Chapter 16: Amroth, Tathar, and Elerossë
Alright, so I am just going to jump right back in with the dream sequence, just to clarify. Again, I really do apologize for not responding to your reviews in the last chapter, but I just didn't have enough time if I wanted to post on Wednesday. However, I am most certainly going to respond today, so fear not my loyal readers! Oh and can I just say GO SEAHAWKS! Super Bowl 48 here we come! Oh god the game today was so heart-pounding and anxiety filled! I mean I was anxious from the beginning of the game, especially since Wilson had that big fumble on the first play. I mean seriously? Anyway, I gotta love him anyway, because he is pretty fantastic. And the beast mode came full force on that touchdown rush! Maybe skittles are the secret? Anyway, sorry for that little tangent, but I am pretty excited!
Cottoncandybeefalo: Poor elf indeed! I know how you feel, sometimes I think about changing the direction with my original storyline just to make everything work out for the characters I torture. Yes more flashbacks…many more flashbacks! I am going to try and make the ones of Legolas' return and his time as a captive more frequent, while the ones from his actual capture I am saving for the big ending. I actually didn't originally plan to expand the whole Elerossë thing, but after I decided how I was going to save Legolas, I thought that I might as well add a little background to the character.
CrazyPandaHobbit: Thanks! I was actually rather proud of that last chapter. It was one of those time were I found it really easy to write, and I felt that my ideas flowed smoothly onto the page. Yeah, I don't know if I am going to be able to be able to keep that up, but I am going to try. Anyway, thanks for your wishes of good luck, it is greatly appreciated.
MuggleCreator: Ooh…is correct.
I-have-a-llama-army: Oh I am so glad that you liked it so much. Hopefully you enjoy this flashback just as much. Thank you for that, I have always tried to hone my skills in on the way that the characters react to certain situations they are thrown into. Thanks again!
Darknightstalker: Murder? No! Torment slightly? Maybe…..anyway I am glad that you liked it. I thought that it was time for me to give you guys another big piece of the puzzle, instead of just little broken fragments of thought. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story just as much.
Allie Danger: Yeah, I kinda ran out of time, hence the lack of responses. Don't tell anyone, but I sort of forgot that I had this to update. Things were pretty crazy with school and stuff like that. I am glad you loved it though. Hopefully I don't disappoint you with my next updates.
Pie in the Face: Ah yes, the cruelty of the writer…but it is a necessary cruelty. I am glad that the chapter peaked your interest though, I hope that this wraps up the flashback up for now. Thanks for reviewing!
LotR-HP-PJ: Always! It is definitely fun to post new chapters in order to hear your responses. Ah, so you share my terror. I salute you my friend! I hope that you had some good luck! Anyway, I thought that filing in some more plot holes would be a good idea, seeing as it had been a while since I did a full on flashback. I am most definitely in the same boat as you in that matter. I have learned the majority of my own elvish vocab from reading stories as well. It works pretty well don't you think?
Noxy the Proxy: I am glad that you find it interesting, and I can assure you that what comes next will hopefully be pretty exciting! Thanks for reviewing!
Lydia Eileen: Yep, I have always planned to reveal the full story of what happened. I probably won't give the complete backstory until later on, but for now I am going to give out these little tidbits to keep y'all interested. I am glad that you are liking things so far, and hopefully you continue to enjoy where I take this.
Madame Noize: Yep, the feels are coming out, and they certainly aren't going anywhere anytime soon! Thanks for the review!
BrightGreenNails: I am glad that you like it!
Fallenfire: I am so happy that you were able to enjoy it, even though yes, it was short. Hopefully this one is long enough to satisfy you. Yay! He was indeed found, rescued, and saved in every meaning of the word. I did kind of throw all of the emotions into the chapter, just to make you all excited for what it to come. Thank you!
