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The Exalt Family: One-Shot Series

Chapter Text

"Hehe, you look so beautiful, Robin!"

A sheepish grin curled the corner of her lips her hands fiddling with the patterns of the dress's fabric brushing at the seams. Two of the Shepards women stood by her, Cordelia messing with Robin's dress and Lissa, gawking at the outfit with bright and sparkling irises, seated in a nearby chair. Both were already dressed in their bridesmaid outfits, both a light purple and flowers abound their hair and right wrists. "Thank you, Lissa," Robin giggled not looking up at the petite blonde. She grimaced glancing down herself in slight dejection. "Hopefully it is the last that I wear something this fancy," she murmured.

A gentle laugh that sounded like bells was heard and it was recognized the laughter of Cordelia. "You wish this now, but unfortunately it's not the last," she replied earning a playful pout from Robin. "You are a queen now Robin," resumed Cordelia, "you will have to show much more elegance rather than walking around in some large robe and worn boots." Robin couldn't fight her own laughter at the red headed woman's nonchalant expression. "Yes, I was afraid of that," she sighed and turned back to the mirror once more.

Her hair, that was always held back into a ponytail, laid above her head, loose curls flowing past her cheeks and hung near her bared shoulders. Robin watched as her fingers graced the white ensemble and observed the texture of the cloth. The blinding white gave her a bright glow to her pale skin, the setting sun that reared the room's large window, cascading an orange aura around them. Her large hazel eyes stared at the stranger that reflected her face, eyes unblinking. No matter how many times she had to convince herself, even having Tharja to do a couple of spells to see if she was dreaming (she immediately regretted this ), she still could not fathom the idea of her getting married and to one of the shepherds for that matter and a prince!

It was only just months ago when Chrom, Frederick, and Lissa all found her in that field. She could still picture the bright grass and litters of insects and pollen that flitted about them, the warmth of the sun upon them. Just those few months ago she was was just a mere helpless victim (well not exactly helpless) among the group, but as those months flew by before their eyes, she became more than some victim founded in a random field. She had become part of the family. Yes, she still could not remember her past, and many questions were raised some of which Frederick was not hesitant on the bring up, but all those had seemed to suppress after so many weeks. She had become not only their tactician but a close friend. 

And before she could even blink she was getting wedded to a simple-minded man named Chrom.

Robin had to keep in her laughter by chewing her bottom lip. Only she could fall in love with someone as typical as Chrom. First addressing her as not a lady and Robin attempting to blunge him with a boulder, then proceeding to catch her in the women's bathing tent (though she was as much to blame when she walked into him bathing as well, the image still...haunted her), what was not to love?

But despite his few instances when he either offended or irritated the Naga out of her, he also had his soft side that won her over. All the Shepard's looked up to Chrom for guidance. They always seek the young prince when in need, they always searched for his protection as had Robin. Loathing to admit, Robin was envious. Even though she hated being the center of attention, she also grew slightly jealous of his high regard. What was it that he did that comforted people?

And unlike Frederick, Chrom was willing to believe her story no matter how absurd it sounded. If it had been her, she too would be cautious around a person who claimed to have amnesia, always keeping a watchful eye to make sure the mysterious stranger would not strike at any given moment, but not Chrom.

He took her under his wing and made her their tactician. If that was not considered just plain stupid and naive Robin did not know what was, but either way, it happened and in truthfulness, she would not change it for anything else in the world. Not especially now that her heart was practically soaring.

"Are you nervous?"

Robin jarred from her thoughts with a start and she swiveled her head to Lissa who was staring at her curiously. A few times she blinked her eyes trying to process what Lissa had asked before opening her mouth and slowly replying, "o-oh well, not exactly..." She turned once more when Cordelia stood in front of her and adjusted a tiara on top of her head and placed a veil over her, fanning the fabric behind her head. Lissa only smirked at the woman, eyes twinkling mischievously. "Not exactly?" she echoed jokingly now standing up and handing her the bouquet of flowers. Already knowing where the young girl was coming from, a frown tugged at Robin's lips and she snatched at the bouquet making Lissa giggle. "Unlike you Lissa, and you, Cordelia"-Cordelia shot Robin a look-"I don't go and throw up all that I ate just because of a few butterflies from a day where you agree to live your life with another."

"Sheesh. You make it sound like it was that bad..."

"Lissa, we all had to wait for an hour."

"It's not my fault that I'm only a delicate flower!"

"I thought you said you weren't delicate?" 

Lissa finally groaned giving up.

Robin only chuckled and sincerely patted the young exalt's head making Lissa pout at her friend. "I'm sorry, dear. I was merely jesting...Somewhat," she responded. Cordelia turned Robin's face gently to her and she began fixing her hair, brushing her bangs that slipped out of their place to the side and maneuvering her veil. Soon, a ginger grin plastered cheeks and she took a step back to admire her work. She giggled to herself and placed a hand to her cheek. "My gods Robin, this is actually the most lady-like you have ever looked!" she gushed. Robin laughed. "I think you have been with Chrom for too long," she teased. Cordelia blushed at this and only stuck her nose in the air making Robin laugh some more and Lissa joined in. Their laughter soon ended, however, when a knock was heard and they all turned to see Frederick peering into the room, a tiny smile traced on his features. "It's time, milady," he said and slipped out.

Robin turned to the two women who beamed at her. "Are you sure you're not nervous? It's perfectly normal if you are," Lissa pointed out. Robin smiled slightly. Her heart was thumping heavily in her chest, threatening to burst from her, but she highly doubted it was nerves. She only shook her head at the two women, bouncing the curled strands near her face. "Nope. Not at all," she said with a dismissive wave. She then gathered up her dress- she didn't want to trip on her big day like Sumia did when she was marrying Frederick- and began heading out the door with a wave of her bouquet. Both Cordelia and Lissa exchanged incredulous glances before shrugging it off and trotted after Robin. They grabbed the laces of her dress and brought them back down, removing her hands and continued to dust at her before looking at her. "Ready, Milady?" Robin knew the day would come when Cordelia would address her by the formality. Robin smiled wearily and nodded. "Yes, but still call me Robin. I prefer you too. I mean, we are friends afterall. Nothing has changed."

