Title: Being Together
Author: Morwen eledhel
E-Mail: mezz002@hotmail.com morweneledhel@yahoo.com

Rating: PG-13
Summary: another version of the Aragorn and Arwen story
Disclaimer: Tolkien owns all of this not me.blah blah. and I am not
earning any money from this, blah, blah. it is for enjoyment
purposes only.
Please send feedback, I love to hear what people think of my work,
good or bad (considering this is my first posted fic.)
I'll shut up now.

Being Together

The pale light filtered through the trees as the diminishing sun sank below the Bruinen River. The sound of horses hooves pounded through the courtyard as he pure white stallion halted. The rider soundlessly jumped down and frowned, usually there were people out waiting to meet her, but there was nothing. 'Welcome home, yet again.' She muttered, remembering that everyone had forgotten she was arriving the last time she had come.

'You sure do pick the perfect time to come back.' Elladan called joining her. 'Welcome home Sis.'

'Thank you Elladan, I thought you had forgotten, again.' Arwen smiled as he held her close.

'No, it is almost time for dinner, as I say you picked the perfect time, if you are hungry that is.'

'Very, I haven't eaten since I left.'

'You're telling me grandmother did not give you food to bring with you.'

'She did, but it was not enough, I had to take the long way around. The weather was too bad over Caradhras.'

'Well, you are home now anyway.' He led her inside. 'You better be quick if you are coming to dinner.' He called as she shut the door to her room.

The dining hall was full of talking, the door silently opened and everyone watched as Arwen walked through. 'Arwen.' Elrond smiled taking his daughter in his arms. 'It has been too long since you were last here.'

'It feels it.' She returned the smile. 'I am back now.'

'For how long?' 'A day or so.' she laughed.

'You are too much like your mother in that respect. Never wanting to stay any longer than you have to.'

'No, I will stay a while, it depends how long it takes my brothers to drive me to insanity.' She glanced at the twins.

'Speaking of brothers,' Elrond said as they sat down at the table, 'has anyone seen Estel today?' he noticed his Elrohir shift slightly. 'What did you do to him this time?' 'Nothing.'

'Really?' Legolas entered. 'Sorry I am late.' He walked to the table. 'Arwen, it is good to see you again.' He kissed her hand.

'As it is you Legolas, it has been long since you came to Lórien.'

'Long enough for you to become fairer.' He countered.

'Very suave Legolas.' Elladan muttered.

'And you to become more charming.' She returned.

Suddenly the music livened up slightly in the lower part of the hall. 'Shall we?' he smiled leading her off.

'You disapprove.' Elrond stated seeing his eldest twin watching them warily.

'Something does not feel right, he seems.' he trailed off seeing Arwen falling over, Legolas was over her closely. 'That's it.'

'Elladan no.' Elrond said sharply stopping the twin.

'Sorry.' Legolas smiled.

'No it's this dress.' he claimed her mouth. 'Legolas.' She moved away.

'What?'

I'm sorry, it just doesn't feel right.' She walked off.

'Legolas, a word.' Elladan called.

'What?'

'What is going on with you and Arwen?'

'Nothing, why?'

'It did not seem like nothing to me.' Elladan felt his brotherly protection for his younger sister kick in.

'Look nothing is going on, it's nothing serious.'

'Just a bit of fun.' Arwen joined them.

'Arwen.' Elladan started. She slapped Legolas hard.

'Arwen.' Legolas said, putting a hand to his stinging cheek.

'It did not seem like nothing the other night.' She yelled running off.

Legolas looked to Elladan who just shook his head and walked off.

It had been one of those days where nothing went right. It all went down hill since he accidentally broke Elrohir's favourite bow, the elder had not been very pleased about that and the Human had spent all day hiding giving the Elf time to calm down. Estel sighed as he continued to walk through the woods surrounding Imladris. He stopped suddenly and saw a flicker of movement in a clearing. 'Tinúviel.' He called.

She stopped and looked at him. 'Who are you and why do address me in that way?'

'Because if you are not Lady Lúthien then you walk in her likeness.'

'So many have said.' She laughed, 'but I am not she.'

'You are upset.' He stated seeing the faint streaks of tears down her face.

'No, I am well.'

'You do no look it to me. Tell me, what troubles you fair one?'

'Do you start all conversations in such a way or am I just lucky?' she smiled.

'You're just lovely, I mean lucky.' They laughed. 'Sorry.'

'No it is well, it has been a while since I have had such compliments and they have seemed real.'

'Real?'

'It does not matter.'

'Whoever he is he does not deserve one like you.'

'What makes you say so?'

'If he cannot mean compliments or anything, and you are far better than him. Who is he just out of interest?'

'Legolas.'

'Really? Legolas? I would never have thought. Well that proves my point you are way better and above him.'

'You know him?'

'Too well, he is a friend.'

'Who are you?'

'Do beings as fair as you have names?' he returned.

'I am Arwen Elrond's daughter.'

'Really? You're Arwen.' He seemed genuinely surprised. 'Elladan and Elrohir have mentioned you but they never said you were so fair.'

'You have a way with words.'

'I try.' He smiled. 'It is often said that in times of danger that men often hide their greatest treasures. I have lived here since I was very young and there has hardly been any mention of you, and I certainly have not seen you before, but surely Lord Elrond has not kept you hidden all this time.'

'No he has not. I spend much time in Lórien, the land of my mother's kin, yet you still have not mentioned your name.'

'Do I really need to?'

'Estel,' she smiled. 'I have heard your name mentioned several times today.'

'You look so much like your mother.'

'What makes you say that? My mother left Middle Earth long before you were born.'

'I know, but I have seen portraits of her and I cannot see much of Lord Elrond in you.'

'Now that would be a disaster if you could.' She laughed.

Suddenly she found she was backed up to a tree. 'I meant it.' He whispered.

'What?'

'You're lovely.' He smiled.

'You're not that bad yourself.' she trailed off as he claimed her mouth lovingly.

A rustle cut them off. 'Elrohir.' Estel saw the Elf behind them. 'So you have met.' He said.

'Elrohir, please,' Arwen said, 'don't tell father or Elladan, you know what they're like.'

'I won't.' he smiled watching them run off.

They spent hours lying quietly in each others arms, Arwen smiled resting her head against Estel's muscular body and she gently ran her slender fingers over it smiling as they flexed under her touch. 'I wonder what father would say now.' She smiled looking at him.

'What indeed.' The familiar voice said.

'Father.' Arwen jumped at his voice as the Elf lord gave the Man and his daughter unyielding looks. Elladan and Elrohir were behind, they immediately stood up.

'Aragorn, a word.' Elrond said calmly, a wild fire burned in his eyes. Aragorn moved slightly forward.

'Shirt.' The elder reminded.

'Father.' Arwen started.

'I will speak with you later.'

'C'mon Arwen.' Elrohir gently led her off in a different direction to their father.

'WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING?' Elrond raged at Aragorn as he shut the door to the study. The man was about to answer when he was cut off. 'She is my daughter, and an Elf, she is way above you, no matter who you're descended from, and you will not have her.'

'What about Arwen? How do you know how she feels about this? She.'

'She should have more sense than to go off with a mortal.'

'You speak of me as if I am nothing.'

'Nothing is what you are compared to her.'

'I mean nothing to you no more then.' He stated. 'Everything on the past is gone because of one night, I am just another Human.'

'I did not say that.'

'You did not have to; I could read it in your eyes.'

'Estel.'

'My name is Aragorn, you know that.'

'Where are you going?'

'Out, I need to make something of myself, I may come back and visit some time. Namárië, Lord Elrond.' The man walked out of the study shutting the door behind him.

He paused, briefly rethinking the idea of going into the wilds, but he knew he could not stay in Imladris forever and he had to prove himself in the eyes of everyone especially Elrond.

'Estel.' Elrohir called, seeing the man walking out of the building.

'Bye.' He said simply.

'Bye? What do you mean bye?' Elrohir felt his temper waning.

'I am leaving.'

'You can't leave, where will you go.?'

'Elrohir, we all knew I would have leave someday, I will still see you, I will visit and if you ride with the Dúnedain.'

'It won't be the same.' he practically whined.

'Stop acting like such a kid Elrohir.' Elladan snapped cuffing the younger on the side of the head. 'Take care of yourself Estel; remember there will always be a place for you here, brother.' Elladan smiled faintly.

'Arwen.' He turned to the youngest Noldor.

'Estel,' tears formed in her eyes.

'Namárië Arwen, we will see each other again someday.' He reassured.

'But, I'm not ready for you to leave; we have only just met.'

'I will always love you, but it is for the best, I have to do this.' He kissed her lovingly and left.

The younger Elves tried to go after him, but Elladan held them back. 'He has to do this.' He reminded. He too was saddened by the turn of events, he had become used to having the Human around and loved him as a brother, but he knew this was to happen, he let no flicker of emotion on his face as he watched him leave; he did not want to seem weak in front of his brother and sister. He looked back and up too see Elrond watching him leave with sadness in his eyes.

