Inspired by a literary masterpiece.

Slash… (Yes… I feel ashamed)

               Aragorn groaned softly and opened his eyes. He found himself resting in a light filled room. The walls seemed to all gleam with diamonds and the bed stretched below the windowsill catching the sunlight. He sat up and looked out the window. It was not the battlefield where he had fallen the previous night but a clearing surrounded by trees.

               He fell back upon the bed and thought about what had happened. Scattered pieces of images ran through his mind, including an arrow piercing his shoulder. He looked down to find his shoulder bandaged and taken care of. He looked to see if he had any other injuries and found none.

               "Ah, you are awake." Came a voice from outside. A small girl walked in the door. She was only half his size and had long silver hair. She sat down in a chair beside his bed and grinned.

               "Where am I?" asked Aragorn. He glanced her up and down. She wore a gray gown and a crystal chain about her neck. Her eyes were piercing blue and she resembled a raven.

               "The palace." Replied the girl. She pulled out an apple and handed it to him. He took it but did not make any other motions. "You can eat it, it is not poison." She added seeing the look on his face. The little girl then stood up and changed the candle in the holder beside his bed.

               "How did I get here?" He asked, still suspicious and confused.

               "The prince saved you…" answered the girl as she tossed the burnt out candle in the basket, "You are quite lucky, if he had not such a soft heart, you would be dead."

               "Come Lena, I think you have said enough…" Said another voice. Aragorn looked up to see a beautiful figure standing at the doorway. He had the brightest blue eyes and long flowing golden hair. He smiled gently as he caught his eye and walked into the room. The little girl shrugged and skipped out of the room.

               "How do you feel?" The prince asked as he sat on the bed beside him.

               "I'm better. Thank you…"

               "Good… you cannot stay here for long. You were not even supposed to be here in the first place. Outsiders are forbidden from the palace." Said the prince. He looked out toward the brightened the sky. His eyes held a long sorrowful and sad look. For a few moments he seemed to be in a daze. Aragorn opened his mouth to agree but said nothing. He just stared lost in the serenity and beauty of the figure before him.

               The prince caught his gaze and smiled weakly. "Can you stand up?"

               Aragorn nodded and sat up from the bed. He felt a sharp pain in his side as he tried to stand up and caught the bed for support. The prince stared at him anxiously and helped him back on the bed.

               "I am sorry, I have not asked you for your name." He said softly.

               "I am called Estel." Replied Aragorn. He thought it better to use another name, no matter how kind these people seemed.

"Well, Estel, you are lucky to be alive." Said the prince, "But I am afraid that your wound is still quite deep."

"Thank you, for everything." He repeated as he looked toward the doorway, "I must be going very soon, and I do not wish to cause a burden."

               "Yes… but you are not yet healed. And you must wait till nightfall; I am breaking a vow even bringing you here. If you are caught, it is both of our necks." The prince said sternly. With that he stood up and made for the door.

               "Wait… May I ask the name of my savior?"

               "I am… the prince." He replied, "That is all you need to know."  With that he closed the door behind him. Aragorn stared after him for a few moments and blinked. He lay back in his bed and thought about nothing else aside from the lovely figure he just saw.

                That night he had decided to take a stroll. He took up his sword, which lay under the bed and wrapped his cloak around him. As he crept outside his door, he heard an enchanting music playing. The music was soft yet so calming. He felt his wounds even grow numb at it. He looked toward the lit room, where an elf sat harping and singing softly to himself. Suddenly the music stopped and he felt a pair of blue eyes pierce his mind. The elf stood up and walked over to him.

               "What are you doing up?"

               "Taking a stroll." He replied noticing that it was none other than the prince himself. 

               "You cannot take a stroll…"The prince snapped, his eyes full of concern and anxiety. "If you are caught wandering anywhere around here, they will have you killed!"

               "It is nightfall, I was not going to go far."

               "Look, this is for your own good… please, just go back." The prince said with a sigh.

               "Alright…"said Aragorn, catching on that there was something to hide. "Your song… it was beautiful…" He added trying to lighten the mood.

               "Thank you." The prince replied without a smile. "Now go…" He closed his eyes for a few moments and walked back. The palace was a huge place but now quite deserted. His father, the master of the place had exiled most of his people after 'the incident'. He had never known what the incident was, but had suffered its consequences for his entire life. He was never to leave his realm and wandered the place alone with only the company of his little sister. His father and the others who lived there dwelled in another part of the palace that he was forbidden to go to, although they did come to check on him every once in a while. He had grown quite used to being emotionless, although something was stirring in him now.

