Title: "The Strongest of Medicines"
Author: LegolasLover2003 aka Ashley
Category: Book - "Lord of the Rings"
Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to "The Lord of the Rings". I just adore it to pieces!
Dedication: This story was written for Nina.
Author's Note: As stated, the story was written for Nina. If you're keeping up with my fanfiction timeline, this story happens during the same year as "Savior & Destroyer", only after the fact (toward the end of the year). There are some mentions to previous events within the story, but it works on it's own as a one-shot. Note that this story was supposed to be short and concise. Also... it was written in like 3 hours or less. Not my best work, but a work nevertheless. Also keep in mind that I haven't done much in the way of fiction writing for almost over a year now. I'm used to writing screenplays and so descriptions tend to get cut. I'm trying to work my way back into the description phase... but I've always been better (and more fond of) dialogue to begin with.
The Strongest of Medicines
They had been separated for only an hour, and somehow, Legolas had managed to get himself into quite a bit of trouble.
Perhaps trouble was an understatement, but now the Elf wished he had remained with the young human.
Orcs were about... and they roamed in numbers greater than Legolas had seen in quite some time.
The prince and the ranger-in-training, were on their way from Rivendell to Mirkwood. Legolas had been called back by his father, the Elvenking Thranduil for something dark had invaded the woods of his home, something which was far more dangerous than the spiders that the wood Elves were used to dealing with.
A shadow was growing, even Lord Elrond had warned of it.
Thus Aragorn had learned of his birthright earlier that year.
Even after their adventures in the mountains and Legolas' near death experiences, Thranduil had allowed his son to travel to Imladris for the birthday celebration of Elladan and Elrohir. Ever since the time that the sons of Elrond had dyed Glorfindel's hair black, Legolas had made a habit of joining the twins on their celebration day.
Needless to say, Rivendell was quite lively during that time.
But now, Aragorn and Legolas had been traveling to Mirkwood as quickly as they could. Not only would the man soon go into formal training as a Ranger, but the Lord of Imladris thought it to be ample practice for the young man to aid in combating some of the more wicked denizens of the dark.
Aragorn would be a most welcome asset to the patrols of Mirkwood, unless of course his father had something else in mind.
As it turned out, neither Elf nor man reached the Elvenking's Halls.
Since Aragorn had yet to visit Mirkwood, Legolas was trying to educate him on the halls... and on the decorum that would be expected of him. Needless to say, the man was far from thrilled with his friend's words.
"Legolas, I think I can handle myself without embarrassing your father." he had argued.
The prince sighed, looking to his friend with a shake of his head. "My father does not forget things easily, Estel. If you mess up..."
"I will not mess up."
Thus, that was how it began.
Legolas had explained the workings of his home, and each time, Aragorn felt more and more insulted.
"If I can not be myself, then what purpose is there in visiting?"
Legolas smiled softly, "Estel... You can be yourself, just do not act like..."
"Like what?" the man asked angrily. "Like a human? I am human, Legolas, unless you failed to notice that."
It had only grown worse from there.
So bad, in fact, that soon the two friends went their separate ways. Aragorn continued on north, though not taking the same route as his companion, in order to meet up with the Rangers, while Legolas made his way home.
Almost an hour later, Legolas found himself up a tree, literally, his bow drawn and an arrow notched. Orcs trampled about the forest floor beneath him, the beasts having already slain the prince's poor horse.
But it was not really the Orcs which he feared.
It was their leader.
The prince shivered, almost wrapping his arms about himself. A feel of dread was creeping over him, flowing into the forest.
"Where is it?" came a hissing whisper, the mere sound causing the Elf to cringe.
A few Orcs stopped before a cloaked figure. "We lost it, m'lord." one of the burly creatures spoke over its tusks. "Tha Elf escaped our arrows, but 'is 'orse did not."
Legolas closed his eyes, willing himself to blend into the surrounding foliage.
"He is here somewhere..." the being replied. "Find him. We can not allow the Elves to learn of our passing."
Soon, the hooded figure and the Orcs had passed on, and Legolas carefully crept down from the tree.
"Estel... where are you?" the prince whispered to himself, fearing what might become of the young man if he were to run into such dangers himself.
As Legolas began to head in the direction Aragorn had traveled, the sun started to sink below the treetops.
The Elf closed his eyes, leaning against the nearest tree. "I shall never find him if I have to keep avoiding Orc patrols..." he whispered, checking his quiver.
It was the tenth time he had checked and it was, unfortunately, still empty. He had spent them on Orc scouts that he simply could not avoid.
Now however, the archer was beginning to think that fate was against him.
A chill wafted through the trees and with it, Legolas pulled the hood of his cloak up over his long blond hair.
"I have to find him."
"Find who, Firstborn?"
The hissing sound startled Legolas, and he turned quickly, his twin knives ready in his hands.
But the being, the very same cloaked figure which had been conversing with the Orcs, simply laughed. "You can not fight me, Firstborn. None can harm me..."
