Author: agent iz hyper PM
Various situations with the Rangers - mostly Will and Gilan getting on Halt's nerves. Needless to say, he's not that amused. -first RA fic- CheersRated: Fiction K - English - Humor/Friendship - Will & Halt - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,146 - Reviews: 23 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 06-29-11 - Published: 06-12-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7077127
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Awesome Rangers and Dire Situations
Summary: Will reflects over all the near-death experiences he's had so far and asks Gilan about it.
Set: Erak's Ransom, on the ship on the way back to Araluen.
Characters: Same as always... Will, Gilan and Halt. Duh.
Staring out at the docile (for now) waves surrounding the wolfship with Gilan, Will had to think about all the times in his short time as a Ranger's apprentice where his life was as un-docile as it could get. He'd had so much adventure in the past five years, so much heart-stopping moments when he believed his life was over, that he wondered whether he would ever have a quiet year. Or whether, if that happened, he'd go mad from lack of action. Of course, being a Ranger pretty much guaranteed a life of adventure anyway, what with hunting down bandits and keeping the fief safe. But this youth had been through and seen much more than most Rangers anyway.
Will wondered if that was normal for Rangers, or if he was a special, trouble-attracting case.
"Will? Hey Will... Anyone home?"
He snapped out of his stupor to realize that Gilan had been talking to him. He faced his friend sheepishly.
Gilan's lips twisted into an amused smile. "Where did you go then, off with the faeries?"
"Just thinking," Will shrugged. Then he realized that - who better to ask than Gilan, who was a Ranger, after all? "Gilan?"
Will hesitated, eyes roving over the tranquil waters, and wondered how to word his query. He couldn't exactly ask outright "So how many near-death experiences have you had in the past decade or so?" then compare them to his own.
Gilan eyed the young Ranger as he hesitated, wondering what was on his mind this time. He remembered when they were going to Arrida that Will had been worried about not being a sufficient Ranger. But he sensed that this was something different altogether. He waited patiently; letting Will gather his thoughts first instead of pushing him for it.
Finally, the apprentice spoke up, still staring ahead. "Gil, you know how Rangers get into all sorts of trouble all the time? Is it... Is it normal for a Ranger, or an apprentice Ranger, to..." here, Will faltered slightly but then pushed on resolutely. "Is it, you know, a normal occurrence to come so close to being killed so many times in such a short timespan?"
Gilan cocked his head to the side slightly, thinking over the question. He knew where Will was coming from, knew how much he'd faced so far. He said lightly, "Well, taking into note the fact that we Rangers have a very special knack of getting into troublesome situations wherever we go, I'd say yes." He grinned at Will, who managed a smile back. Then he added somewhat thoughtfully, "Oh, and having Halt as your mentor would tend to raise the stakes of getting into a heapload of trouble and facing the punishment of death by arrow afterwards, of course."
Will snorted, shooting his friend an incredulous look. "Just how many times did Halt try to kill you, for you to say that?"
Gilan pretended to think about it. Eventually he shrugged. "I lose count." He fingered the railing under his hand then said, in the same light casual tone, "You didn't by any chance keep count, did you Halt?"
Will's eyebrows shot up in surprise and he turned to see his mentor standing behind them. Halt rolled his eyes at Gilan's back. "Unfortunately, no. I must have had better things to do with my time than plot ways to get rid of you," he answered in his ever-dry and sarcastic tone. His former apprentice turned and grinned at him.
"Better things to do than getting rid of me? I knew you secretly liked having me around!"
Halt raised an eyebrow in typical Halt fashion. "Don't delude yourself, Gil."
Will chuckled to himself, watching the two banter lightly. It was almost enough to rid his mind of his previous thoughts. Unfortunately for him, Halt took that moment to ask, "Why exactly were you telling my apprentice about me wanting to kill you anyway?"
Will's grin slipped off then. He wasn't sure why he didn't want Halt to know what he had thinking about, yet. He just didn't.
Luckily, Gilan sensed this and sent Halt a crooked grin. "Just talking about youthful things, Halt. You wouldn't really understand."
"Really?" Halt said flatly, not amused. To the side, Will smirked a bit, knowing what a sore subject Halt's age was for him.
