Disclaimer: I don't own Eragon or anything associated with the Inheritance Cycle.
Claimer: I, SussieKitten, own this plot and the story. Borrow or steal my plot, my original characters (Aksel and Ren) or story and I will report you. I also own my version of Saphira/Thorn's human appearances, and the universe and versions of the creatures I use in this story (hydras and chimeras in particular).
Warnings: Male and female slash. Heterosexuality. Mature sexual content. Swearing or strong language. Supernatural creatures – there will be mainly elves, dragons, vampires and werewolves in this. Mentioned Mpreg (male pregnancy). Mentioned Character Death – made up characters only and it'll just be mentioned. A little blood – this is a vampire fic after all. If any of this disturbs you, click on the "back" button. I won't tolerate any flames.
A/N When Illyric suggested I write a short sequel to Obsession after I first completed it all those years ago, I said "no way in hell, dude. Obs is enough for me." But, well, you can see for yourself how that went.
Obsession felt very finished after writing chapter twenty, but the story itself didn't feel finished. I wanted to write another chaptered story, hopefully not as long as Obsession, where the relationship between Eragon and Murtagh was in the focus. I felt that Obsession was more about the struggle for Eragon to accept himself in this new role as a parent, Murtagh's struggle to accept himself as mated and their joint struggle against Formora.
Now, however, there are new things in store. Stay tuned to find out what.
The question of Eragon's middle name will be answered here, and the infamously hinted vampire couple from Obsession will at long last make an appearance. Finally, I know. This first chapter starts a week after the last chapter of Obsession because Roran and Katrina's arrival didn't fit in that story arch. I hope you enjoy.
Be warned; this story is self-betaed.
Year One: The Aftermath of Chaos
Eragon was in trouble and he knew it. After Formora had kidnapped him and injured him enough to send him to the hospital, his family had pushed up their vacation to come visit him. Eragon had to thank his lucky stars that work kept Roran from storming over right away. He needed all the time he could get to think and plan ahead. Dealing with an angry Roran was no easy task.
And now that Saphira was back from her one-week honeymoon after mating with Thorn, Eragon finally had someone to rant to.
"We don't even have a dorm room anymore!" Eragon said. He was currently pacing, though it did nothing to calm him. "Where am I supposed to tell them to go?!"
"Eragon, calm down." Saphira sighed. "Just tell them to meet us here."
Eragon paused and stared at her. "Here?! Murtagh's scent has got to be all over the place! Roran will go bonkers!"
Saphira visibly paused.
It was new on all of them. While Roran had been bitten by a werewolf two years ago now, there were still times when Eragon completely forgot about it. It hadn't quite sunk in yet. When it had happened, Eragon would have packed up and gone back to Teirm if it hadn't been for Roran insisting he'd stay.
'I have Katrina,'Roran had said. 'I'll be fine. You just focus on your studies.'
Eragon had stayed. Now that he thought about it, he had met Murtagh not too long after Roran's transformation. His family had to be cursed.
Roran's bite was a curse Eragon really could live without, especially after the past year's events. Everyone knew that vampires and werewolves hated each other. Roran would smell Murtagh's fading scent and shit would hit the fan. Eragon needed a slower approach. He needed to explain to his family that he would be dead right now if it hadn't been for Murtagh. Otherwise Eragon knew Roran wouldn't rest until he tracked down Murtagh and killed him.
"Well, Nasuada and Arya are moving back to their place. We could ask to borrow it?"
Eragon sighed. "They'll ask why. At least staying with Brom would be understandable."
Saphira bit her lip and visibly thought things over.
"And I really don't feel like asking Aksel if we can use his place."
"You mean their place," Saphira corrected him.
Eragon paused. "Huh?"
She smiled. "Vanir and Aksel are moving in together."
"It might seem like it's a little early, but I think they can do it," Saphira said and smiled.
Eragon blinked again. Aksel was terrible at keeping secrets, but he had heard nothing about this. Either it was a very recent development or Aksel had kept it from him. Then again, Eragon had been very distracted lately. He could just as easily have forgotten Aksel telling him.
