Mellon Chronicles


by Siobhan-(T) with tiny touches from Cassia-(T)

"Sickness". Art by Cassia

"Sickness" art by Cassia-(T)

Stories > Series > Previous Story "Black Breath" > "Sickness" > Next Story "The Seventh Stone"   

I may not understand what you feel,
I may never walk your road,
But I will stand beside you while you heal,
I will share your load. 

All my strength I will bid you,
All the care I can send,
No matter what we go through,
Because you are my friend.


    Elrond watched his human son carefully.  The ranger had joined the breakfast table that morning, moving slowly as though he ached or was tired and his quirky responses lacked the spark and normal sarcasm that decorated the brothers' conversations.  When he smiled the laughter didn’t reach his eyes, eyes that held a slightly glazed look to them.  None of the three younger elves seemed to notice Aragorn’s lack of energy.
    The older elf had seen his son act this way before on a few occasions.  He hoped he was wrong but his fears were confirmed when Celboril cleared the breakfast dishes and the young man quietly thanked the servant, folding his arm on the table and laying his head down on them. 
    Elladan and Elrohir had already pushed their chairs back and were heading for the door.  They had all planned a day of hunting and were eager to be out.
    Legolas stopped on the threshold and turned back, glancing at his friend who hadn’t moved.
    “Aragorn?”  The fair-haired elf called to the human, “Aren’t you coming?”
    With a sigh the ranger pushed slowly back from the table and answered without looking back, “Yeah, just give me a moment.”
    Elrond shook his head.  Smiling softly he rounded the table and approached his son. “I think not. I recognize that look in your eyes,” he quietly countered his son’s answer.
    Aragorn ducked as his father reached out to touch his forehead.  “No, I’m fine. Really.”
    But the elven lord was not easily evaded and he quickly grabbed the boy, holding him still with his hands, one on the back of his head and one wrapped carefully around his forehead.  “I think not,” he repeated himself.  Heat radiated off the young human. “I believe you will be sitting this hunting trip out.”
    The ranger wrapped his hand around his father's, trying to move out of the elf’s grip.  “Really, I am fine.”
    Legolas had become worried and stepped back into the dining hall. “What’s wrong?”
    “Nothing, I’ll join you in a minute.”
    “Estel,” Elrond’s voice was firm. “You are not going out sick.”
    “Sick?” Legolas questioned curiously.  It was a phenomenon that elves never experienced sickness and so it was often difficult for them to understand.
    “Do you have to repeat everything he says?” Aragorn snapped testily. 
    Elrond glanced up at the Sinda elf and smiled. “Estel is sick.  It’s something that happens often to humans. He’ll be alright but he needs to rest.”
    “Yeah only humans,” the ranger muttered darkly. “Lucky us.”
    “It also makes them rather grumpy.”  The older elf smiled down at the ranger he still held.  Moving his hands down to the young man’s shoulders he raised an eyebrow at the frown the man turned on him.
    With a sigh, Aragorn relented, “Yes I am sick.”  He rested his head in his hands. “And I am grumpy, I hate being sick.  I feel awful, but I was rather hoping you wouldn’t notice.”
    Elladan and Elrohir re-appeared in the doorway, ready and eager to be off.  When they saw the faces of their father and Legolas they sobered immediately.  Elrohir walked into the room, taking note that their brother was still seated at the table.  “Estel?  What’s wrong?”
    “I’m sick,” the human growled quietly.
    The twin knelt beside the ranger and tipped his head down so he could see into the man’s eyes.  They were weary and glazed with fever.
    “You are. I hadn’t noticed before.”
    Aragorn smiled slightly. “I didn’t want you to.”
    “You can’t go out sick.  You know what will happen.”
    The ranger rolled his eyes and looked to the far wall.
    “What happens?”  Legolas asked quietly, worried about the answer he would receive.  It was in fact his first experience with a sick person.  That is, one who was not ill because they had been injured or poisoned, but simply sick for what seemed to the elven mind to be no reason at all.
