Disclaimer: Still the same

A/N: Well, this is it, mellyn nin. This is the last chapter of my story. Hope you have all enjoyed. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing. Here is a final response to all my wonderful reviewers. Oh and by the way, there will be a sequel to this story. I'm not sure of the title, yet (probably something like 'At all Costs' at least that's what I'm thinking right now). There is a summary at the end of this chapter. I hope to have the first chapter up sometime next month. Hope you all will come back and read that. Thanks again. Also a big thanks to Aranna Undomiel who caught two mistakes in this chapter were I switched the twins names. I have fixed it now. Thanks for your help, mellon nin.

Dreaminoflorien: lol, yes, boys have to play hero sometimes. It's what they do. I'm glad you liked this chapter. Don't let Elrohir off easy? Well, read this chapter to find out. Oh that's right you already did. Lol. Thanks for all the hilarious comments. /cough/ TTBs. /cough/ lol. Thanks so much for your help on this story. I hope to have a sequel soon, but I might let Arwen beta it for me, just to make it fair. Well, anyway, thanks again. AND LEAVE MY ELF ALONE!

Irukapooka: Glad you liked the chapter. Yes, Gerchen is still dead and he shall stay that way. Yes, I plan on a sequel. Legolas and Aragorn friendship stories are addicting. Thanks so much for your reviews. I hope you will come back to read my sequel.

Wadeva: /smiles/ Yes, finally free. Here's the next chapter. Thanks so much for reviewing.

Deana: I'm glad you thought it was a great chapter. Yes, poor Legolas; however, I was not half as mean to him as I wanted to be. I was going to do more, but I just decided not to. The poor elf lucked out. Oh well, I'll have to make up for it in the sequel. ;) Thanks for the reviews and ideas.

SaphireCat: Yes, Legolas is free. A nice little break or a lighter mood, huh? Well, it won't last long. Hehe. There is plenty of angst in this chapter, but some good things as well. Hope you enjoy and come back to read the sequel.

Mornflower: Aw, no skit. Lol. That's okay. I'm glad you liked the chapter. Here is the next one for ya. Thanks so much for all your reviews.

Aranna Undomiel: Yes, you are right mellon nin. The trouble isn't over yet. I'm glad you liked this chapter. Yes, this is the last one, but there will be a sequel soon. Hope you will come back for that. Thanks so much for your reviews.

Lady of Rivendell78: Glad you liked the happy ending of the last chapter. Yes, it makes the story more interesting when bad things happen. After all, Aragorn and Legolas have to get in some kind of mischief. Lol. Yes, this is the end, but there will be a sequel soon. And about Elrohir? Well, read this chapter to find out. Mwahahahaha. Well, enjoy.

Sielge: Yes, what about Elrohir? Well, you will find out in this chapter. Glad you liked the last chapter. Thanks so much for your reviews.

Lindahoyland: Glad you liked the chapter and enjoyed the Aragorn and Legolas friendship. Thanks so much for your reviews. I hope you come back and read the sequel.

Elven Kitten: Thanks so much. I'm so glad you are enjoying. Here is the final chapter for you. Thanks so much, mellon nin.

The Contessa: Yes, free at last. Life is just dandy? Well, I can't have that. I shall have to add some angst. Lol. Hope you enjoy this chapter. Thanks so much for your reviews.

Alia G. L: Glad you liked the chapter, mellon nin. Yes, poor Aragorn. Lol. Here is the next chapter for you. I'm working on the sequel and I'll probably have you beta for me. Okay? Thanks. And no there will not be a wedding in this chapter. Maybe in the sequel. I'll have to see.

Allison: Thanks so much, mellon nin. I'm honored that my story brightens your day. Sorry, I confused you at first. Yes, I would hate to see Thranduil angry too. /shudders/ Very scary thought. Your question about Elrohir will be answered in this chapter. Mwahaha. Hope you enjoy. And yes, there will be another story. Thanks so much for your reviews.

Alright that is everyone. Thanks so much. Enjoy this chapter. Until next time, my friends.

