Chapter 31: Acceptance
Hey guys, I'm really sorry, but Comcast crashed, for the second time this year I might add, about two days after I posted the last chapter, which basically means I have been without television and internet for the past few weeks….It sucks….It also means that I haven't been able to post anything! Which is made all the more annoying by the fact that I actually finished this chapter a while ago, and was going to update on time for once! Talk about frustrating…
Anyway, I think that there are probably only going to be one or two more chapters for this story, BUT, and listen closely to this because it is important, I would be up for adding a few more chapters under certain circumstances. If any of you readers are still confused on any aspects of Legolas' backstory, or any other section of this story, now is your chance to let me know. Send me a review or PM stating what you are confused about and I will add in a chapter with some more explanation. It can be anything at all, even if it seems somewhat tiny, let me know. So please review, and enjoy!
Oh, and as a little side note, some people were confused about the fact that at the end of the last chapter I said that the fellowship was shocked by Legolas' entire story, yet I only did a flashback of his capture. Basically, I just showed you guys the one part of Legolas' story that I hadn't already, but in the circumstances of what was actually going on in SNE, Legolas had told all of what had happened. I hope that cleared everything up!
x Say x May x I x: Thanks, and I totally agree with you. Like I just saw Guardians of the Galaxy and oh my gosh…it was hilarious! If you haven't gone to see it, then you must as soon as humanly possible!
mjg43: Thank you so much! I am so happy that you are getting that much joy out of reading my work. Again, so sorry that it has taken me so long to update, but I hope that it lived up to the wait!
Allie Danger: I'm glad! I hope that you like this one just as much.
BlackMinx17: Trust me, I am too. I try and hide it, but I am never successful, and I end up crying at almost everything even remotely sad. I am really happy that you liked that chapter though!
Legolaslover93: Aw, I'm so glad! I know, I don't really want it to end either, but unfortunately it has to at some point…Thank you very much, that means a lot…
Cati Jones: I know, it is certainly sad that this story is going to end, but all good things must come to an end right? Hahaha, don't worry…I have many more ideas that I have yet to type, and as cool as penguins are, I don't really fancy having them as my neighbors.
Willow: Thank you so much! I'm glad that it ended up working out, because I was definitely worried that it would become hard to understand, but I guess my worries were for naught. You know, I think that at this point, Legolas and luck really don't work well in the same sentence…Ugh you have no idea how much that means to me!
Guest: Please forgive me! I know that it has been like forever, but hopefully this chapter makes up for it! And thank you very, very much!
Schattenjagd: I wish you all the luck in the world in your writing, and if you ever need/want any other type of advice, feel free to ask! I think that everyone hates orcs, I mean they torture our wonderful little elves and rangers and hobbits…Well thank you, I was going for a detailed description, and I'm glad that it worked out. My thoughts exactly, that is kind of why this chapter is a little fluffy and touchy-feely, because let's face it…Legolas needs some love…Thank you so many times over, and I hope that you are successful in your writing endeavors!
Arwen2001: Omg, thank you so much! I mean like seriously omg…That is like so sweet! Yeah, I know…I am going to miss writing this story but don't worry, I am not going to bring you anymore pain and suffering in this story. Yeah, I love the idea of them being like super close, like kind of adorably so…but not like lovers…just doesn't quite fit for me…I am so sorry that it has been such a long time since I have updated, but I am so glad that you are enjoying this story so much. Also, on another note, thank you so much for all of the reviews you have left on my other stories.
After Pippin's brief outburst, the fellowship settled back into an uneasy silence. All wore melancholy expressions, and neither the dwarf, Gondorian, nor any of the hobbits could bear to look Legolas in the eye. It wasn't out of dislike for the elf, but an overwhelming sense of grief, for the prince had described his capture, torture, and subsequent struggles with enough detail to chill the others to the core. Many felt that should they meet Legolas' eye, they would be positively helpless against a flood of tears.
Unfortunately, the blonde prince could only see the lack of response as being born from disgust. He turned his face towards the darkened sky, refusing to let tears of frustration creep down his face, as a small voice in the back of his mind bit at his thoughts with a mocking tone. I told you so…they think you are weak now, all of them, even Estel! I told you they wouldn't want to be around one as pathetic as yourself once they knew…I told you so…I told you so…I told you so...It continued to grow louder and more pronounced with each second that ticked by, until the voice was occupying Legolas' attention fully. The sound of cruel laughter and taunting that he was worthless, undeserving to be a prince, and pathetic reverberated throughout the elf's mind, tormenting him even further. The prince ended up becoming so wrapped up in these miserable thoughts that he didn't react when a comforting hand rested on his shoulder, and a familiar voice called out his name.
In fact, Legolas didn't so much as blink until the hand on his shoulder moved to cup his cheek, and the voice that had called out to him grew stronger in nature.
"Legolas, mellon-nin, saes thîr a enni." (Legolas, my friend, please look at me.)
The prince started violently as he was drawn from his thoughts. He turned blue eyes, widened to the size of dinner plates, to the ranger's saddened face. The man then offered a comforting smile once the two made eye contact, and lowered his hand back to Legolas' shoulder. A moment of silence passed between them, before the elf signed something dejectedly.
I knew this would happen, I knew that they would feel disgusted with me once they heard what happened. They think that I am weak, they think I am pathetic Estel.
The ranger sighed heavily when the elf dropped his hands to his lap, and tears bubbled to the surface. Aragorn gently squeezed the tense muscle of the elf's shoulder as he shook his head.
"Nay Legolas, that is not true-"
The man was cut off when Legolas jumped to his feet and signed something again.
No! I can see it in your face too! You all think me to be worthless and inadequate to be a prince, just like the others in Mirkwood!
