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Warning: This is fluff. This is not to be taken seriously. Knowing that, please relax and enjoy. :-)

WINGS

By ErinRua


He stared from the heights with a salt wind tousling his hair, and felt as if his very breath soared on the cries of white-winged gulls. Here was distance such as he had seldom imagined. Freedom such as men's hearts ever dreamed of. And over all rushed endless voices that thundered from ages older than the Riddermark itself.

"What think you, Éomer King?"

There was gentle amusement in the voice beside him, and the young ruler of Rohan blinked from his daze. "My Lord Imrahil … this is splendid beyond words. I never thought Dol Amroth possessed such magnificence."

"Aye." The breeze lifted dark hair from Imrahil's neck, playing its strands across his brow. "I often come here, to clear my thoughts. The Sea is a fickle mistress, for she seduces and destroys with equal heedlessness. But to know her moods, to follow the winds to strange new lands …" The Prince chuckled as he met Éomer's glance. "There may not be so much difference between our men of the Sea and your men of the Mark."

Smiling also, Éomer said, "No, lord. I think perhaps there is not."

They stood a while together at the cliff's edge, tall grasses whispering at their feet while the ceaseless pulse of the sea rumbled on the shore below. A little further on a swath of white sand curved in a warm embrace about the blue, blue harbor footing Dol Amroth's walls. Boats at anchor were but tiny toys set upon translucent glass, their shadows drifting beneath them. The anchor lines that held them seemed little more than frail threads, easily cut to cast a vessel far, oh so far onto the glittering expanse of the waves. Suddenly Éomer yearned to see what lay beyond the pale line of the horizon, to watch a foreign shore rise mysteriously from the deep, darkly green and heavy with secrets.

At that moment he felt something move within, awakening and carrying with it the breath of the Sea and the wisdom of ages past. Almost it seemed he had become weightless, a being of sunlight and white wings with all the sky to sail.

With a quiet laugh he exclaimed, "This is where she comes from."

Imrahil looked at his young companion, an eyebrow raised. Éomer's grin widened and he flung his arms wide, fair hair tossing as he whooped merrily at the far horizon. He laughed again and spun about, his face alight.

"Imrahil!" he cried, his eyes very bright. But then his voice dropped to a fervent hush. "My lord, this is where Lothíriel comes from. This is where her heart was born!"

For an instant Imrahil could only stare in bemused affection at this warrior-king's face, now suffused with nearly childlike elation. Yet the Prince smiled to the bittersweet pang in his breast, for with it came silent relief. His little girl would leave him, she would give her hand to a distant king, but she would depart into happiness as well.

"Aye, my lord," he replied. "So it is."

"Lord Imrahil." Éomer faced him and became perfectly still, his expression a queer mix of earnestness and joy. "I love her."

"I know you do."

"I love your daughter."

Trying not to chuckle, Imrahil said, "Yes."

Éomer's voice became even softer. "But now I know why."

Pale eyes searched the prince's closely, their intensity a reminder why Éomer of Rohan was reckoned a captain among men. Yet at the same time, that look held something astonishingly open, something that was being offered with the entirety of a great and noble heart. Though the Prince could not truly fathom the thought in Éomer's mind, he was also the father of strong sons. He took the single step that separated them and grasped Éomer's shoulders, closing his fingers firmly on cloth and muscle.

"Then you have my blessing thrice over," he said. "For I know you will cherish the jewel of my house."

Éomer lifted his hands to grip Imrahil's forearms in return. The beautiful smile that illuminated his face nearly stole the Prince's breath away.

"I am blessed yet again," Éomer said quietly, "For I have found another father, too."

His clasp tightened, and for an instant Imrahil thought the king would embrace him. But Éomer abruptly turned away, and as he strode across the grass he gave another joyous yell, flinging his voice, his arms, his whole body into celebration of his gladness.

"I love Lothíriel!" he shouted.

He hurled his heart to the wind and the sea, and the laughter of a king spiraled skyward on the tilting of gulls' wings. Surely it was but the breeze which pricked tears to Prince Imrahil's eyes, for he had seldom been happier in his life.

"As you are loved, my son," he whispered.

~ FINIS ~


A/N: This piece of complete silliness was inspired by a random nuzgul flung by Raksha of the Henneth Annûn group. Thanks, dangit. :-)

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