Disclaimer: Anything that you recognize belongs to the very talented J.R.R. Tolkien, and that unfortunately includes a certain elven prince :(.
A/N: Okay so I decided to give this a try, I'm not usually into the A/U stuff but I decided to see if I could pull it off. Your feedback would mean a lot to me so please let me know what you think. Again, A/U isn't my usual style but I'm experimenting here.
Worlds Apart: Chapter 1
Maya was late for work. There were a whole series of events that led up to this. First the alarm clock didn't go off at the usual 6:30 in the morning, so instead of having time to shower and make sure she looked somewhat presentable, Maya woke up at 7:00 with just under 15 minutes to get ready and out the door. The second problem was that the espresso machine didn't start and a day that began without her morning caffeine fix was going to be a bad day indeed. Groaning in frustration, Maya had raced out the front door of her apartment, still pulling her arm through the sleeve of her coat and ran like hell to catch the subway.
This was not good. She'd only just gotten promoted from an intern to an actual staff writer for National Geographic and now she was going to blow it, all because of her stupid alarm clock...and the lack of caffeine was just making her cranky at this point.
Trying to run through a New York subway station at rush hour was just nuts, even Maya knew it was futile at this point but she just couldn't be late. No, not after her editor had pulled some serious strings to get her this job. Yea, way to make a good impression by being late for your second day...Not to mention the editorial meeting she would probably have to barge in on, earning her more than a few disapproving stares.
"Shit!" cursed Maya as the subway doors closed just before she could get on.
Great. She was going to have a wonderful time explaining this one.
When she finally ran into the office, out of breath, hair flying in all directions she was half an hour late. She groaned as she caught sight of her editor standing outside their conference room, arms crossed and tapping his foot nervously. He gave a sigh of relief as he saw her running towards him.
"I'm so sorry Tristan," she apologized.
"Come on Maya, I got you this job because you were so eager and that was part of why my boss was okay with it. This just makes it look like you don't give a damn and it reflects badly on my judgement." he said giving her an exasperated look.
"I know, I know this looks bad," she tried to explain, "But my alarm clock didn't go off and-"
"Don't worry about it now, let's just get in there," said Tristan, "This can't happen again."
She shot him a grateful look before they entered the conference room and took their seats around the table. Just as Maya expected, she was met with several disapproving stares, some of the room's occupants even shaking their heads. Of course, they were now thinking about how young and inexperienced she was, and what the hell was a 26 year old doing in a full-time reporter's job at National Geographic? The other senior writers had been extremely skeptical and unsupportive of Tristan hiring a young intern full-time and Maya's stunt this morning had given them even more fuel to add to the fire. Pretentious assholes...
"Nice of you to join us, Ms. Evans," came the curt voice of Mr. Brown, the magazine's Senior Editor. "I trust that for the next meeting we can expect you on time."
At that moment, Maya just wanted to die. She wanted the floor to open up and swallow her whole. After a few seconds, she managed a small nod and tried to avoid making eye contact with the rest of the room.
"Now," said Mr. Brown, shuffling the papers in front of him, "Our cover story for the month is going to be about the embalming practices of ancient Egypt, apparently some Egyptologists in Cairo have new evidence that liquifying and removing organs was not as widely practiced as we thought. Darlene, I'm putting you on this one," he said pointing to the frigid-looking woman on Maya's left.
The editorial meeting went on for hours until all of next month's stories were given out and all presentations were made. Maya got stuck with some five hundred word blurb on Richard III's skeleton. Yes, this was really cool, but there was no way she was going to get a chance to prove herself with just five hundred words in an entire magazine. She'd also probably get content cut so they could fit in more ads. Maya suspected Mr. Brown was making an example of her tardiness with this assignment, it was actually the shortest one he gave out during the whole meeting.
When the meeting ended, Tristan came up to her and put a hand on her shoulder, giving her a small smile "Don't worry about it Maya. Just do really well on this and prove him wrong. I believe in you."
Maya managed a small smile in return, "Thanks."
Tristan was cute with his short brown hair, golden brown eyes and nice smile and he was just a year older than she was. Most of the women at the office were attracted to him and they loved to ogle him, which kind of made Maya roll her eyes at them. She would admit he was good looking but she just couldn't think of him that way, he was more like a brother to her than anything. Ever since she'd started out as an intern at the magazine, Tristan had taken her under his wing. They became fast friends and would often hang out outside the office, but here he was her boss and sometimes that was harder to remember than she thought, especially when all she wanted to do was joke around with him.
"Any big plans for tonight?" he asked, "It's Friday so I was thinking of going down to Molly's pub later for a drink, I need to unwind. Wanna come with?"
"Nope, no plans. Just me, myself and I," she said trying to be humorous, but Tristan didn't seem to buy it, "I think I'm gonna stay in tonight but thanks for the offer."
