46. Love's Tangled Web of Destiny
The door of the binding talan slammed into the wall with enough force to shake the giant Mallorn tree. Haldir had not stopped to open the door choosing instead to kick it open as he still held a limp Briar tightly in his grasp. The sight that met his gaze brought a string of curses to his lips. Fire lay at the entrance to the kitchen while Legolas was just inside the living area crumpled on the floor near the bedchamber. Depositing Briar on a nearby chair, Haldir went to the ranger's side. Turning Fire over, the March warden saw with relief that she still lived.
Shaking his head at the ranger's idiocy in leaving her binding bed, Haldir scooped her into his arms with a rueful grin, "Young one I can not take my eyes off you for a minute can I? Trouble seems to follow you everywhere you go. I wonder if you will ever do things the easy way. Do not despair Fire, for here is your mate. For Valar's sake and my peace of mind, do not move from his side again!" Laying her against Legolas, Haldir watched in amusement as they began to stir from the darkness that both had fallen into. The Mirkwood elf instinctively reached for his mate, drawing her into the circle of his embrace. Fire let out a sigh of relief and contentment as the couple drifted into light reverie wrapped tightly together. Haldir went into the bedchamber and brought out the blanket to cover the naked couple before the others arrived. He needed help getting them back to bed, as the elf and ranger had to be moved together.
With a last chuckle, the March warden turned and walked over to a sleeping Briar who still lay curled up in the chair shivering. Lifting her gently, so as not to wake her, Haldir dropped into the empty chair and cuddled the sentinel in his lap with a tender smile. Briar murmured and burrowed deeper into the Lorien elf's arms clutching at his shirt as if to hold him from escaping. Leaning his head against the top of the sentinel's, Haldir let his thoughts tell the Lady of the Golden Woods what he had found and that he would await their arrival to get the couple settled once more. Once the message was done, the March warden pressed a kiss to the top of the sentinel's head and tucked her under his chin more firmly before he too drifted into reverie with a contented sigh.
Elrohir carried his wood nymph's limp form towards the healer's talan in a state of panic. He had tried to revive her but she remained unresponsive except for moans of pain. About half way to the healers, Elrohir was brought to a halt when a very irate and vicious sounding voice declared "Elrohir Elrondion you will unhand my daughter immediately!!"
Elrohir paled as the words and voice sank in. The intriguing wood nymph's Ada was none other then King Thranduil of Mirkwood. Swiveling to meet the irate King's gaze, Elrohir took a deep breath and tried to gather his scattered thoughts. "Your Highness, I came upon this fair maiden when I heard her cries of pain. I went to see what ailed her, but as I reached her she passed out into my arms. I was on my way to the healing talan to see if I could find out what kind of ailment she has been inflicted with. So far everything I have tried has failed to rouse her to consciousness. I know of a few herbs that may bring her around, so hopefully once we reach the healer's talan I can bring her to wakefulness once more. If you would accompany me there, I am sure your daughter will be well pleased to see you."
At the king's nod of affirmation, Elrohir continued to carry her in the direction he had been heading before. A sudden thought popped into his slightly befuddled mind and the twin stopped dead. "Since when have you had a daughter??" The frown the king turned on the Twin was enough to quell any questions and made him decide to instead ask Legolas when he had acquired a sister. Glancing down at the elleth in his arms, Elrohir wondered how hard it would be to convince both an irate king and an over protective brother that he was worthy of courting their beloved kin. With a sigh, the Twin figured it was a good thing he was immortal.
Laurel frowned in frustration. She had come awake just before the healer's talan, but the bossy elf twin refused to believe she was fine and continued to carry her up the stairs. Trying to make him see reason became moot when she caught sight of her Ada standing there by the healer's front door looking grim. The look on the king's faced did not bode well for Laurel and she wondered how long he was going to toss her in the dungeon for this time. Laurel actually had a cell that she had claimed as her own. It had been her first accommodation when she came awake after a miscommunication in Mirkwood. Due to a severe attitude problem on her part, she had been stuck there for almost three weeks before Legolas had convinced the king to let her out. Of course kicking the King of Mirkwood had been a bad mistake, but she was not about to tell HIM that!!
In the years after her arrival, Laurel had found many reasons to keep the cell stocked with blankets, wine, lembas and water. She had also added a lantern and varied reading material. It was now a comfy room she stayed in whenever she annoyed the King beyond temper. Thranduil would simply order the guards to toss her in the damp dungeon, where she would wait for either the King's temper to cool or her brother to calm down their Ada. The dungeon guards were on a first name basis with the incarcerated princess of Mirkwood and would spend many an hour playing cards with her. She was as stubborn as a drunken mule sometimes, so it galled her to no end that both the king and the bossy elf twin refused to listen to her. Every time she opened her mouth, they would glare at her as if she were an Orc.
