A/N – Sorry it took so long for me to update… see end A/N for why…
LOTR is not mine.
The rock was easier to climb than Aragorn had first assumed, allowing him to reach the ledge quickly. Levering himself up he could see the hem of an Elven cloak from around the rest of the cliff as it continued to reach for the sky.
No answer. Worried, Aragorn rounded the stone. The sight of his best friend shook Aragorn's heart far worse than he had ever thought possible. The cloak's cowl had been partially blown back to reveal blood-stained cheeks and half open, glazed Elven eyes.
Aragorn quickly knelt down next to Legolas. Fearful, Aragorn hesitantly touched the Elf's shoulder. "Legolas? Can you hear me?"
Legolas did not answer. He did not move at all or give any sign that he had heard the Ranger speak. Aragorn gently touched the Elf's cheek, deathly pale under the streaks of blood. It was as cold - no. It was colder than ice.
Glancing over Legolas' body Aragorn did not see any obvious signs of injury, but that did not mean anything. Some poisons needed only the smallest contact with the bloodstream or even bare skin to take effect. Not to mention the gaseous ones.
"Aragorn? Is he okay?"
Aragorn glanced over the edge at the worried Dwarf. "I'm not sure, Gimli. He's unconscious right now. I'm going to bring him down and examine him. Think you can catch his weapons?"
Knowing that the Elf would murder him for damaging his prized weapons, Gimli gulped but nodded, leaning Aragorn's own sword against the wall. Aragorn tossed the bow down first, which was easy enough to catch. The quiver with the two long knives was a bit more of a problem, but not by much. Gimli loaded them all onto his back, grabbed the sword and waited for Aragorn and Legolas.
Aragorn slowly scooped his friends' limp body into his arms and then over one shoulder. Trying not to think of how he'd carried Frodo in the same manner not long ago, Aragorn slowly descended from the Elf's chosen refuge.
Reaching the catwalk Aragorn was greeted by Gimli who peered at the Elf. "There's blood on his cheeks!" he cried out. "And you call that unsure if he's hurt or not?"
Shifting Legolas' light body into his arms, he gave Gimli a stern look. "Lower your voice, Gimli. The blood on his face is tears."
Gimli looked shocked as they headed for the main structure of Helm's Deep. "Tears of blood?" he whispered. "What would cause that in an Elf?"
Aragorn didn't answer; he didn't know himself.
King Theoden himself met Aragorn as he entered the hall bearing the limp Elf and trailing an irate and worried Dwarf loaded with weapons.
The king stared at him. "So what the men are saying is true," he said, bowing his head slightly to Aragorn. "You did survive your fall. The Rangers of the North must be resilient indeed for you to have survived a fall like that."
Then Theoden's gaze fell on what Aragorn cradled protectively in his arms. "He vanished soon after the battle ended, but he fought with the courage of many men, and with I fear no worry about preserving his own life; no fear of his own death." Theoden motioned for them to follow him. "Come. You may use my personal quarters to care for him."
Aragorn looked at him sharply. "'No worry about preserving his own life'?" he demanded softly as he followed the king. "What are you talking about?"
"The look on his face when I said to leave the dead looked like he either wanted to kill me or throw himself off the cliff after you, Aragorn." Theoden replied. "You have a very strong bond of friendship with him, do you not?"
"Yes," Aragorn whispered as Theoden led them into a medium-sized room, complete with a bed and two chairs. "Yes, we do."
An examination of the unconscious Elf revealed nothing other than the occasional bloody tear that still fell from his pale eyes which were staring quite unblinkingly, trance-like ahead. His body temperature also continued to drop, and his breathing grew shallower and sporadic.
Legolas now rested on the bed covered in as many blankets as could be spared, which, sadly, were very few. Gimli sat in one of the chairs next to the bed, his dark eyes rooted on his friend. Occasionally he would place a damp cloth over Legolas' open eyes to keep the moist. The Elf's quickened breathing when this was done was the only thing that kept Aragorn and Gimli from keeping them covered. Faintly Aragorn remembered one of Legolas' few fears was of losing his sight.
Aragorn was pacing as sunlight faded to darkness, visible through the single slit window of the room. The Ranger was running over what few symptoms his best friend was showing and trying to find a viable explanation for it all. He had barely taken the time to tend his own injuries, choosing to instead spend his time trying to figure out what was wrong with his best friend.
Gimli straightened in his seat suddenly. "Aragorn!" he called, softly but anxiously. "I think he's waking up! Leastways, I think he's speaking. Sounds like Elvish."
Aragorn rushed over to the bed. Sure enough, Legolas' lips were moving, whispering words in Elvish with breaths that sounded forced and painful. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Aragorn placed a hand on each of the Elf's shoulders, shaking him gently.
"Legolas, wake up. Please, wake up, my friend. Legolas?"
Leaning forward slightly, Aragorn began to understand just what Legolas was saying.
"…And lost you to darkness.
I was supposed to be your guardian angel
But lost you; didn't even get to say farewell
Promised myself to never let you fall
But I didn't count on Fate's deathly call
Forgive me, my friend, for I failed
Now may my sight of the stars forever be veiled
Never shall I cross the sea
Just hope your spirit always remains free
How could I have failed to save you?
It is because of me dawns' lighting is a blood-red hue
Can't hold on to myself for much longer
Always wishing I had been stronger
Stepping gladly forward to receive my punishment
Oh, my friend, upon my what is your judgment?
We were together through whatever Fate and Time chose to bring
I would never have changed that anything
Stepping off the cliff with my angel wings tucked in
Ending this pain coming from within
Dawns' coming will hear my mourning cry
As I breathe my last and sigh
Our friendship story has been told; it is time
It has ended with bells ringing Death's chime
It is time for me to fade
Facing the eternal pain, touching naught a blade
Didn't mind the consequence of giving you my trust, my heart
You will always be my hope even as death us part
My life fades along with my soul
Weeping tears of red for the one Death stole
Whispering as I breathe my last
Saying goodbye to one who has passed
I love you, my friend and my brother
Please forgive me for failing you."
A/N – To those of you whom I told that I would be updating that weekend (last weekend) I apologize. The writing program on my laptop refused to open up anything that I had written so I had to install a new one last night. As you can all see it is working.
I'm not happy about the lament Legolas recites in this chapter, since - to me - it doesn't sound Elvish, but it was the best I could do.
Don't forget to review, please!