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A Touch of Healing

Title: A Touch of Healing
Rating: R
Pairing: Legolas/Aragorn
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Slash

Written for the 2009 Legolas/Aragorn ficathon. Read more great stories here: http://community.livejournal.com/legolasaragorn/ Caution: There is an age check.

Legolas stared sightlessly at the bits of weak sunlight filtering through the blades of grass, the call of Mandos whispering in his ears. His fellows were dead, caught in the same orc trap that left him lying here with his life blood slowly ebbing into the weed and grass clogged soil. Pierced by arrows and slashed by swords he had only managed to escape when one of his men had thrown a dagger into the back of one of his attackers, causing the other orc to turn on his rescuer. Legolas could see the Elf was dead before the orc got to him and he used the diversion to stumble away. He was too injured to get far, and the orcs might have tracked him and finished him off had he not lost his footing at the crest of a small ridge and tumbled into a dry, overgrown creek bed below. In his green clothing he was virtually invisible, surrounded and covered by the overgrowth that nestled protectively around him.

He drifted back to consciousness at the sound of approaching footsteps over soft ground. Instinctively he moved to grasp the hilt of his knife but he had lost it in the battle and his hand weakly clenched into a fist. As determined as he was not to answer death's call without a fight, he also knew that a battle in his condition would be brutally short and futile. He drifted briefly toward oblivion but forced himself to focus on the footsteps, trying to determine if they belonged to friend or foe.

The sound drew closer, pausing then continuing. The footfalls of a man, Legolas determined. The gait was too measured to be an orc, too purposeful to be a beast. He counted the steps, five, seven, ten, drawing closer. A long pause ensued. So long that Legolas wondered if he had drifted off again and missed the sound of the man leaving, but then the grasses parted and a face looked down upon him. A dark haired Dúnedan with a stubble of beard upon his chin and the clearest grey eyes he had ever seen. The man's eyes moved over him appraisingly, and he felt the tug at his clothing as the man exposed his wounds. He moaned in pain and shifted, trying to rise.

"Shh, it is all right. Hold still while I bind your wounds. You are still bleeding."

The man's voice was soft, reassuring, and Legolas felt a peaceful sense of security envelop him. The whispers of Mandos grew fainter as the man's touch reawakened his senses with the sting of mortal pain. Every touch upon his lacerated, punctured body was agony, but the man worked quickly, moving him only as necessary to reach his wounds and staunch the flow of blood that, mercifully, had slowed but which continued to drain him. The tightening of a tourniquet around his thigh was the most painful, causing him to cry out, but by the time the man had finished, he felt slightly more alert. He moved his lips, attempting to speak, but no sound issued forth.

Again the man quieted him. "Do not try to talk just yet. I must get you out of here before nightfall. The orcs will be out in larger force then. We cannot be caught in the open."

Legolas wondered at this. Who was this man and why was he in this area of the wood where no men lived? Legolas hated having questions he could not voice chasing through his head, but he supposed it was better that he wait until they were safe before seeking answers.

Now the man was lifting his head and placing a waterskin to his lips. He was careful not to force too much at once and Legolas was able to sip slowly without choking. The man removed the skin and asked him if he wanted more. He was able to shake his head a little and the man put the water away. The man seemed to be pondering his next move and Legolas was certain he was trying to determine how best to move him.

"Horses, two miles due east," Legolas managed to whisper.

The man's brow furrowed as he considered it. "I fear to leave you. This place is not safe," the man said.

"Only way," Legolas gasped.

After a moment, the man nodded. He rose and tugged the grasses over Legolas again, then set off. Legolas listened to his footsteps grow fainter. He licked his lips and closed his eyes, drifting into unconsciousness.

He was awakened by the man's return. The kindly, concerned eyes looking into his gave him a warm feeling and strengthened his determination to survive. The man grasped his arms, pulling him to a sitting position and Legolas stifled a scream. He felt the stiffness of his clothing where the blood had dried tearing away from his skin, then dampness where some of his cuts reopened. But if he was to make it through he had to be moved, so he ground his teeth together and endured. The man placed an arm around his waist and lifted him over his shoulder. Rising, he carried Legolas to the horse and draped him over its back then leapt up behind him. He pulled Legolas upright and helped him straddle the horse, grasping him against his chest with strong arms. This repositioning proved too much for Legolas and he passed out from the pain.

