Story: Don't Fade Away (Memories)

Author: ArtisticallyFlaved

Warnings: Coarse language, mentions of incest and nudity.

Notes: I took some liberty with Merlock's appearance – all I could find in Eragon was that his eyebrow was incredibly strong and he had a goatee –shrug-

...I am so sorry about how fucking late this is. I'm not even going to make up any excuses; just extend my sincerest apologies to everyone and anyone who was waiting for this. Seriously, I'm sorry.

Some exciting news! This has 7 favorites so far (thanks so much to andi-greene, DemonNinjaOfTheLeaf48, Katcarrier15, Kidou Corpse, masterdisk, QuicSilverFox3, and yayubaru1!) and 10 alerts (alefja; i love you guys! Andi-green, DemonNinjaOfTheLeaf48, LeticiaHelena, lydia-chan, murtaghxblaiseyum, QuickSilerFox3, Rainbowdashlovesinheritance, rockchic777, T D'Amaze, and yayubaru1!) Rainbow Dash is best pony, btw c: And thanks to all those who reviewed! i would list them as well, but there's a lot of repeats, and I need to run to work, soooo!

Btw, I'm also sorry that this is so short compared to chapter one - I was trying to keep them equal length, but...yeah. This one is much more emotional though, so that makes up for it I guess? ;u; I hope you enjoyyy~

x.x. Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It was chalking up to be a total shit-tastic day for Eragon. A 'go-ahead-and-eat-that-lead', 'oh-hey-look-a-bridge!' kind of shitty day. When he'd gone to bed last night he'd felt better than he had in weeks, which led to a nice, deep sleep with blurred dreams that left him with a headache when he woke up at 8:30 am. Exactly when his first hour started in Carvahall High about a mile away.

As he scrambled around to get ready, he found a note from his mom – 'Got called in for work! Hitch ride from Saph? Love you!', however, Saph was already at school, grudgingly stuffing her brain full of learning, ignorant of her best friend's turmoil. Her parents were also gone, Eragon discovered as he finished his two-minute flailing attack on their door. Their absence left him with one option – walk.

By then, he was contemplating just staying home and saying to hell with it, but he'd already gotten ten texts from friends eager to see him. Of course, half of them he didn't recognize their names, but hey, you win some you lose some. So, with much chagrin, the teen hiked his book bag up with a bit of trouble, and began his journey into the lovely mid-20 degree morning in jeans, sneakers, a t-shirt and a hoodie.

He arrived at school at 9:41, socks and shoes soaked and half-frozen, his hat frozen to his head, blue-tinted fingers stuffed vainly in his armpits, the skin on his right forearm itching and burning at the same time (goddamn that cast because he couldn't reach it!), and in short, miserable and pissed. Absently he wondered if his balls would ever see the light of day again. A shudder wracked his frame as he dropped his book bag in front of the front desk, "I need a pass please."

The secretary greeted him with a snide look, airily commenting that he was a little under-dressed for the weather. It took a lot of self-control not to reach over the desk and pimp slap a bitch, but he withheld and stalked back into the hallway. "Thank you so very much, ma'am!"

Which brought up a problem he'd neglected to think about. He wasn't entirely sure where his second hour class was, and had absolutely no idea where his locker was, leaving him to lug around his frosty bag. Cursing his fantastic luck, Eragon peeped at his schedule, wondering why the hell it didn't have his locker number, and spotted his second hour teacher. Sloan. With Chemistry 2. "Can someone please shoot me? Please?" He whined under his breath, clenching the paper in his hand.

"Are you alright?" A frail looking elderly woman stopped in the hall near him, her brow seeming to cave under her innumerable wrinkles, barely containing the floppy mass from covering her beady eyes. "Suicide is no joking matter sonny!" Her 's's whistled through her dentures in a grating fashion, making the boy before her wince.

Eragon nearly face-palmed, wishing he had just stayed home. "Ah, sorry, I know ma'am, I just don't know where my class is…"

Tiny hands clutched her bony hips in the classic I'm-a-woman-so-I-know-more pose, "Haven't I seen you around here boy?" One of the tiny appendages shot out and curled cold, leathery fingers around his chin as the woman drew close to investigate him. She smelled like cabbage and old lady perfume. Eragon tried not to gag at the onslaught. The woman's wrinkles bounced as she nodded enthusiastically, "Yes, yes I'm sure of it! I've seen you around here!"

Fuck. Brown eyes cast up and down the hallway, wishing there was some way out of this awkward batch of bullshit without Vulcan-pinching or persevering through it. As a precaution, Eragon mentally calculated how hard he'd have to pinch to get through all those damn wrinkles. "Can you please just point me in the direction of Mr. Sloan's classroom, ma'am? It would be greatly appreciated."

She harrumphed at him, crossed her arms, and stared imperiously up at him. "I've seen you in these halls before boy! Don't pretend to be dull-witted to get out of class!"

Eragon sucked in a breath, preparing to expel it in a most loud and bitchy manner, before his ribs gave a warning twinge, reminding him he had better things to do than scream at old ladies. "Fine, madam, have it your way." With a sarcastic mock-bow, Eragon side-stepped the woman and stomped down the hall, ignoring her shrill cry of 'how rude!'.

Now he had to find out where the hell the classroom was… If he remembered correctly, science-y stuff was on the second floor, right? "Ohmigod! Eragon?" A voice squealed from behind him as he trudged up the stairs.

The teen formed a gun with his fingers and ate an imaginary bullet as a quick beat of footsteps ran towards him. He turned to find a chunky fire-truck red haired girl flying towards him arms outstretched. Sighing, he dropped his book bag and left for lower ground so this stranger didn't trip.

The strange girl squealed a few seconds before impact and hugged Eragon so hard he swore he heard his ribs cracking. "God you're cold! But, I didn't see you this morning so I thought that you'd stayed home! I'm so glad you're back Eragonn!" The faux-ginger sang into his chest.

