The Struggle Within
"We'll rest here and cross the river after dark." Aragorn watched his companions and sensed Legolas' weariness. The Elf looked troubled and he wondered about the reason. During the last stretch of their journey Boromir had seemed distance, not even touching Legolas.
"Why not cross now?" Legolas constantly stared at the trees. He had briefly forgotten about Boromir as a dark evil approached.
"The shore is being watched," said Aragorn, catching Legolas' glance. It was the first time since the attack that Boromir wasn't in Legolas' immediate proximity and that worried him. The bond that bound Elf and Man couldn't snap; if it did it meant Legolas' death.
"It's not the shores that worry me. A shadow and a threat is on my mind," whispered Legolas worried. Something dark and threatening was moving in their direction. He sensed pure evil.
Aragorn followed Legolas' stare, but couldn't determine anything alien in the forest. He turned about when Sam's voice caught his attention.
"Where's Frodo?" Sam suddenly looked about, worried when he didn't see Frodo anywhere.
Aragorn and Legolas' glance were drawn to Boromir's shield. Legolas immediately realized the danger Frodo was in. Galadriel had tried to warn Boromir, but the Ring was incredibly strong. "I will find them," he promised. He was about to search for the two men when Aragorn's hand settled on his arm, stopping him.
"I should come with you." Aragorn wasn't sure Legolas had completely healed. The Elf looked fine, but in the back of his mind he still feared losing his Elven friend.
"Believe me, Aragorn, I need to do this alone..." Legolas' eyes pleaded with Aragorn for understanding. Maybe it wasn't too late yet and he could still reach Boromir; break the spell a second time.
"I will give you a few moments, but if you don't return I will come after you myself," decided Aragorn.
"Thank you." Legolas immediately hurried away, finding his way deep in to the forest. His instincts told him that Boromir had fallen under the influence of the Ring once more and it was up to him to pull Boromir back from the brink.
"None of us should walk alone," said Boromir, watching Frodo intensely. He had left the company to gather wood, but the Ring had told him to head in this direction for then he would run in to Frodo... and the Ring. It called to him, pulling him close, leaving him no choice.
/I belong to you, Boromir, I will bring you the power you always craved. Take hold of me, put me on your finger./
Frodo's eyes were haunted, but Boromir didn't see. The Ring's hold on him was too strong. "I know why you wish to be alone. You suffer. I see it in your eyes. You suffer every day, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are other paths you can take..."
/Gondor, the White City will become the center of Middle Earth and you will rule. Boromir, you deserve to be more than just the Steward of Gondor. You ought to be the High King!/
And all that time the Ring continued to whisper, to seduce him. All Boromir could think about was putting the Ring on his finger and finally being able to defend his people. Gondor would become the new heart of Middle Earth, which him ruling it.
Frodo's eyes grew big. "It sounds like a wise thing to do, but my heart whispers a warning..."
Frodo's words enraged Boromir. He had done so much for the hobbits, had protected them all this time and still Frodo didn't trust him!
/The hobbit doesn't know his friends from his enemies. Ignore him and take what is rightfully yours./
The Ring... it whispered, pulled him close, leaving him no choice... Angrily Boromir dropped the wood onto the ground and glared at Frodo. "All I ask is the power to defend my people! Why do you move away from me? I am no thief!"
Frodo realized the danger he was in, knowing he could never defeat the Man in battle. Putting the Ring on his finger was his only way of escape, but then Sauron would know his whereabouts and the Ringwraiths would come for him!
"The Ring only came to you by chance! It belongs to me!" Boromir closed in on Frodo, no longer aware of his actions.
/Your father will be so proud of you when you ride in to the White City of Gondor. Denethor and Faramir will bow before you and accept you as their superior. Isn't that what you always dreamt of?/
The Ring whispered into his very soul, seducing him with visions of his victorious arrival at his father's court and finally receiving his father's love, after Denethor favoring Faramir for all those long years. He would finally be the High King of Gondor!
Frodo trembled. Boromir actually scared him! The Ring slipped in to his fingers and Frodo held on to it, knowing it was his only means of escape.
"I know your mind! You will take it to Sauron... betray us!" Boromir was no longer himself. The Ring had taken over, consuming him. Frantically, he moved toward Frodo and he growled enraged when the hobbit slipped on the Ring and disappeared from view. Furious at Frodo's escape, he continued to rave, stumbled, fell and... was jolted back in to reality.
What was he doing here? Wasn't he supposed to be gathering wood? A pair of frightened eyes rushed in to his mind and the image cleared his head, driving away the fog. "Frodo... what have I done? Frodo..." Oh, he was sorry! He never wanted to scare the hobbit! He liked the hobbits, all four of them. He had instantly liked them! How could he have acted like that? He had attacked Frodo!