"Yeah, weren't we, Will?" Gil said cheerfully, turning to the other boy.
Will, to his credit, didn't flinch when Halt's glaring gaze rested on him. He shrugged apologetically to his mentor and said with a grin, "Well it is sort of the truth..."
The older Ranger's gaze turned back on Gil, and the latter was a little surprised and more than a little apprehensive at the familiar humorous glint in Halt's eyes.
"What?" He asked, nonplussed.
Halt shrugged slightly. "Just thinking how biased your statement was. I'm pretty sure half the time you were my apprentice you almost killed yourself without my help."
Gilan raised an eyebrow questioningly. "No I didn't..."
An eyebrow rose. "Well, I definitely wasn't the one trying to see if I could juggle with throwing knives."
"You tried to what?" Will snorted.
Gilan looked affronted and glared at Halt. "Well I wasn't the one who told a poor unsuspecting fifteen year old that Rangers could do pretty much anything. You should be ashamed of yourself, Halt."
Halt rolled his eyes. "'Poor unsuspecting fifteen year old'? You can't be -" Halt stopped suddenly as at that moment the ship decided to lurch a bit more than it usually did. That definitely took the young men's teasing out of Halt's mind as he turned back hurriedly to grab something that wasn't moving. Gilan and Will, wisely, didn't say anything. Halt rolled his eyes at their obvious sudden disinterest and swiftly strode away, taking the chance to find a way to redeem his dignity.
"Well," Gil said after a moment. "That was interesting."
"Very," Will grinned with a slight shake of his head, turning back to face outwards.
He glanced curiously at the ever-cheerful Ranger beside him (who was saying something about having to watch his back seeing as Halt would probably go for some retribution for the teasing), his thoughts drifting. It was really difficult to try imagining Gilan in a tricky situation with no way out and no quirky smile on his lips. The aura of confidence seemed to follow the Ranger everywhere he went.
And yet, he hadn't missed the expression on the Ranger's face back in Arrida, when Gilan was certain they were going to be executed - when he had to watch, helpless, as his long-time mentor was so close to being killed. Will couldn't have been gladder that he had gotten there when he did.
He was pulled from his thoughts once again when Gilan nudged him lightly, looking amused again.
"You trying to strain yourself with all the hard thinking, Will?" he joked. Will gave a short laugh.
"I think I can handle the dangerous thinking. I've been in worse situations, you know." His tone turned serious again.
Gilan sighed and leaned forward on the railing, looking down at the waves lapping against the ship's edge. He mulled over Will's thought process, trying to guess how deeply he was thinking about all this. He took a breath and glanced up again, letting the soft breeze play around his hair. "I remember this one time, in my first year as an apprentice," he started carefully, catching the younger Ranger's attention. "Halt was called off on a mission and he took me along so I could learn."
"What was the mission?" Will's voice was subconsciously as quiet as Gilan's, careful not to break the mood.
Gilan smiled wryly. "The usual - bandits. Only these ones seemed to have joined forces with another group and were causing more chaos than usual. Anyway Halt set off to track after them, find out where their rendezvous was. He told me to scout around where we'd come from and make sure none of them were in our vicinity. So I did." Gilan paused with a brief laugh and a shake of his head at the memory. "I don't know what I did wrong. I must've been too careless or cocky, 'cause next thing I know, I was being tackled against a tree from behind and surrounded by at least seven of them."
"What did you do?" asked Will, eyes wide.
Gil grinned at him. "Well, I distinctly remember making some sort of joke about the guy's rancid smell, which wasn't all that smart now that I think of it. I guess it was an automatic response from my panicking mind. The guy didn't seem to like that much, judging by how hard he shoved me to the ground."
"Didn't you have your sword?"
"Um... No, actually. I'd left it back with Blaze when I was scouting around. That was definitely not a smart move. Halt nearly killed me over it later on." Gil raked a hand through his hair ruefully, clearly remembering the older Ranger's disbelief and brief anger at his carelessness. Then he realized that he'd left Will hanging and hurried to continue his story. "Anyway. Well, my point was; at that moment, what with being surrounded by these buff guys and held down by another one - with a knife at my throat - and knowing I couldn't really do much to save myself - well, I think I can safely say I was damn terrified. I definitely hadn't learnt what to do in a situation like that. I really though that it was the end, listening to those good-for-nothing bandits discussing what to do with me - or with my body, more like."
