My faithful friends! We have reached the… end. Even doing that took me some time, but maybe I kept holding back, not really wanting to let go of this story? If I never tell you, we will never know. But I'm rewarding your patience with an unusually long chapter, bordering on unhealthy.
There will be no shout-outs this time around, but instead, to all of you who have been reading, reviewing, stating your opinions (as long as they were nice) and providing me with lots of inspiration and ideas, I will say only this: Thank you.
You wanted poetry. You take the blame. I CANNOT accept responsibility for it.
Chapter 22 – The House of the Kings, Citadel, Minas Tirith (White City), Gondor, Middle-earth
There was… silence.
As unlikely as that may sound, when Aragorn listened he heard only silence. And he knew how to listen – not everybody made Chieftain of the Dúnedain. As he had done. Pretty early in his life too. (Just making sure you fully understand the amazingness of the facts presented.)
So, there was silence.
Well, except for Legolas' light breathing behind him, an occasional snore from Gimli (he never learned) and some annoying fidgeting from the Hobbits. If Hobbits needed to fidget, they should do it without making a sound. Thereby, silence would prevail.
In any case, apart from this, it was so quiet that no enemy stood a chance: if any unfortunate and overoptimistic soul dared to break into the sitting-room, they would be heard, overpowered, caught and killed before they had even cried 'Hey!' – if it at all was very likely that an enemy preferred exclaiming in such a manner when they attacked. Or tried to attack. Which has already been proclaimed an unnecessary mission since all present were so quiet. (Except for Gimli who snored. As he never learned.) Therefore, any attack would be a complete waste of time, for all parties taking part in the… action.
Not that there would be any action (at least not of that kind). But that has been established by now. Hopefully.
If not, please abstain from contacting Aragorn son of Arathorn, c/o Elrond Half-elven, Lord of Imladris c.t. 'Rivendell' hidden valley, Library, Imladris c.t. 'Rivendell', West of Misty Mountains, East of Ford of Bruinen
Legolas shifted slightly and since Aragorn was leaning back against him, he experienced this firsthand. (He was one lucky man!) The Elf's arms were thrown around him in a fashion that suggested he cared little, but the way his thumb was tracing circles upon Aragorn's tunic, near his heart – somewhere in the vicinity of one rib bone or another – indicated something else.
Legolas, in turn, was leaning against a huge chair which could, quite possible, have housed an Ent. Aragorn was pretty happy there were no Ents in Minas Tirith. Not that he doubted Legolas' love for him, but there was no telling how his Elf would react should those slow-talking piles of bark actually show up on his doorstep.
"Hm," he muttered.
"What?" The hand that was holding the book was lowered. "Love?" Legolas placed a kiss on his neck.
Which was nice, but there were still uncomfortable images in his head. "They need not come here."
"And who are 'they'?" asked Legolas. He spoke very quietly. Probably because he did not want to disturb the silence more than necessary. That, too, was nice.
"It would take them ages to leave," said Aragorn, more to himself than anyone else.
"Mhm…" Legolas resumed his reading.
Aragorn fingered the quill that had lain forgotten upon the stack of parchments for a good part of the last hour or so.
Oh, Ent! Oh, Ent! Away I thee sent,
thou shalt no more enter my Halls…
…cometh not within my walls.
Thou must go with thine head bent!
Not so bad.
If he were making poetry about Ents – which was not his overall purpose.
Oh, creature of bark, and leaf, and root,
away your presence I shove –
with my boot!
Hah! No Ents would ever dare to interfere in the new King's business.
Granted, they had done some admirable work in the War, but Legolas was his.
Hobbits seemed to get along well with them. Why did they not hang out more?
"Hah!" he exclaimed in a triumphant, rumbling sort of way.
Legolas' nose bumped against his ear. "Huh?"
"We would be left alone," he declared.
"If the mysterious 'they' stayed away?" The Elf suddenly sounded as if the Man had said something wise. (Aragorn made a mental note of telling Legolas later that he should, on all occasions, respond as if he had said something wise, for, of course, he always did.)
"Hmm…" Legolas' voice dropped to a suspiciously deep murmur. "I like that prospect… alone with you." He gave a miniature push of his hips, expertly alerting Aragorn's backside of their existence. "What did you have in mind, lover?"
