Note: Okay everyone, here's the last chapter! I hope you all have enjoyed the story in all it's oddities. I've tried to use Elvish and translations to give people more appreciation for the language - even if it's difficult to translate with no prior training!
I'd like to hear what you thought about the story in general. Even if you just say you actually read it all the way through. Feel free to email or message me or whatever anytime if anyone wants to chat. Thanks so much for reading the story and I look forward to hearing from people.
See you all around!
"I demand that you stop this beast at once! Let me down now!"
"Calm yourself, master dwarf. I would have thought you would be used to this way of travel by now. And I assure you Elemíre is no beast. And she is barely at a trot," the elf responded, patting his mare's neck.
"I don't care! I'll walk the rest of the way!"
"Do not be foolish, Gimli. This is much easier and quicker."
"Quicker, that may be. But I'll have you know I am much more effective on the ground."
"I do not doubt that, my friend." Legolas smirked over at Merenwen.
Merenwen smiled back at him from her own mount, glad for anything that made her love happy. She did not like thinking of Legolas plagued by the sea longing that so obviously haunted him at times.
"Do you feel the same way the elf does? That these…horses are the better way to travel?" Gimli asked Merenwen.
"Gimli, I do not wish to add my opinion to your debate, for someone will surely be angry with me."
"Is that what you really think?"
Merenwen looked back at Legolas earnestly. "Yes, I do. I do not want to be the one to inflame the conflict between our two races again."
"No, especially when they are starting to get along for once," Legolas said.
"I think Aragorn had some hand in it. You both did not necessarily like each other when you first met, did you?"
"I still do not like the dwarf. Smelly beings they are," Legolas responded.
"Legolas!" Merenwen shrieked.
Legolas laughed. "I jest, meleth."
Gimli answered with an indignant grunt.
"Well, I'm not exactly fond of you, either. I'll be glad to be rid of you. Won't you be glad to be rid of him once he is gone?"
"Is Legolas supposed to be going somewhere, Gimli?" Merenwen responded, puzzled.
"He is going to Ithilien."
"Yes. Did you not know that?"
"Oh. The elf said to Aragorn that he would gladly restore Ithilien's land to what it was."
Merenwen reigned in her horse, Horthusûl. "What?!"
Legolas stopped his mare and looked back at Merenwen. She was seething.
"Gimli, can you scout ahead?"
Gimli looked between the elves, quickly noting the dissention. "Of course," he responded. He allowed Legolas to help him down off the horse before walking ahead.
Legolas urged his mount back toward Merenwen.
"When were you planning on telling me? The night before you left?"
"You'd just accepted my proposal of marriage. Do you think I would want to change your life so quickly with no time to adjust?"
"I would not know. You never discussed it with me."
"Merenwen," Legolas sighed. He went to reach over to touch her hand.
Being an elvish horse, Horthusûl could sense the emotions of his rider. He threw his head back and snorted when Legolas reached for Merenwen. Merenwen smirked, patting her horse's neck.
"Fine, be that way," Legolas said, turning his horse away from her and urging her on.
"Fine!" Merenwen yelled at his retreating back.
The small group continued on to the borders of Lake Town. Merenwen was mad that Legolas had not told her of his intentions of going to Ithilien. However, she could reluctantly see his point. The land did need to be restored. She heard that the destruction was horrible.
"Here is the edge of Lake Town. Are you sure you do not need any further accompaniment?" Legolas asked.
"No, laddie," Gimli replied as Legolas helped him down off the horse. "It'll do these legs good walking there. It will not take me long."
"If you insist."
"I do. I'll be fine." The dwarf clasped the elf's forearm in a warrior's gesture. He then walked to Merenwen, who remained seated on her horse. "It was nice to finally meet you, milady," he said as he took her hand and kissed it.
Merenwen smiled down at the dwarf. "It was wonderful to have met you, as well, Gimli. I hope we will meet again soon."
"We shall. Once things are settled at your home, Legolas, send word to the Lonely Mountain for a visit."
"We will. It is only fair."
"Good…Well, I guess I will be off then. Farewell."
"Farewell, mellon nín."
"Good bye, Gimli."
With a short bow, Gimli turned away and headed toward Lake Town.
Once the dwarf had reached close enough to the edge of town with no problems, Legolas mounted his horse again. The two elves then turned back to the woods. Their journey started silent before the quiet was broken.
"What is it, Merenwen?"
"I apologize for my behavior," she said, stroking her horse's mane. "You surprised me, meleth."
Legolas urged Elemíre closer to Horthusûl. "I am sorry for that, Mer. I had seen what Ithilien looked like, and it was awful. The Land of the Moon lost what it was named for. It was painful to see such beautiful land so marred."
"Was this Aragorn's idea or your own?"
"Why do you ask this?"
"Ithilien is closer to the sea. It shall be easier for you. I know of the message."
"Message?" Legolas echoed.
"Legolas Greenleaf long under tree; In joy thou hast lived. Beware of the Sea! If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore; Thy heart shall lie in the forest no more."
Legolas was shocked. He had never told her of Galadriel's message to him. He knew it would only worry her.
"Where did you hear this?"
"I asked Gimli."
"Gimli…" he growled.
"Do not blame him, Legolas. I asked him because I could see something was bothering you. If there is anyone to blame, it is me."
Legolas looked over at her. He reached out for her hand, and this time she let him take it. "I do not blame you. You are concerned. I understand that. If there is anyone to blame, it is I. I should have possibly said something to you so you wouldn't worry."
"What about Ithilien? Were you going to tell me?"
"Of course. I'd just proposed to you. I would have given you time to adjust to this new life before mentioning Ithilien. Aragorn knows I am an elf of my word. He also knows that I would see to you and Ada first," he said, caressing her cheek. "Besides, I would not think of leaving you behind. Not ever again."
Merenwen smiled, feeling Legolas' love for her. He leaned over and kissed her softly on the lips. Drawing away from her, he looked at her. She brushed her fingers down the side of his face before he kissed her once more.
"I do love you, Legolas."
"You know I love you as well," he answered, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear.
Merenwen grinned. "Last one to Lasgalen has to tell your father of Ithilien!" she cried, urging her mount into a gallop through the trees.
"Ai! That is not fair!" Legolas yelled. He raced after her, her musical laughter ringing throughout the forest.