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Umm, ok this story was written for Siobhan and Cassia's 'What's the story' fic challenge and received an Honorable Mention *Go me!* and well, now that the results are out, I thought that I would post it up here. It is a rather short story for me trying to explain what is happening in a certain picture (you know the one where Legolas is standing there, bow in hand with his arms raised and head turned towards the sky and with Gimli standing behind him?) Anyway, it will become clearer as you read. I hope you like it!

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Relinquishing the Past

By Minka

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Watching the Elf sit alone on the other side of the camp, pulling lightly at the blades of grass that swayed around him, was the final straw; Aragorn could not take it anymore. Ever since the knowledge of Haldir's passing, Legolas had kept quiet; really quiet. The Elf had barely even said a word to Aragorn let alone anyone else which, while not being completely unusual, the far off, saddened look was.

Resolving to find a way to break the Elf from this mood, Aragorn made up his mind to act now. Rising to his feet, he slowly and quietly approached the seated Elf, not wanting to give him the chance to protest. Reaching down, Aragorn clasped his hand over his friend's elbow, drawing him to his feet and catching him by surprise - yet another unusual aspect of his behavior to add to the growing list. "Come on," he said, while tugging the Elf along behind him. Looking up, Gimli also rose; not really knowing what was happening but not wanting to be left out.

Aragorn lead them far away from their camp, not bothering to explain his intentions as he knew the response he would receive. When they almost reached their destination, Aragorn fell a few steps behind the Elf before closing his hands around Legolas' eyes, ignoring the protests that came with the action. He led him carefully along the rest of the way, hoping his worries had been for naught and the Elf would know the reasoning behind his actions. He knew all too well that Legolas hated to be without his own vision, and thus he was careful when pulling him to a stop when he found a suitable spot. As Aragorn slowly lifted his calloused hands away from the prince's eyes, he faced the Elf in the right direction and bid him look out upon the land before them.

Brow creasing in confusion, Legolas gazed out over the plain that stretched for miles - so far that its end was even out of his heightened eyesight. He could see naught moving over the green grass that tumbled over little hills and mounds that spotted the otherwise flat area and nothing moved in the running river that he could see off to his right. Shooting a puzzled look at Aragorn, he crooked his head and let his confusion show.

"What am I to see?" he asked, his voice sounding like a hollow version of what it once was. No longer was there that element of mirth that played at the tones of his words, or that great wisdom that was the only thing, apart from his eyes, which suggested his true age. All Aragorn could hear was a sense of lost hope and renewed despair. "I see no danger," the Elf stated concisely while turning on his heels, back in the direction of the camp that they left far behind.

Acting quickly, Aragorn grabbed his arm and turned the Elf back around. Holding him by the shoulders, he forced Legolas' head to look back out over the plain while hushing any complaints that the Elf had on the subject and glaring at a confused Gimli, telling him to keep quiet.

"Man cenich, mellon nin? Aragorn asked quietly as he rested his chin on the Elf's shoulder and followed his line of view.

"I have told you, I see no threat," Legolas protested, already sick of this game of the human's. He did not understand what the future king was trying to do, nor did he really want to; he just wanted to be left alone with his thoughts and feelings.

"And that is good, but look closer and tell me what you see." Frowning again, Legolas let his eyes focus in on the little things of the surrounding land, searching for anything that he may have missed the first time.

"Nothing," he replied a little testily while letting out a sigh and shrugging out of the man's grasp. "Aragorn, I really do not see what you are trying to-"

"That is the problem," Aragorn hissed while pulling the Elf around so he could once again look out at the deserted land. "Now look at it for what it really is, not what your mind seeks to make of it. Do not search for danger, search for beauty as you once did."

"What is the point of that?" Legolas asked, his voice small and almost sounding as if he were intimidated by the sight before him. "All beauty comes to an end - it does not last, does not win battles or keep people alive, so why spend time searching for something that does naught but crumble to dust in ones hands?"

Sighing and moving in front of the Elf, Aragorn motioned with his head to Gimli, telling him to stand behind Legolas and block any attempts of escape the prince may try to make. Not really knowing what else to do, Gimli obeyed, wanting to see what was to come of this seemingly hopeless conversation and discover the ranger's point.

"Raise your arms," the human instructed the Elf calmly, knowing that there was to be some form of resistance to his command.

"Why?!" Legolas questioned incredulously and with a frown.

"Just do it!"

"No!"

Glaring at the prince, Aragorn's storm-grey eyes were met with the narrowed ice-blue gaze of Legolas. Neither wanted to back down and both were, in every way, incredibly stubborn.

Almost stomping his foot, Aragorn reached over and raised the prince's arms, bow and all, and with one last dangerous glare telling Legolas to behave, took a small step back.

