Lord Of The Rings Fan Fiction ❯ Soulmates ❯ Familiar Faces ( Chapter 12 )
Frodo woke up to moonlight streaming through the broad window, and he sat up and stretched. He felt rather good. Standing, he walked over to his friend's bed, but it was empty. Nervousness immediately set in. He was in a strange Elven city with nobody around and he was completely naked with no idea of where his clothes were. He quickly grabbed his towel and wrapped it tightly around his waist.
He moved through the halls, glancing into silvery rooms as he passed them. Nobody. He came to a door to the outside world and heard voices. Hoping it was nobody he needed to be presentable for, he walked out and saw a garden, beautiful and serene. Sam was tending to a few flowers that Frodo had never seen before. Merry and Pippin were wrestling joyfully, while Legolas was sitting against a tree, doing something with what appeared to be strips of light.
"Master Frodo!" a gruff voice exclaimed. "Good to see you again!"
"Gimli?" Frodo asked in wonder then gasped as the Dwarf swept him into an embrace.
"Frodo!" Merry and Pippin shouted, running for him and joining the hug.
"Merry! Pippin! Oh how glad I am to see that you're all alive!"
Sam picked up the towel, which had been loosed by the two Hobbits.
"You don't really need this, Mr. Frodo. We've all seen ya naked."
"Will you stop calling me Mister?" Frodo asked.
"I…No, Mr. Frodo. I won't."
"Why not? I'd say we're on equal footing now."
"Habit. And it's one I don't aim ta break."
"Oh. If you insist."
"What's Legolas doing?"
"Weaving you a skirt of moonbeams," Gimli said. "We've all got one on, save you, and they're more comfortable than any other piece of clothing you'll ever own."
"Skirts are for females," Frodo said as he was released from the hug.
"Unless you're a Moon Elf. They didn't restrict skirts to a single sex, nor trousers. Dresses are a different matter entirely."
"Can…Can I go say hi?"
"Of course, Mr. Frodo," Sam said, grabbing his hand and guiding him over to the busy Elf. Legolas was very focused on what he was doing, but as soon as he glanced up, he set aside the nearly finished skirt and pulled Frodo close. Frodo finally felt some semblance of wholeness.
"Oh, how I've missed you, Frodo," Legolas purred. "But now you are here, and you are mine."
"Ours!" Merry and Pippin shouted.
"Yes, ours," Legolas laughed.
Frodo gazed at the Elf, tracing his beautiful silver hair with his eyes. He reached up and wrapped some around his fingers. Legolas smiled at him, but Frodo began to pull away when reason caught up with him.
"You're welcome to touch my hair, Frodo," the Elf said softly.
"But…Elves hate it when people touch their hair."
"Sun Elves. I am a Moon Elf. I don't mind you and the other Hobbits and Gimli and Aragorn and Glóin touching my hair. It is an intimate gesture, to be fair, but I trust you. Touch all you like."
When he was sure Legolas wasn't joking, he stood and brushed his fingers through the silver strands. Something tapped his arm and Frodo turned to see Sam holding out a comb. Frodo nodded happily then began combing through the silky hair. It didn't need brushed, but it was a soothing gesture. Legolas rearranged himself then began weaving moonbeams again. They stayed like that for a good half hour before the skirt was done and Frodo was satisfied.
"Sometimes," he said, setting the comb down and settling in Legolas' lap again, "Arwen or Elladan would let me brush their hair. I liked doing so, but it always seemed to frazzle them."
Gimli came forward and sat down. "To all Elves, hair is a symbol of their element, be it sun or moon. Half Elves usually have dark hair to counter the light hair of the Sun Elves and the mysteries of the Moon Elves. That is why Arwen and Elladan have dark hair of course. They absorb their elements through it, and are very sensitive to touches to it."
"Dwarves are similar," Merry said, hurrying over to smooth out the skirt with Legolas. "Their hair, and especially their beards, is a symbol of pride and they do not let just anybody brush through it."
"Hobbits don't care," Pippin said. "But having somebody else brush your hair is so nice that we don't say anything about it."
They laughed about that. "It is nice to be together again," Frodo said. "But you must sate my curiosity. How are you all alive? Even Legolas should be dead, as he had no anchor to hold on to once we left."
"We found the Immortal Fount," Sam said. "Which you are going to drink of and bathe in tomorrow morning."
"This morning, actually," Legolas said, standing up. Frodo followed suit. "It is past midnight."
"This morning then," Merry said gleefully.
Legolas held out the skirt. "Put this on, Frodo. You must step into it now, like a pair of trousers, one foot then the other…."
Frodo pulled it on and the silver flared. Red oozed onto the skirt in a beautiful fiery design. Legolas clapped jovially.
"Beautiful! Now, it fits all right?"
"Yes. Very snug, yet not too tight," Frodo sighed. "Thank you." He paused. "You never said how you were alive, Legolas."
