Chapter 18: Making Amends
Hey guys, sorry that I didn't get to respond to your reviews last week, but I just ran out of time if I wanted to post. Anyway, right now I actually have a question for you all. So I have received a multitude of PM's asking if I would write a slash story between Legolas and Aragorn. I don't normally slash, but at the same time I am not whole-heartedly against what the paring stands for. If members of the fandom want to picture the characters like that, then they should be able to. I don't support it myself, but that isn't what I want to talk about. I wanted to ask you if you guys would be interested in the idea. I would love to hear your thought on the matter, so send them to me if you have any.
P.S. the jump from flashback to present day is just going to be represented by a line break, and a change from the bold italics to normal text. I didn't want to confuse you guys.
Cottoncandybeefalo: Yeah, I was trying for a little bit of a tear-jerker, for I felt that I really needed to put something emotional into the chapter considering how short it was. I also felt that it was necessary to give the moment to Elerossë seeing as he is the closest to Legolas in the group. I am pretty sure that Elerossë is also going to be the one who originally discovers that Legolas can no longer speak. As for where they found him, I was going along the story-line that Dol Guldur hasn't yet become home to the overwhelming numbers of orcs that the necromancer recruits. In fact, things are really just starting to pick up in the fortress, because this is occurring about eighty years before the hobbit even takes place, which was sixty years before Lord of the Rings. So basically the three were able to remain hidden in scouting out the fortress and eventually find Legolas in one of the upper dungeons. I know that it is somewhat far-fetched, but it is a story, so…
Queen Apolline: But you gotta love the heartbreaking moments sometimes! They keep things interesting, and definitely add something to the story.
Pie in the Face: Haha, definitely. Bruno Mars was actually pretty good through don't you think. I am glad that you enjoyed the chapter though, despite the fact that it held a somewhat morbid tone.
Fil'rael: Aww, I'm sorry.I certainly didn't want to make you cry, and unfortunately, this chapter probably won't make you too much happier. But then again, this story is not supposed to be of the humorous sort. I hope you enjoy it anyway though.
CrazyPandaHobbit: Yeah, almost home but not quite….I mean come on, I couldn't make it that easy, he has to suffer a little more before he gets his happily ever after….As for Thranduil, he will make an appearance at some point, along with Elrond, Aragorn, and the twins, but that isn't going to be until a little later.
UnfathomableEnigma: I needed to earn some tears from y'all though. It obviously just wasn't sad enough yet…definitely the Reichenbach Fall, nothing can beat the Reichenbach Fall….Goodbye John….
Fallenfire: Oh yeah, major boo to technology. Sometimes I just kind of want to chuck my laptop at a wall, but I feel like my parents wouldn't be too overjoyed about that…anyway, I wanted to try and make his wounds as realistic as possible, along with my descriptions. It was somewhat difficult, because someone of a more normal race probably wouldn't even be alive right now, so I had to make sure to keep the whole elf thing in mind.
Masked Man 2: Yay! As odd as it sounds, I really wanted you to be able to almost feel Legolas' wounds…not that I am wishing harm upon you guys. They are as close as brothers, Legolas and his soldiers, so I thought that it was really important to make sure that their emotions and thougths were accurately represented. Thank you so much for such compliments, they are always so uplifting to hear.
The Willow Maiden: Hopefully you love it more than you hate it though….Thank you though, even if my updates aren't exactly what I would call fast, but I guess compared to some…I plan to make him a tragic hero of sorts.
LotR-HP-PJ: Yeah, being sick sucks sometimes, well actually it sucks all the time. I am waiting until everyone is all together to reveal officially to the other characters that Legolas can no longer speak, sue to the fact that it is such a large part of the story line. But don't worry, it will come along soon.
BaraKiryuHuntress: No worries my friend, you shall receive no judgment from me on such things. Everyone is free to think as they wish, for your mind is your own, and yours only to control. I am glad that you are liking my portrayal of them though. I wanted to pay tribute to the fact that this was technically originally supposed to be a slash story (it was a plot given to me by a major A/L shipper, who was too nervous to post it herself) by making them almost more than close in a brotherly way, but still not lovers. And as far as I am concerned, you shall see much more from me.
Ravynna Frost: Well, I am not going to say that I am happy that I broke your heart, but that was kind of what I was hoping to do…especially with the last few phrases. I actually feel like I have done too much of taking my time, but as you say, life can sometimes most certainly be a major pain in the ass.
"AMROTH! GET OVER HERE NOW!"
