Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken & Ruki/Legolas
Notes: None! *throws confetti*
Disclaimer: And, as always, I don't own Digimon (01, 02, Tamers, Frontier, Takeru, Ken, Ruki, Patamon, Wormmon, Renamon, or any other forthcoming seasons and characters....) Or Lord Of The Rings (Fellowship Of The Ring, Two Towers, Return Of The King, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas- though I can wish, can't I? ^_~, Gimli, Gandalf, Sam, Pippin, Merry, Frodo, Bill, etc....) Oh, but I made up the other pony that's gone now. So I guess I do own Ben, but that's it. I always wanted a pony.... ^_~
Chapter Ten: Watcher
:I don't think I want to go in there.: Wormmon said softly, staring into the abyss beyond the entranceway. The Mines of Moria stretched beyond, but couldn't be seen through the shadows inside. :I really don't.:
Ken agreed wholeheartedly, but said nothing to his partner. Inside, his stomach was churning. Turning to Takeru, he swallowed nervously; "Takeru, I don't think this is a good idea. I really don't think we should be going in..."
The blonde brushed his hand against Ken's, squeezing the other boy's fingers lightly. "It's alright. You said yourself that we have to do this, right?"
"Then what's the problem?"
"It's just a feeling," the Child of Kindness told him softly. "They say evil can sense evil..."
"Nonsense." Takeru scolded, "don't say things like that."
Ken sighed and shook his head, not bothering to respond. He knew that Takeru was the last person who wanted to hear about the evil side he still carried inside of himself, but what he'd said was true; he felt something from the cavern they were about to enter. He didn't know what, exactly, it was that he didn't like -- perhaps it was the darkness. What he did know was that he certainly did not want to inside the Mines that Gimli was constantly ranting about.
But it was much too late for second thoughts.
"Come," Gandalf said, stepping into the shadows.
The others followed behind the Wizard, walking carefully in his wake; Ken hesitated for only a second before Takeru patted his back and went forward. Only then did the bluenette put his suspicions and fears aside to follow the blonde into the cavern. Wormmon and Patamon padded silently beside their partners, tails curled downward in misery. Behind them, only Ruki and Legolas were left; the orange-haired girl seemed to consider thoughtfully before following the rest of the Fellowship.
Inside, Gandalf paused long enough to bang the end of his staff into the ground; the crystal that adorned the top sparked and began to glow softly, illuminating the cavern in an almost unearthly light. "That's better-"
"Soon, Master Elf!" Gimli was boasting to a very obviously doubtful Legolas, "soon you will know the legendary hospitality of the Dwarfs! Roaring fires! Malt beer-"
"Quiet!" Aragorn hissed, "and look-"
Ken squinted into the dark, walking forward slowly behind Takeru. His foot brushed something on the ground, making him glance down; what he has walked into was white and grey... stark against the dark ground... and he stepped back in alarm when he recognized the obstacle as a scull.
The blonde nodded, stooping down to pick the scull up, despite the shiver that Ken gave in response. Turning it over in his hands, he frowned. <It's not a human scull, at least. An Elf? It doesn't have the ears, though...>
"A Dwarf," Boromir muttered, glancing back at him, "all of these are Dwarves!"
And indeed, there were skeletons scattered across the stone floor in numbers beyond anything imaginable. Buried in some were arrows and knives, and others were clutching their own weapons. These people -- these Dwarves -- had died fighting. Ken's heart ached in sympathy for them, and he looked at Takeru again; the Child of Hope had set the scull back on the ground where it came from.
"A mine?" The bluenette wondered softly.
"This is no mine!" Aragorn shouted, "this is a tomb!"
Nearby, Ruki had knelt; she plucked an arrow from the chest of one skeleton and stood again. Holding the arrow in her hands, she turned to Legolas, and the Elf took it from her. Looking at it, he scowled (something they had never seen before) and flung the arrow to the ground, while at the same time grasping an arrow from his quiver. In one motion his bow was out, and the arrow was set.
With another glance at the arrow he had discarded, he snarled, "Goblins!"
"Back!" Gandalf ordered, "we must find another way!"
