Title: What is Meant to Be

Author: ak-stinger

Warnings: This story contains slash; Aragorn and Legolas slash, to be exact. If you don't like slash then you won't like this story and I advise you not to read it. This story also has AU elements and there is no Arwen. It will be mostly movie-verse when it gets to that part, although it'll also have some book-verse stuff. Don't bother telling me that I'm messing up the timeline; I know and love the books and any discrepancies in the timeline or anything else are deliberate. Reviews are happily welcomed; constructive criticism is appreciated; flamers will be punished. I've given you fair warning and if you still read a story you know you won't like and will be offended by, you desperately need a life. If you go a step further and actually take the time to flame me then a little public ridicule may do you some good. Telling me that my story/I'm stupid and nothing else helps no one. I'm not saying this to be mean or defensive; I'm just trying to save us all a little time and energy.

Disclaimer: This doesn't belong to me. It belongs primarily to Tolkien's estate and secondarily to Peter Jackson, et al. I'm only writing this because I love their work so much. Please don't sue me.

Legolas entered the throne room, took one look, and promptly spun around to run out the door. He really didn't hope to escape before his father blocked the door, but he still had to try. They had done this countless times before and Legolas now viewed his futile escape attempts as a means of protest rather than anything that would result in him being able to avoid the torture that was coming.

Right on cue, his father, King Thranduil, was there, standing between him and freedom. "My Little Greenleaf -"

Legolas groaned. Being that he was less than 100 years away from the age of majority, his father only used that childhood term of endearment under three circumstances: when Legolas was sick or injured, when Thranduil was feeling wistful or affectionate, or when one of them was about to endure something extremely unpleasant. "How many, Ada?" he asked.

"Only ten," reassured Thranduil.

"Well," hedged Legolas, "that's not so bad, I guess -"

"And then thirty," he added hastily, hoping against hope that Legolas wasn't paying attention.

"Forty! Well, still that's not as bad as it could be."

"And then..."

"How many in all, Ada?" Legolas demanded. "I'll find out eventually, you know. It's best that I hear it from you, now." His face was grim. "Don't you remember the last time I didn't find out how many there were until we were in the midst of it?"

Thranduil shuddered at that unpleasant memory. He took a deep breath and braced himself. "There are 150, ion nin."

Legolas looked at him, half disbelieving and half horrified. "150?" he whispered urgently. "Are you certain?"

His father nodded, silent.

"Get out of my way."

Thranduil looked at him sharply. "Excuse me?" he said, more statement than question.

"Get out of my way," repeated Legolas, his panic and ire rising. "Do you really think I'm going to sit on that stupid stool and endure 150 of them? Ai Elbereth!"

"Legolas Thranduilion!" scolded Thranduil. "Do not utter that phrase as a curse! You know better than that. Such behavior is not suitable for any elf, let alone the Sun Star of the Elven race."

"I'm not any kind of star -"

"You have been named the Sun Star, my Little Greenleaf," Thranduil said slowly but insistently. "All elves call you that. You inspire beautiful poems and songs -"

Legolas groaned again, wishing that the Sindarin language wasn't too pretty and flowery to have adequate curses for this situation.

"And if someone cares enough to create a poem or song about you," his father continued, "then you must, as a courtesy, listen to their work."

"Ada," Legolas whined, glad he wasn't old enough to be above whining yet.

"Legolas," said Thranduil soothingly, "just one more session. Then you can leave for your visit to Rivendell. You can have fun with the twins and not be bothered by all this. I promise you, Lord Elrond won't make you listen to any song or poem that you don't want to hear. Let's just get through this now; please, my child?

Legolas let out a resigned sigh and sat on the stool. The king stood next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder, partly to let everyone who came know that the Sun Star had a father who watched over him and partly to keep Legolas from bolting. "Send in the first troubadour," Thranduil ordered Galion, his butler.

Each came in, one at a time, to present their poems and songs about the beauty of the Sun Star. Legolas gave them all the same benevolent look and serene smile. His thoughts, however, weren't so serene and kind; he was bored out of his skull and feeling quite contrary. Hair as golden as the yellow sun, huh? Did you come up with that all by yourself? And my eyes are as blue as the sea around Valinor? Why don't you go to Valinor right now? So you think my beauty is indescribable, huh? Then why have you been going on about it for the last ten minutes? Ai, Elbereth, why do they always say the same things? Is there some set of rules that tells everyone what to write in these things? Be silent! All of you! Be silent and go away!' He often felt that those thoughts kept him sane during one of those insufferable sessions!

When it was finally over and his father's hand was no longer restraining him, Legolas jumped off of the stool, bolted from the throne room, and ran straight to the archery field. His bow and quiver full of arrows were still out; he'd been there before his father's summons forced him to endure 150 elves gushing about his beauty, one at a time. Ai, he could still hear them! He could even see them, on his targets...

He picked up his bow, readied an arrow, and fired, hitting both the imaginary troubadour and the bulls-eye. "Do I still have beautiful hair and a soothing presence?" Another shot, another bulls-eye. "Do my eyes still look bluer than blue? What in Mordor is that supposed to mean?" Legolas shot away his annoyance and frustration, one bulls-eye after another.

Sighing, feeling cleansed, Legolas left the archery field for a nearby meadow. He sat down under a tree, allowing his mind to wander to happier thoughts, like his upcoming trip to Rivendell. Finally, he was going on a vacation in every sense of the word. No sessions, no troubadours, and he'd see the twins, Elladan and Elrohir, elves his own age that wouldn't fawn over him because people had decided to call him the Sun Star. He smiled as he thought about his identical friends. He hadn't seen them in over 100 years; he wondered if anything new was happening in their lives.

To be continued...