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Brothers-in-law

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CowboyEomer wants to add you on Skype!

Boromir rolled his eyes, thinking this was a sex-scam thing (“Cowboy”? Seriously?) until he saw the personal note added to the invitation: Did I meet you at my sister’s wedding?

Boromir peered at the image, but it was just a picture of a horse. Go figure. He was going to ignore it before he got another message:

CowboyEomer: You’re Faramir’s brother, aren’t you?

Oh, that Éomer! Boromir thought, face heating slightly. His, uh, brother-in-law, he supposed. Boromir had missed a lot.

Everyone thinking you’d died kind of did that.

Yeah but I wasn’t at the wedding. Was in the hospital. Boromir typed back, noncommittally, with strong concluding punctuation in the hopes that this guy would take the hint. Faramir had already teased him enough about his wife’s single, gay, and very butch brother.

(‘Almost as butch as his sister?’ Boromir had said, because it was the only thing that would shut him up.)

But CowboyEomer kept typing, and Boromir accepted the Share Contact request. His computer beeped at him, since Skype had recently updated and he hadn’t yet figured out how to turn off the notification noise. Enough things had changed about the world that even little changes bothered him, now: he couldn’t escape these changes even hiding alone in his room on his computer.

Never mind this wasn’t even his room, as he had moved into his dad’s old bedroom after—

That’s right, I’m sorry, man1, Éomer replied, and added *man!

Boromir chuckled, wondering, in spite of himself, what the guy looked like. He opened up Facebook to do some stalking—at least they hadn’t changed that .

And, okay, the guy was pretty cute. Blond longish hair, a short blond beard, and some really intense eyebrows. His About page really did say he was interested in men, so, ah. That was cool. They didn’t exactly encourage alternative sexualities in members of the royal household, even if you were still legally dead and your little brother technically held your stewardship…

Skype chimed again: Just thought we should get to know each other since we’re brothers now! I’ll be in Minas Tirith next week to see the sis, and she says we should hang out.

Boromir accepted his Facebook friend request, too, to see more pictures. There were a lot of horses. Boromir was kind of more of a sports guy. Maybe polocrosse was where they could find some common ground?

Boromir2: Sure. I figured Far already had the weekend planned , he typed in reply. But yeah, I can show you the sights. You ever been?

CowboyEomer: Uncle took me when I was younger. but I guess you’ll be seeing a lot more of me, as the delegate from rohan?

Boromir didn’t reply for a moment, and saw the indication that Éomer seemed to be trying to reply several times, but never said anything more. Boromir didn’t know if he ever wanted to get back into government. Nearly dying and nearly screwing up the entire quest to save Middle-earth hadn’t sat well with him. He wasn’t sure he could look Aragorn in the eye again, much less be his steward. Especially not if the halflings ever visited...

But Éomer didn’t know all that, and maybe that was a little freeing.

I’ll definitely be around. He finally managed to type, glad they weren’t looking at each other while having this conversation. You’ll have to let me buy you a drink.

CowboyEomer: Definitely! Faramir’s told me a lot about you

Boromir wasn’t sure if this was flirting, but followed by three smiling-emojis helped convince him this might actually be happening.

Boromir2: Nothing good, I hope.

Boromir added a winky face, feeling older than he should, but better than he had felt since he had been back.

CowboyEomer: I’m sure you’ll live up to the hype.

...

In the west wing of the steward’s palace, Faramir and Éowyn sat across from each other at their breakfast table, frantically looking at their computers and phones.

“Well, he’s ignoring my texts, but Skype says he’s online, so he must be on his computer,” Faramir said.

“Éomer says he’s chatting with him now!”

“They’re friends on Facebook now, so—”

“He says Bor offered to buy him a drink!”

Faramir looked up, reaching for Éowyn’s hand. “Hey! That’s a good sign! Honestly I don’t care if they end up dating, if your brother can just just get him out of the house, I’ll be thrilled.”

Éowyn took his hand, and then made a face, and went back to her computer. “Well, I’m gonna set up the polocrosse event just in case.”

“Or a pub crawl,” Faramir suggested jokingly, but Éowyn, who was interested in getting her disaster of a brother a boyfriend, only nodded in determination.

“I’m setting up both.”