Title: For Every Evil
Summary: Legolas is a policeman in 2004. His colleagues start to wonder why the 10-yr veteran doesn't age & more trouble ahead after he runs across the Fellowship & some friends in modern incarnations, resurrected along with a new world-threatening peril.
Europe, Late 2003
She was not quite sure of who he was, what he did for a living, why he had this nobility that seemed unparalleled even by anyone from the high society she frequented. The mystery was dangerously intoxicating, and has been ever since that first time she set her eyes on him.
They met in an antique shop just outside Rome, one of those old rundown ones that she loved because of their quaint charm, and was heady with age and history. She instantly liked the look of him; aristocratic, ageless. He was just so beautiful, and there was a peace to him, just this quiet dignity that she found so enchanting.
He was admiring a carved antique book cover. It was how they met. She recognized the art and admired his taste even as she bit her lip in thought, wondering if she ought to do something about the pressing situation (i.e. that they did not know each other). She was not used to making the first move; it was never necessary before, and she noted with a great amount of displeasure that he hardly realized she was there.
"Fifth century," she blurted out from beside him, and when he looked at her with his penetrating eyes, she felt instantly foolish and girlish and silly.
His brows rose as he spoke. He had a melodious voice, well-modulated. Entrancing to say the least. "Yes, of course. I'm familiar with the piece."
"I'm not quite sure if they know just how valuable it is," she confided in him of the quaint antique shop manned by a pair of near-sighted old spinsters, her words rushing out from her mouth because of her nerves, "Fifth century," she said again, wanting to kick herself.
He smiled at her warmly, almost coaxing her to relax except the look was so inalienably radiant that it might have done just the opposite.
His name was Elladan, and he left it at that. Now she was almost thirty, incredibly successful and undoubtedly wealthy. She knew she was relatively beautiful, and had a curious effect on most men that she was mature enough not only to admit to but also to use toward her desired ends. She reminded herself of these things as she gave him her card and told him (rather lamely) that if he was interested in such things, he really ought to give her a call.
Elladan looked at the card. Her name was Anatalia Craxi, and he recognized the name as easily as he recognized her face. The Italian woman was a tabloid mainstay, the heiress to a successful media empire with a luscious face and what was generally perceived to be an even more luscious love life… divorce from one husband included. The title on her card said she was the president of the family's publishing house.
"You must be a woman of many talents," he said evenly, "to be in the print media, and to be so knowledgeable in art history as well."
"It's more of a hobby," she admitted with a rueful smile.
They talked some more, and strayed to a nearby café. By the time she drove home that evening, she told her father she was in love. The mogul was, of course, vastly displeased and pointed out that she ought to be careful; the man could very well be just some gold-digger on a quest for her money.
Anatalia was painfully wary of this, of course, having learned from her previous marriage. But she visited Elladan's estate in Vienna for a weekend a pair of months after they decided to see each other regularly, and realized he must have at least as much money as she did.
The house was large, opulent. The mansion was situated in a compound filled with gardens and fountains, everything firmly surrounded by a formidable wall. Her visits to the European countryside always made her wonder what lay behind these walls, and now she knew. The sights were breathtaking, and had a curiously old spirit about it. She almost expected ghosts or fairies to pop out from their hiding places. As a staunch admirer of history, everything about the estate was making her giddy.
"Welcome to Imladris," Elladan told her with a smile, noticing with pleasure the new spring to her step and the light in her brilliant eyes.
"You will show me around," she said to him delightedly, booking no objections as she hooked her hand about his proffered arm.
She came from work in Milan, and she brought a smart suitcase with her, along with bags of clothes. He divested her of her matching luggage, shaking his head at her in dismay over the frivolity.
"It's a guilty pleasure!" she laughed defensively. He handed all of her things to a discreet majordomo. He was older than Elladan, surely, but she could not place exactly how old, just as she was clueless about the age of her beautiful and mysterious beau. The house, these men… they were very nearly like fascinating ghosts to her.
"Is your eye wandering, Ana?" Elladan teased her, following her gaze, "Should I be jealous?" She opened her mouth to argue, but he was on a roll, "Looking at my servants, on top of the fact that you brought your work with you… Were you planning on ignoring for the duration of your stay here?"