When he came around, the man was holding him firmly as he kept the horse to a walk. While it was less jarring than he might have expected, Legolas felt every strike of the horse's hooves upon the ground. He raised his head and the man, realizing he was awake, spoke.

"I know this is difficult but it won't be much longer now."

"How long was I out?" Legolas muttered. His tongue felt thick and sticky.

"Not long," the man replied. "It is too far from your home for me to take you there, but I have some knowledge of healing and there is a place in the woods not far from here where you will be able to rest."

Legolas might have protested had he been in better shape. He needed to get back to the mountain halls before Thranduil sent a party to look for him and that party was ambushed as well. Yet he was in no condition to defy the man's attempt to help him. Once he had rested, regained his strength, he could decide what was best to be done.

They rode in silence for a bit longer, Legolas struggling with the excruciating pain of the tourniquet that dug into his thigh muscles. "Leg... hurts," he whispered.

"I will look at that first, but we cannot stop now," the man replied.

"I know," Legolas said.

Legolas remembered little of the journey. He did not know what part of the Greenwood he was in or how far they had traveled. The man drew the horse up in front of a woodsman's cottage in what looked to be an abandoned settlement of some type. He dismounted carefully, clinging to Legolas until he could once again pull him over his shoulder to carry him. There was a battered door, half off its hinges, on the dwelling, which had been gutted in a raid. It was clear the tiny village had been burned but this one cottage had not been consumed by the flames. The walls, roof, and door were miraculously intact, though they all showed some charring. The one room within had a bed with a down mattress. As Legolas was lowered onto it he could tell the bed was solid and the mattress, though musty, was not old.

"The rangers use this cottage as a way station," the man explained. "Since the village was raided and the people killed, the orcs do not come here often. We use the place for shelter as we pass through. The bed is for our wounded or our captains. This place is on our regular patrol route so we keep it maintained, and there is a cache of food nearby."

"Feels good," Legolas mumbled.

"I am afraid that feeling will be short-lived, for now I must remove the tourniquet and stitch your leg," the man said apologetically.

Legolas gazed at him, trying to mask his pain and fear. He finally nodded. "Yes, please remove it."

The man gave Legolas a drink of fermented berries to dull his pain then began to cut away his clothing. By the time had had exposed all the wounds, his patient was nearly naked. Legolas watched the man's eyes and could see by the grim look there that the news was not good. But Legolas knew he would heal quickly by human standards once the bleeding was stopped. He managed a weak smile to reassure the man.

"I am stronger than I look," he said, the soft rasp of his voice contradicting his words.

The man smiled in return, though whether he believed him or not, Legolas could not determine. Digging through his pack, the man took out the various items he would need for his field surgery and removed the tourniquet. Once the constriction was released pain bloomed into agony and blood again began to flow from the gash.

Legolas's back arched, his body stiffened, and he gave a sharp cry. He gripped the man's shoulder weakly then went limp, panting. The man had both needle and cloth at the ready and he stitched quickly and with expert hands, closing the wound and wrapping it in a poultice to stave off infection. Then he tended the other wounds, stitching and wrapping, using herbs and potions until he was satisfied that he had done all he could.

Legolas blinked at the man as he sat back at last, weary from his labors. The young ranger looked familiar now that Legolas was able to truly see him. The man was tall for an Adan, and strong, though the lankiness of his body and his clear, unlined face proclaimed his relative youth.

The man's gaze was upon him, traveling the length of his nearly nude body. His look was one of admiration but he flushed when his eyes returned to Legolas's and saw his patient was alert and watching him with interest. He stood abruptly.

"I must see to the horse. I shall return soon," he said.

Legolas watched him leave, smiling at the young man's discomfort. His thoughts turned to the battle and his unfortunate fellows, dead beneath the trees. They had been scouting an area well west of the stronghold that reports indicated had seen recent orc activity. But the reports had underestimated their numbers and Legolas's small party had fallen into an ambush in a valley between two hills.

Even in bright daylight Mirkwood was dark enough in these days to accommodate the orcs' movements. The creatures were becoming bolder by the day, fouling the forest in any place they conquered. The Elves had been keeping their encroachments to small numbers but this force was the largest Legolas had seen. Even so, the Elves had fought valiantly, killing most of the creatures before losing their own lives to the poison ever present upon orcish weapons. Legolas was determined to return to the place of battle with a larger force and find the fallen Elves, return them to their families.

