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From Eden

Chapter Text

“Robin?”

His eyes are heavy as he tries to hold them open, raising his head to blink blearily at the shape standing in the flap to his tent. Robin pinches the bridge of his nose, rubbing out the sleep from his eyes with the back of his hand.

Chrom enters his tent with a fond smile on his face, hip against the table Robin is seated at. “You shouldn’t work yourself so hard,” he says, “even you need proper rest.”

“I’m fine,” Robin’s voice sounds tired to his own ears, and he clears his throat. “Was there something you needed?”

“No,” Chrom admits. “I saw your light still on while I was on patrol, I was wondering if something was wrong. Or if you had fallen asleep over your desk again.”

Robin’s cheek is hot from more than just having had it pressed against the wood of his table. He’s sure there are ink stains on his face as he pushes himself up from the chair. His legs lock from lack of use but he masks it by leaning over his pages and maps.

“Thank you for the concern, but I do think I have it under control.” He doesn’t mean to bristle, but it comes out all the same.

Chrom has more important things to worry about than him.

Chrom chuckles, “You work yourself too much, Robin. I would say you’ll go gray, but,” he waves at Robin’s general direction. This isn’t the first time he’s made some kind of joke over Robin’s white hair, and the effect is always the same, as Robin laughs softly.

“Thank you, Chrom.”

Chrom makes no effort to move, looking over the pages scattered across the pages. His work is only half done, and the middle of the night is hardly time to have a strategic meeting. Robin frowns as he asks, “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Oh, no. I’m just not leaving until I’m sure you’re going to rest.” Chrom’s tone is light as he crosses his arms. He looks so casual, hip against the wood, armor illuminated by the lamplight flickering through the small tent.

It’s always these small moments that get to Robin the most. When it’s just them, so comfortable around each other. He quiets the harsh beat of his heart with some annoyance, “I appreciate the sentiment, but my work isn’t done. You should get some rest yourself.”

He gathers up some of his pages, ignoring the way Chrom stares at him. His neck burns under the scrutiny but he focuses his attention on the scrawl of his own handwriting on the nearest map.

Chrom pushes from the table, stepping around its edge towards Robin. He looks down at what Robin has written, giving another soft chuckle before deciding, “Okay.”

Robin absolutely squawks as the earth beneath his feet is swept away. In his tired haze he’s no match against Chrom as the prince drops onto his knee to hook his arm behind Robin’s knees, another against his back. He’s nestled against Chrom’s chest as he raises back onto his feet, carrying his charge like some kind of bride.

“Gods, what are you doing ?” Robin snorts, voice somewhere between mortified and amused. He tries to push at Chrom but the man’s body is solid against his palms.

“Helping,” Chrom says, crossing the length of the tent to stand above Robin’s cot.

“You’re the worst,” Robin huffs.

That earns a genuine laugh from Chrom, who looks down into Robin’s face. The burning sensation in his neck travels down his chest, rippling through him as Robin realizes just how close their faces are as he looks up into Chrom’s eyes.

It isn’t fair.

The longing that burns through him is nearly painful, as he pushes it down as far as he can. Robin may have been devoted to this man from the moment Chrom helped him stand in the field, but that doesn’t mean Chrom returns the favor.

Robin is Chrom’s tactician, his friend. Nothing more.

Months on the road together, fighting side by side, all of it is out of the invisible devotion they both have to their cause. Their closeness now is just friendly concern, no matter how much Robin longs for it to be something deeper.

How much he wants to finally close the distance between their mouths.

“Maybe,” Chrom finally says, “but you like it.”

If you only knew, Robin thinks, and instead answers, “Sure.”

Chrom bends again, setting Robin down on his cot gently. The cold night air does nothing to soothe Robin’s skin as he avoids Chrom’s eyes. You’re just tired, Robin tells himself, there’s no reason to act like a lovesick child.

No reason to ruin the great friendship they have.

Robin is knocked from his thoughts as Chrom places a gloved hand on his knee, pulling Robin’s eyes to him. The deep blue radiates a genuine concern as they look over Robin’s face. “I need you to rest. It’s great that you’re so dedicated, but you can’t sacrifice your health over it.”

“We’re at war, Chrom. Time I’m not spending planning our moves, how we can do our best, is wasted.”

There’s a brief look of sadness in Chrom’s eyes. “I’m sorry you’ve been dragged into this Robin. I know this was not your fight, but I’m … I’m relieved you are here, with us.”

“It is my fight,” Robin says quickly, a little defensive. He breathes through it, “Everyone here has been so welcoming. Lissa, Frederick, even Maribelle and … you. You’re all my family now. The thought of losing any of you is what makes me want to do better.”

Chrom’s fond smile returns as he touches Robin’s cheek, “You’re our family too.” The touch lingers too long, and Robin’s heart is in his throat as he breathes quietly through the sensation of drowning. “Which is why we can’t lose you either.”

The hand moves to Robin’s hair, ruffling it lightly, as Chrom stands and removes his hands from Robin. “Now get some rest. I’d rather ask you as a friend than order you as your commander, but that is up to you.”

Robin smiles, “It’s a good thing I listen to my friends, then.”

He watches Chrom cross the tent once more, hand curling around the tent flap as he holds it open for himself, then pauses. The distant crackle of the fire in the middle of their camp is the only sound between them, the otherwise usually loud forest quieting down for one long moment.

“Goodnight, Robin,” Chrom finally says over his shoulder, before disappearing into the night.

Chapter Text

The battle wages around them.

Instead of their long string of Plegian enemies they’ve doubled back to help a nearby town fell their looming Risen threat. Robin’s overnight planning should lead them to an easy victory, and as he scans the battlefield, it looks like everything is going in their favor.

Robin channels the magic within him, his Thunder tome clutched tightly in his hand as he casts out a brilliant burst of lightning that strikes down the archer in front of Chrom, who easily avoids the arrow shot his way.

They’ve fought together since the beginning, in that small town plagued by Plegian brigaders. He watches Chrom rush forward and strike the Risen being down, letting it disintegrate into the earth.

He turns to Robin, but whatever he wanted to say before is quickly overshadowed as he shouts, “Behind you!”

Robin turns just in time to dodge the axe swinging his way. Robin casts his hand out, ready to strike, before holding back as a flash of blue rushes past him. Chrom fells the Risen easily, striking twice with Falchion.

Chrom lets out a deep breath, turning back to Robin. Together they scan the field, and find no Risen among their fighters. Chrom grins, stepping to Robin to clasp his shoulder. “We did it, thanks to you.”

Robin scoffs, “We all did our part.”

Chrom’s smile doesn’t fade, “You’re always modest, but we do rely on your plans a lot.”

