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
Eldarion flung the door to his father's study open so hard that the hinges shook. Elessar did not look up.
"How could you?" Eldarion demanded, stopping before Elessar's desk and glaring down at him. "How could you do that?"
Elessar did not look up from furiously scribbling on the edicts and decrees he had intended to work on the next day. The only sign that he heard his son was the slight working of his jaw.
"You can't make him leave, Father," Eldarion hissed, slamming his hands down on the desk to either side of his father.
Elessar looked up and sat back in his chair, giving Eldarion a look that he normally reserved only for Orcs. Eldarion straightened up and crossed his arms, returning the look in kind.
"You are young, Eldarion, and you don't understand. Dathomir was set to watch over you since you were a babe. He took advantage of my trust by seducing you. I only hope that he waited until you were of age to do such a thing, for if he touched you while you were a child..." Elessar trailed off, his hand shaking in anger.
Eldarion shook his head, looking disgusted. "Listen to yourself, Father. Just listen to what you are saying. You think Dathomir seduced me? That he would touch me as a lover when I was but a child? Dathomir? Never! You say I am of age yet you imply I am too young to understand anything. You're not making sense!" Eldarion cried.
"I entrusted Dathomir with your life. That he betrays me by seducing you makes sense?"
"He did not seduce me! You pretend you know everything there is to know by simply observing us once. It was I who did the seducing, not Dathomir. I approached him after my eighteenth birthday, and do you know what he told me at first? Do you?" Eldarion demanded, his eyes flashing.
Elessar swallowed, turning his face away from his son. "No. Nor do I care to," he said darkly.
"You should care. Since you are so busy trying to rule my life, you should learn more about it. He told me, 'Eldarion, I do not pretend to understand what strange thoughts the demons of lust have put into your mind, but I cannot accept your offer. I practically raised you, Eldarion. Though I love you as dearly as any friend, I will not betray your father's trust.' That is what Dathomir said before he walked away from me," Eldarion hissed.
Elessar turned his face, still looking angry. "And that would be the correct response to your foolishness," he returned.
"No, Father, that is your response to such 'foolishness'. Dathomir loves and respects you. He refused the love I offered him because he knew it would hurt you. But I was not going to lose him so easily. I chased after him. I practically stalked him. I would not let him breathe - not without confronting me. I told him I couldn't live without him. When he asked me what my father would say to that, I told him I didn't care. I just wanted him, loved him. I didn't care what anyone thought, much less you.
"I do not fully understand why he finally gave in to me. One night I finally told him I would leave him be if he could honestly tell me he felt nothing for me in kind. And then he reached out for me. I love him with all my heart, yet you wish to force him to leave? Do you hate me that much?" Eldarion cried, tears of frustration pooling in his eyes.
"No, I do this because I love you that much, Eldarion. Regardless of the ethics behind your relationship with Dathomir, it cannot be. It is not uncommon for young men to have feelings for other males, but you are the Crown Prince and my heir. You can not dally with another male, not permanently. You must sire heirs as well. What you think is love is merely lust for another male," Elessar said quietly.
"Love is not a thing to be limited by something as insignificant as gender, Father. I love Dathomir, not because he is male, but because he is Dathomir and he makes me happy. I thought you of all people would understand how love works. Or do you only pretend to love my mother?"
Elessar's eyes flashed. "How dare you insinuate that my feelings for your mother are less than pure? Arwen is my life, my love. There are only nine creatures in this world I love more than her, and those are the nine children she bore me!" Elessar retorted, his voice carrying power it rarely used.
"And if my mother were male? What then, Father? Would you love her any less because the casing of her body was of a different sex?"
Elessar stood up abruptly and crossed the room to gaze out the the window. Eldarion watched emotions, conflicting, odd emotions, play across his father's face. At length, the anger seemed to abruptly drain from him, leaving a strange sort of bitterness.
