Author's Note: Here we are, as promised, the start of a spanking new story! If you previously read "Bound in Blood" I have finally gotten up individual responses in the review section, so check that out if you haven't already. And yes, I still make no money from these stories and claim no brilliance from Tolkien.

Small Warning: This is the beginning of an angsty piece, mainly Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn. If you don't particularly care for dark stories, you might want to refrain from reading.

A Killer in Me

Chapter 1

Legolas lay quietly, his breath filtering slowly in and out of his body. If he concentrated long enough, perhaps he could make the breath come more easily, make it come without the burning sensation. His lungs were refusing to work properly and it was turning out to be actual work to breathe, but that almost seemed like the least of his problems at the moment.

His most immediate problem was probably the ring of angry men surrounding him. Legolas wished he could stand, get up to face them properly, explain to them that they had it all wrong.

But that was definitely too much work for his defeated body.

So he was content to merely lay quietly, trying not to move anything, only allowing the obligatory rise and fall of his chest as he continued to fight for breath. As long as he kept breathing, all would be well. That was the one fight he could not lose.

Legolas blinked.

He wished that his vision would clear up. It had been a while now, and still the black dots danced before his vision, obscuring all that was around him. He could not even make out the faces of those around him anymore, only knew that there was a faceless mass blocking him off from everything else.

His hearing was proving to be a problem as well.

A soft ringing occupied his sensitive ears, making all other sounds around him muffled. He supposed it had something to do with the severe blow that had caught him on the temple, but he did not want to think about that for too long. The reasons behind his current condition were a waste of time and excessive effort.

Yet even with his hearing as it was, he thought that he could make out a distinctive voice above all the others. The sound of his dear friend Gimli came through to him faintly.

Legolas tried to focus on where the sound was coming from, he so wanted to see his friend at the moment, but lifting his head was out of the question and his peripheral vision was severely limited. All he could do was stare straight ahead, up into the black sky dotted with bright stars. He could also see the fringes of acrid smoke rising from too many raised torches, but he could not help that either.

'Ai Elbereth,' Legolas thought dismally to himself, 'is this how it will all end after all? Another casualty of violence, fitting that my death will mirror my life.'

He could sense the bitterness in his own thoughts, but did not care about that either. If it was all going to end like this, so be it. He would do what he could, but he would no longer fight. He was done, he had given up. They could take his life without any more complaint from him, he wanted the peaceful oblivion of death. It would take him away from the harshness that had become his existence.

Or he so vainly hoped.

He wondered briefly why the men did not simply get it done and over with, why they intended on torturing him so. And it was not even their actions that were torturing him, but his own traitorous thoughts. He was recalling every misdeed and conflict in his long life, and he had accumulated quite a list by now.

'Just do it,' he cried out. Or thought he had cried out. His mouth was beyond obeying him as well, along with the rest of his body. He felt sorry about that, to give up on his body like this. No wonder it did not want to listen to him anymore, he was rendering it useless, signing its death warrant.

'But it will be better,' he reassured himself, 'the pain will stop then, the guilt that eats into me like a plague.' Yet even with the thoughts of peace, his body still did not want to give up quite yet. It still fought to breathe, and his eyes continued to blink to clear his vision.

And even though he felt as though he had given up, he was still incredibly sad over the aspect. If he could, he would have cried or lamented the coming of his own death. But of course, and thankfully, he had no control over tear ducts as well.

He was simply numb, and still, and waiting calmly for it all to be over.

His days as a warrior were over, he would fight no more.

Legolas heard another shout from Gimli, his friend. There was a loud shuffle accompanying the shout, as if something had pushed something else out of the way and was fighting to break through.

Legolas would have smiled if he could.

That was Gimli, his friend would truly never stop fighting. He would never give in, he would fight all the way into the tomb even, so stout was his heart.

The thought was sobering to the elf.

Gimli would be ashamed of him now, for giving up like this. He would not understand, his years did not stretch endlessly on like Legolas' could, granting him perpetual suffering and guilt. Time healed all wounds supposedly, but Legolas knew that there was not enough time left in the world to repair his.

It was definitely better this way.

Gimli will understand eventually, Legolas comforted himself, he will move on with his life. He always was the stronger of the two, though I would never let him know that. Legolas frowned inwardly, there were a lot of things that I did not let him know.

Movement came back to his body, but it was not of his own doing.

One of the brave men from the angry mob had graced the helpless elf with a swift kick to the ribs. Legolas' body jerked, and he was surprised that he could still feel the pain from it. He had thought that all sensation had left his body by now. Apparently he still had a long way to go.

I could just try to get up, Legolas tested a new idea, but what good would it do in the end? Whether he went out on his feet or on his back made little difference to him right now.

Legolas smirked.

This obviously meant he was not a true warrior. A warrior would always go out on his feet, fighting until the last breath, like something Gimli would do. A warrior would never simply lie down and wait for death, it was too easy.

But I did try, Legolas consoled himself.

When they had first come upon him, he had tried. But his hand had been so reluctant to shed any more blood, so much of it had been spilled already. And perhaps that had been his true downfall, the compassion he had always been cursed with. Too much emotion, that had always been one of his problems, his father and teachers had always tried to lessen his emotions, to bring him into the untouchable state of a true warrior, but he had never been able to quite learn the trick.

He had failed.

'And now I shall pay the price,' he continued to think his bitter thoughts.

There was the sound of more scuffling and shouting after the elf received the well-placed kick. Apparently his dwarf friend did not like that.

A voice came out of the din of the crowd and Legolas could make out the words that it spoke. "Leave this place dwarf, this is a matter concerning the elf only."

The muffled reply came to Legolas as well. "Any matter concerning the elf concerns me as well. You cannot take the law into your own hands, King Elessar will be the one to decide what to do."

"King Elessar is blind when it comes to the murderous elf!" a different voice cried. Legolas could not turn to see who.

Yet he continued to hear his friend defend him. "That is because he knows Legolas as he truly is. In all of your blind eagerness you have not stopped to think that you have the wrong man!"

The crowd stirred somewhat and it looked as though they would soon be turning their attentions to Gimli as well. Legolas wanted to call out, to tell Gimli that it was useless, he might as well get himself out of there and save himself any possible harm. But Legolas could not get his mouth to open and his voice died in his throat.

'How did it all become this bad?' Legolas thought to himself. His dismal mind turned back, searching for the point where it had all started to go so wrong. As for himself, he knew exactly what had been wrong, where the start point had been. But for the rest of it, it was hard to say. How had he allowed things to get so completely out of control? Enough so that his one true friend was now in danger himself?

'You have two true friends,' Legolas mentally corrected himself. Of course, Aragorn had been nothing but supportive as well, though Legolas never had been able to figure out why. If Aragorn were here now, he might have been able to reverse the situation.

'No one can save you now,' Legolas' own thoughts taunted him. 'A fallen warrior without dignity, that is how I shall be remembered, along with being a murderer. But I suppose they could be right, there is no other who could have done it.'

Legolas drifted back to when the first murder had taken place, when all of the suspicions had arose. So much had happened in such a small amount of time. Nobody could be that perfect and get away with it all