(A/N)- So. Here I am again. I haven't been eaten by werewolves. These long absences from writing are why I refuse to write anything more than one-shots, for the sake of you, my -albeit few- readers. Well, this is my first-ever Eragon/Inheritance Cycle fic. So yay me! I also have a new laptop, a purple dell mini 10! Hoo-rah (: The only bad thing is, I haven't gotten Word yet, and I have to use Microsoft Works Word Processor, which I am SO not used to. Weird markings and dots in between each word. Anyway, after a few weeks hiatus I finally finished the rest of Brisingr, and it was um… amazing! He he. Can't wait for the fourth book! After finishing Brisingr and to my dismay, there being no more than a paragraph of E/A action in the last half of the book, I decided to take my frustration out by writing this! So yeah. Enough asinine blathering. Onward! Hope you like it (: -katie

Eragon smiled to himself as he glanced around and took in what was going on. He and a few others- namely Saphira, Arya, Roran, and Katrina- had gathered in an open field for a well-deserved day off. After the siege of Feinster, Nasuada had proclaimed today an official leisure day, something very rare under her command. So the group had decided to take advantage of her proclamation and have some well deserved down time.

He looked around and saw that Roran was sitting next to Katrina, both engrossed in each other, and Saphira was in the air, flying about happily.

Eragon was content to laze about and watch his friends laugh and have fun. All except for one, of course. Said culprit was sitting alone, against a nearby tree, her back pressed against the trunk of the tree, reading a scroll. Her dark hair was held back by a headband which matched the color of her clothes- her traditional forest green tunic with black leggings.

As if feeling Eragon's eyes on her, Arya looked up, her emerald eyes locking with his for a moment, then the corners of her mouth turned up in the slightest of smiles, before she looked back down at the captor of her attention.

Eragon sighed in spite of himself. He looked once again at Arya and wondered why she tortured him so. He knew she didn't mean it, in fact, he knew, she believed that ignoring his feelings for her was the best solution to this rather desperate predicament. Eragon felt separately on this matter, however. There was nothing he could do. Just thinking about the elf princess made his heart pang with sorrow. He knew he could never be with her as long as she believed it to be impossible, and that her views on the matter may never change.

How terrible was it to love someone? Wasn't love supposed to be a happy feeling? Yes, Eragon thought, it is. Then why did it put him through so much torture?

His love for Arya formed phantasmal chains around him, and couldn't break free of their hold, so long as he still harbored these unrequited feelings for her. Not that he felt he could ever demolish these chains, they already held him too tightly.

He tried to stem his growing affection for the princess, as did others. Saphira given him her fair share of consultations, but to no avail. Saphira didn't like seeing Eragon in so much pain- and resented the elf a small bit for it. She disliked anything that caused him distress.

The damage had been done, and proved very difficult to be undone.

Later that day, not much more had transpired. They had played a few rounds of tag, much to Roran and Katrina's demise, and Eragon was still as distracted by Arya as ever. Roran, like a brother to Eragon, noticed this, and decided to confront him. He excused himself from Katrina, and she proceeded to converse with Arya, who had abandoned he scroll some time ago to play tag.

"Eragon, what is the matter with you?" asked Roran, concern etched on his face. "You've barely spoken with anyone, which is most unlike you."

"I… I just have a lot on my mind is all," Eragon replied. But Roran noticed the way his cousin's brown eyes darted towards Arya and Katrina where they sat propped against Saphira across the field.

"Ah, so it's lady troubles you're having, yes?"

"I, uh…" Eragon debated on whether to tell Roran everything. He, if anyone, may be able to help him. "Yes," Eragon confided, yet still somewhat reluctant. "It's Arya."

"Well that much is obvious," Roran chuckled. "All you ever do is look at her. So what's the problem? You're afraid to tell her how you feel? Concerned she doesn't return your feelings?"

"No, no, she already knows of my affection for her, and she has already said she doesn't reciprocate them. The problem is, I can't stop thinking of her. I can't help but love her, anymore than you could help loving Katrina. The only difference is, Katrina feels the same way about you as you feel about her."

"I see," said Roran, remorseful of the amount of sadness lacing his cousin's voice.

Eragon continued. "It's as if she has placed me in chains, and only she has the key," he said, voicing some of his previous thoughts.

"You say you love her," said Roran, "and you're sure of this feeling?"

"I believe so," replied Eragon. "It feels as though every time I look at her, or think of her my heart will burst with happiness, yet there is sorrow as well. She has broken my heart, and even though she has, I can't help but love her with all of the pieces."

"You definitely have got it bad," said Roran, chuckling again. "Now, you said that Arya doesn't return your feelings?"

""Yes, she said so herself."

"And what were her exact words, do you remember?"

"Yes, unfortunately. She had said 'You and I are not meant for each other… This cannot, nor ever shall be, among other things," replied Eragon, remembering all too well that night of the Blood Oath ceremony. "Fortunately, our friendship has at least returned and she has forgiven me for my foolishness."

