All Bonds of Fellowship
Chapter 11: Legolas
Legolas stopped breathing. Aragorn stood, pressed his fingertips against the Elf's neck but found no pulse. And then, though he had never attempted magic in his life, he drew on all his strength as a Dunedain and began to cast.
Over an age before, during a brief scuffle between the Men of Gondor and the Elves of Mirkwood, many Elves were captured and held prisoner. While held in Minas Tirith, their healers had used Elvish magic to restore the prisoners to health. This was observed, recorded, and used by the men. The Dunedain added their own rituals to it, even tried to use the combination to cure the Elves of the Seacalling once they were on good terms again.
But the Men had twisted the magic. While the Elves took nothing to redeem life, the Men took from the world. They took the lives of trees, the drops of water, from fire and earth and air. The Elves would never take life for life, even from plants…but Aragorn would, for Legolas.
Aragorn summoned the elements through the open window and as they reached him, they glowed on their tiles. First fire, and Aragorn heard a short gasp from the city as every torch went out. The same happened when he summoned water into the tile, and each other in turn. Aragorn imagined the White Tree, which had begun to bloom again, topple over and break. When each tile glowed, casting odd lights against Legolas' body, Aragorn drew a knife. He positioned his palm over Legolas' parted lips, and blood trickled into the Elf's mouth. The elements went with the blood. The incantation wrapped around Legolas' soul and forced it back in, taking part of the souls of the elements…and part of Aragorn's soul as well.
A vicious pain exploded in his chest. Aragorn was conscious long enough to hear a solid inhale as Legolas was revived, and then he slumped against his friend, rolled off the bed and lay still on the stone floor.
Flashback to 5 ½ Months Ago
Aragorn fingered the Evenstar next to the golden ring around his neck as he stared at the night sky. Eowyn and Faramir stood together, hands clasped, on the starboard side. Boromir sat on the deck next to Aragorn, sleeping until it was his shift to steer. At the stern, Legolas stood, watching the same stars as Aragorn. Gimli came up beside him with food, and the two spoke. Aragorn sighed. The Fellowship had been sailing for two weeks. They'd encountered few perils, just a storm and several sweeps by fellbeasts overhead, but Legolas always scared them off with arrows. Aragorn himself knew it was only a matter of time before the Ringwraiths attacked. Part of him did not want to reach Gondor, for it was Minas Tirith they were aiming for. Boromir did not try to hide his excitement about brining Denethor the One Ring, thought it was Faramir who seemed the most concerned about it. But Aragorn would continue with the plan, all the while hoping that Frodo was riding with all speed to Mordor. Aragorn patted the wide steering wheel and brought his eyes to the stars again, thinking of Arwen.
A splash, then, "ARAGORN!"
Gimli stood at the stern, alone, one arm opened wide with a shrug while the other pointed into the water. "That loony Elf prince just dived into the water!"
"Legolas!" Aragorn kicked Boromir in the side. "Take the wheel!" He practically leapt down the stairs to the main deck, and was at Gimli's side in seconds. Without asking any questions, Aragorn shoved his sword, the Evenstar, and the ring into the dwarf's possession, and dived into the water.
The coastal water of Middle-Earth was dense and dark and full of thick weeds that wrapped themselves around Aragorn's body. He kicked against them, straining to find Legolas in the muck. He caught sight of a bit of blond hair and swam deeper after it. The boat above them blocked out what light was left right after Aragorn managed to latch onto Legolas' cloak.
Legolas was drowning, but there was a small smile on the Elf's lips, like he'd never been so happy in his life.
Gimli was tugging his beard right off his chin. Faramir and Eowyn stood on either side of him and all three stared into the water, looking for any sign of Aragorn or Legolas. The water was completely still, as if the water itself had stopped breathing. And then it broke, exploded upwards as a body was lifted from the water.
"I got him!" Faramir thrust his arms under Legolas and pulled his limp body onto the deck. Gimli reached down for Aragorn, who latched onto his hand, spitting out water and coughing as he climbed back into the ship. Faramir carefully laid Legolas' soaked form on the deck. He pressed his ear to the Elf's lips and listened. "He's not breathing!" Faramir pounded on his chest and liquid drained from Legolas' lips. He pressed on his stomach, and more drained. Aragorn kneeled next to Faramir and rolled Legolas on his side, pounding on his back until he coughed, gasped, and breathed.
"Aragorn." Legolas shook his head back and forth and blinked through the liquid that still traveled down his forehead into his eyes. "Aragorn."
The Elf's face was tipped to the side and his eyes were glazed over as if hypnotized. He didn't seem to be able to hear or see anything. Concerned, Aragorn put the back of his hand to his friends' forehead. "He's has the fever."
"What's wrong with him?" Gimli demanded.
"But he's too young…" Aragorn was muttering to himself, "He must've been ill for weeks for this to happen…"
The ranger glanced up, "He's being called, Gimli. By Her, the Sea. Elves are summoned to the immortal lands when their time has come."
"But why is he sick? I thought Elves were bloody perfect!"
Below them, Legolas stirred in his trace and began to mutter in Elvish once more. His eyes drooped for a moment and Aragorn grabbed his hand, squeezing it gently. "Stay with me, my dear friend," he beckoned in Sindarian before muttering in the common, "Why didn't you tell me…"
After a few more moments, Legolas seemed to sense Aragorn's presence and his eyes focused on his friend's again. They were a deep brown. "Legolas?"
"Aragorn…" His eyes threatened to be weighed down once more. It began to dawn on him where he was and what had happened.
"Why did you join the Fellowship then, Legolas? You should've answered Her right away."
"I wasn't going to leave you. You offered your sword so I offered my bow, that's how it's always been, that's how it will always be."
"Legolas…" the friends stared at each other, "This will kill you before I can get you to the ship—"
"You'll do no such thing. I promised Arwen I would stay with you. We have no time to concentrate on this, no time to waste taking me to the harbor, you must go on." Legolas stared at Aragorn for a moment longer, then shut his eyes. "Forgive me…forgive me for not telling you…Aragorn…"
"Legolas—Legolas?" Legolas passed out. The fear in Gimli, Faramir and Eowyn's faces matched Aragorn's.