    “They die,”  Elladan spoke from the back of the room a wicked grin on his face as he joked.
    “Elladan!” Elrond glared at the twin and pressed Aragorn down into his seat as the ranger turned towards his brother.
    The elf was laughing helplessly. “I’m sorry. I know. It’s not funny. I’m sorry, Estel,” he quickly apologized.
    “Just get out of here,” Aragorn yelled at him.
    “It's okay Estel.”  Elrohir touched his knee gently. “We’ll all stay home.”  He smiled softly.
    “No, just go.”  Aragorn glanced back at his brother, “and take Legolas with you.  I’ll be fine.”
    “I’m not going anywhere.”  The elf prince crossed his arms and looked between the elves and the man. “Tell me, what happens to humans when they get sick?”  he asked again imploring Elrond for a truthful answer.
    “Well in most cases, the illness just runs its course.”  Elrond gazed back down at Aragorn who was watching him; a slight frown marred his face.  “They feel very bad and aren’t able to do much.  If they do push themselves they can get even more sick and if left without attention and medicines, it is possible they could die, but highly unlikely.”  He smiled at the human as the man dropped his gaze and stood slowly to his feet.
    Elrohir stood gracefully to his feet, watching the human cautiously. “The last time Estel was sick he went out hunting anyway.  He wouldn’t tell anybody and he came back worse.  He was in bed for a week.”
    Aragorn grimaced and touched his stomach, turning away from the others in the room, but the small motion had not been hidden from his father who grabbed the young man’s elbow and gently pulled him back around. “How much did you eat?”
    “Enough,” the ranger ground out, closing his eyes tightly shut as nausea threatened to overwhelm him.  The muscles in his jaw clenched, as his stomach rejected what he had eaten.  He tried holding his breath and thinking of other things but it was to no avail.  There was no way he was keeping down the food he had had for breakfast and he pushed quickly passed his brothers, taking the steps two at a time and heading for the refreshing room in his bedroom.
    “What is it?”  Legolas watched him worriedly.
    Elrond grabbed Elrohir and pushed him towards the kitchen. “Go ask Celboril to make some of that tea that settles the stomach, quickly.”  He turned to Elladan and smiled ruefully at the twin, “You go be useful and fetch more wood for Estel’s fireplace.  Bring the extra blankets while you are at it,” he called after the elf as he moved quickly out of the room.
    “Lord Elrond, please!”  Legolas was highly frustrated at being left in the dark about his friend’s condition. 
    The elf lord smiled softly at the prince. “I take it this is the first time you have ever been around a sick human?”
    “Yes.”  He trailed the older elf as they quickly mounted the stairs. “What is it like to be sick?”
    “Well I take it that it is quiet uncomfortable…it's hard to explain Legolas.  Elves have no reference point.  When humans get ill, they often cannot eat, they ache, they are cold and then get hot.  Not unlike the fevers induced by poisoning that you have experienced, but not to worry. Estel will be fine.” Elrond glanced over his shoulder at the elf. “He’ll probably be glad for your company.”
    “What do I need to do?”
    “There is nothing you can do, except sit with him.”  They reached Estel’s bedchamber and the elf lord stopped the prince in the bedroom.  “I’ll go see to him.  Stay here until we come out.”
    With a nod Legolas glanced around wondering what he could do to be of help.
    Elrond found Aragorn seated on the floor, his head resting against the cool stone bowl situated on the far wall, one hand wrapped protectively around his stomach, the other holding him upright.  He didn’t move when he heard his father enter.  He hated being sick; it was embarrassing when your body betrayed your weakness especially in the company of a people who could not even relate to what you were experiencing.
    The elf knelt behind the man and brushed the human's hair away from his face, placing one large hand on Aragorn’s back.
    The ranger swallowed hard, trying to calm down; his breathing was quick and labored. 
    There was no answer, he simply nodded his head. 
    “Alright then.  Why don’t you get back into bed?”  Elrond’s hand moved gently across his back in soothing circles.
    Again only a simple nod.
