Title: To Carry You Home
Summary: And as the heavens opened, it seemed that even the Valar wept for Legolas Thranduillion.
Set: Fellowship Of The Ring, so yes, it is AU.
Characters: All nine of the fellowship.
Warnings: Character Death
A/N: A quick muse that seriously would NOT go away. I'm hoping it will bring tears to your eyes, because the scene in my head certainly did. I did my best, I hope you enjoy. Please review..
Disclaimer: The characters, names, places, setting and creatures in this fic are not mine. They belong to Tolkien. the song at the end is NOT mine either, it is called "Into The West", and I got the lyrics from a website.
To Carry You Home
The clang of metal was dull, more of a hum, reverberating through his head as the sounds of dispute slowly diminished around him. It was odd, the feeling of fatigue that now seemed to capture him, wrapping its numb folds around him. It seemed as though everything ceased to be, and he was left in only this little cocoon of memories passed. Only, it wasn't a memory; surely not? Perhaps it was only a dream, and a vivid one at that. Of all things, the blood felt most like that of reality, and it startled him to find that it was in fact his own. He'd never had a dream such as this before; never had it been him.
He felt himself sway, and only then did he realise that he still stood, and only then did his eyes first set its sight on the sword's hilt. He frowned to himself, staring dazedly down at the offending object. Surely it was dangerous to be in such a position? He was certainly going to need his stomach later, since even the thoughts of Sam's cooking was always welcomed warmly by him. Even an elf had to eat, and even an elf had standards, to which Samwise Gamgee met tenfold. He could almost hear the clanging of the hobbit's pan now, though the sound seemed rough and harsh. What on Middle-earth was he doing with it?
His lips curled upwards at the thought, until he became aware of the ever-growing stain on his green jerkin. He scowled foully, tentatively touching the crimson with his hand; it came away sticky with the warm liquid. He had only one other spare tunic, and the damned piece of clothing was in his pack, some way away. Ah, where is it? He'd forgotten all about his pack, but then what was the need of it when this was only a dream? Any second now he was sure Aragorn would be shaking him awake, and the waft of Sam's broth would arrive. For a moment he stood, keeping his mind light as he waited for the calloused hand, but it did not come. He could smell neither rabbit nor mushrooms; could not hear neither the giggles of Pippin, or the deep bass of Gandalf; could not see the face of his friend looming over him. This is ridiculous. He felt unexpected anger gnawing at him, seducing him, but he batted it away. The waiting bored him, and he wondered how long he'd been standing there. Not long, he decided, for the thoughts of an elf did not need long to travel. Travel. Move.
He shook his head, feeling ridiculous of the fact that he'd yet to move from his spot, and lifted his foot to take a step. Neither feet moved, not a twitch nor a quiver. He merely leaned forward at the disappointing movement, becoming infuriated with his foot's lack of cooperation. He looked down at the limb, wondering if it had been nailed to the ground, but instead his eyes met again with the hilt. It was beginning to nag at him, a flawed object protruding from his flawless body, and his anger drove his hands to clasp at it. Valar, it is thick. He tightened his grip and yanked as hard as he could.
A scream suddenly rang through the hum, startling him terribly, and yet the hilt had not moved half an inch, let alone a whole. He removed his hands from it, and to his bafflement the scream was abruptly cut off. He blinked. How odd. His pale hands moved back experimentally to the hilt, pulling harder than before. A second scream, identical to the other, forced him to bring his hands away once again. Oh Valar, surely that was not he? Surely he would notice his own pain?
