Disclaimer: Only borrowing Tolkienís characters for my fantasy.
Inside the Darkness
Part 6 - Attack
Lurtz was unable to fall asleep that night. Until dawn he pondered everything that had happened to him since meeting Legolas. The Elf had told him that the Uruk-Hai were evil and deep down in his soul he knew that Legolas was right. That evil had taken over when the Elf had spoken Saruman's name. He had instantly recognized the name and it had unleashed an unbridled fury in him. Once his anger had awakened, he had realized that he had hurt his companion and he feared it could happen again. But leaving Legolas wasn't an option. The Elf still needed him.
/I want to stay with him, but I can't. I'm a danger to him. I must leave after we arrive at Rivendell. I can't continue to place him in danger like that./ The mere thought of leaving Legolas made his heart ache, but he knew it was the sensible thing to do. The rages still lurked in his mind and he might hurt Legolas even worse the next time his anger surfaced. He had to put some distance between them.
The Elf stirred in his arms and the blue eyes lost their vacant look. Lurtz immediately grew alert. "Is something wrong?"
"Aye... They're coming..." Legolas' eyes narrowed. "I can feel them."
Lurtz frowned. "Who are?"
"The Orcs... and Uruk-Hai. They must have followed our tracks." Legolas drew in a deep breath. "Hopefully I can still wield a sword."
"You're staying clear of the fighting," decided Lurtz. "You're too easy a target." The glare Legolas shot him made his blood flow faster. "I want you to hide and to let me deal with them."
Legolas shook his head. "I'm wounded, not incapable of defending myself."
Lurtz loved seeing the wild spirit shine from Legolas' eyes. "End of discussion."
Legolas groaned softly. "You can't take them on alone!"
"I can." Lurtz felt comfortable he could take out their enemies. "May I use your weapons?" He had lost his together with his memory.
Legolas nodded slowly. "They will serve you well."
Lurtz removed the branches and leaves that covered them and started to put his armor back on. Secretly he sneaked a look at Legolas. The Elf was naked and looked gorgeous in the moonlight. /I don't remember ever feeling like this.../
Lurtz finished dressing, reverently took hold of Legolas' sword and hunting knives and scanned his surroundings. "I sense them as well..." But his blood sung in welcome, like he was going to be reunited with his long lost brothers. He shook off the feeling, determined not to give in to his dark side and mentally prepared himself for the fight.
Legolas hated the fact that he was a mere witness to the fight; he would have preferred to participate in it, but Lurtz was probably right. Their attackers would concentrate on him and Lurtz's attention would be divided between defending him and attacking the Orcs. He obeyed when Lurtz ordered him to hide behind the shelter and from his hide out, he watched Lurtz.
The Orcs and Uruk-Hai that approached Lurtz suddenly came to a halt. Surprise shone from their eyes and Legolas feared that their presence would sparkle Lurtz's memory again. Then Lurtz would turn against him and in his current state he couldn't fight them off successfully.
The surprise in the Uruk-Hais' eyes changed to disbelief when Lurtz charged. Using the element of surprise to his advantage, Lurtz took out several Orcs and Uruk-Hai before they knew what was happening. Then they charged as well, aiming their swords, arrows and daggers at Lurtz.
Legolas couldn't help but admire Lurtz's fighting skills. None of their attackers stood a chance and once they realized that, they retreated.
Now that they were gone, Legolas pulled himself to his feet and leaned heavily against a tree for support. Lurtz's back was turned toward him and he couldn't see the expression on the other man's face. Slowly, biting down the pain, he advanced on Lurtz. Suddenly, Lurtz spun around, flung himself at him and Legolas released a keening wail when his feet were pulled away from underneath him. A red, hot pain sliced through his leg.
Lurtz's eyes were dark and wild and without recognition. Legolas remained completely motionless, hoping the berserker rage would leave Lurtz. "It's I, Legolas..." Lurtz was pushing him down and the Uruk-Hai had grabbed his wrists, pinning them above his head. He felt utterly defenseless. "Stop it."
Suddenly the expression in Lurtz's eyes changed, and his eyes turned warm. He instantly released Legolas' wrists and jumped to his feet.
Legolas sighed relieved. "Could you help me back on to my feet?" Lurtz's eyes avoided his and he read the guilt on the Uruk-Hai's face. He extended his left hand, hoping Lurtz would get the hint. After a long moment, Lurtz took hold of his hand and helped him to his feet.
"I did it again..." Lurtz's voice was heavy with guilt. "I'm a danger to you."
"You got carried away in battle." Legolas rested his left hand on Lurtz's shoulder for support. "You stopped when you realized you were hurting me. No harm was done... except to these foul creatures." Several dead Orcs and Uruk-Hai lay at Lurtz's feet. Legolas finally made eye contact with his companion. "You made the right choice. Given the chance they would have killed me."
Lurtz shrugged. "I saw trust in their eyes before I charged. Like they rejoiced to see me."
Legolas carefully chose his words. "Your heart is no longer ruled by hate and anger. The evil has left. You are no longer a part of them."
Lurtz shook his head. "I was one of them once, wasn't I? They knew me... They weren't going to attack, but ask me to join them."
Legolas nodded once. "Aye, it's true. You belonged to a pack of Uruk-Hai and you took part in their battles, but you changed."
"Will I change back in to what I was when the memories return?"
The lost expression in Lurtz's eyes caused a lump to form in Legolas' throat. "I hope not. I find that I value you as a friend, a companion."
Lurtz managed a weak smile at hearing that. "And so do I."
Legolas returned the smile. "We should leave now. They will come back with reinforcements."
"Shouldn't you put some clothes on first? You're still naked."
Legolas almost blushed, almost, as he felt Lurtz's eyes caress his body. He was old and experienced enough to realize what was happening. Lurtz was falling in love with him and he was starting to return those feelings. /We can never work out. I should not encourage him./ "Would you fetch my clothes? I'm afraid I will need your assistance."
Lurtz obeyed, collected the green tunic and helped Legolas slip in to his clothes. "Lean on me," he offered as the Elf almost took a fall while balancing on one leg.
Legolas slung an arm around Lurtz's neck and the Uruk-Hai's arm encircled his waist in return, almost carrying him. "If we make haste we can arrive at Rivendell before the moon rises again."
Lurtz remained silent. What was going through the other man's head? Legolas wished he knew. Fighting those Orcs and Uruk-Hai had definitely changed Lurtz's life. Part of him hadn't been sure Lurtz would follow through once realizing he was fighting his own kind, but apparently the urge to protect him had been stronger, for which he felt grateful. Stealing a look at Lurtz, he was surprised to find a content smile grace his features and he wondered what Lurtz would look like once properly cleaned up, hair combed and braided and dressed in a tunic. /I am making him in to Elf... What am I thinking? He is not an Elf and will never be one.../
Lurtz grew concerned when Legolas began to heavily lean on him. They had been walking for hours and the Elf was tiring. He however, still felt energetic and didn't plan on stopping any time soon. He was determined to reach Rivendell as quickly as possible.
"What are you doing?"
Lurtz lifted Legolas and cradled him against his chest. "You're slowing us down." Legolas' big eyes amused him. "It is true, you're slowing us down!" Lurtz studied Legolas' eyes when the Elf didn't protest again. "Why didn't you tell me you're tired?"
Legolas gave Lurtz an apologetic look. "I'm not tired, not really, it's my leg..."
"I know you're in pain... That's why we can't stop." Lurtz quickened his pace.
"But even you have to rest! There's no point in exhausting yourself!"
Lurtz grinned. "Elf," he said teasingly, "I don't tire easily. I can go one for a few more hours."
Legolas didn't know how to react to the teasing tone and stared hard at Lurtz. The Uruk-Hai continued to march and the silence between them urged Legolas to speak again. "Are you troubled?"
