Disclaimer: Only borrowing Tolkienís characters for my fantasy.


Inside the Darkness

Part 2 - Questions

By Morgana

       

Legolas tried to reach for one of his hunting knives, but froze when Lurtz's eyes followed his every move. He slowly lowered his arm again, not wanting to give the Uruk-Hai a reason to lash out at him. His leg chose that moment to remind him of the injury and he bit his lower lip in an effort to smother a yelp of pain.

Lurtz sniffed the air and Legolas realized that the Uruk-Hai had smelled the blood long before Lurtz had tracked him down. It was probably the lure of blood that had brought the creature here in the first place.

Legolas took in the Uruk-Hai's appearance. The leather armor and paint were still in place, but the mask was gone. Only now did Legolas realize that Lurtz had started a fire; the foul creature probably wanted to stay warm, but why share the fire's warmth with him? With the enemy? Seeing the branches in Lurtz's hand, Legolas frowned. What were the Uruk-Hai's plans? He tried to move farther away from Lurtz, but his back only encountered cold stone; he was trapped and at the creature's mercy.

"You're injured..."

Surprised at hearing Lurtz speak, Legolas looked up. Wasn't it obvious that he was injured? What game was Lurtz playing with him? He refrained from answering, unwilling to play along. Suddenly a series of shivers swept through him. The injury weakened him and the cold added to the discomfort. He was too far away from the fire to draw any warmth or comfort from it and the violent shivers continued.

"And you're cold..."

Wasn't that obvious either? Legolas felt like screaming at the Uruk-Hai, but managed to stay in control of his feelings. He needed to be calm and cunning. "Aye..."

Lurtz's expression changed when hearing him speak and Legolas suddenly wondered about the Uruk-Hai. What did Lurtz want? If the Uruk-Hai wanted him dead, wouldn't he be dead by now? Or was Lurtz merely enjoying his games? He decided to wait for the Uruk-Hai's next move.

A growl escaped from deep within Lurtz's throat. "You're bleeding..."

Although the fact that the Uruk-Hai was actually capable of speech surprised Legolas, he wondered why Lurtz was asking him questions about his well being. Lurtz's eyes lacked their usual bloodlust and Legolas remained motionless. Maybe if Lurtz didn't perceive him as a potential threat the Uruk-Hai would let him live.

"I can help... I already started a fire, but I need to move you closer to it."

Legolas stared at Lurtz in disbelief; the Uruk-Hai actually seemed concerned! Impossible! A slashing pain found its way up his thigh and now his entire right leg throbbed angrily.

"I can tend to your injury... Let me help?"

Lurtz was asking him permission to look after his injury? Had the sword that had cut his leg in two been poisoned and was that poison now invading his body, making him hallucinate? Why would Lurtz help him? His hands turned in to fists as he tried to keep in control of the pain, but the anguish he was in clearly showed on his face as he was unable to hide it. He shouldn't show his agony in Lurtz's presence, but the pain was too much. Closing his eyes briefly, he tried to remain afloat on the sea of pain, but was quickly drowning. A strangled moan fled his lips and his eyes flashed open again, wondering what Lurtz would do at seeing him this vulnerable.

"I do not understand," admitted Legolas eventually when Lurtz seemed to expect an answer. Lurtz served Saruman and was brutal in battle. Why now tend to an injured Elf who was also his enemy? Legolas pulled back when Lurtz leaned in closer. Looking in to the dark Uruk-Hai's eyes, an unreadable expression stared back at him.

       

Why was the Elf staring at him with such dread in his eyes? He was merely trying to help! "What's to understand? You are injured and I am offering to help." The look in the Elf's eyes darkened. "Your injury needs immediate attention." He had seen such wounds in battle. /What battle? What battles did I fight?/ Flashes of memories swept through him, showing him blood and gore, Orcs and Man fighting, but he never saw himself in the vision. Was it just his imagination or was he really remembering part of his past?

Why had he lost his memory? The first thing he remembered was waking up near the shore, dressed in armor and wearing a mask, which he had immediately disposed of. Ripping the mask from his face had felt liberating and he had started to run toward the trees, where he had found shelter.

But then this morning, while studying his armor, he had noticed the dried blood clinging to the leather and he figured he was some sort of warrior who had been injured in battle. While defending the weak he must have sustained a head injury. The Orcs in his vision and dreams were his enemies and he would fight them to the death. And helping a injured fellow warrior was the honorable thing to do. Why didn't the Elf understand that?