'That must have been bad.' Elrohir observed. 'Why?' Arwen looked at her brothers.

'That is the first time he called Estel by his real name,' Elladan explained. 'Where are you going?' Elrohir asked.

'To find father.'

'Elladan, don't you think it would be better to leave him if he is angry?'

'What if he's not? Estel was dear to him; everyone knows that, he would not have just let him walk like he did.'

'How do you know?' Elrohir snapped.

'I saw him on the balcony, he did not seem so angry to me.' 'I will come.'

'No, you two stay here.'

'Fine.' Elrohir snapped as the eldest walked off.

'Father?' Elladan knocked on the door and walked in and shut it behind him. 'Father?' the Elf lord was sitting at his desk with his head in his hands. 'Father what is it? What is wrong?' he sat by the elder.

'Has he left?' he asked somewhat shakily.

'Yes, not long ago.' He paused. 'Do you want me to trail after him and bring him back?'

'I do not think he will be returning any time soon. He left, to be with the Dúnedain for a while.'

'Alone?' Elladan's brow furrowed.

'He has to get used to it Elladan. When Gilraen brought him here we all knew he would have to leave us someday. I was just hoping under different circumstances.' he trailed off.

'I know. I just wish he could stay here, everyone has grown so close to him.' he trailed off.

'Yes, he will be sorely missed.'

'You do not want him to leave.' Elladan stated.

'No, but what choice is there, I love him as I do you I always will.' He said quietly.

'Father, I will go after him if you want.'

'No Elladan,' he snapped sharply, letting his emotion get the better of him, 'no one is to go after him. He has to do this.' He calmed himself, 'he will have help from the Dúnedain.'

'Sorry father.' He whispered.

'How are the other two?'

'Elrohir was against the idea of him leaving, he seemed very upset when he left, I could barely hold him back.' He finished with a little laugh.

'They were always close.' Elrond mused, thinking about all the times he stuck up for the younger when he got into trouble. 'And Arwen?' 'She was upset, especially since they only just met.'

'It is for the best he has left.'

'I know; they just need time to see it. Do you want me to send Arwen in?'

'No, I want some time alone.' He watched his eldest son out of the door before replacing his head in his hands. He began to doubt if it was a good idea for him to go out alone with the dangers in the wilds, he cared for the Human more than he was willing to admit, even to himself.

'Father?' Arwen's soft voice called.

'Come in.' he answered and composed himself before she entered. 'Are you alright?' he stood up.

'Yes,' he forced a smile, 'are you?'

'Yeah,' she sighed.

'Arwen, it is for the best he has gone.'

'What?'

'I know you were thinking about him.' 'As are you.' She stated.

'Arwen, he is mortal, you are not.'

'Father.'

'No Arwen,' he could feel his equanimity draining swiftly, 'YOU ARE AN Elf AND MY DAUGHTER I WILL NOT LET YOU GIVE UP YOUR LIFE FOR A MOMENTARY INFATUATION.' He yelled.

'Father?' Elrohir walked in the room.

'WHAT DO YOU WANT? I am trying to talk to your sister.'

'Are you sure you do not want us to go after.'

'HE HAS GONE ELROHIR, GET USED TO IT, everyone else must, you are no different.'

'YELLING AT US DOES NOT HELP.' The younger Elf yelled back and stormed out of the room.

'Father.'

'Just get out of here Arwen.' He snapped, sitting back down resting his head in his hands.

Nothing is what you are, the words echoed through his mind. Unwanted tears stung his eyes as he forced them back, I mean nothing to you any more then.I can read it in your eyes. He wanted more than anything to go back home and tell the Elf lord he was sorry but they probably would not want him back after what happened; Elrond had made it clear that he was not wanted.

'Who travels under cover of darkness?' a voice called.

'Aaye Halbarad, it is I Aragorn.'

'Aragorn, it has been too long.' He smiled as his friend embraced him.

'That it has mellon nîn.'

'Are your brothers not with you?' he looked behind noticing the twins' absence.

'I have no brothers.'

'Does your father know you are here?' he asked knowing the man sometimes snuck off.

'My father is dead, he died a long time ago Halbarad, you know that.'

'I mean.'

'Oh, Lord Elrond and his sons.' He finished.

'What happened?'

'Nothing I want to into detail with.' He said quickly ending further enquiry.

'Hungry?'

'A little.' He shrugged.

As the men entered the camp many of his friends greeted him with 'Aragorn, it is good to see you again' 'it has been a long time'

'I thought you had forgotten us.' A voice called.

'No Sîrdil, I had not forgotten, I have just been.busy.'

'Hey shift up.' Halbarad shoved one of the younger men away from the fire.

'How long are you staying for? Have you got to go back soon?' Baliur asked.

'No, they will not expect me home.' He said with a small amount of sadness the parting conversations resurfacing.

'Finally kicked you out then.' Sîrdil joked.

'Yeah, something like that.' He said.

'Oh, I was only jokin, come on lighten up. It's not as if you can't go back. Is it?'

Aragorn remained silent.

'What happened?' Halbarad asked.

'Nothing, I don't want to mention it at this moment.' He snapped.

'Aragorn.' he started to go after the younger but thought better of it.

'Father?' Elladan entered the room; it had been a while since Elrond had been out of Estel's room. 'It does you no good to stay in here like this,' he told the elder, 'come out for dinner at least, it has been days.'

'I know.' Came a short answer.

'Father.'

'I will eat when I am hungry.' His eyes flashed with brief anger.

'You should not wait until you are hungry to eat; it is not good to be in here all the time.' He was just below yelling.

'Elladan?' Elrohir joined them.

'Go in Elrohir, I will join you shortly.' He snapped.

'Elladan.'

'No father, you have been in here since he left a couple of weeks ago, you are the ruler here not me, I will not keep it together forever.' He snapped. 'You are joining us for dinner I will drag you in there if I have to but you are coming.' he stopped seeing something buried amongst the ruffled pillows. He found a little note and a necklace that Elrond had given him years ago. It read: 'Sorry about what I have done, I will bother you no longer thank you for everything I will never forget you, this is for the best Aragorn' the note was spotted with tears.

'Father have you see this?' Elrohir asked.

'Of course I have, I found it.' he answered snappily.

'He has forgotten the necklace; he never takes it off.' Elrohir picked the small object up.

'What is he trying to prove anyway?' the elder twin exploded.

'He thinks he is no longer wanted here.' Elrond stated.

'Why would he.?'

'I said things to him just before he left, I didn't mean them like they sounded, it is my fault.' Elrond said quietly.

'No, he left because he.'

'Because he felt like he had no choice.' The elder finished.

'Are you joining us for dinner?' Elladan asked again.

'Yes, I will be there shortly.' Elrond forced a smile and watched his sons leave the room. 'Elbereth, please watch Estel and let him know he is loved no matter what.' He whispered to the dimly glowing stars.

The young chieftain of the Dúnedain listened carefully to the reports. 'What do you think would be the best course of action?' Halbarad asked Aragorn, they were slowly letting him take over but being there for him.

'I don't think we should do anything just yet, the wild men are a rough bunch and interfering may just agitate them more, but it is worrying that they mix with Orcs.'

'I agree,' Halbarad encouraged. 'Should some scouts monitor them?' he suggested.

'If it is what you think is best.'

'Aragorn, you are in charge here, it is what you think.' 'I say a small group of four.'

'We'll go.' Sîrdil and Baliur offered.

'I'll join them.' Halbarad added.

'You are not having all the fun, I'll come.' Aragorn grinned slightly. 'We set off in a couple of days.' He told them.

Elladan sat on the edge of his window, softly humming an old tune, deep in thought, thinking about the young Human he came to love as a brother. So deep in thought, he did not sense another enter the room until he sat on the other side of the sil.

'Elladan?' Elrohir joined him.

'I thought you were in bed.' Elladan stated, not turning his gaze from the stars.

'I couldn't sleep. I keep thinking about Estel, I worry for him, do you think he is alright with the Dúnedain?'

'I don't know Elrohir,' he admitted, 'they are good people, the Dúnedain, and I am sure they will help him.' he trailed off.

'Elladan?' Elrohir gently touched his elder twin's arm.

'Sorry 'Ro, I just worry for him, I suppose I always have and I don't think that will change in a hurry.' He sighed, 'I just hope he knows that we still care for him and that he will always have a home here.' he paused, 'I'm going to send a runner, just to see how he is getting on.'

Elrond shook his head standing outside the door; he knew that the twins would not let the Human be on his own.

'Please hurry.' Elladan whispered to the runner handing him an envelope, the sun barely spilling over the valley, the crisp of winter hung in the air.

Aragorn was the first to wake as he finished packing his things. 'Do you ever sleep?' Halbarad yawned joining the younger.

