29. Forks can be Dangerous
One would think, that an eating utensil of civilized Elf and Man could be safely left in the hands of a lady of nobility. This blunt object should not be able to render harm to anything, save the required edibles in front of the user. Unfortunately, for the victim of such horrendous violation of proper manners, a fork in the hands of a ranger can be dangerous.
Fire went white, then red, then very, very quiet. To have her name and lineage tossed out like a salad at a buffet for all to know, fueled a deep abiding need to kill. That the Elf Witch thought her reaction was humorous only made the ranger more peeved. Haldir was trying hard to control himself; Fire would give him that much, but the bubbling laughter just below the surf of his blue grey eyes still got on her nerves. The Fellowship, save for Legolas and Aragorn, looked shocked.
Legolas looked accusingly at Fire. The fact she told him earlier did not seem to make Galadriel's announcement easier to take. The elf had thought Fire had confided in him, because she was finally trusting him. It was now painfully obvious to the elf, that she knew Galadriel was going to tell everyone so there really was no secret. That hurt him deeply and made him glare harder at the ranger.
Aragorn was not surprised at the announcement, but then the Lady Galadriel had confided in him awhile ago. He was, however, extremely concerned with the color Legolas was turning. Truthfully, Aragorn; while having the added benefit of being raised by elves, had always believed that elves could not explode. At the moment, he was not sure if he had really been correct, or elves were better at hiding instantaneous combustion from him. His best friend stared holes in both Fire and Haldir with blazing dark blue eyes and a face that was getting redder every moment. Aragorn wondered if he actually wanted to distract his friend from his murderous bent or abdicated the throne of Gondor and become a wandering minstrel in a far, far, far distant land. The scary gleam in indigo eyes, made Aragorn think composing songs or standing in Mordor would be a healthier past-time.
Fire was trying to figure out what had gone wrong. She had been polite to the March warden and Galadriel. Had finally let herself be closer to Legolas, both emotionally and literally. Opened up to the Dwarf and the two chattering chipmunks in Hobbit form; been friendly to the man, Boromir and the other two quieter hobbits. Had not hurt or maimed anyone, that she could recall this last week. Put on the hideously uncomfortable, and exceedingly breezy, dress Galadriel had forced her into. ERU! She was even wearing that dratted crown circlet thing on her head. What did she get for being nicer?? An elf that glared at her because she was forced into a dinner date, a March warden that took every opportunity to kiss her and a crazy Elf Witch that would not stay in her own mind! Maybe she should just escape and move to Moria; place was a bit dark, neighbors a bit on the mean side, but definitely NO ELVES!!! The thought cheered her for a moment, then the door to the Hall opened and Fire barely stopped herself from banging her head repeatedly on the table. How much more could one ranger be made to take??
In retrospect, Fire could not fully pinpoint the exact time all went to Mordor in a hand-basket. The resulting turmoil made sure that not a single elf in Lothlorien would ever forget Gandalf's spawn and her strange entourage of psycho elf men. Fire was sure she would never be re-invited to the Golden Woods for ANY reason, thanks to the events of a simple dinner.
Auburn hair cascading down her back like a silken wave, golden eyes reflecting the candlelight caught everyone's attention. Briar stood in the doorway in a gold satin dress with long flowing sleeves and mithril thread adorning the hem and waistline. She hastily glanced around the table, before finding the last seat available at the Lady Galadriel's table; the seat right beside a glowering Legolas. 'Well this is going to be entertaining! The Mirkwood Prince is mad at both of them and I get the pleasure of his bad tempered company. Hmm, I think I will stir the pot a little and see who boils over first! Maybe I should invest in a bit of help from Fire, she sure looks to be annoyed with the whole situation. Oh yes, this is going to be an eventful dinner!!' Briar thought with wicked amusement, as she occupied the open seat by the glaring elf.
