Title: The Secrets That You Keep
Author: mercy-angel-09
Rating: T
Word Count: 1,025
Game: Pre-Path of Radiance
Characters/Pairing: Ike, Soren, with brief cameos by the Greil Mercenaries sans Mia and Rolf.
Warnings: None. Unless you count a bromance.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Nintendo and Intelligent Systems. This fanfiction is for entertainment purposes only.
Author's Notes: Having never played "Path of Radiance," I read the entire game script, base conversations and support conversations in one night (because there were a few parts in "Radiant Dawn" that I didn't quite get because they referenced PoR). To that I say, "Holy crap, Ike and Soren's support conversations are slashtastically delicious." That said, I still can't bring myself to ship them. I don't know why, but I can't see them as anything other than best friends. So the result is this fluffy piece of bromance fiction.

Soren had issues.

Ike was painfully aware of this, as every night, after the rest of the Greil Mercenaries had gone to bed, Soren would sneak into Ike's room, pile a few blankets and a pillow on the floor, and sleep there until he woke in the morning before packing everything up and heading back to his room.

At first Ike had been confused when he had woken in the middle of the night to find his best friend camped on his bedroom floor. He had brought it up with his father, but Greil had smiled and shook his head. "I wouldn't worry about it, son. Soren's just afraid that you'll leave him in the middle of the night. He thinks by sleeping on your floor, if you make a run for it, you'll step on him and wake him."

Taking his father's response to heart, Ike didn't tell Soren that he knew that his best friend was sleeping on the floor. However, there were hazards to this change of events. He started getting funny looks from Shinon and Gatrie. Oscar and Boyd gave him odd smiles and congratulated him. For what, he had no idea.

Mist had finally brought it to Ike's attention that the rest of the troop thought that Soren and Ike were a secret couple, as voices and loud noises could be heard from Ike's room in the middle of the night. Most of them just assumed that Soren's unspoken love for his best friend had finally taken a physical form. Ike was pretty sure he was blushing as red as his cape, and informed his sister that he and Soren were just friends and they were not dating or having passionate sex in the middle of the night.

"But then why does he sleep in your room?" Mist asked innocently.

"He's afraid I'll leave in the middle of the night or something. How the heck should I know? He's not causing any problems, so why should I kick him out?" Ike answered tightly.

Ike didn't see it as a problem until he woke in the middle of the night and heard Soren talking his sleep. And not just talking, but casting wind spells.

He watched as his desk was pushed to the other side of the room and then back again, slamming against the wall. Clothes went flying about. Boots slammed into the door. A pack of supplies was upended, dumping its contents unceremoniously onto the floor. Ike's room was usually a mess, so he never noticed that things were always completely trashed in the morning.

Ike sighed. No wonder everyone thought that he and Soren were a couple. It really sounded like rowdy sex. With another sigh, Ike climbed out of bed and knelt next to his sleeping friend. Gently shaking his shoulder, Ike quietly repeated Soren's name until the wind mage woke.

Soren was embarrassed at being discovered, until Ike pointed to the current state of his room. The wind mage blinked at his friend curiously.

"Did you know you talk in your sleep?" Ike asked him.

Soren's eyes widened in horror.

"And did you know that you cast wind spells in your sleep?" Ike continued.

Soren shook his head.

"Soren, I think you should start sleeping in your room," Ike informed him. "Not that I mind having you in here, but your sleep casting is trashing my room, and now everyone thinks you and I are sleeping together. And that we like it rough."

Soren was crimson. "I…"

"I'm not gonna leave," Ike sighed. "Everyone here, they're my family and that includes you. You can sleep in your own room, okay?"

"But everything will get trashed," Soren said glumly.

"What, it's okay in my room because it's always mess?" Ike asked, feeling slightly insulted that his friend felt that his room was a more adequate place to cast rogue wind spells because the damage would be less noticeable.

Soren shrugged. "Well, yeah."

"Soren, please go back to your room. I promise, if I leave in the middle of the night, I'll drag you with me," Ike said in exasperation.

"You swear?" Soren asked solemnly.

"I swear," Ike answered. "Now go. You might even sleep better in a bed than on my cold, drafty floor."

Soren gathered up his blankets and pillow and quietly slipped from Ike's room. Ike climbed back into bed and conked out once more, grateful that his possessions weren't being tossed about by rouge wind spells.

The next morning dawned bright and cheery, except Ike couldn't help but feel that everyone was giving him pitying looks. Boyd told him tough luck, but there would be other opportunities. Oscar gave him a sad smile. Shinon and Gatrie sniggered back and forth.

Ike sighed. Much as he had been doing over the last twenty four hours. He tracked down Mist and found her watching their father going through a training session with Titania. "Mist, have you seen Soren?"

She shook her head. "He wasn't at breakfast. I checked in his room and found him still sleeping and his room in complete disarray. Ike, are you sure you two weren't a couple? Did you break up with him last night?"

Ike facepalmed. "I told him to go back to sleeping in his room, so yeah, I guess."

"Why'd you do that?" Greil asked, looking at his son curiously.

"Because Soren talks in his sleep," Ike answered.

Titania's eyebrows went up. "He talks in his sleep so you kicked him out."

"Not just talks, casts," Ike clarified.

Greil, Titania and Mist all formed "O" shapes with their mouths.

"So that's what that was," Titania said. "We all just assumed that…huh. Well, isn't that awkward."

Ike turned to his sister. "Did everyone just automatically assume that Soren and I were a couple?"

Mist shrugged. "Sure. You two are inseparable, and we all know how Soren feels about you."

Ike rolled his eyes. "You know, the last time I checked, I still liked girls."

"It doesn't matter, Ike," his father informed him. "It doesn't matter."

Ike took a deep breath. Somehow, his life had just gotten a lot more complicated.

End notes: One night, as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, my husband (who was so far gone into dreamland I'm sure that a neighboring building could have burnt to the ground and he would have never known) started mumbling about fixing his car, that the TV was too loud, and could I possibly bring him his slippers? Which got me thinking that 1) my husband has some weird ass dreams and 2) what would happen if the magic users talked in their sleep?

Would Tormod accidentally toast Maurim? Micaiah blind the whole camp? Soren completely trash his room?

And what about anyone who was unlucky enough to have to share quarters with them? And thus this story was born.