Right, my first LOTR fanfic...I've noticed when reading LOTR fic the standard of writing as a rule tends to be much higher than that of other fandoms..fingers crossed i've not spoiled this :S XD

Please read the time notes at the top carefully...Although the exact time period is not really important..it will tell you whether it's present, past, or even further past :P

Also for ease of calculating it all time is based on the 'present' being just after the end of ROTK, i'm not sure what year this was or anything and as i said the exact time is irrelevant..only their relation to each other.

The switching between referring to Aragorn as 'Aragorn' and 'Estel' is deliberate. The intention is to use it to indicate when he is a 'man' (Aragorn) and when he is an 'elf' (Estel) I really do feel these are different people in a sense, with different cares/responsibilities and attitudes. Plus some of this story takes place back when Aragorn /was/ Estel.

I've proberly taken stupidly large liberties with things as far as Estel's childhood goes...sorry...:)

All lyrics are mine :)


Present time, Minas Tirith shortly after ROTK.

He could hear the soft voice filter through the trees, ghostly and almost inaudible. Yet to him it were as if no other sound existed. His eyes searched frantically for the source but the elf was well hidden amongst the leaves. A soft hand touched his shoulder and he turned to find his soon to be wife standing alongside,

our time is gone and the end draws near

And I may wish for ever more, for just once more

You were never mine and I were never yours

My heart grows cold yet burns with warmth

To see you grow, stand tall and proud

And as I watch, the fates take hold and guide you fo'ward

We'll learn to smile and be free and bright…

The lament continued even as Arwen turned to Aragorn and gently held his face,

"I have never heard such a sorrowful sound" he said, his eyes dark as the elf-song ran through him

"Our music reflects our hearts; we cannot sing joyfully if our heart weeps" Arwen smiled softly at him "he needs you"

"I cannot" the words were torn from his mouth as he Aragorn looked way, she wrapped her arms around him

"I know where your heart lies; I can see it plain as day written in your face and in your fate"

He stiffened momentarily "My heart lies with you" he said

She smiled "I long for those words to be the truth, but your heart has been his since the moment you met"

Aragorn turned fully, his hand joining with hers, she looked away, "I've watched you struggle with your desires for nearly a century it is time I stopped being selfish"

"My Lady Arwen could never be selfish" he murmured

"I wanted you for myself, a childish obstinacy, I believed there was but one path set out for me. It is only now, when it feels too late, that I realise visions of the future are cloudy and inconsistent" she stepped back, "I watched from afar as you remained faithful to me though your heart cried out for another, I know now it was not my place to stand in the way, I release you from any tie to me. Go to him, before he leaves"

Aragorn hesitated and stepped closer to her "Arwen…" he sighed "how did it come to this?" his arms wrapped around her comforting the Evanstar as tears escaped her.


73 years previous to ROTK, Rivendell

Estel watched with barely concealed curiosity and fasciation as the delegation from Mirkwood arrived. He was used to elves of course, having spent his years growing up alongside Elrond and his family. But he had heard whispers and rumours of the incomparable beauty and light of the Prince of Mirkwood, his father had expressly forbidden him to cause a nuisance and interrupt the meeting. So Estel has scaled the nearby trees and was laying chest down on a thick branch watching the incoming elves for signs of the Prince.

"Did your father never teach you it's not polite to snoop, human?" a soft voice sounded by his ear and Estel could feel warm breath against his neck. It took all of his skills from playing with Elladan and Elrohir to remain still and not cry out. He replied in Elvish,

"Did yours never teach you it's rude to sneak?"

There was a pause and he felt the Elf move back "On the contrary, it is an inherent part of Elvish childhood to learn to sneak" the reply was swift, the words, soft and melodic, would have been too fast for anyone but those raised amongst Elves to follow.

Estel smirked and turned to face his captor "Then you have answered your own question" he replied equally swiftly.

The Elf considered this for a moment before laughing and clapping Estel on the shoulder "You must be Elrond's fosterling"

Estel frowned at the familiar way he used the Elf-Lords name, but did not question it "and you are?" he demanded standing on the branch to get as close to eye-to-eye as he could, his bare feet gripping the bark. The figure was cloaked, but pure blonde almost white hair escaped the edges and Estel could see pale silver eyes flash inside the depths.

"Legolas" and the Elf was gone as swiftly as he had appeared. Estel searched the forests for hours before frantic calls from his brothers drew him back inside, sulking and dirty he dragged his feet back into the house ignoring the scandalised looks of the Mirkwood elves as he trudged through the halls and into the waiting bathroom.

