Title - Trapped

Author - Jules

Rating - PG 13

Disclaimer - They do.. I don't.

Summery - A trip to Mirkwood turns ugly for Elladan, Elrohir, Legolas and Aragorn.

Authors Notes - don't ask where this one came from, but it has lots of blood 'n' guts, angst and violence. If you don't like it, this fic ain't for you! You have been warned.

Trapped

Goblins, dozens and dozens of them streamed from the pillars above them, screeching and screaming as they descended upon the four intruders that had fallen into their trap. The four formed a rough circle, standing back to back in a defensive stance as the masses of dark creatures swarmed towards them. The Ranger and Prince of Mirkwood let fly with many an arrow, taking down a great number of the dark ones, but not nearly enough to get them out of danger. The twin sons of Elrond readied their sabres and knives, prefering those in close combat to the long distance ranges of archery. They each held the gracefully curved swords in their right hands, leaving the left for unhindered use of a knife.

More and more of the goblins fell beneath Legolas' and Aragorns' arrows, yet more seemed to take their place. What had started as a simple ride through to Mirkwood had turned into a quest for their very survival.

Their horses were still above ground, perhaps grazing in the sparse mountain grass, perhaps heading riderless towards their warm stables in Rivendell. It mattered not to the battling elves and human far beneath the surface of the mountain, desperate to bring their enemy down without any further harm to themselves. The rain of arrows slowed as the archers' quivers were quickly drained, both then switching to swords and knives as the creatures closed the relatively small distance between them.

They let the Goblins strike first, mainly parrying the blows until the creature left its own defenses open to an attack. Gradually they pushed the advantage, each protecting the others back until the numbers began to dwindle. Sweat sheeted off their bodies as they parried and cut, thrusted and warded the blows that still rained upon them.

Mere moments felt like small lifetimes as they fought for their lives. The goblins still held the advantage, in sheer numbers and the fact that this was their own territory the elves had been forced into. The last of the goblins seemed to press forward in a final charge, trying to use their numbers to overrun the intruders and finally do away with them. The monsters were hungry for fresh meat and elf and or human would make a lovely meal for them after the battle.

Estel prayed for the strength of the elves as the black swarm moved towards with alarming speed, his entire body ached from the length of the fight already and he felt in no condition to continue against such an onslaught, be it in a final charge or not.

The other elves seemed to sense this and closed in around him, forcing him into the centre of their small circle and therefore protecting him from the incoming blades. He kept on guard and thrusted between the elves' bodies as he could, aiding them in a limited fashion whilst trying desperately to regain his strength. As tired as the elves were, they still held their own, each conserving his strength as much as possible and only striking when the opportunity presented itself, which in the mass of confusion that the charge had created, was quite often.

Elrohir parried a blow that was aimed for his shoulder, easily blocking and deflecting the crude blade with an overhead sweep of his own blade, but he did not see the goblin on his other side also arcing its blade. The blow landed on his hip, splitting the tunic and cloak he wore and laying open the flesh until the milky whiteness of the bone shone through. He gasped and involuntarily went down, clutching at the wound, his knife and sword forgotten in the pain. Strider sucked in a deep breath and took his place, brandishing his sword as the black beings swept their blades at him. The goblins were nearly overrun, but there were several still standing, attacking the intruders with a ferocity not seen by the elves before.

Elladan heard his twin's cry of agony and willed himself not to look, if he allowed himself to become distracted then he would unwittingly become the next victim. The cry of pain he could somewhat will away, but it was the soft thump and gasp of an elven body unnaturally hitting the floor that stole his attention away from the fight. He could not help but risk a glance at his twin, only to find him arched in pain within the centre of their small circle, his eyes squeezed shut in a valiant attempt to starve off the waves of pain radiating through his slender frame. Then in the space of a breath his twin went still, the grimace fleeing his features as consciousness left him.

The elder twin, unable to see his brother in such a condition started to turn towards him, not heeding the calls from Legolas opposing his movement. He felt Legolas shift towards him, trying to close the direct line of attack towards his side as he turned to face inwards, but the Mirkwood elf was not quick enough. The goblin that Elladan had been facing saw the moment of distraction and took full advantage of it, arcing its dark blade and aiming for the elf's now exposed flank. The blade ran true and struck the dark elf fair in the side, easily slicing into his abdomen and exposing the pulsing organs beneath the pale flesh. The elf gasped in pain, he too dropping his weapons as he crashed to the ground half on top of his brother.

