Title: Curiosity Killed The Cat
Fandom: FE9 | Tellius
Character/Pairing: Ike/Soren in a sense, Ranulf
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The key players are oblivious to the obvious.
Word Count: 2,025
A/N: I offered searains something and she wanted 'third person view of Ike/Soren' It was supposed to be a drabble, haha. Somehow I don't think she minds. Anyways, this is jut a silly little thing. Enjoy.

1.

Being in close proximity to Soren was like running into a wall. It was a wall of overpowering scents all mixed together. The tactician was an explosion waiting to happen, with thick, acrid paranoia and fear, as well as heavy helping of the bitter smelling anger and hatred. If Ranulf's nose told him anything, the tactician was an unraveling ball that could tangle into nothing anytime soon.

But that wasn't all, for Ranulf learned a little secret. Call it a cat's intuition, for under all those emotions, he spied another. This one had a sweeter scent, it wafted up like a summer breeze. Underneath that scent was one that mixed in so they coagulated into one.

Now this was an interesting development. A forbidden love? Not to mention a very heavy helping of lust. The boy smelled practically like a cat in heat over there.

Ranulf was used to having people like him. Back in Gallia, he practically had a fanclub amongst his underlings, with Kyza and Lyre being the very enthusiastic founding members. Still, he doubted that Soren was feeling that way over him. He just didn't get that vibe from the tactician.

To test the theory, Ranulf leaned in closer on Ike's shoulder. Ike blinked, but he noticed the tactician stiffen in cold fury. Soren's jaw set, though he wasn't exactly smiling to begin with and a smell like burning leaves assailed his nose. Jealousy. Possessiveness. And there he had it. A best friend in love with the hero who he served selflessly every day. It was really touching, and a great tale to tell his future grandkids.

2.

So Ranulf knew but he wasn't going to mess in their affairs. Not really, ok, well. Maybe a little, but just that once. Mostly the thought of Soren having some secret diary filled with love sonnets scrawled hearts and gushing adoration was too tempting a prospect for him to not investigate. After that he swore to let them to their own affairs. Besides, it was too amusing as it was now to sit back and watch the events unfold. For Ranulf's nose told him another secret, one that Ike himself apparently didn't even know. Ike hadn't figured out yet that he had an affection for his tactician, that he worried and cared way beyond the lines of straight platonic friends. He was still too busy being off avenging his father and saving the country. It apparently never crossed his mind that he'd take his closk off to cover his tactician in the cold but not the princess who was also pining after him – but hey, maybe he didn't notice that either. Ranulf really wouldn't put it past the guy.

So here was the tactician pining away and the best part of all was Ike was already in love with him. Novels couldn't even get this good, he'd never read a book with a twist this hilarious.

Ranulf's promise to himself of not messing with them wasn't entirely selfless: he really didn't want the living soap opera to end. A woman would go chasing after Ike and he'd not notice, but Soren would. The attentions would send Soren into a fury, and then a deep sullen stage wherein Ike would have to be the one to go find him and drag him out of the cold, grey place he exiled himself to. And neither of them had realized it yet. He saw this happen weekly – nigh daily and it was still as funny as the first time he'd seen it. Ranulf could even become the catalyst to that event happening if he told that crazy shop girl where Ike had gotten to. Which he did. Often.

But today was going to be the one direct intervention, and this was solely for his own selfish desires. Ranulf tiptoed into Soren's room. Everything was predictably clean, without a paper out of order or a speck or dust to be seen anywhere. There was little to differentiate it from the other rooms, nothing but a even stack of tomes on a bookshelf and some folded clothes in the dresser. Even the shoes were tightly arrayed under the bed.

Soren lived like a monk. Ranulf would that he barely kept around more than the clothes on his back – except for of course, a spare because everyone knows that Soren wasn't about to go anywhere without a backup plan.

Ranulf sniffed about the cabinets, which held nothing of interest, just a few spare clothes and more books. In the lowest drawer Ranulf came upon something that looked a bit different. He lifted it up and examined the cover.

Paydirt. Ranulf pulled up the leather bound book an flipped through the pages, half expecting poetry to leap out at him. However, to his mild disappointment, there was nothing but a ledger of supplies. There wasn't even a trace of his own records in there. Ranulf turned it sideways, to see if maybe there was a code and by reading the capitol letters they would spell out Ike is my sun and moon and mineminemine and his abs are fine– but that too failed. He closed the book and set it back about where it had been and set to looking elsewhere. He checked every obvious place from floorboards to under the bed and still no Book of Ike: poems of the pining to be found. He even felt about the floorboards to see if maybe, just maybe Soren had taken to keeping it underground, so to speak. There was no unevenness or proof that they'd been moved anytime recently.

