WARNING: This is a hint of SLASH. While there is no explicit homosexual action, this story involves a man (male elf, really) in love with a man. If this bothers you, I am certainly not going to make you read it, and indeed kindly request that you take yourself elsewhere and read some of the lovely het works on ffnet. If you read the fic in spite of my warning, then donít complain to me!

Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings, and all of its characters clearly do not belong to me. They belong to the amazing J.R.R. Tolkien. Iím merely playing with their minds... (evil grin).

Feedback: Please, please, please...yes, I am begging! I would like to know what you think of it; love it, hate it, don't get it- whatever! Just keep in mind that flames will be used to heat my very cold dorm room.

Author's Notes: This is the fourth installment in the Double Edged series. This is the first from Aragornís POV. Let me know what you think about it -. if you can offer some constructive criticism, I would really appreciate it! Keep reviewing, and I will keep writing!


Double Edged

Chapter 4 - Soiled

By Kitsune

       

A darkness grows in the world. A threat brought to the innocent of middle earth by a selfish, evil being. He, a being that was once a man, would rule all of the land, would steal the very breath from the living, would rob the purity of the good. A similar darkness lives in my soul. I (impertinent and undeserving) seek to hold that which should not be touched. I covet something that no man should ever desire to own. I am depraved, a degenerate. A beautiful lamb offered itself to me, and I have agreed to sacrifice it.

They say that I am Isildurís heir. I believe that I more likely am Sauronís heir. Even Isildur could not paint so evil a taint upon such perfection.

I met Lady Arwen Undomiel when I was a child. Images of her smiling face have always lingered in the back of my mind. She laughed at my antics once upon a time. My mother died when I was but a babe, and it astonished me that this beautiful, foreign woman could take such joy in my presence. She went away, leaving me caught in a confused miasma of raven hair, soft eyes, earthy scent, breathy voice and unconditional adoration.

I was a man when she returned. Fully grown and no longer protected by the innocence of childhood. I had killed living beings, exulted in my triumph. I thought that I knew so much. I could defeat any evil. Except the evil of my own perverse weakness. And so, I loved her. I understand now that while the Evenstar is wise in the ways of Middle Earth, and steeped in ancient Elfish knowledge, she knows next to nothing about the ways of man. I took advantage of her naivetť. She did not know enough to be cautious of me. And so, She loved me.

This enchanting angel has opened her heart to a deceiver, and has offered up her immortality. She has forsworn her eternal life to die for me. And I (Horrible!) have accepted this oath. I have promised her that I will become King for her, that I will marry her, that I will love her. I thought that I did love her. But is it love to sentence something to death merely for your own gratification?

She has always seemed something apart to me. Indeed, she is - she will never be touched by the cares of the outside world, nor will pillaging Time ravage her sweet face. She will remain as she always has been. Pure. Good. Innocent. Alive. At least, she would have remained so, had it not been for me. In my own defiance, I did try to dissuade her. I attempted to explain how her sacrifice nibbled at my heart, how her greatness lessened me. But, those childlike eyes filled with pain (such a foreign concept to her), and she asked what it was that made her so unlovable. Oh, Gods. I am trapped. I have caught myself in a cage of my own making. I have admired celestial beauty, and destroyed it by doing so.

I dream. Nightmares come to me in the dark and light. Images of her face, crumpled with age. Visions of her turning disappointed eyes on me. I am only a man. She has seen nothing but beauty and perfection in her life. How can she understand that I, and the life that she will lead with me, will hold pain, suffering. I will be forced to make decisions that she does not agree with. The world, and the nature of man, will insist upon ruining her ideals. I have gazed into the sky and pulled the most beautiful star down to earth. But a star cannot exist on this world. The very dirt of the land will extinguish its brightness.

If only there was some way to show her what the world holds, to remind her of what she will be giving up. If she had been trained in the ways of the Elven Warriors, perhaps she would have some idea. They have been forced to kill, to erase the light that they worship from anotherís eyes, surrendering a soul to darkness forever. Arwen believes that Good people lead Good lives, and that it is only Bad people who kill them, or who they Kill. One day I will be forced to make a diplomatic decision. I will have to choose the lesser of two evils. An innocent will die by my hand. It will happen - it has already begun.

I cannot allow this. The guilt eats away my soul, destroying the light, and leaving only despair, and shadow. A soul of shadow cannot be expected to lead a Good world. I love Arwen. But I do not deserve her. There is no way. I love her as a sailor loves the stars that guide him. I cherish her, as a gardener would revere a rare and delicate blossom that he has nurtured into existence. But I cannot marry her!

This heady adoration mixed with black guilt is all that I have ever associated with love. But, for some reason, my heart hints to me that this is not all that there is. Something deep inside of me believes that love does not have to include pain, that it can be completely and utterly beautiful. Some part of my soul, at some point in my life (or perhaps in the time before it) happened upon the idea that love should be its own reward, that love would feed upon itself and make the joined lovers greater than they could be separately. By loving Arwen, I am destroying her, and bringing ruin to myself. Perhaps if I truly loved Arwen, then I would love her even more for her choice - not hate her for the pain it brings me.

I am in agony. My soul is wracked with convulsions of indecision. My mind is scattered and my focus begins to waver. I am worth very little in the normal span of things, but in this state I am a danger to those around my. In this situation, my inattention could be the death of them. I will master this! Only... I know not how.


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