Author's Note: Please don't leave any death threats towards my life for my pathetic attempt at an action scene! And yes, I have seen the movie and read the book but this fic does not really follow them, well, it does but you'll see what I mean. Please don't go off on me saying I have things wrong. This is FanFiction!
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine.
Chapter 7 - Letting Go
Frodo rolled onto his left side; letting a heavy sigh escape his weary body. He rubbed his eyes with his cold fingers and yawned. He knew he did not have to take a watch tonight and he had yearned for sleep all day, yet sleep he could not. An eerie sensation plagued his stomach preventing him from rest.
He sat up slowly and looked around the Camp to see everyone sleeping save Legolas and Gimli. He wondered where they were as he rose to his feet quietly. His eyes scanned the area in hopes of seeing his two friends returning but nothing except the trees around him and the blackness of the night could be seen; until he tilted his head back and stared at the stars above.
The Hobbit stood there gazing for minutes; his fears and worries being spoken silently to the shiny specks in the sky. They were, in their own way, comforting to him and he would have stayed as he was for a much longer period of time if not for a faint glow rising from below.
He wouldn't have taken notice to it if his leg had not been yearning to be scratched, but it had and as the Hobbit poured his attention towards the lower portion of his body, he saw it.
A small aura of blue light was shining in the darkness.
Frodo fumbled with his thoughts before turning around to warn his sleeping comrades; but he did not have to speak for another was yelling their distress all ready.
"Orcs! Arise! Orcs!"
Frodo saw Legolas sprinting towards him, his bow in hand. Gimli was not far behind, though he did not look as graceful as the Elf did. Through the moon's beams, Frodo could see the Dwarf's reddened face and heard his huffing and puffing while trying desperately to keep up with the swift Elf.
Frodo watched as Aragorn and Boromir both sprung to their feet unsheathing their swords. Merry, Pippin, and Sam awoke with gasps and made their way towards him; huddling together from fear.
"How many are there?" Aragorn questioned.
"Dozens." Legolas replied calmly as if he had walked back to camp.
Gimli nodded his head as he stood next to Legolas. "They move with great speed." He panted.
Aragorn ran over to the trees at the end of the clearing. Though he was no Elf, his eyesight was more than a normal human being's. He scanned beyond their camp and looked for their enemy. He could see an enormous amount of Orcs approaching; their grunts becoming closer to earshot as they ran heavily upon the moist ground contaminating it with their footprints.
Aragorn felt his stomach tighten as he retreated back towards the Company. He looked upon his comrades and felt their noble strength to stand and fight. Gimli stood an intimidating stance while gripping his axe strongly - he swayed from side to side in anticipation. Boromir's eyes were narrowed and dangerous, the Ranger felt if looks could kill than their opponents would drop by the dozen from this warrior's stare. Boromir licked his dry lips with anxiety, awaiting the Orcs. Legolas stood tall and proud, not a touch of fear within his eyes. His bow was ready to sing and his arrows were eager to fly. The Hobbits were crowded together, each had their sword drawn even though they'd rather run into the forest and hide, but run they did not; they stood as one and awaited the beasts.
"There is a large amount of them advancing," Aragorn stated with a sigh. "I think it best to seperate."
"But I thought we were safer together!" Pippin exclaimed.
"Yes, me too! Thats is what you have said from the beginning!" Sam agreed with an eager voice.
"It is dark, Aragorn." Boromir stated. "How will we see where we are going? We won't be able to outrun them."
"It won't remain dark much longer," Aragorn replied. "And that'll be a disadvantage for the Orcs as well. I fear if we stay together we will not have a good outcome."
"I agree." Gimli said strongly. "We don't have time for any more talk. Let us seperate and get this over with, nay?"
"Boromir, you take Merry and Pippin with you," Aragorn ordered. "Frodo and Sam shall come with me."
"Looks like I'm stuck with you, Elf!" Gimli grunted. "Come now, let us not tarry any longer."
Legolas nodded his head and followed Gimli into the Wood, but glanced over his shoulder to catch worried stares from both Aragorn and Boromir.
"If I get hit with one more blasted branch!"
"'Tis bad you are not our height, Boromir, for we aren't running into anything." Pippin said cheerfully.
Boromir just grunted as he kept moving forward. The limbs of smaller trees were not visible to the Man until his body contacted with them; he suddenly wished Legolas had been appointed to his group for the Elf's keen eyes were sorely missed right now.
