A/N: I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season! Thank you so much to those of you who reviewed the last chapter :)
Morganichobbit, Rafa Santos, Brigid the Fae, Guest, guest, reader02, shophiescastle, theviolinxx, HyacinthiaPheonix, LegolasGreenleafLove, Couting Sinful Stars, Rowan Ramirez, AdalineXC, Da Hybrid Queen, Uchiha no Kaori, horseyyay, annafanand KD Skywalker
I may have gone overboard on the fluff, but I was really in the mood for fluffy goodness. Anyways, enjoy this one! :)
Note: Italic conversations are in Sindarin
Worlds Apart: Chapter 48
For a moment Legolas was speechless as he held his hand where Maya had placed it over her belly only moments ago. The fireplace was the only source of sound and light as the flames crackled and cast small shadows across the room. She continued to look up at him with large, green eyes; it was as though she could see the multitude of questions brewing in his mind. Her lips turned up in a small smile and her nod confirmed to Legolas that after so much destruction and death, there was also going to be life, their little family was about to grow.
Without saying a word, the prince pulled her to him and held her tightly against his chest, burying his face in the crook of her neck as a small tear of joy slid down his cheek.
"I didn't know how I was going to raise this baby on my own. I didn't know how we were going to go on without you," Maya whispered as she wound her arms around him.
Legolas placed several little kisses along the column of her neck. "You never have to worry about that again, I am here."
All this time he had unknowingly been fighting for another little life and it dawned on him that a pregnancy was the only explanation for the way Maya had been feeling in the weeks leading up to the battle. Legolas was ashamed to admit that he had been so consumed with military preparations and fortifications that the thought of his wife being with child hadn't even crossed his mind.
He suddenly realized how frail and gaunt Maya appeared as he held her in his arms. Legolas pulled away slightly and rested his forehead against hers, cupping her face in both his hands so he could take a good look at her; Maya had lost weight, her skin was alarmingly pale and her red-rimmed eyes were slightly sunken. Though he could see the brilliance coming back to them, her green orbs had lost their usual glint.
"Have you been eating?"
"I wasn't at first," Maya admitted, biting her lip as she saw the worry in her husband's eyes, "I was grieving and I couldn't bring myself to..."
The prince furrowed his eyebrows, "Is the baby...?"
Maya nodded and he breathed a small sigh of relief. "The healer assured me that everything was fine. Thanks to Gimli and Aragorn practically force feeding me over the last week, the baby is healthy and growing."
Her heart leapt at the thought of having another baby and secretly she hoped that this little one would be a girl. Mere moments ago, she'd dreaded the thought of becoming a mother again, thinking she would have to raise two elflings without Legolas. Now the new life growing inside her was a greater blessing than she could have ever imagined and by the grace of the Valar, the one she loved was going to be there to share in such a miracle with her.
"You know...I wouldn't be opposed to a big family," Maya said suddenly.
A smirk appeared across the prince's face, the kind that could instantly turn her knees to Jell-O.
"Am I going to be very busy?" he teased, tilting her chin up with his fingers so that their faces were mere inches apart.
"Perhaps," she replied coyly, "I guess we've made a habit of unplanned pregnancies, haven't we?"
Legolas kissed her lovingly, smiling against her lips. "Sometimes the unexpected things are the most rewarding. I never planned to fall in love with a beautiful, timid woman from New York City, but I could never have it any other way. I love you Maya."
And he meant every word. From the moment they'd met, their life together had been anything but conventional. Their relationship had faced obstacle after obstacle but no matter the pain, the hardship and the various forces that had threatened to tear them apart, Legolas knew he would not change any of it for the world. It was these forces that had led them to this moment, right here, right now.
"I love you too," Maya wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him close to her once more, unable to get enough of him. Her heart pounded steadily against the walls of her chest and every once in a while she had to remind herself that all of this was real; he was here with her and she was never going to take another one of these moments for granted again, no matter how fleeting or simple.
They stood there in the middle of the dim room, the shards of the broken teacup long forgotten, and they held one another for several moments as time seemed to stand still for the both of them.
The sound of a little voice pulled them back and Legolas turned to see his wide-eyed little son standing in the doorway, cheeks stained with tears and his shoulder length hair tied back with a piece of leather so that it would not get caught in the bow string as he practiced at the archery range. Standing behind him was Elrohir who gently nudged the stunned elfling forward.
"I missed you ada," came the voice riddled with sobs and Legolas knelt to the ground so he could catch Eryn in his arms.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," he whispered as his tears began to fall anew and he held Eryn as tightly as he could, "I'm here now, little one. It is over."
