Eyelids slowly drew back to reveal the marvelous sapphire pools lying beneath them. The quiet footsteps and the scrapping of something metal upon the stone flooring was what had caused her to stir and she only blinked after a long moment, her eyes lazily staring at the wall of her cell as she attempted to wake herself.
After a moment of processing her surroundings, she slowly raised her head up from where she had it rested upon her bicep as she slept, finding it to be one of the most comfortable positions. Narrowing her eyes slightly due to the contrast of light between her dark cell and the added flickering from the torches, she only felt her brow wrinkle slightly in confusion upon finding another pair of light blue eyes staring back at her, a curious glint lying beneath their surface.
"I thought you might be hungry...?" The elven prince said as he sat cross legged just outside her cell. Before him lay a tray with an assortment of various types of food ranging from cooked meats, vegetables, and one loaf of soft bread.
Ren only regarded him coolly for a moment, her eyes flickering from his face and down to the food lain out before him. She wasn't overly fond of him or the idea of eating his elvish food. However, it was at this time that her stomach decided to rumble, seeing as how she had declined breakfast that morning, given the fact that every meal they had was the same and it only grew blander with time.
However, a single thought came to mind and it caused her nose to wrinkle in irritation as she continued to eye the spread of food. "This is your dinner, isn't it?" She spoke back and the elven prince only raised his eyes to look at her in surprise, not expecting to hear a word out of her. "Isn't it?"
He had to shake his head slightly to clear his mind of his wandering thought process and when he refocused, he found that she was still glaring at him slightly. Upon recalling her words, he felt a crush begin to creep up his neck. "...Yes."
"That's what I thought." She grumbled slightly to herself as she sat up before crossing her arms over her chest. Both of them were silent for a moment and it was eerie how quiet it was inside the dungeons. No doubt the dwarves were listening to their exchange, none of them particularly liking the princeling given the fact that he was to marry poor Ren. "Why did you bring me your supper?"
"Because you are hungry..." He replied and the female only let a snort escape her nose before she shook her head slightly and looked away from him.
"We're all hungry." She said after a long moment, the idea of warm food in her belly suddenly sounding very appealing, even if it was of elvish made. "I feel as though it has been eons since any of us have had a home cooked meal let alone warm food."
At this the elven prince just frowned slightly before he took the warm loaf of bread into his hands and reached through the bars of her cell.
Ren only eyed him for a moment. Not denying the thought for a moment, she strongly considered breaking his arm for revenge, thinking the task to be rather easy given the fact that all she had to do was bend his arm backwards at the elbow so that the steel bars would serve as a nice lever. The bone would snap like twig. He himself was incompetent for sticking his arm through the bars of a prisoner's cell. If the criminals were there in the first place, they were probably dangerous beyond belief and you definitely don't go sticking your arms into the cells of dangerous prisoners!
She, regretfully, didn't break his arm.
Instead, she remembered the words that Bilbo had told her earlier that day. She was to make friends with the prince so that he may let her out of her cell and show her around the palace in hopes of finding an escape route. And although the thought didn't appeal to her, she held back the biting words she wished to throw his way.
She only looked at him with a moment before she saw movement over his shoulder. Letting her eyes flicker to the side, she found that Thorin was now standing inside his own cell. His blue eyes hatefully glared at the male elf but when he raised his eyes to meet Ren's they softened slightly and he nodded his head, reminding her of Bilbo's plan.
The blonde only let her eyebrow twitch slightly before she sighed through her nose and let her eyes fall back to the elf and the loaf of bread in his hands. The two only gazed at each other for a long moment.
"It's not poisoned. I promise." The male teased slightly before ripping a small piece of the loaf and popping it into his own mouth and chewing it.
With a small unimpressed sigh, Ren crawled forward on her hands and knees to the bars and took the bread from him before crawling back a few more feet away from him. The younger elf only signed in slight frustration but he couldn't be too disappointed. She had at least talked to him.
Ren only chewed silently for a moment, quickly tearing off pieces of the soft bread before nearly stuffing them into her face. "Why are you doing this?" He looked back up to her face, his eyes having been looking at the boots upon his feet. "Sharing your supper I mean?"
"I... I feel guilty."
"You shouldn't have to be down here in this cold cell, hidden away from the sunlight that you so cherish..." He said and the female only regarded him for a moment, a piece of bread raised up to her mouth though she had not eaten it as she listened to his words. "Not after the life you've lived."
She only swallowed before lowering her eyes back to the floor, the bread in her fingers forgotten. "So... You heard."
"Indeed." He spoke quietly and he continued to watch as she only crushed the soft piece of bread in her hand as she thought. "And... I want you to know that I am so sorry."
"The past cannot be rewritten so what is done is done. Now, I must only move on and look to the future with hope." She replied before she took the balled up piece and slowly placed it back into her mouth.
The two of them were silent for a few minutes as Ren continued to pick away at the now less than appetizing bread. The air between them was rather uncomfortable and the male elf fidgeted slightly in his place before her cell.
"I am also sorry that... We didn't meet on better terms." He said and the female only looked at him again. "I would like to have thought that if we were to have learned of one another in a more positive environment, our relationship may have turned out differently..." He said in hopes of trying to still gain her friendship. "And it doesn't help that my father is... a bit controlling at times."
