What Paths We Take: 32. Dance With Me

Reader Toolbox   Log in for more tools

32. Dance With Me

Something made her wake up before the sunrise. A slight breeze swept through the room and brushed across her face. There was a sound like a whisper on the wind as it passed. She had fallen asleep in the chair next to Faramir's bed. As she came to, the first thing she noticed was his hand, which she had never let go of. There was no more strength, no more warmth. Faramir, Lord of Ithilien had passed away.

Eowyn felt the lump rise quickly into her throat and her heart beat rapidly. She found she could not let go of his hand and sat there sobbing for a while. Even though she knew death was near, it still did not prepare her for this moment. In her mind, she was reliving all the times they shared during their life together. What had started out as a difficult journey had ended with pure love and joy. "Oh, Faramir. Oh, my love." she cried.

Legolas had stayed in the hall outside the bedchamber after talking to Faramir. He sat on the floor with his knees pulled up to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs. Something brought him out of his reverie. He felt an overwhelming sadness emitting from Eowyn and he knew what the morning brought. He slowly opened the door. Eowyn sat next to the bed, her head resting on Faramir's chest. She barely made a sound but Legolas' elvish ears could hear her sobs. He approached Eowyn and laid a gentle hand on her back.

Eowyn lifted her tear streaked face to Legolas. "He has passed. I've lost him for good this time." she said woefully.

Legolas stood by Eowyn's side, his hand resting on her shoulder. "No, not for good." he whispered but she didn't hear him.

When she had no more tears left to cry she spoke again. "Would you tell the others and notify the healers? It is time to prepare for the funeral."

Legolas nodded. "Will you be alright?"

Eowyn looked back to Faramir's lifeless body. "Although I am grieved to have lost him, there is a bit of relief in my heart for I know he no longer suffers."

~^~^~^~^~

The funeral was fit for that of a king. Many people from all over Middle Earth attended. Eowyn thought Faramir himself would have been surprised to see how many came. Elves, Dwarves and Men all gathered that day to pay their respects to the Lord of Ithilien. Elboron's heart burst with pride to see all the people there. His father was well respected and loved by all.

Caladwen was there with Haldir never too far from her sight. Legolas held his daughter's hand during the ceremony. He knew the close relationship she shared with Faramir and comforted her during this time. Eowyn was with Eomer and his family. They all stood together as Faramir's body was laid to rest.

The next few days proved to be very trying for Eowyn. Her heart was broken for the loss of her husband. She hardly ate and spent all of her time indoors, alone with her thoughts. Legolas was never far. He made sure to bring her food if she had not come to dinner. He checked on her regularly but he did not like what he saw. She was very pale and forlorn. It made his heart ache to see her in such a state.

"You must take care of yourself, Eowyn. You cannot sit here day after day and wither. You are too beautiful for such a fate." Legolas told her.

Eowyn sat in a chair beside her window, looking out across her lands. "It's not fair, Legolas." she whispered. "We were torn from each other so many times in the beginning. I thought we would have much longer together now. We were supposed to grow old together. Instead, it seems like we hardly had any time."

"What's important is the time you did have. I saw for myself the love you both shared. It was stronger than the walls of Moria. You shared something that most take a life time to achieve."

"I suppose you are right." she said with a forced smile. "Yet it does not make this any easier." She folded her hands in her lap and looked down, tears streaming down her face. "I miss him, Legolas. I miss him so much." she cried.

Legolas knelt down in front of where she sat and pulled her into him. He held her and whispered elvish words of comfort into her ear. She calmed quickly. Then he lifted her and carried her to the bedchamber. He laid her down and covered her. Legolas sat down in the chair next to her bed and continued to whisper in her ear. She immediately fell asleep. He pushed the hair from her face and kissed her forehead. "You will see him again one day. I will take you to him for I promised to never leave your side. Sleep now my lady. Put your mind at rest if only for a little while. Tomorrow is a new day."

~^~^~^~^~

A few months passed and Eowyn hadn't changed much. Legolas made the decision to move into Emyn Arnen where he could be close to her and take care of her until she conquered her depression. He did not much like the fact of living within walls but Emyn Arnen was more open than most. Besides, Eowyn needed him now and he had made a promise to Faramir.

When he informed her of his plans, she of course argued that she did not need a sitter. He expected this from her and merely smiled and laughed, making her all the more irate.

"Come now, Eowyn. You should know by now there is no winning an argument with an Elf. I am staying and that is final."

Although her tough exterior made it seem she was in disagreement with the Elf, inside she was more than content to have Legolas close by again. She thought she had kept that part a secret, but Legolas knew her innermost thoughts. Though they no longer shared a bond, he still sensed her emotions and she could not hide from him. He was still very much in love with Eowyn and would see that she recovered from these dark days to once again live in the light.

"Very well then." she finally agreed. "You know I never could say no to you. Very persuasive the Elves can be. I suspect that is why Caladwen even exists." she smiled and Legolas noticed it was the first real sign of joy he had seen in a while.

~^~^~^~^~

It had been over a year since Legolas came to Emyn Arnen. The days seemed to pass at a slower pace, Eowyn thought. Having an Elf living with you seemed to have that effect. She was once again reminded of her time in Lothlorien. Back then, she had too much energy to sit still with the Elves. Now as she grew older, she realized they were more her pace now. A thought came to her as she approached Legolas in the garden.

