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I started to write this snippet a while ago, my first non-slash LOTR story. Currently, only the second chapter is finished (and parts of the last are written already), but since it may yet grow into a story, I decided to post it here. Be warned, though, currently, the prologue and the fist chapter are missing (and nearly everything else save the last chapter, too).


Story: Journey to Mordor

Chapter II: Parting Ways

Author: Aislynn Crowdaughter
Rated: PG 13 for violence.
Characters: Fellowship, mainly Legolas, Gimli and the Hobbits. Aragorn is just in the first three chapters. Oh, and Oropher may have a guest appearance later!
Pairings: none. This is nonslash. Sorry, folks!
Warnings: AU. Violence. H/C. And Character death!!! I mean it!!!
Feedback: Very welcome. It's what I live for!
Disclaimer: Not mine. Tolkien's. The Movies belong to Peter Jackson. All used without permission and just for fun. I make no money out of this.
Beta: none for this. Sorry! Just me and my spell-checker.
Summary: What if at Amon Hen the Fellowship decided to go to Mordor after all? This starts out Movieverse and turns AU immediately. Boromir lives in this one.


____________


Part II -- Parting Ways


“You don’t understand!” Aragorn said desperately. “We cannot go after Frodo! Not with the Burden he carries!” He bit his lip. “It has taken Boromir once already. It tried to take me. It will try to take us all, one by one, and it may succeed eventually, if we are close enough.”

He looked down, his face pained.

“That is the reason why I let Frodo go. That is the reason why he left. He wished to go alone to save us from it.”

Legolas shook his head. “He is not alone,” he reminded. “He took Sam with him.”

Aragorn nodded. “I know, and I am glad he did. But Sam will not likely try and take the ring from him, or let himself be goaded into fighting his master. We might.”

Legolas locked gazes with him, then, without breaking the gaze, he gave the man a very small but reassuring bow. “Yet you found in you the strength to let him go, Estel,” he said softly.

Aragorn swallowed dryly.

“This time,” he said.

Gimli shook his head.

“Well, while this might be the case, it does not help the problem,” he stated with his gravelly voice. “Sam might prove to be of little help if it comes down to a fight against Mordor's forces. I doubt two little Hobbits alone can last long in an attack.”

“Sam has proven his strength to fight in Moria!” protested Pippin. “He did his part against the Orcs there well enough!"

“So have we just now!” Merry added indignantly.

Aragorn cast an sidelong glance at them.

Legolas shifted the weight of his elven gaze to the two Hobbits.

“Yes you have,” he admitted. “Yet I doubt you would stand a chance against a greater force of Mordor's servants if you were to fight them alone. Especially in their own territory.”

Reasonably, he added: “And as much as I admire Master Samwise’s skill at wielding his frying pans, and Frodo's skill with his little sword, I fear the same is true for them.”

He shook his head. “You will need more help if it comes to a fight in the Dark Lands. You need a bow at your back, and a man's sword before you, and maybe also a Dwarven axe.”

Gimli gave the Elf a sharp look.

“Well spoken, friend,” he agreed. “And that is why we shall not let you go alone, shall we?”

Aragorn was growing desperate.

First Legolas, now Gimli. Couldn’t they understand? The danger was not merely in the forces of the enemy anymore, the greater danger was within! The fewer people the ring had to influence, the safer they all would be.

Defiantly he said: “Just a few hours ago you were not that eager to pass through Emyn Muil and through that swamp, Master Dwarf!”

Gimli shrugged. “That was before Frodo decided to go that way undefended,” he said. “I will not see the fellowship fail because I do not like the path it has to follow.”

Aragorn turned to the Elf. “Legolas!” he said in one last attempt to fend off the imploring disaster. “Just yesterday you said you did not want to go to Mordor. You said you wished to go to Minas Tirith with Boromir. So did Merry and Pippin!”

The Elf looked back at him and they locked gazes again.

