(FE fic since I’m a lame person that’s not heavily in the Portal fandom. xD )
His eyes were sore after who-knows-how-many hours of staring at minuscule penmanship. He was going through the ledgers (again), checking any errors that might possibly spell doom for the motley band of mercenaries. While the others might have shrugged off a coin or two here, the mage prided himself on being exact. He had to be - it was the only way his mind would stay in order as well.
But even Soren had to admit it was hard to focus on a decimal point in the wee hours of morning by candlelight.
He would have innately scowled if it had been any other voice, but Ike was a special category of ‘human’ in his mind, and therefore warranted no distrust. Still, there was no pause in the flourish of handwriting that neatly bled from the quill in his hand.
“Soren, what are you doing still up? Don’t tell me you’ve been at this all n-“
“Someone has to do this, Ike.” He was a little put-out at the tone in the mercenaries’ voice, jabbing the quill a little too viciously in the pen container. Instead, the desk received another dot of ink that wasn’t the first, and would definitely not be the last. Dammit.
If he had payed attention to Ike, he would have noticed the brows furrow up ever so slightly in that concerned face he hated, but the other man hid it quickly. Moving with surprising grace despite his form, Ike reached over to put a firm hand on the mage’s shoulder.
“Let’s go; you’ll be able to get it done faster in the morning, either way.”
If there had been any shred of pity in the voice, he would have refused, clinging on to his pride like a float - but there was none. Ike was all practicality, a trait that they both shared despite all else.
Barely nodding with acknowledged weariness, Soren stood up, and blew out the candle with a puff. Even in the darkness, he could see the form of the commander clearly, a gift that bespoke of further talents he refused to admit.
“You did good work there; in the battle too.”
For some reason, he smiled faintly at that, unseen in the darkness.
So the day had been worth all of that, after all.
Aaaahhhh this brought such a smile to my face. :]