Grins beamed at the new 'queen' and Cordelia nodded. "Sure," she replied. The redhead skipped to stand behind her and grabbing the lace that attached to the back of her dress and held it up for her. Robin watched her do so but turned away without any comment. She figured it was a royal thing. Lissa ran over to the door and opened the door to see Frederick standing before them, back straight and posture stoic. He bowed slightly at Robin who quirked an eyebrow at the knight. She hoped Frederick would not do that as much in the future. She loved it better when he would glare at her from across the fields when she was around his lord.

Frederick held his arm out for her and inclined his chin at her. Robin stared blankly at it for a split moment before grinning softly and lacing hers through his. Lissa was heard giggling and met with Maribelle who quickly hugged her and dragged her off handing her a handful of flowers. Robin breathed heavily as Frederick led her down the hall. Frederick had not looked at her the entire time they did which Robin appreciated as her face was lit like a torch. Now she understood where Lissa was coming from.  This must be the butterflies she was talking about.

I'll have to apologize later for teasing her, she thought with a shake of her head. She jumped when something tapped her hand. "Don't fret Milady. Everything will be alright," she heard Frederick say. A chuckle erupted from her glossy lips. "I appreciate your words, Freddybear," she teased the knight. Now it was Frederick's turn to blush. "I wish that you do not address me by that ridiculous name." His brown turned into a scowl.

"But why? Everyone calls you that! Even Sumia does."

"Yes...and you are to blame, milady..."

Robin giggled. "What can I say Fredbear, I have started a trend. Just be glad you are able to eat bear now without repudiation," she joked. Frederick only sighed, utterly defeated by the purpose of Robin calling him by his now new well-known image. Robin continued laughing before she swallowed her laughter, now taking in the surroundings of the grand hall. They neared the end and turned to their left, Robin keeping a tight grip on Frederick. She felt herself beginning to feel faint. Several minutes of silence passed before Robin thought of an earlier question she could not help pondering on. "Frederick?"

"Milady."

"...Do you know if that Marth person will be here?"

The question surprised the knight and he turned his head and looked at her, but Robin did not meet his gaze. "That is odd for you to ask," he muttered to the brunette, looking away. Robin raised an eyebrow. "Is it? I'd figure she would be there as every time we are on the brink of danger. She always appears out of nowhere. It is almost as if we are being watched or something."

"Or it is a coincidence. Since you came, Robin, weird things have been happening."

Robin laughed. "Ah, I see. So, I am the cause of Marth and the Risen, is that it?"

"Perhaps. I have had a few theories and shared them with milord." He hid a smirk.

Robin shook her head at this. "I can only imagine what it is," she murmured, but Frederick did not reply. It was not long before they stopped near glass double doors. Robin inhaled and exhaled once more and Frederick glanced at her. She looked up at him and was surprised to see him giving her a bright grin. "Don't worry, you'll make a fine queen." Robin had almost laughed at this. "You are only saying that because I am the only one who can spit out magic without having to use curses like Tharja."

Frederick chuckled. "No. It's all about courtesy of Sir Chrom, but I know to trust you."

Robin smiled at the knight and turned to the doors just as Frederick had opened them. Immediately Robin's breath was taken away. Stain glass on ever wall allowed multi-colored auras as well a gentle gold of light illuminated the room. Many of the Shepard's chatted amongst themselves, patiently waiting for the new bride to waltz in. Robin spotted Both a tiny Owain and Kjelle fighting for some stuffed animal to which Kjelle grabbed a branch (where she got the branch from, Robin would never know) and smacked it down on Owain's head who cried out, dropping the stuffed animal.

Robin snorted loudly at this and looked at Frederick to see he was already walking up to Libra who was chatting with Sully and her husband and whispered in his ear. Libra turned his head to Robin and sent her a warm grin to which Robin returned the gesture by smiling gently back and he turned back around telling the others to go to their rightful places and made his way to the podium where Chrom was already standing, feet shifting. Robin hid her face from view when Frederick made his way back to her. Robin felt him grab her arm and soon began walking her down the aisle as the ceremony started.

By now, Robin's heart had gone tenfold. She felt a wave of nausea hit her like a sudden curse that was cast on her and her grip on Frederick grew tighter. Chrom stared at her with sincerity and she could tell he was trying to waver off a large grin as she did her own. Robin ripped her gaze from him and stared at the ground, concentrating on the blindingly bright carpet. She felt Frederick slipping his arm away and she lifted her chin to see her being led to Chrom. She swept a quick glance at him who was already back to his seat where his wife was and Robin turned back to Chrom. Her steps were slow and steady as she stepped up to him.

"You look amazing," she heard the blue-haired man purr into her ear. She smiled back in response and stole a quick glimpse of him. "I'd say the same about you," she laughed softly. Chrom beamed back and Libra's voice caught their attention, "are you ready?"

Robin opened her mouth when out of the corner of her eye she caught something move by and she turned her head slightly over her shoulder and saw that nothing was there. Robin continued searching, trying her best to keep the other shepherds from noticing when a tone snapped her from her reverie, "lady Robin?"

Robin squeaked and turn to Libra who was staring at her curiously and Chrom's brow was furrowed. Robin's eyes averted between their gazes when she chuckled nervously and scratched her arm. "Uh, heh, sorry about that. I zoned out," she replied making the others snicker.

Robin only ignored the laughter, turning back to Libra and secret glances at the door.

o-OO-o

Lucina pressed herself against the wall, breath caught in her throat and heart threatening to burst from her chest. Laughter could be heard as she eased her muscles, letting out a breath of relief, and peeked out the door frame. Soon a small grin entered her lips at the sight of the couple. When she saw the bride look her way once more, Lucina pulled herself away and allowed herself to slide to the ground, arms splayed out her sides and knees to her chest. She dropped her legs in front of her and reached up for her mask to pull it off her face and her blue hair fell over her shoulders, blue claws gripping the small of her shoulders.

She wiped the tears that streamed her face with her gloved palm and stared down at the mask once more. A breathy laugh escaped her wavering lips as she flipped the mask in her hands, more tears escaping her. Her heart swelled when she heard her parents vows.

