Title: I Am Understood
Series: Fire Emblem 10
Author's note: cottoncandy_bingo : silent/understood affection. Title comes from the Relient K song.
The map was spread out before him, bending slightly in the stuffy air. He could smell the rank scent of Skrimir's breath, of unwashed bodies, though nothing distracted him as much as the feel of Ike's hand on his thigh.
These days, Ike was always touching him. A pat to the back when he leaned in to heal him on the battlefield. It was perplexing and comforting all at once, a conduit of energy and strength when he needed it most.
Though at the moment, it was a not entirely welcome distraction, which made him think of last night, of kisses and not the plans he was supposed to be explaining. Still, he didn't slap Ike's hand away.
He cleared his throat. "...as I was saying, once we cross the river, we'll take out their supply wagon."
"Excellent idea!" Skrimir said in his booming voice. "The little tactician strikes again, with you on our side, we cannot lose!"
Ike's grip on his thigh tightened in almost a possessive manner. It reminded him of another mark left on his inner thigh last night, a circular purple bruise. He stepped away, just out of reach. There was a time and place for everything, even as he wanted to stay and be marked by Ike, held close to him until no one could ever doubt Soren was his.
Not even the gnawing darkness within him which whispered at night what a useless boy he was, a branded who Ike would one day cast aside like the refuse he was.
Sometimes it took the voice of his father, sometimes it was in the voice of many of the people he had met on his path to Ike, but more often than not it was his own voice which mocked him.
All it took was one touch and the savage voices in him were soothed for another day.
It was only when the others filed out that Soren touched Ike's arm.
"...I need to discuss something with you."
"All right," Ike said. He nodded towards Skrimir. "I'll see you outside in a moment."
"I shall be waiting, my beorc comrade," Skrmir said. When the tent flap closed behind him, Soren waited a short while before turning to Ike.
"Was there something you needed to tell me?" Soren asked.
"I don't think so, why? Did I forget something?"
"Just...you were touching me during the meeting," Soren said. He kept his eyes down. Ike lifted his gaze up gently, with his rough hands.
"Oh, that. Sometimes I think of all the things I wish I'd said to my father and never got a chance to. I don't want to ever take that chance with you," Ike said. "But I never was good with words."
Ike was talking without words. Each touch was just another I love you, a you are precious to me and I care.
Soren reached out to him, touched him and spoke without words. Ike took his hand, kissed his knuckles, and gave Soren one of his rare smiles. He put his arm about Soren, held him closer than anyone else had ever dared to. Touched him like he was wanted, needed, even.
"I'm a failure at emotions," Soren said.
"I know, we're quite a pair, aren't we?" Ike smiled wryly
"With matching frowns," Soren said.
"And the same bluntness, or close enough," Ike said.
Soren chuckled. "The favorite of every party."
"Oh yes, we certainly won favor last time. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a salad fork."
Soren laid his head against Ike's chest so he could hear his heartbeat. In such mixed company, it usually wasn't until night when he could finally touch Ike and remind himself he is mine, I am his.
"I know you worry needlessly sometimes, and I don't want you to ever think you're not good enough, or that I ever stopped caring about you. Because I didn't, and I'm never going to. So, I touch you to remind you of that," Ike said.
Soren felt the warmth of Ike's palm against his. Ike's body was always radiating heat. He loved to bury himself against Ike and feel the strength and body heat of him, to fall asleep with tangled limbs, their bodies as close together as two bodies could physically be.
"...the truth is, Ike..."
"You're very good with words. You may not be eloquent, but you say what needs to be said. Anyone who says otherwise is simply too thin-skinned and hung up on stupid frivolities like manners to see otherwise," Soren said.
"That's quite a compliment coming from you," Ike said.
"It's just the truth," Soren replied.
A roar from outside broke the moment. Soren closed his eyes in irritation and clung more tightly to Ike.
"Looks like there's a fight to mediate again," Ike said.
"Yes..." Soren said.
"I'll see you tonight," Ike said. He stroked Soren's cheek and Soren felt the meaning beneath. It was I love you and don't worry, you are precious to me and I will see you soon.
Ike said so many things without uttering a single word.