|Subject: One last errand
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Date Posted: 08:25:22 05/07/03 Wed
By now the fire had enveloped Imladris completely, filling the beautiful corridors with billowing smoke and proud flames. His eyes still stung through the strip of cloth he had wound around them but without the agonising pain of before. Closing them completely he ran, stretching out his senses to feel what he could not see. Eventually he reached her room, the door obediently swinging open before him.
His senses informed him the room was empty.
"Arwen?!" he shouted nervously.
Whatever answer might have come was instantly drowned out as he started coughing violently, the smoke having entered his mouth for the moment it was open. As he stopped coughing after what seem like an eternity he heard a low whimper somewhere over the other side of the room. She was alive in here, but so close to death he couldn't feel her.
"Arwen?" he tried again and immediately regretted it. Cursing internally, careful not to open his mouth again, Aralias removed his blindfold.
It was all he could do to see through the smoke and his own tears. Frantic he cast around the room for her. Moving painfully slow against the heat he reached her. Arwen's once beautiful hair had been savagely hacked off and the butchered locks lay but meters from her outstretched hand and a gleaming knife. He wasted seconds trying to understand what madness had compelled her to multilate herself until Arwen moaned slightly and he remembered she needed all the time he could give her.
Resecuring his blindfold he picked her up as gently as he had his sister and ran stumblingly through the halls. A large beam fell, its body afire, bringing with it large amounts of the ceiling it had supported in another life. He felt the panic rise. He had started this fire but it was now well beyond his control, this might be his final resting place.
The thought was angry and assured but it did not quieten the fear growing swiftly inside him. The debry caused by the beam's deparature finally ceased to fall and he ran again, faster than before over the rubble that had been Rivendell.
Finally they were out into the sooty air of the courtyard and he could remove his blindfold once more. Arwen had not moved since he had taken her from her quarters and though he could see the fire eager to engulf this place of santuary Aralias laid her down upon a bench and used the last of his magical strength to hold it back. He had to flee from this place and quickly but with two unconcious women that was impossible. If Arwen did not wake before his hold on the fire weakened then he would leave her here to die, Faeirex had to get out while the chance she might live still remained.
Hurridly he dipped inside one of the pockets on his dublet and produced a tiny vial. It's scent sweet, tangy and alive wafted through the small courtyard making him gag slightly. Quickly he waved it under Arwen's nose. Let this work. Her eyelids fluttered, she started coughing violently, removing as much of the ash from her system as possible. It would not be enough though, he managed to think before she rolled to her side and threw up over the side of the bench.
"Better?" he asked stroking her hair gently.
She managed to nod weakly and he produced another bottle from another pocket. "Drink this."
"What is it?"
He smiled in what he hoped was a reassuring way. "You shouldn't question the man who saves your life. Please drink it."
After a moments pause she did and he breathed a silent sigh of relief and his tone changed. "Alright lets get out of here."
Arwen started to rise. "But what about my grandfather? Elladan? Elro..."
"They are dead," he snapped. "Forget them."
And taking her her hand he fled.
A little way off from the burning remains of what had once been the last homely house stood two horses, their eyes blindfolded so they couldn't see the fire and bolt. Next to them the form of a woman.
"Mount up," he ordered briskly and Arwen after some difficulty and confusion seated herself atop a chesnut mare he had stolen from Rivendell's stables earlier. Carefully he placed Faeirex in the sadle and lept up easily behind her. Once again her head found its way comfortably into the crook of his shoulder and once again Aralias wondered why she could never see that they were like two pieces in a puzzle, fitting together perfectly. One hand reached up to stroke that raven hair the other held Lemi's reign tightly, while the horse couldn't see he would have to choose the direction. Gently his heels struck Elemiire's side and he moved into an easy trot.
"Follow me," he called sharply back to Arwen and they disappeared into Trollshaws. Elessar would arrive soon, he was sure of it, but he would not find his wife waiting for him.
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