A/N- Ah, blessed vacations. I love them. Once again, sorry for my long abscence. I've been away from the computer for a while and finally decided to sit down today and gather my thoughts. I only own MY characters. Everyone else is obviously Tolkien's. Lucky, lucky man. I don't own 'Falling Down' by Staind. Enjoy!

"I've seen more than my share of the wounds you harbor. And how I love to watch them bleed..."

"I hated you since I first met you."

"I'm afraid..."

"It's all your fault!"

I arch a bit when my lungs suddenly expand. I open my eyes to find myself in nearly complete darkness. A candle is lit near me, as well as a few torches. As I wait for my eyes to adjust to the light, I listen to the soft sound of water dripping somewhere nearby. When my eyes finally adjust, I try to sit up. Apparently my stomach disagrees with me, because it spasms painfully. I hiss and wait for it to stop, then glance down. My torso is wrapped tightly in bandages, though I can see a dark stain through the fabric. I hope I didn't tear the stitches.

"Ye shouldn't be up, lass. Yer wound needs to heal," a gruff voice says.

I glance at a new source of light and see a door opened. A small man is standing near it, holding a jug of water and a basin with a bundle of cloth. "I'm afraid ye woke up at a bad time. I need to clean those stitches." I frown and cringe. "Can't you give me a sedative or something?" I ask, my voice raspy and strained. I hear him sigh. "I'm afraid not." He shuffles into the room and puts his materials down on what looks like a nightstand. "Lay down," he commands. Still frowning, I do as he says. As his hands begin undoing the bandaging, I can't help but shiver. His hands are cold.

Speaking of cold...

I look down at my chest and am quite shocked to see that there's nothing covering it! Gasping, I cover my chest with my hands and glare at him. "Why don't I have a shirt?" I ask through clenched teeth. He chuckles and continues his task. "It would only get in the way, lass. But if you're that self-conscious..." He reaches for a sheet but I cut him off. "I'm not self-conscious!" I shout indignantly. He drops the sheet with a shrug and continues removing the last of the bandaging. With my stomach finally exposed, I look down at it. I cringe at the sight of my sewn flesh. It's red, puffy, and still bleeding slightly. I hear him tsk at the sight of it. "That blasted elf really did a number on you."

"You forget, Olos. I like to watch you bleed too."

"Well, I did a number on him too," I murmur. The dwarf grunts and begins cleaning the area around the stitches. His touch is incredibly tender and tedius, despite his outward appearance. Aside from one or two severely sensative areas, I didn't feel much pain at all. "While I can't give ye a sedative, I can numb the area a bit," he says and dabs a bit of cloth into a small vial of cream. As soon as it touches my skin, I let out a sigh. A cool and blessed numbness spreads over my skin. When he's finished, he re-bandages the wound and lays a sheet over me. "For yer modesty," he says with a wink. I smile slightly as he gathers his supplies and leaves the room. What a nice guy.

"Vedui, mellonamin."

I grin widely at the voice and turn my head to the door. Legolas smiles and walks into the room, his hands behind his back. "A flower for my Lady," he says and stretches a hand out to me. I coo at the sight of the beautiful flower and take it from him. "Hannon-le," I whisper and lift it to the candlelight. I don't know if there's a word to describe the color of this flower. Iridescent, perhaps. I turn and find him sitting next to my bed, my hand in his. "How are you?" he asks, the smile now replaced by a look of concern.

"I show you one moment of weakness and you think we're friends? You found an old wound. Big deal."

"I'm fine," I answer, but even I know that it sounds hollow and empty. I feel him squeeze my hand lightly, his thumb grazing my knuckles. "Don't lie to me, Si." What does he want me to say? "I don't know what to tell you," I say. "Olos was acting. The friendship and forgivness was an act. We faught; he died. End of story." But that's not the end. It was Olos's end, yes, but not mine. But the look on his face when he was dying...so little and afraid... I can't help but feel a pang somewhere deep inside. I snap back to reality when I realize that Legolas's eyes are boring into mine.

"So Olos is dead," Legolas murmurs, looking away for a moment. "I cannot say that he didn't deserve it. I'm surprised that no one killed him long ago." Yeah, but that doesn't excuse what I did. "He had it rough." The blonde elf next to me looks a bit surprised. "You are defending his actions?" I shake my head. "No. But his life wasn't easy. His father died in the Last Alliance and he was in a lot of pain. The only way he knew how to get rid of it was to blame someone other than himself. At first it was humanity in general, and then I became the perfect target. And while the things he did were inexcusable, I still can't imagine how it felt. To wake up one day, alone and carrying the pain of losing a parent."

"I couldn't stand the pain. If I didn't find a way to get rid of it, I'd die."

"It's something I wish no one would have to experiance, human or elf." I look over at my friend and see him looking at me intently. "But you are here, without your mortal family. You haven't taken revenge on anyone." I feel a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach. "Right." We sit in silence for a few minutes and then I close my eyes. "I'm a bit tired," I say. Legolas nods. "Of course. I'll be right outside if you need me. Quel kaima," he says softly and presses his lips to my forehead. I hear the door close softly and open my eyes.

You haven't taken revenge on anyone. Didn't I? I was angry at Olos when I killed him. What if it wasn't just self-defense? What if I could have run away? Hodoer and Astaider could have saved me without Olos dying. Did I take my anger and pain out on him, like he had done to me? Did I feel satisfaction when I stabbed him? "I like to watch you bleed too." How sick!

What's happened to you?

