Rating: PG-13 because ZOMG there is talk of sex.
Ficlet, Martel's POV, one-sided Martel/Sparhawk. This has been sitting on my computer for ages and I thought I might as well get around to posting it. blueyeti beta'ed it for me, and has my thanks for it.
In the years that followed, the gaps in his memory frustrated him endlessly. He had to have realized things didn't match up at some point, but he could never say with certainty when. Not, he would mentally reassure himself afterward, that it really mattered. As future Church Knights, he and his fellow novices weren't encourage to gain any sort of first hand knowledge of what it meant to be intimate with another human being (woman) unless they were married. All the same, however, they were a fair sized group of young men with hormones and the desires that go with them; it wasn't unusual for some members of the group (notably Kalten) to succumb to temptation. Most of them even forgot to repent later.
Still, it took Martel a while to notice that his urges weren't quite the same as those of his compatriots. In retrospect, he could blame Sparhawk for this confusion. He and Sparhawk were the best, so when comparisons were made, he always compared himself to Sparhawk and what Sparhawk did and how he did it. And Sparhawk was, simply put, asexual. Bound by duty and that sense of implacability that made him such a formidable opponent, the young man simply didn't seem to have time for anything as frivolous as sex.
Martel, however, was still very much a young man with a young man's urges, but unlike his brothers, no pretty merchant's daughter, or serving maid, or whore could hold his attention for any length of time. He'd certainly tried a fair number, but they all seemed to lack something, never seemed quite enough. Martel disliked their ghost-white necks and how frail they all seemed and how their hair got in the way of everything. They were too breathy and airy, all softness and fragility.
The whole business frustrated Martel endlessly, especially because when he was in the Pandion chapterhouse, he couldn't seem to keep his hormones in check. Some indefinable, indescribable scent lingered in every corner of the place and sent his desire into overdrive. The only place of respite was wherever Sephrenia happened to be, so Martel applied himself industriously to learning the secrets. He found he had an aptitude for them and that in learning them, he also learned to control his desire and the ever-present need that was driving him insane.
But Sephrenia would only teach him so much, only let him go so far and when he reached the boundaries of what she was willing to give, his respite disappeared, vanished like a desert mirage. He found himself restless, uneasy and reluctant to confide in those he knew as friends. Something about his problem seemed taboo, though he couldn't say what. Frustrated at the lack of answers in the Pandions, Martel went looking for another teacher, maybe one who could at least tell him what his problem was. Having once found respite in the secrets of Styricum, Martel sought out another teacher of the same subject and found one. He probed deeper and deeper, not caring when he passed into the realms of magics that even Sephrenia wouldn't touch.
Martel could remember when he realized why he was different. The same night as his undoing, when Sparhawk burst into the clearing where he was trying to raise his monster. In that moment, thrown into craggy relief by the green light, Sparhawk's face was fierce and furious, the embodiment of all that a Pandion should be. And Martel realized what he had refused to admit to himself for so many years -- he didn't want to compete with Sparhawk, he wanted to compliment him. He didn't want to be Sparhawk, he wanted to be with Sparhawk; be by his side through everything -- both in the battle frenzy and the relief that followed it. And in the same instant as he realized that, he realized that he would never, ever be able to have what he wanted, even if he renounced all magic forever and was in all ways the most perfect Pandion the order had ever known. He would never be able to have Sparhawk; even the desire made him outcast in the eyes of the Church.
In one blinding moment, as realization and understanding swept through his mind like white lightning, the pressure of years of denial and confusion came to a roiling head and Martel reacted in the most primal way possible. Hurling heathen words at Sparhawk, he drew his sword and attacked.