"…while I love hugs, this one is more than a little painful – can we put the love fest on hiatus until my ribs are fully operational?" He groaned, nearly whimpering as the she-beast relinquished her hold. She beamed up at him, twittering at his sarcastic quip, despite his horrid mood he managed to crack a smile back. "How was life sans moi?"

The girl groaned, hoodie clad shoulders slumping, "Horribleee!~ I haven't had anyone to tell my horribly dorky jokes to in French!"

Eragon couldn't help but chuckle, praying his amnesia wouldn't be revealed too soon, this girl was the first decent thing that'd happened to him this morning. She wasn't painful to look at, a little fluffy around the stomach with a pillow or two for her ass and ginormous breasts. Tight skinny jeans called attention to her (admittedly awesome) chucks, and a baggie black hoodie with 'Risembool Rangers' printed in stark red letters barely containing her generous assets. A teacher's assistant pass swung from her belt loop, and Eragon wondered where she was stationed and if there was any hope he could just skip with her.

Small pale hands waved in front of his face, countless rings glinting in the hallways fluorescents, "Hey, eyes up here Era! I know they're amazing, but someonee might get jealous!~" She chirped in a sing-song voice, rocking back on the balls of her feet, flashing a 1000 watt grin.

"…Uh," Eragon blinked, wondering what the hell she was talking about. Saphira told him that he'd broken up with Arya – who could possibly get jealous if he was feasting his eyes on tits? Maybe she had a boyfriend that he was supposed to know about? Deciding to play along to stall awkward encounters, the teen ran a hand over his head and grinned, "Surely I can't be blamed for admiring what is clearly a miracle!"

Footsteps tapped down the stairs, and a lanky boy breezed by with an incredulous glance at the pair. The girl stuck her tongue out after him, and then shoved out her chest, "They are rather marvelous."

"So, what exactly are you supposed to be doing?" Chuckled the boy, as he shifted his weight – dear god he could feel his toes again!

Another groan escaped from the girl and her head fell back revealing a pale neck and the tip of what appeared to be a tattoo. "My pre-calc homework. Thanks for reminding me, jerk!" A small fist connected rather solidly with his arm, and he laughed to hide the wince – she had some muscle. Hazel eyes narrowed curiously at him, "Say, aren't you supposed to be with Sloan right now, you poor, unlucky bastard?"

Now, Eragon had never had Sloan before, but even as a freshman he'd heard a good deal of grief from his students – enough homework that if burned could keep all the homeless in Carvahall warm for five years, tests that could make Einstein cry, and the cherry on top, a personality that could supposedly send Hitler back to his mother. Eragon scowled and groaned, "Yes, yes I am. I was rather hoping I could stall here with you and just pop into third period."

Laughter met his statement and she punched him in the arm again, "As much as I'd love to chill with you on the stairs, my homework's due next hour, so I've gotta get it done." Sighing, the girl straightened and snapped him a quick salute, which he returned as solemnly as he could. "Hehe, you haven't changed a bit Era, see you around!"

"Fare thee well mon amie!" He called at her retreating back, watching as she disappeared around a corner. Spirit sufficiently soothed, Eragon decided he might as well try to find Sloan's class – second period didn't have much time left, so it shouldn't be too painful to bear.

It didn't take long to stomp up the stairs and scan the rooms, finding a doorway with a window proclaiming 'Sloan, Room 230'. He stood and stared at the door for a second, wary to ruin the peace of mind his quirky friend had bestowed upon him. With a sigh and much resignation, the boy pulled open the door and slipped inside.

All eyes flew to him, freezing him mid-motion in the doorway for a few crucial seconds, allowing Sloan's eyes to swivel to the boy. The emaciated man perched on his desk, which was situated in front of the class and right by the door. "Oh, so good of you to join us, Mr. Argetlam! Would you care to take a seat so I can continue my teaching, or is that too much of a bother? And why do you possess your book bag – in a hurry to get home?" The man's slimy, sarcastically biting words broke the newly won peace.

With a deep, calming breath, Eragon spoke as politely as possible, "I'm not in a hurry to get home, and I'm not sure which seat is mine, sir."

Sloan eyed him with over-exaggerated distaste, the class in front of them snickering and wincing in turn. "I didn't really my seating chart was so difficult to memorize! Truly, my apologies. Here, I'll make it easy for you boy – Ms. Bianch, move to Mr. Argetlam's seat, you two are switching."

The blonde girl seated almost directly in front of him obediently got up, mouthing 'It's ok' to the boy before she turned and sat in a seat in the middle of the third row. The black haired boy that was seated behind 'Ms. Bianch' looked bereft, watching the girl walk away with large, sad eyes. Sloan gestured patronizingly to the now empty seat. Face burning with suppressed rage and embarrassment, the teen dropped the pass into an out-stretched hand and slid into the still warm seat, wishing he could just go back home.

"Well, now that that's done with, we can continue…"

Sloan rambled on and on, and with a sinking heart, Eragon realized he had no fucking clue what the man was talking about. 'Why couldn't I have stayed out in the hallway? Better yet, home. Maybe I'll remember more for my other classes? Or if I go through it, maybe stuff will come back to me?' Heaving a hearty sigh, knowing that 'maybe's were useless, the teen tried to lay his head on crossed arms, quietly cursing the awkwardness of his cast. It seemed as soon as his forehead touched the cool fabric of his hoodie, Sloan snapped, "Sleeping in late wasn't good enough for you, Mr. Argetlam? This is a classroom, not your bedroom! Sit up and tell me what the molecular equation for nitric acid and potassium hydroxide would be."

Silence engulfed the classroom as he reluctantly sat up; avoiding the glaring eyes of his teacher, he mumbled, "I don't know." A snicker rang out somewhere behind him.

"What was that? Speak up boy!" Hissed the vile man smugly, his yellow teeth gleaming as he smiled wickedly at the flustered boy. Eragon could tell he heard him, the bitch of a man just wanted to embarrass him further.

Straightening his shoulders and staring the man dead in the eyes, he repeated slowly, "I do not know sir. Did you understand that? I can go slower if you like."

