Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken & Ruki/Legolas
Notes: None, nyao nyao~! =^-^=
Disclaimer: So as always I don't own Digimon or Lord Of The Rings. Now I can't get sued! *does a little You-Can't-Sue-Me-Now dance*. There you have it. I don't own them, although... when I return everyone & everything I might... um... forget... yeah, forget... to return Legolas... *waves off angry copyright-supporting-lawyers and crazed fangirls* Eep! Or not!
Chapter Twelve: Moria
Takeru was in awe. His mouth hung open. He had never seen anything like it before.
The Mines of Moria were just as spectacular as Gimli had been saying. And as he stood there, gaping at the huge pillars of stone that surrounded them, he suddenly felt terribly insignificant. Not since the Digimon Kaiser's base had he felt that way...
He blinked and shook his head with a glance at Ken. The Digimon Kaiser was the last thing he wanted to think about. Especially now that he and Ken were...
"Now," Gandalf said, waving his hand above the crystal at the end of his staff; "let me risk some more light-"
There was a cumulative gasp as the crystal glowed more brightly, illuminating the cavern even more. Takeru got the feeling that it wasn't just he who was feeling tiny compared to the towering stone structures. <There's no one out there who wouldn't feel shrunken. Except maybe Daisuke and Yamato, but their egos are almost as big as these Mines...>
"Come on." Gandalf beckoned for them to follow him again.
And everyone did, though their eyes continued to survey the amazing sights before them. They had been walking for a few hours now, since Gandalf had figured out the way they had to take. And Takeru was thinking (or had been until they reached the main chamber of the Mines with it's massive pillars and skyward ceilings) wistfully of the time they had spent sitting and waiting. His feet were beginning to hurt again.
The former-digimon looked up at him from where he was walking at his partner's side. :I think the others would've liked to see this.:
:V-mon, Hawkmon, Armadimon, Tailmon...:
"Oh. The other digimon."
:Uh-huh, and the other Chosen as well. They would have thought it was neat.:
"Probably," Takeru agreed softly.
:It IS cool.:
:How come you're being so quiet?:
The blonde frowned and shrugged. He wasn't really sure why he was keeping his voice so low but there was something off about Moria, and he didn't know what. So he just felt that it would be prudent to be relatively silent. It was times like that when he thanked the deities of Middle Earth that he was with Ken and not Daisuke or Miyako...
<Who can't keep their mouths shut for more than thirty seconds. God help me, I can't believe I'm friends with them. And I'm glad they're my friends, which is even worse.> He sighed, <although, there are other reasons I'm glad I'm with Ken besides the blessing of silence... especially now.> His eyes drifted to the bluenette and he smiled. <God, he's gorgeous.> He blinked, then; <shit. Did I just think that? I'm such a sap. Well,> he shook his head. <At least I didn't go with 'cute'. Although...>
"What did I tell you?" Gimli said abruptly, appearing near him and patting his shoulder heartily. "This is the way I remembered Moria!"
"Nice?" Gimli demanded, "nice-?! How can you say it's-! It's more than-! Argh!"
Takeru had to try his hardest to keep from laughing, and nearby he could hear Ken giggle under his breath. His eyes flicked to the bluenette and he rolled them in Ken's direction as Gimli continued to rant about the magnificent grandeur of the Mines.
Ken nodded silently, still trying to choke down his laughter at Gimli's indignation.
Sighing, Takeru grinned happily. Despite the endless hardships of their quest so far, he had to admit that being with the others... being with new and good friends... being with Ken... was something he was enjoying very much.
Though he doubted that the quest would remain a good thing for very much longer...
<I just know that things are going to get VERY bad VERY fast.>
Takeru's head jerked up at Boromir's shout just in time to see Gimli make a mad dash across the cavern and into a smaller room to the right. From where he was, all Takeru could make out was that there was a funnel of light shining from the roof of the room onto something on the ground...
"Gimli!" Gandalf shouted after the Dwarf, "wait-"
But Gimli didn't respond. He had stopped inside the room and dropped to his knees next to the large stone block that was illuminated by the sunlight. And as they all made their way into the room and approached him, there was a general feeling of surprise when everyone realized the Dwarf was weeping hoarsely.
