Title: Never Let You Go
Series: FE10
Character/pairing: Ike/Soren
Rating: PG
Author's note: started for a prompt at the kink meme which had a smut-free story where Soren without an A support tries to convince Ike to take him along. It turned more into A-support Soren being insecure, however.

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Ike had the plans of packing in the back of his mind as he woke. Only faintly, however, for it would still be some time yet, and Ike didn't spend large amounts of time planning every future move. That was Soren's thing. When they played Chess, Soren would plan three moves ahead. Ike always was stuck at the present move, unable to see the future consequences.

He found Soren waiting for him in the hallway. Soren shifted nervously from foot to foot, obviously in a high state of agitation already.

Ike wondered who he'd have to scold this time for getting Soren in such a state. Most likely, it'd be Soren himself Ike would have to admonish, comfort and nudge back towards calmness, but every once in a while Shinon would go to far, or someone else outside the mercenary troupe would get him started.

"Oh, good morning, Soren," Ike said.

"I had some things to discuss with you, if I may?" Soren said.

"Go ahead, I'm in no hurry," Ike said.

Soren cleared his throat. "I have a proposal to make. I believe that I would be the most useful companion on your coming journey. Despite lacking in physical strength, I am adept at magic, healing with staves, tactics and the general needs of being a process. I have approximately four year's experience in war, and most of my life's experience in handling the affairs of a staff officer for a mercenary group. Unlike Mia, I would not go running after the first man with a big sword I find, and I believe, have proved my loyalty a significant number of times."

Soren took a breath, a beat and continued. "I may not be the most pleasant person to travel with, but you have never voiced complaints against my acerbic personality, which as everyone in the group can agree has evened out in time. Perhaps Ranulf would be more pleasant, however—" Admitting this made Soren look as if he had a bad taste in his mouth. "I believe myself to be more useful overall. Furthermore we both know of your deficiencies when it comes to maps—"

"Soren," Ike said.

"...Yes, Ike?"

"Of course I'm bringing you along. There was never a question of not bringing you along," Ike said. "I know all this about you already, considering I've lived with you for most of my life."

Soren cleared his throat. "Well. I... I was just making sure. You didn't mention this to me, so I was covering every base."

"I didn't mention because I'm not leaving until after the wedding, and Mist roped you into helping her plan it. You know she'd never forgive me if I wasn't there," Ike said.

"Of course," Soren said. "I..." Soren was at a loss for words. He shook his head. "It's just..."

"It's okay, Soren. I'd never leave you behind," Ike said.

He reached out, and rested his hand on Soren's slim shoulder. "Really. What's got into you?" Ike said in a softer tone. "You haven't been like this in a long time."

Soren shook his head. "A foolish thought, nothing more."

"Don't worry. When I go, you'll be the first to know," Ike said.

"I will be packed, ready and waiting," Soren said.

"Good," Ike said.

Soren nodded, less agitated than before. Soren murmured something about things to be done and made his way to go. Ike had never had a way with words. He was always putting his foot in his mouth or offending someone or another. He wasn't poetic, but if he had something to say, he said it.

"Hey, Soren..." Ike began.

Soren turned. He hadn't quite rounded the corner yet.

"Yes, Ike?"

"You don't have to wonder if I need you, because the answer is always going to be yes," Ike said. "I just thought you should know."

Soren exhaled, seeming speechless for the moment.

"Me too," Soren said softly. "I'll always..." He cleared his throat, seeming to stumble on words. For all Soren's blunt ways, he could have a hard time explaining himself. "...need you."

Ike smiled. "Be sure to pack lots of maps, okay?"

"I will," Soren said.

He turned and left then. Ike stood in the hallway, wondering what exactly else he was supposed to be doing. It was like having a word on the tip of his tongue he couldn't quite remember. He knew there was something...

"Hey, Soren—" Ike called out.

"You were supposed to go to the mess hall to help pick cake recipes with your sister today," Soren said, cutting in before Ike could even finish the question.

"Thanks," Ike called back. Soren didn't reply. Ike chuckled to himself, and began to set out towards the mess hall.

It was to himself that he said the other words, too quietly for Soren to hear wherever in the fort he'd gone to, for whatever filing, packing or other thing he'd set himself to accomplish that day.

"What would I do without you?"