bloodcount: Count Bloodcount, the vampire from the Loonie Tunes cartoons. (LOTR Ovaltine)
([personal profile] bloodcount Sep. 23rd, 2009 09:43 pm)
Name: Catch
Fandom/MainCharacter: LOTR ~ Éomer
Rating: All Audiences
Genre: Quest drama/humor
Betas: Many, many thanks go out to Hanarobi and Claudia for their fantastic betas. Even more thanks to whichever of the 3 Stooges put all those fiddly lines above the E in Eomer's name. (Notice I'm clearly incapable of doing it. Heh!)

Note: This ficlet was dedicated to Lorie, a dear friend to many people who, sadly, lost her battle with cancer shortly after receiving the many beautiful stories the [ profile] lories_friends comm put together for her. I'm extremely honored to have been able to participate in cheering Lorie up during her final illness and I'm so gratified that my last LOTR story was for such a good cause. And that she liked it. Godspeed, Lorie.

Summary: In the heady moments after the Fall of Sauron someone has to be practical, damn it.

They were only three flapping specks to King Éomer’s eyes but Legolas let out a whoop. “Frodo and Sam! Gandalf and the eagles have delivered them from the fire! They’re coming now! Carried in the claws of the Wind Lords!” He shot an arrow into the air in triumph. Aragorn slumped to the ground and Éomer thumped him on the shoulder, beaming. With a deep, deep breath Aragorn rose up and began to order his personal guard of Northern Rangers to bring medicine, food and water, quickly. He hurried away.

Suddenly, Éomer’s smile faded. Wait, carried in the claws? Could the eagles actually land with burdens clutched in their claws? No, they couldn’t. The Ringbearer and his Servant would have to be dropped. Dropped?! Into what?! Éomer burst into action. “A blanket! A big blanket, hurry! We need something soft for them to drop into!” he shouted, breaking the spell of fascination the three returning eagles had created.

The soldiers nearest the young King jumped and began to scurry through the pits and stinking fumes of the battleground. “Bring it to me up here!” Éomer scrambled up the side of a large stone heap and waited impatiently. Unfortunately, his men soon discovered there were no sizable blankets to be had. The army of the Free Peoples had traveled light to Mordor and the supply wagons had been left on the other side of the battlefield, momentarily balked by the trenches, troll-pits and the remnant of Sauron’s men who didn’t know when to quit.

The eagles loomed larger and from his vantage point he could see that Aragorn, King and Healer, was having more luck than he was. A tent was going up, clean bandages were being brought and water was boiling. Éomer silently congratulated him to avoid blowing a raspberry. A rumble from the ruin of Mount Doom shook the earth and he held his breath until it passed.

He realized his soldiers were piling up tattered cloaks and saddle pads to form a sort of cushion at the top of the heap and he groaned. Fine thing if the Hobbits had survived Sauron only to be dropped on their heads by fumble-fingered Men. Gandalf would turn them all into mules, so to speak. The Elves, of course, would just have a field day. Oh, he wanted to run mad. Speaking of Elves, Éomer noticed Legolas staring upward, his jubilation replaced by a pleading look of horror on his face. His sharp eyes could see what the men could not and Éomer’s irritation drained away. Then Éomer noticed something else. Beyond Legolas, held and guarded by three very tall and fair men, was the Standard of Rohan. It was unharmed, beautiful and inspiring, a pristine white horse proudly galloping across a green field. Best of all, it was huge! “EOVAN! THEOMAL!” He couldn’t remember the name of the third standard bearer so he just waved frantically. “BRING THAT UP HERE! QUICKLY! BRING IT UP!” The three men ran over and scrambled up, ever careful to keep the flag upright and out of the dust and muck. They reached Éomer, bowed and planted the standard firmly in front of him as if they were claiming the filthy mound in the name of their King and all of Rohan.

