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Guardian of His Dreams - an Oblivion Fanfic

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by baratron, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    Summary:
    Martin Septim hasn't had enough sleep since the week the assassins came, leaving him unexpectedly both the Emperor of Tamriel *and* the only person who can save the world. Between prophetic dreams, trauma flashbacks, and nightmares straight out of the Evilest Book You Can Imagine, he's afraid to even go to bed. His bodyguards and protectors don't know what to do. So it's up to Martin's best friend, Alix de Feu, to help him relax.

    Narrator Alix is deliberately genderless, so you can read this as het or slash, as you prefer.

    Fandom: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

    Rating: 15, like the game.

    Tags:
    * Hurt/Comfort
    * Angst
    * Genderless Character
    * Implied Sexual Content

    Also, warning for canon trauma (specifically, lots and lots of death, and previous dubcon. Definitely not dubcon in this story).

    Notes:
    The description of Sanguine is borrowed from the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages wiki, with my love and thanks. Small snippets of dialogue are borrowed from the game Oblivion, for authenticity's sake. Martin, Jauffre, Baurus, Jena, and the gods belong to Bethesda. Alix de Feu belongs to me.

    Fiction follows in the next 2 posts.
     
  2. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    When I returned to Cloud Ruler Temple, I was surprised to be accosted by Jauffre in the courtyard. His face was grim.

    "Is everything all right?" I asked, immediately concerned. "Martin...?"

    "Martin is safe," Jauffre assured me. "But I'm worried about him. He does nothing but pore over that evil book all day. He's hardly taken time to sleep since you left."

    "Ah... And how is he sleeping? Still having nightmares?"

    "As bad as ever. Perhaps worse. It seems his guards have to wake him from terrors several times a night. But he listens to you. If there's anything you can do...?"

    "I'll go and speak to him now."

    -----

    Entering the Great Hall I found Martin at his usual table, head buried in the Mysterium Xarxes. Even more books had been added to the piles in the few days I'd been away, and some stacks were in danger of toppling over. More worryingly, the Emperor looked grey, haggard, and close to collapse. Jauffre's words had not been enough to prepare me for the change in his appearance. I was used to seeing bags under his eyes, but these were full-scale purple rings, like bruises.

    I pulled a chair up, and sat down next to him. "Gods' blood, Martin – what have you been doing to yourself?"

    Unaware of my presence, he jumped, before recognition set in. "Alix... It's good to see you, my friend."

    "I wish I could say the same for you. Have you looked at yourself in a mirror lately?"

    He frowned. "I've made no progress with this translation. The Mysterium Xarxes doesn't give up its secrets easily. Every day that passes brings the Mythic Dawn closer to victory."

    I made a decision. "Close that book." When Martin resisted, I closed it for him. "Look at me." After a few moments, his eyes reluctantly met mine. "You told me that you'd have to proceed cautiously with the Mysterium Xarxes, because it is exceedingly dangerous. Now I'm told that all you're doing is sitting here staring at it. Martin, what of your warding spells? Are they strong enough?"

    "I'm working as quickly I can..."

    "And driving yourself into the ground as you do so. You are this world's last hope. The Mythic Dawn doesn't even need to get its assassins near you if you destroy yourself."

    Martin's blue eyes widened, and he shivered, realising the truth of my words. I reached to pat his shoulder, before realising he needed more comfort; and drew him into a hug instead. Martin's arms slowly came round to return my embrace, as his head slumped on my shoulder. I held him tightly for several minutes, feeling some of the tension leave his body.

    Eventually, he pulled back. "Alix... I can't sleep. I can't escape the Xarxes, even in my dreams. And the nightmares... Gods. I can see three futures, and in two of them I die. In one of them, the world as we know it ends. I can't make myself go back to that, night after night."

