Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken & Ruki/Legolas (later on...)
Notes: This chapter takes place the day after the last chapter....just FYI.
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon (01, 02, Tamers or Frontier) or Lord Of The Rings! I'm using them for a while, but I'll return everyone and everything in mint condition (or nearly mint condition!) once I'm done with them, so don't sue me!
Chapter Five: Council
The forest in Rivendell was so much different than the forest he had woken up in the day before. This was the conclusion that Takeru came to after spending the prior day wandering the Elven city with Ken and the digimon; the trees were greener and healthier, as well as bigger; the sky seemed bluer; and the waters... well...
<The water doesn't jump up and turn into fucking horses.>
Standing in the shade of one of the huge -- and huge they were, towering over his head like giants -- trees, Takeru watched Wormmon and Patamon play. The game? Hide-and-seek. The object of the game? Find Ken, who was hiding in the underbrush somewhere. They had been doing this --or similar renditions of this -- since practically sunrise when they had risen for the day... Takeru had declined their invitation to join in the game, but though he wasn't technically a part of it, he continued to keep an eye out... he hadn't been able to spot the bluenette in the foliage so far, but if he kept his eyes open...
<Ken's pretty good at this.>
The blonde jumped slightly, but didn't turn. Instead, his eyes flicked back over his shoulder at his friend, who was hiding behind the tree he was standing under. "How'd you get here without me knowing?" He wondered quietly.
Ken winked, "what can I say? That Dark Spore has some good points to it."
Takeru continued to face forward; Wormmon and Patamon were dashing in and out between the trees, searching frantically for the former-Kaiser. His lips twitched as he attempted not to laugh at their antics. "How much longer are you planning on entertaining them like this?"
"Hm?" Ken blinked, then shrugged; "I don't know. You know, it's fun, Takeru- you should play, too."
"Nah," Takeru waved him off, "I outgrew hide-and-seek a long time ago. And so did you, if I recall... what is it about this place that's making you and the digimon like this? I don't think I've seen Patamon and Wormmon this energetic in a long time, either."
His friend considered, while still hiding behind the tree. "I'm not sure. There's something about this place that's just... invigorating-"
"It's the Elves." Another voice told them, making them both pause.
Ken looked up; "hey-"
Takeru followed his gaze. In the tree above them was Renamon; the yellow, purple and white digimon was seated on a branch a few feet above their heads, one leg pulled up to her chest and the other hanging down. Her eyes were following Wormmon and Patamon, who continued to play as if nothing had changed.
"What did you say?"
Her eyes went to Takeru. "It's the Elves and their magic, that are making you and your partners act this way. I can feel it, too."
"But I notice you aren't running around the forest like an idiot." The blonde observed.
Renamon almost smirked. "I'm slightly more..." she paused when, a few yards away, Wormmon burst from the brush, followed closely by Patamon. The beige former-digimon tripped over his own feet and tumbled headfirst into his friend, sending them both rolling through the leaves. Renamon regarded them with amusement, "...mature than they are." She finished.
"I see." Ken nodded, smiling slightly. He had smiled more since arriving at Rivendell than Takeru had ever seen before. "Renamon, can I ask you-"
"You want to know about Ruki."
"Huh? Um..." The bluenette nodded, "yes, actually."
"She is my Tamer." Renamon told them, "and my best friend. The same as you and your digimon, I suppose. I have known her for many years, since she was only a young girl; she and I have been through much together."
She blinked. "You don't know what a Tamer is?" Then she sighed; "no, I suppose you wouldn't."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Takeru demanded, uncrossing his arms, "and just what the hell is a 'Tamer'? We're Chosen; anyone who has a digimon partner is. And everyone knows it, at this point." He frowned, "which bring me to another question! Why did Ruki react the way she did when we introduced ourselves? I mean, she practically had an aneurysm!"
Renamon was silent, possibly considering her answer. Ken and Takeru continued to crane their necks around to stare upward at her. And somewhere in the nearby forest, Wormmon and Patamon were playing- and not trying to be quiet about it. Yelps, shouts, and scuffles could be heard, as well as the occasional thump when one- or on some occasions both- of them ran into a tree or some other natural obstacle.
