The Last and Final Chapter! Thank you everyone for bearing with me until now! It was fun writing this in a nick of time before everything else! Thank you so much for reading!
Please forgive my wrong terms for the last time- English is not really my first language as all of you may have noticed!
Well then- please read on and give me what you think of it! For all the best! See you around! ^_^
"It will rain."
Four Elves travelling alongside each other in their respective horses, glanced up at the soft but firm voice of the Elf Prince. They had come from Mirkwood Kingdom and been on the journey for days and heading back to Rivendell in which three of the companions reside. Elladan, Elrohir and Erestor were all quietly riding their horses when the Elf Prince spoke aloud as he looked up at the sky. Upon hearing this announcement, the three Elves gaze up. The sun had shone so brightly that morning but there was no sign of it now, instead everything looked grey and the billow of the cool breeze started to warn their senses.
"We must quicken our pace, the rain will hinder our way." said Lord Erestor, looking at his companions with a frown.
"That's what I wanted to hear," said Elrohir quietly, "I want to see Estel soon."
Legolas' heart leap at the mention of the name and his grip on the reign of his horse tightened. It seemed only that last week he believed his friend had disappeared from his life. He believed he would never see him again only to be proven wrong after the unexpected revelation of the unknown plans: Aragorn was alive and was running away from him because of mortality. It was clear to the Elf why his human best friend did such an act and it was because of him; things could have been more out of hand if he had sailed to Valinor whilst oblivious of this matter. He silently thanked his father and Lord Elrond for their wise action and thanked the Valar for giving him his friend back. He wished he were with Aragorn right now. The terror and grief he felt for the notion that he was alone was now being experience by Aragorn and the Elf could not bear to think that his friend was living until now with the knowledge that he was gone. It was unbearable for him- what for his human friend?
"We must, indeed, hurry." whispered Legolas, urging his horse to move faster, "Please…"
The three Elves around exchanged look and silently agreed to hurry. The faithful horses felt their master's tension and each speed up their tread.
It took them another couple of hours to reach Rivendell and by then the sky was darker than they had last seen it. The clouds had formed circles treacherously and a rumble of thunder was heard along the valley. The sky was completely dark and after a while, the slow drips of rain that had seemed so innocent had grown in size and speed, until finally a steady torrent as the clouds above released their burden. Drops of heavy rain were already washing them when they reach the safe borders of Imladris, completely drenched in cold rain. They entered the gate with their horses splashing the pool of water from the ground and Glorfindel came out of the Household to meet them along with the other Helpers.
"What is with this climate?" shouted Elrohir, who was dripping wet from head to foot, as he and the other three Elves jumped off their horses to hurry inside the shriveled House.
"You caught a bad weather!" said Glorfindel looking around them all in relief.
"As if it's not obvious enough." muttered Erestor, reaching for a dry towel one of the helpers around was giving them, "Not a very friendly atmosphere for a reunion."
At this, every body looked at the Elf Prince who was staring ahead fixedly at the Elf Lord who was now approaching them from the staircase.
"Ada," greeted Elladan who was now, like the rest, wrapped in warm fabrics.
Lord Elrond smiled as he approach them, frowning slightly when he saw their drenched state. Erestor gave a slight bow, "Mae Govannen,"
"Estel?" came the strong voice of the Elf Prince and Elrond fondly looked at the Prince.
"He is upstairs in his room." he answered, motioning at the stairs, "He does not have any inkling that you are here now in our doorstep Legolas. Do not scare him to death." he added with a smile.
Legolas draw in a breath then run up the stairs without another word. Everyone watched him go; Glorfindel give out a large sigh and he rubbed his temples. Erestor smirked at him and Glorfindel rolled his eyes indifferently.
"I would like to see this heartwarming reunion," said Erestor, throwing the Balrog slayer a nasty look, "But I suppose some things are to be kept private."
"Ada, how is Estel?" asked Elladan as he and his brother came forth to embrace their father, "We've heard he had another mishap at the ranger's camp?"
"How are his injuries?" piped Elrohir at once, "Erestor said not to worry but-"
"His injuries had healed already," confirmed Elrond, looking at his sons with raised eyebrows, "Worry not about Estel, he will be all right- now I would like the rest of you to go and dry yourselves immediately. You may not be subjected in catching colds but your sight bothers me, not to mention your cold embraces."
