Published: April 20, 2010
He was helpless, and more then frustrated because of it. They had taken Estel from his side, and bound him here against the cold stone. The the crushing weight of the walls pressed in on him, the stone never ceasing to remind him of how much earth there was between him and the open skies above. The darkness of the cell was absolute, and the silence twofold of that. Somewhere, somewhere they had taken Estel, no doubt with ill intent in order to gain the information he himself would not give. It had been easier before, when they had each others' shoulders to lean on, something to focus their attention on other then the promise of impending pain; but now, it was nearly more then he could bear. This feeling of hopelessness, of needing to do something, yet unable to, it was a foreign emotion to him. Only now, was he fully beginning to understand the depth of it. Somewhere out there, Estel was suffering, and he could do nothing, not even whisper words of comfort to ease the pain.
Legolas bit his lip, subconsciously avoiding opening the hole he had already caused there the previous day when they had come for him. He tried yet again to shift his position, to loosen the tension that strained his limbs, and succeeded only in a groan that echoed back, mocking his forced solitude. Mentally, he cried aloud, pleading for the comfort Estel's mere presence offered him in the underground fortress. Try as he might, he could no longer convince himself that he longed to be at Estel's side to comfort and support the fragile mortal, but because he, Legolas, needed the Man's presence to do the same for him.
How long ago had the screams reverberated down the hall? There was no way to know... it felt like ages of Arda passed, but he knew it could not have been that long. Finally, they stopped, and a chill grip tightened around his heart. Why had they ceased so abruptly? The sobbing started then, shaking him deeper then the screams ever could have. Just as a sharply as they had started, they stopped and absolute silence fell once more. What had they done to him? Why was he silent now? The questions ran rampant through his mind, making Legolas sick with dread. He could do nothing, save worry and wait. Though he would not admit it, this was the worst of their methods, the suffering alone, in the darkness, only able to hear his friend's anguish.
Legolas flinched as the door flew open with a resounding crash that reverbrated crash as the wood ricocheted off of the wall. Instinctively, he turned to the light that he so badly craved, though he hated himself for the weakness that it showed.
"Legolas?" His breath hitched at that one word, whispered in that raspy, strained voice.
"Estel?" The question was no more then a mere breath, but the hope infused in it could have broken stone walls.
The man leaned against the wall where another well known face had let him rest.
"Hush now, both of you." Elladan's voice spoke, again the soothing waves shattered the grim silence that had kept him company for so long. "There'll be time for talking later. For now, just stick together... we're waiting for Elrohir's group to clear the way. I'll not have you two wade across that murky stream, not in your...condition, even if I thought you could make it that far."
The words were lost on Legolas, content as he was to merely be in their presence. Even as he remained bound to the floor while Elladan cautiously jerked at the chains binding him there in attempt to undo them, Legolas smiled, cracking open dried lips in a bloody smile, but he could not contain it. Estel was here, with him once more, and the twins were there to rescue them. He was safe, and no longer alone...