Disclaimer: I don't own Eragon or anything associated with the Inheritance Cycle. I don't own the song Iris by Goo Goo Dolls either.

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/Shōnen-ai – meaning mild guy x guy action. Femslash/Shōjo-ai – meaning mild girl x girl action. Swearing or strong language. Mature content – hints of sexual intercourse. If any of this disturbs you, click on the "back" button. I won't tolerate any flames.

A/N Thank you so much for all the great feedback. It's always a real confidence boost to read your positive and even constructive comments.

A huge thanks to my ever beloved beta, dragonrider713.

- "Speech" - Murtagh having a flashback.

EDIT (16th of September)

Due to FFNet's regulations, I have edited out parts of this chapter. The link to the unedited version of this chapter, along with the other unedited versions of my stories can be found on my "homepage". The rest of the stories in question will be up shortly.


DON'T LET GO

Part Three; Of The Future

Murtagh had ventured into the park that night despite what he had promised to himself. It wouldn't be the first promise he had broken, so he didn't care.

He treasured the dark as he stepped into the deserted green. It made him feel more welcome. During the day he stood out too much; being much too tainted and too dark to fit in. During the night the park became something else; a place where drunks passed out, prostitutes rested and where the homeless slept in peace. In that crowd he could blend in as just another lost soul.

No one bothered him that night. He walked back up to the tall tree and circled around it. With a critical eye, he climbed it mentally. Finally feeling satisfied, he jumped up and climbed.

The leaves were starting to fall, so there weren't many to provide him cover. But it was enough. He wasn't there to hide; merely to think.

He remembered now. He remembered Aggie's bell-like laughter, bright smile, warm heart and the cute lisp. But most of all he remembered Aggie's name; Eragon.

Murtagh hit his head against the tree trunk. How could he have forgotten? It was only eleven years since he had last seen him! Well, now a few hours since he had seen the teenage version. Murtagh slammed his head back again for good measure. He was an idiot!

"Morzan really did throw me into the wall one too many times," Murtagh said dryly before starting to laugh. "It wasn't enough to strip me of my emotions was it, you bastard? You had to cut my heart out too, didn't you? Rip me from the one thing I had grown to treasure and beat that out of my head. You bastard."

The wind whispered back to him, though he couldn't make out the words. He sighed.

"I always did want to know if he hated me for forgetting," Murtagh said bitterly. "I guess now I know. Be careful what you wish for and all that crap."

Murtagh fell silent and listened to the wind blow around him. A few leaves shuddered and crinkled quietly above him. He closed his eyes and felt himself start to hum again.

He wasn't sure when the habit had started, but he remembered doing so when he was younger. He had stopped when Morzan had ripped him away from Eragon, though. It figured that he would start again now that he finally had met his ex-friend again.

Unbidden, another memory rose inside his mind. He sighed and let it come to him.

- "You have a 'eally nice voice," Eragon said softly.

Murtagh blushed. He hadn't even noticed the brunet arriving. He stopped and watched the other sit down beside him and pout.

"Aww, don't stop!" Eragon whined. "Sing fo me?"

Murtagh looked out and into the park. He couldn't see Eragon's other friends. It seemed like the brunet had come alone. He sighed and looked back at his friend.

"I don't sing," Murtagh said awkwardly.

Eragon's pout deepened. "You did it just a minute ago! Pwease?"

Murtagh felt his resolve crumble. It was just so hard to say no to Eragon.

"...Alright," Murtagh said and sighed.

"YAY!" Eragon exclaimed excitedly. "What'cha gonna sing?"

"I...don't know," the dark haired child said and frowned. "I hum mostly."

"What we'h you singin' a minute ago?" Eragon asked with pursed lips.

"Eh, nothing that's especially suited for someone your age," the hazel eyed boy said and bit his lip.

Eragon frowned in confusion.

"Oh, it's nothing bad or anything!" Murtagh was quick to say. "It's just...you won't know it."

"I don't ca'h. Pwease? I won't tell. Pwetty pwease!"

Murtagh sighed. He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly and then gave a slight nod. Eragon brightened up instantly and turned to look at him head-on. Murtagh blushed again.

"Okay, I'm not really good or anything, this is just a song I've heard on the radio a few times," Murtagh said stalling.

