Reply to Anon. Review:
Me: More about the elf in question, is at this chapter. Forgive me though for the long wait, though now RL is more relaxing since i have a new job which is better than the other one. Thank you for reviewing, glad to know that you like it. More to come. *Hugs & Kisses* Have a great day/night and keep smiling. *Virtual chocolate tab plus a chocolate bunny* Grin :)
For disclaimer and summary, check in previous chapters.
Near Mirkwood's borders….
Prince Legolas was on patrol, his very first patrol.
King Thranduil had dispatched so many guards along with him that Legolas questioned if there were any left to defend the homeland against Sauron's constant attacks.
"I will be alright, adar," Legolas assured his father.
"I know, ion. I have my guards to watch over you." Thranduil grinned at his son.
"Thank you for keeping me safe, adar." Legolas smiled as he thanked his father.
"I will do it every time. Ride hard and return safe. I will be waiting here to hear about your adventure," Thranduil told him.
Legolas nodded. From that curve in his father's lips and that flash of worry in his eyes, he understood how much his father loved and cared for him.
"Come back safely, I will be waiting for you," Thranduil said as Legolas rode off, the guards followed his lead.
Legolas had officially begun his first patrol, without his father. There were only the guards to keep him safe from any of those danger that he had heard about from his adar. But perhaps, this would also be his opportunity to prove his skill in an actual situation.
Galdor rode ahead as he sensed something amiss about the tree trunk. He could not sense what was behind it. Perhaps it was a faint smell of blood? He was not too certain.
"Galdor, what is it?" Legolas asked the guard.
"I do not know," Galdor replied as he turned to face the prince and then he explained, "There is a strange smell in the air. I sense the presence of someone lost, and I do not know if this bodes well."
There was a slight movement that caught the guard's eyes and he headed cautiously over.
Legolas, curious, dismounted from his horse and joined him to see what was there. In any case, he had to put himself in a position to better defend himself.
The was a clear trail of blood now and the guards followed closely behind him. The trail led them toward an injured elf.
"Is he alive?" Legolas asked with fear. He was already feeling responsible for the elf. Perhaps it was the first time he had seen anyone this young on the brink of death.
"He had been crawling for a long time. Honestly, my prince, he should be dead, I do not know how it is that he's still alive," Galdor replied as he observed the gravely wounded elf.
"He does not look good," Legolas pointed out, and then he returned to his horse. "Settle him on my horse, I will watch over him."
Legolas held the elf carefully as they rode hurriedly back to the caves. It seemed as though Thranduil had not even left that spot.
Legolas smiled in spite of himself, stopping his horse near his father.
Thranduil was certainly relieved to see his son back. Noticing the elf on his son's steed, he asked, "Who is he?"
"I do not know. He had a leaf different from ours," Legolas replied, referring to the emblem he had seen on the elf.
"What happened to him?" Thranduil asked as Legolas dismounted.
"Orcs," Legolas replied as he watched the guards helping to carry the elf.
"Did you get his name?" the king asked as they entered the caves.
Legolas shook his head and sighed. "I thought that he was dead. I am just glad that he is still alive."
Finally reaching the healer's ward, they lowered the injured elf carefully. The healer immediately set down to work with the guards helping him. Anyone could sense how serious the elf's condition was.
Legolas turned to his father and broke the silence. "He looks young," he said.
"He could be your little brother, ion," Thranduil teased him.
"I wish he could be my brother, ada." It was not secret that Legolas had always wished for a brother. He had heard others complain of their siblings but all Legolas wanted was to share.
"Once he feels better, we will ask him about his family," Thranduil suggested. The color on the elf's leaf was foreign to him and there was no way to tell where he was from. "I do not recognize his leaf either," he finished.
"He could be from anywhere outside our home…" Legolas said sadly.
"Aye he could, and therefore, you should wait for him to wake and recover so you can start asking your many questions." Thranduil smiled, sitting beside his son at the bed of the wounded stranger.
