Welcome back, lovely readers. I hope you didn’t miss us too much during our short spring break.
I, for one, spent my break trying to beat some of the games I had piling up in the background—as per my usual with any break I get. While I started off strong with my three-game tour of Fire Emblem Fates, I find myself less motivated than ever to actually finish Revelations for several reasons, one of which is that I’m bitter. Oh my god, I am so bitter. Finishing all three games wasn’t even necessary to see just how many characters could have been non-straight, and it’s a hell of a lot more than the two we were given. So, naturally, I looked to fanfiction to fill the emptiness in my heart.
Unsurprisingly, and disappointingly, I found that there was a dearth of wlw fic—although I did discover that Camilla/Hinoka is apparently a popular pairing, which is good. Despite this, however, I managed to find a story that not only gave me some well deserved femslash, but also gave a happy ending to one of the characters who deserved it the most: Scarlet.
Spoilers for all three Fire Emblem Fates games behind the cut.
I think out of all the ladies in Fates, Scarlet was the one I was most frustrated about not being able to marry as fem!Corrin. Although in Conquest you end up killing her during a rebellion, in Birthright she joins your party enthusiastically, giving some humanity to your brother Ryoma, the king of Hoshido. However, in Revelations—the definitive “true end” to this installment—Scarlet is killed in a bid for the flimsiest plot point in the entire game. The needlessness of her death still has me seething, so when I found Soundone’s Time Flows Ever Onwards, it felt like a personal gift to me.
Time Flows Ever Onwards takes on the task of combining all three of Scarlet’s fates into one story, and it does it incredibly well. More than this, however, it stars a loving relationship between the Cheve knight and a lady Corrin.
The uncomfortable feeling she just felt vanished like a breeze on the wind at the woman’s heartache as Scarlet immediately wrapped freckled arms around the princess and affectionately cradled her, their chilled skin cooling in seconds with the intimate contact. Corrin’s startled and embarrassed noises brought a chipper, yet tender smile to the Chevian’s lips.
‘’I’m no handsome and loyal vessel, but my arms are yours to rest in, princess.’’ Feeling both sentimental and bold, Scarlet let her fingers lazily trail through the dragonblood’s flaxen hair, a bit of a rosy blush blossoming to the recipient’s cheeks. ‘’I know exactly how you feel, Corrin. Don’t worry, you and me, we’ll bring Garon to his knees. Then, after the war’s gone and done and all the land knows of our deed, we’ll have a toast to both our old mans!’’
Corrin released the breath that she was holding in as she felt Scarlet’s warmth radiate and soothe her lonely core. She smiled peacefully, sinking in slowly into the depths of a familiar presence. ‘’Hmm, you’re not as soft-spoken as him, and you smell a bit more like wyvern stables than fragrant tea.’’
Scarlet freed a hand to dramatically clutch at her chest. ‘’Ah! Wounded in my attempts to help you! You are such a cruel princess!’’ the dracoknight yelped, gaze following back to the purple star, which she liked to believe was twinkling in amusement. ‘’Jeez, I don’t know how you put up with her, Mr. Gunter.’’
Another merry jiggle rumbled in Corrin’s throat before the princess suddenly arched her head up to Scarlet’s, startling the dracoknight with a yelp as she pressed a forehead to her comforter’s cheeks.
‘’Thanks, Scarlet. I don’t know what I’d do without you.’’
The Chevian blushed graciously at the display, sheepishly tilting her head a fraction away in a vain effort to mask some of the heat. Light snickering from her friend announced just how badly she had failed at that endeavour.
Taking place in the Birthright timeline, Scarlet comes to know Corrin and watches over her. However, with the closeness of their relationship, and Scarlet’s determination, a new path opens: one where Scarlet manages to give Corrin the choice of changing timelines. Tired of seeing the woman she loves suffer for a war that the dragon princess had no choice in, Scarlet searches high and low through tales of old to give Corrin a chance at life with no suffering—even if this means that they don’t end up together in the timeline Corrin chooses.
There are two things I especially love about this fic. One is that it toys with breaking the fourth wall, but not too much. When Corrin follows the lead that Scarlet gives her, it takes her to an area out of time called the Dragon’s Gate. Now, players of the game know that the Dragon’s Gate is where you go to download DLCs and stuff, so it makes sense that it’s where Corrin would go to jump to another timeline. The one standing guard at the Dragon’s Gate also mentions things that allude clearly to game mechanics that the Corrin herself wouldn’t know, but the reader presumably would—most noticeably calling the other timelines “Conquest”, “Birthright”, and “Revelations” like their titular counterparts. It’s humorous, but not detrimental enough to the suspension of belief that the story becomes eye-roll inducing.
Secondly, and this is a bit of a spoiler so proceed at your own risk, the story doesn’t end with tragic lesbians. Scarlet and Corrin do end up together, and happily so. After all the bullshit that’s been going on with wlw deaths in media lately, it’s nice to see some ladies who get to survive with their girlfriends.
Unlike most of my fic choices, Time Flows Ever Onwards is actually completed! And at only a little over 10k words, it’s enough of a read to feel substantial, but not take up your entire day. Check it out here at AO3!