Title: THE HOBBIT AND THE ELF
A GLEE and LORD OF THE RINGS Crossover
Warnings: extreme sappiness and fluff, Lord of the Rings references
Summary: Blaine, the Hobbitt, meets Kurt, the Elf.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters are the property of J., RIB and FOX. No money is being made with the story. In other words…If Kurt and Blaine were mine, they would be kissing all the time.
1- This is a birthday gift to a very special person. 'Thealmostsmartone', you are awesome. I just want you to never forget that you mean the world to me and that I will always be there for you, no matter what.
2- This idea started a few months ago, when I made a photomanip of Kurt as an Elf and Blaine as a Hobbit. The wonderful 'thealmostsmartone' asked me to write a fic with that plot, but, as always, I was too busy to do it. Last week, with her birthday coming – which is today, by the way – I decided to write it. I hope she likes it, I did my best.
3- This work is not beated. I wrote this is three days and I didn't have time to find a beta to help me. English is not mu first language, so I expect that you will find some mistakes – maybe a lot – here and there. I'm sorry, guys. If I ever find someone to beta this for me, I promise to edit the whole thing. If you find something wrong, please let me know so I can fix it.
4- There is a glossary to those ones to don't know anything about Lord of the Rings. You don't need to know everything about LOTR to read this story, but it will be easier if you are at least familiar with some concepts.
5- Blaine is half-Hobbit and Kurt is Half-Elf. First, because the height difference between them would be too big if they were pure bloods, so… no, just not hot at all for them to be together, Blaine being 3.9 and Kurt being 5.9 feet. No. just no. Second, Elves live forever. I don't want Kurt suffering alone forever after Blaine's death.
6- I am truly sorry about the language. This is Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. Even if the characters are from Glee, I could not have Finn saying "hey, Dude!" or Kurt making a "bitch, please" face. So expressions like "come on", "hey", "let's go" will be very hard to find. I may be have left one or two slip, but only because I didn't have time to read this a hundred times.
7- Kurt is an Elf. Therefore, he speaks Elvish. Just a little. But don't worry, there is a translation right after the Elvish sentences.
THE HOBBIT AND THE ELF – A Glee and Lord of The Rings Crossover.
He was tired and his feet hurt, but as he approached Bree's wooden gates, he felt a little hope coming back. 'Food', he thought, and maybe a place to rest. The journey had been a long one, from across the river and through all the land of Staddle, the village on the southeastern slopes of the Bree hills.
He had entertained the idea of finding shelter at Staddle, but as he passed the houses and the poorly arranged streets, pebbles hurting his bare feet, he could feel the stares and he knew he would find no place to stay there. People stared too much, and he was tired of stares.
All his life, it had been like this. Since he was found at his godfather's door, a crying dirty bundle, they all knew he was different. And different had always been frowned upon in the village. He was too big to be a Halfling, even as a newborn, and yet his slightly pointed ears, barely covered by his curly black hair and hairy feet left no doubt about his ancestry.
Sometimes he got lost in his thoughts, thinking why he had been left at all. Was he so different that not even his mother had wanted him? But then again, he was glad for having been left at his godfather's doorstep. Togo Knotwise, whom he called 'uncle', had a good, kind heart, and had always been a good godfather, taking him under his roof and his protection when no one would have done it. It was better than being left at a man's village, because men were rougher and far less kind. Who knew what men could have done with him as a child. Slavery wasn't unheard of, even now, at the days of the King.
"Don't go, Blaine," Togo had said, his old face the picture of sadness. "The world is too big, too dangerous…Hobbits are not supposed to like adventure."
"I'm not a Hobbit," Blaine answered sadly. "Not areal one, anyway…You know I have to go, uncle," Blaine went on. "I need to find a place that I can call home. You know I don't belong here, if I ever belonged anywhere in this world."
"Don't talk like that, son," Togo said, shaking his head. "I don't like to see you like this. Especially when I don't know when, or if I will ever see you again."
"Uncle, you know how much I love you, but I just… I'm tired. I'm too tall to be a Hobbit and too short to be a Man. How cruelly ironic is that? And nobody but you understands how lonely it is. I just don't want to feel like an outsider anymore."
"You will always have a place to stay here, Blaine. I hope you know that."
"I do, and I'm very grateful. But please, keep your money, uncle Togo," Blaine said, pushing back to his godfather's hands the bag of coins he was offering, refusing to take more money from such a caring person. "I need to learn how to take care of myself. You've been always there, protecting me, but now… I need to do this. On my own."
"I understand," Togo said.
"And I've already abused your generosity too much."
"It was never a question of generosity. I always loved you, Blaine. You were always a sweet boy, despite all your height and clumsiness," the old man murmured, trying to joke, standing on his tiptoes to hug his godson. "But you're right. You really don't belong here, my lad, as much as it pains me to say so. May the Valar protect you. I hope you find what you're looking for."
It was ironic that now his feet were carrying him to a men's village, and it had been his own choice. He would be find a way of embarrassing himself, he had no doubt about that, because on top of everything, he was clumsy and noisy, jumping on furniture whenever he sang, banging doors loudly, like the Hobbit he was. Only, with his size, at least for a Hobbit, he always ended up breaking something and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He lost count of how many things he'd broken in Togo's house, or how many times his head hit the ceiling because he jumped too much. Hobbits lived in holes in the ground, not designed for someone "tall" like him. Nothing, in the village where he'd spent the first twenty years of his life, had been designed for someone like him.
Togo's neighbors surely didn't like him, always singing and making noise everywhere. He'd always had the impression that the people in the Hobbit village only tolerated him, treating him well only because Togo was respected and loved by everyone. But at least in Bree, where Hobbits and Men seemed to live and get along just fine, he supposed he had a chance. He could pass for a short man, if he no one paid too much attention, and if he managed to wear the uncomfortable shoes men always wore. He could find work and a place to stay; Blaine was not afraid of working hard. He only needed a chance to prove himself.
The Prancing Pony was almost empty that night, and when Blaine pushed at the heavy doors slowly, he felt everybody staring at him. But it was a different stare, the kind you give to a newcomer, with only a hint of curiosity.
Blaine took a step forward, only to trip over the doorstep and ended in an ungraceful heap on the floor. He took a deep breath, got up, straightened himself as best as he could and walked straight to the counter, where a fat, long-haired man was cleaning some glasses with a dirty rag.
"Good evening sir," he said, his voice sounding strange to his own ears, after so many days walking alone with no one to talk to. "Do you have a room I could stay in? And perhaps some food? I've been travelling for a long time."
The man eyed him up and down, both eyebrows arched. His gaze stopped at his pointed ears and his plush eyebrows for a while, and when he noticed his slightly hairy and bare feet, the man frowned a little. But no harsh words left his mouth. "That we have, but can you pay for it, Mr.…?"
Blaine hurriedly put three little golden coins on the counter. "Here. It's all I have."
The man picked one coin and bit it, frowning a little. "It's not enough for food and a room."
"Please, sir…" he said, eyes downcast. "I've been travelling for a week. It's been a long time since I had a decent meal and slept in anything resembling a bed."
"I understand," the man said, grimacing. "But I'm sorry, lad, you still have to pay for it. All these coins can get you is some bread and soup."
"Don't you need any help here?" Blaine said hopefully. "I could do the dishes, serve the tables. I – I can sing to the customers!"
"If I let you do the dishes I would have nothing left after a while," the man said, referring to Blaine's clumsiness. "Listen, young man" the fat man said, "I can see you're hungry, and you are welcome to stay and eat as long as you can pay for it. But I don't need help here, and even if I did, I wouldn't be able to pay you. And I definitely don't need anyone to sing. Men come here to drink and to forget their troubles, not to listen to music. These are difficult times, I'm sure you know that… and we barely have enough for ourselves in this village."
"Oh," he said, shoulders hunching. "That means I can't stay, then."
"I am truly sorry, "the big man said, sounding sincere.
"Is it because…?" he started to ask, but lost his courage.
"Because you're a half-blood?" The man gave a short laugh. "I know this is frowned upon in many places, but not here. We really don't care about these things, not in this village, with so many Hobbits around. Not that I've ever seen such a combination, but who am I to judge? I like Hobbits, they never gave my business any trouble and are always very polite when they come here. I don't care what you are, lad, your money is as good to me as anyone's. But I can see that, unfortunately, money is something you don't have."
"I apologize for taking your time, sir," Blaine said, defeated, turning to leave.
"Wait." The man sighed and put a hand on his arm, then let go. "It's not that I don't care. Here, have some bread, on my account. Look, the town was almost devastated by orcs during the war. Then came the men of Harad, destroying everything they touched. Our King is still struggling to solve all the problems, and he can't solve them all at once. The village is poor as it is, I don't believe you will be able to find any kind of job around here, if that's your intention."
"Serve him a full meal, Bilius," said a melodious voice from the end of the room. "I'll pay for it."
Blaine turned to look, but all he could see was a figure clad in a dark green cloak and hood, sitting at the farthest table from where he was and partially hidden by the shadows.
"Are you sure, sir?" The fat long-haired man, Bilius, asked uncertain. "They tend to eat a lot. And this one is big for a Hobbit, which means he certainly eats like two, maybe three of the little ones combined."
"I said serve him a full meal. We can discuss his appetite later." The voice was almost musical, the words softly spoken, but with clear authority behind them.
"I… thank you sir, but I don't need charity," Blaine said, giving a few steps in the direction of the stranger. "I can accept your offer, but only if you let me pay for it in some kind."
"You said you can sing," the melodious voice said, sounding amused, yet strangely melancholic.
"I can," Blaine answered, already regretting it. "I mean, my godfather always said I'm good at singing, but…"
"Do you have a name?" the stranger asked.
"B- Blaine Anderson, sir."