And then suddenly the cocoon shattered, as the walls of his dream came crumbling down over him, and all hell was revealed. He saw his companions, his friends, locked in violent skirmish, fighting as they'd never before. Aragorn slicing and jabbing; Boromir shoving and decapitating; Gandalf flying through the enemy, his staff and sword only whirling hurricanes; Gimli thrusting his axe into anything that moved, and then were the hobbits. Even in combat they were together, and Legolas felt a hint of pride as they defended each other. A bond as fierce as theirs was one that could scarcely be broken. The fatigue gripped him again, forcefully pulling him into darkness, but he could not relinquish. Not now. Not when tears were so clearly visible on their red faces. Why did they cry? Had something happened? He felt the anger raging through him. No one would hurt the hobbits, not while the Prince of Mirkwood lived and breathed. He moved his hands to his back, only to find his quiver empty, and his bow vanished. A thousand curses: his father would kill him when he returned home. He looked again at his friends, all eight warriors, and wanted desperately to help them. Where was his bow? Where were his knives? He wasn't even aware of spending his arrows, and yet he saw the familiar green fletching imbedded in a nearby corpse.
He blinked slowly. His eyes felt heavy, too heavy, for his liking. He could see the closest of his friends not far in front of him, gutting the enemy. He smiled. The move had always been a personal favourite of the ranger, but never before had he seen his friend so angry, so destructive. Even as he pondered this he found the same qualities in the others. What had been done to anger his comrades?
He opened his mouth to speak, but found that no words came forth. No words could come forth; he felt only a warm thread trickle from his mouth. He hadn't bitten his tongue, he was sure of that, but yet the blood came, dripping off his chin. He willed his foot forward, but a sudden weakness washed through him, and he could only helplessly crash to his knees. What was this folly? Why could he not stand? He felt faint, wavering on his knees as he closed his eyes and tried to calm himself. He could feel a pool of blood slowly forming down his knees, as the warm substance ran down from the scimitar, washing down from the hilt, and the blade on the other side. Ah, he thought uselessly. What did one do in such situations? What could one do in such situations? Except die quietly: something he thought he wouldn't be capable of. The pain, previously absent, now came mercilessly, filling his head and body with only blinding agony. He heard a whimper escape him as he bowed his head. What a dignified way to die.
The sounds had stopped around him, leaving only his struggling breaths as he fought the dark. It advanced towards him, licking its lips menacingly, and he was helpless. Useless! He felt his body slowly begin to descend, his breathing hardened and still the pool of blood spread silently, taunting him. There was no more strength left in him, and he began to slowly collapse to the side. Oddly, the ground seemed as welcoming as his bed, but arms caught him, holding him from the infinite sleep. He could not help his cry of agony as the scimitar slid from him, and the arms pulled him into their soft, soothing embrace. He was cradled desperately to a chest, and soon the sobs reached his failing his ears. Frowning, he forced his unwilling eyes open, meeting the relieving, dirt-blackened face.
"Legolas." The ranger choked out, the sobs were not his, but even so anguish tainted the rugged face, and tears left their tracks as they descended.
"Aragorn?" He whispered, having to force the name from his lips. He felt himself failing; it took every ounce of his strength just to look upon the grief-ridden face.
Aragorn nodded slowly, evidently having to force a smile onto his face, but it didn't fool the likes of an elf; even a dying elf.
" D-did I… f-fail?" The words came harder now, trembling ferociously as he ground them out.
"No!" Another tear fell from the ranger's face as he frowned and shook his head, making his words forceful. "No, the very opposite, Mellon nîn." /my friend/
He looked so sad. It was ironic that he was causing his friend so much pain even now, and it hurt Legolas to think of it. Would the suffering ever end? Legolas pondered these words half-heartedly as the sobs became magnified, and glanced past Aragorn to the seven figures behind him. It was indeed the four hobbits making the noises of sorrow and suffering. He could see Sam weeping openly, his face scrunched, as the saucepan lay forgotten on the ground at his feet: Legolas almost smiled when he saw how bent and disfigured it was. The little gardener had more fire than he'd ever imagined. Louder sobs came from next to Samwise, and he saw Merry and Pippin, the latter shaking as he sobbed into his cousin's shoulder. They were always together, and even now Merry tried his best to comfort the younger hobbit as his own tears spilled: hobbit hearts were generous. It did not surprise Legolas that the old wizard stood next to the hobbits, his eyes heavy as he regarded him and Aragorn with great sadness.
