BLANKET WARNINGS: Eragon/Murtagh INCEST and SLASH! If either offends you, I'm sure you know where the back button is. This is a bit darker than some of my usual stuff- this does deal with homophobia, and I tried to portray Eragon as best I could in his situation (In a homophobic world, he has just realized he's gay, and he has been brought up to be homophobic) while still keeping him IC. I hope I succeeded. Since no one knows exactly what goes on in his head, I think it's pretty believable.
BLANKET DISCLAIMER: I don't own Eragon, or Eldest, bookwise. Chris Paolini does. I only own Talc, Krin, Eruka (though I am borrowing a bit from Naruto for Eruka… And yes, I know that's it's spelled 'Iruka' in the show, I changed the spelling), and the other random OCs through the story . The theory in here is mine as well- that Angela's Prophecy could also be taken to mean Murtagh. (I go a bit in-depth on this through the fic. I have a full copy of the theory in my profile.) If anyone steals it without crediting me and I find you, let's just say I won't be very happy.
Italics: dreams, imaginings
(Parentheses): Mind to mind communication (i.e. between Eragon and Saphira) Why parentheses? Because the site won't let me use carrots…
A/N: Yes, this is the final chapter. Un-beta'd, I'm afraid, so feel free to point out any mistakes in grammar or spelling or continuity errors. I will do my best to fix those.
Sorry to those of you who wanted review replies to the chapter before the previous one, but I didn't have time to get around to answering those since I've been out of state for a while. If anyone has any burning questions, feel free to ask me again and I promise to reply as soon as I can!
ALSO: Read the final author's note at the bottom for POSSIBLE SEQUEL INFORMATION.
The blue Rider nodded, walking alongside his brother and helping support the other Rider as they exited the stone chamber.
And Now, The Conclusion:
In Dreams Epilogue
"So you mean to tell me that Galbatorix is dead?" Nasuada asked, expression one of utmost shock. It had been like that from the moment Thorn and Saphira had flown down with Eragon and Murtagh, the latter once again whole and healthy. The only mark of his ordeal was a thin scar, black in color, that stretched diagonally from the red Rider's shoulder to his waist. The brothers had discovered the mark on their way back to the camp when they had stopped at a small stream in order to make themselves a bit more presentable.
The eggs had been carried by the two dragons using slings made out of any spare piece of cloth and a bit of magic as extra insurance that no harm would befall the dragonets within. Even though Saphira and Thorn had each managed to carry about thirty eggs, Eragon and Murtagh had needed to hold a few while flying in order to transport all of the precious stonelike objects. The slings had made landing much more difficult, but Saphira had figured out how to slow down and set the eggs on the ground gently before landing off to the side of the blanket that served as her sling. Thorn had caught on shortly after.
The blue Rider nodded, a weary smile stretching his lips. The ride back had been difficult with so many extra burdens, but every night he and Murtagh had slept next to one another for warmth. Nothing had happened but sleeping, of course, but those had been some of the most restful nights of Eragon's life.
Murtagh motioned to the blackened hilt of a sword that rested on the ground between the woman and the two Riders. All three were sitting down inside Nasuada's tent, where the brothers had been ushered the moment they had landed and dismounted.
"That is all that remains of his sword," the red Rider said. Eragon had been the one to go back into the cave in order to collect the eggs, since Murtagh's body hadn't yet been up to the task. The blue Rider had noticed the sword hilt and had brought it back to present to Nasuada as proof. "His body crumbled into dust."
Eragon had explained - once they were good and away from the Vault - what exactly had happened in the fight since Murtagh's spirit had been trapped inside the king's body and unable to watch.
Nasuada nodded, reaching forward to gingerly pick up the sword hilt and look closely at it. Her fingers traced the faint etchings in the metal, as if in shock. Her hand was trembling as she set it back on the ground. She nodded again, much more firmly. Eragon watched, a feeling of peace settling firmly over him.
It was over. The war, the battles... everything. It hadn't truly sunk in until this moment, after he had handed his leader the proof of their victory and she had accepted it. There were still details to be sorted out of course - Alagaesia would need a new king, the soldiers in the Varden would need to settle somewhere, the dragonets inside the eggs would need to find their Riders and those were just the preliminary tasks. There was still much more to accomplish before Galbatorix would be completely erased from the memory of the people.
Subtly, he moved closer to Murtagh. Together, he felt like they could accomplish anything.
Nasuada noticed the motion and smiled.
"I'm glad everything worked out for you." she said, then stood and dusted off her clothes. The two Riders were moments behind her. "Our victory is owed entirely to the bond you two share. For that, I thank you both."
Eragon smiled gratefully, feeling Murtagh take his hand. Nasuada was quiet for a moment, apparently deep in thought. She studied the blue Rider for a moment, then smiled again.
