It takes a macabre deal to show one Man the action he should have taken a long time ago. He can only hope he is not too late.


Disclaimer: All the characters in this story who are found in Tolkien's books stem from his imagination and are his property. I am just borrowing them for this story.

I wish I did not have to say this, but I have to:


You have a choice to read this and accept it for what it is. If you cannot, I'd appreciate it if you left quietly, please.

I HOPE YOU WILL NOT CHOOSE TO READ AND WRITE HARSH FLAMES. But if you do, you are declaring yourself to be:

(i) illiterate (or pretending to be), i.e., you did not understand the warning.

(ii) self-righteous (in which case, please take a look at your own morals first before trying to correct others – thank you very much.)

Whatever comments you are thinking of writing (e.g, disrespect for Tolkien, immoral, blah blah blah…) – it's all been said before, ho hum and yawn, so please save them for those who care. Although Tolkien did not write slash himself and may not support it, who knows?... his words to those who read and write it could actually be less harsh than flamers'.

If you have no objections to slash – hope you will enjoy this story. Thank you!

Chapter 1: Caught

The young man panted as he neared his target, his eyes focused on the legs that would soon be coming into his line of sight.

A little more. Closer now. Closer.

With a small cry, he leaped out of the bushes, and a second later, his arms were wrapped around the legs he had been chasing, bringing down his captive.

"Oof!" went the elf as he fell forward, his breath knocked out of him. Before he could regain his senses, he found himself being flipped over and straddled by the eighteen-year-old human with bright eyes that shifted in hue from blue to grey.

A wide smile was plastered on the young face as he looked at the captive beneath him, hardly able to contain his excitement.

"I caught you, Legolas! I caught you!" he declared disbelievingly, his hands fisting the white shirt on the elven torso.

He had never hoped to match the elven speed of Legolas and his twin foster brothers in open space, but the elf had agreed to let him track him in the woods of Imladris that he knew well, so that he could make use of shortcuts and well-camouflaged ambush points. It would be many years later before he realized how easily Legolas could still have eluded him but did not. For now, however, Estel felt the thrill of a successful capture.

The elf's clear laughter floated around in the clearing like music from silver bells. "Aye, Estel, that you did," he said kindly. "Well done!"

One long arm reached up to ruffle the unruly dark curls framing the handsome face, and when the long elven fingers brushed Estel's ears, a tingle went down his spine and he shivered. The young man felt the thrill that always ran through him whenever he was around the elf with the golden hair.

"It is but a passing fancy," his foster father had explained when he had first asked the elf lord why he felt that way. "It is natural to be taken with one so attractive, and it will leave you as you grow older."

Legolas was indeed attractive – stunningly beautiful, in fact – without contention from all who saw him. But what Estel saw in the Mirkwood prince was something beyond his shining countenance; the elf had treated him with greater respect and kindness than anyone he had ever known, except for Lord Elrond.

Now, as he looked at the bright hair fanned about the beautiful face on the ground, he blushed and cast his eyes away from the elf, loosening his hold on the shirt as well.

It is just a passing fancy, he told himself desperately. It will be gone when I grow older.


Now, four decades later and forty years older, he found the fancy no closer to passing him by.