A/N: Alright, well, *I* cried when writing this (don't diss, it happens), so I hope it has the same effect on you lot. Main focus on Aragorn and Legolas. Please review and let me know whether I should leave stuff like this well alone...


One more push, and it would be all over - the first and only child of Legolas Greenleaf would be born into Middle-earth. Possibly the last elf born on Middle-earth.

Aragorn blew some of the straggly hair that had fallen in front of his face out of his eyes angrily, completely focused on delivering his late best friend's child safely. "Come on, Evylenn, just one last time," he tried to encourage the young elf maiden who's heart was broken so by the tragic death of her mate a mere month ago that it would never be healed, and who's final act upon that earth would be to give birth to the babe who was the creation of the love she had shared with Legolas. Her frail body could only handle the strenuous childbirth before her soul would leave those who remained on Middle-earth forever; Evylenn had faded so much since she had learned of Legolas' fall in battle only four weeks ago, though it seemed to the still-grieving lands of Gondor and Ithilien (and indeed, Rohan, Rivendell, Mirkwood and the Shire) so much longer since they had last been graced with the fair elf's smile. It was clear to all that Evylenn would slip away just as soon as she laid eyes upon the child of Legolas and herself.

The King of Gondor, who's heart was also rent beyond repair by the death of his soul-brother, had taken it upon himself to bring up the babe as though it were his own when Evylenn inevitably died of heartbreak. There had been no qualms about his decision, almost no discussion, in fact - it was something he felt he must do, since it had been *his* battle the elven prince had been fighting at the time of his death. Aragorn felt it was his fault this elven babe would grow up without either father or, now, a mother.

Arwen, his queen, was at the foot of the bed, stroking the mahogany waves of her friend head soothingly, whispering elvish songs into Evylenn's pointed ear, holding her hand in support for the last brave act of the elf maiden. Her dark-blue eyes were brimming with silver tears as she noted Evylenn's unimaginably pale face and the sweat that streaked her proud brow - it was such a sorry state of affairs, and Arwen wondered vaguely how so many hearts could be broken by one fell swoop of an Uruk-hai's sythe. But that was an easy wonder to solve, she realised, if you had known the Greenleaf.

"Evylenn... soon you shall be with him, mellon nin," she whispered, trying to comfort the widowed princess, "So soon will you see his face again... you will be reunited in the Halls of Mandos." It was a twisted thing that the only thing Arwen could say to sooth her friend was to remind her that she was going to die in a few mere moments.

But it did seem to strengthen Evylenn, for she nodded, and gathered herself and pushed one last time with all her might. The babe was finally born, the elf-maiden's screams mingling with those of her newborn. Evylenn, exhausted, laid back against the pillows which propped her up, and she let a few moments drift past her in a haze. The only thing that really pulled her away from the inviting edge of unawareness and blissful reunion was when Aragorn placed her and Legolas' child gently into her arms, wrapped all up in a swaddling cloth, and she lifted her dark head weakly and gazed upon the tiny being.

"It's a boy."

She looked up at the King of Gondor as he said this, Aragorn was smiling softly at her, grey eyes misty. She then glanced up at his wife, who was crying freely as she smoothed back Evylenn's dark hair from her clammy forehead. Evylenn looked back at her beautiful child who was gazing curiously up at her with huge green eyes, silver streaked like lightening through them - they seemed almost too big for his small face. She realised suddenly she was crying, too, but of a short-lived joy she had not felt since before her mate still drew his sweet breath.

"He has his adar's eyes," she remarked in a whisper, smoothing back the soft cap of short golden hair topping her babe. But even as she cried with happiness, she felt her heart crack further, lengthening the split that crept almost fully down it's middle already, the babe's likeness to his father wounding her soul. And so, knowing the hour was hardening, she entrusted her child to Aragorn once more, who held him so surprisingly gently in those large, strong arms of his, just as though the babe had been Eldarion or another one of his own, cradeling the small bundle against his heart. Just as Legolas had done with his godchildren when they had been born of Arwen.

"Make sure his light shines on," Evylenn instructed in a weakening voice - she did not have the breath to say more, but both Aragorn and Arwen knew that she had meant Legolas.