Éomer drew his sword and the bearers had just enough time to gawp at him before he grabbed one end of the strong silk and slashed at the ties attaching the standard to the long pole. “Lord! NO!” Eovan protested and tried to pull it away. Éomer let out some frustration by clouting the fool across the helmet with the flat of his sword (DONG!) and that was the end of any further objections. He threw the pole away and re-sheathed his blade. Dozens of soldiers paused in their duties to stare, and even prisoners were fascinated by the spectacle of a King cutting down his own Standard. A winged shadow fell over them all and he looked up to see the swift birds had arrived overhead and were circling downward. He had very little time. “Get that pile of rags out of the way. Everyone grab an edge! Pull it tight!” Aragorn and Legolas appeared beside him. “They can’t land, Aragorn,” Éomer explained. Aragorn, a man of few words, simply nodded and seized an edge of the flag. Legolas quickly did the same and, as the more quick-witted men grasped Éomer’s plan, they, too, rushed forward and pulled the standard taut in their strong hands.

The bright white and green of the silk was a perfect bullseye. Gandalf, riding comfortably on the back of Gwaihir, the Lord of the Eagles, was just a shining speck watching the men from on high. Éomer swallowed nervously. Then he fought the desire to hit the ground as one of the great birds swooped lower and lower until there was a rush of wind, the beat of mighty wings and a limp, grey body was gently released to drop onto the waiting men. So tightly did they all hold the silk that the little figure actually bounced, sending up a cloud of ash, dust, sweat and blood to stain the white horse. Éomer relaxed his grip a fraction, shocked. “Grab him!” he ordered no one in particular and Aragorn seized the pathetic thing.

“It’s Sam. Oh, Samwise...” he said and held his ear to the small, thin chest. He sighed with sudden relief. “It beats. Weakly.” He whirled around, sparing a single glance upward. “Éomer, bring Frodo as quickly as you can. Legolas, as soon as Gwaihir touches the earth tell Gandalf where I am and that I have need of him.” Aragorn darted down the hill towards his tent without waiting for an answer.

Éomer’s palms were sweating. He took up the slack Aragorn had left and waited for the second eagle while the men around him whispered questions to each other in complete confusion. Who was Sam? Who was Frodo? Were they ‘hohbitz,’ too, like Prince Pegren and Théoden’s squire, Merdoc? What were these two doing at Mount Doom anyway?

“Quiet,” Éomer ordered as the great eagle swooped low. He felt a little guilty about the sudden, abashed silence. “The tale will be told. It’ll be a grand story,” he promised them and was gratified to sense them relaxing. Then they all concentrated as another vast shadow swept over them, stirring up a foul mist from the ground, and a second small figure landed on the silk. It was even more wasted than Sam. Emaciated. Grey. Coated with ash and blood. Utterly lifeless.

“Frodo!” Legolas exclaimed. “Ai,”

A sigh of sympathy went round the men and, one by one, they dropped their end of the now filthy standard. Éomer wrapped it gently around the hobbit, noting in passing that Frodo's hand had been terribly injured, and clutched them both to his chest. So small. How had someone so small found the strength to accomplish so much? So much? Everything! He owed this little, strange creature everything...

“Phewie, what a stink,” Eovan observed. (DING!) He staggered back.

With superhuman effort, Éomer controlled himself. “Is he dead, Lord?” Theomal whispered.

“NO!” Éomer shouted and everyone startled. Eovan ducked. “No, he’s just still. Just resting. Resting very, very hard. Aragorn will tend him.” Truly, Aragorn probably had roast suckling pig, hot baths and soft towels, too, as well as a tent and bandages waiting for the hobbits. Éomer turned and ran down the heap. “Don’t worry!” he called back to reassure them all, especially Legolas, who still looked appalled. “Frodo’s not through yet!” A small avalanche of rocks announced his arrival on the ground. He hardly noticed. “Be strong. Don’t worry,” he muttered to the bundle, tucking it tighter. “I have you.”



bloodcount: Count Bloodcount, the vampire from the Loonie Tunes cartoons. (Default)

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