Author name: Gentle Hobbit
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Pairing: Frodo, Eomer
Word Count: 578
Betas: angharad and claudia603
Summary: Frodo wishes to challenge one last fear. Eomer and his horse, Firefoot, aid him.
The West Wind
Rohirrim ride rampaging over grassy land.”
The West Wind indeed whistled past their ears and Eomer tightened his arm around Frodo’s waist.
“What are those words?” Eomer asked, amused.
“I am trying to compose a poem in your style,” said Frodo, and he laughed a trifle nervously as the horse beneath them sailed over a small stream. “Oof,” he said as they landed and continued on.
“In our style?” asked Eomer, incredulously.
“I’m not very good at it,” admitted Frodo. “Uncle Bilbo is the one for poetry. However, I’m fascinated by how one must have three words beginning with the same sound.” He gulped as horse and riders plunged down into a gully.
“Do you wish to stop?” asked Eomer, concerned. “There is no shame in saying so.”
“No,” said Frodo firmly. “I need to do this. I need to know.”
“You have not told me what this is that you need to know. All you have said is that you wish to rid yourself of a bad memory.” Eomer eased his horse into a walk.
Frodo relaxed his grip on Eomer’s arm. “The only other time I’ve ever ridden a horse,” he said slowly, “was shortly before I arrived in Rivendell. I was wounded - stabbed by the Witch King. Glorfindel put me upon his horse, great Asfaloth, and bid me ride ahead to Rivendell and flee our pursuers.
“I did not wish to leave my friends behind. But I was passing into the wraith-world because of the wound. The ride upon Asfaloth, which should have been a thing of joy, became something that reminds me of pain and terror only. Asfaloth is a beautiful and loyal horse. I would have my memories of him be of gladness and not of the evil of that day.
“I have thought that, perhaps, just perhaps, if I ride another horse - and enjoy it - it would help banish some of the evil memories. It might turn the idea of riding from something I look on with fear into something I can enjoy.”
“While you stay in Rohan, no horse ride will be evil,” said Eomer.
“No. I do not think so,” said Frodo. “And yet, I still fear it.”
“Yet you rode Asfaloth alone,” said Eomer. “It seems to me that you must ride Firefoot alone.”
Frodo twisted around to look at him.
“You ride ponies with skill,” Eomer said. “I have seen it. I have no doubt you could handle a horse if that horse accepted you. Come!”
Firefoot halted and Eomer dismounted. For a moment he stood by the horse’s head, his hand stroking the mane, and then he stood back. “He will carry you gladly,” Eomer said. “Look! The land is flat and you can see far. I will shorten the stirrups.”
And so this was done. Soon Frodo rode swiftly over the land and Firefoot responded to his every command. No Black Rider pursued them. No cold or pain assailed him. Instead Frodo himself could choose what he would do and Firefoot followed his lead. A tightness lifted from around Frodo’s heart and suddenly he felt a fierce joy. It welled up like a spring bursting forth from once infertile ground. And as the west wind whistled through his hair, he cried aloud in pleasure and delight.
And when at last he and Firefoot came back and Eomer lifted him down from the saddle, he knew. He had courage yet to face this fear.