'Are we ready?' Sîrdil and Baliur joined them.

'Aragorn,' a guard called.

'Yeah?' he looked up to see Kalen walking hurriedly towards him closely followed by an Elf.

'A runner here for you.'

'Keldur.' He recognised the Elf.

'Estel, this is for you.' He handed him an envelope, which had 'To my dear brother' scrawled over it, Elladan judging by the handwriting.

'Thank you.' He nodded shoving it in a pocket.

'Lord Elladan also wishes to know when you are returning.'

'I am not.' He answered plainly. 'Now if you'll excuse me I have business to attend to.' He walked off.

'What was that about?' Halbarad asked.

'Nothing.' He said watching the runner leave.

The travel and first few days had been uneventful; the four sat around a small camp fire and spoke softly. 'I am not sure it is a good idea to have a fire this close to the enemy, thee smoke may alert them of our whereabouts.' Aragorn hesitated.

'They are a stupid race of people, they would never.' Sîrdil started but was cut off by an arrow shooting passed his head.

'As you were saying?' Aragorn raised an eyebrow as he drew his sword and attacked the nearest men to him. 'Baliur.' He called seeing his friend go down to a man's blade. 'Halbarad, get out of here.' He yelled at his hesitant friend before he ran off.

'Good work,' a large man addressed Sîrdil.

'What?' Aragorn stared in disbelief.

'Sorry, I forgot to mention I have been under cover.' He grinned evilly.

'You son of a.' but he was cut off with a blow to his head. Large splashes of colour flashed in his eyes before he passed out.

'Shall we take him?' a man asked.

'No,' Sîrdil answered, 'he's as good as dead.' He kicked him several times breaking a few ribs before leaving the unconscious form alone in the dark forest.

Elrond turned to face the window, his hopes of Estel's return had been dimmed greatly since he heard of the human's choice to not come back, Arwen had left for Lórien days ago, it would b a while before he saw her, he knew that her visits were rarer and rarer. Elladan and Elrohir would often ride together leaving Elrond alone, how he missed his human son's company. How he longed to see his youngest son. It had only been a few weeks, but it had seemed like years in the Elf lord's heart. He wanted to see his son come through the gates, not caring if he was on death's door, or completely fine, he just wanted him home. 'My lord.' A voice called, pulling him away from his thoughts. 'There is a ranger from the north here to see you.'

'Send him in,' a small hope inside him thought it may be Estel, but he knew better than to feed false hopes. He straightened as a man walked in. 'Halbarad.' he nodded.

'Lord Elrond.' He bowed slightly shutting the door.

'How is Estel? Does he send word?' he asked hopefully.

'I am afraid not lord,' he hesitated unsure how to continue, 'Lord Elrond, I am sorry; it is my sad duty to inform you your son Aragorn is dead.'

'What?' his face flooded with emotion, not wanting to believe what he heard.

'I am truly sorry, his loss is no easier for us, he was close to many. On behalf of the Dúnedain I offer my sincerest apologies.'

'What happened?' he forced himself to say, choking on the welling lump in his throat.

'We were attacked I tried to help him but he could not get away, I am the only one left.'

'Thank you Halbarad, eat, sleep, you are welcome here for as long as you will stay.'

'Thank you my lord.' He bowed and left.

Elrond leant heavily against the wall, grief consuming his heart and mind swifter than he thought possible. He forced himself to move and sit down, silent tears slid down his cheeks, what would he tell his sons? What would he tell Arwen? He knew they loved each other, all his children did, especially Elladan , he would most likely blame himself for not being there for him, he had always tried to protect him, and fault himself if he could not, the news would almost certainly destroy him.

'Father?' a quiet knock came on he door.

'Just a minute.' He called shakily composing himself, 'enter.' 'Father, Halbarad is here,' Elladan said.

'Has he said anything about Estel?' Elrohir asked eagerly, the words visibly cut the elf lord who would not face them. 'Father what is it?'

'Halbarad told me there was an attack on a small scouting group; he was the only one to survive.'

'And?' Elladan asked having a fair idea where it was leading.

'Estel was among the slain,' his voice started breaking, 'he is dead.' He finished unable to stop the tears. The brothers held each other tightly before they went to their father who was visibly distraught by the turn of events. 'Let me be.' He said quietly shrugging their hands away, still not wanting to face them.

'Father.'

'Just go Elladan I want to be alone.' He watched them leave. 'I am sorry you did not feel welcome my son, there was nothing I wanted more than to have you here with me. I am sorry I made you doubt my love for you, but it was not true, you were more dear to me than anyone Estel, you should not have forgotten that, I should not have let you, now it is too late.' He closed his eyes, looking at the note one last time. 'Sorry about what I have done I will bother you no longer, thank you for everything I will never forget you Aragorn' 'Namárië my son, may you find the peace in death you couldn't in life.' He whispered, looking at a small portrait of the human which was fairly recent. Allowing fond memories to engulf his mind.

The Rider crouched by the unconscious form, the man was bleeding badly; a lump was forming where he had been hit at the back of his head several of his ribs were cracked, a broken arm and an arrow was embedded in his shoulder. The being pulled the black arrow out gently and frowned inspecting the tip there was evidence of poison on the tip. 'Oh Estel, you are a pain.' Came a soft laugh and a small shaking of the head as the Rider rummaged through bags for healing herbs.

Consciousness unwillingly came back to him as he heard a small fire crackling and a faint aroma of herbs flitted on his consciousness. Aragorn groaned as he tried to move, his vision was blurred. 'Shh, rest, you have been badly hurt.' A soft soothing voice said in Elvish, he looked to see the last person he expected to.

'Arwen.' He blinked several times.

'I'm here.' She smiled, he tried to speak some more but she placed a finger to his lips. 'Rest my love.'

'I'm fine, really.'

'Here, drink this.' he took a sip but spat it back out.

'It's disgusting,' he muttered, 'but I suppose you'll only threaten to force it in me.so I'll save time and drink it now.' He muttered screwing his face at the taste.

'Where are we?' he asked, looking around.

'Nearly in Lórien.' She answered smiling at him. 'Now rest, we will; continue the journey tomorrow.'

The night passed slowly. Aragorn frowned as he forced himself from sleep. Suddenly danger drifted into his consciousness as he felt something near, he wrapped a hand firmly around his sword. In a swift movement he shot up and pulled a startled Arwen behind him as men closed in. 'Estel?'

'Stay back Arwen.' He whispered as faint torches came into view.

''and her over.' A man said roughly.

'If you want her you will have to kill me first.' He said defensively keeping as much distance between Arwen and the other men.

'Estel no, don't.' she whispered.

'I will not let them harm you.' He returned before he parried the first man who attacked. He fought viciously killing many of the attackers but his unhealed body began to protest in pain and it slowed him down a little. He felt a sharp pain shoot through the back of his shoulder as he fell to his knees, he heard Arwen call his name then she screamed as a man grabbed her. A new determination filled him as he got up and killed the surrounding men.

Arwen looked in amazement even in his weakened state his fought ferociously, she looked in horror as another large arrow lodged itself in his back, it slowed him down a little if only for a second. He staggered slightly as his sword went through the last man. He quickly pulled Arwen to the floor as an arrow cut the side of his shoulder. 'Estel?' she asked worriedly seeing he was not moving on the floor. With a large amount of strength he stood up, leaning slightly against a tree and fired an arrow at the archer killing him instantly before he collapsed. 'Estel?' She gently pulled the arrows from him and began to clean his wounds. Consciousness slowly returned again, he grimaced trying to move but his back was extremely painful and his right arm was numb, he felt something over him. 'How do you feel?'

'Like I have been in a fight.' He answered hoarsely.

'I am sorry.' She looked away.

'For what?'

'This.'

'Arwen I meant what I said,' she looked him in the eyes, 'I would die before I see you harmed.'

'You almost did.' She answered sadly. 'No,' she said quickly seeing him trying to ease up. 'Stay still you are unwell.'

'I am fine really, we should get into Lórien.' He pulled away from her leaning heavily against a tree. Something rustled slightly; he gripped his sword but felt cold steel under his own neck.

'Move and die.' Came a sharp answer.

Aragorn eyed the being before him carefully. His hand still wrapped around his sword hilt.

'Drop the sword.'

'Or what?'

'I'll kill you.' He said swinging his sword for it to be met by Aragorn's.

'You don't seriously think you can defeat me?'

'I will take my chances.' He answered parrying the other's attack. 'Stop this,' Arwen called glaring at the fighters, all arrows were directed at Aragorn.

'Fire,' The attacker called the arrows went up.

'No, don't,' she called but an arrow was set loose.

'Who are you?' he asked recognising the voice faintly.

She did not answer but went straight to the fallen Human's side. 'We have to get him to a healer now.' She said assessing his wounds.

'Lady Arwen.' He gasped seeing her slightly in the light. 'I am sorry, I would never have attacked.but the Humans.I thought.'

