Kielle: Of course you can. *pets* Everything will be fine.
Gorlim: *clings, sniffles a bit*
Kielle: What now, love?
Gorlim: Lots of very small and stupid things. I'm sorry, I should stop.
Kielle: No, tell me. What now?
Gorlim: *deep breath* I'm tired from guarding all night and worried about Eomer and Mithrhovan and Halbarad and I'm scared of what's happening to us only I have to be strong so Halbarad's not scared except... except really I'm just as scared as he is and I don't know anyone else to go to.
Kielle: Gorlim, I don't understand. You get upset when people try to care for you and you get upset when they trust you to be strong.
Gorlim: I am a very confused person. Say something more specific and I can explain why. Otherwise all I can say is that I do have reasons and it's not that general.
Kielle: *sigh* You were hurt when you were not allowed to protect Eomer, and now you are unhappy at being asked to guard both him and Halbarad. *hug* I understand you're tired, but this is more than "tired."
Gorlim: No, I am not at all upset by being asked to guard them. That is what I want to do. That is what I will keep doing until somebody tells me otherwise.
Kielle: Then...what's wrong? I know you're tired and scared, and so does Halbarad...
Gorlim: Well... that was all, really. It's nothing I won't get over on my own. I was spooked because Halbarad's wolf bit me. I'm better now. I just wanted to be with someone who could just... well, be something to hold onto that's steady, because I'm not. Just for a few minutes. I know it's probably pretty selfish of me but I'm not in character anyway. *crosses arms defensively* I'm not trying to be an annoyance. I can manage my affairs on my own. I'll go away if I'm bothering you.
Kielle: *nudges your arms apart and ducks in so they're around my neck* Not bothering me. *rubbing your back soothingly, as I would a child* I'm only cruel as far as a puppet can go...never beyond. I can't be cruel to you at all. You're safe.
Gorlim: ...are you still confused about anything?
Kielle: You confuse me all the time. Right now?
Kielle: Maybe. That this isn't helping. *letting go, helpless shrug* I don't know any better. Eomer got that from me, in part.
Gorlim: But you are helping. *snuggles close* I wasn't sure if you were annoyed with me for coming around and whining for no good reason. >.<
Kielle: Of course not. I just have trouble understanding what you really want.
Gorlim: Right now?
Kielle: Right now.
Gorlim: Right now I just want someone to hold on to, who isn't going to think I'm a pathetic whiny brat because I'm scared. I can get along fine without anyone, but before I've always had someone to think about, and that would make me strong. When things got hard, I used to just be able to think about my wife and know she'd be there for me. I didn't need anyone to hold on to, because I had her, somewhere, knowing she would dream of me and imagining her arms, her warmth when I was alone. But, obviously, that's missing now and I've never had to deal with that before. You understand?
Kielle: *wincing* Yes...I think I do... I'm sorry.
Kielle: *hesitantly* Gorlim, do you understand how Arda works? Do you know about the Void?
Kielle: You know where Faramir went, right? And Haldir.
Kielle: Wellm that's not the Void...they're special, their muns prepared a place for them. But most puppets who disappear...they just disappear. It's like going to Mandos, in a way. But with no Jade and no release form. It's not a bad thing. Everyone has to go sometime. Are you still with me?
Gorlim: *nods again*
Kielle: Good... My question is, has Eilinel gone to the Void?
Gorlim: I... I think so.
Kielle: *nodding thoughtfully* If she has, then there is a chance you could get a second chance with her. *carefully* Sometimes, when a puppet goes to the Void...a new version might emerge from Mandos. It works in mysterious ways. *crooked grin* And sometimes it goes horribly wrong, as with the dozen or some Galadriels. *seriously again* But...do you understand what I'm trying to say...?
Gorlim: You're trying to tell me that maybe someone will decide to make her live again, and should that eventuality occur, there is some chance that she might find me again and THEN an even slighter chance that she might not think I'm a traitorous bastard and might even like me.
Kielle: Though I wouldn't use the word "slight" so emphatically.
Gorlim: Why not? Did you manage to roll the lucky dice and have your one true love wander in through the front door the day after you first dreamed him? I don't believe in probability anymore. I stopped gambling when I realized that no matter how long you wait, some things just aren't there to find.
Kielle: *quietly* No, I make my mistakes. And for all I know I still am. You just can't give up, Gorlim. But you need to be more careful.