"So…" the man uncrossed his legs elegantly and leaned forward, but not enough to allow his face to be seen. "Sing me something, Blaine Anderson, and consider your debt paid."
Blaine gulped. How on Arda was he supposed to sing to someone with such a beautiful voice? This person could certainly sing better than he ever would. But then he heard the clattering of dishes coming from behind the counter, and he could already smell whatever they had cooking in there. His stomach rumbled loudly.
"I – I'm sorry," he said sheepishly. His stomach grumbled loudly again and Blaine blushed furiously.
"Don't be, it's not something you can control," the stranger chuckled. "You were offering to sing to the customers minutes ago in exchange for food. I am a customer. And…It's been awhile since I heard any other voices singing but mine," he asked, and Blaine found himself unable to do anything but obey.
Blaine took another deep breath. "Courage," he thought, closing his eyes and letting the music flow through him, his strong voice echoing through the walls.
Sing all ye joyful, now sing all together!
The wind's in the tree-top, the wind's in the heather,
The stars are in blossom, the moon is in flower,
And bright are the windows of Night in her tower.
Dance all ye joyful, now dance all together!
Soft is the grass, and let foot be like feather!
The river is silver, the shadows are fleeting;
Merry is May-time, and merry our meeting.
Sing we now softly, and dreams let us weave him!
Wind him in slumber and there let us leave him!
The wanderer sleepeth. Now soft be his pillow!
Lullaby! Lullaby! Alder and Willow!
Sigh no more Pine, till the wind of the morn!
Fall Moon! Dark be the land!
Hush! Hush! Oak, Ash, and Thorn!
Hushed be all water, till dawn is at hand!
When Blaine opened his eyes, he saw that he was standing on a table, sweaty and red from singing and jumping all around. Once again, he had lost himself in the music and had simply let go, not even noticing when he had started to climb on the furniture. He cursed inwardly, thanking the Valar that he hadn't broken anything this time.
"That was beautiful, Mr. Anderson," the stranger said, his voice in an amused tone. "You have a beautiful voice; a very strong one. Now sit by the fire and appreciate your meal. Bilius is not much of a cook, but at least the food is hot."
"Could I at least see the face of my benefector, sir, if it is not much to ask for?" Blaine said boldly, jumping to the floor. He was dying to have a face to associate with that beautiful voice.
"Of course," the stranger said, getting up and stepping into the light. "It's the least I can do, after you shared your talent with me." Looking around, Blaine could see that the place was almost empty now, save for the two of them and Bilius, who was busy serving Blaine's plate.
The first thing Blaine noticed was that the person was two or three inches taller than him, lithe, with fluid and gracious movements, like a dancer. Then, a very pale hand left the hidden folds of the cloak. It was thin, with long fingers, certainly made to play instruments, Blaine was almost sure of that. When the hood was lifted, Blaine let out a gasp.
In front of him was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen in his whole life. Porcelain skin, perfect nose, rosy and thin lips, and blue eyes that changed to green and gray every time the man blinked. But as soon as Blaine thought that, he realized he was wrong. That was no man. There was no mistaking the light brown, long hair, held in a single braid, and the pointy ears.
"An elf…!" Blaine said, mesmerized by the elf's beauty. He had never seen one.
The elf smiled, albeit a little sadly. "Not quite," he said softly, melancholic glasz eyes scanning the room sharply. "Not quite," he said again, almost to himself. "I am Kurt," he said, this time addressing Blaine, bowing his head a little, in a gracious movement. "Kurt Hummel."
Blaine kept his mouth open like an idiot, unable to stop staring. He was making a fool of himself, he knew, but his ability to speak had left him the moment he had laid eyes on Kurt's perfect face.
Blaine's stare and dumb expression apparently made Kurt uncomfortable, because the elf blinked at him a few times, blushed and looked around. "Bilius? Where is the food?" he said a little too loudly to the fat man, who was already approaching them with a steaming plate.
Blaine would have said he was sorry for embarrassing Kurt, if he'd been capable of speaking. Only, he had never seen someone so beautiful in his whole life, and not even the smell coming from the plate – which in Blaine's opinion, smelled like Heaven, if Heaven had a smell, so hungry he was – could distract him from the elf's face.
"You can go, Bilius," Kurt said, when the man put the plate on the table by the fire. "It's already too late; go and take some rest. I will open the door for the others when they arrive."
"Yes, sir. Good night, sir," Bilius mumbled, then he looked at Blaine. "What about him?"
"Don't worry, your services will be well paid, as always," Kurt said softly, but with authority, and Bilius bowed hastily and left.
The silence was so great when the man left, that even the wind blowing softly against the gaps of the windows could be heard.
"Aren't you going to eat?" Kurt asked, arching graciously one eyebrow, after a few minutes.
"Oh!" Blaine finally snapped out of his daze. "Yes, thank you."
He practically attacked the food, while Kurt sat in front of him and watched with an amused expression. If before he could barely utter a word, now that he had started eating, Blaine couldn't control his desire to keep talking, and he soon found himself spilling the story of his life to Kurt, like they'd been friends forever. He didn't even care that he was speaking with is mouth full, while he told Kurt all the ups and downs of being a "big" Hobbit, like they called him. Well, more downs than ups, from his point of view, but he managed to make it sound funny. He didn't want anyone's pity, especially from the beautiful elf.
"They always needed me to hang the decorations, every time there was to be a party in the village," Blaine said, talking about his life in the Hobbit small town. "I was the only one who could reach the trees. But they also always ended up hiding part the food from me, because more than once I ate almost everything before the party started."
Yes, it was common knowledge that the Hobbits were legendary gluttons. The laugh Kurt gave startled Blaine and made his heart flutter in a funny way, and his stomach gave a little flip. Maybe he had already eaten too much and too fast, as always, and was having gas pains, he thought. But he couldn't stop thinking that the sound of Kurt's laugh was the most beautiful sound in the world, and that there was nothing he wouldn't do to hear it over and over again.
It was past midnight when a loud bang on the door was heard. Kurt got up from his chair and walked to the door, opening with without hesitation.
A man dressed in brown entered the inn. He was older than Kurt and bald, but tall and strong, and he carried himself with pride and authority. It was obvious he was a leader.
"I apologize for being late," he said, smiling tiredly at Kurt. "But the wind was too strong on the other side of the hill, making it difficult to walk, and the night is too dark."
"There is no moon tonight," Kurt observed.
The bald man stepped inside and looked behind him, saying, "Well, come inside, men. We have reached our destination for tonight. We deserve all the rest we can get."
One by one, four men entered the inn, following the leader, all dressed like him, all smiling slightly at Kurt and clasping his arm in a greeting familiar gesture.
"Puck, Sam, Art…" Kurt greeted them in return. "And how are you, Finn?" he said to the last one, the tallest of them all.
"I am well, brother," the second in command answered, smiling down at the elf. "But I am tired and hungry. The night is cold and we didn't want to stop to eat until we reached the border.
"You talk like there was any food left for us to eat, my friend," Puck complained, already walking to the kitchen. "I hope Bilius left us some ale."
"There is food in the kitchen. The soup is still hot," Kurt said. "And yes, the ale is there, and there's plenty."
"Well, let's not wait then, let's eat, men!" Finn said, patting Kurt on the back and walking with the others to the kitchen.
"How are you, son?" The leader said, finally stepping in front of Kurt and holding the elf in his arms.
"Well as expected, Father."
Burt Hummel marveled once again at how frail his son Kurt looked, but knowing that being partially Elf, partially Human, with the blood of the Númenóreans and the Eldar combined, Kurt was anything but weak. He was a fierce and skilled warrior, if only a little short for an Elf, but there was no denying that his grace, beauty and battle skills came from the Fair Folk.
Burt had met Lizbethwen Telemnar, Kurt's mother, when he was very young, when he first started patrolling the borders with his kin, the Dúnedain, and had fallen for her instantly. She was half-elven, raised in Lothlórien, and therefore, she could have chosen either a mortal or an immortal life; like all the half-Elves could. And yet she had chosen him. She had never regretted bonding herself to him, to a mortal life, and that was something Burt would never understand, because she was so perfect and he was just an Edain, even though he had the blood of Númenor in his veins.
Kurt was their only son, and for a while they'd lived happy on the other side of the Aduin. But when the Dark Shadow started over Middle Earth, orcs had killed his sweet wife, leaving Burt unable to deal with his son. As an elfling that was still too young to live away from his mother, Kurt was very fragile. Burt had no idea how to take care of him. He had taken Kurt to Lothlórien to be raised by the elves, and dedicated his life to protect his son and the forests the elves loved so much against the ones that had killed Lizbethwen.
He visited Kurt often, but the orcs had grown more and more numerous as the years went by and since the War of the Ring had started, Burt had seen his son less and less. Being graced with the long life of Númenor, Burt had been able to see his son grow up until adulthood. Now Kurt was sixty, fully grown, a proud warrior, perfectly able to protect himself and anyone else that happened to be near him.
Now Kurt was leaving to Valinor, and Burt would never see him again.
Kurt had heard the cries of the gulls on the shore and now his heart longed for the sea. Burt had no idea how it worked, this longing for the sea that apparently every single elf experienced one day…especially Kurt not being a pure-blood elf. But he knew that when an elf started longing for the sea, he had to go to Valinor. It was simple like that, one of the unquestionable things of the elven ways, and it wasn't Burt's place to question that. He was just a Man, after all. And he had promised his son that, when the time came for him to leave, Burt and the son from his second marriage – to a human, this time – Kurt's half-brother, Finn, would escort Kurt to the Grey Havens. A final goodbye.
"Who is he?" Finn asked, after burping loudly and apparently only seeing Blaine when they all had finished eating.
