Estel had begun to hold his breath and he was dizzy. He scolded himself mentally. He had only held his breath for thirty seconds!

Then why are you woozy? The voice sounded oddly like Galadriel when she was trying to be stern.

Um…Erm…just go eat something!

You do realize you're arguing with yourself, right?

He could hold it no longer. It tore out of him in a long, loud gust. He felt Legolas tense up against him. The Elf sprang outwards into the bigger part of the springs and turned, his eyes wide in half-anger, half-disbelief. He blinked when he saw who it was.

"…Estel?" he whispered softly. He gazed at the Man, looking into his silvery eyes. He looked down at Estel's water-covered bare chest. Scars were here and there, but one in particular caught his eye. He trod forward and gently ran one slim finger over the pale line going from Estel's left shoulder to his opposite hip.

"Cael…?" Legolas looked at Estel. The Man gulped.

"I got that scar from a training accident with Elrohir and Elladan – I…"

"Could not move as fast as they were anticipating, stumbled, and fell whereupon Elrohir accidentally cut you…" Legolas finished for him. "You really are him then? My…my meleth, my love?"

Estel swallowed again and asked, "Why did you lie, Legolas? Why did you tell me a false name?"

The warrior shook his head. "It is what you Men would call a 'middle name' of sorts."

"But it still was not your –"

"Estel, if I had told you whom I really was, what my stature was, why I really had to go back to Mirkwood, would you have treated me the same?" Legolas was mad.

Estel paused. He remembered all the playful fights with Melethron, all the dirty jokes and informalities… "No. No, it would've been…been very, very different…"

"Exactly. What we had was perfect, but it was cursed. It can't happen again, Estel. Not now." Legolas moved to leave. Estel felt the rage inside of him take hold as he grabbed the Elf's arm and held him firm.

"No. No, no, no. It can happen again – I know it can. How is it different, Legolas? Underneath your crown you are Melethron – my lover, my love…you are the same person under your exterior, as am I. We are the same souls as we were, the same hearts, but different names! What does a name matter?"

"Estel…" Legolas sighed. This….this hurt…hurt so badly. "I want to hold you close to me. I want to hug you, to tell you it will be alright. I want to kiss you and to call you mine – but I can't. I do not have a choice – I cannot be an heirless king."

"Nor can I!" hissed the infuriated Man. "I can be heirless no more than you! You know my name now, you know my destiny as well as I! How, they say, am I to lead with no wife but a man instead? There are ways, Legolas – adoption, spells, anything – I…Valar, Legolas…"

"Estel – you yourself know that my father is not the most accepting – "

"Forget your father! This isn't about him! This is about us, Legolas! About you, and about me – about our feelings for each other. Not about your father and what HE wants."

"My father is my father, my family…"

"Legolas, do you not remember? Do you not remember the words from that very mouth as we lay beside the waterfall in the valley below us? Can you not recall? You told me that we would always be, that our love would never be severed – do not tell me you have forgotten that, for you are immortal and trivial things such as forgetting do not occur in you like in Men."

Legolas said nothing. He stared at his pale hands floating beneath the glassy surface of the clear water. His fingertips made ripples, tiny round waves. Round…rings…marriage rings…promises, vows of eternal love…

"Legolas…" whispered Estel, "Do you not feel for me anymore? Is that it?"

"I…Estel, I do not feel much of anything that sweet anymore. Love is too distant to recall – I cannot feel it, nor can it find me. I am lost to it."

Still looking at his fingertips, Legolas was caught by surprise when Estel reached forward and pressed his mouth on Legolas's. Fireworks erupted in Legolas's mind, he felt dizzy, wonderful, like he could blossom into a rose at any moment. He felt as though he was flying on air - he felt protected, wanted, loved -

And then Estel pulled away.

"Tell me you did not feel something Legolas. Tell me that you felt nothing and I will leave. We will forget we were ever lovers, we were ever friends, we ever knew each other at all. All you have to do it say 'No' and I will get out and walk away."

"I…"


A/N OOOH! Cliffie, bad me!

REVIEW RESPONSES

Virgil's Grl: Thanks! Yeah, I had to thing up SOMETHING...

Seylin: There ya have it!

Leggy-luvr18: Glad you enjoyed.

tmelange: THanks!

Crystal Blue Dry Ice: UPdate as requested.

Oh, to all my readers of 'I Tauwght I Taw A Putty Tat' - I am having severe writers' block, and I am considering putting it completely at a standstill for a while. Please, input would help a lot - reviews are always welcome!