A/N: Hanuman is fun.
“Your king seems a bit less… energetic, this morning,” Laks reflected, walking with Hanuman and Utmila as Rama took the lead. Sugriva was behind them, surrounded by a contingent of grave-faced vanara warriors. “Yesterday, he was quite eager to see Vali faced and deposed. What troubles him today?”
“Ah, the difference between wished-for plans and reality!” Hanuman exclaimed, throwing arms wide as if white fur would embrace the sun itself. “My king is in the right. But he has long feared for his life at Vali’s hands. It is one thing to hear you say your strength will defend our king while he faces his accuser. It is quite another to believe it.”
“Ah, of course,” Laks agreed, and raised his voice to reach the troubled vanara lord. “Take heart, oh king of vanaras! Soon we shall hear your brother’s account from his own lips, and your beloved Rumā shall return to your arms.”
Sugriva gave him a look askance. “Are you always so confident, prince of Kosala?”
“No, when he’s facing rakshasas, he’s usually worse,” Utmila grinned. “You should see these two fight when they have to! I think the thunder itself would hide, if they fought in storm, for the lightning would not be as bright as their arrowheads.”
“…It must indeed be a sight,” Sugriva said at last.
Hanuman grinned, and bent near to whisper. “Which means he doesn’t believe a word of it. I don’t suppose we could convince your sister to show off?”
“Without Sita, I’m afraid of what might happen to innocent bystanders,” Laks said, just as quiet.
“What, trees?” Hanuman shrugged, gesturing to the forest about them. “Deer? Random demon bandits?”
Laks cleared his throat. “…Small mountains.”
Hanuman stared at him, eyes wide. Glanced ahead, where Rama’s slim form strode. “Just what is she carrying?”
“Hmm.” Laks glanced at Utmila. “Beloved?”
“Well,” his wife said impishly, “it’s said that the bow of Shiva, Pinaka, was resting in the kingdom of Militha. It’s said that my father, Jakarta, promised my hand to whoever could string the bow set before him. And it’s said that my husband did so, and the bow was shattered.”
“But then, people say many things,” Hanuman stated, eyes still wide. “I see.”