LOvely- such an ending:) And already another one ready to read!
Yay! Your review number 250 which seems like a real milestone and a nice round number. I hide you like the next story as well as this one. Going to be kind of hard to write a whole story with no Aragorn or Gimli!
I love this chapter!!! Such kindliness and acceptance- the sweetness of the Legolas we love, the soppiness of the pair of them:) Love that three-way conversation with Elrohir stuck in the middel!!
I decided we hadn't had enough Legolas/Elrohir "madly in love and both on the same page" time and so here we are! Even if Elladan had to butt his way in there to put a dampener on things. Poor Elrohir trapped between a nagging brother and a wild over-excited lover!
He better get used to it. :-)
This is lovely. His recove from Maewen's perspective, from afar. That little line in which Maewen's refers to leaving Erynion as soon as Elrohir calls for her did tweak my heart a bit--I feel for the two of them. I really feel for legolas and Maewen at the end of this chapter, to see Legolas how he once was. I do hope they won't always be chasing a memory, because he is so legolas here--legolas when he is not overwhelmed, and that is intoxicating. For Maewen's sake most of all, I hope they have more moments like this.
Hopefully i will ER to reviewing the other chapters in this--I did read them, I just did not get caught up in reviews. Now back to Chained, and must catch up on Lighy of a Thousands Stars!
You dis it, though! You finished this epic story, and what an extraordinary ride it has been.
You are right, this IS what keeps Maewen going through the tough times. This memory of Legolas as he should be. What lies at the core of him. I imagine she sees it more than we do, or any of the others—save Elrohir—in the little quiet moments you get as a couple when Legolas is relaxed and happy and just can be himself. As you can see in "Chained" though even in Valinor she is still chasing it—getting glimpses through the dark clouds.
I hope Elrohir recognises what he gave Maewen here. He did intend this as a gift to her....the chance to revisit Legolas as he was, free of the sea, in the healed Greenwood. Which they could only achieve because Elrohir had removed the sealonging for a time.
Elrohir is so grateful for her letting him in and sharing her love. He wanted to give something back. I hope he realises that instead of intruding on her relationship with Legolas he is actually enhancing and improving it. It will help him with his guilt.
Hope you end up liking Chianed as much as this one! :-)
I like the sense of lingering distortion from Returning- the words is a really good way to experss theat . And Erynion is beautifully baffled and kind, but honest. Great OC!
Ah but is it from Returning? I know Elladan thinks it is but really...it's not. It's plain and simple brain damage from the time Legolas was without oxygen at the bottom of that pile of rocks. A type of stroke. That's why Aragorn has seen something similar in a Man but Elladan has seen nothing like it in an elf. (I don't imagine elves have strokes) Its called Agraphia, so the damage is specifically in the language/written language area of the brain.
I decided Elves could suffer damage to the brain just as humans do and it would be permanent like us but their advantage is they can more easily create new pathways around it. So Legolas is not stuck forever in the state he is now... but he will never be normal.
This scene is lovely- the forgiving Elrohir, the distraught Legolas but gradually lsitening, accepting and sharing. Nice to hear the tensions and politics of Ithilien- I think that gave it great depth.Lovely.
Oh great, glad you liked that detail. Sometimes I think I may get carried away with details of my headcanon background and think it may be boring. Like....who really cares if Legolas and Aragorn have tensions about conflicts of interest between Ithilien and Minas Tirith?? Apart from me. Or that Eomer can be a difficult pain in the arse only his sister can handle...
Elrohir handled Legolas really well here. I think he has been getting lessons on the sly from Gimli.
and this time there will be no Aragorn
or Gimli to stroll in and sort everything out. The elves are going to have to sort it all out themselves
What? No Gimli? They're doomed!!!
I know! All too often in my stories I have Gimli showing up and sorting the whole mess out. How are they going to cope?
How am I going to cope without that escape clause?????
Yay! This was a perfect end to the story, Cheeky. It was wonderful to see Legolas well, even if he's not entirely whole yet. It's heartbreaking that writing is still such a struggle, but a real sign of the strength of his love that he would allow his father and Elrohir to write such personal words so that he can assure Maewen of his love. And those few words that he struggles to write alone...*sniffle*
I'm happy that Maewen and Erynion are finding a way back into their relationship as well. I'd love to see more of this universe!
I know, he's not entirely whole....and the writing issue is not going to go away sadly. It is what it is. As you say, those words he struggled SO hard to write to her on his own, just do he could tell her he loved her...no wonder she cherishes them. But Thranduil has accepted it. I think that's important to Legolas who was worried about how it would work as a prince. Thranduil has just said, You need a writer? I'll do it. (Of course!)
Glad you liked the ending. I have had this ending held in my head the whole time, no matter how grim things got, no matter how many rocks Legolas was buried under, it was always going to end like this :-)
The first two chapters of the sequel are already written. Already angsty. Tension between Legolas and Maewen, Maewen and Erynion, Legolas and Erynion, Legolas and his Mother......and this time there will be no Aragorn or Gimli to stroll in and sort everything out. The elves are going to have to sort it all out themselves!!
