Reasons to Hope, Reasons to Live

Chapter: Seventeen

Beta: Aubrey'Snape

A/N: Names are taken from .net

OoO. OoO. OoO.

Aragorn stared out the window of his office at the setting sun with pessimism. As much as he longed for the day to end, the king also dreaded it, knowing that eventually he had to return to the royal quarters. For almost a month since his daughter's death, he had spent his days in his office, away from everybody, burying himself in paperwork and petitions in an attempt to keep his mind from grieving. When nighttime came, he would return to his chambers to face his desolate husband. Legolas, after the first night, hadn't said a word to anybody. According to Lady Gwîneth, the blond prince spent his day by his daughter's side. No matter who talked to him or how much, he refused to utter a single word, not even Aragorn himself managed to make him talk after that night. As for food, the elf barely ate or drank anything in the days that had waned since his daughter's death. The man, as well as all their friends, feared that Legolas was fading.

In accordance with the gondorian traditions, Míreth's body was supposed to be laid in a hall for people to bid their farewell after being embalmed, but Legolas, upon learning about this arrangement, had marched silently to the viewing hall and took his daughter back to their quarters. Since the only ones who mattered had bid their farewells already, and the rest of their family and friends were free to enter the royal chambers, Aragorn could find no argument against the action. Therefore, Míreth's little body was laid in her cradle in her bedchambers.

Letting out a suffering sigh, the king wondered how they would go through tomorrow. Tomorrow was Míreth's funeral but Aragorn feared that it would be too much for Legolas to bear. The man was seriously considering not allowing the elf to attend it, but then, Legolas was Míreth's parent. How could he not attend her funeral?

The sound of several knocks on the door snapped Aragorn from his thoughts. Narrowing his eyes, he permitted the knocker entry, seeing none other than his Steward.

"My Liege," Faramir spoke as he entered the room. "A messenger from King Thranduil has arrived."

The king took in a sharp breath, he was anticipating the ElvenKing's arrival, but now that he was here, Aragorn was worried.

"Let him in, Faramir," He said calmly.

"But, my lord—" the blond steward said hesitantly. "The messenger didn't know about the princess' death."

"What!" Aragorn exclaimed in surprise. "How?"

"I don't know. He told me that King Thranduil is on his way to celebrate the birth of Princess Míreth. He was taken completely by surprise when I offered him my condolences."

"You did send the letter I ordered to Mirkwood, didn't you?"

"Of course, my lord, I'd sent it immediately after you ordered me to."

Aragorn took a deep breath, wondering what had happened. "Let the messenger in, Faramir, and summon my father, Lord Glorfindel and Prince Mallorn immediately."

"Yes, my lord," With that, Faramir bowed and left the office. Aragorn inhaled deeply, bracing himself for more trouble.

OoO. OoO. OoO.

The King of Men watched warily from behind his desk as the ElvenKing's messenger entered the room followed by Faramir. He had hoped that his father would arrive before the messenger but his hopes weren't answered, apparently.

The blond elf stood in front of the king and bowed respectfully before straightening up and speaking.

'King Elessar, I'm called Ravonor (Wing), messenger of his Majesty King Thranduil, please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of her Royal Highness Princess Míreth.'

'Hannon lle, Mellon nîn.' Aragorn replied. 'Would you be kind as to speak in the westorn language for my Steward to understand?' he waited until the elf nodded in agreement before he continued in common language. "My steward tells me that you didn't know about the princess' death, is that true?"

"Yes, your majesty." Ravonor replied. "King Thranduil had come to Gondor to see his newborn granddaughter and celebrate her birth. He had sent me to announce that he is but one-day ride from Minas Tirith."

Aragorn was about to reply when the three present heard several knocks on the door before it opened and Lord Elrond, Lord Glorfindel and Prince Mallorn entered the office.

'Ravonor!' Mallorn exclaimed.

'Ernil Mallorn,' Ravonor bowed respectfully to his Prince before bowing to the elven Lords. 'My Lords.'

"Adar," Aragorn spoke. "Master Ravonor told me that King Thranduil is on his way to Minas Tirith but he doesn't know that Míreth has died." He looked at the blond messenger in great distress. "But Princess Míreth died almost one month ago and a letter of condolences had been sent on the same day of her death to Mirkwood." Aragorn informed. "How could King Thranduil not know of her death?"

