It's Owain's birthday! As a present to this eccentric child, here's a fic all about him! In case you missed it in the summary, it has minor Fates spoilers, more specifically, it spoils what Corrin does with his/her life after the end of Revelations.
One downside to raising children in a huge castle was that it was exceedingly easy to lose said child in the sprawling multitude of hallways that ran the castle's length.
That being said, one upside to being raised in a huge castle was that it was pretty easy to slip out of mom's grasp and scamper off into one of the multitude of hallways that ran the castle's length. All it took was one moment of carelessness on Lissa's part, and the next thing she knew, her son's hand was no longer in hers and she could hear his excited babbling echoing down the hall to her left. Unfortunately, this realization didn't come to her until several moments after Owain had scampered away, and of course, the first person to hear about it was the child's father, who was mere steps ahead of her. "Gaius? Do you have Owain?"
The telltale sound of her husband taking a sucker out of his mouth proceeded, "nope, can't say I do."
"Well I don't," she replied, raising her hands to signify the absence of her child.
Gaius turned his head back and cocked an eyebrow. "Weren't you supposed to have him?"
"I guess," Lissa said with a shrug. "I must have spaced out."
Gaius turned back to face forward and shrugged. "That sounds like a sticky situation."
Lissa looked back at the otherwise empty hallway and bit her lip. "Shouldn't we look for him or something?"
"Sorry Princess, but we're already going to be late to this meeting, and you know how your brother gets when we're late...well, later than we usually are." He could hear her start to protest, but raised the hand holding his candy quickly enough to startle her into silence. "We can get to him later, or we can send one of Blue's attendants to go look for the little guy," he said, waving the sucker slightly as he spoke.
"But what if he's in trouble now and we end up being too late to help him?" Lissa asked, fearing for her child's safety.
"What kind of trouble could he possibly get into?" Gaius countered. "The only somewhat dangerous part of this place is the armory, it's on the other side of the castle, and he can't have gotten that far yet."
Lissa slumped forward. "Right... I guess he can wait for a little bit."
"Glad we agree," Gaius said, sticking his sucker back in his mouth to signify the end of the conversation.
No matter how many reassurances she was given, it didn't change the fact that Owain was alone in the castle, and it was something that ate away at Lissa and made the next ten minutes spent getting to the meeting feel like half a full day. When they finally made it to the ambiguous meeting, Lissa was so worried that the first thing that came out of her mouth was the request to borrow one of Chrom's assistants for a little bit. Chrom, bewildered that she didn't even bother listening to his scolding, looked to his wife.
In response, she rolled her eyes. "I dunno, I'm not the one who asked." She nodded at Lissa and raised her hands innocently.
"Right," Chrom responded. He turned his attention back to his sister and gave her the same look. "Why do you need an assistant of mine?"
Lissa took a deep breath before spilling the events of the trip over without pausing. "Owain ran off and I don't know where he is and we didn't have time to look for him because it was gonna make us even more late to this dumb meeting that I don't even know what it's about and what if he's hurt somewhere?"
When she finally ran out of breath and had to stop, Chrom raised a hand to stop her. "Understood." He nodded at one of his attendants. "Can you look for the kid with the carrot-top?"
The attendant nodded and scurried off as Sumia tilted her head in thought. When prompted, she said, "that's weird, our kids have disappeared as well. Do you think they're together?"
"Sumia, they didn't run off, they were under supervision the whole day," Chrom said.
In response, Sumia smirked. "Oh yeah? And who was supposed to watch them, huh?"
Chrom's face flushed and he looked anywhere but the other people in the room. "Er, that's not important."
Gaius barked a laugh and put a reassuring hand on Lissa's shoulder. "I see losing kids runs in the family. Now with two people looking, I'm sure they'll all turn up."
The other royal spouse was less amused by this development, crossing her arms once more. "Come on, Gaius, that's three kids missing. Aren't you worried?"
Gaius shrugged and Lissa playfully punched his arm. "You know, someday little Owain's not gonna want anything to do with us, and when that day comes, you'll be sorry that you weren't more doting on him when he was young," she told him sternly.
