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) or story and I will report you. I also own my version of Saphira/Thorn's human appearances.
Warnings: Slash/Yaoi – meaning guy x guy action. Femslash/Shōjo-ai – meaning mild girl x girl action. Swearing or strong language. If any of this disturbs you, click on the "back" button. I won't tolerate any flames.
A/N So here it is, the infamous Don't Let Go. After pushing this aside to post Bloodlust, I felt a little guilty. Not a lot, but a little. :laughs: I loved writing Bloodlust. But enough about that.
A huge thanks to my ever beloved beta, dragonrider713.
This story was writen for ATwistedSista, who wished for a fic in just Murtagh's POV. This story was also written for someone else who wished to see Murtagh fall for Eragon first, but I have been unable to look up their name. Whoever you are, if you're reading this, thank you for the idea!
- "Speech" - Murtagh having a flashback.
It had all happened so many years ago. A fleeting chance, a choice meeting. A boy that would never leave his mind, a face that would forever haunt him, a past that wouldn't let go. The memory of yesterday, of a life that could have been. A simple dream. But dreams were meant for dreaming, and life was meant for living. That was the story of Murtagh Morzansson's life.
DON'T LET GO
Part One; Of The Past
Murtagh had been just ten years old when he had met that boy. At ten Murtagh had already developed a colder outer shell, one that he depended on to not show his hurt. His dark hair was longer than most children his age, falling to his chin in a messy state that looked almost cute. His hazel eyes, eyes that should have been full of life and joy were clouded with responsibility. He hardly played and even rarer laughed. He was a unique child, but in a very morose way.
That day had been sunny with just a few clouds from yesterday's rain. Murtagh had been outside, sitting in a tree and had been watching the world below him. Children like him had been playing and laughing loudly. The summer was showing her true colours with bright flowers and clucking rivers and a soft smell of the summer breeze, even though it was almost August. But Murtagh wasn't down on the ground playing with everyone else. His hair was in his face that day, hiding the bruise and band-aid from the encounter with his father the previous day. He had forgotten to take out the garbage that night and it now showed.
Murtagh remembered gazing at a pair of children playing below him. A blonde and blue eyed girl was throwing a ball with a brown haired boy. They both looked to be at least three years his junior. Suddenly the ball was thrown off course and rolled to a stop just under Murtagh's tree. The boy ran to get it.
Murtagh felt the breath leave him once the boy came closer. His brown hair was shorter than Murtagh's and looked almost blond up close. Two brown eyes seemed to stand out and sparkled of life. He was short; with bruises and a band-aid that Murtagh could see came from playing, not from a broken home. He almost felt jealous of this boy, even if he didn't know him.
The boy stopped and picked up the ball. Just then, as if he knew Murtagh was there, he looked up. The boy tilted his head to the side and continued to stare at him. Murtagh strangely enough didn't feel the need to yell at the boy to leave him alone. Before he could say anything however, the boy grinned widely and waved. Murtagh blinked in surprise. Then the boy was gone, running back to his friend to resume playing. Ten minutes later the pair was gone from the playground. Murtagh was left to walk home in solitude.
The next time Murtagh saw the boy was the following week. He hadn't been at the playground until that day, not feeling the urge to see others be happy when he wasn't. But that something had almost lured him there, and so he had seen the boy again.
He wasn't alone that time either; the girl from last time and another boy was with him. The other boy had blond hair as well, but with more band-aids than the brown haired one and an even larger grin was on his face constantly. The girl was almost constantly walking in the middle of the two boys as they laughed and played together. This time Murtagh was jealous. He didn't have any friends like that. No one wanted to go near him. Everyone knew of his father and told their kids to stay away from him. It hurt, but it was again something he had learned to put behind his mask.
Murtagh sat down beneath his tree that day; he didn't really feel like climbing. Instead he started to pick at the grass and think about whatever came to his mind. And so he sat by himself until someone came and threw him off track.
Murtagh looked up from the ground with a soft frown on his face. No one spoke to him, for who would dare to speak to the son of the dreaded Morzan?
Apparently the new boy did.
"Why ah you sittin' all by yousself?" the brown haired boy asked with a slight lisp.
"Because I like it here," Murtagh answered.
"Why? An't you lonely?"
Murtagh wanted to answer that yes, he was so very lonely, please don't go! but as always, he put on his mask and found another answer.
"No," Murtagh replied and continued to pick at the grass.
The boy sat down next to him with a small 'oof'. Then he titled his head just like he had done the week before. "I don't believe you! Evyone who's alone gets lonely!" the boy said with a firm nod.
"I'm used to it. I don't get lonely anymore," Murtagh said softly.
The boy pouted softly. "That's 'eally sad," he whispered. "No'ne should be alone all the time."
Murtagh suddenly felt bad for making the child beside him sad. He felt like he had done something horribly wrong, and that he should fix it right away.
"But you an't alone anymohe!" the boy said and brightened up instantly. "My name's E'agon! You can call me Aggie, all my f'iends do!"