JasmineMoon: Trust me, I totally understand. Laziness strikes us all every once and awhile. Thank you so much! Yeah, I actually originally had it in my mind that Aragorn was going to be the one to come and save Legolas, but then I decided that Aragorn was actually going to technically still be Estel. This means that he was going to be around eight years old when Legolas disappeared, so during Legolas' rescue, he was only going to be eleven, which is unfortunately too young to go on a rescue mission. But don't worry young Estel will be part of the rescue in some way or another, but you are going to have to wait and see…
Fanfic Judge: Thanks so much! Like I said earlier, this chapter was also my favorite so far. I was really quite happy with how it turned out. And I am glad that we were able to solve the whole updating thing. I really want to try and stay in the running, but if things just get to hectic I might need to make some adjustments to my schedule concerning updates. But we will see, and hopefully it won't get to that point.
The barely audible sound of feet hitting stone, slowly drew the comatose elf out of his state. He could feel himself moving, yet he knew that it was not his own feet carrying him. His dazed mind couldn't quite process how that was possible, until he became aware of the strong arms placed strategically under his knees and upper back. The arms were connected to a solid wall of warmth, which the prince's emaciated and freezing body instinctually pressed up against. The archer's ear rested directly above his holder's heart, and hearing the steady thumping gave him an odd form of comfort.
Then the elf became curious. He couldn't accurately recall what had happened before he blacked out, so therefore the knowledge of who was holding him was fuzzy. The other's touch was too soft to be that of one of his captors, and the footsteps were too light. In fact they reminded him of his own before his capture: extremely elven. Elven…..that was when something clicked. Elerossë, Tathar, and Amroth had found him…they had saved him. He then deducted that it was most likely Elerossë who was carrying him, for he and his second and command might as well be brothers.
Legolas would have smiled as he thought about the elf. That is if it wasn't for the agony and exhaustion that was encasing his body. He was significantly older than Elerossë—a good one-thousand years or so—and he had watched the latter grow up. In fact, he had been Elerossë's primary care giver for a good part of the commander's life.
No one knew what had happened to the elf's parents, for he had been found by the prince's battalion when the evil first started the corruption of Greenwood. The lone child was nothing more than ten years old—about the equivalent of a three, maybe four year old human—and he was surrounded by the corpses of at least a dozen orcs. No other elves were in the area, not even bodies, yet it was assumed that the child's parents had been killed. Either way, the child was taken back to the city.
Since it was the prince who found him, Legolas decided to take on fostering the child, who would later tell that his given name was Elerossë. Once Elerossë had reached his majority, Legolas began his warrior training. The younger was exceedingly eager to follow in the prince's footsteps, so he dedicated the majority of his time to practice, and in the end it paid off. The elf passed the other students by very quickly and earned himself the position of commander, should anything happen to Legolas. After this the two had become essentially inseparable.
A stab of sharp pain raced through Legolas' skull, sending his thoughts about Elerossë to an abrupt halt. A small whimper escaped his cracked and bloody lips and he snuggled farther into Elerossë's embrace. He then felt the arms tighten around him. Apparently his movement had alerted the soldier to the fact that he was awake, for soon words of elvish were being whispered into his ears.
"Amin hireatha caun-nin, fael saes gar-e pin taen. Pan innas quell estent." (I am sorry my prince, just please hold on a little longer. All will be alright shortly.)
The prince nodded against the elf's chest as he felt another wave of pain and utter exhaustion crash into him. He deflated a little in Elerossë's grasp as unconsciousness crept up on his mind.
"Dol ad-a kaima mellon-nin. Lye innas beria-lle." (Go back to sleep my friend. We will protect you.)
Legolas was loath to deny the piece of advice, so he gave into the force pulling him away from conscious thought. However, before he totally lost himself, he twitched one of his numb arms over far enough to wrap a bruised and slashed hand around one of Elerossë's. The grasp was weak, but the sought after comfort was gained—by both parties—all the same.
