Sneezes and Sword Fights

By Joanna

Chapter 12: Healing Hands

Legolas had to admit that he was taken a bit by surprise at just how ferociously Aragorn attacked with his chair leg. Because he was not prepared for such strength from the King after watching him lay in bed day after day, he found himself pressed backwards toward the wall in the initial strike.

Annoyed that he'd been waiting hand and foot, beck and call, on someone who clearly had not been ill enough to warrant it, Legolas decided it was high time to turn the tables.

He growled in response and moved to defend himself with vigor, and the chair legs shuddered against one another as he pushed Aragorn back to the center of the room, admiring the deftness with which Aragorn dodged the table.

"Ready to surrender, sickling?" Legolas panted.

"I do nod thig sicklig id a word," Aragorn wheezed in response and pressed forward again and they circled the room anew, pressing then falling back, pressing again.

"Neither is Kig, but you seem fond enough of it," Legolas returned and ducked as Aragorn's chair leg came at his head. He felt the press of air from the wood just before there came a sound of shattering glass.

For a moment, both paused, dropping weapons to their sides as one of the large floral vases Arwen was so fond of, now sporting a large hole in its side, teetered on its pedestal.

Dumbly, and making no move to stop it, elf and man watched as it finally toppled over to the floor and separated into a million pieces.

"You dugged!" Aragorn accused after a moment of stunned silence.

"Of course I ducked!" Legolas snapped. "Did you honestly anticipate my standing still while you swung a club at my head?"

"Noooo," Aragorn responded indignantly. "I just did nod thig you quick enough to avoid id."

"I had time to drink a cup of tea and restring my bow, Elessar," he returned.

They both looked back to the flowery shards of glass littering the stone.

"You are going to receive punishment for that, I'll warrant," Legolas sighed.

Aragorn looked for a moment as if he might deny it, then sighed heavily and nodded.

"Do you wish to quit now, before you get into more trouble?" Legolas pressed in a moment.

"On your guard," Aragorn snarled in response and raised his club, and around and around they went.

*

And so it was that Arwen found them as she stepped into the room, after a guard had sent for her with reports of shattering glass and shouts from within the chamber. Two of her beautiful vases lay in pieces upon the floor, the flowers they had held scattered over them, almost as mourners place roses over graves.

She narrowed her eyes in disapproval as she looked toward elf and man. They were both red-faced, and her husband was glassy-eyed and dripping sweat, and so intent were they upon their contest of strength and manhood that neither noticed her.

She arched one eyebrow in disbelief as she recognized it was not clubs in their hands, for she had been preparing herself to scold the guards for disobeying her explicit order to allow no weapon to pass into the room.

Nay, it was chair legs. They were creative. She would have to give both the fools that much credit, she supposed. Not only were they destroying her decorative pieces, but perfectly useful furniture as well, it seemed.

Legolas was at the moment being pushed backwards by Aragorn, who looked as if he were battling all the orcs left in the world, so great was his concentration. Arwen watched as the elf leapt easily upon the table in the room in order to try to regain the advantage from higher ground, and she saw his boots leave a dark mark on the fine wood of the surface.

And she decided that they both must be destroyed.

*

Legolas found himself in an increasingly defensive role. Aragorn was swinging madly, lost in both the competition and bloodlust of the victory he sensed was near, and he was no longer sparring playfully but with full strength, as if with an intent to kill.

As Legolas leapt upon the table, a flash of midnight blue at the doorway caught his eye, and instantly he knew it to be Arwen and wondered how long she'd been standing there, seething. He glanced quickly at her, saw the look of wrath upon her fair face, and forgot his current foe altogether in fear of this new one.

Aragorn, either his senses still dulled enough by the Somneil root, or his ears too full of the roar of blood in his head, did not hear or see his wife enter, nor heed her presence now. He advanced on Legolas with purpose for the blow that would relieve the elf of his weapon and thus signal the end of the fight.

Caught in mid-swing, it was far too late for Aragorn to pull back the swing as Legolas paused suddenly, fingers still gripping the chair leg tight, but his attention fully focused on the doorway.

Though he realized his wife must have returned, Aragorn had no time for thought save that one, as his heavy wooden chair leg smashed down upon Legolas' fingers as they held the weapon.

All parties in the room heard the unpleasant popping sound in the moment before Legolas howled in pain, and staggered backwards, his feet quickly running out of table. His body folded as he fell from his perch and landed hard upon his rump on the stone floor, for he was unable to catch himself with his hands.

