The Moth & The Flame

BY : Avaloyuru
Category: +Third Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 2384
Disclaimer: I do not own any copyright to the Tolkien/Middle-Earth Fandom, nor his canon characters or languages. I do not receive any form of compensation for this fanfiction. Original characters are my property.

After his suspicions were confirmed as to the plot against Tauriel, Thranduil pulls his garrisoned forces from Erebor and heads south to rescue her.  Unable to locate the Prince, Lord Garävegión finds himself as Regent of the Woodland Realm and learns the identity of the mastermind behind the plot against the crown.  Aldalómë is forced to accept the reality that his love for Thranduil will forever remain unrequited.

~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~

Hîr vuin?” (My Lord)  Captain Lárasarnë said quietly, frowning as he reached the kings’ public study to find his Chief Advisor seated behind the desk instead.

“The king had urgent business with the Chief March Warden.”  Lord Garävegión stated, looking up from the papers on the desk.  “What is it?”  He asked as he rose to his feet, noting the strange expression on the captain’s face.

“I am afraid I do not bring good news.”  Captain Lárasarnë stated, reaching into the breast pocket of his uniform as he approached him.

“What is this?”  Lord Garävegión asked, taking the note from his outstretched hand.  Unfolding it quickly, his eyes widened as he read the neatly penned words.  “Where did you get this?!”  He demanded even as he hurried passed him.  “Thalieth!”  He called out as he headed toward the door.

Hîr vuin!” (My Lord)  The guard exclaimed, nearly running into the lord as he quickly entered the study.

“Get Berÿlan and Lhôris in here now!”  Lord Garävegión ordered before turning back to the captain, pinioning him with an icy blue stare.  “Where did you get this?!”  He demanded again, shaking the note in his hand.

“Two of the patrols found him in the forest hîr vuin.” (My Lord)  He replied quietly, meeting the lord’s stare with great difficulty.  “He hung himself.”  He continued, his voice faltering slightly.  “I found it in his pocket.”

“Oh dear Eru! (God)” Lord Garävegión exclaimed, the color draining from his face.  “Does anyone else know?”  He asked, his sharp tone reflecting his struggle to control his anger.

“No hîr vuin.” (My Lord)  Captain Lárasarnë replied quickly, shaking his head to emphasize the fact.  “No one but I and now you have read the note.  The two patrols have taken his body to the healers.  I have already instructed them to keep this matter to themselves.  But I am sure Jôsidëáh will come to you with questions.”  He added, studying the lords’ expression.

“Yes, I am sure he will.”  Lord Garävegión stated as he walked toward the wine cupboard, his thoughts tumbling over each other as he picked up the carafe.  “Who found him?”  He asked, filling a goblet with an ample amount as his thoughts turned to his own daughter Saélihn, who was also a member of the patrols.

“Lathläëril and Nînquië.”  Captain Lárasarnë said quietly, noting the agitated expression on the normally calm and composed lords’ face as he turned back toward him, taking a long drink from the goblet.  “I have ordered them to wait in Lathläëril’s rooms until I come for them.  They are quite distraught hîr vuin.” (My Lord)

“I am sure they are.  It is a grievous decision to take ones’ own life.”  Lord Garävegión replied without looking at him as he returned to his seat behind the desk.  “I will speak to them personally once I conclude my business here.”  He said as he finally looked up at him.  “I need you to ride swiftly.  The king departed not more than a few hours ago for Glaurhalbër’s garrison just outside of Erebor.  He is with Rínnänéth and intends to join with Aldalómë and the others just south of the Center Outpost.  You find him and inform him of what has been discovered.  Tell him I will deal with this here.”

Ben iest gîn, hîr vuin.” (As you wish, my lord)  Captain Lárasarnë stated, nodding respectfully as he turned on his heel and departed.

Striding purposefully back to the stables, Captain Lárasarnë felt the apprehension twisting in his gut.  Although he had not provided him with many details, his brief discussion with Aldalómë told him enough to know that the Chief March Warden had seen through the attempt to mislead their forces to the northeast.  Everything suddenly made sense as his thoughts turned to Aûraë, assigned to Träëliôrns’ team, she would be in the thick of it if a battle should ensue.  In his mind he knew she was an excellent archer and more than capable of defending herself against most attackers, yet in his heart he wanted only to be there to protect her.  Still, the knowledge that these were human men and not shelob (spiders) only intensified his concern for her safety.

There was no way of knowing just how far Lord Tirithiáëls’ reach went beyond the borders of the Woodland Realm.  Yet, somehow the king must have learned that Tauriel had not gone north as planned and now she was obviously in danger.  Understanding the urgency, Captain Lárasarnë quickly swung himself up into the saddle as soon as he reached his mount.  Laying himself as low as possible across the saddle, he kicked his mount into a full gallop as he passed through the large double doors of the stable.  

“You sent for us hîr vuin?” (My lord)  Lieutenant Lhôris asked cautiously as he and Lieutenant Berÿlan entered the kings’ public study.