The panicked shout from the elven soldier caused the heads of both the healer and Tathar to whip around. They spun on their heels mid-run, only to be greeted by the horrifying sight of Elerossë kneeling on the ground behind a convulsing prince. Elerossë had anguish written across his face, and despair swimming in his eyes as he watched hacking coughs rack Legolas' body. With each cough bright red blood flowed over cracked lips, down the pale and cut-up chin, before settling along the column of Legolas' throat. The soldier was desperately trying to help Legolas, but he was so worried, that he couldn't do much more than nervously hover his shaking hands an inch or so above the prince's convulsing chest.
Amroth and Tathar came sprinting forward, immediately falling to their knees before the two. Tathar moved to comfort Elerossë, who was very quickly spiraling downwards, while Amroth began an examination of what could possibly be wrong. Elerossë had tears gathering on his cheeks as he watched Legolas' face contort in pain during his gasps for breath.
It was then that Amroth cursed loudly and threw his hands up in the air in utter rage.
"Sut ume amin al-cen-sen teli?!" (How did I not see this coming?!)
His outburst caused Elerossë and Tathar to jump, and when Amroth started to frantically murmur and tear at the bandages around legolas' chest, Elerossë yelled at him frantically.
"Amroth! What is wrong with him? Why in the Valar's name is he coughing up blood?!"
The healer looked at him with tears running down his face, and when he spoke, his normally calm tones were shaky with anxiety.
"His broken ribs shifted during travel, and one of them—maybe more I don't know—have punctured his lungs. As of now, Legolas' lungs are filling with blood and it is keeping him from being able to breathe. He is essentially choking on his own blood and there is nothing I can do for him out here, for I did not bring the necessary supplies."
Silence settled over the three as they processed the horror-filled truth that Amroth had just informed them of. Legolas was dying…their friend, prince, and brother-in-arms was dying in front of them, and as the healer had said, there was nothing they could do for him while they were still at least an hour away from the palace.
The moment of suspended grief was shattered as Legolas' body arched off the ground again with a particularly violent shudder. One of his hands flew to Elerossë's as he struggled to expel the blood from his lungs. The pale fingers held a surprisingly strong grasp on their counterparts, squeezing down harshly as pain flared up in the prince's body. Immediately the soldier was hovering close to Legolas' face, murmuring comforting words to him.
Once the elf's body had settled again, Elerossë looked back to Amroth desperately.
"Please, there must be something you can do to help him! I will not have him die after everything he has survived!"
The healer sighed as he studied Legolas' face. What he found sent shivers down his spine. The prince's eyes were now open, and the deep blues were studying Amroth's face in turn. The orbs were clouded with pain and extreme fever, and a defeated shadow lurked in their depths. At the same time, there was a flash of something else that flickered past the blues. It was the unerring determination the prince was known for. The will to fight and survive, despite the overwhelming odds stacked up against him.
It was faint, and would soon be gone, but it was definitely there, just waiting to be tapped into. Then it disappeared and it was replaced by an overwhelming look of fear, the cause being another large spill of blood cascading over his lips. The streams of crimson liquid were getting heavier, and that spelled only tragedy for the prince.
Suddenly, Legolas did something unexpected. His upper body jerked upwards, to the point where he was sitting completely upright, therefore jostling his other malicious wounds. What came next struck utter terror into the hearts of the three elves.
Legolas released a scream that sounded as if he had swallowed glass. His voice was strangled and mutilated, and the yell of agony barely sounded human. It echoed over the tree branches, and disturbed the majority of the woodland creatures around them. When it finally broke off, its emotion hung heavy in the air.
Tathar, Amroth, and Elerossë all watched in horror as Legolas crumpled back down to the ground, only the occasional panicked convulsion wracking his frame. His pain was evident in the shuddering gasps he was taking, and the look of horrified and panicked resignation floating in his eyes. Suddenly the elf went completely limp, and Legolas' eyelids flickered shut. That caused Amroth to panic, and he began to shake Legolas' limp form, calling out the prince's name with tears clouding his voice.
Not a flinch
The elven prince shot up from his bedroll as if he had been hit with a bolt of lightning. He found his breathing to be harsh and ragged, a thick sheen of sweat coated his body, and he was shaking. In fact his hands were vibrating so strongly, as he raised his right hand to brush away the tears gathered on his cheeks, he had to steady himself by grabbing his right wrist with his left hand.
"Are you alright elf?"
Legolas whipped around to see the dimly outlined figure of Gimli kneeling beside him, brown eyes studying him intently. That was when he realized that the dwarf calling out his name had been what had woken him from his reverie. He stared dumbly at the stout creature for several minutes, and when Gimli raised an eyebrow, the prince realized that he hadn't yet answered the dwarf's question.