Chapter 18

A Heart at Peace

'Bring me to Life'

I walked down the path to the dungeon, teasing and laughing with Elladan. I supported Legolas slightly as we walked. We stopped at the cell where Linriel was left, and I panicked at what I saw. Linriel was lying on the bed in elvish form of sleep. Elrohir; however, was sprawled on the ground, like he had collapsed.

I rushed to his side and knelt by him. "Elrohir?" I called frantically.

I searched for a pulse and was relieved to find one, though it was weak.

"What's wrong?" Elladan asked quickly as he knelt by his brother.

"I don't know." I said as I rolled him over on his back.

"What happened?" Linriel suddenly asked from behind us.

I looked up at her and she tried to sit up. Legolas sat by her, gently supporting her. "We don't know." Legolas admitted sadly.

Linriel looked at Legolas, fear in her eyes.

"Legolas, who is he?" She asked, obviously referring to me. "What did he do to Elrohir?!" She asked frantically.

"Sssh." Legolas calmed, his arm wrapped around her. "Estel is a friend. I assure you, he did nothing to Elrohir."

"But he's one of them." She said fearfully.

Legolas gently tried to explain to her that I was different from the other rangers and that I would never hurt Elrohir. I did not have time to listen, however. I turned back to Elrohir, trying to assess what had happened. I guessed it was the poison, but I had no idea as to what to do.

"Linriel, did Gerchen mention anything about a poison in your body?" Elladan asked quickly as if reading my thoughts.

Linriel looked at him and nodded slowly. "He poisoned me about five days ago. He said it was an experiment, but didn't know fully how it would work against elves." She said with a shaky voice.

Legolas looked surprised. "You knew he poisoned you? Why didn't you tell me?"

Linriel looked up at him. "You have been so brave for me these past days, that I couldn't bring myself to. I didn't want you to worry any more than you already did." Tears glistened in Linriel's blue eyes. "I know I should have, but I couldn't stress you more."

Legolas hugged her tight. "What do you know about the poison?" He asked.

"He said it is suppose to make someone really sick and eventually kill them." She swallowed hard and I saw Legolas visibly cringe. "It didn't effect me right away, but suddenly I began to feel a change in my body. My elven healing ability was diminishing and I felt weaker than normal. My strength was not easily returning like normal as well. That's why when Gerchen punished me the last time, I felt so weak. I had given up on life, for fighting seemed too hard. I was not strong enough to do it. My body could not fight the poison that was inside of it. Somehow, my body managed to fight through it, though, and I lived a bit longer. Then, when you and Elrohir came, I had just used up my last strength. Elrohir pulled me from the darkness and poured new strength into my body. Immediately I began to feel the effects." Linriel explained.

I looked back down at Elrohir with a sigh.

"What does this have to do with Elrohir, though?" Linriel asked.

"Elrohir took your poison on himself. I believe it is affecting his body now." I answered.

Linriel stared down at me, still obviously untrusting. "Will he be okay?" She asked.

"I'm going to do everything I can, but I don't know where to start." I replied.

"Wait, I think I have an idea." Elladan spoke up. All eyes turned to him as he continued. "Well, first, Elrohir uses most of his strength to keep Linriel alive. Then he probably used more of his strength to heal her and give her strength to survive." Elladan began to explain. "Then he took the poison on himself so it would no longer effect her body. Because of all the strength he poured into Linriel, his body might be too weak to counter the poison. With his normal strength, his body would have probably fought it, but right now, he is too weak. I'm willing to bet that it is effecting him right away because his body is so weak."

"So you're saying it is killing him?" Legolas questioned the first to catch on to Elladan's words.

Elladan nodded gravely. "I'm afraid so."

"But there's something you can do, right?" Linriel asked fearfully.

Elladan rubbed his chin. "There might be. Estel, give me your pack."

I gave it to him without question.

He began to search through it as he explained himself. "There is a herb that Ada sometimes puts in his tea. He says it can help strengthen someone when they are weak. He uses it sometimes when he hasn't slept in days to give him strength to keep going."

