Warrior Maiden of the Dunedain - Chapter Nine
Finally around 2:30 in the morning, Ohtarwen's fever broke. She fell asleep peacefully. It was late morning when she awoke and looked around. Slowly and weakly she sat up. Ohtarwen closed her eyes in an attempt to stop the spinning ground.
"Ah, you are awake. How do you feel?" Hyanar asked, sitting down next to her.
Ohtarwen looked at him for a moment as if trying to remember who he was. He saw her eyes flash in recognition and smile appear on her face.
"Much better, but still not that great." She rubbed her eyes. "I guess I should thank you."
Hyanar shrugged and smiled.
"If you hadn't brought me back, I probably wouldn't be here." She smiled. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Are you feeling up to eating something?"
"Yes, maybe a little food." Ohtarwen replied. Only now did she realize how hungry she actually was.
While Hyanar was off getting Ohtarwen something to eat, Ohtarwen sat and watched the other men in the group.
They all wore the same type of attire: weather worn pants and tunics, and over that a cloak. Most had swords or bows. They all reminded her of Aragorn, she couldn't think of why, they just did. Suddenly as she was scanning the faces of the men, her eyes fell upon Elrohir sitting a little ways away taking a sip from his cup.
"Elrohir?" she breathed, not sure whether to believe her eyes or not. At hearing his name, Elrohir turned and smiled at her.
"Ohtarwen! How do you feel?" he asked her coming over and helping her up.
"Fine. But what are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same question." He said a little sternly, and then laughed.
"Is Elladan here? Where is he?" Ohtarwen inquired looking over Elrohir's shoulder searching for the Elf's twin.
"He's here....somewhere." Elrohir finished.
"Elrohir." A man walking up to them called. "So you know this girl?" he asked.
"Yes. She grew up in Rivendell with my brother and sister and I."
The man studied Ohtarwen for a moment.
"What is your name?" he asked Ohtarwen.
"Ohtarwen." She answered. She gazed at his eyes as they stared back at her. They were almost identical to Aragorn's gray eyes.
"I am Halbarad Dunadan."
"Dunadan? You are of the Dunedain?" Ohtarwen asked, glancing at Elrohir as if to say,
`Why didn't you tell me?' "My father was Dunedain."
Halbarad raised his eyebrows. "Really? What was your father's name?"
Halbarad thought for a moment, then a smiled. "Ah, yes. Maenem. Good man, good ranger. And now that you say that, you look just like him."
Ohtarwen smiled at hearing the compliment.
"May I come with you?" she asked hoping beyond all hope that he would let her travel with them.
Halbarad drew in a ragged breath. "The life of a ranger is no place for a girl." He stated firmly.
"I can take care of myself just as well as any of your men, and I can prove it."
Halbarad began to walk away.
Ohtarwen followed him. "What do you have against women?" she asked to his back.
"Nothing. I love women, its women trying to be men that I don't like." He told her.
"I'm not trying to be a man! All I'm trying to do is live with my kin. Besides, I can fight, hunt, I can do whatever you need me to do." Ohtarwen went on.
Halbarad turned around suddenly causing Ohtarwen to stop right under his chin. She looked up at him with a determined look glowing in her eyes.
"You are not well enough to travel."
"So you're going to leave me here then, is that what you're saying?"
"No! We'll take you back to Rivendell where you belong."
"No!" Ohtarwen said unwaveringly. All this time, Elrohir had been standing by silently watching his friend battle against his feisty `sister'.
"Elrohir! Are you going to help me?" Ohtarwen turned to him and glared when she saw him laughing.
"I'm afraid you're on your own with this one, Ohtarwen." He stated with a laugh.
"Ugh! Sometimes I do not know whether you are my friend or my enemy!" she said angrily, which only made Elrohir laugh more.
Ohtarwen turned back to Halbarad who was not amused.
"I'm not going back, Halbarad." Ohtarwen again told him.
"Fine, we'll decide what to do with you on the way." With that, Halbarad marched away.
"That's one for you." Elrohir said walking up behind Ohtarwen.
"What's that suppose to mean?" she asked.
"Only that you have gotten the best of Halbarad, and he has not gotten the best of you yet." He said with a smile.
"Yet? You think he will?" Ohtarwen laughed.
"Of course he's going to get the best of you," Elrohir chuckled. "It will only be a matter of time."
"I'm glad you and Elladan will be here with me." Ohtarwen smiled.
A couple weeks passed and Ohtarwen's shoulder had healed perfectly. She was now able to get around and fight without having someone to help her.
Ohtarwen, Elrohir, and Elladan were off in a clearing a little away from the camp practicing with their swords.
"Good block, Ohtarwen!" Elladan commented from the side. "You sure haven't lost your skill with the blade."
"It would take a lot more than a few weeks to make me forget how to fight, Elladan." She told him as she fought with Elrohir. She glanced at Elladan for a second and Elrohir used that moment of unawareness to disarm her. Ohtarwen glared at him while he smirked.