"If my beloved Arwen were male, you would not be here, Eldarion. As the future King of Gondor, as Isildur's Heir, and as the last of the Dunédain, I had a duty to sire children. To sire heirs. I could not have done that if Arwen were male. My love for her would have been no less, and yet, it could never have amounted to anything more than a youthful tryst. Which is what your love for Dathomir should remain, Eldarion," Elessar said softly.
Eldarion suddenly saw his father in a new light. "You did love someone else, didn't you?" he asked gently, stepping closer. "A man?"
Elessar turned his head toward Eldarion, though he did not face him. "Your mother was not my first love but she is my abiding love. When I met her, all fanciful ideas and rebellious thoughts flew from my mind. When you meet the right woman, the same will happen to you. Remember who you are, Eldarion. You have duties. Responsibilities. You are so very young to think you love Dathomir so strongly."
Eldarion carefully approached his father. "Who, Father? Who was your first love, if not my mother?" he asked softly, putting a hand on his father's broad shoulder.
Elessar continued to stare out the window, an odd, sad and bitter look on his face. "Can you not guess, little Eldarion? We have the same vice. Do not be distracted by their beauty. You must think of Gondor before you think of yourself," he answered just as softly.
"The youngest prince of Mirkwood. You fancied your oldes, dearest friend...the fair Legolas," Eldarion whispered in understanding.
"He never knew. I never told him. I never touched him. And when I met Arwen, I was able to forget him. Perhaps you should turn your attention to your friend, Farawyn, or even her charming sister, Merry," Elessar answered.
"I love Farawyn as surely as I do any of my eight sisters, Father. To think of her as anything but my friend, and my sister, would be impossible for me. I am not like you. What I feel for Dathomir is more than a passing infatuation, or a boy's love. I can never love another. I never will love another."
"Eldarion, this cannot be. You will be King of Gondor one day. You must send your Elven lover far away, so that you may forget about him. You claim not to be a child, but you are acting like one. You must think as a Man should!" Elessar cried.
Eldarion stepped away from his father, the moment of rapport they had shared torn asunder. "Does my mother know you loved Legolas first?" he asked.
"Arwen knows all. It was a boy's love, a passing infatuation. I merely fancied him for his beauty and naught else. But she knows. She knows I love her more than life itself. A true love," he said.
Tears spilled down Eldarion's face. "And that is where we differ, Father. For my love for Dathomir is pure and it is true. It will not pass or be forgotten. Nor can I drown myself in a woman. I care not so much for the beauty of his body, but more for the beauty of his heart and his soul. I am not perfect like you, and I cannot make myself stop loving another male," he whispered.
"Perfect? Of what do you speak, Eldarion? You do not know it yet, but what you feel will pass in time. You must place your kingdom before yourself," Elessar said.
"I cannot do that. You are so perfect, you deny your feelings for another and promise your love to my mother instead. You have sired nine children, and of course your firstborn was a son. You are the great hero, one of the saviors of Gondor who helped destroy the armies of Sauron. You fight better than any Man alive, better even than the Elves. You rule Gondor with justice and wisdom. All of our people love you. You are perfect."
Elessar stared at his son.
"I am not perfect. I do not fight as well as you do. I cannot place my kingdom above my own feelings. I am no hero. I cannot even stomach the thought of lying with a woman to sire children. And no one loves me, or listens to me. I am not you, Father. I do not walk on water. And as long as you remain alive, I can never be my own man. I can only be King Elessar's son. No matter what I do, I will never live up to your standards. And I am tired of trying."
"Eldarion, listen to yourself. I came to be king from being naught but a mere Ranger; a filthy, shabby Man who wandered the wild. I came from being a weak-blooded descendant of Isildur. I came from being nothing. How can you say I am perfect?"
"That is what makes you so perfect. You do not see your greatness, Father. You are humble. You came from living as a commoner, a wild man, to being King of Gondor. Do you understand how I can never compare to you? And now you wish me to give up my love? The only person in this world who doesn't compare me to my father? The only person in this world that loves me for who I am, and not whose son I am?"
