Authors note: Just so you guys know. Tethceleb gave me idea for Linwe’s Death and I found it a necessary evil for how the story will go in the next chapter. So Sorry. Please don’t hate me.
Raion sat with Linwë in his lap staring at nothing and he felt nothing either. The deadness inside him spread to all his limbs and he really could not move if he wanted to.
Elrohir checked out the tracks to see if any orc had escaped. He did not want to be surprised by a band of orcs coming to claim their prize or finish the job if that would be the case. He saw that the `children’ had done a great job of defending themselves. He was very proud of them and yet the reality of their death was painfully obvious. He was ready to leave. He knew he had to rouse the men and get them moving.
He tapped Arensel on the shoulder. “Gather him up. We need to be moving.”
Then Elrohir went to Raion, but Raion just stared off into space when he told him they needed to move. “Raion we need to move now. Orcs are vengeful they will be back.”
“I don’t care.” Raion flatly replied.
“Well you may not care about yourself, but Raion what about Linwë do you want them to have her. You know what they do to elves when they claim them from the battlefield.”
“She was not a warrior,” he shouted violently.
“Look around you Raion Orcs are dead. Your daughter is dead. Amras is dead. If this is not a battlefield then I don’t know what you call it.”
Arensel knelt down beside Raion and put his hand on his shoulder. “Come my friend. We really must be leaving, and their mothers need to know soon.”
“Gilraen!” He cried with sudden realization that he would have to break this news to her. “Oh how can I do this?” and fresh tears burst from his eyes. Arensel took Raion in his arms and he also shed new tears for what they yet had to face. Somehow knowing Arensel was feeling the same way as he did made Raion ready to move. So when the tears were spent he gathered his baby into his arms and carried her away from that place of death.
Each father entered Rivendell carrying his burdens. The first place they went was the house of healing. Elrond met them there though he had hoped his services would be needed for a different reason. Gilraen, Sermë, and Amras’ mother were waiting for them there. Lindë, upon seeing her son’s body, promptly fainted.
Gilraen cried out and yet somehow she stayed standing. In fact, she gathered her strength and followed them to the place where they would wash the bodies. She somehow felt the need to take care of her daughter herself. She took a washcloth and started with her hands. She wiped the orc blood off each finger and tenderly washed the rest of her. Somehow she when she took off the dress and saw the wound that took Linwë’s life she blocked that part from her mind and finished the task that needed done. When she was done she automatically went home and got her a fresh dress. She dressed her and she was ready for burial. Gilraen then went home and fell asleep.
The burial was set for the afternoon. Raion stared off into space as words were spoken. He did not hear one word that was spoken though he stood right beside Elrond who spoke them. Somehow he made it through and arm in arm he and Gilraen headed home. Raion sat down on a chair in their bedroom and did not move. He did not sleep. He did not eat. He just sat. Gilraen did not bother him much except for an occasional plea for him to come eat. He did force down some milk and bread after 2 days but he only did this please Gilraen. She was scared. Not only did she loose her daughter but she feared she would loose her husband as well.
Finally out of sheer exhaustion Raion fell asleep on the chair. He dreamed. Suddenly he felt a soft hand touch his cheek. Linwë stood in front of him. He reached out to her and she wrapped her arms around him. He started to cry. ” Oh my baby girl. It’s all my fault you are gone.”
“No Ada. You are wrong. I am not gone or else I could not be here.”
“But the orcs killed you and I should have been there for you. You would be safe in your room if I had been there.”
“Ada, You can’t be everywhere. I am grown up at least enough to know better than to go into the wood all alone. I begged Amras to go. It is no more your fault than it is your fault that the sun does not shine. You can’t have control over everything, and you know this. I have met Lirinen, ada. She is a special as momma. You had no control over when she died did you? And then there is Enelya. She was just a baby but she is here. You could not save her. You have to let me go so I can be happy where I am. It’s beautiful Ada and some day you may meet me here.”
“Linwë stay with me just a little longer.”
“No Ada I can’t. You need to get back to real life and I need to get back where I belong. Don’t forget there are living people who need you; go be with them. But always remember I am here with you and I love you, Ada.”
“Linwë.” Raion cried as he felt her slip from his grasp. Yet as he came back into the conscious world he felt arms wrap around him. He opened his eyes to see Gilraen kneeling in front of him with her arms wrapped around his waist. Tears were streaming down her face and she was whispering, “Oh my love don’t you know I love you and we can get through this together. If you just come back to me.”
Raion touched her face and she looked up at him looking for some hope. She did not find hope but she found love. He stood and took her into his arms and he cried. Great sobs shook his body, but she was there to hold him and help ease away the pain. She also cried. She cried for her loss and his pain. Somehow shedding their tears together brought a cleansing from the pain and it also somehow brought both of them strength to go on.
