Disclaimer: I own nothing of this but the character Anaran. Everything else is the creation of Tolkien. This was done purely for fun. No profit (believe me) was made from this endeavor, though reviews are nice tribute for the effort.
A/N: Well I thought I had all my angst worked out when I completed my first tale, "Cry of the Gull". But it turns out I was wrong as it just keeps spilling out in this forum. I guess you could call this a sequel of sorts, though I never really intended to write one. Still, if you've read "Cry of the Gull", this fits in well. And if you haven't, you should still be able to follow it without any problems. And maybe you'll find it good enough to seek out "Cry" (rather humble plug!). Anyhow, this story is told many, many, many years later, Post-RotK. In a nutshell, it tells what happens to Elves who ignore their longing for the Sea (much suffering I warn you).
I would like to dedicate this story to my mother. She has walked Gimli's path and knows well the effect of living with the ugliness of disease and losing a loved one. The emotions conveyed here could easily be hers. In the end, she has come out with a richer soul.
Then Legolas built a grey ship in Ithilien, and sailed down Anduin and so over Sea; and with him, it is said, went Gimli the Dwarf. And when the ship passed an end was come in Middle-earth of the Fellowship of the Ring.
"Return of the King"
Appendix B, last entry
The story that follows tells how that journey came to be
Torn Between Two Worlds
Part One: Illness
The Dwarf awoke to hear his friend's cry and every particle of his being came to life. Oh no! It has returned! he frantically thought.
A scream of agony filled the night air from within the house. Newfound energy coursed his veins as Gimli ran with driving force, making his way through the dark corridors to where he had heard the sound originate.
He found the Elf lying in the center of the great hallway, the lithe body racked in sobs. Legolas lay curled on the hard inlaid floors, the silken robe and gauzy shirt beneath billowing out from his body as golden hair cascaded down to cover his face. Gimli knelt down to his friend and pulled the light form into his arms.
He was so thin. The flowing garment about Legolas hid the frailty of his body. Gimli could feel jutting shoulder blades and collarbones beneath the gown and adjusted his grip in deference to the Elf's comfort. He pushed the mane of hair away from the fair one's face to reveal the contorted expression of pain that labored there. Tears streaked Legolas' face and his breathing came in short pants. His hands opened and closed, clenching as muscle spasms gripped the ailing Elf's arms. "No!" he cried out as silent torment enveloped him.
Gimli pressed his friend close to his body, firmly, gently, whispering soft assurances, "Legolas, hush hush. I am here now. I will help you."
The Elf's hands folded into the Dwarf's embrace, fiercely clinging to his forearms as wrenching cries escaped him, "Oh Gimli.please make it stop.please!" His eyes were lost and a wimper came out as he winced back his agony, "I can control it no longer"
The disarmed Dwarf felt dread and helplessness clench his gut. He knew there was nothing he could do. Nothing more than this – to hold his friend and console his misery.
The sound of light footsteps interrupted Gimli's fears and he looked up to see the servants arriving, anxious, struck dumb, staring at the uncertainty of the situation. "Help me get him back to his bed," the Dwarf ordered and they immediately rushed to his aid.
Tenderly Legolas was lifted and carried back to the bed chamber. Gimli had left the room only a few short hours ago and he scolded himself now for his own foolishness in doing so. I thought he was doing better, the Dwarf reasoned with himself. I thought he finally slept. I am such fool! I was wrong to think it was safe to leave. He could have been seriously hurt! I should have called one of the servants to spell me. Then he scowled and thought, More evidence of the ugly deception of this illness.
He relit the candles on the side table and watched as the Elven staff laid their lord back into the soft comfort of bed. Legolas' eyes were once again trapped in that other world, vague and forgetful of the harm that had just assaulted him. Tears dried on his cheeks and his eyes betrayed none of the horror that had caused them.
Gimli pulled the coverlet over the Elf's lean body and was struck by how small his friend now looked. Legolas' once strong body seemed a mere shadow of its former self. Grimly the Dwarf considered this another sign of the long suffering this affliction brought. Gimli looked hard at his friend and his heart felt pierced. The horrible decision he had been avoiding had to be made. There was no retreating from it further.
As the servants drew away, Gimli pulled the head of staff aside, and whispered to him, "Anaran, bring me the healer." His voice with brusque, but it conveyed the deeper emotion this request held.
