24. Final Victory
The fellowship rode hard under the waxing moon. Soon, the war would be upon Men and for the first time, the fellowship would not fight together. Since learning of the Orcs plans, they thought it best to split up and take with them smaller groups of the Lorien Elves. Gimli split off and headed for Rohan. The Elves were not too thrilled to follow a Dwarf but Gimli put on the charm. They found him to be well educated in the art of battle. He was not the bumbling ax-wielding cretin as they imagined Dwarves to be. They had a newfound respect for him and his kin, which they would take back to Lorien with them and teach others of it. Gimli just rolled his eyes when they approached him on this matter.
"Let's just let bygones be bygones." he said to their captain. He had struck up a sort of friendship with the head Elf. Gimli smiled to himself. "How would you like to play a little game, Elf? It is a counting game of sorts. The one with the most kills wins. But Orcs on Wargs only count as one."
When they arrived in Rohan, Eomer was surprised to see them. They told him of the coming of war. This time, they would not flee to Helm's Deep. They would stay and protect their city. Eomer readied his men… and women. More women had joined the line of Shieldmaidens since learning of Eowyn and her triumph over the Nazgul. She had been an inspiration to many women. Rohan was well prepared for the battle at hand and with Gimli and the Lorien Elves accompanying them; the Orcs would not stand a chance.
Legolas and Aragorn rode on with the rest of the Elves to Gondor. Aragorn would take half the Lorien folk with him to Minas Tirith. Legolas spilt off and rode to his home in Ithilien. The biggest number of soldiers would congregate in Osgiliath. This was the most vulnerable of the three cities to be attacked. Legolas headed for the city to speak with Faramir. As he rode, he noticed that there were no men in place. No stations had been set. They were unprepared for battle.
He once again found Faramir in his study. He did not look well at all and now he understood why. The closer evil came to the city, the darker his mind grew. This hilt shard must be removed to free Faramir's mind.
Legolas entered the dark room and bowed properly to Faramir. "Lord Faramir, I have come to warn you of impending danger. We know what it is the dark armies plan to do. Why are your men not prepared? There is not much time left. Tonight, the moon will be full and then we only have a few more days before war comes." Legolas proceeded to tell Faramir everything he knew.
When Legolas was finished, Faramir sat silent a moment and then a sort of laugh escaped him. "You expect me to believe that the Orcs will attack on a certain night, and all three cities at the same time? I find this hard to believe. These creatures do not have the intelligence to carry out such a plan."
"They do not act alone. The Uruk Hai have strengthened and command them." Legolas said. "We have spoken of this before. Do you not remember?"
"I remember. I have sent the women and children away as you asked. However, my city is still in ruins. There is nothing here anyone would want. I do not think they will come here. Minas Tirith will be the place of battle, not Osgiliath."
"Osgiliath is the least prepared and they know this. Once the city is overrun, it will be easy for the Orcs to march into Minas Tirith." Legolas pleaded. "Faramir, you are not yourself. Something ails you, keeps your mind clouded. You are locked in a spell. Have your dreams not been dark as of late?"
Faramir got up from his chair. "My mind and my dreams have not been the same since Eowyn left. She was my light but now she has sought out her true love. She is with you now and even carries your child. She no longer feels for me. Life is not worth going on without her. If what you say is true then let the evil come. I will fight to the death for I do not think I shall survive this final battle."
Legolas went to him. "That is the poison talking. It fills your mind with lies and visions of doom. Do not believe it." Legolas laid his hand on Faramir's shoulder. "As for Eowyn, she begged me to find you and help you. She still carries a flame for you. Yes, she bears my child but she has yet to make her final decision with which she will spend her life. Do not give up hope for I believe the day will come when you will once again find comfort in her arms." This was almost too much for Legolas to bear. He loved Eowyn so much but he knew his time here was ending. Galadriel's words came back to him that moment; Set her free. It was time to move on, as hard as it was to let go.
