Gimli, Legolas and Aliana made their way to the armory to ready themselves for the battle. The armory was full of men. It seemed that they were all either very old or very young. The one thing that they all had in common was that there was an air of worry in the room. The three comrades looked around and realized that these people probably would not see the next morning. Gimli walked over to find a sword and new armor. Aragorn walked up behind Legolas and Aliana. They all stood and watched the scene. Aliana was the first to speak.
“They all seem so weak,” she said, as softly as possible, not wanting anyone else to hear her.
Legolas turned and spoke to Aragorn in Elvish. “These men cannot win this war. Aragorn, they are all going to die!”
“Then I will die as one of them!”, Aragorn replied in the common tongue. He turned and stormed out of the room. Legolas started after him, but Aliana caught his arm. “My lord, give him some time to himself.
“I should not have talked to him that way. I should go apologize”, Legolas explained.
Gimli walked up and told his friend, “Don’t worry about Aragorn. Feelings are running high in here. He knows this. Give him some time, laddie.”
Gimli patted him on the back, and left to try on his new armor.
Aliana was very tired, and she made her way to the wall, and sat with her back against the cold stone. Legolas walked over and knelt beside her.
“Are you alright, my lady?”
“I am just tired. I need to close my eyes for a moment.” She laid her head in her arms that were wrapped around her knees. Legolas stayed where he was as if standing guard over her. In a moment she was sleeping. He reached down and swooped her up into his arms and made his way out of the room to find a place to lay her down. A guard in the hall led him to a small room just past the king’s quarters. It had nothing but a cot inside. He laid her down and sat on the floor next to her. Legolas found himself immersed in his thoughts. He was worried about these people. But even more, he was worried about Aliana. Did she plan on fighting by Aragorn’s side? If she did, how could he keep her safe? Would she be any safer if she was in the caves with the rest of the women? He needed to find Aragorn. He needed to mend things with his friend, and he needed to talk to him about his sister. Legolas stood, reached down and brushed her cheek, and left the room to find his friend.
It did not take Legolas long to find Aragorn. He was sitting on the steps by himself on the other side of the parapet. Legolas sat beside him, neither saying anything for what seemed like a long time. Finally Legolas spoke.
“Please forgive me, my friend. I have never questioned you before, and I do trust your judgment now.”
“No apology needed. I know you are worried about these people and you have every right to be. I am honored to have you by my side, my friend”, Aragorn replied, placing his hand on Legolas’ shoulder.
“Aragorn, there is something that I do want to talk to you about. Aliana.”
“She plans to fight with us, doesn’t she?”, Aragorn questioned.
“She has not said, but that is what I fear”, Legolas replied.
Aragorn thought for a moment before answering. Finally he said, “I will ask her to go to the caves with the rest of the women. I know it will not be her wishes, but I fear we will not be able to protect her if she is in the open. My sister will not be happy, but she will do what I tell her”.
Relief washed over Legolas. “Thank you, Aragorn.” They both sat for a couple more minutes, both welcoming the quiet. Finally Aragorn stood and asked, “Where can I find my sister?”
Legolas stood and led him to the bedroom.
“Aliana”, Aragorn said, kneeling in front of her and shaking her gently. She opened her eyes to see him in front of her, with Legolas standing behind him. She knew what he was going to say. She sat up and said not a word, waiting to hear his words.
“My sister, I wish for you to join the women in the caves. It will be the safest place, and I would not be able to bear losing you again.”
Surprising both men, she finally replied, “If that is your wish”. Aliana stood and walked toward the door. Both men walked with her to the door that led into the caves. Slowly she opened the door, then turned to look at them. She knew if they thought of her anywhere but here, they would be preoccupied and would stand a good chance at dying in battle. She could not be the cause for either of their deaths, for she loved them so. Yes, she admitted to herself, she did have love in her heart for the elf prince. If only things were different. If only she was not who she was. If only they were not on the brink of what could be the last battle any of them would ever see. Aliana’s heart tore in two as she stood there looking at her brother. It was as if he could see inside her for he looked as if his heart was breaking at the same moment. Aragorn grabbed his sister and hugged her wholeheartedly. “I love you, my sister. Never forget that.”
“And I love you, my brother. My strength goes with you.”
Aragorn turned and walked away, leaving Legolas alone to say his goodbyes.
“And my heart goes with you, my lord,” she said to the elf prince.
“My heart stays in this door, to stop any who would try to enter thru it.”, he said to her, looking deep into her eyes. Not being able to stop herself, she lunged forward and wrapped her arms around his neck. Legolas wrapped his strong arms around her small body and held her as tightly as he could. He could feel her heart beating against him. “Please keep him safe”, she whispered in his ear. Finally they stepped back from each other. Aliana turned and walked thru the door and Legolas shut it behind her.