Caring for a friend

Two days passed before Aragorn caught sight of Elladan or Elrohir (he couldn't tell from a distance) and Lord Elrond. They came up on horseback and Aragorn waved his free arm, while still sitting next to Legolas. As they came closer, Aragorn noticed that it was the older twin, Elladan. Elrond had a bag with him, an old leather one that Aragorn found for him. They pulled up and Elrond jumped off his horse and went to the young Elf's side.

"Wake him up while I set up." Elrond said. Aragorn nodded and leaned closer to his friend. "Mellon nin, wake up. My Ada is here and he's going to help you." Aragorn whispered and soon Legolas came around. Elrond put his hand to Legolas' forehead. "He's burning up." Elrond muttered and Aragorn put a wet cloth onto his friend's forehead. "I know. It got worse, no, Legolas...stay awake..." Aragorn said and Legolas began to slip into sleep. "Alright." Legolas mumbled, forcing himself not to sleep. Aragorn smiled and then looked to his father and frowned again.

"I would have taken him to Rivendell, but his back is broken and I can't move him." Aragorn said. Elrond nodded. "The twins told me everything." Elrond said. The older Elf looked down to Legolas. "I need to move you onto your stomach. It will hurt, but Aragorn will stay with you." Elrond explained. Legolas didn't answer.

"Aragorn, come here for a moment." Elrond said and he got up. The Lord of Rivendell walked about 20 feet from the injured Elf and Aragorn followed. "I need to operate. I need to open his back and splint from the inside." Elrond said, still looking at Legolas. Aragorn feared this, but he nodded. "I will not leave his side." Aragorn said stubbornly. "I know." Elrond said, walking back to Legolas. Aragorn followed and sat back down.

"Elladan come help me move Legolas onto his stomach." Elrond called. Elladan walked over and stood by his father. "Slowly, so we do not harm his back any further." Elrond said. The older twin nodded and slowly father and son moved Legolas onto his stomach. Legolas cried out in agony softly and forced himself to keep his eyes open. He gripped Aragorn's hand tighter as pain exploded everywhere. Elrond told Elladan something and the older twin went to the horses.

They couldn't drug Legolas at all, so the poor Elf would have to feel the pain of the operation. Elrond quickly explained to Legolas what he was going to do and the Elf whispered something that sounded like, "I trust you.". Elrond dug into his bag and found the knife he needed. He took off the shirt that Aragorn had lent his friend and put the blankets only over his legs. The younger Elf shivered and then moaned in pain.

Aragorn held his friend's hand and vowed not to leave. Elrond placed the knife onto Legolas' back and cut. Legolas closed his eyes and gripped Aragorn's hand. Aragorn moved Legolas' hair out of the way as blood flowed. "Remember when you came to my room that one night and woke me up? It scared me to death because I thought something was wrong. You told me that I was your best friend in the world. I remember laughing because I was so relieved." Aragorn recalled, trying to distract Legolas.

"I remember." Legolas said softly, a smile coming to his lips. Aragorn continued to talk to his friend as Elrond worked. "I'm all I have to do is stitch this up." Elrond said. Aragorn started to talk again until Elrond finished.

"When we get to Rivendell, I will splint your back properly." Elrond told the Elf. Legolas was in too much pain to answer. The younger Elf just lay still. "How many stitches was that?" Aragorn asked, looking at his father's work. "About 140, I believe." Aragorn's eyes widened. "Let him rest for a while and then we will head home." Elrond said, exhaustion in his voice.

Aragorn nodded and then laid the oversized shirt onto his friend's back. Aragorn pulled the covers up over his friend again. "Hannon...le" Legolas whispered. "Everything's alright now, mellon nin. Rest and when you wake, you'll be in Rivendell." Aragorn said.

This time, Legolas couldn't fall asleep because the pain was too strong. He kept his eyes closed, but Aragorn knew his friend wasn't asleep. "I will slaughter every Urak-hai I come into contact with because of what happened to you. I cannot kill the same ones who harmed you, for they are dead, but I can kill those of the same kin. I will even attack the Urak-hai if they aren't attacking me." Aragorn whispered softly.

One single tear slipped passed Legolas' closed eyes.

Aragorn remembered Legolas' head injury and motioned for his father. "I need you to take a look at his head injury." Aragorn said as his father sat on the ground opposite of Aragorn. Elrond placed a hand gently on the back of Legolas' head. Swelling. The spot where he had hit his head was swelling. "I cannot do much with what I brought. I will take a look when we arrive in Rivendell." Elrond said. "How bad is it?" Aragorn called after his father as the older Elf walked away.

"Not too bad, but it could kill him if I don't take a look at it soon. Let's head to Rivendell now." Elrond said and walked to the horses. He held them by their reins and led them closer to the injured Elf so they wouldn't have to carry Legolas very far.

Aragorn and Elrond moved Legolas onto a horse and Aragorn jumped on behind his friend. The injured Elf tried to keep himself sitting up and Aragorn noticed this. "Lean against me, mellon nin. You will hurt yourself further." Aragorn said and helped Legolas ease himself back to rest against Aragorn. The Man went as slow as possible so that Legolas wouldn't be too rustled up.

They would be home soon.