Masqueraded Goodbyes

Masqueraded Goodbyes

a Fire Emblem fanfiction by The Overlord Bear

inspired by omegafire17’s “Reunion”

with special thanks to fanfic writer Mystery of the Emblem

Summary: Nyna goes for one last visit to her unrequited love in Valentia.

On one hand, the former Queen of Archanea was surprised that she was not hounded as she left Alliance territory and entered the land of Valentia. She remembered that she and her friends she had burdened had decided to be discreet to the public about why Hardin fell the way he did, but she expected some nosy fellows to have known and blabbed already. And then there was how the Whitewing Sisters also held renown in the kingdom she was slipping her way into. Perhaps she could even find Est and convince her to return to Abel, repairing the harm she caused the couple through the War of Heroes.

But that was not Nyna’s greatest reason for traveling to the recently united Kingdom of Valentia. She was certain that she should call this selfish, and that there was a great chance of her losing all will to live at the end of this pursuit, but after what she had done to Hardin and to Archanea, she held no more hesitation to do this personal quest of hers. Even what she had learned from the Valentian citizens about the person she sought motivated her to fulfill it.

Nyna would find Camus. Nyna would come knocking on his and his lover Tatiana’s door, announcing herself as a woman named Sabrina seeking her lost lover, taking her lacy black hood off to reveal her cut blonde hair as well, all while pretending that she did not know who they are. Then she would leave, content with the fact that she gave the man now named Ezekiel the best goodbye she could give him.

“You’re visiting Miss Tatiana, milady?”

A girl’s voice suddenly drew Nyna’s attention as the latter had been steeling herself with a stare at her first love’s house.

“I am no noblewoman,” Nyna told the rucksack-bearing girl who had twin-braided light hair, a capelet just as light, and eyes that seemed a bit too sharp and dark for someone her age. “But I am visiting this Tatiana. And her husband.”

The silent look the girl gave Nyna became unnerving. Perhaps Camus had told this land about what she had done? She would call it rude, certainly, but she would also call it deserved.

But then the girl’s look softened, though remained heavy, turning into a sad smile.

“You must be punishing yourself for a forbidden love, then.”

Nyna’s eyes widened at the girl’s accuracy and sympathy. The former Queen would’ve mistaken that response for an insult if the girl hadn’t sounded so wistful about it.

But Nyna had no idea what to say to this stranger beside her. Not when that truth was something she always wanted to run away from.

Nyna, fallen Queen of Archanea, fell because she let herself want too much. Perhaps the Fire Emblem never cursed her. Perhaps she was just punished for desire for a man she could never have, a desire she was finding worthier and worthier of the scorn of everyone. And she didn’t just desire for a man she could never have, she even had the gall to lead people on with some half-baked love for them! She might as well be a bandit who raped and pillaged while wearing the guise of a noble!

Sabrina might as well act as aggressively as such a bandit, then.

So Sabrina marched to her lying Camus’s door, desiring fear upon the man who was supposed to be her slave and this pretentious Tatiana woman who dared to steal what she owned.

But all Nyna managed to do was an arrhythmic set of light knocks without a word, head light and spinning. Tears even started to come out of the corners of her eyes hidden in the shadow of the ornate and dark hood she put on top of her plain but still bright dress.

If only she had insisted on ruling by herself or on abdicating the throne. Her land would’ve still fallen apart, but at least it wouldn’t be as bad as her repressed desires made it.

“Who goes there?”

And then Nyna understood why Camus loved this woman who answered her knocks. There was something in Tatiana’s gentle voice asking such guarded words that proved the holiness her manner of dress emphasized. Tatiana also seemed as soft as Nyna was, but there was this firmness in those dark eyes of hers that exuded an aura of steel.

If this woman in green and white revealed herself to be a Divine Dragon, Nyna would have prostrated herself before her without hesitation. But Nyna also imagined that Tatiana would insist on not going that far even then, so…

“Are you Tatiana?” the lost woman asked the holy woman.

“Yes, I am,” Tatiana confirmed. “Do…Do I know you from somewhere?”

“I am…Nyna.”

Nyna couldn’t find it in herself to lie to this woman now. Even if Camus were right behind her, Nyna still would’ve told the truth with this woman around.

“Oh,” Tatiana responded with a slowly hardening look. “My Ezekiel’s…past woman, I assume.”

“Yes,” Nyna strove to keep her eyes on Tatiana’s even though it hurt, pushing her hood back and revealing her hair as well. “Is your husband with you?”

“What does that matter to you?” Tatiana fired back, her quiet giving Nyna more pain than she imagined. “My Ezekiel, my Zeke, can soften your image in his stories, but I can see how much you hurt not only him but also everyone else around you.”

Sabrina wanted to tell this woman that her supposed beloved had led the Queen of Archanea on, that he had taken her from his fellow villains to toy with her weak heart and play the lost knight who wanted a strong mistress to redeem him. But then Nyna would remember what Gharnef had done, especially to Hardin, the man she led on the cruelest.

