Hey y'all :):):)

This is the first FanFiction of written for Lord Of The Rings, so I hope it's not too bad :P I don't have a beta so all mistakes are regrettably my own

I own nothing (unfortunately) - the wonderful world of Middle-earth belongs of course, to the masterful to J.R.R. Tolkien, and to Peter Jackson for his brill LOTR Film Trilogy

Summary: Shadows can only claim victory when all hope is lost. Trust that your light will never fade should you wish for it to remain... When Legolas is captured and horrifically tortured, will his light fade of will hope come to save him? One-shot ;)

Elvish Translations will be at the end of the story (I did my best with them :D)

"..." - speech

'...' - thoughts

large amounts of writing in italics - flashbacks

Anyway, I hope y'all enjoy it!!!

Legolas struggled weakly as before, but it was futile and pointless. The chains that kept him suspended from the ceiling held him fast, his toes just scraping the floor. He panted tiredly, his biceps straining with the small slither of strength he still retained as they attempted to relieve the weight on his arms.

He closed his eyes as a sharp stab of pain flashed behind his eyes and his whole body shuddered. Cuts, most still sore and bleeding, covered the entire length of his fair naked body. His pale skin was much too pale and sweat trickled from his brow: his whole image reflecting true agony.

Each breath sent searing flames licking through his chest, devouring all in their paths. It was so hard to breathe…

The trembling Elf drew in a wavering breath, eyelids fluttering as he fought to hold onto consciousness. He feared death, he feared the unknown places that lingered behind last breaths and dying words, the place where no-one could join him.

"Saes," he whispered to the empty room, knowing there was no-one there to answer. And even if there was, no-one would pay heed to his broken pleas.

A sharp backhand forced the Elf's neck to crack back painfully, blood spurting from his cracked lips as it did so. He held back a whimper, partially wishing that the hit had been either too weak to faze him or incredibly strong: hard enough even to break his neck. He'd die before they managed to break him.

Rolling his head on his shoulders, he managed an exhausted glare at the creature across from him, its hideous face contorted in a smirk of victory. "Not so tough now, are ya, Elf?!"

Legolas narrowed his eyes, then arched his neck forwards, spitting out a fountain of blood upon the foul Orc. "Ulund!" he cried, malice striking out in the confinement of the disgusting, dark room, "Ulca nyaro!"

The Orc snarled in rage, lashing out with a strong punch to the Elf's muscled abdomen. Legolas wheezed, sagging forwards, dangling weakly from his restraints. Coughing, blonde hair falling in a cascade over his flawless face, Legolas tried to control his breathing, stilling his cry of pain. 'I will not give them the satisfaction!' he declared to himself: his own silent vow.

A coarse hand gripped his chin, wrenching his head upwards. Legolas brow furrowed, his eyes glinted dangerously and with a level of hatred that many would have run and cowered from.

"Don't speak yer foul tongue to me, Elf!" the beast spat, sharp and rotting teeth bared in a growl. The Elf felt close to laughing at the irony. Elvish was the purest and most beautiful language throughout all of Arda – the least foul of all speech. Whereas, the Orcs fittingly spoke the Black Speech – a language so cruel and evil that it often hurt the Elves' ears to hear it spoken.

The fingers released Legolas' chin and he instinctively jerked his head backwards in defiance. Breathing as calmly as possible through his nose, he watched as the Orc retreated back into the furthest corner of the room, the shadows hiding him from the Elf's keen sense of sight.

"My orders," began the revolting creature conversationally from the darkness, "were to get ya to tell us all ya know – 'bout the Elves, 'bout everythin'." The sound of shuffling from his hidden spot immediately made Legolas tense and he tugged experimentally at the chains, trying to see if they would grant him a miniature chance of release.

"But ya see," as the Orc emerged from the shadows, Legolas' sapphire eyes widened, his steely expression somehow managing to hide the rising fear he felt at the sight of the blunt instrument in his captor's hand.

Seeing this, the Orc raised it slightly higher, appearing to admire its gruesome barbs, dripping with what Legolas could only deduce to be poison. Lowering its dark eyes back to the now stiffened Elf, it stepped closer, grinning maniacally, "I wasn't told how I should do it…"

A whimper rose from Legolas' throat as he swung limply from the chains, his body broken. His ethereal light had almost faded: his figure hardly even visible against the gloom of his cell. Sickly looking ribs jutted out against thinly stretched skin, the signs of his drastic weight loss all too apparent.

His body listed slightly, still suspended while his dull eyes struggled to stay open. Dark shadows hung beneath the Elf's eyes, making them appear drained and sunken, his cheekbones stood out starkly on his face while strands of matted, dirty hair fell across his face, his warrior braids long since destroyed.

Inhaling painfully, his head thrumming with the abuse, his life ebbing away with each wasting second, Legolas stared ahead, hoping that at any moment the wooden door would swing open and his rescuer would enter, head held high.

"Estel," he murmured, before coughing horrifically, blood trickling from the corners of his mouth. For that, he should be grateful – the poison's varied attacks were much more devastating.

