2006 Birthday Drabbles
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Loquacious' 2006 Birthday Presents: 2. It's Not Fair! by Gwynnyd
It's Not Fair
It's not fair. Estel sourly surveyed the pile of packs. At eighteen, he had expected that this summer he would finally be allowed to participate in the border defense instead of being left behind with the food and medical supplies. At least they considered him competent enough to be left alone, and had not also assigned another guard. He supposed he would have to be content with this little increase in his responsibilities. Sighing, he made sure his knife was loose in its sheath while he made a slow reconnaissance of the area. It would not do to be surprised.
It's not fair. The heavy, metal weight that dragged at her belt ought to have been a sword. Keys! Éowyn reached down and jangled the bunch: stillroom, cellar, spice cupboard… she gave up in exasperation. She was eighteen, but these were not the responsibilities she craved. Staring over the practice grounds as the men sparred was not helping her accept the situation. If Gríma thought to turn her into a meek and compliant companion by forcing her to take over the management of the household, he was doomed to more disappointment. She would still, somehow, find a way to train.
~~Elladan tossed an orc corpse onto the pile, counting automatically… ten, eleven.
"Elrohir! Where's the twelfth?"
Startled eyes met his. "One's missing? Estel is alone."
They set off running.
The clearing was quiet, but the boy whirled around, knife at the ready, when he heard them coming. Estel gave them a welcoming wave, though a red stain was still spreading on the bandage roughly tied around his arm.
"It wasn't poisoned." Estel forestalled Elladan's scramble towards the medical supplies. "See." He handed over the knife and Elladan thankfully saw the blade was clean.
Elladan adjusted the bandage. "First kill?"
Watching his sister at the feast, Éomer noticed she smiled only while the king watched. Gríma asked her to dance, but she shook her head and slipped out the door. Éomer found her staring out into the night, biting back tears. He led her unprotesting away from the feast and into a small chamber where Théodred awaited them.
"We thought you might want this." Théodred placed an ornamented dagger into her hands.
"It is pretty, but no toy." Éomer traced the smooth inlays in the handle. "The designs won't interfere with your grip, and we know you can use it."
~~"It's not fair." Eldarion stormed in and threw himself down onto the bench.
Elboron put a sympathetic hand on his friend's shoulder. "They turned you down, too?"
"It would not be dangerous!"
"We certainly can protect ourselves."
"We are not fools."
Grey eyes met grey eyes and silently affirmed their mutual opinion of their parents' ridiculous overprotectiveness. Elboron continued to brood, but Eldarion's ready sense of humor came to the fore. He sat up and laughed.
"Which set of stories do you think we should believe? The ones the minstrels tell or the ones our parents tell us?"
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