“Don’t I know it,” Robin laughs. “We should head back to the others, gather some supplies in town for our journey.” Robin starts to head back to where the main group has started to gather.

“We could rest in town, I think they’re having a festival to celebrate the start of spring. I think it would do some good to rest and spend time together.” Chrom follows beside him, easily falling in step.

Robin pauses, stopping in his tracks. Something faint digs at the back of his mind, and he pinches the bridge of his nose as a small pain spikes through his head for a moment.

“Are you alright?” He can hear Chrom in front of him, and when Robin opens his eyes again he meets a concerned blue gaze.

“I … think it’s my birthday?” Robin says, unsure, as he laughs. “It’s fuzzy, but something about it being the start of spring feels different.”

Chrom laughs in return, “A hell of a time to remember that. But it’s another good reason to rest and celebrate. I’ll even buy you a drink.”

Robin snorts, “We’re at war, Chrom. This is hardly the time to let our guard down.”

“It’s not letting our guard down, it’s keeping our spirits up.” Chrom clasps his hand on Robin’s shoulder, and Robin tries to ignore the flutter in his stomach. “Commander’s orders, we’re going to the festival.”

“We are?” Lissa’s voice breaks through Robin’s train of thought as they turn towards the princess. “Robin have you ever been to a festival before?”

He tries to think, but his memory is fuzzy at best, head hurting a bit before he answers. “I’m not sure.”

Lissa grabs his hand excitedly, beaming up at him before starting to march him away, “Well, come on. I’ll show you around!”

Robin lets himself be dragged away, looking back at Chrom. He sees the prince smiling fondly at them before he starts following behind, meeting Robin’s eyes with a wider smile. Robin turns to look ahead, the back of his neck burning under Chrom’s gaze.

 

Loathe as he is to admit it, he was wrong.

The Shepherds look more at peace than he has seen them in weeks. Robin watches them mingle with the townsfolk, enjoying the market they set up. Vaike is in some kind of arm wrestling match, Sully is showing off her muscles to some local kids, and Maribelle prowls the stalls for fine silvers.

He hasn’t seen Chrom, as he turns out to be Lissa’s unofficial guard while Frederick dutifully keeps an eye out on any ambushes.

“Are you even paying attention?” Lissa huffs beside him, and Robin turns back to the task at hand.

“Sorry, Lissa.”

She smiles at him, “The game is easy. All you have to do is knock down the targets, with these.” Lissa lines some smooth stones on the counter in front of him.

The teenager slumped over the far end of the counter looks incredibly bored as he adds, “Can’t use magic neither.”

“Right.” Robin picks up one of the stones, weighing it in his palm. It’s rather light, good for throwing a long distance, but the targets are rather close. He can see how it would be easy to overshoot and miss, making the game weighted in the favor of the kid running it.

He takes a deep breath, drowning out the sounds of the festival around him as he focuses on the middle target. Robin raises his arm back, eyes directly ahead as he gages the distance. Though he does not summon it, he uses the kind of focus he has for his magic as he throws the stone.

It thunks against the target perfectly, landing directly into the bullseye painted onto the surface. The gears holding the wood in place move and drop, indicating his victory.

“Nice shot.” Chrom’s voice startles him a bit as Robin turns to face the prince. “You could give Virion a run for his money.”

Robin laughs, “I hardly think tossing rocks is the same, but thank you.”

“Here’s your prize,” the gamekeeper says, handing a small stuffed bear to Robin.

“Oh, thank you.” Robin looks to Lissa as he says, “Here.”

“I’m not a child!” Lissa protests, but reaches out all the same. “It is cute though.”

Chrom chuckles, “Mind if I steal him for a bit?”

Lissa sighs, “Fiine.”

Robin follows behind Chrom as he leaves, heading towards the inn at the edge of town. “I have something for you,” he says, standing beside the door but not going inside. “If you won’t let me buy you a drink to celebrate, at least I can give you this.”

From his pocket he pulls a simple chain with a silver emblem dangling from it. “This is a symbol of Naga,” Chrom explains. “She watches over all of us, bringing us luck and protection when we need it most.” He hands the necklace out to Robin with a smile, “I think it fits you well.”

Something seizes at Robin’s chest, throat tightening as he wordlessly accepts the necklace, holding the weight of the silver emblem in his palm.

“Is something wrong? You don’t like it?” Chrom’s concerned voice makes Robin look up with a sad smile.

“No, I love it. I just … I don’t think anyone has ever given me something for my birthday. This is … nice.” He slips the necklace over his head, letting the emblem rest against his chest. Immediately it’s comforting, a small blush pooling on his cheeks as he adds, “Thank you, Chrom.”

“You’re welcome. We’re all happy to have you with us Robin, you’re very special. To all of us.” Chrom smiles warmly at him and Robin’s chest tightens, heart beating just a bit faster. “I meant it when I said you’re our family. We’d be lost without you.”

“You’re too kind,” Robin says quickly, ignoring the way his cheeks burn. “Shall we start rounding up the others? It’s a long march back to Ylisstol, and I imagine Emmeryn is waiting to hear back from us.”

“Right.” Chrom’s smile fades as he says, “I appreciate everything you’re doing for us. Don’t ever forget that.”

Robin’s mind flashes back to the night in his tent, how Chrom had apologized to him for bringing him to war. How he knelt before Robin with that smile on his face, the shine of lamplight in his deep blue eyes.

“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”

Chrom’s smile returns for a moment before he turns to start rounding up his Shepherds, only looking back to ask Robin, “Are you coming?”

Always. “Yes,” he answers instead, following behind Chrom.

Chapter Text

Robin wakes with a start, breath caught in his chest as he pushes up on his elbows. Eyes still blurry with sleep, heart hammering in his chest, sweat clinging cold to his heated skin. He rubs the sleep from his eyes, sitting up in his bed.

They arrived in Regna Ferox not long after their ambush. As much as Chrom wanted to follow his sister back to Ylisstol, Robin knew they had to keep moving forward. Khan Flavia offered them space to rest when they arrived, half dead on their feet sometime in the night.

Robin looks around the space, not having had much time to check it out before practically falling face first into the pillow. The space is obviously for their soldiers, a few rows of beds and bunks, all with storage spaces at the foot of each bed.

Around him the company sleeps in various stages of restfulness. Every occupied bed is silent, save for Vaike’s steady snoring. Robin wonders if the noise is what woke him up, but the ache in his head tells him otherwise.

The bed across from him is empty, causing a flash of fear through him. Where is Chrom?

In a heartbeat, still unsteady from his sudden awakening, he’s out of bed, a tome in his hand and his sword at his hip. Just in case.

