A/N: It's been a while since I could bring myself to really sit and write anything. I don't have the time, and when I do I don't have the patience. But here it is.

Disclaimer: Tolkien is the creator. Mere fanfiction authors such as ourselves do only what we can.

Note: Although it is made apparent, I just thought I'd let you know that in this story Gilraen is one of Eldarion's sisters. The name seemed fitting, but was chosen by me as Eldarion's sisters are (as far as I know) left unidentified.

Note 2: It seems that Gilraen and Eldarion did not inherit their parents' penchant for wordy run-on sentences when it comes to dialogue. Alas that the same can not be said for my narrative.

The New King

Gilraen was not particularly beautiful. She had more of her father in her features than her mother, unlike her other sisters, and was often described as 'comely' by those who underestimated her hearing.

When Eldarion looked up and saw her standing awkwardly in the doorway, her face and raven hair caught up in the moonlight of the pleasant evening, he saw truly within her the grace and dignity born of a daughter of lineage such as theirs. It reminded him so much of his mother that for a moment he could scarcely breathe.

"She's reached the gate now," Gilraen said with unquestionable certainty. Eldarion closed his eyes and nodded, knowing better than to doubt his sister's statement. Although not blessed with the fair features of their family's Elven kin she had always retained a certain amount of foresight that could be thus attributed. She stepped further into the chamber, coming to stand beside her brother and allowing her gaze to follow his—out the wide window and upwards to the starlit sky that watched over the city. It was a beautiful night, but cold.

For a long time the two siblings stood in silence, identical pairs of grey eyes trained upon the sky and occasionally flicking down towards the city where hundreds continued on their routines as if this night was not drastically different from every other. By morning they would know, and perhaps for a time things would change. Perhaps.

The familiar winged crown sat on the floor several feet away as if it were as completely insignificant as any other object. Gilraen pictured it as she was used to seeing it—proudly atop her father's head. But already this picture wavered, and she couldn't help but imagine her brother now bearing this symbol.

"You'll do well, Eldarion," she said suddenly, making sure to use the same tone of voice she usually did when revealed something that was to come. In actuality foresight had nothing to do with it, but she knew this was something her brother needed to hear. Even as he turned to look at her it seemed a portion of the weight had lifted from his shoulders.

"Gilraen, you and I have always understood each other more so than anyone else," he began, eyes filled with memories, no doubt of their childhood when everything seemed much simpler, "and I will admit to you but no one else that I was childishly unprepared for this. After Elessar lived for so long… I was foolish to assume it would not come to an end soon."

"Only Father could have known when this would happen," she replied lightly, "It was his choice to make, as it will be yours. Even Mother didn't—" She stopped then, and both turned an uneasy eye out into the night once more. Somewhere out there was their mother, alone, beneath the light of the stars that had fled from her eyes the moment Elessar relinquished life. "You'll do well, Eldarion," she said again at last, though not quite sure why.

He looked upon her grimly, and he looked very much like a king even without the crown. Eldarion would do very well, she realized. Their people would follow him as willingly and eagerly as Elessar and Eldarion, who was not only brave and noble but exceedingly clever, would not lead them astray. The new king would be crowned, and life would be as it was before.

For down in the over-crowded city none could possibly know of the love of a chance meeting in a forest, of unspeakably long years spent invariably together and apart, of the sudden choice to say goodbye or the dullness in the countenance of Queen Arwen Undómiel, or the two sisters clinging to each other and crying in their room as their older siblings stood in silence and watched over the city, their family quite unexpectedly forever sundered.

Gilraen imagined herself making the choice to leave. Not leave as the Elves did, as her grandfather and great-grandparents did to a land beyond the circles of the world, but to a new plane of unknown boundaries and abilities and questionable consciousness. She imagined herself seeing the sorrowful look of her life's love (though of course at this time the picture was based on no one in particular) as her last earthly memory and saying goodbye to all she had ever gained. And she gasped, for in that one brief moment she had felt herself being set completely and totally free from everything she had ever known.

"They'll be all right," Eldarion said as if he too had known this sensation.

She slipped her hand into his, and once more they took up their window-side vigil. With the certainty of her foresight she said, "So will we."