Title: Midnight Tapping
Author: Ainu Laire
Rating: PG-13, T
Warnings: AU
Summary: He woke up to a sound. Tap. Tap. Tap.

A/N: This was written for a scary story competition. Can't say much more without spoiling it ;-)

Side note: To anyone reading 'Rewriting Time', I will update it soon. To anyone reading 'POTR', I'll update it once my muses come back from Hawaii.


Tap. Tap. Tap.

His eyelids slowly fluttered open.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

He was now alert, the knife that he always kept under his pillow in his hand.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

He slowly made his way to the window. His bare feet made no sound as they touched the floor.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

He stood a few feet away from it, and the tapping continued. Cautiously he approached the large window, and still the insistent tapping went on. The grip around the handle of his knife tightened.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Without any warnings, he opened the window with a clang. A large gust of cold wind swept through the room, unsettling a few papers on his desk and extinguishing the dying flame of a candle by his bedside. He shivered at the sudden chill.

Cautiously, he stuck his head outside and looked around. It was a cold, windy autumn night, and the full moon shone high in the cloudy sky. He could tell that it was almost midnight. It was far too late to be up at this hour.

Seeing nothing of immediate danger to he or his home, he shut the window and made his way back to bed. He quickly covered himself with blankets and tried to ignore the cold that surrounded him. He put the knife back under his pillow, and tried to fall back asleep. Slowly, his mind became clouded and his eyelids became heavy, and he fell into an uneasy sleep.

Under the pillow, his hand never let go of the knife.

O0O0O0O

In another part of the house, another being suddenly woke up from a peaceful sleep. He was not sure what had woken him, but he knew that something was amiss. Though the room he was in looked the same, he felt that there something different in the atmosphere. There was something around him that made him feel uncomfortable and cold.

He tried to ignore these ill feelings and fall back asleep. After many minutes of tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position, he found that he could not. There was something in the back of his mind that was keeping him awake and would not let him rest. There was something that was being very insistent, that pushed him to stay awake and check out the problem.

'What problem? What problem is there?' he found himself thinking. 'Why can I not fall asleep?' This inability to sleep was foreign to him.

Finally giving up on this hopeless quest for sleep, he grudgingly got out of bed. He was startled to find how cold it was; he hadn't felt this cold in quite a long time. Ignoring the chill about him, he simply started to walk.

He did not know where he was going, but he did not bother to stop his feet. He soon found himself out of the bedroom and in the hallway. Usually lit up by small lamps, the corridors this night were dark and completely silent. This puzzled him, but his footsteps did not slow down.

Quietly he went through the empty corridors, meeting no one in his perplexed state. He let his feet lead him down the hall, though he still did not know where he was going. The being was silent as he kept a slow, yet steady pace to his unknown destination.

After going on like this for a few minutes, his feet stopped in front of a door. He blinked, and looked around at his surroundings. Why did he stop here?

He looked at the door that he stood before, and a small smile came to his face. He knew what lay behind this door well. Very well. For behind the door was one who was very close to him; one that he loved dearly.

Not wanting to disturb the other's sleep, he quietly turned around and started to creep back into his own room. But then he heard it.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

He frowned, and turned around to once more face the door.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Yes, it was definitely coming from the room behind the door. The room in which slept one so dear.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Frowning, he put his ear to the door. He could hear no movement inside of the room, nor any voices. The only thing he could hear was that loud, unnatural tapping sound.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

He brought his hand up and rapped on the door. "Hello?" he asked.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

He knocked again. "Is aught wrong?" He waited for a moment. No answer. "Mellon nin?" He waited again for an answer.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Concerned, he slowly opened the door and peeked inside of the room. It was extremely dark, and very cold; he resisted the urge to shiver. His eyes strayed to the bed on the other side of the room; in the bed lay his friend, quiet and asleep. Any other night he would take that as a good sign and leave his friend alone until the morn, but this night was different. There was something in the air that made him uncomfortable… that made him feel that something was wrong in here. And, of course, there was that odd sound.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

It was coming from the window near the bed. Frowning, he slowly made his way over to the window. It continued.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

He was just passing the bed when suddenly, the being in the bed moved. He spun around to face the bed, and saw that his friend was up, and that there was a knife in his hand. He could easily tell that his friend was still half-asleep, for his eyes were glazed over and unseeing.

"My friend," he said, a small smile on his face. "I did not mean to startle you."

Instead of him putting down the knife, like the being thought he would, his friend approached, knife thrust out. It looked as if he were ready to attack.

"Mellon nin, it's me. You can put the knife down," he said, trying to reassure him.

His friend stopped in his tracks, and he held his breath. Slowly, his friend lowered the knife, and he could see his muscles relax.

He smiled, and approached him. "I am sorry for disturbing you, but I could not sleep. And when I came here, I heard this odd tapping sound-"

When he was but a foot or two away, his friend suddenly tensed. Before he could ask what was wrong, he felt a sudden pain in his stomach. Slowly, he looked down, and he could see the hilt of a knife sticking out of his abdomen. He looked up once more at his friend, who held the knife in place.

He fell to the floor, and his friend just watched, the bloody knife tense in his hand. As the being on the floor breathed it's last breaths, his friend stood silently over him, doing nothing.

The last word that the dying being on the floor uttered was heard by only his friend: his savior, his destroyer.

"Aragorn."

O0O0O0O

His eyes shot open from a terrible nightmare, and he found that his heart was racing. Taking a few deep, slow breaths, he willed his heart to slow down. After a few minutes, his heartbeat was normal, and he closed his eyes in despair.

A nightmare. Just a terrible nightmare. He shuddered as he thought about it. He had dreamed that… no, it was too terrible to contemplate. He had dreamed… oh, how could he have dreamed such a thing?

He took a few more calming breaths, and tried to expel the images in his mind. Ai, those visions would haunt him forever. It had seemed so real.

As he forced himself to fall back asleep, he found that his hand was still grasping the handle of his knife under the pillow. Shaking his head to himself, he went to put the knife on the bedside table, and then paled.

The knife was covered in blood. Fresh, crimson blood. And beyond this, by the window, lay a fair figure, dead. Legolas.

And above him, at the window, there was a sound.

Tap. Tap. Tap.