Disclaimer: Lord of the Rings and all characters belong to Tolkien.
Author's Note: This is the sequel to 'Inside the Darkness'. The drawing was made by Nellas
Lurtz tried hard to ignore the stares directed at him. He knew it had a lot to do with the fact that Uruk-Hai had hurt the Lord of Imladris and the little trust they had gained in him had now vanished. /I will spend the rest of my life trying to win their trust./ But one look at Legolas, sitting in front of him, reminded him why he was doing this. Being with Legolas was worth it. The Elf had settled in front of him, taking the reins and riding behind the litter, which was now being carried by the twins. Glorfindel had pointed out that it was his turn to help carry the litter, but Elrohir had told him to take the lead and ensure their safe passage through this land. Glorfindel had scolded, but complied.
Lurtz smiled, buried his face in Legolas' hair and inhaled his mate's scent. Hearing the Elf's sparkling laugh, he wondered what amused Legolas. "Elf?"
Legolas shook his head, and the golden locks teasingly caressed his face. Lurtz felt cheerful as well; it probably had everything to do with making love earlier. "Why are you laughing?"
"You are so predictable," said Legolas, still smiling. "Sniffing me..." Secretly, he loved the fact that Lurtz's senses were always focused on him. He hadn't thought he would enjoy Lurtz's possessiveness this much, but it felt good to belong.
"You smell of the forest and the flowers, of herbs and the sun..." Lurtz stopped mid phrase when Legolas looked over his shoulder, giving him a surprised look.
"I did not know you were a poet." Legolas rested his head against Lurtz's shoulder and grew aware of the looks several of the Elves were giving them. He sighed. He had known all along that this wouldn't be easy, but Ugluk torturing Elrond had made the Rivendell Elves suspicious of Lurtz just when they had started to accept his presence. Lurtz tensed behind him and he realized his mate had been thinking the same thing. "It will take time, but do not give up on them. You must prove your true nature to them so they know it is different from Ugluk's."
Lurtz nodded. "You speak wisely... But will I ever succeed in befriending them?"
"You befriended me when you found me in that cave. You proved your worth to me and you must do the same everywhere we go."
Lurtz drew in a deep breath. "Everywhere --we-- go." That was what he had needed to hear. "You won't ever leave me?"
Legolas locked eyes with Lurtz. "We are mated for life, remember?"
Lurtz wished his doubts would fade, but he still expected this to end abruptly. "Don't you ever dare die on me."
"Elves..." started Legolas.
"Don't die easily," chuckled Lurtz. They had had similar arguments before. He changed their subject. "Will we stay at Rivendell for a while?"
"Aye," said Legolas thoughtfully. "You want to seek out their healers and I... I need to inform my father that I took a mate."
"You still worry about that?" Lurtz understood only too well. "Are you afraid he might no longer call you his son and disown you?" He didn't like that at all. Legolas shouldn't be forced to make such sacrifices for his sake!
"My father is a harsh but just man. I am counting on him to understand... eventually." Lost in thought Legolas recalled Thranduil sending him to Imladris to deliver a message and he had unexpectedly ending up as a part of the Fellowship. He still regretted being parted from the rest of company, knowing they needed him. Should he tell Lurtz about the quest? Why he had ended up injured in that cave that night?
"Lurtz?" started Legolas, feeling slightly nervous.
"Yes?" purred Lurtz in his lover's ear.
Legolas sighed at that purr, but shook himself, and concentrated again. "Have you ever heard of the One Ring? The Ring Sauron used to control all other rings?"
Lurtz frowned at the changed subject, but nodded. "I did. I think Saruman mentioned it when I was created. He hungers for it."
/I forgot about Saruman. Aye, you know about the Ring. He probably ordered you to find it for him./ Legolas moistened his lips. "That Ring was found and it was decided that it should be destroyed. I was part of the group that should take the Ring to Mount Doom where its fire would destroy it. That was why I was attacked the night you found me."
Lurtz's frown deepened. "What happened to the others?"
"I hope Aragorn is leading them to Mount Doom." Legolas' heart flooded with grief, recalling Gandalf and Boromir's death. Hopefully the Halflings were still alive and well. He trusted Aragorn and Gimli to take care of themselves, but the Hobbits needed protection.
"And I took you away from them when I brought you to Rivendell. Why didn't you tell me?"
"I was not sure I could confide in you..." Legolas looked at Lurtz apologetically. "It is too late now to join them. I do not even know their whereabouts."
