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 strode into his son's bedchambers, and to his surprise, he found that the room contained only the child's flustered elderly nanny.
"King Elessar, the strange Elf took him. I don't know where he went," the woman sobbed.
"Where? Where did he go?" Elessar roared. By nature, he was a soft-spoken man, but the thought of his son in danger made him shout with fear.
"I don't know!" the nanny sobbed again, falling to her knees in fear that the king would strike her. But when she looked up, the King was gone, and had not made a sound on his departure.
They found both Dathomir and the young Prince Eldarion in the castle garden three hours later.
Arwen sagged against her husband with a sob of relief when she saw her son crawling in the grass before Dathomir, who was sitting on the stone bench sketching onto parchment. Eldarion was trying to catch butterflies, as the afternoon sun waned, leaving comfortable shadows over Elf and half-Elf.
Elessar emraced Arwen in comfort, then told her to remain where she was whilst he dealt with the problem. "Melda, darsinome. Tóguvan yondolva atsinome,"* he said with steel in his voice. He motioned the castle guards to stay where they were as well, and marched towards Dathomir and his son.
"At...to!!"** Eldarion giggled as his father approached. Dathomir looked up from his sketches, his expression as smooth and as unreadable as any Elf's.
Elessar smiled and bent to pick up his son, cradling the child in his arms as he examined the boy. Not a mark lay on Eldarion, and he even smelled clean. Elessar noted that Dathomir had a satchel with changing rags and a bottle lying beside him. Eldarion giggled and played with his father's chain of office, bringing up the Evenstar and banging it against the chain's pendant, creating small tinkling noises that made him laugh.
Elessar turned flashing green eyes on the mysterious Elf, who was silently putting his parchment into another satchel containing some clothes and food, from what Elessar could see.
"I wasn't going to keep him. I just wanted to sketch him before I left. Your nurse is lax. I caught her sleeping, so I took the babe and left a note. I fed him, cleaned him, let him play. It is better for a child to be out here in the fresh air rather than cooped up in a castle," Dathomir said evenly, betraying no emotion as he packed his bag and stood up.
Elessar closed his eyes, letting his anger and fears slide off him. "You did not say where you went. I feared for my son's life," he said with as much calm as he could muster. Eldarion fell silent, looking between Dathomir and his father seriously, his little mouth forming a perfect "o".
"Think you, I would harm your son? Any child?" Dathomir asked, bitterness creeping into voice. He avoided meeting Elessar's eyes.
Elessar studied the strange Elf who acted nothing like an Elf. "I know your younger brother, as well as if he were my own. But I do not know you. You were thought dead before I was even born," he said carefully.
A pained smile crept across Dathomir's face. "I am a Man, in all but flesh. My body may be that of an Elf, but I am a Man. I have lived as one for the past century and it is all I know. I love children. I would sooner slice off my hand than harm any child," he said softly.
Elessar was quiet for a moment before speaking. "I am an Elf, in all but flesh. I was raised by Elves, and they were all I knew for a very long time. But now I live as the King of Men. I love my son more than anything in this world. Do not ever take him anywhere without my permission, Dathomir of Sorren, or I will slay you where you stand," he responded.
Dathomir nodded, and turned from the king. "I thank you for your hospitality over these past two weeks, but I am recovered now. I shall leave, and perhaps find another village in need of a carpenter. Should you find the monsters who destroyed Sorren, I would like to be notified of it. Fare thee well, your majesty," he said softly.
"Wait," Elessar called, surprising himself.
Dathomir half-turned, raising a golden eyebrow.
"As King of Gondor, I do not get to spend as much time as I would like with my son. It is necessary I have reliable people to look after him. The nanny is good, but she is aged, and it affects her mind. Perhaps if I had someone to stay on, with experience in the raising of children..." Elessar suggested.
Dathomir turned fully to face the King, cocking his head slightly, but saying nothing.
"He will have other nurses and tutors, but he will need a companion, someone who can keep up with him. Being a Prince will be lonely for him, and he cannot be expected to spend all his alone. And the babe the Lady Eowyn gave birth to is female. It would be good to have a male he could spend time with, other than myself. Legolas and Gimli visit only occasionally, and everyone else has duties," Elessar said carefully.
Dathomir swallowed, finally meeting Elessar's eyes, his own blue eyes conveying gratitude he could never express in words. Elessar smiled. He knew. He understood the pain Dathomir pretended he no longer suffered from.
