Author's Notes: I don't think I did IkeMarth justice, but it was fun!

Warnings: Yaoi, shounen-ai, slash, whatever you call it. OOC-ness, clichés, un-beta-ed!

Pairing: IkeMarth

Disclaimer: I don't own Super Smash Brothers. That would be bad…

Summary: As a graduate student, Marth never wondered if there was anything other than academics & work. As a junior working part-time at the coffeeshop, Ike wondered why he kept staring at that student every Friday morning.


Mechanism

By SSBBSwords


"Tell me. Do you like me?"

His request and rewording was steady, but concerned that his manner was too authoritative, Marth softly brushed the other's cheek before dropping his hands accordingly.

Ike looked absolutely torn. And scared. Any more anxiety and the junior's little semblance of self-possession might just completely dissolve.

Being the more articulate one right now, Marth figured it would be best to drop this entire issue. He didn't have to put up with this. The one time that he had returned another's interest in him; the one time that he had considered the potential of a romantic relationship; the one time that he hadn't felt the need to turn and run the other way…

Marth stifled a tired sigh and took a step back to give Ike his personal space again. "Never mind," the graduate student finally murmured evenly. "Forget I asked. Let's go."

"Wait." The junior grabbed his arm.

The strength that the younger man possessed made Marth hesitate. He would have immediately tried to pull away, but this grip was… strong. Significantly stronger than he could handle.

Ike seemed to notice the apprehension that flickered in his expression, because the taller student guiltily released his hold. "Sorry, I…"

"You didn't do anything wrong," Marth replied, dismissing the incomplete apology and nonchalantly pivoted as to end their eye contact. "It was my mistake."

This time, the other's hand pulled at the back of his sweater.

Eyes narrowed in a rare show of irritation, Marth continued to stare at the opposite wall. He was mature enough to handle this with dignity, but this was getting too far. He ran his hand through his bangs as a distraction, his tone carrying a hint of warning when he said, "Ike…"

"I like you." With his free hand, Ike reached for Marth's hand and nervously held it, successfully halting the graduate student's movements. "I'm sorry if this stresses you out more, but I like you. Really."

Stress? Slightly curious, Marth turned around, only to glance at their joined hands. "What are you talking about?"

"I don't know what to say," Ike responded in a rush of desperation. "I don't want you to feel pressured to answer me."

Logically, an answer required knowing the question. "What is the question?" Marth asked, relishing the lightening feeling in his chest.

Ike ducked his head, embarrassed, and his grip was clammy. "That's the thing… I don't even know how to ask you. Uh… is it… 'Please go out with me?' or… something like that?"

Hand still securely wrapped up by the other's palm, Marth shifted uneasily. "Something like that…" Marth gently covered the other's hand with his other hand, "Ike, I'm not going anywhere."

The junior got the hint and let go, wiping his hand indiscreetly on his pants. "Sorry…" The nervousness practically emanated off the younger man in waves. How in the world was Marth making this boy so jumpy? "So… uh… would you?"

Would he? Marth wanted to smile. Here he was, getting ready to nurse a bruised ego, only to find himself in this position.

"And… be brutally honest," Ike added with determination.

"Why would I lie?" Marth asked, genuinely interested at the sudden demand.

Slightly frowning, the younger man replied with a sullen shrug, "'Cause you're too polite, so…yeah." Even insecure, Ike straightened and prepared to be very much rejected. "Will you go out with me?"

With the corners of his mouth lifting, Marth tried to look as serious as he could, but really, he was having the hardest time with Ike's antics.

"Well, honestly," Marth began all too formally, "it sounds a little strange."

A horrified look re-settled in Ike's eyes, but before the junior could scare himself into passing out on the floor, Marth laughed softly. "I will, so I hope you can stop acting like that."

Marth had accounted for the minute that it would take his words to reach Ike, but what surprised him was that his words seemingly didn't register in the younger man's mind.

"Ike, it's fine. I can't say it hasn't crossed my mind before…" Marth inched forward to stare into the other's widened eyes. "You… really worry me when you get that look."

Ike jerked into a swift movement, catching Marth unaware in an unexpected embrace. The smaller man staggered at the sudden force, blinking to refocus when the distance was cut short so abruptly. He was pressed almost awkwardly against the other boy, cheek against Ike's chest, and he almost jumped when the other's chin found his right shoulder.

"Ike…!"

"You're serious," The junior breathed, as if awed by the events that had transpired. "Really serious?"

Draping one arm lightly around the other's waist to return the embrace, Marth placed his other hand on the other's chest for leverage. The arms around his shoulders loosened, and Marth pulled back from the other's body enough to tilt upwards enough to simply kiss Ike's cheek to confirm the sincerity of his words.