    For Martin had inherited the gift of prophecy along with his Septim blood. But growing up illegitimate, away from the guidance of his regal father, he had never learnt how to tell the difference between futures that would definitely happen, and those that were only possibilities. He did not know which dreams would come literally true, and which were just allegories. Moreover, he suffered from nightmares in which he relived traumatic events in his past. The daedra worship that had caused all his friends to die, the resulting expulsion from the Mages Guild, the sack of an entire city in an attempt to kill him, all of the people who had gone into battle on his behalf and not returned... His grief and guilt were so strong they were almost tangible.

    All I could do was offer myself, in whatever role he needed me. Rescuer, protector, healer, friend. I stroked his back to show my support.

    "Alix?" said Martin, in a small voice.

    "What do you need, my friend?"

    "I... might be able to sleep if you were there, to watch over me. Remember that time you were injured and I put you in my bed? I slept that night."

    "You had exhausted yourself trying to heal me! You completely drained your magicka, like a novice mage with no experience! That was ridiculously foolish."

    "I was afraid. You were so badly hurt... And I needed you. I still need you."

    I saw the pain in his eyes, the guilt on his face, the tension in every part of his body, and nodded. "I'll run to fetch a bedroll from downstairs, and meet you in your room."

    "No!" Martin grabbed my arm. "Please... That bed is big enough for three. Two can share it well enough. Just... be there?"

    Suddenly embarrassed, not quite sure what he was asking, I bowed. "Whatever my Emperor needs." I regretted my impulsive action immediately, as I saw Martin's eyes cloud over. Letting go of my arm, he turned away sadly.

    "I was joking!" I all-but yelled, spinning him around to see the fear in his expression. Damn it. I'd put that there. "Martin... you have to understand, I didn't quite know what you were asking."

    Low-pitched, he whispered, "I ask for nothing from you, and everything. You're my only friend, and yet I constantly send you into danger. I can't force you to do anything. I understand that."

    "I don't need to be forced. I do what I will, because it is the right thing to do, and because I love you. Not because of what you are, but because of who you are."

    "I know. The Blades... they touch me to wake me from nightmare. They carry me to bed if I pass out while reading. But it's always duty for them. Always 'my lord' and 'sire', not plain Martin. They forget, I'm just a man. I need the company of friends, like any other. You touch me out of friendship."

    I nodded, brushing his cheek lightly with my thumb. "I do."
     
  3. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    We went up to the Emperor's bedchamber. It was as opulent as ever, yet mostly untouched. I remembered the day we'd arrived at Cloud Ruler Temple, refugees from Kvatch, and Martin's horrified reaction at the size of it. I remembered how I'd caught him playing with his dagger; how I'd thought he was suicidal, before he'd explained that it was the only possession he had left. I realised anew why it was that he still wore his beaten-up priest's robe instead of any of the more luxurious clothes on offer.

    Knowing how self-conscious he was about undressing, I excused myself briefly, and went to speak to the Blades outside the room. I was pleased to see Jena, one of the few Blades with any magical ability, with Baurus, of course. "Um, listen," I said, "Martin's asked me to stay with him tonight."

    "Oh, really?" exclaimed Baurus. "I was wondering when he was finally going to get around to that!"

    I gave him a confused look. "Um, perhaps you know something I don't. But I just wanted to say. I'm not quite sure what he has in mind, and... just in case... well, if you hear um, sounds..."

    "Sex sounds," agreed Baurus. Jena blushed bright red. I felt my face doing the same.

    "By Talos, Baurus, I'm wondering what exactly our lord's been sharing with you! But... yes, if you hear anything that sounds like, um, screaming – I give you my word as a Blade that I will not harm the Emperor."

    "We need more assurance than that," piped up Jena. "Not that we distrust you, but for all we know, both of you could be being murdered in your sleep."

    "I know," I agreed. "Which is why I want you to use the Detect Life spell I taught you to check on us instead of coming in. If you see more than two life signatures – or less than two – or anything which implies that something is wrong, then you should burst in with swords ready. Otherwise..."

    "I can do that," Jena agreed.

    "Thank you."