"Come, friend Dathomir. Join us for dinner. I will have the servants set you a room near Eldarion's. You will like living here," Elessar offered.
Dathomir bowed his head, quickly wiping at his face. "I...am not the happiest of people, King Elessar, I cannot-"
"Nay, Dathomir. I do this as much for you, as I do my son. He will be good for you. You will be good for him. Help me with him, and he will help you learn to live again. I expect Eowyn and Faramir's daughter will visit us often. I will rest assured to know that you watch over both her and my son. You were a good father; I can tell. Help me be the same," Elessar said gently, putting a hand on Dathomir's shoulder.
Dathomir offered the first true smile that Elessar had yet to see on the Elf's face. "I see now, King Elessar, why they call you a great man. Thank you," he whispered.
Elessar patted the Elf on the back, smiling still. "You flatter me. Now come, let us fill our bellies with dinner," he said, and led Dathomir from the garden.
Life changed again for Dathomir on that day.
Dathomir's paintings of Eldarion quickly became a collection, growing as fast as the boy himself did.
It did not take long for the energetic child to learn to walk, and soon Dathomir and half the court were chasing after the boy all across the castle grounds. Arwen gave birth to daughter after daughter. Before long, Eldarion had eight sisters. Dathomir privately mused at King Elessar and Queen Arwen's private lives, for they seemed far too busy with their duties to be producing so many children.
Eldarion quickly grew as tall as his father, taller than even Dathomir. He bore only his father's eyes and hair, for all else was his mother's, even his beauty. As he entered adolescence, it became quite clear that the Crown Prince of Gondor was fairer than any maiden that would ever cross his path. His voice was clear and pure, and many clamored around him when he sang. Like his father, he was soft-spoken by nature, and just as passionate and humble.
But Eldarion was not the only child Dathomir grew to love over the years.
Elessar had predicted quite correctly about the daughter of the Lady Eowyn and the Lord Faramir. The young Farawyn visited often, and soon became Eldarion's best friend and constant companion. Dathomir was hard pressed as never before trying to keep the rambunctious Farawyn from murdering herself. There seemed no limits to her curiosity or the trouble she could cause. And Eldarion faithfully followed his best friend into every scrape she got into.
The Lady Farawyn was the eldest of Faramir and Eowyn's children, and by far the most eager. She was fair, and grew to be taller than even Prince Eldarion. Her hair was blonde like her mother's, but her eyes were the same murky blue of her father's. Her voice was high, and even as a woman, she sounded like a child. She learned the sword more aptly than even the Prince, taught by her mother in both sword and womanhood. But unlike Eowyn, Farawyn never hid her passions, and lived moment to moment.
They were an odd pair, Eldarion and Farawyn. Even as children, she was one to be caught shrieking in the courtyard, whilst Eldarion quietly and calmly tried to pacifiy her. There were only three men Farawyn heeded: her father, King Elessar, and Eldarion. Even Dathomir could not stay her from her various adventures, but a quiet suggestion from Eldarion would cause her to sit and listen. Though she had a natural respect for women as well, she tended to dismiss the counsel of all females save her mother.
Dathomir watched Eldarion's hero worship of his father fade as the boy grew older and Eldarion began to realize that his father was indeed fallible, making mistakes on occasion. But Farawyn's abiding hero and role model could never be presented to her on the level of any other man. Her hero remained idolized in her mind, placed above all others. For Farawyn's hero was her uncle Boromir, one of the Fellowship who fell to the Uruk-Hai's arrows while trying to save the hobbits, Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took.
Dathomir slowly healed over the next two decades, and indeed, Eldarion helped seal his wounds, as did even the brash and loud Farawyn. For it was their youth and innocence which touched him and helped ease the pain of his tragedy. Farawyn's antics made him laugh, while Eldarion's softly spoken words made him smile and touched his heart. In the end, Dathomir loved them both, for entirely different reasons. As they grew to be adults, he called them his friends and companions.
It saddened him when both children learned battle. While Eowyn was training her daughter on the sword and the magic of women, Elessar personally taught his son the way of the Ranger. Dathomir merely shook his head as Eldarion learned to use both a long sword and a short sword for battle and received archery lessons from Legolas. But they were not his children, and Dathomir kept his counsel.
