The Death of an Elf?
Summary: When they come out from Moria, everyone is sad and all but Legolas is acting strange. Stains of red flows down from a mortal wound on the elf. Now they must make haste to Lothlórien if they wish to save him.
Warnings: Slightly gory details, only brief though
Disclaimers: I do not own LotR.
The cold stone they walked on seemed colder than usual. The tense air that had rested around the Fellowship for days had been replaced by grief. Everyone found no strength to walk on for the moment.
Boromir held Gimli back while the dwarf continued to fight against the human's restraint. Two of the hobbits, Merry and Pippin, were sitting down with tears flowing down Pippin's cheeks. Merry was holding the youngest hobbit against him but his eyes held no tears, only a great sorrow.
Sam and Frodo were standing close each other, one dragging strength from another. Aragorn was cleaning his sword while Legolas was a bit hunched over, an unusual posture for the normally graceful elf. No one noticed though.
The elf was standing with his back to the Fellowship, and held a trembling hand in front of his face; in a position where only he could see it. It was covered in his own blood. He sucked in a breath and felt an unfamiliar pain in his abdomen. He looked down, and stumbled a bit. If anyone would have noticed, they would have gotten worried because Legolas never stumbled.
"We need to get to Lothlórien as soon as possible," Aragorn said a little while later, sheathing his sword.
"Give them a moment, for pity's sake!" Boromir said to the other human, trying to control his emotions as well.
"By nightfall this place will be swarming with orcs!" Aragorn replied. "We are not safe here. Please, get them up."
The human knew it was true, and moved to follow the Ranger's plea.
"Legolas," Aragorn called out, watching the elf's back. "We must go."
By now they had all gotten onto their feet but Legolas had yet to move. He was staring down at something on himself, almost like in a trance. They noticed a small trembling that went through the elf's body once in a while, and the hobbits became even more worried.
"Legolas?" the Ranger asked, frowning. "Legolas, are you well?"
The blonde elf turned his head towards the human. His face was deathly pale and Aragorn saw something akin to blood on the Sindar's lips. Legolas blinked, as if he noticed them for the first time and finally he moved his body to face them fully.
Horror struck in their eyes. The elf was holding the end of a filthy orc-arrow that came right out from his abdomen. The blood was almost flowing down his legs and onto the ground. The blonde elf tried to speak, failed, and fell to his knees, eyes never leaving Aragorn.
The Ranger flew forward and caught Legolas before the immortal could fall to the cold ground. One of the slim hands gripped the man's tunic and Legolas whispered in Elvish:
"Leave me here, Estel… I am of no use… anymore."
"No!" Aragorn shouted back in Elvish, making the others flinch when the beautiful language was used in such a distressed tone. "You will not be left behind, 'Las! I have never left you behind before and I shall not start now."
With a swift movement, Aragorn snapped most of the arrow off so he would not worsen the wound too much. Then he quickly stripped the wounded elf of the arrows, the bow and the two knives. He put the knives with his own in his belt and Merry and Pippin took the arrows and bow before he himself could pull them on. He tried to smile reassuringly to them, but Legolas' pained moan made his heart break.
He lifted his friend up carefully, but everyone still flinched at the agonized shout the blonde elf released. The Ranger moved Legolas around until they were both in a comfortable position.
"Hold out, mellon-nin," the Ranger whispered.
When darkness fell, they had yet to reach Lothlórien. The Ranger wanted to continue but knew the hobbits were exhausted and so were Boromir and Gimli. He finally stopped and said:
"Let's make camp for tonight."
The others looked grateful, but Aragorn knew he had a long night ahead. He rolled out his cloak onto the ground and carefully lowered Legolas onto it. The elf gasped sharply at the pain, his body shaking of the coldness. After that Aragorn removed the one blanket he had and laid it over the blonde elf.
"I will give you something for the pain," the Ranger promised his friend. The elf was shivering violently and his lips had turned blue. Frightened eyes stared up at him. The human moved to roam in his packs, and thought frantically. He needed to check the wound; he maybe even had to take the end of the arrow out before it could make anymore damage. With the arrow the blonde Sindar might bleed to death but his chances were just as large if Aragorn removed it.
