Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken & Ruki/Legolas (later on...)
Notes: Wow, this entire story is very inconsistent. ... Oh well!
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon (01, 02, Tamers or Frontier) or Lord Of The Rings. I'm just using the characters for my own amusement (and, as it turns out, there are others who enjoy it as well! Good for them!)
Chapter Four: Rivendell
<I definitely like this better than riding that damned horse.>
Takeru leaned against the silver railing of the balcony he was standing on and stared out across the waters and forest of Rivendell. Sighing, he turned around and leaned, resting his arms on the top of the rail.
<We've been here for only a day,> he thought, turning his eyes skyward, <and already I'm getting restless... I want to know where we are, and WHAT ON EARTH is going on here. And about that ring. There's a story behind it, I'm sure, I just want to know what it is.>
Heaving another sigh, he pushed himself from the railing, intending to head out and find Ken; the blue-haired boy had disappeared shortly after they had arrived and Takeru hadn't seen him since. Of course, there was a lot to see there, but still... it was disconcerting to be in such a strange place, knowing that a close friend of yours was somewhere nearby, but not knowing exactly where he was...
"Shit, come on, Takeru." He muttered to himself, shaking his head. "I doubt that he's in trouble anywhere! Hell, we're in a friggin' Elf city-"
"-huh?" Takeru blinked, turning to face Ken. His friend half-ran up to him, a huge smile on his normally solemn face. There was something about the Elven city of Rivendell that had brought the best out in the former-digimon-Kaiser. "Oh, hey Ken."
Ken stopped. "Takeru, you've got to come-"
The blonde raised an eyebrow; "for what?"
"It's Wormmon and Patamon," Ken said with a grin; "they've made it here. Pretty good time, considering they walked, too. Strider and his comrades are with them..."
The bluenette rolled his eyes. "Come on," he cried in exasperation, grasping Takeru's wrist. He pulled, jerking the other boy into walking. "They're waiting for us. Wormmon and Patamon wanted to have a rest, so they were taken somewhere, but Strider wanted to talk with us both." He paused, then; "maybe they'll explain everything to us..."
"That'd be nice." Takeru sighed sarcastically. "Since I still have no clue what's going on -- ack!" He gasped when Ken jerked on his arm, making him stumble. He glared at his friend, but followed along. "You know, Ken, you sure as hell are different since we got here-"
"Yeah, well..." Ken slowed down and looked at the ground. "I don't know why. There's just something about this place... it just makes me feel... peaceful... happy... like I belong, I guess."
"Ken-" Takeru frowned. "Like you belong? You... always belonged... didn't you?"
<I thought he did... I always tried, but-> the blonde swallowed, startled by the reluctant tone-of-voice with which Ken had responded 'yeah...'. <I guess he was never as close to us as we all thought he was...>
"Here," Ken released his arm as they stepped onto another of the many amazing balconies that decorated the city. Takeru shook his hand from reflex, now that it was free, and followed Ken farther onto the balcony.
There were seven people waiting for them -- the man called Strider was there, and the Elf-woman who had rescued Frodo. There were two other Elves as well; one who wore his robes regally and with dignity, and another who was leaning against the balcony and wearing her dress with a rather annoyed expression and obvious distaste. The fifth person was a tall man who sported a gray beard and gray robes, and the last were two of the little people from the woods. There was no way of knowing where the third was, but Takeru thought that he was probably wherever Frodo was.
"Well," the regal-Elf said seriously, clasping his hands in front of him, "these are the ones who helped you, Arwen?" And when the woman nodded, he gestured to one of many ledges around the balcony. "Please have a seat- my name is Elrond, and this is Arwen; allow me to thank you for aiding her and the Ring Bearer."
"Ring Bearer-?" Ken asked softly.
"I'm sorry-" Takeru told him, "but... we're really not sure just what's going on..."
"That-" the man in gray spoke up, "is to be expected." He passed a gnarled staff from his left hand to his right and approached them. "I am Gandalf the Grey, a magician, and I fear that I am -- at least in part -- the reason you three and your partners are here."
"Oh." Takeru said dumbly.
But Ken looked slightly confused. "Three?"
"Ah, yes, I'd forgotten-" he turned to the Elf-woman who was leaning against the balcony. She had been watching everything, her arms crossed over her chest. Now, she brushed a stray strand of red-orange hair out of her eyes and compressed her lips into a thin line. "Please, join us Ruki."
