|Forever With You
Author: Oniegiri PM
Who knew that the truth of Soren's origins would send all of Tellius into chaos? IkexSoren Rated M for sexual content. BEWARE of crack slashing and Micaiah bashing. Not technically complete, but for now, this is all there is.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Romance - Ike & Soren - Chapters: 13 - Words: 39,358 - Reviews: 61 - Favs: 40 - Follows: 32 - Updated: 05-13-12 - Published: 09-14-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5377309
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: Ike and Soren are in love, but can they stay together even though everything is trying to tear them apart?
Disclaimer: Fire Emblem © Respective Owners
Notes: This is the never-before-seen Forever With You prologue. It highlights certain events leading up to the beginning of the story, including how they came to be together. Also, this story was COWRITTEN WITH INVADERAQUA.
"Ike!" Greil's voice was loud in the small market area where he stood with his infant daughter Mist in his arms. His other child, a spirited young boy named Ike, was holding a play wooden sword in one hand and a sloppily prepared sandwich in the other. He had taken off down the road when his father called to him. He skidded to a stop and turned around.
"You meet me at the edge of town in thirty minutes, you hear?" Greil immediately quieted when his tone made Mist whimper. Ike rolled his eyes and nodded, then turned back and took off running.
The young bluenette boy slowed to a walk when he reached the dirt path leading out to the nearby forestry. He dragged his stick in the dirt behind him, munching idly on his sandwich. Businesses and crowds had morphed into trees and grass as he left the market place.
"Hmm... mmm..." He found himself humming the lullaby that he heard all of the time from his mother, Elena. He stopped when something ahead, underneath the shade of a tall tree, caught his eye.
As he got closer, he saw that it was a small boy, laying under the tree and breathing heavily as though he were about to die. Ike's heart twisted at the sight, because the child was his exact age, but far too skinny to be healthy. The boy wore tattered, dirty rags and his ebony hair was long overgrown and shaggy.
Ike approached the boy, but flinched back when he opened his wide, blood red eyes. The child's gaze fell on Ike and he made a shriek like a frightened animal and quickly hid behind the tree.
The young bluenette just stood in shock, dropping his stick to the ground. "Hey, I'm not going to hurt you." He said kindly, trying not to scare him further. "I'm nice, c'mere! We can play together! Do you like swords?" he questioned, trying to peek at his new companion. All he heard was a hiss from the other side of the tree, followed by a loud gurgle from the poor boy's stomach.
"Have you not eaten today?" Ike asked. He smiled, suddenly remembering his sandwich. "Here! Have my lunch. Sorry I already nibbled on it a bit. My mom made it and it's really good!"
The boy held onto the tree, only half of his face visible as he stared at Ike cautiously. When he realized that the bluenette was going to continue to offer the food, he inched out, slowly raising his hand for the sandwich. Within a second, the boy had snatched the food and recoiled back behind the tree, immediately starting to rip into the defenseless sandwich. Ike stepped forward, but the boy was so preoccupied that he didn't notice.
"What's your name? Hm?" Ike knelt beside him, glad that he wasn't as scared anymore. "My name is Ike. Can you say it? EYE-KUH."
The raven haired boy only grunted as he swallowed the last remnants of Ike's lunch.
The bluenette felt bad that the boy obviously hadn't eaten in some time. "Um, where are your parents?" he asked, but again received no answer from his new companion. "Well, I don't want you to be hungry... Hey! Follow me! There's lots of food at my house, and you can sleep in my room! Maybe dad will even trade Mist for you, because she's so loud all the time-"
The boy shook his head fervently, moaning a quiet protest, before ducking back to his hiding spot behind the tree.
Ike hesitated. "You won't come with me?"
Again, the boy shook his head, expecting the bluenette to shrug and walk away.
"Well, how about I come back here tomorrow, with some more food? Maybe then you'll feel good about playing swords. You're really fast, so I think you'll be good at it."
The boy hesitated, but after a moment, gave a small nod.
Ike's eyes brightened. "Good! I'll see you here tomorrow! Don't forget, okay? I'm sure we'll be great friends!" With that, he stood back, waved a small wave and rushed home. He prepared himself to be scolded for being late.
The raven haired youth watched the bluenette run, feeling better for the first time in weeks. Not just because he wasn't crippled with hunger, but because for the first time in his life, he had something to look forward to. He turned his focus to the tree and his small, pale fingers tightened on the rough bark.
"EYE-KUH!" he forced out quietly. He repeated it several times and with a feeling of triumph, realized it was the first word he had ever spoken.
The next morning, Ike took advantage of the fact that his father and mother were leaving home for the day. He grabbed three clumsily made sandwiches and headed off for the forest, desperately hoping that he would find that boy again.