He was struggling to sit up when the man returned. He was carrying a pack Legolas hadn't seen before, but when he saw the wounded Elf trying to rise, he dropped it and hastened to him, placing a hand on his chest, gently urging him back down. "What are you doing?" he asked. "You're in no shape to be going anywhere."

"I must return home. My men are dead, my people must be warned."

"Not all died in the fighting. Three were still standing when the few remaining orcs fled. I approached your men and introduced myself, offering to track you and bring you home. Though they were reluctant to trust me at first, they finally agreed and set off for the mountain halls. That is when I went to seek for you.

Legolas looked at him suspiciously. "Why did you not tell me this sooner?"

"My only concern was your safety. You were drifting in and out. It was no time for explanations."

"How did you come to be in the vicinity of the battle?" Legolas wanted answers and he was one used to getting what he asked for.

"I was traveling through the wood on my way back to Rivendell when I heard the fighting. I did not interfere because I was alone. As I said, this part of the forest is on the rangers' route."

"And you are one of the Rangers of the North? What is your name?"

"I am known by many names. In Imladris I am known as Estel."

Recognition lit Legolas's eyes. "Yes, I have heard that name. You have been to my father's halls."

"It has been many years, but I have indeed."

"I was not there when you stayed but I was arriving as you left, and I saw you and your men set out. You were only a boy."

The man laughed. "I was twenty-five, a grown man."

"To my people twenty-five is but a raw youth."

"But I am not an Elf."

"Yet you have Elvish blood."

The man seemed taken aback. "Yes, how did you know?"

Now it was Legolas who laughed, though it immediately turned into a groan. "Dark hair," he gasped, "grey eyes, tall and lean, the quintessential Man of the West. I know of the Dúnedain, all Elves do."

The man blushed slightly. "Of course, I should have realized. And are you not the Elven-king's son?"

"I am," Legolas said. "In fact my father will likely reward you for my safe return."

"I need no reward for helping a wounded man." Estel appeared affronted.

"I did not mean to imply..." Legolas said quickly.

"No, I know you did not." The man's demeanor softened and he gave Legolas a warm smile.

A silence fell between them and after a moment the man retrieved the pack he had dropped by the door and produced some dried venison.

"Would you like something to eat or drink?" he asked.

"No, but I probably should," Legolas said.

The man helped him sit up and then the two shared a meal of dried meat, nuts, cram, and water. They talked about their respective homes and Estel told Legolas tales of his travels. They talked about the shadow that threatened the wood and the suspicion that a necromancer was residing in the tower at Dol Guldur. The number of orcs and spiders seemed to be increasing daily, despite the best efforts of the Wood-elves. As they talked Legolas felt his strength rapidly returning. By morning he would feel well enough to make his way home, he was certain, though with this certainty came regret. Had the situation not been so dire, he would have enjoyed spending more time in the young ranger's company.

The room darkened apace as the feeble sun began to set until a sliver of moonlight shining through a hole in the roof provided the only light. The temperature dropped with the sun and, though Legolas was not accustomed to feeling a chill, he found himself shivering. Estel noticed and came to sit on the edge of the bed next to him.

"I am sorry. I have no blanket and I had to cut away most of your clothing in order to bind your wounds." He took off his cloak and draped it over the Elf but, as he started to rise, Legolas caught his arm.

"I would rather have you warm me than your cloak," he said boldly.

Estel appeared startled for a moment but then he gave Legolas a wide smile. Legolas was truly one used to getting his way and he knew from the look on the man's face he had gauged him accurately. He saw the man hesitate but knew that was the healer in him, fearing he might harm his patient.

In response, he sat up and cast the cloak aside, removing the tatters of his clothing with barely a hint of stiffness or hurt. The man's eyebrows shot up to see him so strong after his ordeal. Legolas chuckled softly at his obvious surprise.

"Elves heal quickly," he said.

"So it would seem," Estel replied, taking in the strong, lithe Elf before him whose blue eyes danced with desire in the misty moonlight, his deportment revealing no sign of fatigue and barely a trace of pain.

Legolas reached out to stroke Estel's neck gently and the man placed a warm hand upon Legolas's chest. They inclined their heads together, parting their lips for a series of soft, wet kisses that soon intensified into nips and love bites upon sensitive ears and throats. Their hands roamed each other's bodies, Estel easing his way around the Elf's bandages and stitches to caress his smooth, cool skin, Legolas sliding his hands beneath Estel's tunic, pushing the cloth forward with his fingers, kissing his way up the lean-muscled torso until he was able to slide the garment over the man's head.