Tears slipped from the corners of the great King's slate-grey eyes, and he had to lick his lips and swallow before he could continue, "What is to be his name, Evylenn?" he asked.

She tried to speak, but faltered upon her breath, pale lips quivering. Aragorn swiftly knelt beside her and leaned in, his ear just above her mouth, listening to the near-silent name. And then, almost instantly, Evylenn was gone, her tortured soul finally freed from it's torment to find it's other half, and her heart split completely in two. Arwen gave a soft cry as the light left the elf-maiden, and buried her dark head in the soft waterfall of her friend's hair, weeping for Middle-earth, for the world had lost two of it's fairest beings in the space of mere weeks.

Aragorn looked down at the silent babe in his arms, and tenderly wiped away his fallen tears from the child's soft, plump cheeks. Evylenn had been right: he did have his father's eyes... Aragorn was suddenly unsure whether he could stand having Legolas looking back at him everytime he glanced at this child.

He collected himself as much as he could, wiping the moisture from his cheeks, before he stepped out from the silent room, and across into the room where friends waited anxiously. There was, of course, Gimli, who looked to be wearing a trench in the stone with his pacing; both Frodo and Sam, sat together with their curly heads bowed; a unnaturally-silent pair of Pippin and Merry with tears in their eyes; Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth who had become a great friend of both Aragorn and Legolas; the pale faces of Faramir and Eowyn, silently clasping hands, drawing strength of each other; and King Eomer, who had been standing at the window staring into the night sky. Friends who had travelled from distant lands with the death of the Greenleaf, and had all stayed to try and ensure his light remained upon Middle-earth, not only in their hearts. Their heads snapped up at once with the entrance of Aragorn, all of them leaping to their feet if they had not already been on them. Were it not for the bundle in his arms, they all would have reckoned by the King's sorrowful expression that both mother and child had passed during the struggle. As it was Aragorn held up the babe for them to see.

"She has left us," he said, voice thick with controlled grief. "Yet both her and her mate's light can still be seen in these lands, for we are graced with their son: Laurielas."

Though happiness was evident in all faces, it was of the bitter-sweet kind - they had all lost two great friends in such a short span of time, they could not rejoice in the glorious birth as much as they would have done had they been able to see Legolas' face shining the joy his heart would have felt at the birth of his son.

Frodo felt he would have to write a poem or song of some sort for the occaision - for he thought if he squinted in the right way, it was almost as though his dear elven friend was with them all, standing shoulder to shoulder with Aragorn, beaming at him. The dark-haired halfling shook his head, clearing his mind, and looked again: Legolas was not there, it must have been a trick of the light or the blurriness of his tears.

He did not know that Gimli had seen the brief apparition also, and was standing apart from the others as though struck with lightening.

Faramir was musing about how his good friend would have reacted to becoming a father, and he smiled slightly in sad amusement as he recalled the day when Legolas had found out he was to become one. It had been the Aragorn's brithday celebration, so all friends were present having travelled vast distances to be there and share the happy time, and the graceful elven prince had run into the great hall where everyone had already been sitting and skidded to a stop, the light about him fair-nearly blinding, and the widest grin you ever did see spread across his face. He had been so excited and full of wonder, bright eyes dancing and mouth moving a league a minute, and for a short time it was as if he had been a twitchy, delighted child. It had made Faramir laugh with delight that a mighty elven warrior, who's calm and regality always seemed utterly unshakeable, grinning as though drunk with happiness.

Pippin and Merry could barely find it in their hearts to be happy; for this babe merely served to remind them that Legolas had left them, something which he had promised - one dark and dangerous night when the whole of the fellowship had been on edge and they had needed comfort - that he would never do. They missed him, and although the child might serve to ease their hearts, the Goldenleaf would never be the Greenleaf.

The friends dispersed, minds full of memories and regrets of their lost friend and his wife, and Aragorn was left alone, standing holding the child. He looked down into his arms, and found the beautiful babe looking up at him, wonder and light in his huge green eyes. The King smiled softly at him, and settled himself into one of the vacated chairs, rocking his foster-son gently, trying to lull him into a sleep. He could not help but let his mind wander to one of the greatest days of his long life, the day Eldarion had been born into the world. He had thought his heart would burst with all the joy it held, he had been so proud and scared and happy and amazed to think that he had created something, to think that he was a father... and he knew Legolas would have loved that feeling, however mixed- up it was.