But I have to finish the story about Legolas' mothers desertion before I publish this new one.
Two new chapters! When did that happen?
This was gorgeous - from the emotion of Legolas and Maewen's farewell, to Legolas the wild Silvan and finally that lovely, swoony talk between Legolas and Elrohir. Of course Elrohir needs a Silvan - it's so obvious that only a Silvan is going to understand Elrohir's need to be close to Elladan as well as a lover. Now Elrohir has got that in the open, I have hope they will be able to work out this relationship.
Glad you liked this chapter. It's one of my favourites. I knew you'd like the lovely dovey Legolas and Elrohir bit. Yes, a Silvan is perfect for Elrohir. All this time people have been worried if Noldor Elrohir could "share" his love with Legolas and it turns out he already knows all about the problems of doing that. His closeness with his brother already causes him problems with pursuing romantic love.
surprise! I knew that all along.
It IS going to work, this multifaceted relationship. It really is.
Ahhh! So bittersweet to see this end but what a lovely end!
I love the idea of Thranduil writing for his son--the time and care and openness between them.
But oh my heart for dear Elrohir again-Maewen is right--it just cost him to write those letters but it is also a testament to the openness of Legolas to share this with him and a testament to the determination of Elrohir to make this work.
And Erynion is making his way back to Maewen as well. So this five sided relationship is working.
I was so happy to think of a healed Greenwood with a healed Legolas. It makes sense to me that he truly gets himself back together (even the traumatic inability to write improving here) in his home. The place that has nurtured him his whole life and that is finally whole itself.
Beautiful story and beautiful ending. I will miss these boys dreadfully.
Glad you liked that touch of Thranduil. As you say it demonstrates an openness between father and son but also, and perhaps more importantly it shows an acceptance from Thranduil of his son's disability. Legolas was worried....about his position in Ithilien, what his inability to write would mean to him as a prince, and here is Thranduil saying, if you need a writer I'll do it. He sees his son no differently. He will make this work.
And Elrohir, oh yes those letters were hard for him to write. And I don't think Legolas expected it of him. More likely Elrohir found Legolas, missing Maewen, frustrated he could not write to her in Thranduil's absense and he stepped into the breach. Elrohir has given Maewen a gift here, and I hope the knowledge of that goes some way to alleviating his guilt. He has enabled her this moment in time, to return to her healed homeland with a Legolas who is not burdened by the sea. It is something in "Darkness" we saw Maewen bitterly resented and regretted being stolen from her. How precious will this time be! I hope Elrohir can see with this he is enhancing Legolas and Maewens relationship, not disrupting it.
Legolas' writing continues to improve from here but it remains problematic for him as you will see in the Valinor story. It is perhaps good enough for family, but not really for formal correspondence. He will always need help with that and at times he will resent that.
Thanks SO much for all your lovely, thought provoking reviews, which have at times changed and moulded the story into something slightly different! They will be back, these two.....three.....(actually as you say, 5) There is more story to tell.
Oh my heart! That last line.
Oh my poor dear Elrohir you HAVE needed a Silvan!
Poor Elrohir's bewilderment at everyone's joy at the flighty, bouncy Legolas was adorable. And sad--because he really hasn't had a chance to see that side of him--the council of Elrond was not a carefree time and Legolas has been through much sorrow and hardship when they met the twins for the trip to the Stone of Erech--he's never had a chance to really see carefree Legolas. The Legolas he grew to know had the sea-longing.
He hadn't seen this brilliant beguiling creature and he still fell in love with him, even with that dimmed.
It is unutterably sad that Elrohir has had such a hard time because of his bond with his brother. It was breathtaking to see how lightly Legolas took it and how he accepted Elladan's presence and was cheeky about it too.
I had worried about the three way relationship with Maewen (four way with Erynion, if he comes back int it) but truly it is a FIVE way because of Elrohir. And somehow that makes me think it truly has a chance to work because Elrohir understands being pulled in two directions, just in a different way than by a second lover. But it fits. It makes sense and of anyone can understand and accept it, it will be Legolas.
Gimli's utter glee at Elrohir's expense was amusing--he knows exactly what Legolas is.
I knew from the description of the wild ride and acorn tossing that Legolas was back to himself--Gimli complains because that's just how their friendship goes--he wouldn't be Gimli if he didn't fuss about all that.
This was such a hopeful uplifting chapter but still with a cautionary warning being sounded--things will not go well if Elrohir isn't upfront about his concerns and issues. Legolas is right to chide him on that and I think Elrohir, with all else on his mind, has missed that very clear warning from Legolas.
But oh that last line. Perfect.
Poor Elrohir indeed!
Yes, he has never seen the Legolas Aragorn and Gimli know. The lighthearted flighty Silvan he is at heart. By the time the twins showed up, if you remember in"The Hands of the King" Legolas was injured and all of them crushed by the weight of Galadriel's prophesy. Gimli and Aragorn at loggerheads. Elrohir simply had no chance to get to know this Legolas. And as you say, even despite that he fell in love with him. Imagine what joy he has ahead of him discovering the real Legolas in the renewed Greenwood.
