This story contains slash and a kind of depressing mood, so stop right here if you're not in the mood for that today. Just wanted to give you a little heads-up. I'll add a little more A/N at the end – I want to get on with the story!
Forty-six years after the War of the Ring ended.
Elrond stood silent near the path into Rivendell as a party of Men entered solemnly. It was a beautiful day, the sun glinting through the trees, mocking the dim mood of the Last Homely House.
The man in the lead paused, causing the entire line to halt as well.
"Lord Elrond," he greeted him.
"Daneforth," he answered in reply. "You come with sad tidings."
Daneforth bowed his head. "You have foreseen what is to come. Tell me: will our king live?"
"That part of the future is blurred. Aragorn's mortality has placed him on the edge of a knife. He may fall in either direction. At any rate, no Man is immortal. He will pass on someday; whether that day will come soon is yet to be determined."
"You speak as if you wish to burden our hearts."
"I speak only the truth. Come in and we shall see if your king may be saved."
Elrond turned and led the procession through the winding paths of Rivendell until they reached a room suitable for healing.
The men who had been carrying Aragorn set his pallet down on the bed and eased it out from under him. Arwen, who had walked towards the end of the line, fled to her father's side. "[elvish word for father], will he yet live?"
Elrond looked at the king. He was pale and sickly; it appeared that he had lost much weight. His eyes were surrounded with purplish circles, and his brow was shining with a cold sweat. His breath was thin and wispy, hardly breath at all.
"Is this the result of some wound or disease?"
Arwen answered, "No one knows. After a journey with his band of warriors, they returned, and he was merely weak, as though he was just tired from a long journey. But instead of healing, his condition worsened over two weeks, at which point we decided to bring him to you. After all, you are a true master of healing."
"I think it is some sort of disease, then, one that weakens the mind and soul. Go, my daughter, and rest awhile."
Arwen looked shocked. "I cannot leave Aragorn!"
"Please, just go. Watching this will only make you feel worse."
"Why? What are you going to do to him?"
"I will try to destroy this disease, but it will hurt him greatly. You must not watch."
Arwen cast her eyes to the ground. "Yes, father. I have complete faith in your abilities. You will heal him." She slowly turned and left the room.
Elrond turned back to Aragorn. "Elessar," he commanded, "can you hear my voice?"
Aragorn did not react.
Elrond sighed. "Then you leave me no choice." He placed his hand over Aragorn's heart and began chanting. It was slow and soft at first, a murmur on the wind, but the intensity grew. His voice grew louder and more urgent.
Aragorn did react to this. He clenched his fists, beginning to grow restless and thrash about. He grew even paler and beads of sweat broke out on his brow. His face contorted into expressions of pure torture, and he began to cry out. It was unintelligible sounds at first, but it turned into words: "No! No, no, no, stop it! Stop it! Let me die! LET ME DIE!"
Elrond, of course, did none of those things. As Aragorn cried out "KILL ME," Elrond spat, "Wake!"
Aragorn opened his mouth once more, and a thick black smoke emerged, filling the room, until it dissolved in the sunlight.
Elrond knelt beside Aragorn's bed. "Wake," he repeated softly.
Aragorn's eyes flew open. "What has happened to me?"
"You were taken by a plague, some remnant of Mordor's taint on the land. What do you last remember?"
"I was walking through trees until I found a grove dark and closed in. I stepped into it, and I felt as though I had just swallowed icy water. The world went all black, and I slipped into dreams of creatures unseen and unheard of; creatures that I do not wish to speak of. They surrounded me, but I had no weapon to defend myself. And then..."
Elrond recognized the pain in Aragorn's eyes. "What is it?"
Aragorn coughed weakly and continued. "They were shot down one by one. I recognized the arrows as those of Mirkwood. I looked up and Legolas was standiing there. He had saved me, and then – then he walked away. I see it all now. I let him go. I let him go and now it's too late."
"Too late?" Elrond thought he knew what Aragorn was tryingto say, but just wanted to hear it. After all, he could see the future, not the thoughts of others.
"Too late to make things right. Too late to tell him the truth … too late to tell him that I love him.:"
Elrond let out the breath that he had been holding. "So it is true."
"I have seen the way the teo of o look at each other. I've known for awhile now that you were never merely friends. And when you say it is too late?"
A tear slid down Aragorn's cheek. "I am fading. You have removed my ailment, but it is too late. I will not wake again."
