A/N: Thanks for the reviews. Please continue to feel free to point out what you like, what you don't like, how you feel, etc. The advice from everybody really does help me a whole lot. The other day, while reading over the previous chapters, I realized my writing wasn't very organized. It was kind of splattered everywhere and going a bit too quickly for the reader to be comfortable. I'll try to clean things up a bit. All right, enough of my mutterings, on with the story!




My eyes snapped open and I jolted awake with a gasp, sweat dampening the hair on my brow. My head throbbed dully, but not as badly as before. Looking around in the dim light casted by a waning candle, I could see a couple of cots near me, white and all empty. Eru, this was a healing room! Elves rarely ever needed to be professionally taken care of - what was I doing here, of all places?

Then the memory stuck me like a lightening bolt. Aragorn. My throat immediately closed and the beginnings of tears formed in my eyes, brimming them and then spilling onto the sheet.

'Stop it, Arwen,' I thought angrily to myself. 'Don't be so weak. You gave up your immortality for this man. He loves you. It was just an affectionate embrace between friends...'

But how affectionate, I could not help but wonder.

I sighed. Thinking wasn't going to help me get anywhere. All of this was making my brain hurt. I decided to lay back down, but the moment my head touched the soft pillow, a soft knocking opened my eyes again.

"Yes?" I called. My voice was raspy. I cleared my throat and called again. "Who is it?"

"It's Legolas," a soft murmur replied. "May I enter?"

"Of course," I said. I was disappointed. Where was Estel? Why wasn't he here by my side, as I would've been at his side if he were to be ill?

Legolas came in, covering the distance in two long strides. His face looked distressed-his blue eyes were knitted in a frown and his cheeks were pale in color. The Prince of Mirkwood immediately knelt by the bed and took my hand in his own. I was amazed by how slender and soft his fingers were. Whenever I held Aragorn's hand, it'd been rough with calluses after years and years of hard swordsmanship.

"How are you feeling?" he asked me, eyes searching my face for any symptoms. "Your face is pallid, is it too cold in here?"

"No, no," I said quickly. "I feel fine, except for a pounding in my head."

'And a broken heart nobody can mend,' I wanted to add, but it wasn't as if Legolas would care. He had his own issues to deal with, why wrap him in my personal love life? But I found myself tempted to tell him everything. There he knelt, deep blue eyes so filled with compassion...

No. I couldn't. None of his business. Aragorn would surely be angry if he ever found out I was telling his closest friend about our love relationship!

"What happened?" I sat up, gingerly touching my forehead, trying to forget how badly I wanted to tell him. "Oh, Eru, did I miss the funeral?" I suddenly burned with chagrin. The Queen of Men couldn't even attend the Captain of Gondor's funeral mass!

Legolas didn't seem to be sharing my feelings. "Milady, you have been plagued with an intense fever. You've been asleep for two days now, 'tis not any fault of yours to miss the funeral. Everybody is worried. The King most of all, of course." Legolas said the last words with a firm tone, but he didn't meet my eyes fully. I wondered if something was going on, something that Legolas didn't want to tell me.

But before I could ask, the door burst open. Legolas and I turned to see Aragorn standing at the doorway. The Elf immediately let go of my hand and stood up, brushing invisible dust from his tunic.

"Aragorn," Legolas nodded with a smile. The King returned a hasty nod in greeting and rushed by my side. Legolas walked to the door, caught my eyes in his azure ones for a fleeting second, and was gone. I wanted him to come back, I wanted his gentle hands and kind words.

"Undomiel," my husband murmured, distracting me. His grey-green eyes were brimmed with tears. "How are you faring?"

I tore myself from his searching eyes and looked out the window. The rain had stopped, finally, and was replaced by what appeared to be wind, a few clouds and mild cool weather.

"I'm doing well, Aragorn, it was just a fever," my voice sounded flat and cold even to my ears.