"Don't be impertinent boy!" Sloan snapped, his smirk morphing into his usual sneer. "The answer was HNO3(aq) + KOH(aq) → KNO3(aq) + H20(l), for those of you too slow to notice, as I had just written." A bony finger pointed at the white board behind him as he read the equation straight from it.

Idly Eragon wondered how many bones he could break with his cast before security was called. 'Depends on what I target, I guess; leg bones being thicker than arms and such…' Something poked him in the shoulder, once, twice, then three consecutive pecks. Furtively, he peaked over his shoulder. A folded piece of paper was shoved at his face; he thankfully managed to dodge the clear jab to his eye. It dropped onto his chest innocently, and the boy left him alone, his message clear.

With Sloan's voice droning in the background of his attention, the annoyed teen plucked the note off his hoodie and opened it with all the gentility of a wet cat. He flipped it upside down and read 'r u ok?' in a tight scrawl. Sighing, Eragon pulled his book bag out from under the desk where he'd tossed it, digging around in the front pocket for the pencil he'd put there this morning. When he emerged triumphant, pencil in hand, he sent a cautious glance in Sloan's direction – his back was turned as he drew more meaningless equations on the board. Eragon counted himself fairly lucky in the placement of the broken bone – well, as lucky as one could get with a broken arm – he was left handed, so he could still write with ease. In his messy scrawl, he wrote back 'I've had a horrible morning'.

Casually, he leaned to shuffle through his book bag again, putting his left hand on the desk behind him for support. When he lifted his hand, the note sat on the desk, and with that, Eragon turned back to the front and pretended to pay attention to Sloan's prattling.

A few moments later, a paper corner beat a hasty tempo on the back of his neck. He lowered his hand slowly and covertly waved to draw the boy's attention to it. The note dropped into his hand. Sloan, completely oblivious to their going-ons, continued to write and drone things that made Eragon's head spin when he tried to pay attention. The unfolded note read; 'wht hapend?'

He stared at the paper uncomprehendingly, wondering how someone so obviously illiterate had made it to Chem 2. Sighing, he decided to ignore it and replied, 'Woke up late, had to walk to school, it's cold as fuck outside and in general nothing has gone as planned'.

More ninja-note passing occurred, and soon the note was back on Eragon's desk. 'I hear u! Wht wer ur plns?'

'Well, it wasn't really a plan per se… I got "retrograde amnesia" from the crash two weeks ago, and I was hoping that I'd remember my school-shit. No such luck.'

'tht sux bro! wnt me to hlp u w/ ur chem? im purty gud w/ it! btw names shane, guesin u forgt it :D'

'Um, sure, all the help I can get is awesome! Yes, I totally forgot your name on purpose :P Thanks though~'

The rest of class passed in a blur of note passing between the two teens, the lewd attempts of the dark haired boy to cheer up his companion actually worked. It seemed that he had a couple of pretty awesome friends – it'd be amusing getting to know them again. When the bell rang, Eragon wasn't dreading the rest of his day so much. Shane clapped him on the back, "Text me sometime bro!" and with a smile and a wave he dove into the river of bodies.

Eragon followed him, becoming one with the teeming mass – he tried to remember what Saphira had said she'd had for second hour so he could find her, but nothing came up. Cursing, the teen slipped out of the stream of bodies reeking of sweat and too much perfume into a cubby to regain his bearings. His book bag thumped at his feet as he shoved Shane and his note into his pocket, simultaneously trying to fish out his schedule.

A body tackled him to the wall with a gleeful shout of "Era!"

"What the fuck?"

Thin, surprisingly strong arms encircled his torso, pinning his arms to his chest. A head of black hair landed just under his chin and he was sure a bruise was going to develop on his collarbone. His ribs throbbed in protest to the rough treatment, and quite frankly Eragon felt like throwing his arms out and popping his attacker in the face. What was with people and tackling him today?

His 'attacker' leaned back, revealing a grinning Arya. "Where were you this morning? Everyone missed you!"

"I woke up late. Can you get off me? My ribs aren't exactly enjoying your enthusiasm." He said in a dry tone, faintly amused when her arms jerked back as if she'd been burned. He flexed his left arm, gently massaging his stomach in a fruitless attempt to stifle the aching with the fingers of his right hand.

Regret painted her pretty features and dimmed her smile, "Sorryy, I didn't mean to Era, I swear!" Dewy green eyes stared up at him, pleading for forgiveness.

He stared back at her deadpan. "Make it up to me by showing me where…" He paused to glance at his paper, "Merlock's classroom is?"

"We actually have that class together! It's on the base floor, so we better run!" Giggling, she grabbed his arm and yanked, barely giving her friend time enough to snag his book bag. The halls were near empty now, all the students having filed obediently into their classrooms. The pair zipped through the halls, down the stairs, whipping around corners and flitting past other hurrying individuals. "Hereeeee we are!"

Arya came to a graceful stop, the only sign that she'd ran to class was her slight pant. Eragon, however, skidded past her and nearly hit a kid, his face red and his breathing haggard. "Fuck. My. Life."

Sniggering, the black haired girl opened the door and led him to a pair of empty seats in the back row. The tardy bell rang as they walked, making the girl grin cheekily over her shoulder at her friend. Eragon stuck out his tongue and collapsed into his seat, groaning and enclosing his head in his arms as he tried to catch his breath. "So outta shape." He groaned.

A warm hand patted his peach-fuzzed head, "It'll be ok, fatty."

"Great encouragement Arya." The teen groaned into his arms. Slowly, he pulled his head up and looked around. Vibrant posters littered the walls, proclaiming Shakespeare quotes and other English-y things. The class chatted quietly amongst themselves, 'Merlock' nowhere to be seen.

A blonde boy in the next row over turned in his seat, beaming at Eragon. "Good to have you back; class wasn't the same without you Era! Love the buzz cut, by the way."

