Chapter 21: The Boy From Rivendell
Well, finals are over, and I missed having a 4.0 because my French teacher is a horrible person, and her grading policy is insane! I had a 92.98 in her class, and that is 0.02 away from having an A. It is quite possibly one of the most annoying things that has ever happened to me! Anyway, winter trimester is over, and I am now onto my final three months of school. Sorry for the long wait in-between updates too…my bad. I also want to apologize that I didn't get to do review responses, but if I wanted to post today, then I couldn't.
"Legolas…is that the only time that you've…that you've used the knife?"
The elf looked up with sad eyes, before turning his gaze back towards the ground.
Yes, that is the only time I have ever acted, but there have been other moments that I have thought about doing it once again. Sometimes my thoughts would drag me down to a darkness that was consuming, but every time something, or more along the lines of someone, would pull me free.
Legolas offered a small smile and placed a hand on Aragorn's cheek.
I seem to remember that most often, it was a certain human who would bring me back.
Aragorn smiled gently, wrapping his arms tighter around the elf's form.
"I never thought that I would see you again. When they finally let us in to visit you, I thought that my heart would burst from all of the joy I was feeling."
Clouded blue eyes stared blankly up at the ceiling, oblivious to the bright sun and singing birds outside, and the gentle breeze that swayed the green branches of the towering trees, for nothing but swirling and impenetrable darkness filled their gaze.
They were set in a pale, emotionless, and sunken face, which was a perfect precursor for the rest of the elf's body. However, only the upper section of the prince's chest and his arms were visible, for the rest of his form was tucked up tightly with pristine white sheets.
The prince could do nothing but stare up the ceiling and the walls around him, for after he had been revived, he just felt empty. He was ashamed of what he had done, he was mortified that he had been found, and all he could think about was the fact that he should be dead right now. There was a constant nagging thought that he was a failure at everything he did. He couldn't even die properly! The elf blinked lethargically as several tears slid down his cheeks.
"Please don't cry 'Las."
The elf frowned when he heard the familiar voice. He turned his head towards the door, and his eyes widened when he saw the terrified child. Estel was standing inside the room, the door closed behind him.
"I don't want you to cry mellon-nin." (my friend)
Legolas felt his heart lighten the smallest of amounts at the sight of the small boy. His lips twitched upwards, and he opened his mouth to speak. Yet, when no sound came out, the prince felt tears clog his throat, and sadness crashed down upon him again. He turned away from the human and closed his eyes in defeat. It only took a minute before the small pitter-patter of quiet feet echoed throughout the empty room, and soon the prince felt the bed dip at his side.
"It's okay Legolas, ada told me about the fact that you can't…I thought that we could just use a piece of parchment and a quill from your desk."
Estel watched his longtime friend carefully, and he frowned when he received no response. The boy saddened when he saw that Legolas was still silently crying and he had yet to open his eyes. He sighed, and lay down beside the battered elf. His mop of brown curls nestled up against Legolas' chest, and he wrapped his arms around the prince's neck.
"I missed you Legolas. I missed my friend, and I never thought that I was going to see you alive again, but now you're here. Please don't ignore me Legolas, it hurts too much." The human murmured against the bruised skin.
The child burrowed closer to the elf's warmth and relaxed when he felt the weakened arms Legolas wrap around his body. A chin also rested upon the top of his head, and a pair of warm lips pressed a kiss to the crown of his head. He looked up to find Legolas smiling gently at him.
The elf reached down and brushed a hand over the boy's cheek. He used his other hand to make a writing gesture. Getting the hint, Estel sat up and dashed over to the desk to grab what he needed, before hopping back onto the bed. He handed it over to the elf, and watched with rapt attention as Legolas scribbled something down. Legolas glanced over to the boy and showed him what he had written.
'I'm not going to ignore you Estel. I am sorry for making you feel that I was. The reality is quite the opposite as a matter of fact. I am overjoyed that you are here, and I have missed you too. I have missed you so very much.'
