7. The Fair Face of Evil
"You!" I whirled around and faced my husband, pointing a finger in his direction. "You are NOT allowed to talk ANYMORE." I felt a vice like grip on my arm and turned to glare at the elf who had just grabbed me.
"It seems it may not have been mere chance that you appeared on our borders when you did." Elladan pulled me roughly away from Justin and towards his father. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Justin move to get up and hoped fervently he wouldn't do anything rash. "The agents of the enemy appear in many forms." He pushed me forcibly at Elrond and had it not been for Legolas's intervention, I probably would have ended up on the ground. "I suggest we remove them from our lands before they cause any harm."
After that, it seemed everything happened at once. Justin came over and started yelling at Elladan as Elrohir tried to step into the middle to keep them away from each other. Glorfindel was trying to take me away from Legolas, who was guarding me as if his life depended on it. (How I garnered such loyalty from the elf, I have no idea.). Everyone was shouting until a bellow stilled us all.
"SILENCE!" We all turned to Lord Elrond who was fixing us with a stare that would have bored holes in steel. He looked to each of us in turn. "Legolas, I appreciate your help, but I no longer require your assistance. If you are needed, I will be sure to find you in your rooms." Graciously taking the hint that it was his time to depart, Legolas exited the room, but not before giving a glare of his own to Glorfindel and Elladan.
Elrond next turned to his sons. "Elladan, Elrohir, Estel has arrived with the Halfling. I trust you wish to welcome him home?"
Elladan was not as understanding as Legolas had been and crossed the room to resume his grip on my arm. "I trust he can wait if there are more pressing matters." Elrond raised an eyebrow at his son and with an expressive sigh; Elladan released my elbow and sulked out of the room, closely followed by his brother.
"Now, then, Glorfindel, we may go see to Frodo." Elrond said the name with a quick look at me out of the corner of his eyes. "He is sure to have much to ask us."
He turned with Glorfindel to exit, leaving Justin and me there all alone. "Wait!" I shouted after him, without thinking. "What about us?"
Elrond stopped and looked over his shoulder at me. "You are free to return to your rooms, but I suggest you avoid my sons at all costs." He paused a moment, looking thoughtful. "There is much I need to discuss with Gandalf before I can attend to the two of you."
Without another word, Elrond left the room. Poor Justin looked like he just had a lobotomy or something. I watched him, worried as to what might be going through his mind. After a short while, he shook his head and came over to me.
"So now what?" He asked in a tired voice.
"We go back to our room?" I said tentatively.
"Are you having fun?" He asked the question completely honestly. There was no bitterness or anger in his voice. I really think he wanted to know whether or not I was having fun. I stopped and actually thought about it. What had happened since we got here? Legolas was more interested in hanging out with Justin than with me; I started lusting over the last elf I would have ever expected; we both got threatened and grabbed and roughly treated; and somehow, inexplicably, Fëanor showed up. Yeah. I was having a blast.
"Not really." I shrugged. "I thought this would be different. I didn't think there'd be all this drama." I also didn't think my husband would end up there, making my chances of hooking up with any hot elf absolutely nil. But I thought it was better to keep that part to myself.
"So why don't we go home?" I couldn't look at him when his eyes were pleading like that.
"I don't know how." It was an admission that I could only make while looking at the floor.
"What!?" I raised my head to see Justin's incredulous look.
"I know. It was stupid. I was stupid. This whole thing was stupid. But we're here now, so why don't we just try to make the best of it."
His face tightened and I could tell that his teeth were clenched. He looked at a point slightly off to the side of me. "Is it possible, then, that we may never get home."
I smiled, trying to ease some of the tension. "Of course not! Think about it. In all the stories, the people always get home if they really want to."
It was never good when his eyes narrowed like that. "Carrie," he said in a far too calm and quiet voice. "this is not a story. This is our REAL LIFE. There are no guarantees. We could be stuck here. It may not be a happy ending for us."
"We'll be fine…" I soothed.
"No," he said roughly. "We may not."
With that angry sentiment, he left me there and stalked out of the room.
I found myself back in the gardens of Rivendell, wandering aimlessly, trying desperately hard not to think about anything. Of course, the more you try not to think about things, the more thoughts fly through your head. You could go insane just by trying not to think about your problems.
