WARNING: a detailed fight scene is the main reason for this story so do not expect to be reading about puppies and sunshine! It is pretty bloody and a little sadistic so if you have anything against Legolas getting his head beaten against and table and Aragorn a knife through his hands, I suggest you DO NOT read this!!! Also, this is not slash, but there is a few questionable things in here which Saruman attempts to use as a way to put Legolas off so consider yourself warned!!!

Ok, that over and done with, I can get onto to the important explanation of this story. For ages now I have been wondering over the question of; "if Aragorn and Legolas were to get into a fight in which they truly wanted to kill each other, who would win?" Then I went and saw The Two Towers and was inspired by Gandalf banishing Saruman from Théoden and saw multiply AU story ideas - this is the one that I chose to do. BUT, in picking this, I did not see the error of my ways or the extreme mistake that I had made. In doing the story like this, I actually only have Aragorn wanting to kill Legolas, and Legolas only wanting to help the human, not kill him so it kinda spoilt the entire thing for, intentions wise, it was not a fair fight.

Now, it is easy to say that Legolas would win and all, but would he really? I mean, ok, I think he would, but others would stand to disagree. I mean, the Elf is fast, strong, flexible and has many years of skill behind him. The Ranger is not as fast, not as experienced but he is strong and uses a broad sword compared to the twin daggers. All in all, it came down to a test of strengths, and we all know that Legolas is strong, but never did it ACTUALLY say that he is stronger the Aragorn (remember that Orc-man has a little Elven blood in his as well) so, after much viewing of the Special Edition DVD, behind the scenes battle training and three viewing of The Two Towers, I have come up with this.

The last thing that I feel I need to address is the contrast between the possessed Théoden and Aragorn. I see Théoden as being weaker then Aragorn, he is older as well as the fact that Saruman had had his grasp upon his mind for a long time and also had Wormtongue polluting his ear. That is why, with a fresh grip on a younger, more battle worthy man, I have made Saruman actually, if anything, enhance his fighting skill, not turn him into a shriveled, dead seeming man. Now, if you stand to disagree and think that it would be the same even for Aragorn as it was for Saruman, call it artistic license that I have used here - either way I am covered. Also, I am not really sure how Saruman got into Théoden, so I just bullshitted my way through that part and made it up as I went along.

In short, this story is mainly only for the fight as to who would win, not the complexities of the situation.

Dedication: Ihni for your request and demands and Yours Truly for you help and opinions as I went along. It would not be here without the both of you.

*****

The Whispered Voice Within

*****

"We need Gandalf here," Gimli whispered to the huddled group of conspires in one of the smaller back rooms of Helm's Deep. He stood in the centre of the room, his hands folded upon his axe handle as he used it as a leaning post.

"Well he is not!" Éomer snapped at the dwarf and his useless statements, "and there is no way of reaching him to bring him back."

A murmured agreement came from Gamling who sat next to Éomer, both having pulled chairs to the middle of the room so that they could discuss the situation at hand with the dwarf in more close quarters. "He is right," the commander agreed with his Chief Marshall while nodding his head solemnly. "We must be the ones to do something on the matter."

"And yet we do not know what the matter is!" Gimli protested loudly while banging the blade of his axe against the hewn stone with a ringing thump.

The group had locked themselves in the tiny room over an hour ago, each trying to find a reason that could explain why Aragorn had been acting so strangely as of late. The human seemed distant, testy and it seemed to all that a dark, ominous cloud seemed to linger over his head. He had refuse to speak to anyone, or see anyone, even his Elven friend, and the only words that he had recently said were barked and harsh, intended to hurt.

"Well then, we must find out what it is, must we not!" Éomer exclaimed while slumping back in his chair, his arms crossed over his chest as he regarded the dwarf with distaste. Ever since their first meeting he had found himself to harbor less then friendly feelings towards the gruff being, and yet he had no real reason to account for this. The only thing that he could put it down to was the fact that the dwarf had so openly challenged him in front of his men, and yet the Elf had stood in his way of gaining the compensation for his pride that he sort. The only thing wrong with that theory was that he did not seem to hate the Elf, even though it was he who had stopped him and threatened his life.

"I think that is easier said then done!" Gimli stated with a small smirk, his dislike for the human also as clear as the dawning morning which enticed a soft, barely audible sigh from the back of the room as the debate quickly turned into an argument.

Leaping to his feet and taking a step towards the dwarf, making sure that he used his full height to size Gimli down, Éomer snapped, "well what do you suppose we do besides run off and try to find the wizard that abandoned us?"

Hefting his axe off the ground and gaining a better hold on the leather strapped handle, Gimli also took a step forward, unheeding of the patronizing way that Éomer looked down upon him. The dwarf let out a slight growl from deep within his throat and, just as he was about to say what was on his mind, a hand shot out and ripped his axe from his strong grip.

Having seen that these conspirers could not agree on anything from the very beginning, Legolas had chosen to stay out of the fray, perching himself on the sill of the only window in the room. Sitting there, his right knee drawn up to his chest while his left dangled idly against the stone wall, Legolas had only half listened to the words that had been exchanged throughout the hour or so that they had been there, his attention drawn to the outside world. There was not much of a view, no trees or any speck of greenery within even his heightened sight, but, given the circumstances, the Elven prince had found it somewhat more interesting then what was transpiring within the stone confinements of the room.

The sound of a chair scraping against the floor roused his attention to the fact that something was wrong, and, looking over his shoulder, he sighed yet again before leaping off his makeshift seat and moving over to the group.

"Enough!" Legolas commanded, his voice firm and yet soft at the same time. Holding Gimli's axe in his left hand and raising his right towards Éomer in a silent command, the prince continued, "I will have no more of this, do you both understand?" When both nodded their confirmation, he handed the weapon back to his companion before turning his ice blue eyes on all three of the group. "Fighting over this will not see what needs to be done accomplished! Now, at least pretend to be civil towards each other and we may get further with this!" Turning on his heels, the Elf once again made his way over to the window and effortlessly pulled himself back into his previous sitting position, his attention once again focused on the happenings of outside.

Glaring at the dwarf, Éomer turned to face the once again emotionless seeming Elf who sat in the high window. "And what do you suggest that we do?" he asked, his voice dripping with annoyance, "you are quick to rebut our suggestions and yet have had naught to contribute to this - I am starting to think that you see nothing strange in the one you call friend."

Setting his jaw tight, Legolas slowly turned his head to face the man, blue eyes unwavering as he glared openly at him. "I have seen it," he said concisely and dangerously, "so do not seek to say that I have not for I had seen it long before it was ever brought to your attention."