Legolas and Aragorn took opposing positions, desperately trying to finish the last of the goblins so they could see to their friends. They both refused to become distracted by the still bodies between them; they had seen Elladan fall because of that, and if they too were dead or injured, they would be no use to the others. Their determination won through, allowing them to dispose of the remaining goblins and finally see to their companions. As the last goblin feel Aragorn sank to the ground, his limbs shaking with fatigue as he gulped great lungs of air, trying to starve off the overwhelming desire to fall into a deep sleep for several days. Slightly shaking from the exertion himself Legolas ignored Aragorn and turned to the still twins behind him. With wavering fingers he felt for a pulse in both of them, breathing a shaky breath of relief when he found it in both bodies. The Twins still drew breath, but with the injuries he could easily see, he knew not for how long.

Aragorn managed to crawl the short distance to where the twins lay and with a great amount of effort managed to pull Elladan off Elrohir. The later of the two moaned as the pain of consciousness graced him with its presence. He struggled weakly as the Ranger held him down and checked the bleeding and gaping wound in the other's hip.

" Be still Elrohir, I must see to your wound" The ranger said softly as he folded back the clothes that threatened to cover the bleeding gash. Aragorn reached into his previously discarded pack and began to rifle through its contents, pulling out a small satchel of herbs and bandages when his fingers found them. Carefully he folded one of the bandages to act as a wound dressing, then quickly spread some select herbs on the pad, adding a few drops of water from his waterskin to moisten the mixture. The future King knelt over his foster brother, murmured a quick ' This will hurt' before rapidly applying the pad to the gaping wound. Aragorn grimaced as his brother arched in agony, holding the pad in place until the other stilled enough for a bandage to be wound around his lower half, anchoring the dressing securely in place and staunching the rapid flow of blood.

Legolas meanwhile was tending to the fallen Elladan. The Royal elf turned his fallen comrade onto his belly so he could better see the wound. He gasped in horror as the true nature of the injury presented itself. The goblin blade had gone deep, nicking several internal organs as it passed through the flesh of the elf. Knowing this was far beyond his ability to heal Legolas called Aragorn over. The Ranger had to push his personal feelings aside as he forced himself to critically analyze the wound before him. The organs would need stitching to aid in healing, and the wound itself would need to be sutured closed. Aragorn paled at the thought of what he had to do, his hands shaking even further as his mind reeled. Legolas picked up on the hesitation, fear causing adrenaline to once again course through his overtaxed body.

" What is it? Will he not live?" the Royal elf asked nervously, glancing down at the far too pale elf between them.

" I've never done this before..." Aragorn spoke quietly, his hands reaching for his satchel once more.

" What do you mean ' never done this before'? Have you not sutured a wound closed before?" Legolas was stunned, Elladan couldn't afford the Ranger to freeze now. The future King of Gondor was the only real healer among them, and at the present was the only one capable of saving the fallen elf's life.

" I've never done this on an elf before. Not something this bad. Animals yes, humans yes, but not an Elf with internal injuries? What if I harm him further?" Self doubt filled the humans voice even as his fingers sought out the needle and thread he would need.

" Aragorn you must try, if we do nothing Elladan will surely pass on, and I do not posses the skills he needs to survive. Try Aragorn, your brother's life depends upon it" Legolas spoke softly yet with great determination. If Aragorn couldn't...no he wouldn't let his thoughts go that far, the Ranger had to be able to, the consequences of him not were too terrible to contemplate.

Aragorn's hand still shook slightly as he forced the strong twine through the eye of the needle, blissfully thankful that Elladan was unconscious for what he was about to attempt. Legolas placed his hands over Estels', stilling them for an instant before he set to work.

" Have faith in yourself my friend, I know you posses the knowledge, it is time for that knowledge to become practice." The elf's voice trailed off as he removed his hands from that of the rangers, moving them instead to Elladan's hip and shoulder, ready to brace the stricken elf should his body react untowardly. Aragorn took a deep breath and set to work, using a wadded up bandage to wipe away the constant stream of blood as he worked, carefully stitching back together the liver and severed veins within his foster brother's body.