Kurt looked at the farthest corner of the room, where Blaine was sleeping peacefully, still at his bench, head resting on his folded arms over the table. Blaine hadn't stopped talking for some time, but Kurt could see him getting more and more exhausted. Suddenly, the dark-haired boy had fallen asleep, almost in mid-sentence. Kurt didn't have the heart to disturb him, and he certainly would not make him leave the inn, not in this cold night and knowing full well that Blaine had nowhere to go.
Blaine appeared to be sleeping so profoundly that not even the loud laughter from the men had awoken him. The sight of him sleeping made Kurt's heart ache in a way he had not experienced before.
"He's a friend," Kurt answered, a soft smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
Burt arched his eyebrows at the soft tone on his son's voice. "I thought you were traveling alone son."
"I am," Kurt answered. "I met him just a few hours ago."
"And he's already a friend?"
"We're alike," Kurt said. "He's only looking for a place to belong." Just like me,Kurt left unsaid.
Burt look at the sleeping lad, taking in his curly black hair, his plush eyebrows, his slightly pointed ears, the faintly hairy feet that, in his case, were perfectly well proportioned for his body. "He's a Hobbit?" he asked frowning, because it was so obvious he was one, only he was too big for a real Hobbit.
And then it clicked in his head, what Kurt had said. Blaine was half-Hobbit, half-Human, just like Kurt was ¾ Human, ¼ Elf. If Burt had ever had any doubt about his son feeling lonely, the doubt was gone in that moment.
Elves were kind creatures, who knew no prejudice of race or gender. Except, maybe, for their feelings towards the Dwarves, but that was a story for another day. Burt had witnessed more than once the kindness the elves had always showed towards Kurt as he was growing up, treating him as an equal.
But the truth was that Kurt had never felt like he really belonged, especially because, even though he looked like an elf, with all the strength and grace naturals to the fair race, he was very much mortal.
Elves didn't die, they didn't age; they could die only in battle or of a broken heart, which was extremely rare. Even the half-elves, the offspring of Elves and Men combined, could be like that if they chose to remain immortal, Like Lord Elrond of Rivendell. But not Kurt.
Kurt would have a long life, of course, but not that long – he certainly wasn't going to live a thousand years, like his mother. Although he looked like a pure-blood elf, his elven blood was already too mixed with the mortal blood, his mother being a half-elf herself. So, Kurt didn't have the choice the half-elves had. He would never be able to choose. He could get sick, he could get wounded, he would die like any mortal man, although Burt knew that he would always look like this, like a young lad. Kurt had three times the age of most of Burt's men, yet he looked a lot younger than all of them.
His mortality was the reason Kurt was alone till this day. Elves bonded romantically only once in their lives, and since they lived forever, their bond was unbreakable. So strong it was that, if one of them was killed, the other died of a broken heart. It was going to happen with their Queen, Arwen Undómiel, who had married a mortal Man. Elessar Telcontar would have a long life, he was one of Burt's kin, a Dúnedain, but he wasn't going to live forever, and Lady Arwen was going to die sad and alone, missing her soulmate; a fate she had chosen for herself when she had married the King and had chosen a mortal life. It was going to happen with Lizbethwen, who had chosen the same fate, had she not being killed by the orcs.
Kurt had never bonded himself to anyone. Maybe he hadn't found the right one yet, but Burt suspected that there was a lot more behind Kurt's insistence in remaining alone. His son, being mortal, didn't want to submit another elf to the fate of dying of a broken heart after he passed away. It would be too heartbreaking, and Kurt didn't want this guilt upon his shoulders. Burt could only hope that Kurt would find some comfort in Valinor. Spending one's life alone was a very sad thing. Burt thanked the Valar numerous times for having found Carole, his second wife, even if it had been more than twenty years after Lizbethwen's death. He could say she had given him back his will to live, and a new family.
"What are you going to do with him?" Burt finally asked Kurt, eyeing the sleeping Hobbit.
"I don't know, Father. But for tonight I will let him rest in the room Bilius prepared for you. There's an extra bed.
"That bed is yours, you know." Finn pointed out.
"You know I rarely sleep, brother," Kurt said.
"Yes, but even so, we don't need anyone to stand guard tonight," Puck observed. "We are indoors, and we checked the nearest borders. All is secure."
"One can never be too safe," Art, the most prudent of them all said. "If your brother wants to stand guard tonight, let him. It will help me sleep a lot better, knowing he's watching," he chuckled, knowing that staying awake at night was no effort at all for the elf.
"I appreciate, Kurt," Sam said. "But we will take turns on the journey to the Grey Havens, so you can rest too."
"Of course," Kurt bowed his head, smiling a little. "Now you better go to sleep; you look like you need it."
"We all do, son," Burt said, nodding.
Kurt approached Blaine and shook his shoulder slowly. "Blaine? Wake up. Blaine?"
But all he got from Blaine was a resounding snore.
"Blaine…?" Kurt insisted.
"Not now, uncle. Let me sleep, I can chase the chicken for supper later," Blaine mumbled, lost in a dream.
"Um… perhaps you could help me, Finn? Could you carry him to the room…?" the elf asked, amused, eyeing the Hobbit with tender eyes. He looked like a child, sleeping like he trusted the world would take god care of him.
Finn sighed. "I hope he is as light as he looks." He lifted Blaine in his arms unceremoniously and, of course, Blaine stirred instantly.
"What?" he mumbled, eyes darting around nervously, seeing so much strange men around.
"Shh…"Kurt said, putting a hand on Blaine's arm to calm him, as he walked beside Finn to the room Bilius had set for the travelers. "Everything is fine, Blaine. This is my brother, Finn, and he's helping me to take you to bed."
"A real bed?" Blaine mumbled hopefully, closing his eyes again in exhaustion.
"Yes, a real bed." Kurt said, unable to suppress a smile at Blaine's tone. "You are going to sleep in a real bed tonight."
Blaine opened his eyes, just a little, looking at Kurt with grateful eyes. "Thank you," he said, closing them again against Finn's arm.
"It is nothing," Kurt said, but before he could finish, Blaine opened his eyes again, if only for a few seconds, this time looking at Finn with amazement.
"You are Kurt's brother?" he asked, suddenly sounding a lot more awake, even though his eyes were closed again. "It is good that he has a brother. Although you don't look like an elf at all. You look to 'rough' to be an elf, you're not nearly as beautiful as he is. I have no siblings, not that I know of. But it is really good Kurt has a brother, you know? I always wanted to have one. And…you are so tall…!"
"Sleep, Blaine," Kurt said, half-smiling, as Finn finally put Blaine on the bed with a sigh of relief. "I thought you were tired?"
"I am," Blaine mumbled, not even bothering to open his eyes again. "I'm just really intrigued at all these people suddenly here. I hope they don't mind having me around. Are they all friends of yours?"
"Sweet Arda, make him stop talking, Kurt!" Finn muttered but he, too, was smiling a little.
"Blaine…" Kurt murmured, running his hand to Blaine's soft curls. "Kaima e' seere, mellon-nín." (sleep peacefully, my friend).
Blaine quieted immediately.
"I don't know how you do that, my friend, but I could certainly use this with my children," Sam said, mesmerized.
"Good night, lads," Kurt said evenly, taking one last look at Blaine's sleeping form and leaving the room.
"Are you really sure it is no trouble if I come with you?" Blaine asked Burt for the hundredth time. "I don'twant to be a nuisance.
"My son, invited you, didn't he?" Burt said, as Blaine trailed behind him as an overexcited puppy. "He said you could come with us, so here you are."
"But-but what happens once we get on the Grey Havens?" Blaine asked again.
"Kurt leaves to Valinor and we go back home," Finn answered, already accustomed with Blaine's incessant talking. They had been on their way for almost twelve hours now, and Blaine hadn't stopped talking once.
"And where is home?" Blaine said sadly. "I have no home to go back to."
"We will think of something, young one. Don't worry," Burt said, hoping that would stop Blaine's questions for a while.
"How do I not get worried, sir?" Blaine asked, "When I don't know what my future will be? If I at least had – "
"Well, if you don't stop talking, at least for a few minutes, I can't think properly," Burt snapped. Frankly, did this lad was physically incapable of remaining quiet?
"Oh," Blaine said. "I am sorry, sir. You won't hear my voice anytime soon."
Burt felt a twinge of guilt at Blaine's sad tone. "It's just that…we are used to travel in silence, lad. You never know when enemies will cross our path."
"Enemies? You mean we are un danger?" the Hobbit said, eyes very wide.
"Blaine, please!" Burt said again, rolling his eyes. "Keep quiet. And yes, enemies, and we won't be able to hear them coming with you talking all the time."
Blaine nodded, quiet, making an angelical face, and kept walking between Burt and Finn, but almost running to keep up with their pace.
Not even five minutes passed.
"Where is Kurt?" Blaine asked. "Why hasn't he come back yet?"
"Sweet Valar!" murmured Sam, rolling his eyes. "I really wish he was here, my friend. Maybe he would convince you to – oh, never mind."
"Well, where is he?" Blaine insisted.
"Elves are like that," Puck explained. "Always running ahead of everyone, making sure everything is calm and safe in our path."
"Oh," Blaine said sadly. "He said he wouldn't take long."
"He will be back soon," Burt assured the Hobbit.
"I thought he had gone hunting," Blaine said morosely.
"Hunting for what?" Fin wanted to know.
"Our lunch, of course!" Blaine said. "I hope he finds a partridge. I have some delicious spices in my pack, and I will cook a wonderful meal for us."
"Haven't you eaten an apple two hours ago?" Sam asked.
"No, of course not. I had three," Blaine explained seriously. "But that was only the second breakfast, you know. It's almost time for luncheon now, and we already skipped elevensies."
"How many times a day do you eat?" Art asked, bemused.
"Seven times, of course!" Blaine answered, like it was the most natural thing in the world. "There's breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper!"
"You are going to be disappointed, young man," Burt said, trying to hide a smile. "We eat two or three times a day when we are traveling, if we are lucky."
