FIC: “The Journey”
AUTHOR: LadyAna (LadyAna5 AT aol.com)
FANDOM: LOTR The movies were the inspiration, but the research was supplied by the books, the Elvish Name Generator and “the encyclopedia of arda”.
PAIRING: Aragorn / Legolas
RATING: PG-13 (some gore)
DISCLAIMER: Copyright to J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema - this is solely for entertainment purposes and no profit is made from it.
WARNINGS: Slash (M/M), first-time, AU, some gore, drama
SUMMARY: Aragorn and Legolas aid a wounded animal during an Elven Ritual called “The Mahtan Elanessë” - The Maia, Ossë, was tempted for a time by Melkor. Ultimately, his spouse, Uinen, brought him back to Ulmo's(lord of water) service. It is said that those who call on the Spirit of Uinen while near water will either meet their god, Elwe, or their betrothed. This is after Aragorn has met Arwen, but she has not yet returned his love.
DEDICATION: This story is dedicated to my favorite A/L authors(...you know who you are!). Also, Cactuskim, the Theban Group, Thalassa, jayay58, Tien, Agrotora, Elisa of “Lassegalenslaire” and anyone else who plays with pics of our boys!
SPOILERS: I can’t keep track of all the spoilers I use, so read at your own risk!
Grey Elves - An Elvish people of Telerin origin. Coming to the western shores of Middle-Earth with the others of their kin, they did not pass across the sea, but remained in Beleriand. Some had tarried there searching for their lord, ELWE, while others were persuaded to remain by OSSE, the Maia. OSSE was tempted away from Ulmo(lord of water) for a time by Melkor. Ultimately his spouse UINEN brought him back to Ulmo's service.
The Elf looked over at his traveling companion, seeing he was still asleep. Aragorn shifted and Legolas took a closer look to make sure the Ranger wasn’t having a nightmare. The grey eyes flitted behind closed lids and his breathing was uneven, but not erratic or restless. Satisfied his friend was merely dreaming, the Elf went back to the task of obtaining water a short, but obscured distance away. It was times such as now, he was glad he did not absolutely require such deep repose.
He was running, desperation blotting out the dry, cold air singeing his lungs. Anor had fallen and he was scampering over the darkened forest floor in heated pursuit. He was seeking sustenance, aching to devour, to alleviate the great cavern within. He tilted his head back in giving praise to Rana, which lighted his way through the huge trees and dead foliage. Sniffing the chilled winds, he knew his quarry was near. The craving was maddening, this passion to consume, to fatten himself with the essence of the other carnivorous stalker who dared to enter his woods.
He smelled water nearby, his hunger tripled and upon increasing his pace, he quickly came before a small lake. It was only vapid satiation, but better than none, so he began to gulp the icy liquid. Silver-grey eyes were reflected in the frozen sheen...and were matched by two oval mirrors of Anduin. Peace suffused him, calmness allaying the sealed, yet yawning chasm...
He stirred, the image draining quickly, leaving him shaken. It was the warmth of the fire that told him he was dreaming. Again. Opening his eyes, the Elf was there, on the other side of the fire, making food.
"You are awake." It was a statement more than a question.
Aragorn knitted his brow. "You could tell?"
"Your breathing changes."
Aragorn smiled. "I see. But is it such a good thing to have an Elf so well tuned to my actions?"
Legolas smiled as well and came closer to reach him a steaming bowl. "But, of course. If you were ailing, who would track the game for me to cook?"
Aragorn laughed, knowing full well his friend was more than capable of such a task. He took the proffered meal and began to eat the vegetable and rabbit mix. They ate in compatible silence for a few minutes, when Legolas said, "Thank you...for coming with me."
Aragorn looked up. "Legolas, we had this talk. I had no problem accompanying you, even if it was to simply appease your father. I fully understand you had no choice." He stirred the contents of the large cup in his hands and said, "After all, the `Mahtan Elanessë' is `to make destiny clear, fate sound, life fulfilled.'" ("To Journey for Elwë or Uinen ")
The Elf looked at him sharply. Aragorn met the confused eyes with his own bewildered stare. "What?"
The smooth brow of the Elf furrowed in concentration, speculating his initial belief. "I have...heard that saying before."
"Of course you have. It is the reason behind the quest; to appropriately determine your future."
