Legolas woke with comfortable slowness, though found himself freezing cold. He opened his eyes to find Aragorn smiling down at him.
"Good morning, my sweet, sleepy love," Aragorn murmured from above. His smile made his silver eyes sparkle.
"It is cold, why..?" Then he realised that he was not wearing any clothes. His memory caught up with him. "Ah, I recall." Amused, he grinned at Aragorn, "You just let me sleep in your lap?"
"You were tired. It seems that I wore out an elf," observed Aragorn, smirking wickedly.
Slowly, Legolas sat up, stood and dragged a woollen blanket over them both before sagging down and curling up against his husband. "And so, my love, you are to join the ranks of royalty today. It is about time."
"I fear I must correct you on this matter: I became royalty the day I married you."
"Ah, I do not think that counts, as I do not join the royal house here," said Legolas, though he was laughing. "But you have always been royal to me."
"Oh have I?" purred Aragorn, eyebrows suggestively raised.
"Oh yes, indeed," Legolas said, but he placed a finger on his lover's lips. "Later meleth, we can not now. You were supposed to wake at dawn to prepare."
"I did, I woke at dawn. I just did not move."
Rolling his eyes, now more awake, Legolas told him, "We must get you ready."
"Can we not…"
They called for servants to draw up baths, which they did with admirably calm faces at the sight of two obviously naked men curled up next to each other under a blanket. The couple bath together, an exercise in control that they failed at several times, but limited themselves to chaste kisses and lest chaste touches. When they emerged, they wrapped towels around themselves and Legolas said, "Come sit," to his husband, pointing to a chair.
"What are you going to do?" Aragorn cautiously asked, though he took the seat.
"I've already punished you to my satisfaction," smirked Legolas, "Don't you worry. I am going to make you look like a King, not the Ranger any more."
Defensively, Aragorn said, "I enjoyed being Ranger."
Running his fingers methodically through Aragorn's damp hair, having already rubbed it as dry as possible, he said, "I know, you enjoyed the freedom. I can understand that." He sighed at the knots in Aragorn's hair.
"What is it?" Aragorn worriedly asked, "Love, things can not go wrong."
"Hush, everything is fine. Your hair is just… very tangled. Forgive me?" He stood to search for a hairbrush.
Knowing exactly what had made his hair resemble brambles, Aragorn snickered, "You seemed to have fun at the time."
"I did," laughed Legolas, as he emerged with a silver backed hair brush. He pulled it through the hair with short brushes, to make sure every knot was out. "Oh, I did."
They continued their cheerful banter until Legolas was finished with Aragorn's hair and made him shave. "There," he pronounced once done, "Infinitely more regal."
Aragorn jumped up and exclaimed, "At last. Your turn to be preened over, my love." He pressed Legolas into the chair and ran the brush through the waist length, corn coloured, silky hair, that he loved so much. He watched the strands shimmer hypnotically as he brushed it. Soon he was finishing twisting in the plaits nimbly and showering kisses on to the top of his husband's head. "All done. My Consort also has to be pleasing to the eye."
Legolas just rose from the chair, one eyebrow raised, and said, "You say that like I am not." His voice was light and teasing.
"That is a lie," said Aragorn, reaching for Legolas' hand. The elf let him have one quick kiss, before whirling away to dress in the specially made tunic. It was made of pure white, stiff fabric, with cold braid and spectacular embroidery of rich, wine red threads. When he was done smoothing down the tunic and pulling on the tights, he turned to Aragorn.
"Are you going to leave this room at any point melda?"
Unhappily, Aragorn sighed. He had spent the better part of the last week in the armoury, having ceremonial armour created for him, under the instruction of the city's lore master. As he had pointed out several times to Legolas when he had finally been realised each evening, it was a pointless activity, they did not really need him there for so long, and the younger smiths spent most of their time gawping at him. The armour would only be worn once and then hung in a hall. Whereas Legolas was already dressed, Aragorn was struggling with the numerous intricate fastenings, and so barely dressed.
