Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings trilogy was written by J. R. R. Tolkien.

I make no monetary profit from this story.

Summary: AU - Legolas is mortally wounded at Helmís Deep and Haldir tries to save him.

Rating PG, for lightly implied slash.





"Legolas!" Aragorn called. "To the keep!"

The young Elf looked down at Aragorn and nodded. A sudden pain ripped through him as his hand was sliced and a crude weapon rammed through his stomach. In horror Aragorn began to leap up he stone stairs.

As Legolas turned, an enormous Uruk-Hai axe came down cleaving his back. A shock ripped through his system as he fell. Seeing death all around him, he knew his time was at en end.

The last thing Legolas heard was Haldir exclaim his name. The taller elf was by his side in a moment. In an instant he slew the two hideous foes that had felled his friend. In the next instant, he knelt by Legolasí side. The blood drained from Aragornís face as he arrived and saw his friendís lifeless eyes. Eyes that held so much beauty now held only death. Tears fell from Haldirís. Aragorn refused to cry until he could find a moment alone. A massive Uruk-Hai, twice Haldirís size raised his axe to kill the Elf. Haldir heaved and grabbed a fallen warriorís sword. With one powerful slice, his opponent lay in two pieces. Haldir glared at his fallen enemy with pure hate, before he once again knelt beside Legolas. He took a deep breath and willed his tears to stop. The Golden Elf picked up his fallen friend.

"Haldir .." Aragorn said softly.

"I know what you would say. Do not."

Aragorn took a breath. "Haldir, it pains me more than I can say, but Legolas is-"

"Do not say it!"

"Haldir, there is nothing you-"

"Leave me!"

The tall Elf pushed past Aragorn and hurried Legolas into the stronghold. There he found a small room with a tattered bed. Gently he lay Legolas down. He desperately clung to a tiny spark of hope that his friend would survive, but the spark was dim indeed. Haldir saw Legolas was not adorned with mithril. He took a long, silent breath, barely able to look at his friendís bloodied wounds. Gently he turned Legolas over and shut his eyes as the spark died completely. The Uruk-Hai axe had run deep, shattering Legolasí spine and cleaving his golden head.

"NO ... NO .... *NOI!*...." Haldir shook his head, unable to stop his tears. "No..." he wailed over and over.

His throat taut, his tears falling freely. For a moment he stopped crying. Gently, Haldir closed Legolasí eyes and stroked his still cheek. A moment later his tears came again and they did not stop. Haldir cried by Legolas side until morning.

Aragorn entered the room in silence, his grief no less than Haldirís. Haldir held Legolasí limp, now cold hand in his.

The Ranger wished that he could display his emotions so freely. "There was nothing you could have done," he said softly.

"Yes there was," Haldir argued. "I was up on the wall. I could have saved him!" He shook his head. "But I was too late..."

"Haldir, you cannot blame yourself. *Please* do not blame yourself. I could say the same thing. I was not swift enough either, but I know Legolas would not want us to grieve."

"How can we not when one so dear is lost?"

Aragorn had no answer.

"I loved him dearly, Aragorn ..."

"As did I, Haldir of Lórien."

Sensing Aragorn wished to pay his final respects, in respect, Haldir stood and left the room.

He heard Aragorn say, "My dearest Legolas of Mirkwood. Your loss pains me more than words can convey. I have not known you long, My Dear Golden Elf, but I feel I have known you a lifetime. I know not why you were taken from us, but I wish you be at peace."

Haldir did not see Aragorn kiss Legolasí hand.

The grieving Elf was somewhat relieved to learn the battle was over and Saruman was defeated. Victory. But at what cost? He was not surprised to see a red sun rise that dawn.

Begrieved he sat on a broken stone, his body numb. He did not feel the chill morning air, his heart threatening to explode at any moment. He did not stop cold tears falling. Forlorn, he looked down to see a dead bird. Gently he picked up the limp creature and held it in his hand. A tear fell onto it, absorbed by the birdís soft grey feathers. Ever so gently, Haldir stroked the light creature as more tears fell. He placed his hand over the bird and breathed softly and became lost in his grief. A while later, he did not know how long, he felt a strange sensation in his hands, Haldir opened them and became astonished so see the little bird nudging him with its head. He stared down at it. The bird flapped its wings and then flew eye to eye with him. Haldir realised what had transpired, and for the first time in many moons he felt elated. "Thank you," he said in his mother tongue, breathing with relief.

