Title: Entangled
Theme/day: September 26th / Your hair was long when we first met
Character/Pairing: light Ike+Soren
Series: Fire Emblem: (Path of Radiance)
Summary: Tangled hair and childhood memories, Soren finds himself in in much deeper than he thought. Some IkeSoren
A/N: considered to be set some time after chapter 23's infamous base scene, and references it, somewhat. I was basically just practicing characterization. It turned out rather more sparse than usual, I'm not sure why. Preoccupation, perhaps? Not my best, but hey, I'm relatively new to this fandom. ;;

The original title was 'your hair was long when we first met' and the original summary was:
Soren brushing his hair before bed, Ike remembering, subtle longing and flirting, perhaps a bit too subtle for Ike.

.

It was already dark when Soren retired to his quarters, a roll of papers under his left arm. Soren didn't have time for fiction, save for his own fabrications., and even those were merely discreet, a moment when the walls came down, only to be put back up again minutes later.

He pinched the bridge of his nose, a headache coming on. Best to save the rest for tomorrow.

Soren undid his hair. Each band slipped off with little effort as he twisted them free of their bonds. He heard a sound outside, soft but discernable through the night. Footsteps, easily recognized, like a childhood memory.

"Soren?"

Ike slipped in quickly without waiting for an answer, and closed the tent flap behind him.

"It's late–"

"Shhh, she'll hear you–"

"Again?" Soren asked in bemusement.

Ike grimaced. "Now she's following me, trying to get me to try some dish – it's so hot even I can't stand it."

Soren turned, concealing a rare smile. "I wonder what gave her that idea."

"Yeah, I wonder," Ike replied.

"So, do you mind if I stay here until she gives up?" Ike said.

Soren flicked a glance to Ike for a moment. "If you wish. I have to get ready for bed."

Ike shrugged. He was used to Soren's body, almost as much as his temperament. He spread out on the bedroll, impassively watching his surroundings until Soren sent a pointed glare in his direction.

"Fine, I'm not looking, jeez, Soren, you're as modest as a girl sometimes. You know Shinion says you bathe alone because you're hiding something"

"Oh?" Soren said, enigmatic as ever.

"Remember that time you got into the burrs? Mist too.. She cried and cried when we had to cut her hair short.. But then later on she loved it and kept it that way."

Ike smiled at the nostalgia. "You looked so weird with short hair."

"It grew back fast," Soren was now dressed in bedclothes, nearly indiscernible from his normal attire. He ran the comb through his hair, impatient and rough. It caught on a knot, and he pulled at it, irritated, and unflinching at the pain.

"Here, let me. You'll tear it like this."

Ike took the comb from his hands and gently ran it through, using his fingers to untangle each mussed strand. His hand brushed against Soren's cheek by chance, a mere accident. Soren could feel the warmth of breath at the back of his neck. His breath caught, and captured inside as if exhaling would make the moment disappear that much sooner.

Ike stayed a moment longer than necessary, his hands still tangled in Soren's hair. The softness was a silken spider web that he couldn't seem to free himself from.

"There," Ike said, finally stepping back, "Much better."

"...Thank you," Soren said. He could still feel the heat of Ike's hands, heat which had lodged itself in his body.

The heat made him think of things too deep to dare of. He didn't dare look at Ike, lest the thoughts be read.

"I forgot something," Soren said and hurried out after imaginary papers which he'd never lose in the first place. The cool night air felt good against his skin, calming his heartbeat back to a steady, even beat. It slowly returned from the frantic drumming, to the familiar numbness he was used to.

The camp was empty now, Aimee had given up, he supposed. Everyone else would have retired to their tents, even the Laguz who were nocturnal by nature.

The sky was unmasked by clouds, with only a sliver of a moon to light the way. Cold came early that year, sneaking behind them as the beginning of autumn neared. Already his breath made short-lived white clouds in the air.

When Soren returned, the candle had burnt down almost to a stub. It was a boat in the sea of its own wax. The wick was charred, frayed, bent and black.

Soren had assumed that Ike would already be gone when he returned, but instead found him in his own bedroll, fast asleep.

Soren sighed. "What am I to do with you, Ike?"

He pushed Ike over, none too gently. Ike didn't ever stir, but then, Ike always had been a deep sleeper.

"If you snore and keep me up, I'll kick you out,." Soren said. Only the sound of Ike's breathing greeted him in response. Soren settled in. He knew when to choose his battles, and this was one he didn't mind losing.