Warnings/notes: Seregil/Alec, ooc, drabble-ish shortie.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Llynn Flewelling. I also feel I should disclaim this plot, as it's been used by Flamebyrd, as well as by me, in 'Just For Fun'. So maybe it's just a cliched plot. –blushes-
written at 29th november 2004, by Misura, for Magicfaye, who replied to my 'Comment and I'll drabble you something for an interest of yours'-post on livejournal. (Interest: Archery)
Seregil glared at the practice-target, which stubbornly refused to be hit by any arrow he sent at it. He had tried anything, from imagining it was an enemy, sneaking up on an unsuspecting Alec, to an attempt at meditation, clearing his mind of everything but the bow, the arrow and the target.
He'd entertained himself with visions of shooting some sort of book out of Thero's hands (a worthless one that didn't belong to Nysander, of course), which would be an amusing feat to be able to accomplish.
He'd tortured himself with picturing what might happen if this had been a combat-situation in which he'd failed to protect Micum, or, worse, had shot Micum instead of some enemy.
Well, he -had- managed to have most of his arrows remain sticking in the straw of the target, after the first dozen or so, but after that initial, small success, his shooting hadn't improved in any noticeable way.
And being able to hit a big, non-moving object at some random spot simply wasn't good enough.
It wasn't, like certain ungracious individuals had suggested, that he wanted to be the best at everything; he only wanted to be sure that if the situation required it, he'd be able to defend himself and his. Alec being a masterful archer was all very well, but it wouldn't help them very much when they landed in a sticky situation while Alec was injured or unconscious.
In fact, in their present condition, a mere injury on Alec's hand could render that whole prized bow of his, for which Seregil had paid a good amount of money, utterly useless.
Thus, finding himself with nothing much to do this morning, Seregil had taken it upon himself to do something to rectify this situation.
After all, how hard could it be? He knew the theory, and he'd seen Alec shooting plenty of times. Naturally, Alec's trouble in learning to wield a sword should have taught him that there was a world of difference between -seeing- how something was done and actually doing something, but he'd assured himself that this was different.
All right, so maybe he'd been over-confident. A little.
Now, he guessed it'd be best to just sneak back into the house and pretend this whole failed practice-session had never taken place. He'd just have to pray Alec wouldn't get his hand hurt at a critical moment. Or, better yet, that they'd never land in a situation in which their survival depended on Alec's archery-skills. That'd work nicely too.
Seregil threw one last dirty look at the practice-target and turned around. To find Alec leaning against the doorframe, a slightly amused expression on his face.
"I'm not giving up," Seregil declared firmly. "I'm only going to take a pause." A long one, preferably. One of, say, a couple of dozen years. By then, Alec'd have hopefully forgotten about this.
"Don't stop on my account; I was just enjoying the show." Alec grinned. "If you ever want to pose as a terrible archer, you won't need to do much pretending for the role."
"Well, so sorry to end your morning-entertainment," Seregil snapped, a little stung.
Alec looked properly rueful, though Seregil still caught a glimmer of amusement in his eyes. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make fun of you. Even though it -is- pretty funny to see -you- failing to get something right the first time for once."
"Thanks for the implied compliment," Seregil muttered sourly.
"It's true." Alec shrugged. "But, anyway, I suppose nobody can be good at -everything-."
"Hmm. Still, there's no harm in trying, is there? Can't you give me some pointers? Surely you weren't able to shoot the way you do now when you were born?" Seregil veered up, warming up to the idea of getting Alec to teach him something, rather than the other way around, as it had been more than once until now.
"I don't know." Alec bit his lip. "It's kind of hard to explain."
"Oh, come on! Just tell me what I'm doing wrong. Is my posture wrong? Am I pulling the string back too far, or not far enough?" Seregil tapped the bow on the ground, slightly impatiently.
"I don't know," Alec repeated, staring at his feet.
"All right then." Seregil concluded they weren't going to get anywhere this way. "How do -you- shoot? What special things do you do? What do you think of?"
Alec lifted his head. "Nothing. I just do it." He shrugged helplessly.
"Maybe it'd help if you saw me shooting. And I don't mean from a few meters away, but up close, so that you can see exactly what I'm doing," Seregil proposed hopefully.
"Maybe." Alec didn't sound very convinced.
Seregil sighed, lifting the bow once again, staring at Alec for further instructions. Alec reached out, hesitating a few seconds before adjusting Seregil's grip.
"It might also help if you kept your back more straight, and your hands at a more natural height, so that you can maintain the - " Alec began.
"I -know- the theory," Seregil interrupted him. "I only need you to help me get it right."
Alec walked to stand behind him, his hands gripping Seregil's arms and slowly sliding down until they were positioned to his satisfaction. Seregil found that if he leaned back only a little, Alec was practically embracing him, suggesting they were engaged in a far more intimate activity than mere archery-practice.
"You ah should be able to get a pretty good shot now," Alec remarked, sounding like he was blushing. Seregil regretted not being able to turn around without breaking the embrace.
"Let's see if this works." Seregil released the arrow, watching it hit the target in a spot that was only a few centimeters from the bull's eye. Alec made an approving sound. Seregil grinned.
Leaning back a little more, he grabbed Alec's hands before they could retreat, placing them firmly back where they had been. As he turned around, Alec scowled at him.
Seregil raised one eyebrow. "Don't you think my triumph deserves a little ... celebration? Or at least a reward from my dedicated teacher?"
Alec snorted. "How do you manage to make half of the things I do with you to end in sex?" Alec's cheeks, Seregil noted amusedly, still turned a little pink at that last word. He thought he'd rather regret the day they didn't anymore, even if Alec's overcoming his shyness also had some obvious advantages.
"I don't know," Seregil replied, adding, with a wink. "I just do it."