prance_legolas: (Prance Legolas 4)
[personal profile] prance_legolas
We stopped last time (before [livejournal.com profile] puterpatty's love story "Jump Me") with the Prance discovering Elvis(h) Santa Claus has left the building. If you need to refresh yourself, you can link back to Chapter 21. I think I've caught up in the Memories section too, if you ever want to use that to reread or send others to acquaint themselves with Mr. Helpfulpants. :-D

Anyway, this chapter actually took place in 2003, but December it was, and as much as I wanted to pretend everything was moving along normallyfabulously, "The Return of The King" was rapidly approaching....


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Chapter 22 Discovering Awareness



He rides home in complete silence, gazing out of the front passenger-side window. No Christmas carols, no rolling down the glass and screeching for Santa Claus at every tree lot we pass, no begging to stop to play putt-putt golf in the rain. Not a sound, not a word.

When we get home, he asks to be excused to go to bed early. That’s the last I see of him Friday night.

Grammar Laedee comes on Saturday. Legolas is back to his normal self, helping Lil’ Pip play with her tiny Polly Pocket dolls and Polly’s new airplane and limousine that my mom bought for Pip’s birthday gift. They dress his action figure in dozens of Barbie’s best outfits, posing him by the trunk of the limo with the secret hot tub exposed. ‘Moovee Staer Legolas’ is what he calls the action figure now.

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Mom heads back home on Monday morning, and the Prance heads out the back door shortly after she’s gone. I call him to get in the car so I can head for work, but he doesn’t answer. When I check his room, his bow and quiver of arrows are gone. I leave a note taped to the bathroom mirror to tell him where I’ll be.

Work is an arduous affair. It seems everyone finds all their overdue books when the relatives come, and the book drop outside is full to overflowing. It takes me an extra couple of hours to get everything back to a semblance of normal, and when I head home after picking up Lil’ Pip from school, I still can’t find the Prance.

At dusk he suddenly appears on the doorstep, carefully brushing the mud from his boots until they are elven clean once again. When he comes inside, he heads straight for his room, deposits the weaponry, and changes into clean jeans and a sweatshirt.

“Whut’z fur sueppur?” he asks, giving me a hug in the kitchen.

“I think we’re going out again,” I answer. I decide not to ask where he’s been all day. Traditionally, if Legolas wants me to know something, it doesn’t matter how big of a secret it is, eventually he’ll spill the beans.

He laughs and jokes with Lil’ Pip over hamburgers and French fries at our local hangout, threatening to tell the waitresses it’s her birthday and have them all come over and sing to her, even though her birthday is now past. Had I known him only a few short days, I’d swear nothing has changed.

After Lil’ Pip is tucked in, the Prance approaches me with a bit of news I hadn’t expected.

“I’m noet goeng oen da kaempeeng treep,” he announces in a soft but firm voice.

This is a good thing, actually. Lil’ Pip has invited her father to chaperone her 5th grade class on their trip to the mountains for a three day science adventure camp. We’ve paid the bill for Lil’ Pip and for Yes Dear, but Legolas was never invited in the first place.

“I’m glad you decided to stay here with me,” I console him. “I could use some company.”

He nods but doesn’t say anything more, choosing instead to play with the cats by having them chase after the flashlight beam for a bit before heading back to bed.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




On Wednesday, the four of us head to Lil’ Pip’s school at the break of day, loaded down with sleeping bags, pillows, hats and gloves, winter boots, and a suitcase loaded full of sweatshirts and heavy socks and the like. The forecast calls for snow in the mountains during the trip, and Yes Dear wants to be sure he’s got extra of everything. As Legolas and I get ready to leave the classroom where we’ve dropped them off, I go round and hug all the little boys goodbye.

“I’m so sorry,” I say to each one as I give him a squeeze. Not, “Have a great time,” or “Be good.” Nope, I choose to say to them, “I’m so sorry.” Finally, one of the other mothers who is not going asks what I mean.

“Yes Dear’s going as a chaperone,” I say with delight.

“So you’ve got a three-day vacation coming to yourself?” one of them teases, smiling at my good fortune.

“Yep. And those little boys are in for three days of boot camp, only they don’t know it yet.”



In just a few hours, Legolas and I are done for the day at work and have the afternoon to find something to do. I’m considering what I’ll say to him, wanting to have a talk about his upcoming return to Middle-earth and how he’ll handle life without hairdryers and televisions and the wonders of Breyer’s Ice Cream.

Turns out there’s not much to talk about.

