Legolas Greenleaf, Agent of MESS, in
You Only Live Forever
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction, which is why I am posting it on this site. Legolas and associated characters were created by JRR Tolkien. James Bond was created by Ian Fleming. Legolas' appearance belongs to Orlando Bloom in a wig.
Author's Notes: Some Batman-style aerobatics here. My fault for watching 'Batman Forever' and loving it, though the comics are so much better. And now, the end is near. Last chapter. It's been stupid but fun.
Review replies: theinklesspen: (did I mention how much I like your pen name –literally 'pen' name, I suppose). Hmm, being that he's dead, I suppose that does mean his regime is over.
Nemo Returning: I was attempting for the poetic. Or at least the melodramatic. I'm a godawful poet. And what makes you think Saruman will survive? Am I that predictable? You'll just have to wait and see, I suppose.
Idlewild: I was worried you weren't going to review! I had no reviews until Friday (sob). I'm happy now. I'm going to have to watch Casino Royale someday. I was a bit iffy on the Greenleaf/Sauron fight, but they had to, really. Sauron is bigger, but Legolas is faster, maybe. Meh, I try. After this? Wait and see...
I actually found myself a copy of 'Colonel Sun'! Hooray! Having spent ages searching for it in the local libraries (it's a bloody hard book to find) I then found it on a second hand bookstall. Ain't that just the way. I am reading it currently, and loving it.
Chapter 15. From Mordor, With Love
They sped out of the passageway at speed, emerging finally and gratefully into the open air. The light was dimming, becoming slowly obscured by the rising column of smoke and ash from the volcano. Stumbling more than a little over the rocky, uneven ground, Greenleaf and Gimli ran as fast as possible. Greenleaf was running slower than he would normally, partly to allow the Dwarf to keep up on his shorter legs, and partly due to the effects of his own exhaustion and fatigue. His injuries were beginning to tell, though he wouldn't admit it. Behind them, the huge volcano loomed still, made even more imposing by its crown of smoke. It was soon going to erupt, and the two of them had to get clear.
A tremor ran through the ground, a ripple spreading from the volcano. Gimli staggered and would have fallen had Greenleaf not seized his arm and pulled him on. But even as the distance between them and the burgeoning eruption grew, they were still not far enough away. The blast would be huge; Orodruin had lain dormant for many years. More tremors shook the ground, and this time they both fell. Attempts to stand while the ground still shook gave them the appearance of slapstick clowns, though no one was around to see or laugh. Cracks opened in the ground, and they both had to hold onto each other to keep from getting trapped in them. When at last the shaking eased, Greenleaf chanced a look backwards. Heading their way from behind were mounted black figures. Nazgûl, he realised, and his stomach sank.
He turned and continued running, though inwardly he was worried. There were nine Nazgûl, and only he and Gimli to fight them. Not particularly good odds to start with, but add in both their fatigues and injuries, and the fact that the Nazgûl were mounted, and things began looking significantly worse. Not to mention that there was still the problem of getting out of the range of the volcano's eruption. Squinting back through the growing smoke, Greenleaf could make out the nine Wraiths gaining on them steadily.
"What is it?" Gimli asked, though it cost him breath to do so.
"Nazgûl," Greenleaf replied, knowing there was no use in saying anything else.
He saw the Dwarf's expression falter for an instant, and did not blame him one bit. But then Gimli's features set themselves in a determined grimace and he grasped his axe in his grimy hands.
"Let 'em come," he roared, "and they shall taste my axe!"
"And my knife," Greenleaf agreed, "but we must keep up the pace. We can't be close when the volcano goes!"
They ran on, the Wraiths behind them getting ever closer. Tremors came more frequently, occasionally throwing one or both to the ground. Despite his professionalism, Greenleaf was beginning to despair. No matter how fast they ran, they couldn't outrun such an explosion. It would take something of a miracle to save them. But even as Greenleaf stared ahead, he saw something among the black smoke, heading their way fast but still some distance away. Realising what it was, he smiled, and his teeth shone whitely against his soot-blackened face. He slowed slightly, looking round. The Nazgûl were almost on them. Hoof beats thrummed on the ground, beating an increasingly louder tattoo as they approached. Greenleaf unsheathed his knife.
He and Gimli turned as the nine black-clad Wraiths reached them. The horses slowed not one bit as they rushed forward, nostrils flaring.