Since Aragorn had mostly been concerned with the nonexistence on any Ents within his rooms, he was not fully prepared for this (if he ever was). He threw a glance at the pile of Hobbits on the low sofa, and then one in Gimli's direction. Where his brothers, Gandalf and Éomer were, he had no idea.
"Not here," he hissed, wondering how many times he had said that before. But then again, an interested Legolas was better than a Legolas who left him for an Ent.
There was a new push. In fact, it was so much more forceful that it could almost be called a small thrust.
"You know," said Legolas (but still in a very quiet voice as he apparently had no desire – hah! that will be the day – to alert the others of his intentions), "you say that too often."
"I know," sighed Aragorn, wincing at, but at the same time appreciating, one of Gimli's snores. "But your sense of timing is skewed."
"Skewed…" Legolas almost muttered. "I am merely displaying my affection. Nothing wrong with that."
The pushing stopped. Aragorn grumbled inwardly.
Oh, hear ye souls of City White:
the roar of planning not so right.
Alas! The Elf is now subdued,
because his timing was so skewed!
He fingered the quill once more and then dipped it into the pool of black ink (the pool of ink being nicely contained in a glass jar – it would make little sense having floating around on the floor).
Ent and Elf shall never be
for there is naught but terror to see…
if it… were so.
The image of the mismatched pair –
enough to raise the hair
…on the back of your neck,
when you check…
There shall be if ever such a union took place
in the face
of the King,
who will not sing its praise.
Aragorn shook his head.
Not the headshaking, but the images conjured up. Nevertheless, he was rather impressed by his writing.
He was lovingly admiring it when the door flew open and scared the Hobbits half to death.
A shame his brother had not used just a little more force.
Elrohir was scanning the sitting-room and behind him the hallway seemed crowded. Aragorn spotted his other brother, a flash of Éomer's blond hair, and a sort of sweeping sweep of what looked like Gandalf's robes.
Legolas nudged him. Quite painfully, in the ribs.
"Ouch!" he hissed, frantically rubbing the offended piece of body.
"Sorry. We have company."
"We always have company," muttered Aragorn under his breath.
Legolas snorted. "I was under the impression that you liked that – after you so clearly turned down my offer before."
"I did not turn it down!" At least he did not think he had. "I want to wait... until we are alone."
"But, as you also, correctly, pointed out..." Legolas was sounding more and more annoyed by the second. Aragorn was quite happy he was not facing him. "We never are alone."
"We are alone!" Raising your voice was inevitably part of the protesting bargain. "Just not... now."
It was the opposite with Elves. Legolas' voice dropped a few levels, and took on a menacing shimmer. "It would be nice if we were..."
Aragorn swallowed. "Later?"
"Hoy!" Gimli was peering at them from across the room. "Everything alright over there?"
"No need to look so scared, laddie!" shouted the Dwarf. "He has not killed you yet, and I wager he will not do it today either." For a creature mostly covered in bushy facial hair, he looked very smug.
"Oh," murmured Legolas in his ear, "the bet is on."
If a shiver of expectation ran down Aragorn's spine, it was due to his body's complete inability to get the point.
Here he was, encircled by danger (being angry with him had not seemed like reason enough for Legolas to pull back and let him have his chest all to himself again) and his reflexes were still mostly focused on lust.
(The Hobbits were mostly looking confused. Or they were thinking about other things... Not everything centred around Legolas, after all.)
Anyway, Aragorn shivered some more and then had to strictly tell his body to stop acting like an Orc caught stealing from a Balrog.
Caught by the Balrog, that was.
Or the analogy would not make much sense.
Did Balrogs have any possessions?
And if they did, would they be items that were of any value to an Orc?
Aragorn had met Orcs more times that he cared to remember. On the other hand, he had only met them once when a Balrog had been around. But from what he could recall, they had not exactly been dragging around lots of stolen items... On the other hand, how could he tell for sure they had not been stolen? If they (the items) had existed – which he was fairly sure they had not. Then again, he had been busy running for his life at that particular moment so he had not paid much attention to detail. Tricky...
