I Will Go
Aragorn came awake with a jerk and sat up quickly as he heard light footsteps on the wooden floor. He looked up expecting to see the face of his father. Instead Elladan's smiling face beamed down at him.
"Good morning sluggards." He said taking in the tired face of Glorfindel and the worn face of Estel.
Aragorn turned guiltily to Glorfindel, realising he had slept all night in the venerable warriors embrace. But Glorfindel shushed him and excused himself saying. "I shall go and see what Erestor has prepared for morning meal."
As he left Elladan took his seat carefully balancing the two cups of hot tea he carried. He pressed one into Aragorn's hands. Aragorn took a sip and realized that he had not thought of his brother since they had returned. His only thought had been of Legolas.
"How does Elrohir fare, Lada?" he asked at last.
"He is well; they have found a venom that fights the one that is in his body."
"Lada, I am sorry I did not come up to see him. I…"
Elladan placed a finger on Aragorn's lips for a long moment.
"Do not apologize. Since he took ill from that wound I have thought of nothing and no one else Estel; not father, not you and not Legolas. I could not. That does not mean that I love you all any less. So I understand what you feel. The bond you have with him is as strong as the one between 'Lir and I."
"Have you seen him, how is he?" Aragorn asked hope shining in his eyes.
"Father put him in a room by himself. He has allowed no one in but the healers. They have been working all night. We should have some word soon." Elladan reached for Aragorn's hands and held the slightly colder hands in his warm ones. To him Aragorn appeared frail, a word he would never have used to describe his half elven brother before.
"He saved our lives you know, all of us." Elladan said.
Aragorn turned soulful eyes that seemed wholly grey on his brother. "Tell me." He begged.
Between the urgings of Glorfindel and Elladan, Aragorn found himself sharing the morning meal in the kitchen. Each time someone approached they would all look up expectantly but to no avail. There was no word on Legolas.
It was drawing close to noon time and they were all sitting in the great hall when Veren appeared silently at one of the open doorways. He was dressed in a long sleeved floor length black robe. His long black hair, still wet from his long bath was pulled over one shoulder. They looked at him expectantly.
"Estel," he said in hid low soothing voice, "Lord Elrond wishes to see you. Only you." He continued, looking at Elladan and Glorfindel pointedly.
Aragorn rose with a quaking heart, but no emotion showed on Veren's face,
"I think I shall visit Elrohir, he must be bored without me." Said Elladan rising as well.
"And I shall accompany you." Glorfindel declared.
Veren gave them both a long stare, but short of tying them down there was nothing he could do.
They walked down the wide hall and with each step Aragorn's heart beat faster. Elladan caught his hand and squeezed it. Aragorn glanced at him. Courage his eyes seemed to say, but Aragorn could not respond. Finally they entered the rooms of healing. There Elrohir slept peacefully in a wide bed close to the outer wall. Elladan stayed at his bedside with Glorfindel, but Aragorn walked with Veren until they came to a closed door.
It opened quietly and Aragorn stepped into the room. Elrond stood at Legolas' bedside. There were bottles, needles and bandages everywhere; on the table, on the chair, on the floor and on the window ledge. Aragorn's eyes darted everywhere unwilling to look at the still white figure on the bed. That, that statue could not be his friend, no not Legolas. Elrond held out his hand and Aragorn walked into his embrace. He buried his head in Elrond's shoulder. Elrond held him for a long time as Aragorn fought with his tears.
"I have managed to get the fever down ion nin, but I think this poison, whatever it was has already run its course and done its job. I think you should be with him now."
Before he dies.
The words were unspoken, but they hung in the silence between them. Elrond let himself quietly out of the room. "I will be outside when you need me."
"Do you think it wise to leave him alone?" questioned Veren as soon as Elrond slipped out of the room.
"He must face this Veren, no one can do it for him." But even as he said the words Elrond's face was bleak. He dreaded the prince's death, for it would be swiftly followed by his human son's.
Aragorn slowly turned from the window to look on the still pale face of the elven prince. His long black lashes were the only spots of colour on his face. Where was the laughter? Where were the smiles? Where were his silver tears that fell when he cried? Aragorn slowly sat on the bed and took up a long, slender, white hand and pressed it to his cheek. The hand was cold.
"Do not leave me Lasgalen." He begged. "You cannot do this. You have taken my heart and now you wish to break it." Aragorn stopped as tears overwhelmed him. Legolas lay so still and pale. He felt he spoke to a ghost. He lay himself down next to the elf's body, keeping one hand clasped in his own. He curled up against him and nestled his face in the hollow between his shoulder and neck. The scent of rain and crushed grass rose from the pale skin.
"I will go with you mellon nin. If you cannot come back to me I will go with you."
Aragorn stretched a long arm across his friend's slender chest and hugged him. His fingers drifted through the long pale golden strands, which had been carefully placed over one shoulder. He closed his eyes and let his spirit go.
Legolas had been walking the corridors of the grey maze for an eternity. Every passage led to nowhere and every twist led back to the beginning. He had become frustrated at last and had screamed and shouted. No one answered. Trying again until tears came to his eyes, he had flung away his bow and knives. He begged and prayed but no one came.
Finally his spirit had flagged and spent, he sat heavily on the ground leaning tiredly against a grey wall with his hands in his lap. His blue eyes were dimming and his breath seemed to fade. He stared at the long passage ahead of him. He was unwilling to try again. He closed his eyes and felt the cold gather around him, let it come. He would have stayed there forever if the voice had not spoken.
"Legolas?" it called
Legolas sat up not daring to trust his ears.
"Legolas ya ier le?" it called again.
"Aragorn!" he answered in a whisper. Then emboldened he shouted "Aragorn! I am here, right here!"
But the voice, sounding as weak and as tired as he was kept calling and drifted further away.
