Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. Wish they were though. Cuz then I could make Aragorn and Legolas get nekkid on screen...
Main Characters: Most of the surviving original characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy make some sort of appearance. Of great importance and note are Aragorn (King Elessar), Arwen, Legolas, Boromir (yes, I said Boromir), Faramir, and Eowyn. Also starring are original characters, such as Farawyn and Dathomir, or original takes on mentioned or named characters, like Prince Eldarion.
Warning: This story contains slash (male homosexual relationships), mild homoeroticism, profanity, mature themes, sexual situations, nudity, gore (the bloody kind, not the presidential kind), and violence. You know, the good stuff.
Archive: Please ask first.
Summary: This is the tale of Prince Eldarion, son of Aragorn and Arwen, his Elven lover, Dathomir, and his best friend Farawyn, daughter of Faramir and Eowyn. Eldarion wishes to escape his father's shadow, but when he runs away from Gondor, Eldarion uncovers a plot to destroy his kingdom. Legolas is taken by a mysterious villain, and during an attempt to save him, Aragorn is taken as well. Nothing can be taken for granted, and it is up to Eldarion, Dathomir, and Farawyn to set Gandalf free and save Gondor. Contains slash.
Notes: Mennai i Metta means "Until the End" in Elvish (Quenya dialect). This story will contain some Elvish language words, but footnotes marked with a (*) shall contain the translation. Since this is in written form, and I found Quenya to be more extensive (and it *is* the "Book Elvish"), all Elvish will be used with Quenya dialect. It will help to avoid dialectal confusion, though if I lack a word in Quenya, I will refer to Sindarin. Any grammatical or dialectal inconsistencies with my Elvish are on the part of ignorance, and feedback on Elvish grammar is appreciated, so it can be edited and fixed. Elvish grammar errors will no doubt be abundant, as I'm still learning the languages. This is mostly movie canon, with book canon used to fill in the details. The few inconsistencies with book canon are intentional, as movie canon takes precedence to book canon. There will be slash themes contained within. Deal with it. This, however, is a romantic adventure, not a mere slash story.
With Thanks To: Both Kayshinae and crickets for their awesome beta. *gives big hugs to them* Does having two betas make me paranoid about my writing or what? *grin*
Mennai i Metta
Legolas peered into Eldarion's room, expecting to find the young Prince writing in his journal, but found the room empty.
Legolas' brow furrowed as he entered the room, looking around. The sheets were tangled and the room exuded the faintest scent of sex. Were his senses not so keen, he might have missed it. Yet, despite the scent of sex, the scent of a woman was not present.
Eldarion's wardrobe lay open, his clothing scattered across the room. Various trinkets and jewelry were missing and boxes and drawers were upturned. Legolas stood by the bed, trying to understand why the Prince was not only missing but his room in such disarray. Spying a long, golden hair on Eldarion's pillow, he reached over to pick it up, feeling the fine strand in his fingers.
"You would almost think it was your hair, wouldn't you?"
Legolas looked up, mildly startled. Elessar stood in the doorway, an angry, hurt expression on his face. As he had been taught in the ways of Elves, only the King of Men was stealthy enough to approach Legolas unheard. Legolas held up the hair to Elessar.
"Indeed, this is like my own hair, but it is not mine. I have not been dallying with your son," Legolas said irritably. What exactly was Elessar trying to suggest?
Elessar sat down at his son's desk, looking about the room morbidly. Legolas noted that Elessar did not look like he had slept the night before, and his eyes betrayed the fact that he had been crying. His face unshaven, he took on the familiar air of the Aragorn of old, shabby and unkempt.
"I know you have not. You are careful not to betray your suspicions, Legolas. A loyalty to your brother that is most commendable. How long have you known?"
Legolas sighed and dropped the hair back on the bed. "A year, maybe less. I saw them in the garden. They did not know I saw," he said carefully.
"And why did you not tell me?" Elessar ground out, his green eyes flashing at Legolas.
"Because you are most unreasonable when it comes to your children. I knew you would become angry with my brother and most likely try to separate them. Which I knew would only make the situation worse, because it was apparent to me that Dathomir and Eldarion care deeply for one another. Between them lies not lust, but love," Legolas said even more carefully.
"'You are most unreasonable when it comes to your children'? How else do you expect a father to be?" Elessar asked, looking even angrier.