"You don't say..." She said and both of them smiled slightly, knowing his words to be true.
"I am truly sorry for his treatment of you." He apologized once again and this caused Ren to turn her head to the side slightly as she rolled her eyes in agitation, not wanting to listen to this princeling apologize at all hours of the day and night.
"We would not be in this situation if you let us go in the forest." She replied back easily.
"You were trespassing-"
"We were lost. We would not have disturbed your forest any further if you would have only showed us back to the elven road. We were not a threat. We are only peaceful travelers and not the criminals you think us to be." She said as she moved back closer to the bars of the door and reached through, snagging an apple from the tray before withdrawing her hand back inside though a hand shot out and caught her wrist. The green fruit tumbled from her palm before rolling away slightly as his quick movements scared her.
His slender fingers closed around her own wrist and her eyes flashed up to lock with his own icy blue pair. The prince himself only gazed at her calmly for a moment before his other hand turned her own over and he began to examine the bangles eternally placed there.
"I can see it now... You are not our enemy..." He spoke after a long moment, his long fingers gentle as they lightly held her own soft hand as if she would shatter should he grip her too hard. Her sapphire eyes gazed at his face the entire time, watching him as he read the transcription upon the bracelets. His finger lightly traced over the engraved words though he frowned slightly upon seeing the dwarven ruins upon the golden bangle. "I should have let you go."
"Thorin won't give your father the information he wants." She replied suddenly, her eyes then leaving his face so that she gazed at the ground after a moment of silence filled the air. "And he won't let us go." A hint of fear entered her tone and her eyes began to water at the thought. However, she was also appealing to the prince's softer side. "And I will forever be locked down here... Forever." Ren croaked, using her free hand to wipe away the tears.
At seeing the tears beginning to roll down her dirty cheeks, the blonde princeling began to panic, not used to dealing with weeping females. "No, you will not." He promised her, his hands closing around her own as his tone became firm with determination.
"What...?" She asked as she sniffled slightly, her eyes slowly raising to look up at him.
"You will not spend all eternity here. I will see to it that you don't." Ren sniffed again and let her eyes meet his own pair once again, stray tears still trickling down her filthy cheeks, leaving trails of clean skin behind in their wake.
"But... What about the dwarves?" She asked, momentarily glancing at Thorin over the prince's shoulder. The male elf softly frowned for a moment at hearing her words. "What will happen to them?"
"They have committed a crime."
"They have kidnapped the princess of Lothlorien and trespassed upon my father's lands, crimes that they will pay dearly for." She let her eyes widen slightly and she felt anger begin to boil in the pit of her stomach as she struggled to repress it. The prince saw the strange flash of loathing cross her eyes but he continued as if he hadn't. "I would see them sit in here for all eternity for what they have done to you."
"They have done nothing to me!" She snapped at him, her once stable barrier breaking. She pulled her hand free from his grasp and back through the bars of her cell, her eyes now alight with blue flames at hearing his condemning of the dwarves.
"You defend them as if you are comrades..." He accused her and she grit her teeth, knowing that she had slipped up. "Did you... lie to my father?"
She was quiet for a moment. "What if I say that I did?" It was then the blonde male's turn to be silent as he felt his inner emotions begin to wage battle.
He was infuriated that she had lied to his father through her teeth but after hearing her sad tale and realizing all the hardships she had survived through her long life, that she deserved more. She deserved to be happy. And he himself believed that he could give her that happiness.
"I would not tell him..." He replied quietly, letting his head drop in slight defeat.
"Why?" She snapped back at him, bringing her face closer to the bars of her cell as she pressed him for information. "Have I not committed the same crimes as they have, save for the kidnapping? Am I not a criminal?"
"You are one of us." He shot back weakly, knowing her words to be true yet hearing them only caused the gears in his mind to turn even more rapidly.
Ren only grit her teeth in frustration. Again, just because of the fact that she was an elf, she was being treated differently because of it. Before, when she was traveling with the dwarves, she had been hated because of her ears. Now, she was being favored because of them.
She then had to admit that life had been easier when she was thought to be a woman of Man. All through her years of traveling, when she was thought to be a simple woman, her life had been so much simpler.
"That should not matter. I have also trespassed and I should also serve my time. If any other elves were to come onto your lands without permission, would they also not be placed here in the dungeons?"
Again, he hesitated in his answer. "Yes."
"So, why am I so different?" She protested the idea, reaching out to grasp the bars of the cell.
"You are to be my wife." She grew quiet upon hearing his words, not knowing how to respond properly so she let her head drop. "My father will pardon you and we will be wed as promised by your mother. And all the while, the dwarves will be serving out their time for the crimes that they have committed while we live a wonderful life together."
"You are just like him then." Ren nearly spat at him through the bars of her cell, her irises churning pools of emotion. "You are just like your father if you believe that then..."
Feeling his own temper rise, the elf lunged forward and slammed his hands against the bars of her cell door. She didn't so much as flinch at his actions. He then brought his face in closer to the bars so that the two of them were only inches from one another.
"I am not my father."
She only laughed bitterly, shaking her head slightly. "Well, from I what I can tell, you will be just like him. And I will tell you Legolas, oh great prince of Mirkwood, I do not want to marry someone like him. A dictator and a selfish tyrant."
"I am not like him." He repeated to both himself and her through gritted teeth. "And I... I will prove it to you."
