Slowly, the elf's form started to slowly sag in Aragorn's arms which was comforting. He could now breathe much easier now that fear's tight grasp has loosened its grip on his chest. What was going through his friend's mind, the King did not know, but part of him thought it may be best not to try and find out: if Legolas didn't remember this incident when he woke, it would be cruel to make him relive whatever ordeal occurred in his dreams.
It wasn't much longer after that that his wife and dwarven friend entered the room carrying trays of food. Legolas turned his head lazily on hearing them enter, but he remained in his position against Aragorn . Taking a look at his eyes now, Estel noticed they were much more alert than before, still tired, but they were no longer glazed and unseeing. Legolas was aware of where he was and who he was with. He knew he was holding Aragorn and seemed comfortable with that which made the King feel much better.
Arwen approached them after setting her tray down on the bed and kissed Legolas' forehead caringly, "How are you feeling gwador nin?"
He didn't respond at first, feeling more comfortable just letting his gaze wander, taking everything in before smiling tiredly and saying, "I'm fine, thank you."
The dwarf snorted at this. Estel only smiled: it was Legolas' signature line, a line he would say even if he had an arrow in his chest.
Legolas then looked up at Aragorn, "Are you hungry, mellon nin?"
He was gladdened by the invitation, "Aye, famished."
Hérion and his group had been riding for barely an hour. Quiet murmurs buzzed throughout most of them but their leader had remained silent. Such silence was unbefitting of his character: it was his fighting spirit and passion that made the group's unspoken agreement that he had dominance in the group. They were all of the same class, the same race and yet Hérion had always been the one who made the final decisions of the group.
They feared recent events had broken his spirit, something that can make an elf very ill. But they held on to the notion that they were heading for the sea to where they can heal on the distant shores. For now, they could only give him his space and just hope that he lasts until then.
Explanations were passed around the group as they ate. What was to happen to Hérion, his friends and the guards of the citadel. Such news lightened Legolas' heart but judging by the look of guilt on Aragorn's face, it was the King that needed to hear something to ease his mind, "Mellon nin?"
The sudden attention startled Aragorn, but the King was glad: if he wasn't brave enough to start the talk, he was at ease knowing that if forced into it, he couldn't run away from it, "Is there something wrong Legolas?"
"Not at all my friend, in fact it is you that I am concerned for. I don't want you to hold what happened between us against yourself. From the moment you… it happened, I held no bad thoughts towards you, nor did I feel pained by your actions – emotionally."
"That's all very well but I feel like I'm being let off too easily for this. I mean – I hit you. You were already injured and I made you worse for the sake of myself."
"For the sake of your wife," Las laughed, "Look at her Aragorn. That beautiful woman over there. Look at her," he did, smirking at how Gimli was gesturing comically towards her as if presenting her to him, making Arwen blush, "You fought for her and who could blame you. She holds your very heart in her hands and is the very air you breathe. You want to live and she is your life! Gwador, I forgave you long before you even began to feel bad for what you did to me. I forgive you."
He drew the king into a hug then, giving him his 'you silly man' laugh. Once again, Aragorn was astounded by his brother's kind heart, but it was what he cherished about him most of all.
Gone were the sun's golden rays for the day, the glowing moon shining in its place. The small group of elves had set up camp and were currently eating a light snack before retiring for the night. However, separated from the group was Hérion, who seemed to prefer solitude to his friends company. He was perched on the top of a large boulder protruding from the ground. His eyes brushed over the land before him, knowing he would never see such a wonderful image again: the trees silhouetted beautifully, gracefully reaching out to touch the stars, the river dancing gently in the light of the moon and the grass blowing gently in the wind, looking invitingly cool to lie on.
In the palm of his hand sat the Evenstar. He had been shocked when Arwen had placed it in his hand back in Gondor.
"I gave this to Aragorn three years ago so he would know that my heart would always go with him wherever he went. Now, we think you should be its rightful owner so you can take comfort in knowing that although our love for each other means my light won't shine for as long, it will shine at its very brightest."
He understood and would cherish such a precious gift. He knew love was the one invincible thing in this world. The one thing that survives after death, is out of the Valar's control and more importantly, can take control of others. After experiencing the latter he knew leaving was the best option. His love for Arwen would live forever in the Undying Lands, but in a healthy way that didn't blind him of the morals he was taught, of honour and dignity. It wouldn't be easy but he promised he would do the one more thing as an act of acceptance of his best friend's love.
"It's a beautiful night tonight, don't you think meleth?" Arwen said, leaning on the railing dazed by stunning view. But Aragorn's eyes were only enticed by her. Her long, chestnut curls that cascaded elegantly down her back, her fair skin that seemed to glow like the moon. And her eyes… oh, if only he could gaze into those eyes as dark as the midnight sky forever – he truly would be content.
How did he manage to claim an angel's heart? A man who at the time was an ungroomed, dirty ranger, or as Arwen put it a 'rugged, dark, mysterious man.'
Whatever it was he had to his advantage, he was glad of it. It meant he had something to fight for when joining the quest, he had support when life as King was just too much, he had something to live for.
All of this from one, amazing woman, who he was now holding tenderly in his arms. He remembered Legolas' words and whilst holding her in his arms everything made sense to him.
Savouring the feel of her skin as he caressed her cheek, he tilted her head towards him, her rosy lips tempting him, making her even more enticing. He gave in to them gladly – nothing says 'I love you' more than a kiss.
Completed! I hope it's not a case of 'too little, too late' for those who started reading this when I first posted it. If that is the case - again - I'm sorry.
I'd only planned on making this story four chapters long - oh well - we can't leave thing out now can we. I hope you liked it!