For Sivanshemesh, who wrote me a lovely Legolas + Thranduil drabble!
Legolas lingers at the edge of the forest. The tree line stands steady as it always has, beckoning him inside, branches thrown open in welcoming arms. The early morning air is still, heavy with mist and the dawn chorus and he can imagine for a moment that nothing has changed. If he looks into the trees and sees only the sun-dappled layer of last autumn's leaves then he can forget the toils of the past year and imagine he has been gone for no more than a day. But he has not, and nothing is truly the same. He does not know what to expect as he reshoulders his pack and steps, gracefully, silently and inexplicably hesitantly into the woods. There, a little further into the trees, half hidden in shadow stands a figure, a horse by his side but otherwise alone. Legolas has sharp eyes, but the sunlight is weak and he has to take a few more steps before he realises that it is his father. Whatever welcome he had anticipated it did not include this, he expected to be escorted back to the palace, where his father would be sat, enthroned, autumn crown already in place upon his fair hair.
Without words, without warning, Thranduil steps onto the path and sweeps Legolas into his arms, all ageless poise and elegance gone in the desperate desire to hold his son close and never let go.
"Autumn is passing swiftly, soon winter will reign" he whispers, arms tight around his child (although child no longer, proved fully by recent events) "and I could not have borne one so dark as the last if you had not returned whole to me"
Legolas wants to answer, wants to reassure his father of his safe return, but he cannot. He lost his heart by the shore of the southern sea and he will never be whole again.