Seeing his little one again had been a driving force for Legolas as he'd fought against the army of the Balchoth king and again when he'd been pulled from the grasp of death. He had been given a second chance to watch his son grow, to see him fall in love and someday raise a family of his own. That was all that Legolas ever wanted and now with another baby on the way, he was getting more than he could have ever hoped for.
The prince pulled away slightly and took one long look at his little boy who was everything to him. He would pay any price, no matter how great, to protect him, to shield him from hurt and pain. He would make sure his family would never go through what they did in the last several days again.
As little green eyes looked up at him, Legolas smiled and kissed Eryn's forehead before pulling him close. Before making the journey to Mirkwood, he'd set up the targets in the fields of Ithilien for a time when he would teach Eryn to use his new bow from Gimli. There they continued to stand, unused, because time simply had not permitted for Legolas to spare a moment to take his little one out for lessons. The prince shook his head as he remembered the various excuses he'd made about how busy he was, but he would no longer make such excuses again. From now on, after coming so close to losing them forever, his family would always come before everything else, even if that sometimes meant declining to perform certain duties for the kingdom.
As father and son continued to embrace, Maya found Elrohir's gaze across the room.
'Thank you' she mouthed with a small smile. Over the last several days, his support had become invaluable and there was no way for her to ever repay him and everyone else who'd given her their shoulder to lean on in her time of need. From the bottom of her heart, she would be eternally grateful.
The voice pulled Maya from her reverie and moments later, she found herself in the strong and loving embrace of her husband and son. She snuggled into them, relishing in such a perfect moment. At last, everything was as it should be and everything felt right.
From the doorway, Elrohir watched the scene fondly. After a few moments, he smiled and quietly walked back down the corridor to allow the newly reunited family some privacy.
After spending a few hours together, just the three of them, Maya, Legolas and their son headed down towards what was left of the king's throne room. They'd allowed themselves to be selfish for much of the day, but Maya knew that there were many others who wished to see the prince alive and well. First and foremost, Legolas wished to see his father after their rushed reunion earlier that day.
When husband and wife entered hand in hand with Eryn riding up on his father's shoulders, neither was prepared for the sight that awaited them; standing in the centre of the room was a gathering of their closest friends and family, headed by Thranduil, Aragorn and Gimli. Little by little the gasps of several in the room could be heard as they beheld the fallen prince for the first time. He had truly returned from the dead as the rumours suggested. Éomer and Alassiel soon stepped up to the front of the company to join their friends and off to the side was Elrohir who was helping Elladan stay on his feet after being temporarily discharged from the halls of healing for the occasion.
The prince and princess looked around them in awe and soon the room erupted into loud applause and cheering. Maya blushed and hid her face against Legolas' shoulder, unable to control the small tears of happiness that escaped her. Both she and Legolas were touched by such a beautiful gesture and the prince could hardly contain his smile as Aragorn and Gimli both approached, shaking their heads in utter disbelief.
"Comin' back from the dead once was impressive laddie," said the dwarf, "But twice! If ye ever scare me like that again, I'll be killing ye meself."
Legolas lovingly kissed Maya's lips before setting Eryn on the ground so the elfling could run to rejoin his grandfather. As Gimli continued to grumble, the prince smirked and pulled the stunned dwarf into a heartfelt embrace.
"Maya has told me how you watched over her," he said turning to Aragorn who placed his hand affectionately on the elf's shoulder, "Hannon le, from the bottom of my heart."
"Neither Gimli or I would have hesitated to care for them as though they were our own," said Aragorn. He took another good look at his friend and shook his head once more, unable to contain his laughter of relief, "By the Valar, Legolas, I can hardly believe that you stand before us with naught but a few scratches on your face."
"I would be in far worse condition if it had not been for the Vala Estë. If she hadn't pleaded my case to the keeper of Mandos, I would not be alive."
"You will have more than the dwarf to contend with if you ever pull something like that again," teased Veryan as he and Tauriel broke through the crowd and rushed towards their friend, pulling an overwhelmed Legolas into a big hug.
"And I second that motion," Tauriel interjected with a breathy laugh.
Legolas as he returned their embrace, "I've no doubt at all." It felt good to be home, surrounded by all those he loved most.
Maya watched fondly as her husband was gradually pulled into the crowd of well-wishers and friends. After all that was lost and destroyed in the beautiful forests of Eryn Lasgalen, the prince of the realm had returned and the kingdom could rejoice. It was a small ray of light to drive away the darkness that had swept the realm. Now they could truly begin to heal as a people and the elves of the woodland realm were going to come out of this stronger than ever before, uniting in the rebuilding of their beloved land.