:Takeru, have you seen-?: Patamon burst from the trees, but skidded to a stop a few feet from his partner. :Huh?: Blinking, he looked upward, following their eyes to Renamon. :Hey, it's her! What's going on?:
:Patamon!: A split second later, Wormmon dashed after Patamon, nearly colliding with his friend in the process. :Aw, Ken...: he whined, :you're not hiding anymore, how come-?: But when everyone ignored him he stopped. :Um...: and looked up. :Oh. What are we all doing?:
Ken shrugged, "talking with Renamon."
"Trying to get answers from her," Takeru snorted, "which is like pulling teeth."
Renamon fixed her gaze on him flatly. "You're television characters."
There was a long silence.
A blink and Ken asked; "what?"
"You heard me." She told them, turning her head to look out across the forest, "you," she repeated, "are television characters. At least, in the world that Ruki comes from you are; you inspired books and games, but there are no real Chosen Children. When I first met Ruki she was the second-best digimon-card-game player in Tokyo. The card game, too, was inspired by you -- you as television characters. It was strange for Ruki to see her childhood idols as flesh-and-blood."
"It seems," Renamon continued; "that we are from two completely different worlds."
:And it doesn't seem that we're talking about the Real World and the Digital World...: Patamon stated.
Takeru rolled his eyes. "Thanks Patamon, for that insightful observation."
"So..." Ken frowned, "are we talking alternate dimensions, here?"
"I would guess. But in all fairness, Middle Earth is yet another possible dimension. There could be an infinite number of them." Renamon stood up on the tree branch and leaped down to the ground, landing with barely a sound. "The relationship between yourselves and your digimon partners is quite like the relationship between Tamer and digimon, though Ruki and I are slightly different than most pairs. We have an... interesting... relationship." Her head tilted up. "I must go. Ruki is calling me, and the council is about to begin." She turned, then paused and looked back; "I will see you there."
Nodding, Renamon took a single step forward and then vanished into thin air.
There was a cumulative blink from both Chosen and their digimon partners.
"I guess we should go," Ken said, looking at Takeru, "Elrond said he wanted us to be at the council meeting, so..."
"Yeah." Takeru nodded and stretched his arms above his head. Letting them drop back to his sides, he stifled a yawn. "I gotta' say I've been pretty bored since we got here. Rivendell is great," he sighed as they started walking, "but there's not a lot happening."
:You could play.: Patamon pointed out.
Takeru continued to walk, trying to ignore his friend. "In any case, I guess this council-thing is better than nothing, right? And maybe we'll learn a bit more about this place and that damned Ring."
Ken pursed his lips. "Can I ask you something?"
"What do you get from that Ring?" He asked, "I mean, what do you feel? You said you feel something, but I just can't..." a frown; "I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't feel anything from it. I didn't even notice it until you stuffed it into Frodo's pocket-"
Takeru blinked and looked at Ken. "What? You don't-?"
<He doesn't remember? He doesn't REMEMBER the Ring? How can he not remember? He went into a damn trance and -- he doesn't remember?> He swallowed a lump that had risen in his throat. <Whatever is in that Ring, it did something to him...>
"Takeru? Doesn't what?"
"Hm? Oh, uh, nothing." Takeru shook his head, "sorry. I lost my train of thought."
Ken didn't say anything more, and they both continued to walk in silence. Wormmon and Patamon trailed along just behind them, both wolves somehow managing to keep themselves from running off to play in the forest again. Or the river, or... Takeru had no idea how they did it, but he was impressed by their willpower, considering the youthful pull of the Elven magic.
"Huh?" Takeru blinked out of his thoughts at Wormmon's excited shout, as they were approaching the large formal clearing that the council was supposed to be held in. "What?"
Wormmon bounded ahead of them, pausing when he was a few feet away. His tail was wagging; something neither Takeru nor Ken had ever expected to see from the worm-based-digimon. :Look! It's Frodo!:
Ken's head came up and he smiled brightly when his eyes lighted on the Hobbit. Takeru couldn't help but mirror his grin; despite the fact that he didn't know him, he had to admit that he was been worried about Frodo's health. Frodo was looking well, despite how he had appeared before. His skin was a normal color, and his eyes were no longer the shocking white they had been when the Chosen had first seen him.
"Good." The bluenette said with obvious relief, "when we didn't hear about him, I was worried."
