Title: Forever or Never
Author: groffiction
Rating: M
Fandom: LOTR
Summary: What would have happened if there was a tenth walker that had a secret so large, that it could possibly doom his companions? And what if that secret was revealed in the most extraordinary way, allowing that person to rise above his ancestors and take his place as king of the dragons? And what would happen… if that young dragonling found love in the heart of an elf prince? Set to the movies, but has a smidgeon of places mentioned in the books.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything to do with the LOTR, the Hobbit, or anything written by J.R.R. Tolkein. Locien and everyone else you DON'T recognize, including the way the plot turns, are MINE. No touchy!
Author's Notes/Warnings: Just as fair warning, this is my very first LOTR fanfiction, so the characters MIGHT be a little OOC, but I will do my best to keep them in character. Also, this is a SLASH fic, meaning eventual boy on boy love. Full list of warnings: M/M Slash, eventual sex, mentions of previous abuse and torture, angst, violence, mpreg waaaayyy down the road, gore, and mayhem.

Chapter One: The Short End of the Stick

"You want me to what?" I said, a dumb –struck expression plastered all over my face, I imagine.

My father nodded slowly with a stern glower, one that could easily petrify a hundred Orcs or more. Either way it went, my father was not happy with me questioning his words. But I couldn't help it.

I mean, seriously, who wouldn't question a parent if they suddenly… out of the blue stated that their youngest son had to go on some insane quest, joining a Fellowship of some sort of ring. What was up with that? Clearly my father was barking mad, wanting me to go all the way to Rivendell… which is farther from us than the north pole, mind you, and go incognito… meaning I won't be able to be in my dragon form unless one of the Fellowship is on death's door.

How ridiculous is that?

Now, I don't mind going on adventures, or hunting, or being a warrior if I have to. But this… this was just ludicrous! I hesitantly smiled at my father, making things worse, of course. "You… you're joking, right?"

"I wish I was." The tall, seemingly invincible dragon leader that was my father, said.

I really did not like what he said.

"Ok… look, father… I know I am sort of a loser, and do incredibly stupid things, but what have I done to cause you to order me on an insane quest?" I tried to take the 'pity me' route.

It didn't work. But I couldn't help but try. A dragon's desperate sometimes. And this was one of those times.

My father sighed, and for a moment I thought he looked his age for once. All birth dragons have an ageless quality that rivaled the elves. Of course, I have never seen an elf, but that is what everyone who has seen them, say. Now my great and wonderful father seemed very tired and aged. It was as if all of the light had gone out of his eyes.

And that, my friends, is what told me that my father was indeed, not happy about this one bit. Did that help lessen my horror? No.

Not at all.

Ok, maybe a little.

But still! I was about ready to panic when my father said, "It's not like I have a choice in the matter. The speaking stone said that if the son of the dragon king that has not reached maturity does not gain it in the quest for the destruction of the Ring of Power, then all the world would fall into shadow."

I gaped at him. "The speaking stone told you this?"

"Yes, lad, I am afraid it did. So, you will have to go on this quest. And in so doing, grow up essentially. I do not have to tell you what might happen if you fail." My father said softly.

"Yes, yes… I gathered that by all of the doomsday speaking. Now that I am thoroughly scared out of my wits, I will just go pack." Then I arched an eyebrow. "Does mother know?"

"Yes, which is why I have a migraine about the size of the Lonely Mountain." My father groaned, rubbing his temples.

I would have felt sympathy for my father if I was not being put on some mundane asinine quest to Mordor of all places with a group of people who might indeed kill me if they ever found out about my true lineage. Dragons and the two legged folk of Middle Earth did NOT get along, let me tell you.

Perhaps it was a good thing that us 'birth' dragons could keep human-elf-like forms for long periods of time. Still, I was used to shifting into my dragon form whenever I felt like it! Restraining my natural instincts would be very hard to do.

But, as I looked at the tired and miserable form of my father, I sighed in resignation. What was done was done. And that is all there is to it. The speaking stone gave me the short end of the stick. I was the youngest son of the king of the dragons, and I am the only one out of my father's brood that has not yet taken the rights of adulthood. I am still a dragonling, even though I could be deemed an adult by human standards.

From what I have read about the two legged earth-horders, their young matured at as early as the age of fifteen or sixteen.

I was around that age… give or take a few thousand years. Despite all of that, I still had not sought out the rights of adulthood. There were many reasons why… but the easiest to explain was that I was lazy. Pure and simple. And adult dragons had way too much responsibility… and were so drab and dull.

All they did was sit around and gripe amongst themselves about how terrible their lives were, all the while protecting their young and the whole of Withered Heath. It was quite sad really, watching them gripe their lives away.

Unfortunately, their snide temperament seems to have rubbed off on me as well.

Maybe it was a GOOD thing that I would be leaving my home, possibly never to return again. It would be nice to get away from the boringness of home for a while. But still… a quest like this one was a bit much on the adventure scale.

Finding myself a bit put out, I hurriedly packed what I would need for the long trip. Luckily for me, I suppose, I was trained at an early age how to live off the land and how to fight. Being the youngest son of the king of the dragons had it's perks along with it's annoying responsibilities. I was trained as a future prospect to the throne, even though I had forty five brothers and sisters that were older than me.