"What I don't understand is that your Elven healing should have taken care of such a simple virus," he said pensively. "It was the rain and cold that triggered your fever, Arwen, but something had to have happened in order to make your body weaker, so that your system could not take both pressures at the same time."

I raised my shoulders in a shrug and continued to stare out the window. Probably seeing him and Eowyn had started this whole craze. "How was the funeral?" I asked, not really wanting to know.

"The funeral? It went well, although we sorely missed you," he said gently. I glanced at him for a brief moment, wondering if he spoke the truth. Had he stood with Eowyn? Comforted her?

Of course he'd comforted her, her damned husband was dead! The thoughts were driving me crazy. Suddenly, I couldn't bear to look at Aragorn anymore. I felt a hard spasm in my stomach and blood pounding in my ears. My eyelids suddenly became very heavy, like they were weighted down by some invisible force.

"Please," I choked. "Leave."

"What? Why?"

"Get out, please," I sobbed, turning my head.

"Arwen! What's wrong?" he stood up, leaning over to see my face which I was covering behind hands.

I couldn't take this anymore. "GET OUT!" I practically screamed in his face, then dissolved into tears again. Aragorn looked shocked, and then his expression turned grim. He nodded. "Very well, milady," were the last words that rang into my ears before the door shut and I was left alone to cry myself to sleep.




I saw the tall, lean figure of Aragorn approach me. I was standing nearby a finely decorated tapestry, admiring the fine handwork. Never was I able to pull even a single thread, nor did I want to, but I had to admit the final product looked amazing. Aragorn's dark eyes were downcast. By his quick, heavy steps, I knew he was distressed.

"Milord," I tried to read more of his face. "What is amiss? You look terrible."

He sighed deeply. "It's nothing, Eowyn." He moved to walk past me, but I wasn't to be let go so quickly.

"Tell me," I commanded in a firm tone. "Don't think me a poor listener because of my sex." His footsteps stopped echoing in the hall. Aragorn turned around to look at me. His face was blank, unreadable.

"I've always thought you as a woman, Eowyn, on the outside. But never has my thought wavered about this - you have the mind, the courage, the soul of a man. A man I can trust. A man I can befriend. But I cannot tell you what is on my mind, for 'tis not any matter you can solve, nor will it affect you, if I can help it." He cast me one more sharp glance, a flash of blue green to my eyes, and turned around once again. I watched him disappear around the corner. He was headed for the West Side, most likely seeking peace in the gardens.

I felt frustrated for a moment, then almost lovesick. He thought me his equal! I'd always wanted to prove myself when I'd been a young girl, beating all the boys in riding or running faster or disarming an opponent the quickest. But when I'd won, they'd all stared at me like I was some abnormal girl and walked away. I'd never known Estel had thought me somebody like that...

"Eowyn?" a voice called from behind me. I didn't have to turn around to know it was Legolas. He laid a slender hand on my shoulder. "The lady doesn't seem to be feeling well, though she denies it."

"Weak," I muttered through clenched teeth. Legolas didn't seem to hear me.

"I couldn't go ahead with the plan," he said. I could almost hear a tint of happiness in his voice. "From her illness, there was no way I could've taken her. The rain really brought ill luck. She is leaving tomorrow, there is no time. How is Aragorn?"

"Upset, by something," I murmured. "He won't tell me. It's probably about Arwen, he just came from her room."

Legolas sighed. "If it's about Arwen, he can't tell me either. It's like he always suspects me of stealing her every time we mention her name."

I had to smile. "If he's worried, well, what can we say? He should be."

The Elf laughed softly.




I spent the rest of the day on horseback, enjoying the nice weather. I cleared my mind of all my worries. Thinking about Arwen wasn't going to help me. She was probably just delirious from her illness, I decided. As for now, I was more intent on treating myself to open meadows, cloudless skies and of course, my faithful steed Brego.