“I…” Nyna started, holding her eyes on Tatiana’s, even with the tears streaming down the fallen Queen’s cheeks now, “I want to give apologies and a farewell to your husband…The man I lusted for this whole time.”

Those held gazes were accompanied by silence for a while. Then Tatiana spoke.

“He is on an errand for the King and Queen at the moment. You will have to face me at the dinner table first.”

Nyna bowed at that, smiling as she let her tears fall to the ground. “If that is what you wish.”

Nyna had to give Tatiana credit: The holy woman knew how to kill with kindness.

“I’ve…never had food this good in my life,” the humbled woman said through her tears, trying to fight her hiccups with more spoons of the spicy and sour mix of pork, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. It had some sense of unevenness, but being someone who had become tired of the noble life, that only added to Nyna’s enjoyment of it.

“How flattering,” Tatiana said with that cold tone, still, but Nyna could see that her humbler was looking away to hide her blush. The former Queen’s tears also slowed as she gave a bit of a bigger smile at Tatiana.

“Perhaps I am just flattering,” Nyna agreed after a sniff, remembering the days when Hardin would surprise her with his own cooking that was so delicious…yet she rejected later on out of that fear and shame she would keep to herself. “But we the lonely are often desperate for such from the lovely, no?”

Tatiana’s frown grew at that. “You sound quite pretentious putting it like that.”

Nyna put a hand over the giggle that bubbled out of her in response. “Yet another one of my world-ending stumbles.” Then she wiped the tears off her face and continued eating.

The rest of Nyna’s meal went away in silence, and once she had finished wiping her mouth…

“It may not have been like yours…but I myself have been selfish about my Ezekiel.”

So did Tatiana confess, those steely eyes piercing into Nyna’s soul.

Nyna nodded at Tatiana to continue.

“I was the one who found and nursed him, and I realized how I had fallen for him when the late King Rudolf, bless his soul, took Ezekiel into his care,” the Rigelian Church saint went on. “I knew that Ezekiel knew how to fight, but we all know that someone with a single bit of love would always worry for a loved one whose purpose in life was in the battlefield. But no, that was not what I was selfish about. Death would fill me with grief, certainly, but I would have to keep moving on eventually until the heavens take my soul. What I was selfish about…was his memories.”

Nyna felt a twinge at what had led to that. She had been there as Camus refused her and Marth’s pleas to join their cause to the bitter end. In hindsight, perhaps she wanted to die like they thought he did deep down all this time, dying with foolish loyalty for one’s country, immortalized by legends surrounding the strange lack of remains to be found after the bloody battle.

“Ezekiel could not remember who he was when I found him,” the soft-spoken saint continued as the former Queen nodded. “I considered it an inconvenience at the start like everyone else did, but as I grew closer to him, I could not help but wonder about what he had left behind and what I had been taking him away from. It made his acceptance of my love bitter to my taste, and I felt his sudden departure from me deserved, but still, I longed for him when he was away, and I was overjoyed when he returned.”

At this point, Tatiana was struggling to keep her tears off her face. As for Nyna, she remembered further how she saw Camus as a kindred spirit, one who would sacrifice even their own happiness for their country…but it seems that he had changed, even if it was just a bit…for the better.

Perhaps his appearance as Sirius was supposed to serve as something like what she was doing, then. Perhaps Nyna only wanted revenge for that act she considered an insult to her pride. At those thoughts, the former Queen held back her laughter with a hand to her mouth, not wanting to offend her old love’s true love as she realized that she and Camus were so similar yet so different, so much that she probably didn’t even need the Fire Emblem to know that the two of them were never meant to be. Nyna even couldn’t find it in her to scold Tatiana, not with how the saint had grown stronger than her more quickly, so much that she could see the saint always being strong enough for Camus.

And then Nyna couldn’t help her tears again. Not only were they of joy for the couple she now honored, they were also of sorrow for Hardin and what they could have been if she had destroyed her walls for him.

Then the fallen Queen found herself in the saint’s embrace. Nyna continued crying, but she also listened to what Tatiana said to her next.

“Let our weaknesses be not in vain,” the saint whispered. “Let our lowliness never be frightening things to us. Let them all lead us to the rise of the happiness that shall overcome them.”

Nyna believed it to be a prayer, and while she had little to no knowledge about what and how the people of Valentia practiced their faith, she would still welcome what this stronger woman offered her.

And perhaps Nyna would still become Sabrina, but Sabrina would be a free spirit that roamed the earth and left pieces of herself to strangers she would find trustworthy. Nyna knew that there were lands beyond Archanea and Valentia, but she would refuse to travel to them because of some warped fear of being shamed by her country. But Sabrina would see it all for herself and take whatever treasure she could get, all while becoming a song courts and taverns and homes would happily sing.


“My love!”

And then the two women in an embrace were now looking up at the blonde man who had just returned to his home. The former Queen then felt the Rigelian saint’s panicked stare, but still…

“My name is Sabrina, Sir Ezekiel,” she gave her fellow renewed stranger a smile. “I was just about to end my foolish search for a love that was never meant to be.”