"The mirror..." Galadriel's mirror had shown him the future and he had been too weak to fight and change fate's course. "Frodo, I am sorry!"
But the hobbit was nowhere in sight. His eyes filled with tears of shame and regrets, and he bowed his head in defeat. "She warned me... and so did Legolas... Legolas!" Startled, he looked about, searching for the Elf. Legolas was always close. Had the Elf watched the attack on Frodo?
"Legolas, I know you're close... Please, I need you. Tell Frodo that I didn't mean it. It was the Ring! It wasn't me! I wasn't myself. I never wanted to hurt the little one!"
The silence remained and his damning words continued to echo in his ears. He had betrayed Frodo, the trust and friendship that had existed between them. He could never rebuild that trust... His honor was lost...
Cold tears dripped from Legolas' face. Entranced he had watched Boromir's attack on Frodo and although he had wanted to intervene, he had found himself frozen. Boromir, his mate, had attacked the Ringbearer like Galadriel had foretold and he had been unable to stop it.
Suddenly Boromir's plea reached his ears. Boromir knew the Elf was close and he now called out to him!
"Legolas, I know you're close... Please, I need you. Tell Frodo that I didn't mean it. It was the Ring! It wasn't me! I wasn't myself. I never wanted to hurt the little one!"
Legolas briefly closed his eyes. While Frodo wore the Ring the hobbit was out of his reach. Inwardly torn he wondered what to do next. Should he warn Aragorn that Frodo had put on the Ring and had gone missing, or should he comfort Boromir? His urge to protect the Ringbearer won, and after whispering barely audible reassurance directed at Boromir, he turned about and headed back to the camp. His heart was cold and chills ran down his spine. Boromir had to make peace with himself first and only then the healing could begin.
/I can't believe I attacked him. Frodo, my friend, I am so sorry. I will make everything up to you. I will protect you for the rest of my life. I never meant to hurt you. It was the Ring... It whispered, taking away my soul and replacing it with its hunger to be reunited with its Master. I fooled myself in to believing that I could wield the Ring. Aragorn was right. It was my stubborn pride that fed the Ring, showing it how to manipulate me./
The sound of battle drew his attention. The forest was swarming with Orcs and his heart missed a beat, seeing Pippin and Merry drawing the Orcs' attention. /They are an easy target!/ He should really teach them to run for cover instead of calling out to the Orcs!
The Horn of Gondor was suddenly at his lips and its sound filled the forest, hoping it would draw Aragorn's attention. He couldn't fight these Orcs alone! /But then again, why kill them all? I will cover the hobbits' retreat and then... I deserve to die for what I did. I lost my honor! I am no longer a respectable warrior! I betrayed my friends!/ The Orcs would do him a favor by killing him and his death would even serve a purpose; it would buy Merry and Pippin the time they needed to get away!
"Run!" Boromir made eye contact with the hobbits, who seemed surprised and at the same time relieved to see him. "Run!"
Jolted in to action the two hobbits finally started to ran.
Boromir charged the Ocrs, wounding, beheading, and maiming the foul creatures. Staring in to their venomous eyes, he recalled that these creatures had hurt Legolas not so long ago. They had driven the Elf to the Halls of Mandos and only his strength had brought Legolas back. Howling a battle cry, Boromir's sword cleaved a head in two, slashed apart a heart and one by one the Orcs fell at his feet.
His warrior instincts kicked in when another Orc appeared; Legolas had pointed this one out as his main attacker. The battle paint, ripped clothing and mad expression in the black eyes warned him to take this new opponent extremely serious. He raised his sword, but suddenly an arrow buried itself in his shoulder. The pain was instant and intense, but ingrained training enabled him to repress it. The arrow wouldn't kill him, but he needed to take out this Orc now!
/Why fight...? You want to die, remember? You betrayed Frodo... You lost your honor. Let fate run its course. It's time to die./
Boromir locked eyes with the leader and realized that a second arrow was aimed at him, and this time it was aimed at his heart. Once more he gathered his strength, trying to lock out the depressing thoughts and to focus one last time on doing the honorable thing by ending Ugluk's life.
Ugluk aimed and the arrow left his hand. Boromir's eyes widened and he tried to prepare himself for the arrow's impact... but it never came. A second arrow intercepted Ugluk's and swept it out of course.
Boromir's eyes instinctively found Legolas'. It was the Elf who had saved his life. "My love..."