"I wish I could tell you otherwise, but..." Elrond trailed off, leaving the words unspoken. I have seen the future, and this is the day you die.
Aragorn took a shaky breath and coughed again. "Tell him. Tell him everything. Tell him I have-" He coughed again. "I have loved him all this time, and I regret that it is too late."
Elrond nodded. "I will."
Aragorn's eyes grew unfocused and strayed to the ceiling above him, focused on no point in particular. He breathed in weakly again, and let the air out in a tiny gust; Elrond was sure that he whispered a name. Legolas. And then, Aragorn's body grew still.
Elrond bowed his head. There was no way that Arwen could recover from losing Aragorn once more, especially in this way. But he did know one thing: Arwen would not hear about Aragorn's hidden love for Legolas. It would only hurt her more.
Just then, he heard rustling at the door. When he glanced up, he saw Arwen rushing into the room.
"Is he well?" she asked impatiently. "Have you healed him?"
When Elrond did not respond, Arwen took Aragorn's hand. "Elessar, my love, are you healed yet? Can you hear my voice?"
"He cannot hear you," Elrond said softly. "He has passed on. There is nothing I can do."
Arwen looked up at her father. "You could not heal him?"
Elrond shook his head. "The peoples of Middle-Earth have always put too much trust in my healinng abilities. I could drive the demonic sickness from his body, but he was too weak to live."
"So there is no hope then."
"I fear that what you say is true."
Elrond reached out
to embrace his daughter, but she ignored him, instead pulling a small silver knife out of her dress. "I always knew that I would not outlive him by long. My only regret is not being able to speak with him again."
"Arwen, wait! Is this not too hasty of you? You have done so much, and could do so much more! Do not throw your life away like this." Elrond was panicked.
Arwen looked up at her father. "I chose to become a mortal for the man I love, and now I die for the man I love." And with that, she plunged the knife into her heart and did not speak again.
Elrond stared at Arwen's limp form for a moment. He could have healed her, but she would hate him for it. Instead, he took her body and held his daughter as she died.
One month later.
Legolas swung off his horse and tied her to the fence nearby. Rivendell was beautiful as usual, a sprawling, beautiful house perched above a lake, the crystalline waters flirting with each other below, the bright blue sky looking down from above.
There was one simple reason that Legolas had journeyed to Rivendell: he needed to get away. His father had always been rather too commanding, but now the kingdom was shut down almost all the time, and even trade with Lake-town had lessened considerably. He did not have true friends there anyway; only those who wished to use him to get closer to the king, and those who were forced to respect him because of his status. Rivendell had always been a safe haven to him, almost like a second, more pleasant home.
But that day, something was different about the fair house. There was a path branching off from the main walkway that had not existed before. Legolas wondered what it could lead to; after all, his last visit had been only a few years ago, and elves did not make changes easily.
Of course, he decided to follow this path to wherever it might lead.
At first, it wound through a small wood for a bit. The wid trees slowly faded into a more orderly arrrangment of flowers that covered the small mounds that the path curved to avoid. After a bit, he could see that there was a stone clearing a little bit away. In the clearing was a statue of two lovers standing face-to-face, inches apart. The man's hands were placed loosely at the woman's waist, and her arms were wrapped around his neck. They looked somehow familiar ..
As Legolas stepped out into the clearing, he saw that the statue was placed over a rectangular slab of stone with writing inscripted on it. He also noticed that the statues seemed strangely familiar … in fact, they looked to be replicas of Aragorn and Arwen. Why were their statues placed over an area that looked so much like a …
No, he couldn't even think it. This could not have happened. This had to be some kind of mistake.
When Legolas walked closer to the base of the statue, he could see that the same lines were written in both Elvish and the Common Tongue. They read:
HERE LIE TWO LOVERS WHO FOUGHT FOR EACH OTHER ABOVE ALL ELSE
TWO WHO SURVIVED A WAR AND FOUND EACH OTHER AGAIN
ARWEN EVENSTAR, DAUGHTER OF ELROND
BORN AN ELF, SHE BECAME MORTAL TO STAY WITH HER LOVE
WHEN HE PASSED ON, SHE CHOSE TO JOIN HIM AT THE SAME TIME
A MAN KNOWN BY MANY NAMES
STRIDER, THE RANGER
ELESSAR, THE ELFSTONE
ARAGORN, SON OF ARATHORN, OF THE LINE OF KINGS
KING OF GONDOR
A WARRIOR AND AN ELF-MAIDEN IN LIFE
LEGENDS IN DEATH
THEY WILL LIVE ON FOREVER THROUGH OUR SONGS
Legolas fell to his knees when he had finished reading the passage. "I had always known that you could not last forever, but I had thought that I at least had a chance to tell you before you passed on." Tears fell down his cheeks. "Aragorn … I have loved you all this time, but now it is too late. You are gone."
