We are all very familiar with the books and/or the movies but this story is AU and deals with what might have been...so if you are a stickler for cannon this is not the story for you!

Rated M for violence and sexual encounters in later chapters

Disclaimer: The characters all belong to the master Tolkien and this is only being written for my own enjoyment and hopefully yours. No money or profit involved.

A Cage of a Different Kind

Chapter One

Eowyn was coming swiftly down the hall on her way to help the wounded from that day's battle. The fact that they had been delivered by her brother and Gandalf at the twelfth hour did little to lighten the mood. So many were wounded that every room and bed was full of people needing help. The whole situation was overwhelming.

As she hurried to see who would need her next she saw Legolas coming down the corridor towards her. What caught her attention was the fact that the elf was not moving with his usual grace. He was unusually pale and was using the wall for support now and again. He had a cloak clasped in front of him and as she drew nearer she noticed him sway as if he was going to faint.

"Legolas, are you hurt?"

His startled eyes looked at her and he straightened and attempted a smile.

"Nay my lady, I am just tired and have had no time to rest or eat. I was just trying to find somewhere quiet away from all this…." His voice trailed off.

"Have they taken over your room also?" she asked. Wondering if the healers had started to take even the few assigned guest rooms.

"I do not think so my lady, but Aragorn and Gimli are staying with me and I really just need to be alone."

As she looked closer at him she noticed a fair amount of blood on his clothes and it did not appear that all of it was black orc blood.

"Master elf, I can see that you have taken some hurt and need attention. Let me take you to the healers."

"NO!" He said emphatically.

The force of the reply surprised her and she decided that something was definitely up.

"Why are you resisting my aid" she asked, peering even closer at the obvious signs of distress coming from the usually calm elf.

"To be frank my lady, I am trying to avoid Aragorn and Gimli. If they see that I am even slightly wounded they will hover over me like mother hens. I neither want the attention nor wish to take them away from their other duties. Especially Aragorn." He hesitated and added softly, "I need to grieve for a friend as well."

She knew he had lost a close friend during the battle and could not begin to guess how one would feel after losing a friend you had known for hundreds of years.

She had also seen the close bond of friendship that tied Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli together and could well imagine their concern for their friend.

"I would be happy to let you rest in my room." All of a sudden the embarrassment of how that must sound came to her and she hurried on to explain, "No one else should be there and you could have the alone time you need so badly." Not to mention it will give me a chance to check out those "minor" wounds he had mentioned. She thought to herself as well.

"I couldn't put you out like that Lady Eowyn, besides it would be unseemly for me to be in your room."

"I doubt I will be using it much in the near future and I think that I can decide what would be "unseemly" and what would not." Eowyn hated having to explain any of her decisions and right now she was afraid that if she did not get him there soon she would have to find someone to carry him!

Just then they heard a commotion from around the corner and a booming voice saying "Where is that confounded elf. Have you seen him lately?" Gimli appeared to be asking anyone that would listen where Legolas was.

The already pale elf grew even paler and he whispered "By the Valar, what am I going to tell him when he sees me? He will run straight to Aragorn."

Making her decision and throwing caution to the wind, Eowyn stood in front of the elf, put her arms carefully around him and started gently kissing him.

His eyes opened wide and he started to step back but she whispered "This will give the dwarf something else to think about and explain your absence from your room tonight. Go with it and let me do the talking."

A slight smile appeared on Legolas' lips and he began to return the kiss, putting his one arm around her – even closing his eyes. Eowyn noticed that his other arm did not move from in front of him. "There is much I do not know of you fair shield maiden" he whispered into her lips.

Eowyn could not believe her boldness. She had noticed long ago how beautiful the elf was and had always been drawn to his quiet, elegant ways, not to mention his reputation as a warrior, but Aragorn had occupied her thoughts as of late. As their lips met, she almost forgot why they were doing this.

"Legolas! Where have you…." Gimli noticed what Legolas was doing and his surprise stopped his words.

Eowyn turned slightly and looked at Gimli as if he was intruding on a romantic moment and Gimli started to get flustered.

"I am sorry my lady, I didn't realize, I mean, I had no idea, ahh that is to say that we have been looking for Legolas for most of the day. We were afraid he was hurt. Obviously, that is not the case." Gimli stammered as he tried to figure out what to do next.

Legolas slowly opened his eyes looking at her with wonder and glanced over at Gimli. Eowyn found she was unable to talk so Legolas responded for her. "I would hope that you would use a little discretion when reporting to Aragorn of my umm... activities." Legolas almost laughed as he said it and she thought to herself, So much for me doing all the talking?

"Of course – will we be seeing you tonight?" Gimli asked a blush rising to his cheeks.

Legolas just raised his eyebrows and starting kissing Eowyn again.

Gimli stumbled by them muttering the whole while. "They want me to use discretion when they are standing in the middle of a busy corridor kissing. I don't think they know what the word means…" the mumbling continued down the hallway until he was out of sight.

Legolas looked at Eowyn with wonder and said "not only are you a brave shield maiden, you are also very quick on your feet." And he decided to kiss her yet again – this time her lips parted and his tongue slipped into her eager mouth.

A sharp pain in his abdomen quickly brought him back to reality as Eowyn accidentally bumped into the arm he held protectively in front of his stomach.

She noticed his sharp intake of breath and realized he was looking faint again. She wrapped her arm around his waist, putting his free arm around hers, and helped him to her room. Luckily for them both, it was not too far.

As she opened her door and moved to the bed she noticed that she was supporting more and more of the elf's weight and it was with relief that they finally reached the bed.

