Thank you all for sticking with me through this journey and I hope you have enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I especially thank you for your patience with me in posting the last few weeks. Thank you all for your reviews and well wishes because they always give me a smile when I am ready to just give up. I hope you enjoy this final chapter, and as I say every time let me know what you think! Oh, and please read the note at the bottom!
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with Lord of the Rings.
Fifteen years to the day of their union, Carita was walking through the forests of Ithlien, barefoot and happy. The trees had grown beautifully thanks to the efforts of the elves of Mirkwood that had made the journey ten years earlier to the Gondor city to restore it to its former glory. Sometimes she found herself wishing that Gandalf had remained a little longer than he had, but she was thankful that she was able to say good bye to him and Frodo. At least she knew it was good bye until she too made the journey across the sea with Legolas.
"Carita!" Legolas called and she stopped and turned around. She smiled at him as he closed the distance between himself and her grasping her by the waist and pulling her close to him. "I have been looking everywhere for you," he said and Carita laughed as she put her hands on his chest and gently pushed him away.
"I never stray far," she said as she spun around, her dark red and white dress twirling around her. "Besides," she said as she came to a stop and looked at him with a grin. "You could not have been looking long for you were in the stables with Faramir and I only walked passed there not five minutes ago." Legolas laughed and once again closed the distance between them. Carita smiled as he rested his hands on her hips and she put her hands on his forearms.
"I know," he whispered before he leaned in and kissed her. The years of their union had been happy. However, as they stood their embraced tightly, with lips upon lips, Carita could no longer wait to tell Legolas the news she herself had discovered just the day before. Reluctantly, Carita pulled her lips away from Legolas' and sighed quietly as she opened her eyes. Legolas smiled at her before he kissed her nose, then her cheek. Carita sighed again but pulled back slightly taking his hands.
"I have news for you," Carita said and Legolas' smile slowly left his face and was replaced with a concerned expression. "It is nothing bad, at least I hope it is nothing bad." He frowned but Carita smiled at him. "Legolas, I'm-," she started but was interrupted with Faramir and Éowyn's ten year old son, Elboron, came rushing up to them.
"Princess Carita! Prince Legolas!" he exclaimed and Carita pulled away from Legolas and kneeled before the boy.
"What is it Elboron?" she asked and the boy took a second to gather himself and to steady his rapid breathing.
"My mother is," Elboron said before he swallowed, "she's having her baby."
"Did you get your father?" Carita asked and he nodded.
"He told me to retrieve you and Prince Legolas," Elboron said. "Hurry!" he called before he took off running towards his home, which was not far from where they stood for their large home was next to Carita's and Legolas'. Legolas gave her a small smile before he took her hand. Carita raised her skirts slightly while the pair ran up the path. It looked as though her news was going to have to wait.
Carita stood by Éowyn's side wiping her brow with a cool cloth while the blonde woman panted heavily before another labor pain ripped through her body. Éowyn let out a strangled cry as she bore down to bring her third child into the world. "You are doing well, my lady," the midwife, Narissa, said. "The baby is coming well, a few more pushes and you will hold your son or daughter." Éowyn sighed and her head fell back onto the pillows.
"Keep thinking of Elboron and Elwyn, my friend," Carita whispered as she once again wiped at Éowyn's forehead. "Soon you will give your son and daughter a new brother or sister." Éowyn chuckled and looked at Carita's face before she took Carita's hand. Pain filled Éowyn and she gripped Carita's hand. The Maia gave the woman as much of her strength as she could and Éowyn growled and collapsed back.
"The head is through, one more push, my lady," Narissa said and Carita squeezed her hand.
"You can do this, Éowyn, you've done this twice before," Carita told her and Éowyn took a deep breath before she bore down and pushed once more. Éowyn screamed and soon the quietly room was filled with the cries of a newly born babe. Carita looked down at the baby and smiled before she looked back at Éowyn. "You have another son, my friend." Éowyn managed a weak smile and sighed before she lifted her head to look at Narissa tending to the baby. "By the sound of his cries, you have a healthy son."
"Thank you, Carita, you came so quickly," Éowyn said. Carita smiled and shook her head before she wiped the sweat from Éowyn's face.
"My lady, your son," Narissa said as she handed the now clean and blanket wrapped baby. Éowyn took her son and smiled.
"Faramir shall be happy to know he has another son," Éowyn said quietly.
"He will be happy he has a healthy child and his wife is well," Carita told her and Éowyn smiled. "Would you like me to present your son to your husband and children while Narissa takes care of you?" Éowyn nodded before she kissed the baby's forehead and handed the tiny bundle to Carita.
Carita smiled as she gently touched the baby's cheek and walked from the bedroom that became Éowyn's birthing room and into the sitting room where Faramir, his children, and Legolas were waiting. As she stepped into the room, all eyes fell upon her and she smiled at Faramir before she slowly walked over to him. Elboron, and seven year old Elwyn moved to their father.
"My lord," she said with a smile as she handed the baby over him. "You have a healthy and strong son," she finished quietly and Faramir smiled as he looked down at the baby and then at Carita before he kneeled down next to his children who smiled at their newest sibling.
"His hair is dark like papa's and Elboron's," Elwyn said with a crooked smile and Carita patted her light blonde hair. Faramir stood and looked at Carita.
"Go to your wife, I will mind the children until she is ready to see them," she said and he smiled before he nodded.
"Thank you, Carita," he said quietly before he went into the room. Carita smiled at Elboron who took Elwyn's hand and led his sister back to the carpet they had been playing on. Carita sighed and Legolas put his hand on her lower back. She looked at him and smiled softly at him before he leaned down and kissed her temple.
