The standard warnings apply – cross-dressing, blackmail, handcuffs, slash, and odd humor. Mentions of sex, a few dozen make-out scenes, and possibly a very mild lime. Incest is debatable, since our boys aren't brothers in this fic. Some swearing, I guess, but if you're reading this and don't care about the other stuff, why should that matter? Oh, and this is AU.
The main pairing is, of course, Eragon x Murtagh, along with Arya x Nasuada, Katrina x Roran, and Thorn x Saphira, all of which will somehow be involved in the plot. If I can find it. I seem to have misplaced it... or maybe it wandered off. Heh.
Disclaimer: I don't own it and I'm not making money off this.
(By the way: this has been edited from the version I first posted, though not enough to confuse anyone who doesn't re-read.)
Eragon was not happy.
No, he was not happy at all.
Life in general seemed to be rather upset with him, and there was no doubt in his mind that it was complete Saphira's fault. She, like most female friends will do, was interfering. Eragon had of course already pointed this out to her, but she had just was swiftly pointed out that interfering was what friends were for. She had explained, calmly and patiently, that friends should always push their friends forward. She was helping him, she said. He was being difficult, she said. He needed to get a boyfriend, she said.
They had been best friends since they were in diapers – literally. Eragon's mother, Selena, worked at a daycare, and would bring Eragon to work with her. There he met the deceptively innocent-looking Saphira Safyre, who had promptly stolen his cookie on the pretense checking it for cooties. They'd been best friends since.
When Eragon had eaten superglue (he thought it would taste the same as paste), Saphira had been the one translating his attempts at speech. When Saphira had made a "C" on a spelling test, convinced herself she was becoming illiterate, and then had an emotional breakdown in the middle of sixth-grade English class, Eragon had been the one comforting her and trying not to snicker. When Garrow, Eragon's uncle and stand-in father, had died, Saphira had been the one comforting him. When Glaedr, Saphira's first boyfriend, had dumped her, Eragon had been the one listing off all the reasons she was better off without him.
And now that Eragon had come out of the closet, Saphira was the one he'd come out to.
And that had been a mistake.
Saphira now spent most of her time tormenting him. She was constantly teasing him, even going so far as to coerce him into going places she knew had plenty of pale young men. (Eragon had a thing for fair skin.) At random times she'd take him to somewhere like the park. Then when they got there, he'd find out that it was Drop-Dead-Sexy Goth Day and all the handsome, vampirish men were celebrating by doing stripteases in the park.
Yes, it was all Saphira's fault.
After all, he wouldn't have been having these thoughts without her provoking them. It had nothing to do with hormones.
Eragon groaned, wondering just how he'd gotten in this situation. But his thoughts were wiped blank by the feels of another's lips claiming his own – how something could feel so warm and so gentle and so demanding all at the same time, Eragon did not know.
"Stupid Saphira," Eragon muttered against those lips.
A soft laugh crept its way to his ears as his other pulled away, looking at him through the darkness. "Who?"
"Nothing," Eragon managed to say. He was a bit busy examining his completely nude companion. Where were the guy's clothes? Not that Eragon minded the fact they apparently decided to make their escape. In fact, he sort of preferred his companion naked. There was so much more skin visible without cloth in the way.
Vaguely, Eragon realized that he should probably be naked, too. It would be proper, no? Surely it was embarrassing to be naked with someone who wasn't. Purely to ease any discomfort his companion might be experiencing, he began to reach down to take off his shirt. When his fingers slid over bare skin instead, Eragon blinked, feeling mildly surprised. He looked down.
Whoa, he was naked too. When had that happened?
His companion chuckled and walked slowly over to the bed. His pale hips swung gently as he moved, pallid skin shining in the darkness as moonlight struck it. With cat-like grace the fair-skinned male sank onto the sheets, curling up like he had nothing better to do in the world. A little pink tongue darted out of the man's mouth, licking his lips as he surveyed Eragon.
Eragon shivered a bit, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the cold.
And then he woke up.
He groaned, stretching and rubbing at his eyes, and then glared at his shrieking alarm clock. "Bitch," he muttered. Oddly enough, it didn't respond. Reaching over, he hit the "off" button and stumbled out of bed and glanced at the alarm clock again.