Finally escaping his coughing fit, he clenched his biceps, attempting to pull himself up once more, but with little avail. "Saes, Estel. Tua amin…"

He broke off as a familiar sense of burning spread through his limbs, forcing them to twitch erratically. Legolas hissed, biting hard on his lip, continuing to suppress the screams he had not yet succumbed to. The poison was renewing its attack.

The fair Elf groaned under his breath as the whip lashes down hard upon his back, ripping down through skin and muscle, reaching to the bone. A lone tear fell from his eye as the hooks on the weapon were withdrawn, ripping away flesh with a sickly squelch.

Legolas wanted to scream, to break down in a pit of despair and never choose to resurface. But he couldn't and he knew it. His pride, his stubborn pride, wouldn't allow it. He was a Prince of Mirkwood, a warrior and archer of Eryn Lasgalen – he could not succumb to this.

And so, even with the inhumane agony tearing at his being, his fëa fading with each attack on his beautiful body, he steeled himself, storing away the waves of agony away for his moments in complete solitude.

As the hour went on, each strike became more and more vigorous, warranting other Orcs to switch in to perform the punishment, it ended.

Legolas slumped, finally released from the protective tension his muscles had forced him to hold throughout the torment. He could hardly breathe, the tendrils of darkness creeping into his mind and attempting to pull him over. He shook his head, trying to clear his jumbled thoughts while he focussed on his racing and erratic heartbeat.

He barely even heard the sound of footsteps as the Orc walked around his hanging frame, admiring his handiwork across the Firstborn's torso – an intricate design of criss-crossed cuts and burns.

"Elf," it began, drawing that one word out with distaste, "as much as I enjoy torturin' ya, it'd be in yer best interest to tell me what ya know."

Legolas laughed breathlessly, his muscles trembling with exertion at merely staying conscious. Raising his head, golden locks, bloodied and yet still shimmering and fair, falling past his shoulders, he replied spitefully, "And what would that possibly earn me?"

"A quick an' painless death."

Anger rose across the glowing face and he roared, "Antolle ulua sulrim!"

The Orc backhanded him hard, sending his whole body flying backwards. He was stopped abruptly by the restriction of the chains and screwed his eyes closed as he felt his shoulder pop out of place. Biting down hard on his lip so that he drew blood, Legolas tried to alleviate the pressure, holding himself up precariously with his other arm.

Noticing this, the evil creature chuckled cruelly, quickly clamping a gnarled hand upon the wounded appendage and squeezing hard. Legolas held his breath as agony flared from his shoulder and he kept his mouth firmly closed, only his glazed over eyes revealing any signs of the hurt he felt.

"I told ya, don't use that speech with me!" The Orc gave a sharp twist of the Elf's shoulder before releasing it and stepping back, studying his victim. Legolas, he noticed, seemed to be struggling to draw in even breaths and he was beginning to perspire. His whole body shook with painful tremors, all a remnant of either the physical torment or the poison in his blood stream.

But, the dark creature realized in annoyance, the Elf still proceeded to defy him, even now he glared with all his being, the look deadly enough to bring down an entire army in one glance.

With a decisive nod, the Orc turned around, returning to the shadowed corner: the area Legolas had come to fear. The young Prince swallowed involuntarily as he watched the Orc disappear into the darkness, already rummaging around for what he wanted.

'What now?' he asked in his head. 'I can't… I cannot endure this for much longer.' And as much as he'd have liked to deny the statement, he knew it to be true. His faithful body was now betraying him after days of near-constant torment.

"I thought I could hold on," he whispered to the dark, just out of earshot of the lingering monster. "I thought I would make it until you came… amin hiraetha, mellon-nin. Díhena nin…"

"Sayin' yer prayers Elf?" came the taunting voice as the hunched figure returned from the darkness, holding a knife in its hand. Legolas squinted at the object, afraid as his Elven senses began to fail him, and he gasped, desperately trying to pull away. The knife was laced with a viscous black substance that the Elf instantly recognized.

The Orc smirked as it stopped directly before Legolas' fighting form. He twirled the weapon experimentally along his fingers, enjoying the discomfort he was causing. "Don't like this, do ya Elf?" Legolas didn't reply, his gaze locked on the poison as it dripped steadily to the damp floor, saturated by his blood. "Maybe if I give ya a bit more of this, ya might start tellin' me what I wanna know instead of speakin' in that damned language!"

And with that, the Orc drew back its arm before stabbing the knife viciously into Legolas' thigh. Before he could stop it, a choked sob escaped him, but he hurriedly silenced it, allowing his mind to draw him away from the unbelievable pain.

"So ya are capable of voicin' pain are ya?" The Orc twisted the bloody knife cruelly before wrenching it out, silvery blood splattering the floor. The Elf's chest heaved as he held back his cries, his leg pulsating as more poison entered his blood.

His arm jerked painfully and he grimaced, knowing what was coming. Already, he could feel the poison's effects, increasing his agony tenfold, igniting flames through his fragile bones. His head spun, dizziness taking hold of him, the image of the sneering creature swirling and distorting.

As his whole unnaturally thin body began to twitch, he managed to yell out one phrase: "Gurth 'ni yrch!" before his eyes rolled back in his head and all was lost to a swirling vortex of torture.