Looking back to her, he watched as one of her brows rose with intrigue and she leaned back slightly.
"And do you plan on going about doing that?"
"You will no longer be locked away in a cell at all hours of the day." He began, letting his icy eyes meet her own pair. "If I am to be your husband and you my wife, I think that we should come to learn more about one another, as is custom when people cour. I hardly think my father will protest to that idea." She wiped the rest of the residue from her tears off her cheeks, her cheeks now smudged with mud. "I will speak to him more on the matter however, I would hardly think he would approve of you being so filthy." He stood up from his spot before looking over his shoulder. "Guard." He called and the lone elf standing beside the wall stepped forward to unlock her cell.
Ren herself also stood up, her brow furrowing slightly. The hinges on the door groaned loudly as it was swung open and the elf prince stepped closer to her. He extended his open palm toward her and she only looked at it for a moment.
"Please, Galaren." He spoke to her softly as he held his hand out, his eyes full of a strange gentle look. "Let me show you. Let me prove to you that I am not who you think I am..." He said and the female only raised her head up to look at him, her own sapphire eyes softening slightly at the pleading and rather desperate look in his own irises.
"Okay." She said so quietly, the dwarves almost didn't hear her. Extending her own hand, she reached out and placed her smaller hand in his own and his long closed around it.
At hearing these words and seeing these actions, the elf prince seemed to light up with joy. He then smiled slightly at her before he began to pull her back towards the staircase and the surface of the palace.
"Where are you taking her?" Thorin spoke up and the entire Company shifted nervously in their cells, an angry tone filling his voice.
"She needs to be bathed. Your stench and unhygienic qualities have begun to rub off on her and I can't imagine that she enjoys it." The princeling began to pull her away after sending a rather harsh look at the dwarf who had spoken, completely changing his demeanor from soft and kind to cold-hearted and hateful.
Ren only sent the dark haired dwarf an apologetic but reassuring look that she would be alright, her hand gripping tightly to the other elf's.
As he watched the two of them exit, he could only lean against the bars of his cell door before sighing heavily, slightly banging his forehead against the metal. With all this worrying he was doing about her, she would be the death of him.
It felt as though many hours had passed as the dark haired dwarf lord still sat in his cell, just as the rest of the dwarves were, all of them anxiously awaiting the return of their female comrade.
Ren had left quite some time ago and had yet to return.
His internal clock told him that it was later at night, seeing as how their normal meal of bread and water had been delivered a few hours prior though he was uncertain as to exactly what time it was, considering he hadn't seen the sun or moon for many days. He had only been seated against the back wall of his small cell, his eyes half idled as he struggled to decide between sleeping or not.
However, he then heard two sets of footsteps coming down the stone stairwell. At this, he sat up slightly and his movement caused the other twelve dwarves to stir and copy his actions, every single one of them leaning forward and peering out between the bars of their cell to see the new arrivals.
A blonde female moved swiftly down the steps, her bicep clamped tightly in the hands of an elven guard as he pushed her down towards the dungeons once again.
Her hair hung beautifully about her shoulders and down to the center of her chest, looking like a rippling waterfall of liquid gold as it dipped and curled slightly due to the naturally soft waves that lay there. A deep green dress hugged her strong body and she moved easily in it despite the tightness. It had a gently scooping neckline and there were gold accents stitched around it. The sleeves upon it were tight as it clung to her forearms but widened when they reached her hands. A couple strands of golden ribbon also wound elegantly around the place where her elbow bent. What also appeared to be a green and golden belt, with the same woven stitching as the border around the neckline also hung about her hips though it was sown into the fabric. The length of the dress seemed slightly impractical as it slightly drug upon the ground behind her and it hid her pair of boots from view.
For a moment, all the dwarves only stared, some of them slack jawed as they watched her move, the creature before them absolutely mesmerizing.
"I can walk myself." She said as she wretched her arm from the guard's grip. This action, along with the slight grimace and flash of annoyance in her blue eyes, then reminded the Company that this marvelous creature was indeed their Ren.
The guard only shook his head as they came to stand before her cell and he turned his back on her to pull it open. Without a word, she stepped inside but only after she was handed a blanket and a pillow.
With a groan, the door once again swung shut and it was locked back in place before the elven guard moved off with the ring of keys clutched tightly in his hands.
Once he heard the elf's footsteps fade, Thorin moved across the space of his tiny cell after reeling his mind back, not used to seeing her so... distracting. "They didn't do anything to you, did they?" He asked as she gripped tightly to the bars. She only dropped the blanket and pillow before sitting back down upon the hard floor.
"Valar, no." She said as she leaned back against the side of the wall and pulled her new boot off before tossing it away, the other one quickly following it. "Though they did give me a thorough and rather rough washing, not to mention they nearly pulled out all my hair." She complained as she ran a hand through her mane of waves. "They also tried to nearly stuff me with every bit of food they could find inside the kitchens."
A chorus of moans filled the air upon hearing this, jealously clearly an evident feeling shared throughout the group at hearing her words.
"Don't fret. I told them I wouldn't eat until you do. They said they'll bring it down soon enough." She smiled slightly upon hearing the second and happier chorus of joy as the dwarves' mouths watered over the idea of warm food.
