Main Pairing: Aragorn/Arwen, Aragorn/Legolas
Archive: Ask, and ye shall receive.
Disclaimer: I own the Legolas action figure. Other than that, I own nothing.
Summary: Legolas has come to confess his love to Aragorn, but he has come to late... Prequel to "Comfort", sequel to "Samain Night", and fifth in "No Ordinary Love" series.
Notes: This is *movie-verse* with book-verse and my own imagination used at whim. Much license is taken with this storyline, as movie canon leaves so much to the imagination. This is the fifth story in the "No Ordinary Love" series, but is a prequel to "Comfort". It is the second and last story to the "A Tale of Two Princes" story arc, and sequels "Samain Night". This story is set roughly two years after "Samain Night". I meant to right another one in between this one and Samain Night, but it refused to come out right. So I just wrote this instead. And the poem is MINE!! I wrote it!! *points to herself* Me!! I did it!! Sorry. Had a moment there. I meant to write more Aragorn/Arwen moments, but I'm not too good with het romance, and I didn't want to disgrace the relationship.
In the Fading Twilight
In the fading twilight,
I peered through silver leaves,
And saw my love standing in the dying light,
With another, laughing at the breeze.
In the fading twilight,
I felt my heart shatter and break,
And tears began to blur my sight,
As they stood beside the lake.
In the fading twilight,
I realized it was all for naught,
For I was to confess my love that night,
But in my throat, the words had caught.
In the fading twilight,
He kissed his Lady under the tree,
And I saw his heart take flight,
For their love was plain for all to see.
In the fading twilight,
I slowly crept from where they stood,
T'was the only course that was right,
I knew, as I wept beneath my hood.
And in the fading twilight,
I sobbed and stared at the stars above,
And realized while I sat in the moon's light,
That this was truly no ordinary love.
"You should go to him."
Legolas half-jumped, spinning around on his balcony to find his father standing behind him. Despite his countless millennia as King of Mirkwood, Thranduil was as stealthy as any of his sons, if not more so.
"I said, child, that you should go to him. The Man you have fallen for," Thranduil said easily, sitting gracefully in a chair, staring at his youngest, and dearest child. He was unusually somber.
Legolas turned back to the sight of the sun setting over the forested horizon, presenting his father his back. "I have not fallen for anyone, much less a Man," Legolas said darkly.
"It has been two months. For a Man, that is a long time, young Legolas. Since the hunt of the White Stag on Samain Night, you and Estel have been inseparable. But for the past two months, you have turned him away when he comes to visit you. It pains you not to have him near, and yet you still ask him to leave, pretending you are not feeling well. You love Estel, I can see it in your eyes, my son," Thranduil said gently.
Legolas bowed his head. "Nay, Father, you are mistaken. I give my heart to no one," Legolas said bitterly.
"Then, my son, I truly pity you, for no Elf has learned to live, until he has learned to love."
And with that statement, the King of Mirkwood swept from his son's chambers.
Aragorn stared listlessly out of the window. His breakfast sat before him, half-eaten and forgotten.
"You are pining."
Aragorn jumped and turned, finding his surrogate father, Elrond, standing before him, a slight frown on his face. Which of course, meant nothing, as Elrond habitually wore a frown on his face. Aragorn instinctively picked up his fork, as if he hadn't let it sit there for half an hour while he stared out a window.
"I pine for no one," Aragorn said shortly, taking a bite of the porridge and wincing, because it was cold and now tasted bland.
"Did Prince Legolas turn you away...again...?" Elrond asked, almost gently.
Aragorn was not able to cover the hurt expression on his face fast enough. "He was not feeling well," the young ranger said lightly.
Elrond raised a delicate eyebrow. "Why do you continue to chase after him, Aragorn? This is not like you, to seek someone's company so doggedly. I understand you fancy him, many do, but beauty means-"
"If you think I have grown to be close friends with the youngest Prince of Mirkwood solely because of his beauty, my Lord Elrond, then you do not know me as well as you might think," Aragorn said irritably, turning intense gray-green eyes on the Elf who raised him to be a man of Men.