"Then what do you think eats at him?" Gamling asked, his voice slightly showing his wonder. Never before had he had dealings with the fair folk and, as he was starting to see, Legolas was not entirely as he seemed. He was quiet, withdrawn and liked to keep to himself, and yet at the same time he was not afraid to speak his mind to anyone. He was obviously a fighter and yet the way that he held himself seemed to imply that there was more to him that just the deadly, assassin like characteristics that he displayed. Legolas seemed delicate, almost weak in appearance and his fair features did naught to speak otherwise, but as he had just seen, he was able to easily disarm a dwarf without so much as a grunt of effort. The thing that amazed the guard the most was the Elf's eyes. In contra to his face which held a youthful appearance - as if he had just reached his manhood - his eyes held a wisdom and depth that matched, if not exceeded, that of Gandalf's and every time the strange blue orbs locked onto his, he felt as if he were in the presence of an otherworldly being.

Once again Legolas looked towards the man and once again Gamling could not suppress the shudder that ran down his spine from the emotionless glaze of the Elven warrior. His eyes seemed to fixate Gamling to the spot, stopping any movement or thought that may have come to his attention had the archers eyes not fallen on him.

Then, without a word, Legolas turned his gaze back towards the window, obviously not wishing to answer the question that was placed in front of him only moments before. After a long silence, it was the Elf that spoke, his words flowing lightly through the air and yet putting the others at ill ease. "You do not have enough men here," he said, changing the subject from the behavior of Aragorn, "how could you possibly seek to defend these walls with so few people capable of fighting?"

"We have to make do!" Éomer replied off the cuff and testily, "and besides," he added while turning his back on the Elf who had now become everyone's centre of attention, "I see no Elves here to help defend these lands that they like to call theirs as well. Your kind seem to hide in their forests when things go ill or retreat to your havens when you should be here, helping defend these lands!"

Temper immediately flaring up, Legolas glared at the human, a slight hiss escaping his lips at the smug look that took residence on Éomer's features, and before he knew what he was saying, he stunned the human's into silence. "Speak not of what you do not understand! My father has a hard enough time trying to protect his borders from the dark powers, just as Lothlórien and Rivendell do theirs. Does the fact that my people are leaving these shores by the day not bother you apart from the fact that it takes away your precious aid?"

"Yo-your father is the King of Mirkwood?" Éomer asked hesitantly, having not missed the slip in Legolas' identity. From the first day that he had come into the company of the human's of the Ridermark, Legolas had kept his full title a secret, not wanting to alert them to his royal blood. Aragorn was one thing, but an entire civilization of humans was not something that he would easily trust with such knowledge. Too long had his kindred been plagued with the mortals and their relentless chase for the Elven kind. It was a weakness that seemed to reside in all of them, that they saw the Elves as something otherworldly and thus lusted to possess one of the creatures, whether it be the Elf's wish or not.

"So you are the crowned prince?" Gamling asked, the awe in his voice so obvious to the Elf that it almost made him want to shudder.

Looking over to the two men that regarded him with a sudden strange form of respect and interest, he narrowed his eyes and glared at both until they dropped their gaze.

"What does it matter?" Legolas asked while jumping from his high perch. Walking briskly over to the table, he snatched up his bow and knives, and, quickly slipping the blades into their sheaths and the bow over his back, made his way to the door.

"Where are you going?" Gimli asked, a slight hint of concern in his voice.

"I am actually going to put our words into practice and find out what is wrong with our friend." With that and the bang of the wooden door, the prince of the Elves was gone from their sight.

*****

Knocking on the door, Legolas took in a deep breath and turned the handle, not waiting for the King of men to grant him access.

Walking into the room, he found it darkened, the shutters of the only window pulled closed, successfully blocking out the sun's rays. No candles where lit, no torches burnt in the wall braces, nothing that could provide light was present in the room, adding to Legolas' unease.

"Aragorn?" he called softly while letting his eyes adjust to the darkness of the small, enclosed room. A slight shift of cloth from the far corner alerted him to his friend's whereabouts, and, walking slowly and cautiously towards the sound, Legolas blinked his eyes, attempting to banish the darkness from his sight. The room, while being gloomy, seemed to hold an unnatural blackness to it, one that even his Elven eyesight could not easily pierce and see through.

"What do you want?" Aragorn's hash voice came from the back of the room, its tone neither inviting nor friendly.

"Just to talk, my friend," Legolas responded, not really sure how to go about this task. All he and the others knew was that there was something strange about the way Aragorn had been acting, yet neither one of them had even half a clue as to what it was, and besides, it was not as if Legolas could come straight out and ask the man what his problem was, as it was bound to end badly.

A sigh and further rustling came to his pointed ears, and within a moment he knew that Aragorn was standing and walking towards him. Tensing in the dark, Legolas prepared himself for the form of the human as it emerged from the shadows and came into his sight. To him it seemed as if Aragorn had grown, rose in his height just as his malice seemed to stain the air around them, his hate flowing freely and reflecting in his strange dark eyes.

"There is nothing to talk about, *friend*!" Aragorn hissed, the last word dripping with malice like the blood of some freshly skinned game, ready for the cooking fire. Without another word, the human turned his back on the prince and hastily retreated back into the murkiness from which he had come.

"Aragorn, lasto na nin!" Legolas demanded as the human walked away from him yet again. The look in Aragorn's eyes was unlike anything that the Elf had seen before, either in the human he had long called friend or in any other living being. It was crazed, wild and enough to send shivers up and down the Elf's spine.

"Legolas, Noro!" Aragorn commanded, his back turned to the Elf yet his right arm outstretched and pointing to the door.

Stepping forward in his rage and confusion, Legolas bit his lip before speaking again, this time leaving his native language forgotten as he switched to Common. "No Aragorn, I will not go, so do not presume to command me to do so!" As the ranger whirled to face the Elf, Legolas saw the dark and unnatural flash in his eyes that he had, in a way, become used to. The strange darkness had been an ever present feature for the last few days, always there and always clouding the normally storm-grey orbs.

"Get out, Legolas!" the man yelled, his eyes changing in front of Legolas' very sight.

"Not until you tell me what is going on!" the Elf countered, not allowing himself to give into the inklings of fear that were slowly building up inside of him at the man's rage. He had to do this, had to find out what was wrong and what could be done about it before something terrible happened. "Aragorn," he pleaded gently, "you can tell me wh-"

He was cut harshly off as the man grabbed both his arms in an iron like grasp. Shaking the Elf slightly, the man glared down at the one that he held captive as he steadily tightened his grip, pushing Legolas' shoulders up and pulling a small groan from the being in question.

Ice blue eyes looked up to meet his, and for a moment, the man almost regretted the harsh way that he was treating his friend. He could see the fear in Legolas' eyes, something that he was not used to seeing at all, and the slight hints of pain as he felt his hands unwillingly tighten once more. Yet, as quick as the soft change of heart occurred, a darker, more menacing feeling erupted inside of him, spilling out a fiery hatred towards the Elf that stood clasped within his grasp.

"Get. Out." He said slowly and dangerously while roughly shoving the Elf backwards and towards the door, ridding himself of the one thing that he felt could break his strong will.

Barely catching himself from his stumble on time, Legolas had to steady himself against one of the small tables in the room. Never had Aragorn treated him in such a way and what's more, Legolas had never seen the human act like that towards anyone else.

