Takes place immediately after the war concludes. One shot E/A. Enjoy :)
I don't own the Inheritance Cycle or the characters.
In A New Light:
Eragon was blissfully, regretfully alone; not a living soul in the vicinity bar the occasional lizard and cricket. He sat on a crag overlooking the sea of sand; the only visible light came from the moon, bright and full.
The wind was the puppeteer of the sand, forcing tiny grains into a mad whirlwind dance, lifting the sand every which way. Eragon could feel the wind drive sand through his fingers and coat his hair.
The calm night and the soothing presence of the Hadarac Desert gave Eragon time to sort out the organized chaos that had become his mind. He had naively believed that the end of the war would conclude Eragon's tumultuous life and provide him happiness. His dreams had left an empty void in his heart when they had been shattered.
With his acute hearing, he could make out the faint cacophony produced by a celebration somewhere in the far distance. Eragon felt a short pang of jealousy for the newly liberated men; they were sheep under Galbatorix and had developed dreams for the future after his ultimate demise while Eragon on the other hand, had nurtured his dreams under the tyranny and lost them when his duty was fulfilled. The world was a bitter place he concluded, why did the world not see fit to give him happiness as well?
Countless possible futures await you---all of them filled with blood and conflict---but only one will bring you happiness and peace, Eragon recounted. Angela had predicted his forecast long ago in Teirm with the knuckles of a dragon and use of the Ancient Language. Eragon smiled bitterly. I must have walked down the wrong path; I see no happiness in my current future.
Eragon's thoughts were interrupted by a set of silent footsteps quietly approaching his position. Eragon quickly debated with himself over whether he should leave before the intruder arrived or to remain in his spot like a statue until they left.
He chose the latter and did not even turn a head or extend his consciousness to determine whether the intruder was a friend or foe, he was too tired and weary to care anymore.
A cascade of glossy black hair and a clean, soft tunic sat down beside him. Eragon could tell that the intruder was none other than Arya; he could smell the sweet pine needle scent that stuck to her. "Atra esterní ono thelduin," He said without turning his head.
"There is no need for formal greetings today Eragon, it is too joyous a day," Arya said, cutting off the traditional elven greeting.
Eragon merely nodded and continued to watch the shifting sands of the Hadarac Desert. He could feel Arya scrutinizing him, trying to decipher his peculiar mood. "What are you doing out here?" She finally asked.
"It is peaceful out here, the celebrations were quite overwhelming," Eragon replied curtly, in no mood to talk.
"Where is Saphira? Surely you must be lonely by yourself," Arya asked again, undeterred by his response.
Eragon held back a bitter smile at her guess. "I would hazard a guess of becoming inebriated with the nobles and their endless casks of mead."
Arya fell silent after that, the only signs of her continued presence beside him were her light, even breaths and the winds occasionally pushing a lock of her black tresses into Eragon's cheek. Arya remained motionless, not moving a muscle even as the night deepened and the moon had waxed and waned. Elves could have descended from rocks like the dwarves; they have the patience of a statue. Eragon had to stifle a small chuckle at his own quip.
Finally, he could not continue to cling to his impassiveness for hours on end. "What did you come for Arya?"
Eragon could see Arya wince at his tone out of the corner of his eye, though he could not fathom why. "You were not present at the festive that Orrin and Nasuada held in your honor, so I came looking for you," Arya said simply as if there were no other option.
Eragon felt a twinge of pleasure at the thought of Arya thinking of him, but he pushed the emotion down. There was nothing that could happen between them, she had said it herself at the Agaetí Blӧdhren. "Did you need something from me Arya svit-kona?"
Arya looked at him with a funny expression on her face. "You are my friend Eragon; I simply wished to talk to you."
"I take it the elves started singing and dancing in when the Empire was toppled?" Eragon asked, deciding to strike up the conversation Arya was seeking.
"Of course," Arya said shrugging her shoulders, "They can hardly contain their joy. I fear that the reputation of the elves will disintegrate if they celebrate much more."
"When will you return to Du Weldenvarden?" Eragon asked, referring to the elven nation as a whole.
"Soon, once everything is settled with Nasuada and her new government we will depart," Arya said nonchalantly.
Eragon fell into another silence after that, he did not know what else he could ask about. Eragon felt slightly awkward, he did not share a similar unifying goal with Arya anymore now that the Empire was overthrown.
Arya felt the tension that had formed between them and a soft edge appeared in her emerald eyes. "Is something wrong Eragon? You are not yourself of late and I worry for you."
Eragon smiled inwardly, Arya could wreak havoc with his emotions quite easily with a simple sentence. "I have no future anymore, nothing that I can work towards anymore," Eragon admitted.
"Nothing? You are a Dragon Rider, you can do whatever you wish," Arya replied, her green eyes meeting his brown ones.
"All I know how to do is to farm and to fight. There is nothing to fight for any longer and farming no longer appeals to me," Eragon said, holding her gaze without flinching.
"What about your friends and family? You still have them at least," Arya pressed, refusing to give up.
Eragon let out a low, dark chuckle, "Roran is too occupied with Katrina and raising a family, Nasuada is preparing to become the Queen and all of her time is spent forging alliances with nobles, and Orik will be returning to Tronjheim shortly to stay with his wife Hvedra and to rule the dwarves."
"What about Saphira? She will be with you until death and perhaps even past that," Arya asked quietly, pity seizing her flawless features.
"Aye, Saphira will be with me, but together we have nothing. There are no male dragons left in Alagaësia and I have neither family nor land. We have no home," Eragon answered, his voice going hoarse.