Takeru's eyes traveled over the stones and he swallowed. "It's-"
"It's a tomb." Ken said softly.
Gandalf approached the tomb from the other side and brushed away some of the dust that had accumulated over time. Squinting, he read; "Balin son of Fundin, Lord of Moria." He sighed sadly, "so he is dead then. I feared as much."
Gimli's weeping grew softer and he rested his head against the tomb.
Ken rested his hand on the Dwarf's shoulder in an attempt to comfort him, but couldn't think of anything to say. He settled for silence. Takeru looked around; littering the ground around the tomb were the bodies of dozens of Dwarves, all of them as those at the entrance to Moria had been.
"A mass slaughter." Ruki muttered to herself from a few feet away, looking at the skeletal remains with disgust. "They didn't have a chance in this tiny place."
"Orcs." Legolas spat angrily.
"...yes." Gandalf leaned over and picked up a large hardcover book from the arms of a skeleton that was leaning against the tomb. Blowing on it removed from of the dust from the cover, and he opened it with a creaking sound. "-we have barred the gates, but cannot hold them for long." He read gravely. Merry, Sam and Frodo wandered over from the door. Pippin continued walking to examine the well at the back of the room and the skeleton which was sitting on it;.Aragorn came back from the far corner where he had been, and those who were near to Gandalf already fell silent and listened sadly."We cannot get out. We cannot get out. They have taken the bridge and second hall... the end comes." The Wizard paused and frowned grimly. "Drums. Drums in the deep... they are coming. We cannot get out..."
A long silence followed, and was only broken when Pippin -- who had not been listening particularly closely -- reached out to touch the skeleton he'd been staring at. He twisted the arrow, which was protruding from its chest.
And the sudden movement jarred the body enough that the skull fell right off.
The noise from it tumbling into the well was louder than anyone had expected, and all of them winced. Pippin turned slowly to face the rest of the Fellowship, wincing right along with them. He opened his mouth to say something, but before he could the rest of the skeleton tipped backward and followed the skull down into the depths of the Mine. The clattering was even louder the second time and Pippin shut his eyes for a moment before looking back guiltily.
"You fool of a Took!" Gandalf slammed the book closed abruptly and stalked over to the Hobbit; "throw yourself in next time!" He snapped angrily, dropping the book to the ground; "and rid us of your stupidity!"
Takeru shook his head as they all waited tensely. When nothing happened and the noise subsided, everyone breathed an audible sigh of relief. Turning, Takeru began to survey the room; he paused when a soft sound caught his attention.
And before he could turn back to face the others, it grew into a loud drumming, followed quickly by scrambling and shrieking noises... and at the same time, Frodo's sword Sting began to glow a ethereal blue...
"The doors!" Aragorn shouted, "close the doors!"
Boromir sprinted for the huge wooden doors and looked out into the main cavern. His eyes widened at what he saw, and he barely managed to jerk his head back as two arrows whirred past his head to slam into the wood beside him. He quickly stepped back inside and struggled to slam and bar the doors.
Aragorn and Ruki joined him and together they got them closed and 'locked'.
Boromir leaned against the doors for a second. "They have a Cave Troll."
"Shit." Takeru's heart began to pound and he grabbed his daggers, fearing the bow would be of no use in such closed quarters. He readied himself as best he could as Boromir, Aragorn and Ruki ran back to join them away from the doors. <Here comes the VERY bad part...>
The shrieking grew louder, nearly deafening, and then something heavy slammed into the other side of the doors. Once. Twice. Three times. And the wood began to splinter inward, leaving gaping holes in the doors, and giving them fleeting glimpses of what was trying to get in.
An arrow fired from Legolas's bow skimmed past and through one of the holes, imbedding in one of the Orcs outside. It screamed and fell back, only to be replaced by another... and another arrow, this one from Boromir's bow, whirred through the opening...
"This won't hold them for long-"
"No, it won't."
Beside Takeru, Patamon was growling dangerously, his fur standing on end. Ken was a few feet away, his own daggers ready and with Wormmon next to him. Renamon had re-appeared and was standing in a 'ready' pose near to Ruki, who was gripping her knives tightly and looked more fierce than even she should have been able to.
