|The Muse Errant
Author: Malina Wilwarin PM
Muses are wonderful for any frustrated insomniac author to have around...except when they come in the form of relentlessly cheeky Elves. But when the real and the written worlds collide, an Author and her Muse must learn to work together to save both.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Legolas - Chapters: 15 - Words: 25,659 - Reviews: 153 - Favs: 48 - Follows: 61 - Updated: 08-22-11 - Published: 04-26-11 - id: 6942995
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Muse Errant
Disclaimer: Turns out hitmen won't work for pocket lint, so the restraining order stands. Damn...
Notes: Just for anyone who might get butthurt, I am actually a fan of well-written slash. (Emphasis on the well-written. If you can pull it off, more power to ya. If you can't...please don't force it.) Lauren is a parody of someone I knew in college who saw slash pairings EVERYWHERE and tended to discuss her slash pairing preferences in THE most inappropriate places (like at top volume in the cafeteria of the office where we were both working at the time) and could not be silenced except with sugary treats, which only made her more hyper and...well, it was a vicious cycle. But just to clarify: love is love, regardless of gender preference, and you will never catch me thumbing my nose at good slash. (Even if there isn't any in this story.)
Part the Fifteenth
The rest of the afternoon dragged on as interminably as the morning had done, perhaps more so. Shortly before supper, likely fed up with all the needless dithering, Gandalf moved that we adjourn for the night. Everyone agreed to return the next morning with a bit of new writing to help move things along. After sending Amber and her pouty face packing, Aragorn pulled Legolas aside for a word. I found myself overhearing a conversation between Erinn and two of the Hobbit Charges: Rachel the Cookie Fairy, and Pippin's hyper friend Lauren.
"Omigod," Lauren was gushing, at what she probably thought was a low volume (it wasn't). "Every time they go off like that and talk, I'm totally waiting for them to declare their love for each other!"
"What are you talking about?" Rachel asked in the exasperated tone of somebody who's pretty sure they're not going to like the answer they're about to get.
"The King and the Elf!" Lauren replied, bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Can't you see it?" I followed her rabid gaze across the courtyard to the aforementioned pair. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary and if the gestures accompanying the conversation meant what I think they did, a fishing trip was being planned.
"To quote the Bard," Erinn put in, "I can see yet without spectacles and I see no such matter."
"Oh come ON!" Lauren actually stamped her foot. I had to smother a giggle.
"There is no mention of any such relationship in any of the works of Tolkien," Erinn countered firmly. "The bond between then is fraternal and clearly platonic. Their friendship is just that. They are not lovers."
"But they COULD be!" Oh God, she was like The Thing That Would Not Shut Up. "I mean, how do you know it didn't just get left out? How do you know it's not happening right now?"
Rachel sighed and said drily, "Well, the fact that the Elf has done nothing but try to get into Mal's pants since the word go might be a hint." Lauren looked deflated and I made a rather undignified noise as I hightailed it across the courtyard, choking on a gigglefit of epic proportions.
After retrieving my copy of the story, I went in search of a quiet spot to do some writing. A tall tree with a comfortable-looking spill of roots provided just what I was looking for and it seemed I was not alone in my preference. Persephone had already claimed a spot and was busily scribbling away. Not wanting to startle her, I announced my presence and I took a seat a few yards away.
"Mind if I join you?" She shook her head without looking up. "Thanks. Let me know if you want to compare notes or anything."
"No!" was the immediate response. I blinked at the sudden rudeness, but Persephone quickly composed herself. "Sorry, I...I don't like to show my writing to anybody until it's finished."
"That's fair," I replied. I meant to say more, but she suddenly jumped up and ran off, leaving me to wonder what that was all about. Shrugging it off, I made myself comfortable and started to write. Oddly, the words didn't seem to want to fit together. The sentences seemed bland, the dialogue stilted. The more I tried to make it work, the more frustrating it became, until I want to throw the book against a wall. I set it down beside me instead, barely restraining my temper, and sat back, running both hands through my hair. The muscles between my shoulders felt like the Gordean knot, which did not help my mood.