Eragon started to pout again and Murtagh grinned sheepishly. He pulled on the bandage around his wrist before he opened his mouth.

"And I'd give up forever to touch you

Cos I know that you feel me somehow

You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be

And I don't want to go home right now"-

Murtagh let the memory linger for just a moment before he opened his mouth.

"And all I can taste is this moment

And all I can breathe is your life

Sooner or later it's over

I just don't want to miss you tonight"

Murtagh allowed a small smile to touch his lips before he continued; his voice a little louder and stronger this time.

"And I don't want the world to see me

Cos I don't think that they'd understand

When everything's made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am"

He opened his eyes and looked out into the night, the words still falling from his lips even though he didn't know where they came from.

"And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming

All the moments of truth in your lies

When everything feels like the movies

Yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive

And I don't want the world to see me

Cos I don't think that they'd understand

When everything's made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am"

Murtagh's grip around his leg tightened. He just knew there was someone watching him, listening to him.

"The song's about you, isn't it?"

Murtagh tensed. He looked down at the ground below and found himself staring into a pair of very familiar eyes. His eyes hardened and he looked away.

"So what if it is?" Murtagh replied dryly.

"What song is it?" the brunet asked.

"...I don't know," Murtagh admitted coldly.

Eragon laughed bitterly. "And you wouldn't tell me if you did...I suppose an apology from me is in order. I...shouldn't have been so short with you, especially after you said you were sorry and all that."

Murtagh let out a bark like laugh. "Oh, don't tell me; Arya spoke to you? Nasuada? Or was it Thorn?"

Murtagh saw Eragon frown out of the corner of his eye.

"What?" Eragon breathed.

"No one ever apologises to me unless my friends have, as they call it, 'explained my behaviour'. Really, it isn't my fault my father didn't raise me right," Murtagh said bitterly.

"You think I'm saying this cos one of your friends talked me into it?" Eragon asked.

"That's one way of putting it," the hazel eyed man said and got up. He slowly climbed down, though Eragon remained silent.

"I'm not," the brunet said and tilted his head slightly. "I...I can admit that I'm a bit slow. I didn't realise you were being nice...in your own way."

"See, now that isn't making me believe that my friends haven't had a little chat with you," Murtagh said with a smirk.

"Have you always been this difficult?" Eragon asked with frustration in his voice.

"Pretty much."

Eragon sighed. Murtagh looked away and tried not to let the reality of the situation really set in. It was easy to believe that this was all a dream. Well, it was easier than to believe it was actually happening. Because if he could push it away, make it less real somehow, then he wouldn't have to deal with the feelings that he had tried so hard to bury.

"I can't remember you being like this," Eragon said finally.

Murtagh looked at him sharply. During the time he had been looking away, the brunet had moved closer. He held down a flinch.

"That's because you've blown me off ever since meeting me," Murtagh said dryly.

Eragon took another step forward, his face surprisingly neutral. Murtagh wondered how he had become like that. The boy he remembered was so full of life it seemed impossible for him not to express something. Then again, he hadn't believed his Aggie could look so grown up, act so bitter and snappy either. Those things made even easier for him to believe everything around him was a dream.

"No..." Eragon trailed off. "I meant, I can't remember you being like this when we were kids."

Murtagh felt his eyes widen and cursed himself for reacting. He remembered? Eragon remembered?

"We have never met before," Murtagh said harshly.

Eragon half-smiled. Murtagh couldn't believe he looked so calm while Murtagh was actually rejecting him. The Aggie he knew was truly gone. The brunet stepped even closer.

"You don't remember?" Eragon commented. "Or are you in denial?"

Murtagh took a step back.

"No, I can see it in your face. You remember, you just don't want to," Eragon said calmly. "I understand."

Murtagh narrowed his eyes. "How could you possibly understand?" he snapped.

Eragon smiled sadly. "Because I was in denial too. I thought I had lost you. It was easier to think you had moved too far away to be able to contact me or had died than to think that you had forgotten about me. But I see it now."

"Well, I don't," Murtagh said coldly. "Whoever you think I am, I'm not."

"I realise you aren't Taggy anymore," Eragon said and shrugged. "We all grow up. I'm not Aggie anymore either. When you left, you took some of my happiness with you. But you're still him, still the kid that was my friend, even if only for one summer. It doesn't matter than you don't act like him anymore, you're still him."

