Walking the Dark Road
Author's Notes - Thanks go out to my beta *Stars* for catching the things I missed and making this a better story because of it. And to everyone who's followed the story so far, thank you as well. Enjoy!
12 Tuilë (April 9th) 534 TA
Alatariël had much to think on that day and the next, in the end she dressed and headed out into the forest where she had seen Farathir that day. Walking around she was tempted to call Farathir's name, but decided against it. After coming out and searching in an ever-widening circle for two days Alatariël knew she wasn't going to find Farathir this way and went back to the one person who would know where to find her.
Galadriel looked up at her maid-in-waiting who touched her shoulder and saw Alatariël walking towards her. "Good afternoon Alatariël. What brings you here today?"
"Just a question. I was wondering if you could get a letter to Farathir." Alatariël asked, "You see I was looking for her when it occurred to me that I have no idea where she lives or how to get in touch with her."
"I think that I can help you with that." Galadriel said with a smile.
Buffy held in her hands the letter that Galadriel had delivered, part of her wanted to crumple it up and forget about it, but another part wondered just 'what if'...what if it wasn't a lie? Shaking her head, [No! It's just the few I've met that are actually 'human' so to speak, not the majority of the Elves. I've seen what they're *really* like...]
One Week later...
16 Tuilë (April 13th) 534 TA
Alatariël was excited about today because today was the day that Farathir had finally relented and was going to start giving her sword lessons. Oh she knew how to wield a sword, but after that first day something just told her that learning from Farathir would be studying at the feet of a true BladeMaster...
Another Week later...
26 Tuilë (April 23rd) 534 TA
Alatariël was tired, the workouts Farathir was putting her through were more thorough than anything else she had ever done and she couldn't even blame Farathir either since Farathir told her what she needed to do, then went through the paces until Farathir was satisfied she had the basics down. After that it was all in her own hands as to how much work she was willing to put into the drills Farathir showed her. Which, in retrospect, made it all that much harder since she couldn't say it was Farathir that was making her put so much effort into this and she suspected it was also a test of Farathir's to see how much she was willing to work.
Farathir watched from the branch above where Alatariël was working out, she had to admit though she was surprised. Most of the physical workouts were to build up endurance and speed. There wasn't anything she could do to change reaction time, but having Alatariël running with the special weights on her arms and legs were just part of the process. It was also to see how much she was willing to put into this, if Alatariël did just a little, than that's all the effort she would have put in to teach her and so on. But to her very great surprise Alatariël actually put her all into the drills she'd given her, given a few months time and she knew that Alatariël would be damned deadly to anyone who tried crossing swords with her. Of course the next big question was whether 'she' was willing to put in that time to help Alatariël *become* that good...
As usual things were taken out of her hands when to her very great surprise Buffy found Alatariël standing on her doorstep one morning waiting for her with a basket of muffins and various fruits. Throwing her uncertainties to the winds Buffy invited Alatariël inside and led her towards the kitchen which was had a large bay window that let the sunlight in in the summer mornings...
"So, do you do this a lot or is it just you buttering up your teacher so she's not so hard on you today?" Buffy asked with a grin.
"I've never done this at all actually," Alatariël said with a bright blush.
"No? Well you'll have to do it more often, because I don't get breakfast almost in bed and these muffins are delicious!" Buffy said before taking a bite of the strawberry muffin.
Two Weeks Later...
40 Tuilë (May 7th) 534 TA
To Buffy's surprise Alatariël had continued coming over and bringing breakfast with her each day, in the afternoon they had continued their master/student relationship but Buffy could feel it was *different* now. There was a closeness between them that lay very close to a feeling of intimacy that tended to make Buffy feel antsy at times and they'd even managed to have dinner several times that ended with Buffy feeling so comfortable that she opened up more, telling Alatariël more of her friends and some of their adventures.
6 Weeks Later...
21 Lairë (June 11th) 534 TA
Alatariël was luxuriating in the hot springs Farathir had first showed her over a week ago, sinking down so that the water came up to her chin Alatariël heard footsteps and opened her eyes to see Farathir walking over and dressed in a midnight blue robe. Once she was at the edge Alatariël watched as Farathir slipped the robe off and stepped into the hot spring with her. "Hi there, I wasn't expecting you to join me."
Buffy stopped at Alatariël's words, "Would you rather I give you some privacy?" Buffy heard herself ask as she started to move back out.
"NO!" Alatariël said quickly, "It's just I'm surprised, you've never joined me before is what I meant." Seeing Farathir relax and slide into the water Alatariël took the time to look at her and saw several scars and to her surprise the large tattoo of a dragon's head that covered most of her back while the rest of the body seemed to coil itself around Farathir's body. A part of her had to admit too that Farathir had a very attractive body.
