Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken & Ruki/Legolas (later on...)
Notes: I decided that (at least for now) I'm not going to write in more characters from Digimon 02. However (dun, dun, dun) I figured out a way for Ruki and Renamon to be in it! ^_~ Not tellin' how yet, but not even the characters know how she got there for a few more chapters!
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon (01, 02, Tamers or Frontier) or Lord Of The Rings (characters, etc.) I'm just borrowing them for a while. I'll give them back unharmed (besides the fact that I taught Takeru a whole whack of bad words and turned the Digimon into wolves ^.^;;) when I'm done.
Chapter Two: Magic
"We're Elves?" Takeru said quietly, blinking.
:They're Elves?: Patamon and Wormmon demanded together, mentally.
But Ken only nodded; "I suppose it makes sense," he told Takeru softly, "the ears... the clothes, and the bows. I can't believe it didn't occur to me before. Of course we're Elves." He shook his head. "I can't believe I didn't think of it-"
"I can!" Takeru interrupted, "Ken, how in the hell can we be Elves?!"
The bluenette sighed. "How can Patamon and Wormmon be wolves?" He countered.
The other boy glared, and opened his mouth as if to say something in return, but another noise interrupted their nearly-silent argument. Leaves rustling made them look back to the people that were now only a few feet away... the one who was lying on the ground had begun to writhe and thrash feebly. The others all turned their attention back to their fallen comrade, with the exception of the man who was already standing -- that man simply continued to stare at Takeru and Ken, and they saw with some unease that he seemed to be inspecting Wormmon and Patamon, as well.
:He's creeping me out.: Patamon told them, :does he have to keep STARING like that?:
:I doubt he's ever seen a beige wolf, never mind a green one...: Wormmon reminded the other former-digimon, :of course he's going to stare.:
"I fear," the man said, interrupting whatever Patamon had been about to say, "that I do not know you, despite my kinship with the Elven race." He looked from Takeru to Ken and back again. "I am known as Strider, and you may be?"
"Um..." Ken looked at Takeru, who shrugged. The blue-haired boy sighed, "Ken. My name is Ken," he told Strider, "and this is Takeru. And these-" he gestured to Patamon and Wormmon, "are our... friends... Wormmon and Patamon."
Strider's eyes went to Wormmon. "I know that wizards can have Familiars, but I did not know that Elves could as well..."
"Familiars?" Ken asked, confused.
The man frowned. "If they are not Familiars to you, then how do you keep these wolves with you and free like this? Surely, there must be magic involved for them to have not attacked you already-"
Suddenly, Takeru understood and nodded, though Ken continued to look rather lost. <It seems that we've found ourselves in a world where magic is possible. Not that it's a big surprise or anything, but... I mean, the only 'magic' we've ever had anything to do with was in that weird Other-dimension that we fought in before the end...> He shook his head, directing Strider's attention to Patamon, who was standing beside him. "No, I'm sorry, you've misunderstood." He considered; "Patamon is my friend, and he's as much a person as you and I are."
But Takeru could tell that he really didn't.
"Patamon, you'd better-"
:Okay,: Patamon agreed, not even letting his partner finish. He walked forward a handful of steps and sat down directly in front of Strider, then cocked his head to the side. :Pleased to meet you, Strider.: He told the man more-than-pleasantly (and in a more polite manner than he normally spoke), making not only Strider, but the others jump. They turned away from their friend to stare at the 'talking' wolf... :I'm Patamon.:
Strider blinked several times, then simply nodded, accepting it, and turned to glance behind him, where their comrade was still thrashing feebly. "I am sorry to ask this of someone I have only just met, but... I fear that Frodo does not have much time left before he cannot turn back from the darkness..." he looked at Ken and Takeru once more. "I would be in your debt if you would attempt to stop the poison from turning him-"
<He just assumes that we CAN...>
There was a moment of silence, as Takeru glanced at Ken. The bluenette was staring intently past Strider, at Frodo, with determination set into his eyes. Ken was seeing something in Frodo... in all of those in front of them then... that Takeru didn't quite see.
