Celboril walked up on the small grouping, a tray of
cheeses and fruits in his hands. The look on Aragorn’s face froze
him in his tracks.
“What is it?” the servant asked cautiously not at
all sure that he even wanted to know.
Legolas quietly answered him as he relieved the elf
of the tray of food, taking it back and placing it near Gandalf’s
Aragorn looked to the older man, his eyes full of
questions begging for help and answers.
Gandalf nodded, “You need to go then, all of
you. See if you can't help them and free your brother.”
When the ranger didn’t move, the older man tipped
his head in question and eyed the younger. “What is it, Estel?”
Aragorn’s eyes were fastened on the elf behind the
wizard, still unconscious on the bed. He spoke softly, afraid of
his own words, “I can't leave him. And what if...what if Elladan
is...” He couldn’t finish the sentence.
Gandalf stepped in front of the boy and blocked his
view of Elrond. “Now you listen to me, young one,” redirecting
the ranger’s eyes to himself, “I will stay here with your father and he
will have the best of care.” The wizard smiled gently into the
dark worried eyes that watched him. “You go and see to your brother and
I will send you help.” He laughed as the human quirked an eyebrow
up in question. “Don’t worry. You’ll know it, when you see
it. Just see to it that you accept it when it is offered.”
“I don’t under...”
Gandalf pushed the young man out of the bedroom
door, motioning for the other elves to leave as well, “You will, you
will. Now quickly, be off with you all and bring that brother of
yours back to me. I have plenty of athelas in my bag this
day.” He smiled and walked back into Elrond’s room, heading for
the veranda and sweeping the window doors open, talking to himself the
whole way, “Plenty of other things too, like that pipe of mine.
Where did I set that thing
down now?” The wizard cast his eyes to the grey skies and began
to speak to them.
Legolas grabbed Aragorn’s sleeve and hauled the
ranger after them as they ran out of the house and down the valley
path, following Moranuen back to the abandoned villages.
“What did he mean, Legolas?” Aragorn asked as he ran
next to his friend.
“It’s hard to know with Mithrandir. We’ll just
keep our eyes open and hope we recognize this help of his when we see
The severity of the situation was overwhelming when
they reached the collapsed building. The water had reached the
top of the gully it was backed up into. There was no falls
anymore, only a deep, deep pond, that the Bruinen flowed ceaselessly
into, and it was about to overflow. The dam the elves had put up
against the water that wanted to rush down into their valley and
destroy was beginning to crumble; the water it contained ran in
ever-increasing rivulets over its brim, drawing dirty streams through
the dirt and mud near the pile of debris that the elves were working
in. In a very short time this place was going to be the swift
flowing course of a new river.
Moranuen called to Elrohir. The elf turned at
the sound of his name, heaving a boulder from the debris and wearily
dropping it onto a pile out of the way. His face was dirty and
tear-stained and his hands were bloodied and torn from the frantic work
of digging his brother out. Long strands of dark hair hung in his
eyes, having worked their way free from the catch at the nape of his
neck, and he brushed them away with the back of his hand smearing blood
across his forehead.
"Estel?" His voice was rough from calling all
night to Elladan. He walked wearily towards his adopted
"Elrohir," Aragorn quickly closed the gap between
them and pulled his brother against him. "I'm so sorry I wasn’t here
"I thought I'd lost you too," the elf spoke
softly. The past twenty-four hours had held more grief and stress
than he could bear.
"You have lost no one." Aragorn pushed his brother
back and tipped the elf's chin so he was forced to stare into the
"Father..." Elrohir couldn’t finish the sentence and
his eyes, full of sorrow and bleary from lack of sleep, begged the
human not to force him to.
"No. No, Gandalf is with father right now and he
will be just fine. Gandalf promised," Aragorn assured his older
"This is true?" The silver eyes glanced
between Aragorn and the other elves that accompanied him.
"It is. I was there." Legolas smiled
gently at the elf. "We have come to help dig out your brother and
Mithrandir will see to his recovery as well."