"Three?" Blaine said, his eyes huge, in horror. "How on Arda did you all get so big if you barely eat?"
"How on Arda didn't you get fat as a watermelon, eating so much, I ask myself," Art muttered, barely hiding a smile of his own.
Blaine's incessant talking was a bit annoying, but they all were trying not to smile and look serious, like the rangers they were, which meant they weren't annoyed at all. They usually travelled in silence, and it could get sad and boring sometimes. The silence was necessary when they were patrolling the borders, but they had already done that and everything seemed to be fine. It was nice to have someone new in the group, if only for a while. Blaine's never ending chatter provided a background noise that wasn't unpleasant to the quiet men.
Kurt hadn't found any partridge, but he had brought two rabbits with him. A relieved Blaine started to follow him instead of Burt, much for Kurt's father relief. That night, they'd all had dinner by the fire, and of course, Blaine had cooked the rabbits with the spices he'd brought. It was delicious, in Kurt's opinion. The men said nothing but judging by the way they ate with gusto, they all had liked the meal very much.
They all had settled for sleep after that, but around midnight, Kurt noticed Blaine growing restless, tossing and turning on the bedroll.
"Are you hungry?" he asked, kneeling near Blaine, when he heard the familiar noise of Blaine's stomach rumbling again.
"Um…" Blaine hesitated.
"Elves have very accurate hearing. Don't worry; it was not that loud; they heard nothing." He said, guessing that Blaine had been teased the entire day because of his appetite. "I brought some fruit with me, it's in my pack. Do you want some?"
Blaine jumped from the bedroll in the blink of an eye, his face lighting with a huge smile."Supper?"
"Yes, Blaine," Kurt said, smiling. "Come sit by the fire."
Blaine trotted happily behind Kurt, and when the Elf handed him a bag with some fruit, Blaine eyed them hesitantly.
"You can eat all of them, you know," Kurt said. "We'll find some more tomorrow."
"Are you sure?" Blaine asked. I don't want to eat the other's food.
"It's not theirs, it's yours," Kurt answered. "I picked them for you."
Blaine's eyes lit again. "You did?" The he eyed the fruit almost reverently. "No one has ever picked fruit for me before. In fact, no one but Uncle Togo paid me too much attention."
Kurt chuckled. "This is hard to believe. You probably had tons of Hobbit ladies banging at your door, begging for your attention."
"Hobbit ladies are not for me," Blaine mumbled, eyes glued to the ground, taking a huge bite of the fruit."Ladies in general are not for me. I usually don't feel comfortable around them, and they don't seem to understand me too much. The human ones are even more complicated."
They sat side by side, backs resting on a huge tree.
"What about you?" Blaine asked. "All the men we are traveling with are married and have families, even your father. Why are you going to Valinor alone?"
"Elven Ladies don't understand me. And the human ones are even more complicated," Kurt said, imitating Blaine's tone.
"Are you mocking me?" Blaine asked, frowning.
"Not at all!" Kurt hurried to explain. "It is just another thing I believe we have in common, Blaine."
"What do you mean? What could we possibly have in common,Kurt? I'm just a clumsy Hobbit, and you are…you are perfect!" Blaine said, blushing.
"I am far from perfect, Blaine. The Elves' beauty is overrated. If you are an Elf, this is all you hear from everyone you meet. There are other kinds of beauty, believe me; I've lived long enough to know that, as sure as the sun will come out tomorrow. And you… you are beautiful, Blaine," Kurt murmured. "You are always smiling, even though you have been through really rough times. It is very hard to find someone like that."
Blaine's heart started to beat fast, and his stomach gave flip-flops again. "Beautiful? I – I am no such thing, Kurt," he said, suddenly getting up. "It is not good to fool myself into thinking that I am like everybody else."
"You are not," Kurt said, sincerely. "That is what makes you unique. That is why you are a beautiful creature, who deserves to be happy. I hope you find what you are looking for, someday, and also, that you find someone to share your life with."
Blaine didn't say anything for a while. How could he? He wanted to say to Kurt that he had already found what he was looking for and yes, it was Kurt himself. He had completely fallen for the elf, but he would never tell him that, of course. First, because Kurt was an Elf, and Blaine was a… no one. Second, he was sure Kurt would say Blaine was only impressed by the Elf's beauty, since they had met only a few days ago.
Kurt was the most perfect creature Blaine had ever seen, so yes, Blaine Anderson, from The Marish, across the Brandywine River, was very impressed by Kurt Hummel's beauty. But it was not only that. Being with Kurt made Blaine feel like home and that was an alien feeling for him. He had never, in his whole life, felt at peace, like the way he did when the Elf was around. So, of course, Kurt would never return his feelings. But Blaine would be happy to be Kurt's friend forever, if that meant he could keep seeing him always.
But Kurt was leaving Middle-Earth.
"What about you?" Blaine finally asked, sitting down beside Kurt again. "What are you looking for? Why are your eyes always so sad? Is this because you are leaving? Do you not want to leave?"
Kurt laughed a little. "So many questions…!" He looked at Blaine with amused ayes, but suddenly, something changed, and he grew serious. "Elves are melancholic creatures, it has always been like that," Kurt said, evading Blaine's question. "When you see too much of this world, you get a little… tired. Like you have already seen all there is to see. As for wanting to leave… It is not really a choice, it is more like a call. But I think I will miss Middle-Earth very much when I'm gone."
"Then don't go!" Blaine said on an impulse.
"Oh." Kurt blushed, looking to the ground. Then he sighed, closing his eyes for a second. "Blaine… there is nothing for me here now. All the elves are leaving to Valinor; It is only natural that I go. It is the next step in the life of an Elf."
"You said you feel we were alike…" Blaine blurted out. "Because you feel like…you don't belong with them. Just like I feel about the Hobbits. So I don't understand…Why do you have to go and live with the elves forever if you feel it's not your place?"
"There is nothing for me here," Kurt repeated, sadly. "Valinor is the only option I have of ever finding some peace."
"I don't understand," Blaine insisted. "I left my village because I didn't fit in. Why do you go willingly to somewhere you don't – " Blaine stopped in mid-sentence, looking at the pure sadness in Kurt's eyes. The last thing he wanted was to distress the elf being too insistent, too nosy. "I – I am sorry," he stuttered. "It is not my place to – " He sighed. "I know the elves were nothing but kind with you, unlike the people I met back home. I am going back to sleep. Please forgive me."
"You have no idea how brave you are. Leaving everything you know behind was a very brave thing to do. Perhaps…" Kurt said, avoiding Blaine's eyes, but putting a hand on his shoulder to stop him from getting up. "Perhaps I am not so brave."
"I don't believe that." Blaine said vehemently. "You are perfect, and it is not only because you are beautiful. You are kind, Kurt. You helped me, a complete stranger, when no one wanted to. You are brave, because all the men talk about you, and they say great things. Your father is very proud of you. So don't try to change my mind about this. You are a perfect creature, and that is my final word."
Kurt smiled, amused by Blaine's speech, but also touched. "Hannon le," (thank you) he said.
"What does it mean?" Blaine asked, curious.
"It means 'thank you', Blaine," Kurt answered.
"Can I ask you something?" Blaine said on an impulse.
"Of course; you can ask me anything."
Blaine took a deep breath. "Don't walk so ahead of us tomorrow. And all the other days. I feel sad when – I mean, the men feel sad when you are not around."
"Oh?" Kurt raised an eyebrow. "I thought they didn't mind."
"Well, if they don't, I do," Blaine said hurriedly, before his courage left him. "I mean, they – they don't pay me much attention. I don't think they like me very much."
Kurt shook his head. "It is impossible not to like you."
"It is?" Blaine asked, caramel eyes wide.
Kurt widened his eyes too, like he had just realized what he had said. "I mean – well, you… you – "
"If you don't mind my company, we could walk together?" Blaine said in a rush. "You could teach me a few words in Elvish and – that is, if I am not annoying you and – "
"Not at all!" Kurt exclaimed, looking very embarrassed all of a sudden. I would love to teach you Elvish and I – I like your company."
"Really?" Blaine's whole face lit up in a big smile he couldn't control.
"Really," Kurt answered, but suddenly got up, looking everywhere. "I – I need to go find – I need to keep guard. You need to sleep. Goodnight Blaine!"
Not even Kurt's sudden departure too the foolish grin off Blaine's face.
They spent the next few days like this: Kurt and Blaine walking side by side,talking and laughing about the silly and funny things Blaine always said. Kurt taught him a few words in Elvish, and Blaine was a fast learner, which pleased Kurt very much. Ha had not been able to teach Elvish neither to his father, nor to his brother. It was not that they were stupid; it just meant that Blaine had a natural talent for learning.
"Do you have many books? Blaine would ask, eyes dreaming. "Uncle Togo had a few, but I have read most of them too fast, and soon there was nothing left for me to read."
"I left all my books in Lothlórien," Kurt would say, but then remember that he would not go back, and keep quiet for a few seconds, thinking. Until something Blaine said would make him laugh again.
The days were hot, but the nights were cold. After dinner – which Blaine would always cook, happy to be useful – the men would sit by the fire and tell stories until sleep overtook them. Blaine always had something funny to tell, and he felt that, bit by bit, the rangers were starting not only to tolerate him, but to really like him.
Sometimes he would catch Kurt's eyes across the fire, and the intensity of the Elf's gaze on him would make him completely forget what he was saying. Burt and Finn would look at him knowingly, then one of them would pat his back, and Blaine would remember how to breathe again.
After everyone was asleep, Kurt would open his bag and give Blaine the fruit he had collected for him earlier. They would walk together to a tree a little bit away from the sleeping man, sit side by side and talk about anything and everything. Then Blaine would yawn, Kurt would smile and tell him to go to sleep.
Once in a while one of the men stayed awake at night, guarding the camp, so Kurt could rest a little. He would spread his bedroll beside Burt and Finn, because he always did so when they traveled together.
