17. Running Away
Winter had passed rather quickly, Eowyn thought as she began working in her garden. It was early April and the snow had just melted. Small green shoots were beginning to spring up from the ground. Eowyn could hardly wait to see the garden in all its splendor. Even though it had been dormant during the winter months, Legolas made sure that there were plants that grew during this time. There would always be life in the garden no matter what time of the year it was.
Legolas sat on the edge of a sturdy branch, watching Eowyn work. Secretly, he desired her from afar. He could not have her though. She belonged to another. He accepted this but would always long for her closeness. It was just part of the sacrifice he made. Soon she would be married to Faramir, further sealing his fate. But somewhere deep within him, he could not accept the fact that he would fade when Eowyn died. Legolas wished the Lady Galadriel had not left so she could help him figure out his path. She would have him look in her mirror. But this was not an option. He was on his own to discover his journey for himself.
Eowyn felt his presence and knew Legolas was near. She always knew when he was watching her which was often. He kept a keen eye on her during those times when she thought she was alone. This always made her feel safe, especially when Faramir was away like he was now. He had been sent by Aragorn to patrol the outer edges of the city. Small bands of Orcs had been seen around some of the extended villages of Gondor. Faramir gathered his weapons and a small army of men to inspect the situation. Eowyn did not much like the idea of him being so far away from her and so close to danger.
Legolas had promised Faramir to keep an eye on Eowyn in his absence. That was just what he was doing now. He silently jumped down from the tree and approached Eowyn. "Good day, my lady Eowyn. I see you are getting an early start on your garden."
Eowyn turned to face him. He could no longer sneak up on her. She was never surprised to see him even when he seemed to appear out of thin air. "I am anxious to get started. New seedlings are beginning to sprout so I thought I'd clear out some of the leaves as to not hinder their growth. I can hardly wait to see it in full bloom. I'm sure it will be beautiful."
"Just as radiant as the fair Lady of Ithilien." he smiled.
"Not yet, Legolas. Not until after the wedding will I be called by that title." she said playfully.
"And how goes the plans for this joyous occasion? It is only a month away now. You must be ahead of plan since you are here and not in the city with Arwen." Legolas was now on his hands and knees helping Eowyn remove some old leaves.
"As a matter of fact, most of the planning is done, all except for some last minute details. You will be there won't you?' she asked.
"I wouldn't miss it for all the world." Legolas said reaching for some leaves. At the same time Eowyn reached for the same leaves and their hands touched. Eowyn felt a warmth spread up her arm. But for Legolas, he felt a tingling heat spread throughout his entire body. It was the first time they had made physical contact since she cried in his arms that night in his talan. Eowyn tried to remove her hand but Legolas held on. When he wouldn't let go, Eowyn felt an awkwardness.
"Legolas, please don't." she whispered looking at their hands.
"Are you happy, Eowyn? Are you truly happy with Faramir?" he said looking at her.
"Why would you ask such a thing? I love him wholly. It is something I have wanted for such a long time. Why would you think I was not happy?" she asked, confused by his question.
"It is just a feeling. Sometimes I think there is unfinished business for us. I don't know what it is or why I feel this way. I just do. Your happiness is very important to me. I would not want to see you suffer in any way."
"Legolas, I think it is your yearning for what we can no longer have that distracts you. I am very sure of my love for Faramir just as I am sure of our continued friendship." she said looking at him now. His blue eyes seemed an endless pool of hope for something that could never be. Suddenly she was caught in his gaze. He had always been good at holding her in place with nothing more than a look.
Legolas leaned in closer to her. Eowyn was paralyzed by his warmth. Her mind swirled as she felt his lips graze over hers. When she did not move, Legolas pressed his mouth to hers and deepened the kiss. Eowyn could not stop herself. His lips felt so good on hers. His tongue was searching for entrance and she allowed it. Why did he still have control over her like this? The back of her mind was screaming for her to stop but something else held her in place, letting her enjoy this secret moment.
"Melin chen." he whispered. Eowyn's eyes remained closed as he repeated the words so she understood what he said. "I love you."
Suddenly, reality came crashing down and Eowyn realized what she was doing. She opened her eyes and pulled herself away from Legolas. A look of panic crossed her countenance. "I can not do this, Legolas. It is wrong. Why would you try and seduce me like this?" she said jumping up. Legolas followed her actions.
"I am sorry meleth. I got caught up in the moment." he said reaching for her, but she pulled away from his touch.