The sound of barking soon caught Maya's attention; she knew that sound anywhere. Her heart raced as her eyes searched the room and an incredible feeling of relief filled her as she saw her majestic wolf running towards her. She knelt to the stone floor and wrapped her arms around his neck, burying her face in his thick grey fur.
"I was so worried about you," she said, taking his snout in her hands and placing a large kiss on his nose. Mithrin licked her face, telling her in his own way that he loved her and he missed her too, and she giggled in her happiness to see him. For days, she'd wondered what had happened to her beloved companion and now here she was fighting off an assault of his wet kisses.
After a few moments, she felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up to see the twins of Rivendell standing over her. Elladan had finally regained the colour in his face after fighting off the poison of the arrow, but this shoulder was still tightly bandaged where the tip had gone through and even though he was feeling better, the healer continued to insist that he remain in the halls for a few more days.
Maya rose and attacked them each with hugs while being careful not to further injure Elladan's bad shoulder.
"How did you get out of the halls of healing?" she asked.
"Not without a great deal of convincing, I assure you," Elladan replied wryly, "The healer rules her halls with an iron fist and no one leaves unless she allows them to. Its a miracle that my brother was able to convince her to let me go."
"Soon you will be discharged for good brother," reassured Elrohir.
"Not soon enough if you ask me. I don't know what everyone is so worked up about, it was only a bit of orc poison!"
Maya gave him a look of incredulity "You were unconscious for four days."
Elladan waved his good arm in dismissal and she shook her head in amusement. Only Elladan would make light of a situation that nearly ended with his death. Truth be told, Maya was just happy to see him make a full recovery. Yes, they'd had more than their share of differences in the past, he had seen her naked and blackmailed her for information with her own clothing, but she had to admit – rather begrudgingly – that she cared very much for the mischievous twins of Rivendell.
"Did I not tell you that somehow everything would be alright?" asked Elrohir, pulling Maya from her reverie.
Her eyes found Legolas across the room as he spoke with Gimli and Éomer and when the prince caught sight of her from the corner of his eye, he smiled a secret smile just for her before returning to his conversation.
"It's more than alright," she said, smiling to herself as she reached down to pet Mithrin, "It's perfect."
It was late in the evening when Maya and Legolas returned to their family quarters with a very sleepy Eryn in his father's arms. After all of the excitement of the day, the elfling was more than ready for bed and his eyes slowly fluttered closed as the rocking motion of his father's steps lulled him to sleep.
When they reached his bedroom, Maya turned down the blankets so that Legolas could put him down on the bed.
"Ada, nana," he said softly, trying to wake himself up, "Don't go. Please don't go, I'm not sleepy."
He had only just gotten his father back and now Eryn was afraid that if he left, he would disappear again for good.
Legolas sat on the edge of the bed and brought the blankets up to Eryn's chin. Maya crawled on top of the mattress and lay down next to her little one, brushing a few locks of hair from his face. They would stay with him tonight until he fell asleep but first there was one thing they needed to do.
They were elated at the thought of bringing another elfling into the world, but at the same time, both Maya and Legolas were anxious about how their son would react to being told he was to be a brother. For the last five years, Eryn had been the centre of their entire family and, in his growing mind, the centre of the universe commanding the undivided attention of his parents and his grandfather. The arrival of a new baby would bring some vast changes to the family dynamic, changes that they hoped their little one would come to accept with time.
"Sweetie..." Maya began, searching for the right words with which to proceed. Eryn looked up at her with wide, curious eyes, "Your ada and I have something important that we wanted to talk to you about."
Maya and Legolas exchanged uncomfortable glances before he finally took matters into his own hands, hoping that the conversation that followed would go smoothly.
"When two people love each other, as your nana and I do, they want to continue growing their family and..."
"Is there an elfling in your tummy, nana?" Eryn asked before his father could finish.
"Why do we need another?" he asked again. Eryn wasn't so certain he liked the idea of having a sibling, he certainly didn't like the idea of having to share his parents. What was wrong with the way things were now? Was he not good enough?
Legolas and Maya were rather stunned at his blunt questioning but quickly recovered to try and take control of the situation as a disappointed frown appeared on their little one's face.
"I know its a lot to take in right now," she said stroking his cheek, "But it's not going to change how much we love you."
"With an elfling comes a lot of responsibility and we thought you were old enough to be entrusted with a very special mission..." Legolas tried as Eryn continued to frown.
"What special mission?" he asked, feigning disinterest.
"Your brother or sister is going to need you to help protect them," explained the prince, relief coursing through him as the look of displeasure on his son's face gradually faded into curiosity, "They are going to look up to you and as an older brother, your nana and I are counting on you to help us guide them and show them the wonders of the world."
