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Title: A Secret Revealed (04/20)
Arc: The Secrets Trilogy
Author: K
Rating: R (for later chapters)
Fandom: LOTR
Genre: Angst
Pairing: Aragorn/Legolas
Distribution: Just tell me where you put it
Notes: Legolas's POV
Disclaimer: Not mine! Characters, universe & so on belong to the Tolkien Estate. The only thing I own is my mind.



The second day of our journey was not in the least bit as hard as the first. We had made good progress in the first day, passing almost entirely through the misty mountains; the sun had not even climbed to its peak in the sky on the second day before we had passed them.
On the first night, we slept in a cave. Or rather, Aragorn slept, and I kept watch, not feeling the need to sleep. I think I dozed for a short time, but never let my eyes wander from the rocks outside the cave; I was keeping watch even as I slept. As morning broke, I still saw no sign of any hostile creatures, and finally allowed myself to look at Aragorn. He looked peaceful as he slept, the burdens of a man's life that he held with him in the day lifted as he dreamed. I sat against the cave wall, watching him, enjoying this moment of peacefulness. I wanted to wake him, but he looked too much at rest for me to bring myself to disturb his slumber.
Eventually he stirred, and I felt myself smile a little as he opened his eyes.
We kissed, I felt myself falling into him for a moment, then pulled away, not wanting to push him into anything more. Aragorn looked a little disappointed, so I was on the lookout early for a place to rest.
We sped our horses when we could, to cover more distance in less time, but not so much that it would tire our steeds, nor that we could not talk.
Occasionally we fell into silence, which I did not mind. They were comfortable silences, which I used to think about things, wonder what exactly my Father was calling me back to Mirkwood for. Knowing my Father, it was to go on some meaningless quest for jewels, or something of a similar nature.
Then I turned my thoughts to Aragorn, riding beside me, eyes scanning the landscape for hidden dangers. I was glad that he was accompanying me to Mirkwood; if my Father did not like it then I promised myself we would leave again immediately for Rivendell, where Lord Elrond would always welcome us. I liked Rivendell; it was like a second home to me. I thought about the times that had passed there; how somehow I fell in love with Aragorn, after I promised myself I would never fall for someone I could not have, how after a long time yearning, I discovered that on the contrary, the handsome ranger was mine if I wanted him. But it had taken death to bring us together. Well, almost death. I remembered the Orcs, that hideous Sangwafaire creature that tried to end my life, inhabiting my mind and soul, and Aragorn appearing in my mind - actually a merger of our souls, orchestrated by Lord Elrond - and defeating the Sangwafaire, bringing me from the clutches of death back into life. That's twice he has done that for me.
"I owe you greatly, Aragorn," I said, breaking one of our silences. "You have saved my life on more than one occasion, and for that I owe you a great deal."
"You give me your love, that is all I need," he replied. I said nothing in return, but knew that even with all my love I could not repay him for saving my life, nor for the love he gives to me. I laughed at myself a little, the fact that I, trained as a warrior and regarded high among my people for my skills, had almost died twice. Life would never cease to interest me; its little twists and turns could take you anywhere. It had led me here; I wondered where it might lead me next.
Soon enough, the night came, and we stopped to rest by a pile of rocks. We had passed the misty mountains by then, and were now travelling through much flatter land, littered with bushes and rocks here and there. It was not as sheltered as either of us would have liked, but we were both used to much rougher conditions than this, and soon found ourselves getting comfortable. We took turns to keep watch that night, Aragorn watched for the first half of the night, and I awoke and watched for the second half whilst he slept. We were on our way as soon as the sun began to rise, but not before sharing a lingering kiss after awaking. My fingers yearned to touch his skin, body aching for him; but we had to press on, so I did not act upon my wants; telling myself I could act upon them all I wanted when our journey was over and that all we would need to do was go to one of the safer, secluded spots in the forest surrounding my Father's kingdom, for I knew of many.

Our speedy progress surprised me a little, for it was not long into the third day before we had crossed the old ford; reaching the trees of Mirkwood forest by nightfall. We rested soundly that night, knowing of the dangers that we may face within the forest; for though hostile creatures stayed off the main pathways, we had learnt to be on or guard when travelling through such places. I took first watch, using my ears more than my eyes in the shadows of the trees, listening for the slightest sound suggesting we were not alone. Yet all was silent, the only sound being the trees themselves.
At sunrise we breakfasted, before loading our packs back upon the horses and making our way cautiously through the forest. It was unnervingly silent along our way, too silent, and neither of us spoke a word. I noted that Aragorn kept his hand on the hilt of his sword constantly; as I was ever ready to reach for bow or dagger, should they be needed. For I felt they would be.
We trekked onwards; it was almost completely dark under the trees, the sunlight only showing through in small patches here and there, eerie looking shafts of light falling form the sky. I did not like this strange silence, and longed to be home.
Suddenly a noise reached my ears, like the sound of a footstep. I looked at Aragorn: he had heard it too. He drew his sword, and it made a soft sliding noise as it came from its scabbard. I too armed myself, finding daggers the better option all the time I was on horseback. Silence fell again, and we carried on, not wanting to stop. Another footstep. And a shriek. Our startled horses ran wildly along the pathway, as Aragorn and I held on for our lives, both whispering soothing words to our steeds, trying to calm them. Hearing our words, they slowed, but still trotted faster than they had done before the shriek erupted from the depths of the wood.
Suddenly with a crack of wood, something flew at us, leaping from the trees. It leapt onto Aragorn, and with a shove he sent it to the ground just as six more jumped from the branches and bushes surrounding us. They were Orcs. I reached for bow and arrow as I replaced my dagger behind me, fitting the arrow on and killing one that had leapt from the trees before it even had a chance to reach the ground. Aragorn swiped and slashed at the terrible creatures, as they swung their swords and axes. Our horses stamped their feet, trying to find a way out, but we were surrounded and they could not get out. I whispered more comforting words to my steed as I fired more arrows at the infernal creatures, telling it to be brave against them. Each time my arrow hit its target, yet I did not kill the creatures every time I hit them, sometimes taking two arrows before I felled one, firing at any that tried to attack. Out the corner of my eye I witnessed Aragorn decapitate one Orc, running another one through with its own blade. And then they were dead. I climbed from my horse to check they were dead, and to retrieve my arrows. A nod to Aragorn, to confirm their demise, and I mounted my horse again, cleaning my arrows of the disgusting Orc blood as we continued along the road, our horses stepping carefully over the bodies of the creatures, which would more than likely be found and consumed by the other creatures hidden amongst the shadows.
We did not stop at nightfall, but carried on until we were too worn out to travel any more; I did not much fancy the idea of sleeping in the forest, and nor did Aragorn, as neither of us slept that night but sat in the pathway, eyes constantly watching, ears constantly listening, for anything hidden in the undergrowth. We took up our journey when we tired no longer, and our steeds had rested; unable to tell daylight from night now, for the forest was thicker here, and there were no gaps in the branches above for sunlight to shine though. I was beginning to get more and more glad that we would soon be in my home kingdom.
We still spoke little to each other, and when we did it was only shortly, and in hushed tones. This part of the forest was not silent, but filled with the sounds of the trees and the creatures within them, some harmless, others deadly. And so without sleep and being sustained on revitalising Elvish cordial and a small amount of bread, we continued on our trek.


TBC...


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