Rubbing his hands over the bruises that he could already feel forming against his skin, Legolas was rather surprised to find that his breaths were coming in short gasps, almost hiccupping in his throat. Something about Aragorn's voice was not right - it was almost as if it were not him that spoke, but someone else, someone more threatening.

A sudden scene flashed before his eyes, as if it were a touch of the sight that the wiser, older Elves often had, and closing his eyes, he let the blurry vision overcome him.

**He was standing silently in the Halls of Edoras, observing as Gandalf revealed himself as the new white wizard of Middle-earth. He could see Aragorn, holding back Éowyn, Gimli with his foot resting on Wormtongue's chest and. . .he could see himself, standing there quietly, watching all. The wizard yelled out words, his form emitting a strange white glow as he held his staff out before him, pushing the cadaverous king back into his seat and sending his threats directly to Saruman.

A sudden screech from Théoden was all the warning that the white-wizard had as the human leapt forward in his seat, his eyes a death blue and yet raging in hate. Having expected an attack of the sort, Gandalf chanted quickly and sent the man flying back into his seat and, with a great sigh, all could see Saruman's presence expelled from the weary king.

Watching as Aragorn allowed the lady to break from his grasp and run towards the king, Legolas saw a faint shadow pass over the hall. It hung in the air and surrounded the tops of the pillars like mist does the roots of trees in his homeland, only this shadow seemed threatening and evil.

It was though his strange re-observation of the scene before him that Legolas noticed something that he had not the first time. The strange fog seemed to circle about the top of the roof, collecting itself until it slowly snaked down, right above Aragorn's head. Watching in awe, Legolas saw the mist finally disappear into the human, leaving no trace of it left within the room.**

"I said, GET OUT!" Aragorn's bellowing voice brought him quickly out of his strange, trance like experience, and, as his eyes cleared, Legolas once again saw the black rage in the human's eyes.

Smiling faintly to himself, the Elf took a daring step forward and, raising one eyebrow elegantly, whispered, "Saruman!"

Further shadow seemed to pass over his friends face at his hushed word, and as if letting his hold over Aragorn tighten fully, the human's eyes turned a pitch black and a sneer formed on his face.

"Very good, little Elfling!" the wizard's voice seemed to blend with that of Aragorn's making a strange mix of both as the man's mouth moved to form the words. As Legolas watched, the man seemed to grow taller still, his face becoming overshadowed with darkness and malcontent as he looked down on the Elf. "I did not expect that you would work it out, not without the wizard to help you."

Swallowing, Legolas looked towards the threatening man and then to the door. This was not good. He held no power over the wizard and there was no way that he would hurt his friend for the sole purpose of getting Saruman. Maybe he should have left when he was commanded to.

Moving slowly towards the doorway, Legolas looked into the dark eyes, searching for any sign of his long time friend. "Aragorn?" he asked, only to be cut off abruptly.

"Nay, he can not hear you!" Aragorn said, Saruman's presence strong in his voice. Backing up a little more, Legolas dared a quick look in the direction of the door only to turn and see that the human's eyes were also locked on the thick wooden door.

An evil smirk passed over Aragorn's face, one that Legolas had never seen on the human before, and the pure unease of it caused the Elf to back up even further.

With a slight wave of his hand, the table that Legolas had steadied himself against earlier flew from its previous spot and jammed itself up against the door, cutting off the prince's only form of escape and only exit while almost bowling the Elf over in the process.

"And it would not be advisable to go for the door," Saruman laughed through the human at the look of pure shock and horror that spread over his now captive visitor. "You are not going anywhere little one!"

Gulping secretly, Legolas tried desperately to gain control of his quickly beating heart as the man once again started to walk slowly; mockingly towards him. Taking a step back, the Elf pressed his lips together in concentration, trying to overcome the panic in his mind so that he could at least try to formulate a plan of escape or aiding his friend, but all efforts where cut short when two strong hands once again grasped his arms.

Gasping in both shock and surprise, Legolas found his feet getting lifted off the ground and, within a moment, his back get jammed against the cold stone wall of the room. Straining, his could just reach the floor with his toes as the strength of the human held him firmly in place, his short nails pressed to his skin that tight that he could feel them start to leave little crescent moon marks.

"A pretty one!" the strange voice stated with a slight hint of suggestion. Legolas turned his head to the side in disgust as the face of the man moved closer, taking in the sent of his hair and skin. Pressing his eyes closed, the prince was caught completely by surprise when a soft, wet tongue darted out and licked the side of his jaw line.

Crying out in protest, he turned his head to remark only to find Aragorn tongue lick at the Elf's lips. Pushing his head as far as possible into the wall, Legolas turned pleading eyes on the being before him, wanting this all to stop. "Aragorn," Legolas breathed out while the body continued to crush him against the cold stone wall. "Aragorn, I know you can fight this!"

"Legolas," the human said, his voice still the strange mixture of both Aragorn's and Saruman's, "where do I know that name from?" It was obvious that it was the wizard doing the talking and Legolas was at least grateful that he could not seem to access Aragorn's memories.

"Legolas," the man once again purred out, as if rolling the name over his tongue to see how it sounded. Moving his hand quickly, he grasped the Elf's chin and roughly brought his face up, locking eyes with the blond archer.

For what seemed like an eternity they stared heatedly into the others eyes, each trying to size up the others weakness and strengths. Legolas searched desperately for any sign of his friend within the eyes and demeanor of the human in front of him, yet it was in vain, Aragorn's very composure reeked of the corrupted wizard.

Feeling Aragorn's hand tighten around his chin a little more, Legolas pressed his lips together in order to stop even the slightest sound from passing.

"Legolas!" the man stated with a large, triumphant smirk. "I remember you now! The pretty little prince of Mirkwood - Mirkwood's pride and joy." His voice was patronizing, insulting and dangling a hook in front of the Elf, wanting him to grasp it and respond with hatred.

Instead, Legolas just pulled his chin free and diverted his gaze from the wizard within his friend, knowing that he could not stand to see such harshness playing upon his friends face. "Aragorn," he whispered, his voice gently and almost pleading, "fight this, please!"

For but a moment the pressure holding him to the wall relaxed, and, looking up, he was shocked to see Aragorn's face clear and un-darkened. "Legolas?" it was his voice, the voice that the Elf knew as well as his own and with the whispered word, the human took a shaky step back, releasing the Elf from his intimidating position.

"What did I-" as quickly as Aragorn had returned, he was gone, his face once again shadowed as the human walked back towards the Elf with a purposeful stride. Acting quickly, Legolas let the balls of his palms fly into either side of the human's shoulder's, shoving him back a considerably way with the force, having not wanted to allow the human the chance of cornering him again.

Moving quickly from his trapped position next to the wall, Legolas stood in the centre of the room, poised and ready for whatever was to come next.

As the man righted himself, he shook his head gently, as if trying to rid his mind of an invaded force or a force not wanting to be pushed into submission. "THAT," Saruman boomed though Aragorn moved his mouth, "was really the wrong thing to do, little prince!"

