Time for the third and final fic from that spring fic exchange I entered. This one is for one (1) BlueIce RedFire! You gave me some amazing prompts and I chose my favorite to write, so I hope you enjoy it! Also, I might save some of those other prompts for another time ;D
Some things never change. War, for example, but that phrase is overused. The apocalypse, another example. And finally, the incorrigible Inigo. Come literal hell, high water, rain, sleet, snow or sun, that boy knew nothing but the unending pursuit of basically any woman with a pulse (and even then, that might have been optional). As long as he was alive, he was going to stop at nothing to woo a girl. His relentless romantic efforts were usually met with disgust or other generally negative feelings, but none responded more violently than Severa, who detested the fact that he was willing to drop everything to hit on anything with a skirt. She would hope that, coming from a future where every moment counts, he would at least have the decency not to hit on people while the world was at stake, but there he was, sauntering over to her with that stupid grin plastered on his face, staring at her like she was a slab of meat behind the butcher's glass windows.
"My dear Severa! You look ravishing today, if I do say so myself." He belted the words out like he had rehearsed them, and like the sky above their heads wasn't rapidly deteriorating into a all-too-familiar red and black apocalyptic mess. In response, she merely scowled and walked the other way. "W-wait! Come back!" He called, desperately trying to keep up with her.
Against her better judgment, Severa spun around and snapped at Inigo, "buzz off! I don't have the time to entertain your idiocy today. Nobody does, because in case you haven't noticed, the world is kind of ending."
Inigo threw his head back and laughed that fake-charming laugh she detested so much. "Well of course I've noticed it. I also noticed that you seem unhappy, so I opted to solve the problem that can be solved more quickly."
"Oh, so I'm a problem now?" Inigo's face flushed and he took a step back. As he struggled to think of a response, Severa whirled around and continued leaving him behind. "That oughta shut him up for a few minutes, at least," she grumbled.
Unfortunately, it didn't shut him up long enough. Barring, of course, the fact that if he never spoke again she would consider it too soon. Not long after his first failed attempt, Inigo threw himself at her once more, this time with painfully cheesy lines about her skin being as soft as a newborn's, her scowl as fierce as a lion's, and her hair shining as radiant as the currently red-tinted skies.
Wait, something about that line seemed wrong.
"Wanna run that one by me again, lover boy?" Severa's anger was enough to cause her face to heat up, which he mistook as a blush until she smacked him in the face. "How dare you use the world ending as a prop to hit on me! Don't you know what's at stake here?"
"Ah yes, this again," Inigo mused, nursing the rapidly reddening spot he had been hit. "Of course I know what's at stake here."
"Then prove it and stop acting like a horny school boy!" Severa stomped her foot on his an stormed off. "I swear, if he says one more word to me before we save this stupid world, I'll make sure he never sees the light of a proper day again."
Many hard battles passed, each and everyone more harrowing than the last, until finally, Chrom had strengthened his sacred sword and the Shepherds were ready to take the fight directly to Grima. Finally, with victory so close at hand, it seemed maybe they had a chance to destroy the Fell Dragon after all.
And with another step closer to victory came another solicitation from Inigo. It was like stupid, obnoxious clockwork. Before he could even open his mouth to speak, Severa said, "no. Go away."
His face fell just a bit at her resistance, but it wasn't enough to deter him. "Aw, don't be like that, Severa. I only wanted to check on you, to make sure you were holding up alright."
"Don't even pretend you weren't here to hit on me again," Severa spat with crossed arms.
"Well, I might've gotten to it, but that's beside the point," Inigo said with a shrug.
"Just go away, already!"
Severa turned to leave, but Inigo grabbed her arm in a rare show of force, when she spun around and demanded him to explain himself, he looked at her with a serious expression. "Hey, come on. Let's talk about this like rational adults, alright? What's your problem with me?"
"My problem is that you don't know when to quit," Severa said bluntly. "You're not here to get laid, you're here to fight and die if you need to, not be some floozy who distracts himself and others from that purpose."
Inigo bit his lip and crossed his arms. "I know that, of course. My purpose isn't to distract you, nor if it getting laid." He mumbled to himself an additional, "though that part would be wonderful." When Severa raised an eyebrow at him he held up a hand. "Look, my main goal is to get the beautiful women of The Shepherds to smile. We may be an army, but that doesn't mean we need to be marching around like a bunch of dour machines. You'd be surprised what a smile can do for your mood." Next, he took Severa's hand in his and kissed it gently. "Now please, show me the smile you've hidden under...several...layers of ice."
Severa snatched her hand back and rubbed at it like she'd been stabbed there. "Likely story," she snarled. "You're a disgrace to all of us who came back in time."
"You expect me to smile and fall for your shallow compliments at a time like this? You want me to smile when all I can think of is the fact that my parents are dead?"
Inigo shrugged. "They're not dead in this ti—"
"Yes they are!" Severa had to hold herself back from screaming. "You think these versions of them are our real parents? Just think about that. Think about how no matter what we do in this time, the versions of our parents that we loved are never coming back, and in their place are...are...copies of what we thought they were! They don't actually love us because they gave birth to us, they just love us because we said they did." Inigo looked down at the ground, absorbing what Severa had said. Satisfied with his silence, she crossed her arms and continued, "so now do you see why I don't smile? I can't smile in a world without my actual mother, and there's no point in even trying to prove me wrong."