Elrond fell silent for a moment, staring thoughtfully at Aragorn. "He is your first true friend, is he not? And the first Elf who seems to understand you. His personality is complex enough to fascinate you. He is warm and supportive, staunchly loyal and honorable, like his father before him. He looks past your race, and judges you on your character. He is witty, and his loveliness is merely icing on the cake, as it were..." Elrond said thoughtfully, as if thinking out loud.
Aragorn shrugged, surrendering his attempts to eat his cold porridge and pushed the bowl away from him. He avoided meeting Elrond's eyes, for fear the astute Elf would see how hurt he truly was by Legolas' repeated dismissals. He had thought that he and Legolas were the best of friends, and was almost positive there was something between them, but then Legolas suddenly started turning him away, closing himself off from Aragorn. Almost as if he was afraid. Afraid of what?
"Well, no matter. I have someone who is arriving today that I would like you to meet. If you can see past Legolas' beauty, you can see past hers. No doubt she would enjoy your company as escort to the celebration tonight. She is a lady now, and too mature to be escorted by her brothers any longer," Elrond said simply.
Aragorn raised an eyebrow. "Forgive me, my Lord Elrond, but I have no interest in accompanying some silly Elven female who has a curiosity for Men to some celebration. I will remain in my room for the night, thank you all the same," he said wearily.
Elrond raised his other eyebrow, seeming highly bemused. "Few Elves would turn down the chance to accompany my daughter anywhere. Are Men so different? Arwen has been away for nearly two centuries, being schooled by her grandmother, Galadriel. She might have a curiosity of Men, for her grandsire was a Man, but I assure you she is not silly," he said.
Aragorn coughed. "My lord, I meant no insult-"
"I know. I have merely told her that the human ward I took in while she was away will escort her to the celebration. I told her nothing else. You shall find the Lady Arwen to be both intelligent and charming. She is, after all, my daughter," Elrond said proudly.
Aragorn smiled slightly. Elrond took great pride in Arwen, even over his two sons. He had heard stories of her beauty, and Elrond often spoke of her charms. She couldn't possibly be as wonderful as Elrond was leading him to believe, but perhaps this Lady's presence would take his mind off the rejections Legolas had delivered him.
"I shall be both honored and joyous to escort your daughter, Lord Elrond," Aragorn said simply.
Three months later...
Legolas dismounted from his horse as he arrived in Rivendell, peering at the last Homely House from beneath his hood. To his disappointment, Aragorn was not there to greet him. Ever since they had met, Aragorn had always come to greet Legolas, but today, he was not even in sight. But then, considering Legolas' repeated dismissals of Aragorn the last few times he had come to visit, it was no less than Legolas deserved.
After a moment, Glorfindel came out to greet him on behalf of Lord Elrond. Legolas half-listened to Glorfindel's prattling as his horse was led away. He nodded in all the rights places, and even offered weak smiles to Glorfindel's jokes. Glorfindel led him to Elrond's study, and Legolas walked beside the tall blond Elf, dreading meeting Aragorn.
He needed to tell him. He had to tell him. He wanted to tell him.
As Legolas left Glorfindel's company and walked into Lord Elrond's study and found Aragorn sitting there, his stomach dropped and he felt faint. Their eyes met for a moment, jade gazing into sapphire with such intensity that Legolas blushed. And then Aragorn looked away, with a very odd expression on his face. It looked almost as if the young ranger felt guilty about something.
Elrond was working his jaw and glanced between the Elf and the Man for a moment before tactfully clearing his throat. "Prince Legolas, it is an honor that you have graced my house. What brings you to Rivendell?" he asked gracefully.
Legolas licked his lips, his eyes fixed on the ground before. What was he to say? That he had come here to profess his love to a Man? To offer Aragorn his heart, his immortality, his body...anything that Aragorn wished? Was Legolas to tell Elrond that he would offer his soul to the very Man who sat but ten feet away from where he stood?
