So Happy Birthday, Scribendi! We’re thinking of you! *hugs*
Title: Five Memories
Characters: Théodred /Boromir
A little angst, quite a lot of schmoop, and not very smutty at all.
Slash! Step up and get your slash right here!
I woke with Théodred’s arm wrapped around my waist, and his leg thrown over mine; his breath was warm on the curve of my neck. Against my back, his chest rose and fell gently, and I reached to cover his hand with mine.
Then I was wrenched awake by the clamor of bells, the Tower Guard calling the hour, and I slept no more that night.
When I reached Edoras, Théodred was not waiting to greet me. I did my best to hide the disappointment that welled within me, and thanked the lad who told me that all was prepared, should I wish to bathe.
That was where Théodred waited: in the bathhouse, eyes gleaming with mischief and impatience as he rose from a tub of steaming water to welcome me.
We sat at a table in the great hall of the Meduseld, eating and talking and laughing with his men. One Rider told a bawdy joke that set us howling; Théodred looked toward me, roaring with laughter as we all were, and in the midst of the uproar I thought, I would that it could always be this way.
I was shocked to see how Théoden King had aged in so short a time. I glanced to Théodred for explanation, but there was none forthcoming, and the grimness of his expression warned me against further inquiry.
After dinner, when we sat alone on the stairs of the Hall, that grimness had taken on a cast of bleakness, and I could not let it be. I did not ask any questions; I merely moved closer to him, and entwined my fingers in his. He did not explain, not at that time, but his shoulders slumped and a tremor went through him even as his hand tightened on mine. “I can do nothing for him,” he said in a low, wavering voice, and all I could do was to lend him what strength he needed.
I woke with my arm wrapped around Théodred’s waist, my leg thrown over his, my chest pressed against his back, and his hair in my face. When I brushed his hair aside, he stirred, and rolled toward me, blue eyes still groggy with sleep. He smiled, that smile which has always been for me alone, and touched my cheek. We lay so for I know not how long, talking idly of everything and nothing, chuckling softly, murmuring words we would say to no other, until we were obliged to rise and begin the day.
I watched as Boromir sparred with one of my older Riders. I admired his fighting form, his grace and speed, the pleasure he took in his skill, the efficiency of each movement, no stroke too light nor too forceful, even in this, a practice session.
This is his joy, I thought with a strange pride. This is what he was meant for. As we both are.
When the bout was finished, I stood, taking up my own sword. Boromir’s eyes lit up with anticipation and for all that he was already tired, I knew that he would not hold back. He never did.
I watched him ride away from Earla’s Grove until he could no longer be seen. I ached from our time together; bruises now barely bloomed would begin to darken rapidly, and still I wished he had been able to stay for one more hour, one more night. One more cup of ale, one more meal, one more night of him murmuring my name in the dark, one more morning of awakening to his face.
Always, when he left, a part of me left with him, and I never knew when or if he would return.
When Boromir arrived in Edoras, he was so impatient that he tried to drag me into a stall. I laughed, and pointed out that straw and hay were not such a comfortable bed as they might seem, and that I was not going to be the one on my back or my knees in the scratchy, sharp stuff.
His mouth and hands were persuasive, as they always were, and soon I could not bring myself to wait, either. We shut ourselves in the stable’s tack room, and were lost in one another other, forgetting there was a world outside that door.
Boromir looked at me with such confusion that all I could do was to clench my jaw and look away. Throughout dinner that evening, I saw his bewilderment grow with every glance he cast towards my father and the vile Worm who never left his side. Fury at my own helplessness and shame at Boromir seeing my father in such a state distracted me, and I fear I hardly spoke to him during the meal.
Later when we sat alone on the stairs, I could read the questions in his eyes, and I braced myself for the words that would surely now come. Instead, Boromir merely moved closer to me, and when he took my hand, it was all I could do to keep my composure. “I can do nothing for him,” I said in a voice that shook. His hand tightened on mine; he leaned against my shoulder, wordlessly offering what strength he had, and I had never been more grateful for his presence.
We relaxed in a large tub, sated, for the moment. We were under no obligation until the evening meal, so we took our time, washing each other clean, reveling in long-missed touch.
Boromir combed the snarls from my wet hair as he told me of his journey; I pretended to complain at his ungentle hands and told him of my most recent patrol. His laughter in my ear sent pleasant shivers down my spine; he sighed with contentment when I leaned back against him. He traced each new scar he found on my body, and I would do the same to him, later that night.
We stayed there until the water grew cold. When we climbed out, we found that all our clothing was soaked, for in our haste we had discarded them too close to the tub. We had no choice but to don that wet clothing, and we laughed at our foolishness as we squelched our way back to the Golden Hall.