6:00 A.M., the neon red numbers read. Time to go to his first college class – a Chemistry course. After that, another class. After that, lunch with Saphira, who would no doubt take the opportunity to torture him.
And after that, sweet, uninterrupted free time.
Eragon smiled at the thought. One step at a time, he told himself. One step at a time.
Ten minutes later, he was stumbling out of the shower. As soon as he was dry, he hurried to get dressed and ready for the day. Soon he was fully clothed in loose jeans and an old t-shirt. He grabbed a muffin for the tiny kitchen, stuffed it in his mouth, grabbed a soda from the miniature fridge, and hurried out the door.
As he walked, his head was filled with the same thoughts it was every day - how to avoid Arya and Saphira for as long as possible, just how straight that guy he just passed was, how long he could keep up being single. He was so absorbed in these thoughts that he didn't hear the voice the first time it called out to him.
He went on, lost in his own little world. The person, however, was more persistant than that.
"Hey, Eragon! I've been looking for you!" she called, trotting towards him. This time, Eragon heard her.
Eragon's face lost several shades of color. Maybe I can make a run for it.
She's on track team, you idiot, snapped a little voice in his head. You think you can outrun her? Try. I dare you.
"Uh, Arya," he called, turning around to face his friend. "What are you doing here?"
"I go to college here, same as you," Arya said dryly. "Remember? Look, I need your help with a project of mine."
"I, uh, have class right now," Eragon said. "Sorry."
She pouted. "Please? I'll help you fight off Saph when she tries to get you a boyfriend. You can miss class just once, right? For me?"
Eragon hesitated. No! Bad idea! said the sensible part of his brain.
"Sure, what is it?" said Eragon mouth. Mentally, he groaned and resisted the urge to beat his head into the nearest wall. Why had he just said that?
"I'll show you," she said, trotting up to him and tugging on his arm. "Come on, we've only got two hours, and it will take every minute."
She grinned wickedly and led him away.
Moments later, they were at a small room off to the side of a classroom. Eragon shifted uncomfortably – they where in the arts sections of the college campus, a place he dared tread upon only for his art class. But now they were in the clothes-oriented section of the arts area, a place he never dared tread. Here drama students ran rampant, checking and re-checking the personality of their costumes. Here fashion students kidnapped innocent passersbys and forced them to serve as models – if they were lucky. They unlucky ones were used as sewing mannequins.
Arya patted him comfortingly and pushed him into the room.
The first thing Eragon noticed was the mirror. It more or less dominated the small space, and rested comfortably on a small makeup table covered in – your guessed it – makeup. A hairbrush, a comb, seven different bottles of eerie liquid, a battery-powered Venus razor and a can of floral-scented shaving cream were scattered at various intervals; against the wall of the room was a clothing rack.
Before he could examine the clothing more closely, he was led to the single chair in the room and pushed down. "Arya," he sighed, "you're going to use me as a model, aren't you?"
Arya smiled. It was not a nice smile. "Yeah." She began to bustle about the room, flipping through the clothing on the rack. "Hmm. I know what look I want to give you, but I'm not really sure how to do it… We're going to have to cover quite a bit of you up. Well, your legs, at least. I suppose we can fix the problem with your arms, we have enough time. One or the other, I suppose... we won't have enough time to fix both..."
The problem with my arms? Eragon frowned. "Arya, what do you mean – "
Arya tossed him some clothes. "Try these on."
Eragon caught them, sighing, then glanced down at the small bundle. For a moment he stared, disbelieving, at the article of clothing on top. "Arya," he said slowly. "Why did you give me a bra?"
"Hell no!" Eragon yelped, jumping upright. "There is no way you are getting me out there, in front of dozens of people I've never met, in female clothing! That's sick and wrong!"
Arya sighed. "Oh, calm down. Like you said, no one out there knows you. They're not even going to know you're a guy."
"I have leg and arm hair. My hair is short. I walk like a guy. How exactly are we going to convince people I'm female?"
"I've been thinking about that, actually," Arya said, a mischievous glint in her eyes. "A padded bra, shaved legs or arms, some earrings, some makeup... I think we can pull it off."
Eragon had taken several steps back. He gaped at Arya, horrified, as she spoke. Finally, he managed to close his mouth and wet his dry tongue. "Arya," he squeaked. "Back up. Back way up. First of all, we have have another friend, remember? A female friend - Saphira. Use her."