               The next few days passed slowly for Aragorn, for he lay around doing nothing more than losing himself in his thoughts. But every once in a while, Lena or the prince came to speak with him. Lena's kindness and light heart cheered him up. Yet he grew more sympathetic and attached to the prince every time they spoke. The fair one's words were cold and blank although his eyes told a different story. Time went on, Aragorn's wounds began to heal and he thought that it is better that he left soon. But in his heart he felt a pang of hurt that he was never to see the prince again. The last day, the prince came to speak with him.

               "Tonight, I will come and get you at midnight, and escort you as far as I can." The prince said softly, "I will supply you with some food and water and give you directions out of our realm."  He paused and looked toward the man that sat before him. He could not help but smile. It was a painful yet blissful smile, the first true one that he had experienced in a while.

               "Thank you for everything… but will you not tell me your name?"

               "… I suppose." The prince answered, "I am Legolas…" He looked away after those words.

               "Come and ride with me for a while… I imagine it does get dull here." Aragorn said as he sipped the water.

               "I cannot… I have vowed never to leave my realm."

               "But why?"

               "That is not your concern." Legolas replied coldly. "Besides… what is there to see aside from blood stained battle fields and people killing each other over power."

               "… The world is not that cruel of a place as you imagine." Aragorn said laying a hand on his shoulder, "There are mountains, valleys, and rivers. Beautiful things that makes a person feel like a child all over again…"

               "All things beautiful are eventually diminished…" answered Legolas as he pulled away.

               " No, not all things… the light from sun and moon are never ending, and when one flower dies another always blooms…"

               Legolas did not answer to this but stood up. "I will come for you tonight, get your things." He walked away after these words. Aragorn glared after him. He did not know whether to feel sympathy or pity at someone so beautiful yet so ignorant.

               The night came and Legolas waited at the doorway. He felt a hurt in his heart as he watched Aragorn pick up his sword. Never before had he felt such attachment toward a stranger. But ever since that night he saw him wander into his realm… he felt his heart stir. For that reason he saved the stranger, but it seemed now that it was the biggest mistake he had ever made. He knew then that he would suffer dearly when Aragorn left.

               "I am ready."

               "Come then…" said Legolas as he made his way down the hall. He walked slowly for he was not ready to bid goodbye. When they had reached the doors, Legolas pressed his hand against the door and chanted something. The doors slid open but only small enough for one person to fit through. Outside the doors of the palace it was pouring. The rain came down as if there was no tomorrow. Legolas turned around to see Aragorn pull his hood over him.

               "It is good to feel the air again, and watch the summer rain come down."

               "I do not like the rain…" Legolas replied simply. He walked ahead trying to do this as fast as possible. 'You know better than to feel this way toward anyone.' He told himself.

               "But you are an elf… how could you not?"

               "I am not like the ones you know."

               Aragorn looked at him sadly and shook his head. He could hardly survive a few days in that palace, how could anyone survive so long in there? With the days dull and heartless, the nights dim and lonely.  "Have you never been curious what the world is like? Its creatures, the different people?"

               "No, to be curious is to show weakness."

               "What about friends?"

               "I have none." Legolas answered without a shred of reluctance, "Friends are only friends because they desire something from you."

               "How about… love? Have you ever been interested about love?"

               Legolas closed his eyes and said nothing. 'Why do you torture me like this…' He thought to himself as he turned around to face the stranger. "No," He said forcefully, "Compassion is the biggest weakness of all, it is the fall of all."

               "That is not true…" Aragorn spoke up as he caught up to the one with the fair face. "You showed me compassion when you saved me…" He grasped the elf's wrist.

               "And it was a mistake…" Legolas snapped and pulled away. He ran ahead without saying anything else. Aragorn stared after him with a feeling of both love and pity. He knew better than to be angry at the remark. They walked for a while in silence then Legolas stopped and waited for him to catch up.

               "I should not have snapped at you." Legolas spoke sternly, "You have not done anything wrong."

               "I don't mind," replied Aragorn, "I prefer that you snap at me than your icy tone." Up ahead there was a campfire and shadows around it. Aragorn recognized the people as his kin at once. He did not budge to run ahead. He only turned to Legolas.

               "Go on…" Legolas said as he stopped. "I cannot walk any longer…" He looked up his eyes shaking with sadness.

               "Please… at least come and greet them."

               "No, I can't." Legolas turned around to walk back. He stopped after a while and noticed that Aragorn had not left. He still stood there staring after him. Legolas sighed deeply and turned around. He gave Aragorn one last look and turned around to walk away. The next time he looked back he could see Aragorn approaching the campfire. He watched solemnly as a girl leaped into his arms and kissed him.

               Legolas felt a tear slip down his cheek as he turned away once more. He has never cried before. He was not supposed to cry. It was not natural for him. He quickly closed his eyes and turned back to the lonely palace where he had spent many all of his days.