He decided, and closed his eyes for a moment. This was not going to be a pleasant night for anyone in the Fellowship.
"Are you sure you have to do it?" Boromir asked as he glanced over at the hobbits huddled together a bit away.
"The arrow could have poison on," Aragorn said as he washed his knife with great care. "Also it can cause more damage than good when I carry him."
He finished and returned to Legolas' side, the other human following him. The Ranger kneeled down, and placed a hand on the elf's forehead. Blue eyes looked up at him, scarred and bleeding lips moving. Aragorn heard faint words spill from the elf's mouth and he bent his head, like in respect, when he recognized what his friend was saying. He had hoped those words would never have to pass the joyful Legolas' mouth.
"What is he saying?" Frodo asked, his eyes full of sorrow.
"It's a prayer of a sort," Aragorn replied as he looked at the arrow, moving the knife right in his hand. "Elves only speak that prayer if someone of their kin is about to die."
"Why is he saying it?" the dwarf asked, dreading the answer.
"He expects himself to die," the Ranger said.
Legolas closed his eyes, the small breathless words spilling from his mouth. Aragorn took a deep breath and looked at his friend.
"Lle desiel?" Aragorn asked him, and the Sindar nodded. ("Are you ready?")
The Ranger made the first cut around the arrow. Legolas' words were not cut off but the pain began tearing its way into his voice and his hands were shaking before they fisted into the cloak beneath him. The Ranger had given him herbs for the pain but he could still feel it all too well.
The human put away the knife and then very carefully moved his fingers into the wound. This time Legolas could not hold in the spasm of pain, and both Boromir and Gimli held the elf tightly. Tears leaked from blue eyes as they stared up into Aragorn's face. The Ranger wanted to wipe the pain away from his friend because not even Legolas with all his misadventures had suffered in this way.
He worked slowly and soon Legolas' eyes rolled back and he began chanting the prayer again.
"Please, cannot you work faster," Boromir begged as he held the elf's shoulders. "He's in pain!"
Aragorn's hands suddenly went still and Legolas looked at him again, eyes far away.
"This will hurt," the Ranger warned the blonde elf.
The Sindar squeezed his eyes shut and waited for the pain. And it did come. Aragorn took a deep breath, made sure he had a good grip on the arrow and then pulled it out in one swift movement. Legolas screamed out something in Elvish, but only the Ranger understood what. The human put the arrow away and quickly began doing his best binding the wound.
A half-hour later Aragorn sat back on his heels and moved to wash his hands in the stream. Legolas' abdomen was tightly wrapped with the few bandages Aragorn had in his pack. The hobbits had long since trying to shut out the sounds the elf had done and only now did they dare look at the blonde one lying on the ground. He was lying on his side, a blanket drawn up to his shoulders and his eyes closed in exhaustion. His lips were blue and his skin was deathly pale but his breathing was easier and he was not repeating the prayer anymore.
Aragorn began putting the things back in his pack and turned to the others.
"You better get some rest before morning," he advised them. "We shall move out at dawn."
They all nodded solemnly and the Ranger turned back to Legolas. He stroke the blonde hair back from the elf's face and said:
"Losto vae, mellon-nin." ("Sleep well, my friend.")
Legolas grabbed Aragorn's hand and held it tightly.
"I am afraid," the elf admitted, looking at the human.
"I shall not blame you for that, mellon-nin," Aragorn replied, sitting down. "How do you feel?"
The man brought the blanket closer to the elf's body, tucking the ends in underneath the Sindar's body and said:
The Ranger was awoken a few hours by a bunch of frantic hobbits.
"What is it?" he asked.
"It's Legolas, Strider!" Sam said hurriedly. "He's trashing around!"
Aragorn got up and was by Legolas' side within a few moments. The wound had not reopened but could do in any moment with Legolas' movements. Aragorn pinned the elf to the ground and held fast, even if the elf fought against him. Finally blue eyes opened but there were glassy and fervent. The Ranger felt on the blonde elf's forehead and swore. The Sindar had a high fever.
