Characters: Young Halbarad and Young Aragorn
Source: Many years pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien’s creations – Kortirion’s just borrowing them for an outing.
Halbarad gasped, clawed his throat...
“Water...” he croaked.
He lurched forward, grabbing the shining metal pitcher before Aragorn could stop him... and downed the contents; water splashed over his face, running down his chest.
Aragorn snatched it away, but the damage was done... Halbarad coughed even more, straining to drag cooling air into his burning mouth. Aragorn thrust a bowl of cream and chopped herbs at him.
He spooned it up with trembling fingers – relief! - as Aragorn sank down beside him.
“In a strange inn, never believe what a grinning innkeeper tells you about the spiciness of his stew!”