A/N: I love Cry of the Icemark. I WORSHIP Blade of Fire. Let's have some Sharley pron.

Warning: Slash (Gayyyy)

Disclaimer: The Icemark Chronicles series is owned by Stuart Hill, and I'm not him. Hell, I'm not even the same gender :( So obviously, I don't own these characters. This story is set on page 549 of Blade of Fire, which, I repeat, is pretty much the best. I consider it a missing scene, where Mekhmet is trying to get Sharley to relax... heh heh heh.

Playing Cards

"Sharley!" Mekhmet grinned when his friend returned to the cabin. "I just got the cards out, fancy a game? We'll see if we can take your mind off things."

Sharley sighed and ran a hand through his flame-red hair, sitting down opposite Mekhmet. "I can't think of anything that could take my mind off things except something even worse coming along."

"Fine." Mekhmet put away the cards, offended slightly by his friend's pessimism. He had been trying so hard. And then he was struck with a brilliant idea. "We'll have a guy talk then. It may not take your mind off it, but it'll put better things in your mind at least."

"Fine. What do you want to talk about?" Sharley raised an eyebrow, and Mekhmet was now flustered. He knew men talked, but what on earth about? He decided to go with the most obvious option.

"Any girls you fancy?"

Sharley shrugged, relaxing a bit now, losing some of the tension that flowed around him like a cocoon of negative energy nowadays. "Not really." He admitted. "I just never really notice girls. I mean yeah, I notice if they're beautiful, but it doesn't do much for me."

"Me either." Mekhmet admitted. "I'm just too used to the women we get at the palace; the upperclass ones, who are just the cattiest people you'll ever meet."

Sharley shrugged. "Women aren't like that in the Icemark... well, not as much, but they're generally good and kind, I just never really notice."

"Have..." Mekhmet paused, wondering if he should voice the thoughts that had nagged gently at the edges of his mind these past few days. "Have you ever felt... attracted to another man?" Mekhmet had never met any men who loved other men, they had never risen high enough in the ranks of society, but he had heard tell of it.

"That happens?" Sharley blinked. "I've never heard of it, though... yes, I have." He admitted, blushing as red as his hair, eyes fixing themselves to his lap.

"Me too." Mekhmet admitted. "Men are just more attractive than women, in my opinion. All that power..." He trailed off awkwardly, and Sharley nodded, eyes still downcast.

"Women can be powerful, but it's a different kind of power, more raw, wild almost, I suppose... though that's entirely the wrong word."

Mekhmet nodded in agreement, and a silence passed between them, stretching far into the realms of uncomfortable. As Mekhmet was trying desperately to think of something else to say, Sharley's eyes raised from his lap at last, boring straight into Mekhmet's.

"Have you ever kissed a man?" He asked, in a deceptively innocent tone. Mekhmet was taken aback.

"No... not since I was a small child. I'm not going to say it's never crossed my mind, but it's never actually happened." He now felt the urge to gaze at his lap, which must be most interesting indeed, but Sharley's eyes bored into his own, keeping their gazes glued together.

"I have." Sharley admitted. "When I was about twelve. One of the servant's children. We were playing something... I don't remember what now... but he kissed me, for a second. I had forgotten until now..." Sharley broke the gaze, looking thoughtfully to the left.

"How was it?" Mekhmet asked, curiously.

"Quite nice, actually. He was very sweet, and a very good friend, and very attractive. I don't think we spent much time together after that though, he was too embarrassed." Sharley smiled. "I didn't really think it was strange at the time, but maybe..."

"Maybe." Mekhmet agreed, and their eyes met again and averted immediately, both boys giggling due to a nervousness they didn't quite understand.

"So..." Mekhmet said.

"Yeah." Sharley agreed, and they laughed again.

"This is kind of awkward." Mekhmet said, and they both laughed a third time.

"Yeah. So, you find men more attractive than women?"

"Yes. You too?"

"Absolutely." They both grinned, and something in Sharley's eyes seemed to change. Slowly he moved forwards, capturing Mekhmet's lips in an innocent, sweet kiss. Mekhmet was startled for a second, but quickly began to respond, both boy's mouths opening, tongues touching hesitantly. It was all so new and strange, and yet oh so good. Without parting they shuffled to the bed and sat down, Sharley's hands finding Mekhmet's waist and rubbing it, Mekhmet taking the chance to run his hands gently through the strange red hair of his closest, dearest friend, who was maybe... something more?

After awhile, air became too scarce, and they parted, laughing awkwardly.

"I didn't do that with Leo." Sharley smiled, and they both giggled again.

"So that was.. good?" Mekhmet asked nervously, his arms still around Sharley's neck, Sharley's hands on his waist.

"Very good." Sharley smiled, and leaned close to kiss him once more.

"Much better than cards." He added against Mekhmet's lips.