Raiting: Light Slash
Warning: A character transcends life. If you don't look at death as final, you'll be okay.
Disclaimer: just dreaming. Tolkien’s work remains sacred and unscathed.
Summary: The King makes a choice. Frodo is there for him.
Note: This is one of two brief stories, in answer to Anoriell's wonderful challenge.
I loved this experience, and found it soothing in a time of trouble. Thank you, Sun-star. Enjoy.
King Elessar. Aragorn. You have called to me. But even as I draw near your bed, your eyes do not see me standing alongside your wife. Your breath rattles, and you do not feel me take your hand.
I see the Queen has not reconciled herself to your decision. She shall not, I’m certain. I want to calm the storm which pits her grace against your resolve, and leaves lovely fragments heaped upon your chest. Only when I lay my other hand upon her hair, its color reminding me of the Outer Darkness beyond this world, does she seem to calm. She appears to cherish the continued rise and fall of your chest.
I watch the light in your eyes spark and flicker, keen for a moment. It’s taken a number of days for your life to loosen its hold upon your body, to slip free, for you laid yourself down, strong and hail in the certainty of your choice. Majestic province lay down with you, in the autumn of your long life. Your wish is granted, to depart while your mind is whole, your valour steadfast, and your heart glad.
I left this world before you, dear King. And now I wait.
From my home across the sea, I laid myself down to sleep, on a day unrivaled in its beauty. I too was glad to go. I felt safe at last, and ready. Of all my friends, all my kin, and all that for which I am thankful, my parting vision was of you.
You, who lowered yourself to bended knee before me. You, who pledged your fate to me. You, who wielded your sword on my behalf. You vowed to keep me safe, and to follow me through any shadow. I soon lost my fear of the grave purpose, etched rough and deep, into your ranger’s face, and beheld a quality that would not let me look away. You served the good of All. Yet I succumbed to the lure that it was for me alone. And now that I am recalled to you, by the pull of your very own summons, tells me that I am not altogether wrong. I wait.
Your queen’s grief gives way to sleep, and only then do you turn your head slowly, to notice me. I watch as your vision adjusts to me. Your smile spreads behind the brown and gray of your beard, and your eyelids droop as if waking from a peaceful slumber. The Mannish features that once alarmed and fascinated me, are now handsome beyond compare.
“Frodo. You’ve come back.”
Your whisper is like the wind on the sea to me. It makes me smile.
“No Aragorn. I have not returned; it is you who have left. You walked with me through shadow. I come now, to do the least for you.”
You squeeze my hand, and I know that you are ready.