Anddd here's the situation he'd been dreading – the painfully awkward moment where he had to tell people face to face that he didn't remember them. His dread must've shown on his face because Arya leaned over his desk and whispered, "Trevor Adler, he transferred here last spring from St. Bart's, y'know, that ritzy private school? You've been 'English buddies' since then. Sometimes you call him the Rev."

By now, 'Trevor Adler aka the Rev' was looking a tad apprehensive, his green eyes flickering between his two friends. "What? Why are you two whispering? Is there something on my face?" A sleeved arm hastily scrubbed vainly at the tan face.

As Eragon opened his mouth to reply, a spindly, dark haired man waltzed in casually, zipping straight for his desk, which was set directly in front of the door, in the opposite corner from Eragon. "Morning peons! I think I heard it whispered in the halls that Eragon's back?" The curious man asked his desk as he shuffled through his papers.

"Yep! Behold children," Arya chirped, drawing the classes' attention to their corner, and with a flourish, she dumped their collective gazes on her flushed friend, "the great Eragon!"

A chorus of surprised greetings and questions on his well-doing filled the class, and Eragon faintly wished he could sink into the floor. A hand clapped his shoulder, eliciting a startled jump and a head snap – Merlock had snuck up on him. Grinning, the man pulled his student up and toward the front of the room. "Weave for us brilliant tales of what has befallen you the past three weeks dear boy!"

Resentment murmured in the back of his mind – what was he, a new student? If every teacher made a huge deal about this he'd likely blow by lunch. However, the boy sucked it up, ran a nervous hand over his shorn hair, pausing briefly to toy with the staples, "Uh, well, I got into a car accident…" Eragon trailed off, noticing he wasn't entirely sure when it had happened. Big, pleading brown eyes turned to Arya.

"October 22nd on South River." She smiled comfortingly and gave him thumbs up.

A responding smile flitted over his face, "Right-o. Went to the hospital, I've been fully functional and conscious since the fifth of this month and was released this past Monday, and here I am!" Cue the jazz hands and awkward grin. "Questions?"

"What happened to your hair?" "Can I sign your cast?" "Did you get my card?" "Was there something on my face?" "Why weren't you here this morning?"

Merlock laughed as he stroked his goatee, watching his student flounder for a few moments, "Children, shut up! You're confusing him."

Eragon wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans and flashed a smile to Merlock, he had a feeling he was going to like this class. "Uh, hair got shaved so they could staple a gash, if you have a sharpie and can find some space feel free, I woke up late, I'm actually not sure, sorry, and no Trevor there isn't anything on your face."

A girl in the front row, a rather good-looking brunette with a dusting of freckles, raised her hand sheepishly. When Eragon nodded to her, she lowered her hand, and in the awaiting silence of the class, her voice rang out, "I heard that you have amnesia."

She didn't look so cute anymore. A wave of murmurs swept through the class, and both Trevor and Arya looked uncomfortable.

"Ah, yes, retrograde amnesia – knocked my head quite hard in the crash, or so I've been told." His hands toyed with the drawstrings on his hoodie, delivering sharp tugs that pulled the hood against his neck but he didn't stop.

Trevor raised his hand now, face twisted in confusion, "What'd you lose?"

A hush fell as the class waited with bated breath. The boy sighed, shuffling his feet and releasing the strings from their torment. Merlock shifted, standing up off the desk on which he'd been seated at the sight of Eragon's discomfort. "Ok kiddies, story times over-"

"Two years." Eragon cut in, head down. "The last thing I remember is around the summer after freshman year."

Yet again, the teachers hand clasped his shoulder, sympathy painted all over his bearded face. "You can sit down now, boy."

Ducking his head again, Eragon slinked back to his seat and wondered how this day could get any worse.

After listening to Merlock ramble about a book Eragon had no recollection of reading, the class was allowed some free time. Trevor turned in his seat with a grin, "So that's why you were looking at me funny! It's ok, I understand. So," the boy stuck out his hand, "I'm Trevor Adler, your self-proclaimed English-buddy!"

With a smile, Eragon shook his hand, "I'm Eragon Argetlam, you already know you can call me Era – can I still call you Rev?"

Laughter rang out and the blonde squeezed his hand, "Sure as hell you can! Oh, by the way, since you don't remember 2009, the Rev's dead."

"What? You're kidding me! Avenged Sevenfold didn't break up did they?"

The ice officially broken, the last few minutes of class were filled with people signing his cast, asking what he remembered, and telling Eragon random, amusing tales of shared memories he'd lost.

The day continued in that vein. Some classes were just horrible, some were manageable – all of them were painful and awkward. He'd learned that the girl he'd encountered in the morning was named March, and after a few minutes of discomfort on both sides, the redhead adjusted quickly and fourth hour was surprisingly amusing. Eragon, however, hadn't lucked out – he barely remembered any of his academic learnings. He was a freshman level senior with low hopes and incredibly high frustrations.

The car ride home with Saphira was silent, the boy content to sulk with his now stuffed to the seams book bag. It felt like it was fucking half his body weight as the corners of the books dug into his thighs, but he bore it with a masochistic patience. He buried his face in the rough canvas material, glad to finally be going home.

A small, warm hand – he knew it to be Saphira's, by logic and feel – rubbed his back comfortingly. Though she probably couldn't hear it, Eragon mumbled a sincere 'thank you' into his bag.

Soon the blue car pulled into his driveway, and he noted to Saphira that he had his shoes on his time. They laughed a bit and Eragon stepped out with a fond farewell and a 'see you tomorrow'.

The teen stood in his slush-filled driveway waving as his best friend pulled out and drove away. A sudden pang shot through his chest – Saphira no longer lived next to him. He couldn't crawl into her room through her window when he needed a hug or her advice.

With a frown and a harsh sigh, Eragon hitched his book farther up his shoulder and headed inside before his chucks got soaked. "You home, mom?" He called as he toed off his shoes, shutting the door behind him with a hip-thrust. Silence met him. "Ho-kay then, time for some music blastage and angst-ridden dramatics. Then homework."

