Dangers of Non-Moving Trees by Perian Frost|
Disclaimer: I borrow the characters and places. I do not own them, no matter how much I wish it. (cries)
Rating: K+Ö just to be safe.
Summary: While on the run from the vengeance-seeking twins, Legolas meets some old orc 'friends' of his. He ends up hiding in a tree, injured, and wishing desperately for someone to come and help. The only problem is... he doesn't know which is worse, the orcs, or the furious twins
"Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!" Legolas murmured to himself. He was currently hidden in a tree, though he knew the ones who sought him would find him easily enough.
He shifted uneasily, feeling the jolt of pain as soon as he moved his right arm. The bone pressed roughly against his skin, threatening to push through the tender flesh. He had broken his humerus during his mad dash for the relative safety of the trees. He hadnít seen the cliff until he was right on top of it, his attention being rather firmly fixed on the score of orcs behind him.
His foot had stepped into empty air, and he had gotten a strange swooping sensation in his stomach, not unlike the one he got when he dropped from the top of a tree into the lower branches. The sensation of fallingÖ Only this time, it was completely unexpected, and he had no idea where he would end up.
He fell only ten feet, but the instant his foot touched down he was sent into a tripping stumble that jarred his ankles and knees. The steep hill was covered in loose shale that shifted and rolled under the slightest application of weight. Every foot he traveled, he was forced to do a mad sort of dance just to stay atop the tumbling rocks.
He scrambled frantically downwards at an ever-increasing speed, trying desperately to get ahead of the rockslide, but such a plan had no chance of succeeding. He tripped halfway down and went tumbling.
The sharp rock pricked at him from every possible angle, much like an enemyís sword, and Legolas would have personally preferred the sword. He at least could have picked off the attack with his knives, but he had no defense against the rocks but his arms, and he was using both of them at the moment for just that.
The last thing he needed at the moment was a head injury, so he used his arms to bat away any large, solid, missile that he saw coming, and even then, many small ones pelted his face and the back of his head.
As the ground leveled out, trees began to appear in his vision, approaching rather more quickly than he was used to. The first trees flashed by with no consequence, and even in this state, Legolas, ever the spirited wood-elf, noticed happily that the pine trees were growing sturdy and strong.
And then, one of those sturdy and strong trunks halted his progress with a painful crack.
He had been knocked unconscious for a few moments, how long exactly, he could not tell. And when he woke, he immediately wished he hadnít. His right arm throbbed mercilessly, and he had numerous cuts and bruises from the shale. Wincing, he let his left hand explore his upper arm, soon finding the source of the problem. The bone had been broken cleanly in half, and the edges of the break were rubbing against his muscles and tendons.
He looked longingly westwards, toward Imladris, only a dayís leisurely walk. He wished he hadnít gone quite so far from the safe haven, but his desire to be away from the place was so strong, it drove him to run as far as he could get.
Harsh, guttural voices reached his keen ears and he half-turned in the rubble, straining to see the top of the cliff. The orcs had reached the drop-off and were swarming down the slope like bees over honey.
With a groan, Legolas forced himself to his feet and staggered forward, clutching his injured arm close to his chest. He fell into a smooth easy jog, not daring to go any faster, and traveled deep into the forest, twisting, turning, doubling back, trying to make the trail as difficult to follow as possible.
He finally settled in a tree, concealed by the helpful branches to the point where he was all but invisible.
From there, he sat and watched and waited, thinking back to the event that had caused him to flee from the realm of Imladris.
He hadnít been to Imladris for months, and one day, during a particularly trying time in which he was appointed teacher to three rambunctious elflings, he had decided it was time for a visit. He had begged and cajoled a friend of his called Nethidal into taking his place for a couple of weeks, and had left that night.
He traveled fast and light, and had reached Imladris in a record time, but instead of appearing in broad daylight, he had decided to give the half-elven family a surprise, and waited until deep nightfall, when his movements would not be detected.
He spent the day hunting for frogs, mice, and ants, and relaxing, plotting his means of attack. He had left with a humiliating burn across his cheeks, caught in a rare moment of collaboration between the twins and Elrond, during which the Peredhilís had teamed up to dye his bathwater purple, and his hair-soap an obnoxious green He intended to return triumphantly with a vengeance.
Near three in the morning, he roused himself and collected his ammunition. He crept into the house and up the stairs as stealthily as he would into a spider nest. The consequences of being caught here though, were much worse.
Wood-elves were reputed to be good at communicating with animals, and Legolas used his abilities to their full extent He talked the mice into scurrying into Elrohirís room, the ants into Elladanís, and the frogs into the elven-lordís, with strict instructions to go directly upon the occupants and commence a specific mode of attack.
