"Legolas you must wake him." Aragorn was mixing a paste-like concoction in a small bowl. "This is a strong remedy that will dull the pain, and he must take it."
"I don't think he wants to wake up just yet." Legolas sat cross-legged on the table cradling Pippin in his arms. "What are you going to give him?"
"It is a distillation made from poppies." Aragorn frowned at the paste. "Very strong, I'm not certain how much to give a hobbit, it could be quite dangerous."
"Perhaps half what you would give a man." Legolas suggested looking critically at Pippin and rocking him to and fro in a half-hearted attempt to wake him. "He is a halfling."
"Yes, I think so too, but it may not be good for his kind at all. And Pippin is a bit smaller than average for a halfling. Yet I have nothing else that will ease his pain." Aragorn perched on the edge of the table and patted Pippin's cheek. "Come on little one, wake up now."
"Why must you wake him at all." Gimli snorted, "let him sleep."
"No, I have to reset this bone. "Aragorn frowned at the swollen wrist. "It has already been left for too long. Gimli, you will have to hold his arm still and I will pull it out straight. It will be very painful. It will certainly wake him up if nothing else does."
"I am sure it will. Is there no easier way?" Gimli looked at the Ranger, but already knew the answer.
"Unfortunately not," Aragorn shook his head. "But this will help." He smeared his finger in the paste and then pushed it between Pippin's lips, rubbing the mixture over his mouth and tongue.
Pippin frowned at the odd taste and started to wake up. His eyes opened blearily and he wrinkled his nose.
"Make him drink," Aragorn said and passed Legolas a cup of water.
The elf held the cup to Pippin's mouth, lifting his head up slightly with the crook of his arm where the hobbit was cradled. "Perhaps you had better give me some of your potion as well Aragorn." Legolas smiled at Pippin's attempts to push the drink away and tucked the small hand under his arm as he forced the cup back to unwilling lips.
"You are planning to take the pain yourself again." Gimli shook his head, "I hope you know what you are doing, Master Elf."
"I have done this before," Legolas straightened his legs so that the others could get a better grip on their patient. "This little one has been through so much and, although I cannot take his pain away altogether, by sharing it with him, it is lessened considerably."
"Will you take some of the mixture?" Aragorn offered. "It will dull the pain."
"And my mind as well. " Legolas held his hand up to the proffered bowl. " No - I can manage without."
"Very well," Aragorn waited while Gimli got a firm hold on the hobbit's upper body and arm. "But take care Legolas."
Legolas put the cup down and put his hand under Pippin's head and turned his face to gaze into his eyes again. He glanced quickly up at the Ranger, "Do nothing until I let you know we are ready," the elf warned.
Pippin was still only semi-conscious but he heard the sweet elven voice calling to him. 'Pippin, Pippin, are you there?'
'le-le legolas? you back now? sleep go soon. close eyes soon.'
'No Pippin, you have to stay awake. No sleeping.'
'too 'fraid – n-not! not stop, merry gone? please go way - stop, – sleep soon. . .'
'Wake up Pippin!' Legolas called abruptly. Then more gently. 'I know that your arm and the bruises hurt, but you have to be brave and stay awake so Strider can make it better.'
'hurt? hurt arm bad! 'fraid voice bad! bad! talks at i. make it go legolas. help i merry.'
Pippin's little voice then dissolved into hiccuping sobs.
Legolas was almost at a loss. He could not get the hobbit to stop crying. He made a decision to go further into his mind and try to absorb the pain without Pippin's help. Pushing mentally through the muddled mathom house of the innocent thoughts and incoherent sobs, the elf found a dark abyss where pain welled up like a black muddied spring. Taking the plunge he sank himself into the appalling agony that lay there, allowing it to tear at him and eat into his soul.
'I see why you weep little one,' Legolas made his whole psychic body ethereal so that the dark agony would drift into him and leave the hobbit. 'This is almost too great for me to bear.'
Legolas felt the hurt of the wounds and the broken wrist. He felt the pain of watching Merry suffer. He felt the fear and torment at the hands of Saruman and the Uruk-Hai. There was a tiny pinprick of light as he felt Merry's love, which was brutally jolted by anxiety for his cousin's safety. He felt the pain of hunger and loneliness for Merry and Sam and Frodo.
Legolas drew all the hurts into his mind, shielding Pippin from their torment and steeled himself for the next hurt he knew was to come. He signalled to Aragorn and Gimli that he was ready.
A blinding agony ripped through Pippin and then ricocheted off him into Legolas. The elf lost control and he screamed in the hobbit's voice. "Eeeeiiiich!" One long, loud piercing cry. Then Legolas felt he was falling, falling, into a deeper and blacker night than he had ever known.
Suddenly into the blackness came a snarled and evil voice. 'I see you, you cannot hide!' And Legolas no longer knew where he was or what he was doing there.
Before his mind fled away a thought flashed into his consciousness and he asked the question. 'Who are you and why are you here?'
Aragorn was busy binding Pippin's wrist to a splint that he had made. The bone had pulled straight and, although still horribly swollen, it was necessary to set it in that position.
As Gimli held on to the hobbit's arm, he glanced up at Legolas who was clutching Pippin tightly. The elf's eyes were rolled back in his head, showing only the whites and his whole body was rigid. "Legolas!" the dwarf cried urgently, "Aragorn! Quickly, see to the elf!"
Aragorn turned his attention away from his bandaging and called frantically, "Legolas? Legolas, can you hear me?" The ranger was not sure if he did the right thing, but he prised Pippin out of the elf's grasp and lifted the hobbit off the table, putting him on the floor next to Gimli.
"Legolas!" Aragorn slapped the elf sharply across the face and then backhanded him across the other cheek, desperate to get a reaction. "Legolas, come back!"
The elf suddenly slumped forward and Aragorn caught him by the shoulders. "What happened?" The ranger asked as soon as he could see Legolas's eyes focus again. "Why were you in that condition?"
"What condition?" Legolas was gasping for breath.
"You couldn't see us, or hear us." Aragorn steadied him as the elf grasped the ranger's forearm.
"Th- there's something…" Legolas seemed stunned and lost for words.
"What? What is it?" Aragorn shook him slightly.
"Black… there is something… someone in Pippin's mind." Legolas was finding it hard to focus. "It's why he sleeps, because then it leaves him alone. It is not the physical pain that makes Pippin cry. I met a presence that was so terrifying I could not think or see or feel." Legolas's voice fell to a whisper. "A great lidless eye, never sleeping, all seeing."
"So what Pippin told you of the Nazgûl coming for him and Merry is caused by this presence in his mind?" Aragorn still held the shaky elf steady.
"This is something that Saruman has done to him?" Gimli stood over Pippin with his axe. "I'll break the necks of anyone who comes to take him!"
"I fear your axe will be of no avail, Master Dwarf." Legolas shook his head sadly. "Pippin is already a captive of the Dark Lord, He has claimed him."
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.