33. Hurt Feelings and Porcupine Quills
Streaking. The embarrassing art of running without clothes. Ever since clothing was first worn, Man and Elf have perfected this ludicrous art form in drunken abandon. These free spirited lunatics are know to run in all weather and in front of many shocked, bewildered, and disgusted eyes. To do it well, one must have nerves of Mithril, no modesty and be as fleet footed as a cheetah.
Legolas watched in shock as Fire's laughter died abruptly and a blush went from her chest to her ears. When he became aware of her conspicuous state of undress, he became redder. Fire scrambled onto shore, dove for Legolas' sodden tunic and ran towards the talans. The elf contemplated, with a red face, tilted head and silly grin, the delightful sight of his mate racing towards her talan fighting with his uncooperative tunic. Legolas was sure his bonded life with Fire would never be boring.
Fire ran full out, trying to reach her talan with the least embarrassment. After the first three tries, she gave up trying to pull on his tunic and instead held it in front of her chest. She knew that most of Lothlorien, not only would be talking about her hideous table manners, but her lack of decorum and clothing for many millenniums to come. She had absolutely no one to blame, but herself and the idiot elf she was to be bound to. A feeling of sweet contentment flowed over Fire, as she stood sky-clad in her living-room. It rode over her embarrassment, in quiet waves; but the original embarrassment still stayed in the background. Confused by the sensation of the conflicting emotions, the ranger vowed to speak to Galadriel in the morning. Tonight, she would hibernate, with the hope she could show her face in the morning, without blushing. She highly doubted it, but miracles do happen.
Legolas kept his eyes on his mate, until she disappeared from his sight. Pulling him-self up onto the bank, the elf looked to Aragorn and smiled, a happy contented smile. Grabbing up the under tunic that still lay on the grass, Legolas made his way to Aragorn, Galadriel, Celeborn and Gimli.
Haldir fretted over the situation he found himself in. On one hand, he, at least now, knew of the identity of his drooling captor, but on the other hand, his trusted sentinel had turned into a female!! The March warden had spent the last hour cooking the rabbit and trying to force the picture of his shy, bookish sentinel walking, nonchalantly past him, wearing only a frown. Swearing viciously, Haldir paced his living area again!! This was unacceptable and it was going to cease and desist immediately. He had more self control then most elves, but for some reason, it had abandoned him like a rat leaving a sinking ship. Squeezing his eyes shut for the um-teenth time, Haldir compelled his mind to the task at hand; cooking Briar's dead rabbit!
'For Valar's sake! I can not believe she is that flea ridden beast. Why did she behave the way she did at the cave, when she trapped me there for hours? Did she not envision her punishment, when I would eventually find her out? Briar knows better!! Eru, you have a strange sense of humor! Damn, but she did look stunning in that outfit at dinner and even more delicious out of it! Sweet Eru!! She has made me take utter leave of my senses. Oh she will pay dearly for this treachery! Just wait until I get my hands on her. That female had best watch out!' Haldir grumbled to himself, as he got out a plate for the rabbit and pored himself a glass of good wine. A picture of Briar swaggering past him tumbled into his mind, again, nearly making him drown in his own wine.
Briar sat in a tall Mallorn tree next to Orophin. She had yet to tell him the reason for her swift return to duty. She knew he was curious, that she would give up two weeks precious leave, to come back for no apparent reason. That Haldir was still in the city. The smirk that lit the sentinel's face, at the mention of his brother, made him wonder just what did the sweet elleth do, to make his brother throw his own partner back on the border, without him. Well, he would soon find out, if he had to badger Haldir for the next three centuries!
"Well it appears, young Prince, that you will have your hands full, with that elleth. You have much to make up to her, yet I believe you have, strangely enough, began the healing needed to reform your trust with her. Why a wrestling match would help, instead of hinder, your efforts to woo the fair Princess is a mystery to me! I would give you advice, but that female confounds even me.", the exasperated hilarity in Lord Celeborn's voice made the elf grin engagingly.
"I know full well my grievous behavior! I plan to make it up to her in full measure, that is if she will stop grumbling long enough. It will certainly take years to regain her full trust, but I hope she will see fit to allow some closeness between us, before the next Age.", the elf said with a combination of hope and humor.
Aragorn and Gimli snorted with laughter at the elf's statement. Having traveled with the ranger thus far, both of them knew of her disposition towards holding grudges and secrets. The two companions eyed each other, before wailing again in fevered mirth. Trying to catch his breath, and stop his laughter, Gimli replied gruffly, "Laddie I do not envy you, your predicament. That female is hot headed, opinionated, more stubborn then any elf I have met thus far and cusses worse then any man I have met! She is handy with sharp objects, sneaky as an elf and has a temper that would make Sauron cringe. She will either make your life completely miserable or completely exhilarating; but either way she will be a challenge!" A burst of merriment greeted his truthful words and caused all to agree heartily with the Dwarf's assessment of Fire.
