"Roh!" Elladan cried, running up to his brother, who was curled up in the thick boughs of a tree, deep in thought. Seeing his twin in such a flustered state, Elrohir descended, fixing Elladan with a controlled expression, wishing for once that he had the same ability to control his features as Legolas did.
"Legolas!" gasped the older one, completely out of breath, noting the hot rush of anger that swept through his brother, who looked quickly away.
"What is it?" the words came out in a half-snarl. A wave rushed over Elrohir, which he fought hard to suppress, and he walked away with quick, angry steps.
His brother ran after him, catching him by the elbow, spinning him around.
"Roh, Legolas was found unconscious and injured, barely alive, by a patrol this afternoon! We do not know what happened, but his condition is serious enough that ada sent me to seek you out!" Elladan said.
Elrohir's eyes dilated in horror and fear, and all attempts to control himself fled with the wind. A not-unfamiliar wave of sickening dread filled his stomach. Must you always get yourself into mortal peril?
"Dan, what happened?" he asked, starting to walk back towards the palace at a comfortable pace.
In response, Elladan started into a slow jog. "We do not know."
Elrohir frowned, and thought a while before asking, "Would you mind if I went ahead? Ada will need my help!"
A nod from his brother, and he was off, although he could have almost sworn that he saw a triumphant flicker across Elladan's face. Brushing it aside, Elrohir sprinted through the woodlands, a sickening dread spreading; a fear of being too late.
Please, let Legolas pull through this again. I am willing to sacrifice my soul in return for his.
It seemed like an age ere Elrohir burst into Legolas's room, an almost-feral look of fear upon his face. His heart skipped a beat as he looked across and started for the bed with wide steps, and was caught off-guard when Gwenophor stopped him.
"Elrohir," Gwenophhor said, holding back the increasingly startled younger son of the half-Elven. "Perhaps you should sit down first!"
Panic rose in Elrohir, who started struggling against his strong grip. "I want to see him, now!"
Esendri rose from his spot beside the bed, his face pale, and shot a look at Gwenophor, before stepping out of the room.
Gwenophor reluctantly let go of Elrohir, who stood there, in a daze, unsure of what to do. Gwenophor squeezed his friend's shoulder, before leaving him alone with the Elven prince.
It was a while before Elrohir mustered up enough courage to approach the bed where his friend lay, mentally bracing himself for what he might see. Reaching for the bed, he drew in a deep breath and knelt down beside the bed, taking in the tightly shut eyes and the visible injuries. A million thoughts ran through his head, and he choked back a sob.
"Legolas," he said, reaching out and carefully taking his dear friend's cold hand. "I apologise for treating you such. I should never have avoided you. I know not what came over me. Please, do not leave us, I cannot do without you."
Clasping the slender hand tightly in both his own, he buried his face in it, and a single tear slid down his cheek. One so beautiful and innocent should not be made to suffer like this.
A hand reached over and gently stroked his hair.
"I do not blame you, Elrohir," a voice dear to his heart said.
The younger twin looked up in shock to see a warmly smiling Legolas, who brushed a hand across his face, revealing his injuries to be merely cleverly applied disguise. Realisation dawned upon Elrohir of what had just occurred, and he was filled with an irrepressible rage. Shoving Legolas away, he jumped back.
"How could you?" he demanded, quivering with rage at having his emotions toyed with. He had genuinely thought Legolas in mortal danger. In a few quick steps, he was out of the room, not even turning back for a final look, although the image of the bewildered and hurt fair face never left his mind.
"Elrohir!" Legolas leapt out of bed, attempting to give chase, only to be greeted with the slam of the door. Flinging it open, he was met by equally shocked looks upon the faces of Esendri and Gwenophor.
"Which way did he go?" Legolas demanded.
"Legolas, what happened? In the state Elrohir is in, I would wait before seeking him out!" he added, pointing at a spectacular bruise forming on the jaw of Gwenophor.
The prince gave up, his shoulders slumping forward in defeat. "I do not understand! It was wrong for us to deceive him, but the reaction it set off is quite beyond me!" he said, deep in thought.
"How did it go?" Elladan said as he approached. The twinkle in his eye died as he saw the glum expressions upon the faces of the rest.
"Roh is quite beside himself in anger, I suggest we leave him to calm down before we even approach him!" Gwenophor said, still rubbing his jaw.
"He did that to you?"
Incredulity filled the older twin. Elrohir never hurt anybody, accidentally or not!
"At least we know he is angry with me now!" he said morosely. "This has gotten ridiculous. I will speak to ada and seek his advice before confronting Elrohir, for it is now clear that the problem lies with me. I do not know what wrong I did, but this cannot carry on any further!"
Elrohir ran out mindlessly, the anger driving him to run without thinking. The sense of hurt, betrayal, and anger, and the admission that he had made was too much for him.
How could he? The thought ran over and over again in his head, as he fled, seeking comfort in his solitude, before eventually slowing his pace.
Fool. What is this betrayal you speak of? As his emotions calmed, the rage dissipated, only to be replaced by a burning guilt. You were the one who betrayed him first. You betrayed the trust he placed in you. Weak, that is what you are. You swore an oath never to let this happen. But look what did.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.