Author's note: Any/any - sad mouths can have smiles kissed into them. (n)
It's my prompt, so it's a birthday present for starlitlady.
Ike was still pulling on his boots, barely past the fogginess of just waking up, when he realized he was probably really, really, really late. Ike had overslept again, though he was pretty sure Soren was just letting him do so. Boyd or Shinon might complain about being up earlier than their leader, but a few glares had silenced that pretty quickly. From the brightness of the day, it had to be noon, at least, if not later. Ike stretched and made his way down the hall to the refurbished library where Soren did his work.
He rounded the corner, with the familiar stones, the familiar feel under his boots. The scent of smoke hadn't quite left it, there was an air of disrepair that the months they'd settled in hadn't completely fixed, but it was slowly turning back into something like the old home he had once known. The old nests were removed from the chimneys, the cracking mortar replaced.
Funny, back then he hadn't realized just how small the old fort was. It took an adult's eyes just to see how small and inconsequential this little fort and group could be. And he would choose it all over again if he had the chance.
Ike didn't bother to knock, he barely ever did remember to knock. And while he was always forgetting simple politeness–a cause of much aggravation during the time in Melior–this wasn't quite the reason. Once, with his hair black hair spread over the pillow, Soren had said you couldn't ever inconvenience me or bother me, so don't bother with such things.
So he didn't.
Soren's brow was furrowed as he stared down at the ledger. It was an all too common occurrence these days. While Soren had traded in a lot of his insecurities and fears in, new ones had taken their place. The last month they'd had to help find lost cattle and helped move barrels to make their monthly allotment. The old adage of Peace was good for everything but a soldier's coin purse was all too true. He wouldn't wish the war back in a moment if that would make them lords and rich again, but it took some getting used to barely getting by and having little to do but escorting merchants and finding errant livestock.
While usually pretty alert, Soren didn't even look up from his calculations. He looked as if he was trying to make the numbers fit, except that the expenses and budget hadn't gotten the message that not obeying Soren's serious glare was a hazard to their health.
Instead of calling his name, Ike bent down and kissed him. The quill dropped from Soren's hand, and he reached up to grip Ike's tunic, twisting the material in his grip. Ike was a bit surprised how enthusiastic Soren was to set aside his task, but not about how enthusiastic he was at returning the kiss. He tasted bitter, faintly of tea.
"You looked like you could use a break...and a smile," Ike said.
Soren did smile just a little despite himself.
"How goes it?" Ike said.
"Well, it depends," Soren said wryly. "Do you want to give up a meal a day or armor expenses for the month?"
"Well, considering the biggest threat of last month was Bessie the surprisingly angry cow, I think we can spare armor for one month," Ike said.
"According to Boyd, she was quite fearsome," Soren said.
Ike snorted. He leaned up against the desk where he wasn't quite messing up Soren's papers.
"So, debriefing?" Ike said.
"Nothing to say. Not even regarding bovines," Soren said. He looked back down at the paper. His expression hardened again, and he picked up the quill with a grim determination.
"We'll make it," Ike said. "We always do."
Soren sighed and set aside the quill again.
"If you do that again...I'll consider my payment taken care of for the next month," Soren said. His gaze was still on the paper, and Ike noticed a faint flush to his cheeks.
"That?" Ike said.
Soren drew his gaze away from the papers, and to him again. There was pure determination in his eyes, now. Soren reached out and pulled at his tunic. He wasn't exactly big enough to jerk Ike down to where he wanted him, but Ike definitely got the message this time. Ike knelt on the floor, his arms about Soren's slim waist as their lips met again. It was more than a brief good morning kiss, Soren's lips were soft and pliant and willing, oh so willing against his.
And then without and warning, he pulled away, and reached for a paper on the desk.
"...What are you doing, Soren?"
"I'm about to draw up the contract," Soren said.
"Is that really necessary? Couldn't it be done with that word thing?" Ike said.
"...You mean a binding oral contract?" Soren said.
"That sounds good. I'm all for that," Ike said, his mind already losing focus and going back to rather pleasant memories of the night before. The memory of Soren's lips, very swollen, a bruise formed right under the collar of his neck...
"Are you sure? Oral contacts can be quite unequal if one party decides to say, insert details, it could be hard to contest the original agreement," Soren said.
"I trust you not to take advantage of me, Soren. At least, not in any way I wouldn't want to be taken advantage of," Ike said.
This brought another smile. And Ike kissed him again, the paper falling to the floor, this time not for any contract, but just because.