Lost to Darkness, Rescued in Light
Summary: Instead of making it through with the others, Legolas falls down with the stairs in Moria. Aragorn knew his elf friend was stubborn, but he was about to know just HOW stubborn the teasing prissy elf could be.
Disclaimers: I don't own LotR.
Alright, I'm walking on grounds I've never been on before. Never written this kind of fic before, so hopefully LotR-fans will not kill me if I write something wrong.
Boromir grabbed Merry and Pippin and jumped to the other side. He made it despite his two companions clinging to him and turned around. Now there was only Aragorn, Sam, Frodo and Legolas left on the other side of the stairs. The shaking continued, and the cracks in the stone stairs got louder. Aragorn quickly lifted Sam and Boromir held his arms out, ready to catch the hobbit. The others watched anxiously.
Aragorn then readied himself with Frodo and looked at the elf. He motioned for his human friend to jump. The Ranger looked worriedly at him but the blonde elf smiled and repeated the gesture, silently saying he should go with the Ring-bearer. Aragorn jumped and Boromir and Gimli helped them as Frodo nearly lost his balance and fell backwards.. The Ranger then turned around, meeting bright blue eyes.
"Come on, Legolas!" Aragorn shouted over the noise.
The Sindar readied himself but suddenly looked down as a large crack was heard. Then, in front of his eight companions, the stairs he was standing on disappeared beneath his feet and Legolas fell. He heard the Ranger shout his name, desperately and he looked up into wide, terrified grey eyes. Then his body hit a stone and he was flung violently aside with a shout of pain.
Aragorn could only watch in horror as his life-long friend tumbled into darkness. His limbs felt numb and it felt like he could not move. Gandalf pulled on his arm, dragged him up and forced his body to move, to come with them. The Ranger moved automatically but all he could see was his friend's blue eyes, wide in surprise and fear.
His friend, the Prince of Mirkwood, was gone.
Legolas had no idea what was up or what was down. Sometimes he swallowed water and he would then move so he could spit the water out and hopefully gain some sort of order in his sluggish and beated mind. He had no idea where he was, or where this river was leading. He had already encountered two falls, and heard a third closing in. He had no desire falling down once more and tried to grab something with his scraped hands, to latch onto something but the walls were slippery and his hands and body was so cold. The river was moving too fast, approaching the fall too fast. Thankfully, the elf lost consciousness before his body reached the fall.
Aragorn felt like there was no use in continuing. In the matter of a half hour, he had lost not only one, but two friends. Gandalf had followed Legolas into the darkness of Moria. He felt tears burn behind his eyes, but refused to let them fall.
He looked over the others. Boromir was holding the almost hysterical dwarf back, trying to stay calm himself. Pippin was in tears while Merry was holding him. Frodo had sunk on his knees and Sam was sitting with him. He wanted to succumb to his tears as well, but fully knew Gandalf trusted him with this. He had put the leadership onto the Ranger's shoulders.
"We cannot stop," he said and they looked up at him. "Lothlórien is not far from here; we need to go there as quickly as we can."
"Lothlórien?" Gimli asked. "Why there?"
"Orcs does not go in there," Aragorn said. "Not where I was planning we should go. And there I can send a message… about Legolas."
"To whom?" Boromir asked.
"To his father," the man said.
"Can't that wait?" Frodo asked. "Let him live with the belief his son is alive for a little longer."
"I would love to, but that is impossible," Aragorn said, looking towards the forest in the distance. "That is the sad part."
"Why?" Gimli asked.
"A king must know if his heir to the throne is dead."
"What?" the hobbits asked. Boromir and Gimli stared at him.
"Legolas was a Prince," Aragorn said bitterly, looking away from the beautiful scene. He could not stand it. "The only heir to Thranduil, the Elven king in Mirkwood. I promised I would protect Legolas, and I failed."
He began to move down hill, and soon the others followed him.
"There is something in the water!"
The clear voice echoed amongst the trees and elves looked up. One elf pointed into the water.
"What is it?" Haldir, the leader of the group, called out. "An Orc?"
"No!" the elf continued. "It… it's an elf!"
Haldir hurried so he could see who it was. If it was one of his men… no, it could not be. They were all there.
He peered into the river and his eyes opened wide. He could recognize that elf anywhere. He quickly scrambled down to the shore, and into the water. He grabbed the elf and heaved the body up on his shoulder. The light-blonde hair hid the face from view now, and Haldir dearly hoped he was still alive.
He came to the shore and put the smaller elf down gently, stroking the wet hair away to get a better look. The Sindar's face was paler than usual and his body was covered in cuts and bruises. The Silvan elf was startled when clear blue eyes snapped open. He could not help but smile.
Gimli was more than reluctant to walk into the forest, but then seemed to remember Legolas had walked into a place where dwarves ruled and promptly did not complain anymore. The hobbits stayed close to each other and the two humans and the dwarf moved around the four to protect them.
Suddenly Aragorn spotted an elf and held out his arm so everyone would stop. He frowned as the elf stepped out in the open; normally they sneaked up on you. He knew that better than anyone else in his group; he had been frightened to death more than once by playful elves.
He recognized the elf as one of the guards of Lothlórien he had met long ago, Haldir. He and Legolas had been just in time to see the guard elf off, since it was a short visit to Elrond from Galadriel. The mere memory brought despair to his heart. Said guard elf smiled a bit and said:
"Come. We have been waiting."
Here they all stared at him. He gave out a laugh, similar to Legolas' clear one and said:
"The Lady of Light shall explain it all to you. Come."