“Come with me.”  Lord Garävegión stated firmly as he rose quickly from his chair, striding purposefully toward them.  The grim expression on his face stilled any further questions as he swept passed them, his robes flowing behind him.

Turning without hesitation, the two officers glanced quickly at each other as they followed him out of the study.  Word had spread quickly amongst the ranks that King Thranduil had departed the fortress dressed in full battle armor, joined by a select group of elite officers.  In the absence of a member of the royal house, as the kings’ Chief Advisor and senior member of the council, Lord Garävegión was now Regent of the Realm, acting with the full authority of the king.  Not a single word was spoken as they quickly made their way through the lower levels of the fortress, toward the halls reserved for nobility and visiting dignitaries.

Pausing a short distance from Lord Tirithiáëls’ rooms, Lord Garävegión narrowed his eyes as he glanced toward the shadowy alcove in the hallway.  Stepping slightly into the soft glow of the lanterns, Rhäiné met his gaze and nodded to let him know that the council member had not left his chambers.  He slipped back into the shadows once the lord had acknowledged his response.

Calmly approaching Lord Tirithiáëls’ rooms, Lord Garävegión knocked on the thick oaken door.  Still struggling with the anger that threatened to overtake him, he knocked once more and waited only a few minutes.

“You can open this door yourself or I will summon a locksmith.”  He stated clearly, pausing only briefly as he listened for any sign of movement within the council members rooms.

“What do you want at this hour?!”  Lord Tirithiáël demanded as he jerked the door open, glaring at the three faces that greeted him.

“You may come with me peacefully or I will have you hauled out in chains.”  Lord Garävegión stated, his nostrils flaring in his anger as he pushed his way inside.

“Do not be absurd!”  Lord Tirithiáël declared, turning away from them as they all but barged into his rooms.  “What is this meaning of this?!”  He continued angrily as he swung around to face them.

“Tirithiáël, as Regent of the Woodland Realm, I am here to inform you that you are officially charged with the crime of high treason against the crown.”

As quickly as the words left his lips, the two officers advanced on the council member with swords drawn.

“As I said.”  Lord Garävegión continued, far too angry to enjoy the moment.  “You can come peacefully or I will make a spectacle of you.”  His tone deepened as he watched the officers’ post themselves on either side of the council member.

“Do not dare touch me!  I have done nothing!”  Lord Tirithiáël exclaimed as the officers reached for him.  “You will answer for this Garävegión!”  He hissed angrily, shaking off the guards as he straightened his shoulders and walked toward the door.

“Take him to the dungeons and remain there until I personally relieve you.”  Lord Garävegión said quietly as he followed them out of the council members’ chambers.

~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~

Clenching her jaws tightly against the pain that threatened to overtake her, Tauriel struggled to hold onto to the vague awareness that told her she was no longer in the forest.  The dankness of the still air around her crept into her body, bringing with it a slight chill causing her to shiver.  Frowning slightly as a putrid odor assaulted her senses, she fought to open her eyes.  The hard surface beneath her felt cold, the chill in her body suddenly faded as a wave of burning heat coursed through her from somewhere within her.  Swallowing against a dry throat, she whimpered faintly as the darkness descended over her once more.

“You idiots!  I said she was not to be harmed!”  Lord Ortäuré hissed angrily as he stormed into the cave, his tall frame carrying him quickly toward the motionless elleth (elf maiden) on the floor against the opposite wall.

“Get a lantern over here.”  He ordered, pulling out his dagger as he knelt beside her.  Frowning deeply as he felt her forehead and cheeks before turning to the slender shaft protruding from her side, not far below her armpit.  The heat from her body told him she was already fighting the wound sickness.

Anger, fear and concern battled themselves in his mind, his healing experience was limited to bandaging battlefield wounds under the watchful eye of a healer, he feared his skills would not be enough to save her.  He felt his anger washing over him as the light of the lantern revealed the large dark stain that had spread down her side and across her breasts.  Carefully feeling along the shaft, he recognized it as one of the Northmen’s and not an elvish arrow.  Buried deeply within her flesh, it was too dangerous to try snapping it for fear even a subtle movement would cause further damage.  Her barely audible yet raspy breaths told him the tip had injured her lung.

“Bring my pack and fresh water.”  He ordered as he began cutting through the thick silk of her uniform to expose the ugly entry wound.  Grimacing as he gently touched the hot flesh around the ragged edges of the still seeping wound that already showed signs of the wound sickness.

Dropping the pack and flask of water near them, Cadfael glanced at Donagh before backing away quickly as the dark haired elf shot him a brief but angry glare.  Nervously he watched as the elf grabbed what he needed from the pack and set about the task of wiping away as much of the dried blood as possible before slicing into her flesh with his dagger.  He felt his stomach turn as the elf slipped two fingers into the bleeding gash below her breast, feeling for the head of the arrow.  Fear gripped him as she gave no response to the elf’s searching fingers, his gut twisted painfully at the sucking sound as the elf gently guided the arrow head out of the wound.