Murtagh took another step back. "Stay away from me," he growled. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"But you do," Eragon stated. "I know you do. That song you just sang; you sang it to me the day before you told me you had to move. I remember it."

The hazel eyed man sneered.

"I was mad at you for a long time, in a way, I still am," the brunet continued. "But I've always let bygones be bygones."

"What are you saying?" Murtagh hissed.

"I don't want to lose you again," Eragon said tensely.

Murtagh flinched. He looked away and glared at the darkness around them. "You don't know what you're asking," he growled. "And I don't know what you're talking about."

"Stop being in denial, already!" Eragon exclaimed. "I know you remember me, so stop saying you don't!"

"FINE!" Murtagh yelled. "But it doesn't change anything. I've had to live with the thought that I would never see you again. For eleven years I believed that. And I'd rather go on for another eleven years believing the same than to start over."

And with that said, Murtagh turned around and ran.

-:-

Murtagh avoided his friends the following days. He actually managed to do it, even though he lived right in-between them and they knew when and where he worked. For a minute he had wondered if they maybe were giving him some space. He had started to laugh a second after thinking the thought. His friends didn't know when to give him space! If anything, that was when they bugged him the most.

He didn't see Eragon again. Not in the school cafeteria, the library or even in the hall. Murtagh almost believed he had pushed him away for good, and wondered if that was what he wanted. A sharp stab to the heart told him that no; no he did not. Eragon had been the only light in his childhood; why would he push that away? Because he was an idiot, that was why. And because he actually had his reasons.

"You are an idiot!"

Murtagh didn't have the time to prepare himself before he felt someone slap him hard. He gritted his teeth, but didn't cry out. He turned his head back around and glared down at the female before him.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Arya hissed angrily.

"...Working, I believe," Murtagh answered dryly.

And he was trying to forget just how many people were staring at them. Unfortunately, a girl coming up to slap an employee didn't happen every day.

"You, you!" Arya growled. "Why did you go and do that?"

"...Do what?" Murtagh asked tiredly. The worst was that he actually had an idea what she was talking about.

"Don't play dumb," she hissed quietly. "Nasuada finally cracked. She told me everything, everything about how you become insanely love-sick during the summer, longing for that little boy you remember from your childhood. And what do you do when you finally find him again? You push him away?"

Murtagh was insanely glad there was no one within ear-shot. He grabbed her arm and dragged her out of the store. He dragged her into the alley around the corner where the dumpsters were. There he let her go and narrowed his eyes.

"Try to make me sound less of a pedophile, please," he said dryly. "I need that job."

"And I don't care!" Arya exclaimed loudly. "Are you trying to stay miserable?"

"And what if I am?" Murtagh commented nonchalantly.

Arya narrowed her eyes angrily. Murtagh rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.

"Eragon doesn't know what he's asking of me," Murtagh said then. "I can't go back to being his friend just like that. I spent eleven years thinking I'd never see him again. When he's done here, he'll leave again. If I let him get close and he leaves, I'll die."

Arya's face softened. "What makes you think he'll leave?"

"Wherever he came from, that's where he lives!" Murtagh hissed darkly. "After he graduates from college, he'll go back there. Even if that's three or five years from now, he'll leave. And if I let him close, I can't promise I'll live to see him go."

"Murtagh -"

"Don't you get it yet? I love that kid. I love him more than you can even begin to imagine. And it hurts to love someone you think you'll never see again. And if you lose that again, you'll go crazy. I can't love with half of my heart, Arya; I love with all of it. That's why I'm pushing him away."

Arya fell silent. Murtagh pursed his lips and waited for her to respond. His heart was in his throat, but he didn't care.

"Does Eragon know?" the green eyed female asked softly.

Murtagh let out a bitter laugh. "Of course he doesn't. I was ten, and he was, what, seven? No, he doesn't know. And that's the way it's going to stay."

"You can't do that to him!" Arya said sharply. "You have to tell him!"

"Why, so I can see him walk away? No, I will not do it," Murtagh barked.

Arya pursed her lips in frustration.

Murtagh stepped around her and whispered something to her as he passed. "I'm sorry, but I can't."