"Here they come-"
A sudden impact made the doors burst inward, showering everyone inside with shattered wood. The creature that had broken into the cavern hulked in the doorway before stepping inside, with Orcs swarming in after it.
<Must be the Cave Troll... shit!>
The wave of Orcs slammed into them violently, and then there was chaos. Some Orcs fought hand-to-hand, and some continued to stand near the entrance and fire volleys of arrows into the room, not caring is they hit other Orcs or not. Takeru only barely blocked the first Orc to attack him, and countered a thrust from it's rough sword. Knocking it back, he slashed, catching its throat with the edge of his dagger. It fell, gurgling and clutching it throat, only to be replaced by another.
Takeru dispatched it easily enough, but the number of Orcs seemed never-ending...
Patamon was close by, fighting for all he was worth. He snarled frighteningly and leapt upon the nearest Orc, tearing into it with his newly-acquired teeth. Wormmon was doing much the same thing...
Takeru looked around for Ken, still frantically fighting; he spotted the bluenette nearby, fighting bravely. His tunic was already smeared with blood, as was Takeru's. The only problem was that the blonde couldn't tell if the blood was Ken's or belonged to the Orcs... and there were more Orcs centering on Ken than on himself.
It didn't matter. Spinning around, he blocked another attack and skewered the Orc it had come from before attempting to get over to Ken. Slashing at the Orcs as he went, every step was a struggle through the battle... he was nearly there... and a loud crashing sound rose above the sounds of fighting as the Cave Troll's hammer slammed into the ground just in front of him.
Takeru fell back, stumbled, and landed on his back. The Cave Troll watched with tiny black eyes as he scrambled backward, and stepped toward him. Thwack! Thwack! The arrows that struck and imbedded in the Cave Troll's side, while not enough to do much damage, distracted it long enough for him to roll out of the way.
Still on the ground, he looked up. "Ruki?"
The girl stood a few feet away, her bow still trained on the Troll, and her D-Power spinning like crazy at her side. Renamon was a foot away, protecting Ruki's back. "Get up!" Ruki shouted at him.
Takeru didn't even consider arguing with her for once; he started to scramble to his feet. And was accosted by another Orc, which stared down at him from above, it's sword held near his neck. "Fuck."
The creature seemed to grin, and Takeru could swear his life was going to flash before his eyes...
...but the Orc suddenly emitted a shriek and fell to the side.
"Huh?" Takeru's eyes followed it as the creature fell and then his gaze jerked back. "Ken!"
The bluenette reached down to help him up, "are you al-"
The problem with arrows isn't using them yourself, it's that they're so fast you can't see them coming at you; and neither Takeru nor Ken saw the Orcish arrow before it was deeply imbedded in the flesh of Ken's shoulder.
"Ken-!" Takeru was on his feet in an instant, but Ken stumbled back from the force of the arrow, falling into the wall. "Ken! Shit!" The blonde knelt next to his friend, ignoring the battle around them; Wormmon and Patamon bounded through the commotion and skidded to stop a foot away, whirling to protect them from the Orcs. Takeru held Ken in a sitting position forcefully, "shit, Ken... oh hell..."
Ken grimaced, "ow."
"Fuck." One of Takeru's hand hovered over the arrow, "shit. Ken.. are you alright-?"
"Aside from being shot?"
The blonde would have glared if he hadn't been so worried. "Not funny." He snapped, "you're hurt."
"Are you kidding-?!"
Again, it was Ruki; she had somehow managed to make her way over to them and was standing with Patamon and Wormmon, her knives flashing as she and the digimon struggled to keep the Orcs at bay.
"Fox Leaf Arrowhead!"
Renamon's attack threw several of the creatures back, giving the others room to work. Takeru silently thanked both Tamer and digimon for helping, even though neither one was particularly fond of him... and just as his head began to turn back to Ken, his eye caught on the Cave Troll, which was stabbing at something behind a large pillar...
"W-what's it-?" Ken muttered.
Takeru's eyes widened when a flash of short brown-back hair appeared from behind the pillar. The Troll thrust the lance it was holding forward again and seemed to connect with something; it twisted the lance, grunting, and then dropped it.
"Frodo!" Takeru's voice was hoarse.