"Perhaps you should try understanding. Eldarion is not you. He does not act like you do, nor think like you do. And he is not a child. He wished to start an affair with my brother, and from what I have seen, it has been good for both of them. No harm befell anything but your pride, Aragorn," Legolas sighed. Almost as if to remind Elessar of his youth, Legolas was one of the few who still referred to him by his birth name.
"Dathomir was charged to watch over Eldarion, not to-"
"Eldarion no longer needs watching over. Dathomir would not have touched him whilst he was a child. You know that."
"Eldarion must produce heirs, he is-"
"Not your only child. Out of eight sisters, I'm sure one of them could produce an heir."
"He is the future King of Gondor and-"
"I am not entirely positive of this as I am not a lord of the world of Men, but I do not recall any laws that said that Kings, be they of Mirkwood or Gondor, cannot take male lovers. In fact, I am nearly positive that somewhere in your history, one of your ancestors had one. And I do recall about a millennia or so ago, one of your ancestors making a pass at me whilst he traveled through Mirkwood. I cannot recall his name, but I distinctly remember his hands traveling places I did not give them leave to."
Elessar stared Legolas, his mouth hanging open slightly.
"Of course, I broke his wrist. He was very upset."
"Dear Aragorn, when have you ever known me to jest?"
Elessar frowned and turned his face. "You used to jest and play when I was a boy, Legolas. You have changed."
"As have you. As I recall, you used to laugh all the time and lived for nothing more than to put a tangle in my hair. Those days are long past, and you are a man now. As I did with you, I taught your son archery. Though I will say you were a far better student and a superior marksman."
Elessar hung his head. "He says I am perfect. He says he is tired of trying to live up to me. He says he hates me."
"I doubt he hates you. But I'm sure he is very angry at you if you did what I think you did," Legolas sighed.
"It was for the best."
"Everything is for the best. Look at it from his point of view. His father is a hero. His father is a great man. Everyone compares him to his father - except for this one person, this beautiful person he's known all his life. He loves this person; this person loves him. At some point, the demands of the body break through, and they consummated their love. Then his father, his great, perfect father steps in and tells him it is wrong and he has to let this person go. You'd be angry, too, if you were him."
"No, I wouldn't. I would understand, because I would see that I have duties, and responsibilities, and I-"
"Eldarion is not you. His life is different from yours; he isn't saddled with the same expectations. He is living his own life. He is living his own life and he wants my brother to be part of it. You were raised by Elves. Why are you so harsh on their love? It is not uncommon for an Elf to love someone of his own gender, when he is ready to love. I would chalk your behavior up to human ignorance if it were not for the fact that I know you know better, Aragorn."
Elessar turned his face from Legolas. "Eldarion left with Dathomir last night. Apparently, Farawyn went with them. The Lady Eowyn will not be pleased at all," Elessar sighed.
"You avoid my question skillfully, but not skillfully enough."
"He said I would not understand. He said I would not know how he feels."
Legolas was silent, staring down at the crumpled pillow with the lone strand of golden hair. "Do you - do you know how he feels? Do you understand?" Legolas asked softly.
Elessar stood up and walked to the large window in his son's room. He leaned against the frame as he opened it, letting the warm, summer air waft into the room, airing out the scent of Eldarion and Dathomir's passion.
"It was a long time ago, Legolas. I was a boy and my desires were one-sided, for what would anyone want with a shabby Ranger?"
Elessar suddenly felt Legolas standing behind him, his hot breath hitting the side of his neck. Elessar shivered, but not from cold.
"You had but to ask, Aragorn, son of Arathorn. And I could have told you what someone would have wanted of a shabby Ranger. I've said it before, and I shall say it again. You were never a mere ranger to me. Even when I did not know of your heritage," Legolas said softly, pressing something into Elessar's hand before disappearing.
Elessar looked down at his hand to find that the Elf had left him a strand of Legolas' own long, golden hair.
"We'll rest soon."
"We'll eat soon."
"We'll bathe soon."
"You're going to be knocked off your mount very soon if you do not fall silent!"
"I'd like to see you try! Why don't you go nance off into the forest, like the rest of your song-singing, star-gazing, tree-hugging -"
"Would the the pair of you bloody well shut up?" Eldarion shouted, standing in his stirrups to glare at them. "I've half a mind to turn these horses right around and head straight back to the castle if you do not cease your bickering! Crowns and scepters, I've seen children who don't act so much like children!" Eldarion settled back into his saddle with a paternal glare.
Dathomir and Farawyn turned in surprise to the normally quiet and soft-spoken Eldarion, who was scowling at both of them. "Sorry," they said unison.
