A/N: This is my first attempt in this fandom- I've written before, just not for Eragon. I just thought that the fandom needed a lot more slash.

Disclaimer: I don't own. I don't make money. All characters (except Vyrin, who I invented for temporary use) are property of the original writer. The song is the property of someone besides me. Etc.

WARNING: Eragon/Murtagh INCEST AND YAOI/SLASH to follow. Do not read for the sole purpose of flaming me because I put the two hottest characters in Eragon together. I will point and laugh.

Other Warnings: May be some OOC, since this is my first attempt and I couldn't find a beta. Still, it's FANfiction for a reason, ne?



I hear... a voice say "Don't be so blind"...

it's telling me all these things...

that you would probably hide...

Eragon rested his head in his open palms. It had been a long day- a very long day, in a stretch of long days and longer weeks.

He had kept himself busy, busier than was healthy. Meals were skipped, hours of sleep sacrificed, and battle fought one after another to avoid thinking. Yet, in quiet moments like these, when there was no work to be done and only silence to be found, one voice kept echoing back to him.

'Open your eyes- he hates you. He abandoned you and your cause because he cares nothing for you.'

It hurt. Eragon had never been one for self-pity, and he had never been one to give up. Even in the face of impossible odds, he had kept going, scraping and scrambling for one chance for victory. Every time, he had pulled through.

Every time except one.

'He's gone.'

Murtagh had been an enigma- a riddle that had puzzled and intrigued Eragon since he had met the black-clad man. When Murtagh had apparently died, he had shoved aside the hurt and tried to bury it.

Seeing Murtagh alive again- at the wrong side of the battlefield- had ripped open the door he had hidden his feelings behind. Everything he had tried to keep locked away had hit him hard, and since then he had done everything to avoid the crushing weight of his emotions.

It hadn't worked. Even the knowledge that they were blood relatives had done nothing to stem the flood of his feelings.


am I... your one and only desire...

am I the reason you breathe...

or am I the reason you cry...

Miles away a pale man was lying on his bed, staring at the dank ceiling of his dungeon room.

How long had it been? Days? Weeks? It had been far too long since he had seen his brother.

It wasn't supposed to end like this. This was not supposed to happen this way. It wasn't fair. Murtagh, more than anyone else, knew that life did not treat all equally but this... it was too cruel.

When he had been younger, he had wanted a father. He had been denied.

When he had cried out to the heavens for a mother, he had been refused.

When he had begged for rescue to any god he felt would listen, he had been left in Galbatorix's castle. He had finally managed to escape that fate, and after that he had run into someone that made his past wants seem needless.

Eragon was all he had wanted. Even now, when he knew the truth of their relationship, the desire had still been there. The denial of this request had seemed crueler than all the rest combined.

A pained expression in his hazel eyes, he allowed any memories he had of the brunette to surface.

Eragon's smile- brighter than sunlight. Even the memory of the smile brought warmth to Murtagh's cold heart.

Eragon's laughter- so rarely had he heard it, but it was such a pure sound. Despite the unlikelihood of ever hearing it again, he longed for it.

All too soon, his good memories gave way to bad.

Eragon's anger, directed solely at him. The betrayal and pain evident in those soulful brown eyes had cut deeply into the red Rider, even if he had refused to show it.

And then... more recently, Eragon's tears. Murtagh had scryed his younger brother- secretly, away from Galbatorix- and had caught his brother without the dwarven necklace protecting him. Eragon had been sitting down, hugging his knees to his chest as a few crystalline teardrops rolled down his cheeks. Murtagh had watched- stunned- as Eragon whispered his name, then quickly wiped off his cheeks and stood. There, Murtagh had terminated the scry.

Even here, he had heard of the Varden's hard work in preparation to march on Galbatorix's stronghold. Even though the king was evil, he was smart enough to have spies in Surda. Those spies had told the king that the Varden- and Surda itself- was preparing for a final attack.

Murtagh had heard from them that Eragon was working twice as hard as any member of the Varden or Surda. He spent much more time on training than anyone else- it seemed as though Eragon was determined to live through the next battle, if only to kill either Galbatorix or Murtagh himself.

Not that the red Rider believed them. He had known the brunette long enough to know that Eragon's motives wouldn't just be to kill someone else. There was a deeper reasoning here.