    "And... take care of him?" asked Jena. "He's not just our Emperor. He's given up so much for us. He deserves happiness."

    "I'll do my best."

    -----

    Back in the room, Martin was kneeling alongside the bed, praying to Akatosh as he did every night. He'd blown out most of the candles, leaving only a couple next to the bed. I stripped off my armour, without looking at him: unbuckling each piece and laying it out straight to make it easier for the morning. By the time I stood in my undergarments, he was lying in bed watching me, with a small smile on his face as if he liked what he saw. I was still unsure what exactly he wanted from me; knowing only that whatever he needed, I was willing to give.

    I slid into bed next to him, and opened my arms. "Come here, then". He wriggled into my embrace, and sighed. We lay together, side-by-side, for a few minutes.

    My left elbow was trapped under Martin's body and I couldn't move enough to release it, but my right arm was free. I stroked his back gently, moving my hand upwards, until I got to his neck. Sliding my hand under his thick, brown hair, I dug my fingers in, grabbed a fistful of hair and pulled – as I'd wanted to since I'd first seen him. Martin groaned, and his eyes flared with lust.

    He pushed me onto my back, rolling over so that he was on top of me. Raising himself up on his arms, he looked into my face. "Alix... I... we need to talk."

    "Tell me what you need," I replied. I let my arms fall away, giving him space to move.

    "That's the problem," he sighed, letting himself collapse on top of me. I let him lie there for a while, bringing my arms round in a cuddle that would have been completely innocent, were it not for his head on my chest. I kissed the top of his head, lightly – something I'd do just as easily for a close friend as a lover. Martin seemed to be fighting for control of his emotions.

    Eventually, he spoke again. "Alix, I... I've told you a little of my history with Sanguine. Only what I could. My friends died... It hurts to even think of that time. But I... You know what worshipping Sanguine involves, don't you?"

    "Well," I thought for a moment. "He's the Daedric Prince of debauchery, always depicted with a bottle in his hand or a whore under his thumb. You told me before how nothing was ever 'just a prank' with him. I imagine that worshipping him involves getting very intoxicated and losing your inhibitions."

    "And the rest. Sex. With whichever partner the daedra chooses. Not who you might choose, or be attracted to ordinarily. Sanguine decides. Remember that 'prank' he made you do – making the Countess of Leyawiin run round in her underwear? He loves humiliation. If he can debase you, he will."

    I could see that what Martin was telling me was somehow very important, but not how to respond. I swallowed, and said carefully. "You had no choice?"

    "No."

    "Whoever he chose? Even if you weren't attracted to them?"

    "Whoever he chose. Especially if you weren't attracted to them." Martin's eyes glistened with unshed tears.

    I shook my head. "I don't understand how a so-called god could do that to his followers. That's why I've always stuck to the Nine. The Divines are honourable, even if their plans are impenetrable." I stroked Martin's hair, and kissed the top of his head again, offering whatever comfort I could.

    "I haven't been with anyone since leaving Sanguine's fellowship. You understand – it was my choice? Akatosh doesn't ask for celibacy, even the priesthood doesn't require it - it was something I had to do for myself. Years without love to atone for those months of hedonistic lust. And... what happened afterwards."

    Thoughtfully, I carried on playing with his hair. "You haven't had a lot of free choices, my friend. I've only made that worse for you. Disrupting your life, telling you that you're the Emperor's son, bringing you here... Putting the fate of the world into your hands."

    "Don't say that!". Blue eyes bored into mine. "We both know I'd be dead by now if not for you. What happened at Kvatch would have happened again. I owe you my life. I owe you everything."

    "Then if you ask for everything, and owe me everything – isn't that a fair trade?"

    Martin stared at me as if his sanity depended on it. Perhaps it did.

    "What you did at Kvatch. It wasn't the gods that saved us, it was you. Were you acting for the gods? I don't know."

    "I don't know, either. Are you asking whether Akatosh sent me to save you?"