“And do you not think,” Aragorn pressed, “that an elven glow might attract the gaze of the enemy if it is seen within his own land? Do you not think that your presence might draw the enemies attention, where two Hobbits alone might pass unnoticed?”

Legolas gave him a hard stare.

“Do you think my presence more prone to draw the enemies eye than the whispers of the ring itself, Dunadan?” he asked sharply, “Or as the presence of Isildur's heir?”

Aragorn swallowed.

“As much practice as you have at secrecy close to the enemies strongholds, son of Thranduil,” he managed, “still I do not think that the very fires of Mordor are the place for an Elf. I have visited there before; and since Sauron has Easterlings and others in his service, a man may have the chance to go unnoticed there. An Elf will not.”

Legolas hesitated. As little as he liked it, the man had a point.

But then, Merry spoke up.

“Whatever you big people do, we will not let Frodo go into this danger alone. It’s true that we would have liked to see Minas Tirith, but we did not come so far to leave him now. Come Pippin,” he turned to his cousin, “we will take the second boat. If we hurry, we may still catch up with them.”

Legolas turned to them and Aragorn followed his gaze and sighed. They had already started to pack.

Aragorn made a last attempt. “Merry...”

But the Hobbit didn’t heed his voice and simply continued to sort out lembas and other package.

Legolas cocked his head and gave a little smile. “I am afraid my choice is made for me, Aragorn,” he said lightly, “while the idea of seeing your White City of men is a tempting one, and while I agree that I will find it hard to hide from the eyes of the enemy in Mordor, I cannot let Merry and Pippin travel there alone. Solely accompanied by a Dwarf,” he added as if in an afterthought. “They’d never make it!”

Pippin scowled and Gimli gave him a hard look. Merry simply continued to pack.

Aragorn bowed his head.

“I would have loved to have you at my side, mellon-nin,” he said, defeated, “and also I am torn, because I, too, feel the need to follow Frodo and I swore to protect him with my life. But I can’t follow you. I have to stay to see to Boromir. And I almost succumbed to the ring once already. Its call will only grow stronger now. I cannot go that way.”

Legolas nodded. “So this is where our ways must part,” he said.

Aragorn closed his eyes. Then he looked up at the Elf again.

Quietly he said: “I beg of you, be careful! I see danger there, and death. And it is you that I see falling in my dreams. I would not see you fall!”

Legolas looked at him sharply, then he shrugged. “I am a warrior of Greenwood,” he said solemnly, “I do not fear death if it may come to me!”

Aragorn bowed his head again. So this was goodbye, then.

Quietly, he said: “Farewell, mellon-nin. May the Valar protect you.” His voice broke.

Legolas gave him a solemn bow. He knew of Aragorn's gift of foresight and he trusted it. Still, his mind was made up. With dignity he said: “May the Valar give you their blessing and watch over you. Give my best wishes to Arwen.”

Then he smiled mischievously and added: “But Valar willing I will yet make it to your wedding.”

Aragorn snorted.

His wedding would also mean his coronation, since Elrond would give his daughter only to him if he became king. Legolas knew that.

“I hope to see you there,” he said, and stood up. He drew the Elf into a warriors embrace. “Until we meet again.”

He nearly choked on the words.

Legolas returned the embrace, then he let him go. He stepped away.

“Now,” he said, shifting his attention to Merry and Pippin again, “since it is settled that we follow Frodo, we have only to decide how Aragorn and Boromir shall make it to their White City." He turned to Aragorn again. "Shall we leave you a boat? Or will you travel on foot? Surely you cannot stay here until Boromir is better. These Uruks will be back.”

Merry and Pippin looked up, obviously startled. Aragorn looked at Legolas with admiration. He could just have embraced him again. With one little question, the elf had taken command of the situation and reminded the Hobbits that they still belonged to a fellowship and all decisions made had to take care of all of them. Legolas had been content to follow the leadership of Gandalf and then Aragorn on this quest so far, but in his own realm he was after all a proven captain, too.

