So… finally… the last chapter…

For me it is always the hardest to write…I am really, really bad in writing endings!!!

Thank you for all your reviews, they made posting a lot of fun!!!

And thank you all for your patience in waiting for this few last lines and not killing me when I started other stories instead of finishing this one first.


Morning had already broken when Aragorn returned to relieve Arwen from her silent watch on Legolas' side. He did not show any surprise at finding the dwarf in the room still working intently.

Gimli looked up from his task and watched the king as he once more checked Legolas' injuries.

'How does he fare?' he finally asked when Aragorn did not say anything.

'Much better. He is beginning to heal now, the worst should be over.' Relief shown in his eyes as he spoke and for the first time and Gimli realized he had not been so sure of Legolas' recovery as he had appeared last night.

'If I had not come back.' He asked hesitantly, his heart heavy. 'Would he have lived through this?'

Aragorn did not answer for a long time. Gimli looked down at the wood in his hands. Deep concern had filled him upon seeing Legolas like this, as well as sudden fear. He did not wish to loose his friend and to know that it had been himself who had caused Legolas so much pain had shaken him badly.

'I do not know, Gimli. He is strong but he was greatly weakened even when he arrived. I doubt he would have lasted for much longer had you not shown up. If he would have recovered on his own I can not say.'

He stepped next to Gimli looking at what had been created by the dwarf's skillful fingers.

'This is beautiful!' he exclaimed. 'The skill of the dwarves has not been exaggerated.'

Gimli only smiled but his eyes stayed sad. For now he knew what their friendship cost the elf. One day he would perish and the pain would be Legolas' to bear.


Two days passed and Legolas did not show signs of waking. Haldir left to return to the Golden Woods. The king of Gondor thanked him once more for bringing Gimli to Minas Tirith so fast. The Lorien elf knew as well as he that Legolas might have taken a turn for the worse had the dwarf not arrived so soon.

Aragorn had a hard time convincing Gimli that his friend was truly getting better. His injuries were healing and the bruises had almost faded but his stillness scared the dwarf as well as his closed eyes.

He was in his own room when he finally could hear Legolas stir and quick strides brought him into the elf's room. Arwen was bent over him speaking to him softly in elvish.

Joy filled the dwarf's heart when he heard his friend's voice as he answered her.

'So you have finally slept long enough?' he called out stepping to the bed's side so he could see his friend.

Legolas eyes were open and clear and upon seeing Gimli they lit with joy.

'I think so, my friend.' He answered with a smile while he moved into a sitting position.

The dwarf shook his head in exasperation.

'Is there no way that I could leave your side for only a few days without you getting into trouble? I had to run after you through half of Middle Earth and tell people that I am still very much alive. And when I finally caught up with you what did I find: an elf with a fever. I do not wish to hear anything about the famous endurance of elves ever again.'

Something flickered in Legolas' eyes as the memory of his pain and grief was still too fresh in his mind. He hardly noticed that Arwen had chosen to leave them alone.

'I am sorry, Gimli.' He finally said his eyes meeting the dwarf's. Anguish was back in them and Gimli could feel his teasing mood disappear.

His voice was much softer when he asked. 'They say you did not allow them to tend to you. You refused to eat and sleep.'

Legolas did not speak and Gimli added.

'They say it was not grief alone that had you suffering but guilt.'

The elf flinched and turned away.

'Do not turn away from me. Tell me what it is that goes on in that head of yours.'

'What do you wish me to say, Gimli!' Legolas cried. 'You know as well as I that it was my fault that we were attacked. I chose the way and led us into danger. You could have died had your dwarven friends not found you for I failed you. I did not even find the strength to look for you.'

'Why do you think yourself so much better than I?' Gimli's voice was sharp and Legolas' eyes turned on him in sincere shock.

'I do not, I never said so.'

'And why would you deny me the ability to make my own decisions? You blame yourself for not sensing the danger and yet I did not feel it either. So why are you to blame and I am not? Do your elven senses make you so much superior to me?'

'I chose the way and you trusted me.'

