Title: So Broken
Author: Amy Fortuna (amyfortuna@yahoo.com)
Pairing: Aragorn/Frodo, kind of, not really, very vaguely. Call it pre-slash.
Rating: PG
Summary: Grief in the afternoon of Lorien.
Notes: An attempt at LOTR smarm for my friend Lucy. :)

----

Aragorn, I am so broken.

I whisper the words out to an unhearing world. I am so weary, so grieved. I wish I could pass this burden on, that someone else could do this.

But I cannot, because no one else can carry this. Galadriel would fall too easily under its spell. Indeed, she is tempted, very tempted, and I almost fear her now. A little.

Boromir is falling. Legolas and Gimli remain untroubled by the Ring and its seductive voice, but for how long?

And you. I have never doubted you. You promised me. You gave me a vow. And I trust that. I trust you.

But I am so broken.

You would not let us cry when Gandalf fell, though I saw agony write itself across your face. You led us, saved us, protected us.

You would not let us cry. Oh Aragorn, you would not let us mourn then. You would not mourn then.

Oh Aragorn, I am so broken! He is dead, and now the tears will not come.

----

Silence writes itself across the afternoon of a Lorien day, and I lay down to try and sleep. You have been away from our side all this morning, talking with the Lady, I believe. No one else is here with me; even my faithful Sam has departed.

And you come to me, footsteps almost as silent as a hobbit's, and creep into the shelter of the tree where I lie.

"Frodo," you whisper. "Are you well?"

"I am grieving," I answer. Sadness wells up inside me, and I seize hold of your hand, pulling you down beside me. "I cannot cry enough."

"There is a time for grief," you say, hand brushing across my forehead, fingering through my hair. "And there is a time to let go."

"You're saying it's time to let go," I state, coldly, and push myself away from you.

Your next words surprise me. Your eyes go tender, and you draw me back to you, into your arms. "No, Frodo," you whisper, your hands in my hair. "Grieve a little longer. I too loved him. I too miss him."

Your voice breaks, and suddenly I am weeping into your shoulder, shaking hard against you. You simply hold me as I cry, laying kisses on my forehead, in my hair, kisses meant to comfort.

And I am comforted. The grief in my chest unknots, and I feel weak. Carefully, you lay me down on the blankets, silent, curl your body around mine, and close your eyes.

I bring your hand to my lips and kiss it.

"Thank you," I whisper, and though your eyes do not open, I know you hear me.

END