"But you would like to join them again?" Lurtz wasn't sure what to think of that. He understood that Legolas wanted to carry out this task, but did that mean... "Will you leave me then?"
"I will never leave you," said Legolas firmly. "You would accompany me."
Lurtz stared at the blue sky. /They wouldn't accept me and he knows it. That's why he remained silent until now./
"There is no need to discuss this now," said Legolas, sensing his mate's tension. "We will stay at Imladris for several weeks and..."
"We could leave right away," offered Lurtz.
"Nay, the healers might be able to fix your teeth and I will not take that away from you." Legolas turned in the saddle, staring deeply into Lurtz's dark eyes. "When we decide to leave we will make that decision together."
Lurtz nodded once. "But we could inquire about your friends' whereabouts. We might join them eventually."
"We could," agreed Legolas. "I will ask Elrond when he is feeling better."
Lurtz sighed blissfully when Legolas pushed back against him and he folded one arm possessively around the Elf's waist. "Mine," he growled, knowing it would please Legolas.
"You should growl more often..." mumbled Legolas, enjoying being held by his mate.
"No, I don't think so. Every time I growl, they stare at me."
Legolas peeked at the Rivendell Elves and found Lurtz's observation correct. "They will get used to it."
Glorfindel returned to the litter and glared at the twins. "It is my turn now." This time he wouldn't be denied.
Elladan looked over his shoulder at Elrohir, eyes sparkling with mischief. "Do you think we should let him?" One more look told him that Elrond was still asleep. Elrohir had given Elrond a particularly strong brew before they had left and not even Elrond seemed able to wake prematurely from this concoction. He secretly hoped that his father wouldn't wake until they had reached Imladris. Elrond would love waking up in his own rooms.
"Aye, let him or his nagging might drive us insane." Elrohir and Elladan slowly placed the litter on the ground and the whole group came to a halt. Elrohir knelt beside Elrond and checked on his father.
"How does he fare?" asked Glorfindel concerned. He still cringed at the memory of setting Elrond's ankles.
Elrohir placed his hand on Elrond's brow. "He feels warm but not hot to the touch. I think he is actually comfortable... as comfortable as he can be, that is."
Elladan took Asfaloth's reins, leading the horse away from the litter. "I will take the lead for a short while."
"I will stay close to Ada," said Elrohir, raising an eyebrow when Lurtz slid from his horse and walked toward the litter.
"I will help carry the litter," offered Lurtz, knowing he could walk for a long time without getting tired. "You can ride with Legolas." Lurtz gestured Elrohir to slip on to horse's back.
Elrohir nodded thankfully and slipped behind Legolas, relishing the break.
Lurtz and Glorfindel lifted the litter once more and set a steady place. The group got in to motion again and they continued their way to Imladris.
"Do you think Elrond will walk again? Unaided?" Legolas looked over his shoulder and met Elrohir's worried eyes.
"I hope so. I do not think Ada would do well being confined to a chair or his bed. But I am confident he will heal eventually."
Legolas nodded; a full Elf would heal quickly, but Elrond and his children were only part Elf. "I am sure Glorfindel will take very good care of him. You seem to welcome their love."
Elrohir smiled warmly. "Aye, I want Ada to be happy and I have known Glorfindel my entire life. He was my teacher and... When we were children we thought he was our uncle. He was always there for us, when we were hurt, when we fought... There were times when he had to separate Elladan and me because we were butting heads and at other times he had to track us down because we loved to play hide and seek. He was more than a friend, so aye, I am happy for them."
"And how do you feel about Lurtz's presence?" asked Legolas in a hesitant tone. He wouldn't blame Elrohir if he couldn't stand the sight of Lurtz right now; he only hoped Elrohir would eventually realize that Lurtz wasn't Ugluk.
Elrohir understood Legolas' nervousness. "I am angry with him for sneaking out of Imladris after we offered him a home and our friendship, but I also understand why he left."
Legolas frowned. "You are not angry with him for being..."
"Uruk-Hai?" Elrohir shook his head. "Nay. None of us can choose the race they are born in to. I merely hope he will continue to strive for acceptance. You have hard times ahead of you, meldir."
Legolas' eyes darkened. "I told him the same thing... So we are still welcome at Imladris? I was not sure."
Elrohir smiled reassuringly at Legolas. "Meldir, Lurtz and you are always welcome, but I do not envy you when you inform your father about your new husband."
Legolas shivered. "I hope he will understand..."