"I will find the twins to help you," said Legolas, running his hand gently over Aragorn's cheek and then letting it fall. "I must check on Rilluin. I have not heard him cry this morning."
"Should we not be worried?" frowned Aragorn, abandoning his futile attempt at securing the metal to himself.
"No, Caselia will be there and we would know if anything was amiss."
He left the room and walked down the hallway to the twin's quarters. Loudly, he knocked at the door and called, "It is your turn to torture my husband."
A moment later, Elladan emerged from behind the door, and queried, "Oh?"
"He needs help to get that foolish armour on. I thought you might like a turn at teasing him.
Elladan smirked and said, "I believe I can find it within myself to help."
Legolas walked back down the long corridor and slipped inside the nursery. There, he bit down hard on his lip to stop himself laughing, for Caselia had Rilluin in her arms and was twirling around the room, humming to herself. Her official new gown's skirts were swinging around. It matched Legolas', whereas Rilluin was dressed in the wine red of the thread decorating Legolas'. Rilluin matched the tunic Aragorn would wear after the ceremony.
Softly, Legolas cleared his throat. "I do not mean to interrupt."
Startled, Caselia turned with a squeak, "Oh… Legolas… I…"
"Do not worry so," smiled Legolas, reaching out his arms for his son. "I supposed this will be the only chance you will have to dance."
"I do not mind," Caselia said, placing Rilluin in Legolas' arms. She would be looking after Rilluin during the coronation and the banquet and dance celebration after. "How are you this morning?"
"All is well, though it is possible that Aragorn is nervous, not that he would say anything about that."
Legolas looked out of the window at the glittering city beneath. The dwarfs who had promised to start rebuilding had not arrived yet, though Gimli had returned, so citizens who lived outside the city were coming through the temporary ones. Glistening trails of people were gathering at the front of the King's halls, dressed in their best clothes, all gathering to see his husband crowned as King of Gondor.
The coronation went smoothly. The crowd cheered when they were supposed to, the baby did not cry, and the sun made everyone's smiles brighter. Aragorn was crowned and all in the city celebrated.
After the ceremony, the nobles gathered in the largest room in the King's hall, first to eat and then to dance. Impatiently, Aragorn waited for Legolas to return from the nursery. During the banquet Caselia had taken Rilluin to bed and stayed there to keep a watch over him, but he needed to wake. Legolas had gone to fetch him and the wet nurse. Because of Legolas' absence, Aragorn was surrounded by simpering young daughters of Lords. They seemed to think that they had a chance of elevating their status if they were seen in the King's company. They were not talking to Aragorn though, just chattering to each other.
Aragorn just tried to avoid their gazes, staring at the decorations around the walls, but one young girl caught his eye: a dark-blonde haired girl, with warm, grey eyes. She was fanning herself with a deep blue fan that matched her floor-length, flowing dress, and was not afraid to meet his eyes.
Finally, as he felt a headache building up from the chatter, he asked the girl, "Would you like to dance?"
A blush spread across her cheeks, but she inclined her head, and held out her hand. Gracefully, he led her onto the dance floor. As they began to dance, Elladan and Elrohir watched, snickering.
"What will Legolas say?" said Elrohir, taking a sip from his goblet of wine..
"He is dancing with a girl, of all people," Elladan sniggered.
"It will only encourage the rest of them further. I hope Legolas hurries."
"I do not," Elladan laughed, "It will mean that he will have to dance with every single one of those girls."
"He will be exhausted before dark."
"I expect our dear brother wanted to have a celebratory night of passion later."
Elrohir snorted, "If he is dancing with that growing crowd of young ladies he will not get to bed until the dawn hours."
On the dance floor, Aragorn too had spotted the entrance of his husband. To the girl, he said, "Forgive me, I must leave you."
"Not a problem," smiled the girl. She swept a low curtsey, and was swallowed once more by the swarm of girls, who besieged her with questions on every detail of the first dance with the King.
