Disclaimer: I do not own Lord of the Rings or Buffy, they belong to J.R.R. Tolkien and Joss Whedon who are more exalted authors than myself.
LEGEND: italics - Faiths POVWARNING SOME ELF TORTURE IN THIS CHAPTER ONLY
Part 1 - PrologueA young woman lay in a prison cell dreaming, for although she was not free, the occasional vision still visited her, such as the one that she was now observing. Somehow she knew the names of these people and that they were Champions for Good
Tower of Saruman
Heir of Gondor hear my voice
Now I give to you a choice
To become the king is what you seek
If so, the elf will soon grow weak
The closer to your goal you gain
The more he will feel fear and pain
He will never find a moment’s peace
Till he begs you for his life to cease
I have set the price, I do not lie
If you be king, the prince must die.
So saying this let it begin
Fools all, you cannot win.
With this Saruman aimed his staff at Legolas and a stream of black energy poured into him and began to wind itself around the lithe body before disappearing into it.
Part 2 – A Greenleaf Falls
Gandalf turned towards the Prince, tracing the stream back with his eyes before he aimed his own staff at the source of the black stream and let lose a bolt of white, yelling as he did so. “Your staff is broken, Saruman. You shall harm him no more.” With that the evil Maia’s staff disintegrated in his hand.
Unfortunately the initial black stream struck the elf so hard it knocked him off his horse into the water. Eomer, who was closest to where the elven prince had fallen, jumped into retrieve the elf who was now floating face down.
“You and your Master shall not win,” Gandalf yelled before collecting the Hobbits and Gimli and splashing his way towards Legolas. All the while praying to the Valar to help the young prince who he looked on with great affection, Gandalf was loath to admit it but he was not entirely sure he would be able to lift the curse.
Meanwhile as though in a silent dream, Eomer gently turned Legolas over and was shocked to see black lines spreading like vines intertwining all over the beautiful face. Swiftly and carefully he began to gather the elf to him, but the elf simply gasped in agony as soon as he was touched. Thinking quickly he took hold of the bottom of the elf’s cloak and began to pull it gently towards the dry steps that lead to the door of the Tower of Isengard.
He was joined shortly after by a shocked Aragorn, “Why have you left him in the water Eomer?” He cried as he went to lift Legolas’ body out of the cold water.
Before Eomer could explain however there was another scream of agony from the Elven Prince and they both watched in mounting horror as not only did the black lines now entwine the elf’s pale hands, those same hands started to twist until they heard the unmistakable sound of bones breaking.
Legolas was now shivering violently, and the healer in Aragorn knew immediately that his friend had gone into shock and they would loose him for sure if it was not dealt with immediately.
With that he called for his horse and Legolas’s horse to come to the steps. Retrieving his saddle bag he pulled out a spare set of clothes, his bedroll and a blanket. Then he retrieved a spare set of clothes from Legolas’ saddlebag.
“Eomer, keep Legolas floating there, while I arrange somewhere to put him.” As Eomer nodded, Aragorn moved to the top step and laid out his own spare clothes then placed his bedroll over the top to try and make it as soft as he could. “All right Eomer bring him up to the step below this one where we can get him out of those wet things into some dry clothes and then bundle him up to keep him warm.”
But the task of undressing Legolas proved to be a test of both men’s dedication as every movement seemed to increase the Prince’s pain. When he was at last minus the soaked clothes, Aragorn wrapped him in the blanket to dry him off but not before he noticed that the black lines had covered the elf’s entire body. It was then that Legolas finally found his shaky voice, “Est…Estel p…please… the b…blanket is enough. N …No clothes.”
“Very well, come, you are suffering from shock and need to be made warm before it becomes much worse.” With that Aragorn guided his stumbling friend to the bedroll where for once the elf did as he was told gladly. Once that was done Aragorn lay the Prince’s spare clothes over the top of him.
Despite the dire situation, the dark haired young woman’s eyes fell on the one called Prince Legolas and took in the body that obviously was something special despite the black lines that now invaded it... As was her nature she couldn’t help admiring his physique and the Prince’s once handsome face.
It was only then that Aragorn’s acute senses felt and heard the sound of the door next to them open. A greasy head appeared around the side of the door and hissed slyly, “See what he has done to your friend why don’t you come in and mete out the justice Saruman deserves. Surely your friend deserves to be avenged.”
“Then you would have a safe place to tend the elf.” Grima Wormtongue urged, confident that he had hit a nerve with the two in front of him.
When both men hesitated he quickly added, “I have no power to harm you here, all that I had was taken by Saruman.” He added mirthlessly, “He does not tolerate anyone who has any power other than him.”
“I can show you how to get to the top of the tower while Lord Eomer watches over the elf.” He continued silkily.
