that I knew you from somewhere." Robin couldn't put his strange experience into words.
A flash of emotion flickered across the Dark Flier's face, but she said nothing about it. "You would stay with me no matter what?"
"Of course!" Robin let his pent up exasperation out. "If I were trying to spite you, would I spend this much time doing so? What will it take for you to know that I am yours?" He sighed, and it was like he'd taken a load off his chest.
Another pregnant silence welled up between them before Aversa spoke again. "I swear if you are trying to spite me, I'll never forgive you. You've gone and made me care about you and if you're lying, I'll," She cared about him?
"You care about me?" Robin's hands dropped to his sides with shock, then he felt himself smile like an idiot.
"I didn't say that," She started defensively, putting up a hand to signal her oncoming snarky comment (that was Robin's translation of the action, anyway).
He smirked triumphantly. "Oh, but you did say that."
"I did not!"
Robin laughed lightly to himself. He put a hand on Aversa's cheek and met her eyes. "It's okay if you have feelings for me, you know. I love you too." What did he just say? His heart nearly leapt from his chest from fear. It was too soon for Aversa to know he loved her! Robin kept a straight face while he searched for a route out of the situation.
Aversa shied away from his touch. "What are you talking about? There's no such thing." Her breathing was a bit short. Aversa looked here and there, like she was expecting something to creep up on her.
Luckily, it gave Robin an exit strategy. "There is such a thing, but I'll stay by you regardless. How about that?" It was hurtful to see her react that way.
"I don't need a man to support me."
"We'll support each other." He held a hand out to her, ready to get down and plead for her to accept his genuine feelings. Perhaps it was a suicidal move, but he was running out of time. It had to be now or never. He wouldn't mention the impending battle with Grima because it added excessive pressure on the both of them.
"I can't be a mother," Now it sounded like Aversa was talking to herself. "I have nothing good to teach."
"That's not true – you have a brilliant mind and you're the best magician we've got. Morgan would love to study with you. Please, I won't make you bring her up by yourself. She's my daughter too." This time, Robin was absolutely certain that rejection would break him. Then, he would live to keep Morgan safe…well, as safe as he could while the fell dragon was around.
Aversa looked down at the offered hand and backed up. Robin wished she would see the honesty in his eyes. She slowly took hold of his palm. "Men have always lied to me, but you've proven to be different. I am rather fond of you."
"Is it just fondness, though?"
"Yes." Her tone was hard. Well, Robin would take what he could get.
"I'll have to try harder to make you say otherwise."
"Have at it, then. You tend not to disappoint me."
Aversa came away from her conversation with Robin nearly shaking. She whipped her thoughts into submission, only addressing one segment of the memory at a time. Robin had blatantly exposed his soft, emotional underbelly for her to see. She didn't know whether to be touched or disgusted. Honestly, his offer of permanent company was oddly tempting. For some reason, spending great lengths of time with Robin did not seem like a daunting punishment (as it was with other males), even if there was a short copy of the tactician running about.
Aversa was so absorbed in her thoughts she was brutally interrupted when someone bumped into her. Before she could lash out with her words, she noticed that whoever bumped into her was a good deal shorter than her.
"Whoa," Morgan put a hand to her head before looking up. Her eyes went wide. "Sorry, Mother, I promise I'll be careful next time." She backed away and turned to make an escape. In a peculiar swing of whimsy, Aversa blocked the child's path.
"Oh, don't play coy with me, love," She smirked, "I know you've got a rather conniving side. However, you're going to be needing some proper instruction on how to make your charm more effective. Obviously, I must have cut your lessons short in your time."
Morgan's face lit up. "For real?"
"Yes, but you must be obedient. I'll not have you bouncing about and disrupting your own learning."
"I promise!" The girl leapt onto Aversa in a tight hug. "I love you, Mother!"
Aversa glanced around uneasily. There was that word again. Love. "Right, right, people can see, you know."
Morgan didn't seem to follow.
For a good few hours into the afternoon, Aversa picked Morgan's mind for any memory of magical or "persuasive" skill. Fortunately, the girl had retained a great deal of her education in those fields. This, for some reason, pleased Aversa. Of course, Morgan's talent in the dark arts stemmed from Aversa, but her sporadic naivety and insufferable optimism was obviously from Robin.
In the time they spent studying, Aversa was mildly surprised with Morgan's ability to recite what she just learned and apply it to any situation. Although, the child seemed to have a hard time determining when it was appropriate to use seduction as an easy way out of an unfavorable circumstance. Then again, Aversa didn't expect her daughter to catch on until later…not until she developed, as it were. Eventually, Aversa steered the lesson in a magical and theoretical direction.
"But Mother, this isn't the safest move. Father always said that tacticians must choose the moves that will keep as much of the army safe as possible." Morgan said hesitantly, pointing at the configuration of small clay models of horses and people splayed out on a practice battle map.
Aversa suppressed a derisive laugh. "You think your father has always chosen the safest path for this ragtag group?"