The twins exchange looks of mirth, before nodding. They made to move but were halted by the impending hurried footsteps from the stairs. They all looked up to see Legolas, breathing hard and completely out of composure as he nearly cried, "Aragorn's not here!"
All the Elves gaped at the Prince and Lord Elrond sauntered toward Legolas with tension forming on his fair face.
"That cannot be…" he started inaudibly, then his next words rang around the house, "Search the House!" His shout was followed by clasp of thunder outside and every being inside the House ran in every direction to look.
They searched every part of the Household from the very inside of the Kitchen to the very grounds of the garden: there was no sign of Aragorn.
Lord Elrond closed his eyes as every Elf reported that no sign of the ranger was found. Elladan and Elrohir where last to come in the Hall of Fire and they have seen no sign of their brother as well.
"That Estel, cannot keep his feet in one place!" exclaimed Elrohir angrily and worriedly, "Especially now that we have returned!"
"He doesn't have any idea that we have returned." reasoned Elladan quietly.
"But why would he run at this weather?" came Erestor's dismal voice as he looked around the Hall of Fire.
"He must have gone restless…" answered Glorfindel with a grimace, "He had not moved out of the mansion from eversince we have returned and stayed in the Elf Prince's room…"
Lord Elrond pressed his eyes close and shifted on his seat, he rested one elbow on an arm of the bench and rubbed his right temple with two fingers.
"Wherever he is, he must not be in danger!" said Elrohir fretfully, and at this, every one looked at him as if he had just said a taboo. Elrohir bit his lip and looked around, with a frown.
"Where is Legolas?"
Lord Elrond's eyes shot open as he looked around him. The Elf Prince was not present in the hall. His jaws tightening, the Elf Lord looked at the window, which was shattering from the blows of the wind and the strong splash of the rain. Lightning clasped in the sky followed by rumble of thunder and Elrond closed his eyes tightly once again.
"They are outside…," he whispered darkly.
Legolas did not care if he was soaked wet, he did not care if his hair was soggy, all he cared about was running into the wilderness where he thought his friend would be. He was not affected by the weather but he knew his friend would be and this worried him. He wanted to see Aragorn but once again the human had evaded him.
"You…impossible human…" he muttered under his breath as he quickened his pace. There was another clasp of lightning but the Elf Prince was not shaken. He can go by the weather but not his friend- that is why he needed to find him.
Where are you? Why do you run? Why do you always have to run?
The ominous color of the sky, the threatening clouds racing across heavens swirling and colliding in vast humid pile-up, the change in wind direction every now and then and the distant sound of thunder that seemed threatening to the Elven ears build up his resolve to find his human friend. He searched around the dark trees, whilst talking to them in whisper, trying to get help from the trees as he went on. They spoke to him softly and informed him that a human has been there- this rose Legolas' hope and he continued to move on to where the trees were guiding him.
He pictured Aragorn walking around in this weather and this made his heart recoil. He sped up in his pursuit, hoping to see the friend who was running away from him. What made the man go, he had no idea, but he was aching to find out.
He was guided on and in his hurry, the Ef did not recognize the familiar way. It was a while before he saw it and it did not come as a surprise to the Elf when he came out of the woods and faced the familiar view of the rampant river before him and the cave just opposite it.
This was the place where everything started.
The Elf looked around as he took steps toward the water. He realized it was too dangerous to cross and there was no sign of Aragorn around. The idea of Aragorn drowning crossed the Elf's mind and it increased his resolved to find his friend. The rain was not helping; it kept on showering the Elf with coldness and despair that the Elf was tempted to dive in the water more. Lightning hit the sky once again and it was all what Legolas needed as he shouted at the top of his lungs-
The cave remained still and silent though the vast weather did not. The Elf bit his lip as he shouted once more the name of the person he was looking for.
There were no movements for a while and the Elf became worried that he was looking at the wrong place when something stirred from inside the cave. Legolas held his breath as the slow silhouette of a person started to come out and the pale features of Aragorn moved to face the storm.
