He smelled of rain—of forest rain.

Eowyn buried her face in his chest, inhaling his scent, holding him with arms of steel. She would never let him go... She felt him move—felt him press his lips to her head—and all the terror of the past six hours burst from her in a great sob. What she might have lost! Then she clung to him, weeping uncontrollably.

She felt his arms slide down her body, felt him lift her, and carry her, and she kept her face hidden in the crook of his neck but she knew that he was not taking her home to their little cave.


Dínendal examined her, then drew Legolas aside.

He spoke softly, but not so soft that Eowyn could not hear: "It is not a relapse, my lord," he said. "I believe it is a perfectly normal reaction to your return."

"I do not understand."

"I think she is crying with relief, my lord—I recommend that you spend a few hours with her, just the two of you, alone."

This time he did carry her up the steep narrow path to their own cave, but he did not take her inside. Instead, he climbed up the rock face, to a small plateau high above the cave mouth—ringed by beeches and fringed with bracken—where they could not be seen from the camp, but could easily summon help, if needed.

There they sat, side by side, on a flat boulder.

"I am sorry, melmenya." He wrapped his arm around her and held her close.

She shook her head. "No," she said, her voice weak from crying, "I am being foolish, Legolas." She gulped. "I know that. It is just... You were gone so long, my darling. I could not understand why you were gone so long. I thought..."

"I know." He kissed her temple.

"I think I can see, now," she continued, haltingly, "why men go to war and women stay at home."

"Melmenya?" Legolas looked down at her in surprise.

"To make it easier." She took his hand and, lovingly stroking his fingers, she struggled to explain: "If I had never known how it was to fight by your side—if, like other women, I thought it was my place to stay at home and wait—perhaps I could have borne it more..." She searched for the right word.


"Patiently... Philosophically."

"You are not saying that you will put away your sword and leave the fighting to me?"


Her spirit had returned in that one word. Legolas hugged her proudly. "What will you do, Eowyn nín?"

"What will we both do?" asked Eowyn—and her voice had grown stronger, bolder. "We will both suffer because, sometimes, our paths will reverse and it will be you who is waiting for me...

"But," she continued, "I would endure a thousand times the terror I felt today for just one more moment fighting by your side."




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Chapter 5

Extra scene: My wife!
Legolas sees Eowyn wounded.

Extra scene