Series: FE 9
Day/Theme: 3/13. | prison and palace and reverberation (late)
Character/Pairing: Ike, Soren. It's kind of friendshippy preslash
Rating: PG at most. Tame.
Summary: Soren was always fussing over the littlest things
A/N: So, searains was making me write bondage porn and somehow the bondage and porn never came about. Instead, you get scene-bridging spoilery (for POR, anyways) hurt/comfort. With ropes. Yes, you did read that right.
I've come to realize I hate writing anything that fits directly into canon to the point of scripting.
It's a problem, and caused me to be rather 'eh' on this. Whatever.
They rested overnight in Daein Keep. Nasir's perfidy was still all too well remembered,
and the new arrival of Zelgius had set Soren into an even blacker mood. Most of the troupe stayed as far out of his way as possible. Even Shinon refrained from heckling him, which was a surprise, given his character.
Even Shinon knew when to stop, lest he have a blast of wind unleashed in his face.
Ike was the only one to brave Soren's furor. He was as always, impervious to the changes that settled over Soren's landscape, the many storms and icy cliffs never bothered him in the least.
Ike found Soren in an out-of-the-way storage room. His tomes were beside him and Soren twined a length of rope about his arm with a determined grimace.
"You seem tenser than usual," Ike said.
Soren twisted the rope in his hands, over and over. Already his hand where the rope was coiled turned an angry red.
"Hey, stop that. You'll hurt yourself," Ike said.
"I was trying to get a knot out," Soren said.
It was the strangest way to unknot something, but Ike said nothing. He wasn't exactly a genius on the subject himself.
Soren stared down at his hands for a long moment and Ike knew this wasn't about knots. Whenever Soren was upset, which was often, he would lose himself in whatever mundane chores he could find. Once, when he was far younger than he was now, a girl had called Ike to help her find her sister in the marketplace. He'd only meant to leave Soren a moment, something he thought Soren would definitely understand, but it took far longer than he anticipated. Soren had stalked back to the fort and swept near the whole building before Ike could even get him to talk.
It took days for his wrath to abate.
"What is it really, Soren?" Ike said.
Soren paused. He took a long breath and finally looked up to stare at the wall.
"It's my miscalculation, Ike. I take full blame for it."
"What?" Ike said.
"I knew something was amiss about Nasir, but I thought him Gallia's spy. Since his motives weren't hurting our cause, I let it be. I had begun to suspect more, but–"
"...Something came up. I was unable to bring it to your attention in time."
"That's ok, Soren. How could you have known he was in league with Daein too?"
Soren nodded, but without any conviction. His unrest far from over, he began to tug at the ropes anew with just as much irritation.
"Here, let me help."
Some tugging and misguiding 'helping' from Ike later, Soren was thoroughly entangled. Not just that, now both of his hands were just as caught.
"You're making it worse," Soren said.
"Maybe we should just cut it," Ike said.
"No," Soren said.
"What, is this rope made of gold?" Ike said.
"...it would make the time expended useless."
"Why were you in here anyways? I had to look all over for you. And when I do, you're in a room unknotting a length of rope."
"I needed something to occupy my mind," Soren said.
That they all needed. Nasir had been their companion almost since the beginning of their endeavor. Since long before Begnion. And to think, all that time, a traitor. Every word of his a carefully disguised lie. But it wasn't Nasir that Ike's mind settled on, it was Soren. He remembered the tale of Soren's childhood, of the sage and the woman and the hunger.
"You mentioned your parents last time," Ike began.
Soren froze, his muscles gone rigid.
"I paid Volke and he told what he'd been keeping all that time. I found out things about my parents. Things I couldn't even begin to put into words," Ike said.
The thoughts came again. He had assumed his mother had died by some sleeping sickness, not his father's hand. Now, with time the weight was somewhat bearable, but it still hung there, a blemish on all the perfect memories he had begun.
Soren looked up from where he had been determinedly staring at the wall.
