Author's Note: I'm so sorry for the delay with this and I'm also sorry this is so short. I wanted to post a little bit of something for ye's. I promise the next chapter will be much longer and it will be posted within a reasonable amount of time. I'd like to say thanx to the people who e-mailed me to get me goin' and for a review that really got my ass in gear as well. I think that reviewer knows who she is and I only wish you had left an e-mail addy so I could express my thanx.
Disclaimer: Nope, none of these characters are mine.
My Liege, My Love
Aragorn placed a damp rag to Legolas' forehead and sighed. He was beyond upset right now for Legolas had not awoken since falling unconscious hours ago. The Ranger was worried he would never see the Elf's eyes open again. The thought of not seeing those pools of compassion and trust made Aragorn nearly lose his mind. Legolas' eyes were one of the few things the Man held dear to his heart.
Aragorn sensed Gimli's concern as well. The Dwarf had remained close to the Elf's side looking over him as if Legolas would disappear if he diverted his eyes elsewhere. Aragorn did allow his lips to curve slightly upwards from Gimli's worry over the Elf; the Dwarf truly did care for Legolas more than he let on.
Aragorn studied Legolas' face as he brushed his hand softly against one of his flushed cheek's. He smiled warmly as he remembered how right it felt while carrying Legolas when he had fallen into his arms. There was an unexplainable warmth he had felt holding the Elf's body close to his and the neediness to protect him overruled any other thoughts. But he knew he could not protect the Elf from a broken heart unless he found the source that was causing such heart ache.
The Ranger had told Gimli what Legolas was suffering from, he believed it was of best interest to tell the Dwarf since it would delay their pursuit of the Hobbits... 'The Hobbits!' Aragorn cursed himself silently for putting them at the back of his mind, but he could not leave Legolas behind. He had ordered Gimli to go on ahead but the Dwarf had given him a reply of, "that Elf is desperate for attention to pull something like this. If I continue onward, I'll be accused of ignorance to which I'll have to sit and hear that Elf complain far too long for my liking."
And so the Man and Dwarf decided it best to care for Legolas above anything else and had remained by the Elf's side in silence for hours, exercising their minds about who held their comrade's lifeline.
"I do not recall Legolas ever speaking of any other Elf," Gimli commented before taking a long inhale from his pipe.
"Nor do I," Aragorn replied as he massaged his temples with his hands. "Legolas is not open about such things though, my friend, but I think a slip of an Elf's name would have happened by now."
"This may seem absurd," Gimli remarked while lowering his pipe and settling his eyes on Legolas who lay still. "But could it have been Boromir?"
Aragorn's eyes went wide and he gave the Dwarf a baffled look. "What?!"
"Think about it, Aragorn, Legolas is grieving over someone who cannot return his love. It seems like the only answer I can think of. Legolas easily could have fallen for someone within the Fellowship and since Boromir perished... he cannot return the Elf's love."
Aragorn thought over Gimli's words for a few moments before shaking his head negatively. "No, Legolas said he loved someone who loved another. I do not think it was Boromir. Maybe it is someone else in the Fellowship?" Aragorn asked suspiciously.
"Do NOT look at ME like that!" The Dwarf exclaimed while rising to his feet. "I'll admit I care for Legolas more than what I show but I do not find him to be anything more. Nor does he, Aragorn! You know it's not me."
"I know," Aragorn said with a small chuckle, "my heart needed some enlightenment. I'm sorry it was at your expense."
"Your apology sounds real meaningful," Gimli mumbled before sitting down next to the small fire that was beginning to dwindle. "I wonder though..."
"Perhaps it is you." Gimli suggested.
"Me?" Aragorn asked uneasily as his face began to turn red. He became very grateful for the glowing fire nearby or else Gimli would have noticed him flushing madly. "Lovely jest, my friend."
"Nay, not a jest, Aragorn." Gimli said seriously. "You love another, do you not? The Lady Arwen?"
"At one time, yes."
"How can you say such a thing?!" Gimli hollered while standing quickly to his feet. "Did she not give up her immortality for you?"
"What are you talking about?" Aragorn asked harshly.
"Legolas told me she offered you her immortality and that you accepted!"
"'Tis true she did that," Aragorn admitted, "but I did not accept. I could not take that from her. Where did Legolas get this information from and when did you speak of this?"
"He said he saw you himself." Gimli replied.
"Why would he take witness to such a thing?" Aragorn asked himself aloud.
"He was rather reserved when he spoke about it, Aragorn." Gimli commented while approaching the Man. "I sensed he was uneasy about it but I did not push the subject. I had no idea that-"
"That what?!" Aragorn cried.
"That he loved you." Gimli finished with a sigh. "It seems so obvious now. Legolas' eyes were always on you, Aragorn, *always*."
"So I am killing him?!" Aragorn said frantically.
"'Tis not your fault," Gimli whispered. "Not everyone can return such feelings-"
"But I... I do have feelings for him, Gimli. I just never voiced them for fear of his reaction."
"What?!" Gimli exclaimed while waving his hands in the air madly. "Do not waste your breath telling me so! Tell Legolas ere it is too late!"
Aragorn did not need to be told twice; he lowered his head next to Legolas' ear and whispered softly, "Legolas, can you hear me? I have something to tell you... please, open your eyes."
Legolas felt pain even in his sleep. He had no dreams of comfort, only dreams of agony. He envisioned Aragorn and Arwen in what seemed to be their future... a glorious kingdom, beautiful children, and a love worth dying for. How could he even compete with that? And how could he truly *want* to compete? Aragorn longed for happiness and Arwen was able to deliver it to him and Arwen... Legolas could never wish anything but happiness for her as well. Both Aragorn and Arwen were beautiful beings inside and out.
Legolas realized he was not the one meant for the Ranger's heart. Legolas was the oddity of this envision; he was the one that had to be removed from the all-too-picture-perfect sight.
He could feel his heart shrivel from Aragorn's happiness without him. He could feel his fever rising from Arwen's laughter crashing into the Man's heart. He could feel himself shivering from Aragorn desiring Arwen's body and not his.
Legolas could feel himself approaching death as he rasied his arm to let his hand caress Aragorn's cheek one last time. It was an image, he knew, but it was the closest thing he would ever have to the real thing. He could feel the Man's heat from one finger and felt some moisture sink into his own flesh. It was an image... wasn't it?
Aragorn felt his heart bounce with joy from Legolas' touch; he wasn't lost afterall. He grasped the Elf's hand tightly within his own and led it down his chest to where his heart was pounding with anxiety. "Open your eyes, Legolas."
The Ranger used his other hand to wipe a few strands of hair away from Legolas' forehead and pressed his lips to the warm skin. He then leaned back and stared down at the still creature and spoke softly. "Legolas... do as I say. Open your eyes."
Aragorn smiled a smile of a thousand Men when the Elf complied and looked up at him with open eyes.
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