Summary: Eltariel pays a visit to Talion. AU. One- Shot, Talion’s POV. Status: Complete A/N: There are a few things that you need to know. This is set during the BoG dlc and the Shadow Wars at the end of the game. It's AU, but could also be a missing scene. It has never really sat right with me that Eltariel never really showed remorse for her part in the events she and Celebrimbor were a part of. At least, not to Talion. Warning: Potential minor spoilers if you haven't played SoW yet. Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War and everything attached to these games. Rating: K (G) Characters: Talion, Eltariel. Amends There was a lull in the seemingly never-ending battle. A stillness that was unusual and now unfamiliar to me. We had won, but the price was very high. The general atmosphere around the fortress reflected it. Even I felt a weariness that ran deep to what was left of my soul. It was all I could do to not show any signs of weakness in front of my troops. As soon as I possibly could, I had retreated into the keep. Night has fallen and I stood above my armies as they rested and prepared for the next inevitable siege. Pinpricks of light were scattered all over the to denote fires that the Orcs have lit to keep the cold at bay. I felt a sudden desire to join them in their conversations and singing, to walk among them without them recoiling in fear. Without them whispering rumors to each other after I had passed. With this, came a sudden onslaught of emotions I thought I had long since done away with. I relived the agonizing pain and grief of my family's and comrades' deaths, the burning desire of vengeance and the determination to destroy Sauron and make his armies mine, the more recent sharp bitter taste of my closest friend's betrayal, which finally bled into resentment. My thoughts were interrupted by the feeling of a blinding light that made the Nazgul part of myself recoil with a building rage and hatred. I felt that she was near. I slowly drew in a breath, then released it just as slowly, attempting to calm myself. The rage abated ever so slightly. Then, the light came over me again much closer this time. She was here. Without turning to look at my visitor, I spoke, keeping my voice low and devoid of emotion. "Leave, Eltariel." "Why would I leave, Ranger, when you need my help?" came her answer. I gritted my teeth at the sound of her voice and reflexively clenched my hands into fists. I wanted to draw my sword and destroy the Elf assassin with all the power I possessed. Make her suffer. Her footsteps were very quiet, almost silent, I heard them anyway. She stopped just behind me. I still didn't turn to face her. My rage burned a little brighter at her closer proximity. She needs to suffer. "Ranger…" Eltariel started as she walked around me until she was directly in front of me. Kill her! The whisper insisted, almost making me reach for my blade. My hand twitched before I caught it. My eyes met hers and in the split second before her expression changed, in saw her concern. Now, it bloomed into… Worry? Guilt? "It is none of your concern," I ground out through clenched teeth. It would be so easy to kill her, Talion. "It is my concern," she replied. Her gaze shifted to my still clenched hand. I raised my fist and looked down at the ring I wore. As I did, the whispers I heard became stronger as well as the urging for Eltariel's blood. The stone glowed a bright menacing orange. I lowered my hand, realizing the source of my heightened rage and banished the ring's influence to the back of my mind. With that, my anger, though still there, was greatly lessened and I could think more clearly. My gaze met the Elf's once more. I started to move away from her when she spoke again. "It is my fault, Talion, that you are on this path." The clear guilt in her voice made me pause. Eltariel continued, "I will do everything in my power to atone for my actions." I turned my head to face her, opening my mouth to respond, but closed it before I said anything. My gaze was drawn to her opened hand, holding a gold ring with glowing blue writing around it. "Celebrimbor's ring…" I mumbled, picking it up. "Why…?" I asked, breaking my stunned gaze from the ring and looked at the assassin questioningly. Her eyes flicked from the ring, to my eyes, then back. "It was never mine. I stole it and left you to die. I was seduced by the thought of its power and that I could use it to end the undying darkness." She met my gaze once more, still full of remorse and guilt. I looked at the ring again, felt its comforting weight in the center of my palm. I closed my eyes and allowed the memories to return. For a brief moment I remembered what it was to be a human again. I remembered how to feel. I savored the warm feelings and felt my body relax. This is not real, intruded the thought. I opened my eyes and reality set in. I held the ring out to Eltariel. "Keep it." The assain took it back, her movements slow. There was no hiding her confusion. "I do not understand." I looked away. "I cannot go back. I have made my sacrifices. This is my path now and I must follow it until it ends." "You won't have to fall into darkness. You can take this and fight." Again, Eltariel held the ring out to me. My eyes fell on it, but it didn't tempt me this time. I was sure of my decision. I shook my head. "I'm beyond redemption, now. You can still use it for good, Eltariel." I gently took her wrist and closed her fingers around the band. I met her gaze and repeated, "Keep it. Use it to redeem yourself." I let go of her and backed away, changing the subject. I did need her help. "Another siege is coming. Go to Nurn and ready the defenses. I will be there shortly." Eltariel inclined her head, slipping the ring back onto her finger and started toward the door. "I will try to save you some fun." Her response brought a small smile to my face. I looked at her retreating back. "I can still kill more Orcs than you." Eltariel paused in the doorway and looked back. Her mouth curved into an answering smile. "We'll see, Ranger." Then she left. I returned to the balcony, my determination refreshed. I will see this through. End A/N: I apologizes for mistakes made. It has been about three years since I last wrote anything and I'm terribly rusty. If you have any questions, please ask. Thank you for your patience. I hope you enjoyed.