A sparkle appeared in Legolas' eyes and Boromir's heart filled with courage and pride. Legolas had saved his life; that meant the Elf had forgiven him for the attack on Frodo.
An angry growl escaped Ugluk and he aimed another arrow at Boromir.
Boromir had one second to decide his course. Did he want to live or was he still eager to die? /I want to live... I want to be there for Legolas. He showed me a glimpse of what love is about and I want it all. I want him for the rest of my life./
"Duck!" Legolas called out to Boromir, who stood paralyzed.
Boromir reacted instinctively, ducked and the arrow missed him once more. Ugluk's roar echoed in his head and Boromir distinctively heard pain beneath the frustration. Looking up, he found that two of Legolas' arrows had buried themselves in Ugluk's chest. The man staggered, growled, and blood suddenly dripped from his lips. A third and last arrow pierced Ugluk's heart, ending his life.
Boromir quickly got to his feet. In disbelief he stared at Ugluk, and then at Legolas' arrows. His love had saved him! But then another thought occurred to him. /Legolas took his own revenge... The last time he saw Ugluk he froze, now he faced and bested him!/ He felt proud of his beloved, who had overcome his fears.
Their eyes briefly met and in that instant the bond flared brightly, reestablishing the former connection. Legolas' tender smile warmed his heart, and ignoring the arrow still stuck in his shoulder, he charged with renewed strength.
Legolas stayed close during the remainder of the battle and they both chased after the Orcs when the foul creatures took Merry and Pippin with them.
Panting hard, Boromir shook his head. He couldn't believe the Orcs had captured the hobbits!
Aragorn joined them, equally enraged and Boromir read the expression in the other man's eyes correctly. "We'll go after them!"
Aragorn nodded. "Aye, we will not abandon them to pain and torture..."
Legolas moved behind Boromir and sneaked an arm around the Man's waist. "You are wounded. Let me tend to you."
"We don't have the time." Boromir collapsed against a tree and sank on to his knees. His shoulder felt inflamed and he was growing dizzy.
"I will go after them," said Aragorn. "Follow me when you can."
Legolas nodded. "We will join you shortly."
Aragorn disappeared between the trees and Legolas knelt next to Boromir. His hands tenderly examined the injury. "You will live," he said, half jokingly, trying to chase away the sense of dread that filled his heart. He had almost lost Boromir! Ugluk's arrows almost ended Boromir's life. Thankfully he had appeared in time to stop it from happening!
Boromir slowly raised a hand and rested its palm against Legolas' face. "Why are you crying?"
Only now did Legolas realize that tears flowed down his face. "I almost lost you."
Boromir marveled at his lover. "You care so much about me... even after I betrayed you... I betrayed the Fellowship. I tried to take the Ring from Frodo. I couldn't let him go."
Legolas trembled. "I saw it happen... I wanted to stop you, but I couldn't. It felt like fate had to run its course... But Frodo escaped and you're still alive."
Boromir relented as Legolas pulled him to his feet. The Elf's touch was gentle, but the injury caused him great pain.
"There's a cave nearby. We can stay there for the night. I will gather some healing herbs and hopefully you will have recuperated enough to join Aragorn tomorrow."
Boromir's eyes slowly closed; he felt mentally exhausted and his shoulder throbbed. "You need to remove the tip."
"I will." Legolas wrapped his arms around Boromir's waist and he supported the Man as they walked over to the cave. He helped Boromir lay down on the ground and started a small fire. He needed light if he wanted to tend to Boromir's wound. Boromir's eyes were now fully closed and Legolas hoped that the Man had lost consciousness; that would make removing the arrow's tip a lot less painful on Boromir.
He uncovered a hunting knife and placed its tip in the fire. His hand trembled, realizing how close he had come to losing Boromir. If he had intervened a moment later, Ugluk would have ended Boromir's life. Now it was Ugluk who had found death. It still amazed him that he had taken out Ugluk; he had expected to feel paralyzed, but seeing Boromir in peril had made him overcome his fears.
After removing the knife from the fire, he sat on his heels next to Boromir. With one hand he removed Boromir's cloak and tunic, revealing the ugly wound. "Hopefully the tip isn't poisoned," sighed Legolas.
The knife dipped beneath the inflamed skin and he pushed against the tip of the arrow. The arrow dropped on to the ground and Legolas used part of his tunic for a bandage. He was so focused that he didn't notice Boromir's eyes opening... not until he looked up and stared in to Boromir's dark orbs.
"You are awake..." Legolas rested one hand on Boromir's brow, trying to establish if the Man was growing feverish. "I need to find the healing herbs that will aid your recovery. I do not possess Aragorn's healing powers, but I will do my best."
