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Absconde Eos [Fire Emblem Heroes, T]

Discussion in 'Shipping Fics' started by Avietta_Ikarilove, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Avietta_Ikarilove

    Avietta_Ikarilove Softly with grace

    Just him, her, and the world.

    Author’s Ideas: I'M ALIVE I PROMISE
    What’s this??? A Heroes book I’m actually excited about??? You heard right!!!
    This was completely spontaneous so uh here have four chapters of just. This new ship that popped in my head and wouldn’t leave me alone

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    Absconde Eos​

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    I: Hero​

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    Perhaps the greatest surprise of the morning was the smell of meat, wafting through the camp. Líf stuck his head into the dining hall.

    “Where’d we get that?” He asked, motioning to the meat being cooked. Thrasir glanced up.

    “Not even a ‘good morning’?” She questioned, and he sighed.

    “Good morning, oh great and holy princess of Embla.” The sarcasm was thinly veiled but the greeting seemed to be sufficient, as Thrasir turned her gaze back to the pan.

    “Good morning to you, too. Baldr found some pigs in a small clearing nearby last night, so there’s no need to go run through campaign finances again.”

    Líf let out a sigh of relief. Next to Thrasir, Noba let out a light chuckle.

    “Why don’t you take a seat?” She suggested lightly, gesturing to the tables just outside of the kitchen space. “I’ll go get everyone else. Thrasir, could you bring out the meat when it’s done?”

    “Sometimes I forget who’s running this army,” Thrasir commented sarcastically.

    “That’s because it’s me. I run this army.” Líf piped up, and Noba laughed again before moving away. Líf stepped aside, allowing Noba to pass into the living quarters behind him, before stepping fully into the kitchen.

    It was shockingly clean, considering Thrasir and Noba’s track record of messiness in the kitchen. Only a tray of fresh blueberry jam relayed their routine disorganization.

    “How early did you wake up?” Líf questioned incredulously. He had woken up as soon as the sun rose over the horizon, but by then the scent of meat had already begun to permeate the air.

    “I didn’t. Baldr came back with the pigs as my shift for night watch was ending, and when we finished butchering and cleaning, there was only a short amount of time left before kitchen duty started so I decided to get a headstart.”

    Líf stared at her, his eyes wide, before saying, “Thrasir… I’m going to ask you to have something to eat, and then go to sleep.”

    “Líf, I am on kitchen duty.”

    “I’ll take over.”


    “I’m changing that into an order. Have something to eat, and then go to sleep. Don’t make me force your hand.”

    “That is called abusing your power, Commander Líf,” Thrasir quipped.

    Without a warning, Líf threw her over his shoulder. She yelped, and he felt his heart flutter.

    “Líf!” She cried. “You cannot keep doing that!”

    “I run this army, so I do what I want,” he responded, and Thrasir tugged at his hair. “Ow.”

    “If I promise to eat and then go to sleep, will you let me down?”

    “If you promise.”

    “I promise, Líf. Have I ever broken a promise?”

    In response, he lowered her until she could safely leap back down onto the ground. She brushed a hand through her hair, pushing away stray strands of hair that had fallen in her face before reaching up towards him.

    “I hate how tall you are,” she murmured. Carefully, she removed the golden headpiece he wore and smoothed out his hair before placing it back on; he didn’t fail to notice that she took care in ensuring that his bangs framed his face.

    “Thank you,” he said, because he did not have the breath nor the heart to say anything else.

    “Mhm. If you are going to lead an army, you have to look the part.” She blew out the fire beneath the pans cooking the meat and smiled slightly. “I am going to have some bread and then get some well-needed sleep. Can you serve that?”

    “Of course.” He smiled back. “Go get some sleep.”

    Thrasir left—he missed her presence as soon as she did—and Noba’s cheerful voice drifted in from outside the kitchen. Moments later, Noba hurried inside, followed by a small group of Heroes. Líf gave them a warm greeting and got to work. Soon, the dining hall tables were lined with plates of meat, bread, and jam.

    “Líf,” Artemis greeted. He nodded, taking a seat in front of her. Artemis had been an ally in his campaign to unify Askr for a long time; almost a year, now that he thought about it. Had the gates to Archanea really been closed so long ago? He hoped they would be able to return—to send Artemis home when this war was over.

    “How are you?” He asked.

    “Good. Homesick at the best.”