Merry looked at him incredulously. “The boats? But we need them to cross the stream! And the falls...”

Legolas shrugged.
“We need only one boat to cross the stream,” he pointed out. “First I could take Gimli and one of you over the stream, then I could come back and get the other one. Aragorn and Boromir could take the other boat to travel down the river to their destination”

“You cannot mean to have them traveling to Minas Tirith by boat! How would you get the boat down the falls?” Gimli said.

Legolas shrugged again. “Aragorn and I could take it down the stairs,” he said, “then we can come back to get Boromir.”

Aragorn added: “Or we can simply send it down the falls of Rauros. These are elven boats. They will not sink. Legolas can go down and catch it with an arrow with rope tied to it.”

The Elf laughed merrily. “A merry hunt that’ll be,” he said, “I always wanted to shoot a boat! However, there is one flaw in your plan, Estel.”

Aragorn looked at him. “So?”

“Our only rope is currently on the way to Mordor in the company of Sam!” the Elf pointed out.

Aragorn groaned.

“Do not worry!” Legolas laughed. “I can surely catch your boat just swimming! But first we need to see if the passage down the stairs is still free and if it can be managed by a wounded man. Otherwise, you’d better take the road through Rohan.”

Aragorn nodded. “Take one of the Hobbits with you,” he suggested. “I doubt that a wounded man will be capable to walk every way where an Elf may tread.”

Legolas bowed to him, then made a curtly bow in front of Pippin.

“I ask your company on this mission, Master Peregrin,” he merrily said, “since I know you are nearly as fleet-footed as an Elf, and we two may be back faster than if I took the Dwarf.”

Gimli growled: “And besides this Dwarf may be of use here to defend our wounded comrade and your cousin, while you and the Elf stumble about!”

Legolas straightened in dignity.

“Elves do not ‘stumble’,” He remarked, then whipped around and stalked away to the stairs. Pippin got up. “Nor do Hobbits,” he added, and followed the Elf.

Aragorn looked after them, then shook his head and began to sort through their things to divide their rations.



------------------- O --------------------


It took only an hour until the Elf and the Hobbit were back. Legolas shook his head.

“The passage is clear for only three landings,” he reported. “After that, it becomes impossible to pass for anybody who has not a rope or an Elf's ability to climb. There are a few great trees that fell down on it, and whole landings have broken away. You may be capable to go down there alone, ranger. With Boromir in tow you’ll never make it!”

Pippin snorted.

“And Elves could climb that?” he asked. “There are places where the stairs simply aren’t there! You’d have to be capable to fly to pass down them!”

Aragorn merely nodded. “It is as I have feared, then,” he said. “I had hoped the stairs would still be there, but I feared them gone or blocked. Very well. Then Boromir and I will choose the way through Rohan.”

He had not been idle in the meantime. Their rations were divided, their packages sorted. Boromir had been bedded in a hidden place somewhere nearby with the help of his comrades, a place where Aragorn and he could stay undetected for some days, if their luck held. In a few days, with any luck, Boromir might heal enough to be capable of traveling. The ranger had said his farewells already to Merry and Gimli. All was prepared; he was ready.

Legolas hesitated. “Are you sure?” he asked. “You will have to travel soon. The Uruks will be back. They musn't find you!”

Aragorn cocked a brow. “I will avoid them if I can,” he said. “I am a ranger, remember? I can avoid to be found if I wish. You better take care of yourself, Master Elf! You and your merry company can’t afford discovery as well!”

Legolas cocked a brow in response, but then he merely nodded. He gave a small bow.

“Then we will go, Dunadan,” he said. “Luck on your way! May you have a safe journey!”

Aragorn bowed back. “You, too!” he replied. “I have prepared the packages.”

He stood up and placed a hand on Pippins shoulder, then he took one of the prepared bundles and walked away to the hidden place where they had bedded Boromir. He did not embrace Legolas again. They had said their farewells already. There was nothing he could add to that.

