Chapter 19: More Than Meets the Eye
Hey Guys! So I am going to be somewhat busy over the next week and a half since it is finals for me (YIKES!) but I am going to try and update anyways! I actually was going to post last night, but I didn't get a chance to finish since I went to a Pentatonix concert with my boyfriend, which was so great. If you don't listen to them you definitely should, but that isn't important right now…I just wanted to take this moment to say thank you all for hanging in with me despite my less than consistent updating schedule, and continuing to send me such awesome feedback and reviews! Please enjoy this new chapter!
Queen Apolline: Oh yeah, that is one of my favorite parts of the books/movies, so I definitely had to throw that relationship in here somehow! Also I wanted to use this chapter as a chance to resolve the whole drama that occurred at the beginning of the book with the dwarves at dinner, so hopefully that wrapped it up somewhat for you guys. Thanks, and yes I think that at certain times those two can most definitely be described as cute!
Cottoncandybeefalo: Contrary to the beliefs of elves, the hearts of dwarves aren't made of stone. Yeah, I am looking forward to playing with the friendship they have and how it will change/stay the same because Legolas is mute. You will most certainly receive more flashbacks and dreams pretty soon, and then they are going to stop for a little bit, until the end of the story. Oh and I am really glad that we got the whole timing thing cleared up! I also wanted to thank you for sending me that info, because my middle earth knowledge is definitely lacking when it comes to the exact timing and dates of various events. It is always great to learn something I can use in the future.
CrazyPandaHobbit: I agree! They remind me of an old married couple with the way they bicker, and some of their arguments make me laugh! And um…I don't think that is silly at all! I personally think that they are gorgeous…along with some of his other attributes, I mean it is hard to hate on that face!
Booksnake3: Thanks! Hopefully you like where I end up taking the Legolas and Gimli thing, for I have some ideas on how to mix it up a little…
Tatharwen315: Haha that is great! I was hoping to get some reactions like that when I wrote the whole Gimli thing into the chapter. I am glad that I managed to get you excited for what is going to happen next as well.
Darknightstalker: Don't worry, you won't be in the dark for too much longer. In the next chapter there is going to be a flashback with a slight time jump of about three months after Legolas' original arrival, in which Thranduil will appear, and then a few chapters later I will do one of his actual arrival at the palace with Aragorn and the twins as well. I am glad that the angst is working for you, seeing as sometimes it can be a little bit too heavy for people.
Noxy the Proxy: Thanks, I hope that you like this one as well!
LotR-HP-PJ: Oh I totally agree with you! The series wouldn't be nearly as amazing with our favorite elf and dwarf friendship. You just summed up my feelings about slash so perfectly, thank you! I was really just entertaining the idea because of the requests I received, but I wasn't planning on actually doing anything unless I got a bunch of people saying that they want to see slash from me in a review, but most of the responses were more along the lines of your own views, so I have kind of vetoed the idea. I am so happy that you do! This story has turned out to be so much more of a success than I ever thought it would. Oh yes, all the tears shall come soon, and when I say all the tears, I mean ALL the tears…prepare yourself my friend…
Teapot of transformation: Of course, sorry that they haven't been very frequent though.
MuggleCreator: Yep, and they still have a long way to go, but they are getting there. The fully-fledged friendship should arrive soon enough.
Masked Man 2: Of course, and thank you! I am glad actually, because that was kind of what I was going for in that chapter. I also felt that I could use some more drama (as if there wasn't enough already) hence the whole choking on blood thing. I also felt like it started to entertain the idea that Amroth really was somewhat helpless, and the elves were beginning to panic when faced with the possibility of mortality of someone close to them. It was a small tip of the hat to that whole theme that Tolkien briefly touches upon. I am glad that you liked the ending! I was trying to bring out the bickering and petty teasing that is such a big part of their friendship. If you are trying to learn elvish, which I think is really cool, my brother has a friend who is legitimately fluent in both dialects, then I have the links for the sites that I use for my stories below. I just thought that if you wanted some help…the first is a dictionary, and the second is phrases, and other random stuff like that.
Elf With Redbull: Oh yay! This is so exciting! I am glad that you liked it, and I totally get what you mean.
Baka175: That is so sweet! In all honesty, it is reviews like this that keep me posting on here. As someone with very low confidence in general, I was so nervous about putting anything on here that I almost didn't do it. Yet now I couldn't be happier that I did! I am glad that you decided to give me a chance, and I hope that you continue to read along!
The Willow Maiden: That's good! *sighs in relief* Oh I so happy you enjoyed reading it, and you may have just sparked a small plot bunny in my mind…we shall have to see where this goes ;)
Guest 2000: None taken what so ever! The fact that this is even one of your top contenders in the first place is more than enough to make me happy. I have also read the story you are talking about, and in all honesty, I would consider myself lucky to be put in the same league of writing as skyleafalchemist.