Legolas got to his feet, Aragorn was somewhere in this place, he must find him. He ran down the long corridor with determination, calling out to his friend.
"Aragorn, speak to me."
"Legolas." The voice was weak but it was close.
Suddenly there was a door and Legolas wrenched it open. There in the middle of the room was his human friend.
"Aragorn." Legolas cried, running to him. He hugged him fiercely, he felt cold. "You are freezing, what are you doing here?"
"I was looking for you.' Aragorn said fresh tears escaping his eyes. "I thought I had lost you."
"I will never leave you Aragorn, as long as you need me I will stay with you. I swear it." Said Legolas.
"And I you.' Aragorn promised.
In the room Aragorn took a deep breath as he came back to himself. He rose unsteadily off the bed to see Legolas fighting to breathe. A deep gurgle came from his throat.
"Ada!" Aragorn shouted.
Elrond followed by Veren, Glorfindel and Elladan burst into the room. Elrond took one look at the bed and quickly flew to the elf's side. He brought him to a sitting position. Legolas' chest heaved and a sickly smelling yellow green liquid came gushing out of his mouth. Elrond turned him to the side and Elladan quickly passed a wide bowl to catch the mess. The poison poured out of him until he was weak from heaving. Elrond wiped his mouth and brow and bade Aragorn put some pillows to keep him upright. At Aragorn's cry Elrond had expected to see a dead prince lying on the bed. He was humbly grateful to see Legolas had fought his way to life. He noticed the tremor in Aragorn's body and somehow knew that death had brushed Estel as well.
"Rest now Legolas. I think the worst is over. You will need to build your strength and the best was is to start immediately." Elrond signalled to Elladan. With a big grin Elladan went down to the kitchen to get a warm liquid meal for the patient.
Legolas looked at each face in turn and stayed on Aragorn the longest. He frowned then blinked then turned to Lord Elrond.
"What happened?" he asked.
Elrond's mouth formed into a large O of surprise and even Veren was hard put not to giggle. It was Glorfindel though who finally burst out laughing and caused everyone else to join in. Elrond held onto his sides in an effort to quell the laugh that threatened to surface again at Legolas' surprised face.
"Excuse us little one, but we cannot help it. There is no way to answer your question without many days telling and right now you do not have the strength for it. I suspect that you will remember in a few days."
With these words Legolas had to be content. Indeed as the days went by he did remember the horror of what had passed. Many times he woke out of the dreadful nightmare with a racing heart. Through it all Aragorn was at his side for which he was ever grateful.
Elrohir, finally let out of bed stayed with them an entire day, closely attended by Elladan. Not once did they bicker or fuss over anything. Legolas marvelled at the change, but Aragorn knew them better.
"Give them a few days, you will see.' He said with a smirk. Legolas had to smile.
Veren disappeared for quite a few days and when he returned presented Legolas with a present wrapped in parchment.
'I think," he said as he placed it in the young elf's hand "that you will know what to do with these."
Legolas unwrapped it with trembling fingers and gave a gasp at what he found. Tied together was a long lock of his hair and a jagged edge metal dagger. Legolas looked up with wet eyes to thank Veren but the elf was gone.
"How did he know?" Legolas turned to Aragorn.
"I think I told him once." Aragorn admitted.
"I hated when he would pull it out and smell it. I felt like a part of me always belonged to him." Legolas said turning over the hair in his hands.
"Well now it is yours again." Aragorn replied.
"Did I truly kill him Aragorn?"
"You still do not remember?"
Legolas only shook his head, staring at the items in his lap.
"Tell me, why does Veren always wear black and why does he carry two swords? I have not heard of any other elf who does." Legolas asked trying to chase away his sudden melancholy.
"Well, he wears black because it goes best with his hair." Aragorn said grinning.
Legolas laughed, his eyes sparkling with merriment.
"Truly Aragorn you do not lie well at all. And what of the swords?"
"Well, the truth is that he swore on his family's death never to stop mourning until he had avenged them. One of the swords belonged to his adar, the other to his youngest brother.
Legolas nodded in understanding.
The next day was cold and clear, but it did not hamper the small fire that burned fiercely in the field. Three elves and one half human stood with bowed heads looking on as the fire consumed a long swath of golden hair and melted the metal of the dagger next to it. Legolas felt a sense of release. That part of his life was finally over. It was time to forget, to move forward and to never look back. He looked up to see the twins and Aragorn watching him closely.
"I'm alright.' He said to them. "At least I will be."
Elrohir opened his mouth to reply but instead let it hang open. He stared past them as someone who approached. The others turned and they too stared open mouthed. It was Lord Veren. Gone was the sombre clothing and the dour faced elf. He was resplendent in a wine coloured tunic, dark brown leggings and darker brown boots. His hair was intricately braided and flowed over both shoulders. On his face he wore a big grin; obviously he was delighted by their reaction.
"Lord Elrond requests your presence in the dining hall elflings." He drawled.
The twins spluttered taking offence at being called thus. But Aragorn was curious.
"Why the change my Lord?'
For answer Veren pulled from an ever available pouch two rings, one small knife and a brooch.
"These belonged to my brothers.' He said touching the rings and the knife. "This my mother gave to my father." He touched the brooch. "When you told me about of that creature's penchant for keeping trophies, I went back to his lair and found these among many others. Once again I must thank you Legolas; you have rid the world of a very evil thing." Lord Veren bowed low to the prince. He then turned and led the way back to the house.
Legolas looked at Aragorn who shrugged then at the twins who smiled. The Mirkwood prince really did not know what to say.
ya ier le? Where are you?
silvertoekee Thank you for your great reviews and for sticking with me to the end.
Hissori ookami You words were heart felt and much appreciated I hope you enjoy.