That was Maya. Aside from her friendship with Tristan, she had one best friend in the whole world; Jen. They used to do everything together, sleeping over at each other's apartments, going out for drinks, but that had all changed when Jen began dating Justin.
It wasn't that Maya didn't like Justin, he was perfect for Jen in every way, but having him around meant that she saw less of her friend that she liked. Now, more often than not she ended up home alone watching movies on a friday night while her best friend went out on dates or cuddled up with her boyfriend. Not that Maya minded this too much, she was a homebody by nature, and thought nothing of declining invites to stay cozied up in her apartment.
Tristan shrugged, "Suit yourself. You really should get out more though."
As he made to walk away, her voice called him back "Hey Trist?"
"Do you really think I can prove myself here?" she asked, biting her lip.
He smiled "Definitely. Call me this weekend okay? I wanna make sure you're still alive."
Maya entered her apartment at 4:00, throwing her keys on the counter and setting her briefcase down. She made her way to her bedroom, on a quest for her favourite pair of pyjamas bottoms. Yes, it was early, and no, she didn't care about looking like a total slob. After all, no one was going to be seeing her.
After throwing them on, she looked at herself in the mirror and groaned. By anyone's standards, she was pretty with her long, wavy strawberry blonde hair and her green eyes. She'd always been told she had amazing eyelashes, and when she closed her eyes they looked like little black broomsticks had been attached to the lids. Her lips were full and pink, a nice contrast from her pale skin.
What Maya saw when she looked in the mirror tonight was someone tired. Those dark circles under her eyes certainly weren't doing anything to help her looks. It was all the stress, she had worked so hard in Journalism school only to jump from small paper to small paper and then by some miracle she had managed to land an internship at one of the most popular magazines in the world. After a year and a half of slaving she finally landed a job at said magazine and had a wonderful editor. The only problem was, she was still the new kid on the block and she had a long way to go to earn her place.
Maya moved away from the mirror, back towards the living room where she pressed the button on her answering machine and soon a familiar voice sounded from the device.
"Hi honey, its mom. I'm just calling to see how you're doing. Dad wanted me to tell you that he sends his love. We're so proud of you for getting that job, now you just have to meet a nice boy. What about that editor of yours? Trevor? You two seem to get along so well. Anyway...We love you, Call us back okay?"
Maya groaned. Leave it to her parents to push the dating issue. Even though she loved her family, there was a reason she'd moved away from Maine., they could drive her nuts sometimes. She was an only child and ever since the split with her last serious boyfriend three years ago, her mother was constantly trying to set her up or pushing her to go on dates. It was like she was eager for grandchildren already or something. Maya was 26 years old, she had time, lots of time for marriage and kids, there was no use rushing it, especially when she had her career to consider.
Besides, deep down some part of her was still holding out for the perfect man. Too bad he didn't exist...
Picking up the phone, she dialled Jen's number.
"Hello?" came the voice on the line.
"Hey Jen, its me."
"Hey! I was just about to call you? How was your day?" asked Jen.
"Ugh... I screwed up Jen." said Maya, sitting down on her couch and turning the TV on.
"What happened now? Its your second day, how could you possibly screw up so fast?"
"My alarm clock magically didn't go off this morning and I waltzed into an editorial meeting half an hour late." said Maya, cringing at the thought.
"Ouch, so sorry to hear that love. Well if its any consolation, I have to go to diner with Justin's parents tonight...that should be real fun. If you don't hear from me later, its because I've killed myself. Honestly his mom is a complete whack job!" groaned Jen.
Maya smiled, leave it to Jen to cheer her up. "I miss you, when can we hang out?"
Jen gave a small laugh "I miss you too. How about we make it a girl's night next friday?"
"That sounds like a plan."
"Great! Listen, I've got to go but I'll talk to you later. Try not to stay cooped up in your apartment all night okay? Love you!" said Jen.
"Kay, love you too." said Maya before hanging up the phone.
She turned her attention to the TV screen where re-runs of How I Met Your Mother were playing. This was looking like a typical, run-of-the-mill Friday night, at least she had Barney Stinson and the gang to keep her company; they never disappointed.
Suddenly out of the blue, Maya felt her apartment shaking. An earthquake in New York? She thought before curling up into a little ball and covering her head with her hands. The shaking continued and intensified as her books began crashing to the floor, the lamps and vases in her apartment came smashing down and papers flew all around. A big crash resonated throughout the room and Maya screamed, cowering into the fetal position and using all of the pillows she could grab to make a protective fortress around her.
Then as soon as it began, the shaking stopped and everything grew silent. Maya slowly emerged from her pillow fortress and analyzed the damage as papers continued to fly about the room.
Great. Just great. New plans for Friday night were now cleaning up the apartment. She got up from the couch and began picking up some of the larger chunks of glass when she heard a groan. Maya got the shock of her life when from under the stack of books and papers she saw a man crawling and slowly standing up.