The Elf watched him go. Then he turned back to his three comrades.

“Lead the way, Master Dwarf,” he invited. “I suggest we start our travel then.”

Gimli just growled something unidentifiable as he climbed into the boat.

Aragorn watched them go out of his hiding place in the forest. He had the distinct feeling that he would not see all of them alive again.

________________ o _________________




--TBC--

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Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
aelfwitchfic
Jan. 13th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
darn
I only read slash...will you be posting your slash fics? *looks hopeful*
If I reviewed this, it would be unfair as i dislike het pairings as of late.
Sorry.
YIKES and character death
double squick...and LEGOLAS it seems...oh noooo....*shakes head*
I like my heart right where it is, dont need it ripped out...thank you
LOL

hmm dont suppose you will post warm fuzzy fluff, huh
LOL

HOpe you post Mael Gul...I may not be into the BDSM (or something like that...not sure if thats what its called? *unsure, looks confused*...Mael Gul is the fic with the mean Aragorn, right?), but there may be others who may like it :)

Diversity is what sets us apart and makes us unique and fun :)

Just cause I dont care for that genre, doesnt mean I dont think you are a good writer. I can recongize quality even if its not my cup of tea.

You have a great minds eye for detail and description. You truly set the mood with a flick of your pen. You set the pace for what it is too happen and lure the reader in with believable characterization.

:)

If you like Dark fic, you may want to read SandyG stuff
not sure what her LJ here is though...I think she MAY be spankanelf...but I could be wrong; dont quote me on that. I know shes a VOLA but not sure if she is still at LAS?
If I find her, will let you know
crowdaughter
Jan. 13th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks and about posting Mael-Gul
Hi, Akasha! Thank you for your valorous foray into reading this although it is nonslash and has an inended character death at the end (you are right, in this ist is our poor Elf who bites the dust, *but* he goes heroically and there is a happy end of sorts. Ever heard of the possibility Elves being reimbodied in the Undying Lands? Gives a wonderful excuse for both tragical drama *and* soothing the tears afterwards -grin-).

I'm stunned at your praise of my writing skills, though. thank you!!! And yes, I contemplated posting Mael-Gul here, but there is a problem: I do not know yet how to set an extra page for this like you did for "Castles in the Sand". I need to do that if I want to post that story, because as of now it has more than thirty posted capters and is growing fast. So if you are not above giving a little tutorial: how do I do that? Can I create a comment page with the lj-cut feature, and do more lj-cuts from that page? Or how is it done? Help is greatly appreciated! I had hoped the people would like to read Mael-Gul here, too.

Cheers, Aislynn
aelfwitchfic
Jan. 14th, 2006 05:21 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks and about posting Mael-Gul part 1
Nope nope nope
cant deal with character death at all...Im a wuss.
anyone who knows me can tell you this.
I read Moraya's Walk away and it left me bawling for two hours...through which she consoled me through private emails...LOL

so this is non canon fic as well? I tend to love AU :)

However, Ive had too much death in my real life lately to handle a beloved character dying as well.

Before loved ones actually died in my life, I used to view death as something to grip at emotionally through a story, to add substance...I used to romanticize it.

Believe me, there is nothing romantic about death. It just leaves you feeling hollow and empty. For that matter, I dont think there is anything heroic about it either. Those that die in war, while fighting for freedom, is a great cause...and they are heroes in every sense of the word...but I dont think death itself is heroic.

We all have different views on things and Im in no way attemping to stick mine down your throat. That would be wrong of me. We all have different tastes and like different things...variety the spice of life and all that...

Which is why I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not critizing your story or your work. I am merely stating why *I* cannot read it. Im a wuss, what can I say? I freely admit it. If you dont like me for it, there is nothing I can do to change someone's mind about it. Nor will I try.