“Aragorn, I’ll go and exact your justice for you and for me as I would dearly love to make him suffer for what he did to my Uncle and cousin. You stay with Legolas, I am no healer but I am a warrior.” Eomer had inched closer to the door as he was speaking and soon as he finished he stepped through it”
The ranger looked resignedly at the door then back at Legolas to discover the elf had closed his eyes. Never a good sign for an elf, forgetting in his own distress the state of the prince’s body, he started to shake him which caused poor Legolas so much pain that he cried out.
The prince opened his eyes and his mouth and choked out, “Lord Elrond said that each shall go as far as they will, I believe that the Valar have seen fit to decide this is where I should remain. Estel, without the use of my hands I will be unable to use my weapons to protect myself or you and the rest of the company.” He began to shiver once more.
“Legolas, I wish I could give you something for the pain but I can’t while you are still in shock. You know that I will have to splint your hands.”
“I am afraid my friend that it has spread from my hands and arms to my feet and legs just from standing up. Will you be able to splint those as well? When my spine no longer holds me upright and I am robbed of my eyes and ears. What of my ribs when they begin to crack and I can no longer breathe.
You must face the truth of this situation my brother, my elven healing will never be able to cope with what is to come. I will not be able to move without fear of something else breaking. I will never again walk within the forest and converse with the wisest of us all. No one will be able to comfort me for all who touch me will cause me pain. I do not wish to die an invalid, relying on someone else for everything. That is not the way a warrior would wish to die.” The elf paused straining to see his brother warrior’s face.The young woman had to agree with the elf, for she too was a warrior and would not wish to die that way. Besides she had no friends that would be willing to take care of her like the Prince obviously had.
“Legolas, it is not like you to just give up like this. Please, do not talk as if you will be leaving Arda soon. We will get through this as we have always done by sticking together. I will leave no stone unturned in my hunt to relieve you of this accursed affliction.” The ranger’s eyes were misty as he tried to think of some reason for his best friend to remain with his family and friends. But deep in his heart he knew that everything that Legolas had just said was indeed going to happen.
Taking a deep steadying breath Aragorn none the less tried to lighten his friend’s plight, “Besides my brothers and sister would never speak to me again, if I was the reason for your parting. As for your father I think I would rather face Sauron himself than your father’s wrath. So you see you cannot leave since you know what will become of me if you do.” He tried to smile despite his heavy heart.
“Estel, I know what will become of you. I have always believed you will be a remarkable king as you have always been a remarkable friend. I will always believe myself blessed by the Valar themselves for the extraordinary gift of knowing you. I know you will have nothing to fear from your brothers, sister or my father as you will help each other through my passing.” Legolas stopped again as he was once more rocked by shivers then gasped as he felt his ribs constricting. He could also feel the cold tendrils reaching towards his eyes and he knew he would have to hurry to get this last said and done.
Breathing heavily Legolas continued, “Do not spend time trying to find a way to help me, for you have important tasks to accomplish and people relying on you to lead them. I am but one, and you can help a whole world, I believe in my heart that it is a fair trade. I ask however that you take care of my father for it will be hardest on him. Lastly remember I will be always with you in spirit.”
Legolas hesitated before speaking again, “Will you help ease my passing?” Legolas squinted to see if Estel would give him this last gift of brotherly love.”
“Forgive me for the weakness I am showing by asking you to do this last for me, but would you really wish to condemn me to such a drawn out death when you have the knowledge and the means to help me avoid it.” Legolas tried to meet his friend’s eyes but could only see the webbing in front of them.
He heard movement and was able to discern enough to know that Estel had reached into his pack. The elven prince tried to let out a sigh of relief but was now panting from the pain.
Indeed Aragorn could see that his friend was struggling and the magnificent blue eyes were beginning to sport the telltale black lines at the edges. Reaching into his pack for his herb bag, he pulled it out along with a flask of water and began to crush the most powerful pain relief and sleep inducing herbs together before adding them to the flask and swishing it around to mix it together. Then he turned to the others who were now assembled to the side of the large landing.
Aragorn determined to give his friend what last vestige of dignity he could, “Legolas would you like to sit up against me while you say goodbye to them? Then I will give you some herbs to ease the pain.” The nod the elf prince gave was followed by a gasp of agony which caused the elf to close his eyes. Quickly Aragorn sat behind the elf and pulled the still panting elf against his chest.
Legolas opened his eyes to try to give the effect he could see, but the others could tell by the black pattern in his eyes that it was a falsehood.
0o0o0o0o0As she observed the noble sacrifice taking place in front of her, the young woman couldn’t help but feel the loss that was about to take place as keenly as those who were actually there. She couldn’t shake the feeling that an important light was about to be snuffed out.
She jumped despite her training as a soft male voice spoke from beside her although there was no one there, “Does the Prince’s plight move you young one?” It asked.
“Well, yeah of course it does, and who the hell are you anyway?” She continued to look around her suspiciously.
“I am one of what you would call the Powers that Be, but in the world you are observing we are known as the Valar and I have come to you to appeal for your help. It is not the Prince’s destiny to die, for he still has much to do before that happens. Would you save him if it was within your power to do so?” The voice asked quietly.