"So, whatever it is about your parents, I guess I've got one for you too."
"...I'll tell you, one day," Soren said.. "Just not yet."
"I'll wait for it, and I'll tell you mine. I promise," Ike replied.
He rose up, leaving Soren to his silence and contemplation and even the dregs of his angst. Soren always had some form of angst, even if Ike comforted him all day, the next day would bring more to light. Maybe telling whatever secret was eating him up inside would finally let that unhappiness out and Soren could be the calm, intelligent person that he was around Ike himself. Maybe he could even learn to be civil for once. Ike wasn't entirely against the belief of miracles, considering that a dark god in a medallion had been the true cause of his mother's death, he couldn't discount anything.
"I'll find a slim sword, or a knife. I don't want to cut accidentally cut you with something larger."
"Don't get lost," Soren said.
"I'll leave a trail of breadcrumbs," Ike said.
Before Ike left, he could've sworn he heard Soren say as if you would ever waste food like that.
As Volke charged an exorbant price for borrowing his dagger and Sothe was nowhere to be found, Ike was forced to find implements in other ways. He would've checked the storage, but the shopkeeper hung about there, and going into her territory was just asking to be kept late with her screeching harpy-like adoration. Besides, without Soren he'd never find his way through.
He tried one floor lower, and rewarded by finding Mia attempting to spar with a very bewildered Rhys. Mia's attention was diverted when Ike came to the room, and Rhys snuck gratefully away.
"Do you have a Slim Sword I can borrow?" Ike said.
"Sure, I've got a one left. What did you need it for? Sparring practice?" She said hopefully.
"Nah, just cutting things. Soren's all tied up and I need to cut him down."
"You know, I should be less surprised than I am, but I always figured you'd do that eventually, boss," Mia said. "Congratulations."
"What?" Ike said. He was far too obtuse, too oblivious for the connotations.
"I never thought you'd be shy about it, either. That's really cute, boss!" She rose her sword in a salute only to notice that her not-so-willing sparring partner had disappeared.
"Hey– Where'd Rhys go? Rhysss, the session isn't over yet!"
She left to find her sparring partner then, as fast as if she'd forgotten Ike's presence already.
Ike shook his head and let the thought slide. It would be Soren who had to deal with the laughter and the rumors that sprung up from Mia's chatty ways. Like always, Ike let the idle talk while away itself. Ike never paid attention to rumors, anyways.
The knots were undone and fell free to the ground below. If only life's entanglements came that easily. Soren had calmed down since then, and no longer looked as cagey as before.
Soren's hands were red and rope burned. Pale skin had turned splotchy, the original smoothness damaged. Soren had always been fragile. His bones had been the first to break and his skin always had the worst cuts.
"You should put a vulnerary on that," Ike said.
"It'd be a waste for something so minor as this," Soren said.
"It's one we can afford. Now put some on – your commander orders it."
Soren made a noise like a strangled chuckle and showed the slightest of loosening. Instead of grimacing or being stuck in a cold panic, it was calm. At ease. That was the closet Soren came to smiling.
And maybe Ike was a little closer to smiling because he knew he could tell Soren that his father killed his own mother in a rage caused by a dark god and knew that Soren would accept this. He knew that it would change little between them, that the secret would be safe in his hands. He trusted Soren, and he knew that he never had to worry if Soren would be like Nasir because Soren didn't have a treacherous bone in his body. Ike didn't have to wonder or second guess – he trusted and he knew. Soren would stay true no matter what was at stake.
And Soren's secret of his parents? Ike knew whatever it was would be far less than Soren made of it. Soren was always fussing over the littlest things, it took Ike comfort and keep him from fretting. Sometimes he had to shake Soren from his fretting and tell him to just listen and stop mulling over things. That was Soren's problem, he was always thinking too much and in Ike's opinion that could only lead to trouble. A few coarse-but-meaning words, a touch – That's how it was and how it always had been. Ike wouldn't expect to live his life any other way.