"Ada!" Legolas suddenly called out. "Ada!"
"Ada? What's that?" Pippin asked.
"He is hallucinating," Aragorn said bitterly. "Most likely the arrow was poisoned. He has a bad fever, so I must cool him down."
Legolas hit away Aragorn's hands as soon as he tried to close into the face, and finally he had to have Boromir and Gimli help him. With the two holding Legolas down Aragorn could focus on bringing the fever down. The blonde elf continued to call out 'Ada', throwing his head back and forth.
"Ada," Frodo suddenly said as if he figured something out. He looked up at Aragorn and continued, "He's calling out for his father."
"Yes, he is," Aragorn said shortly.
After a few minutes Legolas ceased fighting against them. Instead he murmured a tired:
"What?" Boromir said.
The Ranger instantly put a hand on the elf's forehead and said:
"I am here, 'Las."
The elf relaxed under Aragorn's touch and opened his eyes briefly. They were bright with fever but recognition sparked in them as well. Then the elf closed them again, leaving Aragorn to try fight the fever down.
Aragorn let the others eat a small breakfast while he readied the elf for a rather uncomfortable journey. Legolas was reluctant to wake up but finally the human managed to make him open his eyes.
"Good morning, 'Las," Aragorn said with a smile. He felt on the forehead and the fever was still quite high. He tried to keep a light attitude to not worry anyone, let alone Legolas himself. The elf did not need to feel anymore stress or worry at the moment.
"Estel…" Legolas mumbled. "Tired…"
"I know that, mellon-nin. In a few hours we shall be in Lothlórien and there you will be able to rest while we heal you."
Aragorn gently helped him sitting up, wincing at Legolas' gasps of pain. The Ranger wrapped the cloak around the elf's lean form and lifted him up. Legolas merely grasped Aragorn's tunic, but the human could see the pain in his eyes clear as day.
They began to move only minutes after that. Legolas soon lost the battle against sleep and his tired eyes closed, telling more then what Legolas would ever share with the human Ranger. Aragorn knew the Sindar was in trouble; he needed to get to Lothlórien quickly.
His long strides soon tired out the others, but he did not stop. He could feel Legolas fading away in his very own arms, and his steps got quicker for each minute.
"Aragorn, we cannot run as fast as you!" Gimli finally called out. "Walk quickly I can handle, but this running is not healthy for anyone of us!"
"Forgive me, Gimli," Aragorn said, "but we need to make haste if we want Legolas to watch next sunrise."
"Is he dying?" Sam asked worriedly as he tried to keep up with the others with his pack and tired legs.
"Aye, he is," the Ranger said. "He needs not us; he needs his people."
By lunchtime they had to make a stop but luckily they could soon enter Lothlórien. The hobbits fell down onto the ground in exhaustion while Aragorn gently put Legolas down. The elf moaned in pain and the human checked the bandages. They were painted in blood and the Ranger wanted to scream. This was bad; the wound had reopened.
"Mellon-nin," Aragorn said quietly. "Wake up for me."
He squeezed the archer's slim hand and to his relief Legolas stirred.
"Ada?" the elf murmured.
"No, 'tis not him," Aragorn said gently while undoing the bandages to get a vision of how bad the wound was now.
Legolas frowned and moved a bit.
"Gwador?" he finally asked.
"Yes, 'tis him," the Ranger said. "And he needs to check on your wound."
"Yes, you were injured," the human said, wincing slightly at the weak tone.
The elf did not seem to comprehend what had happened so Aragorn instead just checked the wound. He took a cloth and washed it a bit, holding Legolas close as the elf whimpered in pain.
"You will be alright," Aragorn soothed. "You will be fine, Gwador, I promise."
The others watched the two and Pippin finally piped up:
"What does Gwador mean, Frodo?"
"It means brother," Frodo replied. "But why are they calling each other brother?"
