Chapter 20: Please Don't Be Ashamed
Okay so Monday signals the start of final exams for me, so I apologize if this chapter isn't as good as some of my others, because I am kind of freaking out. Anyway, I hope that you enjoy it despite the fact. Oh and just so you guys don't get confused, I am jumping in with this chapter with a line that is supposed to directly follow Legolas last line in the previous chapter. I would recommend maybe checking back so the context of what is happening is much clearer.
Just a small warning, this chapter contains some pretty depressing things including self-harm. If you don't want the details, skip the second bolded area of text. It shouldn't leave a crucial gap in the chapters plot line, so just a heads up.
The Willow Maiden: Well, I am glad. I was hoping that the goodness before hand would quel the anger towards the fact that I left you with a cliff hanger. It actually seems like it is going to need multiple chapters. I just have too much to write! And yes you sparked the idea for more lessons in sign language. I think that it would be interesting to explain that some more. I am glad that you are enjoying yourself.
Booksnake3: Yeah, again, my apologies for that...that is actually how I learned a lot of elvish myself! I would read the stories of others and I picked up on the repeating words like "thank you" and "my friend", you know stuff like that. Trust me, my friends and I constantly fangirl about anything that happens LotR/Hobbit related things. I mean you should have seen us when the extended trailer for the desolation of smaug came out...that was an interesting lunch. You shall certainly get more flashbacks, I can promise that.
mjg43: Awww...you have no idea how happy that actually made me. I never thought that this story would become so big, in fact I thought that it wouldn't do very well because it is kind of out there. So to hear you say that brings joy to m heart, as cheesy as that sounds.
CrazyPandaHobbit: I shall run and hide then, but I will make sure to bring my laptop as well. Can't have me stopped from typing and settling your curiosity. That is actually what I was going for, because I felt that I needed to resolve the animosity between them, along with lighten the overall mood of the story.
Elf With Redbull: Thanks, and I really hope that this satisfies you!
Tatharwen315: I know, so sorry again about that, but I couldn't help it. Hopefully this chapter was posted soon enough for your tastes.
Adreandarksky: I shall write sooooo much more you won't know what to do with it all. I have a lot of ideas that I need to put down on the page! I hope you enjoy it for the rest of the months this story spans over.
Nimrodel626: Oh no! Take cover! Remind me to thank the twins later for delaying my ultimate end...your blessing is taken to heart and hopefully it will help me when I have writers block in the future.
BrightGreenNails: I'm sorry, but this chapter should answer most of your questions, and the rest will be answered so very soon!
LotR-HP-PJ: Haha, I might just do that. It would be a good break from the angst would it not? I have done that before as well actually. Sometimes things can get so very confusing. Yes, I believe so...I am also in the running for a TMNT contest. I got notified recently that my story A Father's Fear was put in the running for best Splinter story. I am excited, I have never been in a contest for writing before, and now I am involved with two. Y'all's support has actually been great in that aspect, thanks
Cottoncandybeefalo: Yep, for a ranger, he really is a worry wart, but that is okay. He is also has a brotherly/fatherly protective nature, so that would explain it. Your wait is now over! Rejoice!
MuggleCreator: That's the mystery isn't it?
Masked Man 2: I am glad! I have always pictured Legolas to be super suave and have the ladies all over him, but at the same time, he is too polite to turn them all down. Well, I have kind of already hinted at it in an early chapter, so hopefully this one won't be too much of a surprise.
Queen Apolline: Uh oh...at least leave my hands, otherwise I can't type and them we would both be sad...
x Say x May x I x: I don't know, I would say that you can...I certainly have before...
guest2000: Good to know! It isn't just the reviewers that make this, it is everyone, so in my mind, you are just as important and play just as big of a role in this as everyone that reviews. I love Legolas tragedy too!
Crocodile123: Thank you so much! I am glad that you want to keep reading, and I hope that you enjoy what I have in store!
When I first returned home, I was in and out of consciousness for close to a month. I would usually only wake up after being plagued by a particularly violent nightmare, and even then, I would only remain aware for several seconds before slipping back into the numbing void of unconsciousness. Many believed that I wouldn't survive much longer, and some even began entertaining the idea that it would be better to end my suffering and pain quickly.
The man winced at this and regarded the elf sadly. Seeing the look, Legolas smiled gently and placed a hand against Aragorn's cheek in comfort.
It would have been easy and painless, nothing more than an overdose of sleeping herbs and I would have never woken up again. Yet, my father and Amroth would hear nothing of it. They stayed by my side and prayed for me to fight, to survive. However, my body was failing me, along with my mind. I was trapped in a never ending nightmare with no way of escape, and that alone was enough to kill me. That was when they called for Lord Elrond.