Eldarion sighed. "We've been riding all night and all day. It's already late afternoon. Why don't we stop by the stream to clean up, cook dinner, and then sleep? Sound good to everyone?" he asked calmly.
"Excellent suggestion!" Farawyn grinned. Dathomir shrugged.
Eldarion led them to a nearby stream, and they dismounted and began to set up camp. Dathomir started dinner while Farawyn practically flew over to the stream to bathe. Eldarion calmly set up their bedrolls, grateful for the rest from Farawyn's incessant prattling.
"Is there any way we can lose her in the forest?" Dathomir asked.
"You love her as much as I do. It is good to have her company, even if it is tiresome at times."
"I love her as I would any daughter or sister, but it does not change the fact that I should like to strangle her."
Eldarion laughed out loud, dropping himself on his bedroll and rolling over to pull out his own bathing items. Dathomir continued to cook, both males falling into a comfortable silence.
"Ah, that does indeed smell good, Master Elf."
Eldarion and Dathomir jumped at the same time, both turning to an old, battered oak, under which stood an aged gentleman in dusty traveling clothes. He limped out into the light, using an ornate walking stick to aid him. He had a wide-brimmed brown hat upon his head. There was a twinkle in his blue eyes and his craggy face wore a kindly smile.
Eldarion reached for his sword, but Dathomir held up his hand, stilling the prince. "And who are you, strange friend?" Dathomir asked carefully.
"I...?" the old man asked, looking around and stroking his hairless chin.
"What others are there with you?" Dathomir asked.
"Why, there are Me and Myself. I cannot travel alone. We three seem to be rather inseparable."
Dathomir and Eldarion exchanged looks. Dathomir turned to the elderly gentleman. Despite his dusty brown clothing and shabby appearance, there was something rather distinguished about him. Dathomir sensed nothing amiss about the stranger at all.
"Would you - and you and yourself, of course - like to warm yourself by our fire and share our meal?" Dathomir asked.
"Me, myself, and I should be most pleased to join you in the sharing of such a fine-smelling meal. I did not know Elves could cook," the man said, beaming happily as he sat down in the circle of their camp.
"I have no idea if they can or cannot. My mortal wife taught me, many a year ago," Dathomir said softly, stirring the food.
The old man cocked his head at Dathomir, removing his worn hat and revealing a wild mop of pure white hair. "An Elf who married a mortal? How very fascinating. I thought all your kind were preparing to leave this world," the old man said.
"They are, but I shall not be joining them. I live as a mortal Man, despite my blood being that of an Elf," Dathomir said proudly.
"I've always found living as a mortal Man to be rather satisfying. Tell me, then, my new friends, what are your names?"
"I am Dathomir, and this is..." Dathomir said, casting a glance at Eldarion in question.
"Strider," Eldarion shrugged, and then frowned. Now, he was using his father's names. Would he never escape King Elessar's shadow?
The old man smiled at the name, his blue eyes twinkling. "Strider, eh? Interesting name. I am Kuruvar," the man said.
Eldarion narrowed his eyes. "That is a Quenya word. For wizard," he said.
"Truly? I do not know Elvish, I am afraid. It is merely the name my mother gave me. At least she did not name me Strider," the old man smiled impishly.
"How did you know that Quenya was a form of Elvish?'
"Who does not?"
Eldarion snorted and lay back on his bedroll. At that moment, Farawyn chose to return from her bath. Eldarion and Dathomir were like brothers to her; she had known them since infancy and thought nothing of appearing in but a towel. Yet when she discovered that there was an elderly man sitting in the middle of the camp grinning rather wickedly at her state of undress, she let out a blood-curdling scream and ran to hide behind a tree.
Dathomir began to laugh madly. Eldarion merely shook his head and grabbed some clothing for Farawyn from her belongings. Kuruvar pulled out a pipe, still smiling, and stuffed it full of what looked like pipe-weed. Dathomir was still laughing as Kuruvar lit up his pipe, and Farawyn emerged from behind her tree fully dressed.
"You bloody well could have warned me you had invited a stranger to our camp before I came prancing back here in next to nothing!" she screamed at Dathomir, who was wiping tears of mirth from his eyes.
Eldarion grabbed his bathing items and wandered off to the stream shaking his head in amusement. Dathomir ignored Farawyn, adding seasoning to their stew.