: I am not entirely sure if you have posted before, but that doesn't matter, the fact that you are now is the most important thing to me! That means so much to me actually! To know that I have people following the majority of my writing is wonderful news. When I first started posting I could have never imagined that things would have taken off so much! As for the slash, as I said in the response to LotR-HP-PJ, it was really just something I was thinking about due to the requests, but never majorly considering it. I was only going to think more seriously about it if I received a majority of reviews agreeing with the idea. Since that certainly didn't happen, the idea is pretty much dead as of now. I just put out the message to see what you guys thought, and you ended up just confirming my suspicions.
Caras Galadhon was already full of bustling elves, even though the first light of dawn had just begun to creep over the tips of the trees. Soft singing echoed over the area as the elves went about their daily activities, joy and serenity floating about them. This gentle wakeup call was a brilliant change for the snoozing fellowship, who had been met with nothing other than rushed mornings—in which they had desperately tried to not to get caught by roaming orcs—for the past several weeks.
For once the six travelers woke to find peaceful smiles on their faces, and their thoughts somewhat un-troubled. Of course the grief of Gandalf was still hanging about their thoughts, but having the easy rest and recuperation of the Golden Wood certainly lessened it. There was something about the trees, the fresh air, and the "magic" of the Lady of Light that gave them all a deep sense of relief.
As the members of the fellowship rose from their beds, the ranger noticed that two of his companions were missing. The dwarf and the elf were gone, and Aragorn immediately felt his stomach churn dangerously. The two had a nasty relation at best, and were often at each other's throat, for even though Legolas couldn't speak, there certainly were other ways that his message could get across. Automatically the man's mind jumped to the worst possible conclusion that a fight had ensued during the night and the two were off somewhere in worrying conditions, but he quickly pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind when he heard the low chuckle of the dwarf carrying over the light breeze.
He turned his head with curiosity to find the two figures of his thoughts wandering towards the pavilion. Aragorn's eyebrows shot up into his hairline as he watched them smile and joke with each other. In fact his surprise increased ten-fold when he saw Legolas sign something to the dwarf, and Gimli responded accurately. The ranger couldn't help but scoff in utter shock as he saw them playfully jab at each other. Soon they were at the pavilion's entrance, and before they could get any farther, they were stopped by one look from Aragorn.
"I feel that I have missed something rather important…"
The elf grinned, and Gimli chuckled lightly at Aragorn's expression.
"Oh calm yourself ranger."
The dwarf walked over to Aragorn, who was still sitting is his appointed bed, and lightly cuffed him over the shoulder. The ranger laughed lightly, and was about to walk over to his elven friend, more questions on the tip of his tongue, when the elf nimbly leapt outside the pavilion walls and onto the set of stairs directly adjacent to the set up. He flashed the man a mischievous smile and quickly signed something.
Oh no you don't Estel. No more of your questions today, I have had more than enough of your pestering for once. Now if you will excuse me, I am off to find Haldir and his brothers.
With that the elf bolted up the stairs, leaving the fellowship behind. Immediately the ranger turned on the dwarf, who was leisurely smoking his pipe, and dug in with the questions.
"Legolas may not want to answer my questions, but there is no way that you are getting around it. A day ago, you two couldn't be around each other for more than a minute with biting each other's heads off, and now here you come joined at the hip. Not only that, but Legolas was smiling! Actually and genuinely smiling!" The ranger stated incredulously, "What on earth happened to cause such a change?"
Gimli remained quiet for a moment, merely regarding the man as he took another puff on his pipe. Aragorn raised an eyebrow when he received no response from the dwarf, he cleared his throat much louder than what was truly necessary, but it definitely prompted the stout creature forward.
"Last night the elf was thrashing about with tears streaming down his face, and he seemed like he was choking. He was caught up in a nightmare, and he certainly wasn't waking up on his own."
When a panicked look stretched over the man's face, the dwarf raised a hand in a calming motion as he continued.
"Peace Aragorn, I had it under control and I would have woken you for help if I felt it was needed. The point is that when I did finally get him awake, he was badly shaken, and embarrassed that I had found him in such a state. I calmed him down somewhat, but he never really got everything out of his system, so I suggested that we go out for a walk. I know that he likes it better among the trees, or something like that, so I got him up and out. After we walked for a while, he shook himself out of whatever haze he was in."
Gimli paused for a second and heaved a sigh.
"I was ignorant, I see that now, and I could not feel more awful about it than I do right now. He told me about what he saw…he was dreaming about the night that he was rescued, and how he almost died on the way back to his home. He was hurting Aragorn, badly. I kept him talking, thinking that would help, but I had no idea how deep his pain ran. As for how we became friends, the elf and I bonded, for that seems to happen when you share your darkest moments with one another. He may also come to you later. I spent a good deal of time convincing him that speaking to a friend such as you about his demons may be best, and during that time, several secrets came up that he has been wanting to talk about."
The man nodded silently as he studied his hands, which were resting in his lap. After several moments of contemplative silence, Aragorn looked up with a peaceful smile on his face.
