King Stag: 4. Supple Confusions

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4. Supple Confusions

Chapter Four: Supple Confusions


Thranduil woke the next morning, roused not by twittering birdsong nor the first glimmerings of daylight, for the sun was well up in the sky when finally he opened his eyes, but by the insistent pressure in his bladder.

He raised his head from between Lalaithiel's breasts, where he had lain pillowed in sleep, and gave it a shake to dispel the dull ache behind his eyes. "Nuath, what a night!" he muttered. "Did I dream all of that?"

He glanced quickly down at his arms and then at his chest, checking. That part had been no dream, for the strange runes were plainly to be seen there, pricked into his flesh. He put a hand to his cheek and hissed with pain to feel a cut, sore, but already sealing over. Unless he had accidentally walked into a tree branch last night in his mushroom rapture, running with the deer had been no dream either.

Gently, Thranduil untangled himself from his wife's legs and sat back on his heels. His vividly recalled night with Lalaithiel had obviously been quite real. She lay sprawled in sleep, dark hair tousled. Her arms and breast bore tiny smears of his blood from where his marks had pulled open during their lovemaking. Blood marked her face and forehead, either his or that of the stag. Silvery trails of his seed lay drying on her parted thighs. She looked such a pretty mess that almost was he tempted to wake her and make her a gift of the natural consequence of hours of sleep on a full bladder.

After short deliberation, he decided better of it. Let her rest, he thought tenderly, for he had quite worn her out. When she woke, they would bathe together in the pool, and then he planned to carry her back into the bower and muss her thoroughly again. There would be time for that and much more in the years to come; all the time in the world.

Thranduil was still smiling as he uncurled himself from beneath the lean-to of pine boughs and stood.

"A-danat danaî chîni-an, binj ard-lo . . ."

Thranduil whirled and froze.

"Good morning, son," said Tûron amiably. He stood across the clearing at the edge of the pool, interrupted in the singing of his benediction.

Thranduil staunchly resisted the urge to drop his hands to his groin. He would be cursed if he'd let this Avor turn him into a shamefaced elf-child rushing to cover himself, father-in-law or not. "Good morning, Hîr Adar," he replied with a gracious nod of his head. "Will you give me leave for a moment?"

Tûron gave an airy wave of his hand. "Of course. See to yourself. I will carry on as before."

Nevertheless, as he turned to give his water to a nearby tree, Thranduil could feel his ear tips burning. Greeting another man, especially one's father-in-law, while sporting a morning erection tried even the normally unflappable dignity of a prince.

"A-danat danaî chîni-an, binj ard-lo, bâhj adni-loi gill. . ."

Thranduil shifted his feet in annoyance. Tûron had a lovely singing voice, and the tune, which he recognized from last night, was sweet, but the distraction made it hard for him to get started. It took the mental image of the great falls at the end of the long lake to the north, which Thranduil had seen on a hunting trip some seven hundred years ago, to at last give him release. Sighing at the thought of all the good mushroom essence gone to waste, he gave himself three shakes and turned to face his father-in-law.

"Better?"

Thranduil jumped to discover that Tûron had crept up behind him unheard. He stood quite close, regarding him with a smile.

"Yes, much better, thank you."

"I have brought you your shirt, Thara-ndhul," Tûron said, holding out the garment.

"Thank you, Hîr Adar," Thranduil said, accepting it. Rather than put it on, for it would scarce preserve his modesty, he decided to brazen it out and show his father-in-law just how much majesty he could muster when put to the test. He draped the shirt over his forearm and stood proudly naked. "Your knife is in the bower with my trousers. I will retrieve it."

Tûron shook his head. "It's yours now. And so is she. Take care of them both, for you do not yet realize, son, what a precious gift I have just given you."

"Oh, I think I do," Thranduil said quietly. "I do not need these marks to remind me of my promise. I said I would die for her, and for her folk if need be, and to that I hold."

"It is easy enough to die," Tûron said. "I ask you again, do you have the courage to live for us all instead?"

Thranduil nodded. "As long as the last one of you remains in these woods, you will have a protector in me. Strength; loyalty," he said, tapping his arms for emphasis. "This is my bond. Does it suffice?"

Tûron sighed, and it seemed to Thranduil that a look of pain flared in his light grey eyes. "Oh, son, mind what you say, for out of your own mouth do you call your fate! Remember your brave words in the years to come, for now the gift is sweet, but there will come a time when it grows bitter and the burden becomes heavy indeed. May your strength avail you then."

Thranduil swallowed and knitted his brow. He had chased a stag into a clearing and lost his heart to a girl. A simply thing, a light thing, no more. And now his father-in-law spoke of dark portents.

The darkness seemed to lift from Tûron, then, and he laughed. "But that will not be for many years yet, and for now life is good. There is nothing sweeter than the first days with the wife of your youth. Go to her now, Thara-ndhul. Enjoy your honey-time!"

With that, he spun away. "Na ai-nat all-mâr? Dhin a njar-di-lew . . . ." And so singing Tûron went away into the trees.

Thranduil stood staring after him, alone with the pounding of his heart. As Tûron turned his head, Thranduil had spied a freshly healing cut on the side of his neck, a shallow nick far from the vulnerable jugular . . .

* * * * * * *

To be continued . . .

Translations:
"A-danat danaî chîni-an, binj ard-lo. . ." : "Give to these children, new from the world . . ."
"bâhj adni-loi gill.": "Rest far away from Men."
"Na ai-nat all-mâr? Dhin a njar-di-lew . . ." : "Is anything more good? Now tell us this . . ."

Author's Note:
The words of Tûron's spell have been translated into Avarin Elvish for me by the multi-talented and generous Darth Fingon. They are from WB Yeats' poem, A Faery Song, which is sung by the Fair Folk over a bridal couple. It runs thus:

We who are old, old and gay,
O so old!
Thousands of years, thousands of years,
If all were told:

Give to these children, new from the world,
Silence and love;
And the long dew-dropping hours of the night,
And the stars above:

Give to these children, new from the world,
Rest far from men.
Is anything better, anything better?
Tell us it then:

Us who are old, old and gay,
O so old!
Thousands of years, thousands of years,
If all were told.

(1891)


Needless to say, thank you Darth Fingon!


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.

Story Information

Author: Jael

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: Akallabêth/Last Alliance

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 12/29/07

Original Post: 07/07/07

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Comments

WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

King Stag

oshun - 02 Jan 08 - 12:25 PM

Ch. 4: Supple Confusions

So glad to see this story reviewed and posted. You are so productive, attentive to detail, and consistent that it could annoy lesser mortals like me, if your stories and characertization were not so absolutely engaging and charming. I love Thranduil in this story, adore your playing with cultural anthropology to make his world more detailed and intriguing. I love your use of Darth Fingon's skill in Elvish languages to add to the ambience. And, once again, you've pimped off my favorite poet, W.B. Yeats. What's not to love? Congrats on a great story.

King Stag

ecthelion510 - 04 Jan 08 - 8:02 AM

Ch. 4: Supple Confusions

Oh, my! This is just wonderful!  Must read on!

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