    A wave of guilt washed over Líf. “I’m sorry.”

    “There is no need to apologize. And besides, I have reminders of home here. Trinkets I brought with me… and you, Líf.”

    “How so?”

    “You remind me of my friend.”

    Líf’s eyebrows raised. “Do I?”

    Artemis smiled and nodded. “Yes. Always pragmatic… always thinking ahead… he was a true hero. He has saved so many lives.”

    Líf cringed slightly. “With all due respect, I do believe your friend is a great deal more heroic than I am.”

    “You are selling yourself short, Líf. Your campaign has inspired hope in many others. Why do you think you are revered with awe and hailed as a champion, while six months ago not even two people spared us a glance as we walked through village marketplaces?”

    He paused. Artemis smiled.

    “People admire you, Líf. More than you could ever imagine. Strangers admire you as a hero, acquaintances admire you as a stalwart person, friends admire you as a steadfast companion… and perhaps some of them admire you as more than a companion.”

    He blinked. She smiled melancholically.

    “Consider my words,” she said softly. “After all, my friend found love. I am sure you will too, Líf.”

    With that melancholic look that constantly haunted Artemis, Líf could not say he was surprised to find she, deep down, cherished love. He wondered if she had been heartbroken before.

    Artemis’s words continued to weigh on his heart. He had never thought of love before, had not even experienced it before, he did not think. Perhaps… no, he had. But the world had kept them apart: he with the unification of Askr, and her with her duties as princess.

    Even as he sparred with Altina and oversaw the spar between Sety and Athos, he continued to wonder. Artemis… perhaps she was right.

    “Watch out!” Sety’s voice broke through his thoughts. Líf started, looking up and jumping out of the way of a blast of cutting wind.

    “Careful!” Altina called over the wind, wincing as her hair whipped around in a frenzy.

    “Sorry!” Sety apologized. Altina laughed softly, shaking her head.

    “That was rather aggressive,” Thrasir commented, and Líf turned around to find her brushing her bangs out of her face. “Good afternoon,” she said, approaching him. He nodded in greeting.

    “Good afternoon, princess!” Sety called breathlessly. A circle of fire began to draw itself around his feet, and he dove out of the way. “Athos, you cheat!”

    “Stay on your guard, Sety!” The sage chuckled.

    “Do you have time to plan out some strategies?” Thrasir asked, pulling at Líf’s wrist. He glanced over at Altina, who nodded.

    “Go ahead. I’ll look over these two,” the swordswoman reassured, and Líf thanked her before following after Thrasir, who led him into a spare living quarter. Spread out over the table were multiple maps, already marked.

    He stared blankly at the maps, watching as she began to move, circling dangerous areas and drawing out possible routes as she began to explain the possible strategies.

    “Líf?” Thrasir asked, noticing his spaced-out look. “Is something wrong?”

    He blinked, glancing at her briefly before shaking his head. “No, it’s… it’s nothing.” He turned back to the maps spread out on the table before them. Thrasir set down her quill, taking his wrist and spinning him to face her.

    “Líf,” she said sternly.

    “It’s nothing, really,” he repeated in an attempt to reassure her. Thrasir simply raised an eyebrow.

    “You’re not looking at me,” she noted, and he suddenly became much more interested in his shoes.

    “I—” he sighed, running a hand through his hair and slowly glancing up at her.

    She met his gaze before crossing her arms, frowning. “Do you not like my company anymore? Is that it?”

    “No! It’s the complete opposite—” he cut himself off at the realization of his words. Thrasir blinked. Líf swore and made to turn away. She caught his hand.

    “Líf,” she murmured, “that is so unlike you.”

    “What is?” He asked breathily.

    “Running.” There was a small smile on her lips. “Heroes do not run, my dear.”

    Líf felt his face flare with blood, blushing fiercely. Thrasir let out a laugh; the first he had heard in a while. It sounded heavenly. He felt his breath fly out of his lungs.

    “I tease.”

    “Clearly,” he managed to choke out. “Thrasir…”

    “If you were wondering, I, similarly to you, have enjoyed your company since we met, and I can say with full confidence that… I, too, like you.”

    He let out the breath he didn’t know he had been holding, his shoulders shaking. Thrasir’s hand squeezed his.

    “Now you have no reason to run.”

    “No, I don’t,” he responded, chuckling. He watched as her face lit up, and felt his own heart warm. His hand slipped out of hers, holding her chin. “May I…?”

