Title: A Taste of Home
Fandom: Fire Emblem Binding Blade/Fire Emblem Heroes
Summary: They were serving Lugh's favorite food again—baked tarts. He couldn't resist grabbing some to share with others. It was a taste of home he hadn't thought he would find here, an entire world away from all that he knew. But here, Lugh was sure he would find his wayward brother, which he does, and he even finds someone else he hadn't thought he would ever meet again—Father.
Notes: background Raven/Lucius
A Taste of Home
Lugh was on a mission.
After trying to offer a baked tart he had been saving for later to a hooded man who looked like he could really use something sweet to battle his terrible complexion, the man had grabbed him by the collar and snarled that he wasn't going to be tricked out of his Imhullu tome for a child's dessert, of all things, so he best scram already and stop pestering him again and again.
Well, that was just odd, since Lugh hadn't ever met the man before now, but not all that odd. That was, if a certain someone was also here.
When Lugh's feet touched the ground once more, it was with his heart pounding too quickly that he shoved the baked tart at the man anyway, as an apology of sorts, and ran off, a giddy smile stretching across his face even as the man shouted after him to no avail. Lugh might not be the best mage out there, but he was quick on his feet, easily escaping the fury of the angry man. He didn't forget to turn and wave, in thanks for the man's help.
Then, with a smile still on his face, Lugh continued down the hallway.
His brother had to be here.
This definitely wasn't even close to the first time Lugh had been mistaken for his twin brother, earning him the wrath of complete strangers, but it was most certainly the farthest from home it had ever happened. Here Lugh was, in a completely different world, yet somehow, there was someone here who looked just like him who had wanted a dark tome from this man.
Raigh had always been like that, eager to study new spell books. When they had been in Roy's army together, not only had Raigh "borrowed" a spell book from Hugh, he had also been curious about the legendary dark tome Sophia had, so why wouldn't he behave the same here, in this vast new world with tons to learn? With heroes from all sorts of different worlds gathering here, there were so many people they could learn from. Raigh must be beyond ecstatic.
Therefore, Lugh had no doubt that it was his twin brother he had been mistaken for once again... His brother who had once more left without a word to him.
Even though he had promised he wouldn't ever do it again.
Raigh had tried to stay, Lugh was sure of it, but he could never resist the lure of dark magic, of seeking new knowledge and spells to better protect them all, especially the little ones. But that couldn't be all of it, not when Raigh had already promised, not when they would rather have him with them than somewhere far, far away, his whereabouts and well-being unknown to them all.
Lugh would get down to the bottom of it.
There were a great number of heroes around the castle from all kinds of backgrounds and ages, far more people in one place than Roy's army had ever had. Even so, the welcoming atmosphere was similar, and there were even a few kids just like him.
One of them was an anima mage whose hair color was so similar to his that he almost mistook her for Raigh when he caught a glimpse of her, but her cheerful countenance soon put an end to that notion. He waved to her though, and she cheerfully waved back.
Perhaps later, they could exchange notes about anima magic. It'd be nice to learn more about anima magic with someone his age. Father had done his best to instruct them, but anima and dark magic weren't part of his expertise, not like how light magic answered his beck and call. Then, after Father's passing, there was no longer anyone to instruct him. Most of his knowledge had been cobbled together from self study and then practical experience on the battlefield.
It was no wonder that Raigh was always so eager to learn more. Sometimes, Lugh wondered if perhaps he should be more driven like his brother, if perhaps he wasn't being studious enough. He had always wondered if that was one of the reasons Raigh had left that first time, that he had been in the way of his brother's studies. Lugh had learned too late how much he could have protected if only he had been stronger.
When he passed by the dining halls, the aroma of freshly baked dessert led his feet to a table of pastries. To his delight, his favorite food—baked tarts—was being served once again, a commodity to be shared and enjoyed. Sweets were hard to come by, so whenever Lugh managed to acquire any, he could never wait to share them with other people. Baked tarts were always delicious, but they tasted even better when they were enjoyed with company.
