The Moth & The Flame

BY : Avaloyuru
Category: +Third Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 2331
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.

Feeling overly stifled within the confines of her rooms, Tauriel longed for the freedom of the forest where she could run, feel the wind in her face and listen to the many voices of the rivers, streams and the animals that lived there.  Wandering aimlessly through the familiar labyrinth of corridors in the lower levels of the palace, she struggled with myriad of feelings and unanswered questions that plagued her.

A soft smile touched her lips as she thought of Kili, with his happy smiling face and bright eyes so full of hope.  She no longer felt pain with his memory, there was only the deep sadness of what might have been.  She knew the sadness would also fade in time and she would be able to remember him with fondness.  There was still so much pain in her heart when she thought of Legolas, abandoning her without even saying goodbye after what they had been to each other.  Her pain was overshadowed by her anger at having been betrayed by him where the king had at least been forthright with her.

“Really Laûrläéthëe, you should have let me know you were coming.”  Thranduil stated softly, his voice echoing in the spacious chamber.  “I would have sent an escort to ensure your safety.”  He continued, the disapproval in his tone was clear.

Ducking quickly into the shadows, Tauriel felt her heart leap into her throat at the sound of his voice.  Pressing even tighter against the stone wall, she watched them as they came into view in the meditation room below.

“Thranduil please.”  Laûrläéthëe stated, her frustration as evident as his disapproval.  “The last thing I wanted was for naneth nîn (My mother) or you to worry about me.  Lord Fládëithnôr took care of everything.”

“It is my responsibility to worry about you.”  He stated, bringing her hands to his lips briefly.  “Your naneth (Mother) would have a piece of my hide should anything happen to you.”

“Don’t be silly!”  Laûrläéthëe laughed as she squeezed his hands.  “Naneth (Mother) knows how stubborn I can be and she absolutely adores you.”

Turning quickly, Tauriel struggled against the threat of tears as she fled through the corridors toward the safety of her rooms.  Forcing a smile and a nod to each passersby, she had not realized how far she had wandered while lost on her thoughts.  It seemed as if it took forever before the door of her rooms loomed before her.  Entering quickly, she nearly slammed it closed and leaned heavily against it.

Blinking at the tears that stung the backs of her eyes, the image of them and familiarity they seemed to share renewed her anger at him.  She didn’t know who this Laûrläéthëe was, only that she was beautiful and Sindar.  Thranduils’ reaction to not being informed of her visit made it obvious to her that she was of noble birth or at least important enough to warrant a royal escort.  She found his comments about her mother rather disconcerting to say the least, causing her to wonder from where she had traveled for him to be so concerned about angering her.

Hugging herself as if she were cold, she walked slowly toward the yawning dark mouth of the hearth.  It was too early for the servants to be making their way through the inhabited rooms to light the fires.  Collecting the flint from the mantel, she knelt before the hearth and set about the task of lighting it herself.  The evening meal was at least an hour away, but she knew she would not be going there tonight.  There were enough dried fruits and nuts in her small cupboard to sustain her for a few nights she and could get more from the kitchen if she needed.  Hanging the small teapot on the hook near the flames and walked over to the comfortable chair.  Sinking into it, she tucked her legs beneath her and watched the tiny flames.

It had only been two days since she had spoken to him and there had no word from him.  She was still not totally convinced that he had not sent Galion to speak with her although he denied it.  She had seen him only during meals in the dining hall, watching him with downcast eyes from beneath the veil of her lashes as she pretended to eat her food.  It was as if nothing had changed for him as he sat there in all his glory, smiling and casting glances about the room yet not once in her direction.

It hurt more than she would admit even to herself that he seemed to be able to brush her off so easily.  He had recalled his personal guard yet had replaced them with captains from his regular forces, she presumed it was because she was friends with all of the captains within the forest patrols.  Clearly his intentions were to keep her from fleeing again even though she had no idea where she would go.  Lórinand was at least heavily populated with Wood elves who were kin to the Silvan elves, she could have been happy there.

                                                                    ~*~

 “Ouch!”  Ivósaar grunted, grabbing the back of his head as he swung around and braced himself against the large tree trunk.  Scanning the branches above him there was no signs of webs much less the shelob (spiders) themselves.  In fact there was no sign of anything out there but himself and this was the third time something had hit him.  Whoever was playing tricks on him was going to get it as soon as he caught them.

“Down here you fool!”  An angry voice called out to him.

“Legolas!”  He exclaimed as he quickly started down the long rope he had secured to his watch post earlier that morning.  “Hey...”

“Be quiet!”  Legolas hissed as Ivósaar got closer to the ground.

“What’s going on?!”  Ivósaar asked, quickly scanning the area around them.

