Disclaimer: I own nothing that the brilliant mind of J. R. R. Tolkien has ever put forth with pen, paper, or type writer. Nor do I intend to impose upon the astonishing masterpiece Peter Jackson so artfully created for the public eye.
Author's Note: I would like to apologize for the delay, and state that due to a logical conclusion, I am now going to write shorter chapters. This ensures that they will come out faster, because I really do feel guilty taking so long. But it's CRAZY going to school full time at night, and teaching full time during the day. And I'm trying to write a book. But I apologize, and I reassure you that I am not taking classes in the summer and chapters will be faster in coming.
Enjoy! And please, PLEASE review. If nothing else, it guilts me into updating. But really because I love getting them. Signing onto your email and finding reviews is…like… orgasmic.
Okok, go read. And please, if you have any comments or criticisms, don't hold back. Well ok, hold back a little on the criticisms.
Also, for anyone who reads Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, I have written a fanfiction based off of her trilogy, starting at the end of Eclipse.
Artemis had stormed off, leaving Legolas alone on the terrace.
And there he remained, silent, contemplating.
He could have returned to the celebration, basked in a pint of stale ale, or even retired to his room.
But he did none of these; instead he stood in the night, gazing at the stars, and thought of the mysterious woman who'd swept past him, yet again.
If he had let himself admit such things, he'd know that in truth she'd possessed the majority of his thoughts since that day in the woods. That day he first set eyes on the strangest creature he'd ever seen.
He let himself admit this now, as he studied the stars. He hadn't really looked at the constellations in centuries, hadn't truly thought of them in longer.
But now he did. She'd mentioned the stars in passing, one night, during their travels. She'd said they were different from hers.
How could that be? How could the stars of one land differ from the stars of another?
In all the centuries he'd known, the stars had been a constant, unchangeable. Yet, when Boromir had passed, she'd spoken of putting him in the sky, much like the Valar had.
What manner of being was she?
He thought of the markings on her skin, the doe eyes that frightened, fascinated, and soothed at once. The fluid, deer-like grace with which she moved. Was she of the Valar? Was it possible? Did the gods send her to aid them in the war?
Yet she spoke not of the Valar.
She spoke of little, and certainly never to Legolas. But when she was calm and open, she spoke to Gimli, who, Legolas must confess, was the least intimidating of the companions. Legolas had often overheard their conversations, and what she spoke of had never before reached his ears in all the millennia he'd walked Middle Earth.
Could she, really, be a god, Valar or no?
It was nonsense. Wasn't it?
Legolas made his way to his room, to retire for the night.
But that one stray thought remained, dancing in the back of his mind.
The sun was rising, and Artemis watched the light grow with each passing minute. She hadn't slept at all that night, too many worries and thoughts dancing through her mind. Thoughts of home, worries of returning, thoughts of her family and friends and the war she'd stumbled upon in this strange land.
Thoughts of Legolas. But, more often, worries about the same man. If you could call him a man. He was unlike any man she'd ever met.
Though, truth be told, she'd met very few before.
She heard a bird call, and with it came the resolve to face the day.
Artemis turned from the window, gaze scanning the strange room, and attention leaving her musings. When her mind cleared of her thoughts, she realized she felt lighter. Stronger. Before, she'd been unable to hear to her fullest ability, but now the murmurings of the castle guards reached her ears. The colors were brighter, the reds of the curtains were richer, the white of the sheets was purer.
The whites of the sheets.
Artemis had been wearing the scant leather clothing for over a week now. In the presence of men. She'd avoided wishing for other clothing, because there was nothing she could do to remedy the situation; but here, in this room full of fabric, there was.
She walked towards the bed, and tore the thick coverlet from the mattress, revealing the sheet beneath. This she held up, eyeing the fabric and judging the size.
Stripping off her leather clothes, she moved to the basin and washed as well as she was able. Then wrapped the sheet about herself, creating a toga and feeling more at home. Her hair left to cascade down her back and the skirt of the toga was left loose enough to run, and high enough that it would not trail on the ground.
