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Recaptured!: 35. Stigmata

Riding through the night, the four reached Dunharrow by the
first light of morning. Merry had slept most of the way, although he was a
little apprehensive at first, remembering his last ride with Drâmym.



Gandalf woke him as they came to a halt and Merry held
tightly to Shadowfax's mane until the wizard had dismounted and could lift the
hobbit down. Then they made a small camp within the fortress walls and Gimli
and Gandalf took some rest while Legolas, who slept little, and Merry, who had
had his fill of sleep, sat guard.



Of course, Merry knew that he was not much of a watchman,
but his hearing was growing quite keen and he could at least keep the elf
company. He kept his hand on the hilt of his newly acquired sword, as it gave
him a sense of security. Legolas noticed that since the hobbit had donned the
leather jerkin given to him by Éowyn, he no longer wore the scrap of cloth from
Gandalf's cloak. Legolas asked him why he had suddenly discarded it.



"I know this will sound like madness," Merry
explained. "It's in my pack, because if the wraith comes again, I really
would rather he took me. That way I stand a chance of finding Pippin
again." Merry lowered his voice to a whisper. "But don't tell Gandalf
that, I think he would not approve."



"I am sure he would not," Legolas wondered if he
should tell the wizard Merry's plan, but it would seem like the most awful
betrayal. He changed the subject instead. "Play a tune on your flute,
Merry – something cheerful."



"I have not the heart, Legolas," Merry looked glum
again. "It just makes me think of Pip."



"Very well, then play something mournful," the elf
suggested. "There is music to suit every purpose."



Merry reached into his jerkin for the instrument and played
a sad little song about a lost and grieving love. It suited his mood very well.



As he played the sweet but sorrowful tune, he gradually
became aware of Legolas breathing in an unusual and irregular way. He broke off
playing. "What is it? Legolas – what's wrong?"



****



The orc chief dropped his little prisoner on the floor of a
large, but dark room that was crowded with orcs of different shapes and sizes.
Pippin immediately tried to get up but the large orc casually put his foot in
the middle of the hobbit's back, pushing him face down on the stone flags.
"You two, Smagnu, Grutfley get over here.
I've a job for you."



One large Uruk and a smaller but thickset orc singled
themselves out from the throng and stood before their captain looking down at
the little creature under his foot. "What's that, Captain?" asked the
shorter one, "dinner?"



"No, Grutfley, and it better not end up as fodder
either." The captain lifted his foot and casually kicked Pippin towards
the two. "This 'ere belongs to the Master Himself."



"What're we to do with it then?" Smagnu picked
Pippin up from where he had landed at his feet and held him by the shoulders at
arm's length. "It don't seem like much."



"It ain’t, but He wants it trained," the captain
said. "It don't know nuthin’, give it a taste of reality wot’s wot, bring
it to heel, His heel!"



"So yer wants us to just hurt and torment it a
bit." Grutfley smirked in anticipation of some fun. "Turn it nasty,
like a mad dog."



"That's the idea," the captain watched with
satisfaction as Grutfley took a piece of rope from his bag and, as Smagnu put
Pippin on the ground, the orc tied it around the little thing's neck. "But
no maiming, mind you. You keep it alive as well. He'll be wanting it back,
beaten down, but in one piece."



"That won’t be easy," Smagnu complained. "A
maggot like this is too easy to crush. Summat’s already took a swipe at it. The
Uruk caught Pippin by his hair, lifting his face up to look at the purple
bruise that had spread across his cheek where the wraith had knocked him
senseless. "Wonder that didn't kill it."



"Well, they did that," the captain indicated with
his finger upwards. "I daresay they know what they're about. And you,
Smagnu, you leave that sorta work to Grutfley, he knows his business. The orc
captain leered at Pippin. You just keep an eye on it and make sure none of the
others gets it and takes it to pieces."



"What the fug is it anyway? Grutfley asked. "Looks
like a small elf."



"It's a halfling, so I'm told." The captain smirked
a little. "Have fun!" He left the two orcs with their new charge.




"So yer a halfling, are ya?" Grutfley squatted down in front of
Pippin and wound the end of the rope several times around his hand, drawing the
little creature closer to him, until there was no more slack left. "Well
now, what shall we do to ya?"



****



Merry felt his way over to where the elf was sitting.
"Legolas, Legolas! what's wrong? Is it Pippin?" He felt for the elf's
hand and found it was clenched into a tight fist. "Are you in pain? Are
they hurting…" Merry stopped, not wanting it to be so.



Legolas drew a few deep breaths and gradually his hand
relaxed. "Yes, Pippin's a little distressed right now, but Merry please
stay calm and let me talk to him. Just sit by me and if I am silent for too
long, or anything untoward happens, then you must wake Gandalf." The elf
took the hobbit's small hand and focussed his mind once more.



'legolas?'



'Yes Pippin, I'm here. Did the big orc put you down now?'



''did – down now – took drum'



'Don't be sad, you can have another drum.'



'got rope on i – pull i make hurt'



'I know, little one, be brave.'



'not brave – merry brave'



'Yes he is and so are you Pippin.'



'take shirt 'way… legolas… legolas! not move… can't go
move… hold i floor'



'I'm with you, Pippin. Take a deep breath and think of
Merry…'



'got whip legolas – 'fraid i sorry – i not go be brave…'



'Pippin, don't be frightened. It's only pain and I will
share it with you. Let me come further into your thoughts.'



'no you go hurt too legolas – tell merry i love –
aaaiiieee!'



'Pippin, let me in NOW!'



'legolas – i not – aaaaiiieee! too hurting now –
aaaaaiiieee'



'Pippin, I shall come in without your permission.'



'not – aaaaiiieee! legolas? you go here?'



"Yes, little one, it's all right – relax now. Share
it with me it will hurt you less.'



"Aiiiiieeee!" Legolas's first scream made Merry
fall over backwards letting go of the elf's hand.



The hobbit quickly gathered himself up and, floundering
about, found Gimli first and shook him urgently. "Gimli! Gimli quick! Get
Gandalf, please quickly! I think it's Pippin! and Legolas is in pain."



The dwarf had spluttered awake at Legolas's first cry and
both he and Gandalf, also startled into wakefulness by the noise, rushed to the
elf's side. "Merry," the wizard took Legolas's shaking hand in his.
"Is it Pippin? Did Legolas say anything?"



Legolas screamed again and again. The cries were coming at
regular intervals now.



"Y-yes," Merry bit his lip at the accursed stammer
that came unbidden in moments of stress. "H-he said Pippin was
dis-distressed and that he was going to t-talk to him. H-he was quiet for a
b-bit and then he s- started s-screaming."



The screams stopped as suddenly as they had started and Legolas
slumped forward into Gimli's arms. Gandalf gently lifted Legolas's head up to
look into his pain-filled blue eyes. "What happened? Legolas?'



"My back," the elf groaned. "I don't think
Pippin is too badly hurt, I tried to absorb a lot of it for him and they have
stopped now. At least, the little one has gone quiet, he may have lost
consciousness."



"Let me see your back." Gandalf removed the green
doublet and loosened the elf's shirt, pulling it down from the shoulders. Both
Gandalf and Gimli gasped in horror.



"What is it? What h-happened?" Merry turned his
head from the wizard to the dwarf, waiting for one of them to tell him. Neither
spoke.



Legolas's back was criss-crossed with angry welts and
bleeding with the stigmata of many lashes.



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In Playlists

Playlist Overview

Last Update: 03 Apr 05
Stories: 15
Type: Workshop/Group List
Created By: Marta's Playlists


Stories I have read and liked, dealing primarily with interactions between members of the Fellowship.

Why This Story?

 

Story Information

Author: Llinos

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Action

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 03/23/07

Original Post: 06/26/02

Go to Recaptured! overview

Chapter List

1. A Twist in the Tale

2. Hobbit Hurling

3. Merry Yule and Orange Pips

4. A Palantír Is Not A Toy

5. Rescue

6. King Théoden

7. Pippin

8. Merry

9. Gandalf

10. Legolas

11. The Council

12. Interlude

13. The Road To Edoras

14. Poppy Paste

15. Attack!

16. All In Pippin's Mind

17. Merry Gets Sad

18. Pippin Gets High

19. A Sulky Hobbit

20. Poor Merry

21. Fever

22. Don't Let Me Go!

23. Bitter and Sweet

24. The Trial

25. Crime and Punishment

26. The Show

27. Drums of War

28. Rumblings

29. Searching

30. Converging

31. Betrayal

32. Aftermath

33. Wraithride

34. Lessons

35. Stigmata

36. Decisions

37. Ménage à trois

38. Misunderstandings

39. Visions

40. Remembering

41. Summoned

42. The Plan

43. Confrontation

44. Questions

45. Goodbye

46. Gone

47. Recovery

48. Promises

49. Friends and Strangers

50. Knots and Plots

51. Hide The Hobbit

52. Lost and Found

53. Promises and Threats

54. Blood and Water

55. Dead or Alive

56. Sad and Lonely

57. Hide and Seek

58. Near and Far

59. Touch and Go

60. Questions and Answers

61. Rough and Tumble

62. Beyond Help

63. Planning and Scheming

64. Requiescat

65. Echoes

66. Bribery and Corruption

67. Quo Vadis?

68. Friend or Foe

69. Terra Incognita

70. Caveat

71. Déjà vu

72. Truth and Lies

73. Catching Up

74. frodosam

75. Partings and Meetings

76. Gollum and Co

77. Shelob's Revenge

78. Rendezvous

79. Quartet

80. Needing Help

81. Perilous Paths

82. It's Magnic!

83. Ambush

84. Many Meetings

85. Telling the Tale

86. Love in a Shirt

87. News Fair and Foul

88. Rejoined

89. Minas Tirith

90. Honours

91. Bonding

92. Trusting to Luck

93. Conversations

94. Dangerous Thoughts

95. No Escape

96. No Surrender

97. Coup de gras

98. Requiescat In Pace

99. Feelings

100. Dead or Alive

101. Tales and Toil

102. Boromir The Brave

103. Calon Lân - (A Pure Heart)

104. In Dreams

105. The Last Debate

106. Battle Plans

107. Hey Ho To the Battle I Go!

108. Getting There

109. Who Wants To Play?