The girl made an exasperated sound and shoved away from the railing. She walked briskly over and stood next to Gandalf. "Look," she snapped, glaring at him, "I've been here for a week, and I still have no clue why the hell I'm here! I'm starting to get impatient, okay?"
Gandalf simply smiled at her, "my dear, I know it's been hard for you to keep your patience for all this time, but now that these two have arrived," he sighed, "I can attempt to explain things to all of you. But first," he added; "why don't you introduce yourself to these young men?"
"God! Fine!" She threw her hands into the air. "I'm Ruki Makino, okay?"
"And I'm Ken Ichijouji."
There was a long silence, and Ruki blinked in shock.
"What is it?" Ken asked.
"W-what did you say your names are?" She demanded, "T-Takeru and Ken?"
"Yeah." Takeru nodded, "Takeru Takaishi and Ken Ichijouji. Is there a problem with that?"
She stared at them a minute longer, then; "no."
"Good, good," Gandalf rested a hand on Ken's shoulder; "now, all of you please have a seat, and I will attempt to explain a few things to you. Pippin? Merry?" He looked back, "could the two of you please fetch their partners for this?"
"Of course." One of the little people replied; "come on Pip."
"Now," the magician said, sitting on one of the many ledges that were placed around the balcony, "where to begin..."
Ken took a seat on another ledge, perching on the edge of it. Takeru sat next to him, stiffly, and Ruki dropped down next to the blonde, looking just as uncomfortable as him. He glanced to the side at her, frowning. <What is it about her? We told her our names and her jaw practically dropped do the ground...> His thoughts were interrupted when two furry forms -- one green and one beige -- catapulted into the room, followed more calmly by a yellow-furred one, and then finally by the two little people whom Gandalf had sent to get Patamon and Wormmon...
"Whoa!" Takeru held out his hands to fend of Patamon. However, despite the speeds that the former-digimon had come at him in, Patamon skidded to a stop a half-foot away and planted himself, sitting calmly and with as much dignity as he could muster. Next to him, Wormmon had done basically the same thing to Ken, and on his other side, the yellow wolf had taken up a position next to Ruki. Takeru stared. "Jeez, Patamon, you nearly gave me a heart attack."
The blonde glared. "Patamon..."
But Patamon ignored him and focused on Ruki. :What's HER problem?:
Takeru glanced to the side. The orange-ish-haired girl was gaping at them both in seeming amazement. Of course, she was doing a fairly good job of covering it up, as well- in fact it would have hardly been obvious to anyone else. But Takeru had grown up with Yamato for a brother, and he knew how closed-off some people could be.
<And if she reminds me of anyone, it's Yamato.>
"I don't know," Takeru shook his head, turning back to Patamon.
Patamon blinked at her. :I'll find out!: Turning slightly, he tilted his head to the side. :Hi. I'm Patamon, and that-: He nodded toward Wormmon, :is Wormmon.: He glanced at the yellow wolf. :Hey -- is she a digimon, too?: And then, addressing the wolf herself; :what's your name?:
The yellow wolf stared at him with a slightly bored expression, and Ruki rolled her eyes. She had recovered somewhat from whatever shock she'd had, and snorted. "Your digimon talks too much." She informed Takeru.
Takeru narrowed his eyes. "And you would know about digimon how-?"
Ruki waved her hand at the wolf beside her. "I used to have one until I got here."
"Really?" Ken leaned over and peered around Takeru. "What's her name?"
The orange-haired girl made another disgusted noise. "Not that it's any of your business," she replied, "but her name is Renamon, okay?"
<Renamon?> Takeru wondered silently, <I've never heard of a digimon with that name....I wonder where she's from? If Ruki was a Chosen Child from Tokyo, then we would have known about her. Hell, if she was a Chosen Child from ANYWHERE, we would have known about her- at least after that trip-around-the-world we did. I know that people everywhere are starting to meet their digimon partners, but it's so rare right now that any time someone does it's a media circus! So then how come I don't recognize her-?>
"Now that everyone is here," Gandalf sighed, interrupting his thoughts, "I can at least begin to explain. First," he gestured around, "I will make introductions. You already know Strider, and as I said, my name is Gandalf. Elrond has already introduced himself, but this-" he motioned toward the Elf-woman, "is Arwen, and they are Pippin and Merry."