"I anchored myself before the Elves left. I anchored myself during our journey to destroy the ring. I anchored myself to four Hobbits, one Man, and one Dwarf."
"So that means that…Sam wasn't joking when he said I was your Soulmate."
"Correct, Mr. Frodo," Sam said. "We are all intimately connected. We are as close friends as possible."
Frodo smiled. "It feels like it. Though…something is still missing."
There was a growl and an enormous wolf trotted up to them. Frodo gasped, drawing back against Legolas.
"Hail, Aragorn!" Gimli said jovially. "Now change forms before you scare the poor Hobbit to death."
There was a grating growl that slowly morphed into Aragorn's laugh. Frodo gaped as Aragorn stood there, a tattered skirt of black moonbeams around his hips.
"I would be what's missing, little Hobbit," Aragorn said with a crooked grin. "Now come here. We all ache for wholeness."
Frodo raced into Aragorn's arms, nuzzling close. There was a sigh from everybody. Legolas drew a silver ball from his chest. Frodo reached up and did the same, unsure of why or how he was doing it or what was going to happen. The two balls combined with five others and there was peace.
They came to themselves several hours later as dawn was peeking over the horizon. They felt complete. Legolas stretched and stood, pulling the others to their feet.
"Time for Frodo to bathe in the pool," Merry said happily.
"Yes, come along Mr. Frodo," Sam said excitedly, pulling him with him.
"What's so special about this pool?" Frodo asked as they began walking through the forest.
"It is the Immortal Fount," Pippin said, skipping ahead then coming back.
"You don't mean the one that Elrond spent fifteen hundred years searching for, do you?"
"Yes. This forest is partial to Moon Elves, not Sun Elves, so it hid the pool from him," Legolas said with a smile. "So it is our secret."
Frodo was led to it and it looked beautiful and clear. He shyly stripped down and waded in. It was warm and pleasant to the touch. Frodo wasn't really sure what to do, so he looked to Samwise, who was wading in as well.
"Take a drink, Mr. Frodo."
Frodo blinked. Was it really that simple? Well, that's what Sam had done with Bilbo, so… He cupped his hands, filled them with water, then took a long drought. A spasm passed through his body and he began to greedily drink until he thought he would burst. He was tugged away from the delicious water, and he shrieked in dismay. Sam sat with him until he'd regained his senses. Frodo shook his head and felt embarrassed.
"Terribly sorry, Sam. Don't know what came over me."
"The first drink is like that. It was for all of us, too. It is very disconcertin', but it's over now. You can drink freely and not make yerself sick."
Frodo nodded then looked down at himself. "I need a bath…"
"We don't use soap in the pool. Gives it a funny taste for a while. Come along. There's another pool over there a short way that ain't magical."
Frodo was about to pull his clothes on, but Sam simply grabbed his and began walking behind the others. Frodo felt embarrassed, but he didn't want to get lost, so he grabbed his clothing and hurried after them. He felt so exposed, and afraid, as if a Sun Elf would come out and get onto him for being naked. He looked up from the ground and froze. He was alone. He swallowed, lowering his clothes to hide himself.
Left. By the willow.
Frodo didn't know where the words were coming from, but he was desperate to find his friends again. He hurried over to the willow.
To the oak.
He ran over to the oak. The words still hissed at him, and he followed their instructions until he burst into a clearing. His friends looked up, and Sam rushed over.
"There ya are, Mr. Frodo. I was about ta come find ya. Where were ya?"
"I don't know…There were words. I could understand them, and they told me where to find you," Frodo said, looking around.
"Lucky," Merry said, lounging in the pool. "It took all of us forever to learn tree."
"Yes. Our dear Moon Elf is part tree," Gimli said.
Frodo was very confused. "Part…tree? That's not…How is that physically possible?"
Legolas explained what Treebeard had done, and Frodo was fascinated. It shouldn't have been possible, but they clearly didn't care about that. The nine-fingered Hobbit slipped into the pool and began to bathe as Legolas clearly spoke a hissing, flowing language. Frodo understood it.
"This is one of the most interesting gardening phenomena in history," the blue-eyed Hobbit said with a shake of his head.
"Indeed," Sam said, coming up behind Frodo to wash his back.
Frodo sighed and relaxed. He felt so happy with this group of friends. He always felt some level of tension with Sun Elves, trying to follow their traditions and expectations, but Legolas was different. Legolas had always been different. No pressure to behave in a certain way. No stress to speak carefully. Just bliss.
"We love you, Frodo," Legolas said, breaking the Hobbit out of his reverie.
"We love you. You're our Soulmate. You complete us," Aragorn said quietly; he had been silent up to this point.
"Aye, Mr. Frodo. We love ya," Sam replied.
That cinched it. Frodo had finally found where he belonged. He turned and embraced his best friend, not caring that they weren't wearing anything. They all came together for a brief eternity then parted.
"Can we do that silver thing again?" Frodo asked hesitantly.