"She has class right now."
"So do I!"
Arya snorted. "Oh, please. It's an English course."
Eragon took another step back. "But guys don't make cute girls."
Arya took a step forward, blocking the only exit. "You don't have to be cute, you just have to wear it."
"People will recognize me!"
Arya rolled her eyes. "You'll be in drag. No one will ever know it's you."
"It's not masculine."
"Eragon, in high school Saphira and I put makeup on you while you were asleep, then blackmailed you into wearing a Cinderella dress when you woke up," Arya said. "You don't have any masculinity left to protect."
Eragon crossed his arms over his chest. "I won't do it."
Arya smirked. "I was hoping you'd say that."
She walked over to the makeup table, sliding open a drawer. After a bit of ruffling around in it, her smirk became triumphant; she straightened and turned, several… oddly sized pieces of paper? held in her hand.
Eragon frowned as she waggled them in his face. No, they weren't pieces of paper. They were photos.
He snatched the pictures out of her hands, stuttering and unable to form even the simplest of sentences. "What?" he finally managed to gasp. "How - !" For in each of the photos he was almost completely naked, wearing only boxers and… and….
a bra. A stuffed bra, on a very drunk-looking Eragon, who appeared to be doing a strip tease.
"How did you get these?" Eragon cried. "I only did that once!"
"Once is enough. And let me remind you I have friends on the college newspaper?" Eragon glared at her. "Come on, let's get you dressed." Arya's smile grew and she sat him down in the chair again, reaching for the makeup.
Eragon stood before the oval mirror, eyeing himself appraisingly.
"Wow," he said, impressed.
Arya shook her head. "Girls say 'sexy.' And trust me, you're not. You're... cute, I guess."
His slightly wavy hair had been straightened and carefully combed; it was now a boyish girl cut, instead of a boyish boy cut. His ears were pierced, and the dress he wore covered up enough that his real gender wouldn't be detected. The makeup she'd put on him definitely helped, too. Eragon had to admit: Arya was a genius.
"Not bad," Arya commented. "I might even get a 'B.'"
Eragon's face flushed. "Girls don't dress like this!" he protested, turning to face her.
"No, but then again, you aren't a girl, and this isn't real life. It's a college fashion show for a college class that, thankfully, bases the student's grade on the originality and design of the clothing, not the model." She turned and walked toward the door, then paused and motioned for him to follow. "Well, hurry up. We've only got a few minutes left."
About an hour later, Eragon scowled and struggled to stay perfectly still. It was after the actual fashion show, where he'd had to walk down the runway and do some poses like Arya showed him, and now it was time for an inspection by the professor. A very close inspection.
The prestigious pervert knelt down and carefully "inspected" the overlap of the torso area and the shirt area of the dress – in other words, he ran his fingers over the smooth, flat surface of Eragon's stomach. The brunet bit his lip forcefully and mentally listed off all the swear words he knew to keep from glaring and kicking the old lecher right were it hurts.
Arya batted her long, black eyelashes. "I wasn't sure how to do the shirt," she said. "What do you think? I mean, a longer one is classy, but a short one would provide contrast and show off more of the model's legs."
Eragon rolled his eyes. So this was how Arya made such an excellent grade in this course. She sweet-talked the slimy sleazebag.
"Er, yes," said the perv in question, the image of Arya in such a skirt practically reflected in his watery eyes. "The point of this class is indeed to find ways that flaunt the best characteristics of the model – showing off the legs would definitely be a good idea. Consider it a bit more. Oh, and you are allowed to act as your own model. I know you had trouble and was forced to use a last resort."
Eragon simmered. "I'm right here," he hissed under his breath. Sure, he wasn't the most beautiful girl, but that didn't mean Professor Porno here had to insult him!
Arya smiled sweetly. "Really? I didn't know that. That's so helpful – I don't want to bother Era again, she's so busy. Right, Era?"
"Yeah," muttered 'Era', glaring at Arya. Silently he counted to ten and began to serenely imagine just how many ways he could decapitate, maim, or – better yet – embarrass his "friend." Preferably in front of a large audience.
"So I'll be getting an 'A'?" Arya pressed.
