Legawen woke to Gandalf standing over her, her head feeling foggy, light pulsing within every object in tune with her heart.
"Forgive me, Lady Legawen," Gandalf said softly, though he could tell his voice was still too loud for her ears. "I would have let you sleep but he is asking for you." Her eyes shot open at that and she looked at Gandalf in fear. "I am afraid his life is leaving him, you have but a little time to speak with him before he is gone."
Legawen sat up and the world turned on its side but she looked around in utter terror. "Thranduil," she said searching for him.
"No, my lady," Gandalf said holding her still realizing he should have been more clear. "Your lord husband is alright."
That stilled her and she looked up at Gandalf, his face nothing more than a churning mass of color. "He is alright?" she asked, her voice a small weak thing.
"Yes," he soothed. "He should wake soon." He watched as Legawen sighed, relief flooding through her as she realized her husband was not dying. And then he saw the tears and knew she had realized who was.
The smell of blood filled her nose when she stepped in the tent, a smell she would always remember when she thought of Thorin Oakenshield.
"You have come," he said, his voice a painful croak as he looked upon her face. Other than a few small scratches her face was untainted – it was the back of her head, beneath her hair, where she had been hurt worst.
She gave him all of a smile she could manage, which was only a slight twitch of her mouth. "Of course I came," she told him softly. "My husband is most grateful to you."
Thorin smiled ruefully. "Is that the truth?"
She shook her sat and sat beside him on the bed, her legs quivering too much for her weary body to stand. "He has not woken yet," she told him. "But he will be when he does."
"I will be dead by then," he said honestly, seeing from her face that it had hurt her. "Let us speak of gentler things," he told her.
She looked at him, seeing the blood around his mouth. "Do you remember when you asked me what my husband called me?" she asked with a small smile.
He smiled at her, one that did not quite reach his heavy eyes for he hurt too greatly. "How could I forget?"
"Where is your husband?" Thorin asked as he came to stand behind her, finding her where he always seemed to; by the river.
Legawen looked up at him with a small smile of greeting. "He is speaking with your grandfather," she answered kindly, wondering why he always came to her for he never seemed pleased to speak with her.
He nodded, they were leaving the next day it seemed only suitable that the kings would share words before the elves departed. "Why do you always come here?" he asked bluntly, his tone harsher than he'd meant but he did not apologize for it. Instead he looked at her expectantly, trying to see in her face why he should not care for her.
She did not take offense, she did not think he knew how to speak to her any other way. "It soothes me," she told me. "I can feel it flowing through my veins if I sit still enough." She looked at him to see him staring at her as though she were strange. "You do not enjoy sitting by the river?"
He shrugged. "It is the same river as from when I was a child, there is nothing special about it," he told her callously, and still she took little offense.
"That is not true," she said. "Even now the river is different from when you hailed me."
He looked at her with furrowed brows not understanding. "It looks the same as it did minutes ago."
"The water has changed," she told him. "It is flowing down the current as we speak, heading for the sea, or ending at a lake. And even then new water joins it so that it is never truly the same. Like us you might say."
He stared at her in awe, having never thought of a river as she spoke. "Like elves?"
"And dwarves," she said, "and men. You may know a person for years but you will never truly know them. Time moves too quickly, changing us, making us different. And some parts of us may remain the same but when our hearts are open to death and loss and pain, and even love," she said with a smile, "we change. So you see, Thorin Oakenshield, not even I am entirely the same as I was yesterday."
He was awed and bewildered, and entirely entranced. Her voice was lovely, and it was the most he'd ever heard her speak. But her words were so true, and so wise he could do nothing but smile slightly as he stared at her. She is an elf, a voice in the back of his mind scolded him, sounding very much like his father. And his smile was gone as well all mirth that had filled him previously.
She sighed when she saw his eyes harden, knowing he was shutting himself to her.
"Melda," Thranduil called softly when he saw her. "Come we must make ready to leave on the morn."
"I will be there in a moment," she said to him, meeting his hard eyes with her own and he nodded before leaving for their room.
She turned back to Thorin to see him staring at her curiously, for he did not understand the elven tongue. "What does that mean?" he asked her, not liking that they spoke in a language he did not understand. "What he calls you," he clarified.
"Melda?" she asked and he gave a curt nod. "Beloved," she answered.
"Has he always called you that?" he asked, finding within himself he was not ready for her to leave.
"Since we were wed," she answered simply.
"Before you were wed?" he asked immediately after, seeing she had begun to turn as though to leave.
She smiled softly as she fully turned to him. "He loved me in secret," she told him honestly. "It would have been best had he loved and married our former chief's daughter, it was what everyone had wanted. But he loved me instead," she said smiling.
Thorin stared at her with knitted brows, not able to picture a Thranduil who had purposefully done what he should not have – he could only picture the hard faced elf that had just left them. "He went against his father's wishes, his people's wishes, to love you?" he asked amazed.
"How?" he asked quietly, not even able to let himself enjoy her company for she was an elf and he a dwarf – he could not imagine going against his father's wishes to marry someone he was not supposed to love.
"Because he could not imagine living an eternity if it was not me by his side," she told him gently. "And neither could I." She waited for Thorin to say something though he didn't, he continued to stare at her with furrowed brows. "You will understand when you meet your own woman," she said with a small smile before turning away from him.
Thorin looked after as she went and all he could think was that there would never be a woman for him, not one who could compare to her.
"I tried so hard to hate you," Thorin said before he broke off coughing, and she wiped the blood from his mouth before he continued. "But you made that so impossible."
She smiled briefly at him, until tears filled her eyes. They both looked to the front of the tent to see Gandalf.
"I have found Master Baggins," he told Thorin.
Thorin nodded before looking back to Legawen. "Thank you for coming, for always coming to me," he said sadly knowing he was hurting her more than he ever had before.
She nodded, unable to speak, and stood. She pressed her lips to his cheeks, feeling him take a breath at the feeling. "May you find the peace this world did not offer you," she whispered before leaving the tent. It was not until she found the tent her husband was laying in, seeing his bleary eyes were open, that she finally let herself cry. And though Thranduil's head was greatly hurting at any and all noise, though his body was bruised and battered from falling from the mountain, he held her tight against his chest as she mourned for Thorin Oakenshield; the dwarf who had saved them both, and had died because of it.
two thousand years later
Thranduil stood at his wife's side as they looked out on the horizon, Middle Earth behind them and the sea before them. She turned to him wrapping her arms around his waist, and he held her tight against him as the wind from the water cooled their warm spirits. Their time in Middle Earth had come to an end, and they sailed for the Undying Lands where they would reunite with their son and spend the rest of their unending days in peace.
Time to say goodbye.
Places that I've never seen or experienced with you.
Now I shall, I'll sail with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,
it's time to say goodbye.
song is Time To Say Goodbye, suggested by Tolwen.
Thank you all so very much for reading this, it meant a lot to me. And a special thanks to those who reviewed, you not only made my day but mad finishing this story possible. Thank you.