He clearly hadn't noticed her because he began looking around the room in a panic as if trying to figure out where he was. After she managed to calm herself a bit, Maya noticed that he was dressed really strangely in green and brown garb with knives and a bow. He was pretty tall too, probably about 6'2" ; enough to make her 5'7" look tiny. His long blonde hair was braided at the sides and the top half was pulled back into a larger braid. He had the most stunning blue eyes she'd ever seen and his body, from what she could see, was well toned and lithe. His skin was flawless, almost like it was made of ivory, in fact he looked scarily like Orlando Bloom... It was then that Maya noticed he was bleeding from his forehead, where a shard of glass must have cut him.
The man continued to look around and froze when he finally noticed Maya's presence. He stared at her, unsure what to make of her, his muscles tensed and ready to reach for his weapons if need be. She could see the fear and confusion reflected in his eyes as he continued to stare at her, unsure whether to look for a way out of there or to keep an eye on her.
He was beautiful, captivating, even with his perfect skin stained with blood and his lips looked so soft. Maya mentally chided herself for even thinking this. Are you nuts! She thought, This guy could be a psycho! And how the hell did he get in here?
Despite herself, her heart went out to him. He looked genuinely confused and scared as he continued to stare at her with his beautiful eyes.
"Hello," she said tentatively.
The man continued to stare at her. It was then that Maya noticed something really peculiar about him; his ears were pointed. She knit her eyebrows together and thought wow...strange.
Seeing the blood on his forehead, Maya walked over to the kitchen, being careful not to step on broken glass. He followed her with his eyes the entire time, curious about her and suspicious all at once. Turning on the sink she took a cloth and moistened it before coming back to face him.
He looked so helpless and nervous that Maya knew she had to do something, despite her better judgement telling her he could be dangerous.
Slowly she began to approach him, feeling really uncomfortable under his intense gaze.
"Its alright," she said, "I'm not going to hurt you. I promise."
He didn't move but continued to watch her as she approached, his heart thumping in his chest. Maya stopped when she was about two feet away and slowly, tentatively reached out her hand to touch his arm. He recoiled from her touch so quickly, she'd barely seen him move and now he was backing away from her, confusion and fear in his eyes.
"I just want to help you," she said as soothingly as possible, "You're bleeding and I just want to clean your wound. Will you let me do that?"
Again, he said nothing and after a few moments she decided to try and approach him again, trying her best to make no sudden movements. His eyes watched as she slowly raised the cloth to his forehead and he winced slightly when she gently began cleaning the blood from the wound.
Maya smiled sadly, "I'm sorry. I'm trying to be as gentle as I can."
This strange, beautiful man allowed her to continue cleaning his wound, his eyes fixed upon her and the hand that was so close to him.
"There, I've cleaned the blood away," she said when she was satisfied, "But I have to disinfect your cut, it's pretty bad. Is that okay?"
He nodded hesitantly, still unsure whether he should trust her. Maya smiled a bit, it was the most she'd gotten out of him and maybe she was making progress.
"I'll be right back," she said, "Please don't try to leave." and with that she made her way to the bathroom gathering cotton swabs, gauze and hydrogen peroxide with her.
When she got back, the strange man was still looking at his surroundings as if they were completely foreign to him, but almost immediately, his gaze turned back to her.
"Okay, this might sting a little," she said pouring some of the peroxide on a cotton swab. She put it to his forehead and began dabbing at the wound, apologizing profusely when he winced from the pain.
"My thanks," he said softly, letting his guard down slightly, and she smiled. Perhaps he was coming around after all. Though she still didn't know who he was and why he was in her apartment, something about him made her feel calm and at ease.
"You're welcome," she replied, "Do you want to sit down for a bit?"
He nodded and before sitting down, she cleared the couch of all her pillows. He raised an eyebrow.
Maya laughed softly "Oh, well I was attempting to shield myself from the mess of falling things and the only solution I had was to make a fortress of pillows."
"Where am I?" he asked, the confusion in his eyes greater than ever, "I've never seen anything like the contraptions you have here."
It was Maya's turn to raise her eyebrows "You're in New York City, you know in the United States?"
"What is this New York City? And what is the United States? There are no places by those names in Middle Earth," he said shaking his head.
"Middle Earth?" asked Maya "There's no such thing as Middle Earth, that's just a made up world by someone named J.R.R. Tolkien. Are you sure you're alright? You must have hit your head a lot harder than I thought."
The man shook his head, "I assure you, Middle Earth is a real place. It is my home. I am Legolas Thranduilion of Eryn Lasgalen, the Woodland Realm of the Elves, and more recently I have become Lord of an elven colony in Ithilien."
