What Paths We Take: 21. Visions

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21. Visions

Eowyn did not sleep well that night. Visions plagued her already confused mind. She could see Faramir off in the distance but he did not see her. Suddenly, Legolas appeared. He looked pale and weak. He was dying. "Take this." he said and held his closed hand out to her. Eowyn only looked at his hand, confused. Then a voice spoke from somewhere. "It is a gift. It will help you both heal old wounds." She looked back to Legolas whose hand remained extended to her. She could not see what he held and would not accept this 'gift'.

Faramir suddenly came up behind Legolas, looking at the Elf's fist then to Eowyn. Pain etched his handsome face and Eowyn knew he had learned of her betrayal. She looked back to Legolas who did not seem to notice Faramir was behind him as he was smiling at her. Faramir's expression turned to anger. He looked as if he might harm Legolas. Eowyn tried to speak to warn him but nothing came out. Legolas mouthed the words, 'I love you' to her as she desperately tried to speak. Faramir lifted his arms up over his head. He was holding a pitcher and began pouring its oily liquid over himself and Legolas. Again, she looked at the Elf who remained frozen, smiling at her with love in his eyes. When Eowyn looked back to Faramir, his face was changing. Now he looked strikingly like his father Denethor and he spoke in the same deep voice. "If she would betray Boromir with you, she will betray you with another." he said as he grabbed a torch nearby. He dropped it at their feet and both Faramir/Denethor and Legolas caught fire.

Legolas' face unfroze as he realized he was engulfed in flames. He looked at his extended hand then to Eowyn. "Please, take this. Take it before it is too late. It will save you. It will save us all." As Eowyn reached out to Legolas, there was a bright flash. The last thing she saw was the pain on Legolas' face as he burned.

"Don't leave me, Legolas. I need you. Please don't die." she cried out to him but he was slowly fading into nothingness. "Legolas no." she yelled but it did no good, he was gone. She was alone. Both of the people she loved most were gone from her life. She looked down to her hand, which was holding something, the object she took from Legolas. Whatever it was, it was warm and a light seemed to emanate from between her fingers. Slowly, she opened her fist to see what she held. It was a small light, just a glimmer really, but it was warm and full of life and love. It made her feel good to hold it. She had no clue what it was but she never wanted this feeling to end. Eowyn brought the light up to her chest and held it close to her heart. She could feel it healing her. It felt very much like when Legolas was close to her, holding her when she was upset. She thought it was a part of Legolas left behind so she would not be lonely. The feelings became stronger and stronger and she wished never to let go. Suddenly, the light shot up into the air and out of her hand. Instantly, Eowyn felt a loss of love.

"Come back." she said to the little star that floated above her head. "Please, don't you leave me too. You are all I have now."

A small voice came from the star. "It is not time yet but it will be soon. You must agree and give your consent to him. He is the chosen one. It is your destiny to accept his gift."

"But I don't understand." Eowyn said to the light. Then it just disappeared. She was alone and began to panic. "No! Please don't go. Do not leave me alone. Come back." she yelled.

~^~^~^~^~

Arwen was just leaving Eowyn's room, slowly and quietly closing the door when she caught a glimpse of someone down the hall.

"Legolas? Is that you?" she said.

"Hello Arwen. I am sorry to intrude on you at this late hour. Is she here?" he said, concerned.

"Yes, she's in the guest room but she is already asleep. She was very upset, saying something about Faramir leaving her. I did not get a chance to talk to her. She was already asleep by the time I came back with a change of clothes. What is going on, Legolas?"

"Eowyn and Faramir were at the celebration tonight. They had an argument and she became very upset. When she ran off into the woods, I followed her to make sure no harm would come to her. She fell asleep and I watched over her." Legolas ended his story there.

"But what was said that made her run off?" Arwen said.

"It seems Faramir received some distressing news about his ailment. They told him he could never have children. He told her to leave him and to go on with her life without him. I could feel her pain as his words sunk in. Her heart was breaking."

"This is awful, Legolas. Why would Faramir do such a thing? Eowyn loves him. She would not abandon him in his time of need."

"It wasn't her decision. Faramir drove her away. I do not understand the minds of Men sometimes. I would never treat her with such unkindness. It seems so unfair that he should be the one when I could give her a life of love and joy." Legolas said. Arwen could hear the anguish in his voice.

"You had your time with her, Legolas. You even gave her your heart. Why did you not keep her then?"

"It was not my path to take. Eowyn's path lies with Faramir, but he is too stubborn to see."

Arwen seemed confused by his words. Legolas had given up his immortality to be with her, to fall in love with her. "You know our kind does not fall in love so easily, especially with a daughter of Men. I believe there is more to your path than you can see presently, Legolas Thranduilion. Keep an open heart and mind. Listen for whispers on the wind. They may truly be your guide. I know how you long to speak once again to Galadriel, even though it is no longer possible. There are others who may guide you now but you must be aware."