"There is the matter of leadership for Alagaesia. It needs a strong, just ruler so it can rebuild. Not long after Eragon came to the Varden, it was decided that we would offer him the kingship if we ever won." Nasuada said softly. The younger brother felt his mouth drop open and eyes go wide.
"Do you accept?" she asked him. Still in shock, Eragon turned to his brother for help. Murtagh watched him, a knowing look in his hazel eyes.
"Go with what feels right to you, not what other people think is right." the red Rider said simply, squeezing Eragon's hand. The look of shock faded from the blue Rider's face and he smiled, looking back at the Varden's leader.
"Sorry, but I don't think I'd make a good king." He glanced down at the ground, feeling his face heat slightly. "Alagaesia hasn't been the most accepting of places in the past." He met her eyes again, seeing the understanding there. Nasuada had known he would reject it and that thought gave him confidence.
"I will continue to serve you and whoever the next ruler of Alagaesia will be, but I think I'd like to build a home in Surda."
"Somehow I knew you would say that," the dark skinned woman said, touching Eragon's shoulder gently. "King Orrin should be able to arrange a suitable home for you - and perhaps another person-" Her eyes flicked to the red Rider, a grin on her lips. "- a home with enough land to house two dragons and possibly even an area to train new Dragon Riders."
She turned towards the entrance to the tent and began to walk out.
"I believe a celebration is called for." Nasuada glanced back towards the two brothers, giving them a quick once-over. "There will be plenty of time to rest beforehand - something like this requires more of a celebration than we can properly give it out here. Once we have returned to Aberon, we will celebrate our victory."
Line Break - Several Days Later
Eragon walked through the streets of Aberon, humming quietly to himself while a grin stretched his lips. The festival was in full swing around him, crowds of people milling about and drinking and laughing and generally having fun. Though quite a few of the adults were well on their way to being completely intoxicated, there had yet to be a single brawl. Some men had started fighting a few times, but just as quickly they would stop and laugh and move on to talking as if they were old friends.
Winning a war tended to cool tempers.
Eragon stepped nimbly to one side of the dirt walkway, moving close to a small stand of meat pies as a group of children came racing through. The children ranged in ages, but none were more than ten and each child was covered in mud from head to toe and laughing and squealing. The Rider's keen ears could hear some adults mutter about how ill mannered the kids were, but no one seemed to truly mind and within minutes the children had run out of earshot.
Eragon moved back on the path and continued walking. It felt so good to be back in clean clothes - the Varden had been walking for days in the dust, triumphant but exhausted. The wounded had been well enough to move by the time Eragon and Murtagh had returned, but even then it was slow going so that the injured didn't reopen their wounds.
His smile widened as he though of his brother. While on the road, since neither of them had used a tent to begin with, they had continued sleeping next to one another out in the open air with their dragons. Once back in Surda, however, they had separate rooms and had been too exhausted when they arrived the previous night to move the red Rider's things into the larger room. After sleeping in Murtagh's bed, the blue Rider had gone to his own room to change and the majority of his day had been taken up by meetings deciding what would happen with Alagaesia now that it didn't have a ruler. The older brother had been at the same meetings, of course, but they hadn't gotten much of a chance to talk privately with each other.
They had, however, had time to promise to meet each other at tonight's festival and decide on a meeting place. It was that place Eragon was heading for.
A sudden tap on his shoulder made the blue Rider nearly jump, but he turned to see who it was. Upon recognizing the face, Eragon's smile faded. He nodded politely, turning to face his cousin and moving back just a step to increase the distance between them.
"Good evening, Roran. Enjoying the festival?" he asked, tone civil but not quite happy. Murtagh would expect him in a few minutes and any minute lost was a minute wasted. The farmer looked uncomfortable, able to only briefly meet his cousin's eyes before looking away. Roran reached out to clap Eragon on the shoulder as he always used to do, but though Eragon allowed the move he tensed under his cousin's palm and New Carvahall's leader quickly removed his hand.
"Ah... Eragon, I just wanted to - to ask if you'd... talk to me for a few minutes." Roran said, emotions Eragon couldn't quite read underlying his voice. Slowly, the blue Rider nodded. He could sense that his cousin had something important to say, though he wasn't sure what.
"All right, but I have to be going soon. Murtagh's expecting me."
Roran flinched slightly at the name, but nodded as though resigned. The farmer glanced around, then spotted a small alley off to the side of the street.
"Can we talk over there? What I want to discuss is rather... private."
Again, Eragon nodded. He followed his cousin and the pair went no further than the mouth of the alley before stopping. They faced each other, Roran's expression one of uncertainty and shame.
"What is it you wanted?" Eragon asked, tone carefully polite. Roran met his eyes and finally held them.
