The Rebirth of the Riders

By: Light-Eco-Sage

Rated: Mature for romance/sexuality (Eragon/Arya) and some violence

Summary: Eragon travels to the east in order to raise the next generation of dragons with Saphira while Arya returns to Ellesméra to rule her people alongside her own dragon, Fírnen. But fate is not willing to let these two part ways so easily.

Disclaimer: The Inheritance Cycle is owned by Christopher Paolini.

Spoilers: MAJOR spoilers for the ending of Inheritance!

LES: Well, I normally never write fanfiction for a story until it has finished, and it holds true now more than ever. But when I finished reading the story just a few moments ago, I knew that fanfiction needed to be written about it, beyond the ending. Of course, I'll completely preserve the ending of the book. Eragon parts ways with Alagaësia and everything and everyone that he knows and loves, save for Saphira and a small group of elves. Arya becomes the Queen of the Elves and a Dragon Rider.

Chapter I: Separation

"Just until the first bend in the river." Eragon had asked her. Any other time, she would have said that he'd begged it of her, but she could not blame his reluctance to allow her to go. Arya was just as desperate to stay, though she knew that she could not turn her back on her people now that she had the burden of leading them.

It was the look on his face that really convinced her to link her arm with his and board the ship with him. They both glanced back at the shore to the single man that they had left behind. Of course, Roran was not tempted to join Eragon on his journey. He had a wife and a daughter waiting for him back in Alagaësia and nothing short of death would separate them again. But that did not mean that the young father's heart ached as he watched his cousin board a ship to leave and, for all intents and purposes, never return. Eragon represented the last part of his old life and the only one of his blood besides his daughter. Though Murtagh shared blood with them, Roran was still reluctant to include him even after the other Rider had betrayed Galbatorix and helped Eragon destroy the King for good.

As the ship drifted from the shore and left towards the east to parts unknown, Roran let out a long and aching cry which seemed to vibrate in Eragon's soul. His premonition had, at long last, come true. He looked up into the sky at where Saphira and Fírnen flocked around each other.

It broke his heart to see and feel the two dragons giving each other their good-byes. Despite Saphira assuring him that dragons did not mate for life, he knew that it was still tearing at her heart to be parted from her mate so soon after meeting him. Dragon mates usually had a longer time together than she and Fírnen had.

At his side, Arya also gazed up at the two dragons, feeling Fírnen's thoughts and feelings just as he could feel Saphira's. "Their hearts break." She spoke softly.

Eragon didn't reply, but then again, it was not necessary between them. His heart was breaking too. Everything that Angela predicted had come true. He did fall in love with a noblewoman, and Eragon knew that his love would outlast Empires. It had and it will. But Angela had warned him that she did not know if the passion would end for good or for ill. With their separation, it would end for ill, but he could not regret it. He had never regretted loving Arya even when his passion almost drove them apart permanently.

Arya met his eyes. Things had certainly changed between the two of them on the fateful day that she revealed to him that Fírnen had hatched for her. That was the day that Saphira and Fírnen became mates. That was the day that she and Eragon had exchanged their true names, each praying that the other would accept them for who they truly were, flaws and all. There were flaws in both of their names and things to be ashamed of, but Eragon had accepted her flaws instantly and she had for him. And after that, while Fírnen and Saphira frolicked together…

Arya shut down the thought before she could sink into the memories. It was all too hard for her to remember. Not because she was ashamed of what she and Eragon had done while under the influence of their own and their dragon's passions; but because the thought of being separated from him caused her a great deal of grief. She would never again be ashamed of how she felt about him. What she said to him that day was true… he no longer was a child in any sense of the word. The number of his years was still small compared to hers, but his true name showed her how much he had grown from the boy that she first met long ago.

Eragon's eyes dropped slightly as the bend in the river neared. "Arya, I…" He began, but the she-elf silenced him by pressing her fingers to his lips. His eyes met hers as he watched her expectantly.

"Farewell, Eragon Shadeslayer, son of Brom." Arya finished by calling him by his true name softly so that none of the other elves on the ship would hear it. The others were not even trying to overhear, for they respected Eragon and their Queen much more than that.

Eragon smiled, if a bit grimly, pleased that she had not called him Kingkiller as many had begun to do upon his defeat of Galbatorix. It was a title that he did not enjoy, mainly because Galbatorix had destroyed himself in the end. Sure, he admitted that he cast the wordless spell that allowed Galbatorix to feel every pain from every creature in the whole of Alagaësia that he had caused from the moment of his birth, thus driving him mad; but it was Galbatorix who uttered the words that killed him. "Be not." And thus did Galbatorix wish himself out of existence.

"Farewell, Arya Shadeslayer, daughter of Islanzadí." Eragon also finished by speaking her true name. But before they would have more than a moment, Arya stepped back, raised her arms, and was scooped away from him by Fírnen. Eragon watched as the green dragon flew away with her, tears filling his eyes. I did not help his mood that Saphira was just as upset about their departure as he was. He did not know how long he stood up on the deck of the ship, crying, but he did until he ran out of tears.

As his tears ran out, he started to feel a little better. He turned to face the watching, solemn elves, including his good friend Blödhgarm and gave them a weak smile. No matter the pain he felt, he had a job to do now. He would devote his life to the care of the remaining Eldunarí, both the ones he had found in the Vault of Souls and the half-mad ones that they recovered from Galbatorix and to the dragon eggs left on board with them.

He felt a parental surge of protection over the young dragons in their eggs. It was for them that he was leaving Alagaësia for good, and if his departure could bring the dragons back to their land, then he would suffer anything for them.

Silently, Saphira glided down on the wind until she was able to glide along just above the ship. She drew close enough to establish enough contact with her Rider to speak to him. Eragon?

Yes, Saphira?

Do you think Fírnen will know that I carry his clutch?

Eragon did not respond for several seconds. Of course, he knew that Saphira and Fírnen were mates but the possibility of Saphira becoming a mother did not really occur to him. He had spent so long thinking that dragon-kind could not be saved that, even now that he knew it was possible, it hadn't seemed real.

I'm sure that he knows. Eragon told her, flooding her mind with his pride and affection. I couldn't be prouder of you, my love.

Saphira acknowledged his affection, but otherwise did not respond. Her grief was still too close to her heart.

Flying in the opposite direction, two more hearts were breaking. Part of Arya longed to hear Fírnen's deep voice in her mind. She wanted the comfort that only a dragon and a Rider could give one another. But Fírnen had no comfort to offer to her, just as she had none for him.

Instead, she leaned forward in her saddle, stroking the scales on his neck as he landed to pick up Roran. She and Eragon's cousin did not speak as he climbed up Fírnen's side and took a place in the saddle behind her. They took off in equal silence, heading back toward Du Weldenvarden, where Roran's wife and daughter waited for him so they could make their journey back to Carvahall together.

After flying in silence for some time, Roran finally gained the courage to speak. "You and Eragon… you loved him, didn't you?"

Arya did not reply to his question for a few short moments. Denials almost jumped to her lips out of sheer habit, but then she swallowed her first response and gave the honest one. "I do." She said quietly, and left it at that. Roran, sensing that she didn't want to talk about it anymore, fell tactfully silent. Soon, the only sound that could be heard was the sound of Fírnen's mournful moans.

LES: Well... that's the first chapter. As of right now, I'm planning to post the second chapter on Monday, on my birthday. But I thought I'd post this first chapter right now. Strike while the iron's hot, and all that...

Everything in this chapter happened in the book, except for the hints that something more happened between Eragon and Arya after their true name exchange, Eragon's conversation with Saphira, and the whole bit with Arya at the end. Those are important to my story.