Legolas was deep in thought, not entirely sure he should voice his reasoning. "Yes, that I know. But I have not heard anyone say it recently...and I recall that particular phrase from...somewhere else."
Both heads suddenly turned in unison to a doleful call no full human could hear. The Man strained to make out the sound.
"Aragorn?" The Ranger kept his ears tuned to the sad bidding in the distance. "Aragorn!" the Elf said more insistently and he turned to face the Sindar. Aragorn wasn't aware he'd stood and take a few steps in the direction holding his attention. "What is it? Are you well?"
His memories came late, of standing and oddly, remorsefully, walking away from the Elf. “I’m sorry.” he muttered, more contritely than intended. What was this sad, rueful yearning? Realizing his bewilderment must be from fatigue, he shook his head to clear it. Was he still that tried? Trying to hide his confusion, he forced a smile. "I am fine. We *are* near the lake; perhaps the tainted spirit of Ossë is afoot."
Legolas smiled and Aragorn turned back to the darkness. "What...do you suppose it is?"
The archer dropped his head for a moment, also gauging the demanding lament. The lyrical voice was strained, "It sounds like a wounded animal.”
The healer in the Ranger took over and he resisted the urge to fling himself into the forest looking for the injured creature. "Elerossë Oronrá"("Have mercy, Maia' Radagast.")
The Elf knew full well what was on the Man’s mind. "You want to help, don't you?"
Aragorn blushed and smiled as he turned to his friend. The Elf was smiling as well, his arms folded, the yellow fire warring with his natural silver luminosity. The man's eyes dropped as he answered, "Of course I do."
"Then let's!" The Elf eagerly suggested, grabbing his bow and tossing the Ranger's pack to him.
Aragorn was dumbfounded. "But...what about the ritual?
Legolas shook his head. "I told you, Aragorn, I do not truly follow that folklore."
That left him uneasy, yet he said neutrally, "As you wish." The Ranger looked skyward, towards Rana, how it was veiled a sickly yellow color. "I just thought after we had left the castle grounds you said you wanted to call upon the Spirit of Uinen."
The tone was wistful and quite mocking. "Yes, right...'to embark on a treacherous path, to test and guide my cowed heart either to my mate or to my god.' Well, I have been 'delivered to my god' - that is, to no one - for as long as I have taken this ridiculous journey at my father's command!"
Aragorn smiled and countered the Elf's ire with the rest of the legend, "Or you could be sentenced to the icy depths with Ossë while he was under the influence of Melkor."
Legolas empathetically considered the Ainur’s limited descent into the Black Realm. The Elf certainly did not endorse such a corruptive conquest, instead recognizing the massive void inherent of personal denial. The archer thought a minute before muttering, "To tempt a Maia', Melkor would have to be quite the seductive predator."
Aragorn snapped his head up. "What did you say?"
Legolas became hesitant, feeling foolish for even speaking aloud. "...I said..." The horrid wail sounded again, cutting him off. "Let us go before we are too late."
"Of course." With Aragorn in front, both of them headed into the clump of trees which nearly mottled out the already waning moon. As they began their search, Aragorn waited a bit before asking the question that had been on his mind from the start, "I must ask, if `The Mahtan Elanessë' is to find you a betrothed, why did your father allow me to accompany you?"
The archer laughed a bit. "It is to find me a partner, Aragorn, not a wife to produce heirs." The tone was now completely sarcastic. "I simply told him I had grown quite close to you as of late!"
Surprised, he stopped looked at his friend. "Truly?"
The dark brows lifted at the Ranger's curiosity. "Yes. You are a good friend he has known for years. He trusts you. And...well.. ."
"And...my other good friend, Lakin, the one who has covered for me, as I have for her, all these years our parents tried desperately to marry us off, was busy this time." The Elf pondered how, strangely enough, Lakin had been called away due to her mother’s inexplicable illness. The healers had no idea what had befallen her and Lakin was at a loss with worry and fear. Such mystery maladies were not unheard of in the Elven world, but it was exceedingly rare.
Aragorn could barely contain his whoop of laughter. "Oh, so *I* was chosen because your other, disinterested friend was occupied! I am so honored!"
Shoving his friend's right shoulder, Legolas retorted, "*That* is not true and you know it! I wanted to spend time with you, especially since you had to take a rest from being a Ranger for a while."