Blue and white lights danced in front of his eyes as he landed, and through his darkening vision, he sought a view of his fingers. For a moment, he remained as he'd fallen, as blood rushed out of his head and he swayed, sitting there upon his aching bottom as he surveyed his fingers. All of them, save his thumbs, were bent at unnatural and wavy angles and already swelling grotesquely.

He looked up to see Aragorn's face gone slack and pale with horror, them promptly closed his eyes and flopped backwards onto the floor in a dead, and welcome, faint.

*

First, there was a smell. A strange smell, sharp and acrid, and it burned his nostrils as he flared them. Annoyed, he tried to bring a hand to cover his nose, to wave away the unfamiliar scent.

And he nearly gouged his eye out in the process and motion sent a jarring pain through his finger. In an instant, he remembered Aragorn's blow catching him off guard and the fall from the table. He shifted and nearly cried out at the pain in his lower back and rear, dropping his hand back to his side.

"He's comb to! The smellig salds worked."

He heard Aragorn's voice from high above and opened his eyes in time to see Aragorn, Arwen, and the Warden of the Healing Houses bend over him. He was still stretched out on his back in Aragorn's chamber.

Twitching his fingers experimentally, he found them stiff and aching, but not unbearably sore. Raising his hands from his sides he discovered that in the time he'd been…asleep, for he refused to acknowledge that he'd fainted, though he strongly suspected that he had, either the Healer, Aragorn, Arwen or some combination thereof, had splinted all eight of his broken fingers. The long, flat pieces of wood latched tightly to his fingers prevented him from bending them in the least.

"How do you feel?" Arwen asked gently, her soothing touch upon his brow.

Legolas found he was not in a charitable mood. "How do you think I feel? Your husband has maimed me!"

"You are not maimed, Legolas. Elf bones mend very quickly. A week, two at most, and you will be back to your former arrow hurling self," Arwen comforted, but Legolas did not look away from the glare he'd fixed on the King.

"I ab sorry! You were subbosed to move in timb!" Aragorn protested, and looked genuinely horrified to have inflicted such damage.

"If you had not the senses and grace of a blind and deaf oliphaunt, perhaps you would have also noticed your wife had stepped in the room."

"And if you were faster thad a dead slug, you would have beed able to ged oud of the way," Aragorn returned, but seemed to find no real joy in the insult.

Arwen looked as if she might scold them, then took pity on both Legolas and Aragorn, both seemingly punished enough in different forms for what had transpired. At least for the moment. Later, oh yes…there would be a price.

"Come Legolas, let us get you into the bed," Arwen suggested and moved to help Legolas to his feet by placing a hand under one arm. The Warden moved back as Aragorn moved to Legolas' other side and did the same.

Legolas yelped in pain and pulled his arms free of his friends. "Leave me here!"

"Have you another injury?" Arwen asked carefully, looking Legolas over.

Pride and need warred in Legolas before he nodded.

"Well, what is it? Perhaps I can help," the Warden said softly, coming forward again. "Where are you hurt?"

Legolas clenched his jaw for a moment, then suffered the indignity of informing them, "my southern regions."

"Your feed?" Aragorn asked in confusion and moved to examine Legolas' boots.

"No," Legolas began.

"Your legs then?" Arwen persisted.

"Perhaps his knee?" the healer questioned and lay a hand gently across Legolas' knee.

Feeling his face flush with heat, Legolas mumbled. "My posterior area."

"Leave it to an elf," Aragorn muttered then asked bluntly, "you mean your arse?"

Legolas wished for death to take him. "Yes."

And Aragorn seemed to forget that he was supposed to be riddled with guilt and titling his head back, he roared with laughter.

"I think I've broken something there as well," Legolas whined.

It took both Aragorn, Arwen, and the Warden to do it, but before long Legolas found himself sitting on Aragron's bed on a throne of three pillows, with his splinted fingers sticking out from his hands like spikes on a porcupine.

"You will be sore for several days, and naturally, there is very little you can do for yourself with your hands so injured. You will need care," the Warden told him.

At Arwen's poignant look, Aragorn came forward and sighed. "It is the least I can do to offer my services in caring for the injuries I have inflicted."

"You have done quite enough, thank you," Legolas snapped, and tried to shift from one side of his bottom to the other so that he could stand the pressure of what the Warden had guessed was a cracked tail bone. "I will go to the house of healing."

"We cannot let you go to the house of healing when you will be so much more comfortable here," Arwen protested and sat gently on the bed beside him. "You must stay right here. You are our guest."

