This is the first part of Chapter 17 really but I thought you might want this early rather than wait for me to finish the next part, which is Aragorn and Legolas.
Thank you as always to Anarithilen for her wonderful contribution. And to reviewers who make it worth posting. Orfan, Plivi, Nemo (Thank you sooo much- it helps to have those htings noted) ThisLittelPiggy, Freddie23, gginsc, IsaDaYDrMer, Melethen, Raisenet (I do hope you see some good in Elrohir in the end as well – stick with him please, I know I am relentless with him) Melusine. And my great friends at efiction.de.esteliel who are drooling over the lovely pics by Mienpies and Melethen. I am trying to add an image but prob need help from my good friend, Spiced Wine!
Chapter 17: Beneath the Hithaeglir
The morning light was thin and cold, the grass stiff with frost. Slowly two black horses cantered along the river shore, their riders stared ahead and when one reined in and gazed towards the gloomy mountains, the other slowed to a standstill and followed his gaze. Snowmelt water swirled beside them, poured over the grey boulders and stones, white rimmed and frothed as the Bruinen plunged its ice-cold waters into the Greyflood. In the mid-distance the Hithaeglir lifted their snowy peaks into the weak blue sky.
Ahead of them, the last of the great holly trees that gave Eregion its name stood darkly against the sky. It always made Elladan sad to think of the glory that had once been, the loss.
Elrohir's thoughts must have been running along the same track for he suddenly said, 'It must have been beautiful once.'
Elladan shot him a look. Elrohir's mood was cooler, more settled now that they were away from the camp. But his own mood was conversely growing in irritation. He was still shocked at the way Elrohir had spoken to Glorfindel. Only Erestor could muscle up the gall to pick at the raw wound that was Gondolin and it was Erestor who had been blamed for Elrohir's bitter accusation. It was as much the slight to him that gave Elladan an uncharacteristic prickle of irritation at his brother's rages, the way he spoiled things, his incandescent recklessness.
Elladan turned to look at his brother, watched the steel-grey eyes turn to his and then slip away in shame. 'You will apologize?' Elladan said, because he already felt the dimming of Elrohir's furious energy, his Power; it had bled away into guilt. But Elladan would not relent so easily and did not look away.
Elrohir looked down at the pommel of his saddle, at Barakhir's silky black mane, the reins lying lax on his neck. 'I shamed myself,' he admitted. 'It was unforgivable.'
'What were you thinking?'
'I know not...I have not been myself.' He reached out to clasp Elladan's arm. 'I will do penance for it.'
Elladan said nothing for a moment but his lips thinned and he felt his own irritation flare into anger. Penance! It was always like this with Elrohir; fury and rage followed by deep recrimination, deep guilt, penance beyond what was necessary. He was scared too for Elrohir, when he was deep in guilt, was even more reckless, even angrier, more cruel. It frightened Elladan.
'I will lead the company that goes to purge the High Pass on our return,' Elrohir said as if this were his penance. 'Orcs gather there and I will see it cleared,' he said.
Elladan tried to keep his temper but he felt it bunch like a fist, or distant thunder on a far horizon but gathering. He closed his mouth tightly to stop himself.
Elrohir turned anxiously to face Elladan, for he felt it too, 'Do you not think it enough? Do you not think Glorfindel will be content with what I offer?' he asked, sounding suddenly vulnerable.
'You offer what you wish to give!' he snapped back and saw Elrohir cut a wary look towards him. 'You enjoy battle,' Elladan said, his anger escaping him. 'You would clamour to lead the company. If you were truly sorry you would ask for punishment. And give what was asked without rancour or complaint.' He kicked Baraghur into a canter and only heard Barakhir follow a while later. He remained ahead of Elrohir for some miles and knew that his brother was restraining himself and his horse, that he followed warily. He felt Elrohir prod lightly at his own dark mood, testing the depth of his own irritation.
Finally he turned and let the wind pull at his hair and cloak, Baraghur tossed his head and pawed the ground in frustration at having to stop.
'You are still angry.' It was a statement rather than a question as Elrohir drew alongside. 'I will do whatever you wish to make amends,' he said but it was not humble. 'I will do it for you, Elladan.'
'You should do it for yourself!'
'I do not care about myself.'
'I care.' Elladan bit his lip in anger, biting down on the words that he wanted to say, to pour out his scorn and venom...Do you think punishing yourself will bring her back? He stopped himself. Neither could bear that discussion, not even now after all the years. Instead he threw back, 'You were too hard on Legolas.'