Lurtz carefully considered his answer. "What troubles me is the fact that I am capable of evil, of hurting you. I possess too much strength to lose control like that."
"You need to have faith."
Lurtz laughed bitterly. "When I fought those Uruk-Hai I saw myself reflected in their eyes. I'm like them."
"Nay, not any more," protested Legolas.
"You put too much faith in me, Elf..." Lurtz's tone softened. "I do not deserve your trust."
"You do." Legolas smiled weakly, wondering how many more hours Lurtz planned on carrying him.
Lurtz reluctantly agreed that they needed to search for shelter. It had started to pour and a strong wind slowed him down. He located a cave and carried Legolas inside. He lowered the Elf to the ground and found that the blue eyes were vacant once more. Acting instinctively he leaned in closer, brushing Legolas' brow with his lips. What madness was this?
His action startled him and he quickly pulled back. He shouldn't have kissed Legolas while the Elf was asleep.
Lurtz released a tormented sigh and rose to his feet again. Maybe he could find something to eat and refill his flask. He made sure Legolas was resting comfortably and then ventured out in to the rain again.
The sky had darkened and even the moon hid behind dark clouds. His sharpened vision guided him through the darkness and he grew alert when the air brought an alien scent with it. A horse... and its owner...
Lurtz hid behind a tree, listening closely as the horse approached. Surprised, he noticed that the black horse's saddle was empty. Where was its rider?
Unexpectedly someone crashed in to him from behind and Lurtz lost his balance, beginning to fall. Even during the fall he spun around and grabbed his attacker in a choke hold. At first he thought Legolas had been so foolish to sneak up on him, but the long blond hair didn't belong to his companion; the scent was wrong. His fingers located pointed ears beneath his fingertips. /Another Elf!/ He tried to twist around again, but he acted too late. The Elf hit the ground hard, his shoulder and back of the head taking the heaviest blow.
The blond Elf yelped in pain as he hit the ground and his face was finally revealed. Lurtz had never seen this Elf before, but the blue eyes once more reminded him of Legolas. "Who are you? Why did you sneak up on me?" The Elf's eyes suddenly cracked, and grew empty. Lurtz immediately bowed down, and as his hand cradled the Elf's head, something warm and sticky clung to his fingers. / A head injury... I can't leave him here... I will carry this one back to the cave. Maybe Legolas knows what to do.../
He ripped a piece of fabric from the blond's cloak and used it to bandage the Elf's head. Lurtz lifted his victim and shook his head. /Why is this happening to me? Why are Elves crossing my path now?/
Resigned, he started his way back to the cave, hoping Legolas knew how to care for this Elf.
"Legolas, wake up..."
Lurtz's voice interrupted his sleep and his eyes opened slowly. Legolas was about to ask Lurtz why the other man had woken him, when he caught sight of the motionless form in the Uruk-Hai's arms. "What happened?" He brushed the locks out of the other Elf's face and sucked in his breath. "What's he doing here?"
"You know him?"
"Aye..." Legolas' fingers quickly examined the head injury. "What did you do?"
"It wasn't my fault," said Lurtz defensively. "He attacked me from behind, using his horse to distract me."
"His horse? Where is it?"
"Outside... it followed us back to the cave." Lurtz looked and sounded crestfallen. "How badly injured is he?"
"He'll survive," said Legolas softly. "But he will suffer headaches..." The wound was still bleeding and the loss of blood worried Legolas. "At least now we know we're close to Rivendell."
Lurtz raised an eyebrow. "And we know that because...?"
Legolas smoothed back a stray lock from the other Elf's face. "Because Glorfindel never strays far from Rivendell... Lurtz, we need to leave at sunrise." Suddenly he shot a grin at Lurtz. "Hopefully the head injury won't cause any amnesia."
Lurtz groaned. Now he had two injured Elves to take care of...
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