    "Yes." Martin's head dropped onto my chest, and he began to weep. Months - and years - of pain, fear, disgust, and self-loathing washed out of his system with his tears. I rolled him onto his back and crawled on top, to maximise the calming pressure of my body on his.

    I kissed his forehead. I kissed his cheeks. I ran my hands through his hair. I kissed him on the lips: brief, chaste pecks. He wrapped his arms around my back and held on. I could feel his arousal building, but would do nothing without his express consent.

    "Alix?" he said, finally, voice rough from crying. "I can't ask for what I want. I do what the gods want of me. No man can deny his destiny."

    "Then tell me. Do you trust me to do what you need? To keep kicking the Divines until they give you a destiny you can live with?"

    "Always".

    I kissed him again on the lips, and this time he opened his mouth to meet mine.

    -----

    Martin lay under me, utterly spent. He'd come so violently that he'd surprised himself, and now he was lying in blissful afterglow, watching the flickering of the candlelight on my skin. His brown hair glinted chestnut, the lines on his face seemed to have faded, and his smile finally reached his eyes. We kissed drowsily for a few minutes, before his breathing deepened, and exhaustion overtook him.

    I got out of bed and blew out the last few candles, before opening the heavy curtains slightly to let in some moonlight. Then I pulled the blankets over both of us, and snuggled in against his side. It was so unusual to see him totally relaxed. Martin moaned faintly in his sleep, and threw an arm over me, possessively. His eyes moved rapidly behind closed lids, and I knew he was dreaming.

    I held the Emperor in my arms all night, guarding him from the horrors in his head.
     
  4. I like this fanfic already and this reminds me I probably need to write the next part for my Skyrim one.

    Yay for Elder Scrolls fiction :D
     
  5. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    This story definitely left a lot up to the imagination, but I'd say that's one of the many good parts. Emotionally compelling and well-written in all respects, including the fact that Alix was essentially genderless, which made me pick which I thought would be most appropriate. Either way, quite the lovely fic you have here, I rather enjoyed it and I hope to see more from you in the future.

    The gender I chose was male. >>;
     
  6. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    Thanks for the reviews, guys.

    Riley: This fic is complete as is, but it's part of a series/much longer piece featuring Martin and Alix. They've been living in my brain for a while, now. I was actually surprised because I was sure their history was going to be entirely Unresolved Sexual Tension (and then Martin dies), but then suddenly they decided to jump into bed. Well, whatever *pats them lovingly*.

    Dwayna: I'm curious to know whether you read Alix as male or female. Put your answer in a spoiler tag so it doesn't affect anyone else's reading of the story ;) . Writing as genderless is an interesting exercise... The character isn't genderqueer, Alix has a definite gender, but isn't revealing it right now.
     
  7. I really like this fic! I love how tangible and real the feelings between Alix and Martin are. I also enjoyed the ambiguity of what Alix's gender is. I really enjoy when certain things are left up to the imgination. I'd love to see more from you.
     
  8. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    Taking the Nine in Vain - an Oblivion Fanfic

    So, I've written a sequel to this, but it contains such blatant adult content that I can't even share all of the tags here for sheer NSFW-ness.

    Fandom: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

    Summary:
    Emperor Martin Septim/Hero of Kvatch, explicit. A sequel to "Guardian of His Dreams", but in this Alix de Feu has a gender. A definite male gender.

    Rating: 18

    Tags:
    * Explicit Sexual Content
    * Explicit Consent
    plus three more that are too non-worksafe to mention.

    Since the rules of this forum prevent direct links to adult material, what I'll do is post the first part of the fic - which is safe for Teen audiences - below, and ask anyone who is interested in reading the rest of it to PM me for a link.

