939: To Love Another Soul – Chapter ThirteenPosted: January 18, 2015
Title: To Love Another Soul
Author: Writer of Eryn Lasgalen
Media: Books / Movies
Topic: Lord of the Rings
Genre: Romance / Adventure
URL: Chapter 13
Critiqued by KittyNoodles
Kitty: Hello, Patrons! Welcome back to another installment of To Love Another Soul With me, as always, is Scythe Iniuria—
Scythe: Only because she couldn’t find anyone else willing to help her.
Kitty: —who graciously offered to help wrap this up.
In our last chapter, Suerinil and Legolas beat the wedding traditions of Tolkien’s Elves into the ground and then pissed on them for good measure with some help from Galadriel. I took the liberty of reading ahead, and this appears to be our last chapter. Cross your fingers, everyone!
Chapter 13: The Battle Finally Over
Scythe: Our sentiments exactly.
i’m sorry its been so long since my last update! i’ve had to do a lot of stuff in the meantime so i havent had a lot of time to finish this. but there’ll be one more chapter after this! hope you like ;D
Scythe and Kitty: CREATOR/GOD FUCKING DAMMIT!
Scythe: Rot in the Dead Realm, Kitty! I thought you said you read ahead!
Kitty: I’m not gonna read the fucking author’s notes! Have you seen them?!
Scythe: Useless little fleshbag!
Kitty: Arrogant hairball!
***Our apologies. These two will be at it for a while; in the meantime, here’s a picture of a cute kitty.***
***We now return you to your Mature and Responsible Adult Riffers.***
The battle at the Black Gate is a wearing experience, even more so than the Pelennor. The Mouth of Sauron is truly terrifying to behold, and I have to restrain myself from trying to kill it on the spot before the battle truly begins.
Scythe: Good, because you’d probably just get yourself captured.
Kitty: It’s really weird that her reaction to being afraid is to murder things. That’s not quite the reaction I’d expect from someone who claims to have police training. Maybe if she claimed to be a thug…
Yet, when we start fighting, my magic is released more powerful than is has ever been before. I fight back to back with Legolas the whole time; as an Urukhai lifts its blade to attack him, I spin in an elaborate pirhouette and strike it through the heart.
Kitty: Why don’t people understand it’s possible to fight gracefully without actually dancing like a twat?!
My hair glows with golden light, dancing around me in fire and ice as I destroy every enemy in my sight.
Scythe: With this much raw power just being unleashed willy-nilly, how does she know she isn’t also wiping out a fair few of her own brothers in arms?
Then, as if some light has descended from the Valar, I could see the dark tower of Barad-dur descend into nothing, the eye of Sauron splitting grotesquely in the distance. I looked into Legolas’s beautiful blue orbs, my own eyes widening. I feel a new vigor stream through my veins. Sauron is defeated. Frodo has completed his task.
Kitty: Damn, that was underwhelming. Wasn’t there kind of… a really big reaction in both versions when Sauron went boom?
Scythe: If I hear one more comment about “Legolas’ beautiful blue orbs,” I’ll kill something.
Yet before I can shout a great cry of victory, I feel a blade strike my shoulder, and I cry out in pain. It seems that the death of Sauron does not guarantee the battle is over. I collapse backwards onto Legolas, who looks deep into my pain-filled eyes and supports me, fighting off the enemies.
Scythe: Oh, right. You’re still surrounded by the enemy. Wow, who could have guessed they wouldn’t immediately stop trying to kill you?
Kitty: Shit, I hope Legolas has something longer than his daggers to fight with.
“Saerinil, are you all right?” he asks, and I nod vaguely, even though I know I’m not okay. Blood is soaking through my shirt, and my collarbone feels split. Why does this always happen to me?
Kitty: Sue, it doesn’t do a lick of good to lie about your condition while you’re dying. And Legolas, she got chopped clean through her shoulder! How the idiot hasn’t bled to death already is beyond me, but having to ask if someone in her condition is okay goes way beyond Captain Obvious!
The eagles descend upon our ranks as the orcs begin to flee around us, and I wonder if Frodo has made it out alive. Probably not. He knew the risks of bearing the ring. But I hope desperately to the Valar that by some miracle he’s okay.
Scythe: Wow, that’s convincing. *as Saerinil* Well, stupid thing probably died a fiery death. How tragic. Dumb hobbit.
I feel my consciousness begin to fade as the eagles carry us into the sunset. I have overused my powers. The glow in my hair begins to fade. Legolas allows me to lean back into his shoulder and drift off into sleep.
