A/N: So on my Tumblr, I got a request a few months ago: "Write a fic for a prompt you wish someone would ask you for." It took me a while because I wasn't sure what that was. But I finally thought of it, and took a break from working on Aftermathto write it. It's…well, let's just say it's a surprise :)
Warning: F-bomb gets dropped a few times, if that bothers you.
that sound you hear (is the sound of the world falling down)
"These two worked hard to gather the royal families from Hoshido and Nohr. They brought them together, to Valla, so that it would be easy to eliminate them!"
Gunter's pronouncement hung heavy in the air. Xander shook his head, unable to offer a rebuttal but refusing to believe his words. Instead he, and the other royals, instinctively looked to Corrin and Azura, waiting for them to protest and prove the old knight wrong. The two accused exchanged looks.
Then Corrin clapped, long and slow, walking past the shivering forms to stand with his back to the throne. "Congratulations, Gunter. For such an old man, you sure are quick on the uptake. Quicker than the rest, at least."
His voice was light, but off from his usual tone. There was an edge to it, something cruel and mocking matched only by the smirk crossing his face as he ran an eye over the blinking royals.
"Wh…what?" Elise finally gasped. "B-Brother…what are you saying?"
He snorted. "Oh, please. A trap that affects everyone not of Vallite birth, and you aren't the least bit suspicious? Really? I thought for sure that'd be the giveaway, but it was too useful to pass up. Seems I was mostly wrong."
"Corrin, is this a joke?" Leo snapped. "If so, it's not funny."
"I think the shock's addled their brains, dear," Azura said, smiling darkly as she went to stand by Corrin's side. She pressed a kiss to his cheek, then dropped her head on his shoulder. "You are a splendid actor, after all."
"You too, love," he answered, smiling and kissing her forehead. "But it's not hard when they make it so easy. I honestly thought they were smarter than this."
"This…can't be true…" Hinoka said numbly. "Corrin…"
"Goodness, what does it take to convince you?" Azura rolled her eyes. "Do you want us to describe, in detail, how we set things up so that Corrin would be 'captured' and brought back to Hoshido? How we arranged the stage for Mikoto's murder? How we played you all like puppets, dancing on our strings, as we led you to your deaths? Because we can."
"So it's true?" Ryoma rasped, eyes full of disbelief. "You're the traitors? You…you killed Scarlet?"
"Completely true!" Corrin sing-songed. "She was so easy to get the drop on. You should pick your women better, 'brother'; Azura would never have been as caught off-guard as Scarlet was."
The samurai's fists tightened, but the spell left him too weak to rise up and strike.
"Why…" Camilla gasped, grimacing as another wrack overtook her body. "Corrin, darling, why…"
"You know, I asked that very same question for years. Why. But I never got an answer." He paused. "But I feel generous, and I want to gloat, so I'll give you one."
Azura stepped back to let him pace, tapping a finger against his chin in mock thought. "Hm. Let's see…Okay. Do you know what it was like, being completely alone in that fortress? Being—being ignored, by all the guards and all the servants? Knowing you had siblings who occasionally visited but didn't care enough to stay, or to fight for your freedom? Being so desperately lonely you thought you would actually die from it? No, of course you don't, none of you do, because you all grew up with friends and family and love. You all grew up never knowing abuse and neglect. But me, I did. I lived that. It was unbearable. It was…"
Corrin paused, seeming to mull over his words. Then he chuckled, but it was brittle and harsh and sharp, like broken glass. "Well, it was enough to drive one a little bit mad."
"Corrin," Sakura whispered, voice cracking, "I'm so, so sorry—"
"Don't!" he shouted, face suddenly contorting in fury. "Don't give me your pathetic, useless apologies! Not when you, and every one of my so-called 'blood siblings', are just as guilty as they!"
She cowered backwards as he raged, "Fourteen years! You had fourteen fucking years to find me! How the fuck could it take you so long to find the boy you all supposedly loved?! And in the end you still didn't! No, I had to find you! I had to arrange my own kidnapping—again—to return to you!" He scoffed and shook his head. "I wouldn't have bothered, if it hadn't been vital to this plan."
"Corrin, dear…" Azura placed a hand on his shoulder. "Please calm yourself. You won't be able to savor this as much if you're too worked up." She paused, then added with a smirk, "Though you being worked up can be delightful…but not here."
He exhaled slowly, then smiled brightly in a jarring flip from rage to cheer. "Ah, you're right, love. You always are. Sorry 'bout that."
"Don't be—I know how painful all that was for you. As for me…" Azura's tone was even, but icy and barren as she pinned every one of the eight royals with a glare. "Abuse, ostracization, and bullying in Nohr; kidnapping, rejection and suspicion in Hoshido… Attempted assassination in both countries… Did you honestly think a single person wouldn't be affected by any of that? Did you honestly think anyone could suffer that and not hate the world a little?"
"But…" Elise whimpered. "Sis, that's no reason to…try and destroy the world."
"What did the world ever do for me?" she shot back. "Save your morals for someone who cares."
"So now you have our motives, now for how it all began," Corrin said, chipper. "One day, when I was thirteen, I actually snuck out of the Fortress. I was so happy, so deliriously happy…so this is what the world is, I thought! This is a village, this is a river, this is a forest! This is sight and scent and sound! I spent days just running from place to place, exploring everything."