He couldn’t ever be too careful where Chrom is involved.

Robin wanders down the long hallway, listening to the echoes of his boots against the wooden floors. His way is lit by moonlight streaming through the stained castle windows, bright colors and patterns pooling at his feet.

The nightmare lingers in the back of his mind, vague and fuzzy, aggravatingly like everything else in his life. He can hardly remember anything, just the charge of lightning between his fingers. And a voice.

This is not your fault.

It has to be Chrom’s. Something about it is familiar, has always been familiar. He doesn’t know or understand what the context is but something about the words makes his stomach drop.

He has to find Chrom.

 

Eventually, as he crosses through the castle he ends up in the arena. He climbs down the rows of seats, eyes on the figure in the middle of the arena floor. The flash of blue hair in the various dim lamplights makes him think, for a moment, of an earlier time when things were not so dire.

He hops over the railing for the arena, easily landing the short drop without losing his balance. Robin approaches Chrom as he lunges out at nothing with Falchion. He watches the prince go through well practiced steps, every form and swing of his blade precise and calculated.

From a tactical standpoint, Chrom has always been amazing to witness.

Chrom turns suddenly, slashing out at the air just in front of Robin. He backs up immediately when he realizes Robin is there, out of breath as he balances the tip of his blade on the tile.

“Forgive me, I didn’t see you there.”

“There’s nothing to forgive,” Robin says.

Chrom smiles weakly, “Are you here to give me another speech about it being dangerous to go off on my own?”

Robin laughs, “No, not this time. I came to see if you were okay.”

Chrom is silent for a moment, gaze dropping to the floor. The silence between them is filled only by the echo of winds whipping outside. Robin wouldn’t break it for anything, giving the prince all the time he needs to voice the maelstrom of emotion running past his face.

“We shouldn’t have let her go back.”

Robin’s face softens as he says, “We couldn’t have stopped her.”

“But I should have.” Chrom’s brows press into a hard line as he looks up at Robin, “She’s in danger without us, what kind of brother am I to let her risk her life like this?” The tight set of his jaw and the harsh grip on the hilt of Falchion is all Robin needs to know just how deeply everything is affecting his friend.

He takes a few steps towards Chrom, closing the space between them so he can better comfort the prince. “You’re a good brother, Chrom. I know this is hard for you, I know you really care for her and worry about her safety.” He pauses. “I’ll never fully understand your bond as siblings, I don’t even know if I have any of my own. But she needed to do this, and I think part of you understands that too.”

Robin stops beside Chrom, hand reaching out hesitantly before placing it on his friend’s shoulder. “Everything you told me that night in the castle about her tells me that this is something she must do. Emmeryn may know it’s risky, that she’s walking into a trap, but these are her people. She cannot abandon them. And we cannot abandon her by losing sight of what we have to do to keep her safe, even when we’re far from home.”

Chrom is silent for another moment, before sighing and shaking his head. “You’re right.” He looks back up at Robin, eyes a little misty before he rubs them, “We can’t turn back now. If we really are to help her bring peace, we have to press on.”

Robin smiles, “It’s good to worry for her, but she has strength of her own. Let’s show her our strength as well.”

Chrom nods, placing a gloved hand over Robin’s on his shoulder. “Thank you.”

“Of course.”

They stand there for a moment, before Robin regretfully moves his hand from Chrom’s shoulder. “I don’t think either of us will sleep well tonight,” he says. “I know you feel better after training. Would you like to spar?”

Chrom smirks, “You want to spar with me?”

“It’s tactically the best thing to take our minds off recent events, and it will wear us out for rest. On top of that I’ve never had the chance, and since Vaike is asleep he’s not here to interrupt us.” Robin lists, before giving a smirk of his own. “I’ll give you an advantage and not use magic.”

“Is that so?” Chrom rolls his shoulders, lifting Falchion and twirling it in his grip until he points the tip at Robin. “I’ve seen your swordplay, don’t think I’ll go easy on you.”

Robin sets his tome to the ground, buttoning his robe to keep it from flying open in his way. “Wouldn’t dream of it,” he says as he draws his own sword.

For a moment they stand still, each eyeing the other up. They’ve fought side by side enough to know each other’s styles, and it doesn’t surprise Robin when Chrom lunges forward first. With live swords it’s going to be different than the lighter, blunter weapons the Shepherds use to spar. Falchion gleams in the moonlight as it swings for him, and Robin steps back a bit as he meets the blade halfway.

It lands with a loud clang, metal screeching on metal as Robin pushes forward with his back foot, moving to swing at Chrom’s side. Chrom parries easily, backing up on his own as he slashes out at Robin once more. Robin turns, dodging the blade entirely as he spins and strikes again.

Their footwork has them go in a circle, the arena stretching around them as they fight in the middle. Robin is nowhere near as skilled with his blade as Marth is, but his mind goes back to their fight to regain Flavia’s throne, their parries and blocks not too far off.

Suddenly Chrom launches forward, and Robin raises his sword just in time to meet near the hilt. He never truly realized the strength of Chrom’s sword arm until he’s being knocked back off his feet. Robin rolls out of the way, scrambling to his feet as Chrom grins down at him.

He swings up at Chrom, narrowly missing a slice on the cheek as Chrom easily dodges out of the way. Breathless, Robin readies himself again.

An idea strikes him then, and he cocks a grin of his own.

“I’m impressed, you’ve really—” Chrom is suddenly cut off as he is caught off guard.

Robin tosses his sword to the side, the loud clank of metal on tile distracts the prince as he rushes forward, easily tackling Chrom off his feet. He puts a hand behind Chrom’s head just in time to soften the blow as they land, Robin on his lap, leaning over the stunned prince as his hand stings from the impact.

Chrom is silent for a moment, before breaking into loud laughter, the sound carrying on the walls of the empty arena. Robin gives a breathless laugh of his own, moving his hand to place it beside the prince’s head.

“Well played,” Chrom says, laughter dying down as he looks up at Robin.

Robin looks down at Chrom, not too far away; hair splayed out like some kind of blue halo, the first smile he’s seen in days plastered on his lips, the corners of his eyes crinkling in genuine emotion. “What can I say,” Robin says, “I saw the chance and I took it.”

The hand Chrom puts on Robin’s thigh burns beneath the layers of clothes between them, Robin’s chest burning hotter at the fond look Chrom gives him. “Yes, you did.”

It hadn’t hit him before, how close they were. With Robin directly in Chrom’s lap, hands on either side of his face, it would be so easy to cross the short distance between them. Finally give in to the longing that has been building in his heart for so, so long.

For a second, he thinks Chrom’s eyes fall to his lips, before finding their way back to his eyes. It’s all the encouragement he needs—

“Milord!”

