Title: The Birds And The Bees
Series: FE9
Character/pairing: Ike, Soren (preslashy)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Teenagers talking about sex."Do you ever wonder how they would do it?"
"Who? Doing what?" "How two guys would have sex." Preslashy Ike/Soren.
Author's note: For the other kink meme. The prompt was pretty much the summary up there. This takes place pre-series, and assumes that the time Soren studied with the other mercenary group in the beginning wasn't the first time.

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The sun was high in the clear sky, and the Mercenaries had taken their lunch. Soren had already drank his tea, and on Ike's prompting, taken some bread and cheese. The spicy soup wasn't to Soren's liking, but Ike had asked for seconds and thirds. Now they were seated side by side at the last copse of trees before it fanned out into a green meadow. Mist often came here to pick wild daisy chains that she'd wear as crowns and necklaces and stick in every pocket. She'd even tried to 'pretty' Soren up a few times, only to be received with glares. Ike and he spent most of their free time out here, past the fort, where Ike fought and lost against his father every day.

Soren was reading a tome he had taken with him when Ike had all but dragged him out of the library and to the training grounds. They were seated in the shade, leaning against a tree. Ike had been quieter than usual, but Soren did not think anything of it. He didn't seem troubled, merely ruminating something over in his mind. He kept his focus to his tome, until Ike spoke up.

"Do you ever wonder how they would do it?"

Soren turned a page in his tome and didn't look up. "Who? Doing what?"

"How two guys would have sex."

Soren coughed, choking on the saliva he had absently been swallowing. Ike patted him on his back.

"You okay?"

"I–I'm fine. What...what prompted this?"

Ike shrugged. "I saw a pair of guys at a bar when I was finding Shinon and Gatrie...I told father, and he said it was something that just happened, and that I shouldn't treat them any differently."

"Your father...is a great deal more merciful than most," Soren said.

The teachings of the goddess didn't condemn relationships between the same gender, but neither did they condone it. How tolerant one was often was simply a matter of terrain. Soren had read that it was far more acceptable in the courts of Sienne and Melior, but amongst the lower populace of Daein, Begnion and Crimea, the prejudice still stood.

Ike had never gone through the phase where he was interested in women, much to Soren's relief. He showed utter indifference to country lasses who would flutter their eyelashes at him, and girls in low-cut gowns never caught his eye.

"How exactly would it go, though?" Ike persisted.

"You've heard about how men and women copulate, I presume?"

"Yeah. Birds and bees, got it," Ike said.

Soren took a deep breath and tried to steady himself, and take this as calmly as possible.

"Well...according to the books I studied during the last time I was at the capitol, intercourse between two males would go a number of ways: oral stimulation of the genitals; friction of the genitals; intercrural. sex–that's between the thighs. It was popular in ancient cultures before us..."

"And?" Ike asked.

"Stretching and lubrication of the anus for penetration by the erect member," Soren said.

That sat in silence for a moment, both seeming to absorb this.

"Really? There?" Ike asked.

"Yes, there," Soren said. He kept his gaze ahead. His cheeks were even a little flushed at the thought.

"Wouldn't that hurt?" Ike asked.

"I'd suppose," Soren said.

"Huh. Wow, you really do know everything," Ike said.

Soren snorted. "I thought I should give myself a primer of Beorc sexuality and do it by the book. I just happened to remember that chapter," he said.

It wasn't difficult to remember a chapter he'd all but memorized in his last few trips there. One which he had refreshed with constant thoughts, wishes and dreams.

"Do you ever wonder what it'd feel like?" Ike asked. He gave Soren a searching look.

Soren fell silent at this. He didn't wonder; he fantasized. Every night when he saw to his needs, thinking of the movements of Ike's body as he practiced, the musculature of his arms and back as he swung the sword; Ike naked and unashamed inviting Soren to come bathe with him like old times, having no clue of the sorts of things he'd thought of.

"...It's getting late. I should go attend to things," Soren said. He rose and refused to meet Ike's gaze.

"Wait...have you done it?" Ike asked. Ike reached out and gripped Soren's hand, and refused to let Soren leave.

"What?" Soren said.

"That guy...the one mercenary kept looking at you. He didn't hurt you, did he? Or try and make a move—Because if he did—"

"He did nothing," Soren said with irritation. He stared to the point of contact. He thought his skin would already be starting to bruise. Ike often forgot his own strength, especially in respect to Soren's own fragility. His gloves were off, and Ike's thumb was to Soren's own pulse point, which now was certainly detectably quickening. The heat was seeping into his skin.

"I'd fight him if he tried anything. Or looked at you like that again," Ike said. He looked up at the blue, cloudless sky. "I don't know if I'd win, but I'd fight for your honor nonetheless."

"You know what I think of honor, Ike. It's outdated and something which I certainly haven't got any of...but thank you, Ike..."

"Yeah, I know. I'd fight for it anyways," Ike said, giving Soren a lopsided half-smile. "I've always got your back, you know that, right?"

"Yes, Ike..." Soren said softly. "And I will do everything within my power to repay that and keep your flanks safe as well..."

"So...you've never been kissed, huh?" Ike said. His voice had almost a playful lilt to it.

"I know for a fact that you haven't been either," Soren said.

"I might have–you don't watch me every minute," Ike said.

Soren's brow twitched. "But you haven't."

Ike chuckled. "You know me too well. No, I haven't. You seemed a little angry there for a moment, though..."

Soren smoothed off nonexistent dust from his robes. "That's because you were saying ridiculous things. Honestly, I've only studied sexuality; even your sister has a better grasp, given she's been kissed twice and I not even once."

"Wait, what?" Ike said.

"Boyd was teasing her about last winter holidays with herbs and stole kisses to make her mad. She gave him a bruise that lasted about until new year's."

Ike clenched his fist. "I am going to waste him in training today. I'll show him what a bruise is," Ike said.

"You do that," Soren said. "Hit him extra hard for me, while you're busy protecting her honor. He knocked off my entire stack of books today while he was barreling through."

"Got it. Anyone else you want me to maim or torture while I'm at it?" Ike said.

"None at the moment, but I'll keep you posted," Soren said dryly.

Ike mock saluted and made his way for the fort. Soren watched him, before shaking his head and returning to his book. He read the same paragraph again and again, and nothing sank in.

It'd almost been as if they'd been...flirting, as if Ike had been jealous.

No, he wouldn't let himself think those thoughts. Ike had been looking out for his well-being, and nothing more. He wouldn't let hope settle there, allowing him to believe in things that would never come to pass.

He gathered up his tome and began to walk up to the fort. He could organize something, at least. Perhaps not ledgers in such a distracted state, but he could tidy the rest of the things Boyd had disturbed at the very least.

Ike was walking with Boyd down the far path. For a moment, Ike glanced his way and waved. Soren returned the gesture, even if it was more stiffly raising his hand and slightly moving it than anything else. His heart beat faster at that stupid grin, that glance, that wave–he was hopeless, utterly hopeless.

He clutched the tome and held it to his chest as he walked to the fort. And it wasn't chores or irritation or the history of Tellius that he saw, but only the memory of Ike.

Just as always.