Legolas quickly found himself being scrubbed clean by the
Lord of Imladris. The shock of that was enough to bring him out of
"My Lord, really, I can bathe myself," he offered, sheepishly.
Elrond raised an eyebrow but said nothing, scrubbing away the splotches of
dirt on Legolas' back and arms and bringing the natural color back to his
"Young Prince, you forget I am a healer and have given many baths in the
past," he said, finally.
"I am not wounded."
Legolas blinked and found himself at a loss for words. His weak protests
were getting him nowhere. Elrond's hands were gentle and soothing on his
neglected skin, but never lustful. The Lord of Imladris settled Legolas down
on the edge of the tub and began to wash his legs, going carefully over scrapes
and scratches and slightly older wounds that were still pink with new scar
tissue. After cleaning the golden skin of any remaining dirt, Elrond lifted
up a brush and went to work getting out the dirt from beneath Legolas' nails.
The Prince showed signs of having been in the wood and away from any form
of civilization for quite some time, Elrond noted, looking down at the cloudy
water and bits of floating twigs and leaves. It was highly unlike an Elf
to allow himself to get dirty. Indeed, Elrond had been accused of repelling
dirt in the past.
The Imladris Lord left the tub for a few moments to fetch a few fresh pitchers
of water to wash Legolas' hair. He collected a comb along the way and was
soon at work combing out the tangles and washing debris out of the thick
mass of blonde hair.
"You begin to look like an Elf again, Legolas," Elrond stepped back, admiring
his work. Yet Elves did not usually look so very sad. "Come, the water grows
chill. Out of the tub."
When Legolas stepped from the water, Elrond wrapped a towel around his body
and began briskly rubbing the other's skin. He was pleasantly reminded of
bathing his own children before they had grown, and a smile graced his lips.
Of course, bathing his own children had usually resulted in a good deal more
water on the outside of the tub.
The Elf Lord helped Legolas into a robe before he dried his own body and
slipped into his own clothes. It troubled him that the Prince, who could
usually carry on a conversation with ease, was so quiet. He decided to bring
up nothing for now, and instead let Legolas recover himself before they talked
"Come back into your rooms and I will send for some food. You must be hungry."
Once again, he took the Prince by the arm and led him back through the doorway,
though Legolas was a good deal more steady. It seemed that the bath had rejuvenated
him at least a bit.
Elrond sat Legolas in a chair by the window with a small table before it.
The fresh air would do the Elf Prince some good and the calming view stretched
over waterfalls and vibrant treetops. But Legolas' eyes were unfocused and
not on the window at all. He stared aimlessly at a wall as Elrond frowned
and then went to fetch a servant for a plate of cold meats, bread, fruit,
and a bottle of miruvor. His requests were quickly granted and soon he set
a plate and goblet before Legolas, offering the more succulent morsels to
the Prince to see if he could tempt him.
Legolas nibbled on a crust of bread still warm from the ovens while Elrond
poured him half a glass of cordial.
"Drink, Prince Legolas, it will refresh you."
Legolas obediently put down his bread and took a sip or two from the goblet
before replacing it on the table.
"I will not have you starve to death in fair Imladris," Elrond fixed him
with a stern look, "you must eat."
Legolas stared down at his plate and looked rather ill.
"Is the food not to your liking?" Elrond reached across the table and laid
a hand on the Elf Prince's arm.
The Prince of Mirkwood did not hear him. His eyes were fixed on the plate
as though he were mesmerized. The scent of food turned his stomach, especially
the slightly charred meat. Legolas had not been able to stomach the taste
or smell of meat since he left the battlefields of the War of the Ring. There
he had seen such sights... Corpses of Men and Elves battered bloody and lifeless,
pecked apart by crows, missing limbs or bowels, but the burning ones had
bothered him the most. He had seen the smoldering bodies on the field, charred
and blistered, the acrid smell penetrating the air. He could still smell
it, months later, as though he still stood there on the field.
The sound of his name brought him back to reality and he turned away from
the plate. "I apologize," his voice was nearly a whisper. "I find I am not
very hungry, Lord Elrond."
Elrond was not pleased to see Legolas refuse the food, but he did not press
the issue. The younger Elf had looked as though he would be ill at the very
sight of the plate.
"Will you drink the miruvor?"
"Yes," Legolas nodded, closing his eyes. "The Cordial of Imladris soothes
A small smile crossed Elrond's lips, and he cleared away the uneaten food,
leaving the goblet in front of Legolas. He deposited the dishes outside the
door. "It should revitalize you as well, but many find its properties soothing
to the overworked mind and body."
Legolas looked much less green with the food gone, and he nodded again though
remained silent. Yet he still seemed so weary.
They sat in silence for a while, the Prince absently sipping from his goblet
with a detached look on his face, while Elrond watched him protectively.
"I apologize," Legolas said, finally. He knew he was not himself, and yet
he felt so helpless.
"You have nothing to be sorry for. Imladris is open to all who seek solace
and recuperation." Elrond stood and smoothed his robes. "I shall leave you
to rest some more, if you wish it."
"I…Lord Elrond…" Legolas' unasked question hung in the air between them.
"If there is something you wish of me, youngest Prince of Mirkwood, you need
"I have many fond memories of your voice in the Hall of Fire before we departed
on the Ringquest."
"You wish me to sing to you?"
The Prince nodded and Elrond smiled. He allowed Legolas to make himself more
comfortable on the bed before he pulled up a chair beside him. Giving Legolas'
arm a reassuring squeeze, he sang a slow and lighthearted ballad as the Elf
Prince slowly relaxed into sleep.
Continued in Part 4
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