The tall, dark Elf looked down at Gimli's face. He looked tired and Gimli could not help but think that this decision affected him too. He had been more friend than servant to Legolas in the last several years, and had been faithful in that more than any others Gimli could recall. Gimli had grown fond of the stoic Elf, and he thought he had detected a hint of affection in return from the other as their time at Legolas' side had grown. He said, "You know what he will say, Master Dwarf."
"Yes, I know," said Gimli with a loud sigh, glancing again at the pale form lying on the bed. His heart was pained by his decision. "But I do not think your lord can go on much longer like this. Nor can we," the Dwarf said grimly, looking at the other and placing a consoling hand on the taller Elf's upper arm. "We must do what we can to ease his misery and, if the Valar allow, possibly restore him to health."
Anaran hurried away on his task and Gimli sat on the bed next to the limp Elf who had been screaming in pain only minutes before. Gimli pulled Legolas' slender fingers into his own thick hands and watched him. The Dwarf felt bone-weary and his emotions were raw. It seemed like it had been quite a long time since he had been free of this. Now the pressure about him was growing ever greater. He longed to be done with this and it was all he could do to sit there quietly when every impulse within him was telling him to run away. But he knew he could not run, nor would he. He bolstered himself, remembering time and time again when he had faced dire circumstance and come out of it stronger, more secure in his prowess. And yet, he reminded himself, never had he held the life of a friend in his own hands.
Gimli looked about the room, composing himself and assessing the needs of the coming situation. He spoke to a servant standing at ready in the corner. "Make up a bed for me on the couch and draw it nearer," he said. "I will stay with him now through the duration of this."
As the servant fluttered away, Gimli was left alone with his friend. The Dwarf started as he felt the Elf's hand flinch within his own and braced himself. When will this stop? he thought.
"Where is that cursed healer?" he muttered, steeling himself for the screams that he knew were about to fill the room again.
Gimli mused the name. Cuivëar*. It was the Elven word for the affliction. The word had such a beautiful sound, and yet it veiled such horror. It translated literally to 'awakening of the sea.' But that means so little, thought Gimli. The Westron tongue called it 'sea-longing' and still those words could not convey any real meaning. For as Gimli watched Legolas battle the wretched illness, he saw and realized the true extent of the disease. It emulated its name. It was like the Sea. It came lightly at first, lulling its victim into dreams, gently as if buoying one on caressing waters. It stripped the beholder of memory or place and saturated the senses with beauty. Gimli had looked on Legolas' face at these times and almost saw him smile. Yet the dream had its nightmarish turn, bending and pulling its victims as it progressed. Like the waves of the Sea, Gimli saw it crush in on Legolas, ripping at his heart, driving him back into the ugliness of reality and causing pain from unquenchable desire. Gimli grimaced as he had seen it, feeling it like it was happening to him. All the feelings, all the happiness were pulled away from his friend like the tide drawing back to the Sea. In their place Legolas was left with anxiety, despair and loneliness. Over and over again it would occur, peaceful revelry, gentle forgetfulness, and then crushing anguish. Over and over until Legolas' heart began to tear and his soul began to suffer damage. Over and over until there was nothing left but for the Elf to surrender to it. Gimli wondered how long could an Elven heart endure such torment?
The medicines worked well on Legolas. He fell deeply under their spell and Gimli waited anxiously, praying this decision was the right one. He felt dizzy and weightless, his stomach knotted in anxiety. His head hurt with a dull ache that started at the base of his neck and moved to the crown of his head as he worried. Tension played on his face. He watched carefully, ever vigilant for any affect the medicine would take. He waited, not knowing how long this coma would last.
The Elven physician offered no other solutions. "He needs sleep," he had said in hushed tones, shaking his head at the sunken figure lying in the bed. "He needs to be drawn away from the cuivëar. Sleep is the only thing that may do that now." But simple rest was not a luxury available to the captive Elven lord. The disease would not allow him such pleasure. Gimli knew the choices: leave him to suffer as he had and hope he would find sleep through his own exhaustion; or induce the repose needed through medicinal means.
It was risky, the Dwarf knew. There was a chance the Elf would not recover, in which he would linger in twilight until his heart ceased from the effects malnourishment offered. Or he could awaken to be right where he had left off, tormented again and only strengthened by his rest for the new assault. Or he could die while he slept, his heart slowing with the toxic cure until it beat no more. Or he could be returned, weak, but whole. Eight days before the same risks had been presented, and Gimli had chosen none, opting to let his friend come out of this on his own. But Legolas was now eight days further progressed and still without rest. Gimli did not think he could delay this intervention any longer. He looked at his friend and knew he no longer had options. The Dwarf had consented to the risk and the potent elixirs were drawn and given to the sick Elf.