But as he left the house and passed through the marketplace, he saw a large group of men gathered in the middle of the market street. They were shouting, and with a start Ike noticed that his parents were in the middle of the scuffle. He stared, shocked as he watched his mother pass Mist to the open arms of an elderly woman nearby. Suddenly, two of the men advanced on Elena and reached for her necklace.
He watched with wide eyes as his father grabbed the medallion from around her neck…
"Ike!" Greil called, pounding on the back door of the fort where his son lay sleeping on the other side. "It's three notches after dawn! Time to get up and start the day!"
Ike moaned and rolled out of bed, still sore from his last training encounter with his father. "I'll meet you on the training field, Father." he replied sleepily. In the space of five minutes, he got dressed and found his practice swords, which were just thin wooden sticks.
He ran up the path to meet his father, who was talking with Lady Titania, a beautiful red headed lady who served with Greil's mercenaries. When Greil saw Ike approaching, he turned to him.
"Ike, stay here and practice your left swing. I'm going to go take care of a few things." The man laid a tan hand on the boy's head and Titania smiled at him sweetly. She grabbed the reigns of her brown horse that stood behind her and the two adults walked away. Ike pouted for a moment, thinking briefly that he had gotten out of bed for nothing. He kicked at the dirt and sighed.
He did as Greil instructed and practiced his left swing for about five minutes before a soft rustling caught the youth's attention. He whirled around to the source near the forest. He watched with his stick at the ready as an ebony-haired boy stepped out of the shadows, dressed in the robes of a novice mage. Although the feature that captured Ike's full attention was the bloody red color of the boy's eyes.
Strangely, he wasn't frightened. Quite the opposite, like he had met this stranger before. He lowered his stick and stared, unsure of what to say.
"Ike," the boy greeted, almost fondly, as if he had waited years to say the word.
"Yeah?" He asked, cocking an eyebrow. "Can I help you?" A stunned expression came over the boy's face briefly before he cleared his thoughts. It took him only moments to respond. "I heard about you in town and... I was wondering if your trade would allow for an apprentice."
Ike laughed a little, pointing the stick at youth. "You look kind of small to be a mercenary."
The young boy narrowed his gaze. "Speak for yourself," he said curtly, crossing his arms. Ike beamed, leaning on his tip toes to seem taller.
"If you want a job or somethin', I can talk to my dad." he said, turning to leave in the direction that Greil and Titania took, but he turned back to motion for the boy to follow him. "Come on. Um, what's your name?"
The boy suddenly looked saddened. "…Do you... not remember me?" He asked. Ike tilted his head. He doesn't remember. Of course he wouldn't. "We met..." the boy bit his lip and decided that lying would be easier than outright rejection, "... the other day... in town. You walked right past me."
"Oh, heh, sorry. I must've been in a hurry, so I guess I wasn't paying attention." The boy nodded slowly.
"… My name is Soren."
Ike smiled, liking the sound of his name. "Soren… Come meet my dad. I'm sure we could always use some extra help around here. He was complaining about it the other day," the bluenette explained, leading his new friend up the hill. He chatted idly and motioned to different things with his hands. Soren followed silently, swallowing his every feeling as he followed Ike up the path. He stared at the bluenette's back, not listening as the boy explained random points about the quirks of being one of the Greil Mercenaries.
"At least that's what Lady Titania tells me..." Ike drawled. Soren smiled the smallest smile.
All he wanted was to be close to Ike. That was all that mattered, because Ike had been the only one to act as if he existed, back at that fateful day. And he would do whatever it took to be by his side. Even if that meant keeping the truth from him.
The two had reentered the fort, which irked Greil. "Boy! I told you to work on your left swing," he growled. "I'm sure you didn't master it in five minutes."
"Nope, you're right. I met someone who wants to join the Mercenaries," the bluenette replied, stepping to the side. Soren came into view and Greil tilted his head back to get a look at him.
"You sure you wanna be a mercenary, little girl?" he said, chuckling a little. Ike couldn't hold back his own giggling.
"I am not a little girl." Soren stated clearly. Greil's eyes widened and he roared with laughter.
"Is that so? Well then, if you're serious, I'd be happy to give you a shot." He stood up and approached the boy, holding out his hand. Soren's hand was lost in the fold of Greil's giant fingers and he smiled up at the face of the commander.
And throughout all the years that Soren served as a mercenary, he astounded everyone who encountered him. He grew on Greil rather quickly, and his tactical genius proved a good balance for Titania's optimistic outlook. The commander could now make decisions easily after weighing the scales. However, the mage remained especially close to Ike. He hovered around him for reasons that Ike dismissed as similarities in age.
