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Axe and Bow

A Legolas and Gimli fan archive

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Of Grey

by Dracostella

Category: General
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Disclaimer: Tolken owns them... but you know he saw this coming...
Feedback: Yes
Summary: Blood does not mark Legolas. It is as if he never touched it at all.

Blood. It is not strange to smell blood in a house of healing. Yet, I have been drenched in so much blood in these past days, that I no longer smelled it until now… in this last of gathering places.

The people are battle weary. I see it in their eyes--the despair, and the hopelessness that dull out the blue that marked men of these parts. The blood and grime had long ago robbed their hair of its gold. And standing among them, barely taller than they, I do not blend in. The blood does not cling to me. The hopelessness that surrounds them does not dye my eyes darker.

A child is crying softly in the corner, clinging desperately to a woman lying in the bed. Even from a distance, I can see that she is no longer breathing. Death had taken her hours past. Yet, there is so many wounded, no one is attending to the child. I start to approach her, but I stop. I have no words for her. What do I know of her pain? When have I wept that bitterly for anyone?

"Master Elf," a woman beckons me towards another wounded soldier. And I go to them. There is little I can do to dole out comfort, so I offer what healing skills I have.

As I start to wrap the bandages a man's right shoulder, my eyes fall in the direction of the child again, and she is no longer alone. Gimli is sitting with her. Gimli is half covered in blood himself, and I cringe to think which of it belongs to him. But the child does not seem to mind. The child, almost half Gimli's height is sitting in his embrace, her hands playing idly with his beard. I cannot hear the words he is whispering to her, but his eyes are soft, and I know his words are kind.

My face burning, I turn back toward my task. The man's wound is deep and he has lost much blood.

"Are you an elf?" the man's voice is young. He is barely grown. And I wonder suddenly how many winters he has seen. To few. Far too few.

"I am." I finish dressing his wound.

"My mother used to sing me songs about the elves," he smiles, his eyes glistening blue.

"What did she sing of us?"

"Houses in trees. And gardens. Beautiful gardens," he closes his eyes. "All the green echoing songs in the air."

"Perhaps you will come and visit the elves," I whisper.

He smiles with closed eyes, "Perhaps my spirit will find its way to the forests of the elves."

Before I can respond, he is already asleep, his face younger in his slumber.

I stare at my hand where I had touched his injury. The blood is already slipping away, refusing to linger. And soon, it will be as if I never touched him at all.

Yet even as the last traces of his blood disappear from my hand, the smell of blood is overwhelming my senses. I find myself racing out of the house of healing in to open air, trying to seek solace in the cool night. But relief is not to be found in a place that had been drenched in battle during the day. The blood is thick in the air, and I cannot breathe.

A strong wind blows from the east, and I feel leaf light. I wonder if I let myself go I will take flight with it.

"You should rest, friend," Gimli's voice sounds behind me, and I feel the ground beneath my feet. "The battle will continue tomorrow, and you will need your strength."

"And you as well, my friend," I turn to him. He has his axe with him. I did not see it whilst he was with the girl child, but now his axe is by his side again.

The battle today had been long and hard. I can see the slump in Gimli's shoulder. He is supporting most of his weight on his axe. For once, the dwarf lord is not carrying himself with rigid dignity.

"There will be a storm here soon," I walk closer to him until we are standing side by side.

Gimli stands up straighter. "Let it come." He shifts and he is blocking me from the wind, steadfast, like the stones that are so beloved by his people.

"It will be a strong storm," I say.

He reaches up, and presses one of his hands against my chest. "Light as you are, Master Elf, you are not hollow inside. The storm will not blow you away."

He leaves his hand there, and I press my hands onto his shoulders. He does not move away.

"And at the end of the storm?" I ask.

"The river will expand and wash away the blood," he says and I lean into him, feeling the heat beneath his armor.

The first beads of rain fall around us, and I can taste the bitter lamentations awaiting me in the drops of eternity.


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Issue No.: 2.6
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