Gaius shook his head. "I doubt it. We'll spend plenty of time together for the rest of his poor, royal little life."
Lissa crossed her arms and shook her head. "We'll just see about that."
Chrom raised a hand to stop conversation and draw attention to himself. "Guys, we need to get this meeting thing taken care of," he said in that stern voice he assumed when telling people what to do.
After a resounding confirmation, the two couples attended to the very important, highly official and super ambiguous meeting they had planned.
Once it was over, Lissa was the first out of the room, excusing herself as politely as possible to the official guests. Seeing this, Gaius smirked and followed after her after remarking, "usually I'm the one who's out that fast." Knowing the reason for her sudden departure, Gaius caught up to her and left Sumia and Chrom to deal with whatever came next. When he reached his wife's side, she was visibly worried. "Hey Princess, don't get yourself all worked up. Can't be good for your health."
Lissa disregarded Gaius' advice and marched deeper into the castle. "Okay, if you were a child, where would you be?"
"Hell if I know," Gaius answered. "I'd be in a castle, and that'd be cool enough for me."
Lissa smacked his arm in frustration and groaned loudly. "You're not helping!"
Before Gaius could respond, they both stopped dead in their tracks when they heard a loud screeching a few halls down. It sounded more like a small child playing than getting themselves hurt, but Lissa's worried maternal instincts were not in any condition to distinguish between the two, so she shot down the hall to the source of the sound.
Moments later and with a breathless Gaius hot on her heels, Lissa rounded a corner into a seemingly empty hallway. However, before they could run down that one, they saw the last sight they were expecting. From one of the adjacent hallways came the tiniest, cutest procession one could imagine. Up front was Owain, marching like he was some sort of military leader and brandishing a tiny, Falchion-shaped letter opener in front of him like he'd seen his uncle do so many times before. He was followed closely by Lucina and Cynthia, the latter of which making herself evident as the source of those screeches from earlier by excitedly pitching in whenever Owain barked an order. Lucina brought up the rear, making sure her sister didn't fall behind and giggling wildly whenever Cynthia decided to chime in. As the group turned away from her and ventured down the hall, Lissa was tempted to let this toddler train continue, but she simply couldn't resist laughing, both out of relief and how hilarious this scene was. Her laughs startled the kids and they whirled around, their eyes wide at the sight of the adults.
"M-mom? Dad?" Owain scrambled to hide the letter opener behind his back and stood up straight, while Lucina smiled nervously and Cynthia screeched again, recognizing her auntie Lissa.
"Hey there, kids," Lissa said, kneeling down to the kids' level. "What are you doing over here?"
Owain perked up and brandished his mini Falchion again, holding it as high as his tiny arms could. "We're going on adventures, mama!"
Lissa's face lit up as she laughed once again. "Oh really? Where were you going?"
Owain shrugged and shifted his weight to one foot. "I 'unno, that's why it's called a adventure!"
Gaius and Lissa shared a laugh, which caused Cynthia to laugh along, which in turn made Lucina laugh. All this laughter around him made Owain blush. "Hey, this is a forreal adventure! We're the Justice Cabal!"
"Ju'tice!" Cynthia parroted as best she could. "Ju'tice ball!"
Lissa laughed and picked up her son, who squirmed a bit as he was lifted into the air. "Yeah? And what does the Justice Cabal do?"
"How does he know a word like cabal?" Gaius quietly asked no one in particular. "What does cabal even mean?"
Owain waved the letter opener around and smiled as he said, "we fight evil! Our adventure was to find evil and beat it dead!"
Lucina and Cynthia shouted confirmation, causing Lissa to laugh again. "Oh how brave of you! But you made me so worried when you ran off like that, don't you know?"
"Oh..." Owain's face fell and he looked to the ground. "Sorry, mama. I didn't mean t'scare you."
He sniffled and any attempt Lissa could have made at being angry melted away. "Oh, don't worry about it," she said in a calming voice. "Just ask us for permission next time you go off adventuring, okay?"
Owain's face brightened and he nodded eagerly. "Right, mom, I promise I'll always ask!" After receiving praise for this, he held up the letter opener. "Like my sword? Lucy found it in her dad's room!"