Murtagh smiled back a little shyly. He wasn't really used to smiling and that people were kind to him. "I'm Murtagh."
The boy's face lit up. "That's a 'eally cool name," he mumbled in awe.
"You can call me Tag," Murtagh said, easily understanding that with the boy's slight lisping and age he wouldn't be able to pronounce the name without difficulty.
"You ah my new f'iend now!" the brunet said eagerly and leaped to his feet. "Come, let's play!"
Murtagh, to his own surprise, found himself standing up and walking with the eagerly chatting boy to meet his other friends. Murtagh had never felt quite as happy before as he did just then.
The following month had been pure bliss for Murtagh. The only thing he could remember from it was Eragon and his two friends, whose names were one of the first things he forgot later on. He had remembered their names when Eragon had repeated it the tenth time, but had forgotten them soon after. They weren't really important to Murtagh, but they were important to Eragon so he pretended to care. No, to him Eragon was the only one that really mattered. He continued to spend a lot of his time with Eragon and quickly started to like the boy more and more. So when his father brutally told him they were moving the next day, Murtagh was heartbroken.
He had gone to see his friend then, still broken and sad. And for the first time in a long while he let his inner feelings show on his face.
"Taggy? Whas w'ong?"
Murtagh bit his lip and made Eragon follow him to the tree they had first met. Then they sat down and Murtagh began to explain.
"No. No, you can't leave! I won't let you!" Eragon said, tears gathering in his eyes as he started to sniffle.
"I'm sorry, Aggie, but my father says we have to move," Murtagh mumbled quietly.
Eragon sniffled sadly and twisted his hands in his lap. "It's 'eally unfaih!" he exclaimed brokenly. "You ah my f'iend. I don't wanna lose you."
"I don't want to leave either, Eragon, but father says we have to."
The brown haired boy continued to sniffle and cry quietly. Murtagh bit his lip again and hesitantly encircled the smaller boy in his arms. Eragon instantly buried his head into Murtagh's chest and clenched his fingers in Murtagh's shirt. The older boy just laid his head on top of Eragon's and squeezed a little harder.
Time passed until Murtagh had to leave. Eragon cried some more when he realised he would never see Murtagh again.
"You hafta pomise to wite to me!" Eragon said and dried a tear.
"I will," Murtagh said and patted Eragon's soft brown hair.
Eragon leaned up then and landed a soft innocent kiss on Murtagh's cheek. The older boy blushed hotly.
"I'll miss you, Tag," Eragon whispered and hugged himself tightly.
"I'll miss you too," Murtagh whispered back and walked away.
He turned back when Eragon screamed at him that he had to write, or he'd make sure Santa didn't get him a present that year. Murtagh replied that he would write, no matter what got in his way.
That was the last time Murtagh saw Eragon.
As they moved away in a hurry Murtagh lost Eragon's address. Morzan always needed to pack in a hurry so that they could be gone within forty-eight hours for some strange reason. But Murtagh was used to it. A month later Murtagh had forgotten the boy's real name; he could only remember Aggie's soft brown hair and sparkling eyes. A year later he could only remember his features.
When Murtagh turned twelve he got his first friends in Therinsford, the second city they had moved to since leaving the boy behind. Their names were Thorn Marron and Nasuada Black. Morzan stated that year that they would be staying in that town and made sure that Murtagh did well in school. And Murtagh could still remember that boy from the past and told his friends of him once, but never again. That boy was like a treasure that he wanted to keep for himself.
Murtagh turned fifteen and that year he realised he was bisexual. He didn't tell anyone of course. Morzan hated homosexuals with all of his heart and would curse their existence and wish them a messy demise whenever he saw such behaviour on the street. Murtagh, who had gotten very used to Morzan's violent tendencies, didn't want to give his father another reason to hit him around and kept quiet. He could still remember that boy however, even if he didn't think about him as much anymore.
The hazel eyed teen turned sixteen and realised he was in love with someone. He cursed himself when he realised he had fallen in love with a boy he could just vaguely remember the name of, even if his face was as clear as if he had seen him just yesterday. That was the same year he came out to his friends. Nasuada answered with that she had known she was a lesbian since she was thirteen and welcomed him to the club. Thorn just chuckled and said that it would take a lot more to get rid of them.
At seventeen Murtagh started college and hid what he was actually taking from his father. He had long since figured out that Morzan was a criminal, and the only reason they moved around a lot was to hide from the police. So, while Morzan thought his son was studying Law to help him with future 'problems', he was actually taking Psychology as his major and Literature on the side. He had then taken the branch that focused on writing and the creation of their own works.
The year he turned eighteen Murtagh had gone through many boys and girls, but he had yet to be in a 'serious' relationship. Nasuada had started to date a girl a few months before his birthday, a girl with a wit to match Nasuada's and with the name Arya Elve. But even if Murtagh had slept with a handful, even though he had made-out and gone second-base with many more than he could count, he was still in love with that boy. He simply wouldn't leave his mind!
