Title: so this is the new year
Day/Theme: December 11 :What shall I say from a heart that loves you?
Series: FE9/10 (AU)
Author's note: This is for Guety. Merry Christmas! (Also written partly as a pick~me~up for myself, but that doesn't count.)
Title comes from a Death Cab For Cutie Song.
The lights were dim here in the hallway. They flickered, giving the room a dreary atmosphere, more to match his mood. The thick doors closed behind him, and yet he could still hear them all. He could've sat by the gilded chair, rested against the table beside him with its golden bows, but he stood instead. She'd surely chosen the chair, and given the chance between something she preferred and discomfort, Soren would take the discomfort. Soren downed the last of his drink. His clock read almost midnight, and he was ready to make the trek back home, no matter how cold it was. He wasn't wearing winter boots, and there was a disgusting layer of dirty slush over the streets. He wondered, not for the first time, why he had let himself be roped into this in the first place. He could've feigned a headache and had a quiet night in. The day would pass on, just as ordinary and uncelebrated as it should have been. There was laughter in the next room, people talking about their own little foibles and pathetic lives. Exuberance for a new year.. Last he'd seen Elincia had pulled Ike to the dance floor, a little tipsy, while Geoffrey looked dismayed, and then hurt. Soren had simply turned around and flagged down another of those annoying waiters for more champagne. He'd taken two, and was almost through the first, seeking something to dull the rage twisting inside him. He was a lightweight, and didn't particularly care for blacking out in the gutter or vomiting up his insides, but he did not want to be able to think clearly at the moment, or remember Elincia looking up at Ike, her perfectly manicured hands entwined in Ike's on the dance floor.
He felt like breaking the glass in his hands when he had finished it. It would be entirely illogical, a waste and likely a cause of injury, but that was what feelings did to one. They brought forth the illogicalness in one. Love brought out the unfettered and unbound emotions, the ones he tried to pretend weren't there, hiding in his veins and waiting for the chance to betray him, New year's was a horrible holiday, anyways. Dressing up in finery for what? Another passing, another excuse to drink.
He lifted it up for another long sip when a voice interrupted him.
"Soren, step away from the whiskey," Ike said.
Soren looked at him, narrowing his eyes. He hadn't even heard the door open. Ike's shirt was coming loose, and his jacket was undone. Even th bow which Soren had tied before had come undone, surely by his own tugging, for that was Ike did whenever he had on a bow tie or tie. Soren scanned for telltale marks – hickeys, streaks of lipstick. A cursory glance revealed nothing, but that didn't mean anything in this lighting.
"It's champagne. Besides, aren't you busy dancing with her?"
"I stepped on her foot and she broke a heel. Last I heard she was getting a piggyback from Heather to get her foot bandaged."
"Hmm," Soren said. He considered the glass. Before he could make a move otherwise, Ike leaned in to sniff his breath.
"How much have you had already?"
"One glass," Soren said. "Not that it matters."
"It matters," Ike said. He lifted the glass from him and downed it in one gulp. He took the other empty glass too, and set it aside on the nearest table, with little golden bows.
Soren could hear a rising chant echoing from the other room. Ten!
"I don't see how that helped," Soren said, his tone had a sharper edge than he'd ever used towards Ike before.
"Because I care that you don't get a hangover?" Ike said.
"How nice of you to care," Soren said sarcastically. This was an unwarranted slight to Ike. Ike always had cared about him, just not in the way this traitorous side of him wanted. Really, he'd never speak a word without the wine loosening his tongue.
"What?" Ike frowned.
"Forget it. I'm having a bad day, I'm a little tipsy and I'm saying foolish things," Soren said. He already regretted voicing that embittered thought. It made him sound ungrateful, and he wasn't. If anything, he was eternally thankful for the simple fact that Ike existed at all, that the world wasn't entirely filled with selfish, uncaring individuals.
"But what are you trying to even say?" Ike said, looking at him that intense way that made Soren feel as if his soul was laid bare before him.
"I said forget it! D-don't...Don't make me say it, Ike," Soren said.
"Say what, Soren? What are you trying to tell me?"
Soren stepped back, and shook his head. "Go back there. Go dance with IElincia."/i
"No," Ike said. "I don't want to dance with Elincia. That's what I've been trying to tell you."
Happy New Year!
His question broke off into nothing as Ike's chapped lips met his. Soren was too stunned to fight, or even respond. He wondered if this whole night hadn't been a dream, a hallucination caused by lack of sleep or some allergic reaction. He reached out to rest his hand on Ike's chest, right against his white shirt. He certainly felt sturdy, and real. The nerve endings on his lips that tingled in almost what seemed gratitude that this long hidden fantasy was finally happening – if it was in fact happening.
It was quick, over in a blink, so much that the hypothesis that this was in fact, a hallucination seemed that much stronger. Ike's strong hands were at his back. He bit his lower lip and the pain was sudden and sharp, though no sudden change, no awakening came. Real. It was real. That didn't mean it meant anything.
"You're drunk," Soren said. He couldn't tell if the alcohol taste on his lips was from his own drinks, or Ike's, but he couldn't see any other reason why the...the... this had happened.
"Actually, you're closer to drunk than I am. I'm completely sober since I get to be the designated driver tonight," Ike said.
"...Then, why?" Soren said.
"Why did I kiss you? Because I wanted to," Ike said. "Ranulf said that was the whole point of the matter, and I couldn't think of another person that I'd want to spend New Year's Eve with. And isn't that how the tradition go? Or did I get it completely wrong again?"
"No...that's how it goes," Soren said. Ike's arms were still around him. He nestled in a little closer.
"She was just being friendly, you know," Ike said.
"Yes, too friendly," Soren said.
"We're not like that," Ike said. "Get a few drinks in her and she just becomes giggly and wants to dance with everyone."
"Hmm," Soren said, in a noncommittal manner, as if to say If you say so.
"So what's your New Year's resolution?" Ike asked.
Soren made a derisive noise. "You know I think such things are useless. It takes more than a banal holiday for people to change."
"Mine is to make this happen again," Ike said.
"Every New Year?" Soren asked.
"Then, and other days too. Once a year wouldn't be enough, I don't think."
"No, I don't think it would," Soren said. He still hadn't met Ike's gaze. He knew he was blushing, his mind racing trying to reason away this. It's a joke, it's a dream, it isn't real, it isn't happening—
Ike gently lifted his chin until their eyes met. He smiled, tender, and brushed his finger over Soren's cheek.
"How about every day for the rest of our lives? Multiple times, even."
"I'd...I'd like that," Soren said.
"Good. Me too. So, you want to ditch this place? I've never been one for parties," Ike said.
"Me either, obviously," Soren said.
They disentangled, but when Ike held out his hand, Soren took it. Their hands were intertwined, both chapped from the winter weather.
"By the way, Ranulf told me his New Year's resolution was to make me see the obvious. He then proceeded to do just that a few minutes early."
Soren thought he'd have to thank him. Perhaps by an impersonal thank you card wherein he wouldn't add any catty comments such as thank you for being helpful for once.
And after letting go just long enough to put on their winter attire, they walked out into the cold. And the streets didn't seem so muddy, the lights were beautiful for once, not noisome, and Soren felt a warm rush of something inside him. Like hope, but sweeter, so sweet that even his innate cynicism couldn't snuff out the feeling.
Ike always had that effect on him.