Legolas heart skipped a beat as he frantically shouted the name once again,
Aragorn, who was daze from his cold sleep inside the cave, was shaken at the familiar voice calling out his name. He had been weary of loneliness from Legolas' room; he could not keep it up and he ran to where his feet would bring him. He had fallen asleep inside the cave even before the rain started pouring when he was awakened by a call; he thought his friend was haunting him again by calling out his name from the noisy surroundings. He went up to inspect his environment when he caught a glimpse of the Elf right across him and it made him stumble on the ground.
"Legolas?" he whispered, afraid of his own hoarse voice. He became oblivious of the bad weather as he come out of the cave and looked at his fair friend just across the river. Rain washed over him but he did not care as he stood broad along the rain staring at the Elf.
Legolas watched Aragorn stumble toward the raging river, and looked at him fixedly. He feared the man might fall over the water and he immediately shout out-
"Aragorn! Do not move too much near the water! It's dangerous!"
Aragorn became deaf to all sounds but that of his heart. His heart was pummeling inside him, jumping, and running- beating him out of breath. He wanted to cry out. He wanted to run to his friend and clasp him to his arms. If this were a dream, he does not want to wake up. Aragorn knew if this were another illusion created by his mind, he would want to hold in it, to grasp it. He does not care what else may happen…
He could see the Elf giving out gestures but his fear that this reappearance might disappear any moment clouded him that all he wanted to do was to look at him, to absorb his friend's appearance. Far too long…too many mistakes… too many choices has been made… All these things had damage his soul, all he wanted to do was for everything to return to its right place. He wished he could right his mistakes…
Legolas knew Aragorn could not hear him and he hissed a curse. The man seemed confound and Legolas was worried for the man. The Elf looked down the intense water and knew there was no way anyone could cross it- it was far too dangerous. The wind and rain were not helping- it was blowing hard against their faces it was hard to focus. Legolas looked at the bank for any way that he could cross when a sudden movement on the opposite bank caught his attention back. With horror realization, he saw Aragorn making his way down the water.
"ARAGORN!" he cried frantically, "GO BACK! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?"
The man did not respond but fought his way on the water- Legolas watched breathlessly as the man challenged the water and fought for his balance but he was consumed by the water quick.
"NO!" the Elf cried, forgetting about everything and jumping swiftly into the water with a splash. It was a difficult fight for the Elf and the man. Their heads would resurface every now and then as the strong current flashed them down the river. Legolas saw Aragorn and grudgingly tried to get to him but the current was strong he missed so many times. He managed to grab the man's collar and pulled him close to him with strength he knew only adrenaline could bring. He tightly clutched onto the man until he saw a steep rock in the middle of the river. Focusing his mind, the Elf turned his body and the man before him and intentionally hit his back on the rock with a thud, sparing the man from hurt.
"Aragorn!" he sputtered some water he drank, as he hold on to the rock and the man "Arag-Aragorn!"
Aragorn's inside burned every time water entered his nostrils. He fought off hard to resurface when he felt strong hands pulling him and heard his friend's voice. He shot his eyes open and saw the furious waves of the water trying to claim his body. He jerked but a firm arm was around him and was holding him still.
"Do not move too much, Aragorn, I have you."
"Legolas- how the-?" started the man, his surprise suddenly crashing to horror as he realized their position. "What are you doing here?" he slightly demanded.
Legolas, in spite their predicament, rolled his eyes and answered, "If this does not look familiar to you then let me brag about it- I am here to save your life!"
"But- but you were- Val-nor!" the man cried as water splashed all over his face, trying to drown him still.
Legolas kept a firm grip on the man's body and on to the rock as he felt it slowly slipping out of his grip.
"Your- plan did not work- I remain here in Middle Earth- you!" the Elf answered back, his arms numb from the cold and weight of his friend, "And- you were suppose- dead!"
Aragorn made to answer but he was once again drowned by the water and Legolas strained his hold on him.
"Let's not talk about this –here-" the Elf suggested, feeling his hand slipping off the man's body, "Why- why did you have to- get in to the water- you crazy fool!"
Their next exchange of words was brought to an end when they felt the rumbling of water ahead. They both looked up and saw- to their horror- a large wave of water heading their way.
"The water from the mountains come!" shouted Legolas, "Do not let go of my hand, Aragorn!"