Kitty: Is it really time for a list so early in the chapter?
Scythe: Seems so.
Kitty: Fine. Here we go:
1. Why are the Eagles carrying the two of you away? They only retrieved Sam and Frodo canonically, with Gandalf along for the ride. You aren’t the only ones in the army that were badly injured; what makes you special enough to warrant a pickup?
Actually, considering Gandalf is your father, fine. He could have had an Eagle swoop in for you. It’s still stupid, because Gandalf is your father.
2. Yes, it’s totally the overuse of your powers that’s making you black out. Never mind that your arm was nearly severed, and either the shock, pain, or blood loss should have already knocked you out.
3. Suerinil’s arm was nearly severed and Legolas is letting her lie back and sleep without even attempting to stop the bleeding. Shit, Legolas, you’re anywhere between five hundred and two thousand years old; you should know better than that.
I dream of Seattle. The rain, the coffee shop, and the young man behind the counter. Gandalf following me down the street and telling me that I come from Middle Earth. Blowing up my toaster, and landing in Rivendell.
Scythe: So she isn’t so much dreaming as having her life flash before her eyes.
Kitty: Especially since the next 346 words—and yes, I did put it through a word counter—are spent rehashing the entire plot of this badfic while Suerinil… does a thing. Presumably she’s half-hallucinating as she recovers from her should-be fatal injury. In any case, I’ve taken the liberty of clipping those 346 words out.
You’re welcome, Patrons.
I wake up in Rivendell, Galadriel by my side.
Kitty: Holy shit, it’s not Legolas this time.
“You’ve come to at last, I see,” she says, her face breaking into a kindly smile.
Scythe: You almost died, idiot. That’s what happened.
Kitty: Hey, take it easy on the poor girl. She’s just had her arm mostly ripped off.
“Frodo destroyed the One Ring. The battle is over, Maethrian. We did it.”
Kitty: Actually, Frodo and Sam did it. Y’all were just support. Necessary support, mind, but still support.
My face breaks into a smile, and my violet eyes twinkle. “We all made it through?” I start to sit up, but my shoulder explodes in pain.
Scythe: I know what she means, but I’m happier thinking her shoulder actually exploded.
“What is this?” I grimace miserably.
Kitty: Bandages, stitches, and the Elvish equivalent of pins and wires holding your bones together.
Scythe: You don’t get any painkillers, though. We hate you too much for that.
“The blade the uruk stabbed you with was poisoned.” Galadriel furrows her brow worriedly. “You mustn’t strain yourself.”
Scythe: Oh, go ahead. Strain yourself. It’d be funny if your arm popped off.
Kitty: My Lady, that blade cut through her collarbone. That wasn’t a stab.
“You’re not going to get on my case about riding to the Black Gate?”
Kitty: Uhm… No? Galadriel was kinda more in your court on that one. At the very least, her resistance against you going basically amounted to a stern look and a feeble attempt to make you lay back down.
Galadriel considers this for a moment, then shakes her head solemnly. “If you’re anything like I was when Sauron first rose to power, there was no stopping you.”
Kitty: She should have already known that before they ever reached the Black Gate. Who are you and what have you done with Galadriel?
I snort. “You’re right. I would have gone no matter what.”
“It was your decision. I would have accompanied you, had there not been so many injured and so few healers present.”
Scythe: It’s hard to have a snappy comeback to something that makes absolutely no sense.
“And the company? Are they all right?”
Scythe: When did she start caring about them? I thought she burned that bridge after she and Legolas made out on top of Boromir’s dead body.
“Indeed, they are. But… there is a matter of great importance we must speak of.”
Kitty: *Galadriel* It’s just… Can’t you do something about that hair, dear? It’s really quite dreadful.
A terror fills me. Has someone died? Is someone dear to me on the brink of death? My mother told me the company was all right.
Scythe: What about your father, you daft bimbo?!
“You know, Maethrian, that the time of the Elves is ending. We will sail to Valinor in a year’s time. You have to make the decision to accompany us now or wait for the last ship to bear you over with Legolas. The Prince of Mirkwood will also have to make such a choice, for Middle Earth is no longer in need of us.”
Kitty: Weird that she knows exactly when they’ll be departing. Aren’t there a bunch of loose threads to tie up before you leave? Isn’t that likely to take a bit of time even if everything goes exactly to plan?