The Elf's head snapped up and he yelped in pain, blood flowing freely from his nose while a dried up trail led steadily from his mouth. His eyes were wide and unfocussed, pupils blown from the torment of the poison as it worked to devour him from the inside out.

He blinked lethargically, trying to regain a connection to his surroundings. The pain still lingered at the back of his mind, now numbed as he gave into the pathway of freedom: the approaching cloak of death.

Shifting, Legolas groaned, every movement jarring his wounds, threatening to tear his soul well and truly from his battered frame. Had anyone taken the chance to gaze into that cell then, they would have seen nothing but a prisoner. The proud Elven Prince was practically gone, even his ethereal glow as part of his Elven heritage now deteriorated.

He was a disgrace. How could he ever re-enter his father's realm without bringing shame upon all around him? He was a mere shadow of the Elf he had been before – he was better off dying with his previous honor, than living as the remnant of his former self.

A hacking cough echoed around the cold room and blood fell past the cracked and broken lips, which were now tinged blue as a reminder of his obvious lack of treatment. His once so bright and vibrant eyes were dull and empty, the only emotion ever to cloud them being hurt.

Sniffing, Legolas rolled his head to the side, leaning it against his ripped and torn arm. All that he once was had gone. He was no longer even recognizable as Thranduil's son, too marred by injuries and grime to be noticed otherwise. The only thing left that defined him as an Elf were his pointed ears and those too, were promised to be eliminated next.

He breathed heavily, eyelids at a half-mast while he fought to stay awake - no-one's coaxing words persuading him to keep going. All he had now was hope.

Estel, he thought faintly, memories of an energetic child running rings around him, laughing and smiling. They had been friends a long time: most of Aragorn's extended life in fact. The traces of a smile tugged at the wearied Elf's lips as he remembered his first meeting with the young boy and the start of their blooming friendship.

The Elven Prince inclined his head slightly, signaling to the hidden archers lurking amongst the nearby trees. He saw them tilt their head in recognition and a sign of respect, lowering their bows as he passed.

Legolas rode on past them, holding his head high as he urged the angelic white horse onwards, towards the gates of Imladris. He swallowed slightly at the thought of meeting the young boy, aptly named Estel. From what Elladan and Elrohir had told him, he was very excitable and kind-hearted, but when it came to new visitors, he became timid and almost wary.

'Perfect,' the blonde Elf thought tiredly, straightening as the gates began to open, granting him passage. It wasn't that he didn't want to meet Lord Elrond's adopted son, it was more that he didn't want to frighten him.

For a brief moment, Legolas had a vision of a small child, barely reaching his waist dashing away from him, screaming in utter terror. He shuddered inwardly. 'That would be a great start.'

However, he stowed these thoughts of the back of his mind as he rode his steed proudly through the gates, already locating the identical Elves stood waiting for him, grins already spreading on their faces. 'Not a good sign,' Legolas worried, as he slowed the horse to a stop.

Raising an eyebrow at the twin expressions of mischief, Legolas dismounted gracefully, touching lightly down on the floor and immediately straightening. He walked towards the sons of Elrond and held a hand to his heart in gentle greeting, "Mae govannen, Elrondillions."

With a mocking sigh, the twins repeated the gesture, politely replying, "Mae govannen, Thranduillion." Then, with quickened Elven agilities, the two pounced on the younger Elf, dragging him into a headlock and ruffling his golden locks lovingly.

"Why the formalities, little Greenleaf?" Elladan asked teasingly, his arm clamped playfully over the Wood-Elf's neck.

Elrohir chuckled as Legolas tried to pull away and increased his purposeful ruffling of the Prince's hair. "Anyone would think you are royalty, tithen pen."

Rolling his eyes at their jibes, Legolas drew back sharply, escaping their grasps and brushing himself down. "Aye, who knew?" He smiled lightly and embraced them both in turn. "I have missed you."

"And us, you," Elladan replied fondly, the two Elves turned to stand dutifully by the smaller Elf's side as they made their way towards their home, "Although we appear to be missing someone."

"Ah yes, where is young Estel?" Legolas asked curiously, turning to glance at Elrohir to his right. He watched as the elder Elf stopped and grinned, raising his hand and pointing ahead of them.

Legolas raised his fair head being greeted with the sight of the proud Elrond striding towards him, one hand hung low by his side, clutching another considerably smaller. With his sparkling eyes falling upon the little figure trotting by the Elf Lord's side, Legolas studied him, trying to assess how to approach.

The young boy was just that: young. He had been informed that he was seven years of age by human terms and therefore, still in the early stages of youth. Baring this in mind on how to announce his greeting, Legolas took in the wavy dark locks that framed the boy's gentle face while a pair of intelligent grey eyes blinked up at him.

Legolas drew his gaze away from the young Human and directed a warming smile towards Elrond. Placing his hand to his heart, he once again performed the polite greeting he had been taught long ago, "Mae govannen, Heruamin."

"Mae govannen, Legolas Thranduillion," the Lord of Imladris replied in kind, casting a knowing look over the young Elf, searching for any injuries or signs of distress. Upon finding none, he nodded satisfied and smiled widely. "'Tis good to see you again, penneth."