What did surprise him was the weeping dwarf on the other side, his tears disappearing into his beard as he forgot his pride this once. The dwarf would have made a loyal friend, Legolas wished they'd had the chance make amends and strengthen their acquaintance, but it seemed that now time was against him. He felt the need to comfort the dwarf, but thankfully the Gondorian did that for him, placing his gloved hand on the dwarf's shoulder as he bowed his own dark head. The last Legolas looked upon was Frodo: the ringbearer. The hobbit had more heart than all of them, and though he may not have been the greatest warrior, or the hardest being, he was certainly full-hearted, and the full-hearted were always the bravest. Silent tears rolled down the ringbearer's youthful face as they met eyes, but another wave of pain washed through his body, and he arched in Aragorn's arms as another cry of pain was torn from him. The hold around him tightened as the ranger pulled him closer. He couldn't soothe him; he couldn't heal him; he couldn't take away the pain. No one could, the dark was getting closer, clawing again. Legolas forced his eyes back to Aragorn, terribly aware how his own lithe body trembled from the pain.
" I-I…" Legolas tried to speak, but his voice failed him and he was forced to grit his teeth against another wave. He felt cold, too cold, and even the warmth of Aragorn could not rid the chill of his bones. The darkness grew ever closer; his eyes grew heavy.
"Legolas! Edro lin hen, Legolas!" /Open your eyes!/ Aragorn's panicked call pulled him back, and he tried hard to return to his friend. "Ú-erich o nin gwanno…" /You cannot leave me…/
The sadness in his voice aggrieved Legolas; he had never heard his friend so lonely. Perhaps he would stay with him a little longer, just a little. He dragged his eyelids back up to see the ranger fail at smiling once more. He is getting worse at it…
"Tiro, I anor hilol!" /Look, the sun is shining! /Aragorn exclaimed, "See?"
No, he did not, not at all. What was Aragorn talking about? There was no light; he could barely make out even the silhouettes of the fellowship through the dark.
"Ú … g-galad, Aragorn." /There is no more light/ Legolas choked back, confused. He could feel the metallic liquid pooling in his mouth, pouring out and slipping down his chin; surely he would drown in it? Aragorn's features tightened in anguish at his words, and it seemed as though one silhouette was shifting. Which companion was it? He could no longer tell.
"Dartha. Rago!" /Stay. Reach! / Aragorn pleaded; it pained Legolas to see him so… broken. "I am here… Ú-erich leithio!" /You cannot let go!/
"Boe naid bain gwannathar…" /All things must pass away/ He didn't have the strength anymore; everything was fading; all life; all light.
A single stifled sob escaped Aragorn lips, and Legolas weakly tried to reach his face, to wipe away the tears, but his hand fell short to rest on Aragorn's chest. The only movements he could make were the unwanted shivers that racked him. Why was it so cold? The blood was sliding down his neck now, he could feel the horrid substance leaking from his lungs, and Aragorn tenderly wiped away the blood from his chin with a sleeve, but it was no use; more blood flowed from his mouth.
"Le matha naeg anim" /You feel pain for me/ His voice was naught but a whisper now, a breath in the wind as he struggled to keep his eyes on Aragorn. "Forgive me…"
"There is nothing to forgive, Mellon nîn." Aragorn replied softly, keeping his gaze. /My friend/
"H-Hannon... le." /Thank you/ Legolas murmured gladly, sinking further into his friend's embrace, and into the abyss. He kept his eyes on his friend, to be assured he was not alone, to the end. One by one the sounds of sobbing disappeared, until he was only aware of one sweet melody: his friend.
" Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You have come to journey's end
Dream - of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across a distant shore
Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away"
A soft light appeared, a door way to the halls of Mandos. Perhaps his time here was done. Perhaps he could rest. He took one last wistful look at his friend, but the light grew, beckoning him, and he stepped gladly into it. Content at last.
"Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping
What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come
To carry you home"
The sobbing ranger finished, holding his friend's limp body close to him as above the heavens opened, and it seemed as though even the Valar wept for Legolas Thranduillion.