16 December 2010 | 1164 words
Characters: Aragorn / Boromir
Summary: A pleasant evening is rudely interrupted
Just something that popped into my head today, since I’m snowed in at the office and no one has been in all day.
“Shh!” Boromir said suddenly.
Aragorn fell silent immediately. The silence within the curtained stone walls of the Steward’s inner chambers was so deep that he could hear the softest whisper of flames licking up from the lamps burning on the stand next to the bed.
“I heard the door,” Boromir muttered, reaching over the edge of the bed and groping through the clothing strewn there.
“I thought you locked the doors,” Aragorn whispered.
“I did,” Boromir hissed, scowling at him. “That lock can be picked, though. Faramir used to do it all the time when he was a boy. Sneak in here and pull all sorts of stunts while I was away. Never knew what I’d find in here when I got home. Frogs, once.”
Aragorn blinked at him as he pulled on what he hoped were his breeches. “Frogs.”
“Aye. Frogs. Put frogs in my bed.”
Boromir reached for his sword where it leaned against the wall. Aragorn moved to get up, but Boromir motioned sharply.
Boromir smiled slightly at the insulted tone of the other man’s voice. “You don’t have a weapon, that’s all. No offense intended, mighty warrior.”
He slid the door to the bedroom open carefully and leaned out. In the faint light from the windows, he could see the curtains drifting slightly in the warm air, the shadows of chairs and tables, the dark patches of tapestries against the paler stone.
“Who’s there?” he called out, making his voice as gruff and threatening as he could manage, which he was generally quite good at. Tonight, though, the words were tinged with a hint of worry that Boromir hadn’t intended. Ordinarily, the idea of someone sneaking into his room in the middle of the night, even with the intent to harm him, would do little more than make him furious and ready to fight. Tonight, though, in the glow of the lanterns behind him, was a man whose angular face and lean body and clear gray eyes he could see in his mind just as clearly as if he’d turned around to look at him, a man who had come to his rooms unarmed against Boromir or anything else, and Boromir was suddenly and painfully aware that if he were to do something foolish and the intruder should get the better of him, Aragorn would have little with which to protect himself from harm.
Cursing the worry that made him cautious, Boromir stepped forward, eyes flicking across the open space, annoyed at the many concealing shadows his gaze could not penetrate. He balanced his sword, ready to swing it in either direction.
Something clattered against the stone floor, and Boromir instinctually whirled to his left to face it, even as his brain registered the noise as a diversion, and in that moment a solid figure slammed hard into his right side, catching his shoulder and sending them both crashing to the gound, Boromir’s sword clanging on the stone as he landed on his stomach. He grabbed for it, trying to roll free, but his attacker reached out and yanked his arms behind his back, and a voice hissed in his ear.
“That was much, much too easy.”
“Who are you? Get off of me! What do you want?”
“You were supposed to be asleep,” the voice whispered. “Since when are you awake in the middle of the…”
The last word became a choked sound of surprise, and the grip on his arms suddenly let go. Boromir twisted free and rolled into a defensive crouch facing the hooded figure who had unexpectedly released him. To his astonishment, the man was now rising to his feet, moving very cautiously, because there was an arm across his throat and the hand held a sharp shard of curved lantern glass into the exposed curve beneath his jaw. Aragorn grinned at Boromir over the stranger’s shoulder.
“You should know me better than that, my friend. I may not have a weapon, but I’m never defenseless.”
“Wait…” the hooded figure protested, and now in a full voice instead of a whisper, and Boromir was on his feet, scowling furiously as he pulled the hood back.
“You rotten, sneaky little bastard!”
Faramir looked at him sheepishly. Aragorn laughed and stepped back, releasing him.
“You’re lucky I didn’t hurt you,” he said, shaking his head.
Faramir recognized the voice and turned to gape at Aragorn, who leaned back against the wall now, framed in golden lantern glow from the bedroom doorway, wearing nothing but his breeches.
“I… err… I didn’t expect my brother to have… company?” Faramir stuttered.
“What in the name of the gods were you doing, you ridiculous idiot?” Boromir said, grabbing his brother by the front of his cloak and giving him a sharp shake.
Faramir attempted valiantly to keep from smiling as he reached into his cloak and handed Boromir a leather pouch. Boromir snatched it from him, inspecting it cautiously, but then he grunted in alarm and dropped it to the floor.
“It moved! What the hell! What is that?”
Faramir directed his eyes at the ground to avoid meeting his brother’s furious glare.
“It’s a bag of grasshoppers.”
“A bag of…” Boromir gaped.
“Grasshoppers,” Faramir said helpfully. “Quite big ones. I had some of the stable boys find them for me.”
“And what,” Boromir demanded, “were you intending to do with a bag of grasshoppers?”
Faramir grinned. “Let them loose under your bedroom door.”
Boromir growled low in his throat and for just a moment Faramir wondered in the back of his mind if perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea after all, but Aragorn burst out laughing, leaning against the wall for support.
“What is so funny?” Boromir said sharply.
Aragorn gasped for breath before he could speak. “I’ve never seen anyone drop anything as fast as you just dropped that bag. The look on your face…”
He dissolved in laughter again. Boromir glared at Faramir as his desperate attempt to look solemn and contrite failed and he sank back into a chair, laughing as hard as Aragorn.
“Fine,” Boromir said, the corner of his mouth twitching into a smile as he waited for the laughter to abate. “Aragorn, why don’t you go and get whatever lamps are left that you didn’t break, and brother, put those blasted creatures outside, and then we might as well have a drink… I’m wide awake now, anyway.”
Faramir clapped his brother on the back happily. “That’s the spirit.”
“I’m going to kill you someday,” Boromir muttered.
“At least they weren’t frogs,” Aragorn said helpfully, trying not to laugh again.
Continue to Bright Ideas
NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]
Enjoyed this story? Then be sure to let the author know by posting a comment at http://www.faramirfiction.com/Fiction/defenseless-rubyelf. Positive feedback is what keeps authors writing more stories!
Thank the author
The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: