The End

Colours. They filtered into his mind as his eye lids fluttered. Cool green. Pale yellow. Legolas groaned softly tossing his head restlessly. Steady fingers reached out to brush his hair off his face. Legolas felt them touch his skin and stiffened, somewhere between wakefulness and pleasant oblivion. He fought to remember. Why did he ache so? His mind spun, colours, cloth, blood, and then it all slammed into place.

"Aragorn, Calad!" the words left him in a breathless rush and he struggled to rise. Hands caught him then, strong hands. He panicked. He clawed and scratched and bit. But the hands pressed him down relentlessly. Whispered words meant to soothe reached his ear, muffled words that could find no meaning in his frenzied state. He struggled to see. He opened his eyes, but the world was a colourful blur. And the hands were suddenly too strong for him. He was pushed back, held down and kept still. He whimpered. Firm lips pressed against his hot temple as once again unconsciousness claimed him.

"Wake up, come now, open your eyes." The clear voice said.

"No." the word croaked out of Legolas' throat.

"Stubborn elfling."

Legolas' eyes shot open. The blur before him sharpened into Revail's face. Revail smiled. Legolas forgot to breathe.

"But how?" he asked in a rush.

Revail grasped his groping hands.

"You are safe lillte leaf."

"Calad, Aragorn?"

"They are here."

"I don't… I don't understand." Legolas croaked. A goblet of water was pressed to his lips. He drank, grateful for the cool liquid. Yalie wiped extra drops from his chin.

"Yalie?" cried Legolas touching him in disbelief.

"Yes I am he." Yalie responded smiling. He and Revail exchanged a glance. "I shall get father. He just left your side."

Legolas watched him go, still unable to put things in the correct order in his mind.

"How did I get here Revail?"

"That's easy. You rode in on a horse, although rode is too generous. You were more like draped over her."

Legolas gave Revail a frustrated stare. A fact which amused Revail greatly. There was a sound at the door. Thranduil stood still for half a second just drinking in the sight of his son. The next thing Legolas knew he was enveloped in a warm hug. He laughed as the fur lined robe his father wore tickled his nose. Revail rose from the edge of the bed and fetched a chair for his father.

"How do you feel pen neth?" Thranduil asked slowly releasing Legolas.

"Tired." Legolas replied.

Thranduil gave him a disbelieving look.

"Very, very tired?" Legolas tried again with round innocent eyes.

Thranduil laughed reaching out to touch his son's wan face. Tired indeed!

Legolas noticed a jagged cut still raw running along his father's jaw.

"What happened to your face ada?"

Revail giggled causing Thranduil to give him a stern glare. Legolas looked form one to the next.

"Ada?" he asked frowning.

"Well," the King began reluctantly, "I'm afraid you were a bit of a handful Legolas.

No doubt you thought we were the enemy. You fight like a cornered cat ion nin."

"Legolas!" Calad's distinctive voice cut through Legolas' unuttered apology. The brothers embraced. Calad squeezed him tight.

"You are well?" Legolas asked lips trembling a little as he remembered the wound.

"Mostly healed. It gives little twinges now and then though."

"Healed?" echoed Legolas.

"Yes little brother. You have been asleep for many days." Calad lightly tugged the ends of Legolas' hair in rebuke.

"Where is Aragorn?" Legolas asked suddenly.

The sudden silence in the room was deafening. Legolas looked from face to face, his disquiet growing into fear from what he read in their expression.

"Did you not tell him?" Calad asked his father.

Thranduil shook his head.

"Tell me about what!" Legolas demanded abruptly, eyes suddenly bright with tears.

"Legolas," began Calad and swallowed. "Aragorn went back for you."

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Calad remembered the ranger's strong arms around his waist keeping him upright as the thundered past field, trees and brush. The ride was a nightmare for Calad, for every jolt caused pain to tear through him like lightning bolts. Finally they had slowed their frantic pace. Then they stopped altogether. Aragorn dismounted, leaving Calad swaying on the stallion's back. Then the ranger was back putting a bitter tasting well masticated herb in his mouth.

"Swallow," the man instructed. "The pain will pass."

In fact in minutes Calad felt better, the pain receded to a warm throb in his side.

