Disclaimer: All characters are the property of JRR Tolkien and his estate. No money is being made from any of this.

Summary: Epilogue to Undying Lands. Gimli and Legolas's long friendship comes to an end.

~*~

Legolas looked up as Lord Elrond entered the room, closing Gimli's bedroom door behind him.

"He is asking for you."

Legolas nodded, rose from his chair and went to the door. A dread that he had not often felt in his long life rose to try and strangle him, to try to force him to panic. With effort he calmed himself, and entered the room.

It was dark, the light of the fire and that of a single candle on the bedside table the only illumination. Legolas went to Gimli's beside and knelt on the floor beside it. For a long while the two old friends simply looked at each other, until Gimli finally spoke.

"I fear that our time together grows short, my friend."

Legolas fought down panic again. "I would have you stay with me Gimli. I do not wish to be without you."

Gimli smiled, and ran a rough hand down the side of Legolas's face. "Ah, Legolas, I do not wish to leave you. If I were still young and full of the fire of youth I would fight Eru himself for the right to stay with you, but as it is I am old, and I am tired. It is my time."

Legolas could barely breathe around the lump in his throat, and his eyes burned with the force of the tears behind them.

"I do not know that I can survive this!"

"You think that now, dear, dear elf, but you will. You will! And by living you will honour our friendship more than by fading through the loss of it. This too I will say - do not mourn overmuch for me after I am gone. I have lived well, seen much, and been blessed with friends more dear than I could ever say. But for the fact that I must be parted from you, I am content."

Legolas couldn't speak. He laid his head on Gimli's chest and tried to calm himself. Gimli's hand started stroking through his hair, comforting him.

"I feel honoured to have known you, Legolas of Mirkwood."

"I feel honoured to have known you, Gimli, son of Glóin."

~*~

When Elrond finally entered the room to check on them, Gimli the dwarf, one of the Nine Walkers, Lord of the Glittering Caves and Elf-friend, had passed away peacefully. Legolas still knelt on the floor beside the bed, and the blankets where his head still rested on Gimli's chest were wet with tears.

~*~