A/N - Alternate event/AU. Legolas is dying after the battle of Helm's Deep. Aragorn never made it back before the battle. The loss of Aragorn was already killing him, and the self-loathing over not being able to bring down the torch-carrying Uruk down had merely sped things up. Will Legolas die from a broken heart before his friends can save him? Can they bring back Legolas from the brink of death when the Elf thinks all is lost?
NOTE: This is an Aragon/Legolas FRIENDSHIP, NOT SLASH!!
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5/29/07 UPDATE: - As some of my reviewers kindly pointed out I had some typos as far as the names of Aragorn and Isengard and the Elvish word for friend, mellon. The Elvish word I knew how to spell but my computer auto-corrected it. These have all been (hopefully) been corrected. THANK YOU!!!
Chapter One - A Terrible Price
Gimli stared out at the carnage both around and below his position. The sun, now completely above the eastern horizon cast its light onto the dead; Elves, Men and Uruk-Hai. The disgusting, evil creatures were far better this way, the Dwarf reflected. But the others…they didn't deserve this sad fate. Some of the surviving Men were sorting through the bodies of the dead, piling the Uruks together and torching them. The dead warriors - both Man and Elf - were gently set aside to be buried in the proper warrior fashion. There were so many. Their victory had come at a terrible price.
He shook his head sadly as he turned away from the sight. If Gandalf, Eomer and his men hadn't shown up what few survivors there were would never have made it, this Gimli was aware of. But even if they had arrived sooner, there was one soul they could never have hoped to have saved; Aragorn. The Ranger and heir to the throne of Gondor had died in a battle with Warg riders on the way to Helm's Deep, falling off a cliff so they couldn't even mourn over his body.
Sadly Gimli remembered the tortured look on the Elf's face when the dying Orc had taunted them about the death of their friend, Aragorn's pendant clutched in his dirty, clawed hand. The depth of anguish in Legolas' eyes when he realized his best friend was truly gone pained the Dwarf no end. During the battle at Helm's Deep the Elf had been at least partially able to ignore the pain of the loss. Until…
Gimli shook his head again and muttered a Dwarfish curse to himself as he remembered Haldir's frantic shouts to Legolas to bring down the huge Uruk who was carrying a blazing torch that was unfazed by the pouring rain. The Uruk was headed right for the small drainage culvert, the only imperfection of the whole wall. Legolas had fired two of his deadly arrows into the beast, but it never slowed. The resulting explosion killed many of Legolas' fellow Elves as well as many Men. It also allowed the Uruks to gain entry to Helm's Deep much more swiftly than merely breaching the wall by going over it.
And so after the battle the Elf had climbed atop one of the rocky spires near the highest point of Helm's Deep to grieve for the loss of his fellow Elves. But even more so over the loss of his best friend. None of the remaining Men would even dare to approach the area where the Elf was, let alone try and scale the stones to reach the grieving Elf.
Legolas had also sought solitude for one other reason; to die. But Gimli was unaware of that little detail.
Legolas sat with his back to the stony outcropping of his refuge, one knee drawn up to his chest and the other bent and at an angle on the ground. His weapons - bow, quiver and knives - were cast carelessly aside on the ground a few feet away from him. The gray Elven cloak was pulled tightly around his thin frame, and the cowl pulled up.
Legolas' eyes were closed as his mind writhed mind in turmoil and real, physical pain tore at his heart. It was all his fault. He'd shot two arrows into the creature, Valar curse it! But it had not been enough. He had killed many of his fellow Immortal Beings as well as Men with his carelessness and lack of speed and strength. Aragon would not have missed that shot…
Aragorn. Legolas hated where his thoughts led him, to his closest friend. His dead closest friend. He could not think of a way he might have helped - no, saved the Ranger, but there must have been something he could have done. Something…
Legolas felt pain growing in his heart, as if all the blades of Mordor and Isengard had been thrust into his chest simultaneously. Slowly, shakily, Legolas placed a hand to his heart. He knew what was going on. Long ago he and Aragorn had forged a friendship stronger than many could ever hope to have. Each would rather die hundreds of times over than to allow harm to come to the other. The power of their love for each other had bound their hearts closer than blood ever could have.
The Elf knew what he had been getting into - that he could very well be signing his own death warrant the day he had fully trusted the Man called Aragorn, a Ranger from the North as a close friend with his heart. He had known that it was possible that he would die out of grief and self-loathing were Aragorn to fall, and he could have done something - anything to stop it.
Legolas leaned his head back against the stones, eyes open to stare almost unseeingly at the sky. "Ai, Aragorn. Where are you now, mellon-nin? Has your soul found the rest and peace you deserve?" he whispered softly. "I pray it is so. You more than deserve the peace the good of heart receive within the Halls."
A blood red tear slowly ran down his pale cheek. Absently the Elf swiped his hand over it, only to blink in confusion when he saw the color of his own tear. Then he knew what was happening.
Unlike Aewen who was fading away because of her romantic love for Aragorn, Legolas' heart was being - quite literally - torn in two over his grief over Aragorn's death and because of the self-hate over being powerless to stop his friend's death. All because he loved Aragorn, his friend and brother.
True, the many deaths placed upon his head the moment he failed to bring down the Uruk with the torch also weighed down his heart, but nowhere near as much as the passing of his closest friend and brother.
More tears slowly fell unbidden from Legolas' pale eyes, all of them red. He kept a hand pressed to his heart as if that would ease the pain of his dying - and breaking - heart.
"Oh, Aragorn. Why did it have to end this way for us?" Legolas murmured. "Why did you have to die in this fashion, with your body unburied and your dreams and goals never realized?" The Elf choked. "Why did you have to fall? Why was I unable to save you? It should have been me…"
Gimli could just barely see the Elf's cloak from his position on the catwalk below. "Legolas?" he called softly. "Lad? Won't you come down from there?"
No answer. No movement or acknowledgement at all. Not that the Dwarf had expected anything, though he had hoped. "I'm staying right here until you come back down, Master Elf!"
Still no answer. Not knowing whether Legolas had heard him or not and not caring, Gimli seated himself down to wait, whether it for was hours or even days. Nothing was too much for his new-found friend.
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/\Suicidal Black Butterfly/\