The next time Legolas awoke, it was to the pleasant sound of a soft elvish melody. He felt his muscles relax as the familiar tune washed over him. It reminded him of home, and it made his heart ache. Tears sprung to his tightly closed eyes, and seeped past his eyelids, as he thought about all that he had been away from. The liquid continued to flow down his cheeks, and he couldn't stop it. It was then that the melody grew louder as the singer moved closer. The next thing Legolas felt were gentle hands wiping away his tears. These hands didn't hold callouses from archery like Elerossë's did, they were smooth. They were the hands of a healer; a healer who could handle knives similar to his own. That could only mean the one singing was Amroth.
"Do not cry my prince. Soon we will be home, but now you need to rest, your body is still very weak."
Yep, that voice definitely belonged to Amroth. The prince felt the warm presence of the healer move away from him, and towards where he assumed the other two elves were placed. Amorth's voice carried over to him as the prince finally slowed his tears.
"I am going to give you some water and food, but only in small portions at regular increments. If you have too much at once then your body will go into shock and you will most likely become very ill. So please bear with the slow pace for a while."
Water and food…the last sustenance the elf had been given was at least three weeks ago, and even that had been nothing more than a sip of dirtied water and a stale piece of bread. The thoughts of an actual meal made the Legolas' mouth water as he was left alone for a few minutes, while Amroth collected what he needed. It was in that time that the prince decided that he needed to once again open his eyes to the world.
The seemingly simple act was exceedingly strenuous for the prince, but eventually he managed to peel the ivory skin from his sapphire orbs. Even though the sky was dark, it was brighter than it had been in his cell, and the light burned his eyes. He had to pinch his eyes shut quickly, before he slowly re-opened them, allowing his eyes to adjust. Once his vision cleared, he found that he was staring up into the green branches of the surrounding trees. It was a positively beautiful sight that he hadn't been privileged to for a very long time. The corners of his mouth twitched upwards ever so slightly as he took in the comforting sight.
"Here we go Legolas. I am going to sit you up in order to help you swallow, alright?
Legolas turned his head to the left to see Amroth walking towards him with a bowl and a glass. He could also see Elerossë and Tathar sitting next to what looked to be the beginnings of a fire. They made brief eye contact with the prince and Tathar offered him a smile. Meanwhile, Elerossë bowed his head slightly and raised an eyebrow.
"Are you feeling better my prince?"
The elf opened his mouth to speak, but once again he found that he could only produce the smallest of scratchy whimpers. He promptly closed his mouth and turned his head away, so he didn't see Elerossë, Amroth, or Tathar furrow their brows in concern.
The prince closed his eyes again as Amroth kneeled down at his side, speaking softly.
"Legolas? It is alright if you cannot speak right away. It will take time for your strength to return. Maybe some water will help? Do you want some?"
Legolas turned to look at the elf once more, but he nodded slowly and calmly none the less. Yet inside his thoughts were jumbled. How was he going to tell them about what happened when he wasn't entirely sure himself? The prince decided to save that issue for later and focus on what was happening now, for the healer was slowly raising his upper body. He could also see that Elerossë was moving to sit behind him. Soon he was leaning up against the chest of his second in command.
Legolas had to take several deep breaths as the world spun before him. He then felt that he was going to be sick, but seeing as his stomach was completely empty, the result would most likely be dry heaving. He had unfortunately become quite familiar with that particular act, for often during capture he would be given various concoctions which would turn his stomach inside out. True to his prediction, almost immediately his body jerked forward and his throat constricted. He emitted a choked sound as his chin dropped to his chest. Legolas' body started to slump forward, and he was sure that he was going to hit the ground, as he so commonly did during his capture. However, this time one pair of arms held him up, while another rubbed circles on one of the uninjured sections—which were very, very few—of his back. The fit lasted for several moments before his body went limp, and he was gently pulled back to rest against Elerossë.
His head lulled to the side until it was resting in the juncture of the elf's shoulder and neck. He could feel the warmth of Elerossë's breath against the top of his forehead as the younger elf tried to coax him into raising his head.