A few days after he turned nineteen, Morzan was arrested with the sentence twenty-one years to life hanging over his head. That was the year Murtagh moved out of the run-down house, stored all his father's possessions in a warehouse that he paid for with his father's money, and began the process of starting a new life. He proceeded to move in with Thorn and live a much happier life.
At twenty-one Murtagh had finished his fourth year and would soon begin his last at the college. He had started to work in an entertainment store and quite liked it there. Thorn had gotten a girlfriend the year before, so Murtagh had decided to find a place of his own. He now lived a few blocks between Nasuada and her girlfriend's apartment, which were still going steady, and Thorn's. Everything looked to have taken a turn down the right path for him. But there was still one thing that wouldn't leave Murtagh's mind. Impossible brown eyes, light brown hair and a heart-stopping smile. The little boy still stayed with him even eleven years later.
"Murtagh, quit daydreaming already!"
Murtagh rolled his eyes and stretched his arms behind his back, the action causing a rather loud crack to merit from his back. Nasuada winced.
"Sorry," Murtagh said, though he clearly didn't mean it. "I must have lost myself in the wonders of cliché plotlines."
Thorn snorted though his eyes never left the screen. They had all come together, something they used to do since they were teens, to watch a movie. Arya had tagged along that day and was looking rather comfortable where she sat next to Nasuada.
Murtagh waited until Nasuada had fixed her eyes back at the screen before proceeding with his thinking. While doing so, he started to look more closely at his friends. Thorn sat slouched on one of the couches in the room, though his slouch didn't hide the sheer height he had been gifted with. His red hair looked rustier than the average redhead and his eyes could look almost yellow under the some lights. He was strong, easily stronger than two men combined, but underneath his stoic looks he was a kind person and a true friend. At twenty-two he was feared by everyone who hadn't gotten close enough to look past his tough exterior.
Nasuada and her girlfriend sat on the other couch, both paying attention to the movie. This was no surprise since they had picked it out to begin with. Nasuada had soft chocolate coloured skin which complimented her black hair and dark eyes perfectly. Her hair had been cut recently and reached just below her chin. At twenty-one she was still the shortest of them all, though she had more than once let people know she was not to be messed with. Arya was her opposite and mirror image all at once. Arya had ink-black hair and sparkling green eyes, which often twinkled with mischief. She was taller than Nasuada, but not much, despite being a year younger than her girlfriend. Her hair was often kept shoulder-length and was often tied up. They were both notoriously mischievous, but knew when to stop and would be someone's friend till the end of time.
Murtagh racked a hand through his hair and sighed. The movie they were watching was ridiculously predictable and way too boring for him. In fact, he could now see that Thorn had fallen asleep. That only proved it.
Ten minutes later he was considered himself bored enough and stood up. "I'm going for a walk," he stated to the room before grabbing his jacket and walking out the door.
As he shouldered on the leather jacket he sighed to himself. He had been doing that a lot lately, leaving his friends behind wondering about him, giving them more questions to ask than they would ever get an answer to. And he hated himself for it. But there was nothing he could do about it. He was at a loss himself.
It was a cool late-summer night, but the fact didn't really register to Murtagh. He was much more occupied with other thoughts. Lately his first friend, the little boy from a past he could scarcely remember, had been popping up more than usual. Usually he would think about him whenever he was at a bar and some guy would try to hit on him. But now, now he would think about him almost all the time. And it was driving Murtagh nuts!
"I know you never forget your first crush, but this is ridiculous," Murtagh mumbled to himself and stuffed his hands even further into his pockets.
He slowed his walk as he came to a park. The wind was playing in the trees, almost mimicking human voices as it went. Murtagh breathed in the air and stepped forward. He hadn't really been in a park since he had been ten. He had lost interest in them. Neither would have the one he used to come back for, so why bother? Dark brown hair whipped around his face as he walked. But as usual he didn't care. Nothing really mattered anymore.
As he walked he saw a young woman and man walking together, talking and gesturing with their hands animatedly. Her hair was what captured Murtagh's attention. It seemed to have been coloured blue in places, mainly her forelock and the hair around her face. But the rest of her hair was a golden yellow. The young man beside her had his hair up in a sort of Mohawk. It was short and had a darker blond colour than his friend. They joked and laughed as they walked pass him.
"Oh, stop it, Aksel! I refuse to listen to you mock me when you have no boyfriend of your own!" the girl said and rolled her eyes.
"It's not my fault no one captures my attention!" the boy whined with a pout. "I'd take Jailbait, but he's been a little too emo lately."
"Oh, don't let him hear you call him that!" she giggled. "And really, can you blame him? He's -"
The rest of the conversation was drowned by the wind. Murtagh shook his head and continued to walk. Since when did he care about strangers anyway?