"And," Maya chimed in, "When they're old enough you will always have a friend who will want to play with you."
For a few moments, Eryn considered their words, weighing the options and regarding them both with suspicion. Becoming a big brother would mean having to share his parents with someone else, but perhaps having a new playmate wouldn't be so bad after all.
"Okay," he said with a decisive nod of his head, "I've thought about it...and...you can have an elfling, nana."
Maya and Legolas exchanged looks of amusement, thinking it was quite comical that he had given them his blessing to have a baby that was already on the way. What an interesting situation they would have found themselves in had Eryn told them they were not allowed. They each breathed a quiet sigh of relief and took their little one in their arms, lavishing him with kisses until Eryn was giggling breathlessly.
"I just don't want a sister. Girls are boring," he added with certainty after a few moments, and rather than try to convince him otherwise, the prince and princess silently agreed that they would cross that bridge when and if they got there. For now, they were simply relieved that Eryn was at least accepting – for the most part – of the fact that they would be welcoming another baby into their family.
The next few days since the return of the prince of Eryn Lasgalen passed by in a blur of celebrations and efforts to rebuild the ruins of Thranduil's halls. Reluctantly, Legolas led a party through the woods to scout for any remaining enemies since his run in with the orc corpses in the woods where he found Morcion. Truly all he wanted was to stay home with Maya and their son, and to attend her next meeting with the healer, but many of the king's senior officers had fallen in battle and he could not very well let Veryan lead the party alone.
Gradually, the allies of the woodland realm began to depart for home. Éomer could see that his men were anxious to be reunited with their loved ones– and truth be told, he also yearned for Willa's touch. Together, Maya and Legolas watched the riders of the Riddermark gallop away into the distance before they were forced to say a heartfelt farewell to Aragorn and the men of Gondor at dawn the following day. Gimli and the dwarves of Erebor stayed nearly another week to help Thranduil's architects with the designing of building plans but sadly, they too, were forced to depart.
As he walked one day through the hauntingly empty corridors of his father's halls, Legolas realized that the caves he'd called home for most of his life, the fortress he thought would never fall, would have to be rebuilt almost in its entirety. The prince raised his hand to absentmindedly touch the stone walls, dragging his palm along their smooth surface, as he continued to make his way towards what was left of the bulwark. He went there at times to look over the forest and even though it was a painful sight for him to behold, it was a reminder of just how intertwined the lives of his people were with that of the forest. Just as Eryn Lasgalen had healed after the destruction of the evil of Sauron, its inhabitants would rebuild the realm and thrive again.
The afternoon sun was shining over the ruins when he reached the wall and as he advanced over what was left of the bulwark, the prince was caught off-guard when he realized that he was not alone. Looking out over the Western horizon stood princess Alassiel; the only one of Thranduil's allies who remained when all others had returned home. No one had been more surprised than Legolas to find out that the princess of Dorwinion had disobeyed her father to bring aid to Eryn Lasgalen and he suspected that she was delaying the journey home because she feared Suiadan's wrath.
Alassiel stirred when she sensed the presence of another and she turned to face her intruder, a look of surprise registering on her face as she caught sight of the prince. The wind blew through her long chestnut hair as they continued to silently regard one another, neither quite certain whom should speak first.
"Its a beautiful view," Legolas said finally, approaching her slowly, "I come here at times when I wish to be alone with my thoughts."
"Should I leave you then? I did not mean to intrude."
The prince shook his head, "No. Stay."
He came to halt next to her, his eyes scanning the horizon as he recalled rather fondly how the last time they'd spoken informally to one another was years earlier in the gardens of her father's palace after he'd consumed an embarrassing amount of Dorwinion wine. They'd realized then how much they had in common and now, here they were, in the aftermath of a battle precipitated by his love for a human, a battle his people would not have won without Alassiel's help.
"I never thanked you properly for what you did," he said softly, "This kingdom owes you and yours a great debt."
"You owe me nothing, Legolas," she said, closing her eyes as she felt the warmth of the sun on her skin, "My father was wrong and I was not going to sit back and let your kingdom fall in the name of his pride."
"Are you fearful of what awaits you when you return?"
Alassiel absentmindedly shook her head, and for a few moments she continued to stare out over what remained of the once lush forests. "I am not going home."
Her answer caught Legolas by surprise and he was unsure what to think when she turned to face him with tears in her eyes.
"Do you remember what I told you that night in the gardens?" she whispered, "about-"
"Your lover who sailed," finished the prince. Alassiel nodded and that was when it dawned on him. She wasn't going home because she meant to sail to the Undying Lands.
