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Murder The Dawn, Part VI



Author's Note: This story is a Spin-off of my Mael-Gûl universe. It is set before the background of that universe, and it explores one single idea: What if Legolas indeed were to take the ring? Like a lot of the things I write lately, this one has been inspired by a discussion with my reviewer Randy, who has also volunteered to beta for this one. This starts out in the night after 'Respite'.

Warning: Implied slash, m/m, BDSM, torture, non-con and debatable consent. Also, for this story: Gore, horror, and character death. I mean it!

Rated: NC-17 (M) –strictly adults only.
Pairings: Aragorn/Legolas (mainly), Boromir/Legolas (implied).
Beta: The relentless and ever gracious randy_o. Thank you! All remaining errors are my own.
Disclaimer: The universe I play in is not mine, nor are the characters; I just borrow without permission. I make no money out of this. Lord of the Rings and the world of Middle Earth was created by J.R.R. Tolkien and is owned by the Tolkien Estate, and the movies were made by Peter Jackson. My story universe of Mael-Gûl was inspired by Bluegold's story “Bound”, which can be found here: http://daemel.freespaces.com/authors.html#blue
I use similar plot ideas with her permission. The idea of the Mael-Gûl, or Rhach e-Maelangwedh (Lust-Spell, Curse of Lustchain) however is entirely mine.

However, this particular story is a very grim AU to my main story universe. You have been warned!

Summary: What if Legolas indeed took the Ring?



Occasionally I work with flashback scenes. Here is a Guide:
// /flashback/ //; ************Time change within a flashback***********; “speech”; 'thoughts'


____________________



Dark Mael-Gûl-AU: Murder The Dawn
by Aislynn Crowdaughter



And from the flames,
As chance would have it,
The Soulforged will
Come into light;

And from the flames,
As chance would have it,
The Souldforged,
The stainless will rise...

Blind Guardian: The Soulforged


Will you still wait for me,
Will you still cry for me,
Come and take my hand!

Blind Guardian: The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight





Part VI



I wake from a dream of flames.

Blue, freezing light has haunted me within my dreams, kept me trapped in my burning body, writhing in pain; red fire ran through me, consuming my body from within, fighting the freezing light. And always, always voices, whispering, calling for my attention, telling me to fight, to withstand, and to claim; telling me to give in and to let go. A crescendo of different sounds and different voices, battling and raging in my mind, never calming, never ceasing; never leaving me alone.

But now, finally, the fire and the blue light are gone, and there is silence.

I rise, carefully, unsure what awaits me or surrounds me. I have no true recollection where I am or how long I have been here. For hours or days – I do not know – I have been haunted by visions, by fleeting images, nothing solid, and all I could perceive was a blur.

But now, the visions are gone, and finally, blissfully, my perception works again.

For the first time in what felt as far too long, again I can see.

I am alone. I am still in that chamber I recall from one of my feverish dreams; it is my former room in my father's halls, nearly unchanged, from the time of my last visit here, some months ago, although it looks somewhat neglected. I have not been here in awhile, and during these last days – or were it hours? - since my last arrival, I do not suppose that I had much use for anything but for the bed.

My form feels light. There is no pain; finally, the cramps have left me, and I can move again.

Yet there is something lying on the bed, and I turn back to see it.

There is a crumbled, greyish form back on that bed; a body, curled in on himself, distorted by what must have been agonizing cramps. But now, the form lies still, and it is hollow. Empty.

I understand. So this must be my hroa then, and that I am here means that it cannot hold me, anymore. It is over.

For a moment, I study the fallen form in odd fascination. The skin is grey, the eyes are empty and filmed over. Angry dark welts run from the torso up to the neck and face. The hair is matted. There is no breath, no remaining pulse or spark of life. The poison has finally overwhelmed that hull.

So this is how I looked when agony set in, to those who cared about me? I pity my poor father, who was forced to see me in that way, and will now be forced to bury what remains of me.

I can hear muffled noises - something like sobs - coming from beyond the door, but I feel oddly detached, as if they do concern me not. Did whoever has been sent to keep me company leave me to find relief just for a moment? Do they already know? Whoever it was sitting here, I pity them. Watching me struggle with death these last few hours - or days - before I met my end cannot have been easy.

But I am free. The pain that has haunted me for so long is gone. So is the burning need. The freezing light. The flames.

It is truly over. The curse cannot hold me anymore. For the first time in years, I am free, and the spell has no longer hold on me.

I feel a presence beside me and turn. A mental voice, brushing my mind like a caress. Legolas...

Estel! He is here, or what remains of him; his spirit has not left. He is besides me!

