Disclaimer: I own nothing! It all belongs to Christopher Paolini.

He's unsure as to how they arrived in this position, but at the moment he couldn't really bother to remember.

No, instead he's focused on how he has her hands pinned to the wall of the tree house with one of his, the other at her back, pulling her closer. He's focused on how she's leaning into him, moaning once every few seconds as his lips trail over hers. Their mouths are open against the others, and despite her constant attempts at saying No to him he's suddenly got her here, kissing him back in the privacy of his Elvin home.

She's strong enough to break his grip, and he knows this. It's the fact that she hasn't even tried, instead allowing this to happen, that he finds so sickly fascinating. He loves it how she hasn't protested once, not even when he reached out to her through his mind, instead grasping onto him tighter as his own pleasure washed over her as well.

She moans again and he presses further against her, lips breaking from hers as he trails them down her neck. She shudders and gasps, breathing raggedly. Her eyes flutter open, taking in the scene around her. Her vision is blurred, her brain muddled, and the only thing she sees are fuzzy walls and dark hair.

He nips her neck and her eyes slip shut once more, lips meeting his in a hurried frenzy. And unlike him she remembers exactly how this happened, how she'd let herself slip, how he'd asked in a simple way why.

We've waited too long, she thinks, thought forming and disappearing quickly as his teeth drag over her bottom lip. When he releases her lips once more she breathes as quickly as she can, trying to clear her mind while trying to remember what led to this moment.

The image washes over her.

They sat across from each other, staring at the maps they'd both seen too many times. The lines that mark paths and the curves that mark turns are all seared into their minds, to the point where if either one feels insecure about one section the other could provide the answer.

"There's no way around this block, is there?" His voice is sudden against the quiet atmosphere, and she startles just a bit, hand flinching across the map. She glances up at the look on his face, dejected and worn. He leans back in his chair and closes his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. When she doesn't respond he lets out a low breath of frustration.

She shakes her head and keeps her eyes trained on the map, running through the paths she grew up with. She should know which paths were usable, which paths were the easiest to maneuver, and yet here she is, forgetting the bends she had memorized for years.

Finally she shoves the maps away and whispers, "We've been at this far too long." A grunt of agreement comes from the chair adjacent to her. She looks him over, how frustrated he is, how tense his shoulders lie, and she sighs. Standing, she rolls her shoulders back, hands lifting above her head, and she groans as the muscles stretch. Her arms fall back to her sides, and she's left staring at the unmoving figure of the Rider before her.

"You should get some sleep."

His eyes snap open and glance up at her. His hand falls from his face and he sucks in one breath. Then he stands, the chair creaking as it releases his weight. He saunters past her, to the door, and holds it open as she watches him. "You're not coming with me?" she asks. Immediately she regrets it, shutting her mouth, her mental defenses slamming into place.

He blinks once, and asks in return, "Do you want me to?"

She doesn't answer, instead walking towards the door. She makes the mistake of stopping and turning, and manages to find herself just inches from him. His eyes stare her down, dark brown against brilliant green. Her mouth opens a bit, just enough to suck in one last breath before she stops breathing altogether.

Don't look down, she tells herself. And yet she can't follow her own simple order. Her eyes slip down and land on his lips, and she feels it happen the same moment he does. The door closes behind her, his hands are suddenly on her waist, the lights have all but gone out, and she's being steered to the wall.

One of his hands comes loose and grasps onto her wrists, lifting her arms and pinning them against the wood. His lips come down hard on hers and she does nothing to stop him. If anything, she encourages him, opening her mouth against his and letting out a low moan as his arm tightens around her waist.

He pulls his lips back once and murmurs, "Why?"

He doesn't give her a chance to answer before sliding his mouth over hers once more.

His lips trailing down her throat once more bring her back from the memory, and she realizes with a start what it is that they're doing, trying to convince herself to break away from him before she actually does. He kisses her again, once on her lips, then her forehead, and his hips press into hers, causing a slight yelp to exit from her lips.

