And now, for the LAST chapter!!! Then I'm off to Sepang for the F1 Grand Prix!!!!!!!!!!!
"Estel!" The twins made a grab for Aragorn when the boy also ran after Legolas.
"No, let him go," said Lord Elrond.
"But is that wise, father? I mean, Legolas is…well…he has been very angry with Estel lately," Elrohir inquired. Elrond smiled. "He's not really angry, my son. Legolas is only confused. Estel has the power to make him see the light. Trust me."
Arwen wrapped a comforting arm around Keldarion's waist as together, they all watched Aragorn's retreating figure.
"Legolas?" Aragorn voiced out, albeit uncertainly.
"Go away, Estel," the elf replied without looking up. He was sitting with his back against the tree trunk, staring moodily at the flowing stream a few yards in front of him.
The young human didn't go away, though. He could clearly see that the elf was hurting. "I can't leave you, Legolas. I've promised your brother to always be your friend."
Legolas's heart constricted. He was touched by the passionate tone in Aragorn's voice. He turned to see the boy taking a seat beside him on the grass, looking back at him beseechingly. The elf had to look away from the pleading in Aragorn's eyes. "I'm not a good company right now, Estel. Please, go. I won't forgive myself if I hurt you with cruel words."
"Then don't say anything, Legolas. What you don't say won't hurt me. I just want to sit here beside you…and stare at the water." So the two friends sat there side by side, staring at the stream in silence…unaware that several pair of eyes were watching their every move.
"What's going on? They are not speaking to each other from the look of it."
"Shh…keep it down, will you! You're loud like an orc!"
"Both of you are loud! Why don't you just shout and let them know that we're here behind these bushes, staking out on them!"
"Now, who's calling the kettle black?!"
"Children!" Elrond hissed, glaring at the four younger elves in exasperation. "Do I need to twist your ears to make you all quiet?" They snickered in return and quieted down instantly when Elrond raised his eyebrows in ire.
"Oh, look. Estel is heading for the stream," Arwen whispered.
"He's not going for a dunk, is he? He still can't swim," said Elrohir.
"Of course he can't swim! He has you for a teacher!" Elladan said. Elrohir smacked him on the head then. The twins might have rolled on the ground for a session of wrestling if Elrond didn't reach down and grabbed them both by their pointy ears. "Behave now or I'll kick you both back to the house!"
Grinning like fools, the twins complied. They joined the others watching the progress of the two figures by the stream…
The water was beckoning Aragorn to come closer. He'd stood up and walked to the water's edge. "I'm thinking of taking a swim. Would you like to join me, Legolas?"
The elf ignored the boy, staring down at the grass as if in a trance. Aragorn shrugged and started to take off his shirt and boots before stepping in. The water was cool to his skin, and very refreshing after his practice in the field. He was deep to his waist as the boy called out, "Come on, Legolas! The water is so nice!"
Legolas's lips twitched in amusement, but still he didn't look up. Aragorn laughed happily and taunted, "I know you want to swim too, Legolas! You cannot lie to me! Come on, I dare you!" He treaded water on his back, giggling childishly…then suddenly, he lost his buoyancy.
Crying out for Legolas, the boy went under, splashing about. "Leg…Legolas! Help!" He went under water again, his hands reaching out desperately. "Help…me!!!"
Legolas was already on his feet, rushing forward…but he halted before he jumped in, and stared at the panicked Aragorn in uncertainty; his heart was at war with his mind.
Let him be! He's the reason you got into all those misery and pain! Let him die!
No! I can't do that! He's my friend!
He's your enemy! You were destroyed because of him!
That's not true! I'm not destroyed! At least, not anymore. I'm whole now.
You'll never forget of what had been done to you every time you see his face!
Yes, I will always remember.
You will never be the same again!
I know… I'll be even stronger than ever…
While Legolas was still deliberating with his own self, the boy vanished completely underwater…
Elladan and Elrohir started to rush forward but Elrond stopped them. "No!"
"But father, Legolas is not doing anything! He just stood there watching!"
"We must save Estel before its too late!"
"I said no! Just stay here and watch!"
Keldarion was very uneasy. "But, my lord…"
"Trust me. Trust your brother. Have faith in him," Elrond told him.
The elves stood looking in extreme anxiety; praying for the boy's life, hoping for Legolas to do something soon…anything!!
Legolas dived gracefully into the crystalline water. He cut through the current like a seal, heading for the boy's limp form. Grabbing Aragorn with one arm, he brought them both to the surface.
As soon as he climbed over the bank, Legolas laid the boy full length on the ground on his stomach. He thumped on Aragorn's back, crying out, "Breath, Estel! Come on, breath!!" He kept on thumping until the boy choked and spit out the water…and gasped for air.