And before he knew it, Soren found himself in need of improving himself and his skills as a mage, something that required him to leave the mercenaries for however long it would take. Months, he had estimated. His goodbyes to the mercenaries had been quick and he had preferred not to say much to Ike at the time.
But today was the day of the young mage's return.
"Ike!" Mist sang, her high pitched voice reaching the bluenette's ears as he sat at a table in the fort, studying a map of the local area. He looked up to see his sister coming in, followed by none other than Soren. He caught himself staring for a moment; the sage had gotten at least an inch taller and his face had matured nicely.
"Long time, no see, Ike." he said with a small smile. Mist allowed herself to study Ike's expression of surprise before giggling and scampering away. Ike stood slowly.
"Wow, Soren. It's been a… a while." He swallowed and approached the mage, wrapping his arms around him in a tight hug. Soren patted his back.
"I hear Greil let you be a mercenary. Finally." He mumbled, pulling his face away so that it wasn't smushed into Ike's shoulder. Ike laughed.
"I know, right?" He pulled back and leaned against the table he had been sitting at. "So... why did you leave again?" the bluenette questioned, rubbing the back of his neck.
"It was my first opportunity to study at the library of Melior, so I took it... That and Greil felt that I was too much of a distraction to you," the crimson eyed tactician replied. Ike chuckled and shook his head at his father's logic.
"Someone to talk to can be a bit of a distraction, but everyone else has someone... I need someone, too." He motioned for Soren to sit beside him at the table.
Soren did so. He found himself to be in a better mood now that he was near Ike again. "I also have news..." Ike looked at the mage questioningly. Soren didn't return the gaze as he delivered his message. "Daein has invaded Crimea."
It was their first night in Gallia and Soren wasn't pleased. He had woken up in the dead of night with a bad feeling. Usually, peeking in on Ike gave him some comfort, but when he went to check the bluenette's room, he found the bed empty. When he didn't find any trace of Ike on the castle grounds, he decided to take the matter to Greil, but to no avail. His bed was also empty.
Where could they have gone?
He looked out into the night and was disturbed when it started to rain. He sighed heavily, hoping they would come back soon. Soren's thoughts were interrupted as a sudden, angry roar shattered through the pitter patter of rain. Soren jumped, hands gripping the windowsill instinctively. He stared with wide eyes out into the storm.
The mage wandered outside and let the rain fall over him. He stood frozen as Titania and Oscar sped past him. Still, he stood there and watched. Everyone eventually came outside and he was the last to make it off the castle grounds.
"What..." his voice was overpowered by the sound of the rain. He saw the mercenaries gathering at the front of their Gallian fort, all of them huddled together. He thought he could hear crying and his pace quickened.
His chest constricted when he saw Greil's body and the blood that mixed with rainwater on the ground. He could hear Mist squalling and Titania spouting nonsense, but what caught his attention was the sight of Ike's face, contorted in anguish. Soren's heart went out to him, but he went unnoticed.
Ultimately, it was Oscar and Boyd who began digging their commander's grave. Both Mist and Ike retreated to the castle and went their separate ways, each sibling grieving in their own way.
Soren retreated to his own room as well and he stayed up late. He attempted to pass the time rereading the same pages of his tome over and over but not grasping a word of it. He was too concerned for Ike and how the bluenette must be taking the loss of his father.
The creak of the old door was the only thing that pulled the tactician from his thoughts. He was shocked to see a distraught Ike shuffle into his room. The spell caster set his tome aside as the mercenary strode over to the bed and fell to his knees. His face fell into the youth's side where the swordsman began to cry. "Soren," he sobbed. "He's gone. He's gone, and I couldn't save him!"
Soren stared down at his friend, eyes cloudy with unshed tears and fingers weaving absentmindedly through the blue hair. Seeing Ike this way was heartbreaking.
"Ike... stop speaking that way." He said, trying to sound stern. Ike's blue eyes looked up to meet his own, and his cheeks were splotchy and red. Soren's hands moved to brush away tears and rub the redness away. "You're not alone. I'm here and I always will be."
Ike moved so that his arms were around the mage's waist and his face was buried in his stomach. He didn't cry as hard as before. Soren held him and whispered over and over that everything was okay. That he would never leave his side. Ike took Soren's words to heart, and in the weeks following Greil's death, the two became nearly inseparable. Soren knew that his feelings for Ike were growing and he often got a vibe from the bluenette that he was cared for in return.
Soren couldn't believe his eyes. Ike's army had been fighting long and hard, and now Ashnard's royal forces were devastated. Some of them were even fleeing. Few knights remained to stand at the side of the Mad King himself.