Gimli watched Legolas' eyes as he slept. They were sealed tightly, in a dream akin to mortal beings and it horrified the Dwarf. To Gimli's mind, the peaceful, slumbering face of his friend revealed fully the extent of the Elf's illness, for Elves in fair health did not sleep with eyes shut. The Dwarf remembered how Legolas' means of sleeping had frightened him when they had first met. Gimli had once been prejudiced, as had Legolas, and the two were fiercely wary of the others intentions. They avoided each other as much as they could, but in the small company of the Fellowship, that was almost an impossibility, and for safe protocol, unwise. There was only so far they could distance themselves in the camp and they were forced to learn of each others habits. None had struck Gimli as too peculiar except for the resting patterns of the Elf. Those eyes. Gimli was certain that the blank stare of sleep, so common among Elves, was this Elf's way of unnerving him and the Dwarf was certain he was being spied upon for weaknesses. It had taken assurances from Gandalf before the Dwarf would allow his defenses to come down. In time the Elf and Dwarf came to know each other and any misconceptions were pushed away. And now as Gimli watched Legolas in his illness, he would have traded all his wealth and good fortune to see the Elf's eyes in sleep as they should be, as they had been.
Never had Gimli seen the illness so bad in Legolas before. They had fought a bout several years back, but not to this extent. It had lasted a week and Gimli had worried then that it had been severe, so frightened was he. Now, with hindsight, the Dwarf realized that that occurrence was a mere sampling of how far the disease could go. For the visit of which he now partook was in its third month, and nearly all of it had been under the veil of sickness. And Gimli suspected there had been many more episodes between that the Elf had not revealed to him.
Gimli had come with Anaran's message. It should have been Legolas who sent for me, Gimli thought angrily. Surely he saw the signs that this was coming. When he arrived a few days later, he found his friend far gone into his malady and was surprised at how it had progressed so far, so fast. "How long has he been like this?" Gimli demanded.
Anaran answered, "Many weeks now."
"Why was I not informed?" Gimli asked in shock.
"He did not want you to come," was the other's melancholy answer.
"But why?" was the forlorn question.
"He did not want you to see him die," came the curt response.
"And yet you sent for me?" Gimli asked perplexed.
"Yes," Anaran answered. "I thought you may want to see him." It was the most compassionate thing Gimli had ever heard the Elf say.
Undaunted, Gimli set out to get Legolas well. He ordered fresh food and demanded light be brought forth, drapes thrown open wide. He commanded soothing songs be sung in place of those of lament. He dispatched Legolas' duties and delegated what he could. And the Elves of the house breathed a collective sigh that perhaps the presence of the Dwarf would revive their master and influence him. Gimli became the Elf's constant comrade and eventually Legolas recovered.
Twenty-three days. For twenty-three days Legolas regained himself, going so far as to be cheerful from time to time. He had even sung, Gimli remembered. Will that be the last time I ever hear his voice? For as the scene about him revealed, the cure did not last. Without warning, the disease ripped into the Elf again, and Gimli lived in dread and fear as he watched, unable to stop it.
As the days wore on, Gimli refused to leave his friend's side. He was tormented with grief, constantly doubting his decision. Numbly, he watched and found solace only in tending Legolas' needs.
He fed the Elf broth, propping his head with pillows and forcing small spoonfuls to his mouth. It gave him comfort to think he could try to nourish the frail body back to one of more substance. He reminded himself that he too should eat and rest or he would be no help at all to his friend.
He made sure the Elf was dressed in fresh clothing each day and helped bathe the Elf's face and body. He felt sure his friend would want to keep a neat appearance, and Gimli consented to it willingly as the others around him considered it an integral part of the Elven healing process.
Gimli brushed out the Elf's long hair, arranging it away from his face and keeping it tidy and unknotted.
He massaged the Elf's legs and arms, moving him into different positions to prevent chafing and sores.
He had the bedding changed daily so the Elf would feel freshness about him.
He made sure crisp foliage and sweet spices were brought in so the room smelled alive and inviting.
He sat and he waited for his friend to come back.
And sometimes he would look up to see Anaran had taken a place in the room, though the Dwarf had not heard him enter nor knew how long he been there. Silently they watched for a sign that Legolas was returning.