Legolas sagged down with a faint moan.

"Now you need to let me take a look at that." she said as she carefully removed the cloak from in front of his body.

Her eyes opened wide and she gasped when she saw what the elf was concealing. A long bloody gash ran all the way across his stomach. The edges looked angry and red and the blood had not stopped seeping from it.

"My God! You were almost gutted! If I had known it was this bad, I never would have participated in that show for Gimli!" She exclaimed.

Legolas replied softly "but what a fine show it was. Besides, this is just a scratch." He coughed and smiled faintly at his private humor.

Eowyn just shook her head and carefully pressed the cloak back against the wound. "Keep applying pressure while I get my things ready." Being a fair healer as well as a shield maiden, she was never without her healer's kit. The problem was, there had been such a great need that she wanted to see what she could find left in her room.

She quickly stoked the fire and put a small pot of water on to boil. She went over to her drawers and started to rummage through. Luckily she found her additional herbs and some left over bandages, needle and thread. All of which she was going to need.

I hope this is not beyond my abilities, she thought and she returned to Legolas with the stuff she had found.

When she got back to him his eyes were shut and he had fallen back so he was laying half way on the bed.

She gently lifted his legs and placed them on the bed. Even that small movement brought a hiss of pain from the elf and his eyes opened back up to gaze blearily at her.

She removed the cloak again and decided to cut his tunic off to get better access to his wound. She took her knife and split the tunic up the middle and carefully pushed it off to the sides trying to minimize any movement that might hurt him. Legolas tried to not show his pain but he couldn't hold in the moan as Eowyn cleaned the nasty looking cut. The water was hot so she mixed some of her herbs into a cup and helped Legolas drink it down. "This will help ease some of the pain. I am going to have to sew this up." Legolas nodded and she set to the rather grizzly task of putting the elf back together. She noticed the pale smoothness of his skin and the defined muscles of his chest. "Keep your mind on what you are doing" she sternly told herself.

Legolas was thinking about the strange turn of events that had just taken place as well - trying to keep his mind off his pain. He had noticed Eowyn immediately when they had entered the keep several weeks ago. She was a beauty even by elven standards but it had seemed at the time that she was totally taken with Aragorn and had little time for him. Not that he had made many attempts to talk to her, other than to comfort her when they thought Aragorn was dead. Even then, he did not think she had even really looked at him. He remembered her grace and strength when he had happened to see her practice with her sword, but he had chosen to stay in the shadows.

They had also talked briefly about her dismay at having to stay with the women and he knew that her anger had been directed at the situation. He had tried to comfort her and make her realize that if the orcs broke through she would be needed to protect the women and children but she had been very angry about it. Now tonight, that was another story. He still could not believe she had pretended they were involved to save him from Gimli. He and Aragorn had shared many adventures and had not always emerged unscathed. Aragorn was very protective of the brother of his heart and had previously suffered guilt and sorrow for Legolas' hurts that were in no way his fault. Legolas could just imagine his reaction to today's wounds. Aragorn would feel responsible when he figured out Legolas had taken an arrow while he was hauling Aragorn and Gimli up the wall during the battle. That had weakened him enough that he could not totally avoid the scimitar that had tried to cut him in half. Aragorn would have stayed by his side even though he was needed elsewhere and would not have rested until he knew Legolas was well. He just couldn't let that happen.

A sharp cry was wrenched from him as she continued to sew him up. He watched her tending to him and could not get the memory of her soft lips out of his mind. If he wasn't in so much pain he might have tried to extend those moments. "What was in that cup she had given him?"

She sighed as she finished up and made a familiar paste out of athelea leaves, which she pressed into his recently sealed wound. It continued to burn as she lifted him to an upright position and carefully started to wind bandages around his midsection, first pulling the remnants of his tunic off. She looked at the mattress upon which he had been laying and noticed an inordinate amount of blood. Her pretty brow furrowed as she tried to figure out where it had come from.

"Do not worry yourself fair Eowyn, elves heal quite fast." he said, trying to hide his pain.

She shook her head as she moved behind him and to her dismay, saw an additional wound.

"I suppose this was a love pat from some Orc?" She said frostily as she probed the bleeding hole in his lower back.

Legolas smiled as he felt darkness envelope him and he started to slump forward. Eowyn grabbed his shoulders and eased him down on his side continuing to check out the new hurt. She was actually relieved he had passed out when she discovered an arrowhead still embedded in the wound. Taking her knife she carefully cut it out and brought it to her nose. She could smell the faint scent of poison on it and almost cried. She cleaned it and packed it with the paste. This was probably why the elf had continued to bleed even though she knew they had extraordinary healing powers. She rolled him carefully on his back - the stomach wound was the more serious at the moment and she wanted to minimize his pain.

Since she had already discovered one "hidden" wound she decided to check him over thoroughly, he probably had a few more. She examined the rest of him trying not to dwell on the feelings his beauty was stirring in her and was satisfied until she went to pull of his boots. There was a gash on his calf that required stitches and she had to cut his leggings off at the knee.

Convinced at long last that she had done all she could, she changed the dirty linens and tucked him in. His body was warmer than it had been, but that was to be expected as his body fought the effects of the poison and blood loss.

The stress of the long day was starting to catch up to her so she decided she had better make a final check of the healing ward and get some water, herbs and bandages for later.

She looked at the elf lying peacefully in her bed and sighed before shaking her head and quickly leaving the room. "He is out of your league, so don't let a few kisses go to your head!" She thought to herself as she hurried to the ward and started collecting the things she needed.