Arwen's advice surprised Legolas. In that one moment, she seemed more like her grandmother than he had ever realized. It was easy to forget her bloodline.

"Good night, Legolas. Worry no more tonight. Eowyn is safe, though her heart aches and her dreams are restless. Stay close for she will need you. You are the one thing that keeps her on a positive track." Arwen said and turned to go back to her room. Legolas spent the rest of the evening close to Eowyn's door, in case she needed him.

~^~^~^~^~

Arwen climbed back into bed next to Aragorn. As she lay there, she remembered a time from her childhood. It was something she had not thought of in a very long time. She had all but forgotten it.

Arwen had been playing Hide and Seek with her twin brothers. She found what she thought was the perfect hiding place. They would never think to look for her here. Besides, her father's office was off limits. That didn't matter now. Winning was everything and this spot was well worth the punishment she would receive if her father found her here.

Suddenly she heard voices approaching from the hall. Elrond was walking with Galadriel and they came into his study to discuss something of great importance. Arwen knew her grandmother never left Lorien unless it was crucial. She sunk down lower behind the chair where she was hiding.

Galadriel spoke in hushed tones. "Dark days approach, Elrond. Already Mirkwood has seen its share of the Dark Lord's doing. His plots are put into motion. The Ring stays hidden for now but one day it will leave the Shire. It will come to Rivendell along with the bearer. I know not who will possess it. That much has been hidden from me. However, my mirror shows another who will play an important role in the future, an Elf in fact. He is but a child now and knows nothing of his path. He will come shortly after the Ring's arrival and offer his services. He will ask to join this party of protectors, as they will be journeying into danger. You must allow him to go. It is a turning point in his life. His path will then be laid out before him, though he will not know it at the time."

Elrond looked confused. "Why would I deny any Elf his skills to protect the innocent?"

"Because it is Prince Legolas, Thranduil's son." Galadriel answered.

Elrond's face contorted. "Prince Legolas? But Thranduil will never allow it. He protects his only son more than all the jewels of his kingdom. You know how he fears for the prince's safety and what would befall the king if anything ill were to happen to his son. This could lead to war between Mirkwood and Imladris. Thranduil will have my head."

Galadriel spoke as if there were no other choice. "You must abide, Elrond. It is his destiny."

"What is so important about this particular Elf that you would have me risk his life as well as his father's?" Elrond said knowing he would not win this argument.

"He is chosen. The Valar have willed it. His path lies with these travelers. His skills as an archer will be needed if we are to be victorious. But there is another reason for his involvement. Should he choose this path it will ensure his longevity as well as Thranduil's. There will be a child, Elrond, one of the last of the Peredhil. Our elven blood will endure in the hearts of mankind well after we leave these shores."

Elrond sat in silence, pondering this bit of information when he heard a rustling noise coming from behind a chair. He looked at Galadriel who only smiled and glanced to the chair. "Remember what I have told you." she whispered. She motioned for Elrond to leave the room, knowing he would punish Arwen for playing in his study. However, grandmothers are much more lenient when it comes to their grandchildren.

"You will spoil her." Elrond whispered and left the room.

Galadriel found Arwen in her hiding spot. "I was only playing with my brothers. I did not mean any harm." she said defending herself.

Galadriel gave her a warm smile. "Did you hear your father and me talking?"

"Yes Grandmother."

"Now you must keep the same secret as your father. Can you do that, Arwen? Not even your brothers must know. It is something we must do if we are to protect our friend little Legolas."

Arwen looked up at her grandmother with wide eyes. She understood how important Galadriel's position was among all Elves and for her to ask for Arwen's help was a big deal. "I have heard of Legolas. My friend says he is very nice. I promise to never say a word to anyone."

"Good. Now, I think I saw one of your brothers hiding in the dining hall. If you go now, you may still find him there." Galadriel lead Arwen by the hand out of Elrond's study and down the hall to the dining area.

Soon after that, Elrond sent Arwen to Lothlorien to live safely with Galadriel and Celeborn. He wanted to protect Arwen from the evil that would surface in the near future. Arwen quickly forgot about the secret. She did as she promised and never told anyone about Legolas being a chosen one. It wasn't until now that she thought about that day in her father's study. Was this the path Galadriel spoke of? Was Legolas chosen to sacrifice his life to love Eowyn? It didn't make much sense now. There had to be more to their story than either one was letting on.

~^~^~^~^~

Eowyn awoke the next day and instantly felt dread wash over her. Once again, she was without a true place to call home. She had already made up her mind not to stay in Minas Tirith one moment longer than she needed. She would not be a burden to Arwen. Osgiliath was not an option. Faramir was there and she could not handle seeing him right now. Just the thought of him stirred up a range of emotions she never felt before. It was all so new, she hadn't really let the situation sink in, which is why she was feeling such guilt about her liaison with Legolas. She felt she could not think straight when he was near. Her soul sung out to him whenever he was around. Now that he wasn't around, she felt she could think straight and was experiencing such guilt from her decision to make love to him. It had been on a whim, or was it. Nothing felt so right as it did last night but in the daytime things looked much different. She was upset and angry with Faramir and threw herself at the first willing male to come along. However, that is not how she felt last night as she lay in the arms of her Elf. Why did he have such power over her that she lost herself to him every time she gazed into those beautiful blue eyes?

