11. In The Beginning
In the beginning, there was pain. And I felt the pain, that it was bad. And I said, "Let there be aspirin." And lo, there was no aspirin, nor was there water with which to swallow the aspirin had there been any aspirin. And thus, I said, "Let there be ibuprofen, or Excedrin, or Tylenol, or something. And lo, there was no ibuprofen, or Excedrin, or Tylenol or anything; there was naught but the pain.
I moaned into the pillow, which surely was made of some sort of rock, and rolled over. This proved to be a bad idea, for that's when the nausea hit. Despite the pounding of my head I managed to swing my legs out of bed and stagger to the bathroom before emptying what little contents were left in my stomach.
That's where he found me, lying face down on the floor of what was supposed to pass as a bathroom, my head next to the chamber pot in case my stomach should decide to act up again. He lifted me easily into his arms and carried me back to bed. Although he placed me down gently, it still jarred my aching head. I opened one eye and saw…Legolas?
He sat down on the bed next to me as I moaned again and covered my face with my arm. I felt his hand behind my neck, trying to prop me up, and I pushed it away.
"Drink this," he said softly. "You will feel better."
I opened my eye again. He was holding a cup out to me.
"It won't stay down."
"It will," he insisted, reaching behind my head so he could hold it up enough for me to swallow.
I figured I was probably going to throw up either way and if I drank, maybe he would go away and let me die in peace. I allowed him to place the cup to my lips and tip it up – not that I was in any condition to stop him. I held the thick warm liquid in my mouth, afraid to swallow.
"If you keep it in your mouth, it will not help you."
I closed my eyes and swallowed. I braced myself for the wave of nausea that was sure to hit. It never came. I didn't feel better, but I certainly didn't feel any worse.
Legolas gently lowered my head down to the pillow. He pulled the blankets up over me and I didn't hear him walking away so I opened my eyes. He smiled at me and leaned down to adjust the blankets.
"I will return to check on you in a while. In the meantime, try and sleep. You should feel better when you wake."
He turned and left the room, which was good since whatever was in the drink he gave me was causing me to slip quickly into sleep.
When I woke, I found myself alone in the room again. I took stock of my condition. Headache: gone. Nausea: gone. Legolas: gone, but totally my hero at that point in time. I had to get the recipe for that concoction he made me drink. These elves had some handy things.
I lay still for several moments, trying to discern if movement would bring back the symptoms. Risking a relapse into misery, I sat up. It wasn't so bad. I didn't feel great, but I wasn't willing death to come swiftly anymore.
It was at that point I realized I was kind of hungry. As I sat there, wondering if I had the strength and the motivation to get out of bed and go find some food, someone knocked on the door.
"Come in," I called. Wow. My voice sounded like I had been doing shots of sandpaper last night.
The door opened and in walked Legolas, carrying a tray with food on it. He placed it down on the dressing table, came over and sat on the foot of the bed.
"How are you feeling?" he asked.
"Better." I smiled at him. He was the awesomest elf ever, bringing me food. But then I realized who wasn't here, bringing me food and I narrowed my eyes suspiciously at him. "Where's Justin?"
The briefest frown crossed Legolas's face. "He is not here." he stated simply.
"Thanks. I can see that. But where is he?"
"Do not worry; he is fine."
Legolas did not betray any emotions on his face, but when a question is being avoided, it is fairly obvious. Growing impatient, I folded my arms across my chest.
"I didn't ask you if he was here, or if he is fine. I asked where he is."
Without a word, Legolas got up and walked over to the dressing table. He picked up the tray of food and brought it over to the bed. He set it down on my lap, the whole while not meeting my eyes. A knot began to form in my stomach and it was not from the alcohol I had consumed the night before.
"Legolas, you're starting to worry me. Where is my husband? What's wrong with him? Why isn't he here?"
Legolas pressed his lips into a thin line and sat back down next to me on the bed. Finally, he looked up at me. "Do you remember nothing of last night?"
"Do you not remember telling Elladan you never kissed an elf?"
I vaguely remembered that, and a game of I Never, and hysterical hobbits sitting next to me, and some fight about someone kissing someone else's sister. I rubbed my head, which was starting to hurt again.
"Yeah, I remember that." Then something dawned on me and I shook my head. "But what does that have to do with Justin? He wasn't even there."
Legolas took a deep breath. "Do you remember anything that happened after that?"
I scrunched my eyes shut and tried to remember. Everything was hazy. Everything, that was, except how Elladan's eyes looked right before I said what I said.
"I think I remember Elladan storming off."
Legolas cocked an eyebrow. "Do you remember following him?"
I tried really hard to remember following Elladan.
Legolas took another slow deep breath.
"Please, Legolas, tell me what happened. Tell me where my husband is and why he is not here." Tears were beginning to well up in my eyes. I had a very bad feeling about this. What had I done?
"You ran after Elladan. Elrohir, saying he must make sure you did not kill each other, followed you. The rest of us returned to our chambers. Later, Elrohir came to my chambers and asked me to look after you. You were unconscious and he carried you to your room. Your husband was not there."
My heart was beating wildly. What had happened to Justin? But didn't Legolas say he was fine?
Legolas continued, "I came here and saw you were sleeping peacefully. When I returned to my room, your husband was there."
Legolas stopped talking and glanced at the door. He looked down at the bed. His eyes traveled over the food on the tray.
"What?" Was I missing something? "Go on. There must be more. It's not making sense."
Legolas met my gaze. "You remember nothing of what happened after you followed Elladan?" I shook my head. "Justin said he saw you in the woods with Elladan and he did not wish to return to his chambers. He would say naught else."
It felt like my heart had stopped beating, and then it was pounding in my chest. Words failed me. My throat felt closed, so even if I had words, they wouldn't have come out. I looked down at the bed, hating the way Legolas was looking at me; hating Legolas, hating everybody, but mostly, hating myself. And the worst of it was I did not even know what had happened, what Justin had seen. What did I do?
"Please, leave." I managed to choke out. I just wanted to be alone. I felt the tears start to roll down my cheeks. What had I done?
I felt the bed shift as Legolas stood up. I did not look at him. I could not look at him.
"I will be down by the river later today. Your husband wishes for me to help him improve his skills with a bow."
"Why are you telling me this?" I whispered.
"Now you know where he will be, if you choose to speak with him."
I did not hear any footsteps, but the slamming of the door let me know I was once more alone.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.