25. Fairytales and Felines
Legolas dropped the necklace as if it burned. Shock and horror raced across his fair face, as he shoved the big cat off his lap. He scrambled to his feet with a clumsiness unheard of in Elves. Shaking his head in denial, Legolas kept trying to get his thoughts under better control. The facts were staring him in the face, but the elf wanted it all to be a horrific nightmare. His mind raced over all the time he had spent with the ranger, and the evidence crashed into him like an out of control, hurricane force wind.
The fact she could steal his bow and remain unseen in a valley full of Elves, the quicksilver way she could twist and turn her body in combat, the way she healed herself and rejoined the Fellowship in only twelve hours. Of course, then there was the first time he had seen this particular white Feline! The great cat had stopped Haldir from hurting Gimli and gave the bow to the Dwarf; probably to make the March warden mad. The way the cat had allowed him to touch its soft fur and how the Feline had returned to the forest when the sentinel had scolded it. Fire had returned only moments after the cat left, but no one in the company had realized the significance of her sudden arrival and the cat's disappearance. No one understood then, but the elf did now.
The white cat stood up slowly. It gazed up at Legolas with wide gold eyes filled with emotions that swam past in a jumbled blur. Pain, sorrow, resignation, anger, grief and then utter defeat. The cat watched the elf with an eerie intelligence that took in not only the looks running across the elf's fair face, but the screaming of body language, the smell of fear, and the deep waves of horror, that radiated from the elf, and rolled through the cat's churning guts.
Finally, the cat could not bare to see the emotions of the elf another moment. The cat turned its furry head away, as tears slid down satiny fur and onto the ground between its paws. Shuddering in the agony of heart felt grief, the cat was covered in a bright, blazing blue flame and shimmered back into ranger form.
Legolas watched stunned as the great white Feline burst into blue flames and turned into the more familiar form of Fire. He was flabbergasted, to say the very least. He had never seen anyone change shapes before, and it was fascinating and shocking, As the flames died down around the crouched form of the ranger, Legolas noticed two things:
She was still wearing his necklace.
She was completely naked, except for the necklace.
Legolas warred with himself as he stared at the now naked elleth still curled on the ground. His first instinct was to back away in horror and pretend that the elleth he had come to think of as his mate had not just been one of the evil Cat People. His second ingrained instinct was to offer her his tunic to cover herself with. After a brief hesitation, Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood stripped off his tunic and slowly approached the shy elleth that had suddenly taken the wild ranger's place.
A blush stained Fire's skin as she tried desperately to come to grips with the fact that she had not only revealed her greatest secret to the woodland Prince, but that she was wearing nothing but his necklace. A paralyzing shyness gripped the ranger as she contemplated at lightning speed the choices she had. She could run and get her clothes. She could just try to change form again and then leave Lothlorien until the Fellowship moved on or she could face the Prince with all the dignity and courage she could muster. The ranger had never ran away from cowardice and she was not about to start now. Taking a deep breath, Fire gathered her courage, tilted her chin up and came face to face with Legolas.
Legolas held out his tunic towards her. Hesitantly reaching for the tunic, Fire quickly looked into the elf's concerned blue eyes, before taking the offered tunic and swiftly dragging it over her head. The two crouched side by side, both feeling awkward and unsure of the other's reaction to the embarrassing and shocking situation they found themselves in. The silence dragged on for a good ten minutes, while they stole small glances at each other. Finally, Legolas could not keep silent. Inhaling deeply, he gathered his thoughts and started to ask the silent ranger a question about what happened and why. What came out of his mouth was not the question he had meant to ask, but "Your wearing my necklace.", in a very soft voice barely above a whisper.
Fire looked up curiously. Of all things she had expected to hear, that was definitely not it. Accusations. Scorn. Disgust. Fear. Revulsion. Hatred. All these and more she was sure would come from the elf before her. The gentle tone and soft words was not only unexpected, but it made it hard to figure out what to reply. In a voice so low, that if Legolas had not been an elf, her reply would not have been heard at all. "Aye. If you wish it back I will understand completely. If you wish me to leave Lothlorien I will.", she whispered brokenly. Only once before had she been seen thus, and it had ended in heartbreak and horror.
Legolas saw the movement she made to take off the necklace, and grasped the ranger's hands in his. "Nay, little one, the gift is yours and will always be yours; if you want it. I am sorry I reacted so badly to your change. No matter your form, you will still hold my heart forever. Will you ever be able to forgive me for my shameful behavior?", the elf said sadly. Fire looked up into the stunning blue eyes and smiled shyly. Taking a deep breath, the ranger gathered her courage and gently kissed the elf. The unexpected contact of her lips made him gasp, then lean into the unlooked for gift.
Sparks flew around them, making them jump apart. They stared wide eyed at each other, before Fire reached up to touch the now HOT necklace. She put a trembling hand over it, and watched in fascination as the stones that made up the two heart pieces became a single solid stone, and the writing flared golden in contrast. The stone was now the blue – green of a turquoise, and was melded together into one heart. Fire was slightly fearful, but Legolas was smiling so broadly, that Fire's fear melted away to nothing. "What happened Legolas? What magic transformed the stones? Was it Supposed to do that?", the ranger inquired, curious now the fear had left her.
Legolas reached out and covered the ranger's hand that still held the necklace. A vibrant orange glow started at their joined hands and traveled slowly up their arms, until the elf and ranger were completely enfolded in the glow. The two holding the necklace did not see the glow. Legolas was the first to speak. His voice held a mixture of awe and joy, "I was told me that the two stones of the heart were special. They are known as soul stones and are very rare. The stones have been infused with a very old form of Elven magic. I had hoped it would please you." Fire smiled into the elf's dancing blue eyes. "Aye Legolas, it pleases me more then words can say. I thank you for this most wondrous of gifts. I will treasure it always!", she said breathlessly as she leaned into the overjoyed elf's embrace, "Is the picnic still available? If so, I would be pleased to accompany you this day." With a courtly bow, the Prince of Mirkwood escorted Fire, Princess of Anorak to the picnic blanket with a racing, hopeful heart.
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.