Spoilers: For Auron's backstory
Notes: Pre-game, pre-pilgrimage. For muggy_mountain. Prompt: Auron/Kinoc, in battle. Written before I saw this post; oops. ;) I hope you enjoy it anyway.
Sword slashed and thunder struck at the same time, and Auron lopped the drake's head off, his blade piercing the tough hide. "That the last one?" He turned to Kinoc, who still held his hands in the air as though to cast another spell.
"We got 'em." Then he dropped his arms and freed his sword. "Now come get me."
Auron's heartbeat quickened as he rushed forward. He and Kinoc often sparred while out on patrol, although not usually right after a real fight. Their blades met, gleaming in the light that filtered through the trees. Metal clashed against metal again and again, until Kinoc found an opening and slipped through. Before Auron could yield, Kinoc had pinned him against a tree, the rapier's cold steel against his throat. "Promise me something," he rasped, breaths coming hard and fast.
Auron felt the sword slip from his hands. "What..."
"Promise me that you'll accept the offer." Kinoc raised his face to Auron's, eyes serious, almost angry.
Auron didn't move. How had Kinoc found out? "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Never play the fool with me!" Kinoc stepped even closer, his body pressing into Auron's, the sword all that separated them. The blade's edge bit into Auron's skin, and he hissed at the sharp pain. "You earned that promotion, and the marriage that comes with it. Don't even think about turning it down because of us."
He tore off his helm -- Auron's had been lost during their battle -- and crashed their mouths into a punishing kiss. Kinoc forced Auron's head into the rough tree bark; Auron's hands curled around Kinoc's shoulders of their own will. Then Kinoc broke free, dropping the sword and turning away.
Auron took a deep breath and stumbled forward. "Kinoc..."
"I mean it, Auron." Kinoc looked back over his shoulder, eyes hard. "Take the promotion. I wouldn't turn it down for you."
With that, he walked away, heading down the path into the darkness of the forest.
Auron could not follow. Frozen in place, he raised his hand to the shallow nick in his neck. It came away covered with blood, and he stood there for a long time, thinking about power, and ambition, and duty. The setting sun moved him at last, and he turned for home, each slow step taking him back to Bevelle and the decision he had been dreading.