"...It's their call," Eragon said and went back to pacing.
Saphira sighed again. "Why don't you meet them in a public place like a café or something?"
Eragon paused. That was actually a good idea. He wouldn't even have to bring Ren with him if he wanted to minimize the shock a bit. His family was about to get the shock of their life, after all. Not only had Eragon gone and gotten himself mated to a vampire, but he also had a son. Also, Roran's screams would most likely upset Ren.
"Saph, could you –"
"Watch Ren for you? Sure." She winked at him.
Eragon smiled at her. "You're a lifesaver."
Saphira flipped her hair over her shoulder. "And don't you forget it."
Eragon lasted about two seconds before he started to laugh. Saphira was right behind him.
To say that Eragon was nervous would be an understatement. His family had agreed to meet him at the café next to the college. It was a little out of the way for Brom's house, but it was close to his previous apartment. He knew he was overthinking the whole thing, but he needed this to go as smoothly as possible. Roran was definitely not going to take Eragon's situation well and he wanted him as far away from Ren as possible when he blew up.
Eragon drummed his fingers against the table top as he waited. He hadn't seen Roran or Katrina since the Christmas before he met Murtagh. He had barely remembered to keep in touch. His mind had been focused on surviving Murtagh and bringing a child into the world. Everything else had faded into the background.
He flinched when the bell over the entrance jingled. He looked over and saw his family enter.
Roran entered with an arm around his fiancée. Roran had inherited his late father's built, height and sharp eyes. The only thing Eragon had been able to tell came from Roran's mother was Roran's blond hair. Roran had muscles from working as a contractor and from the werewolf virus in his system.
Katrina was a sharp contrast to them both. She was thin and only a couple of inches taller than Eragon. Her vibrant red hair was pulled into a loose bun for the day. She had kind green eyes and a gentle smile for everyone. But as she was Roran's fiancée, she also had a temper to match his. Roran was rarely allowed to do anything she disapproved of and it was just not because she would throw him out on his arse for it.
Katrina was at Eragon's table first. "Eragon," she said fondly and hugged him.
"Hey Kat," he said and hugged her back.
"You've grown," she said and sat down at the table without waiting for Roran.
"Uh, not really, but thanks." Eragon got up to greet his cousin.
Roran had him swallowed in a bear-hug before Eragon had the time to blink. "How are you, cousin?"
Eragon wheezed. "Better if you'd let me breathe."
Roran laughed and ruffled Eragon's hair. He sat down next to Katrina and slung an arm around her shoulders. Katrina leaned against him.
Eragon had picked the table especially because it was in the corner of the shop, far away from the counter and the door. The tables closest to them were largely unoccupied. If things got loud, then at least they wouldn't be startling their immediate neighbours.
For all that Roran was acting jovial, Eragon knew there was more to it. There was something lurking in his eyes. He definitely wasn't in a good mood.
"So, how did you manage to land yourself in the hospital?" Roran asked.
Katrina swatted him gently, though Roran didn't even seem to register it.
Eragon silently wondered if it was too late to run to Surda with Ren and forget about this whole venture entirely. "Why don't we order something before I start to explain?"
A waitress came over then and quickly took their order. Eragon really appreciated the interruption. He wasn't quite sure how he was going to approach the issue without Roran blowing up.
"So, what happened?" Roran asked as soon as the waitress left.
Eragon bit his bottom lip. "Well, it's really a long story."
"You're stalling," Roran shot in. "You worried us, kid."
Eragon didn't even bother to reprimand Roran for calling him a kid. He was too nervous.
"...It's probably best if I start this at the beginning," Eragon said eventually.
Roran and Katrina were quiet as he talked. He told them about meeting Murtagh in April and finding out he was pregnant. He told them about how he discovered he was mated to Murtagh and that he spent the next several months hoping Murtagh wasn't coming there to hurt him. He told them about every encounter with Formora and her minions, but kept the details to a minimum. He only told them that someone had been hurt. Eragon told them about Ren and how he was incapable of regretting having him because he loved Ren so much. He told them about how Murtagh's demeanour slowly changed and that he was now a total different vampire than he was in the beginning.