Again, she ran her hand through her hair, finding that it was annoying that it was once again down and in her face though she had nearly screamed at the servants cleaning and pampering her that they were to not even dare to think about braiding her hair. She would not wear an elven braid again and especially not while she was in Mirkwood.
However, a small shimmer caught Thorin's eyes and he had to narrow them as he watched her fingers work through her now untangled mess of silky waves. Though, what he saw made him go pale but after a long moment, he could only work out that he was going mad. He must have been becoming delusional. That was the only explanation.
Finally, though, after a couple more minutes watching her hand, he felt the fear and disbelief boil up in his stomach at what he observed.
"Is-Is that a wedding ring?" His voice echoed off the walls of the dungeon and the once excited chatter of the dwarves was silenced upon hearing the angry tone in their leader's loud voice.
Ren only froze and turned her head to the side before looking at her hand where a small but elegant ring of silver lay on her finger, one small shimmering jewel of blue attached to the band, the same blue that shown so clearly in her irises. There were a few strands of silver breaking off from the band, making it appear as though it were a tree branch.
"No." She said quietly, twisting the it slightly on her finger, the added weight foreign to her. "It is an engagement ring." She then looked back to the dark haired dwarf before rolling her eyes. "It's only to gain their trust, Thorin. I have to make it convincing if we want to escape." She told him and the dwarf only nodded though she could tell that he was reluctant with the idea.
And so, the days continued to simply roll by. Every day, the elven prince would return to the dungeons to collect his wife to be. Every day, he would take her from the cell and show her his home. Every night, she would return and he would simply lock her back behind the metal bars but not after giving her a soft look and an equally soft smile.
Thorin would only sit inside his own tiny room and watch with a displeased look upon his face.
"Sweet dreams, Galaren." He would murmur before bringing her smaller hand into his own. He would then raise it to his lips and press a gentle kiss to the back of her skin before shutting the door and leaving but not without one last, longing look.
Now, Thorin wouldn't normally let this bother him. He knew that Ren was only pretending to befriend the male elf. However, she was doing very well at convincing the both Legolas and Thorin.
For when the two elves would return to the prison, both of them would be holding hands and smiling widely at one another, murmuring in soft elvish the entire time.
And after he would leave, she would only stand at the door with her fingers wrapped around the metal bars, her eyes watching as the elven prince gracefully strode away. Then, as if she were able to pull her mind from the haze of love, she would shake her head slightly before sitting down and continuing to smile to herself.
These happenings would continue every night until one night, she did not return at all. In fact, they had not seen her for days though everyday, they would receive a fitter meal due to the fact that Ren continuously threatened to not eat unless they were also fed proper food.
However, on one night, Thorin let his worry get the best of him.
His eyes slowly drew back as he heard a set of soft footfalls coming down the staircase cut from the stone of the caves. The dungeons were agonizingly silent and the sounds of the others dwarves seemed to be nonexistent.
Sitting up from where he had been lying, he moved closer to the door and peered out between the bars.
As if she were an angel of sorts, Galaren glided down the few remaining stairs and just as he had on the night where she had first been clothed in the gorgeous green gown, he felt his jaw slacken when his eyes fell upon her.
The dress that she now wore was pure white like that of a full moon. It had a square neckline, revealing skin that normally wasn't in view. It was trimmed in golden designs that shimmered in the torch light, matching the rich color of her perfectly wavy hair. The sleeves were long and the ends were wide, again bordered by the same swirling designs that littered the white clothing around her neck. The fabric of her dress hung down passed the shoes upon her feet and dragged on the ground in the back, creating a long train behind her. What appeared to be a white, cloak-like piece of clothing hung down from her shoulders and joined the train, the silky fabric flowing behind her as she walked. Her hair once again was flowing and loose, save for the fact that a few of the top layers were pulled back by a small clip at the back of her head. A beautiful silver circlet also rested upon her brow before also weaving up into her hair.
She was absolutely beautiful.
And as she came to rest upon the same level as him, she could feel his burning gaze upon her and she ever so slowly turned to face him, the fabric of her gown twisting around her slim form.
"Galaren..." He breathed as her sapphire eyes came to rest upon her and even then he could hardly form words, given the state she had put him in. "What are you...?" He said again, not knowing why she was doing in the dungeons dressed so elegantly as she was.
"Thorin." She spoke, cutting him off and his blue eyes took another sweep over her body before coming to meet her sapphire eyes again. "I'm getting married." And as she spoke those words, the dwarf felt his throat run dry. Had he heard her correctly?
"What?" He breathed again, hastily climbing to his feet so that he crossed his small cell to press up against the metal bars.
"You heard right. I am getting married."
"No..." He said quietly, his hands gripping tightly to the door keeping him from her. If it had not been for the accursed prison cell, he would have had her in his arms then. He wouldn't have hesitated to place his lips upon her own pair. He wouldn't have cared who saw.
"Goodbye, Thorin." She said before she took a handful of her dress and lifted it slightly so that she could properly walk.
"So... This is it then!?" He called after her, his anger starting to swell in his stomach. She only got about two steps before she turned at an agonizingly slow pace to face him once again. "You are just going to leave us here! To rot in these accursed cells while you WANDER OFF AND MARRY THAT POINTY EARED PRINCELING!" He snapped at her and her gaze on him was unwavering as she slowly lowered her dress back to the floor.