Aragorn was slowly advancing on him, his eyes speaking of hate and murder, and it was all Legolas could do to circle around him and keep out of his grasp in the small room. To say that the Elf did not know what to do was an understatement. To face the wizard alone was above him, and yet, when in the body of his friend, it was even more dangerous. He knew Aragorn's strengths and weaknesses in fighting, just as the human knew his, and if Saruman tightened his hold, then the prince was sure that he would be able to access that important information. The fact that he also did not want to hurt the human was a considerable detail to bring into play, but, resolving quickly and especially after what had just happened, Legolas decided that he would do whatever he considered necessary to stay out of harms way.

Casting another quick look at the door, Legolas decided that it would be his best bet. He hated running away from a fight, any fight, but this was different, this was his best friend that he would have to face if worse came to worst.

Standing his ground, Legolas waited until Aragorn was walking victoriously towards him, Saruman's confidence displayed openly upon his face as he reached an arm out to once again grab the Elf.

Ducking under his reaching arms, Legolas fled towards the door, knowing that he could not handle this situation himself. Grabbing hold of the table, he yanked at it frantically, trying to pull it from its spot only to find that it held fast, as if strapped into place with invisible rope.

Pulling once more, he underestimated the time that it would take for Aragorn to reach him, and, before he could do anything to evade the grasp, he found two arms locking together around his waist, pulling him from his position near the door.

Grunting as he was lifted clean off the ground by his middle, Legolas let his feet fly back and impact with both Aragorn's knees while sending his head back and smashing into his jaw. Feeling the man's grip on him loosen, he allowed his feet to plant themselves firmly on the ground before crossing his arms over and grabbing both of Aragorn's that still halfheartedly held him. Pulling them apart and off his waist, the Elf quickly switched his grip and, leaning forward, sent the man rolling over his back and slamming into the floor.

A loud cry of pain came from the human's lips as he hit the ground, and, with a half worried look, Legolas raised his fists in front of his face, trying to work out the best way of escaping. Eyes darting over to the window at the far end of the room, he turned to make a dash for the opening only to have Aragorn sweep his legs out from underneath him, knocking him off balance and flooring him much the same way as he had just done to the human.

Groaning, Legolas went to straighten himself up, yet as he rolled over, his gaze to fall upon the feet of the now standing ranger.

Reaching down and grabbing the Elf by the hair, Aragorn dragged him to his feet before throwing him back against the wall. Hitting hard, the prince muffled a groan as he seemed to slowly slide down the stone surface and slump against the floor. He could hear the footsteps of the man coming closer to him but, even after his resolve, he could not bring himself to draw a weapon against his friend.

Kneeling down next to the Elf, Aragorn reached down and grabbed Legolas by the throat, straightening him up against the wall. Tucking a stray lock of the Elf's pale golden hair behind a pointed ear, the human paid no attention to the pleading blue eyes of the stunned Elf that were locked onto his.

Legolas felt as if he could not move, his energy zapped from him when he hit the wall, and as the man's fingers traveled over his face and hair, all he could do was look into the eyes in hopes of finding his long lost friend. A thin trail of blood seeped from Aragorn's nose, obviously broken from when he had head butted him and Legolas was vaguely aware of a trail of blood making its way from his own newly split lip.

"What is the worst betrayal?" Saruman asked of the prince that he held trapped, his voice a strange mix of the wizard's and the human Ranger's.

"Aragorn?" Legolas sighed, almost giving up hope of ever finding his friend in the midst of such darkness.

"Aragorn?" Saruman questioned, taking the prince's statement the wrong way. "You know!" he said almost cheerily, "I think you are right! Aragorn is the worst betrayal - at least to you." Smile widening, Saruman moved his hand over to the Elf's lips, an evil glint in his eyes, "what if he were to do this. . ." he said while trailing his hand over the prince's cheek and then down the side of his throat, drawing little circles as he went. "Or maybe even. . ." he leaned forward and gently sucked at the Elf's bleeding bottom lip, taking the blood and swishing it about his mouth, savoring the taste, ". . .that?"

Squirming away from the more then unwanted touch, Legolas tried to turn and slip out from between the human's arms only to find that they closed in around his head, keeping him in place. "No running now, little prince!" Saruman taunted as he grabbed the Elf's chin in his hands again.

Tilting the fair face upwards, the dark eyes of the wizard bore into the ice blue of the Elf, and, before he could do anything to stop it, Aragorn's mouth swooped down to seal roughly against his. Grinding their lips together, the man did naught to be gentle or passionate, only seeking to make the Elf feel disgusted and betrayed at the hands of his so called friend.

Squirming again as his strength started to return to his heavy feeling limbs, Legolas brought his balled right fist up and smashed it against the human's head, not really caring if he caused him any real damage.

Surprised by the antagonism behind the attack, the human toppled back and landed on his backside and elbows before one hand shot to the side of his head. Scurrying backwards along the side of the wall, Legolas waited until he was a far distance away before pulling himself to his feet, and, on automatic response to the threat, pulling out his bow-knives.

Rising to his own feet and chuckling slightly, Aragorn drew his sword, Saruman clearly visibly in his eyes. "You plan to fight your own friend, little princeling?"

Drawing upon as much courage as he could at the fast worsening situation, Legolas lifted his head and maintained eye contact with the human, "Nay!" he spoke clearly and surly, "I plan to fight you, Saruman!"

"Do you not realize that it will be he that you hurt, not I?" Saruman asked with another laugh, "you are a fool Legolas!"

"Better a fool," Legolas spat, his hate quickly starting to surface, "then a coward who uses others to fight his own battles!"

"I have no battle with you!" Saruman chuckled while Aragorn tightened his grip on his sword. "I merely want to see you destroyed along with the rest of your futile fellowship!"

"And I will not let that come to pass!" Legolas said in defiance of what the wizard had said. He could not let them all perish at the hands of one that they thought friend, and, if need be, the Elf was prepared to die in order to stop such a horrible fate from occurring.

Circling around each other, the two never let their gaze's drop as they argued, each attempting to calculate what the other would do. Legolas knew Aragorn, knew his fighting styles and different attacks - half of which he had actually taught the man - and this gave him the advantage. Yet the fact that he did not wish to kill Aragorn when the human was out to get his blood seemed to strip that small benefit away and cast it into the wind.

The Elf knew that Aragorn would attack low; even if Saruman was polluting his mind, it was a routine that had been drummed into him since birth and would stay with him even if his mind did not. Following that, he would try everything possible to get the Elf off his feet and onto the floor after which he would make his death stroke. So, in short, all Legolas needed to do was to keep on his feet and he should be fine, as long as he also avoided Aragorn's jabs and his deadly right hook which, in all probability, had enough force behind it to knock him into darkness.