    She nodded confidently. His lips curled into a small smile, and his eyes fluttered shut.

    The world melted away when his lips grazed hers. Her hands curled into fists, clenching tight to his cloak as he pulled away.

    “...Again,” she whispered, her voice trembling. He complied happily, cupping her face in his hands. Every time they kissed, they came back for more, and each time it felt like the world had suddenly changed—that it only held him and her.
  2. Avietta_Ikarilove

    Avietta_Ikarilove Softly with grace

    Author’s Ideas: I legitimately almost cried writing this so if anyone ever asks if I’m okay just show them this chapter

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    Absconde Eos​

    ~ / . / . / ~

    II: Never

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    “Have you seen my sleeping shirt?” Líf asked, shuffling through the pile of clothes in his washing basket.

    Thrasir peeked her head out from behind the curtain separating their room, an uncharacteristically mischievous smile on her lips. Líf started before feeling a rare smile tug at his own lips.

    “Can I have my shirt back?” He asked.

    “It is summer. You can survive without it,” she responded, pulling back the curtain. Líf sighed.

    “I suppose,” he responded as he walked towards the small desk in the corner of their room. He removed his golden hairpiece, setting it down before carefully picking up the hand mirror laying beside Thrasir’s jewelry box. He stared at his reflection.

    Blue-gray eyes, deep blue hair… truly, nothing had changed at first glance. But if he stared, he could see small differences. Golden wisps had begun appearing, barely visible but slowly materializing at the tips of his hair. Soon they would become visible even if he wasn’t trying to find them. A small scratch along his neck pulsed golden with every breath he took—a reminder of the power that had been given to him from the divine dragon.

    “What are you looking at?” Thrasir questioned. He chuckled when he angled the mirror to reflect Thrasir and she raised her hand to block her face.

    “Just… myself.” He frowned. Thrasir walked towards him, and he turned expectantly.

    “Hold still,” she murmured. He did as she said, and felt her fingers trace his jawline. “This has come out more,” she observed. “I did not know divine dragon blood could do that. Enhance one’s physical appearance, I mean.”

    “Coming from the most beautiful person in the world, I find that hard to believe.”

    Thrasir’s cheeks became dusted with light pink. “The Emblian dragon blood has already become diluted in my blood. Even after reclaiming Embla, it remains so.”

    Her hands fell to her side, and she gave him a soft smile.

    “You are devilishly handsome now.”

    He smiled and bent to kiss her, his cheeks flushed. “Are you saying I wasn’t before?”

    “Do not put my words in my mouth.”

    His smile grew and he straightened, running his hand through his hair and glancing at his reflection one more time before setting down the mirror. “Come on. It’s late.”

    “Yes, yes,” she said, tugging his shirt down and glancing at him. “Do you want your shirt back?”

    He blinked before shaking his head, laughing. “I’ll survive without it.”

    Thrasir giggled. His heart fluttered. “All right,” she replied, and blew out the candle on their desk, leaving only the candle on their nightstand. Líf suppressed a yawn and crawled into bed.

    Thrasir hovered over the candle as she sat beside him, hesitating to blow it out.

    “...It is almost over,” Thrasir said, her voice soft like it always was when she intended to chase away his nightmares for him. “Once we defeat the other keeps guarding the capitol…”

    “Yeah,” Líf mumbled, his vision already bleary.

    “Once it is all done,” she whispered, and then stopped herself from continuing. He knew what she meant to say, and a feeling of dread swamped him. Líf suddenly felt wide awake. He bit his lip and sat up.

    “I don’t know, Thrasir.”

    At that, she looked over her shoulder at him. “You… do not know?”

    “I want to make a promise… but it’s futile. There’s no way I can fulfill or keep it. We… we can’t keep on like this, Thrasir.”

    “Like… this,” she repeated blankly.

    “As lovers,” he whispered, and saw the light in her eyes slowly fade away.

    “But Líf…”

    “We were never meant to be, Thrasir.”


    “We both know it!” He yelled before shrinking away from her. “We both know that this… us… was never meant to be.”

    “That does not mean we cannot make it be,” she whispered.

    “Yes,” he responded bitterly, not daring to look her in the eye, “yes, it does. Askr is nearly unified, but the people have already spoken. They want an Askran queen, Thrasir. And as king, it’s my job to listen to the people.”

