Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken & Ruki/Legolas
Notes: Meow! Two more chapters after this one~! =^-^=
Disclaimer: Guess what? I don't own Digimon (01, 02, Tamers or Frontier) or Lord Of The Rings (Fellowship Of The Ring, Two Towers or Return Of The King). See? I didn't forget, so stop lookin' at me like that... :p
Chapter Eighteen: Visions
Despite the fact that she had never been in a place that was more comfortable and peaceful, Ruki couldn't seem to fall asleep. She was leaning against the trunk of one of the many huge trees of Lothlorien, her arms crossed and her eyes shut, but she just couldn't. <Then again,> she thought sarcastically; <I've never BEEN somewhere this bloody peaceful. It's WEIRD.>
"What is it, Renamon?" She asked, without opening her eyes.
"I wanted you to know that I'm going to look around. I'll be back before dawn."
Ruki assumed that Renamon was gone, as her partner didn't say anything else and the oppressive- at least to her- silence returned. She frowned ad opened her eyes a crack; opposed to being pitch black as it should have been, the trees in Lothlorien gave off a very pale blue-white light. It was beautiful, but on the verge of eerie. And it bothered her to no end... as did the soft bubbling of the stream that flowed nearby.
<The stupid glowing trees and the stupid stream are keeping me up. Damn it.>
Her eyes opened the rest of the way and she looked around. Takeru and Ken -- as well as their partners -- were sleeping in a tangled heap under a tree across the clearing. She snorted softly. "Idiots." She muttered under her breath.
...Aragorn was sitting against yet another tree, and Boromir had wandered off a hundred yards or so and was sleeping near the edge of the clearing. Legolas, like most Elves, was comfortable with the trees and, much to everyone's surprise, had climbed up to sleep in the boughs of a particularly large one. Gimli was sprawled at the base of the same tree. Finally, the Hobbits were curled up semi-near Aragorn, taking advantage of the soft moss that covered the forest floor.
<No one else is bothered by this stupid forest. It figures.> Then she realized something; <hey! Sam, Pippin, Merry...> She counted the Hobbits one at a time to make sure it wasn't her imagination. <where's Frodo?>
Suddenly her heart was pounding, despite the calmness of Lothlorien and she sat forward, uncrossing her arms. Her eyes searched the clearing, almost frantically; she may not have been close to those in the Fellowship, but she knew how important Frodo was to the survival of Middle Earth. <People may think I'm a bitch, but I don't want this world destroyed! Come on, Frodo, where are -- ah!> Her gaze landed on the Hobbit, who was standing near where they had come into the clearing in the first place. He was holding the veil of branches and leaves back and peering through the 'doorway', his eyes wide. "Thank God."
Standing quietly, she strode toward him. "Frodo?"
"Hm?" Frodo jumped slightly and then turned to look at her; "Ruki?"
"What are you looking at?"
Instead of responding, Frodo turned his attention back to outside the clearing. Half-scowling, Ruki peered over his shoulder. "Oh-" she said, sounding surprised (one of only a handful of times in total for her whole life).
Beyond the curtain of branches that Frodo continued to hold back was Galadriel. The Elf was standing in the shade of one of the glowing trees, regale and beautiful, and twirling a single leaf between her fingers.
Ruki had only seen her once before, when the Fellowship had been introduced to her; that had been when they first reached Lothlorien. Meeting Galadriel had been comforting. For the first time in her life since she was four, Ruki had trusted the Elf woman immediately. For most of her life only her Grandmother had inspired such trust. After many years Renamon was also counted, as were Takato, Lee and their digimon, though she never would have told them that.
She had trusted Galadriel immediately...
All it had taken was a single look into her eyes, and the whisper of her voice in her head.
"What do you suppose she’s doing?" Frodo asked softly.
"I... don't know."
Ahead, Galadriel glanced over her shoulder at them and smiled. *I have something to show you.*
Ruki blinked at the voice in her mind and watched as the Lady turned and began to walk away, her footsteps muffled by the moss. Galadriel cast a glace back, her eyes piercing. *...both of you... please follow me if you wish.*
"Should we go?" Frodo wondered.
Ruki frowned as Galadriel continued to walk. "...I don't know, but if we don't go now we're going to lose her."