    Slowly Aragorn moved back and stood to his feet following his father out of the bathroom.  He looked up sheepishly at Legolas.
    The elf started forward but Aragorn held up his hand, waving his friend off.  He crawled into bed and curled into himself facing the far wall as his father pulled the sheets back up over him.
    “Ah I see the young one is sick again.” Celboril entered the bedroom cheerfully, a mug of warmed tea in his hands.  “I’ve brought something to make you feel better in no time Estel.”
    Aragorn rolled over and smiled a lopsided grin at the servant. “Great, thanks.”
    When Celboril left the ranger glared at the older elf. “I am not drinking that. I can’t keep anything down.”
    “Estel, your body needs it. You will dehydrate easily in the state you are in and it will help settle your stomach.”
    The human shook his head no the entire time the elf lord spoke.
    Legolas interrupted them both, a smile stretching across his face as he approached the bedside.  Both human and elf stopped to watch as the prince sat on the edge of the bed and took the mug in his hands.
    He looked up over his shoulder at Elrond and smiled brilliantly at the elf lord. “I can be of use here. I know how to do this.”  The cryptic answer caused the older elf to smile and step back.  He crossed his arms and watched as Legolas glanced down at his friend.
    Aragorn was glowering at the prince.
    “Drink it.”  Legolas held the mug out towards him.
    The ranger stared hard at the prince.  He wasn’t even sure he could keep it down and he had no intentions of throwing up again with his friend around.
    Smiling dangerously the elf leaned forward and spoke quietly, his face right next to the ranger's as he did so.  “You drink it now or I will make a scene and force you to.  And you know good and well that I will, human.”  He whispered the words softly in the man’s ear.  It was not the first time they had had this particular conversation and Legolas’ grin was full of meaning.
    From his vantage point Elrond could not see Legolas’ face nor could he pick up the words even with his sharp elven hearing, but he watched as Aragorn tried to suppress a grin, a soft chuckle breaking from the ranger’s lips.
    The human turned his face towards the elf’s and whispered back just as softly, his breath moving the strands of blonde hair that hung down, “This is my house and I don’t have to here.  You can’t make me do anything here that I don’t want to.”
    Legolas laughed softly.  Freeing one of his hands from the mug he grabbed the side of the human’s face and held his friend still as he whispered back, “I can and I will.  I know how.  Shall I go fetch your brothers and perhaps the serving staff? I’m sure they’d love to watch. Or should we just keep this between you and me and your father?”
    Aragorn laughed and pushed his friend away. “You wouldn’t!?”  He groaned as his stomach twisted.
    “I would.” Legolas smiled down at his friend.  When the ranger just watched him, the elf drew in a breath of air and turned towards the doorway as though to call the rest of the house to him.
    “No wait!” Aragorn grabbed his arm, wrapping his fingers around the warm mug and jerking it out of his friend’s grasp. “I will! Don’t you dare.”
    Elrond watched fascinated, barely concealing his own laughter.
    Legolas raised an eyebrow and tapped the bottom of the mug with one slender finger.
    “Bratty elf,” the ranger growled playfully, pressing himself up in bed and taking a small sip of the tea.
    “Stubborn human.”  Legolas winked at Elrond before turning his attention back to the man. “More, drink more,” he encouraged the man, who rested against the headboard, pulling his knees up to his chest, the comforter falling in thick folds about him where he sat.
    “I am very impressed.”  Elrond finally spoke, a huge grin on his face.  “Someday, Legolas, you will have to tell me that secret of yours.  I have never been able to get him to take his medicine, even as a young child, as easily as you just did.”
    “Believe me, my lord, when I tell you it was not always so.”
    Aragorn snickered softly. “I wouldn’t be talking if I were you. I remember having to threaten you a time or two myself.” 
    Legolas glanced back at the large, dark eyes that watched him.  Aragorn’s eyelids drooped slightly and he blinked slowly, a frown creasing his brow as he took a good smell of the liquid he was drinking.  He looked at his father accusingly.
    “You are already feverish.  The sooner we break the fever the better,” Elrond explained.