The pale-haired girl blinked. "Well, yeah. Father said he loves all of his friends in the Shepherds. Of course he'd make sure they come out of battle alive."
"Does marching your army through a mountain filled with molten rock sound prudent?"
"No, why?" She seemed incredulous that any tactician would do such a thing. Obviously Robin had taken the liberty of keeping his little trek through Demon's Ingle a secret.
"Good girl – you've got some common sense, unlike your scatterbrained father."
"Wait! You're saying he's done that?"
With Morgan's insatiable curiosity piqued, Aversa planned on taking full advantage. "Yes. If you're good I'll tell you all about it after we are finished. Now, tell me what you must do to steal someone's life energy in battle."
Another hour or so in, long after dark had fallen and the oil in the single lamp in the tent was nearing empty, Aversa felt a weight slump onto her left side. Looking over, she saw that it was Morgan. The child must have fallen asleep while she had been talking about setting traps to make an enemy's escape messy.
"What am I supposed to do?" Aversa asked no one in particular. Morgan looked so content, leaning on her like that. A warm feeling seeped into Aversa's chest. Still, she wasn't about to sit in the same position all night, and she was quite selfish about her bedroll. Carrying Morgan anywhere seemed troublesome.
As if sent by some otherworldly force, footsteps sounded – and halted – directly outside of Aversa's tent.
"Aversa?" Robin whispered from the other side of the canvas.
"Come in," She replied just as quietly. Her lover ducked in, looking worried at first, but his expression relaxed after seeing Morgan peacefully asleep. The fondness in his gaze was alien to Aversa. It wasn't lust, or even the specific sort of affection he showed when they were alone. She couldn't quite describe the qualities of this…this…warmth, she supposed she could call it.
"What's that look?"
Robin tilted his head to one side. "What look?"
Irritated, she said, "That one – it's on your face right now."
The tactician just grinned. "I guess I'm happy to see you two getting along. I didn't know you spent the day together. I'd gotten scared that she had run off chasing an insect."
"She's not entirely like you, I'll have you know. There's a chance I can save her logic yet." She said haughtily. "Do you mind?" Aversa motioned to their sleeping daughter.
The knowing smile on Robin's face didn't fade as he scooped Morgan up. "I never said all her knowledge was from me."
Robin had carried Morgan from her mother's tent to her own, and set her down gently under the thin woolen blanket of her mat. Aversa had walked with him, silent the whole way, but he could tell she was waiting to be alone to speak.
They walked some ways from camp and found a grassy patch to sit on. It was a cool night; quiet, too. Perfect for curling up with a good book, Robin thought.
"Hang on," Robin quickly took his cloak off. "It's dewy." He knew Aversa would not like her clothes to get soiled. Her vanity was something he knew she would cling to no matter what, and he accepted it. Robin wished she would realize he would always care for her regardless of her appearance, but he wouldn't try and force her to change. He was asking a lot as it was.
"How chivalrous." Aversa's tone was both mocking and grateful.
After getting situated, Robin said, "I'm guessing you want to talk."
"That's very intelligent of you. What gave that away?" Of course, she wasn't about to have a serious conversation about their relationship without poking fun at him first.
"You and Morgan seemed close. What did you do together?"
Aversa looked at her nails, seemingly aloof. Robin couldn't help but fixate on how the night suited her. "I was merely correcting the logical fallacies you must have instilled in her."
"Logical fallacies? If you recall, my strategies had you running."
She smiled sourly. "Yes, and do you recall that all of it was a ruse? That because you took the time to clash with me, the fell dragon was revived? I'd say my plan had you stumped."
Robin let the subject drop. He did not want to think about the impending battle with Grima – himself, if he thought about it. "That's not my point. Don't get defensive when I point out that you and Morgan have formed a bond."
"I would say so. Or is this about us? Are you still afraid to be left alone?"
Aversa scowled, shadows obscuring most of her features save for the glint of half-bared teeth and glowering eyes. "Why must you insist on drawing everything back to us?"
"Because I think you didn't believe me when I told you that I would always be there for you." Robin started. A clever grin was threatening to break free. He reached for the pocket in his trousers. "In order to prove my point, I thought I'd give you a message you wouldn't be able to warp with your wit." Robin pulled out a little pouch and handed it to Aversa.
"Oh? I've been known to make even the most innocent of phrases sound incriminating." She said as she opened the bag and emptied its contents into her palm. A silver ring set with obsidian rolled out. Robin swore the color drained from Aversa's face.
"Well? What do you say?"
"This is a betrothal ring." She wasn't asking. "You're asking me to be your wife." The way she said it sounded like she wasn't certain what the word meant.
"I'm not asking you to be some sort of servant or submissive pet," He certainly wasn't asking that. "This is just a physical sign of my promise to you. We don't have to have a wedding, if you don't want one. As I said, the ring is for something between me and you."
For a while, Aversa weighed the piece of jewelry in her hand, staring at it intently. She looked back up at him, meeting his eyes. Robin felt his heart thrumming in his chest from the anticipation. How the others in camp had been so calm when they proposed, he would never know.