He sat by the window, the steam from the hot water collecting on his skin as dark eyes peered into the woodland surrounding the house. He sighed as he pulled on the clean clothes left for him, he couldn't work out why he yearned to meet Legolas again, their brief encounter had been nothing special, and certainly nothing pleasant. Yet Estel stared out his window as if willing the Elf to appear. His ears pricked as he heard a soft voice float across the wind,

remember young one, we are but two halves of one whole.

The stars dance around in darkened skies and show us what we seek.

For those with Gifted eyes can see; their future destiny.

Estel scurried across the rooftops following the sound of the voice, he was certain beyond a doubt it belonged to Legolas; he would remember that soft sound anywhere. He crept close still as he caught sight of hair swinging in the breeze, the thick cloak discarded in favour of the chilly wind brushing against pale skin. Estel's breath caught in his chest and the figure turned, his chest clenched and his heart sank,

"Forgive me my Lady" he bowed deeply to Lady Arwen "I believed you to be someone else"

She looked at him, her eyes seeming to look beyond his skin "you seek Legolas" she said

Estel made no move or sound to deny this, in truth he was a little scared of Elrond's daughter, said to be the most beautiful in all the lands. He certainly believed that claim, but her ability to see through whatever story he concocted unsettled him.

"Yes, he was most rude earlier and I wish to inform him"

Arwen laughed lightly and ran a hand through his still damp hair, "I shall take your message to him, return now, before my father discovers you missing"

Estel did not miss the hint of a threat; if he did not leave there was no doubt Arwen herself would tell Elrond of his escape. Turning he fled silently back to room.

Sighing Arwen turned back to watching the sky, it seemed to her Men grew so fast and yet so slowly, she had known from the moment of Estels arrival in Rivendell that he was the other half of her whole, and yet she had waited for what seemed like forever for him to grow and mature. And now it seemed his heart had fallen captive by another. She searched the stars for the answers they usually gave and turned away in frustration as they remained unhelpfully silent. Gathering her cloak she moved toward their guests rooms, perhaps a word with Legolas would stop this before it got out of hand. A voice stopped her.

"You love him" the owner was nowhere to be found, but Arwen did not need to see to know who had been watching

"I will love him" she corrected "he is still a child, even in the eyes of man, and you and I both know he is no ordinary man. He searches for you"

"I know, I think I offended him" the voice was laced with humour

Arwen hesitated for a moment before deciding "Yes, I heard. He asked me to inform you how rude you were" she felt the guilt at lying to an old friend crawl inside her and pushed it aside, Legolas did not need to know what she had seen in Estel's eyes

Legolas dropped from the branches landing lightly in front of her his eyes piercing hers. Legolas had always been able to see right through her, "you are hiding something from me" he stated

She looked away and he sighed "Whatever it is I'm sure it is dear to you, I shall not pry. You shall not see me again for several years, perhaps by then you will be more willing to share" the blonde Elf leapt lightly back into the trees leaving Arwen alone. True to his word the delegation left two days later, Legolas having not been seen by either herself or Estel.

It would seem like a lifetime to Estel before Legolas returned, in fact barely six years had gone by when bored and tired ears, easily distracted from the lessons of Elrond heard the soft tones of a voice he had begun to think existed only in his dreams.

we ride towards a red dawn

A brilliant, colourful sky of morn…


57 years previous to ROTK, somewhere in Mirkwood

Aragorn lay flat on his back, blood pouring from several wounds. The sounds of chaos around him had faded to almost nothing and his eyes blurred with sweat and dirt as bodies fell beside him, a single solitary voice stood out carried across the wind,

we ride towards a red dawn

A brilliant, colourful sky of the morn

Forget the path we have walked, forget the place we have been

A march to'ard a new house, a new fate, of things yet to be seen…

Aragorn laughed weakly, the motion hurting his ribs as a new ebb of energy shot through him and he hauled himself to his feet, striking out against several Orc,

"Legolas! Mellon-nin" he called searching for the Elf he knew was near, spying him through several other bodies he called out again "now is hardly the time for song"

Legolas merely turned and grinned as his sword ran through another swiftly "I fear you are losing your mind, my friend, I am far too busy to sing. It seems however you found time for a nap"

Aragorn gestured rudely towards him and turned back to the fight with a renewed vigour. The remark puzzled him though.