Elladan pulled out a brown root from my bag and quickly began to peel the outer covering.

"I don't understand. That root is used for animal bites and minor scrapes." I said, curiously. All I saw was now a slimy green stem that was used as an ointment for bites. It was easily spread on the wound and it helped ease the pain.

"True Estel, but the powder that is inside is what is used." He replied as he broke the peeled root open. Inside the middle of the stem was brown powder that stuck to the inside of the covering.

I stared at him. "How did he find this?" I asked, never thinking twice about the powder inside the root.

Elladan chuckled, but then became serious again. "I need some hot water to mix this in."

"There is some by the door. A young girl brought it here, but Elrohir told her we no longer needed it. She left it by the door." Linriel said.

I quickly picked up the bowl of warm water and poured it into on of my mugs. Elladan began to add the powder as he explained the rest of his plan.

"This should be able to provide a little strength to help Elrohir. Then I'm going to give him some of my strength to help him fight this poison."

I gave my brother a worried look.

Elladan raised his hands as he saw my concern. "It is well, Estel. I will just give him enough strength to help him. It will not hinder myself." He promised.

I nodded. "Will it work?"

Elladan looked down at his brother and took a deep breath. "I pray that it will be enough." He looked up at me. "I need your help as well."

I nodded. "Anything."

"I need you to keep one hand on him and one on me." Elladan explained. "When fighting to pull someone from the darkness, it is easy to get lost as well. I need you to call out to Elrohir and try to call him from the darkness. If you see my strength waning, you will need to call my name as well. We will both need you to lead us back to the light Estel." Elladan said as he placed a hand on my shoulder.

I stared at him. "I'm not sure if I can do it. I mean I will try, but I am no elf. I do not have the skill of the elves." I said.

Elladan just smiled. "You have more skill than you give yourself credit for. You are the only that can do this, Estel. You must try."

I nodded. "Alright, I will."

Elladan nodded. He lifted his brother's neck and let him swallow the tea he had made. Then he looked up at me and took a deep breath. He placed one hand on Elrohir's chest and he gripped my hand tightly with the other. I picked up Elrohir's hand and firmly began to call his name in the elvish tongue.

"Elrohir, lasto beth nin, tolo dan na naglad." I said with as much strength as I could. (Listen to my voice, come back to the light)

I looked up at Elladan. A tight grimace was on his face and he clutched tighter to my hand. He began to speak in Elvish, calling out to his brother. After a few minutes, his body began to shake and I knew his strength was beginning to fail him.

"Elladan, fight the darkness." I called out. "Listen to my voice. Both of you need to come back into the light. You can fight this. Don't give in now."

I clutched tighter to both of their hands. My breathing increased and it felt as if strength was rapidly leaving my own body.

Suddenly both Elladan and Elrohir's eyes opened. They both sucked in air, trying to catch their breath. Elladan looked up at me and smiled.

"You did it." He breathed.

I smiled and looked down at Elrohir. He was smiling as well. "Did it work?" I asked.

Elladan nodded. "He has enough strength now to fight the poison. It should be fully gone within a few days with no lasting effects."

I smiled happily.

Suddenly Linriel was near us and she clasped Elrohir in a hug. She kissed him passionately.

I smiled at them both, having never seen either of my brothers kiss a girl before.

She broke from the kiss and then hit him lightly on the head. "Now don't ever scare me like that again." She scoffed.

Elrohir looked down slightly, his eyes forming into a pitiful, sad look. I had only seen his 'puppy dog' eyes once before.

"I'm sorry." He muttered.

Linriel smiled and gave him another small kiss on the lips. "I suppose now, we are even."

Two days later

I patted my horse tenderly as I loaded the last of my supplies on his back. Linriel had recovered well and she was now strong enough to travel. Elrohir had also recovered well enough to travel. Elladan had suggested we head to Rivendell, for not only was it closer than Mirkwood, it also was a great place to get much needed rest. Though Legolas and Linriel were eager to travel home, they agreed. Now we were ready to head out.

