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Left Behind!

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This story is No. 9 in the series "Return of The Key.". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Tolkien tells us that Aragorn, once king, fought further wars against the Haradrim after the Ring War. This story tells of the roles of Dawn/Tindómë and the elves in the first of these Haradic Wars. Art work by Wildecate.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Lord of the Rings > Dawn-Centered(Recent Donor)curiouslywombatFR18620,7753155,16912 Apr 1123 May 11Yes

A Warrior, First and Foremost.

Left Behind 2

A Warrior, First and Foremost...

She had moved permanently to Eryn Ithil less than three months ago, along with Rumil and Orophin, and all three were still living in guest accommodation. Quite probably she and Rumil would get betrothed once they had a permanent home, but this was still only in the planning phase – construction had not yet started. Tindómë, therefore, had a room in Legolas’ own small ‘cottage’ amongst the trees whilst the brothers had all their possessions in a more talan-like construction a little way away.

Perhaps, she thought, as she listened to the carefully not-risen voices, Legolas didn’t even realise that she was here in Rumil’s bed…

There had been talk for some months of a Haradrim warlord who would not make peace with Gondor. Tindómë didn’t know if it was the warlord for whose harem she had been intended, when she was captured three years before, but she thought it quite possible. Now, it seemed, negotiations had completely broken down and war was inevitable.

King Elessar was going to lead his own army. Probably glad, Tindómë thought, to escape the constraints of his court for a while even if he would miss the comforts of his queen! He had not requested the aid of the Elves, at this time, but Legolas was determined that a small company of archers from Eryn Ithil should accompany the Gondorian soldiers.

Tindómë remembered Galanthir’s description of Legolas as ‘a vassal of the King of Gondor, whether his father likes it or not’. Not a vassal summoned to fight – but maybe a vassal wishing to be seen by others to be doing his part? Or simply Legolas wishing to help his friend? Either way, Elves would be going to war alongside Men again. But only, it seemed, single Elves.

In the outer room, Legolas was speaking. “I accept that you are not betrothed,” he said, “and that you are an accomplished bowman with a longer range than most…”

Tindómë could almost feel the eye-roll Rumil must have given when he was described as simply an accomplished bowman – Hello! Galadhrim warrior here…

But,” Legolas continued, “if both you and Orophin are amongst my bowmen there will be no-one left here who knows the truth of Tindómë’s arrival in Middle Earth. Should anything happen whilst we are gone…” (‘Like what?’ Tindómë thought) “or we three are all lost in battle…” He left the sentence unfinished.

‘Meep!’ She hadn’t really thought of that possibility!

Rumil did not answer straight away. He was obviously thinking seriously about what Legolas had said.

‘I could go with…’ she thought and then realised that, ‘little warrior’ she might be, but amongst a company of archers she would, in reality, be more of a hindrance than a help.

“There is truth in what you say,” Rumil said slowly, “but I am, first and foremost, a warrior. An unbound warrior. I should fight, just as I fought at Helm’s Deep. Orophin and I have always fought together, when possible, and we are much more effective together than separately.”

“Perhaps it would be best, then, if you both remain here,” Legolas suggested.

“No! If we are to become part of this community we must not be treated differently to those who came from your home forest.”

Yep – Rumil had a good point there, Tindómë thought.

He was still speaking, “Orophin and I both should go. Should we three not return, the Valar forbid, Tindómë could go to Lord Celeborn or to Imladris.”

“The twins ride to war with their brother,” Legolas said.

“Glorfindel will remain in Imladris,” Rumil countered. “He knows Tindómë’s story. And none in Imladris would question the right of a peredhel to be amongst them.”

There was almost a question in Legolas’ reply; a question Tindómë found herself, too, asking.

“I do not think,” her gwador said, “there are any here who would question her right to be amongst us...”

“If I thought there were,” Rumil said with a hint of triumph, “I would be less determined to employ my last eight yéni and more of skills and ride to war as befits a warrior.”

As she sat quietly listening to the continuing conversation between the two ellyn it occurred to Tindómë that it might even be a good experience for her to cope without Rumil and Orophin – without Legolas, or even Galanthir’s teasing friendship.