Later as he walked among the sleeping inhabitants of the camp he sought out the Elf and dragged him aside into a small storage tent. Legolas stared at him in silence for several moments before growing impatient,

"Aragorn, we have better things to be doing than standing in dark, damp cupboards"

"I hear your voice" he blurted, regretting the clumsy words almost immediately

Legolas raised one eyebrow, "I should hope so, else my shouting at you stand up would have been for naught"

Aragorn shook his head "No, you were singing, I could hear it clear as ever"

Legolas looked away "I have not sung for many years Aragorn" he said softly

"I would know your voice anywhere" Aragorn looked away flushing slightly "It invades my dreams, and my thoughts even when awake. Ever since I first met you"

Legolas looked at him sharply, the room they were in suddenly to small, Aragorn suddenly to close "I have not sung for many years" he repeated, striding passed the ranger his voice hard and unbending

"Legolas!" Aragorn caught one arm as is brushed passed him, fingers almost burning the skin beneath the material

The Elf paused, "please, don't" he whispered and tugged his arm from the now loosened grip. Aragorn watched him leave in a stunned silence, he had never heard such a tone of sadness and longing from his friend before.

He had tried to question the Elf several times after, but each time he was turned away without being acknowledged and each time Legolas grew further and further from him until the sight of his friend in such apparent agony stayed his tongue. But still the voice continued, ever since Legolas had first returned to Rivendell as Estel came of age.

67 years previous to ROTK, Rivendell

Estel stared out of the window his mind far from whatever lesson Elrond was trying to impress on him, he suspected it had something to do with daydreaming less and paying attention more. His mind was captivated by the melodic voice coming in through the window, he knew it was Legolas and he itched to go find the Elf,

"Estel!" the sharp voice brought his attention back to where it should be

"I apologise father" he said bowing his head, knowing it was best to placate the Elf-lord before he got angry

"Yes, I am aware of that my child, I hear it often enough. Enlighten me, what has you so distracted this time, that even as a twenty year old man you cannot sit still for more than five minutes?"

"Legolas has returned" he said softly without even realising he had spoken, Elrond stiffened slightly

"Nonsense, he is not due to return for several months yet, and in any case he would have sent an messenger ahead, some people were raised with manners" he raised an eyebrow

Estel nodded not really paying attention "May I go greet him, father?" regardless of the answer Elrond knew the minute his back was turned the boy would be up a tree and searching anyway.

Pinching the bridge of his nose he waved his other hand and dismissed Estel, the man all but ran from the hall, shoes quickly being discarded in a corner. No matter how much Elrond tried to impress on him the importance of propriety and politeness Estel was still the same boy he had always been; far more at home barefoot running through the forests.

Estel ran out into the forests surround Rivendell, with unerring accuracy he knew where Legolas was and darting amongst the branches before slowing and creeping up. He grinned as he realised the Elf had no idea he was there,

"Did no one tell you it was rude to arrive unannounced?" he questioned, his smile quickly dropping as he realised Legolas was hunched forward over the saddle

"Estel…?" the voice was weak, nothing like the music he had heard only moments ago

"Legolas?" he ran forward catching the Elf as he slipped from his horse "What happened?"

"Orcs…"came the weak response

Estel opened his mouth to ask more questions before thinking better of it and swinging up onto the white horse, pulling Legolas up in front of him, clicking he spurred the horse into a gallop as he headed back towards home.

"Father!" he cried, swinging down, and lifting Legolas gently into his arms "Adar!"

"Estel, what possible reasons can you have for creating such a racket!" the booming voice arrived well before the Elf it belonged to swept around the corner, his pace hurrying as he saw the tall Elf cradled in Estel's arms.

Estel waited all night on the edge of the seat he had been confined to while Elrond worked. It was the most still anyone had ever seen him, when the door to Legolas's room opened he shot forward his eyes seeking out his fathers,

"He will be fine, you found him just in time" Elrond moved closer "Estel, how did you know he was here?"

"I could hear him singing, when you were talking to me, all I could hear was his voice. I followed it" he peered over the Elf's shoulder and Elrond stepped aside to let him in, to try and get any more out of him would be futile.

Estel moved slowly towards the pale figure lying on the bed,

"Legolas?" he spoke softly in case the Elf was still sleeping

"Estel?" the voice was weak, it still frightened the man to hear how weak. He rushed the last few steps stopping short of flinging himself onto the bed; some of Elrond's words about decorum had stuck.