'Silence Haldir, he has been through enough.' She snapped.

'I'm fine Arwen really.' He said wincing as he pulled the arrow out and tried to get up.

'No your not.' She admonished.

'Really.'

'Don't move or I'll kill you myself.' She warned lightly.

'You are related to Elladan and Elrohir.' He grinned faintly as he heard the comment from them often.

'You're as bad as them, making light of injuries.' She countered. 'Well.' He shrugged.

'Come on.' She smiled softly helping him up. 'Can you walk?' she asked.

'Yeah, sure.' He stood and swayed slightly.

'What has happened to you then?' Haldir asked as he helped him through Lórien.

'Fight, almost got killed, Arwen found me, fight almost got killed you found us, fight.'

'Almost got killed.' The Elf finished.

'Something like that.' He laughed.

'You care for her.' He stated.

'Who doesn't?'

'No Estel, you really love her.'

'Well.

'She feels the same.'

'I know.'

'It bothers you.'

'I know what it is for an Elf to love a mortal and I do not want that for her; I would have her be with her people, but it is her choice.'

'Once she makes up her mind no one can change it.'

'What are you two whispering about?' she joined them.

'You fair lady.' Aragorn answered with a smile.

'Have you nothing better to talk about?'

'Nothing is better than you Arwen.'

'You are a charmer.' She answered trying to hide the blush.

'My charm must have been reserved for you then.' She laughed shaking her head as he draped an arm around her mostly for support but she did not mind as she placed am arm around him trying to avoid his wounds.

'Estel?' she noticed him sway slightly before he collapsed. she immediately checked for a pulse. His breath was worryingly shallow and his pulse was practically nothing. 'We must hurry.' She noted as they hurried back to Caras Galadhon.

The light filtered through the trees as the sun dimmed and Arwen's concerned face looked over Aragorn's still form, she started pacing before him. 'You should rest Arwen.' Galadriel said softly.

'I cannot rest, not until I know he is safe.'

'His safety will not change whether you rest in your room or stay here pacing.' The elder reasoned.

'True but.'

'Go on, I will call you if anything changes.' She assured watching her leave.

'She cares for him.' A soft voice stated.

'Yes, she does.' She said sadly.

'He is mortal.' Celeborn stated.

'You disapprove.'

'You are telling me you would not mind someone you love giving up immortality?'

'If she was happy.' Galadriel countered.

'You are always against my judgment.'

'That is why you love me.' She grinned.

'Debateable.' he muttered.

'I will talk with her, but she is stubborn.'

'Like her mother.' He added, 'and look who she ended up with.' 'That is my point, when her heart is set, she is not swayed.' She said leaving the room.

'Arwen.' Galadriel called quietly seeing the younger sitting on a small grass bank.

'How is he?' she asked.

'Your grandfather is concerned.'

'Why?'

'Do you love him?'

'Who?'

'Aragorn.'

'With all my heart.' She answered without hesitation.

'Then there is no point in trying to persuade you otherwise.'

'Definitely not.'

'You are so much like your mother, she was never one to go back on a decision, I remember when she first met your father and they told us they were getting married, Celeborn protested every moment he could, they never really got on, they still don't though,' she laughed lightly, 'the last time they had a civil conversation was when your mother left for Valinor.'

'I remember, still that ended in an argument.' She reminded.

'Yes, it did not help when you told him you were staying here.'

'It is a good job Elladan and Elrohir had the strength to hold them back before they managed to kill each other.'

'You have to be sure it is what you want Arwen, a mortal life is a long time for regret.'

'I have never been sure of anything like I am with this.'

'There has been no change Arwen.'

'No, he will be alright.' She denied what the elder was saying.

'Is this what you choose Arwen?' Celeborn joined them, 'a life full of grief and shadow when he passes? No one to comfort you, you will be alone.' Galadriel gave him a warning look, she did not answer but just walked off crying.

He swiftly walked down the familiar corridors of Imladris to Elrond's room, he saw Elrohir sitting at his side, the Elf lord deathly still as the younger twin spoke to him softly. 'Elrohir,' Elladan walked in. 'He has still not responded.' The younger said sadly, tears streaking down his face.

'Come on Elrohir, there is nothing more we can do for him.' He placed a hand on his shoulder. 'It is my fault.'

'What?'

'If I had not let Estel go, he would be alive and father would not have been like this.'

'No, he just sleeps deeply.'

'Elrohir, he is dying, if not already dead, the loss of Estel was hard on him, we have to be strong brother, for each other, I cannot look after this place without you.'

'Elladan, Elrohir, I am here.' He called out desperately.

'Shh.'

'What?' the elder twin asked.

'Estel?'

'yes Elrohir, I am here.'

'Elrohir?' Elladan asked worriedly, looking unseeingly in Estel's direction.

'Sorry brother, I thought, no hoped I heard him, but I could not have.'

'No Elladan, I am alive, I am here.' He called.

Aragorn shot up in bed, ignoring the fact he had been out for a long time, 'father.' He muttered looking around the unfamiliar room before he eased himself back down as his aching body began to protest him being up.

'You have been out for two weeks, you should rest.' A soft voice said.

'Two weeks? How is Arwen?'

'She is fine, concerned for you but fine.' Galadriel smiled softly.

'Where is she?'

'Later you must rest now.'

'Please.I have to see her.home.they.'

'Aragorn, you have been badly injured.'

'I know but.'

'I can see I will not win, she will be on Cerin Amroth, but do not stay up for too long, as soon as you start feeling ill get back here, or I'll will I have to get Haldir to drag you back, again?'

'No my lady, I promise,' he grinned softly as she left the room. 'There are some clothes for you there.' She nodded and left.

Arwen sat on Cerin Amroth not attempting to calm the tears. A small snapping twig caused her to turn her attention to a figure behind. There was a tall dark handsome male clad in silver and white with a cloak of Elven grey, a bright gem on his brow. Arwen blinked several times thinking she was seeing an Elf lord from the west, it was not until he came closer did she realise who it was. 'Estel.' She cried flinging her arms around him, 'how long have you been awake?'

'Not long, he smiled, he gently wiped the fresh tears from her face.

'I thought I almost lost you.'

'Three times actually, if you think about the near death fights.' He smiled as they kissed lovingly.

'Don't do it again or I'll kill you myself.'

'You enjoyed it really.'

'True, but don't make a habit of it.'

'I'll try, but I promise nothing.'

'Dark is the shadow,' she said gravely as they looked east to the Shadow and west to the Twilight, 'and yet my heart rejoices for you Estel, you'll be among the great whose valour destroy it.'

'What comes to pass is hidden from me, yet we will have hope together. I have neither Twilight nor Shadow, for I am mortal and if you cleave to me, the Twilight you too must turn from.'

She stayed silent for several moments looking to the west, remembering the conversations with her grandparents not long ago, do what you feel is right she heard Galadriel say. 'I cleave to you Dùnadan and turn from the Twilight, yet there lies the land of my people and the home of all my kin.' She looked sadly. Aragorn closed his eyes briefly, he knew Arwen loved her father dearly and the news would bring them to a bitter parting sooner or later.

'Are you disheartened by my choice?' she asked.

'No, not at all.' He smiled as they kissed passionately.

The days passed swiftly as Aragorn and Arwen spent most of their time together. Aragorn's dreams had been slowly getting worse, but he did not know how to tell Arwen what he was seeing. 'Estel,' Arwen pulled him from his thoughts, 'what is on your mind? It has been wandering all afternoon.'

'Sorry,' he forced a smile and hesitated before continuing, 'I have been having dreams of late.'

'Go on.' She encouraged softly.

'I keep seeing Imladris, I hear Elladan and Elrohir talking about father, I go to his room, he always looks.dead.' he trailed off.

'What do they talk about?' she asked, trying to ease his fears.

'They say how things have gone downhill since I left, they think I am dead, the healers say grief is killing him and its.and its only a matter of time before he gives up completely.'

'Why didn't you say anything before?'

'I don't know. Something is happening and it is my fault as usual.'

'Estel, go if it bothers you that much, put your mind at ease.' She smiled sadly, 'I understand, if it is true, why father grieves so thinking you are dead. He loves you Estel, more so than you will ever know, it hurt him deeply when you left, it was obvious even though he tried to hide it.'

'I love you Arwen,' he smiled sadly kissing her and swiftly left to get ready.

Aragorn felt something in a hidden part of his overcoat, he pulled out an envelope he had forgotten he had. 'to my dear brother' was scrawled roughly, he smiled faintly as he opened it, something fell out. He picked up the necklace that Elrond had given him as a child, he had never taken it off until he left that day. He placed it back around his neck before he looked at the note.