    He could feel her gaze on him, heavy with churning emotions. He swallowed back his own.

    “I wish we could’ve been what we wanted. Married as king and queen. I know that’s what you always wanted, more than anything.” He felt a bittersweet smile upon his lips. “...I did too. But it’ll never happen, Thrasir.”

    Thrasir let out a sigh. “I know.”

    Líf dared a glance at her. She sat with her eyes turned to the small candle on their nightstand, a sorrowful look on her face. Her shoulders heaved as she sighed again.

    “Somehow… I always knew it.” His heart ached as she continued to speak. “But… there was nothing I could do. I wanted to be with you.” She bit her lip. “I guess… it was always just a selfish dream. Even since the beginning… I knew.”

    “...I’m sorry,” he whispered. She shook her head.

    “It is not your fault. It is just as you said… we were not meant to be.”

    “I know. But I still love you.”

    She swallowed, twisting to look him deeply in the eyes. “I still love you too.”

    “I don’t want to leave you,” he whispered. “But I have to.”

    “You do not have to. I will always be by your side.” She placed a shaking hand on his heart. His hand enveloped hers, squeezing tight as he took in the lie she painfully told.

    “I love you,” he whispered, and kissed her.

    “I love you too.” Her lips brushed his as she spoke.

    When she pushed him down onto the bed and kissed him again, he saw the tears in her eyes, felt them fall from her eyes onto his cheeks. He knew then that their world, so hidden and secluded that it had only held them, had shattered and crumpled, and there was no repairing it.
  3. Avietta_Ikarilove

    Avietta_Ikarilove Softly with grace

    Author’s Ideas: me: *says I’ll finish Chapter Three on my first day of break*
    Also me: *dicks around, continues to replay Pokémon Moon, makes fun of American politics with my family when we all should be doing other things* this is fine

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    Absconde Eos​

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    III: King

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    “Are you nervous?”

    “That was the worst question you could have asked me.” Her hand shot up to tug at a gold-tipped strand of his hair. “Ow!” He laughed.

    “I am serious, Líf. Ruling a country is a lot of work, especially one that was just unified.” Thrasir’s eyes flickered to the golden ornament in his hair before they flashed with some emotion—worry, he quickly identified when she said, “I worry for you.”

    “...I’m sorry,” he murmured, dropping his “king’s voice” as Thrasir so often put it. “I’ll be fine, I promise.”

    Thrasir touched his hand, and he squeezed it comfortingly. The cool feel of the ring on her finger made a lump grow in his throat. He forced it down.

    “I’ll be fine,” he repeated.

    “I know,” she murmured.

    “Líf?” His wife’s voice echoed from down the hallway, approaching his room.

    Their hands dropped to their sides and Thrasir turned quickly on her heel, pushing through the door that connected their rooms. Líf heard the door lock as he pulled his cloak from the nearby rack.

    “Líf?” His wife repeated.

    “I’ll be right there,” he called. He slung his cloak over his shoulder and glanced at the door between his and Thrasir’s rooms. A feeling of regret bubbled up in him, but he tore his gaze away and left the room.

    The ball was as chaotic as he had imagined it would be. People clamored at the chance to dance with the newly-crowned king and queen of Askr, and although Líf did his best to remain by his wife’s side, they were separated when rowdy music began, and people began to dance around, switching partners at rapid paces.

    Somewhere in all the chaos, he wound up with Thrasir, who laughed upon seeing his disheveled visage and pulled him to the side of the large crowd. She offered her hand when the music slowed, and he took it, resting his hand on her back. Her hand moved to adjust the large crown around her head before laying it on his shoulder.

    “You look ridiculous with that thing on,” he commented breathlessly.

    “You are the only person who has ever said that, but I agree.” He could feel her hiding back the urge to touch her hand to the crown on her head.

    “It seems like such a hassle.”

    “It is,” she replied, accompanied with a sigh. The hand he had on her back shifted slightly, and his voice lowered.

    “We should get out of here,” he murmured. “I have somewhere I want to show you.”

    “This is your ball, Your Highness.”

    “Which means I can do whatever I want, Your Grace.” Thrasir rolled her eyes, and Líf chuckled. “I am right.”

    “I suppose. All I ask is that you get us out of here without getting caught.”

    “Of course.” Saying that, he smiled. She returned it.