A sudden flare in the human's darkened eyes told Legolas when he was about to attack, and, as he had expected, Aragorn swung his broad blade right at his lower legs and feet. Quickly crossing his blades, Legolas held them in front of his shins, catching the blow with the thin knives and stopping any harm coming from the attack. Letting his hands move slightly to the left, Legolas took a step to his right and closer to the human before letting his right leg slam into Aragorn's left side. The Elven prince ended the attack with a jab of his elbow, catching the man in the mouth and splitting his lip.

Aragorn stumbled back, one arm to his side while the other angrily wiped the blood from his chin with his sleeve. "Well done, little princeling," Saruman's voice scolded the Elf as he spat out the rest of the blood from his seeping lip. "Aragorn will feel that for a few days!" Legolas knew that he was trying to put him off, attempting to taunt him into giving up the fight, but, for both his and Aragorn's sake, he knew that he could not. He would just have to restrain himself from hurting his friend too badly and then Aragorn would just have to deal with the repercussions at a later date.

Once again they circled, Legolas not wishing to make the first move and Saruman now knowing that the Elf knew of his attacks before he even carried them out. Finally, as if the tension had gotten the better of him, Aragorn charged forward, swinging the blade around his head once in full rotation before sending it forcefully towards the right side of Legolas' shoulders.

Again crossing his blades, Legolas took the force of the blow on the unbreakable bow-knives and arms, yet, as he soon saw, even that was not enough to keep him on his feet. The built up momentum of the previous swing was enough to send the Elf falling to the side and onto his right knee, dragging the human down with him by turning his blades slightly so that they covered the attackers sword.

Being locked by each others blades, the two just stared at each other, each trying to distract and put the other off.

"Aragorn!" Legolas insisted as he glared into the darkened eyes, "Aragorn, fight this!" A sickening sadistic smile seemed to stretch upon the ranger's face, its nature never before seen by the Elf on the human and, before he could react, the man leaned over and let his tongue dart up the side of his right cheek.

Automatically recoiling, Legolas lost his concentration and, after a well aimed elbow slamming into his face, fell back on his left arm and backside. Feeling the already warm trickle of blood thicken, Legolas looked up to see the man quickly leap to his feet and move over him, sword held high as he prepared to plunge it into the fair being.

Still grasping both daggers in his hands, Legolas lent back and, putting all his weight on his arms, sent both feet in a spring-kick against the human's chest; the maneuver ending with enough force to send Aragorn almost flying to the opposite side of the room. Pushing against his hands once more, Legolas sprung to his feet, bow-knives held in front of his face and his breath not even the slightest bit labored.

Aragorn rose somewhat precariously to his feet, shaking his head from side to side as if trying to clear his mind or vision. His spathe was still gripped tightly in his hands as he once again walked slowly to the middle of the room, standing a few feet in front of Legolas.

Trying to see a method that would prove to be fatal to the twin-knife armed Elf, the wizard assessed the way the other was standing, how he held himself and the past show of flexibility. A sly smile came to the ranger's otherwise emotionless features as he saw the weakness that he was looking for.

Moving forward, he swung gently and almost lethargically at the Elf who blocked the blow with his left blade. Gaining the reaction that he wanted, Aragorn tightened his grip on his sword and, before the Elf could move in to attack, swung his sword in a circle, catching the Elf off guard. Once. Twice. Three times he rotated his blade, each swipe getting larger and faster, and, on the third loop, Legolas was no longer able to hold onto his knife. With a gasp from the Elven prince, the sliver dagger went clattering against the wall on the other side of the room and well out of his reach. With one more loop of his blade, Aragorn sent the side biting into Legolas' unprotected left arm, cutting deeply into the cloth and skin while allowing a large spot of blood-red to bloom against the green and brown of his tunic.

Taking a step back while pressing his right fist against the wound, Legolas turned horrified eyes towards the human. Never, in all their years, had they drawn each others blood. Their weapons had not once, even on mistake, bitten into the other, drawing forth the precious liquid of life and for the first time that night, Legolas truly realized that this was deadly. This was not the friendly practice sessions that the man and Elf still engaged in, or the more competitive duels that they would challenged each other to; this was real, this was a real fight and Aragorn was, for the first time, the real enemy. He may not have been right in mind, he may have even been someone else in there while the real Aragorn was beaten into submission, but it was still he that Legolas had to face and still he that was threatening the Elf's life.

Pulling his right hand away and looking up into the gleaming eyes that he knew where not Aragorn's, Legolas flicked the blood off his hand and onto the floor before spinning his right dagger in his palm and moving back into the middle of the room. Not even bothering to try and talk to his friend, knowing that his words would fall upon deaf ears, Legolas just glared at the man before him.

With a raged cry, Aragorn leapt forward, attempting to plunge his blade straight into the Elf's stomach and end this folly charade. Seeing this move before it happened, Legolas swiftly sidestepped to the right, and, taking a deep breath, let his blade cut the man across the right shoulder, a wound that he knew would impair his ability to move his heavy blade too quickly and yet caused minimal damage.

Recovering quickly and turning on his heels, Aragorn raised his sword about his head; both hands clasping the hilt tightly and, with a grunt, aimed the hilt of the handle towards the Elf's head, trying to knock him out.

Hands moving faster then the eye could see, Legolas wrapped his left around Aragorn's and the handle of the blade while quickly shoving the curved silver of his bow-knife between his teeth and placing his now empty right hand on top of his other. The Elf knew that pushing up against the full weight of Aragorn was hopeless and that he would never succeed, so, in a desperate attempt at keeping his head in one piece, he yanked the sword down while stepping to the side.

The move worked well, the sword now trapped, point down, between the two duelers who were once again shoulder to shoulder in their struggle. Having the advantage of his hands being on top, Legolas quickly assessed the situation, searching to find a reasonable way of ending this quickly and without further harming his friend. Looking down at the blade, he saw that it ran flat at his angle and noticing that, an idea sprang to mind.

Letting out a grunt around the dagger in his teeth, he hid his smile when Aragorn looked up to him, expectance glimmering in Saruman's black eyes having not seen the obvious distraction that Legolas was making. Once the wizards eyes where locked onto his, Legolas acted quickly and powerfully, not giving the human a moment to react or recover.

Moving both limbs as one, Legolas once again sent his elbow into the face of the human while lifting his right knee swiftly so that it hit hard against the undamaging flat of the sword. As the human wheeled back at the force of the blow, Legolas tightening his hands over the blade and that, with the force of the blow to the sword, tore it from the ranger's hand. Dropping the sword to the floor, Legolas kicked it away and under the table that was firmly wedged up against the door; well out of reach of both.

Raising his right eyebrow elegantly, Legolas took his bow-knife from between his teeth and held it out in front him as he slowly backed the human up against the wall with the only window. Once the man had no where else to flee, Legolas stood as close as he dared, the edge of the blade held a few inches from Aragorn's exposed neck.

"Now let me talk to my friend!" Legolas demanded of the wizard who possessed the man that he held at knife point.

