Disclaimer: All things related to Tolkien's works belong to him.

A Twist of Fate

Chapter XI -  Home and Safe at Last

Aragorn laid Legolas gently on the ground and examined the elf's wounds. His friend's forehead was hot to the touch and sheen of sweat had beaded on it. His eyes were clenched tightly shut. Aragorn grimaced as he looked upon the arrow wound which Legolas had acquired so long ago. It remained unhealed and looked incredibly painful for wooden splinters were still embedded in his flesh. Infection had set in.

On top of all that Legolas' body continued to battle with the poison. Aragorn sighed heavily. The only thing he could do for his friend was to get him back home. As carefully as he was able, the ranger lifted his friend into his arms, his face set with determination. 

~*

Aragorn's leg hurt every time he set his weight down on it. Just a little further. He could see the huge wooden gates towering above him.

His strength was failing him. He had lost far too much blood from his leg wound and his head hurt badly. He wavered where he stood and raised a hand. White flashes were beginning to appear in front of his eyes.

The exhausted ranger dropped to his knees. His vision titled and he toppled over to his side. His grip on the elf slackened and he heard a soft cry of pain as he landed across his friend's body. He closed his eyes tiredly and let his fragile hold on consciousness slip.

~*

Thranduil rushed anxiously down the corridor that let to his son's room. Not again… Not again… He dreaded what he would find. He paused outside the door of his wayward son's room. He could hear sounds of activities inside combined with low moans of pain. His heart leapt to his throat. With heavy cloud of dread about him, he stepped in.

His fears were only confirmed by the sight of his son. In fact, Thranduil had to look twice to make sure it really was his son. The limp form of Legolas was completely covered in mud and dirt from head to toe.

Currently, the healers were struggling to remove his tunic and undershirt without causing the elf further pain. However, for all their efforts, they were failing miserably. The mud had dried and was caked all over Legolas, making his clothes stick to his skin. As they tried to pull off the tunic, Legolas let out a low moan as they unintentionally brushed against his arrow wound.

"What is wrong with my son?" Thranduil exclaimed before he could stop himself.

One of the healers looked up from his labors to answer his lord.

"His friend, the ranger, was with him. The man awoke from his unconscious state earlier and managed to utter something about poison before he fell into an exhausted sleep. What other injuries he conceals… we know not."

The elf would not meet his sire's eyes and that worried Thranduil all the more.

Finally, the healers gave up and proceeded to place their prince into a tub of water, to wash the mud off him. Only then would they be able to find out what other injuries he had. 

~*

Legolas lay on the soft white bed, his breathing erratic.  His fingers dug deeply into his palm and his knuckles were white.  His face was creased with pain. He had awakened sometime earlier but felt too tired to open his eyes. He felt slightly guilty about not doing so for he could sense his father's presence near him. However the pain overruled all other thoughts.

As his lungs expanded, pain radiated out from his ribs before subsiding, only to repeat the same process every time he took in a breath.

His throat hurt whenever he swallowed and his nose felt blocked. His eyes felt leaden and watery and there was a strange buzzing in his ears. He could hear muffled voices nearby and caught a few words. Nothing for it…administered antidote… wait for the illness to run its course…  He supposed they were talking about him. He sighed mentally and grudgingly tried to pry his eyes open again.

The bright light assaulted his eyes and left him dazed for a moment. When his vision cleared a little, he saw a blurry figure before him. He tried to focus as the Elven King said something to him but the buzzing had increased in intensity and his eyelids were pulling downwards again. To his own dissatisfaction he fell back into a deep slumber.

~*

When next he woke, Legolas felt much better.  His body didn't ache so much and breathing was easier. With a contented sigh, he opened his eyes and let his gaze sweep the room. It was empty and for a moment, he just let himself revel in quiet of the morning. Sunlight streamed in from the window and a light breeze blew gently around the room.

He heard the door creak softly open and in hobbled Aragorn supporting himself with a roughly made crutch. The ranger stopped short at the sight of him before exclaiming delightedly.

"You're awake!"

"Is that such a surprise?" Legolas responded, his voice tinged with amusement.

"It is when you've been out cold for three days already… How are you feeling my friend?"

"Considerably better…" The elf watched as Aragorn collapsed into a chair, after placing his crutch down beside him.

The ranger's smiling face turned to him and a comfortable silence fell over the room as the two friends silently thanked the Valar that the other was safe.

- End –

I finished a fic !!! Woohoo!!! I'm still contemplating a sequel … who's for the idea?

Anyway, many many thanks to all those who have been reading this faithfully!! All your reviews have really kept me going!

I've started another fic:

These Burdens We carry

Check it out if you have time!!!

Once again many thanks to all those who reviewed!! It was horrible of me not to reply personally to all of them. ~*hangs head in shame~  Without the wonderful reviews I would never have finished this fic!!!! Thanx!!!

~*~* Random Ramblings :o) ~*~