    Moments later, rhythmic clapping echoed through the ballroom, speeding up as the music picked up. Laughter echoed as the dancing began, people swinging from one arm to another. Líf took Thrasir by the hand and pulled her towards the hallway, hiding in the shadows of the curtains over the exit.

    “Will you tell me where we are going?” She questioned.

    “You’ll see,” he replied. When he looked back at her, she was smiling. A feeling of nostalgia washed over him, a longing for their time together back when Askr had not been unified and the world had been theirs. He had no doubt she felt the same.

    Líf had ordered the guards away for the night, asking them not to serve as knights for one day but as his friends. The hallways, as a result, were empty, but Líf still took a tentative look around before pushing open the door to the sunroom. He led her in and shut the door behind them, taking a glance around before sighing in realization.

    “The door to the stairs is locked, isn’t it.”

    Thrasir pulled at the only other door in the room before nodding. He sighed.

    “We’ll have to find another way up—”

    From the folds of her dress, she withdrew a lockpick, cutting him off. Líf stared, slack-jawed.

    “What?” He managed to ask, walking over to where she had already crouched by the door.

    “It is a lockpick.”

    “I can see that. Why do you have that?” He crouched down beside her.

    “I reasoned that we were going to be doing some form of breaking and entering.”

    Líf frowned. “What’re you trying to say?”

    “Nothing.” When she looked over at him, she laughed at the look of doubt he was sure was written all over his face. She ran an affectionate hand through his hair. He caught it, and she touched his cheek before withdrawing her hand and inserting the lockpick into the door.

    “I still think you’re trying to say something about me,” he said as he led her up the stairs behind the door. Her hand tightened around his.

    “I am saying that I have too much fun with you.”

    Líf felt his cheeks flush red. Thrasir let out a rare laugh.

    “Will you tell me where we are going?”

    “Just outside,” he responded. He squeezed her hand reassuringly. At the top of the staircase was another sunroom. Líf brushed past it and opened the glass door leading out to the large and lavish balcony.

    An overhang, meant to protect those who wished to sit at the tables outside for a meal or relaxation, cast a shadow over the balcony, swathing it in black. Only the slight radiance of the moon, reflected upon the shiny tabletops, helped them discern where everything was. Thrasir stood, staring out at the night sky. Líf turned to her.

    “...Dance with me?” He asked softly. She blinked and then laughed.

    “Of course. Give me a moment.”

    He did so, turning to look up at the sky. He had never seen a sky so dark, although perhaps it was simply an indication of how late it was. He felt a slight stirring of guilt upon realizing he had not told his wife of his departure from the ballroom, although he was sure she would understand. Thrasir’s fiancé, on the other hand...

    The gentle chime of metal against a table broke his reverie. He glanced over to see her empress’s crown upon the table and Thrasir, in the process of removing a small object from her finger. She kicked off her heels, and although she stood barely beneath his chin now, he felt a sharp sense of nostalgia carve a path through his heart.

    She walked over to him. Her brown eyes glimmered against the night sky. Her hands found his, and he closed his eyes when his thumbs ran over her knuckles to find nothing but callouses.

    “I’m sorry,” he whispered. She tightened her hands.

    “I told you before, did I not? It is not your fault. You have nothing to apologize for. As long as we still love each other, it will be alright.”

    “I know. Still… I’m sorry.”

    Her fingers traced along his palm, trailing down to his fingers. She paused as her fingertips grazed the ring on his finger.

    “Will you take it off for me?” Líf requested, not daring to meet her eyes. With a gentle touch, she removed the golden band from his finger and slowly slipped it onto her ring finger. It was the slightest bit too large, but a genuine smile took over her lips.

    “It seems so real.”

    “...Do you wish for it to be real?” He asked, and then immediately regretted it. Yet, Thrasir didn’t seem to be angry.

    “How could I not?” She smiled bittersweetly at him before it fell from her face. “...So often, I wish it could be real.”

    Líf stared at her before touching his hand to her cheek. “...I do too,” he admitted softly. She covered his hand with hers, leaning into his touch.

    The orchestral music of the ball could not reach them from the balcony, but they did not care. They danced throughout the night, the emotions in their hearts hidden by the stars in the sky.