This done, he retrieved rope from his pack and looped it around Elrondís doorknob tightly. Playing it out behind him, he swiftly moved down the hall to Elladanís room and repeated the process, and again at the youngest twinís door.
As he pulled the rope tight, howls of surprise emanated from all three rooms. Legolas quickly ducked into an alcove and watched and listened, shaking with laughter. Muffled thumps and curses sounded from Elrondís room, which was nearest, and Legolas could only imagine what was happening inside.
In unison, the three half-elves made it to their door and pulled upon the handle, intent on getting out of their rooms immediately. The rope stretched slightly, but did not give, and so, the doors (being tied together) remained tightly shut.
Legolas let this go on for a moment, listening with a delighted grin, before removing one of his knives from its sheath and moving out. He did not want to be discovered quite yet, and the pounding of the feet rushing to the aid reminded him that he would soon be joined by other elves. All of who, no doubt, would be quite pleased to hold him for his punishment.
He began to wish that he had not pulled so many pranks on the Imladris inhabitants.
With a swift stroke of the knife, the rope was cut, allowing all three doors to open rather suddenly, sending the half-elves tumbling head over heels back into their rooms. They did not remain for long however, and they soon met in the middle of the hallway.
Legolasís slender shoulders shook with his effort to hold his laughter under control. Elladan was leaping from here to there slapping frantically at his clothes, Elrohir was bouncing up and down, trying to keep his bare feet away from the miceí sharp teeth, and the lord of Imladris was looking quite undignified with a frog on his head and a dozen more clinging to his night robe.
Quite suddenly, they looked up and three pairs of furious grey eyes met a pair a twinkling blue. The wood-elf stood straight, a devious smile across his fair features as he said, "Good morning, my lords."
He bowed low, smiled again, and fled.
Legolas had to laugh, remembering. He had no doubt that the twins were even now searching, thoughts bent on revenge. He held to the idea, not only because it made him chuckle, but because it meant there was a fair chance of them coming upon him and helping him out of this mess.
Well, maybe they would. It would most likely depend on how many ant-bites Elladan had received, and whether or not Elrohir had escaped the nibbling mice.
He shifted once more, thanking the tree for supporting him as he did so, and closed his eyes. He was tired, and the tree would protect him well enough. Placing a hand gently on his injured arm, he fell asleep, blue eyes staring skyward.
"Gwador-nin, when we find that dratted elfling, I am going to hurt him."
"You will have to get in line!" Elladan promised, grey eyes scanning the trail ahead for sign of a wood-elfís passing. His back itched, reminding him of the awful feel of dozens and dozens of tiny ant feet crawling all over him. He noticed out of the corner of his eye that Elrohir was unconsciously lifting one foot off the ground, replacing it, and repeating the process with the other foot. He suspected his twin was remembering the mice.
They continued, finding signs of a quick flight with little regard for covering tracks. Apparently, Legolas feared their wrath, and rightly so!
And then they found something that chilled their blood, turning it to ice though it was mid-summer.
Orc-tracks, and by the look of it, nearly a score of the beasts. And further on, the imprints of an elven boot, heavy enough to indicate that the elf was running hard.
The twins picked up their pace, and found that the trail turned very little, instead leading them on a straight run for the edge of a forest.
Elrohirís attention became completely fixed on the forest, resulting in a rather painful tumble as Elladan caught up and threw himself at his twin. They came to a disheveled stop at the edge of a small cliff.
Elrohirís heart went to his throat as he considered the long and painful tumble he would have suffered if he had tumbled over the edge. The entire hill was covered in sharp rock that looked unstable, and perfectly willing to slice an incautious elf to ribbons.
"Hannon lle," he breathed, getting to his feet.
"You are worse than Legolas!" Elladan scolded, accepting his twinís proffered hand and standing up. "When will you learn tható"?
He broke off mid-sentence, and Elrohir never did find out what exactly he was supposed to learn. Four ells from Elladanís right boot were the telltale boot-prints of an orc. Beyond that, a long but light skid mark, disappearing over the side.
The twins stared at each other in sudden horror.
"He went over."
Moving quickly as they dared, the two picked their way down the treacherous slope, becoming more nervous every second that passed without showing them some sign of their missing friend.
Elladan reached the bottom first, and he wasted no time in searching for something, anything, that would tell them if their friend had made it through the deadly slide, for he had no doubt that Legolas and his pursuit had been the cause.