"I love Legolas." He just laughed and shook his head, a bitter smile upon his face.
"You are lying to yourself then! You do not love him or any of the elves here! For you are as much as an elf as I! And you and I both know that you will never be one of them!" He shouted after her and he watched the hurt flash across her wonderfully blue irises, those same eyes narrowing on his form. "YOU HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED BY THOSE ELVISH BASTARDS!"
"Do you have anything else to say to me? Or have you finished insulting my people because I AM ONE OF THOSE ELVISH BASTARDS!" She screamed back at him, tears beginning to form in the corners of her eyes. She took a shuddering breath and he felt his heart ache in his chest at seeing the tears form in her eyes. He didn't want to be the reason for her sadness.
"Ren, you are making a mistake. You aren't happy. I can tell. I can see it in your eyes..."
"And when have I ever been happy, Thorin? With my sister in Lothlorien? Yes. But not since then. When have I been happy since then?" She asked him and the dwarf could only hold her eyes for a moment longer before he bowed his head slightly, not wanting her to see the true answer in his eyes even though she already saw it. A small, bitter laugh escaped her throat. "You think I was happy with you?" She asked him before laughing softly again. "You think that I was happy with you and the Company?"
I know that I was happy with you. He thought to himself though he did not speak these words
"I know that the Company was happy with you." He told her, still using the same soft tone as his eyes rose to meet her own pair. "They love you like you are one of their own."
This satisfied him for a moment when she was silent after hearing his words.
"And what about you... Oh, mighty King Under the Mountain?" She asked and her voice shook slightly with emotion. "Could you ever find room in your cold heart for someone such as I?" He lowered his head once again upon hearing her words, struggling to keep silent.
Find room for you in my heart? He laughed bitterly to himself in his mind. You could have the entire thing if that is what your own truly desires.
"That is what I thought..." She sobbed slightly before reaching up and wiping the tears from her eyes, accepting his silence as a 'no'. Thorin's eyes snapped up to look at her, fear evident in his irises. "Very well then, Master Oakenshield. Now that I know how you truly feel, I can live without any other regrets and I can love Legolas wholeheartedly." She bunched up part of her dress again.
"No..." He said quietly, shaking his head ever so slightly. He was going to lose her.
"Farewell, Thorin." She murmured before she began to move back up the stairs, her white wedding dress trailing out behind her.
"No..." He pressed his face up against the bars, knowing that it may be the last time he ever saw the woman who he truly loved. "NO! REN!"
"Ren..." The word tumbled easily from his lips as he awoke with a start. His eyes shot open and he hastily sat up, a sheen of sweat coating his brow. His chest heaved up and down as the memories of his dream were fresh in his mind.
It only took a moment for his pounding heart to begin to calm and as he did so, he took a deep breath before leaning forward to rest his elbows upon his bent legs. That dream had been... horrifyingly real.
"Could you ever find place in your cold heart for me?" Her words echoed through his mind once again. He shook his head out in an attempt to be rid of the words but they continued to haunt him, along with the teary look in her normally sparkling eyes that caused his heart to shatter inside his chest.
And he hadn't told her. He hadn't told her about his true feelings.
"Yes..." He said, letting his head fall into his hands, knowing that that one small word would have expressed so many emotions to her. It would have told her so much.
Though, it seemed like the dream would almost become a reality if he did not act fast. This dream was almost... a warning. Telling him what would come to pass should he not tell her what his heart felt.
Yet as if his dreams were about to come true, he heard three pairs of footsteps coming down the staircase of the prisons and he held his breath for fear of what was coming his way. Would he encounter the beautiful she-elf in the wedding gown or would it be something else entirely?
However, when the creators of the footsteps emerged, he only frowned slightly and watched as Ren was once again led down the steps though she was not dressed from head to tow in white and a dark gray dress hung from her frame.
Angry tears were once again streaming down her face and she let out a low growl as a guard opened her old cell door and shoved her inside before locking it behind her. After the two elves left, the silence within the prison was filled with her quiet sobbing and her body pressed itself against the wall of the cave before slowly sliding down to rest upon the floor.
All the dwarves moved to peer down at her cell, all of them wondering the exact same thing though none of them spoke.
"Ren?" Thorin called to her after a few minutes of simply letting her cry. She didn't respond to him and instead continued to weep and her body shook with emotion. "Galaren...?"
"What?" She croaked out, her face buried in her arms and hidden away from him.
"Look at me." He gently commanded her yet she did not, instead choosing to sniff her nose and bury her head in deeper. "Galaren, look at me." After an agonizingly long moment, she slowly raised her head up, letting her teary eyes meet his own pair. "What did they do to you?"
"I don't want to speak on the matter." She let her eyes fall to the stony floor, a fresh set of salty tears dripping from her eyes at the thought.
"Ren..." The soft tone in his voice caused her to look at him once again, though she wished not to. "Tell me."
"He... He made me... He made me look into the Water." She was able to get the words out between the sobs that wracked her body. "And... I saw things... Things I wished I hadn't seen. Things that shouldn't be seen, not yet anyway. Horrible things. And... he's moving the wedding."
A knock on the door caused the blonde female to turn around, the dark dress hanging on her body twirling as she did so.
"Come in!" She called and there was a jingling of keys before there was a click and the heavy wooden door to her room swung open, revealing none other than the elven prince.