Maya stared at him wide eyed, mouth agape. Holy shit...this guy thinks he's Legolas from the Lord of the Rings. He's nice and all but he's totally off his rocker, she thought.
"Legolas Thranduilion is a fictional character in a book and movies. He doesn't exist." she reasoned, "I mean I'll give you credit, you look the part and your ears are very convincing but come on, this is crazy. You can't honestly believe you're from Middle Earth."
Legolas' eyes narrowed and his mouth became a thin line "My name is Legolas and I can assure you I am not a fictional character in either books or these...movies, whatever they may be. My ears...are very real."
Out of the blue Maya reached out and tugged on one of his ears, finding it felt pretty darn real and wouldn't come off so easily. Legolas yelped, swatting her hand away and shut his eyes tightly, his face tensing. Maya clamped her hand over her mouth as she realized he wasn't joking, the ears were real.
"Oh my...oh my god. You're not joking are you? You're really an elf?" she asked.
He shook his head, "No, I am not jesting. I am an elf." Maya noticed that the muscles in his face were still tense and she felt bad for tugging on his ear, afraid it had hurt.
"Did I hurt you?" she asked worriedly "I didn't mean to...I'm sorry."
Legolas' face relaxed a bit "Do not trouble yourself, the ears of elves are...sensitive, that is all."
"Oh" she said as she began to run a hand through her hair, "So if you are Legolas, how did you get here? You're not in Middle Earth anymore, I can tell you that."
Legolas looked at her sadly "I have come to this conclusion also. I do not know how I came to be in your world or how I can get back to my home."
Maya's heart went out to Legolas, he was lost in a world he knew nothing about and that had to be scary. She thought he had to be really brave to be so composed in a situation like this, if the roles were reversed she knew she wouldn't be so calm.
"You said something about a colony in Ithilien...that means the War of the Ring is over?" she asked.
His eyes snapped up at her "How do you know about that?"
Maya swallowed "I told you. This man named J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a trilogy of books in which you are a character. The trilogy is called the Lord of the Rings; its the story of Frodo and the One Ring and how he journeyed to Mount Doom to destroy it. You, the four hobbits; Merry, Pippin, Frodo and Sam as well as Gimli, son of Gloin, Boromir of Gondor, Aragorn son of Arathorn and Gandalf the Grey made up the Fellowship of the Ring."
Legolas could only stare at her, puzzled and amazed as to how she knew all of this "What else do you know?"
"I know that you are the Prince of Eryn Lasgalen, what used to be called Mirkwood and your father is King Thranduil. You are an extremely skilled warrior and you are amazing with a bow; its your weapon of choice." she said nervously as he continued to examine her. She couldn't help but notice how beautiful he was, even when he stared at her with such confusion.
"Are you a seer?" he asked finally.
She laughed, "No, I'm telling you, in my world the story of the War of the Ring is a famous book and it was turned into movies."
He looked at her in confusion so she elaborated "Okay so a movie is a re-enactment of a story on this thing called a television. It shows moving pictures and you can hear sound from it. Actors play the parts of characters in these movies, or re-enactments."
She took the remote control and turned on "Here, this is a television."
Legolas could only stare in wonder at the box in front of them that projected sounds as pictures moved within it. He got up from the couch to closely examine this odd contraption, tentatively touching it as if it were some kind of devilry.
"So you are telling me that these people in the box are fictional characters?" he asked furrowing his eyebrows.
"Exactly," said Maya "Its like someone telling you a story, except you can see it and hear it for yourself through this device. The Lord of the Rings was made into a movie so people could see and hear the story, there are actors playing all of you."
Legolas looked back at her in confusion "But how does it work? Is it magic?"
"Nothing is magic in this world, we use something called electricity to make everything work. Its a kind of energy and its really powerful, but its not magic." said Maya.
Legolas moved away from the television and came to sit back down on the couch, putting his face in his hands "Everything is so foreign to me. I do not know how I came to be here, nor how to get back. It is overwhelming." he said softly, desperation in his voice.
Unconsciously, Maya placed her hand comfortingly on his arm and he flinched slightly. Eventually he allowed himself to relax under her touch.
"Legolas?" she asked and he looked up at her, his eyes full of sorrow "Is it alright if I call you Legolas?"
He nodded, "You may."
She smiled "I believe you. I don't know why, but I do. I can't imagine how scary this must be for you, but I'll do my best to help you adjust to all of this and between the two of us, we can try to find a way to get you home."
Legolas returned her smile "My thanks to you, fair Lady." he said "What is your name?"
"Maya Evans," she said, "I write for a living, I'm what they call a journalist. I work for a magazine, its like a book, that gets published every month and millions of people read it."
Legolas looked at her incredulously "Millions? How is that possible?"
Maya put her palm to her face. It suddenly occurred to her that she was going to have to explain everything to him. Absolutely everything. This was going to be a long night...