"Certainly," Legolas said, pulling out the silver ball again.
Frodo happily snuggled close to the Elf as his own silver bauble floated over and combined with the others'. They relaxed.
"Mm, what exactly is this?" Frodo asked softly.
"Soul bonding. It's nice and soothing. We do it when one of us is wounded or just when we need to feel close," Legolas explained. "Nobody can do this unless they have at least one Soulmate."
Frodo kissed the Elf's cheek, noticing for the first time that his hair was golden again.
"What happened to your hair?"
Legolas jumped and grabbed it, looking at it frantically, but calmed as soon as he saw the shining Sun Elf hair.
"Don't scare me like that, Frodo."
"I…I didn't mean to. I'm sorry," Frodo muttered, sounding ashamed.
"Oh, don't be like that. You didn't know any better."
"Why did it scare you?"
Legolas' face went blank. Frodo immediately backtracked.
"You don't have to tell me, of course. I was just curious, and—"
"You are my Soulmate, Frodo, and deserve to know," Legolas said, his voice painfully neutral.
Sam pulled Frodo away and Legolas brought all his hair over his shoulder then slowly turned around. The Hobbit couldn't help his gasp of horror at the dark lines that ran down over the Elf's pale skin. They were so ugly, and Frodo could tell that the wounds had been deep. He shakily moved forward to trail his fingers over the marks. Black shot through Legolas' hair and his skin greyed. Frodo cried out in shock.
"Hush. He won't do that forever," Merry said, pulling the distraught Hobbit close.
"Yes," Pippin said. "Once he gets used to your touch, he won't do this anymore. It's okay to touch him."
Frodo shook his head, shrinking back. Legolas turned around, gesturing for the Hobbit to come to him. The nine-fingered creature was shaking as he hesitantly approached. Legolas swept him into an embrace, kissing his head. Frodo pressed close, hiding his face in the Elf's chest.
"I am well used to it by now, Frodo," Legolas sighed. "It is just a part of life."
"I…You have spent much time with Sun Elves. I don't want you to feel too much pity or any disgust at me."
"I was raped by Orcs."
Silence. Frodo considered this thoroughly before he spoke.
"I see. Yet you live."
"It was from my father's magic and Gimli's persistence."
"Thranduil? He doesn't seem too magical to me."
"Nay. Mormerilon. Celeblessel is my mother. I am the last born natural Moon Elf that wasn't a twin. I was the prince of the Moon Elves. I am now the king."
Frodo pulled back to blink up at him. He suddenly looked unsure. "I do not know the proper way to speak with you then."
There was amused laughter. "There are so few of us left that I do not wish for my people to act in the sacred way. It is all right. Besides, you are my Soulmate, Frodo. You may act as informally as you wish in front of me. I would hope that you do. I want you to be yourself with me, and the others as well. We are your family. Remember that."
Frodo smiled and nodded. "I will. Thank you."
Legolas kissed the Hobbit's head again then sent him over to the other Hobbits. Aragorn waded over to the Elf.
"He will feel like an outsider as I did."
"We'll handle that when we get there," Gimli replied. "I'm more worried about the Sun Elves' reactions. And Bilbo's. Soulmates are extremely rare among all the races. To have seven in one bond? And have at least one member from each race in it? That has never occurred before. They will want to study us, and that is unacceptable without every single one of us agreeing to it."
"I most likely wouldn't agree to it," Aragorn said, crossing his arms.
"Me, either," Gimli sighed.
"If the circumstances were right, I would," Legolas said softly. "But they would have to be right. Perfectly right."
They nodded then turned and watched the Hobbits splash around. Legolas, feeling quite weak, got out of the water and pulled on a skirt of moonbeams before he settled against a tree. He closed his eyes and relaxed, listening to the forest. A small hand touched him. He opened his eyes to see Frodo, clad in his skirt, staring at him with those big blue eyes of his. He held a comb in one hand. Legolas stared at him with his deep black eyes before nodding and shifting forward. Frodo stood behind him and began gently combing the inky locks. The Elf sighed softly. It was so very relaxing…Frodo suddenly paused.
"It's turning gold again."
"It's supposed to, Frodo."
"It's pretty no matter what color it is. So soft and smooth. I wish my hair was like that."
"I rather like your curly hair. No pure-blooded Elf in the history of Elves has ever had curly hair. It's so…boing."
Frodo came around to face him. "Boing?"
Legolas grinned as he reached forward and grabbed a lock of Frodo's hair. He stretched it out then released it.
"Boing!" he laughed happily as the hair sprang back into place.
Frodo laughed himself and watched as the gold oozed down the black locks faster. "I never thought of it that way," the Hobbit chuckled.
Legolas smiled. "The other Hobbit's didn't either. Not until I pointed it out."
Frodo nodded, holding up the comb again. "Would you mind?"
"Not at all."
The Hobbit resumed combing the Elf's hair. Frodo couldn't help but wonder what the other Elves would think.