When I wrote you a few months back, it was not to put down your fic Mael Gul. I honestly just wanted to know if it would have a happy ending cause I can tolerate pain and angst as long as it has a rainbow happy ending.

It had nothing to do with how I thought of you personally or of your skills as a writer. I was trying to protect myself. How fair would it have been for me to read your fic if I knew it was going to upset me? How fair would that be to you? Not much, Im afraid.

aelfwitchfic
Jan. 14th, 2006 05:21 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks and about posting Mael-Gul part 2
That being said, I want to point out some things you wrote in my LJ. *takes a deep breath* I waited all day to respond as I wanted to be more calm when I wrote you.

I know my fics are AU and non con. If this is not for you, please dont read it...nor berate it. I honestly could not tell an author what he or she can do with a character in *their* story... or that they are doomed because Aragorn marries Arwen or that Boromir dies or whatever...for I have no idea what their goal for the fic is or what they have planned.

We all have different visions of the characters (hell even in RPS there exists variety). Each of us writes them as our muse dictates. While it may not be for everyone (and sure, my happy fluff may not be for everyone, thats fine. Its not the end of the world) I have never put down someone's fic or what they wrote...or implied that too bad that they cant be together because this is what *really* happens

because obviously their tale is a variation of a theme that Tolkien provided us with...so we all write our version of what we would like to happen or would think would happen IF this or that were true...which happens to inspire many wonderful and diverse fics in the process.

Who am I to tell them such things?

Who am I to tell someone that they are wrong about thier story? That that is not how it happened...cause obviously they are painting another picture...an alternate universe if you will. I would not do that...its just rude.

If your vision of a pairing doesnt coincide with what someone has wrote, why not just be nice...and spare someone's feelings? Does it really cause so much effort to be mindful of others?

Even is someone wrote word for word what Tolkien wrote and added elf and ranger romance...that alone would make it non canon.

And while I may disagree with your interpretation of the characters I would never assume to tell you that you were wrong by telling your tale. Its your art, your creation, something you have poured time and energy into and I could never berate that effort.

Fanfic is a wonderful diverse universe of what *if*


I try to keep an amicable level about me and be nice about things, however if offended, I will strike back.

Im not mad at you personally...but I will defend my work...as I would expect you to defend yours if someone attack it. You poured your heart into it and you would have every right to do so. I could not blame you for that.

of course all this being said, we are different people
with differnt backgrounds and cultures...that could be what is making us clash. Not all cultures agree or see eye to eye...its unfortunate, but true.

Plus we really dont know each other well enough to make assumptions nor to know how someone will react to cold words written on page.

Upon closing I will sincerely apologize if I have in any way hurt you. That was not my intention. I just wanted to defend what I wrote and hopefully bring to light some things that offended me.

I humbly ask you to forgive me if this caused you grief in any way. *bows out gracefully*

Akasha

Im not saying we should be friends or that we can or should be, just hoping we understand each other better.




crowdaughter
Jan. 14th, 2006 11:19 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks and about posting Mael-Gul part 2
Hi, Akasha,
I never meant to hurt you and to upset you. I was not aware that my words in your live-Journal about your fics appeared upesetting and cold to you or that they seemed to imply I wished to tell you what you should write in your fics. I *never* meant to do that! I love your fics, and never meant to critisize them, and I was not aware that you took my words as critique. Again, I am very sorry and apologize. Please forgive me!

Aislynn (very sad and sorry about this terrible misunderstanding).
aelfwitchfic
Jan. 14th, 2006 05:24 am (UTC)
Posting in LJ linking fics
Not sure you will want my help after you read what I wrote. To tell the truth Im not very LJ savvy. Ariel helped me with my LJ. She sent me instructions on how to link things and such. You may want to ask her, she is over at VOLA and has LJ as well.

