windsnocturne: (Ike/Soren)
[personal profile] windsnocturne
Title: Density
Author: Sara Jaye
Rating: All Ages
Warnings: None
Word count: 1323
Summary: That awkward moment when everyone's realized your feelings for your best friend but you.
A/N: Set sometime after Ike and Soren's A support.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Ike/Soren: gossip - everyone assumes they're together.

"I haven't seen any women hanging off you for the last week." From anyone else it would be fodder for the gossip mills, but from Soren it was just an observation. Possibly with a touch of relief, Ike thought. He was no mind reader, but he could read Soren pretty well.

"They've had other things going on, I guess. I will admit I miss Mia bugging me for a spar, but it's a relief not to have to worry about Aimee," he chuckled.

"That's the surprise of the century," Soren said dryly. "I always thought it'd take Urvan itself to peel her from your side."

"Luckily, it didn't have to come to that." He smiled, putting a hand on Soren's shoulder. "Come on, I think dinner's almost ready and I'm starved." The aroma of Oscar's meatloaf and campfire-roasted potatoes drifted through the air, all the way to the tent, and his stomach growled. Soren actually smiled.

"In other words, the sky is blue." He shook his head. "I suppose you'll take twice your usual monster helping and give that to me?" Ike smiled.

"Guilty as charged." He didn't have much of a choice, Soren was too thin and still didn't eat nearly enough, and the battles were becoming so intense Ike couldn't help but worry his friend would pass out from lack of nutrients. Not that Soren's a weakling or anything, but... "Come on," he said, offering his hand. Soren gladly took it; his fingers felt cold, and Ike couldn't help squeezing to try to warm them.

They headed towards the mess tent, already packed with starving mercenaries and Laguz who fell silent the moment Ike stepped in.

"Well, look who's here! Don't worry, I made more than enough," Oscar said cheerfully, dishing up an extra-large helping. "Soren, will you be eating, too?" Soren shrugged.

"Ike insists on it."

"Well, of course he would," Mist said with a wink. "My brother's very protective of the ones closest to him, after all." The crowd murmured their agreement, Mia grinned, and Gatrie grinned.

"Ike, I just wanna say thanks for, you know, leaving the ladies for the rest of us. By which I mean me!" He laughed heartily, and Soren raised an eyebrow. Ike shrugged, taking his plate and sitting down next to Mia, who promptly moved down a space.

"I'd better not. I don't want to be in anyone's way." She winked at Soren, who gave her a long stare before taking his own plate. Across the tent, Ranulf winked, and even Shinon was smirking at him. Mockingly, of course, but it still made Ike wonder if there was a joke he wasn't getting.

Oh, well. I'm too hungry to think too much about it. He dug in and quickly forgot about the chatter or whatever the joke was, and it sounded like everyone else did once they were busy eating until Ike tried to sneak some of his meat onto Soren's plate.

"Wow, get a room for that stuff! I mean, we get it, you're married, but some of us don't wanna have to see that!"

"Shinon, knock it off," Mist scolded. "If Ike wants to express his loving concern for Soren-"

"What?!" Ike almost choked on his mouthful of food, Soren dropped his fork and turned bright red, and Mist giggled sheepishly.


"Well, the kitty's outta the bag now," Brom said with a chuckle.

"Ah, Brom..." Nephenee twisted her napkin nervously. "Maybe we oughta keep quiet, Soren aint lookin' too happy with us."

"Hey, I'm happy for 'em! Findin' the love've your life's a real special thing!"

"Excuse me." Ike stood up, letting his fork clatter to the plate. "Will someone please tell me what's going on? You've been giving us funny looks and whispering all through dinner-no, all week. Is there something Soren and I should know?"

The crowd stared at him like he'd grown another head.

"You already know," Ranulf said with a smirk. "Pretty sneaky trying to hide it from us, but hey, can't sneak much past a cat!"

"Or a thief," Volke chimed in seemingly out of nowhere. (Of all the evenings for him to actually sit down to eat with them, Ike thought.)

"Or your own sister." Everyone else nodded, and Ike didn't know whether to feel confused or not. Me and Soren? I know we're close, but...wouldn't I know if we were together like that? Wouldn't Soren know? He glanced toward his tactician, who looked like he wanted to disappear or blast everyone with his Tornado tome.

"Look..." He sighed. "I don't know how this all got started, but..."

"But you're all idiots," Soren said sharply, pushing his half-full plate away. "Gossip is nothing but a waste of time, and whatever may or may not be going on between Ike and I is none of your business." He stood up and swept out of the mess tent, and Ike immediately followed him, half out of concern and half so he wouldn't have to listen to any more chatter.

He found Soren standing beside a tree, pinching the bridge of his nose, breathing deeply. To his credit, he didn't look nearly as borderline murderous as he had back at the table.

"Sorry about that," he murmured. "I probably should have figured it out long ago, but..."

"Why should you? You didn't have any reason to assume they would care that much. Mist, maybe, but since when have Boyd or Nephenee given any thought to other people's dalliances?" Soren sighed. "But that explains why the women have stayed away..."

"And why Stefan's been backing off, now that I think of it." Granted, Stefan had only seemed like he was flirting with Soren once, but still... Or was he really just trying to be friendly and I was just... Jealous? No way. This was Soren, his best friend, the same person who hated everyone.

Except me, Ike thought. His only friend, the person who saved him...

"So what happened, Ike?" Soren smiled wryly. "When did you and I get married?"

"I wish I could have been there," Ike chuckled. "Everyone acts like it was the wedding of the century. Especially since..."

"Since we're not." Soren bit his lip. "Right?" Ike wanted to affirm that yes, they were just friends and the others were crazy. But standing here, alone with the person who trusted him the most, his best friend, he wondered just how possible it was to realize something at the drop of a hat. Feelings didn't just pop up on the spur of the moment, did they?

Unless, of course, they'd been there all along and he'd been too distracted by other things to actually think about them and realize what they were.

"They're not idiots," he finally said. "I am. Or at least, I have been." He wrapped an arm around Soren's waist and drew him close, Soren giving a slight yelp of surprise.

"Ike, you..." He shook his head. "So all this time, I've been worrying over nothing," he muttered. "You're the only one who's ever cared about me, and you're so popular I've been worried I might lose you. I didn't even think to question why Aimee stopped hanging around you, I was just so relieved..." He leaned against Ike, who lifted his other arm to bring him closer.

"So does this mean we really are together now?"

"If we are, does this mean I have to go back in and apologize for snapping?"

"You've never apologized before." Ike gave Soren's ponytail a playful tug. "Nah, we'll just go along as we always have. You know they're convinced we exchanged vows of everlasting love anyway." Soren laughed softly, leaning further into his embrace.

"You realize, of course, that they'll needle us even more once they realize they're right," he said. Ike shrugged.

"For a day, maybe, but we are at war. I don't think Titania will let anyone stay obsessed with us for too long."

"Point taken." Soren looked up with a genuine smile. "Do we have to go back to the mess tent, though?"

"Not till later. There'll be plenty of leftovers, I bet," Ike said, and bent down to kiss him. For once, food could wait.
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