Title: The Writer's Mind
Author: Ainu Laire
Summary: The imagination is a wondrous place, where both the best and the worst of fantasies are created. Unfortunately, Aragorn and Legolas have stumbled upon the worst…
A/N: I was in the middle of reading some fan fiction pieces when this certain plot latched itself onto my leg and would not let go until I fulfilled its needs. This is a humor piece written in honor of all the Aragorn and Legolas torture writers out there. Big shout out to all those in the MC Yahoo Group!
The Last Homely House was a place of peace and serenity. For those who knew of its location it was a place where they could recuperate after weeks of traveling the endless Wilds of Eriador. It was a place where no evil stirred and the only thing one would see were cheerful, smiling elves. Everyone with good intentions were welcome, and this haven was the nearest thing to perfect on Arda.
However, there was one that was not at peace at the moment. Deep in the folds of his covers, a man tumbled within his sheets, trapped within his nightmares that dark, cloudy night. For many years he had these dreams, though they became more frequent once he discovered his true identity. They nearly ceased to exist when he served in Rohan and Gondor, and whilst in Lórien he had none at all. But ever since he had returned to Imladris, they came back with increased power. And once more he dreamed.
He found himself yet again in a cell. The first time he had dreamt this at a mere thirteen summers, he was absolutely terrified. By the fifth time, he was slightly confused. When he came to the age of twenty, he was thoroughly annoyed and had lost count of how many times he dreamt this reoccurring nightmare (around thirty-two he had lost track). He was pretty sure that he had been in this cell, or something similar, at least one hundred times.
Not all his dreams were in cells, though a good amount of them were. Plenty of them were in the Wild, somehow in the hands of someone or something evil bent on destroying him or those closest to his heart. A few times he had been in a cave or a tunnel, usually with orcs. But then there was this one very odd time that he was with a wizard he had never met nor seen before… called himself 'Wizard of Many Colors'. He asked Gandalf if there was such a wizard, but Gandalf just chuckled in his face and shook his head, saying that he had too wild an imagination.
'It is hardly my fault,' thought the man darkly as he played with the straw in his cell. Almost all the cells looked the same; you'd think that they would be more creative. Chains, torture devices, cold stone walls and floors, locked iron doors, and sometimes some straw… never once had he seen something interesting or unique. Like a tree. A tree growing in the middle of a cell would be quite unusual. Of course, there were plenty of trees in the Wild where he was usually tied to and beaten… but never in a cell. Pity. It would give him something to do… he could climb it, try to carve into it with his fingernails and teeth, or construct a key out of woodchips… most entertaining.
And then, of course, there were the villains. He wasn't sure who or what it was in this certain dream, but he still recalled every villain from his past dreams. Bounty hunters, assassins, orcs, a random group of evil men, some elves with a grudge, Ringwraiths, Barrow-wights, undead spirits, and sometimes even the Dark Lord himself were in them. Then there were others… creatures he was sure did not exist. If he was being honest with himself, he was slightly concerned that his mind had come up with that half-elf, half-human woman who could transform into a dragon and had a grudge against men because of her father. It was hardly her father's fault that he was mortal, died, and his wife succumbed to grief and left that poor, innocent half-elf, half-human in the dark, lonely world to be raised by dragons… in fact, it wasn't really his fault either. So why did she capture him? It did not make any sense…
He blinked. He was thinking about the motives of odd villains in his dreams. While he was dreaming. He shook his head, and stared at the iron door. If this was a dream, why could he never turn that iron door into Arwen? Or make some type of key appear in his hand? Or make a tree sprout in the middle of the cell? He shook his head. If Legolas could hear his thoughts right now, he'd be doomed to live the rest of his life with the elf's taunting.
Legolas. Legolas appeared quite often in his dreams, alongside Elladan, Elrohir, or even Elrond and Thranduil. Most of the time they were being tortured with him, or trying to save him just to miserably fail. He didn't understand it. Every single time they came to rescue him, one of his captors happened to pass by and all hopes of escape were lost. It was very annoying. Occasionally Arwen would appear, which would lift his spirits immensely. First few times he was terrified to see her tortured alongside himself, but now he knows that after the torture they are usually left alone in the cell for a few hours… the only good part about these nightmares. Odd enough, his mother never appeared in them… he assumed he should be thankful. It was as if she did not exist, or as if she were dead… odd indeed.
He sighed. He at first feared these dreams, but now he was just thoroughly annoyed. He hadn't told anyone about them, afraid that they would think him crazy… or worse, hover over him like a mother hen and treat him as a child. Rolling his eyes, he wondered if they would ever realize that he was over fifty years old and not a child anymore.
Suddenly, he heard a key being put into the door. This door was fully made of iron and had no windows to look through, so he could not see who had captured him this time. He knew that it was a villain, for he was always tortured in his dreams, even if a rescuer came. He had to be physically, emotionally, or psychologically tortured every single time… sometimes combinations of two of them, or all three! It was quite frightening at first, but he was pretty sure he knew every single type of torture method by now.
He wondered who it would be this time. Easterlings or corsairs? Ringwraiths? Some odd creature that didn't exist? And then, what would be his purpose being there? Grudge against Elrond and his house or the Dúnedain? Someone after Isildur's heir? Or maybe someone who just wants a slave… well, there was only one way to find out.
The door finally swung open, and he blinked in surprise. Out of all people, he wasn't expecting him so early in the dream…
"Legolas?" asked the man.
"There you are, Aragorn. Come on, we must leave." Legolas stood impatiently at the door, tapping his foot in a most un-elflike manner.
Aragorn blinked. Finally, he shook his head. "No, it's pointless. Someone will soon be coming and we both will succumb to pain and torture. You'd best leave while you have the chance… though you probably won't make it. You never do."
"Aragorn! There is no time for this! Come on, we must-"
"No, really, Legolas, it is pointless. They always catch up in the end. Trust me, I've tried dozens of times to escape. But tell me, who are my captors this time? Orcs, men, some elves?" He idly played with the straw in his hand as Legolas stared at him with a frown.
"It is naught elves, men, nor orcs," said Legolas.
Aragorn looked up from the straw. "Really?" he asked, obvious interest in his voice. "That's good… they were getting predictable. So, what is it this time?"
"The same people that bring you here every single time. The same villains that bring you these horrific nightmares for their own entertainment."
Aragorn frowned. "You must be mistaken. I mean, that half-elf, half-human girl raised by dragons is certainly not the same thing as Sauron-"
"No, no, Aragorn. None of your enemies in your dreams have ever captured you."
"Well, obviously they have not taken me, I'm dreaming- say, how do you know this is a dream?"
Legolas' features darkened. "I too have had dreams like this, ever since I was an elfing. Dreams of capture and torture. Many of them were with my mother, who either was killed or sailed into the West… I haven't an idea why. She's perfectly fine with my father in Mirkwood."
Aragorn's brow furrowed with confusion. "Aren't you supposed to be in Mirkwood?"
"I am in Mirkwood, but I also am asleep. But ask no more questions until we are safely out of here! Trust me, my friend."
Aragorn bit his lip, and then nodded. "Alright. This dream is different from the rest… maybe you are indeed not a figment of my imagination."
Legolas smiled grimly. "I assure you, I am not. I also am trapped within this alternate reality between our world and theirs."
"Our world and theirs…?"
"No time for explanations! Let us leave!"