I'm in a good mood right now, so here's the final chapter a bit early. Maybe I'll break five hundred with this story... maybe.
J.D: There's nothing wrong with the chapterunless you tried to read it within about four minutes of me posting it. It was up within five. Sometimes it's picky, though, and you have to page through the chapters until it admits there was an updatebut that's with any story that's been very recently updated.
Hope to see you all on Thursday when I start Trial by Fire the Glorfindel/ Carathwan story I've been promising.
She turned, stilling. "Tanthien." She let out a mental scream, and felt a jolt from not too far away.
Tanthien inclined his head slightly. "Lunian. I—" he stopped talking as Legolas appeared around a corner of the building, a sword already drawn in his fingers. Bright blue eyes met similarly bright but furious ones as the prince reached Lunian's side, wrapping a possessive arm around her waist, pulling her back slightly.
"Egola," she murmured softly. The sword remained at his side, fingers flexing occasionally to reassure themselves of their grip.
Without taking his eyes from Tanthien, Legolas kissed her behind her ear, holding her just a bit closer. "Love?"
Tanthien watched the move, saw the slight glow in her eyes for the treatment, and drew a measured breath. He inclined his head to Legolas, then to Lunian, as well. "Farewell, Lunian."
They watched him leave in unmoving silence.
Lunian blinked in shock. "Well, that was anti-climactic."
Legolas chuckled softly, releasing her just enough to sheath the sword and catch her face between his palms, kissing her gently. "Thankfully." He kissed her again and looked around, making a muted gesture at an elf there which made Lunian roll her eyes. Legolas placed a finger over her lips. "Please, love?"
After sighing, she nodded. "Very well."
Legolas inclined his head to the elf, who moved silently closer. "I'll be back by dinner, as Father has commanded me to attend."
"As Grandfather bid me," she mused.
He laughed softly. "Perhaps they're afraid we'd… disappear?"
She laughed brightly, reaching up to touch one of the small braids behind his ear. She accepted his kiss when he shivered at the touch, her eyes bright with amusement as he lingered a moment longer before leaving.
The silent elf followed her into the garden, sitting at a small distance when she settled herself against a tree to read her book, as she had intended when Tanthien approached her. She was well into the book when she was suddenly interrupted.
"Hello, Irithil," she murmured, not glancing up from the book she had borrowed from her grandfather. "What has you so excited?"
"There is to be a grand feast tonight, Lunian, darling. Are you going?"
"Yes. I'm required to do so," she agreed with a soft sigh. "But you didn't answer why you were so excited."
"Is a feast not enough?"
"Not considering how frequent they are, no," she murmured, turning a page.
Irithil frowned at her, covering the new page with his hand. "Lunian, darling," he insisted.
"What?" she asked, looking up at him, her annoyance with his pointless interruptions clear.
He paused for a moment, wondering what in her eyes had changed, but he mentally shrugged and pushed it away. "I was going to ask you to accompany me, seeing that the prince has left."
"He's on his way back even as we speak," she countered quietly. "Irithil, I—"
"Lunian," he sighed, dropping to his knees in the grass before her. He tugged the book away. "You haven't been yourself for a while now. When are you going to be who you were?"
She sighed, lifting a hand to her temple before sweeping it through her hair. "Irithil, you have known me as long as I've lived in this life. But my heart was someone else's quite a time before then, even before you were born. I will never be who I was before, because I've become who I was meant to be."
He frowned at her, before understanding made his eyes widen. "You mean you… you really…"
She smiled faintly, knowing she no longer needed to spell things out. "I'll see you there, all right?" she kissed his cheek before leaving.
Irithil sighed, gazing at the book she had left behind.
"What's the matter, Thil?"
"What about her? She's fine."
"Yes… How could I have missed her being in love with someone?" he growled, running a hand through his hair.
Carathwan smiled gently. "If it's any consolation, she didn't fully remember everything until a few days ago. Now come on, Ethwan and I have seat ready, if you'll just come and join us."
"Does he know?"
Carathwan frowned, looking at her brother. "You don't love her like that, Irithil."