    “That’s not fair.”
    “What isn’t fair?”  Legolas questioned.
    “It's not fair I get sick and you don’t,” he whispered softly as he tried to set the near empty mug on the table beside the bed.
    Legolas caught the cup and righted it as Aragorn’s fingers slipped limply from it.  His friend lay back on the pillows and watched the elf lord sleepily.  “I hate being sick”.
    Elrond leaned close and pushed the ranger's fever-soaked hair away from his face. “I know, my son.  Rest.  Tomorrow you will feel better.”
    With a small nod the human fell asleep, his breathing shallow and labored. 

    Elladan entered with an armload of wood.  Two blankets were balanced precariously on top of the stack.  Elrohir stepped in behind his brother directing his twin where to walk, as the elf could not see over the stack of supplies he carried.
    “Elrohir!”  Elrond glanced incredulously between the two twins, “Help your brother!”
    “I am.” The elf stopped and stared openly at his father, “He thought he could carry everything up the steps so I dared him to. I am helping him, helping him not to trip.”
    A soft curse from the far side of the room attracted their attention as Elladan ran into the edge of the chair situated in the corner near the fireplace.  He stumbled forward and barely kept hold of the load he carried before Elrohir jumped to his side and relieved him of the blankets piled on the wood.
    Elrond shook his head and sighed as the two bickered quietly between themselves.  Elrohir deposited the blankets on the bed and moved quickly back to help Elladan with the fireplace.  In no time a small fire warmed the room and cast its glow about the bed chamber.
    Aragorn shivered in his sleep, sweat beading on his forehead.  His eyes opened and he stared at Legolas, blinking several times before turning onto his side and sighing.
    “He is awake.”
    “No.” Elrond pushed the younger elf away and sat on the bed leaning over the human. “He sleeps, but he is feverish.  We need to break the fever. I was hoping the herbs would help in that.” The older elf gently pushed the human onto this back.
    “Father,” the twins had stopped in the doorway.  They continued when the elf lord glanced up at them, “Celboril says the cellar is empty. We really do need to go hunting today.  Moranuen, Glorfindel and a few of the others are willing to go.  May we?”
    “Yes, go ahead.”  The elf lord glanced at Legolas standing quietly behind him. “Legolas will be here to help me.”
    Elladan nodded quietly and the two left.
    “What shall I do?” Legolas asked softly, his eyes lighting back on the bed that held his friend.  Aragorn moaned softly, turning onto his side once more, a sigh escaping his lips.
    “Fetch me some water in that basin.” Elrond indicated a bowl that sat on a small table pressed against the far wall, “and a soft cloth. We need to lower his temperature.”
    “Lord Elrond?”
    “Yes, Legolas?”
    The elf moved quietly about the room gathering what was requested of him. “How is that humans get sick?”
    Elrond accepted the cloth from the younger elf and dipped it in the water bowl, his eyes watching the human he tended.  “No one is really sure.  Sometimes when one gets sick another one who is near him can also get sick.  Sometimes I think it has do with the change in weather or things borne on the air that we cannot see.  Their bodies are not as able as ours are to fight it off.”
    He brushed the ranger’s face with the cool cloth, wiping the sweat from his brow.  Pushing the blankets away from Aragorn’s upper body, Elrond laid the folded strip of cooled fabric across the young man's forehead while he unclasped the human’s tunic and opened his shirt.  Estel breathed in deeply as the air touched him and he swallowed hard, his eyes opening slightly.
    Elrond smiled down at the feverish gaze and spoke softly in elvish.  Whether the human heard him or not Legolas was unsure as Aragorn turned his face away, his eyes closing once more.  The elf lord took the square of cloth and dipped it back in the bowl, gently wiping down the ranger’s face and smoothing his hair back out of the way.
    “I have some herbs down in the storage room that would help.”
    Legolas took the cloth from the older elf, “Let me, you go get the herbs. You will be able to locate them more quickly than I.”
    With a small nod Elrond stood and left the room as the prince seated himself beside his friend.  Quietly he began to talk to the ranger.