Much, much later…
"Ada, he is looking at me," Legolas whispered to his father while keeping his eyes on the elf. There seemed to be more life in the elf and his eyes seemed to regain focus.
"Talk to him, ion," Thranduil challenged his son to speak. "It is not like you to be timid, Legolas. What are you afraid of?"
"Nothing, ada," Legolas responded, trying to hide the fear. He had been thinking of all sorts of things to say while the elf was unconscious, but when the moment had come, his mind was blank.
Thranduil decided to let it drop. "Although I am a king, I am your father first and foremost," Thranduil assured him softly. It was understood that should Legolas wish to verbalize his fears, he would be there.
Legolas nodded, somewhat fidgety as the wounded elf stared at them, clearly confused. Thranduil nudged his son to speak.
Legolas took a deep breath. "My name is Legolas, what is your name?" Legolas asked.
The elf frowned. "I… I… do not… remember…" he replied weakly. His voice was hoarse and Legolas reached over to get him some water.
"Do you know from where you are from?" Thranduil asked.
"Nay, I do not."
Thranduil sighed heavily. This was going to take a while but if Legolas was as intent on having a brother as he seemed to be, he would surely take care of this elf.
"Rest," Thranduil told the injured elf softly, "Once you recover, things will hopefully be clearer. In the meantime, you are welcome to stay as long as you should need."
Once Thranduil and Legolas were outside the door, the prince asked his father, "So what should I call him?"
"You will have to ask him; it is his choice, not ours, ion-nin," Thranduil replied.
"I can do that."
The next morning…
Thranduil and his son returned to the ward after their breakfast. The elf was still asleep and they sat quietly by his bed.
"Ada?" Legolas caught the king's attention with one simple word.
"What is it, ion-nin?" Thranduil looked at his son.
"Why is he still sleeping?"
"Because he needs to gather his strength and heal," Thranduil replied softly.
The only thing he was certain of was that he was alive, or so he hoped. Everything else seemed to be a flurry of movement and disconnected ideas. What was his name? The young elf had asked him but he had no answer for it. The young elf. Legolas, was it not? It seemed as though his mind had been overpowered by an immense numbness and lethargy that he could not describe.
He could make out voices and he recognized them from the previous night. Was it a night? He was not too sure of the time nor of the number of days that had passed.
"Good morning, how do you feel today?" the more regal elf asked.
There was not much he could answer. "Better, thank you, but not very well," he said.
"You have quite a long way more to go, and we will do our best to help you. Do you know your name?"
"I do not remember," he answered.
This elf certainly had more authority but he spoke with a tenderness that put him at ease. He tried to think if he might have known of them but it was difficult when he did not even know his name. Still, he felt that he could trust them to help.
"Will you name me?" he ventured.
"That can be arranged." He returned the smile gratefully.
Three days later…
The wounded elf was allowed out of the healer's room and he could not wait to be back in nature. Hopefully it would recall some of those memories that he had somehow lost. As soon as he stepped out of the cave, he noticed the two elves that had been with him in the room.
Before he could say anything, Legolas asked him, "How are you faring?"
"Good, thank you for asking."
Thranduil led him over to where there was a store of weapons. "How are you with a sword or do you prefer a bow?" Thranduil asked him.
"A sword will be good," the elf replied without hesitation.
"Well, let us see how you wield one," Thranduil said. Perhaps he would have a name for him then.
The elf pulled the sword from the sheath, and he almost dropped it. It was heavier than he had expected it to be.
"Do you need to rest?" Thranduil asked with concern as he observed the injured elf, "This can always wait."
"Nay, I am well," he answered. Feeling a need to justify himself, he added, "It has been a while." He looked around. Legolas was nowhere to be seen and he did not recall him saying where he would be going.
"Legolas is training with his bow," Thranduil said, guessing his thoughts. "Would you like to join him?"
"Certainly," Thranduil replied and then he added with a grin, "You could surprise him with your sword."
The elf grinned and followed the king to where Legolas was. Legolas seemed so intent on his targets that he did not notice the other elf approaching, his sword raised, an impish grin on his face.