"Your Majesty," Ravonor replied, noticing the disturbed looks on the faces of Elrond, Glorfindel and Mallorn. "King Thranduil left Mirkwood as soon as he received the news of the princess' birth, heading to Gondor to celebrate her birth but he was delayed on the way by several spiders and Orcs' attacks, because of that he had stopped in Lothlórien for a while where he was joined by Mithrandir."

"Gandalf is coming with King Thranduil?" Elrond asked.

"Yes, for he wished to see Prince Legolas' daughter as well."

The two elder elves exchanged worried glances with Aragorn before they looked back at the Mirkwood messenger.

"Master Ravonor," Elrond said. "You should return immediately to your king and inform him that Princess Míreth's funeral will take place tomorrow. He should make haste to the city in order to attend it."

"Yes, my lord." The messenger said after receiving a consenting nod from Aragorn, then quickly left the office with Faramir.

The king looked at his father and Lord Glorfindel with uneasiness.

"What should we do now?" he asked. "Should we postpone the funeral until King Thranduil's arrival?"

"You may postpone it until noon," Glorfindel suggested. "Once his messenger informs him about Míreth, Thranduil will make haste to the City."

"I agree with Lord Glorfindel." Mallorn spoke. "In addition, I don't think postponing Míreth's burial would do Legolas any good. The sooner Míreth is buried, the sooner Legolas could snap out of his grief."

Despite how cold and unfeeling Mallorn's words sounded, all present knew how true they were. Seeing his daughter's dead body in front him every day was taking its toll on Legolas' mental and emotional health. It was hard for them to snap the prince from his grief while Míreth was in front of his eyes.

"Very well," Aragorn said with a sigh. "I'll inform Faramir of the changes in plans. But what if King Thranduil doesn't arrive at midday tomorrow?"

"Then the funeral will proceed as planned." Glorfindel said. "No one can blame you if Thranduil missed it and I agree with Mallorn; delaying the funeral will cause further harm on Legolas."

The man nodded, though he wasn't still convinced. "Mallorn, may you leave us for a while? I wish to speak to Adar and Lord Glorfindel alone."

"Certainly," The Sinda said. "I'll go and check on Legolas. I haven't seen him all day. Good night." With a small bow, he left.

"What is it, Estel?" Elrond asked in a worried voice. The Imladrian lord was greatly worried about his foster son, for the man had been confining himself in his office since his daughter's death, refusing any type of comfort or condolence. The ancient elf feared that the man would drive himself mad from containing his grief inside for so long. Humans might not die from grief but they were easily crushed in many ways under the weight of their emotions.

"I've been dreading this moment ever since Míreth's death," The King of Men said nervously as he stood up and walked from behind his desk. "I don't know how I could face King Thranduil after what I've done."

"What you've done? You haven't done anything, Elessar!" Glorfindel remarked in surprise.

"Yes, I haven't done anything," Aragorn snapped suddenly, his hand unconsciously slammed forcefully against the hard wooden surface of the desk. "I promised him that I would protect Legolas but I failed. I allowed his son to be poisoned and ultimately his granddaughter to die!" As soon as he finished his sentence, Aragorn caught himself before he went any further.

"I'm sorry." He whispered, looking away in shame. "I don't know what came over me."

"You're being hard on yourself, Estel." Elrond said empathetically. "You didn't know. None of us suspected anything until it was too late. You didn't fail in protecting Legolas or Míreth."

"Yet, we're still unable to catch those who killed my daughter." The man said heatedly as he faced his father.

"Everything will be revealed in its right time, Elessar." Glorfindel said. "We may have failed in capturing the culprits now but we'll never stop until we do. This, I vow."

Seeing the determination in blond elf's eyes, Aragorn nodded solemnly

"I'm sorry for disturbing you at this hour." The king spoke after few moments of silence. "Please, go to your rooms and rest. We have a long day ahead of us."

The two elves looked at each uncertain that they should leave the man alone in such state but both knew that fussing over him would only worsen it more. Thus, they nodded and bid the king a good night before leaving him to his thoughts.

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When Aragorn entered his quarters at night, he was greeted by the same gloomy atmosphere that reigned over the place for a month. It was strange how the same living room looked so grim and cold when it was warm and cheerful only few weeks ago. Apparently, his family and friends must've left long time ago, leaving Legolas and Gwîneth to themselves, surely giving up hope that Legolas would acknowledge their presence.

