Mae Govannen, guys! Lady Nierwen here again with another update. Finally. Hmmm, really no excuse for the incredible lateness of this update but you know, things came up and it's the summer holidays and you know, other stuff.
This is it guys, the finale. The last chapter of Death and Glory. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It has been great writing this story. (sniff) So sad!
Here are the reviewer responses for chapter 13…
Neoinean Hi there, thanks for reviewing. Yeah, I'm not dead, but there really is no excuse, you know, not emailing, but I will, I will, but I start year nine the week after next and I have been sooo busy. Really no excuse. Sorry. Anywho, hope you enjoy the chapter and sorry for the late update.
ElvenRanger13: Hello again! Thanks for reviewing, I'm glad you like the chapters, and don't worry about not reviewing chapter 12. It's fine. I love Gimli too! Thank you for reading, enjoy the chapter and I apologise for the late update.
The Thief Kurone: Mae Govannen new reviewer! Welcome to the circle. I'm glad you have enjoyed the story so far. Enjoy the chapter and I apologise for the late update.
LindahoylandMae Govannen! Thanks for reviewing and for adding me to your author alerts list! Enjoy the chapter and sorry for the late chapter.
Alexandra: Hello again! I didn't update quicker but I did update, finally, so here is another chapter! Thanks for reviewing enjoy the chapter and sorry for the late update!
Borg: As you wish! Hello again, thanks for reviewing. Enjoy the chapter and sorry for the late update.
FlyingMonkeysMae Govannen, new reviewer! Thanks for the review, I am glad you like the story so far and sorry for the late update. Enjoy the chapter.
Shadowfaxgal7: Hello! Don't worry, I'm not straining myself anymore, no worries. Awwwww. I was sorry to hear of your rat, Kari. I had a rat, well, my brother had a rat but I looked after it aswell, called Doug. He got cancer. I don't understand this prejudice that people have of rodents. They're cute in my opinion. It dosen't matter. Thanks for the review, enjoy the chapter, sorry for the late update and I am glad you have enjoyed the story. Thanks, enjoy!
Well, guys. This is the last chapter. Here is the legal bit which I have to do, though I find it completely unnecessary but, there you go.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Absolutely nothing, not one molecule, atom, dust bunny etc etc.
Summary: See first chappie.
Warning: Angst. (Please note: This is the type of angst which plunges the characters at my mercy into the cold agonising vortex that spirals into the icy black oblivion of depression and drama. No biggy though.) Also for possible bad writing as this is a first unpolished attempt. Also an AU I repeat AU!
Rating: PG for angst and afore-mentioned vortex and oblivion.
O.k, I will stop jabbering now and let you read the chapter. Here we go, the final chapter of Death and Glory…
Chapter 14: The last Goodbye
It was widely known in middle-earth that the legendary race of the Dunedain was able to choose the time of their deaths. For Aragorn, son of Arathorn, high king of Gondor, there was no exception. Aragorn knew when he would pass, and waited to welcome his end with open arms, however one obstacle stood in his way to eternal peace.
His family and friends blatantly refused his inevitable death, they must have known that they had to let him go and that he was fully prepared to accept his end, but they were not willing to let him go. Not willing to uncover the pain that certainly lurked there. Technically they had no choice; it was Aragorn that decided his own fate.
Presently, Aragorn half sat, half lay upon his bed surrounded by his large family and friends as Gimli son of Gloin regaled the group with his tales of the Glittering Caves. For perhaps the tenth time that evening, the stout dwarf took a deep gulp from his wine and gave a loud belch before resuming his tale, much to the entertainment of the occupants of the room who all laughed heartily at the dwarf who scowled at them in indignation before continuing.
Aragorn smiled at his family and friends who were, to him, his family anyway, only half listening to the dwarf's tales. He looked at everyone in turn. His beloved Arwen, his daughters, all of whom had their mother's beauty, Eldarion his son and heir who maintained his father's appearance and basic character, Gimli of course and Legolas. His greatest and truest friend. His brother. A sad smile crept onto Aragorn's lips as he thought of Legolas and saw him. Saw him smile again. It warmed him but saddened him that soon he would have to bid the elf goodbye and wipe the smile away.