Even though he knew Eragon's reasons could directly affect himself, he was more interested in why Eragon cried, and what it had to do with himself.

Always... always... always... always... always... always... always...

I just can't live without you...

He rolled on to his side, getting sick of the ceiling.

Perhaps the wall would be better to stare at for hours on end.

It was the worst and strangest kind of punishment placed on him. To long for one person, to want nothing more to see them, and to be sworn loyal to someone you hated- someone who was trying to kill the person you wanted more than anything. Someone evil enough to use you as the tool to achieve that end.

Sometimes, Murtagh had actually considered ending it before it came to Eragon's life or his. Dying would be little different than a life without Eragon.

He smiled dryly at the thought.

'Life without Eragon... what an oxymoron...'

I love you...

I hate you...

I can't get around you...

I breathe you...

I taste you...

I can't live without you...

I just can't take any more...

this life of solitude...

I guess that i'm out the door...

and now i'm done with you...

Weeks Later

Eragon steadied himself on top of Saphira, the complex maneuvers he had to execute taking their toll on both his balance and his dragon's strength.

It was yet another fight with Galbatorix's men. Another fight with Murtagh.

Saphira suddenly dove to evade a jet of fire issuing from Thorn's mouth, shooting back up the second the danger had past and returning with a stream of white-hot flames from her own maw.

With all the hate he could muster, he glared at the other Rider. Both were slightly bloody, with numerous cuts and bruises to mark the hour they had already spent fighting.

'You bastard.' he thought venomously, seeing Murtagh smirk victoriously as Thorn and Saphira dove towards each other to attack with tooth and talon.

Murtagh had betrayed him and the Varden- it was impossible not to hate him for that, but somehow Eragon knew that he would not hate Murtagh so much for the betrayal if he hadn't loved Murtagh to begin with.

Concentrating on the fight, Eragon ordered Saphira to pull back and dive around to the side. Hopefully they would be quick enough to catch their enemy off his guard and attack from behind.

The blue dragon followed his orders, quickly pulling back and around. Seeing the look on his opponent's face- shock- Eragon allowed himself a smile as he urged Saphira forward.

With a roar, she dove towards Thorn's unprotected back. Her action caught the ruby dragon in the middle of turning to face her- her dive caused both to drop tens of feet before they straightened. Saphira was forced to break away before both dragons had fallen far enough to hit the ground.

The dragon's circled each other in the air, neither Rider daring to look down to the battlefield and see how their side was doing.

"You've improved, little brother." Murtagh said tauntingly, Za'roc shining in the sunlight. The blood that was on the blade was barely visible against the already red metal. "With a few more improvements you might even challenge me."

"I'm more than your match, Murtagh!" Eragon replied, anger boiling inside of his heart. It hid the pain, numbing him to any other emotion until he was safely away from his brother. "I fight to free everyone from Galbatorix's tyranny- and you?" Eragon paused for breath here, panting from exhaustion. "You only fight for yourself! You're just like your father- a betrayer!"

Murtagh's face hardened, Thorn diving towards Eragon and Saphira. At the last second, Thorn turned just slightly so that Murtagh could bring Za'roc towards Eragon's neck. Eragon blocked hastily, cursing himself for not expecting the move.

The red Rider leaned in close, an angry glare on his face.

"Don't you dare presume to know what I fight for. I will never be my father, Eragon."

Eragon didn't waste breath with a reply- it was taking everything he had to hold the deadly blade away from his neck, Murtagh's position giving the pale one the advantage.

Just as he was sure his arms would give out, Murtagh pulled back. Eragon blinked in confusion- for a second, he was sure he saw a grimace of pain pass over Murtagh's features, but then it was gone.

"Retreat!" Murtagh yelled, not sparing another glance at Eragon as he dove down towards the battlefield. "Retreat!" he shouted again. Looking down, Eragon watched as every soldier bearing Galbatorix's colors turned and fled. They left behind their dead and their wounded.

Similarly, below him he could see the Varden watching- dumbstruck- as their opponents disappeared. No one bothered chasing- many of them were badly hurt, and for many it was a blessed reprieve, if a bit curious.

Eragon lifted his eyes to follow the red dragon he could see disappearing into the distance.

'He could have killed me.' Eragon thought. The blade had been seconds from a fatal wound, and had Murtagh pressed his advantage just a little bit more Eragon would be dead.