Greenleaf ducked to one side as the first passed him, its sword barely missing his head. He brought up his knife, slashing it along the great black horse's side and severing the leather straps holding the saddle to the creature. It reared and bolted, away from him. Greenleaf could see the Wraith trying to bring it back under control, but couldn't watch for long as two more attacked him. This time they flanked him, one on either side. Their swords swept low as they swung them down towards him. Greenleaf dropped to the ground, lying flat for an instant as the blades skimmed his back, just missing his quiver. A cold line of pain was drawn along his side, and he knew one had cut him. But he had no time to think on it.
The two Wraiths had swung around and were coming back. Another was approaching from the other direction, and Greenleaf was in the middle, facing the two. They were on him in seconds, the two either side and the one directly at him. Greenleaf seized the reins of the pair –who had reached him first- and used them to flip himself up into the air. He somersaulted backwards, avoiding the Wraiths' swords. Kicking out with his feet, he knocked the two of them backwards while he landed on the other Wraith's horse, behind the rider. The Wraith screeched, trying to swing its sword round at the Elf and failing. One of the other two Nazgûl had wheeled around and was coming back. Greenleaf barely had time to see this and react. He grabbed the arm of the Wraith he sat behind, fighting it for control of the sword. As the other came up, Greenleaf forced the Wraith's arm out fast. At the speed the Wraith was going, it didn't see the sword until it was plunging through it. With a brief screech the Nazgûl tumbled from its horse and fell limply to the ground. One down, Greenleaf silently rejoiced.
Gimli was having similar success. His axe had already made short work of one horse's knees, bringing the beast thrashing to the ground, its red eyes rolling. The Wraith leapt from its back as it fell, landing before the Dwarf. It hissed, raising its sword. Gimli hefted his axe as menacingly as possible. The Wraith screeched and moved forwards. Gimli dived beneath its sword swing, straightening up when he and the Wraith were close. He sent his axe up high in an arc, slicing off the Wraith's head. The black-clad body swayed and fell as Gimli jumped out of the way. The head, a crumbling helmeted mess, bounced a little way further. Gimli looked up to see two more Wraiths on horses heading his way.
Greenleaf meanwhile was clinging to the robes of the Wraith before him, trying his best not to be thrown off. The huge black horse was bucking and rearing, while its rider scratched at the Elf's face. Its long sword was useless, hampered by Greenleaf's close proximity, but it couldn't reach for the dagger at its waist without releasing the horse's reins. Greenleaf's knife was in his hand. Still clutching the Wraith with one hand, he plunged the blade into the cadaverous body, feeling it slice through the remains of the flesh. He drew his knife upwards, cutting through as much as possible. There was no blood, but the high-pitched keening wail assured Greenleaf that the Nazgûl was feeling it. It struggled wildly, but he managed to throw it from the horse, leaving Greenleaf to grab at the reins himself. But even as he did so, two more Wraiths were alongside him, grasping with their spindly hands. One's sword came down, slashing through the reins Greenleaf was holding. He had no time to grab anything else as their fingers grabbed him and pulled.
He fell from the horse, automatically rolling as he hit the ground and curling up as hooves crashed down around him. One caught him in the chest, throwing him back and knocking him breathless. He scrambled away as the horses came round a second time. He tried to regain his feet but fell again, a hoof cracking one of his ribs audibly. He gasped, rolling away again. He pushed up to his feet, holding his head as he waited for it to clear. Looking up, he saw that he was in the middle of a circle of the remaining Nazgûl, and Gimli was beside him. The Dwarf looked up at the Elf. They shared a brief, ironic smile before standing back, weapons raised. The Wraiths circled them menacingly.
"Guess they're not the talkative type then," Greenleaf commented. He glanced a little way West and smiled.
"Don't think much of their fashion sense either," Gimli grunted. "What're you so happy about?"
"Wait and see," Greenleaf replied.
The Wraiths suddenly closed in, their swords glinting. One just missed Greenleaf's head, narrowly trimming a few strands of hair. He parried another with his knife, hearing the clang behind him as Gimli did the same with his axe. Two blades came straight for his head from opposite directions. He stopped one with his knife, and twisted his head to avoid the other. The tip just grazed his cheek, spilling a little more blood down his face. The odds didn't seem good for them at that moment, but then it all changed.
A loud whinny came from behind the Wraiths. One of them was suddenly from its horse, landing almost on top of Gimli. The Dwarf hacked its head off before it could rise. The remaining Nazgûl scattered as Shadowfax broke through their circle. The great white stallion kicked at the suddenly skittish black horses, driving them away from the Elf and the Dwarf. Greenleaf seized Gimli by the arm, dragging him towards Shadowfax. He lifted the Dwarf into the air and swung himself onto the horse's back.
"Hey!" Gimli protested, but Greenleaf wasn't listening.