Legolas bowed his head in good graces, before turning his attention to the Human, now partly hiding behind his father's legs. Meeting Elrond's gaze and finding a hint of amusement lingering there, the Elven Prince lowered himself into a crouch so that he was at eye level with the boy.

"Mae govannen, tithen pen," Legolas spoke kindly: a welcoming expression lighting up his bright features. He watched as the two eyes studied him cautiously, a slight look of awe lurking in their depths. "Im Legolas."

The young boy paused and for a moment, Legolas thought he would remain hidden behind Elrond's long robes. But finally, he came out from behind his hiding place, hands clasped nervously in front of him as he approached the Prince.

Estel stopped before him, nervously digging his heel into the ground. "I-Im Estel," he murmured shyly, turning to gaze down at the floor, a faint blush gracing his cheeks.

Legolas' smile widened further and he chuckled softly, a melodious laugh that made Estel raise his head, gazing at him in confusion. "We make quite a pair, penneth. Nervousness is a trait we both share, it would seem." Estel blushed at this and nodded softly. "But, nevertheless, 'tis a pleasure to meet you at last, Estel.Elen sila lumenn omentielvo."

He made to stand up when a small hand grabbed his own. Legolas stared at Estel in surprise and the young boy took a step back, embarrassed. The blonde Elf tilted his head slightly, "Yes, Estel?"

Estel's mouth opened and closed slowly, but no sound emerged. From behind him, Elrond rested a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Go on, ion-nin," he coaxed soothingly.

Swallowing back his timidity, the young Human met Legolas' puzzled eye and asked softly, "A-Are you Oromë?" At this, Legolas' jaw dropped and the twins behind him scoffed slightly. Even Elrond's eyebrow slanted at the question bursting with innocence.

Trying to hide back the chuckle of dismay he felt, knowing it would only provoke Estel's timidness further, Legolas kept his expression impassive as he replied, "Why do you ask this question, penneth?"

The dark-haired boy lowered his eyes, studying his feet with feigned interest. "H-He was the Forest Lord who lived on open land and one of the Valar – the fairest Elves of all Arda."

The blonde Elf scrutinized Estel a moment further, causing him to back away slightly, fearful that he had somehow brought forth offence. Frowning, Legolas raised his stare to Elrond, before asking, "You have taught him of the Aratar?"

"Aye," Elrond replied evenly, "He is young, but he deserves to know of his family's history, does he not?"

Legolas thought for a moment on that statement. 'His family…' Estel was an orphan, his new family resided with the Elves now. He had as much right to know the Firstborns' pasts as any other. Smiling, he nodded, turning back to the boy.

"You are wise for one so young, Estel. 'Tis a rare and valuable gift to possess such attentiveness and maturity – treasure it always."

He waited, watching as the curious grey eyes met his, the first strands of a bond forming between them, before Estel nodded, breaking the contact. Satisfied, Legolas straightened to his full height, towering over the Human.

Elrond inclined his head in respect for the Mirkwood Elf's acceptance of his adopted son and turned swiftly, robes flicking around him as he began to depart in the direction of their home. Elladan and Elrohir overtook Legolas to catch up with their Adar, but not before nudging the Prince playfully in the ribs as they went.

Legolas shook his head and began to follow. As he walked, he heard the soft patter of quickened footsteps to his right and he spared a glance down, almost stopping in surprise. Little Estel was practically jogging alongside him to keep up with his lengthy strides, determined to stay by his side.

Quirking an eyebrow, Legolas realized why the elder Elves had retreated so suddenly and almost sighed in exasperation. The sound of heavy panting made him immediately abandon all thoughts of revenge and he tenderly leant forwards, placing a soothing hand on Estel's shoulder, "Manen nar tye?"

"I-Im mae," the child murmured softly, trying to regain his breath after struggling to keep up with the slender Wood-Elf.

Legolas released his grip on Estel's shoulder, gazing down at him critically, "Man le carel sí?" then wincing at the harshness of his tone, he quickly added, "Did you not wish to walk with your Adar?"

The dark locks bounced joyfully atop his head as he shook his head. A look of awe on his face, he blinked up at the ethereal being, stunned by his magnificence and beauty. "Are you truly Oromë?"

"Nay," the kind Elf laughed gently, "Nay, I am simply Legolas."

"D-Do you wish to bear my company Lord Legolas?"

His eyebrow arching, Legolas smiled teasingly, "I believe the question should be: are you willing to endure mine?"

"M-My Lord?"

"Nay, tithen pen," he replied softly, resting a hand soothingly against the child's fair skin. "To you, I am mellon – nothing more."

As Legolas studied him, Estel's brow scrunched thoughtfully, assessing the words he had been told. Finally, his expression brightened and he managed a warming smile, eyes twinkling innocently, "Ye, Astalder."

The vibrant Prince inclined his head graciously, before the two continued onwards, Legolas purposefully slowing his pace to allow Estel to keep up.

"Legolas?" The blonde Elf glanced downwards, his gaze imploring the curious Human to continue. "Is it true? Are you really the best Archer throughout Arda?"