Aragorn need not telling twice, he maneuvered and clung on to the Elf's arm as they felt the blow hitting their solid bodies, throwing them both off the strong current.
Aragorn felt the water throwing him from left to right. He had his eyes closed but his grip on the one next to him was tight.
I will not let go of this hands ever again…never…
In the middle of the nature's rampage, Aragorn had remembered his conversation with his father on Legolas' room…
"What did he say?"
"He said that you will always have his heart wherever you may go and that if the Valar allowed the two of you meet somewhere else, that he will never let go of your hand ever again…"
"… I will not let go of his hand as well…"
Strong wave continued to blew them apart; tearing them as if this was its mighty task. The grey sky continued to unload its heavy burden on Middle Earth that not even the shelter from the trees could help…
Thunder rumbled overhead, a jagged bolt of lightning struck and the sky cracked in two; rain washed down the dirty road; it hissed, and gushed, and muttered and it downpour swept dead leaves away into the abyss… The raging river was a tempest and no sign of body was ever seen…
Aragorn had a bad headache and this groped him awake. He made a mental note to tell his father as he reached for his warm covers when his hands felt the hard solid ground. With a surprise jerk of his eyes, he first saw the dirty earth. Extending the reach of his eyes around him, he saw weeds and leaves and the pool of waters around. Frowning, he pushed his body up and felt its excruciating pain. With a hiss and a moan, he tried to recall what happened to him as he looked up at sky; dawn upon him. Narrowing his eyes, he remembered the vast rain, the raging river, and the strong grip of a being on his hands… His eyes widened as he remembered Legolas and he wildly looked around, afraid that it might have been another dream. From a distance, he could see a body lying on the ground and the man did hesitate to reach him. He saw the familiar form of his friend and immediately gathered him to his arms. The Elf was unconscious but to the ranger's delight- he was breathing.
"Legolas!" he called, gently tapping the pale face, "Legolas! Wake up!"
There was a soft moan from the Elf, and Aragorn draw out a breath he did not realize he was holding. Legolas' eyes cracked open and it took him moments to focus on his surroundings. His body tensed for a while but when he saw Aragorn holding him, he slowly relaxed and pressed his eyes back close. Aragorn saw the gesture and he quickly asked,
"Are you hurt?"
Legolas peered at his friend's worried face and had to smile. Some things do not change.
"I am well." he answered, sitting up and looking around him. His surrounding was the clear proof of the heavy rain that had passed. They were on a riverbank to an unknown place and the water on their foot was miraculously calm. More miraculously, they were alive.
Aragorn watched the Elf and relaxed. Be it his wish was granted that he was with his dear friend again or some other force had kept them together. Legolas felt the man's gaze and he willingly met his eyes.
Silence filled them and nobody spoke for a long while. Streak of the rising sun started to clear the sky and this became the signal for the two friends to speak. Aragorn had filled his eyes with the appearance of his friend and the fact that he could touch him eased his heart.
"It is you…" Aragorn half whispered, "You are here…you came…how?"
Legolas nodded with a smile and he reminisced the part where his father revealed to him the truth. Aragorn was surprise at this turn of events but was glad it happened and promised himself to thank his father- who seemed to know him so well. Legolas smiled again, then after a long wait, his smile turned into a serious look.
"Forgive me, Aragorn." Legolas said solemnly that made the man's eyes widen, "Forgive me for my weakness."
"What are you asking forgiveness for?" the man demanded confusedly, "I should be the one asking for your forgiveness- I was the one who lied to you!"
Legolas shook his head and looked at his friend's grey eyes.
"If it not be for my weakness you wouldn't have think it necessary to lie. If it not were for my weakness, you wouldn't have seen what may come to me after you die and feel guilty for my cause. No Aragorn, I had my faults too. Forgive me for not being strong enough, and making you feel responsible. Forgive me."
He slightly bowed his head and Aragorn immediately stopped him.
"Why do you ask for forgiveness, mellon nin? I do not blame you- I will never do that! Glad I am that you are here, still beside me! What is there to forgive! It was my crime to our friendship that should not be forgiven! I ran away- can't you see?"
"I will not blame you." said Legolas firmly, "We have both suffered enough, Aragorn… I do not want it to happen again."