Ken turned to him, but didn't say a word.
Takeru hesitated, then; "yes." He told Strider, "we can't promise anything, but we can try."
"That is the most I can ask." The man replied, stepping aside for them. "Because it is the most anyone can do."
Ken strode forward immediately, and dropped down next to Frodo, leaving Takeru where he was. The blonde swore silently to himself and followed, motioning for Patamon and Wormmon to remain where they were. He took his place at Frodo's side, opposite from Ken, and gently shoved one of the others out of his way. Gently, because, now that he was close enough to see for sure, they were so tiny...
"Takeru..." Ken whispered. "My God..."
Takeru simply gaped at the site before him in silent shock.
The little one that they were kneeling over continued to tremble violently, and wheeze as if every breath was drawn painfully and with great difficulty. A wound that marred his left shoulder seemed to throb with a life of it's own, and it was obvious to both of them that it was the cause of the trouble. But it wasn't the swollen puncture, discolored with veins that had risen to the surface of Frodo's skin, that shocked both Takeru and Ken; it was his eyes.
White, milky and empty. There were no pupils at all. There was only white, stark and frightening... and fear. Frodo's fear, despite the discoloration of his eyes, showed perfectly through the flat white.
"Takeru, what could have done this-?"
"I don't..." Takeru shook his head, swallowing, "I don't know, Ken, but-"
"The wound in his shoulder is from one of the Black Riders," one of the other small people spoke up, hesitantly. "He was hurt, and Strider tells us that... that if we don't get him to Rivendell and the Elven healers, that he will..." he trailed off then, leaving the sentence hanging. He turned his eyes downward. "I said I'd take care of him..." he muttered to himself sadly. "I promised."
Takeru and Ken both turned to Strider.
"If we isn't taken to the Elven healers-?" Ken repeated softly.
"He will become one of them." The man finished. "One of the Nazgul."
They looked back at Frodo, both of them feeling as if they had been punched in the stomach. From the way both Strider and the other had said it, the Black Riders -- the Nasgul -- were not something to take lightly... and judging by the way Frodo looked at that particular moment, they were definitely not something to strive to be...
"Ken," Takeru said quietly, carefully, "I hate to say this, but..."
"We have to help him." Ken whispered. "We have to do what we can. Takeru, there's something about him... about all these people... they're important, Takeru, very important. I don't know how, but they are."
"Fuck, Ken, do you hear what you're saying?"
"I can feel it."
Ken locked his eyes with Takeru's. "I can feel it, Takeru. Just like you could feel that they weren't dangerous. You said it, not me -- 'they just don't feel dangerous'. Well, you're right. They don't feel dangerous. They feel important."
Takeru's jaw dropped open. <I should have known that'd come back to bite me in the ass...> He mentally kicked himself for ever saying it. "I already said I'd try to help, but what the hell can we do to help him? Tell me that!"
"...we can try our Crests." Ken responded, "I said before, they have power."
"But not the kind that-" He broke off when he realized that the blue-haired boy as no longer listening. Instead, Ken had bowed his head and placed one hand on Frodo's forehead, while the other rested on his own heart. Takeru scowled. "Damn it!" He snapped quietly, but instead of stalking away into the bushes (as he was so very tempted to do) he took a deep breath and bowed his own head, placing one hand over his heart and resting the other over Ken's hand on Frodo's head. "Now what?"
Ken didn't respond, but a soft glow began to seep from his chest, underneath his hand. As Takeru watched, it spread down his friend's arm, and when it touched Frodo, the small person's breathing calmed slightly.
<I didn't think it'd actually WORK. I mean, if I'd KNOWN, I'd've->
He chose to stop blaming himself before he'd even started and simply concentrated on himself and the strength of his own Crest. Slowly, and after what seemed like forever, he felt the familiar tug of Hope in his heart, and a glow similar to the one Ken was emitting already leaked from him to join Ken's.