At this, Legolas laughed melodiously, unwittingly calming the little child's nerves and uncertainties. "Is that what is said?" Estel nodded, continuing to gaze up at his newfound companion. Grinning, the Elf crouched down, sapphire eyes twinkling with joy. "Why don't we go and find out?"

Mouth gaping, excitement quirking the corners, Estel asked, "Really?"

"Of course, mellon-nin," and with that, the two walked together towards the Archery range, already divulging in stories of their lives and tales they had been told throughout their lives. This was known as the planting of a new friendship and as the years went on it grew and blossomed, never to wither.

Legolas hacked, coughing agonizingly, blood spurting from his mouth. The tingling feeling of the poison tainting his blood entered his mind and he inhaled raggedly, tears pricking the edge of his bloodshot eyes. His back arched involuntarily and he screeched, feeling the pull of his recently inflicted wounds.

Each breath was torment, each second remaining conscious too painful. "Estel," he whispered, knowing by now that his friend would never hear the call. "Aníron Imladris na… Baw, im iest na gwanno. Henion, han i vangad i moe ben bango." His body shuddered as the venom inside of him began to take hold, readying for its final assault.

He swallowed, nausea rising at the taste of blood in his mouth. His muscles began to jerk spasmodically and he whimpered in pain, all pride that had once been, now faded into nothing. "Nai tiruvantel ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu elen," the Elf sobbed to the emptiness, separating him from his best friend.

Tears fell in a steady rhythm from his glazed eyes, his chest heaving. As his convulsions finally ceased him, squeezing the life from him so unfairly, he called out, hoping that somewhere, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, would hear him.

"Namarie, na-den pedim ad…" Then, for the last time, his world fell into inescapable darkness…

A sword flashed in the dim light of the caves and a dying scream rent the air. Again and again, the blade swung, decapitating, maiming, slaughtering…

"Where is he?!" demanded a murderous voice, heavy footsteps echoing through the dug-out hallways as he approached. An Orc snarled, lunging out at their attacker, a curved blade poised threateningly. Within seconds, it was dead, head split open, blood splattering everywhere.

The killer continued forwards, sword held dangerously ahead, marred by blood and gore. Grey eyes flashed in the torchlight held by his other hand, and he spoke, each word dripping with malice. "Tell me, where he is."

"Go back, human!" spat a venomous voice as three Orcs appeared from the blackened depths, swords posied before them. The lead Orc and who had spoken, far larger in bulk than the others, stepped forwards threateningly. "There is nothin' for ya here!"

"My friend, you took him." The long sword lifted higher, flashing in the flickering lights. "I want him back."

The Orc leader studied its opponent for a moment before throwing back its head and laughing cruelly. Its rotted teeth glistened hideously in the firelight, grimy body heaving with its laughter. "Y-Yer too late!" it lowered its deformed head, sickly eyes flashing with malice. "He's dead."

And as all three Orcs' faces began to sneer, harsh chuckles echoing through the air, the Human shook his head, trying to deny the words. He couldn't believe it, no, he wouldn't! Tears shimmering in his eyes, he dove forwards, an angered bellow rising over the taunting noise. "No!"

Before any of the foul creatures could react, the warrior struck, swiftly beheading them in one fell swoop. He panted in despair as their heads clattered simultaneously to the damp floor, lips still parted in knowing smirks. He studied them for a moment, trying to discern if the torturous words were true.

No. He's not dead. I'd know. I'd feel it.'

Holding back sobs, not willing to abandon hope, he pushed onwards past the bloodied corpses, relying on his ever-faithful senses to guide him towards his light. His pace quickened as he moved, darting past closed doors, hoping their bond would lead him there.

'I heard your call, mellon-nin. In my heart, I felt your pain. Please, hold on for me Legolas.''

His heavy boots clomped loudly against the ground, but he paid it no heed. He didn't care if he attracted an entire army with his carelessness. If it meant he would finally find his friend, it wasn't important.

Suddenly, he froze, just listening to his rapid breaths. The flame spat and twisted before him, waiting patiently for his decision. Body taut, he turned, eyes locked on the large wooden door that barred his way into… into who knew where. His brow furrowed as he stared, almost wishing he could see through solid objects. There was something about this door, something that caused his senses to scream out at him.

'It's this one. It must be. My instincts would not lie – not now.'

Approaching, he pushed down on the handle, immediately cursing when he found it to be locked. Locked means there's something to hide, he reminded himself and preparing, he drew back, lifting his foot. The heavy boot slammed hard against the wooden door, but it refused to budge.

Gritting his teeth, he did so again, hearing the wood creak beneath his violent assault. And yet still, it refused to open. Inhaling sharply through his nose, he lifted his knee as far back as possible, before driving it forth as hard as possible. The door splintered, swinging wide open and reluctantly granting him access.

Hesitating, he lifted the torch higher, squinting against the creeping dark. Unable to see anything, he entered, keeping his weapon held ahead of him – just in case. His gaze flicked around the dark room as he ventured deeper, his heart rate quickening while he constantly anticipated an attack.

