Summary: You know you have a bond when you never have to speak it, when you show it through actions. Even the gentlest of touches sends that knowing spark throughout your body, and it finishes with the sweetest smile that warms the other's cold heart. Dustfinger and Farid's bond. NO SLASH.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Inkheart characters. If I did I'd invite you to party with us and have more of our awesome conversations.

Enjoy.

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Guardian.

Dustfinger had never truly got to play the part. Roxanne had been so independent and her own person that Dustfinger usually found himself leaning on her for support. He had never got to offer his protection to her, for she was strong enough to thwart any threat.

When Dustfinger's daughter had been born, he had planned to be the best father, it was a mission. But as soon as he had laid eyes on her, fear began to rot inside him, and Roxanne had often played the part of two parents. He didn't need her disappointed looks; his bitter ones kept him company.

By the time their next gift, Rosanna, was born, Brianna had become almost a stranger to Dustfinger. Dustfinger vowed not to let Rosanna, something he had also helped created, to slip through his fingers. Roxanne had praised him with the little work he had done. He was improving and that seemed to be enough. Dustfinger wanted so badly to be a hero in their eyes, to be enough for them and to provide everything, including love, but it was an emotion he hadn't had practise in, and one that had been difficult to take a part in.

He had become quite close to Rosanna and enjoyed in partaking childish activities with her. He had also been growing closer to Brianna, as she had inherited her father's love for fire. And then that fateful day had arrived, and torn him away. Dustfinger had felt the ripping, and he had tried to hold on to what he knew, but it was inevitable.

Dustfinger glanced down at the boy, who was curled almost like a dog, his head right near Dustfinger's thigh. The boy gave a small whimper, and Dustfinger's eyebrows pulled inwards as a frown settled there. Farid rolled over, curling his knees into his stomach defensively. Dustfinger reached out, placing a hand on the boy who bowed into himself again.

"Farid." Dustfinger murmured. The boy's small tremors stopped at the older man's voice, and he inched over, eyes squinted together. The boy stopped at Dustfinger's feet, a place he knew even in his sleep. Dustfinger smiled at the warmth he felt radiating from Farid, a warmth only he would ever feel.

It had shocked all of them, Dustfinger most of all, when Farid had latched onto him. Mo was the one who reeked with guardianship-his love for his daughter proved that, how he went beyond anything for her.

But Farid's trust had warmed him, bringing small smiles at the corner of his mouth and crashing the walls at his heart.

He had felt Meggie's eyes on him, and her own smiling face as she watched Dustfinger transform.

And Farid had even chosen him over the girl! That had shocked Dustfinger, and he had tried to deny it, but he felt all those silly emotions that one felt while in love, and he it had been difficult to keep a blank look on his face, and even more difficult to try and persuade Farid to stay to live a happy life. When Farid denied, Dustfinger had felt another emotion, one he refused to acknowledge.

That day Farid's bright eyes had seen right through and straight into his soul, and Dustfinger even welcomed it.

Did he see how Farid had warmed it, lighten the blackness?

He was the forever burning candle, while Dustfinger's threatened to blow out and at some points did.

Farid captivated Dustfinger, and all the walls had crashed. Farid had been printed there, like a tattoo was printed on skin. It was like fate had its own pen, and had written in Farid's name. It was now permanent, and could not be removed. The only other people who had been written there was Roxanne and his two daughters. His family. Only six months ago Farid had been a stranger, and now he was like a son.

He couldn't question it. People didn't ask for bonds, bonds just snuck up before wrapping themselves tightly around the two people, connecting them not physically but mentally. It tied their hearts and bound their souls; right to the point where when they weren't together it ached.

Almost like he ached for Roxanne.

Farid was another half to him, just like Roxanne was too. They both shared that.

Farid whimpered again, his mouth parting like a silent scream. Dustfinger moved burnt fingers to the boys dark hair, enjoying the silkiness of it, while offering his comfort to the boy.

"It's okay," he breathed out. "I'm here, I gotcha...I'm here." He repeated the words over and Farid fell silent again. Once Dustfinger was sure that Farid was okay, he lay down, letting his thoughts pull him away from reality for a moment. He closed his eyes, still running his fingers through the boy's hair. It was also a comfort to him.

Fate was twisted. It had taken him away just when he was getting close to his family, only to give him Farid. He couldn't question it, it just was.

"No...Dustfinger...Please don't go."

"Right here kid, not going anywhere."

"Dustfinger...BASTA!"

Dustfinger felt a burning rage in his stomach at the name. Basta still managed to inflict pain when he was nowhere near them. Dustfinger swallowed the anger, forcing himself to keep calm, because Farid's reaction to the anger would only be bad.

"Basta is not here-I'm here. And I won't let anything happen to you, okay?"

He was glad Farid was unaware. He had never said these words out loud, he had never needed too. Farid was the only one who could pull this reaction out. Maybe his daughters could too, and Roxanne, but they had never needed to.

Farid whimpered and rolled into Dustfinger's side. Dustfinger wrapped an arm around the younger boy, offering his security.

"You're safe." Dustfinger said again. Farid finally smiled.

"Dustfinger."

"Mm-hmm...right here, and this is incredibly weird...but I love ya kid...I would do anything for you."

I am so glad he's asleep....words are useless, he should know by my actions.

Farid moved closer, seeking Dustfinger, and Dustfinger allowed himself to be tugged.

"Don't worry Farid, nothing's going to get you, not while I'm alive. Just sleep kid."

Farid finally fell still, breathing slowly and peacefully. Dustfinger smiled and looked up at the stars.

Thank you for giving me Farid...this is me having faith. Help me to look after him. You planted the seed, it's grown...don't destroy it.

Dustfinger's eyes fluttered, and he looked around first, observant eyes seeking out any danger. And he fell into the end of the process they repeated everyday.

He fell asleep.

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Dustfinger: I feel so gay right now...