Remember that whether you have the adult content filter switched on or off, this is always an adults only site.
18 March 2012 | 26062 words
Thranduil arrives unexpectedly, Arwen solves everybody’s problems before dinner, Eomer is looking for his elf, hobbits are unhappy, Boromir is annoyed, and apparently Gandalf has shown up with some plans for Legolas and Faramir that perhaps he should have asked them about first.
Intentions – Part 1
“Lord Boromir,” one of the guards said, looking down over the wall of the guard tower.
“Yes?” Boromir asked, somewhat impatiently, having been interrupted from attempting to make notes about parts of the city’s fortifications that needed repairs.
“Unidentified person approaching the gates, sir.”
“Another merchant,” he muttered.
“Not carrying anything, sir. Just a man in a hooded cloak. Not even a pack.”
Boromir made his way over to the wall and glanced down. He could see why the young guard’s attention had been drawn to the approaching stranger; tall and with his face obscured, he moved with an effortless, stalking grace that somehow did not seem entirely human. Boromir chuckled and patted the guard on the shoulder.
“That’s not a man, lad. It’s an elf. I’ll go down and see what he’s up to.”
The arrival of an elf in Minas Tirith was not terribly unusual, not with the colony growing in Ithilien, but very rarely did they travel alone in these lands dominated by men. Boromir was waiting at the open gates when the visitor entered, leaning on a barrel and watching. The elf stepped into the courtyard, looking around for a moment before throwing back his hood to reveal a head of pale gold, neatly braided hair. Boromir was slightly annoyed to realize that he had unwillingly learned enough about elves in the past few years to recognize the pattern of braids as particular to elves of Mirkwood. When the elf turned his head, though, Boromir knew the face immediately, and grinned as he straightened up and walked toward the elf.
“Welcome back, Berendir.”
The fair-haired elf spun to face him, then smiled at realizing who was addressing him.
“Greetings, Lord Boromir.”
Boromir rolled his eyes. “I don’t recall you feeling the need to address me as ‘Lord Boromir’ when we were fighting side by side.”
“Very well… Boromir,” the elf said, extending his hand.
Boromir shook it, looking the elf over. “Been in Rohan a bit, it appears.”
“Why do you say that?”
Boromir grinned and tapped the embroidered horse head in silhouette on the shoulder of Berendir’s leather vest.
“That’s a mark of ownership of the royal family of Rohan. Éomer must think rather highly of you to let you wear it.”
Berendir failed to hide a smirk. “He didn’t tell me that’s what it was.
Boromir snorted. “Suppose it’s better than writing ‘hands off my elf’ across your chest. What brings you to Gondor? And without companionship, no less?”
Berendir’s smile faded. “I need to speak to my brother.”
“Possibly. I hope not. But…”
Boromir nodded. “Come with me. I’ll have the maids prepare a guest room for you, and then we’ll see if we can track down Legolas. Faramir’s been out on patrol the last four days, but he’s due back today, so the elf will probably be lurking around waiting for him to get back.”
Berendir chuckled as they walked together. “I had never thought to see Legolas as devoted to anything as he is to your brother. He’s an unusual elf.”
“Unusual’s a nice word for it,” Boromir muttered, still smiling. “Bloody daft might be a better one. Not sure what would make the Firstborn decide they ought to come out of their magical forests and play with mortals.”
Berendir raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps because there are some of us who find our fellow Firstborn to be rather melancholy and overly concerned with maintaining their perfection, while we find mortals to have a fire and passion for life that many elves have lost as our race nears the end of its time on Arda.”
“They do seem to be rather grave and solemn creatures,” Boromir agreed, unsure what else to say. “Even your brother seems prone to his moments of seriousness.”
“I fear the information I have for him may be cause for seriousness,” the elf said.
The man and the elf made their way to Faramir’s rooms. No one answered the knock at the door, and Boromir had learned from experience to be cautious about walking into his brother’s rooms without warning, lest he see something he didn’t want to, but since he was certain Faramir hadn’t returned yet and that Legolas would not answer the door, he swung it open and looked in.
Legolas looked up from where he sat at the table, which was covered with arrows in various states of assembly. Seeing Berendir, he smiled.
“Hello, brother! Are you tired of Rohan and its charms already?”
Berendir flushed slightly. “I find that Rohan still holds many charms I have yet to fully discover. But I received some information a few days ago that I needed to share with you.”
Legolas glanced at Boromir.
