Race Against Time
A Lord of the Rings story by Deana Lisi
Disclaimer: I don't own Legolas, (sniff) or anyone else from Lord of the Rings. A huge 'hannon le' to Karri for the story title! ;-)
"I demand to know why you have taken me prisoner!"
A laugh was the only answer to the elf's question, and Legolas sighed inwardly from where he sat, chained to a stone wall.
"Fear not, Prince Legolas," came his enemy's sarcastic voice. "Your stay shall not last very long. As soon as I have completed my task, you will be free to go."
Legolas fought to not show his surprise. "And what is this 'task'? How does it involve me?"
"You will find out soon enough," said the voice. "And when you do, you can tell your father that it was a gift from an 'old friend'."
Legolas frowned as the stranger turned and left the cell, disappearing down the corridor. Closing his eyes, he tried to figure out if he recognized the person's voice, but it didn't sound familiar at all. It would've helped if Legolas had been able to see his face, but he'd purposely hid in the shadows. The Mirkwood Prince wasn't sure if his captor was a human or an elf, and couldn't understand why he'd been abducted.
Crossing his arms, Legolas laid them on his knees and rested his chin on them. How do I manage to get into situations like this? Who is this man, and why does he hate my father?
Legolas' father stood from his throne, surprised at the sight of his best archery instructor running into the room, looking very upset. "What is it?"
The elf stopped, taking a deep breath. "Your Highness, I asked the prince to show his skill to my classes today…"
At mention of his son, Thranduil stepped forward, a look of fear crossing his face. "Has he been hurt!"
"I do not know!" the elf said, sounding upset. "Legolas heard a strange noise from within the woods and went to investigate…but he never returned."
Thranduil frowned. "Never returned?"
"No," said the elf. "We found signs of a struggle; it appears that he has been abducted."
Thranduil stared at him for a second, in shock at his words. "Gather our forces! Start a search immediately!"
The elf nodded, quickly running back out.
Sighing worriedly, Thranduil headed for the door himself. Abducted…oh Legolas, what trouble has found you this time?
Legolas sighed, resting his chin in his hand. He'd been a prisoner for three days so far, and his captor hadn't set foot in his cell since the initial meeting. Food was brought everyday, but the elf had yet to touch it, not trusting what was given to him.
No matter how hard he tried, Legolas could not figure out who his captor was, or why he'd been taken.
Sighing again, he looked up towards the barred window, wishing that he could see the sun. Legolas was chained in such a way that he could not stand, and when the sun's rays came into the small window, they were cast well in front of him, never enveloping him in their comforting glow. At night he was not able to see the stars, either.
Dropping his forehead onto his knees, Legolas almost drifted off to sleep. He forcibly stopped himself, raising his head and looking towards the door. He hadn't slept since his capture, not wanting to be caught off guard when his abductor inevitably returned.
A plate of food and cup of water were suddenly shoved through a hole in the bottom of the door, and Legolas realized that it was suppertime. The food smelled delicious and made his stomach growl hungrily, but he ignored it.
The cup of water, however, he could not ignore.
Legolas felt his breathing rate increase at the sight of the water; his throat was so parched after three days of no liquids that he crawled the few feet over to it before he could stop himself. Picking up the cup, Legolas sniffed it, pouring a few drops onto the floor to see if anything was amiss with it.
The water looked and smelled perfectly clean.
Legolas sighed, closing his eyes. He wanted to drink it so badly, but he feared poison. They are more likely to poison the food, not the water, he thought. I would be able to taste if the water was tainted. Besides, he wants me to take some kind of message to my father…I cannot do that if he kills me first!
With that reasoning, Legolas took a small sip.
The water tasted perfect.
Smiling with relief, Legolas drank every drop, sighing with relief. Placing the cup on the floor, he went back to his spot under the window. He never noticed when an unnatural unconsciousness suddenly arrived to claim him.
Three days…Thranduil thought. Legolas has been gone for three days! Where are you, my son? What evil has befallen you?
The King of Mirkwood sighed as he watched more of his warriors mount their horses, intent on joining the search. Thranduil himself had searched for his son before coming back to the palace the day before to send a messenger to Rivendell. Aragorn…a human. My son's closest friend. He knew that Aragorn's ranger skills would be invaluable in the search, and he anxiously awaited his arrival. 'Estel'…aptly named. Bring hope to me, Estel, help me find my son…
Legolas was jolted awake, blinking in the darkness. He had no idea where he was at first, until he felt cool air touching his face.
Sitting up, Legolas felt the weight of chains painfully attached to his wrists, and he looked up to see the small window high above his head. It was full daylight, and Legolas was very confused. I fell asleep…but…my eyes were closed…?
"The mighty Mirkwood Prince can't get his bearings? That's a first."
The sudden voice startled Legolas, and he looked towards it, to see the darkened outline of his captor, standing inside the cell.
Blinking, Legolas frowned. How did I not sense his presence? Why can I not see him as well as I should?
The shadow moved closer, laughing softly. "Confused, are you?"
Legolas frowned, his heart rate speeding up higher than it already was. "Cease your games! You have no right to hold me here!"
The man made a tsk sound. "That is not a respectful way to speak to your elder."
Elder? Legolas thought. Can he be an elf?
The 'man' crouched before Legolas, and he could finally see his captor's face; the tips of his ears elegantly pointed. He had blond hair and looked vaguely familiar to Legolas, but he could not remember how.
"Why!" Legolas exclaimed. "Who are you, what do you have against my father?"
The other elf frowned. "Much," he answered. Standing, he walked a few steps before turning around again. "How do you feel, Prince? How do you really feel?"
Legolas frowned. Assessing himself, he found that his body was very sore…especially his wrists and back. His head ached dully, and he tried to remember why.
The other elf watched Legolas with a smile, delighting in his confusion. Bending down, he picked up the empty cup.
Legolas inwardly shuddered. "You put something in the water."
"Aye, indeed I did."
Legolas took a deep breath, forcing himself to remain calm. "How will your message be given to my father if I am not alive to deliver it?"
The other elf laughed again, louder. He held up the empty cup, with a smile. "Oh, no, Thranduilion, this is the message!"
(dances a merry jig) WOO HOO no one's ever gonna guess what I did to Legolas, ROTFL! Stay tuned! ;-)