Disclaimer: All facts and characters related to Tolkien's works are his.

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Moments of Peace

Summary: Legolas returns home after sustaining wounds in battle. There, he relishes the small things that are often taken for granted.

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He brought the goblet carefully to his lips with his left hand. It shook a little but was barely noticeable to any observer. Legolas let the cool, refreshing honey trickle down his throat and soothe the slight nausea he felt in his stomach.

Everything felt so surreal. Just a couple of days ago he was battling orcs and now he was having dinner with his Father the King. He pushed the food on his plate around and brought small bites of food to his mouth at regular intervals. He didn't feel quite up to eating just yet.

He soaked in the comfort of the cushioned chair and rested his head against the backrest thankfully. The little things that made up his home seemed magnified after such a long time away from home fighting the shadow.

Thranduil observed his son quietly. He made no comment as he took note of the slight shaking of his offspring's hand in the simple task of drinking. The fact that Legolas did not use his favored hand did not go unnoticed. His son seemed oblivious to his gaze; too busy was he in enjoying the small comforts of home.

When at last father and son had finished their meal, Legolas bade his father goodnight and made his way to his room, giving his father a warm smile before he left. Thranduil smiled warmly back, but it seemed almost that his eyes held a touch of sadness.

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Legolas pushed the door to his room open and lingered at the entrance for a few moments. He touched one hand to the wooden walls and ran his hand across it. Walls. For several months he had been surrounded by nothing but trees, trees from which orcs and other foul creatures could burst out from at any time of the day, startling elves from their much needed respites. Trees which screamed their pain and suffering to the wood elves.

Within his father's palace he was safe, even if only for a while. He knew he would have to return soon to fighting the shadow, but for now, he was just glad to be able to let down his guard and truly rest. Within these walls he could put down the burden of being a warrior for a time at least. His heart felt much lighter.

He splashed a little water from the wash basin onto his face and undid his warrior braids deftly with one hand. Resting his hands on the edges of the basin, he stared at his reflection. His eyes were reddened and half lidded and there were shadows under them.

Tiredly he walked towards his bed and lay down, resting his head on the soft white pillows. The luxurious softness of the bed lulled him to sleep and he was soon lost to the world.

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Thranduil passed the door to his son's room and paused.

When the Prince of Mirkwood been only several centuries old, Thranduil had often visited this room to check on his son during the night. He had dreaded the day that his son would leave the safety of their home and venture out to carry out his duty to the Elven Realm. Seeing his only child safely tucked in bed soothed his troubled heart.

Now, he hesitated before pushing the door open, mirroring his son's actions just hours before. He stood at the doorway staring into the moonlit room before walking in. The room was so quiet and one could hear night creatures in the distance. It was a while before Thranduil noticed the twisted covers and then the absence of his son on the bed.

A surge of alarm raced through his heart, where was Legolas? The rational part of his mind told him that his son was grown up now, he could take care of himself. If he chose to wander around the palace in the dead of the night, it was his choice and right.

The voices of Legolas' childhood seemed to call to Thranduil to stay and he sat down on the bed, staring out of the window at the pale moon and innumerable stars.

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Several hundred years before…

Legolas sank shakily into a chair in his room. He stared down at his clothes in shock, horror and disgust at himself. It seemed to him that his once smooth white hands were tainted with ugly stains of black blood. Though he felt no grief at eliminating orcs from the world, he felt repulsed by their deaths.

He remembered their hideous faces, twisted into grimaces of pains as they died under the knifes and arrows of elves, and the smell of their bodies burning. He felt a wave of hatred wash over him at the creator of these monsters. How dare it introduce these impure animals into his father's woods? The very thought both enraged and frustrated him to no end.

It was impossible to get rid of all the orcs in middle earth but he swore he would kill as many as his strength allowed err he was slain in battle or answered the call of the sea.

The thing that upset him the most was their eyes. In the moments just before their deaths, they seemed almost thankful for their fate and it was reflected in their eyes that seemed to scream out "thank you" along with their dying breaths.

It almost made him feel guilty about having to stab them in the gut to kill them. Almost, but that quite. He gave a huge sigh as he stood up and walked to the balcony. He could hear the songs of his people in the wind and the activities of other smaller beings in the trees. It was so peaceful here.

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Something seemed to draw the King of Mirkwood to the same balcony that his son had often stood at to survey the night sky. He stood silently at the exact spot that Legolas had often positioned himself and closed his eyes.

Eryn Lasgalen. That was what they had once called their fair lands. He missed those days. The days when elves could take walks unarmed through the woods. In these troubled times, he held no doubt that at least three quarters of the male elves as well as a reasonably large proportion of the females, went around with hidden daggers in the boots.

Thranduil indulged in a few minutes of helplessness, allowing the familiar emotion to well up in him before pushing it away resolutely. He could not allow these thoughts to overwhelm him. All he could do was deal with the situation as best as he could. He sighed deeply and emptied his mind allowing a peaceful nothingness to reside there.

The melancholic sound of a lament drifted to his ears from somewhere far away. They had lost a large number of warriors in the recent attack of orcs. Few had returned unscathed.

His gaze swept briefly over the trees scattered around the palace and was startled to notice the figure of someone in the tree directly outside the balcony.

He was nestled safely in a crook in one of the sturdy branches and by straining his ears, Thranduil could hear the deep, even breaths of the person. His keen eyes piercing the shadows, he made out the silvery blond hair of his son.

As he focused on the slumbering body of his recently returned son, he noted once again with sadness, the white bandages that bound almost the entire length of his son's arm. He could not protect his only child from the evil that invaded their lands and that grieved him.

He caught a few mumbled words from Legolas and watched as he flinched when he moved his arm unconsciously in his sleep. He knew that hidden beneath those clean strips of cloth lay a painful pattern of deep gashes that ran up and down Legolas' right arm.

Thranduil was not very surprised to find Legolas in the tree. All wood elves had a close bond with the trees of Mirkwood, his son more so than others. The life that flowed through the roots, trunks and numerous leaves of the trees did wonders for Legolas and was more cleansing than any bath. He knew his son had a habit of climbing into a tree to sleep when nightmares awoke him.

He held no worry that Legolas would fall out of the safe embrace of the tree. It was a thing unheard of for elves.

The cool night air swayed the green leaves bringing to life a soft rustling melody. The shadows danced merrily and one could almost imagine that no darkness tainted the woods, that there were no troubles plaguing the people.

It was so peaceful here.

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There! Another one done! I hope I managed to capture the feelings and emotions of Thranduil and Legolas well enough…

Please review! I spent quite a bit of time on this fic and it would be wonderful if you left a review…

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