Healing

Summary: During a battle gone amiss, Legolas is horribly injured and must struggle to hold onto his life. Can a certain ranger drive the darkness away and help his friend heal?

Disclaimer: I don't own lotr.

Reviews...: are loved and deeply appreciated.

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Do not pray for lighter burdens but for stronger backs…-unknown

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With one last slash of his twin knives, the orc in front of Legolas fell, clutching at his torn throat. Exhausted, Legolas halfheartedly flicked the tar-like blood from his knives and inhaled a deep breath of crisp air. Dismay gripped the elven prince and he leaned against a tree for support, surveying the massacre in front of his eyes. His people were failing… Orcs had ambushed their camp early that morning, somehow catching the large patrol of elves unaware. The orcs had used the shock of their attack to its full advantage by first slaughtering the elves on guard-the only ones in camp armed at the time, and then using their sheer mass of numbers to overwhelm the ten wood elves left.

A sickly wail brought Legolas out of his thoughts and he turned just in time to see an elf fall dead to the ground only a few feet away. The orc that had killed the elf slowly ripped out its scimitar embedded within its victim's back and turned to face Legolas, raising his lips to reveal blood-stained, rotten teeth in what was supposedly a smile. Rage coursed through Legolas as steadfast as his pounding heart and despite the deep wound acquired earlier that was puncturing his side and making him dizzy from lack of blood; he leapt forward and attacked the murderer of his kin with all that was left in him.

The orc barely raised his blade in time to make contact with Legolas's knives but effectively blocked the next flash of their onslaught. Legolas hissed in frustration and feinted to the right while carving his left knife in a long arc across the orc's stomach. The knife sliced through a layer of protective leather and the orc swung around, black matted hair flying with a swish while he kicked out with the strength of a horse and struck Legolas in the hip. For a few terrifying seconds, Legolas felt his grace and balance desert him as he reeled away from the powerful blow. Just as he was sure that he would fall and that would be the end of it, his feet found their way beneath him once more and he nimbly sidestepped away from another orc.

But the orc he was fighting was ready. Somehow it moved with speed that would have rivaled even an elf's and brought its scimitar down over Legolas's head in what would have been a skull splitting strike, but fortunately Legolas's reflexes were not hindered by his injury in the desperate moment. He blocked the scimitar with one of his knives while directing its powerful force harmlessly to the side of his body and at the same time twisted to the right and stabbed the orc in the chest with his other knife. It screamed and instinctively recoiled, allowing Legolas another chance to pierce its leather armor with his knives, but before he could end its life he was jostled to the side by another orc battling ferociously with an elf, and he was swept away in the tide of battle.

"Legolas!"

Amid the clanging of metal, the moans of the injured and even the screaming of the new orc he was ripping into, Legolas heard the arrow whistle through the air and he looked up in time to notice who had shouted the warning. Springing out of the arrow's path he turned just as it embedded itself into the back of an orc behind him. He threw another glance up at the archer partially concealed by brush who was inconspicuously mowing down the host of orcs. The last shot seemed to have alerted the few remaining orcs who still outnumbered the waning elves.

"Rymthor!" Legolas shouted a warning and charged towards the archer.

Rymthor glanced up in surprise and his face crumpled in a sort of desolate horror as a pair of orcs surged towards him from either side. He wasn't prepared…

Legolas rushed ahead to help but a line of fire erupted across his stomach, over his already wounded side and onto his back. As Legolas fell, screaming, the world seemed to shrink around him and a great buzzing filled his ears like a swarm of insects, although Legolas did not miss the arrow that sliced over his head, burying itself into the orc behind him with his blood on its blade. Then the world turned black and all was quiet…

Legolas opened his eyes and panted, unable to catch his breath. He was lying face down on the spongy grass, the metallic scent of blood on his body, in his mouth and all around him. It took a moment for him to realize what had happened. The battle! Legolas painfully raised his head and peered up as best he could but all there was to observe was the carnage that he contributed to. The sight of his elves lying side by side with their murderers and those they had killed both appalled and disturbed him at the same time. Nobody moved and Legolas was afraid to stir in case any of the orcs were still alive.

After a few moments though, he decided that the idea was a waste of time. It was his responsibility to help his people and he might be able to defend himself if there was any threat. Trying to ignore the pulsing pain from his wound, he waited for a movement but still elf and orc alike did not stir. Had any of his people survived? He did not have the immediate chance to find out, for a spasm of coughs racked his body. When the fit subsided he lay there exhausted, unable to spit the blood from his mouth or draw in enough air to satisfy his lungs.

Summoning his strength he opened his eyes and stared straight ahead at the face of an orc lying near him. Its face was carved in a silent scream with its eyes tightly screwed shut. Tar-like blood trickled from the arrow sticking out from its chest. Vaguely, Legolas wondered if it was one of the orcs he killed before he had run out of arrows. Suddenly it blinked and a pair of agonized eyes focused on Legolas.

Horror flooded through the elven prince and he instinctively tried to shuffle away but the movement made it feel like a knife was being twisted into his wound and his eyes watered as the pain filled every fiber of his body. The orc growled and rose into a half sitting position but it had not the strength and collapsed weakly back to the ground where it lay gasping weakly for breath.

Fascinated at the angle of the arrow within the orc's chest that had unfortunately missed the heart by a mere inch, Legolas scrutinized the shot and with surprise, realized that it was the last orc that had been shot by Rymthor which meant that this was the orc that had wounded him. It seemed almost ironic that this orc was the only one seemingly still alive.

His mind returned back to the situation he was in as fresh throbs coursed through his body. It was impossible to reach his wound in order to treat it since he could barely move without emitting excruciating pain. Grimacing, Legolas felt the pain ebb up and down as he watched the expanding puddle of his blood beside him and he knew that if he didn't stop the flow of blood, there would be no chance for survival.

Gritting his teeth, he inched forward with deliberate slowness, trying to ignore his protesting body. When he finally made it all the way to the elf laying close beside him, he shuddered, breathing shallowly and squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the pain to subside. When it faded slightly, he reached forward and slowly unclasped the elf's cloak, moaning as he agonizingly lifted himself up slightly enough to slide the wadded up cloak under his wound, hoping that applying pressure by lying on it would slow the bleeding. He lay there once more, his energy utterly spent.

Opening his eyes, he peered at the orc which lay wheezing from its popped lung. It did not move except for the rapid rise and fall of its chest.

Legolas wondered if any of his people were alive and wounded as he was. "Can anyone hear me?" He rasped, choking on the blood in his mouth.

No one answered.

The orc growled and its yellow eyes fastened upon his once more and they lay there waiting for one of their own kind to find them, to save them from this nightmare. But there were no footsteps on the ground, no rustle of the grass and soon it became clear that neither orc nor elf was coming for them. Hours wavered by with no apparent haste and as time seemed to drip into eternity, Legolas drifted in and out of consciousness, delusional and fevered.

When he finally gripped his mind enough to enter out of a state of unawareness, it was night and the full moon cast her beams of unearthly light upon the destruction of the clearing. Swords and armor gleamed dully and the dark stains of blood were illuminated on the earth. Legolas groaned as he shifted slightly and glanced at the orc with the arrow in its chest, glassy eyes catching the moon light. It was dead, and Legolas realized that for the first time he was completely and utterly alone.

The coldness creeping into his body was unbearable and he shivered although the night air was warm. His wound felt like it was on fire even though the rest of his body felt like ice, and although the pain was unbearably extensive, a different type of pain pricked his heart like a thorn. This was not how he wanted to die, slowly and alone. His eyes wandered to the stars that hung suspended in the air as they watched over him. He wondered if his father was looking at the same stars right now, for gazing at the heavens each night was a habit that the king has taken a liking to. How would Thranduil react when he didn't return? The thought made his heart sick. The king had already lost his wife which caused the king to nearly succumb to death. Thranduil did not deserve to lose his only son after what had already happened.

The thought of death wore at Legolas's mind and left him unable to think of anything besides it and the pain in his body. Like all of his kind, he did not understand death. It was something that the rest of the world felt and experienced but elves were immortal. Most did not die and those that did were never seen again. Their bodies were left behind but their souls were simply gone. It frightened him to think that the elves of Middle Earth would mourn his passing for a time, but eventually he would fade from his people's hearts and even those who loved him would be unable to hold his memories safe from the theft of time…

It was so quiet, so unbelievably silent that not even Legolas's acute hearing, unimpeded by his bodily damage could trace any sound in the night. He closed his eyes again only to awake when his body heaved and writhed against his will, plagued by a fit of spasms. The pain was so intense that after Legolas finished coughing up blood and vomit his breath left him and the foggy haze of death hovered along the surface of his mind.

A flash of insight suddenly bombarded his dying being. The blade that had cut him had poisoned him. Legolas had heard stories of cruel orcs occasionally dipping their weapons in their own lethal brews and he knew now the rumors to be true. It made sense now as to why he was so weak, numb, cold and ill. The wound was healable with medical attention but the poison added an entirely different dimension.

With a gasp he drew in air to his desperate lungs and ignored his protesting wounds. A shadow fell across the clearing and Legolas tilted his head up in time to witness an ominous swollen rain cloud conceal the moon with one cruel motion. The light of the moon had been comforting to him and now it was gone, claimed by shadow, as his own life was about to be. As if to add a new level to his misery, the rain clouds above him burst open and cold, wet raindrops struck the ground sporadically at first until they fell thickly through the air, drenching whatever they came in contact with as lightning angrily scratched at the sky.

As the water mingled with his blood, Legolas released tears he had long been holding and they splashed the ground like the rain above him. No one was coming, at least not in time and he was condemned to suffering alone and forgotten, surrounded by the bodies of those he had loved and hated. It was hopeless, he knew and he let the feeling take over him completely, knowing it would be the last emotion he felt before his life would be claimed. And so the elf waited for death, lost amongst the rage of the storm above and the depths of the despair within him…

TBC...


A/N:Poor Legolas. So what did you guys think? Please review. :D