Title: Some Measure of Peace

Author: Jo Slater

Rating: PG (Just to be safe)

Summary: Ashk finds herself wondering about that boy from the west - Did she abandon him?

Genre: Drama/Angst

Timeframe: Spring - Six months after the 'gorge' incident

Present tense

Order: Just for Tomorrow - Some Measure of Peace

Need to Read: Yes, sorry. You will have no idea what this is talking about if you do not.

Author's Note (Reoccurring Readers, PLEASE READ): Now, as some of you know (most of you I'm sure) I was supposed to put up the first chapter of The Mage on Friday. ...Minor issue..s. Issues.

A.) The plot is not developing as it should and I'm not willing to post crap nor make my readers wait while I rip out my hair.

B) I'm quite distracted with a current...Situation concerning another writing work that only took me, oh, two years to finish and I'm now scrambling to please publishers. Gah.

So, until these issues are taken care of, The Mage will remain on my Work Unfinished shelf. Sad to say, I know. I'm very sorry. However, another plot bunny is swirling slowly. And so, until either The Mage or that untitled plot bunny is decided on, I will be putting up small fics such as this in the weeks to come. Very sorry once again. I love you all!

Some Measure of Peace

Ashk

Dawn has not risen yet, though I know I will not see the sun this day. Instead, today it will remain behind the deep cover of the clouds over the sky. It's a spring rain, gentle and warm. Though the occasional thunder rumbles by, it is a well needed rain.

Yet, in this rain, I ponder over you, Donavon. Here in this bed beside my husband, I wonder if you are in the rain or if you've avoided the storm - Or, perhaps, you are so far it is not even near you.

I continue to listen to the rain a while longer in silence. The only sound in the room besides the underlying raindrops is Haldir's breathing, and in that I find some sort of peace.

But, your face comes to me again. Never smiling, but never sad either. Just there. You're with that mask you always wore, you are staring at me.

Did I abandon you, Donavon?

The question has plagued me for days…Months now. At first I thought your travels would be good for you. You would find yourself again and perhaps you, too, would find some measure of peace.

Days passed and when I was in the happiness of my family, I sometimes wondered about you like I am now.

You helped save my life, Donavon. My life and my son's. You saved my daughter's. Do you not see all that I owe you? My whole world is only existent solely because of you.

If only you would return, Donavon, I would find a way to repay my debt to you. And though I know you find Haldir as the cause of so much of your pain, somehow I know that you both can look beyond that. Somehow in that mistake that Haldir once so painfully explained to me, you would, perhaps, forgive him. And in that, I would hope Haldir could possibly begin to forgive himself.

Maybe I'm thinking like a foolish woman, and my own hopes getting the best of me. But it seems I cannot push those hopes aside.

Haldir shifts beside me and I know he is awake. Unaware that I am as well, he gently rolls out of bed, sliding away from me before pausing to look back.

I smile at him knowing he has no inkling of my downcast thoughts this morning. He only leans over and places a kiss on my forehead before turning and walking away to ready for today.

The door closes to the washroom and I shift and get out of the bed as well.

Rain thumps against the windows of the balcony doors as I peer outside. Lorien does not seem dreary in the overcast rain and weather, but instead just quiet. The occasional Elf moves about on the floor level even this early in the morning.

My idle thoughts slip away as I somehow find my guilty conscience flare again.

I should have gone after you when Orophin told me where you'd gone to. I should have stopped you, offered you a home until you were old enough to venture on your own.

Oh, Donavon…I never believed you when you said you were sixteen. You even tried to lie further at first in saying you were eighteen. No, you were not that old, boy. You are, perhaps, fifteen now - Sixteen at the most. I knew you lied then, and so did Haldir.

He had offered to go after you, but like a fool I had talked my husband out of it. I was so certain that your own ventures would be what were best for you. And I'd comforted myself in that for nearly two months. In some part of me, I silently thought that you would come back on your own.

How could you come back? For all I knew, you were killed by Orcs or merely the elements themselves. ...What a terrible death that would be for anyone and most of all you. You've had so much pain, Donavon. You don't deserve any more.

I'm sorry, Donavon. I'm sorry for leaving you. Sorry you still have not found the strength to forgive pains of the past.

I'm sorry I didn't help you when I know I could have.

Why did you not tell me, Donavon? Why did you suffer in silence all those days when we worked side by side?

A breeze passes outside and with it, only water from the trees falls. I glance up to see that it has stopped raining for a moment and somewhere in the swirls of clouds, the sun is rising. It's warm and golden as always, even layered with those grey clouds.

You follow the sun, Donavon, as it settles towards the west.

Have you found what you're looking for yet?

Will you ever find the will to forgive my husband? To forgive me?

The clouds swirl once more and the sun is blocked away again.

Come back, Donavon...You still have a home here if only you ask for it.

"What are you looking at so quietly?"

So deep in my thoughts I did not even hear Haldir reenter the bedroom. However, I don't jump at his voice nor his touch as his arms slide around me from behind.

"Just thinking," I reply, my hands covering his.

"About what? You look so sad," he says softly.

I sigh slightly, allowing myself to lean into him. "Do you think Donavon's safe?" I ask, answering his question with my own.

Haldir doesn't say anything for a moment. "I like to think he is," he tells me. "He deserves to be."

I nod in agreement. Neither of us could say if Donavon was safe and well or not. However, hoping he was seemed to be as best as we could do for now.

And, maybe if I just hoped he would forgive both my husband and I, perhaps one day he would.

"Ama!"

That high-pitch and shrill voice shatters the moment of sad reflection between Haldir and I. However, it was not with frustration that I hear this voice. My Little Ana was ever lively. Her voice only seemed to signal that the day had begun and I no longer had time to think idly as her giggling reaches us as well.

"Ama! Ada! Lookie!"

"Oh, Vala, not again," Haldir's muttering echoes my own thoughts as we both turn to go to our daughter's room.

Down the hall and to the right, Haldir opens the door and I peer in over his shoulder.

"Ana!" I exclaim in shock.

Cats litter the room and Haldir staggers as one races by him with a mew.

"She is not even two yet," Haldir grumbles as he moves into the room, carefully picking his footing among the cats.

I smile, peering at nearby black cat as it peers right back at me. "Well," I reply, "at least it is not the snakes anymore."

Haldir only turns and gives me a disheveled look before reaching for his daughter and pulling her into his arms.

"Kitties," Ana claps.

Where all the cats came from, I don't know. However, as I look to a window and find it cracked open, I certainly know how they got in.

"Haldir?" I question as I spot a small kitten. His only reply is a grunt as he is making his way back to me with our daughter in grasp. I smile at him. "Can we keep one?...or two?"

Haldir nearly trips over a small kitten. "No!"

I can only laugh. "Haldir!"

- - -

Until next time! Hope you enjoyed!

P.S. Yes, the title was taken from a quote in The Last Samurai - If you haven't seen it, you should. Great movie.