Legolas had helped me sort out everything more with Gerchen's establishment. Everything was now settled and under control. Some of the slaves decided to head home to family and friends. Others decided to stay and make the most out of the life they had here, working together as friends.

Most of the rangers had already left, deciding to head out as a group. Though they were angry that no profit had come from this mission, most were relieved to be able to escape unharmed. None of them had known how dangerous this mission would be and they were relieved that it was over.

"Do you need any help, master Strider?"

I looked behind me to see Haliem, one of the slaves I had met. I smiled at him. "You are free now, Haliem. No one is your master now."

He smiled. "Thank you, Strider, for everything."

I nodded my head. "You are very welcome."

"Are you ready to go, yet, mellon nin?" Legolas suddenly called from behind me.

I could hear the humor in his voice and it made me happy to hear it.

"I've been ready for hours." He continued.

I rolled my eyes. "Well, I'm not sure, but that might just be because you didn't bring anything at all with you. But I could be wrong on that." I said with a laugh.

Legolas smiled and shrugged. "Not my problem."

I smiled at him and shook my head. "How is your sister?"

Legolas sighed. "She is okay."

I looked at him curiously. "What's wrong?"

Legolas sighed again. "It is going to take her a little while to recover from this. She has been through a lot the past few days and her mind is troubled. Yet, I do not blame her, for the past two years have been hard on me as well. It will also take me time to recover."

"It is understandable. You both have been through a lot, things you never should have had to experience. However, time is a great healer. You will recover, and so will she, in time." I comforted as we began to walk towards the house.

Legolas nodded. "Though I was captured for longer, I believe it was harder on my sister. She is so young and innocent, Estel." He said with a sad voice as he looked at me. "Why did I have to get captured? If I had never been caught, she would not have been looking for me."

I stopped walking and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Do not blame yourself for this, Legolas, for it is not your fault. You could not have known all this would happen." I smiled. "And as far as I know, you had no desire to be captured in the first place. I do not believe you woke up that morning and decided, 'I feel like getting captured today so I can worry my father and sister.'" I said with a laugh, trying to lighten his mood.

Legolas smiled and hit me playfully. "No, I think that is just something you would do. Worry your father like that."

My eyes widened and I placed my hands on my hips, glaringly playfully at him. "I have never worried my father and I always do exactly as I'm told." I said as seriously as possible.

I heard someone choke from behind me. "Excuse me!"

I turned around to see Elrohir looking at me with a questionable gaze. Legolas chuckled behind me. "Okay, once or twice I have worried him or disobeyed him!" I defended.

Elrohir tried to stifle his laughter. "Sure and I suppose you never set the barn on fire either."

I glared at him. "Not a word!" I commanded him.

Elrohir smiled devilishly. Legolas looked at me curious. "Now this sounds like something I should hear." He said with a smile.

Elrohir looked at him. "Yes, of course. Well Estel had this bright idea..."

I grabbed my brother and placed one hand over his mouth. "Why don't you go see if your love is ready to go. I think I hear her calling you." I said as I began to lead him towards the house.

Legolas laughed and shook his head.

I smiled at him as Elrohir went back inside, laughing as he did.

After a few more minutes, we were ready to leave. We bid goodbye to the young men and women who now owned the plantation before we mounted our steeds. I rode beside Legolas, watching as he gazed up at the trees.

He looked at me and smiled. "The trees are happy that we are free. Even the birds sing their melodious songs. Can you hear them?"

I nodded. I could hear them.

Legolas sighed blissfully. "For a long time, they did not sing and when they did the song did not bring me joy. Now... now it lightens my heart. I'm finally going home."

The End

A summary for the sequel

Legolas, Linriel, Estel, and the twins only want to rest after their experiences in the south. But when they reach the peaceful realm of Rivendell, they hear of a deadly battle in the forest of Mirkwood. Now Legolas and Linriel must make it home, to give their father the strength and will to fight, before Mirkwood is lost forever. If, they can make it there, alive.