Never Give Up
Summary: Aragorn is believed to be dead due to his fall with the wolf, but Legolas does not believe it. He stays behind, set on finding his friend.
Disclaimers: I don't own LotR.
Legolas knew something was very wrong, even when the fight had just ended. Something was out of place, something was missing. He looked around the field where now corpses of both men and orcs lay among wolves and horses. The elf plucked arrows from the dead bodies, those he could use anyway and put them back in his quiver. He then made another look around and saw what was wrong.
"Aragorn!" he called out. He could not see the Ranger anywhere. He heard the dwarf call out Aragorn's name as well and he began walking. "Aragorn!"
He walked past an orc with a knife in its chest when said orc laughed. Legolas turned back and looked at it. The anger and hate in the midnight blue eyes made the orc shut up in hope the elf would continue walking but it was too late; the Sindar had already discovered him. The elf kneeled down and said:
"Where is he?"
"He's dead," the orc said, grinning despite his discomfort of seeing an elf with such anger. "He took a little tumble off the cliff."
Legolas gripped the orc's shoulders, his face in a snarl and his eyes so hard it made the orc afraid. A moment later his grimace to grin vanished as the orc coughed and then stilled, the eyes glaring into the sky.
Legolas ripped the knife out, seeing it was Aragorn's and cleaned the filthy blood off. He then stuck it down in his own belt and saw something shimmer in the orc's hand. He picked it up and stared.
Arwen's necklace reflected in the sun, lying heavily in his hand. He closed his eyes and gripped it gently. He then stood up and walked to the edge of the cliff, followed by the worried dwarf. He wished no more to have Aragorn dangling just by the edge, clinging on for dear life so he could pull the foolish human up and pour out some of his fear out before hugging him in pure relief. But he knew his hope was futile as he peered over the edge. The wild water seemed merciless even at the distance, and no sign of his beloved friend. The hand holding Evenstar clenched around the jewellery.
Aragorn could not be dead.
He could not. It was impossible yet there was no other answer. The elf had to realize the horrible truth. As he did, Legolas' legs gave out.
Théoden watched what was left of his men with sorrow in his eyes, then turned to where he had seen the elf and dwarf. The elf had fallen to his knees and the dwarf had put a hand on the Sindar's shoulder. Legolas had bowed his head and was holding something in his fisted hand that now rested against his forehead. As the king of Rohan closed in, he could hear the elf speak in his own language, the words flowing beautifully from his mouth. He slowly looked up in the sky and the sight made Théoden's heart clench.
The Sindar was crying, his eyes having changed from midnight to almost frosty, and the words still spilling out. Gimli looked at the elf and then away, as if he could not stand seeing the grief-stricken Legolas.
Théoden came up to them as Legolas stopped speaking. He looked over the edge, and closed his eyes. No one could ever survive a fall like that.
Legolas once more looked down at the fast-flowing river, and narrowed his eyes. He spoke softly:
"Guren niniatha nan lû i ammin achenitham, Estel." (My heart will weep to the time we will see each other again, Estel.)
Aragorn was not dead; Legolas would make sure of it.
"We must leave," Théoden said softly to the two.
"Go," Legolas said, not moving.
"What?" Gimli said.
"I will stay," the archer said.
"Staying here will mean your death," the king said. "Please, come with us."
"I will come, when I have found Aragorn," the Sindar said, not looking at them.
"He is gone!" the dwarf said. "Has madness gripped your mind?!"
"If he is indeed gone," Legolas said as he stood up, "follow him I shall. My heart cannot go on if he has left this place."
"Your friend has lost his mind," Théoden said to Gimli. "We must go now, and we need all the help we can get."
"I will be no help," Legolas said harshly, "unless you are looking for someone who gladly walks into death."
The king went silent as he looked at the Sindar with wide eyes. The elf was serious. Gimli stared as well; he knew little about Aragorn's and Legolas' friendship but he knew that they were close. Now he understood just how close they were.
The elf gazed into the river and then turned. He began walking at the edge of the cliff, and both the human and dwarf realized the Sindar was looking for a way down.
"Legolas!" Gimli called. The elf looked up, his eyes locking with the dwarf's. Gimli took a deep breath and then continued gruffly, "Yell at him for me too when you find him."
A hint of a smile appeared on the Sindar's face and he replied:
"That I shall, master dwarf. That I shall."
Legolas watched the men and his friend ride away. He dearly hoped someone was riding with Gimli, or else the poor dwarf would find himself on the ground… again. He and horses clearly did not work with each other.
He turned back and made sure everything was with him. He then carefully began making his way down the cliff.
The first thing he saw as he came down was the corpse of a warg. The stones were slippery under his feet but he still managed to get there. He had to sigh in relief when he failed to see Aragorn's destroyed body among the rocks. He must have fallen into the river then.