Legolas departed and Rumil came into the bedroom.

“Did you hear what we spoke of, meleth?” he asked her.


“What say you?”

She looked at him steadily for a few moments before answering.

“You are a warrior. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be the same Rumil, and you wouldn’t have been in the right place to save me from dying. And you’re right – it would be all wrong for you to stay behind if other unbound bowmen are going to war. But don’t you dare go and get yourself killed or I might never speak to you again!”

And she thought that only to an Elf would that sound a serious threat.


Rumil was right; he and Orophin were highly skilled bowmen, they were used to fighting side by side, and it would most certainly not help the integration of those from Lothlorien with those from the former Mirkwood if such skilled warriors were left behind. If Rumil had been on the path to betrothal with any other elleth, Legolas knew that he would have been sympathetic to a request to remain behind when other single ellyn went to war – but he would have waited for Rumil to make that request.

Would he have wanted to leave Rumil in Eryn Ithil if Tindómë had been his sister by blood? Legolas asked himself.

He considered this question for a little and realised that, yes, he would. But had she been his blood kin, he realised with a flash of insight, and the ellon courting her had meekly agreed to remain behind, then ‘big brother Legolas’ would have concluded that that ellon was not a suitable match!

The revelation gave him cause to laugh, just as Tindómë came into the room. She looked questioningly at him, and he shook his head slightly – perhaps he would explain later.

The forthcoming war was on almost everyone’s mind, Legolas realised, as she spoke to him.

“Gwador, when Rumil rides to war with you I will fill my time sorting out some of the books and scrolls so that there really is the beginnings of a library. I could go Minas Tirith to copy some more stuff but I think it’s probably better if I don’t go off to spend time with the Men, but stay here amongst the elves.”

“You will be happy for Rumil to ride with me whilst you stay here and do that?” he asked.

“Well, no. I won’t be happy until I see you all come back home to Ithilien. And Aragorn, Faramir, the Els, Gimli – is Gimli going? But Rumil is a bowman, and we aren’t betrothed, and if you have to go and take your unbound archers to fight the Haradrim then you have to. Although perhaps you’d better send word ahead that none of you are virgins…” ***

*** See chapter 31 of ‘Brotherhood’!


It was almost time for farewells. In the morning the archers would ride out with the army of Gondor. Arrows were prepared by the thousand, bows checked, spare bowstrings carefully stored; bracers had been repaired where required, swords sharpened, and everything else they would take was ready to be laden onto the horses.

Rumil and Orophin had taken the chain-mail from their trunks, worked together to check each ring, and then made one or two minor repairs and adjustments to the leather straps. A task they had hoped not to need again – but a very familiar one. Strange, though, to be only two brothers, not three.

Earlier in the day, when they were alone, Tindómë asked Rumil, “Melethron-nín, has Orophin got plans for tonight? I mean, is there an elleth who will give him a proper farewell? Because it would be all kinds of wrong for him to spend the night alone; he could, y’know, spend the night with us…”

“I think he has plans,” he answered. “The ellyth who came from Eryn Lasgalen seem to find him very desirable. I will be very happy to have you to myself tonight; but that you would ask him … that is something I will share with him when we are sitting by a camp-fire and need to be reminded of good things, not bad.”

He held her, briefly, wanting her to know how dear she was to him. Then added, almost seriously,

“And it will be good to think of such a welcome back…”

They walked slowly, hand in hand, through trees that he was already coming to know. It was still spring and the nights were not yet warm – better to go to Tindómë’s bed than his own, as Legolas’ small dwelling was more solid that the one Rumil and Orophin slept in. There were plans for a large communal hall, and a more impressive dwelling for Legolas as the Lord of the forest, but restoring the land was more important. Perhaps work might begin on those buildings when the warriors returned…

Rumil brought his thoughts back to Tindómë.

There was no sign of Legolas as they walked through the outer room – but Rumil did not think the other ellon was likely to be spending his night alone studying battle plans, either.

