Author's Note: I hope all of you had a wonderful start into the New Year! Here is another story for you, I hope you'll enjoy reading. Feedback is, as always, very welcome. ;-)
Dedication: This story is dedicated to all the wonderful, faithful readers and writers of Aragorn-Legolas friendship stories who are still out there! Because of you, I've started writing in this fandom, and I'm still enjoying it because of the support and the inspiration you continually provide me with. So… thank you!!! (bows)
Title: For All Eternity
Author: Silivren Tinu
Beta: the wonderful Imbecamiel (((hugs)))
Summary: At a time when all his dreams have finally come true, Aragorn nonetheless seems to be troubled and Legolas wants to find out why. Post RotK, set shortly after Aragorn's coronation and wedding. Written for Prompt #21 "Home" in the Owners of Aragorn Angst yahoo group. Characters: Aragorn, Legolas.
Disclaimer: I do not own any kings, wood-elves, cities, or places in this story. But I do own a moody computer and a vivid imagination. :D
- For All Eternity -
Legolas watched his friend for a long, silent moment. The man, who was now a king, stood unmoving on a balcony high up in the Citadel, looking down on the lights of the White City below. It was late, but still there were nearly as many lights twinkling beneath as there were stars in the sky. Different from the stars, the lights below were of a warm golden hue, and the bright moon turned the white roofs and walls into shimmering silver. From time to time the distant sounds of voices and laughter wafted through the air.
Legolas knew that Aragorn had been standing here for hours, seemingly lost in deep thought. Now that he was finally king and had been granted the hand of the Evenstar, now that all his wishes had come true, he should have been rejoicing instead of brooding. And yet Arwen had found him here in such a mood and had called for Legolas to talk some sense into her husband, or at least find a way to talk to him at all. Legolas stepped out on the balcony silently, moving to his friend's side.
"So thoughtful?" he asked softly.
Aragorn turned his head and looked at him for a moment, seemingly not at all surprised to see him here. Legolas had not expected him to be. It had been many years since Aragorn had last been startled by his soundless approach. The warrior he had become was not easy to surprise at all, one of the reasons why he had survived where others had not. Aragorn looked down at the city again, and for a while they stood there together, watching the lights and listening to the still-unfamiliar sounds of a night in Minas Tirith.
"I have been thinking about home," Aragorn said finally, without looking up. Legolas turned slightly to face him, watching his friend while he went on talking.
"I have had so many homes," Aragorn continued in a slightly wistful voice. "First it was Rivendell, then the Wilds, then Rohan, Gondor, and the Wilds again. Now I am here, and my home is Minas Tirith. I have all I ever wanted to have, and yet I wonder…"
He turned abruptly and looked directly into the elf's eyes. "Legolas, what do you call 'home'?"
There was an urgency in the man's voice that Legolas did not understand, but that also told him that Aragorn needed his answer. He hesitated for a long moment, then he looked to the South, where the sea was calling to him from afar. He did not say anything, but Aragorn did not need any words.
"Valinor?" he asked quietly, not following his friend's gaze, but watching the elf closely instead.
The was something distant and faraway in Legolas' eyes for a moment, as if he was caught in a dream or a vision, but when Aragorn spoke to him he blinked and his eyes cleared. "It is called Elvenhome for a reason, Estel," he answered with a hint of sadness in his voice. He turned away from the longing inside of him and fixed his gaze on familiar, inquiring grey eyes instead.
"And yet you are mistaken," Legolas went on after a moment. "Eryn Lasgalen, or Mirkwood, as it was called then, has been my home for a long time. Later Rivendell became my home, too. When you left Rivendell things changed for both of us. Now… right now my home is Middle-earth, as long as you are still here. It does not really matter which place I am in." He shook his head and laughed softly. "Even Aglarond is partly my home now, thanks to Gimli."
Aragorn could not help smiling, too. "I never thought the day would come when I hear you mention 'caves' in connection with 'home'."
"If you make any comment about the Palace in Eryn Lasgalen now, I will sail right away," Legolas warned him with a mock glare.
The smile vanished from Aragorn's face upon hearing these words, as innocent as they were, and he turned serious again. He sighed and put one hand on his friend's shoulder. "I am sorry, Legolas. I should not have asked. I of all people should know how strong the call of the sea is, and avoid waking it."
"The bonds that keep me here call even more strongly to my heart," Legolas replied gently, watching his friend closely. "Estel, what is it that troubles you so?"
Aragorn looked at him, but he seemed to be torn. Finally he turned away, looking down at the rooftops again and watching the play of silvery light and shadow beneath him. "Legolas, do you believe there is a home for the Secondborn, too?" it suddenly broke out of him. "Or will we simply go on striving, seeking, and fighting forever?"
This was no topic that Legolas had expected. For a moment he wondered whether there would ever be a conversation with Aragorn where he would not wish that he had become a philosopher instead of a warrior. He touched the man's shoulder, gently turning him around to face him.
"Aragorn, I have no reason to doubt that Ilúvatar loves his creation, whether Firstborn or Secondborn," he said, allowing his conviction to shine through his words. "If he is like a loving father, as I believe him to be, he will provide a home for all his children, not only some of them."
Aragorn looked at him questioningly, and when he found no doubt in the elf's eyes he finally relaxed a bit.
"That was what troubled you tonight?" Legolas asked, wanting to make sure.
Aragorn nodded. "I told you I was thinking about home," he said with a soft smile.
Legolas tried hard not to look exasperated. "There is one other thing I can tell you about home," he said, waiting until he had Aragorn's full attention before he added, "It can only be found in the present, never in the future."
"Point taken," Aragorn answered wryly.
He looked down on the city again, and then up at the stars glittering in the night sky above. "I could not help but wonder whether there will be an eternal home for Arwen and me… and how far apart it might be from you… and my family. Still, I hope… I can only hope that your home and mine will never be further apart than Mirkwood and Rivendell… or Minas Tirith and Ithilien."
Legolas was silent for a while, wrestling with his own fears and doubts, and the terrible pain the mere thought of being separated from Aragorn forever caused him. "You overheard my conversation with Faramir," he finally said, not trusting his voice enough to try and say anything else.
"There are many beautiful trees in Ithilien," Aragorn remarked. "I think they would love to have a wood-elf to talk to."
"I would love to have a wood-elf to talk to."
Legolas snorted. "No one else would survive through a simple conversation with you."
Aragorn chose not to answer anything to that. For a while, neither of them spoke. As if in silent agreement they had turned away from the lights below and were watching the moon and the sparkling stars in the endless sky above, both reminded of the many nights they had spent together at campfires or in the gardens of Imladris or the Palace, doing just what they were doing now.
"I hope we will watch the stars and have these conversations together for all eternity," Legolas finally spoke up.
Aragorn put a warm hand on his friend's arm and squeezed it slightly. "So do I," he simply said.
- The End -