Pairing: Gríowyn. (Gríma/Éowyn)
Disclaimer: J.R.R Tolkien is the man- you know, the man that you'd want to talk to regarding the ownership of these characters.
Note: Although it may seem it at first, this is not a "making Gríma seem like a creeper-stalker man" fiction. It will get better. (extends pinky) I promise.
'Pitiful, pale worm.'
This was the first thought of fair Éowyn, whose porcelain-skinned hand held a twig with which she prodded gently at a curious insect nestled in the dirt before her. Her naturally dark eyelashes nearly kissed her well-molded cheekbones while she observed the attempted escape of the larva. Those lush, pink lips curved at the corners in a serene smile.
Such a beautiful expression did not last long. Her thoughts turned to the very reason as to why she sat there in the plush, green grass, playing in the soil: to escape the stark, cold hallways of Meduseld, to escape those luminescent, blue orbs that recorded her every breath from the shadows merely for that small ounce of solace that the outdoors granted her, knowing that he wasn't stalking her in the darkness, undressing her with his eyes-
A shiver wracked her womanly frame at the idea of the pleasures Wormtongue must receive from frightening her so. Her icy stare focused on the worm that had managed to burrow its thick body halfway beneath the moist peat.
"In order to keep your life, you must burrow deeper and deeper beneath this weighted-down soil. Does it not smother you? Do you ever want to return to the surface for a breath of pure air?" she interrogated, her eyes soft to the grub.
Her thoughts once more took hold, drowning her. She knew of Gríma's oily tongue and that he had the heart of a betrayer. She could smell the deceit wafting from his dirty, warm-looking robes.
Éowyn straightened suddenly, her brow furrowed. "Warm-looking?"
The Shieldmaiden scoffed. She gathered herself, stood from her company of the grub and began up the path to the cool interior of Meduseld. Night drew soon nearer; the sun was nearly below the horizon at the time. She would not want to cause worry to her family for her absence when the sunlight was spent.
Her hair billowed behind her with a dusken breeze, her mind in heated reprimand of herself regarding the untrustworthy advisor's cloak.
"Honestly... I would rather be served unarmored as a meal to a feral warg than have such opinions," she announced to no one in particular of her previous opinion, save herself, as she had to reassure her loathing for the slimy, grey-skinned-
The boom of Éomer's voice in the vacant hall had caused her to visibly jump. She slid to the side, hiding herself behind a graciously wide pillar near the entrance. Her gaze was wary as she peered out from her refuge.
"Why do you stand idly by when you are to be searching the archives under Théoden King's order?" her elder brother growled at the greasy courtman.
"I was making way to the East Hall, as the desired record was not to be found in the West," was Wormtongue's reply, a sprinkle of hesitance among his carefully chosen words.
Éowyn allowed herself to feel prideful behind her disgust. She stepped out from behind the pillar, making it look like she had waltzed into the hall at the very moment that the confrontation between the men had begun to intensify.
She sent a brief smile her brother's way, holding her head high while skirting past Gríma. She could almost feel the chilling aura surrounding him follow her on her way to her chamber.
The hall was dark. Too dark. An unnatural dark.
A feeling of ice lodged deep in her belly caused her to shiver as she groped about, sightless, for a wall to guide her. 'What is this darkness? There were pairs of torches burning brightly but an hour ago down the whole of this hall!' she thought, incredulous.
Behind her, the sound of a weighted cloak swooshing around hurried footsteps echoed in the silence. Said steps were, from what she could tell, catching up with her at a formidable pace. A great wave of uneasetook over her.
She bet herself that it was the Wormtongue, scurrying after her with his excuse of looking for the desired scrolls in the East Hall, but she knew that he could craft any permit to haunt her steps.
She hastened and, listening fervently, she knew that her presumed pursuer was as well. Her icy gaze narrowed so to seek any detectable detail in the heavy dark. Ahead, she could see the outline of what appeared to be a large, misshapen man.
"Gamling?" she called, striding forward.
She was nearly able to reach out and touch the unnamed shape before her in the dark when suddenly a hand shot forth from behind to cover her mouth while another pulled her back by the waist. Her heart pounded fiercely within her chest. A scream built up inside her throat; she inhaled deeply to prepare, but she was silenced sharply.