He was sitting under a large oak, spending some quiet time with Caladwen. Their voices were merely whispers and she heard little of their conversation. Legolas had a look of concern on his countenance. Caladwen seemed different somehow. Had Eowyn been in such a state of depression that she had not noticed the change in her daughter? She stood silently in the shadow of a tree and observed Caladwen. She seemed to have aged, not physically but emotionally. There was so much of her father in her. It surprised Eowyn that she had not noticed this before. Had she been in mourning for so long over the loss of Faramir, that she let life slip by without notice? Caladwen was in love with Haldir. Her elven qualities were so prominent since admitting their affections for each other. She was spending more time with the Elves. All of this had been developing and Eowyn hadn't recognized it until now. Her attention went back to Legolas. He was very concerned for his daughter and her hearts desire. He never really warmed up to Haldir and he worried for her future.

As she shifted her weight, a twig snapped under her feet. Legolas and Caladwen immediately broke off from their conversation and looked in Eowyn's direction. Legolas' expression changed from concern to joy at finding Eowyn in the garden. He jumped up and went to her.

"It is good to see you out of the house. Come. Join us for a spell." he said grabbing her hand and pulling her under the oak. He could count on one hand all the times she had traveled outside in the past year. "I'll bring you something to eat." he said going to gather some fruit from the nearby trees.

Caladwen smiled at her. "How are you feeling, Mother?"

Eowyn sat on the soft grass with her daughter and touched her face. "I am much better now that I see your brightness. I am afraid I have missed much lately. You shine with a radiance I can't remember ever seeing before, except from your ada." Caladwen blushed and Eowyn whispered. "Haldir has been good for you."

Caladwen merely nodded, wanting to say more but was afraid Legolas' elven ears would hear her. Eowyn spoke for her. "I take it Ada still does not approve?"

"He is wary." came her short answer.

Eowyn smiled and patted her daughter's hand. "We will speak later. Do not be troubled. He just worries for you well being. I will talk to him." Caladwen felt a sense of relief from Eowyn's words.

Legolas came back and sat next to Eowyn. It felt good to be together as a family. They spent the better part of the morning reliving days long passed.

Finally, Caladwen stood up and straightened her skirt. "I think I will take my leave now. I told Haldir I would meet him this afternoon." She looked at Eowyn before she left. "It is good to see you back in high spirits again, Mother." She kissed Eowyn on top of her head and left the garden.

Eowyn turned her attention back to the fair Elf sitting beside her. "I have missed much lately. My strength has returned and I want to be informed of the latest news taking place in my home. So… come with it Elf. What were you discussing with our daughter before I arrived?" she said without hesitation. She knew Caladwen's happiness was due in part to her love for Haldir. It was time to find out why Legolas held such animosity towards him.

Legolas was taken aback slightly at her forwardness. "I see the Shieldmaiden has once again made her appearance." he said and kissed her on the cheek. "It is good to see you getting back to yourself once again. I have your company."

Eowyn knew Legolas too well to be smitten by his crooked smile and charm. She cocked an eyebrow at the Elf and waited for an answer. "The allure of your elvish grace will not work on me Legolas Thranduilion." She only called him by that name when she was serious. He would have to tell her.

"I worry for Caladwen's future. I am not so sure Haldir is as sincere as he seems." he said. Eowyn could sense his fear and concern. "Do you not also worry for her?" he asked.

She sat silent for a moment, trying to think of the right words but the answer was simple "No, I do not." Eowyn noticed the crease between his brows that only appeared when his anger was evident. "Unless he is an Orc or Sauron himself, I cannot imagine an Elf disapproving of anyone. Even our unlikely joining was not looked down on by your kind." she said trying to lighten the mood. A smile spread on her face. "She is my daughter and of course a part of me will always worry if she makes the right choices. But there comes a time when one must let go and I have."

Legolas' face softened a bit as he considered her words. He smiled and kissed her cheek. Eowyn blushed slightly but regained her composure before it showed on her face. "What will you do about it?"

His crease reformed as he looked down. "Nothing." he answered in a simple whisper.

"Good." she answered. Of course, Legolas would do nothing. This was her choice and he would not interfere. Unfortunately, Legolas knew Haldir as the unemotional, ascetic, almost cruel Marchwarden of Lothlorien, but Eowyn knew better.

After a long silent moment, she smiled and spoke again. "I think it is a good match." she laughed, but Legolas looked at her in horror.

"Unless there is another by the name Haldir, I do not find humor in this." he said sternly.

Eowyn softened her features. "There is only one Haldir," Thank goodness, she thought to herself. "And I think you read more into it than there is."

Legolas stood up, crossed his arms and looked down on Eowyn. "And I have known Haldir much longer than you and have heard all the stories. He has broken more than a few hearts and I will not have my daughter's name added to the list." He spoke with anger in his voice, forgetting whom he was talking to.

Eowyn seemed to gain a strength Legolas had not seen in a long time. He made the fatal error of confronting the former Shieldmaiden. She stood up and suddenly seemed taller than he remembered. Eowyn jabbed her finger into his chest. "I may not know Haldir as long as you, but I have seen a side of him that most have not or ever will. You were not there the day he first felt her moving in my womb. You were not there when he held her in his arms as a newborn babe. You were not there the day we left Lothlorien to come back to Emyn Arnen and seen the heartache it brought him to know she would no longer be near him." Eowyn lowered her tone. "Haldir has been there since the beginning. He has been her teacher, her friend and now her Guardian. I don't know how, but I seem to understand this connection between them and it makes sense that it would develop into something more."

"But she is merely a child in the eyes of an Elf." Legolas countered.

"She is a grown woman in the eyes of Men. For Eru's sake, she has been married and widowed or do you forget?"

Legolas was not about to give up the argument. "She is too young to experience love with an Elf."

Eowyn stayed silent a moment and Legolas knew it was the calm before the storm. "Well, you have just helped me make up my mind, Legolas Thranduilion. Too long have you lived among men lately that you are beginning to speak like them. I will not have it. You are moving back to your forest home in North Ithilien." she said. Legolas looked hurt and started to disagree but she held her hand over his mouth. "And… I am coming with you." A smile slowly spread across her face.

