Alright, before we send these two off on their crazy adventure, let me make it clear this is not Ike/Soren, I despise the pairing because they are two of my favorite FE characters. However, just because I dislike the pairing, it doesn't mean I look down on those who do, I just ask that you please don't look down on me. Now that that's done, I'll explain a little bit and then you'll be free to read, or you could just skip the A/N notes...anyway, this takes place post Radiant Dawn, and because the end game fates of these two were so delightfully ambiguous, I just had to do something with such a lovely open end. Either way it says Ike left on a journey and was never seen again in Tellius, and depending on whether or not you had an A rank support with Soren, everyone's favorite stoic mage would join him. This is an account of what I believe is a fairly good plot explanation. Finally, just to warn you, this is technically a cross-over. Now for those of you who don't do cross-overs please at least read this first chapter, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, and for those who do love cross-overs, I'm surprised you've read this far. And please, don't expect something crazy like FE/Super Smash. Now, without further ado, here is the first chapter, I hope you enjoy.
Peace. That was the word that came to mind as Ike watched the tendril of smoke that slowly drifted up from the dying fire that he sat in front of, his back to a large tree behind him. He'd been gone for six months now, and peace seemed to permeate the very air he breathed everywhere he went. He smiled; sure that Micaiah was loving this. Ashera had been dealt with, and here he was, six months later, alone. Well…
Ike sat up and looked to his right, his hand going to the sword at his side. A man stood at the edge of the path, looking down at him with an axe resting on his shoulder.
"Yes?" Ike answered.
"Nothing," the man laughed, "you sure picked the wrong day to travel alone though."
With that he charged down the gentle incline, swinging his weapon high above his head. As he neared the bottom he suddenly dropped to his knees, bursting into flames while he shrieked, writhing on the ground next to the once fire. Ike stood up and watched as Soren made his way out from the undergrowth, closing a fire tome under his arm. As he made his way over to Ike, he casually kicked the charred bones into the fire pit. No, Ike wasn't completely alone.
"That was the first one in three weeks, I was beginning to wonder where all the bandits had gone," Ike commented.
"Was it," Soren asked, casting a glance towards the heap of glowing coals, "I hadn't noticed. But that's hardly important Ike, I found something deeper in the woods. I think you should see."
Ike shrugged and hefted Ragnell, placing it across his back as he stamped the fire out, "What is it?"
"Couldn't tell you, now let's go."
Ike followed the tactician through the trees, occasionally stopping to free himself from a branch that had snagged his sleeve. After an hour, he simply resorted to haphazardly swinging Ragnell around in front of him, clearing away the foliage that Soren seemed to pass through easily enough, despite being hampered by his robes.
"Soren, how far away is this thing?" he asked, pausing for a moment as Soren stopped to take a look around.
"I don't know, I remember finding it at about the same time I decided I would find nothing at all."
"Oh good, that how I'm feeling now," Ike muttered, taking off as Soren decided on a new direction and headed deeper into the trees.
As they continued, Ike's focus fell onto Soren's back, watching as he made his way through the trees, and his memory wandered to the day he'd left.
"Soren, the Greil Mercenaries need you."
"And they need you any less, the man who held it together when Greil died? That's ridiculous, even for you Ike. If you're going on some journey I will as well."
"They'll be fine with Titania serving as both commander and tactician, she's smart. Besides, you're the only one I ever trusted, my only friend, and half the reason I came to the Greil Mercenaries in the first place."
"And the other half?"
"Is dead. So…where are we going?"
Ike was pulled from his memories as he realized he was now walking alone.
"Soren?" he called, looking around for his friend.
"Right here," Soren answered, pushing aside a branch as he came back into view.
Ike sighed and placed Ragnell atop his shoulder, "How much longer Soren? I'm not having as easy a time as you are with these trees."
"We're here actually," Soren answered, turning back around, Ike following close behind.
Ike stopped as they came to brief clearing in the endless sea of undergrowth. A large stone platform, raised six inches above the ground, was in the middle. Archaic runes surrounded its base.