"Never take your eyes off your opponent." He instructed her. "If I was an Orc, you would be dead."
"Thanks a lot." She bent to pick up her sword and suddenly Elrohir smacked her backside with the flat of his sword.
"Ha-ha! You are dead yet again!" Elrohir gloated.
"You force me to take drastic measures." Ohtarwen began to parry with him fiercer than before. She was angry at him and she wasn't going to let him off so easily. She quickened her speed and movement. The heat from sun burning down on them showed through Ohtarwen's tight undershirt that she wore beneath her tunic and on Elrohir's bare back. She and Elrohir had taken off their tunics soon after they had arrived; both Elrohir and Elladan had stripped down to their waist. Being with her `brothers', Ohtarwen had done this many times and did not worry.
Halbarad had been wandering through the woods searching for the three friends when he heard the sound of steel against steel. "There they are." He thought to himself. He found the clearing and went and stood beside Elladan.
"How long have they been going like that?" Halbarad asked.
"For awhile now. Elrohir made her angry. Apparently he has forgotten Ohtarwen's temper." Elladan told him. The two fighting did not notice the new spectator who was enjoying watching the brawl between the two. Ohtarwen's hair flew about her as she dodged and blocked Elrohir's blade. Her heart beat faster and faster as the thrill of the fight took hold of her.
Halbarad noticed how she fought with a warrior spirit; her blocks were made with such accuracy and power it amazed him.
Suddenly, Elrohir was on the ground with Ohtarwen's blade at his throat.
"Say you are dead!" Ohtarwen told him.
"Come on-" He began but was stopped.
"Say it!" Ohtarwen pressed her blade closer to his skin.
Elrohir smiled. "I am dead." Ohtarwen smiled back and took her sword away from him. "But I still have one more than you!" he added and then ducked as Ohtarwen lunged at him.
"Good show!" Halbarad yelled to them. Ohtarwen and Elrohir both looked up surprised at the new voice. Halbarad walked over to them. "Well, Ohtarwen, you have shown me that you do indeed know how to fight."
"You doubted me?" she asked raising her left eye-brow.
"Yes, a little. I never really saw you fight with the Orcs, so what was I suppose to think?"
"I thought you, being a respectable man, would take my word for it." She told him dryly.
"Take the word of a woman?" Halbarad laughed. Ohtarwen glanced at Elrohir as if trying to keep her patience. She started to go towards Halbarad but was blocked by Elrohir's arm.
"I meant no offense, Ohtarwen. I merely meant--"
"Yah, I know what you mean." She finished and walked over to gather her things. Elrohir followed her.
"You know, he's got a lot of nerve!" Ohtarwen mumbled to the Elf as she grabbed her tunic and put it back on.
"Settle down, Ohtarwen. He didn't mean anything." Elrohir whispered to her.
"Didn--didn't mean anything! Ha!" Ohtarwen sheathed her sword and began to walk back to camp with Elrohir not far behind her.
"Ohtarwen, wait up." He yelled from within his tunic as he put it on. "Where are you going, anyway?" he asked when he caught up with her and noticed she wasn't going towards the camp.
"I'm cooling off like you told me to." She replied. Soon she arrived at a small lake and began the process of taking her gear off again.
"Turn around please." She told Elrohir.
"Huh? Oh!" His face grew crimson as he turned around. Ohtarwen continued to take her pants off. When Elrohir heard a splash, he turned back around. Ohtarwen was up to her shoulders in the water and looked very relaxed. Elrohir sat down on a rock nearby.
"I wish you had gone swimming when you were mad with me, it would have solved a lot." Elrohir mumbled.
Ohtarwen's laughter rang through the air as she swam. "Are you saying I got you into trouble a lot?" she laughed.
"That's exactly what I'm saying."
"Oh good!" Ohtarwen smirked. "At least I'm capable of getting someone in trouble." She said the last bit sarcastically.
"That I do believe." Halbarad remarked walking up. "It is time to get back to camp." Halbarad strode off towards the camp leaving Ohtarwen fuming in the water.
Later that night, Ohtarwen lay awake on her back looking up into the sky. The dark blanket was spotted with twinkling stars and blotched with small spots of fog. Ohtarwen pulled the blanket up to chin and sighed.
"What are you thinking about?" Hyanar whispered quietly next to her. Ohtarwen jumped and looked at Hyanar.
"I didn't know you were awake." She spoke softly with a smile. Her eyes turned back to the stars. "I was just thinking about some things that are, shall we say, haunting my mind."
Hyanar's brow furrowed. "Like what?"
"Oh, things that were, things that are, and things that have not yet come to pass." She quoted Galadriel's words. She saw Hyanar's confused look and laughed softly. "About things that I must do and fulfill for my own reasons."
"Ah, I see. You're goals and hopes, eh?" Hyanar guessed.
Ohtarwen nodded and yawned. "Yes, but right now I must stop, for sleep is quickly making itself known to me." She turned onto her side and closed her eyes.