“Just keep your head straight as if nothing has happened” whispered Elladan as they entered Rivendell. Sure enough their bedraggled appearances had drawn quite a bit of attention.
‘It’s as if I’ve got a TV on my head, I wonder if Buffy’s on.’ thought Tae silently, mocking the inquisitive nature of the elves of Rivendell
The two reached the stables and rubbed down their steeds, putting out fresh hay and water for them even though Onyx and Galad had already scoffed themselves silly on their little trip. Tae and Elladan left the horses and headed towards the house.
“Well my lady I am afraid this is where we must part” said Elladan or ‘Dan’ as she had taken to calling him.
Tae tried in vain to keep up the formal speech but started laughing when Elladan regally took her hand in his and kissed it.
“Potatoes* friend elf” she said in the most serious voice she could muster. Elladan looked confused at her strange vegetable orientated remark but just shrugged it off as something he’d have to ask about later when he saw his father heading this way. Luckily, Elrond hadn’t spied his son yet, Elladan hadn’t forgotten that his Ada still wanted to speak to him about him kissing Tae’s hand the night before or something
Elladan quickly made his exit and left Tae standing there wondering what was wrong, she turned around and came face to face with the Lord of Imladris
“We need to talk Tae” he said simply and turned on his heel walking back the way he had came
Puzzled Tae followed Elrond until they came to his study, he didn’t say a word to her until he had closed the door and sat down behind his desk and she had sat down on a wooden chair in front.
“I’ll keep this brief Tae. One of the reasons you were brought here was to aid us in defeating an evil that threatens this world, when the time comes I want you to be able to protect yourself. You have a purpose here that has not yet been revealed to me but I am sure that you have an important role to play. Initially myself and Lady Galadriel thought that we had at least a year to let you settle in and for you to train in the ways of the land, unfortunately it has come to my attention that we have about half that time. Orcs already threaten our once safe borders and there have been several sightings or their hybrid cousins the Uruk-hai”
“What I’m trying to say is that we need to start sword fighting, archery and magic training. For the latter you will have to travel to Lorien for there are none here skilled in that art, I think it best that you travel down with the elves who will return there after the gathering. You will be there for a maximum of three weeks and I will hopefully send one of the patrol units down to bring you home. As for learning the sword and bow you shall be fine learning it here once you get back. I am sorry that all this is a hard burden to bear, especially on your first full day but I am certain that all will click into place” Elrond finished speaking and a sympathetic look came into his eyes while he waited for Tae to respond.
As you would expect Tae was stunned, a million different thoughts where shooting around her mind like blue arsed flies on a dung heap.
“What could I possibly know or do that nobody on this world can, for god’s sake Elrond I’m actually not that special. I don’t know what shire weed you’ve been messing around with lately but it certainly aint Old Toby. I’m not even fit, I’m ready to drop after that ride and water battle with Elladan and now you’re telling me that I’m going to learn all these fighting skills and start pulling rabbits out of hats? I’m no warrior Elrond and I’m certainly no magician” Tae finished her tirade and looked up to see Elrond’s impassive features looking straight back at her.
“Elves don’t smoke”
Tae noticed the faintest hint of a smirk on his face and although she was annoyed with his news she couldn’t help but laugh at his flat remark.
“Well you are certainly doing some illegal substances to think I can bring any good to this land” she said smiling again.
“Tae, you must not think that way, you have been brought here for a reason and I intend for you to fulfil it, even the smallest person can change the fates of men”
Tae was convinced he’d just quoted that last sentence from the movie, or was it the book,she wasn’t totally sure. She wasn’t even sure what day it was anymore, all she did know that she had somehow been deposited in Middle Earth, learnt that her mother was an elf and that she was a half elf and suddenly she was going to start training, for what, she did not know. It was all getting a bit surreal to her, things were happening too fast, hadn’t she only just arrived yesterday?
The world was spinning around her head and she could see two Elrond’s looking at her quizzically. The flies in her mind had suddenly ganged up on her and were interfering with her vision.