"Come now, young lady, I did not mind. Many a year has passed since I saw as lovely a vision as a tall, fair blonde girl wearing naught but a small towel. Let us be friends. I am Kuruvar," the old man grinned, holding out his hand.
Farawyn blushed and shook his hand, glaring still at Dathomir, who was still snickering on occasion. "I am Farawyn. And you are an old lecherous bastard," she said hotly.
"I do not deny it. But I attest that I am a perfectly nice old lecherous bastard. You can ask myself if you don't believe me," Kuruvar shrugged.
"What?" Farawyn asked, blinking in utter confusion as Dathomir began to laugh again.
"In any case, I doubt I have much chance to win your hand with competition as fair as your two male companions," Kuruvar grinned.
"You think Dathomir and Eldarion compete for my hand? Nay, they are like my brothers and are far more interested in seeking each other's hands. Especially at night," Farawyn laughed and sat down on her bedroll to comb out her hair.
Dathomir winced at both the usage of the Prince's name and the reference to his relationship to Eldarion, but Kuruvar said nothing of it. He puffed at his pipe, his glittering eyes falling on the Elf. "Tell me, Sir Dathomir, from whence do you hail?" he asked.
Dathomir stirred the soup again, smacking Farawyn's hand with a spoon when she tried to reach for the toast he was making. "Sorren," he said softly.
Kuruvar bowed his head. "A sad tale, that. It is lucky that you survived," he said gently.
"Perhaps," Dathomir shrugged darkly.
"It is good that you watch over these two youngsters. Your support of them will be invaluable," Kuruvar said. Dathomir looked up and studied the wizened visage of the strange man before him.
"Tell me, Master Kuruvar, have we met?" Dathomir asked hesitantly.
Kuruvar turned his face towards Dathomir, taking the pipe from his lips and staring straight into the Elf's eyes. Dathomir choked slightly as a flash of a vision passed before him and his mind was transported to a time long past.
Dathomir could see a man standing ahead of him, his gray robes rustling in the wind.
Before the gray-robed man stood one clad in black, with long silver hair, pale white skin, and eyes as gray as a storm. His beauty matched that of any Elf, though there was something far more vicious about this creature. His ears were more pointed and stuck out from either side of his head, like an animal's.
Dathomir's daggers flashed in the stormy night, slicing into the flesh of the swarming army of demons. He enjoyed the bloodshed, the fury of battle. Moments like these, covered in his enemies' blood as their bodies piled at his feet, were what he lived for.
"Issoryss!!" the gray-robed man cried. He had a long, gray beard and a pointed hat that blew away in the wind. "Stop this madness!!"
"You are a fool, Gandalf!! I will have the youngest prince of Mirkwood!! Give him to me!!" the strange, silver man clad in black screamed.
Dathomir turned to stare in horror at Legolas, who shuddered in the mud between the two wizards. His brother...he could not let the foul wizard corrupt his younger brother.
Dathomir ran between the two wizards as a glow passed between them and forces of magic were unleashed. He had to save his brother!
Everything went white.
"Dathomir! Dathomir! Are you all right??"
Dathomir blinked and looked up. Eldarion's face swam into view, dripping wet and looking frightened. Dathomir sat up and embraced him, trembling in fear. He took comfort from Eldarion's hand stroking his hair as the tremors subsided.
"What happened, Dathomir?" Eldarion whispered. He cast a glance at Kuruvar, but the old man was still sitting calmly, smoking his pipe. Farawyn hovered nearby, wringing her hands and looking near tears. Despite their antagonistic friendship, Farawyn and Dathomir loved each other greatly.
"I...remembered!" Dathomir sobbed, his mind spinning with memories long forgotten.
"Remembered? Remembered what?" Eldarion asked.
"There was a fight. I saw Gandalf, and some strange wizard, and my brother. Legolas was in danger..." Dathomir breathed, trying to calm himself.
"The mind is a funny thing. It only remembers when it wants to," Kuruvar said suddenly, staring at setting sun behind the trees.
"Come, Dathomir, I shall help you bathe. Farawyn will finish making dinner. And then you can eat and rest," Eldarion said gently, helping the Elf to his feet. Dathomir nodded, leaning gratefully against the prince as he was led away.
Farawyn stared at the strange old man curiously as she stirred the stew, adding the last of the deer meat. Kuruvar stared back at her, smiling gently.
"You're a funny old man," she said thoughtfully.
"You have no idea, young one. No idea whatsoever," Kuruvar smiled mysteriously.
To be continued...
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