@Volcanic Plug : Nope. I won't let the two brothers kept on sleeping.
@beginning-end-314 aka aredhe1314 : You'll get your wish. Just sit tight and read.
@Menthol : Linden is so pleased that he has a fan like you!
@RuByMoOn17 : He! He! I kept promising you about 'Trouble In Telcontar', right? Don't worry. It's coming, it's coming. I'm rewriting some scenes while writing three other stories. Believe me, it's very confusing for me right now!
@Karina : Oh, yeah. That's a catch somewhere. You know me. And I just saw 'Master And Commander' today. Our Pippin is in it! And the film is AWESOME! I'm not really a great fan of Russel Crowe but I have to admit, he looks incredibly yummy in this one! I suggest you to check it out! You won't be disappointed!
@namarie2legolas : I'm so sorry for your loss. My condolence, dear mellon. This is the 2nd pet you lost this year, right? Just stay strong. We are not going to be here forever too. And yes, Thranduil gonna kick ass!
@purplesmackers : You got that right! Thranduil's major scene coming up!
@TonKeTyTOnkToNKs : Sorry for the …uh…whatever it is that tries to come out of your…uh…throat. I forgot to tell you not to read my fics on full stomach. He! He!
@Mystic23 : Yoda will be so proud! LOL!
@lembas7 : Thank you, mellon. And so sorry for making Leggy quite a badass (Ha! Ha! I like that word! Reminds me of 'The Undertaker' from WWE!). He is one very spoil brat, isn't he?
@szhismine : Yes, I had fun. But it was tiring! Argh! Okay, now, time to plot more cliffies!
@Fire Breathing Ferret : Like I said, sherbert will make you go high. Be careful. Don't drop on your stomach. It would cause some very ugly scenes!
@Hp-Azn : You are welcome, o my loyal subject.
Here's the next chapter; the grand finale. Enjoy. ^_^
Through the darkness of the night, he noticed the wide opened door of Prince Keldarion's balcony.
Finally! Dior thought with a smile, his mind already at work in planning his next moves. He had been watching the Mirkwood palace for several days, trying to get his way in but the security of the large building had been so tight and stiff, much stronger than before. The guards were everywhere and all entrances were closed firmly and locked.
But now my long wait has paid off. They have finally let down their guard somewhat.
Grabbing the branch above his head, Dior heaved himself up. He then launched himself from tree to tree until he reached the ancient birch close to Keldarion's balcony. Noiselessly, he landed onto the marble floor and crouched, waiting to see if his presence had alerted anyone.
Nothing happened. He cautiously peered around the door. The chamber was dark but he could see the two princes occupying the bed.
Little Legolas is also here! Dior almost laughed out loud, quite disbelief of his own good luck. Thranduil's brats together in one room! This makes my job much easier! I'll kill them both in just one strike!
Then he made his move. After pulling his sword from its scabbard, he stealthily moved toward the bed. The two Mirkwood princes were so deep in their slumber they didn't sense his approach.
Standing beside the bed, Dior looked down at his younger cousins and sneered. "I have had a great time making you two bleed. Now it is time you die." Dior raised his sword high above his head, completely prepared to give both princes one powerful blow. "So long, cousins. Have fun in Mandos. I'll send your father along in a short while."
"I don't think so."
Dior instantly whirled around in shock at the sudden voice. His eyes bulged when Thranduil emerged from the deepest shadow of the large room.
The Mirkwood king had been sitting there in the dark for long hours, waiting expectantly for Dior's imminent arrival. He had been completely aware the moment Dior had landed onto the balcony, so acute his senses were. In return, Thranduil had shut down his presence from being known to the intruder.
For several moments, Dior was so startled that he was speechless. A trap! And I walked right into it so easily! he chastised himself. He then gradually regained his composure and smiled crookedly at the king. "Well, we meet again…dear uncle."
Thranduil's face was stiff. "I'm nobody's uncle, especially not to a piece of garbage like you," Thranduil replied quietly as he unsheathed his own sword.
Dior couldn't stop himself from gulping nervously. He had had many practices in swordplay since he became one of the marauders, but he knew he was no match even against Keldarion, let alone the king of Mirkwood himself. Thranduil was the veteran hero of the Great War, and surely there was a big reason why he survived it all unscathed when every one else in his family did not.
"Are you sure about this, old king?" Dior asked in false bravado. "Are you so eager to cross blades with someone a lot younger than you?"
"Just because you are younger doesn't mean that you are smarter or stronger." Thranduil was smiling as he said this but the smile didn't reach his eyes. His fists clenched around the sword he held calmly behind his back.
"Do you really want to have our fight here? You might accidentally kill your two sleeping brats in the process, not that I object to it."
"I'm way ahead of you, boy," Thranduil answered snidely before he called out, "Linden!"
Almost at once, the door swung open. Linden and several Mirkwood warriors burst right in, armed with swords and shields. They took position in front of the bed between Thranduil's sons and Dior. Two of them even stood under the doorway leading to the balcony, completely blocking Dior's chance for escape. The princes were now closely protected, and Dior had nowhere to run.
