I began this several months ago, but was inspired to finish it after seeing the newly released film. My first Eragon fanfiction. Murtagh/Nasuada. Enjoy.

Characters belong to the brilliant Paolini. The meager plot belongs to me.


As she lays there sleeping before him, he realizes that he could fell the Varden with one flick of his wrist…but his hand is shaking as he grazes the sword across her neck…his fingers tense on the pommel as he prepares to drive Zar'Roc into her neck, but then her eyes open…

"Murtagh." Her eyes widen wildly for a moment as she studies him – his sword pointed mercilesly at her throat. He nods, then grips the hilt firmly.

"I'm sorry Nasuada." His voice has taken on an icy, impersonal air. "This must be done." She

looks horrified for a flicker of a second, and then her nobel face darkens and sets resolutely. He meets her eyes and suddenly his insides begin to squirm, his hand begins to shake violently and the sword clatters to the floor. How could he have forgotten the look in her eyes?

She gasps, quickly sitting up and snatching the knife that always resides underneath her pillow. She scrambles out of bed and before he can blink the situation has completley changed, and she's pressing the knife up to his throat, her breathing short and heavy. He swallows, thinking about how easy it would be to summon magic and be done with her…

Bur he doesn't…because he realizes something as she stands there with a knife to his throat…

He's never felt this way about anyone before.

She standing so close that he can feel her body heat radiating off of her. He can smell her sweet perfume and she's scarcley clad in undergarments.

"Don't move." She hisses, and he doesn't, he just stares at her with a look of longing in his eyes. She stares at him for a moment. "You hesitated." He almost smiles, but doesn't quite.

"Nasuada…" His fingers come up to her waist and linger there and she remembers back…back when they were on the same side…back in the mountain…"You know why."

"Murtagh, you made your decision." She says regally, repressing the feeling that's embedded in her gut…that if she does this, she'll regret it. She roughly hits his hand away. "You're with them now." She feels more betrayed than she did earlier, when Eragon told her. His eyes are piercing as he looks straight into hers.

"I had to. I thought I could escape him, I thought that I could outrun him, or hide, but I had forgotten just how powerful he is." He laughs humorlessly. "I had hoped that after being imprisened in Trojenheim that I would be free from him, but I was wrong." She looks past him, the mentioning of her home triggering memories that were better left hidden. She shudders and shakes her head. "I know." He whispered delicately, the backs of his fingers brushing against her cheek. Her gaze falters, the pressure of the knife on his neck lessens. "About Ajihad. I'm so sorry." She shakes her head, her eyes glazing. He leans forward, the knife biting into his neck again, but he doesn't care. He can handle the physical pain.

"Murtagh…" He expects her to turn away, but she doesn't, and his lips catch hers. She thinks of pulling away, reminds herself that this is the enemy, that she should slice the knife across his throat and be done with this rider that could fell the Varden, fell everything that she's lived for, that her father lived for.

But she doesn't. Her hand drops the knife and come to cup his face and his hands snake around her, holding her as close as he can. His lips release hers and his forehead is pressed against hers, his eyes still closed as he tries to savor this moment, because he knows that as soon as it's over, it'll be back to being enemies. She wants to stay like this forever.

"Why?" She whispers, her voice catching in her throat. Not so regal, now. Not so controlled, now. She's scared and fragile and he wants to help her. "Murtagh…" She's clinging on so tightly that it hurts, and he he just pulls her closer.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." He can't explain that it's his destinty. It hurt to do it, it hurt to betray her, but when the egg hatched for him, he knew that this is what was supposed to happen. Tears hit his face, but they're hers, not his. He chokes. "I had to." Her head is shaking, just like her hands that are clinging onto him.

"No. I don't believe that." There's a lump in his throat, and he feels ridiculous. He hasn't cried since he was a child, since the wound on his back, and he feels tears burning the back of his eyes.

This time he's not so good at blinking them back, and she can hear the tears in his voice as it cracks. "I love you." She sobs, wondering why something that she's been waiting for someone to say to her all of her life, makes her feel terrible instead of elated.

"Don't say that. Please." He shakes his head, a tear sliding out of the corner of his eye.

"I can not lie to you." She clutches his cloak so tightly that her knuckles are going white. "Do you remember..." His voice is husky and soft as his mouth rests by her ear. "When we met?" She nods and chokes back a sob as he runs battle-calloused hands down her arms. She could never forget that moment, for it was the moment that her life was changed. "Your eyes met mine and I could not look away. I think of you now more than anything else, how beautiful you looked then and-"

"Stop, I beg you."

"I've betrayed you." She ducks her head and a dry sob excapes her lips. "If I could have prevented this, I would have." He pauses, stiffening slightly as he heard the footsteps of the guards passing by Nasuada's quarters. "You gave me your trust, the most precious gift I have ever been given, and I've broken it. I can't apologize enough." It is silent for a long minute as he waits for her reply.

"You must go." She ignores the quelling of her stomach and tugs away from his taut arms. "I know not whether to do what I know is right for my people or what I know is right for myself, so you must go before I have the time to decide." He was taken aback by her steely resolve and he felt as if she'd smacked him hard across the face.

"If that is what you wish, milady." He murmers, bowing his head and closing his eyes to keep the tears at bay. He attempts not to give in to temptation, but his body rebels against his mind as he possessively wraps his arms around her, kissing her one more time. The last time, he's sure. And then it's over, and he scoops up Zar'Roc from the ground and sheathes it as she stands stock still, unable to force her body to move. "Be safe, Nasuada. May you escape the grim fate that has befallen me." His eyes are shining as he turns to leave.

"I love you." She mutters, because she knows that if she doesn't say it now, he'll never hear it. He pauses at the tent's opening, sad eyes glancing back over his shoulder.

"Goodbye, Nasuada." And then he's out into the night and he can hear Thorn's voice in his head.

Have you said your farewells? His voice holds a sympethetic edge.

I have. Murtagh replies, sliding behind a deserted wagon as a small group of soliders bypassed him.

You're crying. Now it was surprise that he heard in Thorn's reply. Murtagh's eyes fill once more and he nods.

She loves me, Thorn. She loves me and I have sworn to kill her.

I know, small one. I know.