*Briar what are you up to? I can tell by your face, you are envisioning something better left alone! Is it not bad enough Legolas is angry with both Haldir and I? Please tell me you are not about to start a war!!*, Fire said mind to mind so only Briar could hear her.
*You have no sense of fun, my mirror! These two ellon are treating you like a scrap of meat in a pack of cur dogs; something that the winner keeps. Do you not wish to know what kind of reaction your dear Prince would have, should you allow your attention to be diverted to the March warden instead. I have gleaned your secret Ty! You are totally in love with the Prince of Mirkwood, but you do not have the experience to test how much he cares in return. You know where males are concerned, I am an expert!! Follow my lead, my mirror, and we will find out if he is worthy of your heart felt regard.*, Briar retorted back to Fire's mind laughingly. A subtle nod from a nervous Fire was the sentinel's answer; let the games begin!
Briar began to persistently engage Legolas in completely meaningless conversation. It was a strategy designed to keep him off balance and it was working beautifully. The poor elf was trying desperately to be civil to the chattering elleth at his side and watch the antics of the March warden with Fire across and down the table from his position. The way his flaming indigo eyes narrowed and jaw clenched every time Fire twitched, in a seemingly positive way, gave Briar a loud and clear signal as to the Prince's true feelings. Briar was thrilled! Legolas was showing all the signs of a jealous mate and Fire was not doing to much better, as she frowned every time Briar moved closer to Legolas.
The two men, the dwarf and the Lady of the Golden Woods observed the four in utter amazement. The vibes rolling off them would have given a well armed Orc troop pause. The animosity was quite evident to all assembled and was a delightful source of intense amusement and great curiosity. Lord Celeborn looked a tad peeved at their behavior, but was secretly cheering the contestants on. His money was on Fire and Legolas.
*Ok Fire, I want you to keep Haldir's attention on you no matter how you do it! I have a plan.*, Briar's snicker flitted through Fire's mind. Grasping a large succulent strawberry, Briar turned to a very distracted Prince of Mirkwood. "My lord have you tried one of these yet? They are very, very ripe and juicy. Please, have a taste of mine, I promise you will enjoy the taste." She said in a sultry voice. Legolas blinked once, twice, then a third time at the suggestive tone. "Umm Thank you, but I am quite satisfied with what I have on my plate already.", Legolas hedged a bit worriedly. The female sentinel had become increasingly aggressive over the course of dinner. Her innuendos were quite obvious and the flirtatious looks were making him squirm in discomfort. He wished to keep a protective eye on Fire, but this annoying elleth next to him refused to leave him be.
Haldir jumped. This was the eighth time that Fire had done this to him. The first time it had happened, was when his bookish sentinel had turned into a seductive elleth before his eyes. This was not right! Briar was sweet and mostly reclusive, save for when on duty. Haldir had never seen Briar act this way, and he was not sure if he liked it or not. That her behavior was directed towards the Elven Prince, grated on his nerves for some strange reason. Haldir figured it must have something to do with her being under his command and as such was his to protect. The Prince was being overly rude to her and Haldir was not pleased that he was treating in such a manner. He jumped AGAIN!
Turning back to the vicious creature sitting next to him, Haldir scowled. "Will you desist in you actions, young one! A fork is to be used as a utensil for edible fare, but it is never to be used as a torture device by an irate dining companion. Will you please explain why you insist on rendering the flesh of my leg full of holes?", the March warden snarled dangerously.
Trying to choke back laughter, Briar watched Haldir turn on Fire with a menacing glare. Fire smiled sweetly as she peered up innocently. "Haldir you were ignoring me and staring at the elleth next to Legolas. I only thought to bring your attention back to me, as I am the one you escorted here. If you had wanted to bring the other one, you should not have asked me to come to dinner with you tonight. I am most displeased with your wayward gaze. I had no idea your affections were already engaged!" Fire said in a huffy, hurt sounding voice that brought Legolas' protective demeanor to the foreground. It also prompted Briar to latch onto Legolas' arm, just to stir things up between the two male elves. It worked like a charm, but just not the way she expected.