Faramir looked at Legolas as if he had offended him. "You expect me to believe she would choose me over you, one of the fair folk? I may be broken but I am no fool. What game are you playing here, Legolas?" Faramir turned from him. "You should leave. Leave and never look back. I do not want your help. I do not need your help. I will prove you all wrong and fight my own battle. Go back to your forest and do what you must but leave Osgiliath at once."
Legolas could not get through to Faramir. His mind was too far gone into darkness. Evil must have been very close by now. He decided not to listen to Faramir's orders but to go to his men and prepare them as best he could for what was to come. The men were thankful for Legolas and the Lorien Elves. They knew Faramir was not himself but they thought it was because of the loss of Eowyn. Now they knew the truth and they would do what they could to protect the city. At least that part of Legolas' plan was going right. Now, if he could just get Faramir to the healers to remove the shard. This would prove to be almost impossible, especially now. The Orcs would attack in two nights. There was no time to deal with Faramir's ailment right now.
Eowyn was resting comfortably in Lothlorien. The healers had been very helpful in her recovery. They constantly checked on her to make sure she was content. It was getting to be too much actually. She was fine and just needed some alone time with her thoughts. This latest news about Faramir had her worried. She thought back on all those times when he seemed unavailable to her. Now she understood why. He had been afflicted by the evil doers, waiting for the perfect time to put their plans into motion. It had cost her her marriage and she wondered what her life would be like if this had never happened.
An Elf maiden came to her talan. "You have a visitor my Lady. Lord Celeborn wishes to see you."
Eowyn quickly sat up in bed. "Just give me a moment and then send him in." she said, jumping up and searching for her robe. She was almost embarrassed to be seen in nothing more than her nightclothes by such a high-ranking Elf. Under the circumstances, there was not much to be done about it. She threw on her robe and did what she could to look presentable.
Celeborn came to her talan door. "May I come in?"
"Yes my lord. Please, make yourself at home. Well, of course this is your home. And thank you so much for allowing me to stay here. It is very lovely." Eowyn stopped when she caught herself rambling, something she tended to do when she was nervous.
Celeborn smiled warmly. "How are you feeling today? The healers tell me you have made a full recovery."
"I feel about as well as I can knowing my loved ones will soon be in battle." she said, feeling odd to be so open with this Eldar of Elves. "Has there been any word yet?"
"Do not trouble yourself Lady Eowyn. Everyone is in place. Things are how they should be." he said looking down to where the baby was. He approached Eowyn. "May I?" he said, glancing down to her belly.
Eowyn was not sure what he was doing but she was completely comfortable around him. "Of course my lord."
Celeborn laid his hand over the baby and closed his eyes. Eowyn watched him as a smile spread across his face. He removed his hand and took a step back. "She has a strong will, just like her parents. Have you thought of a name yet?"
Eowyn thought that was an odd question. "Well, no. I have not had much time to think of one. There is so much going on right now that…"
"This is none of your concern." Celeborn interrupted. "This child is to become the most important thing in your life, maybe even more so than Legolas… or Faramir." He waited for her reply.
"How do you know about Faramir and me?" she said looking away. "Besides, I am with Legolas now. He needs me… to give him strength and help contain the sea longing."
"Legolas has already made his decision. He will build his ship."
Eowyn did not understand. "But now with the baby coming and…"
"His mind is made up. It has been since before the baby, or do you not remember what he told you?"
Eowyn cocked an eyebrow. "You seem to know a lot about my life and those involved in it. But then again, you probably have a strong connection with the Valar." She sat back down on the edge of her bed. "So, Legolas still plans to sail to Valinor before he fades?"
