legolas and eowyn

Invisible in the long grass, Orodreth raised his hands to his mouth and whistled like a bird. Within seconds, his comrade was crouching beside him.

“What is it?” whispered Valandil.

Orodreth pointed at the ground.

It was Legolas who recovered first, gathering Eowyn into his arms with a contented sigh. He kissed her forehead. “I must speak with the others, Eowyn nín,” he murmured. “And I want to talk to Thorkell bogsveigir. If I fetch you some water, can you wash and dress yourself?”

“Of course, Lassui.” She stifled a yawn.

Legolas chuckled, kissing her again. “If you are not sitting down to breakfast within half an hour, melmenya, I will come back and wake you,” he said.

“The scouts have returned,” said Haldir, joining Legolas at the camp fire with Eomer and Gimli, “and the news is bad—we may have cleaned the river bank, but Valandil has found fresh tracks further east—several sets—it looks as though the Orcs are gathering forces.”

“To attack us,” said Legolas. “Where are they now?” He handed the March Warden a tankard of Gimli's dwarven tonic.

“Thank you.” Haldir sat down. “Valandil did not see any Orcs,” he said, “but he followed the spoor far enough to know that it leads into Mirkwood.” He lifted the tankard to his mouth, caught the scent of the steaming liquid, and gasped.

“Get it down you, lad,” said Gimli, “it will do you good. It has perked the lass up, no end.”

“It is best to down it in one,” said Eomer. He turned to Legolas. “We have almost fifty warriors between us. I say we follow the trail into the Forest and finish the job.”

“It would make sense to act quickly,” Legolas agreed, “but that would leave the cavalcade unprotected. And Eowyn is wounded—”

“I am not wounded!”

“Melmenya! Come and sit by the fire.”

“I can still fight,” said Eowyn, politely declining Gimli’s offer of another tankard.

No,” said Eomer.

“What I was about to say,” Eowyn insisted, as she sat down beside Legolas, “was, leave some of your warriors here with me, Lassui, and you and Eomer take the rest into Mirkwood.”

“Oh Eowyn nín!” Legolas patted her mailed arm, proudly. “The camp is too vulnerable, melmenya; you would be defending the young, the old, the sick, the injured—”

“I would be moving the camp, Lassui—taking everyone somewhere safe whilst you are dealing with the Orcs. I have done that before.” She turned to the March Warden. “You know these parts, Haldir. Where should we be heading for?”

Haldir glanced at Legolas. Almost imperceptibly, Legolas nodded.

“I would cross the river,” said the big elf. “The cavalcade would be less vulnerable on the western bank, and there is an old Galadhrim guard post, about ten miles south, that would make a safe camp tonight. With luck,” he added, addressing Eowyn directly now, “you could be in Caras Galadhon by tomorrow.”

“It is a good plan,” said Legolas.

“I can do it,” said Eowyn.

Eomer grunted.

Legolas grasped Eowyn’s hands. “You will be in charge, melmenya, and Haldir will escort you. If we have not caught up with you by the time you reach Lothlorien, get everyone onto the flets and wait for us there.”

“I will not let you down, Lassui,” said Eowyn.

Shortly after

“What is happening?” asked Thorkell bogsveigir the moment Legolas entered the Healing Tent. “Everyone is buzzing around like blue-arsed flies.” Then he added, somewhat self-consciously, “My Lord.”

Legolas—unable to suppress a smile—folded his arms across his chest. “We have found more Orc tracks,” he said. “They are gathering in Mirkwood.”

Thorkell sighed. “If you had crossed the river, as I originally advised—”

“That advice, as I remember,” interrupted Legolas, “was, in fact, a threat from Bergthórr beytill. But I am not here to argue with you Master Bowswayer—in fact, I am here to thank you for protecting my lady.” He placed his hand upon his heart and bowed his head. “I am in your debt.”

Thorkell’s eyes narrowed. “Meaning what, exactly—my Lord?”

“Meaning that—insofar as you ever were tied to me—you are now a free man.”

“I see,” said Thorkell bogsveigir. “Thank you—but I belong to the Lady.”

Legolas laughed. “Yes you do. And, where her welfare is concerned, you have shown yourself a more-than-faithful servant. Few men could draw a Galadhrim bow, Master Bowswayer—fewer still would continue to draw it when the effort was tearing their muscles from their bones.”

He sat down on the next bed. “We will take the cavalcade across the river at the southern ford. Eowyn will lead it to Lothlorien whilst Eomer King and I double back and deal with the Orcs. It is unfortunate,” he added, “that you, with your local knowledge, cannot be with us—but I expect you to give Eowyn your full support.”

“I thought you said I was a free man.”

It was one of the Beorning’s dry jokes but, this time, Legolas did not laugh. “I expect,” he said. “I do not order.”

A look passed between them. Then Thorkell bogsveigir nodded. “Though what I can do for her strapped up like this—”

“You can second her decisions, Master Bowswayer,” said Legolas, rising. “That is all she will need.”

Back at the remains of the camp fire, Eowyn was slipping a few personal things back into her small travelling pack.

“Are you ready, my darling?” Legolas wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Remember,” he murmured, pressing his lips to her forehead, “that if riding hurts, you can always travel in the cart with Thorkell bogsveigir.”

“Did I do the right thing, Lassui? Was I right to suggest that we separate like this? What if—”

“Shhhhh.” He hugged her tightly. “I will be back before you know it, Eowyn,” he said. “I promise.”



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