Robin scrambles off Chrom in a flash, falling beside the prince who sits up. Frederick makes his way to them, speedier without all his armor weighing him down. “Khan Flavia and Basilio have asked for the two of you to meet with them, they have news.”

“Emmeryn?” Chrom asks, on his feet in an instant.

“I don’t know, but we have to hurry.” Frederick looks down to Robin.

Chrom turns and offers Robin his hand, pulling the tactician to his feet as well, as the three of them rush to the counsel room after they retrieve their weapons.

Chapter Text

They’ve always fought together, side by side, back to back.

Until today.

It’s not like Chrom isn’t allowed to fight with anyone else and build up his relationships with the rest of their army, but with their battle for Emmeryn’s life getting closer, Robin can’t figure out why Chrom rode off ahead with Sumia unannounced.

Maybe it was to get to the child in the middle of the dunes faster, or to protect the villages.

Maybe Robin’s gotten too predictable, and Chrom needs the presence of someone new.

The thought stings but he pushes it down, focusing instead on the Grimleal sorcerer sending a fireball Gaius’ way.

Wordlessly Robin intercepts, using his thunder magic to dispel the flames in a brilliant light before it could reach his companion. Gaius grins at him before lunging forward, striking down the sorcerer with ease.

Robin scans the battlefield, looking for a flash of blue hair. Instead he sees … is that a dragon ? He shakes his head, no time for that right now. Vaike and Sully tackle a few soldiers, and he can see Sully’s grin from here as she strikes one down. Donnel and Lissa, freshly battle ready as their War Cleric, take on another mage.

Where the hell is Chrom?

Just then a sharp scream rings out, drawing his eyes past one of the dunes where he watches Sumia fall from her pegasus, the creature circling above her in worry. An archer just before them lowers his bow, sneering out something Robin can’t quite hear, before Chrom’s figure rushes forward to fell him as well.

A pang of jealousy strikes him as he watches Chrom fall to his knees before Sumia, checking her over for wounds. He’s about to turn back to where Gaius is standing, watching him watch the scene, when he catches sight of a shadow.

Another Grimleal, an assassin by the looks of it, rushes forward towards Chrom.

Robin locks up, torn between helping his companion and sprinting towards Chrom.

Gaius makes the decision for him, “Don’t stand around, just go!”

Robin’s already speeding off towards Chrom as fast as he can, the slick, coarse sands impeding his speed. He strikes out with thunder first, from a distance. It catches Chrom’s attention but it’s too late as the assassin sprints towards Robin, sword raised.

Robin reaches for his own sword, but his feet slip on the sand.

He falls back, unable to catch his balance. Suddenly something stings along his chest, and he burns from more than the unbearable sunlight. Falling on his back he hits his head roughly against the ground. He looks up into the face of the assassin, who smirks as she raises her weapon to spear him through. His breath catches in his aching chest, waiting.

When suddenly the tip of Falchion drives through her, and she drops her sword to the earth, stumbling back and crumpling over when Chrom withdraws his sword.

Chrom helps him sit up, on his knees in front of Robin just as he was with Sumia.

Robin places his hand against his chest, wincing at the pressure. As he pulls it away his fingers are laced with blood, a flash of panic striking through him as he looks up into Chrom’s face. Chrom looks scared, brows pulled together as he gently pulls Robin to lean back against his chest.

“Help!” Chrom calls out, but Gaius is already at his side, waiting for orders.

Robin’s vision feels more wobbly, Chrom’s face outlined by a thick darkness that tints the corners of his eyes. He’s losing a lot of blood, too strangely and too fast for Lissa to turn back and heal him with her staff. He thinks Chrom realizes it too, as the prince scans the area. The battle presses on around them, moving closer and closer to their last target.

“What do we do?” Gaius’ voice is hazy but Robin focuses all his attention on staying conscious.

“We have to get him back to camp, Maribelle is there, she can take care of him.” Chrom’s voice is rough, like he’s trying to hold something back.

Robin opens his mouth to speak but nothing comes out, just a hiss as Chrom applies pressure of his own against Robin’s chest.

There’s something seriously wrong, but Robin is fading too fast to figure it out.

Panic has his breathing stutter, and Chrom grips Robin’s shoulder tightly as he says, “I can’t leave the team ... Gaius can you carry him on your own?”

“He weighs nothing, I’ll be fine.”

He feels Chrom slide out from behind him, but before he hits the sand he’s in another pair of arms, new hands manhandling him into place. Robin’s head spins, feeling sick as the ground lifts from beneath him. There’s words being spoken around him, but they’re lost to the dull, rhythmic ringing in his ears.

He forces his eyes open for a moment, watching Chrom as Gaius carries him off the battlefield. Robin thinks, for just a moment, that their eyes meet. Right before Robin slips under again, head going slack against Gaius’ strong chest.



Robin’s senses come back to him in waves.

First is the feeling of burning in his chest, a dull ache as opposed to the sting of a freshly open wound. He can feel the air against his skin, layers taken from his torso until he’s laying half dressed against he hard cot. Sweat sticks to his skin, tightly wrapped from shoulder to hip.

He can hear rustling outside, suggesting he’s in a tent somewhere. The noise hurts his already ringing head and he turns his face to the side to avoid the sunlight. Slowly he opens his eyes, blinking past the blurry vision and strips of bright light.

Robin tries to push himself up and hisses at the sting that runs through his torso, looking around the empty tent. Now that he’s more aware he can hear voices just outside his tent, low and stiff. Someone’s arguing, and as he tries to peer through the tent flap they part suddenly as Chrom walks in. Just past him he can see Gaius’s firey hair as he walks away.

“Robin,” Chrom sighs.

His face is a mess of relief and distress, making Robin’s brows pull together in concern. “What’s going on?”

Chrom’s concern is evident in the way he runs his eyes over Robin, “You don’t remember?”

“I think … I don’t — did I hit my head again?” Robin reaches up but doesn’t feel a bandage, just remnants of sand between his hair,

Chrom almost looks angry as he looks away, “Something like that.”

Robin frowns, “Care to fill me in?”

Chrom is angry when he turns back around, eyes not leaving Robin’s. “Our last battle you split off from Giaus to run between me and the enemy. I had it under control but you—” Chrom clenches his fist. “Robin that assassin’s blade was laced with something, Gaius got you back just in time, and even then Maribelle wasn’t confident you’d wake up.”

The explanation is all he needs for the memories to start trickling in slowly; the shadow outside Chrom’s vision, the pure panic rushing through him, crossing the battlefield. He glances down at the sash of bandages across his torso, cloudy with dried blood but an obvious testament to his earlier encounter.

