Dare Not to Close My Eyes

Disclaimer: I don't own anything in the Tolkien Universe; in fact I have only been a fan for a short time, so please excuse any mistakes I make. I will endeavor to make this as accurate as possible, however I cant promise a perfect attempt. ( I have yet to find a decent translator, so I hope the one I used was close enough.

Summary: Darkness has been growing in Middle Earth. Reports have come to the Elves of an impending threat from the Land of Mordor. King Trandruil has dispatched his son and messengers to the surrounding villages to warn them of the increasing Orc threat. Legolas is captured, believed to be the instigator of the attacks, and finds himself allied with a strange companion, one that holds a deep secret.

Rating: PG-13 This is not a romance, so get that out of ya head right now. :P

Characters: Legolas mainly.. With appearances of Aragorn, Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir.. and a slew of characters from my imagination.

Archives: if ya want it, just give me a yell and ask. Though for the life of me, I don't know why ya would want it.

Special thanks to: Cassia and Sio for allowing me to use the idea of the weak point behind the elf's ears.

***** Feedback will be answered with the next posting. Any comments, concerns, or critical feedback is appreciated. Flames will not be tolerated.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Absolutely Not!" Bellowed King Thranduil of Mirkwood. The whole of his court visibly flinched at the kings' outburst, but their attention wasn't on the king on the throne, but drawn to the being that was the center of king's attention.

This being was tall, lithe in body, quick in mind, and rather sharp tongued, with hair of gold and burning blue eyes that were at the moment studying the king very intensely. Delicately pointed ears perked on either side of his head, and a soft countenance was etched into the being's face. Definitely elf-kind.

The being was standing defiantly of the monarch; something that not many would consider a bright thing to do, but the golden-haired being was no ordinary elf. He happened to be the king's son.

"And why not? I am old enough, am I not?" The prince asked for the hundredth time, his gaze never leaving his fathers.

King Thranduil's eyes flickered over his son and he sighed outwardly, knowing it would be of no use to argue any further with his offspring. Waving a hand and sighing heavily, he agreed. "Fine. You may go, but you will take the guards with you. I do not wish you to be alone in these dangerous times. There is peril in our world and I will not allow you to be taken."

After a brief pause of silence, the king glared at his son. "Do you understand me, Legolas? No more running off on your own or eluding the guards."

"But I can defend myself father." Legolas said, his voice lilting as eagerness clearly shone in the depths of his blue eyes.

"You can... you can, but I have wonder. Many times you have come home with injuries and threats from outsiders that wish to do you harm. You take them so lightly. I wonder if you could defend yourself properly if enough of them attempted their threats outside the protection of our borders?"

Legolas stiffened slightly. He hated being challenged in such a manner. He opened his mouth to argue, thinking how best to phrase his explanation. "The injuries occurred because I was not alone. It is difficult to defend oneself when one is busy defending others, especially those that are not as skilled as their would-be charge."

The king knew his son was referring to the guards that flanked the prince. They were loyal to a fault, honorable in all intentions, but the prince was right. They were not as well trained as the royal, and often got in the way of the prince when it came to battle.

"Father, you know I am more skilled than those of this court. I am no child." Legolas said sincerely.

The king hated to admit it but his son was right. Though loyal and trustworthy, willing to submit their own life for that of their lords, the Elven Guard was no match when it came to his sons natural skills. The king had found himself quite pleased that his son seemed to absorb the teachings of many masters and advanced past them, requiring another teacher with different lessons and refined skills.

Yes, Legolas was more than capable of taking care of himself, but yet, a father's heart is never lightened when their child could be in danger.

"Very well. You have my consent to go into the villages alone," the king started, then held up his hand to gain his son's wavering attention. "However, you will take armed guards with you to the human settlements. They can wait at a distance and come to your aid if necessary."

Legolas opened his mouth to protest but the King beat him to it. "There will be no arguments on this matter, Legolas. You know the humans are wary of us. To see our kind enter their cities will invite trouble and you seem to create enough of it on your own."