'He retreated.' Eragon could see no sign of Murtagh returning. He sighed, relaxing into the arms of weariness. He leaned against Saphira's neck.

Are you all right? he asked her.

I am fine. What do you make of this? she asked, sinking slowly down to the ground.

Eragon took in a deep breath, smelling a faintly spicy scent on the wind. One he recognized very well- one that made him weak. He sighed again, eyes falling partially closed.

I don't know.

That night, Eragon listened to the festivities outside his tent, not bothering to attend them himself. Any time the Varden won- which for them meant living through a battle- there was cause for celebration. Eragon rarely participated.

He had preferred to keep to himself since... a long time ago. The last person he had let close had hurt him- and as much as it hurt to be alone all the time, it would hurt worse if someone he cared for betrayed him as Murtagh had.

Suddenly disgusted with himself for his self-pitying thoughts, he stood and left his tent to see if any of the party activities could bring him out of the dark mood he had found himself in.

I feel... like you don't want me around...

I guess i'll pack all my things...

I guess i'll see you around...

Its all... been bottled up until now...

as I walk out your door...

all I hear is the sound...

Eragon wandered between the tents, hearing carefree laughter and seeing people drunk on happiness as much as liquor. It was slightly soothing to him to see so many happy people, though a twinge of jealousy went through him.

Why were they allowed to be happy when he was not?

He looked away from the group of revelers he had been studying, only to come face-to-face with a pretty elf maid he recognized.

"Arya svit-kona." he said in greeting, touching his fingers to his lips respectfully. She repeated the greeting, smiling slightly at him.

"It's a good night tonight Eragon. Why do you not enjoy yourself while the Varden celebrates? Our victory is yours as well." she said softly. A bit of concern had seeped into her tone by the end of her sentence.

"I... don't know." Eragon lied, looking away in hopes the perceptive elf wouldn't catch him in his lie.

"I think you do, but I won't pry. You've had enough respect for me not to do so in the past."

They stood in a comfortable silence, until the appearance of a third person broke the quiet.

"Arya svit-kona." Eragon turned as Arya did, frowning as he didn't recognize the voice.

A tall male elf approached them, his silver hair in a loose braid down his back with two long bangs framing his elegant- and young- face. His crystalline blue eyes sparkled slightly upon seeing Arya, and he bowed slightly. Arya bowed in turn, though Eragon noticed she avoided looking at the man.

"Vyrin." she replied. "It's good to see you. I did not know that you were here. Did your father send you?"

"I came of my own will." he said. He turned his gaze to Eragon. "May I ask your name, sir?"

Eragon opened his mouth to reply, but Arya beat him to it.

"Vyrin, this is Eragon- the Rider. Eragon, this is Vyrin- son and heir of the Kyuzo family." Vyrin bowed.

"It's an honor to meet one such as yourself, Rider Eragon."

"Likewise." Eragon bowed slightly in reply, eyes on Arya.

She was openly staring at Vyrin, now that the elf couldn't see her. A slightly pained expression crossed Eragon's face. Even if he held no such feelings for her now, at one time he had believed himself in love with her.

Vyrin straightened, and Arya moved to engage the elf in conversation. Eragon watched as the two talked, ignoring him.

Quietly, he excused himself and turned back to his tent.

Once inside, he threw himself on his bed.

As he did, all of the emotions he had kept bottled up and hidden away came crashing down.

The infatuation he had once had for Arya, masking the feelings he had felt for someone else- someone he was had not been willing to accept as a love interest.

The despair he had felt when he had believed that someone dead.

The despair he had felt when Arya had rejected him, even if he had known by then that she would never be enough to fill the hole in his heart.

The pain and betrayal he felt every time he had to face Murtagh on the battlefield.

The hurt when he saw how obvious Arya was in her feelings for Vyrin.

'Murtagh doesn't want me. Arya doesn't need me.' He knew the elf saw him as a friend, but he needed someone closer than that. He needed someone who would be with him- someone who would give him the security he needed. It may have sounded weak, but Eragon couldn't bear the loneliness much longer.

'Does no one want me around?'

The Varden may need him, but that was different than desire. If he had to be needed, he preferred the kind where someone wanted him so much they couldn't bear to be without him.

'I need to get out of here.'

Just a few hours and he could clear out his mind, and he could put all the emotions back where they belonged. He couldn't do it where he was, but...

