Disclaimer: Only borrowing Tolkienís characters for my fantasy.
Inside the Darkness
Part 4 - Added Injuries
Legolas gave Lurtz a look filled with disbelief. "You can't carry me all the way to Imladris."
"I can try..." Lurtz refused to release the Elf and even tightened his hold on Legolas. "You can't walk and this is the fastest way."
Legolas had long realized one thing about Lurtz; the Uruk-Hai was stubborn and wouldn't change his mind so he clasped one hand behind Lurtz's neck and held on tightly as the Uruk-Hai carried him along. Part of him still couldn't believe Lurtz was taking care of him, but then again... His feverish mind suddenly produced a startling thought... "Do you know how the Uruk-Hai were created?" He knew Lurtz thirsted for knowledge and he would feed the other man morsels until they reached Imladris.
"No," whispered Lurtz and he looked Legolas in the eyes. "Will you tell me?"
"Aye." Legolas rested his head against Lurtz chest. He disliked the feel of leather against his cheek, but he focused on telling Lurtz about the origin of the foul creatures. "They were Elves once, but the dark forces caught and altered them." He didn't mention the evil that had taken hold of their once pure hearts, which had turned dark. Lurtz gave him a shocked glance and Legolas decided to continue, ignoring the danger of triggering Lurtz's memories. "An Istar called Saruman..."
The name triggered something inside Lurtz's mind and he growled dangerously. "Saruman..."
Legolas froze, hearing the dangerous hiss to Lurtz's voice. He had said too much! Why hadn't he been more careful? "Lurtz..."
"We serve Saruman..." Lurtz's eyes flashed ominously and he stared at the Elf in his arms, unexpectedly pulling back and dropping his charge hard to the ground.
Legolas reached instinctively and extended his arms to catch his fall. His right hand made first contact with the ground and Legolas' eyes widened, hearing the bone snap. Then the rest of his body impacted and a hot white fire sliced through his leg. Lurtz hovered above him, growling and eyeing him suspiciously. The Uruk-Hai's hands had changed in to claws and Legolas recognized the feral look in Lurtz's eyes. Suddenly Lurtz grabbed his already injured right wrist and yanked it hard. Unable to keep the pain inside, he released a keening wail.
Lurtz blinked, released a shuddering breath and quickly stepped away from the Elf. The expression in his eyes changed and then they widened in disbelief. "Forgive me. I don't know what came over me. Did I hurt you?"
Legolas tried to read the expression in Lurtz's eyes and only found regret and guilt. Gone was the primal glare in those dark eyes, which had oddly softened. He cradled his broken wrist against his chest, annoyed at the added injury.
"Let me look at it," offered Lurtz in an uncertain tone. He extended one arm, opened his hand and offered his palm as a peace offering.
Legolas sighed and accepted. The evil that had taken possession of Lurtz was gone now. "It is nothing. Do not trouble yourself."
Lurtz shook his head. "I inflicted the injury... I should tend to it. I don't know what came over me... Orcs surrounded me and there was blood..." Lurtz frowned. "These Orcs wore war paint much like mine."
"They weren't Orcs," offered Legolas. "But Uruk-Hai."
"Why would I fight my own people?" Lurtz sat on his heels and gently pried Legolas' arm away from his chest. After manipulating it, he realized it was broken and he ripped off another piece of fabric from Legolas' cloak to bandage the damaged wrist.
Legolas bit his lip. He shouldn't really say this... "They are evil. The Uruk-Hai serve Saru..." He hesitated, recalling Lurtz's reaction earlier at hearing that name.
"Saruman," finished Lurtz for him, but this time the rage didn't come over him and he felt calm and in control. Why had he reacted like that to hearing the Istar's name? Lurtz shook his head. "But I am not evil."
Legolas remained quiet. /If only you knew the truth.../
"I can take them on should we encounter Orcs or Uruk-Hai," said Lurtz determinedly. "But now we should continue our journey. Rivendell is still days away..." And the Elf's fever worried him. Legolas' eyes shone with fever and cold sweat still covered the Elf's brow.
Legolas shivered. In spite of the fever raging inside his body he felt cold to the bone. The snow and dropping temperature were only making things worse. Suddenly he was lifted again and Lurtz pulled him close. "You can't keep this up all day..."
"We will make camp for the night," decided Lurtz. "And then I will hunt. You need to eat."
Legolas grimaced. He wasn't sure he could eat at all. "I'm not hungry."
"You will eat," decreed Lurtz, carrying the Elf deeper in to the forest.
Legolas watched the Uruk-Hai closely and was surprised to see the tormented expression in Lurtz's eyes. "What's troubling you?"
"I attacked you," whispered Lurtz. His tone was full of self loathing. "I must have assumed you were an Orc."
/Nay, your true nature showed for an instant and you recognized me as the enemy. You wanted to take me prisoner or end my life. When I yelped, the memories left, but they can return unexpectedly. You are a danger to me now. We need to make haste.../
"You're brooding," remarked Lurtz. He had made camp at a clearing, wanting to see their enemies approach in case of a fight. "I apologize for my earlier behavior. I never intended to add to your injuries."