The healer came and left many times in the days that followed. He always said the same, "He will wake when he is able." It was not the reassurance the Dwarf wanted. And then the physician would add as an aside, not knowing the guilt he was inflicting on the Dwarf, "He really should have left long years ago. Had he gone, none of this would be necessary."
Scorn rose in Gimli's chest. What does this healer know? He is Noldor. The pain Legolas must endure is far greater than any he would know. How can he know to help a Mirkwood Elf? Gimli thought. He considered going to Greenwood, though Thranduil's prejudice still lingered there. Still, for the sake of a Silvan Elf, they might have helped a Dwarf. Gimli shrugged it off. The idea of leaving Legolas for so long a journey was impossible to broach, and the Elf was certainly unfit to travel.
The Dwarf reflected on the healer's words and on Elven society in general. He was already angry at the Elves of Ithilien, and these words only fueled his ire. While the staff of the house remained faithful and attentive, he was dismayed by the lack of aid by other Elves in Ithilien. Certainly Legolas was loved by the citizens of this land, Gimli knew that well. And yet few had offered comfort. Gimli gathered the impression that they had grown uncomfortable with Legolas' illness, as if it had gone on for too long, or that Legolas had brought it upon himself to suffer so. It was as if they scorned him for condemning himself to earthbound love and refusing to turn away from it. There had been a time when none would have flinched at the sight of Legolas in the state of his illness. It was all so normal to them. But as the cuivëar progressed and took on greater dominance, the Elves began to turn away. If there was any positive side to these events, it was the proof that the mortals that had settled near the colony deeply sympathized with the Elven leader's plight and openly mourned his illness.
I suppose that that is the heart of the Elves' behavior,Gimli thought. Elves do not like pity. They ask not for sympathy. And in turn, when they see the ugliness of pain and sickness, they look away in repulsion. They have to face it in their own way, and the ease that mortals face such realities makes them all the more adverse. Had there not been mortal beings about, the Elves most likely would have offered more compassion to the Lord of Ithilien. How disappointing that they still bore the inability to show weakness in the face of humanity. But then again, maybe it is only self-preservation they sought. To feel too deeply is the frailty of these beings. They can ill-afford to become too emotionally fixed.
And in that was the flaw to this idyllic community. It was the keystone of Legolas' rule, to live side-by-side without prejudice. He opinioned that if Elves stood any chance of survival in Middle-earth they must forego their old ideals and adapt to the societies of Man. He opened the colony with free invitation to any who thought with like minds. Legolas' first step had been the removal of fenced borders, implied or real. He did not want territories to stand in the way of any relationships there were to be forged. In his mind, all past sins were forgotten, and with the coming of the fourth age, it was time for all creatures to find harmony among one another. It had given the Elf much pleasure to see all the children of Ilúvatar living as happy neighbors. And of course, he owed this reward to the wholehearted endorsement of the Elessar and Arwen. They, above all others, were living proof of the favor of such ideals. But Gimli knew for all his friend's good intentions, this experiment was destined to fail. Elves were susceptible to emotion far greater than any other. The mixing of mortals and immortals was dangerous, for those friendships would ultimately be ended by death. Mourning was a pain most dreadful to Elves. Though choosing to live beside mortals the Elves could not help to know this, and consciously or not, they held their feelings for Men at bay. Even Aragorn and Arwen had to face this reality. After all, she had given up her immortality to be at his side.
Sadly, Gimli's mind drew back to the king. It had been many years since Elessar had taken rule and now he was quite old, his health, too, failing. In former days, Gimli might have sought the king for a cure, for his healing abilities were nearly as great as Lord Elrond's. But then Gimli shook his head, remembering what the Ranger had said to him once. "There is no cure for what ails him." Doubtless, he knew he could do little more than what had already passed. Gimli felt great wariness grow on him as he recalled the rest of Aragorn's prediction. "It is like a dream," he had said, "and as time goes on it will become worse. He will fall more and more into that dream until he has no other choice but to seek sanity on the other side of the Sea."
No choice. No choice.He thought back on how he had accused Aragorn of bringing this illness on the Elf. "You have doomed him!" he had screamed. Yet the Dwarf knew Aragorn could no more stop the Elf from this affliction than Gimli could stop the wind. It had been an unavoidable outcome, and Gimli shuddered at the thought of what may have happened had events not followed their course.