-:-

Murtagh wondered about the irony in the world. It always seemed to strike him the hardest. When he had thought he would never get a friend, he had found one. When he thought he could never forget Eragon, he had. When he had thought he would never see Eragon again, he had. And when he had thought his feelings would fade with time, they hadn't.

He sat in his apartment. He had gotten home two hours ago, and he still hadn't bothered to turn on the light. Outside it was raining cats and dogs and everything in-between. Murtagh had only changed into dry clothes before sitting down in front of the TV, putting it on mute as he allowed music to flow inside the room.

The phone had rung a few times, but he hadn't bothered to answer. His answering machine could pick up for him; it was nicer than he was after all. Murtagh watched as the phone rang again. He sighed and leaned over, picking up the cordless and putting it on speaker.

"What do you want?"

"Murtagh, you're being an ass."

Murtagh smirked dryly. "Ah, my good friend. How have you been?"

"Fuck you," Thorn growled. "I haven't seen or spoken to you in two weeks, and that's the first thing you say to me?"

"We all know I'm a bastard, there's no need to act surprised," Murtagh said nonchalantly and turned down the volume slightly.

"I heard what you said to the kid," Thorn began to say.

"Oh, not you too!" Murtagh groaned. "Look, if you've talked to Arya, you know my reasons. If you haven't, then talk to her! I don't feel like explaining myself twice."

"I have talked to her," Thorn said gruffly. "And that's exactly why I'm calling. Are you out of your frigging mind? What sort of reason is that! You know that it's better to have loved and lost."

"Not twice in a row, and not with the same person," Murtagh told him sharply. "I'm not doing that again."

"We're all afraid to get hurt, but damnit, Murtagh!" the redhead practically yelled.

"I don't care what you're going to say, I won't change my mind. I lived with the thought that maybe someday I could see him again, talk to him again if only for just a second, and at that time that was okay. But now, now that I've actually seen him again, I can't. I just can't."

Thorn fell silent for a moment.

"And besides, after I get my Master I'm leaving," Murtagh sighed.

"What?" Thorn growled.

"I need a change of space, Thorn. My dad's in the state prison. I just, I need to get away from all of this, away from him," the hazel eyed man said sombrely.

"The fuck are you saying? You're bailing on us?"

"He's been trying to contact me, did you know that?" Murtagh said quietly. "He thinks that I can do something to help him. I need to get away."

"That's why you wouldn't ask him about Eragon; you're afraid," Thorn murmured.

"Thorn, the man threw me into the wall when I forgot to do the dishes," Murtagh stated dryly.

"Why you never went to the Child Services, I have no idea," the redhead said sadly.

Murtagh didn't answer.

"Murtagh, running isn't the answer to everything!" Thorn said almost desperately. "And neither is pushing away the people you care about."

"I'll be back to my normal self next week," Murtagh said and sighed. "But I'm not giving a friendship with Eragon another chance. I lost him once; I'm not losing him again."

And before Thorn could respond Murtagh hung up. The phone didn't ring afterwards, and for a minute Murtagh felt hollow. Then he turned up the music and closed his eyes, drowning himself in the beat. Sleep followed a few minutes later.

-:-

Murtagh didn't run the following Saturday. Instead he merely walked to the park. It took him quite a bit longer to reach his destination, but he didn't care. An hour ticked by before he finally found himself inside the park. He didn't know why he was risking it, knowing quite well who liked to come there, but he had felt the need to honour his Saturday tradition, even if he didn't want to run there.

"Not running today?" Angela asked as he approached.

Murtagh merely shook his head in answer.

"What's wrong?" she asked as she put up the 'be right back' sign and stepped out of the kiosk.

Murtagh sank down on the bench and tipped his head back.

"I'm not really talking to my friends anymore," he said softly.

"Yes, I know," Angela said and sighed loudly.

Murtagh looked up and crocked an eyebrow.

"They come here as much as you do, asking if you've been by mostly. If they hadn't told me so themselves, I would have seen it in their eyes."

Murtagh closed his eyes and tried to will his upcoming headache away.

"Now, what's this nonsense about you blowing off that poor boy?" Angela asked.

"I blew him off because I'd rather deal with the hurt now than later," Murtagh replied emotionlessly.

