also that whole tale of aragorn and arwen thing where he saw her in the woods at twenty and fell instantly in love and it’s very beren and luthien? lies.
aragorn decided he was going to marry arwen when he was like, six.
and everyone thought it was just the cutest thing, baby estel with his little crush on the great immortal evenstar, and everyone would tease him about it relentlessly and he would get so mad, and pout, because how dare they doubt his word.
(arwen spent a lot of time biting back smiles and nodding very seriously when aragorn brings this up with her. no, estel, I do not know why they are laughing perhaps they have remembered a particularly funny joke.)
and then aragorn grows into this gangly teen and oh my god can you imagine being a pimply greasy teenager around fucking elves it’s a wonder he has any self-image left. His voice breaks every other word and the laundresses are beginning to wonder if something is wrong with the sheets because estel keeps washing them himself and aragorn wants to die, god, arwen is never going to marry him if he stays all elbows and skinny knees and he can’t even look her in the eye anymore without blushing, eye contact is probably something to look for in a husband–
(arwen, who never had to go through puberty because elves don’t do anything so undignified, tries to comfort him by saying she likes his blemishes. aragorn gives her a look of such utter, miserable despair that she starts laughing.)
(this is a mistake. he spends the next three weeks nursing his wounded ego and refusing to see her.)
estel is twenty when he asks for her hand. he is lean, slender and fair as a new tree, and so arwen does not feel guilt in kissing his cheek and gently refusing. he is still green, he will weather greater storms than this–and he takes it as he should, clasping her hand and swearing to ever be her loyal friend.
they write to each other–when she is in lorien, when he wanders with the rangers of the north, fights alongside gondor, travels to distant lands. it is an inconstant tie–he is rarely afforded time enough to put pen to paper; she is reserved so as not to encourage what may not be. (she signs her letters always, your friend. She likes him too well to be cruel in this.)
the years pass. his weariness and strife creeps onto the page, and she sends him tokens to fend off the darkness–leaves from lothlorien, the ribbon from her hair, snippets of poems. it is not enough it is never enough I am sorry, she writes.
his reply is gentle: you are enough. do not stop writing.
(she carries that letter tucked inside her sleeve for a long while, like a talisman–though against what evil, she does not know.)
she is in the house of her grandmother when a familiar voice calls out to her: my lady luthien!
this is when arwen looks up, sees aragorn–broad of chest and rugged, still wearing his battered mail, with one hand balanced lazily on the pommel of his sword. All the trees of caras galadhon are gold but he is shadow and silver, kingliness resting lightly on his shoulders–
can you even imagine a catching fire au with the jabberjays
like marius is screaming for cosette and grantaire doesn’t really understand, she sounds like she’s in pain, sure, but he has to know it’s not her, right, so he just starts shushing him, grabbing his shoulders and squeezing to keep him from writhing and crying out, that’s not her, sometimes squeezing harder than others, anything to calm him down but he just keeps crying, marius, they’re birds, shut up, it’ll all be over soon, just one more torture, just one more hour
then a strong, sure voice pierces the air, sounding less strong and sure than grantaire had ever heard it, calling his name above all names and his heart completely stops beating
grantaire takes off in an absolute moment of adrenaline, his feet are tripping underneath him and plants are scratching at his face and he can’t see, he can’t think and all he knows is enjolras is out there and they are drawing noises from him he would die a thousand bloody deaths to unhear, his voice is torn to shreds yet he still draws noise after noise from his throat without pause, ENJOLRAS, ENJOLRAS, his wounds are bleeding heavily and the agony of hearing apollo in pain brings him to his knees at the very edge of the forcefield, combeferre is yelling at him from the other side, at the top of his lungs, it’s not real, it’s not real, but grantaire can’t hear, he looks combeferre in the eye without bothering to read his lips and screams THEY’RE KILLING HIM, THEY’RE KILLING HIM, he folds in on himself and tries to press his hands to his ears to block it out and finds he can’t breathe, he has found hell and he cannot see the surface, there are no gentle presses of their hands together, no fiery speeches or blazing hearts to bring him back to himself, he lets out a guttural shriek above the din that tears the humanity from his being and rips his final shred of hope with a horrid, desperate cry of “NO”
enjolras is on the ground at home pounding his fists against the television, static waves erupting from the force of his fingertips, his eyes are wild and blurred with angry tears and he’s bitten his nails to bloody stumps and his pleas sound like sandpaper as he screams over and over “I’M OKAY, I’M RIGHT HERE, YOU STUPID BASTARD, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, I LOVE YOU, GRANTAIRE, I’M OKAY, I’M RIGHT HERE, GODDAMMIT, LOOK AT ME”