"I had the chance to do some... thinking while you were gone with... him." There was still that pause, that flash of anger, but then Roran shook his head, looking at the ground again. "When you were gone with Murtagh."
Slightly taken aback by his cousin's use of the red Rider's name, Eragon said nothing and allowed the farmer to continue.
"I wrote to Katrina to ask her advice and-" The leader of New Carvahall met the blue Rider's eyes again. "-you're welcome at any time to New Carvahall. She also hopes that you'll still agree to be Terrin's godfather."
There was a pause.
"I think I agree with her. You're welcome to visit any time and... he can come too."
Eragon opened his mouth to speak and found he couldn't. This had to be a huge concession for Roran to make and the fact that Roran was trying at all... It spoke volumes. The blue Rider was touched, especially since the offer had been extended to include Murtagh without any prompting.
"I'd be honored," he replied numbly. Roran smiled hesitantly, then extended his hand.
Eragon shook it.
The red Rider idly tossed a coin into the air and caught it, hazel eyes scanning the crowd for a sign of his brother. Eragon was already late, though not by much. Still, if the other Rider took too much longer to arrive he would need to go out searching.
Just as the thought crossed his mind, he caught a glimpse of a familiar face through the crowd. It wasn't the right familiar face, but it was a relief to see all the same. He waved at Eldan as the brown haired man slipped through the crowd towards a stall of pastries and sweets. Eldan saw the wave, waving back with a wide smile before turning back to his task. Knowing Talc couldn't be far away, Murtagh scanned the crowd looking for blonde hair. His eyes passed over several blonde heads before finally spotting the other man leaning against the wall on the far side of the square. He waved, smiling when Talc waved back.
The red Rider turned towards the sound, smiling widening as he recognized the voice. Eragon was running up to him, face a bit red and breathing a bit heavily- it was clear the blue Rider had run. When the younger brother reached the older, he stopped and breathed deeply. His lungs quickly returned to a more normal rhythm and the blue Rider began speaking.
"Sorry I'm late - had a run-in with my cousin." he explained briefly before moving forward to give his brother a light kiss. The soft, almost tentative brush of lips against his own was enough to send a warm, content feeling through the red Rider's body and he quickly returned the chaste kiss with a slightly more passionate one of his own.
When the two broke apart, Eragon's face significantly redder than it had been before, Murtagh took the younger Rider's hand and the pair began to walk.
"What did he have to say?" Murtagh asked, watching Eragon's face brighten ever so slightly.
"Roran seems to have come to terms with... us..."
The word 'us' seemed foreign to Eragon and the younger brother paused for a moment while saying it, warm contentment radiating from his expression. The blue Rider looked at his older brother with a smile.
"Everything seems to be working out. Nasuada's coronation is set for a week from now and after that we'll be able to start bringing about the true second rise of the Riders. King Orrin has already promised us land as thanks for killing Galbatorix." Eragon looked up towards the stars. They twinkled brightly in the night sky.
"It seems like just another dream that I'll soon wake from. I have to keep reminding myself that it's real."
The red Rider leaned close to whisper in his brother's ear.
"You're not dreaming anymore. This is real. I'm real." Soft lips pressed against his temple. "Would you like more proof?"
The blue Rider turned towards his brother, already leaning in.
Their lips met.
They had come far for this moment, a long, rocky road behind them and hard work in front of them, but for the moment that didn't matter. Eragon embraced his brother tightly, letting the older take control of their kiss as Murtagh pulled him close.
For the moment, the tasks ahead could be forgotten.
For the moment, they could just enjoy what they had worked hard to obtain.
Now they could be themselves and be honest.
Now their desires were not confined to their dreams.
A/N: … It seems odd for it to finally be over, after what, four years? This has been my baby for so long, it seems strange to let it go… Hopefully there weren't too many mistakes and this epilogue wasn't terrible – either terribly sugary/cheesy or terribly boring and rushed, or some sort of horrible mix.
If anyone has any lingering questions, feel free to PM me or ask in a review! (I'm fairly friendly, so please do e-mail me or PM me for whatever reason! My e-mail can be found on my profile.)
I want to thank all of you who have stayed with me throughout this story and my awful habit of updating so irregularly. I would list you all, but then I think the list would be longer than this chapter! My thanks goes out to each and every one of you – thank you so much!
I love you all and hope you enjoyed the final installment of In Dreams! Thank you for making this my most popular fanfiction to date!
POSSIBLE SEQUEL! I may do a small oneshot sequel for those of you who would like to know what is going on with the boys five or ten years down the road. It would be short – as I said, a oneshot – but I would try and answer any questions you have about what happened to the characters later on. Just let me know (via review or PM or something) how many are interested in seeing a oneshot sequel, though I can't promise when I'd have time to write one. It may be soon or it may be in a few months, but if you ask for it, I will get it done.