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Subject: A long awaited conversation... hehehe...

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Date Posted: 22:28:14 08/11/02 Sun

Aragorn tried to convey how touched he was but all that came out was a quiet "thankyou." He beamed at his audience through blurred eyesight. "Thank-you everyone, you don't know what your support means to me. Sam, of course I shan't refuse your aid, no one will ever forget the strength of the halflings again."

Laeriel stood quietly next to Rhylin in the corner of the throne room. She was waiting for Sahrien to return, she had been gone for far too long. She had told her she would not speak with Elessar until she returned, but time was fleeting, and her patience was wearing thin. I shall have to do this myself, then, she thought, squeezing Rhylin's hand before she stepped foward.
"Elessar," she said, her voice rising above the crowd. The room fell silent, "King Elessar, I desire to speak with you. I have important news, reguarding your allies, and your wife."

He recognised her vaguely but it took him a little while to connect the dehydrated youngster with the new arrival. "You have recovered well," he commented politely, choosing to ignore the mention of Arwen. "What news do you bring me of my allies? In this dark time I need every ally I can sway to my cause."

Laeriel narrowed her eyes, how did he know her? "You have recovered well"? She didn't have time to try to figure it out. She didn't like the way he seemed to ignore the fact that she had news about his wife. She turned around to look at Rhylin, her eyes pleading for any sort of encoragement or help. He only smiled, but one smile from him made her feel as if she could move mountains. She turned to face the King, "Perhaps this is news best delivered in closed chamberes, not in a public meeting. I-we- need to speak with you in private," she turned to look towards Rhylin again, then back to the King.

Aragorn shook his head briefly, "I think I need to be with my people at a time like this. I know I have no right to ask for this but please can you deliver your message in here?"

"Very well, I understand your concern for your people," Laeriel walked towards Aragorn. She stopped just feet away from him, and lowered her voice so the rest of the room could not hear, "But tell me this, Elessar, why do you not ask me for news of your wife? Your Elven bride needs you more than you know."

"I don't want to hear about Arwen" he muttered in a voice that was barely audible. "I don't want to hear about how this is my fault..." he looked straight at her and for a moment Laeriel glimpsed the desparation that was gnawing on his soul. "I...can't....I can't hear about Arwen. Do you understand?" He saw that she didn't and changed the subject before she could bring it up again. "You bring me news of allies? Please, tell me that instead."

His fault? He knew not how desperate Arwen's situation was. It went far deeper than who was at fault. "By mother earth herself," Laeriel wispered, "Men truly are blind." She straighted up, "As you wish, Elessar. I shall tell you why my people sent me, and who my people are. I am a Faery, a very old race. As old as Middle-earth herself, and I come because one of my people had a vision; a vision that spoke of death and destruction. I come to you because we are tired of hiding in the forests, I take this opportunity to offer our hand in friendship. We will help you fight this enemy, whatever it may take." The throne room fell silent. Laeriel turned to look at Rhylin, "I have here with me," she said, "The Faery who had the vision. I know not the details of it, so I will call on Rhylin to explain what he saw."

Rhylin found himself stuttering in horror. "Well...your m-majesty, it was about three months ago..." he looked imploringly at Laeriel; she could tell this just as well as he. No help seemed to be arriving however so he looked back at the king and continued to speak. His voice growing firmer. "3 months ago I had the first in a series of vision that have haunted me whether sleeping or awake. I eventually confided in King Cellius who dispatched his daughter Laeriel to alert you of the on coming threat. I fear we are too late for this message to be much use. What I can tell you is when the armies of darkness will strike; 2 moon cycles from today. That is when you must be ready for the Dark Lord will not wait."

"I have to admit I believed your race was legend...two months? It could be worse...it could be better too. I thankyou for bringing even this most gloomy of news. You're help is also greatly appriciated."

Laeriel oppened her mouth to answer, but the words stopped in her throat. She could no longer stand it. The way he dismissed her when she spoke of Arwen made her remember the pain that Arwen was experiencing at this very momment. Somewhere, far from home, Aragorn's son was to be born, and he seemed to care little of it. Instead, he was caught up in his own emotions, thinking about how Arwen had hurt him. Laeriel had had enough. She stood firmly in front of the King, "Enough! Please, enough with this self pity and this childish pride! You are greatful for our help, yet when I offer you news of your wife you ignore me! Have you no love left for her in your heart? If not for her, then for your unborn son? She's dying, Aragorn, and your son may die with her."

"There's nothing more I can do for her...
If I go to her she'll die, if I stay she'll die. So you tell me what I should do. Which course of action is most useful?"

"Elessar," Laeriel said, lowering her voice, "She loves you, she always has, and she will forever. That's all you need to know. Just remember that, because once upon a time you loved her too." She finished, cleared her throat, and said, "I have nothing more to say to you. If you decide you want our help, you can find me in my chambers. I do not wish to be disturbed tonight, seek me in the morning." She gave Rhylin a meaningful glance and walked quietly out of the throne room.

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