"Yes," Anatalia lied bold-facedly, before adding with a smile, "I brought something that might be of interest to you. I'm actually very excited to hear what you think."
They settled in the library for tea. She was gawking at the vastness of his collection of books, and he seemed somewhat nervous as she picked up a volume or two and leafed through them.
"These symbols," Anatalia said, perplexed, "I've never seen them before. But I can tell these are at least centuries old! Why… you have millions worth of ancient art and literature here."
"What is it you were so excited to show me?" he asked her with an inviting smile. She hesitantly placed the books right where she found them, and leafed through her suitcase from earlier. She handed him a batch of photographs and asked him to look at them closely.
He did not need to look so hard to discover what was making her so excited.
Elladan's heart nearly stopped at the sight of the very first photograph. It was a picture of a sketch of a group of explorers, dated 1585, set in Roanoke Island off North Carolina. In it was a batch of uniformed men interacting with some old American tribe, and one of these men was a blonde, clear-eyed fellow with sculpted jaws and a noble expression on his pleasant face.
Legolas, Elladan realized at once, his mind racing and his heart pounding as he flipped through the other photographs.
The next one was a photograph of another sketch, this time aboard a ship called the "Endeavor," dated 1769. It was no surprise that another blonde man stood there with his open, earnest and noble face.
Another sketch, this time in Java of 1820, showed Legolas with the entourage of a British governor. The next was a 1916 photograph, set in England of a batch of army recruits for World War I. The last was a photograph from London, 1940, of rescue workers busy with the aiding of the air-raided city during World War II. Throughout these sketches and photographs, his clothes changed, his hair changed, times changed… but it was all so distinctly him.
"Amazing, isn't it?" Anatalia asked, knowing from his face that he knew just why these photographs were very important.
"Who is he?" Elladan gulped, fearing she would know the answer. That blasted elf was supposed to have gone to the Undying Lands ages ago!
"I don't know," she said, "A recluse of an Englishwoman named Francine Davenport died some years ago and her entire estate was auctioned off. She lost all her children and her husband during the war. No relatives at all. She had a rather interesting set of photographs and historical documents so I bought it all on a whim. I only found the time to take a good look at these a few months back."
"Well these photographs are all dated," Elladan pointed out, "It should not be hard to take a look at ship's logs and military records."
"I looked already," she told him, "The only names common to all these years and all these photographs is that there was a Davenport assigned to this ship or this location. Not a surprise since Francine kept them all. In 1585, a first mate named Davenport was part of the group who sailed to Roanoke Island from England. 1769, another Davenport, grandchild of the 1585 one was with the legendary Captain Cook in an exploration of Tahiti. In 1820, a grandchild of the 1769 Davenport was with a British diplomatic group to Java… the same with the 1916 and 1940 photographs."
Elladan looked at the pictures again. He was so caught off-guard by the sight of Legolas that he did not notice that all the photographs also showed men who had similar features and must be the various generations of the Davenport family.
"The family has a long and glorious tradition in the Service," Anatalia continued, "But this man," she pointed to Legolas, "Either he doesn't age," she laughed nervously, "Is a ghost, or also has a family with generations in the Service as well, who incidentally all look alike."
Her cell phone was ringing, and she hurriedly passed some aged correspondence to Elladan. "I was intrigued. The letters from the 16th century talk about a fellow named Legolas Greenleaf. Those from the 18th century talk about a man named Lane Garrison. Those from the 19th century speak of Luke Grey. Francine Davenport was a packrat, she kept everything. Not atypical of a woman in a family steeped in military tradition."
She excused herself and walked to a corner of the room to answer the pressing phone call.
Elladan looked at the photographs and the letters. He was miserable, and all at once exhilerated over the idea that the Prince of Mirkwood, an old friend, was possibly somewhere near.
That is, he thought worriedly, if he did not manage to get himself killed between now and… he gulped, looking at the most recent photograph, 1940.