"I thought you had returned" he said, unsure what else to say

Legolas laughed weakly "Have I not?" he teased

"Well yes, but Adar was not expecting you, so I do not think this was planned" had he been younger Estel would have pouted

"It is true, this was not my intended destination, at least not for several months, I was due to return to Rivendell after visiting the family I have in Lothlorien. I did not expect to be attacked so soon after leaving Mirkwood"

"Rivendell is not on the way to Lothlorien" Estel noted "Surely it would have made more sense to go there rather than risk the longer journey here"

"Yes, but I did not choose the path" Legolas turned away "Sometimes my horse is too smart for its own good" he muttered


The elf sighed "Elvish horses are far more intelligent that man-bred ones, mine has been with me for many years, sometimes I think she knows my mind better than I. She took me where I wanted to be, where I needed to be"

Estel opened his mouth before thinking better of it, the Elf's tone had taken on a sharp edge he had heard many time before from friends and family who grew tired of his constant nosiness. "you need sleep" he said instead and went to move away, a hand stopped him,

"I am sure I would rest better with someone close by"

Estel looked at him before sitting in the chair, the thin hand still clasped in his.

Estel watched over Legolas for weeks while he recovered, he sat patiently by his side as he grew angry and frustrated at his inability to move, he helped him outside when the longing for fresh ground grew too great and he helped him to bathe when the effort of standing was too much; much to the Elfs embarrassment. And though the Man may have been woefully unaware the Elf was all too knowledgeable about a third presence watching them silently; Arwen.


Arwen entered the room silently, watching Legolas closely, he was nearly recovered and was spending his last few days in Rivendell,

"You seem strangely fascinated with me, my Lady"

"You are not meant for him" she said, ignoring the statement entirely

Legolas turned, pain written across his face, he had been expecting this conversation for some time "It is not my choice to make"

"You shouldn't have come back" she snapped uncharacteristically

"I tried not to. I do not want this to happen anymore than you do"

"You lie, I've watched you together, you practically glow when he comes near you" Arwen was getting closer and closer to anger

"You know how the hearts of elves work" he said quietly "I cannot control this, my fate is set in stone even if am not aware of it"

"As is mine" she drew herself up "Aragorn future is intertwined with mine, the stars show me the path we will walk and nothing can lead me from that. Stay away Elf" she left, not giving Legolas chance to respond

Legolas sunk into the soft duvets, his eyes closed as his shoulder sagged. He had known from the beginning something drew him towards Estel, and he had known from the moment he saw Arwen the Elf would not allow it. The next day he packed silently before dawn and left as the sun rose above the waterfalls of Rivendell, Legolas would not return to those halls until the first meeting of the fellowship. That is not to say Estel would not seek him out time and time again, wearing away at the fair Elf's resolve.

Present, Minas Tirith, sometime after ROTK

Arwen stepped back, forcing herself from the comforting arms around her shoulders,

"Can you hear me, Aragorn?" she whispered softly

He looked down at her confused, "of course"

She shook her head "no, can you hear me. When all is silent and you close your eyes, can you hear me?"

Aragorn closed his eyes and allowed the sounds to wash over him, the familiar words drifting across his mind

we ride towards a red dawn

A brilliant, colourful sky of the morn

Forget the path we have walked, forget the place we have been…

"I can hear only Legolas" he said, brow furrowed "the same song, over and over"

Arwen choked back tears and looked up "Legolas is silent, he has not sung since the last time he was in Rivendell, he cannot"

"I fear I do not understand"

"It is said there are those who are destined to be together, no matter what they will always end in each other arms. I was young and foolish, I misread the stars and I believed this to be true of us" Arwen turned and stepped away "Legolas's heart cries for its other half, he has denied it for so many years, Elfsong is joyful and happy, Legolas has been in pieces for so much time, he cannot sing with so much pain"

Aragorn stepped forward and grasped her gently "Arwen, what can I hear? Why will he not talk to me about it?"

"You hear his heart, Estel. Only you can hear it, it is calling for you"

Aragorn stepped back the first traces of anger showing in his eyes "you told him to stay away, for so many years I believed I had done something wrong, but it was your words that drove him from me"

"I am sorry Estel" she hung her head "I am so sorry, but it is not too late, go to him"

Aragorn walked away, turning back "If he has left, I am not sure I will ever be able to forgive you"

Arwen closed her eyes, she knew this was what she deserved. Aragorn had slipped out of his shoe and new stiff coat and, barefoot and wearing only a plain tunic leapt over the balcony landing softly on the boughs of trees that felt so familiar. Breathing in the scent of leaves and bark he ran forward, feeling like he was going home for the first time since he was a child.

