32. Porcupine Wrestling
It is said, that the only way porcupines can make love is very carefully. If porcupines wrestle can they be careful? Is it their nature or is it a learned response? Does the appearance of pain truly force a porcupine to be gentler, or is it the way they let their mates know, they have to fight through the pain to find the softer underside? One has to wonder at the nature of porcupines.
Legolas had her by the leg. With a quick twist of his wrist, he tossed the ranger back under the water head first. His eye hurt, he had quite a few sets of teeth marks in different areas of his body, and the damn wildcat refused to give in. After the first surprising punch from the ranger, Legolas had begun the fight in earnest. Dunking her under, was the only acceptable method of keeping her from screaming curses, in more languages then he could count. At first Legolas tried to reason with her and when she started cussing, he had placed his hand over her mouth. That was the first place bitten!
After that he got serious!! The Elven Prince had tossed off his shirt and tunic so they were not weighing him down and made it harder for Fire to get a good hold on him. Of course that came with a price, he now had teeth marks on his arm, wrist, shoulder, waist and stomach. The claw marks, from her sharp nails, were a dull pain compared to the bite on his waist. There, Fire had drawn blood and had gotten deeper then any other place, as far as the elf could tell. Diving back out of the way, Legolas just missed the roundhouse punch the soggy ranger tried to land.
Aragorn and Gimli looked on in horrified fascination as the two tried to drown each other. Fire attacked and Legolas moved away or threw her off balance forcing her back underwater. Haldir had recounted the tale of what happened, just before the wild, wet wrestling match took place. They were unsure, if their friend would survive, if the ranger let go another volley of flames, but there really was nothing either could do about it at the moment. Neither felt the urge to interfere with the battling pair, nor could they think of anything that might put a stop to it from afar. They were brave not stupid!
Aragorn was amazed at the finely controlled fury of the match. He knew, though Gimli did not, that should Fire truly wish the elf dead or maimed, she could turn into cat form and Legolas would lose his throat in one powerful swipe of claws or teeth. The future king was grateful that she cared for Legolas enough not to do that to him.
Fire spit out another mouthful of water and circled the damn slippery elf. She had started out, by instinctively belting him in the eye. It had taken a few minutes, ok more then a few, to get most of her fury gone. The ranger was now just peeved! It was the principle of the thing, she would not give in. After she had drawn his blood, her anger had dissipated. She had made the point that she was not happy with him, and he could now make it up to her. Unfortunately, Legolas, the idiot elf, did not get the point and continued his dunking. Now, she would drown him just a tad for sweet revenge!
The sudden absurdity of their situation, made a bubble of laughter catch in her throat. Here she was, wrestling a wet and bedraggled Legolas in a waterfall pool, with a group of spectators no less, and naked to boot. Dignified this was not!! For some ungodly reason, Fire was finding the whole thing exceedingly funny. Maybe it was the mulish look on the water logged face of the elf, that broke the dam holding her emotions in check, but Fire found herself doubling over shaking with hilarity.
Legolas gazed at the sight of Fire howling, in laughter, with great trepidation. Was this a new ploy to throw him off guard? Frowning, the elf tried to figure out what to do, when a feeling of insane hilarity hit him. Instead of letting it overwhelm him, he let the feeling slide over and then through his own feelings, as a test of his theory. Sure enough, the feelings swirled around him, but did not take control of him. Delighted, Legolas looked to the hysterically laughing ranger and saw her soggy state. His lips twitched, as he fought the grin threatening to spread.
The elf knew he was already in trouble with Fire, but he could not help the mirth that rose at the sight of her. She had hair plastered to her face in weird spiky patterns, a few bits of moss stuck up from her hair at the crown and there was mud splattered all over her; to him she looked beautiful! When the ranger's shining green eyes met his mischievous blue ones, he could not hold the grin back and ended up sitting in the water as peals of twinkling laughter flowed over the glade mixed with the resumed laughter of the ranger. Elf and Kindred they might be on the outside, but inside they were pure porcupine!!
Celeborn watched the antics in the waterfall's pool with great delight. The two were well matched and determined. He hoped the outcome of this tussle would ease some of the tension brought on by the startling news of their accidental betrothal. Galadriel had told him of the glow that surrounded them and that only she and Aragorn could see it. It fascinated the Elven Lord, to no end, how attuned to the world around them, seen and unseen, his mate continually was. Wincing in sympathy, as Fire bit Legolas once again, Celeborn reached for his mate's hand and settled in for an amusing show.
