At The End

Disclaimers and stuff: Tolkien owns characters and most of the storyline within. I just wondered what Legolas would have thought about Aragorn's death and all that.

And introducing.Xani, my lovely beta! Thanks!

February 28th, 120 F. A. Gondor.

Legolas Greenleaf walked down the corridors of King Elessar's palace. His expression was concerned; his fair brows were drawn together over usually animated eyes. The guards at the King's door stood aside when they recognised the elf as one of Elessar's closest friends. He nodded slightly at them as he strode past, too worried to give them his customary smile. Their dark tunics, emblazoned with the tree of Gondor, caught his eye, reminding him of his friend. He pushed the doors open and entered the room, breathing in the still air within.

The room was simply decorated with a few beautiful hangings on the walls. Two windows were set into the West wall, their diamond panes glinting softly in the sunlight. The rays that passed through them fell upon the large bed in the centre of the room.

King Elessar, Aragorn son of Arathorn, lay among the sheets of the bed. He was still, not moving until the elf reached his bedside. As the green tunic came into line with his failing eyesight, he turned his head.

"Legolas?" he whispered, his palsied hand grasping across the covers like some strange creature. The elf took it between his own, caressing and smoothing the wrinkled skin with his fair fingers. His breath caught as he realised how close to death his friend really was.

"Aye, 'tis I," he replied, "I'm here, mellon nin."

Aragorn smiled, the pallid skin stretching over the now-prominent bones. His complexion was paler than the delicate porcelain skin of Legolas. The King showed the ghastly pallor of the dying, matching with the white hair and beard. The only visible blood was in the whites of his eyes, which were bloodshot with a sharp red. The irises were a faded blue, staring up at Legolas.

The elf smiled back, sitting on the edge of the bed. The mattress barely gave under his light weight, but still Aragorn noticed. His other hand made its slow, painful way along the covers to rest on Legolas' knee, drawing comfort from the steady presence. They sat so for a time in that curious tableau, the old, dying man and the still-youthful elf. It was a timeless moment, where nothing moved to disturb the peace.

"It has come then," Aragorn said finally, "the end. The Fellowship is at last finished."

"It had to come someday," his friend replied, "our friendship has lasted many a year, a long time even by my people's reckoning."

"Where will you go? And Gimli too, where will he?"

Legolas pondered for a moment on the question, unsure himself of the answer. He gazed for a moment out of the window, which stood open, as per the King's command. The sky was blue, but dusted with clouds, and the tips of green leaves were beginning to show on the tree branches.

"Wherever the feeling takes us," he answered, "we may go across the sea. Someday I know I must follow the longing of my heart. The cry of a gull can be a wearisome burden."

"Give my regards to those who remain there," Aragorn whispered, then fell silent again.

They both sat again in stillness, the only sound being the buzzing of a fly, which eventually dwindled away as it found the open window. A faint breeze stirred the hair of both.

"The wind changes," Aragorn coughed, "I must go soon. Eldarion will be a fine king."

"That he will," Legolas agreed, "would you see Arwen now?"

"Yes, I must make my final preparations to go to the House of Kings in Silent Street."

"Then I will say my farewells, old friend." Legolas bent over the bed and kissed the King on the forehead. His long, pale hair fell forward, brushing the man's cheeks softly. "Goodbye, Aragorn. You are a true friend."

"As true as you have been to me, Legolas. The Valar speed your journey."

"Yours too." The elf stood slowly and left the room. Leaving the silent buildings, where everyone waited for death, he went to the garden, where the spring flowers were just beginning. He leant back against a tree, sitting in its shade, and cried. Mortality was a forbidden, untouchable dream for an elf.

:::::::::::::::

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive" -Robert Louis Stevenson.

:::::::::::::::

The grey ship slipped through the water. Its prow, graced by a likeness of King Elessar, cut through the endless waves effortlessly. The noble carved face rode high above the spray, staring out over the misty horizon. The grey sail swelled in the wind, pulling the ship across the sea.

At the side of the ship, against the rail, stood Legolas the elf. His far- seeing eyes watched the horizon, in an unconscious echo of the figurehead. He watched for sight of the Undying Lands, where his travels would end at last. Gimli the dwarf, called Elf-friend, walked up behind him.

"Is it far?" he asked. His companion turned and gave a small smile.

"As far as it is," the elf responded. Gimli rolled his eyes.

"I suppose that's the elvish way of saying 'I don't know', isn't it?"

Legolas laughed, for the first time since he had left Aragorn. He stopped suddenly and looked at his dwarf friend.

"Do you realise that we're the last of the Fellowship? It's the end of it, Gimli."

"There's no need to fret about it, lad," the dwarf said, patting the elf's hand, "it was there for the job it was needed to do. There are no more Dark Lords to conquer."

"You always speak common sense, my friend," Legolas smiled, "I will worry no longer, and you may chide me if I do."

There was quiet for a minute, the only sound being the gentle crushing of the waves.

"Just one question though, lad," Gimli said thoughtfully, "what waits for us ahead?"

"Whatever does," Legolas replied, "I don't know."



End.