‘So this is what the twins will look like when they’re older’ she thought abstractedly as the buzzing of the ‘flies’ in her head increased tenfold and she hit the floor with a thud.
Elrond rushed around the desk just as she fell off the chair, he had noticed Tae’s faraway glazed expression and stood up ready. When he reached her she was lying in a foetal-like position, eyes closed and was shuddering every so often.
“GLOR! GET IN HERE!”
Seconds later Glorfindel and Elrond were rushing off to the infirmary with Tae in Glor’s arms, she was still out cold and Elrond was worried his news was the cause of her blackout. Once they arrived at the healing rooms Glor’ lay her gently onto one of the beds as the Lord of Imladris scoured the medicine shelves for the necessary tools he would need to wake her. His hands closed around one of several small vials of various coloured liquids; he uncorked the vessel and held it under Tae’s nose.
The blackness which cloaked Tae seemed evil and menacing, she could see or hear nought except a loud buzzing in her ears, she tried to move but her hands and feet were bound with writhing rope-like structures which snaked all over her limbs. Tae didn’t know how long it was before the fetid stench of her dark surroundings were abruptly replaced with a scent just as strong, which she soon recognised.
Without warning her bonds were cut and the blackness that choked her body was blown away like it was a wisp of smoke, daringly she opened her eyes and was instantly assaulted by a searing bright light. Once her eyes became accustomed to the brightness of her new surroundings she looked around, Tae lay on her back in a bed which surrounded on three sides by a thick hanging fabric, between the bed and the curtains were sat two men, one with black and one with blond hair. They appeared to be arguing about something but Tae could not make out their harsh words to one another.
Many moments passed before Tae recognized the two ‘men’, then she reluctantly remembered who and where she was. A tickling sensation in the back of her throat was so irritating that she then began to cough so violently that her visitors at last noticed she was awake.
“You gave us quite a scare there Tae, how are you feeling?” asked Glor passing her a tissue.
Tae accepted the tissue gratefully as she didn’t want her hands to be full of whatever scum she was coughing up.
“–better thanks–” was all she managed to say before another session of coughs wracked her energy drained body.
“Here, drink this; it’ll soothe your throat”
Tae took a small wooden cup from Elrond and sniffed it. It didn’t smell like feline urine so between coughs she gulped it down. Almost immediately the coughing and retching subsided and she was able to breathe normally again.
“You must rest now child, regain your strength. We will come back again later but if you need anything just call; you are in the house of healing and someone will be by your side right away”
With that Elrond kissed her brow an went to walk away when he saw her discarded tissue on the floor next to her bed, he bent and picked it up meaning to dispose of it on the way out.
Glorfindel made his goodbyes and the two left Tae to sleep. As they neared the door leading out of the complex Elrond noticed a bin and was about to throw Tae’s used tissue into it when he noticed for the first time that spots of bright red blood were upon it. Glorfindel noticed the blood too.
“She will have irritated her throat coughing like that my friend, that’ll be its source. She’ll be fine, she’s just been a bit overwhelmed lately, that’ll be why she fainted” he assured his long time friend
Elrond looked up into his taller friends eyes with unhidden worry spread across his own features.
“I hope to Eru that you are right Glor”
Elladan bounded along the corridor towards Tae’s rooms with a veritable spring in his step, he’d just arranged for the most beautiful dress upon Middle Earth be sent o Tae’s quarters for the gathering in four days time. He was off to tell her the good news. He’d not even been looking for a dress either, he was in the seamstress’s quarters looking for Ro’ who has a romantic attachment with one of the workers there when he’d spotted the most elegant crimson dress.
Elladan knew instantly that it would suit Tae perfectly, trouble was, he couldn’t find Tae to tell her the good news. He had searched the gardens and had knocked at her room and was now off to knock again. Soon enough Dan’ met saw his father walking towards his chambers looking stressed and annoyed so he walked off to talk to him.