Eowyn was sitting on the terrace, trying her best to enjoy the morning sunlight as it bathed her with its warmth, when there was a knock at her door. She really didn't want to see anyone now and wished she could hide in her room forever.

"Come in." she called reluctantly.

The door opened and in walked Arwen with a tray of food for her breakfast meal. She carried it out to the terrace and noticed how sad Eowyn looked this morning. She hated seeing her friend this way.

"Good morning, Eowyn. I thought you might be hungry. Did you sleep well?" Arwen asked, sitting the tray on a nearby table.

"The best one can sleep when she has been deserted by her husband." Eowyn answered quietly.

"Do you want to tell me what has happened?" Arwen spoke calmly.

"I don't know what happened, Arwen. One minute we were walking along, happy. The next he is telling me to stay away from him, that he is poison to me. He said he wants me to be happy, but he cannot see I am only content to be with him. I think I pushed him too hard in the beginning to start a family. Now that he knows this cannot happen, he thinks I will regret being married to him and reject him. I could never. I love him so much that it hurts not to be near him. But I cannot keep on this path with him if he is going to turn me away every time he thinks I am disappointed."

"Maybe you just need your space right now. Maybe Faramir will come around when he realizes how hard it will be to go on without you by his side."

"We have already tried that, when I went to Rohan. I thought that would change things too, and it did at first. But we are back where we started." Eowyn got up and went to the table to get a piece of fruit. "No. This time, it is done. I cannot keep letting him break my heart. I am moving on, though I don't know where."

"You know you are welcome to stay here as long as you like." Arwen said with a warm smile.

"Yes, thank you, but I will not stay longer than I need. It is time to get my life in order. I must move on without Faramir, though it will be difficult. I miss him so much. It will take time to get him out of my mind for I think about him every quiet moment I have."

Arwen sensed the sadness in Eowyn's voice. "It should not be like this and I truly believe that one day Faramir will be back in your arms. He will realize his mistake and accept what fate has dealt him. He will understand that having a family is not everything and that love conquers all. Only then will he be able to live without guilt, without remorse, without desolation. He will love again and his heart will be open. You will only need to let him in and you will never lose him again."

Eowyn listened to what Arwen had to say but it seemed as if she was trying to cheer her up rather than predict her future. None of this seemed possible now, so she gave her the best smile she could conjure and offered Arwen a piece of fruit. The two friends spent the rest of the morning talking and Eowyn felt better for it. The one part of the story Arwen did not know of was what happened in the woods last night. She did not know that her love for Legolas was always in the back of her mind, keeping her from going to Faramir to try to set things straight. In a way, she was glad for this. Without it she might be back home, begging Faramir not to do this to her. It would go against everything she believed in but she wanted once again to be with Faramir desperately. She had to get her thoughts together and face the fact that Faramir no longer wanted her. She would not beg or grovel. She was above such things. She was still a Shieldmaiden at heart and could live life without a man to bring her joy, even if she loved that man more than life itself.

~^~^~^~^~

Legolas watched as Arwen exited the guest quarters. The two friends had spent the entire morning together behind closed doors. He noticed the smile on Arwen's face as she left Eowyn's room. That must mean Eowyn was feeling better, but how did she feel about what happened last night? Did she regret her decision to make love to him so soon after being turned away by Faramir? Was she upset with him for going through with their liaison? He would be heartbroken if she no longer wanted anything to do with him. He did not want to hurt her in that way. Last night had been a spur of the moment decision by them both. Legolas had no regrets and hoped Eowyn did not either. All of these thoughts raced through his head as he approached her door. There he stood outside of her room, ready to knock, but his nerves got the best of him.

Eowyn was tidying up after Arwen left when she felt a warm comforting feeling wash over her. Legolas was near, probably just outside her door. Was she ready to face him now after what they did last night? She felt as if she used him and that did not sit well with her. Legolas deserved better than that. She stood by the door, waiting for him to knock when she suddenly felt the warmth begin to dissipate. Legolas was leaving. She opened the door and looked out to see Legolas walking away.

"Please don't go." she said only loud enough for his Elf ears to hear.

Legolas stopped and stood there, slowly turning his attention to where her voice emanated from. "You are not mad at me then?"

"Of course not. Please come in and let's talk about it, privately." she said, not wanting anyone to know what went on last night.

Legolas walked back to her room but hesitated before entering. "Are you sure it's alright?"

Eowyn grabbed his hand and pulled him into her room. "Don't be silly. We are adults here. We need to talk about what happened."


"I agree." Legolas said with a crooked smile on his face. He stood close to the door after Eowyn shut it. She noticed how stiff he seemed, which was unusual for elf-kind to pull off.

