Legolas is suddenly aware of a cool cloth on his head. He is being tended to? There was only one person who would care and the flash of blond hair confirms his suspicions.
“No, Legolas, it is Haldir. Your dwarf friend found you and brought you to me.”
“Yes, I have some skills with healing. Does Aragorn beat you often?”
“Only when I do something to displease him, so about every other day.”
Haldir is shocked at how calm Legolas is about this. He had heard Aragorn’s attack but had been too distraught to do anything. Legolas’ song had affected him to his core. He looks at him and tries to find the elf that had sat in Galadriel’s lap as if it was the most natural thing in the world during a song. He could still remember the song praise in the name of the lady of the wood.
She who has seen the light of the two trees
She who crossed the seas unafraid
She who brought elf-kind this way
She who stayed
And brought light to the golden glade
She who had her heart stolen away
Lord at her side to this day
She will never fade
As radiant as the sun
Her power protects everyone
It had been a child’s rhyme, really. Legolas was as entranced by the lady as everyone was with him. The one who had cried when the lady smiled at him and stroked his hair, allowing him to remain in her lap. Now the same eyes were vacant, weary of the world. Whose songs now only radiated the pain of his broken soul. The words of his song coming to him again. The words that made him fear how long he would last.
Will I be denied… my suicide.
Such a thought in one so young. Haldir sighs as he tends to the lashes. He is been one of an increasing minority that refused a Mirkwood elf of his own. He had been so cold to Legolas and the truth was he wants him freely as an equal, not some sick love slave.
He sighs as Legolas falls asleep again as he continues to bandage the wounds. He leaves Legolas in his bed and goes about his business in Lorien. Haldir isn’t there when Legolas is joined by two more elves.
“See, brother, I told you it was him.”
“I see,. I had thought that lament to be a mood killer, then he started singing. Did you know my elf actually came out of it? He started trying to push me away and everything.”
“From the song?!”
“I know very upsetting.”
“Yes, my pet, there seem to be two elves ready for the chopping,” Gimli says stroking his axe, already standing behind the elves. They look at the dwarf and their own lack of weapons, and almost trip on themselves trying to leave.
“Rumil! Watch it!”
Gimli walks over to where Legolas is lying. The elf’s eyes are wide open but quite vacant. He’s staring into them when something flickers and the elf sits up.
“Yes, master elf.”
“Why are you-”
“You seem to need protecting; I found two elves in here and they didn’t seem to have the best intentions.”
“Thank you,” Legolas whispers as Gimli studies him. “What is it?”
“What we saw… Boromir and I… do you… Aragorn-”
“It’s outside my control,” Legolas says, sighing and looking off to the side. “We Mirkwood elves have a lovely little gift. If you Gimli were to come here and touch my ear, Lorien would most likely witness the first union between an elf and a dwarf.”
“You have no control over it?” Legolas shakes his head. “How do you return to yourself then?”
“Release or extreme pain will break through it.”
“Nothing that I have learned of in the last 60 years.”
“Can you fight it?”
“I have no will, the thought to fight would not come in that state,” Legolas says, his voice getting lower and lower. “I should have never come on this quest.”
“Nay, Legolas, you are a valiant warrior.”
“I am worthless, what would happen if we had a surprise orc attack while those men were having their fun? Would I seduce the orcs to death?”
“You can not think like that,” Gimli says as Legolas tries to stand and hisses in agony. His back burned his ribs still hurt and he was light headed. “Lie down!” The dwarf says, shoving Legolas back down as he moans in pain. “Sorry, but you need to rest and…” Gimli stops when a grumbling is heard from Legolas’ stomach. “When did you last eat?”
“The day before last.”
“But we’ve had meals since then.” Legolas sighs, to him there is no point to this conversation, he wasn’t valiant and he wasn’t a warrior. He freezes when he hears silent feet climbing the ladder. They are not perfectly steady and it makes him think its Aragorn until he sees the top of a blond head. Haldir enters his talan carrying a basket of fruits, breads, wine, and cheese. Legolas calms as Haldir sits besides him. He also places Legolas’ original green leggings and tunic on the bed.
“I brought you something to eat, I also brought some for our dwarf friend here,” Haldir says spreading out the food as Legolas stands, not particularly shy about his nakedness and wavers on his feet as he attempts to put on his leggings. Gimli, on the other hand, turns away.
“I think you are offending our dwarf friend,” Haldir says, aiding Legolas into his leggings then helping him back onto the bed in a sitting position. “Do you have no objections to being naked in front of others?” Haldir asks, knowing it varied with elves.
“It matters not; I have no control over who uses my body, why should it matter who sees it?” Haldir nods in understanding, pouring Legolas and Gimli glasses of wine.
“But surly there was a time when your body was given freely to one alone. I recall you were unclaimed but a few centuries ago.”
“I have never had such an experience and do not wish for such pain now,” Legolas says, taking a bite into an apple.
“Pain? You can not believe that is all love is.”
“I have seen love. I will never have such, that is our lot in life. I merely postponed it longer than most.”
“Aragorn was your first?”
“Yes,” Legolas says, wondering why the elf cared. He had never met so many conflicting people before. Boromir who was kind, then cruel, then kind again, and finally unspeakably cruel; Gimli, who he would have sworn despised the very air he breathed, apparently had tended to him, and now Haldir wanted him to have love? What was this madness? First he’s a prince now love…why not make him related to the Lord Celeborn while they were at it?
“You have had no other?”
“Boromir, some Dúnedain, a human maiden for Aragorn’s amusement…” Haldir raises his arm to stop Legolas’ list. He had never felt so horrible for another creature, yes he had pitied the Mirkwood elves in Lorien but Legolas stirred something deeper in him. Maybe it was the atrocity of him been given to such a foolish man.
Haldir watches, surprised, as Legolas jumps up and tosses on his tunic before Haldir so much as hears Aragorn climbing the talan. When Legolas sits down again he’s fully armed and panting a little as Aragorn’s head pops over the top of the talan.
“I thought I might find you here,” he says looking at Legolas. “Haldir,” he says, smiling towards the other elf.
“I don’t recall extending an invitation to you,” Haldir says icily.
“Where my elf, goes I go,” Aragorn says, walking over to where Legolas is sitting and finally notices Gimli. “Gimli! So this is where you have been all day, enjoying yourself with two lovely elves. I envy you.”
Gimli grunts and then picks up another piece of bread as he ignores the wish to go for his axe. “So did you have a good day?” Aragorn asks, patting Legolas on the back rather roughly. When the elf doesn’t wince he looks perplexed. “Let’s go. I don’t remember telling you you were free to run wild in the golden wood.”
Legolas stands and, without so much as a glance in Haldir’s direction, climbs down the rope ladder. Aragorn leads him and Gimli back to the clearing where he had been whipped.
“Take off your tunic and turn around,” Aragorn says pointing to the same tree he had been tied to before