Title: The Last Journey
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Era: Fourth Age of the Sun
Genre: AU, Action/Adventure
Rating: M / FRM
Main characters: Aragorn, Celeborn, Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Éomer, Erestor, Faramir, Gandalf, Gimli, Glorfindel, Haldir, Legolas, Meriadoc, Nazgûl, Pippin, Thranduil (, OCs).
Pairings: Legolas/OMC (brief Aragorn/Arwen, Éowyn/Faramir)
Summary: After many peaceful years that have followed the war against Sauron, everything changes. Evil returns, striking without warning, and it is stronger than ever before. It is time for the final fight, but who shall achieve victory?
Work in Process.
Warnings: Characters’ death (major, OC), violence, torture, slash, mild sexual content (het and slash), plenty of evil, etc.
New day opened as a clear one. Sky was blue and the clouds that travelled over its surface were as white as new snow. Only a slow, warm breeze of air swayed the leaves while caressing the Valley, and all was peaceful.
But in the Last Homely House, swift preparations were taking place.
“We shall meet before Firien Forest, in two months. Earlier, if possible. Each of our forces has Elves with them, and I trust them to be able to send swift messages if aught will happen,” Gandalf spoke as he walked along one of the covered patios running along the outside wall of the main building. Aragorn and Éomer walked behind him, listening closely. They had been through this earlier, with everyone else, but Gandalf wished to go through everything yet again in his mind – and as was his habit, he did it while speaking to himself.
“It will be a long travel for the Elves of north,” Éomer pointed out.
“And just like Dínnor said, the Elves move faster than us,” Aragorn answered, smiling. Gimli had had his own opinion to say of the matter, yet to his luck, none of the Elves got offended: it would have meant him walking all the way to the meeting point. ‘Elves are quick when you first get them on the move.’ In a way, Aragorn agreed with him: having wisdom like theirs, the Elves made no decisions hastily. In that, they were similar to Ents. Though easier to negotiate with, the Man smirked to himself.
Arriving to the courtyard, both Kings made a pleasant note that their men were almost ready to depart. Elves were gathered together, making their own preparations. Dwarves and Hobbits waited next to them, chatting with each other.
“It seems that however you come, your stay here is always short,” Elrohir spoke up, walking to the arrivals. “We are ready to depart soon,” he added, eyeing the Men. “They are learning to swift departures, I see.”
Éomer laughed and nodded. “That is a skill we have learned to appreciate during our journey.”
Behind them, new voices rose in a clear argument. “You cannot come with us.”
“And who are you to stop me?”
“Erestor, be reasonable! You are no great warrior –”
“I have enough wits to rival your sword, any time! Now let me pass.”
Turning around, the Men and the Wizard noticed Glorfindel, who was currently having a colourful fight with Erestor. “You are not coming.”
“Again, you are not the one who shall decide.”
Glorfindel opened his mouth, but Gandalf interrupted him before he got any words out. “He shall come, and is more than welcome.”
With a triumphant look, Erestor strode past Glorfindel to get his horse. The Noldo looked unhappy, but succumbed to the Wizard’s words without an argument: he knew better than to challenge Gandalf.
“Well, Rivendell is growing in number. I say that can be only a good thing,” Elrohir smirked. “We are no longer beating only the Dwarves and the Hobbits in number.”
Aragorn remained silent, his eyes seeking Legolas from the crowd. His friend stood beside his horse, apparently ready to leave. Rafél was next to him, one hand on his protégé’s waist. Frowning, Aragorn narrowed his eyes. He had sensed something changed between the two, but he was not sure what. After the last night’s events, I am sure they are yet closer to each other. But there is something – He was interrupted as Faramir appeared, bowing at them before speaking.
“We are ready to depart. Lord Celeborn asks if we shall hold one final debate before departing.”
Gandalf nodded, motioning the others to join them. When everyone had gathered close, he brushed his beard and began: “I think we had better to go through this once again. Within two months, we shall all meet at Firien Forest. If anything unexpected happens, inform the others immediately.” Everyone nodded, Hobbits looking slightly nervous. “Gather as much information and force as you can,” Gandalf continued, rather to the Elves and the Dwarves. “All your people will be needed, if we are going to beat this enemy – whatever it is. Any questions?” Silence followed, and Gandalf nodded. “Good, let us not waste more time here.”
Everyone moved to their horses, Men taking their places on the head of their forces. “Be swift on your way, and may no evil waylay you on your road back home,” Elladan called out, the Cousins lifting their hands to their hearts in recognition.
“Be careful yourself, even if your number is greater,” Dínnor said in return. Adír, who sat now behind him, snorted. Fundal smiled in his place behind Asthaldo, trying to remember the words said.
With a call from Gandalf, the army moved out, soon dividing in two different directions: Mirkwood Elves took a swiftest road home, over the mountains. Men would take the road through the Gap of Rohan, and Éomer would remain in Rohan when Aragorn went on to Gondor. Rivendell Elves would go with Aragorn, as would Gandalf. Lórien’s forces would decide later which group to join: Celeborn could not afford more forces from their kingdom, as the darkness again spread from Dol Guldur. Also Merry and Pippin would decide either to go with Aragorn, or stay with Éomer.
Soon the two groups disappeared from each other’s sight, making their ways toward each destination, uncertain what was waiting for them in the end.
to be continued…