Aragorn's head snapped up and he found that Elladan was staring down at him intently. His jaw was firmly set and he had a very determined look about him.
"In the hallway. I wish to speak with you."
Elladan drew a deep breath and visibly tried to keep his temper balanced. "No, after the dark of the next moon."
Oh, yes, bring on the irony!
Just what he needed.
"Fine," he said.
Legolas let him go and so he really had no choice other than to rise and follow his brother.
He shut the door behind him and suddenly all was unsettlingly quiet. With the advances of evening, the sky was darkening but no lamps or torches had been lit in the alcoves yet. On the plus side, there were fewer Hobbits here.
Elladan turned to face him but he kept a respectful distance. Aragorn was not preparing for a hugging orgy anyway.
At least they were speaking. Or Elladan was.
But then of course, dragging Aragorn out here in order to simply share a moment of brotherly silence seemed like a pointless idea.
"Yes?" he said warily.
So they were both speaking.
Aragorn really should stop trusting his own body.
"What do you want?" he tried to sound nonchalant. It did not work – just like it had never worked before.
Silence stretched between them for a couple of very long minutes before Elladan apparently made up his mind to explain their current position in the hallway. The tension did not go out of his shoulders, but at least when he spoke, his jaw was moving.
"I cannot say it thrills me, Estel, to know that you are the one to whom Legolas has given his heart, but I can endure it. As I said, you have my blessing. And I guess, too, that I am happy for you."
Aragorn regarded his brother suspiciously. "You guess?"
"Do not ask too much of me just yet," Elladan warned him, suddenly once again acquiring the stance of a warrior facing an army of Orcs. (And Balrogs maybe, if Orcs had stolen from them and made them very angry.)
"Hm," said Aragorn, thinking that might be a good way to put an end to the conversation.
"In addition to this," Elladan continued, "I wish to clarify one thing."
"What might that be?"
"I told you also that we, Elrohir and I, always supported you since we knew of your heritage and destiny, and the threat to your very existence..."
The generosity of brotherhood...
Put like that, it sounded so kind.
"Thank you," Aragorn said dryly.
Elladan ignored him.
"The truth is," the Elf bit his lip in a way that did not erase the grimness from his features, "we did so not only for those reasons, but also because we care greatly for you, Estel."
If surprise were not weightless and usually spent its time hanging in the air, there would have been an abyss separating the two of them.
Silence happily joined in.
If Gollum had still been around he could have poked at it – it was that dense.
"Well," said Aragorn at last.
This was interesting.
"I see," he added after a little while.
Elladan took a step forward (as there was no abyss). "Peace?"
He had two choices here: either he could further nourish the animosity between them which really would accomplish nothing, or he could accept the offer and try his hand at being an honourable man. Which his brother was not.
Mainly because he was an Elf.
"Peace," he muttered.
Elladan hugged him.
He hugged back.
It was nice.
He would not cry.
If there were tears in his eyes it was because his body still had not learnt to read his mind.
Elladan released him.
"Are you crying, little brother?" Now – now! – he was grinning.
"No." Aragorn rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand. "You will tell no one."
"Oh, I make no promises..." The Elf wrapped an arm around his shoulders and steered them towards the door. "There are few things worse than mushy humans, Estel. Please refrain from becoming one of them." He stopped with his hand on the handle. "Oh, I forgot, Elrohir wanted me to be the one to say it because of our... differences during this past year, but he loves you too."
With that, The Evil Twin Brother Who Ought Never To Open His Mouth Ever Again opened the door, forcing Aragorn to violently swallow down the lump in his throat and blink away new tears. The bright blaze of the fire did not help in hiding his emotions.
Elladan was grinning... Elrohir was most certainly grinning – and Legolas was looking at him with something akin to wonder in his eyes. Unkind as he was, he was grinning too.
Strangely enough, it did nothing to lighten Aragorn's heart.
He was just about to regally stride across the room and sit down as if nothing at all of consequence had taken place in the hallway when someone lightly tapped his arm.
Éomer was shuffling his feet to his left.
Aragorn raised an eyebrow – or possibly two since that particular talent of Elrond's had not transferred to him.