He slowly nodded, settling his still trembling hands in his lap. The dwarf looked at him with an incredulous expression, but Legolas was oblivious to it, for he was intently focused on slowing his breathing and heart-rate.
That had been one of his most vivid dreams of late, and it pained him to think of what happened next. He had stopped living—suspended somewhere in-between life and death—for many moments before Amroth had managed to temporarily calm his internal bleeding. He had been too out of it later on to ask how. From there he had been only half aware of what was going on around him until they had returned to the palace—thanks to Elerossë's panicked and therefore extreme speed—forty-five minutes later. Some of the memories were somewhat fuzzy about what had happened on that final trek, but he could very clearly remember, and sometimes still feel, the burning pain of not being able to breathe, along with the somber resignation that he was going to die.
"You were having quite a fit elf..."
Legolas once again realized that he had completely forgotten about the dwarf kneeling at his side. He turned to watch the short figure with careful eyes, judging whether or not a snide remark was going to follow. After all, he certainly did not have the best past with the dwarf—or dwarves in general for that matter. Offering a pretty pathetic smile, the elf looked around numbly for something to write on. He scrambled about for a few seconds, but then a meaty hand was wrapped around his wrist, stilling his movements. The prince looked up to find an awkward expression, of what seemed to be attempted affection, on the dwarf's face. Gimli quickly released the elf's hand, jerking back his own with embarrassing speed.
"If you are looking for paper, there is no need. I returned a few moments after you started teaching the others, and I stayed to watch. I think that I learned enough to speak with you…if you use somewhat simple sentences that is…"
The dwarf offered a smile, and Legolas leapt at the advantage of possibly working with his relationship with Gimli. Especially since the dwarf hadn't been here to tease or mock, even though he had found Legolas in such a vulnerable position, with tears streaming down his face no less. He began signing, using the lettering to spell words out slow enough for the learning dwarf to follow.
Thank you for waking me. You did not need to do that. I can only hope I did not wake the others as well.
Gimli scoffed and shot the prince a look.
"I may not be in full trust of you elf, but I am not so cruel as to stand by and watch you suffer so. As I said before, you were having quite a fit. In terms of waking me, I don't think that I was meant to get much sleep anyway. Nightmares plague me, but certainly not in the intensity of your own, which means that I am also the only one awake as well. I thought on waking Aragorn, seeing as you are much closer to him than you are to me, but I decided against it."
A look of relief crashed over Legolas' features, and it raised a sigh for Gimli.
"I do not understand why you try to hide your moments of fear from him. He cares deeply about you. You are a brother to him, not a burden. He would want to know if you are troubled. And judging from what I just woke you from, I would definitely classify you as troubled."
Legolas flickered his eyes downward for a brief moment, but he continued to sign.
Yes I know, but he has many worries already upon his shoulders, he does not need the addition of mine. Besides, he needs sleep right now. He has barely taken any since we set out from Rivendell.
Legolas glanced over at the peacefully sleeping figure of his friend with a fond look in his eyes, before raising himself up on surprisingly shaky legs. Once he had himself situated, he nodded his head to Gimli.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to take a walk among the trees to calm my thoughts. I wish you a good night sleep master dwarf.
However, the stout creature did the exact opposite. He popped up from the ground and wove his hands together upon his belly. With a slight humph, he moved to the elf's side and looked up at the much taller being.
"If you would allow it master elf, I would wish to join you."
The prince's utter surprise must have shown upon his face, for the dwarf gave a small chuckle as he began heading out of the fellowship's pavilion.
"I understand it is unusal, but I feel that you could use a friend at the moment, and if you would have me, I would fill such a position. After all, not all dwarves share entirely the same views on your kind. Some are simply too bold, and I would like to take this moment to apologize for the words that fall so mindlessly from their mouths."
With that brown and blue eyes met, one filled with regret, and the other filled with understanding at the secretive "tip of the hat" to what had occurred at Elrond's dinner table all those weeks ago. Gimli was seriously apologizing for the things that his kinsman had said to and about Legolas, which had hurt the elf so dearly.
Touched by the act of peace, Legolas gave the dwarf a true smile and placed a pale hand upon a bulky shoulder.
Thank you…and may I say that not all elves follow the same beliefs as well. I would be honored if you would chose to be an ally of mine, along with joining me on my walk.
The two shared a brief look before they headed out into the woods of Lothlorien. However, before they got more than ten feet, Gimli paused and sheepishly looked to the prince.
"You may want to grab that paper elf…I fear that my understanding of your language may not be as fined-tuned as I had hoped."
Legolas' only response was a well-placed smirk.
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