Lurtz had caught those last words and he felt guilty for putting Legolas in this position. /That is not true. Legolas chose to be with me... I did not force him to be with me./
"Imladris..." Elladan sighed happily for they had finally reached their home. In the distance he made out Erestor, who was already approaching in order to welcome them home.
"Elladan, how badly injured is Lord Elrond?" Erestor waited impatiently for Elladan to walk up to him. His sharp eyes made out the litter, carried by Glorfindel and the Uruk-Hai, which Elrond had granted sanctuary.
"He will need time to recover, and I want to take him to his rooms right now. Glorfindel will look after Ada." Elladan watched closely, ready to assist when Glorfindel lifted a still sleeping Elrond, carrying him to his rooms. "In the mean time Elrohir and I will take over Ada's duties..."
Erestor nodded thoughtfully. "And the Uruk-Hai?"
"Lurtz can stay as long as he wants. Ada wanted him to have a second chance and I stand by his decision. He is free to move through Imladris." Elladan signaled Elrohir to join him.
Elrohir slipped from the back of the horse, looking up at Legolas, who longingly stared at Lurtz. It was obvious to everyone who bothered to look that the two of them were in love. "Join us for breakfast in the morning?"
"Thank you, we will be there..." Legolas steered his horse toward Lurtz and the two of them disappeared in to the direction of the guest quarters. Elrohir joined his brother, casting a glance at the stairway. "Ada is in the best hands," said Elrohir softly. "I will check on him later."
Elladan placed a hand on Elrohir's shoulder. "Come, gwanur-nīn, let us eat and sleep as well. In the morning we will seek out Glorfindel and Ada." He led his brother away, eager to see him rest.
Glorfindel lowered Elrond on to the bed, relieved the Lord of Imladris was back home; safe. Elrond moaned softly, smiled and seemed to melt in to the mattress. Glorfindel smiled adoringly, and then walked toward the doorway, assuming Elrohir would want to sit with his father.
"Where are you going?"
Elrond's voice startled Glorfindel. "I thought you were asleep." He turned, and hesitantly met Elrond's eyes. "Are you in any pain? Do you want me to fetch Elrohir or a healer?"
"Nay, I want you to come over here and sit down." Elrond patted the space next to him.
"Elrohir should be here any moment now. I do not know how to care for you."
"You did an excellent job thus far," said Elrond thoughtfully as Glorfindel sat down. He studied the blond's eyes, relieved to find the darkness gone, but there was still a shyness to Glorfindel that surprised him. "Is there anything you want to say?"
Glorfindel averted his eyes, unable to face Elrond. "I never wanted you to know that Gil-galad refused to return to Arda."
"That hurt, aye, but I am glad he refused." He hoped that would catch Glorfindel's attention and it did. Cobalt eyes met his. "Because now I have --you--."
Glorfindel cleared his throat, blushing faintly.
"My, you are not used to being complimented, now are you?" Amused, Elrond raised a hand and rested it against the blond's cheek. "Would you keep me company tonight?"
Glorfindel's eyes widened, increasing Elrond's mirth. "I am sorry, melethron, I did not mean to imply that... I merely want us to sleep together... Uhm, in the same bed... You holding me." He shouldn't be teasing Glorfindel, but he couldn't resist the temptation.
"Now I know where the twins' got their mischievous streak." Glorfindel wished his blush would fade. He hadn't blushed in centuries!
"Lie down, Glorfindel and warm me." Elrond waited for Glorfindel to remove his boots and cloak, and then opened his arms to welcome his lover. "Hold me tight."
Feeling shy, Glorfindel obeyed. The last time he had held Elrond, the half-Elf had been barely coherent. "Like this?"
"Aye..." Elrond sighed happily. "Will you stay for the night?"
"If you want me to..." Glorfindel pulled up the blankets and made sure Elrond was warm. "You should see a healer in the morning. I do not know if I set your ankles correctly. I never did that before and I only knew what to do because I watched you do it in the past."
"Ssht," whispered Elrond. "You did well. There is no need to think you did anything wrong." Elrond probed the blond's eyes. "The darkness is gone. I almost feared losing you to Mandos."
"I regret putting you through that, Elrond. I did not know its call had become that strong."
"Let us not talk about this any longer. We should be discussing other things."
"Like what?" Glorfindel hesitantly raised a hand to stroke Elrond's hair, loving the feel of the dark locks flowing through his fingers.
