Across the Stars

Author: Elanor Gilmor, AKA Purplefluffychainsaw

Disclaimer: I own nadda. That means nothing, naught, zilch, etc.

Spoilers: For the outcome of the War of the Ring, and what happened to the characters afterwards

Rating: PG-13 – one gay kiss, a lot of angst, and character death

Summery: When two friends realise what is in their hearts they have to decide what to do . . . and when one of them is dying can they hold on to what they believe and what they decided?

Series: Across the Borders, though can be read as a separate fic. Current members of the series are (in chronological order):

Happy Birthday, Estel

Fallen from heaven (On stand-by while I write Friendship's Beginning)

Lost (Being revised)

Elvish: This contains my usual pathetic mix of Sindarin and Quenya. Any full sentences are likely to be in Quenya, and will have a translation. Sorry about the mix, but I'm working on learning Sindarin, so hopefully I'll sort it out soon!

Dates: I am working through the timeline in the appendices of Lord of the Rings, so hopefully it all will fit in. I have given the dates as they would have been in Gondor, and all the elvish names for the months can be found in appendix D. Víessë is April, FO is the Fourth Age of the sun, TA is the third age of the sun, Súlimë is March, and Nénimë is February.

Author's Note: I wouldn't really call this piece slash. It's more anti-LotR slash, with a reason. The reason that I am writing this is because I am bi; "Slash", as it's called, is how I think. But I just want to show why I don't write LotR slash. Flame me if you really want, but personally I think flames are just pathetic. I'll welcome constructive criticism.

Just, please, remember I am not forcing you to read this.

This also doubles as a fic for people who have lost a friend or a lover. I know that pain, and what it does to you.

On a slightly lighter note . . . Keep an eye out for all the star wars quotes. A feeling, I have, many there could be!

Love, Drugs and Fairy Boys

A slightly more serious than usual, Elanor Gilmor.

Across the Stars

Oh, the first flush of youth was upon you when our eyes first met

And I knew that to you and into your life I had to get

Oh, I felt light headed at the touch of this strangers hand

An assault my defences systematically failed to withstand . . .

Love is only a feeling (drifting away)

When I'm in your arms I start believing (it's here to stay)

But love is only a feeling, anyway . . .

The Darkness, Love Is Only A Feeling

((Aragorn's point of view))

((120 FO, Nénimë 21st. Minas Tirith))

I am haunted by the kiss that I never should have had. It seems like only yesterday, and yet it was years ago. I am lost now, in the seas of old age, but still you come to me. You look the same, you act the same, but you carry the scars with me you earned. What would I do without you? What would I do if we were together? I cannot tell. It's only a "what if" yet it haunts my dreams.

I am lying on my back; watching the plain white ceiling. I cannot stop the thoughts that ran through my head, or the memories they carry . . .

((2955 TA, Víessë 29th))

The Sun was shining that day. I remember that, because it seemed to me at the time that it was celebrating our reunion. Legolas and I had not seen each other for over five years, and though, no doubt, it seemed like no time at all to him, to me it seemed like all the ages had come again. He had not changed; he never does, he is still the same as when I first met him, save for a few more scars.

I woke late that day, and I had a headache; I had been drinking the night before. Not much, you understand, I was not drunk, but defiantly a bit 'tipsy.' The sun shone through my window, brightening the rain-drenched landscape outside, and my heart leaped. I washed before I dressed, and when I came downstairs 'Ro and 'Dan play-acted having a fit. They do whenever – they did whenever I had a bath.

-----

Past tense of the twins because they have passed over the sea.

-----

Legolas's visit was completely unexpected. I knew that Mirkwood had been having troubles with orcs in the southern regions of the forest, and that he was needed there. I was in the woods when he arrived, tracing the footsteps of a younger me, and a certain daughter of Elrond . . . I was not doing it on purpose; it was only later when I ran through the day in my head that I actually realized it.

I heard the horse long before I actually saw it. I knew it was an elven rider from the footfalls, and went to see whom it was. Legolas must have seen me before I was able to distinguish him, because he sped up. Soon I recognised him. He looked more like a king then I ever have done; his golden hair reflecting the light, his perfect body, dressed in green, sitting so straight; so proud . . .

As he came closer I saw that his left arm was in a sling. I wondered at this, for elves are fast healing beings, and he must have taken at lest two weeks to get here from the elven king's halls. Legolas stopped right by my side, and jumped lightly from his horse, in the way elves do.

"Estel." The smile that spread over his face was such a warm one, like the sun, and more fair than she.

"Long time no see, mellon nin."

"Ai na vedui, Dúnadan. Mae Grovannen. It's nice to see you too." Legolas embraced me, his warm, slender arms wrapping round my body.

"You have not changed a bit."

He laughed, his eyes twinkling like the reflection of the sun on leaves. "Well you have. What have you been doing, Estel? You look like an old man!"

"Look who is talking! I see you have been in the wars."

"Nay, I just fell off my horse." I knew he was lying at the time, I just did not know why.

"So, my prince, why have you honoured us with your presence?"

"I came not to see you, human. I have a letter of utmost importance for the Lord of Imladris. You would not know him, perchance?"

It was my turn to laugh. "Come on Legolas. Hopefully we will not get waylaid by orcs on the way through."

"Knowing my luck, and judging that I am walking with you, I would say that the chance of that not happening would be extremely slim."

"Well, that is strange, for I have always believed that it is when I am with you that things always happen to me."

"It is my theory that orcs are attracted to you by your grubby ranger smell, and that is why I can never enter Imladris without some kind of injury."

I took the reigns of his horse in one hand, and Legolas's hand in the other, and together we walked home, bickering like we always do. I noticed how little luggage he had; normally he brings many clothes, knowing how many tend to get destroyed when we are together, but that time he had only the clothes he was wearing. Maybe he really was here with a letter, and that is all, I thought.

Later I was to find that the reason Legolas had his arm in a sling; the reason he had so little luggage was because he had ridden here as fast as he could. To see me.

. . . And I've got this friend you see,

Who makes me feel . . .

Don't tell me what I want to hear.

Afraid of never knowing fear,

Experience anything you need.

I'll keep fighting jealousy until it's fucking gone . . .

Nirvana, Lounge Act

((Legolas's point of view))

((120 FO, Nénimë 27th. Osgiliath))

I know that I am going to have to visit Estel again soon. Or Elessar, I should call him. But he will always be Estel to me. He will visit me if I do not see him soon; I know it. Our lives could have been so different . . . It seems selfish of me, because I know that if we had followed out hearts then none of this would be achieved. We all would be dead now, or under Sauron's rule. But I still desire him, no matter how much I try to tell myself otherwise.

((Víessë 30th, 2955, Imladris))

I was annoyed. I do not mind admitting that. I had ridden hard for seven days, straight from battle with a broken arm to see Estel, and then he was busy. I cannot remember what it was that he was doing, only that I spent most of my second day in Rivendell in my room, sulking.

He came to me as the moon rose.

Estel knocked on the door. "Legolas?"

"Yes, Estel?"

He appeared round the door, a sheepish grin on his face. "You, er, did not come down to dinner, so I brought you some food."

I sat up from where I had been lying across my bed. "Thank-you."

Estel sat down on the chair and watched me eat in silence for a while. "Why did you not come down?"

"I – I just did not feel like it."

"Oh. I thought, this is silly of me, I know, I but I thought that you were in a bad mood because of me. I really am sorry, Legolas."

My heart skipped a beat, and somehow I managed to smile at him. "Of course not." I lied. Suddenly my actions seemed like a fool's. "You will not be busy again tomorrow, will you?"

"No!" He laughed, sounding relieved. "No, I am at your disposal tomorrow."

Estel looked so fair then, as an elf, as the fairest elf on Arda. The moon reflected off his face, eyes and hair, and his smile was one that I have not seen again, in dream or in waking.

We talked for a little after that, joked as friends will. Until eventually he fell asleep where he sat. I went to move him to his own room before remembering that I could not use my arm, and then poked him gently.

"Estel?"

"Whaa- Oh, sorry Legolas." He blinked sleepily at me.

"Come on sleepy human. I would carry you, but . . ."

I pushed and cajoled him into his own room, where he lay down on his bed.

"Good night, Legolas." I heard him mutter sleepily.

"Sleep well, Estel." I whispered back to him, before shutting the door softly.

I cannot find a way to describe it

It's there inside

All I do is hide

I wish that it would just go away

What would you do

You do if you knew. . .

Avril Lavigne, Take Me Away

((Aragorn's point of view))

((Víessë 30th, 2955, Imladris))

It turned out that the letter was from Thranduil asking Atar to host Legolas for a while so he could recover. The war had ended successfully, and the orcs beaten back, for then.

I came down for breakfast a little after dawn to find Legolas and my brothers laughing about something.

"Do I want to know?" I asked, as I seated myself between Legolas and Elladan.

"It depends." Elrohir laughed.

"I'll take that as no then."

"Good choice, Estel." Legolas smiled at me.

I turned to the Silvan elf. "What do you want to do today, then, mellon nin?"

"Do not ask me! It is your choice."

"No, Legolas, I was busy yesterday, so you get to choose to make up for it."

Legolas sat quietly for a while, thinking. "Well . . . do you want to go on a walk in the woods with me? We usually get so little chance to enjoy them."

"Of course. We will go straight after breakfast." I told him. "And I have changed." I added, remembering that I was still dressed in my nightclothes.

"Yes, that would be a good idea." Legolas said, above the laughter of 'Dan and 'Ro. "Are you two coming?" He asked the twins.

"I am afraid not, Legolas."

"Although, I doubt without our protection either of you will return in one piece."

"We have to help Atar in the garden." Elladan pulled a face.

"For a warrior, he really does worry about it too much." Elrohir said, in a contemplating voice.

"And it is a pity neither of you two pay much attention to it." Elrond said, appearing behind us. "For if you did perhaps you would realise that most of the plants in my garden have a very practical use."

"Which is just as well with Legolas and Estel on the loose." Elladan said as he hugged atar.

"We love your garden, really, atar." Elrohir said, joining the family hug. Legolas and I looked at each other before shaking our heads, before adding ourselves to the pile.

My head's full of thoughts

Thoughts of you

And I'm distracted so easy

Thinking what to do

So unsure, so unfamiliar

Am I wrong?

Do you think

That something could happen. . .

Delta Goodrem, Will You Fall For Me

((Legolas's point of view))

((Víessë 30th, 2955, Imladris))

In reality it was just before noon when we got out. There were always little things in Rivendell that needed doing, so when I was waiting for Estel to get ready I was caught up in things, and then Estel was made to wash the dishes as I finished, and so on.

But it must have been a little after noon when we stopped in a field. The grass was green, and there was a little stream running through the centre. Estel let himself fall by the stream and splashed his face in the clear waters. He turned to look at me, stuck his tongue out and laughed.

"Beat you!" He said, childishly.

I grinned back. "We were not racing to anywhere that I knew of."

Estel shrugged. "We were now." He suddenly jumped on me for some reason, and we rolled through the grass, laughing, always trying to be on top of the other. I managed to twist myself on top of him, and stuck my tongue out at him.

"Better than you." I told him, leaning in close.

"Ug, I'm not being beaten by an elf." Estel complained, pushing himself up so I was tipped off him.

"That is cheating, human. You have no right to use your weight against me."

"I will have you know that I am an uncommonly lean and handsome ranger, stick elf." Estel winked as he pulled himself upright.

I know. I see it every time I close my eyes.

"Stick elf? For that, ranger, you will pay." From where I was lying I leapt at his feet, driving him down to the ground. Somehow he managed to land on top of me, and more importantly, and painfully, my broken arm. I tried not to, but I could not stop myself from gasping. Quickly Estel moved.

"Oh, Legolas, I'm sorry. Are you all right?"

"I am fine, Estel." I sighed at the look he gave me. "Honestly."

"I do not believe you. Let me look at your arm." I found myself taking my arm from its sling so that he could examine it. He carefully peeled away the bandages and looked over it.

"Well, Legolas, it appears to be healing well, for a wound treated by wood elves." He said, looking up at me.

I hit him using my free hand. "Take a care not insult my people, sickly one."

"Sorry, sorry." I picked up the bandage and started to wrap it round my arm. "Here, let me." Estel took my arm and wrapped it in the material, taking care so that it was neither too lose or too tight.

He looked back up to me and time froze. Too my horror I found myself leaning towards him. Estel looked confused, but was not unresponsive when our lips touched.

. . .Though you came to me in the night

When the dawn seemed forever lost

You showed me your love in the light of the stars. . .

Loreena KcKennitt, Dante's Prayer

((Aragorn's point of view))

((Víessë 30th, 2955, Imladris))

I looked back up at him and time froze. As his lips touched mine all the noise around us seemed to fade, and there was only him.