"Thank you Gimli, I do not think that you understand what you have just begun. Ever since his capture, Legolas has only truly placed his trust in very few. For him to open up to you in such a way is a relationship to be nurtured and treasured. I believe that it will do the both of you good to continue working on what you have just started."
Both bowed their heads to each other in a silent, and mutual agreement that they would watch out for the prince, and keep him safe no matter the cost. When the two straightened again, the others of the fellowship were beginning to move about the pavilion, and the somewhat special moment that had developed was broken.
When Legolas returned, the sky had gone from deep blue to a watercolor masterpiece of pink, orange, and red. The elven prince had a gentle smile on his lips as he bounded lightly down the stairs, before leaping soundlessly to the ground. He could see that the rest of the fellowship were lounging around a small table lined with wine glasses and various snacks. None were overly jovial, considering the circumstances, and Frodo was missing, but overall the environment had become much happier.
As he grew closer, Aragorn recognized his presence, and shot him a welcoming grin.
"Good to see you mellon-nin. How was your meeting with Haldir, Rumli, and Orophin?" (my friend)
Legolas bowed his head in greeting and took a seat in-between Aragorn and Gimli.
It was wonderful, thank you for asking Estel. It certainly was good to see the three of them again, and we had a great time catching up due to the large amount of time we spent apart. There were one or two tears shed from Rumil and Orophin when my past was discussed, but the joviality of our reunion quickly overshadowed the strings of sadness. We went down to the archery ranges, and though I bested the three in the act itself, they had their fun none the less.
Suddenly a deep crimson blush spread over the cheeks and ears of the prince, prompting a raised eyebrow and a chuckle from the ranger.
"Care to elaborate Legolas?"
If possible, the blush deepened, and the elf hid his face in his hands for a second before continuing.
While we were down there, some of the maidens of Lothlorien came down to watch, and unknown to me, I held most of their gazes. I do not particularly care to give you too much detail, but I will say that it took me many minutes, rushed pleasantries, and unfortunately empty compliments, to wade through the crowds and find Haldir, Rumli, and Orophin once again.
Legolas raised his eyes to look sheepishly at the ranger, who had tears of laughter running down his cheeks.
"Ai Legolas! You never have had much luck when it comes to wooing maidens! Yet they always have eyes for you! You are lucky you have your looks to aid them!"
The prince shot the ranger a look of annoyance, but it was quickly replaced by a broad grin.
Like you have had so much experience Estel. Remember Laneth?"
Aragorn's smile melted off of his face and he glared at the prince.
"Not a word Legolas, not a word."
A silent chuckle was given by the princeling as the fellowship continued on with their meal. Conversation started up once more, despite the fact that Boromir wandered off, and everyone, except for Legolas pulled their pipes out. However, before the ranger could actually light his, the elf tapped lightly on his shoulder. Aragorn turned to find the prince watching him with what could only be described as an innocent expression.
Estel, if you would not be too bothered, I would very much like to talk to you about something. I don't mind waiting if you want to wait until later-
"Nonsense Legolas," the man cut off the elf gently, his response somewhat whispered so as not to draw too much attention. "I am here whenever you are in need of me. Shall we go somewhere else?"
Legolas nodded and rose to his feet, the ranger quickly joining him. The other memebers of the fellowship paid them little mind as the pair wandered over to the other end of the clearing. They chose a small nook in the roots of an impressive tree, and sat side by side, Legolas with his knees pulled up to his chest while resting his chin atop them, and the man sitting cross-legged, studying the elf intently. After a moment of silence, for the man wanted Legolas to speak and on his own terms without feeling rushed, the elf started to sign.
I trust that you talked to Gimli this morning?
Aragorn nodded and gestured for the elf to continue.
What did he tell you?
"Well, he said that he woke you from a pretty vivid nightmare about your journey home, and that afterwards you two went on a walk to calm your thoughts. He also mentioned that you hadn't been telling me how deeply you were hurting so as not burden me, to which I would like to protest. You are never a burden Legolas, you can come to me whenever you feel the need to. After all, not only do I see you as a brother, but you have done so much for me over the years between risking your life, and comforting me when I need it, that I certainly owe you."
The man gave Legolas a small smile, and paused briefly before continuing.
"It also came up that there were some secrets that you wished to bring to light."
At this the elf's face lost all touches of joy, and he heaved a sigh.
That would be correct. Please do not be upset with me Estel, but I haven't been completely honest with you...at the time you were too young to truly understand, and it is a period of time that I am greatly ashamed of. In fact only Lord Elrond and my own father truly know about this small part of my life, and I have wanted to keep it that way until only very recently. However, my talk with Gimli last night solidified the ideas I had been entertaining for a few months. So here it goes….
I know that you are going to want to kill me with that ending, but it is leading up to a pretty big and heavy moment, and I felt that it really needed its own chapter to truly be properly expressed. It also means, that there is going to be another flashback coming up very soon….