Merry sat silent as he watched the two. To them all, it had looked in the beginning like the Ranger and the Sindar elf did not know each other. But then the hobbit had heard them one night when he could not sleep:
Merry finally sighed and opened his eyes. The fire was still burning and the Sindar was sitting back to back with Aragorn. Both were looking at the sky, and once in a while Legolas would point a star out and exclaim something on Elvish. The human would reply, sometimes laughing quietly.
"Estel?" the elf asked after a bit of silence. Merry watched and listened silently.
"Do you remember when we were sitting like this, pointing out the stars and laughing like fools?"
"I had probably drunken too much ale and you too much wine, but aye, I remember," Aragorn replied. "What about it?"
"Nothing," Legolas said, letting his head rest on Aragorn's shoulder. "I just… remembered."
"Elves are always so sentimental," the Ranger huffed.
"Watch you tongue, human," the Sindar huffed back.
Aragorn looked at the elf that only smiled at him and continued:
"Why are you up? It's my time to keep watch, yet you have stayed up too late."
"I saw the stars, 'Las, and wanted to watch a bit longer," the human replied with a shrug.
"And you talk about sentimental to me," the elf said with a snort. "You never change, little Gwador."
Aragorn merely stuck out his tongue at Legolas.
Aragorn did not look back as he ran through the forest, not even stopping for a moment to marvel the beauty. No, he had more important things to do.
He felt the Sindar in his arms fade, losing the battle against pain and fever.
"Do not give up, Legolas," he murmured at the pale elf. "Do not dare give up on me now."
The others tried their hardest to keep up but soon Aragorn speed ahead of them. Suddenly the Ranger stopped and the Fellowship stopped beside him.
"What's wrong?" Frodo asked.
Aragorn whipped his head around and called out:
"Come out, guards of Lothlórien! We need your help!"
A rustle of leaves and suddenly there was an elf standing in front of them. His eyes widened at the sight.
"Haldir," Aragorn spoke rapidly. "Please…"
Haldir knew who they were, and what they had brought into the forest. Yet there was no hesitation in his actions. There were no unnecessary glances towards the hobbits or Gimli. There was only rush. Within a few moments, they were going to Caras Galadhon.
Aragorn was awoken from his restless sleep by none other than Galadriel. He sat up quickly and she only smiled before walking away. The human scrambled up to follow her, though careful not to awaken any of his companions. He had pushed them hard, and deserved their rest.
"He asked for you," the Lady of Light said as they walked towards one of the lower platforms. "First thing he did when he opened his eyes was asking for you."
"He is alright then?"
"He must rest for at least a few days before he can continue," Galadriel said.
"Hannon le," Aragorn spoke, putting a hand against his chest while bowing his head.
"You held his fever down and you acted as his legs when his own could no longer support him Estel," she spoke. "It is you who should be thanked. Without you, he would have died, defenceless upon those cold rocks. Thanks to you, the child of Mirkwood was saved. Thranduil will be most thankful when he hears of this."
As she had spoken, they had reached up on the platform. She now motioned to the single bed that was on the platform and then moved away. The Ranger walked up to the bed, and Legolas opened his eyes. His hand stretched out and Aragorn took it.
"Mellon-nin," the human whispered, pressing the pale hand against his cheek while sitting down. "So close…"
"I am fine, Estel," Legolas said, smiling lightly.
Aragorn put his head on the elf's chest and wept. Slim hands cradled his skull, stroking the hair gently. The blonde elf began humming on a song, knowing the vibrations would calm the man down.
The Ranger let himself be calmed down by the elf and soon lifted his head to look at Legolas. The blonde Sindar smiled at him and tugged on his hair.
"I would have hoped you would take the chance of a bath," the elf said and wrinkled his nose.
"I am warning you, 'Las," the human replied.
The Sindar laughed at him and Aragorn pushed at him a little. Legolas wriggled over to the other side so his friend could lie down. The Ranger relaxed in the soft bed and said:
"You better not frighten me like that ever again."
"I will do my best," Legolas promised.
Alright, maybe it was a bit strange but I wanted to write it. Hope that some people liked it and I don't like getting a review that says the reviewer hated the story. Don't like the story, don't review. Push the back-button; it's much easier and doesn't take nearly as much energy.
Until another time,