"Dare you not breath a word, my Lady. So much as a murmur from your downy lips may relieve you of the privilege." The voice was nearly inaudible, however hot in her ear.
Éowyn's full lungs became lax; the hand slowly, reluctantly even, lifted from her lower jaw along with the hand at her abdomen. The tingling warmth of the informant behind her dissipated and the chill of the slimy, stone wall replaced it as she was guided to the side. Éowyn could sense the master of the whispered voice creeping closer to the hulking shadowed mass ahead. Closing her eyes to attune herself to the dark, she was able to hear all.
The faint 'pat' of lambskin boots against smooth stone floors, the frantic breathing that belonged to the owner of the creeping lambskin boots, the stealthy release of a dagger from its hilt, the rugged snorting of a bestial, daunting being. The sounds painted a picture in the princess's mind that the lightless area could not offer. She silenced her own breath even further, making it seem like she had vanished into the shadow.
At once, the picture of the scene faded from her train of thought when the sounds stopped suddenly. Swallowing to moisten her throat, she gripped the wall.
"G-Gamling...?" she whispered.
Her utterance was drowned out almost immediately by the panicked war-cry of a man and the tilling of a silver blade. A scuffle; thick material sliding along the floor; a heavy mass crumpling against stone; strangling silence.
Éowyn was sure that her body was numb. She forced her eyes open and at that moment, none other than Éomer burst onto the scene, bright and crackling torch in hand.
"Éowyn! What is this racket?! And this darkness?!" he demanded, surveying the area. The torch that he raised revealed all.
Sprawled on the floor was a horrific creature, one of formidable stature indeed, and seemingly one of fable. The General crept closer, seeing that the monstrosity made no move of alert. Placing the light to level of his eyes in order to see, his brows rose in disgust.
The beast's body was longer than a Man's with a far more muscular build, drowned in leather armors. The hands and feet were also eerily similar to a man's, only broader with large talons at the tips of each digit. However, over the hulking mystery beast's shoulders sat the head of an orc, disfigured from torture, branding and whips. Sparse patches of hair grew from the green-tinted scalp- stringy, dark. The dried, cracked lips were peeled back to reveal needle-like, jagged teeth of a dark coloration, and the monstrosity's golden eyes stared dull with death.
"Such an abhorrence..." Éomer muttered, his mane of golden waves shaking with his head in disdain. He turned then to his sister, who remained plastered against the wall. "Are you harmed, my sister?"
"No... I am well," she replied calmly, looking at the patchwork corpse upon the floor. Her steely grey eyes examined the scene, looking for an extra body which might belong to her savior. She spied none, much to her disappointment. Yet as she turned to alert a fellow courtier of the event that had just transpired, a small movement caught her attention.
A pale hand twitched a finger from beneath the orcen beast. The pallor was easily recognizable. Suddenly, the hand fisted and forth from beneath the muscular beast came Gríma Wormtongue.
"Counselor!" she gasped, kneeling by his side. Normally she would have been more than ecstatic to see the grey-skinned liar buried beneath the weight of corpses, hopefully with him in the same condition, but the moment was not nearly appropriate. She knew.
"Éowyn, stand by the Worm," Éomer instructed of her. "I will alert the King." He hastened away once she had given him a nod of consent. His torch remained in a grasp affixed to the wall, allowing the maiden to keep a better eye on her charge.
The blond shifted closer to the corpse, her brow furrowed and nostrils flared due to the foul odor wafting from its hulking body in an attempt to roll it off of the adviser, but he grabbed her wrist. She peered curiously at the raven-haired man, whose piercing blue eyes pleaded her not to.
"I am offering my aid to you, Worm, and you refuse me? I have thoughts that would lead me to think of this moment as a sick dream of yours," she snapped, her stare fierce.
Gríma shook his head, licking his lips hesitantly. "Oh, my Lady, do not doubt that I would greatly cherish your aid more than all of the gold in Gondor," he answered, his tone dripping with sexual longing. Of course the greasy guru would think of the perverse side of the phrase. However, rarely had he done anything to refuse the princess, especially when she had offered her help. He released her wrist, but held up his hand as if to tell her, 'Stop, don't.'
He managed to squirm out from beneath the behemoth, wrapping his cloak around his body quickly. Although the fabric stunk of oversized orc, he bore it. He could not let her see him grovel. She already thought him weak; he could not bear it if she scorned him again. Not this day.