Elrohir's cry brought the elder twin at a dead run. Elrohir stood a little ways into the forest, hand against a tree. The rocks at his feet were scattered, and a clear space indicated where something had been lying. A small amount of elvish blood was spattered on the ground, but not as much as there would have been if Legolas had been severely injured
"The tree says... that its is grieving." Elrohir explained, eyes glazing over as he spoke to the pine. "It is upset because it hurt an elf, though unintentionally. Apparently the rocks carried Legolas into the trees at high speed, and Legolas was propelled into the trunk. That is all I understand."
Elladan nodded. He himself wouldn't have gotten so much information. His brother was the better of the two at speaking to trees, though nowhere near as good as a wood-elf.
He was about to speak, when the forest echoed with a wild battle cry, long and guttural.
They stared at each other, each feeling the clutch of dread at the back of their necks. Then they were off, running as fast as their legs could carry them.
The cry sounded again, much closer than the last. Elrohirís heart pounded, fear for his friend overwhelming him, lending him extra speed. Only moments before, he had been determined to find his young friend and throttle him, and now he was terrified of some creature doing the deed for him.
He was barely aware of drawing his sword, only knew that was in his hands, and that Elladan was similarly armed. They burst into a clearing a moment later, and what they saw made their blood boil.
Legolas was trapped in the center of a ring of jeering orcs; knife in hand, one arm dangling crookedly by his side. Two orcs lay dead at his feet, the rest poking spears in his general direction, unwilling to come too much closer, for fear of falling beneath that deadly blade. Never mind that they far outnumbered the elf, each was too cowardly to draw the attention of the fair being so that its comrades could swarm in.
Elrohir breathed a silent prayer of thanks for the stupidity and gutlessness of the orcs. But as he and his brother charged in, one of the orcs plucked up its tiny bit of courage and came forward. Even as it fell, three more darted in, and then the wood-elf was on the ground unconscious, and bleeding profusely.
The twins came in brutally, making short work of the unsuspecting orcs. The creatures stood no chance against them; they worked in perfect tandem, well attuned to each otherís style, and they were furious. In minutes, they had picked off the foul creatures, with only slight scratches to show for their trouble.
Sheathing his sword, Elladan went to Legolasís side and gently rolled the elf onto his back. The princeís eyes were closed, though the fluttering lashes told the elder elf that his friend would wake soon. The problem was, Elladan thought in resignation, Legolas was going to be in severe pain when he woke, and most likely, he would be completely close-mouthed about it.
"Elfling, why is it always you?"
"Iím not an elfling," Legolas replied, though his voice was no more than a raspy whisper. "I am only two hundred years younger than you!"
Elladan raised an eyebrow. "Well, I thought only elflings set wood-land creatures upon their unsuspecting elders."
"You look like Elrond when you do that," Legolas said, cracking a dim smile. He wisely chose to ignore the wood-land creature remark, thinking vainly that perhaps the twinís and Elrond would justÖ. forget about the incident altogether, and not exact any type of revenge.
After all, the last time the twins had set their vengeful sights on him, he had walked (or rather crawled) away with tree sap in his hair, glue on the seat of his leggings, a thick pink paste that dyed his face bright pink, and the laces of his boots tied together. He would sooner face the orcs then the twins with their backs up.
"Are you well?"
"Well enough." Legolas sat up slowly, blinking as his vision blurred and cleared. "My upper arm is broken, but I donít believe I am too badly injured otherwise."
Elladan caught his eyebrow before it could travel up his forehead; Legolas took one look at him and edited his previous remark. "Well, my ribs hurt as well, and my right thighÖ"
Elladan nodded, satisfied. He began to rip several strips of cloth from his traveling cloak to use as makeshift bandages. His brother returned from scouting the immediate vicinity and smiled when he noticed Legolas sitting up. "Well, well, the elfling has survived!"
Legolasís shoulders slumped, his dark brows snapped together, and he stared at Elrohir, face crinkled in a scowl. "If we must go through this all againÖ"
The younger twin laughed and gently helped Elladan first bind the worst of the cuts, and then to lift their friend to his feet. "Mellon-nin, with you, we never know whatís going to happen next. We figure we should always remind you of your place, before you usurp ours. Your place at the moment is right below us."
Legolasís jaw dropped. "Who just organized legions of mice and ants to attack you in your beds? I believe I am one above you."
They started toward Imladris, pausing by the agitated tree whose trunk Legolas had connected with so that the wood-elf could reassure the pine that no lasting harm had been done.
And as they went toward the Elven realm, their voices could clearly be heard echoing through the crisp, clear air.
"No, you stubborn bratling prince! Our pranks are far superior!"
"I highly doubt it."
"Why, Elrohir, he disbelieves in our abilities!"
"Unforgivable, brother. We will have to remedy that."
A pause. Then, "Oh dearÖ"
Hannon lleóThank you