His book landed on the kitchen table with a resounding thud. Eragon made a beeline for his room, wondering if he still had his beloved laptop. A quick shuffle through his bookshelf and surprisingly clean closet ("Hmph, moms." He sighed, bemusedly toeing a box so it was crooked) revealed that he wouldn't luck out in this area either. He appeared to have no laptop, didn't know if/where he had an mp3 player, and his cellphone had a sad total of three songs on it.

With a huff, the teen trudged back to the kitchen, determined to get something done. He scattered his schoolbooks over the tabletop. With supplies out, Eragon idly flipped open his cellphone, half-tempted to text Saphira to see about a laptop/mp3 player. Homework was even more excruciating in silence, after all. He wondered how many new bands he'd heard in the last two years. "I can't believe the Rev is dead. That's fucking stupid. Damn drugs." Eyeballing the '3 Unread Messages' notification in the menu, he huffed, flipped his phone shut and swiftly pocketed it. They could wait.

Eragon spent the next eternity sorting through his make-up work. He tackled 'Thunderhead', by Ayn Rand first – he barely got through the first ten pages before getting distracted, realizing he'd have to write a paper on the book and dropped it. Scowling, he set upon his advanced psychology work, flipping open the book and pushing himself through the chapter with painful slowness. "Fuck the police." He murmured to himself, somewhat triumphantly as he put the finishing touches on his homework for that class. "One down..." He looked at the list and groaned, "Thirty three million to go. Let's uh, take a peak at that pre-calc."

Humming 'A Little Piece of Heaven', Eragon began leafing through his Pre-Calc book. His class was on chapter seven, but one glance at that told him that there was no way in hell he was touching that without March's pledged aid. A scan of chapter one told him that that shit wasn't going to fly either. "Must've stabbed this fifty fucking times, fuck you math! …That didn't sound near as good as I thought it would…" Giving into his childish whim, the teen shoved the offending book off the table to the floor, then cradled his head in his hands. "I am so fucked."

A shrill metallic ringing broke his pity party, and with a sigh he got up to grab the cordless phone. To hell with manners, "What." He snapped into the mouth piece.

"Uh, Era?" The white piece of plastic did a decent impersonation of Saphira, a bit more high-pitched but…

The boy sighed, "Hey Saph, whatcha need?"

The girl on the other line let out a huff of laughter, "Today really sucked for you didn't it? I haven't heard you this mad for a long time, and I'm not even there!"

The teen pinched the bridge of his nose, leaning against the kitchen table. "You don't know how badly my day has sucked, but please, why are you calling? I'm trying to decipher my Pre-Calc."

"Ah, want my Rosetta Stone?"

"Why. Did. You. Call."

More laughter. "Impatient! Fine, fine. Thorn and I were just wondering if Tag had shown up there – he wasn't here when I got back from dropping you off, and he didn't say a word to either of us. We assumed he was with you."

A steady tempo started pounding on the door. "What is this, social hour? No, he's not here Saph, but hold on a second." A wry snort left him as he pulled open the door to find a rosy-cheeked Murtagh, stomping his feet and all but trying to curl in on himself where he stood. "I lied. He's here Saph, no need to file a missing person report. Come in Murtagh, you can thaw on the couch."

The dark haired man's pale lips twitched upwards, his jaw trembling subtly as he stepped past the boy into the warmth of their formerly shared home. Eragon stared outside for a moment, skin prickling as frigid winter air blew in from the early night. "Six o'clock and dark. Fuck you November." Sighing, he pushed the door shut with a click and held a finger up to the man on the couch, silently asking for a moment. Murtagh nodded and quietly settled on the couch, shifting about to reclaim lost heat.

"The woes of the wintery world." Bemoaned his best friend in agreement.

Eragon padded back into the kitchen, shooting a glare at his books, "So. He's here. That all you need?"

Saphira paused, then a sigh filled his ears, "Yeah, yeah, since you're so eager to be rid of me. Don't kill Tag – it's his turn to do the dishes."

"Pftt, no promises." A small smile fought it's way onto his face.

As the teen leaned to pick up his pre-calc book, Saphira tentatively said, "Just cheer up, ok kid? The sun'll shine tomorrow and all that."

The book landed among the rest with a thump, brown eyes staring at the pile forlornly; the sun most definitely will rise tomorrow on his undiminished pile of homework that he couldn't do. "I'll try Saph. See ya, dragon tamer."

"Byeee Era! Have fun with Taggy!~"

The boy snorted.

"…I know where you sleep, and so help me if I have to do the dishes I'll make use of that knowledge!" The girl threatened with a laugh, then hung up with a definite click.

Sighing, Eragon slid the phone back into its cradle. He braced his forearms against the cool plastic, his right shoulder hiked up, half-slumped over the counter so his forehead rested on the edge. He stared at his bare feet; hairy toes wiggled up at him.

The teen exhaled loudly. "Fuck."

A hand ghosted over his spine, eliciting violent flinch. "Holyshit!" He screeched as he flipped around to find a startled Murtagh, hand still midair. With a huff, the boy leaned back against the counter, pouting at his half-brother. "You scared the fuck out of me."

"Sorry, just wondering what fate had befallen my gracious host," Said the dark haired man with a chuckle and a nervous quirk of the lips. He shifted his weight absently, crossed his arms to tuck his hands back into his armpits to save them from the chill of the kitchen. "So, bad day?"

Eragon groaned, "You don't know the half of it! I wake up late, had to walk and turns out-" Mouth open, the teen remembered Saphira's rant about Murtagh feeling guilty. Not wanting to ruin another encounter, the boy decided to leave out the horrid news about the extent of his amnesia, "-nearly all my teachers are cunts. Most of them made me explain what'd happened, or in Sloan's case was just a general dick."

Murtagh cocked a brow at the pause, but after a moment of intense scrutiny, he let it slide with a shrug. "When isn't Sloan a dick?" He said with a snide laugh. "Which teacher's made you explain? On a side note, got enough books on the table?"

