Saving Innocence (2/2)

By Tiger

SUMMARY: Just before the Battle of Helm's Deep, Legolas meets one of the boys who have been called to fight.

DISCLAIMER: The characters of The Lord of the Rings belong to JRR Tolkien, New Line Cinemas, and the other appropriate people. The name Jocaim comes from the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. The name Jonde is from Jean A. Auel's Earth Children's Series.

After the battle, Legolas stood in the middle of dead orcs and men. He scanned the now quiet battlefield not for dead men—though their loss pained him—but for any of the boys he had spoken to earlier. Many of them had lived, they stayed behind to help protect the king. Theoden had ordered it, he knew that their only chance of survival into manhood was to keep them as far away from the fighting as possible. Legolas stopped walking and searching when he stepped on an all too familiar sword.

"Jocaim!" he cried. Angrily, he pushed the Ur-Kai's body away, and saw the crushed form of Jocaim. The boy's eyes were open and unseeing, his only wound was a large gash in his stomach. He could see a trickle of blood was dribbling the corner of Jocaim's mouth. Legolas could barely hear the boy's shallow breathing. He quickly knelt down to hold the boy in his arms.

"You-you were right," Jocaim whispered, struggling to speak. "My memory—it gave me strength." His eyes widened more and he clutched at Legolas' arms, fighting the pain in his belly.

"You fought bravely," Legolas praised the boy, his hands slick with the boy's blood. He knew Jocaim was dying, and did his best to comfort him. "You withstood much more than many grown men could have taken." However, nothing he said could comfort the pain that Jocaim felt the most keenly.

"Tell my mother," Jocaim said, and then gasped at the brightness of the light before him. "Tell her," he tried again, "tell her that I said I was sorry." He gasped more then as the pain lessened and he only knew peace.

"Namarie, mellon nin," Legolas murmured though his own tears. "May you find only peace." He held the boy's body tightly against his as he carried Jocaim to his anxious mother.

She ran to him and shook her son's body, as if Jocaim was only a sleping babe to be awakened. She cried again when she saw that nothing she tried would awaken her son again.

"He said to tell you that he loved you," Legolas said, his pain filled eyes looking into Jocaim's mother's grief stricken ones. He placed Jocaim's sword into the dead boy's hands and whispered and elven prayer. He could do nothing for Jocaim and the other dead boys. There were so many more living that he had to fight for.

But in the upcoming battles, he never forgot the lost innocence that Jocaim, and the other lost boys of Rohan.