    “So now the roles are reversed, my friend, and it is who am caring for you.”  He sighed softly to himself as the man moved slightly, his partly open eyes seeming to fix on the elf.  “I see why you hate being human.  It must have been hard growing up in a house where you were the only one who ever got sick.”
    The elf had thought that the man was not listening, but Aragorn’s eyes closed and he smiled slightly.  Seeing the effect his words had, Legolas continued, “Do you remember when you rescued me from the wraith?”  As expected there was no answer. “I think that was the closest I have ever come to being sick.  Perhaps I do understand a little how you feel.”
    Elrond stood quietly in the doorway listening as the prince spoke softly to his friend.
    “Poor Elladan and Elrohir, they probably didn’t know what to do with you did they?  Iluvatar was watching over you when He gave you to Elrond, you know that don’t you?”  Legolas laughed at his own thoughts. “Actually I think He was watching over both of us, my friend. Oh how many times have we drug ourselves back home to your father?  It is a good thing he is so very patient with us.”
    “Yes, it is indeed.” Elrond replied, hiding his humor.  He leaned over the startled prince and sprinkled a handful of herbs into the bowl the younger elf held, their fresh, sweet scent flooding the room. “I think Iluvatar was thinking of us all when He brought Estel into our lives.”  The elf lord smiled at the prince, handing him a small wooden stick, “Stir the herbs please, Legolas.”
    “It's not athelas,”  the prince commented as the scent wafted through the air.
    “No, something else.  Something more simple.  It always worked when he was a child.”  Elrond watched the human for any response to the thick, sweet smell. “It's lavender. His mother loved the smell.  Arathorn used to gather it in bunches at the end of a day's hunt to take back to her.  I think somehow Aragorn always remembered it.”
    The elf lord seated himself in an overstuffed chair near the foot of the bed, relaxing back into it.  “It always seemed to calm Estel.”  He smiled as the man relaxed almost imperceptibly underneath Legolas' light touch as the elf wiped the perspiration from his brow with the herb-laden cloth.
    “It’s working,” he whispered softly.
    “Yes it is.”  Elrond smiled. “That is good.  His fever should break soon.”
    Aragorn’s shallow breathing slowly deepened and evened out. In moments he was simply sleeping.
    Elrond stood and grabbed the extra blankets from the foot of the bed.  “Cover him up so he doesn’t catch a chill.  He will be fine now.”  He tucked the thick comforter under the man’s chin, gently brushing the back of his hand against the human’s cooling cheek before handing a blanket to the younger elf.
    “He’ll be alright?”
    “Yes.  We need to keep liquids in him for the next day or so after he awakens, but he’ll begin to feel better soon.”  Elrond walked back to the fire and placed another log onto it.  Sparks showered upward as the fire leapt around the new addition. “We can leave.  He’ll sleep for a while.”
    “May I stay?”  Legolas glanced at the elf lord who was walking towards the door.
    Elrond stopped in the doorway and returned the steady gaze. “Of course, Legolas.  If you like I will have Celboril bring you something to eat.  The twins should be back shortly. I imagine they will be eager to keep you company, entertaining you with their exploits no doubt.”  He laughed as he thought of the two elves.
    “That would be good.  Thank you, Lord Elrond,”  Legolas answered as he seated himself in the large chair, now vacant.
    “If you need anything, you have but to ask.”  Elrond paused once more.
    “When he awakens…?” Legolas was unsure what he would need to do.  He had no idea what type of care a sick human may need.
    “When he awakens just talk to him.”  Elrond smiled at the unsure elf. “He’ll be in a better mood even if he is a bit sluggish.” 


    The fire had dimmed and its low light cast soft shadows in the room.  The heat from the flames had lulled Legolas into a light sleep.  Aragorn watched him.  He had woken a bit ago, his mind dulled from the fever and his body aching from the infection it was fighting off.  He was content to lie under the pile of warm blankets and watch the flames dance in the hearth and the light rise and fall of his friend’s chest as he breathed shallowly in sleep.  Aragorn's throat was dry and scratchy but he had no desire to eat or drink anything, so he contented himself to lie still and let his mind roam thinking about his family and his friends.  He wondered what his life would have been like had he been raised by humans or even in an orphanage in one of the larger cities of men, like most children whose parents died were.  Silently he thanked Iluvatar for bringing him here, home.
