Title: The Way To A Man's Heart
Series: Fire Emblem 9
Character/Pairing: Ike/Soren/steak
Summary: ...is through his stomach. Soren proves the old adage about cooking. It's all according to plan.
Rating: PG-13
Author's note: 28th - Fire Emblem, Soren/Ike: seduction - a strategy for everything (late). Rather unbetaed as I finished it at like, THE day of the deadline, with an hour to spare. Yeah.

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Aimee barraged him with dishes, that Soren confessed to using as a bargaining tool for the Hammerne. Soren may have been highly amused by the outcome, but Ike' sure wasn't. The first time he'd nearly gagged from the dish. It was blackened to the point of being nearly all charcoal, and so spicy that he'd grabbed a bucket of water and downed it. And it wasn't even drinking water.

Of course, Soren was a bit less amused after the first time, and warned him of attempts at aphrodisiacs and 'certain potions' ..whatever those were. Ike had learned his lesson from the first, and now made whatever excuse he could.

So it was tonight that he ducked away when he saw Aimee coming his way holding the food from hell. And that was when he caught the scent of something else, something delicious that might as well have been calling his name and begging him to eat it.

He followed it to Soren's tent. Ike took one look around, and then shrugged it off before throwing open the flap. Yes, he had issues with knocking, but there was a crazy woman out there with evil food with his name on it. Besides, it wasn't like he was going to catch Soren in anything embarrassing. The closest he'd ever come was seeing him changing, and they'd changed in front of each other since they were small.

Ike stood at the door. Soren had his legs crossed, and the skirts of his robe lifted enough that the pale skin of his legs showed.

"Are you hungry?" Soren said. His voice was quiet, sensual even.

Soren lifted a morsel of juicy steak to his mouth and chewed slowly. A small amount sauce had fallen on the side of his lips, and he licked it away. And the point was so blatant that even Ike realized that there was definitely something being offered here. Something that he realized that he wanted. A lot.

Soren licked his lower lip. "I can feed you, if you like."

Ike stared up from the delicious steak, to the new look on Soren's face that he'd never encountered before. It was softer, and waiting for his response. He liked it.

"Yes," Ike said. "I'd like it a lot."

Soren got up from his bedroll. He stood on tiptoe to bring the fork to Ike's waiting mouth. It tasted as good as it smelled. It was moist, and yet not spongy. Chewy without being stringy, and spiced just right to give it a tangy flavor.

"More?" Soren asked.

"Oh, yes," Ike said.

If possible, the second bite was even better than the first. He chewed longer, finding new aspects of the flavor to adore more thoroughly. He had never thought about marrying an inanimate object more. Soren lifted the third bite, and then changed course to put it in his mouth. When had Soren gotten expressive, and teasing? When had his hair gotten so silky and long?

The next bite Soren also stole away, and held in his teeth a moment before finally swallowing it. It was teasing if Ike ever saw it. And it also drew Ike's attention to another thing he'd never really paid attention to: Soren's lips. They were thin, and not like Aimee's large, even garish rouged lips. And yet, they looked so soft to Ike, so much that a thought he'd never had before came into his mind.

Ike wrestled the plate away from Soren, though to be fair, wrestled wasn't really the right word for it. Soren knew how futile it would be to try and wrest someone away from Ike when he really wanted it. So the minute Ike pulled, Soren just let go and let him have it. But Ike didn't dig right into the food, instead he placed it on the bedside table.

"I had a thought," Ike began. It broke off as Soren turned Ike's face towards him and their lips met for a lingering, long kiss. He could still taste the steak sauce in that kiss, and all the romance writers could have their lilac-scented, strawberry tasting kisses. He'd take steak any time. And just like the meat, he wanted to taste Soren's lips a little more to see if he'd like it even better the second time around.

When he opened his eyes again, and took a breathe, he noted that Soren didn't look embarrassed, regretful or traumatized. He looked satisfied, and maybe even a little smug. Soren walked over to the steak and took another bite.

"Do you realize how hard it is to be seductive on a bedroll? It isn't conducive for such things," Soren said.

"I've never thought 'seductive' would apply to you, actually," Ike said.

"It wouldn't normally. Desperate times call for desperate measures." Soren turned away and pushed black tresses from his face. Anyone else might not realize, but that was Soren's way of hiding embarrassment. It didn't happen often, as Soren didn't generally seem to have a shame gene, at least in the manners sense. Still, Ike had seen it a few times, and he'd grown to love that look. He put his larger hand over Soren's and gathered the hair together for the ponytails.

"Why did you give Aimee that knowledge anyways? Now she won't leave me alone."

"Easy. I knew she was a poor cook, a bad enough cook to make Mist look like some great chef."

"So it all went according to plan, huh," Ike mused.

"Exactly," Soren said.

"I really never knew that you could cook like that," Ike said. "It was yours, right? Or did you buy it somewhere?"

"I made it," Soren said. "I can't be bothered to cook for the whole militia. But if you were hungry...I could make room in my schedule."

"You'd do that for me?" Ike said.

"I have recipes for ribs and pork chops as well...and drum sticks," Soren said.

It took a second for Ike's brain to process this. Who knew what else might be up Soren's sleeve? Meat pies, fried chicken, or even some mystical new way to make bacon. Already his mouth was watering on the spot.

He looked back to Soren, who he'd known most all of his life and yet, still had new things to learn about. Like cooking, or the feel of his hair. And he smiled, for the rest of the years of the life that he'd be learning and knowing all about the person who'd been there all along waiting for him.