"Eldarion, please come to your senses. I will search for a wife for you. I will do anything to make you happy, but you must think clearly. You and Dathomir cannot be. A relationship with a man should be nothing more than a passing tryst, an act of lust made when there are no women to fulfill your needs."
"Did you not hear a word I just said?? Are you not listening to me? As with everyone else, what I think or feel becomes nothing before what you think or feel! I hate you!" Eldarion screamed at the top of his lungs, tears pouring down his face.
Elessar sank into his chair, staring at his son, his face etched with unimaginable hurt.
"I hate you! I hate you because you won't let me love whom I wish! I hate you because you won't let me be me! And most of all, I hate you because I cannot be like you!" Eldarion sobbed and spun on his heel.
Elessar sat in shock as his son reached the doorway of his study. A tear slipped down his face. How could his own son, whom he loved so much it hurt, hate him? He was only trying to do what was best for his son.
Eldarion half-turned to his father when he reached the door. "I suggest you go lie with my mother tonight, Father. Perhaps you will be able to sire another son this time. You will need someone to take the throne now that I am leaving. I want nothing to do with Gondor, or you, ever again," Eldarion spat as he stalked from the room.
Elessar wept silently.
Dathomir was already packing when Eldarion returned to his bedchambers.
Eldarion said nothing, but started packing alongside his lover. Dathomir reached out and put a hand on Eldarion's, stilling the youth.
"What do you think you are doing?" Dathomir asked softly.
"I am packing what few belongings I need. I already asked the cook to prepare us a food satchel. I would like to say good-bye to Farawyn before we leave, however," Eldarion said quietly, removing his hand from under Dathomir's to resume packing.
Dathomir's eyes widened. "Eldarion, you cannot leave! You are the Crown Prince of Gondor; people are relying on-"
"-my father to produce another male heir. He seems quite fertile; I don't think it will be a problem. If worse comes to worse, he has eight daughters to choose from to put on the throne. I refuse to remain here in his shadow," Eldarion said bitterly.
Dathomir closed his eyes. "Please do not do this, Eldarion. Not for me. It was wrong to begin with, we should just-"
"That is my father talking through you. Do you love me or not, Dathomir?" Eldarion asked, grabbing the Elf's chin and forcing the blond to look at him.
Dathomir lowered his eyes. "Yes," he said simply.
"Then I am coming with you. I can no longer stay here and cater to his every whim. I cannot be my father. I can never be my own man if I am constantly to be molded in his image. We are leaving the castle, mayhap even Gondor," Eldarion said darkly.
"You had a row with him, did you not? You shouldn't fight your father, Eldarion. He is not your enemy. He loves you."
"He loves me so much he suffocates me with his very presence. I do not wish to speak of him any longer."
"Why is it the nature of young men to so hate their fathers whilst they adjust to adulthood?" Dathomir sighed.
Eldarion paused, over chewing that statement whilst he packed his belongings. After a long silence, when Dathomir stood by the door, waiting for him to finish, he finally spoke.
"You fought with your own sons?" Eldarion asked.
"Often. It is inevitable. It comes from growing up. As they became adults, and left childhood behind, we both had to adjust: they to the fact that I was no longer the central force in their lives, and I to the fact that my babies were now men."
"But this is different, Dathomir. My Father and I are not like you and your sons."
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I thought you didn't wish to speak of him any longer?"
Eldarion sighed and closed his satchel, saying nothing. He and Dathomir quietly made their way to the kitchen, where the cook gave Eldarion a satchel of food, wisely abstaining from questions. Eldarion then led the way to Farawyn's sleeping chambers in the ladies' quarters.
Her snoring could be heard all the way down the hall, causing Eldarion to smile. He had never had cause to visit the ladies' quarters at night, unlike many other young men of the castle. The snoring and other unlady-like sounds caused him to snicker quietly to himself.
