Title: Harbinger of Light

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not.

Rating: K+

Summary: LotR, Fifth Element. Joy and hope trembled in the air, just within Eowyn's grasp if she would but reach for them. 750 words.

Spoilers: Mostly for Lord of the Rings, book version, with vague references to characters from The Fifth Element (1997).

Notes: Companion piece to "More Than a Weapon", which was from Leeloo's POV.

We stood on the battlements together, he and I, the wind tangling our hair together; he held me clasped close in his arms, and the imprint of his lips still tingled on my brow. Below us, singing drifted up from the city; before us, the Shadow was breaking at long last, and great shafts of light speared down to limn the landscape in light. Joy and hope trembled in the air, just within my grasp if I would but reach for them.

I was not sure I could; I did not yet know what to feel. The brink of the abyss no longer yawned before me, but its absence did not yet feel real. I had pursued this war, this impossible outcome, but never had I planned for what might come after. I had looked for death in battle, but I had not died, and the battle had gone on-- yet still had I expected this war to claim my life, and the lives of all about me as it already had my beloved cousin and uncle. Yet despite also being imprisoned by the healers through tragedies of his own, the man beside me did not share my despair, and I did not understand it.

This man, this noble man, who looked at me as though I were something wondrous. This man who was not Aragorn, King of Men; this man who dreamed of NĂºmenor, and draped his mother's embroidered mantle about my shoulders.

Did he love me? I was sure he did.

Did I love him? After Aragorn-- after everything-- I was not sure I even know what romantic love was.

I thought of the woman I had seen in my dreams the night before and stirred, turning a little in Faramir's arms. Did she know? I had seen in her an endless patience, an existence ruled solely by purpose-- but lonely, so lonely. A sword, flashing with gems the colors of autumn sky, summer grass, spring sunlight, and the fires of winter-- but only a sword, and she, eternally vigilant against endless night.

He looked down at me then, stirring me from the memory, a question in his eyes. The songs of victory had quieted as the wind had stilled, leaving us suspended in a pocket of peace; it was as though the rest of the world did not exist.

"You spoke of NĂºmenor," I said then, "of the green land, of the Wave; I too have dreamed of the West, though of another place." The urge to describe it to him-- and the woman, with vivid hair the color of aging leaves and endlessly empty blue eyes-- was very strong, and I let it all spill from me to fill up the anticipatory silence around us.

"I do not know what it means," Faramir told me when I had finished, a solemn light in his gray eyes, "but I do not doubt its importance. Your grandmother was of my people; it may be that you have inherited the true dreaming from her. I have dreamed of the dying of a great light, but it seems likely that you have dreamed of the harbinger of another."

The joy in the air seemed to have seeped into his pores; though he spoke gravely, the light he spoke of fairly shone from him, and I shrank from it a little, clasping the mantle more securely around my shoulders. I suspected he was right, but I still could not see my way forward. Was that light, then, for me? Could I bear its touch? I did not yet know.

Several months later, I dreamed true a second time. This latter vision lacked the immediacy of the other; the woman's strange armor and the jeweled sword were not present, but she could be mistaken for no other. Her vivid hair was the same, though shorter, and the shape of her face had not changed. Yet she was as different from the woman I had seen before than I was from the woman who had stood, frozen by indecision, on the battlements above Minas Tirith at the dawning of a new world: a smile curved her lips, and a light glowed in her eyes where there had been none before.

"Korben," she breathed, turning her face against the chest of the man who held her.

The dream dissipated as I woke, and I smiled, turning my face against the chest of my new husband. "Faramir," I murmured, and my heart sang with joy.