He finished off by telling them about the kidnapping and how Murtagh had saved his and Ren's lives. He apologised for not having told them before, but that everything that had happened just kept him too busy to pick up the phone and call them.
His family hadn't spoken the entire time Eragon had been talking. Eragon had finished his soda water by the time he was finished with his story.
"You mean to tell us that you have been living at old man Teller's place for the past year and that you now have a son with a vampire who is also your mate?" Roran asked very calmly.
Eragon knew that voice. Roran only sounded calm when he was angry and two seconds away from exploding.
Roran was silent for about a minute before he exploded. "Are you insane, Eragon?!" he growled.
Eragon was amazed Roran wasn't screaming. Then again, he had picked a public setting to prevent just that. He knew Roran would start screaming at him the second they were away from prying eyes.
"I can't believe you followed a stranger to an alley and let him fuck you," Roran hissed. Roran's eyes flashed yellow and for a second Eragon was afraid the wolf was going to come out.
Katrina calmly smacked Roran in the back of his head. The yellow faded as quickly as it had come. "Language, Roran."
He stared at her in shock. "Aren't you mad?!"
"I'm not," she answered instantly. "It wasn't Eragon's fault. Vampires are charismatic creatures. Even you would have found yourself having trouble saying no if a male vampire tried to seduce you, Roran."
Roran's face paled and turned slightly green at the same time. Eragon had a problem holding back the hysterical laugh that wanted to escape.
"Eragon is brave for coming out here alone and telling us about this," Katrina continued. "He has had a tough year and I don't feel like making it any tougher for him."
"I love you, Kat," Eragon found himself saying.
Katrina's eyes twinkled.
Roran fell silent.
"But I really mean it when I say I'm sorry for waiting this long with telling you. It wasn't my intention," Eragon said and looked at his hands. "I just - I never had the time."
"I believe you," Katrina said and put a hand over his. She squeezed it gently.
Roran didn't look happy in the slightest. "Why couldn't you tell us this at Teller's place?"
For all that Roran looked calmer now, Eragon knew that was probably about to change. He sorely wished there was a way around it, but there really wasn't. "I didn't want your yelling to upset Ren. There has been enough discomfort around him."
"How old is Ren?" Katrina asked quickly.
Eragon wanted to hug her. Her question stopped Roran from asking any other questions for a little while at least.
"He was born on January 4th."
Katrina smiled. "Six months old, then?"
Eragon nodded. "Roughly."
He couldn't actually believe it had been six months since Ren was born. Sometimes it felt much longer, sometimes it felt like it had happened last week.
"I bet he's adorable," she said and winked at him.
"Uh, yeah. A bit," Eragon found himself agreeing.
Katrina paused suddenly and brushed a stray red curl behind her ear.
Eragon knew what was on her mind. It had been on his from the moment he knew he was carrying Murtagh's child. "He's completely human. Apparently I'm immune to Murtagh's venom, so he can't turn Ren or me. Ren has Murtagh's hair, but that's about it."
Her shoulders sagged a bit and she gave him a relieved smile. "I bet you were happy when you heard that."
He nodded. "But I'm not going to keep you guys away from him forever. I just wanted to tell you about it away from him."
"Understandable," Katrina said.
"So when can we see him?" Roran asked. Eragon could tell his cousin was trying to sound calm, but the hint of anger had crept back into his voice.
Eragon bit at the nail on his right thumb. "I'll have to ask Brom."
Eragon had never been more relieved that Murtagh had suddenly taken off last week. He knew Saphira missed Thorn like crazy, but right now it was a relief that Murtagh wasn't lurking around at Brom's place. If he had been there and Roran had demanded to visit...Eragon could barely hold back the urge to shudder.
Roran stared at him. "What aren't you telling us?"
Eragon shook his head. "I don't want to get into it here."
"Oh, so you can tell us about -" Roran visibly bit back whatever had been about to leave his mouth. "What's the difference between what you just told us and what you're keeping from us?"
Roran might as well have asked him to compare apples and oranges, Eragon thought to himself.
"It's complicated. I will tell you later."
