Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. Wish they were though. Cuz then I could make Aragorn and Legolas get nekkid on screen...
Main Characters: Most of the surviving original characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy make some sort of appearance. Of great importance and note are Aragorn (King Elessar), Arwen, Legolas, Boromir (yes, I said Boromir), Faramir, and Eowyn. Also starring are original characters, such as Farawyn and Dathomir, or original takes on mentioned or named characters, like Prince Eldarion.
Warning: This story contains slash (male homosexual relationships), mild homoeroticism, profanity, mature themes, sexual situations, nudity, gore (the bloody kind, not the presidential kind), and violence. You know, the good stuff.
Archive: Please ask first.
Summary: This is the tale of Prince Eldarion, son of Aragorn and Arwen, his Elven lover, Dathomir, and his best friend Farawyn, daughter of Faramir and Eowyn. Eldarion wishes to escape his father's shadow, but when he runs away from Gondor, Eldarion uncovers a plot to destroy his kingdom. Legolas is taken by a mysterious villain, and during an attempt to save him, Aragorn is taken as well. Nothing can be taken for granted, and it is up to Eldarion, Dathomir, and Farawyn to set Gandalf free and save Gondor. Contains slash.
Notes: Mennai i Metta means "Until the End" in Elvish (Quenya dialect). This story will contain some Elvish language words, but footnotes marked with a (*) shall contain the translation. Since this is in written form, and I found Quenya to be more extensive (and it *is* the "Book Elvish"), all Elvish will be used with Quenya dialect. It will help to avoid dialectal confusion, though if I lack a word in Quenya, I will refer to Sindarin. Any grammatical or dialectal inconsistencies with my Elvish are on the part of ignorance, and feedback on Elvish grammar is appreciated, so it can be edited and fixed. Elvish grammar errors will no doubt be abundant, as I'm still learning the languages. This is mostly movie canon, with book canon used to fill in the details. The few inconsistencies with book canon are intentional, as movie canon takes precedence to book canon. There will be slash themes contained within. Deal with it. This, however, is a romantic adventure, not a mere slash story.
With Thanks To: Both Kayshinae and crickets for their awesome beta. *gives big hugs to them* Does having two betas make me paranoid about my writing or what? *grin*
Mennai i Metta
King Elessar was barely listening to the chamberlain's prattling. He was paying far too much attention to the laughing baby boy sitting on his lap and playing with his chains of office.
Arwen Undomiel sat in the throne to his left, smiling fondly at her husband and son. Standing to Elessar's right was his long-time friend and brother-in-arms, Legolas Greenleaf, the youngest prince of Mirkwood. Gimli, son of Glóin, stood to the right of Legolas, picking his teeth with a dagger.
Legolas was also indulging young Eldarion, flashing a pretty bauble to distract the young prince of Gondor from his father's chains. Eldarion giggled in the way only small children can and reached for the pretty bauble, obviously enchanted with it. The chamberlain paused in irritation, realizing no one in the court was paying him any mind.
It was as the chamberlain's voice faded away that Elessar noted how quiet his court had become. The normal sounds of bustling people were absent. A hush had fallen over the room. Sensing something wrong he stood up, handing Eldarion to his mother. As perceptive as ever, Legolas sensed it as well and took a step forward, his delicate hand already reaching for his bow.
"Your majesty...?" the chamberlain squeaked.
The great doors to the throne room swung open and a pair of guards marched forward with two soldiers behind them. One was a captain, the other his lieutenant. Behind the soldiers, someone shuffled, as though led by invisible bonds. The soldiers looked shaken and the captain spoke to the king.
"King Elessar, we found him wandering the countryside. He won't speak..." The soldier stepped aside to reveal the man behind him.
Elessar drew in his breath as Legolas gasped.
It was an Elf who shuffled forward, the light in his dark blue eyes long since burned out. His long golden hair was matted and filthy with dirt and blood. The fingernails on his delicate hands were broken and bloody, and his common cotton clothing was covered in old, dried blood, like the rest of him. The Elf stared blankly at Elessar and Legolas, and collapsed to his knees, lost in a daze.
"He is shock. We found him wandering near the village Sorren, your majesty. It was in ruins as though beasts had rampaged through it and ripped the villagers limb from limb: men, women, children, the elderly... everyone was dead," the captain swallowed.
The lieutenant shook his head. "It was worse than any Orc could have done. It was horrible, your majesty. It had been like that for weeks. I do not know why this Elf was there, but he saw it all. It has affected his mind," he said weakly.
