Disclaimer: Do not own LotR.
Sorry 'bout any grammar and/or spelling mistakes.
Not a long wait, huh? Told ya it wouldn't be long… n.n I really hope you all enjoy this chapter. It is the last, as I said it would be. This time I meant it, I guess. -.-
Well, just don't forget to let me know what ya think, especially since this is the last chapter, 'kay? n.n
Enjoy. Hope I don't disappoint. n.n
Chapter Thirteen: Rain
Legolas finally had the chance he needed to recover, fully recover. He could now move his arms about freely without any pain; he was incredibly pleased about that, especially since he didn't have to be fed by Estel anymore. He had found that quite embarrassing.
The humans had been extremely careful about the candles, making sure that they had enough wax left so they wouldn't go out at the night while they slept. They also made sure that the window was closed so it wouldn't blow it out.
Ellun had pulled the bed from the spare room (where Legolas had been the second time) so Estel could sleep in it instead of the chair and still keep an eye on Legolas, it was a tight squeeze but it worked.
It had been almost another month since Legolas had killed Adanel. It had taken him a couple weeks to recover, for the orcs had really taken a toll on his healing ability.
The rest of the time the two friends stayed there they just had a good time, enjoying their company. They had all become very close friends during their stay.
Ellun and Aelin had seen Legolas at his most vulnerable moments and had helped him without looking disgusted with him. That had helped tremendously when Legolas thought about it. Things might have ended up differently if he found out that they had helped him out of pity alone; thankfully that was not the case. In the beginning it might have been out of sympathy, but that had quickly turned to friendship when the elf had become coherent.
Soon he would have to go to Imladris and then Mirkwood; back to his duties. He wasn't really complaining about it, it was just nice having some time off, which he would still have while in Imladris but not Mirkwood. He was the only prince and had no siblings.
Nay, he could not afford to be foolish or carefree or have time off while at the palace.
Ellun and Aelin now knew he was a prince as well. Estel had let it slip one day while he and Legolas had been jesting. To say they had been shocked would be an extreme understatement. They had had a hard time believing that they had befriended royalty.
The village they were in was very small and rarely spoke about. Legolas himself had never heard of it; neither had Estel – for it was usually he who accompanied the elf – even with their vast knowledge from their travels. People hardly ever came to it, especially since rumors started to go around about people never returning to their home after entering the village. Of course, the rumors had been true. Still, people happened by it when they were lost and that was when Adanel got his sacrifices.
The village was quite far from Imladris and even further from Mirkwood but Estel and Legolas both promised they would visit when they could.
The couple had been very generous and gave Legolas supplies, for he had lost everything because of the orcs, including his twin knives. He felt horrible for not having them and allowing them to become lost in the first place. They had been a gift to him from his father and had meant a lot to him; still did. He hoped they would have the chance to search for them since he didn't think that the orcs had taken them. He would have to ask Estel later.
Luckily, the dark-haired man knew the general direction they were headed since he had been paying really close attention to his surroundings while looking for Legolas.
Legolas and Estel stood side by side in front of the couple, bidding them farewell. Estel's horse was awaiting them, all ready to go as was a horse the villagers had given to Legolas. Everyone knew what had happened to the elf and had felt horrible, wishing to repay him in any way they possibly could.
"Thank you for everything; I am forever in your debt," Legolas said, extremely grateful for the two who had saved his life. Before either could contradict him or start an argument, he continued, "I shall visit as soon as I can." He smiled warmly at the two.
Ellun and Aelin smiled back and nodded.
"We shall miss you, my friends," Aelin said, sadly. She had to fight back the tears that pricked at her eyes, for they had all become very close.
"We shall see each other soon," Legolas promised. He was considering stopping by on his way back to Mirkwood.
The woman suddenly flung herself at the elf, wrapping her arms around the still-thin frame tightly.
Legolas smiled sadly, returning the embrace warmly.
She pulled back, looking away for a moment as tears threatened to overwhelm her.
Ellun then hugged Legolas as well; he would miss the two a lot.
Once the four had finished with their goodbyes Legolas and Estel mounted their horses.
"Goodbye and thank you." Then they turned their horses around they started off to Imladris.
Ellun and Aelin waved back, sorry to see them go. They were confident that they would see them again, however.
The couple stood next to each other after Legolas and Estel had left, wishing them a safe journey.