*Scythe puts a hands on Kitty’s shoulder and looks at her very seriously.*
Scythe: We are not opening a discussion about how well organized a five thousand-year-old Elf is when preparing to make a very long one-way journey.
*Scythe looks very seriously at the Fourth Wall.*
A terrifying shock fills me. I remember seeing her face when she nearly died for me at Helm’s Deep, and I don’t know what to say.
Kitty: “Sorry” would be an excellent start.
Her eyes grow sad and forlorn. “I do not belong in Middle Earth, Maethrian. Nor does Mithrandir. You… you could live well here, with Legolas. But it is your choice. Either way, you can remain here for the last ship or depart this very year.”
Kitty: Wait, so Legolas absolutely has to do whatever Suerinil decides to do? What the hell?
Scythe: Well, that, or their separation kills both of them via heartbreak and they wind up together in Mandos anyway.
Kitty: Fair point.
“But what about everyone here? What about Gimli, and Aragorn, and Arwen?”
Scythe: Oh, does she mean the Arwen who shouldn’t exist because Celeborn doesn’t exist and therefore Celebrían does not exist?
“They stay,” she says, and her eyes glisten sadly. “But that’s the way life is. I’ve learned that much over the years.” And she laughs ruefully.
Kitty: So… The way of life is that all of your friends are going to go away from your life and you can either chase after them or move on?
Scythe: *looking at the Fourth Wall again* No, Patrons.
Kitty: Now what?
Scythe: If they start discussing the philosophy, science, or psychology behind friendship, it’s invariably going to depress you. And you write sad things when you’re depressed.
Kitty: That’s like eighty percent of what real art is!
Scythe: Yes, except eventually you will have written the mutt’s entire life story. And then you will have to start writing about one of the rest of us.
Kitty: Okay, there are a lot of other characters with—
Scythe: And you will most likely write something either about me or about someone who is or will soon be in a position to take their resulting heartache out on me.
Kitty: …Fair enough.
“But what about weddings, and new beginnings? Everything we all promised ourselves we would get after Sauron was defeated and the battles were over?” My voice cracks, and I rub my wounded shoulder to ease the pain of it.
Scythe: Only an idiot makes promises to themselves or others about the end of a war they might not survive.
Galadriel sighs. “You and Legolas are a reminder of what it was like to be young and strong, without all the burdens of war laid upon your whole lives. You have choices. You have the chance to live well in Middle Earth for years to come, before the world starts to wear on you. Yet you’ve already experienced such destruction, and you have the right to leave if you so desire.”
Kitty: Okay, but what about Legolas’ whole “alas for the wailing of the gulls” thing? Because that kind of wiped the floor with him in the books; I think Suerinil’s real choice is whether or not she wants to follow Legolas.
“Well I know I’m going to marry Legolas. As soon as it’s possible. As soon as I’m healed, we’ll have a real ceremony. But if you leave… what about… I thought we would be there when you married Gandalf after all these years.”
Scythe: This one assumes a great deal.
Then, as if my pain is simply a side effect of the shoulder injury, Galadriel laughs. She laughs until I glare at her through my violet orbs.
Kitty: Uh… Since you haven’t displayed any suffering other than your shoulder exploding, it’s probably safe to assume that that’s where it’s coming from, yes.
“There will never be a wedding between us, Maethrian,” she says, still chuckling. “Not after all this time.”
Kitty: Holy shit, they broke it off.
Scythe: *Galadriel* It’s not you, Mithrandir. It’s that thing we made. We cannot allow that to happen a second time.
“Love doesn’t exist in weddings. It exists in life. Besides, do you think we’ve ever been the conventional folk?” She smirks. She actually smirks. “Do you know where and how you were born?”
Kitty: No, and I’m sure she doesn’t want to.
Scythe: *Galadriel* You see, I bore you for a year while you fed on my life force. Then, at the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month of the year, using an ancient blood ritual—
I choked on a square of lembas I had taken from my beside table and started munching on. “Do I want to hear that story?”
Scythe: Kitty says no.
Kitty: Why is she eating Elvish waybread in Rivendell? Surely if she’s well enough to eat, they can spare some broth or a roll of bread…
She shakes her head and laughs again. “The point is, love isn’t domesticity and being conventional. Who needs to be around for their own wedding? You’re still young enough to celebrate life extravagantly without seeing the cynical side of everything.”
Kitty: I think she just contradicted herself.
Scythe: Conjunctions are crucial.
