WARNING: This is a hint of SLASH. While there is no explicit homosexual action, this story involves a man (male elf, really) in love with a man. If this bothers you, I am certainly not going to make you read it, and indeed kindly request that you take yourself elsewhere and read some of the lovely het works on ffnet. If you read the fic in spite of my warning, then donít complain to me!

Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings, and all of its characters clearly do not belong to me. They belong to the amazing J.R.R. Tolkien. Iím merely playing with their minds... (evil grin).

Feedback: Please, please, please...yes, I am begging! I would like to know what you think of it; love it, hate it, don't get it- whatever! Just keep in mind that flames will be used to heat my very cold dorm room.

Author's Notes: This is the fifth installment in the Double Edged series. This is the second from Aragornís POV. Let me know what you think about it Ė. if you can offer some constructive criticism, I would really appreciate it! Keep reviewing, and I will keep writing!

Double Edged

Chapter 5 - Rebirth

By Kitsune


There is music in my soul tonight. Music that is sweet, light, and airy. It is a breath of fresh air in a world so long dark and foul. It floats on the wind, over the brown and deadened grass, wafting gently up to the stars, which (like me) smile to hear it. The gentle strain meanders through the trees, flirting with the leaves and intimately caressing the branches.

For many years I have fought with my heart. When I was young I stumbled through a world in which I was accepted but did not truly belong. It was a world of beauty, peace, and elegant strength. The Elves moved through time like water flowing over rocks. I blundered about, tripped over my feet and relied on brute strength. I adapted. I found that the grace of sword work sang to my soul. I channeled my energy and bided my time until I could find a world that wanted me within it as a participant, not a mere observer.

As I grew older, I struggled with the difficulty of merging the adoration of a hasty human heart with the affection of an ancient Elven soul. I walked the steps of a young man in love. I brought her pretty things, and I spoke with prettier words. I sacrificed much for her, and I would do so again. But, I have come to fully realize that she must sacrifice for me that which I could never give her, and that which I cannot take from her. I have sought to resign my heart to the fact that by loving her I will bring her pain.

And now I am weighed down by the efforts of coming to a much heavier realization. I know that I love her. Arwen is beautiful. She is good. She is true, and wise. And, she is immortal. I know that I do not deserve her, or her love. I do not love her enough to rejoice in her willingness to give up her world for me, nor do I love her enough to bear the pain of refusing to accept her sacrifice, yet continuing to plan a life with her. I will not have her sit beside me as I age, transform into some dithering old fool. I cannot do that to myself or to her.

I also know that she loves me. Always has she provided me with sweet smiles, gentle touches and tender kisses. She would stand by my side through anything, and everything. But she deserves the best. And I am not the best. However, I do not kill innocents. Not now. She will live. I know that she will forgive me, that she will release me from our vows with the utmost grace. She will continue to reserve those smiles and comforting touches for me. She will support my decision and tell me that she wishes for me to be happy. The best part of this (or perhaps the worst Ė certainly the hardest for me to think about) is that she will truly understand. Arwen will sacrifice the joy of the life that she believes she would have led with me, so that I can avoid the monstrous burden of guilt. But Ė she will be alive nonetheless. That which I will steal from her will the lesser of two evils. I will rob her of a short life filled with pain, and betrayal, alleviated only by brief flashes of joy. I will leave her with an eternity to learn all of the beauty that the world can afford. And she will forget me.

Long have I agonized over this decision. But, in my heart, the choice has always been made. I have been forcefully blinding myself to a truth too painful to bear. I do love her, and I cannot contemplate a life without love. And yet, this music that wells up in my soul, which breaks through my heart like the sun after a thunderstorm, suggests that I have not chosen to forsake my only hope of happiness. Is there some other truth that I have refused to let myself see?

A voice in the wild echoes the song in my heart. It is deep and resonant. It fills the empty places in the world... and in my soul. Thank the Gods for friends. I will never be truly alone. I have somehow managed to find a world in which I am more than accepted, I am required. In this world, my heavy human heart may bring pain, but it will never bring destruction. And I know that I can bring happiness, as well as love. My friends are tangible, earthy objects, which I have only to reach out and touch. I hold them near to my heart, rather than admire them from afar. And they thank me for it. Yes, I have found the world in which I belong, and my heart rejoices.

I join the voice amidst the trees with the song of joy that flows from my heart. There is a pause, a glance from a bright, searching brown eye. Let me join you in your happiness, my friend. Understanding dawns in the luminous gaze, and a quick smile meets mine, as our voices rise in harmony. There is beauty in the world, when you chose to see it. And I have opened my eyes.

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