Her next question was even quieter, nearly a whisper. "And me? We will always be friends Eragon."
He glanced back at Arya, meeting her eyes, "Aye we will be friends, but you are returning to Ellesméra. It is the same thing as with the rest of my family and friends; we will have limited time to spend."
"So you are saying that our friendship will all but cease to exist?" Arya demanded, hurt quickly flashing over her features before she forced her facial muscles into an impassive mask.
Eragon chewed on his lip; he did not like to cause Arya any amount of pain. "We will still see each other, but not nearly as often. Of course unless you have a different idea?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.
She wore a thoughtful expression for a few moments before replying. "You could stay in your tree house in Ellesméra, you said you had no home and Queen Islanzadí would most certainly welcome you."
"Nay, the elves would welcome me certainly, but I don't belong with them," Eragon said, holding up his hand when Arya opened her mouth to interrupt. "Not to mention I dread to think of what would happen if I lingered in Ellesméra."
"What do you mean? What would happen?" Arya asked quizzically when Eragon lowered his obstructing hand.
Eragon sighed uncomfortably, eyes glued to his hands. "I fear I will lose control like I did at the Agaetí Blӧdhren," Eragon said ashamedly, turning his head away so Arya could not see his face.
An uncomfortable and tense silence developed between them, offsetting the calm settings of the Hadarac Desert. Their necks were tight and strained while their hands were planted rigidly on the rocks below them.
"I am sorry, I did not know," Arya said appearing slightly flustered.
"Don't be, it is no fault of yours that I cannot control myself. You were right when you said I was too young," Eragon said wistfully, wishing with all his heart things were different.
"Even so, I do not think your maturity will be a problem," Arya said dismissively.
"Then you have more trust in me than I do," Eragon said with a small smile.
"Why shouldn't I trust you? You are my dearest friend Eragon," Arya admitted, cheeks a little flushed.
Eragon felt the air rush out of him leaving him speechless. "Surely you have some elven friends who are closer and have known longer."
"Nay, I rarely make friends with others and it is even rarer if I confide in them," Arya replied. "I have always been an outcast. When I was growing up, I was always the out-of-reach princess and never made friends. When I was ambassador for the Varden, I was mysterious and out of my element. I was a stranger and none ever approached me."
Shame crept through Eragon; he had forgotten that he was not the only one who had no true home. "Then why did you befriend me?"
Arya allowed a small smile to decorate her lips. "It was not on purpose I assure you. But it started as duty, then friendship, and then…perhaps something else."
Eragon struggled futilely to silence his suddenly thundering heart. "Something else?" He asked trying to keep his burning curiosity out of his voice.
Arya slowly leaned towards Eragon; the air it seemed, became heavy and Eragon found himself unable to breathe despite the lightning quick beat of his heart. "Yes, something else. I did not understand the feeling for a long time. But now I do…" Arya's whispered as she closed the distance between them.
Eragon instinctually shut his eyelids as their faces were closer than ever and their lips joined. His arms wrapped around Arya's torso to bring her body towards him. He felt a light weight on his neck as Arya wrapped her arms around it and squeezed out any space between them.
Arya gently pushed Eragon onto his back and the couple rolled around on the earth, completely unaware of the possibility of falling off the crags overlooking the desert. All Eragon could feel was Arya's soft lips, glossy hair and soft body. His hands caressed her back, running up and down in erratic patterns. He ran her silky locks of hair through his fingers, smoothing out whatever knots had formed from the sandy gusts of wind.
The kiss lasted a blissful eternity and when it ended, Eragon could not see the dark, lonely lizards in the night of the Hadarac Desert. His eyes opened to gaze into the swirling, endless depths of her eyes, eyes that seemed to cut through the darkness of the night. She had ended up on top of Eragon and held him there, leaving him no way to untangle himself from their embrace, not that he would ever to.
Struggling to breathe in gulps of air and to talk at the same time, Eragon ended up coughed before he could find his voice. "What about what you said at the Agaetí Blӧdhren?" He managed to ask, barely able to mask his curiosity.
Arya graced him a beautiful smile that accentuated her already perfect countenance and Eragon could not remember anything that looked so glorious. "Excuses, we are both immortal, eighty years is miniscule in comparison. My feelings for you during the celebration were still unknown and unexplored," She said, looking at him with a strange gleam in her eyes. "I love you and I will be yours alone until you tire of me."
Eragon could feel his heart ready to burst; his elation at her words transcended all other feelings. He tilted his head up to capture her lips in his own again and she acquiesced to his desires. This kiss was slower and more passionate, but just as satisfying as their first kiss. He could feel her hand caressing his cheek as they moved and breathed in complete synchronization.
Eragon was the one who ended up being on top after they had rolled on the ground oblivious to the rest of the world. "I'll never let you go you know," Eragon said with a smile, "I love you and I can't live without you."
Arya merely smiled yet again and Eragon could not remember the last time she had looked so jubilant. "Good, I was not looking forward to returning to Ellesméra, now I have a reason not to," Arya replied, her eyes shining and bright.
Eragon looked up from his position on the crags and in the far, hazy distance, the first rays of sunlight were lighting up the east, bathing the soft sands of the desert in a pale, pink light. He returned his gaze back to Arya; his future was not so bleak he thought. He leaned down to kiss the love of his life again, willing the moment to last forever as the sun rose in the sky, covering the pair in a gentle light.
I hope you enjoyed this small one-shot. Just randomly thought of it and decided to type it up and post it.
Might be some more grammatical mistakes than I usually allow, I wrote it and edited it in two days, so I apologize.
Thanks for reading it, I appreciate all reviews :).