"I had forgotten. In the last days, I assumed I was your slave," Legolas muttered at Arwen who gave him a reproachful look.

"There is no need for a loss of manners," she informed him.

"Tell that to the barbarian you call your husband," Legolas snapped back and gestured with a stiff hand.

"I insisdt, mellod nee. I will give you the samb care and consideration you have gived be these last days."

Legolas looked with alarm into Aragorn's eyes and thought he detected just a spark of threat in those words.

"I promise," Aragorn added and Legolas looked to Arwen for help.

She was nodding in agreement though, and looking at Aragorn. "It is the least you can do, Aragorn, for being so careless. And when you are both well, you shall ride to the end of the earth if necessary and find me two vases like the ones you have destroyed."

Aragorn and Legolas glared at one another, for each had destroyed one vase, and each had seemingly forgotten the one he himself had destroyed.

The Warden opened his bag and withdrew a vile that seemed to contain the same revolting black liquid that Aragorn had been forced to take.

"This will help with the pain you feel, Master Legolas. I would advise you to take it," the Healer said.

"Oh," Aragorn smiled sweetly. "He will tag id."

And upon seeing the smile on that face, had he been able to move, Legolas would have bolted for the gates of Minas Tirith with all due speed and never looked back.

As it was, with his hands of no use to him and his rear end too sore for even slight movement, the elf suddenly found himself completely and utterly at the Kig's mercy.

****

The End (of this story…the saga continues soon in "Slings and Arrows.")

I know I said I'd post the first chapter of the sequel at the same time, but until I feel funnier, I think I will hold off. Anticipate struggles with medicine, meal times, answering the call of nature, and the return of Gliriel and hair-braiding in the third bit to this ridiculous trilogy.

If you would like to be emailed when I post the new story, please either email me and let me know at gliterin2000@yahoo.com, or say so in a review which includes your email address. Or, just keep a look out for "Slings and Arrows," which I will hopefully begin early next week.

I wish I'd finished the story before going on vacation, because it turned out to be very hard to get back into. Sorry for the wait! I hope you're not disappointed with this last chapter, though it is not really a last chapter so much as prologue to the new story, perhaps. All these flattering reviews have intimidated me a little bit in the end!

Oh! And in the mean time, advertising again, I've posted the prologue of my new dramatic piece called "Broken Sky" which is an ensemble piece set after ROTK. I'll be updating it in a day or two as well, and it is shaping to be a very long piece.

******

And for the last time for this part of the story, my many, many thanks to you guys who made the unbelievable stress of finals so completely bearable and gave me something to look forward to when I signed onto my computer, which otherwise would have been only essays, more essays, and the occasional powerpoint presentation.

Ushmushmeifa: I would NEVER want to do anything that was bad for your health…unless of course I could promise to deliver Legolas to nurse you back to health…I am glad you liked it though!

JeBB: Well, now that you see the consequences of dueling with chair legs, I do hope if a national craze starts, everyone will see that I warned them what could happen!

Zoya: So I'm guessing I answered who the triumphant victor of that particular struggle is…merely a battle though, not the war!

Daw-the-minstrel: I know…I know. I've given these heroic middle earth males all the hang-ups and ridiculous behaviors of present day males. What have I done to Tolkien's valiant species. Sigh. Leave it to me.

Mari: Lateness is forgiven as I was skirting "will she ever update again-ness." Well, so the effects of the drug were perhaps not COMPLETELY worn off just yet…but I imagine nearly killing the elf sobered him up for good.

Alice: There's more to the joke…Why did the monkey fall out of the tree? Because he was dead. Why did the squirrel fall out of the tree? Because he was stapled to the monkey. Snort. If I could have made the last chapter as funny as that, well, I'd retire grad school and go into comedy full time. But alas, I suppose I'll be back in school.

Mouse: Hello! I did have a great holiday, thanks, and yes…strong winds, unbreakable dwarf chairs…I just couldn't compete with that in this chapter, I'm afraid.

Xero: Consider your demands eagerly met! Yes, I gave the victory to Aragorn, poor man. I just thought he'd been through enough in this story that he deserved a victory…however temporary.

Dot: I don't know if I can even speak to you knowing that you went to Paris! Oh, I'm so very jealous. And then asking if I felt guilty for leaving you hanging…when you're out strolling by the Seine…oh, yes, I'm heartbroken. Blah to you, I say! Anyway, hope you had fun (no, really, I do). I did have a very good vacation, thank you!

