27. Here We Go Again!
Tanglinna, the Master Archer of Mirkwood stared down at the two sodden bodies at his feet. They had pulled them from Morn Nen and they were sleeping quite peacefully, eyes dreamy, pleasant smiles on their lips. He shook his head and frowned.
"This is just wonderful," he repeated.
Tavor and Brethil looked warily from him to stare at one another. Then they looked down at the King and his son.
"You shouldn't have told him to jump in, Tavor," Brethil began, shaking his head in imitation of the Master Archer. "Nothing good will come of it."
Tavor gaped at him, brows knit, an incredulous look on his face.
"Nothing good will come of it? Nothing good will come of it! I did NOT tell -"
"Don't even start!" Tanglinna hissed, cutting them off effectively. "I have enough to worry about without the two of you acting like idiots! Pick him up. I will carry the King."
"I wonder what they will remember when they wake up," Brethil whispered as he helped Tavor drape Legolas over the horse's back.
"I wouldn't know," Tavor said with a quick glare. "I have never fallen in."
Brethil merely smiled knowingly, but said nothing.
"If we are lucky they will have forgotten about the Dwarves and everything that has happened since then." Tavor continued as he watched Tanglinna leap agilely onto the other horse behind Thranduil's body. "We can only hope so."
"But won't he notice that there are Dwarves in his dungeons?" Brethil asked as he seated himself on the horse and helped put Legolas into a sitting position in front of him, the blonde head nestled on his shoulder. "Ugh! He is very wet!"
Tavor snorted, mounting behind him. The horse whickered as if to say, "Three of you is asking a bit much". They followed after Tanglinna slowly.
Brethil gently stroked Legolas' cheek, the Elf prince smiling and murmuring something.
"Poor Legolas. What will we tell him about this?" His slim fingers toyed with the short hair where the left Warrior braid had hung.
"We will worry about that when the time comes."
"He will notice it again, you know. He was so upset the last time, that I am not sure what he will do this time! Then we will have to tell him about the Dwarves again, and the singing, the Bubbles, the sparkly green, and the -"
"Shut up, Brethil!!"
He turned to stare at the two who had yelled at him.
"What? I was merely saying that -"
"Keep your mouth shut, young Brethil," Tanglinna said sharply. "It is bad enough that you will tell Legolas everything you know, but you must avoid the King at all costs. If you must see him bring Tavor with you - No, don't." He shot a glance at Tavor appraising him critically. "You, too, seem to have a problem controlling your tongue of late. At least the prince will not recall anything to say." He shook his silver head, adjusting the King's body against his own. "We will need to put this away," he continued indicating Celeb Baudh.
"Perhaps we should throw it into Morn Nen," Brethil said with a grin. "Legolas would be eternally grateful if we did. It was rather terrifying to see the King riding toward us, his eyes flashing fiercely, Celeb Baudh glittering like cold fire. Ai! It was frightening!"
"I think those Orcs thought so as well," Tavor added, with a smile. "Did you see the look on the big one's face? I couldn't tell if he was afraid of him or admiring him."
"The one that Legolas was bashing looked absolutely enraptured! Didn't you think so, Tanglinna? Tanglinna?" Brethil scowled. "Where is he?"
Behind them they heard a small splash and then Tanglinna rejoined them. The King's fair brow was bereft of its ornamentation. The Archer raised one brow and moved ahead of them.
"This is going to be rather interesting," Brethil said quietly with a smile.
A few days later Legolas' eyes focused and he stared at the ceiling. He felt fine and he grinned, suddenly getting out of the bed.
"He's awake!" Brethil exclaimed, scrambling from the chair he had been curled in.
Tavor drew a deep, steadying breath and pushed off the wall where he had been leaning.
"Are you ready?" Legolas asked, hurried splashing water on his face.
"For - what?" Tavor asked, wondering what Legolas would remember. He glanced over at Brethil, who shrugged, biting at his lips.
"Don't you remember? We are going to push Gwibess into Morn Nen to try and tame her. Where is she?"
The two friends exchanged glances as they watched the prince dry his face.
"Well, Legolas, you see -" Brethil began.
"No, Brethil!" Tavor interjected. "I will tell him!"
"You will? Very well. I haven't been able to make up anything to tell him yet anyhow. I am no good at subterfuge."
Legolas turned to him, drying his face.
"What is going on?" He asked suspiciously. "Have you lost the spider?"
"No," Tavor began slowly. He wasn't very good at subterfuge either, much to his dismay. "We haven't lost Gwibess. Er, have we?" He looked at Brethil who was staring pointed at Legolas as if he was trying to think of something he had forgotten. "Or perhaps we have," Tavor continued, his face brightening. "Yes - yes! We lost, Gwibess! That is why we can't take her to Morn Nen today." He smiled, quite pleased with himself. Maybe he was good at subterfuge. "Exactly. That is it!" He gazed triumphantly at Brethil, expecting to see a gleam of appreciation that told of Tavor's genius, but Brethil's brows were knot and he looked troubled, his grey eyes fixed on the prince.
Legolas scowled fiercely at them both.
"What is going on?!" He demanded.