Legolas was stunned, which was not often seen on the faces of the Firstborn. "You would leave your home? But who will take care of it?"

"Elboron's family grows and they need more room. They will take over the residence. Faramir built Emyn Arnen with family in mind. I am but one person. This palace is too much for me now. Besides, I long to be amongst nature again. It is what I miss most about Lorien. And I want to experience life among the trees once more before I am too old to manage the rope ladders." she laughed.

Legolas was overjoyed by this proposition. "And when that day comes, I shall carry you up and down myself." He took her hand. "Are you sure this is what you want? There are so many memories here."

"The memories are not bound within these walls. They are in my head, in my heart and soul. It is time to make new memories. Faramir would not have wanted me to waste away the rest of my life in grief. And I can think of nowhere else I'd rather be." She smiled and kissed Legolas on the cheek.

~^~^~^~^~

And so, Eowyn left Emyn Arnen to live with Legolas and his kin in Ithilien's forest. He made sure to keep his distance and be no more than a friend. They were comfortable with their lives. Every day came easier to Eowyn. She still missed Faramir terribly but her memories brought joy now. She often spoke of him to Legolas, reminiscing about days long past. Legolas enjoyed hearing her stories. He often laughed along with her. It was very healing for them both.

Elboron moved into the palace with his ever-growing family. He will start his own city, Eowyn thought to herself. Five children and one more on the way. They loved visiting their grandmother in the elven city. The Elves were overjoyed to have the laughter of children ring through the trees. It was a wonderful life for everyone.

Caladwen moved on to the next part of her journey. She had been teaching in Minas Tirith and felt it was time to leave, after some misfortune. She decided to travel to Mirkwood. It was time to learn more of her heritage and get to know her grandfather better. Surprisingly, Gimli decided to join her. It was time to heal the wounds between Wood Elf and Dwarf. Eowyn was used to having her daughter around and would miss her terribly. When she heard that Haldir was going with her, it eased her mind. Legolas was still unsure about her choice to pursue Haldir. Eowyn often reminded him that the Lorien Elf loved her just as much. That did not seem to ease Legolas' mind, though.

A few months later on a warm and starlit evening, Legolas and Eowyn were enjoying a quiet night down by the pond. Legolas sat near the water's edge with his feet dangling in the water. Eowyn lay on the soft grass next to him, using his leg for a pillow. He was singing a song about the stars and Eowyn felt as though she had wandered into a dream.

Legolas stopped singing and looked down to Eowyn. "Did you ever wonder what it would be like if we had never met?" The question came from nowhere.

"That is an odd question." she said cocking her head to the side.

"I don't mean it like that. I was just thinking of all the things we would never know of if we had never known each other. For one, Caladwen would not exist. I would never have known of the love for a child." he explained.

"She was the best thing that ever came out of our relationship." Eowyn replied.

"Do you ever wish we had another child together?" It was another odd question.

"What are you getting at?" Eowyn said sitting up and giving him her full attention.

Legolas had been thinking of her words to him, about not being with her and Caladwen in the beginning. She was honestly upset with him and it hurt his heart. "I am just sorry I was not there for you during that time. I should have stayed in Lothlorien with you. I should have been there for the birth. It was my only time to experience such a wonderful joyous time and I missed it all. I was not there for her first words or her first steps. Haldir was there instead." he commented.

So that is what bothers him, Eowyn thought to herself. "And you think if you were there, Haldir would not be involved now." She reached up and brushed her finger across his cheek. The light of the stars illuminated his skin and he looked like a star that had fallen to the earth. "Do not regret a thing, Legolas. You did what you were supposed to do at that time. Besides, whether you were there or not, Caladwen was destined to be with Haldir." She paused a moment and a sly smile spread across her lips. "Anyways, I must admit, to conceive with an Elf is something very special. It was like nothing else I have ever experienced and there were times, if only a few that I wished to revisit that feeling again."

Legolas looked upon her with a familiar gleam in his eye but she went on. "Alas, I'm afraid those days have passed me by for my child bearing days are no more."

"That is too bad. We could have had a boy this time or maybe even twins like Elrond's children." he laughed. He suddenly felt silly bringing the subject up in the first place.

She watched Legolas as he stood up and walked into the shadows. "Where are you going?" she asked.

"I think I shall go for a swim." he said rather cheerfully. "It seems the need to feel the coolness of the water has overtaken me."

Sometimes Eowyn could not figure him out. One minute he was talking about having another child, the next he's off to swim in the pond. She chalked it up to his immortality, to act on a whim and do whatever it was that struck his fancy at the moment. She laid on the grass, her elbow holding her up and her head in her hand as she watched the shadows where Legolas disappeared. She could barely see him but heard the rustle of clothes. It was just like an Elf to have no modesty. As he stepped out into the starlight, his naked body showed bright in contrast to the shadows behind him. He walked with such grace and Eowyn suddenly felt she was not worthy to look upon such a god-like creature. He was still pure perfection as he was the day she met him. Even after all the battles, there was not a scar or imperfection on his beautiful alabaster skin. She was in awe of him, this Elf.

Slowly, he lowered himself into the water and disappeared. She watched a trail of bubbles come closer to her. His head emerged from the water, a fire in his deep blue eyes. She had seen that look before and was suddenly frightened, not by the Elf but by her own thoughts and what they would lead her to do. Even though she lived with Legolas in his forest city and spent much time with him, she'd never had one impure thought about him. She had not thought of him like that at all since releasing him from their bond that day at the shore. But why would she? She was once again reunited with her true love, Faramir. He was all that occupied her mind for years, even after his death.

