Hands. Cold and uncaring. Searing his flesh, removing his innocence and marking him for eternity. Harsh, cruel, mocking words. Aimed to hurt him, to weaken him, to make him feel worthless. The desecration of his body and mind. Raw, naked fear piercing his brain. Unshed tears that he could never allow to fall. Trying to remain as himself, not to let his tormenter see how much it hurt. Feeling exposed, vulnerable, like all his defences had been removed. The heat of another body on his own, suffocating him, trapping him. Sharp rings of metal holding him in place, making him unable to fight back, to resist what was being done to him. Helpless, abandoned, there was no way out...
... But then he heard voices. He recognized them. Hope surged through him. "Please let it be..." The presence of the oppressor was removed from him. A heated exchange of angry words, but none directed at him. He still felt tainted, unclean...
... Until he felt another pair of hands on him, promising comfort, love and redemption. Hands that removed his restraints, that, by touch, replaced the impurities that the other had left. Arms wrapped around him. He flinched. Soothing words were spoken, but he couldn't relax. He suddenly felt claustrophobic. The room was suffocating him. He ran out, and stood outside the room, gasping for air. He didn't notice, didn't feel, anything. Didn't notice the concern filling gentle, blue eyes. He had to get out of the tower, to leave the place where his nightmares lived and grew. The random thoughts shooting through his mind were interrupted by something falling past him. His eyes turned to follow it. It was a dark, round, crystalline object. Pale sunlight reflected of it and into his eyes, which for some reason, scared him. Ignoring it, like he was ignoring the others, he left the tower. He needed to think...
... But he wasn't allowed to. Questions from someone who said he loved him. Almost accusatory. Irritation built up inside of him, until it spilt out of his mouth. He spoke bitter, angry words and directed them at the one who was trying to calm him. The curse of his immortality, to never be allowed to forget. Pain overtook his anger, and he rode away from the person he thought he loved. If he stayed, he knew he would fall straight into that person's arms, seeking comfort and affection, but something was stopping him from doing that. Something telling him that it was wrong...
... So he was on his own that night. Anguish and misery afflicting his body more than the touch of his tormentor had done. He wanted the touch of the one he loved so badly, but he couldn't have it. He couldn't allow himself to have it. Silent screams raged inside him...
... And were answered by a scream outside of his sleep. Legolas woke up with a start, feeling disorientated. Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs of his sleep, he found himself gasping for breath.
"You were dreaming, you were dreaming," he repeated over and over to himself. The screaming continued. It sounded like Pippin. Legolas knew he should get up, to investigate, but he couldn't bring himself to do that. Shivering, he kept on telling himself, "You were dreaming, you were dreaming..."
The screams woke up Aragorn, as they had woken up the rest of the camp. Alert as ever, he started to make his way over to the source of the screams, but his eyes caught hold of a curled up, shaking figure, with long blonde hair, sitting at the foot of a tree. Forgetting everything that the two of them had spoken about, just a couple of hours ago, Aragorn rushed over to the elf. Wrapping his arms around the slender figure. He whispered soothingly to him, "Its alright, my love. You're safe here." Legolas looked up at him with wild, frightened eyes, his body language begging Aragorn to take away the pain. Aragorn looked down at the elf, taking in his pure, alabaster skin, golden hair, bow shaped mouth and his deep emotion filled eyes, and Aragorn couldn't resist
Legolas sensed the Ranger's mouth move over his and he responded urgently to the kiss, finding solace in Aragorn's touch. He clung desperately to the hard, well muscled body, trying to wipe out his memories in a moment of ecstasy. He felt the desire flow between them, and he wanted this so much, but something in the back of the mind told him that this was wrong, that it shouldn't be like this. Reluctantly at first, and then more forcefully as he made up his mind, he broke away from their embrace. Aragorn looked at him, confused. Legolas shook his head,
"No... This is wrong."
"What...?" Aragorn looked slightly pained, as if he knew what was coming.
"Think of Arwen, what you're doing is wrong". Aragorn glanced down at the ground, refusing to meet Legolas' eyes,
"But you were upset. I couldn't just leave you like that," he mumbled
"But you *have* to," Legolas continued, "I know that what happened now was just as much my fault as it was yours, but please," he implored Aragorn, "we can't keep in having incidents like these. It's not right."
"How can I just forget about us two? I *love* you!". An almost heartbroken expression passed its way across Aragorns face.
"And I love you, too, but just remember Arwen. You have to be faithful to her."
Aragorn rose slowly, "I know you are right, but it's so hard..." Legolas nodded in agreement.
"It is hard for me as well."
Aragorn gave him a regretful look, and then with a world-weary sigh, made his way to were a group of people had encircled a shocked looking Pippin.
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