Acceptable Risk
A Lord of the Rings story by Deana Lisi
Hey everyone! Here's my new story; angst for Legolas, AND Aragorn! (gasp!) lol
Disclaimer: I don't own Legolas, Aragorn, the twins, or Elrond.

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"Estel! Down!"

Aragorn obediently threw himself to the ground as one of the elf's arrows sailed over his head. It struck the orc that had come up behind him, right in its black heart. It fell dead as the human jumped up again to continue slaying their foes.

Legolas drew his knives, relieved that there weren't many orcs left. He and Aragorn had been in Mirkwood, and were returning to Rivendell. They'd come upon the orcs only two days from his friend's home.

Aragorn stabbed his last orc, turning to locate Legolas. The creature that his friend was fighting was very large, and another was coming up behind the elf. Aragorn knew that calling out to his friend would not be sufficient; for the elf's back would be turned to one of the orcs either way.

Legolas ignored the minor slashes that his foe inflicted upon his body. He finally found an advantage and slew the creature, just as he heard Aragorn yell his name.

Legolas started to turn around, just as something hard connected with his left temple and knocked him painfully to the ground. He was stunned, and lay there unmoving.

Aragorn ran towards the orc as it advanced on Legolas with its sword raised.

Legolas tried to clear his vision and command his body to move, but his sight was growing dimmer instead of brighter. Aragorn suddenly moved into his line of vision, throwing himself in front of the orc to intercept the blow. That was the last thing that Legolas saw before everything turned black…

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When Legolas came back to awareness, he found something heavy lying across his body. It took him a minute to comprehend that he was lying in the grass, and the heavy thing on top of him was another body.

Aragorn.

Legolas gasped and tried to sit up, but the human's head laid atop his chest, his hand hanging off the elf's shoulder as if he'd been checking the elf's pulse before he'd passed out—but from what, Legolas couldn't tell.

Legolas took hold of Aragorn and carefully pushed him off himself, his blood running cold at the sight of the large red stain he found on his own tunic that had obviously come from the human.

"Aragorn…" he moaned in fear, sitting up and laying his friend on his back. The stain covered the human's entire shirt, and Legolas felt for his friend's pulse with a shaking hand, ignoring the pounding in his own head.

He sighed with relief when he felt the beat under his fingers, but he had no idea how long he'd been unconscious…no idea how long his friend had been bleeding…

Legolas stumbled to his feet, reaching out to grab hold of a tree when the landscape spun around him. After his vision righted itself, he searched for Aragorn's sack of healing supplies, seeing that the human had somehow lost it. His heartbeat quickened—faster than it'd already been racing—when he was unable to find it. He couldn't understand how it had disappeared, and he was too groggy to think of looking under the dead orcs' bodies, which is where the sack actually was.

Finding his own pack, Legolas took out a canteen and the needle and thread that he always carried. Hurrying back to his friend, he bemoaned the loss of Aragorn's much more extensive healing supplies. The human had a habit of wearing it slung around himself, and that habit had now become their downfall.

Legolas threw himself to his knees, causing his head to throb painfully. He ignored it as he ripped open the hole in Aragorn's tunic to expose the wound. It was very low on the human's left shoulder, below the collarbone; its location scared the elf, who couldn't be sure whether or not it had punctured a lung.

Opening the canteen, Legolas poured water over the wound, trying to wash away the blood. More quickly welled up, and he took the needle and stitched the wound quickly, his hands shaking even more.

"Why did you do it, Aragorn?" he said, suddenly remembering seeing the human throw himself into the orc's path to save him.

Aragorn made no reply, lying motionless.

Legolas vision suddenly blurred and he blinked his eyes, bringing up a hand to rub them. He didn't even realize that he smeared his friend's blood all over his face.

When he was finished, Legolas wrapped Aragorn's shoulder and laid his head on the human's chest, trying to hear his lungs. He couldn't hear anything amiss, but the human's breathing was soft and shallow, so Legolas couldn't be sure.

Sighing loudly, Legolas stood and found Aragorn's pack. He looked inside it, hoping to find the sack of healing supplies, but it was not there. He slung it and his own onto his back along with his bow and quiver, and he found his knives and Aragorn's sword.

Taking Aragorn's sword belt off the human, he wrapped it around himself, but there was no hole in the leather to make it small enough to fit him. Rather than damage it, Legolas tied it around his waist in a knot, before wrapping his friend in both of their cloaks and lifting him. He walked towards Rivendell, cursing their decision to not bring horses.

The elf didn't know how many hours passed before he was forced to stop walking. Carrying the human and all their supplies ordinarily wouldn't have been so difficult for an elf, especially a trained warrior like Legolas, but his head had been concussed by the orc's blow, and though it wasn't serious, he wasn't as strong as usual.

Legolas laid Aragorn down and sat beside him, holding his pounding head for a minute before checking his friend again.

Aragorn showed no signs of waking. His skin was very pale and cold, and Legolas knew that the human had lost too much blood.

Night was now falling and Legolas stood again, walking towards the trees to see if he could find any herbs to help his friend. With a wound like that, the human was at serious risk for infection.

Legolas didn't find anything that would help except for a small painkilling plant. He wrapped the leaves carefully for when Aragorn woke, seeing no sense in using them while he was unconscious—especially if he found no others herbs before reaching Imladris. Legolas should've taken a few himself, but he saved them all for his friend.

Wrapping the cloaks tighter around the human, the Mirkwood Prince carefully lifted Aragorn and walked on.

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The night was a blur to Legolas, who was barely aware of anything as he walked, determined to get Aragorn home as soon as possible.

The human had made no sound all night, deeply unconscious thanks to the extent of his blood loss.

Legolas stopped again just after dawn, laying his friend down and sitting on the ground. He was exhausted; his head throbbed and his stomach felt sick. He closed his eyes and rested his forehead on his knees, catching his breath. His arms felt like lead from carrying Aragorn's weight, and he knew that he had many more hours of walking before they arrived.

What I would give for the twins to suddenly appear and find us, he thought. His senses began to drift as sleep tried to claim him and he lifted his head, reaching towards Aragorn to check his pulse.

Legolas' heart nearly stopped when he felt nothing there.

"No!" Legolas exclaimed, pressing his fingers deeper. He finally felt something, and when he moved his fingers slightly to the left, he found Aragorn's pulse; weak, but there.

Legolas exhaled loudly, his body shaking. "Estel," he said, his voice choked up. "Please wake, mellon-nin!"

Aragorn remained motionless.

Legolas couldn't control his emotions after the frightening scare. Tears slid down his pale face, which was still smeared with dried blood. He tried to wipe the tears away, but only added dirt to his skin.

After he'd composed himself somewhat, Legolas lifted Aragorn again, grunting from the pain in his head and arms, not to mention his legs from the nearly non-stop walking.

Sighing, he determinedly walked on, praying that Aragorn would survive.