    For the first time, he had returned to her arms, and it felt like home.
  4. Avietta_Ikarilove

    Avietta_Ikarilove Softly with grace

    Author’s Ideas: It’s! Hardcore! Speculation! Time!
    I’ll have you know this chapter is the only reason I wrote this entire fic
    Also I’m writing this at a time when we are only two chapters into Book III so really all this is going to end up being non-canon but what does it matter to me

    ~ / . / . / ~

    Absconde Eos

    ~ / . / . / ~

    IV: Afterlife

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    He had been wandering the dark hallways for some time now. Exactly how long, he could not say. Too long, he felt.

    Was this what it meant, to die? To wander aimlessly in darkness until your very consciousness faded away?


    He turned, his heart already leaping into his throat. “I’m here.”

    Thrasir threw her arms around his neck, pressing her face into his shoulder. “Gods, you really are here.”

    “I’m sorry.” The words fell from his lips as he pulled away and kissed her. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

    “Death comes for us all, Líf,” she whispered, her eyes closed as she rested her hand against his chest, “and death is merciful. You are here… with me.”

    He remained silent, leaning into her touch. So warm and comforting… she really was here. Perhaps the afterlife would be merciful to them after all.

    A flash of purple broke through the darkness. He hugged Thrasir tight, turning to glance at the purple light. The blur of purple glow began to define itself, until a tall woman with long hair and black streaks along her scalp appeared. She swung a scythe, pointing it directly at the two of them.

    The universe, it seemed, truly did hate him. Líf gritted his teeth.

    “Who are you?” He asked sharply.

    “I am Hel, sovereign of the realm of dead. You who have sinned… you, too, shall join my realm.”

    “What sin have we committed!?” Thrasir demanded, stepping away from Líf. The steely look in Hel’s eyes flickered, as if she had been hiding a secret. Just as quickly, though, the weakness in her eyes disappeared, and she tapped the bottom of her scythe against the ground.

    “You cannot atone for your sins now. The only fate you face now is serving me for eternity.”


    Hel did not. Her body pulsed purple, and slammed the butt of her scythe into the floor. Beneath their feet, ghosts began to rise, clawing and claiming parts of their souls. Darkness flashed before his eyes, and Líf fell to his knees. Thrasir followed.

    “Thra… sir…” he mumbled, reaching out a weak hand. Her fingers found his and clung tight, even as he felt his consciousness slip away. His heartbeat thundered in his ears. Each time it did, pain rocked his body. He bit back screams and tasted blood.

    When it ended, he stood and blankly stared at Hel. Thrasir followed. Their hands fell to their sides.

    “Go forth, my warriors,” Hel ordered. Líf’s eyes glimmered red.

    “As you say, my queen.”

    “Whatever you wish, my queen,” Thrasir said, bowing. When she lifted her head, her eyes sparkled with red.

    He turned on his heel. He did not know who he was anymore, nor did he know what his life in the realm of the living had been. All he knew was that his name was Líf, and he existed to serve Hel.

    And so they continued on as Líf, the Lethal Swordsman, and Thrasir, the Omnicidal Witch. They were killers, killers fighting for a bloody and dirty cause.

    But what could they do? They were but reanimated servants, killing and fighting for one purpose. They did not even know who they were.

    They continued to fight their way through the ranks of the dead. Hel appointed them both as generals. They continued to fight.

    Fighting. There was nothing else they were made for. To fight, to kill. Líf did not bother to ask who or what he had been before, and neither did Thrasir.

    Still, there were feelings that stirred in his heart whenever he glanced at her. Feelings of nostalgia, as though he should be remembering something. Something from his time in the realm of the living, something so important that it had consumed him, made him someone entirely different, for good or for bad.

    It seemed as though Thrasir, too, felt the same. She came to find him one day, her expression as impartial as ever when she asked, “Did I know you?”

    He blinked. “You should. I—”

    “No. Did I know you before we came to the realm of the dead?”

    “...I don’t know,” he replied, because he really did not.

    She stared at him, long and hard, before nodding. “I see. My apologies.”

    “No, it’s not your fault.”

    Without a word, she turned away and left the barracks. He watched her leave, and then let his gaze fall to the floor and a sigh escape from his lips.

    So the unspoken rule of Hel prevailed: never talk about the realm of the living. They were simply comrades in a bloody cause, no matter what their fragmented souls felt or believed.

    Time passed. He did not know how long, for he had stopped caring about time ever since he joined the ranks of Hel. Queen Hel bore a daughter, Princess Eir. Although the princess did not take up the practice of the sword or of the tome, Lif and Thrasir found themselves to be her close companions.