I am stunned, glad, shocked, overjoyed to see him, and at the same time frightened, all at once. How is this possible?

He must have heard my thoughts, because I feel his answer in my mind. It is funny, this disembodied state, because I have no more eyes to see, or ears to hear, and no more limbs to touch; and yet I feel him, see him, and his voice is as a familiar caress to me.

He answers me directly in my mind.

'I do not know. I do not know if I have been allowed to stay with you at least a little while, or if it was the curse that still has kept me here; but I was able to delay my departing and wait for you. All I knew was that I could not go on before you had fulfilled your goal, or met your end. I could not let you do this alone!'

I still can hardly grasp it.

'You were with me all the time?'

He gives me what would account as a nod, if we still had bodies.

'From the moment you started this mad quest. I could not leave you.'

For a moment, I am frozen, but then, renewed pain runs through me, gutting, fresh and sharp as a reopened wound.

Estel! I am so sorry, Estel!

'But why?' I ask him, 'I – I killed you! I betrayed you! How-'

His answer is wry, although fraught with sadness, and regret.

'I know. I was there, remember? And at first I was furious! I admit that for a time, I hoped the Wargs or Orcs would get you, and we could meet sooner.'

He feels both troubled and irritated at the thought, but at the same time, his voice still is nearly a caress. How can he be not angry?

His answer is full of regret.

'I had some time to think.'

He must have felt my lack of comprehension, because he adds:

'You did what you thought best for your people. And I have only to blame myself. After all I did to you, I probably should be grateful that you did not do it sooner. Besides, I hardly left you any other choice. I should have told you that I would do everything in my power to help you free your people. I should never have put you through that renewed spell. I should never have let it come so far. It was my fault.'

I stare at him, bereft of words. How can he still be blaming just himself?

'Estel!' I finally reply, 'You did not command me to cut your throat, nor did you force my hand. It was my decision! And I am ready to face up to whatever trial may await me for my deeds. But what I did was my choice!'

'I know,' he replies, 'still I wished I had offered you another way. I would have done it, Legolas. I would have fought beside you, once I had fulfilled my destiny. I should have told you that. I failed you in that, as well...'

Exasperating man! Will he never cease to take responsibility for both of us, and for all I do as if I were not capable of my own decisions? And yet I feel deep sorrow at the choice I made, at the destroyed possibilities and chances. I have brought doom down on my father and robbed Estel of his destiny, all for the goal of freeing my people. I threw all of Ennor into a possible second darkness. To think there could have been another way defies my thinking. If I had just shown him a little more trust... I am glad that he is wiling to forgive me, although I hardly deserve it.

And yet. His claim that he is to blame for my choice is nothing but presumptuous.

'I am not your slave anymore, Estel! I am under your command no longer. My deeds are my responsibility, not yours.'

He turns away, and for a moment I am bereft of warmth and light. New pain engulfs me. For moments I regret my words. So this will be my fate, for eternity – longing for him and bereft of his presence, all alone with both my anger and regret. It is a fate I brought upon me, myself, and yet it is a prospect that has me recoiling.

Too late, though, to shrink away from that, now. It is time to pay up.

I steel myself for his derision, his scorn. But he surprises me.

'I know,' he replies, turning back to me, and I am caressed again by his regret, 'I am sorry. Old habits die hard. And I have been a fool to see you as such for so long.'

His next thought is earnest, and from the very depth of his soul. 'Still, I am not without fault at this. Whatever awaits you, I will ask to be allowed to share your fate. Whatever sunders us, I will plead the powers themselves to breach the gap.'

I am completely stunned at his offer.

'Estel!' I gasp, then add: 'What awaits me is most likely eternal damnation. You do not deserve...'

He is determined. 'Still, I would ask to share your fate. I am as much to blame as you, in this. And I would rather be with you, than face eternity alone.' He pauses and stills for a moment, then he adds, hesitant and shy: 'That is, if you would have me.'

I cannot believe his words. He would ask me if I would still accept him?

During my run, that mad quest, haunted by pain and visions, I have imagined again and again what I would say to him, how I would justify myself, and how I would confront him, should we be allowed to meet again: his broken promises – that I would be his slave only in name, that we would be equals. That he'd protect me. All the pain he made me suffer for his needs. The games he played to feed his lust. That last extension of the cursed spell he forced on me.

And yet. The memory of former pain he put me through is fading now, after I am no longer bound within the fetters of my body. And there he stands before me, the stubborn, noble, stupid, exasperating, sad and determined fëa of the man I loved in life and still love now in death, and will love whatever be my fate, until the world is ended; and all the words I had rehearsed and would have said defy me.