Of course Gimli's grumbling here was simply the pattern of their friendship. Gimli is expected to grumble. It is a strange form of showing affection and Legolas interprets it completely differently to Elrohir watching on the sidelines. What a happy day this must have been for Gimli, riding with his friend, re-capturing some of their old dynamic.
And now finally you get to see why this WILL work. Because Elrohir is not such a stranger to a shared love after all. He has suffered because his Noldor lovers could not accept his closeness to his brother....and given a choice he was completely unable to leave Elladan behind for anyone, no matter how special. If he did, as he says, he would no longer be Elrohir but simply a shadow of himself. As he says to Aragorn, having to share Legolas is more like Elrohir than anyone has known ..........except Elladan, who must struggle similarly. (If you think back in the story Elladan has shown less resistance to this love affair with Legolas than any of the others. He has—in fact—been quite encouraging. Because he KNOWS Elrohir can do this. He has seen this could be an answer for him.)
They are so entwined, these twins, it must be very hard for a lover to cope with their closeness. But Legolas has another life, another love, and now he has matured he can easily accept Elladan's importance. As he says, there will be times he finds it harder than others, but he is never going to see Elrohir as something "less" because of his interedependence with his brother.
so a happy ending. But there's always a warning! Elrohir is an introspective worrier, and Legolas is relatively open comparatively. This WILL be a problem if Elrohir is not careful. His fears can easily come between them, even if those fears are not real. Especially if they are not real and he doesn't know that because he hasn't bothered to open up about them!
Poor Legolas has to deal with a lot. It must be really frightening to not be able to write suddenly.
Elrohir was great in this. He kept his calm and he kept Legolas calm. I liked this scene. After all the years he kept insulting and disparaging Legolas I think this is the first time that it looks like this can work. He is loving AND supportive and really likeable here.
Oh I am glad you liked Elrohir here! He did so well. He must have been upset himself at this discovery. He loves Legolas, and finding out someone he loves is damaged and struggling would be upsetting, and yet he doesn't show it. He gives Legolas exactly what he needs, calmness, surety, and most of all acceptance. Nothing has changed, Legolas is still Legolas and Elrohir still loves him.
It's good that Aragorn and Legolas talked. Both had wrong impressions and it has to be a great relief for them to clear things up.
Elrohir is right to give Legolas a piece of his mind. Legolas did give no thoughts to his feelings. It's time that he starts to think about the others too, before he acts.
Elrohir is SO right. Legolas really needs to hear this. And they all need to stop being so cautious, tip toeing around him and start having higher expectations. And letting Legolas know when he is thoughtless. He is not a child, and he has just asked Elrohir not to treat him as one. Now he needs to start modifying his behaviour.
But yes—clearing things up with Aragorn....that will help them both immensely.
"I do. I may not be you but I watch you, and I know you and I love you. But perhaps you should ask yourself, Legolas, how difficult things have been for me, for Elrohir, for Elessar. Ask yourself that when you feel the world is against you."
Maewen is right in this. Legolas often forgets what the others feel and sometimes involuntaty hurts them.
The way he treats Elrohir here is thoughtless, too. Elrohir is right: It could have waited until the next morning. Why wake Aragorn needlessly and why worry Elrohir with pulling this disappearing act?
Yes, at the moment especially, Legolas needs to remember to think of others. He is always a very spontaneous, distractible kind of person even when he is well. He needs to learn to stop sometimes and think of the consequences to those around him. Some of that is due to his injuries....but some of it is just the way he is. A part of his personality he needs to work on!
So he has agraphia!! Likely due to hypoxic brain injury I'm thinking. Even an Elvish constitution is going to be affected by so long without oxygen to the brain. And it makes sense now with his scattered words and inability to make himself clear to others in previous chapters.
Elrohir is so good here. He's calm, supportive, reassuring.
This is just beautiful. Exactly what Legolas needs to hear.
his lips brush against my hair.
"Hush," he repeats, "You are still Legolas to me."
He is so tender yet firm--just what works with Legolas. His love just radiates.
I like that Aragorn has seen this, likely the result of a stroke, before. It makes it less unique. I think Glorfindel will be a great resource although I doubt it will be reversible.
The conversation with Erynion was good. Erynion understands him in his own unique Silvan way. I agree with him--if Legolas' thoughts and ideas are sound there is no reason he cannot lead. It would be no different than if he were illiterate. At least he can read over the scribes work and now nothing has been altered or misinterpreted.
And Erynion is right about Maewen also. This us a conversation he and Maewen need to have and a decision they need to make. Legolas can give them his approval but he can't coerce them or make them get back together, it's up to them. I think Erynion will weigh the options and realize this new Legolas is even more of a handful than before. Maewen will need both Gimli and Elrohir to help her with him. And Legolas will need time alone with Elrohir if he is determined to keep the sea longing under control. So Maewen will need someone herself and that will be Erynion.