Roran looked ready to get into it then and there, damn the consequences, but calmed when Katrina put a hand on his arm.
"We understand," she said.
"Speak for yourself," Roran said.
"We understand," she said again without even looking at Roran, smile fixed on her face.
Roran blanched and looked out the window.
Eragon had no idea what had just happened and a part of him really didn't want to know either.
Eragon was finally able to stumble back to Brom's place after somehow successfully stalling Roran and Katrina for a couple days. He felt shaken and like he needed to throw up.
Saphira was on him as soon as he stepped across the threshold. "How did it go?"
"I managed to stall until this weekend," Eragon said. "But that's it. The cat will be out of the bag. Oh, Roran is going to kill me."
"I'd like to see him try," Saphira said as she guided him over to the couch.
Eragon put his head in his hands. "What am I going to do?"
Saphira put a hand on his shoulder. "Be honest with them."
Eragon had to bite back a whine. "But he'll kill me."
"You did what you had to do," Saphira said. "We all did. We would probably all be dead if we hadn't asked Murtagh for help. Make sure he understands that and -"
"He'll just fly off to kill Murtagh instead? Sounds like a brilliant plan."
Eragon wrapped his arms around himself. He didn't know why he cared about this so much. He didn't know why he cared about Murtaghso much. Their relationship – if it could be called that – had gotten off to a terrible start and wasn't that much better now. All right, so maybe Murtagh had stopped wanting to kill him, but that was really it. They weren't friends and certainly not anything closer than that. He barely knew anything about Murtagh and knew the situation was mutual.
And yet he couldn't stop caring about the asshole. It was driving him insane.
It was Ren. It had to be. He only cared because Murtagh was Ren's father. That had to be it.
"We'll figure this out," Saphira said softly.
Eragon really hoped so. Or they were so momentously screwed.
The days flew by. Eragon was nowhere ready to see his family again by the time they were knocking on the door and Saphira was letting them in.
Eragon tried to keep his hold on Ren firm, but not too tight. It was difficult. He knew he had to be sending out distress signals considering the worry-line on Saphira's forehead and the light fussy sound Ren wouldn't stop making. Eragon took a deep breath and shifted his hold so he could rub Ren's back.
Katrina didn't hesitate in walking over to take a seat next to him. She said something, though Eragon couldn't quite hear what. He hedged his bets and nodded in answer.
Luckily, Katrina just smiled and started to coo at Ren.
Roran, however, lingered near the entrance of the room. His nose was wrinkled like he was smelling something foul.
"Aren't you going to come meet your nephew?" Katrina said without even looking away from Ren.
Eragon wasn't even ashamed to admit he was impressed when Roran instantly crossed the room and sat down next to Katrina, looking vaguely shame-faced. Of course, it didn't take him more than a second to squint down at Ren and lean closer to scent him.
"He's not what you're smelling," Saphira said as she sat down on the arm of the couch at Eragon's side.
Eragon wasn't even going to pretend he didn't want her to hover protectively over him and his son. He was terrified of what Roran would say or do and he wasn't afraid to admit it.
"Then what is it?" Roran asked, glancing up at her.
"Murtagh," Eragon found himself saying. He kept his eyes on Ren and therefore missed whatever expression Roran was making while he stayed completely silent. But that was ok. Eragon had seen him descend into rage enough that he could conjure the image from memory alone.
"He was here?" Roran asked. His voice was tight with – yep, he'd called it – anger.
"He was here, stalking the property outside to defend me and my son," Eragon said and forced himself to look up at his cousin and brother in everything but name. "I told you that."
Roran was staring back at him. His face was so red it was a wonder his blood-pressure hadn't blown it clean off his shoulders.
"What I didn't tell you is that he was in the house recuperating after the attack," Eragon admitted.
Katrina didn't need to hear more before clapping a hand firmly over his mouth, but it was too late.
Ren let out a heart-breaking cry and started to squirm unhappily. Eragon held him close and got up to start rocking him.
"Brilliantly done, fiancé of mine," Katrina said, voice a hint sharper than normal. "Now look what you've done."