"But I seem to recall Thorn telling me that you didn't want to lose him," the grey eyed woman commented.

"And I don't. I already have once, and I refuse to lose him like that again. Hence the 'no-friendship' policy," Murtagh explained.

"And I seem to recall him not wanting to lose you either," Angela paused. "Ever stop to consider that he might feel the same?"

"Pah," Murtagh snorted. "I'm broken beyond the chance of ever receiving love. Don't make me laugh."

Angela sighed. "Someone doesn't seem to think so."

"Then Eragon's a fool," Murtagh said sharply. "And beside, he was seven when I left. I at least was closer to puberty. You can't love someone at that age."

"Love knows no boundaries," Angela said mystically and Murtagh heard her stand up. "You should give that poor boy a chance."

"But I won't," Murtagh said firmly. "This is for the best of us."

"Then I suggest you tell him that," the female said and Murtagh felt her walk away.

He snorted and sat up straight. His eyes opened and when he took in the sight before him, he wished he had kept them closed. He threw an angry look at Angela, but she was looking in the other direction.

Murtagh slowly stood, trying his best not to flinch under the heavy stare.

"Did you mean it?" the person before him asked timidly.

"Did I mean what?" Murtagh asked emotionlessly.

"That you don't want to lose me," Eragon said with a barely even voice. "If so, then why are you doing this?"

"Because I can't lose you again," Murtagh said tensely.

"That doesn't make sense," Eragon told him coldly.

Murtagh closed his mouth and stayed silent.

"And feel the same? Feel the same how?" Eragon clenched his teeth. "How do I not feel the same?"

Murtagh remained silent.

"Damnit!" Eragon exclaimed angrily. "I've looked for you ever since I got old enough! In my own way, I've looked for you for eleven years, even if it was only in my dreams! Tell me!"

"No," Murtagh replied calmly.

Eragon glared at him. Before Murtagh could be quite sure what was happening, Eragon had grabbed a handful of his sweater and stood up on his toes, placing a firm kiss on his lips. Murtagh breathed in sharply through his nose. He remained unresponsive, even if it took so much out of him that he had to clench his fists tightly together, and waited.

Eragon pulled back with a tense look on his face. "Don't feel the same like that?" he asked harshly.

"Eragon, don't," Murtagh said coldly.

"No, you don't," Eragon growled and kissed him again.

Murtagh clenched his jaw. Eragon's mouth felt so warm, so right against his own. And when Eragon leaned in so closely that he could feel the heat radiating from his body, he nearly lost it. But only nearly. It was only when Eragon bit his lip that Murtagh caved. Somehow Eragon managed to sneak in his tongue, and that became his end.

Murtagh snarled and reached out, pulling Eragon completely against him. A small sound left Eragon, but it was swallowed between them. Murtagh gripped onto the back of the brunet's neck and onto his waist. Eragon just continued to hang onto the front of his sweater.

They kissed angrily and brutally, not at all what Murtagh had expected any first kiss between them to be. But in a way, it fit. Murtagh only let Eragon come up for air for a second before kissing him brutally again. But Eragon didn't complain. If this was what Eragon wanted, then that was what he was going to get.

Murtagh let the kiss continue for another minute. He let go with a final nip at Eragon's bottom lip. Then he let go completely and stepped back, even if it meant the bench digging into the back of his calves.

"Tag?" Eragon breathed.

"There, you've gotten what you came for. Now I'm leaving, and you better not approach me again," Murtagh said darkly and stalked away.

-:-

Now people seemed to want to knock down his door. Apparently calling until it wasn't possible to hear when one call ended and a new one began wasn't enough. He hadn't answered any of the calls or opened the door once, though he had been tempted to answer just once to scream at them to leave him alone. Of course, that would only give him more trouble, so he hadn't.

"Murtagh, open this fucking door!" Thorn yelled angrily one night, as he had done for the past week already.

Murtagh snorted and sipped his drink. One little kiss and suddenly people wanted to kill him. He really couldn't win with his friends.

"You know I have a key to this place," Thorn warned him. "I haven't used it yet because we want you to talk to us on your own accord."

"Good luck there," Murtagh murmured under his breath.

"But then again, you probably have the door-chain on, don't you?" Thorn growled. "Open up, already!"