Once she had explained to Legolas the wonders of publishing and the media, she went on to talking about plumbing and lights, which the elf was convinced had to be some type of sorcery. When the time came to talk about cars, she found a picture on the internet and explained how they worked. Of course this brought up a whole other issue because he wanted to know what a computer was and how this internet magically made pictures and other things appear on her screen.
After she had gone through just about everything in her house, Legolas helped her clean the shards of glass and stack up all of the papers and books that had fallen in the commotion. He was careful not to let her handle too much of the glass though, worried she would cut herself.
When they had finished, Maya looked at the time; 7:00. She needed to figure out what to make for diner now. What did elves eat anyway? Coming out of her thoughts, she noticed that Legolas had made his way back to the couch and was burying his face in his hands, his whole body trembling. Her heart went out to the poor elf and she wished there was something she could do to ease his pain.
Walking over to sit next to him she took one of his hands in her own and squeezed it comfortingly. He looked up at her, the sorrow still quite apparent in his eyes.
"Will I ever see my home again?" he asked sadly.
Maya didn't know what to say. She didn't want to crush him, but the truth was she honestly didn't know "I-I don't know Legolas," she sighed "But I promise I will do everything I can to help you."
He smiled sadly "If I cannot get home, I do not know how I will ever get used to all of this. Your world is vastly different from mine, it is overwhelming."
She gave his hand another squeeze "If for whatever reason we can't get you home, I will be here to help you through this."
He nodded before his lips turned up in a slight smile "Thank you Maya Evans. I do not know how I will ever repay you for your kindness."
"There is no need your highness. I'm happy to help." she said "Also, just call me Maya."
He smiled "And you may call me Legolas, there is no need for formalities."
They stayed in silence for quite some time and Maya blushed furiously when she realized she was still holding his hand, her thumb had subconsciously begun rubbing circles over his palm. She abruptly let go of his hand, earning a confused look from the elf.
"Are you hungry?" she asked, trying to distract him.
"A little bit," he said pensively, "But I do not wish to inconvenience you."
Maya got up from the couch "Come, I'll make us something. I was going to have chicken and vegetables tonight, I hope that's alright. I'm not sure what elves eat..."
Legolas gave a light laugh and Maya noticed how it lit up his handsome face "We eat what humans eat. We are not as strange as you would believe. I will eat what you prepare."
she smiled and Legolas followed her into the kitchen. She motioned for him to sit on one of the stools at the high countertop and he watched her prepare the their meal. When she finished cooking she brought over two plates with utensils and sat in the stool next to him.
"You are quick to trust someone you do not know," said Legolas, cutting up the asparagus.
Maya laughed "It's strange, but I just felt like I could trust you almost immediately. It didn't matter that you were some strange guy in my house with pointy ears, I just felt like I had to help you."
"I cannot thank you enough for your kindness. I shudder to think of what might have happened if I'd met someone less...warmhearted." said the elf, "You seem to know much about me... tell me about yourself."
"What do you want to know?" asked Maya, blushing under his gaze. She'd only just met him and already her skin flushed when she thought of how beautiful he was. He was not only the most handsome 'man' she'd ever met but he was kind and sweet.
"Everything," he said.
"Listen, I don't have forever like you do," she said laughing. Legolas smiled faintly but something about what she said made him feel a small pang of sorrow.
Maya thought for a moment before continuing "Okay, well for starters, I'm 26 years old, I have no siblings. My parents live several hours away, but I kind of like it that way."
Legolas furrowed his eyebrows "Why?"
"They drive me crazy. Just this afternoon, I received a message from my mother on that answering machine I told you about before asking me why I haven't found a nice guy to date yet. She's always on me about that." said Maya exasperatedly.
"What is dating?" asked Legolas.
"Oh, well its like...courting," she replied and Legolas nodded his understanding. "Anyway, my parents, or more specifically my mom, seems to think I should be married or um...betrothed...by now."
Seeing the disgruntled look on her face, Legolas was quite puzzled. Did she not want to be married?
"It's not that I don't want to get married, I just haven't found Mr. Right yet. I dated this guy, Nick, a couple years ago and things didn't end so well. I thought he was the one, but he was unfaithful. I caught him sleeping with one of his work colleagues and it broke my heart." said Maya sadly, the memory still hurt her heart more than she cared to admit.
Legolas put his fork down and took her hand, squeezing it the way she had done for him. "I am sorry. He does not deserve you. Do all men here have intimate relations before marriage?"
Maya was taken aback by this question. Having read Tolkien's history of elves, she knew that sex equaled marriage to them so she needed to broach this subject carefully. After all, she wasn't a virgin and the last thing she wanted was for Legolas to think she was some kind of slut.
"Um, well the thing is...here things are quite a bit different," she started to explain as Legolas listened rather attentively, "Many men and women in this world do not think that having intimate relations before marriage is a big deal...some do it simply for the fun of it."
