Summary: Reluctantly sent out on a scouting mission into the foothills of Hithaeglir together to report back upon the growing shadow that has spread across the region, terrible tragedy strikes both Legolas and Aragorn. (A prequel to Relesen)
Main characters: Aragorn and Legolas.
Setting: Pre-LOTR's .This story will most likely be considered AU.
Author's Note: This story will fill in the missing details of the period of time surrounding Legolas' and Aragorn's capture by the Orcs as mentioned in my earlier story, Relesen.
Once again this will be a dark though not graphic tale. Unlike Scars, however, I'm not sure if I can justify the rating of the story remaining below an M (mature audience) especially in the later chapters due to one particular aspect that will occur within in the story. Though for the most part, the events in this story will fall well within the range of PG or PG 13 at which I've started the story out at. (Sorry I cannot remember the new ratings symbols that FFN has instituted for those settings).
This story will try to explain further how Aragorn and Legolas, through my writings, came to know each other and form an unbreakable bond of friendship. There will be NO slash or gratuitous violence or sexual situations in this story, and I will post warnings when events might prove uncomfortable for some readers. (My advanced apologies if they do so.)
Never Alone is actually based solely upon the lyrics of one song. If you'd like to, you may try and figure out by the chapter titles what that song is. I will, however, reveal its source at the conclusion of this story.
As always, it is my sincerest hope that you will enjoy what follows when and if possible. Now with that said, onto the chapter 1:)
Chapter 1 Never Alone - Far From This World
Disclaimer: This story is being written for enjoyment only. I do not own any of Tolkien's characters
His initial awakening proved slow and painful. There was no immediate rediscovery of the world he had left about him just a listless, almost plodding arousal to the elements remaining behind in it.
Scent was the first of his many senses to return as the earthly aroma of the terrain, he was now sprawled upon, entered his nostrils. Touch came next with the cool dampness of the soil beneath him proving equally as comforting against the bruised flesh of his face. But just as quickly as these rudimentary comforts became known to him, they were yanked out from with under him with just the slightest tilt of his head.
For the result of such a minimal movement caused an explosive reaction beneath his still closed eyelids resulting in a riotous kaleidoscope of flashing colors underneath the once protective flesh that then radiated outward into an excruciating rush of pain to arrive at its final destination of agony with pinpoint accuracy at the base of his skull. He made a mental note to himself not to attempt such a reckless action again as the loud thrum of reawakened blood vessels coursed through his brain. But, he could not put a stop to its already raging effects as he felt the rise of bile fill his mouth before spilling to the ground beside him. A weak cry of anguish, more like the mew of a new born kitten, escaped into the air about him as the previously reassuring corporeal smells of the earth's bounty surrounding him became replaced by the rancid stench of stomach acid.
'By Valar, he felt bad!' He could not remember a time during his brief life, though he was no stranger to grievous injury, ever feeling this awful before. Not even the time when he allowed his two Elven brothers to talk him into frivolously partaking in two tumbler's full of a potent Dwarf mead with them while out on hunting excursion.
Oh how Lord Elrond had taken both a tipsy Elladan and Elrohir to task for allowing their youngest brother to return home in such a stupor of intoxication. And once given a thorough talking to, the likes which the two Elves had never born before, the Elf lord had given them the equally unpleasant task of looking after their brother during the long lasting effects of his inebriation. It had taken two days before the lad could stand up straight so that his head didn't feel as if it would split in two before rolling off his shoulders onto the stone floor below, and another three before he could stomach anything stronger than weak tea and lightly toasted bread without it proving rebellious to his roiling stomach; hence turning upon him and showing back up in the most unflattering array all over his bedchamber floor and his brothers' garments.
A small smirk of vindication broke through his previously pain-filled features as he remembered both Elladan's and Elrohir's disdain over having to play nursemaids to their equally foolish younger brother only to be replaced seconds later by another grimace with the resounding return of pain.
'No, these ill effects, he was now experiencing, were not brought on by the result of an unrelenting hangover, and if they had been, there would be hell to pay for the doomsayer who supplied him with such a calamitous brew. No, the cruel and unceasing throb within his head had been brought upon by something far less enjoyable then partaking in drink, stories, and song with his brothers and friends.'
Squeezing his eyelids even more tightly shut against the pain still swirling within his brain, he attempted to place the cause of his current misfortune. Yet he remembered precious little of the preceding hours leading up to his reawakening. Struggling, he pushed himself harder to recollect as he forced his sluggish mind even further back over the last few hours of his now most miserable existence. And, though his thoughts seemed suspended in a wooly fog of disarray, he was finally able to come up with some semblance of a once vital memory leading up to this moment.
It originated in Imladris. He was in his father's stables preparing for some journey he was about to undertake as another stood nearby him. Forcing his mind's eye even further back, he tried to recall whether it was Elrohir or Elladan, who was positioned beside him, or perhaps both. Had his brothers enticed him into some new ill begotten scheme yet again?
Then struggling to summon forth the complete memory, he realized it was neither of the raven-haired Elves, as the long golden locks of an unexpected companion returned to the forefront of his aching mind bringing with them an atmosphere of hesitancy and distrust.
"Legolas?" He grunted at its resurgence as he tried to force his now rapidly moving eyelids to flutter open. When at last he did, unusually large pupils, surrounded by just the barest hint of silvery grey ringing them, bore the brunt of this ill-favored notion to take in the landscape about him. He found it cast in shadow, illuminated only by a sliver of the waning moon set high in the nighttime sky. Yet still the dimness proved threatening as it assaulted his already compromised senses causing the return of flooding pain to wash over him with its minimal exposure.
"Legolas!" He cried out weakly again as the fuzzy image of an unmoving figure zoomed in and out of focus mere inches in front of him. He tried in vain to refocus upon the motionless heap sprawled out upon the ground just a short distance away, but only polychromatic hues of green and gold that were eventually coupled with growing specks of dancing crimson flashed before his still bleary gaze until the torture of such an effort could be sustained no longer and his eyes slid helplessly shut once again. The returning thrum of blood rushing through his suffering head filled his ears once more as it kept time with the quickening pace rising within his chest. He did not need the growing rumble that punished the ground about him to realize that what assailed him presently had nothing to do with drink or pleasurable pursuits. It was far from that as fear crept through his being only to be overcome by pain then the suffocating return of darkness as his mind struggled to process, "They'd been captured!"
Author's Closing Notes: Well if you've reached this part, then thank you for reading chapter 1. Yes, it was short, but I hope you enjoyed it.
And no, Aragorn does not have a hangover. What troubles him and Legolas is far worse.