Now she found that she could not speak as he gazed at her. He stood at the edge of the pond, his chest exposed and she found it very hard not to stare. Eowyn held her composure and did not even blink, as he seemed to tease her from the water's edge.

"What?" she finally blurted out.

Legolas could sense her awkwardness and made his desire more evident with his piercing blue eyes. He was taking a chance by showing her his love for her still existed.

Eowyn fought with her conscience. Her body was reacting to his stare but her mind was creating guilt to thwart any chance of allowing this heat to go any lower than the pit of her stomach. "Legolas… I…" she said shaking her head.

He sensed her change in mood and quickly released her from his spell. The fire in his eyes extinguished immediately and he was himself again. "Forgive me. It's just… the stars are so bright and they speak to me, putting me in my impish mood. I did not mean to make you uncomfortable. Maybe we should go back." He turned to swim back to the far end of the pond.

"Wait." Eowyn called out before she knew she was speaking. Legolas stopped and looked back over his shoulder to her. She was standing now by the edged of the pond, looking down on him.

"You do not have to do this." he said to her, feeling his own guilt.

She froze for a moment then remembered something Faramir had said to her. "I may be getting older but I still have needs." She said this more to herself than to Legolas. Her hands went to the back of her neck, undoing the hook in the back of her dress.

Legolas remained where he was, afraid to move or speak so as not to frighten her off. He wanted to go to her. She looked so alone standing there, undressing herself. His mind told him she needed to do this on her own. It had to be her decision.

Eowyn had been in mourning for the last few years and she was just realizing it was alright to live again. Nobody could ever replace Faramir or the love they shared. He lived on in her memory. Nevertheless, she had also loved Legolas once in very much the same way and still held a place for him in her heart. She told herself that it did not have to be as serious as it once was. He would never replace Faramir, no one could. However, there was no reason to live out her life alone and she knew Legolas loved her. That made all the difference. Had it been anyone else, she would not even be in this situation. Besides, it was obvious to her that Legolas made a promise to Faramir before he died. She guessed it the day Legolas told her he was moving to Emyn Arnen. It was not natural for Elves to live under anything but the canopy of the trees. She knew he would be by her side until the day she left this world. That alone brought her great comfort.

Eowyn lowered her dress, exposing her breasts then let it pool at her feet. She stood naked at the pond's edge. Her own pale skin seemed to shimmer in the starlight, yet nowhere near as bright as Legolas'. He backed away from the edge, allowing her plenty of room to enter the pond. He would let her come to him.

He studied her body. Though she was what Men called 'middle-aged', her body still held its shape. She had never given up her training as a Shieldmaiden and still practiced daily. It was apparent as Legolas noticed her shapely body, muscles toned from years of swordplay. In all actuality, it did not really matter to him what she looked like. That was not how he saw her. It was her inner beauty that covered up any 'imperfections' as she call them. He could not see them. All he saw was her soul, her otherworldly glow. She would always look beautiful to him.

Eowyn waded over to where Legolas was. They stood silent a moment. "I cannot give myself to you wholly. That part of me still belongs to Faramir and it always will. Yet there is still a part of my heart that belongs to you. That is all I can offer you."

"And that is more than I could ever ask for." Legolas replied.

"We will still have no bonds, no earthly ties?" she asked.

"As you said earlier, those days have long since passed. We are merely two beings finding some comfort in this world while we await our departure. I still love you Eowyn, but I am not bound by any sense of the word."

As he finished speaking, Eowyn brought her hand up to touch his ear. Legolas closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. She let her fingers travel down the side of his face to his lips. They were still so soft. She looked deep into his eyes and her mind interrupted. 'You can still turn back. It is not too late. You have done nothing so far that would bring dishonor to you.'  It was a pivotal moment. Once she kissed him, she knew she would be turning the page to a new chapter in her life. Was she ready to go on?

She got her answer as she found herself lightly brushing her lips against his. She backed up a moment to study his face. His eyes were still closed and the corners of his mouth were upturned in a slight smile. His skin was absolutely glowing under the stars. They must have been speaking to him again but this time there was nothing impish in his look. As his eyes opened, she saw his pure love, the love he had always held for her in the depths of those blue pools. Suddenly she found herself unable to deny him any longer. This time she stayed her lips against his and they kissed most innocently. She felt the water swirl around her and knew he had brought his hands to her body but pulled away before he touched her. Elves were very good at self-control and this was the first time she had ever seen him waver. The thought that she was in total control made the blood rush through her and warm her body. It was then that she realized it was time to turn that page. Life does go on whether you do or not. It is better to enjoy what time is given to you than to idly sit by let it happen without you, she thought.

She kissed him deeper and Legolas responded only after she gave her permission. Eowyn felt the water swirl around her again and could not help but smile slightly. The change in her lips made Legolas break from the kiss and look at her. She reached for his hands and placed them at her waist. Legolas smiled in return and they continued their kiss.

The water was beginning to cool her and she made to leave the pond. Legolas stood where he was, unsure what was taking place. Just when he thought the moment was over, Eowyn took his hand and led him out of the water. They sat back down on the soft grass. Eowyn snuggled up against him and he held her tight, kissing the top of her head. She moved back up and continued where they left off in the pond. His lips were soft and his tongue was warm in her mouth. She shifted and Legolas followed. They lay down side by side, looking up at the night sky. Eowyn turned her head and whispered in his ear. "I am ready. I want you, Legolas."

They both rolled onto their sides so that they were facing each other. They continued with their kisses, though this time they were more heated. After a while, Legolas moved to lie on top of her but Eowyn stopped him. "Not this way." she said and he thought he misunderstood her request.