"Oh, Morgan," she whispered sadly, a tiny smile touching her lips, "if only you were here to see how beautiful mother looks right now..."

Chapter Text

"Mm, this feels really nice."

A small smile pulled at the tactician's lips as another breeze breathed past their faces and hair, the sounds of the trees resounding in their clear ears. "It is." Robin affirmed with a soft nod, "I'm just surprised there were no Risen here...not that I am complaining."

Lucina nodded. "Agreed. In fact, I was a little suspicious of why there weren't any." Lucina paused for a moment and looked over her shoulder, eyes squinted as she surveyed the area, the mark of the exalt in her eye whipping past the few scattered trees. After a small lull of silence, she giggled lightly and turned back to her mother. "But finally not having to watch your back is a nice change," she added. Robin grinned back in response and looked out at the river.

The sun rose high above the afternoon's bright blue sky, not a single cloud in sight. The same gentle breeze continued to brew, making both Robin and Lucina shiver as they had their feet planted in the water. Robin gently swished her foot back and forth, watching as the other Shepards enjoyed themselves out in the streams. From the corner of her eye, she could see Cynthia placing a flower wreathe over her father's head. She almost laughed when she saw the color drain from Frederick's face and Sumia giggling as she embraced him. Next came one of Cynthia's bear hugs.

Robin was glad that she was finally able to see her army relaxing and having fun together for once. No lives trying to be taken, no howls for the healer, and now skewers sticking from the side of their ribs. It was almost too good to be true.

Robin made a mental note to thank her daughter for finding the strange place. After having met one of the Anna sisters, Lucina was taken to a different realm which she took great pleasure in rushing back home and telling her parents and younger brother. At this news, both Robin and Chrom allowed themselves to be dragged by her (both surprised by her childlike behavior-although Morgan seemed to enjoy it greatly) and taken to the realm that she spoke of.

Of course, the grounds were scanned for any signs of Risen and when none were found, it was Robin's idea to let the Shepards rest. After loads and burdens being carried because of the frantic uprising battles, she felt it was about time everyone took a break. And the others quickly agreed.

Robin heard her daughter heave a small sigh and slightly turned her head to take a second glance at her. "You alright?" she asked after a slight pause. Lucina nodded. "Of course. I was just...remembering something." Robin noted her strained features.

"And what was that?"

Despite of herself, Lucina had to gnaw on her bottom lip to stop a giggle from slipping past her lips. "You never learned how to swim, right?" Lucina asked, lifting her head to her mother. Robin pursed her lips in deep thought. Her eyes squinted at the perplexing words. "Uh, no?" she answered voice rising to a pitch. "But that's a strange question to ask." Lucina sent her a crooked smirk. "I was just wondering, really," she shrugged, "just us sitting here by the river reminded me of what father would do when Morgan and I was younger."

Robin cocked an eyebrow at the news and she gently nudged her daughter to get her to better elaborate. "What did your father do?" she asked, her own voice falling to a dark, flat tone. Lucina giggled uneasily at her mother's playful scorn. "Ah, well he-" she suddenly stopped here when she saw a dark figure run past behind them. The blunette arched her neck to look behind her and at a large oak tree just mere feet away from them, and dancing shadows licking just up their backs and heads. Robin noticed her movements and craned her neck as well, brown ponytail falling over her shoulder. "Lucina?"

Lucina only ignored her mother. Her eyes scoured where the silhouette disappeared. She could feel her heart thump heavily against her chest, making her arms and legs go weak. Please, don't be a Risen, she pleaded silently as she continued to search.

And that's when she saw him.

Oh gods, Lucina let out a strangled yelp when she saw a glimpse of her father behind the tree. I don't think he would be immature enough to do that now, especially with war...right? She couldn't take a chance. While she was wondering why she so badly wanted to protect her mother from her father's shenanigans, she still did not want to test it.

Even if it was a good laugh.

"Lucina?" Robin sang out waving a hand in front of her face. "Are you alright?"

Lucina whipped her head towards the tactician. "Oh, er..." she felt her face burn from horror. "Y-yes, mother, uhm...i-is it okay if we, erm, go to another side of this area...possibly as far away as the others?"

Robin's eyebrows rose in astonishment at her daughter's wobbling smile. She was use to her family being outrageously foolish and wacky (for Gods sakes, she married Chrom), but, much like herself, Lucina appeared to be the only sane one, even out of the Shepards...despite for Gerome, of course. So, it surprised to see her oldest becoming fidgety.

Robin gave her a narrow smile. "Why?"

Lucina licked her lips. "Uh, n-no reason. I just wanted to spend some quality time with my mother...away from everyone else."

Robin continued to observe her twitchy daughter, a couple of times mouth opening and closing as she fought the words to come out. "A-alright," she heard herself mumble. She turned herself around, trying to gather her things when her daughter snatched for them, still as tremulous as ever. Robin frowned. "Really, Lucina, I don't understand you are acting this way-AYY!"

The ground was suddenly lifted under her as strong barriers clasped around her figure and hoisted her into the air.

"What in the-Chrom?!" her cries were overpowered by Lucina yelling for her father to "wait!" before a blur of her mother's and father's stumbling figures ran off and a loud splash sliced through the atmosphere.

Lucina covered herself with her mother's robes when she felt drops of water fall on her. She then lowered the robes and looked out in the river, mouth agape and eyes widen.

It would have come to a surprise to the other Shepards if they heard her burst out laughing if they hadn't all clamored around to save their drowning tactician.

oo-O-oo

"What sort of idiot throws his wife into the river?! I know Gaius would, but-"

"Don't drag me into this bubbles," Gaius said as he tossed a towel over her head. He sucked on his lollipop. "I only did that once to Panne."

"He almost got 'bunnied' that night," Cynthia giggled lamely, "huh? Huh, anybody?"

Robin only scoffed, ignoring the Pegasus Knight's making Cynthia nervously twirl her pigtails in embarrassment. She was already rubbing her brown hair in the towel. "You better hope, I don't see him today," she grumbled. She wrapped the towel over her bare arms. "Just because I carry a tome around me, doesn't mean I can't use magic without it."