Tindómë picked up a bottle of wine with two glasses and, as she walked into her bedroom, she took off her cloak. Rumil knew what she wore beneath it, but still it made him smile; the green and silver-grey dress the ellyn had designed for her to wear for Aragorn’s coronation had a special place in their relationship.

“Elderberry with cinnamon,” she said as she poured the wine. “It will keep me warm… although more than a little bit of it and I’ll start to smile all the time and need to lie down…”

Rumil always enjoyed making love to his not-quite-an-elf – but when she had had just a little too much wine were some of his favourite times.

“I will do my best to keep you at just that point,” he promised, keeping his voice totally serious, as he started to undo the silver ribbons that held her sleeves tight to her arms.

Soon she wore just the semi-transparent under-dress; a swirl of shimmering greens as she spun away from his hands to take another sip of her wine.

“Now you!” she said.

He smiled at her. “As my bossy lady wishes…”

Naked, he poured her more wine. She dipped her fingers into it and then sucked on them, her gaze holding his as she did so. Ah – how quickly she had learnt something of the arts associated with the ‘desires of the body’!

A little later Tindómë lay on her bed. Rumil simply sat and looked at her. Her body had changed since he had first seen her naked when he had washed and cared for her, unconscious, after the Battle of the Black Gate. She was taller now, and her arms were better muscled – especially her right one; Glorfindel and the twins had worked her hard on the sword practice ground of Imladris last winter.

He lifted her fingers one at a time to his mouth, sucking off the last traces of wine. Now she had slight calluses, too, from sword and bowstring. She had lost all the traces of childhood that he had not fully recognised when he first saw her, not being used to mortal women – or immortal women that looked to be mortal. But she still had a slightly softer, slightly more curved, body than an elleth and he hoped this would not change.

He brought a hand to her breast, grazing it over the nipple which became more erect. He had heard nipples described as ‘rosebuds’ by an ellyn or two but, he thought as he looked at it, really it was nothing like a rosebud. The outer ring rose up from its soft surroundings, with a slightly roughened surface, then the hard centre like a tiny pebble standing up again… It reminded him, more, of a molehill with the head of the mole peering out of the top!

His amusement obviously carried across to her.

“What is so funny, melethron-nín?” she asked.

He explained. She laughed with him and said, “It’s totally obvious that you’re an artist not a poet – can you imagine a poem about a girl whose breasts are like small hills, topped with molehills and curious moles?”

“But poets sometimes lack imagination,” Rumil countered, running his hand further down her body. He paused at her navel.

“I have even heard this described as an unfurling rosebud, too, one or twice.” He reached for the wine and poured a little into the tiny hollow. Tindómë squirmed. He slowly licked the wine out again.

“Keep still, meleth, whilst I admire your body and commit it fully to memory for the lonely nights to come!”

Still she squirmed – trying to bring other parts of her body within reach of his tongue, her hands tangling in his hair.

“How can I admire your curves and planes, the shadows and the places that catch the candle-light,” he asked, “if you do not let me lift my head?”

In jest he added, “Perhaps I should tie you to the bed…”

“Promises, promises!” Tindómë answered and, through ‘the fëa thing’, he felt her desire rise more.

This had not been a game he had thought of for this night – but in any mutual enjoyment there should never be an unchangeable plan… In a trice he had reached for the silver ribbon that had tied her hair. He took her two hands and bound them together at the wrists.

Tindómë’s eyes opened wide – but she was licking her lips and made no objection.

Rumil leant in to kiss her and, as he did so, he looped the ribbon between her wrists over a conveniently shaped curl on the carved bed-head. Very convenient, he thought… I wonder whose bed this was when first it was carved?

Tindómë giggled. He could see no fear in her eyes, and could feel only amusement and desire when he ‘listened’ to her fëa. She could easily release herself from the bed-head, she would only have to take her body up the bed a little, but she made no move to do so.

“I can still move…” she arched her back, to bring her breasts closer to him, and then moved her hips.

He studied her, his head on one side. “I could tie your feet too… but I will not. This way it is so much easier to roll you over and admire your beautiful behind.”

