Realization
by SkyFire

Disclaimer: Not mine. *sob* Wish they were. Clones welcome. ;o)

A/N: 1)Wow! Thanks for all the great reviews for 'Partings'! Yeah, it's one of my better ones, if
I do say so myself. I only hope I can write something that good again!

2)This fic taken place directly after "Partings," so you kinda have to read that one first to
know what's going on. Yes, this is a sequel, sort of. I'm thinking of writing a few short
Celeborn-snippets to go with these two, and perhaps a few Galadriel ones, if anyone would want
some of those. Let me know, hmm? ;)

3)Thoughts, as always in my fic, are in / /, emphasis is in * *.


Please review!

*****
Realization
by SkyFire


That evening, Galdriel returned to the quarters she shared with Celeborn to find the rooms dark.

/Why did he not light the lamps for me?/ she wondered. /He usually arrives here before I do on
'garden-days.'/

Gracefully, she moved around the room, lighting the lamps, chasing away the shadows of the room.
She stared for a short while at the fire-stick in her hand before blowing it out.

/Such a little thing, to chase away the shadows of an entire room,/ she thought. /Perhaps the
tiny Fellowship *shall* be able to chase away the deepening shadows of Mordor./

The day's reports ran through her head as she went into their bedroom, leaving the lamps burning
for Celeborn's return. The vague thought that perhaps Celeborn had fallen into thought and lost
track of time, as he sometimes did, was proven false upon seeing the empty room.

/What occupies him so late? The Galadhrim know to bring reports to me. What is he doing, then?/

A small frown marred her smooth forehead even as she removed the silver, pearled diadem Celeborn
had had made for her several millenia before. The frown smoothed out as she sat on a padded
chair and drew her brush through her long golden hair in a soothing, repetitive motion.

Once her hair was done, she took off the white robes she wore, pulled on her nightgown and went
over to the bed. She lit the lamp on the small table on Celeborn's side, blew out the other
lamps in the room, then slid into bed. She shivered at the touch of the cold sheets; usually by
the time she went to bed, they were already warmed slightly by Celeborn's body heat.

She lay awake on her side of the bed for a time, mind still mostly focused on the day's problems
and the growing shadow across all of Middle-Earth, even as the small remainder of her awareness
was focused upon listening for Celeborn's return.

Galadriel fell asleep, still waiting.

***

She awoke in the grey light of false dawn and sat up in bed, looking around. She frowned.

Celeborn's side of the bed was still empty.

/Where is he? He usually sleeps later than I./

She remembered easily the many times she'd awakened early and simply watched him sleeping there,
his silver hair spread out against the soft grey pillows, his face relaxed and carefree as it
never was when he was awake.

She slid a hand across the bed to where he should have lain. The sheets were not cold, but they
were not as warm as they would have been had he risen not long before. She frowned slightly, her
frown deepening upon seeing the lamp at his bedside still burning.

Then she rose from the bed, blew out the lamp. She pondered the unheard-of occurrence as she
brushed out her golden hair until it gleamed before binding it up the way she had for millenia.
She dressed in a clean set of white robes, then went out into the outer chamber.

The lamps there were still burning, as well. She blew them out on her way past them.

/He did not return last night. Perhaps he had another restless night and wandered the city, as
he sometimes does. Or perhaps he spent the night in study./

She made a mental note to ask him about his absence when she saw him that night. But for now,
she had a full day of 'gardening' ahead of her. Already, she could see one of the border-guards
approaching, face grim.

/I am Galadriel, Lady of the Galadhrim Elves of Lorien,/ she thought to herself. /Lady of a
fading people in a world beset by Shadow. I am Gladriel, wielder of Nenya of the Three. I must
hold fast against the power of Sauron. And yet he searches always and the shadows deepen. The
time is not far for the Elves to leave Middle-Earth forever. I have not the time to worry about
one night's absence./

She made her way to her garden, sat upon her seat there, the small puzzle of Celeborn's absence
getting pushed aside in her mind by more immediate problems; orcs and other foul creatures were
becoming more bold in their testing of Lothlorien's borders.