Then came hoof beats. Both man and elf turned. The rider less horse trotted up to them. Aragorn looked back the way the horse had come, his eyes growing wet in the gloom.

"Legolas." He whispered.

Calad remembered the way he had set his jaw and turned back to face him.

"Let us go," he said.

But as Aragorn started to mount Calad stopped him. "I can ride; just give me enough herb to last the journey."

Aragorn's open grey green eyes spoke of his silent thanks, but his mouth said. "Are you sure?"

"I am no elfling, ranger." was Calad's cold reply.

But Aragorn knew the elf was merely being an elf. He pressed a handful of weed to him saying, "Chew no more than one when you can bear it no more."

Calad nodded.

"Ride hard. By the grace of the Valar we will be no more than hours behind you." Aragorn said mounting Legolas' mare. He disappeared among the trees.

"Bring him home ranger, bring him home." Said the pale elf to the darkness.

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Aragorn rode bending low over the mare's back. Tears blurred his vision as disastrous scenarios played out in his mind. They all had one theme in common. In each Legolas was dead, cut down by cruel sabres. Aragorn approached the camp openly. He knew the potency of the mixture would last the night and most of the morning hours. The easterling warriors lay sprawled everywhere a silent testament to the strength of the elfdust weed. He ran with pounding heart to the tent, almost ripping out the flaps in his haste. He paused inside the entrance way his mind imprinting what he saw in his memory. Two men lay dead at his feet one was sprawled in the corner. But on the bed lay Legolas. The elf had been stripped and was covered with blood, his own blood. Blood was on his face and in his hair. It had dried on his chest and the tops of his thighs.

The easterling lord was leaning over him sewing up the almost fatal wound. As Aragorn looked on he tied off the stitches, working unhurriedly. At last he finished.

"I waited for him for three days and all this time he was under my nose. I wished I had known. I did not want him hurt."

Aragorn said nothing. He stood there mesmerized by the unsteady rise and fall of the elf's chest and the blood.

Lord Ahnad rose and looked directly at Aragorn.

"He is beautiful is he not? More so than the one you helped escape. But you know this already." He paused and began to unwind his turban and veil. His hair fell to his shoulders. It was long, black and shiny. His rugged face was handsome with rich brown eyes, thick black brows, aquiline nose and sensuous lips.

"What is your name?" He asked.

"Aragorn, son of Arathorn." Aragorn said. He had not even considered not responding.

"And what is this edhel to you?"

"He is my friend, my brother." Aragorn replied finally taking his eyes off Legolas and looking at Ahnad.

"Your lover perhaps?" Ahnad smiled and nodded. "He screamed for you, many, many times." Ahnad lowered his head and looked at Aragorn from under long black lashes. "In time he will learn to call for me… only. To scream my name whether in pain or in pleasure."

Aragorn felt a slow rage build in him. His eyes grew cold. Ahnad drew his sabre.

"Your sword is in the corner, get it." He nodded to the shadowy corner of the tent.

Aragorn retrieved his sword. Holding it with both hands he lifted it and touched it to his head. A ritual before battle. Ahnad bowed not taking his eyes off Aragorn. Then he struck.

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The duel if it could be described as such was furiously fought and very one sided. Aragorn was hampered by his bare feet, the long tunic he wore and three days of too little food. Ahnad was hampered not at all. He was skilled, very skilled and he taunted Aragorn with it.

Aragorn fell once foot catching on the edge of a rug. Ahnad retreated waiting for him to regain his feet.

Then the fight spilled out of the tent to the camp, where the dark of night was lightening into early dawn. Ahnad pushed Aragorn back relentlessly with a barrage of lightening fast thrusts, sweeps and strikes, keeping him on the defensive.

Aragorn fell again, weakened by blood loss. He had one long gash down his arm and three slashes across his chest. Ahnad waited again, wiping his blade clean of Aragorn's blood in the interim. When Aragorn had struggled to his feet Ahnad said.

"When you fall for the third time you shall die."

Aragorn was panting now, arms barely blocking blows. His arms were trembling in the effort to raise a suddenly heavy sword. They had fought back and forth and Aragorn was being pushed back toward the tent. Ahnad attacked again. Aragorn blocked the sabre, once, twice, three times then gave way backing up slowly. Ahnad pressed his advantage attacking with the speed of a striking snake.