She giggled again. “But now I can’t drink any more wine…”

He took a sip from his glass, held it in his mouth as he bent towards her, and as he kissed her, he let it pass from his mouth to hers. She swallowed, and licked her lips.

“But, meleth, I will keep the wine to myself if you do not lie still and let me complete my consideration of your body…”

She stuck her tongue out at him.

For a few long moments he sat, just gazing as he had said he would, not touching her. She watched him with a half smile, but lay still.

When he judged that she could probably not resist moving any longer he ran a finger down her body and paused at the hair on her mound. It was, perhaps, a little thicker than it would be in an elleth and it curled around his finger more than that of any elleth he knew.

He smiled a little as she wriggled again, trying to bring his fingers into contact with her tuiw.

“If I were a poet I might say that these are softly curling tendrils of fern, here at the edge of a damp cleft…”

“M’kay – you’re a poet! Or better – you are a warrior, an Elf of actions not words! Please?”

His fingers still lightly touching the tuft of hair, he answered.

“I am an artist, still in search of roses; as your nipples are, most assuredly, small, pink, molehills, and your navel is a shallow wine glass…”

She interrupted him. “More wine… please?”

“Mmm… perhaps in a little while.”

He slid his fingers down into her cleft holding the sides a little way apart, brought his head down towards it, and then blew gently onto the moist inner folds.

Tindómë moaned.

It was a very erotic sound, but Rumil had many years of practice and would not be swayed into hurried action.

“I think,” he said slowly, “that I must allow that these resemble petals. Yes – a dark pink damask rose, perhaps.”

Of course she wriggled more. He moved his hands to her knees, holding them slightly bent and apart, but brought his mouth no closer, just letting the ends of his hair brush fleetingly against the insides of her thighs.

“Aargh! Please! Rumil you are a torturer!”

He moved a little, as if to view her huch from all angles.

“If I were to find a rosebud, meleth, what should I do with it?” He kept his voice as innocent as if they were at table and he was enquiring about the salt.

He expected that she would no longer be able to answer coherently – and was pleasantly amused when she answered in almost the same tone, although she sounded breathless.

“Wrap it carefully with something soft and wet?”

Ha! She was certainly learning to control her body – useful should she ever need to fight, and very useful in prolonging bodily pleasures for as long as possible.

He moved his head a little again so that the beads still in his hair brushed the outer flesh of her cleft. Now he could clearly see her tuiw – it was engorged, erect, peeping out as if it was a tiny grond.

“Ah – I think I may have found a rosebud.”

He glanced at her face. She was flushed, her eyes looked slightly unfocused, but she was still with him.

“About bloody time!” she said quite clearly.

“I will do with it as you suggested,” he dropped his head down lower and caressed her tuiw with his tongue.

“Aaaargh! Huitho! Ai! Na Vedui!”

He was aware of her with all his senses, and rejoiced that her words were, even now as she flew, in Sindarin. He smiled as he licked, carefully.

“More wine now?” he asked as her breathing began to return to normal.

“Yes. My throat’s a bit, uh, raw.”

Just as he thought that he could think of another fluid to slide down it, she spoke again.

“’Course if I had my hands free I could get the wine for myself – and, uh, do something with them to make you feel good.” She looked meaningfully at his grond – standing upright, the naith at his navel.

“Ah, but meleth, if you had your hands free they would be drawn where your eyes are – and I like it tuio – as if pleading to be touched, but untouched… “

He could see her sudden recognition of what he said – she had learn enough in these few years since she came of age to understand that game.

He took wine in his mouth and passed it into hers as he had before – it tasted of elderberries, of cinnamon, and of Tindómë’s desire.

She licked her lips and looked at him; her expression innocent, her eyes open wide – but less innocence there than she would have him believe. Through the tentative fëa link he could feel amusement and desire – which would be just what she could feel from him, he thought.

He took more wine, and swallowed it himself – she pouted.

“I would continue storing your body to my memory – each, what is your word? ‘freckle’ where the sun has kissed it, the curves of your beautiful behind…”

She smiled, twisted, and rolled over with very little help despite her hands still being tied to the bed-head.

