Chapter 12: Eternity Lost

Elrond sighed and gazed down at his son in anguish. He had treated the wound as best he could but Estel had lost too much blood. The mortal was dying before his eyes and there was nothing he could do about it. He had tried to call his son into the light several times but it had turned into a failure. Gripping his black hair in anguish, he closed his eyes and sobbed quietly.

"Lord Elrond?"

Looking behind him, he noticed the prince standing near the door. The sorrow in the blue eyes was heart breaking and he motioned the prince to enter.

Legolas stepped towards the bed and looked down at his friend. Estel was very pale and was breathing shallowly. He dropped to his knees and grasped the mortal's hand. Tears slipped down his cheeks and splashed on there clenched hands. A warm hand settled on his shoulder and then he heard the other elf leave the room.

"Please Estel you mustn't die, not when we were just getting to know each other again."

The mortal didn't speak and only breathed. Crying harshly he half collapsed on his friend and sobbed.

~

The twins looked up as their father stepped out of the room. Elrond gazed at his sons and walked over to them.

"He won't survive the night."

Elrohir shook his head in denial and began to cry. His twin pulled his brother into his arms and hugged him.

Elladan gazed at their father in distress. "Is there nothing we can do to help him father?"

Sighing softly he shook his head and kneeled down next to them. Pulling his sons into his arms, he held them while both of them cried.

"We can only hope."

~

Estel sat on the bench and leaned against the wall. He was so tired and just wanted to rest. Very faintly, he could hear someone calling him and there was pain in that voice.

"I see you are back again young one."

Opening dull grey eyes he glanced up and noticed the robed figure again. Recognition dawned in his eyes and he smiled tiredly.

"Hello Lord Mandos."

The figure sighed softly and pushed back the hood. Long white hair tumbled around a pale and kindly face.

"I was wondering if you would ever figure out who I was."

Estel smiled and stood up. "I didn't the first time but now I know. I take it I am dying?"

"Yes young one you are and I am sorry."

Grey eyes closed in sorrow and a few tears slipped free. He felt a cold hand wipe away his tears and leaned into the touch.

Opening his eyes Estel gazed up at Mandos. "Do I have enough time to say goodbye?"

"Yes there is always time at least for that."

~

The prince didn't know how long he sobbed against his friend or even when he fell asleep. All he did know was that someone was stroking his hair softly and he woke up. Raising his head he gazed down into tired grey eyes and gasped.

"Estel?"

The mortal smiled at him warmly and touched his cheek.

"I do not have long my friend but I wanted to say goodbye to you at least."

"No you cannot die!"

Estel watched the prince shake his head in denial and smiled at the stubborn elf. He could feel exhaustion pulling at his soul and his time was running out. Raising his other hand he grasped the elf's face firmly and looked him in the eye. There was such grief and guilt there, and it made his heartache.

"Do not blame yourself for my death my friend. I am glad that I saved your life because you are worth it."

"As you are as well my friend." Legolas whispered softly. He wanted to say so many things but gazing into Estel's grey eyes, he somehow knew that he understood.

The mortal watched the tears spill from the blue eyes and they reminded him of the ocean. Wiping a few of them away, he smiled at the elf and tears slid down his cheeks as well. It would take time for the prince to get over his death but he would in the end.

"Tell my family that I love them and that I will always be with them."

Legolas closed his eyes and felt Estel pull him closer. Relaxing against the mortal's chest, he listened to his heartbeat and held his hand tightly. Estel's heartbeat began to slow and he could feel the elf tense. Raising a hand he smoothed the golden hair once and sighed. Closing his eyes, he let everything go and slipped into the halls of Mandos.

The elf began to cry great wracking sobs, when the twins and Elrond entered the room a second to late. The twins rushed to their brother and called out his name. Elrond stood gazing down at the prince and his son. Letting out a sad sigh he closed his eyes and turned away. His son had died and now hope was lost forever.

~

The sky was overcast that day and the smell of rain was in the air. Legolas stood on the balcony and gazed up into the sky. It had been a few days since Estel had died and the anguish would not leave him. He knew that his friend didn't want him to grieve but he couldn't help it. It felt like something had died with the mortal and would never live again. The trees were singing in sorrow and turning away from them he entered his room. He was surprised to see the twins standing in the room and gazed at them in question.

Elladan stepped forward and spoke softly, "We have come to say goodbye Legolas."

"Tis to painful to remain here any longer and we must return Estel to Imladris." Elrohir smiled sadly.

The prince looked at them in sorrow before glancing away. Elladan stepped forward and forced his chin up.

"Do not blame yourself for his death my friend, it wasn't your fault. And he did tell you the same thing did he not?"

Legolas looked into the grey eyes and nodded. He still felt responsible and know words could stop that. Perhaps in time he would accept that but not when the wounds were so fresh. The twins stood side by side and bowed to him.

Elladan held a hand over his heart. "Until next we meet my friend."

"May Ilúvatar watch over you and keep you safe." Elrohir whispered.

~

Legolas stood beside his father and watched the elves of Imladris ride out of Mirkwood. The day was overcast and it cast a gloom over the elves. Since Estel had passed no joy had brightened Legolas's or even the mortal's family. It was as if his death destroyed any hope that they had once had and nothing could bring it back. What made it worse was that his cousin Lossëdil had disappeared. Search parties had been sent but he had never been found.

The twins halted on the trail and he looked at them. Elladan and Elrohir raised their hands in farewell and he did as well. Turning their horses around the twins rode off after there party. Soon the prince could no longer see them and a light rain began to fall.

"Come Legolas lets go inside."

He smiled sadly at his father and followed him. Stopping at the palace gates, he gazed out at the rain and felt a few more tears slip free. A great friendship had been broken for all eternity and it was something that he would regret for the rest of his life.

~

The End.

Notes: I couldn't decide if I was going to let Estel live or die, and it took some time. But then again how could I have that title and not have something bad happen in the end. The last few chapters were the hardest to write and hope it came out ok. I bet some people are wondering what happened to Lossëdil? Well I haven't figured that out either so maybe there will be a sequel on that hehe.

Just wanted to say thanks for all the people who reviewed and supported this story. Without you people there would be no angst or torture written lol.

Off for my well deserved vacation time from college now so bye bye!