"Gandalf even promised to send help." Aragorn added,
trying to encourage his overly weary brother. The elves behind
him had slowed in their work as they listened to the news from
"Elladan stopped calling to me after
midnight." Elrohir walked dejectedly back to the pile of
rumble. "I have not been able to hear him since." He raised his
hand and indicated the area where the elves seemed to be concentrating
most of their effort, "He is in here, in this area. I just can't
get to him."
Aragorn squeezed his brother's shoulder gently, "We
will. We'll find him."
They all set about removing the stones and broken
timbers that blocked them from accessing the trapped elf. The
smaller pieces had been cleared away and they had worked inward fairly
well until they were stopped by a large slab of stone that lay at an
angle, jutting out away from them and pinning the rubble beneath
it. To clear the area behind it would take far longer than the
time they had left and it was impossible to dig under it.
By this time the water running over the lip of the
dam had increased from tiny rivulets to small streams turning the dirt
under their feet to mud.
"We need to lift it!" Legolas called to
Aragorn as he rounded the rubble after inspecting the backside of the
collapsed building, "There is no way around it, we don’t have time."
"We need leverage. Fetch some of those timbers from
the pile of debris. We will use them to try to raise the stone."
Legolas glanced behind the elves to the pile of rubble that had been
“It will never work,” Celboril commented wearily.
“It must.” Aragorn shot back, his words harsher than
he meant them to be.
The elves ran back to the pile of refuse they had
moved and drug some of the longer beams to the front of the rock
slab. Placing the ends in the mud under the block they pressed
down, lifting the chunk of wall a few inches.
"Again!" Legolas called, groaning as he strained
against the weight of the rubble.
Without warning a shadow passed across the dim sun
thrusting them into momentary semi-darkness. In a second it was
gone. Aragorn cast his eyes skyward, dreading what it could mean.
A dark shape hurtled from the side of the rift
plummeting towards them, a cry torn from its throat pierced the valley
with its shrieking call.
Legolas glanced up. Recognition dawned as the
shape took form and swept back up into the sky only meters above their
heads. "It is Mithrandir's help!” he cried. “It is
Gwaihir!" A smile lit his face as the huge eagle circled once
overhead and lighted down behind them, neatly folding its wings against
its broad back.
Sharp black eyes watched them and the bird tipped
its head curiously as it took in the situation. “Mithrandir called and
said you needed assistance.” Its voice was soft and deep, like a
thrumming in the chest. “I have come to help.” Gwaihir hopped
forward curiously, quickly taking in the severity of their
predicament. Aragorn took a step back and Legolas reached out to
keep him from falling, laughing at his friend’s surprise.
The elf walked forward and formally bowed. “Gwaihir,
it is good to see you again. We would welcome your help.”
He turned back to Aragorn and introduced the great eagle. “This is
Gwaihir, he and his kind live high in the Encircling Mountains."
The eagle stretched its neck out towards the ranger, eyeing him with
keen intelligent eyes. "However, it has been many years since we
had the pleasure of their visits."
Gwaihir loosed a cry of acknowledgement, unfolding
powerful wings. “How may I help you now?”
He had seen enough to know what they were attempting
to do and had realized they would never accomplish it alone.
Emboldened by Legolas’ familiarity with the eagle,
Elrohir stepped forward and bowed his head. “Gwaihir, I am Elrohir, son
of Elrond. My brother, Elladan, is trapped beneath the collapsed
building. I believe he is under that slab buried in the debris. Can you
help us move it?”
“It would be my honor, son of Elrond.” The eagle
inclined its head slightly.
With one downward sweep of his wings Gwaihir vaulted
skyward and landed on top of the block slab they were trying to
move. His lethally taloned claws dug into the stone as though it
were clay and he called out to them to take up their positions once
more, that he would try to lift the stone and shift it to the side as
they levered it up.
Legolas ran back to the piece of wood he had been
using as a lever, encouraging the others to do the same. As soon
as the elves and the human were in place, Gwaihir loosed a piercing
shriek and began beating the air with his wings, straining to draw the
rock up and out of place.
Dirt and mud sprayed the elves working around the
perimeter as the wind from Gwaihir's attempts stirred the area where
they were standing, pelting them with drops of water and small twigs.