"Legolas?" Aragorn started to cry. Legolas gathered the boy into his arms, rubbing his back. "It's okay, Estel. You are going to be all right. Everything's fine now."
"I could've died! But you saved me! I owe you my life!" the boy said between sobs. Legolas pulled away and looked at Aragorn, the core to the future of Middle Earth, straight in the eye. "You owe me nothing, Estel."
Releasing the boy, Legolas ceremoniously knelt down on one knee, placed a hand over his left breast, and said, "I, Legolas son of Thranduil of the Mirkwood realm, pledged myself to protect you, Estel, with everything I have. I vowed to protect you with my sword and my bow, my life, my heart…" Legolas paused and smiled before continuing, "…and my soul."
Aragorn was staring back at the prince in awe, his dark eyes opened wide in wonder. Legolas was actually glowing…and his glow kept getting brighter and brighter!
Arwen had tears in her eyes as she looked back at her father. "It's incredibly beautiful." Elrond smiled and hugged his daughter. "Yes, it is."
Keldarion was smiling from ear to ear, his eyes misty. "My brother has returned."
The twins were sighing in relief. "Thank Valar we don't have to kill him now for letting Estel drowned!"
"Let's head back to the palace, Estel."
"Err…Legolas, I think you should know that I'm not supposed to be near the stream without my brothers' supervision. If they know that I had swam in there, I'll be grounded for a year!"
Legolas chuckled. "Why is that?"
"I can not swim very well yet."
"Well, that was obvious."
"You won't tell them?"
"No, I won't. Didn't I take an oath to protect you just now?"
Aragorn grinned as he picked up his shirt and boots before clutching Legolas's hand. "If they ask, tell them I fell in, okay?"
"Err…disperse!!" Elrond suddenly ordered. The younger elves gasped and went into panic, scrambled away from behind the bushes as the two friends turned and headed their way.
Legolas looked up and frowned. He knew he just heard some rustlings and mutterings as well as some cursing, but he could see nothing except for the shaking of nearby bushes. Shaking his head, he led Aragorn by the hand towards the Rivendell palace.
As they walked passed the garden, they found Lord Elrond there with the others. Keldarion was sharing a bench with Arwen, whispering between themselves. The twins suddenly found a butterfly over the rosebush fascinating.
"What happened to you both?" Elrond asked, indicating the two friends' sodden state.
Aragorn looked at Legolas, and Legolas looked back at Aragorn, before they both said, "We fell in!"
The twins snorted, while Keldarion and Arwen choked on their laughter. Elrond's lips twitched, but he held his mirth at bay, and stared at them with raised eyebrows. "Really?"
"Yes, really!" Aragorn stated, nodding his head vehemently.
"Very well. Go inside and change before you catch cold," Elrond told him. Arwen came near and took Aragorn's hand. Before they left, she reached up and kissed Legolas's cheek. "Welcome back, dear Legolas."
Legolas blushed. Elrond gazed at the prince thoughtfully. "You are a terrible liar, Legolas." Legolas flushed even more, then he frowned. "The rustling bushes…it was you? You were spying on us?"
Keldarion and the twins burst up laughing. Legolas smiled sheepishly. "You are not going to kill me for delaying in saving him, are you?" The twins were advancing towards him menacingly, crunching their fingers.
"Get inside, you two pea-brained monsters!" Elrond called, laughing. "Let's go see if Arwen needs help with Estel." The twins sighed loudly but they went inside with their father.
Legolas turned to his brother who was still sitting on the bench. He went to join Keldarion. At first, they were both silent, having no idea what to say. Keldarion made the first move. "You are getting better in using the sword. Those were remarkable, your moves just now."
"I have a good teacher," Legolas replied. Silence again.
A golden bald eagle came flying and landed on a branch nearby, staring back at them. "That is the one given to you by Gimli, remember?" asked Keldarion. Legolas nodded. "Yes. He has been following me ever since I healed him. Remind me to send that dwarf detail instructions on how to care for his own pets!" They laughed, as the sun shone down at the two magnificent Mirkwood brothers; one raven haired, while the other with golden tresses. They were such an amazing pair, their bonds and love stronger than anything in Middle Earth.
"I'm sorry, Kel," Legolas said suddenly.
Keldarion chuckled. "What? For trying to kill me just now? Hey, no sweat, brother. I'm glad I'm still alive, though!"