"Éowyn did very well," Carita said as she looked at the children. "I only hope that in seven months I will do as well as she did." Carita held her breath and waited for what Legolas was going to say.
"I'm sure that you'll do just . . .," Legolas trailed off as realization of Carita's words sunk in and he looked at her. Slowly, Carita turned her eyes to his and gave him a smile. However, he looked at her with a surprised face.
"Legolas?" she asked as she turned and met his gaze. "Say something, say anything," she said worried but before she could say anything more Legolas' lips were on hers and his hands held her face securely. Carita gasped against his lips, but wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed him back. After a moment, a chorus of 'ews' broke the pair apart and they looked at Elboron and Elwyn who were making faces at them. Carita laughed quietly before she looked at Legolas again as he lowered his hands from her face, putting one hand on her hip and the other on her lower stomach.
"A child?" he asked and she nodded as she covered his hand on her stomach with two of his. Legolas smiled before he kissed again, but much more briefly. "I cannot believe you are to give me a child." Carita laughed quietly.
"I think you had a helpful hand in that," she teased and Legolas laughed before he hugged her. Carita laughed a little louder as he lifted her from the floor and spun her around. As he sat her down he smiled and kissed her once more. "Legolas," she whispered as he continued to kiss her and he paused and looked down at her. "I do not think that Elboron and Elwyn want to see us kissing." Legolas grinned and nodded his head.
"Very well," Legolas said. "Until later then," he finished in a whisper and Carita smiled before she moved away from him and joined Elwyn and Elboron on the rug. She played with them all the while she could feel Legolas' eyes on her. She paused in their game and looked up at her husband, who was grinning at her in a way that he had never looked at her before and a blush came to her cheeks before she returned her attention to the children and their game.
Carita looked at the letter in her hand and wiped at the tears that had fallen. She sniffed and tossed the parchment onto the table before she put her head in her hands. Aragorn had passed peacefully, but now she knew that Arwen would pass into the Halls of Mandos. A quiet sob escaped her lips before a soft hand was on her shoulder.
"Nana, what is it?" came the voice of her daughter, Lindariel. Carita sniffed and looked up to find Lindariel kneeling next to her and looking at her worriedly. At first glance, one would think the pair were sisters and not mother and daughter. Lindariel at nearly two centuries old carried Carita's eyes, but Legolas' golden locks. Like her father her ears were pointed, and there was a light about her that was just as bright as Carita's.
"King Elessar," Carita said gently before she took her daughter's hands into her own. "King Elessar has passed."
"Oh, Nana," Lindariel said before she embraced her mother tightly. Carita returned the embrace and sighed thankful to have her daughter at her side. "How?" Lindariel asked as she pulled back and Carita smiled softly.
"His age took him, but not before he passed the throne to his son," Carita said. "I could barely read Arwen's script, but there is a new King of Gondor, one that will keep his father's legacy strong."
"Then does that mean upon completion of the boat, we will set sail?" Lindariel asked and Carita gave her a soft smile. For the last five years, Legolas had been working on building a boat to take his family to Valinor.
"Aye and Gimli has been given pass to sail with us," Carita said as she wiped away her tear stains and forcing a smile for her daughter.
"Gimli travels with us?" Lindariel asked surprised and Carita nodded her head. The door to the library of their home opened and Carita and Lindariel looked to it only to see Legolas enter the room, his own sadness in his eyes.
"Legolas," Carita said before she stood and moved over to him. Legolas sighed and took his wife into his arms as Lindariel stood and looked at her parents, tears in her own eyes. Sadly, she did not know the king as well as she would have liked but she knew he was a great man.
"It is alright, Carita," he told her gently as he raised his hand to the back of her head and just held her. Lindariel moved to her parents and put her hand on her mother's back. Carita pulled away from Legolas and gave her a small smile.
"When do we leave?" Carita asked quietly and Legolas sighed as he tucked her hair behind her ears.
"When you are ready?" he asked and she nodded her head and looked to her daughter.
"Take what you do not wish to leave behind, Lindariel, but not many things," Carita told her and Lindariel nodded her head and looked to her father who smiled and kissed her forehead before she walked from the room.
"Are you sure you are well?" he asked his wife and Carita nodded her head and gave him a small smile.
"Aye," Carita said. "I will be fine so long as you and Lindariel are well."
"He passed peacefully, that is what the messenger had said," Legolas said gently.
"He was always so strong, and there were times when I thought that he would never fade away. It struck me as a surprise when I read the letter," Carita said.
"He was a good man, but we have our memories," Legolas said and she nodded her head. Carita nodded her head her smile a little stronger.
"That we shall have," Carita said. "It is time we leave Middle Earth. The world belongs to men now, and we will only be in the way." Carita sniffed softly and wiped at her eyes once more. Legolas kissed her briefly before he forced a smile of his own. Carita sighed and took a deep breath. Her life had thrown more challenges her way than she could have ever had anticipated, but her life had given her so much joy that the good outweighed the bad. Now, her only hope was that eternity would hold more joy to overcome the sadness that had settled itself into her heart.
A/N: Well, how was it? Good? Bad? Let me know. Also, I have a question for my ever fateful readers and those of you that have started reading. I'm thinking of branching off of LOTR and trying something new. I have an idea for a Pirates of the Caribbean story, but a NorringtonOC story (AU set like the second and third movies didn't take place). I also have an idea for a Harry Potter story, but a SiriusOC story along the timeline of the fifth book as well as an Oliver WoodOC story that I'm working on. However, I also have little plot bunnies running around for a few more LOTR stories. Let me know what you think and what you would like to see. Thanks!