But, as the saying goes for all of us dragons, the throne is only earned, not given to an heir just because he is the oldest. I never really thought about assuming the throne of the dragons. Yes, I despised half of the rules that were put into place in our kingdom, but hell, every kingdom has those. I, for one, think that the rule about coloring rocks to look like eggs being forbidden is quite frankly, stupid. If mothers did not know what their eggs looked like, then where would us dragons be today?

It's not like I will ever have to be an egg bearer. I am one of the royals, so I don't have the ability to lay eggs. Yes, males can lay eggs too. They just don't do so unless there are no females around. Survival of the species and all that nonsense. Since I am a birth dragon, meaning I was born from a female and not an egg, I will have the ability to have children the mammal way.

Sounds rather disturbing, if you ask me.

But getting back to the situation at hand. I packed several things into my bottomless pit of a pack, making sure to put provisions, bandages, salve, and weapons. After that was all packed at the bottom, I put in some changes of clothes and jerky. Though I didn't much like jerky, it would serve to fill my stomach if there was a shortage of game nearby.

A bit later, I stood atop a cliff looking over the Grey Mountains to my right. It was nearly sundown, and I was to leave at the butt-crack of dawn the next morning. I wasn't feeling good about this prospective journey at all, but it wasn't like I had a choice.

If the speaking stone said that you had to do something, you did it without question. It was not a good thing to ignore the wise words of the ancient globe. My father had been able to rule the dragons peacefully for thousands of years once he took up that gift from the Maia… the ancient wizards.

But that was before the peoples of Middle-Earth grew greedy and untrustworthy. I'd be lucky if I did not get skinned alive if one of the Fellowship found out about my lineage. It was best to keep it secret for as long as possible.

As the arctic wind brushed through my long black hair, I wondered if this truly would be my last sunset… looking over the Grey Mountains. I would miss it here, yes, but I had never been outside of the dragon lands, so I did not know if there were far more beautiful sunsets to behold.

Without turning, I felt my father approach to my left. He came to stand beside me, just enjoying the quiet of the evening. Soon, however, he broke the silence, "I would not have sent you on a quest of adulthood for another thousand years, but I must do what the speaking stone instructs. You will not fail in this task. I have faith in you."

"I understand." And I did, though it didn't mean I had to like it. "I just wish I had faith in myself."

"You will find your faith… and your courage. This is why I am giving you the onyx talisman to help aid you on your journey." My father gently put the pendant on a long silver chain around my neck. The cool stone felt comforting on my chest, and I idly rubbed it's smoothness.

It was a rare gift indeed to receive a talisman of any kind. This was my father's, crafted long ago when the earth was young and evil had not yet seen it's shores. I turned and hugged my father, knowing without a doubt that once I returned, if I ever did, I would be a changed person. I wanted to remember this evening, to remember his advice and soft spoken words.

The next morning, my eldest brother, Arel, met me before I left. He was a proud, strong fire dragon, who had the hair of the setting sun. I had envied those lustrous locks for near a thousand years before giving up on my hair color. It was black… and would be black until the end of time. I had to deal with it.

My brother gifted me a fiery blade crafted by his own hands in the pits of one of our most active volcanoes. It was a black blade, but in battle would turn fiery red hot when encountering evil. I gripped the hilt and smiled. It truly was a magnificent sword, and would serve me well. My mother then came up and gave me a gift of her own making.

"Give this to someone you deem as special…. And he or she will not befall of any harm while wearing it." As she placed the silver choker around my neck, I felt more protected than ever before.

"Thank you, mother." I whispered, giving her a huge hug, ignoring the embarrassing smirks my family was giving me.

Mother kissed my cheek before she wished me well, and I took up my weapons, bow and arrows, cloak and pack. I left, transforming for probably the last time, in quite a while.

I would travel high above the clouds, making the route over the Gray Mountains, and down the spire of the Misty Mountains. It would be a wise decision not to come into any contact with the elves of Mirkwood, and stay on the mountains. I might encounter Orcs or goblins on the way, but did not fear them. As younger dragonlings my best friend and I had hunted the foul creatures for sport.

It had been amusing to see the foul things scatter and screech in terror. But after a few too many hunts coming away smelling like Orc shit, my mother had put an end to our outings. "Let your eldest brother deal with the outer borders, and stay here where it is safer," she had said. But I think that my mother truly did not want us to come home every night smelling like Orcs.

Out of my brothers and sisters, I was the only one left at home. So, it made sense that she wanted one of my siblings to scout the borders. Less for her to smell, I am sure.

Orcs and goblins were to dragons as mosquitoes were to common folk, from what I have heard. They gave healthy stings, but were amusing to kill.

As I flew over the snow capped mountains, I briefly let my guard down to spy at the sunrise as it peaked over the horizon. It was a beautiful, crisp morning, but the cold did not bother me. It was refreshing, and felt good on my black scales. Being a rare black dragon with the ability of blue flame had it's perks. Out of all of my family, just I and my father were that type of dragon.

And as I sailed over the clouds and passed out of sight of my homeland, I snorted out blue flame, letting the sky know that Locien, a prince of the dragons, was finally going on his quest for maturity.

*Yes, I know Locien is a bit of a griper, if not a whiner. But he eventually grows up, but his sarcasm still stays. I hope you all enjoyed this!*