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76
Following for fellowship

Take two for Linda Hoyland, who wanted (among other possibilities) Aragorn-Eomer friendship. A triple drabble, because Eomer demanded it.


~~~

"You've given Eastfold to the Worm!"

Éomer had ever relied upon Éothain to spare his captain nothing, and his lieutenant's mood was black indeed as he wheeled his mount to stand nose to tail with Firefoot and looked his Marshal full in the face. "For three strangers on a fool's errand, you've given us to Wormtongue!" he snarled, disbelieving.

Éomer sighed. They fought like bears, he and Éothain, like berserkers—for the needful joy of it, and no bitterness ever to last between them.

But in uncertain times, even such settled friendship must sometimes give way: to faith that was perhaps betrayal. Perhaps. Are you one for such company, Aragorn? He knew his mind, clear as Aragorn's challenge to him, and ah! My heart sang to hear it, the more so to answer it!

Thus: "Then if you're right, watch over Éowyn. But bide this while with me in hope."

Éothain snorted, looked a long moment away ere he faced him once more. "Not in hope, Éomundsson, not the barest moment, but I will follow you for fellowship far beyond hope—that I swear." And his expression softened as he added, in a lower voice, "And I'll see her safe, no fear."

"Then truly, I have none." 'Twas a lie—evidently so, but a good one, so Éothain sighed and said:

"The king awaits. We should ride."

Aye, they should, and Éomer signaled the men to fall out. But even as they took their places at the head of the column, Éomer glanced back towards Fangorn and felt his chest ache with fierce elation—premature, perhaps, yet irrepressible. For you're wrong, Éothain, my friend, the king waits not in Gríma's hall—he rides the land, and he'll come for us. You'll come, Aragorn, and then let the Worm beware!

~~~

Somewhat mangled title line borrowed from "A Man for All Seasons."


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