Eowyn walked out onto the terrace and Legolas followed. "I'm sorry for running off. If I made you feel inadequate in any way, I truly didn't mean to."

"It is I who must apologize. You were in a vulnerable state and I should not have allowed us to follow through with our… activities. If I harmed you at all I will leave and let you be." Legolas hoped this was not the case.

Eowyn reached for his hand and Legolas felt her spark travel up his arm straight to his heart. "Legolas, what happened last night was wonderful and I do not regret a single moment we shared. It made me realize that it is over for Faramir and me. He has made his decision and I am not to be a part of his life anymore."

"But what about you and your feelings for him?" Legolas said. "Does your heart still not ache for him?"

"Of course it does. I still love him and always will. However, he will not hurt me anymore. There was a time when we were happy but it has not existed in a very long time. He cannot seem to end his suffering over the loss of his ability and cannot see past it to know how much I love him. I must move on with my life now, though I know not where I shall go." Eowyn dropped Legolas' hand and walked to the edge of the terrace, looking out across the land. Her choices were limited, stay in Gondor or return to Rohan.

Legolas walked up to where Eowyn stood and placed a hand on her arm. "You can stay with me." Legolas said in a whisper, afraid even to mention it. His forest was too close to Emyn Arnen. Surely, she would want to be as far away from Faramir as possible.

She turned to face the Elf with a slight smile on her beautiful face, which melted Legolas' heart. He braced himself for her rejection. "I think I would like that very much."

Legolas was taken aback. He thought for sure she would turn down his offer. "You have made me very happy, Eowyn. Already I feel so much stronger when you are near. To have you in my forest will give me such strength I have not felt in a very long time."

Eowyn's heart soared to hear the joy in his voice. His fading had always weighed heavily on her mind and if she could help him that would be the best thing to happen to her right now. She needed to help someone, keeping her mind from Faramir and what she had lost. It was the best way to heal her broken heart.

She wrapped her arms around Legolas' waist and laid her head on his chest. Legolas embraced her in return. "It has always been my wish to have you live amongst the Elves. I built my city with you in mind. I think you will enjoy it there. My fellow Elves will welcome you with open arms. It will be your sanctuary, Eowyn. You may stay there as long as you like, forever even."

Eowyn laughed. "Or until you get tired of me."

"Never." Legolas whispered in her ear.

~^~^~^~^~

It had been a few months since Eowyn moved into her very own talan. Legolas thought she might want to stay in the huts but she wanted to experience life in his elven world. It's something she had not had the chance to do. They decided it was best to let their friendship be platonic, though they flirted occasionally. It made things more interesting. Eowyn preferred things this way.

Her separation from Faramir was finalized with a letter of annulment. She stayed in her talan for two days, not wanting to see anyone, not even Legolas. When she finally came out of hiding, she went straight to her Elf friend. They talked about everything that went wrong. She realized she needed time to let her heart heal. Legolas was good for her in that way. Many times, they talked about love and how it affected each of their lives. Eowyn had a better understanding for his fading from the world. It had greatly slowed since she was around now. Legolas fed off her energy. Yet, his day would still come when he would no longer be in this world and the sea longing still urged him to build his ship. He knew it was something that still needed to be done. Eowyn would not live in his realm forever. He sensed her longing to move on with her life. But for now, things seemed to be just the way they should be while she figured out her plans.

One day, Eowyn went to visit with Legolas. She entered his talan and found him standing at the edge, staring out into the distance. He seemed to be in deep thought or his mind was elsewhere.

"Legolas?" Eowyn called but he did not acknowledge her presence. She called his name again but there was still no response. She walked up to him and laid her hand on his shoulder. He actually jumped, something she had never known him or any Elf to do before. Legolas always sensed her when she was near.

"Eowyn, I didn't hear you come in." he said, never taking his eyes from the place where they were focused.

"Is everything alright, Legolas? You do not seem to be yourself. I have not seen you all day and came to check on you." Eowyn said concerned about his state of distraction.

"Do you hear them? They sing of the sea and its beauty." Legolas said, still in his trance.

"You speak of the gulls, don't you?" Eowyn said.

Legolas smiled out into the distance. "Their call is louder now. They say I have hidden amongst the trees for too long. They know of my fading and beg me to come to them before it is too late. I have put off building my ship for far too long. It must be done and very soon."

Eowyn had been dreading this moment for some time now. She knew this day would come. It meant that Legolas would be off to build his boat so he could sail to Valinor before his death. The call of the sea was stronger than any love that existed. She knew there would be no turning back for him now. By staying with him in his forest home, she was hindering him from his true path and she was not helping her own situation either. She was getting older and still felt the tick tock of her biological clock. Eowyn had accepted the fact that Faramir was gone from her life and she needed to move on, though she could not imagine loving anyone as she loved Faramir. Legolas was the only one who ever came close to that kind of passion and devotion but even their bond could not keep him from leaving. There was a time when she thought that as long as they had their love, he would live on. Nevertheless, she knew this was not the way things worked. She was mortal and his end was definite. Had she been immortal, they could live forever. That was the only thing to save him from his fate now but it was impossible.

"I will leave you alone now. Maybe you can join me later for dinner." she said, turning to leave him to his rapture.

Legolas, sensing her leaving, came out of his trance and called to her. "Eowyn, wait. I am sorry. I was lost to my longing. Don't go, not yet." He ran to her, grabbing her arm.

"Legolas, you cannot put this off any longer. It is time. It's time for both of us. We are at a fork in the road and we must go in different directions now. I cannot sit by knowing I am the reason you stay instead of following your path. I have my own path to follow. As much as I love it here, I must admit how difficult it is for me. Life passes so slowly here and for a mortal it is a hard thing to endure. I too must be moving on. I'm not getting any younger living amongst the Elves you know."

"I know you are right but I find myself not wanting to go forward. I feel so much stronger with you here." Legolas wrapped his arms around Eowyn and enjoyed their closeness.

Eowyn closed her eyes when she felt a lump in her throat. There would be no more crying. Her dreams as of late showed her what was to come. Legolas would leave for Valinor and then fade. It was what was meant to happen, just as she was meant to go on without Faramir. As long as she stayed amongst the Elves, this would not come to pass. It was time to set out and make a life somewhere amongst men, to be with her own kind again.

"I am going back home, Legolas. I am going to Rohan." she said to him and he released his hold on her, looking into her eyes. She could see the desperation in his face, wanting her to stay, but she knew what she must do. "It is the only way either one of us can move on."

"I know this is the way it must be for I have seen it in my reverie. Yet I cannot help but feel there is still one more task to complete before you go. I should see you happy before I depart or at least that is what the whispers on the wind tell me. You will once again have joy in your heart. You will love again, Eowyn. I can feel it and I will see this love before I leave." Legolas kissed her lightly, innocently.

Eowyn took notice of how he made her feel even from such a kiss, as friends would share. She would miss this when he left. Her soul would no longer reach out for his. The feeling was exuberant and she knew she would never again feel that kind of connection to anyone other than Legolas. That bond could never truly be broken, just separated.

"Well then, I guess it is time we both set our plans into motion." Eowyn said, trying to sound more upbeat. "I think we both have many loose ends to tie up before we proceed. Let us enjoy what time is left for us. These are the last days of our journey together, a journey I would not have traded for all of Middle Earth. I am glad to have known you, all of you. I will always love you, Legolas Thranduilion. No one will ever replace that."

Legolas' heart swelled with pride at her words. "I do not regret a single decision I made since meeting you so long ago on the steps of your Golden Hall. I am glad to have taken this path. It was well worth the sacrifice to have loved you than to never have met you and not known such passion. As I have always said, you are a very special woman, Eowyn. You are a beautiful person and my life is richer for having known you. I love you, meleth nin."

They cared not about the kiss they were sharing, or the feelings of passion and desire it was stirring within their souls. They enjoyed this intimate moment for as long as it lasted. They both secretly wished to share their bodies once more before they were gone from each other forever. Now was not the time or place for such abandonment.

Legolas broke from the kiss first and gazed down onto Eowyn's face. He smiled that crooked smile that drove her mad and reached for her hand. "Come. I believe we have a dinner date to uphold."

Eowyn put a hand to the side of his face. "I thought you would never ask." she laughed.

They walked arm in arm to the dining hall and enjoyed the rest of their evening together. Tomorrow they would start putting their plans in motion.

~^~^~^~^~

When they were not busy with their daily tribulations and preparations, Eowyn and Legolas could be found in each other's company. They had remained on friendly terms for a while now but that was becoming a much more difficult thing to accomplish. Quite often, Eowyn would catch a glimpse of Legolas' longing stare just before he turned away from her. A time or two, Legolas captured her looking over his lithe body as he indulged in some form of work. Each time, her face had turned a shade of pink that only she could produce and he knew where her thoughts led. It was quite flattering actually and it made his blood race to areas that were not appropriate in public. Those who were close to Legolas and Eowyn, observed their body language and knew it would only be a matter of time before their love rekindled, though they would deny it all the same. The Elves accepted Eowyn as one of their own while she took up refuge in their fine wooded city. They knew Legolas was leaving soon and wanted to see their Prince happy in his final days in Middle Earth.

One day, as Eowyn was tending to her garden, Legolas came for their daily visit. "It seems we have been invited by Queen Arwen to join them in celebration of an important day, a day that has been forgotten about. Aragorn feels it is time to rekindle old alliances."

"And who might these alliances be?" she wondered.

"It is the anniversary of the forming of the fellowship. It is something we decided long ago not to mention, something only we knew about. However, times are different now. There are others who want to know our story and note it properly in history. The people of Gondor want to know the true King and our journey as the fellowship is a big part of who we are."