"I remember that incident," Xander said numbly. His horse had slowly fallen to its knees, and he was seemingly immobilized in the saddle, head pressed against one hand. "We…we were worried about you, when we heard you'd run away. We all left to find you…"
"Didn't look too hard, did you?" the albino scoffed, "I easily stayed ahead of the soldiers as I made my way to the Bottomless Canyon—I intended to run away, cross into Hoshido or Izumo or someplace that wasn't Nohr—when a group of bandits found me. They chased me to the canyon, and I lost my balance, and I fell in."
"I was visiting Valla at the time," Azura took over, "to escape the slander my so-called 'siblings' had yet again failed to stand up against. I was singing to myself when Corrin fell out of the sky and landed on top of me. He was a bit panicked, having expected to die, but I calmed him down and explained where we were and who I was."
Corrin smiled at her, and it was a genuinely fond expression. "For the first time in my life I felt overjoyed. Here was a kindred spirit. Here was someone who knew the pain I'd faced, who empathized with and cared about me, who I empathized with and cared about in turn. I knew right then I belonged there, with her, not in the Fortress."
"Anankos's soldiers found us shortly after," his blue-haired lover said calmly. "And he spoke to us. He asked us why we should be the ones lonely and despairing. He asked us why we suffered when it was not we who were wrong, but the world. He said we would never be able to stay together in Valla so long as our captors and oppressors lived. And then he offered revenge, if we'd just serve him. It wasn't a difficult choice."
"I was right," Takumi growled. "I was right to suspect you all along."
"That's the funny thing, isn't it?" Corrin gave Takumi a twisted grin. "You were right. You were right! But our siblings were so happy to have me back and so desperate to make up for their abandonment, they completely dismissed what you said. They scolded you, and you began to doubt yourself. If only you'd stuck to your gut, you might not be in this situation right now. I honestly think that's the best part of all this—that the people who said I was too trusting, were too trusting themselves." He laughed.
The archer fumed, struggling to raise Fujin Yumi. Casually, Corrin strode over and kicked it out of his hands, then kicked him for good measure. Takumi fell back with a grunt, hands wrapping around his midsection. Sakura moved to his side instantly, holding his shoulders gently as she gazed up at Corrin in wordless betrayal.
As thought nothing had happened, the half-dragon continued, "So we went back to Hoshido and Nohr to start moving the pieces in place—Garon had me starved for a month for that stunt, and my Nohrian siblings started visiting more often, as if trying to mollify me." His face twisted cruelly. "But it was too late. I'd had years to build up hate and anger and resentment at that point. Your visits, offered as tokens of pity and duty, made me hate you all the more, but I hid it. I hid it so well, none of you suspected a thing."
"We kept in contact through the water," Azura finished, "No one in Hoshido cared where I went, and he knew the Fortress better than the servants—since he had nothing to do in there except explore it, he'd found a secret passage leading to a nearby river. We plotted, we talked, we fell in love, we fucked…" One of her hands patted Corrin's rear.
"The rest you know," Corrin said, catching Azura's hand and bringing it to his lips. "Mother died, you went to war, and we gathered you up, parroting about an invisible threat while really leading you here like lambs to the slaughter. All those years, those tiresome years of waiting and smiling and pretending, have finally paid off. Gods, you have no idea how refreshing it is to finally drop that goody-two-shoes mask and come out and say how much I despise all of you."
The revelation left those there stunned. Elise and Sakura sobbed quietly. Camilla gazed up at Corrin, eyes wounded and broken. Xander was shaking his head back and forth, mouth moving wordlessly. Ryoma, Takumi, and Leo struggled to rise, faces furious, before falling to the knees. Gunter's face was grim as he leaned on his spear, gasping for air. Hinoka seemed the most in denial, latching on the first thing she could find desperately. "But the Yato chose you—for greatness—"
"Exactly, Hinoka. For greatness. Not goodness. It's a sword—it doesn't care about morals, just glory. And this—" Corrin spread his arms "—felling two royal families and bringing about the end of the world? Is glorious and great indeed."
With that, he grabbed Azura and gave her a deep, heady kiss, like a victory. She purred into his mouth and dug her hands into his hair.
"You won't win," was all Xander could think to say, defiant to the very end. "Hoshido and Nohr will fight you to their last breaths—"
"No they won't," Corrin laughed as he separated from his lover. "Do you really think their armies stopped fighting on the surface? They didn't know about the truce, after all, so they've been battling nonstop up there. When Valla leads the invasion, with your corpses as the vanguard, they'll be too weak to stop it. And the rest of the world will soon follow."
"Now do shut up," Azura said, stepping forward with her lance poised to strike as the strength left the royals' bodies completely, "and die already, yes? Not too fast, though, revenge is a dish best savored slowly."
Prompt: AU where Nohr was just a bit colder to Corrin and Hoshido was just a bit colder to Azura.
Because Evil!Corrin has long been a guilty pleasure of mine, and I wanted to see how Evil!Azura would work.
EDIT: If you're interested in some of the worldbuilding behind this AU, you can find it (and hopefully answers to any questions you have) here: theapocryphalone tumblr post/ 150335347616/ more-on-my-evilazurrin-au