"He had a vampireinside this -"
"That has nothing to do with what you've done," Katrina cut him off once again.
Eragon rocked Ren as best he could, humming under his breath like he knew Ren liked. But it wasn't helping. He was still crying.
"This is why he didn't want to tell you," Saphira said unceremoniously. "He knew you'd only upset Ren."
"Then he should have told me at the café!" Roran said, and Eragon saw him gesture out of the corner of his eye.
"He didn't want to air this in front of total strangers," Saphira said to that. "Can you blame him?"
"He had no problems airing the rest!"
"Because he knew he could talk you down if you knew that part."
"I'm sorry, I have to go put him down," Eragon said before everything could escalate into a proper shouting match. Roran wasn't shouting yet, but his voice was getting louder and Eragon didn't want to risk it.
He didn't want for an answer and simply headed for the room he and Ren had made into their own. He almost walked right into Brom on the way.
"No bother," Brom said gruffly, looking back the way Eragon had come. "Your cousin has some lungs on him."
Eragon flushed. "Yeah. Sorry. We wanted to do this while you were out." He shifted his hold on Ren, but he still wouldn't stop crying.
"Meeting got cut short," Brom answered before Eragon could ask. "Here, I'll take him."
Eragon hesitated. It wasn't that he didn't trust Brom with his son. He wouldn't be living in Brom's house if that were the case. But right now Ren was his excuse to be away from Roran's shouting and he really didn't want to go back to it.
Brom plucked Ren expertly out of Eragon's arms before he could voice any objections.
"We all have to do things in life that we don't want to do," Brom said as he wrinkled his nose. "Like change a baby's diaper."
Eragon blinked before it clicked. Of course Ren couldn't be consoled if he was upset about the screaming and a wet diaper. "Oh no, you shouldn't have to -"
"I said I'd do it," Brom said as he walked past Eragon and towards the guest bathroom where all of Ren's things were. "Go back to your cousin and make sure he understands the difference between indoor and outdoor voices."
Eragon stared longingly after Brom's back, only feeling slightly ashamed that he was jealous of Brom for being able to stay away to change Ren's diaper, before he slowly made his way back into the living room.
Roran, unsurprisingly, was still being loud about what was currently displeasing him.
"Brom wants us to keep it down," Eragon said, raising his voice just enough to be heard over Roran's rant.
Saphira frowned. "He's back?"
"The meeting got cut short," Eragon said, shrugging.
"Great. Then I can give him a piece of my mind," Roran said, already halfway across the room before Katrina could catch up with him and physically stop him from taking another step.
"You're staying right here and talking to Eragon," she said firmly.
Roran looked ready to argue, but one look from Katrina silenced him. It silenced him to the point where Katrina was able to pull him back to the couch and force him to sit back down, all without saying another word.
"So, why don't you fill us in on the rest," Katrina suggested, like Roran hadn't spent the last five minutes practically screaming his lungs out.
Eragon bit his lip.
Saphira resumed her original seat and gave Eragon an encouraging look.
Eragon sighed. "All right." He walked back to the couch. "But no more screaming. If upsetting my son isn't enough of a reason, then know that Brom looked really serious about that point. He's a former Dragon Rider, you know."
Roran looked like he had in fact not known that.
Eragon sighed and only jumped a little when Saphira reached out and took his hand. He squeezed it in thanks. "I guess I should go back to the first attack here."
Brom had offered Katrina and Roran one of the many guest rooms and practically stared Roran into submission when he'd tried to turn down the offer. Eragon wasn't sure how he felt about his cousin – who was still angry about the whole vampire thing – sleep in the same house that said vampire had spent a week in, but there was no way around it now.
Waking up to find Roran sitting awkwardly in Brom's kitchen while Katrina puttered around like she was at home was somehow stranger, though.
"Morning," Eragon said as he made for the fridge to get a bottle ready for Ren.
"Good morning," Katrina said with a smile.
Roran grunted in what Eragon recognised as his pre-coffee greetings. Apparently some things never changed.
"How did you sleep?" he asked.
"Heavenly," Katrina said as she put some pancakes on the kitchen isle. "I have to know what those mattresses are made of. I need one."