    The front door opened and slammed shut as the twins entered, back from their hunt.  The sound startled the prince who woke with a start, glancing about him, his blue eyes resting on the silver ones that were watching him. 
    Aragorn smiled. “I think they are home,” he whispered, his voice rough from the dry throat.
    “How long have you been awake?” Legolas matched his tone and sat forward, leaning his elbows on his knees and resting his head in his hands.
    “A little bit.”
    “And you did not wake me?”
    “And have you mother me?”  Aragorn’s voice rose slightly.
    Legolas rolled his eyes.  “Please. I never mother you.”
    “No, that’s Elladan’s job.”  Elrohir stepped lightly into the room, smiling widely.  He sat on the edge of the bed and ruffled the young man’s hair.  “Feeling better?”
    Aragorn moved sideways trying to avoid the playful touch, but he smiled back at the elf.  “Yes. Yes, I am.  Why, you need someone to spot the game for you?”  He laughed at the wide-eyed laugh his response evoked.
    “Are you saying, little brother, that we need help with our hunting?”  Elrohir leaned down and grinned fiercely at the ranger.
    Freeing up one hand from the blankets tucked around him, Aragorn pushed the twin lightly back. “Knowing you and Elladan, you probably only got one buck between the two of you!”
    “I heard that!” Elladan stalked into the room and glanced at the man. “So you still live?”
    Aragorn rolled his eyes and shook his head, “Yes ,my brother, unfortunately for you I still do. So that means I am still father's favorite.”  He gave the twin a brilliant smile.
    “Brat.”  Elladan glowered at him playfully.
    “Jealous!” Aragorn threw back at the twin.
    “And he is too!” Elrohir ducked as Elladan swatted at him.
    “Whose side are you on?”
    “Are we picking sides?”  Moranuen leaned into the room, looking around the doorframe at his friend.
    “Mora, come in!”  Aragorn tried to push himself up in bed, but Elrohir simply placed his hand on the man’s chest and held him down.
    “Elrohir!” The ranger grabbed his brother’s wrist and wrenched the elf’s arm out from under him, unbalancing the twin so that he fell down across the human's chest.
    Legolas could help himself no longer and burst out laughing.
    “You are so clumsy.” Elladan stepped quickly near the bed and pulled his brother off of Aragorn.
    “Me!?”  Elrohir looked between his brother and Moranuen, “Why don’t you tell Estel why we were the only ones unsuccessful today!”
    Aragorn couldn’t hide his smile, his eyes darting between Mora and his brothers.  “Well?”
    “It wasn’t my fault!” Elladan glared at his twin who was laughing at him. “My horse spooked as we crossed a small game trail and one of those wild boars charged me.”
    “Go on...,”  Moranuen egged on the conversation. “There’s more and it gets better.” He winked at Estel.
    Elladan grimaced and glanced at the floor continuing quietly, “And I fell off the horse.”
    “You what?”  Aragorn touched his ear, raising his eyebrow and feigning not having heard what his brother had said.
    Legolas unsuccessfully tried to cover a small laugh, garnering him a glare as the eldest twin repeated himself, “I fell off my horse and the nasty beast returned home without me.  So I had to sit with Elrohir.”
    “And in the meantime they scared a herd of deer right down to Glorfindel.”  Moranuen was laughing, “His party got all we needed and we came home empty-handed because of these two.”
    “Two!” Elrohir turned indignantly towards the elf in the doorway.
    Elladan patted his twin on the back condescendingly. “Oh yes, dear brother. If I am to blame, so are you.”
    “And I missed all the fun.”  Aragorn grinned broadly at them all.  “It never fails.”
    Moranuen stepped quickly aside disappearing into the hall as Elrond pressed his way into the room.