He began to run alongside Shadowfax, heading in the direction away from Orodruin. As the horse picked up speed he leapt up, landing neatly in front of Gimli. The Dwarf gripped his waist, complaining loudly about "idiotic, stupid, show off, risk-to-life-and-limb, crazy Elves."
Behind, the Wraiths were catching up, screeching loudly. They came up alongside, two on each side and one behind. Gimli looped one hand in Greenleaf's belt and sliced outwards with his axe. One Wraith fell victim to it, falling untidily to the ground in a heap. Greenleaf leant down low to the side of Shadowfax's neck, gripping his knife. Reaching out, he slashed at the nearest horse, making it shy away. The Wraith's sword was perilously close until the Elf knocked it back, following it up by cutting the Wraith open. It fell backwards, knocking the Wraith behind it from its horse. They both ended up in a heap behind, tangled together. Only two now remained, and Shadowfax was beginning to outpace them. One was larger than the others had been, and Greenleaf could see what seemed to be a crown under its hood.
Urging its horse, it drew closer while the other came up no the other side. The large one grabbed Greenleaf by the throat, moving faster than he had expected or anticipated. The hand was bony and thin, but still remarkably strong. It dragged the Elf half off of Shadowfax, despite Greenleaf's hands pulling at its wrist. Gimli yanked at the Elf's belt again, stopping him from being pulled completely from the horse. He dug his short legs into Shadowfax's flanks, desperate not to fall and bring them both down. The horses raced across the plateau, the ground blurring beneath them. The flaming volcano provided a perfect backdrop to the vicious fight.
Greenleaf battled for breath as the Wraith's hand tightened around his neck, squeezing cruelly. He choked, dimly aware of Gimli holding him back from being dragged off completely. The Wraith's head was very close to the Elf's as it hissed unpleasantly in long drawn-out syllables.
"Elf!" it screeched, the word barely discernable.
Gimli suddenly found himself with more troubles. The other remaining Wraith scraped the top of his helmet with its sword, hissing to itself as the Dwarf ducked just in time. Gimli couldn't turn to fight it off, as he was holding Greenleaf on Shadowfax's back. The Elf didn't seem to be responding, but instead hung between the two gripping him, staring blankly into the Wraith's hood. He was mesmerised by the Nazgûl, unresisting as it dragged him closer. Gimli swore and pulled back harder, almost overbalancing. The other Wraith's sword swung again from behind.
"Damn it, Elf!" Gimli yelled, meeting the sword with his axe, the clang loud and resounding.
Greenleaf heard the Dwarf's shout breaking through his consciousness. He fought against the Wraith's hypnotising hold, struggling against the overwhelming blackness. He dangled precariously between the two racing horses; each hoof pounding on the ground sent pain through his body. Everything that had happened to him since reaching Mordor was making itself felt vociferously. It would have been so easy to give into the Wraith's attack, but Greenleaf was, as ever, a professional. With an angry cry, he punched upwards with his fist, hitting the Wraith in the face. It hissed in retort and began to crush his windpipe, cutting off the Elf's air.
Bringing up his knife fast, Greenleaf slashed at the Wraith's wrist. The sharp Elven blade made quick work of it and severed the hand from its arm. That done, Greenleaf fell, no longer held up by the Wraith. Gimli heaved back, saving the Elf from tumbling to the ground. He blocked another sword thrust from behind, returning it in kind. The Wraith's sword clattered to the ground. In a last ditch attempt, it threw itself at Gimli, fingers outstretched. An axe swing chopped it in two, sending the halves in different directions.
Hanging upside-down, Greenleaf was hard put to keep his head from being kicked in my either of the horses' hooves as they galloped along. One caught him squarely on the shoulder, dislocating it with agonising pain. He cried out, practically blacking out as he did. He hung limply for a few moments, eyes closed and breathing heavy. His hair was dragging along in the dirt until he raised his head as much as possible, gritting his teeth against the pain. He looked up and met the eyes of the Wraith. Or at least, where its eyes probably were. Its great sword swung down, and Greenleaf was powerless to avoid it.
Gimli, however, wasn't. Leaning back to compensate for Greenleaf's weight, he managed to extend his axe far enough to block the sword, making it miss the Elf. Greenleaf seized the opportunity, throwing his good arm up over Shadowfax's neck and pulling himself upright. Together, he and Gimli attacked the last Wraith with knife and axe. Greenleaf's knife decapitated it while Gimli's axe halved it at the waist. The black horse, confused and freed by the death of its rider, turned and fled. Shadowfax continued to race for the Mountains of Shadow that ranged before them, tall and dark with white caps.
"That last one was a nasty creature and no mistake," Gimli commented, rehanging his axe in its loop on his belt. He was panting heavily with exertion.