Continuing his oral assault upon the man's chest, Legolas's hands went down to the ties of Estel's leggings, tearing at them eagerly while the man kicked off his boots. With the help of the Elf's fervent hands Estel was speedily undressed. He slid into bed beside Legolas where the two immediately fell to mauling each other. Legolas inhaled deeply against Estel's neck, the scent of sweat and athelas filling his nostrils, invigorating his loins even as it lulled his mind into a sensual torpor. The pain of his wounds, the occasional pull upon a stitch or tug at a bandage as the man ravished him, only amplified his lust.

Legolas shuddered in delight when Estel's fingers closed around his member and tugged with firm dominating strokes. He was suddenly and inexorably consumed with the need to have the man inside him. He spread his legs and brought them to his chest with only a sharp intake of breath denoting the pain that yet lingered in his stitched thigh. Impatiently he watched Estel mount him, his body crying out for the succor that only this man could provide. Estel was as keen as he, and entered him forcefully with a warrior cry that Legolas knew would echo in his dreams for long years to come. Legolas took himself in hand, stroking his arousal in time with the man's impassioned thrusts, groaning and shouting importunate pleas that Estel proved inimitably capable of bestowing.

The raw power and vitality of this mortal was absolute bliss Legolas could scarcely have imagined. He vocalized his appreciation with lusty moans, clutching the man's shoulder, digging his fingers bruisingly into Estel's flesh. The man's head plunged down for a kiss, his slick tongue slipping between Legolas's lips like liquid fire.

A taste of bitter herbs masked by a cloying sweetness filled his mouth and a sudden, agonizing pain wracked his body, bringing him instantly to full awareness. He cried out and opened his eyes, staring with shock into the concerned eyes of his father's healer, his limbs restrained by two of his father's soldiers.

"Forgive me, my prince," Galassaew said. "The orc poison is potent. I had to force the draught into you. You have been fighting like a mad warg since you were brought in yesterday."

Legolas felt his vigor drain from him and he fell back upon the bed, going limp. The soldiers did not release him and Legolas saw that one of them had a black eye, the other a swollen lip. He had only a vague memory of what had happened.

"An ambush," he said, but the details still eluded him. "What happened? Where are my men?"

"Many died, but the orcs bore the worst of it. They say you took out half their number before you were felled by a poisoned arrow. The venom is one we have not seen before. It causes the victim to fall into a fever dream from which he will not awaken. If you had not been treated you would have remained insensible until your body wasted away. Fortunately we were able to isolate the components and develop a draught to counter it. You will be all right once the potion has fully detoxified your blood."

"Thank you, Galassaew, and you also Thorchened, Orthul," he said to the soldiers. "I think I would like to rest now. The worst seems to be over."

The soldiers looked at Galassaew for confirmation and he nodded. They released Legolas and with a bow to their prince, left the room. The healer remained behind, checking Legolas's pulse, looking at his eyes and into his mouth before he was satisfied that Legolas was well enough to be left alone.

"Yes, you're going to be fine," he pronounced with a smile. "A good long rest is just what you need."

He left also and Legolas lay back upon the pillows, his bandaged thigh throbbing with each beat of his heart, his head light from the healing draught, the taste of bitter herbs upon his tongue. He thought of the handsome young ranger in his dream, which had seemed so real. Was it possible that the dream was prophetic in some way, that the young man with the healing touch was real and not just a product of a poison that was slowly taking his life? Deep within his heart it felt real. As real as his bow, as real as his life. Perhaps one day...


"Estel," he whispered, the man's name upon his lips a plea, a wish...

a hope.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
vamp_ress
Nov. 30th, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
Ahhh, poor Legolas! Let's hope it was at least truly a prophetic dream. In fact, I order that it was one:)

You know, slash AND hurt/comfort, that's my personal recipe for a perfect story. And if it's written by you, even better!
ignoblebard
Dec. 1st, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
I believe it was a prophetic dream. They did end up on the quest together after all. Who knows what they got up to when everyone else was sleeping. lol

What a great compliment. You flatter me, but I love it. :-)Thanks so much.
vamp_ress
Dec. 2nd, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
Oh, believe me, I know what they got up to on the quest. I've written it:)

http://archive.skyehawke.com/story.php?no=16229&chapter=1
(Deleted comment)
ignoblebard
Nov. 7th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
I do like Legolas, that's why I set him up for meeting the ranger of his dreams later. Good things come to those who wait. :-)

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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