“Oh.” Is all Robin has to say.

Oh ?” Chrom echoes, exasperated. “Robin you could have died, what the hell were you thinking?!”

Robin’s brow furrows at the raise in Chrom’s voice, “I was thinking I should save your life,” he snaps. “You had it under control? You didn’t see her! You were too busy —” he grits his teeth, “Nevermind.”

He sits up fully, feet over the edge of the bed. A rush to his head has him close his eyes for a moment, but Robin can still feel Chrom’s steel gaze on him.

“What are you doing?” Chrom’s voice is lower now, but the aggravation is still present.

“Getting back to work,” he says, not able to stand yet. “Why, did you want to yell at me some more?”

“Robin—”

“Look if you’re just going to yell at me for doing my job then save your breath. No, I don’t regret it and, yes, it probably will happen again. I’m supposed to keep you safe, even when you don’t need me around.” Robin stands, matching Chrom’s stern expression with a clench of his jaw. “It was risky, and dangerous, but it should be my life over yours. You’re the prince, Chrom, you can’t just expect me not to do anything.”

Chrom stands there for a moment, unreadable thoughts crossing his face until he seems to settle on a dejected sigh. “If that’s how you feel, then.”

The fire burning inside Robin’s chest snuffs out as he watches Chrom start to open the flap of the tent. “Chrom wait—” he means to make a step forward, head still swimming, and nearly falls face first into the dirt.

At least, he would have, if he wasn’t being supported against Chrom’s chest. He helps Robin stand a little, and before the tactician can speak Chrom crushes him against his chest, arms wrapped around Robin’s small frame.

This close he can feel the prince’s unsteady breathing against his front, in the way it brushes over his hair. Chrom holds him close for a moment, and guilt settles heavy in Robin’s stomach as he hugs back. “Chrom I didn’t—”

“I’m sorry I yelled,” Chrom says over him, voice quiet. Smaller than Robin has ever heard. “You almost died , Robin. I couldn’t do anything about it, I didn’t know for what felt like hours if you would even wake up again.” The arms holding Robin squeeze one more time before he relaxes the tense hold on the tactician. “I should have known you would be looking out for me, I should have kept closer to you.”

“Chrom, I’m sorry. I … I’m not just looking out for you because I have to.” Robin says, looking up into Chrom’s face.

The prince’s eyes are sad but fond as he says, “I know. And … it’s not that I didn’t need you. But you’re right, I didn’t have it handled. I had no idea that assassin was there. Frederick already had a fit with me over this.”

Robin laughs, then winces, “I imagine so.”

Chrom’s face grows more sullen as he says, “Robin when you fell I couldn’t breathe. All I could think was that I was going to lose you on top of everything else. And I … I can’t do that.”

“You won’t.” Robin says, eyes focused on Chrom’s.

One of Chrom’s hands moves to cup his cheek, demanding all of Robin’s attention. The cloth is dry with blood, and it takes a second for Robin to realize that it’s his. Chrom puts his forehead to Robin’s, and the tactician’s heart skips in his chest.

He wants, he needs , more than anything to close the distance between them. He can feel Chrom’s breath on his burning face, his own breath caught in his chest as the need becomes a tangible kick in his gut.

Not trusting himself not to act, he busies himself by asking, “When do we leave?”

Chrom chuckles, “I’m going to have Lissa look you over and then we can—”

“Here!” A cheerful voice echoes through the tent, then, “Robin! Why are you up?!”

They part in a flurry, Chrom’s hand on his shoulder to keep Robin upright. Lissa has her hands on her hips, frowning at Robin as she says, “You need to be resting!”

She looks incredibly tired, but exhaustion doesn’t seem to be coming close to tampering her spirit.

Chrom’s neck turns faintly red as he asks, “How long have you been there?”

“Why?” Lissa asks, a little too innocently.

“No reason.” Chrom is quick to turn back to Robin as he says, “Whenever you feel like you can function again, and get some rest, come find me. We have two new people for you to meet as well.”

He speeds out of the tent, not looking at either his sister or Robin, who is left with words hanging on his tongue.

“You really scared him you know,” Lissa says, helping Robin backpedal to the bed, She puts her hand on the pulse point of his neck, checking his heartbeat. Robin thinks she smirks a bit, but he quickly looks away.

“I know.”

Lissa waves her staff over him, a soft, icy feeling wafts over him in waves. The aching in his head and chest subside a bit, and he touches the dressing experimentally. No pain when he puts pressure on it, no more bleeding.

“Chrom really cares about you, you know.”

Robin looks up at Lissa, her face soft and sincere. He smiles back at her, “Yeah, I know.”

She tosses him an extra pillow from the other side of the tent, and he swears he can just barely hear her say, “I don’t think you do.”

She moves towards the flap of the tent as she says, “You should be back to normal after a short rest. I’ll keep everyone out, the whole camp’s been dying to see you again. You won’t get any rest if they know you’re up and about.”

Robin laughs, minus the pain this time, “Thanks, Lissa.”

She smiles again, “Just don’t do this again. Please, for all our sakes.”

He nods, “I promise.”

Chapter Text

Lissa finally calmed down.

His sleeves are wet with tears and snot but it’s not the worst thing that has tried to stain his robe, Robin supposes, as he shuts the door behind him. He leans against the wood, listening with a broken heart as Lissa continues to weep quietly. She’s not okay, isn’t going to be for a while, but she’s worn out enough to get some sleep.

He should do the same.

Boots still muddy from their escape through the midmire, Robin trudges away from Lissa’s room.

The march back to Ferox had been hard. Not only was their morale shattered, but everyone seemed lost, dazed. What were they going to do now? It was a question on everyone’s face as they look at him, and with every pair of eyes on him the weight of his failure aches through him. He could have done more — and yet, at the same time, knows there was nothing more to be done.

Every time he blinks he sees Emmeryn’s golden hair glinting in the sun as she falls, feels the weight of Lissa in his arms as he grabs her and turns her away from the scene.

It was hard to convince Chrom to leave Plegia, he wanted to hide out there and plan their next moves. The fire in his eyes was … intense. He’s never seen Chrom this angry, this distraught. After pointing out that they would be at a disadvantage and in more danger to stay in the enemy’s lands, Chrom finally agreed, though he was far from happy about it.

Robin passes by a somber Maribelle on the steps, and he nods in the direction of Lissa’s room. “She may need you,” he says quietly, voice tired from yelling through the rain to Chrom.

She nods, then points towards a closed door, “He may need you.”

There’s a silent moment of understanding between them, more than there ever has been. Since her rescue a few months back she has been less cold towards Robin, but until now, never went out of her way to do something for him.