Gorlim: How do you mean, careful?
Kielle: Just that. I'm not saying not to be guarded and cautious with your heart. But never give up.
Gorlim: For five years, I searched for a dead woman. For three Ages of this world, I searched for her in death. I came to life again still searching, and even after she left me, even while I still had Faramir to depend on, I kept looking for someone who would hold my heart. Norolinde came and went, and that was wrong, and it hurt, but I'm still looking. That's why I'm here, with you. I don't want to give up. I don't want to learn what it's like to not have a promise of comfort to give me strength. If I become accustomed to that, then I will give up. It's a strange anomaly, that such a weakness keeps me going, but without love, I, too, would fade and die. I am not going to give up. But I can't do it alone. There's something in me that's still too twisted and broken. I can't keep fighting against that. Alone, it would consume me, make me cold and empty as the burned plains of Ard-Galen in the winter.
Kielle: But you're not alone. Not entirely. You have Halbarad, and I can assure you personally that both Nadiyah and Eomer love you as well. You can lean on them until you find what you're seeking. You didn't have that before.
Gorlim: I know. But right now, Eomer and Halbarad are injured, Halbarad's fairly terrified besides, and Nadiyah is going to have a child. I have to be their strength right now. And that's fine, and it's right. But it means I have to find something else to be my strength.
Kielle: *dryly* I think you underestimate them all.
Gorlim: I don't mean it that way.
Kielle: You still don't trust anyone to be there when you need them. You never give anyone a chance.
Gorlim: But... I don't understand. They have their own problems, which at the moment appear to outweigh my own. Why should they have to solve my problems, too? Who's to say my problems are even real problems? Even you weren't sure at first.
Kielle: I didn't know what your problems WERE. I never said they weren't real. Maybe you're right, maybe right now is a better time for you to care about them. If you get back into the habit of it, though...you'll go mad, eventually.
Gorlim: I've gone mad before. Then I got over it. I'm never quite certain which way is better. Maybe I still am a bit mad. Either way, I don't want to go back to that... that part where suddenly there's just you and this vast darkness inside you that you can't escape or fight because nothing else exists. That's the part right before you go mad. Then you come to terms with it and that's madness. I came to you because it was dark and I was alone. You agree I have no business bothering Halbarad and Eomer right now, and Nadiyah's solutions sometimes make me wonder if she's ever felt that way herself, or maybe she's just stronger than I am inside. So here I am, with you, because I'm afraid of the dark.
Kielle: *sighing softly* I didn't mean... All right. I'm sorry. I won't try to rationalize any more. You don't want common sense, do you. Just comfort and safety. Nothing wrong with that...
Gorlim: You'll find I don't do well with common sense. I too often wonder if the alternatives might not be better solutions. Like baiting a werewolf with a turtle... or Halbarad. I'm sorry if that bothers you. You can try to rationalize me, but I'm afraid I may annoy you. I don't want to do that.
Kielle: You're NOT bothering me. *exasperated sigh* I just know what Eomer felt like now, wanting desperarely to help you and not being able to...
Gorlim: *thinks* You want to know how you can help me?
Kielle: I could use a clue.
Gorlim: *squirms into your arms* That's all. That's all I want from anyone. Just... to be touched in a way that doesn't hurt.
Kielle: That's easy. *cuddles* I can do that until morning, if you like.
Gorlim: I don't need to be analyzed. I don't want to be complicated and exasperating. I know I'm jumpy when people touch me and I'm not expecting it, but that's all I want... touch without pain. *curls up in your arms* Eomer can do that. I don't know if anyone else understands.
Kielle: *nodding* All right, no analysis. And no pain. Just rest. Though...I think he'd feel better if he knew.
Gorlim: If he knew what?
Kielle: That he didn't harm you. He's been down on himself for hurting you.
Gorlim: *sputters* But... but... Oy. I need to tell him. He... he helped me more than anybody ever has.
Kielle: He feels like he hurt you and then took advantage of you. And YOU think he doesn't care about you. Yes, I'd say you need to talk.
Gorlim: I will, then. He shouldn't think that.
Gorlim: I wondered why he was acting so funny around me. *curls up in your arms* Can I stay here a little longer?
Kielle: 'Till morning. Please stay.
Gorlim: *nods, closes his eyes*
Kielle: *rocks, humming*
Gorlim: *wraps his arms around her and falls asleep*