"Nothing is going on. Nothing at all. Why do you ask?" Tavor sputtered, feeling panic well within him.
Brethil shook his head slightly.
"I will think of it later," he concluded quietly before turning to Legolas. "You must be very hungry."
Thranduil's son frowned. He was feeling a bit hollow.
"After all," Brethil continued. "You haven't eaten for days."
"Days?" Mirkwood's prince gazed at him in bewilderment. "What are you talking about, Brethil?"
"He didn't mean days!" Tavor choked. "He meant HOURS! Didn't you, Brethil?" He glared pointedly at his friend. "HOURS not DAYS!"
"What? Oh! Yes! Days I meant DAYS! No? Oh! Hours! Yes, HOURS! I meant HOURS! I really did, Legolas. Hours! That is what I meant!" Brethil smiled in relief over at Tavor to reassure him that the slip surely went unnoticed, but for some reason Tavor looked rather stricken.
Legolas regarded his best friends with suspicion.
"What is going on?" He asked, wondering if he truly wanted to know.
"Nothing," Tavor said, cutting Brethil off even as he drew a breath to begin. "Nothing. We will go find Gwibess after you eat something."
Mirkwood's youngest prince raised one brow, but decided not to pursue the matter.
"Very well. I hope we can find her again. She seemed nice for a spider."
"Here!" Tavor thrust clothing into his arms. "Get dressed, you need to be in the sun and the wind today."
Legolas looked at his friend with concern. He looked rather panicked.
"Breathe in, breathe out, Tavor. You look ready to faint. - What have we done now? We haven't done anything, have we?" He searched his memory, but could think of nothing. He slipped out of his nightshirt and into his leggings and tunic.
"I am not going to faint!" Tavor protested, though he doubted the veracity of that statement. His heart was pounding unmercifully in his chest. ~This might just kill me~ he thought desperately. ~I need to calm down! If I don't then who will shut Brethil up? ~ He drew several deep breaths and closed his eyes, willing the anxiety to dissipate.
"That was it!" Brethil exclaimed suddenly, his grey eyes bright. "Keep him away from the mirror!"
Legolas turned toward him. Tavor's eyes widened and he wondered which desire was greater: to strangle Brethil with his own hair or to go instantly to Mandos Halls to escape this.
"Why do you need to keep me away from the mirror? What is going on?!" Legolas, of course, turned to move back toward the mirror.
They all turned toward the creaky voice. Tavor gasped and clutched his heart.
Gwibess' head appeared at the window, one long leg brushing aside the hanging.
"Oh, no!" Tavor moaned. "Not now! Not now!"
"You are awake, Master Let Go Lass! Oh! I was so worried!"
Legolas stared at the spider in wonder and amazement.
"What did she say?"
"She said, 'You are awake, Master Let Go Lass. Oh! I was so worried!'."
"Brethil!" Tavor wheezed.
"What? I was just answering his question. It would be impolite to ignore him after all he has been through."
Legolas felt his knees quake and he staggered toward the chair. He was about to collapse into it, his head feeling very funny and light, when a voice yelped,
"No, Prince Legolas! Don't sit on me!"
The prince gasped and staggered away from the chair, his blue eyes wide.
"Who said that?!"
Tavor stilled suddenly, thinking he had heard the sweet, quiet strain of music that must fill the Halls of Mandos.
"Masters?" Gwibess watched them with worry in her great eyes.
"Who did say that?" Brethil asked. "Was it the funny furry-footed Dwarf?" He grinned. "Don't worry Let Go Lass - uh, Legolas. He is not Silivren Hithlain Man. He has told me so himself. Bilbo and I have had some interesting conversations the last few days. He was worried about you, too! He has your Bubble Pipe though, if you need it."
"No, Brethil. No, Brethil. No, Brethil." Tavor moaned again and again. For some odd reason no other words would form.
"Who is Bilbo?" Legolas gasped, staring at the empty chair.
"Oh, dear," the disembodied voice said. "It is just like Bombur. Poor Legolas. You don't remember a thing, do you?"
"What?" Legolas gasped. "What?"
"No, Bilbo. No, Bilbo. No, Bilbo." Tavor wondered what had happened to him. Why couldn't he speak?
"Masters?" Gwibess felt so worried over them, that she had managed to wedge her body in the window once more and was flailing wildly trying to get free.
Suddenly Bilbo pulled off his Ring and appeared right in front of Legolas who gasped and staggered backwards, landing on his rump by the bed.
"It is alright, PrinceLegolas. Really. We do know one another, you just don't remember. I guess that means you have forgotten the pipeweed as well. But that is a good thing. Really! Poor Gloin. You have forgotten him too. That will break his heart! But at least he has a remembrance of you." Bilbo shook his head sadly at the distressed look on his friend's face. "I am sorry that all this has happened. It will all be over soon. I promise."
Just then the door opened and Tanglinna stuck his head in.
"The King is awake," he stated his eyes worried. Then he saw Legolas cowering by his bed, his eyes filled with dismay. The Master Archer noted Tavor's muttering, Brethil's smile, the strange furry-footed Dwarf, and the spider stuck in the window. "Great Valar!" He muttered. "Here we go again!"
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.