Father used to bake them on very special occasions, and Lugh would help, often getting flour on his clothes. While the pastries baked away, Lugh would sit back and kick his feet, chin propped on his hands. Father always told him to give it time, as the pastries wouldn't finish baking so quickly and didn't need second by second watching, but Lugh enjoyed doing so anyway, and it was even better when Father would give a chuckle and sit down next to him to watch the food with him.
Sometimes, Father even told Lugh stories while they waited together, of his many adventures before he established the orphanage and put down his roots, of how he too had been raised in an orphanage, but not a happy one, and so he wished to bring about a different childhood for them all.
Lugh wholeheartedly believed Father had been successful and always told him as much, only to receive a gentle pat on the head.
Lugh missed those days, but he smiled as he closed his hand around a baked tart.
He really hoped that the baked tart he had given the angry man would make him just the bit less angry. It never failed to lift Lugh's mood.
Lugh gladly replenished his stash of baked tarts.
Although he was in a completely foreign world, even here, he had a taste of home, as if someone had been waiting to welcome him.
Lugh continued onward, now with more baked tarts in hand. He hummed a cheerful tune, his steps light. Around the corner, he could hear the whispers of a conversation. He thought nothing of it until he bumped into dark robes, nearly dropping the baked tarts. Before he could straighten back up and apologize, a flash of green hair was his only warning—suddenly there was a hand pulling against his mouth. His back bumped against hard stone walls as his assailant likewise plastered against the wall next to him to hide from view.
"Rlakja!" Lugh protested against the hand with his heart in his throat.
"Shh!" came the shushing voice, a voice that couldn't be any more familiar to Lugh.
He abruptly stopped struggling. The hand loosened, and when Lugh didn't make any further noise, dropped down altogether, giving Lugh his freedom back.
Lugh sucked in a deep breath, telling his erratic heart to slow down already, and slid his eyes to the side. He would have doubted his eyes, if not for how real that hand against his face had been. This was certainly no figment of his imagination. His brother was right there beside him, standing against that very same stone wall with him. He really was here.
Sharp eyes locked onto his for but a moment. No greeting followed, only a raised eyebrow, despite how much time had passed since they had last seen each other.
A smile spread across Lugh's face.
He had found him. They had found each other.
Lugh held a baked tart up to offer it to Raigh, who rolled his eyes at Lugh but took it anyway. He nibbled on it as he jerked his thumb over his shoulder, indicating for Lugh to take a look.
Then, Raigh stuck his head out around the corner, and Lugh leaned over, thrown back to a time when it had been necessary for them to sneak around like this for their own safety. He could only hope that Raigh was just up to mischief, perhaps eying yet another spell book, instead of being in serious trouble. But if he really were in grave trouble, he probably wouldn't be nibbling on a baked tart, so Lugh was optimistic that something else was making Raigh act this way.
His brother's expression didn't give much away, just that whatever was happening in the corridor had his complete attention. Lugh followed Raigh's gaze, eyes widening as he did so.
It... it couldn't be...
There, at the end of the hallway, was someone Lugh hadn't thought he would ever see again.
Tears welled in his eyes, and he swallowed hard.
"Father..." Lugh couldn't help whispering. He turned toward Raigh. "Is that... Father?"
Raigh gave a small nod without looking at Lugh, eyes glued on that person in the corridor instead.
The blond man at the end of the hallway was dressed in a light blue robe. He had a gentle smile on his face, and long, blond hair that trailed down his back. He was talking with a taller man whose back was to them. He seemed familiar as well, but Lugh wasn't able to pay him much attention when Father was right there, alive and smiling, albeit much younger than Lugh remembered, the weariness that had enveloped him in those final days all but absent.
The last Lugh had seen of Father was during Bern's invasion, with Father cut down right before his eyes as the soldiers heartlessly trampled over their little garden with their horses. The garden might not have been much to anyone else, but to Lugh and his family, the garden had been everything, tiny roots fighting to survive despite all that life threw at them.