Robin smiles weakly, before steeling himself as he climbs down the stairs. His boots click on the cobblestone floors as he crosses the short distance to the door Maribelle pointed him to. Only the wind and rain rushing in the night can be heard on the other end, concerning Robin as he realizes it’s a door outside.

He throws open the door, guarding his face from the spray of rain with his sleeve as he peers out into the night. In the distance a torch tries valiantly to stay lit, illuminating a small halo in a sea of blue hair as a figure stalks off in the distance.

Robin pulls out his fire tome and ignites a small ball of flame in his palm, lighting the area around him brilliantly as he takes a step outside. Being conjured from magic the fire barely moves with the wind, the rain hardly touching it.

Chrom’s figure disappears into the trees and Robin gives chase, rushing through the field towards the woods, being careful not to slip on the mud.

“Chrom!”

His voice echoes through the old oaks as he sprints, and he sees Chrom stop in his tracks. The Prince turns and watches Robin as he approaches, a little out of breath, already sore muscles protesting the sudden bout of movement.

“What are you doing?” He asks, a light mist coming with every sharp exhale.

“I needed space,” Chrom says, simply.

“So you’re just going to wander off? In this weather? After everything that’s happened?”

He’s not sure why he sounds so angry, so accusatory. His brows knit together and Robin snuffs out his fire, folding his arms to his chest as he waits for an answer.

“Do you plan on facing Gangrel yourself?”

Robin expects a fiery response, some kind of sharp tongued answer from Chrom. What he doesn’t expect is to see the Prince’s proud shoulders slump, the tired look in his eyes as the torchlight adds weary shadows to his face.

“I should have done more.”

Robin feels a protest on his tongue, but he holds it, saving his words for when his friend is done speaking.

Chrom runs a hand through his hair. “I didn’t save her. Now … how can I face everyone? I let their Exalt, my sister, die. And — now what?” He sighs, hand shaking as it holds the torch in place, and Robin watches him grit his teeth for a moment before the anger fades back into the deep set sorrow. “Even when we win, what will it accomplish? She will still be dead. Lissa and I will never have her, her people will never have her.”

Chrom’s words choke at the end and Robin is quick to step forward, something burning in his blood to rush to his friend and hold him. “You did everything you could do, Chrom. You cannot blame yourself. They … cheated. We couldn’t have planned for what they did.” Robin frowns as he adds, “Your people need you. Our friends, our family — they’re worried for you.”

“I’m their leader, they shouldn’t have to worry about me.”

The sharpness of Chrom’s voice is more a relief than anything.

“But we do.” Robin takes another step forward. “Emmeryn may be gone but her legacy is not. You saw it, when we were escaping. Those Plegian soldiers who turned against their orders because of her. Her loss is great, and she will be missed, but she won’t be forgotten.”

Chrom is silent for a long time before he sighs. “The council has already decided that I should take her place as Exalt. After the war, and after Ylisse has time to rebuild.”

It’s not a surprise, even if it is sudden. “And what do you think of that?”

The long sigh is answer enough, as Chrom shifts from one foot to the next. “I don’t know. I can’t ask Lissa to do it. She was never one for politics or titles, and she’s young. Getting involved in war on a broader scale as an Exalt would hurt her, should we ever come to one again.”

Robin nods. “She’s stronger than you think, but I think she’s happiest how she is now.”

The ghost of a smile crosses Chrom’s face. “It’s funny, Emmeryn used to talk about her and I ruling together when I got older. When I came of age, I turned her down. I … don’t think anyone can rule quite like she did. Not even me.”

“She was unique,” Robin agrees. “I only knew her a few months, but she welcomed me like I had always been there. I don’t think I’ve met anyone like her, or your family.”

“Robin, I don’t think I can do this.”

The lost, broken tone of Chrom’s voice sends pangs of pain through Robin’s chest. The defeated way Chrom says his name is enough to make Robin want to march through the night and put a blade through Gangrel’s chest himself.

There’s time for that later. Right now he has to focus.

“You can.” Robin says, voice strong and confident as he squares his shoulders. “You’re one of the bravest, kindest men I’ve met. You’re a capable leader, for sure. You have the respect and adoration of not only your army but your people as well. They trust you, and rightfully so.”

He takes a step forward, “Your sister brought peace to Ylisse when it was wounded. Now it’s your turn to care for her legacy. You are up to the task, more than you think. It’s going to take time to adjust, but your people will understand.” Another step, until he’s crossed the distance between them.

Robin looks up into Chrom’s face, meeting his eyes and locking onto them. “You have everyone at your back, and a whole council to rely on. You’re not in this alone, Chrom. So don’t make yourself feel like you have to be.”

Chrom says nothing. Only the crickets chirping through the rain and winds make any sound, as Robin holds his breath. Then, slowly, Crom reaches out and pulls Robin in around his middle, hugging him tight. He rests his forehead against Robin’s, and Robin is momentarily distracted by the feeling of Chrom’s breath on his lips.

“Will I have you to rely on too?” The words are quiet, spoken like a secret between them. “When this war is done, will you stay with me?”

Robin’s heart falls to his stomach, fluttering as he is quick to reply. “Of course, I’m not going anywhere.”

It almost hurts to think that Chrom would assume he would leave, that he could uproot this connection he’s made and the family he found. He pushes through the feeling to bring his own arms around Chrom, holding him tighter and gripping onto his shoulder.

“I’m here for as long as you’ll have me.”

They stand like this for some time, long enough for the damp to settle in Robin’s bones. He doesn’t break away, content to stand here in Chrom’s embrace, away from the world and their problems for just a moment.

“We should get inside. It won’t do either of us any good to get sick before the fight.” Chrom says, a sense of reluctance in his voice.

Robin is hesitant to part from Chrom, but he does, already mourning the loss of Chrom’s warmth against him.

They walk back towards the castle, and Robin is amazed no one has come to search for them yet. Frederick is surely patrolling the area on guard, or at least looking through the castle for one or both of them.

As they walk a slick patch of grass trips Robin, and he would fall to the ground if a steady hand didn’t grab his and keep him upright.

“Watch your step,” Chrom says, a small smile on his face that surprisingly reaches his eyes.

“Right.”

Robin feels his face heat up but he shakes it off, falling back in step with Chrom.

“Shall we go over the plans for our attack?” Chrom asks.

He’s still holding Robin’s hand, a fact not lost on the tactician.

“Tonight? No.” Robin shakes his head as they draw nearer to the castle. “We rest tonight, and regroup tomorrow.”

There’s silence for a moment, before Robin breaks it. “Chrom, we will win. He will pay for what he has done, and we will bring peace back to Ylisse. I promise. We will do it.”

