[Note: In the published version of this drabble series, I will include authors' notes thanking my beta and crediting other authors for where I borrowed one of their inventions. I have removed it for the purpose of review, but these authors will be credited in the published version.]
Théodred will never forget the supple strip of leather, nor his old nanny's weary smile. Today marks his tenth year, she tells him. As if he did not know; all Edoras drinks his health tonight. But what more must she say? Hild may not share in Eorl's blood, but she has served as the princeling's mother since he was old enough to remember. The two of them share a language, an understanding.
She does not speak now, nor will she tomorrow when she binds his hair with leather in a warrior's plait. The rider's battle-cry will break their silence soon enough.
Boromir runs his hand under Théodred's plait as they kiss. A stray strand flits across his knuckles; he had forgotten how soft Théo's hair could be, when he took the time to see to it. Boromir longs to remove the thong securing the braid, to run his fingers through that golden mane.
Théodred leans back, his breath still warm on Boromir's lips. "You'll undo it," he warns.
Despite himself, Boromir groans into Théodred's mouth. For once, the Gondorian cares not a bit for protocol or appearance. "I'll rebraid it," he promises as his fingers loosen the knot securing the thong.
Boromir will never forget the feel of her hand. The White City of his youth was made of stone and metal and wood. And rough leather, too – soldier's boots and saddles – but he cannot remember ever touching something so dry and fine before. Her hand reminded him of nothing so much as a lady's leather glove.
Nanny had warned him to leave Finduilas be, that she was so very tired, but he had wanted to show her the poem. He should have left. But how could he? He could not look away, could not let go of that lifeless hand.
Théodred runs his lips along Boromir's throat; first under the chin, now along the throat's column. Boromir grasps Théodred's arms. Théodred would swear Boromir's knees are in danger of buckling, if such a thing was possible.
Boromir arches his head backward, but that is not enough; Théodred loosens the tunic-strings. His Borya's neck is sun-kissed and wind-worn, tanned as leather, but past his collar it is tender as calf-skin.
Under his lips, Boromir's chest rises more rapidly, and Théodred smiles to himself. Too often have they each kissed farewell to dying flesh; it is good to embrace something so alive.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.