First Impressions

Summary: One-shot – When Brom first met Morzan he thought he was a girl.

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters featured in this story. They all belong to the creative Christopher Paolini.

First Impressions
By: Silver pup

In his defense, he was only ten at the time and weary from his three week journey from Kuasta, and was tripping over air when he got out of the carriage. It was completely understandable that he could mistake a young boy with braids in his hair—braids—for a girl.

"Is this him, Master?" a young voice had demanded, making Brom look up and squint at the figure standing in the doorway of his new home. Tall and thin with big eyes and long hair done in little braids. Brom immediately recoiled into himself and thought, Girl. Cooties. Stay away.

"Yes, Morzan, this is Brom my new pupil." Oromis laid a warm hand on his shoulder that he could feel through the thick layers of his clothes. It made him feel safe and he relaxed slightly.

The girl—Morzan, which was an odd name for a girl—sniffed and looked down her long nose at him even though she was only a few inches taller than him. "He's pretty short and scrawny, Master. And why is he wearing so many clothes? Can't he stand the cold? Or is he too weak? If he is then I don't think he's cut out to become a Rider."

Brom bristled at her words and snapped back, "Well, I don't think a girl is a better candidate than a weakling to become a Rider you know."

Behind him, Oromis sucked in a quick breath and was making noises that sounded like he was struggling to hold something in. Morzan just stared at him while two red spots appeared on her sharp cheekbones. "I'm not a girl, you imbecile, I'm a boy!"

Brom stared back in honest surprise. "Seriously?"

"Seriously," confirmed Morzan, practically snarling at him.

"Oh." Then Brom shrugged, dismissing the mistake. "Well you look like a girl to me. I think it's your long hair. You should cut it shorter to avoid future mistakes."

He expected Morzan to bristle in defense and anger and snap at him, but to his surprise he just smiled instead. Brom was taken aback by this because the smile turned out to be unexpectedly bright and friendly. It made Brom want to smile back just as vibrantly.

"I agree. I keep asking Master to let me cut it but he keeps saying no. He says it makes me look handsome and stuff, but I think it just makes me look like a sissy." Morzan looked above Brom to give Oromis a smug 'I win bitch' stare. "Master even the new kid agrees with me. I think it's time to admit defeat, don't you?"

Oromis groaned softly in resignation. "Fine, fine you can cut your hair. Now let's get inside before Brom freezes to death here."

The elf walked past him and Morzan moved aside quickly to let the Rider into the castle. He turned back to Brom and flashed him another sunshine smile as he held his hand out. "Welcome to Ilirea, Brom. Hope you like it here."

Brom smiled back and took Morzan's hand, binding their fates together forever more. "You know, I think I'm going to."