A/N: I know, I know. I have actual things to be working on. (coughTWISTEDSMILEScough) (coughABSENCEcough) Sorry. I caught a cold.
Anyway, thank you thank you for stopping in. Let's see how I do with Fire Emblem fanfiction. :3 Expect a lot of it in the near future. xD I'm on a roll with writing it all. Now I just have to kick my beta into gear. Yes you, Sarah. :P

Crimean Winter

It was late. It was very late. It was dark. It was cold. Very few thoughts penetrated the sage's mind as he shivered in his bed, scrunching into a tighter ball. Winter in Crimea was one thing he would never become accustomed to.

He needed warmth. That much was certain. He sat up, opening his eyes.

Moonlight was obstructed by curtains; Soren wouldn't have seen the faint outline of the door if he hadn't known it was there. He swung his feet to the ground. Wrapping a blanket around himself, he stood and went for the door.

The hallway offered no reprieve – just as cold, if not colder, than Soren's room, it was lit only by a single torch at the other end. Closing his door quietly behind him, Soren wasn't entirely sure what he was going to do. The warmest place in the building was usually the kitchen. But in the dead of night, it would be just as unforgiving as the rest of the place.

He started down the hallway regardless. At the very least, he could light a fire in the dining hall.

But he was soon distracted by a faint orange glow from beneath one of the many doors lining the hallway. He frowned at it. It was too late for anyone else to be awake – let alone Ike, he added in his mind when he realized which door he was now in front of. Ike was often the first asleep!

The light, however, promised warmth, and perhaps it was Soren's instincts taking over that made him knock on the thick wood. "Ike?" He cracked the door open to be greeted with the flickering light of a candle on Ike's bedside table, illuminating the pages of the book in Ike's lap. The blue-haired boy looked up when Soren entered.

"Soren! What're you doing up?" He sounded worried. Soren almost smiled.

"I could ask you the same," he answered easily, nudging the door shut behind him. "Reading at such a late hour?"

"Boyd makes fun of me when I read during the day; you know that," Ike huffed. "Besides, training takes precedence over studying during daylight hours."

"Of course," Soren said, shaking his head, suppressing another smile. He padded across the room to Ike's bed. "Well, then perhaps you wouldn't mind some company?"

It was an odd request, Ike reflected as he nodded and Soren crawled under the covers next to him. It was rare for Soren to be lonely. Especially at night. "Is something the matter?" Ike asked, closing his book and setting it aside.

Soren was curled up under the thick covers of Ike's bed, a slight smile betraying his contentment. "Nothing is the matter. Why do you ask?"

"You… don't usually wander into my room in the middle of the night and crawl into bed with me," Ike said plainly.

"You are reading too far into this, Ike," Soren murmured, sleep already starting to overtake him. "It is the middle of the winter. It is cold."

Ike smiled. He ruffled Soren's hair. "So even Soren has a weakness, huh?"

The black-haired boy huffed, attempting to conceal his blush. "Ike."

Ike laughed, smothering the candle. "It's all right, Soren. I won't tell anyone." He slid down so their noses were touching. "Goodnight, Soren," he said as blue eyes met crimson.

Soren smiled. "Goodnight, Ike."