Title: Ash Falls
A./N: D - dystopia. IkeSoren as if written in a post-apocalyptic world (Or, a world where Ashera wasn't defeated.) There were some amusing alternate ideas for this, including a Modern AU Ike marathons the Matrix Trilogy and dreams he makes out with Trinity!Soren.
This is somewhat similar to Cormac Mcarthy's The Road (though I've never read it) and is based on Soren's death quote.
Ash falls from the sky daily, now. The goddess has chastised her children and stolen away the sun. Food is scarce, soon it will be nonexistent. Soon they will die and the last of her creations will be the dust they began as. Despite obvious proof otherwise, Soren considers becoming an atheist. The woman he'd seen in that tall tower was not a god but a madwoman. It would be like deifying Ashnard.
Ike has been dazed since then. He has brief fits of lucidity and he has taken the news that everyone else has probably died as well as it could be taken.
(Soren thinks Mist may have lived, perhaps Boyd did steal her from the explosion, they had been far off. Still, even if Tellius falls, he was only saving one person. The rest of the world be damned.)
Ike is still weak. Soren dribbles whatever clean water he can when Ike is with them, but his commander sleeps for long periods of time. During this, Soren watches over him and counts the breaths. Ike's lungs must ache, dust-filled as they are. He sounds like an old man on his deathbed when he breathes. There is a growing infection in Ike's lungs. Ike had been close to the so-called goddess when she released this plague upon the world; a lesser man would've surely died instantly.
Soren doesn't sleep much now. It has put him in a constant state of jerky paranoia and on more than one occasion he's suffered hallucinations. There are mirages in the distance but he won't give in. Soren only sleeps when Ike is awake, and even then for short periods of time.
They don't talk much for there is nothing to speak about but loss. Soren attends to the wounds which flower over Ike's skin, to the red blotches of skin peeling off. Ike was never sick before this, but even he can't resist a sickness handcrafted by a god. The plague did not affect Soren. He can only assume that yet again it was another person deeming him parentless, and someone not worth even glancing at. To think, to the man-made goddess in this world, he was nothing but an insect.
The seas swallow Tellius until there are only wastelands and rocky mountains to cross. Food is scarce. Ash falls from the sky. Soren saves most of the food for Ike and only takes the exact amount needed to survive. Ike needs it more than he, and the cycle has reversed. How long ago was Ike actually offering food off of his own plate, even his favorite kind to him?
It wasn't as long as it would seem. Months, perhaps. Time passes in a constant linear state when this close to death. Timekeeping is meaningless; survival is the only thing worth thinking of.
If, when Ike dies, Soren knows what he will do. He will backtrack to that tomb, that place of scattered bodies and face the false goddess again. Soren already knows that she will strike him down like the insect she believes him, that she will break him bodily, but that his soul is beyond even her reach. But he will face her, and she will see him. He will not allow this crazed woman who crowed herself god to live on without having faced what she has created.
And then it will be him and Ike. Soren has always considered Elysium a myth told by man to comfort his fear of dying, but that does not mean that death is the end. When Ike leaves before him, Soren will follow and find him. Death is a curtain, a mere stepping point to Soren. It is hardly a barrier to get past his will when it comes to the person he loves more than this life.
But now Ike hangs between life and the days go on grey and short. Ash falls. Ike breathes. Soren steals life for him a little longer.