We’re not in the house ten minutes when he steps behind me in the kitchen and seizes me around the neck. Not a friendly hug kind of hold, but an aggressive in-my-space confrontation. His body is pressed firmly against my back, and his arm is locked under my chin.

“What the heck is wrong with you?” I gasp, finding it hard to breathe. I bring my hands up to try to pull his arm away so I can draw some air.

He squeezes harder. Suddenly I feel a rush of adrenaline as I realize HE'S NOT PLAYING WITH ME. He’s deadly serious. And Yes Dear and Lil’ Pip are in the mountains a hundred miles away for the next three days.

Struggling, I find I cannot break his hold. He pushes me forward against the new kitchen counter.

“Legolas! Stop! You’re hurting me!”

“U hav furgoettin whoem u ar deeleng wid,” he growls in my ear. “U hav maed da furst meestake. U muest neber leat ur gard doewn like dis.”

He’s right. Taking care of him for the past two years, picking out his clothes and making sure he eats more than pure sugar and showing him all the things that he accepts with childlike simplicity has skewed my view.



Legolas Greenleaf is, and always has been, an Elven Assassin.



“Ar u frietend?”

I pause, remembering what happened after Frodo was asked the same question. “Yes.”

“Noet neerly enuf. I wuld be reamiss en my dueteez if I aelloewd u tu konseedur ursef a worrier wid respoensiz like dese.”

I pull his arm down a bit more, but he’s persistent. He gives me the tiniest space to suck in a bit more air.

“What do you want?”

“Tu noe u weel be saef. Tu noe eberythaeng weel be okae wonse I em noe loengur hear tu proetekt u.”

“I’ll be fine. Now let me go!”

“U ar en noe poesishun tu maek deamaendz of me.”

He’s right. AGAIN. Damnit, I hate that.

“What do you want?” I hiss.

“Shoew me whut u wuld due tu git awae if dis haeppend wonse I em goen.”

I try a few ideas, but he only tightens his grip and cuts my air off. I stop struggling, giving in to the inevitable. I’ve been blindsided by an elven assassin. Now my job is to live to tell about it.

“Dat’z paethaetic,” he scolds, clearly annoyed. He turns me loose, and I make haste to get a full kitchen’s length away from him.

“Don’t you ever try that again,” I growl, rubbing at my throat and sucking in great breaths of air.

“Noew ur trayneeng beginz,” he declares.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



For the next three days, Legolas teaches me the art of self-defense. I learn how to ward off an attacker from the rear, the front, and both sides. I learn how to avoid dangerous situations, and how to pick up signs that warn I should leave the area.

The problem is I totally suck at being able to injure my attacker.

“I dunnoe whut I em goen tu due wid u, al,” he exclaims, frustrated. “U ar tuu truesteeng!”

He sits me down at the kitchen table and rests his weary head on his folded arms there on its surface. I hear the weight of the world in his heavy sigh.

Finally, he lifts his head.

“I hav sumpthaeng fur u tu reed,” he says, rising from his chair and going to his bedroom. He brings back a book, the cover of which reads, “After The Darkest Hour” by Kathleen A. Brehony, PH.D

“Reed dis,” he says, opening its pages.

I start to read aloud the paragraph that he points to.

“Warriors take in everything directly and authentically, without hiding anything from themselves or others. They are open to knowing and understanding all there is to know about themselves—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Everything is real. To a warrior, the world and oneself are apprehended directly in each and every movement. The beauty of pain mingles with the beauty of pleasure in a ceaseless flow of consciousness and ever-present, mindful experience.” (p 247)

“A worrier muest hav awaerniss,” he states. “Noew reed hear....”

I continue where he has moved his finger:

“Living as a warrior requires a brave, unconquerable spirit, perseverance, and courage in facing both life and death, good times and bad. Warriors are men and women of relentless action who choose to act on instead of reacting to the events of their lives. A true warrior avoids nothing, no matter how painful it might be.” (p 248)

“Many people mistakenly believe that courage is the absence of fear when, in fact, it means moving through our fears and other painful feelings.... Courage is the determination to keep walking when the path is plagued with danger or our hearts are broken wide open. It’s the realization that something else is more important than our own fear or suffering.” (p 248-249)


I look up to meet his blue eyes, gazing with love down at me. “U muest bea braev, al,” he whispers. “Noew reed dis....”