That promise he made was one he kept for the rest of his childhood, and even further into his life. Unfortunately, it wasn't a promise he could keep forever.
As the years wore on, the war his family was involved in grew, and with it grew the sense of perpetual dread that hung over the heads of him and his comrades. Even Owain found it difficult to keep up his optimism after a point, because carrying on as if nothing was wrong in a world where his father died for him was almost too much to bare. He had to keep up appearances for his friends, but it was difficult once he was down half his parentage. Little did he know it only got more difficult from there.
He got lucky and found himself outside the capital of Ylisse on the day Grima destroyed the castle, so he didn't get to witness the miraculous escape Lucina and Cynthia made from the maw of the evil dragon. He also wasn't present for the aftermath, which was a good, long time of the sisters crying into each others' shoulders about everything that had happened that day. Once they had collected themselves in the ruins of the capital city, they started doing the only thing they thought to do, which was gather everyone and see if they could retrieve the Fire Emblem.
"Hey, where's Owain?" Cynthia asked as they set out. "I didn't see him fighting with us."
Lucina took a shaky breath before saying, "I think they got to him. He's dead, too..."
Cynthia put a finger to her chin and hummed. "That doesn't sound right. Didn't he have somewhere to go a couple days ago?"
Lucina's expression lit up as the memory came back to her. "Oh, that's right! Lissa sent him away a few days ago! Gods, where do you think he went?"
Cynthia shrugged. "I dunno, but we should look everywhere we can. We can't do this without...oh no. He's gonna be devastated when we tell him."
Despite thinking she had cried enough, Lucina could feel the tears welling up again. "Oh, you're right..."
Cynthia shook her head and perked up, putting on the fake smile she knew Owain would. "Nevermind that," she said. "We'll worry about that when we get to him. Now let's find Owain and bring the Justice Cabal back together!"
Lucina managed a small smile. "You're right. And hey, you pronounced it right this time."
Shaking off Cynthia's confusion, Lucina lead her sister on their adventure, with her sword at her side, her sister at her back, and her cousin hopefully still alive somewhere.
It took many days to find their cousin, and they even managed to pick up a few friends along the way, so by the time more than a week had passed, hope was starting to fade that they would ever find Owain.
"Hey, don't get yerself so down," one of their friends assured them. "I don't think any a' those ugly zombie guys would've been able to get to him. He's way too good to get himself offed that easily, y'know?"
"I guess," Cynthia sighed. "But nobody else is with him! What if he gets hurt and nobody's there to help him?"
The friend who assured them shrugged and held his tool of choice up. "Well, we'll just hafta find him so I can heal him before that happens, huh?"
Lucina smiled and nodded. "You're right. Thanks, Brady."
"I do what I can," he shrugged.
Suddenly, another of their comrades spoke up, pushing up the bridge of his glasses as he did. "Hold a moment, does that look like a blacksmith's to anyone else? Perhaps he's in there repairing his blade."
"Laurent, you're a genius," Lucina said before bolting in the direction of the building.
Once inside, they found a very large, very angry looking man toiling away over a fire and looking about ready to attack an orange-haired boy with the hot blade he was making.
"Owain!" Cynthia yelled, causing the boy to turn quickly. His eyes lit up at the sight of his cousins and they all embraced in the middle of that room, which further angered the blacksmith.
"Get out of my shop, you lunatic!" He bellowed. The kids quickly made their way outside (one of them crying at the sudden volume of the man's voice) and continued their reunion after putting some distance between them and the shack.
"Hey, what're you guys doing here all together like this?" Owain asked as he surveyed who all had come.
Lucina countered with a question of her own. "I think the real question is what are you doing here?"
Owain's eyes narrowed and he held his hand in front of his face. "I'm doing what my mother asked me to do before sending me off. I'm in search of the legendary blade; Mystletainn! She says it's the only blade in existence that can, for lack of a better term, play nice with my sword hand. With it I'll lay waste to all my foes."