I'm glad Legolas has come to realize how much everyone is doing for him and what a supportive network he has. I'm especially glad to see he is singling Elrohir out and admitting how much Elrohir gives him and wants to give back. It makes me feel better about their future together because it has been so one sided and at times hurtful on Legolas' part. I know he's damaged and not thinking clearly. But the love is staring him in the face and it's good to see him acknowledge it. It also means he's getting better!
Yes it's a stroke Aragorn has seen. I thought...surely they would have seen stroke damage occasionally. Not that they understood it. And of course Elladan would not see it amongst the elves.
Its not reversible of course. Not completely. There is a difference between this and the fea damage Elladan references. That is emotional, due to the trauma of Elladan interfering in the trip back from that "between" world, (because Legolas and Aragorn were existing solely as fea there). This Agraphia is physical. Damage to the brain due to lack of oxygen. And brain tissue is irreparable....even in an elf. Once lost its lost forever.
But as an elf Legolas has an increased ability to heal and what he CAN do is create new pathways so his brain can work around this more easily than a Man. He has already done that with the aphasia that is definitely lessening. But he will never write as easily as he did before. He will have to accomodate that.
But as Erynion says, it's no indication to abdicate his leadership. As he can still speak and read it's the content of his thoughts that count more than the ability to express them on paper. More of a threat to him being a leader is his lack of emotional control. But again, as Erynion Points out, its early days.
Elrohir was once again a shining star. He said all the right things, kept calm and reassuring. He must have been upset by this. It must have ripped at his heart seeing those jumbled words on paper and Legolas' pain. But you couldn't tell. He showed the calm confident face to Legolas that Legolas seriously needed to see. "It's ok, You're still you."
Erynion and Legolas both had good points in their conversation at the end. No matter what Legolas wants he cannot impose his will upon Erynion and Maewen. Their relationship is their business. But Erynion cannot keep making decisions solely on keeping Maewen safe. That's for her to decide. By doing so he is robbing her of some of her autonomy. And belittling her. He needs to think...what do I want? Can I do this? And let Maewen decide for herself what's right for her or not.
Such a lovely, happy start, but I was worried about Legolas being unable to write in the last chapter, and it was heartbreaking to see him struggle with it. So there was more damage to Legolas's brain than was apparent at first - a kind of writing aphasia.
I think it would be a good idea to seek out Glorfindel's advice, as he's the only person who can have an inkling of what Legolas is giong through. I hope he can help. And I hope Thranduil will be understanding, as well. I seem to remember Legolas feeling his father had lost the better son, so I'm sure he must hesitate to reveal how damaged he is.
I'm glad Legolas had that conversation with Erynion. Legolas may be confused still, but he's right to tell Erynion not to make decisions for Maewen. She needs a say in this as well.
As you see You were right to worry. A writing aphasia is exactly what it is. It's called Agraphia. And Legolas is kind of aphasic as well.....If you look closely at all the Legolas centric chapters he has often described being unable to find the words to express his feelings. As if he reaches for them but they are not there. It's just...no one has realised it was a problem.
Glorfindel really needs to meet up with Legolas somehow. Even if he hasn't experienced this, (because is it caused by the trip back from death or is it due to the time he was left without oxygen? Which wouldn't apply to Glorfindel.) Either way, Glorfindel is most likely of anyone to understand Legolas' experience. I am surprised they havent thought of using him before.
Thranduil will be supportive. It yes....deep down Legolas believes he is a poor substitute for his brother and this will add to that. Thranduil has some serious reassurance to do!
As for Erynion, they are both right here. Erynion by protecting Maewen is restricting her, and Legolas cannot expect to control their relationship just because he wants them together.
Damn. Well. That was a fantastic chapter. Gimli and Elrohir both brought him a long way in this chapter, and legolas' willingness to see himself beyond what he resigned himself to was empowering, in sure. The thing about his writing was very sad, but understandable--whether from the sea longing or his head injury/oxygen deprivation, it is understandable. It was a very revealing detail that makes the reader feel compassionate for all of legolas' shortcomings. Well done!! Fantastic fantastic story.
Glad you liked it! Kudos on honing in on the writing. It is significant. Legolas has physical scars from this incident that have not been discovered yet by himself or the others. This is one of them.
So pleased it made you feel compassionate because that was one thing I wanted to achieve. He has appeared increasingly normal in recent chapters and as he improves readers expectations of him have increased. As have his friends....and don't get me wrong, they needed to to a certain extent. He needed a kick up the backside....but I also needed to remind everyone of the damage Legolas has suffered, and it isn't going to be an easy fix. He can work on improving his social behaviour but there are going to be things he carries forward from this for the rest of his life. He has been a total ignorant pain in the butt—but honestly—he has had an hypoxic brain injury! He's doing pretty damn well considering
The writing issue actually emerged in chapter 3 of the other story I am writing—you know the one! So I had to go back to this one and insert an explanation!
As for Gimli and Elrohir...weren't they great?! I do think Elrohir may well have sought out Gimli for some advice on Legolas management. He was so Gimli-like in his approach here.