"Come on mellon-nin. You need some food and water, please raise your head. I know that you are tired, but you can sleep as soon as you finish. I promise this to you Legolas." (my friend)
The prince remained still for a moment, before he slowly raised his head and opened his eyes to find Amroth and Tathar standing in front of him expectantly. The healer raised a small cup of water into Legolas' field of vision. The prince expected Amroth to bring the cup to his lips, but instead the elf pulled a small white cloth from inside his jerkin and dipped it into the water. He gently wrung out some of the excess water from the materials, before bringing that up to Legolas' lips.
The remainder of the liquid was then slowly wrung out into the small gap of Legolas' open lips. A small, yet steady, stream of water ran off the cloth and coated the dry inside of the prince's mouth. He closed his eyes in utter bliss as he savored the feel and taste of clean and cold water coating his tongue and cheeks. It had been so long since he had been able to experience such a simple joy, and he was loving every moment of it.
When the cloth had given all of its water, Amroth brought two fingers up and rested them across the front of Legolas' throat. He then very gently rubbed them back and forth in order to help the prince swallow. It was greatly appreciated, for the muscles needed to complete the act hadn't been used very much, and were difficult to use. Once Legolas had somewhat convulsively swallowed, Amroth dipped the cloth back into the cup and brought it up to Legolas' mouth once again. It was then wrung out and the swallowing technique was repeated. The healer ran through these steps three more times before pulling the cloth away.
Legolas whimpered at the loss, and looked to the healer with pleading eyes. Amroth sighed and placed the cup on the ground.
"I know that you are still thirsty, but if I can't give you anymore right now."
The prince tried to reach out to the healer, and started mouthing "please, please Amroth, please". The elf regarded Legolas with sad eyes for another minute before he glanced back down at the cup. Finally the healer gave in and picked up the cloth. He then looked at Legolas directly in the eye and pointed a finger at him.
"Fine, one more, but nothing after that."
Amroth brought the cloth up and as he was dripping the water into Legolas' mouth, he shook his head back and forth and gave a small snort.
"You are lucky that I like you so much Legolas. If it were Tathar asking, well he would have had no chance."
Tathar scoffed and tried to cuff Amroth over the head, but the healer promptly dodged the blow. In the end both chuckled lightly, and Legolas could feel Elerossë laughing lightly as well, for his chest was shaking against the prince's back. Even the wounded elf couldn't help but give a little smile as he watched his friends. It had been so long since he had been able to enjoy such happiness.
The joyous mood lasted for several more moments before Amroth raised a hand to calm them all down. He then grabbed the other object he had brought. It was a bowl filled with warm broth. He placed it at Legolas' lips and gently tipped it forward. The liquid flooding the elf's mouth, and this time, Legolas was able to swallow on his own.
When about half had been drained, the bowl was pulled away and Legolas watch Amroth rise from his spot on the ground and retreat towards the fire. Once there, he kneeled down at his pack and began shuffling through it. He then gave a short order for Elerossë to bring Legolas over.
Elerossë nodded and gently cradled the prince to his chest as he rose. He then moved over to the fire, with Tathar following behind him. When they reached the fire, Elerossë settled down again with Legolas in the same position on his lap. Tathar sat down next to them, and in an unusual display of affection, he grabbed Legolas' hand. When he felt he touch, Legolas turned his head to look at the dark-haired elf. He offered a comforting smile to the elf and gave as strong of a squeeze to Tathar's hand as he was capable of. The elf returned his gaze and Legolas was surprised to see tears welling up around the brims of the soldier's eyes.
Tathar was an extremely private being, and to many his defensive demeanor was read as cold and heartless. He didn't have very many friends within Mirkwood; Legolas, Amroth, and Elerossë being the only ones, for they had been able to see the true Tathar. The soldier had opened up to them many years ago, and once he realized he could place his trust in the three, he had become protective over them, and would do anything to save them. Especially Legolas, for the prince had pulled him to shore when he had been drowning in his own sorrows.