Legolas shivered. The combined fever and cold were making it hard for him to think clearly. The cloak did little to keep him warm and the wood was too damp due to the snow to start a fire. "Cold..."
Lurtz nodded. "Maybe I can help..." He got to his feet and looked at Legolas. "I want you to sleep now. I need to hunt."
Legolas didn't want to fall asleep, but the trip had exhausted him and the cold was luring him in to unconsciousness.
Lurtz waited until Legolas' eyes were blank and then disappeared between the trees. Using hunting instincts and skills he didn't know he possessed he caught several rabbits and even a small deer. He returned to the fire and checked on Legolas. The Elf was groaning softly, and his brow was furrowed. "He is not getting better."
Why the Elf's well being was this important to him he didn't know, but he vowed that Legolas would recover, no matter what the cost. He gutted the animals, and removed the blood and gore from the fur. Using a piece of string and a sharp bone he began to sow the furs together, creating a small, but warm blanket. After cleaning it with snow, he placed it on top of Legolas' body. The Elf stirred at first, but then sighed contently, growing warm beneath the blanket.
Lurtz once more tried to start a fire and this time he succeeded. Pleased at his accomplishments, he selected the best pieces of meat and placed them over the fire. Tonight they wouldn't go hungry.
Legolas' nostrils twitched, smelling the meat. His eyes lost their vacant expression and he focused his glance on Lurtz, who was already eating. Suddenly he realized that something heavy was pushing him down and his hands explored the furs that covered him. Realizing that this was Lurtz's way of keeping him warm, he whispered a soft thank you.
"Eat." Lurtz handed him some meat.
Legolas took a bite, and was surprised at how well it tasted. Knowing how feral the Uruk-Hai were he had expected it to be raw and dripping with blood. This was a nice surprise. "Thank you," he whispered once more.
"Don't forget to drink."
Legolas shakily accepted the flask with his left hand and drank some of the water. "We will stay here for the night?"
Lurtz nodded. "I don't want to travel in the dark when you can't defend yourself. In the darkness we present an easy target."
Legolas felt the insane urge to laugh. "Are you worried about Orcs attacking us?"
"Or Uruk-Hai. I am not taking any chances."
Legolas marveled at the absurdity of the situation. /You are part of the Uruk-Hai. I don't know what will happen if you run in to them. Will your memory return? Or will you fight them? Given the chance, they will surely remind you of who you really are and then you'll delight in taking me prisoner or killing me./
"You're brooding again. Why is it that I see fear and doubt in your eyes whenever you look upon me? Is it because I accidentally attacked you earlier? I already told you that don't know what came over me. It won't happen again."
"I know you're serious," replied Legolas thoughtfully, wrapping the fur blanket closer around his shivering frame. "But you can't control this... darker side of you. When the memories take over you lose control. It will happen again."
Lurtz firmly shook his head. "I won't hurt you again!"
Legolas managed a weak smile. /I know you're serious, but you don't know what you're dealing with. Your true nature will show and guide you back to darkness./
"Legolas?" Lurtz moved in closer. "Tomorrow we will find a way across the river." They would cut their journey short with at least two days by crossing the river.
"Then we must find a boat..." Legolas' head lolled to its right. His leg was numb now and he felt thankful that the pain was momentarily gone. Even with the fur blanket he felt cold, icy cold. /Aragorn, I regret deserting you, but I can't lead Lurtz to the hobbits. I still can't rule out that this is a ploy to gain my trust. I hope the hobbits are well and that you will be able to destroy the Ring./
"You're still cold..." Lurtz rose to his feet.
"Aye, but I can manage..." His teeth chattered, revealing the lie. Legolas sucked in his breath when Lurtz lay down behind him, pulling him close and covering him with the blanket. /What is he doing?/
"I will keep you warm. It's the least I can do after attacking you."
/He really feels guilty about attacking me! I never believed an Uruk-Hai could feel guilt... or compassion, but... Lurtz seems genuine. Maybe it's the amnesia.../ Legolas felt uncomfortable when Lurtz maneuvered them closer, but the other man's body heat warmed his chilly bones. He was unable to pull away and create some distance between them. A strong arm circled his waist, holding him close. Was it just his imagination or was Lurtz really stroking his hair? It had to be the fever!
"Sleep now. We have a long and tiring day ahead of us. The fire is dying, but I will keep you warm..."
Legolas was lured in to sleep when Lurtz continued to gently stroke his hair and the other man's body heat finally pushed him over the edge. He was warm and looked after... safe for the moment. He could rest.
Lurtz deeply inhaled Legolas' scent. In spite of the feverish sweat that mixed with the Elf's scent, he found it strangely soothing. His arms tightened, as an absurd urge overtook him; he would never again release Legolas. He would always stay close to the Elf, even if that meant following Legolas' lead and taking the Elf to Rivendell.
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