"Is that what she sent you off to do?" Lucina asked, receiving a nod in return. She exchanged a glance with Cynthia and sighed. "I see. She must have known, then."
"Known what?" Owain asked.
"I think she knew too," Cynthia agreed, only glancing at Owain when he asked his question.
Lucina took a deep breath and looked at her cousin. "Owain, the castle was attacked shortly after you left."
Owain gasped and his hand dropped from his face to his side, resting on the handle of his sword and ready to battle. "What? How could that be?" Cynthia and Lucina didn't respond, instead opting to look at the ground to avoid watching the multiple emotions come over Owain's face. "Did everyone make it out okay?" When no response came, his hand fell from his sheath and his voice grew frantic. "Lucy, Cynthia, come on, you gotta talk to me. Is everyone okay?"
Suddenly, he grabbed Lucina's shoulders tightly and shook her, forcing her to look at his face. "Is my mother okay?" He demanded, tears forming in his eyes.
Lucina didn't even notice the pain of having her shoulders grabbed, feeling only pain for her cousin. "Owain, Lissa didn't make it out of the castle."
The reaction was immediate. In the blink of an eye, Owain's hands had fallen from Lucina's shoulders and he took a step back, wanting to say something like "I don't believe you," or "where is she really?" but the only thing that came were tears.
Cynthia stepped forward and offered him something she had saved from the attack. It seemed to be a piece of a staff. "This is part of the staff she was using when she...well, I thought she would want you to have it."
Owain took the piece of staff from her and stared at it sadly. In a few short minutes, he had gone from a royal child with one parent to an orphan with only a piece of a tool to remember his parents by.
"We have a plan," Lucina said, trying to break through to him. "We can't sit around and be sad about this forever. We're going to try to find the Fire Emblem and fix all of this. Our parents won't have died in vain, but only if we get moving immediately."
Owain nodded solemnly and gripped the staff tight. "You're right. Mom wouldn't want me to mope around like this."
"That's the spirit!" Cynthia cheered. "And now the Justice Cabal from when we were kids is back together!"
Owain couldn't help but smile at this. "You're right. And you pronounced it right this time."
"Why do you guys keep saying that?" Cynthia demanded, stomping her foot. Lucina and Owain shared a laugh before the group started moving once more.
Owain brought up the rear so nobody would see him cry to himself despite the hopeful air he had just put on. The memory of stomping around the hallways of the castle as a kid also brought something else to mind, something he promised someone long ago. He looked at the piece of Lissa's staff one more time, holding it into the air as if expecting the light to reveal a hidden message on it or something. When he had no such luck, he scooped a sharp rock up from the ground and started hitting the staff, seemingly to give his hands something to do. Finally, he dropped the rock and held up the implement once more, revealing hastily carved out letters that read, "LISSA."
With a scolding from a lifetime ago echoing in his mind, he said, "mom, may I go on this adventure with my cousins? Brady will be there too, so we won't get hurt too bad."
A moment later, his face fell and he put the staff in his pocket. "What, did you think it would actually respond? Idiot..."
He may not have gotten any response, but he managed to keep the promise he made his mom all those years ago, and it was the thought that counted.
Owain's adventures continued, and with every new experience came another somber moment during which he'd hold up that piece of healing staff and ask if he was allowed to go. He never got a response, but it was comforting and became a habit that he couldn't bring himself to go against. He even asked the implement for permission when he and two of his friends changed their names and embarked on a journey he never dreamed of. It was an adventure that cemented his place among legends just like he had always wanted (albeit with the pseudonym Odin). However, the most important part was that he had fallen in love—and had a child—with beautiful royalty along the way. Unfortunately, he knew this adventure wasn't going to last forever, and when he and his friends helped that royal's beloved adopted brother become the king of a previously unknown kingdom, he had to face that fact.
