Title: I Like Your Silence
Series: Immediately Post-Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Pre-Radiant Dawn
January twenty-fourth / I like your silence; the more it shows off your wonder
A/N: The current number of Ammie drabbles: 4/8. Except it's closer to ficlet than drabble.
I. First Night
Soren sits a centimeter and a half away from Ike, mentally measured to precise distances, just close enough to grip Ike's sleeve should the need arise. He sits ramrod straight and Ike slowly slides down further and further from his perch on the bench. Ike is well-fed and sleepy, and possibly, Soren thinks, a little tipsy. There's quite a bit of evidence that leads to spiked drinks and he suspects the culprit to be either Ranulf or Janaff or a combination of the two.
Soren never leaves his duties, not even during festivities. The first thing after battling Ashnard was one big holiday called everything from "Queen's Week" to "Freedom's Festival".
Soren would be avoiding this entire useless endeavor entirely if not for the realization that Ike did not take liquor well and that there was one shopgirl who just might take advantage of that. And Soren does not take chances when Aimee is around.
"You know, I like your silence," Ike says, somewhat languidly. His voice begins to slur.
Soren makes a questioning sound in response, words temporarily taking their leave.
"You're you, I don't want you to be like anybody else. I like you just the way you are."
The wine has loosened not only Ike's tongue, but also his logic. Soren inwardly lectures his pulsing heart that this is the rambling of a drunk, even if it's Ike.
"Ike...perhaps you should sleep."
"Mnn," Ike replies and slides down, leaning on Soren.
With some effort, Soren leverages himself. This is a losing battle, as Ike is twice Soren's body weight. Eventually, they both slope down to the ground. The grass is damp and dewy and Ike is far too heavy. He smells faintly of alcohol and leather, sweat and iron. Soren is squashed, wet and it's uncomfortable, yet comforting. He breathes in the scent, his favorite, the sweetest he knows, Ike.
Later, but not much laterhe's rescued by a bemused Titania, yet somehow, he feels he would've rather stayed caught under Ike than be rescued.
II. Second Morning.
When Ike wakes the light burns through his closed eyes. He rolls over to escape it, yet the pounding in his head continues. Despite a budding migraine, Ike makes his way, somehow, to morning briefing-before-breakfast. The first thing Soren does upon seeing him is hand him a container of something. It tastes thick and soupy, and yet feels refreshing to his parched tongue.
"I stocked up beforehand," Soren says by way of explanation.
"Thanks. I don't know what I'd do without you, Soren."
(Soren has to remind himself that Ike isn't drunk this time.)
III. Second Night
And yet, even Soren can have moments of lapses, Ike thinks. Soren is a tiny mass of black folds and bunched up robes and dark hair swept around. It only took one drink which apparently had something extra and Soren was out.
"He didn't even do anything ifun/I," Ranulf says with a slight pout, "Just, fell over after one drink."
Ike glares. "And you thought spiking Soren's drink was going to be a good idea?:"
"I was just doing him a favor, he really needed to loosen up," Ranulf says.
"I wouldn't advise doing it again," Ike says. "He's got an Elfire tome and really good accuracy."
With that, he lifts Soren up, and carries him out of the crowd.
Soren is light in his arms, too light, and he wonders if maybe he needs to have a little talk with Soren about subsisting on nothing but green tea and stale bread again.
Ike makes his way through revelers. He walks down through the back corridors to their rooms in the castle, down the back spiral staircase to Soren's cell of a room.
He lays Soren down on the bed, leans over him, undoing belts and lacings. Ike strips away the clothes until there's nothing left but a pair of white undergarments. Soren is tiny and too thin, he can see ribs peeking out from under his skin and Ike can only think that he's going to have to start giving Soren scraps from his plate in some. Maybe then he'd be able to get Soren to properly eat for once.
And there are entirely too many scars. More scars than any mage should have. With the tip of his thumb Ike traces a scar running over Soren's ribs. He remembers a brush with death and a soldier who'd landed a devastating blow. There'd been so much blood, he'd really thought they wouldn't be able to reach Rhys in time. He'd carried Soren then, held him so close as if he could keep him alive from sheer willpower.
A moan from Soren brings him back from memories to the topic at hand, so to speak.
Nude save for undergarments, Soren shivers. Ike moves to find proper bed clothing for him. He pushes through Soren's belongings, marveling at their inherent neatness. After searching through perhaps the neatest most orderly sock drawer ever, Ike finds what he is looking for.
Ike lifts Soren up, raises his arms and slips the shift over his shoulders.
"Shhh. Sleep now."
Soren mutters something incomprehensible, and Ike repeats the command. "Sleep."
Soren murmurs sleepily again, still unintelligible. (Doves ewe? Ike guesses Soren must be dreaming of animals.)
When Ike leaves, Soren is curled into a fetal position.
IV. Third Day.
For perhaps the first time in his life, Soren is late to his own briefing.. When Soren stumbles in, clutching his head and looking murderous, Ike hands him the same concoction that he received yesterday.
Soren gulps it down, sets down the glass and wobbles. He attempts to steady himself at the desk, fails and falls forward – Before he can fall far, Ike catches him.
Just as he'd been catching him since they were young, just as he'd be catching him for as many years as he lived. And one day, Soren thought, he'd become strong enough to catch Ike too.