Following the sound of Legolas wasn't hard, he had always felt its pull and now he allowed it into him; he barely had to open his eyes as he flew across the mossy ground and swung up into thick trees. It had been years since Aragorn had allowed himself the freedom to be Estel, and though his feet and arms protested at the sudden roughness he couldn't help but feel, now more than ever, that he was coming home.

Breathless he stopped short, the blonde Elf coming into sight. Legolas was sat beside the pool he had encountered Arwen near all those years ago, from here it was clear to see Legolas could easily have watched them without either of them knowing. He wondered now if it had truly been Arwen's voice he had heard of if Legolas had witnessed their first meeting. Stepping softly from the branches and moving slowing towards his best friend he saw now how pained the Elfs face truly was and his chest tightened as he realised he was the cause. Smiling he closed his eyes and concentrated on the words, now louder than ever. Starting softly he joined in as he walked closer,

Our time is gone and the end draws near

And I may wish for ever more, for just once more

You were never mine and I were never yours

My heart grows cold yet burns with warmth

To see you grow, stand tall and proud

And as I watch, the fates take hold and guide you fo'ward

We'll learn to smile and be free and bright

Remember young one, we are but two halves of one whole.

The stars dance around in darkened skies and show us what we seek.

For those with Gifted eyes can see; their future destiny.

And we ride towards a red dawn

A brilliant, colourful sky of the morn

Forget the path we have walked, forget the place we have been

A march to'ard a new house, a new fate, of things yet to be seen

Two hearts and two paths, apart for far too long

Their end is the same

Two hearts and two paths rushing fo'ard

Together they remain.

Estel opened his eyes and looked into the pale blue that greeted him,


"Do not make this harder" the voice was broken and quiet

Estel leant forward "I can hear you" he whispered "I have always heard you, and only you. Legolas, it was always you" without waiting for a response he leant in further and captured lips he had dreamt about since he first saw them. His arms came up to hold the lithe body close


He broke away and looked at the Elf "Estel" he said "I was Estel when I met you, when I chased you and when I realised I loved you and so I shall remain"

Legolas smiled softly "Your name does not change who you are, King of Men" he said bitterly "Your place is not by my side"

"But your place is beside me, I shall have no other and the people of Gondor will learn to accept that. You are royalty in your own right; there is no one more deserving"

"Your Queen awaits you though" he replied mockingly stepping back

Estel pulled him back "my Queen has a lot to answer for, she has told me the lengths she went to too keep you away, rest assured any affection I felt toward Arwen is naught now."

Legolas looked into his eyes, searching for any hint of a lie "She told you everything?" he breathed hardly daring to hope

"She told me enough, enough to know what that song means, enough to know she has spent my life steering me away from you, enough to know what my heart has known all along. My place is inside your arms" Estel leant closer his lips brushing softly against the Elfs as he spoke "We have spent far far too many years apart Legolas do not make it even longer"

Legolas smiled "I knew from the moment I saw you, you would cause nothing but trouble" he said smiling before leaning forward allowing him to taste the Man he had stood beside for years, holding himself back from this very action "and I knew I wanted to experience every second of it" he murmured leaning up again and capturing chapped lips

Estel laughed and crushed the Elf to him relishing the feel of the lithe body against his, rough hands sliding inside the thin shirt Legolas was wearing and tickling lightly at the skin underneath,

"You know we have a lot to catch up on" he murmured, placing light kisses on the Elf

"I swear Men have only one brain" Legolas's statement was somewhat hindered by his eager returning of kisses and caresses

Estel had notice and pushed his hips forward slightly eliciting a gasp "like Elves are any different"

"At least we have the decency to wait until we are inside"

"Liar, besides I have always preferred the boughs of a tree to any bed, why change now?"

Legolas laughed and allowed the Man to pull him up into the leafy darkness of the trees towering above them.

It would be days before Aragorn and Legolas emerged from the forest, smiling and leaning into each other. Arwen greeted them smiling and telling them arrangements for marriage had been made, all that was left was for the people of Gondor to meet their kings consort. Aragorn had stared in surprise before wrapping her in his arms and whispering a soft thank you.

It would be weeks of frantic arrangements and general panic before the wedding, and further weeks before the protests from those who opposed the unusual union died out; quashed by the large majority who had welcomed the familiar Elf with open arms.

And decades would pass before Estel and Legolas made the choice to join Arwen and Elrond in the Grey havens.

so there we go, the end :) I think i got a bit carried away with the whole song thing...it was only meant to be a small side note but ended up being a kind of theme...and for once no smut :O when it came to write it...it felt wrong for some reason...XD i think i much prefer this with out smut :)