He twisted his fingers in the thick waves of her hair.

“Not fair!” Tindómë muttered.

“You may run your hands through my hair later,” Rumil countered.

“Hmm – I might…” She knew all too well how much pleasure it would give him.

He touched his lips to the small brown freckles on the backs of her shoulders and then trailed his tongue down her spine, stopping just short of the crease between her buttocks. His next target was the soft, sensitive, skin behind her knees – but she would not be able to keep still if he caressed her there and, to be honest, he did not really wish to be caught by her foot…

He ran a hand down each thigh until they rested on her calves – then trailed first his hair and then his tongue over one soft spot then the other. Tindómë giggled.

“I do not think there are any more roses to be seen, meleth,” he said, then paused. “But there is a peach…”

She giggled even more. It was a description of her beautiful behind that he had shared with her before.

“M’kay James – you can nibble my giant peach if I can nibble yours later…”

He recognised the allusion. She had once told him a story, from her strange childhood, about a boy called James who had escaped from a life he hated by flying high in a giant peach. She might now think in Sindarin – but he had learnt new words and stories from her as well.

As the moon climbed higher, and reached the uppermost branches of the trees outside their room, Rumil heard Legolas return. Perhaps there was an elleth with him but, at first, Rumil was unsure – Tindómë was giggling and making small incoherent noises.

Later again and Rumil heard an elleth’s voice – yes, the Lord of Ithilien was certainly not spending the night studying battle plans. Rumil did not listen to the sounds from the other room, he was too busy himself.

Where he lay, his own hands bound now with the silver ribbon and hooked around the oh-so-convenient point on the bed-head, his attention was fully occupied by Tindómë.

“Lie still, warrior, or…”

“Or what, meleth?”

“I won’t touch you any more.”

“Cruel, my lady!”

“I’ve had a good teacher, my lord.”

‘And more than one,’ he thought. He doubted that she had behaved like a chaste Gondorian maiden during her months in Imladris.

His grond was again at the point of pleading to be touched – and Tindómë had become very good at teasing it more and more, without that touch. She had already declared his nipples too flat for molehills, even when she nipped them between her teeth, and then moved so that her hair whispered across his abdomen. Now she had his ceryn in her hand.

“I don’t seem to have found any flowers anywhere,” she said, her voice sounding serious. “But I think these could be nuts… Or perhaps an apricot? I could nibble it to see…”

He waited – his grond hardening more, if that was possible.

“Or would you try to stop me?” She lifted her head and turned it towards him, looking over her shoulder with a raised eyebrow.

“I am in your hands, meleth.”

“Yep – you totally are,” she said, with a slightly wicked smile.

She sat back on her heels so that there was no physical contact for what felt like half an age, then bared her teeth and lowered her head…

Eventually she slept, curled on her side, with her head pillowed on his abdomen. He knew he, too, should sleep; but they would ride tomorrow and he could easily sleep on Hirilmith. Tonight he would cherish each breath, each tiny sleeping movement Tindómë made.

He did not regret insisting on riding to war – he was a warrior first and foremost – but there was no need to waste these hours. Tindómë twisted around a little more and muttered in her sleep.

“Tiro i cherch…”

He could feel her arousal, even as she slept and he laughed, he could not resist. Now she even walked the dream paths in Sindarin – and it took little imagination to know the path she walked.


Sindarin Bits

peredhel – half-elven – with some human blood

gwador – sworn brother

yén – 144 years. Yéni is the plural

meleth - beloved

melethron-nín – my love( r )

tuiw – bud – Elven slang for clitoris

huch – vulva

grond - club – Elven slang for penis

“Aaaargh! Huitho! Ai! Na Vedui!” - “Aaaargh! Fuck! Yes! At last!”

tuio – engorged – erect.

ceryn - balls

“Tiro i cherch…” - “Mind the teeth…”


Disclaimer: The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only, and all rights remain with the estate of JRR Tolkien. (Also Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon if he is at all bothered that Tindómë once spent a short time in his care...)
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