Of course, there was no response from the statues.
Legolas's face fell into his hands. "It is too late!" he sobbed, "I have waited too long and now you shall never know, and neither shall I. It is too late!"
At that moment, Elrond stepped out from the shadows. "Legolas," he sadi softly.
"Leave me to mourn," Legolas spat. "You have no reason to so much as look at me anymore, now that you kknow what a pathetic, defiled creature I have become. Leave me!"
But Elrond took a few steps forward. "Legolas Thranduilion, you are neither pathetic or defiled! And it is nor entirely too late … not for you.:"
Legolas glanced up. "What do you speak of? Do not give me hope where there is none."
"I was with Aragorn as he spoke his last words. He wanted me to tell you: he loved you in life, and regretted not telling you. He was truly distraught with the thought that he would not see you again." Here Elrond's voice grew soft. "The last word he ever spoke was your name."
Legolas's eyes were filled with wonder and regret. "I never knew. I was too afraid as well; I never spode a word of it to anyone."
Elrond sighed. "I suppose I must take some of the blame myself as well. I saw what was happening between the two of you, how you looked at each other when you thought no one was watching, how you jumped to defend one another no matter what. I was a fool to never speak of it, but I thought that it was not my business. Aragorn never showed any signs of planning to leave Arwen, and she never wished to leave him. The two of them did love one another, but the heart of Aragorn was divided. As time passed, I believe that being around Arwen so much made him begin to regret committing to her, but he still did not leave her. She neveer stopped loving him in the unconditional way she had at first. You never visited Minas Tirith, and rarely traveled here, so Aragorn did not see you, and I grew less and less convinced of the way the two of you had treated one another. Perhaps it was all just something that I had come up with to amuse myself. After all, nothing would happen between the two of you in the future, Why should I bother with it now? But then Aragorn was brought here. I drew the disease from his body, but he was too weakened to live."
Tears trailed theier way down Legolas's face again. "And what of Arwen? How did she die?"
"She came into the room, saw that Aragorn was dead, and plunged a knife through her own heart." The words pained Elrond to say, as was visible in the lines of his face and the dead of his eyes.
"And now the two of them will be forever intertwined in legend, and I shall fade into the background.: It was not a question that Legolas spoke. Elrond did not deny it.
Legolas slumped over himself again, kneeling at the foot of the grave, and silently continued to cry.
For Legolas, the long years of his life blurred together. It seemed as if he was living in a world of dreams. He never returned to Mirkwood. He stayed in Rivendell until none remained there – the rest had voyaged across the Sea over the years – but himself. He spent his days roaming the fair halls and kkneeling by the grave of Aragorn and Arwen. At night, he slept, and dreamt that Aragorn was with him once more. It did not matter where or when the dreams took him to, but there Aragorn would always stand, just out of reach at all times, but the sight of his face comforted Legolas all the same.
It had taken the longest time, but finally Legolas began to fade. His body did not age, but many years of sorrow had placed a heavy burden on his heart and soul. He stopped eating and sleeping. He was alone, so he never spoke. He sat by the grave of Aragorn at all times, or paced around it, or knelt at the foot of it. He withered away until it was finally finished. The pain was finally over.
And it was. Legolas fell to the earth for the last time as the stars faded and he whispered one word, his last word before he saw and felt no more.
And here is your final author's note. Feel free to ignore it if you wish.
I don't know if I'm all that great at writing sadness yet. I don't normally do angsty stuff like this. I just had the idea and had to write it, you know? Please tell me if it's any good or not in the comments.
This is my first LOTR fanfic. Any of you who've written one probably understand how hard it is to try to write Middle-Earth style! But I survived, even though J.R.R. Tolkien is about a thousand times eloquenter (my laptop says that's not a word, but I say it is) than me – but then again, what else would you expect from a teenage girl?
Please review this! The more reviews I get, the more motivated I am to keep on writing. Just … no flames, okay? I love constructive criticism (have you ever noticed how much fun that is to say), but not plain old jerks.
Ummm … I think that's all, so bye guys!