"Really serious," Marth echoed.


Epilogue


It was Sunday night when Ike's cell phone vibrated across an open textbook.

In less than ten seconds, the junior had grabbed the sliding object and swiftly left the lounge.

Roy's mouth dropped open. What the hell was that? How was he supposed to study when Ike does something that suspicious?

When Ike had returned, he seemed all business when he continued to make flashcards.

"Who was that?" Roy practically demanded in a hiss, certain that he could not concentrate until he had some kind of confession from his friend.

"Uh…" Ike looked like a deer caught in the headlights. "Marth…?" the junior answered in a mumble, extremely unenthused to release such information.

"What?" the redhead exploded, slamming down his pencil. He ignored the few indignant glares from fellow cramming students in the lounge. "You're kidding!"

"No…" Ike bent over his notes more.

"You're phone buddies now or what?" Roy prodded, eager for his friend to correct his lame assumption.

Ike rubbed his head, tangling blue spikes, before admitting very quietly, "I… uh… we're… together?"

The sophomore jumped to his feet and grabbed his friend by the shoulders. Completely confused at the other's actions, Ike simply stared at Roy like he had grown two heads.

"Really? Finally!" the redhead exclaimed with exuberance. "Man, I'm so proud."

"You are?" Ike broke into a grin that matched his friend's.

"Yes," Roy replied with the utmost truth. "Geez, you were so fucking slow!"

Eyes widening, Ike lost his smile. "I was?"

Roy rolled his eyes and sat back down. "Trust me. You were. What'd he say?"

"When I asked or on the phone?"

The redhead gave his friend an expressionless stare. "I assume when you say 'together,' he said yes… so why'd he call?"

"Good luck on finals."

"Oh, that's… cool," the redhead vaguely commented, since he wasn't sure what he was supposed to say to something like that. In his opinion, such a phone call was too sweet for his taste.

Ike leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms. "Roy, what's that face for?"

Ah, shoot. "I always look like this."

"I'm not going to drop off the face of the earth now that, you know, I'm…yeah."

It was like the junior had read his mind, and Roy frowned. Friends who got into relationships always disappeared… but it was kind of nice that Ike was reassuring him that he planned to be an exception.

"Hey, actually, you might drop in more, 'cause you won't be zoning out all the time!" the sophomore responded cheerfully, since he was the optimistic type. "But, seriously… wow. After all that angst, it turned out okay."

"Angst?" Ike repeated with a incredulous look.

"Oh, yeah… remember the whole… Roy, I lost all knowledge of the English language when I ran into him at the superma—"

Ike seemed to pale on the spot and hurriedly interrupted Roy from retelling any more embarrassing memories. "—I remember now, thanks."


"Where's lover boy?" Link rhetorically asked as the two of them waited for their orders to be filled at the coffeeshop on Wednesday.

Marth blinked. "Who?"

Link heaved a dramatic sigh. "Fuck, Marth, what planet are you from?" Drawing himself to his full height, the blond grabbed Marth's tea that the employee had just set on the counter. His expression warped into one of complete reverence when he transferred the cup into Marth's hands. Also noteworthy was the doting shine in his eyes. "Just let me daydream of our marriage while—"

"Stop it!" Marth took his drink and, with his free hand, tried to smother his best friend. If he wasn't appalled, he didn't know what he was.

"Hey, what's the deal?" Link laughed good-naturedly and dodged Marth's next attempt to keep his mouth closed. "I'm not young enough?"

With the beginning trace of a scowl on his face, Marth managed to clamp a hand on the other's smirking lips. "Why would that matter—?"

Wriggling out of his friend's grasp, Link gave a lewd grin. "Uh, stamina?"

"Shit! LINK!" Marth gritted out, seeing red and probably flushing a hue of the said color. "You did not just say that." Marth took to emphasizing his threat by jerking the blond closer by the collar and landing a decent hit on the other's head that had the blond grimacing and rubbing the sore area.

"If you say so," Link agreed very readily and obediently.

Marth swiped the paper bag that held Link's lunch and left his friend to account for his own coffee. As they headed back to their offices, Link stage-whispered while fixing his shirt, "Boy must be a masochist."

"If so," Marth exhaled slowly and a serene smile graced his face, more effectively scaring Link than any physical intimidation, "I'm his official sadist then."

The blond blinked and cautiously fell into step with his friend. "… Huh?"

Marth gave a low chuckle, which was guaranteed to send a chill up anyone's spine. "I'll let you know how his 'stamina' is."

Unfortunately, Link's mind was less inclined to recognize danger and attuned to being creative with innuendos, and when he fit the pieces together, the blond gasped. "No!"