"Please, do not call me that. I am not your meleth. You have tricked me." she said becoming angry.
"No, Eowyn. I'm sorry. I meant no harm." he begged. What had he done? Why did he lose himself so easily around her? Now she did not trust him and that made his heart ache.
Eowyn was equally confused by the moment. She loved Faramir too much to risk it. She felt panic and needed to escape Legolas. "Leave me alone." she yelled, and ran off deep into the woods. She didn't know where she was going and was unfamiliar with this part of the woods. All she knew was that she needed to get as far away from Legolas as she could. If she did not, she was unsure what she would do and that scared her.
Legolas did not follow her. He had heard the fright in her voice, seen the panic on her face. He was in pain to know she fled from him. He'd never wanted her to feel threatened around him. His heart was heavy now, just to think of it. With the stealth of a cat, he leapt back into the tree and made his way back to his talan. He had to think of a way to apologize to Eowyn. He needed to regain her trust. Without it he was nothing, just a shell of himself.
Eowyn finally stopped running. She looked around at her surroundings but nothing was familiar. The trees were thick in this part of the woods and it was darker. She became a little scared when she realized that Legolas had not followed her. Why would he? She yelled at him and told him to leave her alone. Knowing Legolas, that was exactly what he did. But now she was wishing he had not followed her instructions so thoroughly. Certainly there would be other Elves around who had heard her run into this part of the forest. She listened carefully. There was a rustling sound not far from where she stood. Thank goodness there was someone here who could help her find her way back out of the forest.
"Hello." she called thinking she saw one of the Ithilien Elves behind a tree. She walked in that direction. "Hello. Can you help me get out of here? I seem to have lost my way." she said to whoever was behind the tree. She heard movement behind her and began to speak before she even turned around. "Oh thank you so much for…" She gasped as she turned when she realized there was no Elf behind her, but rather an Orc. She started to scream when suddenly she felt a sharp pain to her head. She looked confused at the Orc who only smiled and watched as she fell to the ground. Blackness took over and Eowyn lost consciousness. Her last thought was of Legolas and how she desperately hoped he had changed his mind and decided to follow her. Then all went black as she fell into a dreamless sleep.
Legolas had made his way back to his talan. He had just climbed the rope ladder and was looking out over the forest when he was struck with an overwhelming feeling of fear. His blood ran cold and he was paralyzed where he stood. The first thing that came to mind was Eowyn. She was in trouble. Grabbing his bow and quiver, Legolas practically slid down the ladder back to the ground. He ran in the direction he had seen Eowyn run off to. Along the way he came across a couple of his Elf companions. "Get your weapons and follow me. The Lady Eowyn is in danger." he commanded. They did as they were told and ran after Legolas into the forest. Legolas used all of his Elf senses to track her. He looked as far ahead as he could see but it was becoming difficult with the trees thickening. They were in a part of the forest they had not regularly visited. This area had not been damaged from the war and so the Elves did not nurture it here. He was surprised that Eowyn could have gotten this far so quickly. That's when he picked up the scent of Orcs. He stopped a moment to observe his surroundings.
"An altercation happened here. See those branches? They have been broken. And I smell Orc." Legolas said to the two Elves.
Then one of the Elves crouched down and examined the floor of the forest. "The ground had been greatly disturbed here. It looks to be about five or so Orcs have been in this area, not many but enough to overpower a woman."
The second Elf leaned down and picked something up. He walked over to Legolas. "My lord." he said showing Legolas what he held in his hand. Legolas looked down and saw a rock covered in blood. His heart fell into his stomach. He felt like all the wind had been knocked from his body. Now was not the time to hesitate, he thought as he regained control of his emotions. Looking back to the first Elf he commanded. "Go back and warn the others. Set out search parties. We must find Lady Eowyn." Turning to the second Elf, Legolas said. "You, come with me. There are not many and we can take them if we happen across their path. Let us make haste." With that said they were off and running.
Although Orcs were strong, they were not smart and these proved to be no different. They left a very obvious trail for Legolas to follow. They were getting closer when Legolas heard voices, the dark speech. He hand signaled for his partner to get up in the trees. They both made their way closer to the band of Orcs, Legolas on one side and his companion on the other. They were completely in their element in the forest. The Orcs wouldn't stand a chance.