"What is this, Soren?" Ike questioned, moving closer to examine the ruins.
"I'm not entirely sure, but the runes are in the old tongue. They give instructions about the usage of whatever this is, things to do and not to do, as well as requirements."
"Requirements?" he said, looking over his shoulder at Soren as he approached the platform.
"Yes, there are apparently certain criteria that need to be met before this can be used, although I don't know what for."
Ike raised an eyebrow, "That's great, but why are we here?"
"I think it's interesting…" Soren said, trailing off as he circled the ruin.
After a few minutes he walked back over to Ike and turned around, "I'm going to try it."
"Try what? Using it?"
Soren ignored him as he continued, "I wasn't sure about the last requirement, but I believe I meet it."
"Soren, what's this about?"
Soren's eyes were aglow as a shadow of a smile appeared on his features, "Ike I'm going to tell you a story, it won't take long."
Soren continued to circle the platform as he spoke, occasionally changing directions, "When the goddess created Tellius, laguz and beorc, the dragon tribe was black and white, and that's all. Red dragons didn't appear until much later in the history of Tellius, but still long enough ago that only the dragon tribe can remember this."
"Soren…where did you learn that?"
Soren was silent for a moment before answering, "My mother told me. She thought she owed me something for the way things…turned out. But back to the story. Do you know where red dragons came from Ike?"
Ike didn't answer the rhetorical question, but continued to watch what his friend was doing.
Soren finally stopped his pacing and returned to Ike's side, answering his own question, "No, you don't. Not even the goddess knows."
"Soren, what does this have to do with anything?" Ike asked, looking down at him.
"Because, I think we're about to find out," Soren replied.
"The last requirement is literally that the will of dragons be with whoever uses this, in other words the user must be a dragon, or at least have their blood. Do you know where we are, Ike?"
Ike frowned, "We're in…Gallia, right?"
"Yes, but a few more leagues that way and we'll stumble into the border patrols of Goldoa."
"Meaning we're close to dragons," Ike said, "but I think that actually punches a hole in your theory Soren. If we're this close to Goldoa then this has probably been found by hundreds of dragons and has nothing to do with anything."
"No, we may be close to Goldoa, but with the exception of these past three years no dragon has ever set foot outside of Goldoan territory. Ike, it's more likely that this ruin has been found by hundreds of Gallians, who have simply ignored it."
Ike pondered the thought for a moment before answering, "Okay, makes sense to me. What now?"
"I'm going to try and use it," Soren answered, moving so that he was positioned in front of the two stairs that led up to the dais.
Ike took a step back and leaned against a tree as he watched. Soren's eyebrows furrowed as he concentrated, drilling the ruin with a stare while he murmured incantations to himself. The seconds ticked by until sweat began to run down Soren's brow, and Ike found he could actually mark the sun's passage across the sky. After a few more minutes Soren uttered a single word and made a gesture towards the dais before falling to his knees. Ike was surprised; nothing ever gave Soren trouble when it came to the arcane arts.
"Did it work," he asked, walking over and pulling his friend to his feet.
Soren looked down at the runes for a few moments before turning his gaze up towards Ike, "No, I guess not. I honestly thought that-"
Soren stopped as the runes began to glow and let out a cry as he fell backwards, light beginning to pour forth from his brand. He clapped both hands over his forehead as the intensity increased.
"Ike, is anything happening?" he managed through labored breathing.
"You can't tell?" Ike asked, looking down at Soren, worried.
"I can't see anything!" he shouted, struggling to his feet.
Before Ike could say anything Soren's brand flashed and slowly faded back to normal as a bright circle appeared, hovering above the dais.
Soren shook his head, rubbing his fingers over his brand. After a minute he walked over and examined the light. He stuck his forearm into it before looking over his shoulder, "Ike, look on the other side, what do you see?"
Ike walked around the dais and raised an eyebrow, "Nothing, at least, not the rest of your arm. Soren, what is this?"
Soren pulled his arm back out and took a step back, looking up at it as he spoke, "I believe it's a means of transportation."