Boromir sighed. The Elf was missed keen sight or not but he couldn't dwell on Legolas right now. He had to concentrate on getting through the Wood in one piece along with the Hobbits.
The Man pushed onward as quickly as possible while encouraging the Hobbits to keep up but it was proving to be a terrible task for there was no path to be followed and the forest grew clustered with its life.
"I hear them!" Merry cried from behind.
Boromir ran a hand down his sweaty face. There was no way they could outrun them, not without being able to see. They had to stand and fight and pray for a large amount of strength to overtake their enemy.
Aragorn pushed his way through the trees, cutting branches with Anduril to prevent them from flying back into the Hobbits faces. It was hard for him to see even with his Ranger eyes and the Hobbits were not capable of running very fast. He knew the Orcs were not far behind and that it could be too late before the sun rose.
He moved faster and swung Anduril swifter yet the roars of their opponents moved towards them. Aragorn stopped and caught his breath. He looked down to Frodo and Sam who were near exhaustion. There was no way the Hobbits could fight against the beasts and their legs could not move any faster. The Ranger ran a few options through his head and sighed; he did not like any of them. Aragorn closed his eyes briefly to gain his senses but Frodo's voice rang through his thoughts. "Strider, this journey was meant for me alone. You know that as well as I do. I can not put this burden on anyone else no more."
His words were short but strong and the Ranger did not want to do what had to be done but there was no other choice. He bent down to Frodo and spoke softly, "I would have gone with you to the end."
Frodo nodded his head and sighed. "I know."
Aragorn heard the echo of the Orcs stomping feet gaining on them. "Keep going this way, Frodo." He instructed forcefully. "I have faith you will reach the end of the Wood and come to the river-"
"I will find my way," Frodo interjected. "This ring will steer me in the right direction. I must go now."
"Not without me you aren't, Mr. Frodo." Sam said suddenly. "I have vowed to stay by your side and I intend to keep that promise."
"Sam, you do not realize what perils await us." Frodo cried.
"Yes, I do, and we shall face them together."
Frodo found he had no time to argue with his friend and truth be told, he'd rather have Sam by his side than go alone even though he wished no harm upon the other Hobbit. He reluctantly nodded his approval and quickly glanced at the Ranger once more before running off into the forest.
Aragorn stepped out of the shadows and awaited the Orcs; his sweaty hand gripped tightly on Anduril's hilt ready for battle.
Gimli was having an awful time keeping up with Legolas. The Elf moved too fast for his liking but he did not express his feelings verbally. He just kept up the best his body would allow him to and grasped his axe tightly; ducking underneath the branches that swung back at him hastily from the Elf flying through the wilderness before him.
Legolas' mind was anywhere but where it should be. He despised the idea of splitting up but didn't dare voice his dissapproval to Aragorn. He knew the Man to be the best at making such decisions for he knew how to lead well, but Legolas was full of worry for his comrades.
It was with that thought Legolas realized he had Gimli with him. He stopped abrubtly and turned his head round searching for the Dwarf. He had become so unfocused that he forgot about his friend not being able to keep up at such speed. Legolas began to sprint back through the path he had made to search for him; fear spreading across his face when he could not find him.
"Gimli?" He whispered. "Gimli!"
"Right here, Master Elf," came a muffled reply.
Legolas relaxed immensley from his friend's voice. He moved faster until he saw the Dwarf sitting on a rock; flushed and sweaty.
"I apologize for not meeting your speed."
"No, it is I who should apologize for I was not thinking. I did not mean to leave you behind. Please know that, Gimli."
"Aye, 'tis all right." Gimli said softly while standing to his feet. "Let us keep moving... but a bit slower."
Legolas turned back to continue on but an arrow flew past his shoulder.
The Orcs had caught up to them.
Boromir was growing weary yet he decapitated an Orc that had tried sneaking up from behind. His sword was stained with his enemy's blood and he had lost count as to how many he perished. The muscles within his arms tightened as he swung his blade into another Orc's abdomen; the fell beast's blood poured onto his hands but the warrior did not take notice for another Orc collided with the tip of his sword as it tested its strength failingly against the Man.
Merry and Pippin fought together with their short swords and Hobbit tactics of running in between the Orcs legs and surprising them from behind; they were a deadly duo when enticed. Never in their lives did they think they'd be doing anything like this - never. But alas, they were, and for good reason too.