"Hm," Takeru agreed, "me too."
:Me three!: Patamon piped up. He laughed mentally, :I'm glad he's okay... but I still feel bad about turning on Strider when you - um -- 'borrowed' his horse...:
Takeru chuckled as they climbed the last handful of steps to the council. He paused at the last step, and Ken stopped with him; neither of them were quite sure where to go next. Elrond was there, of course, and Gandalf; Frodo was seated next to the magician. Ruki was leaning against the wall opposite of Elrond and just behind Gandalf, with Renamon beside her. She seemed to be attempting to be as far from the council itself as possible, while still being able to say she had been present. Seated in a semi-circle around the area were several elves; beside the elves were a handful of smaller people- they were approximately the size of the Hobbits, while being rougher, and each of them sported a long beard. After them came Men, the same number of them as Elves; each of the three peoples had the same number of representatives.
All in all, both Takeru and Ken found the arrangement fairly impressive.
"Ah," their attention was drawn to Elrond, and the Elf gestured to three empty seats at the edge of the circle, next to Frodo. "Takeru, Ken, please be seated so that we can begin." He turned his eyes to Ruki and raised an eyebrow at the girl; "please, Ruki, sit down-"
"I prefer to stand, if it's all the same to you."
Ruki nodded curtly and continued to lean.
Takeru had to shake his head at her attitude as he made his way to the seat he had been offered. <The girl doesn't SIT?> Seating himself next to Frodo, he sighed and closed his eyes for a second. Patamon took a seat at his feet, Ken sat next to him, and Wormmon sat at the bluenette's side.
"I have called you all here-" Elrond began, "because-"
Despite the fact that he himself hated it when people didn't listen when he was talking, Takeru found him mind wandering after only a handful of words from Elrond. Something about the way the Elf was talking, or maybe it was because he was tired, made his thoughts drift. And he found himself, oddly enough, thinking about the blue-haired boy sitting next to him.
<There's a lot about Ken that's different since we got here...> he glanced to the side at his friend. Ken was watching Elrond intently, with an intent expression on his face. <He's more outgoing and happy. I guess I never realized how withdrawn he actually WAS until we got to Middle Earth and Rivendell. At least for that part, I'm glad were here now. It's nice to see him really HAPPY for once->
"-Frodo, please bring the Ring forward-"
Takeru jolted out of his thoughts when the Hobbit beside him stood up and brushed against him. He blinked, flushed lightly, and turned his eyes from Ken to Frodo, who walked slowly to the pillar at the center of the council and placed the Ring on it, then returned to his chair. Immediately, Takeru was filled with a sense of dread, and his stomach clenched painfully.
<Why am I so sensitive toward that damned thing?!>
Gasps erupted from the assembled council members, and mutters went from person to person.
"It is a gift!" One man said excitedly, "a gift to the foes of Mordor-!"
:Takeru, he doesn't think he can USE it, does he?: Patamon asked, tearing his attention from the man who had been speaking. :A gift? Just being in the same room as that THING is giving me the heebie-jeebies!:
<Me too, Patamon.> He thought, but didn't say anything out loud. <They should destroy it right now...>
"You cannot use it!" Strider's voice called out above the muttering of the council, "no one can."
"Hn," the first man snorted, "and what would a Ranger know of these things?"
Strider looked as if he was about to say something, but before he could, one of the Elves exploded from his seat; "he is no mere Ranger!" He shouted, "he is Aragorn son of Arathorn, heir to the throne of Gondor, and you owe him your allegiance!"
"Aragorn? This is Gondorís heir?" The man blinked, shocked, and then smirked, "Gondor has no King. Gondor needs no King-"
:Ack!: Patamon gasped mentally, :he's ROYALTY-?!:
Takeru's mind shut off, and he stared at Aragorn. <A King? A Prince? What the hell do I call him now? Sire? Sir? Your Highness? I don't even know what he IS. Shit, I don't even know what a Ranger is. Maybe I should have asked that before...>
:Takeru, listen, Eldrond's saying something important-:
The blonde blinked again at Patamon's voice in his head and focused on Elrond. The regale-Elf had stood and was regarding the assembled council with a grave expression on his face. "Aragorn is right, the Ring must be destroyed-"
"Well then-" one of the smaller, gnarled people shouted, leaping to his feet, "what are we waiting for?!" Hefting a large axe, he took two running steps and swung the axe downward. It connected squarely with the Ring...