"My, you look rather dashing this evening, my Lady. As beautiful as ever!" He complimented her and she felt a slight blush rise onto her cheeks. You would think she would be used to those kind of compliments after spending numerous days with the handsome elf, though it seemed she hadn't.
"Greetings, Legolas." She replied back softly. With one sweeping motion, the elf crossed the room and brought her hand into his own before bringing it up to his lips where he placed a kiss upon the back of her hand.
"I trust you slept well?"
"As I have since you allowed me a proper bed to sleep in." The two smiled at each other before a small frown that pulled on his lips at the thought of the true reason as to why he was visiting her.
"My father wants to speak to you." Her brow furrowed when she saw the worried look on his face.
"I don't know."
"Very well... Take me to see him." She said and the elf offered her his arm before they moved out the door, through the palace, and down the halls that she had added to her ever growing mental map.
Once again, they came to stand before the great Elven King and he was staring out across the vastness of his spacey cavern when they came upon him.
However, as they ascended the stairs to come to stand upon the same level as he, something in the center of the room caught the she-elf's eye and she felt her cheeks go pale yet she said nothing.
"You wished to speak to Galaren?"
"Indeed." He said before slowly turning around to face the two of them, smiling slightly at the sight before him. They made a rather pleasant couple. Their children would be, without a doubt, easy on the eyes. She released Legolas's arm and stepped forward slightly, leaving the male in her wake. "I come to understand that both your mother and sister had the gift of foresight..." He said and Ren once again felt herself pale considerably, knowing where the conversation would eventually lead.
"Indeed...?" She replied back quietly as she watched him began to ascend the steps to his throne once again.
"Then, I can only assume that you have it as well." He turned back around to face her when she hesitated in her answer. His blue eyes bore down upon her and she only swallowed nervously though she knew to answer truthfully should she need to speak.
"Why does the matter concern you?"
"I wish for you to see my future." He said before taking a seat in his luxurious throne, crossing one leg over the other, once again acting as if he was only mildly interested in the subject.
"Excuse me?" She raised an eyebrow in his direction.
"I said that I wish for you to look into the Water and to see what lies in wait for me." Ren knew that she had heard him right. She just wished to deny that she had actually heard those words.
"I cannot control it." She told him as she stepped forward slightly in agitation, though her words rang true. "It comes and goes as it pleases. I don't have as much power over it as my mother and sister did."
"Still..." Thranduil said, lazily waving his hand in her direction and back towards the cluster of items that lay in the center of the room. "You can try at least." The corners of his mouth turned up slightly in the corners as he gauged her reaction.
She only let her mouth fall open slightly, fear gripping her heart as she thought of what she could see.
"Go on. Pour the Water." He commanded her and the she-elf only glanced back at the center of the room. Swallowing nervously, she then turned and looked to Legolas whose own brow was furrowed slightly though he did nothing to try and stop his father.
Glancing back at the Elven King, he only scrutinized her with his eyes, waiting for her to comply with his wishes.
Wordlessly, she moved across the room to the table set up in the middle of the room. Her sapphire eyes raked over the contents strewn about before her. It consisted of an empty steel bowl and a pitcher that was filled with water. As she came to stand before the supplies, she felt her heart begin to beat more rapidly in her chest, as if she could already feel the episode coming on.
Letting her eyes flicker up to the King once again, she found an expectant look upon his face as he waited for her to begin.
She reluctantly reached out and wrapped her slim fingers around the handle of the pitcher and lifted it off the table. Bringing it above the bowl, she only glanced down at it, feeling the familiarity of the situation beginning to take hold.
Her mother had tried to train her in the ways of using their Sight but Ren had always been reluctant. It came so natural to her sister whereas when it came to Galaren, the episodes were spotty and inconsistent. Her's were also more violent and vivid than Celebrian's had been. They were usually more sinister as well, only showing the darkness that had threatened the world in the past and present, as well as in the future.
However, at times, there were happier glances into the future. She had encountered a few of the more happier visions with her time in the Company. For she had seen the victorious past of Ringil, her blade, and she had seen the promising future for the young Rohirric girl. She had a great future ahead of her indeed.
Taking a shuttering breath in, she tipped the pitcher slightly and the clear liquid began to spill from the lip of the opening. It noisily splashed down into the waiting bowl below.
It didn't take long for water to accumulate in the bottom and when she let her eyes flicker down into the water for barely a moment, she knew that it was happening. Her breathing grew shallow and she felt her heartbeat slow. Her mouth opened slightly and her pupils dilated as the foresight swallowed her whole.
However, as the vision began to play, Ren knew that it wasn't going to be a pleasant one.
The sound of weapons clashing together echoed around her. Cries of pain filled the silence, accompany the ringing of weaponry. The stench of death was evident in the air and every time she took a breath, it felt as though it was filling her lungs and choking her. Casting her eyes around her, she caught sight of the thousands of bodies that littered the ground around her feet. In her moment of distraction, pain suddenly blossomed in the area just above her stomach and she doubled over in pain, one that was both physical and emotional. She didn't know where the emotional pain was coming from but she could only guess based on the bodies around her and remorseful tears tumbled down her dirt smudged cheeks.
Before she knew what was happening, her fingers released their hold upon the handle of the pitcher. It clattered to the ground, creating a huge crash and sending water spraying in all directions.