The three comrades fought continually, not knowing how long they battled. They all grew weary but did not show it upon their enemy. They continued to dodge blades and swipe flesh successfully until more Orcs came from behind.
Merry and Pippin had been taken by surprise by two Orcs who managed to disarm them and throw both harshly over their shoulders. They cried out in protest but Boromir could not come to their aid for many Orcs threatened his life. He watched with vengeful eyes as the Orcs disappeared from his sight; along with the Hobbits.
Boromir began to lose hope of winning the battle when he saw how many beasts came from the rear of the Wood; dozens more. He sighed heavily as he plunged his sword into another fell beast and clashed more metal when he turned round. The odds were stacking heavily against him.
His spirits began to drown.
Merry and Pippin had been taken.
The Orcs grew in numbers.
A sword overpowered his own and he stared into the creature's eyes. The Man stalled. He waited for the final blow but heard his opponent release an anguish cry instead before it dropped to the ground lifeless. Boromir felt his spirits rise when he looked into the eyes of the beast's murderer.
Boromir smiled. If ever there was a time for him to be grateful upon seeing a friend - now was that time.
The two Men smirked and fought together as the Orcs attacked them. Though both were weary, they felt their adrenaline rise from being together. And it rose even more when an arrow sailed into an Orc's throat before them. They both cast their eyes upon Legolas who was running into the battle field; Gimli at his side.
The sun rose brilliantly shedding its light onto the beings that screamed and struggled to stay alive. They all fought strongly and bravely. The Orcs decreased in number and the Company's outcome looked promising. There were less than a dozen Orcs left to conquer.
Legolas had run out of arrows but still proved to be deadly as he used his daggers for replacement. Gimli fought by his side with ease. The Dwarf was indeed lethal like he had said.
Aragorn had just thrusted his sword into an Orc's abdomen when he felt an unexplainable feeling arise in his stomach. He looked up to see two Orcs approaching: Boromir became aware of them as well since he was at the Ranger's side. Aragorn crashed Anduril against the one Orc's sword as Boromir did the same with the other. He faintly heard Boromir's weapon fall to the ground and some grumbling from the Man. Aragorn killed the Orc before him with a quick slash against its throat and turned round fearing the worst of his friend. Boromir lay on top of the Orc he had been battling with; pushing the creature's own sword into its gut. He heard Aragorn sigh in relief and he too gave a sigh as he caught his breath. He could not see any more Orcs and finally swept the sweat away from his brow.
Aragorn stood proudly and felt a small smile etch his lips from Boromir being all right; he truly thought his comrade had fallen.
Legolas and Gimli managed to clear out their opponents from the other side like Aragorn and Boromir had but Legolas sensed something from within the Wood to his right. His Elven eyes fixed on an Orc; an Orc with a bow.
The Elf stared in horror as he followed the beast's gaze - it was looking in Aragorn's direction. Legolas swallowed hard and retrieved his dagger from an Orc laying dead on the ground. He brought his hand back behind his shoulder and set his target at the Orc's throat, but he cried out in pain before he could release the weapon. An arrow from the left side of the forest had come sailing into his hand; throwing the Elf off guard.
Aragorn heard Legolas cry out and his eyes met briefly with the Elf's. Than he saw it; the arrow that was gliding towards him. There was no time for the Man to react.
Gimli threw his axe with precision towards the Orc that had wounded Legolas. It met with the Orc's chest and it fell to the ground; lifeless.
Though the arrow was flying, time ceased for Aragorn and Legolas. Their eyes met and they said good-bye knowing nothing could be done.
"Aragorn!" Legolas hollered.
Aragorn closed his eyes; wanting to take Legolas' voice with him when all went dark. He heard the arrow sink into flesh and it disgusted him, yet he felt no pain. He was oblivious to what was going on until he heard Legolas cry out again. "Boromir!"
Gimli acted quickly; grasping the dagger Legolas dropped, he flung it into the dead air and enjoyed the sound of the Orc gurgling from its own blood. That Orc too, dropped to the ground lifeless.
Aragorn opened his eyes to see Boromir laying at his feet with the arrow intended for him embedded within his chest. Aragorn dropped to his knees and craddled the Man within his weary arms. "Why? Why would you do such a thing?"