How long had passed the Mirkwood elf did not know, he carefully kept Elladan's body still as Estel worked, until finally the wound had been closed and bandaged. Now finished Aragorn allowed his body to sink back onto his haunches, before overbalancing and landing rather awkwardly on his backside. He lowered his head to his knees and allowed himself a few moments to gather himself mentally before looking up at Legolas.

" Now what?" he asked dejectedly. His body ached from the battle and he was mentally exhausted from trying to save Elladan's life, wanting nothing more than to crawl into his bed for about a week and hibernate.

" We must leave this place, bear Elladan and Elrohir with us until we reach the surface, then head for Rivendell, it is closer than Mirkwood." Before Aragorn could reply a groan from behind him caused his attention to shift. Elrohir was once again regaining consciousness, moaning in protest at the pain his body was feeling. Aragorn knew Legolas was right, they needed to leave this place to avoid any more goblins that did not take part in the first attack. He moved to the twins' side and slowly aided him in sitting up. The Rivendell elf looked blearily up at him through pain filled eyes, his breath hitching at the movement of his body.

" Come Elrohir, we must leave his place. I need you to rise and try to walk" Aragorn kept his voice quiet in respect for the elf's pain, and took the stilted nod from the other as a sign to proceed. Slowly he aided the elf in standing, wrapping the other's arm round his shoulders and taking the majority of the elf's weight. Carefully they moved forward, Elrohir wincing every time his wounded hip was asked to move. Legolas handed Aragorn his pack then collected his own before crouching and taking the still unconscious Elladan in his arms, cradling the wounded elf within his grip. Elrohir took in the pale features of his twin and a look of horror crossed his features.

" Is he...?" he stuttered, grief constricting this throat as he tried to comprehend life without his twin.

" No... but he is gravely wounded, we must take him back to Rivendell where your father will able to heal him" Legolas answered as he started to move forward, pushing his own hurts out of his mind as he slowly retraced their steps towards the surface. He hoped fervently that the horses would still be in the vicinity, forgotten after the initial attack of goblins forced them off their steeds and unwittingly into a well-set trap.

The goblins had followed them through the forest for a while, never getting close until the four reached the point in the path where it snaked over a large mountain, twisting back upon itself as it rose up the steep slope. It was then that they rushed the four on all sides, causing the elves and human to abandon their steeds for fear of them falling from the steep path, and retreat into the cave before them. The goblins forced them onwards, brandishing their weapons until the companions ran on, seriously outnumbered and wishing simply to flee. Then they had realised the trap, seemingly hundreds of the dark creatures awaited them, eager for the latest piece of warm meat their planning had delivered to them.

Legolas trudged on, silently bearing the still body of Elladan ever towards the surface, partially closing his mind down to hide from the ever growing messages of fatigue and pain his body was sending him. Aragorn was stumbling frequently in his fatigue, causing Elrohir to pitch forward and moan as the motion jostled his wound.

It seemed like eternity before the dim light of evening yawed before him. Legolas thanked the Valar as he finally stepped back onto the fateful mountain pass, letting out a low whistle to call their steeds to them. Four sets of hoofbeats resounded up the path towards them, the elven horses not caring to be silent in their joy for seeing their masters again. Galloping hooves skittered to a half before the bedraggled group, a delicate muzzle descending to brush the cheek of the still Elladan before the animal lowered its torso to the ground, allowing Legolas to mount it without disturbing the elf he held in his arms. Aragorn's mount also lowered itself to the ground, accepting the added weight of Elrohir as the elf stuggled to move his hip enough to sit astride the animal. Aragorn held his brother steady as the animal rose, careful not to aggravate Elrohirs' injury. They then set back towards Rivendell, being careful to pick the smoothest route down the mountain as they bore their weary charges back towards home.

The trip back to Rivendell was a swift one, the horses cantering smoothly once they entered the forest, their strides eating up the distance between them and assistance. Time ceased to have meaning as the elves and human fought to stay conscious, the gentle rocking of the animals beneath them soothing their bodies almost enough to lapse into sleep.