Murtagh looked up from where he had been putting up boxes of the newest in video game. He didn't really keep track of that stuff, and never cared to remember the names of them unless a costumer asked. He was a little surprised to see Arya walking in the door, a small smile on her face. He returned her wave as she came closer.
"Hey, Tag," she greeted and adjusted the bag under her arm.
"Hi," Murtagh put away the last box before brushing off his hands. "What are you doing here?"
Arya crocked an eyebrow at him. Murtagh almost snorted. That was his look after all.
"Can't I go to see a friend at work?"
"You saw me yesterday," Murtagh pointed out.
Arya snorted. "I actually didn't come here to meet you. You haven't seen a very hyper blond by any chance? He's just a bit taller than me, a head or so shorter than you," she asked.
Murtagh frowned. "No, can't say I have. You can try the second floor; I've been busy putting up stuff, I might have missed him."
"Mhm, good idea. After all, you could have missed Elvis walking through the door with your span of attention," she said with a small smirk on her lips.
"Just what are you implying?" Murtagh asked dryly.
"That you've been a little preoccupied lately. And all Nas does is shake her head and tell me to bear with it," Arya paused. "Obviously she knows what's going on."
"It's just a phase," Murtagh said and slid his hands into his pockets. "Happens every summer, just ask Thorn."
"I have," the green eyed female replied. "And he says it's getting worse. I can't help but to wonder why."
"Well, unless you can read minds, you can't help me," Murtagh said and shrugged. "But work calls. Call me later or something."
Arya opened her mouth to speak, worry making its way onto her face, but she was interrupted by a loud call of her name.
"ARYA! Yo, over here sis!"
She turned around and Murtagh could just make out the grin on her face. A blond had just come in the door, and Murtagh had a feeling he looked familiar. Then it hit him, just as he embraced Arya in a big bear hug. The colour of his hair, the strange Mohawk...it was the guy he had seen yesterday.
"This place wasn't easy to find, yanno. I'm a newbie to this town, remember?" the blond said with a childish pout.
"Oh, stop it, Aksel. You're so childish sometimes."
The blond just laughed loudly in answer.
"I didn't know you had a brother, Arya. And one that's even crazier than you, at that," Murtagh commented dryly, picking up the empty carton from the floor and cradling it under his arm.
The stranger's attention suddenly focused on him. His green eyes, the same shade as Arya's, narrowed and seemed to search Murtagh before going back to normal.
"Oh, don't mind Aksel. I heard that he was dropped on his head a lot when he was a baby," Arya said with a sly smirk.
"I resent that!" Aksel exclaimed. "You're way more crazy than me, sis."
Arya snorted disbelievingly.
"Anyhow, the name's Aksel! Don't you forget it," Aksel said and winked.
"Morzansson," Murtagh replied; he never gave out his first name to strangers, even if they were related to his friends. "But if you guys don't mind, keep it down? Not all costumers here are crazy or don't have the mute button installed."
The blond snorted and turned to Arya. "PMS much?" he asked in a very loud whisper.
Murtagh rolled his eyes and placed the empty carton on top of the register.
"Oh yeah. You'll get used to it," Arya said in the same voice.
"I'm going to see more of that?" Murtagh asked, leaning onto the counter. "Perfect."
To his surprise, Aksel grinned widely instead of looking angered at the insult. "Yeah, baby! You ain't getting rid of me that easily!"
And with that he walked out of the store. Arya laughed a little awkwardly afterwards. "I'm really sorry. I should have warned you. I usually do," She said and sighed.
"It's fine. I survived getting to know you; I think I can survive getting to know your brother," the hazel eyed man replied nonchalantly.
"I really hope so," Arya said, her usual half-smirk coming back onto her face. "Because Aksel can be ten times worse than me, and guess what? You have Nas to calm me down, but Aksel doesn't have someone like that."
Murtagh cursed under his breath as he watched his friend walk out of the store. He whispered goodbye to his treasured silence for the next few months. He had a feeling he was going to need to get used to having Aksel around.
"So, what's the deal with Aksel?" Murtagh asked Thorn a few days later. "Do you know why he suddenly showed up?"
"He wants to start at the college here in September," Thorn answered as he dealt out the cards.
They were in Thorn's apartment, playing cards as they often found themselves doing. The radio was turned on, but was merely there as background noise. Two beers stood atop of the table as they enjoyed a quiet guys-only night.
"Why here?" Murtagh moaned. "He's worse than Arya ever was. And she threatened to castrate me more than once."
"Why was that again?" Thorn asked amusedly.
The dark haired male rolled his eyes. "Either I was being too short with Nas or I was mumbling stuff that she thought was about her and Nas," Murtagh replied. "Fucking bullshit if you ask me."
Thorn chuckled. "Even if that was what you were doing?" he asked and studied his cards calmly.
"Well, it wasn't about them like she thought it was," Murtagh mumbled and frowned. Great, now he had forgotten what game they were playing. Aksel just lost a couple of more points in his books.
"Yeah, I remember her face when you told her you were bisexual," the redhead said with a smirk.
