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Mairisuweniel Does Minas Tirith

Chapter 1: Mairisufirith Does Minas Tirith

by Viv

AN: Many thanks to Gil Shalos for the definitive Mary Sue Litmus test. It was inspiring.

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Gimli forced his eyes to stay open. He was exhausted, but he'd rather lick lembas than let any of his companions guess at the depth of his weariness. Swallowing a yawn, he rubbed at a nick in his axe blade, then tested the edge. Drawing a slender adamant-rubbed whetstone from his pack, Gimli set to sharpening his weapon. He hoped that the activity would at least keep him awake.

"Just take me to Mount Doom and shove me in," Aragorn said, appearing out of the inky night and plopping down beside Gimli. The King of Gondor -- still unrecognized as such -- reached out his calloused and scabbed hands, warming them before the low campfire.

"Something troubles you," Gimli observed mildly. His whetstone whispered in the night.

"Not something: someone."

"Our fair traveling companion, if I had to guess," Gimli said.

Aragorn nodded and groaned.

"You know, fighting a war against desperate odds and saving the world are hard enough. But I never anticipated having to manage the constant angst of Gandalf's alluring half-Maia-half-elf adopted niece! Do you know that half of my rangers are infatuated with her? It's outside of enough. My lady warned me of this, you know: Abandon all thought of war, she said, let us go to the blue-blue beaches of far Harad and make beautiful Miruvor together."

Gimli nodded again. Arwen was very wise.

"At least she can fight," Gimli said gently.

"Mairisulieth, you mean? Oh yes. Swordplay, archery, shaolin dragon-form attack with a half-gainer: She is a veritable whirlwind in battle. She saved my life at least eight times since Helm's Deep, made Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth look like a bumbling novice during the Battle of Pelennor Fields, not to mention she, uh, healed Legolas with her tears earlier tonight."

Gimli raised a bushy eyebrow and paused in his task. He glanced up at Aragorn; the king nodded sadly.

"You don't say?" Gimli had never thought to feel such sympathy for an elf. But there you had it: Mairisuweniel had a strong effect on men. And elves. And squirrels.

"Indeed. He tried to explain that elven wounds heal quickly, that elven hröar are not so fragile, but she wept all over him. Mussed his embroidered tunic. I have never seen him so distraught."

"Poor lad," Gimli commiserated. "She didn't ..." He let his voice dwindle, for he could not bear to say the word.

"Sing?" Aragorn supplied. "She did. Like a nightingale. I've never heard something so beautiful." Aragorn shuddered dramatically, though the night was warm.

Gimli made a disgusted grunting noise in the back of his throat. Mairisulien was convinced that her song, like that of the legendary elf princess Luthien, was magical. Ergo, she had entertained her traveling companions with song unceasing from Rivendell. Gimli had his doubts, both of her talent and of her magical potency. So far, he felt distinctly un-ensorcelled, for which he was profoundly grateful.

Eomer, he recalled, had not been so fortunate. Indeed, the blond lord of the Mark had ridden about after Mairisuthirien for days, obviously and uncharacteristically besotted. Gimli had a sneaking suspicion that Eowyn had donned her remarkable disguise and ridden heroically into battle not to pursue personal glory but rather to dispatch the half-Ainu temptress and set poor Eomer free. Eowyn was, after all, a loyal sister, and Gimli admired such family feeling.

"So, he resists her?" Gimli asked now, his thoughts turning again to his unexpectedly dear friend Legolas. It was becoming plain that Mairisulithiel had set her sights on the hapless elf prince, now that Eomer was king and couldn't be bothered with a romantic affair.

"Alas, no. I fear for his heart even as we speak," Aragorn said.

"Tragic," Gimli tutted. "But not entirely unexpected. After all, she is raven-haired, violet-eyed, and narrow-nosed. I always knew elves were sorely smitten by physical beauty.”

“Gimli, my friend, you have much to learn of elves. And men, for that matter. We are not as superficial as we seem. Take Luthien, for instance. Yes, she was apparently very pretty. But that isn’t the only reason we adore her through the ages. The lesser-known tales say she could drink her uncle Manwe under the table, skin a dragon, and make an exquisite chocolate-lembas fondue. And the even lesser-known tales describe her as extraordinarily... um, bendy.”

Gimli raised his other eyebrow.