Aragorn though was turned away from her by and arm around his waist and a slender hand slipped through his.
"Have you been bewitched by another woman melda?" Legolas purred as he brought Aragorn towards him.
"I will not speak of such things here," Aragorn said.
At his slightly fierce tone, Legolas' grip loosened somewhat, and he asked, "Why do you seem so angered. Did you wish to complete your dance? Forgive me if I…"
Shifting uncomfortably, Aragorn said, "It is nothing, I merely feel out of place at the moment. This is all so new."
"But you grew up in courts."
"I do not know why," snapped Aragorn. "It is just a feeling that something is not right." They fell into an awkward silence until Aragorn pressed a kiss to Legolas' temple. "Forgive me, it is nothing to do with you, or the girl I danced with."
"I do understand," Legolas promised, resting his head against the side of his husband's, "But we must remain here until the last hour, as etiquette dictates. Let us not fight."
"I do not want to fight."
"Then let us not."
"I shall tell you what I do want to do," Aragorn murmured, the hand he had placed around Legolas' waist ranging down.
"No need, I believe I can guess," grinned Legolas. He looked over Aragorn's shoulder and nodded over it, "The girl you danced with seems to have been rescued by two dashing heroes."
Discreetly, Aragorn turned and saw Elladan and Elrohir escorting the girl to the table that was laden with food. "If she keeps them out of trouble and distracted then I will have to thank her."
"I am sure she will be amused enough," Legolas said. With a sigh, he rested his head on Aragorn's shoulder whilst they swayed, barely listening to the music. There was quite an energetic tune playing, but to dance properly would mean separating.
"Tired?" Aragorn asked. As the human spoke, Legolas watched his throat move and longed to kiss the exposed skin.
"No, merely weary of the eyes that have been on us all day." He had expected a response, but all he received was Aragorn's arm, tightening painfully, squashing him against the King's chest, and the hand in his clenching. "Melda?" he said questioningly, raising his head and trying to move back. Against him, he could feel Aragorn start to shake ever so slightly. Legolas put more effort into stepping back so he could see his lover's face, but suddenly found the point of a blade pressing against the back of his neck.
"Do not move," ordered a cool female voice from behind him, speaking elvish.
"I had been discouraged from that particular activity," Legolas replied, matching her dialect.
"Do not speak."
Legolas tried to calm himself down, as all around the hall people fell into a hushed silence, interjected only by gasps. They had just realized that their King's Consort was being held at the point of a sword. Only guards were permitted to be armed in the King's Hall, so no once could retaliate, as the guards were outside the room. Aragorn and Legolas were alone.
"Arwen…" Aragorn croaked, still clutching Legolas close to him.
Despite the fear in his lover's voice, Legolas could tell that he was thinking hard, searching for some way to seize control. Through the bond he sent, "Love, Rilluin and Caselia are behind you, only a small distance away."
He heard Aragorn swear internally, then frantically asked, "Are you armed?"
Arwen spoke through the conversation that she could not hear, "Do not try to fight me, Aragorn, in any way. You will fail. You will always give in to me."
"I will not," hissed Aragorn. "Legolas are there any weapons we can access."
"Yes," sent Legolas, shuddering as warm liquid dripped down his neck. 'I think she has killed the guards… there is blood on her sword."
"You will, I know you will with this elf and your spawn gone, you will have no one but me," Arwen replied to Aragorn's defiance.
"We can not help them now. Where are the weapons?"
"In my boot."
"Why is it there?"
"These clothes are not made with an assassin in mind!"
Arwen was still speaking, oblivious to the conversation going on between the two husbands. "I am willing to accept you back. I know that this would please many people."
Slowly, Aragorn raised his head from where he had been avoiding her hypnotic eyes, and said, "I could not be happy without Legolas or Rilluin, we have seen this already. There is no chance of me loving you."
"There is always a chance," growled Arwen.
"I will fight her, you take Rilluin. Run," Aragorn stated.
