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Story Notes:
Warnings: Fluff and the barest hint of slash.
Always There

It had been one of those days. A long patrol, with endless small skirmishes that had left him feeling tired, dirty and world-weary. He just wanted to sleep, but was reluctant to go home – Lindir was probably still angry with him. He hadn’t meant to spill his tea that morning, but he had been rushing and had knocked the cup over, sending the hot liquid directly over a newly written sheet of music. The ink had run everywhere, the work utterly ruined.

Lindir had been furious and Rúmil had left in a hurry, preferring the borders to his lover’s wrath. Yet now the day was over, he was unsure of what to do with himself, especially since his brothers were both still on duty.

He deliberated for a moment before changing direction and going down a path some distance away from his own talan. Climbing up a tree rather taller than the one he lived in, he came to an old, large talan. He knocked briefly and then let himself in, going directly to the main room and sinking into an old, but soft and comfortable chair.

A woman appeared from the kitchen and looked at the grimy and dejected figure sitting there. Wordlessly she went back into the kitchen before returning a minute later with a large mug of tea and a generous slice of apple cake. She set them on the table before Rúmil, who reached out eagerly and took and took a large bite of the cake before washing it down with the tea.

He let out a long breath then, and settled back into the chair. She sat next to him and wrapped one arm around his shoulders before giving him and affectionate kiss on the cheek. “Better?” she asked softly.

Rúmil smiled and returned the gesture, so grateful for her always being there. “Much better… thank you, Mother.” Reaching round, he hugged her tightly and said the words they both knew but rarely said. “I love you.”

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