“I think she’s dead.”  Cadfael whispered to Ardara once he reached the other side of the cave.

“I told you it was too dangerous!”  Ardara hissed, his eyes narrowed ominously as he turned toward him.

The small group of Northmen stood silently at the mouth of the cave, watching the dark elf as he cut away the tattered remnants of her uniform tunic.  Slowly, fear crept into all of them as they watched him, his deft fingers quickly covering the dampened cloth with dried herbs retrieved from his pack before pressing it tightly against the wound.  Huddling slightly closer together as they heard the soft sounds of the dark elf’s chanting, they looked at each other fearfully.

“I say we kill them both and get...”

Sharp gasps filled the thick air in the cave as they watched Uichiril’s head roll awkwardly toward the entrance of the cave.  The three remaining Northmen pressed themselves tightly against the hard rock wall, terror filled their faces in the dim light cast by the small fire in the center of the cave.

“Run if you think you can make it.”  Lord Ortäuré stated quietly, his tone colder than the north winds as he touched the point of his blood stained sword to Ardaras’ throat.  “If she dies, you die.  There will be no place in Arda (the world) safe for you, I will find you.  Now get that out of here.”  He ordered, sheathing his sword as he turned away and walked back to finish wrapping the bandage around Tauriel’s upper torso to hold the compress in place.

“Set the lantern down and leave me.”  Lord Ortäuré said quietly, glancing quickly at Donagh as he stood up.

Scurrying away quickly, he glanced back over his shoulder as he reached the mouth of the cave.  Anxious, he turned away from him, peering into the darkness of the coming night.  He could still see the vague outline to the higher peaks of the eastern end of Mirkwood Mountains range.  The moon had not yet risen and he worried about the others, he knew the spiders were more active at night and the smell of Uichiril’s fresh blood would bring them running.  The larger spiders and most of the nests were farther east in the larger caves of the taller mountains, where they made easy prey of unwary travelers who found themselves ensnared by the powers of the Enchanted River.

“You will need a bigger fire if you wish to keep the spiders at bay.”  Lord Ortäuré stated as he unhooked his sword belt and pulled down the leather harness that held two daggers on his back.  “But I would not suggest going out alone.”  He continued, pulling the thicker outer tunic over his head, followed quickly by the slightly thinner under tunic.

“Help me cover her.”  He said quietly, finally turning to look at the frightened human standing at the mouth of the cave.  “Sit her up, gently.”  He told him as Donagh walked over to him.

~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~     ~*~

“Find Aldalómë.”  Thranduil stated to the officer who stood silently only a few feet away from him, his gaze never leaving the distant edge of the dark forest.

The gentle breeze that would otherwise have felt cool against his heated skin instead carried with it the foul stench of decay, infuriating him even more.  Darkness had now descended, small camp fires flickered as the men settled in for the night.  The pain tightened in his chest as he recounted the Eluandúnië’s report, rationally he understood his reasoning for separating the group, he could not have foreseen the number of men that had ambushed them.  Although the one they had managed to take captive had not yet revealed much information, he knew it was only a matter of time.

Against his better judgement, he closed his eyes and allowed himself to recall the image of her dancing green eyes, the sound of her laughter, the feel of her in his arms, and the familiar scent of lavender and lilac that always lingered long after she had left his presence.  Frowning deeply as reality invaded his thoughts, she was out there in the darkness and possibly injured, the pain in his chest only tightened as he struggled to breathe, fighting off the thought of anything worse.

“You wanted to see me hîr vuin.” (My Lord)  Aldalómë said quietly, walking into the shadows just beyond the camp fire.

“Yes, I do.”  Thranduil stated, his tone was void of emotion as he turned away from him.  “Do not do this to me Aldalómë.”  He continued as they walked some distance away from the others, his tone was quiet and thoughtful.

Hîr vuin?” (My Lord)  Aldalómë almost blurted, his eyes widening slightly as he stared at the kings’ unreadable expression.

“I trust your judgement, but I will not tolerate your coddling.”  Thranduil stated, his tone breaking only slightly as he struggled with old memories.  “You are without question my oldest and one of my dearest friends but I need my Chief March Warden now more than I ever have.”  He told him, meeting the soft pale blue eyes that watched him with concern.

“Thranduil...”

“No Aldalómë.”  He said softly, shaking his head slowly as he reached over to grasp his shoulder.  “You knew this day would come.”  He continued, giving his shoulder a firm squeeze.  “It feels like a lifetime ago.  I will always cherish the memory of what we shared between us but it cannot be.”

“Do you love her?”  Aldalómë asked, his voice was barely above a whisper as he gazed sadly at the one who was his first and only love.

“Does she love you?”  He asked quietly when Thranduil only nodded, his beautiful sapphire eyes pleading for him to understand.

“I believe she does and I intend to marry her.”  Thranduil told him as a shaky smile curled his lips, very much aware of the pain he could see within the depths of the pale blue eyes.

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Thanks for reading!  Reviews are always welcome!



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