Shaking his head slightly, Legolas saw a familiar flash in the human's eyes and, before he could do anything to stop it, he felt Aragorn's closed fist slamming into his stomach. The blow knocked the wind out of him, and, doubling over, the Elf let out a slight hiss of pain as he gulped for the air that his lungs were just deprived of. A knee colliding with his stomach only further proved to make him cry out and, as he found himself getting shoved to the ground, there was naught that he could do to regain his composure.

Looking down on the curled up Elf that lay at his feet, an evil glint passed through Saruman's eyes and, taking a step back, he sent a powerful kick into the Elf's ribs, a satisfying crunch filling his ears. Reaching down, he snatched up the knife the Elf held lightly in his hands, his mind too occupied with the pain to put up a better fight as his weapon was taken from him.

Rolling over, his back now to the man, Legolas struggled to keep the pain from clouding his judgment or rational thought. He hated this, hated what he was forced to do and that fact that no matter how much Aragorn hurt him, he could not bring himself to wound his friend beyond more then a scratch. After all, it was not Aragorn doing this; he was not in control of himself.

Hearing the labored breathing of the man behind him and the fall of a step, softer then any other human the prince had ever known, he knew that he had to put such doubts out of his mind else the wizard would actually defeat him.

Curling in on himself further, he plunged his hand into the inside of his right boot and pulled out a small dagger that he kept for emergencies. It was like his bow-knives, fashioned out of silver with a golden handle and intricate vines painted on the smooth surface, only it was a gift from the Lady of Light many, many years ago. Gripping it tightly in his right hand, he thanked the Valar for the day that he had received such a gift and was only sad that had to be put to such use.

Saruman walked smugly around the writhing Elf, prepared to finish the job with the Elf's own knife. Crouching down next to the pale being, he stretched forth his left hand to move the prince's head up, only to have the Elf whirl into action and, within a fleeting moment, the human found a small dagger protruding though his left hand, the blood flowing quickly and easily as the blade warmed at the touch of the thick liquid.

Acting upon the other's shock, Legolas ignored the pain in his ribs as he sent his leg flying towards Aragorn's shoulder, sending the man sprawling to the floor as he still held his bleeding hand.

Pulling himself to his knees, Legolas' ice blue eyes scanned the darkened room for what he was desperately seeking. Gaze fixating on the object, he sent himself forward in a tumble roll just as Aragorn lunged at him, the princes own dagger attempting to bite into the flesh of his leg. The blade missed by only a matter of millimeters and, instead of sinking into the soft flesh of the Elf's calf, hit against the hard stone of the floor, sending shivers up and down Aragorn's right arm.

Ending his tumble turn, Legolas snatched up his other knife and pulled himself painfully to his feet, one arm wrapped protectively around his ribs and midsection. Peering through the dark, he saw Aragorn do the same thing. The man pulled the smaller dagger out of his hand with a look of both pain and disgust and cast it aside as he once again prepared for a show down with the Elven archer.

Deciding that he had had enough of the defensive side, Legolas spun on his heels and whirled in on the man, using the speed of his spin to aid in the strength of his attack. Aragorn blocked the blade easily with little more then a grunt as the force jarred his arm, and as the pressure of the Elf's attacking blade was released, he anticipated the next action and brought his blade to the left, blocking another assault from the prince.

Right, left, right, left was how the prince attacked, each stroke consisting of a little more strength then the last and succeeding in driving the man back against the wall. The entire fight was one handed for both, Legolas hugging his left arm to his ribs in a feeble attempt to support them and cause no further damage while Aragorn nursed his still profoundly bleeding hand into his chest, trying to stop the bleeding with the material of his tunic.

Once his back grazed against the stone of the wall, Saruman knew that he had to do something other then just deflect the prince's blows, so, ducking and spinning under the blade that was sailing towards his head, he came in on the side of the Elf and delivered a deathly quick blow to his side.

Knowing that the man would do something of the sort once trapped in the corner, Legolas was prepared and blocked the blow by throwing his blade into his left hand and sweeping it by his hip. Pivoting on his left foot, Legolas spun out of the corner and into the open before sending a sideward attack at the human.

Whirling on the graceful Elf, Aragorn gripped the thin dagger with both hands, unheeding of the pain in his left, and brought the blade crashing down onto Legolas', the sound reverberating off the rock walls. The resonance was almost deafening as they fought, their feet working in a detailed dance up and down the halls while their blades clashed in a dance of their own. The darkness of the room only seemed to make it worse, the only real sign of an attack being the flash of the silver blade as it fell or the chance glimpse of ones eyes if the feeble light fell just right. Heat radiated all around them, the air burning as sweat rolled mainly down the human's face and the lack of fresh air making it harder and harder to breathe evenly, even for the Elf. The area felt and sounded like a blacksmiths shop, the air crackling with a furnace like intensity as the constant and steady beating of the swords were like that a smith would use when shaping cooling metal.

Ignoring the pain that pulsated though his hand, Aragorn gripped the blade with his bloodied fingers and, seeing an opening, sent his right fist smashing into the side of Legolas' face, startling the Elf and sending him wheeling back with the force of the strike.

Stumbling back while fighting to remain conscious as his head spun, Legolas banged into one of the small tables that stood around the room, their purpose unknown. The wood caught him in the middle of his lower back, almost doubling him over backwards and making his ribs move at a painfully odd angle thus pulling a startled cry from his lips as he dropped his bow- knife, the blade cluttering to the rock floor at his feet.

A lingering smile upon his face, Aragorn moved in while the Elf was still trying to regain his composure and fight the threatening blackness that pulled at his mind. Letting his own blade fall to the floor, the wizard possessed human clamped his hand around the Elf's throat, and, spinning him around so he could hold onto the back of Legolas' neck, sent Legolas' head crashing unapologetically into the wooden table.

Legolas gasped for air as the table was once again drawn from his sight as the human pulled his aching head up. Feeling the pain beating in a rhythmic fashion all through his face, he briefly had the time to wonder if his nose had been broken in the violent attack before the wooden grain of the bench came rushing forward to meet his face again. Crying out in pain for the second time, Legolas waited for the moment when the table would once again rise to meet him, and, when that moment came, let his arms shoot up and stop the impact.

Shocked by the Elf's quick movements and sudden stop to the beating he was administering, Aragorn missed the slight movement of Legolas' feet as the Elf prepared to kick back.

Kicking the man hard in the kneecap, Legolas felt the grip on his neck loosen as the man stumbled back, pain flooding his now shaking leg. Spinning on his knees, Legolas sent the side of his flat palm into the weak spot just between Aragorn's jaw and shoulder with force just short of snapping the ranger's neck.

Aragorn crumpled to the ground, holding his bleeding hand over his busted knee and his other to his neck as Legolas shakily stood, blood running down his face from his now assured broken nose, bleeding lip and a gash on his forehead.

The Elf gasped for the breath that was short coming as he spat more blood angrily from his lips while looking down on the pain filled man. As the prince watched, Aragorn's eyes once again cleared of the unnatural dark fog that lined them, and, before Legolas' very vision, he became Aragorn again.

