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Legolas & Eowyn

“Legolas...”

“Mmm?”

“Is that our star?”

“Eärendil?” Legolas looked upwards, in the direction of her pointing hand. “Yes, Melmenya.”

“He is still beautiful,” she said, wistfully. Then, “Can I ask you something, Legolas?”

“Something more? I shall have no secrets left, Eowyn nín.”

“Do you need secrets from me?”

The elf smiled. The day had broken down the last emotional barrier that had stood between them. “No Melmenya, I need no secrets from you. What do you want to ask me?”

“How old are you?”

Legolas was taken aback.

“I know that you are young,” continued Eowyn, “by elven standards, but—”

“Does it really matter, Eowyn nín?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Will you not tell me?” Now there was a pleading in her voice that did not sound like his Eowyn.

He took her in his arms. No secrets, he thought. But how would she react to the truth?

“Two thousand, nine hundred and thirty-seven years,” he said.

He felt her body go limp.

...

He lifted her into his arms and carried her—his precious human wife—cradled safely against his chest. “I am still your Legolas,” he reminded her.

She did not reply.

“Melmenya?”

“You are older than Arwen,” she said, at last. “And I am younger than Aragorn.”

“Does it matter, my darling?”

“I do not know.”

“What does your heart tell you, Eowyn nín?”

“My heart wants you to make love to me—make love to me and never stop—be inside me forever, and never, ever, leave me.”

“I shall never leave you.”

“But I shall leave you, Legolas. I shall leave...”

He had no answer to that. So he kept on walking, painfully aware that she was crying, and battling to hold back tears of his own.

...

Gradually, the silent sobbing stopped, the sniffs became less frequent, and the gulps of air less necessary. “Has he changed?” she asked.

“Has who changed, meleth nín?”

“Eärendil. In all those years, have you seen him change?”

“The stars do not change, Melmenya. They are the one thing that remains constant—”

Eärendil has not been constant,” she insisted. “When he was a man, he was not a star; and that piece of sky would have been empty.”

“That was long before I was born, Melmenya. It was...” He smiled. “You are right. The stars do change.”

“But not elves.”

Elves change. I have changed.”

“Because of the sea.”

“Because of many things. Because of Aragorn and Gimli and the hobbits. Because of the War and—and everything I saw on the Quest. But, most of all, because of you, Eowyn nín. I see things differently through your eyes. Like the stars tonight.”

“Is that is a good thing, Legolas?”

“How could it not be?”

“It could make you less elven.”

“Oh, Melmenya!” He stopped walking, to concentrate better on what he needed to say. “Those of us who choose to remain here, in this Age of Men, Eowyn nín, must do one of two things,” he said. “We must either withdraw into the forest, and hide from men, pretending that the world has not changed, or we must mix with men freely—and, perhaps, become more like them.”

She was silent.

“Something else is troubling you.”

She sniffed again. “Three thousand years is so long—in all that time you must have known so many women—ellith—so why would you choose me?”

“I did not choose you, Melmenya. You chose me.”

I chose?”

“Yes. You ran into the Golden Hall and you stole my heart. I had no say in the matter.”

“Legolas!”

“It is true. None at all.”

He felt her body shake, and realised that she was laughing against his shoulder.

“That is better, Melmenya. Much better. Now, have we talked enough for tonight? Because I am tired.”

She fell asleep soon after.

And Legolas kept walking, his thoughts turning to another starry night, some years earlier, in Minas Tirith.

 

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“The Warden tells me you sit beside her every night.”

“Lord Elrond!” Legolas leaped to his feet and greeted the distinguished elf formally, hand on heart. “Are you here to help her, my lord?”

“She does not need my help, Legolas. And it is you I have come to see. Will you walk with me?”

Hiding his reluctance to leave Eowyn’s side, Legolas followed Elrond into the cloistered garden. “If you are going to tell me to stop caring for her, my lord,” he began, boldly.

“You know it is not our way to command in matters of the heart, Legolas,” said Elrond.

“I cannot stop,” continued the younger elf. “I have tried, but I cannot.”

“Have you spoken to her?”

“She knows of my feelings—at least, she is aware that I desire her... But I—we—”

“You need say no more.” Elrond gestured towards one of the stone benches. The two elves sat down, side by side.

“Do you know why I chose you to represent the elves in the Fellowship, Legolas?”

“I volunteered my bow.”

“You did. But I could have sent another—one older, perhaps, and more powerful, like Glorfindel.” Elrond leaned back against the stone wall. “But I knew that Glorfindel was not what the Fellowship needed,” he continued. “What it needed was a much rarer elf—an elf who could view the World of Men without disdain, follow mens’ orders, and embrace their cause as his own—an elf who could even befriend a dwarf. It needed an elf capable of change, Legolas. And I saw that quality in you; that is why I sent you.

“It is your destiny to live in the World of Men.”

“With Eowyn?”

“The time is not right for that.”

“Not right? Are you saying—have you looked into my future?”

“If I have, I cannot tell you of it.”

“But you have already said that the time is not right... Does that mean that, one day, it will be right? Are you saying—”

“I do not ask you to forget her Legolas. I advise you to make a life for yourself, here, in Middle-earth, that you would be proud to share with her.” Elrond raised his hands and cupped Legolas’ face.

Legolas closed his eyes. A deep feeling of peace flooded his being. When he opened his eyes again, Elrond had gone.

 

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Eowyn stirred as they neared the horses. Legolas kissed her temple. “We will soon be riding home, Melmenya.”

“I am sorry,” she said, quietly.

“For what?”

“For spoiling our day.”

“Oh, Eowyn, no; you did not—”

“But I cannot forget it, Legolas,” she insisted. “I do not fear death—I have never feared death. But I do fear leaving you. And the sadness is always with me. It never goes away.”

“I know, Melmenya; I know,” he said—honestly, for what she was describing sounded so like his own sea longing—“but would you run from it, Eowyn? Would you part from me now, to avoid pain later, and lose all the happiness we might have had in between?”

“No,” she cried, “never!”

He smiled. “And nor would I! So let us not lose today worrying about tomorrow. Let us make ourselves a life that we can be proud to share, and enjoy each day as best we may—for who knows what change the future may hold for us?”

And he summoned the horses with a low whistle.

 

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Part 2
The Rose, a drabble.