Elrohir stared at him in surprise. 'It still rankles that I gave him Cristôl? I tell you, Elladan, I know I was right. He was submerged in the nightmares, believing Rhawion still in the Tower. Either his heart would have given out or he would have left and returned there had I not drugged him.'
'You were too hard on him,' Elladan persisted, remembering the violence with which he thought Elrohir had administered the drug. But he knew too that the same violent passion had fought for Legolas' life and that Elrohir had poured his healing into the Mirkwood Elf's veins, thrust back the venom that was heating his body to a frenetic break down, pounding his heart till it would burst. It was true that Legolas was alive because of Elrohir.
'It was the best thing for him out here, given possible danger,' Elrohir insisted. 'I may have been harsh in my words, Elladan, and rough in subduing him but do you think I would deliberately harm him?' he asked honestly.
Elladan's eyes flicked up to meet his brother's and then looked away. He could not hide the doubt he harboured, nor could he hide it from his own brother.
Elrohir recoiled. 'Do you think I deliberately sought to hurt him?' he asked, shocked. 'I have cured him, poured my healing into him! What more could he want?'
'You persecuted him.' Elladan looked coldly at his brother now but he did not move Baraghur away.
'No! I was angry. Tell me you were not angry that he killed that Orc?' Elrohir demanded, irritable himself now, his long hair whipped by the wind. He turned Barakhir in a tight circle, his grey eyes full of indignation. Their knees jostled against each other.
'Of course I was!' Elladan retaliated. 'But your dislike did not start with the Orc but became sharpened, focused by it.' He glared at Elrohir challengingly. Barakhir shook his head and fretted and snapped at Baraghur. 'Why do you hate him?'
Elrohir reached and grasped Elladan's arm hard. 'I do not hate him,' he said but his teeth were clenched.
Elladan frowned and pulled his arm away irritably. 'Even before we set off, you ignored him, treated him with contempt.'
Elrohir stared at him and Elladan could feel the roil of thunderous emotion, but it confused him for a moment, for it was complex, not only anger, but beneath it, something else…He held Baraghur still, trying to search his brother's face, his emotions, for understanding.
Suddenly as if he barely knew he was saying it, Elrohir burst out with, 'He was with Berensul! The night we returned I saw him in the Hall of Light and I… And then I saw him again but with Berensul in the Rose Garden.'
'Berensul?' Elladan turned in surprised annoyance tilted his head to see better. 'Why should that bother you?' he said crossly. 'Erestor will have instructed Berensul and set him to spy upon Legolas. As he does to every stranger in our midst,' Elladan added but his irritation felt forced now, even though he thought Elrohir unreasonable. 'Who else did Legolas know? You have already heard the story of his arrival and why he was here. Berensul was the first friendly face he saw. Of course he would have sought him out, he is not to know what a philander Berensul is, nor his proclivities!'
Elrohir blinked slowly as if he realised something and his lips parted as if in surprise. He half closed his eyes and seemed for a moment, to be listening to himself.
Elladan felt his own annoyance drain away for he could not sustain it. He heard his voice lapse back into the patterns of reasonableness and calm. 'Half the maids can talk of nothing else. They would lose their hearts and half of them their heads too if he so much as beckoned. He is a Prince after all, they are saying, even if it is only Mirkwood and he hardly acts like one. But so far Legolas has disappointed them all; it seems the son of Thranduil is not going to disgrace himself with any of them.'
Elladan sighed and finally, believing he had reasoned as much with himself as with Elrohir, he said, 'Come brother, we have far to go and Legolas will have left for home himself by the time we return. You may never see him again.'
Elladan clucked his tongue to Baraghur and eased into a canter. It was a moment or two before he heard Barakhir draw alongside and he glanced across to his brother. Elrohir's long hair twisted in the wind and his cloak was pulled to one side. He twitched it back over Barakhir's rump and pulled it round himself as if he were cold but Elrohir was never cold. He burned.
They let their horses graze and drink at a clear, cold stream for a while and stood gazing ahead, at the Mountains with their veils of mist and cloud hiding the high summits.
'The Dwarves say that Balin has gone there, to reclaim the Lost Kingdom,' Elladan mused and Elrohir followed his gaze across the Sirannon and he listened hard for the sound of the Stair Falls but there was nothing. Instead a still, black lake lay silent between them and the Gates of Moria, but they would not tread the paths of the dark Pit. 'I fear his quest is futile. He is already lost...' Elladan had that faraway look that haunted him when lost in foresight.