"So I have been told." Celeborn said. He went to where Eowyn was and sat down next to her. "We are all given choices to make. Sometimes we falter and choose another way around but sometimes we stay true. Elves have been taught to do just that, to stay the course. Legolas is no different, although sometimes he thinks he is. Now, you… your journey has led you in many different directions. I do not know of anyone else who could have gone through as much and remained so strong. I know all about your love for both Legolas and Faramir. The human heart has always intrigued me in this way. It is truly a gift to be able to love more than one. Now you are about to be encompassed by a love like none you have ever felt before. Your daughter will be your main concern as well as every choice you make which will ultimately affect her."
Eowyn hadn't thought of this before. Soon she would be responsible for another life besides her own. "I just want her to have the best life possible. I want her to know peace, not war. I want her to be of strong mind and heart, independent but understanding."
Celeborn smiled and took Eowyn's hand. "Have no fear Lady Eowyn. She will not only have these qualities but also teach them to others. She is a light in times of darkness. She will give hope to all she encounters, as will her descendents. Remember, she is half-elven and will instill those qualities in the hearts of mankind for many generations to come. Her children will pass them along to their children and so on. The human race will be stronger because of her. She will be a great leader of men and women, especially women. When she one day leaves this world, many heads will be held high because of her gifts. So do not fear for her, for her world will be much different than the one you see now."
Celeborn stood up to leave. "Get some rest now. I hope I have helped to ease your mind. My wife, Galadriel was always better at such things."
Eowyn could sense his heartache for the loss of his beloved. "Will you see her again one day?" she asked, hoping she was not being to forward.
"Yes, but I'm afraid not for a very long time. It was her sacrifice to make, being a ring bearer herself, like Frodo. You see, we must all make difficult decisions, even the Eldar."
"Thank you for your kind words, Lord Celeborn." Eowyn said as he left her room. Their talk gave her a lot to think about.
If what Eowyn had told them was correct, the Orcs would strike tonight. All was quiet in Ithilien. Legolas and the Lorien Elves prepared the men of Osgiliath. Everyone was at their stations, weapons in hand. Legolas stood in the uppermost tower keeping watch. It was early into the evening when he saw the first sign of their torches as they marched closer to the city. He sent word to the others.
Legolas hoped this battle would be swift. All knew the Orcs plans and there would be no surprises this night. The threatened cities were ready for whatever came their way. "Let us bring a quick end to this mayhem." he said to his fellow Elves.
The Orcs marched straight on and were met by a hail of arrows. Many were slain that way. The second wave brought hand-to-hand combat as swords collided. Orcs fell and were overcome by the heavily armed men of Osgiliath. Legolas yelled commands to his warriors. More arrows were released. When the battle drew near, he took out his white knives and made short work of the Orcs.
He had just finished with one of the Uruk Hai when one of his Elves approached him. "Prince Legolas, I come with word of Lord Faramir. He has been injured and is in grave condition. We got him off the battlefield but he needs medical aid soon or I'm afraid he will perish."
"Where is he now?" Legolas asked.
"He is in the healing room in the city." said the Elf.
"Then he should be with the healers." Legolas was confused by the Elf's plea.
"Lord Faramir refuses medicine. He demands to be left alone. No one will go against his orders."
Legolas was frustrated. Now was not the time for such foolishness. "Let me talk to him." he said. It would have been easier to just knock him out with a stone and do what needed to be done than to argue with his twisted mind. Legolas left his post to go see Faramir and find the underlying cause of this.
Upon arriving at the healing rooms, Legolas found Faramir in quite a state. He was yelling at anyone who even tried to come close to him. Then his eyes settled upon the Elf.
"What are you doing here? I thought I gave you orders to leave my city." Faramir said, his eyes wild. Legolas could see a lot of blood seeping through the material of his shirt. It looked like the wound was around his shoulder blade.
"You must let the healers look at that wound, Faramir. Let them check to make sure there is no poison." Legolas said calmly.
"There is no use treating a man who is already dead. I wish to end my time on this earth. Let the poison destroy me. It has already taken part of me once before. Let it finish what has already been started."