"I can not leave you with her," Legolas replied. His arms tightened around Aragorn, not wanting to leave him to face Arwen's growing fury.
"I need to rid myself of this. When I take the knife, take Rilluin and find Gandalf and Ada. If I fail they will be able to restrain her. Now ignore everything that I say." He turned to Arwen and dropped the contemplating mask he had shown. "Is a chance enough?"
"Can you make it enough for me?" pleaded Arwen.
Subtly, Legolas began to loosen his boot, pulling his foot out to allow Aragorn to get the knives free.
"Maybe… maybe I can," murmured Aragorn, loosening his grip on Legolas and slowly shifting sideways, away from his lover.
"You loved me, didn't you?" Arwen softly asked.
"Yes I did, but I left you for Legolas."
"Why? Why did you do that?"
"He cared for me, and gave back the love I gave tenfold. He always forgave me."
"I can forgive you for leaving," Arwen said, her arms shaking and making the sword tremble.
"Do I want that forgiveness?" Aragorn mused ponderously.
For a moment, Legolas began to doubt the sincerity of his husband's words, but then across the hall, Rilluin began to cry. The sound broke across the silent hall and Legolas felt Aragorn stiffen. In that second, Legolas knew that he would have no more doubts about his husband any more, he would trust him inexplicably. "I love you, through anything, whatever you do."
A tiny up turn of his lips showed that Aragorn appreciated the gesture. It fell though when Arwen demanded, "Is that what you and the elf whelped?"
"No, that is the wonder that we created, out of a love that you can never understand," snapped Aragorn.
Arwen looked shocked at this sudden turn, and Aragorn took advantage oft his by swooping down and drawing out Legolas' knife. He managed to draw a long cut across Arwen's pale cheek before she began to react. Legolas though did not see, as he was charging across the room, barefoot, towards Rilluin. Swiftly, he seized his son from the wet nurse's arms and ran to the corner where he knew Elladan and Elrohir were, with the girl from earlier. Seeing the twins both with swords in their hand, clearly about to help their brother or sister, he pressed Rilluin into the girl's hold.
"Run, to the throne room. There will be guards there to keep you two safe. It is the most secure place. Go!" he ordered. Legolas knew that he was taking a risk by sending his son away with a random girl, but if the child was away from Arwen it would be better.
The blonde haired girl, seeing the determination in Legolas' sapphire eyes, turned on her heel and fled the rooms, holding Rilluin close. Hurriedly, Legolas moved forwards to the twins and took the swords from their hands. "Go with her."
Swords in hands, Legolas pushed his way through the other dancers, and ran to where his husband was dancing with death, fighting a sword with one tiny dagger. The dark scarlet at Aragorn's arm and shoulder showed his injuries, whereas Arwen only had the one injury at her cheek. All of Aragorn's effort was obviously focused on blocking the blows, but with only the small blade he could not strike back.
At Legolas' call, Aragorn managed to whirl around and snatch the sword out of the air. He turned back to the fight. Legolas, though, hesitated.
Through the bond, Aragorn distractedly said, "You should be hidden."
"This is my test."
A moment later, Arwen was on the ground, Aragorn's sword at her throat and hers knocked away. Legolas leapt forwards and swept up the weapon before Arwen could reclaim it.
"And it appears I have passed," the King said, aloud.
Harshly, Arwen said, "So do it, kill me."
"This is what you want?" Aragorn questioned, leaning over her venomously.
"If you were merciful as you said you would be, you would take my life," she hissed. "If I can not live with you…"
"Those words would work for someone who loves me for myself, not my position," Aragorn angrily said, "But I have a better punishment for you." Without removing his eyes from Arwen's, he called, "Ada!"
Elrond, pale faced, pushed his way through the crowd, "How has it come to this? My children fight for power, glory… affection." He did not seem as Lord-like as before, but small and broken.
"Will you take her away from here Ada? When you sail?"
"Yes, we will try fro a new life," Elrond sighed wearily.
