Title: A Simple Life
Fandom: FE 10 | Tellius
Day/Theme: January seventeenth | we'll weave our days together like rain (late)
Summary: It took twenty years for Ike to finally settle down. Post RD, IkeSoren
A/N: comment_fic: Ike/Soren, just the two of us (post game fic)
The Gauntlet: 35. nirvana is here, nine times out of ten. Takes inspiration (and the title) from Simple Life by The Weepies. Also, vaguely inspired by a MUD log.
It took twenty years for Ike to finally settle down. He was forty-two by then, and showed little of the wear time had inflicted on his all-too-mortal body. Soren had always shopped the bazaars and alchemist shops for every herb available. Things with names like Taurine, Ginsing and Goddessroot that were dry and bitter at best, and foul tasting at worst. For the most part, Ike was tolerant of such invasions of his diet. Soren knew best, and Ike didn't question his tactician's ways however strange they were.
Three years back, a fall on a mountain pass had broken his leg and almost taken his life. The break had been so severe that a spear of cracked bone tore through the flesh. Still, to this day Soren wouldn't talk of that time when Ike had been so pale and close to death. It had been his worst fear come true and they'd both barely escaped intact. Ike still walked with a limp. His leg ached when it rain and though Ike said nothing, Soren always knew.
Luck seemed fond of Ike, for things often fell into his favor. Even when misfortune inevitably came to his door, Ike lived through it. When death came to call, he grieved and survived. Ike's truth strength wasn't simply physical, but a forthrightness of spirit.
In all those years, they had covered nearly every unmapped part of the globe. They had stayed in tents with nomads and dark, dingy inns. In hotels and hideaways, in caves and meadows. They'd been through rivers and up mountainsides, in holy places and where the dead lay in shallow graves. And after it all, Ike was ready to stop traveling.
The house they chose on the far side of the world was a small one. It was economical, for Soren would settle for nothing less. The shutters were cracked and flecked, the white paint curled from age.
The bed was too small for Ike by himself, let alone another person but Soren refused to get anything larger. It would cost more than he was willing to pay – and besides, if they stayed close it was perfectly manageable. Soren didn't mind his legs being tangled with Ike's or using his lover's chest as a pillow.
The house was adequate. There was just the needed amount of furniture to suit their needs. Ike's attempt at making their own chairs was mostly a failure, the blobbish stump was relegated to being a stool and barely fit as even that. After that, they bought the furniture.
There was enough space to grow a small vegetable and herb garden. Soren did not keep flowers, unless they had some medicinal value, for he couldn't be bothered with useless things. It was within walking distance of a river. Even Soren couldn't find much to grouse about the little place. What little he could find at fault, Ike quickly patched up. Ike put caulk in the spaces between the boards so the wind wouldn't slip through and painted the shutters. It was cozy and warm when the old bird nests from the hearth were cleaned out (of course it had to come after flooding them with smoke. Live and learn.)
When one of the plates broke, Soren had to eat off Ike's plate and share his glass. Every day was started with the sound of a kettle, and it was also how it ended. One day could easily be mistaken for the other, it was only Soren that kept a calendar and could tell the exact time of the month. Ike lost himself in the wild and eschewed time and constraints altogether. Soren never could quite bring himself to scold Ike that much over it.
They lived far out enough to keep most of the nosy neighbors away, which was good for Soren viewed every housewife as his nemesis. Ike became as he always had, a Jack of all trades, a mercenary of small tasks. He helped fix fenceposts and hold skittish horses for the smithy, and any other task which would pay for the supplies.
When he came home, chalky black dirt stuck to his face, his arms, and over his shirt, Soren allowed himself to be lead from his chores, and lead down to the river to wash. Ike always invariably found a way to get Soren to go with him, even throwing him over his shoulder like a sack of flour once.
Then again, Soren never argued against it after the simple starting of I have things to do.
Ike always came before chores, whatever they were. And there was a litany of chores here too, ones just as mundane as the ledger of supplies. Canning, the tanning of hides and drying. Of course, there was also laundry and cleaning, dust to be banished and herbs to be gathered. His days were never particularly still, but work was good to lose oneself in.
Ike always brought whatever books back he could, as the local library was painfully lacking, especially for someone who had visited Manithal Cathedral. Soren made do, however and never said a word of complaint.
Still, Ike even went as far as to import books whenever he had the chance. His actual choices were picked almost at random, so the varieties came from everything on how to do more effective housework, treacly pulp romance of the kind Mist read and books of history of the land.
Ike only had one stipulation: that Soren read it aloud. That was how most of their evenings were spent, at least until Ike took up whittling and brought home a pack of cards. Those were only to give Soren's eyes a break so he wouldn't overwork them.
They didn't often speak of the before, but it was not banished from them. When the memories of a mercenary camp they'd once called home came, there was no sting. Ike wrote letters to his family late at night, as dictated to Soren for his handwriting was clearer. (Even if Soren pointed out that it'd take a good six months to reach there, maybe more.)
They could never go back, Ike had said that you can never go home again and he was right. He'd been the hero they demanded for long enough. With this many years passed, they would be merely strangers to him. When another war came and stole away his friends, what then? He'd live on, but one could only be a hero for so long. And Ike was not one to handle fame well. They'd gone back to the country to escape the fame to become poor mercenaries again only to find war at their doorstep again.
It was enough to give anyone a wanderlust. And Ike had traveled unceasingly, as if he were being chased for twenty years. Soren knew it was not fueled by fear or guilt but a deep desire for peace. If one stayed too long in any place there was bound to be some skirmish of some kind.
But these lands were peaceful, or at least for this point. Their ruler was just and the people were not starving. The king had soothed the relations with the borders and married their greatest enemy to finally bring peace.
That was why this place was chosen in the end. Maybe fond memories had influenced that decision, but peace had won out in the end.
So they stayed in the place they had carved out, a home at the end of the world. There were no dread goddesses or bigotry here, they had left that all behind them in Tellius. When the nights grew late, Ike would lean on Soren's shoulder, nuzzle his face to him and Soren would close the book, stopping at whatever word he had left off.
The place was small, but it was theirs. It was just them here, with little else to bother or judge them, not that Ike had been one to care about other's thoughts. Here they could bask in the warm day to day mundane flow of peace. Content settled down like morning light, like scattering lights reflected on the wall. It was subtle, it was a constant even through the hard work and dreary days. They lived without questions, as any man and wife had. Even if there had been no official ceremony, they both knew this was what it was. A partnership that Soren had long declared and Ike had long accepted. Soren would not have had his life any other way than in the service of Ike, whether tactician, staff officer, friend or lover, this was his choice.
At night Ike's arm draped over him, and their hands entwined. The candles were extinguished and only the faint light of the hearth lit the room. With the gentle sound of Ike's breathing, Soren could almost believe that there was some spare goodness in the world, even if it only applied to the corner of the world they inhabited. Even if it only applied to Ike.