Anyway, at the forefront of my mind was remorse and self-recrimination. It had been a game to me, really. Did I think those words were going to transport me, and Justin, to a place that deep down in my heart I believed to be fictional? No. If I had truly believed the incantation would work, would I really have done it? No, probably not. I mean, it's a nice fantasy and all, but think about it. We have no life here; we have no family here; we have no home here. If the elves were to kick us out, where would we go? How long would we last before we ran into an orc or a Wildman or a stray Nazgûl? Not very long.
So engrossed in my bitter thoughts, I failed to notice the approach of someone, much to my misfortune, until I bumped into something and saw feet on the ground directly in front of me.
Two arms shot out and grabbed my elbows to steady me and I slowly looked up the length of his body until I met the steely eyes of…one of the twins. I still couldn't tell them apart. Not that I wouldn't know shortly; he would either be kind or start yelling, and I'd be able to tell immediately which one he was. I smiled tentatively, a smile that was not returned, and I began to suspect it was Elladan.
"You should be in your rooms." His voice was neutral. Surely if it was Elladan, he would have started shouting by now, or shaking me, since he still held his grip on my arms. Perhaps it was Elrohir. Maybe I should ask.
"I needed some air." I know. I'm a big sissy. What can I say?
Since he didn't immediately respond, I belatedly realized that for one thing, he was still holding my elbows, and for the other, my hands were resting on his forearms. I also realized that this was not an entirely unpleasant position to be in, held by an elf. Or a half-elf, whatever. Especially since I was beginning to think that this was the nicer of the pair of halfelven.
Unfortunately, my conscience decided to take that moment to point out that this may not be wholly proper, so I gently pulled my arms away to see if he would release them. He did, with no problem. When I saw a hesitant smile play across his lips, I concluded who he was. Maybe he could tell me why his brother had it in for me.
"Your brother doesn't seem to like me much." I measured my words and watched him carefully for a reaction. I know I don't take kindly to people bad mouthing my brother, and we're not even twins. I didn't want to alienate someone who could be a potential ally.
His face showed no marked reaction and his voice remains neutral. "My brother has no quarrel with you." His eyes narrowed suspiciously and I felt my stomach turn in nervousness. "What makes you think that?"
Treading cautiously, for I still wasn't sure of the family dynamic of elvish twins, I gave him my best didn't-mean-anything-by-that smile. "I just seem to aggravate him, is all."
His eyes remained narrowed, but now he looked confused. "I have yet to see my brother aggravated in your presence."
"Oh, come on…" I started, until a very unpleasant and embarrassing thought occurred to me. "Hang on a second." As I tried to figure out if the question 'Which one are you?' would be considered rude, I saw a glimmer of understanding in his eyes as well. When he started smirking, I began bargaining with the earth to get it to swallow me up.
"You believe me to be Elrohir, do you not?" Haughty elf.
"You're not, are you?" I asked, biting my lip and knowing full well the answer. Just then, the most random and disturbing thought popped into my head. If you had known it was Elladan, would you have been so quick to pull away?
Chastising my mind for such and abhorrent thought, I continued to watch Elladan's face as he stood there mutely, accurately judging that I did not need a response from him to know the answer to my question.
"So," I continued, "you can tell me why you get so aggravated by me." I hugged my arms. "What did I ever do to you?"
"You have done naught to offend me, but there are many strange occurrences as of late." I love it when they talk all forsoothy. "Evil is still evil, though it often wears a fair guise."
I was initially insulted, until the part of me that always wanted to be a psychologist got a hold of the statement.
"So are you saying that I'm evil…?" I paused dramatically, raised my eyebrows and grinned, "Or that you think I'm pretty, and were therefore suspicious of me?"
I thought I was rather clever, and was only half serious, so I was not at all prepared for the stony glare I received in return.
"You have pushed me beyond suspicion."
Had I not found the whole situation ludicrous, I may have reacted differently.
"Butcha think I'm pretty…" I'm not quite sure why I pressed that issue. Maybe I was trying to get a rise out of him again. Maybe I knew if I did he'd grab me again, not that I wanted that. Maybe my ego just wanted to hear this gorgeous guy admit he thought I was pretty.
He leaned way in towards me; so that his face was so close to mine I could barely see his harsh glare. "The fairest things are often the ones which destroy us," he said quietly through clenched teeth. He pulled away and warned, "I shall be watching you."
As he walked away I wondered if I should be worried or excited.
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.