Not a Moment Sooner
Summary: Legolas dies at the Last Debate but Aragorn pleads to Valar. Valar will grant him one wish, whatever it will be. Will Aragorn save his friend or succumb to human greediness?
Warnings: Kinda character-death, some blood and things like that.
Disclaimers: Don't own LotR.
Other notes; This doesn't really follows the history behind LotR, the history of Valar I mean but I will do this anyway. So don't start complaining, please, because I am telling you now it will probably not follow the true story.
Those who wants, enjoy this one-shot.
They had won. They had truly won this war at last, at the very gates of evil they had won over Sauron. Gandalf the White had gone with the eagles to get Frodo and Sam from Mount Doom.
Everyone was cheering in the middle of the battle scene; mourning for their dead comrades will come later. They know it. They all know it, but for now they bask in the feeling of victory.
Aragorn walked among dead bodies of both men and orc. He was weary and tired by victory belonged to them. He would hurry back to Minas Tirith for Frodo's and Sam's treatments; the bodies of their fallen friends would be retrieved later to be brought to their own lands but for now he was searching.
He had not heard the joyful call of his old friend Legolas. He had not seen blonde hair since the beginning of the battle. He had heard elvish curses float over the screams and even imagined the sound of Legolas' deadly bow. He must find his friend.
Legolas stared up at the sky. It was free of clouds and the sun stung at his yes. But he would not lower them; he was going to watch the beauty of the sky instead of the broken gate into evil's land and the death all around him. He was not going to die watching mortal despair written in dead faces. He coughed, faint traces of blood staining his lips. He was not going to survive this. The wound was too severe. One of his numb hands traced the ugly, ragged ends of the bloodied and dirty wound, wincing slightly.
Well… it had been a really long time since he had been this foolish. Too bad he was not going to live through it; he had been looking forward to peace for quite some time now.
Aragorn saw the blood before the person. His throat constricted and he choked on his next breath. His legs moved forward, his mind panicking. The human fell to his knees and gently lifted the elf's upper body from the dirty ground. Legolas coughed and focused, although a bit blurry, on Aragorn.
"Aah… mellon-nin," the elf whispered, a small smile on his lips. "Forgive me. I was not with you to the end… and did not fight enough."
"You fought enough," Aragorn said gently. "You made your people proud."
The Sindar coughed some more and looked up at the sky again.
"You will be fine," the human said, pressing a hand against the gaping wound on Legolas' chest.
"No," Legolas sighed out. "I will not be fine… I am dying."
The shout attracted some attention, and Merry gasped when he saw the elf. Gimli stared at his dying friend with horror in his eyes. Aragorn held Legolas tighter and choked back tears. He would not survive if his friend died now.
The Sindar suddenly began speaking in soft tones, his Elvish flowing beautifully despite his small gasps of breaths. Aragorn felt horror grip his heart when he heard the words.
"What is he saying?" Eomer asked, kneeling beside the two but still keeping a respectful distance. Aragorn was silent for a few moments before he slowly translated:
"I shall not fear the road ahead for the road is not my enemy. I shall walk into the embrace of death without regret and sorrow. I have lived well, and shall face the next road of adventure with content mind." Here he stopped for a moment or two before explaining, "It's a prayer of sorts, that only dying elves says."
Legolas went silent as his face contorted in pain. After a moment, the pain melted away from his face and he said:
"Yes, mellon-nin?" Aragorn asked, feeling Legolas' body stiffen in death's embrace. The human was blinking back tears desperately, determined that if the elf was to die he was not going with regret and sorrow. The Sindar was not going to die watching his friend cry over him.
"Gandalf told me once," Legolas began and looked at the human. "About death. How it's just another adventure we all must walk."
"He may be right," Aragorn agreed, his eyes bright with tears, "but cannot you wait with that adventure? You are always so impatient."
Legolas laughed, blood bubbling at the corner of his mouth. The human tenderly wiped it away, leaving Legolas' face pretty much untouched by blood and grime.
"I will wait… mellon-nin," the elf whispered. "I will wait for you but take your time. I will have all the time in the world."
"Legolas, stay with me!"
A glassy sheen came over the blue eyes, and then Legolas Greenleaf breathed no more.