'Dear Estel, I hope you fare better than us, you are greatly missed here brother, father is gravely worried about you even though he tries to hide it. Elrohir does no better, he wants you home and believes you will come, but I am not so sure. I recognised the way you left, when you were saying goodbye I knew it was forever, I have tried keeping things together here but it is hard. You are loved here dearly Estel, please you must understand this, we don't care what happened between you and Arwen now, all we want is to have you home where you are safe. I know you probably don't want to come, I know how stubborn you can be, but please know we will always love you and there will always be a place for you here, all my love as always Elladan. P.S. you have forgotten your necklace, I thought you may want it back, Namárië brother, I hope it is not too long before I see you again.'

Aragorn clenched the note tightly to him, clearing the tears from his eyes before he continued getting ready.

Aragorn started out of Lórien only to be met by Haldir. 'Where are you off to in such a hurry?' he asked curiously.

'I have to go back to Imladris, I fear something is about to happen there.' He explained hurriedly.

'Aragorn,' Arwen called with a horse close behind. 'This is Roheryn; he is a swift horse and will get you home in no time.'

'Thank you Arwen, I will return him when I am done.'

'It is a gift.'

'Thank you.' He smiled again as they briefly kissed, he mounted the brown steed and rode off.

The journey back to Imladris had been fast and Roheryn did not tire as Aragorn thought he would, he climbed off and started down the unusually empty hallways. Low voices caught his attention. 'I am sorry my lords, there is nothing more we can do for him.'

'No, there has to be something.' it sounded like Elrohir protesting.

'I am sorry; his spirit is already on its way to Mandos.'

'No, he can't.'

'I am truly sorry; we have tried everything, as have you.'

'I understand.' Elladan said quietly, 'thank you.' He nodded and the healer left, ignoring Aragorn as he peered through the closed door.

'No, this can't be happening, no, he is alive.'

'Elrohir, we have to accept it, it is only a matter of time before he lets go completely. It is my fault.' Elladan said quietly.

'What?'

'If I went after Estel as I wanted to he would be here, he would not have died, and father would not have grieved so.'

'Don't start blaming yourself again, you do it every time something goes wrong, it is not your fault Elladan, when will you understand this?'

Aragorn had herd enough, he ran silently down the corridor to the elf lord's room. 'Father?' he whispered going closer. He was shocked to see the elf so pallid and ashen, his hair had dulled greatly and had grey coming through, his eyes ere closed, which worried Aragorn more than anything because it was foreign on him. He had also aged greater than any elf should have. 'Father I am so sorry.' He whispered sitting by the elf taking an icy hand in his own. 'I should not have left, none of this would have happened, please come back to us, we need you, we always will, you can't die on us now.' He let the tears slide down his cheek. 'Father please, don't give in, not now, don't give up on us, we never gave up on you, please just.' his voice dissolved beneath the tears.

Aragorn had fallen to sleep at Elrond's side; he woke suddenly feeling something gently squeeze him. He looked down to see Elrond stirring slightly. 'Father?' he said hopefully.

'Es.Estel...?' came a hoarse, weak whisper.

'Shh, shh father, it is alright, I'm here.'

'Estel, you're.you're alive.' he smiled faintly, turning to face the human.

'I always have been, I am sorry for what I have done but.'

'Shh my son, you are home, that is all that matters.' He spoke softly motioning him into his arms. 'I thought I lost you.'

'I am sorry about what I said; I meant none of it.'

'My son, I am the one who made you feel unwelcome, it is I who should be saying sorry.' he interrupted, as his youngest flung his arms around the elder again.

'I have to go and let the Dúnedain I live, I will return soon though, I promise.' He said slipping out of the window hearing soft footfalls down the corridor.

'Father?' Elrohir stood in the doorway, blinking several times, 'you're awake.' He smiled, flinging his arms around him.

'Father, I thought we lost you.' Elladan entered, barely able to choke back his own tears.

'You almost did my sons.' He admitted softly. 'If it were not for Estel.'

'Estel?' Elladan frowned, 'father, I know this is hard but he is dead, you know that.'

'That is what I thought, but.'

'NO, HE IS DEAD, WE HAVE TO ACCEPT IT.' He yelled storming out of the room.

'Elladan.' Elrohir called after the elder.

'No Elrohir, let him go, all this is happening and it is hard for him.'

'I believe you.' He said quietly, 'I believe Estel's alive, he's stronger than we thought, he is alright.'

'I know Elrohir.' He said smiling faintly. 'I know.'

The dark inky blanket covered the sky, with stars shining faintly, 'Hold, who goes?'

'Mae govannen Halbarad, it is I Aragorn.'

'Aragorn?'

'Yes.' He snapped irritably.

'Aragorn, it is you, but I thought you were killed.'

'No, I am alive. Why were you spreading rumours about my death? I know you want my position but.' he broke off grinning.

'Well, I thought.'

'Yeah, I know what you thought.' He shook his head. 'Come on, let's head back to camp.'

'Nice horse.' He commented.

'I know.'

'Where did you get it?'

'A lady.'

'Ooh yeah, who is she?'

'Arwen Undómiel, the lady of Imladris, Elrond's daughter, the.'

'Alright, alright, I get the point. So you're with an Elf?' there was only a grin for a reply. 'oh Valar, I don't believe you, you always aim for the high things, I have never seen her myself is she pretty?'

'Pretty? She is the fairest of her people, and the fairest being to walk Middle Earth.' He paused and looked over to his companion.

'What?' Halbarad asked nervously.

'I saw the way you looked at me just, you are so jealous because I get an Elf.'

'I am not.' He defended.

'Whatever.' The friends started elbowing each other and it soon turned into a small friendly scuffle.

'What is going on here then?' a familiar voice asked. 'Aragorn? You're.you're alive.' Sîrdil stammered.

'Traitor.' The man snapped.

'What?'

'a little surprised to see me alive after you thought you killed me?'

'What are you talking about? He is ill,' he said to Halbarad, 'there must have been poison on the arrows; he does not know what he is saying.'

'I know exactly what I'm saying. Who do you work for Sîrdil? Who wants me dead?' he grabbed him by his shirt.

'Aragorn.' Halbarad interrupted.

'You betrayed us.' He said in a deadly tone.

'No.I.I.'

'Save it, if I wanted to know your pathetic excuses, I would ask.'

'Aragorn,' Collo called, 'there are several horsed beings heading this way, they look like they mean business.'

'Why you son of a.' he was cut off as Sîrdil attacked. 'Stop him! Take him down! Kill him!.' he called to the Rangers. 'Halbarad.' He called, seeing Sîrdil charging to him, 'Kill him.' He called, the other Ranger nodded and swung for him but Sîrdil knocked the younger to the floor, cutting him before running off. 'Halbarad.' He ran to his friend's side. 'Halbarad.' he was cut off when the attackers left.

'I'm alright.' He assured, holding his bleeding side.

'No you're not.' Aragorn observed as he staggered back, 'sit down.' He instructed, 'Collo, get some athelas.' 'Athelas?'

'Kingsfoil, asëa, aranion, whatever you call it, just get some.'

'Aragorn, it is unnecessary.'

'The blade could have been poisoned, I will not risk infection, you are a good ally I would hate to loose you.'

'You have been spending much time with your brothers.'

'I know, it is awful.' He grinned. ''How many more are wounded?''

Not many, it was more of a diversion.' Laddur informed him.

'I will see to those who are wounded, the worst ones first.'

'Sure.' He nodded leaving to round the wounded up.

'Aragorn.' Keldil joined them as the ranger was finishing seeing to the wounded.

'Yes?'

'He has gone.' The youngest Ranger

'What?'

'Sîrdil lord, he has gone, I saw him and tried to stop him but.'

'It is alright Keldil.'

'Alright?' Halbarad joined them. 'How can it be alright? He knows where we are, he knows who you are. They could and probably will come back in greater numbers, if someone wants you dead.'

'Then we move out.'

'But.'

'Send word to the main camp we are moving out to another location.' He ordered, 'Halbarad, send some of the better Men to the main camp and make sure the women and children are relocated.'

'But.'

'Just do it Halbarad, I am in charge here, we move out.' He said sharply. 'You are in charge until I return Halbarad, don't let anything happen to them, they are good people.'

'I promise my friend.'

'Namárië.'

'Vanya sulie. (Fair winds)' He nodded before Aragorn mounted Roheryn and left.

Aragorn was a day from Imladris when he heard a call. 'Help me.' A voice called desperately.

'Tampa, stop, leave her alone,' he called dismounting his horse and running to the small group of men. 'Arwen?'

'Aragorn, No, it's a trap,'

'What?'

'It's a.' suddenly even more men surrounded them as they were forced back to back. 'Good to see you again love,' She smiled sarcastically.

'I know; I missed you too. Oh by the way father is well and.'

'Silence.' Sîrdil snapped. 'You should have killed me when you had the chance Aragorn, now I get to return the favour, for both of you.' 'No.'

'What?'

'Leave her out of this, she has done nothing to you, do what you want with me, but please, let her go.' He was practically pleading.