His foot slipped slightly on the floor and he stopped, quickly regaining his balance. With caution, he slid his foot slowly back and forth, trying to identify the wet and yet, slightly sticky substance covering the floor. Stowing it to the back of his mind, he continued onwards, an all too familiar smell beginning to cloud his senses: blood.

He swallowed once again, allowing the flames to light his way. Ahead, he noticed a silhouette, barely visible against the suffocating black of the disgusting room. The sword tip aiming straight ahead at the figure, he approached carefully, the squelch of his boots against the floor being his only sound.

As he got closer, he thought he saw a flash of gold in the flames glow, marred with a darkened red. Dread rose within him, each step forcing his heart rate to rise. Pale skin, also covered in blood and wounds, glared out at him, devoid of an ethereal glow he had once known to be there. Shadows hung beneath tightly closed eyes, face lax and highly defined cheekbones standing out starkly against an ill complexion.

"No…" he finally whispered as he stopped before his friend, taking in his strung-up body, dangling agonizingly from rusty chains. His bare torso was ruined, ripped apart by different means of torture, his frame too thin and starved. He looked broken, like a corpse forced to remain in its dying position forever.

The torch fell from limp fingers, clattering against the floor, its light still shining upon the two friends. The Human's eyes swum with tears as he took in the Elf's destroyed form, "Legolas!" Lifting his sword, he raised up onto his toes, swinging the weapon in desperation. The chains snapped immediately and tossing away his sword, the Human easily caught the Elf's light frame.

"Mellon-nin, inyë nar hlar. Telin le thaed, Legolas," he whispered softly, cradling Legolas to him from where he sat on the cold floor. "Kwivra, Ernil!" His breath hitched as Legolas groaned, shifting weakly in his friend's grasp. A slither of hope found its way into his thoughts and he spoke louder now, "Im sinome ni le, kwivra!"

Sluggishly, a pair of glazed sapphire eyes opened, blinking weakly up at their rescuer. A fair brow scrunched in through, chest rasping as it drew in pained breaths, before the expression softened, forming a weak smile, "Estel."

"Aye, im sí." Aragorn gently stroked the trembling Elf's hair, still holding him close to his chest, refusing to let go. His eyes roamed fearfully over Legolas' numerous wounds. The cold of his body and the weakness of his actions scared the young Human and for the first time, he was worried for his friend's life.

Attempting to sit up, the wounded Prince hissed in pain, screwing his eyes closed. "Aragorn… Yrch…"

"Avo iosto mellon-nin," pained sapphire eyes blinked up at him and Legolas relaxed considerably, his body too weak to maintain his own weight. Feeling him sink back into his hold, Aragorn managed a gentle smile: one that failed to reach his sincere eyes. "Im mae."

Content with the answer, Legolas' eyelids began to close as he fought for consciousness, feeling the pull of death against his broken form. "Estel, díhena nin…" He broke off, falling into a harsh coughing fit, the air ripped from his lungs. Aragorn's arms tightened protectively around his body as his back arched, blood spurting from his lips. "E-Estel…"

"Avo pedo," the Human said softly, unable to keep the waver from his voice. He locked his gaze with the Elf's as the fair being struggled with his torment, allowing their faithful bond to keep them strong, "Sedho, gwador-nin."

"Baw, im tur-uu. Nin sarch deri, mellon-nin."

Aragorn shook his head, dark wavy locks waving from side to side with the action. A tear rolled down his dirt-riddled face as he stared down at his friend, shuddering at the sheer acceptance in his intelligent eyes, "Baw! Si boe ú-dhannathach!"

Inhaling weakly, Legolas relaxed deeper into Aragorn's hold, his eyes beginning to close as he gave into the lulling darkness. A sharp slap against his cheek forced his eyes wide, his fading sight met with the Human's concerned and panicked face. "Dartha an nin, Legolas!"he snapped, body trembling in terror.

Tears prickled the Elf's eyes at his friend's pleas and he gasped, grimacing at the pain thrumming through his whole body, "Estel, utúlie'n aurë."

"Baw, saes! Pain garolino bellas - lle naa belegohtar. No bell! Im nennar, maethor! Please,I need you!" Aragorn cried as he reverted back to Westron, sobbing freely now as he held his dying friend in a tight embrace. "Please… saes. Avo gwanno ereb nin."

The brave Elf could feel his heart breaking as he watched his friend's despair and weakly, he managed to clasp his friend's arm, trying to offer him comfort. The two remained this way in silence, only Legolas' harsh slowing breathing reminding them that they were in fact, still together. It wasn't fair. They were not meant to be separated this way. They had made a promise to remain together until Aragorn passed and then Legolas would finally sail. That was how it was supposed to be.

Feeling the cold encompass of death around his soul, Legolas' teary eyes locked on Aragorn's downcast face, praying that somehow, somewhere, they would meet again. "Namarie, tithen muindor…" A last whispery breath fluttered past the Elf's soft, gentle lips before his vibrant eyes dimmed. The fair head fell back, lolling over Aragorn's arm as his body became limp forever.

Aragorn's head snapped up as he felt his friend slacken in his arms. His eyes widened in horror as he stared upon Legolas' expressionless face, eyes wide and unseeing, lacking the significant sparkle the Human had come to love over the many years they had spent together.