It's obvious you've changed.

Something deep inside you,

Is probably to blame.

He was trying to kill me. I had to defend myself. But did you have to kill him? Damn, stupid conscience! I save myself from certain-death and end up feeling guilty for it! Growling, I throw back the covers and sit up on the bed. I look at the nightstand and see a small cabinet underneath it. "Please, let there be a drink," I mutter and kick it open. Of course there's nothing. "Try some of this." I look over at the dwarf who attended to me earlier. He's holding a small flask and a take it from him. Unscrewing the top, I sniff it. GOOD LORD, IT SMELLS HORRIBLE! "It's dwarven ale. It'll lessen the pain," he explains at my grimace.


Without needing any prompting, I empty the contents of the flask into my mouth and chug like a pro. "Easy, lass. That drink's stronger than you think!" he says and tugs it away from me. I wipe my mouth on the back of my hand and look over at him. "I see yer feeling better about your body," he says and nods to the discarded sheet. I sigh and lean back. "Well, I'm in no mood to care," I say and wave a hand dismissively. Modesty and shame be damned. He chuckles. "Thatta girl." He sits on the seat that Legolas left and puts the flask on the bed next to me. I look down on it, unsure if I should drink any more. I already feel a warmth spreading throughout my body. That's a good sign. "They recovered that elf's body," he says with his arms crossed. "He's going to be buried in Rivendell."

Is it lonely up there,

With your head up in the clouds?

Even though you got there,

What does your conscience tell you now?

I cock an eyebrow. "Rivendell?" The dwarf nods. "It's where he was born and so shall be the place of his eternal rest." I can't help but feel a bit shocked. How could such an evil bastard come from Imladris? As if reading my thoughts, the dwarf grunts. "No one is born that way, lass. Something happens to 'em. Not that that's any excuse," he adds. I nod. "He blamed humanity for his father's death," I say quietly. "He blamed me." The dwarf stares at me for a moment. "You feel guilty for doing what had to be done?" I frown. "Did it?" The dwarf remains quiet, waiting for me to continue. "What if there was some other way for me to escape without him dying? What if I could've helped him? What if--"

"There are no 'what ifs'," the dwarf cuts me off.

"That elf was going to kill you. He damn near did. I'm surprised you survived at all. You did what ye needed to do. And there was no helpin' that boy. He was stuck in his ways, more stubborn than any dwarf I know. Ye couldn't have saved him." I look down at his words. "But if it was the only option, why do I feel so guilty?" He snorts. "Because no matter what the circumstance, you took a life. And you feel responsible. You feel, which is one thing that elf lost the ability to do. After so many years of blamin' humanity, he could feel nothing else."

It's never the same on the way down.

How does it feel when your feet finally hit the ground?

When all of your bridges aren't around...

And the sandcastles you built are falling down.

I nod and look over at him. "I'm Siren, by the way," I say and hold out my hand. "Dunar," he says and shakes my hand firmly. I grin slightly and cross my hands over my chest. "Can you hand me the sheet? I'm feeling a little cold," I say with a laugh. He laughs and hands it to me. As I wrap it around myself, another form enters the room. I blink in surprise. "Aragorn?" The king smiles slightly and stands next to my bed. "Lady Siren. Legolas has informed me of what has happened. How are you?" I shrug. "Still alive, which is more than I can say for Olos. Avarier isn't here, is he?" The king cocks an eyebrow. "As a matter of fact, he is. He's been trying to get into this room for more than two days, but I wasn't sure if you were ready."

Good king. "Well, I could see him now and it would be fine. I'm feeling much better." And I miss him. He nods. "Of course. Sir Dunar, will you accompany me?" The dwarf nods and leaves the room with the king, giving me some privacy. The next time the door opens, Avarier is the one to enter the room. Despite the sheet I'm clutching to my chest, I suddenly feel very naked and exposed. "Hello," I greet softly and push away a strand of my hair nervously. He approaches my bed almost warily, and sits down slowly. He looks good. Worried, scared, hopeful and loving, but good. "Are you...did he..." I know I should tell him that I'm fine, and I will, but for the moment all I want to do is touch him. I lift a hand and press it to the side of his face, feeling the soft skin beneath it.

You had us all sitting right there in your hand.

But you had to fall because that's how this life is.

Got your fingers burned by burning candles at both ends.

Now the table's turned and now your demons are your friends.

I let my hand slide down to his throat and over his pulse-point. I can feel his heart beating rapidly and wonder if it's because of me. My hand lingers on his chest, over his heart. Overcome by fear, anger and an immense amount of love, I lean forward and press my lips against his skin. I feel him inhale sharply and lean back to look at him. I raise my eyes to meet his and feel my bottom lip tremble. What if Olos had killed me? I never would have been able to see him again. Feeling tears well in my eyes, I see Olos's expression change from lust to concern. "Oh Siren, don't cry," he says softly and cups my face in his hands.

I lean into his touch and wrap my arms around his stomach. I feel the sheet slip down and rest at my waist, but I don't care. I'm scared and upset and he's warm and comforting. He wraps his arms around me and strokes my hair. "I'm here now. It's alright," he soothes. I rest my forehead on his chest and press myself against him. "Don't ever go away again," I say and tighten my arms around him. He nods and rubs my back and arms. "Alright."

So now I question what you're gonna do.

Now that everything's gone with you.

You believe the shit you say is true.

But everybody's on to you.

Life remembers everything you do.

Your karma has caught up with you.

To be continued...