"We received your father's message during breakfast." Aragorn stated blandly as he remembered what had happened so long ago. "Only myself, Glorfindel, Elrond, and Arwen were at the table. Erestor was off calming down the twins after another one of their outburst. Ada had denied them leave to go out searching again. I have never seen Lindir run as quickly as he did that morning. He was completely winded by the time he handed ada the letter." (father)
The ranger turned his gaze back to the deep blues of Legolas.
"I never actually found out what the letter said. After Elrond finished reading it, he announced we were leaving for Mirkwood. I distinctly remember him yelling 'and will someone go fetch those confounded sons of mine!' before he instructed me to pack things for a three month journey."
Legolas nodded in response before continuing his tale.
Correct. I assume you remember what happened once you arrived?
A barely perceivable shudder traveled through Aragorn's body as he nodded affirmatively.
"How could I ever forget?"
The party of ten Rivendell soldiers rode hurriedly across the bridge connecting the stronghold of Mirkwood to the sickened forest around it. The sound of their horses' hooves echoed over the stone as they finally came to a halt. Each horse carried a single rider, with the exception of one. Lord Elrond held the eleven year old child in front of him, for the boy was not yet old enough to ride such a long distance on his own.
Almost instantly the group of elves dismounted and Elrond and the twins practically broke into a sprint towards the opening gates of the palace, while Glrofindel, Estel, and the other soldiers situated the horses before following at a much more leisurely pace. The three were quickly intercepted by a soldier Elrond recognized as Legolas' second in command. The experienced healer could see the dark circles under the young elf's eyes, along with the tell-tale signs of tears and grief upon his face. He slowed his pace in order to speak more easily with the soldier.
"Your name is Elerossë, correct?"
The elf nodded and gestured the elf down a hallway to the left with his hand.
"Aye Lord Elrond. Please, I assume you are here for Legolas. He is down this hall, in one of the healing chambers, you….you have to help him." The soldier's voice caught in his throat, and the three Noldor elves could tell that he was having trouble containing his emotions. "I beg of you my lord, you must save him…none within Mirkwood could bear his permanent loss."
Elrond nodded solemnly and placed a hand on the elf's shoulder.
"I will do everything I can penneth. Please show me where he is." (young one)
Elerossë swallowed his tears and turned down the hall with renewed vigor. He stopped in front of the ninth door and threw it open. He then entered the room, Elrond, Elladan, and Elrohir following at his heels. However, none of the three healers were prepared for what they saw.
The mighty King Tranduil, was sitting slumped in a chair next to the bed, a pale hand grasped tightly in his own. He had the pale appendage pressed against his lips, gentle words leaving the king's lips as he placed reverent kisses over the palm of the hand.
"Please ion-nin, please come back to me… I cannot bare to lose you, not again, and not like I lost your mother…Please Legolas, please do not leave me…please…"
It broke the hearts of the Rivendell elves, for they had only ever seen Thranduil in such a state once before, when they had come to aid the royal family after the passing of the queen.
Yet, it wasn't the broken monarch that truly wrenched their stomachs, but the battered form lying completely still on the bed. The young prince, usually so bright with life and joy, was pale and fragile. The healer wouldn't have even believed Legolas to be alive at first glance, it was only the barely perceptible rise and fall of the elf's chest which gave him away.
As the three cautiously grew closer to the crying king and his comatose son, they could see that white bandages had been wrapped tightly around almost every inch of Legolas' body, and his face and neck were heavily laden with fading bruises and healing lacerations. The prince's body looked almost skeletal, for his cheeks were sunken in, and from what they could see of his arms, they were nothing more than skin stretched tightly over bone.
The younger twin couldn't help the horrified gasp, and it was then that Thranduil realized there were others in the room. He whipped around, his teary gaze locking on the healer. The king stood slowly and approached the elven lord, reaching out a trembling hand.
The elf sighed and grasped Thranduil's hand.
"I know mellon-nin." (my friend)
"That is my son…look at what they did to my Greenleaf!"
The king was quickly dissolving into tears again, so Elrond embraced him tightly while silently instructing the twins to begin examining Legolas.
"I know…but I am here and I am going to everything I can for him. I promise you Thranduil, I will not give up on your son."
Thranduil nodded mutely as he untangled himself from the half-elf's arms. He sniffed dejectedly and wandered back to his perch at Legolas' side. He barely gave the twins a passing glance when they started to pull away the blankets and bandages covering his sons. It was only when Elrond placed a comforting hand on his shoulder did Thranduil look up.
"Mellon-nin, I do not think that you need to see this."
"I am not leaving him Elrond. He has been alone long enough."
Elrond smiled but pulled the king up none the less.
"He isn't going to be alone Thranduil. I will be right here, and so will the twins. Please, it will actually be more helpful if you go and fetch Amroth. I would like to talk to him about what he has done to treat Legolas so far."