Aragorn had known it when Legolas had first looked upon Eldarion.


"Now, that's a bonny lad, and make no mistake," Gimli grinned, ruddy face shining and flushed with pride as he stepped back.

"Aye," said Aragorn breathlessly, seemingly unable to take his eyes from his babe's face. "Of course, that's all Arwen," he added with a sly grin that made his two best friends laugh.

"Well, now," commented Legolas fairly, brushing back the cap of dark hair on the child's head gently, "He's got your nose... and your jaw. It's really quite odd, because he looks so much like the both of you."

"Unnerving, isn't it?" asked Aragorn, glancing up at his best friend. The prince's eyes were wide and curious, and his touches were so very gentle and hesitant, obviously worried that he might do something wrong... Legolas had barely been around babies before, what with him being the youngest child and all, and it was an odd sight to see when a mighty warrior who handled himself so well in battles or debates, was almost frightened of a little baby. Aragorn was of the mind that the prince would have to learn at some point, and so he asked kindly, "Would you like to hold him?"

Legolas almost gasped at this, and took a step back, eyes on Aragorn's face, as if trying to sense a jest. But it seemed he could find none, and a faltering half-smile spread across his lips, and he nodded gently. Aragorn saw that it meant a lot to Legolas that his best friend had even asked him, and so handed the precious child over gladly. Legolas was a picture: because for a moment, he held Eldarion so awkwardly, unused to the responsibility and unsure as to how to go about holding a child. But after a moment, when Legolas looked into the large grey eyes gazing up with wonder at him he smiled, green eyes sparkling, and relaxed, holding the child to his breast and beaming. "He's amazing," the prince whispered, almost to no one, but Aragorn caught the awed words and nodded, smiling again as Legolas stroked the child's cheek gently. Eldarion answered him by reaching up and grabbing a lock of his silken-gold hair and gurgling.

The elf had fallen love that day, and later that night, Aragorn asked him to be Eldarion's godfather. It had made Legolas happier than Aragorn had seen him in a long time, and the King had relished the fact that he had been able to render it so.

End Flashback

Aragorn had always, since then, looked forward to the day when Legolas would be able to be a father himself. But a mere month ago, that much anticipated occaison had been cruelly ripped away from them all. His heart still bled when he thought of his best friend, and how he would never see the elf again, and how lonely he was without him.

He looked down upon Laurielas, and tears welled up in his eyes and streamed down his haggard face as he whispered brokenly, "Your father would have been so proud... so proud." And a sob escaped him before he could swallow it. This child's life was so unhappy already, and it had barely begun - all because of him. He couldn't imagine the pain Thranduil and all of Legolas' brothers and sisters would feel when the realised one day that they would never see the prince's ship sail into Valinor. The only consolation Aragorn could think of was that the elfling would grow up not knowing his parents at all, for had he known his father, he would have surely faded at Legolas' death, surely felt his heart break when he saw the pale, unlighted body being lifted down from a horse with reverance, even if he had not seen the ork's scyth enter the elf's chest, even if he had not seen Legolas' bright green eyes widen and his shocked hand drop his blood-stained sword in surprise. As Aragorn had.

Aragorn had held his soul-brother, been with him till his last moment, his last breath. He'd witnessed the sudden paling of his fair skin, heard the terrible gurgling sound as he'd tried to breath through lung fulls of blood, smelt the stench of death swiftly overtake everything around him, felt the broken body tremble and shudder and then go still. And he could never forget, could never forgive himself...

Arwen came to the door, and looked inside the deserted room. Deserted except for Aragorn. Her heart panged as she saw him sobbing into the bundle of Laurielas, his weeping so distressed and empty. She went to him, sat beside her King and pulled him to her wordlessly. They both knew the pain would never go away, but hopefully, with looking after Legolas' fatherless child, a bit of the damage to their hearts could be repaired.


You know, I don't think I've ever written anything quite so sad before. What did you think? I was considering writing a follow-up, do you think it's a good idea? Please review and let me know.