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Last Moments of Anguish by mangacrack

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Chapter notes:
This piece features Galadriel at the end of ”The Lord of the Rings”.
The woman deeply intrigues me and she deserves all the love she can get.

“True friends are those who lift you up
when your heart's wings forget how to fly.”

She is stumbling through a vast and overwhelming desert of empty ruins. Her mouth is dry and Galadriel desperately wishes for water. At length her body protest against the torture, yet she refused to succumb to death in this empty place. Sand stretches from east to west and behind every hill she climbs there are only more broken stones to find.

Finally her body can no longer go on and Galadriel slowly sinks to the ground. Her legs are trembling so much she barely has the strength to lean against the lonely wall, which is providing her a small amount of shadow to rest in.

Repeatedly her head falls on her chest, but Galadriel jolts awake her mind reaches blank unconsciousness. Sleep keeps to avoid her as small warning she might not wake up again.

“Enough,” she says, pleads even to anyone who might listen. “Enough.”

The Golden Lady is surprised to get a reaction, even if is just a taunt.

“I'm impressed that it took you so long, Artanis,” the speaker begins, the voice reaching her ears from above. “But then I never expected you reach this place at all.”

Only the long lost name gives her strength to make the effort of looking up. The rays of the sun are blinding her and even squinting against the light does not help her to discern striking features. At least the voice is familiar.

“It would be polite to introduce yourself,” she rasps in a broken voice. “Or tell me at least if your are a hallucination. I just might resort to drinking your blood otherwise.”

How long has it been now since clean water touched her throat? How long can an elf survive without it? Surprisingly she does not find the answer. One would suspect she would have learned as much, after ages of watching people die.

The air is shifting around her. The speaker must have climbed down, yet it is not enough for Galadriel to open her eyes. She is protecting herself against the sharp brightness around her and hope of salvation if far too treacherous in this moment.

“I would offer you a drink, Artanis. Even my blood if you desired it, but I doubt you would step that low,” honest concern swings in the speakers voice.

Galadriel wonders who tries to offer her support. Most of her of possible candidates she crossed of the list already, who could reach her here in the disconnected mind scape of her madness.

“Don't underestimate my will to survive,” she finally answers with a small smile. “I would suckle at the tits of an orc sow if it meant that fresh milk pass over these lips.”

Cool fingers touch her forehead and Galadriel collapses onto the strong shoulders next to her. The weight being touched in kindness is too much for hear to bear. Now all she is used to, are unforgiving blows against the fortress she built around her mind.

She sobs and breaks. “Leave. Leave, please. Leave me here, I cannot go on like this.”

Long years she endured and so far she had been able to find her way out of the maze, but no more. It was enough. It was supposed to end. Never she would find the necessary strength to lift herself and get on her feet again.

“I know this,” the friend of her last hour says and runs his fingers through her hair. All useless pride forgotten, she finds comfort in it. “Far too long, Galadriel, you have been the last Finwion standing and holding the line. But no more, I am here to free you.”

“Not the last,” Galadriel mumbles. Elrond is not formally a member of the House of Finw, but he counts. He must. There will be words if he isn't.

The friend reaches for Galadriels body, too thin and nearly translucent to be a burden, and easily lifts her. Placing a kiss on her forehead, he says, “Don't worry. Young Elrond is being taken care off. He is just as stubborn as you, but Russandol can be very insistent.”

Despite her tiredness, Galadriel's gears are turning. Perhaps it's being spared of having to walk whatever distance lies ahead of them. The name Russandol and fondness that comes with it, let her connect the pieces.

Firm steps across the hills turn into a gentle rocking. Galadriel floats and the air is cooling. Ease enters her mind, with it she finally hears the sound of water and the smell of salt gives her a direction. They pass the border of her mind scape and when her savior has carried her out of the desert, Galadriel finally opens her eyes.

A blue cloudless sky greets her, together with the smile of a man she believed unreachable.

The fabric she know she is lying on is of the physical world, the soul blazing in front of her is not.

“Fanor,” Galadriel says. Finally she can see his face. With her strength returning, she wonders why it took her so long to recognize him.

Her former adversary smiles down at her. He looks good with hands buried in the pockets of his pants as if there was no worry in this world left he needed to agonize over. Remembering the war against Sauron was over, it was entirely possible she had been correct.

“Thank you,” she said, before the vision would dispel and the opportunity was lost. “For everything.”

Of course he only shrugged, but Galadriel saw a hint of embarrassment mixed together with well hidden gratitude.

“I was the reason you left,” he stated. “It was only appropriate to bring you back.”

Galadriel wanted to protest that she had not been lost. Thinking back to the desert she to admit she had given in to bone deep exhaustion, especially with Aman in sight. Not knowing what she was supposed to say, Galadriel reached out to him.

Fanor, standing next to her bed, squatted down next to her and took her hand. Warmth prickled over her skin like fire, melting hardened determination back into compassion.

“Take care,” he said and vanished into thin air, when someone opened the door and light from outside met his body.

It took Galadriel a moment to gather herself. Elrond stood in the door frame, hair in disorder and with creases in his clothing. Obviously confused and slightly shaken, he looked at her.

“I dreamed,” he said.

Astonishment is still written into his face and Galadriel doubts the hope will vanish from his eyes. Especially not if her uncle spoke true. Slightly wondering from what landscape Elrond had been rescued from, she rose from her sheets.

“You were not the only one. I dreamed as well,” she admitted.

“Pleasant I hope?” Elrond asked her, carefully investigating if he had been the only one who had not taken the bliss of Aman very well.

A smile crept on Galadriel's face.

“Yes, very good” she said. “Almost inspiring, I would say.”
Chapter end notes:
I was supposed to write about an unexpected gift. In the end I chose Galadriel, because I wished for her to make peace with herself. Leaving Middle-Earth no doubt unearthed the reason, why she left Aman in the first place. Fanor represents the end of a full cycle. Personally was at odds with him, but mostly agreed with his arguments. He is also reason for every grief and every joy she experienced in Middle-Earth.

It seemed appropriate for him to there, when Galadriel faced her last moments of anguish. Also: my headcanon is is that elvish fa are not trapped in Mandos. They can leave and visit the outside world through Lorien or with Irmo`s powers.