AN: A little idea I had after realizing that Arya spend quite a lot of time in Eragon's tent alone with him. While WE know exactly what's going on, someone in the story without our knowledge probably would assume the worse. Sorry if this takes a while to be updated, but I promise I shall finish it. Anyway, I hope you all like it! :)
Disclaimer: I do not own the Inheritance Cycle. CP does.
The night guard sighed as he shifted his stance, slowly moving his weight from one leg to the other so as to not allow the plates of his armor to shift and grin against each other into a metal screech loud enough to awaken the dead. Turning slightly to glance at the sky behind him, it was with feeling of relief that he saw the sky begin lighten as dawn approached, that single beautiful moment that everyone in his shift longed for, for it meant a hot meal, hot shower, and the ability to catch a couple extra hours of sleep before noon and the continuation of their day. Deeply breathing in the cool almost morning air, the guard quickly locked eyes with the men on either side of him, the question burning in his eyes as he hoped for an affirmative. After a moment of staring at him, the older guards both gave a quick nod before returning to their task, their heads now moving a couple degrees closer to him as they took his own section of land to watch into their own. Grateful that the older men understood his desire, the guard fully turned towards the east to watch the sun rise.
He had always loved sunrise. Before his village had been destroyed, forcing him and his older brother to flee to Surda, he and his mother had always awoken a couple hours earlier then the rest of their family, just to watch as the sun gently rose above the horizon, driving away the frightening night and replacing the black with pinks, greens, blues, and yellows of all shades. When he had signed up a couple weeks ago to help the Varden take down Galbatorix, much to his joy, he had been placed on the dawn shift. And when he had first explained his request to the guards that were to be joining him, instead of sneering or denying him, the two men had just flashed him a fond smile and given their consent. It was thanks to them that he was now able to honor the tradition he and his mother had started so long ago.
Seeing that a few minutes still remained before sunrise, the guard allowed his eyes to fall to the tents below, a peaceful smile crossing his face as he took in the sight of the men and women it was his job to protect. Although he had never met most of them, a certain kinship tethered him to them, for just like him, they were all homeless orphans just trying to right the wrongs that had befallen them. Satisfied that there was nothing going on amongst his people, the guard returned his gaze to the sky, content to just wait for the sun to appear and the day to begin.
Or rather, he would have been, had a slight movement from one of the tents below not caught his attention and forced him to look.
The moment he found the tent, the guard couldn't help but keep his gaze trained upon it as the movement came again, for the cloth house he found himself watching was none other then that of Eragon Shadeslayer's, the Rider. Next to the tent laid the glimmering beast of a dragon that was their one hope in winning the war, her scales already shimmering in the slight light that had appeared in the past few moments. In the full light of the sun, there was no denying that she was probably the most beautiful thing any of them had ever seen, but at the moment the guard paid her no more then a slight glance before returning his eyes to the opening of the tent.
A moment later, his vigilance paid off.
Slowly, with more grace then he had ever though could possibly exist in the simple motion of the opening a tent flap, the sides of the opening drew back to reveal none other then the Shadeslayer himself, his chest bare as he moved towards the empty patch of ground next to his dragon in preparation to begin his morning exercises. Although this was nothing new, for it was well known that Eragon spent much of his time either practicing his swordsmanship with the elves or meditating on the way of how to defeat the king, the guard couldn't help but feel as if something was off. Not only was it earlier then normal for the Rider to be awake, but the mass of elven guards that normally accompanied him were nowhere to be seen, something that was rare during the times Eragon was at camp. No, without a doubt, something was up.
He didn't have to wait long to find out what it was, for a moment later, the elven ambassador Arya followed him out.
Although not one to brag, he had excellent sight, the main reason he had been placed as a night guard to begin with, for it was only those with the keenest of eyes that could pick out what was a threat and what was nothing more then a shimmer of the moon. So, with the sun just beginning to rise behind them, it was no hard task to examine the scene as it was playing out before him.
As the sky began to brighten, it soon became clear to him that both of the legends before him were exhausted, though not enough for those who weren't looking for the signs to notice. For a while neither of them did anything to acknowledge each other's existence, both almost pretending as if the other wasn't there as they went about their normal morning practices. Taking a few steps so as to be out of the shade of the tent, Arya smoothed the front of her tunic-the same one she had been wearing the day before, the guard couldn't help but notice- before gently running her fingers through her hair, carefully pulling out the knots that had created themselves within her raven locks before tying her usual leather band around them to keep them away from her face. Eragon remained where he was in the patch of grass by his dragon, his breathing even and smooth as he prepared for the physical exertion to come.
The minutes moved slowly as the guard watched his prey, though as time ticked by he quickly began to wonder if there was anything for him to really observe. Perhaps he was wrong, and the clothes the elf woman wore were different, for yesterday he had only seen her at a distance. Perhaps she had not spent the night with the Rider as he had first thought, but had only entered the tent a few minutes before he had turned around in order to discuss something with the Shadeslayer. If the guards' memory was correct, Eragon had been injured in a fight a few days ago and had refused to be healed until after the battle was over. If Arya had come to ask about his health or to check his wounds, it would explain his missing shirt, for the wound had been a stab to his side that he had been unable to block with either his sword or magic. And most of the men did their non-weapon related exercise shirtless, so as to decrease the amount of laundry that needed to be washed later in the day, so to see the Rider bare chested was no great indicator of the events that had passed. So what if it was before dawn that the elf had gone to visit the Rider? They were both of strange natures that he knew he could never understand, so what bearing did normal society have on their action?
"A Dragon Rider and an elf," the guard snorted quietly to himself, shaking off the thought that his first assumption was correct as he forced his gaze back to the rising sun, which had almost completed its rebirth in the sky while he had been watching the two below. Determined to watch the last few moments of the sunrise before his replacement came to relieve him, he steeled his will as he locked his eyes onto a cloud bank that had been turned a dusky pink by the coming light. If nothing else, he was prepared to completely ignore the couple until it was time for him to rest, prepared to forget the entire incident if it meant that he could have his sunrise, prepared to mentally scold himself for ever thinking there could be more between the two then the close friendship it was well known they shared. He was prepared, and he was ready.
It was the twitch of movement from down below that destroyed him.
The guard watched eagerly as Arya slowly made her way to Eragon's side, her eyes steadily looking into his as she approached. Reaching his side, the two quickly exchanged words that were too soft for him to hear, though by the look on their faces he could guess that the words were sweet and comforting. Then, in a gesture so intimate that all his previous doubts were swept away, Eragon placed his fingers to his lips and gave a slight bow before reaching out to grasp her hands, gently running his thumb over a patch of skin just below her right thumb as he mumbled something in her ear. Answering whatever he had just said, Arya slowly drew her hands away from his, her eyes glinting in the morning light as she stared back into his. Repeating his gesture, she slowly offered him a small smile as she turned and left, her steps light and quick as she exited his clearing.
"A Rider and an elf," the guard whispered again, though this time his voice was awed and shocked as he realized that there was in fact something going on between the two. Leaning back so he was propped up against the rampart he was stationed at, the guard watched as the elven guards that had been assigned to Eragon hurried into the clearing, a few glancing towards the path Arya had disappeared down just moments before, though most kept their gazed locked onto the still smiling Rider before them. Turning away as the group below greeted each other, the guard once more looked out over the grounds he was suppose to be searching for danger, his mind churning with the information he had just become privy to. Impatient to be back at his tent, a large smile crossed the guards face as he realized that, right now, he knew the largest secret in the whole of the Varden. And he exactly what he was going to do with it.
"Wait 'till the guys hear about this."