Hi everyone! So sorry I made you wait all week for this chapter...I had planned to post it sooner, but it simply didn't happen. Enjoy; prepare to be shocked in an unexpected way, LOL!
Legolas closed his eyes and licked his lips. He was barely able to breathe, and knew that he was dying. Reopening his eyes, he looked at the arrow that had gone straight through his heart, and wondered how he was still alive. Looking at Aragorn, he could see the same storm of emotions on the human's face that he knew were on his own when the human had taken the injury meant for him two months ago.
Now, the debt had been repaid.
"A-accept-able…r-risk…" he whispered, repeating the words back to Aragorn that the human had so recently said to him. His eyesight grew dim, and his quivering heart seemed to give one last effort at beating before everything turned black.
Aragorn's breath hitched in his lungs nearly as bad as his friend's. "No!" he shouted. "I did not die from the wound that I took for you; you cannot die from the one that you took for me! No! Wake up! Please! Wake up, Legolas!"
The elf's breath let out with a wheeze and the hand clutching Aragorn's arm went limp, falling to the ground.
Aragorn was in such a state of panic that he couldn't even voice it as he reached to check the elf's pulse.
He felt none.
"No!" Aragorn shouted. "No! NOOOOOOO!"
The sudden sight of Aragorn's face above him shocked the daylights out of the Mirkwood Prince, and he jerked so hard that he nearly fell off his bed.
Four hands grabbed him, and Legolas realized that the twins and Elrond were also in the room.
Everyone watched as Legolas stared at them with obvious disorientation. It took them all by surprise when Legolas suddenly grabbed his chest.
"I survived!" the elf gasped.
"Of course!" said Aragorn. "The orc didn't hit you too hard, mellon-nin; your concussion is not too severe…or so we thought," he said, wondering at his friend's odd behavior.
Legolas gaped, his mouth opening and closing soundlessly. He finally noticed that he had a raging headache and lifted one of his hands to grasp it. "C-c-concussion?" he repeated.
Elrond moved forward and took the elf's chin, peering into his eyes to see the size of his pupils. He saw Legolas still grasping his chest, and frowned. "What is wrong, Legolas?" he asked, taking his wrist to feel his pulse.
Legolas gave no answer, pulling his shirt open instead. He gasped at the sight of perfect skin. "Where is it!"
"Where is what?" asked Aragorn, extremely alarmed.
Legolas made an incredulous sound, breathing heavily as he tried to make sense of the situation. "A dream? It cannot have been!"
Elrond turned towards the herb table, seeing that his sons were already there preparing some calming herbs for their friend. "You had a dream?" he asked.
Legolas hesitated, wincing and closing his eyes. "We fought orcs," he said, eyes still closed.
"Yes," said Aragorn.
"I was hit on the head."
"You threw yourself before an orc to save me."
Aragorn nodded. "Yes."
"It stabbed you."
Legolas opened his eyes. He was quiet for a minute before saying, "May I see your shoulder?"
Aragorn blinked. Unsure which one his friend meant, he unlaced the ties on his shirt and pulled it off.
Legolas covered his face with one hand, mumbling something too soft for anyone to hear.
"What has happened to you?" Aragorn asked, pulling his shirt back on but leaving it unlaced as he put a hand on his friend's arm.
The twins returned then, and Elladan helped Legolas sit up as Elrohir offered the Prince the cup. He held it for him, as Legolas seemed too shaky to do it himself.
"I dreamed," said Legolas, sounding dazed. "After I passed out from the orc's blow, I dreamed that the orc stabbed you; you took the wound that was meant for me. I carried you home and you recovered, but then we fought orcs again…"
Everyone listened quietly.
"We fought orcs again and…and I took a wound meant for you."
Aragorn's eyebrows shot up.
"I died, Aragorn," Legolas said, his voice a shaky whisper. "The last thing I heard were your pleas for me to wake up…"
Everyone was shocked.
"And then you did wake up; here," said Elrohir, attempting to lighten the mood.
"Aye," Legolas said, exhaling shakily. "I have never dreamt something so…real." He brought up a hand to rub his chest. "It almost makes me wonder if this is not reality...mayhap this is my dream?"
Aragorn patted his friend's arm. "This is reality, my friend."
Legolas smiled slightly. "You carried me home."
"In my dream, I carried you home."
"That must not have been pleasant," said Elladan.
Aragorn shot him a look as if to say, 'oh?'
Legolas smiled wider, though his eyes drifted shut drowsily. "Indeed not. Humans are quite heavy."
"Or at least, this one is," said Elrohir.
"Are you trying to imply," said Aragorn. "That I weigh too much? I thought elves were supposed to have super-human strength."
"We do," said Elladan. "Which is why it comes to our notice that you are so heavy!"
Everyone chuckled, including Elrond, who was quite amused at his sons.
"I have an idea," said Elrohir. "After Legolas has recovered, we shall have a strength contest, to see which of us—"
Everyone looked at Elrond, to see him holding a finger to his lips.
Legolas had fallen asleep.
Aragorn smiled, gently patting his friend's arm. "Pleasant dreams this time, Legolas."
HAHA! The whole story was a dream! I bet no one expected it to be LEGOLAS dreaming!;)
Thanks so much for the awesome reviews! Here's a preview for my next story, entitled 'Eye of the Storm':
An incredible pain shot through Legolas' body, but there was no time for his mind to register the cause before he was suddenly airborne. When he hit the water, he nearly lost consciousness, but as soon as the liquid entered his mouth, he fought to swim, even as the horrible pain increased.
Just when he thought that he was about to die, a hand grabbed his and he was yanked upwards. The pain that it caused his body made him gasp involuntarily, making him inhale more water.
Legolas suddenly felt his head pulled above the water and he gasped in some air, choking harshly on the water in his lungs. It was then that he realized where the pain was coming from; his right side. Coughing caused the horrible pain to double, and he nearly lost consciousness again.
Aragorn was alarmed when the elf made no effort to grab onto the piece of wood that he'd found, instead slipping out of the human's grasp. He hefted the elf up and put his arms around the wood. "Hold on, Legolas!" he exclaimed.
Legolas managed to maintain a small thread of consciousness, and tried to obey as they were swept further down river.
Aragorn shifted closer to the elf and wrapped his arm around Legolas' on the wood, being sure that his friend wouldn't fall off. With the other hand he undid his belt. "Hold onto me!" he said.
Legolas let go with one arm and grabbed his friend, praying that his weakening grips would hold.
Aragorn looped his belt through Legolas' and then through his own sword belt, buckling it so that they would not get separated. That done, he grabbed onto the wood with one hand and his obviously-injured friend with the other.
For countless more minutes, they shot down the agitated river. The storm eventually decreased in intensity as it moved away, and Legolas' arrows—which had been knocked out of his quiver—kept floating by. Aragorn was usually the one to grab them, and he stuck them inside his sword belt, knowing that they could be easily knocked from Legolas' quiver once more.
Several times, their heads went under water, and Legolas eventually lost his grip.
Aragorn held onto the wood tightly, using his other arm to fish for his friend under the water. He grabbed Legolas' arm and pulled him up, but the elf was finally unconscious.
Aragorn was losing his own grip on the piece of wood as his arm grew tired. He watched a large piece of the boat that had remained intact, praying that it would float closer to them. When it did, Aragorn let go of the wood and Legolas, reaching out to grab it. He succeeded and painfully climbed onto it, quickly reaching down to pull up the limp elf. He left the belt attached to them both and left Legolas on his stomach where he lay unmoving. Unable to be sure if the elf breathed, he slapped his friend's back, hoping to jolt him into coughing.
It worked after the third blow, and Legolas began to choke on inhaled water.
Relieved, Aragorn dropped in an exhausted heap beside the elf, not seeing the red stain that was slowly growing underneath his friend…
There you go! I'll be posting that after a new snippet in my 'Misfortunes of an Elf' collection. Don't forget to tell me what you thought of Acceptable Risk's ending! Thanks :)