Arwen felt a tightening in her heart and had to sit down. Elrond hurried up to her as he saw her face grow pale, almost ashen, and took her hand. Her eyes had turned wide, and were far away.
"Arwen," the elf-lord said. "Arwen, what is wrong?"
"Ada…" she whispered. "Aragorn… something just happened. Something horrible."
"Is Aragorn alright?"
"No," the fair elf said and shook her head. Tears spilled over. "No… Ada, Legolas is dead."
They did not dare trying to coax Aragorn to let go off his dead friend. Legolas' hollow eyes stared unseeingly into the sky, his lips turned slightly upwards in a gentle smile. Eomer rose up and led the others away to give the future Gondor king a moment.
Aragorn cried into the Sindar's hair, gripping the body tightly.
"Please Valar," he begged brokenly. "Please Valar… don't take him from me. I'm supposed to grow old and die long before him. Please… don't take him from me."
When he opened his eyes, he no longer held Legolas' cooling body in his arms nor was he on the battle field anymore. everything was bright, white… only white. He looked up.
Shapes were before him but he could see no faces. However, he knew by instinct where he was.
"Valar," he whispered, staring up at the shapes.
"We heard you plead," one shape said, not man nor woman, not young nor old. "Long has it been since we last granted a human a wish."
"Grant a… wish?" Aragorn asked.
"We shall grant you a wish, no matter what you wish for."
The human's eyes widened. One wish… whatever he wanted.
They waited. Long had it been indeed since they granted a human a wsh but it was entirely because Valar had witnessed mankind's greed for power and domination. They were sickened by it, and wanted that no more. so they waited, to see if a human in grief would be able to think beyond the temptation of power.
For Aragorn, his choice had already been made. He merely worked up his courage to say it.
"You will grant me anything?" Aragorn said.
"Yes," voices chorused.
The human fell quiet. He fisted his hands before looking at Valar. His hand no longer bore Legolas' blood but he could feel it all too well.
"I have no illusions of my own strength," he spoke, looking up at them all. "But I swear to you, I will face all other battles without begging. When death comes, whether in battle or in a bed as an old man, I shall not deny my mortality. I wish for no power, no easy victories. I wish for my friend's life. I wish you will give me my friend back. Without Legolas, I am nothing but a shell. With him walking on Middle-Earth, alive and well, I can face whatever fate throws at me. So give me my friend back."
While they did not feel shock, they felt the faintest twinges of surprise, and hope. Mankind was maybe still saveable.
They approached Aragorn again. He had been unnaturally still for minutes, staring right ahead of him. Legolas' face was buried in his shoulder.
"Aragorn," Gimli said, his voice gruffer than normal due to his will to keep tears at bay. "Aragorn, we should go. We can… we can bring the elf's body with us."
The human blinked and looked around. After a moment his eyes widened and he looked down at the elf.
"He's gone," Eomer said, laying a hand on the future king's shoulder. "I'm sorry, but he's gone."
"No," Aragorn whispered. "No, he's not…"
"Aragorn!" Gimli pleaded. "Please, don't…"
The human shook his head; the Valar would grant his wish! They had said so!
They made ready for a new attempt to make Aragorn let go of the body when the unthinkable happened; Legolas took a deep breath before coughing a few times. He blinked his eyes and the glassy sheen vanished. There was no longer a wound in his chest, no longer any blood colouring the ground underneath him.
Aragorn gave out a laugh, and hugged the Sindar close.
"Was it a dream?" Legolas asked, somewhat disoriented. "I was somewhere…"
"It is a dream now," Aragorn said. "This is reality. You are here with us now, and will be for quite some time."
The elf looked up at them all; they all were crying in relief, in surprise, in happiness. He turned his attention back to his friend. He remembered it, what he had said, and what he had done before the bizarre feeling of being weightless and surrounded by emptiness.
"Don't do that to me ever again," Aragorn whispered fiercely.
Legolas smiled and moved so his mouth was pressed against Aragorn's ear, and whispered, almost like a secret, almost like a promise but most definitely an oath he intended to keep:
"Not a moment sooner. Only when you last breath has passed your lips, Estel, shall I welcome death. Not a moment sooner."
"Not a moment sooner," Aragorn agreed.
Hope someone liked it. I kinda did^^ And I revived Legloas! I couldn't really kill him ya know?
Until another time,