Thranduil clapped his hands, catching his son's attention. Legolas turned only to see the wounded elf pulling the sword on the ground as though nothing had happened.
"I believe I have found a name for you, son," Thranduil smiled, "Dînmaethor, our silent warrior."
"Dînmaethor," the elf replied, trying out the feel of it contentedly. "I love its sound, thank you, Thranduil."
Thranduil smiled. "And you may always address me as adar."
Dînmaethor paused for a moment. He was going to have a family!
"Legolas, why don't you show him the gardens?" Thranduil urged them to go on.
Legolas nodded willingly, biding his new brother to follow him.
Thranduil, satisfied that the two young ones would be well, walked back to the caves. Galdor was following him rather pensively.
"What is it, Galdor?" Thranduil asked his guard without turning to look.
"Nothing, my king," Galdor replied nonchalantly.
Thranduil turned around, stared at his guard and reminded him, "I can tell when you have something to say..."
Galdor sighed heavily as he smiled at his friend. "Seems that I cannot fool you," he muttered.
"I thought that you would have figured that out by now," Thranduil smiled and prompted him, "So?"
"Are you certain about having another son? Is Legolas not enough?" Galdor asked in one breath. At that very moment, those two elves were racing through the garden and up the trees.
"I am certain my friend, just… just look at them," Thranduil pointed. "Do you know, Legolas has always wished for a brother?"
Galdor shook his head. That was entirely new to him. "It would certainly do him some good," he replied and added with a grin, "Now he will not irate the guards when you are required to be away."
Now it was Thranduil's turn to be surprised. "Why have you never mentioned that?"
"You have much to take care of…" Galdor replied, leaving the sentence hanging.
Thranduil sighed heavily, and then he commented to his guard, "You are right."
"Of course I am right." Galdor grinned.
Thranduil glared but said nothing, returning his gaze to the two elves. Legolas was helping his brother to climb down the tree and he could tell that something was wrong: Dînmaethor was still in pain.
How could he have missed that? Was it because the elf did not wish to burden them?
"First day being his father and I have already failed," Thranduil muttered in frustration.
"What's wrong?" Galdor asked, his hand automatically ready on the hilt of his sword.
"The sword is not needed, Galdor," Thranduil replied and then he added, "Dînmaethor has not recovered."
They hurried over toward his sons and helped Dînmaethor down from the tree.
Thranduil embraced him at once, and reminded him gently, "If you should feel any pain, you should tell me or Legolas. We will not be angry over it, nor will you be cumbersome to us."
Dînmaethor acquiesced with a nod.
"I do not wish to see you hurt, little brother," Legolas added.
"I am not little," Dînmaethor retorted with a grin. "I could well be your older brother."
"Good, it is settled then…" Thranduil smiled at both his sons.
"Ada…" Legolas was not too happy about it but there was something more pressing.
"What is it ion-nin?" Thranduil pulled him into an embrace as well.
"We need to bring him back to the healer's room quickly," Legolas said. His brother was far too pale, his skin cold, and he could barely talk.
Thranduil supported the elf and sent Legolas ahead to the healer. "Have him get ready to see to Dînmaethor."
"I will do that, ada," Legolas nodded, and then he reminded his brother, "I am going now, brother, and you had better follow what the healer tells you."
"Thank you, brother," Dînmaethor mustered a smile even as his voice shook.
The healer had prepared the bed but even before Thranduil lay Dînmaethor down, the elf was already unconscious.
Thranduil watched his son with concern as the healer brought over the herbs he had prepared. A few moments later, the healer concluded, "He will be all right after some rest, if he does not exert himself."
"I can arrange for that," Thranduil stated and thanked the healer.
Legolas was sitting quietly as the healer instructed them on caring for Dînmaethor when he awoke. As the healer left the room, Thranduil turned to Legolas, "When he is feeling all right, why don't you tell him a story?"
"I will, ada, as long as he will be all right," Legolas replied and kept his gaze on his brother. There was no way he would lose a brother just after having gained him.
End of Chapter 2.