"No, what?" Personally, Marth had already dropped the subject and was now only thinking about his schedule until Friday and when he had time to sleep. He hadn't realized Link had stopped walking altogether to stare at him.

"The boy actually asked you out?" When his friend didn't dignify him with an answer, Link pressed on, "Did you torture a confession out of him? The guy looked perfectly content with staring at you and making polite conversation."

Marth sighed. "Not everyone is as theatrical as you."

"Pity," Link mused before returning to the topic at hand. "Well, nonetheless, congratulations are in order."

"Why's that?" Marth asked, amused at his roommate's reaction

"Your boyfriend finally grew balls!"

"Excuse me?"

Snickering, Link ran away as fast as he could from his incensed roommate.


On Friday of finals week, Ike found himself sitting outside the coffeeshop in the patio with nothing to do but wait. He had finished his morning shift at work and he had finished his last exam the day before. To be honest, he was sitting in a cloud of anticipation that was growing so thick that he would do anything for a distraction.

So he ended up flipping through the university's daily newspaper like a true slacking college student.

"Ike!"

The junior looked up from the paper and caught sight of Roy approaching his table with an energetic wave. With the sophomore was a smaller brunet, who looked familiar only as one of dozens of students that interacted with Marth while Ike was taking his breaks.

… No wonder why Marth's roommate thought he was shady.

"Hey, done with work?"

"Yeah." Ike stretched and glanced between his friend and companion, before asking, "What's up?"

The brunet spoke up with a cheerful smile, "I'm dragging Roy with me to turn in my timesheets!"

"Then he's going to feed me, because he has swipes, and I don't," Roy finished with his own clarification, thus supplementing that he had run out of food. "By the way, this is Pit. He was my chem tutor. Pit, that's Ike. He's, you know, my friend."

Before Ike could even get in a word edgewise (not that he was usually talkative), Pit had shaken his hand and said, "It's great to finally put a face to your name!"

"Err…" Since when did Ike's reputation precede him? Better yet, did he really want to know? "Likewise…"

"So what're you up to?" Roy followed up in quick succession.

Ike shrugged and simply answered, "Just waiting."

"Ooooh," the redhead drew out the sound like there was a deep river of understanding between them, before diving right back in, "Date?"

In the middle of the day? Ike shook his head and hoped he was correctly fixing the other's speculation. "It's just lunch..."

"If it's with your girlfriend, isn't that a date?" Pit asked casually with knowing sparkle in his eyes.

As if it wasn't already a little awkward saying so little in comparison with the two chatty second years, but Pit's question was met with undisturbed silence.

Roy laughed suddenly as to dispel the weird atmosphere. "Right! It would be…"

In any other situation, Ike would be deciding if he should explain what went wrong in the sentence or play it off as is, but his eyes locked on the individual behind Pit who had very silently entered their conversation circle without a sound.

"Well, I'm physiologically male, so it must be lunch."

"Marth!" Pit whirled around with a bright grin. "I haven't seen you in forever!"

In the meantime, Roy was mouthing apologies to Ike for spilling the beans, such that Pit was under the impression that Ike had finally asked an older woman out. Right. Ike shuddered at the thought. If it hadn't been Marth, this relationship wouldn't have gone further than seeing each other for less than an hour a week.

Marth, on the other hand, was simply answering Pit's many questions about class and plans for the vacation before the graduate student politely closed the conversation, glancing at Ike to catch the other's attention. "Ike."

"Yeah, I'm ready to go," the junior stood up in one fluid motion, the heavy metal chair grating against the concrete as it was shoved back. "See you later, Roy, Pit."

"Bye, you two. Have a good break," Marth politely said with a smile.

Roy watched the two older students walk away, not in the direction of the campus' conglomeration of fast food restaurants, but toward the perimeter of the school as to leave campus. Not a date. Right.

"Hmm," Pit murmured, eyeing the retreating couple with a thoughtful expression, "That's cute."

"Did you figure it out?" Roy raised an eyebrow. Pit, the ultimate quick study.

"It's… transparent," the brunet said with a laugh.


After lunch, the two had gone back to Ike's apartment instead of parting ways, for reasons that Ike did not know.

Marth was flipping through the limited channels of the television with tired-looking eyes. He settled on the news and relaxed against the couch. More comforting though, was how he leaned against the taller student with a soft sigh.

"Marth." Ike reached for the other's hand that was nearest. Marth let him lace their fingers together and dropped his head against Ike's shoulder.

Eyes closing, the graduate student slowly inhaled, finally succumbing to the drowsy feeling that had been lost since he started running on adrenaline and too much caffeine. "What?"

"You can have my bed," Ike offered, knowing very well how little rest Marth had gotten this week.

