Written for Tolkien Femslash Week Bingo, for the prompts:
Four Words: battalion, unsure, headstart, bliss (I17)
Opposites Attract: reckless/cautious (O42)
The title is from something Aragorn says to Éomer in The Two Towers.
Astarië always won their footraces when they were girls, even when she gave Zirân a head start. While Zirân carefully avoided mud puddles and tree roots, Astarië ran straight to the goal, her hair flying out behind her.
Astarië is still the same; she and her family defiantly keep their Elvish names, refusing to pay reverence to Sauron. She runs a terrible risk, Zirân thinks uneasily, for the unsure bliss of the Valar’s favor. Ar-Pharazôn’s soldiers are everywhere, and Sauron’s battalions of spies.
When she next passes her in the street, Zirân looks away and pretends not to see her.
Ar-Pharazôn’s fleet is gathering; their shadow darkens the harbor. Zirân’s heart feels oddly hollow. Late one night, long after curfew, there is a frantic knocking at the door.
Zirân opens it to see Astarië. Before Zirân can speak, Astarië throws her arms around her and clings to her. “I dreamed of a wave,” she gasps out. “Zirân, come with me, please--” Her face is pale, streaked with tears.
“Come where?” she asks, bewildered. But her arms hold Astarië tightly.
“I swore not to tell. Only trust me, please--”
“I do,” Zirân finds herself saying, and they come to Elendil’s ships.