Alassiel wiped a small tear from her cheek. "I can only pray now that he still wishes to be with me when I reach the shores of Valinor."
Legolas pulled her into a comforting embrace and looked Westward, thinking of how much had changed in five years. The princess who had been afraid to challenge her father then was now willing to risk it all for love and he knew in his heart that she would receive her happy ending.
"He will," he reassured as he held her close, "You deserve all of the happiness in the world, Alassiel, and I've no doubt it will find you."
They stayed on the wall for quite some time until finally the princess decided that it was best that she return to her quarters. Alassiel and her company were setting out tomorrow to make the long journey to the Grey Havens and there was still much to prepare.
"Thank you, Legolas, for listening," she said stopping in her tracks and turning to look up at the prince as she made to retreat back into the caves, "I hope that we will meet again someday and that I can introduce you to the one who stole my heart."
Legolas smiled fondly as the sun began to set over the land bathing the sky in orange and golden hues that danced across his face. 'No,' he thought to himself, 'this will not be last we meet.'
With one last look, Alassiel turned back towards the caves, leaving Legolas alone to stare at the sunset, deep in thought about how different all their lives were going to be. Perhaps now, the peoples of Arda could finally enjoy a time of long awaited peace.
It was dusk when he finally reached his quarters and as he pushed open the solid oak door to his bedroom, he observed Maya reading by the fireplace looking rather absorbed in her book.
"Where is the little one?"
She raised her head and smiled as he entered the room, "He's out playing with Silivren. How was your walk?" she asked, knowing that these days he enjoyed the peace and quiet of the wall.
"I spoke with princess Alassiel, she was enjoying the view when I arrived," he said throwing himself onto the bed before bringing his arms up behind his head for support.
"I heard they're leaving tomorrow."
"They are, but not for Dorwinion."
Maya raised an eyebrow and placed her book on the table in front of her. "What do you mean?"
"She is sailing to the Undying Lands to be with an ellon she fell in love with at her father's court. Theirs was a forbidden love and he sailed years ago thinking they could never be together," explained the prince.
Maya rose from her chair and walked over to the foot of the bed, observing as her husband lay sprawled out over the furs. Any further questions she had about the Dorwinion princess vanished from her mind as she caught sight of the mischievous glint in his eyes. What on earth was that elf up to?
It didn't take long for her to find out as moments later, she found herself being pulled over the length of his body and strong arms encircled her waist to ensure that escape would not be possible.
"Legolas!" she struggled playfully to get out of his iron grip, but the prince was having none of it, chuckling as she used up every ounce of her strength and still could not manage to pry apart his arms.
"That wasn't very nice," she said panting, as a small smirk played at the corners of her mouth.
"I was not trying to be nice," the prince said impishly before capturing her lips in a long, slow kiss.
It was not long before a harmless caressing of lips escalated into something far more aggressive as hands explored every inch of exposed skin and Legolas' impatient fingers began to work the lacings of his wife's dress. Maya could feel him hardening against her and she took great pleasure in torturing him with a simple writhing of her hips.
The prince thought he might come undone then and there if she didn't stop, but that was not what he wanted. He wanted to take his time with her tonight, to love and cherish every part of her and that was exactly what he was going to do.
Without warning, he broke their kiss and flipped them over so that Maya was on her back. Breathlessly, she stared up at him wondering why he'd stopped.
"I love you," he said softly, holding her with a gaze of deep blue, "I want to show you just how much." He gently lifted her dress up above her waist, trailing his eyes over her flushed cheeks, her kiss-swollen lips that turned up in the most dazzling smile and the look of love in her eyes that never failed to take his breath away.
She would always be the most beautiful creature he'd ever seen.
Legolas placed soft, loving kisses over her bare middle before an impatient Maya pulled him back in for another searing kiss.
"I love you too. Always," she whispered against his lips and with that, the need for words faded away completely as they became lost in each other and one by one, every useless barrier of clothing between them was cast to the floor.
A/N: So there was a chapter full of fluffiness! Was there too much fluff? Just the right amount? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it :)
So I lied last time when I said there were two chapters left, as of this chapter, there are two left including a kind of epilogue. I'm sad its nearly over, but thank you so much to those who have continued to support this story, much love to you all!
As one project slowly comes to an end, another one begins. I've posted another Legolas/OC story called A Road Less Traveled, which is not an A/U. Anyways, check it out if you have the chance :)
Also check out KD Skywalker's Reflections: Remixed, which is an improving on Reflections: Beginnings, and Refelctions: Family. I'm absolutely in love with them!
two other favourites of mine is Raider-K's Wanderlust and annafan's Flower of Ice and Steel (Faramir/Eowyn pairing)