Would he really wish to share my fate? Would I wish him to share it? And yet, the prospect to spent eternity with him, not mourning and alone, fills me with longing. Estel...

At a loss of another thought, I lamely reply: 'You are mortal. I am one of the Firstborn. I will be held in Mandos, if I am not cast out into the darkness for my deeds; your are fated to pass beyond the circles of the world. What makes you think that we will be allowed to stay together?'

He does not back down. 'If we must be sundered, then I will wait for you, until the breaking of the world. And then, I will ask again to be allowed to share your fate, whatever that might be. I love you, Legolas. I always loved you. Never doubt that.'

I feel overwhelmed at his confession, at the hope and warmth he gives me. Even if we should be sundered unto the breaking of the world, and maybe even beyond, I will carry these words with me, this knowledge: that he still loves me, that he has forgiven me – that he loves me as much as I still love him. It is a soothing balm on the wounds I feel, and it restores my strength.

Still, there is one more question I have to ask. 'Estel – what of Arwen?'

He turns away again then, for a moment, and I feel the regret in his fëa as a sudden shadow, darkening his soul.

'I thought I loved her,' he finally replies. 'and maybe, with a part of me, I did. But it was just the shadow of a thought I loved in her. My heart was taken long before I ever met her.'

He turns back to me. 'Taken by you, Legolas. It is you whom I love. It has always been you.'

My heart goes out to him. For one, glorious moment, we are joined again, one, as we were back in those first days of our love, before the curse stood between us.

'As I love you!' I assure him, 'I always will, Estel.'

Then the moment is over. He withdraws from me, with some regret.

'Legolas, I cannot delay much longer. We must leave now.'

And I, too, become aware of the summoning, from the west, which pulls at me. At both of us.

Still I hesitate.

'My father – what I have brought down on him...'

Estel's mind touches mine again. His thoughts hold both compassion and reassurance.

'His fate is no longer in your hands. You must trust him to make his own choices, and that they will be the right ones. You cannot help him if you stay here as a houseless fëa.'

My reply is bitter, full of pain. 'I did not leave him any choice!'

Estel's presence is like a soothing caress. 'Yes, you did. The choice to take and claim the Ring, which he did; and the choice to trade his love and heart for power, which he refused to do. There will be many choices before him, yet, and they are his to make. As you made yours. You must trust him, Legolas; you can no longer help him. Come along.'

Still, I hesitate, but just a moment. Then another vision strikes me, and it makes me tremble. My father has the One Ring, now, and Sauron's power. If I stay, as a houseless spirit, will I tempt him to offer me another body? It would be in his power, I assume, if together with Sauron's power he has indeed inherited all the arts and skills of the former Ring-Lord. Not for nothing did we call Sauron the Necromancer. And could I then resist that offer? Would I succumb, bringing even deeper damnation down on him?

The mere thought makes me recoil in horror, and strengthens my determination. No! I will not do this to him!

Whatever he will have to do, in the upcoming war, at least this abomination shall not be among his deeds.

I turn to Estel, and together we head west. It it time to face up to my judgment.

But at least, for a last, precious time, the one I love is beside me, and we are joined again.


______________ o ______________



-- TBC –




Previous chapters can be found here: Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Part V.
The next chapter can be found here: Part VII

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
oceansecrets2
Mar. 15th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
Oh! Oh! How perfect, that Estel would not leave without him - still blames himself the actions the spell forced him to take, and even still is willing to share whatever fate befalls Legolas so as not to be parted from him forever. Surely the Valar must have pity on these two after their long suffering?
crowdaughter
Mar. 16th, 2007 07:25 am (UTC)
Hi, Namarie!

Thank you for your wonderful comment! There had to be a reunion between them beyond the veil of death; and with all that happened between Legolas and Aragorn, even with Aragorn's anger and wrath at Legolas' betrayal, he could not leave - he could not leave his Elf alone. His love and guilt were stronger. I must say that I imagined him hovering close, at first berating and wrathful, and then ever more concerned, urging his Elf on, trying to help against the seductions of the Ring... and waiting for him until the very end, when Legolas could join him again.

Surely the Valar must have pity on these two after their long suffering?

I would hope so. And I would hope that their hopes come true and that they will not be sundered forever, but will be allowed to stay together - finally without the curse between them - either in Mandos or beyond, be it now or after the world is ended. Everything else would be too cruel. I could not leave them without some amount of peace.

Still, I do hope that in my main story, things will turn out at least somewhat better in the end, than they did here!