Faramir was in a state of shock and bewilderment. Evil was consuming him and he would soon cross into shadow. Legolas could see there was not much time left. He acted as if to leave the room but stopped to talk with the head healer.
"You must find a way to sedate him. It is time to remove this shard from his body before it is too late. There is no medicine that can cure him now. It is his soul which suffers." Legolas said to the man. "Do you know where it was he was injured before?"
"It was in his back, very close to where his wound is now." said the healer.
"It must be taken care of this moment." Legolas demanded.
The healer looked worried. "But he will not let anyone near him and he seems to have the strength of ten men. I have never in all my life seen anyone in this state before."
"I will help distract him while you sedate him. Once he is mollified, you can remove the shard of the Nazgul hilt. It is the only way to save him now. The wound on his shoulder is the least of his problems at this point." Legolas turned back towards Faramir and approached him.
"I told you to leave, Legolas. Why do you linger? Why are you not with Eowyn, protecting her and your child? There is nothing more to do here. Let me be. Let me die." Faramir seemed to calm a bit.
Legolas put his hand over Faramir's heart and spoke soothing words in his native tongue. He looked Faramir deep in his eyes. "She still loves you, Faramir. She always has and she always will. She will need you soon."
"She does not need me anymore. She has you and a child on the way. There is no place for me now." Faramir said, not noticing the healer slowly walking up behind him.
"I can not stay on these shores, not even to see my child grow. My path has not changed. I still must sail and fade. But you, Faramir, you will survive and Eowyn will need your love. You must find your way back to her. Be with her again. Find that love you both share for one another and make it stronger. Never forget that she loved you long before me. You were her first in many things and that only happens once in a lifetime." As Legolas spoke, Faramir calmed and allowed the healer to place a cloth full of herbs near his nose. Legolas kept his gaze fixed on Faramir the whole time as the herbs released their scent. Soon, Faramir's eyes began to flutter and he dropped off to sleep. They gently laid him back on the bed.
"Thank you, Prince Legolas. I don't think we could have done that without your help." said the healer.
Legolas stood over Faramir, looking down upon him. What he had told Faramir had been plaguing his mind for some time now. To say it aloud made the reality of the situation come to life. He had just let Eowyn go by saying these words. A tear came to his eye as he thought of leaving Eowyn and their child. A part of him wished the Valar had not taken away his sea longing. It would be easier to just leave now and never look back. This was truly one of the hardest things he ever had to do.
Legolas turned back to the healer. "I must get back to my troops. I have lingered here too long. Take care of him. Find and remove that shard as quickly as possible and then destroy it." Legolas bowed to the healer and ran from the room. It was time to end this war. There would be peace again in Middle Earth.
Eowyn was finally allowed to walk about the pathways of Lothlorien. Her strength had returned. She was eating well and had no signs of injury. The baby was healthy and strong. Being in this magical forest seemed to call to her child as she could feel movement for the first time. It took her by surprise at first. She stopped and gasped, laying her hands over her womb.
Haldir was always close to her when she went wandering. He had made a promise to be her protector and had seen her when she faltered. He went to her right away. "Is everything alright, my Lady?" he said worriedly.
Eowyn turned to the tall Marchwarden, a smile on her face. She laughed and looked down at her hands then back to Haldir. "She moved, Haldir. It's the first time I've ever felt her." she said excitedly as the baby moved again. She just had to share this with someone and Haldir was the closest one there. She grabbed Haldir's hand and put it on her body.
Haldir was shocked by her actions and looked horrified. "My Lady! This is not proper behavior for a…"
"SHH!" Eowyn shushed him up. He was quite embarrassed to be in this situation with her. He looked around to see if anyone was watching them. It seemed they were alone. He tried to pull his hand away but Eowyn stopped him.
"Wait, Haldir, please? I must share this with someone. It is amazing."