Takeru started backing toward the entrance. "Where will we go?"
"We will find another path!" Gandalf called, "but-"
A shifting of the rubble near the gate caught Takeru's attention, but before he could turn -- bow in hand -- an incoherent shout from Frodo sounded in the dark. A panicked call for help from Sam followed quickly after, and both shouted were accompanied by the frantic splashing of water...
:Takeru, the lake!: Patamon's 'voice' shrieked, :the LAKE!:
Time, at least for Takeru, seemed to slow to a crawl as he spun around to face the trouble. Ken was already turned, and by the time the blonde had managed to get a handle on what was happening, the Child of Kindness was already running toward the lake... and the lake, as Patamon had tried to say, was the source of the problem.
A creature had risen from the murky waters; tentacles and watery skin were all that could be seen, and there were many of them. But the one tentacle that concerned them all the most as the one that was currently wrapped around Frodo's ankle. The Hobbit was dangling in midair, thrashing as well as he could and waving his sword -- Sting, Takeru’s memory told him vaguely -- around with no visible affect.
Surprisingly, it was Ruki who fired the first counter attack at the creature. Hardly knowing what, exactly, had happened, Takeru and Ken watched as a single arrow whirred from behind them, imbedding itself in the tentacle that was holding onto Frodo. Somehow, she had managed to beat Legolas to the punch, despite the fact that the Elf already had an arrow ready...
The creature screamed... and that was the proverbial wake-up call for Takeru.
<Would you fucking DO something?!> His mind screamed at him. <Don't just STAND there like a complete idiot!>
"Right!" His bow was unslung, an arrow was set and flying in the matter of three seconds, and Takeru had already retrieved a second arrow from his quiver. It followed the first in an arc that was nearly the same, and the combined arrows sheared one of the seemingly hundreds of tentacles in two, leaving half to drop into the water with the writhing creature itself.
"Aragorn!" Frodo's voice could be heard over the ruckus, "help-!"
"Get him down-!"
"Boromir, look out-!"
"I've got to-!"
Takeru blocked out the random shouts that were bombarding his hearing and concentrated on his bow. Quickly, he drew two arrows and lined them both up; they shot through the air with amazing speed and imbedded in the flesh of the creature's body.
Beside him, Ken was doing the same as he was, but to little effect.
"This isn't working!"
"Frodo!" Aragorn, who was up to his waist in water and was continuing to slash left and right with his sword, seemed to grit his teeth and, clutching the sword in both hands, swung it heavily. It connected with the tentacle that was still grasping Frodo and sliced it neatly in half.
"Ahh!" The Hobbit dropped through the air like a stone...
...but Aragorn was there to catch him as he fell, and set him on his feet in the water.
Another of the slippery limbs stretched toward Frodo... but a lightning-fast shot by Legolas caught the edge of the tentacle and drove it back. Another followed the last, though, and the Elf wasn't fast enough; Frodo was snatched from the water and again lifted high into the air... the thing dangled the Hobbit above itself and opened a huge, tooth-filled mouth...
Luckily, though he had missed the last of the creature’s arms, Legolas was indeed faster than any of the others. Yet another arrow whirred from his bow, striking the creature's eye and making it shriek. It flung Frodo away, and the little one landed on the bank next to where Ruki was standing, with Wormmon and Patamon growling beside her.
Another tentacle reached for the shore...
"Ruki!" Renamon appeared at her Tamer's side and shoved the girl out of the way. "Patamon, Wormmon, get Frodo out of here!" Whirling to face the creature again, she grasped the arm that it had reached toward Ruki and held it tightly, showing strength beyond what Takeru and Ken had thought possible from a child-level digimon. Bracing herself, she leaped into the air, still holding into the tentacle, and raised one paw, crossing it over her chest. Then, throwing the tentacle away from herself, she shouted; "Fox Leaf Arrowhead!"
The attack struck, blinding the creature for a precious few seconds.
:Move it! Get out!: Patamon screamed from the entrance of the cave.