***

It was over a week later that the puzzle of Celeborn drew her attention once more, this time for
longer than a brief moment of annoyance.

/Where is he?/ she wondered as she made her way over to the concealed clearing where her Mirror
waited. /He has not been to bed for over a week. What so occupies his attention that he
neglects me as he has never done before?/

Reaching the clearing, she poured clear water into the waiting basin, then put the pitcher back
in its place. She went to stand beside the Mirror, stared into its depths.

At first, she saw only herself, then the image dissolved, reforming to show yet another orcish
attempt to penetrate Lorien's borders. She watched only long enough to see Haldir's border-guards
repel the assault, then once more bent her will toward finding her Lord.

Silvery mallorn-trees blurred in her Mirror, reformed into the browns and greens of lands outside
Lothlorien's borders. Mighty trees rose in the vision, the woods thick with an air of almost
disuse, of age. For a long time, she stared down at the image of unfamiliar trees, a frown on
her face.

/What has this to do with my Lord?/ she wondered. /Is it this forest that fills his thoughts?
Which forest is this? Why is my Mirror showing it to me?/

She tried to focus her will even more toward finding Celeborn, but the image didn't change.

Then she saw a faint movement, a flash of grey amongst the rich forest-colors. She brought that
movement into focus, saw that it was made by an Elf in Galadhrim grey. His hair was bound in an
archer's braids.

/A Galadhrim archer? What has he to do with Celeborn's absence from my bed?/ Then another
thought occurred to her. /Who is this archer? I have sent none forth from Lorien since
messengers were sent to Elrond's council in Imladris. Who is he? Did Celeborn send him on some
errand?/

Then the archer in the mirror looked around the forest he was in, apparently searching for
something. Not finding it, he turned back to his path, went forward slowly, his pace unhurried.

Galadriel gasped in shock upon seeing the archer's face. Despite the slight smudges of dirt and
trail-grime, she easily recognised him; his was a face she'd seen every day for millenia.

/Celeborn? He has left Lothlorien, left *me*?/

She shook her head, banishing the Mirror's visions even as they became a great lidless eye. She
recalled then that the Mirror's sense of time was somewhat unpredictable; the vision could have
been from any time: past, present, or future.

Hurriedly, she left the clearing, slowing to a dignified walk before she was seen. The look on
her face warned away those who would have had her pause to speak with them. Quickly, she made her
way to their rooms, looked around them with new eyes.

The rooms felt... empty, abandoned and... sad. Quick eyes flicked across the outer room,
searching for Celeborn's things, for some hint as to the Mirror's timeframe. Seeing nothing out
of place, she went into their bedroom, then over to the coffer where he kept those things most
precious to him.

It was empty.

The Mirror was right. Celeborn had left Lorien. He had been gone for over a week and today was
the first time she had given so much as a second thought to his absence.

/How did we grow so far apart?/ she wondered. She sat down on the bed with a sigh. /Wherever
you travel, my Lord, know that once you had the love of the Lady Galadriel. I wish you well on
your journeys. May you find light and laughter even in these dark days./

Then her moment of introspection was shattered as a pair of border-guards caught her eye from the
doorway.

With a silent sigh, she stood, made her way back to her garden; there were things to attend to.

/And so ends the Age of Galadriel and Celeborn,/ she thought. /Wander as you must, my Lord, then
return. Lothlorien is your home, and your place is with Galadriel./

Then the reports took up her full attention.

END


So... What did you think? Not as angsty as the first one, but did you like it anyway? It seemed
to me that she was not being nasty; she was just really, really distracted by Mordor's threat, to
the neglect of all else.

Should I write more snippets in the line of these two fic? Anyways, let me know what you thought
about this one, hmm? My plotbunnies wanna know! *g*