"Legolas?" he asked uncertainly, praying for a response of any kind. None came… Shaking the lifeless body, he tried again, voice strained in despair, "Legolas, lasto beth-nin. Tolo dan nan galad!" But the Elven Prince was not coming back.

"No…" Aragorn dragged Legolas closer to him, burying his face in the knotted, bloody hair, "No!"

Freshly wept tears, single drops of crushing despair mingled with the Prince of Mirkwood's elegant golden locks, drenching the blood that resided there. Aragorn hugged the departed Elf close to him, his hand feeling the murderous wounds along his friend's body, his keen healing senses picking up on the scent of poison that had laced Legolas' dying breaths.

Shakily, the Human lifted his head, resting his chin on the top of Legolas' head, unable to stare into the blank depths of his eyes. "'Bâd gurth vi ngalad firiel'… Im boe tíro calad, Legolas." Salty tears pooling on his lip, he drew back staring deep into the vacant eyes o his best friend. A sob tore itself from his mouth before he could stop it, but he wouldn't look away. He needed to see those sapphire pools for the last time…

"Why are your eyes blue?" asked the curious seven-year-old as he sat side by side with most possibly the fairest Elf in all of Middle-earth.

Legolas grinned at the question and tilted his head, appraising the boy silently. "'Tis a fair question, penneth, but why is anything in Arda the way it is?"

"Because of Eru?"

The blonde Elf chuckled lightly, "You are wise, Estel." At this, Estel smiled widely, grey eyes sparkling with glee. "So would a fair assumption be that I am the way I am because Eru made it so?"

Dark locks bounced up and down as the child nodded vigorously, "Aye." His expression suddenly fell and he lowered his gaze, staring at the waving grass as it danced beneath them. "But then, why did Eru not make me an Elf, like you and 'Dan and 'Ro and…" he sighed sadly, "and Ada."

To this, Legolas had no immediate answer. He knew that Humans would only live for an allotted amount of time: one considered a small blink of existence in the view of Elves. He couldn't imagine how it would feel to live with those who never aged, nor suffered illness and not actually be one of them.

"Estel," he began, savoring his words carefully, "Being different is not necessarily a bad thing."

Estel sniffed, wiping his nose fervently on the cuff of his sleeve, clearly fighting hard to keep the stormy tears at bay. "But… you can do things I can't. I-I could never measure up to you…"

"And why would you need to?" asked the wise Elf, his concerned gaze never leaving the distressed Human's face. "I do not judge you because of your race, mellon-nin."

"I know that," Estel replied softly, cheeks already soaked despite his attempts to cover it. He drew his knees up to his chest, body trembling with pent-up emotion, "But why?" Tear-filled eyes swiveled to meet Legolas'. "Why can't I be an Elf?"

The question, bursting with such innocence, tugged at the Elf's heartstrings and gently, he edged closer to the crying boy. Wrapping an arm around the small frame, he tugged Estel towards him, allowing the child to sob into his tunic, his hands already gripping tight onto the fine material.

"Estel, you do not need to be an Elf to possess courage or grace or any of the things you yearn for." He glanced down, seeing Estel tilt his head slightly, listening but not willing to pull away from his comfort as of yet. "Humans, Elves or, dare I say it, Dwarves all have the potential to be noble should they choose it."

Estel didn't reply, still crying tiredly against his new friend's chest. Soothingly, Legolas stroked his hair, hushing him gently. "I believe that you will grow up to be strong, Estel. Your life will be one of honor."

"But," Estel looked up at the Elf, eyes wide and fearful, "it will end, won't it? My life shall end one day."

"Boe cuil ban firitha."

Shaking his head, Estel replied quietly, "No, not the Elves'. Their lives shall never fade."

"Though we do possess the gift of immortality, it does not make us invincible. We still feel pain, sadness, grief… It has been known that many Elves fade with time. And should we not, we will sail," Legolas' lips quirked calmingly at the corners. "We all shall."

"D-Do," the young Human swallowed, nose running from his cries, "Do you fear death, Legolas?"

The Elf inclined his golden head slightly to the side. "I understand that it is the way of things. Fearing death would be to simply fear that which could always come to pass, and in some cases always will. There is little to be gained by worrying of the inevitable." He leant closer to Estel, eyes sparkling with intelligence. "Never fear the darkness, Estel. Always remember to say to yourself: 'Elbereth, gil en-gilgalad nunthi' and then, the shadows will never seize you."

"Why? Why does this work?" Estel asked, his hands still buried in the green tunic covering Legolas' slim figure.

"Bâd gurth vi ngalad firiel," he replied, lifting his head once more and staring out across the magnificent trees of Imladris. "Shadows can only claim victory when all hope is lost. Trust that your light will never fade should you wish for it to remain."

A pair of eyes blinked slowly and resting his head back upon Legolas' warm chest, Estel asked, "And what if I lose that trust?"

For a moment, silence fell between them, neither choosing to speak. A pale hand tenderly clasped Estel's raising it gently through the air. The boy watched its motion before it stopped, resting protectively over his heart.