Murtagh chuckled as he lowered his cards a notch. "I still treasure that memory. The first and only time I have rendered her speechless."
Thorn's smirk widened just barely. "Aksel's a friend of my girlfriend, actually," he spoke up a small while later.
Murtagh, who had quickly figured they were playing poker, looked up at this. "Yeah? And speaking of which, when am I going to meet her? You've been seeing her for, what, almost two years now? And here I thought I was your best friend," Murtagh said with a mock-pout.
"Soon enough. She's been really busy lately. And you know I only get to see her on weekends, when you're busy enough as it is," Thorn replied.
"Yeah, she's a college freshman in Carvahall, isn't she?" Murtagh commented before laying down his cards proudly. "Eat that, Pyroman."
Thorn snorted and threw his cards face down onto the table. "Yeah she is," he replied and started to shuffle the cards anew.
"How did you meet her anyway?" the dark haired male asked, taking another sip of his beer.
"Just by chance. Aksel was visiting Arya and she happened to have tagged along. We just hit it off," Thorn replied with a half-shrug.
Murtagh couldn't help but to think of the irony of it. How his friend could make it with his loved one when he couldn't. But life had never been very kind to him, so it didn't surprise him all that much. But it hurt nonetheless.
"Hey, what's her name again? Or did you ever tell me, I forgot."
The redhead laughed. "It's Saphira," he said and snorted. "And yes, I have told you before."
Murtagh frowned to himself. That name seemed awfully familiar, just like Aksel's had, but he couldn't figure out why. And it bugged him to no end.
"Well, you know me. My memory sucks," Murtagh said and studied his cards to avoid Thorn's gaze.
"Yes, you always were awful at remembering names. Can't say the same with faces..."
Murtagh knew where the conversation was going. He hated himself enough for forgetting that boy's name, or he would have tracked him down years ago. He looked up with a scowl on his face.
"No need to remind me," he said darkly.
Thorn held up his hands in surrender. "Didn't mean to make you feel worse. You could ask him, but I know you won't," he said carefully.
Murtagh slapped the cards onto the table and stood. "I'll kill myself long before I ask that man for a favour," he hissed.
"I know Tag, and I'm not saying you should ask him. But -" the gold eyed male said and laid down his cards as well.
"No, but you were certainly suggesting it!" Murtagh spat.
"Murtagh," Thorn said and narrowed his eyes. "Don't."
Murtagh unclenched his hands and grit his teeth. He was sure his face was still red from anger. His father had always been a touchy subject. He took deep and shaky breaths to calm himself. It wasn't really helping.
"Whatever," he mumbled and stalked towards the door. "I'm out of here."
"Tag!" Thorn called after him. "It won't hurt you to talk about stuff once in a while."
Murtagh just scowled and slammed the door behind him. As he walked down the street he nearly ran down a blonde girl. He only mumbled an apology before walking away at an even faster pace.
He couldn't believe himself! Usually it took longer for him to lose his cool, but now he felt like a ticking bomb!
He was so consumed by his anger that he didn't notice where he was going. He managed to run into a teenager, knocking them both off their feet.
"Hey, watch where you're going!"
Murtagh mentally cursed his luck as he pushed himself up from the ground. He dusted off the worst dirt from his jeans and turned to look at the person he had knocked down.
It was a teenage boy, whom Murtagh inwardly concluded couldn't have hit twenty yet. Light, windblown brown hair obscured his eyes from view; eyes Murtagh was sure portrayed the boy's anger. The boy was picking up the books he had dropped from the ground. Murtagh ran a hand through his hair and picked one of them up. Freud's Psychology. The world truly was a small place.
The darker brunet shook himself from his thoughts. He watched as the younger teen swore under his breath and kept looking in every direction, obviously searching for something.
"I think this belongs to you," Murtagh said and held out the book for the other to take.
The smaller brunet finally looked up. There was a sour scowl on his lips, and he glared at Murtagh when their eyes met before looking away again. He snatched the book out of Murtagh's hand without a word.
"I'm...sorry for running into you," Murtagh forced himself to say, cursing himself inwardly when he heard a slight hesitation in his voice. He had never been good at apologising. Saying that he sucked at it was an understatement.
"Whatever," the brunet said and fixed the book bag that hung across his torso.
Before Murtagh could say anything else, the brunet had clutched the books to his chest and had taken off. Murtagh found himself staring after him, not even aware of how the anger had completely left him.
Weekend came and Murtagh for once didn't have to work. The store had been struggling a bit with two employees being sick, but finally one of them had come back the day before. So now Murtagh could finally enjoy some time off from work.
He had gotten up late, something that he rarely did even though it was summer. After finishing his morning routines he had gone to the next stage of his everyday; running. Thorn usually accompanied him, but Thorn had called earlier to say that his girlfriend was in town and that he was going to be busy. He had told Murtagh to stop by if he had the time. Murtagh hadn't commented on that. He was sure Thorn would much rather he didn't, so that he could really enjoy some quiet time with his girlfriend. Even if he himself hadn't been in a relationship, Murtagh knew the little things you treasured in one.