Éowyn stood against the wall, watching his every move.
Gríma lifted himself to his feet, using the opposite wall for support. His teeth dug into his lower lip, and a cold sweat glistened across his line-creased forehead in the glow of the fire. His inner thigh burned; five inches of cold, Mordorian steel cutting deeper into his near-white flesh.
"You tremble," she spoke, her voice strong however still shaken from the attack. "From the adrenaline of your," she paused, seeming to have difficulty speaking the word, "noble act?"
"My lady, I tremble for no act. Merely your golden breath sends shivers down this wretched man's body," he replied softly.
"Spare me your twisted words! I have no desire to hear your voice speak of me in such a manner." She pushed from the wall, approaching him in a dangerous way. "You will keep your poisoned thoughts within the barrier of what mind you may have. Poison me not, for I will not succumb."
His eyes shifted, darting about for a moment like he was guilty of a crime. His grey lips were licked once, twice.
"Although..." Éowyn glanced from the corner of her steely silver eyes at the fallen mass, the black blood that drained from its neck wound reflecting the flickering flame that hung on the wall. She straightened herself, stepping an inch closer to the adviser. "I will acknowledge that you have kept my life. Expect no thanks from me, but-" She swallowed, finishing her oath through a dry throat. She had to uphold the honor of her family and to do that, she must act honorably toward the one who spared her life.
"But I will allow you to call on me. Once. I am... in... your debt."
The expression of worried guilt melted into one of wonder, then to smug assurance, which flashed into watered-down look of acceptance. As best that he could, he knelt before her, wincing when the knife threatened to kiss his bone. His lips parted to speak, his hands lifted in a manner suggesting that plenty of gesturing was about to take place.
"Counselor!" Once more did Éomer's voice ring, interrupting ever more. "Théoden King is aware of this intruder and sends word to the guard. We will now be stationed around the city, beginning this night." Beneath his thick brows, his eyes bore into Théoden's Shadow with an near-uncontained fury. He leaned in close to Wormtongue, his hateful breath burning on the pale man's ear.
"Because I am farther from my sister's side this night and beyond does not grant her to you. I will be watching." Éomer righted himself, taking the blond woman's wrist gently upon his fingertips. "Come, my sister. You must recount your tale of bravery to Théoden King and the guard!"
A sheepish grin overtook her lush lips. She had not slain the orc-creature. Her dagger remained at her side, unsoiled. Yet she knew that she couldn't give credit to the one who had truly slit the horror's throat, as Éomer and all others who attended the court would laugh at the very thought.
Walking beside her brother, she closed her eyes. Willing herself, she managed a single, unclouded thought before she entered the booming hall, filled with cheers and congratulations of her success.
'I thank you this once, Worm. Just this once.'
In the moist, dim confines of his quarters, Gríma bled. His thigh quivered around the thin blade, and the fine trails of deep crimson blood spidered out around the wound, sliding down his calf. His forehead dripped with a cold sweat.
'My Lady... The price of your life is worth more than a Mordorian buttering knife in my thigh, no. Should you have been truly avenged, I would be dead thrice over for the harm that I have done,' he mused to himself.
He brushed his heavy cloak aside, the weight nearly bringing him to his knees. In his exhausted annoyance, he stripped himself of it, revealing his ornate, dark overclothing and thin leggings.
The wall was cool behind his fevered body, his lungs heaving while he wrapped his hands around the blade of the dagger. His lower lip was bitten down, alongside a sharp intake of breath before the blade was jerked forward.
Gríma, son of Gálmód, did not know from what depth of his bowels the cry bubbled from, but it was an unknown sound to his ear. His shriek of pain echoed briefly across the barren walls of his corner in Meduseld; he scoffed at himself as the remaining two inches of the blade slowly slid from their raw wound casing.
"Perhaps a nearby pack of wargs will come to investigate, believing that the cry came from their young," he sneered to no one in particular.
He slumped to the ground, his lambskin boots smearing blood along the stone floor. He rested his head back against the smooth stone wall, his browless eyes closed and dark around the lids. A knock on his door opened his weary, ice blue eyes.
"...I have been sent to inform you that your place is requested at the feast this night, Lord Counselor."