Aragorn leant down and pulled her to her feet. "Then Ada, I charge you with her. Keep her away from my family." He turned his glare to meet Arwen's. "That is my mercy."
Cheering and clapping went up around the hall, as if the fight had been some sort of display or entertainment instead of a life and death struggle. The music struck up again and conversation resumed. Legolas and Aragorn ceased to be the very centre of attention as Elrond led his daughter away, so the couple slipped away, out of the hall.
"I never thought it would come to that either," whispered Aragorn as Legolas took his hand.
"None of us could have," Legolas told him as he led the way towards the throne room. He turned Aragorn's fore arm towards him to examine it. "You are bleeding quite badly."
"The tailors wanted to hang up the outfit, but I seem to have ruined it."
Somewhat hysterically, Legolas snorted, but then found himself hugging his husband hard. "Oh Aragorn," he whispered, "I was so worried. You could have died."
"So could you. I was fighting for you."
"And Rilluin," Legolas added, slowly releasing his husband. "We need to get Rilluin before I can help you meleth-nin." He studied Aragorn's face worriedly, "Do you wish to stay here my love? You look pale."
"No," he grasped Legolas' hand tighter. "I will not leave to go anywhere without you. Not with her around."
"She will have to stay here until your father is ready to leave. You will have to let go of me in time."
"Oh really?" Aragorn skeptically said. "I do not see why." He rested his head gently against Legolas' shoulder as they walked.
"She will not hurt any of us again, your Ada will see to that," Legolas said as he pushed open the door to the throne room, having been nodded past by the guards. Inside, Elladan and Elrohir stood in front of the blonde haired girl, who was gripping Rilluin.
Aragorn ran forwards to take the child, but Legolas arm stopped him. "You will bleed on him," the elf said, before taking Rilluin for himself.
Trying not to glare at his husband, Aragorn moved forwards to help the girl who had saved Rilluin to her feet. "Thank you, thank you so much."
Smiling, Legolas said, "Forgive me, I never even asked your name."
"I am L…"
"Where is she? I'll…" the outraged expression loudly interrupted their conversation.
Legolas and Aragorn whirled around to see Gimli stagger into the room past the guards, clearly having been at the ale. "You are more than slightly late, Master dwarf," said Legolas, eyebrow raised. "The problem has been dealt with."
"And our child, who we placed under your guardianship, is safe," Aragorn added, moving forwards to run his clean hand lightly over Rilluin's downy hair. Legolas took advantage of the closeness to press a soft kiss to Aragorn's cheek.
"I missed it?" Gimli asked, exe dropping down in his hands.
"Yes," said Legolas, trying not to laugh at the dwarf's disappointment. "But you can make it up to our son by going to Elrond's rooms and guarding Arwen."
Looking slightly dazed, Gimli wandered away. A sniggering Elladan followed him out at Legolas' nod.
"He will be asleep in moments," Aragorn pointed out. "No guard at all."
"I am sparing him the embarrassment of collapse: we do owe him." Legolas scanned Aragorn's face with concerned eyes again, as he spoke, "Come, you must get cleaned up melda."
Aragorn turned to Elrohir and said, "Will you care for our friend here? We are indebted to her."
"My pleasure," Elrohir grinned, "And let it be known that I am indebted to you for sending my brother with the dwarf." He offered his arm to the girl, and escorted her out of the room, leaving Aragorn, Legolas and Rilluin alone.
"Come on then," Legolas shifter Rilluin and wrapped his arm around Aragorn's waist.
Having had his wounds meticulously cleaned and bandaged by Legolas' careful hands, and kissed a number of times in the process, Aragorn made his way back down to the dance. Legolas was next to him, trying not to appear annoyed that Aragorn was making them return. When they were in their rooms, Caselia had burst in apologizing profusely at her lack of judgment. The couple had had to calm her down and assure her that everything was fine. She could not have understood what Arwen was speaking of and it was her job to feed and care, when the royal couple could not be bodyguard. When she had calmed down, she took Rilluin to the nursery, and Aragorn had doubled the guard outside the nursery door, restoring peace of mind.
