Lost in Darkness, Rescued in Light take two

What if it hadn't been Legolas to fall down the stairs in Moria? What if it had been Aragorn? Will Legolas survive the apparent loss of his closest friend? A different take on Lost in Darkness, Rescued in Light.

-

Legolas was the first to jump over the gap in the stairs. His ever graceful movements were shown in the jump. He swirled around even before both of his feet touched the stairs and he motioned for them to jump as well.

Gandalf jumped first, Legolas steadying him with a hand. The elf turned to look at Aragorn who was the furthest away. Most of the playfulness that usually shone in Legolas' eyes had disappeared but now it brightened briefly. Taunting the human a bit, let's see if you can jump better Estel, and Aragorn scowled at the Sindar in mock-anger. Then Boromir grabbed onto Merry and Pippin and jumped.

The Ranger almost broke into laughter as Gimli jumped and Legolas grabbed onto the dwarf's beard. Hilarious sight and he could see the Sindar thought the same.

As he heard the stone starting to crack underneath him, all amusement was lost and panic settled in.

"Estel!"

His childhood name made him snap his head towards Legolas. The elf was wide-eyed; he had heard the cracks as well and wanted his friend and Frodo over to the safer side.

"Legolas!" Aragorn shouted. "Catch him!"

The Ranger lifted Frodo and threw him just like he had done with Sam. The Sindar caught the Hobbit just as the stone gave away underneath Aragorn.

"Estel!"

The human had no chance to get a grip on the stairs; instead he fell. He managed to lock eyes with his old friend for a moment before he was lost in the darkness.

-

Legolas felt himself being ripped up from the stones by a frantic Gandalf who forced him to move. His chest was clenching with pain, pain he had never felt before. It was intense, and he could hardly breathe as the wizard dragged him along. There was no longer any grace in his movements, and his face was carefully blank as they moved along.

Inside, he was screaming.

-

Aragorn gasped as he finally got up over the surface of the cold water. The stream was fast, too fast to let him get a grip on the walls. He had no idea what it looked like due to the lack of light. Everything was silent except from the noises of the water.

His heart was in his throat and he felt the growing senses of panic. He had no idea if he was going to live through this. He had heard stories about the tunnels beneath Moria, tunnels that transported water. They twisted worse than a snake, and had more falls than one could believe. Or so the legends told.

He could only hope it was not true. Because if it was true, he would surely loose his life.

-

Legolas stared over the landscape, having sunken down on his knees as they finally had fled Moria. However, his heart was anything but in peace.

Gandalf had fallen along with a Balrog into the depths of Moria, not even fifteen minutes since Aragorn had fallen. Was this a cruel joke Valar drew upon him? If it was, Legolas would rather like waking up from this nightmare he now found himself in.

All the others were lost. They all glanced at him, expecting him to be the leader… even Gimli had. Legolas was used to the role but now… all he wished to do was to weep. Did they not understand that he had lost two close friends?

He looked back at the others. They were silent, grief-stricken as well. They huddled together, waiting to be taken care of. The Sindar felt a rare streak of anger dwell up inside his slowly breaking heart. Save yourself mortals! His treacherous thoughts caught him by surprise and he forcefully reminded himself that Aragorn was also a mortal. He of all elves should not bear such hatred against mortal.

Legolas rose up and took a deep breath. The wind caught up and was all around him. He took relief in it, treasured it as he prepared to move on… for a little while at the very least. He turned to face his new duties, and dearly hoped it would not last for long.

-

"Haldir!"

The cry of his name made the elf snap his head up, and Haldir looked at the one who had called.

"What is it?" he called back.

"There is a body in the river!"

Eyes widening, Haldir leapt to his feet. Could it be one his men? No, they were all here. As he ran towards the river he called out:

"An elf?"

"No, from what I can see it is a human!"

A human, in Lothlórien? It was practically unheard of. Nonetheless, Haldir sprinted between the trees and with a graceful swing was down on the shore.

The body was travelling fast in the stream but Haldir was well ahead and quickly got out in the river. He held onto the dripping branches of the trees and one of his warriors threw a rope to him. He shifted from holding the branches to the rope. He caught the body with his other hand and hauled it closer. On a closer inspection, his eyes widened. It had been years since he last saw this one, but he knew this face.

The son of lost kings. Hope. Estel.

-

Legolas looked around the forest, hearing Gimli's muttering but had no heart to ask him to be quiet. Every beat of his immortal heart sent agony through his body and his limbs grew weaker for each minute. He would be able to lead them to Caras Galadhon, hopefully, before death would claim him. Loosing Aragorn, his closest friend, was too much. Far too much than what he could handle. Not after having known the human for so long:

Legolas loved Rivendell. The place had a calming aura around it, making him calm unlike the darkness of Mirkwood.

His father had sent him to Elrond in hopes of bringing his only son's spirits up. Legolas had not have heart to protest, as he knew his happiness brought happiness to Thranduil. His father only felt happy if he knew his son was content.

"Legolas!"

