(*Snippet from a dead Fire Emblem-themed project from a forum community that I have frequented for around four years. This was written nearly two and a half years ago, and may or may not be the revised version. Posting here for keepsake.)
Levity took a slow, deep breath as she fumbled about her satchel; her hands still shook despite the arduous mental effort she put into staying calm. The night air was crisp and accompanied by small breezes brushing gently against the thief’s hazelnut-colored hair. The grass shimmered with the dew of the dusk, as well as with the blood of opposing factions. In the aftermath, the whole world stood still.
The girl finally pulled a small glass bottle from somewhere in the pocket of her long jacket. She brandished it in the air in a momentary triumph and emitted a relieved sigh—it was there all along. Panic was causing her to lose time. Quickly she turned to the man that lie on the ground next to her; his brown, shoulder-length hair hid his eyes from the world, and his cerulean-colored trench coat was stained dark red. Cautiously Levity pulled the cork off of the bottle with her teeth. A pale blue liquid rested inside; there was still enough for exactly one dose.
“DL, are you still with me?” Levity asked the man, though got no answer. She looked over him carefully, though discovered he merely slipped into unconsciousness; she relaxed somewhat. “Hang on, okay? It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you did… but you better help me out and just keep going, all right?” She shook the bottle until the substance inside began to fizz, and continued to speak. “I’m sorry this happened to you… I wish I knew what happened…” She paused as she lifted his head gently with one arm and took up the strange concoction with the other. She bit her lip.
“Here we go…” The trembling girl began to pour the liquid down DL’s throat; reflex caused him to swallow it, choking lightly on some. His coughing subsided after a few seconds, and Levity sank back down to her knees, throwing the bottle and watching it roll down the grass. She hadn’t the strength nor the heart to break it. “Now we just have to keep living a little longer until the rest of them find us. Can you do that for me? You hate cooperating with people, but this is important… so just don’t die…” The lack of response wasn’t something Levity was adjusted to, which pressured her into talking simply to be comforted by her own voice.
“I… I know you’re pretty hurt, and this looks really grim, but you’re a bastard, DL. You’re the biggest bastard I’ve ever seen, maybe even bigger than Tiko…” She ran a hand through her hair and looked up to the sky into the vast myriad of stars; menacing clouds were beginning to roll in, and the wind’s touch became more frigid. “And, from what I’ve seen, the bastard always lives. Always… without fail…”
Finally the woman fell next to the injured man both in exhaustion and to keep close to him. For a tedious amount of time she listened intently to his erratic breathing, to ascertain that it would improve. Feebly and reluctantly, Levity wrapped her right arm around his torso and lie there with him, waiting for signals. She wasn’t entirely sure what signals they would be, but she surmised she would know what they were when it was time for them.
The vast field was dark and dreary. Corpses were strewn about in an almost patterned fashion, with some here and some there. The divided sides of the war alternated: Tiko’s men, the CARA liberation, more of Tiko’s men, rinse and repeat. It was a cruel, twisted puzzle of death in which the pieces were eerily arranged to reveal a picture or perhaps a story of the infamous battle that took place mere hours ago. Rescue units would soon begin their conscientious search for the living and the not-yet dead. The effort would likely take days.
A single snowflake brushed gently against Levity’s face. She couldn’t remember how long she stared at the ash-colored sky or even if she’d been awake the entire time. She whimpered and pressed her body closer to DL’s; had to keep him warm, that was the only thing now. He seemed more stable than he was before, which brought relief to Levity’s wavering senses. The bleeding had stopped now, at least for the most part; all she could do now was wait, hope, and pray. His destiny was still up to fate to decide.
This was the man that saved her. This was the man that betrayed her. Levity was terrified to see him so vulnerable, and she didn’t know why.
She never wanted to see him like this ever again.
Another hour, maybe two. Levity blinked her eyes open and twitched in sudden motion; she had dozed off this time.
“Oh… good. Thought you were dead,” a voice muttered breathily, “thought maybe the cold got to you or something. That poison made you pretty susceptible to everything for a while—it looked like you turned pale… every time it rained…” DL’s body jerked against Levity’s as he coughed a few more times. Suddenly, Levity sat bolt upright in realization.
“Did—oh, you woke up!” Levity squeaked; her voice was cracked and dry and generally underused, and as a result she sounded almost rasped. Her expression was slightly flustered as she quickly examined over DL again. “It worked?” she asked urgently, “I mean—you’re alive, right?”
“Well I’d sure hope so… unless we’re both dead.” His voice was so barely audible that Levity had to lean in closer to listen.
“I’m sure I’m still alive, at least,” Levity responded. “What did you do, anyway?”
“Had some fun with Tiko…” DL grinned. “Had a lot of fun…”
“I’m done now. Figured it would be… the last time… I had a chance…”
“Well, it won’t be.”
“You’re really insistent on keeping me alive… aren’t you?” The man attempted to shift his position, but to no avail; an excruciating bolt of pain paralyzed him.
“Don’t try to move…”
“I almost killed you, you know. I’m your enemy—I killed quite a few… of your comrades. I’m the… ‘blade of illusions’, remember? The magician that never tells his secrets, even to his… victims…”
“I was the one who killed Bitto, you know—“
“Be quiet,” Levity interrupted, “just shut up. Sometimes I want to hate you so much, DL. I was tempted to leave you dying here in the cold, all alone.”
“But you didn’t.”
“Because you really are all alone now…”
More silence. The snow soon began to ravage the barren land, and would eventually engulf it with its icy embrace. Blusterous gales penetrated the bones of the two that remained there with immobilizing cold. Trees swayed to one side. The world would now begin to attempt its cover-up of the carnage, of the destruction, of the true sins of war, and leave nothing but vacant hills of white.
“Alone?” DL’s curiosity began to spark, though he could feel his consciousness slipping away again ever so slightly. No, dammit, stay awake.
“You betrayed us,” Levity explained, “you betrayed your own side. No one can really trust you now, can they? So you have no one now… but me.”
“I betrayed you, too.”
“But it’s different with me…”
“Why would you… want me? Don’t you already have Wizzy?” Levity’s eyes suddenly widened, and she blushed vigorously.
“Th-that’s none of your business!” she shouted louder than she had intended; her voice echoed across the empty clearing. “You just… it’s not that kind of different, okay? I just… you could have left me to die when Tiko experimented on me. I thought you were having fun watching me break… and suddenly you came again, when I gave up.”
“Yep. You had the flame of potential burning in you,” DL said. “That kind of thing… doesn’t go to waste.”
“I still don’t know what you mean by that, DL…”
“You beat me, didn’t you?”
“That doesn’t mean anything. I almost feel like you let me win.”
Had DL the strength, he would have been chuckling heartily to himself by this point. Instead, he could only wheeze slightly. He closed his eyes. “See, but you could tell the difference… I did hold back a little. When I saw it was you… facing me… by yourself… I remembered…”
His voice trailed off into the bleak darkness; he was asleep again, and Levity sighed. A single tear began to escape from her eye for a reason she could scarcely fathom. Slowly and hesitantly she got down next to DL again, getting as close to him as possible and never letting go. She could hear the incredibly faint sound of footsteps and the hooves of horses, and smiled—the timing was perfect. Chao’s Mercenaries were fast approaching now.