They entered the hall at the end of the penultimate song. The hall was substantially emptier than previously, but those that were there bowed and curtsied to Legolas and Aragorn's entrance. Smiling, Aragorn swept on to dance floor, with Legolas at his sides.
"Dance with me, melda?" Aragorn softly asked his husband.
"Must I?" Legolas heaved a long suffering sigh, but his eyes were smiling.
"Yes you must," said Aragorn, imperiously. "For I am King and you must listen. For my word is law."
"Is someone trying to order me to submit?" Legolas smirked as he wound his arms around his husband's neck.
Aragorn wrapped his arms around his lover's waist and murmured, "Do you remember the list we made in Rohan? Of places to…" The music struck up around them and the couple were distracted by other nobles surrounding them to dance.
"Have fun?" Legolas said.
"Yes. We need to make a new one for here in Gondor."
They fell into silence. Swaying with the music, Legolas took advantage of the pause to purely enjoy the warmth he felt inside and out with Aragorn against him. Aragorn's soft breath on his cheek, the firm chest, the velvety shirt he had changed into: everything was intoxicating.
With concern lacing through his voice, Aragorn asked, "Are you well Legolas?"
"Of course," Legolas told him, surprised at the question. Why would I be unwell?"
"I realized… how that may have sounded."
For a moment, Legolas frowned, but then chuckled, "You thought that I was thinking of more children. That you meant we needed to make another child for Gondor." He pulled back to search Aragorn's eyes. "Why would you think this?"
"Since we fought you have seemed reluctant to make love. I was worried, that you were worried…"
"No, do not be ridiculous. I just do not want you to feel pressured or awkward or… anything. If we are blessed with more children then that is what the Valar intends." He started. "Unless you do not want more?"
"If the Valar intend us to then I am more than happy to accommodate."
"I know it was hard…"
"It would not be so difficult if I could feel safe, and I do here."
Legolas smiled gently and kissed Aragorn's cheek. "I understand, I really do."
Soon they were back on their bed, intertwined and kissing fiercely.
"Do you think… they will mind… if we do not help… clear up?" gasped Legolas into Aragorn's mouth.
"We are not in the Dúnedain's camp anymore," said Aragorn, as Legolas turned his ministrations to his neck. "Now… stop talking."
Contrary as ever, Legolas moved away and stared into Aragorn's silver eyes, and asked, "Oh, is that another order my King?"
"You need to keep calling me that," said Aragorn, reaching up to bring Legolas' face closer, "But yes, that was an order."
"What if I want to keep talking?" pouted Legolas, but he was prevented from continuing by fiery lips over his. "Can I speak like this?" he asked teasingly through the bond.
"No, I forbid you from thinking."
"You will have to enforce that, dear King."
Growling, Aragorn forced Legolas onto his back. "That I can do."
"Be careful, your shoulder…"
"When am I not careful?" Suddenly, he grinned, "I remember saying that – the morning after I conceived."
"That is ironic," smirked Legolas, "For clearly we were not careful."
"A lot of trouble could have been avoided, but a lot of happiness would have been missed."
"Everything is perfect now."
"Except for you."
Outraged, Legolas asked, "What is wrong with me?"
"You keep on talking!" Once more, Aragorn sealed his lips onto Legolas' and this time he stopped talking, or at least abandoned words for the night.
A/N: This is it. It is done! The fic I started first is complete!
I have two fics on the horizon, one where Legolas is the one who is carrying (sorry Kaylee), but it'll be a dark, angsty, tragedy, death fic… because I'm being cruel to my characters… I'll be writing this in between revising this fic and revising science. Heh heh, see what I did there. Sorry, mind is dead. The second is going to be writing a prequel to this fic, but only on paper for now. I need this to be absolutely perfect before I write that.
So, thank you everyone who has supported this fic. Love you all!