Inigo swallowed hard and nodded. "Alright. Understood."
Without another word, Severa stormed off, feeling a bit better after having vented her feelings and the slightest bit smug that she was able to so deftly shut him up. She couldn't foresee herself feeling guilty about that outburst anytime soon.
If only that were the case.
Soon after that confrontation, Grima was successfully defeated and peace was restored to the world after the noble sacrifice of their beloved tactician, yadda yadda, whatever. The children who traveled back in time to prevent calamity could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, Severa was certain that meant Inigo would approach her as soon as he could. She waited for
the inevitable annoyance to arrive at her feet as if nothing had ever happened, but it seemed to be taking longer than she expected. She wasn't complaining or anything, it was just...
Several days passed and The Shepherds started gradually going their separate ways, with Inigo being nowhere to be found. Had he ducked out after the final battle was over? Or perhaps something worse befell him...
Tracking down his mother turned out to be easy, as all Severa needed to do was look for the exposed midriff. When she did, she had to ask where Inigo was without seeming like she actually cared.
She didn't, but when one's asking about another's whereabouts, it's hard not to sound concerned. Olivia smiled at Severa's awkward tone and nodded. "He's been fine, but he's been spending a lot less time in camp lately. I'm not sure why, come to think of it... Perhaps you could look for him in that nearby town?"
Severa nodded a thanks, but decided against seeking out Inigo. She hated him hitting on her, so why would she bother actively looking for that kind of attention? So she let the days pass without seeing Inigo anywhere, briefly enjoying not getting objectified like she had been. And then things got weird when Inigo decided to come back.
When the nearest village was too far away, Inigo decided to stay in camp and go back to his usual ways...sort of. Severa would see him hanging around camp, putting his usual moves on the ladies who had stayed in the group. Just like old times, every day was clockwork, with him working the rotation of ladies, getting the same negative responses over and over again.
Strangely, though, his rotation of women was nearly every one of his old attempted conquests except Severa. When she noticed this, she shrugged it off, glad for the continued peace and quiet, but as the days rolled by, she couldn't help but feel a little put off by it. What, was she not pretty enough anymore? Did he just completely lose interest in her? Did the final battle knock some sense into his dense head? Surely that couldn't be it, because he was still chasing after all the other girls. Why not her?
But furthermore, why did she care? She should have been excited that her free time could be spent doing something productive and not having to listen to Inigo's mindless drivel. She should have been ecstatic! But why the hell wasn't she?
She needed to get to the bottom of this. Fast. These weren't okay feelings.
Next time she saw Inigo, he was chatting up Cynthia, who was indulging him for the moment, but it was clear she was looking forward to being left alone. Without preamble or hesitation, Severa grabbed Inigo's ear and yanked him from his conversation, waving at Cynthia in the process. Once she had dragged him far enough away and he had suffered enough pain, she let him go and fired a furious glare at him.
"Er, hey there," he said, his face flushing. "I hate to say it, but could you maybe...not stare at me like that? It's making me nervous."
"You should be," Severa snapped. "What's your deal?"
Inigo smirked and held his arms at his sides. "My dear, it has been a while since we've seen each other, but I assure you my deal has not changed one bit." When Severa's face didn't change one bit, his smile faded to be replaced with a more neutral expression. "Er, I mean...same as usual."
This transformation baffled Severa, who raised a suspicious eyebrow. "What...?"
"Is something the matter?" Inigo asked, all of his dramatic flair gone without a trace.
Severa tried to form words, but couldn't find any way to word what she wanted to say besides, "I'm confused."
Inigo nodded. "Ah, I see. You're wondering why I'm pursuing other girls and not you anymore, right?" He paused to let her respond, but nothing came to her, so he continued, " you see, I thought long and hard about what you said, and I came to the conclusion that you're right. If you truly do feel that there is no reason for you to smile in this world, then maybe I should stop trying to force one from you. If I ever were to see a smile grace that beautiful face of yours, it would not be genuine anyway, so I decided it was time to move on to someone who appreciated my efforts more."
Taken aback by the honesty in his voice, Severa put a hand over her mouth. "Wait, you mean...you were actually trying to make me feel better?" Inigo nodded. "You weren't just trying to get in my pants?"
"If that had happened—which wasn't the goal, mind you—it would have merely been a happy consequence of my original goal."
This revelation was enough to cause Severa to take a step back. All this time she had been underestimating him, thinking his reasons for everything he did were so much skeevier than they were. Finally, all she could muster was a half-hearted, "okay then..."
Inigo raised an eyebrow. "Are you...okay?"
Finally, she shook her head to clear her thoughts. "Yeah, no, I'm fine. It's whatever. I just didn't know you were so...sincere. It's weird."
Inigo barked a kind-hearted laugh and nodded understanding. "Alright then. Am I free to go?" She tried to respond, but all she could think to do was smile and nod, which stopped Inigo in his tracks. "Hey! There's that smile I wanted so badly to see."
When she caught herself she put on an angry face, but it was already too late. "Whatever, just don't let this go to your head!"
Inigo smiled a warm, kind smile. "I'll try not to and, uh, see you tomorrow?"
No matter how much she tried, she could not suppress the smile that graced her face when she said, "I'm looking forward to it. Thanks, Inigo.