We rode fiercely, Brego's legs pushing, his muscles bulging. I could once more feel the rush of open riding. The wind breezed through my hair and I inhaled the fresh air. The ecstasy was intense, leaving me almost breathless for more.

At night, when Brego's sturdy legs could pump no more and he was covered in a fine sheen of sweat, I led the beast back to the stables. He whinnied softly, poking at my pockets. I laughed and pulled out the apple I'd been saving. He grabbed it earnestly in his strong, white teeth and immediately began to chew loudly, spraying me with the juice.

"You sly old fox," I stroked his soft muzzle. Many times had this devoted horse saved my life. He was getting a bit old, but Brego was as lively as ever. He was a friend age would never separate me from. I bid him a goodnight and headed back for Meduseld. It was late. A few stars had begun to twinkle in the dark sky. I remembered the nights Arwen and I used to spend stargazing, lying together on the open fields. The memory brought tears to my eyes. I kept my head down walking past the guards.

My joints were stiff and my muscles already began to ache from the great deal of intense riding. I wanted to slip into bed right away, but before heading to the guest quarters, I slipped inside the Healing room. A petite nurse was the only occupant.

"Excuse me," I said. She looked up, startled. "Where is the lady Arwen?"

"She has retired into her regular chamber, Milord." I was glad to hear those words. I thanked the nurse and went back to the guest chamber. There was Arwen, sitting by the window and looking out at the black night. She was waiting for me. Her eyes rimmed red. I knew she'd been crying, and the thought struck a deep pang in my heart. When she saw me, she smiled timidly and stood up. I took her hands in mine, and for a second, we gazed into each other's eyes.

"Oh, Estel," she whispered, penetrating the silence. Her ruby lips barely moved. "I'm so sorry..." A few crystal tears leaked from her eyes. I pulled her close, feeling her weep into my chest, while rubbing her back.

All is always forgiven, all for the one I love...

It must've been her delirious illness, it must've been. I convinced myself, repeating the words over and over in my head. I didn't want to come out and ask her, to question this delicate thing in my arms. She was my love, my soul. There could be no other reason. The thought was already planted firmly in my head.

And when she whispered the words, "I love you" in the uttermost sweetest voice with the most heart-warming smile, any remaining doubts immediately flew out the window as I proceeded to carry my beloved into the bed we shared.




I breathed a sigh of relief as I flopped down on my bed. It'd been a hard day. The recovery of Arwen had had dozens of people streaming in to her room, wishing her well. I bet she had been exhausted, just as I was now.

The funeral of Faramir was somber and dark. I didn't even remember much of it save for all the gloomy expressions and tear-streaked faces. Most guests had already left, and the Gondorians were set to leave tomorrow.

Something didn't feel right, though, I thought as I lazily stripped out of my clothes. The waiting woman, Ella...I'd known her for such a long time. It was indeed a strange thing that she should've killed Faramir. And without any reason! She wasn't insane, of that I knew at the least. The whole deal was like a puzzle to me. I couldn't fill in the missing spaces.

My thoughts and pondering didn't get a chance to expand as I at last, kicked off my boots and lay in my underclothing on the cool bed. The chill air felt good on my sweaty skin, and in a few moments, I sank into a deep slumber.




The sun was shying away, not visible to the eye except for the telltale glow toward the East. I stifled a yawn. My limbs ached slightly, but they were just stiff from lying on a cot for two straight days. The day was to be hot - I could tell. Heat was no friend of mine, so I'd gotten up early to enjoy the fresh weather at the break of day.

I stood in the Rohan gardens, shading my eyes from the sun's carmine shine. The flowers and plants that thrived here were nothing compared to the ones my father had grown in Rivendell, the Elven refuge. Hot tears sprang to my eyes at the thought of my beloved father. He was in the Havens, in the arms of his wife...

A quiet cough caught my attention. I gave a gasp. Legolas was standing next to me! Goodness, he was so silent and lithe his presence was almost terrifying at times. I stared at him, mouth agape.

