Title: Moonlit Dance
Author: Amy Fortuna
Pairing: Galadriel/Luthien
Rating: PG-13
Archive: Yes.
Feedback: Give it to me, baby!
Disclaimer: Characters/settings belong to Tolkien. *sigh* The phrasing belongs to me. *perk*
Summary: Luthien teaches Galadriel (Artanis) a new dance.

----

And the wonder of your beauty sends me reeling. I stand dazed as though by the sun, struck down in an instant by the sharp glance of your eyes.

For a moment I wonder if I am caught in a dream. Then I look up, take a breath, and see the feasters making merry at their tables, all busied with their own pleasure.

Luthien, Luthien, fairest child of the Elf-kin! You do not know what spell you have cast over the heart of your maiden.

I am Nerwen, Artanis of the Noldor, and I have journeyed through pain and sorrow to find you here. Many have sought my hand, but all I have refused, desiring none to tie me to himself. I have been even as one of my brothers, fighting beside them, weeping tears with them, and binding up their wounds from the wars with Morgoth. And you, untouched fairness, have danced your life away.

No, Luthien, I am not jealous. I am only a little lost in your eyes. My fingers ache with a sudden yearning to trace the curve of your dress along your milk-white skin. My ears suddenly hunger to hear you whisper my name in passion. My eyes are seized with a swift desire to watch you lose yourself to my touch. My lips, too, have made their wishes known -- they desire to be pressed to yours.

Shaking, I bring myself back to silence, and bow before your father and mother, in all graciousness.

"We have heard of you, O great King," my brother Finrod says. "Kin you are to us, for we are kin of Olwe, and you, we know, are his brother. Therefore, we have come from Valinor to greet you and to aid in the war against the Enemy. I bring with me my sister, Artanis. My brother Angrod you have met in council before as my messenger."

In the long-silence that follows, my eyes wander to you again, and I see beside you, two of the Elf-kin standing, one dark-haired, bearing a flute, the other silver-haired, steady and calm. I only glance at them, and again look at you.

Your eyes, too, wander. Suddenly our eyes meet. There is laughter concealed deep in yours, and you spare me the smallest of welcoming smiles. We have met, and know each other to be beautiful.

"You are welcome, honored guests," the King says at last.

----

Time in these halls passes slow, fair princess. You become my every thought and my only desire is to see you and speak with you again. You dance the woods of Doriath in the nights, the whisper comes to my ears, and so, one moonlit night, I find myself wandering the forest paths, aching for a mere glimpse of you.

And there I find you, caught hair in the wind, feet flying over the ground to a hidden tune. I have never been a dancer, but my feet desire to fly to yours, to follow your steps with joyous abandon. I stand silent, prisoned by your grace.

When at last the music ceases, and you sweep a gracious bow to the flutist, I find myself released from your spell, and I hurry to your side, to greet you.

"Lady of Doriath, fairest of all dancers," I say, my hands reaching out to you almost of their own will.

"The Lady Artanis," you return, and you breathe in a long deep breath, smiling. Then you take my hands.

Not for nothing are you daughter of a Maia. I find myself looking at your beauty with such wonder that I cannot conceal my admiration.

"It is good to dance alone, wild and free, no bindings on movement," you whisper. "But it is better to dance with someone at your side, to learn the passion and power of another's beauty bound to your own." You look at me and draw close. "Will you dance with me, Lady of the Noldor?"

Your dark eyes plead up at me, and I cannot help but consent. "I am but a poor dancer," I say. "Yet if it is your will, I will dance with you."

You turn away from me and look toward the shadows, where I see Daeron, afterward called the Dark, regarding us.

"We need no music, fair friend," you tell him. "Go to your rest."

He steps into the moonlight for a moment and bows before us. "Farewell then, my lady Luthien, and you, honored guest of Thingol, lady Artanis." He vanishes back into the shadows and is gone.

"Lady Artanis," you say to me, and there is a new delight in your tone. You look at me as though you were tracing my face with your eyes. "You are fair indeed."

"What dance is this?" I say, and my voice is shaking.

"I think you know," you whisper. "I saw it in your eyes. I see it in the way you look at me, the way you watched me. We need no music for this dance, nor would it be right to let Daeron see this, dear friend though he is to me."

"You see aright," I answer softly.

I do not know who first moves, I know only that your kiss is the sweetest of all things.

We embrace there in the moonlit midnight and the stars laugh as we dance. The dark shadow of you shines into my skin, and my goldlit hair lies tangled against your breast. Time ceases and in all the worlds, I know only you.

Morning finds us sleeping, arms about each other, garments disheveled.

Time, the thief of all, steals you from me, and a love deeper than that which you and I knew takes you through darkness into death.

But still I remember the curve of your lips and the way your eyes regarded me. Still, and often, do I look back in time, and recall, there in moonlit quiet, our mysterious dance.

END