A/N: I feel to fully appreciate these stories it is best to have read my other Tolkien works Skin Deep, Peredhel and Echoes since these tales deal with canon and OC characters from those stories. I've decided to collect them here, rather than have a bunch of one-shots that can't stand on their own floating around. My plan is for each chapter posting to be a stand-alone story.

Table of Contents

1 - Awakening - A loved one lost returns from the Halls of Mandos.

2 - Unmarred - Haldir meets his destiny.

3 - Letters to Valinor - A letter for Lostechil.

4 - Two Former Kings and a Scribe - A long-awaited apology.

5 - Tear the Mountains Down - Thranduil has a question and a promise to keep.

6 - Friends to the End - Legolas and Gimli's final parting.


Awakening
Third Age 2852

The first sensation that struck her as she woke was that of form. Weightless thought became being. Fingers. Hands. A hand holding what was now her hand. Her fingers trembled and stretched before the memory of movement guided her to clamp fingers down upon the other. The other tightened its grip, but what followed was something else, something barely remembered.

Sound. There was sound. She could hear again. In her dreams she listened to her son's prayers and her soulmate's whispers, but it was not like this. The air. The vibration. Something within reacting to something without. The sound was both familiar and strange, comforting as well. She felt as though she had been here once before with that same sound.

It came rushing back. A memory once before of becoming. The sound had been there then as well. She clutched the hand. The hand belonged to the sound – or the sound to it. A voice. It was a voice she had known since she had first known knowing, but she had not heard it for an age. Not like this, not with form, with fingers entwining.

She remembered something else then. She remembered sight. It would not come on its own. She had to do something first. To the formless, Namo granted sight. But she knew with utter surety that the Vala was no longer by her side. Only she had the power to grant this form sight, but it took time to remember the how. If her form had hands to touch and ears to hear, then, too, it had eyes.

They opened once the memory to work them returned. She beheld a face gazing down upon her, a face she had glimpsed more recently in dreams but had not seen with eyes in a very long time. His dark hair was swept back over his shoulders. It hung freely now where once he had kept it fastened in warrior's braids. The hair was different, but the eyes were the same familiar shade of grey.

"Caladhel."

That sound! His voice speaking her name. She had not heard that music for so long now.

"Father," she gasped, as mouth and lungs remembered how to form the word.

"I am here. I am here." Lostechil stroked his daughter's hair while holding her hand with the other. She began to tremble, and a tear escaped from the corner of her eye. He tightened his grip on her hand and with the other wiped away the dampness on her cheek. "Easy now. The awakening is hard. Your strength will return in time. I am here. I will not leave you."

Caladhel managed a nod before her eyes fell shut again. Her fëa needed time to rejoin the hröa, to remember what it was like for spirit and form to move together. She rested that way for a time, relearning the body she inhabited, flexing fingers and toes, feeling the weight of arms and legs, the movement of breath – in and out of lungs. Once she felt assured that this body was truly hers and not a memory of the one before, she opened her eyes again. The same face as before gazed down upon her still. His brow was etched with concern as he continued to stroke her hair. She did not know what to say to him. There were so many thoughts swirling in her head, some memories, some dreams, but three little words among thousands found their way to the fore.

"I am sorry," she whispered.

Lostechil shook his head, betraying his confusion. "Whatever for?"

"For the arguments we had. For the fear I caused you. I did not understand it then, in my youth, what it meant to fear for a child. I know better now."

Lostechil had been warned by Namo's attendants that the first few hours of the awakening could be hard on both the reborn and the living. There was no way of knowing what specters might visit Caladhel as she was freed from the Halls. He had not wanted his wife to watch their daughter suffer, so he convinced her that he should be the one to sit at Caladhel's bedside. Lostechil had worried for his daughter in the hours before she stirred, for he had some notion of how she came to death. He feared she might recall those final moments as she woke. It had worried him greatly, but never had he imagined that his daughter's first worried thoughts would be of him. He felt now, somehow, that he had failed her.

"You have no cause to apologize," he said. "The fear was mine to bear. It was the price of fatherhood. I am sorry if my worries ever caused you to doubt me, or yourself."

Caladhel tightened her grip on her father's hand and he upon hers. It was all the answer needed.

Her eyes took in the whole of the room. It was empty save for the bed she lay upon and the chair in which her father sat. "Mother?"

"Only one is permitted in the awakening room," he explained. "The process can be jarring and too many faces and voices can lead to confusion. She awaits you in another room. When you feel strong enough, we will meet them there."

"Them? Who else is with her?"

"Your brother and sister have come as well."

"My…," Caladhel searched what dreams and memories she possessed to find them, but there was nothing. Her memory was blank. "Do I know them?"

Lostechil shook his head. "They were born in Valinor, after we sailed. You have never met them."

"Nor have I dreamed them," she added.

"The attendants tell us Namo shows the disembodied only what he must so that their spirits can heal – no more, no less."

"What are their names?" Caladhel asked.

"Calanor and Tirith."

"Do they know of me?"

Lostechil nodded. "They have read every letter you wrote to us and also those from your son and husband."

This last surprised Caladhel somehow, though she could not say why. "Thranduil wrote to you?"

Lostechil nodded once more. "He has written us once a year. There are many unopened letters awaiting you as well."

"How long is it that I have dreamed? The passing of time was hard to discern."

"You passed into Mandos almost fifteen hundred years ago."

So long! "It felt like mere moments." Caladhel recalled visions of games and battles and contests won. In them was a young ellon who stood now a little taller than herself. She had watched him grow from a child into an adult. "But he is grown. I saw it."

"Yes, Legolas writes to us as well. I keep abreast of his exploits, both those he chooses to share, and other tales brought to us out of the East. His people hail him a great warrior, a loyal friend and a wise and benevolent prince."

"They remain in Middle-earth."

"Yes, but they will sail one day and be reunited with you once more."

Caladhel closed her eyes and breathed deep. She felt the truth of it down to her bones. All she had experienced in Mandos confirmed it. She would hold them both again someday. "Yes. They will sail."

Lostechil continued stroking his daughter's hair. It was all he could do to comfort her. His thoughts lingered on his daughter's letters and the packages unopened awaiting her. "So. You married a king."

Lostechil made no attempt to hide his amusement and Caladhel read it clearly on her father's face. "Not what you were expecting?"

"It was hard for me to imagine any ellon could be worthy of you, but I suppose I could settle for a king. He must be quite impressive to have captured your heart."

A memory came to Caladhel of a conversation she had once dismissed, perhaps, too hastily. "Galadriel once told me that he was much like you. He calls me Naurhin, too, sometimes."

Lostechil chuckled lightly. "If you found him worthy, then I have no reason for doubt."

Caladhel gripped her father's hand a little tighter, and for the first time, she attempted to rise. Her movement was awkward, but Lostechil helped her up. She moved first to a seated position and slid her legs from their place on the bed so that her feet touched the floor. Once she felt comfortable seated, she put pressure on the soles of her feet in preparation to stand. The ground felt firm beneath them and she felt stronger now than she had only minutes before. She turned her attention to the door. A sudden longing to hold her mother overcame her, and also the want to know what other mysteries waited beyond.

"I am ready to meet them."

Caladhel needed only the slightest assistance upon standing. She held her father's arm and he steadied her as she walked forth from the Halls and into Valinor.

~Fin~