This chapter is kinda important for later on but not really relevant to plot. Just needed to be done.
Desire and Love
Chapter Two - Secrets kept
Gandalf watched the sleeping pair. He was quite suspicious the elf wasn't really asleep. He knew the elf was deathly afraid of caves and wondered if this explained his earlier behaviour.
`Legolas?' he whispered.
`What? How do you always know that I'm awake?'
`Have you not watched over elves as they sleep? The eyes become less focused, although they appear to be watching the surroundings. What troubles you?'
`It's still here. And I think Pippin may have disturbed its sleep.'
`You will not meet it. I promise you on my life. But why give Aragorn the wine?'
`Curious are we?' the elf tried to take on a teasing tone.
`Maybe. Or annoyed as to why you gave a member of this fellowship who is vital to the mission elven wine. You know its effects.'
`And you know perfectly well Aragorn is not affected. He has stayed in Mirkwood many a time I know all it does is that of a few pints of ale. It loosens his tongue so he confides in others. That is just as important. One cannot fight if the mind is not focused.' The elf whispered harshly.
`Easy! Curious only. You were right to do what you did. I'll warrant you didn't expect the results though.'
`Maybe not, but if it helps him keep going...' he trailed off again.
`You risk your own happiness,' Gandalf finished. `Foolish really. But sleep now. No balrog will know of you.' He went back to his corner, re-lighting his pipe. He watched in satisfaction as the elf apparently went to sleep. He saw the breathing settle.
The balrog was still there then. A creature that had terrorised Legolas on a visit to the dwarves centuries ago. It had nearly killed him, leaving him for dead and entering the realm of Moria. It killed the dwarves with the help of an army of orcs. Legolas had seen this, as he dragged his broken body away from the mines. It had taken many years to recover from the injuries. Gandalf had been called to heal the burns, and help the elf's spirit recover. He knew the elf had more than that ordeal to recover from. He loved one who he thought did not love him. Ever since he had met Aragorn that had been a problem. The prince had always hidden his feelings, not wanting to cause guilt to his friend. Gandalf suspected that the night's confession had been taken with more than a pinch of salt.
Legolas would never deny his friend physical pleasure if he asked, but he feared it would cost him his happiness again, something he really didn't want to see happen. It had been a long haul helping the elf recover. He didn't intend doing it again on such a perilous journey.
He would speak with Aragorn the next day he resolved.
The two awoke after the rest. They were all looking at them with slightly amused grins.
`Have you two finally worked it out?' Frodo asked.
`I think so,' Sam teased.
`You hobbits say too much for your own good,' Aragorn muttered. Gandalf caught the flicker of pain in the elf's eyes at that.
`Aragorn?' he called the man over. This needed sorting with a wizard's touch. Legolas was teasing the hobbit's back about minding their own business and hinting to Frodo and Sam that their activities were known of.
`Aragorn, last night. Does Arwen truly know? And do you know what you do?'
`She has known for a while that love is not what I feel. I think she suspected who as well. But I don't know what you mean by what I do.'
`Legolas has loved you for a long time. I will not see you hurt him.'
`How dare you!' he exclaimed. Gandalf motioned for him to be quiet. `I have no intention of hurting him. I have desired him since I met him,' he hissed angrily.
The company left after a breakfast. Gandalf and Aragorn were glaring at each other, Legolas seemed quite distanced from the rest and all in all it was very somber.
As they left, Aragorn caught the elf's hand and held it. `I meant it last night. Arwen is a sister, it is you who I desire. Who I want.'
`But is desire all it is? Do you even know what it is you do? I cannot give you an heir to the throne of Gondor, and you will face the ridicule of your fellow men.' Legolas sounded quite sad.
`It is more I feel, I care not for an heir. I don't really care for the throne. I turned from that path remember?' He pulled the elf to him and gave him a quick kiss. `Never ever doubt it.'
Legolas squirmed out of the human's grasp and hurried towards the middle of the line. He needed to think.
Aragorn cursed himself. This was not working out. Something was really wrong with the elf, and he was quite sure it was to do with him.
I promise, they will soon be back to the characters we know!
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