A/N: Sorry it took so long. All those abusive reviews made me afraid to write more, but I’ve summoned my courage which was brought on by the really nice reviews people have given this story recently, urging me to keep writing. I love you guys! sniff

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Solace

Later in the night Elwen awoke. Concern for Legolas robbed her of her sleep. She rose and walked out of her tent to try to gain some comfort in the cool night air. But, the dark mass of the Dwimorburg looming over the camp, stole her solace.

Elwen turned away from its shadow and began to walk back towards her tent, when she paused infront of Éowyn's tent. Her keen ears picked up the sound of soft, muffled sobs coming from inside.

"Lady Éowyn?"

"Who is it?"

"It is the Lady Elwen, child." She called her child, for in comparison to Elwen's age, Éowyn was just that. There was a pause before Elwen heard, "enter."

Elwen found Éowyn sitting on her cot furiously wiping away the tears that threatened to spill all the way down her cheek and to the floor. The Elven lady quietly sat down by Éowyn and put a comforting arm around her.

Éowyn never accepted the consolation of anyone except her brother, uncle, and formally, Theodréd. But, the presence of the elleth felt strangely calming, as if she was with her mother once again and she let her head rest on Elwen's shoulder.

To see the seemingly untouchable shield-maiden of Rohan collapse into vulnerability for the second time this night caused a few tears to trickle out of Elwen's eyes. Éowyn's sobs grew harder and shook her body as she finally released all her frustrations, vexations, and the cry of her despairing heart.

When Éowyn finally regained her composure, she immediately sat up and, looking down at the tear-drenched patches on Elwen's tunic she apologized.

"Forgive me, Lady Elwen . . ."

Elwen put up a hand. "Apologies are not in order, Lady Éowyn. It is of no problem whatever."

"Thank-you," said Éowyn quietly. Elwen silently nodded with a warm smile. Éowyn smiled back, looking slightly more relieved, for some of the burdens she had been carrying were lifted for the time being.

Elwen rose from the cot.

"Goodnight to you," Elwen said, stopping before the tent flap.

"And to you, goodnight," Éowyn sighed wearily, and slipped under the covers.

"Anor valthen, togo laugas lín nestad enin gûr hen," (Golden sun, may your warmth bring healing to this heart) she whispered then opened the tent flap and ventured back into the dark blue of the night.

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Elwen woke to the sounds of a bustling camp. She opened the tent flap to behold everyone scrambling to prepare to ride out.

For some reason alarm filled her, like she should be looking out for something or someone. As she put helped put out the remainder of the cooking fires, Merry ran into her.

"Oh, pardon me, milady!" he said quickly, then scurried away. Elwen laughed. Many of the men looked up, their faces brightening a bit at the spirit-lifting sound of elvish laughter.

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Elwen watched with despair as the Rohirrim got in formation to ride out. In her heart she knew that many of them would not be coming back and her eyes lingered for a long time on King Théoden as spurred his horse onward and lead the charge.

Finally she turned back and walked back towards her tent to prepare for the journey back to Edoras where she would have to wait until . . . whatever would happen, happened.

Suddenly, Atherol, a young warrior, and the only one left behind to help Éowyn lead the women who came out to bid farewell back, came running up to Elwen.

"Have you seen the Lady Éowyn?" he called.

Elwen felt the nagging feeling come back with greater intensity. "No, I have not."

"Her tent is empty and I have looked everywhere for. Master Meriadoc is gone too, and he was also ordered not to . . . not to come." Atherol suddenly drew in a breath and looked at Elwen, as he suddenly understood.

"Atherol, are there any horses to spare?"

"Yes, milady, a few."

"I need one. I must go after her. I feel slightly responsible for not realizing it sooner. I must stop her before she gets killed."

"But, she is well trained with a sword and knows how to defend herself."

"Fighting one-on-one is one thing, fighting in a battle, is very different. You were appointed second-in-command, is that correct?"

"Yes, milady."

"Now, you are first." Elwen strode over to one of the horses, which Atherol pointed out to her and mounted it.

"Good luck," Atherol said, looking slightly worried.

"And the same for you," responded Elwen, then she nudged the horse's sides and they took off after the Rohirrim.

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