"I...came seeking your advice regarding the encroachment of Man in our forest..." Legolas lied. He was unable to look up and see what sort of expression Aragorn had on his face.
"Again? Are they logging or poaching this time?" Elrond sighed.
"Both. My father wishes to kill them, but they'll only return after a generation or so. We need to do something else, something that will make them remember from generation to generation..." Legolas said, daring to look up into Elrond's face, if not Aragorn's. It was a real problem, and one that Legolas did wish to seek Elrond's counsel on, but not the true reason for his sudden arrival in Rivendell.
Elrond turned from him and poured two glasses of feywine, and offered one to Legolas, who gratefully sipped at the sweet liquid. "I do not know what to tell you, young Legolas. Killing them is a bit harsh, but your father is known for being harsh to those who trespass into his forest, despite his generous nature to his guests. Perhaps a spokesperson who could make them understand what they do..." Elrond said, as much to himself as to Legolas.
Legolas finally looked to Aragorn who was sitting calmly, his face blank and expressionless. "Perhaps young Aragorn could speak to them? He is a Man, and-"
"No," Aragorn said, cutting him off.
Legolas blinked, staring at Aragorn, whose jaw was working. The dark-haired Man had not even turned his face to Legolas, and was angrily staring out of a window now. Elrond had set his glass down and was just as angrily staring out another window. The similarities between them suddenly occurred to Legolas.
"I did not raise you to be a coward, Estel," Elrond rumbled, scowling.
Aragorn matched the scowl. "I am no coward. I merely know I am not a leader of Men. I am nothing like them. I do not understand them, they do not understand me. I am an Elf, in all but flesh," Aragorn rumbled back.
Elrond spun around, his wineglass crashing to the ground and shattering to pieces. The tinkling sound of glass breaking seemed to echo in Legolas' ears as he struggled to understand what was going on.
"You are the last of the Dunedan! You are Isildur's Heir, and rightful King of Gondor, how can you-"
"I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn. Nothing less, nothing more. I am but a mere ranger. You may think you raised me to be a King of Men, but I am not. I am sorry that I failed you," Aragorn said dully.
Legolas had the distinct impression that he had interrupted this conversation, and now his innocent question had restarted it, only with more venom. Now, both Elrond and Aragorn seemed to have forgotten he was even in the room.
"You may one day come to me, seeking my permission for something. Know this, Aragorn, son of Arathorn. I will never let you have it, not as long as you remain a mere ranger. When you take your rightful place, and accept your throne, then you may have it. Until then, I forbid it," Elrond said dangerously. The hair on the back of Legolas' neck stood up. Never had he heard Elrond speak in such a manner to anyone.
Aragorn finally turned to Elrond, and his face sorrowful. "I am not worthy. I did not ask, because I know this. My blood is tainted...weak. Never would I disgrace such a creature as...no. I do not need your permission, my Lord Elrond. And do not think you can use it as leverage to make me do what you want. I am my own Man. And I will go my own way," he said sadly.
"What do you mean by that...?" Elrond asked in surprise.
"Tonight shall be my last night in Rivendell. I am a ranger. I shall wander amongst my kind, and see if I can prevent Men from invading Mirkwood and Rivendell, and lend assistance to those of them that may need help whilst they travel. I shall learn about my people, one by one. It is best that I leave here," Aragorn said darkly.
"So you would choose exile? You would leave behind those that love you, so you can wander like a lost lamb??" Elrond asked, his face etched with something between disgust, disappointment, sorrow, and regret.
"Not all those who wander are lost. I am nothing to Men. How do you think they would feel should I just appear and try to take the kingdom from those that have ruled it since my father's death? Nay, Lord Elrond, I will not do it."
"The race of Man is leaderless...divided...weakening..." Elrond pleaded.
"And you wish me to lead them to their downfall, like my ancestor before me? Someone will take care of them, lead them, save them. And that someone shall not be me," Aragorn returned mercilessly, and then swept from the room.
Legolas glanced once at the defeated look on Elrond's face before he hurried after Aragorn, catching up to him in a mere moment. He put out a hand and caught Aragorn's arm, deftly spinning Aragorn around with his inhuman strength.
Aragorn's pale green eyes flashed for just a moment before calming down, staring at Legolas once again with such intensity that it made Legolas' body burn with desire, a desire to spend eternity lost in those depths.
"Legolas," Aragorn said coolly.
Legolas swallowed, staring down at Aragorn's cloak clasp, rather than his face. Within him burned a love so great it was painful. He knew he loved Aragorn. He had turned the Man away whilst he struggled with such strong emotions, but he had finally come to terms with it. This was his chance. To tell Aragorn how he felt, and how much he loved him. To say that it didn't matter to him who's heir Aragorn was, or whether he wish to wander or rule. To say that he would even sacrifice his immortality, just for...
...a few years with Aragorn...
"Aragorn, I..." Legolas said, feeling his throat close. How could he bare his heart like that? How could he reveal emotions as furious and as overwhelming as what he was experiencing. How could he let himself be so vulnerable, so weak before Aragorn?
But none of his inner turmoil was revealed, for Legolas' smooth face was as calm as ever. A smooth mask of no emotion, no expression. An Elven mask that was dignified, haughty, and ethereal.
Aragorn shook Legolas hand from his arm. "What is it, Legolas?" he asked. "I am sorry you had to hear that. I had not wished for you to discover about my bloodline like that."
"I don't care. I don't care...at all. You are Aragorn, you always will be..." Legolas said softly, daring to meet Aragorn's eyes.
And he saw pain suddenly easing at those words. The silent, eternal, and inexplicable self-loathing that Aragorn had, all stemmed from his bloodline. Aragorn did not see the beauty, the nobility, the strength that Legolas saw. Aragorn doubted himself, hated himself, saw himself as a weak, ugly, wretched creature. Legolas swallowed, swept away by the utter pain that must be etched into Aragorn's existence.
How could anyone so beautiful see himself as so ugly...?
Aragorn smiled, and put a hand on Legolas' shoulder, squeezing slightly. "You are a good friend, Legolas. Thank you for that..." he whispered. Legolas wanted nothing more than to take Aragorn in his arms and smooth away every pain and doubt he suffered.
But how could Legolas ease another's doubt, when he had so much of them himself?
"Aragorn...I wanted to tell you..." Legolas said, his throat closing again. Suddenly the wild thought that he wasn't good enough for Aragorn struck him. He was but an Elf, and a young one at that. He was the youngest Prince, and in no danger of becoming King. Many spoke of his beauty, but there were others that were smarter, wiser, and kinder. Others that could offer Aragorn so much more. Legolas felt so small compared to Aragorn. What did skill with a bow mean to someone in such need of love and support? How could Legolas think he could ever offer something worthy enough for Aragorn? Beauty was only skin-deep, and Aragorn's true beauty lay within. Legolas loved Aragorn. How could he thrust himself on Aragorn?
"Yes...?" Aragorn prompted him, blinking in confusion.
Legolas willed the tears away from his eyes. He never let his mask waver, never let the pain show. Could he truly offer Aragorn what he needed? Would he be enough for Aragorn? Could he be strong enough for Aragorn? Would Aragorn even want him, a foolish young Elf with wild ideas of romance? The pain of rejection would kill him...
"...I can't say it..." Legolas choked, and fled from Aragorn, overwhelmed with his own emotions.
He was so overcome that he did not even notice the beautiful Elven woman who sadly watched him flee.
Aragorn stood beneath a silver-leafed tree, staring across the ethereal lake before him. It was twilight, and the sun had just left the horizon, leaving behind it's fading light. He jumped slightly when he discovered Arwen's beautiful face hovering beside him, smiling impishly.
"What sort of ranger are you, to not hear me approaching...?" Arwen laughed, her ebon tresses shaking in the fading light.
Aragorn laughed with her. Her voice was like salve on the wound that was his heart. Though it had only been a few short months since they had first met, Aragorn loved Arwen with all his heart and soul.
"Do you think I, a mere Man, could compete with the granddaughter of Galadriel...?" Aragorn grinned.
"You can best even Glorfindel blade to blade. I have yet to see any Man or Elf that can compare to you in battle. I should certainly hope you could compete with a mere Elven lady," Arwen smiled, her musical voice tinkling through the small clearing they stood in.
Aragorn suddenly sobered, swallowing deeply, his Adam's apple bobbing from effort. "Arwen...I asked you to come here tonight because I..." he trailed off, glancing across the lake again, overwhelmed. How could he tell her that he had to leave because he loved her too much and he knew he was not worthy enough to be with her?
"What is troubling you, Estel...?" Arwen asked him gently, touching Aragorn's arm and sending thrills through his body.
Aragorn hung his head. "I must leave tomorrow morn," he admitted.
Arwen withdrew as if burned, and the pain that flashed across her eldritch face made Aragorn's heart bleed. "I thought you...love me...you said..." she whispered, her eyes widening in hurt.
Aragorn clasped the beautiful Elf to him, choking slightly. "But I do, Arwen. I do. And that is why I must leave. I love you with all my heart and soul. But I cannot stay here. I am not worthy of you..." he whispered huskily.
Arwen's hands clutched his back in desperation. "No, Estel, you cannot leave! How can you say you are not worthy of me...? I love you...please, do not leave me. Let me come with you. I would give anything. I would give you my immortality even, just please, please do not go..." she begged.
Aragorn clutched her tightly, and it was he who let tears fall from his eyes, not her. "Nay, Arwen. I will come to visit you, for I do not think I could live very long without seeing your face. But I must go. I will not let you ruin yourself for me..." he said.
Arwen took a step back, her face sorrowful, but dignified. She did not plead again, and though her dark blue eyes registered the deepest sorrow, she merely folded her hands along her stomach, radiating gentility and understanding. Though Aragorn still had tears escaping his eyes, Arwen held hers back, though her sorrow was as great.
"You must do as you feel you must, Estel. But I can see that you hold back from me. Is there another? Another that you love?" she asked gently, looking deeply into the jade depths of Aragorn's beautiful eyes.
Aragorn paused for moment longer than he should have, hesitated for a fraction of an instant longer than he meant to. It told Arwen all she needed to know, for she had seen Legolas and Aragorn speak after Aragorn burst out of her father's study. She could see there was something between them. Legolas loved Aragorn, it was obvious, but he held back, for some strange reason. And for Aragorn, there was a sort of glimmer in his eyes for Legolas, a seed that had yet to sprout.
"Arwen, I love only you," Aragorn breathed, and then bent down slightly to draw the Elven woman into a kiss that chased all thoughts of Legolas from both their minds.
Arwen put a hand to the side of Aragorn's face, cupping his cheek. "And I love you, Estel. I shall be here for you whenever you need me. And whenever you are ready, I will still be here, with open arms. Fare thee well, my love," she whispered and kissed him chastely on the lips before turning and leaving.
She gave little thought for many years to that glimmer in Aragorn's eyes.
Legolas choked as he turned away, feeling as though someone had just ripped his heart out.
He had watched Aragorn and Arwen kiss, seen the love on their faces. Seen the smiles, the gentle caresses, the sorrow of their parting. Part of him ached for the loss they suffered, the while the rest ached for the love he could not have, would never have.
Legolas found a lonely spot, bathed in moonlight, and sat down to cry. Aragorn loved Arwen. Arwen loved Aragorn. She had even offered him her immortality. And he was leaving because he thought he was not good enough for her. There was no room for Legolas.
Legolas pushed back his hood and gazed up at the stars, gulping for breath as he wept. For himself. For Aragorn. For Arwen. For love that was not to be shared by anyone.
The twilight had faded, and night had swept across the darkened sky.
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