"That is true." The Man was quite surprised to discover where he was to train at this time had been overrun by Orcs to the point it was deemed unsafe. He did find it very coincidental that it happened to work out both of them were free this particular season. Such probability was rare for them this time of the year.
"But as I said," the Elf continued, "this 'journey' has been a continuous, repeatedly fruitless endeavor." He shook his head. "I know my father just wants to see me happy...but he what he wants will not come to pass, especially this time."
At this Aragorn countered with, "What about what you want?"
This time the laugh was bitter. "As I said....it is impossible."
The Sindar sighed deeply, starting to wish Aragorn would just drop the subject. "My father and I want the same thing. I just do not believe the ‘Spirit of Uinen' will ever speak to me."
The Ranger understood the Elf was simply using mystical metaphors to state he would never find a mate. "Surely, you do not believe that, do you?"
Leoglas' brow cinched and it took him a minute to answer. His words were a little tinged with regret, "Honestly Aragorn, it may happen, but I doubt Osse wishes to be parted from Melkor any time soon."
Before the Ranger could speak he heard a low moan and both became utterly silent. Even their breathing was shallow to hear the source of the soft mewl. They went a short distance to the left and the rustle in the high grass showed them their reason for said trek. A feline of sorts was lying in the dead leafage, its stark white fur, striped with black, was bright against the decaying backdrop. Blood caked in the right top thigh, a tiny pool of black crimson was below. Neither bipedal form could speak for some time, entranced by the wounded scene before them. Screaming sky-toned eyes opened, making Aragorn nearly swoon. It was beyond familiar...
"...by Eru..." said the Elf in the most hurt tone.
Aragorn was once again startled out of his trance by the Sindar. He turned to see the archer's horrified reaction. Upon further inspection of the animal, the man realized the scars and abrasions around its neck, had been repeatedly inflicted on this gorgeous creature, most likely from a rope or leash. "It is a Bengal cub, I believe." The healer kneeled. "Less than a standard year, I think."
"Here?!" the Elf asked. "How could such a rare animal make it to this region?"
"I know it usually desires a drier climate." He looked around and grimaced. "There is a village nearby. That explains a lot."
Anxiety was making the Sindar edgy. "I do not understand. What does a village of Men have to do with this crime of nature?"
Aragorn's head dropped. It tore at the Ranger's heart to see Legolas even more saddened. The Elf knew the truth, but repulsion kept him from seeing reality. "Men at times...try to keep such animals as pets."
The Elf kneeled and closed his eyes. He allowed his fëa to surface and speak the way Elves and nature innately connected and understood. "Ce Le Brim Bor."(“Do not fret, young one. I am here.”)
The Man was immediately eased, as was the tiny, hybrid puma. Both were quickly quieted by the simple phrase. As the animal relaxed, so did the Ranger. The words slid into his mind and frame like a poem to his psyche, like a comforting song to the heartsore, a sweet balm filling a black fistular, drinking in relief. But...why? How could his friend's words bring corporeal calm to him? What adhering or even similarities did he share with this stricken child of the wild? Anxiety crept along his veins, at the surreal reaction, making his hands shake. So much so, he barely heard the Elf's next words.
"Be careful, Aragorn. It has been hit by a poisoned arrow."
To abate his unease, he forced the healer in him to the front. Clinically assessing the damage, sure enough, the poor thing had been savagely collared and now, used as target practice. He scowled. "I did not bring any Huor Ancalimë, but I have most of the ingredients to make it. We will need a common root called Caranthir Linwëlin."
"I saw the plant nearby! I'll go fetch some." said the Elf.
As Legolas did, Aragorn lowered his hand to further inspect the wound and was met by a hiss, growl mix from the large-breed kitten. Totally devoid of wrath, it seemed like a challenge to Aragorn, to win the trust of this harmed nestling. He surveyed the tiny form, sleek and supple, highly exotic, exquisitely formed, totally feral. A true beauty, indeed. It flinched and whined in pain, moving the Ranger into action to check on the Elf's progress. Upon reaching his friend, just a few feet away, he stopped cold. A slickness gathered in his mouth, as did the pretense to capture, to feast. The sight was virgin, not remembered, not imagined. It was the embodied version of his nighttime ventures that was displayed before him.