So Murtagh had gone running that Saturday alone. Dressed in his usual black sweatpants and black top, he had strapped on his iPod to his arm before taking off.
He had loved running since he had been a teenager. Whenever Morzan's temper had been particularly nasty, he had always fled the house. More often than not, his feet had taken him somewhere far away, as far as they could take him. Running kept his mind blank and in the following years he had started to run with music in his ears, to be absolutely sure his mind would stay blank. Running allowed him some quiet time when he didn't have to think, worry or generally feel at all. The only things he would feel were the ground beneath his feet, the weather, and how his body would eventually tire and become warmer. It was always a satisfying feeling to run and not have to worry about a thing.
A band Murtagh couldn't quite remember the name of rang in his ears as he started to run. It didn't quite matter, as long as it kept him running.
He ignored the people around him as he ran. Girls were prone to stare after him, or even try to get him to stop and come over, but no one interrupted his running time. It was the one time he wouldn't let anyone disturb him.
After running around for nearly a half hour, he came to park that lay in the heart of the city. It was easily bigger than any park he had seen in every city he had lived in. It was a popular place to run and to hang out for the college students. Murtagh recognized a few from his earlier classes, but they didn't see him and he wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone anyway.
He slowed into a jog as he came closer to the small kiosk he always stopped by. He sat down by the bench just beside the kiosk. The young woman that tended to it looked up and grinned. "Back again, Murtagh?"
Murtagh just nodded his head in acknowledgement.
Angela Vitch was one of his fellow students, but they never really talked inside the auditorium. It was only out there in the park that they conversed. She had curly, almost red-tinted blonde hair and smoky grey eyes. She was often very quiet, and most students referred to her as mysterious. Murtagh knew that her parents owned an occult store that she also worked in.
"The usual?" she asked and was already reaching into the small fridge to pull out a bottle.
"Thanks," Murtagh said hoarsely as he grabbed the water bottle with one hand and handed Angela the money with his other.
The young woman only watched him as he unscrewed the cork and slowly started to drink. Murtagh would have loved to drain the whole bottle in one go, but knew better.
"How've you been, Murtagh?" Angela asked.
Murtagh sighed as he lowered the bottle from his lips. Half of the content was still left. Murtagh screwed the cork back on and leaned back in his seat. "Can't complain," he replied simply, not feeling very keen to chat with his classmate.
"Ah, I see," Angela said and smirked slightly. "You're troubled, but you don't want anyone else to know."
Another thing that made people refer to Angela as mysterious, or downright freaky sometimes, was that she was eerily perceptive. She could easily tell what someone was thinking, sometimes too easily. Murtagh would be lying if he didn't say it had freaked him out more than once.
In answer he merely raised an eyebrow.
"Could it be...that someone has recently entered your life, someone you think you've seen before?"
Murtagh frowned. He didn't like where their conversation was going, no matter how one-sided it was. "Whatever. Listen, I have to get going. I promised my friend I'd meet up with him later," the dark haired male said and stood up.
"I'll see you later, Murtagh. I hope everything's fine with Thorn," Angela said and waved as he walked away.
Murtagh gave a slight shudder. Indeed, Angela was too damn perceptive sometimes.
For a while he just walked. He took an occasional sip from the bottle as he did so. He wasn't going to continue running until he was out of the park. As usual, his eyes strayed over the strangers and near-strangers he could see inside the park. Murtagh never really paid attention to them and preferred it that way.
But strangely enough, that day his eyes locked themselves on a trio seated not too far away from him. He recognized one of them easily enough. Only one person could possibly have that hair. Aksel. To his left sat a blonde girl Murtagh could have sworn he had seen before. When she started to laugh, it came back to him. It was her he had seen Aksel walk with that night not too long ago. But the boy seated to Aksel's right also stirred something inside of Murtagh. He knew that brown hair, he was sure of it.
"...I mean it; your boyfriend is a frigging tower! How on earth did you fall for that?" Aksel exclaimed loudly.
"He's not a thing, Aksel," the girl scolded. "And because he's tall, he has certain...advantages."
Murtagh could see Aksel shudder. The brunet beside him sniggered. The blonde was too busy smirking.
"I did not need to know that! Man, I have to see him later, yanno," Aksel said and pouted.
"You've created worse mental images in our heads, dude. You can live with that tiny one," the brunet said with a snort.
The girl giggled.
Murtagh frowned when he realised he could hear their conversation quite clearly. He shook his head and realised that he had unconsciously moved closer to them. He snorted to himself and started to walk away. He drained the rest of the bottle and threw it into a nearby recycling bin.
Murtagh cringed. He had hoped to get away unnoticed. But Aksel couldn't be sure he had heard him if he started to run, considering how he was fiddling with his iPod. Murtagh opted for that possibility and upped his speed.