Boromir stirred and winced in pain. He locked his grey eyes with Aragorn's and whispered, "b-because he loves you."
Aragorn bit his lip. The arrow was inches away from Boromir's heart; this he could tell. He knew his healing abilities would not work and he grew frustrated at his friend. "You fool! I'm the one who should be laying on the ground, not you."
"Too late," Boromir replied with a smirk. "Tell me my efforts are n-not of waste, Aragorn."
Aragorn sighed. "I shall care for him like no other, Boromir. I promise you."
"Good," Boromir replied. "You m-must also r-retrieve Merry and Pippin. Orcs took them. I-I could not save them."
Aragorn nodded his head and fought back the tears that yearned to spill down his face. His eyes met with Legolas' as the Elf approached rapidly; dropping to his knees next to the wounded Man. Aragorn settled Boromir onto Legolas' lap and walked back towards Gimli; leaving the two alone.
"Hold on, Boromir," Legolas encouraged. "Aragorn will heal you. He is a master of this sort."
Boromir chuckled which made him wince even more. "Your heart is pure, Legolas. Promise m-me you w-will not change."
Legolas squinted his eyes and shook his head. "No. I won't promise you anything until you say you won't leave me. Why did you do this?"
Boromir raised his bloody hand to the Elf's soft cheek and sighed. "You love him, nay?"
Legolas closed his eyes.
"I do this for you, Legolas. I want you to be happy."
"You leaving me shall not make me happy," Legolas said harshly while opening his eyes.
"I know y-you care for me deeply but if it were Aragorn laying here I fear you would die too and t-that is something I could n-not bear to see."
"You speak of words I nearly spoke last night," Legolas said softly. "How is that so?"
"I have snuck up behind you m-more than once, Legolas. I am g-glad I did for it made my decision easier."
"I said not who I loved, Boromir, how-"
"Your Dwarf friend is w-wise," Boromir interrupted. "Your heart lies in your eyes and y-you look at Aragorn d-differently than myself. I know you have feelings for me but you love Aragorn. I am almost ashamed I came in b-between the two of you."
"You taint my heart with your loyalty, Boromir. I will forever blame myself for your parting."
"No!" Boromir exclaimed; his dull eyes capturing a small spark. "No one is to blame for this. I do not regret my actions. I could say watching you with Aragorn would've k-killed me if t-this arrow hadn't but that i-is not so. I believe I love you, Legolas, but I know he loves you more. Return t-that love, promise me you will."
Legolas hesitated as he looked at Boromir with sad eyes.
"Promise me!" Boromir insisted.
"I promise," Legolas replied softly.
"Thank you," Boromir said with a whisper. His hand dropped from the Elf's cheek and he released a heavy sigh into the air while his lips formed a faint smile. Then his chest ceased and Legolas only heard his own heart beating. He bent down and pressed his lips against the Man's forehead and then rose silently to his feet.
Aragorn and Gimli were lost for words as they drew in close to their fallen comrade. The silence was deafening to them all and they knew not what to say to one another until Aragorn finally found his voice. "We must bury him."
"Aye," Gimli whispered.
The three companions stood there silently for a longer amount of time afraid of accepting the truth. Boromir was dead. He would no longer accompany them on their journey. It saddened their hearts and they had to fight hard to bring their courage forward and move on.
"Let's get to it then," Aragorn commanded. He then glanced at Legolas who stood at his side unmoving; as if he were a statue. The only thing moving on the Elf's body was the blood dripping down his hand; an arrow still fixed within it. Aragorn gently grasped Legolas' hand and studied the wound. "Legolas, can you move your fingers?" No response.
Legolas stared down at Boromir blankly and did not flinch when Aragorn tugged on the arrow.
The Elf did not stir.
Aragorn grew worried and embraced the Elf tightly. "Legolas, please... I dare not lose you too."
Though it was not the most comforting hug, Legolas faintly returned the gesture and brought his one arm up behind the Ranger's neck. He buried his head into the Man's strong shoulder and secluded himself from reality. The loss of Boromir was not something he wished to endure but he felt Aragorn's concern and found safety from his touch, so he let all his pride go and clung to the Ranger as if he were a child.
Aragorn knew Legolas would take this hard and knew he himself was going to have a hard time getting over the loss of his friend but he made a promise to Boromir and it was a promise he was going to keep.
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