So great to hear from you!
Yes! Thank the heavens for Elrohir. He is so good with Legolas. I still have one niggling doubt about their relationship, which is that the giving seems to be one-sided at the moment. It's clear why Elrohir is good for Legolas, but I think Legolas needs to work out what he brings to the relationship, and how he can support Elrohir. At the moment, with Legolas still recovering, it's only natural he's relying so much on Elrohir. But now he's getting better he needs to work it out before this reliance becomes a habit. Still, I loved how Elrohir managed to untangle Legolas's thoughts about giving instructions for Erynion.
Elrohir IS really good with Legolas. He had just the right touch here. I don't tHink he gives himself much credit for that though. If you asked him I think he would probably say he wasn't much good at all.
Eventually Legolas will be able to contribute more to this relationship. He brings a lot that Elrohir needs, self esteem for one thing. He will allow Elrohir to be himself, he understands the side of Elrohir that is very strongly mannish, (through his friendship with Aragorn ) I don't think Elrohir has ever been in a relationship with someone who acknowledges that side at all. Legolas will also allow Elrohir to explore the Sindar side of himself he has long neglected. I think this time in the Greenwood will be an opportunity for Legolas to really contribute to Elrohir's wellbeing.
But he's not quite at the point to be able to do that yet. He'll get there.....but not quite yet.
I knew Gimli would set him straight although Gimli is far more patient than I would have been!
He is wallowing but not as despondently as I had feared but his anxiety and worry have let the sea in.
Breakfast was funny with Aragorn getting all healer again. I loved Elrohir breaking in with his "not until he's ready" comment which is totally a "I still care about you, you blasted git, I'm not letting you rush things because I care about you" but Legolas misses that completely.
Elrohir is awesome. I love how he uses Legolas own words to get them out of there to somewhere private. His soothing attempts to infuse some normalcy are great. Legolas has now gotten himself into a Legolas-tizzy but I'm glad Elrihir is having none of it and volunteers to do the writing himself! He's great--with his suggestions, his alternatives, his gentle prodding, genuine encouragement and praise but still holding Legolas accountable. Not coddling. It's wonderful to see.
And I'm so glad he pointed out what the biggest issue of the night was--the way Legolas treated him. He makes it clear that's not acceptable and he reiterates all the points he should--he's loved Legolas through worse. And the best part is the promise to never let the sea get to him--to always use Elrohir as a buffer for that--even if the are at odds. Because Elrohir loves him enough to put all the other things on hold if the sea has him--no matter what. And that's true love.
I'm glad Legolas realizes he's been remiss. About them all. But he needs to really see Elrohir. As more than just his crutch but as someone who loves him so deeply.
He's redeemed a bit--but Legolas better follow through on his resolution to see them. Elrohir will catch him if he falls but he needs to work on not falling and to be there for Elrohir too--that it's not a codependent relationship but an equal one.
Glad you are happier today!
Aragorn cannot help getting "all healer" especially with Legolas. His misplaced sea-longing guilt (which Legolas admitted to us last chapter he has given up fighting) causes overcompensation when it comes to Legolas' health....and they are now returning to a more normal relationship dynamic up pops the need to protect and heal again.
You had Elrohir's remark there down to a tee. Letting Legolas know—we may have argued and I am not happy with you, but I'll be damned if I let you put yourself at risk because I love you more than all this.
Unfortunately Legolas, struggling with the threat of a returned sea and his intense slightly out of control emotions, completely misses it. He just thinks Elrohir's behaviour during this entire chapter really odd.
Cultural/family differences here adding to Legolas' confusion. The wood-elves are passionate and outspoken. They wear their heart on their sleeves and the Orophorions especially are prone to sulking. A woodelf would never show up the morning after an argument being polite and subdued, making subtle references to the fact things are going to be ok. They just don't do it. They lay it all out there...shout and yell and then make up, passionately. Noldor however..... (well the "proper" post Feanorion Noldor society Elrohir has been exposed to.....) yeah, they don't come out raging and making a scene.
So Elrohir thinks, "Last night wasn't great but let's move on quietly and talk about it later, I'll just let him know in front of everyone he still has my support." And Legolas thinks, "What the hell? He is just ignoring the argument all together! What does that mean? Has he cut me off completely?"
Elrohir was was a star in this chapter. No nonsense. Subtly pushing Legolas to fulfil his potential and then....when he realised Legolas wasn't coping, helping him gently through the emotional mess his mind had created. This is just what Legolas needs and very Gimli like. I can see Gimli mimicking these exact actions. I think Elrohir has either sought Gimli out for advice, or been doing some intense observing of what works and what doesn't.
Legolas has taken a big step here. He listened. He has opened his eyes to the fact there is more damage there than just his emotional control....that his behaviour with others is lacking. It it is easier said than done fixing it. He will need help.... and he does have physiological reasons that mean it would be unfair of Elrohir, or any of the others, to expect instant improvement.