“I…see” was Ezekiel’s response, and Sabrina pushed at Tatiana to let her go. “That…is good,” he even said with a growing smile, a smile that was becoming the brightest the former Queen ever saw from him, so much that she had to look to the door behind him already. “Very good.”

Standing up, Sabrina gave a bow to Tatiana. “Apologies for the disturbance, and thank you for the meal and the conversation, Lady Tatiana.” Then she took a deep breath and faced Ezekiel to bow to him as well. “I am in your wife’s debt, but I shall not pay it unless she insists that I do.”

Sabrina even gave a little smirk as she pulled back up with her next words.

“I am, after all, merely a humble traveling mage.”

Then Sabrina walked out of the house, chin now up and hood still off her head.

“Miss Sabrina, huh? It is an honor to meet someone as strong as you. May I accompany you in your travels, then?”

Waiting outside was that girl who saw right through Nyna earlier. She was smiling as brightly as Sabrina was, and the two smiled even brighter as they locked eyes.

“You may,” Sabrina allowed. “What is your name?”

“Faye,” the girl answered. “Once pined for King Alm of Valentia, son of the late King Rudolf, like it was all that I was supposed to be. No offense to Miss Tatiana, but I never expected to meet someone stronger than her when I came here, you know?”

At that, Sabrina laughed. “Oh, you flatter me, Faye. Lady Tatiana is the stronger one, otherwise I would not be this strong.”

“At least you’re still strong, though, Miss Sabrina,” Faye replied. “So, where to now?”

Sabrina looked up, remembering something her old self would’ve abandoned. “Do you know of a pegasus rider named Est?”

Palla believed that her sister Est, for all her luck, wouldn’t want to run away to a place she wasn’t familiar with, and that Est would be further convinced to return by accompanying Abel, also giving the Youngest Whitewing Sister a bit of the idea that the Eldest Whitewing Sister would treat the man like how bandits would want to treat their darling damsel in frequent distress. Catria had her reservations about this pursuit, especially about meddling in their youngest sister’s love life, but in the end, the Middle Whitewing Sister still wanted safety and happiness for their family and all their other loved ones. As for Abel, who was forced by Palla to hold on to her for some reason, he had never felt this much hope in his life before, although it did also make him feel like a fool about trying to search for his currently estranged wife all by himself in the first place.

“Palla! Catria! Abel!”

But as they were on their way to the Royal Castle of the One Kingdom of Valentia to search for clues regarding Est’s whereabouts, they found just who they were looking for at a port town.

And it seemed like Est had some unexpected but familiar company…though only one was unfamiliar to Abel, given that he got the chance to learn some things and not everything about the Whitewing Sisters’ time in Valentia.

“Lady Nyna?” Palla called in surprise at the former Queen with now shortened hair.

That’s Miss Sabrina to you!” Est and Faye shouted back in unison, laughing with the woman once called Nyna soon after.

Palla then found an idea to increase the fun.

She tossed Abel to Est.

A high-five was shared between Palla and Catria as the toss instantly resulted in a kiss beteen the reunited couple.

“Wait, you’re married, Est?” Faye also asked.

Now that was another long story to be told.

Sabrina’s traveling band of mercenaries would also come to share and make many more of those stories.

Author’s Note: As of writing this, I am still yet to play the Archanea games and Shadows of Valentia. But witnessing the badass female playables of Fire Emblem as I indulged my spoiler-tolerant curiosity about how the games I’ve never played yet go and are received, I ended up wanting to try writing fanfiction where ladies like Guinivere have steel spines without losing their silk touches. As for Nyna specifically, my interest in redemption stories be showing a lot in how and why I’m writing her. Also, I’d like to say that I felt more of a wild picker than some genius picker about picking the name for Nyna’s new identity and making up the food Tatiana cooked. And I was thinking about mentioning how tales about Sabrina and her group would be passed down future generations by Abel and Est’s descendants, but I felt like implying that those four good women never got any good lovers would be a bit too much. And speaking of Sabrina, Faye, Palla, and Catria, imagine them doting on Abel and Est and their kids and grandkids!

Anyway, as noted in the beginning, this was mainly inspired by omegafire17’s “Reunion,” which goes about Zeke and Tatiana’s relationship after Shadows of Valentia and New Mystery of the Emblem with a little scenario tweak that adds a lot more health to their relationship. Special thanks also go to a fanfic writer going by the name of the third mainline Fire Emblem game, whose chats I’ve been having with her about Fire Emblem fanfics and headcanons gave me the final push to really write this thing, though ironically, she’s not really a fan of shipping Camus with any of those two women. Anyway, you might know her through works like “Homecoming,” which stars Awakening’s Priam going to Tellius after said game’s events, and “The Same Path,” which focuses on Ike’s life after Radiant Dawn and how his line of descendants started. She’s even got a recent installment on that storyline titled “A Distant Tellius”!

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