At this Legolas seemed appalled "Is the act of making love no longer sacred? Is this normal?" He didn't know why, but he secretly hoped Maya hadn't engaged in this kind of activity. It was truly shocking that something so sacred to his culture could be engaged in so freely, simply for amusement and not for love.
"No!" she said abruptly, "I mean, yes, it is but its not frowned upon by our society to make love with someone you're not married to. Some people who are in love choose not to get married and they just live together as a couple. I loved Nick and so...we made love. It is sacred to me and I would never have done it if I didn't love him. I thought we were going to get married..."
Legolas stared at her for a moment, he couldn't explain why he suddenly felt slight disappointment upon hearing her confession, but he understood her reasons. He saw the worried look on her face and realized she must think he believed her a harlot.
"I understand," he said "I would never think ill of you Maya."
She smiled "Thanks. Are you married Legolas?" as soon as the words left her mouth, she felt foolish and a deep blush crept onto her cheeks.
Legolas was slightly taken aback by the question but he smiled "No, I am not. Though I suppose I should be. Like you, I have not found the one to make my heart sing and I wish to marry for love."
"I find that so hard to believe," said Maya and Legolas cocked his head. Great. Why did she have to open her mouth? "Well for starters... you're nice and uh..." What she really wanted to say was "you're fucking perfect and gorgeous" but luckily she managed to keep her mouth shut.
"Umm...you seem like you're a good person and I guess you're pretty good looking," she managed with a squeak.
Legolas laughed "Thank you. You are attractive as well Maya, and kind. I am certain that you will find the one you are destined to be with."
Maya blushed furiously, wanting nothing more than to sink into her seat and somehow disappear. Legolas sensed her discomfort and changed the subject.
"Would you like to hear about the War of the Ring?" he asked and suddenly her embarrassment was gone, replaced by intrigue and excitement in her eyes. It amused Legolas how mortals wore their emotions so openly, they were so much less controlled than the first born.
"Yes!" she said, a little too hastily, earning a grin from Legolas.
"As you wish," he said and he began his tale with the escape of Gollum.
They proceeded to talk until the early hours of the morning only stopping when Maya began to yawn and rub at her eyes.
"I think I should sleep," she said regretfully, "You can have my room, I'll take the couch."
Legolas shook his head. "I would not wish to inconvenience you, I will take the couch. After all, elves rarely need rest. I do not think I will sleep this night."
Maya nodded before reaching her hand to touch the cut on his forehead, it had already diminished considerably, already showing signs of light scaring. "It seems to be healing nicely already."
Legolas nodded, slightly surprised by her touch "Elves heal quickly. The scar will fade away within a day or two."
Maya looked at him for a moment and then left to find a spare blanket and an extra pillow. She set up the couch for him and then decided it was time to turn in for the night, no matter how much she wanted to keep talking with the elf.
"Goodnight Legolas. If you need anything, you know where I'll be," she said.
"Hannon le Maya, quel kaima" he whispered and taking her hand he softly kissed it.
Maya smiled and walked towards her room. Tucking herself into bed, all she could think of was what a day. Tomorrow would certainly be a different challenge; she and Legolas would start searching for answers as to how he ended up in her world and a way to get him home.
The next morning she woke to the sound of the phone ringing. Jumping out of bed she raced to the kitchen where a suspicious Legolas was staring at the device, one of his knives drawn out.
"It's okay, you don't need that. Remember what I told you about the phone yesterday?" she said picking up the phone before Legolas could run his knife through it.
After a moment he nodded, "I am sorry, it startled me."
The phone kept ringing and she answered.
"There you are!" came Jen's voice on the line, "I was starting to wonder why you weren't picking up."
"Sorry, I was just...preoccupied. How was diner last night?" asked Maya taking a seat on one of the stools. Legolas leaned his forearms on the counter and rested his weight on them, observing the curious situation in front of him.
"Oh my god, that's what I have to tell you about!" screamed Jen. It was so loud Maya had to hold the phone slightly away from her ear.
"Go on, spill." she said curiously.
"We never had diner with Justin's parents. He made up those plans so he could ask me to marry him!" squealed Jen.
Maya's face erupted in a large smile "You're kidding! It's about time Jen! I'm so happy for you!"
Jen squealed again "It was the most romantic thing, I got to his apartment and I realized there was a table already set. He had been cooking all afternoon, and then right after he poured the wine he got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. The ring is absolutely stunning!"
Just then Maya saw Legolas' furrowed brows and questioning eyes. Putting her hand to cover the mouthpiece of the phone she whispered "I'll tell you in a moment."
"Maya?" said Jen's voice on the line.
"Who are you talking to?" asked Jen suspiciously, "Oh my god, do you have a guy over?"