He knew that voice- no mere handmaid could sound so majestic, so flawless, so golden. It was she who came, she... the White Lady. Swallowing to wet his screaming throat, he managed to make a noise, though not one of coherence. All that could escape his parched, grey lips were gasps for air. He had forgotten; the Mordorian daggers were not only a gift from Saruman made by the most grisly of orc smithies, but their tips carried poisons that could melt the heart of even the most fearsome dragon, if dosed enough.
"Lord Counselor, if you will not attend, the least that I demand is an answer. I will not be ignored." Éowyn was beginning to become restless behind the heavy wooden door. In the now well-lit hall, she crossed her arms and leaned on one hip.
"M... My L-Lady..." he finally choked out.
"You speak at last. Tell me your answer, Worm." Her tone was no longer patient. It was against the unspoken law of women not to enter a man's quarters without being told to do so, or further invited. However, she was the White Lady of Rohan. She was higher in rank than some greasy scribe who flattered her uncle with his dark words. Her hands unfolded to press against the soothing, worn surface of the wooden door. She could feel him behind it, which willed her to push it inward, in toward the dim light of Grima's private room.
Her heart caught in her throat at the sight; the quite literal white-skinned man she so loathed sitting against the dark stone walls of his quarters, his darkly circled eyes growing cloudier by the moment. She observed the blood that glittered from the lights of merriment that poured from the hall behind her, tracing it to his leg. She knew that she would now have to owe him two favors: one for saving her life from the orc-creature, a second for nearly giving his life in the process.
Éowyn knelt beside him, touching his forehead. She knew not why she sought to aid this sad creature, but she was indeed compelled. She felt the clammy skin of his forehead, taking his chin in her fingers firmly.
"Tell me what ails you," she commanded quietly. She did not want anyone passing to risk stumbling upon them before she had completed her task.
"Dagger..." he choked, "Poison... in the tip..."
Nodding, she traced the blood trail to the slit in his upper thigh. She ripped open the dark tights with her fingers, revealing a purpled bruise around the deep cut. She used a scrap of her own dress to clean around it before tying her hair back with a ribbon and leaning in.
When her plump, pink lips closed around the wound and he felt her sweet breath drawing the very blood from his veins, Gríma, son of Gálmód, had a revelation of death. He saw his mother from when he was a young boy, her dark hair, shining skin and soothing brown eyes drawing him into a memory. He recalled her own lips on his kneecap, a poorly protected area by his sensitive skin, kissing away the pain of the latest scrape.
Éowyn withdrew, a mouthful of tainted blood burning her tongue, spitting the liquid to the side. She hesitated only a moment, the look of saturated peace that ruled his expression. She was able to see his eyes clearly for once in the entirety of her lifetime; they were not overshadowed his his hairless brow, they were not drowned by the shadows of the dark circles beneath his eyes or his raven black, wavy hair. No. They were the clearest blue she had ever seen.
'Curious that such clear eyes belong to such a clouded character,' she thought to herself, bending over the wound.
As she sucked the dark liquid from his bloodstream, he felt a surge of desire like never before. So close was she to his groin... Her warm puffs of air landed on the outer fabric of his leggings, the light heat seeping onto his engorging flesh.
He shuddered, biting his tongue to prevent any unprofessional thoughts or events from occurring. 'Like such would take place. My Éowyn... She would have her own dagger at my throat the moment that I dared move toward her. And yet I crave her so. What is it that brings me to my knees before her if I would, like a groveling commoner? Be it her lustrous locks, the spun gold that flies out behind her as she walks? Be it the power in her voice, the strong, unyielding vigor what rivals the men of the hall? I know not what draws me into her. I do not wish to know. For, it is something that no mortal man should ever see of a woman. It is her own mystery, her secrets of her innermost self, her mind what captivate me, what cage me like a bird. And it is she who fears being caged, when I would not mind it if it were she who had captured me.'
He spun these thoughts of his golden lady as she dipped her head at his leg, siphoning out the last of the lethal waters.
Those in the hall were busied with drink and merriment. Their joyful din could be heard at the base of Rohan, where the field grass swayed in the nighttime breezes. Théoden King noticed the absence of his sister-daughter, whispering word to Éomer to trail her to the West Hall; the lair of Gríma.