Buffy was having mixed feelings about this now that she was in the springs, naked, and with Alatariël. And of course there were the conflicting feelings she had lately, the ones where she was finding herself wondering what Alatariël looked like naked, to feel her skin beneath her hand and know if it was as smooth as it looked.
"Are you okay?" Alatariël asked even as she saw the smoldering look in Farathir's eyes that strangely didn't frighten her.
"Yes...mostly....sort of. I just have a lot on my mind 'Tari, that's all."
"I was wondering about that, why do you call me 'tari?"
"It's just a nick-name is all. On my world we do that with people who are in our lives...sometimes..." Buffy trailed off as she realized that she *really* thought of Alatariël as a friend and something else...
To Alatariël's own personal surprise was the fact that she was attracted to Farathir, oh she wasn't an innocent in the ways of love, but same-sex pairings were rare among Elves and to have thoughts of a non-Elf were almost unheard of since Luthien and Beren...
"You've come far the last few weeks 'Tari, you should be very proud of yourself. Not many people could keep up the pace I've set for you so far..."
Blushing, "Thank you," said Alatariël, "Have you trained many others with the sword?"
"Yes and no. More than you'd think, but not that many personally." Buffy felt herself getting antsy as she tried repressing the need to touch Alatariël. "Look, I'm gonna go and get some rest. You stay here and relax, I'll see you day after tomorrow..." With that Buffy quickly exited the hot spring, grabbing her robe and walking as fast as possible away.
Alatariël found herself blushing once again as he watched Farathir get up and leave, unable to tear her eyes away from Farathir's shapely form. Gods, what am I going to do? Am I really falling for a woman and of the race of Men no less?
Buffy paced back and forth inside her home, her mind awash with a plethora of conflicting emotions. On one hand she trusted Alatariël, really really trusted her. She couldn't sense a single, solitary, deceitful bone in that girl's entire body and that was just part of the problem. Where did that put Galadriel and Haldir and quite a few other Elves that she knew? None of them had tried to lie or deceive her in any way and if those Elves were the norm instead of the exception than what was the truth about the Elves that she knew in her heart. The truth that all Elves were EVIL...
Of course that left the other huge problem, Buffy was deeply attracted to Alatariël, there was no denying it anymore. The feelings she had went beyond just lust and while it wasn't love, it wasn't that far from it either, all of which left her feeling twisted and confused inside. Over the many years, she and Faith had had *other* partners, it was inevitable and neither woman begrudged the other for it. But this wasn't just a matter of Alatariël being a pleasant distraction, somehow this girl had wormed her way past the defenses around her and found a home near her heart and right now it was becoming too much for her. Too many of her world views were altering or she was seeing the Elves for who they really were or was she??!?!? Frustrated and angry Buffy put her fist through the wood wall. "Why can't this just be a simple fuck?!?" Buffy yelled at the top of her lungs. Running to her bedroom Buffy pulled out a travelling pack and started stuffing clothes she'd need in it before adding some other items. Walking around the room Buffy started pulling out the weapons she'd secreted around the room and the rest of the house, when she was done Buffy walked over to her desk and sat down, pulling out a parchment and pen and started writing. When she was done Buffy rolled the letter up and walked outside to the back where a message bird sat on a post, sliding the letter into the message tube and securing it. Holding her arm out Buffy steadied her arm as the large red hawk jumped up onto her wrist where she wore a thick leather glove. "Go to Vardatharon and Imladris." Buffy said in Elvish and the hawk leapt up into the night sky...
3 Days Later...
24 Lairë (June 14th) 534 TA
Faith saw the message tube Varda was holding and took a deep breath, she'd felt the panic and confusion echoing down their Bond from Buffy and now the letter only confirmed that something was VERY wrong. Hiding her worried behind a smile, "Morning Varda. Message from Farathir?" Faith asked, already knowing the answer.
"Good Morn, Bronwe." Varda said with a pleasant smile. "And yes it is, how did you know?"
Shrugging lightly, "Who else is gonna write me?" was Faith's answer as she reached out and took the message tube from Varda.
"Very well, I have some things to do this morn. I'll try and stop by later this afternoon so we can continue our Chest game."
"Chess, Varda and good."