"How would you know?" he scowled.
She sighed. "Because I have seen her with her love. You never loved her as he does."
With a sigh he got up, taking the book with him. "I suppose we may as well be there," he muttered.
"That's the spirit," she rolled her eyes.
He offered her a weak smile, but followed her to the seats Ethwan was so inelegantly sprawled across to keep empty until their arrival. "So, do you know what this is all about?" he asked at last, as the room began filling up.
"Yes," she agreed. "Have you heard about the last elven-human couple?"
"Arwen and Aragorn?"
"No. The last couple."
Her brothers frowned at her. "No…" they drawled, as if not sure she was being truthful about there even being another pair.
"Well, they've been reunited, their souls bound. This is the celebration of their reunion, when she is finally presented as she would have been so long ago, if not for her mortality."
"What are their names?" Ethwan asked curiously, but Irithil was a bit quicker.
"Lunian," he murmured softly. His eyes focused on the doors along with all the others. "They don't know why they're here?"
"Then how do you?"
"I was in the room when the need for the celebration was discovered," she explained. "Now be quiet and listen."
A low chuckle caught her attention. "Glad to know I'm not the only one you snap at," he murmured, before walking up to his seat beside Lord Elrond.
Carathwan flushed and studiously ignored the looks her brothers were giving her as Glorfindel held up a hand for silence.
"Most likely, you are all wondering what you could possibly have been called here for. Well, friends from Imladris, Lothlorien, and Eryn Lasgalen, we are here to celebrate the union of the Middle-Earth realms… for what that matters, here," he waited for the laughter to fade, smiling slightly as he saw the musicians waiting impatiently for him to sit down and let them have some fun. "To make it short," he called over the noise of the feast, "Prince Legolas and his love have been reunited."
That made silence fall over the room, making them still as they waited for what would happen next.
A female voice broke the silence from beyond the room. "Egola! I don't want to!"
A low chuckle came floating in from the hall. "Sorry, my love," he murmured, "but I'm afraid you must."
"Love," he chided gently, "you denied me this all of your past life."
A sigh made several smile, remembering, guessing what was going on just beyond the hall's doors. "Oh, very well," she grumbled, turning towards him as they stepped into the room, both completely ignorant of the attention focused on them.
Legolas smoothed her hair, gently settling the circlet into place on her brow. His eyes sparkled even as he kissed her before turning, stopping suddenly.
Lunian looked up, watching the lights tangle in the circlet he wore before realizing he was blinking, shock blasting her from the tight grip he had on her hand. "Love?" she murmured, reaching up to touch his cheek.
He seemed to come back to himself, kissing her wrist before leading her over to his father. "Father," he murmured quietly, his eyes narrowed, promising revenge of some sort.
Thranduil chuckled softly. "I'm glad you decided to join us in celebrating your new princess."
Lunian's eyes widened faintly, before she smiled slightly, shaking her head. "You never could do things the easy way, could you?"
"And you two could?" he countered.
She looked up at Legolas, smiling even as she lowered her head to his shoulder. "I think we shall, from now on."
"Unto the ends of the world, my love," he agreed, kissing her gently.
During that moment, the young elves there—and some of the old ones, too—got to see something they hadn't seen before. The golden haired prince and princess were entirely lost in each other. The world beyond their embrace no longer existed.
Some of the elves looked away after a moment, but those who knew anything of their story watched, knowing they were seeing what would become stories and songs. Those who knew the two elves watched, all recalling what of their pain they had seen. All smiled—to varying degrees—and sent praise to the Valar for giving their friends true peace at last.
Legolas and Lunian smiled at each other. He rested his head carefully against hers, so their circlets didn't shift painfully. Finally, he thought. Finally…
Lunian's smile grew. Together, she finished for him.
He kissed her lightly before straightening, moving for an instant as if to set his chin on her head, but paused, remembering she was much too tall for that now. He smiled once more, brushing his cheek against hers before kissing her just below her jaw. And at peace, my love, he agreed.
For all the ages of the earth.