Title: "Unbidden"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Fandom: LOTR-"The Two Towers"
Rating/Classification: PG, ficlet, sap
Disclaimer: Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema, Tolkien, God, and Orlando Bloom's lips. Not me.
Summary: A filler scene before the battle at Helm's Deep and Gimli's ill-fitting armor incident. Strider and the Pretty One love each other...we all know it, lol.

The press of mail against his skin...the flat weight of the ancestral sword against his palm. Battle ready, battle weary. He has done this a thousand times and will do it a thousand more, so much that his fingers know, unbidden, how to tie the knots, how to conceal the blades. And that leaves his eyes free to rest... to close...to gain, perhaps, a moment of clarity before the Uruk-hai breach the Deep.

"Now is not the time for rest. " Cool fingers brush across his eyelids. Slender, wind-tipped, elf-fingers, and this time they are no fevered vision of his lady. "We'll sleep when we are dead, my friend." Not love words or seduction, simply the gentle jibes that are the staple of Legolas's quicksilver tongue.

"I crave not sleep. In sleep there are only beautiful dreams and this...this is a grim reality," he assures, gaze opening to the crystal blue concern even as his greater senses tune to the rumblings of the keep, the knowledge of what's to come. "I know we must be vigilant. Ready."

The open palm of Legolas sees as much as his keen eyes, it's otherworldly power urging the disquiet from his countenance. "The odds are against us, but not all realities must be grim. There is still hope," he reminds, softly. Lyricism follows him from Elvish to man's language. Music... and echo.

There is still hope. Yes. For certain.

He clasps his old friend's sure and steady hand, gently squeezing the pale knuckles that will soon enough be cut against the strings of a bow. There is no need for clarity. Simply this. Vision. Touch. Assurance. Lips brush his furrowed brow with kinship, with love, before the elf draws away and allows him to return to the utilitarian dressings of war.

They have done this a thousand times and will do it a thousand more.

As they have always done.

There is *always* hope.

--end--

December 28, 2002.



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