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That Kind of Grateful

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The cherry trees are in bloom in the palace garden, white blossoms thick like snow on the bare branches, and every warm breath of wind sends a shower of petals onto the two women walking hand in hand beneath them.

Indis laughs softly at Míriel's quiet joy; like a child she tilts her head back and tries to catch one of the floaty things on her tongue.

"I like them better candied," Míriel concludes when she has finally achieved her desire, and with a twinkle of her eye smiles at Indis. It is a good time – spring always sends Míriel soaring into activity, and like Vána trailing flowers in her wake, Míriel leaves hangings and weavings and lace, embroideries and needleworks blooming in the palace. When Indis comes visiting, she feels her heart beat high and quick in her throat at their sight, like a song that wants voice.

It is not for her to articulate it, not in the way she would if such things were permitted, but sometimes it is enough for Míriel to curl her hand in Indis' palm, gold ring that proclaims her union with Finwë and her needle-callouses, and say softly "I know. I know."