Tuning back into the conversation, he heard the sweet, melodic voice of the elf beside him speaking with clear laughter evident in his voice.
"My dear dwarf you exaggerate" cried the elf trying to keep the chuckles at bay.
"I do not, friend Legolas, I tell you. The horse rode straight into me. A full Stallion, and me with no armour" he replied proudly and boastful as the crowd laughed at him.
"But dear dwarf that is impossible. A full Stallion would have enough sense not to run into you. Besides, friend Gimli, you could not have reached the belly of a full Stallion." Retorted Legolas playfully.
Gimli was lost for words as the truth of Legolas' words sunk in. Spluttering with mock rage, he resumed his tale without another glance at the elf. Happily, Legolas privately grinned at Aragorn who smiled back half- heartedly as the elf turned away.
Aragorn sighed, knowing that soon, very soon, his family would have no choice. Aragorn did not think he could carry this on much longer. For their sake, he wouldn't.
Legolas swept a last concerned gaze over Aragorn to be sure that the man slept before stepping onto the balcony to join Arwen and Gimli. As he passed into their midst, he found the awkward silence between elf and dwarf. Mainly it was Gimli's reaction to being alone with someone of such beauty as Arwen but Legolas knew the dwarf would rather be impaled upon Anduril than admit to nervousness. Legolas chuckled inwardly. Such stubbornness. Shaking his head, he stepped onto the balcony to be greeted by warm greetings. Evidently, both were pleased to see him.
"There you are laddie" grunted Gimli "Sit down, sit down" he said motioning to a chair opposite the two.
Arwen smiled at him in greeting and he smiled warmly back as she turned her attention to him.
"How is Estel?" she whispered quietly, almost inaudibly.
"He sleeps, Arwen, he is well" the other elf assured her. Arwen nodded and glanced quickly at Gimli before looking back at Legolas. Gimli shot a furtive glance at the Evenstar before he too spoke up,
"That is good to know, laddie" he said gruffly, before the balcony dissolved into silence once again. It was Arwen that again broke it. Though she may as well have for all the noise her voice made.
"I wonder if you remembered Legolas," she began hesitantly as if trying to find the words to say what she clearly longed to say. Finally she spoke again.
"I wondered if you had remembered that… Aragorn's birth date draws nearer. I wondered" she trailed off. Legolas felt a wash of shame and guilt smother him as he realised he had not remembered. He had been so concerned.
"I had not" she said, slicing into his thoughts.
"I had not either, Arwen. I have been preoccupied of late." Said Legolas.
"As have we all" cut in Gimli gruffly, "Why was I not informed of this?" he inquired indignantly.
"It is hardly something we have thought of, master dwarf" replied Legolas, gazing over Gondor half-heartedly.
"Aye laddie. I understand" said the dwarf softly. Arwen remained silent and Legolas noticed tears streaming down her pale cheeks before she excused herself and ran into the room to be with her husband.
Legolas stared after her sadly and sighed deeply.
"How old will the lad be, my friend?" asked the dwarf thoughtfully.
"Hardly a lad, my friend" replied Legolas grinning slightly, at the dwarf. "He shall be in his two hundred and tenth year" he finished with another sigh.
Gimli leaned back slightly in shock,
"Has it been that long since my last visit?" then he paused. "210, that is no small feat"
"No" the elf agreed, turning to look at Arwen at Aragorn's bedside in the chamber.
For the hours that followed the two sat in companionable silence until finally, when the sun dipped below the hills, both elf and dwarf fell into slumber, or as close to slumber as an elf could get.
Aragorn now spent much of his time asleep, unable to face the looks his family cast him. They were fearful and cautious looks that chilled Aragorn to the bone every time he looked upon them. Unable to rise from his bed as his stiff and sore muscles hindered his ability to walk, Aragorn could do nothing but sit and sleep or talk to a fearful Legolas or vivacious Gimli.
In his sleep, Aragorn did not dream. He thought about his family, the time when he would leave them. During these periods Aragorn tried to put his fears behind him, but they still haunted him and followed him like an annoying puppy.
One cloudy and rainy day, Aragorn could not sleep, he sat and talked with Legolas about the past, more often than not, Aragorn listened while the elf spoke, taking private comfort in hearing the elf's voice. Knowing it would be the last time he heard it.
