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6
Fair-weather Friends

Day 14: favorite season.

Summary: What are friends for, if not to share a beautiful day? An unusually sunny tale for everyone's favorite Dol Amroth immigrant. Story in the Best-loved Sons universe.


~~~

Dol Amroth, 2972, T.A.

The last few weeks had been stormy – damp and cool, and the winds from the sea were treacherous. No matter what measures one took to keep the rain out, the wet found its way in beneath the layers of wool and leather. It would have been in some ways more bearable simply to be soaked and have done with it, but the perpetual, deceptive dryness that turned out, upon movement, to be damp and cold - what Gondorrim called 'clammy' – Andrahar was offended by it, frankly. It just was not proper.

It was, he supposed, better than winter – in Andrahar’s world, water did not freeze. The very thought chilled him, and he habitually shoved the memory of that horror away with an internal shudder. Spring was definitely much preferable.

But the air was changing – the storms had been less cold of late, and he knew now, from two years of Dol Amroth’s seasons, that they would grow more violent and warmer, but also less frequent. Already, there had been much less rain this week than last, and today he could feel it – heat! A proper sun in the sky, shedding proper light and real warmth at long last! An end to feeling forever cold and numbed! A slow, white grin split his normally somber countenance, as Andrahar, fresh out of a morning’s swordwork this rest day, stood at the edge of the yard and looked up at the tower and the parapets looming at the very crest of the hill, gleaming fit to blind a body in the mid-morning sun.

He had learned a word of Imrahil recently – ‘carefree.’ Actually, he had learned the word because someone had said it of Imrahil, but regardless, Andrahar had rolled it about his mind and mouth, thinking it over. An unfamiliar notion, and Andrahar had never thought to feel it himself, but faced with a beautiful, warm, finally, properly summer’s day – the very first of the year – he thought that this must be what ‘carefree’ felt like…

“Well, it looks as though you’ve got in a good morning’s work,” said a familiar voice, and then Imrahil’s hand landed on his shoulder. The young prince, never one to stir earlier than necessary on a rest day, was neat as a pin, and grinning as well, his eyes alight as he surveyed the day, breathing in deeply and sighing contentedly.

“Summer at last,” he declared, and then grinned the broader, squeezing Andrahar’s shoulder. Releasing him, Imrahil gave him then a hearty clap on the back, as he said blithely, “Well that settles it. Come on. We’re going swimming.”

And like that, any sense of carefreeness vanished. Andrahar shut his eyes and blanched.

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