“Ada, what is wrong, you look like you’ve just gone ten rounds with one of Thranduils giant spiders” he said trying to cheer his father up
Elrond looked his eldest up and down, noting the creased and wrinkled clothes and the leaves and twigs that where tangled in his hair. Elladan had gone straight to find Ro’ after his parting with Tae after their little outing. His father was not amused, he’d already heard the rumours that his son and Tae had arrived back from their mornings ride looking a state; he tried hard not to let his imagination run away from him.
“Coming from you” he spat
“You take a lady out on a trip and come back looking for all the world to see like you’ve been rolling around in a bush together! A son of mine, an elf, takes a lady out who is feeling very emotionally unstable at the moment and could easily be taken advantage of—and comes back looking like that —if you have touched her I will kill you Elladan!” he exploded. His mounting anger fed off his worry over Tae’s condition, his lack of sleep and his sons infuriating behaviour
Elladan was taken aback to say the least at his fathers outburst, how could he even think that he would take advantage of Tae, was he mad? Elladan had never seen his father so angry but he wasn’t about to let him accuse him of such foul deeds.
“I did nothing of the sort!” he screamed
Elrond was startled by his sons cry which made him consider what he’d said. Deep down he knew his son wouldn’t do anything to harm anyone, not least take advantage of someone who was weakened in some way. He wouldn’t even cheat a blind man in a game of chess**. He sighed and let all his anger dissipate, putting his head in his hands.
His son was confused, he thought only female elves had mood swings, here his father had gone from cold hard fury to complete resignation. He walked up to his Ada and placed a slender hand on his shoulder.
“Father, what is wrong. You know I wouldn’t hurt Tae. In the few hours that I’ve spent with her it has felt like I have known her for millennia. We had a water fight in the stream, tis all I swear it”
“–I know my son,forgive me.I have been troubled of late” mumbled Elrond from his hands which covered his face. He sat up to look at his son and placed his own hand over the protective one that rested on his shoulder.
Elladan suddenly got he feeling that his father was hiding something from him.
“Where is Tae?” he asked flatly
Elrond took a deep breath, he was not blind to the affection that radiated from his son for her and he knew that Elladan would be annoyed that he wasn’t informed of her fainting. The Lord of Imladris just wanted everything to go smoothly in his life for once; nobody dying or leaving him for the havens, nothing unexpected. After all the time that he had spent on this earth Elrond was tired of surprises; they usually ended badly for him. It was not that he hadn’t known joy from his loved ones and friends, just that he always seemed to be the one left to pick up the pieces when something bad happened.
Secretly he was world weary and a part of him yearned for the time when he would leave these shores, a time when someone else could pick up the pieces from his departure. Even though he knew Tae’s condition wasn’t that life threatening, he also knew that this would be but a taste of things to come. He would be saddened beyond words if anything ever befell Tae but he knew that if his sons relationship with her went any further than just friends that it would complicate matters. The elf wasn’t selfish enough to think of the fate of the world if anything happened to her, simply the loss that his son would feel which would be multiplied tenfold if they had been more than friends.
Elrond shook away the cloud of depression that threatened to engulf him and answered his son.
“She fainted not long after you two got back, me and Glor’ took her to the infirmary and after a while managed to revive her. She is resting there for now, she’s had a tumultuous two days as we can all but imagine the toll it has taken on her mentality and spirit.”
But he was talking to an empty room as Elladan had quietly left once he had leaned where she was. He wasn’t worried about Tae as he had enough sense to realise that his Ada was one of the greatest healers in the land and she was in good hands. He was ‘royally pissed’ as Tae would say, at what he’d accused him of. Knowing that his father was sorry and didn’t mean it helped greatly but Elladan still wasn’t in a good mood when he reached Tae.
*Potatoes as in ‘Later potato’ just a weird way I’ve taken to for saying goodbye ** I know chess probably wasn’t in ME but I had writers block and couldn’t finish the metaphor