Soren watched as the ultimate battle unfolded before his eyes. Ike against Ashnard. He wanted to help, but he knew that it would be more than unreasonable to interfere. His attention was thankfully ripped away from the bluenette when three soldiers took notice of him and proceeded to attack.
The sage drew his tome quickly and readied himself. He tried not to listen to the cries of battle as he closed his eyes to chant.
From across the battlefield, Ike drew Ragnell out of the chest of Ashnard, who fell to the ground with a heavy thud. His breathing was ragged and he felt like collapsing, but now was no time for rest. He swallowed thickly and turned his head to the side, where he knew Soren had been fighting. He gasped when he saw Soren lying motionless on the ground.
Titania had knelt down to attend to the sage, who was bleeding heavily from the multiple stab wounds he had suffered to his chest and abdomen. Soren was fighting to even breathe. The lady knight was frozen; she had no vulneraries and she was afraid that trying to move the spell caster would only hurt him further.
Ike limped to where Soren lay. "Soren…!" he forced out weakly, dropping to his knees and leaving Ragnell on the ground beside them.
"I'm going to find Rhys. Try to keep him alert!" Titania instructed before rushing away.
The bluenette ripped off his cape and tied it around the sage in an attempt to stop the bleeding, or at least slow it. "It's okay, Soren. Stay with me. We won, this goddessdamned war's over. You're going to be okay," he whispered, looking into the youth's hazy eyes.
The branded grabbed his friend's hand as roughly as his weakened state would allow. "I-Ike," he called, his voice forced and his energy fading. "I have to tell you-"
"Tell me later. Just focus, okay?" Ike brushed ebony strands out of the youth's face, but Soren didn't give up.
He shook his head weakly, expression determined. "No... too important-"
"Listen!" The distress in Soren's voice couldn't be ignored. Ike listened to his friend intently. "I-Ike, you... You're my life, my," he choked, "Everything... Without you, I would be dead. I would have died so long ago... you care about me and... I-I love you, Ike... With ev-ry b-bit of my h-heart... I love you."
Ike stared into the fading light of Soren's eyes, his heart pounding. His mouth hung open in shock.
Soren loves me?
The sage coughed and brought Ike back to reality. "I'm sorry, I know it's... w-wrong. A man in... love with..." Soren's voice was getting quieter and quieter. Ike's eyes filled with tears.
"Soren, it isn't wrong!" he said quickly and louder than he meant to. "I-!" Ike's words were cut short when Soren's eyes flitted closed. "No! No...!"
"Is he breathing?" Rhys' voice and quick footfalls reached him and the bluenette looked up desperately.
Please save him!
When Soren's eyes opened, they looked directly into the canopy of a large four poster bed. He felt a dull pain pulsing in his abdomen, but it wasn't exactly uncomfortable. He tried to wiggle his fingers to see if he could move; his head turned to the side when he felt his left hand was immobilized.
He saw his hand sitting in between both of Ike's and the bluenette's head was resting next to him. He was snoring softly. Soren took a moment to study the bluenette's face.
"Ike?" he called, though his voice was no louder than a whisper.
The commander's breathing hitched and the snoring ceased. He stirred and looked up at the spell caster, blinking his slumber away. His face brightened considerably. "Hey!" he greeted, groggy, but smiling. "You're finally up!"
"How long have I been out?" the youth asked. Ike straightened up and stretched slightly, his back popping. He let out a tired sigh.
"I don't know, a few hours maybe?" Ike's hands still clasped Soren's.
"Oh..." the sage nodded and looked away, his posture shamed.
Ike leaned forward. "What's wrong?"
"You don't have to be so kind, Ike... I know I must disgust you right now. As if being Branded weren't a sin enough..."
Ike was confused at the youth's words at first, but as realization came in for a hard hit, his gaze narrowed. "Hey," Ike said sternly, standing and taking Soren's face in his hands. The youth looked at him with wide, red eyes. "You could never disgust me. And your being Branded has never bothered me either, not once." Ike's hold became gentle and soft.
"Before, you fainted without giving me a chance to reply." Ike took a seat on the bed. "When you told me you loved me," Ike had to lift Soren's chin when he looked down in shame, "I was so happy. I couldn't believe... that you actually felt the same as I do."
Soren gaped at him, surprised and at a loss. "Ike, you don't have to joke-"
"I. Am. Not. Joking." Ike said firmly, lips quirking in a lopsided smile. To prove it, he leaned down and slowly approached Soren's lips.
And this couple, whose love would rival all others and whose relationship would face many trials, shared their very first kiss.