Until the End of Days: 7. Dark Sun

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7. Dark Sun

Part Seven: Dark Sun

I fear my dreams. In my dreams I remember it all – every face, every kill, every drop of blood to stain the ground. Night after night I relive it, pain and agony and death. The war was not pleasant, and it cost the elves more deeply than even we will acknowledge.

I long for peace. I have searched for it in Middle-earth, but it is not here. What peace we had in Lothlórien and Rivendell is gone. And Mirkwood will have no peace without my father. My dreams remember these places, and I grieve.

Yet I fear the day the dreams will vanish even more. For then I will forget. And all those who died will mean nothing.

And I will feel nothing and become nothing. Becoming nothing… For Valinor may be lost, and what are we without it?

I pray my father has found peace, that his spirit is not lost, but merely rests in the cold waters of the sea. I have no hope, but I pray. I do not even know if the Valar can hear prayers any more, yet still I pray.

I do not know what else to do.

****

There was no comfort in the sun. As bright as it was, it was still dark. Its beams carried no warmth, and the world was freezing. Just the sea remained unfrozen, but as cold as ice nevertheless.

Legolas stared out over the sea, drops of water whipping his skin. His clothes were already wet, but he cared not.

Here it was, what he had longed for – for so long it felt as if the longing had been born the second he had been. Yet the sight had no joy now, only terror and fear. Somewhere out there, among the cold waves, rested an answer. An answer he did not really wish to find.

The Havens had offered no answers. All the elves knew was that the ship that had left had returned empty, and no messages had come from Valinor. And they all spoke of a silent shadow waiting in the skies.

The ship Legolas had planned to sail was ready, supplies had been brought, but the elf felt less ready than ever. It was a journey he would have to take alone, Sam and Gimli could not come. Valinor was not for them. They were mortal, they did not truly understand the sorrow immortality would bring.

“Dîn dae,” he said quietly. There was indeed a silent shadow lingering over them all.

“Have ye decided what to do yet?” Gimli asked, appearing by his side. “The elves here have had little to tell that we did not already suspect.”

“I fear the path, Gimli,” Legolas replied, avoiding the question as much as he could.

“The path to Valinor? Nay, say nothing my friend, I see the path in your eyes. You mean to sail over the sea, to search for Valinor. You have meant to do this since we saw the dark shape in your forest.”

Legolas bowed his head.

“I may not have your keen eyes, Legolas, but I see what is in plain sight. Sam knows your plans also. He plans to come along.”

“He cannot. Nor can you, Gimli.”

The dwarf said nothing, but the frown on his face spoke clearly enough. He would have to leave tonight, Legolas realised, lest the dwarf and the hobbit would stay with him like shadows.

“I shall go see what Sam is doing,” Gimli finally said. “This discussion is not over though, Legolas.”

Legolas watched his friend walk away, heart aching.

“Farewell, Gimli, son of Glóin,” he whispered, and lifted his head. It was time to leave, even though he did not feel ready.

Middle-earth had no peace, but it was still his home. And it was still beautiful under the dark sun, the wind howling at his ears.

Howling…

He had reached for his bow and fastened an arrow without even thinking as the wolf came at him. As dark as the shadows, it gave out no sound as the arrow pierced its skin. White teeth gleamed, snapping at the elf.

Legolas dodged, but the wolf was quick, biting into his arm. Even as it did, Legolas had knife in his other hand, and it slid into the wolf as effortlessly as sliding into butter.

The wolf fell dead, torn cloth in its mouth.

“Draug!” came a cry, as the elves scrambled. Legolas wasted no time caring for his wound, chasing down the hill and to he ships. Arrows whizzed through the air seeking their prey, and blood began to stain the ground. More blood, always more blood.

Gimli and Sam were not to be seen anywhere, but Legolas felt confident they could handle themselves. Silently, he crept forward, searching out his small ship.

The wolves were falling quickly, no match for elven bows and swords. But in the fighting, no one looked at the small ship setting sail. No one paid attention to the golden arrows felling the biggest wolf of all - the farewell of Legolas.

When the fighting was over, the ship was already far out at sea, the winds giving it good speed.

Sinking down in the boat, Legolas clutched his bow. Middle-earth was fading into the fog, becoming grey and dull.

“Namarië,” he said softly.

“Elves and your dramatic sentiments,” a gruff voice coming from the biggest bundle muttered.

“Gimli!” the Elf exclaimed, as the bundle stood and revealed itself to indeed be Gimli. “What are you doing here?”

“Felt like a day out on the sea,” the Dwarf replied, meeting Legolas's hard stare. “You are a bigger fool than I took you for if you think I would let you go alone.”

“I am a fool? Gimli, this is not your…”

“This is not mine what? The fate of the world concerns us all, does it not? And even if the threat was merely for the elves, I would still come. For you, and for Lady Galadriel. You are my friend, Legolas, and I will not let you do this alone. Sam was coming as well…”

“Sam!”

“Let me finish, you fool elf. Sam was coming, but when he fell asleep I carried him off the boat. I have been waiting for you to make this move – Did you think all that wandering in caves had made me blind?”

They stared at each other, a contest of will. It was Legolas who finally looked away, shaking his head lightly.

“Your stubbornness may cost us both, Gimli, but I cannot help the joy in my heart at having you here. So be it. Whatever awaits us, we will face it together.”

“That is more like it,” Gimli replied. “Say, you did not bring any pipe weed, did you?”

“I did,” Sam said bravely, peeking up from a smaller bundle.

“Sam!”

“Begging your pardon, Master Gimli, but knew you would try to get me off the boat,” Sam replied. He met the stares defiantly. “I only pretended to sleep, and went back when you slain the wolf.”

“I have been fooled by a hobbit,” Gimli muttered. “I should have known – You take after Frodo, my dear hobbit. Give me some pipe weed and perhaps I will forgive you.”

Smiling, Sam handed the dwarf a pouch.

The sun was perhaps dark, but it occurred suddenly to Legolas that he was basking in light. The light of souls so bright no darkness could dull it.

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.

Story Information

Author: Camilla Sandman

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Post-Ring War

Genre: Action

Rating: General

Last Updated: 11/05/02

Original Post: 06/26/02

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