"Come here, Blaine, sit with me by the fire," Puck said one night when he was on guard "I can see you're not asleep so if you don't mind, sing me a song from the Shire. Kurt said your voice is very good."
Blaine nodded and went happily. Anything so he wouldn't miss Kurt's company tonight. He understood that the Elf needed to spend some time with his father and brother, since he was going away forever and – he shook his head to send the unpleasant thought away.
"What's wrong?" Puck asked.
"Nothing," Blaine answered hurriedly. "I can sing you something from The Marish, where I come from."
A few meters away, Kurt watched Blaine singing, trying to stay very quiet on the bedroll. Blaine had the most beautiful voice; strong, yet melodious, each note echoing wonderfully in the silent night.
"You like him, don't you?"
Kurt startled, looking up. Burt was sitting beside him, rubbing his eyes sleepily.
"Yes, he is a good friend."
"I don't mean like that," Burt said. "You were staring at him, and there was longing in your eyes, Kurt."
"I don't know what you are talking about," Kurt tried to avoid the subject as best as he could.
"Yes, you do," Burt said. "Look, if you like him, why don't you – "
"Father, please!" Kurt said, exasperated.
"What? There is nothing wrong with you two staying together! I know how lonely you are, Kurt. And I am not blind; I can see the way Blaine looks at you. He is a good lad, if a bit noisy."
"In case you have forgotten, I am leaving."
"Look, son, I know I don't have a say in this. It is your life and you are a grown-up. But are you sure you have to leave?"
"Yes, I am," Kurt answered sadly. "Of all the things I could have… inherited from my Elven blood…" Kurt sighed, "This longing for the sea is definitely one of them. I know you don't understand, Father. But once the longing for Valinor starts, an Elf must sail. Or the longing will consume him. If I don't go, I will turn into a bitter and sad creature, and this is something I cannot allow to happen."
"What about Blaine?"
Kurt looked at the smiling Hobbit, across the camp. "He will stay. That is why I can't – "
"I know," Burt said. "This is about the 'bonding' thing, isn't it? If you start something… you will not be able to leave him."
"That is true. I only wish… that I could be certain that he will be safe. He has nowhere else to go."
"I can't promise I will take care of him, but I can take him with me to the village."
"I don't know, Father. A men's village…?"
"Or you could change your mind and stay."
"That is not an option."
"Kurt…" Burt sighed when his son looked away from him, determined. "Alright, I know. But you are aiming for a broken heart, whether you stay or go."
"There is nothing I can do about it." I already feel my heart being torn in two, Kurt thought.
Blaine rolled, tossed and turned on his bedroll again. Not from hunger, like the night before, but because he was afraid of having upsetting Kurt somehow. The elf had spent the whole day quieter than usual, leaving early to inspect the road ahead of them and coming back with food hours later. By midnight, he slipped an apple into Blaine's hand, saying 'good night' softly, before disappearing between the foliage.
But Blaine couldn't sleep. What would he do if the Elf decided he was tired of him? He cursed his own insistent chatter, his big mouth and his habit of poking his nose into something that was not his business. The simple thought of Kurt not wanting him around anymore sent a dull ache deep inside his heart, and he didn't know what to do with that.
He heard the rustling of leaves and opened his eyes. The fire had died and everything was quiet. He knew Kurt was staying awake on guard again, insisting that he hardly got tired and that the men needed to sleep, but he had no idea where the elf was.
Suddenly, his ears picked a faint sound. A song, brought by the faint wind. The voice was the most beautiful thing Blaine had ever heard in his whole life. And he knew it could only belong to one being.
He approached the place where the song was coming from as slowly and silently as he could, but he knew that Kurt's elven ears would hear him coming. He didn't want to intrude, but he just couldn't stay away.
When he reached a large oak tree, he looked around, but Kurt was nowhere in sight. Suddenly, he looked up and there was the elf, perched on a branch like it was the most natural thing in the world. Their eyes met, illuminated by the bright moonlight, and Blaine could swear that Kurt was glowing, so pale his skin was.
"What are you doing up there?" Blaine asked.
"Resting and guarding your sleep."
"You rest on a branch? What if you fall?"
Kurt gave a melodious laughter that made Blaine's heart skip a beat. "Elves do not fall, Blaine."
They kept looking at each other, none of them moving.
"What are you doing awake?" Kurt asked after a while.
"I heard you sing," Blaine answered. "It was…not a sound of this world."
Kurt laughed again. "I hope this was a compliment."
Blaine only nodded.
Kurt sighed deeply and jumped, stopping right in front of Blaine. "Do you know any elven songs?"
Blaine gulped, because Kurt was so close that he could feel the elf's breath, soft puffs on his face. "My uncle used to sing 'Evenstar' to me when I was little. He knows a bit of Elvish. I only know the parts in Westron."
Kurt took a deep breath and began to sing.
Ú i vethed nâ i onnad. Si boe ú-dhanna. Ae ú-esteli, esteliach nad.
Estelio han, estelio han, estelio, estelio han, estelio veleth.
Oo ee veh-thehd nah ee ohn-nahd.
See boh oo-thahn-nah
Eye oo-ess-tell-ee, ess-tell-ee-akh nahd.
Ess-tell-ee-oh hahn, ess-tell-ee-oh hahn, ess-tell-ee-oh,
Ess-tell-ee-oh hahn, ess-tell-ee-oh vehl-ehth.
Kurt stopped, smiling at Blaine. "Now it's your turn," he said. "Sing with me, Blaine."
Blaine could do nothing but oblige. He found himself unable to deny Kurt not even a simple thing, although he was sure that his strong voice would be dissonant from Kurt's ethereal one. But he knew that part of the song, so he started to sing, putting all his heart into it.
This is not the end...it is the beginning.
You cannot falter now.
If you don't trust this, trust nothing else.
Trust this, trust this, trust,
Trust this, trust love.
Kurt's hand found Blaine's and he squeezed it lightly. They started to sing the verses together, each one in his own language, and the result was beautiful. Their voices complimented each other, harmonizing perfectly together.
Ú i vethed nâ i onnad. Nâ boe ú i. Esteliach nad, estelio han.
Oo ee veh-thehd nah ee ohn-nahd.
Nah boh oo ee.
Esstell-ee-akh nahd, ess-tell-ee-oh hahn.
This is not the end...it is the beginning.
You should not do this.
If you trust anything, trust this.
When they ended the song, they kept staring at each other in silence, Kurt's hand still intertwined with Blaine's. They were so close that Blaine closed his eyes at the onslaught of emotion that ran over him.
"Blaine…" Kurt murmured, his other hand resting o Blaine's chin in the softest of touches. "Something is happening."
Blaine opened his eyes and lost himself in the glasz ones of the Elf, so bright and alive in the moonlight. "I know," he said, unable to look away.
"Your voice… is so beautiful. You sound like a dulin, (bird), a Warbler.
"You sound like an angel," Blaine declared.
Kurt came impossibly closer. "I am finding this too difficult to fight," he whispered.
"Then don't," Blaine half-whispered, half-pleaded. Kurt was so, so close, Blaine could almost –
When Kurt kissed him, soft and gentle, Blaine thought he was dreaming. Nothing in the whole world could ever compare with the feeling of the Elf's soft lips on his. He sighed happily into the kiss, wishing it would last forever.
"Oh, man! What a beautiful song!" Finn's voice was heard from somewhere very, very near.
Kurt and Blaine jumped almost one meter away from each other, releasing the other's hands, as if burned. One second later Finn's tall form appeared from behind a tree.
"This was wonderful, Blaine." The tall man said, smiling at them. "Your voices combined…it was so, so beautiful! You are great together!"
"Errr… thank you, Finn," Blaine stammered, still feeling his hand and chin tingling from Kurt's touch.
"Hannon le, toror," (Thank you, brother) Kurt said, looking flustered.
"Look, Kurt, I think it's a very good thing to have Blaine here with us, but I think you could use your time together to teach him something else beside Elvish? Like, how to handle a sword? "
"I - don't know…"Blaine said, uncertain. "I am sure I would never have the courage to hurt someone, Finn."
"But you need to learn how to defend yourself!" Finn argued."In less than a week, we will reach the Grey Havens. Kurt will leave, and we will go back to our home for a while. But…How about you, Blaine? You can't be on your own and not know anything about protection! One day you can be at a bar, fooling around and drinking, and someone may want to pick up a fight…"
Blaine sighed. The mere thought of Kurt going away, never to return, made him feel as if there was a ton of bricks inside his heart. "This will not happen."
"Finn is right, Blaine," Kurt finally said, sounding and looking sad too, as if a shadow had suddenly descended over him. "These times are a lot better than before, but there are still some orcs and Haradrim here and there. I don't want you to get hurt."
"That's settled, then!" Finn said, rubbing his hands together. "Starting tomorrow, we will teach you how to use a sword. I know we don't have too much time, but it is better than nothing. I am sure Father will approve."
"We?" Kurt asked.
"Yes, brother, of course! I will help you! I know how much you love to run ahead of us when we are travelling; I would never take you away from that! And you haven't done it for a few days now! So I will take upon myself the task to teach our friend during our daily breaks, and you can teach him Elvish when the night falls. What do you say?"
Kurt only nodded, giving Finn a faint smile.
"What were you doing here, away from the camp, by the way?"
"Um… singing?" Blaine answered with a fake smile.
"Oh, yes, right. Don't worry, Blaine. I won't leave you alone!" Finn added, patting Blaine's back. "The men can help too!"
"Thank you so much, Finn," Blaine said, wondering if any of them had been able to detect the bit of sarcasm in his voice.
The next three days passed in a blur. Between Finn's lessons, carrying a heavy sword around – they had spare swords, imagine that! – walking – almost running – trying to keep up with the tall men and eating – sadly – only four times a day, Blaine was exhausted. He longed to spend some time alone with Kurt. He waited anxiously for the nights, when everybody would be asleep so he and Kurt could talk.