She grit her teeth before scrunching her eyes together and turning away, a familiar pain suddenly coursing through her skull as she fought against the Sight. It was only familiar though, because she had forced memories to stop before. In half of a moment, the vision of the future was gone and she was placed back into the palace of Mirkwood.
Her eyes flashed back to the water for a moment and strange, foreign tears spilled down her cheeks. She had no idea why she was crying but she knew, subconsciously, that it was because of what she hadn't seen in the episode. Her subconscious knew what was to come but her eyes did not.
"I saw nothing." She hissed unconvincingly as the tears continued to stream down her face, for she was frustrated and angry with herself. Why couldn't she have only not seen the future? Why did she have to have a vision in the first place?
"Liar." He murmured, waving his hand away dismissively before sitting forward, wanting to know exactly what she saw. "Tell me what you saw."
"I will not." She protested, not wanting to go through the pain of reliving her foresight again.
"Yes, you will."
"No, I. Will. Not." She growled back at him through gritted teeth before she lashed out, knocking the table over and sending the bowl flying, the liquid contents causing the stone flooring to grow darker in color as a crash resounded off the cave walls, one that would be heard all throughout the fortress.
No matter what future or past she had seen in her mind's eye, she would give him no information.
At seeing her sudden outburst, the Elven King frowned deeply before sitting forward in his chair. "Legolas." He snapped at his son whose own eyes were wide as they gazed at Ren, astounded at what she had done. His irises slowly shifted to his father whose temper was flaring uncontrollably. "Control your wife."
"We are not married yet." She snapped, pointing an accusatory finger at the King, nearly cutting his sentence off entirely. "We are not married yet and you will speak to me. Not to him." The she-elf's eyes flashed with blue fire as her own tempter raged. In the times that she had spoken with the King and his son, Thranduil had always referred to her as 'Legolas's wife' and not her own name. She had grown tired of the annoying title. "I am a person and I will spoken to as such. I will be spoken to as an individual, not like some man's possession! I will not be an object for neither you or him to own." She growled, tears still streaming down her cheeks.
The older elf only regarded her with cool eyes for a moment before nodding slightly. "Very well. I shall accept your request. Forgive me for speaking to you in such a disgraceful way. But to inform you ahead of time, the acceptance of your proposal is to be announced tomorrow evening at the grand feast. You are to be presented before the people as the soon to be wife-"
"No..." Ren growled, interrupting the King. "I will not be shown as some sort of prize that is to be won. I will not be objectified."
"Lady Galaren-" He started but she interrupted him.
"You are all the same." The Elven King frowned slightly upon hearing her words, not understanding what she was talking about. "Every single one of you who sits on a throne. Selfish, egotistical, narcissistic males. You may have given yourself the title of King but you are not a leader. A true leader is someone who opens their kingdom to those in need whether they are of their race or not. A leader is someone who guides his people through the darkness. A leader is someone who leads their armies against the evil of the world in hopes of protecting what is still good and pure. Yet, here you sit. The great and powerful Elven King of Mirkwood, cowering behind the walls of his cavernous kingdom as you let Orcs and spiders lay claim to your forest while you do nothing to try and stop them."
"Silence." He growled down at her, having heard enough of her words but she only continued on, the tears that were falling were no longer sad but frustrated.
"There will be some." She said, her voice suddenly becoming softer as her thought process shifted. "There will be great ones. There will be rulers like the valiant Kings of Old. Those who are kind... and just. Those who risk will their lives for the people of Middle Earth and for the generations to come. Kings who will heal Middle Earth and the land will prosper as it had in the past, for this, I have seen." She finished, another far off look in her eye as she thought back to that particular glimpse into the future.
For it had been before her unexpected journey had begun. And it was because of this gifted foresight that she decided to accompany Thorin Oakenshield and his Company to reclaim Erebor. She knew what was to come and she wished to fight for it. Fight for the light that still remained.
"You speak of your own father in such a disgraceful way?" He shot right back at her and she snapped back into reality.
"No." She replied simply. "If you would be more correctly informed and actually concerned yourself with the world around you, you would know that he is only Lord of the Lothlorien or rather a guardian per say. Not King. He does not rule. He watches over and distributes the law when justice is called for, unlike yourself: a ruler who holds fourteen innocent travelers in his cold dungeons, feeding them nothing but bread and water, and forcing the only Lady in the group to marry his own son in hopes of only gaining more land to add to his already corrupted kingdom. No..." She said as she looked down at her hand where the engagement band lay. With her free hand, she began to work the ring from her finger as she continued to speak. "I wish not to marry any man, King or lord, at all if this is how they will rule. Unjustly and without honor."
Thranduil seemed less than impressed upon hearing her speak those insulting words to him. Though, he wasn't surprised in the slightest how easily the words seemed to spill from her mouth. She had a way with words. Such a way that reminded him of her diplomatic sister. It seemed as though she had learned a wide number of things in their long lives beside one another. However, with those very same words, presented before another or even a crowd, she could be very dangerous, like a spark lighting a flame. And he would need to snuff that spark out.
"If you value both your life and the life of Thorin Oakenshield, it would be wise to keep that ring upon your finger..." He threatened quietly and felt a smug smirk tug at the corners of his lips as he watched her freeze in her movements, her sapphire irises flashing up to look at him. Her hand slowly dropped from the ring upon her finger and she leveled a glare on him, more angry tears running down her pale cheeks.