Father's last words as he faded in Chad's arms had been for them to look after the little ones—Lugh hadn't even been able to move from where he had stood frozen, too consumed by shock. Father had passed away, and Lugh hadn't even been able to make himself move to his side in his final moments.
Father had tried so hard to protect what they held dear, but in the end, he was only one lone man, and they were but children, helpless, in the face of war.
Lugh sniffed and brought the back of his hand to his nose and mouth, trying to muffle the noise. If only Lugh had been a stronger mage. Or older and more experienced. Or, or...
He couldn't fault his brother for always running off to further his studies. Raigh too must feel the same regrets, the same turmoil of not being strong enough when it mattered, only able to watch on as their beloved home fell to ruins, and their lives fell to pieces. Never again would they let such a tragedy happen. Not to themselves, nor to anyone else.
He glanced at Raigh. Was this... was this why Raigh had left once more? Lugh would not put it past Raigh to have discovered the possibility of meeting Father again and leaping at the chance. While Raigh appeared cold to many, Lugh knew how much he cared, and how much he too missed Father and felt guilt over his passing. Perhaps his guilt was all the greater, for not being there in Father's final moments.
The window of coming to this world was small. Lugh too had had to make a leap of faith, entrusting the care of the little ones to Chad while Lugh left to search for Raigh.
Now, not only had Lugh found Raigh, he had also found Father. More precisely, Raigh had found him for them.
Father smiled easily at the tall man, none the wiser about the two of them hiding around the corner. Raigh seemed content to take in the sight of Father alive and well from afar, but Lugh didn't want to let this opportunity slip out of his grasp. Summoned to this foreign world and meeting lost loved ones once more was nothing Lugh had thought would ever happen, but here they were.
Mind made up, Lugh removed himself from the wall, striding forward, only for his brother to grab him by the sleeve, eyes widening.
"What are you doing?" Raigh blurted and tried to huddle against the wall again. He tugged on Lugh's sleeve, trying to get him to hide, but Lugh wouldn't budge.
"I'm going to say hello," Lugh replied, "and share some baked tarts with him."
He all but dragged Raigh with him. Who knew how long Raigh had been trailing Father, afraid to approach him? Both of them had been here longer than Lugh, yet it was obvious to him that they hadn't made any contact. Raigh was shy and stubborn like that, never one to reveal his true feelings, always misunderstood because of his sharp tongue. Well, Lugh was here to remedy that and help his brother get over his shyness! This was Father, after all, the kindest man ever. He would not make fun of them for any awkwardness on their part.
"Father!" Lugh shouted joyfully as he barrelled down the hallway with Raigh in tow. For some reason, Raigh held a hand to his face. His other hand, that was, as he still hadn't let go of Lugh's sleeve. It was an excuse for his presence, but if that was what it took for Raigh to move forward, Lugh wasn't going to comment about it.
It was helping Lugh move forward as well, finally free from where he had been frozen, too late to reach Father's side. Now, he could, the distance easily conquered. Raigh was with him, after all.
Both men turned, their conversation coming to an abrupt halt. Surprise was all over Father's face, while the other man's expression pulled into a severe frown. Father turned and looked all around them, but after seeing no one else in the corridor, he blinked and gestured at the other man and then himself.
"Have you mistaken one of us for your father?" Father asked gently, while the other man just grunted.
Lugh scrunched his brows together. Why would Father ask that? There was no doubt that this was Father, only younger.
"He doesn't know us," Raigh whispered quickly behind Lugh. "I've been observing him. I'm fairly sure he must have been summoned from a point before we were born."
"Oh," Lugh said, stumped. He had thought Father would know them. Lugh and Raigh had started living at the orphanage in Araphen when they were four, which was several years ago. Even if Father were younger, he had thought he would know a younger version of them. Up close, however, he could see that Father was even younger than he had thought, perhaps only a few years older than Roy.
Still, Father stood so patiently before him, even while the man next to him folded his arms across his chest intimidatingly.