That morning, his beautiful daughter skipped down the halls of her new home, exploring the castle and of course, giving names to inanimate objects along the way. When she passed by the room her father was staying in, she chirped a cheerful greeting, just like she had the past few mornings. She paused to listen to him respond to her, but he didn't speak. She giggled and knocked on the wall to jog him awake. She gave him another morning's greeting, but still no response came. She pouted and pushed on the door a bit. "Father," she called again. "I'm coming in. Do you fare well, oh dearest father?" She felt her warning was fair, so she stepped into the room to find it completely empty. All of Odin's stuff, which had been scattered across the bed less than a day ago, had disappeared alongside the person it all belonged to. The empty room concerned Ophelia. "Father?" She took a glance around the room and saw no possible hiding places, so she turned on her heel and scurried out of the room, starting to comb the halls in search of her parents. Her search grew more frantic as time passed, and by the time she ran into her husband, she had broken into a sprint down the halls (which wasn't very comfortable when her dark mage outfit was taken into account).
"Ophelia? What's the matter?" Corrin asked, perplexed at this behavior. "Normally you're skipping at this point in the day."
"Have you seen my father?" Ophelia asked, her eyes wide and her breathing ragged. "I've looked all over for him and can't find him anywhere."
Corrin's eyes narrowed. Odin had his moments, but if Ophelia was dropping her overdramatic act, it was for a damn good reason. "Alright, alright, let's take this slowly," he said in his most calming voice. "Let's think for a moment, Could he have gone into town for something?"
Ophelia shook her head. "His stuff's all gone."
Corrin nodded understanding. "Alright, have you seen your mother? You can ask her."
"No Corrin, you don't understand," Ophelia cried. "The room my parents were staying in is completely empty."
Corrin put a hand to his chin and nodded sagely. "Alright...perhaps they went back to Nohr? Elise is a princess after all."
The look of worry on Ophelia's face stayed put as she shrugged. "But...my father always tells me when he's going somewhere. It's like he makes it a point to tell me where he's going."
Another nod and contemplative noise from Corrin. "Right. Perhaps he thinks you're too old for that reassurance."
"I still appreciate it," Ophelia huffed, crossing her arms over her chest and pouting.
"That is strange," Corrin admitted. "We'll look for him together, how's that?"
Ophelia smiled and took his hand in hers. "That sounds delightful. Thank you so much, Corrin."
The day wore on, and as the sun made its journey across the sky, no sign of Odin could be found in or around the castle. Ophelia's distress only grew, and it was getting more difficult for Corrin to calm her nerves as time went on. When it was finally time to settle in for the night, he yawned one final reassurance for the day. "I sent a letter to Nohr and asked if Elise or him are there, so we'll know where he is very soon, alright?"
This, like the others, was no condolence for Ophelia, who shook her head and paced the bedroom in her nightclothes. "What if something's happened to him? A letter's too slow. We have to go look for him!"
Sighing, Corrin realized she wasn't going to calm down anytime soon. He rose from their bed before meeting her in the middle of the room and wrapping her in a loving embrace. "You aren't helping him by freaking out like this. How would he want you to react in this situation?"
Ophelia sniffled and broke away from Corrin's hug. She gulped and assumed a pretty spot-on impersonation of her father, thrusting her hand forward dramatically and proclaiming, "my dearest Ophelia, fruit of my loins and inheritor of my legacy! Don't you dare shed a tear for your dearest dad, because some day, he will return and share with you all the eldritch knowledge he gained on his travels!"
Corrin laughed and grabbed her hand in his. "See? He'll be fine, and back before you know it."
"Thank you," Ophelia sniffled, finally feeling a little better. "I'm sure you're right."
As darkness fell upon the land, three figures stood atop a hill, waiting for one or two others to join them on their pilgrimage.
One of the figures scoffed and crossed her arms. "Ugh, what is taking him so long?" The air was getting crisp and she didn't appreciate being left out in the cold for this long. Her red hair billowing dramatically in the wind only felt cool for so long.
One of her companions put his hand on her shoulder and said, "now now, don't get so antsy. You know Odin prefers to be...fashionably late."
"You know we can drop the whole fake name act," the first person spat.
Her companion shrugged. "I guess I'll have to get used to our old names all over again, won't I, Severa?"
This was when the third person present spoke up. "Severa's your real name? Hm, I'm not sure I like it as much. Selena sounds, like, so much cuter."