"Beautiful sunrise, isn't it?" he said nonchalantly, as if he hadn't scared the living dead from my body just a few moments ago. However, I caught the twinkle in his eye that showed he was pleased at making a girl's heart skip a beat.

"Yes, you never do see much of these, especially in the dreadful weather," I played along.

"What are you doing up, Arwen? You were never the early riser, if I am correct," he grinned his lopsided smile. He reminded me so much of the youth I'd known, countless years ago. He'd been awkward and innocent. Now, a century later, I was surprised at his graceful steps and smooth words. Legolas had certainly grown up. Yet he still kept his boyish mischief, something I'd always loved about him.

I blushed at his words. "Well, sleep happens," I smiled back. "I'm more of a nocturnal person, though."

"Well, you still haven't answered my question. Why is our sleepy friend awake at this rare moment?" Legolas began to walk, and I beside him.

"I suppose it was because I'm leaving this beautiful country," I replied. "Where I dwell is not close to this land of fields and plains and swaying grasses. I wanted to relish this different change of atmosphere."

"You can always stop at Mirkwood," Legolas looked at me. His exquisite blue eyes were almost staring. I averted my eyes. Why was it that whenever I was around this Elf, he made me feel like a young foolish girl again, coquetting?

"Yes," I simply replied. "It's been a long time, Legolas, since I'd seen you in your homeland."

He looked pensive. Then, with a sigh, "Almost too long." I wondered what he meant by those words. I only nodded. His eyes were looking down at me again, boring into my soul. I felt naked around him, without the need to flush or cover myself up. It wasn't unpleasant. No, not at all.

Then, without warning, he leaned down and kissed my cheek. Up close, I could smell his tingly masculine scent. Then, with a flash of straight white teeth and something about ''Work to do,'' he was gone as quickly as he'd came.

I was left standing there, wondering yet again about Legolas Greenleaf and his mysterious ways.

A few hours later, after a refreshing brisk walk and a few runs around the fields with my horse, I was exhausted, exhilarated and satisfied. I didn't feel sick anymore at all, I felt young and healthy instead. When I'd reached the chamber, Aragorn was gone on a farewell-hunting trip with Eomer. I packed the few possessions we'd brought. Then, though I could hardly believed three measly days had passed so quickly, the Gondorian people exchanged last embraces and kisses at the front doors of Meduseld. Aragorn was standing beside me, waving and saying farewells to his people.

On our way out, I passed the Lady Eowyn, who was standing by the door. I hadn't spoken to her the whole time at Rohan, and I suddenly felt a bit ashamed of myself. She was staring at me, her huge blue eyes focused intently. I gave her a slight smile, trying to forget all the enmity I'd felt. However, her response was not what I'd anticipated. She did not smile back - in fact, she narrowed her eyes ever so slightly and turned to Aragorn.

"Goodbye, milord," she said in a high, delicate voice as Aragorn bent down to kiss her cheek. It was stupid, but I felt myself swelling with rage and jealously when his lips touched her soft white skin. That bitch! I'd offered her peace and she'd rejected it, only to go to my lover! My face was flushing and I quickly turned away-

And caught Legolas' sapphire emerald gaze. Standing beside Eomer, the Elf's face was kissed by crimson and he looked like he'd gone through an intense evening of archery and running and whatever it was that men did in their spare times, I did not ever pay much attention. However, he was smiling at me. His eyes were sparkling and he looked lighthearted. We were too far apart to speak, as I was being pushed every step, but he mouthed a 'farewell' and gave a slight nod, never taking his eyes off my face. I waved numbly. All my thoughts about Eowyn and Aragorn were long gone.

On the journey home, I couldn't concentrate on the conversation Aragorn tried to start. He kept starting to talk, commenting on the tragedy or the weather, but all I could do was nod along. I felt like an idiot, but there wasn't really anything else to say, was there? Not when all I could think about was the deep blueness of Legolas' eyes.

Was I falling in love with him all over again?