The elf had a steady stream of tears running down his face as he continued to rant with his hands. His movements became so hurried that Aragorn began having trouble tracking what Legolas was saying.
I thought that I could trust you! I thought that you all were different. I believed you when you said that you wouldn't care that I broke under torture, that it wouldn't matter to you that I wasn't as strong as I needed to be, that I screamed and begged for them!
"You can trust us Legolas. Please, calm down."
Legolas turned to look at the pleading man with a despairing expression. His eyes were now swimming with salty liquid as he looked out upon the fellowship, all of whom were watching him with worried expressions. The prince's frenzied movements and hopeless look had frightened them all, and it was made much worse seeing as they couldn't understand what Legolas was actually saying.
As the silence continued to stretch, Aragorn stood and waked over to where Legolas was. He placed a hand underneath the elf's chin, forcing Legolas to look away from the fellowship and focus in on him. The elf turned hurt and defeated eyes towards the ranger and made a final sign.
Why did this have to happen Estel? Why am I so worthless?
Aragorn smiled gently at his longtime friend, struggling for the right words. Finally he dropped his hand, and shook his head as he spoke.
"I wish I could answer such a thing Legolas, I truly wish that I could…but please mellon-nin, I ask you—nay I beg you—do not speak of yourself in such a manner! You are anything but worthless!"
The man's voice had risen in power as he spoke, emotion coursing through his words.
"Think of everything you have done in your life…The lives you have saved, the people you have loved, and the obstacles that you have overcome! As for what has happened to you, you were tortured for three years of your life, where you had everything taken away from you, yet here you are today. You have fought for the life that you now lead, a life that is worth more than all of us here could possibly comprehend."
As he finished, Aragorn gripped Legolas' upper arms tightly, leaning in close to his friend.
"You. Are. Not. Worthless."
The elf looked at the ranger with an indescribable expression for a moment more before he began to nod. The movement was slow at first, unsure, but it quickly grew in confidence. Soon Legolas was wiping away his tears and nodding his head in actual agreement with Aragorn's words.
"Mister Legolas…I agree with Mister Strider. It took a lot of courage to survive everything that you did. You shouldn't say such things about yourself when they aren't true."
Both the man and elf turned to look at the sandy-haired hobbit sitting next to Frodo. Sam was wearing a friendly smile as he gazed upon the elf, his words nothing but sincere and caring. Several other members of the fellowship smiled in response, offering various words of encouragement to the still distraught elf. There were little tidbits here and there like, "we are glad that you told us Legolas", "this doesn't change anything", and "You have no reason to be ashamed Legolas".
In fact, the fellowship's response was so unexpected that Leolas came close so succumbing to tears once again, for he saw and heard nothing but veracity. After having gone through many years of others doubting him, and doubting himself, hearing support after bearing his soul was awfully surprising. Especially since he had only known most of these people for a very short amount of time.
The elf blinked and turned his head in confusion towards the ranger. A light blush rose to Legolas' cheeks and ears when the prince realized that he had been staring out at the fellowship for several minutes. He then felt a hand on his shoulder, leading him back over to where he had been sitting before. The elf gently folded his legs beneath him once he reached his spot by the fire, and saw Aragorn settle down at his side.
All eyes focused in on the elf, gauging his reaction as he stared into the fire. Then, all the sudden, he started signing, and Aragorn had to scramble to catch up.
"My friend's used to tease me that even though I could no longer speak, I was never at a loss for what to say. However, I now find myself unable to find the proper words to express how I feel at this moment. I haven't told anyone the true details of what has happened to me in the past, because I have been gripped by the fear that they would cast me out of their thoughts and their hearts. I believed that they would feel the same disgust and shame that I feel towards myself."
Everyone within the fellowship noticed almost immediately that emotion was creeping back into Legolas' motions as Aragorn continued to relay his signing.
"Yet, I sit before you now and have found that I had been developing such fears based on the behavior of others that have shunned me in the past. I haven't allowed myself to see the possibility that through my fear of rejection I have been closing myself off to those who truly care for me. Oddly enough, it was you that showed me this. You, whom I have known for what seems like a blink of an eye in comparison to the length I have lived."
The blonde paused as he swallowed rather thickly, his hands stilling mid-motion. Legolas took a moment to close his eyes and focus on breathing as he got his emotions under control. When the elf returned his gaze to the fellowship, he had a rueful smile on his face as he continued to sign.
"My fears were eating me alive since I had kept them bottled up for much too long. I had forgotten how to trust someone other than myself."
As Aragorn finished translating, he pulled the elf into a lose side-hug and gave Legolas a small squeeze for comfort. The elf leaned into the touch somewhat gratefully, allowing some of the stress and pain he had been carrying on his shoulders to disappear. It only took mere seconds for the elf to feel lighter than he had in years.
It was then that the dwarf took opportunity of the pause in conversation. He had been watching quietly while the elf had explained himself, and now he felt the need to voice his own opinion.
"We all have fears, and to survive, we must keep them from controlling us. It was very wise of you to open up yourself up Master Elf, very wise indeed."
Legolas looked up in surprise when he heard the dwarf's comment. Yes, the two had grown closer ever since Lothlorien, and their bickering was now friendly teasing rather than malevolent jibes, but it was still rare for them to actually complement each other. He offered a small smile and dipped his head towards the dwarf as he straightened away from Aragorn.
The prince then took a moment to look around at those before him once more. The hobbits still had several lingering tears on their faces, mainly Merry and Pippin, the Gondorian had an expression of sadness—not pity which made the elf sigh in relief—while Aragorn and the dwarf looked almost proud. He honestly couldn't keep the smile off his face as he signed a final few words for Aragorn to translate.
Thank you my friends, thank you so very much.
Please review and answer my question from up above!