"No, it's fine. I'll go to bed early today."

Marth had calculated this when he planned to meet up with Ike today, but figured he would be awake enough to get home. Ironically, he forgot how much he enjoyed the other's company and ended up denying Ike's offer to take him home. Plus, Link's little comments were increasing in frequency, and Marth didn't want to go home to that.

"This is considered early," Ike pointed out, but noticed how quiet and relaxed Marth had become. He was falling asleep against Ike, and the junior didn't want to move him. Still, Ike couldn't imagine himself being more comfortable than a legitimate mattress. "Never mind."

Knowing that he would most likely be back to entertain himself with the television, Ike left the channel on the droning news reporter and shifted his body until Marth gently slid from his shoulder to his chest. It wasn't until he had cradled the smaller man in his arms that Marth made a confused noise and opened his eyes again.

"Ike!"

Any further protest died when the junior simply secured his hold and carried the other into the next room. Wide-eyed, Marth found himself set down on an un-made bed, blankets having been flung to one corner.

"I don't care if you wake up at three in the morning. Besides..." Ike sat on the corner of his bed and pulled the covers over Marth's lap. "No roommate to bother you."

"Wake me up in an hour." Marth didn't want to sound weak, but really, his entreaty sounded a little pathetic in his ears. He hoped he would have his rational thinking back after he slept a little.

"Sure."

When Ike leaned down, probably to adjust pillows or something thoughtful of that nature, Marth met him halfway, eyes closed and mouth seeking Ike's in a brief kiss. Obviously surprised, Ike pulled away, noting the lethargy in the other's actions, and lightly pushed Marth against the mattress.

"An hour, Ike," Marth repeated softly, pulling up the covers and rolling into a more comfortable position.

"Right," the junior confirmed, pulling the curtains closed.


When Marth woke up later that day, the grogginess had him absolutely confused. A) He didn't know where he was, and B) He didn't know when it was.

Twisting beneath sheets that didn't feel familiar, but with a scent that did, Marth slowly sat up in a daze. He thought the room was pitch black, but his eyes were now adjusting to see a desk in front of him. Oh. Ike's room. He knew that. 1:38 am.

So that was why it was so dark. Getting out of bed was the sad part, since he had been so warmly bundled. A check out the window showed no sun and no students milling around the streets below. It was… really, really late. Shit.

Where was Ike? Marth glanced around the room. Not in here.

Although there was light shining out from Sheik's closed door across the hall, Marth found Ike sleeping on the couch as if this was a daily occurrence.

"Deep sleeper, huh?" Marth muttered, more to himself, before shaking the other awake. Tried to, that is. "Ike… IKE!"

The young man jolted awake at that particular hard shake. "What happened?"

"You didn't wake me up," Marth said softly, not wanting to alarm the sleepy junior. "I didn't want you sleeping out here."

"Oh…" Ike simply yawned and sat up, rubbing his head and spiking up flattened hair in the process. "Okay."

"I'll head home. Thanks for having me over."

Marth held out a hand to help the other up, and although Ike took it, the younger man stood up and asked, "What're you going to do at home?"

"… Sleep?"

"Okay." Apparently, Ike's vocabulary regressed when dozing. Keeping the other's hand firmly in his grip, Ike led the way back to his room.

Marth puzzled over this action. "Ike… what's this?"

"My bed." As if expecting the other to escape, Ike unceremoniously pushed Marth onto one side of the mattress first and rearranged himself on the other side. "You're sleeping either way. Why does location matter?"

Marth smiled. That was a decent argument for someone who was already settled to go back to sleep. Ike seemed to favor sleeping on his back, so it was quite easy to have a face-to-face conversation. Marth propped himself up on the younger man, who opened previously closed eyes.

"This isn't a bother?" Marth asked worriedly.

Ike looked amused for about two seconds and, in a twisting movement of blankets, pushed Marth back down beside him, rolling over to wrap an arm around his waist. Marth was sure he had turned red and was thankful that it was so damn dark. He turned his head to stare at the other's sleeping face.

However, he was surprised when Ike opened his eyes and closed the distance between them by pressing a soft kiss against his mouth. Slowly pulling away a centimeter, the junior subtly shifted and matched their lips together again more firmly, a little more perfectly.

"Sorry 'bout not waking you up," Ike mumbled against his mouth, the intimacy causing the warm tingles to spread through his body.

"S'okay," Marth whispered back.

"This is okay?" Ike asked, tightening his arm around Marth like he wanted to bring the other closer to him.

"Yeah."


End.


Author's Notes: Review please?

I'd love any comments on characters, events, plot progression, pairings, or just your observations as you read. Suggestions for future reference are loved too!