Eowyn seemed confused. "Then why am I invited to this reunion? I was not a part of the fellowship."

"No but you still played a very important role or do you forget slaying the Witch King." Legolas said one eyebrow cocked questioningly.

"Of course I remember it, though I choose not to think about it too often. My arm still pains me on the anniversary of that dreaded day." she said rubbing her forearm.

"Then do you accept the invitation? I know Arwen would be deeply disappointed if you did not come, as would I." Legolas said, whispering the last part.

"Well now, I wouldn't want to disappoint Arwen." she said with a smile.

"And what about me?" Legolas teased, giving her a look that made her body tingle.

Slowly and sultrily, Eowyn walked towards Legolas. When she reached him, she put her finger to his chest and let it travel over his tunic, up to his neck. Legolas could feel his body begin to react to her touch. "I could never even think about disappointing a Prince." She leaned into his ear. "I gladly accept the invitation." she said, her hot breath sending shivers down his spine.

Just as Legolas closed his eyes, enjoying her seductions, Eowyn pushed off him and turned to run back to the talans.

"And where are you running off to?" he asked, confused by her sudden change from a wanton woman back to the Eowyn he was more familiar with.

"I must find something to wear to the celebration." she shouted back, already climbing the rope ladder.

"But the party is not until the end of this week." he said.

"And that is exactly why I must prepare now. There is not much time. Have you learned nothing about human women? We are not as lucky as the Elves who, by the way, look radiant every day and never need to get ready. They are always ready." Her words carried down from the tree she had just climbed.

Legolas stood in the same spot, looking up to the platform Eowyn had just climbed. She already disappeared and was on her way to her talan.

One of Legolas' court advisors walked by at that moment. He stopped next to Legolas and laid a hand on his shoulder, looking up in the tree Eowyn just climbed. "Women." he said and walked away. Legolas just stood there and nodded in agreement with his colleague then answered, "Even if I lived for another millennia, I would never understand the mind of a woman."

~^~^~^~^~

That night, as Arwen slept, a vision came to her. Oddly enough, it was of Thranduil, Legolas' father and King of Mirkwood. He was standing on the shore watching a ship sail into the West. His son was on that ship. Thranduil looked pale. He fell to his knees and wept for the loss of his only son. Arwen watched as he slowly vanished from view. This marked the end of the reign of Thranduil. Mirkwood stood silent without its ruler.

The next vision took Arwen to Mirkwood. The forest was dark and ominous. There was only a hand full of Elves and they looked terrified. She could sense an evil presence beyond the sight of the trees. Mirkwood was once again under attack. It was true that Orcs still roamed Middle Earth. Their numbers were few but they were on a slow increase. Whenever a new band of Orcs surfaced, Thranduil sent his warriors out to destroy them, but the Mirkwood King was gone as was Legolas. There was no one to direct the Elves into battle and the Orcs increased their numbers. Evil was once again on the rise and the Elves were disappearing. Dark days were ahead.

Arwen felt the dread of this information. Why was evil allowed to thrive once again? She was suddenly swept back to her childhood and the time she eavesdropped on Elrond and Galadriel. Her father's words came back to her about Legolas being chosen for some kind of importance and how without him, Thranduil would fade. It was the love for his son that kept him bound to Middle Earth after the death of his beloved wife. He was the only ruling king of elf-kind left. If Legolas leaves Middle Earth, he will surely die. This vision was a sign of what will happen if it came to be true.

The vision continued. The Elves were gone now and Mankind was left to defend itself. Aragorn would do all he could to watch over Minas Tirith and keep evil at bay. Nevertheless, his success greatly depended upon the leaders of the other kingdoms. The forests were left unprotected since the Elves departed and had become the homes of many Orcs. She knew Aragorn would send word to the other kingdoms of men to protect their people from the spreading evil. King Eomer set up many lookout points around the Riddermark and constantly reported to Aragorn about the activity in the area.

However, there was one place left unprotected, Osgiliath. Since the split between Faramir and Eowyn, he had deteriorated to a shell of the man he used to be. He no longer cared for things as he once had and let the city run down once again. The Orcs would use this against Mankind and try to take over the city. Faramir would become more and more like his father with each passing day, sitting in his study and ignoring the world around him. He would be oblivious to the events taking place. Without Eowyn by his side, he was in pure misery and cared not for daily life. This would surely be his fate if he and Eowyn did not reconcile.

Arwen began to see a pattern in her visions. This was what would come to pass if things remained as they were. She knew who the key players were but had yet to discover how they could change each of their own destinies. It was a triangle of sorts. Legolas needed Eowyn to survive and Faramir needed her to recover from his depression. Arwen began to understand what agony Eowyn must experience at times. She loved them both and hated to see either one suffer. Yet, Legolas suffered from his fading, Faramir suffered from his despair and Eowyn could do nothing to ease either one. The Shieldmaiden was stronger than anyone had ever given her credit for.