Eragon groaned. "Those monsters are all the catch up homework I have to do. Joy of joys. However, can we move this to the living room? It's warmer in there and I can still see you shivering." He smiled at the mock-glare his brother shot his way, and chuckled a bit when Murtagh high-tailed it back to the relative warmth of the couch.

The brothers settled on the two couches in the room, Murtagh curled up on the velor four-seater, Eragon sprawled on the black love seat, legs hanging over the armrest. "So, teachers?"

"Ah, Merlock, Horst, Whitefields, Morn, and nearly all of my friends had to hear it from me to confirm it." Sighing, the teen slumped into the recesses of the cushions. He was glad that all of them were concerned about him, but it was tedious before it'd even started – at least he'd gotten it mostly over with.

A cold hand slapped the teen's foot away when it danced in front of him, "Merlock huh? I remember him being a pretty decent guy – Morn and Horst too."

Hands tugged at drawstrings idly, "It wasn't done maliciously – none of them wanted to make me uncomfortable. It was just…" Sigh, "awkward, to have to explain to people that I don't remember them." Eragon stared at his wriggling toes for a few moments, and when he finally looked up, he found hazel eyes staring rather intensely at him.

"They still shouldn't have put you on the spot like that."

The teen cleared his throat, lifting his foot to block out his brother's eyes. His toes spread, revealing a sliver of the orbs, still watching him. "They didn't know. Well, some of them did…they were just curious, okay?" It came out a bit more waspish than he was intending he noticed with a grimace.

The boy's foot dropped, revealing an uncomfortable looking dark haired man, his hands held up in attempt to soothe flashing tempers. "Hey, okay, I was just saying."

Eragon groaned deep in his throat, dragging a too-warm hand over his face exasperatedly. "Yeah, I know, sorry. I'm still pretty wound up."

Silence fell, neither of them knowing what to say. Scratching idly at his wrist at the end of his cast (he couldn't wait until he got this piece of shit off – his arm felt disgusting), Eragon raked brown eyes over his brother curiously.

Murtagh had leaned back into the couch, head lolled onto the backrest but his eyes were idly trailing over the room. His shivers had finally subsided, and he was probably getting a bit warm if the occasional tug at the clothing was anything to go by – hazel eyes rolled onto the scrutinizing boy when he chuckled.

He cracked a small smile, shrugging at the curious look. Something flashed through Murtagh's eyes and his lips quirked but there was something pained about it. Eragon's eyebrows furrowed, suddenly reminded of his and Saph's conversation in her bedroom – that he'd lost something too. 'Well, now's a good a time as any…' He thought, and shrugged a bit. Taking a deep breath, he licked his lips and started. "T-this is really random but…Ah, I was talking to Saph yesterday and she mentioned that you lost something in the crash too? What was it?"

The man stiffened. Eragon made a questioning noise, watching as Murtagh's face screwed up briefly before he let out of loud breath and locked his eyes on his. There was something scarily intense in the murky orbs – Eragon had to fight to maintain eye contact. "You wouldn't believe how important what I lost was to me."

A shudder rippled down his spine and he swallowed convulsively. He kept staring though, honestly curious and a bit concerned for his brother – maybe this would help him get to the bottom of this mess? "…That important, huh?" It came out an awkward whisper, and he winced, but there wasn't much to say to such an emotionally charged statement.

"Yeah…" Murtagh's focus seemed to phase out until he seemed to be staring straight through Eragon, making the boy frown. He blinked suddenly, and his eyes drifted to the side, a quiet chortle falling out of his lips. "It's kind of funny that you mention that though, because that has to do with the 'super secret' you've been so paranoid about."

"What? Ha! So there was one!" It was childish, but as Eragon crowed triumphantly, he couldn't help but pump his fist, scrambling out of his slumped position to stare more squarely at his brother. He had totally been right! 'Fuck you awkward, I'm about to kick you the hell out so life can go back to being it's weirdly normal self!' His enthusiasm waned as he remembered this was supposed to be a serious moment, so he scooted forward in his seat and asked, "Ah, what does your trinket have to do with the secret…?"

Murtagh stared at him, stupefied. "Trinket? Wha?"

"Er, well, I kind of figured you lost a necklace…or something, y'know, that had sentimental value or something?" He coughed into his fist, squirming uncomfortably when his brother just stared at him, bemused.

All of a sudden the man burst into loud, cackling guffaws that honestly scared the crap out of Eragon. "Oh, god, I bet Saph got a kick out of that!" He leaned forward, an arm clutching his midsection in vain attempt to hold in the wild laughter.

Eragon glared at him, horribly confused, "What? Why are you laughing? Stop laughing you asshat and tell me your secrets!"

Murtagh slowly succeeded in reigning in his amusement, but a chuckle managed to worm its way out every time he tried to face the boy. Finally, after approximately three minutes of being subjected to Eragon's angry pout (which revived the laughter; he nearly cried he was laughing so hard),

There was a near hysteria in the man's voice when he finally spoke, his head bowed while he whipped his eyes. "It was you. I lost you."

"…what?" Eragon stared at him, breath caught in his throat – everything disappeared at those words. The teen's heart twisted when Murtagh partially lifted his head, hazel eyes bright beneath his lashes as he stared back. "Whaddya mean? I'm still here – aren't I?" Chuckled the boy nervously.

The dark haired head rose fully to shoot him an 'are you fucking kidding me' stare, "Duh. But…two years ago, when you found me bleeding out in the bathroom, you kept me alive until the paramedics got here-" Murtagh spoke slowly, his focus phasing through Eragon until the boy was damn certain he wasn't even seeing him yet again.

"…You've said this…" He chimed in when his brother paused, flinching slightly when hazel eyes, bright as steel, snapped to his face.

The man huffed. "Screw you. Anyway, as soon as I woke up… you punched me, and yelled at me. And then you asked me why I did it." Here, Murtagh's head dropped again to watch his pale hands try to wring the skin off each other. Both of them sat there, watching the appendages wrestle until Eragon cleared his throat expectantly. "I-I told you that I loved you." It came out so quiet, so terrified and vulnerable that for a moment Eragon couldn't fathom that it'd come from Murtagh.


