Amin Ai Olin
(My Little Secret)
Rain splattered down on the small groups of Men and Elves, as they hurried through the mud and puddles, seeking their homes, the inn, or some other form of shelter. Lightning and thunder sparked in the dark sky, urging those who were in the blinding rain to hurry, as gusts of wind ripped through drenched clothes, leaving their wearers shivering.
Many figures stood under awnings, choosing to wait until the storm passed to reach their destinations. The different buildings in the town could not be identified, for the downpour of rain made it very difficult to even see a few feet in front of oneself.
No one spared the stumbling, bent-over figure, who staggered through the rain and mud, a second glance. The single Elf had his arms wrapped around his waist in desperation, as he struggled to reach the town Healer. Another contraction wracked through his slender frame and he nearly fell over, falling directly into a second Elf, who happened to be going the opposite way.
Haldir automatically caught the small figure that fell into him. He looked down, and easily recognized the signs of an advanced pregnancy. "Are you all right?" the handsome Elf questioned, concern in his voice. It was not smart for someone so obviously close to giving birth to be out in this weather.
The pitiful-looking figure, whom was being supported by Haldir's strong arms, quickly glanced away, not wanting to be recognized, with wariness written across his face. "I'm fine," he muttered, lying as yet another contraction came, and he had to stifle a groan.
Haldir frowned, for this voice sounded familiar to him. "Who are you?" he asked sharply, looking closer at the other Elf, now seeing the pointed ears hidden in the muddy, blond hair.
Legolas let out a strangled cry of pain, and all but collapsed. He had reached the end of his strength and could go no further. The once proud and slightly arrogant former Prince of Mirkwood turned his face towards Haldir. "H-Haldir?" he whispered, hoping that the other Elf would not turn him away, as his vision went slightly blurry.
"Legolas?" Haldir gasped in shock. He stared straight into the azure eyes, full of pain and sorrow.
"Please, Haldir. Help...me." Legolas then finally gave in to his pain, to the agony ripping through him, and to his great weariness.
Haldir kept Legolas from falling, as the younger Elf went limp. The taller Elf lifted Legolas into his arms, and saw the ripple of another contraction go through the otherwise motionless Elf in his arms. 'By Elbereth.' Haldir gasped, as he quickly began racing through the crowds, back to the home he shared with his lover, Elladan. If Legolas was in enough pain to ask for help, it was serious.
'Elladan, bring out cloths and a clean knife!' Haldir shouted, as he carried Legolas inside the small house, and laid the unconscious, young Elf down on the single bed. Haldir himself pulled up Legolas' loose shirt and lowered his leggings slightly, before he quickly washed his hands in a basin of clean water.
Elladan did as his lover bid, and came in carrying them. He frowned when he saw the unmoving figure laying on the bed. 'What's going on, Haldir?' he asked sleepily, walking over to the bed.
Haldir turned a grim face to the one he loved. 'I don't know how- or why- but this Elf is Legolas. And if I don't bring his child into the world now, they might both die.' His voice was serious and grave.
Elladan paled drastically, and handed over the clean knife, placing the cloths on the bed. 'What else can I do to help?'
'Bring a needle, thread, some herbs, and bandages,' Haldir instructed, as he turned to Legolas, taking the knife in his hand.
Elladan quickly ran off to do so, as Haldir went to work. He began to cut into Legolas' flesh, being very careful not to hurt the unborn child or its parent, at least more than he had to. Soon, a tiny, bloody male infant was in his hand. The baby wailed aloud, a soft, pleading cry, as he was removed from his warm, safe environment.
Haldir cleaned the little one off as best as he could, before he wrapped it in the softest cloth he could find, to keep it from getting chilled. He then cradled the baby in one arm, while tending to Legolas with the other.
Elladan returned and took the wailing newborn in his hands, after placing the herbs, thread, and needle on the bed. He spoke soothingly to the tiny infant, who hiccupped and continued crying against Elladan's chest, as if he sensed that his only parent was in danger of dying.
Haldir had used most of the cloths to slow the bleeding down, so he now put the thread in the needle and carefully began stitching up where he had cut out the child, checking the bleeding with more cloths. When he had finished, Haldir wet one of the few clean cloths that were left and gently cleaned the blood off of the stitches.