'I agreed with you. It was my decision as much as yours. Do you blame me for that? You could have found death easily. Would it have been my fault then?'

'Nay, Gimli. You could not know.'

'So, my friend tell me why you should have known then. I do not remember anyone of us sensing the watcher in the waters of Moria. Not Aragorn, not you and not even Gandalf. There are things that might even eluded your keen senses, my friend. This is nothing to be blamed for. And you saved my life. I did not miss your actions that saved me from the monsters grasp.'

The elf did not respond his eyes still carrying a lost expression. Part of him had to agree with Gimli but par of him could not so easily discard the guilt. Feeling the dwarf's intense look boring into him, waiting for him to speak he forced a smile on his lips.

'Maybe you are right, my friend.'

'Of course I am. It just shows how slow your mind works if it took you so long to realize this.'

A small laugh escaped Legolas upon hearing this.

'To find wisdom in the words of a dwarf is a hard thing to do. It might take the whole life of an elf and I am merely lucky to have succeeded so soon.'

'Just awoken and already arguing. I would say you feel better, Legolas?' Aragorn's voice cut into Gimli's retort.

The king of Gondor was much relieved to see Legolas awake and smiling. A sparkle had returned to his eyes and although he could still detect a trace of concern in Gimli's eyes that told him not all was well he seemed much improved.

A servant entered behind Aragorn carrying a tray laden with food, water and wine.

'I assume you feel hungry, my friend.' The man smiled but his voice let no doubt that it was not a question. Taking in a more comfortable position Legolas accepted the food and found himself truly hungry. He could not remember the last time he had eaten and with much enthusiasm he chose fresh bread and cheese to start his meal. With a smile Gimli watched him eat, relieved to see the light back in his eyes. Even if he had not been able to convince him completely he still seemed to be much better. And in the end this was all that counted for the dwarf.


Having eaten and endured one last examination of his injuries Legolas could no longer be held in his room. He returned to the gardens but this time it was a song of joy he carried on his lips. The hobbits met him there, happy to see him well again.

Gimli stayed inside to finish his self appointed task. It was hours later that he joined them in the gardens finding them laid out on a blanket. The hobbits had once more carried a basket filled with food with them and were happily nibbling at their food. Legolas was laying on his back, his eyes fixed to the sky above him and singing softly.

A little bit awkwardly Gimli sat down next to him, laying the burden he carried on the elf's lap. He found no words and simply waited for his friend's reaction.

Legolas sat up with one fluent move curiosity in his eyes. His eyes fell on his broken bow and for a moment sadness flickered in his eyes. Then he gasped and his hands closed around the dark wood of the longbow placed next to it. It was similar in shape to the one the Lady Galadriel had given him but was covered with ornaments carved into the smooth surface. It was the emblem of Mirkwood entangled with patterns both elven and dwarvish. His fingers trailed them his eyes wide with wonder.

Gimli smiled at the childlike joy on his friends face.

'I needed Aragorn's advice for I have never designed a bow before. It is not a weapon chosen by dwarves.' He said quietly. 'I hope it might be of use until you are able to replace it with one of better making.'

Jumping graceful to his feet Legolas lifted it and tried to bend it and a brilliant smile lightening his face.

'It feels perfect in my hands.' He said softly. Than he dashed away never letting go of his new possession. Moments later he returned carrying his quiver.

'Merry!' he cried. 'Throw an apple as far as you can.'

The hobbit complied and the elf notched an arrow within the blink of an eye and fired it. With a satisfied grin he watched the arrow pierce the apple ere it hit the ground.

'It will be hard to find one of better making, dear Gimli.' He spoke. 'I thank you for this gift.'

The dwarf made a dismissive gesture. 'If you need to thank anyone so thank Arwen for she is the one who made the string from her own hair. Or Aragorn, for he helped me to chose the right wood. I did naught but copy the form and carve some design into it.'

The elf only gave him another warm smile and Gimli could not help but return it. It was good to have the elf back to his usual lighthearted self.

… the end…

… for now

continued (kind of) in 'A shadow in my Dreams'