On all fours, the Elf's lithe body was twisted as elegantly as the afflicted one behind the Man. The wiry curve of the graceful form, eyes like a clear lake mixed with silvery clouds; such majestically wild fervor...and the two entities so very much alike, Aragorn couldn't tell the difference between either feline. A deep, erotic shudder gripped the Ranger and it came to him, unbidden, new but needed; the likeness of a grey wolf sinking it's fangs into the neck of the pliant, wanton ocelot beneath him. Not to kill, but to possess, to eat alive such a willing victim...and it turn revel in spent bliss. He clamped down on the carnal sensations reverberating within him, but he could no longer deny it. His sleep visions were the product of un-quenched lust, slumbering images of what his body and mind truly wanted, but could barely bring himself to look at leisurely, let alone confess such lascivious yearning.
That was it. He'd never allowed himself to look long at the archer for it was like staring at the sun. At various times of the day, Anor appeared slightly different, and at times completely opposite. To look at the Sindar, be it his beauty or his inner self, was proof dawn and dusk were strikingly opposing sights, despite the similarities. From day one, it always fascinated him Legolas could be such a breath-taking contrast to every other prior view and emotion the Man had witnessed. How could one Elf appear in so many various ways and yet be the same? Aragon knew if he let himself gaze too long into the stunning persona of his friend, he could never look away.
At that moment, the archer looked up and their eyes met, the Elf's eyes going wide for a second in shock, then softened. Aragorn tore his gaze away, knowing his friend probably detected the unbridled desire in the heated stare. The Elf stood and quietly said, "I have it."
"Good," the Man mumbled and took the wet, gnarled stub from him.
They made it back to their patient, who was still not too happy with Aragorn's attention. He was met by another round of high-pitched growling and hissing. "Shhh. I know what it means to surrender one’s feral side. You will not regret it child, once you are with me."
Again, the Elf's face read total surprise. "Aragorn?" The tone was hitched and a tad sharp.
"Yes?" He looked up and it took a second to realize that distinct response, since it was rather rare in the Sindar. It was fear; naked panic graced the usually stoic face. "What is it?! What is wrong?"
Legolas shook his head, looking around wildly. "Something...is very amiss here!"
"How do you mean?"
Panic was starting to rise in the Elf. He stood, as did the Ranger. "I do not know...but everything is familiar, disturbingly so."
"How can that be?"
The Elf looked at him beseechingly. "Can you not feel it? This...sensation you have been here before, committing these same acts, saying the same words!"
Aragorn shook his head and stumbled over his reply, trying to not reveal the true nature of his dreams. "Nay, that is not...I admit there are... similarities, but they are not... These woods and actions are not part of my memory, my friend."
"What do you recall?" Legolas insisted. "What portion seems real?"
Again, Aragorn tried to be vague. "Not...real, just alike." Finally, he looked at his anxious friend. "Dreams, Legolas. I have witnessed scenes during my sleep played out, that is all."
The jittery Elf was now bordering on anger. "Like what? What have you seen?"
"Legolas, I don't see what this has to do with..."
"Was there a predator?!"
The Man almost choked. "...what?"
"A savage beast, intent on killing. Is that what you dreamt of?"
His eyes became wide and clear, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up. "...Yes." He blinked twice, then said, "But not vicious, the images were not brutal...just searching, looking..."
Now the Sindar was breathing hard, still glancing about. "Mine were!"
Confused, Aragorn said, "Yours...were what?"
Frustrated, the Elf said, "My dreams! I thought it was inherent remorse due to my prohibitions!” He looked over the Man’s shoulder and winced,the words broken and tight, "Now...I see...they were a warning.”
The visage of total terror before him made the Man spin around...and his heart chilled, his vision warping. The huge Beast was crouched, its fangs bared, having silently appeared without ceremony. Rana's yellow sheen rippled along burgundy-black fur over taut muscle, red eyes swirled like misty blood, andlarge ears were flat against the big head of the largest, most powerful wolf in all of Middle-Earth.
"Carcharoth. .." whispered the frozen Elf.
Not even blinking, the Man said, "But he was slain by Huan and Beren at Neldorethe to retrieve the Silmaril he had eaten."
The Elf cursed himself at having only his bow and arrows. He'd left his knives back at camp and had only one in his boot. "Well, Morgoth was struck down at one time as well, and he lives still...in some form, that we know." He carefully moved a few inches to get a better view, but when the animal growled, it halted the archer's steps. "Would it be so impossible to believe this nefarious being has existed in some alternate capacity?"