The blue eyes turned black and then blank. The Elf's stare was empty now and bereft of any emotion. /He's asleep.../ He felt grateful for that because then he could place the splint without causing extra pain. But first he pulled the Elf closer to the fire. The entire time he kept a close eye on the Elf, hoping he wouldn't wake. He sat on his heels and examined the injury, grateful that the fire illuminated most of the cave. His face contorted seeing the extent of the damage. A sharp blade had almost severed the leg and it would take a long time for the injury to heal.

His large fingers gently probed the white bone and he drew in a deep breath before pushing it back in to its proper position. A pain filled scream echoed through the cave and the Elf's fingernails dug deeply into the skin of his arm as the Elf tried to stop him from applying more pressure to the injury.

He captured the Elf's dazed glance with his eyes and held the other man's stare. "This needs to be done."

The Elf's eyes clearly revealed his pain. "Hurts..."

"The worst part is over..." He grabbed a corner of Legolas' cloak, ripped off pieces of cloth and used them to set the splint firmly in place. The Elf's nails continued to claw his skin, even drawing blood, but he allowed it, realizing the pain was too much for the Elf. "I'm almost done..." He checked his work and nodded contently. The bone had returned to its proper position and hopefully the improvised bandage would stop the bleeding. Now he had to keep the Elf from going in to shock due to the blood loss. /How come I know all these things?/  Was he a healer as well as a warrior? Why wouldn't his memories return to him? Then he would know who he truly was!

The Elf seemed to collapse in himself and startled he moved in closer. He frowned when the Elf tried and then failed to move away from him. It almost seemed like the other man was afraid of him. Why? "I won't hurt you."

The Elf's nearly hysteric laughter unnerved him and he feared the injured man was growing feverish. He raised his right hand with the intention to rest it on the Elf's brow to check for any fever, but the Elf suddenly tried to move away from him in earnest, creeping over the ground and dragging his useless leg behind him. "Stop it. You're adding to your injuries."

"Nay, I won't surrender without a fight..."

Suddenly the Elf lashed out at him with a hunting knife. Instinctively, he grabbed the injured man's wrists and forced the Elf to drop the weapon. As he sought out blue eyes they grew unfocused. The Elf had once more lost consciousness. /Why fight me when I don't mean you any harm? Why do you think of me as the enemy?/

Now that the Elf's body had gone limp, he slowly lowered the injured man back on to the ground. He regretted that he didn't have a blanket to cover the Elf with and hoped that the fire would provide all necessary warmth. Looking over his shoulder, he found that the storm was still going strong. He would venture out later, when the storm had settled down, to hunt and refill his water flask.

Watching the Elf closely, he wished he knew the injured man's name. He cocked his head and studied the Elf. A solitary beam of moonlight made it through a crack in the cave's ceiling and made the fair hair shine like liquid silver. The beauty of it stole his breath. Entranced, he was unable to look away. Involuntarily he lifted his right hand and let it hover above the silver locks. Curiously, his fingertips touched the braids and then a sea of soft hair flowed through his fingers, caressing the palm of his hand.

/I have never seen anything more beautiful... Have I ever seen beauty before? He touches my heart and I will look after him until he's healed enough to continue his journey. Maybe I am a healer; my heart wants to see him healed./

Confused, he stared in to the flames and once more visions of battle assaulted him, almost knocking him over and taking his breath away. This time the Orcs were so close that he could actually touch them in his dream. The ugly faces revolted him. His gaze settled on the Elf's face, hoping that the handsome features would drive away the horrid visions... And they did. The memories left him.

The Elf shivered violently and he checked the other man's brow for fever. /He feels hot and the fever will stay with him for some time. It will get even worse if the injury becomes infected. I must remain alert and check the wound regularly./ He moved closer and pulled the Elf's head in to his lap. His fingers tangled in the long hair, at times gently stroking the fair locks. Instinctively the Elf moved closer, trying to soak up more body heat.

He acted quickly and lay down next to the Elf. He wrapped his strong arms around the injured man and studied the handsome face. /Why fear me?/ The questions returned. /Why fight me?/ He tucked the Elf's head beneath his chin and watched over his charge during the night.


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