Boromir moistened his lips. "I am sorry..."
Legolas frowned. "Do not worry too much; it will hamper your recovery."
"Will you forgive me?"
"For attacking Frodo. I wasn't myself." Boromir raised one hand and curled his fingers around Legolas'. "The Ring possessed me."
Legolas nodded once. "I know it was not you who attacked the hobbit."
"Then you forgive me?"
"Aye... Though it's not my forgiveness you need."
"Aye, it's Frodo's, but I doubt I will see him again." Growing tired, Boromir's eyes slipped shut.
Legolas removed his cloak and placed it on top of Boromir. "Rest, sleep. I will look after you."
A gentle smile appeared on Boromir's face. "I liked taking care of you when you were injured..."
Legolas nodded pleased. "I could tell by your gentle touch and now I will take care of you in return." Legolas leaned in closer and placed a chaste kiss on Boromir's brow. "Rest now, I will be close at all times."
Boromir sighed sleepily and dozed off, trusting Legolas to watch over him. His love had forgiven him, but he still needed Frodo's forgiveness. /At least the voice is gone.../
"Boromir, you need to wake up and drink this." Legolas helped Boromir, who was slightly feverish, in to a sitting position and helped the other man drink the tea.
Boromir felt something wet and cold against his shoulder and looked down. "What did you do?"
"I made a paste of the herbs and it now covers your wound. It will help close the wound." Legolas made sure Boromir sipped slowly and then the Elf smiled happily.
"What are you smiling about?" Boromir didn't find the situation that funny!
"Our roles are strangely reversed now. Not so long ago you nursed me back to health."
Boromir eyed Legolas closely. The Elf no longer looked weak; strength shone from the sparkling orbs. "And now you plan on nursing me back to health?"
"Aye." Legolas shot Boromir a wicked glance, then lowered the other man gently back on to the ground. "Are you cold or warm?" The fire was dying and the wood was too wet to rekindle the fire.
"Aye, I am cold," said Boromir wickedly. "Warm me." He would do anything to have the Elf close.
Legolas laid down beside him and nestled closely against Boromir's body. He covered them both with his cloak and searched Boromir's dark eyes. "The Ring no longer whispers to you. I no longer hear it."
"It's true," confirmed Boromir. "It's gone." Ignoring the stabbing pain, he managed to fold one arm around Legolas. "Never doubt my love for you." He rested his chin on Legolas' head and inhaled the Elf's scent. "Don't ever leave me."
"I won't." Legolas cocked his head and looked Boromir in the eyes. "I almost lost you."
"You were very brave when you took out Ugluk." Boromir pressed a kiss on Legolas' forehead. "You overcame your fears like a true warrior."
Legolas felt almost childishly proud at hearing Boromir's praise. "Your strength was my strength."
"Nay." Boromir shook his head. "I was weak. I let the Ring control me."
Legolas stroked his lover's dark hair. "But you tried to repent for your mistake. You were willing to die to protect the hobbits."
Again, Boromir shook his head. A saddened expression appeared in his eyes. "I wanted to die. I lost my honor."
"Nay, you did not lose your honor. You wavered, aye, but you tried to make amends. It was the Ring that controlled your actions. Do not hate yourself for falling under its spell. You must now be strong and accept what has happened; only then can we move on. The darkness inside your heart must vanish."
Boromir marveled at the Elf's wise words; he had once more forgotten he was dealing with a two thousand year old immortal. "But my heart is a pit filled with jealousy."
"Jealousy?" Legolas frowned and tightened the embrace.
"I always wanted to be more than my father's son. I wanted to be the true ruler of Gondor; its King, but now I understand that Aragorn is its true ruler." Boromir searched for the right words. "Now that the Ring no longer whispers to me I am starting to see the true treasure that I gained on his quest. Your love." Boromir's eyes widened, seeing Legolas actually blush at his words. "It is true, my beloved! I no longer desire to rule Gondor, I merely desire to rule your heart."
Legolas' heart warmed, hearing Boromir's passionate words. "You already rule my heart."
Boromir, pleased, buried his face in Legolas' silken hair. "Then I am truly blessed."
Legolas briefly closed his eyes, treasuring this moment.
Boromir finally fully realized how the Ring had played him, manipulating him in to believing that love was fragile and that only power would persevere. /The Ring lied to me. Love is eternal and power corrupts. I finally understand. I will never again betray someone's trust and I will always be true to Legolas. That Elf upended my life... and I love him for it./
Boromir closed his eyes and allowed himself to fall asleep. With Legolas in his arms he felt complete and whole, no longer needing the Ring or its power.
Return to Archive | next | previous