Estel smiled and leaned down to hug Legolas again. This time the elf returned the hug with as much fervor as he could and he let his tears drip unashamedly on to the boy's smaller shoulders. His chest heaved with silent sobbing, and the young, eleven year old child, merely shushed him and mumbled into the elf's neck.
"Everything is going to be alright Legolas. Ada said that you are getting better, and if you want to, when you arehealed, he said that you could come visit us in Imladris. You remember the plants you put in the garden, the one outside Erestor's office's balcony?"
Legolas pulled away, raising an eyebrow, and nodding. The boy smiled and curled up at Legolas' side again.
"Well, they are all doing really well, and they are growing to be very beautiful. Erestor is overjoyed, and he hasn't stopped bragging about them to everyone he can get a hold of. It is quite annoying actually, but he has been wanting to thank you for all that you did. No one in Imladris has been able to get that garden to grow, never, before you that is. We have all missed you so much Legolas."
The elf gave a small and watery smile and started to absent-mindedly stroke the child's curly hair. Sensing the mood change of his friend, Estel looked up at the elf and smiled in return. Deciding that this was a better state for Legolas to be than the depression, the boy continued telling various stories of the hidden valley. His tales spanned from the latest trick that the twins had pulled, to the string of orcs that had been spotted along Rivendell's borders. With each sentence he spoke, Estel could feel the comforting hand running through his hair slowing down. Eventually the movement halted completely, Legolas' hand hanging limply in Estel's hair. Confused, the child glanced up at the prince. The boy's young face split with a smile when he realized that the prince had fallen asleep mid-motion. Careful not to wake his exhausted and battered friend, Estel weaved his way out from under the elf's hand. He smiled down at the sleeping prince and gently placed a kiss to the pale forehead.
"Welcome home mellon-nin. Get some sleep, you are safe here." (my friend)
"It for times like those that you need to keep fighting. Those few moments in which you feel alive, those moments that you get to spend with the ones that you love. Having those moments are what prompted us, all of us, to join this quest."
The man paused and quickly pulled away from Legolas. He grabbed the elf by the shoulders and gently shook him.
"For God's sake Legolas! There are so many people on this earth that love you, need you! Not just in Mirkwood, but in Rivendell, here in Lothlorien, hell I need you Legolas! Think about all the times that you saved my life. I would be dead thirty times over already were it not for you! I owe you everything, and I do not know what I would do without you."
Silence settled over the two as blue met grey, and gazes penetrated deep to the soul. After a moment Aragorn sighed, and pulled the elf to his chest again.
"And if all that fails, think about that little boy who spent four and a half hours begging his ada to see you after you got back. Remember that boy to whom you became the role model of a lifetime. Think about the boy who sits with you know, all grown up, because you helped him get there."
Legolas' face softened at the statement of the ranger, his mind racing. He straightened his torso and grabbed both sides of the man's tear stained face. They studied each other as closely as possible, and all that Legolas could respond with was one phrase.
I know, and that boy saved my life too.
Yet, it was that simple phrase that spoke miles of script for Aragorn and Legola. So the two friends—close as brothers—sat huddled together in a tight embrace for many moments, tears occasionally falling down their cheeks. Shoulders shook uncontrollably at times, but each time a comforting squeeze or phrase would come from one of the friends. Soon everything around them was quiet and Legolas pulled away. He offered a watery smile to the ranger.
By the Valar, I didn't know that I was capable of crying so much!
The ranger chuckled and nodded in agreement.
"Likewise…Oh lord we look a mess."
The elf smiled in good humor and rose to his feet. Immediately he pressed a hand to his forehead and winced. In an instant, Aragorn was on his feet and fawning over the prince.
"Legolas? What is wrong?"
The prince waved him off and blinked several times.
It is nothing, I think that my body just forgot what it feels like to stand up. I just got a little dizzy Estel, please let's head back to the fellowship. They probably think that we got lost or something.
Aragorn grinned and looped his arm through Legolas', leading him back towards the fellowship's pavilion.