The orange-haired girl chewed her lower lip in concentration. "Okay." She said finally; "come on, let's move."
"Are you sure?"
Pushing past the Hobbit, Ruki nodded. "Yeah-" but when Frodo didn't immediately follow, she glared back at him. "Are you coming or not?"
*You do not need to snap at the Little One,* Galadriel's voice again spoke; *Frodo does not have to come if he does not wish to, and neither do you... the choice is yours.*
Ruki sighed, frustrated, but had to agree. "Sorry."
Frodo shrugged, "it's alright." He started to walk and caught up with her. "Let's go."
She raised an eyebrow; she hadn't expected the Hobbit to forgive so easily. <Although I've seen enough by now that I should have expected more... Hobbits are extraordinary people, really. Hn. They're FAR more intelligent and resourceful than Takato is, anyway. Though that's not saying much...>
Following after Galadriel, they found themselves wandering far into the depths of Lothlorien's forests. The odd glowing from the trees began to grow brighter as they went, a white-blue and clean glow... and they found themselves in yet another wide clearing, this one set deep into the ground and neatly hidden by the surrounding foliage.
Walking down a curving slope of almost-stairs, Ruki stepped down onto the floor of the clearing; she took a step to the side so that Frodo could join her. There was a pedestal in the center of the clearing -- a silver basin sat in the center of it -- and there was a small waterfall of clean and pure water that ran opposite them.
Picking up a jug -- silver to match the basin -- from beside the waterfall, Galadriel dipped it into the water. Then, turning gracefully, she approached the pedestal and poured it, filling the basin in front of them. *The water is beautiful.* She said without speaking; *...this Mirror shows many things, Frodo Baggins and Ruki Makino... things that were... things that are... and some things that have not yet come to pass...*
They were silent, waiting.
Galadriel set the jug to the side and looked at them. "Will you not look?"
Frodo hesitated; "what will I see?"
"That," the Elf said, "I cannot know. It is different for every person who chances a glimpse into the Mirror. Some see nothing at all." Still the Hobbit hesitated, and she turned her calm gaze to Ruki. "And you?" She asked softly.
Ruki frowned, <I... should I-? What would Grandmother tell me to do, I wonder...>
*Your Grandmother is a wonderful woman.* Galadriel told her silently; *-she would want you to follow your own heart.*
<I have no idea how she knows, but... she's right...> Nodding, Ruki stepped forward and leaned over the basin to peer into the water inside. Only the stars -- and her own reflection -- in the pool met her eyes. <I don't see what -- oh...>
Before she could finish the thought, the water rippled and re-formed. The scene that jumped out at her from the water made her breath catch in her throat...
A red-headed boy glared from the water. Goggles adorned his head, but he wasn't Takato. He was familiar, though, and she felt like she should know him from somewhere. In the reflection, the image pulled back. Next to the boy was someone she DID know; Ken, and with them were others, Legolas among them... they were surrounded on all sides by Orcs and only Legolas was armed. The Elf fought bravely, but there was nothing he could do... and then, from the horde of Orcs... an arrow whirred toward Ken... and the goggled-boy stepped in the way, taking the bolt in his chest. He stumbled backward into Ken, eyes wide, and collapsed onto the ground with a silent scream. Ken fell next to him, and held the other boy's head in his lap... they sat in the middle of a growing puddle of blood as the boy's eyes fluttered and closed...
Ruki wanted to tear her eyes away, but found she couldn't...
It was Leomon that she saw next. She remembered him well... standing tall and brave, surrounded by trees and with his hand on the hilt of his sword; and what struck her was Juri. The girl was standing in front of Leomon... her eyes shone with tears, and her hand clutched the D-Power that she continued to carry with her... ever since Leomon's death...
"How can that be..?" Ruki barely had time to register her own shock before the next images assaulted her. She tried to pull away before the Mirror could show her more, but her body was frozen in place... she couldn't move...