Then Aragorn fell.

It seemed to happen slowly. He foot skated forward on a loose stone and he lost his balance. He fell back, arms out flung, his mouth opening in shocked denial. He landed hard, half in half out of the tent.

Like a diving falcon Ahnad swooped down. He buried his sabre deep in Aragorn's abdomen.

Aragorn screamed, his hands clenching spasmodically

Ahnad knelt beside him. "You fought well northern." He gently brushed the tussled sweat soaked hair off Aragorn's face. "Do not worry for your lover. He will learn to pleasure me. He will learn to enjoy the pain that I will inflict upon him." Ahnad smiled seeing the impotent anger in the Aragorn's face. It was a shame to kill him really.

Aragorn right hand hidden within the tent clenched involuntarily as pain spasmed through him and as it did his fingers touched metal. He closed his hand around it.

Ahnad turned away from Aragorn and took hold of the hilt of the sabre. He would cut open Aragorn's bowels and leave him to die slowly, as was their custom.

With strength born of desperation and pain Aragorn struck, hand flashing forward. The knife plunged into Ahnad neck and he uttered a horrible sound then fell back dead.

Aragorn almost passed out as he pulled the blade free of his body and let it fall. His scream of pain echoed through the silent camp. He looked at the knife in his hand, the knife that had killed Ahnad. It was one of Legolas'. Aragorn pushed himself to his knees. His life blood was running down his belly. The world spun and darkened as he tried to stand, but he grimly got to his feet. With the knife he cut away a length of his silk tunic and wrapped his wound, tying it tightly. The pain did not stop.

He stumbled into the tent falling to his knees at the side of the bed where Legolas lay with a moan. He felt cold. Legolas lay like the dead. His eyes were closed his lips were pale. He was barely breathing. Yet he gathered him ever so gently in his arms, covering him as best he could with one of the richly woven blankets. Somehow Aragorn managed to rise with his burden. He placed Legolas on Sule's broad back and struggled to mount. He felt his blood trickling down his legs. He shook away the dizziness that suddenly enveloped him. He held onto Legolas pulling the unconscious elf onto his heaving chest.

"Noro lim Sule, noro lim."Aragorn whispered. And the elven horse shot away like an eagle in the wind.

The journey passed in a painful blur for Aragorn. The world spun and light and darkness came and went. Aragorn did not know when Legolas slipped out of his grasp but when he opened his eyes the elf was lying sprawled forward on the horse's broad back, the blanket pooling around his waist. Even as Aragorn looked it spilled to the side slipping off, falling. Aragorn reached out to grab it. He passed out.

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The Mirkwood border patrol heard the horse before they saw it. They trained their arrows at her. A few heartbeats passed before they could identify what they saw. It was Yalie who recognised the two forms draped on the horses back. The blood drained from his face.

"Get my father." He said to someone over his shoulder. He leapt from the tree and ran forward and held Sule .

"Valar." He whispered.

Legolas was naked, covered in dried blood. Yalie grasped his arm that dangled lifelessly. On top of him lay Aragorn. He was still and pale… and bleeding. Yalie's eyes followed the blood that ran down his legs and dripped onto the green grass of Mirkwood.

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Legolas stared at Calad as the elf stopped speaking. "I want to see him."

"Legolas…" began Thranduil

"Please ada I want to see him!" Legolas almost shrieked. His heart was thumping in fear. Thranduil sighed and nodded to Revail. Revail lifted Legolas from the bed and together they walked, a solemn procession, to one of the rooms reserved for guests.

Lord Elrond looked up in surprise as the Mirkwood elves entered the room. He smiled at Legolas. "It is good to see you awake tithen pen."

"Lord Elrond." Legolas said in hushed greeting.

Elrond stepped aside to allow Revail to place Legolas in the oversized armchair next to Aragorn's bed.

Aragorn lay very still his chest rising and falling slowly. He looked unbelievably pale. His facial hair was a slight shadow on his jaw. Legolas reached out and touched the rough stubble.

"Aragorn." Legolas said softly. "wake mellon nin."

Elrond squeezed Legolas' shoulder. He glanced at Thranduil who nodded.

"Legolas," began the elf lord, sitting on the edge of the bed.

Legolas looked up at him.

