"The Guard Rests" is an EU flashforward containing a oneshot (written in two parts) and a thread. They were written on February 4th-5th, 2015.
Full Text Edit
Part 1 Edit
Sindri coughed harshly as the other boys kicked him in the stomach, beating him with their fists before, finally, the largest of the ruffians, pulled the others away. “That’s enough!” he ordered. He starred down at Sindri curled up form, he nodded once, and then pulled him up, giving him a hug. “You felt that?” he grunted.
Sindri gulped, his head throbbing, particularly on the side where one ear was missing. Sindri had been a boy operating on a single ear ever since his abusive mother had cut one of them off when he was a small child. “Yes…” he panted, his lip oozing. “I…I felt it.”
"Good," the young man growled. "You’re almost one of us now. You stole for us, helped us feed ourselves. You took pain for us, and now you know that this…what we just did, is a skip in the park compared to what we’ll do to you if you stab us in the back. You know the last thing you have to do little man?" he asked.
Sindri licked his lips, feeling the split with his tongue. “I have to kill.”
"That’s right, but it can’t be just anybody. There’s gotta be a reason. You gotta take revenge, or face your fears, or help someone by killing however it is you kill. Or…you can kill somebody nobody would dare ever cross. Will you do that little man?" he spread his arms. "And official be part of our family."
Sindri’s breath rattled slightly as he coughed, ducking his head as the older man let go of him. He looked around at the other members of the gang, and then nodded once. “Yes.”
Sindri walked out around the town, surveying the crowds. He knew who he wanted to kill for this initiation. He would be facing his fears, taking revenge, helping his soon to be family, and be taking out a top profile target. This guy was everything rolled into one. He would be a legend, he may even become a small boss one day. It all hung on this…but he was scared. Sindri shook his head. He couldn’t let that get in the way, that was the whole point.
Sindri stopped, seeing him. King Egil walked proudly on the side street, interacting with the people, never one to just sit around and get fat. Egil was far from the most benevolent king in the world, and most of the time when he came out here it was to find some form of excite, or trouble…or a woman. But it wasn’t like he was a tyrant or anything. Sindri squinted as he slowly began walking towards the King. But where was he? The King was here so where was-!
"Hold up there son," Stonegit said as he reached out a hand, grabbing the teens shoulder and sopping him cold. "That’s a mighty quick approach towards our majesty. How about we slow it down a touch?" the seventy year old man smiled at him, but there was calm, yet wary look in his scarred eyes.
Sindri’s eyes widened, fear gripping his heart. His memory kicked in, replacing the smiling, warm looking man with one of grave seriousness, face and beard flecked with blood. The gang he was being initiated for was called the ‘Scourges.’ Years ago, when Sindri was only five, they had taken him in when they saw him running around with a bleeding head. They had kept him around, giving him shelter and food, and when he got old enough, they began integrating him into the group officially. But there was a problem, back then the gang was ‘anti practically everything,’ and taking down the King was high on their list.
But a long time ago, one man ruined everything.
"What the bloody hel are you doing here?" the gang man asked, frowning at the unassuming man who had just walked himself into their warehouse. He knew this must be Scourges territory, everyone in the city did.
"I heard your threats…all of them. And for months we tolerated them. We made every effort to appease the people, yet you seem to be the only ones unsatisfied with King Egil." Stonegit said calmly.
The boss, or at least the boss who had been in charge fourteen years ago, began approaching Stonegit, shaking his head. “Egil’s a tyrant. We’re the ones who ought to be ruling. The people, the people are the ones who ought to decide what laws are made and obeyed. And you…You made a bad choice coming here alone old man. We have one of our boys in your castle right now,” he nodded with a savage grin. “He’s killing your King right now.”
"Who? Gobby?" Stonegit asked. "Caught him before I got here. I got a name and a place from him, and he got a jail cell."
The boss drew his knife marching up to Stonegit and putting it to his throat, Stonegit calmly reaching up and grabbing his arm. “Gobby would die before he told you anything!” he yelled, the other men in the room shifting, wanting to tear into his geezer.
Stonegit’s face was un moving. “Apparently I know Gobby better than you do.”
"What did you do to him!?"
"Nothing…he was just smart enough to talk," Stonegit said. "We don’t torture people, not over something like a half assed assassination attempt." Stonegit reached up, carefully taking the knife from the man and putting it back in his belt. He took his thumb away from his arm, and it was only then that the box realized his arm was totally numb, and it dropped limply to his side. "So I’m going to give you all one last chance. Stop trying to kill my King, and I will let you go. If you refuse then I am going to make your evening very unpleasant and some of you might even end up dead." he looked at them pointedly.
The boss backed away from him, trying to get feeling back in his arm. He sniffed. “Bring me his arms when you’re done beating him to death with em.” he called to his men.
