26. Hot Flashes of Ice
Haldir moved noiselessly through the familiar territory of the Golden Woods. His mind was in a turmoil of muted rage and unfulfilled desires. Thoughts of what had just transpired, not more then ten minutes ago, flooded his mind in a whirling mass of regret and lingering wistfulness. It was over and the March warden had not even had time to lob the first strike. Striding purposely towards the ice cold water of the raging river, Haldir tore off his clothes making a ragged line to the waters edge. Without hesitation, the march warden plunged into the fast moving river hoping to quench the frustration running rabid through his system.
Mischievous eyes looked on in a very happy, but morbid, fascination as Haldir stripped and dove into the rushing frigid water. An idea came to the mind of the watching female and without another look, turned and headed to a field nearby. The field was a glorious riot of spring flowers that grew with no rhyme or reason to their patterning. Yellows, reds, blues, golds, purples and mixed color varieties grouped themselves together like a gossipy sewing clutch. Going to a beautiful yellow flower with red insides, the female picked a small bouquet of them. These were Alurell flowers and the March warden's favorite kind.
The female had been secretly observing the Lady's most honored warrior for a few years. At first it was just because she thought him arrogant and unfeeling, then it blossomed into a small crush, which bloomed into full blown lust. Having to blend into the background had not helped in garnering his attention and he saw her as reclusive and sort of bookish. The coming of the Fellowship had thrown the female for a loop. Not only was the one ring there in the city, but the Princess of Anorak had arrived with them. Knowing it would soon be too late to catch Haldir's favor, the female decided it was time to show the arrogant March warden what a real female was capable of.
Coming back to where she had left the March warden swimming, the sneaky female slowly made her way to his tunic. A decidedly unfeminine idea came to her and she knew that it would be worth the effort it would take to execute her dastardly plan. Quickly grasping the tunic, she scurried behind a tree. Dropping it out of sight, she proceeded to do that with all his other clothes as well, until the tree hid them all from view.
Just as quick and stealthy as before, the female crept back the way she had come, bringing the flowers she had picked with her. Carefully placing the flowers, one at a time, in the exact place the removed piece of clothing had laid, she made a small flower trail to a tree farther in from the river. Under the tree, she laid all the clothes and the remaining flowers on top. Patiently waiting for the ellon to finish his swim, the female tried to picture his face when he got to wear flowers instead of clothes.
Haldir swam until his mind and his muscles were fatigued enough to relax. He had at first thought that he would have no choice, but to give up on his idea of winning Fire. The swim had not only relaxed him, but clarified what he had seen earlier. Just because he had seen the ranger dressing her nicely made and very naked form in Legolas' tunic did not mean that anything more then that had happened. It had been obvious, in hindsight, that they had not made love. They had both acted too embarrassed to have become so intimate. As long as they had not become lovers, he could still pursue the wild elleth and try to take her to his bed.
Climbing from the icy cold water, Haldir looked around perplexed for a moment, then frowned in anger. All his clothes were gone. He knew immediately that it had to be his brothers and their sick sense of humor. Luckily for them and himself, Haldir was not modest in the least. Sighing over the fact he was going to have to waste his time looking for his clothes, the March warden's brain began to process a fact that had slid past his first perusal; flowers in a line. 'Now that is not a normal sight. What could my brothers be up to? Is it they or could it be some elleth who wishes my company? That does seem more likely, then my brothers picking flowers. Well, well, well, I believe it is time to find the culprits of this strange game.' Haldir reflected. Strutting ahead determinedly, the March warden of Lothlorien went in search of the instigator of the fiendish plot.
The female crouched and waited for her victim to waltz by. She had spent the last few minutes trying to gauge just the right time to show herself and put her plot into motion, before Haldir was close enough to reach the pile of clothes. A laugh tried to escape the female, but was quickly and efficiently smothered. The look on his face would be worth all the Mithril in Moria. His pride would be a bit bruised, but then he had been trying to interfere with Fire and Legolas' budding relationship. It would serve him right if Legolas called him out for just thinking the stuff that probably was floating around in the March warden's semi empty head. Legolas would be a good mate for Fire, but the thick skulled Lorien male would try his luck at winning Fire anyway. Mayhap, with a little planning, she could help and hinder all in the same action. Going completely motionless at the sound of Haldir's approach, the female gave a quick prayer to ERU that she did not screw up the possibility of a good thing.
Haldir spied a neat pile of clothes. At this distance, he had no trouble seeing that the clothes were most definitely the ones he sought. He slipped past another pair of Mallorn trees some yards away from the clothes and the weapons set next to them, when a low growl alerted him to danger. Spinning on the balls of his feet, Haldir came face to face with someone he REALLY did not want to see. In a rush, the female darted forward and the elf took to the nearest tree. Unfortunately for Haldir and happily for the female's plan, this particular tree stood alone some ways from any other branches. Half way up the tree sat a disgruntled, very naked elf, but on the ground at the base of the tree sat a happily purring Feline female.
"For the love of ERU what did I do to deserve this AGAIN!?! You miserably fiend, I will not allow you to entrap me again. I am coming down and you will refrain from approaching me in any way is that understood!" Haldir snarled at the patiently waiting silver eyed, black cat. A bored yawn answered the fuming Lorien elf's tirade. "I mean it you furry beast! You are becoming the bane of my existence. I will never be cowed or bullied by you ever! You are one of the scourges of Morgorth! As such, you should be turned into a nice rug, to be placed at the side of my bed, so I may tread on you often. Now remove yourself from my sight!!" The March warden proclaimed as he climbed back down the tree facing the tree's trunk.
"Brother, have you imbibed too much of Lord Celeborn's private stock of wine? What ever possessed you to perch naked up a tree and speak to those that are not here? You need to rest, Haldir, for you have taken leave of your senses!", Orophin exclaimed as Haldir's two younger brothers watched the furious March warden drop to the forest floor, and stomp angrily towards his clothes and the pretty bouquet of flowers. The brothers exchanged worried glances and followed Haldir cautiously.
An inelegant snort of laughter caught Haldir's attention, just before reaching his goal. Turning swiftly, the Lorien elf found himself facing the twinkling green eyes of the offending party. Fire stood next to Legolas and Haldir's brothers valiantly trying to suppress her hilarity. Her eyes roamed over the March warden's very, very impressive build, then back up to his face with a quirked and questioning eyebrow that did Lord Elrond of Imlandris proud. "Do you always climb trees sky clad or is this a special occasion? Pray do not mind us. We will continue with our business unless of course you are in need of assistance." Fire stated calmly but with mirth, dangling like an unpeeled thread, barely kept in check.
Mustering his dignity and drawing his arrogance around him like a cloak, Haldir took a deep breath before answering. "My lady, I apologize for my unseemly state of undress, but there was a rogue Feline that I crossed paths with again. I was momentarily distracted, but had the situation well in hand. It is of no consequence and you need not fear. This particular Feline has a nasty sense of humor and will very soon become a warm rug. Lady Fire, seeing as this is the first opportunity I have had to speak with you, I would ask permission to escort you to the feast tonight to make amends for my earlier behavior." Not knowing what else to do, Fire agreed to his escorting her to the feast. "Very well my lady, I will be by to pick you up a quarter hour before the feast begins. Now if you will all excuse me, I have a Feline to kill as soon as I am redressed." Said a very pleased March warden, as he took in the furious Elven Prince at Fire's side.
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.