Murtagh's head rose again, hazel eyes latching onto brown with deadly seriousness. "More than a brother."

"You don't mean…best friend love, do you?" Eragon voice cracked when he asked, leaning forward, desperately searching his brothers face for some farce – some hint that this was a trick, a joke and that this wasn't what was making everything so weird. However, Murtagh's face remained the same – pale and serious, his eyes the most expressive Eragon had ever seen them to date (that he remembered, and with this new development he wouldn't doubt it he'd seen them- ohfuckno). Every imaginable emotion fused and tangled, screaming and pleading at Eragon to understand, to listen but a rising terror gripped the boy's throat. He squeezed his hands together to stop them from trembling.

"No, I loved you romantically. You, ah…punched me again…then kissed me." Belatedly, Eragon heard the shocked awe Murtagh said the last part with – he hadn't been expecting it, and neither was Eragon at this moment. His heartbeat pounding in his ears nearly drowned out the rest of the story. "We crashed on the way to a restaurant – we were going to eat dinner then go see a movie to celebrate our second anniversary. That's the real reason we only have on bed in our room. This is what we've been keeping from you."

The story done, Murtagh fell quiet, waiting for the reaction. In the following silence he could hear the rushed breaths of the boy, and a quick glance revealed the sheer terror on the teen's face. Murtagh looked back to the carpet, crossing his arms and wished that he could hug the boy – touch him, say something, anything to make him respond. "…E-Eragon?"

Eragon fell off the couch to his knees, quickly scooting over to Murtagh. He gripped the man's arms tightly, so tightly it hurt but he didn't even care and he shook him until the man looked up – "Y-you're lying…please tell me your lying."

Before Murtagh even replied, Eragon could see the hurt – see the fear rise and the soft shake of his head, "Erag-"

The teen let go, his hands hanging in the air for a brief moment, fluttering like dying birds before he pushed himself up. "You're trying to tell me th-…that I was fucking you? What the hell is this shit?"

"Please, Era you don't-" Murtagh rose too, shoulders slumped and briefly rose a hand to touch the panicked teen. He smacked it away.

"I don't what? Understand? Of course I fucking don't! I wake up two weeks ago in a fucking hospital, ignorant of how I got there and thinking I'm two years younger than I really am. Nothing makes sense, everyone's fucking lying to me, and now it turns out not only am I officially a retard, but it's because I was fucking my BROTHER." The teen let out an agonized shriek, his hands scrabbling uselessly at his scalp, searching for hair to tear out. Growling demonically, he turned and began to pace as he talked, his arms flailing to emphasize how thoroughly pissed he was.

Murtagh reeled as if he'd been slapped, stepping back and nearly falling back onto the couch. "How the hell did our relationship make you retarded?" Indignation and hurt painted his face and voice.

The man flinched again when the teen spun around to face him, his ('normally so fucking cute' Murtagh thought, and his heart ached) face contorted with fury. "How? I'll tell you fucking how – I can't remember shit! I don't know anyone anymore! I don't remember Chemistry, or Algebra two – I can't tell you what books I read in sophomore or junior English! My pre-calc is fucking GIBBERISH, Sloan is going to MURDER me this year! I'm a motherfuc- excuse me, brotherfucking freshman level senior! All because I slept with you-" He jabbed Murtagh in the chest, malice laced words hissing out between clenched teeth, "and got into a fucking car accident! THAT'S how our 'relationship' made me retarded, Tag!"

All the fight drained out of the man during the rant. Remorse and guilt was etched into every surface, every twitch cried it, and again, a tentative hand lifted to placate his ranting brother ('lover' a traitorous voice whispered). "Eragon, fuck, I'm so s-"

Eragon, however, was blind in his fury and smacked his hand away again. "GET OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUS-" A howl rent his screaming tirade as the teen pointed furiously at the door, spittle flying as he stomped on the ground, "GO! LEAVE! JESUSMO-BROTHERFUCKINGCHRIST!"

Without another word, Murtagh turned on his heel and stormed out. The door clicked shut quietly behind him, leaving an eerie silence.

Too infuriated to care that no one could hear him, Eragon shrieked once more, "WHAT THE HELL IS THIS BULLSHIT? WHY THE FUCK IS – NNGH FUCK!" The teen punched at of the couch, (right where Murtagh's head had been, he belatedly realized) once, twice, as many times as he could before the throbbing pain seared it's way through his nerves to his brain. "FUCK! I'm so fucking STUPID! Can't even vent my goddamn frustrations wit- fuuuckkk this really hurts!" He fell back onto the couch, clutching his left hand, toes digging into the material of the couch. He sat there, cursing and trying to soothe his aching knuckles for a while, nearly blind with fury, confusion and terror.

The front door creeped open, Selena's head slowly emerging. "Ah, you ok honey?" At seeing her son on the couch, seemingly immobilized, the woman deemed the room safe enough to enter. She knew her youngest son's temper, and that he was not to be trifled with when angry. Slowly, she dropped her bag onto the floor and slipped off her jacket, acting like one would around a dangerous animal.

"No, I'm not ok! Turns out the crash made me forget that I was into incest! Goddamnit, mom, can you see if my fingers are broken? I'm fucking retarded and punched the couch."

Selena glided to him, slowly dropping to her knees in front of him and gently taking his hand in her hands. He hissed – her hands were damn cold compared to the rising heat in his hand. "You aren't retarded Eragon, you're just angry, it's ok." She said soothingly, her fingers ghosting along his fingers, pulling light on each one, lightly brushing against his knuckles. When she got to his second finger, he let out another hiss, which escalated to a yelp when she pulled on his index finger. Selena hummed, enclosing the two in her hands – icy flesh was good for something after all. "I can't really tell, but you've obviously done some damage to these two. All we can do is splint them and put some ice on them – we can have it checked next week."