"Um, I haven't, er, I haven't mistaken anyone," Lugh said. "You're Father. To you, I guess we're from your... future?" Lugh really didn't know how else to put it. While it did sadden him that Father didn't know them, he was still glad to meet him again.
Father blinked and placed a hand over his chest, his cheeks turning rosy. "M-Me? You sure it's me? Not... Lord Raymond instead? I... I did suggest to him that perhaps he would like to find someone to marry so that he would have someone to go home to. I would not be surprised if he has children in the future..."
The other man, Raymond or something, scowled and said, "I've never planned on having children or even marrying. I already told you that I need no bride! Don't make me repeat myself. You on the other hand, I never heard that you wanted to settle down with kids, Lucius. Weren't you the one who was harping on coming along to journey with me?"
"Lord Raymond!" Father exclaimed, turning toward him. "I do wish to journey with you!"
Lord Raymond... Oh!
Lugh turned to take in Raymond's appearance. He was even taller up close, his shoulders broad, with a sword strapped to his waist. He looked to be some sort of mercenary, his build much more robust than Father's. As Lugh had thought, there was something familiar about this person, like Lugh should know him... Lugh looked up at that scowling face and tried to imagine the furrowed brows relaxed, the frown smoothed away into a small smile. Lugh did know him, after all, a much older, much more at peace version of this man.
He was Uncle Ray, the man who featured the most prominently in Father's stories, and who always brought them food and other things from his travels whenever he visited, until one day, he never showed up again.
Father had been devastated.
While Lugh was lost in sudden grief for Father and Uncle Ray, and the two of them were lost in back and forth conversation about each other, practically forgetting the presence of Lugh and his brother, Raigh seemed to dislike being forgotten, and so cut in to say, "You know, there are ten of us. I can't believe you never wanted us. If you didn't want us, you should have stopped at just one... No, you should have stopped at zero!"
Lugh swiveled to stare at his brother, not knowing that he had taken Father and Uncle Ray's words to heart so much. It was true. They didn't sound like they wanted any children at all, so what did Lugh and the rest mean to them?
"T-ten?" Father all but gasped, face draining of color, looking like he might faint.
Even Uncle Ray was showing an expression other than a scowl, his eyes widening. It was then that he finally seemed to see Lugh and Raigh for who they were instead of random strangers, their appearances registering in his mind. "Don't they look like... Don't tell me, that mage girl is their mother?"
Father really did gasp now, as if in disbelief, and mumbled, "Nino? They... really do look like her. I... with Nino? She's a fine young lady, but I haven't even really spoken with her before... And she's quite young..."
"Ten kids. You two must have been busy," Uncle Ray said in a flat voice. "Besides, young or not, they're from the future, like Eliwood's kid. It matters not her age now."
"Lord Raymond! Please don't tease me so," Father protested.
Mage girl. Mother? Nino. Lugh had a name now. Father had always left her name out in his stories, something about how it was too dangerous to speak it, with the danger that chased after her and her husband.
"Is Mother here too?" Lugh blurted. "Could you take me to her? I... I don't have memories of her... We were only four when we were left at the orphanage. She never returned."
Yet another person who had vanished from their lives, never to return, but here in this foreign world, Lugh could meet her.
"Oh," Father said, as if a sudden realization had come to him. He shared a look with Uncle Ray, whose sharp words had died down at Lugh's question, while Raigh, who had been quiet this entire time, snickered.
Lugh had thought Raigh to have been shocked silent, but no, had he been watching them argue with amusement this entire time?
Lugh swiveled to stare at him. Was this really the time to be snickering, when they were on the verge of meeting their mother? Sometimes, Raigh really didn't know how to read the mood. He was totally going to be misunderstood again.
Raigh smirked and said, "You should have seen the look on your faces! You really thought you fathered ten children, huh? Well, sorry to break it to you, but we were just pathetic orphans under your care, Father."
Wait, what? Lugh jerked back to stare at Father and Uncle Ray. Was that what they had thought? No wonder Father had been so surprised... Still, there was no reason for Raigh to speak in such a way to Father, even if his feelings were hurt that Father didn't seem to want them. No one who didn't want them would have thrown himself out there to protect what they cherished with his very life. Lugh could never forget that.