Not that anyone needed the gift to know that Balin was lost, thought Elrohir, he remembered their last journey into the dark.... There wassomething down there, in the Black Pit, some nameless terror. Shadow and flame...Unspeakable terror....They had all felt it. Aragorn was with them and they had crept silently through the abandoned realm of Khazad-dûm, barely breathing for the fear that pressed around them, a tangible thing, almost a creature of itself... Many things dwelt still in the deeps of the world, and they feared awakening the Presence that slept but lightly in the belly of the dark. Elrohir knew it was from long ago, far away, from lands that were perished and drowned, he knew It in his rich Noldor blood, the blood of Finwë.
Then came the drums in the deep, the drums from which they fled.... but they awoke in him that strange exhilaration, his lust for blood and it was only Aragorn's fear that drew him onwards, and out into the light.
Now in the cold winter evening, he felt Elladan's alertness, his watchfulness as they stood and gazed to the Doors of Moria. It did not escape him that Elladan glanced his direction and that his fingers stroked the hilt of his dagger, for that Feänorian blade surely must have trembled with fury to have sensed the Presence that stirred in the Black Pit for he felt Aícanaro stir.
The two horses nosed each other gently and then dropped their heads to the grass, snuffed at the ground.
'How many did he take with him, I wonder?' Elladan glanced at Elrohir, startling him from his thoughts. 'Do you think any have survived?'
Elrohir did not speak but he did not take his eyes away from the grey cliffs and his face was still.
'Perchance they yet live...' Elladan mused. 'They had survived the dragon after all.'
Elrohir glanced at his brother and a slight smile pulled his mouth. He needed Elladan to be strong, to be optimistic. It kept him from utter ruin.
'Come,' he said and pulled Barakhir's head up and nudged him forwards. 'We have many leagues to travel and I would find shelter before nightfall.'
'Then let us keep to the Mountains' edge and travel swiftly. We will come to the Gap within days. Or do we brave Caradhras?'
Elrohir said nothing but he felt a sensation like someone had lightly brushed their fingers down his spine.
'Perhaps Caradhras has had enough blood from us to let us pass unhindered,' Elladan was saying. 'The Gap is no longer safe unless we can escape Saruman's notice.'
Any way they went would be difficult. He turned his head and met Elladan's grey eyes that were a mirror of his own. 'Let us dare the Redhorn Gate,' he said. They looked at each other, remembering that dreadful day they found their mother, but that was not the only time they had crossed that way.
So they let the two horses canter steadily over the miles of grasslands that rolled and surged beneath them like the sea and only stopped to rest because it was too dark to keep riding for there was no moon and clouds streaked across the sky, obscured the stars.
They lit no fire but each took a turn to watch and the horses stood by, heads low and resting one hoof. Elrohir stood and listened to the silence of the Wild, the small scratching of beasts in the undergrowth, in the heather and on the hard stony ground. He heard a rabbit scream as a stoat caught it unawares and the screaming went on and on and he was reminded of Legolas.
It had been years since anyone had challenged them. Glorfindel had said once that they wore their grief like a badge, like a banner it rode with them. The Elf lord had asked Elrohir if what they did would purge him of their self-hatred, their guilt. Elrohir had stared at him in stony silence, and then turned and slowly, emphatically, defiantly slit the stomach of a fatally wounded Orc, reached into to its hot body and pulled slowly the steaming entrails from the screaming Orc's belly. Even Glorfindel had turned away and never asked again.
And when Aragorn was young and rode out with them the first time against Orcs, Erestor had remarked upon the boy's wide-eyed stare and his trembling at the horror of their violent retribution, for he was barely blooded and they had not relented. Elrohir had strode between the dying and wounded Orcs and dispatched them slowly, inflicting torment where they could...for revenge, for punishment, to heal themselves... Afterwards Elladan had held Estel and Elrohir told him how they found their mother...the rags she was left in, the blood on her thighs, the way she screamed and tore at Elrohir, who had been her beloved son....
That was the last time they had been challenged.
Until the Mirkwood Elf who could not even stick an arrow in his own kin to save them from the torment of the Orcs, had challenged him.