The footing was treacherous now that the grounds
were slick with the water from the overflowing dam. It was all
Aragorn could do to keep upright and maintain his position as they
slowly shifted the stone slab to their left.
Legolas, however, was not so lucky. A small
bit of rock struck the elf in the eye, causing him to lose his balance
as his hands flew to his face to relieve the biting sting caused by the
foreign object. His ankle twisted under the sudden shift in
weight and he slipped beneath the slab that was being slowly levered
away. Rubble on the opposite side of the obstruction moved as the
weight of the block was slid out of place and the elf's leg was
trapped, pressed viciously into the mud.
Legolas winced and gave a small cry, but no one
could hear him above the wind kicked up by the beating of the eagle’s
massive wings and the grating rumble of the moving slab. The elf
panicked slightly and tried to pull himself out, only adding to his
injuries. He frantically twisted onto his stomach and attempted
to crawl away from the moving stones that had trapped him and were
still falling about his pinned leg.
Aragorn saw what had happened. “Legolas!” He
saw the panic in the elf's eyes and the pain that crossed his face as
he tried to pull himself free. Making sure Celboril had a good
grip on the beam they were plying, he ran to the fallen elf.
"Lie still," he commanded, pressing the elf further
onto his belly as the ranger threw himself onto the ground next to his
friend. He moved his hands against Legolas' leg to where the
stones had fallen onto him, his fingers gently probing for any way to
release the elf's leg. No one else had noticed what had happened
yet. Aragorn shouted for them to halt, but no one heard.
The stone slab grated oddly as Gwaihir moved it
farther to the left. With the help of the elves, it was nearly out of
their path and they would be free to resume digging for Elladan.
Aragorn realized with a start that the angle of the rock and the path
it was moving on would crush Legolas in moments if he didn’t free the
"Stop! Stop!" The human called to the eagle
straining above them, shouting as loudly as he could, desperately
hoping that the bird heard him over the noise of the moving
rocks. Thankfully, the great eagle did. "Gwaihir, Legolas
is trapped. Hold the slab still for a moment while I free him or
it will crush his leg."
The eagle loosed a shriek and stopped dragging the
stone away, instead hovering with it suspended over the downed
building, pulling the weight of the block upward with him.
Moranuen and Elrohir lay down on the other side of
Legolas while Celboril rounded the stone slab and crept underneath it
into the tiny crawl space provided as Gwaihir held the block up.
Working quickly together, they were able to dig Legolas out.
Aragorn eased the elf onto his back and slipped his hands under the
prince’s arms, pulling him safely away from the slab.
The elves immediately ran back to their work and
eased the stone wall far enough out of the way to continue their
search. When the great eagle released its hold on the large piece
of rubble, it tumbled off the pile and splattered onto the muddy
ground, driving the refuse beneath it deeper into the mud.
Aragorn knelt by Legolas, trying to see the extent
of the damage that had been done to him. His frantic attempts to
free himself had created a nasty gash that ran the length of his calf
but, other than the cut, there was no outward damage. He gently
helped Legolas into a standing position, but the elf collapsed back to
the ground when he tried to put weight on his injured leg.
A shout rose from the elves working on the pile of
debris and Aragorn ran back to Elrohir's side, leaving Celboril to
watch over Legolas.
Gwaihir had forced his head into a small opening
they had uncovered, breaking up through the rubble with his strong
beak. “In there,” he instructed and turned to the elves, stepping
lightly out of the way.
Aragorn was on his hands and knees before the eagle
had cleared the crawl space, forcing his way into the tiny
enclave. The stones and timbers had fallen in such a way that a
small pocket had formed as the building had collapsed. There was
scarcely any light in the dank hole as Aragorn crawled in, his body
blocking most of it. Water dripped down through cracks in the
rocks around him and he felt blindly in front of him, calling quietly
His fingers brushed into something soft and he froze
dreading what he would find. Slowly he fingered the softness and
realized in an instant that it was his brother's hair. "I have found
him!" he shouted back at the others, his voice muffled by the rock.