Legolas bent before the Elf who was calmly sitting on his knees, his expression numb, his eyes dull. "Seron, nyar men man kenanëlye,"* Legolas whispered, putting a hand upon the strange Elf's shoulder in sympathy.
The Elf looked up at Legolas, but said nothing. It was then that Legolas recognized just who lay beneath the dirt and grime. He cried out softly, and gripped the other Elf's shoulders.
"Dathomir!! Dathomir! Onooronya! Quetan ni, quetan ni!"** Legolas cried, shaking the other Elf as tears appeared in the corner of his eyes. He begged his brother to speak to him and demanded to know what happened. "Man carn si anlye?"***
Elessar stared at the Elf that Legolas was embracing. His eyes widened and he stared at the Elf, noting the similar facial features, even more delicate than those of Legolas, the same long golden hair, the same dark blue eyes... "Legolas?" Elessar questioned, ignoring his soldiers whilst he watched his friend weep in shock.
"It is my brother, my brother Dathomir! We thought him dead almost a century ago, but he's alive!" Legolas exclaimed, looking up at Elessar, tears spilling down his porcelain face.
Arwen was already beside Legolas, her mouth slightly open in shock. A murmur was passing through the crowd. "Dathomir lives! The Orcs did not kill him after all!" she exclaimed, putting a hand on Dathomir's shoulder.
Elessar blinked, for he had never met Dathomir, as the Elf had died before he was born. But now he lived, and the brotherly similarities between he and Legolas were undeniable.
"Dathomir, nyar ni man nalantanë le,"**** Legolas whispered gently.
Dathomir calmly pushed Legolas away from him, turning his dull blue eyes on his brother. "I don't know you," he croaked in the language of man. "And I don't speak Elvish."
Legolas swallowed, the color draining from his face. Arwen took a step back and Elessar's brows furrowed. How could Dathomir not know his brother? And how could any Elf not speak the language of his people?
"Dathomir! It is I, Legolas, your younger brother," Legolas whispered, his voice breaking with emotion.
"I have no brothers. I have never seen you before in my life. I know no Elves," Dathomir said dully, his expression as blank as before.
"Your majesty..." the soldier captain said softly, casting a glance at Dathomir, "I do not pretend to know anything about this Elf, but judging by his clothing, and his reaction to some of the slain that we buried, I think he lived in Sorren. And I think he lost his family."
Elessar swallowed, trying not think of what his reaction would be if he found his family...but nay, that would be impossible. He stepped forward, gently pulling Legolas away from Dathomir. His friend trembled, looking close to tears again.
"He does not know me. He does not know our tongue. Aragorn, what has happened to him?" Legolas choked, using his friend's birth name.
"I do not know, Legolas, but if what the soldiers say is true, then your brother has been living as though he were a Man. He is dressed like a Man, and they said he reacted badly to some of the dead. They might have been his family," Elessar said gently, squeezing Legolas' shoulder, trying to calm the Elf down. To find a lost brother who did not know him must have been worse for the archer than continuing to believe Dathomir was dead.
"My lord, we must find who did this," Arwen said softly, putting a comforting hand on Legolas as well.
Elessar nodded, trying to understand who would do such a thing when his eyes fell on Dathomir once again. The Elf was still sitting on his knees, his expression blank, his eyes dull. Crawling towards him was Prince Eldarion, who had managed to escape the basket his mother had laid him in.
The babble of conversation around him fell away as Elessar took a step toward his son. He made as though to pick up Eldarion before the child reached the strange bloodstained Elf, but he noticed that Dathomir was looking directly at the child, while he had avoided the eyes and faces of everyone around him.
Elessar and the court fell silent again as the baby crawled up to Dathomir, who watched him intently. Tears began to spill down the Elf's cheeks, tracing through the blood and dirt on his face.
"Baa...naaa...la!!" Eldarion gurgled nonsensically, smiling up at the Elf and crawling into his lap as he would his father or Legolas. More tears poured down Dathomir's face as the babe reached up and fondled the beaded necklace around the Elf's neck.
Dathomir suddenly clutched the boy to him, sobbing loudly. Arwen gasped and made a move to extricate her son from the Elf's arms, but Elessar stopped her. Dathomir was not hurting the child at all, and Eldarion wasn't even frightened. The baby let himself be held and rocked by Dathomir, his small hands tangling in the matted blond hair as the Elf sobbed in grief.
