Hunger For Me

by Thyme In Her Eyes

Author's Note: Just to disclaim, I don't own the characters. This is my first ever attempt at a LOTR fanfic and is a strictly movieverse piece, so please keep that in mind. Basically, I saw TTT on the television a couple of nights ago and couldn't resist exploring the relationship between Grima and Eowyn. All feedback is appreciated.

-- HUNGER FOR ME --

'Tis not the meat, but 'tis the appetite
Makes eating a delight...

– Sir John Suckling.

x-x-x

She could count all the instances when she had seen him eat on one hand. It would be easier to perhaps imagine that he did not eat at all, that darkness and blood were all that sustained him, but Eowyn, daughter of Eomund, was not one to know such luck. Her uncle's counsellor was not a man who liked to take his meal in the company of others, but he was a man nonetheless, and needed to be fed. Eowyn had seen this with her own eyes, though not often. She had seen proof enough of Wormtongue's humanity and mortality, these rare instances could fill up a whole hand. Such thoughts made her skin grow cold and her sword-hand quiver in protest.

During the great feasts in the time of her hall's former glory, she had observed him and noted with distaste how he only sampled scraps off his own plate and ate like a bird might. Her mind had quivered in revulsion and utter rejection at the comparison she had composed, and still rebelled even as she looked back and recalled those innocent impressions. The description had been too timid, too delicate to ever be fitting for a creature such as Wormtongue, but Eowyn could still, and without any great effort, summon up the image of his eyes darting wildly as he took his meal hastily and with unnatural precision and tidiness. The suggestion conjured by his movements was of a small and flitting thing, a bird she may have smiled to see in her tenderer moments. He, who she so often envisioned as a low snake. It was a sight disturbing in its innocence and harmlessness, and the very reason the image still stood so stark and strong inside her memory.

When he gazed upon her, he resembled an entirely different bird. With her, he was a glutton and a predator, his hunger undisguised and gleaming. He pecked away at her defenses, grasped talons into her flesh and spirit alike, and tore at her happiness, ripping it from her like a string of meat. His eyes followed her, vigilant and greedy for signs of weakness, knowing when to strike. Like every skilled hunter, he could paralyze her with a look, and leech away all ability and even all will to scorn him and run from his presence.

She walked as one dead, haunting the rooms which had once been her home. Her own appetite withered and a sickness lay heavily inside her stomach whenever he touched her without invitation and sampled her with cold fingertips. Her strength was a pale ghost and her resolve flickered weaker than a dying candle. And like a foul carrion-eater, he still fed on her corpse, on the weak and fading thing that had once been the White Lady of Rohan, and was sated by her despair. The ruin of her world pleased and sustained him as the cold of her loneliness filled and strengthened him. More and more, he came to resemble the birds of his chosen master.

He stalked her as a bird of prey, following her movements from places beyond her sight or reach, gaging her strength. With each strike, he took plenty of her, but left her knowing that he would never have his fill. He always returned, shadowing her steps in starved desperation, pulling at what scraps he could find. Often, she wondered in misery what made him so hungry, so mad with craving. He had been ravenous for as long as she had known him, and perhaps had been so for even longer. If she could only find the thing within in her he craved so much, she would have happily cut it from her, paying no heed to what it might cost her to do so. Freed, she would have cast the terrible thing far away from her for him to follow. Anything so that he would look to her no more, and that his hunger would be gone, never to trouble her more.

To survive, Eowyn had to feel at and learn the contours of his obsession. Her eyes learned to watch him as carefully as his own haunted her. She had to understand its habits, its patterns – all to better avoid him, but in doing so, she could not help learning much about the man himself, and noting the shifting shapes of his interest in her. Sickened, she often realized that she had become quite a scholar on the nature of her hunter, and her lowest moments were when she fleetingly imagined how he might taste, and if there was a perverse vengeance to be found in tearing at his flesh.

One of the things she had come to understand was that it was not love or lust that drove him, that encouraged his flesh to seek out her own, but hunger. With each passing day, he ate away at her, taking great pieces in each encounter until she no longer knew herself. And he would not stop until he was shot down from the heights he had scaled, his feathered plucked and his neck broken. Until that time came, if ever it would, he would always seek to fill that gaping maw of emptiness within himself with all that he could steal from her.

She often looked into his starving and salivating eyes, and could clearly see the future he envisioned for them there. The days there were dark. He awaited the time when he could taste more of her than the scraps he won from her now, for the day when he would consume her entirely; feast on her flesh and lick at her very bones. Then she would be his, and he would reenact the legends of old and tear out her most vital parts night after night, only to find her restored and ready to be devoured once more each time the sun turned its face from the sky.

She saw through his lies and hunger, through blood, bone and brain, and his desires lay in plain sight, awaiting her. She recoiled and deliberated, choked by the darkness of her chambers and his growing proximity to her, and the hunger in his pale blue eyes, a hunger that was disguised less and less each day. To look at him was to see his anticipation, to feel him imagining that first delirious taste. He whetted his lips and her stomach tightened and twisted.

She was greatly afraid, but refused to run and play rabbit. Perhaps this would only entice him all the more, but she did not care. To fight was in her nature, and it coursed through her blood. Eowyn determined to struggle and flail until her limbs were no more, until he had taken everything. Silently, she vowed that she would not be defeated until he plucked the rebellious and defiant heart from her breast and held it between his teeth.

-- FIN --