    ----

    When I returned to Cloud Ruler Temple, Martin was waiting for me. As usual, he was sitting at what had become "his" table, in the Great Hall, with an ever-increasing collection of books. But unlike usual, he was barely concentrating on what he was reading. One hand tugged at his thick brown hair, while the other tapped impatiently against the wooden table top, in some sort of rhythmic pattern. He sighed at the reference tome in front of him, and his eyes darted around the room in boredom. Thus he saw me as soon as I entered, shaking the snow off my cloak, and lugging a large sack. His entire face lit up with delight.

    "You're back!" he exclaimed. "Did you get the artifact?"

    "Of course," I nodded. "Have I ever let you down?"

    "Well, no, my friend. But sometimes things go wrong despite our best intentions. You might have become lost, or hurt, or...". He stopped himself, and instead turned his attention to the sack, which I was able to carry only thanks to my strongest Fortify Strength and Feather spells. "May I see it?"

    "Help me lay it out on the table," I commanded him. He chuckled under his breath, a combination of sheer relief at my safe return, and because I was the only person who would dare issue orders to the would-be Emperor of Tamriel. Admittedly, Jauffre tried to give him orders too, but he would couch them in delicate terms, as suggestions. Always a diplomat... I, on the other hand, would simply tell Martin what I wanted him to do; which had recently gained me more than I'd ever dreamed of having, in the form of blissful nights with the most attractive man I'd ever met.

    (Obviously I cared about the Empire, and wanted its Emperor to be crowned as soon as possible. Why else would I let him constantly send me away from his side, to acquire the priceless trophies that we needed to perform the ritual, and recover the Amulet of Kings? But the truth was that Martin the man - ex-mage turned priest of Akatosh - was far more important to me than Martin Septim, illegitimate son of Emperor Uriel. His parentage felt irrelevant, so I treated him accordingly: the only person to use his name instead of a title. Apparently he appreciated this, since he was always begging the Blades to do the same. However, it seemed that they could not overcome their trained deference to the role, even when the man occupying it implored them to.)

    We emptied the sack carefully. Martin stared at the ancient cuirass as it lay on the table. His finger traced the gilt design, reverentially. "The Armour of Tiber Septim himself!"

    Of course, we knew that the line of descent was broken several times, when the crown had passed to nephews or cousins instead of offspring. Nonetheless, we were both overwhelmed by emotion at this tangible connection between Martin and his legendary predecessor. The armour stood as proof that the god Talos had once been an ordinary man. I saw Martin wiping tears away from his eyes with the sleeve of his robe.

    I wondered anew how similar the two Septims would prove to be. Was Tiber Septim, the great war chief, a powerful mage able to protect himself against the forces of evil? The history books were unclear on this. Would Martin Septim's intervention against Oblivion be so mighty that the gods themselves would take him up as a Tenth Divine? Only time would tell.

    Martin must have been having similar thoughts. "The Septim blood may flow through my veins, but you have the soul of a hero," he pronounced, looking up at me and smiling. I gazed into his wide blue eyes for what seemed like minutes, feeling myself slowly drowning in desire. The charisma of the man! If I hadn't rescued Martin while he was still reeling from the disaster at Kvatch, I'd have thought he could cast Charm spells that would last days. As it was, it seemed to be some sort of Septim ability, to go with the prophetic dreams and ability to wear the Amulet. Voice of the Emperor? Hmm.

    He broke the moment, grudgingly. "Jauffre will be amazed to see it. You can reassure Jauffre that I will not destroy the armour. All I need is a scraping of Talos's divine blood. The Blades are as touchy as priests about relics of Tiber Septim, it seems!"

    "Are you surprised?" I asked him. "With the connection between the Blades and the royal family, half of them become priests of Talos when they retire!"

    He laughed openly, a rare sound during that time of crisis, and one that I valued; doubly so, since I'd caused it myself. Catching my shoulder, he whispered directly into my ear. "After you've been to see Jauffre, go and have a bath. Wash yourself very thoroughly. I have... plans for you, later." His guileless eyes shimmered for a moment with the untold debauchery known only to followers of Sanguine. I gasped, stepped back, and went in search of the Grandmaster of the Blades.
     

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