you had always had a fascination with the stars. they were the one thing constant in both your world and in askr – and despite the different constellations, you could always look up at the maps in the sky and make up stories for the different shapes you would pick out. of course, alfonse would tell you what each constellation meant, but you found the stories in your head were much more interesting then the actual explanation for them.
the one story you loved, though, was the story of the goddess of night, celeste. doomed to be forever separated from her lover, the goddess of the daytime, she weeps every night, the tears falling from her face and creating the beautiful formations in the sky to lead other lovers safely home, so they don’t suffer the same fate. it was oddly beautiful, in a way most tragedies are.
you’re thankful for your love of the night, as it let you meet her.
just as the goddesses tears light the night, so does she as she falls to the earth, hurtling towards it like a comet. you quickly jump up, going to help the girl who’s passed out inside of a crater on the ground.
“are you okay?” you ask, though the answer is fairly obvious. she just fell from the sky, of course she wasn’t alright. the girl, thankfully, can stand, and she gets up weakly, looking around as if in a daze.
“where am i?” she asks, holding her head, her voice barely a whisper. her clothes are torn, and she holds her arms close to her chest, her breath visible because of the cold. “w-who are you?” she scrunches her face up, and limps towards you. you lunge forward and grab her arms, making sure she’s fit to stand, inspecting her face closely.
you can tell she’s a bit younger than you, maybe by a few years, but there are dark circles under her eyes. her bright red hair is cut at her chin, [eye color] eyes dull and devoid of warmth.
“i’m [name], i’m the tactician and summoner of the army of askr… i could ask the same to you… what is your name?” she grits her teeth, looking to the left as if trying to rack her own brain of thoughts, but ultimately finds nothing. she grips onto you as if trying to steady whatever was going on in her mind. you wrap an arm around her shoulder, taking out breidablik and summoning a portal back to the castle.
“i-i’m not sure… i don’t remember anything.” you look at her, searching her eyes and seeing nothing but sincerity. you smile softly, making a stupid decision to trust this stranger who could easily kill you. studying the freckles on her face, you realize that some look like your favorite constellation.
“can i call you celeste?”
celeste quickly falls asleep under the care of the healers working the night shift, who just happened to be mist and sakura. they assured you that she would be fine in the morning, she only had a few scrapes and a dislocated ankle (nothing a stave couldn’t fix), so you could turn in for the night. despite their words, though, you couldn’t bring yourself to fall asleep when you had so many questions about this girl. so, you resign yourself to sitting by the door, waiting for her to wake up.
it’d been a few weeks since celeste crash landed in askr. she still didn’t have her memories back, but was quickly becoming very attached to you. not that you minded, she was a total sweetheart who loved animals viewed the world with wide-eyed optimism. she even got herself a pegasus and started training to become a pegasus knight, with some help from caeda. she seemed to be naturally talented with a lance. (you suspected that she might’ve been a pegasus knight before she lost her memories, but nothing was certain).
“isn’t she adorable?” you ask, watching her train from afar. michalis lowers his head, crossing his arms. “she’s growing into such a strong young woman already, despite only being here for week. i wish i had resolve like that.” you let out an airy laugh, the macedonian king seemingly listening to you, but his eyes focused straight ahead.
“children should not be utilized on the battlefield.” he says, eyes flickering down to look at you, “leave the fighting to the strong ones.” you hum, opening the small journal in your pocket where you keep notes on the units.
“you’re right,” you reply, flipping to a page where you had kept notes on michalis. “children have to grow up far too fast here, i mean, kana and sanaki are barely even teenagers and yet they have to fight. it’s cruel.” you doodle yet another drawing of the red-haired wyvern rider, this time smiling and happy with little flowers surrounding him. he takes notice, and doesn’t seem too amused, but says nothing of it. “did you train as a child, too?” michalis merely nods, obviously not wanting to share that part of him with you just yet. you knew not to press him, as he opened up to you little by little, and pestering only made him close up more.
“[name]!” you hear celeste call, bounding over to the two of you, with a grin stretching from ear to ear. she jumps into your arms, heaving trying to catch her breath, but still beaming nonetheless.
“i’m getting so much better! miss caeda is SUCH a good teacher! i think i’m almost ready to be on the front lines, what do you say, mother?” she says, so excited that the words come so fast you can hardly keep up.
“i don’t think you’re ready qu– wait, i’m sorry, what did you just call me?” you question, and see michalis shift beside you. the first thing that comes to your mind is that this is probably just a slip up, like calling a teacher ‘mom’ on accident, but she just smiles in response, confident in her words.