"Um, no," said Maya blushing furiously. Great, Jen was not supposed to hear that.
"Oh you definitely do, listen to that tone!," squealed Jen, "Its about time you got back in the game."
"I'm not 'back in the game' Jen, I just have a friend over that's all," said a frustrated Maya. How was she going to get out of this now? Legolas raised his eyebrows.
"Right..." came the skeptical voice on the line.
"Okay, I need to tell you something but, you have to come here and see it with your own eyes, or else you'll never believe me." said Maya.
"O-kay? Are you off your rocker or something Maya? You're acting really strange."
"I'm fine, just get over here," scowled Maya, "Oh and do you think you can bring over some of the clothes Justin left at your place?"
"Um...sure...this isn't some creepy voodoo ritual is it? I mean he's my fiancée-"
Maya interrupted her "Just come over, I'll explain everything I promise."
When she hung up the phone she smiled apologetically at Legolas.
"Sorry, that was Jen, my best friend. She called to tell me her boyfriend asked her to marry him and as you probably heard...she's pretty excited."
Legolas nodded "She is coming here?"
Maya shuffled her feet, "Yea... she's my best friend so I hope you don't mind if I tell her about you. I mean she'll probably think i'm nuts but...I figured if she saw you for herself maybe it would be easier to convince her."
Legolas didn't quite know what to think, he wasn't sure if he was ready to meet someone new yet. Seeing the uncertainty on his face, Maya tried to re-assure him.
"Don't worry about Jen, she's a really sweet person. Do you trust me?"
Legolas nodded and Maya let out a small sigh of relief "Good. I trust Jen with my life so if you trust me, then please don't worry about this. I won't let anything happen to you."
After a moment, he asked "What does 'getting back in the game' mean?"
Maya groaned in embarrassment, and Legolas looked at her expectantly, "Umm well she thought I had a guy over."
"But you do have a male here...what does this have to do with a game?"
The words "just kill me now" flashed in her brain as she turned beet red "Legolas, she thought I had a guy over last night and that we slept together..."
For the first time since his arrival, Maya saw Legolas' perfect, pale skin turn a shade of pink.
"Sorry..." she said as Legolas struggled with what to respond. Finally he settled for simply closing his mouth as the words on his tongue simply refused to come out.
After a moment of awkward silence, Maya walked past Legolas to her bedroom so she could change and make herself presentable. The last thing she wanted was Jen commenting on her appearance and telling her to get out more. Though she knew there was going to be a comment somewhere in there about her and Legolas, that was just the way Jen was.
She emerged from her room freshly showered and wearing her favourite pair of jeans and soft pink tank top with a grey cardigan, earning her a puzzled look from Legolas.
"Is it normal for women in this world to dress like a man?" he asked taking a seat on the couch.
She laughed, the awkwardness from the moment before totally vanishing. "This is actually considered a pretty feminine way to dress. You wouldn't catch a man dressing like this. Women wear dresses too, but mostly for special occasions or when they go out on a date, I don't find them that practical otherwise."
"I see," said Legolas.
Maya thought he looked rather forlorn and joined him on the couch "Are you okay? Do you need anything?"
"No, thank you. Its just that all of this will take some getting used to," he said trying to fake a smile for her reassurance.
"Maybe you can tell me about your home later? You know once the whole thing with Jen gets sorted out. That is...if you're feeling up to it," she asked hopefully.
"I would like that very much," this time the smile was genuine.
A knock at the door startled them both.
"Here we go..." said Maya, taking a deep breath before getting up to answer the door.
As soon as she opened the door, Maya found herself being pounced on by a very excited Jen.
"Oh my god! I'm so happy, I can't even begin to tell you!" squealed Jen.
"I'm sure you can," said Maya wryly. Jen of course hadn't heard, being too absorbed in what she was saying, but Legolas' elven hearing picked up the comment and he laughed softly.
"Okay so what was all the secrecy for? You're scaring me a bit honey. I think you need to get out more," said the average height brunette.
"Um, well there's someone I'd like you to meet," said Maya, earning a squeal from Jen.
"I knew it!"
"You know nothing," scowled Maya as she led Jen into the living room. Jen stopped dead in her tracks as she spotted Legolas. The first thing she noticed was his strange clothing; he looked like he was from the Middle Ages with his tunic and leggings. The second thing she noticed was that he was absolutely gorgeous and that if she weren't already in love with Justin she would probably make a move. The third thing she noticed were the pointed ears.
Legolas could see the shock registering on the woman's face as she looked him over. He felt quite uncomfortable with the whole thing, after all he was pretty sure he'd never been so thoroughly examined.
"Jen, this is Legolas Thranduilion from Middle Earth," said Maya inwardly cringing as she waited for the hysterics and the "you're insane" speech.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, lady Jen. Maya has told me much about you," said the elf dubiously.
