Title: Forbidden Lovers in Rohan
Summary: The sequel to "Love for the Fellowship". You probably don't need to read that to get this, but I always welcome new readers! WARNING! SLASH! Legolas/Aragorn. PG-13 for slash and violence. Can't say I didn't warn you!!!
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. The talented J.R.R. Tolkien owns the characters and Peter Jackson owns the movie from which I got the idea for this fic.
Major thanks to: Zelda Saturn Mistress for helping me with the title!!!!! Thank you sooooooo much!!!!!
Thanks for the last chapter of 'Love for the Fellowship':
To Jessica Kemp: Thanks for your review!!!
To Nessa Inwe: Thanks so much for your review!!! I'll be sending you an email soonw ith a few sites, so keep an eye out!!!
To NiimuraYume: Thanks so much for your review! Totally made me feel sooooooo happy!!! Enjoy!!
To Star Wars Forever: Aragorn's Hair. Hmm. Definitely going to have to read it soon. ::squeals:: You're so nice saying it wasn't as good as mine!! Which, now that I look back on it, is sort of an oxymoron or something, isn't it?
To Elf-Formally-Known-as-Legolas: Got your email. Definitely can't wait until the extended version comes out now!!!!! Dying to see a drunk Elf. LOL. Thanks so much for your support with the slashers. (Although, I think they're hilarious wasting their time reading a fic when there's clearly a warning in the summary!!!)
To ForsakenOn3: ::squeals:: Ooh, I love you! Your review made me feel all squishy inside . . . Hope you'll continue reading!!
To virginia woolf: Thanks so much for your review! I've been trying to put more slash in, but whenever I do, there are huge spaces of time where there should only be a few minutes. Oops. I'll figure it out.
To Legolas19: Thanks for your review!!
To Shadow41: Thank you so much for your review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the fic and I hope you enjoy reading this one, too. I'm doing my best!!!
To Zelda Saturn Mistress: Ahh, thank you sooo much for letting me use the title!!! Total life-saver. Thanks also for your support with the slashers!! BTW, what's kawaii mean?????
Chapter 1: Bad News from the Rohirrim
Legolas and Gimli watched intently as Aragorn laid his ear next to the ground, listening for footsteps, his eyes closed, concentrating . . .
"Their pace has quickened," Aragorn said suddenly, looking up at his two weary companions. "They must have caught our scent. Hurry!"
He ran off. Before following, Legolas paused and looked back at the dwarf.
"Come on, Gimli!"
He turned and ran after Aragorn. Legolas heard Gimli mutter, "Three days' and nights' pursuit. No food. No rest. And no sign of our quarry but what bare rock can tell!"
As he ran, Legolas thought about the events of the past few days. He and Aragorn had spent no time by themselves since the other night. They had been too busy trying to track the Uruk-hai that had kidnapped Merry and Pippin. In fact, Aragorn hadn't shown a single interest in their possibly failing relationship or in Legolas in the past several days. Legolas was even beginning to wonder whether or not this was Aragorn's way of ending a relationship.
Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn raced across the rocks and plains, following faint footprints or broken twigs, all signs pointing in the direction of the Uruk-hai. Every so often, Legolas turned to make sure Gimli was keeping up. The Elf knew that with his much shorter legs, Gimli often had a hard time matching pace with Legolas and Aragorn. Suddenly, Aragorn came to an abrupt halt, Legolas stopping himself at the last second from running into him. The ranger bent down and pried an Elven brooch from the ground.
"Not idly do the leaves of Lórien fall," he said, straightening and showing Legolas the brooch.
"They may yet be alive," Legolas replied hopefully. Aragorn locked eyes with Legolas' bright blue ones.
"Less than a day ahead of us," Aragorn replied, setting off again. "Come!"
Legolas felt a pang of disappointment that all Aragorn said to him personally was "come". He turned around and saw Gimli roll from behind some rocks and come to a stop. He decided that for both the hobbits and for Aragorn, he would take up the chase again with renewed fervor.
"Come, Gimli!" Legolas called, running after Aragorn. "We are gaining on them!"