“Nothing on his world can have any affect on that curse, but you have special abilities that can be used to help him.” The Valar continued.
“Okay you mean you need a Slayer to help him, then why didn’t you go to Buffy this is more her kind of thing not mine.” She replied petulantly.
“Because young one you are the one in need of redemption not Buffy. By using your powers to help Legolas you can earn that very thing.
But I will not lie to you it will be very painful, you see to help him you must share the pain of the curse. He is an elf and usually his own unique healing abilities would be enough to help him mend, but the curse has overwhelmed them. He knows that and is allowing it to happen quicker than it should so that his friends will not have to help him. If you share his pain, your own healing abilities will be enhanced so you can heal faster, we would not have you go through unnecessary pain.
It is only a temporary solution however, to make it permanent you must convince him to bond with you. That is you must make love to him, but if you do, it will be considered that you are married.” He finished hopefully.
“You want me to do what! Let me get this straight, not only do I have to take on his pain but I have to convince him to marry me as well. You must be off your rocker.” She wanted desperately to turn away from the scene in front of her but her eyes would not leave the one she was being asked to help.
“Faith, your powers are being wasted here and they are needed there, would you rather spend more time in this cell. If you agree I can send you right now.”
Faith thought about what she would be getting in return and had to admit the thought of having such an easy on the eye husband, was not that hard to take. She would have proper warriors to fight along side, not those jumped up Scoobies that Buffy kept around her. Especially since she had lived on the streets and fought on her own most of her life.
“Alright I accept, now how do I get there, and I don’t suppose you could spring for some new clothes. I don’t really want to turn up in my prison stuff.” The dark haired Slayer answered resignedly.
No sooner had she mentioned it when her clothes changed into black leather pants and dark green leather jacket. Underneath this was a soft silky pale blue shirt. To top off the ensemble there was a pair of black leather boots that were the most comfortable she had ever had on and a dark green knee length hooded cloak. At her side was a pack, an ornate bow and a quiver full of the finest arrows. Also lying on the ground next to the bow was a leather scabbard that on closer inspection held a finely crafted sword with four sparkling gems set in the hilt. She guessed that one may by an emerald and another to be a sapphire.
“The suit you wear now will allow you to heal without the use of splints and bandages.” The Valar added.
“Cool, what’s in the pack, Valar?” she enquired as she strapped on the bow, quiver scabbard and grabbed the pack.
“Just things you will need.” From out of nowhere one vial and two silver circlets appeared floating in front of her. “The circlet with the emerald is yours and the one with the sapphire belongs to Legolas. By wearing them you will be able to share and ease his pain. You will also be the only one who will be able to touch him without hurting him. When you are ready drink the potion and you will wake up next to Legolas and his companions. Good Luck Faith, all of Arda thanks you for what you are undertaking.”
With that the presence disappeared, Faith grabbed the circlets in the same hand as the pack and the vial in the other and downed the open vial in one gulp. She felt like she was fading away into mist.
Just as the others were preparing to say goodbye to their friend, a mist started to appear next to the elf and when it cleared they were staring at the body of a young woman with long dark hair. Before they had time to even cry out, the young woman opened her eyes and started to get up as she spoke. “Whoa, that was interesting. Ok, I’m Faith and the Valar have sent me to help Prince Legolas. So scruffy looking guy, if you would just hand him over, I can get started.”
By this time she had placed the pack by her feet and had placed a silver circlet on her head, those on the step noticed she held a second one in her hand.
Those gathered were surprised when Legolas panted out, “Estel, it is the will of the Valar, Please!” Aragorn stared down at the blond archer and then over to Faith who was dressed as a warrior not a healer. However he couldn’t deny his friend and he reluctantly handed the elf over aware of the pain that simple movement would cause.
Indeed Legolas gasped until Faith held him in her arms and expecting to feel the pain of more breaking bones was amazed when nothing happened.
“Ok, if you would just spread those clothes out a bit more to accommodate both of us, I’ll lie down next to him and do my thing.” Faith ordered.
Once Legolas was lying down again she placed the circlet on his head and quickly lay down next to him. Almost immediately she felt the pain and bit her lip to try not to cry out, but as her own bones began to break she had great difficulty in not tearing the circlet from her head. She felt her feet and hands were breaking and she tried to take her mind off the pain by composing a list of the breaks and what healing would be needed.
While the others were watching in horror at what was happening, Gandalf came to stand next to Aragorn and gripped his shoulder. “Do not interfere in the process, Aragorn, I know your healer’s heart is crying out to tend both of them and so you shall, but it is up to them when that should happen.” He told the ranger in a stern voice.
Just as these words were spoken the circlets fell from the couple’s heads and they lay still for a moment before Faith began to gasp. “Hey you, Scruffy, if that concoction you made is for killing pain then get over here and start passing it out, before I do.”