The three of them somehow managed to survive for a fortnight. While it still burned like the fire of a thousand suns, Leuedai was beginning to manage the pain. It took over a week, but she finally convinced them to go look for some help…or at least a town. It’s not like Hobbits could lift her. It’d be up to her to get there, but she couldn’t just start hobbling in one direction and hope. That was a definite way to get killed, especially if there were more of these creatures lurking. If they were, though, it seemed like they would have pounced on her in her moment of weakness…
She heard a rustle and immediately pulled her bow, holding it horizontally and nocked. There was no way she would be able to defend herself other than shooting it once. The need to kill was quickly thrown from her mind as she heard familiar Hobbits voices chattering quietly to one another. Finally! They returned. She cleared her throat in case they didn’t remember exactly where the hidden shelter was built.
Daisy wrung her little hands once more, but her pudgy Hobbit-face almost seemed hopeful. “There ye be, Miss Loo! Do ye think ye can be moving today? Scary’s none too far ‘way, now, an’ they were right concerned when they be hearin’ about your leg, there. Even say some of your Tall Folk be up near the ‘borings!”
A familiar frown came to the dirty Rohirrim’s forehead. She had no idea what the “’borings” were. Lotho tried to explain quickly, stumbling over his words even more than usual. “B- it’s, uh, the north. To th’ north, Miss Loo. None too far a ride, neither. Oh, uh, not that ye’d be riding, what with your leg th’ way it’s looking.”
Leuedai grimaced as she rose, hands grasping her makeshift crutches with fevered strength. Even having her leg hang like it did was horrendously painful. At least the pain meant she was alive. This “Scary” wasn’t too far away, the Hobbits were only gone two hours or so, and she was sure they chattered for a good half of that when they reached the village. Scary was a horrible name for a town…
Nearly all that rang through her mind was pain and weariness. Every step burned and her underarms were already bruised from the crutches – she could tell. The Hobbits told her she should rest and wait for her friends to “come ‘round this way.” There was no guarantee they would. Leuedai was gone for so long, she wondered if they thought she abandoned her contract. Why were they so north? Did the Hobbits need some snow shoveled? That thought brought a pained, savagely amused grin to her face.
The look must have scared Daisy, who had stuck with her through her doomed trip. She squeaked and hid her face in filthy brown curls. Lotho insisted they all stay, but no one could stop Leue. She would walk to these “’borings” by herself, crutches and pain as her only companions, if she had to. Getting back was her only concern. Whatever damage was done was not reversible at this stage. Daisy had over the past two weeks truly come into her own, she had to admit. The little Hobbit – she had to keep reminding herself that this “little” Hobbit was a good ten years older than her – had taken her advice to heart and fancied herself Leuedai’s healer. She refused to leave her “charge” and after taking the generous offers of food for the road with thanks, trotted alongside the tall, broken woman.
She was mindlessly chattering about something, probably food or babies. Leuedai didn’t really tune into it; she had to keep all her attention focused on one hobble at the time. Good foot forward, push with arms, place sticks carefully on road, push good foot forward. Every movement seemed like a painful eternity, but she would make it regardless of how long it took.
((A few hours before the two would have reached Brockenborings, Leuedai and Daisy ran across the caravan of wounded Wayfarers and company. They – obviously – fell in with them.))