Title: Charms
Series: FE9
Character/Pairing: Naesala/Reyson and Tibarn/Reyson
Rating: PG to PG-13
A/N: Do I even have to mark POR spoilers anymore?

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Reyson is the only one that never falls for his charms. Naesala could flirt with most any woman, beorc or laguz, and they all fall to his will eventually. A soft word, a wink, a compliment, even the most hardened, cynical women fall (and by far, they are merely challenges and that much more enjoyable). Naesala can even make men fall if he tries hard enough. Of course, this is a greater challenge that often requires massive quantities of alcohol.

The only one who is immune is the single most one he would wish to have such a skill work upon. Reyson calls him on his mistakes, every excuse or flattery will only meet with a impenetrable glare. It is the same as if there was a trellis of tree leaves over their heads and the soft aromatic grasses of the Serenes beside him.

Naesala combs his fingers through his own hair, flippant and casual. "Can I help what I was born with?"

"A curse, indeed," Reyson says. It is the same sarcasm, the same eye rolls that they shared as children. Little has changed except time itself which keeps on moving on to other places and other futures. He is king now, and Reyson is a prince in another king's castle.

All the charm in the world and it doesn't affect the one he wanted it to. What sweet irony life brings, how amusing.

Reyson pulls his wings in closer, a fluttering white mass up against him back. Cliffs are no place for a Heron. It would be like transplanting a precious rose to a desert. As he barbs and probes, Naesala looks for the traces, the fingerprints that another king has left on Reyson.

"Don't you remember when I was the one who saved you, who guarded the heron tribes?" Naesala says this, enunciating every vowel slowly, almost drawing it out to a drawl. He knows that Reyson can read through him like an open book and doesn't care in the least for once.

Does he kiss you like I did? He isn't better than I am, surely. I could tell you that immediately. Maybe, just maybe you think of someone else when you're with him. Have you ever said my name by accident?

Naesala smiles, sardonic at it all.

"That was...a long time ago. And now you consort with humans."

Ah, life. It passes, it lives on. Bonds break and reform. All of it. Reyson was a mere prince of a peaceful nation, of dancers, of dreamers, of the dead. He didn't know what it was to be the phoenix to a dying nation. He had been taken care of so long he didn't know the sacrifices it took at times.

"Why do you seek to anger Tibarn?" Reyson continues. "He has been nothing but good myself and my father, taking us in after– after the razing of Serenes."

"No reason at all," Naesala says. "If he's sending a Heron to fight his battles for him, then he must be a great deal weaker than I thought."

Reyson seethes away in his own little dreamland corner. Revenge is a good enough motivation, he supposes.

Naesala studies a piece of gold and flips it in his fingers. Over and over. A kingdom for a friend's life? He remembers the corpulent senator and a plan forms in the recesses.

"You trust me, don't you, Reyson?"

"Of course, even despite your affairs with the vile humans," Reyson says.

"Good. I have something to show you..."

And wings alight as they are up into the sky. Black and white, Heron and Raven, back to the bones of a forest and memories and touches stolen between the grasses. Ah life, how it burns, how it fades.

"Come right this way...." Naesala says.

Few knew how hard it is to be king, least of all Reyson. Perhaps he could apologize later, swoop in and rescue him. To again be the protector, the black wings enfolded over white, to touch as they once had.....Even Naesala's charms have their limits.