Disclaimer and Acknowledgements: As in Chapter 1


Chapter 37 – True Healing

Two days had passed since the battle with the demon and most things seemed to have returned to normal in the House of Elrond. The citizens of Rivendell had rested well and were back about their daily chores. Gandalf left a few minutes ago after ensuring that Glorfindel and Elrohir were in good health and did not suffer any long lasting effects from the attack. The wizard had also offered to take the mithril box when he left to find a proper way of disposal. Elrond, Glorfindel, Elladan and Elrohir watched as the gray wizard strolled casually out of the courtyard whistling a happy tune, the damned box tucked securely under his robe.

"Thank Ilúvatar it's over!" Elladan whispered and his twin brother nodded silently beside him. The past week was hard on all of them especially for their brother and friend. The two were still locked in a deep healing sleep and had not wakened yet since the day Gandalf arrived.

"Let's go see Estel and Legolas," Elrond placed his hands on his sons' back and led them back to the house.

The three elves entered Elrond's bedchamber and approached the large bed. Aragorn and Legolas still slept soundly and did not stir even when Elrond pulled the blankets up their shoulders, tucking the corners securely under their arms.

"They must be worn out," Elrohir whispered.

"I would be too after what they had been put through," Elladan added.

Elrond walked over to the window and settled down next to it and his sons joined him shortly after.

"Gandalf said they might slowly regain their memories of the times of their possession now that the demon had lost its grip on their minds." The elf lord said with a low tone. He paused momentarily and looked searchingly at Elladan. "Did you experience any flashback, my son?"

Elladan shook his head. "No. I still don't remember anything. Maybe because the demon did not feed through me."

"Maybe. It would be better if you don't remember," Elrond sighed heavily. "I just wish they will not remember."

"Perhaps they won't. Gandalf said they might regain their memories but he wasn't definite," Elrohir put in and both his father and brother nodded in unison. Turning back towards the bed, Elrohir chuckled at some distance memory. "`Dan told me Estel said he was going to sleep for a week. He wasn't joking," the younger twin said with a small snicker.

"I bet he won't be able to last for a week in bed. He would either go crazy or drive us crazy!" Elladan laughed light-heartedly.

Elrond smiled. Things were indeed going back to normal but his thoughts were ripped from him by faint sounds of weeping from the bed. Three heads snapped around simultaneously and saw Legolas twisting in bed obviously caught in a dream. They made their way over and Elrond sat down on the bed trying to calm the young prince. Instead of calming down, Legolas began to trash wildly in his sleep, fighting against something that none in the waking world could see. His movement disturbed the other occupant in bed and Aragorn groaned as he was so rudely dragged out of his sleep. Rolling over to his side, he knocked into his father who was sitting on his side of the bed.

"Wha…?" the ranger asked groggily as his father stopped him from falling off the bed.

"Legolas is having a nightmare. I fear that he is beginning to remember."

Aragorn nodded dumbly, not quite sure what his father meant by remembering. Scrambling off the bed to allow his father easier access to the elf prince, the young man allowed his brothers to settle him into the large chair several paces from the bed. Elrond held the trashing elf down by his arms trying to prevent him from hurting himself but his actions only made things worse.

"No!" Legolas cried out and bolted upright in bed, his silver-blue eyes wide with fear but still unfocused. The prince was still trapped in some unknown nightmare. "Don't hurt him…please…no…help me…" The blond elf scooted backwards against the headboard and drew himself into a tight ball.

Elrond's heart twisted inside his chest. It pained him to see that the first words the young prince uttered after his long silence was a desperate plea for help. He reached out and touched Legolas' shoulder and when the elf did not flinch, Elrond pulled the distraught young thing into his arms, rocking him back and forth.

"Shhh… it's alright… it's alright…" Elrond soothed Legolas, one hand cupped behind his head and the other rubbed his back in gentle circles.

"Don't make me hurt them…" the soft whimpers turned into choking sobs as strong tremors coursed through the elven prince's body. "Please…make it stop…Ada…help me…"

The three brothers watched helplessly as their father tried to bring Legolas out of his dream. Aragorn swallowed hard at the lump that was threatening to rise from his throat, finally understood what his father meant by remembering. He felt fortunate that he was not plagued by such nightmares but also felt guilty at the same time for not being punished for his crime. Feeling his brothers' hands on his shoulder, he was thankful for their constant support.

"Legolas… wake up little one…" Elrond called out lightly and shook him a little. He felt the prince tense in his arms and knew that he was beginning to wake. "It's just a bad dream. Wake up and it will go away," the elf lord stroke the long golden hair remembering the countless times that he had performed the same routine with his youngest son when he was small.