Slowly moving his hand to grab his sword, Aragorn said, "But why here? Why now?"
"That...I do not know."
Swiftly pulling out his sword, for all the good it would do, Aragorn saluted the enemy and went into an attack stance. "Legolas, I have a dagger in my right boot, should you need it."
"As do I."
"Attack pattern `Curufinwë'."
The Elf already had an arrow aimed at Morgoth's pet. "Understood. "
Aragorn saw the muscles tense in the wolf, signaling attack. He lunged, as did the evil hound. By now, the Elf had moved to the side. Aragorn fell back hard, the creature on top, causing his sword to be plunged hilt deep in the thing’s neck. It screamed, followed by another horrid wail as arrow after arrow pierced its thick hide. Snapping its head back in protest gave the Man the chance to extract and redeliver several deep cuts with his blade. Black blood spewed from it’s neck, drenching Aragorn in slick filth. He gasped and retched, stifling a scream. It was like acid in his eyes and mouth and he tried in vain to wipe it away with arms coated in the same caustic gunk. It reached down, biting deeply into the man's right arm, ripping great gashes. Deadly, noxious sludge and the bodily trauma made the night grow dim, the all-consuming torment battering his awareness.
The Elf came closer, still repeatedly firing. Finally, the brute swivelled its head at an impossible angle, biting off the wood sticks embedded in the tough skin. Then it turned its wrath on the Sindar. Legolas dropped his bow and pulled the knife from his boot. Spastic shivers trailed through him as the massive lupine literally appeared to smile. Savage sensations assailed his mind from the fell apparition, the perverse delight of butchery, the ecstacy of indulged revenge, foresight of the most succulent meal it would have in centuries...
He could not comprehend all of these motivations, except the last. They were on this damned incubus' menu. It came for him and faster than even he believed he could move, the knife sliced straight across its eyes, slitting the cornea of one. Landing on the Sindar, it once again howled in agony. Leoglas slammed down on his panic, having the beast totally pinning him, the sick stench and sight of toxic, decomposing gore right in his face. It wasted no time in clamping its wide mouth onto the Elf's throat, easily surrounding it, causing Legolas to frantically pry at the thing's jaws that now began to lift him in the air. Realizing its intentions made the Elf nearly insane with fear. He began to kick and thrash, knowing it would shake and fling him until his bones were crushed or his spine snapped. He could only hope it would devour his carcass *after* he died.
Yet, while it did throttle him, he was soon released, his head hitting the ground with a loud crack. Legolas deftly fought the darkness begging to take him. He watched as the evil animal was the one now violently shaking, with a sword impaled in its back and Aragorn riding it down. The Man had been vaguely aware of the surrounding events in his pain induced stupor, but one hazy look at his Elf in that red maw was enough to snap him awake and charge it. Victory was short lived once it bucked fiercely, causing him to get struck to the side. It whirled on the Man, who'd pulled out his knife. It pounced and was barely being held back by the Ranger's long blade. Leoglas held his shrieking head, the pain white and bright and pulling him down. There was no mistaking, though, the feeling of thrilled, deviant acquisition, of obscene prevailing from the monster.
Through the night, he somehow caught a glint of red not coming from the deviled attacker, but from his friend. From his friend's hand.
*...the Ring of Barahir.* he thought.
The devious plan slammed into him. This beast had been killed initially by Beren, a great ancestor of Aragorn. All the coincidences, the strange turning of events, the how and why they had arrived at this location, at this time - it was to obliterate the leader of Humans.
It was killing the king of Mankind...perhaps even a key player in saving Middle-Earth itself.
Sheer will infused him and he rose, blocking out the stabbing in his head. From nowhere, the words of the `The Mahtan Elanessë' came to him and he realized the gods had been speaking to him all along, only cloaked as to hide the morbid message. He *would* meet his god this time. Elwë was simply a pseudonym for the Halls of Mandos. He was to fight to the death to save Aragorn, the Man he knew he loved.
With his adrenalin level nearly lethal, he said, "To make destiny clear..." and approached the beast, continuing with, "...fate sound..." It faced him, from Isildur's heir, to silence the one who knew the secret. "...life fulfilled," said the Elf before running full speed, knife in hand.