Part 2 Edit
Stonegit turned, running off to the side as the gang members rushed him. The one he had to push past swung a metal bar at his head. Stonegit ducked it and wrapped himself around the man’s leg like a snake. A sickening ‘pop’ later, and the man lay on the ground screaming as Stonegit vanished into the shadows the stacked crates supplied.
The lantern was knocked out, throwing the room into darkness.
"Get a partner and find him, don’t let him pick us off. He’s fucking with us! It’s not like he’s a viking ninja!" the boss yelled.
Two gang members, swords drawn and ready stood back to back, scouting out the boxes. Stonegit’s scarred, milky eyes suddenly appeared off to their side from between two crates and the men hollered, stabbing at him, but he was already gone. “Shit!” one of them yelled. “Fight like a man!”
"That’s rich coming from a bunch of kids going after me twelve to one." Stonegit said from…somewhere.
The metal bar sailed through the air, smacking one of them in the head.
The gang man with the broken knee whimpered, looking around, and then gasped as Stonegit’s hand reached out, cutting off his airway till he passed out.
Not much more than a minute later, another man was stabbed through the back of the knee with a knife. Five minutes later he was smothered to unconsciousness as well. During those five minutes, various other men had been hit from behind, choked out silently, or had a crate dropped on them.
It was finally down to just one man and the boss. The gang member was shaking uncontrollably. “Please!” he screamed up at the rafters. “Don’t hurt me!”
The boss turned to him, furious. “Shut up you spineless animal! If you keep your head we can still get him.”
"No!" The man yelled, shaking his head and dropping his weapon, holding up his hands. "I’m done, you can arrest me. I don’t want this anymore! I give up!"
"What do you call a guy who tried to kill an old man?" Stonegit said from the shadows. "Oh yeah, you call him…’too late.’"
The man shrieked, running to the doors despite his boss’s rebuke. He reached to doors, trying to pull them open. But Stonegit had, much earlier, snuck out and barred it shut from the outside.
"Oops," Stonegit said. "Bad luck,"
Nearly hyperventilating the man spun in a circle, and then froze, felling a presence behind him. Beginning to sob, the man’s knees came together slightly as he lost control of his bowels.
"That’s…" Stonegit said from behind him. "Really pathetic actually."
The gang man cried in pain as Stonegit’s foot smashed into the back of his leg, popping his knee cap out of place. He then gagged as a forearm was wrapped around his neck, and he lost consciousness.
Stonegit turned to the boss, walking towards him. The man threw a knife, but Stonegit had already darted off to the side, vanishing, and then reappearing, tackling him. they struggled for a second, and then Stonegit drew a short, rapier like sword. “Swear to me that you’ll call your gang off of the Haddock family! …Swear it!” he demanded.
The boss rolled over so he was one top, drawing his knife. “I swear! I’ll kill Egil and his siblings and his kids for what you did here! And nothing will stop me from doing-!”
Stonegit’s blade pushed through the top of his head, blood falling on his face. Stonegit rolled to body off and sighed. “If I thought you were lying I would have let you go.” he grumbled, and then blinked, glancing down. He could have sworn he had seen a young face peeking out at him from a small cubby hole in the boxes. He bent down, looking in, but his poor vision prevented him from seeing the small child, watching him from far back in the pile, a small child who had witnessed everything.
Death of gang members was something Sindri had seen a lot of. He had not been heart broken over what he had seen. But he had been so, so terrified. Now even the mere mention of Stonegit made his blood run cold, and now, looking into his eyes, he wondered if he would ever be ride of his terrible fear. He took a step back, breaking away from the hand on his shoulder. “Sorry,” he said. “I’ll watch where I’m going next time good day,” he chattered off quickly, turning, and making his escape.
Part 3 Edit
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Egil and Stonegit stood in the courtyard garden, getting some needed fresh air. The other Haddock siblings wandered around as well, attending to their own personal tasks. “Seventy hasn’t been a terrible number so far,” Stonegit said casually as he squinted up at the sun. “I feel old enough to be relaxed, yet young enough to be effective.” he paused. “Although seriously, it’s about time you got yourself your own bodyguard so that your father’s can retire in comfort.”
Egil Ander Haddock: "Comfort? My palace isn’t comfort enough for you?" King Egil asked with a twinkle to his eye. But there was more than a little bit of nostalgia in his expression there, too. "It’s hard to imagine releasing you after being there so many years… your family has practically become my own. Sure it has to be right away? I can’t get a six month’s warning or so to shop for another man or gal to do the job?"
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit huffed. “I just want you to have someone you can trust. And what’s this whole ‘releasing me’ thing? You realize I was being sarcastic when I said retire?” He laughed a little, shaking his head. “Kiddo, you couldn’t get rid of me if you tried. Trust me, I’ll retire from this job when I’m dead.”