"Forgive me…for everything, for the way I've hurt you…"
"Legolas, you don't have to…"
"I need to say this, Kel, while I have the courage." Legolas took a deep breath, his heart in his throat. "I'm sorry for keeping my silence, for ignoring your presence…and for rejecting your support. I wanted to hurt myself, but I had hurt you in the process…you and father both. I'm terribly sorry…" Tears were streaming down his face now. "And I am very, very sorry that you had to witness what those men did to me…"
"I will never forgive myself for letting you suffer all alone. I had been so selfish…I'm sorry, Kel. So sorry…"
Crying himself, Keldarion grabbed his brother into his arms then. "No! Say no more, Legolas! You have been through so much. Please…say no more." They stay that way for quite a while, pouring everything out of their heart and soul, diminishing that despicable tragedy into just a bad memory.
Legolas pulled away, rubbing his tears and chuckled. Keldarion frowned back at him. "What?"
"Okay, you're better than me at swords play, I admit that."
"That was obvious. But what are you trying to get at here?"
Legolas grinned evilly. "You are totally hopeless in this!" He lunged at Keldarion, dragging them both to the ground…their famous wrestling match in progress. Laughing and shrieking, the brothers grappled about, trying to get on top of each other, attracting amused glances from the passing Rivendell elves.
Keldarion looked up suddenly and blanched. "Err… Legolas. I yield. Now, let me up! I yield!"
"You yield? Well, that's a first. Since when do you yield so easily?"
"Since a beautiful maiden came near and see me in all this disgrace."
"What are you…?" Legolas turned and saw Narasene smiling down at them. He quickly scrambled up to his feet; giving a hand up to his brother…then stared into her lovely green eyes, spellbound. Keldarion cleared his throat. "Ignore me, I'm not here."
Keldarion should've saved his breath. His brother was only aware of Narasene by then. She handed Legolas a large warm towel for his drenched from. Legolas took it gratefully and nodded his thanks.
She nodded in return, and bowed slightly before turning away. Keldarion nudged his brother with more force than necessary. Say something to her, you idiot! Legolas glared back…but gathered his courage to call, "Nara."
Narasene turned, and waited…and waited…and waited!
Keldarion took the liberty to cuff his brother at the back of his head. "Thank you, my lady…for everything," Legolas finally said. Her sweet smile grew wider. "You're welcome, my lord."
"Legolas, why don't you call for your friend to join us?" Lord Elrond suggested. The elves were gathering in the courtyard for a big feast that night. Tables and chairs had been arranged to accommodate them, while a group of minstrels had set up position at a corner to provide entertainment as the food was brought forward.
Legolas smiled and raised his right arm, staring directly at a spot up high in a tree nearby. Not long after, the golden eagle came flying and landed on his wrist guard, squawking excitedly. Legolas' friends came closer to admire the great bird.
"What are you going to call him, brother?" Keldarion asked.
"Legolas, eagle and hawk are the same kind of birds!" Keldarion exclaimed, amid their friends' crazy laughter. "Ai Elbereth! I can't believe I let you named him after the un-creative ways you called your previous pets! Could you please be more imaginative?"
"How about Hawkeye? This eagle look very sharp indeed!" Aragorn suggested.
They all agreed. "Then Hawkeye he is."
It was a grand feast at Rivendell that night. Maifron, the evil wizard, was still at large, complotting ways to help assist the re-arising of Lord Sauron.
Still, the elves had already won one tiny battle; Prince Legolas Greenleaf had returned.
What a relief!! There goes my most controversial story ever! I'm glad it's finished, and I hope you all enjoyed it like I enjoyed writing them! And I would like to thank all those awesome reviewers for spending their time sending me comments and critics! You're the best!!
These are the faithful reviewers in alphabetical order (hit the drums, please!!!): April; Aurienia; Biohazard; Enigma Jade; Erhothwen; Fairylady; feanen; goblz; Goma-Ryu (I've tried one of your Mountain Dew and…hick! See what you did to me! I'm addicted to it! Hick!) ; Kayo; Kirsten; Legolas-freak335; Lena; lilly; Lisseyelen aka Lady V; Lomelinde; Marissa; MoonBolt; MoroTheWolfGod; Orodruin; pilot3001; sirithiliel; soulsearcher-arbariel (God, I can't thank you enough!) ; szhismine; Tadriendra of Mirkwood (you're welcome!); tapetum lucidum; the grim reaper; tHe InSaNe OnE; The Wanderer; yeen; Zoya (anyone left out?)
Thank you, guys!! Without you, I don't know how I could complete this story. To tell you the truth, I got a terrible writer's block in midway, having absolutely no idea how to go on! Then you guys kept encouraging me with your wonderful reviews, and my brain could not stop processing ever since!! Thank you again!!!
I will be returning with another sequel: "Take My Heart Away". No, it's not a romance though the title sounds like it. Hint: Legolas had suddenly fallen ill, and yada yada yada…He! He! I can't give you the entire summary. You just have to wait and see!!