"May I have a word with you?" Éomer shot a glance in the direction of the door.
Why did he not just take up residence in the hallway? He could have the Hobbits move the throne there instead and then all who wished to speak with him need not enter the Tower?
"Of course," he said. There was no point in refusing the Marshal... future King of Rohan... already King... Who paid attention to detail anyway?
Somebody who was writing poetry about Orc thieves and Balrogs.
That was not Aragorn.
He turned and exited. Legolas looked mildly disappointed... or upset. It was hard to tell with Elves.
Once back in the hallway, he discovered it was even darker now. Éomer was lucky he was fair-haired or someone lacking Aragorn's excellent eyesight (he was a Ranger after all) may not have seen him.
"Éomer..." he began, but got no further before the young man broke in. (Which was nice since he had no idea of what he had meant to say in the first place.)
"My lord, I have been thinking. Indeed, I have – thoroughly – thought through what was said to me in Ithilien, on the subject of..." he blushed (Aragorn, with his excellent eyesight easily spotted that), "the love between males, that is, the one which differs from the brotherly love between mere companions, but is stronger and passionate and sealed by the joining of the flesh. And I have come to the conclusion that I cannot condemn it. You yourself is a great man and Legolas is a warrior worthy of all praise, and I can – doubt me not – ensure you I would never find such a union between the two of you disgusting."
"Uhm," he said.
"I have," Éomer went on as if his life depended on him speaking until sunrise, "admired you, sire, from the moment we met, and though I do not waver in my belief that I will settle down with a woman and see my line continued – and I surely would not consider that a miserable fate – I cannot deny the very tangible connection that you share with Legolas."
Blinking, Aragorn settled with that. "Mhm."
"It is true that I was surprised to learn of your... inclinations." Éomer blushed even deeper. "As I said, it is not common among the men of Rohan to speak of such alliances of the heart, and our women are fair and proud, and we cherish them and respect them and I have always believed that most of us – the men – mean to join with a woman."
You would be surprised...
Aragorn kept silent. It was important to remember future trade routes.
And, yes, Éomer was a friend. Albeit a not so enlightened one.
"What I mean to say," the young man spread his hands, "is that my respect for you, my lord, has not diminished because of what I have learnt, and I..." He swallowed audibly and his distress was clearly painted on his face. "I... well, I wish to say that... should my inclinations have been different... I might have... There could have been – in my heart... Indeed, you are a remarkable man," he finished lamely.
Well, at least this did not make him cry.
It was actually a compliment of some sorts. And those were always a treat.
"Thank you," he said.
Éomer nodded numbly.
Then again, he had probably done so much talking that he had emptied his storages. Of words.
All in all, he guessed it could have been worse: Éomer could have been an Ent, demanding ownership of Legolas.
Not that Aragorn owned Legolas.
It was the other way around, really.
"So!" he said in an attempt to brighten the mood. "We have established this – and I am grateful for your sincerity."
A less gloomy look replaced the earlier one on Éomer's face. "I meant every word, sire."
Well, no need to listen to it again!
"Lovely," smiled Aragorn. "Shall we join the others?"
The young man nodded and suddenly there was a light in his eyes again. "I wish to hear the Hobbits' tales. Merry promised Théoden that he would tell him of the little folk's history, and I shall hold him to that promise – in remembrance of my father and because my own curiosity needs to be sated."
That should keep them busy.
No one would object if the King of Gondor (yes, yes, and Arnor), all-knowing and wise, slipped out of the room when the storytelling was underway. Or preferably before it had even started. And no one would object if he took his Elf with him. Legolas knew loads already.
Upon entering they found that Frodo and Sam were speaking in low voices in a far-off corner, looking comfortable enough for two souls that had seen the very core of Orodruin. Gandalf and Gimli were seated by the open window, each of them trying to outdo the other when it came to blowing smoke rings.
Merry, Pippin and the three Elves were engaged in a heated debate. Heated, at least, on the part of the Hobbits.
"No!" Pippin was saying, "There was no way he could have done that!" His eyes were wide with astonishment.
"He was always so confused..." Merry shook his head. "I do not believe it. For all the leaves in the Southfarthing, I would not trust that tale."
