Note: Set in the movie-verse, not in the book-verse. Set after Eomer's banishment in the film 'The Two Towers.'
Author: Karen U
Characters: Eomer, Eowyn
Disclaimer: All characters were created by JRR Tolkien and belong to the Tolkien estate
Distribution: ask first
Spoilers: This is fanfic for the movie-verse, rather than the book. Set after Eomer is banished from Rohan in the film The Two Towers, but before Theodred dies. (Theodred is badly wounded.)
Summary: Eomer does one last thing before leaving Edoras...
This land is no longer my home. I have been forced away from the place that I call home, banished from the land that I have grown up in.
I know not what to do.
To fight would mean my life, so instead I leave. Or, in truth, I allow them to believe that I have left. I cannot leave, not yet. I cannot desert her. She is all I have left. I am her brother, her protector, though she claims not to need one.
She cries at night; I know this. She cries for our land, for the loss of our parents when we were so very young. She grieves for our cousin Theodred as if he were already dead, though we both know his death is coming soon. Rohan will be left without its heir, and the king does not seem to understand. He does not seem to care.
A dark spell is throughout this land.
The white wizard is cunning, and his servants are as well. His servant inside the home of the king is most cunning, turning king against friend and family. Against me. I have lost my parents, my home, my cousin is near death, and my uncle seems to have fallen to darkness. She is all I have left, as I am all that she has left. I will not leave her unprotected.
The knife in my hand feels heavy and odd, as I am used to sword or spear, but neither sword nor spear would work for what it is that I must do. They are too unwieldy for this task. The last task I must do before I leave.
My footfalls are soft and quiet, as silent as when I am hunting, and in truth, that is what I am doing. I am on the hunt. On the hunt for a snake. He slithers through the land like a serpent, hiding his true intent, hunting and stalking his prey until it is time, then he springs forward, capturing it in his teeth and never letting go. I am not blind, nor am I stupid. I know what prey it is that he truly seeks. And he shall never have her.
His room is cold as I enter it, as cold as the man it holds within, and my eyes find him easily in the dark. His hair is black as coal, his skin so pale it seems he is a man that has never seen the sun. The sight of him brings a wave of sickness and loathing over me, and the rage I feel makes me tighten my grip on the knife I hold.
I approach him slowly, taking care not to wake him, as it would not do to let him wake and scream. I wish to see his eyes as I drive my knife into his gut and bleed his life away, but I know that I cannot. Watching his eyes while I kill him would mean that he would have to be awake, and being awake would give him time to scream, time to have me stopped. I do not care about being caught; my life is forfeit if it means that I can save my sister, but I cannot be caught before I do this deed.
I stand over him for a moment, the snake that has sold my uncle so many lies, and then I lift the knife in my hand, bringing the sharp edge to his throat, wishing I could do him more violence for the pain and grief he has caused, but knowing that I have little time. The slash across his throat is quick and true, his lifeblood beginning to bleed out almost instantly as his eyes spring open, and I know then that I will be given the chance to see him die, to see the evil light fade from his pale eyes.
He gasps as he looks up at me, the blood making a gurgling sound in his throat, and as I look at him a sudden viciousness captures me, and I force the knife into his chest, burying it to the hilt before pulling it out again. The shock is frozen on his face as the life bleeds out of him, and I slowly wipe my knife clean before going to slip out of the window.
As I make my way to the stone walk outside, I look across to see my sister's window, and the desire to see her one last time, this little sister I have spent my life protecting, nearly overwhelms me. I know I have not much time, but I hurry to her window anyway, looking in on her as she sleeps. I have heard many men say she is both fair and cold, but I see her as the child she once was, the small little girl weeping because our father will not be coming back.
Her eyes flutter open suddenly, as if perhaps she feels the weight of my gaze, and I am unable to hide myself away before she sees me, her eyes widening as she sits up.
Her voice is soft, trembling, as if she cannot believe that I am here. I smile at her.
Eowyn is on her feet immediately, reaching through the window to pull me into a hug, and I hug her back, holding her tightly against me.
"What are you doing here? You are banished. If they catch you-"
"They will not. I am leaving now, and I cannot come back, Eowyn," I tell her, seeing the tears in her eyes and hating them.
"Then take me with you. Do not leave me here," she begs, her hands on my shoulders, and I know it bruises her heart when I shake my head.
"I cannot do that, sister. You must stay here, and you must stay strong. The people look to you for strength as the strength of the king is failing. You are all they have. Please, Eowyn. Stay here, and be strong," I whisper, hating the sight of tears in my sister's eyes, but she nods her head slowly, giving her consent.
"I will stay. I will stay until Uncle and Theodred fade away. I will stay here for the people," she promises, and I pull her into my arms again, wishing I did not have to bid farewell to my sister, but knowing that I must go.
"Take care of yourself, dear sister. Know that your brother loves you, and that I do not want to leave. Know that I will protect our people in any way that I can."
"And I shall do the same. Be careful, Eomer, in whatever it is that you do," Eowyn, tells me, then frowns, looking into my eyes. "Why is it that you came back this night? What is it that you have done?" she asks, and I know then that she suspects something. Perhaps my purpose is written on my face.
"You will find out in the morning," I tell her, pressing a kiss to her brow before turning to leave.
She watches me as I go, and I hate to leave. I am leaving her here alone in this land that was once our home but is no longer mine. This land that I am banished from. I am leaving her alone with a dying cousin and an ailing uncle.
But the Snake that for so long haunted her footfalls is no more.