"I am wasted on cross-country!" Gimli cried out in response. "We dwarves are natural sprinters! Very dangerous over short distances!"
Legolas smiled to himself at the dwarf's confidence as he added an extra burst of speed to catch up with Aragorn. They ran side by side in silence for a few moments, listening for the Uruk-hai and also to Gimli's pants and empty claims before Aragorn spoke softly.
"What is bothering you, my Elf?" he asked quietly, glancing over at Legolas. Startled, Legolas looked back at the ranger.
"What's bothering me?" he asked incredulously as he darted to the side to avoid a large hole. "Aragorn, this is the first you've spoken to me in three days!"
"Legolas, you know as well as I that I would much rather be spending my time with you than spending it searching for two hobbits kidnapped by murderous orcs!" Aragorn hissed back. Legolas stared at him in surprise; he had never before seen Aragorn this tense. He opened his mouth to reply, but Aragorn beat him to it.
"Why?" the Elf asked in concern, looking around. They were standing on top of a hill looking over vast plains. "Have you found something?"
"No," Aragorn answered simply. "But I think we should wait for Gimli. He's seems to be continually falling behind."
Legolas looked behind him and saw the dwarf some twenty yards away struggling to reach the hill Legolas and Aragorn were atop. He smirked at the sight of the dwarf muttering encouragements to himself as he ran. He turned back to see Aragorn staring intently at him.
"I'd like to talk to you alone, when Gimli is asleep or not around," Aragorn whispered as Gimli drew closer. Legolas nodded in reply as the dwarf reached them, breathing heavily. Aragorn gestured out at the plains stretching before them.
"Rohan," the ranger told them, looking out at the land. "Home of the Horse-lords. There is something strange at work here. Some evil gives speed to these creatures . . . sets its will against us."
Legolas leapt forward and ran to a higher mound of earth. He gazed out over the land, straining his eyes to catch a glimpse of the kidnapping Uruk-hai.
"Legolas, what do your Elf eyes see?" he heard Aragorn call.
"The Uruks turn northeast," Legolas reported back. "They're taking the hobbits to Isengard!"
With this new piece of information, he turned back and glanced worriedly at Aragorn, who had a dark look on his handsome face.
"Saruman," he muttered before racing off down the hill.
Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli spent the entire night running in the direction they thought the Uruk-hai to have taken. No one spoke until dawn.
"The red sun rises," Legolas noted, pausing and looking up. Aragorn stopped a few feet from him and glanced warily around. Legolas looked back and gazed directly at Aragorn. "Blood has been spilled this night."
Aragorn stared at him for a moment before continuing the chase.
Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli still ran on in pursuit of Merry and Pippin. They were passing a large boulder when the worry of the two hobbits was replaced in lieu of another. The new thought was to hide as thundering hoof beats approached.
Aragorn grabbed Legolas' arm as the Elf stood still glancing around. He pulled Legolas down to the ground behind the boulder as Gimli dropped to the ground next to them. Aragorn and Legolas exchanged a look as dozens of horses galloped by. Legolas saw Gimli bury his face into the ground and clap his hands over his ears. Aragorn's hand strayed from Legolas' arm. Aragorn wrapped his arm around Legolas' waist and pulled him close. Legolas knew at once that Aragorn still cared for him. Aragorn surprised Legolas by leaning in and kissing Legolas deeply. Reluctantly, Legolas broke the kiss and stared wonderingly at Aragorn. He smiled.
"I love you and always will," Aragorn whispered fervently, his breath ghosting over the Elf's lips. Legolas' heart leapt. As the last of the horses passed, Aragorn gave Legolas' waist a squeeze and he scrambled to his feet. Legolas' heart sped up as his worry over his love increased. Aragorn walked out from behind the boulder into plain view. Legolas and Gimli scrambled to their feet and walked out to stand behind Aragorn.
"Riders of Rohan, what news from the Mark?" Aragorn called loudly.
Suddenly, the large group of riders turned and galloped towards the three. The riders surrounded them in ever-tightening circles. When they stopped, every spear came down and pointed menacingly at Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn.
"What business does an Elf, a Man, and a dwarf have in the Riddermark?" a man seeming to be the leader of the group demanded, riding to the front. "Speak quickly!"
