Title: Keeping The Passion Alive
Series: FE9
Character/Pairing: Oscar/Kieran, bit of Ike/Soren
Rating: PG-13
Author's notes: kink meme: Kieran's supposed passionate rivalry with oscar is actually covering for a different sort of passion + M's birthday prompt: ... wherein Kieran is so obsessed with Oscar continually besting him that he's even bested by Oscar attempts not to flirt and mistakes them for flirting and SUCCUMBS TO THE CHARMS. that are not even there.

Timeline is post FE9 but pre FE10. (If a character who left in that time appears, assume that they either 1. Haven't left yet 2. Were visiting.)

.

Oscar had not been able to spar with him for a whole week now. For a whole week, seven days his rival had spurned him to be with the hussy that was kitchen work. He could just see him there, peeling potatoes and telling them he'd never leave them and that he loved them. Loved them more than he loved Kieran and his pure and manly rivalry.

Those tarts of potatoes! He wouldn't let them win over his rival! Homewreckers that they were, interrupting his ultimate quest of destiny to fight bears and win over his storied rival!

He could not let this stand!

He burst into camp, nearly knocking Soren over in the process. Ike caught Soren before he had stumbled too far, because knowing those two, where you'd find one, you'd find the other.

"You ok?" Ike said.

"I'm fine, Ike," Soren said. He sent a glare towards Kieran, though less than usual, given that Ike had his arm about his waist and that usually kept him in a less rage-filled nearing homicidal mood.

Mia jumped out of the way, while Rhys just sighed and readied his heal staff.

"And I already broke three this week from overuse..." Rhys said.

"Yeah, but half of those were from me," Mia said.
He veered around Mist and Rolf, who were coming in with baskets of newly picked berries, and nearly knocked them over in the process.

"There you are, my dastardly rival!"

"Oh, hello Kieran," Oscar said.

"Obviously you think I didn't notice how your attentions have wavered..." Kieran began, his voice a low rumble.

"Uh, what is it this time?" Oscar said.

"There you are, cooking away possibly in some frilly pink apron! I won't stand for it!" Kieran bellowed.

"...you'd prefer Mist do the cooking?" Oscar said.

"No! I, Kieran, slayer of beasts and Crimean Knight shall surpass you in cooking!"

He lifted his axe for emphasis, nearly cutting Shinon in the process.

"Watch where you're pointing that, you shit for brains," he said. He'd have said more choice words, but he was nursing a hangover.

"...this can't end well," Ike said.

Soren glared the way he usually reserved for attractive women who gathered around Ike, and small rambunctious children who liked to hang off of Ike, or in general at anyone who got within ten feet of Ike.

"Any damage he does is coming out of your pay. This includes inedible food," Soren said.

Ike still had his arm about Soren's waist from where he had righted him, and Soren made no move to brush him away.

Oscar's smile didn't waver, though it did seem a bit forced. "Ah well, I suppose I should give him lessons before he burns down the compound..."

"That's a bit harsh on them, Soren," Ike said.

"They need to learn these things, Ike. Otherwise we will go bankrupt. They need boundaries."

"Can't we put them in a corner or make them peel potatoes or something?" Ike said.

"Kieran would break the corner, even if it was made of stone. We've been through this before, and if you remember," Soren said. "Luckily at that time it was only an abandoned fort we'd discovered and not our home. And giving Kieran something sharp is hardly the best course of action and I cannot recommend it."

"Whatever, you're the boss," Ike said with a quirky half smile.

Soren sighed, on hand on his hip and shook his head. Anyone else would've gotten a lecture, but as it was Ike, he settled for mild affectionate exasperation.

"In finances, I suppose, though the final word is yours," Soren said. "As it is, we're late for the meeting with our clients."

"Right on it, boss," Ike said.

Soren just shook his head.

.

Needless to say, it did not go well.

"I DO NOT NEED LESSONS. ALL THIS NEEDS IS MORE SALT. SALT LIKE THE EARTH OF OUR RIVALRY THAT YOU SALTED WHEN YOU LEFT. SALT LIKE THE SALT FROM MY EYES – THE ONE THAT DIDN'T SURELY HAPPEN BECAUSE I AM A CRIMEAN KNIGHT AND CRIMEAN KNIGHTS DON'T—"

Oscar sighed. "Let's take five, all right?"

Kieran was panting, ready for another declaration, this one possibly on the Pure True Love That Was Their Rivalry That Oscar Destroyed By Leaving (And That Only Wrestling In The Mud Would Fix.)

There was enough salt in the stew to kill a thousand slugs. Oscar was trying to think of a way to dilute and finding nothing. He could just see Soren's angry glare of death in his mind, and it wasn't helping the headache. In his sweeping gestures, Kieran had broken some bottles of spice, and he'd burned the first attempt at stew when insisting that a 'True Crimean Knight would use a much brighter flame.'

He'd even tracked down Tormod while Oscar had gone to get something for only a second, and nearly burned down the whole kitchen in the process.

"Five? Five? I cannot take one lesson from you! No! You are my rival! I must surpass you on your own turf! Maybe then you will stop with those homewrecking potatoes!"

"What now?" Oscar said.

"Our rivalry! Our rivalry that you seem to have forgotten so! If I must take to the kitchens and fight those potatoes in frilly aprons, then I will!"

"Uh," Oscar said.

"Why do you never want to talk about our rivalry? Proper rivalries require discussion! And taunts! Also sharp pointy things and the fighting of bears. Why do we never fight bear together anymore? We must keep the passion alive! If we had, then you wouldn't be straying!"

Oscar's mind tried to translate the Kieranese, and it was a most difficult language, even if he was the only one on the compound who really got Kieran and his foibles.

"So, you're saying you missed me and want to spend more time together?"

"Nay! I never miss you, you dastard of a rival! Not when you run off an leave me and the Crimean Knights, and then again for spatulas and stew!"

"Uh, right... how about this...you leave the cooking to me, and I take longer lunch breaks so we can er, talk about our rivalry?"

Kieran's eyes narrowed. "And leave you alone with your potato ladylove? Never!"

"If it's such an issue, I'll make Boyd and Rolf peel potatoes," Oscar said. " Besides, you won't have as much time to practice and sharpen your ax if you're here."

Also, he'd be broke and possibly kicked out by Soren before the week was out.

Kieran seemed placated by this. "All right. I accept these terms, but soon, it will be you accepting the terms of your idefeat!/I"

Kieran lifted his axe in salute, and Oscar stepped just enough out of range to not be gored.

"See you later, Kieran."

"No, it will be I who is seeing you later on the battlefield!"

Kieran swept out, all bluster and passion and Oscar shook his head and looked at the mess Kieran had left behind in his wake.

Well, it could have gone worse. He got back to work, and hummed a tune off-kilter. A charred remnant of what was once the pot fell away. He really hoped that Soren was in a relatively good mood when he found out, or at least that Ike was near, otherwise fighting bears would be preferable to his fate.

But then, with Kieran he always got into these sorts of situations.

At least he'd never be bored, Oscar thought with a smile.