Title: Crash Years
Series: Fire Emblem
Character/pairing: Ike/Soren, Boyd, Ranulf, Tibarn, mentions of Skrimr/Ilyana
Author's note: cottoncandy_bingo: hangover. It is routine for me to write a winter themed story around this time of the year. This year, you get Soren being the worst hangover helper ever, and having issues. Consider it the post-New Years fic. Oh, and it's modern AU.
Title comes from a song by The New Pornographers, because otherwise I would've made some pun on The Hangover.
Thanks to Jana for the beta job.
The place looked like a bomb had gone off, and Soren didn't mean that metaphorically. It had been his first holiday season separated from Ike, spent up with Daein and his newfound mother, instead of the warmth of sitting with a book by the fires of the old Greil Mercenary building.
Soren was used to groaning bodies greeting him when he returned, though it was usually Gatrie and Shinon he'd have to step over when he did his morning rounds.
Soren threw open the drapes.
Ranulf lay in a fetal position, beside Boyd who was moaning and trying to cover his eyes. Most of the floor was taken up by Tibarn, who lay on his stomach with his wings spread out, looking the most disheveled of them all.
"Explain," Soren said.
"Drapes, close the drapes—" Ranulf said.
"Explain," Soren said.
The group on the floor groaned and tried to escape the light.
"Naesala crashed our party and got into a drinking contest with Tibarn. Boyd sort of got caught up in it, and I was just along for the ride. Now will you please shut the drapes?"
A sudden thought came to him, one that made his throat.
He walked out, using only enough care to not actually step on the people as he passed.
"Clooose the drapes—" called one of the group.
Soren paid no heed—not that he ever listened to Boyd–instead looked from room to room looking for—what, precisely? The proof that Ike had gotten drunk and found a pretty woman who would be far more pleasant than Soren ever could be, who would look on the world with hope and not find a dark cloud to spoil every sunny day?
Unlike the others, Ike was in bed. Alone, with no hints that anyone had shared his bed. Soren couldn't say why these thoughts haunted him. He knew Ike wouldn't cheat, that he never encouraged the attentions of the men and women who would just love to step into Soren's place. And yet, even when faced with logic, there was a little voice scraping at him.
Ike smiled. "You're back."
"I took the red-eye flight," Soren said.
Because I wanted to see you, because I'm a mess when you're not around, because I can't get the fears to stop, even though I know you wouldn't.
Because I'm afraid you'll not want me anymore—
But Soren said nothing of these things. Instead, he looked around for more traces of the night before.
"Did you drink with the others?" Soren asked.
"Mmwha? Oh, a bit. I turned in early, though," Ike said. "How are the rest of the guys? I went to bed before them."
"In heaps on the floor," Soren said.
"And I bet you were nice to them, right Soren?" Ike teased.
"I refrained from turning on the radio to the metal rock station and turning the volume up high," Soren said.
"Wow, that's really charitable of you, Soren. Did you remember to close the drapes?" Ike said.
"It eluded me," Soren said.
"Why am I not surprised?" Ike said. He smiled sleepily at Soren, and held open his arms. Soren all but threw himself into Ike's arms, burying his face in Ike's chest.
"Thank you," Soren said softly.
"For what? Not being a drunken mess, or the hug?" Ike said.
He hadn't showered or shaved yet, his hair was unkempt, and Soren honestly thought he had never looked more handsome.
"For everything," Soren said.
He ruffled Soren's hair, just like he used to when they were children. "You're silly sometimes, you know? I'm not going anywhere, so you can stop worrying already."
Ike knew him well enough to practically read his mind. Soren rested his head against Ike's chest, so that he could hear each heartbeat.
This is mine, he reminded himself. No one else's. Mine.
They stayed there like this for a while, Ike's hand stroking his back in a gentle, calming rhythm. For once, Soren could not say how long it was, except that it was not nearly long enough until Ike cleared his throat and began to speak.
"Think we should go rescue the guys?" Ike said.
"No," Soren replied.