I am feeling quite pleased with myself. I set a small trap here and you appear to have fallen for it quite nicely. You thought exactly what I wanted you to think. :-)
I will let you find out next chapter what it was!
Also--as I wait for the kettle to boil--does Legolas seriously think he and Elrohir can resume their romantic evening as if nothing has happened??
Obviously he does:
"I think we should leave them. Aragorn and I have found our way back to each other and I will leave Arwen to mend the rest. She is better at it than all of us, where Aragorn is concerned.
And besides, there are stars outside and it is Elrohir and I they call."
So he thinks after all the hubbub and multiple iterations of ignoring, manipulating and discounting of Elrohir's feelings, declarations of love and attempts at reaching out that Elrohir has been left in any frame of mind to be romantic and snuggle? Not!
That's a callow and selfish assumption--now that Legolas is in the mood they can go resume their romantic rendezvous. But poor Elrohir wants to clear the air first. He can't just brush this aside and he's right. It's a death knell for their relationship if they go down that path. Props to Elrohir that after years of being dark, brooding and reserved he actually makes an effort here.
Yes, yes he does think exactly that. Because he sees this evening through a very narrow focus. He wanted to see Aragorn. He saw Aragorn. It all worked out well.....now...what was I doing before? That's what's going on inside Legolas' brain.
No pause to think—how does this look for Elrohir?
Actually he did pause...briefly....when he verbalises finding Elrohir funny but refraining from laughing. He worked out Elrohir was worried and from there that he shouldn't laugh at that worry. But apart from that, no Elrohir has just been put to one side while Legolas focused on someone else and now that's sorted his focus returns to Elrohir. As Before this is a mix of his original personality and learned behaviour within relationships and damage from his injury which magnifies that. Lessons his ability to think about more than one person at a time, increases his impulsive nature, magnified the self absorption. Gimli has reassembled Legolas to some degree...given him back control...but now they need to concentrate on helping him use that control to improve his social behaviour.
Oh I totally noticed that Elrohir was very clear to say TONIGHT. On the other hand I am sure that Legolas, daft git that he is tonight, DID NOT.
So he's going to blow it out of proportion and be despondent and aggrieved and aggravated to have lost Elrohir until someone (please be Gimli, no one kicks ass like Gimli) knocks some sense into him.
He does need to learn a lesson. The Elladan one is only part of it to me though. The bigger lesson he needs to learn is to LISTEN. He loves Elrohir? Then he needs to act like it. And by that I mean take his partner's emotions and feelings into consideration, not just his own. There was some manipulation of Elrohir that occurred tonight and that was just not right. He should not have manipulated that romantic scenario into a potential sexual encounter and then used Elrohir's distraction to run away and do what he wanted. That was being a tease and manipulation of the first order, toying with him--just as Elrohir says.
"I have had enough, tonight, Legolas. I have had enough! You toy with my feelings and disparage my brother. I cannot do this any more. Not tonight."
And Elrohir is right. That's not how you treat a partner, a loved one. That is as big an affront, if not more. He mentions it with the insult to his brother. It's a BIG DEAL to Elrohir and Legolas has just blown by this.
It's not a deal breaker. Yet. But if he continues to show callow disregard for Elrohir's feelings and keeps up the manipulation it could be.
And Elrohir said "tonight" twice. TWICE!!
Now I need a cup of tea.
I hoped you have calmed down now!
Yes, Elrohir said it twice. He did explode with hurt and frustration but he had enough control to realise Legolas is vulnerable and try....futile though it may be ....to soften the blow.
Of course Legolas' reactions and decision making are flawed. Of course they are. He is missing things and not considering things he should. He does have some justification for this—for the increase in his impulsivity and his single minded focus, (hypoxia brain damage perhaps, contributing to this rather neurologically damaged behaviour). But he asked Elrohir in the last chapter not to treat him as an invalid. He asked to be treated as an equal; so now he has exactly what he asked for. No pandering, no coddling, no mothering, just Elrohir telling it like it is.
And as you say, he needs to listen. Maewen has already told him this message about his lack of empathy. He NEEDS to take it on board.
Aargh!!! That one is for faerie sending the long comment I JUST WROTE out into the eternal darkness!!!!! And I can't remember everything I wrote!
Aargh!!! This one is for Legolas.
I am happy that Legolas and Aragorn have reconciled even if it was in this completely unorthodox manner that could have at least waited til early morning. This would have happened far earlier if either of these dolts had bothered to communicate!!! Aargh.
Speaking of communicating: Elrohir gets a big fat A+ for his valiant effort at communicating. And his glorious attempt at romance under the stars. And being what his partner needs at any particular moment. And for listening.
Legolas hurt Elrohir so many times in this chapter. And was completely unfazed and unaware of it.
It was uncalled for and unkind.
Elrohir adapted, changed gears, did what needed to be done. And Legolas did not appreciate a moment of it.
Again I'm happy for Legolas and Aragorn, and Arwen too for this has affected her too. But my heart HURT for Elrohir here. He opened his heart-wide open--with his love for Legolas. And Legolas didn't even give it a moments thought, so single minded about Aragorn. I don't know if it's this whole fractured fea thing or if he's really that oblivious when he's focused on something but it is painful to see the fallout on others when he does it.