With a small sigh, Aversa slipped the ring onto the proper finger. She held her hand out in front of her, for both of them to see. "Very well." It sounded noncommittal, but Robin had learned long before that Aversa was not one to voice her true feelings. He would need to listen between her words. It was certainly frustrating most of the time.
From some advice given by his friends, Robin was quite positive that after a proposal was accepted, a celebratory kiss was to follow. He turned his body so that he could face her properly. Robin leaned in to meet Aversa's lips. She seemed pleasantly surprised, smirking against his mouth. As he moved to put his hands at her waist, a hand was pressed to Robin's chest and he was pushed away.
"Ah-ah," Aversa teased, "We won't be having any of that for a while. I'm not quite ready to look like a stretched wineskin."
Robin took a moment to recover from his disappointment. "Aversa, I don't think that's what women look like when they're pregnant."
"How would you know?" She raised a skeptical brow that dared him to elaborate.
"Because I've seen Sully throughout her pregnancy. She didn't look like a stretched wineskin…more like she had a good-sized pumpkin under her clothes."
"You men, always saying things about womanhood without knowing a damned thing." They locked eyes for a bit, and then laughed. Aversa relaxed, leaning into him. It felt nice, comfortable. Like this had happened before.
A weight settled in Robin's chest; would he be able to keep his promise to Aversa when it came down to the final battle? To take his mind off of the question, he turned his attention to his counterpart.
As usual, Aversa awoke before her lover – no – betrothed. She had decided to try and stay the night with Robin. Shifting slightly, enough to look behind her, she saw that Robin had his arms wrapped securely about her waist. He would get his smallclothes in a tight knot if she broke his embrace…not that he had any smallclothes on to getinto a knot at the moment. Besides, she sort of liked their current position.
"Mm, Aversa?" Robin stirred and his eyes cracked open. "You're still here." There was an underlying happiness in his tone.
"Isn't this what couples do?"
"I would think so, yes." Robin replied, snuggling even closer.
Aversa rolled her eyes. Her newly betrothed always had the daftest inquiries. "Well?"
"I love you," He mumbled into her hair. "No matter what you call it, I love you."
While the phrase still perplexed and alarmed her, Aversa supposed she had no choice but to accept the silly tactician for whom he was, frivolous language and all. However, they would have to work on common sense, for Morgan's sake.
The hustle and bustle of the Shepherds getting ready to pack up camp signaled it was time to untangle themselves and dress to march. Robin reluctantly released her and they dressed promptly thereafter, in case Morgan came wandering in looking for one or both of them. It was a very possible occurrence; Aversa knew her daughter enough to know it could happen at any moment.
Wherever they settled down after this mess of a war, the room she and Robin would share would have to have a lock…or three.
Robin walked along the dirt road with an extra spring in his step. He kept his proposal to Aversa a relative secret, only telling Chrom and Frederick – not Lissa – at least for the time being. Morgan would find out later, when the three of them could find some private time.
"Father?" The younger tactician found his side and met his pace.
"I've been thinking…since you and Mother seem to be getting along better now, where are we going to live after this war?" Her eyes were wide with an inquisitive light.
"Do tell, love," Aversa sauntered up on Robin's other side. This is a trap, his mind screamed. "Where will we…settle down?"
Robin laughed nervously. He hadn't given it much thought. "Well, I would think we would live in Ylisse, since I intend on being chief tactician there." It was an uncertain truth – he would need to come out of the war alive for that to happen.
Aversa clapped her hands. "And what is the pay for being the Exalt's chief tactician?"
"I don't know,"
He couldn't get a word out when Morgan chimed in. "Does this mean I can get a pegasus too? Oh, Father, please get a home with lots of land." Where was all of this coming from? Robin glanced at his partner suspiciously. What had she told Morgan?
"Um, we'll see about that."
Both Morgan and Aversa looked at him. Morgan batted her eyes and put her bottom lip out in a very familiar pout. Aversa's gaze pierced his being, searching for the answer she wanted from him. "H-hey! This isn't fair!" He stammered indignantly; how could he refuse both of them?
With an esoteric wink from her mother, Morgan ceased her pouting and burst into uncontrollable laughter. "It worked!" She giggled, "I can't believe it worked!"
"What worked?" Robin was utterly lost. What had they been getting at?
Aversa patted Morgan on the head. "See? Your father is too easily manipulated. You will have to try it on someone else." She gave him a lascivious smirk. He had been played.
Robin ran a hand through his hair. It was quite clear that the mother and daughter duo would be joining forces to tease him regularly. He saw how close their bonds as a family was becoming and he would stop at nothing to preserve it.
"What are you thinking about, love?" Aversa asked coolly.
He just grinned and laced his hands through hers (much to Aversa's chagrin) and Morgan's. "Nothing much."
And there's part three! Will there be a part four? I have no idea! Maybe, maybe not. I've been playing with concepts and plots, but it's hard. Please leave feedback, and if you absolutely adore this pairing, write a fic of your own! Maybe you'll inspire someone to write one too and then we'll have more awesome fics to read!