"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path."

Gautama Buddha

Legolas was awakened from his faint by a cold armored hand and the smell of death so intense it took all his elven training to not hurl where he stood.

"Awake now are we?" the face inched closer to his own. A fathomless darkness radiating such intense fear Legolas could not restrain the involuntary shuddering of his body.

"What do you want creature of darkness." He snarled.

The hideous being ignored his comment and lifted his face up. Legolas attempted to break free of his grip all in vain.

"Interesting, you have quite the fight in you." The voice hissed causing Legolas to smile cruelly back. "More than your wretched kind could ever hope to possess. He spat at the face of the monster for good measure only to have the viselike grip strengthen and puncture the flesh of his cheek.

The being laughed louder as he smeared a black like substance over the punctured flesh. Legolas grimaced as the heaviness entered his bloodstream and struggled against the hold. His eyes widened in horror as he noticed Orestor's body lying flaccidly on the floor drenched in his own blood. "Monster, what have you done to him?" He hissed at the creature that now busied itself at a low table littered with all sorts of flasks he could barely make out in the darkness.

He struggled against the bonds but the creature paid him no heed. It seemed more interested in its vials than in him at the moment to his great relief. His first course of action would be to escape but it was near impossible to breathe with the heavy darkness let alone think. Every moment in the room with the creature was excruciating agony. Did the creature not feel his light? Was it unaffected? He was no elder elf but his presence should have counted for something. He clenched his teeth as the creature turned back to face him. He glared at it refusing to show weakness.

The creature laughed at his scowl. He struggled as it pried his mouth open and spilled hot fire down his throat. He was forced to swallow but he spat what was left in his mouth back at the creature which ignored his friendly gesture and dragged its claws down his arm. He bit his lip in vain for moments later blood curdling yells resounded in the cell as the darkness left pleased with its work.

It was midmorning when he awoke once more feeling so utterly spent he closed his eyes and fell into sleep once more. It was evening when he awoke. The red rays of the sun bathed the garden in majestic hues. He rose slipping on the freshly pressed tunics left on his bed and made his way outside.

He paused at the door breathing in the heavy scent of jaded flowers in the air. The wind caressed his face pleasantly as he stepped onto the grass outside. The garden in Mirkwood was a wonder to behold. Brilliant flowers carpeted the ground knee high in some areas. A small stream ran across the garden falling like a small waterfall as it cascaded throughout the gardens. A figure sat at on a bench nearly obscured by the canopy in the canter of the gardens. More from boredom then curiosity he made his way to the elf. Surprise flitted over his features as he beheld the trespasser. "Adar?"

Listless eyes met his own as King Thranduil fiddled with another flower adding it to a crown he seemed to be focused on weaving. A similar image assailed him. One he had long since forgotten lost in the waves of time. Another place, another elf, his mother, with a face he could only vaguely remember. Her and her lifeless hands as she faded.

The King seemed to notice the intrusion. His eyes sharpened before dulling. With a sigh he dissolved the memory and leaned on the supporting column of the canopy facing his father. No words were said as father and son watch the red sunset which plunged the world into darkness at its departure. What should he say? What could he say? Would anything he say matter? His hair was longer and his face paler but for the most part his father was as he remembered in the portrait which had hung in his rooms. Regal and full of majesty and honor save the thin smile which had graced the portrait. When seeing King Thranduil in person it was hard to believe that the elf could smile. An air of distinct pain and sorrow hung about him palpable in the air. The trees in the garden seemed to all whisper of the sadness.

He had dreamed of this moment. Just him and his father. But he had never pictured any words between them. He had not known what to say at the time either. What could he say? By the way your highness I happen to be your son? Who was he fooling he could never replace his brother. He didn't want to replace his brother. Why Valar? He had prayed to one day finally be able to see his father but not like this. But if there was a chance he could bring King Thranduil back he had to try.

"Adar? Will you not speak to your son?"

The King's eyes flashed at the word son but then dulled once more. "Why do you torment me elf? My son died, felled by the orcs. Leave me in peace"

"And yet you do not deny that I am your son."

The King did not answer as he wove another rose into the garland his nimble hands wove.

"You do not believe me? Or you do not wish to believe me?" The King's eyes were distant now focused on the moon. "It is beautiful tonight is it not?"

"Adar?" the sudden shift staggered the younger elf. But the King continued as if he had not heard him. "A shame Legolas isn't here, but he must rest after his battle.

"Rest?" Arrai asked fearfully. "Adar, prince Legolas is dead!"

"Dead? I saw him moments ago." King Thranduil hummed. Arrai paled. "Adar please." King Thranduil frowned. "Why do you insist on calling me Adar? I do not remember having more than one son."

Arrai didn't know whether it was impulse or whether it was because seeing his father in such a state had broken something inside him but he flung himself onto his knees grasping at Thranduil's own. "Please you have to come back! Mirkwood needs you!" Confused silver blue met saddened dark blue. "The gods have abandoned me… Mirkwood is lost Ingwe… Ironic isn't it? Perhaps we were meant to be together… Two rulers of fallen realms."

Arrai shook King Thranduil but the King seemed to ignore the gesture and simply stared into Arrai's eyes. Eyes that now left trails of tears on the younger elves face. But seeing no other response from the King he fled to his chambers. How long did his father have left? Was it even possible to bring him back? Legolas what would he have done? Such thought plagued the mind of the younger prince as he went to the war chamber to meet with Galion.

Note: Yep King thranduil is fading quite a bit.

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