"Aye, my friend, she will be that indeed!! She may be a bit on the furious side, but I felt her heart and she does care for me. With excessive coaxing, I may win her over before too long.", the elf said with a grin. Aragorn frowned at the elf's words. 'Does he genuinely feel her heart or does he just make assumptions from her actions? If he feels her, the bond is further along in process then it should be. What could have made it form so quickly? It usually takes months to even glimpse the smallest of feelings. Until the actual ceremony, their feelings are not intermingled, yet he sounded as if they already were!', Aragorn worried silently. Lost in thought, Aragorn failed to see the puzzled faces of his companions, until Galadriel spoke up.
"Aragorn something troubles you about Legolas and Fire; I can feel it. Will you not give voice to your thoughts? If there is something amiss that we have not foreseen, now would be the perfect time to broach it.", her soft melodious voice floated around to the gathered friends. Legolas cocked his head in Aragorn's direction and asked the man to tell him his thoughts. Taking a deep breath, the slightly embarrassed future King of Gondor began to question the elf.
"As you know, my friend, I have been raised by elves, so I know their customs and the way certain things are supposed to work. I do not mean to pry or cause distress, but I must ask, if you meant, you had heard her Song or if it was just her actions that makes you so sure of her heart? I know it is a private matter, usually, but if it is her Song you hear, then is it not, much too soon, to have that strong a bond; especially without the binding ceremony. I was told, at least for the Noldor elves, that it is very rare to have a Song bond without the ceremony, and those that had one were betrothed for almost five centuries or more. Is it normal for Silvan or Sindarian elves?", Aragorn finished with a light blush to his cheeks for asking such personal questions.
Legolas opened his mouth to reply, when what the man said hit him. Aragorn was right, the sharing of Song was the most intimate of all elven customs; even more so then the sharing of flesh. He had never heard of a Song bond being made outside of a binding ceremony, and that worried the elf. Something was undeniably wrong! The Prince of Mirkwood gazed into his friend's grey eyes with a sense of fear, as he replied, "No Aragorn it is not normal for a Song bond to be made!!" Turning to the Lady Galadriel, "My Lady, do you have any idea how this could be? I know she feels it too, for it was my anger, I believe, that made Fire lose control of her power. This was not the first time, this has happened! At dinner I received her laughter and she my jealous anger and not, but a few moments ago I felt her embarrassment, as if it were my own, yet my own feelings remained under the surface."
"This is disturbing indeed! I would say it was kindred in origin, but that can not be. Fire has to donate blood to you freely, as is the betrothal way of the Kindred, to start the betrothal year. From what I was able to find out concerning these pagan rites, the two Kindred must give blood to each other in order for a bond to be formed. In the instance of a Kindred bonding with a different race, the Kindred mate gives no more then two drops of blood to start the mating rites. More then two drops, increases the need to perform the rites at hastened pace, of no more then two months time. After a mate has been declared, no other may be chosen and there is no dissolving of the bond. At the end of the year, the blood mates must perform the binding ceremony or the blood turns toxic and kills them both. After a Kindred has taken a mate, their blood becomes a powerful healing potion when mixed with certain herbs. So you see, it can not be this that has caused such strange behavior.", Galadriel said soothingly.
Everyone looked at Legolas as he paled in shock. A fine tremble shook his lithe form as he recalled a memory, from before Gandalf's fall. He remembered how the ranger had taken care of his warg bite and later Gandalf's words to Fire. "Young one, was it wise to do that? A regular healing poultice would have done as well and not endangered your secrets. You know dreams may come to the elf." Then later, "Does it indeed? Humm, curious thing that healing method. Be warned you may encounter strange dreams, as well. I am surprised she would heal you that way, but she is right it will be closed and gone in but a few hours. Still it is curious." Plus there was his own body's reaction to the herbs she used "My arm feels as if it is on fire and a hundred bugs are crawling across my flesh!"
"Sweet Eru!!", the startled exclamation burst forth from Legolas' lips. Quickly, the elf told them all about Fire fixing his arm after the warg attack, the strange pain that had engulfed his arm and the wild, erotic dreams he had that first night, adding with a deep blush, that the dreams had continued since then. "But, young one, she would had to have given you her blood. I doubt very highly that she would have used it to heal your arm, knowing the consequences of such an action. Take heart there is another explanation!", the soothing tone conveyed her assurance.
"My Lady, I beg to differ! When she was cutting the strings holding her healing herbs, her dagger slipped and she received a cut on her finger. I saw that some of the blood, from her finger, was leaking into my wound, but I thought nothing of it at the time! I am almost positive now, that we have been in bonding, since that night in Moria before Gandalf fell.", Legolas stated calmly. All those gathered near the elf, exclaimed in shock. A sudden smile bloomed on Galadriel's face.
"It has been far too long since I have presided over a binding ceremony! If what you say is true, then it is imperative you and Fire must be bound as soon as can be arranged. It has already been a few weeks, we dare not linger, for we know not how much blood she gave you and we do not know how fast it will turn poisonous. We must speak to Fire immediately!!", the Lady of the Golden Woods said to those assembled, as they all turned to stare at the reeling Prince.
"Now she really is going to be furious! I will be lucky if she ever speaks to me again", came the choked voice of the doomed Prince of Mirkwood.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.