Elrond sighed, seeing the expression in Glorfindel's eyes. "I never realized just how deep your love ran."
Glorfindel smiled nervously. "I did not know you were attracted to me... until that kiss..."
"Ah, ill timed, but it did clarify some things." Elrond returned the gesture, fingering a lock of blond hair. Staring in Glorfindel's eyes he wondered why he had waited so long to tell the blond about his feelings. "We wasted so much time."
Glorfindel lost himself in Elrond's misty eyes and felt content having his love close.
Elrond noticed the distant expression and smiled. "You really do love me..."
"Aye," was all Glorfindel could whisper, floating on feelings of intense bliss and happiness.
"Are you going to sleep or stare at me all night?"
"Do you mind me staring?"
Elrond laughed warmly. "Ai, Glorfindel. never desert me."
Early in the morning, Legolas placed a piece a paper in front of him, retrieved the quill and mentally prepared himself to write his father, King Thranduil.
~Ada, I know it has been a while since I wrote to you, but certain things have happened and you deserve to hear this from me, not from a stranger passing through Mirkwood.~
Why were the first words always the hardest? Legolas sighed and stared at the ink Those words wouldn't appear on the paper by themselves so he tried again. He dipped the quill in ink and continued.
~A few weeks ago I was injured and I met... someone. His name is Lurtz and he is an Uruk-Hai. You probably have heard of them by now as they are attacking our borders as well. But Lurtz is different. When we met he suffered from amnesia and he took care of me until I recovered. Slowly I realized that we had become friends and eventually I had to admit that we had become more than just friends.~
He paused, rereading the text and desperately tried to think of another way to phrase it, but he the words didn't come to him. Frustrated, he started to write once more.
~I realized that I was in love with him, and I did what you taught me to do; never let go when you find love. I know that you probably do not approve of my choice, but Lurtz is unlike anyone I ever met. He is honorable, courageous, a skilled warrior, very protective of me and he has a great sense of humor. He returned my feelings after I pursued him. He did not seduce me, if that is what you are thinking. On the contrary, I was very determined to claim him as my mate... and I did. ~
Legolas cringed, trying to imagine his father's expression while reading this. Maybe he should phrase it differently, but he was at a loss for words.
~I do not know if I am still welcome at home, and I do not want to spring this upon you by bringing Lurtz home with me. You deserve to know this on forehand so you can reach a decision.
Ada, you always loved me unconditionally and I know I am asking much, but would you give him an opportunity to prove himself? I am sure you would approve of him once you learn to look past his appearance.
Ada, my hands tremble while I am writing you for I fear you will banish me from Mirkwood and my heart grieves at that thought.
Your son, Legolas Greenleaf.~
He placed the quill on the desk and reread the letter, cringing as he fully realized how much depended on this. Mirkwood was his home and he loved Thranduil dearly. His father had taught him right from wrong, to love and not hate and he hoped his father still lived by those rules. Being banished from Mirkwood also meant that he would never see his brother again. Valthoron and he weren't as close as Elladan and Elrohir, but they were good friends. He would greatly miss his family, but would never consider giving up Lurtz to be with them.
He folded the paper and sealed it. Leaning back in the chair, he wondered if sending his father this letter was a wise thing to do. Maybe he should wait, avoid the confrontation, but that didn't feel right either. Nay, he had to do this now. His father shouldn't be told by strangers.
Legolas left the guest room Lurtz and he had been assigned and found a messenger who was willing to take his letter to Mirkwood. He almost turned back to retrieve the letter, having seconds thoughts, but stopped himself.
Trying to distract himself, he headed to the Healing House where Lurtz had gone earlier. Hopefully the healers would be able to smooth Lurtz's fangs. The disappointment and fear at hurting him that shone from Lurtz's eyes when he tried to return a kiss was heart wrenching.
Legolas listened closely and recognized Lurtz's voice. Following the sound he arrived at the back of the house. Lurtz sat in a chair while two healers were looking at his fangs, talking softly in their native tongue, which Lurtz didn't understand. "Do you want me to translate?" offered Legolas.
Lurtz startled, seeing Legolas while the healers were examining him, but managed to shake his head.
"I speak his language," said one healer, looking at his newest patient. "I think it can be done, but it will take a week at least, maybe longer."
The smile that flashed across Lurtz's features almost made Legolas weep. "It can be done," Legolas repeated. "They can do it."
Lurtz quickly rose from the chair and gathered Legolas in his arms, smiling giddily. "I will be able to kiss you... My greatest wish will come true."
