Title: Journeying
Author: Levade
Archive: Yes, just let me know, please
Rating: G
Disclaimer: J.R.R. Tolkien created this wondrous world and the characters in
Notes: I didn't set out to write a story, I was just typing some
thoughts. Sap ahead! So...if you find it meager, that's why. Not
beta'd, all mistakes are mine.


He is immortal. Older than many generations counted in my family
tree. Legolas has told me tales about many of them. Tales he was
there to witness, which is odd to me, being mortal, but quite normal
for him.

What must it be like to watch a friend grow older, withering and
finally passing on, while your countenance changes not a whit?
How must it feel to have endless time, with no worries of old bones
growing brittle or joints stiffening?

The elves have long been friends of my family. The DĂșnedain still

walk Middle Earth, among them my young kinsman, Aragorn.

Rangers we have long been, men and a few hardy women who
guard the borders, roam the forests and plains and hunt, always hunt.

For Orcs have never lost their hatred of man...or elf. Mordor ever
hates us, and pours its poison over our mountains and hills, always
searching for weakness. For signs of apathy.

For an opening.

We have been vigilant, watching over the lands of Gondor and Arnor.

Guarding the Shire and Bree, watching over the passes of the Misty Mountains.
And the elves, who walk so silently as not to bend even the tender
grass shoots, have long been our allies.

I suppose to an outsider it would seem odd that one elf could call so
many generations of one family friend. Outsiders do not understand.
There is much they could learn from the Eldar. Sadly, many beings
fear that which they do not understand. In my travels I hear tales of
people wandering into Elven Woods never to be seen again.

Absurd. Wolves and cutthroats kill more unwary
travelers than anything, or anyone. Elves are very adept at hiding in
plain sight, clouding the sight of men. It isn't that hard, most men
are foolish. They see what they want to see.

Or, more often, simply fail to look up, into the tree branches.
Dangerous that. More than birds alight in trees, and many an elf..and
Ranger...has climbed a tree to wait and see who, or what, passes.

This land will pass into the hands of men someday, baring the
Darkness that ever seeks to swallow all of Middle Earth. Elves feel
it. Their time here is waning. The yearning to go the Sea pulls at
the older ones. I believe it is only their allegiance and love for
the land that holds them here, instead of going to the Undying Land
of Aman.

Undying is our term, for why would an immortal race call a land such?
It is a part of them, like the magic that is simply a part of their
blood. They do not think of it as such, as they sing and chant while
working steel that will become a "magical" blade. To them it is the
way of things.

Immortal. I, who am a mere mortal, cannot but imagine how life must
be for Legolas.

And now, in these later years of my life, time weighs upon me
heavily. I would, if I were able, stay and see my kinsmen regain the
Throne of Gondor. We have waited for many generations for it to come
to pass. I do not think I will live to see it though. Aragorn is a
fine young man, raised with the wisdom and temperance of Elrond. It
may come to pass that he will be the one destined to return from

Thirty-nine generations, hoping, waiting.

I pray he is the one.

Legolas is here now, beside my bed where the fire warms my old bones.
I see sadness in his usually bright eyes and I wish I was not the
cause. "I am sorry, my very dear friend." I sigh as he takes my hand,
warming it between his, gently stroking the parchment dry skin. "Soon
I will leave you, adventuring on without you by my side." I reach up
to stroke his face, smiling for him. My Bright One, he has always
seemed to glow with an inner light. At times it burst from him in a
joyful song. I never could resist smiling at those times, it was such
a beautiful sound.

A frown mars that lineless brow and I make a tutting sound as I
smooth it, unable to resist moving my hand to the softness of his
hair. "Don't frown, Legolas. It was ever meant to be so." I
smile. "Wasn't it you who said it must be so that we humans would not
overpopulate the whole of Middle Earth?"

A smile creeps across his mouth, curving it softly. "I thought great
age brought forgetfulness," he teases.

"And who says it has not, Elrohir?" The fire of my youth is not
completely gone from this tired body of mine.

His hands squeeze mine tightly as he laughs, then sobers, leaning
forward to cup my face in one hand. "You were ever spirited, dear
one." The blue eyes glow with that inner brightness. "I still see in
you the child who threw herself from the treetop, trusting I would
catch her."

"You never failed," I murmur, touched by the remembrance.

"No." He looks away, and for a moment goes somewhere else. Lost in a
memory that for him was but a short time ago. It is moments like
these that bring to the heart just how different human are from the
Firstborn. How mysterious they can seem at times. How much they must
see in their lives.

How short human lives must be to the Elves.

Grief wells up, springing to my eyes in a tear that rolls down a
wrinkled cheek.

Legolas' attention returns to me with a startled look that becomes a
frown of concern. "Are you in pain? Why did you not let -"

"No, Bright One." I push a smile past my sorrow. No use wishing for
things that cannot be. Humans die. My time is coming. I lean my cheek
into his hand. "No pain." My gaze wanders to the window, the beauty
of Imladris. I am a most fortunate mortal, granted my last days here
in the valley of Elrond's refuge.

I loose the regrets. There are things that cannot be, that I never
will see.


He shifts closer, sitting on the cot. Strokes the white hair that
once was as dark as raven's wings back from my face. "It must be dire
indeed, if you call me by name." Leans forward yet more, bending over
me, with an elbow on either side of my chest. A soft, sweet smile
curves his mouth as he looks deep into my eyes.

"Watch over Aragorn?" I can't help reaching up to stroke the soft,
bright gold of his hair, fingers falling to finger a braid. "Show him
the ways of the woods, the things you of Mirkwood who know trees so
well alone can teach."

One nod, given without hesitation. Oh, men are such fools in their
fears! There is no more faithful friend than an elf.

Weariness begins to creep into my body. For so many years this body
bore me where I would go, enduring hardships and pain, pleasure and
grief in equal measure. I have scars from wounds that tell the story
of a Ranger's life. Never easy. A life I am proud of, that I will not
mind being told to my children's children.

He will tell them. They all know him, love to ride piggy-back when he
will permit it, arms wrapped tightly around his neck, though he would
never let them fall. I've watched him swing them high in the air,
laughing as brightly and joyfully as they, until they both fell,
dizzy from the spinning.

It is reassuring. Comforting. I cannot be there to watch over them,
to protect them. To show them all that I learned in my long life.
Legolas can...and will.

The brightness of my Elven friend seems to grow as my
eyelids droop. There is one other thing before I go to the sleep that
will usher me to the next journey. "Will you sing for me?"

His voice is from all times in my life; childhood, adult, elder.
There is not a time I cannot recall being comforted by his singing.

I feel his arms slip under my shoulders, and then he is holding me
against his chest, just as he did when I was a small child. One hand
strokes my hair as he gently rocks me, and he begins to softly sing,
his cheek pressed to my forehead.

A safe place. Timeless.

A restful place.

Full of love.

Full of light.

I close my eyes and follow Legolas' voice to the lands of my