"I see," said Roran yet again. "But perhaps she has had more time to develop further feeling for you, other than those of simply friendship?"

"I don't think so, and I don't think I'd be willing to risk her friendship again."

"Do you not wish to be with Arya?"

"Well of course I do, I-"

"Then you must do something about it! You must be able to reason with her at least!"

"Aye, but she's as stubborn as she is beautiful." Roran laughed at Eragon's comment and replied,

"So are you! You've not relinquished your feelings for her though she repeatedly rejects you."

Eragon had no good argument for this. After a few moments of silence, Roran said, "Go and talk with her. See if you cannot reason with her."

With that, Roran got up and walked back over to where Katrina and Arya were still sitting with Saphira. Eragon's mind had no real desire to make a fool of himself in front of Arya, but still his heart wished to speak with her. Gathering up his courage, he asked her if she would speak with him privately. She agreed and they walked over to the tree Arya had been sitting under previously. Arya agilely climbed up the tree a few feet, then perched on a branch about ten feet from the ground. Eragon followed after her and settled on a branch next to her.

"What is it you wanted to speak with me about, Eragon?" asked Arya not looking him in the eyes. Oh no, thought Eragon. this can't be good. She's already ignoring me.

"Is something the matter?" he asked her.

"No, it's just… I wanted to talk with you as well. About something rather important."

"And what would that be?"

"Well, I was talking with Saphira and Katrina while you and Roran were speaking, and it was concerning the fact that I have been rather distant. Distracted."

"Perhaps if they knew you better they would realize that you are always distant," said Eragon with a teasing tone. Arya smiled a ghost of a smile at this, and replied,

"Yes, I suppose I do have a reputation for being rather withdrawn, but I was surprised to learn that they thought me distracted. Which leads me to think of something I said to you a while back. That we could not be together because we could not afford to be distracted from our duties."

"I remember," Eragon replied gravely.

"But it seems that, even though we aren't…together," she stumbled a bit on that word, "we are preoccupied nonetheless," she finished, her tone slightly irritated.

"I don't understand," said Eragon. "You are distracted… by me?"

"I… Yes. I suppose I am slightly distracted by… by you," Arya said, an almost pained look on her face, as if she was admitting this even to herself.

"What about me?" asked Eragon innocently, not wanting to say anything to upset her any further. At this she looked up a Eragon and gave him a disbelieving look.

"You truly have no clue? Is it not apparent, then, that I share your feelings?" she questioned, somewhat flustered.

Eragon could not keep the grin off of his face. "You return my affection?"

"I am simply saying that it is not …advantageous to smother our feelings any longer. If anything, it has caused additional distress and distraction."

Eragon could hardly believe his ears. Arya finally had admitted that she had feelings for him as well! Roran had been right.

"What led to all of this?" asked Eragon.

"Well as I said, I was talking with Saphira and Katrina…"

"No, I meant what led you to…um, develop these feelings?"

"Truthfully? I've always had them. I just… fooled myself into believing it would be best for us both if I repressed my feelings."

"So everything you said…"

"-was a lie." This was all Eragon had to hear before reaching over to take her hand. When she did not resist, he carefully- so as to avoid falling out of the tree- leaned over and gently placed his lips on hers. The elf was hesitant at first, but abandoning all trepidation, deepened the long-awaited kiss. He combed his fingers through her onyx hair, as soft as her had imagined it. She twisted one arm around his neck, the other placed firmly against the tree trunk for support.

After a few long moments, the pair separated, smiles gracing both of their faces.

Eragon still could not believe this had happened. Instead of the usual pain he saw when looking at the beautiful princess, he felt only love and pure happiness. Arya felt simple relief in not having to hide her feelings, and joy that she would no longer cause Eragon pain.

The two sat looking at each other for quite some time, simply enjoying each other's company. They had not even noticed that the sun had began to slip below the horizon, throwing rainbows of blue, purple, and pink across the twilight sky.

Finally they were interrupted when an amused looking sapphire dragon bent her head down and grabbed their attention. Next to Saphira was a smiling Roran and an elated Katrina, happy to see the two together.

"It is about time," said Saphira mockingly. Roran and Katrina laughed as Eragon and Arya blushed, then climbed out of the tree, one after the other. "I am glad you two are together, little one," Saphira said to Eragon only, humming with satisfaction.

Eragon smiled and gave Arya a quick, gentle kiss, then seeing her radiant smile replied "I am, too Saphira. I am too."

I hope it wasn't too horridly cheesy. (; I'm NOT one to beg for reviews, but I would love it if you said a few words about what you thought. Constructive criticism is always welcome! Also, I hope you liked the ending, and be sure to give me any suggestions you may have. PS: i am just finishing, it is 6 AM! i stayed up ALL NIGHT! finishing this. I'm happy though. (: well, i'm off to get... oh, fours hours of sleep. (; It's okay, i'm usually up til 4 reading fics anyway. at least i accomplished something this time around. ha ha. Love Always- Katie (: