4. You Do Not Believe Me
"Is it not your turn to take the watch?" Legolas said.
"I asked Dan to relieve me."
Legolas's eyes betrayed his surprise. "Why?" His surprise caused a pang to run through Elrohir. Legolas was growing so used to his inattention that any initiation on his part was regarded as an anomaly.
"Because I cannot bear to see you hurt. I have spoken to Estel. We will go to Imladris, then on to Lasgalen. It has been a long time since we visited Adar."
The lack of an answer increased the tightness in Elrohir's stomach.
"Lass, will you not come down?"
Legolas knew that Elrohir was in as much turmoil as himself, and he knew that Elrohir had come in search of comfort. But how could he offer Elrohir any when he was in need of it himself? Still, Legolas gave in, and slipped down the tree, maintaining his silence.
Trembling, Elrohir reached out and touched Legolas's face.
"I am so sorry, Lass," he said.
Legolas pushed aside his reservations and enveloped Elrohir in a tight embrace, one which the exhausted Elf-knight fell into.
"You are shaking," Legolas said, running a hand through Elrohir's dark locks, before placing a kiss on his forehead.
Hearing the love in Legolas's voice, Elrohir's heart almost burst with joy. He reached up and claimed Legolas's mouth in a searing, desperate kiss, as his hands started work on Legolas's tunic, undoing the clasps and ties.
Feeling Legolas stiffen, Elrohir's desperation grew, and he forced Legolas against the tree, his fraught state lending him strength.
"Please, Lass, I need this. It has been far too long," he said.
Despite his instincts screaming at him not to yield, Legolas's love overruled them. The trek to the southern borders of Gondor would be long, and this was the last chance they would have to be alone. It had been months since they had been intimate, save for the brief tryst in the private corridors of the palace, and even that had not been as complete as either would have liked. If this was what Elrohir needed, it would be what Legolas would give him.
"Take me, Roh," he whispered.
The pain was back, but Legolas tried hard not to show it, pinned against the rough bark of the tree, with Elrohir collapsed against him. The deep throbbing in his lower body was matched by the rawness on his back, which had been rubbed against the knobbed trunk as Elrohir had slammed into him repeatedly. Still, Legolas said nothing, having decided to give Elrohir what he needed -- and nothing more.
Letting go of Legolas, Elrohir lifted his head and attempted a tired but satisfied smile. Valar, he was so exhausted, and his head felt so stuffy. Inching himself free, he missed the wince that crossed Legolas's face. Instead, his attention was drawn to Legolas's clenched fists.
Startled eyes flew to Legolas, as a horrific thought hit him.
"Lass, I --"
Sensing Elrohir's discovery, Legolas pressed a finger to Elrohir's mouth and drew them both to the forest floor. He reached for his crumpled clothes and procured a cloth, wetted it, and started cleaning Elrohir's hand. Elrohir's utter lack of energy scared him, and now was not the time to be adding to his worries.
"Lass --" Elrohir tried again. Something was wrong, very wrong, but he was so, so tired.
"Hush," Legolas said. "I need to clean us; the Gondorians will not take kindly to this."
A last attempt was made, and Elrohir pushed through the thickening haze surrounding him as he grasped at the elusive conclusion that had been avoiding him all this while.
"You do not believe in my word anymore," he said.
The lack of an answer from Legolas spoke more than a thousand words could have, but Elrohir was exhausted beyond relief. His eyes flickered, and he soon gave in to his fatigue, falling asleep in the arms of his worried spouse.
Needless to say, Legolas got no sleep that night.
Dispatching the last savage, Elrohir turned to check on Legolas, as he had done for centuries. No matter how much Legolas hated being looked out for, Elrohir had continued to do so, and always would, until both of them had fought their last battle. He was pacified when he saw Legolas sink his long knife into the last attacker.
At his side, Aragorn, King of Gondor, surveyed the battleground. Already, Faramir was making his way to him, ready to report on the situation and their casualties. The battle had been brief but intense, and Aragorn knew that many of his men -- good soldiers -- would not have made it through alive. Still, this had been a necessary battle, for Gondor's tolerance would have been taken as weakness: an invitation for further incursions into their border.
Hanging back at the fringe of the battle site, Legolas made use of the opportunity to survey the scene. His astute eyes took in Haleigh's sly glances at Aragorn and Faramir as they spoke to Elrohir, straining to hear their conversation. Once in a while, Haleigh would bend down to inspect the body of a Southerner, before standing up with a strange gleam in his eye that Legolas could not place.
When Aragorn continued to converse with Faramir and Elrohir, Legolas found his attention wandering from the present. He had not the chance to speak to Elrohir in private since their rough night in the forest, and Legolas could not make up his mind if this were a good thing. Elrohir had woken up still in Legolas's arms, feeling just that little bit more refreshed. If he remembered Legolas's doubts from the night before, he did not mention it, and so Legolas was happy to play along -- for the time being.
Elrohir was standing before him, while Aragorn had disappeared, leaving Faramir behind to speak to Haleigh.
"Yes, Roh?" Legolas said, smiling.
"Estel has decided that we should return to Minas Tirith while Faramir rides out with his company to seek an explanation from Krashnon, the leader of these savages."
"How about our oily friend?" Legolas said.
"He is to come with us."
"He does not look happy to hear it," Legolas said, studying Haleigh's reaction to his conversation with Faramir.
"That one needs watching," Elrohir said, his voice almost a growl. "But no matter. We shall be on our way to Imladris in less than a week. I only rue that it is not sooner."
Legolas reached for Elrohir's hand, shielding the action with his body.
"So do I, Roh."
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.