1. Chapter 1 - Two Black Arrows
Over the years, Aragorn had fearlessly gone toe to toe with the enemy and had on occasion spoken about some of his more memorable encounters if prompted enough.
However, he had never imagined a time when he would be lying partially pinned under said toes and the huge troll's foot they belonged to as was the case this day while he fought before Mordor's Black Gates.
As for his speaking, if ever about this embarrassing predicament he knew he would have to end it quickly.
Then he spied Legolas taking aim at the troll's head despite having one black orc arrow embedded in the front of his right shoulder and another in his chest the latter perilously close to his heart.
Now desperate to free himself for his friend's sake, Aragorn swiftly removed his curved bladed knife and tried to sink it deep into the tough and wart covered skin on top of the troll's foot.
At the same time, Legolas had fired his arrow the result leading to a now dead troll with an arrow through its brain via one eye socket. This in turn slowly toppled the creature over backward during which freed Aragorn and allowed him to scramble out of the way first on hands and knees and then on his feet.
Suddenly strong tremors shook the ground and a chaotic retreat broke out amongst the Mordor horde while Sauron's tower crumbled into ruin, as did the gates before they fell into the huge fissures opening under them.
Minutes later Mount Doom exploded and the earlier cheers for Frodo that had risen as the tower crumbled ceased in an instant when they realized the brave hobbit could not possibly survive such a fiery cataclysm.
In the meantime, Aragorn ignored the overwhelming and compelling nature to stand and watch all of this destruction and to think what it meant for Frodo and Sam while he ran over to Legolas.
"I've got you," he said to the elf as he slipped one arm around his friend's waist in order to help support the weakening elf who had been trying to sidestep the cracking ground next to him.
"Save yourself…it is over for me," Legolas whispered back his breathing akin to a gasping fish out of water due to the intense pain keeping him from drawing in a normal amount of air.
"No it is not!" Aragorn firmly asserted before he guided his friend to stable ground well away from the growing canyon. By then Legolas' legs gave out on him, which forced the man to cut the leather quiver straps so he could remove it before he gently lowered the elf down onto his back since the two arrows prevented him from carrying his friend over his shoulders.
"Aragorn…behind you…" the elf suddenly warned.
Quickly the man got to his feet and turned with sword held at the ready. However, the fast approaching orcs twenty in all only had escape on their minds and continued past the two friends as if they were not there at all which gave the encounter a surreal quality despite the seriousness of it.
"Leave me now…it is not safe…"
"Legolas I am not about to do that!" Aragorn argued back while he scanned the battlefield for help. When he spied Gandalf, he waved his sword until it caught the wizard's attention. After that, he slipped it back into its scabbard before he knelt along side the elf.
"Save your strength my friend. This is one argument you are not going to win," the man, pleaded while he made quick work at unhooking the belt that held the elf's leather jerkin closed. The fact that much blood had already made its way out onto it from around the arrow shafts gave him a good idea of the worst-case scenario lying under it.
Then he used his knife to cut slits in the jerkin so he could fold it back without disturbing the arrows. This revealed the jerkin's blood soaked inner lining as well as a larger area of red under it since the elf's blue silk tunic was quicker to absorb it.
Exactly what he thought would be there and for the first time Aragorn began to feel in the pit of his stomach the sick feeling he might not be able to stop what the two-orc arrows had started.
When he next glanced at Legolas' pale face he saw, the elf had closed his eyes and the man hoped that meant his stubborn friend had finally decided to do as told although previous experience did not guarantee it just yet.
"What can we do to help?" a concerned Gandalf asked a few seconds later after he, Gimli, Merry, Pippin, and Éomer had gathered around. Behind them, a ring of men formed to protect from the fleeing enemy just in case they decided to attack instead.
"Ideally I should remove those arrows now but the continuing threats from the death throes of Mordor make it impossible for him to stay immobile afterwards. This means I need a litter of some sort to carry him back to the safety amongst the same trees where we hid the supply wagons."
"Spears lashed together to create the thickness of litter poles with the army's banners stretched between might work," Éomer suggested thoughtfully.
"I'm willing to give anything a try right now," Aragorn encouraged.
With so many willing hands available, the construction of Éomer's litter idea only took a small amount of time to create during which Aragorn carefully closed the jerkin around the arrows.
"I will look after the Laddie's weapons," Gimli offered solemnly while he picked up the up until now the neglected quiver and bow.
This earned the dwarf a slow appearing smile of approval from Legolas, which quickly vanished when Aragorn, Éomer, and several men gently lifted up, and then placed the elf onto the litter.
"Soon my friend I will be able to ease that for you," Aragorn promised while he met Legolas' gaze. Then he took his friend's hand in his as a way to comfort him through the additional pain the movement had caused. The fact he had uttered no other sound except for louder gasps was a testament to the elf's toughness, which the man hoped, would still be in existence when the time came to remove the arrows.
When Legolas' breathing quieted, somewhat Aragorn took that as a sign the pain had lessen enough for the litter bearers to lift him up slowly and carefully together.
Fortunately, this did not further the elf's current level of pain and despite some ominous creaking from the lashed together spears and a brief sound of ripping fabric, the litter continued to hold together.
Then the march to the wagons began.
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.