"Let him hold Eldarion for a while. For our son can do what the rest of us cannot," said Elessar
"What is that?" Arwen asked.
"He can help Dathomir grieve. And perhaps, when he is done grieving, he will remember who he is, and what happened."
Elessar put a single hand on Legolas' shoulder and squeezed once for comfort before they entered the room where Dathomir was staying.
When they had finally been able to pull the baby from Dathomir's arms, Elessar had sent the Elf to be treated by the healer. Though Dathomir bore no serious wounds of his own, at least physically, he was filthy and had a few minor cuts and scratches that needed tending.
The healer was still fussing over the Elf, handing him a steaming goblet of some foul concoction which he took as numbly as he did all else. Elessar came to a stop before the bed Dathomir sat on, and Legolas stayed behind him, his face turned from his brother.
Dathomir swiveled his blue eyes onto Elessar, his expression still blank. "You are the King, Elessar Telcontar," he said simply. A statement, not a question.
"I am. You are Dathomir, the sixth son of Thranduil. You are the next-to-youngest prince of Mirkwood. With me is Legolas Greenleaf, your youngest brother. Do you remember him at all?" Elessar asked gently. Legolas worked his jaw.
Dathomir turned his face from Elessar and stared out the window. He was clean now, bathed and treated by the healer. He was as fair as his brother, with the same heart-breaking golden beauty that all of the royal line of Mirkwood possessed. But in Dathomir, there was a certain sort of delicacy that Legolas did not possess; an air of fragility, not of body, but of mind. He lacked his brother's intensity, yet there was an air of sadness and suffering to him that Elessar could only equate to Frodo's.
"Dathomir. Is that the name you still go by?" Elessar asked again when the Elf did not respond.
"It is all I remember. My name. Dathomir. I remember nothing else. I have not remembered anything of my former life for the past century," Dathomir finally answered. His voice was flat, and deeper than Legolas'. It had an edge to it that seemed out of place for an Elf. There was no music to it.
"Tell us what you know of how you came to be here. Start from the beginning," Elessar said gently, taking a seat by the bed, and motioning for Legolas to do the same. The Elven archer cast a sad look at his brother before doing so.
"I remember waking up in a shack, being tended by a young girl. She said they had found me in the near-by river, bleeding and near death. Orc bodies were around me. I did not how I got there, nor who I was. She told me I was an Elf. If it were not for my ears, I would not have believed her. I had suffered from a head wound, she said, and my mind had been wiped clean of its memories...
"I married her four years later, when she was sixteen. I had nothing, I remembered nothing. But Ariella gave me everything. Life, love, four children...everything. I lived as a carpenter in the village Sorren for many years, and farmed when times were hard. But Ariella grew old, and she passed from me over forty years ago. My children grew old, and three of them passed from me of old age. I took care of them as they grew old, and buried them, as I did their mother. It is not right, that a father should bury his children, and even grand-children. Yet, I remained as strong and as young as I was the day I met the twelve-year-old child who would grow to be my loving wife.
"I know nothing of Elves. I never saw one, nor did I desire to see one. Ariella gave me all that I needed, and I had no desire to seek out my kin. The village took me in as if I were one of their own, and they gave no thought to my pointed ears, or eternal youth, or even my keen senses. I stayed away from the War of the Ring, and kept my family home with me. It was not my battle, nor was it theirs. We stayed at home in our peaceful village in west Gondor, far from Sauron and his evil. Surely with great heroes such as you, King Elessar, you had no need of an Elf who doesn't even know which end of a sword to hold up.
"I was hunting a deer for dinner, when I felt a shadow pass over me. I ran back to Sorren, to my home..." Dathomir's voice trailed off and silent tears poured down his face. Elessar gently reached out to touch the Elf's hand, offering comfort.
"What had happened, Prince Dathomir?" Elessar asked gently.
Dathomir wiped his face in an all too human gesture. "I am no prince. Do not call me that," he said, his voice grinding out like granite.
Elessar lowered his eyes. "What did you see when you arrived home, Dathomir?" he asked.
Dathomir closed his eyes and withdrew his hand from Elessar. "My great-great-granddaughter, Dania was only two. How like Ariella she was, in voice and face, but she had my hair. I loved to hear her laugh, and watch her play. It was like Ariella had returned. I could almost hear her ghost in Dania's giggles. They...they didn't even spare her. She was so young, so innocent, but they still slaughtered her worse than any animal," Dathomir choked out.