Brow furrowed, he met Legolas' eyes, the Elf speaking firmly, brushing away his doubts as easily as overhanging cobwebs. "Estelio han, gwador-nin. Estelio han…"

Breathing heavily, chest heaving in anger and despair, Aragorn raised his eyes to the ceiling. Drawing in a deep breath, he screamed out, uncaring if anyone was there to hear him: "Elbereth! Gil en-gilgalad nunthi! I moe dhuath orthor sinome, bealocwealm hafad fréon frecan forth onsended! Saes, anno-anim i galadh le dabo-anim!"

His voice echoed around the empty room as he waited, eyes searching the dark for any sign of an answer. Frustration rose inside as the silence dragged on and he roared angrily, eyes red and bloodshot. Staring at the lifeless form in his arms, he shook Legolas futilely, devastation clouding his mind. "I trusted you! You told me that my light would never fade if I wished it not to, and yet you still went!"

His voice cracked with emotion as he shouted at the lost Elf. 'How could he leave me? He told me… he told me…' "Please come back," the Human begged, the dead eyes watching him blankly, only visible with the flickering torchlight. "I need you by my side. I need you to keep me on the path should I ever waver. I need you to make me smile when all falls to darkness. I need to know that no matter what, you would have remained my friend. Legolas, u-aníron ner."

And as he buried his face snugly back in the golden arrayed locks, he missed the one bright twinkle in the Elf's unseeing eyes, nor the warming light that swum around him, protectively as always, whispering unheard words of comfort.

'Estelio han, mellon-nin.'

"Ea na gwiil, gwador-nin," Aragorn murmured brokenly to his friend, holding his embrace against the cold body.

'Im dari sí ah nin-ion, galadh mi i-fuin.'

Tears unrelenting, Aragorn reached forth, grasping his sword and easily sheathing it away. He rose to a crouch, placing one hand carefully under the Elf's knees and another under his back. With little effort, Aragorn straightened, lifting Legolas into his arms, his body limp and plaint in his hold.

His eyes fell momentarily on the torch, still abandoned on the floor, before he turned swiftly and walked away, Legolas held close to his chest. He had no need for flames – he felt there was something else, guiding his way.

'Inyë nar hlar, Estel. I promise…'

Sorry for the sadness! The idea just came to me one day - unfortunately Legolas had to suffer for it... :(

Please review and let me know what you think - I'd love to hear back from you all! :D

Elvish Translations:

Saes - Please

Ulund - Monster

Ulca nyaro - Evil rat

Arda - Middle-earth

Tua amin - Help me

Antolle ulua sulrim! - Much wind pours from your mouth!

Amin hiraetha - I'm sorry

Mellon-nin - My friend

Díhena-hin - Forgive me

Gurth 'ni yrch! - Death to the Orcs!

Mae govannen - Well met

Tithen pen - Little one

Penneth - Young one

Im... - I'm...

Elen sila lumenn omentielvo - A star shine upon the hour of our greeting

Ion-nin - My son

Adar - Father

Manen nar tye? - Are you alright?

Im mae - I am well

Man le carel sí? - What are you doing here?

Mellon - Friend

Astalder - Valiant one

Aniron Imladris na - I wish to be in Rivendell

Baw, im iest na gwanno - No, I want to die

Henion, han i vangad i moe ben bango - I understand, this is the price that must be paid

Nai tiruvantel ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu elen - May the Valar protect you on your path under the stars

Namarie, na-den pedim ad - Farewell, until we meet again

Inyë nar lyar - I am here

Telin le thaed - I've come to help you

Kwivra! - Awake!

Ernil - Prince

In sinome ni le - I am here for you

Im sí - I'm here

Yrch - Orcs

Avo iosto mellon-nin - Don't worry my friend

Avo pedo - Don't speak

Sedho - Be still

Gwador-nin - My brother (sworn)

Baw, im tur-uu - No, I cannot

Nin sarch deri - My grave waits

Si boe ú-dhannathach! - You cannot falter now!

Dartha an nin - Stay with me

Utúlie'n aurë - The day has come

Pain garolino bellas - We have need of your strength

Lle naa belegohtar - You are a mighty warrior

No bell! - Be strong!

Im nennar, maethor! - I order, warrior!

Avo gwanno ereb nin - Don't leave me alone

Tithen muindor - Little brother

Lasto beth-nin - Hear my voice

Tolo dan nan galad! - Come back to the light!

Bâd gurth vi ngalad firiel - Death moves in the fading light

Im boe tíro calad - I must see the light

Ada - Papa

Elbereth, gil en-gilgalad nunthi - Elbereth, shine the starlight downward

Estelio han - Trust this

I moe dhuath orthor sinome, bealocwealm hafad fréon frecan forth onsended! - There is a shadow holding sway in this place, an evil death has set forth the noble warrior!

Saes, anno-anim i galadh le dabo-anim! - Please, give me the light you blessed me!

U-aníron ner - I don't want to be alone

Ea na gwiil - Be at peace

Im dari sí ah nin-ion, galadh mi i-fuin - I remain here with you, bright amid the deep shadow

Thanks so much for reading!!! :)

Hugs, Ami-Rose x x x x x ;)