Greenleaf was using his useable hand to unclasp the rigid fingers of the Wraith's hand from around his neck. "Oh, I don't know," he croaked, "he was so eager to lend a hand." He dropped it as they hurried on.
Behind them, the volcano was erupting. The roar reached their ears and great tremors shook the ground, but Shadowfax stayed nimble on his feet, keeping on his route. Greenleaf looked back over his shoulder, seeing the flames shooting from the top of Orodruin. The initial boom of the explosion had passed over them, and now ash and cinders were raining down. He bent down over Shadowfax's neck, urging the horse on until they reached the foot of the Ephel Dúath.
"We need to get through Minas Morgul," Greenleaf yelled, guiding the horse up, "else we'll get suffocated with all this dust!" They galloped on.
"Blasted horse," Gimli muttered as he was shaken up and down. He didn't really mean it, but had to keep up appearances.
They raced on up the slope of the mountain, Shadowfax not slowing despite the double weight on his back. The air grew clearer as they got higher and after they had passed through the dead city of Minas Morgul they came out into pale sunshine. It seemed strange after the darkness in Mordor. Greenleaf slowed Shadowfax, easing the pace once they were out of danger. They turned, stopping to see the destruction behind them wrought by the erupting volcano. They watched as the black smoke covered the area in mist and shadow.
"Well, that's the end of Sauron then," said Greenleaf, "and his whole operation. Thank the Valar." He looked at Gimli behind him.
The Dwarf started laughing. "You should see what you look like," he chuckled, "far from your usual prim and prissy self. You're absolutely filthy!"
"And you're not?" Greenleaf grinned wickedly. "I suppose that being a Dwarf you don't notice it. You're too used to grubbing around in the dirt!"
"I think you'll find that you're worse," Gimli sniffed, though his eyes twinkled.
"I doubt it," Greenleaf replied, fighting the urge to laugh at the idea.
In truth they were both equally mucky. General battle dirt combined with dust and smuts, and congealed in places with drying blood on their skin. Greenleaf's hair was nearly black with filth, his braids mostly undone and flicking in his face. Any observer would be forgiven for assuming them to be Wildmen.
"It looks like we need a bath," Greenleaf said eventually.
There was a worried looking group gathered round one of the MIRRORs in U's rooms. Aragorn –still well-bandaged- and Arwen stood together, the lady using the excuse of supporting the recovering man to hold his arm. G, resplendent as usual in white, watched as U fiddled with the MIRROR, trying to tune it in.
"What exactly are you trying to do?" Arwen asked. "You weren't very specific earlier."
"Trying to get hold of 0011 or Gimli," U replied, "that dratted Elf won't think of or bother calling us. And since reports say that Orodruin has exploded, I get the feeling that they're behind it." He frowned, but despite the gruff tone he was concerned. It was possible that both were dead. "Ah, here we are." An image floated on the surface of the water. It was completely black. "Drat," the wizard said, "their palantír must still be in the bag."
"Can you call them?" G asked, but even as she did voices were heard from the MIRROR.
"Ah, Gimli! Gimli!"
"Easy, Legolas! You'll have to try and hold still."
"They're obviously getting on better," Aragorn commented, "I never heard Gimli call Legolas by name before, or vice versa."
"Harder, Gimli! I can't (gasp) hold on (gasp) that long! Harder!"
"I'm trying, you finicky Elf! This isn't easy, you know!"
"Just ... harder! Please!"
G's face was completely impassive, while Arwen's seemed rather confused. "What do you suppose they're..." she began, but G cut her off.
"Don't spend too long thinking about it, dear," she said. She turned to U. "I suppose it would be foolish to suggest attracting their attention now?"
U smiled, stroking his beard, and was about to reply when he was interrupted by a scream from the MIRROR. A long, loud scream.
"Ai! Valar! Gimli! Oh!"
"Are you all right, Legolas? Legolas!"
"...fine. Orc's-breath, that's better! Ah..." There was the loud sound of heavy breathing.
U picked up a black cloth from the table behind him and laid it over the MIRROR.
"I think we can safely leave them to it," he said calmly.
Greenleaf sat with his back against a rock, still shaking. Gimli stood beside him, bandaging the shoulder that he had just –with great difficulty- put back in its socket. Shutting his eyes and leaning his head back, Greenleaf tried to will away the throbbing in his arm. He wasn't doing very well. The adrenaline that had carried him so far had given out, dropping him in a heap. All the pain that he had so far suppressed was hitting him now with a vengeance.