"Elrohir! Legolas! He is here!!" Elladan was pinned face down,
his body covered with pieces of the fallen building. Shakily,
Aragorn reached forward and moved his fingers across the elf's face
down towards his neck, pressing under his chin, hoping against hope
that he would feel a pulse.
With a sigh, Aragorn dropped his head down until it
touched the wounded elf's. "Oh Elladan, you live. Thank Iluvatar.
I can’t lose you."
Working quickly, the ranger passed the small stones
and broken beams that held his brother pinned back out the tiny passage
that he had entered. On the outside, Elrohir was frantically
working with the others to enlarge the entrance.
Within moments Elladan was freed, his body pulled
from the wreckage of the collapsed building. Tears of relief ran
down Elrohir's face as Aragorn and Moranuen quickly worked over the
unconscious elf. Elladan had sustained a nasty head wound from
the collapse of the building and his left leg and arm were both
obviously broken. What injury he sustained beyond that was hard
to tell. His face was bruised and he was covered in dirt and mud.
Gwaihir had watched in silence until now. He
had been told what to do in the event they had found anyone still alive
and with a short, sharp cry he jumped forward, pressing his way into
the ring of elves.
“The elf lives?” he asked curiously.
“Yes.” Aragorn glanced up at the eagle as Gwaihir
edged in closer, his black eyes focused on the ranger as he tapped the
unconscious elf's chest gently with his beak.
"Then let me take him back to Mithrandir. He
awaits him in Rivendell.”
“I don’t understand." Aragorn watched the
Legolas limped forward with the help of Celboril.
"Gwaihir can easily take Elladan back to Mithrandir for us. His
weight will be nothing for the great eagle."
Aragorn nodded. "Very well. But wait one
moment." The human quickly shrugged out of his overcoat and
glanced at Moranuen. Understanding what the ranger intended, the
elf gently moved Elrohir out of the way and helped the man carefully
wrap Elladan in the cloak. They tied the sleeves off across
Elladan's chest, securing his broken arm in place and moved away from
the elf, motioning the others to follow suit.
When the elves had moved out of the way, Gwaihir
spread his wings full. “Then I will inform Mithrandir to expect
you all within the hour,” he called to them as, with one downward sweep
of his powerful wings, he jumped off the ground and gently but firmly
wrapped his talons around Elladan's body and bore the elf away toward
They watched the eagle go until the tips of the
trees hid him from their sight.
"We need to leave." Legolas broke the silence,
speaking quietly. "The water has gained its edges and we are in danger
here at its base." He swallowed against the pain shooting up his
leg as their attention was turned on him once more.
Aragorn stepped next to him and wrapped his arm
around Legolas' waist and helped him stand, allowing the elf to lean
most of his weight against him. "He is right, we must go."
In unspoken agreement they all began to move quickly
out of the area away from the crumbling dam. Celboril walked on
the other side of Legolas, his arm wrapped around the prince’s
shoulder, lending his support, as they swiftly climbed the ridge back
up to Rivendell.
When they reached the steps of the palace, Legolas
was worn through and through. His leg throbbed and he feared the
damage was much worse than he had originally thought.
Gandalf met the ragged group at the door and ushered
them quickly in, directing one to one room and another to the guest
quarters to clean up, placing them throughout the large house.
Elrohir would not rest nor allow his wounds to be tended until he had
seen Elladan with his own eyes and knew that his brother would
live. So he was led into a guest room where Elladan was resting,
now awake. The elder twin had been cleaned up and Gandalf had
bound his wounds and splinted his broken arm and fractured leg. A
small pot of athelas bubbled cheerfully in the corner. Elladan
broke into a wide smile, despite the bruises and cuts to his face, when
he saw his twin.
Elrohir reached out shakily to his brother but the
old wizard caught the elf’s dirty, bleeding hand in his own.
"You'll not touch my patient with hands like
that." He laughed lightly, dragging the protesting elf over to
the wash basin and gently submerging Elrohir's hands in the warm
water. The elf hissed and tensed as the heated water touched off
pain in his injured hands. His palms were lacerated and the skin
on his fingertips had been torn away in his frantic attempts to free
Aragorn walked into the room in time to see Gandalf
forcefully press Elrohir's hands under the water. "It will hurt
less if you would work with me, young elf." The older man intoned, his
strength far greater than his years belied as he gently washed the dirt
from Elrohir's bruised hands.
