Disclaimer: Wakabe Writing Firm doesn't own Lord of the Rings
A/N: So, we're still in angst mode here, but Natsumi's at least starting to look at humor again. Which is good, because I'm just about ready to take away her collection of angst music. Hope you enjoy, and please review to keep the writer happy. Many thanks, happy readings, and here's a tissue.- Damon (Banshee Secretary, Wakabe Writing Firm)
Legolas wandered the darkened halls of Mirkwood, his blue eyes slightly glassy with a veil of nothingness in them, as though his soul had left its body, leaving only faint traces of his fae inside the vessel that had served him in Arda. He wandered the halls silently, not even the too big robe that fell onto the floor, dragging, made a sound as he walked the halls, like a ghost from the past, untouched by the flow of time. There were no tears rolling down his face, to show for the loss of a woman that had cared for him since before he was born. There were no sobs of pain to give voice to the empty place in his heart where his mother once was-gone now, gone to a place that he could not go.
And somehow, the fact that he could not give proof to the loss that he felt, that for some reason he could not cry for her, for himself even, made it all the worse. All he felt was empty, empty and hollow, a void that was sucking up so much of his soul. He wants to feel something, wants to at least be able to feel angry with himself, but even that is being taken from him, sucked into that pit of nothingness that is where his mother once was. That horrid little pit, a hungry mouth that is never satisfied and continuously takes more and more, leaving Legolas with even less of himself with every passing minute that it widens within him, taking up more room, sucking up joy and laughter first, then bitterness and pain. Now, anger was leaving, and so was care. He dared not go to his father, who he knew was actually grieving. It would do no good to go to him, not when he was already so busy, trying to keep the kingdom going, and trying to stay strong, when the other half of his soul had left Arda forever. More than that, it would not help his father to see that his son was not able to grieve for him.
So instead, he wandered the halls at night, unseen by all, because he wandered the empty halls of his mother's suite, which would soon be sealed forever...
He stopped as that thought began to sink into his mind. Something might have snapped inside of Legolas at that thought had he had enough of something, anything, left inside of him to snap. But as it was, all that happened was that the part of him that was still in his body merely felt a twinge of what would have been sadness had it been big enough to properly conjure up the emotion.
But it wasn't, and all that left him was a wisp of a breath that wanted to be a sigh. He turned then, heading to where his mother's room had been. A place of peace that he had always found her loving embrace, in a curtain of blond hair that would shield him from the world. A place he had once found safety and love. A place of happiness, no more.
King Thranduil was, for lack of better words, in frazzled. Not that anyone would dare to say so, or that any who were not extremely familiar with him would notice, but he was. It had not even been a month since the death of his wife, taken from him by the encroaching darkness that was forever pressing against his realm, always seeking to take the elven kingdom that Thranduil and his people fought so hard to defend and keep. But apparently, it was not enough to keep even his own wife from perishing from the world.
So here he was, after a long day of dealing with the politics of running a kingdom, feeling drained, and wishing uselessly that his wife was still there, to help calm his nerves and soothe his brow before he went to play with his... son. A son that was not here. Thranduil looked around, a slight frown marring his eternally youthful face at the lack of offspring that had once come running to him with a glee and happiness that had always been able to brighten his day, no matter how gloomy or frustrating. But he was not here.
He paused, as he thought back to the last few days. As he remembered them, filled with him in his room, alone, deep in a despair that threatened every day to send him sailing, he could not help but realize that in the depths of his sorrows, he had forgotten his little one, that he had cast aside his son, the last connection he had to his wife, aside in favor of letting his sorrows take hold of his heart, turning him from all that he should have been clinging to. And now, just as then, he was alone. But this time, he was not going to let that anguish take him, when he did not know where his son was.
He left his room, not glancing back as he made his way through the halls, determined to find his son.
They were in walking through the doors, to the private gardens that she was so fond of, where she would teach him the meaning of the flowers that grew, and the small fountain that he adored, where her favorite flower grew: waterlilies, the same flower that her husband and king had first given her, when they had begun their courting so long ago. Their white petals held a trace of lilac in them, with the ends of their soft petals colored in that soft purple shade. Often, she would pluck one up and place it into her hair, before going to see his ada. And he was always so happy when he saw her with that flower in her hair. Ada would smile and then scoop him up in his arms, throwing him in the air.