Haldir held himself straight and tall with a look of authority on his countenance. "My Lady, I assure you, I have no experience with babies or pregnant women or even humans for that matter. I am a Marchwarden, a hardened warrior. I have no interest in this kind of…" Haldir stopped in mid sentence when he felt something brush across the palm of his hand. He looked at Eowyn who was smiling from ear to ear.
"Was that the baby I just felt?" he whispered.
"That it was." she said, watching Haldir's face turn from hardened warrior to compassionate Elf. It was a side of him never seen by anyone before.
Suddenly, he forgot all about his complaining and waited to feel another movement. "There it is again." he said excitedly. "I never knew of such a thing. And… I am the first to share this happening with you?"
"The very first." Eowyn said to him.
Haldir stood there a moment longer waiting to feel the baby again. Eowyn was overjoyed to see him like this. She had heard all the stories of the arrogant, egotistical, pompous ass of an Elf he was said to be. Now she believed none of it.
There were voices coming around the corner. Someone was approaching but Haldir was too distracted to notice. Eowyn knew he would be embarrassed ever to be seen like this. "Uh… Haldir." she whispered, nudging his arm and looking over his shoulder.
"Yes?" he said, still wrapped up in the moment. He looked up to see Eowyn pointing behind him. That's when he heard the Elves approaching. He quickly removed his hand and stood up straight, looking down his nose at Eowyn. The Elves came around the corner and gasped to see Haldir there.
"You should be getting back to you talan now. You have been up for too long and need your rest. Go at once, Lady Eowyn." he said, barking out his orders to her.
The Elves looked at Haldir. Pregnant or not, it did not surprise them that he would be speaking to someone in this manner.
Eowyn played along. "Yes, Marchwarden, I will return right away." she said looking to the ground submissively.
Haldir regarded the Elves with slits in his eyes. They looked away immediately and hurried off. No one dared to cross paths with Haldir.
When they were well out of earshot, he looked back to Eowyn. "Thank you Lady Eowyn. If anyone were to see me as anything but an authority figure, I am afraid I would be the laughing stock of the Golden Wood. I have a reputation to uphold."
Eowyn smiled. "It's alright. Your secret is safe with me. Thank you for sharing this with me. I wish Legolas were here to experience it."
"So do I Lady Eowyn." Haldir said looking around. "So do I." He held out his arm and she took it, letting him escort her back to her talan. From then on, Haldir would sneak off to visit Eowyn and share these moments with her. It was the most enlightening experience he would ever share with anyone in his remaining time in Middle Earth.
A piece of Haldir's hard outer shell chipped away that day. From then on, when Eowyn saw the Marchwarden, she saw him for his soft side. She was honored to have had this moment with him. It was the only secret she kept locked away, never telling a soul, not even Legolas.
Aragorn stood outside the gates of Minas Tirith. "This war is about to come to its end." he said to his warrior captain. "What Orcs remain are beginning to retreat. Send out your men to chase them down and destroy them. Today, we put an end to this threat. Never again will we be hunted by these mongrels."
The captain obeyed Aragorn's orders and gathered his men along with the Lorien Elves to chase after the fleeing Orcs. This time it was truly the end to the evil menace, which plagued them for so many years. Peace would now come to Middle Earth.
In Rohan, Eomer sent out the same message to the Rohirrim. There was nowhere for the Orcs to hid out in the open plains which surrounded the city. None were left alive.
The city itself remained rather intact. A few thatched houses burned but those could be easily rebuilt. The Meduseld was untouched and few men lost their lives, thanks in part to the Lorien Elves.
Gimli escaped with only a few minor cuts and bruises. It was his pride which was hurt the most as he had lost the competition with his newfound Elf friend. A part of him questioned whether the Elf counted fairly or not but he let it go. It seemed a healing process had taken place between Elves and Dwarves that day. From then on, Gimli was welcome to visit Lothlorien any time he pleased. Later, even Haldir accepted the Dwarf. Gimli found it odd that the Marchwarden changed his mind so quickly. Eowyn laughed to herself, as she was the only one who understood why.