Maya didn't think Jen's eyes could widen any more, but somehow they did. "You're an elf?" she asked in awe.
Jen's look of surprise was plastered to her face "You're Legolas from the Fellowship of the Ring? That Legolas?"
Legolas nodded once more "I am."
"How the hell did you get here?!"
Maya stared at the scene incredulously "Really? That's it? Just like that? I'm not going to get the 'you're crazy' speech?"
"Honey, look at him. He looks exactly like Orlando Bloom's version of Legolas and those ears definitely do not look fake," said Jen, her composure returning.
"Well they fooled me. I found out the hard way that they were real, I tugged on them." said Maya and Legolas laughed.
Jen laughed as well "You know Maya, for someone whose read Tolkien's history of Middle Earth a bunch of times, you failed to remember one thing. Elves have very sensitive ears..."
"What am I failing to clue in on here? First he says elves have sensitive ears," said Maya pointing to Legolas "and now you're saying it."
Jen gave Legolas a sweet smile, "Just excuse us for a moment." and leaving a very confused elf in their wake, she led her friend to the bedroom, making sure the door was closed.
"What was that for?" asked Maya.
"He's an elf, he can hear really well, remember?"
Maya sighed in exasperation "Right, I keep forgetting that part. Okay so what was so secret that we had to leave him out there alone?"
"As you know, Justin is the big Tolkien reader and on one of his rants, I remember he told me that elves ears are extremely sensitive to the touch." said Jen.
Maya furrowed her eyebrows "As in...it hurts? He winced yesterday, I knew I hurt him! He lied..."
Jen erupted into hysterics "Oh my god, Maya, I meant sensitive in the most sexual way possible. You didn't hurt him, you must have aroused the poor guy!"
Maya clamped her hand over her mouth, "Are you serious? Oh my god, he probably feels violated. I'm so awful."
Jen patted her back, "Relax, I'm sure he knows you meant no offence. Just remember that next time. Might come in handy if you want to bang elf boy though, from what I heard it gets them going pretty good."
"Jen! I'm not going to sleep with him! I'm just trying to help him get home. Besides, sex equals marriage to an elf, its not exactly a no strings attached kind of thing."
"Right, whatever you say. He's so gorgeous, I don't know how you can resist." said Jen.
Maya rolled her eyes "Why did you believe him so quickly anyway?"
Jen seemed to be lost in thought for a moment "Hmm...good question. I'm not quite sure myself, I just know that there's something so trustworthy and genuine about him. Plus the ears are definitely real. I still can't believe you tugged on them." and with that she erupted into another fit of laughter.
Maya groaned, "I'm leaving now." and she left a laughing Jen in the bedroom to rejoin Legolas.
The elf looked up at her quizzically, "Is everything alright?"
"I'm sorry about yesterday," she blurted out "I didn't know that um...you know about your ears..." She was getting more red by the second, this was positively embarrassing.
Legolas laughed "I will admit, I was caught...off guard, but there was no harm done I assure you."
"Alright," said Jen emerging from the bedroom "I think its time we call Justin. He's the Tolkien expert, he'll have the best idea of what to do about getting you home."
Legolas nodded "Thank you for everything," he said softly.
Maya began rummaging through the bag of clothing that Jen brought with her, "I hope Justin doesn't mind us borrowing these."
Jen laughed "Trust me, I highly doubt he'll mind if Legolas wears his clothing."
Maya tossed him a light button down shirt and a pair of jeans. "Try those on, you can use my room to change."
Legolas inspected the garments curiously "What is wrong with what I am wearing?"
"For one, I'm going to wash your clothes and secondly, if you want to go outside, you can't walk around looking like that. People will stare."
"I will do what you believe is best," he said exiting the room with the strange garb in his hands.
A few minutes later, he emerged wearing Justin's clothes, looking rather uncertain about them. He wasn't sure if he liked these strange garments. "How do they look?"
Maya thought they looked amazing, not that anything wouldn't look amazing on him. The shirt hung a little loose, but still showed off the toned, rippling muscles of his chest and abdomen. Maya noticed the strength in his arms that his previous garb had not revealed, and the jeans, well he could make any pair of pants look good...
She managed to tear her gaze away before she embarrassed herself too much, but Legolas had already noticed, a small amused smile creeping on his lips.
"You look good," she managed after a moment "It suits you. Right Jen?"
Jen had also seen the look on Maya's face and was grinning ear to ear "Oh yes, who knew he and Justin were almost the same size?"
"Is your betrothed coming here?" asked Legolas.
"Yup! Called him just a few minutes ago, he's on his way. I think he's going to have a coronary when he sees this," said Jen.
This is going to be interesting, thought Maya.
Hannon le – Thank you
Quel Kaima – Sleep well
A/N: Alright everyone, so let me know what you think. Should I continue this or not? Anxious to hear your thoughts!