Will was hanging off every word, brown eyes widened extensively. He could picture it in his mind's eye - a fifteen or fourteen-year-old Gilan being held, helpless, against the ground by a huge, hairy, dangerous-looking man with a blood-covered glinting knife at the Ranger's neck. He could just imagine what his friend must have felt like at that moment, and wondered how he'd gotten out of it.
Gil caught the ponderous look in Will's eyes and interpreted it correctly. "I would have been well and truly done for if it wasn't for Blaze. That horse is a life saver. Never lose faith in Ranger horses, Will. They're with us through thick and thin, and they sure know when to turn up at the right time. Blaze came barging in and knocked down the man holding me before they could blink. Then she charged down another one and I had time to get up and punch the nearest bandit in the face. But then another guy managed to get a right hook right at me and I was pretty dazed after that."
"What happened then? Did Blaze-?"
"Nah, that would be around the time when Halt came back, obviously wondering what the hell I was trying out this time to make so much noise. I think then he noticed the bandits and incapacitated them pretty quickly. I just remember Halt kneeling next to me and grumbling about careless apprentices getting themselves killed without a thought." He paused to think over that. "You know, I'm pretty sure that's his way of saying 'Wow Gilan, I'm so impressed by the way you handled that and I'm really glad you're alright and not dead 'cause the world would be a much less fun place without you'. 'Cause, let's face it - it would be. Right?" Gilan turned to shoot Will a dazzling grin.
Will laughed, shaking his head slightly. "Right. If you say so, Gil."
"Keep in mind that all Rangers get into risky situations, Will. It's just our cunning and skill – along with a heck of a lot of sheer luck – that almost always gets us out of it," Gilan added, smiling at the apprentice and mussing up his already-unmanageable hair. "Don't fret about it, kid. It happens to the best of us, you're not the only one. I, too, happen to be an awesome Ranger, so don't think you're too unique in that sense. Us awesome rangers tend to land ourselves in dire situations and think it's the end. Usually, it isn't; so keep that in mind, yeah?"
There was a bit of a pause where Will raised an eyebrow at Gilan, then let out a chuckle. "I'll definitely remember that." Gilan really knew how to cheer you up, he thought happily, and decided to add, "And Gil - thanks."
"Just doing my job, Will," said Gil, smiling at him warmly and slinging an arm around his shoulders. "Just doing my job."
And he did it pretty well, if he did say so himself, the Ranger thought brightly, noticing Will's lightened mood. He knew the subject wasn't completely off his mind, but at least it wasn't bugging him like it seemed to have been. And that was all he was aiming for – along with getting a laugh out of the apprentice.
"Now let's go see how Halt's faring with all these drastic ship-tossing waves," said Gil with a straight face, motioning at the very un-drastic waves as he pulled an amused Will along.
A/N: Yay! Another Gilan-featuring chapter/one-shot!
BIG thanks to Dodo.123 for reading this over for me/beta-ing and suggesting what to add at the end for a better ending. (Yeah, the whole 'Rangers get into risky situations' speech was from her. Or, well, it's based off what she suggested.) No, I didn't bother putting it into my own words (for the most part). Yes, I am lazy. So, yeah, kudos, Dodo! :D
Thoughts on this? I really don't know where Halt came from until I was halfway through, then I realised that if I was putting this up with these other one-shots, he had to be in here somewhere and he had to be un-amused about something. So that problem solved itself on its own…
Umm what else was I gunna say… hehe, juggling with knives… only Gilan… :P
OH right: the first chapter is fixed up now! :D The Greybeard Halt one. It's better now.
ANYWAY people R-E-V-I-E-W. Okay? Good. I love hearing your thoughts. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
…That was a lie. No, they don't really (that would be poof-y. And overly mushy and fluffy. And other –y's.) But reviews do make me happy! Coz they're awesome. Not as awesome as the awesome Rangers, but close enough…
(BTW, sorry if you got more than one alert for this, I took it down the first two times 'coz I forgot about some stuff... hehe)