"Aragorn may not live through the night. I have done all I can, but he lost so much blood, too much blood. He grows weaker by the hour."

Legolas shook his head, golden hair shimmering.

Elrond looked at Thranduil helplessly.

Legolas stared at Aragorn's face. "He is one of the dunedain, whatever grace is given him is strong. He will live. He must live!" he said in a choked voice.

"Legolas, Aragorn is mortal." Said Elrond gently.

Legolas shook his head. "No, no." he buried his face in Lord Elronds's robes shoulders shaking in grief. Elrond held him close, a lump forming in his throat. He was holding his own grief in tight check.

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Time passed as it must and night came to Mirkwood. In the room where Aragorn lay dying a blond elf slept finally succumbing to the needs of his aching body. Similarly a dark haired elf lord fell asleep, his bruised heart full of impending loss.

The tall handsome man with bright grey eyes and long wavy brown hair stood by the bed looking down at his son. He shimmered with ethereal light.

"Aragorn." He called softly.

Aragorn opened his eyes. He looked up into eyes of smiling grey. Aragorn stared at the man, seeing in his face the foundation of his own.

"Father?" he asked uncertainly.

The man nodded.

"How?" asked Aragorn, eyes wide with wonder.

"Instead ask why." Said Arathorn smiling again. He turned and placed a large hand on the blond head of Legolas. "He has been praying for you, even commanding that your grace be restored to you, even if it means taking his own. His words of love have reached even the ear of Illuvatar and he will grant this boon."

"But why, I am mortal, I will die one day." Said Aragorn greatly puzzled.

"Not this day, not for a long time my son. You have much to do in this world." With that Arathorn rose preparing to leave.

"Wait," cried Aragorn not wanting the moment to end.

But Arathorn just smiled. "We will meet again ion nin now sleep and heal."

Aragorn did not die that night or the next. In fact to the wonder of the elves, a soft light not unlike their own shone from him as he lay in a healing sleep. Then one day he opened his eyes.

Bright blue eyes the colour of the warm seas were staring at him at close range. Aragorn blinked, as golden hair spilled around him.

"Legolas, give him space to breathe." A voice chided and Legolas moved back just a little.

"How do you feel mellon nin?" Legolas asked a grin plastered to his face. He was holding Aragorn's cold hands tightly.

"Like I have been wrestling with a troll." Aragorn responded.

Quiet laughter came from around the room and Aragorn looked past Legolas to see the entire royal family of Mirkwood in attendance. He felt suddenly self conscious.

"Welcome back my friend." Calad stepped forward and embraced him a small but warm smile on his face.

"You are well?" Aragorn looked at him, then at Legolas who was the picture of health.

"How long have I been asleep?" he asked.

The elves laughed again.

"Almost one full cycle of the moon." said a new voice, and Lord Elrond moved into view. His eyes spoke of sleepless nights and ceaseless worry.

"Ada." Aragorn cried.

Elrond held him and soon tears of joy began to roll down their faces.

"Come." Thranduil said to his sons.

At the door Legolas paused and looked back, his heart finally at peace. Aragorn was safe in Elrond's embrace.

Thranduil walked on ahead with Yalie and Revail. Legolas and Calad walked slower, each thinking over the events of the past month.

Suddenly Legolas asked. "Calad, you never told me how you chanced to be fighting those easterlings in the first place. How did they discover you? You are better than us all at being invisible."

Calad mumbled a reply under his breath.

"What?" asked Legolas a delighted look in his eyes.

"Nothing." Grumbled Calad and strode away quickly.

Legolas laughed and laughed the sound bouncing down the corridor. He could have sworn that Calad had said, "I fell off a tree."

Thranduil stopped and turned as Revail and Yalie ran back to Legolas to find out why he was in such glee, while Calad fled past him in utmost haste. Legolas' laughter was quickly joined by his brothers'. The sound buoyed the joy in the King's heart. His sons were truly home.

Finis

Notes'

Noro lim run

ion nin my son

tithen pen young one

pen neth little one

ada daddy

mellon nin my friend

To:

Shanna Calad es mi favorito. Muchisimas gracias otra vez y espero que este capitulo fuera bueno.

Sielge Was this soon enough?

Deana Did you like?

Lotr faith No worries. Hoped you liked it.