Her eyes rolls back into her head and the idea of stopping while they're ahead reacquaints itself with her thought process and she tugs her hands gently. "Eragon," she mumbles around his lips. His only response is to press tighter, squeeze tighter, and kiss harder.

Talking has become rather difficult at this point, and she gives a moan as he tricks her into kissing him again. The barrier around her mind melts a little more, and she uses the temporary lapse to connect their minds. Eragon, she thinks. She tugs on her hands again, half heartedly trying to break the grip.

Eragon, Eragon, STOP!

With that her hands are pulled free from his grip, and land on his chest. She pushes against him, sending him back multiple steps. She leans against the wall behind her, allowing her breathing to slow, watching him fight off the haze they'd both been thrown into.

"Arya…" he whispers after several moments. Her lips are parted and swollen. He slips into the chair that was discarded earlier, hands tangling themselves into his hair. "I'm sorry," comes a choked voice. "I'm so sorry."

She feels confusion leak through the bond between their minds. She severs the connection too late, feeling that he noticed it, and she slides to the floor. Her legs come up to curl at her chest. She can't hide herself any longer. No, now she's gone and done everything she promised herself she wouldn't, and she can't pretend she hasn't.

"Why are you sorry?" she whispers in return, justifying her confusion. Her eyes stay on her hands, locked onto her knees. She refuses to look at him. If she looks, she'll shatter, breaking what little is left of her resolve. She's been fighting this for what seems like nearly forever, and now she's had a taste of what it's like to be near him in more ways than one.

Her resolve crumbles little by little as she replays the pleasure and sense of right that overcame her moments ago. Her resolve crumbles even more when he responds her question with, "I took advantage. I shouldn't have. I'm sorry."

Her breath comes in shuddering then, and she looks up at the ceiling, blinking as she does it so her eyes don't trail over him. "I should go," she says, but she makes no move to stand and head once again for the door. Instead she simply stays where she is, hands gripping her knees, head tilted up.

"…we can't pretend this never happened, Arya." His voice cracks. She hears it in his voice, how badly this is going to break him if she pretends that it is possible to ignore what had just occurred. Why can't we pretend, she laments to herself. He would never have to worry about me – to lose himself in battle in my distraction – if we could just pretend.

But he has a point, and she knows it. She can never pretend now. She could never pretend prior. All she was doing was keeping them from each other, but the reasons are so secure she still believes in them. "You're right," she whispers back. "We can't pretend this never happened."

She looks at him then, at the same moment he looks at her. "Then what can we do?" he questions. His eyes and tone are desperate. He's clinging for something to hold onto, to build up on, and he knows she has exactly what he's looking for: A chance.

"We can hope," she answers. She pushes herself to her feet and walks to stand in front of him, grasping onto one hand. His fingers intertwine with hers, squeezing her hand as if she was his lifeline. "We can wait," she continues, "and we can fight."

He stands, keeping her hand in his, and bends to place a kiss on her forehead. "Then I will hope, wait, and fight, if that's what it takes to be with you."

She nods once and presses a feather light kiss to his lips, pulling away and releasing his hand. She leaves him standing there, aware of the possibilities, aware of what it's going to take to lead this life without fear one day, aware of what she feels in return for him.

Thank you, she hears, brushed against her mind. Thank you for no longer pretending.

AN: Well then.

It took two damn days to write. It took three endings to finish it with (and I'm still not completely satisfied). But at least it's finished and it's up before the release of Inheritance (which is on Tuesday).

I felt there needed to be more Eragon/Arya fluff out there because there's a lack of Eragon/Arya fluff out there. You can't tell me there isn't. Both here and on DeviantArt there's a lack and that is totally heartbreaking.

So with my love for Eragon and Arya established I think I'll go back to spazzing over Tuesday and you can't stop me.