Both Fang and Fire

by Erestor

Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to Lord of the Rings. All the Elves, Men, Hobbits and Dwarves belong to Tolkien. All the dogs and most of the horses belong to me. All mistakes are my own unless I can find someone else to blame them on.

CHAPTER TEN


The nice thing about being a dog was that one could go all over the place, unnoticed and uninhibited. Carca was going somewhere that Mary-Lou (hopefully) never would have dared to enter: Glorfindel's bedroom.

She managed to get the door to open, and squeezed through. Glorfindel was standing in front of his mirror brushing his hair (did Elves do anything else?). In the reflection, Carca could see his face, which looked rather bleak and pale. She felt very sorry for him.

"Glorfindel?" Her hesitating thought seemed to ring in the silence of his mind. He turned around abruptly and stared at her. She had never realized how hard his eyes could be.

"Carca?" He spoke out loud, but very quietly. The dog's ears pricked forward.

"I'm sorry you had to do it," she thought. She didn't know what else to tell him.

"I'm sorry I had to as well," he said. "I'm sorry, Carca."

"You heard the news?" she asked in surprise, aware of his eyes on her now slightly rounded form.

"How unobservant do you take me to be?" he said, a ghost of a smile hovering about his face.

"I should have known that nothing would allude you," Carca said, with a tinge of her old malice. Glorfindel sank back into his bed, dropping the hairbrush carelessly unto a table.

"Gath was a very good friend," he said. "He was my dog for a long time."

Carca lay down on the floor beside his feet.

"Will you remember Gath?" Glorfindel asked. "Do dogs remember?"

"I will remember him," Carca replied gently.

.

One dark, gloomy morning, Carca sat outside in the courtyard, shivering in the cold, trying to think warm thoughts. Arwen stood beside her, her slender hands twisting through the dog's thick fur.

"So this is the Fellowship of the Ring," Carca thought.

There was Strider/Aragorn/Dúnadan/Estel standing in a corner, dirty again. Carca wondered how he did it. There was Legolas, not Glorfindel, looking a bit uncomfortable and self-conscious. There was Boromir, clean now, with a huge shield the size of a very big frisbee. Carca thought longingly about getting her teeth into it, but it looked rather hard. Another man, with lots of hair ("Now he's small too," thought Carca) stood beside the hobbits, holding an axe as though he'd like to whack someone with it. Then there was the old man, Gandalf, who had a big stick that he called a staff. After those five came Frodo, the Ringbearer, Sam, the sneaky but good- hearted hobbit, and two others apparently called Merry and Pippin. And last, but not least, Bill the pony, covered with packs and supplies.

She had held a mental conversation with Bill just the day before. She had asked him if he wanted to go on the quest and help save the world. He had talked just like the sneaky but good-hearted Hobbit. ("I liked Imladris a lot, Miss Carca," he had said. "Leastways, the Elves are wonderful creatures. But I like hobbits, they're familiar-like.") She had told him he probably wouldn't be encountering many familiar things on the trip and he had shaken it off. ("Mr. Samwise won't let me come to no harm, beggin' your pardon, miss.") She had commended his bravery and the pony had practically blushed. Bill would be the animal asset to the Fellowship.

"Nine companions," said Lord Elrond proudly. Carca tried not to think back to the time she'd told Gath the same thing, about nine Fellowshipers. She had wondered if Glorfindel would go, but she had been sure the hobbits would, and Strider. ("And maybe dogs too," Gath had said.)

But she did not want to go with them. Not because it was probably suicide (that was one reason she was glad Glorfindel was staying behind), not because Erestor needed her (she was planning on giving him plenty of puppies to look after) and not because Gath wouldn't be there (thinking of Gath still hurt). It was because it was not her place. Dogs could not change the course of the future (for good, at least). They shouldn't even try. And attempting to become a Fellowshiper would be barging into a business that belonged to this different world. She wasn't from this place, she was from Modern-Earth, where she had been Ginger, Mary-Lou's dog.

"In a way," she thought, "this is my second life. It's Glorfindel's second life too. We're quite alike."

Glorfindel still looked a little pale, but he had been worrying about lots of other things besides dogs. She had seen him hurrying back and forth in Imladris, practically at Lord Elrond's beck and call. He hadn't been sure the Fellowship would work, but he had been prepared to take chances. Glorfindel was still taking chances. Carca thought he probably enjoyed it.

Erestor was standing beside his friend, his arm still bandaged comfortably. He had occasional headaches, but he was well-recovered. ("When are you going to loosen up?" Carca had wondered, with a little disappointment.) He was a kind Elf, and he looked after her well. She shouldn't really have any complaints. . .the dog's eyes strayed back to Glorfindel.

