Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or places mentioned .
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Arwen's walk downstairs had turned into a long aimless journey around her home. Mostly she stayed in the dark halls and avoided the bright sun coming through the windows. It had been a year since Legolas had died, and his father had long ago returned to Mirkwood. Her brothers, Aragorn, her father; all of them had tried to cheer her but that seemed impossible. Everyone longed to see her smile again, and she herself wanted to feel joy; something that had become rare in the house of Elrond.
Arwen turned to go down another dark hall, but stopped dead in her tracks when a faint glow caught her eyes. Before her eyes, standing strong and firm was the source of that glow. She felt her eyes widen in shock and fear and she stepped back, unbelieving.
So badly she wanted to say something. To express her shock and her sudden joy - a feeling that was now a new sensation. But she could not believe who was standing in front of her now.
The glowing figure in front of her saw how uncomfortable his presence was, so he spoke first. "Arwen." He said softly, and even though it was only one word was spoken so softly and sweetly that at once she was at ease. Still she could not speak, but instead she took a few steps and looked into his eyes.
"Do not be afraid of me Arwen." He said, making it sound like a plea, even though something long forgotten was now on her face- a smile. But she was far too dazed to tell him the last thing she was feeling was fear. Not believing she closed her eyes, and when she opened them again he was still standing in front of her.
"You are not dreaming Arwen. I am really here- in spirit. I have come to see you, if only just a brief meeting."
She did not move at all, fearing that the gentlest stirring would result in his leaving. Perfectly still Arwen stood and memorized every feature of him, though she had not forgotten a single thing.
"It has been one year, and still you grieve. Can you not see how much you hurt yourself and the ones around that love you?"
Finding her voice she responded softly. "What do you mean Legolas?"
"While you grieve for me, they cry for you."
She refused to believe it. Looking at the ground she searched for something to say, but Legolas spoke again.
"I love you Arwen, but I am gone now. I hate to see you like this, just as your brothers and your father hate it." This statement was met with a long silence, neither of them moving.
"Why Legolas?" She said at last, began to feel angry. "Why did you leave me? How am I supposed to go on without you here? We are elves, we are meant to live forever!" Hot, angry tears ran down her cheeks now, and she impatiently wiped them away with a harsh movement of her wrist. Why was she getting so angry at him? Is this what she had really felt all along? Anger? Yes, she was angry. Angry at Legolas and her brothers and Aragorn and angry at her father. But most of all she was angry at herself. More tears fled from her eyes that were dulled by hate. The hate was for herself. This feeling was caged up inside and she could find to way to get it out.
His voice brought her back to reason. Suddenly she was no longer angry but ashamed. How could she get so upset at all the people that love her? All the people that only wanted to see her smile again?
"I am sorry Legolas. I am not angry at anyone but myself." Her voice quieted down to a whisper, and then there was no sound in the hall. She expected him to be angry with her, but when she looked into his eyes there was no hate. There was nothing; no expression on his face or in his eyes. This only told her that he truly wasn't real, and that he was in fact only visiting her in spirit. Or perhaps he was only a formation of her dreams. This anger and immense pain was just too much to take, and miserably she sat against the wall and folded into herself.
Her Dream walked over slowly and sat gently down next to her weeping form. She looked away, frustrated with herself.
"Arwen?" his voice was soft and she looked at him again. It reminded her of another time, when she had looked at him like this, and they had spoken sweetly to each other.
"Arwen?" he said it softly, not wanting to disturb the peace and quiet of nighttime. She turned to look at him, slipping her hand into his.
She loved the way he looked at her, and the way they could sit together in the gardens knowing she belonged to him.
"I love you" he said, and his voice was like a song. Turning completely around she put her head on his shoulder, so the top of it lightly brushed against the tree trunk that he sat against.
"I love you too." And her voice came out so soft only he could hear, though there was no one else near. There they sat until long into the night, watching the flowers dance in the breeze and whispering sweet words to each other.
"I have to go now. Please, do not cry for me anymore." His voice was full of sadness. Graceful as always he stood and she looked at him sadly as she rose to her feet as well.
"Will you come back soon?"
He smiled, "Of course."
She smiled too. "I miss you."
"I know. I miss you as well."
Then she looked down closing her eyes, and when she opened them Legolas was gone.
"I will not be gone long. I am sorry for leaving. With all hope this is just-"
"It is well Legolas. You do not have to explain to me everything you do. Ride to your home and come back when you are able." With that pleasant farewell she kissed him just as nicely and with a final hug he mounted his horse and rode away through the trees.
The gardens offered her little peace any more. It seemed that everything she saw reminded her of him. The trees all whispered his name, making her realize that escaping the thought of Legolas was impossible. Turning on her path she came to their tree, where they had spent so much time together.
Legolas took her right hand in his own and placed it against the tree. The other hand he wrapped around her waist, pushing them close and putting her ear next to his lips. They were very close to this tree, and Arwen looked up to see the top of it. The bright green leaves gently swayed along with its strong branches in the soft afternoon breeze. Bringing her head back down she turned to look at Legolas; his face very close to hers now. She then noticed that her hand was in his, pushed softly against the trees trunk. The same breeze that blew the leaves swept down to play with their hair, auburn and blond mixing together in the wind.
"Do you hear it?"
The tree? She closed her eyes and heightened her other senses. She thought she could hear it speaking lightly, but it was only a soft murmur.
Nodding she responded, "Yes." But she said it barely over a whisper, not wanting to disturb the peace all around them.
He moved their hands from the tree, and she turned around to face him completely. His eyes were as crisp and clear as the spring sky and his skin was golden and sun-kissed. As he leaned down to kiss her she seemed to be somewhere else, watching the two elves in a passionate embrace standing beneath the large oak that was forever theirs.
Why couldn't he come back? A blessing to elves was the halls of Mandos, and being brave and noble Legolas would certainly be welcome to them. But as she had learned a year before, some things were meant to be, even if the reason be unclear.