...and the axe shattered.
Takeru found himself on his feet, not quite realizing when he had stood up. Perhaps it was the shock of what he was just seen, or perhaps it was the intense wave of energy that sprang from the Ring when it was struck. Either way, it had his heart ready to hammer through his ribs, and he noticed with some wonder that behind him, Ruki had pushed off the wall and looked as jumpy as he was.
"Takeru-" Ken whispered, laying a hand on his wrist, "are you alright?"
"Huh?" He turned to his friend, and sat down shakily. "Yeah."
Elrond waited until he was seated, and then turned a flat gaze on the man who had attacked the Ring. "The One Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any weapon we here possess." He surveyed the council, "there is but one way to destroy it; the Ring must be taken deep into Mordor and cast into the firey heart of Mount Doom, from whence it came!"
A heavy silence fell, and Takeru hated the way it had followed the mention of 'Mordor'.
"One does not simply walk into Mordor," the man who had spoken before said finally; "itís borders are patrolled by more than just Orcs. There are things there which do not sleep, and the great Eye of Sauron, which watches... not with a thousand men could you do this."
"Nevertheless, it must be done." Elrond stated, "now which of you shall take up this task?"
Another long silence, and Takeru's heart fluttered. <If no one else offers, I get the feeling Ken will->
The waves of energy from the Ring began to increase, making the blonde's stomach twist. Something was about to happen, he could feel it.... suddenly, the smaller person who had attacked the Ring stood up.
"I'll be dead!" He shouted, "before I see the Ring in the hands of an Elf! Never trust an Elf!"
Chaos erupted in the council; all were on their feet in an instant, and most were shouting. One Elf seemed to be attempting to hold his comrades back, but his success was limited. Elrond was shouting as well in an attempt to calm the crowd.
:That was unexpected.: Wormmon said softly.
Takeru climbed to his feet again. <I don't know what I can do, but I have to try to stop this->
"I will take it."
The voice was soft, but Takeru could easily tell who had spoken. His eyes went to Frodo, where the Hobbit was standing. Ken was also staring at the small one, as were Ruki and the digimon. In front of him, Takeru could see Gandalf close his eyes sadly... but no one else seemed to notice.
"I will take it!" Frodo repeated, louder. "I will take the Ring to Mordor!"
The ruckus died down into silence, as everyone turned to stare at Frodo.
Gandalf paced forward, "and I will help you bear this burdon," he told the Hobbit, "as long as this burden is yours to bear."
Takeru's heart thumped painfully in his chest and he turned guardedly to look at Ken, knowing what was coming next. The bluenette stood, stepping forward, before anyone else, and looked down at Frodo. "I do not know you," he said softly, "but if I can do anything to help you with this..." he nodded at Wormmon, who paced forward and sat down at his side decisively. "If we can do anything to help you with this... we will do it."
Takeru swore mentally. <But I can't leave Ken in this by himself. Shit! Why couldn't we have been brought to Middle Earth as something SIMPLE like birds?> Instead of voicing his concern, he nodded with a sigh and rested a hand on Ken's shoulder. "And I will too."
:Me too!: Patamon piped up, :if Takeru's going, so am I!:
"I guess we're in."
Ruki's voice surprised him, but not completely. The girl seemed to live for conflict; and where Ruki went, Takeru assumed Renamon went as well. She shoved from the wall and crossed her arms over her chest. "But don't think this is going to be a habit."
<Here we go,> Takeru thought, even as others from the council spoke up and offered to help. <Now we're in for it for sure.>
Me: Yup, the council was in this chapter. But....sorry. It wasn't correct, and it wasn't really specific. Yeah, but I haven't gotten that far in the book yet, so I had to do it from what I remember from the movie. :p
Ken: It wasn't that bad.
Takeru: The Ring gives me a headache.
Patamon: At least Elrond didn't give you his disgruntled-eyebrow look.
Me: *gigglegiggle* That was the best part about Elrond in the movie, minna! I'll try to get the next chapter out soon enough... and it'll be more exciting than this one was. ^_^ Ja!