|About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search|
Summary: In the spring of 2012, four American children find themselves thrust into an unfamiliar world and part of an unexpected adventure. This story is AU, and blends Lord of the Rings book-verse and movie-verse. This story also contains a lot of spiritual and religious content as a part of the AU elements.
Disclaimer: The world of Middle-earth and all its peoples belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien; the three films of The Lord of the Rings belongs to New Line Cinema and to Peter Jackson. This story is not for profit, but is a gift for the enjoyment of those who read it.
Citations: In most chapters, there will be some quotations directly from both the books and/or the movies. Quotations from Tolkien's books are in italics, and quotations from the movies are underlined. Occasional quotations from other sources as well as silent dialogue, words spoken in emphasis, and passages from the Bible will also be in italics, and those citations will be footnoted at the end of each chapter in which they occur. We will also footnote research sources and credit the ideas of other people.
Thanks: We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable help of our beta, Linda Hoyland, another well-known and prolific LotR fanwriter, whose many wonderful stories also grace this site.
Chapter 60: Love Will Find a Way
Gail had found herself restless and worried. She and the children and several of the Elves who had remained in Caras Galadon were loitering in the Lady Galadriel's private garden, where she had her Mirror. They were not down at that end, for the Lady was standing by it, looking into it intensely. None wished to approach her, nor disturb her, lest they interrupt something important. But all knew that she was likely watching the battle, and that any news to be had would come first from her.
Even Kaylee and Megan were subdued. Gail was so proud of Kaylee. The little girl had taken Megan aside, and was patiently showing her how to wind some of the yarn that Kaylee had spun into a ball, and the two of them were talking quietly. Megan kept inserting her thumb into her mouth as the two of them spoke, something that Kaylee herself would have done in this kind of situation before coming to Middle-earth, Gail knew. Somehow the little girls realized that it was a serious time, and that the adults did not wish to be disturbed.
Hours passed as they all continued to wait. Food and drink had been brought and laid out, but most had not partaken. Gail did pour herself a goblet of clear cold water, and Mairen had coaxed Kaylee and Megan into eating some cheese and fruit, and now the two little ones were curled up together and had fallen asleep. Lady Galadriel, however, had yet to stir from her place of watching.
Once the children had fallen asleep, Gail went over to sit near them, and then she bowed her head and closed her eyes.
Please, God, she silently prayed, we are all so worried! I definitely am, and I know that Kaylee and Megan are, too. I suspect that Lady Galadriel’s also worried about her husband, although she’s doing a better job of hiding it than we are. She took a deep breath and glanced down at her sleeping daughters. For a moment, she pondered what she and her husband had discussed the day before. Then she bowed her head again.
Lord, she silently added, You know our hearts. We do not want to stay here permanently; we want to return home. We don’t want to worry Ryan and Janet. We know that they will be worried about us all if we never go back. Just as our children knew we would be, if they never did. She rolled her eyes and shook her head. At least Steve and I understand how our children felt, when they found themselves here, God.
Another long moment passed as Gail thought about what she had just prayed about. Please, God, she finally prayed, the bottom line is, I want Steve to survive this battle. I want our children to survive this war that Master Elrond told us about back at Rivendell. And I want us all to return to Oregon. I pray that if it’s Your will, Lord, that You will bring all of that about for us. Please protect Steve while he’s in battle. Please protect Kevin and Jennifer and Joey, wherever they are now. And please protect Kaylee and Megan and me. And Lord Celeborn, and my husband, and all of the elves who are in that battle now. And while You’re at, please defeat the enemy, this Sauron. If it is not your will that we return to Oregon, then please help Ryan and Janet, and please help us, my immediate family and me.
She took a deep breath. But, Lord, it is hard to say this, but— She bit her lower lip. —Thy will be done. In Jesus’ name, amen. She opened her eyes and lifted her head.
At last, the Lady Galadriel turned, and Gail realized how late it was. Dusk had fallen.
The Lady looked at how her people had all turned to her, and Gail stood up to join them. "Á laita Ilúvatar! The battle has ended in victory for our people. We are not without loss or injury, yet today was ours, and there are no longer any threats to our borderlands.”
There were some murmurings in Elvish around her, and Gail sucked in her lower lip. “Any fatalities?” she asked, dreading that her husband might be among the dead. However, her voice was weak, and the Lady did not seem to hear her. But Galadriel was approaching, and she began to single out some of those gathered there, whispering silently to them. Each one reacted differently, with a couple of them bursting into tears, and others standing straighter with expressions of determination. Gail realized that Lady Galadriel was delivering the very news she had tried to ask, and her blood ran cold as the Lady approached her. She could scarcely breathe as she was pulled aside and heard her whisper, "Your husband lives, but he is injured. He is being brought now, back to Caras Galadon, and he will need your strength and care as he recovers."
