Disclaimer: I hereby note that I don't own the characters

Warning: Soren might be a little out of character

Extra Warning: Ending is full of cheese, like, it's choking

Final Note: I wrote this over a year ago

Final Final Note: . Written because I wanted Soren to have more support conversations in Path of Radiance

Soren hates everything. I think he'd stop eating if he could.

Soren frowned. It had been some time since the last battle. And yet he had been unable to give Ike a summary. He normally would have by now. However, he couldn't chance outside of the cabins on the ship they were currently traveling in. He would wait to prepare the summary once the dragons were gone. There was no explaining the stone that formed in his gut when he thought about Goldoa. That, and his injury, were the reasons why he had disappeared into the cabins the moment that they had shown up.

Soren had noticed that Nasir had done the same. Shortly after boarding the ship Ike had told him that Nasir had said he was a laguz. Ike couldn't figure it out. There were no cat ears, a tail, or wings to be found on the shipmaster. Soren had simply told Ike that he didn't know a thing about the matter. However, the mage had had an idea. It was Nasir's ears. They were pointed. Not human. Soren didn't expect the others to notice, they were unobservant. He thought that Nasir was a dragon. But he didn't think that he should bring it up, Nasir was on their side. No need to mention it. If the need ever arose, Soren would tell Ike.

Nasir probably had a good reason to hide, if he was a dragon. As for him, he had no idea why. Memories came back to him, but he pushed them away. There was no reason to remember a past he didn't care for. Three words echoed in his head, despite his best efforts to stop them. Spirit Charmer. Branded. They alternated, becoming constantly louder in his mind each time they were said.

Soren had quite enough of the names fighting with each other by the time that the ship rocked. There were roars. The tactician stood up, instinctively wanting to see what was happening. However he sat back down. He had no intentions of going to see. Soren didn't know why. Perhaps when he walked out and one of the dragons saw him, they would call him a Branded. He didn't know what the term meant, but it had been hurled at him so unkindly in his youth that he knew it was not pleasant. Soren had no idea why the idea bothered him, but it did.

The ship trembled again, his arm jumped off of the desk it had been resting on and landed on the wooden surface again. Soren winced, using his right arm to cradle the injured limb to his chest. Only the slight narrowing of his crimson eyes and his position could indicate at the extreme pain that the mage was in.

The door opened, a figure stood in the doorway. Soren looked up and saw that it was Ike. The blue haired ranger looked around the room, his blue eyes rested on the mage.

"Soren! Have you seen Nasir? The boat's been-" He stopped and ran over to his friend. Kneeling in front of him, so as to look at him at eye level, Ike placed a hand on Soren's right arm. "Soren? What's the matter?"


"Don't lie, it's not like you. I saw one of those birds hit you earlier. You looked alright enough then. Did it hit your arm?"

"Yes, but it's nothing to concern over." Soren admitted. "Nasir went to his quarters, Ike."

"Thanks, Soren. I'll send in Rhys to look at your arm, though."

Soren nodded and sat back in his chair. He looked at the limb. Fire burned from the middle of his forearm. The point where the avian had hit it.

Soren had suggested that they take their tougher warriors as defenders, letting Rolf, Ilyana and himself hit them from behind the protective barrier with Mist and Rhys healing. One of the ravens, a particularly fast one, had made it past Boyd. It flew towards Soren, who had just hit the laguz with a wind spell.

Soren tried to move in time to avoid the hit, while protecting his face with his left arm. He failed in dodging the blow, but kept his injuries to a minimal. The bird flew up and around to come around for another hit. Soren muttered a mild oath. His left arm was his casting hand. He needed his right to hold his tome open. There was so much pain that he was crippled, unable to retaliate. He watched as the raven circled him to strike again.

The bird dropped to the deck after a shriek. There was an arrow sticking out of its neck. Soren looked over towards Rolf, Boyd's little brother. Soren sighed, it seemed that the child was more competent then the adult.