Elessar briefly closed his eyes in sympathy. Beside him, Legolas sat silently, his face a mask of grief, not only for the loss of his brother's memories, but for the loss of his brother's family; a family Legolas had never met.
"I do not know who did it. It was a massacre, worse than any tales I've heard of Orcs, or Saruman's armies. Everyone was ripped apart, some to pieces. Not a soul was left living, but for me, and had I been in the village, I too would have perished with my family. As I should have," Dathomir spat bitterly.
"I shall have the healer prepare a potion for you, so you may sleep without dreams. I will hunt these murderers down, Dathomir of Sorren, and slay them for the atrocities done to both your family, and to my people," Elessar vowed.
Dathomir turned baleful blue eyes on the King of Men. "Think you would solve death with more death, your majesty?" he asked softly.
Elessar bowed his head. "I solve nothing with death. I merely prevent those capable of heinous crimes from committing them again. Sometimes, violence in necessary. I never enjoy it, Dathomir, but I do what I must," he returned.
Dathomir turned his eyes on Legolas, studying his younger brother, finally meeting his eyes. "You are my brother, then? How old are you?" he asked.
"I am nearly three thousand years old. You are nearly four thousand," Legolas answered softly.
"Is that old, for an Elf?" Dathomir asked softly.
"Nay, that is young. You were but a thousand when you fought in the Last Alliance. Father said you were too young, but you wanted to fight anyway"
Dathomir blinked. "I was a fighter?"
"You were one of the finest warriors Mirkwood produced. You knew the bow as well as I do, and had mastered daggers for close combat."
Dathomir turned his face. "I hate violence and bloodshed," he said dully.
Legolas bowed his head. "You used to enjoy battle, and were eager to destroy the armies of darkness. I always used to tell you it was not right for an Elf to take pleasure in fighting. It seemed you had to forget how to be an Elf to learn that," he said softly.
"Tell me, then...did I have anyone? A wife? Children?"
"Nay, you had no lovers. You were more interested in battle."
"I am a complete stranger to myself. I do not think I like the Elf in me."
"You were a good Elf, Dathomir. Perhaps a bit more temperamental and aggressive than usual, but I still loved you. We all did. You would fight to uphold what you knew was right."
"Violence is not an answer to violence."
"You have changed, Dathomir. In more ways than you can ever know," Legolas said simply.
"Perhaps we should let you rest, Dathomir of Sorren. You are welcome to reside in my castle as long as you wish. My love for your brother, my oldest and dearest friend, is so great that I would be honored for you to remain here. I could invite your other brothers, and your father-"
"Nay. I have no interest in Elves."
Elessar blinked. "My wife, the Queen Arwen, is an Elf," he said carefully.
"I mean no offense. I do not wish to meet a family I cannot remember. A family I cannot love, for I do not know who they are, and despite their beauty, cannot compare to my true family, the family of my heart," Dathomir said darkly, his voice taking on a hard edge.
Legolas stood up, his expression twisted, as though he had been run through with a sword. Elessar frowned.
"You mean, you do not wish to place your heart in another family, for fear that they too will be taken from you," Elessar said.
Dathomir looked sharply at Elessar, a bitter smile playing on his full lips. "What is the name of the child, the one I held in your throne room?" he asked, changing the subject.
"His name is Eldarion, and he is my son. And a half-Elf."
"He is a treasure, King Elessar. There is nothing more precious to a father than his firstborn son. Pray that he lives long enough to bury you, or rather, that you do not live long enough to bury him."
Elessar swallowed, the thought of his tiny son being taken from him as violently as Dathomir's family had been enveloping him. He understood the Elf's bitterness. For he knew he would go mad if his son died while he still lived.
"Good night, Dathomir of Sorren," Elessar said softly and turned from the bitter Elf. Legolas followed suit, his face still torn with grief.
Legolas turned at the sound of Dathomir's voice. Memories of happier days played in his mind; of dancing amongst trees, and archery lessons under blue skies. They quickly mixed with the recent vision of his dearest brother falling to his knees, covered in dirt and blood.
"I am sorry if I have hurt you," Dathomir whispered.
Legolas swallowed and nodded, then left his brother's room, closing the door behind him softly.
To be continued...
* "Friend, tell us what you saw..."
** "Dathomir!! Dathomir!! My brother!! Speak to me, speak to me!!"
*** "Who did this to you??"
**** "Dathomir, tell us what befell you."
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