“I can help,” Elladan offered, trying to sit up in
bed, but the splints made him clumsy and he was still slightly dizzy
from the wound to his head. He tried to right himself but fell
towards the small stand next to his bed. Gandalf leaned quickly
over to steady the elf, brushing against an ancient Numenorean vase
that decorated the low tabletop. Elrohir jerked his hands out of
the water and rushed to Elladan’s side, trying to avert an
accident. He bumped into the wizard in his haste, causing Gandalf
to step closer to the bedside. Elladan, insisting that he needed
no help, tried to lay back down on his own but the fast move of sitting
up had caused him to nearly black out and he reached out with his
splinted arm, accidentally knocking Gandalf’s hand back against the
vase. The jar tipped and spun on its base, unbalanced by the
shift in its weight. Gandalf’s attempts to save it were
unsuccessful and it fell to the floor and shattered.
“Now see what you did? Just lie still, things
will be fine,” Elrohir chided his twin as he eased Elladan back down
onto the bed, laying the elf’s splinted arm across his chest.
“I did that? I think not, brother.” Elladan
looked over the edge of the bed at the mess on the floor. “That was
definitely your doing. I had things under control.”
“Under control. Right.” Elrohir rolled his eyes and
pushed Elladan back against the pillows.
Gandalf watched incredulously between the two as
they bickered amongst themselves. Even after a trip to Mandos’
door they could find the strength to give one another a hard time.
“Just wait till Father finds out you’ve broken his
vase,” Elrohir continued as he tucked Elladan back in, moving his
fingers stiffly over the sheets.
“Enough!” Gandalf’s booming voice silenced the
argument. He frowned at the two elves, kicking the shards out of
the way under the bed, “You’d never know from your arguing that you
almost died under a pile of rubble or that you nearly scraped your
fingers to the bone to save his hide. It’s a vase. It can
be replaced. Now stop it at once.” He grabbed Elrohir
gently by the wrists and led him back towards the wash basin. “My
patience with you both has grown very thin indeed,” the old
wizard growled under his breath as he began to clean the elf’s hands
Aragorn stood in the doorway, unnoticed by the
room’s occupants, shaking his head and smiling. Some things would never
change. He watched as Elrohir winced and drew his breath in
sharply from the pain as Gandalf cleansed his wounds. Finally he
entered and approached the wizard, offering his help.
"Here, let me help." Aragorn pressed up
against the counter on the other side of his brother and carefully took
one of the elf’s bloodied hands in his one. He glanced over to
the bed where Elladan rested before laying a questioning gaze on
Gandalf. The eldest twin had not acknowledged his younger
The elderly man caught the look and smiled warmly,
"Your brother will be just fine. He needs to rest now, that is
all. He has a nasty cut to that head of his and he has suffered a
broken arm as well as a nearly broken leg, but he will recover and be
right back to normal before you know it."
Elrohir tensed as the two worked on his
wounds. As gentle as they were he had not realized until just now
that his hands really were hurting. The adrenaline and fear had
sustained him through the night and only now that they were wearing off
did he realize that he had indeed hurt himself quite badly. He
started to tremble slightly as reality and weariness stole over
him. Aragorn noted the shift and tried to distract his brother.
"Thanks a lot, Gandalf. As normal as he was
before? That’s not saying much. Are you telling me with all your
expertise you couldn’t improve on him just a little?"
A soft snort of disgust could be heard from the bed
where Elladan lay lightly dozing and the old wizard frowned at the
human in mock indignation, "Are you questioning my abilities, boy?"
The easy banter worked and Elrohir laughed lightly
as the two talked back and forth, relaxing slightly as his hands were
removed from the now muddy water and gently lathed in ointment before
being wrapped. A cot was brought in for him and set up near
Aragorn paused by Elladan’s side, his
fingertips lightly brushing his eldest brother’s good hand.
