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Within the moment

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He confesses his love to her.

He pulled her aside during dinner with the shepherds. Everyone seemed to focused on keeping an optimistic spirit for the upcoming battle that would determine the results of the long war with Plegia to notice when the two disappeared into the dark. Robin herself was too distracted by Stahl’s (slightly drunk) and Sully’s (very drunk) singing to properly process his request to speak to her in private. Perhaps she thought he just wanted to confirm their strategies for the battle, or maybe do some last minute changes.

She should’ve known it would come down to this.

“This war has taught me to live within the moment, rather than...pushing it aside” He continues his speech. He pauses, a bashful look on his face, and if it weren’t for the darkness of the night, she probably would have seen the bright red blush decorating his face. Her expression remains blank, and he nervously laughs, looking down at the ground. “I’ve had many regrets, many things I wish I would’ve done if I wasn’t so foolish to think time was short,” he clenches his fists. “That life was short.” He suddenly frowns, “So many things I wish I could’ve told Emmeryn before she died. But…” He shuts his eyes and his eyebrows furrowed. He almost looked in pain, an expression Robin has seen all too often during their stay in Ferox not too long ago. Almost instinctually, Robin wanted to reach forward and hold his hand with her own and reassure him that everything will be okay. She began to move her arm just to do that, but froze once she saw him shaking his head.

He looks back up and locks eyes with her. Despite being in the dark, she could see the shine within his eyes, full of emotion.

“But there’s no use of dwelling on the past. I’ve had my time to mourn.” He says.

Not enough time, Robin thought in her head. She just wished this damn war would be over so he and Lissa could have the time to truly be in peace and mourn their sister. But the war demanded their time to remember the previous Exalt to be almost nonexistent. Tomorrow, Robin thinks, tomorrow it will all be over.

“Tomorrow is the battle that will end this war,” Chrom says, mimicking her thoughts. “Though I am happy for this to be finally over with, to know that Ylisse will finally be at peace, I still cannot rest my anxieties.” He sighs.

“We can win this, Chrom.” Robin finally manages to speak out. Though she wanted him to speak without interruption, she couldn’t help but try and comfort him. It has always been like this, ever since his late sister’s kidnapping. All because she…

“I know we will. I trust your plans, and I trust my soldiers.” Chrom confirms. Robin slightly cringes at his words of trust over her, but she doesn’t dwell on it for long. She doesn’t want him to repeat how much he trusts her again, even after the last battle’s disaster. “Yet...I fear for the unknown that tomorrow brings. I fear that, if I don’t say the things I have in mind now, I’ll never say them again.” He starts up again, after a long pause.

Robin holds in her breath.

“Things to say?” She asks, uncharacteristically shyly. Chrom’s face softens.

“I worry that you’ll be injured, or killed.” He practically whispers. All of a sudden, Robin can only think about how close he is to her, and that she feels the need to step away before-

“I love you, Robin.”

She lets out an strangled laugh, and already feels her eyes tearing up. Almost immediately, Chrom reaches forward and holds her two hands with his.

“I’ve held this for...some time. If I were more of a fool, I probably would have held it longer. But I couldn’t help but fear that the same fate that fell upon my sister will happen to you.” He quickly states “As ridiculous as it sounds, many nights I’ve been plagued with nightmares of you dying within Gangrel arms, and the thought that I couldn’t confess what I’ve felt because of how cowardly I am…” He trails off, then shakes his head again. “But now, I’m saying it before the fight. I love you Robin, I’ve always loved you.” He releases one of her hands and brushes her bangs away from her face, and cups her cheek. “My other half…”

He begins to lean forward, tilting his head as he approaches her. For a sweet moment, Robin just feels herself giving in, ignoring all her thoughts screaming at her not to go through with this. She just wants this moment for herself (and Chrom), for her to be selfish just for once.

When she feels his breath against her own lips, she feels herself tense up immediately, which woke her back up and she forced herself to shift her face away from him.

Chrom stops, and though he couldn’t rub the surprised (and slightly rejected) look on his face, he steps away himself.

Silence builds a barrier between the two as they look away in embarrassment.

“Please, enough.” Robin finally says. Chrom quickly looks up at her with a furrowed eyebrows. “You shouldn’t...we shouldn’t…” She begins, before shaking her head.