I felt so much for Elrohir--I'm imagining him going to wake up Maewen, reaching out for her to help him. I think of him going it wake Gimli, who he knows doesn't like him, to ask for his help. He drags Elladan along, who's been going through a lot himself, to help care for these two semi-invalids. He's not only opened up to Legolas tonight--he's opened himself to these others and then been made to look a bit of a fool by Legolas, who whines about him bringing the gang when it makes PERFECT SENSE to do that because there is a daft, unpredictable Elf on the battlements in the middle of the night!! And then my poor Elrohir tries to communicate his distress and emotions about the night to Legolas right away, so they won't fester, and he gets SHUT DOWN. Not only shut down but his confessions of how his feelings have been hurt by his partner not only get steamrolled and ignored but Legolas has to deflect and blame Elladan for everything. Which is a great example of poor communication on Legolas part. Deflect and shift blame.
And Elladan may have said that to Aragorn, may have meant that. But he's been caring for two stubborn people--one who died and one who came close--for some time now, pouring his spirit into the healing process. He's been mired in Legolas all engulfing sea-longing and had to fight off the damage that does to him because he's got the sea-longing too and it's exhausting. It's all exhausting. He's never been more wrung out. Absorbing the wallop of Legolas' sea-longing alone would be a blow but he's had to do so very much more. It wasn't his best moment saying that to Aragorn but I can't fault him one bit.
And it's the last straw for Elrohir tonight and I can't blame him. He's been attentive, receptive, nimble at adapting to Legolas' shifting moods, on top of calling in the appropriate reinforcements and all he's gotten is a set of blue balls and public berating. And now Legolas is bashing on his brother. It's devastating. He's opened himself up so many times tonight and Legolas has missed every opportunity to connect and communicate. It's maddening and I can't blame him for wanting to call it a night. He can't take any more of it tonight and I know he doesn't want to continue arguing. They both need a breather and some time to think. Alone. But I wouldn't put it past Legolas to know be all "Elrohir doesn't love me anymore" and someone (I vote for Gimli) needs to set him straight. Because Elrohir has loved him for years, even when they were at odds, even through insults and ignorant behaviour and comments. He's loved him through all that. This isn't going to change that. Elrohir's been showing his love all night--the romantic star gazing plan, the way he tells Legolas of his love, the way he tries to keep communicating. But he's weary of having his heart stomped on tonight.
This exchange just broke my heart:
"I did see it, and I am pleased. But he was already sleeping. It could have waited until morning, this urgent need of yours. There was no need to torment me and tease me. No need to ask me to declare my heart then run away."
"That is not how it was, Elrohir."
"It is how it was for me."
Legolas invalidated Elrohir's feelings and his words here. Heartbreaking. He's not listening at all and Elrohir is trying so very hard to be heard.
Well. Glad I got all that off my chest. The first version of this was more eloquent and even feistier but this will have to do.
I'm off to give Elrohir a well deserved hug and a cup of tea. And miruvor. Or perhaps aged dwarven whiskey.
I knew Legolas would really upset you when I wrote this!!
In answer to your question as to if this behaviour is all about the damage to his fea....no it's not. It is, perhaps, over exaggerated by that but this one of Legolas' faults. He tends to be flighty and inattentive with a mind that flits from one thing to another but he is also impulsive ... and things consume him totally when he focuses on them. We have seen less dramatic glimpses of this with Maewen throughout the other stories but
1. Over the years she has adapted to it and tolerates it more than she perhaps should, because it is also a part of his lovableness, this impulsive concentration. And
2. Because it has been watered down by at least a modicum of normal control and awareness from him it may have floated past you as a "well that was a bit out of line" moment.
Remember in Darkness when he first introduced her to Aragorn...out of the blue in front of a table of others...with no thought of Aragorn or Maewen's feelings. Because he was in a buoyant loving mood—and also slightly pissed at Aragorn's attempts to control him and wanted to hit back?
It was funny to read as an onlooker...but was it right? No. And Maewen knew it but gave him a pass and didn't challenge it meanfully.
Elrohir may well have done the same here had Legolas not made the terminal mistake of criticising Elladan. Legolas is very good at being loving, adorable, irresistible, when he needs to to avoid discipline and Elrohir would have fallen for that here, no matter how hurt he was.
There are two people that technique of Legolas' doesn't work for: Aragorn and Gimli. With Aragorn it just winds him up when he is trying to be serious, and Gimli shuts it down and won't be diverted. He sees it for what it is.
Even Arwen is a sucker for lovable Legolas!
Now, I hope you noticed that Elrohir...no matter that he was furious was VERY careful to say " I have had enough TONIGHT" Not, I have had enough —period. "I cannot do any more of this tonight, Legolas" he said. Trying to be clear—even in his anger—that this was not him storming away forever, he would be back but needed time out.