He moaned quietly, secretly relieved that the mission was finally over. He would wish otherwise later, of course, but now he was just glad for the chance to rest. Some of the most satisfying times he had ever spent had been ones like this, immediately after some of the worst and before the boredom set in. He knew that he would never be satisfied being like this for long, and to live like this forever would bore him to tears, but just for now it was good. He was a warrior, a fighter; he preferred action. Satisfaction be damned, there was nothing like pulling off some crazy stunt that had almost got him killed. It was what he did best.
Having finished the bandage, Gimli dropped to sit beside the Elf. He was in better shape, but was still exhausted. He picked at some drying orc-blood that was on his sleeve. Neither of them spoke for a while, content to sit. The sun worked its way higher in the sky, occasionally obscured by a passing cloud. They had built a small fire, as the day was not overly warm, and it crackled quietly.
"So," Gimli said eventually, "a bath."
"Hmm," replied Greenleaf, after a bit, not moving. There was a further silence.
"We really ought to," Gimli said, though he wasn't inclined to move either, "rather than sit here in all this filth."
"And we ought to get in touch with G," Greenleaf said, "but I can't actually be bothered. Let them stew for a bit. I don't care."
Gimli laughed. "I had the impression that you were rather duty-bound, Legolas. Haven't you got work to do?"
Greenleaf shrugged, and winced as he did. "I think we've earned a holiday. After all, it could take us a while to get back." He grinned. "Is there anywhere you want to visit on the way?"
"Seriously?" Gimli asked, rather surprised. At Greenleaf's nod he continued. "I've heard that the Glittering Caves beneath Helm's Deep are worth a visit."
Greenleaf rolled his eyes. "Caves," he said with a chuckle, "I should have known. But that should be easy enough; I'm on rather good terms with the King of the Mark."
Gimli grinned, and then frowned. "But you're injured!"
"Nothing that won't heal," Greenleaf said, waving it off.
"I suppose we won't be able to travel fast with you hurt," Gimli said slowly. They looked at each other, and then burst into laughter. It took some time for them to stop.
"So then," Gimli said again, after their laughter had died down, "this bath we both need."
"In a minute," Greenleaf told him, "I have something to do." He reached into the back of his leggings and pulled out some folded pieces of paper. As the Elf unfolded them, Gimli realised what they were.
"The plans for Sauron's war machines!" he exclaimed. "But what are you going to do with them?"
"Send them onto G," Greenleaf explained, "they'll be safest in Lórien." He whistled. A hobby –a small type of hawk- swooped down to land on his knee. The bird regarded the Elf quizzically for a moment, and then began to preen its feathers. Greenleaf was just about to tie the papers to its leg with threads when he paused and smiled. Reaching across carefully, he pulled a charred stick from the fire and blew on it to cool it. Then, using the blackened end, he wrote a short message at the bottom of one sheet. It was only four words.
"From Mordor, with love."
He tied the papers to the bird's leg and whispered to it for a moment in Elvish. It took to the skies with a flurry of wings, flying fast enough to be only a small dot in a few minutes.
"Come on," Greenleaf said, standing and offering his hand to Gimli, "let's take that bath." He pulled Gimli up and the two, now friends, walked slowly down towards the stream. All that was left to be heard was the clear Elvish voice raised in song.
"From Mordor, with love, I fly to you,
"With information to supply to you.
"I'll travel so far to get all this to you,
"From Mordor, with love."
A/n: phew, that's over. Quite a cheesy ending really. And yes, that bit with the MIRROR, that was unforgivable. I'm sorry. What I had in my head was the stereotypical Bond ending of Bond and his woman getting it on while M and Q try to get in contact. The idea of sending it up was just too much fun to ignore.
Anyway, now for the trailer for the sequel!
Coming soon, to a website near you...
THE SPAN OF SOLACE
A THRILLER of not-so-epic proportions!
The latest ADVENTURE of Legolas Greenleaf: Agent of MESS!
In the beautiful surroundings of Rivendell, there lurks a KILLER!
A tale in six chapters, involving EXCITEMENT, AMUSEMENT and DANGER!
What was the worst they'd do, anyway? Fire him? They wouldn't dare.
"He likes them," said Aragorn, looking away, "but he wouldn't go to bed with one."
Greenleaf momentarily stopped breathing as it suddenly moved across his stomach.
He placed the Queen of Spades on the table, face down. It seemed a little impolite, but he was sure she wouldn't mind.
"Are you all right?" Elrond repeated his question. "Legolas, someone just tried to kill you. Aren't you at least a bit disturbed?"
Be careful of THE SPAN OF SOLACE
Weak nerves will be shredded by it.
(The author accepts no responsibility for any nerves shredded. There's a warning. Read it and don't come crying to me if you don't like it. Coming soon.)