“Nothing.”  Legolas grumbled as he stepped closer to him.  “When do you change guards?”  He asked quietly.

“It shouldn’t be long now, why?  When did you come back?!”  Ivósaar replied, a deep frown forming on his brow as he watched the young prince who had been the commander of the forest patrol until the battle in the shadows of the Lonely Mountain.

“I need to get in the palace unseen.”  Legolas stated as he kept watching the area for Ivósaars’ replacement or signs of trouble.

“What?!  Why?!”  Ivósaar exclaimed, staring at him as if he had just grown a third eye in the middle of his forehead.

“Don’t ask questions!”  Legolas hissed, glaring at him.  “When you get off meet me at the pine glade just north of the stable doors.  Tell no one you have seen me.”  He told him.

“Okay, I’ll be there.”  Ivósaar said and watched as the prince disappeared quickly into the thick grove of evergreens.

“Why do I not feel good about this?”  He asked himself as he climbed back up to his position within the branches of the tree.

Sprinting north, Legolas was forced to move slower than he would have preferred as there were a number of watch stands that had been repositioned and they had increased in his absence.  There had also been signs of thinning among the Elm, Oak, and Birch trees, favored by the shelob (spiders) for building their nests, which he presumed may have accounted for the relocating of some of the watch stands.  Moving between the clustered stands of evergreens which were thankfully more prevalent in the northern regions of the forest, he hoped he had managed to reach the pine glade unnoticed.

Slipping through the narrow space between the waterfall and rocks, he moved toward the back where he found a rock ledge just wide enough for him to crouch and wait.  Climbing on top of it, he crouched down with his back against the wall facing the opening in rocks and pulled his cloak tighter around him.  He trusted Ivósaar and knew that if he said he would come that he would be there, his only concern was that he was not followed.

The time he had spent in Lórinand had been more than frustrating, not only did he not find the answers he sought, he left with more questions.  The only thing he knew for certain was that Tauriel did not leave of her own choice.  He had much time to think as he traveled north to the Woodland Realm and he wondered at the alliance between his father and the Lady Gilaiwë.  She had been very protective of him even if they were not lovers, something he was not entirely convinced was not the case.  He realized that both she and the Lord Lenwë were Vanyar, yet he had not sensed any unnatural powers from him.  While all elves had the ability to manipulate the natural energies of nature, there were those of old who seemed to have the ability to reach deeper into the forces of nature.

“It took you long enough!”  Legolas growled as he watched Ivósaar creep carefully into the cave.

“It’s not my fault!”  He exclaimed, scanning the cave.  “Träëliôrn was late getting out there to relieve me.  I’m not saying that I won’t help you but first I need to at least know why you need to sneak into the palace.”  He added as Legolas jumped down from his perch on the ledge.

“If you must know.  I need to speak to my father but first I need a good bath and a nights rest before I deal with him.”  Legolas stated as he walked toward the opening in the rocks.  “Now are you going to help me or not?”  He asked as he stopped at the opening and turned to face him.

“Fine, come on.”  Ivósaar stated as he followed him.  “Have you returned?  Are you staying?”  He asked as they set out east toward the palace.

“No.”  Legolas stated, casting him a sideways glance.  “I intend to leave and I will take Tauriel with me.”

“Good luck with that!”  Ivósaar exclaimed, shaking his head.

“Why?!”  Legolas demanded, grabbing his arm jerking him to a halt as he glared at him.  “What do you know?!”

“The king has her under guard.”  Ivósaar replied, wrenching his arm free.  “She is not allowed to leave the palace.”

“Where is he keeping her?!”  Legolas demanded, feeling his anger burning in his gut.

“Look, you need to calm down.”  Ivósaar told him, frowning at him, his dark green eyes bore into the pale blue of the Prince.

“I will not calm down!”  Legolas exclaimed.  “He has gone too far this time!”

“Legolas, listen to me.”  Ivósaar implored him as he grasped his shoulders firmly, forcing him to look at him.  “I know you still have feelings for her.  You are right, you cannot face your father or her with your anger, you know this!”  He exclaimed, staring into the angry eyes that were now clouded like a brewing storm.

“Most everyone should still be in the dining hall right now.”  He continued as Legolas seemed to have gained some measure of control of himself.  “I can get you in without being seen.  You need to rest and gather yourself before you confront him.”

“Will you show me where she is?”  Legolas asked, his shoulders slumping slightly as he realized his friend was right, there was nothing he could do tonight.

“I don’t have to show you.”  Ivósaar said quietly, releasing him.  “Her rooms are in the guest corridor.  The last door before you descend to the kings’ private areas.”  He told him, watching as the anger slowly began to rise again.

“Legolas.”  He said quietly, still watching him.  “I don’t think there is anything between them.  The king has visited her a few times but from I’ve been told, he is not in there very long and he seems quite angry when he leaves.”