Elrohir snickered. He had claimed a large chair and was reclining in it – much like Elladan, but who was in another chair. Legolas was still on the floor.
"Wise of you, master Merry," Elrohir smiled. "For it holds no truth beyond the names of the characters involved."
"But it is the version he likes to tell..." Elladan glanced up at Aragorn and his lips curved into a smile full of brotherly affection.
With suspicion rising like a tidal wave, Aragorn stomped across the floor. He was only vaguely aware of Éomer trailing behind him.
Legolas patted the floor between his outstretched legs. "Elessar." The he took a moment to narrow his eyes at Éomer.
Aragorn, with a sense of foreboding, sank down to the floor and was immediately wrapped up in a familiar embrace.
Merry was eyeing him doubtfully. "Did you, Strider, first court the Lady Arwen, only to end it when you had first laid eyes on Legolas."
"And did you do it chivalrously?" queried Pippin. "We do hope that was the case," he added.
And what exactly did Hobbits know of chivalry?
He sorted through several responses. "Well," he said slowly. "That was..."
"Not the case," Legolas brutally finished for him. The Elf brushed some hair from his temple and placed a kiss there. "I believe Arwen grew tired of his ramblings eventually, and when I happened to come along, she generously passed him on to me."
"I did not ramble!" protested Aragorn. "And I was still courting her when I met you."
"You thought you were courting her, Estel," snickered Elladan. "But all you really managed was to stumble, mumble and blush in her presence."
"See?" Aragorn twisted around to meet the amused gaze of his lover. "I did not ramble."
"And then, when Legolas arrived in Rivendell, everything got even worse," Elrohir mused. "There was no human coherent speech to be heard for weeks..."
"You have improved, Elessar." Legolas smirked. "I will give you that."
"Yes, nowadays he is decipherable," said Elladan.
Aragorn twisted back at glared at him instead. And then at Elrohir.
"Mostly," said Legolas.
Merry was looking thoughtful. "You know... It could have been your poetry."
Pippin's eyes went even wider. (And no one would mourn if they ended up on the floor.) "You did not try to impress her with poetry, Strider, did you?"
If he had, it would have worked.
It would so have worked.
Yes it would.
"You have the opportunity to ask her yourselves," smiled Elrohir. "We will ride out to meet her in a few days' time."
This was a cruel world.
– xxx –
The door was locked. In fact, a door had never been so locked ever before. And there were no Hobbits in the bedchamber.
There were no Hobbits, no Dwarves, no Wizards, no Orcs, no Balrogs, no Cave Trolls, no Nazgûls, no Dead Individuals, no slimy sea monsters, no horses, no eagles, no Rings of Power, no Witchkings of Angmar, and no Ents.
There was only a large bed, a vial of oil and an Elf (pretty large he, too, in an excited state).
(And a few other things, such as a wood-fire crackling away in the fireplace, a pile of discarded clothing, a pitcher of water, a small table, a chair and a rug on the floor... but these do not count. Actually that pile of discarded clothing was also on the floor, but that does not count either.)
Maybe this was why he was standing so still by the door. Everything really boiled down to this one, pretty simple, fact: he was alone with Legolas – and that was all he ever wanted to be. In principle. (If they got hungry, some food would be nice.)
"I love you," he said.
Legolas rose from the bed and with his head cocked to the side he slowly covered the distance between them. The warrior braids he wore were still in place, but that was all.
Aragorn had never felt this naked in his entire life.
"I will never stop loving you, Elessar, the Elfstone son of Arathorn of the House of Valandil Isildur's son, heir of Elendil."
Pale fingers ran down the length of his body, starting at the top and ending their trail somewhere near his knee.
"All of this I love," whispered Legolas. "And no matter what I sometimes say, I shall always love what is inside here too." He tapped Aragorn lightly on his temple and smiled.
It was as good as it got.
Aragorn kissed him. Soundly.
He felt warm, very warm. Legolas' arms slid around his waist and pulled him closer until their bodies touched in all places, from head to toe. He sucked gently on his lover's tongue and then let it go, shivering slightly as Legolas' teeth rasped against his lower lip. He knew the exact moment when the Elf's mood changed and sweetness turned into sizzling desire.