Legolas frowned at his father's now-amused face. "I do not create trouble, father. Strider does it for me."

The two had fallen on a fond subject, for both had a strong affection for the adopted son of Lord Elrond. Legolas thought as the young human as a brother, and both ventured into dangerous situations and struggled with the most ruthless of criminals, due mainly to the humans zest for action and sometimes careless thinking.

Sometimes the king wondered if there had been a more stranger pair than his son and the human. He remembered the centuries that Legolas grew through, the stable, intelligent marksman hunter that never swayed and only followed his father's command to the letter. Now the younger elf was growing a rather nasty array of profanity and reckless behavior. The prince had a habit of getting himself into his fair share of trouble without the human, though he protested and refused to see the folly.

With a saddened smile the king rose his voice to his courts. "I must speak to my son alone. The court is to give us some privacy."

With his command, the servants, guest speakers and guards left the room, closing the large wooden doors behind them to allow the royalty some privacy.

When the room was empty, the king abandoned his throne and stood before his son, his face set in a stern manner. "This is a dangerous time, my son. You feel as I do, that the threat of Mordor is once again regaining strength."

Legolas nodded mutely, his expression fixed into a stony mask. He had felt the darkness. Felt it enter his mind and wither away to a place far in the reaches of his consciousness, as if waiting for the time to emerge and make itself boldly known.

"Take the guards with you as protection, even if you do not wish their company. I fear you venturing alone into the human's world. Warn the human cities, then go to Lord Elrond. He will have foreknowledge of what we seek." The King said, his voice hollowed in the empty room. "We may have time to prevent Mordor from rising again."

Legolas nodded and then made to take his leave but the King's hand shot out and grabbed his arm, hindering his retreat.

"Legolas, you WILL be careful. Do not forget the humans are mistrusting of us and fear what they do not understand." The king smiled and pulled his son into a rare hug. "Na varna am utinu. Amin nein'il mor anwa'lle"

Legolas withdrew and gave his father a mischievous smile. "Do not worry, father. I will keep the guards safe."

With a bow of his head, Legolas took his leave of his now laughing father. He enjoyed his time out with the guards. Knowing that they could never match him in skills and expertise, he sometimes allowed himself to be 'assisted' by them, mainly to boost their sense of duty to their liege. They were good company to be around, always alert and ready to defend their prince, sometimes perceiving things that escaped the princes' attention.

A cloud passed by overhead, blocking out the light of the sun and casting the world into gray shadow. Something in the back of the prince's mind made him pause, a feeling of dread welled up within him, and a strange sensation flitted across his senses.

Something felt wrong. Out of place. Darkness crept into his thoughts. The sun reemerged from behind the cloud and the sensation lifted from the Princes thoughts.

"My lord, are you ready for our journey?" A guard called, tucking a pack of lembas into a small pack strapped to another's back.

Legolas approached the company of elves that were to escort him into the human cities to offer warning of the coming threat of Mordor. Making a last minute decision, he addressed the group. "My father and I have discussed it and we believe that the party should separate." Many eyes darted between those in the group, suspicion grew. Legolas continued. "We will be able to warn more villages if we are many parties instead of one."

The guards began to protest, worried that their prince would need their protection and was trying once again to dissuade them from being at his side.

"I have made my decision." Legolas said firmly, letting the arguments die on the guard's lips. "Break up into pairs. I will go alone to Ford's Landing, then west, on to Rivendell to see Lord Elrond. I know the human settlement quite well and will not need aid. The matter has been decided."

The guards stood transfixed to the spot, unsure of what to do. They knew the prince had full power to give them orders but they also knew that the king would not want his son on his own, no matter how much the younger royalty protested he did not need their protection.

With a quick word amongst themselves, the guards overturned the princes' orders, knowing the king wanted to keep his son safe and trusted his men to do their job. When the guards turned to face the prince, he had already disappeared into the wilderness.