Fandom - Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Pairing - Ike x Naesala
Rating - PG 13
Summary - "And in his fist, he caught a handful of gold..."
Notes - MOAR backlogging GG
Naesala likes to think of the world as a huge mound of potential and all he ever needed to do was dip his hands into the earth and pull out gold coins.
He manipulated, he cheated, he stabbed people in the back (quite literally) and slowly, but steadily, he was making his way to the top. His people were scraping through their hard times, barely, but they were still alive and every time Naesala visited the little nests and perches, he felt an unfamiliar, but not unpleasant swell of pride.
So when Tibarn came by his perch to complain, Naesala shrugged him away. Tibarn lived by an old code of honour. Tibarn was a hawk and Naesala was a crow. Obviously, Tibarn isn’t going to understand Naesala’s reasons.
Tibarn is a hawk, but Naesala is a scavenger.
Naesala couldn’t imagine living in any other way. Could he really imagine scouring fields for berries and make gatherings? Could he imagine setting a code of respectability for his people? Granted, he never stepped quite out of line and his subjects loved him, but Naesala was more than aware of the law that ruled scavengers. At any rate, he was happy like this.
Scavenging was fun. Sure, you only got scraps, but you live with what you have.
So, coincidentally when he met the famous general near his waters, looking rather bewildered and lost, Naesala couldn’t really help dropping by. Oh, Naesala couldn’t attack the general for several reasons. Most of the reasons centre on the fact that Ike was a more than capable fighter and Naesala rather keep his wings intact.
But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t get scraps off the boy.
“I hope you are willing to pay the toll for crossing these waters,” Naesala said, landing gracefully on the ship deck. Ike glanced at him with some consternation, but there was the slight twitch of his lips that informed Naesala that his presence was appreciated.
“Don’t like ships?” Naesala queried.
“I prefer land,” Ike said dryly.
“And? My toll?” Naesala said, preening his hair arrogantly.
Ike grimaced, “It’ll have to wait till I get to Begnion,” and he glanced at his crew who looked at the raven king blearily, “Can we stop by your place for supplies?”
Naesala considered the opportunities. On one hand, he’d rather not let friends of Begnion into his homeland but on the other hand, having the famous general Ike in his debt would prove to be fruitful for his profit.
“All right,” Naesala said graciously, “You could stop by for a short while.”
Ike smiled slightly and arched an eyebrow at him, “Are you positive?”
Naesala hated perceptive people.
Naesala remembered when he was a fledgling and before Nealuchi became a busybody old coot, being led to the small balcony outside his mother’s nest. His father had his hand on his back and he remembered the sense of anticipation and curiosity building up inside him. His father had taken him down to the villages and he remembered being received with loud cheers and loving hugs.
“You’re our prince and we will follow you,” they all told him.
When they returned to their perch, his father told him, “Will you lead them astray?”
Naesala knew he couldn’t, even if he tried. No matter how many people hate him, no matter how many laguz bonds he shunned, he would never lead his people into devastation. He was a scavenger, but he gave his scraps to the tribe.
Of course, it didn’t hurt to keep some for himself.
Ike stepped onto the balcony carefully, completely aware of the sheer height of the ledge. Naesala stood there next to him, as if waiting for the general’s response.
Ike finally spoke, “Nice view.”
The general was known for his tact. The lack of it, Naesala noted.
Naesala decided he might as well be polite, “Thank you. This is the royal perch. It offers the best view of the kingdom.”
“What do you see when you look out?” Ike asked.
Naesala was quiet for a few moments and said, “What a king needs to see.”
Somewhere in the world, he grasped a hand full of gold….
“Ike,” Naesala said calmly, “Your room is there. Are you lost?”
Ike hesitated and said, “It’s big.”
“Compared to your house, it certainly is,” Naesala said dryly, “Do I leave some mark that you would recognize instantly.”
Ike frowned slightly, “I hardly think that’s necessary. And I see you’ve dropped the nice act.”
Naesala leaned back lazily on his chair as he complained, “You weren’t falling for it.”
Ike sat down next to him, much to his irritation, and turned to him. Naesala couldn’t remember seeing such dark eyes before.
“I disliked it,” Ike said, “It made you seem fake.”
“The role of a king is to appear amicable for every little thing. Losing face is losing ground off your land,” Naesala said as if dictating from an invisible script.
“But you’re not helping me because you’re a king,” Ike said calmly, “You want something from me.”
Naesala rubbed his forehead. He really hated perceptive people.
“So now you know,” Naesala said, now bored. His fun had been spoiled. He had hoped Ike would at least play the part of the grateful friend, “What do you plan to do now?”
“Depends,” Ike said immediately, “What do you want from me?”
Now things were starting to get interesting.
“I didn’t think this is what you wanted,” Ike said thoughtfully, turning over to meet his eyes.
In actuality, Naesala hadn’t really wanted this. There was no profit whatsoever. But he wondered what kind of fuss would arise if the world heard he bedded the famous general Ike.
It was a plus point that the beorc was actually good.
“Ah well,” Naesala said, pecking Ike lightly on the nose, “Why should that matter anyway?”
Ike had the grace to arch an eyebrow in a sceptic motion and Naesala reminded himself to avoid smart people in the future. They tend to read his motives almost too well for his liking.
Ike stood there on the port, instructing his crew to load up the rest of the supplies. Although he wasn’t aware of what he was doing, his eyes nervously scanned the sky for black wings. He saw nothing and felt a slight twinge of anger and regret. But Ike didn’t hang onto that feeling, already waiting to leave Kilvas behind.
The country was fading in the background like a picture and Ike turned his gaze away.
Suddenly he heard the distant beat of wings and he turned back to Kilvas. Coming, in all his glory, was the king of Kilvas himself. Ike hid his smirk and stood there, waiting for Naesala to land.
When Naesala’s feet were firmly planted onto the deck, Ike immediately asked, “Why are you here?”
In a show of magnitude, Naesala said politely, “The least I could do was escort you to Begnion.”
It almost sounded like Naesala was attacking Ike’s masculinity.
“All right,” Ike said, opening smiling at the raven king, “But what do you want in return?”
“I’m sure I can think of something,” Naesala replied smoothly, his eyes giving nothing away.
Having the general in his debt (and otherwise) was fruitful to Naesala’s plans after all.
…and he let it slip past his fingers like sand…