“So why does he keep her here if it is not...”  He said quietly but stopped himself.  “We must go.  I will speak with my father in the morning when he is in his study.  This concerns him and I, no one else.”  He stated more firmly and turned away from him, heading in the direction of the stable doors.

“You wait outside.”  Ivósaar said quietly as the huge stable doors came into view.  “I will go in and distract Faÿláën, he always sends the stable hands to eat first, so he’s probably still in there.”

Nodding in agreement, Legolas ducked behind a large oak tree as Ivósaar sprinted toward the doors.  Impatiently he scanned the trees, hoping he had not missed anything, the last thing he needed was to have his father alerted to his presence before he was ready to talk to him.  There had already been harsh words between them that bothered Legolas for he truly loved him, yet he could not abide what he was doing to Tauriel.  It may be too late for her to take him back, but he would not leave her as a prisoner in his fathers’ halls.

Moving quickly toward the door, he paused to listen for voices or the sound of movement within before slipping inside and heading straight for the lesser used passage through the storage cellar.  The lower levels of the fortress was riddled with a labyrinth of narrow passages and tunnels that lead either up into the main halls or farther below toward the river as an escape route in the event the security of the fortress was breeched.  Having lived in their fortress home for his entire life, Legolas knew them all.

Catching sight of the prince as he slipped silently into the passage, Ivósaar politely excused himself and followed him.  Catching up with him, he led the way, keeping an eye out for anyone still moving about as they neared the mid-level of the palace where the majority of the personal chambers of the nobles and honored guests were located.

“Thank you.”  Legolas stated quietly, clasping his friends shoulder as they reached the stairwell that would take him to his chambers.  “I will speak with you again before I depart.”

“You better!”  Ivósaar exclaimed, still keeping his voice as hushed as possible before bounding up the few steps to the next level.

Retrieving his key as he waited for his signal, Legolas felt himself tensing and struggled to suppress his rising anger.  Relieved as Ivósaar nodded the coast was clear, he raced past him and made his way toward his private chambers.  Safely inside the darkened room, he turned the latch and leaned against the heavy oaken door, expelling the breath he had not realized he had been holding.

Pausing only long enough to let his eyes adjust to the darkness of the room, he signed heavily as he dropped his pack in the small alcove near the door.  Removing his cloak, he hung it on a peg as he tried to clear his mind and gain control of himself.  Moving about the large sitting room as he lit a few of the lanterns and set about the task of lighting a fire in the hearth, he felt some of the tension leave him.

Crouching silently before the hearth as he watched the growing flames leaping almost playfully along the logs, he allowed his thoughts to turn to her.  Guilt and sadness gripped him as he was forced to accept the fact that he had abandoned her in her time of need.  The dwarf was dead and there was nothing he could do about it.  Tauriel had been his friend first for many years, a sibling he would never have in truth.  Unaware of the soft smile that curled the corners of his lips, he thought of how she had attached herself to him all those years ago, following him around like an irritating little sister.

Always with her undaunted childish excitement, wanting to go where ever he went and do what he was doing.  Throwing her little temper tantrums much to his fathers’ dismay when he would not allow her to accompany him into the forest with his friends.  Looking back now, part of him understood that he shouldered the blame for his fathers’ attachment to her as she sought him out for comfort when he officially joined the forest patrol.  She was still just an elfling at the time, a child who clearly felt abandoned by him when he could no longer be bothered by her clinging ways.

Over the years, seemingly without his notice, Tauriel had grown into a beautiful young elleth (elf maiden) who caught the attentions of many ellyn (male elf).  Frowning as he gazed into the now brightly burning flames in the hearth, he wondered when she stopped being that irritating little sister and became so much more to him.  She had excelled with the bow as well as the knife and was a fearless fighter in defense of the realm.  Slowly his admiration and fondness of her grew into love and yes pride in her skills, he knew she had his back and he had hers.

He felt his heart skip a few beats as his thoughts turned to that day when everything changed, the first time he had worked up the courage to steal a kiss from her.  In that single moment, when he felt the tremble in her lips she was no longer the fearless warrior, she became a something he cherished and needed to protect from all harm.  He was far from being unfamiliar in the ways of pleasuring of elleth’s, (elf maiden) yet to him Tauriel was special, she was precious to him.  She had stolen his heart the day she had willingly gifted him with her maidenhood.

Angrily he pushed himself up from the floor and made his way back through his bed chamber, pausing only to light the hearth before making his way into his bath chamber.  Lifting the lever at the head of the long copper tub, he was more than thankful for the constant flow of heated water.  Summoning servants to prepare a bath for him would only alert his father to his presence and he was not yet ready to deal with him.



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