They moved through Caras Galadhon, following Haldir's unhurried pace. The hobbits, particular Sam, could not help but admire the trees, the buildings and most of all, the elves. They were dressed in silvery colours accompanying wooden ones. The elves' curiosity made even Gimli relax slightly. Some of the elves followed, not even trying to hide their interest as they eyed the hobbits and whispered among themselves. They spoke with Haldir sometimes, rapidly and not even Frodo could understand them.
They came to a stairwell and the elves all moved back as Haldir began walking up. The Fellowship followed. Aragorn felt the guilt was eating him up, and he wondered how he was supposed to give message to Thranduil that his only remaining son was now dead. He himself had yet to accept it. His heart sunk lower and lower for each step. If Legolas had been here with them, he would have admired Lothlórien just as the others, with the Sindar next to him, excited and wanting to explore immediately. For being a Prince, Legolas acted more like a small Elfling than a son to a king. His laughter was enough to lighten even the darkest corners of Aragorn's mind, and the mischief in those blue eyes made the Ranger laugh himself. The teasing smile was never far away from the Sindar elf, and now Aragorn was nearly choking back sobs when he thought he would never see it again.
He would never hear that laughter again, never seeing that smile… he would never be able to go to Mirkwood without feeling sick to his stomach.
Their arrival startled him from his depressing thoughts and he looked up. In front of them stood a tall female elf with stunning blonde hair and shining white clothing. Galadriel, Lady of Light. She walked up to them slowly and looked at them all in turn.
"You are seven," she finally said in Westron. "You were nine in the beginning."
"We lost two of our companions to the shadows of Moria," Aragorn said and bowed his head. "Gandalf the Grey and Legolas of Mirkwood."
Galadriel watched the Ranger carefully. She then looked upon each of them and said:
"You must all be tired. Haldir, please let our guests rest. But please… Estel, walk with me."
Everyone looked confused and practically gaped when Aragorn stepped up and let the fair elf lead him away.
She looked behind her shoulder until she was certain the others were gone. Then she turned to Aragorn and said:
"Tell me; have you learned anything about a stubbornness of an elf?"
"More than enough," he replied.
"How about a certain elf's stubbornness?"
"He was a mere Elfling when I first lay my eyes upon him," Galadriel said. "Shining blonde hair like his father and clever blue eyes. He charmed anyone he wanted."
The Ranger's heart clenched painfully. She could only describe one person.
"Why are you telling me this?" he said and looked away.
She caught his chin and turned his head back to her. A smile was playing on her lips.
"Have you lost faith in Greenleaf's stubbornness that easily?" she asked.
"No one, not even Legolas, could have survived that fall."
"I would have believed you, if not for the proof we have."
She led him instead of speaking. They came to a tent of a sort, and Aragorn could see only one bed inside. There laid one person there on the bed, and a… a very familiar bow was sitting on the chair nearby along with two familiar knives. His heart began pumping faster and faster.
"It cannot be…" he whispered.
"It was Haldir who found him," she said gently as she stepped inside the tent. "He was floating down the river that goes under Moria before reaching this forest. How he survived all the falls and heavy currents will be a mystery until he tells us. He was only awake long enough to tell us about you coming to us."
"He did not know that," the human said breathlessly as he slowly stepped closer to the bed.
"But he made a guess," she replied. "He has heavy bruising but he will be fine in a day or two."
Aragorn carefully cupped Legolas' face in his hands. The elf's eyes were closed, a sign that he was not under a normal sleep and he was tucked in between warm blankets. He had been cleaned up but the human could see he had heavy bruises and Legolas' left temple had a angry bruise that stood out violently against his pale skin.
"I wanted you to first see him," she said. "I will have a message sent to your companions of his status."
Aragorn nodded absently, sitting down on the bed with Legolas' face still in his hands. He never noticed Galadriel leaving with a smile on her face.
Legolas felt something warm on both of his cheeks. In fact, his cold body felt warm and sluggishly content now. He took a deeper breath and slowly came out from his dimmed sleep. The first thing his eyes met was a pair of grey ones. He blinked and saw none other than Aragorn.
"Legolas?" the human said softly and the Sindar could at first only look at him like he had never seen a more beautiful sight. The Ranger looked worse for wear; his hair was dirty as usual, his eyes had shadows within them and his lower lip was trembling every so faintly.
"Estel," came his whispered reply a few moments later.
"Your stubbornness will never, ever cease to amaze me you pointy ears!" the Ranger whispered, a grin breaking out. Unshed tears made his eyes shine.
"As if you are to talk, smelly human," he whispered back, coughing weakly.
"Do not speak," the future king said, rubbing the elf's chest. "You… I thought you were dead."
"Will not get rid of me that easily," the Sindar said with a teasing smile, his eyes twinkling with happiness. He got out a hand from the blankets and tugged at the dirtied hair, wrinkling his nose playfully. The Ranger glared at him warningly.
It was then they heard running. Merry and Pippin were the first ones to come through the tent. They stopped in shock, making Sam and Frodo run into them. The four hobbits fell down and made the two friends laugh even if Legolas' laugh was slightly out of breath. The moment after, Boromir and Gimli came through.
The sight that met them was more than satisfying. Legolas maybe was paler than usual, and he had a split lip and bruises but the usual cheerfulness was resting around him like always. The Ranger had lost the helpless glint in his eyes as he laughed, his hand still on the Sindar's chest while said elf still held a piece of the human's hair stubbornly.
All was well, even if it was just for a moment.
Wow… end. Yay. Hoped you liked it.
Until another time,