"Well, that's worrisome," muttered Gaius as he placed his hands behind his head. "No worries, bubbles, Lucina already made sure to keep you guys as far away from each other as possible. Morgan even agreed to keep an eye on you guys until things cool down. We don't need a dead king, thanks."

Robin pouted from this and whipped her head away, staring out into the same river she was wallowing in just a few minutes ago. She bit back a growl as she slammed a fist under her chin and blew into the air, making a loose strand of her hair fly up. "I'm still going to kill him," she muttered.

Chapter Text

Speckles of dust and ashes flew to the air, sounds of searing wood crackling for the notorious licks of fire that dance around the pillars. Almost celebrating as the castle burned and the bodies laid lifeless on the young exalt princess inhaled and exhaled deeply. Burning flesh and smoke filled her nostrils as she held in a gag and her eyes teared up. He chest heaved, tight from the smoke that she breathed in, feeling as if no air was filling her lungs. Her arms ached, bruised. Blood seeped from the cut upon her bottom lip and the taste of metal in her mouth.

Shuffling footsteps was heard, each sound loud and pricing to her ears. They sounded dead. Cold. They were slow, each synching with her pounding heart.

Father...

She did not bother to lift up her gaze when she saw the familiar scruffed brown boots and the golden decor of the indigo robe. She knew who it was and it made her chest ache at the knowledge of her captor.

I failed...

"Well, isn't this sweet?" Morgan's voice rang with amused laughter. "Is my courageous sister actually accepting defeat? This really almost disappoints me. I mean, I'm the younger brother. The youngest exalt who always looked up to my dear sweet sister." He paused here eyes flicking between red ruby irises to blue and back again as he stared down at the great lord. Lucina said nothing, her throat raw from exhaustion and lack of hydration.

A crooked grin curled his upper lip at her lulling silence. "I just wonder what little Morgan would think..." His voice became demonic. Dark and a deep gurgling throttle. His words taunted her. She knew it wasn't her brother speaking. He bore his same face, same blue locks, sharp young features, and voice, but it was not him. She kept having to tell herself this to convince herself.

Morgan...

"Get up," the boy demanded. Lucina stood still. His voice grew louder. "Get. Up." He growled. Lucina recoiled. Why has she become so weak? She couldn't she get up and fight? Why did she...

"...Morgan..." Her voice rasped. "Morgan...don't do this."

"Ah! She speaks," cackled Morgan. Lucina ignored his teasing and continued, "I know you're still in there." Her pleads made her cringe. She sounded so pathetic. "You can fight this...you can fight, Grima." By now, she was sobbing, but she refused to show her tears as they rolled down her face, creating clean streaks of her dirtied face. "I know you're still in there," her words trembled.

Morgan said nothing. His expression was blank brow furrowed softly. After a moment of silence, he heaved a deep sigh of mocking sympathy. "Oh, Lucina..." He cooed.

With swift ease, Morgan helped his sister up by her arm, who only allowed him to do so like some rag doll. She was giving up. It was all over.

And this gave Grima a thrill.

Morgan had placed his arms around Lucina, pulling her closer into a comforting hug. Lucina made no effort to hug him back.

She was almost lifeless.

A spark was heard.

"You know something, Lucy..." Morgan whispered. His soothing voice made her sick. He lifted a hand towards her side, orange sparks arousing the tips of his fingers. A wicked grin formed on his face, eyes flickering with intuitions mirth. He placed his mouth near her ear, "you've always been naive just like father."

shwoomp!

A strangled cry ripped past his ears along with the sound of strained pants and a soft moan. The crackling of electricity was heard.

He felt Lucina slipping from him and soon her body crumpled to the floor. On her side, a large stake shaped with blue bolts poked from her. Morgan grinned once more as he heard her last breath fade and a small chuckle ripped from his lips.

"Sweet dreams, big sister..."

Chapter Text

Their screams plagued her thoughts. Her mother's voice drowned out by the blood-curdling cries. The commands of her father's voice roared in the chamber. The feel of her brother's hands gripping at the collar of her dress with desperate hands and puzzled blue eyes. Every night in the dark void trapped within the shrouded walls of her mind she could only envision their eyes. Wide. Fearful. Despair. The smell of blood, sweat, and tears filled her nostrils with the pungent stench of searing flesh and bone. Just the very thought could make her stomach churn. It was not a shock either when the young bluenette woke up one night to spew on the side of her and Inigo's tent. She could never wipe away the memories no matter what she did. Every time she closed her eyes for the night, the visions came flashing at her. It was repetitive. Night after night after night...Not even Libra's herbs could help ease the incubus images.

Lucina stared up at the ceiling of the tent ultramarine blue orbs blinking blearily. Next to her was a snoozing Inigo one arm loosely around her waist and laying on his stomach head facing towards her. His snores and warmth were comforting for the young exalt, but not soothing enough for her buzzing mind. Her eyes closed for a second before her body jolted at the sensation of her falling asleep. It has been almost three days since she last slept. She wanted to sleep. She needed sleep, but try as she might her night terrors continued to keep her awake. Lucina knew if she kept this habit up, it would turn fatal later on in battle. Every now and then either Morgan or her father caught her sleeping in the armory tent while skimming over her mother's tactic books, or checking the weapons. Whenever her father questioned her Lucina always denied. "I'm alright," she would respond with a weak grin. Dark circles painted under her eyes giving her an appearance of a skull head. Her skin grew pale, more porcelain and she lacked in consuming food. Her plates grew smaller and smaller each day. Inigo took note of this and rather quickly much to the woman's astonishment. He even forced her to sit on their cot while he spoon fed her. The action was such a blow to her pride the woman made sure to eat while her husband was around.

Lucina was a terrible liar. That much she knew. By the worry that etched into her father's eyes and how Morgan always entered her tent and pestered her with questions on her symptoms, or even just read a story from his books, they too knew something was amiss.

But Lucina, bless her soul, was never one to admit defeat. She couldn't afford the vulnerability. The world practically rested in her hands! She did not have time for such petty things such as dreams.