"Problems?" I let my head fall back against the tree behind me and looked up to find Boromir leaning against the trunk, close enough that I would have heard him approach if I hadn't been distracted.
"Shouldn't you be inspiring your Charge?" I said, rather more sharply than I meant to. "Sorry, that was rude. I'm just a little annoyed right now." He waved one hand and took a seat beside me.
"Quite all right. And to answer your question, Erinn has buried herself in the archives, rereading the histories...again. To say she is a stickler for detail is putting it mildly. In any event, she will not hear of writing anything more until all of her facts are straight and that will likely consume the rest of the evening." He noted the discarded book between us. "I take it you've hit a wall of your own then?"
"You might say that." I eyed him warily, not even remotely in the mood to be flirted with, but his expression remained one of friendly interest.
"It is understandable. You've been so used to writing with the help of a Muse that in his absence, it becomes difficult."
I froze. "So, I can't write anything on my own?"
Boromir shook his head. "Likely, it only relates to this one work. You began it together and must therefore finish it together." I let out the breath I hadn't realized I was holding. As faithful as my Muse had been in his attentions, I didn't particularly relish the idea of my writing career being subject to his whims.
"That's...good to know," I managed, not wanting give away the direction of my thoughts. He gave me a look that implied he'd guessed them anyway, but in a moment of tact for which I was grateful, he didn't mention it.
"I cannot directly inspire you without incurring the wrath of a certain Elf," he said, "but if you require a sounding board, I would be happy to offer my services." I shot him another suspicious glance. "Would it help if I promised to keep my ogling to a minimum?"
That surprised me enough that I giggled in spite of myself, resulting in a broad grin from Boromir, and handily serving to alleviate most of my irritation. I rolled my shoulders and the knot between them eased somewhat. He looked as if he wanted to make some remark about helping me work out that tension, but, to his ever-lasting credit, he did not. After a minute or so, I retrieved my notebook and read him the passage that was giving me so much grief. As promised, he didn't offer anything new, but gave his honest opinion of what I'd written and made polite suggestions when asked. It was very different from what I was used to with Legolas, but it was helpful just the same.
A good half hour passed in this fashion; I barely noticed until Boromir got to his feet and stretched.
"Your Muse approaches, my lady," he said, lifting my hand to his lips with a conspiratorial grin. "I'd best make myself scarce before he turns me into a human pincushion for daring to speak with you." Chuckling again, I waved him off. Seconds later, one very prickly Elf was at my side, glaring daggers at Boromir's retreating back.
"Down, boy," I said as I stood. "He was perfectly well-behaved."
"I do not trust him," Legolas frowned, fingers twitching toward his knives. I rolled my eyes and stretched in That Particular Way, which, as intended, immediately garnered me his Undivided Attention. I hid a slightly smug grin as I tucked the journal into my pocket.
"Have I missed dinner?" I asked, just as nonchalantly as you please. The Elf seemed to shake himself, and then it was his turn to move in A Particular Way, one which neatly backed me into the tree trunk.
"We could always have something sent up," he murmured, his mouth hovering a breath away from mine.
"Perhaps," I whispered back, deliberately reiterating my response from that morning. His eyes darkened and I had to quickly interpose the journal between our face to keep him from stealing yet another kiss. "We do have a lot of work to do before tomorrow. I'm thinking at least two chapters." Given the slightly pained groan he gave me in response, this was not at all what he'd had in mind.
"Wilwarin, you will be the death of me," he sighed, leaning his head on my shoulder.
"Yes, yes, very pitiful," I replied with a sympathetic pat.
"If the two of you are done defiling that tree," someone called, "they're serving now."
I caught up with my Muse just in time to prevent him from strangling himself a Hobbit.
(Tons of love to Arcturus and Elendulin for their tireless Beta-Fu. Please do R&R!)