"You were lucky to have them be the ones who found you," Estel said quietly. Of course he wished that the orcs hadn't gotten a hold of him in the first place, but since they had and since he couldn't have been there for the elf, he was glad that Ellun and Aelin had been there instead.
Legolas nodded in agreement, but said nothing; he knew Estel had meant that in the best possible way.
Minutes later, Legolas finally asked, "Do you think we could look for my knives?"
The human quickly looked over at his friend. "Aye, mellon-nin, forgive me," he replied, contritely. He should have known the elf would want to look for them; they could not be truly replaced and were a part of him.
Legolas shook his head, smiling. "'Tis no fault of yours," he said reassuringly, glad that he would be able to search for them. He just prayed he would be able to find them.
Estel led him to the cave, in which Legolas had been captive, for the elf had no recollections of the area with how unaware he had been.
Both dismounted at the cave's entrance.
Legolas stood at the opening, transfixed by the darkness and memories inside of it.
Could he really do this?
Estel watched his friend carefully, controlling his anger. He wished the orcs who did this to him would get what they deserved, but he could not go after them, especially not now. Legolas needed him.
He let the elf decide what he wanted to do, not rushing or pestering him. Legolas needed to do this on his own.
Legolas finally took a few steps forward. With one food in the cave, he stopped.
Estel placed a hand on the blonde's shoulder. He could feel the trembles wracking the poor elf's body out of fear. "It's alright, mellon-nin. Take your time. You can do this," he encouraged.
Taking a deep breath, Legolas stepped all the way into the never-ending darkness.
He kept walking, slowly going forward. He looked around in paranoia, fearing the orcs to be there still.
Stepping into water, the splash echoed in his fragile mind, resounding over and over again, bringing back flashes of memories with each one.
Suddenly, he collapsed to the ground, burying his head in his hands, wanting to scream, but unable to.
This was too much. He couldn't do it.
"I… I cannot do this. I-I cannot. Forgive me," he said shakily in shame. "Pl-please do not make me."
Estel stared in utter disbelief at his friend who had completely broken down; he felt his heart break at the sight. He had never seen him act even close to this. He never thought he would. For him to act like this meant that the prideful elf had endured a lot more than Estel even thought possible.
Legolas was a very proud creature and would not do this without reason.
Estel shook himself out of his shock and knelt down beside the traumatized elf.
"Legolas, everything is alright. Look around, mellon-nin, 'tis only you and me in here; no one else," he tried to comfort his friend.
However, Legolas vehemently shook his head, not wanting to look up. He didn't want to see them; their sneering faces. He couldn't handle it.
"Alright, it's okay, Legolas. I shall help you out of here," the dark-haired man said softly. He couldn't stand to see his best friend suffer more. He didn't know what else he could do for the stricken elf. He had never encountered this before, never from the strong-willed elf.
He gently helped Legolas up, the blonde's hands dropping to his sides limply in defeat.
Estel noticed that his friend was trembling even more violently than before.
"It's alright, Legolas. I have you; everything's alright," he continued to reassure him.
Truth be told, he was scared by Legolas' behavior, terrified because of it. The words that thoughtlessly poured out of his mouth were to reassure the both of them.
Once out of the cave, Legolas sank to his knees again, feeling ashamed of himself for falling apart like that. He had only entered the cave! That was it!
Estel joined Legolas, kneeling in front of the elf.
"Legolas... look at me," he said sternly, but softly.
When the blonde finally looked up he had to hide his surprise at the tears that trickled down the beautiful face.
He brushed his thumb under the blue eyes, wiping the tears away. "There is no need to be ashamed, mellon-nin. It was very brace of you to enter the cave after what you went through and I'm proud of you, alright?" he said caringly.
Legolas merely nodded slightly to show that he understood, but that did not mean that it changed his thoughts.
Estel pulled Legolas into a comforting embrace. At first the elf stiffened at the contact, but he soon relaxed and felt himself calm down.
"I shall go look," the human offered, slowly pulling back from Legolas, when he felt the shaking subside.
The blonde nodded gratefully. He couldn't go in again. He just couldn't.
I'm so weak, he thought, lowering his head.
Estel raised the elf's chin. "Stop it, Legolas. You are not to blame for this; you have done nothing wrong," he said firmly, convincingly; looking into saddened blue orbs.
The blonde nodded again in acknowledgement.
The human stood up. "I shall be right back; do not move," he said, turning to leave.