"Oy, Your-Emoness, would you kindly stop for just a sec?!" the blond male practically shouted.
Murtagh swore under his breath. He pinched the bridge of his nose and slowed down. Despite the music he had put on, one of his earplugs hadn't been put back into his ear after his encounter with Angela. He could very clearly hear Aksel as he ran up to him.
"Shite, are ya deaf or something?" Aksel said as he finally caught up with the other.
Murtagh forced himself not to show any outer annoyance. "No," he replied indifferently. "What do you want?"
"Cold much?" Aksel said and crossed his arms. "I was just coming to say hello."
"You came, you said," Murtagh said and let his hands slide into his pockets. "I'm leaving."
He didn't want to be around when Aksel's friends caught up with them. For some reason, avoiding those two was crucial to Murtagh.
"Whoa, is something wrong?" the green eyed male asked.
Murtagh felt the unease continue to rise as the brunet and blonde came closer and closer. There was something eerily familiar about the brown haired boy. When he ran a hand through his hair, making it seem even more windblown, the answer came to Murtagh. It was the kid he had knocked down.
"No," Murtagh answered finally.
He didn't wait for Aksel to open his mouth and reply before turning around and starting to walk away.
"That's not what Arya said!" Aksel yelled after him.
Murtagh just waved dismissively over his shoulder.
"Hey, I know that guy."
Murtagh rolled his eyes as the voices gradually became more distant.
"He's the one that knocked me over!" the brunet exclaimed.
"Who, that guy?" Aksel asked loudly.
Murtagh just put the other earplug into his ear and started to run. He'd rather not stick around any longer.
"Um, Murtagh...are you okay?"
The dark haired male tried not to let his impatience show as he waited for Thorn to return. He was currently inside the red haired man's apartment, something that only occurred once in a while. They tended to hang around in Murtagh's apartment more than in Thorn's. But now, only two weeks after his last visit, he was back and was waiting for the owner to return with his girlfriend.
"Murtagh?" Nasuada asked again.
Murtagh shook himself from his thoughts. There was a reason he was slightly annoyed, and that reason was seated across from him. Or rather, the reasons were seated across from him.
"I'm fine," Murtagh said and sighed.
"You don't really look like it," Arya piped up.
Murtagh turned his gaze over to the two females with him. "I suppose I don't. And thank you for telling that to your dear brother, by the way," the hazel eyed man said in a sarcastic drawl.
"He would have found it out by himself later anyway," Arya said and rolled her eyes. "When did you see him?"
"Not that long ago," Murtagh replied. "I saw him while I was running in the park."
"Oh?" a flash of surprise flickered in her eyes as she spoke.
"He was there with a few friends of his," Murtagh said nonchalantly.
Arya leaned back, a slight frown on her lips. "Who were they?" the green eyed girl asked.
Beside her, Nasuada continued to flip through a magazine. She hadn't really played a part in the conversation so far.
"Some blonde girl and a brown haired kid," the hazel eyed man replied. "Are we done with the third inquiry yet?"
Nasuada rolled her eyes and peeked up from her reading material. Arya opened her mouth to speak when the door was opened.
"It's really quiet," an unfamiliar female voice said softly.
"They're probably having a glaring match again," Thorn said and snorted.
"Well, it was about time!" Murtagh called out loudly. "I should sue you for leaving me alone with these two."
Thorn let out a chuckle and Murtagh heard him close the door. Murtagh crossed his arms and continued to watch the door opening to the room they were sitting in. Thorn entered a second later, his hand linked with a smaller and more delicate one. The dark haired brunet raised an eyebrow when he saw just who Thorn had brought back.
"You?" Murtagh found himself blurting out.
The blonde girl brushed a piece of gold and blue hair behind her ear. Her sapphire blue eyes searched him quickly before her face took a mildly annoyed tone. "You're the guy that ran over 'Agon!" she said and glared.
"What?!" Nasuada exclaimed loudly.
"No fighting in my apartment," Thorn said calmly as he led his girlfriend closer to the trio. "Before there are any more words exchanged, I'd like to introduce my girlfriend. Murtagh, this is Saphira. Saphira, Murtagh."
"Oh, so it has a name? I only know him as 'the-asshole-that-ran-me-over'," Saphira drawled. "It's nice to meet you."
"Why, I'm almost feeling a bit nostalgic," Murtagh said with a smirk. "I haven't had anyone pre-judge me in ages. I practically feel like a kid again."
Saphira's face clouded over in confusion.
"Murtagh," Thorn practically growled.
Murtagh rolled his eyes and held his hands up in surrender. "Sorry," he smirked. "It's nice to finally meet you, Saphira."
"Likewise," she murmured.
"I'm sensing a story behind all this sarcasm," Nasuada commented. "Care to share?"
"Why don't I tell it?" Murtagh said with a wry grin. "I accidentally happened to run over a kid a couple of weeks ago. And while I'm at it, he wasn't polite about it either. I apologised -"
"Wait, you what?" Arya exclaimed; her tone caught between amusement and slight confusion.