Wormmon tugged on Ruki's arm insistently, and the girl finally (with a very harsh glare at the former-digimon) followed him back toward the Mines. :Let's go people! No time to waste! Get a move on!:
"I couldn't agree more!" Ken shouted, "Aragorn! Boromir! Gimli!" Turning, the bluenette sprinted for the gate with Takeru on his heels. They reached the entrance at the same time as Legolas and Ruki, and the four of them skidded to a stop. Spinning around, they prepared to cover the others escape.
Gimli and Boromir were already out of the water and running, but Aragorn was still behind. The Ranger seemed determined to keep the creature back while the others in the company made their escape.
Finally, he turned and started toward the others.
Two arrows flew past their comrades, imbedding in the creature beyond. Legolas and Ken quickly reloaded their bows and prepared to fire again; Takeru and Ruki fired the shots that they already had lined up.
"Go-!" Gandalf waved desperately with his staff, and turned into the Mines.
Wormmon and Patamon followed quickly, along with Frodo and the other Hobbits; Renamon remained at Ruki's side; Boromir and Gimli sprinted past the archers and into the darkness of the cave; Aragorn was close behind. Once the others were all through the entrance, Ruki, Takeru and Ken turned away from the creature and followed.
Legolas waited long enough to launch one more arrow before running after them into Moria.
As they crossed the threshold, the creature stretched its arms inside the doorway, slamming it's body against the stone and cracking the walls on either side. A sudden onslaught of noise followed the attack, as stones and sand from the ceiling fell behind them, blocking the entrance.
The Fellowship inside stopped in their tracks to stare back the way they had come.
"I guess we're going in." Pippin stated.
Merry slapped him lightly; "Pip!"
Takeru turned to Ken, "you alright?"
"Yeah," the bluenette nodded, then looked around and shivered again, "but I don't want to be here..."
"We'll be fine."
Renamon, who until then had not stayed visible for more than a few minutes at a time, wandered over to the pile of rock that had once been the gates to the Mines of Moria. Laying one gloved paw on the stone, she sighed and closed her eyes. "I wish it hadn't come to this."
"Renamon?" Ruki asked, "come to what? What are you talking about?"
"Ruki-" the digimon turned to look at her friend, "your D-Power..."
The girl turned her attention back to the device at her side. "Hn." She blinked and pulled the D-Power from her belt; it was still blinking and emitting the spinning light. "The stupid thing. It's still broken, Renamon, so?"
"No, Ruki," Renamon shook her head, "it's not broken."
:What are you talking about?: Wormmon wondered.
Turning to the green wolf, Renamon regarded him thoughtfully. "Didn't you sense it?" She asked softly, "about that creature?"
:Um, what about it?:
Ruki's hands went to her hips. "Renamon, what are you talking about?"
"That creature," Renamon told her Tamer, "was a digimon. Couldn't you tell?"
"You've got to be kidding me!" Takeru gaped at Renamon, and suddenly felt the overwhelming need to sit down; too much had happened recently, and he just didn't think he could cope with this new development right then... he slumped, only to have Ken link his arm into the blonde's to keep him standing. Looking up, Takeru could only smile. "Thanks."
Ken smiled back, "no problem."
"Now," Gandalf said, "we have no choice but to traverse the Mines."
Legolas frowned, "we must all keep out eyes open."
"Yes," the wizard agreed, "we must -- if we wish to make it through to the other side."
There was a long silence before Merry spoke next; "how long will it be?"
"Before we reach the other side of Moria?"
"Four days, maybe more."
Takeru grimaced. <just great. Four fucking days...>
Ken squeezed his arm comfortingly.
<I'm glad he's here...>
And despite the fact that he was both emotionally and physically tired, Takeru found himself feeling better...
<I guess I can handle this damned Mine after all.>
Me: Ooo... see? Digimon are in Middle Earth? Whoa!
Ken: You make it sound great.
Me: It's a big development, isn't it?
Takeru: Yeah, but it's not necessarily a good thing....
Me: *shrug* Ah, but it could be! Just wait and see what else is going to happen with the digimon! Gomen minna, that there isn't much digimon stuff in this story yet. I think most of the digimon-related storyline is going to fit into the sequel if I write it... sorry again! *bows in apology*