"That's…interesting. Where to?" Ike asked, mounting the steps and standing next to his friend.
"Contrary to the belief of a certain Gallian general, I don't know everything, Ike," Soren answered.
"Well then," Ike said, removing Ragnell from his shoulder, "let's find out."
Soren gave the light an appraising look before turning to Ike, "We might not ever come back."
"Nonsense. We'll be back, eventually," Ike said, taking a step closer to the gently pulsing light.
"You can't possibly know that," Soren said calmly.
Ike smiled, "Yes I can. I promised Mist I'd see her again when I left."
Soren started to say something, but stopped to consider his words. He closed his eyes and shook his head; there was no arguing with Ike's promises, even if they promised the impossible. Ike nodded towards the portal and Soren gave a half smile, following him in as the two plunged in.
Ike gave a start as his eyes opened, and he found himself staring up at treetops. He groaned and shifted his position; whatever he had been sleeping on wasn't very comfortable. He rolled over and looked around, finding Ragnell a few feet away next to an inert Soren. He picked it up and slung it across his back before looking around and realizing they were on the stone dais.
"How boring, we're still in Gallia," he thought, sitting Soren up and shaking him until his eyes snapped open, his hand immediately going to the tome hidden in his sleeve.
"It didn't do anything," he said, more to himself than Ike.
He stood and looked around before stepping down from the platform.
"That's what it looks like," Ike confirmed, following Soren into the shade of a large tree, "what now?"
"I suppose we should continue. At the very least it was an interesting experience…I'm going to have to ask Kurthnaga about it the next time we meet."
Ike shrugged, redirecting the conversation as the two friends made their way deeper into the seemly endless forest.
Vale blinked slowly as he ran his finger over the edge of his axe, watching the two travelers make their way through the trees. The two very, very lost travelers.
"What are we going to do with them," a voice asked off to his left.
He turned to his subordinate and whispered harshly, "What do you think you idiot, we're going to gut them and swipe the blade. They have some serious problems if they're coming onto my land."
The second man laughed quietly and walked away into the trees to inform the rest of the men. Vale made his way down the gentle incline that led to the clearing the two would eventually reach.
Ike rubbed his eyes as he tried to clear the image of ceaseless trees from his mind, "Soren, how much longer? It didn't take nearly this long to get here the first time."
"I know," the mage replied, "I think we somehow got lost…wait, there's a clearing up ahead. We can take a break there."
Ike agreed and pushed aside another low hanging branch as the two entered the welcome break in the endless parade of greenery. They both stopped as a figure entered from the opposite side, watching them for a moment before beginning to speak.
"I don't know what you think you're doing here," he said, shaking his head, "but you've stumbled onto the wrong bandit's land. Unless you're here on purpose, but if that's the case you can forget about the girl."
At this ten more men appeared from the heavy foliage, all bearing wicked looking axes. Ike reached behind him and drew his sword, eliciting a chorus of laughter from the group.
"Look at that! He's gonna' go out fighting, good man," the leader said, taking a step towards them.
"Soren," Ike whispered, "are you ready?"
"Stop talking, we have to catch them off guard," Soren ordered, reaching into his robes, his hand poised over a bolganone tome.
Ike nodded and let out a battle cry as he brought down the sword, sending a wave of purple energy towards the leader, which stuck him on the shoulder. Ike continued to bellow as he charged forwards, scattering the bandits as they rushed to get out of his way. Soren whipped out the tome and rifled through the pages, stopping at the appropriate one and sending three of the remaining nine up in flames.
Ike turned away four axes with a single swipe of Ragnell and turned on the off balance bandits, cutting the legs out from under two before bringing his sword close to defend once again. After a few minutes of this ebbing back and forth, Ike turned on the crippled leader, who looking up at him with a mixture of fear and awe.
"Now where's this girl?" he asked.
Silence. Ike brandished the tear dropped shaped tip of Ragnell in front of the man's eyes.
"You think that will get me to tell? Just kill me," he said.
Ike smashed the flat of Ragnell across the man's face, disfiguring his nose in the process.