Or it could have been because Legolas pulled back somewhat, and, while his eyes were glittering, said, "I want you take me."
Aragorn wet his lips and tried to gain control over extreme anticipation. His hands slid down to his lover's backside.
He could do that.
But there were a few things they had to settle first.
He kissed Legolas' lips, his jaw, and then he left open-mouthed kisses along his throat, drawing a tiny moan from the Elf. His hands started caressing the soft skin, and he felt Legolas press against him, bringing their hardening lengths even closer together. He tried circling his hips and was rewarded with a groan.
"You promised you would loom," he mumbled against a collarbone.
Legolas' knee nudged its way between his legs, parting them a little. "Only if you order me to do it."
Aragorn drew back and met blue eyes darkened by desire. "That was not part of the deal."
Legolas smirked. "It is now."
Aragorn lost his balance as the Elf tugged at his waist, shoving him closer to the bed. Without any finesse, he was dumped upon the mess of blankets.
"As you would so eloquently put it, Elessar: well?"
Supporting himself on his elbows, Aragorn looked up at his lover. He took a deep breath.
Nothing to lose...
"So," he said, genuinely surprised that his voice came out so stern, "Will you loom or shall I have you thrown into the dungeons?"
He knew what flashed across Legolas' features: his Elf was impressed.
And a second glance told him that he was aroused too.
It may still be unknown territory to him, but he had managed to silence the talkative Ioreth in the Houses of Healing, had he not?
He lifted his chin. "Which way will you have it, Elf?" He crawled backwards, settling himself more comfortably on the bed.
Legolas' eyes followed his every move. Then, taking Aragorn by surprise, he took himself in hand and began stroking.
"I think," he said in a voice gone hoarse, "that it would be very foolish of you to look away now." He sent his hair flying over his shoulder with a sweep of his head.
Aragorn would not have averted his gaze had the entire population of Middle-earth suddenly appeared behind him. He watched as Legolas continued to stroke himself, taking his time to brush his thumb over the slit at the tip, and spreading the wetness that oozed from it.
"Closer," he commanded. "Much closer."
Legolas' lips had parted and his breathing was quickening. He kneeled on the bed between Aragorn's legs. Even with one hand still sliding up and down his swollen length, and the other tracing patterns on the Man's thighs, he managed to retain his balance.
The comfortable warmth that had filled Aragorn before quickly transformed into a raging sea of heat. His own hard member was aching to be touched but he tried to ignore it, focusing on Legolas and Legolas only.
It was hard.
But then he was a remarkable man.
(And not to mention hard.)
An intoxicating blend of moans and groans, and an occasional whimper even, fell from Legolas' lips as he pushed himself closer and closer to the edge.
Maybe it was a warning – or maybe not.
Aragorn pushed himself up and caught one of his lover's pebbled nipples between his teeth and nearly bit down. He pulled back just in time to see Legolas come forcefully, spreading his essence all over his hand and Aragorn's groin.
Life could be worse.
Fighting against the urge to scoop up the shaking Elf in his arms and hold him until eternity was over and beyond, he pushed him down onto the blankets, face down.
"Very nice," he mumbled and left a kiss at the base of Legolas' spine. "My turn now."
He reached out for the oil, nearly knocked it off the bedside table but caught it before tragedy unfolded.
Stretching Legolas was bliss – having him writhe underneath him was even better. And it did not serve to dull the pounding in Aragorn's body which essentially was a good thing since that was not the point.
"Take me... Now."
Aragorn lowered himself to lie on top of his lover and then he pushed inside. It was tight and warm and mind-blowing and everything else he liked. His body set a pace that was hardly respectable, but Legolas did not seem to mind. The room dissolved around him and his own breath was ripped from his lungs in tatters as he thrust into the enchanting heat.
His own groans he heard echoing around the bedchamber and he suddenly found that if every person he had ever known were to appear right beside the bed in this moment, he would only be happy.
Because he really was happy.
– xxx –
Three hours later they had repeated the above feat three more times, but with some variations. Currently, Legolas was sipping a glass of water and wearing an expression that would send Éomer charging across the plains of Rohan on foot – no matter his earlier announcements.