Legolas merely lay there, pale and unconscious. He was still breathing, however, which told the other two Elves that he was alive.
Haldir cleaned his hands for a second time, before he turned to Elladan. 'We need to find someone to feed the baby. Legolas is too exhausted and weak.' he murmured. The strain of the last two hours and finally caught up with him.
The newborn hiccupped pitifully, crying softly again for food.
'All right. Aelvina gave birth a week ago; I'll take the baby to her,' Elladan said. 'She will surely not turn him away.'
Haldir nodded. 'I will stay here and tend to Legolas, as best as I can. If he makes it through the night, he will live.'
Elladan paled even more. 'And if he does not?'
'He is the son of Thranduil, my love. Legolas will not die so easily,' Haldir said, a knowing look in his eyes.
The tiny baby whimpered, echoing the faint whimper that came from Legolas. Elladan gave Haldir a worried look, before he bundled up the little one in even more cloths and put on his own cloak with the hood, using it to keep the rain off of the baby, as he stepped out again silently, urgency in his step.
Haldir split the herbs that promoted Elven healing, and rubbed the aloe onto the large, stitched gash. He then fetched a soft blanket and covered Legolas with it, before he sat on the other side of the bed, in case Legolas took a turn for the worse.
A few hours later, Haldir was finding it difficult to stay awake after a few hours had passed when Elladan entered once more, holding the babe carefully, supporting its fragile neck as he cradled the little boy against him. A bag of baby supplies was fastened to his back now; a gift from Aelvina for the new 'mother'.
'How is Legolas?' Elladan questioned, as he handed the sleeping newborn to Haldir slowly.
Haldir looked at Legolas. 'I think he'll be all right. He just needs to rest.' He held the baby in the same position that Elladan had.
Elladan nodded slowly, before he sat next to Haldir. The two watched Legolas carefully for the rest of the night, taking turns caring for the newborn.
Gondor Castle, right after Legolas' son was born
A newborn baby girl cried in her mother's arms, as she was tenderly cradled. Arwen gently inspected the perfect tiny fingers and toes, before she turned to her husband.
"She's beautiful, isn't she?" Arwen breathed. The birth had taken much out of her, and she was weak. But it was worth it, for she had her perfect, dark-haired, blue-eyed baby girl, who had slightly pointed ears, showing her Elven heritage.
"Yes, Arwen," Elessar murmured, in awe of his newborn daughter. He reached out and was pleased when the infant grabbed a hold of his finger, whimpering, before she hiccupped. "What should we call her, Arwen?"
Arwen gently inspected her precious child again. "Her name… will be Kasia."
Elessar nodded, before he took a hold of little Kasia, cradling her fragile body carefully, which was wrapped in a small, pale pink sheet that was made of silk. "It's a lovely name, befitting a princess. Princess Kasia Telcontar." Elessar pressed his lips to Arwen's soft mouth, kissing her tenderly, before he kissed her forehead. "Rest, Arwen. I will care for her as I can while you do."
Arwen lovingly smiled at her husband, before she fell asleep, needing rest. Elessar kept an eye on his wife, as he next to her, admiring their lovely daughter. The only sadness that he felt on this joyous day was the fact that Legolas was not here to celebrate with them, as Elessar knew his best friend would have. Legolas would have been a big help to him as he waited for the child to be born.
But Legolas had not been seen since the wedding almost nine
months ago. The beautiful, blond Elf had vanished three weeks after the
wedding. And Elessar had no idea of why. He could not have known that his best
friend was far away, struggling to remain alive.
Legolas awoke very late the next day, in severe pain, especially on his waist. He gasped slightly when he realized that he was inside somewhere. And that he was no longer in labor. What had happened to his child?
Haldir came in, carrying the tiny babe. He was relieved to see that Legolas was awake, for he had genuinely been worried. 'How are you feeling, Legolas?'
'Haldir.' Legolas murmured. His voice was weak and cracked slightly. 'How did I get here?'
'I brought you here, after you fainted,' Haldir answered.
Legolas tensed and whispered, 'What about my baby?'