Thank you again for your wondeful comment! It made my day! -- Aislynn
(Anonymous)
Mar. 15th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
Lamiel
Ah ha, I didn't miss you this time. And I am so glad that I didn't. What a beautiful, sad, heart-breaking chapter. I think that from now on when people accuse me of writing dark and horrible things I will just point them in your direction for a glimpse of what REAL darkness is.

The struggle between the icy blue of the curse and the red fire of Narya fighting for Legolas was well done -- subtle, but it was clear what was happening.

Sigh. I knew that Legolas was going to die, and truly it is a mercy at this point, but I'm still sad. I hadn't considered that he might choose to remain as a houseless spirit, but it makes it all the more poignant that he finally leaves not to escape the memory of his suffering, or even to be with Estel, but to spare Thranduil the temptation to fall even further.

I'm so glad that you had Estel -- really Estel, as he is meant to be -- waiting for him. It took death, but at last they are free of the curse.

And oh, I want to compliment you on this line. "And there he stands before me, the stubborn, noble, stupid, exasperating, sad and determined fëa of the man I loved in life and still love now in death, and will love whatever be my fate, until the world is ended; and all the words I had rehearsed and would have said defy me." Lovely phrasing, and beautiful emotion too. Oh, and I liked the reference to Sauron as the Necromancer too. Such a perfect and chilling reference to that aspect of his power, in these circumstances.

Lamiel
crowdaughter
Mar. 16th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Lamiel
Ah ha, I didn't miss you this time. And I am so glad that I didn't. What a beautiful, sad, heart-breaking chapter. I think that from now on when people accuse me of writing dark and horrible things I will just point them in your direction for a glimpse of what REAL darkness is.

Thank you! But, you know, even though it took death for them to reconcile in this, I fear very much that even in this my very dark spin-off of my main tale, there is more hope for the two of them to find together again and forgive each other, than in TPD, at this point... :(

The struggle between the icy blue of the curse and the red fire of Narya fighting for Legolas was well done -- subtle, but it was clear what was happening.

Thank you! I was on tenterhooks to see if it worked as much as I had hoped!

Sigh. I knew that Legolas was going to die, and truly it is a mercy at this point, but I'm still sad. I hadn't considered that he might choose to remain as a houseless spirit, but it makes it all the more poignant that he finally leaves not to escape the memory of his suffering, or even to be with Estel, but to spare Thranduil the temptation to fall even further.

That is the very essence of Legolas in this story: he always thinks first of the ones he loves, never for his own desires and needs. He could not take the chance to cause even further damnation for his father. But the, I am also glad that he decided to go to the west with Estel for his sake. At least, that way, there remains some small amount of hope for both of them...

I'm so glad that you had Estel -- really Estel, as he is meant to be -- waiting for him. It took death, but at last they are free of the curse.

And that is another important part of this tale, and another part I had to write. Aragorn/Estel had been a victim of the curse, too, although his part was far less grueling as Legolas', and he is still very much responsible for his own actions. In this tale, it took death to free them both and maybe, give them some hope to find reconciliation and peace together, in then end, even if it takes until after Ambar Metta.

I do hope that in my main tale, in the end things will turn out a little better, although I can't promise it.

Thank you for your great praise and your wonderful comment! It made my day and was a great delight to me! And I do promise to go back and comment on that last chapter of "This Present Darkness", soon - until I have stopped foaming at the mouth for Aragorn's sheer stupidity, there!...

(Marvelously done!)

Greetings and Cheers to you,

Aislynn
crowdaughter
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Lamiel
- until I have stopped foaming at the mouth for Aragorn's sheer stupidity, there!...

Um. That should have read: as soon as I have stopped foaming at the mouth over his stupidity. Showing peope what it means to be a king, my behind! Sure, of course he does, acting soooo kingly... *grumbles*

Aislynn (shutting up, now).
(Deleted comment)
crowdaughter
Mar. 16th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
Hi, Calenharn!

*waaaaah*

I was so hoping..... *sighs*


I am sorry! But I *did* warn you not to get your hopes too high; and I did warn that this fic would have character death. And in truth, for Legolas, death at this point was, indeed, a mercy. :(

the opening paragraphs were very good, with the description of the blue light warring with the flames, and the visions and voices.

Thank you. It was a balance act to describe the fight between the several powers pulling at Legolas, here; the impression that the escape into death indeed gave him some peace from this and set him free was fully intended. I am glad it worked!

At least (and I am glad) Estel - as he should have been - appeared before Legolas, and that all is forgiven. And although Legolas now faces judgement (I would think that Aragorn now faces judgement too), at least you gave us hope that perhaps the Valar will have mercy and allow this pair to share eternity... if not immediately, then at the world's ending.