Shaking his head, the king strode to his bedchamber, as expected the room was empty. He changed into something lighter before he walked to the next room. Again as he had anticipated, Legolas, in his nightshirt, was sitting next Míreth's cradle, rocking it gently while Gwîneth sat by the fireplace, staring sadly at her prince.

"Good Evening," The man greeted. Legolas just looked behind him at the man, nodding his head before he turned his attention back to his daughter.

"Good evening, my Lord," Gwîneth greeted, standing up from her place and approaching him.

"How is he today?" he asked softly as the maiden got closer to him.

"The same as before, my Lord," The blonde lady replied, glancing sadly at Legolas, who completely ignored them.

"He didn't talk or eat?"

"He ate some bread, forcedly, but still refused to utter a word."

Taking a deep breath, Aragorn nodded before walking to his husband.

"Legolas," he called softly as he placed his hand on the elf's slender shoulder. Legolas looked up at his husband with dead eyes but said nothing.

"Let's go to bed." Aragorn suggested, smiling slightly, ignoring the ache that filled his heart upon seeing the elf's lifeless gaze.

Legolas just nodded in response before standing and allowing his husband to pull him away.

Once they were in their room, Aragorn pulled Legolas into their bed and watched as the elf passively lied down before Aragorn pulled the covers over him. Then, the man moved to the other side of the bed and took off his nightshirt before lying down beside his husband and slipping one arm underneath the lithe body of the blond elf, pulling it closer to his.

'Legolas,' he whispered in low voice. 'Tomorrow is Míreth's funeral.' The body in his arms stiffed but nothing came out of Legolas' mouth. 'Your Adar is one-day ride from here. He had come to celebrate Míreth's birth, unaware of her death. The messenger who came to announce King Thranduil's arrival has been informed of the sad news and will inform your Adar of it.' No reaction came from the silent elf. Aragorn closed his eyes, blinking away few tears before he buried his face into the golden mane of his husband. 'I'm sorry, Legolas. Saes, Goheno nîn. (Please, forgive me.)'

OoO. OoO. OoO.

Unknown to Aragorn, the news of Míreth's death hadn't reached the waiting ElvenKing. After Faramir had seen Ravonor to the city's gates and as the elven messenger galloped away, an arrow flew from between the thick trees and hit the rider. A whistle followed, urging the horse to halt. As the beast stopped, the dead body of its rider slid off to the ground. A hooded figure jumped in front of the horse and Shadow smirked as he stared at the dead blond elf lying at his feet. He had seen the messenger crossing the castle's yard earlier and had guessed he was a Mirkwood emissary from King Thranduil, who had certainly come to attend his grandchild's funeral. The messenger must've come to announce his arrival, but how far the ElvenKing was from the city was still unclear. But that didn't matter. Instead, Shadow decided that he could use the messenger's assassination to his benefit, if the occasion rose. Kneeling down, Shadow lifted the lifeless body and shoved it across the horses back before pulling its reigns, guiding it into the forest.

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As soon as Aragorn and Legolas left the chambers, Gwîneth sat on the chair that was occupied earlier by Legolas, next to Míreth's cradle.

'My beautiful princess,' she whispered softly as she raised one hand and gently caressed Míreth's cold cheeks. Tears slid down Gwîneth's eyes as she realized that this was the last she would see Míreth. The Mirkwood lady wondered what a beautiful and stubborn princess Míreth would be, if she didn't die. A soft chuckle escaped her mouth as her mind compared the little princess with Legolas as a child.

After a while, Gwîneth gently unfolded the velvet blanket that surrounded the princess' body, wanting to memorize every inch of it. As her eyes traveled along the little form, she noticed something peculiar. There was a strange faint bluish color at the base of the princess' nails. Gwîneth tenderly took the little hand and raised it, frowning at the strange color. She wondered if that color was a result of the embalming that the humans had done to Míreth, but she couldn't be sure.

Blinking, the elleth decided to ask Glorfindel or Lord Elrond about it later. She re-wrapped the princess before kissing her forehead good night.

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*The next day*

Faramir hurried his steps, and he made his way towards the royal wing. It was almost noontime and the funeral procession was about to begin, yet, there was no sign of the king, the consort or their family and friends.

Entering the royal chambers, Faramir found Aragorn sitting in the living room in black attire, head bent down and resting on the handle of his sword that stood between his thighs.

"Your Majesty," the blond steward spoke softly. The king lifted his head, looking lifelessly at him. "It is time, my liege."

"Did King Thranduil arrive?"

"No, my Lord," Faramir replied. "Lord Glorfindel went to the gates to wait for his arrival."

Aragorn opened his mouth to reply when the rooms' doors opened and Lord Elrond with the rest of their friends entered.

"Well, I suppose it is time." the king whispered as he stood up. "I'll go and check on Legolas." Without waiting for a reply, Aragorn walked to his bedchamber and disappeared inside.

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The funeral procession started at the white castle's main gates. The people gathered along the sides of the main path in front the gates of the white castle in wait for the royal couple to appear. A large marble littler was placed on front of the gates. Suddenly, the people gathered watched the huge doors opened and eight royal guards appeared, followed by the king and his consort, who was carrying the princess on his arms. The guards stood at the two flanks of the large stairway as the royal couple descended. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Legolas moved to the side of the litter, kissed his daughter's forehead before lying her down on the cold marble. A tear slid down his porcelain cheek as he stood and took a last look at his daughter before returning to Aragorn's side. Then, four guards moved to the four corners of the litter and lifted it up. As they moved forwards, the royal couple walked behind them with the remaining of the guards, protecting their flanks. Faramir and the rest of the couple's family and friends walked immediately behind him, followed by the lords of the council and then the rest of the court's lords and ladies.

As they passed, the people of Gondor at either side watched the royal couple, especially Legolas, who looked ethereal even in his sorrow and sadness. The consort wore a long plain velvet black tunic above a silver shirt and black leggings. A silver chain was attaching his slender sword securely around his slim waist. His golden hair was held off his face by his official crown.

As they walked through the Rath Dínen (Silent Street) towards Mindolluin city, Aragorn stole worried glances at the elf walking by his side. He was still thinking that Legolas' presence at the funeral was a mistake but at the same time, knew that it wasn't his right to prevent him from attending. He was only hoping that the elf wouldn't collapse during it.

The procession moved slowly through the city as the gondorian people gathered at the two sides, mourning and crying for their princess until it reached the entrance of The Tombs of Kings. The guards lowered the litter in front of the large gates before Aragorn walked and stood in front of it. As the guards opened the gates to the mausoleum, he bent down and took up Míreth's little body and kissed her forehead softly. Then he proceeded into the large marble building followed by Legolas, Faramir, two of the council lords and the rest of the couple's family and friends.

The silent group walked behind Aragorn inside until they all reached a small newly built marble tomb. There, the king kissed his daughter's cheek once more before lowering her into the tomb.

Legolas let out an anguish sob as he watched his daughter being lowered into the dark stone before two guards closed the top on her. Two arms circled him in comfort as he looked away; tears falling freely along his cheeks.

Aragorn bit his lower lip, trying to prevent a sob from escaping as the sight of Míreth disappeared behind the marble tomb. His eyes observed the tombstone that read in letters of gold:

Here lies Her Royal Highness Princess Míreth Gilraen Telcontar

Princess of Gondor and Arnor and the Land of Mirkwood

Daughter of King Aragorn II Elessar

and

Prince Consort Legolas Thranduiliôn

When the guards finished their task, Aragorn and the rest left the mausoleum. As the guards closed the gates, the king and his consort stood, facing the crowd that gathered in front of the building. Faramir walked to the pair and offered his condolences, then the lords of the council followed his example, each offering his sympathies before the lords and ladies of the court followed suit.

Unexpectedly, the crowd heard a magical singing filling the air. Everyone looked and saw Gwîneth singing a lament. Those who understood it cried at her words, those who didn't understand cried at the sadness and sorrow that filled her voice.

Mallorn, who was standing behind Legolas, put a comforting hand on his brother's shoulder, noting how his body shook as soft sobs tore out of him.

Suddenly, the crowd the surrounded the mausoleum split to reveal two blond elves followed by an old man clad in white robes and other elves.

'Ada!' Legolas breathed before collapsing in front of everybody.

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When Gwîneth left Aragorn and Legolas' bedchamber, she saw Glorfindel waiting in the living room.

'My lord,' she said as she approached him. 'What can I do for you?'

'How is Legolas?' he asked, stand up.

'He's fine. His Majesty is with him after Mithrandir and Lord Elrond had assured us that he had fainted due to overwhelming grief.' The elleth said as she sat on the couch and joined by Glorfindel.

'I can only imagine his grief.' The blond elf said. 'Losing a child is hard.'

Gwîneth nodded. 'I think I have worsened the situation by singing that lament. I didn't think of Legolas' feelings. When Aredhel and Tarawiel lost their child, they were devastated. Even now, this memory hurt them still. And I thoughtlessly dug into Legolas' wound by singing a lament for Míreth.'

'No, Gwîneth.' Glorfindel exclaimed, taking the elleth's hands into his. 'You sang your lament, trying to comfort Legolas. You shouldn't regret it. In fact, I wanted to ask you if you would be kind as to sing it once more to me.'

The blonde lady looked up at the Nolo lord for a moment before nodding and starting to sing softly.

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Aragorn was alone in his office, recollecting the events that took place during the funeral. King Thranduil, apparently, hadn't received the news of his granddaughter's death or the funeral. Lord Glorfindel said that the ElvenKing was shocked to hear of it when he arrived at the city's gates and met with the blond elf. The two, along with Gandalf, hurried to Mindolluin city to meet up with him and Legolas before the funeral ended, however, they were too late. Míreth was already been buried when they arrived. After Legolas' collapse, they all rushed back to the white castle, fearing that the consort was in a critical state. Thankfully, his father had assured them that it was only extensive stress that made Legolas lose his consciousness. Aragorn, unable to bear more, excused himself and ran to his office, trying to find some solitude. Once he was alone, the man allowed his grief, which he had held in bay since Míreth's death, out of his chest. He cried like never before until he was completely drained. Now, he lied on one couch, staring blankly at the ceiling, unable to move a muscle.

Soft knocks were heard on the door but Aragorn was too weak to care about replying. He hoped that keeping silence would make whoever was there go away and leave him in peace. But his hopes hadn't come true as the door opened slightly.

'Estel.' He heard Elrond's voice calling gently.

'Yes, Adar?' the man replied as he sat up. 'How can I help you?'

'I just wanted to make sure that you are alright.' The ancient elf said as he approached his son. 'I know that you're grieving and don't wish to be disturbed, but you are hurting yourself.'

The man stared at his father silently as the latter sat next to him.

'You shouldn't blame yourself for what happened. I told you that there was a fair chance that Míreth wouldn't survive.'

'I know.' Aragorn whispered. 'But losing her was a hard blow.' Tears flooded his eyes. 'I truly hoped that she would survive. She looked healthy.'

Elrond remained silent, as the same thought had crossed his mind thousands of times ever since Míreth's death. It was strange how the elfling suddenly died when her health was improving but the elven lord couldn't put his finger on the missing factor that surrounded the princess' death.

'Don't think too much about it, Estel.' He finally spoke. 'Thinking will only increase your sense of guilt. At the end of it, it is the Valar's will. Besides, there is someone in need of you now, your husband Legolas. You must help him to get over his grief.'

Aragorn nodded, smiling slightly at his father. 'Hannon lle, Adar.'

Smiling in return, Elrond took his foster son into his arms, hugging him tightly in comfort.

OoO. OoO. OoO.

'That's a sweet song.' Glorfindel commented as Gwîneth finished her lament.

'Hannon lle, my lord.' The elleth smiled slightly. The two sat in silence for few moments before Gwîneth spoke.

'My lord, I have a question.' She looked up at him. 'I noticed something strange on Míreth last night but I don't know if it was because of the embalming or not.'

'What is it?'

'There was a bluish color underneath her nails that wasn't there before. It looked as if her flesh was decomposing which is strange since Lord Faramir said that embalming would reserve the flesh for a longer period.'

Glorfindel blinked as he processed Gwîneth's information in his mind. 'Are you sure that you haven't seen that blue color before her death?' he asked. He wasn't a healer and didn't know the side effects of the drug that Legolas was given during his pregnancy that caused him to give birth prematurely; therefore, he needed to make sure.

'No,' Gwîneth replied. 'I bathed and took care of Míreth during her entire short life and that color wasn't there at all, even on the night she died.'

The blond lord inhaled sharply as he stood up, pulling the elleth with him. 'Come with me.' He urged. 'Elrond must hear about this.' Without waiting for a reply, he pulled her with him out of royal chambers.

OoO. OoO. OoO.

Elrond sat down, immensely shocked at what he had heard. Upon returning to his chambers, he found an agitated Glorfindel and confused Gwîneth waiting him in his living room. As he listened to Gwîneth's findings, the Imladrian Lord's face paled in dread. The realization that downed him was too terrifying to even consider.

'Lady Gwîneth, would you mind leaving us alone, please?' he asked solemnly.

The Mirkwood elleth looked at him uncertainly before looking at Glorfindel who nodded in agreement. Pressing her lips into a thin line, the elleth excused herself and left the two lords alone.

'Was this a side-effect of the drug?' Glorfindel asked as soon as the doors were shut.

'No.' Elrond replied. 'It's a side-effect of another drug…a poison.'

'POISON?!' the Imladrian head advisor exclaimed in distress.

The Peredhil lord nodded. 'I don't know for sure the nature of the poison but the bluish color and Aragorn's description of how Míreth had died all suggested this.'

'How this could be? She was but a babe who only breastfed by Legolas…except for your nutritional potion.' The blond elf's voice trailed off as he looked knowingly at the raven-haired lord.

Elrond nodded his head. 'I was thinking of this as well.' He said with a sigh.

'But how anyone could tamper your potion when everyone is forbidden to enter your chambers?'

Elrond shook his head, giving the blond lord a knowing look. 'I have always delivered Míreth's concoction personally to lady Gwîneth.'

'No, Elrond. You can't be serious.' Glorfindel exclaimed. 'She's Legolas' childhood friend.'

'I'm not accusing her of anything, Glorfindel. I'm just saying there was no way for someone to tamper with it, unless…' standing up abruptly, Elrond hurried to his bedchamber followed closely by Glorfindel. Rivendell's lord strode to the balcony, opening its doors widely before entering it. He looked around until his keen eyes spotted the climbing plants that grew along the walls.

Glorfindel frowned as he noticed Elrond studying the plants closely. 'No one can climb these plants, Elrond.' He remarked.

'They are rather strong.' Elrond replied. 'And my chambers are only on the second level of the castle.'

'No matter how strong they are; they wouldn't support a human's weight.'

'What if the culprits or at least one of them wasn't human but an elf?' Elrond wondered.

At that Glorfindel paled.

'No, Elrond.' He said as both re-entered the room. 'What you're saying isn't logic. Why would an elf try to harm Legolas? Plus, no elf other than Legolas, his brother, your sons and us were present when he was first got poisoned. And those who came from Ithilien were personally hand-picked by Gwîneth and I.'

'Can you guarantee that no elf can enter Gondor without being spotted, Glorfindel? Elves can blend in with the crowds and not be seen if they wish to. You told me that the lords and ladies in Aragorn's court weren't pleased with his marriage to an elf. Why wouldn't some elves be displeased with Legolas' choice to marry a man and seek to destroy this marriage and any offspring may result from it?'

The Balrog-slayer stared dumbfound at his lord, unable to comprehend what was being said to him. In truth, the notion that an elf would harm an elven prince had never crossed his mind. But, Elrond's words held some logic in them. Many elves viewed humans and other races inferior to them and would be enraged if anyone suggested a marriage between elves and other races. However, to go to such length to ruin such marriage was something unthinkable, plus, how could they trace the culprits if they were indeed elves?

'Glorfindel,' the blond lord snapped from his thoughts at Elrond's voice. 'Elessar must be informed of the situation. I'll tell him first thing tomorrow morning.'

Nodding, the Glorfindel excused himself. He must think of the current developments and decide the appropriate course of action.

OoO. OoO. OoO.

Aragorn entered the royal chambers at a very late hour in the night. He wasn't sure in what state Legolas was in, yet the king wasn't worried much since King Thranduil was now present to support his son.

Heavy grim silence hovered over the place but Aragorn didn't flinch, being used to the gloom and coldness that had engulfed the place for a month. He soundlessly made his way to his bedchamber. Opening the door, his heart clenched at the sight that met his eyes. While sleeping in their bed, Legolas had extended one hand, holding his father's hand, who was sleeping on a chair next to the bed.

Taking a deep breath, Aragorn turned around and left the father and son sleeping in peace. He stood in the middle of the living room, thinking where he would spend his night. First, he thought of going back to the office, but then dismissed the idea. The couches weren't comfortable to sleep on for a long period of time and he would end up with bruises covering his whole body. Sighing, he decided to go and sleep in one of the smaller rooms in the royal wing. At least, he would be near in case he was needed here. Making up his mind, Aragorn crossed the living room and left the royal chambers.

OoO. OoO. OoO.

T.B.C.