Eowyn sat up and straddled his thighs. "I want you to see the stars. I want to see just how their whispers affect you." She leaned down to kiss him once more, sliding her body down onto his waiting arousal as she did. Then she leaned back so as not to block his view. As she set her rhythm, she noticed Legolas did not look at her but was transfixed on the stars above him. He seemed to be in a trance, mesmerized by their twinkling lights. She could feel her body reacting to the friction she was causing and threw her head back, moaning with satisfaction. When she looked back to Legolas, she could clearly see the imp had returned. His eyes were dark as the sky and the stars reflected in them, as if he held the universe there. He began thrusting up as she came down on him, hitting her in that one spot that sent her tumbling over the edge. She was feeling a little impish herself and began teasing him by the way she gyrated her hips. She would not let him have the control he was seeking. It drove him mad with desire and he struggled to hold sway over her but every time he was greeted with resistance. Finally, he gave up and let her continue to ride him without interference. He found this to be much more pleasing and continued down that path to final triumph. He let her win and did not dominate her until that moment when they both reached climax. As she moaned in victory, Legolas thrust up into her, making her scream again and again. The impish Elf would have the last say but he would get no complaint from his opponent.

She stretched out next to him and he pulled his cloak over them both. Her head rested on his chest and he could feel her smile. "Chapter one." she whispered and laughed to herself.

~^~^~^~^~

Eowyn enjoyed living in Ithilien's forest along with Legolas. They kept their relationship mainly as friends but not completely. From time to time, on a moonless night when the stars were at their brightest, the mood would hit them and they would venture down to the pond.

Then one day Eowyn suggested that they go on a journey together. She was tired of seeing the same scenery day after day. Legolas was thrilled with the idea. They set out immediately traveling here and there. They were on their way to Fangorn, spending the night in a quiet little town when a messenger caught up to them. Eowyn read the note and began crying.

"It is Eomer. He has passed." she cried. The next day they left the town and headed for Rohan. It had been quite some time since she had been back to her home in Edoras. The people of Rohan embraced her as if she had never left. Even Legolas was treated as royalty being that he traveled with Eowyn. Some even remembered him from his first visit and how he helped them fight at Helm's Deep. It was a much more welcoming feeling than the first time he visited.

Eomer was laid to rest next to Théoden and Eowyn once again sang a haunting melody as they placed his body inside the tomb. After the ceremony, she stayed for a bit, looking down to the flowers that grew there. She remembered her cousin Théodred's funeral. She had been so lost then. War was coming, Faramir was gone from her life (or so she thought). Théoden was not himself and Eomer had been away. She felt utterly alone. Then came the fellowship and there was Legolas. He had been her strength then. They had become very good friends during that time and she wondered if he had loved her then.

"Yes, I did meleth. I suppose I loved you from the moment I first laid eyes on you." Legolas said walking up to her unnoticeably.

"You knew what I was thinking just then?" she asked.

"Elvish intuition." he answered.

"Where have I heard that before." she sighed. "I can't say I loved you then, but I knew there was something very special about you. I guess the human heart is a little slower to know what it wants."

"But it did not take you long. And then you could not resist my elvish charms." he said slyly.

"You are incorrigible, Master Elf." she laughed. Then she looked back to the tombs. "I will miss my brother. He always supported me no matter what. He was good like that." She placed some flowers on his tomb. "Goodbye, Eomer. I love you, my brother."

They stayed in Rohan for a while and Eowyn helped Lothiriel get her affairs in order. Then they decided to journey to Legolas' home in Eryn Lasgalen, formerly Mirkwood. Legolas told her about the dark days and how difficult life was there. Even now, there were still some parts of the south region that were not as inviting as the rest. She could see why some of them chose to leave and join Legolas in Ithilien. The Elves here were a little more cautious of outsiders. She could not blame them though, after living for so long with evil things knocking at your back door. However, they treated Eowyn with much respect. Thranduil was very gracious and sometimes even a little too forward. Legolas had warned her of his father's flirtatious ways so that she was well prepared. She did not believe him at first, thinking he was over-exaggerating. She had met him briefly when Caladwen was a child and he did not seem like that at all. Legolas said it was because he was not in his own home. He tended to behave himself when he visited. She finally saw Thranduil's true colors when Legolas went to speak with some old friends of his, leaving her on her own briefly. Thranduil cornered her in the hall outside of her bedchamber. He pinned her to the wall and suggested he would like to know what it was that Legolas found so attractive in a 'human woman' for he himself had never had the pleasure. Eowyn responded by telling the king how many different ways to castrate a male in his sleep so that he wouldn't know what happened until he woke the next day. Thranduil backed away quickly, a smirk still on his face. Just then, Legolas showed up and felt the tension between the two.

"Is everything alright?" Legolas asked, ready to confront his father.

Eowyn smiled. "I believe all is well here. The king and I were just discussing… tactical maneuvers. Good evening my lord." she said with a satisfied look and entered into the bedroom.

Legolas glared at his father but before he could say anything, Thranduil spoke. "That one has a fiery spirit about her, gutsy and quick-tempered. I can see what draws you to her." As the king walked down the hall he commented, "I should very much like to visit Rohan one day, maybe meet one of these Shieldmaidens. It must be like taming a wild horse." he went on to himself. Legolas merely stood there shaking his head.

After Mirkwood, they headed to Lothlorien to visit Caladwen. She had recently returned to the Golden Woods with Haldir. She was thrilled to see her parents together, though they denied the fact. It seemed to soothe Eowyn's mourning for her brother being amongst the mallorns once more. Caladwen also had some wonderful news of her own. Because of this, Eowyn attempted to patch a few misunderstandings between Legolas and Haldir. They had a wonderful visit and even saw the beginnings of a truce between the two Elves. As for her wonderful news, well… that is a whole other story.