Eragon stared down at his mother's calm countenance, confused and still angry, he snapped, "And you've got nothing to say about both your sons buttfucking?"

Selena sighed, lowering her sons hand back to his lap and raising her eyes to meet his. "No, Eragon, there isn't much to say."

The knowledge and acceptance behind those words struck him like lightening. With a hiss, the teen pulled his legs onto the couch, away from his mom. "Y-you knew, didn't you?" He glared accusingly as she sighed again and stood, then settled beside him on the couch. He scooted a bit away from her, ignoring her rolling her eyes.

"Yes, I knew. It's actually a rather funny story. You see, I-" A hesitant smile had spread across her face as she talked, clearly reminiscing about happier days.

Eragon cut her off by standing and limping a few paces away from her, disgust clear on his face. "you knew and you let us?" What the hell Selena? Why?"

Her brown eyes were bright as she watched her son, her face falling; she calmly stared into Eragon's eyes as she said, "You two loved each other, and who am I to stop that?"

His breath was gone; her words felt like a physical blow to his chest. His ribs ached as if there was actual contact. Frantically, he shook his head. "No, that's- no. Fuck no." Throwing his arms into the air, Eragon fled to the sanity of his bedroom, chanting "no no no no" under this breath. Just...fuck no. There's no way...

His mom said nothing as he slammed his door shut, not bothering to turn on the light and simply threw himself onto his bed. His hand ached, reminding him of his stupidity, and his brain decided to replay – god, just yesterday – Tuesday morning, with Murtagh doing the dishes and being weird and...god fuck no.

Belatedly he realized he'd left his books strewn all over the kitchen, and his phone vibrated in his pocket. He took it out and chucked it across the room, knowing that it'd probably have more bad news. 'It could be Saphira...Oh god, she knew too, didn't she? This is why she wouldn't tell me about my relationship status. Oh fuck.' Eragon rolled over onto his stomach, burying his face into his pillow and screamed. When he couldn't breathe he lifted his head and took a deep breath, sniffling back some snot, angrily he wiped his face to find his cheeks wet with tears. "Yeah, that's right you little faggot, cry." He cut out wetly, making sure to push his injured fingers into his cheeks just to feel the pain. "God I'm so fucking pathetic."

Slowly, sobs crept up his throat, and he just gave in, collapsing bonelessly back onto his bed. With his face buried in his pillow, Eragon cried until he fell asleep.

That was exactly what he'd been expecting. "Stupid, fucking idiot, letting Saphira stir you hopes up," Murtagh cursed under his breath, slumping against the door. He could hear Eragon shouting – each muffled word hurt to hear, but Murtagh didn't move. He deserved this – Eragon's anger, this pain. One moment of distraction on his part had ruined the boy's life.

Murtagh hung his head, clenching his eyes shut. The house at his back fell quiet, and suddenly a bright light flared, blinding him. The car's engine shut off, and a door slammed, "Dear, what are you doing sitting on the door step? It's a little too cold for melodrama."

He didn't respond, just scooted to the left to unblock the door. Selena's shoes scuffed noisily on the porch, a wave of vanilla hit him when she knelt in front of him. Her face was serious, worried – Murtagh shut his eyes again. "Are you ok hun? What happened?" Her fingers were warm on his cheek.

He scoffed. "I'm fine. Nothing happened."

Fingers wrapped tightly around his jaw. "Look at me Murtagh." Her grip tightened until he met her eyes. Surprise flickered across her face – he looked so lost. "What happened?"

"I told him." Murtagh dropped his head when Selena's hand fell away.

The woman sputtered, "You-…oh god, and he—"

"He got angry, told me to get out." Murtagh whispered dejectedly, his breath whoofing out when Selena's arms wound around him and squeezed. Sighing, he shifted to let his mom have more room, and tentatively wrapped his arms around her.

She pressed her face into his neck, her breath eerily warm against his skin. "I'm so sorry Murtagh."

A bitter smile tweaked his lips as he rested his chin on her head. "I am too."

All fell quiet in the house behind them, making Selena sigh. Slowly she pulled back, scrubbing at her eyes; in the twilight Murtagh could see the glassy sheen of tears. The woman gave a watery chuckle, "You boys are going to make me grey far too early."

Murtagh rolled his eyes and huffed entreatingly, "Go comfort him – he needs you more than I do." Leaning back against the wall, Murtagh closed his eyes and wondered if he had enough for bus fare.

A hand grabbed his. "Neither of you need me more – and both of you hold the same place in my heart. Don't think that just because I didn't raise you myself doesn't mean that I don't love you as much – you're both my sons." She stared at him earnestly, her brown eyes – the exact same shade as Eragon's, fuck - imploring him to understand. "Anytime you need anything, anything, I could possibly help you with – hell, even if I can't actually help, a second opinion is always good – promise me you'll come to me."

He nodded soundlessly. She scowled.

"You came out of my vagina boy, when I ask for a promise, I expect a whole-hearted response."

Murtagh choked on his spit, then began coughing into his fist as Selena chuckled. When he got himself under control there was a pinky extended to him. "…really?" He asked scratchy voice heavy with amusement.

Selena smiled warmly. "Yup."

Rolling his eyes again, Murtagh hooked his pinky in hers and shook, "I promise…mom."

Her face positively glowed as she stood, absently brushing her clothing off. "Good! Now, you go wait in the car – I'm not letting you take the bus home!" And then she opened the door, and Murtagh couldn't retort without Eragon hearing. His lips quirked at the sneaky move; honestly, he wasn't going to argue with a free ride, especially in a warm car – he was fucking freezing. His traitorous brain whispered

As soon as the door clicked shut, Murtagh got up and went to her car, eager for the vestiges of warmth that were bound to be left.

Ha, whoo. -cough- A friendly reviewer pointed out the ambiguous nature of this ending; this is a shoddy cliffhanger xD There's another one coming - I'm half way there! So no worries, this WASN'T the shittiest ending you've ever read , that's soon to come c: Hehe.