"Well, it's a good thing my mother didn't ask you when she named me, isn't it?" Selena remarked. "Inig—I mean, Laslow, your daughter's bothering me again."
Laslow chuckled and moved his hand to Soleil's head, ruffling her almost-as-red hair. "Oh, so she's my daughter when she's bothering you, but when she's obeying you, she's yours?"
"That's how it works, yes," Selena confirmed.
Before Soleil could put in her two cents, they were interrupted by the sound of distant laughter which grew louder as they watched Odin and Elise join them on the hilltop. Laslow and Selena looked at each other with a confused expression before turning their gaze to the newcomers. Once he spotted them, Odin thrust his hand forward and posed theatrically. "Greetings, my old friends! I pray I have not kept you waiting too long?" Selena pursed her lips and nodded, causing his expression to drop. "Er, well, my apologies. Elise had some last minute goodbyes to say before our departure, and I had something to drop off."
Elise nodded and looked at the trio in front of her. "Oh, so these are your friends you were keeping a secret with! I didn't realize all my other siblings had retainers who weren't who they seemed."
"Um, about that," Laslow started. "Lady Elise, it's a pleasure to see you, but shouldn't you get back to them? You do realize we...won't be coming back."
Elise and Odin looked at each other with somber expressions and nodded. "I know," Elise said with a nod. "I made sure to say bye to my siblings. Well, most of them. I'm just excited to see what this Ylisse place is like! I like that its name sounds like mine, and if it's anything else like me, it's gonna be great!"
Selena cocked an eyebrow at Odin and muttered, "uh, huh... Say, Odin? This is not who we expected you to bring with you."
Laslow nodded agreement with his wife. "Yeah, we were under the impression Ophelia would be accompanying us," he said, illustrating his point by putting his arm around his own daughter.
Odin's shoulders dropped and he nodded sadly. "I wanted to bring her with us more than you can imagine, but I couldn't bring myself to take her away from her husband like that. Can you imagine how sad Corrin would be if we snatched his love away from under his nose like that, after everything they've been through together?"
Elise nodded, her lips pursed seriously. "Yeah. Besides, she's a queen now! We can't go around taking queens from their thrones!"
"That's stupid," Selena scoffed. "She'll still be royalty where we're going."
Elise's eyes lit up and she completely disregarded the insult as she looked to Odin with wide eyes. "Wait, seriously? You're a prince?"
"What do you call being the princess' cousin?" Laslow wondered aloud, which only caused Elise's grin to grow wider.
"That's so cool! Now I really can't wait to see Ylisse!"
Odin managed a weak smile. "I'll show you all of Ylisse that you can bear, my dear."
Elise latched onto Odin's arm and squealed,"yay! How about you start by telling me your friends' names?"
Soleil was happy to chime in with, "my mother's real name is Severa!"
Elise bit her lip and looked at Selena, mouthing the name for a moment. "Meh, Selena was cuter."
"Ugh, nobody asked you!"
Part of Odin wished the line of conversation concerning his daughter had continued. Laslow, er, Inigo knew better than anyone that his habit of asking a piece of a staff had extended to his daughter whether he meant for it to or not, and he wished he had asked about it, so he could say one of the things that had been plaguing him out loud. The truth was that Odin couldn't possibly bring himself to look into his daughter's eyes and ask her permission to leave her forever without breaking down over how much those eyes looked like his own mother's. As his journey home started, he clutched the piece of Lissa's staff in his pocket and silently apologized profusely to his mother, begging forgiveness for breaking his lifelong promise.
Of course, he couldn't leave without any sort of goodbye, so when Ophelia checked his room once again the next morning, she would find on the bed a very special tome with unique healing abilities, lovingly named after her grandmother. When she would pick up the Lissa tome and inspect it warily, the message would be conveyed that this search for her father would be one that would never bear fruit.
Why Ophelia/Corrin, you may ask? Well, I made that decision because I felt that was the couple that Odin would have the hardest time breaking up. Odin/Elise was done because Elise gives Ophelia pretty much her canon hair color. Strange shipping decisions aside, I hope you enjoyed this Owain birthday fic! Leave a review if you did. c: