Disclaimer: Some Characters, places, and etc. in this story are based on the works of J.R.R Tolkien's book trilogy Lord of the Rings and/or Peter Jackson's movie adaptations of the books. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is made of this.

A/N: Thanks to V. Jenkins for beta, and Imma for encouragement.

Embracing Hope

By LdyBastet


The night was clear and pleasantly warm. Ithil, the moon, stood high in the sky and gently looked down upon the beautiful and peaceful valley. Its pale face was reflected in the little streams, in every drop of water, creating a vision of diamonds strewn across the landscape. The stars were twinkling, but could not compete in beauty with the radiance of Ithil.

By a pool of water, unmoving and lost in thought, stood an Elf. He wore rich clothes of green hue, and his hair shimmered like silver in the moonlight. He was looking at the reflection of the face in the sky, the reflection being almost indistinguishable from the original due to the stillness of the water.

His brow was furrowed with lines and his shoulders were tense. He was silently chastising himself for being a fool, too easily lost in what he now perceived as being no more than an illusion and wishful thinking.

He had known that the Man had a lady-love, that was no secret. He had known that the two had loved each other for many years, and yet he had believed that, somehow, there was room in that heart for him as well.

They had been good friends ever since before the Man had reached the age of adulthood, and lately, with the threat of the Shadow hanging over them, their friendship had grown in closeness. At times it brought them close in body as well, seeking consolation and strength in the embrace of the other.

He remembered gentle, almost shy touches that had become bolder with familiarity. He remembered the deep and passionate kisses, and needs that were sometimes almost desperate, and at other times slow and exploring. He thought back to all the times that they had fallen asleep in each other's arms after their lust was spent, how calloused fingers had brushed over his face and played with his long hair, untangling it.

Sometimes in the passion of their lovemaking there had been murmured words of love, making his heart soar and fill with hope. He had never had any reason to think that maybe the Man was elsewhere in his thoughts while they were coupling, that his confessions of love were meant for another. He had believed that there was room enough in the heart of the human to love two persons...

"Ai! Aragorn..." the Elf whispered to the reflection. "I was fooled by your warmth, by your touches and your words. My heart was too open, too quick to embrace hope..." A tear slowly stole its way down his cheek, but he did not notice it, as his attention was focused on the memories and the pain in his heart.

There had always been so much trust between them, no need or desire to keep secrets from one another. They had always been able to talk about everything: worries, fears, duties, joys and dreams... What had happened, since this no longer held true?

When Legolas arrived in Imladris, he had been pleased to see that Isildur's heir was there as well. He thought that Aragorn had looked as happy to see him as he himself had felt. He had hoped that the two of them could walk together in the beautiful valley and talk. He had missed their easy conversations, the comfortable silence between them that never demanded to be broken. But after their initial meeting the Ranger had almost ignored him. Legolas had been on his way to confront him, to ask what it was that made him close off from him, when he had seen them on the bridge...

Understanding had washed over him in icy waves, as words softly spoken between the Man and the Lady of Imladris were carried on the wind, and as it did, the pain inside had escalated until it felt as if his heart would break. While they had travelled separately Aragorn had apparently made a decision. He had made a choice to exclude him from his heart, to withdraw from the love that they had shared... And he had not been comfortable enough to talk to him about it. Instead Aragorn had made sure that he was so busy that any chance meeting or conversation between them had to be very short.

Aragorn had not trusted him with his feelings, so he had avoided him.

He did not hear the Elf walk up behind him, nor the rustle of fabric as an arm was lifted and a hand placed on his shoulder. He started at the touch.

"Legolas..." The voice was soft and compassionate. He sighed and turned around to face the owner of both hand and voice.

"Erestor," he said in greeting, trying to compose himself. "What brings you here at this hour?"

"I was out walking on the grounds, the business of tomorrow's council on my mind, and I saw you walking alone, seeking solitude. I was going to retire for the evening, but then I heard the trees whisper about pain and sadness... I merely wanted to make sure that you were all right; that the pain the trees felt was not yours. Now I see that my hope was in vain..." Erestor let his voice trail off, and just looked into the deep blue eyes of the other Elf, reading the sadness and the self-accusations therein.

Legolas shivered under Erestor's gaze, knowing himself to be read as clearly as if his emotions had been written on the pages of a book. As the dark haired Elf continued to look at him, he became aware of the wetness on his cheeks, the tears rolling down his face.

Erestor's heart swam with emotion as he saw the sadness in the other Elf's soul. He had always had a soft spot for the Prince of Mirkwood. Legolas had often visited Imladris over the centuries, and they had spent many evenings together, either discussing something that had sparked their interest, or just simply sat in silence by the fireplace, enjoying the company of each other.

He wished that there was something he could do that would ease the pain that he now saw etched on the blond Elf's face. He held out his arms slightly, inviting Legolas into an embrace, if he wanted one.

Legolas silently took a step forward to let himself be encircled by warm and tender arms. He laid his head on the offered shoulder and relaxed into the embrace. Erestor rubbed one hand soothingly over Legolas' back, willing warmth and calmness into his being. How he hated to see Legolas like this: his heart in pieces, his spirit aching...

"I saw them together again this evening." Legolas' voice was hushed. "They made vows, vows that no one should ever be allowed to interfere with." He raised his head and looked into the other Elf's eyes. "She promised to leave all that she knows behind. Her people, her race, everything! She gave him her jewel, and she chose mortality!" There was pain in his voice, pain and a touch of despair. "I could never make that choice... I was a fool to think that what I could give him would ever be enough!"

"Don't be so hard on yourself, Legolas." Erestor touched his cheek gently with his fingers, tracing the paths of the tears from earlier. He cupped Legolas' chin in his hand and leaned closer, letting his lips brush against the Prince's. The touch was all too short, yet very sweet. Erestor had wanted to do that for quite some time now. He had often found himself looking at those lips as the younger Elf spoke, imagining what they would taste like. He drew back and let his hand fall to his side.

Legolas looked at him for a long time, not saying anything. One thought after another were chasing through his mind. Had Erestor just kissed him? He looked into the Elf's eyes, searching for answers to questions unasked, for a sign of what this might mean. Legolas had always admired Erestor, his skills as adviser and diplomat; he was an important part of Master Elrond's household. In fact, he was one of the few that Elrond trusted enough to run it in his absence, or when he was otherwise occupied. Was Erestor merely trying to make him feel better, or were there other, deeper motives and feelings behind that brief contact of their lips?

Erestor's face broke into a smile as Legolas did not step back, or even look away to politely show his disinterest. He raised his hand again to touch the beautiful face in front of him, and he brushed his fingers slowly over Legolas' jaw line. He touched the soft silvery hair, tucking a wayward strand of it behind the ear.

"You have so much to give, and give it so willingly to the one you love. The one who rejects that is surely counted among fools!" Erestor's voice was soft, yet the words were both strong and passionate. "I would..." he stopped himself before finishing the sentence. What was it that he had almost said? I would never have rejected it? Erestor looked inwards for a moment, into his soul, at the emotions he harboured for Legolas. Were they more than an infatuation with his beauty and grace, more than an appreciation of his energy and skill?

"You would... what?" Blue eyes gazed questioningly into Erestor's grey.

Erestor looked back into those eyes, and he could feel his spirit reach out towards the Mirkwood Elf. Now that he examined his emotions, he realized that what he felt was love. He loved this free spirit of the woods, this graceful and intelligent Elf. But did Legolas feel the same for him? There was only one way to find out...

"I would like to kiss you again."

"I would like that too." Legolas unconsciously pursed his lips, and then hesitated. Erestor smiled at him again, and leaned forward. As Erestor's face came closer to his own, his eyes closed, as if to shut out the world, so he could enjoy the kiss without any distractions. Lips gently touched lips, and Legolas parted his slightly as Erestor's tongue touched his lower lip, inviting him to deepen the kiss.

Erestor moved his hand to the back of Legolas' head, tangling his fingers in the long hair. He enjoyed the taste of the mouth that so willingly opened to his exploration of it. He slid his other hand around Legolas' slim waist, caressing the lithe body through the silk of the tunic.

Legolas responded to the kiss, fully enjoying the warmth and wetness of the invading tongue, his sigh swallowed by Erestor's mouth. When he felt the arm sliding around his waist he pulled Erestor closer to him and ran his hands over his back. They broke the kiss to breathe for a moment, and looked at each other.

"I know that I cannot replace Aragorn, or even compare to him, for we are very different from one another. But if I in any way can distract you from your worries for a little while, I would be happy to do so, Legolas." Erestor felt that this might cause himself heartache later, because he still was not sure about what the feelings of the other were. But right now that mattered little, as he wanted to ease the pain he saw in a face that was usually so serene. It was that absence of serenity that had made him kiss Legolas, it was just so wrong. For a heart so deeply troubled as that of Legolas, only comforting words and a shoulder of strength was not enough.

Legolas felt torn. He was attracted to this proud Elf lord and longed for the pain that clawed at his heart to go away, but that very same heart was still connected to the Man. Not through love and companionship any longer, but through hurt and shattered dreams. He had not had another lover since he gave his heart to Aragorn. He had never needed one.

Erestor saw Legolas' indecision, and took his silence to mean that at least he had nothing against the idea of resting in his arms. In any case he had not yet moved away, which was an encouraging sign.

"If you want me to stop, just say. I will never force anything upon you that you do not wish to do or feel ready for," he whispered in Legolas' ear, and then licked at the sensitive tip of it. Legolas moaned silently at the sudden sensation, the sound encouraging Erestor to continue his exploration of erogenous zones: the tips of the ears, the curve of the neck, the contours of the collarbone...

Legolas tipped his head back to give Erestor better access to his throat and the underside of his chin. He felt as if everywhere that a kiss or a lick had been planted was tingling. A pleasant warmth started to fill his being, and he opened his eyes to the beauty of the sky.

As Erestor slowly unbuttoned Legolas' tunic to gain access to his pale skin, he continued to lave kisses on him. Legolas sighed and let the stars fill him with their light. The tingling on his skin and the twinkling of the stars synchronised, and soon he was not sure which was which. He felt as if the stars were tingling inside of him.

Legolas felt himself being pulled forward into another kiss, Erestor seeking his lips and devouring them. He moaned into the kiss and felt the tingle spread all through his body and then travel towards his groin. The passion of Erestor made Legolas' knees almost buckle under him and he clung to the dark haired Elf so as to have some reference point in his universe, lest all be lost.

Erestor could feel the trembling of the body clasped in his arms, and eased Legolas down onto the soft grass. Erestor laid down next to him and rested his weight on his elbow, the other hand busy caressing the smooth chest that was now revealed to him. He looked down into Legolas' face, and saw that the lines of worry had disappeared, and that the pain was less obvious. He kissed the cheeks and the eyelids; he licked at a temple and then moved over to give the ear another wet swipe of his tongue.

Legolas shivered and put his arms around the slender body that lay over him, fully enjoying the attention. He whimpered slightly as Erestor licked his way down his neck and shoulder, over his chest, and finally flicking a wet tongue over a nipple. He arched his back slightly to move closer to the teasing mouth. The dark Elf's hair was soft in his hand, and he tugged at it slightly to urge him further downwards.

Erestor looked up at Legolas, and grinned as he saw the lust written on his fair face. He slowly kissed his way down over the chest and abdomen, his long hair brushing over the alabaster skin, the sensations sending more shivers down Legolas' graceful body. He rose to his knees and undid the laces on Legolas' leggings, and proceeded to peel them off. Pale, muscular thighs and legs were revealed to him, and also the unmistakable proof of arousal. Erestor gently nudged the legs apart so he could kneel between them.

Their gazes met, pale grey and deep blue, lust and need radiating from them both. Legolas smiled and pursed his lips teasingly. Erestor laughed, a clear, joyful sound ringing through the night, and then he lowered his head to take Legolas into his mouth.

"Ai! My friend... this is... oh..." Legolas moaned as he was engulfed in the warm wetness of Erestor's mouth. The Elf lord seemed to know exactly how to both please and tease him, and he was quickly reduced to incoherent thoughts. The suction and expert tongue leaving him with no other means of communication than inarticulate moans and sighs.

Erestor fully enjoyed the taste and feel of the silky smooth shaft, and paid extra attention to the sensitive underside of the tip with his tongue. He hummed deep in his throat and was rewarded by bucking hips and loud moans. As he felt Legolas grab hold of his hair again, he ran his hands down the strong thighs. He slowly dragged his fingernails over them, leaving faint red marks behind. Legolas writhed and sighed from the pleasure of these sensations, and Erestor smiled inwardly.

All Legolas' thoughts had stopped, and he could only enjoy what the other Elf did to him. He felt as if his body was played like an instrument... The sensations were so intense, and his arousal was as well. He wanted this to never end, but he didn't know how much longer he could last.

"Erestor... please, I... I want you." Erestor looked up at Legolas' words, his mouth abandoning the hard flesh that he had concentrated upon.

"Mmm... that can be arranged," Erestor said with a teasing look in his eyes. He looked around for something that could be used to ease the way, and saw that a wayward healing plant grew by the pool. He got up and fetched a few of the thick leaves. Legolas admired the sight of the strong, lithe body in the moonlight, and the beautiful contrast of the raven black hair against the pale skin.

Erestor dropped the thick leaves he had gathered on the ground and took off his clothes before kneeling between Legolas' legs again. He leaned forward and kissed his new lover again, ravishing delectable lips and mouth until they both felt as if the world was spinning. He sat back once more and grinned at the beauty before him, his lips swollen from the kissing.

Legolas tried to bring some order into his thoughts, but had to give up. Enjoy now, think later, he decided. Legolas sighed quietly as he felt strong hands lifting his legs up slightly. Erestor moved closer so that Legolas' thighs were resting on his lap. Legolas soon felt slim fingers, now slick with the juice from the leaves, move teasingly over his entrance, and he dug his fingers into Erestor's knees.

"No more teasing!" Legolas swallowed hard. "Need you, want you..." All he could think of now was the pleasure that Erestor's touches and words had promised him. He didn't care about his lost love anymore, only the Elf that now pushed a finger inside him. He moaned and lifted his hips a little, trying to push it deeper, wanting more.

Erestor pushed another finger inside and felt Legolas relax slowly as he moved his fingers around, and soon inserted a third one to open him up a bit more. He did not want to cause Legolas any pain... not tonight. He had suffered enough already, and Erestor wanted this experience to be soft and loving. The moans that his ministrations elicited and the feel of the body in his lap made him almost painfully hard. Erestor crushed more of the leaves with his other hand and coated himself with the oily substance from them.

Legolas almost protested as he felt the probing fingers withdraw from his body. He looked up in breathless expectation as hands caressed his thighs and hips, then grabbed him and pulled him forward. He could only hear the pounding of his own heart and the rush of blood in his ears, as Erestor positioned his hard member between Legolas' cheeks and carefully entered him.

Erestor started to move slowly inside Legolas, rocking his hips back and forth in a comfortable rhythm that brought soft whimpers and moans from Legolas. He let a hand graze softly over a thigh, and slid that hand up towards Legolas' groin and closed it around the straining erection. Erestor started to pleasure his lover while enjoying the tightness of his body, filling Legolas again and again at a steady pace...

"Ai! Yes... so good..." Legolas tried to form coherent thoughts but found that to be too difficult. It felt as if his entire body was on fire, burning with desire and need, and he thrust back hard, wanting to feel more of the invading hardness. Legolas enjoyed the sensation of being stretched, of Erestor filling him, and the coils of pleasure that radiated from inside. He bucked his hips as Erestor's hand pleasured his flesh, and Legolas could feel the fire in his blood somehow turn cold while still burning him. It started in his hands and feet and snaked through his body. Legolas bent his head backwards and moaned loudly as the cold fire reached his groin and erupted in a sparkle of electrical shocks, like flashes of lightning that made the entire world disappear in light.

Erestor watched in fascination as Legolas came closer and closer to his release. When he felt the muscles tighten around him Erestor could no longer hold back and he let the waves of pleasure take him over completely as well.

"Legolas... wanted this for so long..." Erestor whispered as he emptied his seed into the body of his lover. When the tremors of passion had subsided, he leaned down over Legolas, resting his weight on one elbow, and stroked his blond hair. He smiled as he saw the tangled and half undone state of Legolas' braids. Maybe he could help the graceful Prince of Mirkwood with them later? As Legolas opened his eyes and put limp arms around him, Erestor grinned. He claimed Legolas' lips in a tender yet passionate kiss, and laid down next to him, pulling the fair Elf into his arms.

Legolas smiled as he felt the strong arms around him and the body pressed close to his, and relaxed into the embrace, brushing his lips against Erestor's shoulder. He could feel sleepiness take him over and gave in to it, hoping that Erestor had the same idea. He wanted to enjoy the feel of entangled legs, the soft breath and beating heart of his new lover, and did not want to move until the rising of golden Anor.


"Where do we go from here?" Legolas, stretching, asked quietly as he saw that Erestor was awake.

"I do not know, melethen. We will take it as it comes, one day at a time. We follow the path that fate shows us, with strength and open hearts." Erestor smiled softly at his lover.

"It was my open heart that brought this pain upon me..." Legolas sighed.

"Nay, Legolas. It was that you lost sight of who you are and who he is, the perspective. Do not blame your heart, for it is innocent. The heart loves. You would have lost him in the end either way: he is but a Man, and does not live forever."

"I know." Legolas nodded and placed a gentle kiss on Erestor's lips, and smiled as a bird landed on a bough in the tree behind them and started to serenade them.

"Do not drown your heart in seriousness, melethen. Remember the joy and the wonders, remember the voices of the land..."


"And you have my bow!" Legolas pledged to the Hobbit who so bravely volunteered to go all the way to Mordor, to the very heart of evil, for the sake of them all, and for the future of Middle-Earth. He looked at Aragorn as he took his place by Frodo's side and smiled. There would be friendship and no more. They would fight side by side against the Darkness again, and his heart would recover.

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