There was something very strong growing between them, and Blaine wanted, needed, to sort out what it was. He grew restless every time Kurt was away from them, and the simple presence of the Elf around made everything alright again, even if most of the times they were only able to stare at each other from opposite sides of the camp.
Finn had not been joking when he said he would not leave Blaine alone. In fact, teaching him had become the new 'project' of the group. All of them, Burt included, wanted to give Blaine one or two advices about their own fighting techniques, and when the nights came, after the final lesson with Kurt, Blaine was so drained that he was asleep, not even caring to spread his bedroll properly.
He often woke up in the middle of the night, arms sore and feet hurting. He stayed awake, waiting to hear Kurt's voice singing from the top of one of the trees surrounding them, but he didn't have the strength to get up and join the elf, so tired he was. He fell back to sleep shortly after hearing Kurt's songs echoing in the night, taking comfort from the knowledge that the elf was around.
Yet, as the days passed and they got closer to the Grey Havens, Blaine's heart was beginning to literally ache. He was getting better with the sword, but he was also getting desperate. He couldn't let Kurt go. He just couldn't. Being around him felt right, and for the first time in his life, Blaine didn't feel like a stranger. He needed some time alone with the Elf, they needed to talk.
On the fourth day he snapped.
"Enough!" he said, when Puck and Art were trying to teach him how to use the shield. What was the point, anyway? It was too heavy and they didn't have an extra shield, so it was not as if Blaine would ever have the chance to use one.
"You should learn this, lad," Burt advised, sitting heavily on a log nearby.
"I don't want to. I'm tired. My arms hurt. I'm hungry," he answered defiantly.
"You are always hungry," Puck retorted, earning a short laugh from Art.
"Leave him for a while, men," Sam said. "He is not used to all this hard work."
"Don't call me weak!" Blaine snapped.
"Peace, my friend! I am not calling you weak!" Sam raised his hands in a apologizing gesture. "I am only saying that all this is new for you."
"I am sorry" Blaine said, sighing tiredly. "I don't want to sound ungrateful. You all have done a lot for me already. I just need some rest, it is all." He turned to leave the clearing they were using as a camp site.
"Where are you going?" Finn asked, worried. "The sun will set soon. You now it gets dark very fast."
"I'm just going for a walk. I need some time alone."
"Take your sword with you," Burt said.
Blaine rolled his eyes. "I will not need it. I am just going to look for Kurt. He must not be very far."
"Take your sword," Burt insisted. "Kurt will be worried if you are unprotected."
"I am sorry, but not this time. I need to find him now," Blaine said tiredly, leaving the clearing before the men could say anything else.
Kurt came back when the moon was already high in the sky.
"I am sorry, but this time I could not find a single animal nearby. I had to cross the small river, and still all I could find was one little rabbit."
The men were quiet, looking at Kurt with tense expressions. Kurt immediately looked around, eyes wide, sensing that there was something very wrong.
"Where is Blaine?" Kurt asked, fear already in his voice.
"We thought he was with you."
"He didn't want to practice today."
"He didn't want to take his sword."
"It was still day when he went looking for you."
"He is a Hobbit, isn't he? Hobbits know their way around the woods, don't they?"
Kurt looked from one to the other frantically, confused by their raised voices, all at the same time. "Stop!" He almost shouted and the men immediately quieted. "Where. Is. Blaine?" he hissed.
"We don't know where he is, Kurt," Burt answered. "He went looking for you a couple of hours ago. He didn't want to take his sword, and we fear for his safety."
"You fear for his safety? You fear?" Kurt hissed at them. "Why did you let him go in the first place?"
But Kurt didn't wait for any of them to answer. He looked up suddenly, as if he had heard something.
Burt got up immediately. He knew Kurt's ability to sense danger from afar, so he knew in an instant that there was something bad coming their way. "What, Kurt? What is wrong?" he asked.
"Haradrim," Kurt said. "And Blaine is out there, unprotected. I need to find him."
"Wait, Kurt!" Finn said, getting up and picking up his sword. "If they found him, there is nothing you can do now, especially alone! Wait for us!"
"I will not abandon him!" Kurt almost yelled, already stepping away from the camp.
"Wait for us, son, we are going with you!"
"No. I will leave right now. I travel faster alone. "You come after me if you want." And Kurt was gone, just like that, running as fast as he could towards the enemy.
Blaine was terrified. His head was covered with a rough sack. He knew it was night, because he could hear the laughter and the slurring of drunken men nearby. He was tied firmly to a tree, and his wrists burned from the effort he made to release himself.
The Haradrim had found him hours ago, and Blaine had already lost all hope that they would release him. Haradrim were a race of Men from Harad, in the southern part of Middle-Earth, and they despised everything and everyone. They had fought against the King, they had been defeated when Sauron fell, and now there were very few of them, but they had grown more violent.
"Stay here, little one," One of them said, as he tied Blaine to the tree. "We will have fun with you later. Now there are some bottles of ale waiting for us," He banged Blaine's head hard against the tree, and the Hobbit saw stars, losing conscience for a while. Now he was very much awake, wishing he had died when they first found him. He shivered, thinking about what the man had meant when he'd said they were going to have "fun" with him. Surely he wasn't going to get out of this alive.
He lost track of time, but he could tell from the sounds, that the men were getting drunker by the minute. He hoped they would pass out and leave him alone, at least for tonight. Maybe in daylight, Kurt and Burt's men would be able to find him.
"Blaine!" he heard a whisper close to his ear. "No dhínen!"(be silent!)
"I said be silent," Kurt said, his knife already working on the ropes that tied Blaine's writs. "Don't attract their attention. They are drunk and asleep, but still very dangerous and I am alone."
"You came…!" Blaine whispered, as if he could not believe his own ears.
"Hain ú-'rogon," ( I do not fear them.)Kurt said. "I only fear for you."
"Where are the others?" Blaine asked in a whisper.
"They are coming, but still far from here. I could not wait for them. I had to find you."
Kurt pulled the sack from Blaine's head, and suddenly Blaine found himself in Kurt's arms. The elf's hands cradled Blaine's face and he looked at the Hobbit anxiously, studying his features carefully.
"Are you hurt? I thought I had lost you!" Kurt asked, hugging Blaine so tight that the Hobbit's ribs protested and he gave a little moan of pain. "Shhh… goheno nin, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Kurt said, helping Blaine to get up. "Come, we need to find shelter soon."
"Oh, now we have two of them!" A rough, loud voice said from behind. "You came to join our guest, little Elf? The men will be pleased with your presence, you will add to our fun!"
Kurt and Blaine turned to find a very big man, sword already in his hand.
"Where do you think you are taking my prisoner?" The man gave them a cruel smile.
"You are not going to touch him!" Kurt hissed.
"Oh, we will," the man said, puling Blaine's arm violently, making the Hobbit stumble away from the Elf. Blaine fell on the floor with a loud yelp, and the man stood face to face with Kurt. "Unless you prefer that we touch you in his place?" he said viciously.
Kurt moved so fast that Blaine couldn't follow him with is eyes. In an instant, the man was dead on the ground, one of Kurt's blades deep in his gut.
"Come, Blaine," Kurt urged, helping Blaine to get up again. "Pick up his sword, the others are waking up!"
They didn't have time to run. The Haradrim group was small, but they woke up fast and, even drunk, they came upon Kurt and Blaine in the blink of an eye. Kurt released Blaine, shoving him aside and started to fight the men alone. He was deadly, moving fast, like a dancer, but there were eight of them.
"No diriel, Blaine!" (be watchful!) Kurt shouted.
Blaine snapped out of his daze and started to fight with the dead man's sword, but it was clear he wasn't ready to fight them yet.
It took a while to kill all the Haradrim. Kurt did practically everything, all Blaine did was to defend himself. They were side by side at the camp now, and Blaine looked around at the dead men, all clearly stabbed by Kurt's deadly blades. The fact that Blaine had not killed any of brought him a strange relief. They were evil, but Blaine had never seen himself as one able to take another's life. At least they were safe now. He smiled at Kurt and, when the elf returned it, Blaine felt his heart soaring. It looked like everything was going to be alright. They could wait for Burt and his men here and –
Kurt didn't see the man coming from behind him, so all the warning he got was Blaine's shouting his name when the shadow of another man approached. He turned, but the man was faster this time, and his sword stabbed Kurt's shoulder. The Elf's knees buckled and he fell, cradling his injured arm, the man towering over him with a malicious grin.
Blaine didn't even have time to process what he was doing. He came from behind the man with a cry and stabbed him over and over, until he was a bloody mess on the ground.
"Daro, (stop) Blaine! He is dead." Kurt's said in a faint voice.
"Kurt, Kurt, oh Valar, you are hurt!" Blaine said, kneeling beside Kurt, terrified at the blood pouring from the gash on Kurt's arm, terrified that he had just killed someone.
"We need to get out of here, Blaine," Kurt said faintly, wincing as he got up with Blaine's help. "A storm will start soon, we need to find some shelter."
They half dragged each other away from the clearing, leaving the dead Haradrim behind.
They had found a cave half an hour later. The blood had stopped pouring from Kurt's arm, but he had lost a lot of it, so now he lay on the ground, head resting on Blaine's lap, while Blaine crushed some Athelas as best as he could, applying it to the wound.
"Are you sure these leaves will work?" Blaine asked incredulously.
"Athelas is a very powerful healing herb. It might take some time, but it will work. Father insists that I always carry some with me."
"Shhh…"Blaine said soothingly. "You should rest."
"I thought I had lost you," Kurt said after a while. "You were not at the camp, and I just thought I was never going to see you again."
"I am sorry," Blaine said. "I was so stupid; I shouldn't have left the camp, especially without any weapon. Now you are hurt because of me."