“With him, too,” Berendir said.
Legolas nodded and motioned to the table. “Please, sit down.”
Boromir watched the other elf’s face as he and Berendir sat down; the dark look that had drifted across the blue eyes reminded him of the shadow he had seen there on the way to Mirkwood. Legolas, though, said nothing, but continued sorting through a basket of feathers and selecting those which were the right size for arrow fletching.
“A merchant arrived a few days ago in Edoras,” Berendir said. “He had come from the Vales of Anduin, the land of the Beornings that lies between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood. Perhaps you know, Lord Boromir, that the people of Rohan count the Beornings as distant kin, and since it has become safe to travel the roads between them again, there is quite a regular trade between them. This merchant had come with some trade business, but he happened to mention that on his way south he had run across a party of Mirkwood elves. They were instructed by their leader not to discuss their destination, but the merchant shared some of his pipeweed with a few of them and they let it slip that their destination was Gondor.”
Legolas looked up, eyes narrowed. “Their leader did not want them to discuss that they were traveling to Gondor.”
“And did the merchant recognize this leader?”
“He did,” Berendir said. “This merchant usually trades between Rohan and the northern lands, but he has also been a guest several times in the halls of the King of Mirkwood, and he had no doubt that the elf leading this party was Thranduil.”
Boromir’s jaw clenched, remembering his own encounter with the Mirkwood King. He looked toward Legolas, but the elf’s expression was shuttered and his eyes were on the feathers he was carefully trimming.
“I see,” he said, after a moment.
“If he thinks he’s going to stroll into this city uninvited, after everything…”
Legolas glanced up at Boromir. “He’s a king. He’ll do as he pleases.”
“He certainly will not,” Boromir growled. He turned to Berendir. “King Elessar is in his throne room. One of the guards out in the hall will take you there. Tell them the Steward sent you with an urgent message for the king, and he’ll see you immediately. Tell him everything you know about this business. I’ll be along shortly.”
Berendir nodded and obeyed with only a quick glance at Legolas before departing. Boromir sat for a moment, watching Legolas, whose attention was still on the feathers as if he’d heard nothing of interest.
“Legolas,” he said.
The elf said nothing.
“Legolas,” he tried again. “Those arrows are going to fly very badly if you try to fletch them while your hands are shaking.”
Legolas sighed and set down his work, but refused to look up. “My weakness annoys me enough without you pointing it out to me.”
“If I ever see weakness from you, elf, I’ll be sure to let you know. Have you forgotten I was with you in Mirkwood?”
“I haven’t forgotten.”
“And what happened there did nothing to convince you that no one under my protection will come to harm while I’m alive to do anything about it?”
A smile twitched at the corner of the elf’s mouth. “I didn’t know I was still under your protection. You weren’t pleased when you found out about Faramir…”
Boromir scowled. “I’m still not pleased. But this isn’t just about Faramir, you know.”
Legolas looked up, surprised. “It isn’t?”
The man sat back in his chair, arms crossed. “Don’t expect me to say it again, elf… but I count very few people as friends, and you are, for some unknown reason, one of them. And I wouldn’t care if Thranduil was the King of Middle Earth; I still wouldn’t let him harm you.”
Legolas met his eyes and smiled. “Thank you.”
Boromir nodded and stood up. “Well, then… that’s all. I’ll go speak to Aragorn.”
When Boromir arrived in the throne room, Aragorn had dismissed his various advisors and was seated at a table with Berendir, listening intently. Seeing Boromir, Aragorn motioned for him to approach.
“Thank you for bringing us this information,” Aragorn said, offering a hand to the elf. “I will speak to Lord Boromir and we will decide on the best course of action.”
“Thank you, my Lord,” Berendir said, bowing. “What would you like me to do?”
“Perhaps you should go and keep your brother distracted for a while,” Boromir suggested. “He is… concerned by this news.”
Berendir nodded and turned away. Boromir slid into his vacated seat at the table and looked at Aragorn expectantly. Aragorn raised his eyebrows.
“Obviously you don’t intend to allow Thranduil into this city.”
“Boromir, he’s a king.”
“I don’t care who he is. He’s insane and he’s dangerous.”
“Dangerous to who?”
Boromir glared at him. “You know who. Legolas, and probably Berendir too.”
Aragorn frowned. “I understand that whatever happened to Legolas in Mirkwood was unpleasant, but that doesn’t mean that Thranduil intends to harm him.”