The elf looked at the slippery rocks and cursed them. He had a good grip with his hands but his boots only slipped.
He made his decision and pulled his boots off carefully. He strapped them to his back and tried walking. He found it working much better and began walking down-streams, hoping that he would find Aragorn.
Legolas ignored his aching body and his stinging cuts on his hands and feet, he ignored the feeling of dread steadily growing in his heart and he ignored the logical voice in his head that said his friend was gone.
He would not let himself give up! He would not give up. Legolas had been walking down-streams for hours and yet there was no sign of his friend. Despite this, he continued, and had hardly stopped longer than it took for him to gulp a mouthful of water.
The elf came to a set of boulders he would not get past easily. He sat down on a rock and tried to calm his racing heart. Aragorn had to be alive; he knew how many needed him. Legolas made sure that he still had Arwen's necklace with him and closed his eyes. If the Ranger was dead, who was going to tell the horrible news to Arwen? Who was going to break Arwen's heart forever; who was going to make her life miserable? Legolas could not bear the thought of it. And Elrond… the Elven-lord would never forgive himself when he heard of the news.
Legolas looked at the water dully; his own heart was beginning to break under all this guilt and pain, and he choked back a sob. He got up and began climbing over the rocks, anything to keep his sorrow at bay.
Once he came to the other side, he saw the rocks were lesser and in a place there was even a small patch of sand. Legolas blinked a few times when he saw what was standing there. He was convinced he was dreaming.
A horse stood on the small beach looking like that standing there, in the middle of nowhere, was a completely normal behaviour.
Legolas walked towards the horse, but did not recognize it.
"Mae govannen," the elf said to the horse that neighed and looked at him. It then moved away, to show Legolas something. The elf's breath caught in his throat.
Aragorn lay on his side, his legs still in the water and his face pale. His eyes were shut, and from where Legolas was standing he was not even sure if the human was still alive. He rushed forward, ignoring all of his aches and pain, and fell to his knees next to his friend. The horse moved away a bit more but did not leave them and for that Legolas was grateful. He sent the horse a small smile before turning to his friend.
"Aragorn?" the Sindar whispered. The Ranger did not move or reply. The elf checked the man's pulse and nearly sagged in relief when he found a strong one. "Estel?"
The human groaned feebly at the sound of his Elven name and the horse closed it on them. Legolas made a quick check on the man's body, and was relieved to find out that the Ranger had made it out with only a few cuts and bruises. He got up and lifted Aragorn by the arms to drag the legs out of the water. The elf could now feel his adrenaline sinking away along with his grief and sorrow, and all this left him weak and dizzy but overjoyed.
He removed the sword from the belt and then got the wet cloak off. He got his own cloak off his shoulders and wrapped it around Aragorn. The human groaned again and this time he opened his eyes.
"Legolas?" the Ranger whispered.
"Aye," the arched replied. "Can you move, Estel?"
It took Aragorn a while to understand that Legolas was talking to him, but that was because the Sindar had not called him Estel for a while. The name brought back many good memories and Legolas had to repeat his question before Aragorn began to move.
He slowly sat up and looked at the relieved elf.
"You searched for me?" Aragorn asked as the Sindar rubbed his arms to warm him up.
"How could I not?" Legolas asked. "You are the dearest friend I have, and I know no one more stubborn than you."
"Except for yourself," Aragorn could not help but add.
"I almost forgot," Legolas said suddenly, striking up a finger in the air.
"Forgot what?" the Ranger asked, confused.
"That I would yell at you for you foolishness at the behalf of a certain master dwarf," Legolas said.
"I must have made you worried."
The Sindar looked at the human for a while, and decided to let his emotions take over for a little bit. He pulled the Ranger close, and hugged him tightly.
"Valar, never do that to me again!" he whispered fiercely to Aragorn. "I believed I would die on spot, you foolish child!"
Aragorn curled his arms around the elf's slim waist and hugged him back, saying nothing.
"Who is stupid enough to decide to fall off a cliff?" Legolas continued.
"I decided nothing of that sort," Aragorn protested.
"Be quiet, smelly human," Legolas warned. "My temper has gone up and down for the hours I have searched, and I fear I might say some things I will regret later."
Aragorn could feel in the elf's body the tension and could almost smell the fear the Sindar radiated. He closed his eyes and let his head drop onto the elf's shoulder.
"I am sorry, mellon-nin," the human whispered.
"Stupid," Legolas muttered. "So utterly and completely foolish. I wish your father had been here so he could tell you exactly what he thinks of these kind of things."
The mere mention of Elrond when he was angry made Aragorn shudder.
"Was it really that bad?" he asked.
"Worse," Legolas said and looked at Aragorn. "I felt no remorse when I spoke harshly to Théoden; I spoke the truth when I said I would die if I found you dead."
