Memorial Day Onlist Challenge

War and Remembrance

32. Sunset

Author: Khylea

Rating: PG - some talk of death, but nothing happens

Warning: Spoilers for Two Towers (as if anyone hasn't seen it yet!)

Timeline: Shortly after Return of the King, movieverse.

Characters: Legolas and Aragorn

Archive: Feel free, just drop me a URL where I can visit it please

Summary: After the War of the Ring is over, Legolas and Aragorn keep a promise to Haldir.

Dedication: For Anais, who keeps me writing. >(

Author's Notes: So here's my entry. I made an assumption that Haldir was buried near Helm's Deep, so this story takes place there.

The day was warm, the sky clear, so unlike the day he had died. Two horses stopped near the raised mound of earth. Their riders stared at the small sapling growing over the head of the grave, before slowly dismounting. Slipping the reins over the heads of their horses, they slowly walked forward. Looking at them, you would not have thought they had anything in common. One was slim, the other stocky, one light haired, one dark, one pale skinned, the other deeply tanned, but they walked together with the easy familiarity of those who have faced death together.

The taller of the two stopped and glanced at his companion. "I do not know if I can do this, mellon nin," Legolas said softly, his eyes distant, unseeing. Aragorn nodded, continuing forward alone, kneeling next to the grave. Reaching into an inside pocket of his tunic, he removed a small eather pouch. Carefully pouring the contents around the base of the sapling, he smoothed it with his hands, carefully packing it down.

"Just as I promised you, Haldir," he whispered. "Earth from your home." He glanced out of the corner of his eye as Legolas kneeled next to him and uncorking a flask, poured a small amount of water on the dirt Aragorn had just left.

"And water from Lady Galadriel's sacred pool, Haldir of Lorien," Legolas whispered. "May the Valar see you safely to the next world."

For a long moment neither said anything further until Aragorn realized his friend was softly crying. Placing a hand on Legolas' shoulder, he squeezed gently. "It is how he would have wanted to go, Legolas. Fighting a noble battle against overwhelming odds." Legolas nodded mutely. After a moment, he spoke.

"He never was afraid of death. He knew death is the price the living pay for freedom. Freedom is anything but free."

Aragorn smiled slightly. "Was that something Haldir told you?"

"Yes. The night he died. He'd had a vision that he was going to die here, but he came anyway. He was willing to give his life that the rest of us might live. That the world would be free from Sauron's evil. He did not consider that too high a price to pay." He shook his head. "So many gave their lives that night. The price was so high."

Aragorn nodded. "The price of freedom is always high. High enough that the survivors always must ask if it was worth it. I do not know about the Rohirrim, but I know your people, Legolas. The Elves would not have considered it too high."

"No. Perhaps not."

Aragorn stood, slipping the reins over the neck of his horse. "Come. Let us go." Legolas nodded, leaping onto his own horse, and with a last look back, urged his horse toward the sunset.

The sunset on a world beginning to heal. A free world......

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: HA Writers Group

Status: General

Completion: Ongoing Serial

Rating: General

Last Updated: 05/28/03

Original Post: 05/25/03

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