    “I am sure that you will get your chance soon enough.”  He smiled at the elves seated in disarray around the room.  “A little quiet time at home won't hurt you at all.”
    “Might do you some good!”  Elladan taunted his brother.
    Aragorn smiled wickedly at the elf and leaned forward, “It appears that I am not the one who needs lessons in being quiet,” he answered sweetly as his brother stared at him open-mouthed.
    “Oh he got you there, brother.”  Elrohir quickly scooted away from his twin. 
    Elrond pressed the twins away from the bed. They left then with Moranuen, discussing at length just whose fault the afternoon’s fiasco was.  Before the elf lord could say anything to the ranger, Elladan poked his head back in the room and pointed at the human, “Don’t think you are getting away with that. I will not forget.”
    “Good.  I was hoping you wouldn’t! I’ll think of ways to teach you to be quiet while I lie in bed here.” Aragorn threw the threat back at the elf with a daring smile.
    “You’ll be spending a lot more time in that bed, little brother, if you…” Elladan's taunt was cut short as Elrond pushed the younger elf back and closed the door. 
    Shaking his head he moved once more to the bedside and sat on the edge of the mattress staring down into the smiling silver eyes of his youngest.  “You are going to get yourself in a lot of trouble, young man.”
    The ranger stifled a giggle. “He can't hurt me while I am in your care and, if this is anything like the last time, I’ll probably be home for a few more days.”
    Elrond gently placed his hand on the human’s forehead, letting his palm rest there for a moment.  “I do believe you will be at that, although your fever has broken.  How do you feel?”
    “Achey, tired and like I took on one of Elladan’s dares and lost.” He smiled back at the older elf.
    “Can you keep down any food?”
    “No.” The human groaned and shook his head.  His stomach was still uneasy and ill feeling.
    “Then I will have Celboril bring you some broth and you will drink it or I will let Legolas threaten you again.”
    Aragorn laughed lightly and scrunched down underneath the covers, tired out from the illness and the company. “I will drink it,” he promised, watching his father closely.
    “What is it, Father?”
    “You,”  Elrond answered cryptically.  “I always hated it when you got sick.”
    “Reminded you I wasn’t an elf?”
    “No, my son.”  The soft smile that the elven lord turned on the ranger caught at his heart. “It always reminded me of how very much we are not in control of our lives.  How easily and quickly I could lose you and how much I would hate that.”  He gently laid his hand against the human's cheek.  “There were years before you came that I was thankful that Elladan and Elrohir were past the stage of needing me so much.  But I became indifferent to life in a way and took it for granted.  It is easy to do as an elf, for one is rarely faced with death unless one wants to be.  And then you came and you taught us once more that all life is precious.”
    Aragorn didn’t answer, just listened; it was something he had never heard his father speak of. 
    The elf lord leaned down and kissed the young man’s forehead.  “Rest and get better, Estel.”
    “I will,” he answered as he threw an arm around the elf’s neck and hugged him quickly, like he used to do when he was little.
    Elrond sat back with a smile and glanced over at Legolas.  The prince was sitting quietly in the overstuffed chair, attentive but trying to be invisible.
    “You were right, Legolas. Iluvatar has been watching over us all.”  He stood from the bed and turned back to Aragorn once more, smiling down at the human. “I’ll have dinner brought up to you both.”
    When Elrond had left, Legolas picked the armchair up and drug it over nearer to the bed, placing it so that it faced Aragorn.  Settling back into the chair, the elf stared off into the fire. Neither of them talked for awhile.
    Finally Aragorn spoke up softly, “I’m glad you’re here.”
    Legolas turned sleepy eyes on his friend and reached his hand out to the human, grasping the ranger's in his own. “I’m glad your getting better, human. And I am glad I can't get sick!” he teased lightly, eliciting a soft snort of laughter from Aragorn.
    “Me too,” Estel whispered before he fell back asleep. 

The End

Stories > Series > Previous Story "Black Breath" > "Sickness" > Next Story in the Mellon Chronicles: "The Seventh Stone