Legolas noticed the confused expression on the healers' faces, but ignored them. "Aye, and you will kiss me... for long, endless hours."
Lurtz gave Legolas a long, probing look and realized something dark had slipped in to his lover's eyes. Then he remembered. "You wrote your father that letter?"
"A messenger is taking it to Mirkwood as we speak." Legolas rested his head against Lurtz's chest and from the corner of his eye he watched the healers leave the room. "I feel nervous. What if he does not accept this bond? What if he disowns me and banishes me from Mirkwood? It is my home. I grew up there. I would never see my father or brother again. I do not want to live like that."
"Your family means a lot to you," said Lurtz, regretting that he was the reason for Legolas' misery.
"You mean a lot to me as well, but if I must choose, I choose you."
Lurtz held Legolas tightly, rubbing his lover's back with long, soothing strokes. "If your father doesn't understand, we will make him."
Legolas smiled saddened against Lurtz's chest, knowing only too well one couldn't make Thranduil accept something against his will. "He is also stubborn."
"Then it runs in the family," said Lurtz teasingly, earning a smile from Legolas for his efforts. "Come, the twins expect us for breakfast." He took Legolas' hand in his, rubbed the fingers and lent Legolas all the emotional support his lover needed.
Elladan played with his food, pushing it from one side of his plate to the other. It was a good thing Elrond wasn't near for his father wanted him to --eat-- the food and not --play-- with it. He grinned privately, understanding only too well that his father would always fuss over him. His brother sat opposite him, devouring the food. "You must be hungry."
Elrohir nodded between bites. "Aye, I am..."
"So is there any food left for us?" said Legolas jokingly, stepping in to the room, closely followed by Lurtz.
"Aye, help yourself." Elladan pointed at several food items on the table.
They both sat down. Legolas helped himself to some Lembas and fruit while Lurtz watched Elrohir eat. He drank some tea, unable to bring himself to eat in front of them. He didn't want them to stare at his fangs. "How is Lord Elrond this morning?" He had caught Legolas' knowing look, and quickly sipped his tea, making sure his fangs didn't show.
"I just checked on him," replied Elrohir, leaning back sated. "They are both still asleep. They were so entangled I had to check which limbs belonged to who!"
Elladan chuckled. "Aye, Ada and Glorfindel will be at our mercy. It is time we took some revenge for the times they teamed up against us when we were children."
"Uhm, Elladan? We did deserve that spanking and their lectures. We were trouble..."
"We still are," said Elladan proudly. Looking at Elrohir, he asked, "Do you think Ada will need us today? I want to check the southern borders to make sure Imladris' defenses are still intact. I do not want to be taken by surprise again."
"Go, Elladan, I will keep an eye on Ada... and Glorfindel." Elrohir planned to spend the day quietly, checking on his father occasionally and rest some more.
"Legolas, Lurtz, would you like to accompany me?" Elladan smiled brightly. "I would love to have some company."
"I can't," whispered Lurtz in an awkward tone. "I'm expected at the Healing House at noon."
Elrohir, worried, leaned forward. "Why? Are you injured?"
Legolas looked at Lurtz for permission and his lover nodded. "It is his teeth... his fangs. They make him feel... uncomfortable. The healers agreed to... smooth them, take off the jagged edges."
"That is why you are not eating," mumbled Elrohir.
Lurtz averted his eyes and stared at the wall, not wanting to see the loathing in their eyes when thinking of his fangs.
"The healers are well trained," said Elrohir, catching Lurtz's evasive gaze. "Ada trained them. The will help you the best they can."
"Thank you," said Lurtz nervously, suddenly eager to leave.
Legolas rose to his feet and extended his hand. "Elladan? I will accompany you when you inspect the southern borders. Please excuse us for now."
The twins nodded and Lurtz got to his feet as well, following Legolas out of the room. "I expected to see loathing in their eyes," whispered Lurtz when the twins could no longer hear them.
"What did you see instead?" Legolas claimed Lurtz's hand, rubbing the knuckles.
"Understanding, sympathy, but no pity." Lurtz actually smiled, involuntarily showing Legolas his fangs.
Legolas wrapped an arm around Lurtz and led his lover to the Healing House. Once Lurtz's teeth had been fixed, he vowed to kiss his lover breathless, driving him insane with long kisses. Those fangs wouldn't keep them apart much longer.
Return to Archive | next | prequel