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Such Stuff as Dreams are Made

Title: Such Stuff as Dreams are Made
Pairing: Námo/Irmo
Rating: R
Warning: Incest
Genre: Slash




**********************************************************


Frodo fought the urge to put on the ring, but was paralyzed with terror as the hooded figures approached. 'Use the ring!' his mind screamed, 'they will not see you, do not let them see you.'

Now the wraith kings were upon him and the terror with which the Nazgûl imbued their victims crushed his heart in a grip of ice. Desperately he slipped the ring on his finger and disappeared from the view of his companions. That's when he saw, to his horror, the former Kings of Men for what they really were. Their spirits twisted into grotesque apparitions, they still wore the armor of their former offices and carried blades of phantasmal fire. They came toward him and he realized with petrifying dismay that though he was hidden from earthly eyes, he could not escape the sight of these denizens of the world between the living and the dead.

With the last of his failing courage, he lunged and caught the Witch King a glancing blow with Sting, only to feel the Nazgûl's blade plunge agonizingly into his shoulder. Pierced by the weapon, a searing, freezing pain etched itself on his soul. He gave a wail of agony and despair, trying to pull the ring from his finger, but he could not budge the heavy band, and before he could free himself he slipped into a darkness where everything could be seen with perfect clarity, a lightness of body whose weight could not be moved, a confusion of mind that provided every answer.

He felt the sliver of blade inch through his body like a live thing, nudging ever closer to his slowing heart - until he died and was reborn and the ring was all. The ring called to him, directed him, tormented and comforted him as he arose, a Hobbit-wraith, to serve his new master.

Bolting upright, sweat pouring down his face, Frodo cried out in anguish before he realized the painful grip upon his flesh was his own. His hand was clutched over the old wound and he found it difficult to make his fingers uncurl from their death grip. His other hand flew to his neck, tremblingly groping for the chain that held the ring, but the ring was gone, destroyed almost three years ago. He lay back down in his bed in Bag End, staring at the ceiling, wondering why the nightmare plagued him when the anniversary of the event was still months away.

******************

Legolas walked a path of silver moonlight, the trees of his Mirkwood home surrounding him as thick as stone walls as he stole carefully along, his bow drawn, seeking his quarry. A cough from behind startled him, and he whirled around to see Merry and Pippin trailing along at his back. A quick glance around him confirmed that he was not in Mirkwood at all and that the path before him was not moonlight but a trail of luminous lichen glowing upon the long untrod floor of Moria in the light of Gandalf's staff.

"What is wrong, Legolas? Did you see something?" Merry asked nervously.

"No, I thought I heard the drums, but I think it was just an echo of dripping water in the distance." Legolas said, lowering his bow.

He looked around quickly, now seeing the other members of the Fellowship around him, Gimli and Gandalf dimly ahead, and he shook off the reverie that he'd been wandering in. Four days with no sleep, on constant guard against the unseen enemies who had massacred the Dwarves, and Legolas had fallen into reverie without realizing it. He shook himself mentally, not wanting the others to know he had drifted away for a moment as he cautiously moved forward again.

The drum beats which had died out for an hour or more came again to his ears, and up ahead a disturbing red glow could be seen. Gandalf led them forward, urging them to run, and they set out at a swift pace across a great hall. Then a figure of man-shape, but impossibly large and carrying a fiery sword and whip could be seen coming up behind the Orcs that pursued them. The Orcs fell away as the figure came closer and Legolas felt a nameless, blind panic freeze his limbs, his bow falling from his hands.

The creature was a Balrog, and Legolas wailed in fear as the demon thundered toward him. He was rooted to the spot, unable to move, when Gandalf shouted at them all to run. Legolas saw his doom reflected in the Balrog's eyes as it drew closer, its flaming sword raised high above for the killing blow...