The bird seemed to say that it was the Elf who should be thanked.

"Fly away from this place," Haldir said. "Far away. If you can make it to the Woods of Lothlórien, you will be welcome and safe there."

The little bird chirped, a happy sound in the darkness as it flew away, grateful for its new life.

Haldir rushed to Legolas, grateful to find him alone. He knelt down and took the younger Elfís hand in his and slowed his breathing. He closed his eyes and began speaking in Elvish.

He chanted for over half an hour, struggling to stay conscious.

After what seemed like forever and s day, Legolasí eyes slowly began to open. He blinked as his eyesight returned. Slowly he sat. Haldir breathed a sigh of relief, though he found it hard to keep his eyes open.

Puzzled, Legolas looked around. "I live ..."

"Yes, My Friend ..." Haldir breathed.

"But how ... My wounds would have felled an giant Ox."

"Indeed, Legolas, but you no longer have them."

The younger Elf looked down to his stomach and felt the back of his head. He felt no pain, no wounds at all.

"But how? Who would have the skill to ..."

He looked down at Haldir and his mouth fell. "Haldir ... I ..."

The older Elf smiled, weakly. "I could not le you die, Legolas, not when I ... could..."

Legolas stared at him. "Haldir ... I ... what you have done for me ... I..."

The other Elf looked upon Legolas with warm eyes. "I have hidden deep my love for you... Please do not be repulsed by it."

"Haldir ... how could I be repulsed by such a beautiful gift? Such undying love? What did I do to deserve it?"

Haldir smiled again. "You only had to be yourself." The older Elf struggled to breathe.

Legolas stood and helped him onto the bed. "You must rest, Dear Haldir." Gently He stroked his friendís cheek as the golden haired Elf closed his eyes.

Aragorn entered the room once more.

"Haldir ..." he started to say. When he looked up he believed his eyes had deceived him.

Legolas knelt by Haldirís side. The young Elf stood. "Aragorn."

The Ranger shook his head. "Legolas ... but ... I saw you fall . I ... and Haldir ... I..."

Legolas looked toward Haldir. "He gave his immortality for me," he said in awe, and still not quite sure why.

"Legolas ..."

"He is sleeping," the younger Elf said. "It will be a while before he awakens."

In the next moment Legolas felt Aragorn crushing him in a tight hug and he smiled.

"For you I feel the same."

Aragorn chuckled.

Legolas knelt at Haldirís side. "I will treasure his gift always," he said. "Never before have I been given anything so precious."

"I would have done the same were it in my power," Aragorn said.

Legolas took his hand. "As I would for you. Haldirís courage has strengthened mine."

Together they left Haldir to rest.

* * *

It was three days before Haldir awoke. Legolas smiled as he entered the room, bearing a tray piled with food and drink.

"Thank you," Haldir said. "I hunger so, I could eat an oliphaunt."

Legolas chucked as he set the tray down. "I will return after you have eaten."

As hungry as he was, Haldir ate slowly.

He sensed anotherís presence and looked up to see the Dwarf.

"I can return if you are busy."

Haldir shook his head as Gimli entered. The Dwarf shifted uncomfortably.

"What you did for Legolas many would not. I come before you to thank you for returning one so dear to my heart."

Haldir smiled. "I could do no less."

Gimli looked at the Elf with respect. "I also wished to apologise to you. I was discourteous when first we met."

"As was I," Haldir said. "Let us forget it ever happened."

"Agreed." Gimli nodded and smiled as the Dwarf and Elf took each otherís hand in friendship.

* * *

Legolas returned half an hour later to find not one morsel of food or drink left.

"I am glad you have not lost your appetite."

Haldir smiled as Legolas knelt down to him and took his hand.

"Never before have I received anything so precious."

"It was my pleasure to give it to you, Legolas. I could not stand by and watch you die when there was something I could do."

Gently he wiped a tear from Legolasí cheek.

Legolas looked at Haldir sadly. "I am sorry to say I was blind to your love."

Haldir smiled. "As I said, I kept it well hidden."

"To give me something so precious, how could I not give you my love in return? I remain forever in your debt, Haldir of Lórien."

"I will take no debt," Haldir said. "All I wish is your friendship."

"You have that always."

Haldir smiled warmly as the two Elves placed their arms around each other, embracing gently.




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