And she would smile and laugh and they were so happy, because they were together.
Together as they now would not be until the ending of the worlds. Now, they would not have that moment, would never again be able to have that moment again, would never have that perfection of the three together.
Legolas paused, finding himself at that fountain, looking into the waters, absently noticing that there was a disturbing lack of lilies in the pond, now graced only with the pads, no flower daring to bloom in the absence of their lady, who had tended to them so lovingly for so long. He chanced to look away from the pads, and saw his own reflection, devoid of grief, devoid of everything, and looking the very picture of detachment that many saw the elves as. And as he stared, he vaguely wondered if he could reach out and pull the elf out of there, because surely that was not him in there. He reached out, and his fingers were submerging into the water, but it was not enough to reach the elf that was reaching back. Legolas frowned slightly, and started to push in deeper.
A single name, just one, his own, broke him from his task. He blinked rapidly, trying to clear his head, but found that the fog that had grown within his mind kept him from really focusing. This caused a kind of panic inside, but one that was like an errant thought running through him, not staying very long, and not having enough power to penetrate that thickness in his mind to let him react.
His father watched him as he struggled to come back to the present. By the Valar, the boy was practically gone! Already, his eyes, once full of laughter and light, always ready to glow with happiness or spark a light of mischievousness was gone. His face was too pale, looked too old for a child so young. Such emptiness was even worse than the despair that his father was in, and Thranduil was at a loss.
The voice was soft, faint, lacking in emotion and barely loud enough for even the Elf King to hear. Something fierce and angry and loving sparked inside of Thranduil, something that pushed him to action at the thought of losing this, his beloved child, born of a love between husband and wife, giving proof to the passions and kindness they had for each other, and that desire to share that love with their son. He quickly crossed over to where his little boy stood, still empty and detached from the world. He lost his wife already. He would be damned if he lost his son too.
"It's okay, my Little Greenleaf," he whispered, pulling his son into his embrace, feeling his desire and need to protect his own leap forth as Legolas began to shake in his grasp. He clutched his child to him, knowing that he could not let go, not now when he had been so close to losing sight of what the Valar were still willing to grant him.
Legolas didn't quite know what to do. After his mother was gone, his father had withdrawn from him- not on purpose, but grief did strange things to people, and his father had needed the space to mourn. But now, he was holding him again. It was not the same hold that he had known when his mother was around, accompanied by laughter and stories. It was something more fierce, something like how he had seen Lady Adilya hold onto her husband in the infirmary, after the patrol that had landed him there. And for some reason, the fact that it felt like that, like he was hurt and had almost been lost, did something to him.
It was like it turned that hole inside of him inside out, making everything that had disappeared into it flood back into his body again, violent and sudden, leaving Legolas feeling weak and dizzy and alive. And it hurt. It hurt to suddenly feel again, after so long of being devoid of emotion. So he shook and he sobbed and he clutched at his Ada, who was here, who was here, was holding him, making him safe, feeling loved, touched, held, loved, held-
They stayed like that for a long while, letting both of them mourn together the loss of one that was so dearly loved and now deeply mourned. But it was going to be all right. Though it hurt, they had survived the tragedy, and would live to see many more days. Time would have to help them deal with the wound, if not heal them. They had each other, they were not alone, and they did not have to shoulder the burden of a love lost to death alone.
And as Thranduil looked into the eyes of his beloved child, still pouring out tears and the edges tainted with red, he could not help but smile. He would not forget that he still had cause to live beyond his kingdom, a reason even better than it. He had a son who needed him, as a living reminder that even though death may take loved ones, they never really left so long as you kept them close to your heart. He scooped his son up, kissing his forehead and exited the chambers. One day, they would return to those darkened halls where pain mixed with love. One day, they would find peace in her garden again, with lilies blossoming in the pool again. One day, the thought of his wife would not stab at his heart so violently as it did now. One day, someday. But for now, those halls would wait, darkened but not forgotten by those that loved one who once dwelt in them.
Dedicated to those I have loved, lost, and still keep with me. - Natsumi Wakabe