Elrond welcomed the fair-haired elf with open arms, enveloping the much younger elf in a tight hug. Legolas breathed in the elf-lord's scent and smiled.

"Lord Elrond," he greeted. "I see I was desired here."

Elrond laughed heartily and said:

"Was I that obvious? Yes, I have waited to see you for far too long. But I also have a problem."

"A problem?" Legolas asked as one of Glorfindel's men came to lead his horse to the stables. He thanked the elf before turning back to Elrond.

"Elrohir and Elladan are out hunting, and will not return for many more days," the older elf said as they walked towards the Last Homely House. "That leads me to be baby-sitting my youngest child, Estel, and I must admit it is much harder than I expected."

"Estel?"

"A human child I have taken under my wings," Elrond said. "Erestor and Glorfindel has helped me greatly but they also have work to do, as have I. I wonder if you might be able to entertain him."

"If I may meet him," Legolas said. He had nothing against children, and this one sounded young.

"I shall lead the way then."

-

Legolas looked around the familiar corridors, feeling at peace. Coming to Rivendell was a good choice. The evil of Mirkwood seemed very distant all of a sudden.

"Ada!"

The young voice broke him from his thoughts. He looked up and a smile broke out despite him trying to stop it.

A small child, dressed only in a pair of leggings and looking no older than four, was running towards Elrond as quickly as his little legs could carry him. Poor Glorfindel chased after him.

"Estel!" the elf-lord said and lifted the child up before Estel could crash into his legs. "Are you quite alright, Glorfindel?"

"I swear that child has elf-hearing!" the Balrog-slayer complained. "Suddenly when I am dressing him he shoots up with a happy cry and runs out. He must have heard your voice."

"Did you now, little one?"

Estel giggled as Elrond tickled his tummy.

"Thank you Glorfindel," the elf-lord said. "We will finish the dressing. You may go."

"Joy," the elf muttered. "I have a meeting with Erestor."

"He is not going to bite you," Elrond reminded.

"He has the ability to make me feel like a fool," Glorfindel complained. "Where did you find him?"

Elrond only laughed and Glorfindel went to search after the advisor. The elf-lord turned his attention to Estel and said:

"Ion nin, I have someone here I wish for you to meet."

Estel perked up and finally looked at Legolas.

"This is a friend of mine," Elrond said, "Legolas Greenleaf. Legolas, meet my son Estel."

Legolas smiled and said:

"An honour to make your acquaintance, Estel."

"Um… same here," the human child said softly.

"How about we finish dressing you up and then you two get to know each other a bit better?"

-

Aragorn had been adorable as a child, and Legolas wasted no time to remind the man of the fact. Usually he would have a screaming Ranger after himself when he said so but the Sindar elf had only laughed and run faster.

The mere thought of never being able to do that made Legolas stop and grab onto a tree. His heart beat painfully, making him bend over and try to force deep breaths in.

"Legolas?" Boromir said, worried.

The elf had his eyes close, one hand clenching into his tunic. The other one was gripping the tree. They all looked at him worriedly. After a few moments he straightened up and said:

"I'm fine. Just… tired. Let us continue."

"We can rest," the human said.

"No," Legolas said. "We are soon close enough to Caras Galadhon to have troops around us. It's better to rest where we know we will be safe. Let us go."

They could not complain about it, since they heard on his voice he knew what he was talking about. Legolas himself feared if they stopped for a rest before reaching the Elven kingdom he would not rise up from the ground again.

-

All but Legolas was startled when an elf emerged before them a few hours later. The Sindar looked at him and bowed his head while resting a hand on his chest in greeting.

"Mae Govannen, Haldir," he spoke softly.

Haldir repeated the gesture, looking worriedly at the elf. Legolas was pale, and looked shaken. With a start he realized why.

"Legolas?" he called out in alarm as the elf before him swayed dangerously.

The blonde-haired elf did not hear; instead he let his eyes close and he fell forward.

-

The Fellowship shouted out in distress but before Legolas' body could connect with the earthen ground, Haldir had caught him.

"Quickly tell me this," the Lothlórien guard said. "Was Aragorn, son of Arathorn with you?"

"Yes," Boromir said. "He… he fell in Moria."

Haldir's eyes widened. He quickly scooped Legolas up and shouted out something in Elvish. Immediately they were surrounded by elves.

"They will take you to Caras Galadhon," he spoke. "I myself must rush."

"What's happening to Legolas?" the dwarf wanted to know, as wanted the rest.

"If a close person to an elf dies or goes lost, the elf can loose their will to live and will die of grief," Haldir said. "Aragorn and Legolas have known each other for a long time I have been told. Legolas is giving up, and I must hurry to save him."

"How?" Frodo said. "There is no way you can save a person who wishes for death."

"I cannot save him," Haldir said. "But I know someone who can. The very same person Legolas is dying for."

They all gasped.

"Is Aragorn alive?" Boromir said, his eyes widening.

Haldir had no time to answer; instead he bolted away.

-

Aragorn was aware that his body was very sore. He was not really aware where he was; only that it was warm and comfortable.

