Truth of Words

Summary: One-shot – Words could never express your feelings to your brother. But then again you never needed to. He already knew them…

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters featured in this story. They all belong to the creative Christopher Paolini.

Truth of Words
By: Silver pup

Murtagh leaned against the tree as he caught his breath from the long run he just finished. Chasing after members of the Varden all day wasn't something he enjoyed. In fact, he hated doing the stupid capture-and-kill routine Galbatorix sent him on at least once a week. You think that as one of the last Riders he would be sent to do important things; like spying or fighting in great battles with the army but no, not Murtagh. Instead he got stuck chasing after little rebels and patrolling deserted roads in the middle of who-knows-where.

I really, really hate my life, Murtagh couldn't help thinking as he slid down on to the soft grass. He was never the type of person who cared to show his weakness to others. In fact, he didn't even like to admit it to himself when he had a problem or something was bugging him. But for some reason he had no problem admitting those words to himself.

But in the end why should he deny it? It was true after all. He hated, no despised, the life he had now. After all when your freedom is stolen from you, and you're forced to serve someone you hate, and you know that there is no escape from your fate you tend to become rather bitter. In fact if Thorn and Eragon weren't alive and in need of protection he would have gladly ran a blade through his heart rather then live a life that wasn't even his anymore.

Murtagh winced at sharp pain in his heart as he thought of Eragon. His brother's rejection was still fresh in his mind along with the pain it caused in his heart, much to his disgust and anger. He still couldn't believe that some child he barely known for a year could cause him so much distress and anguish. Sure they were brothers but since when did family ever matter to Murtagh?

He never felt any affection for his father and he never really needed him. His mother, whom he did love, was never needed either and she died so long ago that it didn't really matter. But Eragon was not his father or his mother. He was his little brother. A brother whom he didn't know he was related to until a few months ago. But what made him so different from their parents that caused Murtagh to care about him? What made Eragon, a farm boy who was still training to be a Rider, become the most important person to Murtagh, one of the most powerful men in the Empire?

It just didn't make any sense!

But does it really matter? At the end of this war Galbatorix will win and we will both either serve him or die. Not that I will let him die of course. He was, for a time, my best and only friend and I'll protect him from Galbatorix but-, Murtagh shook his head to stop his thoughts as he realized he was once again thinking about Eragon.

"I really need to stop obsessing over him. This is not mentally healthy," Murtagh muttered as he crossed his arms and leaned against the hard bark of the tree behind him.

The brunette closed his eyes as cleared his mind and relaxed his body. He had to wait for Thorn to come back from his own patrol and that would take another twenty minutes. Murtagh didn't like being alone in such a silent place. Silence always made him feel so alone, a bitter reminder of his tragic past.

Murtagh's eyes snapped open as the sound of footsteps reached his ears. Someone was coming. And from the sound of it they were running and they were getting close to where he was.

Quickly he stood and stepped back into the shadows and gripped Za'roc as he silently waited. He didn't have to wait long when a slender figure came sprinting by. A familiar male with dark eyes…


Murtagh felt his heart freeze along with his body. What was he doing here! Eragon wasn't supposed to be here! It was too dangerous for any member of the Varden, especially Eragon, to be on a road so close to the training grounds of the army. What was the leader thinking sending there member into dangerous territory?

I have to stop him! If he keeps going he's going to run straight into the soldiers camp, the brunette thought grimly as the young rebel got closer to where he was hiding.

Silently he stepped out of the shadows and said loudly, "Either your leader is very brave or extremely stupid to send such a valuable member of the Varden into their enemy's home territory."

Eragon froze as soon as he saw Murtagh. His eyes widened with shock and surprise before they narrowed suspiciously. Murtagh fought back a smile at his brother's lack of control of hiding his emotions. He was so predictable.

"Murtagh. What are you doing here?" Eragon asked coldly.

Murtagh arched a dark brow and said coolly, "I could ask you the same thing. What are you doing here little brother?"

Eragon flinched as he said brother. That caused another hard squeeze to his heart and Murtagh held back a frown. Now was not the time to let his emotions get the better of him.

"I'm here for my own reasons. And why are you here?" Eragon asked tensely.

"That is none of your business brother," the other replied.