Elrohir felt his hands shake. Like a wave, a surge of ...something flooded him, pounded in his veins and his chest was tight and full, like it had been when Elladan reminded him he would never see Legolas again. It must be fury with Legolas, he told himself, for sparing the Orc when his beloved mother was not spared one moment of agony, not one indignity, not one rape...His breath shuddered between his lips.
He had not wanted to help Elladan heal Legolas. He had wanted to hurt him. An impulse so strong it made him tremble, and to his horror, had stiffened him. His eyes had been drawn irresistibly to Legolas' half naked body, and even now the memory of it emerged from his dark thoughts irresistibly; long, pale gold hair looped over his own arms, cool silk, smelling of meadow-grass in Summer, and the long eyelashes fluttered in pain and anguish against his flushed cheek. When the Elf had strained and struggled against him, against the poison and pain, he had felt a deeply erotic thrill as now and his sex had leaped and strained against his breeches. He had almost leaned down and kissed Legolas.... the painted spirals and swirls on his chest, his lean and muscled torso, his strong arms...beautiful, he thought. An image leapt unbidden into his thoughts, of Legolas, head thrown back, lips parted in panting gasps of pain, in ecstasy, in a cry of orgasm.
Elrohir half-closed his eyes and his lips parted, aware of the lust that uncoiled in his belly, throbbed in his own sex. When he had poured his crimson Power into Legolas' veins, to fight the poisoned clouds in his blood, the Elf's eyes snapped open and fastened on Elrohir's, long green eyes, deepest green like the Sea. Elrohir had stared at the high cheekbones, strong, beautiful face, as he had when he had passed Legolas in the Hall of Light in Imladris with the sun gleaming in his long, pale hair and his eyes wide with recognition, astonishment, a naive innocence that was not quite innocence.
No, not innocence whatever Elladan believed. There was something about Legolas that was intensely aware, as if he wore his naivety like a cloak that could be flung off at any moment. He just did not know what he would find beneath. The edges of his nerves fluttered and there was a strange churning in his belly. Suddenly he wanted more than anything, to see Legolas again. And now though he stood miles from the Elf and in the empty wilderness, the darkest night, Elrohir found himself stirred beyond what was natural and he hated himself for it, hated Legolas for provoking it in him when he had for so long repressed all desire, sought its outlet in killing instead.
Aícanaro hissed in his sheath. Instantly Elrohir broke from his thoughts and came to stark awareness. The horses' heads came up and their ears pricked forwards, both staring into the dark. Elrohir leaned down and touched Elladan on the shoulder.
Elladan immediately sat up, pushing his long hair back, then he reached for his Feänorian knife, slid the blade slightly from its sheath. A blue glow slipped from its steel edge.
'They are far off as yet,' he murmured. 'Even so I would not wish to caught out here in the dark.'
Elrohir nodded and followed the direction of the horses' heads. They were silent, knew better than to make a sound. 'Cast a glamour,' Elladan whispered, 'so their eyes glance off us.' Elrohir glanced at him questioningly. 'There are but two of us,' Elladan replied to his wordless question.
Elrohir nodded agreement. He spread his hands out and looked down at his fingertips, thought a spider-web of gossamer and twilight spinning about them, hiding them in shadows and dusk, swathing them in glinting light and shadow so they became a miasma...In the cloud of twilight he had created, the horses were like statues, grey boulders and Elladan's ghostly thin figure rose slowly to his feet and there was a frost-white blade, Alcarinwë in his left hand and in his right, a dagger of blue-silver fire...
Out of the dark, grey shapes ran like drunken men and scuttled for these were Orcs of the Mountains, not the Uruks of Dol Guldur, and unused to the flat plains. But the light was still weak and thin, and the earth still slept. The Orcs lurched and hobbled and called strange unearthly screeches. Nightmares.
'They are hunting,' Elladan murmured so quietly that Elrohir barely heard him. They did not ask what. 'Do we turn upon them or let them pass?'
Elrohir did not bother to answer. Both knew they could not let them pass.
'I see ten close by. There could be more. Scouts perhaps.'
Elrohir felt Aícanaro hiss and uncoil in his sheath, the black blade thirsted for blood and who was he to deny it? 'Come then. Let us feed.'
He kept the glamour still about them but it seemed the Orcs could perceive something subtly different in the air for they stopped and stared and shifted around the space where the brothers stood. Narrow yellow eyes glittered in some unholy light, shuffled slightly to stand together in a rudimentary fighting formation but it merely served to make them easier to mow down, and they looked about themselves left and right uneasily. Elrohir smelled their fear. Through the glamour their fear tinged the air red. Slowly, silently like wraiths, the Sons of Thunder lifted their blades of white fire and darkness.