The soldier swallowed thickly as he squeezed the pale hand in return.
"Don't you dare scare me like that again Legolas. I'll kill you if you do."
The last bit was said with a slightly choked voice, but Tathar brushed it aside with a smile. Legolas weakly nodded his head, before Amroth caught his attention.
The healer was watching patiently with a small vial in his hand. Amroth smiled sweetly when he realized he had regained Legolas' attention, and pulled the stopper off with a loud pop.
"Alright Legolas, I need to take a closer look at your wounds, and some of it may be pretty painful. I am going to give you this, to combat that. It is a pain killer, but it has a sedative mixed in. You should awaken in a few hours once the effects ware off."
Amroth inched closer to the prince and was about to place the vial at Legolas' lips when the elf started to struggle.
At the sight of the vial, images of the foul concoctions the orcs had forced down his throat flashed through Legolas' mind. The knowledge that he was with friends fled him instantly and his fight or flight response kicked in. He tried to release himself from Elerossë's grasp, but of course his weakened body was no match for the strong hold the soldier had over him. The prince's eyes grew wide and frightened as he realized that he was trapped and he screwed his face up in pain as his movements aggravated his injuries. Tears began flowing down his cheeks as despair struck his heart like a freshly sharpened knife.
Then he felt a hand on the side of his face, and one placed under his chin. It tilted his head upwards before moving to the unoccupied side of his face and brushing away tears.
"I am sorry Legolas. I should have known better than to shove this in front of your face. They gave you things didn't they?"
The prince slowly cracked open an eye to find that the vial was gone, and all he could see was Amroth's worried face. He nodded in response to the question and opened the other eye. The healer sighed and removed his hands from the prince's face.
"Please forgive me Legolas, I have made a stupid mistake."
The healer paused and once again grabbed the vial. He noticed Legolas tense again, so he continued.
"Legolas, this is me we are talking about. You know that I would never give you anything that would hurt you. You can trust me Legolas, you will always be able to trust me."
The prince's body relaxed as he processed this. He was the one that made a stupid mistake. Of course he could trust Amroth. The healer was a gentle soul who Legolas often sought out for conversation and counsel. In fact the elf was the only one within his battalion who was older than the prince himself. Amroth was a good friend of the kings, and he was the one who looked after the young prince when Thranduil wasn't available after the queen died. The two quickly developed a bond, and as the prince grew and learned to fight, he insisted that Amroth learned to fight, seeing as times were becoming dangerous.
Amroth quickly adopted the fighting style Legolas used with his knives, and in the end, he became so skilled that Legolas requested he join the battalion. This way they had another skilled fighter who could act as a healer should he be needed. It also allowed the prince to spend as much time as possible with the elf he considered a large role model—along with his father of course.
The fact that he had thought Amroth would hurt him scandalized the prince, and he immediately felt guilty. He hung his head in shame—and exhaustion if he was being totally honest—but Amroth quickly raised his chin.
"Nay my prince. Do not feel bad, your reaction was just. It is I who has made the mistake. Now I know this is a lot to ask, but will you allow me to give you this, I promise that it will only make you feel better, never would I give you something that would make you feel worse."
It took less than a minute for the prince to nod in response. The healer smiled at the reaction and slowly poured the substance down Legolas' throat.
Once it was swallowed, the medicine began to take effect and the prince felt a cool numbness spread through the once throbbing areas of his body. It was a pleasant respite from the constant pain that had been assaulting his body. After the numbness came the feeling of being extremely exhausted, not that the elf was full of energy in the first place.
Slowly Legolas felt himself drifting closer and closer to the blackness of unconsciousness, but this time it wasn't crushing, and it wasn't terrifying. The prince welcome the feeling of oblivion, for he knew that at the moment he was safe in Elerossë's arms, with Tathar holding his hand, and Amroth smiling in front of him.