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November 10, 2009
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"I just need a day to myself," was the simple excuse that Matthew had given Hector earlier that week.  He didn't know whether or not the Marquess' brother remembered the date or not, but he had gotten the day to himself without resistance.

Now that he had it, Matthew was restless.  He remembered saying that she wouldn't have wanted him to give up because of her, but it was over now.  It was a year exactly since the day he had lost her on the Dread Isle.

Sometimes he didn't know what was worse; the memory of her body, propped in the trees, like some sacrificial warning, waiting to turn back those who had dared stray too far in the woods.  Or the dream of what could have been that haunted him from time to time.

In that dream he had taken her to meet his parents; a simple dinner, by a fire in their small house.  They would talk about normal things; the weather, how he had grown up so fast, how his nephew was starting to remind his parents of him when he had been four years old.  When to meet Leila's parents, what sort of food did they like, would they come to dinner soon?  How nice a spring wedding would be, who would be invited.  They would never talk about the type of work that had brought Matthew and Leila together; "it was heartbreaking, really.  You two should settle down somewhere quiet."

The dream would sometimes go further; sometimes he would dream their wedding, or their first child or…

It didn't matter; he always awoke knowing it was a dream, and wanting to cry out at the unfairness of it all.

He tried to clear his mind and looked around the room.  Matthew ran a hand through his blond hair and decided he couldn't stay inside any longer and left.  He wandered aimlessly through the streets of Ostia.  It was a clear afternoon, and the noise of people going about their daily business seemed contenting and perfectly normal.  It was hard not to notice the contrast between the eerily silent fog-filled day a year ago and the sunny, cheerful atmosphere around him now.

Matthew didn't know where he was headed and somehow he didn't care; he just had to keep moving.   Through the busy main streets, down side alleys, circumventing dead ends…  Soon he found himself outside the city walls.  

He stopped on one of the nearby hills that dotted the landscape; further north-east, mountains could be seen, tall and dark against the clear afternoon sky.  To the west was a river that wound its way gradually south east until it connected with the mountain range to the south.  

Matthew took in everything, and remembered another time in the same place.

Then it had been sunset, the first time out with Leila.  The first time they were both back in the city and had a few moments to themselves, to get to know each other and forget about the dangerous work they did for a moment.  The sky had been tinged with orange and pinks and the coming night had coloured the few clouds with purples and reds.

"Now that's a view!"  He had fallen to the ground, and laid back against a tree, enjoying the simple beauty of the moment.  The sunset, he had noticed, was similar to Leila; she wore purples and golden yellows, and her red hair completed the picture perfectly.

"I'm always amazed that you still notice these things Matthew," she had smiled and sat down more slowly, careful in her movements; caution was her second nature.  He had adjusted his posture slightly to keep both the sky and Leila in his view.  

"How can you not notice these things?" he had replied simply.  "It's moments like this when everything seems right that keeps me going; I have to remember these things, or else being a spy isn't worth it.  There has to be something worth keeping safe."

"I never thought of it so simply before," she had murmured, looking away contemplatively.  The breeze stirred their hair and a few moments of peaceful silence had passed before she had looked back at him.  "Promise me something?"  

"For a smile like that, anything," he had said with a grin.

"Never stop seeing the beauty in simple things like this."


Matthew smiled to himself as he shook off the memory.  The most simple and beautiful moments that he had fought for may belong to his past, but they could help him move into his own future.  She deserved to be remembered like this; a fleeting sunset, a perfect moment, something worth fighting for.  He had done what she would have wanted; he hadn't given up, even when he lost her.  He hadn't let anyone down, and he knew that she would have been proud.
I was going to let this sit for a while before submitting it, but I've already edited it twice and I know that I might not have the time (or memory) to submit it later. And I son't want to miss the deadline ^^;

This is for the Ultimate Fanfiction Contest -> [link] I went with Fire Emblem 7 for my fandom of choice. It's one of the games I love most, and lately have been thinking about again.