And though his breathing evened out, Frodo's eyes fluttered erratically, and he continued to thrash, making it difficult to keep their hands in contact with him... in short, what they were doing wasn't as helpful as they had hoped it would be. Aside from that was the frightening fact that as both of them poured energy into Frodo, it was being drained from them.
Ken began to wilt first, finding it harder and harder to hold himself upright. His eyes felt heavy, as did his arms, and he had to continually shake himself to keep from falling either backward onto the ground, or forward onto Frodo.
:Ken-: Wormmon stood and paced forward to stand worriedly at his partner's side. :It isn't working, Ken. You're not HEALING him, you're just helping him breathe... you can't keep this up, or-:
"Sam!" Strider called, and one of the others jumped to his feet to run over to him.
They spoke in hushed tones for several seconds before the smaller of the two raced off into the forest in one direction, while Strider himself headed in another. They were gone in a flash, disappearing into the underbrush.
The two who were left behind continued to fret, watching as Takeru and Ken continued their ministrations.
:Ken, you have to stop!: Wormmon pleaded, placing a paw on Ken's leg. :Please -- you'll hurt yourself if you keep doing it!:
Takeru's mind registered what Wormmon was saying, but he doubted that Ken's did. Somehow, Ken appeared to have put himself into a semi-trance, focusing all of his concentration and energy on Frodo and blocking everything else out. The blonde, however, could hear the wisdom in Wormmon's statement, and could very plainly see that what they were doing wasn't enough. Besides that, he, himself was feeling particularly drained, and there was something... he pulled his hand from Ken's and sat back, breathing heavily.
<How could I have used to much energy that QUICKLY-?!>
...it was then that he noticed that Ken's eyes seemed, despite his trance-like state, to be focused on something; a tiny flash of metal that showed itself from the corner of one pocket on the front of Frodo's tunic. The pocket had come open partially, and whatever-it-was had started to fall out.
Takeru's eyes traced the outline of the object through the fabric... a circle... metal... a ring? Yes, a ring. He could see it now; a ring of gold. As he watched, the tiny thing fell from the pocket completely, as if it had a mind of it's own.
Ken's eyes followed the ring as it slid down from the pocket, landing on the ground beside Frodo's prone form. It lay there, silently. Just a ring. But... something was odd. Something was off. Something was wrong.
His eyes glazed over, the bluenette removed his hand from Frodo and reached for the ring.
Something was wrong!
Takeru grabbed Ken's wrist before he could lay a finger on the tiny hunk of metal and shoved his friend backward bodily. Ken fell onto his back with a thump that was muffled by the leaves on the ground as much as his own clothing, and blinked once or twice before struggling up again.
Wincing, he rubbed his left elbow. "What was that for?"
Takeru ignored him and focused on the ring, which was lying, as it had been, on the ground next to Frodo.
<Something about this ring is...>
He reached out, intending to pick it up and place it securely in Frodo's pocket as it had been, but as his hand neared it, a terrible feeling overcame him and a flash of something in his mind stopped him from touching it. Fire. Fire and dark and death...
<What the FUCK-?!>
Snatching his hand back, he shook his head and took a deep breath to calm himself.
:Takeru?: Patamon asked, :what's wrong?:
"N-nothing, Patamon..." steeling himself, he reached again. Before he could change his mind, he snatched the ring from among the leaves and stuffed it back into the pocket it had fallen from.
Once the ring was safely tucked away, his heart began to beat relatively normally again.
"Shit." He whispered to himself, "whatever the hell that thing is... it's not a normal ring..." he turned to look at Ken, "look, sorry about that. I -- uh -- don't know what came over me..." he trailed off and glanced nervously back at the cloth that covered the ring. "But we had to stop anyway, or we would have run out of energy."
"Yeah." Ken agreed, sadly. "But we can't just let him-"
"No. We can't."
"So how can we-?"
:Shh!: Patamon shushed them, tilting his ears forward and looking off into the forest. A few feet away, Wormmon was doing the same thing. :Listen, someone's coming.:
"Strider?" One of the others asked, "or Sam?"