'Oh this is too good; I never actually thought I would get the king of Gondor to plead for death.'

'Just let her go.' Fear burned in his eyes.

'Estel.'

'No Arwen, I will not let anything happen to you, not to you.'

'This is so cute,' he moved to Arwen, 'as are you young Elf.' He gently stroked her bare skin.

'Get off her.' Aragorn shoved the other away. 'Run for it Arwen, run,' He called, seeing a small gap in the crowd.

'Estel.' she hesitated.

'Arwen, I will not loose you, I love you Arwen, go,' They closed around him, 'Now.' He called trying to fight them off.

'ESTEL.' She screamed as they grabbed her.

'Let her go.' He called swinging his sword around the surrounding enemy. 'ARWEN.' He yelled seeing her beaten form crumpled on the floor. 'No Arwen, don't do this, you can't leave me.' He muttered, 'come on Arwen please.' He felt for a weak pulse. 'Stay with me my love, come on, fight this, stay with me, I can't live my life without you.' A tear slid down his cheek, he used what energy he had left and put it into the Elf beside him. He lay down beside her and opened his eyes to see the men falling to arrows from an unseen attacker before consciousness swiftly took him.

His eyes searched through the carnage until he saw the forms he was looking for. 'Arwen? Estel?' he went to them, 'either of you die on me and you're dead.' He threatened with a hint of a smile realising what he said did not make sense.

'What.' a quiet voice croaked.

'Arwen, thank Ilúvatar you're alive.' He held her close to him.

'Legolas?' she whispered pulling away from him. 'Estel.' She cried seeing his bloodied and beaten form lying lifelessly next to hers. 'Oh no, please no, stay with me, please, I didn't give up on you, don't give up on me.' She pleaded. 'Roheryn.' She called seeing the horse join them.

'Go Arwen, get home, you both need to be seen to, I will follow.' He promised.

'Thank you for saving us.'

'Anything for you and Estel my lady.' He answered smiling.

'Noro lim Roheryn.' She whispered before the horse took off with rapid speed to Imladris.

'Arwen.' Elladan called seeing his sister on her horse. 'What in the name of the Valar happened? Who did this?' he saw her bloodied and abused state.

'It does not matter.' She answered weakly.

'Of course it does, when father sees you like this he.'

'What the.' Elrohir joined them trailing off. 'What happened?'

'I have just asked that.'

'They are dead.' She answered.

'Before I had a chance to kill them.' the eldest muttered, his rage burning up inside him.

'Arwen,' Elrond choked seeing her in the state she was in, it reminded him too much of when his sons brought their mother home. 'Oh Arwen, I am glad you are safe.' He gently carried her off the horse.

'Estel.' Elladan trailed off picking the unconscious form off the horse.

'Told you so.' Elrohir muttered.

'He lives.'

'Barely.'

'Bring him inside now.' Elrond instructed softly, still carrying his daughter in his arms. 'hold on Arwen, you'll be alright, both of you.'

'Father.' she managed before falling unconscious.

'Hold on sweetie.' He whispered as he placed her onto a soft bed. 'We must work quickly.' He told the twins as they helped him.

'Estel?' Arwen muttered as she drifted back into consciousness. 'Oh Arwen.' She felt familiar strong arms envelope her, 'I thought I lost you.'

'Father.' she whispered.

'Shh, it's alright.'

'Estel.'

'He'll be fine.'

'He tried to.he could have.'

'Shh, rest.' He gently pushed her back to the pillows, 'you can see him later, but now you must rest.' He kissed her forehead and sat by the bed watching her fall back to sleep.

'How is she?' Elladan asked as Elrond left the room. 'She sleeps at the moment.'

'What do you think happened?'

'I don't know, I am unsure I want to know, but I think I will probably find out anyway.'

'Lord Elrond.' a voice called, walking down the corridor.

'Legolas.'

'Are they here? Did they make it?'

'They are here and safe.' The Elf lord assured.

'What happened?' Elladan demanded.

'They were ambushed by men, I did not see what happened, I barely arrived in time, I thought they were both dead.'

'They are alive, if not well, thanks to your speed.' Elrohir smiled.

'How's Estel?' Elladan asked.

'Sleeps, I think he will be out for days, you know how lazy he is.' He finished with a hint of a smile. 'And Arwen; how is she?'

'Sleeps also.' The elder twin told him.

'Fine.' Elrohir went into Arwen's room.

'How's Estel?' a weak voice asked.

''He rests, as should you be.'

'Yet I am not.' Arwen smiled.

'Where do you think you're going?' she tried to get out if bed.

'To see him.'

'But.'

'Elrohir, I am going to see him and you can't stop me.' He shook his head as she left the room, not bothering to try and stop her.

Arwen silently entered the room, Estel's still form lay on the large bed in the centre of the room, 'you have spent too much time with the twins.' She muttered seeing the room so untidy, she pulled up a chair and sat by him quietly. 'You better wake up soon, I want to thank you properly,' she smiled kissing his lips.

The twins stood wide-eyed and their mouths reached the floor as they saw their sister with the human. Elladan quietly nudged his brother and they left the room. 'Did you just see what I just saw?' the younger asked.

'Yes Elrohir, I think I did. Arwen and Estel.' he trailed off. 'Do you think it possible?'

'With those two? Of course, anything is possible with either of them, but together, they are the impossible.'

'Do you think there is something going on?'

'Did you see the way she was looking at him?' he cuffed the younger.

'What are you two conspiring now?' Elrond made his sons jump slightly.

'Nothing father.' Elladan answered innocently.

'And Arwen is where?'

'Try Estel's room.' Elrohir told him.

'Thank you.' He smiled before continuing down the corridor.

'Do you think he knows?'

'Probably, but say nothing just in case.'

'Fine.' The younger smiled thinking about his younger brother and sister together.

Arwen absently stroked the side of Estel's face, her fingers brushing through the dark tresses at the side of his face. A smile touched her lips as she thought of what they would say to her father and how he would take the news.

'If I'm dreaming, don't wake me up.' A rough mutter smiled.

'You are awake Estel.' She said softly, kissing his lips once more.

'It is hard to tell the difference in your presence,' he returned.

'You do try.' She muttered.

'Try? Have I not succeeded then?'

'You succeeded before you tried.' She answered with a mischievous glimmer in he eyes.

'Ooh, I like the sound of that.' He returned roguishly.

'Have you given any thought what we are going to tell father?'

'How could I have? I have been out cold for a while. You?' 'No, I don't think we can explain it.'

'I would like to hear you try.' A voice made them jump.

'Father.' They sad in unison glancing at each other, Arwen still in the human's arms.

'How long have you been there?'

'Long enough.' He said with a blank, unreadable expression. 'So would you mind explaining?'

'I.err.we.erm.' Arwen trailed off.

'What's going on in here?' the twins joined them.

'Finally awake little brother.' Elrohir grinned.

'Everyone out, now.' Elrond ordered, this was received with loud protests. 'I think Estel and I need a talk,' he reasoned sternly and ushered his children out of the door.

'Look I don't want another argument about this, I know you love Arwen, I do too.'

'Estel.' Elrond held his hand up for silence, but the young human did not notice.

'No father, please I don't want to hurt you again but.'

'Aragorn.' He said more sternly. 'My son, years will come when hope will fade and little beyond them is clear to me. Now a shadow lies between us. Maybe it was meant to be that in my loss the kingship of Men will be restored. I love you,' he looked at his youngest fondly, the man made no attempt to interrupt him, 'but I say to you that my daughter Arwen Undómiel shall not diminish her life's grace to be the bride to any Man less the King of Gondor and Arnor. Even then I fear we will only be brought to a sorrowful parting.' Their eyes locked.

'WHAT?' a loud yell filled the corridors.

'Sounds like she told the twins.' Aragorn grinned wryly.

'Father have you heard what she is saying.' Elladan burst into the room his younger siblings in tow.

'I have.' He looked at his youngest children who were back together.

'You two serious?' Elrohir asked. They looked at each other and grinned.

At this the twins were shocked into silence they could only look between each other and their father in surprise.

Many years passed and nothing more was said of the matter until Aragorn and Arwen finally saw each other after a long time when a Hobbit named Frodo was stabbed. Aragorn hurriedly cut at the athelas but he felt cold steel touching the skin of his neck. 'What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?' his head was tipped up slightly, he smiled at the warmth in the familiar voice. 'Arwen.' He smiled standing up. 'It has been too long.'

'Too long my love, too long.' She agreed as they briefly kissed. 'They were arguing about who would ride with Frodo back to Imladris.

'Andelu i ven. (The road is dangerous)' He reasoned.