Dathomir rarely spoke to Legolas when the Elf would visit, sometimes accompanied by Gimli, the Dwarf. Often Dathomir would find Legolas watching him, studying him. Part of him wished to reach out to his brother, but the other part ruled him over and he held back. Perhaps King Elessar was right, and he was afraid.
But while Dathomir held himself back from his Elven kin, he was almost forced to love both Eldarion and Farawyn. The times when Eldarion sang, in his clear, pure voice, or when Farawyn would jump out from behind him, always disappointed that he could hear her approach and was never frightened, brought Dathomir back to life. The happy times spent out in the castle garden playing hide-and-seek with Eldarion and Farawyn were all Dathomir had left to live for. Dathomir would protect the two youths with his life.
But, as with all children, they grew too quickly, and Farawyn became a woman. Before Dathomir knew it, she had sworn her allegiance to King Elessar and strutted about the castle carrying her sword, often performing the duties of a Lord rather than a Lady. It hurt sometimes to watch the woman Farawyn, fair and tall, stand guard at the castle, in the service of her king.
And Eldarion, half-elf though he was, soon became a man. And it was then that things became complicated. For Dathomir was an Elf and some things, though he could not remember, he would never forget.
He loved Eldarion. Eldarion loved him. Dathomir never thought to question these truths, until one starlit night, after Eldarion's eighteenth birthday, when Eldarion approached him with desires Dathomir had not considered in hundreds of years.
Love grew to be so much more complicated than Dathomir intended.
It was not until after Eldarion's twenty-first birthday that Elessar suspected something.
The boy was no longer truly a boy, and had been casually laughing over a joke Farawyn had told over dinner. He had leaned over to pour himself another glass of wine, when his hand touched Dathomir's, and their eyes met in such a way that called Elessar's attention. Dathomir quickly looked away as a secretive smile played on both their lips.
Elessar's brows furrowed.
The feast passed as any other, but Elessar studied the way the Elf and his son sat beside each other, the way they looked at each other. Even the way their fingers met when reaching for food or drink. There was something between them; Elessar could tell.
Never before had Elessar given a stray thought to his son and Dathomir leaving dinner at the same time, or how closely they walked beside each other. Elessar chewed over his suspicions, watching Eowyn and Faramir's eldest child make an ass of herself whilst she drank more wine than she ought. Farawyn passed out somewhere in between the joke about the Elf and the Tree and her commentary on the way Legolas walked. Farawyn's younger brother, Boromir II, picked up his older sister and carried her tall form to her chambers. Ever the paragon of decorum and virtue, Farawyn's younger sister, Merry, remained behind to further explore which Duke she was going to marry since Eldarion seemed uninterested in her. Eldarion immediately dismissed all the courtiers who clamored for his affections. Even Elessar had expected an affair or tryst between Eldarion and Farawyn, but their friendship remained purely that: friendship.
Which only further increased Elessar's suspicions as he bid his court goodnight and told Arwen he would meet her in their bedchambers shortly. He walked slowly to his son's bedchambers, wondering if perhaps he was wrong and merely imagining things. True, Elves were as free with sex as they were with all things, but surely Dathomir would not betray Elessar's trust by seducing the boy he had been set to watch.
As he reached the landing, Elessar could hear soft noises escaping from his son's room. He paused outside the slightly open door. A rustle of silken sheets, soft moans, and quiet whispers punctuated by muted laughter floated into the hallway. Elessar pushed open the door, a deep scowl etched onto his handsome face.
Bodies moved beneath the silken sheets in a way that could never be mistaken for a man and a woman engaged in pleasure. The sounds were unmistakably male, and the spill of long, golden hair across pillows told Elessar everything he needed to know.
It took but a second before Dathomir and Eldarion noted his presence in the doorway and stopped their play, turning to Elessar with twin expressions of horror. Dathomir had the decency to look ashamed.
Elessar bowed his head. "Is this how you repay my kindness, Dathomir? My trust? By seducing my son? You are no longer welcome in my house. I expect you gone by tomorrow morn," he said evenly, and spun on his heel.
As he walked away, Elessar wondered how Dathomir could lower himself to dally with the very child he was supposed to take care of. What didn't occur to the King of Men as he stalked to his study was that his son was no longer a child.
To be continued...
* "Beloved, stay here. I will bring our son here."
** "Da...da!" (Atto is a hypocoristic Quenya word for "father", which is the literal translation.)
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