Disclaimer: I don't own the Inheritance trilogy or any of its characters.

Summary: Eragon has long since decided that Angela's prophecy refers to Arya as his love. But his belief is shaken when he meets Kara.

To readers: This is my first published fan fic. I apologize for any mistakes; if you review, please don't hesitate to point them out. I need constructive criticism to improve. Any suggestions for changes or growing theories for further chapters will be greatly appreciated and considered; I must admit I tend to struggle a lot with stories' middles and could use some help.

Thanks to all of you! Hope you enjoy!


Uncertain Love

Chapter 1: A Strange Meeting

Eragon sighed. "Waise heill," he repeated, touching his hand to his cheek.

These days, he often had to repeat spells twice; he couldn't concentrate on them properly on the first try. He had too much to think about: his newly-discovered relationship to Murtagh, his promise to Roran, his love for Arya, the new rider…all these revelations had turned his life into one complicated mess.

"Ready?" Roran grinned. They were practicing sparring in the court at Elesmara.

Eragon picked up his new sword and hefted it. He nodded, moved into position, and clashed.

Suddenly, a piercing wail filled the air—a wail of sadness and fear. All the elves practicing in the court stopped in dismayed confusion. For a moment, they listened in silence. Then, each gave a cry of horror, and ran from the place, dropping their weapons.

Little one! a voice roared. Sapphira landed. Hurry and get on, both of you!

What is it, Sapphira? Eragon demanded, rushing towards her, Roran one step behind. As they swung into the saddle, Sapphira anxiously moved her wings, impatient to take off.

The elves have an uninvited guest, she answered grimly, twisting in a spiral dive through the air. A squad wearing Galbatorix's livery was chasing a fox. We caught them. But then the fox fell, wounded in the side, unconscious. When Arya picked it up…it turned into a girl.

Kara floated through a vast, empty void of darkness and delirium.

The pain was great—fear, anger, and a cast-iron will overpowered it.

Was the egg all right? The girl didn't know. She could not shake off her lethargy to check on it—and yet she must.

Uproar was the only word for the reaction to the events at the lake. Eragon knelt beside Arya and Oromis, Sapphira and Glaedr peeking over them at the dark-haired girl lying flat beside them.

She was what some might call a dark beauty. About sixteen, she was petit and slender, with ebony-black hair and bloodless alabaster skin. She wore a tight, tattered black shirt, pants, cap, gloves and boots, all well-sewn and made from what had once been good, strong material, but now stained and torn beyond repair. There was a green crystal on a chain around her neck—and a black cloth wrapped around her body, so tightly that no one had been able to take it off and see what the oval-shaped bundle clenched against her stomach was yet.

"The crystal looks familiar to me, somehow," remarked Oromis.

Glaedr sniffed at the girl. She hasn't eaten for a while; the last trace of food on her is three days old, he rumbled.

Suddenly, the girl thrashed wildly, as if struggling to free herself from invisible shackles, and turned herself over in the process. Now they could all see a long, bloody tear in her jacket and a green-tinted sword at her side.

Arya carefully turned the girl back over as her struggles ceased, looking up at Glaedr and Oromis. The pair nodded as one. Arya bit her lip.

Eragon didn't notice any of this; he was too busy bending over the girl's face. Somehow, it looked piercingly familiar…but where could he have seen it before?

Kara thrashed, fighting the Shade's binding sleep-spell. At last, with her final effort, she felt it break—and pushed open her eyes, throwing off the blocks of marble on top of them.

The girl's eyelids fluttered fiercely, then snapped open, staring straight into Eragon's.

He had only once seen eyes like these before—in Elva, the child he had accidentally cursed with a blessing. She had agreed to wait for him to remove it until he learned the right counter-spell by heart and the war was over. But now, he only stared in amazement into the violet whirlpools of this girl—wait, they weren't violet, they were grey—no, blue—they were changing color!

Kara gazed into the brown eyes of a concerned-looking young man. He was tall and slender, with brown hair, dressed in black pants and boots with a white shirt. His features were those of an elf, yet she was sure he wasn't one. Then a shining blue dragon peered over his shoulder.

Eragon Shadeslayer and Sapphira Brightscales!

These were the two she had journeyed to find, the object of her quest. She attempted to open her lips and talk to them, shaking off marble blocks again.

Arya gently poured a few drops of water through the girl's lips while Eragon held her head. It seemed to take an effort for the girl to swallow. She coughed.

She needs food, Sapphira hissed. What can she eat, Arya?

Later, the elf-woman thought back. She's not ready yet.

"Arya," Eragon said suddenly, startling her. "Arya, Master Oromis, look at her eyes—are mine playing tricks on me, or are they changing color?"

They were. Oromis appeared shocked.

"I've never heard of something like this," he stated. "I'll have to examine all the records to see if there's been such a case before."

Kara wasn't paying attention to the old elf-man. She kept staring at Eragon, gratefully drinking the water poured into her throat.

At last she was here. The egg was safe. But what should she do now?

Two elves lifted her onto a stretcher and began carrying her away from the lake. Eragon and the elf-woman, Arya, walked beside her.