The younger male glared at him and said darkly, "Don't call me that. I am no brother of yours. As far as I'm concerned you are a traitor and the enemy."

Murtagh narrowed his own hazel eyes as he felt another sharp pain in his heart. So Eragon was in denial now was he? Well that just wouldn't do in Murtagh's mind. If he had to suffer then by damn so was Eragon.

"What's this? Are you in denial about who you really are Eragon?" Murtagh taunted.

The bright fire was ignited in Eragon's dark eyes, as he grew angry. The older man stared into the bright and passionate eyes and was strangely reminded of his mother. Her eyes used to burn with a fiery passion whenever she got angry as well.

"I know who I am Murtagh. I am a Rider, a member of the Varden, a friend, and a student. My father was Garrow and my brother is Roran not you." Eragon snapped back.

Murtagh stepped back at Eragon's words. He felt like he had been stabbed in the heart with a hot blade.

Eragon considered Roran, their cousin, as a brother over Murtagh, who was his real brother

Suddenly he found that his body had gone strangely numb and his chest felt like it was being squeezed…

Those words hurt him. Deeply.

But it was the meaning of the words and the look in the younger boy's eyes that killed him.

Who would have thought that the truth could hurt so much?

The Red Rider stood there unmoving and just stared at the younger Rider. He didn't know what to do or say to something that hurt him so deeply. It probably had something to do with the fact he was never hurt so badly before.

"I see," Murtagh said softly as he swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat. Turning his head away he looked out into the deep green forest as a heavy silence descended between them.

As the minutes passed Eragon felt his anger evaporate and felt his body and mind relax, and noticed that Murtagh was quiet and while his face was blank his eyes held confusion, anger, bitterness and…pain?

Now why is he in pain? It can't be from what I said could it? he wondered as he watched Murtagh. His dark eyes stared at the older male in thought as he pondered why such simple words could hurt the powerful Murtagh.

The older brother could feel Eragon's curious gaze on him, but before he could snap at him the sound of footsteps alerted him someone was coming from the soldier's camp. And they were coming…this way!

"Eragon you have to leave. Now," Murtagh said quickly as he stayed still and strained his ears to listen to how far the possible soldiers were.

"What? Why?!" Eragon snapped a little too loudly in Murtagh's opinion.

With speed Eragon didn't know Murtagh possessed, his older sibling was standing over him with a hand over his mouth to silence him and his other hand gripping his forearm tightly as he whispered harshly, "Be quiet, you fool! There are soldiers coming this way and if you don't leave now they will discover you, and I won't be able to protect you."

Eragon pulled the hand over his mouth away and whispered back, "So? Why should my safety matter to you? Incase you forgot, we're fighting on the opposite sides of the war!"

Murtagh snorted. "For someone so intelligent you can be very dense at times, little brother."

"I am not! I'm very aware of what's going on," Eragon said loudly as his anger rose and he forgot to stay quiet.

The hand still holding him tightened and reminded him of his current predicament, and he quickly stopped talking.

"Eragon, would you shut up for one moment and listen to me! You have to leave right now," Murtagh said softly but urgently.

"But? Why are you…?" Eragon asked in confusion. His words drifted off as he looked into Murtagh's eyes and saw something he didn't see before.


Murtagh was afraid… but not for himself. But for…


Murtagh was afraid for Eragon.

Eragon stared in shock at Murtagh. Why was Murtagh afraid for him? They were enemies and they were not supposed to be afraid that the other might get caught and—

Then he saw something else in Murtagh's eyes.


Murtagh loved him.

Murtagh loved Eragon, the enemy.

No correction, Murtagh loved his little brother.

A brother who he saved multiple times when he wasn't aware they were related.

A brother he was being forced to fight against.

A brother he was still willing to save even though it could cost him his life.

Now why did that realization not surprise him?

"Murtagh…" Eragon started to say but stopped when Murtagh shook his head. Then he realized that he didn't need to say anything.

Murtagh already knew.

They both already knew what the other felt.

They had always known.

"Leave, Eragon," Murtagh said softly as he let go of his arm and stepped back.

Eragon nodded before he turned and stood still for a moment. He looked back one last time at Murtagh then he left. And once again the brunette found himself alone in the silent forest. But for some reason he found that the silence didn't hurt this time.