Haldir simply took the almost day-old baby to his father. As for who the sire was, Haldir had no idea. 'You have a son, Legolas.' He placed the baby in Legolas' arms slowly.
Legolas gave his little son a careful looking over, inspecting the soft, blond wisps of hair, the blue eyes, the tiny, slightly pointed ears, and his perfect toes and fingers. 'He's beautiful. And worth everything.'
Haldir watched the baby hiccup and grab a hold of Legolas' finger, before trying to suck on it. 'What happened to you? How could a Prince get like this?'
'I have been disowned, so I am no longer a Prince,' Legolas informed Haldir, as he continued admiring his precious baby boy. 'Father will not accept his grandchild because I am not wed, and I refuse to give him up. He is all that I have left.'
'That's why you disappeared; because you knew what everyone would say.' Haldir frowned slightly. 'Why isn't his sire here?' Haldir sharply asked, silently condemning the person. Who could have just left Legolas alone like that?
Legolas ignored Haldir's question, and asked one of his own. 'How is Queen Arwen? I heard she was to give birth this day to Elessar's heir.'
Haldir frowned at Legolas for using his best friend's formal name, instead of 'Estel'. 'She gave birth yesterday as well, around the same time as you, I believe. Aelvina told me so, when I took your son to her for feeding.'
'I see.' Legolas gently traced a finger down the baby's cheek.
'Who is his sire?' Haldir sternly questioned. 'And where is he?'
Legolas looked straight at Haldir. 'I cannot tell you; I would ruin too many lives if I did.'
'You'd better tell us, Legolas, before I go around trying to find him myself. You nearly died!' The oldest son of Elrond snapped as he stormed into his house, where he went over to the bed and glared down at Legolas.
The baby whimpered slightly, and Legolas held his son protectively. 'I dare not, Elladan. Do not seek revenge for my honor; it is gone.'
The other two Elves were now both scowling at the dirt-streaked Elf.
Legolas remained silent, until Elladan finally said, 'Don't make us have to go to Lady Galadriel and ask her if we can look into her mirror to find out.'
'Do you swear not to tell anyone else, on both of your honors, even with the threat of death?' Legolas asked.
Both nodded, not understanding why this was so serious. They didn't understand why Legolas was so reluctant to name his son's sire.
Legolas took a deep breath and whispered, 'Elessar… Elessar is his sire.' He tensed, knowing that Elladan was going to yell at him.
'How dare you sleep with Arwen's husband!!' Elladan shouted. 'You lying…'
Legolas' quiet voice interrupted Elladan's tirade as he confessed, 'We were both drunk, Elladan. Neither of us knew what we were doing. It was before they wed. Three days before the wedding. Elessar and I… We both thought it was just a dream, until I found out three weeks later that I carried his child.'
Haldir was holding his lover back. 'This is serious, Legolas. Your son is also an heir to Gondor,' he pointed out.
'He is my son,' Legolas countered. 'Arwen's child will be the ruler of Gondor, should Aragorn ever die. No one will know the truth.' The blond Elf saw the loathing on Elladan's face. 'If it's any consolation, Elessar called me 'Arwen' the following morning, instead of using my name.'
'Doesn't he have the right to know the truth?' Elladan finally asked. 'Both Estel and the babe have that right.'
Legolas shook his head. 'This is my fault; I should have known that I could conceive a child. I will not ruin three innocent lives because of a one-night-stand, brought on by wine. Elleelen will be raised by me alone.'
Haldir disliked this plan of Legolas' intensely. 'If Elessar finds out…'
'He will not; he believes it was just a dream.' Legolas was carefully to keep his voice neutral, lest he betray himself with his overwhelming grief and despair.
'Hmm… 'Little Star'?' Elladan questioned, referring to the baby's name. He didn't know what else to say.
'Yes. He will be my little star; my only hope. My only reason for living,' Legolas answered, beaming at his tiny son, who clung to one of his fingers.
Elladan and Haldir shared an uneasy look. They both knew that Legolas would not be able to keep his secret forever. Elessar would eventually find out and when he did… Both Haldir and Elladan were glad that they would not be here to see it, for they were sailing West in two days.
To be continued