He glanced up at beautiful Anatalia… she was already a risk to begin with, but now her knowledge and curiosity was an even greater threat to his concealed identity and immortality. Though he now lived in an age of anonymity, it was also an age of records and documentation. It was harder and harder to live as an affluent immortal in times like these, so he consistently kept a low profile. It's only recently that he broke his disciplined isolation; her fire and intelligence was one that he could not bear to detach himself from, since that moment he met her.
She ended the call and strode back to him with a bright-eyed smile. "You know he caught my eye because for some reason, he reminded me of you."
Elladan smiled back at her wanly, not quite pleased about that, "Did he?"
"Oh yes," she replied, "You know I'm thinking of investigating this further and writing a book if it should yield anything of interest. Wouldn't that be fantastic?"
He gathered all of her papers and decided to hide his fears and thoughts by teasing her as he handed them back. "Well if you own the publishing company it shouldn't give you any trouble at all."
Elrohir returned Sunday evening to find that his twin brother's lady love already left for Milan. Elladan seldom asked for favors, and Elrohir noted with a great amount of irritation that it was a rather clever device for him to point out whenever he asked for monumental requests.
Such as, Elrohir thought irritably, Asking me to vanish for a weekend when my first perspective sister-in-law in centuries comes over for a house visit.
"Why?" he remembers asking, profoundly frustrated over the secrecy.
"Because I'm not sure," Elladan said, "She is an interesting woman. I think I could love her. But I have to see, for myself, by myself, how she fits inside Imladris…"
Elrohir knew what he meant; Elladan needed to see if she felt right, if his long and isolated life could find a worthy mistress at last. Imladris, though much diminished in size and scale by the ages, was still persistently grand and a great symbol and reminder of the eternity of their living. Anatalia Craxi, on the other hand, was the embodiment of an empowered and modern woman. Elrohir understood Elladan's need to see how these vast contrasts melded.
Still, the more mischievous side of him figured, it was fair game to return home slightly early, in case he could still get a sight of the curious Italian woman who was driving his brother crazy.
I'm sorry, my cunning brother, Elladan greeted him at the door, She left some hours ago. I thought you might be up to something.
Elrohir did not bother to deny, and instead went straight to the crux of the entire episode, And so, am I going to have a sister-in-law at last?
Elladan winced. I'm not sure. Things got complicated.
TO BE CONTINUED…
First of all, massive thanks to all who read and reviewed "An Unknown Place:" Lady Eleclya, Silvertongue, Jenihenpen, unplugged32, wadeva, Ella-elbereth, catmint, kristina, po-pla, ElvenEyes, Gissela, Stoneage Woman, Rangergirl, fhc, tychen, LOTRfaith, Platy, Barbara Kennedy, mischakitsune, templa otmena, child of the stars 1, millisa, KumQuat, silvertoekee, snow-glory, lady rotherane and eile igen briain :) You guys are fantastic!
Secondly, another massive thanks to all whom I've not thanked for reading and reviewing through the last parts of the "Last Stand:" AngelMouse5, Gollum's Fish, Aranna Undomiel, Cotume, Keithan, Grumpy, specialfeel, AM, ElessarLover, Starlit Hope, Amthramiel, Alariel, LOTRFaith, Miss Attitude, Barbara Kennedy, Deana, From the Silen Planet, Phydothis, Alexia, Kourin Lucrece, Sirnonenath, JadziaKathryn, Amy, Platy, Manders1953, Tychen, Jenihenpen, sodalite, MSL, wadeva, Gozilla, wew, Waking Dream, Elessar-lover, po-pla, mystic23, jenzy, dragonfly, simian and stoneage woman.
Thanks to all who read also :) Thank you for putting up with all my dramatics, haha :) I had been so uncertain about this piece and I'm glad it worked out. Thank you for the inspiration :)
I was really burned out after that effort… I was beginning to think it would be my last stand too, haha! But well, here's a new story for you. It's going to be much 'bigger' than "An Unknown Place," much (MUCH) happier, haha (I know I keep giving you guys angst and I'm so sorry!) and is yet another experimental piece. I won't update as frequently since I'm mightily busy but anyway, I hope you have fun with it J
Next chapter, we'll see Legolas as a detective in Los Angeles :)
'TIL THE NEXT POST!!!