Ranulf head a noise outside and froze. If Soren caught him, he was going to be deep-fried kitty. But the steps were too heavy and lumbering to be anything but Gatrie, and probably an intoxicated Gatrie at that. Ranulf let out a sigh of relief and gave up. He knew when to call his battles and it looked like Soren was better at hiding his love sonnets than Ranulf thought.

3.

Soren noticed it immediately. His sense of smell wasn't strong enough to catch the faint odor, nor his eyesight good enough to see the tiny blue hairs that had fallen off unaware, but he knew his things and he knew when they weren't in their place.

The first thing he did was what he usually did, which was go contact Ike. It wasn't that he enjoyed dragging Ike away from the tea party that Elincia was currently attempting to have (and this was the third tea cup Ike had broken), no. It wasn't that he got to have that smug feeling as he superceded their royal client who happened to be conventionally beautiful and enamored of Ike, or that winner's smirk as he took Ike's attention away with a simple request. Really, it wasn't.

But the knowledge that he could find Ike, and Ike would come to him even with beautiful princesses at his beck and call, well that was a comforting thought.

Soren lead Ike to the scene. He stayed as close as distance would allow with them not actually touching. Ike's sword sheath bumped against his thigh several times and Soren didn't mind in the least.

When he opened the door it looked much as it had before when he left: clean, almost impossibly so, but now with tiny flaws that marred the edges. A scuff here, a moved book there. Soren knew that someone had violated his chambers.

"Someone was in my room," Soren said.

"Was anything stolen?"

"This book," Soren pointed to the ledger "was over here." he pointed to a fraction of an inch from where it was now seated.

"...so you're saying that someone is serially rearranging your room?"

"...Yes," Soren said.

"Whoever did it must know you well, that really would drive you insane."

Soren just grimaced. The sheer fact that someone had been within his room, and touched his things gave him a rage headache.

"Do you have any suspects?" Ike said, breaking Soren's comforting thoughts of murderous rampages.

"A few," Soren said.

Soren began to notice other incongruities. His bed wasn't as tidy as he'd made it this morning, the drawer was ever-so-slightly-ajar.

"Someone was searching my chambers. Looking for some document, it seems," Soren said.

He bent down to check the smudges on the impossibly clean floor. He finally took notice of a single blue hair. He made a mental note of where his Elfire tome was.

"What kind of person would go through your rooms? It's not like you keep anything valuable here," Ike said.

"I don't know. They were definitely looking through the ledgers, so we may have a spy within our midst. It does not seem what they found what they were looking for, so they might return again."

"Will you be safe tonight?"

Soren paused. Logically, he should be safe. The blue hair told him everything, and he knew that the king's underling would not be a spy. Any reason he had chosen to rifle through Soren's things could not be a matter of national security.

"I'm not sure," he said instead.

"Do you want me to stay here tonight?"

Soren paused again.

"It might be best. There's only one bed though," Soren said.

"I don't mind," Ike said.

He took a moment to pinch himself, and when he didn't awake, he took a moment for the blood to run back to his head. He also took a moment to be glad for long, flowing skirts that hid a great deal of things and avoided many potentially awkward situations.

"It's almost dark, we should turn in now. ...I'll go get changed."

And Ike didn't contest this.

4.

While Ranulf hadn't found Soren's stash of secret horrible piney love poetry, a new twist had unfolded in the tale. Apparently, Ike had slept in Soren's quarters last night. For his protection.
But it wasn't just that, which meant he'd been found out. He'd already gleaned that from the meaningful glares Soren had been sending his way, and the fact that Soren had taken to lugging an Elfire with him wherever he went. Soren might as well have said You're dead meat, cat for all the great obvious show of anger he was showing.

But then, something within Soren had cooled. Ranulf thought for a moment that they'd finally dramatically consummated their love, but Soren smelled too frustrated to have spent a good time in bed.

No, it was Ike that made the twist. He started smelling different, just like Soren did. Not that he had taken on the aroma of Soren's body, but the same emotions expressed in different ways. Ike was realizing, it looked like. Well about time.

But Ranulf figured it was going to be a great long while before this was ended, and he hoped it did. It was way too much fun to watch from afar and smell the obvious affection reeking off of them. There was nothing quite so fun as knowing a secret and when that secret was the obvious kind of secret of people tripping over each other in love? Well that just made it all the better.

So Ranulf hoped they lived and loved long and all that, because he was Ike's friend and wanted what was best for them. Also because he couldn't vouch for Soren's sanity if Ike ended up with someone else. Civilization might explode in one giant windstorm if a hero ended up with a princes. But, really, he hoped they wouldn't get together just yet, because this was far too much fun to watch from the outside looking in.