No choice.Gimli's mind echoed the words and guilt invaded his heart. He had to face the reality that the progress of Legolas' illness was the fault of no one but himself. His memory would not leave behind the scene he held blame for the Elf's current state. It had haunted him long and now most mercilessly as he had sat vigil at his friend's side.
"Stupid Elf," he yelled at the mute body. "You should not have listened to my miserable lament. You should have followed your own heart!"
He remembered the scene as it replayed in vivid detail before him though it had taken place almost sixty years before. It had been late Summer, and Legolas had visited Gimli in his home at the site of the Glittering Caves. A colony of dwarves had established themselves there under the son of Gloin's direction. Gimli remembered that Legolas looked tired, but the Elf had dismissed it as road weariness. He was eager to talk and seemed agitated if he stayed in one place too long. Still, Gimli barely noticed, so happy was he to set eyes on his best friend. He wanted to show the Elf all that he and his men had accomplished and Legolas had patiently complied. After many hours of idle converse, Legolas came out with the intent of his visit.
"Sam will be departing soon," the Elf had said. "He has been granted a place among the Valar. It is most unusual, but a great thing truly. He is the last of the ringbearers, and so a place more fitting could not be found for him in these waning days of his life."
"I will be saddened to see him go," Gimli had said with deep emotion. "While I know he breathes still, for me it is the same as if he were to die. I will miss his jolly ways and his companionship."
It took Legolas several more minutes to muster up the courage to say what he next thought. "I was pondering" the Elf said as he looked up at the Dwarf to register his reaction, "I was pondering the thought of taking Sam on this journey myself." His face was a mask, but there was something in the Elf's eyes that belied hope.
"You would leave?" the Dwarf roared, losing himself in his surprise.
Legolas flinched slightly at the might of the Dwarf's response, but quickly recuperated and once again slipped on a placid expression. "Sam should have a companion to ease this trip for him, do you not think?"
Gimli fumed, "There are no shortage of Elves making this journey. He has been befriended by your kind for many years. He will not be alone. And when he does arrive, Frodo and Gandalf will be there. Nay, he does not need your assistance," the Dwarf said dismissing the subject.
Legolas looked away and Gimli thought he saw the Elf's true feelings. A pang of sympathy combined with anguish ripped through him. Gimli felt confused. He did not want to see his friend hurt, but neither did he want to see his own pain. It was many more minutes before words passed between the pair.
"I think it may be time," the Elven lord finally said, his eyes cast down as if unable to look upon the Dwarf.
Gimli released his breath. He had long feared this day would come, and now that it was here, he was no further prepared for it than the day when the sea-longing started. They had not spoken of it much since that day so long ago and Gimli had assumed it had receded to just a memory. In his mind, the words spoken were fresh and he was not ready to digest the hurt behind them. No! he said in his head. I do not want this! He cannot leave yet! And in his anguish, he refused the statement access to his mind. He turned his fear to anger and lashed out at his friend for the harm he was causing. Did Legolas not know the depth of his affection? For surely if he did he would never consider broaching such a subject.
"How can you say this thing? Do you not realize how many rely upon your guidance. There is so much here you are needed for. And so much yet to see. We have not nearly traveled as extensively as we said we would. We have a lifetime of events yet to explore. Would you deny this of me?" the Dwarf demanded.
"The cuivëar," Legolas said vacantly, sadly, "it haunts me. The yearning grows greater."
The Dwarf silently gasped. This was a bold confession. Gimli knew the Elf's pain must be great if he was willing to allow himself to be portrayed in self-pity. And yet the thought of his friend's leaving overwhelmed him to tears. He could not bare it, he was sure. He had to stop it from happening, though he was somewhat astounded that he was putting himself first. He felt torn, as if he were two creatures at once: one sympathetic to his friend's plight; the other loathsome and vile. But the beast was the one speaking and the better part distanced himself from the scene.
The Dwarf shook with a fierceness that startled the Elf. "No! We will fight it. There is no other choice," he said with a set face. "We will find reason to make your place here justified. Your life in this world shall have meaning."
Legolas stood silent, hiding his face though Gimli knew that the Elf's eyes shone misty. As if to refuse himself their effect, he too looked away. Yet the silence wore on until his emotions rode over him. His voice quaked as he said in a quiet, pleading voice, "Legolas, please do not leave. My life is but short in comparison to yours. Surely you could tarry until I pass. It is but a blink of the eye for one so immortal, but for me, my heart aches at the thought of your departure. I fear I may die from the sadness it would bring me."