She is really a nice woman and may be better able to help you.
crowdaughter
Jan. 14th, 2006 10:48 am (UTC)
Re: Posting in LJ linking fics
Hi, Akasha,
I already replied to your first post off list, so please let me just repeat here:I am not offended by your comments, and I am very, very sorry that you thought my comments to your fics as offending in any way. They were never meant that way and I had no idea that they would come over as such. I never, ever meant to critizise or flame you. My deepest apologies! I only wanted to read your fics, because I love them, and now I have offended you and never wanted it! Please accept my apologies again. I am sorry!

Aislynn
akashaelfwitch
Jan. 14th, 2006 11:41 am (UTC)
Re: Posting in LJ linking fics
*hugs*

Im sorry I misunderstood you, I *honestly* thought you were flaming my fiction. What upset me was this...it was the use of you saying: Aragorn marrying Arwen and too bad Legolas cant provide him with an heir,which is what he needs...that hurt me. :(

I even asked a friend (who has not read my fic) how your comment sounded...was I over reacting? He said no. So I thought on it all day on how best to respond.

I accept you apology and I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

I had no idea you liked my fiction? Its been so long since I posted anything on A/L...they are feeling neglicted.

xoxxoxo
Akasha

I do recommend Ariel to help you with LJ links though
she's a real sweetie.
surreysmum
Jan. 13th, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
Hi, Aislynn. Enjoyed this very much - I love how committed you are to the integrity of the larger world of Middle Earth, even when you write AUs.

Of course, if you have to choose whether to work on this or Mael-Gul, I think you know where my vote is. :) I have grown so very fond of your poor tormented Aragorn and his noble Little Leaf.

I don't know how Akasha handles her multi-chapters, but I have seen other people create a Table of Contents to their own fic using the Memories function - you might want to check out the FAQ for that. I don't have nearly enough stuff to do that.

Either that, or, as you know, you can put ordinary html links into any journal entry, with the usual code:
text of link
So if you create a journal entry and give it a date very far in the future so that it's always at the top of your journal (I think you can do that), then you can link your story pages from that page, using the URL at the top of each page -- as you see, the URL for this page, for instance is:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/crowdaughter/725.html

Hope that helps.

surreysmum
surreysmum
Jan. 13th, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
Oops, the LJ converted the sample code in my link into an actual link. Too clever for its own good! Never mind, I'm sure you know how to make a standard html link!

cheers
surreysmum
crowdaughter
Jan. 13th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
Hi, Surreysmum!
Thank you for the suggestions. I may start to try them out tomorrow; I try to work with the memory function first, but your second suggestion is very clever and I will try that out, too! And "Journey to Mordor" is only a snippet right now for a reason; I got hijacked by my slash AU in June of the last year and it has not let me up yet. I do not think it will. All my other story-snippets and projects have taken a vacation ever since. But these last few days, Aragorn refused to talk to me and so I needed to bribe him with another story where he and Legolas are equals and remain so... :-)

Even so, Journey to Mordor may grow into a story yet, and I am glad you enjoyed that, too. It's nice to hear it works!

Cheers, Aislynn
akashaelfwitch
Jan. 14th, 2006 11:43 am (UTC)
awww what a cute orange tabby Kitty...is it yours? *squee*
I love kitties!!


^V^
(Anonymous)
Jun. 1st, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
this story
I hate slash and thies is so disgusting words fail me.
crowdaughter
Jun. 6th, 2007 10:11 am (UTC)
Re: this story
Oh, wow, a flame! And to one of the very few stories in this journal which are non-slash, too! I am actually amazed you even managed to find this story, since the snippet does not appear on my story index anymore - it is, after all, just a snippet. But it is also, very explicitly, non-slash. So, your comment would probably have made more sense to me if it had been made to one of my many slasg stories - Mael-Gul, Elessar's Heir, Murder The dawn, and what not. Why this story snippet of all pieces should be so disgusting words fail you, you did not make clear. So, I fear I have to say: for a flame, you failed, dear, because your comment does not have any reasonable connection to the story you flamed. This is an F!

Aislynn
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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