So, Oakenshield is the weakness... He purred to himself, narrowing his eyes upon her form for a moment. However, he was sure that he could threaten any other member of the dwarven group and come up with the same results.
"Wonderful. Now, I think this Lothlorien princess has found a bit to much freedom in her stay here in Mirkwood. Perhaps another visit to the dungeons will teach her to hold her tongue and speak kindly of her superiors. Don't you agree, Legolas?" He looked to his son whose eyes were locked on the female's form. Her words were so well spoken and he couldn't help but let his mind flit to both the stories of his forefather and the idea of great kingdoms in the future. A prosperous land. A land filled with peace and love.
And the more he thought about it, the more appealing the idea sounded to him.
Thranduil noticed the distant look in the eyes of his son as he simply gazed at the female and he could tell what the prince was thinking. He was thinking of this new paradise and the King decided something.
The marriage would have to take place soon. He would have to hurry and silence any thoughts of a brighter life outside of Mirkwood that had begun to churn inside young Legolas's mind. And with the union between the two elves, he would be able to control Galaren, strong headed as she was.
For she would, without a doubt, obey her husband.
He only motioned for the guards to move forward and they both seized one of her arms in their hands before they began to pull her away, back towards the dungeons. "Oh and don't worry. You will still be presented before the people tomorrow. I'm sure they're going to just love hearing the news. Also, what do you say to moving the wedding up? Never mind the thought of the announcement of your proposal! Why not have the wedding itself tomorrow!?" He called after her and he watched as a fresh set of tears began to roll down her cheeks.
Galaren did not protest and instead looked to Legolas for help, knowing that he held feelings for her. She could tell with the way he acted around her. She could tell that he truly wanted to marry her though, she did not know if they were ready for marriage. He had been kind to her during the days that they spent together, showing her small signs of affection such as holding hands as they walked through the palace to even dancing close to one another in his father's library.
In the days they had together, he had definitely proven that he was different from his father.
However, when he did not speak up immediately or try to defend her, Ren decided that he may not be so different after all. That he, like his father, was just like the rest of the unjust Kings.
"Father-" The blonde male protested but was silenced with the raise of his hand.
And now, the prince could only look on as she was helplessly dragged away, guilt once again eating away at him inside at the look in her eyes. The look of hurt. The look of betrayal. Even though he wished to, he could do nothing without angering his father further.
And she had cried. And cried. And cried.
That was the state that Thorin had found her in before she had told him of her experience with the King and the Water. Weeping uncontrollably due to the cruel fate that had been laid out before her.
"Oh, Ren..." He murmured, his dark blue eyes sad as they gazed upon her form in her cell that lay directly across from his.
A torture is what it really was. Making him have to sit and watch her give into despair before his very eyes though he could do nothing to help, besides offer words of reassurance.
He wanted so badly to hold her and to wipe away those remorseful tears. He wanted to rid her of all her problems. He wanted to make everything right. He just wanted to give her the happiness and love that she deserved.
"Thorin." She suddenly spoke, drawing the dark haired dwarf from his thought process. His eyes once again focused on her form and she sniffed before she sloppily pushed her loose hair back to reveal her blotchy and tear-stained face.
"Yes?" He asked quietly, his tone soft.
"I will not marry into a kingdom such as this..." She sniffed again, using the sleeve of her dress to wipe away some of the leftover tears. "We need to escape."
And escape they most certainly would.
How's it going?! I haven't posted in nearly a million years but that's okay because you guys adore me! Okay, it's not okay. I'm a horrible person. But, that's what happens when I get writer's block for like a week.
Couldn't really figure out a proper ending for this chapter. Finally did. Hope it makes a fraction of sense.
I really was on a roll though. I wrote like most of this chapter in like a day even though I had been working on it for like an entire week.
So, yeah. Legolas and Ren were pretty romanticy (that's not a word) together. Turns out, he's not such a bad guy after all. He just has tempter tantrums like his mean daddy. Like father like son, eh? Just kidding.
Ren does have foresight/visions/dreams/whatever you want to call it. Just like her mom and sister, she can see into the future and the past, she just can't control it was well. Galadriel can almost manipulate whether she wants to gaze at what is to come or what happened but Ren can't. She's also not like ancient like her mom.
The dream was also pretty weird. But hey. It helped Thorin recognize his feelings right? Maybe now something might actually happen between them.
So, anyway. I hope you guys liked this chapter. It really was more of a filler I guess. Also, the delay this week was caused by my basketball career coming to an end, as well as I had to write a 6 to 8 page paper about global warming. So exciting, I know.
Anyway, thanks again guys! You are all really great! But you know what would be greater? If we got to 400 review on this chapter! OMG! Please, we are only like 13 or so away and I believe in you guys!
Also, check out my tumblr! It's just blueeyedwolf33 dot tumblr dot com. You may have to search my page but just type in "Galaren" or "Ren" or "To Your Mark" or "Blueeyedwolf33" into the search box and some pretty awesome fan work should come up.
I would like to give a shout out to my two most awesomest awesome artists out there! They are known as krlipscomb and sango691. Go check out their pages for their awesome drawings for this story! I promise, it is worth it!
Anyway, YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO! READ AND REVIEW!