“I know perfectly bloody well what Thranduil intends to do to him!” Boromir growled.
“Look, I can’t just turn him away. He’s the King of Mirkwood.”
“And that means more to you than what happens to Legolas?”
Aragorn shook his head. “Since when are you so concerned with that particular elf’s well-being? I would expect your brother to come in here arguing with me about this, possibly, but not you.”
“Since when am I… since he’s my friend, Aragorn! Have you lost your mind? You’re not listening to me. If Thranduil is in this city, Legolas and his brother are in danger. There’s no way Thranduil has decided to let them go without a fight. He wants them too badly.”
“I don’t know what you think he wants from them that he’d risk starting a war over…”
Boromir pounded his fist on the table. “I know what he wants from them!”
“And what is that?”
Boromir scowled. “Legolas made me promise I wouldn’t speak to you or anyone else of this.”
“If you can’t help me understand what’s going on here, Boromir, I won’t know what I’m trying to protect them from.”
“Fine,” Boromir said, jaw clenched. “I am not happy to break my vow, but I would rather that than see Thranduil get what he wants. The elf is mad… quite mad, and dangerous. His sons… he used them… for I don’t know how long…”
“Used them?” Aragorn asked, eyes narrowing.
“Used them. For his pleasure.”
“How can you be sure of this?”
“Because the bastard offered them to me for my pleasure!”
“He did this to Berendir? And Legolas…”
“Not to Legolas. And that’s why he wants him so badly. Legolas is his prize, and he escaped from him. When we were in Mirkwood, his own father drugged him, took him from us, tried to… take him against his will…”
Aragorn listened, his face tight and unreadable.
“You can’t let him in here.”
“Perhaps Legolas and Berendir could go to Rohan for a few weeks.”
“What for? So he could find them there? Pass the problem on to Éomer? Aragorn, you have to put your foot down and let that sick, mad elf know that those two aren’t his to come and claim!”
Aragorn stood up and paced toward the window. “Do we know, Boromir, that this is why he’s coming?”
“Why else would he be traveling to Gondor in secret?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you really going to allow them to come here?”
“I don’t see that I have a choice, Boromir.”
The man rose so sharply that his chair clattered to the stone floor. “What?”
“I can’t refuse the king of a neighboring kingdom a welcome no matter what I know about his private life. The best we can do is keep him away from Legolas and Berendir…”
“And you’re certain you can do that?” Boromir demanded.
Aragorn looked back at him, meeting his glare. “I’ll do my best.”
Boromir crossed his arms, infuriated. “I’m not willing to risk my friend’s life and safety on ‘your best’. I’m going to order the troops to deny entry to any group of elves…”
“You will not,” Aragorn said sharply.
“I am their Captain!”
Aragorn shook his head. “If we must do this, Boromir… I am their King. And you will give no such orders. I’ll give the orders, and they will be obeyed. Gondor does not turn away guests who arrive with no clear intent to do harm.”
Boromir turned abruptly and stormed away. Aragorn watched him go, so lost in thought that he jumped when a soft hand tapped him on the shoulder. He spun to find Arwen studying him with concern, her face solemn.
“Estel? I heard shouting.”
He chuckled wanly. “You’re an elf. You heard every word we said.”
She smiled. “You’re right.”
“Am I wrong about this? Welcoming Thranduil to Gondor, if he really did… those things?”
She took his hand and held it. “It’s much more difficult to think of the well-being of a kingdom over the well-being of a friend, isn’t it?”
He nodded. “I have my duties.”
“I know. And they’re not easy ones.”
“Doesn’t Boromir understand…”
“Give him some time to think about it, Estel.”
“The problem is… I’m not entirely sure that I’m making the right decision. What if something does happen to Legolas because I…”
Arwen squeezed his hand. “Talk to Boromir, please.”
“Why? You think I should change my mind about this?”
“No,” she said, smiling. “But if he’s angry with you, you’ll be in a foul mood, and I have no interest in putting up with it at the moment.”
Aragorn chuckled, then paused for a moment. “Arwen?”
“Yes, my dear?”
“Did Boromir just use the words ‘Legolas’ and ‘friend’ in the same conversation?”
NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]
Enjoyed this story? Then be sure to let the author know by posting a comment at http://www.faramirfiction.com/Fiction/intentions-ruby-verse-au. Positive feedback is what keeps authors writing more stories!
Thank the author
The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Icefairy