The young woman turned her head towards Inigo. Her eyes traced his relaxed features. Through her exhaustion, the woman smiled softly at the man. He always looked much more boyish in his sleep, she observed reaching a hand up to brush at his white hair. The action made the man stir and Lucina was quick to draw her hand back. The woman waited, completely still in her spot before she turned back to the ceiling and sighed through her nose. She might as well patrol the area. It was obvious she was not going to get much sleep that night.

Lucina was careful to slide out from under the mounds of blankets and not wake Inigo in the process. She lifted his arm cautiously and slowly from her and placed it back over their bed slipping away. She jumped suddenly when the man snorted as she rose to her feet. She gritted her teeth, observing the man's slow, heaving body listening in close and drew out a breath. She placed the covers neatly back over the cot and sauntered to the front of the tent. Here, she reached for her navy blue sweater and slipped it over the white tunic and pulled on her pants before stepping out. Almost immediately, as the woman stepped out into the refreshing air, a sense of serenity filled her. The blood in her veins grew oddly warm and goosebumps forming on her skin from the sensation of the breeze. The cool air was inviting with welcoming hands. The woman had not realized she was sweating profusely until the chill dried up her slick body and she shivered. Perhaps Frederick was around to keep her company. He usually was on patrol at this time. It was almost as if the man never sleeps.

Or perhaps he was cursed with nightmares as well?

Lucina shook her head. Probably not, and if so, well...the man would never speak of it. Not to her anyway even if she brought it up.

The night sky was clear, shards of stars glittering in the indigo horizon. The full moon was above the scarce clouds allowing full access of heaven's light to the earth guiding Lucina around the camp. Her eyes trailed the rocky sphere that followed in her steed. She was mildly amazed by the cold atmosphere. Just earlier that day the sun was high and blistering. Even creating mirages of melting grass, or so it looked as though it was melting anyway. Now the grass and trees swayed with the wind, dancing to the silent melody and creating their own music to the loving sounds of nature. Lucina lowered her gaze and looked at the large lump of tents and the dirt ground. She looked beyond the trees squinting her eyes past the vast field of wildflowers. Where was Frederick? He should have been out by now. Unless her father ordered him to sleep that night.

But if that was the case wouldn't he have hired someone else to watch the area? It did not seem wise to leave the area open without some sort of patrol lurking about. Lucina blinked her eyes many times and carefully wounded the camp ducking between tents of slumbering shepherds scanning the area.

It seemed that she was the only one awake, Lucina observed as she stopped near a small field away from the camp. She could only shrug. It made sense. After all, she was sure it was midnight, or past it anyway. The young bluenette walked further into the field. The grass beneath her bare feet crushed under her heels, scraping her ankles with prickly fingers. She could feel various of dew drops upon the soil upon her skin. Despite the chilling winds, the air was humid as well, but not enough to prose any attention to the weather. The young exalt princess rounded a large bark tree before she stopped in her steps at the figure who stood hidden beneath the hood of their purple cloak the marks of plegian stitched upon the cloth. Lucina parted her lips and when she spoke, her voice rasped from lack of hydration, "mother?"

The figured jumped with a start. A silent curse escaped their lips and they ripped the hood off. Their hair was a matted mess, gentle brown curls upon the wide shoulder blades of their coat and not in her usual ponytail she always wore. Robin's harsh expression flickered and the muscles in her face relaxed. Recognition met her hazel irises and she heaved a heavy sigh. "Oh, wow," Robin laughed brushing at her messy hair. The whoosh of the gentle wind pulled at the loose wisps of her thin brown locks around her young face. "You startled me, Lucina." Lucina forced a grin. "I apologize." Robin waved her hands. "No need too. I was having trouble sleeping anyway. Far too antsy."

"You always were a night owl," commented Lucina with a click of her tongue. "It's a bad habit mother. You should really get some sleep."

"Well, I am certainly not the only one," Robin retorted with a wink. "Looks like someone was struggling too." Lucina was silent at the tactician's words. Her smile fell and she pressed her lips into a thin line. Her mother studied her closely and Lucina could only duck her head hiding her eyes behind her blue locks. She hated it when Robin stared at her like so. Out of everyone in the camp, Robin was the only one with the odd ability to size up people. She could read their personalities just by a mere glance of her intense eyes. It was unsettling, but also very useful on the field. "I suppose so," Lucina mumbled. She sniffled and cleared her throat. "If only I could sleep like a log," the woman chuckled. Robin laughed in return. Lucina felt a lump form in her throat at the noise. Gods, she missed her mother's laugh so much. It was just soothing and reassuring. "Chrom and Morgan seem to have no problem with that," Robin jested. Lucina hummed softly.

The two were silent for a long time after that. Neither speaking. Listening to the ginger winds breezing past their ears and hair. "How fares you love?" Robin's kind tone caught Lucina off guard. She looked over at the woman. She hesitated. "I...Alright," the woman murmured. Robin hummed obvious not believing her words. Another pause slithered into their unspoken conversation until Robin responded, "Inigo told me you have fallen ill." Lucina swallowed hard. "H-he did, huh?" She grunted as if confused, but it figures he would. If Inigo, Chrom, or Morgan could not figure out the root of the problem with Lucina's peculiar behavior they always ran to Robin to ask. Robin nodded. "Yes," she said. "He didn't specify though. Only said you were not sleeping nor eating and grew green. I also have caught you wandering around the camp a few times on my rounds and Sully and Kjelle noticed you have been lacking in your training"-

Lucina growled. Ah, yes. She forgot all about Sully's intensive training she was supposed to accompany Kjelle in a few times. She cursed internally at the reminder.

"-And not to mention you have been caught several times snoozing away in the armory tent. Even once your head fell into your stew if you remember that." Despite the situation and her mother's scorning tone, Lucina chuckled. She remembered that all too well. Severa thought it was most hilarious out of everyone. "What's going on, Lucina?" Her mother demanded, but her voice was not harsh. It was rather fainted and tender and her eyes of benevolent. "You're never like this. If this keeps up I will have to take you out of the front lines."

"I...I-I'm sorry mother."

