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Part 12

The burden of the warrior that he dragged away from the fighting was not so heavy compared to all the Elf's brave deeds. Prince Elboron of Rohan mightily clasped Legolas close as he sought to evade the pursuers. He heaved the weak warrior in the direction of his people, so that the mercenaries hot at their tail would encounter the enclave of Rohan warriors and fall beneath their feet.

"A moment, Legolas," he vowed to the Elf, "and you shall meet the safety of the camp."

Legolas swallowed dryly, for his throat had not been blessed with water for many nights. The uneven cropped hair was dirty and a hindrance as he looked up at Elboron's promised land, eager to once more set his eyes on the woman who made him want to live after his defeat and during his capture. At once, he was anxious to touch her, to see if marriage to a Man had changed her and her love for him. What to tell her when his broken form falls at her feet, and her husband his savior stands proudly close by?

Despite the soreness of his muscles, Legolas pushed on with the prince's help, upward, upward where Chiara was certain to be. At the camp, they were surrounded by soldiers who hailed Elboron's deed and Legolas' return. As Legolas had suspected, he fell at once to the dusty ground, exhausted. The Rohans parted to make way for the approaching figure of a Gondor fighter. When the Gondor pulled his helmet off, Legolas saw Aragorn, the king, his brother.

"Muindor!" the king exclaimed, and fell onto his knees in front of Legolas. "Brother."

Legolas received the welcoming embrace. A few seconds later, he pulled away to study the king. "Brother."

Aragorn helped Legolas back to his feet. For a moment, the Elf was unsteady. Then, the two faced Elboron. Aragorn clasped the prince's arm in gratitude. At first reluctant, Legolas then shook Elboron's hand. "Twice now you've saved my life."

"My lord!"

The reunion was broken when a host of Elves rode hard towards them. The men looked up and saw Arwen with the Mirkwood Elves. Aragorn walked towards them and helped his wife dismount. Legolas read the sorrow in Arwen's eyes.

"Where?" Legolas asked.

Elboron frowned at him without comprehension. "What is it?"

It was as if energy flooded him inside. Legolas took Lady Arwen's mare and leaped onto its back.

"My lord Elboron," said an Elf, "the Silmarils have taken from us once more. Your lady wife has fallen into the Sea, no doubt at the cursed jewels' bidding."

"Chiara," Elboron whispered. He followed suit after Legolas.

When he had arrived at that side of Gondor that faced the Sea, it was to find Legolas dismounting his horse. The Elf moved with no hesitation. As surely as Legolas drew his arrows, he stood at the edge of the cliff and looked down. Elboron's heart shattered as he understood his bride, and the once brilliant fighter who fell to the enemy in such short a time.

He stopped a few paces away from Legolas and warned, "'Twill change nothing!" Elboron waited for Legolas to turn around and acknowledge his presence. Instead, he heard the Elf's strained voice in his mind.

'The Eldar sees in another's eyes if they were wed before even Arda was created. She is my soul, in this life and until I pass back into the company of the Valar. Without her, what for is an Immortal life?'

Elboron watched immobile as the Elf jumped the endless expanse and vanished into the Sea.


With every passing second in her care, the Silmarils grew ever brighter and ever hotter. The heat from the gems started to scald her palms. Still, she clutched them tightly. If the pain meant Legolas will remain with her, she would endure it.

She stared out of the large windows of the Luthor castle and watched as black smoke rose in the horizon. "Smallville burns," Chloe said softly.

Legolas wrapped his arms around her from behind. "I am heartfully sorry."

"Why would you be sorry?" she asked. "You're here. You didn't burn down the town."

"I am aware of how much it hurts you. Your one desire was to never see your home burn the way your childhood home did."

Chloe closed her eyes. She did not remember an occasion when she spoke those words. Certainly because Legolas was speaking about Chiara. Inside though, she understood what he meant. Perhaps in that deep untouched part of her, Chiara still existed. Definitely the almost insane devotion that Chiara had for Legolas remained. Around him, she was torn in two. She did not know anymore who she was really. Could she be two people at once?

Legolas whispered into her ear, "Be brave, melethen. If we are the cause of this, we watch."

Chloe opened her tear-filled eyes and clutched the jewels so tightly they cut her skin. People were dying and home were being destroyed by rough men who did not even belong in her time. "They have to be sent back."

She felt Elboron's presence behind them. "Then you must return the Silmarils to me. By their power I shall restore our universes. Those who belong in the past shall be sent to the past."

