was beyond weary when she stepped into their flet that night. Indeed, had elves been capable of
clumsiness, she would have stumbled.
all these years during which she convinced herself again and again that the
ring was useless to her, that in obtaining it she would lose herself and
everything she ever loved in this world, for some terrible moments today she
had stood in complete, mindless awe of its power. For a few terrible moments she heard only its call, and any
notion of good and evil disappeared; she beheld raw power. Losing herself no longer seemed so
horrifying, as her new incarnation would have the power to command the skies
and the sea and fear no retribution, even from Valinor. She would have the love and the respect
of the world, and its fear, if she only wished it.
kept her back?
breeze through the ancient mallorns, a breath of flowing water in the
glades. A glimpse of silver hair
and blue eyes in the raging inferno.
A calm voice, cool as the touch of water, saying, "Artanis? No, you are
my Galadriel." Long has he known
her ambitions and understood them, though never sharing in them. His soft words, soothing her mind -
"ambition in ourselves is not to be feared or reviled. It is in the way by which we fulfill
our ambitions that speak most truly of what we are." His laughter, mingled with her own and the delighted squeals
of Celebrian. He had spoken to
her, the night before the ring entered the sanctuary of their woods, quietly,
as was his wont. She felt his many
emotions swirling to the surface - anger, resignation, fear, longing,
resentment, helplessness - but they all held to the strongest current of
love. He opened his mind to her,
and then he kissed her gently on the lips, not a demanding kiss, not one to
coax or to arouse, but one of acceptance - the culmination of a love spanning
many Ages of the earth.
he spoke her name; only that, only a whisper, but it returned to her tonight,
standing before the outstretched hand of the Ringbearer. She suddenly felt his lips upon her
skin, saw his hair - silver as the light of Telperion, felt his mind upon hers,
aiding her in whatever she would choose.
She recalled his scent, his warmth, his strength.
in end the choice was hers, and hers alone.
be a ringbearer is to be alone.
closed the door softly, and slid silently to the floor. It was cold. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the wall;
wondering how long it had been since she had last shut her gaze from the world.
felt, rather than heard, him approach.
He knelt in front of her reclining form, and, with the slowness of Ages,
he placed his hand upon hers that lay limp against the floor. She shivered at his warmth; slowly, she
opened her eyes.
gazed long at one another.
wanted it, you know that.
gently placed his other hand against her pale face. My love. I
seemed too understanding, too forgiving.
She had to explain. I
know all the reasons I should not take it, but I was not prepared...it offered
merely gazed at her, touching her face gently.
continued. Either way I would
gain, and either way I would lose.
For a moment, I did not know.
Truly, I did think to accept it!
Hush. It's over now; your test is over. Rest. He continued to
kneel there, stroking her face, his other hand warming hers. She looked at him, blinking tears from
her eyes. His love was almost a
tangible entity, a burning warmth.
reached out with her free hand to touch his face, but paused at the sight of
Nenya. And should the
both looked at her outstretched hand for a moment. Nenya twinkled back at them, yet in its full and
put his arms around her now and gathered her to him. She pressed herself against his solidity, her cold nose
against the cocoon of his exposed throat.
Celeborn, meleth-min, had I been fully aware of the consequences when
I accepted this...
were fully aware, as was I.
he spoke at last, voice muffled in her hair. But he could not continue; his throat worked, but nothing
more came out.
smiled through her tears.
I have always been. Galadriel I
shall ever remain."
was not until she felt a warm tear descend upon her neck that she realized he