Well... The end! A huge thank you for all of you who stayed with me during the story! I loved all of your reviews, your remarks and your compliments! I love you!
anon: I fear it will be number three first, but then I will write the number two, I promise!
Cretha Loesing: It will not be quit like that, but you are close. The cross-over will be the next story, then the Aragorn-Legolas one will come :)
ElvesAreEpic: Still a bit evil, aren't you ;) I fear most have chosen for number three, but the second story after this one will be the Aragorn-meets-Legolas story. Hope you will still stay with me :)
gginsc: Er... you can have her if you want to, after ElvesAreEpic has finished with her ;)
Gleca: The crossover did win, I fear, but after that, I will write the Legolas-Aragorn story, so please stay with me ;)
GRuth: Well, I'm glad I didn't gave you a heart attack ;) Do you know about the Story/Author Alert button? It will send you an email as soon as I've uploaded a chapter. I think it's quit useful, for you won't have to check a story every day :) Just a tip ;) Well, I fear the cross-over did win, but I will try to make it as realistic as possible. Hope you won't hate me now :)
Nourss: Your wish is my demand *mock bow* :P Well, it will go in that direction. Hope I see you again in the crossover! :) Sherri, what a cute name. Does it mean anything? :)
SoulBook: This is the last chapter. The crossover will follow firstly, then you second choice will come. I hope I can live up to your expectations! :) Until then! :)
TheButterflyCurse996: Thank you again! You make me blush! Mmmmm, can I get it now? I think I made a personal record by uploading this that quickly :P
The Devil Inside: Especially for you, there is another Legolas-Aragorn scene in this last chapter. Hope you enjoy it! Yes, It watched it too! It was wonderful! But Rue was too cute to die! Btw, yes, the crossover will be next ;)
He looked so extremely pale and thin beneath the neat sheets. In his golden hair, there were still some pieces of dried blood that they couldn't comb out of it, and on his face too, there were dozens of little, red wounds, some terrifying close by his eye. It was a wonder that none of the needles had made him blind.
But the most threatening injury was the one that was difficult to see, safe for the hollow cheeks and the bones that seemed ready to escape the thin layer of skin. Starvation. Apparently, he hadn't eaten anything decent for weeks.
As he examined his friend, his vision started to blurry with tears, and he stroke Legolas' slender hand gently. He received no reaction at all.
"Why don't you open you eyes, Legolas? It has been so long." Nothing. The man bowed his head. For three days, the elf was lying here, motionless. After having bound Dinemîn, Sigilhaeg and Minuial had fetched a cloak –Aragorn didn't know where they had found it- and had wrapped Legolas in it. Meanwhile, Deluarad had chimed the gong, and in a matter of minutes, Thranduils groups had stormed in, quit closely followed by the Guranadaith. Aragorn had barely been able to restrain the king, otherwise he would have let Dinemîn been executed right away. After he had calmed down, he had ordered Guranadaith and Deluarad to bring the girl towards the dungeons. Then he had tilted Legolas in his own arms and had carried him to his room, where Aragorn, Lalaith and Sigîlhaeg had treated him –the latter more because of the fact she had refused to be send away than because of her skills as a healer. They had done everything they could. Now it was for his friend to wake.
Sighing, Aragorn rearranged the sheets so that they were lying a bit more comfortable. When he pulled his hand back, he frowned. It was as if… Could it be? Could it be that Legolas' eye was…Yes, it was twitching! His eyelids fluttered, as if his friend was trying to open them. Eagerly, Aragorn grabbed his hand and squeezed it.
"Yes, that's it. Come on, Legolas. You can do this! Wake up!" After several long minutes of coaxing and pushing, his friend's eyes slowly opened. Confused, he looked around, but there came no recognition. Still, it was a relief that he had finally awaken.
"Legolas," Aragorn smiled, "how do you feel?" The elf switched his gaze towards the man. His orbs were sleepy, but they held a sparkle of curiosity that hadn't been there the days before he had kidnapped. Twice, he wanted to speak, but his lips wouldn't form the words. The third time though, he managed to utter the softest of voices.
"How did you call me?" Aragorn managed to maintain his expression, even as a wave of despair washed through him. In time, he kept repeating to himself. In time he will remember.