"Don't apologize. I just want to know what is wrong. I am a tactitation, but I am also your mother-whether I am my past self or future self, does not matter. I need to know what is happening to you so I can fix it and take care of you, Lucina." Robin paused in her words. "You, Morgan, and Chrom are my top priorities," she continued, "if anything happens to you three because one of you has fallen sick I don't know how I would live with myself." As before, Lucina did not say a word. The woman's words were like a stab to the heart. It had been so long since she heard her mother say such words...It was the same words she told her before the war had started. Before Grima had taken over. The same words she repeated every single day.

Even in her dreams, she could hear her mother speaking. Repeating the same words to her, but the shrills and shrieks of slaughtered bodies and Risens overpowered her voice.

But that was so long ago. It was strange to hear her mother's younger self stating her father, younger brother and Lucina herself were Robin's top priorities. Her mother was much older than this Robin. The lines of aging were apparent on her skin, black creases of years of battle and mental strain under her clouded eyes. Now, Lucina stood before her mother of the past. Young. Strong. Beautiful. Determined. Not even a hint of age in her young face and glimmering eyes.

Maybe that was a problem of her dreams. She missed her mother. She missed her so much. She missed her voice. Her hugs. Her goodnight kisses. Lucina could feel the child inside her screaming and wailing, scratching at the walls of her body to break down and sob calling for her mother-begging her to come back to her, but the woman did not move. She stared blankly at Robin swallowing her encumbering emotions thickly. it was all coming out at once. it was overwhelming.

Perhaps she was just sleep deprived. She did hear if you did not get a well restful night, you'll become that much more emotional.

"Lucina?"

The woman bristled. "...Yes, mother?" Lucina's voice was in a hushed whisper. Robin tilted her head at her. "What's wrong?" she asked once more. Lucina still remained quiet. After the pressure of her mother's intense eyes got the best of her, the woman sat next to her mother who removed her coat and placed it around the woman. Lucina hugged herself and pressed her face into the brunette's shoulder. She never felt so small before. She was almost like a child again.

Gods, she loathed the pathetic feeling.

"I"-Lucina took in a shuddering breath-"have been having nightmares lately."

"Nightmares," Robin echoed as if in understanding. She placed an arm around her daughter and hugged her closer. "What kind, dear?" she whispered. For some reason, Lucina choked. Then she explained the dreams. The screaming. The pleads. The words of her mother's falling on deaf ears. Her father. The glazed eyes of the bodies. All of it. A few details, however, she left out and she made sure most of what she said was vague, but she spilled her anxieties to her mother. Something she had not done for so, so many years.

"And they won't go away," Lucina trembled. "I tried Libra's herbs to help me, but...they don't work. I didn't want anyone else to know. I can't afford to be afraid of dreams. Much less nightmares. It's ridiculous. It's childish."

"You are the strongest woman I have met, Lucina. Both mentally and physically. It is alright to be afraid even of silly things like dreams." Robin paused here. She rubbed at the woman's arm the coat falling off her shoulders. "No one is saying you shouldn't show emotion, dear. It makes you human." Lucina pursed her lips. "I never said I shouldn't show emotion," she whispered, "but it's only dreams...flashbacks. That's why it bothers me. That's the reason why I was sent here. To make things right."

"It also makes sense why you would have nightmares. You went through so much and I wish I was there to protect you. No child deserves to live as you did." Robin paused once more. "I get scared too," she murmured. "I have nightmares almost every night." Lucina glanced up at the woman. "You do?" Why was she surprised? Robin nodded. "I tell your father about it a lot. It makes me feel better when I do...Have you told Inigo by chance?" Lucina shook her head. "No," she said, "no one knows but you and Libra." Robin hummed. "Well, I think you should. I am sure he is cursed by the same thing, but masks it." Robin chuckled. "He gets that from Henry, I bet." Lucina chuckled alongside with Robin at this. "And," Robin continued and pressed a kiss on the top her eldest's head, "if you ever get afraid, come to me, or your father. We would be more than glad to help."

"That does not mean I will crawl into the bed with you like a child," Lucina mused with a small smirk. Robin smiled. "Well, I never said I would mind that," she laughed. "Afterall, you are my favorite daughter."

"Gods mother," laughed Lucina. Silence brewed. Lucina now laid her head on her mother's lap, curled under the large coat on the grass. She felt her mother's fingers graze her blue hair slowly lulling her and the woman closed her eyes. She really missed this gesture from the woman. When Lucina was smaller, her mother would always come into her room and tuck her into bed. There she would either sing her a lullaby, or read while brushing her hair until the young child fell asleep. Lucina reopened her eyes slowly and felt her cheeks inflamed at the idea that entered her heavy skull. "...Mother?"

"Hmm?"

"Can you"-a gulp-"sing to me?"

The sudden question caught Robin off guard and she ceased her movements. "Sing?" she echoed eyebrows raised. Lucina nodded and sunk deeper into her mother's lap. "You always sang to me as a child...It helped calm me." Robin did not reply. "Do you have a specific song?" she inquired. Lucina shook her head. "It doesn't matter," she slurred. Robin nodded.

There was only the sounds of the grass and howling winds before a soothing croon entered Lucina's ears who jumped at the sound. She relaxed however after recognizing her mother's voice. Robin was not the best singer, but her voice was soft and smooth like ringing chimes. Her slender fingers returned to her hair brushing the blue locks behind her ears. Slowly, listening to her mother's lyrics-they sounded plegian-and feeling her touch, Lucina's eyes began to droop, black curtains blocking the world from view. Soon, the woman was sound asleep, breaths long and deep and the weight of her body sunk into Robin's lap who only continued her singing until she too fell into a deep slumber with her daughter.

And for the first time that night when Lucina woke up the next morning at dawn's sunrise, she felt at peace.

Chapter Text

"Chrom...do you know this place?"

The exalt looked about the peculiar area, brain racking as he tried to find any hints of familiarity of the meadow. Taking in a split second of the scenery, the exalt slowly turned to glance at his wife, son, and daughter and the other shepards. He noted the exhaustion in their eyes as they all awaited his answer. Chrom beamed wearily. "Nope," he answered with a lame chuckle. Disgruntled groans were heard from the lord's response. "Jeeze, Chrom," Robin sighed without meaning too (even she knew nothing of the place) and began approaching him from behind while holding onto her son's, Morgan's, arm. Chrom could only shrug apologetically in reply.

