Disclaimer: I own Aria….the rest are Tolkien's!

Chapter 22:

'Death is not the way,' Aria softly whispered to him as she ran her fingers through his hair. She lay on a bed a summer flowers, smiling up at him.

'Then how am I supposed to be with you?' he asked, kneeling next to her as he ran his hand along the side of her face. 'I can not live another day without you.'

'There is always life, meleth nin,' she replied leaning up and gently brushing her lips over his.

He deepened their kiss as he wrapped his arms around her slender body before she disappeared once more…

Legolas slowly opened his eyes. For the second night in a row he was plagued by dreams of Aria. Was it because he was drawing closer to the day that he would end his own life simply to join her? Or was it more?

The previous night, the cold that had surrounded him since Aria's death had suddenly been replaced by a warm tingly warmth. But now it was growing in intensity. It seemed that the Valar wanted him to live for some reason.

Yet what reason did he have to live?

There was nothing on Middle Earth for him. What he longed for was in the Hall of Mandos.

Mariel sat on a stone bench in one of the many gardens of Rivendell and waited. She knew that Legolas would walk past her in just a few minutes on his way from his quarters to the Hall of Fire for breakfast with his family. She had picked up on his routine after watching him for a few days.

Tonight was the Midsummer's Feast and she was determined to ask him to be her escort to the feast. She didn't care if it was wrong for an elleth to ask an ellon to the feast. She just wanted a chance. That was all. Besides who was to deny her? Very few ellons did.

After a few more minutes of waiting, Legolas did emerge from one building and begin to walk towards another. She quickly stood up and fell in step next to him. They had spoken on a few occasions, but it had never been more than a few words.

"Good morning, Prince Legolas," she quickly said.

He turned to look at her as they walked. "Good morning, Lady Mariel. How are you today?"

"Well. I was wondering if you were escorting anyone to the feast tonight?"

Legolas stopped walking and turned to look at her, taken a bit back by her bluntness. Had he heard correctly? "I'm not really sure that is a good idea, Lady Mariel…"

"Just as friends?" she asked, with a small smile.

He sighed. Going as friends couldn't hurt. It would help his façade that everything was getting better before he took the poison later that night to join Aria and their son. "Sure, just as friends."

The rest of the day, Legolas noticed several strange things. First, his father and Lord Elrond were nowhere to be found along with Erestor and Glorfindel. All of this was strange, especially for Erestor, who was a perfectionist for details when it came to feasts. The second thing he noticed was that the twins were acting strangely – almost giddy in fact. It was like they knew something and they weren't telling anyone, which was damn near impossible for those two. They always told everyone, everyone else's business. Then the third thing was the warm feeling in his chest continued to grow in intensity.

He sat on his bed in his quarters and held the small vile of poison that he had bought several months ago in his hand.

Maybe going to the feast was a bad idea. Perhaps he should drink the poison and just be done with the entire ordeal a head of time.

No. That would just ruin everyone's feast.

He was already being selfish enough with ending his own life with poison. So why ruin the entire feast by doing it early. Besides he still needed to say his goodbyes to his family and friends before joining Aria in death.

Placing the vile back in the drawer by his bed, he stood up to get ready for the feast. He chose a dark blue tunic and fixed the braid in the back of his hair before placing his circlet in his hair. He was a Prince of Mirkwood. So why not act like it for one more day. The last thing he did was slipped Aria's necklace and wedding band into his pocket. The two pieces of jewelry went with him everywhere.

Satisfied with the way he looked, Legolas turned for the door to his quarters and was about to open it, when there was a frantic knocking. He opened the door with a puzzled look on his face. Standing on the other side was the twins.

"Ada sent us to find you. He and your father want to talk to you before the feast in Ada's study." Elladan said.

"But it is almost sunset and I am to escort Lady Mariel to the Feast. I do not want to keep her waiting." Legolas said trying to push his way past the twins.

"Trust us, Legolas. You want to go talk to them now!" Elrohir said, pushing back on him. "We will take care of Lady Mariel. This is far more important."

Legolas looked in between the twins for a moment. Had the two elf lords discovered his plan to end his life and were they going to try and stop him? What else could it be besides that?

"Fine, I will go."

"And we will make sure that you get there." Elladan said.

"Yes! This is far too important." Elrohir added.

Legolas sighed as he led the way down the hallway and towards Lord Elrond's study.

Upon arriving at the study, the twins told Legolas to go inside and wait for Lord Elrond and King Thranduil. Legolas was still confused about what was actually going on, but he did what the twins suggested.

Standing in the darkened room, he allowed his eyes to adjust to the lowering light from the setting sun. He had been in this room a few times when Aria was alive…

When Aria was alive.

That had been so long ago.

Sighing to himself he made his way across the darkened room towards the outside dais. He needed some fresh air. As he rounded the corner to go outside, he stopped dead in his tracks. He couldn't believe what he was saw standing in front of him out on the dais.

It was something that had come out of his dreams. She was exactly the way he had remembered her. Gentle smile, large grey eyes, and slender build, with long wavy brown hair. She was wearing a light blue dress - that was his favorite color on her.

His Aria.

"I found my way back to you, meleth nin," she softly said, with tears beginning to form in her eyes.

Legolas quickly closed the distance between them and pulled her tight against him as he kissed her deeply on the lips. They poured their love, loss, regrets and desires for each other into their kiss. Deep inside both of them, their bond rekindled. Tears spilled down Aria's cheeks, as Legolas pulled back from their kiss moments later. He smiled as he wiped them from her cheeks before kissing the tracks of the tears away.

"This belongs to you, meleth nin," he said reaching into his pocket and taking out her necklace and wedding band.

"Why do you have these in your pocket?"

"It was all I had left of you."

She looked up at him as tears began to fall from her eyes again. He quickly kissed them away before slipping her wedding band back on the finger it belonged on and then he put the necklace on her as well. "I love you, meleth nin," he said looking deeply into her eyes once everything was back in its proper place.

"And I love you too," she said wrapping herself in his warm embrace. Legolas held his beloved Aria close to him underneath the stars on the dais and smiled – his first true smile in almost 5 years. There was a reason that the Valar had not allowed him to fade. It was because they were sending Aria back to him and to Middle Earth. He didn't care the reason why they had done so. All that mattered to him was that she was back in his arms.

His world was right once again.

AN: Finally happiness again! I know I didn't bring back the baby as well nor did I explain why she returned. Trust me that will all be explained in upcoming chapters. Remember there is a method to my madness!