The Fourth Age: The Happy and Sad sides of living.



The darkness and the cold seemed to stay endlessly with the ranger. Once per a while she kept hearing people around or feeling stuff around. She did recognize Thandanar, Belenir and Aelwynna talking near her, but couldn't make out anything out of it. For some reason she did feel that this was not yet the end for her. She had another battle to go through. The wound was her last concern, if not for the events happening in Forochel she would still be up on her feet. She kept fighting it, to keep her live and fulfill her mission and destiny. 
- Hang in there, heroine... - She then recognized Minaiadan's voice and that was the last thing she heard before falling deeper into a slumber. 

That slumber was broken again, once she heard people talking nearby and felt someone holding her hand. "Enough of this... I need to force myself a way out of this darkness..." was her thought as she put all the effort on moving herself slightly. 
- Was that...? - She then recognized Padrasul's voice. This only motivated her further to keep fighting the darkness. Forngarmo opened her eyes once again after the while and slowly started realizing where she was and why. 
- Mother? - She heard then Faethuil's voice. Forngarmo turned her head feeling someone nearby, first she saw Nethillon who seemed to be very happy to see her, then as she looked up she saw her son and her ally. She smiled at them with recognition. They smiled back at her. 
- How are you feeling? - Faethuil then asked. The ranger managed to move enough to sit up. 
- Chewed and spit out... - She answered with her usual sense of humor, chuckling slightly - How long was I here...? - Forngarmo then asked before they had a chance to react. Faethuil smiled and shook his head at her joke. 
- All I know is.. you have been here for days and no one knew how to help you... - Her son then answered.
- It's good to have you back, friend. Your son fought valiantly today. - Padrasul then spoke as well. The ranger nodded at her kin. 
- I am happy to see you as well. How have you both been? - She answered happily then poked Nethillon slightly, not to hurt him - And how this lovebird ended up here? - She asked then but was not done speaking yet - He did? Maybe he will carry on when the time comes then... - She said raising a brow as she heard what Padrasul said and patted her son's arm with approval. 
- Well, we're glad the time's not come yet. I knew you'd wake up. You have much more trouble left to give! - Padrasul then teased her. Forngarmo chuckled at her words.
- And you are right about that. I am not half way done with those guys. And now we have a score to settle... - She said eagerly, forgetting that she should still be careful with her injuries, even if they appeared outwardly healed. - Ow... Alright, Slow down... - She said as she felt the wound and laughed at herself. She looked at her son and did sense something not being right. - What happened? Did you do something wrong, Faethuil?" - She asked him with concern. 
- I think I hurt Fornelen. Seriously. But that was to keep her safe. And... She was already broken when our ally rejected us... - Faethuil seemed really sad and broken over what he did. 
- Rejected? - Padrasul seemed confused. 
- What did you do to your sister? - She asked her son calmly then before turning to Padrasul - Well, I felt a soulmate... a sister in Aelwynna. But I told her that too soon. I confused her and it looked like she rejected us. Fornelen... she did not take it well. - Forngarmo sighed deeply as she explained what has happened before. Faethuil waited until his mother was done explaining before answering her. 
- I stole your letter to her. So she won't go looking for you and get hurt. But... now she believes she lost you... - He then answered, feeling ashamed of what he did but Forngarmo knew that he did it for his sister's safety. The two knew that Fornelen will probably forgive her brother once they are all reunited. 
- Ahh...yeah. Aelwynna takes some time to warm up, but I'm sure she didn't just reject you. Give her some time.. - Padrasul then answered, clearly understanding both of them. 
- Yes. I know. I have talked with her about it and I understand. I will keep my distance for now, so will Faethuil. But my youngest daughter... she already was rejected once. She might not understand. And I think that is what happened. - Forngarmo answered calmly. Faethuil was really disappointed with himself which was easily spotted by the other rangers. 
- His efficiency and precision in battle were remarkable, even though it was a gruesome sight. Even when my bow failed and my...steed...died.. - Padrasul seemed very affected with the loss of her steed as she spoke - He helped me forward and let me ride his horse too. Went on valiantly after those who had been taken in battle, when the rest of us fell behind. - She then finished her sentence. They talked about Faethuil and Fornelen for a bit before going back to the subject of the battle. 
-  Wait... I just now realized that both of you are talking about some of our companions getting abducted... - Forngarmo then looked at her, realizing what she was telling her. 
- Aye...Thandanar and...Aelwynna. Both were taken as we stood on a cliff to fire volleys below. - Padrasul then answered, with her expression being pained. She expressed how much she has failed as a Captain of the Rangers in her opinion. Forngarmo felt something inside of her breaking, as she realized that her promise to Aelwynna was broken but she quickly turned her attention to Padrasul. 
- Hey! You did not fail anyone. You did your best and I just know it. - She said moving closer to her Captain whom she viewed at the moment more like a close friend than a captain and embraced her with one arm. - There is a reason why those like me follow you. We have faith in you and we trust you... - She answered Padrasul's doubts in herself and everyone present agreed with her. 
- Thank you all... - Padrasul said then, sniffing as she hugged the Forngarmo back. 
- Not used to being loved by others? - The ranger then said with a slight smile towards her captain. They both talked a bit about being among men most of their lives then mentioned Forngarmo's husband and their first meeting. 
- Story of an annoying ranger woman and more annoying man... - The ranger then said laughing at her own story. 
- You're not annoying. I suppose you might have been when you were younger. I know I was VERY annoying... - Padrasul then answered, shaking her head at Forngarmo's words first. The ranger smiled at her.
- Well, now you are a really nice ranger woman. As I take into account our usual grumpiness... - She then said and started to laugh again. 
- I am still a pest. But at least I'm helpful enough now that they can't fire me for it. At least I'm not grumpy! - Padrasul then shrugged, ending her sentence with a laugh. Forngarmo shook her head. 
- You are not a pest! You are a closest friend I have within this group... - She then answered with a calm tone. 
- I am glad to hear you see me as a friend. I felt you to be a friend almost immediately after meeting you. Which...is unusual, but not unwelcome. - Padrasul then answered, hugging the ranger once again with a smile. 
- Then I was not the only one to feel that, I am glad not to be rejected for once.. - Forngarmo then smiled as she hugged her back. The two spent some more time together, before going to rest so they could join the mission the next day. Forngarmo was happy to find someone feeling the same way and understanding her but also broken inside because of her promise. 