Next, they went to Rivendell. Legolas insisted that she see this beautiful land. Eowyn was in awe. Never had she seen such a wondrous place with its many waterfalls and streams. The architecture was stunning. Legolas showed her all the places of importance. They happened to be  standing on the terrace where Elrond's secret counsel took place.

"This is where it all began, meleth. This is where the fellowship was formed. I started out on my first journey from this place. Before that I had not left Mirkwood very often or gone very far. Such adventures we had."

"And if you knew then what you know now?" she asked him.

'I would not have changed a thing." Legolas said, kissing her.

Eowyn walked to the railing and looked out onto Rivendell. She realized they had been traveling around Middle Earth for quite a while and a feeling washed over her. "Legolas" she said quietly. "Can we go home now? I am beginning to feel tired. I need to get back to my own place, my own bed. Besides, there can be nowhere that is more beautiful than this. I feel that I've seen all there is to see."

Legolas wrapped his arms around her. "Let's go home, meleth nin."

~^~^~^~^~

Many, many wonderful years had passed by. Eowyn was an old woman now and had reached the final chapter of her life. She could no longer climb up to the talans and refused to depend on Legolas to carry her so she took up residence in one of the huts. Legolas had it rebuilt for her so that it was very spacious and open, just the way she liked it. Every morning, he walked her to her garden where she spent most of the day. Legolas knew her time was coming soon. He could feel the life leaving her a little more every day and he dreaded what was to come.

Elboron and his family visited Eowyn as often as they could spare. His children were grown and were starting families of their own. Life was very busy for them all. She was glad their lives had all seemed so easy compared to her own. They had all grown up in a different world from hers. Eowyn felt that all the sacrifices she made and not all the decisions had been wasted. Everything worked out in the end. Her family was happy and prosperous. It was all she ever wanted for them.

Caladwen and Haldir now lived in North Ithilien. She wanted to be close to her mother now that she was so frail. She visited often and was on her way to see her mother. Caladwen walked into Eowyn's room with a smile. "You will always be the brightest star in Middle Earth." Eowyn said.

Caladwen reached for her mother's hand and noticed it felt cold. Soon, she would loose her mother. She tried very hard to hide her sorrow.

Eowyn let go of her hand and reached into a drawer next to her bed. "There is something I want you to have." Eowyn said. She pulled out something wrapped in a cloth and handed it to Caladwen. "I should have given this to you long ago, but it slipped my mind."

She unwrapped it and gazed down to the beautiful leaf shaped jewel. "It is very lovely. I do not ever recall seeing you wear this, Mother. Where did it come from?" she asked.

Eowyn smiled remembering the day Legolas bestowed it upon her. "Your ada gave it to me a long time ago. It belonged to his mother. She told him to give it to his hearts desire. Now it belongs to you. Pass it on to your true love." Eowyn smiled as she thought about Haldir. "Ever has he been your Guardian. Where is that stubborn Elf anyways? He's not hiding from me is he?"

"I assure you my lady, I have never hidden from anyone nor shall I start today." said a stern voice from the doorway.

Eowyn smiled. "Ah, there you are. Come in Marchwarden. I would like to have a word with you."

Caladwen giggled. "I will leave you two to reminisce. Don't start trouble Mother." she said jokingly.

"Do not worry henen." Eowyn answered. "I will go easy on him. Haldir and I go way back and I would just like to catch up with him for a little bit." Caladwen smiled and left the room, looking back at Haldir before she closed the door.

Haldir came in and sat in a chair next to Eowyn. She smiled to him. "Haldir, I may not have known you for as long as some of the Elves have, but I feel I know you better. I have seen you in a different light than most. I hold that very dear to me. Thank you for letting me in. I feel blessed to have known you. I just wanted to say that you have been like family to me and I love you like family. Watch over Caladwen when I am gone. There is no one I trust more with her well being."

Haldir's face softened as he took Eowyn's hand. It was a very private moment for the arrogant Elf. He smiled and kissed her hand. "I also feel blessed to have known you. I thank you for letting me share in your experiences. I promise to watch over Caladwen. She is a part of me now and within her you shall live on." He paused a moment as a tear formed in the corner of his eye. Haldir never showed this emotion in front of anyone.

Eowyn took his hand in hers and squeezed it. "Say nothing more, Haldir. I know you will take very good care of her. You better or I will come back down from the heavens and set you straight."

"Must I always be reminded of your Shieldmaiden talents?" Haldir said rolling his eyes.

"And don't you ever forget it, Marchwarden." she said sternly. The two glared at each other for a moment longer before Haldir finally broke the connection and they burst out laughing simultaneously.

~^~^~^~^~

A few weeks had passed by and it was a morning no different from the rest. Legolas went to Eowyn to take her to her garden. He expected to see her up and dressed, sitting in her chair but she was still lying in bed. His heart skipped a beat as he stood still a moment, observing her. He walked to her bed and laid a hand on her arm. She slowly opened her eyes.

"Oh, Legolas. Is it morning already?" she said.

"I came to take you to the garden, meleth."

Eowyn smiled, "After all these years, you still call me that. Look at us, Legolas. I am old and wrinkled and you have not changed a bit."

"You still shine as you did the first time I met you. That is where true beauty lies." he said. "Now are you ready to go to the garden?"

"Not today." she said taking a deep breath. "I'm afraid I have no strength left. I think I know how you felt when you were fading, Legolas, for that is what I feel now. I am tired and I don't think I shall leave this hut again."

A tear came to Legolas' eye. He leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Shall I alert your family?"

"No, my Elf Prince. I have said all that I want to say to them. Just let it be the two of us. I want to look upon your fair face once more. I want to remember us the way we were so long ago." she said, a tear falling down her cheek.