"Ada?" the young prince asked brokenly, his face still buried in Elrond's shoulder. His mind slowly drifted away from the dream and returned to reality. He found himself being held by someone much like the way his father used to hod and comfort him when he had bad dreams as an elfling. But this elf felt different, not like his father. Then he was aware of the soft scent of herbs and flowers and remembered that he was still in Rivendell and in the House of Elrond. Embarrassed, he pulled away from the Lord of Imladris and wiped at the tears that had stained his face. "I-I'm sorry…" he said in between sniffles but Elrond only gave him a warm smile.

"Don't be. Tears are the normal process of healing. Much more will flow as your healing continued." As he spoke, he motioned for his sons to join him around the bed. "You will have each other for support during this difficult time." Elrond directed his statement specifically at Aragorn, Elladan and Legolas. "The most important thing is to talk about it. The more you talk, the less it will hurt." The children nodded at his words and he ruffled each of them on the head affectionately before rising from the bed. "You must be hungry," the elf lord said to Aragorn and Legolas. "I will have Celboril prepare some food and bring it up to you." With that, the dark haired elf lord left the children and went downstairs.

The three elves and human stared at each other and Aragorn broke the staring contest by asking how Legolas felt.

"My shoulder hurts."

"Must have sprained it when we pulled you from the window," Elladan said.

Legolas looked dumbfounded at the older twin. "What window?"

Elrohir chuckled. "You decided to take flying lessons from some birds."

"I did?"

"Uh huh… Father was furious…"

"I remember someone trying to shake my head off from my shoulders…"

"That was Ada…"

"You're lucky that you still have your head…"

A snort and a short pause.

"So, what happened Legolas?"

"I remembered everything. It was like standing in a corner looking at yourself doing something terrible but not having the means to stop it. It hurt to see myself harming those that I cared so deeply for…" Legolas looked down at his hands and saw that they were trembling slightly.

Elrohir places his hands on Legolas' to steady them. "I'm sorry that you have to go through the pain and guilt."

"Estel? Do you remember?" Elladan asked his little brother.

Aragorn shrugged. "I do have some strange dreams but I can't seem to remember them when I wake. Maybe it affects elves more than it does humans."


And so they talked for many hours, about anything and everything, about the pain and guilt, the nightmares and dreams. Through laughter and tears, they found strength in each other and true healing finally began for the first time since the accidental release of the demon.

- The End -

A/N: *sniff* Well, that's all folks. The End. No more. I'm a little sad that it's done but it has to end somewhere. Now I just hope I can break 500 reviews... which means I'll need 17 reviews. Think I can get them? :P If you're kind enough to tell me what you think of the overall of this story, I'll work faster on my next one. *g*

Aemilia Rose - I'm glad you made it back in time for the last chapter. Now that the demon's gone, they can all have their long needed rest.

MagickalStar135 - Yes, sad indeed. But it has to end somewhere, can't go on forever. If not people might get bored and stop reading.

FallenStar2 - And I missed you! And you made it back for the end! *hugs you to death*

Snow-Glory - The "all crumple together" scene was a special request from my beta so that's for her :D But I'm happy that you liked it too :D

leggylover03 - Well, it's done. No more. *sniff* So now lets work on your evil fic :D Sooooo evil and delicious! *eg* And of course there's the one I'm still working on though it's not half as evil as yours. LOL!

Pheraearwen - My last update... at least for a while. But do check back soon because I've got 2 more stories in the process. ;)

Rissa of the Saiya-Jin - Curiosity definitely kills the ranger... and it kills the elf too. Don't think they'll be prying open any box soon but knowing Aragorn and Legolas, they'll get into some kind of trouble no matter how you try to protect them *g*

K-rock - Rest they can but for how long? *eg*

Cosmic Castaway - Happy is good. Happy elves, happy human, happy readers :D No one dies in the end so it's a happy ending :)

Kelly L. K - Legolas is a good candidate for torture because he's always so clean and pristine in the movies. Makes you want to give him some cuts and bruises... bash him up a little and maybe even bring him close to death's door before yanking him back *eg* Let Aragorn play the hero for once. :P

Riva van Dyk - Demon tugged nicely inside pretty box and Gandalf will take it to "dispose" of it. Wonder where he's gonna take it. Hmmm...

Lelgalad - Can I have my heart now? No one died, they're all a happy bunch now. Demon's gone. Elrond's sane once again and Legolas has found all his marbles :D