"There are many explanations that you want, I'm sure, so I will begin with Middle Earth itself, which is a beautiful but deadly place. It is also home to many different races; the race of man, of which Strider is a part; the race of Hobbits, which Merry and Pippin are included in, as well as Frodo and Sam, who are not present right now; and the race of Elves, which Arwen and Elrond are a part of -- and which you, also, appear to now be a part of -- are only three of many." Gandalf paused and looked at them. "You two happened upon Strider and his party when they were en-route to Rivendell to deliver the One Ring -- a device of evil and power that must be destroyed for the sake of all of Middle Earth."
<The ring....> Takeru frowned. "I sensed something from the ring, before..."
"Yes." Elrond said, nodding, "most can sense Sauron's presence in the Ring, and the power that it holds."
"I feel..." Ken started, looking down, "that it isn't a coincidence that we're here. It's not, is it? There's something happening that we are here to... stop, or change... we're here to do something, aren't we?"
Silence descended on all of those who were present, and after a long moment, Gandalf heaved another sigh and stood up to pace. "Yes." He told them, "and I am sorry to say that it is my fault that you t-" he broke off when his gaze landed on Ruki, and then continued; "-three are here. I called you here, brought you by spell."
:Why?: A female voice asked flatly, and everyone's attention was turned to Renamon, who was still seated at Ruki's side. It was the first time anyone had heard the yellow wolf speak since she and Ruki had arrived. :Why did you call us here?:
"Renamon," Ruki said, gritting her teeth, "he didn't bring us here."
"He didn't?" Ken blinked.
Gandalf closed his eyes. "No. I should not have said I did... no, Ruki and Renamon were as much a surprise to me in the arrival as they were to anyone else. I fear I do not know how they were brought here."
:Okay then,: Wormmon cocked his head to the side, :why are WE here?:
"....you are here," the magician told them, "because we are in need of help. Much strength will be required to do... what is necessary... to destroy the One Ring. I did bring you here, though not you in particular. My spell was simply supposed to bring people who would be of aid to us..."
"What the hell can we do?" Takeru demanded, "if we don't even know where we are or what we are?"
"That... I do not know. The spell simply brought you; you could aid us, but it was the spell which chose you. I do now know what you can do." A frown; "I did not realize, when I cast the spell, that it would bring people from another world..."
"Yeah, well," Ruki snapped, "it did. From two other worlds."
She rolled her eyes. "Never mind."
:I have a question-: Patamon began, turning to look at Gandalf. :Why are we wolves?:
"That-" Gandalf smiled slightly, "was my doing. You are wolves because I was not sure how well your true forms would do in Middle Earth. As soon as you were transported from your own world, I changed you so that you would, perhaps, do well in the forests, and with the traveling that you would be required to do."
Ruki raised an eyebrow, "can they be turned back?"
Gandalf blinked, "of course. I merely thought that-"
:Sir,: Renamon said, standing, :I am much more comfortable as myself... and I have been doing battle in my own body for long enough that I can manage on my own. If you don't mind, I would much rather be a digimon than a wolf.:
"...alright." The magician nodded, turning to Patamon and Wormmon. "And you?"
:Actually...: Wormmon started hesitantly, with a glance at Ken, :if the forest we were in already is any indication... I'm better off in this form. It's suited to the traveling better than my real body. I think I'd like to stay like this... that is, if it's alright with you, Ken.:
"If that's what you want..."
Patamon nodded, :and I... will stay like this, too. Takeru?:
Takeru shrugged. "It's your body."
"Alright," Gandalf agreed. Holding his staff into the air slightly, he muttered a few words in another language. In the blink of an eye, the yellow wolf vanished and in it's place was a digimon; it stood proudly on two legs, was generally fox-like, yellow, and wore purple gloves to it's upper arms. "Is that better, my dear?"
Renamon bowed her head in thanks. "Much."
Both the Elves and the Hobbits seemed taken aback, and blinked in shock at the new creature that had appeared. Elrond and Arwen managed to keep their composure. Pippin and Merry, however, had to consciously keep their jaws from the ground...
Takeru chuckled to himself. <That's pretty much how all of us looked the first time WE saw a digimon, I seem to recall. Although... Daisuke was worse than anyone else. He practically had a fit. It was pretty funny, though...>
Ken leaned closer, "hey," he whispered, "does this seem familiar to you, or what?"
The blonde grinned. "I'll go with yes."