"You saved me, Blaine. I would be dead now, had you not killed that man."
"Still, it was my fault." Blaine sighed. "I just… I had to find you, Kurt. I had to talk to you. You have been avoiding me these past four days and I don't know what I did wrong…"
"I haven't been avoiding you," Kurt said.
"Then…why did you spend these past days away from the camp, only returning by nightfall? I thought that… We were spending the days together… we laughed and talked at night… Was I supposed to think that was nothing? You said that there was something happening. Between us. I thought that… it meant something good."
Kurt closed his eyes tiredly. "You must know it is not only friendship."
Blaine rolled his eyes. "I know."
Kurt smiled a little. "I guess that after the kiss, you got the hint, didn't you?"
"I feel the same," Blaine said, caressing Kurt's hair. "But you… you were so distant and I… Kurt… why have you been avoiding me?"
"Because in a few days I will be gone and this thing can't happen, Blaine! It can't, because I will hurt and you will hurt, and I can't do this!"
"I don't understand you, Kurt. You kissed me – "
"We kissed each other," Kurt corrected. "I don't remember you pushing away."
"Right. But then you stayed away, barely talked to me, then you came and saved me, risking your life, now you say you will leave soon and we will never see each other again, and…I just can't understand what it means…"
'It means I had to save you because I can't bear to see you hurt! And I can't bear to stay away from you, and also it hurts too much to stay near you and not – "
"Not what?" Blaine asked softly, hands still running through Kurt's soft and gorgeous hair.
"It can't be, Blaine." Kurt murmured. "Why can't you accept that?"
"Because I don't know what to do if I never see you again."
"We only met days ago."
"Two weeks. And I feel like I – "
Kurt suddenly grimaced. "My arm is starting to hurt too much…" he murmured, closing his eyes. "I think the Athelas is starting to work. It always hurt a lot before it gets better."
"So sleep," Blaine soothed. "Let the Athelas do its work. You will feel much better in the morning. I will be here when you wake up."
"Will… will you sing to me again?" Kurt asked faintly, sleep almost taking him completely. "I love the sound of your voice."
"What do you want me to sing?" Blaine couldn't take his eyes from Kurt's face.
"Anything…just sing to me, meleth-nín. (beloved).
Blaine's heart skipped a beat. He knew what those words meant. He kissed Kurt's temple as the Elf closed his eyes. He started to sing softly.
May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh, how far you are from home
Mornië utúlië (Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornië alantië (Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now
May it be the shadows call
Will fly away
May it be your journey on
To light the day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun
Mornië utúlië (Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
Mornië alantië (Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now
A promise lives within you now
The morning came, and when Blaine opened his eyes, Kurt was still in the same position, head resting on Blaine's lap. But the Elf was awake, staring at him.
"How are you?" was the first thing Blaine asked,
"Much better." Kurt smiled. "The pain is gone. I don't think it will even scar."
"Is this such a miraculous plant?" Blaine asked. "May I take a look?"
Kurt had taken his shirt off the previous night, so Blaine could take care of his wound. He had covered Kurt's torso with his cloak when the night grew colder, so Kurt promptly removed the cloak to show Blaine his shoulder.
"Tearo. (look) It is almost healed."
"It is, indeed," Blaine said, unable to take his eyes off Kurt's pale skin. His hand touched Kurt's shoulder, almost at its own volition, running along the Elf's arm. "So soft…" he murmured, amazed.
"Blaine…" Kurt said, his voice full of emotion. "Don't."
Blaine gave a long, defeated sigh. "Alright, Kurt. It will be as you wish. I will not bother you anymore." He got up slowly, careful with Kurt's head, which he placed on the ground gently. Then he walked to the cave's entrance, turning to Kurt. "I believe your father will be here soon, so you will not be alone. I hope you have a safe journey to Valinor."
"Where are you going?" Kurt sat up abruptly, panic in his eyes.
"I am leaving, Kurt. I am sorry, but I cannot bear to see you go. So, instead, I will be the one to leave, before you get on that ship and I never see you again."
"But – but we still have a few days until we reach the Grey Havens!"
"And what difference will it make? You will go anyway. You don't want me, and I understand that. Why would you? But please, understand that I cannot do this anymore. I am leaving, and do not for my safety; I will take that filthy man's sword with me."
Kurt was in front of Blaine so fast that Blaine blinked twice to make sure it was real. "Don't say that," he pleaded. "Don't go."
"I am sorry…" Blaine answered. "But this time, I am the one who doesn't have any other choice."
"But where would you go?"
"It doesn't matter anymore," Blaine's resigned voice was so low that Kurt almost didn't hear it. "Nothing matters anymore."
"Blaine, no!" Kurt said suddenly, holding Blaine's hand tightly. "Don't say I don't want you. It is not true at all! I just… I just can't!"
"If you cannot take a risk, if you cannot trust that this could work and have a little bit of optimism…" Blaine shook his eyes sadly, "Then I was mistaken the whole time. There is nothing special going on here. It was just… something top pass your time, maybe, while you waited for the ship that will take you away."
"Elves are not like that!" Kurt said, indignantly. "Elves are not mutable, light-minded like men!"
"And what part of you am I talking to now, Kurt? The Elf or the Man? Because you have just taken everything away from me." Blaine gave a self-deprecating laugh. "Not that I ever had too much, to start with. But you gave me hope, something I had never had before, only to take it away. This is…cruel. And you know what else? I cannot stay here anymore."
Kurt held Blaine tightly, on an impulse. "Goheno nin, (I am sorry), I am such a fool! Please, Blaine, believe me, I want you, I want you, meleth-nín! (my beloved).
"If you trust anything, trust this," Blaine whispered, returning the embrace. "Just like the song, Kurt. Trust us."
Kurt cupped Blaine's face, smiling faintly. "Forgive me, Blaine. I have been acting like a complete fool. You cannot go, this…feeling we have is important to me too, you must believe that. You think I am so brave, but it is the opposite. I am so afraid to break my heart and yours, to make the wrong choice…so afraid to stay, and also afraid to go…that I am hurting you instead, and my heart is already broken, because hurting you hurts me too. And…every time you are away from me, it feels like everything else worth nothing."
"If this is true, then please, Kurt, don't give up on this," Blaine pleaded. "Do not act like this feeling doesn't matter, because I have nothing to give you, just my life for as long as it lasts."
"This…your love, it is the most precious thing you can give me. You matter, Blaine, so much."
"Then…will you stay with me? Will you try to find a way for us to be together?"
"I will, I promise," Kurt murmured, eliciting the most beautiful smile from Blaine. "Melin ceni hin lîn síla i 'eladhach." ( I love to see your eyes shine when you smile). "My sweet warbler…I think I never had a true choice; the moment I laid my eyes on you, I was doomed to want you with me forever."
"Even when I jumped on the table, singing like a fool?" Blaine asked, half-smiling.
"Especially then. Blaine…I have made my choice. There is nothing that will take me away from you. Only death."
Their kiss was full of promise and this time, there was no one to interrupt them.
"Father!" Kurt yelled. "We are here!"
"How do you know they are coming?" Blaine asked, mesmerized. "I hear nothing."
"Do not forget my hearing is better than the average."
"I don't. But it may be anyone. How can you be so sure it is them?"
"You are right. Stay here inside the cave. I am going to make sure it is them." Kurt got his elven knives and left the cave.
But it wasn't Burt and his men who approached the site. Kurt's eyes grew wide when he saw who was coming, but he also frowned, disbelieving.
"Legolas?" he shook his head. "Is it really you, mellon-nín?" (my friend.)
"Suilad, mellon-nín," (greetings, my friend.) The blond elf answered, clasping Kurt's arm.
"I don't understand…"Kurt said. "I heard noises, heavy footsteps coming. I could not be you!"
Legolas gave a clear, amused laugh, as melodious as Kurt's. "Indeed, it was not me. You know how silent elves are. It was Gimli, crushing the leaves with his heavy boots, puffing and complaining since we left the Haradrim camp.
As if on cue, a very red and sweaty Gimly appeared, panting tiredly. "You and your big legs, always leaving me behind!" He complained. "Greetings, Kurt. I am happy to see you, lad."
"Hello, Gimli!" Kurt smiled and gave a step forward, greeting the Dwarf warmly."
"It was you who left such a big mess at our enemy's camp?"
"Yes. So you were there?" Kurt asked frowning.
"We found the camp an hour ago," Legolas explained. "It was clear that they had made prisoners, and we spent some time looking for survivors. It took me a long time to find any clue that could lead us to whomever escaped that camp. I can see by your bloody clothes that it was you, then."
"Aye, they almost succeeded, but I was not badly hurt."
"If it wasn't for my elves skills, I don't believe we would have found you." Legolas said, clearly not knowing anything about modesty. "You are very hard to follow, my friend."
"What?" Gimly said indignantly. "What about my hunting skills? It is obvious that I had a big part in finding our friend. It is common knowledge that the Dwarves have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox."
"Of course," Legolas almost deadpanned. "That is why you tripped on that dead Haradrim's head and almost stabbed yourself with his sword,"
"I did not such thing!" Gimli protested hotly.
In that moment, Blaine left the cave. "Kurt?"
"And who is this?"
Kurt extended his hand in Blaine's direction, and the Hobbit came to him, happily intertwining his fingers with the Elf's. "This is Legolas Greenleaf, and Gimli, son Glóin. We have been friends for years," he said to Blaine, smiling. Then he turned to the Elf and the Dwarf. "This is Blaine Anderson. My…err…we are together."
"Mae govennen, (well met) Blaine," Legolas greeted the Hobbit, smiling, but he arched one eyebrow and looked at Kurt, amused.
"Mae govennen," Blaine answered proudly, showing off the little knowledge of Elvish he had.