The king opened his mouth to reply, but he was cut short by a blood curling yell from the door.
Everyone in the room turned to find a young child with tears streaming down his face standing next to a wide eyed Glorfindel.
"I thought that you were dead."
Legolas smiled sadly at the man as he continued.
It was never the intent to scare you so mellon-nin. Although, I guess that at the time I was close to death regardless of intent. As you know, I didn't actually wake up for another three weeks, and when I did I was a mess. I was drowning in depression and darkness….
The elf closed his eyes and with great concern, the ranger realized that the archer had tears gathering around his eyes.
"Legolas, you do not have to tell me anything you don't want to."
The prince shook his head.
No, I need to do this…I need to tell someone. As I was saying, when I woke up, it became clear to others that I could no longer speak, and my body was still so weak that I needed help to do almost everything. I felt as though I were a burden and it was eating me up almost as much as the nightmares were. This prompted me to do something so horribly stupid…
The elf sat with a stoic expression on his face, yet inside he was screaming. He couldn't do anything right, he was nothing but a pain for everyone around him. He had caused them so much worry over the three years he had been gone, and now that he was back, he couldn't do anything on his own. Silent tears slid down the elf's face as he thought over what he was about to do. He raised the silver dagger up into his line of sight, and started at his broken reflection…he really was a mess.
The elf looked over to the door, and realized that it was unlocked. He sighed silently and started moving towards it. His steps were slow and calculated, for he could barely stand up straight. The prince stumbled frequently along the way, but eventually he was at the door, and he slid the lock closed.
Exhaustion crashed down upon him instantly, and he collapsed to the ground in a heap. His weakened body collided with floor, and the jarring movement sent stars before his eyes from the pain. Legolas' breathing became ragged as he tried to calm himself down, and soon he found himself leaning against the door.
Legolas finally open his eyes, even though his eye lids felt as though they were made of iron, and picked up the knife once more. He couldn't help but feel an underlying current of shame at what he was about to do, but he knew that once it was over, he might finally find peace. With the reasoning strengthening his resolve, the elf rolled up the sleeves of his sleeping tunic, and pressed the blade to the skin along the inside of his left wrist.
He took a deep breath and applied more pressure until he had broken the skin, and blood first began to seep over the metal. At first the pain almost made him stop, but he couldn't stop now, so he continued to press down until there was a substantially bleeding cut running from wrist to inner elbow. Already he could feel the lightheaded ache that accompanied the blood loss, and yet he still continued. The blade once again met skin as it slid along the other wrist, making an identical cut.
Once the task was done, the dagger was dropped from Legolas' grasp, and he relaxed against the wall in exhaustion. He could do no more than close his eyes and slow his breathing as the lull of death moved closer to his consciousness. It only took a few more seconds before blackness descended on him.
Lord Elrond and my father found me about twenty minutes later and they were able to repair the damage I had done to myself. However, I was so far gone that my soul fled to Mandos' halls, and I almost entered before Elrond called me back. Immediately after I was brought back, I awoke and in my moment of awareness, I begged them not to tell anyone. I think that they were so worried about my already delicate psyche that they didn't want to cause me any more pain, and they agreed. I was out of commission for several days-
The elf was cut off as the man pulled him into a strong embrace. He quickly relaxed into the hug and rested his head against the ranger's shoulder. He could feel the droplets of Aragorn's tears upon his forehead, along with hear the man's shuddering gasps. The elf gently rubbed his hands up and down the man's back in an act of comfort, until the ranger pulled away.
The two regarded each other for a moment before Aragorn spoke.
"They told us that you passed out from old wounds re-opening. Elrond wouldn't let Amroth near you, and no one knew why. Why didn't you want to tell me?"
Legolas looked down to watch his hands quietly, before he moved closer to the man. It was then that Aragorn realized that the prince had tears of his cheeks as well, and the ranger acted quickly. He drew Legolas to him again, and the prince placed his head on the man's chest while his shoulders shook.
I was so ashamed of what I had done. That I had been so weak that I couldn't deal with my situation and I thought that the only solution was to end my life. I ran away from my problems instead of facing them, which isn't how a prince is supposed to behave and act. I could barely look at my father for fear of the disappointment I would see. I am sorry, but I couldn't bear to see the self-loathing I feel within myself on your face as well.
Aragorn scoffed and rubbed his hands over the elf's trembling arms rapidly to cease his worry.
"Never mellon-nin, never…I feel no disappointment towards you and what you did. I feel sadness, definitely sadness, for it pains me to know that you felt you had no way out but the knife. You should know that I will never see you as a burden, you have never been worthless, please never think of yourself as such again. I will not stand for it."
I am going to split this whole secrets thing up into two, maybe three parts, so that is why the ending seems somewhat sudden. Please review guys!