"Legolas. That is your name. It means Greenleaf."
"Legolas…" the elf smiled, tasting the sound upon his lips. Then he frowned, concentrated.
"I am… Legolas… Legolas of Thranduil… and Sîlaliel…" His voice trailed of and he searched for Aragorns face for help. The man could barely contain his joy.
"You remember! Yes, you are Legolas, son of Thranduil and Lindariel. Can you tell me who Sîlaliel is?" His friend was deep in thought for a time. Aragorn saw the frustration mounting in his eyes. Finally he shook his head.
"I cannot remember."
"That's all right, Legolas. She passed over the sea when you were very young. She was your sister."
"My sister…" the elf repeated thoughtfully, before looking at Aragorn.
"Then who are you?"
"You asked me that in the cave. I answered you then." If he wouldn't remember that, it would mean that the poison was still clouding his mind, and then he should continue searching an antidote. Nervously, the man awaited his friend to answer. Again, Legolas' fair face was contorted in concentration, but unlike the previous time, a small smile emerged from his lips. And when he spoke, his voice was warm and full of tenderness.
"Aragorn. You are Aragorn." He watched his friend with unveiled love. The man didn't trust his voice and nodded, smiling and with glimmering eyes.
"I trust you. I remembered your name even in the darkness, though I did not know what it meant. But now I know. And I trust you. Are you my friend?"
"Yes, I am your friend. You are my gwador, my brother, Legolas. That's how we called each other."
"Aragorn." Suddenly, Legolas yawned. Aragorn could hit himself for having forgotten how badly his friend was hurt. Gently, he pushed the elf back in the pillows.
"You should sleep a bit. Your body is still weak." To his amazement, his friend made no objections, but closed his eyes. Then he opened them again.
"Will you stay with me?" The man smiled reassuringly.
"Always." A content expression spread upon Legolas' face, and he allowed his body to relax. Within the minute, he was fast asleep.
"No, Aragorn, don't! I warn you! Estel!" A loud splash was the answer upon Legolas' pleadings, followed by a deep laughing. Thranduil raised his head towards the window and smiled. It was a wonderful summer's day, and Legolas had begged him to be allowed outside, until his father had hesitantly given in. Now, he was glad he had yielded. His son hadn't sounded that happy since Dinemîn had started to give him that accursed poison.
Her trial was today. Thranduils face clouded. He should get Legolas inside, so that he could rest a little before going to the Law Court. But his son was so merry right now… Doubtfully, he watched at the two friends near the pool. Then, he came up with an idea.
"Legolas!" His son looked up.
"You should rest a bit for this afternoon." The smile disappeared from his lips, and he seemed ready to protest, but Thranduil wasn't finished yet. He switched his gaze to Aragorn.
"Lord Elessar, I trust you will see that my son will sleep while you are drying. I won't let you into the palace with dripping clothes." Contently, the king saw the apprehension in their eyes, and was rewarded with grateful smiles. He nodded and turned. There was still some work to do before the trial could take place.
And the hours passed. Before he knew it, Foeiram, his most trusted adviser, knocked upon the door.
"My lord? Everything has been prepared for the trial."
"Thank you, Foeiram. Could you please fetch Legolas? He's outside near the pool, together with Aragorn."
"Yes, my lord." The elf disappeared. Thranduil sighed and stretched, then he rose from his chair. Taking some papers with him, he left the room. Near the Law Court, he awaited Legolas and Aragorn. Foeiram had done well. Rarely one had been able to get the two unscratched and that quickly where they had to be.
Attentively, Thranduil examined Legolas. His son was pale, but wore a determined expression. The king wondered what he was up to. Before he could ask anything, the sentinel announced them.
"King Thranduil, Prince Legolas and King Elessar!" The gate opened, and all elves arose. Gracefully, the three strode forwards. Dinemîn was there already. Her face was tearful, and she didn't dare to look at them. Thranduil send a stern glare in her direction, and it was only after he had taken his seat, that he remembered he hadn't looked at Legolas' reaction. Now his face was composed and blank again. The king scraped his throat and nodded towards Foeiram. The elf raised from his seat.