:No, I don't think...: Wormmon paused and glanced at the horse. :Nor Strider or... Sam... the person who's coming is on a horse. Listen and you will be able to hear-:
Takeru slowed his breathing and listened carefully. Luckily, along with the new ears seemed to come at least slightly-better hearing, and he was able to pick up the sound of hoof-beats relatively quickly. He turned and looked toward where the sound was coming from, and Ken did the same.
And from the trees came a vision in white; a woman who reined her snow-white horse in upon seeing them, skidding to a stop, and gracefully jumped from the animal's back. Running over, her robes trailing behind her, she knelt next to Frodo and grasped his head in her hands, whispering to him soothingly in another language.
"Who is she?" One of the others wondered.
"Oh," the second said, "she's an Elf, too..."
A split second later, Strider raced from the forest, stopping just behind her. He knelt beside her, chewing something, before removing it from his mouth and pressing it into the wound of Frodo's shoulder. Frodo, for his part, hissed and cried, in apparent pain.
"The wound is deep," she told him, turning, "we haven't much time."
"I'll get him on the horse." Strider responded. He picked Frodo up bodily and, walking briskly over to the white horse, which was standing placidly where she had left it, placed him carefully in the saddle. "You stay here; I'll take him and you can meet me-"
"No!" She stood and went after him.
Takeru frowned when they, as Strider had spoken with Sam, whispered to each other in hushed tones. Finally, after a quiet argument, the woman climbed onto the horse behind Frodo, leaving Strider where he was.
"-ride hard-" was all he or Ken could hear of what either of them said.
"What!" One of the small people shouted, "where's she taking him?"
Strider didn't answer as she wheeled the white horse around and they galloped off into the woods once again. It was only after she was gone that they realized that Sam had, some time after she had arrived, returned from the forest; he was watching where she had vanished sadly...
<There's got to be a story behind him and the hurt one,> Takeru thought. <But I wonder what->
:Takeru!: Patamon suddenly shrieked; :it's Ken!!:
The blonde whirled around in time to see Ken sprinting for the other horse... the one that had been there all along. "Ken! Fuck!" Takeru shouted after his friend, "what the hell are you doing?! Get back here-" racing after him, he managed to catch up just as Ken was vaulting onto the horse's back. "Ken-!"
Ken turned troubled eyes to him, "Takeru," he said, "I'm going after them. Something's going to happen and I have to be there. We should be there... they're going to need our help! We can't just leave them out there... with those Nazgul things..."
"You don't even know what 'Nazgul' are!"
"You're right!" Ken snapped; "I don't! But I know they're dangerous. Trust me! Please, Takeru! There's just something about him... Frodo... there's just something- something... there's just Something!"
Takeru stared up at Ken, who was settled on the horse's back. Their whole conversation had taken only a few seconds, so Strider and his comrades hadn't had time to react yet, but they would soon... and Ken was staring down at him, and holding out his hand to give Takeru a boost up onto the horse behind him.
:Go, Takeru!: Patamon shouted, :you know he's right!:
:Go!: Wormmon echoed; :and take care of Ken for me!:
Takeru turned back to look at his partner. Patamon and Wormmon were standing a few feet back from them... Strider started forward, intending to stop them... and both former-digimon whirled around, snarling, to keep him and the others back.
The blonde shrugged off any doubts. <If Patamon and Wormmon are willing to fight for this....if they feel the same way as Ken does, then-> he allowed Ken to hoist him up onto the horse's back. Holding on behind the bluenette, he glanced back at his friends, even as Ken spurred the horse into motion.
"We'll find you again later!" He shouted back, "don't get into trouble-!"
Then he faced forward again, still holding on to Ken, and they galloped through the forest, racing after Frodo and the Elf-woman who had taken him away. Whatever is was that Ken was sensing about Frodo, they were in over their heads now...
Me: Meow! Chapter Two!
Takeru: Okay, so we're Elves.
Me: Who cares? You both look great as Elves! Yumminess!
Takeru & Ken: -_-;;
Wormmon & Patamon: ^^;;