Title: You Are All I Know
Theme/day: August 26 : you are all I know. (late) / June 29 : You don't know what it's been like, meeting someone like you. (Early, hah)
Fandom: FE 9/10
Character/Pairing: Ike, Soren & Mist childhood fic
Summary: There would always be scars held deeper, but with Ike there, holding his hand, helping him keep focus...with that, Soren could learn to live. Childhood fic, Ike, Mist & Soren
A/N: I had this in an old file (as you can see) and Nia requesting an IkeSoren theme with "Reason" indirectly reminded me of this because of another that was in the same file. Because of that, I suppose it's hers? Hmm. Whatev. Back to work, I'm totally behind.
Soren didn't focus on the crowd around him or the path, he only saw the back of Ike's shirt, recently mended by Rhys with careful hands.
Ike's hand was in his, the pressure was a bit too tight, but Soren liked the warm feeling of Ike's fingers encircled around his own.
"So you don't get lost," Ike had said.
While the bandit attacks had dwindled, mostly because of their efforts, still Greil didn't allow them to walk to the nearest town alone. However, in the streets they could wander as long as they didn't stray too far off. Somewhere, Oscar was buying supplies (onions and meat and vegetables for a stew) and Rhys had gone for some books to keep records.
Shops, the feel of stone beneath his shoes, all of this was ignored as he focused solely on the person before him. Ike's hand held tight against him, pulling him forward. It would be hard to get lost in a place such at this. The stalls were all in equal rows, there was nothing particularly labyrinthine about the town. It was all straightforwardness, but he held tight. The world felt more focused when he was about Ike.
Mist's hair was two short, bobbling pigtails tied in yellow ribbons. She hummed as she walked – skipped, really.
Soren's eyes were caught by a flutter of paper caught by wind. He almost stepped forward to touch and feel them. What were they? Blank ledgers to be filled?
"Don't fall behind, Soren!"
Soren made a sound like the air being let out of a compact bag, an Ah...
"See, you almost formed a word! Good job, Soren!"
"You're doing great. Soon you'll be as chatty and annoying as Mist."
"Hey, I heard that!" Mist stuck her tongue out.
They exchanged words. Soren watched them, in their sibling play-argue and felt again to be in a world outside him. But Ike hadn't let go of his hand, and here he was included in this foreign place of sibling rivalry.
For once, Mist didn't burst into tears. She was distracted by a whiff of a baker's stall.
"I want candy," Mist said.
"I don't have enough to pay for it," Ike said.
Mist pouted. "I wannnnt caanddddy."
"Go ask Oscar, he probably has some."
Oscar was a magician whose magic only applied to food – the best kind of magic. He always had a bit of sweet things lying around and it never took much wheedling to get him to share. Mist walked three stalls down to where Oscar was perusing red and white onions from a elderly vendor.
"Caaandddyy," she whined.
"What do you say?" Oscar said.
She thought for a moment, and then tugged on his coattails again.
Oscar pulled out an apple strudel from a compact pouch that wrapped about his left thigh.
"Thankky," she said.
Soren no longer skulked at the edges as he had before, during the hungry times. His hair was brushed and his clothes were new. Robes of his very own. The housewives and vendors did not sneer with their upper lips curled anymore. He was not a bit of refuse, a mangy lost mutt begging at the corners for a scrap of food. But here he was with the commander's son and no longer the pariah. He had a home, a place. He belonged.
Still, Soren hadn't talked at all. Like a thick rock lodged within his throat, words stuck shut to the roof of his mouth.
"You can do it. I believe in you," Ike said and Soren believed too somewhere in his young mind. It wasn't a feeling he was used to feeling, believing, hoping, this unimaginable warmth... but he was learning how. Hope, just like words was something he didn't know fully how to do. But Ike was teaching him, little by little.
He held a little tighter to Ike's hand. His stomach was full and the constant animalistic need for survival had been shelved away, though it would always remain there, in hidden places, behind every shred of belief.
There would always be scars held deeper, but with Ike there, holding his hand, helping him keep focus...with that, Soren could learn to live.
"Come on, Soren. You've got to be hungry, right? You haven't had anything since breakfast and that was a whole two hours ago."
Two hours was practically years in Ike time.
Soren tarried at the edges, his grip loose and waning. Books fluttered on some far off vendor and the sound was like an flock of birds rising. It reminded him of words harsh and cold falling on him. A sage, a woman, a hundred others with their careless slights. The thought was broken by Ike's voice.
"Hurry up, Soren! We don't want to lose sight of Oscar or dad will make us stay home next time!"
Soren nodded. Words would come. He hiked up the skirts of his robe with his free hand and heard the stones thudding underneath his feet. He was safe here, held tight in the palm of Ike's hand. He would eat tomorrow, and the day after that. He would not longer have to slip under other people's eaves to get out of the rain. He had a place of his own.
Something warm bubbled up within him, something he wasn't used to. It wasn't words, but something close to it. It was laughter, so infectious from the running, the feel of life that Soren didn't even have warning at its arrival.
Ike laughed too, and Mist, from her far away place. The sky was clear above him. Cloudless and a color so blue it hurt to look at.
"See, I knew you had it in you, Soren," Ike said with pride.
And Soren believed him.