'Frodo fir. Ae athradon i hir, tur gwaith nîn beriatha hon. I do not fear them. (Frodo dies if I can get passed the river the power of my people will protect him)' Aragorn hesitated, they both knew the lands were dangerous especially with the Nazgûl abroad, he did not know what he would do if anything happened to her, but he knew she had a better chance of out-riding them and she could easily take care of herself, but he thought back to the times he had almost died to make sure she was safe. He swallowed hard holding her hand briefly.

'Be iest lin.' He said finally looking at her sadly. 'Arwen, ride hard and don't look back.' He watched her leave. 'I love you.' He called after her, praying to the Valar she would be safe.

'What are you doing? Those wraiths are still out there.' Sam yelled. Aragorn felt like yelling at him, not wanting to be reminded about Arwen being in danger.

Days passed slowly in Imladris, it was the night before the council Aragorn replaced Nársil back on its stand after Boromir dropped it and left it. 'Why do you fear the past? You are Isildur's heir not Isildur himself, you are not bound to his fate.'

'The same blood flows through my veins, the same weakness.' He faced her.

'Your time will come, you will face the same evil and you will defeat it.' she smiled encouragingly. 'A si i-Dhúath ú-orthor, Aragorn. Ú or le a ú or nin. (The shadow does not hold sway yet, not over you, not over me)' They walked silently for a while then they stopped at the bridge which they met. 'Renich i lú i erui govannen? (Do you remember when we first met?)'

'Nauthannen i ned ôl reniann. (I thought I strayed into a dream)' He returned smiling.

'Gwennin in enninath Ú-'arnech in naeth i si celich. Renich i beth i pennen? (Long years have passed; you did not have the cares you carry now. Do you remember what I told you?)'

'You said you would bind yourself to me, forsaking the immortal life of your people.' He told her remembering when they met on Cerin Amroth.

'And to that I hold, I would rather share one life with you than face all the ages of this world alone.' He felt her lightly press something into his palm, 'I choose a mortal life.' He looked down to see the Evenstar necklace in his hand.

'You cannot give me this.' He shook his head.

'It is mine to give to whom I will, like my heart.' She smiled softly as they kissed passionately.

'Arwen.'

'Shh.' she put as finger to his lips, 'don't say a word.' She whispered. He smiled wrapping his arms around her and kissing her again.

Months passed they spent as much time together before Aragorn was to leave with the Fellowship, they both knew there was a chance that he would not live through this, but neither cared as long as they had the memories they did to treasure. 'Estel,' Elrond joined the Human who was walking alone. 'Something troubles you.' He stated.

'Am I that easy to read?' he raised an eyebrow.

'When you want to be.' The Human smiled.

'Yes my son, there is something on my mind,' he admitted.

'What? Has something happened?'

'No, not yet.'

'Then what.'

'I worry for Arwen.'

'Not this again, I though we settled this.'

'Aragorn, let her go, she is way beyond you, you know that, what you ever thought you had was just a dream.'

'To who? To us it seemed real enough.'

'If you love her you would let her go.' Anger flashed in his eyes. 'let her take a ship into the west, let her bear away her love for you, there it will be evergreen.'

'But never more than a memory.' The human replied calmly.

'I will not leave my daughter here to die.' He snapped, obviously getting upset with the fact he feared he was loosing Arwen.

'She stays because she still has hope.'

'She stays for you she belongs with her people.'

'I am sorry, I would never want to come between you and your family, I never planned for this to happen, I do not want to loose you or Arwen.'

'It is a little late for that.' Elrond said, 'there is no way you can have both any longer Estel, you are my son, you always will be, I cannot see the path ahead for you, it is too clouded, too unsure.' He spoke softly once more, 'just let her go, would you really want her here if something happened to you, would you want her alone if you died?' their eyes locked. 'That is what I thought, talk with her, try and persuade her, she listens to you. Please do this for Arwen, let her go because you love her, if for nothing else.' He left the Human to think.

'Arwen.' Aragorn walked to her the night before the Fellowship was due to leave.

'Estel,' she smiled, hiding the tears, 'you are not due to leave for a while.'

'We have to talk Arwen.' His deep silver eyes were saddened.

'What about?'

'You, me, us.'

'What about us?'

'It was a dream Arwen, nothing more, we both knew ultimately we could not be together.'

'Why are you saying this?' she looked confused. 'What has father said to you?'

'Arwen, we cannot be together, understand this.' He snapped. 'Estel.'

'I am sorry Arwen. I gave you false hopes that we could be together, but we both know we can't.'

'Estel.' she muttered as he tried to give her back the Evenstar.

'NO ARWEN, UNDERSTAND ME, WE CANNOT BE TOGETHER, JUST LEAVE THIS PLACE WHILE YOU CAN, GO, BE WITH YOUR PEOPLE AND FAMILY.' He yelled storming off, holding back the tears wandering aimlessly through the trees.

'Estel.' She called.

'Arwen?' Legolas came behind her.

'Oh Legolas.' She flung herself into his arms and cried in his shoulder.

'What bothers you?'

'Estel.'

'What has he done? What did he say to you?' the twins demanded, joining them.

'He.he.he.' she stammered clearing the tears, facing her brothers, 'he.he hates me.i.I don't know.why.' she cried into Elladan's shoulder.

'No Arwen, he loves you,' the eldest assured, 'he only pushes you away because he loves you.'

'But he.'

'He does the same thing when he thinks the ones he loves are in danger of being hurt.' Elrohir added.

'Really?' she looked at them.

'Of course,' Legolas said softly, 'he only pushes because he cares.' They spent the night comforting the youngest Noldor.

'I promise to you Arwen, I will watch him every moment I can and I will make sure he returns to you safely.'

'Thank you Legolas, I know you will; you are a good friend.' She smiled.

'Isn't it time you were getting ready to leave?' Elrohir asked.

'It's morning.' The realisation hit him as he hurried and got ready. 'I hate to think what would befall Mirkwood if he was in charge.' Elrohir muttered, receiving a nudge from the elder.

'We should be getting ready ourselves.' He reminded.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Legolas watched them carefully, he noticed she had feelings for him, he thought he felt the same, but what about Arwen? 'Estel,' he called, interrupting the conversation, 'I have not seen you enjoy the company of a lady so since you were last with Arwen.' He said in Elvish.

'What?' he continued in the grey tongue.

'So you have just left her? How could you Estel? Arwen loves you more than anything and you go with her, what kind of relationship is that?'

'There is nothing going on between us, I love Arwen, but it is better that she leaves.'

'I give up with you, how could you let such a lovely Elf go so easily, it is not like you to back away from a fight because there is danger that you will get hurt.'

'Legolas.'

'No Estel, you cannot have both, I suggest you think who means more to you. A lovely Elf who you love and have known for a long time, or her.' He walked off.

'Legolas.'

'What was that about?' Èowyn joined him.

'Nothing.' He snapped walking off.

~*~*~*~*~*~ 'Aragorn?' Legolas's voice echoed through the silent battle plain. 'Aragorn?' Gimli joined in the calling.

An Orc choked out a laugh. 'He's dead.' He chuckled.

'You lie.' Legolas grabbed him fiercely, the Orc died. He looked to see the Evenstar in the foul being's hand. 'no.' he whispered, this could not be happening, Aragorn had to be alive, what would he tell Arwen? He failed her, he promised to protect him but he was not there when his friend needed him. Slowly he walked over to the cliff but he could not see anything at the bottom of the river filled ravine.

~*~*~*~*~*~

The wind gently ran through the room lifting the veils over the open windows. Arwen lay on a bed, thinking about Aragorn, wondering what he as doing, if he was aright. Was he still alive? The question haunted her every moment, she tried silencing the thought by thinking about the future they would have together.

Elrond sighed watching his daughter absently rubbing a thumb across the velvet pillow; he knew where her thoughts lay this night, the same as they were every other night since he left. Although loathe to admit it, his were in a similar place, thinking about his Human son, hoping he was well. He could not help but wonder if he would face his long awaited destiny - of course he would, Elrond shook his head, whether he wants to or not he will, and then Arwen. his thoughts trailed off, unable to think of losing his daughter to the mortal fate, he had to try to talk her into going with him to Valinor, the twins surely would come, but as long as Estel was alive he was going to loose Arwen, he had to make her see that staying here would only give her pain.he had to try.

'Arwen,' he said softly walking into the room, 'it is time, the ships are leaving for Valinor, come with us now, before it is too late.'

'I have made my choice,' she said stubbornly, Elrond let a brief smile touch his lips, seeing his beloved Celebraín in the young Elf before him, what would he tell her if Arwen stayed?

'He is not coming back,' he tried to reason.

'That is what you said before, and he did.'

'Not this time Arwen, he.'

'I am staying; I know you told him to talk to me before the Fellowship left that day. I know it was you trying to make me come with you through him.'

'Why do you linger here when there is no hope.'

'There is still hope, as long as Estel is alive. Is that not why you named him so?' she challenged.