Faith walked back to her cabin, not willing to open the letter until she had some privacy. Once she was inside Faith quickly opened the tube and pulled the letter out;
I'm not sure who I am anymore or what's the truth, all I do know is that I need to get away and think. I met an Elf-girl named Alatariël and everything's on its ear. I don't want her as a bed-mate, but more and I don't understand how I could fall for someone that's an Elf, I just know I have... Please forgive me, I'm so confused right now and I only wish you were here to help me... I'm going to the White Mountains where we found that old, abandoned dragon's lair all those years ago. I figure they'll never think to look for me here, East towards Mordor, yes, but not here. Maybe I can figure it out if I can just think a little. I'm sorry for all the shit that's gonna come down on you because I'm running away. I miss you more than words can say right now.
28 Lairë (June 18th) 533 TA
Alatariël was worried, at first she thought the first week that Farathir didn't show up was a test of some sort, but her nagging little voice said that something was wrong and by the time another five days passed her little worries were now full-blown fears. Deciding that enough was enough Alatariël headed over to Farathir's house as quickly as possible. At a first glance nothing *seemed* wrong, but her cottage just felt *empty*, as if its heart was missing. Without going inside Alatariël walked around the cabin looking inside the cabin from the few windows, but there was nothing to see. With her fears confirmed Alatariël headed back to the palace and Galadriel who she knew had the answers she needed...
"It's true, my Lady. Farathir is gone, her cabin lies empty for at least the last four days." Haldir was reporting when he heard footsteps behind him and turned partially to see Princess Alatariël. "And now more than just we two now know this..."
"Lady Galadriel, we need to talk..." Alatariël said firmly.
Galadriel held back her smile at her Alatariël’s resolute attitude. "Indeed we do Alatariël. Close the door behind you please." Shifting her attention back to the Marchwarden, "Haldir, would you please go and collect Prince Legolas and bring him here, this way I do not have to repeat this story twice."
"Yes, my Lady." Haldir said before leaving to go get Prince Legolas.
"Why does my brother need to be here Lady Galadriel?" Alatariël asked, unsure of Galadriel's reasoning.
"Because he needs to know what I am going to tell you about Farathir, he already knows some of the story, now you will both learn the full truth of the matter..." Galadriel said cryptically.
Alatariël had nothing she could say so she chose silence as they waited for her brother and Haldir to return.
Ten minutes had passed and Alatariël was starting to feel impatient when the door opened into Galadriel's study and in walked the Marchwarden and her brother.
"Lady Galadriel, as you requested, Prince Legolas." Haldir announced.
"Very good and now that everyone is here,"
"And why am I here Lady Galadriel?" Legolas asked with a hint of anger in his voice.
"Because the time has come, although sooner than it should have, to tell you the truth of the history of Farathir. So everyone please sit and be comfortable while I tell you the story of Buffy Summers and Faith Lehane..."
"Uhhmm, Lady Galadriel, I thought you were going to tell us about Farathir, not this *Buffy* person." Alatariël asked.
Galadriel saw Alatariël was a little behind, "Child, they are one in the same." Looking towards the others, "Many, many years ago before she was known as Farathir Guruthos, she had another name...Heleg Naur, but even that is not her true name. For Farathir came from another world entirely, one where she was feared by the forces of darkness that stalked her planet though under another name, her True Name and that name was Buffy Summers, the Slayer...."
End Book 1 and continued in Book 2 "Walking the Shadow Road"
Glossary of Elvish words and People
SA - Second Age
TA - Third Age
Buffy Anne Summers - resident of Earth and Vampire Slayer.
Heleg Naur - Means "Ice Flame" in Sindarin Elvish and the name Buffy was known by the Elves and Men during the Second Age.
Akûl Ghaash - Ice Flame in the Black Speech of Mordor and the name Buffy was known by the Orcs of Mordor.
Farathir Guruthos - "Death's Hunter" and the name Buffy Summers was given by Galadriel during her stay in Lothlorien, early in the Third Age.
Faith Lehane - resident of Earth and fellow Chosen One of Buffy Summers and Vampire Slayer.
Amlug Ruth - Means "Dragon's Rage" in Sindarin Elvish and the name Faith was known by the Elves and Men during the Second Age.
Kulkotar Thraang - Dragon's Rage in the Black Speech of Mordor and the name Faith was known as by the Orcs of Mordor.
Browne - Elvish for "Faith", name Faith was given by Vardathoron the Healer in Imladris (Rivendell), early Third Age.
Haldir - Marchwarden for Lothlorien along with his brothers Rumil and Orophin.
Vardathoron - Chief Healer of Imladris, Vardathoron was known for her short temper and her skills as a Healer.
Ada - Father
Helegnen - Icy One
Imladris – Elven name for Rivendell.
Nenya – The Ring of Water and one of the Three Elvish Rings of Power. It’s only adornment was a diamond.