Characters: Young Aragorn and Young Halbarad
Rating: Slash implied
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Tolkien, Kortirion is only borrowing them.
“The trouble is… you weren’t fast enough.”
“The trouble is… it’s stuck fast!”
Indeed Aragorn’s boot was firmly, seemingly immovably, held fast in a quagmire of mud… while he hopped about – minus one boot! Halbarad laughed out loud.
“Is that all you’re going to do?”
Halbarad shrugged, “Not my boot.”
Aragorn put his bare foot down on the squelching ooze, set his lips and strode back, muttering phrases in Elvish that would have made a gong farmer blush… his brothers’ would have been proud of his eloquent turn of insult.
“Strider, are you?” Halbarad smirked, “Should have jumped, like me.”
The weather had been very wet, hence the thick mud in the hollow of the forest road, but the sun beating down had added a crust that seemed able to withstand… but it hadn’t. Halbarad had jumped over; Aragorn advanced with deliberate strides… and lost his boot and his dignity.
“My captain, out here you must withstand the impertinence of nature.” Halbarad could barely keep a straight face.
Aragorn scowled, “I only wish nature would wear away your idiotic grin!”
“What? Smooth… like certain pebbles? Come, there’s water there… I could… wash you clean.”
It was Aragorn’s turn to grin.
The sun continued beating down; mud dried to dust which light winds whirled into the air. The nearby stream proved refreshing, running over a shingle bed so they could wade without stirring any mud, flowing deeply enough they could strip off and lay in the water, gaining some relief from the midday heat.
Aragorn lay on his back, the water running though his hair. A whirling breeze dusted his wet skin with fine particles. Halbarad reached across, brushing the reddish dust away, leaving dark smears across the man’s flesh.
Aragorn propped himself on one elbow, “Now… we should both wash….”