"Sorry, Soren. Are you alright?" Boyd said as he walked up, throwing his hand axe towards the blue-feathered crow that Ike was facing. It struck, slicing the underside. Doubled with the commander's sword strike, the foe was killed. He caught it inexpertly. The back of his hand was sliced open.

"Worry about yourself." Soren replied. "Go see one of our healers." He looked at his bleeding arm. A vulnerary could cure it. Boyd was clawed from the crows' talons and there were puncture wounds all over one of his arms, his left one, the one that wasn't holding his axe. He had taken a great deal of damage protecting the magicians and Rolf from the crows. No vulnerary could heal those injuries.

Soren thought. Now that they were moving again, he should work on his report for Ike. Not only that, some weapons needed to be replaced and he wasn't sure if they had the money for it. The door opened again, without the confidence that there had been when Ike had opened the door.

Soren turned and looked at who had entered. His white robes almost blended into his pale skin tone, which was not as pale as Soren's.

"Hello, Soren." The priest said as he walked into the room.

Soren glanced at the older man. He sat upright in the chair. "Rhys." He said. Rhys had joined them a year ago, almost. Soren had only been there for a week after Rhys had been made a member of the company. He had left then to train with another mercenary group. After his return he hadn't much time to examine the healer. From what he could remember, and knew from the battlefield, Rhys was a good healer, but he was sickly and weak.

"Right. Commander Ike said that I should...look at your arm?" His voice had gotten quieter during his sentence. Almost as though he were afraid of Soren.

"Yes." Soren replied, almost pitying Rhys, but half disgusted. Only the enemy had to fear him. He motioned to his left arm, which was lying on the table again.

Rhys walked over to Soren and gently pushed the sleeves of Soren's robes up his arm. Soren's mouth twitched at the motion, but he made no complaint. Rhys did not move the limb, only took note of the swelling and discoloration on Soren's pale skin.

"It's broken." Rhys stated. "Let me go get Mist's heal staff."

"Mhm? What's the matter with yours?"

"It broke in that conflict with the laguz, right after I healed Boyd."

Soren settled back into his chair and groaned. His arm had actually broken. No wonder the pain hadn't gone away when he had treated it with a vulnerary. He sighed, another distraction from his work. He pulled a piece of parchment from the side of the table, dipped a quill into his ink pot and began to write, being careful of his other hand. He was tallying the amount that they had spent before their last battle and subtracting it from the amount that they now had. Which was not all that great.

"Perhaps those crows had some treasure on them." Soren muttered. He would see about that later. He knew that they needed a heal staff for Rhys. The mage would also have to inquire about the states of the rest of the party's weapons. There was also the matter of Jill, the Daein soldier that had come aboard the ship. He looked up when the door opened again.

"Sorry for taking so long." Rhys mumbled as an apology when he got closer and looked at the mage's injury. "It must hurt a lot."

"Mildly." Soren replied. In truth he was used to broken bones, but it wasn't a matter Rhys needed to, or should, hear about.

Rhys frowned at Soren, "Next time come and see me immediately. They're harder to heal the longer they stay." He lifted his staff above the injury and mumbled something that Soren couldn't quite make out. The gem on the top of the staff glowed blue and a pleasant balm like warmth washed down his arm, healing the injury. "Did the ravens do that?"


"The wound on your arm was expertly treated, despite the broken bone. Did Mist do that?"

"No. I used a vulnerary."

Rhys seemed a little taken aback by the response. Soren understood why. Most of the members of the company didn't use the healing herbs to their potential and were usually left with scars or other injuries that he or Mist wound up treating later.

"Right. Well, if you have any more injuries, see Mist or myself."

"How's that staff holding out?" Soren asked suddenly when Rhys was at the door.

"Oh, it was just bought. It's fine."

Soren exhaled as his door was shut. He turned back to the paper on his desk. There were other matters to attend to.