Saphira? he called, grabbing his cloak. She answered instantly.

What is it, Eragon?

I need to fly for just a little while. If you're enjoying the festival, I can take a walk instead. he said, feeling slightly guilty about pulling his dragon away from the fun.

We haven't flown for fun in a long time. I'm coming. He could feel her worry, but he brushed it off.

No need to have both of them absolutely miserable.

Good. Meet me at the east edge of camp- everyone's on the west side.

I'll be there.

Eragon pulled on his cloak, then looked at his sword.

'Just in case.' He buckled the belt around his waist, then snuck out the back flap of his tent and traveled carefully to the east edge of the camp where he could meet Saphira.

Always... always... always... always... always... always... always...

I just can't live without you...

He smiled upon seeing her waiting for him. He rubbed her snout affectionately, then moved to her back and climbed on.

Is there anywhere in particular you want to go? she asked, concern leaking into her mental voice as she felt the tumult his emotions were in.

"North. I don't really care to go to any particular destination." Eragon replied out loud. Saphira nodded, leaping into the air and flapping quickly to rise higher into the night sky.

Eragon watched the ground flash by underneath them, the sound of his dragon's wings comforting.

He leaned forward, resting against her neck as he allowed her to fly in any direction she pleased.

It didn't matter. Here at least, he knew he was alone but for Saphira. It seemed less lonely, somehow, when he was in the sky. He knew there was no one else sharing the sky with him but the sapphire dragon he rode- he couldn't delude himself into believing he had a friend to talk to.

No one would understand his problems. The only one who might come close was supposedly one of his worst enemies.

Worst enemy or not, Murtagh might be able to understand him- and that was what Eragon needed. Brothers or not, Murtagh would be able to fill the hole in his heart.

'You fool.' he thought sullenly, not sure if he was referring to himself or his brother. 'If it had been anyone else, I would have been able to withstand their betrayal.'

Something inside of him had died the day Murtagh apparently had, and the rest of him had gone numb when Murtagh had been revealed at the Battle of the Burning Plains. It was a half-life he lived, and he wasn't sure if he'd ever go back to being whole.

They flew for a long time, Eragon not bothering to keep track of things as meaningless as minutes. He was drowsy, his tiredness clouding his vision until he felt something odd.

Saphira was angling down. For a moment, he thought they had circled back to the camp, but then Saphira touched down on a wide plateau.

Where are we? he asked, sitting up and stretching slightly.

Miles from camp. You can see the moon clearly from here- it's lovely. Saphira replied. Shrugging, Eragon slid off the saddle. He stumbled slightly as his feet met the hard ground, but quickly regained his balance.

He walked forward a few paces, taking in the sight.

Everything was colored by the night, and he was so high up it was completely silent. The moon cast her rays upon everything, making it bright enough to see many things, but not revealing all the secrets of the landscapes. From where he stood, it seemed almost as though he could see all of Alagaesia, even though he knew it was much bigger than the small portion he was viewing.

'It is beautiful.' he thought, sitting down on a rock large enough to support him. It was oddly calming- the same sensation he got while flying, but this time he was firmly on the ground.

Thank you, Saphira.

She nodded, but didn't reply otherwise. Instead, she relaxed as well, laying down and resting her head on her forelegs.

I love you...

I hate you...

I can't get around you...

I breathe you...

I taste you...

I can't live without you...

I just can't take any more...

this life of solitude...

I guess that i'm out the door...

and now i'm done with you...

Murtagh paced in his room, the stark white bandages showing clearly against his skin.

He had come so close to killing Eragon. Even if that would have freed him from this endless cycle- Galbatorix would have killed him for murdering the only female dragon- he couldn't do it.

He turned to the nearest wall and punched it as hard as he could, feeling blood trickle down his hand at the action.

His hand burned painfully, but it meant little to Murtagh.

Soon, he knew, Galbatorix would get worried about Eragon's power. Galbatorix would order Eragon's death in order to protect the power he had killed to achieve. At that time- still bound by oath- Murtagh would be sent with orders to bring back his brothers head or die trying.

As much as he sometimes hated Eragon for being unable or unwilling to rescue him from Galbatorix's service, and not believing that he was not acting of his own free will, it would be impossible to kill the brunette.