The sun rose high above the clouds, creating a bright, yet soothing glow of the earth's ground, a low breeze sweeping past the trees and hills that surrounded them. The Shepards all walked along, hoofs and boots stomping the ground that could make the earth tremble. Lucina averted her eyes about, keeping her hand close to Falchion-much like her father-ready to strike anything or anyone that could be thrown their way. After moments of nothing, but the songs of birds and whispering trees, Lucina lifted her head to her father, shifting her eyes to his who met her gaze, both the mark of the exalt shining brightly under the Sun's glaze. Chrom shrugged his shoulders at her as Lucina turned her head to look at her mother and brother and the rest of the Shepards.

"Maybe, we should go back," muttered the princess softly, "there is clearly nothing here, so what is the point in wasting our time?"

"That is true, Lucina, but I think it would best if we kept looking-"

"Father, look! There's soldiers over there!" Morgan interrupted shoving past them and pointing across the field with his finger. Lucina and Chrom both cocked an eyebrow at the bluenette and both followed the direction of his finger, and indeed Morgan was correct. Just meters away from them was a small group of soliders all huddled together, whispering softly to, what it looked to be, an old man. Chrom could tell that they were readying for battle just by their outfits and the clutches of their swords and lances in their hands.

"Mm. He's right," Chrom muttered and grunted softly when Robin got in between him and their son. Many of the Shepards all huddled together as well to get a better look at the soldiers. "There's...something weird about them," Cynthia muttered somewhat fearfully. Severa tilted her head at the girl's response and shrugged. "Eh, I've seen weirder," she sniffed wiping at her nose. Chrom ignored them. "I guess we should go investigate," he said and began to walk forward.

"Warriors? Warriors from afar?!"

Chrom suddenly stopped as did everyone else. He could only stare wide eyed when the old man they saw in the group began limping excitedly towards him, wheezing as if he was about to pass out from heartfailure.

And it wouldn't be too long before the old man did if he kept running like he was.

"Father, who is that?" Lucina whispered to Chrom who could only shrug. The old man, huffing and puffing, sauntered faster to them, beads of sweat dripping from his forehead and he stopped before them placing his hands over his knees. "Oh, thank the Gods," he breathed, chest heaving up and down heavily, "help...help actually came!" Tears appeared in the corners of the elder's old eyes. Already Chrom was growing worried and he could tell Robin was growing increasingly concerned.

"Are you alright, sir?" Morgan asked before Chrom could. He was responded with the old man's wheezy laughter, "oh yes, my dear boy. I'm sorry, once I saw you-" a deep inhale- "I ran all-" another deep inhale- "here." The elder paused once more, still trying to catch his breath. "Ho boy..." he chuckled placing a hand behind his back and the other gripping his cane, keeping himself upright. "Erm, perhaps you've a lovely lady healer that may help...a poor old man catch his breath?"

Chrom turned, "Lissa-"

"Ah, no wait. I think I got it now. Never mind that now, haha!"

Chrom cocked in eyebrow and he could hear Lucina trying to muffle her laughter with a hand to her mouth and head bowed.

"It's soldiers that I need now, and strong ones mind you!" gasped the old man.

Many of the shepards followed Lucina's pursuit.

However, it was Chrom who did not find any of it amusing. "Whoa now," Chrom began holding his hands and chuckling nervously and placed a firm gloved hand over the elder's shoulder. "Slow down there, why don't we start with who you are first, and then you can explain to us your...troubles." Was that even the word for it?

The old man beamed proudly at the exalt and firmly placed his wrinkled hands over the ball of his cane. Veins poked from under his thinned skin and snaked up his arms when the old man slipped his sleeves down. He gave a dramatic cough. "They call me Old Hubba," he introduced himself with the incline of his chin and wiggled his eyebrows at the female shepards. Sully was heard quietly groaning while several rolled their eyes. Not another Virion... "Just a humble fortune-teller living here in the outrealms."

"Ah, so you foresee the future?" Chrom asked.

The Old Hubba nodded. "That is correct my boy," he exclaimed. He then shook his bald head , the sun's light reflecting off the sweat that still covered his head, and waved a hand. "But that is not the utmost importance!" he cried, "right now you must find it in your hearts to help a poor, defenseless old man!"

"Why? Who are they?" The Old Hubba bristled and turned his attention back to the group; the same group that first had been spotted. The Old Hubba chuckled loudly and snapped his fingers as if he had forgotten long about them. "Ah yes, them! They are Einherjar! Surely you have heard of such; they are like phantoms of the sorts..."

"So...like spirits?" Lucina jumped in. The Old Hubba laughed. "Beauitful and sharp, I like her already, but there is no time to explain that! The important part is that they are all out for blood!"

"What did the others do?"

"No, no, you do not understand. They are not out for them, they are out for me! The blood that is inside me and much where I would like it to stay, thank you. I am, but a simple old man who is not yet ready, please, you must help me!"

Chrom studied the pleading Hubba for a long time before grinning softly and raising a hand to stop him from another one of his pathetic pleas. "Fear not, Old Hubba," he said with a light chuckle, "we will join you and help fight off these phantoms-"

"Yes, yes, yes, that is great, but about that, heheh...".

Chrom stopped midsentence at the insanely small cackle and he soon gently lowered his gloved hand back to his side. "Er, what is it?" he asked. The old man continued giggling. "Hehe, you see here, I have this trick knee...and I did run all the way here, heheh..." A long silence hung in the air as they waited for the elder to finish his sentence. "And-and also my eyesight is very poor-"

"But you saw us from afar," Cynthia pointed out.

"-And I mean it is just atrocious! Oh, and did I forget to mention my knee?"