Lord Lecher – whom Eragon was determined to make up clever nicknames for until he found out his real name – hesitated. "Well, I do feel you could have possibly done better… I wouldn't want to give you the impression you don't had room to improve." His little tongue darted out of his mouth to lick his lips, obviously thinking of just how Arya could improve her model.
"Next time I'll try that short skirt idea," Arya assured him. "It's just if I don't make an 'A', well… I'm doing so well in my other classes, and I'm not sure if I want to continue to take this one…"
"An 'A', of course!" the refined rake was quick to answer. Arya beamed, and Eragon scowled and tugged her arm sharply. When she turned on him with a curious look, he glared and motioned firmly towards the door.
"Fine," she said. She smiled enthusiastically at – at – damn. Eragon couldn't think of another name for him. "Bye, Professor Galbatorix!" Arya called. Eragon snorted. Galbatorix? What a stupid name. Then again, his uncle's name was "Garrow" and his best friend was "Saphira". He didn't really have room to talk.
He was led to the door, then to the dressing room. Just when he was about to open the door and enter his realm of safety, a voice called out. "Hey, Arya!"
Eragon groaned and firmly resisted the idea of pounding his skull into the nearest vertical surface – i.e., the wall.
Arya whirled around, laughing. "Thorn! What are you doing here?"
A huge redhead laughed back and trotted up to her with open arms. Much to Eragon's surprise, he was not immediately maimed and/or killed like most of the men who attempted to hug the apparently defenseless woman. Instead, he was hugged back. The redhead pulled away, grinning a big grin – big, like everything else about him. It was obvious he spent quite some time working out.
When the "Thorn" person and Arya finally broke apart, Eragon couldn't help but feel a bit nervous. Because now the green-eyed monster was staring at him curiously. "This is Thorn," Arya explained to the puzzled cross-dresser. "He's a friend of mine from high school. Thorn, this is – "
"Eragon," Eragon said firmly, not wanting her to introduce him as "Era".
Silence. Then Thorn blinked curiously at him. "Isn't that a guy's name?"
"So what are you doing here?" Arya cut in before Eragon could snap at the poor unsuspecting Thorn. It wasn't Thorn's fault Eragon was feeling touchy after being forced into a dress.
"I transferred here. I just finished my basics and wanted to go somewhere more arts and science oriented." He shrugged sheepishly. "I completely forgot you went here…"
Arya smacked him on the arm, adopting a mock-hurt expression. "Well!"
"Arya," Eragon growled. When the sadist turned his way questioningly, he gestured to the dressing room door firmly.
Arya rolled her eyes and gestured for him to go ahead. Fuming, Eragon stomped forward, tugged her away from Thorn, and hissed in her ear, "I don't think I can get the dress of by myself."
She snickered. "Keep it on. You look cute in it." Eragon glared at her.
"Thorn, we're going to be late for – Arya?"
Arya turned around. Eragon didn't bother, and instead crossed his arms and scowled.
"You had to bring him along, too?" Arya asked behind him.
"Of course," Eragon heard Thorn reply.
"Where would my redhead be with me?" asked a voice. "I'm the only one keeping his ass out of trouble."
Feeling curious, Eragon turned around. The newcomer was standing besides Thorn, and, like Thorn had, was embracing Arya like a sister.
They broke apart, smiling. Arya punched him lightly on the shoulder. "Where have you been, cousin of mine? I haven't seen you since you ran away."
The newcomer shrugged. "Around and about."
"How's Uncle Morzan?"
"Oh, I'm sorry."
The newcomer raised his eyebrows. "Why?"
"Good point," Arya said thoughtfully. Then she seemed to remember Eragon, since she glanced his way, green eyes suddenly gaining a wicked glint. "Murtagh, this is Eragon. Eragon, this is Murtagh."
Murtagh stared at him.
Eragon stared back.
They both blinked and then they stared some more.
"I am going to be see much of either of you?" Eragon asked after a moment.
Murtagh and Thorn glanced at each other. The redhead shrugged. "Probably," Murtagh said.
"Then," Eragon said, "I probably need to clarify something."
Eragon tugged down the sleeves of the dress with a bit a difficulty. Then he slid the dress down to his waist and firmly pointed to his now-naked - and very obviously male - chest. "I'm a guy."