Dior's eyes narrowed at all these arrangements. "So, this is a trap. You lured me here, using your sons as baits!" he spat.
"Surprise?" Thranduil's raised one eyebrow. "You are not the only one who can plan such a devious scheme, Dior. So can a father whose sons nearly died in the hands of a demented killer. And this father will not let you go free. Prepare yourself! Everything will end tonight."
Dior snorted. "If you say so, old king!" Then with a cry, he lifted his sword and charged. Thranduil deftly blocked it, his face impassive and stoic. Taking into defensive, he let Dior with his attacks, reading the younger elf's moves and searching for weaknesses.
Dior meanwhile was actually enjoying the battle. He laughed with glee as Thranduil had to block his powerful blow yet again, causing the king to stumble a step backward. "You are not as strong as you think you are!" he taunted, swinging his blade at Thranduil's head. "Give it up!"
Thranduil ducked and rolled several feet away before taking up his stance once more. He glanced towards the direction of the bed and saw that Legolas and Keldarion had been stirred awake by the commotion. The two princes had their arms wrapped around each other as they stared wide-eyed at their father in disbelief.
Thranduil had to smile at his sons' stunned expressions. Turning back at Dior, he cried out, "Never!"
The Mirkwood king instantly changed tactics then. From defensive, he became aggressive. His old reliable sword sang in a wonderful hum as he swung it high over his head for Dior's neck. Surprised by this sudden move, Dior was quite late to jump out of the way and Thranduil's blade easily cleaved his left shoulder.
Crying out, Dior clumsily lurched to the floor. Grimacing in pain, he quickly gathered himself and faced Thranduil once more. But the king was charging again, slashing through Dior's right thigh. The young elf stumbled to his knees, agonized scream exploded from his lips.
Dior valiantly tried to get to his feet once more but Thranduil wouldn't even let him, stabbing him in his stomach instead. Then a strong kick to Dior's head sent the young elf slamming onto his back. He lay there on the floor, writhing and moaning in agony. Dior tried to tighten his grip on his sword but Thranduil forcefully dug his heel onto his hand, causing Dior to loosen his hold.
Kicking Dior's blade out of the way, Thranduil said, "You know what your problem is? You are not as smart as you think you are." Placing the tip of his own sword against Dior's throat, Thranduil pressed harder. Dior cringed as fresh blood spewed out of his torn flesh.
"For my people, and for my sons, I will not give you easy execution," Thranduil continued, his face grim. "I sentenced you to bleed to death in the dungeon. You shall also be given a cup of poison, just like the one you've given me. It's your choice on how you want your life to end. Either way, your time in Arda is finished."
Dior glared but said nothing. He knew he had lost.
"Take him away and clean up this mess!" Thranduil barked. As the Mirkwood warriors instantly obeyed the king's orders, Thranduil turned to his sons. Keldarion and Legolas were still staring at their father, completely amazed at what had just taken place. They were hardly aware of Dior being dragged out of the chamber by the warriors.
Smiling at his sons as he relinquished his sword to Linden, Thranduil asked, "You boys all right?"
Mouth and eyes wide opened, Legolas nodded, dumbfounded. His face was still ashen and the tiny cuts all over his body were still not completely healed but otherwise he was going to be fine.
Keldarion feebly grinned. "We will be fine, father. You owe me a new mirror, though," he quipped, indicating the large mirror that had broken to pieces in the recent skirmish between Dior and the king.
Thranduil chuckled heartily and sat down on the bed. He then gathered his sons into his arms, hugging them tight to his heart in pure love and affection. "It's over, my sons. It's all over," he said. "Dior won't bother either one of you again, I swear."
And this time, Legolas fully believed his father's every word.
Legolas was incredibly annoyed. He was sitting in the bath tub in his chamber, submerged to his chest, as his father helped wash the blood and grime off his hair that had been there since the day he was brought back to the palace. "I can't believe this," the prince grumbled, glaring down at the bubbles floating in the water. "I'm not a child anymore! I don't need my father to wash my hair! Swell!"
Keldarion who was watching from a sofa at the other side of the room instantly broke into laughter. Then he winced. "Urgh, that was not smart," he groaned, grabbing his chest. "Remind me not to laugh for another week!"
Thranduil chuckled as he pressed more shampoo onto his palm before massaging it against Legolas' scalp. "You may no longer be a child, Legolas, but you are my child. Besides, you surely can not do it using your injured hands. And, to tell you the truth, I can't stand the smell anymore. Your hair stinks!"
Legolas' eyes widened as he whirled to glare at his father. "It does not!"
"It no longer is, but it was," Thranduil said, nudging his son's head to face forward again. "All those bat droppings and sand and…and blood..."
As Thranduil's voice faded away, Legolas turned around once more and saw the bleak look in his father's eyes. He clasped his father's hand warmly. "Father, fret no more. Like you had said before, it's all over. Dior is now dead, and Kel and I will return to our old self to drive you crazy like always!"
"I agree!" Keldarion announced, grinning widely.
Thranduil had to smile at that. "Aye! I believe you would!"