“nope! as i was training, i think some of my memories came back to me!” she’s practically bouncing, shifting from heel to heel with nervous energy. “i saw a glimpse of you helping me get over my fear of wyverns, telling me something about how you used to fear them, then you met someone who helped you get over that fear!” she giggles, and you feel your heart hammer in your chest. you knew exactly who she was talking about, but your feelings for him weren’t up in the air yet. you glance at him, and his frown deepens, as he turns on a heel and leaves. your heart is telling you to follow him, but you couldn’t leave your daughter hanging.
forcing a nervous smile, you say: “please, tell me more.”
word travels fast around the castle, the news of celeste being your daughter being the topic of everyone’s conversations. chrom had offered you a few words of advice, as he was one of the few people who could relate to your situation, and you were grateful for that.
though, the speculations about who was the baby’s other parent were rampant as well. since celeste had red hair, it seemed every hero with a streak of red in their hair was rumored to be your “future spouse”. some heroes didn’t mind, such as the fearsome tactician saias and the candy thief gaius, but others, minerva, anna, and cordelia, quickly shot down these rumors, as though they did enjoy the summoner’s company, it was merely a platonic relationship between you two.
deep down, you knew who it was. it couldn’t be anyone else, you were sure of it, but you couldn’t seem to tell him. it’s only when celeste falls off her pegasus and bumps her head that she remembers herself.
“it’s michalis!” she laughs, almost maniacally. “my father is michalis! we have to tell him at– ouch.” celeste winces, rubbing her head. you tell the girl to go to the healers while you took care of the matter yourself, (half because you didn’t know how he would react, and it would kill you if he denied her), and she acquiesces.
“michalis?” you knock on his door, anxiety swelling with each tap you make. you hear him respond with a quiet yes. “may i come in?” he doesn’t answer, and you know that means you can.
“what is it?” he responds sharply, not even bothering to look up at you as he scans through some war book at his desk. you clench your jaw, not knowing how to bring up the topic at hand. usually, you always knew what to say, but words often failed you when you needed them most. letting out a deep breath, you decide that it’s now or never.
“it’s about celeste, you–” he cuts you off mid-sentence.
“if it’s about who her father is, i couldn’t care less.” his voice is icy in a way you hadn’t heard since when you first met him.
“oh, you haven’t found out yet? the list must be very long considering that you flirt with half of the army.” your eyes water, gods, he always knew just the right words to say to make someone hurt, you just never thought it would be directed at you. he didn’t mean it, your brain told you, he’s just hurt and trying to push you away like he does with everyone else, but it still stings that he would think of you that way. you hadn’t flirted with anyone but him for the longest while, he was just too much of a recluse to notice. it’s then he finally glances at you, noticing that you’re holding back tears.
“you’re such a dastard michalis.” you curse, tears flowing down your cheeks freely, “i was coming here to tell you that you’re her father.” you want to yell at him, want to make him hurt as much as he made you hurt, but you can’t bring yourself to. instead, you add in a small voice: “i should’ve listened to minerva about you.” and then you leave, slamming the door behind you.
michalis is left with the same feeling that he had after using his sister, maria for a bargaining chip. complete and utter disgust with himself.
“you!” celeste yells, flying her pegasus in front of michalis to block his path. she quickly dismounts, standing in front of him defiantly, chest puffed out and a stubborn expression on her face. even in the darkness, he could see the resemblances to you, as you always made when he would first tell you to leave him alone. “you made my mother cry! why would you do that you jerk!” despite the fierceness in her voice, her eyes look scared.
“i know,” he responds, voice barely above a whisper. “where do you think i was going, child?”
“i don’t think she even wants to see you!” celeste replies, her pegasus glaring at him behind her. despite her words, he continues across the courtyard to the hall where your room was. “hey! are you even listening to me!” she follows quickly, the only noise besides their voices being the soft flap of her pegasus’s wings.
“i don’t care, i need to right my wrongs.” he answers, ignoring her words of warning. of course you wouldn’t want to see him, he was utterly rude to the only person who cared enough to be nice to him despite his cold demeanor (save maria), but he had to see you. what he did to his family was unforgivable, and that damage could never be repaired, but he could mend relations with you, his one beam of warmth in his otherwise frigid world.
“i don’t know what you were like in my world, but…” she trails off, “i don’t want you to hurt my mother because you don’t want me.” he’s stunned into silence, the small girl looking towards the ground, eyes watering and sniffling as if to hold back a sob. michalis mentally curses, wondering what good deed he did in some previous life to warrant him this lucky of a hand, because he was sure that he’s done nothing good in his life to deserve the love of not only you, but of this angel, celeste, whom he’s never shown kindness to in the months she’s been here. he wishes he was maria, or even minerva who, though blunt, was much kinder than he.
“you think i do not want you?” he says, clearing his throat, trying for once to say what was truly in his heart. “nothing could be further from the truth.” celeste breaks, freely sobbing as she lunges at michalis, clinging to his midsection.
“oh father!” she says inbetween sobs, “i love you!” he’s frozen in place, not used to this type of affection except from maria. he puts a tentative hand on the top of her head, slowly patting her hair.
“yes. now, let’s go find your mother.” celeste quickly reels back, quickly wiping her face off and forcing a smile.
“yes! but don’t think you’re off the hook just yet!” she giggles, eyes puffy and red, “i’m still mad at you!”