Go on they did, Hand in hand together as they had learned to do over the years. Slowly Gilraen life went from tears every day to having tears only once a week. Things slowly evolved into a new normal. It was hard for Gilraen to get used to the empty house so she had find something to do while Raion was gone. First thing she did was to visit Lindë. They soon became fast friends and they helped each other over the sorrow. Gilraen then went to the house of healing and she became a nurse to those in need. Her favorite time though was when Raion came home from the borders.
One year went by and on the anniversary of her death Gilraen and Raion went to the falls. They picked flowers for her and threw some into the river and they took some to her grave and planted them there.
Summer turned to fall and Raion was on duty one day. He saw a group of rangers come over the hill toward the gate. He watched intently as the group drew nearer and joy suddenly leaped into his chest as he recognized one of the rangers. Aragorn was coming home! He stayed where he was until Aragorn came up to him. Raion then threw down his weapon and grabbed him into a fierce hug. Aragorn returned the hug and said, “Ah Raion it’s good to be home.”
“Oh my boy, you are a sight for sore eyes. Your mother will be beyond words when she sees you.”
“I can not wait to see her either. It has been too long.”
Raion went to his commander and asked permission to leave his post early. It was granted and Raion walked with Aragorn to the house of healing. Gilraen was in a room changing the sheets on one of the beds and had her back to the door when Aragorn came and stood against the frame of the door.
” I think you missed a spot nurse,” he said casually.
Gilraen’s head came up and she looked into the face of her son. She was absolutely shocked to see him. She ran straight into his arms and started crying. “OH momma, you aren’t supposed to cry.”
“I don’t see my son for 20 years and you say I am not to cry. Of course I will cry.”
When her tears were all spent she took her son’s hand and led him to where Elrond was working for the day. Elrond enveloped Aragorn into his arms and he too shed a few tears of excitement for the sight of his son.
“My dear son, your journeys have changed you. You have become a man. I look at you with pride in my heart for the man you have become.” Elrond then turned to Gilraen and Raion and said, “Tonight we will dine together in celebration of the return of our son.”
They left the house of healing together and on the way home Aragorn asked about where Sermë and Linwë were at this moment. Gilraen got quiet and she led her son to a bench that was by the side of the road. She sighed as she tried to think of how to break this to him nicely. There is no nice way to tell someone something like this; so she just plunged ahead. “Son there is no easy way to say this. Linwë was attacked by some orcs beyond the border and she died about a year ago.”
Aragorn sucked in his breath as if a sharp pain hit him in his gut. “A whole year you say?”
He could not seem to get his head around the idea.
“Yes son.” Gilraen sighed sadly.
Aragorn felt tears well into his eyes. All he could remember of her was a tiny blonde haired toddler. He was not able to comprehend the small one as grown and so he only saw in his mind orcs attacking a tiny child. He had seen such things happen in his travels and it was always a picture he wished he could rip from his mind.
Just down the road Sermë was walking up the path. She noticed her father and Gilraen sitting on a bench with a stranger. Then the stranger turned his head slightly and she saw it was no stranger. “Aragorn!!!” she screamed as she ran head long down the path.
Aragorn turned toward the sound and saw her. He stood and caught her as she flung herself into his arms. After their hug she punched his arm. “How dare you leave me for so long with hardly a word from you!”
“Ow! And I sent word when I could. I surely thought you would not be so mad at me once I sent a certain someone home to you.”
“You are right and for that you get a big kiss.” she promptly kissed on the cheek. “Actually I am very glad you sent him when you did. I don’t think I would have made it through this past year without him.”
Aragorn got silent as she said that and whispered, “I would have been here had I known.”
“I know.” Was all she said as she wrapped her arms around him once more.
Aragorn stayed in Rivendell for the winter. As spring first started showing her pretty head news came that the orcs were encroaching too close to the border. Elrond decided that it was time to invade them before they became too bold and tried invading them. Aragorn decided to stay and help his father. Plus it may mean a few days after the battle to spend with Arwen. He was not ready to leave her. Though they promised their love to each other the time was not right for them to marry. He had to be patient and wait for quite a while yet. Though this irritated him he also knew he wanted her father to bless the union. He would never do anything to cause a rift between her and her father or his father for that matter. He loved both way too much.
Gilraen helped Raion get ready for the battle. Battle always frightened Gilraen. This time she was not as strong as she usually tried to show. She broke down in tears when she gave Raion his sword to belt around his waist. Linwë’s experience was way too fresh in her mind, and she would never forget what it felt like to open her door to Elladan instead of Arathorn. Raion took her face in his hands and he kissed her tears. He whispered sweet words of love and assurance in her ear as he held her until the tears stopped. She held on to him longer just so she could remember the feel of his arms around her in the long days ahead. When she was ready to let go she kissed him and sent him off.