She recognized Dukemon... Takato's digimon... Guilmon's highest evolved form... merged with his Tamer in a gallant fighting force. That wasn't what made Ruki's heart thunder in her chest. She also recognized the creature he was fighting... dark... wreathed in flame... the creature she would never forget... the Balrog. As she watched the battle play out before her, her breath caught in her throat. Dukemon struck with his lance... the Balrog countered with it's whip... Dukemon's lance was sent spiraling out of his grasp to land out of his reach... the Balrog advanced, it's sword of fire drawn... and even though the images were without sound, Ruki could hear Dukemon's scream in her head, followed by the sharp crack of a breaking neck...
"No!" She shrieked, the sound tearing itself from her throat.
Renamon's voice broke through, and a familiar hand fell on her shoulder and pulled her back from the basin. She fell backward, landing on the ground at her digimon's feet. Looking up, she met Renamon's concerned gaze.
"Ruki?" Renamon knelt; "are you alright?"
"Y-yeah." Ruki replied shakily. "I -- I think." Turning to Galadriel, she eyed the Elf woman carefully. "Is... is what I saw..." she took a deep breath. "Is what I saw the future? Will people... will Dukemon and Takato..."
"I know not." Galadriel replied, "not all that the Mirror reflects comes to be. The future is not set in stone, Ruki; there are ways to change what will happen."
Ruki stood, legs unsure beneath her. <I can... I can change it? >
*Oh yes.* Galadriel's voice whispered, *there are ways to change what will be; if you are brave and strong, and hold strong to yourself... if you stand by your friends...*
"What can I do?" The orange-haired girl was barely audible. "I don't know..."
"That," Galadriel replied, "is something you must decide for yourself when the time comes."
"Ruki-" Frodo said fearfully, "what did you see-?"
Ruki shivered. "...death..."
The Hobbit gulped and turned his eyes to the pedestal and the basin.
"Frodo?" The Lady said, "will you now look?"
Renamon rested a paw on Ruki's arm. "Are you sure you're alright?"
"...let's go." Ruki ignored her partner's question and jerked away from Renamon. "Let's go back."
Striding forward, Ruki quickly made her way back out of the clearing, leaving Frodo with Galadriel. She didn't know if the Hobbit would look... what he would see... she didn't want to know what he would see. Once she was out of the clearing she paused to take a handful of deep breaths before continuing to walk.
Silently, Renamon appeared at her side and kept pace. "Ruki-?"
Ruki stopped and turned her eyes to the ground. Holding her hands in front of her face, she scowled at them. Why wouldn't they stop shaking? <...stupid hands... stupid Mirror... it's not true... just a magic trick... just a magic trick... FUCK-!>
"Ruki, what did the Mirror show you?"
"Where were you, Renamon?" Ruki again ignored the digimon's questioning. "How did you know about the Mirror? How did you get there to pull me back? What were you doing?"
"...I was looking around Lothlorien." Renamon answered, "as I said I was... I stumbled upon the clearing and heard what Galadriel said to you and Frodo... I saw you look into the Mirror... I saw what it was doing to you... I had to pull you out -- you're my Tamer, I have to protect you."
"...Ruki, what did you see? What did the Mirror show you?"
<Leomon and Juri, together... ALIVE... Ken and Legolas with that other boy... I should know him... the boy who died... Dukemon... Dukemon and the Balrog... it snapped his neck... killed him... death and blood and violence...>
"Ruki?" Renamon asked, then blinked in shock when Ruki threw her arms around her.
"Renamon! I saw-"
And Ruki, for the first time ever as far as Renamon was aware, burst into hysterical tears.
Me: ...action... action... hm... action...
Wormmon: She's muttering to herself again.
Me: ... action... action...
Ken: *taps my shoulder* ...hello?
Me: ...action... huh? *looks up* Oh. *blinkness* Hi. Um, sorry. I was just thinking... Java-san wanted action in this chapter, but I couldn't fit much in since they're all still in Lothlorien. Um, but there will be some in the next chapter and a lot in the following one. Anyhow, I think I liked this chapter with Ruki and the Mirror... *grin*... arigato Java-san for the advice. ^_^ I plan on writing the sequel whether people tell me to or not. You're right! It doesn't matter what other people think as long as I like writing it! Wai! Thanks Syenite-san, too! You keep reviewing and it makes me happy. ^_^ Oh, and sorry if this chapter is kinda' short. Oh well. Can't make them all epics, ne? :p