“The warrior’s regard for others and desire to alleviate their pain is paramount. Warriors make every decision based on what is to the benefit of others, what works best for the greater good. Warriors are dedicated to the sacredness that is life and avoid aggression whenever possible. They never use their powers to hurt others. Even when strength or force must be employed, it is always a last resort and utilized to protect the weak and innocent or to maintain the righteous beliefs of all such as justice and freedom. Warriors don’t cause others to suffer.... The warrior is a genuine hero who seeks to shield the vulnerable and care for those who need help.... the warrior is humble, kind, respectful, and protective always." (p 249)

He smiles at me and pats my arm. “Dat paert weel bea eezy fur u. Ur guud at dat paert aelreedy.”

He turns the page and slides his finger down to the place he wants to show me next.

“...discipline means mastery over our own body, mind, and the resources at our command to solve problems and meet the challenges in our lives. It means taking the responsibility for keeping ourselves healthy, vital, and strong. It means practicing self-control and being ready for anything.”

“Warriors get into good habits of self-care and self-discipline, so that when an inevitable challenge arises in their lives they can rely on these practices to sustain them, help them think clearly, grit their teeth, and do what they must to move through the crisis.” (p 251)


“Dat’z da won u REELY nead tu wurk oen,” he scoffs kindly.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Yes Dear and Lil’ Pip return safely on Friday. Yes Dear swaggers off the bus, proudly announcing, “They nicknamed me ‘The Warden’.” The little boys scatter when he walks by. The teachers spend an elaborate amount of time thanking us both for his being able to accompany them, and invite him to come back again next year even though Lil’ Pip will be going to an entirely different school.

So much for success.

The linoleum man shows up on time the next week and, without any pomp or circumstance, puts in the new floor while Legolas works on his last responses to his fans at fanfiction. net.

Suddenly I find myself typing in real time.

It’s 7:00 A.M. on Tuesday the sixteenth day of December, in the year 2003. I have two tickets to Trilogy Tuesday in my hand. The elven archer is dressed and standing at the door. We’re going to the line party in Greenville, not Greenwood. He’s all excited because he’ll get to see himself on the big screen in both “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers” all over one more time.

We’ll be seeing “The Return of the King” at 10:00 P.M. Legolas plans to reenter Middle-earth in Greenville, since it’s the first showing in our state. I have no idea if it will work, but that gives us two hours to fly by van all the way to Greenwood and try again if he doesn’t find the portal through the screen at this earlier showing.


Wish us luck....


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Bibliography: The quotations are taken without permission from “After The Darkest Hour” by Kathleen A. Brehony, PH.D. I found them very appropriate, and our elven Prince quite the astute researcher indeed. I had no idea he was reading anything but car repair manuals while he waited to sneak up on me for the “Buu!” game while I was working.


tbc Tuesday....

Date: December 13th, 2006 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] invisible-dream.livejournal.com
i'd have kicked him in the balls if he'd done that to me!!!
that's just not cool LOL!!! i get freaked out when people do that.

Date: January 16th, 2007 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from chapter 22)

I apologize for the long delay. I have the hardest time getting through December now.

Believe me, if I could've reached his balls, he wouldn't have any! He's smart, and he's QUICK! And after spending this "training time" with the Prance, I had no worries about sending him back to Middle-earth, at least as far as his safety went.

I was more worried about how he was gonna survive without Cocoa Puffs....

Date: January 16th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] invisible-dream.livejournal.com
awwww *swoon*
i'd have sent him off with a little baggy full of them ;)

Date: December 13th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pecos.livejournal.com
well, at least you're being taught by the best! I hope he doesn't go, even though I knew he should.

Date: January 16th, 2007 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(From chapter 22)

Sorry for the long delay in answering your comments! I found I couldn't even look at this lj during December--the memories are still just to much for me sometimes.

I'm just glad he was only concerned with teaching me a lesson that involved how to survive later. There for a moment I was really wondering if I had needed to spend all that money on gifts for people I wasn't gonna get to see them open their packages....

He might be pretty, but he can sure be scary too! Sauron better watch out!

Date: December 13th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceansecrets2.livejournal.com
He nods but doesn’t say anything more, choosing instead to play with the cats by having them chase after the flashlight beam for a bit before heading back to bed. Laser pointers work even better, as long as you don't point them in anyone's eyes.

It's true that we can forget the true power Legolas wields in the face of his beauty and sweetness of character. We need to remember that kindness is not the same as weakness.

And how are you feeling?

Date: January 16th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from chapter 22)

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to answer this! I just couldn't bring myself to do more than post in the Prance's lj this month. December is a very hard month for me memory-wise, even though they're mostly all good memories....