"Tell me," he said calmly as the man spit out the blood that ran into his mouth, "or I'll have Soren get it out of you. He's not as nice as I am; he'll burn you as soon as look at you."
Vale drew his arm across his face, momentarily clearing away the blood, "Fine. She's up in-"
Ike smiled at the fear in his voice, cutting him off, "No. You'll take us there, now get up and let's go."
Ike hauled him to his feet and turned him about, marching him through the forest with Ragnell's tip hovering at the small of his back. When they came to the entrance of a small fort he turned around, opening his mouth to speak, but immediately fell to the ground instead, screaming as flames engulfed his body.
As he stamped out the ashes Ike turned to Soren, "You should have let me do it, it would have been faster."
Soren drilling Ike with a stoic stare as he stood at the fort entrance, "No. That would have led to groveling, and I hate it when they try to reason with you."
Ike sighed and walked past him, leading them into the confines of the stone building. He stopped when they reached a locked door.
"She's probably in here, they didn't seem worried enough to put her any farther back," he said, raising Ragnell above his head and bringing it down with two hands, battering the comparatively flimsy lock off the door.
As they entered a girl looked up from a cot in the corner, her eyes blazing defiantly.
"Who are you," she demanded, standing quickly, "you don't look like the others."
"That because we're not," Soren said.
"Then who are you," she repeated.
"No one, at least not to you," Ike said, "we just happened to run into them in the forest and they thought we were here for you."
"And you came to rescue me," she said, crossing her arms and looking Ike in the eye.
Ike laughed, "Yes, is that so hard to believe?"
"I suppose not, but who risks there life to rescue a stranger," she said, looking at Soren this time.
"Don't look at me like that," Soren said, "and we could always put the lock back on and let you wait for someone more 'believable'."
"Actually, I don't think we can Soren, I did a pretty good number on that lock," Ike said with a grin, waiting for the reaction from his friend.
Soren ground his teeth, "Making a point Ike, I was just making a point."
Ike laughed, "I know. So, what will it be?"
The girl looked at them for a moment, judging them as best she could before answering, "Fine, but as soon as we reach the next town I'll be able to make my own way back."
"Because you did a fabulous job the first time, apparently," Soren said, turning to go out the door.
Ike was surprised as the girl let the comment slide and followed them out, walking over to the wall and removing a lance before joining them out in front of the fort.
"Alright, we can go," she said, resting the lance over her shoulder in a soldier's marching pose.
Ike nodded and the now trio headed off to find the nearest town.
The two knights quietly made their progress through the forest, exchanging occasional banter as they delved deeper into the trees.
"Well, I doubt she'll be dead, she's a good fighter," said the first.
"And what a glorious fighter at that! Like the sun overtakes each night with dawn, she overtakes the enemy with-"
"That's enough; we have an objective to complete. Besides…there's someone coming over the hill. Quick, off the road."
The two knights quickly made their way into the dense undergrowth and watched as three figures made their way down the path. As they came into view the second knight let out a gasp,
"It's her! Fair Lady Farina has managed to escape, but look! She's beset by the filthy brigands that took her in the first place! Quick, we must save her before she is lost to us forever!"
With that he urged his horse forward and thundered out into the open, charging forward with his lance at the ready.
"No!" shouted the second knight, leaving the cover of the overshadowing trees and making his way out onto the road, "Sain! Get back here! As your commanding officer I order you to halt!"
Technically, being the key word there, right before cross-over, because I'm not sure if it counts if I'm crossing FE with FE. I must say, I really enjoyed writing this chapter, Sain is SO much fun to write! He'll definitely get his fair share of lines... Before I go, I'd just like to clear up that I don't know what Ike did with Ragnell after RD, and yes he may have given it back to Sanaki, but for all purposes of this fic he kept it. I personally thought Soren's story sounded a little forced, but it was as good as it was going to get, so if you have any comments on that in particular I'd love to hear them. Other than that, I hope you liked it enough to leave me a review on your way out telling me what you thought. (In case you don't know, it's the little purple button that says 'Go'. Press it, it's fun.) Until next chapter,