She felt Legolas' lips on her temple, his silent message that he would leave the decision up to her. Chloe released the jewels and let them hang between her breasts. She turned around and wrapped her arms around him. The Silmarils burned their skin. "I surrender them," she whispered into his chest. "I'll wait for you in the Halls of Mandos."

"Then I would welcome the first weapon that should pierce my heart in battle," he said. Legolas slowly unfastened the chain from her neck and held the Silmarils aloft. He met Elboron's gaze above Chloe's head. He handed the gems to the warrior in Lex's body.

The prince of Rohan, Guardian of the Silmarils who took his wife, closed his hand around the jewels and pronounced, "All shall be as fate willed."

Chloe's embrace on Legolas grew tighter. Into her ear, he whispered strange comforting words that told her in a dead language how she was his heart's bride, his north star, his self-same soul. Slowly, he disappeared until she was left clutching air. She felt herself grow faint with grief.

Elboron took her by her elbows and led her towards the couch. "It's done. I too shall return and leave to this time the man I displaced." He sat her down and kissed her forehead. "Fare well, my sweet wife," he told her. "We could have had a life of such bounty, such beauty."

Her last sight before she drifted off was that the gray specks in his eyes were slowly vanishing, replaced by Lex's familiar blue. Chloe lost all consciousness of the world around her until there was nothing but darkness...

And then her breath constricted. A tight pressure around her pushed her downward. She fought for control of her own body but found herself drowning. A vise closed around her waist and then there was that faint light overhead. Slowly, she flew up towards it. The liquid around her moved, sliding against her body in all directions.

The smoothness became abrasions when she found herself being dragged to rough and rocky ground. Chloe felt pounding on her chest and back. A warm mouth closed over her own, forcing her to take in air until she was so full of it she coughed up water.

She opened her eyes to find them looking down at her—those wonderful intense eyes. He was back. Chloe threw her arms around Legolas and sobbed. "I thought I'd lost you!" she rasped.

Legolas buried his face in the crook of her neck. "No more," he promised. "I will not lose you to the prince. Married or not. Aragorn or not. I will not leave you with Elboron!"

She held him tightly and chose not to analyze what he had said. Chloe just needed to feel him and know that giving up the Silmarils did not take him away as she had thought. After what to her mind was hours, she felt the chill of the sea breeze on her wet gown. Only then did she pull away to look at her surroundings. She was on a very rocky shore beside a vast sea. Legolas, who loomed above her, had shorn hair and torn clothes.

"What happened?" As the words left her lips, she was hit by memories of a night when she received his golden hair. It was an end. "What's going on? What happened to me?"

"You are distressed," Legolas calmed her. Chloe searched his eyes and knew that while this was the same man who claimed her in Smallville, this Legolas had not yet undergone the thousand ages of waiting and grieving. "You were almost claimed by the sea."

This was Legolas before he had lost Chiara.


Chloe looked up and saw Lex, no Elboron—and this time the true Elboron—up on the cliff, waving his arms to get their attention. And then she remembered Lex's promise. 'All should be as fate willed it.'

The Silmarils, in their power, had brought her back in Chiara's place. Fate had willed that Chiara never perished when she plunged into the Sea.


Chloe looked up into Legolas' eyes.

"If I claim you over your father and your husband, and they oppose, I need your vow that you are prepared to leave with me."

Chloe waited for a bit, and sent good wishes to those she left behind. Her father was gone, and Clark had a full life to live. Chloe Sullivan would disappear from the annals of the future world with no regret. She cupped his face and kissed his lips. "I vow with all that I am."


"Mr. Luthor! Mr. Luthor! What can you say about this strange new discovery in your property?"

Lex waved away the reporters. "The tabloid was mistaken. There is nothing to see here."

"Are you saying it's a hoax, Lex?"

Lex smirked. "You said it yourself, Ms Lane."

Lex walked into the cave. Immediately, his security barred any of the reporters from entering. Lex approached Clark, who was standing facing the cave wall.

"Clark," he began. "Remember when you came to my house that night asking about Chloe and this... Legolas fellow?"

Clark nodded. "You said they were never there. I remember it was an odd night. I had thought Smallville was under attack. But it wasn't."

Lex took a slip of paper from his pocket. "Well it seems that the mysterious disappearing act that Ms Sullivan pulled two years ago is more intriguing than I thought."

"You had it translated?"

Lex knelt in front of the two statues carved into the wall. On the base, words were etched in an ancient language that took eight of the most brilliant linguists to decode. When Clark discovered the statues, they were both amazed at the incredible likeness to the lost reporter. Lex traced the characters and pointed to each as he read: 'Here begins the domain of Legolas and Chiara, King and Queen of Mirkwood.'