Quite far into the conversation, the old and weary king interrupted the elf who immediately took on his default concerned expression that seemed to be one of the only expressions he could manage now. Quietly and cautiously, the king asked for the one thing his friend could not refuse him. A last meeting with his family.
"Legolas, mellon-nin" he whispered and the elf leaned in closer even though he did not need to.
"Yes, mellon-nin, what is it? What can I do?" the golden haired prince replied anxiously.
"Legolas" the old king repeated "Legolas bring my family here. I wish to see them" he paused to collect himself. "See them one last time" he finished, closing his eyes.
Legolas grabbed his friend's hand and gripped it tightly as if it were a lifeline. Tears began streaming down his cheeks as he stared at his human friend.
"Aragorn, this will be not the last time you see them. Please, my friend, do not give up." He pleaded.
"Legolas, do not deny me this last chance, please, send me my family"
Legolas bowed his head in grief as he finally believed. His friend was dying, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. This was Aragorn's choice, and he would not stand in the way of that. Regardless of how he felt, he had to be strong. For Aragorn.
He nodded and gently let go of Aragorn's hand before leaving to find the royal family.
Aragorn sighed at the pain he had caused his friend and silent prayed he would be forgiven.
Less than ten minutes later, Arwen, flanked by her eldest daughter and only son, Eldarion, followed closely by the remainder of their daughters, Gimli and Legolas. Arwen swooped down upon him and grabbed his hand, tears fell from her blue eyes and she sobbed openly over her husband.
"Arwen, meleth-nin, this is the last time I shall look upon your face and those of my children, please, do not cloud your beauty with your tears, for I have chosen my time and I shall follow the light. Do not weep for me. We shall meet again." Aragorn said t his bride quietly. His love for her poured into every word, every syllable uttered. Carefully he dried those tears that fell.
"Aragorn, I cannot see you go, my love" she whispered.
"I do not ask you to" he said gently, "all I ask is that I have one last look of your face before I go. Arwen, my winter has come"
Arwen cried out and lapsed into her own tongue,
"Law, hir-nin, u-dollen I riw, anirach nuid liw, gwannad uin gwaith-lin?" she asked.
Aragorn sighed and told her what she knew already.
"I have chosen this as my time. My winter has come, Arwen, I do not leave my people before my time. Know this my Arwen, I shall always love you, wherever I am, wherever you are, I will always love you."
Finally he spoke words that he had said only once before in the woods of Lothlorien,
"Arwen, Vanimelda, Namarie"
Arwen bowed her head and began to weep bitterly. Unwilling to say goodbye she wept and clung tighter to her husband. Aragorn gazed at her before turning to his children.
They stood weeping behind their mother and around the bed.
"My children. You have shown me true happiness and have made my life enjoyable. I have watched you grow, each and every one of you. I have seen your triumphs and faults and I know you shall grow to be wonderful, courageous and kind adults. How I love you all so much. So very much. Eldarion" he said facing his only son
"Eldarion, I leave you my throne and country. I know you shall be a wonderful king and your people will love you. I will watch over you, I will always be there."
The old king watched as his children cried silent tears and clustered around him, silently begging him not to go, pleading him to stay. He looked up next at Gimli. Aragorn saw that he too wept alongside Arwen, his children and Legolas.
"My dear stubborn dwarven friend" he called. Gimli looked up, over his tear soaked beard.
"You have also given me joy and showed me true laughter. I want to thank you. For being a friend and being there. I must say to you this; do not ever change." As soon as he had finished, Gimli nodded and ducked his head as another stream of emotion overcame him. Aragorn smiled silently before he spoke again.
"My family. I thank you for your company, but now I must ask you to please leave myself and Legolas alone. I wish to speak with him."
His family complied somewhat reluctantly and filed slowly out of the room, led by Gimli and followed by Arwen who shot him one last despairing look before she too left. Now they were alone. The sky looked as if threatening to rain as they turned a deep dirty grey. The candles flickered in the harsh wind but stayed alight to illuminate the room. Legolas made his way swiftly to the bed that Aragorn lay upon and sat in his chair, taking the king's hand in his own and squeezing gently.