"Now," Aragorn instructed the Elf that was standing at the crest of the hill, his arms outstretched while glaring at the man that had made him do so. "I want you to do exactly as I say." He quickly held up a hand to hush the Elf's attempted protests, "and I want no complaints!" Nodding his head slowly in compliance, Legolas let out a sigh and leant most of his weight on his right foot; an obvious sign of annoyance.

"Close your eyes," Aragorn instructed and with one last glare, Legolas complied. "Now, take yourself back to Helm's Deep-"

"Aragorn, I-" Legolas started to protest at what the human asked him to do.

"Do it!" the man said crankily, putting a quick stop to anything else that the Elf had to verbalize. "Now let your mind go back there, see all that you saw again and re-feel all that you felt. Do not hide from any feeling, not even the immortal death that you witnessed."

For once Legolas did as he was told, letting his mind regress to the battle that had haunted his every thought since its conclusion. As his mind wandered, he found his limbs shake, his palms turn sweaty and his bow trembling in his hand.

"Now I want you to scream," the man's voice spoke quietly to the shaking Elf, "I want you to put all that hate, all that self-blame and doubt into that scream and I want you to commit it to the wind; never again to come back to you."

For the longest time Legolas just stood there, his face raised to the sky and his eyes tightly closed as he reminisced about the battle just past. He remembered the feeling of anticipation before the fight, the sensation of dread as the Orc's came upon them and the failure that gripped his heart when he could not kill the Orc with the flaming torch, his malfunction leading to the destruction of the walls and the admittance of the enemy. He saw Haldir's body, the Lothlórien Elf put to rest among his fallen comrades and he briefly wondered if his friend had been killed by one of the Orcs he had allowed in. He saw the death of tiny human children, called upon to fight in the desperation of the situation and the ground washed red with blood. He perceived it all as if he were there for a second time, reliving the past events that he so greatly wanted to forget.

And then he screamed.

He screamed long and hard, emptying his lungs of air and letting his voice reverberate off the cliffs that surrounded them. With each second that passed with his voice flowing into the air, Legolas banished the memories, the self-hate, and the horrors of the battle into the wind, feeling an invisible weight lift off his shoulders.

When finally he was out of breath, he just stayed standing still, his face upturned to the sun and his eyes now open, letting the comforting light wash over him as if it held the ability to cleanse his soul. He felt Gimli patting him on the back as the dwarf moved off from his spot behind the Elf, knowing that Aragorn would once again want to talk to his friend.

Lowering his arms and eyes, Legolas smiled at the human that still stood in front of him, a large smile also upon his lips.

"You can not change what has already come to pass," Aragorn told him while walking behind the Elf once again and peering over his shoulder, "just as you must not blame yourself for situations out of your control. Now, look out there again and tell me what you see."

Blinking against the high noon sun, Legolas once again gazed over the land before him, this time shielding his eyes with a slender, thin hand. Looking closer he could see that there were many different patches of grass, each differing slightly in colour from the one nearest it, thus giving the once plain green land an almost patch work effect. On further inspection, he could see dotted patches of colour on the tops of the knolls closest to him, and, with a small smile, Legolas realized that they were the blossoms of wild flowers as they stretched their way up to the sky and sun, anxious for the light to nourish them.

The soil where the land dropped away to the water was rich and dark, full of the life that the plants needed to thrive upon and the nutrients to make them strong. The stream itself was of a deep blue, like that which he imagined the Sea to be, and seemed to dance under the golden rays of the sun. It trickled over rocks and between twisted and deracinated tree roots, running through the draping leaves of overhanging trees and, as he listened, he could almost hear the soft tinkling, like that of many little bells, as the cool waters passed over the rocky riverbed.

The sky was clear, not a cloud in sight and the blue hung lightly over the snow capped mountains that acted as a backdrop to the rolling grass below.

"Beauty," Legolas said softly, "I see the delicate web of life. How everything is bound to the other to create such a balance."

Smiling over his friend's shoulder, his mission now complete, Aragorn spoke in a matching hushed tone. "Remember to look at the world the way you always have, nin mellon," Aragorn said softly over the Elf's shoulder, "not for what it could be if darkness prevails. As long as even one stands to oppose the Dark powers, there will still be beauty and hope in the world - never lose sight of that."

"Hannon le," Legolas whispered while reaching up and squeezing his friend's hand that lay on his shoulder. Smiling once again, Aragorn let go without another word and motioned for Gimli to come with him, leaving the Elf to be alone with his thoughts.

Taking in a deep breath, Legolas once again turned his head up to the heavens, knowing deep down that somehow, some way, everything would be all right and that they would not fail - they could not fail.

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The End.

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ok people, I know that that was very different for something from me, but hey, I thought I should try my hand at something that was nice and gave the impression of skipping through a sun lit field full of daises singing trlalalala! No Elf hurt, no pain, no death - wow, it is like two worlds colliding - bizarre-o world!

Anyway, please review and tell me what you think anyway.

Minka.