A ghastly screech pierced his ears and a bright blur flashed before him and he was nearly knocked over. The depraved beast went flying backward. It took a second for the Elf to recover and realize the bizarre scene unfolding. Their "patient", the injured feline, had miraculously recovered and was presently slashing and clawing and gutting the black wolf. Legolas and Aragorn could only watch as the humongous thylacine was being easily dispatched by a rabid Bengel cub, one third it's size.
The wolf uselessly flailed and gurgled on its own blood until it went still. The cub simply stopped and calmly began to clean its splattered fur. His head still pounding, Legolas went to his friend. "Are you alright?"
Checking the serious gashes on his arm, Aragorn said, "As...good as can be expected. And you?"
The pain was a dull roar in his head, making it hard to see and he fought the urge to wretch. “The same.”
It was evident their injuries were severe.
Suddenly, they could hear water splashing and rippling. They turned in the direction of the lake, which they could not see. Soon three willowy figures came into view. Tall, ghostly elves of high birth, clearly not of this world, came to stand before them, their light robes illuminating the forest clearing. Legolas immediately kneeled and Aragorn followed suit.
The Elf was moved to tears upon seeing Elwë, Ossë and Uinen. "I am honored, my lords...and lady."
It was Elwë who spoke first. "We know this event has been treacherous for you both, yet it was needed." With a wave of his hand, the dire wounds of the Man and Elf faded, much to their awe and delight.
Daring to look upon such revered beings, Legolas said, "May I ask what was the purpose of this encounter withCarcharoth?"
"It was a figment of the creature, my child. It’s death was symbolic of your triumph." said Uinen. "It was imperative we see if you two are truly worthy of one another."
Aragorn and Leoglas exchanged glances. "We...do not understand, my Lady." said the Man.
"You were to make a grave mistake in the future, Aragorn, son of Arathorn."said Ossë. "You would bind yourself to one you thought you loved, only to discover later the one on which your life depends is gone."
"With Legolas Thranduilion by your side, as your mate, you will have the strength necessary to lead." said Elwë.
Neither Man nor Elf could bring themselves to look at one another.
"This battle was a requisite," said Uinen, "not for you to save the Man's life, Legolas, but for us to show you the depths of your own passion for him."
"And you, Aragorn," said Ossë. "Had you not been forced to face your feelings, you would have denied your loving dedication once the scion of Oropher had confessed his."
"Go now...and be together as the ritual has determined." said Elwë. With that, the three bowed, as did the Elf and Man. The trio retreated into the trees and water could be heard sluicing and rippling into a whirlwind, then was silent.
It was a few minutes before the Elf finally said, "You love me."
Aragorn slowly nodded. "Yes...I do."
"...as I love you."
They turned to an odd sound, like low rumbling. The corpse of the wolf was gone. It was the Bengel cub, now on its back, purring and extending a inviting paw to them. It appeared...pleased for them. It stood, shook off the debris from the soil and struggle and bounded its way in the direction of the lake, and the splashing and trickling of water was heard once again.
"In your dreams," Leoglas asked, "What...were you?"
"I...was a wolf." He awaited a moment before asking, "What were you?"
When no answer came, he looked at his friend, who had the most tormented face. "What is it?" Aragorn softly asked.
With great reluctance, the Elf said, "So was I."
"What do you mean?"
His eyes floated closed in horror. "I...was a wolf as well. The one that would attack you...and kill you." He lowered his head. "I thought it was because of my growing affection for you, the regret manifesting itself in such a gruesome scenario. Now I see the wolf was my own obstinate will, refusing to tell you how I felt."
Aragorn thought about this and said, "The cat..."
"The cat I saw in the water in my dreams...it was a dormant image of you. It gave me great peace and calmness."
Legolas mused on this and said, "It was the Spirit of Uinen, reassuring you of the future."
They finally looked at each other and embraced feverishly. The Man almost became undone at last being able to freely hold and touch the Elf. Legolas began to shake in the human's arms and could not stop, his movements almost twitching as he ran his hands up and down the man's body. Their foreheads touched and they hesitantly kissed, then again. Eventually, it was slowly, fully, unhurried. They worshiped one another's unique tastes and different textures and curious flavors.
After it ended, Aragorn said, "Let us return to camp."
The trembling Elf readily agreed. "Yes...let's. "
As they made their way back to the fire, they both knew they were about to feast on the best flesh in all of Middle-Earth. And would, for the rest of their days together.