Arwen awoke the next morning with many thoughts invading her mind. She concluded that Legolas was the most important element. He was the chosen one, though she still was not positive why he was chosen. Whatever it was, it was very important because the Valar had spoken to Galadriel through her mirror about it. Arwen's own vision told her that his leaving would mark the beginning of the rise of evil once again. It was clear to her that Legolas was not meant to leave. However, his fading was inevitable, even with the bond he shared with Eowyn. There must be something, some task that he needed to complete before he sailed. This task must have something to do with Eowyn.

Arwen had made her way down to her garden, taking in the morning sunlight. There was a slight breeze that day and on it was carried the voices; whispers on the wind. Had she not told Legolas to listen for them? Now they spoke to her, telling her of Legolas' healing abilities. He was to heal Eowyn of her broken heart and in turn, Eowyn would heal Faramir. This was the task at hand and only Legolas could figure out what it was he had to do. Arwen was to guide him, push him in the right direction. She decided to start tonight at the celebration. She would speak to Legolas and find out if he had heard the voices. Only Legolas would know what they said but he had to know to follow their instructions as best he could. His time here was short. If he did not follow through, Arwen's visions would be their definite future, and it was a dark one.

~^~^~^~^~

"Are you ready yet?" Legolas called. "We don't want to be late."

"I'll be right there." Eowyn answered from inside her talan. She was just finishing getting ready for the celebration in the White City.

Legolas stood just outside her talan, waiting for her to emerge so they could leave. It was well worth the wait, he thought, as she stepped out from behind the vine-covered wall that gave her more privacy than most Elves required. His eyes widened at the sight of her. She wore an emerald green dress which she had specially made for tonight. It sat just off her shoulders. The sleeves were long and flowed out at the cuffs. It hugged her body to her waist, showing off her curves, and then cascaded down loosely to the floor. Very fine silver embroidery lined the neckline in a braided pattern. The same silver adorned the sleeves with shapes like curling vines that went from the shoulder to the cuff. Again, the same design was used on the skirt of the dress. It was very subtle and gave the dress just enough sparkle.

Legolas could not take his eyes off her. She looked more beautiful than he had ever seen her before. When he had not said anything, Eowyn frowned.

"Is there something wrong? Is this not appropriate for tonight?" she asked.

"No, not at all. It is just… I…" Legolas stuttered. Her beauty caught him off guard. Finally, he remembered to breathe. "You are absolutely breathtaking." he finally said, going to her and taking her hand. Then he noticed something. "You are wearing the necklace I gave you. It looks beautiful with that dress."

"It was the seamstress's inspiration for making the dress. I let her borrow it and asked her to make something that would match. I told her how important this jewel was. She did a wonderful job, don't you think?"

Legolas smiled. "Indeed she did. But the dress would not be as beautiful if it was not being worn by the Lady Eowyn."

Eowyn blushed. "You are too kind." she said feeling the heat rise on her cheeks. "Shall we go now? I suspect I have kept you waiting long enough."

Legolas offered her his arm and she laid her hand on him. They emerged from her talan to find an audience of Elves who had been waiting to see the lovely couple. Their smiles warmed Eowyn's heart and she thought about how much she would miss living amongst such a noble race. They had really made her feel at home during her stay.

The Elves spoke, giving her praises and compliments. Legolas translated for her. "They say they have never seen a woman look more like elf kind than you do right now."

Another Elf spoke and Legolas started to translate but Eowyn interrupted. "And that they wish us safe passage to the White City." she said.

Legolas looked at her with surprise. "You have been learning our language?"

"I have been working with some of my new friends who have been teaching me." she smiled, proud of her accomplishments. "I had to do something to occupy my time here. Life passes much more slowly amongst the Elves."

Legolas smiled crookedly. "You should have come to me. I would have found something that could have occupied both of us."

Eowyn laughed. "Truly, you are too brash Master Elf." She always called him that when he was too forward but he knew she liked his playful flirting.

"Shall we go then?" Eowyn said taking a step forward, but Legolas stopped her. He gave her a gentle kiss on her cheek, careful not to show too much emotion in front of his people.

"Now we can go." he said and Eowyn blushed once more.

The couple headed down to their horses and mounted. Eowyn was surprised to see Legolas armed with all his weapons. Usually, he only carried his bow.

"Is that necessary?" she asked, eyeing the twin knives on his back and the sword at his side.

"Our scouts have seen recent activity in the area. It's better to be safe than sorry." Legolas answered as he adjusted them.

"I heard the Elves speak of Orcs in the forest. It seems their numbers are increasing. I thought those dark days were behind us." Eowyn said as she settled in her saddle.

"So did I. However, something has changed as of late. The Orcs are becoming more audacious. They enter the woods without fear of the Elves. My father reports the same findings in Mirkwood. Also, Haldir of Lorien has doubled his troops. Since the Lady Galadriel sailed, Orcs enter the Golden Woods more frequently. They seem to know the Elves diminish and leave the forests unprotected. I feel they are preparing for an attack soon, but where they will strike, I do not know."