Legolas could see where the Orcs stood, taking a break. They were unaware that they were being followed. It looked as though they were to make camp here for the night. The Elf looked all around for Eowyn but didn't see her anywhere. Then, towards the back of their camp, he watched as a rather big Orc disappeared into a makeshift shelter. Eowyn must be in there, Legolas thought and he and the other Elf made their way closer to the suspected area. They waited until an Orc walked away from the others. Legolas jumped down without making a sound and slashed its neck with one of his white knives, then dragged the body out of sight. The other Elf did the same and soon there were only three Orcs left, not counting the one in the shelter. Suddenly there was a scream. Legolas no longer hid in the shadows but began firing arrows at the three Orcs. Eowyn was screaming at the top of her lungs for help. As Legolas fired at the last Orc, the vile creature yelled out, alerting the last Orc of the invasion. He came out of the shelter and looked around, noticing he was alone. Just then, Eowyn burst through the door and tried to run away but the Orc caught her by the arm and held a knife to her throat.
"Show yourself, Elf scum, or the girl dies." the Orc yelled. Legolas knew he could not fire on him without his blade slicing her neck so he retreated from the shadows. The second Elf stayed hidden, ready to take his shot.
"Let her go!" Legolas demanded.
"Put down your weapon, Elf, or I'll slice her throat." said the Orc.
Legolas laid his bow and knives on the ground. He never took his eye off the beast. His knife was cutting into Eowyn's throat. She whimpered as she barely hung on to consciousness. "Legolas!" she managed to whisper through her tears.
The Orc looked at Eowyn and then back to Legolas. "So, this is the Elf Prince from the dreaded fellowship. You have made my life a living hell. You will pay for what you did to my master. I think I'll start with the girl. She seems to know you, Elf. Tell me, what does a human woman want with scum like you?"
"Let the woman go. She has done nothing to you. I'm the one you want, not her." Legolas said calmly, staring down the Orc.
The Orc tightened his grip on Eowyn, sending more pain through her body. "Legolas, help." she whispered as she closed her eyes and tried to get her mind off of the burning ache at the back of her head. She was feeling very dizzy.
As she cried out, the Orc noticed the look on Legolas' face. He'd found the Elf's weakness. "So it seems you know the woman more intimately than I thought. There is a connection here I hadn't seen before. Oh, this will be sweet torture. Now you will watch as your lovely dies a slow painful death." the Orc laughed. He licked the side of Eowyn's neck, tasting her blood. Then his knife sunk deeper into her skin. She let out a cry of pain. "Please, no."
The Orc just laughed. But he did not notice the second Elf still in the trees behind him. He signaled to Legolas telling him that the other Elves were there. Then suddenly, to the right of the Orc came a sound of rustling leaves. The Orc's attention diverted to where the noise came from. It was just enough for him to loosen his grip on Eowyn and lower his knife slightly. Eowyn saw what was about to happen and looked at Legolas. She winked her eye, letting him know she was aware. Another sound of rustling leaves came from the Orcs left and then behind him. His head whipped around looking for the intruder. When his attention was completely diverted from Eowyn, Legolas yelled. "Get down!"
Eowyn dropped to the ground. The Orc was taken off guard by her quick movement and for a split second, was standing alone. That's when the Elves in the trees took their shot. Arrows came from all directions, sinking deep into the hide of the Orc. He was dead before he hit the ground. Legolas ran in and scooped Eowyn up in his arms. She was very weak and had lost a lot of blood. There was no time to help her right now, though. The Elves needed to get away from the area before more Orcs showed up. Legolas ordered a group to stay behind and patrol the area while he took Eowyn back to their home. She was too weak to walk so Legolas carried her back. All the while she was moaning in pain and went in and out of consciousness. Her head was bloody where she had been hit with the rock. Legolas could feel her pain through the bond they shared. He pushed these feelings aside as he made his way back. He had to get her to a healer as fast as possible. He could not let her die, not now. It was his fault Eowyn was hurt. If he hadn't made advances on her, she would not have run away. Guilt slowly crept into his mind. If she died, he would soon follow, deserving to suffer for letting harm come to his beloved. Why hadn't he followed her when she ran away? He would have seen the danger coming and helped her before any harm had been done.
They finally made it back. Legolas was met by a crowd of Elves. The healers immediately began checking over Eowyn. The master healer spoke. "It seems she has a concussion. She had lost quite a bit of blood. There is only so much we can do for her. She needs a healer of her own people. They will know how to tend to her better. But we cannot risk moving her to Minas Tirith. Someone must come here."