'If Aragorn survives this war, you will still be parted. If Sauron is defeated and Aragorn made king and all that you hoped for comes true... you will still have to taste the bitterness of mortality. Whether by the sword or the slow decay of time, Aragorn will die. And there will be no comfort for you. No comfort to ease the pain of his passing. He will come to death. An image of the splendour of the kings of men in glory, undimmed before the breaking of the world. But you, my daughter, you will linger on in darkness and in doubt. As night falling winter has come without a star. Here you will dwell, bound to you grief, under the fading trees, until all the world has changed and the long years of your life are utterly spent.' He sighed, it hurt him to speak of the man's death so openly, especially to his daughter, but if this was the only way. 'Arwen... there is nothing for you here, only death.' He finished. He grimaced inwardly seeing the tears streaming down her face. He sat by her and wrapped a comforting arm around her. 'Do I not have your love?'

'You have my love atar,' she whispered leaning into his embrace.

'Come, get your things ready, we will leave shortly.' He said leaving the room.

His grin widened seeing the man walk to him, he put on a serious face, 'you're late.' He looked over his appearance, 'you look terrible.' A smile broke out on his face, he sensed Èowyn walking to them so he handed Aragorn the Evenstar.

'Thank you.' He smiled placing it around his neck.

Legolas glanced to see Èowyn turn away, he smiled to himself, he wanted her to know Aragorn was with someone, and did not intend her to try and move in on the scene.

~*~*~*~

Battle raged all around them as Aragorn swung his sword into another Orc, and another, he was surrounded, cut off from his allies. 'Estel.' He saw Èomer and Legolas coming to him, Gimli was close behind, cutting down the waves of surrounding orcs. 'Need help friend?' the elf grinned.

'Is it that obvious?' he returned. 'Duck.' He muttered swinging his sword just above Legolas's head.

'Thanks.'

'When you two are quite finished,' Èomer shook his head as they fought their way from the Orcs.

~*~*~*~*~*~

King Elessar walked aimlessly through the gardens of Minas Tirith, not thinking where he was going. It had been months since Sauron was destroyed and he became king, he had never wanted this, but he had it anyway. 'Your mind wanders, as do you.' A voice said quietly behind him.

'Èowyn.' He spun around and forced a smile.

'What troubles you lord?'

'Nothing.' He said quickly, 'you should be sleeping.'

'As should you.' She noted.

'I am used to being up at obscure hours.' He shrugged.

'Estel?' Legolas joined them. 'What's going on here?' he asked in his native tongue and looked between the two.

'Nothing Legolas,' he returned in Elvish.

'Does not look like it too me.'

'Excuse us.' He watched Èowyn leave.

'What the hell do you think you are doing?' Legolas hissed through his teeth holding the collar of Aragorn's shirt.

'Legolas nothing happened, I was walking, she joined me.' 'Sorry,' he let him go.

'I don't know why you are bothering anyway, she is not coming.'

'What?'

'Arwen,' he said sadly, 'everyone says I have everything I could want. All I ever wanted was to have Arwen at my side, this.this is just a bonus, I never wanted this, you know that.' He looked the Elf in the eyes, crystal droplets formed in his eyes.

'Estel.'

'I could easily give up everything for Arwen, even if it is only a moment with her, I love her so much Legolas, knowing I will never see her again it.' he trailed off a tear slid down his cheek.

'She is always with you Estel.' He gently touched the Evenstar around his neck. 'She loves you more than anything, you know that.'

'I was stupid enough to push her away, I should not have done so, well at least she is where she belongs.'

'And where's that?'

'With her people and her family.'

'What about man I love?' A voice finished.

Aragorn's jaw dropped as he saw the familiar beautiful face.

'Arwen?'

'Is it natural for kings to gawp so?' she smiled walking to him and kissing him passionately.

'I thought you had left.' He smiled realising she was with him.

'I could not leave, knowing you were here. I heard what you said, I think it was sweet.' Aragorn mentally kicked himself for being so loud.

'I meant every word.' He kissed her again.

'Lord Aragorn.' Èowyn stopped seeing the two.

'Can we help you?' Arwen asked tartly.

'Arwen this is Èowyn lady of Rohan, Èowyn this is Arwen, my fiancée.'

'So you're the lucky lady then.' Èowyn forced a smile; Aragorn found it hard to hide a smile, there was great tension between the two. 'You are lucky to have him.'

'I know.' She cut the woman off.

'Now I understand what you were holding on for.' She told the king.

'What do you mean?' Arwen snapped.

'I thought I had a chance, but now I see; anyone could fall for that false charm of yours.'

'You were after my man?'

'I don't see your name on him anywhere.'

'I would offer you a closer look, but I'm afraid he is too good for you.'

'Arwen.' Aragorn warned.

'And you think yourself better you cheap bit of Elf.'

'Why you.' they lunged for each other.

'Arwen, Èowyn, calm down.' Aragorn tried to separate them in vain getting hit himself.

'What is going on here? Faramir joined them.

'A fight.' Aragorn shrugged.

'What the.?' Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Èomer joined them, the five were obviously tired.

'Hey, there is no need for that language.' Legolas called above the swearing.

'Calm down both of you,' Aragorn tried to get between the two, but they were inseparable.

'ARWEN, STOP THIS NOW.' Elrond yelled.

'YOU TOO ÈOWYN.' Èomer added as they were finally separated.

'Now calm down, what was that about?' Elrond asked.

'Me atar.' Aragorn grinned.

'You?'

'Yes.' The Elf lord shook his head laughing.

'I never thought you; my daughter would actually fight over him.'

'You know I am not prone to sharing.' She shrugged smiling as Aragorn wrapped her in his arms.

'Come on Èowyn.' Faramir led her off.

'Sorry, I don't know what came over me.' She called over her shoulder.

'Happens all the time.' Aragorn called back passively.

Days passed and everyone was busy preparing for the wedding, 'you look lovely.' Elrond said entering the room. She blushed. 'No matter what happens Arwen, remember I will always love you.'

'I will,' she wrapped her arms around his neck, 'I love you daddy.' She smiled.

'How old are you? I thought we got passed that when you were two hundred.'

'I know but I couldn't resist it.'

'you are so much like your mother, the same looks, the same smile,' he smiled sadly, 'when she first left I could look at you and I would see her through you, I remember when you went to Lórien, I did not want you to go, I feared I would loose you, as I am now.'

'Father, you will never loose me, I will always be with you.' She felt a tear damp her cheek.

'I know,' he kissed her forehead, 'come on, everyone's waiting.'

'Arwen?' the twins said in unison.

'I never knew you could look so beautiful.' Elladan choked.

'Yeah, you look.' Elrohir trailed off.

'Thanks,' she smiled blushing.

Everyone stared Arwen joined Aragorn and the two were married twice, once with a traditional Elvish wedding and the second was a Dúnedain wedding, both were different but no one cared, everyone enjoyed themselves too much. It was later that evening when Arwen was announced as the queen of Gondor.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The queen of Gondor sighed turning from the window to see the king watching her lovingly. 'Your mind has been wandering all afternoon.' He stated.

'How long have you been awake?' she asked.

'Not long.'

'I was thinking about when we met and what we have been through to get where we are today.'

'It did take a long time didn't it, but I have not regretted a second of knowing you.' He smiled lovingly at her.

She smiled sadly, although he was older in body he was still young at heart, that was obvious by the youthful glimmer in his ever keen silver eyes. Arwen still felt it was not his time to go; she could not bear to think of a life with out him.

'Nor have I you.' She answered softly, 'how can I persuade you to stay? It is not your time.'

'Arwen, I have lived a full life, longer than many mortals do and I have enjoyed every moment of it, I would not change a thing, I love you Arwen, I always have and I always will.'

'I love you Estel, don't leave me.' She wept.

'Melamin (my love), the hour is indeed hard, yet it was made even in that day when we met in Imladris where none now walk. On the hill of Cerin Amroth when we forsook both shadow and twilight to this doom we accepted. Would you indeed have me wait until I wither and fall from my high seat unmanned and witless. Nay melamin, I am the last of the Númenorians and the latest king of the Elder Days, I have not only been given a life span thrice that of ordinary men but also the grace to go at my will.' He looked to her, gently he brushed the tears from her eyes, 'I love you Arwen, but there are no words of comfort I can give to you to ease the pain, only that I love you, and in death we shall see each other again,' he forced his own tears back.

'Estel.'

'I love you Arwen. Namárië.' Was the last thing he said as he kissed her lovingly one last time.

'Estel' she cried as he fell still, 'I love you, please don't leave me. Estel? Namárië my love.' She whispered allowing the tears to fall silently sitting beside him for hours longer.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Arwen left her home and people and went to the now silent Lothlórien, and upon the hill of cerin Amroth she laid herself to rest, her last thought always on Estel and the times they had together. Namárië, her last thoughts whispered as she thought of her husband. She silently slipped into eternal sleep and they were reunited in another peaceful world with all the memories and happiness they could have wanted together.