That was when the arrow appeared in Stonegit’s chest.
Stonegit exhaled with a grunt, and then frowned down at it, rigid where he stood, numbness covering his entire body.
Egil Ander Haddock: "Oh my gods. Medics! Someone get a healer in here immediately!" the king shouted out. His eyes scanned for the archer who had shot the arrow, but at the same time did not run for cover. Instead he remained right beside Stonegit, grabbing his arm.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Op…I’m numb, can’t feel…oh gods" Stonegit murmured as Egil slowly lowered him to the ground. He heaved a heavy sigh, his eyes wide and searching. His old heart injury, the poisoned dagger that had almost taken his life, was now sparring him the pain of his final moment.
"Your highness!" The guards yelled admits the panic, dragging over a young ruffian. "This is him, this is the archer, we saw him fire the arrow!"
Sindri struggled against the two men, starring apprehensively at the two men. One of the guard’s drew his sword.
Before Egil could could speak, before the guard could strike down the assassin, Stonegit called out weakly. “Wait!” he breathed heavily. “Wait…bring him here.”
Sindri’s eyes widened, fear filling his mind. He pulled against the guards and they began dragging him over. “Wait! Wait no! No! No!” he shrieked as he got closer and closer to the man who had been in his nightmares for years.
Stonegit slowly reached out his arm, barely able to do so. He squinted, seeing the boys young face, and the missing ear on the side of his head. His hand came back, seeing the tears of fright in the boys eyes. Images of his own childhood came to Stonegit and his hand dropped to the cobblestone. He swallowed thickly, his chest rising and falling rapidly. “Let him go,” he breathed, turning his head away. “Give him a chance…”
Sindri gasped, starring at Stonegit in disbelief. The shocked guards looked up at Egil, as if to confirm the order.
Egil Ander Haddock: Egil, a bit wide eyed, nodded mutely. His eyes turned to the boy.
"Hey there, what’s your name?" he asked quietly.
The boy stumbled for a bit, but then said, “Sindri.”
"That’s my brother’s name, you know that? He’s right over there. That long haired oaf with no fashion sense to speak of. He drives me crazy night and day. Literally. He’s had things explode in my face from all the stupid experiments he’s done… could’ve killed me… but you know what? He’s a good man."
Egil patted the boy on his arm. “And you’ve got the potential to be, too.” He looked up at the guards and said, “Do as Stonegit says. Release him. I can see it in his eyes… we’ll get no more trouble from this one.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Sindri stared at the two men, totally shocked at this outcome as the guard escorted him out by his elbows. “But I thought he was…I didn’t…why would you-?” the doors to the castle closed, cutting of his words as he was returned to the town.
Stonegit, from where he sat, propped up against a pillar, smiled up at Egil. “Ah…a good King,” he sighed, his eyes drifting and starting to become dull. His hand moved limply on the ground as the healers approached, but stopped, they could tell just by looking and knowing about the bodyguard’s old injury. He wasn’t pulling through this one.
Stonegit inhaled in short little puffs. “Egil…” he said. “Your siblings…” his breathed halted for a second before he put great effort into another draw of breath. “All of you come…” he said, the last word barely a croak.
Egil Ander Haddock: Egil motioned to Signy and Sindri, both of whom approached Stonegit as the bodyguard asked. Sindri carefully led Signy with his hand behind her back. The king knelt down to look at Stonegit eye-to-eye, and Signy and Sindri, too, leaned forward, though the youngest Haddock sibling appeared quite pale at what he saw.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Breathing shallowly, Stonegit was able to use some strength to reach out a hand, guiding Sindri’s head down, kissing his forehead, the then did the same to Signy, finally reaching up and pulling Egil’s head down, kissing his cheek. He let go, his body collapsing back into it’s former position. Loosing the ability to even move his neck, he starred clumsily at the ground at an odd angle. His hand fumbled over to Egil’s lacing his fingers with his.”Take care…of your kids…” his lungs worked hard to draw in deep breaths, but little air entered him. “Y-you’re good kids…” he said.
His jaw worked slightly, his eyes furrowing with conviction. “You’re my kids,” he said firmly. Stonegit sighed, able to turn his eyes on the Haddock siblings, his lips forming a small smile. “I’m following you Gareth…I’ll be there…soon.”
Egil Ander Haddock: "He will welcome you," Egil said, tears forming in his eyes. He gave his crooked smile and squeezed Stonegit’s palm. As his two siblings nodded mutely, Egil murmured, "Tell him hello for me in Valhalla."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit heard Egil’s words. But not in his mortal body, for poor tattered eyes had already lost all life only a mere moment after he spoke those last words. But he did hear them never the less. He heard them as his spirit made it’s way to Valhalla’s plains, where an all to familiar figure was standing there, waiting for him.