Ruki rolled her eyes.
"Now, I believe you know all that is important right now," Elrond told them, clearing his throat. "We are assembling the council tomorrow. I would ask that you all join us there, to learn the last. For now, feel free to familiarize yourselves with Rivendell." He waved a hand, generally indicating the surrounding area, "if you need any help, don't hesitate to ask, and someone will gladly supply you with whatever you need."
"Um..." Ken hazarded, "thanks?"
"Hn." Ruki stood up, "the first thing I could use is a change of clothes. I don't do dresses."
"Of course. A set of clothing will be brought to you as soon as possible."
"Thanks." She turned and started away briskly, "come on, Renamon."
Renamon waited long enough for Ruki to disappear around the corner and then looked at everyone. "Please forgive Ruki," she said carefully, "she doesn't mean to be rude, but sometimes she is unaware of how she sounds." A quick bow followed this, and then the digimon vanished into thin air.
"Huh," Ken looked at Takeru. "I've never seen a digimon do that before."
"There are all kinds." Takeru responded, standing. He stood up, "I guess we can-"
"Takeru," Elrond interrupted, "I would ask you and Ken to stay for a moment."
Ken, who had been in the process of standing as well, paused. "For what?"
It was Gandalf who answered; "we have concerns regarding Ruki."
Turning to face them, Takeru crossed his arms. "What are those?"
The magician paced to one side of the balcony, and then turned to pace back. "Ruki, as we told you," he said, "was not brought here by me." He looked worried, but continued; "I am unsure as to how she and Renamon arrived in Middle Earth, but... I suspect that Saruman has something to do with it..."
"Another Wizard," Gandalf explained, "and one more powerful than I -- he has allied himself with Sauron, and I fear that he is the one who brought Ruki here... if that is so, then there is something about Ruki that could aid Sauron in recovering the One Ring..."
"I see." Takeru nodded gravely. Somehow, despite the fact that he still had a lot of unanswered questions, the feeling of obligation -- the feeling that he and Ken had to help these people -- was stronger than ever. "We'll keep an eye on her, then."
"I am sure," Elrond spoke, "that she would not intentionally harm any of us, or intentionally aid Sauron. But if something inside of her is off-balance, she could be a problem. Especially as an Elf. With access to the Elven magics, there is great potential for trouble..."
Ken looked concerned, but nodded as well. "I'm sure Wormmon and I will do our best."
"Good." Gandalf sat down again, moving slowly. There was something in the magician that seemed, somehow, older than when they had first arrived. "You may go, and please think on what we've said."
"We will. Come on Ken."
Takeru waited until Ken had stood, and then walked from the balcony with the bluenette and both former-digimon behind him. "So," he said once they were out of earshot, "what should we do now?"
Ken shrugged, "I don't know. We have until tomorrow...."
:I say we look around.: Wormmon stated excitedly. :This place is great!:
"Jeez, Wormmon, be a little more enthusiastic."
:Wormmon's right-: Patamon agreed, :let's go!:
Takeru sighed at his partner's enthusiasm. "Alright, Patamon, we'll go and explore."
Both wolves bounded away, leaving Takeru and Ken to try to catch up.
"Hm?" Takeru looked at his friend, "what is it?"
Ken stopped walking. "What do you think of what they said about Ruki?"
"..." The blonde frowned. "I don't know, Ken, but there is something about her that I don't really know about... just a feeling, I guess."
"Me too. Takeru, you don't think they could be right about her dark side, do you? She's Chosen, after all... has a digimon... do you think they're right about her?"
"I don't know, Ken. Maybe, but I don't know."
"...neither do I."
Me: Okay, so this chapter didn't have much in it. *sweatdrop* Gomen, but this chapter and the next one will probably be pretty much like this. Lots of info (and some foreshadowing) but nothing really exciting.
Ken: The council's in the next chapter. That's kind of exciting.
Takeru: -_-;; A council? Exciting? Where have you been? Living under a rock?
Ken: Well, pardon me if-
Me: *waves hands desperately* Now, now, no need for fighting! ^-^ Oh, did I smell foreshadowing in this chapter? I guess you'll have to wait and see what happens next! ^^;; But I've been putting off schoolwork to do chapters of "Company", so I might not get another chapter up for a couple of days...
Ken: *shocked* You put off schoolwork??
Me: ^-^;; Gomen! *bows in apology* Ja minna!