Feeling more comfortable, and modest, Artemis donned her quiver of silver arrows and her bow, and opened the door.
She'd expected the stares, she'd received them far too often the night before. And, truthfully, while at home the people knew of her as a deity and accepted her appearance, they'd avoided her as well. They'd stared and whispered and skirted around her when she approached. She'd never looked like those around her, there'd never been anyone like her before, and she doubted there ever would be.
Here, in this strange land, the people knew not of her godly status, knew not of her origins, her relations. To them she was strange, someone to be feared, or gawked at.
And now she was wrapped in bed linens.
Ah well, aside from the nymphs and her brother, Artemis had always been left alone. This was nothing new. So her chin held high, her shoulders back, Artemis made her way back to the Great Hall, where they'd rid the king of his possessor the day before.
The king was pacing, surrounded by the remains of the fellowship, and Eowyn. She knelt by two children who guzzled food as if it was their last meal.
All of them looked up when she entered, staring at her garb. One of the children let loose a giggle, before her older brother frowned at her and she looked ashamedly into her soup. Eowyn rushed forward.
"Oh, dear, I have dresses you can borrow. Come, when this matter is done, I'll show them to you."
Artemis stepped back from her, keeping a wary distance. "No, this is the clothing of my people."
Eowyn had opened her mouth to say more, but flinched away at her uncle's impatient tone. "Enough! We will not speak of such frivolous matters at a time like this. Orcs ride as we speak; Saruman gathers dark forces to attack at his will. We must plan."
Gandalf nodded, his face aged with worry. "I agree. We must fight."
The king looked amazedly at Gandalf. "Fight? Fight with whom? We have no soldiers, we have no army. We'd stand no chance if we fought here and now."
"No, that's why we must seek the riders. Eomir will fight for us." Gandalf gripped his staff, sure of his solution, yet unsure of the king.
For good reason. "Eomir? He is leagues away by now. The army marches on, there is no time. No, we will not fight. We will flee to Helm's Deep. And there we will be safe. Gather all that we can carry: food, blankets, water, supplies. All of it."
Artemis stood upon the steps of the castle, watching the villagers rush to pack. Children carried fabrics, food. Women carried children, tools. Men carried weapons, supplies. Anything they would need in the weeks to come. Helm's Deep, apparently, was a safe haven that's proved itself in past wars to be a sturdy fortress.
Artemis hoped, for the sake of these people, that that was the case now.
The townspeople of Rohan were gathering to march to the keep, the king standing before them atop a great white horse, speaking words of encouragement.
She jumped when she felt a presence behind her that had not been there a moment before. She turned around to see Legolas standing on the step above hers.
He was looking off to the distance, his eyes narrowed, watching something moving far away. Artemis followed his line of vision and spotted a flurry of white movement on the horizon.
Legolas spoke, knowing she'd spotted the horse rider. "Gandalf. He's left to find Eomir. He does not trust the safety of the keep."
Artemis's heart froze. In the short days she'd known him, she'd realized he was wise beyond his years. Indeed, far wiser than many of the gods, for all their centuries of existence.
"Then there is hope that he may succeed, and these people will live."
His eyes relaxed and she could feel his gaze on her. "Then you do not hold hope for Helm's Deep?"
Artemis shook her head. "I come from a land far different from yours, and stranger creatures still. Yet none show such evil and persistence as these 'orcs' in your land. I do not think that any wall could keep them out for long. I should not like to see that happen."
"Then you intend to defend them? To fight for the Men of Middle Earth with the fellowship?"
She glared up at them. "Or stand behind the men like some meek woman? Of course I'll fight. These people deserve better times than the ones I've encountered."
She turned from him and strode down the steps, stopping to scoop a child that had strayed from the crowd. Holding him at her hip, and her bow in her other hand, the goddess of the hunt and childbirth strode to the front of the people of Rohan, white fabric swishing about her ankles, molten gold streaks on her flesh lighting in the sun, and feathered curls cascading down her back to be fingered by a boy no older than two, his other thumb in his mouth.
Legolas could not help but admire the sight.