Hand moving to his lip to be rid of more blood, Legolas showed the man no mercy, knowing that it was a deploy of Saruman in order to catch him off guard, yet, as a soft, raspy voice filled his ears, the Elf could not bring himself to stand there and not aid his friend.

"Legolas?" Aragorn chocked out, "what is happening? What happened to you. . .and me?" his voice was laced with pain and a sense of grief, and, feeling his heart reach out to the man, Legolas knelt down beside him and pushed a few strands of sweat drenched hair from Aragorn's brow.

"'Tis all right, my friend," Legolas said gently while keeping an eye on the ranger's eyes to know of any danger, "just keep fighting it!" the man nodded slightly, fear in his eyes and Legolas was forced to remember the first time that he had met the future king of men. Aragorn had been but a mere child then, scared and lost in the wooded gardens of Rivendell having wandered away from Elladan and Elrohir, and had treated Legolas like he was an angel sent from the Valar to help him get back to his Elven home. Sighing, his own fear hidden deep within, Legolas tried to smile through his cracked lip, "it will be all right - just fight it." He was more reassuring himself now, not really paying the man much attention as the Elf's mind wandered to better days long since past.

"Why?" Aragorn's voice floated to him, once again twisted in the conjunctive way of Saruman's as the word was spat out. Moving back quickly, Legolas was a second too slow and before he could dart away, he felt the rough hold of a blood covered hand clamping around his shoulder. The flat of Aragorn's foot smacked him in the side, further driving his broken ribs into his internal flesh and causing the world around Legolas to spin out of recognition.

The Elf was shoved back by the hand on his shoulder, sending him sprawling to the ground in a heap of pain and blood. Legolas hated having to fight his own friend, the only person that he was trust with his life without a single doubt or fear. It seemed surreal, like a frightening dream that he had heard the human's talk of, - nightmares they called them, something that did not touch the eyes of the slumbering Elves - that he should now, after all that they had been through together, have to physically wound his friend or end up deceased himself. It was the worst feeling that he had ever had creeping inside of him and the worst possible situation to be placed in.

Shaking his head in hopes of straightening out the tilting world, Legolas crawled to his knees, his ribs burning within his chest while making his breath hard and painful to draw. Watching as another sadistic smile polluted the face of his friend; Legolas rubbed absentmindedly at his paining side with one hand and once again wiped some of the blood off his face with the other.

Yet another blinding flash of hate passed over Aragorn's twisted face, and, pulling his leg forward he sent it soaring towards the crouching Legolas' midsection once again. Prepared for the attack, Legolas crossed his arms and took the impact of the blow on his forearms while closing his hands around the human's foot. With a small sigh of regret, the Elf yanked his closed hands up and over his head, effectively pulling Aragorn's other foot out from underneath him.

Struggling to his feet, the Elf sent an unremorseful kick into the side of the human, stilling him and causing him to curl in on himself, much like Legolas had. Kicking the human over, Legolas planted his foot on the man's chest, pinning him to the ground with enough force to reduce the ranger's breathing capacity.

"Now stay down!" Legolas commanded through clenched teeth. Finally having had enough of this deadly game, Legolas had forced his heart to comply with his mind and stop letting the possessed human toy with him. No longer would he hold back in fear of gravely injuring his friend as the human had given no such courtesy to him.

The knowledge that he would feel better if he had one of his bow-knives with him was etched into his mind and with that thought; the Elf looked around for one of his closest disregarded weapons. Spying one just to the left, he pressed down even harder on the man's chest as a silent yet deadly warning and then, moving his leg, quickly made his way over to grasp the lightweight knife.

A slight shuffle from behind him caused the prince to whirl around, danger reflected in his eyes for the human that dared move after his warning.

Only his eyes never reached those of the intended.

A hand gripped his shoulder, holding him in place and yet slightly pulling him forward and before he could react, he felt the steadily increasing pressure of a small knife as it was slowly shoved into his stomach.

Mouth opening into a silent 'O' of surprise, Legolas raised his eyes to look into Aragorn's while both hands shoot to his stomach, clutching around the dagger that the human still held in him, buried to the hilt. Gone were the storm-grey eyes that he had shared many a worried look with throughout the years, the friendliness that has always been directed towards him was spent, now replaced with a bitter hatred that looked as if it had existed from the very first note that composed the song of the world.

The world seemed to have stopped for the Elven prince, time frozen in place, shrouding the two occupants of the room in a haze like mist of darkness, sealing them away from all else till the end of time and the fall of Middle-Earth.

Blinking slowly, almost languidly, Legolas looked back down to the hand and hilt protruding from his midsection. Blood flowed quickly and freely down his clothes, the greens turned a rustic brown as the blood soaked in, staining the fine material. Aragorn's dark hand was covered in blood, both Legolas' and his own as the Elf's liquefied life covered the leather strapped hilt and the fingers that tightly grasped it, the adjoining knuckles white with the fierce hold.

Finally, a gasp passed Legolas' pale, drawn lips, a groan sounded in his throat, rolling its way up the passage and sounding more like a growl as it became voiced. Sweat started to form of the Elf's brow, something completely alien to him and the long streaks irritated his eyes as the passed through, stinging as they went. His lips trembled, words trying to form but failing, mind not registering the command of speech and thus the only sound was now Legolas' rasping breaths.

Aragorn looked down on the Elf, eyes the colour of a moonless night and face in a mask half between sick pleasure and an unreadable blankness.

Heeding the voice whispered within his head, Aragorn released his strangling hold on the dagger and, hands slowly moving to Legolas' hips, tightened around the clothed flesh and lifted the Elf off the ground. In a move that made the Elf uncharacteristically scream out in pain, the man hefted him into the air ere slamming him down on the table that the Elf had only recently backed into.

The air was pressed out of his lungs, his mind not having enough will to force himself to take in more breath around the dagger that stood out of him like a small sapling, growing out of enriched soil and reaching up to the sun above.

Legolas just gave up.

Eyes fluttered closed, bright blue orbs covered in a darkness that seemed fatal, and lips parted, a small trail of blood weaving its way down the side of his chin and into his hair, making it a crimson-pink.

Climbing up onto the table, the wizard, not believing the Elf's death, straddled the unmoving being and, unheeding of the dagger that still clotted the otherwise open wound and the bleeding of the human's left hand, wrapped both hands around the thin, pale throat of the Elf, thumbs digging in just above the collarbone while fingers sunk into the back through a cascade of blond hair.

As if on a warrior's instinct - a second wind and the last breath of fight left within him - Legolas automatically forced himself to take a large breath just before the fingers closed, pressing the column in on itself at all angles. Forcing his eyes open, having rethought his previous relinquish of spirit, Legolas willed his hands to find the strength and power to move. Grasping the human's, he tried in vain to tug them from his throat, but with each weakening pull he gave, the human seemed to acquire strength and pressed down harder. Finally, seeing his last ever diversion of death, Legolas let his right hand slip off the man's and, tightening around the dagger still within his bleeding body, pulled it painfully free.