"Murtagh, we just want to talk," Nasuada added in a calm voice.

Murtagh looked away and gulped down his beer.

"Would you open up for Eragon?" Nasuada asked.

Suddenly the apartment seemed quiet, too quiet. Thorn had finally stopped banging on the door. Murtagh braved a look and put down the bottle, though he made no move to get up.

"We just want you to be happy," the dark skinned girl said softly, so softly that Murtagh almost didn't hear her.

"Then leave me alone," Murtagh replied loudly enough for them to hear.

Suddenly it was quiet again. He could imagine the shock on his friends' faces, though it brought no smile to his face.

"You know that won't make you happy," Nasuada said finally.

"I don't care," Murtagh said then.

"Please open up so that we can talk. It's awkward to talk to you like this."

"Then stop talking," Murtagh snapped and gripped his head tightly.

"Murtagh," Nasuada said sternly. "Eragon deserves some proper answers."

"Well, it's not like he's there with you," Murtagh snapped and stalked over to the kitchen to properly dispose of the glass bottle. It wasn't good for him to have ammunition to throw if he got angry enough.

"What if he is?" Nasuada said then.

Murtagh froze. Slowly he took out another beer of the fridge and slammed the door shut. "Too bad he's not, then."

"I am, Murtagh."

Murtagh flinched. Fuck, he could recognize that voice anywhere now.

"That was low, Thorn, very low," he spat at the door.

"I asked him to come, Murtagh," Nasuada said softly. "Please?"

"No," the hazel eyed man replied and proceeded on the mission to get himself drunk.

"Murtagh," Eragon breathed.

"I might end up hitting you if you come in here," Murtagh threatened.

"Then that's a risk I'll have to take," the brunet said calmly.

"The hell you will," Murtagh spat angrily. "No one's coming in, and that's final!"

Murtagh didn't bother to stick around to hear what they had to say next. He stomped loudly over to his bedroom and slammed the door shut.

-:-

The next day Murtagh entered his apartment with an absent mind. His arms were loaded with groceries, and he had to kick the door shut behind him. He kicked off his shoes before padding into the kitchen.

Ten minutes later everything was put away and he hung up his jacket and bag by the door. Then he ruffled two hands through his hair and grimaced at the feel of the long strands in the back. He still hadn't cut it.

He stopped short when he looked up by chance on his way to the bedroom.

"What are you doing?" he hissed angrily. "Get out."

Eragon shook his head stubbornly. "If I can't get you to admit your feelings then, damnit, I'm going to be your friend even if you don't want me to."

Murtagh let out a frustrated groan. "Leave, Eragon," he growled. "Leave before I do something we'll both regret."

"Like we aren't regretting things already," Eragon stated dryly. "We're going to talk, and that's final."

Murtagh scowled and stalked to his bedroom. Before he could slam the door shut, Eragon slipped inside. Murtagh let out a loud scream of frustration and slammed his fist nearly through the wall.

"What part of 'never approach me again' didn't you understand?" he hissed.

Eragon just crossed his arms in answer.

"Eragon, if we had met on a different day, in a different way, if one or both of us had acted differently, then yes, I would have wanted to be your friend. But that didn't happen, so this can't," Murtagh told him as calmly as he could.

"Then maybe we aren't meant to be friends," Eragon said and shrugged.

"Finally you're getting it. Now get out," the hazel eyed man said and nodded towards the still half-open door.

"Maybe we're meant to be more," the brunet said calmly.

The thought tempted him, Murtagh wouldn't deny that. He couldn't deny that. But he still wasn't going to let it happen.

"Or maybe we're just not meant to be anything at all," Murtagh said and stalked over to the door, throwing it open with enough force to make it bounce upon hitting the wall. He gestured for Eragon to leave, but the brunet made no move to do so.

Murtagh stalked forward angrily and grabbed a handful of Eragon's shirt. He glared down at him. "Don't make me hurt you," he hissed into the brunet's ear.

Eragon just leaned up when Murtagh pulled away and kissed him again. Murtagh broke the contact as swiftly as it had been made and sneered. "Don't."

Eragon wouldn't listen. Murtagh let go, but the brunet simply threw his arms around his neck and dragged him down for another kiss. Murtagh grasped onto Eragon's shoulders and tore him away.