All his life he had been alone, except for one person who had taught him his skills with the sword. That person had died helping him escape the first time.

Eragon had been the first person he had loved. Going from his company to... this...

Growling, Murtagh punched the wall again with his other hand. It hurt, but the pain distracted him from his emotions for a few precious seconds.

He whirled around, suddenly unable to bear staying in his room any longer.

Thorn! he barked mentally. He could feel his dragon stirring- apparently, he had been asleep. Sorry to wake you.

Now what do you want? Thorn grumbled. I was happily asleep. Murtagh ignored the grumbling, knowing the ruby dragon was always cranky when first awoken.

I did apologize. I need to fly. Murtagh said. He could feel a slight bit of concern coming from his dragon before Thorn forcibly cut off the emotion.

Fine. I'll be outside by the time you reach the back gate.

Murtagh smiled slightly- one less thing to cause him stress.

Thank you.

As promised, the second Murtagh stepped foot outside he could see the large outline of his dragon. He walked forwards, swinging a leg up and over Thorn's back. He settled into the saddle.

Where to?

Just go south. I don't really care where.

Grunting, the ruby dragon took off, turning and heading south as his Rider had asked. Murtagh didn't initiate conversation again, preferring the silence.

It may have left him to reflect on his thoughts, but that was okay.

I love you...

I hate you...

I can't live without you...

I left my head around your heart...

Why would you tear my world apart...

Murtagh and Thorn flew aimlessly, looking at the wide stretches of land between villages as well as the streams, lakes, and forests. Sometimes they flew east or west, but they continued heading south.

This was his world- in the air, all by himself. It was just him and Thorn, just them against the world. They only had each other- Murtagh was not loyal to the king he served, and to the people he wanted to be loyal to, he was a mortal enemy. It was funny how life worked...

If he had to continue acting against his nature like this, he was sure he'd go insane.

At the thought, he chuckled, causing Thorn to look back at him curiously. He waved Thorn off.

'I think I was insane since this started. The moment I was captured- and my world collapsed- I went insane.'

Casually, he glanced down, eyes going wide.

'What are they doing here?'

"Thorn, it looks like we have company." Murtagh said, pointing to the large plateau below them. Thorn looked, mentally smirking.

Shall we go say hello?

"We shall."

Always... always... always... always...

Eragon looked up at the full moon. It was almost directly overhead, so to make it easy on himself he laid down to watch the orbs progress across the sky.

He didn't enjoy the loneliness, but it was easier to be alone than have people close to you.

He was just about to close his eyes for a short nap when something caught his eye.

A large, dark figure moved across the moon, clearly outlined though Eragon couldn't clearly see it.

As the figure passed through the moon, Eragon's heart sank.

Just for a second, he was certain he had seen red, as well as an outline he would never mistake. He scrambled to his feet, seeing the figure loop gracefully around and descend closer to himself and Saphira.

Cursing the fact he had neglected to wear armor, Eragon grabbed for his sword.

Saphira get up- Murtagh and Thorn are here!

Instantly, the blue dragon jerked, following her Rider's line of sight to see the red dragon open his wings to slow their descent as they nearest the outer edge of the plateau.

Growling, she too scrambled to her feet, moving to Eragon's side. Both watched with narrowed eyes as the ruby dragon landed. He moved forward a few feet, his Rider sliding off his back and then facing them.

"What a welcoming committee." Murtagh said dryly, eyeing their drawn weapons. Casually, he walked forward. He didn't seem concerned that both Saphira and Eragon were ready to attack at the slightest provocation, though Eragon noted with some satisfaction that Murtagh's hand never strayed far from Za'roc's hilt.

And even if Murtagh attempted to appear unconcerned, his dragon made no such attempt. Thorn growled, staying right next to his Rider protectively.

"What do you want?" Eragon demanded, tensing as Murtagh drew closer. Murtagh shrugged.

"I wanted to see the moon. Lovely view from here, isn't it?" It didn't escape Eragon's notice that Murtagh's hazel eyes were focused solely on him- he hadn't glanced at the moon. A small shiver went through the brunette at the intense gaze focused on him- it seemed like Murtagh not only saw him, but saw right through him too. It was slightly unsettling, but Eragon found himself slowly lowering his sword.

This seemed to please Murtagh- he smiled, stepping slightly closer. Saphira growled, making as if to move forward, but then paused as Thorn growled dangerously at her. Murtagh stopped, now just feet from Eragon.

