"Flames"

Work: The Lord of the Rings
Character(s): Gríma/Éowyn
Category: Romance
Rating: PG
A/N: A little one-shot I thought up. Hopefully this'll hold you guys over while I figure out what I'm doing with my other stories. It's very dialogue-intensive, and it's meant to be that way. :)


"Where am I?" Éowyn asked groggily. She saw the shadowy form of a person across the room – but everything was so blurry. "Why can't I see properly?"

"You are in Meduseld," a gentle voice said. "In your bedchamber." She heard the sound of water being wrung into a bowl. That voice… it was so familiar…

"There was an explosion," she said. "I went up to fight, and there was such chaos…"

"Yes. You were very valiant, my lady." The person sat on the edge of the bed, and Éowyn felt a cool, wet cloth dabbing at her face. Through her swollen eyes she could see a white face framed in shadows. It couldn't be him. She tried to sit up to get a better look at him, but she gasped aloud – it felt like her skin was on fire.

"Don't," the soothing voice said. "You're badly hurt."

She squinted – even that simple movement caused her discomfort, but she was almost sure it was him.

"Gríma?" The dabbing with the cloth ceased.

"Yes, Éowyn."

She closed her eyes and sighed. "Gríma, why do I hurt so much?"

"The explosion at the Hornburg was devastating," he said quietly. "A large fire started. When I arrived to assess the damages, it was just dying down."

Suddenly it made sense – the tightness of her skin, the burning, her swollen eyes. "It burned me."

"I am afraid so."

Éowyn felt very small. "Badly?"

There was a pause. "Éowyn, you are still beautiful."

She smiled slightly. "Why did you bring me here?"

"I… I cannot go back to Saruman. That is, I do not wish it. I intend to stay with you until you are well."

"And after I am well?"

He was silent, and behind her closed eyes Éowyn imagined him smiling, truly smiling for the first time in years.

"You need rest, my lady," he said, and he placed a tender kiss on her dry lips.

She opened her eyes after he had pulled away; he left the room without another word. And as she laid there in the warmth of her own bed, it dawned on her that for all his lies, he had never been false in his love.