A beat goes between them before Chrom squeezes his hand. “We will. Together."

The words send something warm through his chest, and he squeezes Chrom’s hand in return.

“Together.”

Chapter Text

“This is not your fault.”

Robin’s eyes snap open as he gasps, clutching his shirt as he sits up from his cot. The cool morning air wafts against his heated skin, sticking the sweat from his nightmare to his skin. His breathing, ragged and heavy, begins to slow down as the sleep leaves his body.

He’s been having nightmares more and more often, something he had chalked up to stress and their constant travels. But now? He isn’t so sure, doesn’t know what to make of the ominous dreams or the sound of Chrom’s shaky, possibly final, breath in his head.

He stands and moves to the table in the middle of his tent, grabbing his robe and clasping it at the neck as he pulls it on. Robin leans over the battle plans and sighs, running through the agreed upon strategy as he toes into his boots.

With the addition of Olivia to their numbers they may be able to have a good push in the beginning, but the Shepherds will have a bloody fight on their hands, there’s no doubt about it.

The tent flap opens, spilling more light into the area as Chrom enters.

Chrom looks like he’s had about as much sleep as Robin. There are some dark circles under his eyes, lighter than perhaps Robin’s own, but still present. He smiles lightly at the tactician and says, “Are you ready?”

Robin takes one last look at the map, the markers of his friends, his family. He stands up straight and looks at Chrom, interrupted from his answer as Frederick pushes into the tent as well.

“Milord,” Frederick says, oblivious to the moment he ruined, “I have news.”

Robin and Chrom look to him as Chrom asks, “What is it?”

“Cordelia returned with the Feroxi soldiers, the Plegian army is in disarray.”

“What do you mean?” Robin asks, moving to stand beside Chrom.

“Gangrel’s men are leaving en masse, it seems many of them are opposed to further violence. Only those in the Mad King’s circle seem to remain on the battlefield.”

It takes Chrom a moment of stunned silence before he lowers his head, “Emmeryn.”

“Her sacrifice was never lost on anyone,” Robin says softly.

Chrom seems to think something over, silently looking to the ground, before he clears his head with a shake. “Frederick, rally everyone together. We’re leaving for the battlefield.”

“Of course.” Frederick gives Robin a look that he can’t place as he leaves the tent, leaving Robin and Chrom alone.

The silence between them isn’t uncomfortable, but it’s powerful. The weight of the oncoming battle looms heavy on their shoulders; a ghost in the room as Chrom looks to him, smiling softly.

“You were right.” Chrom says, something sullen in his tone.

Robin laughs softly, “I’m always right.”

Chrom elbows him lightly, a heavy sigh escaping his lips. He looks exhausted, but the fire is back in his eyes. However Chrom pulled himself out of the hole to prepare himself for the battle ahead, Robin doesn’t know.

He’s just grateful they’re here now.

“We can do this,” Robin says, unburdening the silence. “We’re going to win.”

Chrom smiles at him, warm and genuine, enough to make Robin’s heart ache. “We will. We’re going to bring peace back to the people, both of Ylisse and Plegia. We’re going to see the end of this war today.” He pauses, then reaches out and places a hand on Robin’s shoulder, grounding the tactician to the moment. “Together.”

Robin’s mind flashes back to the night in the rain; staring up into Crom’s face as the promise of what together could bring breaks a warmth inside his chest strong enough to warm him against the winds whipping his face.

Even now, the little spark of hope lingers heavy in his chest as he takes a deep breath, makes an echo of that night as he stares into Crom’s eyes again with a fiery confidence of his own.

“Together.”

 

The battlefield is full, but less crowded than Robin had prepared for,

True to their findings there are only a few handfuls soldiers on the opposite end, making a head or two more than their own party. The winds whip around them as the sun bears down onto the field, and Robin takes a last minute look at what they have in store.

Gangrel stands with his men, not to the back of them like someone who needed to be protected, but also not leading the pack. The sun shines off his golden, gnarled crown as the man tilts his head as the Ylisse army takes its place.

“Good day little princeling!” The King’s voice booms in the space between them. “Still dreaming of your squashed sister?”

Chrom’s fist clenches harshly at his side, and he starts to step forward when Robin grabs his hand. The prince looks to him as Robin shakes his head lightly, voice low as he says, “He just wants a rise out of you. Don’t give it to him.”

He releases Chrom’s hand and adds, “He’ll be out of bark soon enough.”

Chrom takes a deep breath and turns back to Gangrel, “There are no more words between us. Your reign’s end has come, and peace will be brought back to Ylisse and Plegia.”

“You don’t know the first thing about peace!” Gangrel’s coarse laughter echoes, “No man does.”

“My sister knew peace, Gangrel, more than you ever could comprehend. But I am not my sister. She sought to forgive someone like you, but I—” Chrom pauses as he draws Falchion, letting the dual colored metals gleam in the sunlight as he points the tip to Gangrel, “I can never forgive you.”

He points to the enemy side and shouts. “Look around you, your own soldiers refuse to stand by you, a festering wound on the face of this earth. I will do what my sister could not.” Chrom takes a step forward, “Say your prayers to whatever God you wish, Gangrel. You will be at their mercy soon.”

Gangrel is silent for a moment before he laughs darkly, a single echoing sound that chills Robin’s spine. “You have such a pretty tongue, I’m going to enjoy removing it from you.”

Chrom seems unphased as he looks to his assembled army. “You all know your strategies, it’s time to put them too work.” He looks to Robin who readies his tome and gives Chrom a small nod.

“Shepherds! To arms!”

 

The Shepherds start to pair off and scatter across the field as Robin intended. He sees Frederick ride out ahead with Maribelle, Sumia and Gaius taking to the right towards the abandoned forts, sees Nowi and Vaike push through towards where the bulk of the enemy lays. He can’t see her but he knows Tharja is here, somewhere.

Chrom rushes beside him, the two of them in tandem as they do a curve around a group that is caught in ambush by Lissa and Donnel, who were close behind Chrom and Robin.

The sooner they can get to Gangrel the sooner they can pick off the rest of his army without worry. Taking out the leader would cause any reinforcements or ambushes in the nearby fields to withdraw, keeping their numbers about even and keeping the Shepherd’s chances high.

Chrom stops short as a mage and fighter duo approach them. The mage’s fireball is met with a shock of lightning as Robin dispels it quickly before it can reach Chrom. The fighter is easily parried by Chrom, who throws his weight into a slicing swing that cuts into the man’s shoulder. He stumbles back as Robin follows through, knocking him to the ground with a blast of light.

The sight of her companion’s motionless body seems to stun the mage, who takes a step back.