A chittering howl went through the Orc scouts. Swiftly Aícanaro slit their flesh and slashed their bloody veins. The blade sang its joyous slaughter as it severed their tendons and bones. Black blood spattered over their hands, faces and he almost laughed with glee at the mess, the black blood soaking into the dry earth, the spilled entrails hot and steaming in the cold air. He wreaked havoc, enjoyed their fear, drank it like a potent wine, was heady with exhilaration. Aícanaro sang with vicious joy. Barakhir pounded an Orc's head with his hooves; beat it into the earth, a bloody pulp. Tattered flesh strung on ribs and bones.
It was quickly over for the Orcs could not see more than a glint of metal or the glitter of their silver-grey eyes. And then not an Orc was left breathing and Elrohir stooped and grasped the greasy black hair of one and lifted its head. With one strike, he cut the head from its neck and watched the tangle of purple veins spurt black blood over his hands, spatter his face, his lips like an orgasm. Slowly he licked his lip and tasted the strangely copper tang of blood, like his own, he thought. He jammed a sword into the ground blade first and lifted the head onto the hilt. There are none left alive, he thought pitilessly and that made him remember Legolas; how he had looked when Elrohir strode into the camp having found his Orc dead, with a green-fletched arrow through its throat. Legolas had not even risen to his feet, merely sat up, long legs stretched out and tangled with blankets. He had leaned back on his hands so his long, flaxen hair streamed down his back and his sleepy green eyes lifted to meet Elrohir's. When he had defied him, Elrohir felt furious and exhilarated and wanted to hurt Legolas, to strike him hard across the mouth so there was a smear of blood on his lips, like there was on Elrohir's now. He wiped it with the back of his hand, looked down at Aícanaro. The blade was bloodied, strings of gore strung viscously from the blade and he watched Aícanaro drink, the blood simply melting into the blade. A sacrifice. Aícanaro fed. He felt its satisfaction, and he did not wipe the blade before he sheathed it.
'And the others?' Elladan looked across the dark grasslands to where they knew the main Orc group were. Elrohir felt a strange dislocation, seeing the grey eyes, star-shot in the dark, knowing it was the mirror of his but flushed and excited. Warm. Not the coldness that he knew was on his own.
'We cannot leave them.'
They waited, hidden in the miasma he had created, and this time they did not crash in together. This time, the miasma cloaked them separately and they struck in silence and moved quickly between the Orcs so they were confused and frightened and some of them ran. Elladan drew his bow and brought two down but three escaped and Elrohir found himself thinking that Legolas would not have missed. Elrohir swiftly killed the three who converged upon him and whistled for Barakhir and leaped upon his back to ride down the escaping Orcs. Aícanaro was spattered with black blood and festooned with strings of flesh and gore. It was a bloody slaughter in the dark until suddenly he heard shouting and looked back over his shoulder to see that Elladan was no longer astride Baraghur and the horse had been caught by the reins by two Orcs and was rearing up, dashing his hooves against the unclean hands that had caught him.
Turning Barakhir sharply, Elrohir galloped back to a small knot of Orcs who were struggling now to hold the horse. Elrohir raised his sword and charged through them, slashing and hacking and Baraghur broke free, lashing out with his back hooves amid howls, and plunging into the Orcs furiously with his teeth bared and biting hard.
Elrohir caught sight of Elladan's white face, blood from a cut on his cheek. Elladan was on the ground amongst a gang of Orcs, whose blades hacked and fell about them. For a moment, Elladan's sword, Alcarinwë, flashed white streaked with blood but the strokes were heavy and tired and Elrohir felt a moment of panic as he saw Elladan go down beneath the knot of Orcs.
Recklessly he plunged into the Orcs and slashed wildly, fear not for himself, made him careless.
'Too many!' Elladan shouted weakly, 'Get out!' He was half kneeling in the mud, Alcarinwë held above and struggling against the wildly, unpolished hacking blades above him.
'Never!' Elrohir shoved two Orcs back and slashed one's throat, slicing through the belly of the other as he turned. They were so slow, ponderous, carrion, he thought almost dispassionately as he turned and brought Aícanaro round in a wide circle so the Orcs dropped back, one clutching at its chest and falling to its knees.