Gail could scarcely form a whisper of her own. "H—how—how badly?" She swallowed hard. “Are his injuries life-threatening?” Her voice shook.
"He is unconscious, yet there is no risk of his death, and all his limbs are intact. It will take some time, but he will recover fully."
Well, though Gail, that's somewhat comforting. "When will he be here?"
"The going is slow, yet he should be arriving with the other injured by tomorrow afternoon. I have other news as well. Your oldest daughter, Jennifer, and younger son, Joey, are safe and well, and are making themselves very useful in Minas Tirith. Your older son, Kevin, is among the army making its way to the Black Gate of Mordor, to offer battle to the Dark One in the hopes of keeping his evil eye away from Frodo and Sam, who still struggle on to their goal."
Gail froze in horror, her mouth wide open. “Kevin—Kevin is in the army?” Her voice squeaked. “He’s—he’s only fifteen! Much too young to fight in war! He's only a boy.” She shuddered at the prospect of what could happen to her son before they ever even got to see him again. “Back home, he hasn’t even graduated from high school yet! In fact, he’s just a high-school freshman, Lady Galadriel—only in his first year of high school!” Though frantic and agitated, Gail did her best to keep her voice down so that she wouldn’t awaken her sleeping daughters, although she was not finding that easy.
The Lady gave her a sympathetic look, but shook her head. "This is his third battle. He has already blooded his sword, and among the Men of our world, he is fully a man. Still a youth, to be sure, but old enough to do a man's work. He is safe for now—as safe as any in our time may be—and for now, your thoughts should be with your husband."
Though unshed tears stood in Gail's eyes, she took a deep breath and stiffened her back. All of her family lived. That was the important thing. Now she needed to tell the girls their daddy was hurt and prepare for his return.
Steve awakened to a blistering headache and a stomach that was more than a little nauseous. His middle was sore as well. Though he was awake, he couldn't seem to open his eyes, or place the odd rhythmic swaying motion—was he in a hammock?
He tried once more to open his eyes, and then gave up. But a gentle voice spoke to him. It was Glorfindel. "You are awake, Steven?"
Steve managed to force out a rather pathetic moan. His mouth was as dry as if it had been stuffed with cotton. He still could not recall how he came to be feeling so bad. Did he have the flu or something?
He felt something at his lips, and managed to open them slightly, and felt some water trickling into his mouth. He swallowed; the water was so good, but it had that leathery taste of water from a waterskin. That jogged his memory. He'd been fighting alongside the Elves in a battle.
The moisture helped. He was able to force out a whisper. "We win?" He had meant to ask, “Did we win?”, but his voice was too weak, and his eyelids still felt too heavy to open.
"Indeed, we did, Steven. The battle is over, and we won. You fought valiantly, but were wounded.” Now his memory came fully back. The Orc! And then the arrow! How was he even alive?
Either Glorfindel read his mind or just guessed what he was thinking, because he said, "Your armour saved you from that Orcish arrow, but your ribs are bruised, and it knocked you back. You hit your head rather hard against a tree, and were knocked senseless."
Well, thought Steve, that explains the headache, the soreness, and the nausea. But what about the swaying? He was still so weak that he could not open his eyes to find out, which frustrated him. If only he could pry his eyes open, he could find out for himself!
"We are on the way back to Caras Galadon, transporting the wounded on litters," said Glorfindel, again seeming to anticipate what Steve wanted to know. "We should arrive sometime late tomorrow.
Oh, okay, a litter would explain the swaying. It's very comfortable...
A large warm hand descended on his forehead. "Sleep now, friend Steven…"
He took a calming slow breath, and once more drifted into sleep…
Gail slept poorly, as she imagined all the possible complications of her husband’s being injured in this place, with no modern medicine or hospitals. She prayed from time to time, yet her worries came back. And now it was morning, and she'd have to tell the little ones their daddy was hurt.
What can I say to them? she thought. I don't want to scare them, but they need to be ready for him when he arrives.
She finally gave up trying to sleep and got up. She washed her face and put on her clothing. She was lacing up the side of her dress when she heard Mairen's voice in the little curtained-off section where the girls had been put to bed the night before.
"Come, children. It is time to wake up and have some breakfast."