“Why not..?” Chrom challenges, taking a small step forward. He tried to not let it sting when he saw her take a step back when he did. Tried, and failed.

“It’s not right, Chrom!” She finally says, her arms hugging her sides in discomfort.

“You...You don’t love me, do you?” He asks, ignoring the way his heart dropped when he asked that.

“I...I don’t know...Gods!” She turns away, not being able to bare to see his face. Chrom held his breath reaching for her.

“What do you mean you don’t know?!” He asks, raising his voice. He doesn’t mean to, but he could feel his mind screaming with rejections. She doesn’t love him, she will never love him, he doesn’t deserve her-

“I just! Please, gods! Not now, not ever.” She chokes on her own words, shutting her eyes. “I don’t want this. I don’t deserve this.”

Chrom pauses.

“What..?” He softly asks. “You don’t deserve what?” When Robin looks up at him, he could see her eyes glossy with tears about to fall.

“I’m just your tactician Chrom. I’ve failed you many times, and gods who am I kidding! You’re a prince. Please leave me. Find someone else who is good for you. Anyone else.” She practically begs. Suddenly, Chrom could see what has been troubling her for days, no, weeks.

But that still doesn’t answer the question.

“Robin...Never mind deserving anything. Do...Do you love me?”

“Oh Chrom, I’ve loved you for too long.” She sighs out, and Chrom couldn’t help but laugh out happily.

He stops when he sees the still discomforted look on her face. “Yet I have no right to.” She practically whispers that last part.

Chrom almost throws himself towards her. He grabs her arms and she looks at him in alarm.

“Why do you think like this..?” Chrom asks in a hushed voice. “Gods, Robin, If anything, I don’t deserve you!”

Her eyes widen. “What..? What makes you think that?” Chrom laughs in disbelief.

“Are you kidding? Gods Robin, you’re practically amazing in every way!” He exclaims. Robin let out a pained laugh.

“You’re wrong. I’ve ruined you Chrom. I don’t want to drag you down once more.” She says and Chrom shakes his head.

“We’ve already went over this Robin.” Chrom softly says, “nothing that happened was your fault. You’ve done the best you can, and its because of you that we’re still all here. You’ve never dragged us down, and you never will. I’ve never thought anything negatively about you.”

“But…” She begins again, shifting her eyes away from him, before she could throw all logic away. “Chrom, who am I kidding. You’re a prince, soon to be Exalt. You’re loyal, trusting, you have an aura that leads people towards you. You’re someone who deserves the absolute best, and that is all I wish for you. Compared to all that, there is nothing that I am.” She smiles bitterly. “No reason to love me.”

“Then allow me to correct you.”

Robin locks her eyes with his sincere gaze. Her breath was immediately taken away as he loosened his grip on her and once again moved closer.

“You’re intelligent.” Chrom begins, “gods, you’re the most intelligent person that I’ve ever met.” With that, he leans forward and presses his lips against her forward. She lightly gasps, and finally her tears begin to fall down her cheeks. He pulls away and stares down at her. “Your hair,” his right hand runs through one of her pigtails, and he raises the ends of her strands towards his lips. “Your hair is absolutely beautiful.” He moved his hand to cup her cheeks once more, and Robin feels how shaky his hand is, despite how calm his expression was. “Your eyes” he continues, leaning forward and kissing her closed eyes. First her right, then her left. Her tears were caught against his lips. “A stunning brown, shining with life.” He moved away again, and she opened her eyes. For the first time, Robin let out a genuine smile.

“Miriel probably would have something to say about that comment about intelligence.” She jokes, letting out a weak laugh. Chrom hums out happily, and matches her smile with his own.

“I love you Robin. All of you. I have so many reasons as to why I do. And...even if you don’t believe me. I will do my best to convince you that you deserve the absolute best as well.” He finishes. Robin feels her eyes watering up more and laughs out more.

When he leans forward once again, this time she doesn’t pull away.

His lips are dry, she notes in her mind. Though they bump noses and occasionally teeth, Robin couldn’t help but melt into the moment. By the grin Chrom gives her after their shared kiss, she knew he thought the same.

Later, they would have to deal with the end of the war, the rebuilding of Ylisse, and the announcement of the two courting towards the court (and even worse: Frederick).

But for now, they just wanted to live for the moment.