'Know with whom you deal!' Elrohir snarled at them. 'We are the Sons of Thunder and you will die. I will stick your heads on your own pikes!' He bared his teeth and threw himself onto their short stabbing blades, both hands now on Aícanaro and there was the unearthly sound of the sword hissing through the air, the air almost singing along its edge, to meet a dull thud of flesh. Behind him, Elladan had been able to struggle to his feet and now the Orcs fell with a familiar regularity that made Elrohir's heart soar with fierce elation. He raised his voice in a battle cry and heard Elladan join him and together they charged the remaining Orcs, who scattered. Barakhir's whinny of fury and the crunch of bone told Elrohir how one Orc at least met its death and he could hear Baraghur charging after another.
It was quick then, the slaughter, until he stood over the last Orc, the one across whose chest he had swiped Aícanaro. It tried to shuffle away from him, clutching its pumping wound and staring up at him with hatred in its narrow yellow eyes.
Elrohir smiled nastily. 'You have maimed and tortured and killed my people. You have gnawed on the bones of children, raped women, killed for pleasure,' he said, breathing hard. He leaned on Aícanaro, let the tip rest on the ground so it could feed on the blood and fear. 'Now I will leave you as a warning for your kind that the Sons of Thunder will exact retribution.'
He looked about for something that would serve but could only find the short blunt blades used by Orcs. There were scrubby trees and bushes around them and he strode towards a young birch tree and reached up for a long thin limb. Behind him, he heard Elladan's voice calming the horses and praising them for their help and courage. He could hear the Orc's rasping breath and its squeals of pain like a stuck pig, and felt Aícanaro slide and almost stretch with languorous pleasure. He was pleased there was one Orc left alive that he could leave as a warning...
And then a treacherous memory of Legolas arose, how he had leaned back on his hands when Elrohir challenged him, merely sat up, long, flaxen hair streamed down his back and his green eyes lifted to meet Elrohir's...'This is not honourable, to torture your enemy. Are we not better than they?'
He paused, his hand on the slim branch of a silver birch. It was this act that had led to his unforgivable words to Glorfindel, who had only ever given him cause to love. He bowed his head slightly.
'Do it then,' the Orc was croaking out. 'I would have fucked your brother and eaten your heart while he screamed.'
All guilt fled at that and Elrohir tore the branch from its trunk and stabbed it into the ground, his blood hot and spitting. Swiftly he drew his knife and with a few short cuts, had sharpened it into a point. He turned the Orc onto its stomach with his foot and seized its gnarled and taloned hands, tied them roughly behind its back, listening to its gurgling cries and curses. Then he lugged it upright. It wriggled uselessly and blood suddenly flooded hot and viscous from the wound in its chest and over Elrohir's hands. The Orc was heavy, stank but Elrohir lifted his lips in a cold smile and breathed in its fear, its cold hate that matched his own.
'They will have you,' the Orc panted, its mouth stretched in a parody of his own thin, cruel smile. 'They hunt you. You think you are unbeatable but the Masters have you.'
'I think I will do to you what you thought to do to my brother,' Elrohir hissed in its face. There was a moment of fear in its yellow eyes and then it spat disgustingly at him. Its phlegm stained his black tunic and he felt his dark lust and hate rear its head, curl up his spine so it filled him.
'Elrohir?' It was Elladan, standing behind him, his long hair fell around his shoulders and his face was concerned, anxious. 'Kill it and let it be damned.'
Elrohir was standing with the Orc struggling against him, to breathe, to wriggle free and he was hard with blood-lust and anger, when into his mind came Legolas, struggling against him, writhing sensuously as Elrohir tried to force his mouth open to swallow the Cristôl. Elrohir breathed hard, eyes half closed in lust and lifted the Orc as if he would impale it like he wished to impale Legolas and it screamed, like Legolas had screamed with terror of his nightmares...like his mother had screamed when he lifted her from the filth and blood. Abruptly he threw the Orc from his, drew Aícanaro and slit its throat. Its yellow eyes were fixed upon him as the life slid from it and its eyes stopped moving and glazed in death.
'Elrohir?' Elladan put his hand upon his arm, concerned, confused. But Elrohir shook his head. He did not understand that chaos of emotions that churned around him now, and he did not wish to speak of it, could not for he did not know the words that could express the lust and hate and fear and guilt that all sharpened and focused onto the fulcrum that Legolas had become.
Next chapter: Aragorn and Legolas.