The ireful General took the task all too willingly. He strode quickly into the hall, whose walls danced with the flames of torches. His nose wrinkled as a dog's might at smelling something unsettling. He arrived at the door to the Worm's quarters. It was opened. His brow furrowed deeply when he entered.
His heart nearly burst within his chest. His sister, fair Éowyn of Rohan, whose golden locks trailed down her arched back with a breath of completion and who sat before the pale Worm, the despicable man, looking rather pleased with himself.
"What... treason is this?!" he roared, grabbing Gríma by the collar of his dark underclothing. He held the grey-skinned man to his nose, which released hot fumes of hatred.
"Éomer! Release him!" she fought, touching his arm aggressively.
"You have ventured too far on the forbidden land, Worm. I shall name my sword the bird who will snatch your life from the damp ground and consume it!" Éomer's rage was like none before.
"Brother! Stop this! His wound is deep. I do not stand in defense for him-" Éowyn attempted.
"Then why do you speak!" was the outraged reply.
"He vouched for my life, brother. It was Gríma who slew the orc-beast, not I. You knew this to be true. You saw him emerge from beneath the creature and do not deny it under pain of my blade!"
Éowyn watched with cold, pleased eyes when the Wormtongue was dropped to the floor. She glared at her brother, whose gaze was as hard as the stone holding up Meduseld. Her lips pursed before she spoke again.
"His daggers hold poisons within their tip, and when he slew the beast, he fell on one. I came to fetch him as desired by Théoden King to join the feast this night, and had I not siphoned the poisons from his body, there would be no Counselor left for you to hate," she explained, her tone remaining venomous.
"You speak of my hate, but tell me; what of yours? Have your feelings towards this—this coward wavered toward the better because he has kept your life?" Éomer squared his shoulders, standing tall over the black ball at her feet that was Wormtongue.
A moment of silence passed over the trio. Éowyn glanced surreptitiously at the man whose face, though she could hardly tell, had colored up some in the mere moments that she had driven the dirtied blood from his veins. She looked to her brother, stepping over the adviser.
Such a single word could have brought his doom, thought Gríma. He had never felt so defeated. Not even as she extended her hand for him to take and his cloak for him to don to the feast did replenish his smug feelings previous.
"We join Théoden King at the feast," she said, matter-of-fact, with Éomer walking a cautious foot ahead of them to the doorway. Éowyn leaned towards Gríma in that moment, muttering, "If you speak a word of this, I will have you fall on your daggers again, but if you choose to live, you must bleed yourself dry."
With a swish of her golden locks, she vanished from the room. Her brother followed after casting the beaten counselman a look of victorious loathing.
Gríma attended the feast silently, watching as the one he treasured most danced merrily among the men of the guard. His hatred towards Éomer festered like a boil on an old man's back; soon it might explode, and the ending result could wind up being dire. But for the moment, he watched without word behind his King's throne, just another shadow in the dusk of the eve.
For a brief moment, his eyes met Éowyn's; azure blue against steely cold grey. She knew that she owed him two favors. Two chances to call on her as he saw fit, and she was to oblige. He knew that he had those chances then. His mind wrestled with using them against her to finally obtain what he wanted; to finally be able to taste her fair flesh under his tongue without worry of her striking out or anyone interfering, to be able to claim her virginity over her and to hold his form with hers in a cocoon of animal furs. How he longed for it. His tongue traced the outline of his thin lips greedily, but his expression turned to shame of himself.
He could not disgrace her. Not after what she had done for him. She had taken the poison, kept it from reaching his heart. She had managed to do that in more ways than one. He made forth an oath at that very moment from within the shadow of the King's throne.
He vowed to aid Rohan with his words, to lead the King in decision-making to benefit the kingdom. He would bite back his foul, tricksey words. He was going to become a Pure of Tongue yet again, just as he was when he was younger; back when he had seen his Éowyn for the first time, frolicking in the court garden with flowers in her hair.
Author's Note: Thank you for all who have read so far. As you can tell, this is somewhat in an Alternate Universe; Théoden isn't a tottering old man and Éomer is a bit more of a protective brother and less of an asshole. Aah... This is written, somewhat, for a one Auri Mynonys (and it still is!). I'm sure she gets many Griowyn fiction dedications, but... Oh well. I hope that my words will continue to please.