Legolas wasted no time. "Send a messenger on our fastest steed to Minas Tirith. Go to the Houses of Healing and retrieve their best healers. Bring them back as soon as possible. You must make haste for I fear for her life. Now go!" Right away, a very young looking Elf set out for the stables. In a flash she was gone and on her mission.
Legolas turned his attention back to Eowyn. They took her to one of the stone huts. They needed to move her as little as possible for she was very weak. Legolas looked down at her as the Elf healer washed the blood from her hair with a cloth.
"May I?" Legolas said to the healer and was handed the cloth. He took over and gently removed the dried blood. Soon the wound could be seen. She had a large gash at the back of her head. Legolas had seen wounds worse than this but to see it on Eowyn was like seeing one for the first time. He whispered soothing Elvish words as he worked. Eowyn was slipping in and out of consciousness. His words seemed to help her. She knew she was once again safe and in the care of her Elf. All she could think about was staying with him. She could not die or Legolas' fate would be sealed. She tried with all her might to stay awake but the pain was too much. Soon she found herself slipping into a deep sleep where her subconscious mind took over.
It was late in the middle of the night when the healers from Minas Tirith arrived. With them they brought their tools and medicine. Eowyn had been asleep for hours now. Legolas noticed that she hardly moved. Her breathing was very slow and he could feel her life force weakening. He was so scared for her and prayed to the Valar to let her live.
The healer took Legolas aside to speak to him. "She has a very serious concussion. We've cleaned the wound thoroughly and bandaged it. We must wait for her to awaken to know if there was any permanent damage. She should not be moved until she wakes up."
"Yes, of course." Legolas answered. "She can stay here indefinitely. I will have my healers look after her when you leave."
"Good. Your elvish salve has great healing powers and should help her recover more rapidly. We will remain here until she is stable. You have no idea how close to death she has come."
Legolas thought it was odd for him to say that. Of course Legolas knew. He had felt her slipping away. This man was obviously unfamiliar with the ways of the Elves. "Thank you. You have saved more than one life tonight." Legolas said and the healer looked at him curiously.
"Has anyone been sent to inform Lord Faramir of the Lady's condition?" the man asked.
"There has been no time. But I will send someone at daybreak. He will be brought here as soon as possible." Legolas answered.
"Good. Now I believe I will retire for the few hours of night that are left." said the doctor.
"A room has been set up for you and your helpers. If there is anything you need, please do not hesitate. I will stay with Lady Eowyn. If there are any changes, I will call for you." Legolas said and everyone was off to bed. It had been a long night and all were exhausted. They just hoped Eowyn would have improved by the morning.
Two days had passed with no change in Eowyn's condition. She was in a kind of coma. The Elves called it a healing sleep. She needed as much rest a possible if she was to recover. Legolas stayed with her day and night, never leaving her side. Others brought him food and stayed to make sure he ate. They would not let their leader diminish. He was very thankful for their help.
A messenger was sent to find Faramir. Word was he would be arriving today. Legolas felt horrible that this had happened to Eowyn on his watch. He was supposed to protect her but here she was lying in a coma. Was he losing his grip? Why had this happened? Maybe he would never be able to protect her. He was so deep in thought, he almost didn't notice when Eowyn began to stir. At first her fingers were twitching, and then her arm moved, then her head. She let out a moan, the first sound she'd made in two days. Legolas jumped up and leaned over her. Her eyes were moving behind her closed eyelids. She was dreaming, probably a nightmare from her ordeal. He whispered elvish words into her ear, trying to soothe her.
"Legolas, no! Don't leave me. Please don't fade. I need you. Don't go." she moaned. Her eyes began to flutter open. At first everything was blurry. But then things began to come into focus and the first thing she saw was his gentle smile, the crooked one that always made her heart flutter. Her mind slowly cleared. "Is that really you?"
"Yes, Eowyn, I am hear and you are safe." he said.
She remembered what she had just dreamed and was not sure if it was real or not in her confused state. She panicked a little as her hands came up to his face. She needed to touch him to know he was real. "Legolas, you were dying. Your glow was gone and you were pale. I could not feel your warmth. There was hardly any life left. Please tell me you are alright."
"It was just a dream. I am alive and well. You must calm yourself." he said but she was still confused and not listening to him. There was only one thing left to do to ease her mind. Legolas kissed her forehead and whispered in Elvish. Then he kissed the tip of her nose and drew back slightly to look deep into her eyes. Their stare locked and Eowyn calmed immediately.
