Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

On the Inside

Author: dapperscavenger
Nominator: hareatic (aka Hare)
2009 Award Category: Genres: Romance

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Very mild violence and male/male action. Nothing graphic.
Summary: When Legolas and Melpomaen meet in Imladris they find that, despite all their differences, they actually have a lot in common.


Reviewed by: hareatic (aka Hare) -- Score: 10

This fic was the first of yours I'd read and quite frankly I was blown away. You put us immediately into Legolas' head, his thoughts on Glorfindel, Greenwood, sticking too close to his comrades, his feelings. A bit melancholy, a bit wistful, interesting insight into Elladan and Elrohir's need for revenge vs. his own need for survival very revealing in a concise clear way. I also enjoyed your descriptions of the surroundings...following a path not used much, following on the theme of contrast between the persistent threats present in his homeland vs. the peaceful scenes he finds in Imladris, especially when he finally comes upon Mel! Without effort, I could picture the young elf and the garden in which he sat...serene, yet completely focused on his writing efforts. And then when he engages Legolas, the subtle, wonderful humor starts. He is somewhat contrite at having startled Mel, yet not, because, for some reason he enjoyed the reaction. Ah yes, the reason to continue reading. That little tidbit of mystery... but clearly an immediate attraction of some sort. Legolas had a perfect reaction when Mel moved and you continued the theme of the beauty to be found in Imladris. You have such a way with humor, which is so difficult for most, yet you seem to write it so effortlessly. I laughed with Legolas when Mel read his poem but I certainly wasn't sure what Mel's reaction would be, so there was some trepidation there too. Legolas' regret at being honest, chasing away the beauty, only to be rewarded with a frank and forthright Mel. Well, the entire exchange was so natural yet unexpectedly refreshing and different I immediately fell in love with both characters. Though Mel's poetry may not be beautiful or profound this new budding relationship surely was! Of course when Mel mentions how his friends react to his writing and why he was writing horrible poetry it all made mad sense to me although Legolas’ reaction made me laugh. And I do believe I’ve mentioned this before but only your Mel can giggle and have it not be feminine in the least. One of the elements I thought perfect was Legolas’ reluctance to reveal his true identity. Quite understandable, and completely necessary for what happens next. Their interactions felt so true and there was no hint of author intrusion. The dialogue flowed, clipped along, witty, deep, confessions from them both that probably they could only do with a stranger. You consistently write incomparable dialogue that uses deadpan style to laugh-out-loud effect, and the subtle but immensely satisfying thoughts of each character. But woman, you took my breath away when Mel took control of the situation in such a commanding and swift and unexpected way. Valar but it was one of those moments when, as a reader, you just squeal because it is so awe inspiring. And combined with the intense flash of hotness that so suddenly appears, well…it’s one scene I doubt I will ever forget. And still in the midst of all this brilliance and heat you managed to make me laugh at Legolas and his thoughts. This story will always rank as one of my favorites and this one line completely and perfectly describes this Mel you have created…[He’d been completely taken in by this strange elf. He’d seemed so innocent, so obviously harmless – who would have thought that such a wicked, sensual catamite simmered below that innocuous surface?]. My thoughts exactly!

Reviewed by: Faoiltierna -- Score: 5

This has easily made it onto my top 10 list of stories I can reread over and over. I especially love that Dapper has gone on to write 11 more of these lovely encounters. So often the two main characters are stereotyped and they play out their roles to some modest success...here Dapper has taken those stereotypes: the meek and petit Mel, the warrior and diplomat Legolas and...turned them on their heads. No, not by reversing them or ignoring them, but embracing them and then having the *characters* break the mold! Highly entertaining and well worth the read!

Reviewed by: weepingnaiad -- Score: 4

I adore this story! It gives a beautifully detailed insight into how Legolas views Imladris. But my favorite thing is the way the dainty, tiny Melpomaen manages to overwhelm Legolas. There is lovely humor and banter and a stunned prince of Mirkwood in this story that is a delight to read and re-read. And there's just no way that you can read this and not walk away smitten by the author's lovely little advisor. Melpomaen is more than adorable. He's feisty and bright and all things wonderful! A tale not to be missed!

Reviewed by: Esteliel -- Score: 4

I really enjoyed this story - Melpomaen is a character I usually feel a bit wary about as he is pure fanon, and often he is reduced to a mere cliché in stories. I enjoyed his characterisation here though, and the way you played with how he is often represented: [“My ‘friends’ think so little of me. They dare not tell me the truth for fear of hurting my feelings. They think I am fragile. ‘Little Mel’ they call me, when they think I cannot hear them, as if I am an elfling. Even the twins, and I am older than they are! All I want is to be treated like an equal, and that’s why I started to write this… drivel. I wanted to know just how awful my poetry had to become to get someone to tell me the truth - and I have just found out!] I also loved the light touch of humor, as in Legolas being [ravaged by quill-point], which made this a thouroughly enjoyable and lighthearted story.

Reviewed by: Lethe -- Score: 4

This was a lovely little story and I enjoyed entering Legolas' thoughts. You always have such a deft and light touch in your stories, and this was no exception. I think you must be one of the few authors I read who write more on the light than dark side, and you have a superb sense of humor that comes across although that too, is never laid on thickly, but sprinkled throughout. I have to admit knowing nothing of Mel apart from this story, but I very much enjoyed the interaction between the two of them.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

This is an interesting little story with a somewhat unexpected twist. The story follows Legolas' thoughts and musings about having to always lead and be an example. The story takes an unexpected turn when Legolas meets Melpomaen, a seemingly harmless young elf. I love the humor in the poetry recitation and the way Melpomaen takes control at the end.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 2

A rather strange story, and I'm not sure I quite trust Melpomaen. He appears rather--abupt--for an Elf of Arda.