A small one-shot I had been thinking about for a while, with a mention to .Cool, who I told of this long ago and hadn't uploaded : )
A small tale of the horrors of war, grief and renewed hope, set with a backdrop of the aftermath of Helm's Deep...please review- I'd love to know what you all think!
Legolas felt Gimli grip the back of his cloak with a tight grip as he urged Arod into a gallop, leaving Fangorn Forest well behind them, the wind whipping through his long hair, the Elf hearing the Dwarf splutter indignantly as the strands blew in his face.
The five horses atop which were himself and Gimli, Aragorn along with Pippin, Gandalf, Eomer along with Merry and King Theoden, thundered along the dusty, worn track, quickly making tracks back to Helms Deep, the pile of bodies, comprised of Uruk Hai, Elves and Men, loomed closer with every hoof-beat, the deathly silence of grief and shock echoing louder than any scream of pure terror ever could.
Dismounting, Legolas looked around aghast at the sheer amount of corpses, lying on top of each other, piled up into their twenties, some clawing at the steep Deeping Wall, others lying with their eyes open, staring in silent terror as in their last moments, the enemy loomed above them. A deep, unsettled feeling bubbled in the Elf's stomach as his eyes passed on dark haired, helmeted bodies, the blue cloaks standing out amongst the armour of the men around them. At least two hundred Elves had perished, maybe more.
Aragorn, he saw, was looking around, his eyes wide yet hard and battle weary at the same time. The man clutched at his shoulder, already hurt from his ordeal during the fight before they reached Helm's Deep. Legolas himself was sporting bruised ribs, although he could already feel them healing, his Elvish spirit, his fea, healing it without trouble.
'We have lost many lives.' Theoden murmured, looking around at his once proud fort, now with a hole blown in it's wall, bodies cluttering the very ground they were walking on. 'But we still have hope. We still have victory.'
Gandalf nodded at his optimism, Eomer giving his uncle a respectful nod, making his way, carefully through the fallen warriors, heading up the steps towards the main building.
Aragorn looked at Gandalf, who nodded, the man turning and nodding at Legolas and Gimli, who also followed Eomer up towards the stone steps.
Legolas looked at the faces of the fallen out of respect, noting the looks of their 'death masks', the terror in their eyes, their mouths open in an ever silent scream.
The Elves lay in crowded heaps, some with dislodged helmets, some with dark hair, some with blonde; both from Rivendell and Mirkwood or Lothlorien, it seemed. Legolas made his way in front of Gimli, walking up the stones steps he had only hours ago skated down upon the shield of a fallen Uruk, in the midst of battle. He broke paths with Gimli now; making his way left as the Dwarf walked right, Aragorn stopping at the top to turn, placing his hands on the stone fortress's wall, looking deep into the distance.
Theoden walked up and settled next to the Heir of Gondor, his face set determinedly, eyes narrowed. 'This is a good day, Aragorn.' He told the man next to him. 'We have lost many, true. But we have also defeated a good part of the enemy's army; this should be celebrated. The Men and Elves did not die in vain.'
Aragorn let a small smile enter his face, though he knew it to be bitter-sweet; how can the loss of so many lives be good? He thought of the bigger picture, how this would affect the outcome; maybe this was a good day after all.
The Ranger opened his mouth to speak to the King of Rohan, but he stopped when he looked over to his right. Legolas had just stopped in his tracks; Aragorn had caught him in the corner of his eye.
'Haldir...' he breathed, pushing himself off the wall to stride to his friend, who had fallen to his knees in anguish.
Aragorn watched Legolas as he walked closer, saw the Elf kneel forwards, his hands by his sides, face turned towards the ground, the portrait of grief. Legolas's blue eyes were dull as he heard Aragorn approach and turned to him, the Man shocked at the pain he found in them. A hollow blueness that reflected the darkness and horror of their surroundings.
'I am sorry, Legolas.' He murmured, kneeling next to his best friend. 'This is not how I wanted you to see him.'
'So many dead, so small an amount of time.' The Elf seemed to be talking to himself, face turned away.
Aragorn watched as Legolas reached out and, with trembling fingers, closed the March Warden of Lorien's eyes gently. The recently passed Elf now looked peaceful, as though he were asleep; Aragorn just hoped, nay prayed to all of Valar that Legolas did not turn him over, did not see the appalling wounds the Uruk had inflicted on him.
'He died as a hero; he saved many lives tonight, Legolas.' He told his friend, who nodded, seemingly not trusting himself to speak. 'You should know that he died doing what he had always done; protecting those he cared for, as was his duty.'
Legolas nodded beside him. The Elf looked into the distance, one hand still trailing on Haldir's shoulder, as though if he were to let go, he would disappear forever. 'It seems so much to trust upon two small Hobbits.' He murmured, watching the sky.
Aragorn nodded. 'But trust in them we must. Or Haldir would have died in vain, as would all the fallen. Their sacrifices will not be forgotten.'
He watched Legolas nod again, watched as he released Haldir's hand. 'Then this is a good day for us all.' Announced the Elf. 'We should not despair for the victory of such a great battle.'
'This is a good day' Agreed Aragorn, joining his friend in looking into the distance, at the new blue sky above them. 'And forget them we shall not.'
And there sat, silhouetted against the bleakness of the battle field, as the cleanup began, an Elf and a Man, united in grief, united in renewed passion, a fallen friend between them.
I hope you liked that little chapter, it turned out different to how I planned it, but I think this is better.
Thank you all for reading, please leave a review, however small; I would love to know your opinions!