"Well, I hope we will not have trouble going to Minas Tirith." Eowyn commented, looking out across the land.

"I won't let anything happen to you. Besides, a path was cleared for us. I have sent out my Captain to make sure there is no danger, at least for the ride there. It is getting back that I am worried about. I do not like to travel at night. It might be best to stay in the city tonight and travel back in the morning." Legolas said.

Eowyn smiled slyly. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were trying to find a way for us to spend the night alone, Master Elf."

Legolas laughed. "I would not need to get you stuck in the city to do that. I'd just need to lure you to my talan."

Eowyn laughed then took a deep breath and looked ahead. "Well, let's be on our way. The sooner we arrive, the better."

~^~^~^~^~

Legolas was right in his assumptions. There was no trouble during their ride to the city. It was not far, just a couple hours, but long enough for something to go wrong. They took their time, letting the horses go along at a trot. They did not speak much; afraid their voices would carry on the wind. They were glad to reach the gates.

Legolas was greeted as royalty. The guards bowed and handed the horses off to the stable hands to be looked after during their stay. They were given fresh horses and an escort up to the King's dwellings.

"We will only be a burden to one of your steed. The Lady Eowyn and I will share a ride." Legolas said to the stable hand. The young boy nodded and led the horse off with the others. Legolas helped Eowyn onto the animal and then climbed up with much ease and grace, settling in front of her.

Eowyn felt odd being treated so royally. Not long ago she had shown up in the middle of the night and made her own way up to the guest quarters without so much as a bat of an eye. Now two of the city's most prominent captains were escorting her. This celebration was much more important than she had first thought.

"Why have you never spoken of the fellowship or your journeys during the war, Legolas?" Eowyn asked as they slowly made their way through the city.

"It was just something we decided to keep to ourselves. Our business was our own and at the time, we had to keep it very secret. I guess we just never discussed it much afterwards. What we accomplished was for the good of all, not for ourselves, nor for recognition."

"And now that you are leaving, Aragorn wants to commemorate this time in your lives." Eowyn guessed.

"It is a part of history that should be remembered by future generations. The people should know of the sacrifices their king made." Legolas said, enjoying the feel of her closeness as she held him around the waist.

"And what about your sacrifices, Legolas? You gave up more than anyone." Eowyn said.

"That was a personal choice. That is something between you and me. I do not think the historians need to know everything." Legolas said feeling slightly uncomfortable. "And what about you? Your own story is one to be remembered. You single handedly eradicated the Nazgul that no man could kill. You do not talk about your part in the war. You were not looking for praise or appreciation from your actions. You were merely following your heart and acting on behalf of those which you cared for, were you not?"

"Of course. I was trying to protect those that I love." Eowyn said. "Alright, I see where you are going with this. We have all made sacrifices in the name of love. I get it."

"Good. Now, let us not dwell on this any longer. Tonight you are sure to hear many stories of our travels through Middle Earth. I will do my best to correct the parts that the Dwarf tells. He tends to exaggerate his side of the story." Legolas said with a chuckle. Actually, he was looking forward to seeing Gimli. He had not seen him in quite some time.

"And I look forward to every minute of it." Eowyn said as she tightened her grip on Legolas' waist.

Finally, they arrived at their destination. Legolas jumped down first and then helped Eowyn down. He gave her hand a squeeze since he did not feel right kissing her in front of so many strangers. Eowyn noticed it and gave him a warm smile.

They were about to enter the hall when they heard a gruff voice from behind them.

"Well, here's a sight for sore eyes. If it isn't the pointy eared Prince of Mirkwood. You are really coming up in the world if you are accompanied by such a lovely as this." Gimli said as he approached the couple. He took Eowyn's hand and kissed it. "It is good to see you again, Lady Eowyn. You look as radiant as ever."

"It is good to see you too, Gimli. It has been far too long. What have you been up to lately?" Eowyn said, smiling down at him.

Legolas chimed in. "He's probably returned to his caves, mining and grumbling about what little treasure is left in the world."

Gimli gave him a smile. "Now, there's one I've not heard before." he said mockingly, shaking his head. "Three thousand years and that is the best you can come up with? Still the same rascal you've always been." he laughed.

Legolas laughed along with him, then the two friends patted shoulders. Eowyn smiled at them, just one more thing she would miss when she returned to Rohan.

"I would say that neither one of you has changed very much." she said. "Let's get on with this reunion. I'm sure Aragorn is anxious to see you both."

Legolas offered Eowyn his arm and she took it. Not to be outdone, Gimli came up beside her and took her other arm. Eowyn giggled and relished the moment, as the unlikely friends escorted her. The guards opened the doors and the three companions entered the grand hall to find Aragorn and Arwen standing at the other end, ready to receive their guests.


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: L8Bleumr

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 11/06/10

Original Post: 08/26/10

Go to What Paths We Take overview

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