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 don’t 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. I’m 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. (along with Lady Ariannya’s hot water bottle)

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

Double Edged

Chapter 6 - Luminescence

By Kitsune


What is this feeling in my soul tonight? It is light as a feather, strong as an oak, and bright as the sun. It pierces my soul in a thousand different places. I have never experienced this before. And yet, I think perhaps that I have always felt it. Though it has remained suppressed into the darkest places of my psyche, places where pinpricks of light are obscured by unfeeling shadow. My heart swallowed up this soul-healing light with deliberate night, covering any remaining traces under my blinding affection for the Evenstar, and the black guilt I have felt for my mistreatment of her. It seems that it has begun to shine through the layers now that I have confronted my demons and dismissed the self-made treachery that has been eating at my soul. I shall always love Arwen, but I no longer shall know myself as the cause of her death. And this unknown luminescence creeps forth.

It was so very subtle at first. As though this brilliance was a living being, approaching cautiously for fear of alarming me, of scaring me away. It crept under the doors that I have kept locked in my mind. It broke in miniscule streams through the cracks of misdirection in my soul. It will bring into the light of day that which I have kept safely hidden.

Though I may still wish to deny it, I know in the depths of my heart what this light is. If I am honest with myself, I must admit that I recognize this as the main component in my decision to cut loose the ties that bind me to Arwen. This is the thing that has whispered to my dreams, whispered of true love, not childish devotion. If this light had remained safely hidden, I would, perhaps, have been able to wed her and bear the weight of the death that I would impose upon her. For I would believe that I was killing her for love. And that would be worth it, would it not? I would die for love, and if I truly loved someone, that person’s willingness to sacrifice so much would make the love that much stronger, that much more sacred. But the light infested my heart and showed me that to accept such a sacrifice from her would not humble me, nor elevate my love for her. It would repulse me. I would despise myself. Thus, I have no right to accept such a sacrifice from her.

And so my heart has released her to the stars. She will live among the immortals for eternity, and I will allow myself to live a short but happy life. I hope. I would not have done so if this radiance had not manifested itself. I would either have killed her, or doomed myself to a life without love. And what good would that have done either of us? But this luminosity pools in my mind with the gaze of bright brown eyes. It gathers in my heart at the sound of a dear voice raised in song. It bursts from my skin at the brief, careless touch of a strong, pale hand. I have to bite my tongue in order to keep this brilliance contained.

Never have I been so unable to control myself and my emotions. Always I have subjugated them to my will, stifling guilt, rejecting desire, burying loneliness. But this lightning dares to erupt from its confines within my skin at the most inopportune times. At night, while I am on watch, the others asleep, and my eyes drift to a certain prone form. At dawn, as we ready ourselves for the day and water runs over a finely featured face, cleansing and renewing. Under the heat of the sun, as we continue on our quest, and a lithe form skips over a tree root to land securely on a rock. In twilight when haunted eyes meet mine, then depart.

I wish that I could shake my head, plead that I do not understand. But I do. Of all things, this is the one that I understand the best. It is primal. I think that it was built into the foundations of my soul. I think that it is a part of my soul. And I understand my soul.

I wish I could argue rationally with this newly revealed knowledge, protest that it is much too soon. I have been under the chains of a mismatched love for so long. Surely I need time to recover my heart. But that presents a problem. For, at some point, when I was not looking, my heart crept out of my body and into his. Perhaps that is why I could not fully give Arwen my heart. It has not been mine to give for a very long time. If I wish to reclaim it, I shall have to…What? Confess my mistake, and kindly request the return of my heart? He would laugh in my face (no, of course he wouldn’t). Perhaps just to have it back as a loan? Until I have had time to adjust to the changes in my life? But, fundamentally, there have been no changes. I had blinded myself, piled on layers of fancy and created ideals. And now they have been cleared away, and I have been returned to myself.

The most frustrating part of this dilemma is that I would normally turn to him for advice in matters of the heart. He has always been so in touch with his soul. He always know exactly what he wants, and why. There is no need for him to lie to himself. But, clearly, I cannot come to him with this particular question.

Truly, though, I already have my answer. I have always held this truth. It may take me a while to acknowledge it – my heart is too raw, my soul too young and inexperienced. But the answer exists within this light that burns inside of me. The hood has been taken off of my eyes, the jesses have been released, and I am eager to test my wings, for the first time. It remains to be seen whether I fly or fall.

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