Dragon-of-the-North: No, no, your title is absolutely better! I think I will change when I do revision in a week or so and move my review responses to one chapter in the end, if you don't mind! And yes, Legolas lies about as good as I do…LOL. I decided that I would make him share the 'deer in the headlights think quick' sickness that I have. As for the sequel…perhaps not Gondor reigned by a notorious madman so much as Legolas reigned by a notorious madman…I like it. I like it. There's my summary! J

Nilmandra: Hi! So yes, elflings will be elflings…and elflings will be made to lose the use of their hands for a week or two…and so on. I believe after this, the Warden will be moving from the houses of healing, and into the nursery with Legolas' murals painted on the walls.

TrinityC: Things still going okay at work, I hope? And yes, the King is on the road to recovery, though I fear for him when the elf regains use of his hands. Oh well, I can hardly be responsible for what they do to each other any longer.

tapetum lucidum, AKA Doc: I used to seriously want to be a vet, till I rode around with our large animal vet and learned it isn't fun to be slung into walls by sick horses. So I took the easy way out. My infinite respect to you, my friend. Hey! Southern girl in the house here too! Anyway, yes, I decided that elves, being such prideful things (in my perception of them anyway) must have some testosterone in their blood. Thus I reduced these two to neanderthals…I just realized the connection. Clubs…fighting…hmm. I should have delved more into the symbolism there.

LegyLuva: PLEASE do not be mad, de Kig, that I didn't post chapter one of the new story. It's coming, I promise. Do not banish me forthwith from the kingdom of fiction. Hope your exams went okay, and I am glad that you are capable of failing them all on your own. I'm very proud, naturally.

Sami: Yes, the longest cold EVER. I must let him recover now, so that Gliriel can come in and braid legolas' hair again though.

Blahblah: Ah, I fear if you didn't think the last chapter was very funny you will not think this one was…I couldn't seem to bring the same level of absurdity of previous chapters. Alas, I tried for nearly a week.

ThE iNsAnE oNe: something about your little prance line in your review totally cracked me up. I just had this picture of someone marching around their computer desk. I don't know…it made me laugh. And hey! HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Yes, you are clearly fully deserving of the title if you are prancing crazily in your home.

Soul: Well, he is a man, after all. His IQ can't have been that high to start with…hee. Sorry, I have restored him though.

Semmerie: (coming out of hiding and speaking slowly and with hands held out) easy now! Okay, see, I would have given you warning, but didn't want to upset you twice and thought if you just had one big shock it would be easier than two warnings…or something like that…my apologies! So much for the antiques by the way. I tried to warn them. LOL, and I do hope you've glued your sister back together by now.

Jambaby: So, I was particularly fond of the last two lines of the last chapter too…I couldn't help myself. Hope to see you during the sequel!

Pie: Ah, I love your long stream of consciousness reviews…I mean, really. Each one is like a little movie…what kind of movie, I won't say. Thanks for teaching me a new word. Oh, and I even went to the movies once BY MYSELF to see TTT when all my friends were sick of seeing it for the third time. I don't even know my final count, but it's ridiculous, which by the way, I realize so was chapter 11. And yes, reading is ten times more appealing than work, school, or anything else at all. Hope all is going well in your new term…myself, I did have fun on vacation, but now I must prepare to teach a class in July.

Bant: thanks so much, you're very sweet. Here's the update, better late than never? And oh…as far as how to say they're all going to die, I could never spell it in elvish, but Legolas says it in The Two Towers. When it comes out on video, rent it and learn it, and say it whenever you're mad…it really helps.

Ccasey: LOL at your review. I would personally hinge my bets on the not enough sleep, but hey! Keep it up if it means you'll leave me funny reviews! Yes, I'm now more in awe of Arwen than ever. I wish that kings of men and prince elves would quiver before me…it must be that I can't conjure horses out of rivers or something that prevents me from really having that effect. I'm sure that's the only thing…I must give this some thought and stop rambling.

Estelcontar: Yes! Cheers to new stories…and old stories…and semi-old stories…and all the stories in between. Or maybe we'll just drink without bothering to toast. I hope you're still addicted enough after this last chapter to come back for the sequel because I love your reviews. And lord…tell me that you didn't try to explain to your husband the insanity of this story…and just think…if the elf gets a smudge on his nose now…he can't even wipe it off! Ah, I like this possibility.

Silverwolf: I am not surprised at all. I think the story is contagious. It happened to several reviewers…except me and I was actually hoping for one because then I could write good cold speak. Of course, once I had it down pretty good, I did get an awful cold. It figures. Anyhow, I digress. Hope you're feeling better!

