Title: The Last Journey
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Era: Fourth Age of the Sun
Genre: AU, Action/Adventure
Rating: M / FRM
Main characters: Aragorn, Celeborn, Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Éomer, Erestor, Faramir, Gandalf, Gimli, Glorfindel, Haldir, Legolas, Meriadoc, Nazgûl, Pippin, Thranduil (, OCs).
Pairings: Legolas/OMC (brief Aragorn/Arwen, Éowyn/Faramir)
Summary: After many peaceful years that have followed the war against Sauron, everything changes. Evil returns, striking without warning, and it is stronger than ever before. It is time for the final fight, but who shall achieve victory?
Work in Process.
Warnings: Characters’ death (major, OC), violence, torture, slash, mild sexual content (het and slash), plenty of evil, etc.
Author’s Notes: The song that Aragorn sings, is a To/Die/For’s song “Garden of Stones”. I love that song, and if it is possible, listen it!
The next days were like a nightmare for the King of Gondor. Arwen was buried on the day after her death, but before that Aragorn was forced to examine the bodies of the dead as he could, in attempt to find at least some kind of a clue of what had happened. Though burying his wife could have waited a few more days, Aragorn didn’t really wish to wait. And so was Arwen Undómiel, daughter of Elrond the Half-elven and the Evenstar of her people, the Queen of Gondor, buried in silent sorrow and grief. Many were the tears that flowed for her memory.
Soon after the funeral, Aragorn went to his study alone, wishing to be in peace with his thoughts for a moment. Soon he found himself sitting in his chair, staring at the empty fireplace, without thoughts or sense of time. He hummed silently, and then started to sing softly to himself, letting the tears come unhindered. He couldn’t remember where he had heard the song, but it kind of fitted very well to his current state of mind and soul.
“Snow has covered her grave
And flowers have withered away
Cold wind cries in the trees
Silent tears mark my grief.
The flickering, weak candlelight
Shatters the dead of the night
I bury my face in my hands
I try to speak but I can’t.
With a breeze arrives a sparrow
Lands on her gravestone
I raise my head and realize
I am no longer alone.
Haven of shadows in the garden of stones.
Cold wind blows out the flame
And darkness surrounds me again
The sparrow starts silently singing
A song only she and I know.
I shed a tear on her grave
And silently whisper her name
As cold wind still shakes the trees
I know she now rests in peace.
With a breeze leaves the sparrow
Flies into the unknown
I bow my head and realize
I want to follow.
Haven of shadows in the garden of stones…”
Slowly his voice disappeared, and he sat again in silence, unable to do anything else. His grief was too great at the moment, but he knew that time would soothe the ache inside his heart. Though even time could not repair all the damages made…
At length there was knock from the door and Faramir stepped in silently. Standing in the middle of the room the Steward waited for his Lord to acknowledge his presence. After few minutes passed, Aragorn finally sighed and gestured with his hand the other man to sit.
“You do not look well, my Lord,” Faramir said after a moment of cautious silence.
“I do not feel well, Faramir. But what of you? You also lost the one you love, and yet you only take care of my well-being.”
Faramir didn’t answer immediately, but when he did, he hesitated and chose the words carefully. “I feel great sorrow, but it seems that yours is right now greater than my own. You have been raised by the Elves, and I am sure that you feel the loss of the one you love differently than I… as well as you must understand differently why this all happened.”
Aragorn didn’t know what to say. Maybe Faramir had also recognised the Elven blade, or then something else in his own behaviour signalled for the Steward that he knew more than what he spoke of. Maybe telling all he knew would be better that trying to solve this riddle on his own. Faramir had been much in touch with the Elves since Legolas brought his colony to Ithilien. And Faramir also was a man with a good and wise heart: he might see something that Aragorn himself could not.
“My Lord?” Faramir asked, afraid that he had spoken the wrong words.
“We share same sorrow, and maybe together we are stronger than alone. And you were right, I think I know some things that you do not of this… attack.” It was a best form Aragorn could put it in. “But important things first. What of Éowyn? Where she shall be buried?”
“To Rohan. I must take her there, and it is also my responsibility to tell King Éomer what has happened.”
Aragorn nodded approvingly. “And when you take her, I shall ride with you, for I as well wish to see Éomer and be present when her sister will be laid to rest.”
“Thank you, my Lord. Your presence will be welcome. But would you tell me now, as you promised, what this all is about. I find myself quite confused.”
Aragorn recollected his thoughts, rubbing his brow as a sign of frustration. “I do not know much myself, but few things I have managed to pull together: whoever killed our beloved ones, passed in and out without a sign. None have seen anything, or heard. And other facts…” Aragorn trailed off, still uncertain if he should tell everything. Ultimately he decided that Faramir had the right to know everything he could tell, and so he spoke: “The blade I found from the room – the blade which was used as a killing weapon – was an Elven one. That is all I know and it confuses me, for there are very few people in all Middle-earth besides the Elves themselves who bear an Elven blade.”
“So the one who committed this horrible deed could have been an Elf,” Faramir said quietly, but continued before Aragorn could say a thing. “Or then the blade was left behind so it would lead us away from the right felon.”
“You might be right, Faramir. Even more than you know. But in the end, what was the motive?” Aragorn said, irritation in his voice, standing up and starting to pace across the room.
Faramir continued to stare at the fireplace, but said with a firm voice: “The child.”
“What?” Aragorn stopped his walking, turning to look at the other man.
“The child, my Lord. The heir of Gondor. You saw the wound in Arwen’s belly. The attack was made in an attempt to kill the child, or then to make us believe so. Either way, I don’t think that Éowyn was a target, because there were no such marks upon her. She merely was in a wrong place in a wrong time.”
Aragorn pondered this for a moment; guilt rising in him, and then shook his head as he thought the words. “I think you are right. And I assume that you have taken time to think these questions before you came here.”
“I had had very little to do, and much time to spend, my liege,” Faramir said with a ghost of smile, which did not reach his eyes. “I had to do something with my mind to overcome the grief, and this seemed to be the right thing. Yet there are still too many unsolved things in this matter…”
“Not knowing the truth bothers me as well. But enough for this day. We should start to prepare our journey to Rohan, which will not be a happy one, I can tell by now. Éomer will not rest before the murderer of his sister is found,” Aragorn sighed, staring out of the window.
“And I presume we are not giving up either. At least I am not ready to give up, not yet. Maybe never.”
“Neither am I, Faramir, neither am I.” Aragorn clenched his fists and thought the unpleasant trip before them.
Deep in his heart he thought of that day when he could finally avenge his wife and unborn child. He promised to himself that that day would come soon.
to be continued…