"Probably magic," Eragon said with a half-smile.
"Are you using this?" Eragon pointed at the stove.
"No, I'm all done." Katrina put a cup that smelled strongly of coffee in front of Roran.
Roran grunted his thanks before practically falling into the cup in his haste to drink from it.
"Great." Eragon filled a pot with water and started heating it.
"And I made enough for everyone, so please help yourself when you're done."
Eragon blinked. "Thank you."
"It's the least I could do," Katrina said. "Mr. Teller is being nice enough to let us stay, after all."
"I thought he told you to call him Brom," Eragon said while he checked on the water. Making sure it was the temperature he wanted, he grabbed the bottle and put it in.
"I'm sure he did," was all Katrina said.
"Could you keep an eye on this?" Eragon gestured at the stove. "I have to go get Ren."
Katrina smiled. "Of course."
Eragon thanked her before heading back to his room.
Ren was awake when Eragon stepped in. Eragon had thought as much.
"You hungry?" he asked as he bent down to pick Ren up.
Ren's low whining certainly suggested that he was.
Eragon held him close and murmured softly to him as he headed back to the kitchen. He wasn't keeping track of what he was saying. Hopefully it wasn't anything too embarrassing.
Katrina smiled at them when Eragon carried Ren into the kitchen. Eragon smiled back before hurrying to check on the bottle.
"Do you need help?"
"No, I got it," Eragon said distractedly as he checked the temperature. Nodding to himself, he turned off the stove and took the bottle out. Then it was only a matter of getting Ren situated in his arms while he tried to show his son that slow was the best policy when it came to eating.
"You're really good at this," Katrina said softly.
Eragon barely managed to hold back a blush. "Thanks." He bit at his lip. "I've sort of had to get good at it, you know?"
Katrina's next smile was tinged with something that looked like sadness and understanding.
"What, is the old man not a good babysitter?" Roran said into his coffee, voice still rough from sleep.
"Oh no, Brom is great," Eragon answered. "He's just really busy most of the time. But that's ok. I wouldn't have had Ren if I wasn't prepared to take care of him."
Katrina looked proud of him. Eragon had to look away.
"Do you think he'll be joining us?" Katrina asked. "Brom?"
Eragon shook his head. "I rarely see him around before noon, or around dinner time. He's prepping for this year's classes, I think."
"I feel like I know him from somewhere," Roran said, frown on his face.
"Well, he has been living here since forever, I think," Eragon said. "You could have seen him around."
"Or maybe he was a friend of Garrow's," Katrina said and rubbed Roran's arm.
Roran snorted. "I doubt it."
"Well, the only way you'll find out is if you ask him," Katrina said and poked him with the blunt end of her fork.
Roran grumbled under his breath, clearly not happy with that idea.
"Do you have any plans for the day?"
Eragon blinked. "Eh, not really?" He shrugged as much as he could with a baby in his arms. "My life pretty much revolves around this guy now. You'll see when you have kids."
Roran choked on a mouthful and Eragon honestly had to keep himself from laughing.
Katrina did no such thing, however. She laughed, rubbing her fiancé's back. "Then you wouldn't mind if we asked to babysit for some practice?" she asked, eyes sparkling.
"Of course not," Eragon said. "Officially, Ren has to approve being babysat by you two, but unofficially, there isn't anyone he hasn't met so far that he doesn't like. So I think we're good."
Roran drowned the last of his coffee in a desperate attempt to stop coughing. "You're trying to kill me," he croaked. "Both of you."
"I have a Rider bond and therefore magic," Eragon said. "You'd know if I was trying to kill you."
"Ditto, fiancé, dear," Katrina said and kissed Roran's cheek.
Roran scowled at them both before going back to his breakfast.
A/N This story has been very long in the making and I honestly can't tell you how long it'll take me to finish it. But I've officially gotten started now. :)
I'm sussiekitten over on Tumblr if you want to keep up with my writing and any general life-posts I occasionally make. I mostly just reblog whatever I like, but Tumblr is where I talk about any fics I'm currently writing or are planning to update shortly.
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