Title: Ashera would be heteronormative
Summary: OMGIWOKEUPAGIRL Soren.
Notes: written for the Fire Emblem kink meme. Original request was for "Girl!Soren. Whether OMGIWOKEUPAGIRL or Soren always being female, plz be giving Soren the girlparts." By the way, they're not doing it yet.
Takes place during Part IV of Radiant Dawn, contains spoilers.
"Um," Ike tried.
It was a testament to how much the situation was weighting down on Soren that he glared at Ike. Granted, it was only a mild glare, and Ike didn't seem to notice.
He was much too busy staring at Soren's chest.
Soren's arms rose to protectively hide himself. Well. His... breasts. Not that there was a lot to be hidden, but. Still. It was the principle of the thing. He could feel them, pressed softly against his thin arms. Breasts.
The situation was utterly grotesque, he decided.
"Ike," he grouched. "If you please."
"Um. Yes?" Ike, unfortunately, was still staring.
Dear goddess, it was like the first strategy meetings Commander Greil had insisted Ike be part of when he was just a teen. Greil and Titania and Soren would spend a couple of hours going over the general workings of the group and start organizing the upcoming battle, and when Greil asked Ike at the end what he'd learnt, Ike would just look dazed and gape until Soren dutifully summed up the entire discussion.
His arms tightened around... against...
Soren wanted to gag.
Instead, he narrowed his eyes.
Soren felt an upsurge of relief when Ike's eyes finally snapped up to his face. The next stage to bring Ike's attention back to him would've probably hurt. Not to mention that casting Elwind spells inside the tent would have messed up his papers.
Ike still looked passably blank, but Soren guessed that couldn't be helped.
He was starting to question the impulse that had made him seek Ike out. If his expression was any indication, he wouldn't be of any help to solve the problem-- no, really, what had Soren been thinking?
Soren's impending breakdown was cut short by Ike's intervention.
"So, um," he offered. "They-- are they real?"
Soren's back went ramrod straight. He could only gaze in disbelief. Ike returned his gaze, apparently nonplussed.
Very distantly, while the major part of Soren was struggling with the reality and endeavoring to keep on denying it for as long he could, possibly until after he was male again and this was nothing more than a very strange nightmare induced by the Disciples of Order, a reluctant part of him recognized that here it was, the bizarre phenomenon that Titania, Mist and Mia had taken upon themselves to explain him, citing Gatrie as nothing but the most visible example of how such an ailment went.
For the longest time he'd dismissed the idea as pure superstition in the face of the unexplainable – a hopeless attempt to make Gatrie's absurd manners fit into some sort of a logical paradigm, but here it was, the proof that they'd been right.
Female chests corroded neurons. Brain-eating boobs, he hysterically thought.
Amidst his vertigo, he remembered Mia predicting it was a side-effect of the testosterone.
"Yes, yes, I guess of course they're real," Ike mumbled. "It was a stupid question, I'm sorry."
Soren stopped screaming inside and focused on Ike again. The blue-haired man was frowning, the muscles on the outside of his left eyelid contracted in that way it did when he was thinking.
"And they-- er, you-- you said you woke up this way?"
"Yes," Soren murmured, letting his arms fall back next to his sides. He resisted the urge to smooth the front of his robe.
"And you don't have any idea what might have caused it?"
Ike wasn't asking him anything Soren hadn't already confirmed to himself a thousand times, but the sound of his voice, serious and focused, made Soren feel better.
Which was scary, Soren admitted to himself, but not half as scary as the possibility that it might not go away. He didn't even know what he-- it looked like. It must be even more jarring than what he'd thought, given Ike's reaction. How was he going to conceal it? He wasn't a paragon of manly virility, but he'd never had breasts before!
"Hey," Ike said, grabbing Soren's wrist. "Stop that."
Startled, Soren glanced up at Ike's disapproving face, then down at his hands. His fingers had started wringing in his robe. As he saw how much he'd lost control over himself, the whole tension that had him strained, only moments ago, his shoulders locked, vanished as if it'd seeped out of him.
He let Ike disentangle his reddened fingers, feeling empty.
Ike's callused hands were always soothing for Soren, and even today that fact didn't change. During the moment Ike held Soren's hands between his bigger ones, Soren managed to get his breathing under control. He hadn't noticed how close to hyperventilating he'd trailed.
Soren was biting the inside of his cheek when Ike let go.
Soren stopped biting when Ike cupped his face.
"Ike, I have breasts."
If Ike laughed, Soren would barricade himself in Aimee's caravan and not come out until it went away. He'd justify his take-over with the pretense that the armory should be overlooked directly by the Greil mercenaries due to imminent end of the world and would be returned to their rightful owners once all danger was past.
Ike didn't even crack a smile.
"Yes, I saw that."
"I can't go out like that," Soren informed him.
Wordlessly, Ike took a few steps back, until he could give Soren a once-over.
It was so quick that if the situation had been anything else, anything less weird, Soren would have thought of it a glance, one of those Ike threw his way a thousand times a day – when Ike was about to break their silence, when they were walking side-by-side, when Mist ran past calling loudly Boyd's name, when plans were made during strategy meetings and Soren hadn't spoken up yet.
He wouldn't have even thought of it; it was simply Ike, being Ike, one of the innumerable things that made Soren feel he belonged by Ike's side.
"I don't think anyone else is going to notice anything," Ike said casually. "Bind your breasts and you'll be okay. And don't do that thing with your lips," he added as Soren pursed them.
Soren paused. He trusted Ike more than he trusted the day to rise, but...
"Are you sure?"
This time, there was a smile in Ike's eyes. It was faint, and like most things that he didn't bother making plain, most people would have missed it.
"No-one'll be able to tell, Soren."
Soren felt his resistance ebb away in the face of Ike's tranquil confidence. Ike was still smiling at him. There was something almost-- Soren dismissed the word tender as it sprung to mind. That was foolish thinking. He searched for other, more realistic words.
In the end, Gatrie's booming voice called for Ike outside the tent.
"I'll make sure there's still tea for you," Ike said, turning away to grab his cloak. Soren started rummaging for make-do chest binds with as Ike pulled aside the flap entrance of the tent. "Yeah, Gatrie, what--"
The flap fell back into place, muffling the rest of the sentence.
While he selected suitable cloth strips, Soren idly wished that Gatrie's news were that Shinon had woken up a female.