The next day, she seemed to not be able to find her ranger friend anywhere. She thought that maybe she had another scouting mission to do and just looked at the recovering Nethillon then at her son, showing him that she was ready. Soon, she saw the captain and one of his soldiers approaching. As they came close enough he asked her about her wellbeing. Forngarmo assured him that she was good physically. She couldn't agree with leaving her allies behind at any cost so she did disagree with what she was told to do. As she was breaking more and more inside she just agreed to follow the others but stayed angry both at herself and them. As they reached the gates, she left all the 'talking' part towards the Gondorian beside them. But as the enemy envoy decided to touch her allies she could not hold back her anger and directed it at him. 
- Don't you dare touch them... - She said with an angry tone. He laughed at her but that did not do anything to her. She was just focusing her gaze on him. 
- Or what? Would you end my existence, ranger? - He kept taunting her while threatening unarmed captives. She spitted at the ground.
- If you were not honourless and cowardly to hide behind unarmed captives maybe I would have given you that mercy. - Forngarmo then answered while remaining emotionless both with her expression and tone. 
- Do you believe I harbor fear towards you ranger? - He then said wandering around with his puny knife, thinking that the ranger would respond with fear as the skies have darkened.
- Neither do I towards you. - She answered with a cold tone but got interrupted by the gondorian as she was close to stabbing him viciously multiple times. She was shattering inside due to not being able to fulfill her promise. She backed off when she got asked for that but doubted herself among other members of the Order ever since. She was different than them and maybe due to that she should stay away or guard from the shadows? As the gondorian managed to free Aelwynna they all returned back to the camp. She didn't even dare to look at the woman. She stayed away in the rain, letting the others rejoice the moment of reunion. Forngarmo kept watching the river while she was sitting on the railing of the bridge. Once asked, she let Faethuil go for another patrol, staying where she was while feeling shattered inside. 
- Forngarmo? I would have not thought to see you here. - She then recognized Menelamdir's voice nearby. She did not turn her head to look at him. 
- I am back. - She answered shortly, staying silent afterwards and not engaging with anyone. 
- I should not have stayed... - She whispered to herself in Sindarin, knowing that most people around would not understand her. Then, she spotted Aelwynna sitting beside with the corner of her eye. She could not look at her but was still concerned and cared about the woman. 
- Are you alright? - She asked briefly. 
- I am here and I am alive. And you are too. So at least for that I am grateful. - Aelwynna then answered with a laugh. Forngarmo nodded only at her. She was glad to have her back but could not express what she felt at the moment. Then, the ranger answered Menelamdir's question about Thandanar which pained her even more. When everyone gathered to talk, she moved away not to disturb, thinking about leaving again. As everyone retired to their tents she gave one last glance at the camp before changing into fully black garb, taking on her belongins and leaving the camp, as she decided to help them from hiding whenever possible.