"Hannon le, Estel," Legolas whispered. He was grateful for his friend's continued support and words of encouragement.
Estel turned to face the elf with a warm smile.
Then he entered the cave again, hoping Legolas would be alright by himself.
Legolas watched the human disappear into the darkness, feeling weak and even fearful for his friend's life, though he knew there was no need for it.
He sat back, pulling his knees to his chest and resting his head on top of them, watching the cave as he waited for Estel to come out.
Legolas stood up, about to go into the cave when it became too much. Estel had been in there for far too long and, in his panicked state, he couldn't wait any longer.
Just as he was about to step foot in the cave, Estel came out.
"Where are you going?" the grey-eyed human asked, curiously.
"I… You…" the elf stumbled over his words, unable to gather his thoughts as he was so relieved. "I thought something had happened to you…" He lowered his gaze to his hands.
Estel placed a hand on the elf's shoulder. "I am well, mellon-nin," he said comfortingly, feeling guilty that it had taken him so long. The cave had extended further down than he had thought. "Forgive me; it took me a while, but… here."
The blonde raised his head to look at his friend's outstretched hand.
He smiled brightly, slowly bringing his hands up to the objects in disbelief. He picked them up, inspecting the blades.
He couldn't believe they had really been in there! He was extremely thankful, though. They were dull and caked with blood from the orcs, but… they had been found! It was hard to believe really.
"Hannon le, Estel," he repeated quietly in appreciation.
Estel grinned. He was glad to see that his friend's smile had reached his eyes, bringing some of the shine back.
"We shall fine some place for you to wash them and then we shall continue on our way to Imladris," the human suggested, knowing Legolas would wish to take care of his twin knives as soon as he got the chance.
Legolas and Estel finally arrived in Imladris. It had taken them over a week since they had taken their time, and some snow had fallen. Estel had thought it to be a good idea for Legolas to set his own pace. They hadn't run into danger, for which both were relieved.
Both were glad to be there, especially Legolas after what he had been put through.
"Legolas! Estel!" two voices shouted in unison as they walked out of the stable, about to enter the home.
The two friends smiled widely, seeing Elrohir and Elladan (Estel's twin foster brothers) running towards them.
"What happened? Are you alright? What's going on? Why are you wearing Estel's clothes?" they questioned without a pause as they stopped in front of the two.
They had forgotten about that. Of course everyone would question them seeing that Legolas was wearing the human's clothes. The young elf really didn't have a choice in the matter, though, for he had no clothes of his own since they had been with his other supplies and the clothes he had been wearing were tattered, bloodied and useless. He did have some in his room, though, since he stayed so often.
"Slow down; we are fine," Estel answered, interrupting the continuous questions.
The twins glanced over at Legolas and then back at Estel with skeptical looks, for the blonde still looked pale and worn; not to mention much too thin.
The human sighed heavily. "I shall explain later," he said, clearly showing that they wished for nothing more than to relax. He was thankful when they let the subject drop, as was Legolas.
The dark-haired man smiled when he saw his father, Elrond, approach.
The elf-lord hugged Estel tightly. "Glad to see you back, ion-nin," he whispered.
Estel rested his head on Elrond's shoulder, closing his eyes, happy to be home.
Legolas looked down sadly, feeling horrible for keeping the human away from his family.
Arms wrapped around him and he tensed under the sudden embrace.
Bringing his gaze back up, he found that it was the elder elf who was hugging him.
Elrond frowned deeply at the unexpected response.
"It's good to see you too, penneth," he said, deciding to ask about what had happened to the prince later.
Legolas returned the warm embrace, relieved that there were no questions.
After the welcoming, the five made their way into the home for the evening meal. Elrond had also seen how much Estel was shivering from the cold since snow still covered the ground.
During the meal the twins talked non-stop with Estel. Legolas was quiet, only joining the conversation when necessary.
Elrond occasionally glanced at the young elf in concern and uncertainty. Whatever had happened to delay their return must have been traumatizing to make the usually energetic elf act this way, especially since he was trying to behave normally.
It was far from normal. He had noticed that the blue orbs had lost their usual shine.
When the meal ended, Legolas and Estel retired for the night, fatigue clearly written in their features; more so in Legolas'. It seemed to run deeper than that, though, being not only physical but mental as well.
Elrond, Estel and Legolas first went the blonde's bedchamber. The twins had gone to their own chambers upon their father's request, for the elder elf wished to question Estel alone.