Deciding to change tactics, Laurel screamed at the top of her lungs just to see what their reactions might be. Elrohir whirled and headed straight for the screaming elleth with worried eyes. The Twin was shocked to see a pillow fly past his head and hit the screaming elleth dead center of her face. She was knocked onto her back by the force of the throw. Elrohir looked over his shoulder at the person who had accosted his patient with venomous eyes, only to hear a distracting giggle coming from under the pillow. He stalked over to the elleth and lifted the pillow free. The giant grin she gave him made him frown all the harder. "You find this entertaining wood nymph?" the twin growled at the elleth as she rolled to her knees. Without warning, Laurel grabbed a handful of his hair and kissed Elrohir soundly. Breaking contact, Laurel rolled off the other side of the bed, dashed out the door to the balcony and happily clambered up the Mallorn tree outside of the talan. With a cheeky grin she waved at both Elrohir and Thranduil before disappearing into the foliage.
Thranduil's voice halted the twin's instinct reaction to give chase to his wayward patient. "Two weeks incarceration in the dungeon should be about right for this disobedience. I will have to add it to the time she already has for the prank on my councilor, the green dye shampoo incident and the small fire in the wine cellar. All in all I think she will finally be out of her cell in 3 months time give or take a week," the King said dryly, "Now would you like to tell me exactly why my daughter thought kissing you would be allowed? Is there something you have yet to tell me or should I say ask me?" Trying to school his face into a ferocious mask of fatherly concern, Thranduil had the distinct pleasure of watching Elrond's son pale and stutter.
The group had reached the binding talan with less haste then they had started out with. Haldir's assertion that the couple were no longer in danger of expiring from sheer stupidity, had led to the lessened pace. The sight that met their gaze as they strode through the talan's front door brought amused smiles to their faces. On the floor in a comfortable naked heap lay the elf and ranger. A blanket had been thrown over them for modesty's sake but the rescue party knew the pair on the floor was beyond caring. In a chair sat the Lady's beloved March warden with the sentinel curled cozily in his lap. She had one hand tangled in his hair and one hand grasping his shirt as if afraid he would run away. Haldir on the other hand, had an arm around her waist and a hand on her upper thigh. The look of utter contentment in the Lorien elf's face was in direct opposition to his earlier reactions to Briar's nearness.
Galadriel smiled at them before turning to share a knowing look with her mate. Haldir's heart was engaged even if he was too stubborn to admit it, even to himself. Nodding to the pair on the floor, Galadriel spoke softly in the minds of Celeborn and Aragorn bidding them to lift the two up as one and place them again in their binding bed safe and sound. The two on the chair she carefully covered in a light blanket as she whispered a sleeping ward so she would wake neither sentinel nor March warden. Briar needed the sleep and so did Haldir. Her March warden was great at taking care of others yet forgot his own needs in the doing. Galadriel wanted to see her foster son happy again, so a little push in the direction of the sentinel seemed called for. Looking back at the two males, who returned to the living area after depositing the sleeping couple in their binding bed once more, Galadriel placed a finger to her lips with a smirk and gestured for them to follow her out of the talan.
They had been traveling for days. Their master had bid them to hunt the deceiver. They had last heard the master's orders on the far side of Bree near the Shire. The master had told them he had felt their prey had made its way into the mines of Moria. The hunters had tried to intercept the prey as it had exited the mines, but unfortunately they were too late. The prey had entered the Elf Witch's Woods and disappeared from their senses. Now they waited at the edge of the cursed Woods. As soon as their prey left the cursed Woods, they would resume the chase.
Briar came awake slowly. Comfortable warmth surrounded her and she was loathe to move. Allowing her eyes to come into focus, she was surprised and ecstatic to find herself held tightly in her captain's arms. A deep seated contentment swirled into her heart and lodged itself there. She looked up at the elf she loved and watched him sleep. Without his arrogant confidence showing, Haldir seemed a much younger and more approachable elf. Briar took the fact that the March warden was holding her in his lap, instead of putting her in another chair, as a good sign. She was slowly breaking open a small crack in his heart now she just had to figure out how to widen it further. Deciding to enjoy the fact that Haldir was holding her, Briar snuggled into his embrace and let her gaze wander over her March warden before drifting back into reverie for a few hours more.
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.