TITLE: Blood, Chapter 5: Legolas
ARAGORNANGST PROMPT #97: Promise (499 words)
AUTHOR: Marethiel/ThinkingLady
RATING: K
CHARACTERS: Aragorn, Legolas
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em, drat it. Many thanks to Professor Tolkien for creating these wonderful souls to populate my imagination.

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Iridescent sunlight bathes Imladris in a relaxing glow. You are so grateful to be able to hobble along on your own, gently exercising your leg on the soft, supple grasses of your childhood home. How I wish you had enough ties to your Sindarin blood to hear the trees welcome you! The little one is up again! they call to each other.

"You needn't waylay yourself any longer for me, my friend," you say quietly, as you carefully navigate the path. "I know you to be needed in Mirkwood, and …. pleasanter places await you." A brief sadness touches your eyes, but you quickly offer me a wry smile. "Others can … 'exercise' me."

I raise an eyebrow. "Your bloodlines are good, Dúnadan, but I'm not sure Glorfindel would put them on a par with Asfaloth's," I note dryly.

You laugh; it is good to hear a real laugh. You've had so few in these last months! Though your strength and fortitude are formidable, your wound became infected, and your recovery delayed. Your frustration with yourself was painful to watch… and to experience! One afternoon the pressure seemed to ease, almost as quickly as the infection that bubbled from the lanced wound a few days earlier. Elrond would never say what had transpired between you two that day; his enigmatic smile was all your brothers, Glorfindel, Erestor and I were granted, and with that we had to be content.

I think I know what is on your mind today. There has been much talk in the Hall of Fire these last nights of the Shadow enveloping Arda. The sometimes light-sometimes serious debate among Elves about sailing before war comes. I see in your eyes the sadness of knowing you might be left behind if the Elves choose Valinor's peace over Arda's conflict.

I turn to you, my hand gently stopping your advance, and you guiltily look away. "Aragorn."

Swallowing hard, you master your emotions and look at me.

"Hear me, Mortal." I rest both my hands your shoulders, looking deeply into your eyes. "I will not leave you. I will not leave until you are healed and safely with your people in the North. I will not leave you until you have conquered your enemies, claimed your beloved and fulfilled your destiny. I will not leave before your sorry buttocks sit on the throne of Gondor and Arnor." I rest my right hand on my heart and gently bow toward him. "I will not leave you, Elvellon. I will not sail until your feet no longer walk upon Arda, and your heart no longer beats. This is the promise of Legolas Thranduilion."

Your silver eyes become glassy and you reach out a hand, gripping my shoulder. "Le hannon," you whisper. One tear escapes. You draw in a shaky breath, wipe your eyes with the back of your hand, and draw in a deep breath.

Slowly, carefully, we begin the journey, starting with the return to the Last Homely House.

THE END