With the power of hindsight, Gimli could see it had been a cruel blow and he hated himself for it. He had said this to a being who knew heartbreak as the most fatal wound of all. How could he not resist my plea to spare my life? How could he realize I was not so susceptible as he thought. He looked at my pain through Elven eyes as I put my needs before his, he thought.
With great power over his own emotions, Legolas swallowed his loss and stiffened his resolve. He righted his posture and turned back to the Dwarf. In a blithe voice he said, "It was only a ponderance my friend, for the sake of Sam." He smiled as he turned Gimli to face him, "I told you once before I would stay so long as our friendship holds and I do not see it diminishing any time soon. I pledge to you, Gimli, I will not depart before you. I will find meaning to my life for that time at least."
Gimli had looked at him and smiled, allowing his weaker self to win this battle. He never looked back. All forgotten. All forgiven. So heartless was I, he thought. My motives I thought were for both our goods. How wrong I was.
Legolas' eyes fluttered and the Dwarf jumped in surprise. Tentatively he waited, gently holding his friend's hand as the blue eyes blinked awake. Another agonizing minute passed before the Elf's mind roused any action. Slowly, Legolas' eyes moved about, focusing carefully on each object in the room as if trying to remember their place and purpose. Finally they rested on Gimli. The Dwarf held his breath in anticipation, fearful but joyous that the Elf had returned at last. He had lost track of the days and weeks since the Elf had been forced into a world of dreams. Legolas' eyes registered Gimli's face and a broad smile spread across the Dwarf's lips at seeing recognition there.
Legolas' voice was barely a whisper, coarsened to a rasp due to lack of use. "You are still here?" he asked.
Gimli could not read his friend's emotion. He appeared so blank and devoid of feeling.
"My departure was delayed by a bout of ill-health," the Dwarf jested, trying to make light of what had been so frightening only moments before.
"You should leave," Legolas said, his eyes closing again as if to dismiss the Dwarf.
Gimli frowned. Was this an aftereffect of the medicines? Perhaps a dream still invaded the Elf's thoughts? "I could leave, but I would rather stay for a while longer. Spring will soon approach. And you know I have a fondness for the new vintages," Gimli said merrily, pretending there was nothing wrong.
"You should go home and stop fretting over me. I have caused you far too much grief. You should not be seeing me like this," the Elf said weakly, angrily, as if something private had been invaded.
Gimli leaned in close to the Elf on the pretense of pushing a stray hair away from his face. "My friend, I am old. I have no other tasks that require my service. I am free to come and go as I please. For now, I would choose to stand at your side. Please do not push me away."
Legolas eyes opened again and he searched Gimli's face. Then he said in a pleading voice, "You do not understand. I want you to leave. I wish to die, but cannot so long as you are here. You bring too much hope. Let me die, Gimli."
The guilt of that summer so long ago crept up on Gimli again. He would not let his friend give up. Not if the Dwarf had a chance to make it up to him and to send him on to the life he should have. "I will not go, my friend. I am sorry, but I will not see you die if I can help it. I choose to fight for you."
A silent tear slipped from Legolas' eye and dropped to the pillow beneath his head. "I amso tired," the Elf sadly said, and Gimli was uncertain if he meant the exhaustion creeping up on his drawn face or the weariness he felt at fighting to live. The Elf's eyes conveyed an age that his body disguised and the blue orbs which mirrored the light within him were dim. Gimli knew he had much to make up to his friend to bring that light back. But he intended to try.
"Sleep then, my friend," Gimli said in a whisper, wearing a small smile as he stroked his friend's brow. "Do not be troubled further. We can talk when you awake. I can wait that long at least."
The Elf seemed to lose strength then and he gave in to his weariness. Gimli watched intently as Legolas' eyes fixed into a stare and his breathing slowed to a soft, steady pattern. Heavy lids drifted down, but did not shut entirely. Gimli smiled, encouraged as he saw his friend sleep as an Elf at last.
* Cuivëar –derived from Sindarin and Quenya word roots: cuivië, meaning 'awakening'; and ëar, meaning 'sea'. Reference "The Silmarillion" by J.R.R.Tolkien. Just to be clear, this disease is a concoction of my own imagining, not Tolkien's. My first story, "Cry of the Gull" focuses on the time when Legolas incurred the illness and you'll find more details on it's symptoms and effects there.