I see... the blood all over your hands...

does it make you feel... more like a man...

was it all... just a part of your plan...

the pistol's shakin' in my hands...

and all I hear is the sound...

Eragon looked away from the eyes staring into his own, his gaze landing on the pale but fine hands peaking out from the cloak Murtagh wore.

Even though he knew it was just an illusion, they seemed to be covered in blood. All the people that he had seen Murtagh kill, and all the people that would die until he managed to defeat Murtagh.

Eragon turned towards Saphira, keeping his head down but his eyes trained on the traitor standing just feet from him as he groped for the saddle.

"And where are you going?" Murtagh asked. Eragon glared, anger allowing him to raise his eyes to Murtagh's without being drawn in.

"It's none of your business." he replied. "I have nothing to say to you, murderer."

Murtagh stiffened, the easy air he had had about him hardening in an instant. He stepped forward, Saphira reacting but too slow to stop him as he forcibly turned Eragon around and pinned him to her side. Thorn stepped forward as well, blocking Saphira from twisting fully to bite at the red Rider.

"I thought I told you not to presume anything about me." Murtagh said, hands pinning Eragon's wrists by his sides, his body keeping Eragon still as his eyes bore into the brunette's. Eragon swallowed heavily, the feel of Murtagh's body against his inciting reactions he really did not need at the moment.

"You... said not to presume anything about what you fight for." Eragon replied, his sword shaking in his hand. He tried to hold on to it, but it was useless.

The sword fell to the ground with a loud 'clang'. Saphira jerked her head, seeing her defenseless Rider, and growled. Thorn roared in response, moving to once again block Murtagh from the blue dragon's wrath.

Saphira growled again at her helplessness. Moving would leave Eragon with nothing supporting him- and she didn't fancy the idea of her Rider helpless on the ground against his foe. Thorn was preventing her from knocking Murtagh away from Eragon- both she and her Rider were trapped.

"Then why do you insist that you know me?" Murtagh asked, pressing closer to his brother. This was the only time he'd ever be able to be this close... it was impossible to resist temptation, especially when he heard how Eragon's breath hitched as he pressed closer.

"You killed so many people. You will continue to cost the lives of others as long as you fight for Galbatorix- that makes you a murderer." Eragon said, voice wavering slightly. Murtagh was so close he could smell him- the scent was intoxicating. Eragon had to fight his body's urge to press back against the other Rider, biting his lip in an attempt to keep himself in check.

"He has my true name. I cannot disobey him." Murtagh said quietly. The world seemed to shrink for both Riders, their dragon's presence forgotten as they quieted, Saphira recognizing that Murtagh was not harming Eragon and would not leave until he had said his piece. "I'm dead the second I try to resist. Once I die, so does Thorn. Instead of sending his soldiers after you, he'll come himself. If he's tired of simply trying to capture you, he'll kill you. He's more powerful than you or me, and he won't be nearly as merciful as I have been."

Eragon breathed shallowly, hyper-aware of Murtagh as the other breathed in and out. They were so close now- he could feel each plane of Murtagh's body through the layers of clothes between them. He could feel Murtagh's breath on his face.

I love you...

I hate you...

I can't live without you...

I breathe you...

I taste you...

I can't live without you...

I just can't take any more...

this life of solitude...

I guess that i'm out the door...

and now i'm done with you...

Murtagh was having similar difficulties concentrating on what they were supposed to be- enemies- with Eragon so close. The body below him was unconsciously teasing him, testing the limits of his will and restraint. That look in Eragon's eyes- vulnerable and longing- was drawing him in even further. The way Eragon was worrying his lower lip drew his attention to his brother's soft lips- they begged to be kissed.

'Galbatorix may have made us enemies...' Murtagh reflected, transfixed by the brunette's mouth. '...but this wouldn't feel right if it was wrong.'

Murtagh took a deep breath, taking in his brother's scent. It was calming, giving him the strength and courage to do what he did next.

Slowly, he released his brother's wrists, bringing his hands up to cup Eragon's face. The blue Rider didn't move, apparently in shock.

With as much gentleness as he could muster, Murtagh brought his lips to his brother's, pulling Eragon's head closer to his own. Even with his attempt at control, once their lips met he couldn't stop himself.