Lusha: Oh, I have let you down and failed in the warning system! I am so ashamed. And hey! You do good cold speak! Better than mine I think! I should have used you as a consultant, but alas, you were not here until the end! I did have a good holiday, thank you…and yes, it was 100 degrees in the desert, where I was for part of my vacation…so yes, it's getting quite warm over here! Good luck with your exams! It was a good study break writing it in between my own exams!

Sphinx: You know he'd kick (and break) pointy's arse! Is this payback enough? I mean, I wasn't sure what else I could do to the poor elf. And I've got to catch up to you on your story! And just for you, you have Arwen once again in this chapter!

Carrie: Thanks so much for your very kind review! I hope you liked the end and will like the new story as well. I thought of letting Eldarion get sick too just to see his father's reaction…but then, I thought the presence of the child might have somewhat restrained the behavior of man and elf….who am I kidding…they would have been at each other's throats anyway. Eldarion will be around in the sequel though, so there's hope of traumatizing him yet.

Elmo: Thanks for my brownie points! The kids will make a much bigger appearance in the sequel, but they are fun to write! LOTR fiction is the first time I've really written children, and it's harder than I'd thought! And yes, I followed the unspoken 50s sitcom rule that no one ever uses the bathroom in this story, but it presents a world of possibility for the sequel. Thanks for reviewing!

Sigil Galaen: I recognize high praise when I hear it! I'm Insane! Thanks! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who snorts to herself as she walks around and thinks of amusing things. Some people just don't understand! You are so sweet and made me feel better about writing comedy…I do hope you still will feel the same now that the story's ended.

Hoppi: Hee. Hope your foot is okay after kicking the computer. I was kicking mine as well hoping this last chapter would finally write itself. Alas, it did not, and I finally set fingers to keyboard.

Wellduh: Glad you like the idea of the sequel. I think I'll just keep pushing the boundaries of sanity until someone tells me to stop.

Mari: I'm responding to you two different times because your reviews are always so long and thoughtful and well, I'm too lazy to scroll up at this point! Legolas did try very hard, to his credit. I mean, for three minutes or more he placed himself in emotional turmoil in his attempt to do what is right…oh well. The chair…I had not expected it to be such a worthy foe, but alas, what could I do? I just pictured myself trying to break a solid wood chair and figured my arms would break first. And it grew from there. Ah. Life imitates Art. And Then Legolas and Aragorn thrust a chair leg through it.

Jastaelf: Ah, yes! More silly Aragorn and Legolas…what more could I ask…oh yes! Twins and Dwarves Oh my! I'm SO there for The Scruff Factor. Indeed. Yes. And as far as hugging or slapping them, definitely slapping I think, at this point. Yes. You know, I really didn't know if I'd get away with the "yours is longer" comment at the end, but I absolutely could not resist. I was physically incapable of deleting it, so I'm glad it was met with some approval!

MichelleFrodo: You are forgiven, of course, but you must make a sacrifice of your arm to LegyLuva's pen for atonement. And I see Da Kig is dragging you down with her in English. Tisk, tisk. And wow, I gave you the hiccups! What do you mean it wasn't even that funny! Hey! I think I was just insulted in your review! Ah, anyway, enjoy your holiday if they don't make you repeat English!

She-cat: Thanks! For both this one and for Dragons or Ribbons. I'll look forward to more reviews…I never expected people to go along with me on the chair thing. I should have known you guys were as absurd as I!

Jen: Well, if Legolas thought that before, he definitely knows she's going to find out now! Perhaps he was in denial for a moment…

DragonEyeZ: Well…splat. That was the sound of your hopes of Arwen not entering being dashed. LOL. I couldn't help it. The guards told her, not me.

Sid: Ah, my good buddy. Let me use this space to remind you that your toenails will be pulled out unless you have a prologue of your own LOTR story (I changed the rules, it has to be LOTR) to me by Friday morning. There. Thanks man!

Okay, that's it for this story. Let me say again how much I've totally, totally enjoyed your reviews. I feel like I know so many of you repeat reviewers and that's just been fun for me! You all, well, rock. I hope you'll come over to the sequel as well, so that this is not goodbye, but simply, well, goodbye temporarily, but not forever.

My heartfelt thanks!
Joanna

(And hey! My current goal in life is to break 300 reviews, so if you wouldn't mind leaving me just one more…I'll be a happy girl!)