Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just play in their world.

It had been hours since the last ship departed from the Grey Havens. The sun was now long gone, and the pale moonlight spread across the waves like a silk sheet across a bed. Stars hung overhead, twinkling and bright, but one star in particular seemed duller than all the rest.

Arwen Undomiel, the Evenstar of her people, stood firmly attached to the spot she had occupied since watching the last of her kin board the ship for the undying lands. Her eyes fixed on the horizon, she made no move to acknowledge her husband, who now stood among ancient ruins watching her still form.

He had decided to search her out, leaving the encampment they had set up along the shores (should their goodbyes leave them too weary to travel tonight). Aragorn, for his part, could only watch as the Elf accepted the consequences of her choice. It broke his heart to see his wife so lost. He had lost his own mother long years back, and he still felt the pain of her loss at times, but for Arwen the grief was still too near. He understood all too well that seeing the last of your brethren depart was not an easy task to undertake.

Aragorn moved to go to her, but as he moved from his stance he heard Arwen's soft voice lifting in song with the cool sea breeze:

"Men cenuva fane cirya metima hrestello cira I fairi nece Ringa su maryasse Ve mairi yai mie?"*

Though he knew she was aware of his presence, he did not fault her for her words. He knew the sea beckoned to her. No Elf could resist its call. At times he had seen the yearning for its comfort even in the eyes of Legolas, a strong Elf who did not easily submit to such whims of fancy. Having dispelled immortality to marry a mortal, Arwen had forsaken the ways of her people. The Elves had begun to leave even before the great war, and now that the age of man had truly begun, the Elf Lord Elrond saw fit to join his people, and journey into the West forever. Arwen was now mortal, and as such, incapable of traveling with her father to see those she loved ever again. Now, the pain of her loss was evident in her blue eyes, and Aragorn suspected that no matter how happy he made her, it would always linger. The sea's voice had a way of reinforcing memories.

In truth, Aragorn had been reluctant to allow his wife to journey with them to the Grey Havens. He knew how closely she regarded her father and friends, and too see them off would certainly have drained her emotionally and spiritually. However, she had insisted upon going, and for most of the journey had appeared strong and brave. A few times along the way upon entering their tent he suspected her of melancholy, though she would never have cried in front of him. She would not have wanted to make him feel guilty.

Aragorn loved his wife above all else, but to see her in such pain caused his heart to shatter. He did not want for Arwen to feel such pain on his account, and her love for him meant her doom and isolation. Perhaps it would have been better for her to bare away her love for him, but in all truth, what of his love for her in such a case?

In Valinor, their love would have remained evergreen, as new and bright as the day they met. In Middle-Earth, the heart of the King of Gondor would have grown cold and harsh. No other could occupy the spaces of his heart like she. He would never have wed, never sired; allowed another line to succeed his throne; His dreams and memories haunting him at night until finally he would flee in order to regain any hope of sound mind, all the while knowing he would never escape her.

Her farewell with her father had been private, unlike the goodbyes Aragorn and the Hobbits shared with Frodo and Gandalf. They had walked up onto the cliffs overlooking the sea, and shared a quiet moment away from watching eyes. Aragorn would not prod her and ask for details, but he could tell from the pained look in the eyes of Elrond that he was loathe to leave his only daughter alone in a changing world. Before boarding the ship, Elrond had placed a kiss upon her forehead. Whispering, he chanted an ancient Sindarin prayer to the Eldar for his daughter, who valiantly held her tears in check. Those witnessing the site did their best to burn the image into their mind, for it was not everyday that the last of the Elves joined together in such sad affairs.

After their departure, Arwen had wandered away from the others, telling her husband she wished for a bit of solace and privacy. That had been hours ago, and now the sight before his eyes compelled Aragorn to comfort the Elf.

He wanted to make her happy. He knew he could not replace all that which she had known for eons, but he would do his best to try.

"Meleth-nin, you weep. I pray you do not weep in light of a decision you wish now you hadn't made."

Arwen did not turn to face her husband. Instead, she inhaled deeply, shakily, and wrapped her arms about her body, more for solace than warmth.

"Estel, my choice was always readily apparent to my heart and soul. I would not have entertained the thought of eternity without you. I promised you my love many moons ago, and nothing has changed. There is no living without your love."

"And yet you weep tears of despair. I hope they are not tears I've caused you to shed."

"No, my Lord. I just did not expect the sting of loss to run so deep."

Aragorn moved to stand behind her, and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her tightly against his chest and burying his face in the soft darkness of her hair. Arwen sighed at the contact. "In time I shall come to accept their absence. The pain will not fade over time of course, but I will always have their faces in my mind's eye to see me through, and that will be enough. Not all are meant to stay in the world, and some of us are meant to linger on here. That has always been the way of life. The circles of this world change to shape our destinies. Their destiny was to leave, just as my destiny was to remain here with you, and I would not have it any different."

"Does the call of the sea fall upon deaf ears then?"

"No, Aran *, but if you were to hold me like this forever, I could ignore it." Turning in his arms, Arwen let him brush the remaining tears from her face. Smoothing the back of his hand across her cheek, Aragorn fought against the lump tightening his own throat. Kissing her lips lightly he whispered into her mouth:

"Love can be fleeting and often the cause of regret. You gave up so much for me and all I can give you in return is my heart, body, mind and soul. I beg the Valar that it be enough to sustain you and keep you happy. One thing I could not abide would be your malcontent. I shall do my best to be all that you ever desire and need. I never want for you to regret your choice. Your sadness would be my undoing."

She placed her hand over his heart, and drew him down for a lengthy kiss before pressing her body fully against his own. Mindful of her proximity and the effect she was having on him, Aragorn struggled to get his words out. He pulled away from the kiss gently and stared deep into her cerulean eyes.

"Do not take me lightly, Indonya*. I have meant every word I've uttered."

"I know, Estel. And for that I thank the Valar for you, for you have truly shown me what it means to live."

He smiled, and hugged her once more, before looking out over the cliffs of the Grey Havens to announce to the stars: "I am a lucky man to have been blessed with such a wife."

Arwen smiled, all traces of her tears gone. She took the hand of her husband and spoke softly as she looked towards the encampment, alight and feasting. "Come, Elessar. Too long have I stood here alone and sad. The night is still young, and we should take advantage of it's offerings. Our friends will provide a good counter for all the sadness this day has seen."

Aragorn smiled as he watched his wife gracefully turn and walk back towards the camp.

His heart filled with love and light, he followed his wife.

* "Who shall see a white ship
leave the last shore,
the pale phantoms
in her cold bosom
like gulls wailing?" -taken from the Markirya poem, Tolkein

* Arnan = King

* Indonya = Love