Title: As a Father
Genre: Gen, Double Drabble
Written for the November Challenge: Nostalgia
As the evening shadows deepened, Merry turned to the cheery warmth of his fire. He lit a pipe and shuffled through the latest pages of his book Old Words and Names of the Shire. Perusing his notations on the similarities between the Rohan and Shire languages, he began to reminisce about his brief days as a king’s squire - before the great battle, before he rode with sturdy Dernhelm who, before his dimming eyes upon the Pelennor, transformed into a shield maiden of Rohan. Before the grief of war laid its stern hand upon him, changing him forever.
He saw Théoden, old but hale in bearing, speaking so graciously to a little hobbit who was naught but baggage on the road to Edoras. Merry smiled to remember how bold he had been, drawing his sword and offering his service to the Rohan king, who accepted him gladly. Even now his heart swelled with love and pride to recall the king’s blessing as he knelt before him.
“You shall be as a father to me,” he had said.
“For a time,” Théoden answered.
Not for a time, Théoden King, Merry thought, a tear rolling down his cheek, not only for a time.