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Calmer Waters

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She caught him rounding a point of land, steep sloping stone breaking the waves, and Oš’šai – it was his name, even if its connection to her and to him stung – did not fight her arms wrapping around his shape.

Baring his teeth, he snarled.

“Oš’šai…” she murmured, and he could not bear the gentleness of her voice.

The wave that brought the land down was desperate fury and it crashed into the both of them when it fell, pulling them down alongside and still she held to him, clung to him, her green hair mingling with his white seafoam locks.

Oš’šai fled, a strand of seagreen hair wrapped lovingly around his wrist like a token.

He would not remove it.

 


 

The next time she found him, bouncing a small wooden thing playfully on the water, the green had been twisted into white, interlocking patterns decorated with a few pearls he had fetched from the depths of her domain.

Drawing himself up above the water, he listened to the cries of the Children.

Uynen’s arms were soft, wrapping around his form from behind and Oš’šai did not flinch, did not stop himself from relaxing into her hold.

“They fear your play like this,” she whispered. “Be gentle… they are… so very small.” Her hand on his cheek, turning him to face her, was still gentle but no less commanding.

The waves calmed, and Uynen’s smile was beautiful. The vessel moved, swifter than the wind would have set it, but gentler, each wave taking the same route.

They followed, and Uynen never let go of him – not that Oš’šai truly wished her to, thinking he might be content in her arms for the full life of Arda itself.

“Look,” she whispered, drawing his attention back to the cries of the Children, different now than before. “They are joyful… with you.”

 


 

 

He enjoyed the Children, fragile as they were, and taught them things when he walked the shore, changing his body to match theirs better, even if it felt terribly limiting. Around his wrist, in all shapes, remained the small band he had twined, the green as vibrant as the day it had first been snagged.

They seemed to like him, too, and the thought filled him with a glee no less potent for its difference from the glee he had once felt in following Melkorë and his promises.

Ulmo welcomed him back, that indefinable and incomparably annoying sense of knowing that always surrounded him accepting what Ossë could not – would not – say.

He still had a temper. Some days just screamed for storms and violent waves, for crashing glaciers and floods, for swollen rivers and plains, and Ossë – the children had named him anew, struggling with the language of Song – only barely restrained the impulse to let his power of change flow freely.

But Uinen – her name similar but different – was there, and it too-often felt like betraying her trust to destroy the things that had been built by others.