Characters: Young Aragorn /Young Halbarad
Rating: PG13 – /-implications
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien created Middle-earth and all who dwell therein.
The Cup That Cheers I
‘Valar it was cold!’ Aragorn hunched over the steaming billy-can above a small fire. They’d dug a shallow pit, lined half with spruce branches, rammed more at the edges, bending them over and affixing oil-cloths to make a passable shelter.
Preparation had taken until sunset, but a sudden winter storm might mean this hunting bivouac serving for days... Halbarad returned with pine-needles; he chopped them finely before throwing them into the can.
They sat close for warmth, drinking comforting tea from turned birch beakers.
“I’d tea with a hobbit once...” began Halbarad, “You wouldn’t believe how much cream was involved...”
Title: The Cup That Cheers II
The shelter was warming up nicely. They ate supper and finished the pine-tea. Aragorn helped Halbarad out of his wet boots and hose, before the other returned the favour, tugging hard enough to make them topple, laughing, over the springy spruce. They’d spread cloaks and sur-coats into bedding and now faced the slightly awkward manoeuvre of whose limbs went where...
Aragorn’s bare feet against Halbarad’s shoulder were icy... enough to make him grunt and shift.
“Shall I chafe them?” he finally asked, “they’re too bloody cold to have about my ears,”
Aragorn mumbled assent, grateful the fire-light hid his blush.
Title: The Cup That Cheers III
Aragorn shivered, disentangling himself gently from Halbarad’s long limbs. The sleeper snorted, rolling under their jointly piled clothing. Aragorn found a shirt, before groping for boots that might be his.
Outside, the night was brittle with cold, the stars etched clear as diamonds. His teeth chattered as he relieved himself behind a tree, hastily striding back to their shelter, which now held more than merely warmth.
Aragorn crammed fresh snow into the billy, blowing the embers so ‘twould melt for morning tea... then shucked the boots and crawled into bed.
Halbarad hissed... mumbled, “Cold feet...”
“You could... warm them again...”