"Do we have to, Mairen?" That was Kaylee's sleepy voice.
"What's for breakfast?" That was Megan's rather eager voice.
"Griddle cakes with honey and fruit," Mairen said.
"Yay!" exclaimed Megan.
"I'm up, I'm UP!" shouted Kaylee, the delight evident in her voice.
Smiling in spite of her leaden heart, Gail went to join them, still worried about what she had to say.
"Mommy!" both of the girls shouted.
"Good morning." Gail braced herself for the impact as they leapt out of bed to hug her. She absently hugged them back and glanced at Mairen. "Good morning, Mairen."
"Children," Gail said, as she sat between them, her arms around both of them, "I need to talk to you about something important."
Megan just looked up at her, eyes wide. Kaylee cuddled closer to Gail. "Is it about Daddy?" she asked. "Will he be back today?"
"Yes, he will. But when he comes, you need to know...he got hurt. Lady Galadriel says he will get better, but he is hurt."
"Can we kiss it and make it better?" asked Megan.
"I'm sure that it will make it some better," said Gail, "but not all better. He will need a lot of rest, too. And perhaps bandages and medicine."
Kaylee gave a sort of shuddering sigh. "Why did God let him get hurt? We prayed and everything."
"I don't know, sweetheart. But even when bad things happen, God can still help us to feel better about it. Your daddy could have been hurt a lot worse."
Kaylee nodded, pouting. "I know. But I didn't want him to get hurt at all."
Gail took the little girl onto her lap and hugged her. “Neither did I, sweetheart. None of us wanted your daddy to get hurt. There is something we can be thankful for, though: your daddy wasn’t killed. Nor was he hurt so badly that he won’t be able to recover.”
Kaylee leaned her head against her mother’s breast. After a moment, she nodded. Megan approached them and leaned against Gail’s side, inserting her thumb into her mouth. Gail removed one of her arms from around Kaylee and wrapped it around Megan’s shoulders.
The morning passed slowly. The girls spent time with Mairen, who watched over them as they practiced some needlework. Megan, who had learned to weave back at Rivendell, was just now learning how to make a straight running stitch, and Kaylee was making another pouch. "It's like the one I made for Halbarad, Mommy. But this one will be for Daddy when he gets better."
Gail nodded. She'd been watching intently as Megan sewed. She still found it amazing that such a young child could learn to sew by hand. She still feared that her youngest might hurt herself on the needle, but it never happened.
The hours continued to creep by, but early that afternoon, shortly after lunch, Lassiel came into the pavilion. "Gail, the Lady wishes to speak with you."
Mairen nodded at Gail, so she followed Lassiel, wondering what it was. Does she have more information about our other children? she wondered. Has Steve taken a turn for the worse?
But after the long trek up to the talan, it turned out that the Lady Galadriel was offering a solution to a problem Gail had only begun to consider.
"I have been giving thought to your husband's recovery. It would be good for him to recover in the pavilion, with your presence. But you would not be able to give full thought to him if your daughters are there also. Might I invite the little ones to stay in my talan? Just for the time it will take Steven to recover; Lassiel and Mairen can still be with them, but you can give your whole attention to your husband, and he can have the peace and quiet he will need to get better."
Gail was stunned at the generous offer, but still, she hesitated.
"And of course," the Lady added, "each day, we will see that the two of them can come down to have a quiet word with you and their father."
Gail was speechless for a moment. “That—that is most generous of you, Lady Galadriel!” She paused. “I—I thank you. It’s true, it’ll be hard for me to look after the girls and devote my whole attention to Steve. But won’t it be difficult for you to juggle looking after my daughters and keeping an eye on the events outside this area?”
Galadriel smiled. “No, it will not. Mairen and Lassiel will be with them as well, to help look after them when I have to spend part of my time at the Mirror, watching what is going on."
Gail took a deep breath. “Well, in that case, thank you. I accept your offer.” She turned toward the entrance. “We had better go back and tell them, then, hadn’t we?” Galadriel nodded, and the two of them left her talan to return to the pavilion.
It was later that afternoon when word came that the wounded and their escort would soon arrive. The little girls would be going to the Lady's talan after they had greeted their father. Everyone began to gather to greet them. Some of the litters had Elves, but in the sixth one, which Lord Glorfindel was walking alongside, there was Steve! In our world, they’d be using a stretcher, Gail thought. But then, in our world, he’d be going to the hospital!
As they came to the head of the path, Gail, Kaylee, and Megan approached the litter. Gail stepped forward. She had already told the little girls that they needed to use their "inside voices" when they spoke to their father.