“You can flee,” Robin says, suddenly. Chrom lowers Falchion just a bit as he watches the woman closely. “The battle will be over soon, and you will be free. If you value that freedom, and your life, you’ll leave now.”

He feels Chrom tense beside him, but he ignores it, focuses on the woman as her eyes dart across the battlefield. “But my friends—”

“Will be spared if they surrender,” Chrom cuts in. “It’s what Emmeryn would do, and what I will do as well.”

She looks between Robin and Chrom with cautious eyes, before saying, “Thank you.”

The mage clutches her tome to her chest as she sprints away, heading towards the trees on the very far side of the field. Chrom looks to Robin, “Are you sure we can trust her?”

Robin’s stomach tightens as he says, “I hope so. I just … have a feeling. I’m not so sure half the Mad King’s soldiers truly stand by him.”

Chrom chuckles a bit, “You and your feelings.”

Robin scans the area. With the Shepherds moving in fast the enemy has had no choice but to back up, gathering around Gangrel like a bubble ready to burst. A bubble with a small opening, and no one around it to stop them from breaking through.

“This way!” Robin yells, running towards one of the abandoned buildings.

Around it they circle to find an intense battle between Panne, Gregor and a few Plegian soldiers. And then, just past them —

“YOU!”

Gangrel’s voice booms louder with the added brick beside them, as Chrom and Robin sprint past the old fort to come face to face with their target.

“You really think you’re clever, don’t you?” Gangrel sneers, “Well, come on then. I sharpened my sword just for you,” his eyes fall to Robin next as he adds, “but I wouldn’t mind cutting up your little tactician here first.”

Chrom steps forward, putting himself between Robin and Gangrel as he readies Falchion wordlessly.

Gangrel charges forward with a swing of what looks like a bent sword, and is easily blocked by Chrom. Chrom swings low, tries to cut at Gangrel’s stomach but is parried, forcing Chrom to leap back to avoid the slash at his chest.

Robin feels a storm between his fingers as he reaches his palm out to blast a sharp bolt of lightning at Gangrel.

The gleam of Gangrel’s sword is eerie as he blocks the attack, breaking the spell as the sword all but seems to swallow the magic up. He grins at Robin, then turns his attention back to Chrom as he lunges forward again.

The clash of metal on metal splits the air as they meet, and Robin watches as the two men tussle.

Where Chrom strikes Gangrel blocks, and where Gangrel slashes Chrom parries. A slip up from Gangrel means Chrom’s blade bites into his side, but it’s not enough to stop him in his tracks.

It seems almost like Gangrel is holding something back, still working hard to keep Chrom at bay, but also like he has a strategy in play.

Robin keeps looking to distract Gangrel with lightning, one bolt zips across Gangrel’s face to cut his cheek, but the King manages to dodge out of the way of his strikes as well. His sword eating up everything Robin sends his way.

Robin’s not on par with Chrom with swordplay or he would bring out his own, still strapped to his hip.

It’s only when Gangrel suddenly steps back and doesn’t lunge forward again that Robin realizes his mistake.

The sword is magic.

Gangrel only laughs as he points the blade at chrom, and Robin sees the blade gleam from more than the sunlight overhead.

His feet carry him over to Chrom before his brain catches up, a familiar feeling running through his bones as he comes up beside Chrom. He shoves Chrom out of the way, making the prince stumble as the bolt of lightning meant for him catches Robin directly in the chest.

Robin feels his feet leave the ground as he’s flung back, pain shooting through him as he shouts, “Now!”

He lands a few feet away, flat on his back. He blinks up into the cloudless sky as he feels his body convulse a bit, chest tightening around a breath he’s unable to let go of. Thankfully the sensation is only for a moment, and he gasps raggedly when his breathing returns to him.

Chrom.

Eyes wide Robin pushes himself up with a wince, looking ahead of him just in time to see the glint of Falchion’s metal in the sunlight as Chrom buries it to the hilt in Gangrel’s chest.

He can hear Chrom saying something, but his ears are still ringing softly, and it’s too quiet for him to make out. Robin’s brows furrow with concern as Chrom withdraws his sword from Gangrel’s heart, letting the Mad King’s body crumple to the earth.

Chrom stands there for a moment, before turning away.

Robin’s head flops back onto the ground.

They did it. They really did it.

“Robin!”

The sound of feet thundering to him makes him jump, pushing himself back up just as Chrom kneels beside him, places a hand at his back to support him while his free hand checks Robin over. “Are you okay? Do you need Lissa?”

Robin laughs, breath a little shaky as he says, “No, I’m fine Chrom, I’m o—”

The hand cupping his face isn’t what stops his words, neither is the way Chrom is crowded intimately into his space. Though, those are both side effects of the fact that Chrom’s mouth is pressed to his.

Chrom’s mouth is both firm and soft, and the feeling of his lips against Robin’s makes Robin’s head feel a little lighter.

They draw apart and Chrom gives him a small smile, “You really need to stop putting yourself in danger.”

Robin, still a little shell shocked, reaches into his robe. The pendent of Naga rests in the middle of his palm, shimmering in the light. “I have this to protect me, don’t I?”

Chrom brings his face forward again, and this time Robin meets him.

The kiss isn’t overly passionate, but it is not shy. They’re well past the point of pretending, and it’s almost a relief as their lips meet again. A few, short kisses followed by a longer one, deep with understanding.

“Wow Chrom, you really know how to set the mood.”

They break apart with a start, only to find a slightly rattled Lissa frowning down at them. “You could have at least waited until we were home to do that.”

Chrom laughs breathlessly, “I really don’t think so.”

The prince stands and extends a hand to Robin, who takes it. Chrom doesn’t release his hand and the pair stand together as Lissa rolls her eyes. “Everyone is gathering and deciding what we should do next, I think it would be a great conversation for our leader to be having too.” She winks at them before turning around and heading off, leaving Chrom and Robin alone.

“So … that,” Robin says.

Chrom smiles, eyes soft as he looks at Robin. “That.” He runs his thumb over Robin’s knuckles, “We have a lot to discuss.”

“I imagine we do.”

Chrom’s laughter is genuine, “I’ve never seen you at a loss of words.” He looks a little more serious as he adds, “We do need to talk. But there is a lot we must do right now, so we will have to postpone until later.”

Robin chuckles, “What’s one more thing on your ever growing to-do list.”

Chrom seems nervous as he asks, “Are … things okay? This?” He squeezes Robin’s hand.

Robin reaches up a bit on his toes to press his lips to Chrom’s again, just for a moment. He smiles at the way Chrom leans into him, tries to follow his lips when they part. “Things are okay.” He looks back to where the army has started to assemble, “Come on, we have a few kingdoms to rebuild.”