Glorfindel was saying good-bye to Estel, and she wondered what he was thinking. She didn't want to interfere with his mind at this point, at this crucial stage. The Fellowship would be setting out. On this grey, rainy day, anything seemed possible.

Suddenly, a deep ringing noise rattled through Imladris. All the Elves jumped or started to their feet. ("Paranoid creatures," Carca thought irreverently.) Boromir put away his horn. Elrond, though rather annoyed, did not condemn the man's action.

"Anything is possible," Carca thought excitedly, her mind stimulated by the brave sound. "This is a wonderful world. I wouldn't be surprised if the Fellowship actually succeeded."

They began to leave. Carca resisted her urge to bark her farewell to them. Instead she swished her tail frantically and encouragingly.

Glorfindel and Erestor watched for a long time, even when the fog should have kept them from seeing properly. Carca wondered what they were looking at, and if they were seeing it. It wouldn't necessarily have to be the Fellowship. Maybe they were thinking about their hopes and dreams. Maybe they were worrying. Maybe they were afraid.

Carca only felt inspired.

"The Enemy likes dogs, I'm sure," she thought optimistically. "I hope. . ."

"Come on," said Glorfindel, running his fingers over her head carelessly. "Let's go."

.

Glorfindel sat down on a step and Carca sat next to him. She felt happy, even if the world was going to be suddenly wiped out. She felt expectant and excited.

"I wonder why I came here," she thought. "Was it because I could make a difference? Was it because I would love it here? Was it because someone was going to fall through that portal and the Valar didn't want to unleash Mary-Lou upon this happy world?"

She thought that the answer was probably 'yes' for all three questions.

"I'm glad Mary-Lou didn't end up here," she smiled to herself. "The poor Elves were already trying to deal with one Enemy. Two might have ruined them."

She tried to imagine what havoc her owner would have wreaked on them, and chuckled. She would have made Glorfindel let her ride Asfaloth. She would have fainted when she saw Them. She would have chased her darling Leggy- Pooh through Imladris. She wouldn't have come to realize that there were other good Elves in the world besides one certain Elf prince.

"I wonder if I'll ever get home," mused Carca. And then, "Was Modern- Earth home?"

Home is where the heart is. Hadn't she heard that somewhere? Now she knew what it meant.

Glorfindel grinned sidelong at her. "What are you thinking about?" he asked her softly.

"I'm thinking about how much I love this place," she replied.

"This is when the excitement will start," he said. "You came at a good time."

"Of course I did."

"Of course. You're perfect, right?"

"No, oh wise and beloved Elf-lord, you're the perfect one."

"Look back a little, dear Carca, and you might realize something. You're the one who trotted around with her nose in the air all the time."

Carca thought back and winced. "Maybe I did try to act perfect all the time."

"I suppose dogs can't help it."

"I suppose Elves can't either."

Glorfindel smiled mentally, and of course Carca could feel his amusement. Then he said good-bye to Gath. Gath had been a good dog, but he was dead now. Erestor had always said that Glorfindel became too attached to his pets. Perhaps it was true.

"Carca?" Glorfindel asked. "Do you want to be my dog? Do you want to stay with me until you die?"

Carca was only aware of one thought in her mind now. One emotion that jumped for joy and delight. She turned and licked Glorfindel enthusiastically until he begged for mercy, through his laughter. She would be a good dog and Glorfindel needed someone to keep him company, now that Gath was gone.

"Do you want to be my dog?" he repeated.

As if he needed to ask. Hadn't it been obvious from the start? Carca smiled at him in her strange dog-way and thought, "I do."

END PART ONE

Meanings to names:

Carca- fang

Gath- shadow

Beleg- mighty

Perlomë- Midnight (or half-night, if you want to be literal)

Aráto- loyal (Legolas needs help with naming his animals too, doesn't he?)

Cúkáno- bow commander

Glorfindel- golden haired (or golden haired horror, depending on how you translate it.)

Asfaloth- I have no clue

Erestor- lonely one (that was the best one I could find. His name is rather vague.)

Legolas- greenleaf

Bill- resolute protector (bet you didn't know that)

Elrond- star dome

Estel- hope

Aragorn- tree king (according a couple wonderful reviewers)

Elladan- man of the stars

Elrohir- star rider

Everyone else's name is irrelevant.

To those who reviewed, thank you! Everything you wrote meant a lot to me, all suggestions were considered, and every compliment encouraged me. I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.