He suddenly found himself awake, Gimli standing over him with a look of concern. Legolas sat up and pulled his cloak tighter around him, though he wasn't cold. Not since the ending of the war had his nightly reverie led him on such a dark path. Why now, he wondered, three years into their well-earned peace, should he be disturbed by such a vision?

******************

Aragorn looked into the palantir, the swirling flames parting to reveal the lidless, snakelike eye of Sauron. "I am Isildur's heir." Aragorn said, "Long have you hunted me, and long have I eluded you, but no more."

The seductive voice he had heard as the ring called to him from Frodo's palm was gone, replaced by one of gut-punching malice.

"This foolish act will bring your doom, Númenórean, and the doom of all you hold dear. Behold!"

Aragorn looked into the stone as fire leapt within it, parting to reveal the forest of Lothlórien. The stately mellyrn trees were all aflame, their heavy branches crashing to the smoking forest floor as Lord Celeborn's warriors dodged and fired upon the Orcs and Easterlings who overran their forest home. The Elven warriors fought valiantly, their swords and bows singing their deadly harmonies, even as their wielders fell like weeds under a farmer's scythe before the might of the armies set against them.

The image was consumed in flames, changing and shifting to show the streets of Minas Tirith, the people fleeing before battalions of Orcs and Trolls who cut them down without mercy. The screams of the women and children filled his ears and tore his heart as he stood at the center of the battle, clutching a broken sword as Sauron himself approached, the One Ring glowing upon his four-fingered hand, to cut him down.

That image also faded as Imladris swirled into view. Elrond lay dead, cut down by an enemy's blade and Arwen held his bloodied body, weeping inconsolably. An unseen figure standing behind her raised a gore-encrusted sword and Aragorn dropped the palantir just as the sword fell, extinguishing the light of his beloved Evenstar.

Aragorn tasted the defeat to come as bitter gall in his mouth. He knew with a conviction that surpassed all reason that Sauron would destroy and subvert everything within Middle Earth and he knew the things he had seen were not lies, for Frodo had failed.

"The ring will not make it to Mount Doom." he cried out. "All is lost!"

The palantir crackled at his feet as lightning shot through its depths.

"The Ring!" Sauron's voice boomed from the fallen stone. "The Ring is being borne to Mount Doom. Now I shall find it and destroy its courier."

Aragorn's blood turned to ice at the words. He had given away their most guarded secret, that which even Pippin had not, and the ultimate failure of the quest would not belong to Frodo... but to him!

The king's eyes flew open in terror, his body bathed in sweat, his breath caught in his throat as he lay in his bed within the White City. His heart hammered wildly within his chest as he turned to look upon Arwen, safe and sleeping peacefully beside him. Not in years had he had so vivid, so horrifying a nightmare as this one and he puzzled as to why, with the rebuilding of Ithilien going so well and with Gondor more secure than it had been in hundreds of years, that three years after the war, such a dream would come to him now.

******************

On the western shores of Valinor, in a room overlooking the Encircling Sea, Námo made love to Irmo, the Vala of dreams. Irmo lay upon his back, his blond hair streaming over the pillow, his legs hooked over Námo's shoulders, his hips arching rhythmically upward as the dark-haired Vala of fate thrust vigorously into him.

They moved together familiarly, their bodies joined in desire as the air around them flashed with the energy created by their passion. With a sudden shout of completion, Irmo came, followed within seconds by Námo, who stiffened in his lover's arms as he found his release within the body he knew so well, the body he never tired of exploring, of pleasuring.

Námo slowly, and with reluctance, extricated himself from the blond beauty beneath him and they lay together in perfect contentment, looking into each other's eyes. They were not often able to be together in this way, and both knew each rare opportunity was a time to be cherished.

"You will have much to mend when the denizens of Middle Earth take their nightly paths tomorrow, will you not?" Námo asked with a small smile.

"Yes, and I will do so with the utmost diligence, but this night is ours!" Irmo exclaimed, taking Námo in his arms and bestowing upon him a voracious kiss.

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