From across the room, Merry and Pippin's voices cried out together and the two tiny Hobbits leapt from the high ground they had been on (a ledge in the wall) onto the Troll's back. Both brandished their swords, stabbing frantically; Pippin was thrown off quickly, and hit the ground with a loud thud. Merry remained on the Cave Troll's back... the creature tipped it's head back, clawing at the Hobbit...
...and below on the ground, Legolas lined up a shot and sent an arrow soaring into the beast's throat.
It groaned, then gurgled and fell, throwing Merry away in the process.
It was only then that Takeru happened to notice that the Orcs were gone; all had been slain, or had run, including the archers. He turned back to Ken; "oh hell..." blood was seeping through Ken's tunic and soaking the front of his shirt. "Shit. Oh shit. Okay-"
"What about Frodo?"
"Ken, you're hurt!"
"No..." Ken struggled up from the ground, his left arm hanging almost limply at his side. He winced, pain in his features. Takeru scrambled to hold him up. "No, what about Frodo?" The Child of Kindness repeated; "is he alright?"
Across the room, Sam's voice -- heavy with relief -- called out; "he's alive! He's alive! He's fine...."
A slight smile graced Ken's face before he grimaced again. "Good..."
"There? See? Shit. Frodo's fine. He's fine..." Takeru's chest felt tight; "sit down again, damn it!" He lowered Ken back to the ground; "hell... what can I do with this? You're going to bleed to death... fuck. Ah, hell..."
"I'll get someone."
Takeru looked at Ruki, and, with no sarcasm evident in his voice; "thank you."
The girl nodded and sprinted across the cave, returning only a moment later with Legolas in tow. The Elf knelt next to Ken and frowned, then carefully grasped the feathered end of the arrow. Ken winced and hissed in pain.
"This will hurt." Legolas told him, "grit your teeth and it will be over soon."
At Ken's response, Legolas jerked on the arrow, breaking the end from it all together; Ken howled in pain, catching the attention of the rest of the Fellowship. Legolas threw the feathered end off to the side. "Now," the Elf said, "lean forward."
The bluenette nodded, his breathing ragged, and leaned, spilling blood down his front in the process. Before he could say anything Legolas took hold of the arrowhead and drew the shaft of the arrow out of Ken's shoulder. It, too, was discarded.
"Shit. Shit..." Takeru automatically clamped his hands on either side of Ken's shoulder in an attempt to stop the bleeding. "Oh fuck..."
"Takeru," Ken said weakly with a pained chuckle, "you were doing so well..."
"With your language." The other boy clarified; "you were getting better..."
"That was before you were hurt!"
"We need something to wrap the wound with." Legolas stated with a frown, "but-"
"Here-" there was a ripping sound, and all of them looked past the Elf to where the remaining members of their company had gathered around them. Pippin held out a long strip of cloth that he seemed to have torn from his own cloak. "Use this."
<What do you know...>
Legolas took the cloth without a word and wrapped it tightly around Ken's shoulder and under his arm. "This isn't nearly good enough," he murmured to himself, "but we don't have the time to stop and tend to this properly..."
"It's f-fine..." Ken said, shaking his head. He tried to stand, and both Takeru and Ruki helped him up. The bluenette looked at Pippin and smiled slightly; "thank you."
"Well," the Hobbit said, shaking a finger at Ken; "now you owe me a new cloak-"
"Pip!" Merry smacked him.
Aragorn shook his head, "is everyone here? Good." A far-off shrieking began anew, and the drums began again. "Because there are more Orcs on their way."
"Yeah." Ken nodded weakly, pushing away from Takeru to walk on his own. He seemed to be gaining strength already... another advantage to the Elven magic? Or was it a side effect from the Dark Spore? Either way, he was already standing on his own; wincing, yes, but by himself... he wavered and had to lay a hand on Takeru's shoulder to steady himself. He looked back up with determination; "let's go then."
"Right." Gandalf nodded.
Me: Whee! A long chapter this time!
Takeru: *glares* Long, but Ken got shot!
Me: *sheepishly* Gomen, but... did you really think you would all get through this unscathed?
Takeru: Why you...
Ken: It's not her fault. She didn't shoot me, an Orc did. Ow, by the way.
Me: That's right! Don't blame me! *sighs* I am sorry, though. And the next few chapters won't be much better... ^^;;