Hey all,

I was planning on writing a sequel to "Murder on the Dance Floor" and posting it, but I have a writer's block on that fic, so I'm taking a break from that one. I got hit with this particular plot bunny during my history exam (I know, what a way to get hit). It wouldn't let go of me to the point where I was actually writing the fic instead of my history essay (I realized that before I turned it in, thank the Valar). So here it is, "A Night With Ada"

SUMMARY: Seeing Aragorn spending time with his son Eldarion reminds Legolas of one unforgettable night during his childhood in Mirkwood, as well as his own heart through the years.

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing, absolutely nothing. I don't write this for profit, just for sheer enjoyment and some much needed relief from evil (but sometimes nice) plot bunnies. Into the West belong to New Line, Peter Jackson, and Annie Lennox as well as whoever deserves the credit.

SPOILERS: None that I can think of.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was actually based on my college essay, "Pink Pajamas", and has absolutely nothing to do with history, so how it popped into my head during my exams, don't ask me, ask the plot bunny god. What was the essay about? You'll get an idea once this story is over. As it is, I have no beta at the moment, so any missed details, grammatical mistakes, etc. are my fault alone.

A Night With Ada
By Tiger

Legolas wandered down the hall, it was late, but he could not sleep for some odd reason, and decided to wander the corridors of the enormous palace, hoping that at least the walking would tire him out. He walked past the bedroom of the monarchs, and saw a light in Aragorn's study. He is working late again, Legolas thought. It wasn't unusual to find Aragorn up in the early hours of the morning, working on one piece of business or another. Perhaps I can go talk to him, he might be able to put me to sleep. With that thought, Legolas' strode down to the study, where the door was open just a crack, a line of yellow light shimmer through the room onto the stone floor. Just as he was about to go in, he heard voices.

"Father, I can't sleep," came Eldarion's sleepy voice.

"Well then, ion nin, what would you have me do?" answered an amused Aragorn.

"Tell me a story...please?" Eldarion managed to make his voice as sweet as possible. What four-year old couldn't? "One about you and your Ada in Rivendell? Please, father?" Legolas' could hear Aragorn's slight intake of breath as his Ada's name was mentioned. Elrond had passed into Valinor only a year before, and the pain of their parting was still a fresh wound.

"Alright then, remember how much Ada liked that vase of his?" began Aragorn. Legolas' could here Eldarion's laughter as he remembered the last story that Aragorn told him. Legolas peeked into the study, and saw Eldarion nestled in Aragorn' arms, about to fall asleep, but not wanting to because it was one of the rare moments that he knew he would have with Aragorn the father, rather than Aragorn the man or king this late at night. He slowly crept away from the tranquil scene, knowing that something like that between father and son should be kept private, as his own bonding with his father was.

Back in his rooms, lying on the bed, Legolas' mind wandered off to a time long passed, when he was only a child four years of age...

Flashback to beginning of Second Age, Mirkwood

Curious, he crept through the halls as silently as possible his sleep clothes. From the open door in the corridor, he clutched his smiling stuffed bear and silently entered the room. It was softly lit by candles near the great desk and door. The sharp smell of newly cut wood flowed around him, filling his nose with a waking scent. It was quiet, save for the crackling of wood in the fireplace and the scratch of a pen again paper.

Out of the corner of his eyes, he could see his father sitting in the armchair at his desk, writing in his journal. His posture was perfectly straight as usual, but he seemed more relaxed, and his collar was loosened at the nape of his neck, something that Legolas almost never saw. Legolas was only four, so he was never really up quite so late to observe his father as something other than Thranduil, King of Mirkwood. At that moment, Thranduil noticed that Legolas was standing in the doorway with his mouth slightly agape at the unusual image of his father. Thranduil smiled, he knew that Legolas couldn't sleep that night, so he held his arms open to his only son as an invitation to join him for the night. Legolas squealed in delight and ran into his Ada's arms.

Thranduil held him tightly. How long has it been since I have held my son like this? Held him with all of the love I have in my heart? He asked himself. Much too long. He smiled as Legolas tucked himself into his arms, with the drapes of his cloak being his blankets. "Ion nin, what is the matter with you tonight? You should be sleeping" he asked his smiling son.

"I could not sleep, Ada. I wanted to be with you." Was the innocent reply. It was the truth. He had not seen his Ada the entire day. Thranduil had been in council with his advisors about the upcoming darkness and had left his young son in the excellent care of his nurse. It had been like this every single day since the elfling's third birthday. Thranduil knew that he should spend more time with his son, but he always put it off until later, he was working to protect Legolas' future. The time spent apart had to be spent apart. It hurt his heart to not be with his son, but he never really guessed that it hurt his son's heart as well.

"Very well then, Ion nin. Would you like to help me write in my journal?" he asked his son. He was his son, he might as well write in it, it would be a priceless keepsake for Thranduil when Legolas' grew up and lost his childish innocence.

"Really, Ada?" Legolas' smile grew until it stretched from ear to ear and his eyes came alive with the light that only the night stars could match. Even then, the shine in his eyes outshone even Earendil's light in Thranduil's fatherly eyes.

"Yes, Legolas! Come, hold out your hand, we will write what you played today with your nurse." He placed his quill pen in the child's small hand and put his hand over the small one. Together, they began to write about the day's happenings not in the court, but in the palace gardens where the sun seemed to always shine.