His eyes closed, his mouth opening to allow his tongue to plunder the other Rider's mouth. The muscle ran lightly over Eragon's tongue and invited it to play. He didn't really expect Eragon to respond- them being mortal enemies as well as brothers- but he knew that being able to kiss the brunette was much more than he ever expected. He took full advantage of Eragon's seeming paralysis, only taking a small breath before joining their lips again and tasting his brother as fully as possible.

'So sweet...' he thought, knowing that- even if this were to blow up in his face- he had no regrets.

Needing more air, he took another shallow breath before diving back in, moving his body closer and closer.

Suddenly, Murtagh felt Eragon move beneath him. His eyes opened as he pulled back reluctantly, allowing his guard to relax as his eyes once again met his brother's.

Eragon seemed so confused, and almost afraid of what Murtagh had just done. Those pale-pink lips he had been admiring just moments before were a bit swollen and red, a testament to just how frantic and hungry Murtagh's kisses had been.

Murtagh memorized the look, knowing that that look was what he wanted to protect.

'I have to stop Galbatorix.' he realized. 'If I am to protect him, I have to stop that madman.' Distantly, he could feel Eragon's hands come to rest on his shoulders.

I love you...

I hate you...

I can't live without you...

"Why did you do that?" Eragon asked weakly. Of all the outcomes of their chance meeting that night, that had certainly not been expected. Murtagh's eyes met his, and his breath stopped at all the emotion he could see.

Protectiveness. Need. Desire. Anger. Fear.


Murtagh was being completely open- Eragon couldn't think of any way to properly respond. His mind had shut down at the first brush of slightly chapped lips on his, and it refused to start working again.

Murtagh didn't reply, looking down and resting his forehead lightly against Eragon's.

"There wouldn't be another chance." he said softly. So softly, Eragon had to strain to hear him.

The sound of growling suddenly caught their attention. Both men glanced towards Thorn- who was growling at Saphira- and Saphira- who was growling at them.

"Looks like I overstepped." Murtagh said dryly, moving away from Eragon. Saphira continued to watch and growl as the red Rider moved slowly, seemingly reluctant to go.

As Murtagh's body broke all contact with his, Eragon acted. Reaching as Murtagh turned, he grabbed one of his brother's wrists and pulled. Murtagh spun back, shock showing clearly on his face as Eragon joined their lips again.

I love you...

I hate you...

I can't live without you...

I just can't take any more...

this life of solitude...

I pick myself off the floor...

and now i'm done with you...




Eragon could feel the shock travel through his brother's body as their kiss went on, feeling how tense Murtagh was. He held on, vaguely hearing as Saphira's growl cut off abruptly. All he was really aware of was the other man he held close to him.

Slowly, he felt Murtagh relax and respond. Pale hands came up to run up and down his sides and back, pulling him closer. Eragon didn't resist, moving forwards at the slight urging. As one, their mouths opened to deepen the kiss, eyes closing to just enjoy the sensations of the contact- both emotional and physical.

Their hands roamed, memorizing the feeling of the other body. Their lips broke apart only occasionally for air, tongues meeting before lips to draw them back together as they took in all they could of their partner.

Eventually, they broke apart for the last time, holding the other as closely as they could. Both were panting, slightly, their loud breaths the only noise in the stunned silence.

After they had quieted some, Eragon broke the silence.

"Is there any way for you to be free?" he asked quietly. "I can't... I don't want to lose this." Eragon's voice was slightly choked. Murtagh just clutched him tighter.

"I can only be free again once that man is dead." Murtagh replied just as softly. "And until then, this is the last time I can be with you like this."

Eragon nodded in understanding, then slowly slid out of the embrace.

"I should go." he said with a pained expression, his hands still clutching to Murtagh. Murtagh nodded, a similar pained expression on his face.

"As should I."

Neither made any further move to leave.

Finally, Eragon looked Murtagh in the eye.

"I promise I'll free you. I'll kill Galbatorix." Eragon said. Murtagh nodded, one hand coming up to lightly caress Eragon's cheek. Eragon leaned into the touch, not bothering to curb his reaction.

"I trust you, but promise me one more thing." Murtagh said seriously. Eragon nodded hesitantly, not entirely sure if he liked the tone Murtagh was using.

