(Contains major spoilers for the Ranger’s Apprentice series and the Early Years series)
When Halt was little, he’d promised his twin that they’d always be together, no matter what.
The first promise broken of many bitter promises.
When he was leaving Hibernia, Halt had promised Caitlyn that he would one day return home to her. That he would see her again and they would be a family again.
The second promise he couldn’t carry out.
Halt had promised himself that he would try to patch things up between him and his brother when he visited Hibernia, but once again-
He failed to keep his promise.
Halt had promised Pritchard he would go to Araluen and try to join the rangers. This had led to him promising Crowley to help him restore the rangers.
Two promises he’d actually managed to keep.
He promised Gilan to train him as his apprentice, and he feared he would fail him every day.
To his shock, however, Gilan passed all his assessments, and he was once again able to keep a promise.
Halt had promised Gilan that he would be perfectly fine in Celtica with Will and Horace, but he had had no idea what they would face there. He had been wrong, and Gilan had been guilty ever since because he felt had abandoned Will.
Halt knew he wasn’t to blame, however. He himself was because he had once again broken a promise.
Halt had promised Will that he would find him when he was captured by the Skandians.
He supposed he hadn’t technically broken that one, but had it not been for Evanlyn- Will would’ve been dead by the time Halt arrived.
Yet another promise that had lost its meaning.
When Halt had joined the rangers, he’d sworn fealty to the King. However, when Will was taken… he broke that promise to keep his others.
He also broke an unspoken promise to stay by Crowley’s side, and he’d promised him he would return to Araluen after he found his apprentice.
A promise he determinedly kept.
He’d promised to help Araluen take down Morgarath, and he supposed, in the end, he’d successfully kept that promise.
But not before too many lives had been lost.
One of the promises that weighed most heavily upon him was Halt’s promise to Daniel. The promise that he would protect Daniel’s family.
He’d failed, leaving him to promise Daniel’s wife he’d protect her child.
Halt had then told himself that he couldn’t possibly watch a small child by himself, and promised himself he would place the child in Baron Arald’s ward and not force the child to associate with him.
But… he’d broken that promise too, taking Will on as an apprentice.
He feared he would break his promise to both of Will’s parents. He feared he would let Will down.
He couldn’t help but feel like he had sometimes.
From next to him, sitting on Halt’s porch steps, Crowley sighed despairingly from where he was sorting through reports, startling Halt out of his thoughts. Halt looked past him, over at Will, cheerfully practicing his shooting near the cabin, with Gilan watching him from beneath a tree.
Yes, he’d broken many promises. He’d bitterly had to face the consequences of them and carry on.
Halt supposed, however- as Will turned away from his practice to grin at Gilan, having landed every arrow in the center of the target, and Crowley buried his face into Halt’s shoulder in frustration- sometimes breaking them was worth it.
If it was to protect his little makeshift family, he would break as many promises as needed with no regrets.
I attempted to write the perfect blend of angst and fluff this time. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this and feel free to leave a review and critique my work!