Back in Osgiliath, the mood was more somber. The men and Elves destroyed the Orcs and the war was over but it was for their lord and ruler which they feared. He was badly injured and word got around quickly of the spell he had been under for so long. The healers were successful in removing the hilt shard. They placed it in a bowl and took into the sunlight where it turned into ash. The ashes were then set free in the wind, scattering them, never again to threaten anyone's life.
Faramir was bandaged up and kept comfortable as he healed. Legolas had elvish salve sent from his forest home to help aid in his recovery. He sat with Faramir those first few nights as he slept. Looking down upon the man's face, he could see a change already happening. Faramir took on the appearance of his youth. For too long he was encased in a clouded existence. Now, his mind was free and Legolas wondered if he would remember much of what had happened. He was sure the first thing he would want to do was to see Eowyn. Legolas planned to journey with Faramir to Lothlorien, where Eowyn decided to spend the remainder of her pregnancy. From there he would leave to build his ship.
The forest was untouched from the battle. The Elves were thankful for this miracle and spent all their energy helping to rebuild Osgiliath. It was time to send the race of Men on their way into their future. After this final battle, many Ithilien Elves decided to sail into the West. They felt they had accomplished all they could and it was time to leave. For them, the decision was an easy one, but for Legolas, it was a struggle everyday. He missed Eowyn, not having seen her for a couple of months. He knew when he finally looked upon her lovely face again, it would be one of the last times he would see her. Yet, there was no turning from his path now. Faramir was recovering quickly and soon he would be reunited with Eowyn. It would only be a matter of time before they reclaimed their love for each other. Faramir would help Eowyn raise their daughter. As much as it hurt Legolas to think of this, a part of him knew there was no better man to take his place. He had always regarded Faramir as being honorable and trustworthy. His dream of being a father would come true, even if the child was not his. The healing would take place then. This child would heal both Eowyn and Faramir. Legolas was sure his daughter would bring the reunited couple closer than ever before.
Legolas had been in his talan home going over a few last minute details before his departure. The head healer entered his home with a look of satisfaction on his face. "Lord Faramir seems to have made a full recovery. I am giving him permission to leave. He may now travel abroad if it pleases him. No permanent injury has been detected due to the shard."
Legolas' heart skipped a beat. This was the beginning of the end. Soon he would be off to build his ship. "Thank you Master Healer. Where is Faramir now?"
"I have given him the news of his recovery. I believe he is home in Emyn Arnen, readying for the journey to Lothlorien." The healer walked over to where Legolas sat. He placed his hand over Legolas' hand. "I know your time comes, my lord, and you will soon leave us. We all wish it were not this way. We want nothing more than for you to stay in Ithilien. You have been a great leader and have made us proud, your father especially. He is very satisfied with your accomplishments."
Legolas looked abash. "My father? You have heard from him?" Legolas had not had word from Thranduil in a long time. He had never even been to Ithilien since Legolas left Mirkwood and established a colony.
Suddenly a voice came from outside his talan door. "You have done me proud my son." In walked Thranduil. Legolas stood up from his chair and gazed upon the elven king.
"Adar." he said and hurried to his father's outstretched arms. The healer made a quiet retreat from the room.
"It is good to see you again, son. It has been too long." Thranduil voice comforted Legolas.
"How does Mirkwood fare?" he asked.
"We were warned in plenty of time. Evil did not stand a chance. In addition, it seems my kingdom shall be given back its proper name. It will once again be known as the Greenwood."
"That is wonderful news, Adar." Legolas had never known his homeland to be called by that name.
Thranduil looked at his son. "You have matured quite a bit since leaving your home. I have been kept informed of all your doings. I was never more worried for you than when you left with the fellowship. I did not think you were ready for such a journey. It was Elrond who convinced me to allow you to go. I can see now that I made the right decision. You have done well. You have earned the respect of all your Mirkwood kin."