"You don't know who you're dealing with," Murtagh warned him. "Leave!"

"I know that you care about me, and I know you're attracted to me," Eragon said and tilted his head slightly.

"And how do you know that?" Murtagh sneered.

"You're hard," Eragon said bluntly. "You were the last time too. Not much, but enough."

Strangely enough Murtagh didn't feel embarrassed. He simply growled angrily and pushed Eragon away.

"So? I want you to leave, and you should respect my wishes," the darker brunet said darkly.

"No," Eragon said firmly. "You don't respect mine, so why should I?"

Murtagh just glared at him. He sat down on his bed and buried his face in his hands. He hissed when he felt Eragon stop in front of him.

No one did anything for a few minutes. Murtagh's grasp tightened with time, but he didn't even wince when he felt his nails dig painfully into his scalp. He nearly flinched back when he felt Eragon place both of his hands on his shoulders. Eragon tightened his grip until Murtagh looked up, ready to snarl at the younger teen again.

Before Murtagh could speak, Eragon sat himself down in his lap and kissed him furiously. This time Murtagh didn't bother to hold himself back. He leaned back until his back hit the mattress before rolling them over, hovering over the brunet as he kissed him harshly enough to bruise them both. And Eragon let him.

Before long, their clothes were being thrown everywhere, and their kissing still hadn't softened. Murtagh bit down on Eragon's shoulder, and the brunet moaned. Eragon's hands were digging painfully into Murtagh's back, creating long, angry red lines, but neither cared.

After it was over, their pants echoed softly as they tried to regain their breath. For a while neither spoke.

"You annoy me," Murtagh growled.

Eragon laughed bitterly. "Likewise."

"How did this happen?"

"I guess you stopped being in denial, even if I suspect you're going to crawl right back into that cosy little hole in a minute," Eragon replied.

Murtagh started to laugh. He saw Eragon stare at him like he had gone crazy. Murtagh pulled back slightly, and seeing as they were still connected, slammed back in. Eragon groaned softly.

"This hole?" Murtagh leered.

Suddenly understanding the joke, Eragon began to laugh hysterically. "Pervert."

Murtagh let the comment slide. He pulled out and pushed himself to lie beside the brunet.

"Are you going to leave me alone now?" he asked bitterly.

"No," Eragon replied as he sat up.

Murtagh groaned. "Eragon, we can't -"

"Can't you just shut up for a minute?" Eragon asked harshly.

Murtagh pushed himself to lean on his elbows and raised an eyebrow. Eragon glared at him before he continued.

"You don't want to lose me; I don't want to lose you. So why the fuck are you pushing me away? That means losing me, you know," he said dryly.

"Better now that later," Murtagh explained.

"...You think you'll lose me later?" Eragon asked.

"Yeah. You're going to head back to...wherever later. I'm just saving the both of us the hurt of being separated again. Because if it hurt you even only a tiny percentage of how it hurt me the last time, then I don't want that to happen again," Murtagh said and looked away.

Eragon let out a soft laugh. "Did you honestly think that when I've finally found you, I'll let you go just like that?"

Murtagh frowned. "Don't you have family back home?"

"None that'll keep me there forever," Eragon replied honestly.

"What are you saying?" Murtagh asked quietly.

"That I'm going to stick around here until I've finished my degree. What happens later depends on where my chosen career, heart, friends and/or loved ones take me," the brunet answered with a soft smile.

"...If I'm one of those, you're making a mistake," the hazel eyed man stated dryly.

"Then let me," Eragon said and tilted his head. "Besides, some mistakes can later prove to be the best decisions in your life."

"Hey, when did I agree to be a part of this?" Murtagh asked.

"The moment you slept with me," Eragon said then and smirked.

Murtagh rolled his eyes.

"So?" Eragon asked hopefully.

Murtagh sighed. He snorted and pulled the other to him. Eragon let out a surprised squeak, something Murtagh filed away to tease him about later, and fell down on top of the older male.

"I'll blame you if we split up after driving each other crazy and/or killing one another," Murtagh told him dryly.

The smile that lit up Eragon's face was worth throwing away his beliefs. For a moment Murtagh could recognize the small boy that had befriended him and captured his heart. Then Eragon of course had to ruin it by leaning down to kiss him.