Elladan was sliding back towards unconsciousness, but his eyes fixed on
Aragorn for a moment. Aragorn smiled gently. “You look like
a building fell on you,” he teased softly, giving the elf’s fingers a
Elladan didn’t smile this time. Pain that had
little to do with his injuries flittered briefly across his face.
Weakly pulling his hand away from Aragorn’s, he dropped his gaze and
looked away. He was overjoyed that his little brother was all
right, but he could not forget that his thoughtless words had helped
propel Aragorn into danger in the first place. He wanted to say
something, but he didn’t know what and didn’t feel that he could meet
Estel’s eyes after letting him down so badly when he had needed an
elder brother’s love, not their irritation. Blackness was pulling
enticingly at the elf again. Before he could find the words he
wanted, it claimed him once more and the older twin fell back to
senseless sleep, wearied from his injuries and his guilt.
Aragorn swallowed the hard lump in his throat and
blinked rapidly several times. The elf’s actions made him think
that Elladan was still angry with him and his brother’s rejection stung
like a slap in the face. Aragorn couldn’t blame Elladan for not
wanting to look at him after everything he’d managed to mess up these
past few days, but it still hurt more than the young ranger wanted to
Putting his own feelings aside, the human crossed
around the bed to where Elrohir was leaning against the wall with
glassy eyes as if he had forgotten how to move, or were simply too
weary to do so.
Aragorn gently eased Elrohir down on to the cot that
had been brought in and the elf was asleep before his head touched the
pillow, exhausted from the long and terrifying night of trying to free
The ranger covered his brother with a blanket and
stood in the doorway for a few minutes, watching the twins sleep.
Gandalf stood behind him, smiling to himself. He laid an old,
weather-worn hand on the young shoulder and turned the human away from
the room walking him down the hallway.
"Let us go see to Legolas before he decides that he
is just fine," the wizard teased lightly steering Aragorn into his own
room where the elf prince had been taken.
The ranger laughed, knowing full well from previous
experiences what a horrible patient his friend made.
Legolas had been helped out of his muddy clothing
and was wearing one of Aragorn's long tunics and an old pair of the
ranger’s breeches. The cut to his leg had been quickly bandaged
but a red stain on the dark pants indicated that the gash was bleeding
Unaware that he had visitors, the prince was trying
to get up from the bed unaided. He braced himself against the
edge of the mattresses and limped slowly towards the water pitcher,
where it sat on a table against the far wall. He was unsteady on
his feet and his injured leg buckled under him. With a cry the
elf stumbled forward but Aragorn rushed into the room and caught the
prince, easing him down to the carpeted floor before he could fall.
“Just what did you think you were doing?” Aragorn
moved around in front of the elf and crouched down to glare into the
fiery silver eyes.
Legolas frowned at his friend. He was tired,
thirsty and incredibly irritated with himself over the fact that his
body was betraying his weakness.
Opening his mouth to retort, the elf was interrupted
as Gandalf slowly paced into the room. “Do not say that you are just
fine, young prince.” His blue eyes twinkled merrily as the ranger
glanced up at him. “Up with you now and back into that
bed.” Gandalf glared at the two of them to stave off any argument.
“Legolas, if you need anything you have only to
ask. I am just down the hall. I would have heard you,” Aragorn
spoke quietly to his friend as he helped the elf stand gingerly to his
feet. “It looks as if you reopened that cut. Come on.” He
steered the prince back to the bed, steadying the elf against the side
of mattresses as he jerked the sheets back.
Legolas eased himself onto the tall mattress and
reluctantly laid back down. Aragorn helped him as best he could,
gently settling the elf’s wounded leg on top of the thick comforter.
“Don’t do that again.” Aragorn cautioned,
leaning over his friend and smiling. “I need you to be well, my
A small smile touched the elf’s lips as he relaxed
on the soft bed. “I hate being wounded when you need so much help. It’s
really not that bad.”
“The help he needs, young one, is for everyone in
this house to do their part and right now that means for you to get
well.” Gandalf brushed the ranger aside, smiling at the human out
of the corner of his eyes.