"But I have let you down." Legolas said remembering the bond they share. "I have made choices and now I will fade soon and so will you. I'm sorry Adar."
"Nonsense. You have done exactly as you were meant to. I am ready, my son. I have walked this land for many millennia. If this is the way it was meant to be, then I am ready to depart. There are not enough riches in this world to make me want to stay. Besides, you never knew this but I too looked into Galadriel's Mirror long ago. I saw my end and have had a long time to prepare. It is time. New adventures await me in the afterlife." He patted Legolas on the back. "So, when will I meet the woman who stole my son's heart?"
Legolas did not feel like discussing this right now. "The Lady Eowyn of Rohan is in Lothlorien. She has chosen to dwell there until…" Legolas stopped himself. Thranduil had not known she was pregnant. Actually, he did not know a lot of what was happening as far as Eowyn was concerned.
Thranduil could see by the look on Legolas' face that something had changed. "What is wrong, son?"
Legolas sighed. "The story is too long to tell right now, Adar. Many things have happened since I last saw you. Eowyn is… she has… we are…" He just did not know how to say it.
Thranduil laughed to himself. "Relax my son. I know more than you think. You do not need to explain anything. I know about the child."
Legolas was speechless. He just looked at his father with his mouth open. "You know? But how?"
"I have my ways. There is not much that goes on in this world that I do not know about. I will be honest with you; I had not been very happy with your decision to bond to this woman. You are of royal blood and I hoped for our kingdom to have an elven princess. But then again, this is not a normal situation. When I first learned that you were a chosen one, I was overjoyed. But as things unfolded, I knew your road would be full of challenges. You have proved time and time again how strong you are and only one of equal strength could win your heart. She is a good woman and I am glad she bears your child. I know of no one else who could withstand such trials. The Valar willed it and that's all the proof I need to know this was meant to be."
Legolas hung his head. "And do you also know of her love for another?"
Thranduil's voice lowered to almost a whisper. "Lord Faramir is it? Yes, I know a little. I know it was him who she married after you let her go the first time. And when the marriage dissolved, she came back to you. I hoped that would be the end of it. Are you telling me she searches for his love once again, even as she carries your child?"
"No, Adar. She would still be with me if I had not decided to set her free. My path has not changed. I go to build my ship. That is why I have encouraged Faramir to seek her out in Lothlorien. I want her to be happy after I am gone and Faramir will fill that void. I cannot hinder her any longer. The Valar wish for her to find her own way. They have given me a reprieve of my sea longing but only for a short while. Otherwise, I think I would depart sooner. My heart breaks to leave her. I love her more than life and it grieves me not to be a part of my daughter's life. But it is my sacrifice to make to the world of men. My child will go on to be a very important part in their structure and way of thinking. My part has been played and I am no longer needed here."
Thranduil did something he had not done since Legolas was an Elfling. He took his head in his hands and kissed Legolas on the forehead. It was something he used to do when Legolas was hurt or sad. After Legolas' mother died, Thranduil became the one to make things right. It was how he had always comforted him and that's what he tried to do now.
"I'm sorry my son. I had no idea you were in so much pain. Nevertheless, it is the sacrifices of the chosen that set the way for the future of others. Still, no one has ever been asked to give up so much." Thranduil said and noticed a tear fall down his son's cheek. Once again, Thranduil opened his arms to Legolas and held him tight, something no one had ever witnessed the king do. Only Legolas ever saw this side of him. To everyone else he was stern and callous, impenetrable to those who had no direct link to the king. But for Legolas he could be loving and understanding when the time called for it, like now.
"Come now, Legolas. Show me around your city. I would very much like to see what you have done." Thranduil said, changing the mood.
Legolas very eagerly gave his father a thorough tour of Ithilien's fairest forest.