    He noticed, one day, that the ends of Princess Eir’s dress had begun to fray—a sign of her power over life and death as the princess of death’s kingdom. He wondered, for the first time, how long he had spent in this realm of dead evil.

    He threw Sökkvabekkr, resting in its sheath, on his desk and turned to close his door, only to find Thrasir standing outside.

    “What?” He asked.

    “How was the patrol?”

    “Fine. Please leave.”

    She did not do as he said, instead edging past Líf and stepping into his room. He shut the door behind him and narrowed his eyes.

    “What are you trying to do?”

    “...You are hurt,” she said.

    “It’s a flesh wound. It’s nothing.”

    “How did it happen?”


    It was a common occurrence. Líf often took responsibility for the damage dealt by his weapon to his allies, either by ordering a healer to accompany him or taking on the damage himself; the former much more usual than the latter. He felt a semblance of guilt over the power given to him, the idea that he should not care who he hurt, so long as he had power. It did not sit right with him, as much as he had tried to remove his doubts.

    Thrasir was the perfect example of what the queen wished to see. Emotionless, set on bloodshed, and callous towards pain. Líf might as well have been the opposite.

    A hand hooked under his arm, lifting it so she could see the underside of his arm. He winced, and she narrowed her eyes.

    “You ought to get this treated.”

    “Since when did you care?” He snapped.

    “I do not. I am simply making sure you are fit for our next skirmish.” She let go, and his arm dropped to his side. He ignored the drops of blood trailing down his forearm and the fluttering feeling in the back of his throat. “...Our time has almost come.”

    “Mm.” Something in his mind told him he had had a conversation like this before, with someone like her.

    Thrasir’s hand reached up to touch his cheek. He did not flinch away, insteading staring at her. She met his gaze unflinchingly, almost defiantly.

    “I have met you before,” he whispered, “in the realm of the living.” Her hand felt warm against his cold and pale skin.

    “...So I was right,” she murmured. She continued to stare at him and so he stared back, both acting as though they would discover the truth if they stared long enough.

    “General Thrasir.” Princess Eir’s melancholy call drifted through the room as she suddenly appeared in the doorway. “Mother is looking for you.”

    “...Very well,” she said. Her hand fell from Líf’s cheek and she turned on her heel, walking away. Princess Eir stared after her before turning her gaze to Líf.

    “You love her, do you not?”

    He blinked. “Love…?”

    “Yes. The feeling in your heart when you hold such affection for one that it feels as though the world melts away every time you so much as see them.”

    Líf stared at her before shaking his head. “We aren’t all like you, Princess. The heart you speak of… We don’t have it.”

    But Princess Eir’s gaze stayed on him, so melancholy and pleading, and he found that in the coming days, her words did not leave his mind no matter how often he willed them to.

    Hel rallied their troops some time later, saying that the time had come. She dispatched them, sending them off. The third squadron was to be headed by Líf, the fourth by Thrasir, and the fifth by Princess Eir herself. Líf did not know what plans the queen of Hel had for her daughter, and he could not say he wished to know either.

    Thrasir found him out on the training grounds some time before they were set to leave. Sökkvabekkr let out a flash of purple light, and Ífingr let out a similar blast of green; warning signs. Thrasir stopped. They both knew what their weapons would do to each other if they did not heed their warnings.

    “Did you want something from me, Thrasir?” He asked.

    “This is our liege’s goal. The ranks of the living will join us soon. Do not die until then.”

    He wanted to tell her of his talk with Princess Eir, of the words the princess had said that seemed to encapsulate everything he had ever felt about Thrasir. Even now, as he stared into her red eyes—had they once been brown? Something in him yelled that the rubies staring back at him were wrong, oh so wrong—he could feel something too true about Princess Eir’s words.

    But he could not bring himself to spit out the words.

    “We’re already dead, Thrasir. We can't die.”

    A small smirk appeared on her face. “I suppose you are right.” Her eyes sparkled with something that, for once, was not murderous intent.

    “Come back safely, Thrasir.”

    “You must come back safely as well, Líf.”

    For some reason, he felt a sudden urge to remove his mask, take her face in his hands, and kiss her until the tiny world they lived in melted away and only they were left.

    ~ / . / . / ~​

    no regrets

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