Whither goest thou? by sian22

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Ithil spilled a silver flower's dew down the blue-black vault of winter's night, kissed the deep and groaning river's eddies with his light. Green- gold and shimmering, the whorls spun and caught the river's bounty for but a moment. A promise, a breath, a fleeting rest, before the long journey to the shore.

White pilgrim, it too was caught. Suspended in the dream crossed twilight between the birth and dying of the day.

It was a shock to wade. What snows had fed her?  Had swelled her unquiet breast? What perfect tesseracts from snowy Caradhas now wended their way past Rauros on their cycle to the sea?

The cold made his breath come in faint heaving gasps. A few steps more and his feet no longer knew the riverbed. The trembling hand reached out, but durst not touch. Precious burden low, lapped by the icy swell, the boat's balance was so exquisite he knew that to interfere, to cross the threshold of her seeming dream would be to break his rest.

Oh, Boromir! By what slipped skein on Vaire's loom is this not me?

The great collar with its white moonstone was smeared with blood. It was achingly familiar but not the golden belt. Nor, he thought with shock, the peaceful mien upon the fair, proud face. Where was the suffering, the anxiety and burden that had marked his brother's features for so many months?

Serene and sure, this was somehow the tranquil hopeful face he knew those nights he had awoken, safe and warm, nestled against the great strong back that was the surest bulwark against the wave. Did you sleep well at last little one?

And now he slept and it was not his brother's back that held him safe.

The need to touch, to remember, set an ache in his very bones but he stayed his hand. The bruised and alabaster cheek would be too cool. The man he knew was not cold and smooth as stone, but warm and rough and blithe as the summer's wind. He wished for fingertips to remember warmth.

The bow breached the eddy's verge, turned to seaward once again. The glimmer in its depth swept slowly on. Caught the moon's silver memory of when the world was new. But with it something else.

A shining face, ever young, filled with a reverence and a faith he did not understand…

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