Dior had died in his cell that morning after being in there for not more than a day. It looked like the notion of bleeding to death was too unbearable for him, so he had taken the cup of poison placed by his cell door, wishing for a quick end. What he hadn't taken into note was that the poison was as twice as cruel. Like what had happened to Thranduil that night, Dior had coughed up blood incessantly. His body had been found almost floating in his own blood with his eyes and mouth wide opened.
In spite of it all, Dior is right about one thing, Legolas mused. Revenge is sweet.
"Ai Elbereth, stars and heaven above!" suddenly came Thranduil's cries of dismay from behind him.
Legolas was startled. "What? What's wrong, father?"
Keldarion had jumped to his feet and rushed closer. He took one look at Legolas' hair, got struck speechless, and broke into hysterical laughter that he doubled over from it.
"What?" Legolas asked again, frantic. He stared in puzzlement at his brother's face that was flushing red from laughing so hard. "Is there something wrong with your brain, Kel?"
That only made Keldarion laughed even harder, so it left Thranduil to explain the current situation to his youngest son. "Well…I uh…I think I've made a slight error."
"What error? What are you talking about?" Legolas frowned as Keldarion sat down hard on the floor, still laughing.
"I believe I've taken…the wrong bottle of shampoo," Thranduil answered, quite chagrin.
"What do you mean? I've put the bottle right over there," Legolas pointed at the small chest near his dresser and, sure it was, the bottle was still there. His eyes narrowed instantly. "If you didn't use that bottle, then what are you using…?"
Thranduil showed his son the bottle in his hand. "Err… this one?"
"Where…did you get this?" Legolas was afraid of the answer.
"On the side table," Thranduil replied, getting ready to flee.
Legolas' eyes bulged. "The side table?! But that's…" That was where he had put away the bottle of henna juice that had been responsible for his father's red hair weeks before. He had been thinking of throwing it away for good but it seemed he had forgotten all about it.
And now, it was his turn to get all red.
"FATHER!" Legolas screamed. He frantically touched his scalp and his fingers came away all…well…red.
Thranduil was already at the door. "I'll send the servants with some lemon to get rid of the…err… color!"
"No! Get back here! You can't just leave it like this!" Legolas started to get out of the tub but then realized he was naked underneath. He sat back down and glared at the empty doorway. The king of Mirkwood had successfully fled the scene.
Cursing fluently, Legolas turned to glower at Keldarion who still couldn't stop laughing. "You are enjoying this aren't you?"
"Immensely!" Keldarion replied between gasps.
Still cursing and ranting, Legolas reached for the bottle and threw the whole content onto Keldarion's head. "There! Now we are both red!"
"Why you…!" Keldarion sputtered as he hastily rubbed away the stain. "Now this is war, brother!"
Water from the tub splashed wildly about as the two princes of Mirkwood tried to douse each other. For a while, in all the excitement, they had forgotten about their injuries and the red juice in their hair. But one thing was for sure, they will never forget the person who had bled them almost to their deaths.
But for now, they will enjoy their usual silliness.
Well, there goes another one! I hope you all enjoy it! I would like to thank every one of you for encouraging me to keep on writing! I'm so glad and honored to have such nice readers like you giving me words of support to continue on with this task that I always love! THANK YOU again!
So here are the faithful reviewers in alphabetical order : Alkvingiel; angelbird12241; Aranel of Mirkwood; Aredhe1314; artms; bloodkittie; Brazgirl; bunny luver; Coolio02; Deana; Ebony Falcon; ElizabethBlack4; ElvenEyes; Enigma Jade; feanen; Fire Breathing Ferret; Gabby The Elf; Gerri; Gwyn; HalanaLeg4ever; Hobbit Hugger; Hp-Azn; Jamie; Karina; Kawaii ningen kitsune; Kayo; Kitsune Inu; Lady Lenna; layla146; leggylulu; LegolasLover2003; Lisseyelen aka Lady V; LOTRfaith; Lucy; Luindae; Manders1953; Menthol; miekje; Mystkyten; MysticalWoodElf; mystic23; MoroTheWolfGod; namarie2legolas; Nikki1; Noo; Philomythus; Poke the Penguin; petjut1998; purplesmackers; roper; RuByMoOn17; Queen of Shadows; Sailor Elf; Sparrow Greenleaf; Starlit Hope; Szhismine; Starlit Hope; tbiris; Terrenis-sama; Volcanic Plug; Young Storyteller (I hope no one is left out).
To Meagan, my beta, a simple 'thank you' is not enough. But that is all I can afford. If I could, I'd try to give you even the moon for all the help you've given me! Terima Kasih!
To Shawna, the webmaster, putting up those 2 sites is a great honor to me. Thank you for all your hard work, mellon!
And now, for the next attractions : I'm rewriting some scenes of 'Trouble In Telcontar'. I hope it will come out before ROTK. Yes, I know, I've promised this one many times before. I don't know why TIT is quite difficult for me to produce. Anyway, three other fics are also coming up, and they are all prequels; one of little Leggy, one of teenage Leggy, and one of stud Leggy. I'm not sure which will come up first, though. You'll have to wait and be prepared for the unexpected!
Until next time, everyone! See you in ROTK!!!!