Aragorn/ Estel will very probably face judgment, too, in this, although the chapter was focusing on Legolas' view - and Legolas is in no mind, at the moment, to accuse Estel of anything save maybe the most personal matters. On the other hand, not only was this Estel as he should have been; it was and is indeed Estel, as he is and has been in a part of him during the whole story, even through my main tale. There is a part of him that is not yet corrupted. That is the very reason why Legolas still loves him.

As for reunion, I simply had to give the two a chance to reconcile, and to find peace, and maybe, even an amount of hope. I do hope that in this universe, there will be a way for them to stay together without the curse between them, at least aft6er the world is ended; because things would be too sad, otherwise.

And now on to Thranduil...It seems unlikely that he is going to be for this world (Middle-Earth) long, either... but if there is hope for Estel and Legolas, then perhaps there is also hope for a reuniting of father and son after death.

Thranduil is bound with the spell, and for him the spell needs to be fed only every yen. Since the last yen ceremony, there have been about 77 years, give or take. That leaves him at least 67 more to wreak havock on Ennor, and especially on all followers of Elrond and of Lothlorien, in this tale.

If he will use them all up remains to be seen. I do think that if there is still anything left of himself in the end, he might yet be good for a few surprises. :)

But that is part of the further curse of this tale, and remains to be seen.

I cannot entirely promise, though, that I will next explore what grueling fate is there in store for Elrond; I do had hoped that I could maybe get a chapter of my main tale done, before that point. Yet that is up to my muses...

Thank you again for your wonderful review, it truly made my day!

Aislynn
randy_o
Mar. 17th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Thranduil is bound with the spell, and for him the spell needs to be fed only every yen. Since the last yen ceremony, there have been about 77 years, give or take. That leaves him at least 67 more to wreak havock on Ennor, and especially on all followers of Elrond and of Lothlorien, in this tale.

I am sure Thranduil can find at least one way to deal with that -- possibly more. But perhaps such musings are best shared privately with the beta reader.

I cannot entirely promise, though, that I will next explore what grueling fate is there in store for Elrond; I do had hoped that I could maybe get a chapter of my main tale done, before that point. Yet that is up to my muses...

I think I speak for all of us when I say it will be very satisfying to see Master Elrond get a little of what's coming to him, muses permitting. But perhaps you would reather write something more peaceful and sweet -- like the balrog. ;)

Another excellent chapter.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
randy_o
Mar. 17th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
I forgot to say that I can think of ways for Thranduil to deal with that little problem (the curse on him), too. The only catch is, it would almost certainly involve him falling further into corruption, as I imagine it would entail some *cough* extreme unpleasantry.

I rather think extreme unpleasantry is in the cards for Elrond and family in any case. Might as well make it somewhat useful.
ladysanjou
Mar. 20th, 2007 09:00 am (UTC)
Hi Aislynn !

I'm late to comment again - sorry. I fear the others have almost nothing left for me to say concerning this chapter, but I liked it a lot. It was a good contrast to the darkness and desperation of the previous chapters and the union of the two lovers is really heartbreaking. I must confess that that I didn't understand the mention of red and blue fire as the struggle between the curse and the ring before I read the comments of the others - dumb me ! :) But I re-read it and then I liked this part too.

Look, since I'm currently writing nothing , I hand you my writing muses over too so maybe there will be new chapters from you online soon...;)

But if they are from Murder The Dawn or from the main story matters not really for me since I like both :)

Greetings Eva
crowdaughter
Apr. 15th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
Hi, Eva! Thank you for your comment, and sorry for the late reply. As I said elsewhere, my Computer had the ulcers lately - and last friday, it decided to retire, at least temporarily (I hope). I have been somewhat caught between trying to finish my story for the anon-a-trhon ficswap, trying to write the next chapter Of Mael-Gul (and being caught in Writers Block), and the Unexpected Computer Crash from Hell, these last few weeks.

At least I am writing again, even with no Internet connection at my home computer, so maybe the muse-handing worked... :)

Thank you again for your comment! I am glad te chapter worked for you, and that you liked the reunion between the lovers. I needed to give them a bit of hope and peace after all I put them through before. But I do hope that I can finish Mael-Gul someday, and with hopefully a more hopeful end, too...

Greetings and Cheers! -- Aislynn (from a borrowed terminal, at the moment...) :(
stormatdusk
Mar. 21st, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
such a powerful chapter! i'm enjoying every word.
crowdaughter
Apr. 15th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Hi, Stormatdusk! Thank you for the comment, I greatly appreciate it! I am glad the chapter worked for you! -- Aislynn
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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