"Lady Dinemîn, you are here to answer for your crimes. You are accused of having poisoned, imprisoned and tortured Legolas Thranduilion, our prince. Do you wish to defend yourself?" The girl looked miserably. She shook her head.
"Let the witnesses come forward to testify."
One by one, they approached the throne. Lhaewegi and Moëcam told about how they had discovered the absence of the prince, and about their initial seeking. Guranadaith described how he had lead the search through the palace, the Gardens and the forest. Minuial, Deluarad, Sigîlhaeg, Lalaith and the others of Aragorns group recounting the expedition in the underground corridors. Finally, Aragorn told about Legolas' wounds and his recovery. During all of this, the prince's face remained blank. When Aragorn had finished, Thranduil rose.
"Dinemîn, you heard all the charges against you. Now you will have the chance to defend yourself. Make good use of your time." His voice was neutral, but there was a hard edge in it. The girl trembled. Naurelleth, next to her, gave her a push to remind her that she had to stand, but Dinemîn was too fearful to remember the protocol. Her voice was barely more than a whisper.
"I just… wanted him to be my fileg." Thranduil could barely contain a snort. Most of the elves didn't even bother trying. All of a sudden, Legolas rose and bowed.
"My lord, if you would let me speak please." Stupefied, the king nodded his approval. Legolas stepped forwards and addressed everyone in the Hall.
"I guess I won't have to recount what happened to me, for the witnesses have done that nicely. I also won't add a new charge to the accusations towards Dinemîn. Rather, I would like to speak in her defence." A murmur of surprise rippled the silence in the Law Court. Legolas didn't back down.
"You all know how we found Dinemîn. She was the last one of the village near our borders. All other men had been cruelly murdered. We adopted her. We have feed her and given her a bed and a place near the fire. We have been friendly to her, and none of us has ever raised his hand or his voice against her." He paused for a second. Vaguely amused, Thranduil noticed how his son had everyone's attention. He should have become a poet, the king thought. It would have spared him much worries.
Legolas continued, and Thranduil forced his thoughts back to what the prince was saying. It was startling.
"Yes, we have taken care for her. But did we ever really care for her? Can anyone here stand up and say honestly that he or she had tried to be a friend to her?"
"What are you trying to say, Legolas?" Thranduil interrupted. It irritated him that his son could defend the one who had caused him so much pain.
"I would like to beg mercy for her, my lord. She has made a mistake, yes. But a punishment won't help her, on the contrary. What good would banishment, or a confinement in the dungeons do?"
"Then what do you propose?"
"I ask for absolution, on the condition that she will be looked after and that she will not be allowed to leave the palace, at least not for the near future. I thank you for your attention." Legolas bowed and returned to his chair. As he sat down, a loud buzz rose in the Law Court. Thranduil quickly glanced at Dinemîn. The girl looked as stupefied as he felt, and clear gratitude and humility shone in her eyes. It too several times for the king to get the hall silent again. Finally, silence reigned again, as the gathered elves awaited what the king would say. Thranduil took his time to look around and gauge the reactions and moods. He addressed Dinemîn.
"I admit I would like to see you banished for what you have done to my son, Firiel. I can command that as a father and as king. But today, that is not my place. Today, Legolas, whom you have imprisoned and tortured, has asked mercy for you. And I will respect his forgiveness and his wish. Dinemîn, daughter of the wood, you will return to the kitchen, where you will take up your job once more. You will not be allowed to leave the palace's walls without my explicit permission. And you will never enter Legolas' room anymore, or prepare his food. Do you understand your punishment?"
The girl nodded, and whispered a silent thank you to Legolas, before she was taken away by the guards. The prince just smiled and bowed his head slightly in return. While they left the Law Court, Aragorn laid his hand upon his shoulder and whispered something in his ear. Legolas laughed loudly.
And all was good again.
Thank you again for your encouragements. They really helped me!
Now, you all answered my question, for which my gratitude (was that too stiff and formal? Guess so... :P) The winner is... the Crossover between The Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings. I will upload the first chapter as soon as I can. Second story in line is the Aragorn-meets-Legolas story. That one will come in time. I hope I can all welcome you back in my next story and until then, have a nice time!