Our cats LOVE the laser pointer. Haldir the deaf white one is obsessed with it. He's got calluses on his pawpads from skidding to a stop on the carpet, and I have to take him to the vet every once in awhile to have them filed down like they were claws or something. We didn't have the laser when Legolas was here....I hesitate to think how well conditioned he'd have all four of my kitties if we'd had one when he was here!

I think sometimes that's what makes an elf so deadly. Maybe we expect danger to be ugly and gruesome like an Uruk or an Orc. We get caught up admiring the beauty, and BANG! Ouch.

I'm feeling much better, thanks!

Date: December 14th, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westbeilschmidt.livejournal.com
Makes one think about personal safety.

Date: January 19th, 2007 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from Chapter 22)

I sure wasn't thinking when I let him trap me up against that kitchen counter, but I sure think about it more often now than I did then!

Never mess with an elven assasin. They can be very dangerous when they want to make a point, and there are some things that even Cocoa Puffs and Keebler Elf Cookies won't distract them from.

Date: January 19th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westbeilschmidt.livejournal.com
determination thy name is Legolas... (okay, that was bad)

Date: December 14th, 2006 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rsharpe.livejournal.com
al, loved this one and didn't expect it! But now I want to go practice sparring and it's after two in the a.m. And, somehow, that's all your fault.

Date: January 19th, 2007 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from Chapter 22)

Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you on this one!

Two a.m. practice sparring. Wow, I wonder who you could find who'd be interested in something like that at such a late hour? *can just IMAGINE Prance shrieking, "ME! ME! TAEL HUR TO PEIK ME!!!" at the top of his lungs at 2 a.m. and waking everybody!*

I sure didn't expect this particular chapter either. And I STILL suck at personal defense. The Prance would be glad I've got you around to take with me when we wander off to meet internet "strangers" together, that's for sure!

Date: December 14th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rifleman-s.livejournal.com
"The warrior is a genuine hero who seeks to shield the vulnerable and care for those who need help.... the warrior is humble, kind, respectful, and protective always." (p 249)

He smiles at me and pats my arm. “Dat paert weel bea eezy fur u. Ur guud at dat paert aelreedy.”"


Polite and loving to the last!

Date: January 19th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from Chapter 22)

I must apologize for taking so long to reply back to you! Yes, the Prance was always polite (well, he did have a few kinda crude jokes he'd tell at sort of odd times, but I think Yes Dear put him up to that and supplied the jokes and all, because a lot of them were blonde jokes and I'm not sure Prance really GOT them....). He made an excellent teacher because he was so patient when he realized you just weren't quite getting what he was showing you. Immortality had to help with that, since he'd keep repeating whatever he needed to for as long as it took for you to pick up the skill, no matter what it was. I wish I had his patience and politeness and held as much love as his heart did.

Date: December 14th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oceansnset.livejournal.com
For every begining there must be an end. Oh wait, wrong movie.

If it is any consulation I don't think elves would actually "grab" someone to kill them. Might get dirt or blood on them.
You can dodge arrows, right?
Just keep him away from the knives and... yeah, you should be ok.

If it weren't for his elvish sense of honor, he wouldn't be going back. He would stay here where life is easier and we have indoor plumbing and conditioner for his hair and, and, air conditioning. Um, nix the ac, I don't think heat or cold would affect him. TV, we have tv! And Sponge Bob!!!

But, if he didn't go back, humanity could be wiped out and then we wouldn't have these things. What a nasty loop that is. Sad to say it, but the elf has to go.
At least you had him for a little while.
Better him than Aragorn, I don't think Strider would have made a very good house guest.


Date: January 19th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prance-legolas.livejournal.com
(from Chapter 22)

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you on this one!

Oh yeah, baby (c al). The Prance could actually grab somebody and kill them, I have no doubt. It's not his preferred method for the exact reasons you listed (plus those knives are so pretty/shiny and all), but he sure knew HOW. And nope, I suck at dodging arrows too, I guess, 'cause we didn't even GO there.

TV, especially the nature programs and the kiddie shows. He would've stayed just for those. I just can''t tell you how many times he hollered for me to come look at what was happening on the tv, only for me to get there and discover it was some sort of wild animal mating ritual thing like peacocks displaying their plumage or lions sniffing each other. He took great delight in watching my face go completely red while he sat there and pretended to be fascinated with that elven twinkle in his eye that said he knew EXACTLY what was going on.

I think we would've had to set up a tent in the yard if Strider had come and stayed for very long. I just can't imagine the ring around the bathtub he'd leave!
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