He looked up at them from his place in the litter and gave them a wan smile and a wave. "Hello, my girls," he said, his voice weak.
Both of them whispered, "Hi Daddy!" Distress etched their faces.
"Daddy fell over and knocked his head," Steve said. "It’ll take me some time to get better, but I'll be all right soon." Looking up at his wife, he added, "I also bruised my ribs, but fortunately, they're not broken."
Gail managed to smile. "Thank goodness!"
Megan tiptoed up by the litter and leaned forward and kissed his temple. "Mommy said it wouldn't make it all better, but maybe a little better."
Steve smiled. "I think I can tell a difference already, sweetheart," he said softly. "Thank you." Gail and the Elves next to them exchanged smiles.
Mairen and Lassiel came up, and each girl took a hand as the Elven-maidens led them away.
As the children left, Gail noticed that Steve had once more fallen asleep. She looked down at him with tears in her eyes.
"Fear not," said Glorfindel, who had silently watched them have their reunion. "His injuries will not threaten his life, and he will recover in a few days. Sleep is what he needs, and rest, and the knowledge that you and his younger daughters are safe. He has had quite a knock on the head, and his ribs are indeed very badly bruised. But thanks to his stout leather gambeson, he took nothing worse from the orc arrow that flew his way."
"An arrow?" Gail exclaimed.
"Yes," Glorfindel replied, "it was an arrow. Though it hit hard enough to send him back off his feet. He hit his head hard as he went down. But the arrow did not pierce his armour."
Did not, did not, did not, Gail reminded herself. He wasn't killed. It didn't happen. The Lord took care of him. She took several deep breaths to calm herself. I do not need to get hysterical about something that did not happen!
Glorfindel and Terevor helped Gail get Steve settled into the soft bed in the pavilion. Glorfindel gave Gail a small earthenware pot with a nicely carved stopper. "The Healer says to apply some of this to his bruises, very gently, whenever he indicates that he is in discomfort."
Gail took it and nodded, lifting the stopper to sniff the contents. The smell was wonderful; there was definitely some lavender in it, and it also had an herbal scent about it as well.
He also gave her a glass phial, filled with a clear liquid that had a very faint green tint to it. "And you should give him some of this in a tea at night, and also if he has a headache during the day. Just three drops should do it."
"Thank you, Lord Glorfindel, for taking care of him."
"It is the least I could do, Gail, for I was sent on this journey to be of help to your family. Still, war can interrupt and change circumstances. I wished to deliver Steve to you myself, for I may not see much of you in the next few days. While we do not believe the Enemy will directly assault Lothlorien again, there could yet be more battles to face. I feel in my heart that the matter of the Ring shall be coming to an ending one way or another within a very short time."
"How—how soon?" Gail had to force the words from her mouth.
"Perhaps as soon as tomorrow, or perhaps the day after. Lady Galadriel will know more surely, I think, than I. But fear not. Eru Ilúvatar watches over us." The Elf gave her a bow, and he and the other one left the tent.
He is, thought Gail. Suddenly, a Bible verse came to her mind: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…"
And Gail prepared to spend her night on her knees, sending prayers not only for her husband and children, but for Frodo and the others.
"Please, God," she prayed aloud, "protect Kevin while he's out there. Please protect Jennifer and Joey, where they are. And please protect us here. Steve and Kaylee and Megan and me. And the Elves." She paused.
After a moment, she added, "And please protect Frodo and his friend. Please grant them success in destroying that Ring."
She gathered her thoughts. "Lord, I do not understand much of what I have been told about this Enemy and this war. I do know that you called my family here for a reason, and that it had to be that we should help in some way. I've never really been much of a prayer warrior, but I sense that tonight I have to be, if I can. Give my husband and me strength to follow Your will, wherever it leads. Give me strength for my husband and children during this time. Give me the strength to stay awake and watch. Please help me." She cleared her throat. "In Jesus's name, amen."
She opened her eyes for a moment and placed a hand on her husband's brow. He was sleeping peacefully, all unaware of what was to come.
Silently, she began to repeat her prayer, and then words came to her from the Bible:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
As the last words of the psalm came from her memory, a peace fell over her. She did not fall asleep, but fell into a vigil over her husband as he slept. All would be well, one way or another.
A/N: The Bible verse Gail quotes first is Ephesians 6:18, KJV, and the Psalm that came to her in prayer is Psalm 91.
|<< Back||Next >>|
|Home Search Chapter List|