Alright, folks, listen up: This is an ALTERNATE ending. It does not work with the next story in what's become something of a series, so it's up to you whether you read it or not. I'm posting it here because it is, technically, part of this story, and I broke up my A Moment In Immortal Time collection before they decided it was against the increasingly stringent rules here.
Nallina looked out and frowned. "Gimli?" she asked softly.
He sighed and hung his head, shaking it slightly.
She paled and bit her lip, but helped him bring the boat ashore. Silently she led him through the land of the elves, to where a slightly familiar elf stood. One of Elrond's sons, Gimli knew. Only because another one just like him was standing off to the side. They both had the dark hair and silvery blue eyes that Arwen had, so he was pretty sure of his assessment.
"Gimli!" one called, coming forward with a smile. "Where is Legolas?" he asked excitedly, straining his eyes beyond them. "Has he gone to seek his parents?"
Gimli looked down at the stone he had held onto all through the rowing to these lands. He sighed.
"The Prince of Mirkwood is dead." The statement was solemn, pronounced slowly and without a hint of uncertainty, uttered by a small voice. A little she-elf came forward, too much solemnity in her eyes for someone so young. She took the stone from Gimli. "He would not have given this up otherwise," she murmured softly in explanation, turning to look at one of the twins, showing him the stone. She turned her eyes back to Gimli, and he read in them an astonishing thing-the same pain and despair he had watched eat at his friend for so long. "Where did you bury him?" she asked quietly, pain showing in her eyes, though hidden in her voice.
"I-" Gimli paused to clear his throat. "I buried him in Rivendell, in the glen where we buried Lunian."
The girl nodded. "That is good, my dear Gimli. It is where we would have wished," she whispered, lowering her eyes slightly. Her hand clenched over the stone.
"Little one," one of the twins murmured, panic welling up in his eyes.
"No, Father. There is no point." Tears began running from her eyes as she tucked her hair behind her pointed ears. "He didn't hold onto the hope I gave him, he didn't."
"He didn't think he could live if Lunian wasn't here," Gimli stated.
She sniffled softly, the fist around the worry stone turning white. Suddenly with a sob she ran away, racing back to the shore Gimli had only just arrived upon. By the time Gimli managed to get his old bones there, the drama had plaid itself out.
The twin she hadn't called father was holding onto the one she had, as he was bowed on his knees, holding onto a she-elf who was crying openly.
"My baby," she sobbed. "My little one, my Lunian!" she cried out as the elves tried to comfort her. "By the Valar! Legolas, how could you do that to her?" Everything after that dissolved into tears and harsh breath as many elves came to comfort the stricken parents, trying to pull them away from the shore.
Gimli stood there for a long while, only then beginning to grasp the entirety of the tragedy he had just witnessed. The waves rolled on and on, sounding suddenly hollow to him. Legolas had tried to explain the sound of the sea to Gimli once, when they were still on the quest, and once again not long ago. His opinion had changed drastically, and Gimli could now understand why.
As he walked away, something washed up on the shore. He squinted at it for a moment, waited when the next wave came to see if it was gone. When it remained, he got his tired old body down to pick it up, and traced the small silver lines running through the stone with his blunt thumbnail. Somewhere in its travels it had picked up a deep fracture, which ran all the way through the layers of the silvery blue stone, letting it fall apart easily in his rough hands.
With a soft grunt he threw the shattered halves as far as he could into the sea, knowing it was unlikely it would ever come back, and never again would it be whole.