"Yes, I apologised. Don't have a cow," Murtagh drawled. "Anyhow, he stomped away and that was it. Until last weekend that was, when I saw you and him with Aksel in the park."
"Oh," Saphira said softly. "Well, I guess I should apologise on his behalf then. 'Agon is usually a really nice guy. He must have had a bad day."
"A royally bad one by the looks of it," Murtagh said and snorted.
A sharp look from Thorn silenced him. Murtagh lifted his hands once again and leaned back in his seat. "I know, I know. Down boy, I get it."
Nasuada smothered a giggle. Murtagh raised an eyebrow in answer. Thorn rolled his eyes as he sat down beside Murtagh with Saphira in his lap. The blonde girl blushed slightly before making herself comfortable.
"Wait, am I the only one meeting her for the first time?" Murtagh asked with a small frown.
"It's you own fault for being so damn antisocial," the red haired male drawled.
Murtagh flipped his best friend off. Thorn just laughed.
"I met her when she was visiting with Aksel," Nasuada said with a small smile. "I do live there, you know."
"Urgh, don't remind me," the dark haired male said and shuddered.
"Play nice," Arya said and sent him a mock-glare.
"Sorry. I just find the thought of you two going at it..." Murtagh trailed off with a small smirk on his lips.
"Are you sure you're not gay?" Arya said and snorted.
"Maybe, I'm not sure. Can you test that? I'd love to give it a shot," Murtagh said mock-enthusiastically.
Thorn reached over and flicked his shoulder. Murtagh gave the redhead a glare as he started to massage the area. When Thorn put some muscle behind his hits they hurt like hell. One or two fingers could easily bring a man to the ground if he put the right force behind them.
"And you call yourself my best friend? Traitor," the hazel eyed man said and glared.
"My, you guys sure are tight," Saphira commented. "How long have you known each other?"
"Nasuada and I have known each other since primary school. We met Murtagh nine years ago and Arya just three years ago," Thorn replied.
Saphira smiled softly. "So you met Arya just after she heard about her half-brother?" she asked.
Murtagh frowned at this. What? His frown deepened when Arya nodded.
"My parents divorced when I was just one year old. My mother took me to Ellesméra while my father stayed wherever we lived before. Apparently he had met someone else. They had a son just a year later. And my mom told me about Aksel the year I turned seventeen," Arya explained. "The first time I saw him was that same year. When he hinted that he wanted to get away from our father, I told him that I would be starting at Varden University College and told him that my door would always be open. The rest you know."
"Ah," Saphira murmured. "Now I understand everything so much better. At first I thought Aksel was moving to Therinsford just because Eragon was leaving, but I always thought that sounded a little off."
Murtagh's hand paused from where it was lifting a glass to his lips. "Who?" he asked.
"Eragon? Oh, I've been referring to him as 'Agon all this time, haven't I?" Saphira shook her head and laughed. "Eragon's the brunet you ran over."
Another sharp sting of recognition echoed in his mind. Murtagh ran a hand through his hair and wondered what he was supposed to be remembering. His hand clenched into a fist when he realised that he yet again was unable to remember. Perhaps Morzan had indeed slung him into the wall or to the floor one time too many.
Outwardly, Murtagh smirked grimly.
"Murtagh?" Thorn said and shook Murtagh's shoulder.
The hazel eyed man shook his head. He looked up to find everyone looking at him worriedly. "What? I'm fine."
"Yeah, like we believe that," Nasuada said and snorted. "What's going on?"
"Nothing. I'm just having déjà-vu all over again," Murtagh growled. "God, I hate it."
Murtagh brushed off Arya's question before she could even fully form it. He stood up and sent a small smirk in Saphira's direction.
"It was nice to finally meet you," he said and grabbed his jacket. "I'll talk to the rest of you later."
"Running never solves anything!" Thorn called out after him sharply.
Murtagh paused in the doorway. He looked over his shoulder and straight into Thorn's eyes. He turned away again and walked out of the room. A few seconds later he had opened the outer door and closed it with a sound smack.
A/N This story completely took me by surprise. I can't remember what I envisioned this to become when I started it, but I know it's nothing like this. I won't say everything that popped up that wasn't in the original plot, because then I'd just ruin the whole thing. And we can't have that, now can we? :wink: I can tell you that if you think this is angsty; just wait for chapter two and three. :cough:
I do love this story, though. It was very fun to write. One of my favourite parts is in the next chapter, which I hopefully will have out by next week. I have nothing else to do now but to write and read, so...yeah. I know I should be out there looking for a job, getting my damn drivers licence, but I want to do things on my own time. And right now I want to write!
To my Obsession fans...be patient. A new chapter is coming, just hang in there. If I'm not busy, then my beta is. Give us time. You'll enjoy the finished project so much better if you wait.
That's all for now. G'night everyone. I hope you liked the beginning of the story. One chapter down, two more to go.