Looking one last time into Aragorn's eyes and seeing no trace of his friend, Legolas blocked the screaming of his heart from his conscious and plunged the already blood covered dagger deep into the unprotected side of the human.

A sharp cry of pain filled the air as the Elf did the one thing that he never thought he would do and, as expected, Aragorn's hands flew away from Legolas' throat and to his side, horror flooding the dark eyes. Twisting the dagger in the wound, Legolas summoned the remnants of his strength and shoved the human off him, the man's body crashing ungracefully to the stone floor.

Rolling off the table himself, Legolas landed on the floor on his hands and knees and, as best as he could, crawled over to the human who lay in a supine position. Gripping the human, Legolas pulled himself up and over the man, pinning him to the ground through it hardly seemed necessary. Reaching down, he clasped one hand tightly around Aragorn's neck while placing the other over his quickly beating heart. Allowing his left hand to slowly close in on the throat, Legolas watched the panic that flashed in front of the darkened eyes.

"Now let me talk to him!" the Elf demanded in a rasping, almost blood curdled voice as he pulled up on the throat, raising the head and dropped it back to the stone, forcing a moan of pain from the human. "Stand aside Saruman and let me talk to my friend!"

"You have no control over m-" the wizards words were spoken without the pain that the possessed body felt and the prince quickly cut them off by a tight squeeze on the Ranger's throat, causing his words to gurgle in his throat.

"Be gone!" Legolas with as much force as he could muster while pressing down further and watching his friend's eyes flutter. Once the dark orbs where hidden from sight by the man's closed lids, Legolas leant down and pressed his forehead against Aragorn's, his own eyes tightly closed.

"I know you can hear me!" he breathed out while not letting up on the strangling, vice like grip, "and I need you to fight this Aragorn, I can not do this for you, 'tis you who must dispel him!" Keeping his right hand firmly over Aragorn's quickly beating heart, he slowly started to let up his hold on the human's throat, knowing that Saruman or not he would need his breath soon.

"Legolas?" it was Aragorn again, his eyes clear and horrified as he looked up at the Elf pinning him to the floor.

"Aragorn!" Legolas stated while gripping the human's shoulder, "fight! I need you to fight!"

"I am trying," Aragorn breathed out, his eyes already starting to cloud over black again.

Shaking the man slightly, Legolas forced Aragorn's head up so that they could look into each others eyes. "Hold on!" he commanded, "do not let him back in!" at his order, Aragorn merely nodded, not having the strength to speak as he focused all his energy onto keeping the unwanted presence out of his head.

He could feel it, nipping at the corners of his mind like a dog at an eating person's heels. The feeling was strong, fervent compared to the weakness that he could now feel surging through his body. All throughout the fight, he had not felt a thing, not thought of a thing but stood by quietly, watching through a thick haze as he lay blow after blow upon his friend with the Elf sometimes returning the ill favor. He could not be sure what exactly he had done to the Elf, but he knew that Legolas was weak as well, if not more so due to the wounds that he had obtained, and yet, still the Elf fought for him, still he tried to stop him from being consumed by the voice that whispered its chanted words within his head.

Gasping at the strange throbbing in his side, Aragorn closed his eyes, trying to concentrate. A heated brow came in contact with his as Legolas closed his own eyes, the world spinning too much for the Elf to keep them open and his body straight and yet the human saw it as a way of his friend lending him strength.

Lapping the offerings up as much as he could, he worked hard at keeping his mind focused on the form of Legolas that lay on top of him, knowing that he had to keep his thoughts busy else the wizard be able to regain control.

He could hear the chanted words grow in their volume as Saruman became more and more desperate to maintain his influence of the man's mind and body once again, and, in an attempt of keeping them out, he raised his hands and gently circled them around his truest friends waist, clutching at him as if he were his only anchor to this world. Aragorn felt Legolas let out a small sigh and press his hand to his heart, reassuring the human of his presence as he allowed the man to hold onto him.

A thunderous roar sounded and, even through its intensity, Aragorn knew that it was only in his head. It was Saruman admitting defeat, giving up and, Aragorn thought, hopefully getting flung across the room or suffering some form of physical pain. The room seemed to noticeably lighten, the strange blackness that had clung to the walls like oil finally banished, giving way to the light of day.

Letting out a gasped chuckle, the Ranger lifted his hands up to Legolas' face, lifting the seemingly heavy head off his own and looked upon his exhausted friend for the first real time in days. The Elf was frighteningly pale, the many rivers of blood standing at an eerie contrast to the pastiness of the otherwise marble-like skin of his fair featured face. His eyes were the same startling blue that he remembered - like a cold flame - only now were clouded over in pain and weakness, two things that he had never really seen in his friend before that moment.

Biting his lip gently, Aragorn carefully arranged the Elf in his arms so that he could roll him over flat on his back without causing his friend any hurt. Not caring for his own wounds, the bitter sting of his conscious telling him that he had inflicted such pain onto his friend, Aragorn quickly started to staunch the wound in his friends stomach the best he could. Ripping yet another piece of cloth off his own cape, he tied off the padding that he had placed over the wound and carefully shifted the Elf into his arms once again.

Cradling the prince in the bend of his arm and his chest, he patted Legolas' face, knowing the he was not unconscious but dangerously close. "I am sorry! I am so sorry, my friend, but you have to hold on, Legolas, you have to hold on." Aragorn said, recalling some of the words that he could remember through the fog that was slowly lifting from his mind "fight it, fight the darkness."

"That was what I told you," the Elf said softly and with a great deal of difficulty, adding to Aragorn's worry.

"And I listened to your words just as I beg you to listen to mine," Aragorn said pulling the Elf closer. Balancing his badly wounded friend in his grasp, he lent forward and onto his knees - one of which was extraordinary painful. Climbing to his feet once, he carried the Elf to the door, glad that for once Legolas was not complaining about being treated like a child or like a weaker being.

Kicking at the legs of the table that blocked the door, it easily slid across the stone floor, the magick holding it long expelled from the room. Prompting Legolas to open the door that he could not, Aragorn kicked the door open the rest of the way, intending to carry his friend to the healers.

"See," the Ranger said softly while walking as quickly as his tired, beaten body would allow him, "all will be fine, everything will be all right!"

"Yes," Legolas said softer still, not even sure if Aragorn could hear him at all, "I will be fine." With that said, he buried his head deep into the man's chest, effectively hiding the black cloud that was slowly forming at the iris of his eyes and consuming the once ice-blue orbs, extinguishing the cold fire and dragging it into darkness and shadow.

"I will be fine."

*****

The end. . . . . . . . . . . for now.

I shall do a continuation to this as it is the only way to really see who would win due to the fact that next time Legolas would be out for blood - and I shall probably bring Gimli into the next one more.

Umm, anyway, I hope you liked this and in a way, I hope it makes you sit there and study the two next time you watch the movies to really try and see who would win - I mean, it *is* hard!

Please review and tell me what you think.

Minka.