As suddenly as it started it stopped. Legolas pulled himself from the kiss and gave me a terrified, horrified look before fleeing. Dully, I felt myself fall onto the sun warmed grass, the last few moments off my life replaying through my head.

What had happened? Why? What if someone found out? Was it wrong?

I had no answer for any but the last. Yes! Never has it been that two males have shared a relationship on Middle-Earth, and a relationship between a male elf and a male human?

Fear started to press down on me. I felt like fleeing, like Legolas had.

I do not know how I got myself home. My next clear memory is of lying on my bed, a soft knock on the door, and Legolas whispering: "Estel?" It was so quiet that I think he did not want to be heard.

"Legolas?" The door creaked open, and the golden-haired elf was standing there.

"Estel . . ." His voice trailed off.

"Shut the door and come in." My voice sounded cold, though I meant it to be kindly.

He did as I said, and sat on the chair by my bed. "About before . . ." I had rarely heard the elf sound so nervous. "I am so sorry."

"It does not matter, Legolas. Although . . . why?"

"I wish I knew. I have had strange feelings about you . . . about us for a while now. I did not wish to tell you . . ."

I nodded quickly, trying not to think of my own visions of him.

"Although it can obviously never be. A male elf and a male man? I do not mean to be rude, but . . ."

"I know what you mean." Again, my reassurance came to soon, but at least it sounded a little friendlier this time.

"And, of course, there is you and Arwen, and I swore never to take a partner until war is ended on Middle-Earth."

This confused me. "Why?"

"I cannot risk it. What if . . . what if I am killed? I will not leave someone I love to pine away." Legolas was starring at the floor, as if he was wishing it would swallow him up.

"Yes, of course. That sounds . . . sensible." Both of us were being so careful with our words, and we hesitated so often.

Legolas looked a little more hopeful. "So that . . . it never happened?"

I smiled, sat up and embraced him. "Just friends."

"Yes. Just friends."

. . . Put back the photo under your window

Put down the form that you hold in your hand

Put away those names that stand in between us

And let us be what we can . . .

Elizabeth Fraser, Make Tomorrow

((Aragorn's point of view))

((120 FO, Nénimë 30th. Minas Tirith))

I am fading. If Legolas dos not come soon then it will be too late. I miss him. It is strange; for all my life I have been haunted, yet as I feel myself slipping away the memory dies. I have left him a letter. If he does not come here on time. He will. He always does.

Arwen is here. She knows. She has been crying. I feel myself comfort her, but I feel strange, detached. Arwen cries my name. Twice. I take her hand, as everything slips away. . .

Legolas! You were to late!

. . .Why do you weep?

What are these tears upon your face?

Soon you will see

All of your fears will pass away

Safe in my arms

You're only sleeping. . .

Annie Lennox, Into The West

((Legolas's point of view))

((120 FO, Súlimë 1st. Minas Tirith))

Something is wrong. I knew that this morning, and I rode straight to Minas Tirith. Estel is not in his chambers, nor is Arwen. There was a letter addressed to me on his bed, next to one for Gimli. The attendants say they know nothing, but I am not sure if I can believe them. Something in my heart says that he will not be found in any other place than the halls of the dead, but I hope that this is not so. The guard looks worried. He seems worried.

"No one is to enter, by order of the King." He says as I approach. His voice is shaky.

"Este- Elessar is in there?"

"Yes, but he has given his word that- "

Disbelief spreads over me like a wave.

Not now, not so soon.

"I do not care. I must see him."

"I am afraid that- "

"No!" My heart is pounding. I do not want to hurt the man, but I know I must see Estel. "Let me in!" I take a step forward.

"I have orders- "

"Please . . ." It was not meant to sound like a sob, but it did.

"I suppose you may have forced me to let you in. . ." The guard grimaces, and opens the door.

"Hannon-lye" The relief almost floods my senses. As the door shuts behind me the one in front of me opens. Arwen comes.

I feel myself collapse onto the floor, as I blink back tears.

I do not have to look at her face, my heart tells me what is.

I am too late.

. . . And now as you turn to me

You try to force a smile

As if to compensate

Then you break down and cry

Roxy Music, Bitter-Sweet

FIN

Or, in Quenyan

METYA