This time, it was Lugh who pulled on Raigh's sleeve. Raigh flicked impatient eyes at him, but Lugh just jerked his head toward Father, indicating for Raigh to look.
Raigh did, and fell silent.
Across from them, Father too had been struck silent. He opened his mouth and closed it several times. It wasn't until after he brought his hands to his eyes and brushed away the brimming droplets that he seemed to be able to speak once more, but not without a quiver in his voice.
"The two of you must have gone through so much," was what he finally said, hand dropping down to find its place over his heart. "I am so sorry for the selfishness I displayed just now. Please know that even though I do not know you now, even if I am no longer in your life in the future, I am proud of what fine young lads you have grown up to be. Please never put yourselves down like that."
"Father..." Lugh whispered. What Lugh really wanted to do was to leap forward into Father's arms and bawl, but Father was already on the verge of tears, and Lugh didn't want to make him cry for real. So, he stuck his hand out to both of them instead and said, "Here, take this!"
"Baked tarts...?" Father asked but accepted them. He handed one to Uncle Ray. A slow smile graced Father's face. Lugh congratulated himself for a job well done, just as Father murmured, "Thank you. They're my favorite. I even showed the kitchen staff here how to make them."
"No wonder they taste just like home," Raigh mumbled.
Lugh could not have agreed more, bringing the last of the baked tart to his mouth. He bit into it, the thick, buttery crust melting in his mouth. Raigh always thought him weird for eating the crust first, but the way Father made the crusts was always the best, and this, this was a taste that Lugh had dearly missed.
It really did taste just like home, like those long lost days he had thought he would never get back, so much that Lugh could feel his eyes growing moist again.
But, he blinked it away and elbowed Raigh, as his brother was still holding himself back, choosing to hide behind sharp words. He would definitely regret it if those were his last words to Father. By now, Lugh was entirely sure that Raigh had learned that they could meet heroes from different universes and even from past points of times and thought that they could meet Father here. But after he arrived, he had not been able to bring himself to actually talk to Father, now that he was so much younger than they remembered.
It's just too weird! Lugh could imagine Raigh saying.
Raigh shot Lugh a glare, but it wasn't like those ever worked on him. Lugh just grinned and pushed Raigh forward, who stumbled but quickly righted himself and cleared his throat.
Father turned toward him in curiosity.
With flushed cheeks, Raigh opened his mouth and said, "Father, I..."
Lugh had to say this was a mission accomplished well beyond his wildest imagination.
Raven: Ten children, huh?
Lucius: Lord Raymond, please stop teasing me. You must know by now that I am not their actual father, but the father of their orphanage.
Raven: It matters not. You can see how much they love you.
Lucius: I... Yes, the future me must love them just as much. I did not grow up with fond memories of the orphanage that raised me, but these children give me hope that theirs was a different life than the one I led. I dearly hope I was able to provide them with that, at the very least.
Raven: Do not fret. It is easy to tell that while their life was difficult, it was not without affection. Ten children, huh...
Lucius: Must we circle back to this point once more? I did not take you for a cad, Lord Raymond.
Raven: Call me what you will, but I would not mind raising them with you. House Cornwell is no more, but that does not mean I will no longer have anyone to go home to.
Lucius: L-Lord Raymond! What do you mean?
Raven: Exactly what I said.
I imagine that Lugh and Raigh come from a universe where Raven and Lucius only reached B support, so Lucius goes off to start an orphanage instead of traveling with Raven, and Raven just stops by from time to time, while the Lucius and Raven that they speak to here have achieved A support and are considering traveling together.
Somehow, when I envisioned a reunion, it turned into one between the twins and Lucius, instead of the twins meeting Nino, their mother, but after this, they'll probably go and seek Nino out together. ;)
This entry was originally posted at https://lucathia.dreamwidth.org/361500.html. You can comment here or there.