Legolas rolled his eyes as Aragorn laughed at
him. “He’s right. Everyone left in this house is wounded,”
the ranger commented sarcastically, looking down at his own cut and
The elf winced and softly groaned as Gandalf moved
his hands gently down the prince’s leg, feeling for broken bones.
Aragorn watched the wizard anxiously.
Gandalf straightened slowly and stared hard at the
elf. “Well, you will live.”
“Really?” Legolas countered his light observations
sarcastically, causing Aragorn to snicker.
Gandalf frowned at the elf, which only garnered the
old wizard a mischievous smile. “I do think I have had quite enough of
ill-tempered patients to last me my entire lifetime.” He turned
towards the ranger and shooed him out the door. “That cut on your
friend’s leg must be dealt with and I do not need you hovering around.
Go do something useful with yourself. Things are quite under control
here.” He smiled as he pushed the young human out the door and
turned back towards his patient. “Now as for you, young elf...” his
deep voice was cut off as the door was shut behind the ranger.
Aragorn stood in the hallway for a moment listening
to the easy banter of the old wizard and the light laughter of his
friend. Legolas would be fine, Gandalf would see to it. He
glanced at his hands; they had begun to sting from the cuts and tears
that lacerated them. For the most part his hands were clean,
having become so while he was seeing to Elrohir, but the fact remained
that they needed ointment and bandaging. He walked slowly down to
the small refreshing room off the hallway and seated himself inside
near the sink trying one-handedly to see to his own injuries.
Moranuen walked silently down the hall and spied the
ranger trying to bind his own hands. He pushed the door wider
open and entered the small room.
“What are you doing?” Kneeling on the carpet,
the elf took the bandages away from the young human and set them aside,
carefully inspecting Aragorn’s hands, “Now see here, you can’t think to
do this by yourself. Why didn’t you ask for help?”
Aragorn looked up from his hands to the elf who
began gently rubbing a soothing ointment into the palm of the ranger’s
left hand, where a nasty gouge marred the soft skin. “Actually I
thought everyone was wounded or resting.” The human answered softly.
Moranuen smiled, “Well not everyone. I have been
keeping a watch on that dam.” He turned the man’s hand over and
carefully rubbed the ointment across the tops of his fingers. “It
doesn’t look good, Estel. It’s amazing it’s still standing
now. Give it a couple of hours more and it will not be able to
hold any longer. And if the skies drop their rain as they are
threatening to, then it may be sooner yet.”
Aragorn nodded silently and watched while Moranuen
wrapped his palms in bandages, leaving his fingers free to move.
“Well we still have a bit of time before we are forced to leave. Let us
pray it is enough. But someone should go into Strayton and warn the
townsfolk. They’ll need time to prepare in case it’s not.”
Moranuen looked up into the dark silver eyes
watching him and nodded. “I will go then, for you are needed
here. I will inform the people so no one is lost.”
“Thank you Mora.” Aragorn gazed at the elf,
knowing how hard it would be for the warrior to return to the town and
the people who had received him so poorly earlier in the year. A
thought occurred to the ranger and he instructed his friend further,
“Take one of the horses and ride to Taradin’s. He is the hunter
that was caught sneaking into Rivendell some time ago. Do you
remember him?” When Moranuen nodded Aragorn continued. “He lives
on the outskirts, past the jailhouse. Do not stop or talk to
anyone else. Taradin will listen to you and he will let no harm
befall you. Tell him I have sent you.”
“I will do this.” The elf touched the human's
knee. “It will be all right Estel.”
“Thank you Mora. I knew I could count on you.”
Aragorn looked back to his bandaged hands, they felt better now and he
worse. The tiredness showed in his eyes when he glanced back
towards his friend as the elf stood.
“Estel, go rest. You look ready to fall over.”
“Thank you for the help also.” He held up his hands
and smiled. “I will go rest, but I have one more room to visit before I
do.” He eased past the elf and walked slowly up the hallway, the
weight of the household bearing his shoulders down.
At the end of the hall he stopped and glanced into
the room, gazing at the chamber’s sole occupant. Moranuen watched
him, hearing the human’s heavy sigh as he slowly entered the bedroom.