Murtagh sighed and rolled them over. And for once, the contact remained gentle.

-:-

"MURTAGH!"

Said male groaned in answer and stumbled out of the bedroom. He walked over to the door and leaned onto it. "What?"

"Get the hell out here and show yourself!" Thorn yelled angrily. "It's been nearly two weeks! Grow some balls, for fucks sake!"

Murtagh snorted. He pulled back the chain and opened the door. Thorn nearly fell forward in surprise. Beside him he could see Nasuada and Arya. Murtagh smirked inwardly when they all seemed surprised that he had answered, and perhaps even more surprised that he had answered wearing nothing but a pair of pyjama pants.

"What?" he repeated.

"...You're still in bed?" Arya asked suspiciously.

"Long night, I couldn't sleep," Murtagh stated dryly.

"Guilt eating you up from the inside?" Thorn drawled.

Murtagh smirked. "Not exactly."

He was even more pleased when he noticed that this confused them more.

"Whatever, you need to get your head out of your goddamn ass, and -"

"And what?" Murtagh interrupted, not even bothered the slightest by Thorn's glare. "Let me guess, talk to Eragon?"

"YES!" the three people before him half-yelled.

"Guys, keep it down, I have company," Murtagh said and winced.

"...Murtagh," Thorn growled angrily.

"That's what kept you up?" Nasuada asked disapprovingly.

"Oh sure, look at me like I'm the bad guy!" Murtagh said and rolled his eyes. "He jumped me!"

"Murtagh," Thorn's voice rose.

"You should all be happy with me, I took your bloody advice," Murtagh said before Thorn could continue. "But I'm still not happy, you know. The kid has yet to convince me that this is a good idea."

He nearly laughed when his three friends proceeded to look even more confused.

"Murtagh, who is it?" Eragon called out.

Murtagh smirked. "Just my personal guilt brigade," he replied.

"Tell them to come back later! They can yell at you then," Eragon called back.

"You heard Eragon," Murtagh said mock-happily. "Yell at me all you want later. Though, I'm not sure what you're going to use against me then."

And with that he closed the door in his friends' faces. He let a small snigger escape his lips as he locked the door and walked back to his bedroom.

"...Did you mean what you said?" Eragon asked as he returned to the bed.

"About what?" Murtagh asked.

"That I haven't fully convinced you?" the brunet said and sighed in content when Murtagh slid back in and spooned behind him.

"I meant it," Murtagh murmured. "You've just convinced me to give it a shot."

Eragon smiled softly. "At least I'm half-way there."

Murtagh just chuckled.

"I think that some good night's sleep really did you good," Eragon said and raised his eyebrows. "You're laughing."

"Well, it's easier to let my guard down around you," Murtagh said softly.

The brunet blushed slightly and looked away.

Murtagh sighed and buried his head in Eragon's neck. He frowned and gathered the necessary courage.

"Eragon?" the younger male hummed in answer. "Are you mad at me for never trying to contact you?"

Eragon stayed silent for a small while. "A little, but not enough to hold a grudge. No, if I'm mad at you for anything, then it is for trying to push me away."

Murtagh sighed in relief.

"Why, don't tell me you were worried?"

"A little," Murtagh admitted. "And now shut up."

Eragon proceeded to laugh. Murtagh nibbled his neck in warning, but Eragon only continued to laugh.

"Alright, you asked for it!" Murtagh stated and rolled over on top of him. Eragon let out a loud shriek, one Murtagh knew he would deny later, and finally managed to stop laughing when his mouth became otherwise preoccupied.

The End


A/N And that's it, folks!

The third thing that I didn't expect to turn up in the story was in this chapter. I'm sure you can guess what it is. :laughs: But you know how plot bunnies are. They won't shut up until you cave, the damn things. So "angry" smex it was. Hehe.

A little side-note to my Obsession fans: an update is coming. Just please be patient.

Other than that, I'm currently working on a motherload of stories. The ones I have listed on my profile aren't even half of my ongoing projects. I only put up the ones I think I can finish or am close to finishing. So yes, that means that you'll be hearing from me this summer. Hehe. I'm trying to write a lot during these few months of freedom so that once school starts up again, I'll have stuff to post even if I don't have a lot of time to write.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this little story. Good night, folks.