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Please, please review. They are my fuel.

Sorry for the long delay. Have been so busy with work and writing other fics. But here is the prologue of Shadow 2 as promised. Being unoriginal, this sequel is titled Destiny. Cannot think of anything better to call it really, hehe.

Okay: Me too lazy to do entire chapter in Elvish. Please, just assume that when the Elves converse among themselves, it's all in Elvish =P

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Prologue:

The last thing Legolas wanted to do was to leave his new husband's warm embrace. It was not yet morning; and he was still exhausted from the night's activities. The giving of part of his Light to the Man was draining; his healing abilities and magic would not return for another few days, leaving the Elf wondrously sore from Aragorn's impassioned lovemaking. Since it would be a while before he could enjoy the Man's touch again, the Prince did not particularly mind these minor aches in strange places.

His musing was interrupted by yet another summons from the Lady of Light. It was her call that awoke Legolas from his blissful slumber in the first place. The ancient Elves wished to see the Prince alone before Aragorn awoke. He knew why the Eldar needed to speak with him, and he was quite certain no matter what they said, he would deny their request. There was no way the Golden Elf would refrain from teaching his husband magic until their Quest was finished. Given the perilous nature of their journey, Legolas would go insane with worry unless his beloved Man was fully under the protection of the Star of Earendil.

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"It is not wise to draw our enemies' eyes to him," cautioned Galadriel, motioning the Prince to take a seat across from her.

The setting strangely reminded Legolas of an interrogation, with the Eldar sitting in a semi-circle facing him. He had a feeling he was not going to enjoy this discussion. "I will not allow Aragorn to continue risking his life when it is within my powers and rights to protect him," said the Prince calmly with determination. He wanted the ancient Elves to know that he had given this much thought and would not change his mind.

"Estel is a Ringbearer now. I love him as a son, but the safety of the Ring must come first," reasoned Elrond. The Man was his foster child; he wanted to protect Aragorn as well. But, the simple mithril band that Legolas had given his husband was the first and most powerful of the Great Rings forged by the Smiths of Eregion. All the other Rings of Powers were but lesser imitations of this original treasure gifted to the Star of Earendil reborn. If the principal forge were to fall into enemy hands, all would be loss.

"Aragorn knows nothing of the Ring he bears. It is still my responsibility to protect it and him. Besides, he can defend himself better if he is taught how to use the powers I gave him," argued the Prince. It was because he loved the Man that he decided to trust him with the one treasure he valued as much as his own life. He would not have done it if he thought the Ring would be an extra burden for his husband to bear. Legolas was certain that the protective Light he passed onto his beloved would be enough to fend off even the Dark Lord himself.

"You cannot be both his protector and lover, my son. A relationship is an equal partnership. You must let him finish this Quest as the Man he is, not as the consort to the Star of Earendil reborn," whispered the King of Mirkwood as he leaned forward to touch his child's hand.

Thranduil knew how protective his son was of the Man, but he agreed with the other Eldar that this was not the right time to teach Aragorn magic. His reasons, however, were different. Unless Isildur's heir rose to meet his destiny with his own strength as a Man, he would always felt unworthy of Legolas' love, a shadow compared to the blinding light of the Star of Earendil reborn. Insecurities and doubts would chafe at their relationship, until there was naught left but bitterness and heartbreak. That was something the Elven King would do anything to prevent. His golden child had suffered so much already; he deserved happiness with the one he loved.

Legolas wanted to argue, but he knew his father was right. He understood better than anyone Aragorn's tendency to belittle and doubt himself. When training young Estel, the Elf had to resort to various tricks to lure the boy from his self-wrought cage. If the Man were taught magic now, whatever he achieved in the future, he would attribute his success to Legolas' Light, rather than his own strength and greatness. As much as he hated the idea, he would do what the Eldar wanted. The worry might be the death of him, but it was the best thing for Aragorn. The Man needed to realize his own worth; until then, Legolas would remain by his beloved side only as a supportive companion rather than the powerful the Star of Earendil reborn. The Crown Prince of Mirkwood would once again return to being Shadow.