Eldarion gently pushed open Farawyn's door. She was lying on her stomach, her face still flushed from all the wine she had drunk. Her long blonde hair was spread across her, and she still wore her clothes but for the boots her brother had kindly taken off.
Farawyn snorted and rolled, scratching herself crudely in her sleep. Eldarion bit back a laugh and gently touched the shoulder of his childhood friend. Farawyn did not stir. Dathomir sighed and stepped forward, opening the girl's mouth and pouring in a drop of a potion he carried with him.
Farawyn sputtered and opened her eyes, blinking at Eldarion and Dathomir in confusion. She half-sat up, rubbing her eyes sleepily.
"Where was I? Oh, yes, I was just getting to the funny part about the Elf and his tree. You see, he was rather drunk, and then-"
"Farawyn, we are leaving."
"Oh, well, good-bye then. Good journey and all that. I think I should like to go back to sleep. I nearly think I drank too much wine at dinner," Farawyn said cheerfully and collapsed back on her bed.
"Ah, yes, a rare occurrence that. The Lady, and I do use the term loosely, drinking too much at dinner? Why I believe she is only carried from the table in a drunken stupor every day. Not indicative of a drinking problem at all," Dathomir said sarcastically.
"Sod off, you bloody Elf. When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you. Be off with both of you," Farawyn muttered.
Eldarion sighed. "Farawyn, we are leaving for good. As in never coming back. I wanted to say good-bye before I left and never saw you again," he sighed.
Farawyn opened one murky blue eye, frowning deeply. "Leaving? For good? Never coming back?" she asked.
"Ah, look at that. If her job as woman-at-arms ever fell through, she could take up a new career as a parrot," Dathomir said acidly. While Dathomir was by nature both gentle and compassionate, especially with Eldarion, his sarcasm and bitterness had only grown over the years, particularly around the foolish Farawyn.
"Bloody Elf. Shouldn't you be poncing off to some island over the sea? What do you mean you're leaving, Eldarion? You are the Crown Prince of Gondor. You can't just leave," said Farawyn.
"I can, and I am. Consider this my resignation. I want nothing more to do with this kingdom or my father," Eldarion responded.
Farawyn was silent for a moment. "Eldarion...but why?" she asked, her eyes sliding over to Dathomir.
"No matter. Just...good-bye, Farawyn. I shall miss you," Eldarion sighed, blushing slightly, wondering if she knew.
"No, you shan't," she said firmly.
"Of course I will, you are my best friend."
"How can you miss me when I am coming along with you?"
Eldarion blinked and smiled. Dathomir groaned. "I thought I was the one being kicked out of the castle? The Lady Eowyn will be most displeased to find I have taken her daughter with me into my disgrace. And I do not wish to displease her Ladyship. I've seen her fight. Vicious little thing," Dathomir sighed.
"My mother will recover, I'm sure. She much prefers my clever brother or my charming sister to me, anyway. And I'd rather be traipsing around with Eldarion than stuck in this castle. I'm bored out of my wits," Farawyn proclaimed, as she jumped up and began to pack quickly.
"Well, at least we now have an explanation for your recent lack thereof. Can you explain the past twenty years without them, however?" Dathomir asked, ducking a chamber pot that was flung at him.
"I swear, the pair of you are going to drive me mad before we even leave. Dathomir, stop antagonizing Farawyn. Farawyn, stop flinging chamber pots. I hope that one was clean," Eldarion sighed.
Ironically, Farawyn packed quicker than either of them and was ready in a few minutes. The trio crept from the castle and to the stables to procure their mounts. Eldarion rode Istar, a fine white stallion that was of the line of Asfaloth. Dathomir's mount was Cloudrunner, a fine white mare that was sister to Istar. Farawyn was mistress of Nightwind, a black stallion that was of Shadowfax's line. Even more ironically, only Farawyn rode her horse bare-backed, as Legolas had taught her to ride horses on her mother's request.
And under the starlit sky, Eldarion, Dathomir, and Farawyn rode from the castle.
To be continued...
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