Legolas wiped the tear from her face. "I can do that, meleth nin. Just close your eyes and come with me."

Eowyn closed her eyes as he said. He sat down next to her and held her hands. As he did, he whispered in elvish, a spell of sorts. The walls of the hut seemed to fade away and the trees of a small glade suddenly surrounded her. Eowyn was standing in the middle on the soft grass. It was a beautiful clear blue day. She felt strength in her again and looked down at her hands. They were not wrinkled but smooth. She reached up and felt her face. Her skin was soft and sleek. She walked over to a little stream and looked at her reflection with amazement.

"I am young again. But how? How did you do this, Legolas? Am I dreaming?" she asked. Eowyn looked around but she seemed to be alone. "Legolas?" she called but he did not answer. When she looked down again, she noticed she was wearing a white dress. It was the white dress that seemed to have followed her throughout her lifetime.

"Looking for me?" said a sultry voice. She turned to see Legolas standing in the sunlight. He wore a silver tunic and grey leggings. His hair was loose and unbound. He was utterly beautiful.

"Am I dreaming, Legolas?" she asked again.

'No, meleth nin. This is how you see yourself and this is how you will look when you enter the halls of your fathers. This is your eternity. I wanted to give you one last wish and fulfill a promise that I made long ago. I said I would never leave your side and I have not until now. I am afraid this is where our path divides for I cannot follow you where you go. " As he spoke, a gentleness washed over his face.

Eowyn understood what he was telling her. She felt so alive and free. "There is only one more thing I would ask of you, Legolas." she said as she walked to him. "Dance with me."

"I would love to." he said as he took her in his arms and spun her around. She could hear music playing, like that which was custom in Rohan.

"Your skin, it is so warm. So this is real." she said in amazement.

Legolas smiled, "I love you, Eowyn. I will always love you."

"And I love you, Legolas Thranduilion." They kissed, lips on lips, one final time.

The music stopped and the dance ended. Legolas looked past her and nodded. "It is time." he said.

Eowyn looked over her shoulder and saw a brilliant beam of light shining between two of the trees. She turned back to Legolas, unsure what she should do. He gestured for her to go. "I promised I would take you to him. Go meleth. He is waiting."

When she turned once again to the light, she could just make out the outline of someone standing there. As the light dimmed slightly she suddenly recognized the figure. "Faramir?"

"Yes, my love. I have been waiting for you. Come. There is so much to show you." he said. Then his eyes widened and a look of awe washed over his young, handsome face. It was as if he were seeing Eowyn for the first time. "You are so beautiful, just as you were the first time we met."

Eowyn could feel the love emanating from him. He was drawing her in and she could resist no longer. She turned once more to Legolas. "Thank you for this. Thank you for everything you have brought to my life. I would not change a thing. You truly have the most beautiful soul of any being. I will forever hold you in my heart, Legolas." Eowyn turned and ran to Faramir. They embraced and he lifted her off the ground, twirling her around. Their laughter was infectious. Legolas only lingered a moment longer to witness their first kiss in many years. Eowyn and Faramir were finally together again and this time it was forever.

The scenery around Legolas began to fade. Trees turned into walls. He opened his eyes and was back in the hut. He looked to where Eowyn lay on the bed. Her body was still. Their hands were still joined but now her fingers were loose. He leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Goodbye Eowyn of Rohan, Shieldmaiden, meleth nin." He cried silently and sat with her for a while longer. He knew this day would come but that did not make things any easier.

~^~^~^~^~

A part of Legolas died along with Eowyn that day. Only those who knew him well could see the change. Gimli was perhaps the most susceptible to the Elf. He stayed close to his friend during this time of mourning. Aragorn and Arwen were also by his side. Caladwen and Elboron were there also. There was a grand funeral for the woman who was so honored by all who knew her story. She was forever remembered as the one who slew the Nazgul king. A special statue of her was erected. It was supposed to be placed in the hall of kings but Legolas asked for it to be put in the grand garden in the courtyard. Aragorn granted Legolas his wish. They held a private ceremony for the unveiling. The statue was a perfect likeness of her. Legolas planted a tree next to her and sprinkled a little special Lorien dirt around it. The tree would grow to its full height in just a few years.

After Eowyn's death, Legolas found he could not stay in one place for too long. He and Gimli started their travels once more. Gimli longed to see mountains again and Legolas to see Fangorn. They visited Eryn Lasgalen where Gimli had helped to heal the wounds between the races. They journeyed to Lothlorien to see Caladwen. When they saw all they cared to see, they headed back to Gondor. Gimli had been busy over the years assisting with stonework in Osgiliath and Minas Tirith. He complained that Legolas had been so busy with his own life, he had not noticed or complimented on one thing. They decided to spend some time in Minas Tirith making sure all their plans had been taken into consideration. The White City now had many lush green gardens thanks to Legolas. The people had listened to his suggestions and done a wonderful job. They kept everything well maintained even without the help of the Elves.This left Legolas feeling as if there was not much more he could do in Middle Earth. Quite a few times, he mentioned to Gimli that he should like to sail soon. Eowyn was gone and his heart was just not the same. He missed her so much. It seemed like Valinor was his cure. It was said that there was no pain in the Undying Lands. He hoped this was true for living in Middle Earth without Eowyn was burdensome. If it were not for Aragorn, he would have sailed the day she died. He felt guilty to think like this. Caladwen was still here but she lived her own life now. She had her own decisions and paths to follow. She was very strong, like her mother and he no longer worried for her. Besides, she was not alone. She had Haldir. It was hard to accept but the Elf Prince finally gave in and trusted the Marchwarden. He knew Caladwen would not sail any time soon and Haldir would never leave her again, just as Eowyn predicted.

