Elrohir came across Legolas where he had expected him to be. Elrohir had heard the better half of the story from his father. While it gladdened him that Legolas had not sought to run away, Elrohir was worried as could glimpsed form of the prince high in the boughs of the tree overlooking Imladris.
Legolas heard the advance of the other, and made a few sudden movements, before going still again, realising that it was Elrohir. He did not respond as the other called softly from under the tree.
The twin recognised the blank and emotionless look on his face for what it was, and climbed up to join him.
"You are predictable, Legolas!" the raven-haired Elf said, attempting to lighten the atmosphere.
The Elven prince did not attempt to smile in return, although he turned and gave Elrohir a look totally devoid of any emotion, his cool exterior composed and unwavering. Only a rapidly drying track of moisture running down his fair cheeks bore testament to the turmoil he was experiencing.
Elrohir drew closer, noticing that the other neither flinched nor drew away, and his stony mask refused to crack. A strong feeling welled up within him, and the raven-haired Elf could not help but instinctively reach out and stroke the fair cheek of his friend.
"There is no shame in grieving, Legolas," he whispered. A hot rush of anger rose in him as he saw a brief flash of emotion surface in the other's eyes, before it was quickly suppressed. In that briefest instant, he had seen grief, sorry, self-loathing, fear, all mingled within the depths of the Elven prince. Why did he not allow himself to open up to his closest but one friend?
Legolas tore his gaze away, anger rising for allowing the mask to crack. He chided himself harshly and silently, not trusting himself to hold the gaze of his friend any longer. The young prince had seen the concern, worry, love and most of all, pity, on the face of his friend, and it hurt him to see such a look.
He had fled from Elrond, unable to face up to those sad and wise eyes, and the high-Lord had not given chase. Running blindly, Legolas found himself making for the solace of his very own private spot, a tree that grew along the cliff from which one of Imladris' many waterfalls flowed. However, the comfort that was usually quick to come was elusive this time, for a strong and novel sense of fear plagued him. It was a fear of himself, a fear of his powers, a fear of the life-force that he usually found so soothing, its ability to kill as easily as it gave life.
The tears had come after much fighting to hold them back. Once let loose, they could not stop, and instead, overtook his entire being, and he had given in and let the silent sobs wrack through his body, while he wrapped his arms around his knees. He cried as he had not done since he was a child, and it was almost a relief to be able to do so after years of carefully excised self-control, before he heard Elrohir's approach.
"Why do you think it weak to display your emotions?" asked Elrohir softly, dismay in his voice as he saw the other's face grow colder. "Is it so difficult to let go?" Even then, he knew he was fighting a losing battle. He had tried, many years ago, to undo the damage done to the young soul, but had been unsuccessful, and there was nothing that suggested that it was going any better.
Legolas thought for a long while. When he finally spoke, his voice was hollow and emotionless, like the blue orbs that continued to stare vacantly into the morning scene.
The words came out in a whisper. "There is nothing to display."
Elrohir would have screamed in frustration if not for the shiver that ran ostensibly through the body of his friend, who quickly buried his face in his knees, unable to hold back his emotions any longer. He stared as Legolas struggled to compose his features, well hidden from those dark grey eyes, so like his father's, that seemed to pierce through his soul. He could only reach out and rub the motionless back of the young Elf.
After a long period of silence, Legolas looked up again, his face flushed with anger, furious at his own betrayal. The tight features softened, however, as he beheld the calm, open face.
"You will not understand. I am my father's son."
The raven-haired Elf clucked sympathetically and gathered the troubled young one into his arms, pressing the side of his head tightly against his own chest, stroking his hair soothingly. He has his father's stubbornness, his mother's sweet, gentle nature, and the mischief and innocence of a Silvan Elf. That was the way Elrohir had heard another describing Legolas to Elrond, and the truth of the words sprang up at him. Perhaps, a combination that was the source of much conflict within the young one.
"Hush, Legolas, we shall have no more of this talk! You are not your father."
"Forgive me, Elrohir. I know not why I am reduced to this state." The embarrassment was plain in his tone as Legolas berated himself.
His friend did not respond, and waited, for he sensed Legolas had more to say.
"I, I killed Obsiran. He was my friend." The words came out, and Legolas felt his being fill with fury and guilt. "I tried to use my magic to save him, yet ended up taking away his life!"
"You did not mean to." Elrohir started to comfort the young Elf.
"I enjoyed it!!" shouted Legolas, an edge of hysteria in his tone. "Do you not understand? Joy filled my very soul as it was happening, and all I wanted was to drink in all of his life, I wanted it all for myself! All I wanted was to devour that euphoria! I wanted more!"
Elrohir tightened his arms around the shaking body, making soft, sympathetic noises. While the revelation was startling, he was glad that his friend had finally spoken of it.
"I am a curse to those I love, capable of only bringing them grief and suffering," muttered Legolas to himself, fighting back the tears that threatened to spill over.
"Hush, Lass tithen! It is no fault of yours. The magic is powerful and uncontrolled. Even ada does not know much about it. All magic comes with a price. You only have to learn to control it. Time and teaching will help you, and ada has decided that he will personally see to your guidance."
Legolas continued to mutter to himself, distress not leaving his fair features. Seeing his friend thus stripped of all his defences, Elrohir was suddenly reminded of how young the Silvan Elf actually was. The Elf he held in his arms was not even seen two hundred winters.
A while later, Elrohir noted with grim satisfaction that the other's soft mutterings had become slurred, and it was only a matter of time before his eyes had glazed over in troubled sleep. The older Elf did not move, unwilling to rouse the other from his slumber. The sun had risen high above the eaves of the rooftops, and Elrohir felt himself grow drowsy. Perhaps he too should risk a brief foray into the peaceful dreamscape that was beckoning so invitingly.
Elrohir awoke with a start and blinked as his surroundings came into focus. A glance about him told him that the better part of the day had gone by, and that Legolas still lay within his embrace. The sleep was doing him good, and the half-Elven noted with satisfaction that his features were almost relaxed.
"Nana, do you like my house? I made it myself, and you are the first to see it! Esendri helped!" Legolas said, sending alarm bells ringing in Elrohir.
He shook the Elf in his grasp, calling his name softly, trying to ease the disruption as much as possible. He watched as the blue irises slowly came into focus, and soon Legolas was struggling bewilderedly, attempting to extricate himself from the other's embrace.
"Roh?" Legolas's voice was confused. A flush rose in his cheeks as previous events came back to him.
The other smiled in what he hoped was a nonchalant way. "I too, fell asleep, Lass, so contagious was your slumber!"
The Silvan Elf frowned at him, and Elrohir knew his nuance was not fooling the other. Legolas had been dreaming of his last moments with his mother, and the Valar only knew where that dream might have taken him.
"What is it?" demanded Legolas, annoyed at his friend for keeping knowledge from him.
A commotion that rose from Imladris saved Elrohir. A broad smile leant itself to the face of the peredhel as he soon realised what was going on.
"Ai! Lord Glorfindel returns!' he cried.
Upon hearing his words, Legolas leapt out of the tree. There was joy in his eyes, and a glint of mischief as he turned and looked at Elrohir.
"Last one to the front gate is a rotten Dwarf!" Legolas cried, before making off, closely followed by a chuckling Elrohir.
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.