"Um…" Kurt said, blushing deeply and looking flustered. "Can I offer you something to eat? You must be tired and hungry. Some lembas, perhaps?"
"That would be good – " Gimli started.
"Uh… Kurt?" Blaine said sheepishly. "There is no more lembas."
"What?" Kurt turned to Blaine frowning. "It is not possible; we had four pieces just this morning! I checked it myself!"
Blaine grimaced, but didn't let go of Kurt's hand. "They tasted really good," he said sheepishly. "You ate some and then you said you were satisfied, so I… well, I was hungry, so… well…I ate the rest."
"All of it? How is it possible?" Kurt chuckled. "You know that just one or two bites of that bread is enough to feed a man for an entire day! That is the point of carrying lembas whenever you travel!"
Gimli gave a loud, thunderous laugh. "You have quite an appetite, lad. The last ones I saw eating so much of the elven bread were my friends Merry and Pippin, Hobbits from the Shire, when we were travelling together."
"That is because I have a lot in common with them, sir," Blaine answered, blushing a little. "I am a Hobbit myself. I am from the Marish."
"Anderson does not appear to be a Hobbit's name," Legolas observed.
"It's not. Blaine is half-human," Kurt answered.
"Oh," Legolas' eyes lit up with mirth. "I'd say you two are quite a match, don't you think?"
"I was wondering how did you get so tall," Gimli complained. "It seems I am the only one at disadvantage in height here. But don't be fooled, my friend. Dwarves may not be tall people, but we can be deadly warriors."
"Height is not an advantage in battle, sir," Blaine said. "I am not good at all with mu sword."
"I like you, lad! And don't call me sir! I am just Gimli for you." Gimli said to Blaine, grinning. "You made a good choice, Kurt. Hobbits are the most amusing and friendly people I have ever met, and this one is tall enough that you will not need to get on your knees to kiss – oh, forgive me!" The Dwarf blushed and looked at the ground. "I seems that I can't control my mouth. I spoke too much."
"Again," Legolas said, laughing.
"Come, Blaine…" Gimli called, anxious for a change of subject. "Come help me collect some fruit. I am sure you can find space in your belly for another meal."
"I certainly can," Blaine said, kissing Kurt's hand and following Gimli.
Kurt followed Blaine with his eyes, smiling until the Hobbit left their sight.
"You look happy, mellon-nín," (my friend), Legolas observed.
"I am," Kurt answered, eyes softening. "very much."
"And yet I detect a hint of sadness in your eyes."
"I was on my way to the Grey Havens when I met Blaine. Now…"Kurt sighed. "I cannot go anymore, for it is impossible for me to imagine my life without him."
"And you are afraid to turn into a bitter elf because you have already heard the calling of the sea…"
"You have an option, you know."
"What option?" Kurt asked. "Either if I stay with him or go without him…it will be hard for me. And I already know that I will stay. I cannot leave Blaine anymore. We already have a bond."
"Take him with you," Legolas said, smiling. "Take Blaine to Valinor."
"Take him? But – but… will the Valar allow such thing?"
"Of course they will! I plan to take Gimli with me, because for me he is like the brother I never had. But we will only go when Aragorn passes away, a it will take a very long time for this to happen."
"But Legolas, I am not really an Elf, and you know that. How can the Valar allow the same privileges to me than they allow to all the other elves?"
"Kurt… you have elven blood, my friend. It is so strong that you are one of the most valorous elves that ever walked Middle-Earth. The Valar know that, they see and know the deepest desires of every elf's heart, even yours."
"I had no idea this was possible. This is a gift from the Valar that…I am not sure I deserve."
"You deserve, my friend. Go to Valinor and take your lover with you; and may your journey and your life together be blessed."
Blaine and Gimli came back with Burt and his rangers. They were all worried, apologizing profusely for having taking so much time to find Kurt and Blaine. They surrounded the elf as soon as they arrived at their camp.
"We saw the Haradrim on our way here. All of them dead, and we feared the worse" Puck said.
"Are you alright, Kurt?" Finn asked. "You have blood on your clothes!"
"We are so sorry, we spent the whole day trying to find you, but you covered your passage through the woods so well that it was really hard!" Art blurted out.
"Thank the Valar nothing bad happened with you!" Sam said.
"Gentlemen, please!" Kurt said, exasperated. How can you all speak at the same time and still understand each other?" Kurt asked, shaking his head in exasperation.
Burt hugged his son like a lifeline. "Are you hurt?" he asked, inspecting Kurt. "I will thank the Valar every day for having found you, son. I feared I would never set my eyes on you again."
"I am well, Father," Kurt returned the embrace.
"Blaine already told us everything that happened," Burt said.
Kurt took Blaine's hands in his and looked at Burt, solemnly. "I hope he had told you also that he saved my life, and that now we belong to each other."
Burt's eyes lit up and he hugged the Elf and the Hobbit together. "I am happy for you two. Now we are all one family."
"We are happy for you two," Finn said smiling. "I hope it means you will not go to Valinor anymore…?"
A shadow crossed Blaine's face. He knew that, no matter what, the calling of the sea would always pull Kurt away from him. But now that his life was bonded to the Elf's, he didn't know how he would ever be able to let Kurt go. And one day, Kurt would go.
"Excuse me," he said, frowning a little, looking at everyone but at Kurt. "I have to – I have to check our packs, if we are going to continue our journey." He left, disappearing at the cave's entrance, trying to look nonchalant, but his heart was breaking all over again.
"Aren't you going after him?" Legolas said, smiling at Kurt. "Go on, tell him, take the heavy weight away from his heart."
"Tell him what?" Burt wanted to know.
"Legolas will tell you, Father," Kurt said. "He will explain everything. Now I have a certain warbler to talk to."
Blaine had sat on a rock, his elbows resting on his knees, his hands cradling his head. He was the pure image of defeat.
Kurt's heart ached a little at the sight, but he knew that soon enough Blaine wouldn't be sad anymore. In fact, he hoped that he would never have to see a sad expression in the Hobbit's face, ever again. Blaine was so full of life, so happy and enthusiastic all the time, that it was wrong to see him sad.
"My dulin, (bird) my warbler, don't be sad, please!" Kurt said, taking Blaine's hand and smiling.
"How can I not be sad? I am sorry, Kurt… I know that you have decided to stay… for now. But you heart will always be divided in two, and I can't bear to be the cause of any sorrow for you."
"My heart is yours. I am yours, forever. And I will never leave your side."
"How can you say such a thing? What will happen when the call of the gulls grows stronger than the bond that keeps is together?"
"Nothing will ever be stronger than our bond, beloved," Kurt smiled.
The elf kneeled in front of Blaine. "Since you came from The Marish, along the Brandywine River, the most deep river in the whole Hobbit land… I have a deep proposal for you."
Blaine's eyes widened, but he said nothing, looking at Kurt with interest.
"Blaine Warbler Anderson… will… you…"
"Go to Valinor with me?"
"Valinor? I – I thought you would never ask that. Is it even possible?"
"Yes, it is."
"What do you think? Would I be allowed into the land of the Valar?"
"You and I are bonded for life. You will be allowed wherever I go."
"Then yes!" Blaine threw himself in Kurt's arms, kissing him with all the happiness he had inside him. "I will go with you to the end of Arda, if you ask me to!"
They emerged from the cave smiling, hand in hand.
"So?" Finn asked smiling at the happiness in his brother's face. "It is settled then? We are taking the two of you to the Grey Havens?"
"No," Kurt answered. I will go back to Lothlórien with Blaine for now, and we will decide where to live later."
"You are welcome in Ithilien," Legolas said. "I am settling an elven colony there, and Gimli is coming with me."
"Thank you, my friend. I think it will be a good place for us to settle, after I show Blaine all the wonders of Middle Earth."
"Wait, son," Burt asked. "What about this cry of the gulls' thing you were talking about? Wasn't it 'pulling you to the shore' so hard that you simply had to go?"
"It still is," Kurt smiled. "But I am not in a hurry anymore. I was looking for peace for my heart, for a place to call home, and I found it here, Father. Home is wherever Blaine is. I just opened my eyes and… there he was. I had been looking for him forever and I didn't even know that."
"I am happy that I will have you around, son. And you, Blaine," Burt said.
Kurt smiled at his father. "You will. Years from now, who knows? I can sail to Valinor and take him with me. I already found what I was looking for, and it is right here by my side," he squeezed Blaine's hand, and the Hobbit returned the gesture affectionately.
"So…"Sam asked, "We are going back, then?"
"It appears we will," Finn said. "And it is better that we go now, while there is still a bit of sunlight.
They started to walk in silence, all of them tired and hungry, but happy for Kurt and Blaine, especially Burt and Finn. This time it was Legolas who ran ahead of the group to check and guard their path, Gimli always after him, complaining about the effort the blond elf put him through.
Blaine and Kurt trailed happily after them, hand in hand, looking at each other and smiling like fools.
"You know?" Puck said after a while. "This think of Kurt and Blaine being together is great, but it means that now, Blaine will only have eyes for Kurt."
"Meaning that he will stay quiet all the time, looking at Kurt enamored, like an idiot?" Sam asked.
"Yes," Puck answered. "And, you know… I almost miss his incessant chatter."
"And his annoying voice," Art completed. "I know. I miss it too."
"Kurt?" they all heard from the back, Blaine's loud voice perfectly clear trough the woods. "How beautiful is Lothlórien? Do you live in that huge trees there? How am I going to climb and – oh, sweet Valar, I do not look presentable to meet other elves! Will we stop at a village, so I can at least find a change of clothes? Oh! And what about Valinor? Is it too far? Are you sure they will let me in? By the way, I am hungry. That elven bread tastes good but it is too light, my stomach is rumbling! Did you know that we already skipped three meals today?"
"Here we go again…" Finn muttered.
The laughter of the whole group echoed through the afternoon, as they slowly made their way back to Bree.