"Aragorn" the elf whispered sadly "Is there anything I can say or do to make you stay. Stay with us. Please. Please." The elf shook with sobs that threatened to overtake him.
Aragorn sighed and placed his hand on the elf's face tenderly. The simple gesture was enough to tip the elf over the edge, but he fought against it.
"There is nothing that can make me stay, for I have chosen. Just do me this one thing, honour me with your presence in my last moments" he whispered softly.
Legolas wept more as the tears came quicker and he was unable to reply.
"Legolas, I want you to know that whatever happens am there with you. I will guide you. I will follow you wherever you go. I will not let you fall or let you be led astray" He paused as Legolas heard these words and began to sob quietly, trembling with the effort it took to try and quell the tears.
"I will not let go" Aragorn said before finally finishing what he needed to say to his friend,
"For you are my brother, and I love you"
Legolas looked at him then, tears fell heavily down his cheeks. Aragorn pulled him close into an embrace and held him there tightly to him, already keeping his promise to the elf. Legolas returned the show of love and affection and they stayed like that for a log time until Legolas felt Aragorn relax and fall limply into his arms. Legolas pulled away, unbelieving. Not wanting to see his friend dead but when finally he mustered the courage to look his friend in the face he saw what he could only describe as an expression of peace.
Aragorn's face seemed lighter now, pale. His eyes were slightly open and his mouth was upturned in a faint smile. He was finally at peace. Legolas finally accepted the fact that he never thought he would accept. His friend and brother, Aragorn son of Arathorn, high king of Gondor, was dead. At 210 years old, Aragorn had died on his birthday, here in the elven prince's arms.
Outside, the sky seemed to open and rain poured down upon the land as the heavens cried for their lost king.
One Month after the death of King Elessar…
Legolas of Mirkwood stood on the harbour awaiting his dwarven friend's return. The ship he had built to sail to the undying lands was docked and ready to leave middle-earth. It was a starry night, one type of night that Legolas adored. He occupied himself by watching the stars sit stationary against the velvet sky, and stood fascinated by the billions of lights overhead, the purest form of light.
Behind him came a clink followed by a stream of curses as Gimli arrived from his walk which he said was to clear his head. Legolas had other ideas and smiled as he saw his friend curse in several different languages. As Gimli came nearer, Legolas smiled as he saw the dwarf shoulder his axe with difficulty and walk over to him.
"I don't know what you are smirking at laddie, but it had better not be me" the disgruntled dwarf said to his friend.
"I would not dream of it my dwarven companion." Said the elf, smirking as before. Gimli grunted his disapproval and headed for the ship that lay docked ready and waiting. Legolas made to follow him but stopped when something caught his eye and he looked up to his distraction. There above him, were two stars shining together, seemingly brighter than all the others. They seemed to symbolise something to Legolas and he knew precisely what it was. It showed him that, true to his word, Aragorn watched over him. As did Arwen who had followed her mortal path to death and beyond. At least now she was with the one whom she loved.
Legolas smiled at the symbolism and whispered to the night,
And with not a backwards glance, Legolas prince of Mirkwood and Gimli son of Gloin sailed over the sea, into the west, never to return.
Law hir nin, u-dollen I riw anirach nuid liw, gwannad uin gwaith lin:
No my Lord winter is not yet come, will you before your time leave your people?
Vanimelda: My beloved (Beloved one)
Reviews: What do you think? I'd like to know what you thought of this chapter. It is 8 pages long, and I have spent over mmmmm, 5 hours over two days doing it. But is it good enough?
Ideas: For other stories, yes, for this one, not sure.
Spelling/Grammar: Useful, yes please.
Flames: As I have already said, this is an AU, so any flames I receive shall be exploited in the next story. Okay?
Well guys, it's over! I want to thanks all my reviewers and those who put me in their favourite's lists, thank you. I want to thank my friends, my teachers, everyone who encourages me to follow my dream. This story is dedicated to all you guys who read it reviewed and above all liked it. Your support means so much to me. Unfortunately, I have no beta reader so I cannot thank them, lol!
Reviews I get for this chapter shall be answered in the next fic I write, so I will see you then.
From me, I bid you all a very fond Namarie and I hope to see you again sometime. Take care of yourselves,