~^~^~^~^~

Many years had passed now. Legolas and Gimli were sitting in the grand garden, where Legolas often visited. He would spend hours there looking at Eowyn's statue and working the garden. Although he and Gimli had many adventures, they always seemed to end up back in Minas Tirith. On this particular day, a messenger came running up to them.

"The Queen calls for you. It is Aragorn. She says his time has come and he wants to see you both."

Aragorn had been weakening quite a bit lately. His time was ending; his rule was coming to an end. His friends knew this and had been living in the White City to stay close to him.

Legolas and Gimli glanced at each other and ran off to the king's chambers. Arwen was standing outside the bedroom door. Tears fell down her cheeks. Legolas embraced her. "He has not much longer. He calls for you." she smiled. "He said you both always brought him so much comfort."

Legolas and Gimli entered the room. Aragorn was lying in his bed. His face was very pale. Grey hair replaced what was once black as a raven. The wrinkles on his face had deepened over the years. Even now, he still looked very much like a king. His breathing was shallow, but when he saw his friends, his eyes lit up once more.

"There you are my friends." Aragorn said. "Never has someone had two more faithful companions. I am afraid I must leave you now and break the fellowship. We have set out on a great journey together and we have accomplished everything we were meant to do. This world belongs to the next generation now."

"There is much goodness in the world. The age of Men will be strong for you beget it with your leadership. They have learned much from you." Legolas said.

"Aye." said Gimli quietly. "For once I agree wholeheartedly with the Elf. You have done well, Aragorn. Go in peace knowing the world will be a better place from now on."

They spent some time with their friend, reminiscing about days long past. They could see he was tiring and decided to let him rest. Somehow, they knew it would be the last time they would see him. Both Gimli and Legolas bowed to Aragorn then they each kissed his forehead, showing their love for their friend. They left the room and Arwen went back to Aragorn. Late in the night, Aragorn passed away with his love by his side.

It was not long after that when Arwen left to go back to Lorien where she would fade. She chose this path long ago. She had given up her immortality to be with the only one she ever truly loved.

~^~^~^~^~

Legolas and Gimli were on their way to the shore. They had decided it was time to leave Middle Earth. There was nothing else for them to do there. Caladwen went with them to see them off.

Gimli approached Caladwen. "Goodbye lassie. Maybe I will see you again someday. If not, I'll tell the Lady Galadriel all about the beautiful princess who walks in her Golden Woods."

She leaned down and hugged the Dwarf. "Thank you Gimli. You will take care of Ada, won't you?"

"Of course." he replied and smiled somewhere underneath his fuzzy beard. He stepped aside to let Legolas have his final time with his daughter.

"I always thought we would go together, pen dithen." Legolas said to her.

"I feel there is still something for me to do here, Ada. When the Golden Wood has emptied then I will sail."

"You have made the right choice." he said and embraced his daughter one last time. "I love you, Caladwen. Take care of yourself and take care of Haldir. I know he is truly your hearts desire. He has proven himself worthy. I'm sorry for being so difficult and not accepting him sooner."

"It is alright, Ada. I know you only wanted what was best for me. Mother explained it to me once. I wish she were still with us." Caladwen said, tears streaking her fair face.

"She is right where she is supposed to be. I briefly saw her 'heaven' as she called it. It was beautiful. There was no pain, only joy. I can only wish Valinor is just as beautiful." Legolas said. "Farewell my daughter." He kissed her cheek.

He turned to Gimli. "Come Gimli. Our ship awaits us. It will be a long journey to the Undying Lands. I hope you are prepared."

"A Dwarf is always prepared and this Dwarf is doubly so having to travel with an Elf for so many years." Gimli said then he laughed. "You know, I will never forget the look on your face when I said I was joining the fellowship. 'This one will give you trouble' I said to myself.

"And I will never forget the time you let an Elf lead you into the underground of Dunharrow. I thought you would never leave that spot." Legolas retorted.

"Well said, Master Elf. It seems you have learned a thing or two. Your comebacks are much quicker than they used to be."

~^~^~^~^~

They were well on their way and Legolas was standing at the railing looking out over the sea. He was thinking about everything that happened in his life. He had seen the uprising of evil and its defeat. He saw the death of friends and loved ones but also births and life anew. His own life was spared with the birth of Caladwen. Because of this, he would spend eternity in Valinor. His father, Thranduil would join him and all would be well. As his mind wandered, a smile spread across his face and a thought came to him.  Gimli approached him and noticed his contentment.  It suddenly struck him that he had never seen Legolas so complacent and full of peace. "And where does you mind wander to Master Elf?" he asked.

"I am just reminded of something Eowyn once told me. She said when a change happens it is like starting a new chapter in your life. She was right. The page is blank now Gimli, but soon it will be filled with stories of new adventures."

"She was a smart one." answered Gimli.

Legolas closed his eyes and drew in a long breath, sighing with satisfaction. "We must be close now, Gimli." he said with much excitement.

"What make you think that?" the Dwarf wondered.

"My heart no longer aches. For the first time I am able to think of Eowyn and feel joy not sorrow for it is said there is no pain in Valinor." Legolas said smiling down at Gimli.

"Then you got your wish, my friend." Gimli said patting Legolas on the shoulder. "Valinor is like heaven."

The End…


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

Comments

No one has commented on this story yet. Be the first to comment!

Comments are hidden to prevent spoilers.
Click header to view comments

Talk to L8Bleumr

If you are a HASA member, you must login to submit a comment.

We're sorry. Only HASA members may post comments. If you would like to speak with the author, please use the "Email Author" button in the Reader Toolbox. If you would like to join HASA, click here. Membership is free.

Reader Toolbox   Log in for more tools