As the figure spoke, a chill gathered all around them. Fear seized Legolas' heart, and for a moment, he feared he would drop his weapons.
The figure laughed once more. "Perceptive, Firstborn... but not very wise. You travel alone... these are dangerous times."
"Only because you make them so." Legolas found the courage to speak back. "What business have you beneath the forest of the Elvenking?"
The Nazgul stepped forward, drawing his sword at the same time. Carefully, Legolas took a step back, only to find himself surrounded by Orcs as well.
"Business of my own... and why does an Elf search for a lost companion?"
Narrowing his blue gaze, the prince kept his daggers ready for a fight. "Because your Orcs are keeping me from finding him."
With a laugh, the Nazgul raised his sword, pointing the tip toward the archer's heart. "You are of noble birth, Firstborn... your warrior braids make this evident. Tell me, who do you serve?"
"I serve my father," Legolas replied, realizing that this foul creature would know his true identity soon enough. "The king of these woods. You would do well too..."
"You would do well to drop your weapons." the Nazgul hissed angrily. "No Firstborn is to know of my appearance here..."
Before Legolas could respond, he realized that the Orcs were getting dangerously close. Carefully, the prince knelt down, placing his blades on the grass. But his icy gaze never left the darkness beneath the being's hood.
Laughing, the Nazgul nodded and two of the larger Orcs stepped forward, a length of corse rope in their hands.
"Even if you kill me, they will know of your passing. The trees keep watch on what goes on, and they will never fail to alert those of the wood to dangers within their boughs." the prince replied, trying his hardest to put up some form of courageous front.
Inside however, the Elf had never been so terrified in all of his life.
The Nazul's hiss burned the archer's sensitive ears, "You will give the Orcs some amusement before you meet your demise. I wonder what secrets you hold, Firstborn... Perhaps I will learn them in our time together."
One of the Orcs reached out to grasp the prince's arm, but suddenly it fell dead to the ground, an arrow buried in its chest. Legolas looked up, but he could not tell what was attacking the foul creatures.
Another Orc fell, and another, then he realized it.
The arrows were of the same make as those which Aragorn possessed.
"Estel..." the prince whispered, his hands going immediately to the twin blades before him.
At least, he would have put up a grand fight... had the sword of the Nazgul not drawn a long and deep gash down the Elf's left arm.
Legolas cried out, grasping the bleeding limb to his chest as he backed away from the hooded figure.
It was Aragorn's shout, and the man entered the small clearing, sword swinging.
There had only been a half dozen of the disgusting creatures, and in no time, the young man had felled each and every one. He turned, shaking his brown hair out of his eyes, to find Legolas backed up against a tree.
The Elf's arm was pulled tightly to his chest, blood covering the sleeve, bracer, and front of his tunic. Before him, the Nazgul loomed, its wicked blade gleaming with the prince's blood.
"I will kill you, and then destroy your pathetic human companion." the Nazgul hissed, rearing back its arm to strike.
Legolas looked upon his impending death without fear.
But Aragorn, fearing for his friend's life, stepped in between the Elf and the evil creature.
The blade of the Ranger and the Morgul sword of the Nazgul clashed. Enraged, the cloaked figure fought fiercely, driving Aragorn back on his heels and pressing the Ranger for all of his skills and quick wit.
"Legolas! Run!" the man shouted, holding his own... for the moment.
The prince shook his head, "I shall not leave you." he replied, rushing to one of the nearby Orc corpses.
Quickly, Legolas took up one of the fallen Orc's bows. Blood covered his fingers, making it hard to grip the weapon. But the prince pulled back, letting an arrow fly into the fell creature.
Turning, the Nazgul screamed at the Elf, but it was out of anger, not pain.
Having been given a moment of reprieve, Aragorn dashed from the battle. He grabbed Legolas' fallen daggers in the process, running toward the Elf. Legolas ran with him, both hurrying into the cover of the trees as the Nazgul screamed out its rage.
"Legolas, are you..."
"Just run." the prince replied, and soon they came upon Aragorn's horse.
Both companions took to the beast, the horse quickly ferrying them back in the direction of Rivendell.
Legolas winced, holding his still bleeding arm close. "We have to warn my father..."
"He will be warned." Aragorn replied as he urged the horse on faster. "But you have been cut by a Morgul blade, Legolas. We have to get you to Rivendell."
Not far into their journey, Aragorn was forced to stop and look to the prince's wound. The Elf had begun to show signs of shock, and Estel wanted to try to do all he could for his friend's pain.
No matter how many times he saw the sanguine liquid, it never ceased to amaze him that afterwards, he would be patched up and feeling better given time and healing.
But each time the Elven archer wondered if the blood he saw would be the last thing he would view in his immortal life.
Legolas blinked, having found himself staring at the blood which pooled beneath him. The life-giving liquid was flowing from a tremendous gash in his arm, coating the forest floor and the blanket upon which he was laying.