"If Galbatorix orders me to kill you, I want you to kill me." Eragon straightened instantly, mouth opening to protest when Murtagh cut him off.

"I cannot disobey him. If I get an order to kill you or die trying, I will be forced to pursue you until one of us is dead. I would rather that be me." Murtagh seemed resigned, but determined. "Do you swear?"

"I will." Eragon lied, knowing he couldn't bring himself to kill his brother after what they had just shared. Murtagh scowled at him, seeing right through the falsehood..

"Neither of us will leave here until you swear to me in the ancient language that you will kill me before you let me kill you."

Eragon shook his head.

"I won't."

"You must." Murtagh said harshly. His features slowly gentled. "It probably won't come to that, as long as you kill him soon. I just need you to do this for me."

Eragon looked away. Reluctantly- he did not want to swear, but the need in his brother's voice made him loath to do otherwise- he spoke.

"If you are ordered to kill me and cannot refuse, I will kill you before you kill me." Eragon swore in the ancient language, feeling the magic of the words bind him to his promise.

Murtagh relaxed, Eragon's promise taking quite a bit of weight off of his shoulders.

"One more thing." Murtagh said, lightness creeping back into his voice. Eragon looked up, seeing Murtagh smile. It as thin, but it was a smile. "Wait for me?"

Eragon smiled back.

"Only if you wait for me."

"Like I could do otherwise." Murtagh glanced up at the slowly lightening sky, expression turning regretful. Eragon followed his gaze, his smile falling into a mournful frown.

"We'll be missed soon." Murtagh commented. "We should probably head back to where we're expected."

"You're right." Eragon took a deep breath, then moved forward a bit. Their lips met again, but this kiss was far less frantic that the last few had been. It was still possessive on both sides, but it was more gentle than hungry, more meant to linger than to claim.

Slowly, they broke apart, each still able to taste the other on their lips.

Eragon moved away, reluctantly heading for his sapphire dragon. He touched her side, eyes still on his brother who seemed to be fiddling with something on the front of his clothing.

Finally, he turned away and swung himself up on the saddle. Saphira looked at him, half-annoyed and half-curious.

Do I get an explanation? she asked, though not as harshly as he expected.

Eventually. Eragon replied, looking down at the leather and blue scales he sat upon. He was just about to order Saphira to take off, when his brother stopped him.


The brunette looked down to his left, seeing Murtagh standing right next to Saphira. Smiling slightly, his brother held something out to him.

Eragon reached down and took it, finding the object to be a necklace with a medium-sized precious stone the purest color of blood red he had ever seen.

It also had a heavy aura of pure magic.

"What's this?" he asked, looking back at Murtagh with a puzzled expression.

"It's a powerful protection spell. That diamond is the only one of it's kind- the only thing our father gave me." Murtagh said, looking wistfully at the necklace. "I want you to have it."

Eragon glanced back at the gem in his hand, then quickly fastened it around his neck.

"I'll always wear it." He promised, feeling the magic surround him in what felt like a protective embrace- almost like when Murtagh held him. It was comforting.

"It's also to remind you who you belong to." Murtagh said, a slight smirk tugging at his mouth at that. He turned, quickly mounting his dragon as well. Their eyes met for one last time.

"Goodbye, Eragon." Murtagh said.

"Goodbye." Eragon replied. Both dragons looked one last time at each other, then both took off.

Their Riders watched each other until the distance grew too great, then both turned their eyes to where they headed. Even though the direction of their gazes changed, the direction of their thoughts did not.

'Eragon...' Murtagh thought, Galbatorix's castle coming into view.

'Murtagh...' Eragon mused, seeing the many tents of the Varden up ahead.

'I will protect you.'

TBC (?) Read Author's Note for explanation

A/N: I know the ending was kind of odd, so I wrote two possible endings, both in the form of epilogues. One is angsty and sad. The other is happy. If anyone actually wants to read them (they're probably not quite as good as this- I wrote both just seconds after finishing this 'one-shot', and I was too exhausted to even finish the second one before falling asleep in front of my computer. I'll be going back and fixing them before posting them sometime next week.) then tell me and I'll post them. If no one wants to read them, then this will remain a one-shot, hence the (?) after TBC.

And to everyone who actually kind of liked this sad first attempt, I have a longer fanfic for this pairing coming up… as soon as I finish it. Could be days, or it could be months. See ya then!