Briar stormed into her talan in Fire's clothes. Marching into her bedroom, she threw the ranger's clothes in a pile, as she ripped them off and proceeded to dress in her own sentinel outfit. She knew what was coming! Haldir now had proof of who the offending drool monster was, and Briar could guarantee she would be spending weeks on the border; doing the most disgusting and menial tasks the March warden could find. Fire was going to pay for losing control like that and making her go to human form to use the canceling spell. Only once had Fire had to use it on Briar, but the sentinel had many chances to use it on Fire, when they first found their powers.
Actually, the fact Fire had lost control like that, worried the sentinel tremendously. How she had missed the signs of violent rage coming from Fire, Briar could not fathom. Even as she cast the canceling spell, Briar had only felt sadness and loneliness, from her mirror, but the only ways to activate the power of flame, was by Fire's will or uncontrollable rage. Briar decided to have a small talk with Galadriel as soon as she was able. Now that Haldir knew, there was no reason to hide who she was.
If this inability of Fire, to control her powers, stemmed from the betrothal bond, then it was very good fortune indeed, that the bonding was Elvish in form and not the Blood Rites of the Kindred. How much worse would it become, when Fire shared her own blood with the elf in traditional Kindred bonding? Doubtful that Legolas would need to shed his blood for the Kindred ritual and only a drop or two, given freely to her mate, would be needed from Fire.
If more then two drops were given, Briar knew the Blood Rites escalated the bond, and the binding ceremony would have to be done much quicker then the normal year. Only one such binding, that Briar knew of, had been done before the required year, and that was her own parents. Briar had been told, that it had been the only way they could get permission to be together and because of the amount of blood given, they were bound in two months. Once the Blood Rites were performed, the couple would be doomed to death, if they did not complete the binding ceremony in time. Sighing, Briar pushed the depressing thoughts of her dead parents away and finished packing her gear.
Haldir recounted the happenings, that led up to the strange spectacle in the waterfall's pool, to His Lord and Lady, as well as, Gimli and Aragorn. The two in the pond were fighting it out and Legolas was getting the wrong end of Fire's teeth, but that was not the Feline on his mind, as he turned back towards the talans. The fact that the drooling, annoying, flea ridden, pushy Feline had instantaneously turned into one of his most trusted wardens, threw the March warden off balance; not a place Haldir was comfortable with.
'That evil, down right bothersome cat was not supposed to be her!! She was also not being herself at dinner either! What did she think she was doing flirting, and to do that so outrageously with a newly betrothed elf? That was unacceptable! Briar should have known better then to do that and so blatantly. Where is the sweet tempered she elf whose intelligent company I have enjoyed on the long, boring border watches? Why did I not know one of my sentinels was hiding such a secret? I should have suspected something, from my own partner at least. Damn, where did she go now?", Haldir mentally berated himself as he silently raged at Briar as well. The pounding on Briar's talan door for the third time, was met by silence yet again!! Haldir was not amused! Turning on his heels, the March warden of Lothlorien stomped, as much as an elf could, towards the stairs and up to his own talan.
Flinging open his talan's door forcefully, Haldir was met by a gruesome sight. In the middle of his nice, clean table, lay a bleeding rabbit carcass with a note propped up next to it; with his name in scrawling lady-like script. Snatching the carcass off the table and tossing it into the kitchen sink, where it should have been, Haldir grabbed something to clean the bloody table with and muttering, cleaned up the table before opening the note.
Ripping the parchment open, his jaw dropped in surprise. The note was from Briar and that she had the unbelievable nerve to break into his talan was bad enough, but the words of the note made his blood boil!
My dearest March warden,
I know you like rabbit for dinner!
Maybe one day I will actually cook it for YOU instead.
I know your temper, well enough,
that I am on my way to the borders now.
See you when you get here, partner.
Enjoy the feast!
You will be mine, soon, March warden!
'That little witch was going to be doing pots and pans until Sauron shows up in Lothlorien wearing a pink, frilly dress!!', Haldir growled menacingly, as he went into the kitchen to start cooking the rabbit.
Frowning for a second, a stray and positively annoying thought ran through his mind. 'What exactly did she mean "maybe one day I will cook it" and "soon you will be mine"? Why do those thoughts worry me?' Trying to shake off the uncomfortable feeling of foreboding, the March warden continued his rabbit preparations.
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.