Above the Elf, Aragorn was quickly trying to staunch that bleeding. He was putting pressure on the wound, but the bandages were becoming saturated.
"Aragorn..." Legolas whispered, seeing the worry in his friend's eyes, not to mention the fact that he was beginning to feel quite cold.
Grey eyes caught the prince's blue gaze, "Legolas, can you feel anything? Pain or cold or...?"
"Cold" the Elf replied quickly. "My father... Aragorn... They... they wish to regain what was once theirs... We have to hurry..."
The man shook his head, "I have to get you back home." he whispered, packing up the supplies and loading them onto his horse. "Can you walk?"
Legolas nodded weakly, and with Aragorn's help, eventually managed to mount the horse. Aragorn jumped up behind the Elf, and the two took off without a moment's hesitation toward Rivendell.
Halfway through the journey... Legolas lost consciousness.
Legolas screamed, his blue eyes snapping open.
"Calm down, mellon nin." came a voice from above.
Hands were holding the Elf down, trying to keep him from trashing about on what the prince realized was a bed.
"Let me go!" Legolas shouted hoarsely.
"Legolas, Legolas it is me."
The prince blinked, the haze over his blue eyes disappearing. He saw Aragorn leaning over his prone form, as well as the faces of Elladan and Elrohir.
He was obviously very confused. "El... Ro... Estel..." the Elf whispered. "Where... Where am I?"
Elladan smiled, "In Rivendell, Legolas."
His twin nodded. "Estel brought you here... half dead."
"Half alive." came a third voice, and Legolas was relieved to see that it was Lord Elrond himself. "You had me worried, Legolas." the healer spoke seriously. "Estel told me it was the blade of a Nazgul, a Morgul weapon, which caused your wound."
Exhausted, Legolas closed his eyes, leaning back against the pillows. "They have infiltrated Mirkwood..." the prince whispered. "I have to tell..."
"Word has been sent to Thranduil." Elrond added, "He will soon know of the evil beneath his trees, and of his son's condition."
The twins smiled, "He will certainly be surprised to get another letter about Legolas." Elrohir pipped up.
One glare from the Elven Lord however, made the two grimace.
Elladan grabbed his brother's shoulders. "Come, let us make ourselves scarce before ada decides it is time for Legolas to have no visitors."
The twins left, giving the prince their wishes for his recovery. Soon, even Elrond departed as well, though not before changing the bandages on the archer's left arm.
"Legolas..." Aragorn whispered, having said nothing since the prince had woken.
Blue eyes locked on the man's grey ones. "Estel, I..."
"Forgive me, Legolas. If I had not grown angry..."
But the exhausted Elf shook his head, his blond hair laying loosely over the pillow. "No... It was my fault, Aragorn. I should never have..."
"Do not call me that."
This confused Legolas, and that confusion was evident in his gaze.
Sighing, Aragorn turned away from the Elf. "You were unconscious for days, Legolas. During that time, I was able to reflect on everything which happened. You were so terribly hurt... you very nearly died!" he looked back to his friend. "And it was my fault! I became angry with you, with the notion that I knew nothing of proper decorum... but the truth is..." he sighed once more, but it was Legolas who spoke next.
"Your station will require it of you one day, mellon nin." the prince whispered, his mind and body far more tired than he could have thought possible.
"Exactly..." Aragorn replied. "I keep running from the truth, but the truth... the truth keeps getting you hurt and... and I fear that one day..."
Legolas gasped, grabbing his injured arm and curling into a ball. Quickly, the man was at his side, holding a cup of hot tea.
"Drink this, Legolas." the ranger whispered, and the prince quickly obliged.
After a few moments, the pain passed and Legolas relaxed, laying back upon the pillows.
Aragorn sat down next to him on the bed, looking even more depressed than he had earlier. "You are hurt because of me."
"I am hurt," Legolas whispered, looking at his bandaged arm.
The limb lay in a sling, resting against his chest.
"I am hurt because I was weak, Aragorn... not because of your bravery. If you had not come, I would be dead now."
The man said nothing, but he did not turn his gaze from the prince again.
Legolas smiled softly, "You saved me, Aragorn... you always save me."
"And I always get you into trouble..."
The prince laughed, "True... but one day, I promise to drag you into a crazy adventure and get you into an equal amount of trouble, agreed?"
At this, Estel smiled. "It would be nice to be the one hurt next time. I do get so very tired of tending your wounds." he said, a glint of mischievousness sparkling in his grey eyes.
"My wounds?" Legolas argued. "Hardly, human. You should consider it an honor to tend to a prince."
Silence stretched between the two, until neither could contain their laughter any longer.
That laughter filled the room and warmed the hearts of all who heard it.
Elrond smiled as laughter came from behind the closed door. He had remained outside of Legolas' chambers, for he wished to know of anything which Estel might have left out.
To hear them joking and laughing...
It did his heart good.
And he knew that it would heal Legolas faster than any herb or poultice ever could.
Friendship was, perhaps, the strongest of all medicines.