He gripped Aragorn's shoulder tightly and looked him in the eyes as he said strongly, while his heart recall all the pain they both had gone though,
"You must remember, you- you insufferable man! Valinor may be a suitable place for me- but not without you! Mellon nin, Valinor is only a place for the hearts content and my heart does not long for the peace it brings! I long for your company more than anything does. Do not turn me away again. I beg you, no."
Aragorn shook his head, remembering the loneliness and the empty space the absence of his friend brought to his heart-
They looked into each other with understanding and the new strong bond that hold them together. The sun materialize up to the now clear sky, showering lights to all its reach and giving a light and peaceful harmony to the hearts of the two friend who now, after a long journey, ended together once again.
Their joy for the reunion was put into an end when Legolas looked around and raised his eyebrows.
"Where are we?"
Aragorn looked around too and frowned.
Silence filled them again and both looked into each other from head to foot. After a long while both said in unison of agreement.
"You look terrible."
Aragorn gave a sigh of relief and embraced his friend whilst saying,
"I am glad you are still here… You cannot imagine the horror I have gone through thinking that you are gone…"
"I do, believe me." answered Legolas, tapping Aragorn's back lightly. They broke apart and helped each other to stand up and felt the cold breeze of the morning air blowing against their damp bodies. The friendly and warm sun made Legolas' heart light and rejoiced at the brightness it brought on to his heart as they walked.
"Aye, as they always say…after the storm come the calm… A bright day will follow and it will wash away all the misery the darkness has brought…"
Aragorn, who was walking side by side with his friend raised his eyes and looked at the sun too, nodded in agreement.
"I do now that the sun can bring light to the heart but it is not what brought light back to mine."
Legolas chuckled and shook his head.
"Come on, we have to dry ourselves else we would catch cold."
The two friends walked on without realizing where they were heading but cherishing the moments given to them to spend. They have not travelled long when they heard horses whining near by and a party of Elves come into view from the trees. Aragorn and Legolas halted in surprise as they saw Lord Elrond, Glorfindel, Elladan and Elrohir and a few Elven warriors emerge from the trees with a relief expression visible on their faces as they slid off their horses.
"Ah…" breathed Elrond as he saw the two beings standing rooted on their spot. "And so we have all meet."
"Ada!" shouted Aragorn, running forward his father's and looking fondly at his father. Legolas followed him swiftly with a curious glance to everyone.
Lord Elrond gave Aragorn a stern look and said,
"I have told you many times to never run away and still you did."
Aragorn stopped grinning and turned a serious face as he bowed his head.
Legolas looked from Elrond to Aragorn and stepped in,
"It was not his fault, hir nin!"
Lord Elrond turned raise eyebrows to the Elf Prince,
"And you? Running away on your own without a word?"
Legolas fell silent and bowed his head. Elladan and Elrohir were pressing their chuckle while Glorfindel was smirking. The two young beings did not notice this as they both have their heads bowed.
Lord Elrond's expression softened and he looked lovingly at the two beings that had constantly brought joy and tenseness to his life. He was glad they had found them thanks to Vilya, who had made him feel the rush of water bringing through the current the two beings his heart was looking for. He gazed at their wet and dirty tunic, to their slight gashes, ripped tunics, and then sighed in relief once again for there does not seem any serious injury though their journey to reach this place seemed interesting.
"You have learned your lessons well…"
Aragorn and Legolas shot their heads up to him and Elrond gave them a gentle nod and a smile. The Elf Lord shook his head then and pulled Aragorn into a warm embrace while giving the Elf Prince a tender smile. Aragorn gripped him back as the reassuring present of his father made his heart more joyful. He caught Elrohir's eyes from behind and Elrohir gave him a reassuring smile, which lightened his heart.
"It is time to go home." announced the Elf Lord as he gently pushed Aragorn away. Aragorn and Legolas knew that the 'home' they were heading now was not the empty hall their hearts had gone accustomed days ago but the warm and loving home filled with the people they love, which their hearts had almost lost before and now was found.
They rode their horses like everyone else, with warm clothing given to them but nothing was warmer than the feeling on their hearts and the flow of happiness and satisfaction Aragorn and Legolas felt was shared to everyone.