“I thought you were immortal.”
Kitty: In what world does immortality equate to “never grows cynical or world-weary”? Hell, one of Tolkien’s favorite themes is the growing weariness the Elves feel for Middle-earth and the longing that comes over them to sail to the Undying Lands.
“Immortality doesn’t mean the world won’t start to hurt after a while. I need a new beginning somewhere. I need to see the folk I left behind. But you don’t have to come.”
Kitty: That’s… not quite how sea-longing works, but I’ll let it slide.
Scythe: She is explaining this to a child, after all. I’m not sure even a half-Maia, half-Elvish child would be able to understand the concept of wanting to return to a home only the oldest Elves still in Middle-earth could remember. Saying instead that they long to meet new people and see new sights would be easier to grasp.
“I’m still very unfortunately focused on the question of where and how I was born.”
Kitty: I delight in this Sue’s suffering.
Galadriel bit her lip. “I should not have said that.”
“I was told you couldn’t resist a good story.”
Scythe: Sue, if you don’t want to know, you should probably stop asking.
“True…” She quietly smirks again. “It involves a political… issue… with King Thranduil. Legolas has surely heard the other end of the tale. You should ask him. After you marry him.”
Kitty: What, was Thranduil their first choice for a midwife?
I try to hold back my snicker. At least, while I am trapped, healing from my poisoned injuries, in a single bed in Rivendell, I’ll hear an amusing story.
Scythe: She just came astonishingly close to making Rivendell sound drab.
Kitty: A frequent occurrence in Tolkien badfics, I’m afraid.
“It was a few thousand years past. I had arranged a meeting with King Thranduil to bargain over what we were going to do about orcs invading Azinzulbizar. It probably wasn’t the best time, seeing as I was not at my most diplomatic, and Thranduil was never at his most diplomatic, but the goblins were getting bolder.
Scythe: Azinzulbizar being the Khudzul name for Dimrill Dale, the valley outside the east gate of Moria. The Sindarin name for this place is Nanduhirion; it’s strange that Galadriel wouldn’t use that instead of bothering with Khudzul.
Kitty: Uh, Galadriel still isn’t being very diplomatic; that is not how you talk about a king behind his back, especially to his future daughter-in-law.
“So I rode to Mirkwood with your father in hopes that we would catch Thranduil on one of his better days, when he felt like the world outside his forest mattered much as the one inside it.
“We did not catch Thranduil on one of his better days. But we managed to secure a long talk. However, long political talks had never been my specialty, especially so close to giving birth. I could clearly see that we were getting nowhere in convincing the King of Mirkwood to act against the goblins in Moria, and my armies could not drive them out alone. I have no shame in admitting that in order to end that meeting I pretending to give birth you right there. They tied me down with healers, and I upped and left the minute they left the chamber. It was as simple as that, and at the time I thought little of repurcussions.”
Kitty: Because nothing says “I am a powerful Eldar worthy of respect” like using your pregnancy as an excuse to end political negotiations and escape from a kingdom whose king doesn’t agree with you when you’re on your best behavior.
Scythe: The entire female gender just took a huge blow thanks to this fic.
“You were not simply jesting when you said you weren’t conventional,” I muttered though muffled laughter.
Kitty: Please don’t encourage your mother’s atrocious behavior.
Galadriel chuckled. “No I was not. We departed Mirkwood as quickly as possible. I intended to return to Lothlorien before you were born. Clearly, though, by the look on your face, you know that didn’t happen. We reached the Misty Mountains and crossed the pass. And the world, at that moment, fell into chaos.
Kitty: Serves you right.
Indeed, Maethrian, you were born on a snowy mountain pass. The clouds were spinning, and the snow was swirling, and we were thanking the Valar we were magical beings. I’ll spare you the further details.”
Scythe: See, if you had just waited another day or two somewhere along the line, that whole thing about faking the labor would have been unnecessary. And Suerinil and Legolas might have had a legitimate reason to fall so quickly in love if you had made it so that Legolas was a very young child at the time Suerinil was born in Mirkwood.
Kitty: That would require Eryn to be a logical creature.
“Yes,” I say, shivering slightly but still laughing, “Please do.”
one more chapter left after! i hope you liked this story! plz review, as always ;);)
Kitty: You hear that, Patrons? One more chapter and we’ll be in the clear of this heaping pile of dung! Huzzah!
Scythe: Let’s just hope Eryn isn’t as bad at counting as Kitty is at reading ahead.