A small growl emanated from Severa's lips and she balled her hands into fists. Stahl was the one who ran over to her to soothe her. A deeming sigh escaped from Chrom's throat and he ran a hand over his face. Naga be with me... "Alright"-he tried his best not to sound too snappish-"you can sit this one out. Just leave us to do our jobs-"

"And don't cause any trouble or they won't be the only ones after you," Severa added hotly. Chrom smiled softly at the remark. He couldn't have said it better himself. The Old Hubba curled his lip into an annoyed grin at Severa who only continued to pout and he waved his hand dismissively at her. "Yes, yes whatever you say, sweetheart." He leaned towards Chrom "A little feisty, are we?" he whispered with a gigglish coo. Chrom bit back a growl. "Yes...well, if you will excuse me-"

"Oh and before you go..." The old man grunted under his breath as he searched his robes with feverish fingers and his brow knitted together in anger. "Bah, where are those damn-Aha!" In his wrinkly fingers were a couple of cards with strange lilac symbols on the back. He quickly showed them to Chrom who only had a seconds glance when the Old Hubba ripped them away from his view. He could practically feel his wife crane her neck to get a better look. "Since you are all helping me, I shall summon a few Einherjar of my own to aid you all in battle..." The Old Hubba winked.

Everyone stood in mystified silence as the old man turned his back towards the others and held his arms in the air and legs bent slightly. He cleared his throat dramatically (an incoherent remark was made from Severa here): "Hear me, O ruler of ancient Altea and true leader of the Seven Realms..." chanted the old man, "I summon thee, Marth, the Hero-King! Come forth and grant us your protection!"

A bright light emanated from the card, making the shepards shield their eyes from the brightness. The Old Hubba was the only one who didn't, but it made sense as his eyes were practically closed, so there was nothing to really shield.

When the light died down, everyone had cautiously lowered their arms and lifted their gazes and several gasps were heard; Lucina's was the loudest out of them all.

"Marth?" Chrom squawked in surprise, tone just barely above a whisper.

Just before them, stood a young man with blue, shagged hair (the same shade as Chrom's), but with the same crown atop his head. His indigo tunic and chest plate matched Lucina's, golden lining tracing the sides and a strange symbol on his template. Blue fingerless gloves that covered from his wrist to elbow, falchion by his waist belt. He seemed to stare at everyone with eased eyes, not bothered by the many unfamiliar faces that gawked at him. The same matching cape, like Lucina's, clung to his neck and shoulders, clipped by a small red shield-like shape.

"As you wish I will-"

"Yes, yes, yes, that's all good, but if you would please hurry!" ushered the old man, directing the so-called "Marth" to the others. "I can't believe he actually...summoned the hero king," muttered Chrom as the others looked on. He felt a jab in his ribs. "Well, go on old boy. Hop to it!" Old Hubba quirked his lips upward, deep wrinkles forming on the side of his half- lidded eyes. With a groan, the exalt walked on, approaching the group they had spotted just earlier. As they were walking, Lucina pulled on Chrom's arm and whispered in his ear, "I think he summoned others..."

What? Chrom lifted his eyes and sure enough, his daughter was right. Others, like Marth, stood in a small group as if silently talking with the others, but none seemed to have moved a single muscle. Chrom could even name them off.

"Erika, Micaiah-what on earth-"

"Erm, pardon me," a voice had interrupted. Chrom turned to see that it was Marth. A muddled cringe was set upon his young features, a finger pointed at a stunned Lucina who watched with dismay. "But may I ask why am I a woman?"

There was no answer.

Chrom sighed. "Lets just get this over with..."

o-OO-o

"that ought to be it."

The young brunette turned his gaze over his shoulder to see Cynthia taking a final blow before cheering and making some triumph noise through her mouth. "Yep," Morgan chuckled turning back to his sister with a wide grin. "I kind of expected the battle to last longer than the others though..."

"The sooner its over, the better," replied Lucina. She rubbed at her younger brother's head who seemed to giggle at the gesture. "And I am glad it ended sooner," she added. She looked around. "Did you happen to see mother and father by the way?" she asked. Morgan only shrugged. With a small sigh, Lucina wandered from her brother, who trailed closely behind her, in search of their parents.

"That was magnificent!" praised the Old Hubba from before. He clapped an annoyed Chrom on the shoulder as the two children approached them. Like Chrom, Robin also held an expression of pure annoyance. How she had thrown thoron at him was beyond anybody. "Thanks to you, thats a few more Einherjar returned to me." His eyes seemed to sparkle with admiration. "You are all os strong, not what I have seen before." He amended himself. "N-not as if I did not foretold it, yes. Haha because I most certainly did. I most likely did foretell your strength, hehe..."

Chrom rolled his eyes at the old man. Morgan could be heard snorting which Lucina nudged him to be silent. "Look," sighed Chrom, "lets just pretend you've been sprouting gibberish and start over, alright?" the last word was hinted with a growl. "Now take a deep breath...there you go. Now, tell us exactly what is going on."

"Slowly," Robin soon added.

"Ah, yes," Old Hubba cleared his throat, "Of course..."

And so he explained. He described how the Einherjar were calling cards that summon spirit-like figures of the old heroes. He also added they were like a family heirloom. "My ancestors have guarded them since...since..." the old man scratched at his bald head with a grunt, "well, as long as anyone can remember them!

"Each card contains one of history's greatest and valiant heroes...like Marth, but it is more like a phantom. It'd be a bit silly for the cards to conjure up an actual one, will it not?" he guffawed.

"If they have been in your family for ages, then why would they want to attack you?" Morgan asked. It was then that both Robin and Chrom had noticed the boy, but averted their attention back onto the Old Hubba. "Because they were stolen from me!" the old man spat. "Stolen by an evil temptress-er I-I mean, sorceress! The cards do the bidding of whoever summons them, you see...if brought onto the wrong hands, they could conquer the outrealms!

"I am but a frail, weak old man so please. Help me!"

Chrom gave a soft thoughful hum at the plea. "Well-"

"With all due respect. milord," Frederick quipped, "I would remind you we have our own campaign to fight."

Chrom nodded in affirmation and turned towards the knight. "Yes, I know Frederick." He bit back a sigh, "and that must remain our first priority."

"A...a campaign...? Oh, yes! O-of course!" stuttered the old man. Chrom tried not to groan alongside with Robin, Frederick, and Lucina and Morgan. "Known it along! Foretelled it long ago...foretold...forete-"

"We get it!" Chrom exclaimed. After a few seconds of realization of his actions, the exalt cleared his throat. "Can you then understand why we cannot-!"

"Wait!" barked Old Hubba. "I am having a vision!"

"Oh for the love of..." Chrom cursed.