A hand shook him awake, and he groaned in displeasure.

"Wake up, Aragorn," a voice said. "Please, you must wake up."

Grudgingly the man did so. He looked up at Haldir and suddenly all remains of sleep were lost. The fair elf looked haunted, and afraid.

"Haldir? What is it?" the human asked.

"You must save your friend," the elf said. "We cannot help him in his despair."

"What do you mean?"

He needed no answer as Haldir moved aside. His eyes widened.

Legolas was white, his chest barely rising and his midnight blue eyes closed. Aragorn had never seen an elf die of grief, but he had heard stories. It was the most painful way a living creature could walk to death. He was up from the bed before Haldir could protest and stumbled over to Legolas' bed.

"The rest of your friends will arrive shortly," Haldir said. "I will take them to speak to our lord and lady before bringing them here."

"Hannon le."

The elf left the two alone. Aragorn slowly lay down next to Legolas and said:

"'Las?"

There was no response beyond a twitch of Legolas' hand. The Ranger took one of the slim hands and pressed it to his chest.

"'Las, wake up for me," he whispered against the elf's temple. "It is I, 'Las, and I am fine. Feel my heart, mellon-nin. It is just underneath your hand, therefore I am fine. So you must wake up now, for me."

Legolas gave out a weak groan and feebly pushed his forehead against Aragorn. The Ranger simply worked an arm underneath Legolas' head and, mindful of his injuries of course, pulled the elf flush to his chest.

Legolas' eyes snapped open and his head slowly moved so he could look at Aragorn. They stared at each other for long minutes until the elf said:

"Is this a dream, or am I already dead?"

"Neither," the Ranger said and stroke away the blonde hair from the elf's face. "Call me miracle, but I ended up in a river taking me the entire way to Lothlórien where I was fished up by Haldir. I am fine but you look worse for wear."

"I thought you were dead," Legolas whispered. "And then Gandalf joined you…"

"What?"

"The Balrog took Gandalf with him to the depths of Moria," the elf cried out. "My heart died. Please, Estel…"

His whole frame wracked with sobs and Aragorn quickly pulled him close again, embracing him.

"I am fine, 'Las," the Ranger whispered. "You must also become fine, or else I will not have strength to carry on."

Legolas clung onto him, sobbing in relief into the man's tunic. The Ranger held him closer, whispering soft and comforting words and stroking the blonde hair. It was rare that he comforted the fair elf; normally it had been the other way around:

"Sshh, little one. No need to let those tears fall. Dry them up."

Estel calmed his sobbing as he listened to Legolas' melodic voice. He was better than Elrond to calm the eight-year old down and took enjoyment of being able to chase away the darkness from Estel's dreams.

The human child sniffed a bit and buried his head into Legolas' chest. The chest rumbled with laughter and the Sindar lay down onto the bed and drew the covers up around them.

"I shall stay here until you feel like sleeping again," Legolas declared, already knowing Estel wanted it but rarely admitted it. It was easier if the elf decided to simply do it.

-

Aragorn angrily wiped at his tears as the traces of the nightmare was pushed from his thoughts. He was well over forty years, so why was he weeping? Why did a nightmare upset him so?

"Aragorn?"

The melodic voice calmed him down instantly and he whipped his head up to stare at Legolas. The elf was dressed in a night-robe, hair slightly out of place which showed the Sindar had been asleep.

"Legolas? Did I wake you up, mellon-nin?"

"The moonlight shone into my face, so I woke up to draw the curtains shut" Legolas said. "I heard your trashing around. Are you alright?"

They were in Rivendell, Legolas being there on his father's request and Aragorn because he was home-sick and Elrond had missed him. Aragorn now looked deep into the midnight eyes and said with a smile:

"I am, now when you are here."

-

Finally the elf's tears slowed down and instead he rested comfortably against Aragorn's chest. The man looked at his friend and saw the skin was already recovering, regaining its normal shining colour. He sent a silent thank to the Valar before kissing Legolas' forehead gently.

"Rest now," he whispered to the elf. "I will be here when you wake up."

Legolas looked up at the human, trying to protest when his eyes slid close in exhaustion. Aragorn chuckled and said:

"See? Even your eyes know better than yourself. Sleep now."

Legolas mumbled a reply, too quiet to be heard and then he slept.

-

As the rest of the Fellowship rushed up the stairs, Aragorn watched Legolas. The elf had run himself to the ground with grief but he was going to make it. Aragorn would make sure of it… when he himself had recovered of course. His sore body began to protest and he lay down to rest some more as well.

The sight that met the Fellowship made them all sag in relief. Aragorn and Legolas lay sleeping in the bed, both of them wearing smiles on their faces. For the moment, all was well, and that was all they wished for.

End


I think it was someone who gave the suggestion of doing it the other way around, Aragorn falling and how Legolas would take it. Here you have it. Legolas very emotional in this one, but elves are vulnerable to grief… or at least Leggy is in this one-shot^^

Until another time,

Ja,

Tiro