"Give me your name, Horsemaster, and I shall give you mine," Gimli said.
The man handed his spear to a nearby rider and dismounted his horse. Aragorn placed a warning hand on Gimli's shoulder.
"I would cut off your head, Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground," he threatened, looking disdainfully at the shorter man. Legolas felt a flash of anger as the life of his new friend was endangered and, quick as lightning, pulled an arrow, notched, and aimed it at the man.
"You would die before your stroke fell!" Legolas replied with a threat of his own, his Elvish blue eyes flashing.
He saw out of the corner of his eye the riders point their spears closer at the three hunters, but many were pointed directly at Legolas, who was still standing with an arrow aimed. After a very tense moment, Aragorn stepped in and gently pushed Legolas' arm down to his side. He gave the Elf a pleading look before turning back to the leader of the riders.
"I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is Gimli, son of Gloín, and Legolas of the Woodland realm," Aragorn introduced with a slight gesture to the person of introduction. When Legolas was presented, the man before them threw the Elf a disdainful look, to which Legolas responded with an intense glare. "We are friends of Rohan and of Théoden, your king."
As Aragorn said this, the man seemed to relax his warrior stance.
"Théoden no longer recognizes friend from foe," he answered, removing his helmet. "Not even his own kin."
This seemed to be a signal, as the swords were withdrawn.
"Saruman has poisoned the mind of the king and claimed lordship over his lands. My company are those loyal to Rohan, and for that, we are banished," he continued. Aragorn cast an alarmed glance at Legolas.
He stopped his pacing in front of Aragorn and leaned close, a sneer on his lips. Legolas felt a flash of anger and knew his features had taken on a look of intense hatred.
"The White Wizard is cunning," the man hissed into Aragorn's face. He began walking slowly in front of the three. "He walks here and there, they say, as an old man, hooded an cloaked. And everywhere –" he stopped in front of Legolas and glared at him. The Elf stared defiantly back "– his spies slip past our nets –"
"We are no spies," Aragorn defended sharply, almost before the man had finished his sentence. "We track at party of Uruk-hai westward across the plain. They've taken two of our friends captive."
The man glanced down.
"The Uruks are destroyed. We slaughtered them during the night."
"But there were two hobbits!" Gimli interrupted, a pleading note creeping into his voice. "Did you see two hobbits with them?!"
"They would be small – only children to your eyes," Aragorn explained at the man's puzzled expression.
"We left none alive," he unfortunately confirmed, shaking his head. "We piled the carcasses and burned them," he added, turning and pointing at smoke rising in the distance. Legolas looked at Aragorn, who had a defeated look in his eyes. The ranger sighed and looked at the ground.
"Dead?" Gimli whispered unbelievingly. The man hesitated before nodding slightly.
"I am sorry," he said. Legolas placed a hand around Gimli's shoulders and hung his head in grief. After a moment, the man turned and whistled. "Hasufel! Arod!"
Legolas turned his head to see two horses, one a beautiful white and the other a chestnut brown, walk up to them. He reached up and caught hold of the white horse's reins as the man grasped the reins of the other horse and handed them to Aragorn. "May these horses bear you to better fortune than their former masters . . . Farewell."
The man placed his helmet back on his head and mounted his horse. He paused and looked back down at Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn.
"Look for your friends. But do not trust to hope . . ." the man advised. "It has forsaken these lands." He turned to his riders. "We ride north!"
With that, the company galloped off, leaving the three hunters and their new horses. Aragorn looked from Legolas to Gimli.
"We will search for Merry and Pippin," he told them. "We will not give up all hope yet."
Legolas nodded and swung his leg over Arod, the white horse.
"Come, Gimli," the Elf beckoned, holding out a hand. "You shall ride with me."
"I will, laddie," Gimli agreed, grabbing hold of Legolas' outstretched hand. "Just don't let me fall off, these things are so big . . ."
Gimli continued to mutter his thoughts on horses as Aragorn mounted his horse. He locked eyes with Legolas and smiled.
"Come, my friends," Aragorn said. "We ride!"