As soon as Legolas had lain down on the bed he was out, even with Elrond in mid-sentence.
The elf-lord sighed worriedly, but turned to leave, wishing more than ever to speak with his youngest son.
He was about to blow out the candle when Estel held out an arm to stop him.
"Nay, you cannot leave him in the dark," he said quietly, not wanting to wake his friend.
Elrond's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, a deep frown in place.
"I shall explain. Walk with me," the grey-eyed human stated, walking out of the room Legolas had claimed his own long ago.
While father and son walked aimlessly, the younger one told of the month's events. Telling of Legolas' capture by the orcs, the torture, the cave – and the behavior Legolas had displayed while retrieving his knives. Then he told him about Ellun and Aelin and their village; about Adanel.
He told his father everything, and the elder elf just stared at the human in growing horror, stopping in his tracks near the beginning of the tale, his feet unable to move.
The elf-lord was left speechless when Estel had finished; the only thing escaping his lips was a faint, "Oh Valar."
No wonder he is so quiet and pale… Elrond thought in disbelief.
"Do not ask him of this. Let him speak on his own terms," Estel pleaded with his father. He didn't even know if Legolas really wanted him to tell the elder elf what he had, but he figured that the blonde thought it was inevitable.
Elrond nodded, having expected that.
Both knew that Elladan and Elrohir would have to be informed as well, just as a precaution. They would also worry for their long-time friend and would wish to help him.
The elf-lord told his son that he would tell them before he went to his chambers.
After Elrond had recovered from his shock, they separated ways. Estel didn't really know if he should leave Legolas alone this night, for this was the first time that he would sleep alone since the orcs got to him.
He decided that he had to. Legolas was a fully grown elf, who knew how to handle himself. Besides, their bedchambers were right across from each other's; if anything happened Estel would know.
He checked up on Legolas and then decided to get some sleep after confirming nothing amiss. He was determined to get a good night's rest.
He soon fell asleep, glad to be back home.
By the looks of the twins the next morning, it was obvious they had been told about what had happened to Legolas.
However, everyone tried to hide it and cheer the younger elf up, help him recover.
It took days, but they finally got the blonde to loosen up and even laugh more often. Sadness was still seen in the blue depths, though it was now a lot more subtle than before.
Being around his friends and Elrond, who was like a second father, immensely helped him. After a couple weeks he was smiling and laughing like before; even talking freely again.
Everyone was pleased at the rate of Legolas' recovery – even shocked – and appreciated his will to never give up even more. It seemed nothing could drag him down for long.
Legolas was currently sitting beneath his favorite tree in the garden when the rain started to come down.
The twins and Estel were close by but they said nothing to him, not wanting to disturb the blonde elf.
The blonde elf smiled with relief and stood. He walked out from under the grand tree, the leaves no longer able to stop the rain from falling on to him.
He smile grew as he tilted his head back to feel the drops wash over him, easing his mind. He finally felt truly at peace as the rain cleansed his troubled heart, the soothing sound calming him.
Nothing could touch him. Nothing could harm him.
So, there we have it: the ending to Bound. ;-; Sad really. What's really sad is that the LotR muse has abandoned me. I still have ideas, of course, it's just that none of them are jumping out and screaming at me to write them, like they usually do. Makes me really sad cuz I love writing for LotR, but… well, I guess I shall just have to wait 'til they decide to jump out at me again. ..:sighs:.. Ironically enough, a couple days after saying that, I have started an LotR fic… XD It's a one-shot, though, but will prob'ly be posted soon… I hope. Depends on how much I like it…
I will, however, be posting a Gundam Wing fic for those of you who may be into that. If you wish to see a preview for it go here: www . livejournal . com/users/nightshadow131/. I will have previews on there for other LotR fics, too. Once they decide to come back to me. Miss 'em already. ..:sniff sniff:.. I'm sure they'll be back soon, though… n.n
But how 'bout we get back to this fic, shall we…? I was originally going to have the twins and Estel say something at the end but it's better this way… Trust me. I hope you don't think I rushed his recovery, though. I'm not too sure about that. But I'm actually fairly pleased with this fic overall. And thank you to everyone for the wonderful, encouraging reviews! You have no idea how helpful you all were… and are! n.n
So thanks again everyone! And don't forget to let me know what ya think. You know you want to, especially since it's the last chapter… n.n;; I hope to hear from you all again. n.n