Just then, Faramir came around the corner and silently stood in the doorway, observing the scene playing out in front of him. He watched as Legolas and Eowyn gazed into each others eyes. He did not expect what he saw next. Eowyn reached up with one hand and placed it behind the Elf's head, slowly drawing him towards her lips. She gave him a slow and lingering kiss. After she released him, he laid his hand on the side of her face and they continued to look at each other. Faramir's heart sunk as he observed this intimate moment. He had only ever seen her look at him like that and he felt jealousy rise from the pit of his stomach. He had not expected to see such a display of affection between his friend and his bride to be. This had to stop. Eowyn was his. She no longer belonged to this Elf. It should have been Faramir's face she woke to find, not Legolas.
"I believe your assistance is no longer needed here, Legolas." Faramir said sternly. The Elf quickly stood up and looked to where Faramir stood.
"It is not how it looks, Faramir. She has just woken up and was confused. She thought I was dying. I was simply trying to calm her. I am glad you have returned. I will leave you now." Legolas said and left the hut.
Faramir eyed Legolas until he was gone. What game was the Elf trying to play? He had acquired a mistrust for him. Jealousy was such an ugly emotion. Faramir turned his attention to Eowyn, lying on her bed. He went to her and kneeled at her bedside. As soon as she saw his face, she started to cry. All of her emotions poured out at one time. "Faramir, it was horrible. The Orcs grabbed me. I tried to fight them but they were too strong. I was hit in the head and everything went black. They dragged me into the forest. Then the leader took me into a tent of some kind. When I woke up his foul breath was upon me as he told me what he was going to do to me, awful things that I dare not repeat. That's when Legolas came. He and the other Elves caused a diversion and killed all the Orcs. I struggled to stay awake but my head hurt so badly. I could feel the warm stickiness of the blood as it ran down the back of my neck. I knew I was in trouble. But it was because of Legolas that I am alive. If he had not come when he did, I would not be here now. Please do not be angry with him. It was my fault all of this happened."
Faramir looked at her but there was a sadness in his face. "You were kissing him. I saw you reach for him and kiss him. Why, Eowyn? Why would you betray me like this?"
"I was confused. I had a vision that he was dying. He was dying because of me. Don't you understand? If I die, he will die and I will not be the cause of someone's untimely death." she said.
"But you will die someday. It is unavoidable and when you do, Legolas will fade. That cannot be changed. That much I understand. But I don't know why you kissed him." Faramir needed to get to the bottom of this.
"Legolas and I had an argument just before all of this happened. That is why I ran away and got lost. When I thought I might die at the hands of the Orcs, I knew it would be my fault Legolas would fade. But when I woke up and saw he was still here, I became overwhelmed with emotion. I'm sorry, Faramir. I know it was wrong and I'm sorry if I hurt you. Please do not be upset. If you are going to be angry with anyone, let it be me. It was all my fault." Eowyn started crying again.
Faramir could not stand to see her so upset. He leaned down and kissed her, wiping the tears from her face. "I love you too much to be mad at you. Please don't cry. You have been through enough anguish as it is. I will not add to it. I am just glad you are alright. I don't know what I would do if I lost you. Legolas is not the only one who would fade. I may not die like the Elf would but my life would be broken. You are everything to me. I guess that is why I became so angry when I walked in and saw you and Legolas. I never want to see you with him like that again. As a matter of fact, I want you back in Minas Tirith as soon as possible. You have been here far too long. My duties are finished now. I want you back home in my arms."
A few days later, the healers gave Eowyn permission to travel back to Minas Tirith as long as they went slowly. She still needed to recover and take it easy but Faramir insisted she return home. A part of him no longer trusted Legolas. He remained friendly towards him but at a safe distance. He especially made sure Eowyn was never alone with him. Faramir began to detest the special bond they shared, tying their fates to each other. He didn't want to share her with anyone. He mostly blamed Legolas for that. He was and Elf and knew better than to fall in love with a human. Because of this, Eowyn felt obligated to remain connected to him. Would she ever be able to wholly love Faramir without Legolas in the back of her mind? He knew this was impossible now and it just wasn't fair. Deep down at the bottom of his heart, jealousy and loathing festered. Faramir refused to let it overtake him and kept it buried. But that is not always a good thing as it may start out small and eventually grow into something much more, poisoning one's mind and thoughts. Faramir insisted he had a handle on the whole thing and that it would be different once they were married. So life went on and all seemed normal but always there were dark thoughts in the back of Faramir's mind.
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.