Flashback to Fourth Age, Year Five, Gondor

Legolas awoke from the memory with tears in his eyes. How long has it been since Ada has held me like a small child? He wondered. Not since he passed into the west. Much too long ago. Since his father passed, he had felt emptier than he had ever been, even with his friends around. He had not felt this empty since his adolescence, when he began to grow up. Unbidden thoughts weaved a web of memories and thoughts through his mind and etched it in his heart.

He had a hole in his immortal soul, and was in the shape of his father. Over the years, there a distance had begun to grow between them, as the Sauron's foul darkness grew and affected the hearts of all the elves in Mirkwood. It was during this dark time in his adolescence where he missed the closeness of the bond with his father the most. The bond that had once been strong during childhood had slowly begun to wane as Thranduil spent less and less time with Legolas, attending more to the safety of his realm for the sake of his son rather than spending time with his son. Many times, Legolas heard great things about his father. He heard about his father's great heart, and how he was the greatest king of Silvan elves after his father Oropher. He also heard about how he seemed to take after his father, in both appearance and heart. To Legolas' though, his father only seemed to be a distant idol whom he could only love from afar.

More than anything, Legolas only wanted his father to say how proud he was of his son. He wanted Thranduil to say that he did a good job without criticism at the end. So he worked to make his father proud. But that proved to be difficult. Aside from studies, Legolas rarely saw him or talked to him. Everything they did together, from studies to recreation activities, it was teacher and student, never father and son. He wanted to be able to talk to his father about anything but studies. He couldn't. The years that weakened the bond between father and son also left a stiff awkwardness that was a constant reminder to Legolas of the bond that they had once shared. The awkwardness led to strictness as Thranduil was not keen on letting his son grow up quickly, and the strictness led to arguments about maturing and trusts that were not resolved until years later. Strict as he was, my Thranduil was his father, and he only wanted to take care of Legolas. Legolas, even then, could not deny that, and only loved his father more from an even greater distance.

Since the time when he walked into his father's rooms with his smiling bear, there had been one loving connection that they have shared as father and son. That was the journals that they wrote together. During that time of night, all was well between the two of them, and Legolas did not even mind that Thranduil still held his hand over his as he wrote of his day. During that time, the stiff awkwardness faded away, and things were looser. Laughter could be heard down the halls, and friendly debates raged. Thranduil, on one birthday, bought Legolas' a journal inscribed with both of their names, and it was there that they would write their stories together, and that journal could never end, not even when one passed to Valinor, for the other would meet him there later.

In addition to the journal, Thranduil gave Legolas a bow of his own making, just because he loved his son. Thranduil had given the bow to him because he felt that the bow suited Legolas' character. It was strong, yet silent, and could be gentle on the archer when it needed to be. Legolas was much the same way. He spoke little, but his strength in words was seen in the journals. He was strong when he could be, and when he couldn't, Thranduil gave him his strength, just as the bowstring lent its strength to the arrow. That bow was left in Lothlorien when the Fellowship passed through the wood. Galadriel returned the bow to him before she passed into the west, knowing the sentimental value Legolas placed on it. It was his protector, then, and always, whether he used it or not. It was the thoughts of his father that protected him. The thought that his father was in Valinor waiting for him helped him go through the days when he felt so utterly alone, being the only true elf left on Middle-Earth. He cleared his mind a little, and saw the great Mirkwood bow resting on the rack on the wall. He smiled at the bow, and let his mind return to the memory of that night in his childhood that his heart cherished so much...

Flashback to beginning of Second Age, Mirkwood.

Legolas felt sleepy as the pen swept across the last line of the page. He let out a yawn and when his hand was freed of the quill, he leaned back against his Ada's body and let his warmth carry his mind to a world where dreams were real. As he fell asleep, he left a content smile on his small face.

Thranduil glanced down at his sleeping son and smiled. Quietly, while still holding Legolas, he put his writing tools away. He rose from his chair and his son stirred, yawning and readjusted his position in his father's arms. Thranduil had not the heart to carry Legolas off into the princeling's room and leave him there alone, so he lay down with Legolas on his own bed and fell asleep with him. He thanked the Valar for the tranquil night with his son, and wished for many more of the same nights as his son grew...

Fourth Age, Year 5, Valinor

Thranduil stared out into the night sky from his window. It was late at night and Earendil was shining brightly, reminding him of the sparkle in his son's eyes when they beamed in happiness, like they did that one night long ago. Ever since he landed on the shores of Valinor, his heart ached for his son, though he could still sense Legolas through their bond. Softly, he began to sing a song that he had sung to Legolas long ago when he could not sleep. Perhaps, if Legolas' heart and mind were open, he would hear the soft voice of his father.

Fourth Age, Year 5, Gondor

Legolas closed his eyes (he learned to do this from Arwen so that any sleepwalking children would not be frightened of him) and let his heart open to the world, he felt as if he should open it for now, to listen for something. He let his mind wander in the world of dreams, where there was only happiness. Before he fell asleep however, he heard a sweet, welcome voice singing a song that he had not heard since he was a child.

Lay down
Your sweet and wearied head
Night falling
You have to journey's end

Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore

Why do you weep
All of the tears upon your face
Soon you will see
All of your fears have passed away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon
Why do the white gulls call
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come
To carry you home

And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass...

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time

Don't say
We have come now to the end
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again
And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping

What can you see?
On the horizon
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the west.

Inwardly, Legolas smiled. "Ada," he softly whispered into the night. "We will meet again, in Valinor." He was comforted by the presence he felt in his mind, even though that presence was across the sea. With that, he fell into a deeper sleep, dreaming of his father.