“I had not heard these tales. Skin a dragon, eh? Yes, she would be a fitting mate. Mairisuevieth, for all her outer beauty, cannot hope to compare.”

“Just so,” Aragorn began, then he trailed off. He pinned Gimli with a slight stare. “Really? You have not been tempted by her?”

Gimly shook his head. His beard caught on the axe hilt, and he worked it free solemnly.

“At all?” Aragorn prodded. Gimli looked up.

“Of course not.”

Aragorn’s noble grey eyes narrowed contemplatively.

“Gimli, I have a mission for you. It is vital to the success of this war and may indeed save all of the free peoples of Middle-earth. Interested?”

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Mairi (short for Mairisuwithiel Inglorien Lickmeprettielfboi-wen) flicked her dark-as-a-raven's-wing hair back over a slender shoulder and tightened her luscious rosebud pink lips. She had a bad feeling about this assaulting-the-black-gates plan. Her sixth sense was wailing.

Or, wait. No. That was the patient the next room over. She was, of course, in the Houses of Healing. Where else would a magic-wielding warrior princess be the morning after a major battle?

Mairi squeezed her eyes shut determinedly, cleared her mind of all war-plan thingies, and bent over the inert form of the White Lady of Rohan. Focusing, she tried to summon really sad thoughts. Mairi’s tears had magical healing properties and Eowyn needed her.

“Chipped fingernails, that prettier-than-me Galadriel bitch, Eomer’s sudden distraction over the stupid kingship of Rohan...” she muttered. Aha! A tear. She blinked softly, and the single glittering tear fell in a wet plop on Eowyn’s belly.

“My lady?”

The voice startled her, and Mairi tossed a quick heartfelt glance over shoulder. When she saw it was just Gimli, she scowled fiercely, dropping the heartfelt-ness.

“I’m bu-sy,” she intoned musically.

“Yes, I can see that,” Gimli said. Then he just stood there. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. He’d washed his beard and rebraided it, Mairi noted. About time. Oh, wait. Was there something moving in there? Gods, did he have lice? Did lice even exist in Middle-earth??

“... secret mission?” He stopped talking, and the beard stopped its peculiar quivering.

Mairi blinked.

“What?”

Gimli sighed. “Aragorn has special orders for us to scout ahead into Mordor, or did you hear nothing that I said?”

Mairi pondered this information. It made perfect sense. She hadn’t yet told anyone of her true destiny, but a secret foray into Mordor ahead of the advancing armies would be just the thing. She could locate Sauron and personally talk him out of his madness. And it would be so romantic to be stealthing into the very heart of danger...

Whoa. Wait. Not with Gimli son of Gloin! Legolas was supposed to go with her. She had it all planned out! She would look out for him, of course, protecting him with her very life, and then he would realize his true feelings for her...

“Mairisuwen?” Gimli prodded. Mairi blinked again, forcing herself to focus.

“Yes,” she said. “Secret mission. I heard you the first time. But I need to speak with Aragorn immediately. Legolas must accompany me on this mission.”

“No, I don’t think so. Our instructions are specific. We must leave within the hour. And the king is busy. If you’ll just get somebody to help you into your armor, we’ll be off.”

She scowled, not entirely ready to release the notion that Leggy (as she liked to think of him) ought to go with her. But when Gimli said "go" another thought popped into her head (as thoughts were wont to do).

“On horseback?" she asked brightly. " ‘Cuz my horse Sperthlifaloth, a Mearas just like Shadowfax, is in the stables. I ride bareback like the elves, you know.” She was very proud of that fact. Her adopted half-brother, the true king of Gondor, had taught her. She was a natural horsewoman. Everyone could see it.

“We are walking.” Gimli said with a glower. His impressive eyebrows drew together, and Mairi took an involuntary step back. Gimli continued, “And let us just get some things straight, lass: There will be no telepathic and silky-maned horses, no magical weeping, no insisting that you can outclass me with an axe -- I’d decapitate you in a heartbeat, wench -- no eloquent sighing, no rambling aloud in elvish just to impress me, no dramatic pangs of premonition, no nightmares that wake you all atremble, no tedious tales of your complicated family tree, and for Mahal’s sake, no singing!”

Without another word, Gimli turned and headed out into the wide stone hallway.

He knew she would follow. Females like her always did.

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Fin.