The night passed with little recognition, as did the breaking of the next day, all beings being too tired to care what time of day it was. Still the horses cantered on, pausing here and there to quench their thirst from a stream before continuing at their rapid but even pace.

It was near night the next day before the clatter of hooves on the cobbled bridge into Rivendell alerted its Lord that something was amiss. Quickly the Lord of Imladris made his way into the courtyard where four very sweaty and exhausted horses cantered up to him, lowering their heads and gulping sweet air into their starved lungs as they fought to regain their breath after such a run.

Glorfindel stood upon the stairs of the great house and ran down seeing the condition of the riders. Legolas carefully passed Elladan down to Elrond before literally falling from his horse in his exhaustion. Glorfindel accepted the weight of Elrohir as he painfully tried to dismount, crying out in agony as his hip, stiff from the lack of movement protested painfully. Aragorn managed to somehow dismount and gratefully accepted the aid of several other gathered elves as they wrapped his arms around their shoulders and guided him up the stairs and into the house. Likewise several elves carried the barely conscious Legolas in behind them, following the small procession to the healing rooms.

Laying his still son upon the soft blankets of one of the beds Elrond set about removing the bandages and seeing the wound that had nearly smote his eldest son. A small line of stitches were all that told the tale, and Elrond moved aside to mix a poltice to draw out any infection. He applied the gooey mixture and rebound the wound, confident that Estel had done an adequate job with the sutures.

He then turned his attention to Elrohir who was laid on the bed next to his twin. The elf was conscious, but barely and moaned as the bandage around his lower torso was removed and inspected. The wound had begun to close by itself, yet the bone was still visible beneath the thin layers of mending flesh. The elf lord moved to a rack of herb filled jars that lined the walls and began to mix another poultice to pack the wound with, starving off infection and providing the necessary nutrients to aid in the closure of the injury. He stole a quick glance at Aragorn and Legolas who were now being seen to by Glorfindel upon the other beds, and knowing that his other son and friend were being looked after, set about packing Elrohir's wound and bandaging it, allowing his sons' natural healing ability to do the rest.

Some medicinal tea was also prepared and offered to Elrohir, who sipped at the warm liquid, relishing in the painkilling properties the bitter tea possessed. Elrond watched his youngest twin slip into a deep healing sleep once the tea began to take effect and turned his attention to his youngest foster son and Legolas.

The Mirkwood elf seemed in slightly worse condition than the ranger, which was something new to the Elf Lord as the future King of Gondor always seemed end up in the worst shape. The archer hadn't moved his left arm since he had arrived, and there had been a large bleeding gash to the pale elf's temple. Glorfindel had already cleaned up the head wound, applying an antiseptic mixture and binding the injury off, and was about to splint the prince's sprained wrist, immobilizing the joint until it could heal on its own. The prince seemed barely coherent enough to accept and drink the bitter tea offered to him and was soon also blissfully in a healing sleep, his head bandaged and wrist splinted.

Aragorn meanwhile was sitting on the edge of his allotted bed, quietly watching the happenings around him, too tired to do anything, yet too worried about his companions to rest himself. Apart from the bumps and bruises he always seemed to accumulate during a fight the ranger was surprisingly unharmed, and was the only one coherent enough to answer the many questions Glorfindel was now raining heavily upon him. He answered as many as he could before the overwhelming urge to rest now that his companions were safe hung over him. Elrond noticed the first signs in the garbled mutterings the ranger now offered as answers and gently eased his foster son down onto the soft covers of the bed, assuring him all was well with his brothers and companion and allowing the Ranger's mind to rest easy. The dark eyes closed in sleep the instant his head rested upon the soft pillow, conscious thought fleeing him in favour of the dark bliss of dreams.

Seeing that all his charges were now resting comfortably, Elrond cast a glance at the blonde elf before him.

" Do you think we'll ever find out what happened to them?" Glorfindel asked as he gazed over the sleeping forms before them.

" If it has anything to do with my sons, it is bound to be intriguing" The dark elf replied before easing somewhat stiffly into a large chair in the corner of the room. Yes, he would get the story out of them one day, and he was sure it would be quite a story indeed.

Finis