Aragorn looked at Legolas' face closely and saw the fear in the normally bright and joyful eyes. Aragorn took the elf's face in his hands and gently kissed the Sindar's forehead.
"Forgive me," the man said. "Forgive me, mellon-nin."
"You are forgiven," Legolas said, placing a hand on the human's cheek. "Now, however, we must make haste to Helm's Deep."
Aragorn nodded and now noticed the horse. He blinked.
"Brego?" he asked. The horse neighed and puffed Aragorn's face happily.
"You two know each other?" Legolas asked and looked between the two.
"Yes, a matter of fact we do," Aragorn said. "'Las, meet Brego. Brego, meet the most horrible little Elfling existing on Middle-Earth."
"Estel…" Legolas warned.
Aragorn chuckled and then patted Brego. With the elf's help, the human stood up and only then did he notice something.
"'Las, have you lost your boots?" Aragorn asked, curious.
"My boots were in the way for my climbing on slippery rocks but I did not in any way loose them," Legolas huffed. "They are right here."
He released them and gingerly tugged them on.
"Legolas, your feet are in a horrible shape!" the Ranger exclaimed.
"I will be fine."
"You must let me clean them!"
"We have not time for that."
"Legolas! I am a healer, and I say they must be treated!"
The archer looked sourly at the human who did not back down. Finally the elf threw his hands up and said:
"Fine, you win!"
Aragorn sat down by the edge of the water and Legolas sat down with him. The human pulled the boots off again, and Legolas wondered why he even had put them on. The Ranger then lowered the feet down into the water to clean the sand away from the cuts. The Sindar sat quiet and just watched his friend work, just watching his friend being alive. He would from now on appreciate everything Aragorn did, even if for others it made no sense.
The human finished with wrapping strips of cloth around the feet and told Legolas to put the boots on directly to not get any sand onto the bandages. Amused by the stern and so alike Elrond-tone, the Sindar did just that. He then got up on his feet and had to admit the cuts felt much better now; not that he would ever admit it to his friend.
"Shall we go now then?" the elf asked, eyebrow raised. "You have had your fuss-moment over me; now it is time to get you to Helm's Deep and warm you up."
Aragorn woke up to the sound of marching. He moved to make a sound when Legolas' hand came over his mouth and quieted him down. He looked to where the elf was looking and stared.
The valley beneath them had been filled with dark-dressed, wild Uruk-Hai. Thousands of them. They carried spears, long and evil-looking blades, their excitement of killing humans lying heavily in the air. Legolas turned the distressed horse away and rode quickly away from there. Aragorn looked at his friend's face, which now was grim. He rode quickly, making Brego riding beyond the limit. The Ranger did not speak as he felt Legolas was not up for it.
Their arrival at Helm's Deep brought cheers and happiness. Too bad they would quickly destroy that happiness. Legolas rode past the crowds, feeling weary and tired. Once they had told Théoden about the approaching enemy the elf had to rest, or else he would collapse early on.
Théoden stared wide-eyed as the two entered the hall, Aragorn looking worse for wear. The two had yet not noticed the king, as the Ranger slipped the cloak off his shoulders and gave it to the elf. Legolas looked at the cloak and then up at Aragorn.
"I have my own," the human said.
"But you are still cold," Legolas said.
"Yes, I know, but I will not steal your cloak any longer," Aragorn said and felt around his neck. He realized now he had lost Arwen's necklace and now Legolas remembered he still had it.
Legolas opened a pocket and drew the jewellery out. Aragorn looked at it and then at his friend.
"I forgot I had it," the elf confessed. "Forgive me."
"It's alright," Aragorn said. "The main thing is that it was safe."
"Are you alright?" Théoden asked as he came forth. "Both of you?"
"Yes, quite," Aragorn said. "But we bring bad news."
Gimli had almost choked Aragorn when he gave the man a hug that no one could ever match. Legolas had only smiled a bit at that, before Aragorn finally got loose with the excuse he had to dry his clothes.
Gimli had been thoughtful enough to take Aragorn's pack with him and in there was a spare clothing. So now the two friends had gotten a small room to rest in. Aragorn changed clothing, not feeling one ounce embarrassed to change in front of his friend. He looked back and saw the elf had fallen asleep on the cot, his eyes closed. The Ranger frowned a bit and went over to the Sindar, dressed in a dry pair of leggings and a dry shirt in his hands. He pulled the shirt on before drawing the blanket over Legolas' lean form.
He sat down next to the elf and stroke back the blonde hair. Legolas stirred but did not wake up. Aragorn took a look at the wounds the elf had sustained on his hands and shook his head. He looked at the elf fondly and said:
"You never give up, do you?"
Haha, I ended it! Yay! I wrote down the summary a long time ago, but it was only now I got inspiration for it. Hope you guys liked it!
Until another time,