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Pained and strangled gasps for breath pierced the air within the makeshift infirmary of Helms Deep. Wounded men and children had been placed around the room on thin mats. Women and young girls were racing between bodies with various medicines, bandages, and other healing supplies. All of the injured men had several family members kneeling and crying at their sides. The smell of blood and gore filled the nostrils of almost all who were present, and involuntarily made their stomachs churn.
Standing among the woman were Aragorn and Gimli. Seeing as the ranger had learned many healing skills from Lord Elrond when he was under his care, he was assisting the nurses as much as he possibly could. The dwarf wasn't skilled in healing, but was following the orders of the ranger to the tee so he could help out to the best of his ability. However, neither of the two could focus very well, due to the fact that their friend was still unconscious and half dead.
Legolas had been cleaned slightly by the ranger, but his wounds were still just as dangerous as they had been when he was first found. He was barely breathing and his skin was ice cold. His desperate struggle to breath was heart breaking. His intake was raspy and he was barely able to release the air that he had just consumed. His body was almost completely covered in bandages, and most of them were stained a deep red.
After spending hours tending to others, Aragorn had finally pulled up a chair beside Legolas and placed his head in his hands. He watched the elf as his chest slowly rose and fell. He turned when he felt a steady hand on his shoulder. Gimli was standing behind him with a stern look on his face.
"Aragorn, I am going to see if there is anything else I can do to help. Please send for me if anything changes with his condition."
Aragorn nodded slowly and turned back to the elf. He kept his gaze forward as he heard the heavy footsteps of the dwarf head towards the exit of the room. He sighed and rubbed at his temples.
"Please wake up mellon-nin…please." (my friend)
Aragorn shot his head upwards when a slight rustling caught his attention. His sharp grey eyes fell on the elf. He watched in anticipation as the elf's facial muscles began moving.
Then, to the ranger's shock, he moved his hands, arms, legs, and feet. His breath sped up a little as he tried to open his eyes. Aragorn moved from his chair and crouched next to Legolas. He gripped the elf's hand as he waited.
"Legolas…can you hear me mellon-nin?"
Legolas whimpered slightly and his body twitched lightly. He arched his back and moaned in pain. Aragorn placed his hands on the elf's chest and pushed him back to the ground. Legolas groaned again under his touch. Aragorn watched intently as Legolas' eyelashes and eyelids fluttered ever so slightly. A keening wail dripped from the elf's lips as his injuries were slightly bumped by a passing nurse. Aragorn grabbed an uninjured section of Legolas' arm as he whispered comforting words to his pained friend.
"Pân ha eithel mellon-nin, lle baur an dar-dorn, lle gar-harnas taus baur an nesta." (All is well my friend, you need to remain still, you have wounds that need to heal.)
Legolas squeezed his eyes together and nodded as best as he could. He opened his mouth a little and tried to speak.
The ranger stood in shock as he processed the fact that the once dying elf had just spoken. Legolas croaked again and Aragorn shook himself from his surprise.
"Of course…of course Legolas!"
Aragorn turned around and shouted for a nurse to come over. The closest one ran to his side and fetched him a glass of water for the elf. He immediately lifted the glass to Legolas' lips and poured the liquid down his throat. The elf greedily drank before coughing violently. Aragorn pulled away the glass and wiped the blood and access water from Legolas' chin. The elf breathed in deeply and once again tried to open his eyes. Aragorn gripped his hand again and coaxed him forwards.
"It's okay Legolas, you can do it."
The elf slowly opened his eyelids and looked, with unfocused eyes, towards the ranger. His blue orbs were slightly clouded but still observing. He dipped his eyebrows down and tried to move his head upwards. Aragorn pushed him back down and smiled brightly at him. Legolas furrowed his brow again and observed the ranger from his spot on the ground. His voice was still shaky but Aragorn could still hear him loud and clear.
"Are you injured, because you look terrible?"
Aragorn stared at him incredulously and found himself broken up with laughter several seconds later. Legolas cracked a half hearted smile and shook with very light laughter. However, he was soon stopped by a large puddle of blood climbing up his throat. Aragorn quieted himself and wiped away the red liquid. Legolas swallowed heavily and closed his eyes again. Aragorn gripped his hand and slowly pushed away several strands of Legolas' hair from his face. At the gesture Legolas opened his eyes and Aragorn started at the tears that were in his eyes.
"Legolas, are you alright?"
The elf sighed and looked up at the ranger.
"I'm sorry Aragorn. I wasn't fast enough to stop the orc from blowing up the wall. I killed so many innocent men and children. I tried to move them out of the way, but I couldn't. I almost killed you too. I am so sorry. I cannot ever ask you to forgive me for my failure. I cost you many of your kinsman's lives."
Aragorn watched in horror as the elf let several tears slide down his cheek. Spasms racked his body as he choked on his tears.
"I-I am s-sorry Aragorn, so v-very s-sorry."
The ranger brought himself from his thoughts and delicately wrapped his arms around the elf's shaking form. He moved around the elf's injuries to make sure he didn't hurt Legolas even more. The elf moved his arms as best as he could around the ranger as he sought for forgiveness. Aragorn pulled back from the elf and looked him in the eye.
"Legolas do not say anything of that sort. You saved many lives including mine. Is this why you didn't move out of the way?"
Legolas nodded and sniffed as he tried to compose himself.
"I knew that I had to save as many of the people I had put in danger as I could. I could never forgive myself if I didn't."
Aragorn sighed and shook his head.
"Legolas, you need to realize something. This wasn't your fault. You had mere seconds and you managed to move dozens of people out of harm's way. Stop blaming yourself and understand how important what you did is. I owe you my life, as many others now do."
Legolas smiled lightly and cringed when a new wave of pain flew through his body. He looked up to find Aragorn's concerned face staring at him. The elf smiled weakly but jerked suddenly when a gruff voice shouted at him.
The elf turned and paled slightly when he saw the angered dwarf running towards him. Gimli stopped mere inches from his face. The dwarf was pink in the face with anger and he had now grabbed the elf's arm. Legolas flinched in pain at the contact and looked to Aragorn for help. The ranger nodded and placed a hand on the dwarf's shoulder.
"Gimli, his arm…"
The dwarf looked at him with a questioning gaze and became embarrassed when he caught the rangers meaning. He released the elf and back away slightly. However, his rage still remained.
"How could you do something like that you crazed princeling! You could've died! You…You…GAH!"
The dwarf threw his hands up and pointed a stubby finger at the elf.
"Don't do that again you hear?"
Legolas nodded viscously and ended up having to stop for the pain in his neck was growing steadily. Aragorn frowned slightly and lay the elf back onto the mat he had been given. Legolas groaned in pain and shut his eyes. Aragorn sighed and rested his hand on the elf's fore head in an attempt to soothe the elf.
"You need rest Legolas, your body may heal faster than ours but that doesn't mean that it happens immediately."
The elf groaned and tried to protest. However, he didn't get very far with the dwarf and man standing above him, ready to push him back down if he got up. Aragorn sighed and closed his eyes.
"I will wake you if anything happens, alright?"
Legolas nodded and relaxed on the mat. Aragorn chuckled when the elf fell asleep almost immediately afterwards. Gimli shook his head and stalked over to the ranger.
"Will he ever learn?"
The ranger chuckled.
"Nope. Why don't you go find something to eat? I will stay here in case Legolas wakes up."
The dwarf nodded and got up to go. Aragorn watched him leave before he turned his attention back to the prone elf on the ground. He leaned back in his chair and settled himself in for a long wait.