Legolas shook off Briar with a nasty glare from blazing blue eyes. Fire snarled low in her throat as she grabbed her fork and embedded it into the table right next to Haldir's hand; which were only there because he had surged to his feet in protest of Legolas' actions toward Briar. The tension was thick enough to walk on! Galadriel and Aragorn feared they would have to intervene, though they were loath to get involved.
All of a sudden, a weird feeling of mirth traveled across Legolas' mind. It was so intense that he began to snicker, then chortle louder, then finally leaning back in his seat howling with laughter. WHY? Legolas had no idea!! He was angry beyond rational thought! The March warden had hurt his mate and the need to harm the other male spread through him like wildfire, but he could not stop laughing. The uncontrollable laughter made him even more irate then before, yet he could not stop himself from expressing his mirth. Something was wrong! It was as if someone had taken over his body, and stole his ability to act according to his feelings; which at the moment had gone to searing, undiluted fury. Still the laughter came out, leaving tear tracks down his handsome face.
Fire was livid! The urge to maim, and kill was running so high, she was glad her only weapon at hand was the fork clenched in her white knuckled fist. She had watched the antics of Briar and Legolas', but was having trouble keeping a straight face as mirth threatened to bubble over and ruin whatever plan Briar was working on. As Fire answered Haldir's question concerning her use of a fork, to stab his leg to regain his attention, she could feel Briar's mirroring of her mirthful feelings. One moment the ranger was fighting laughter, the next a blinding, feral rage blew through her system. On instinct alone, Fire gripped her fork tighter and rammed it into the wood of the table; embedding it so hard it was left quivering after impact. Fire could not seem to control this fury that swept through her. It was as if another person had taken over her body and was directing her actions to whatever whim took his fancy. The ranger could still feel her mirth still strong under the blinding anger. Fire was starting to panic, when the rage left as swiftly as it came.
In the lull that came after their weird bout of emotional upheaval, the doors to the Hall once again opened. Into the Hall strode a blond Elven warrior dressed in the clothes of Mirkwood. He approached the table of the Lord and Lady, but stopped dead in surprise as he saw Fire. A thoroughly pleased smile lit his features and he bowed low before the ranger.
At Fire's perplexed expression, the new arrival gushed in happiness, "My Lady, I apologize for my stare, but your beauty has chased away all rational thought. May I be so bold as to inquire of your name?" Fire peered at the Mirkwood elf and haltingly replied, "My name is Tygera." The new elf's smile grew broader and he bowed again even deeper, "My soul sings with joy that I am the first of our people to meet Prince Legolas' betrothed. Princess Tygera I must say, it is with profound honor and utmost pleasure that I may finally meet the elleth that has completely captured our dear Prince's heart."
The ranger goggled at the crazy male from Mirkwood for a few heartbeats, before she blurted out, "What in the Hell are you talking about?? Have you completely lost touch with reality?? Why in the name of Mordor would you think such a thing??" Fire's voice was rising higher and squeakier with each word.
The Mirkwood elf messenger blushed in embarrassment, though a twinkle of happiness still remained in his light blue eyes. "I was inexcusably in err, My Princess! I did not realize, that you had not yet announced to anyone that you have accepted His Royal Highness' proposal. My Princess, it would be obvious to all in Mirkwood that you are Prince Legolas' betrothed, as you wear his mother's necklace. Beyond that, the stones have changed from two pieces into one. Only when a pledge of love and betrothal is made can the Soul Stones merge, and it is said the necklace can only be removed the day after the binding rites."
Fire whirled around to face a decidedly guilty looking Legolas. "You son of an Orc, you knew this all along, but did not seem fit to tell me. Is what he says true?? Are we betrothed?!?" At the hesitant nod from Legolas, Princess Tygera of Anorak and, now, Mirkwood, went pale and slid towards the floor.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.