11. Journeying in Darkness
"Maeve!" He screamed and launched himself into a staggering run, his shoulder sagging down and making him feel as if he was pulling a lead weight along with him. When he reached her side he dropped back down on his knees and reached for her hands, which had already begun to grow cold. The light that shines around all elves from the moment they are born had begun to dim around her still form.
"You can't be dead, you just can't…" He whispered as he pushed her soaking wet cloak aside and desperately tried to find her pulse. It was still there, but weak. At this small sign of life Telir let out a sigh of relief and sat back, trying to decide what to do next. Maeve did not even make a sound, nor did she stir.
It was at least another five days to Rivendell. He could maybe make it to the outskirts of the Homely House in two if he was lucky and traveled fast, but it still might not be in time. She was weakening quickly, though he still did not know why. Either way, the arrow sticking from her chest would have to be removed.
A hint of a smile crossed his face as he wrapped his hands around the foul arrow and prepared the many bandages that would be needed. It seemed like just yesterday to him that he was holding an elf child in his arms, wondering if she would survive the night. This night was the same as the one two years ago, only now he did not tend a child. He tended a warrior.
Closing his eyes and grimacing, he wrenched the arrow from her body and tossed it to the side. She screamed and her crystal eyes shot open in pain, almost jumping up if not for the steady hand that held her to the earth. Quickly, Telir reached for the bandages that he had found in his pack and wrapped them around her, failing to notice the tinge of poison that pulsed around the wound.
"Shhh…you'll be fine." He hummed slowly to her as he carefully examined her for any other wounds. It didn't take him long to follow the trail of silver blood back to the wound in her shoulder that was so much like his own. After bandaging that as well, he sat back and watched as her eyes wearily darted around, trying to get a slight grip on reality.
"I…am so sick, Telir." She murmured, too weak to reach up and brush away the raindrops from her face. "The arrow has grazed my heart. I will not make it to Rivendell." Telir scooted closer to her and removed his own cloak, wrapping it tightly around her to drive away the cold. She nodded in approval, then grimaced.
"No, you won't die. I can get you there in two days and then the Lord Elrond himself can care for you." He said, clutching her hand. She managed a small smile and a sigh before closing her eyes and leaning back, trying hard to believe that they could make it over the mountains in just two days.
Gently, Telir reached down and scooped her up into his arms. His horse came after only one whistle and he cautiously deposited her atop the stallion. After climbing up after her they headed off into the early morning mist.
"Haldir." Celeborn's voice was commanding but yet kind at the same time as he approached the March Warden on foot, having left both his horse and his wife waiting at the border. "Might I have a word with you?" Haldir nodded and stepped down from the small tree-platform from which he had been looking out over the lands, keeping his bow by his side.
"How might I be able to assist you, my lord?" Haldir replied, a stern kind of reporting-for-duty look on his face. He had been feeling much better for the past few days, seeing as he had gotten a great deal of guilt off his chest after Galadriel had probed around in his mind. The only twinge that remained was the fact that he knew where Maeve was. It didn't really matter though, she was in the hands of a ranger. No harm would befall her.
"It would please me greatly if you were to accompany my group to Rivendell. It might prove to be a rough journey and my worries would be eased if you came along." Haldir let out a sigh of relief. The elf lord wasn't here to question him, but rather offer him a brief trip to Rivendell. It wasn't a bad offer, either.
"I will come." He left his words short and simple, then turned to go and fetch his horse and tell the other border guards that he would be leaving. His face never changed nor showed a hint of a smile about the trip, proving the fact that he was as disciplined as many show him to be.
I awoke slowly, hardly realizing where I was or what had happened to me. All that I knew was that I was atop a horse and that a strong hand kept me from slipping back down to the ground. Pain streaked through my body, though it took a lot of energy just to recall what had occurred.
'An orc…I was shot…Telir's taking me to Rivendell…' my mind moved sluggishly. It was as if I was trying to fight through a huge pile of mud, or to find something I had lost in nothing but darkness. The sun had already risen high into the sky, causing me to believe that we had already been travelling for at least four or five hours.
"Are you awake?" Telir's hand gently wrapped around me and came to rest upon my cheek, stroking it lovingly. The kiss that had occurred only a short while ago began to come back to me and I managed a small smile through the pain. I knew that I would not live long unless we lived Rivendell quickly and perhaps not even after that. Though I did not tell Telir, the arrow had been laced with orc-poison.
"Yes, I am." My voice was raspy and felt strange to me. "How close are we?" I could hear Telir sigh as he pulled back on the reins and hopped down from the stallion. His face was strained and it seemed as if the wrinkles of worry had come almost overnight.
"Still too far." I felt as though I was weak as a newborn elfling, unable to climb down from the horse by myself. Hence Telir had to reach up and carefully pull me off, then lay me upon the warm earth. The wound on my chest had begun to bleed through the bandages, causing me to assume that was why Telir had stopped.
"Here. Eat this." He handed me a small handful of herbs from his pack. "It's mostly for the pain. I had forgotten I had this stored up, just for this kind of circumstance." I nibbled at it and then blanched. It tasted positively horrid and I'm sure that my face showed it. Telir laughed and then gestured to me to continue eating.
"I know it tastes bad. But it helps, just trust me." Grimacing, I swallowed the rest of it and then closed my eyes as Telir changed my bandages for me. I prayed that he wouldn't discover the poison that was still lurking there. The fever hadn't started yet, but I knew that time was growing short for me.
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.