My story is set after the game but before the events of Fire Emblem 6; which is why Hector's brother is mentioned as Marquess, not Hector. (7 is the prequel to 6, before somone thinks there might be a typo :lol: ) I've always loved Matthew and Leila and it pained me a lot when she died. So, I experimented with Matthew's thoughts after the fact. Also, I liked playing around with the setting contrasting the mood for the main part of the story. In a way, it reflects how Matthew always carried on with a light heart even though he must have been grieving inside.

Matthew was a lot of fun to write and I hope I got him in character; it's been a while.

The quote "After this mission, I was going to ask her to put this life behind her... Waited too long, didn't I? Ha..." from Matthew after Leila's death and *Miyukitty's drawing Too Little Too Late (bleow) were my main sources of inspiration for this piece. As well as the song Two For Tragedy by Nightwish.


And I realise slightly obscure characters from a slightly obscure fandom is a bit of an odd choice, but it's what turned out best =)

Sorry for the long description ^^; I hope you enjoy reading this.

Word Count: Roughly 830 words - short for me
Fire Emblem and all characters (C) Nintendo and Intelligent System
This fanfiction (C) Me/*Lyricanna
(Miyukitty referenced above)
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:iconpsychoswordman:
Psychoswordman Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Wow, I love this! :love: That is, to me, the saddest scene in all of Fire Emblem. I really like the descriptions, and just the way you wrote this. Matthew is my favorite thief of all, so it makes me sad that people don't give him more attention.
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:iconlyricanna:
Lyricanna Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the compliments, I'm very glad that you enjoyed this =3

I had forgotten how attached to Matthew I was until I started replaying the game, and I agree, he definitely needs more attention =)

Thanks for the :+fav: =3
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:iconpsychoswordman:
Psychoswordman Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
No problem!
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:iconmecari:
Mecari Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2009
I love this. It's a great one shot. Thinking about the two of them is always fo bittersweet and you captures that perfectly in your writing. I love how you related Leila to a sunset. It's just so perfect that it sort of struck me as soon as I read that. I love the depth in this and how her words reach him even through death. So beautiful. ;~;

I love this game!! And seriously, those two need more love!
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:iconlyricanna:
Lyricanna Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much, it always means a lot to get a review like this.

It's so hard to resist writing these two; they definitely need more love, I agree. And thee's just something about wanting it to work and it doesn't that I couldn't resist playing with. (Heck, I've always wanted to know what goes on inside Matthew's head anyways :lol: )

Thanks again, for the wonderful comment and :+fav: =)
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:iconmiyukitty:
Miyukitty Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2009   Traditional Artist
Ahh, this is so beautiful...! :love: Relating Leila to a sunset - that never occurred to me, but it fits really well, doesn't it? Great idea, and wonderfully executed. It didn't need to be long to portray the image.

Also, it's a big honor for my artwork to be considered inspirational~! :thanks:

I am currently replaying FE7, and have just reached the Dread Isle... and I can't bring myself to start the chapter! It's too painful! ;__;
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:iconlyricanna:
Lyricanna Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, I'm glad that you think so. Your opinion on anything FE always means a lot =3

It was open in a tab in Firefox the whole time I wrote, so I figured credit where credit is due :lol:

I started replaying as well; I'm not there yet but I'm alredy dreading it. I forgot how much I loved this game
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:iconmiyukitty:
Miyukitty Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009   Traditional Artist
W-wow, really? Both of those things make me rather ecstatic! :blushes:

Yay, I'm not the only one replaying! I was concerned that my tactician "skills" would have rusted over time, but now I'm finding the game strangely easy on Hector Normal... maybe I should have attempted Hector Hard! I forgot how much I loved it too~
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:iconlyricanna:
Lyricanna Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I never played on Hector's mode until now XD Not a clue why, but I haven't. But my tactic skills went to hell on me; it took 9 tries to beat the chapter where you unlock Guy without anyone dying :lol:
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:iconmiyukitty:
Miyukitty Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009   Traditional Artist
Aww, really? I actually like Hector's Mode a lot better than Eliwood; sure, the strategy is harder, but the story is tweaked differently too. Seeing the events from Hector's side is a lot of fun - plus, Farina! :heart:

Ehh, that's a toughie. I had to restart once or twice, since my archer always got swamped. I usually use Marcus as a meatshield, lol - take away his weapons and let archers/mages stand behind him to gain experience!
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