"They might puke on the floor if we don't," Ike said.
"Someone already has," Soren said.
Ike groaned. "I guess we better get started. You're always so gung-ho about getting things done,"
Soren reluctantly compiled. For once, he wished Ike wouldn't have followed his example.
The first thing Ike did was close the drapes.
"Bless you, Ike," Ranulf said. "May a thousand Meat Lover's pizzas come your way."
"Oscar said that bacon is good for hangovers," Ike said. "Anyone up for orange juice?"
There were three vaguely affirming groans.
"I'll take that as a yes," Ike said.
In a few moments, Ike had the kitchen shut up like they were avoiding the police, and not bending to the hangover of three fools. Bacon and eggs sizzled in a pan, and orange juice was at the table, along with some pain killers.
If possible, it was worse in the kitchen. There was almost no trace of the checkered linoleum between the debris, and the counters were covered with empty food boxes, empty bottles, and a few inexplicable bottles of body glitter.
"Damn that raven. He may be a liar and a cheat, but he can hold his drink," Tibarn said. He sat at the table and rested his head in his hands.
"What is my life, what are my choices?" Boyd moaned.
"Bad ones," Soren answered.
"I cannot believe you dodged that hangover. You drank at least as much as Tibarn. Maybe more," Ranulf said.
"You said you drank a bit," Soren said. He gave Ike an accusatory glare.
"Just a pack or two," Ike said. "Nothing much."
"That's because you ate that entire ham," Ranulf said.
"There's still one left in the fridge," Ike said.
"That doesn't change the fact that you ate it all yourself," Ranulf said.
Soren checked the fridge. Inside, between the bottles of beer which were hidden in every conceivable place, there were far more hamburgers and hot dogs than when he left, and there wasn't a salad in sight. On the bottom, near the milk, which was probably sour by now, was a very large ILion's Share /I brand ham. On the front was a picture of King Skrimir with a tiny girl perched on his back. Lion's Share Ham manages to fill my tiny mate up for almost half an hour!
Soren looked back out, out at the three who had left the house in shambles. Soren could say a lot with a single look. Today, it was all narrowed eyes and implications that the three should perhaps toss themselves off a cliff.
"Ike, he's giving us the I hate you all look again," Ranulf said.
Ike looked up from the bacon he was frying. "He always looks like that."
"Can't you make him stop? His seething hatred is making my hangover worse," Ranulf said.
"Soren, look at something which makes you not want to throw things at Ranulf and Boyd," Ike said.
Soren considered the room for a moment, settled his gaze on Ike's back.
Ike paused in making bacon to lean over and kiss Soren. It was a brief kiss, and yet it still left Soren clinging to the counter to steady himself.
"I promise when they're gone, I'll spend some time with you properly. Okay?"
"All right," Soren said. He held against the counter and watched Ike cook, instead of the mess around him and the three messes at the kitchen table.
"You three are going to clean up everything when you're feeling better," Ike said. "Understand?"
"Yes, sir," Ranulf said.
"I mean it," Ike said.
"Much later," Soren added.
Boyd choked on the orange juice he was drinking. Tibarn chuckled, and then winced.
"I solemnly promise not to cockblock you," Ranulf said.
"If you do, then you will deeply regret it," Soren said.
"You interrupted my sex, now you must die?" Ranulf said.
"I nearly started a war with Kilvas for that very reason," Tibarn said.
Boyd looked from person to person, looking pained and vaguely traumatized. As the sole straight man in the room, this expression was commonplace.
Conversation and more possible trauma to Boyd was halted as the plates were laid on the table. Soren refilled their cups of orange juice not out of kindness, but desire to be rid of them.
Soren leaned against the wall, and watched Ike eat.
"You don't have to just stand there, come sit down," Ike said.
"We're out of chairs," Soren said.
Ike patted his lap. Soren didn't even have to think twice before he settled himself there. Even if Ike got grease all over his best shirt, Soren didn't care. He was near to Ike again, and that was all that mattered in the end.