Aragorn was leafing through a pile of parchment. For a couple of months he had been keeping something from his lover but now, when the Quest and the War was over and done with, maybe it was time to... reveal it.
There was only one way of doing it.
"Mhmmm..." Legolas lifted his head from the pillow. He sat propped up against the headboard.
"There is something..." Suddenly saying this now was proving terribly difficult. "I would like to, you know, say."
"Do talk," his Elf nodded. "I get so nervous when you do not."
He was going to do this.
Aragorn scrambled into a sitting position, nearly had second thoughts when he was confronted by Legolas' state of undress, but finally pulled himself together. He glanced down at the parchment he was holding. His knuckles were white. They matched the linen... If the chambermaids ever would...
This was it.
He cleared his throat.
"A day so warm – a summer's day –
when the birds all sang with cheer,
when the sunlight flowed across the grass
a rider proud drew near.
With hair of gold and eyes so bright
into the Vale he rode,
and knocked with fingers long and fine
upon the Lord's abode.
Oh for the Gift of Love!
And I who long had wandered
in shadows dark and deep,
knew that hour I would give
him my heart to keep.
His voice it was like music,
like the singing of the ford
and hearing it will never
make me tired or bored.
Oh for the Gift of Love!
But my fears would grow and strengthen
for to him I was but this:
a long-lost hope, a mortal man
not one that he would kiss.
And so my dreams were shattered
with the arrival of the night,
no Moon, no stars could ever
understand my plight.
Oh for the Gift of Love!
When dawn broke through the darkness
and daylight filtered through
the curtains of my chamber
my sorrow only grew.
But when I went out walking,
as I strolled among the trees,
beauty stood before me
and I fell to my knees.
Oh for the Gift of Love!
I was offered then the greatest
gift that is in Eä,
and in return I give my heart,
my body and my fëa.
And now that danger is no more
and life and light prevails,
will you bind with me,
my one true love,
for all our future days?
Oh for the Gift of Love!"
He let go of the parchment.
His cheeks were burning up.
The room was very silent now.
With a last surge of strength, Aragorn glanced at his lover.
Legolas had not moved an inch. He was staring at the Man with eyes that could have matched Pippin's in... well, wideness. They were blank and sort of shiny on the surface.
If an Ent had knocked on the door now – or if Éomer would have wanted to have another conversation in the hallway – Aragorn would probably gladly have left. As it was, however, nothing happened that disturbed the complete silence.
He hoped Legolas was breathing.
He was pretty sure he was doing so himself. Maybe.
Breathing, that was.
"Aragorn..?" It sounded like a whisper. Possibly because it was.
"Are you asking me to bind with you, properly?"
"In your poem..." Legolas blinked. Then he blinked again. The firelight made something glisten in the corner of his eye.
For a couple of seconds the silence returned and Aragorn was quite sure he would throw up. Then a smile slowly spread on Legolas' lips.
He was going to throw up.
All of a sudden he was in Legolas' arms and they were kissing like mad and he had never before felt so healthy.
Elven lips were reddened and beautiful when they pulled apart.
"I love you," said Aragorn.
Legolas' smile was pure brightness. "I am so proud of you," he said. "Everything rhymed."
Eä - the Universe
fëa - soul
In the books, which we have followed with the utmost care and with which this story lives in perfect symbiosis, there are only orcs, and no goblins, in Moria. For those who do not believe this, please reread the chapter The Bridge of Khazad-dûm in The Fellowship of the Ring, and you shall be assaulted with a flood of proof. Please bring your own torn-off-the-mountain-side-rock to sit on.
– xxx –
Imladris Library wishes to thank all of you for having finally reached the end. Upon publication we wish to clarify only one thing: the author has in her previous works tried very hard to reach some kind of compromise concerning the bloodline of Elendil which must continue with Aragorn Elessar while simultaneously pairing him with another male. If any of you share this concern and feel that the plot does not sufficiently deal with this matter (or any other loose ends), the author wishes to state the following:
"This time around, I do not care!"
With that, we wish you a good day.
Do not miss 'Author's Notes: The Collected Poems'. Your guide to the poetry of Middle-earth!