But you are right. Legolas won't have heard that. This is the first time he is on the end of some disapproval from Elrohir. He won't react well.
P.S. And he needs to learn a lesson from this. Don't criticise Elladan. Just don't go there.
Oops! Just when I thought things were finally working out, now Legolas has failed to read Elrohir. Odd how Legolas can absolve Aragorn of guilt in one breath and pile blame onto poor Elladan, who's done nothing to deserve it, in another. And telling Elrohir that everything is Elladan's fault probably isn't the best of moves...
And I really wanted them to have their night under the stars. As much as it pains me to say this, it's high time Legolas woke up to himself and started to see how others are feeling without needing someone else to point it out to him.
Ah, Legolas was trying to avoid his telling off then....when he blamed Elladan. He wanted to change the subject and divert attention. Unfortunately he chose the completely wrong one.
He has been complaining for a few chapters that Elrohir doesn't really know him......but he doesn't know Elrohir either. If he did he would know Elladan is out of bounds. Elrohir will defend his brother to the death. It was completely the wrong person to use to distract.
It is high time Legolas began to show a bit of empathy. My excuse for him is...until now he has barely been able to manage himself let alone worry about others. But he's getting better now. Time to Man up, Legolas.
Ok so I absolutely ADORE that the fire in Elrohir burns away the sea-longing, depression etc. He always sells himself short in the healing department. As I've told you before I find him incandescent and it is the Maia blood shining forth--Tolkien's Secret Flame of Iluvatar.
And yes Elrohir does need to stop treating Legolas like he's made of glass. He's got to look and realize that's why Gimli has been so successful at getting Legolas better--he's talking to him like Legolas not an invalid and Gimli's making him do Legolas things.
Elrohir needs to get him out under the stars, go climb in the trees with him, race their horses across the Pellenor Field and then get hot and heavy in a tent far away from everyone!
I suppose waking Aragorn in the middle of the night is an impulsive Legolas move that's in line with his pre-death behavior.
At least he realizes Aragorn went beyond to find him just to say goodbye properly!
This is exactly what I was thinking about....this is why Gimli is SO successful. He never loses sight of who Legolas really is. He is not at all lenient with him...he may be gentle and nurturing at times but he absolutely does not allow misbehaviour He has—right from the beginning here—expected Legolas to behave like the adult he is. He continues to react to him just as if Legolas was the same friend he has always been.
One of Elrohir's problems is he doesn't actually know who Legolas is.
Elrohir could do great things with this talent of his for mental healing but he doesn't understand it and no one else....not even Elladan recognises it for what it is. Galadriel, perhaps, could have trained him if she had realised.
Legolas' waking Aragorn is true to form. The problem is Aragorn is not himself either...so much rests on how he reacts.
I'm glad Maewen gave him a piece of her mind. He's wallowing in self-pity. I know he died and came back. He's obviously depressed. He had some near psychosis moments early on. But he has made progress and the things he is saying to her now are somewhat ignorant--as she points out.
Of course Erynion would be in contact with Thranduil! And if he wasn't there Maewen would be doing it. Letters get lost/waylaid/delayed--he knows this too. He's in a state where he is overreacting to everything. The poor Elf is like an irritated nerve--jolting at every touch.
But it's good Maewen can tell he's in a mood to argue and shuts him down and walks out after the Ithilien comment. But finally she zings him with the comment about herself and the others.
That slaps him into some introspection. And there are some positives to his introspection although his response is still out of proportion.
He's still so raw and impulsive--things that he has been but are insanely multiplied in his current state.
I'm glad Elrohir showed up but darn it Legolas!! He's proposing a romantic, sultry night under the stars and you berate him for being gentle with you? That comment of Legolas' really got to me--I feel so bad for Elrohir here--yes he's always been fiery and feisty and strong. But Legolas don't you think that sometimes he may want to not have to be the strong one? That sometimes the fire burns low and he craves the cool solace of that? That he is showing you a side of him that perhaps no one else sees, because he loves and trusts you?
Good lord I would be out under those stars with romantic Elrohir in a second--and I ADORE his fiery side. But a caring, loving, romantic side just for me? Bring it on!
And Elrohir gets fiery and feisty, which is awesome but Legolas cheats and runs away!
I'm glad he feels more like himself with his escape and travels up the walls but I'm not sure middle of the night is the best time to apologize/make things up to Aragorn. There is HUGE potential for him to muck it up.
And poor Elrohir! Can't win tonight, poor guy. I'm actually pretty miffed at how Legolas treats him in this chapter. The guy has put his hidden, tender, damaged heart on display for Legolas--given it to him freely, accepted the weird (to him) three way relationship, pissed off his brothers and now gets jilted for the night. Plus he's likely stuck with clean up duty with whatever happens tonight.
The fact that you have made me so loving and protective of Elrohir is a testament to your writing and why I had to give him fluffy time in that fic!
Yes, Legolas needed a kick up the butt! He was wallowing.....yes with good reason, but it wasn't helping him—and Maewen is right. He needs to look outside himself, to start to understand what everyone else who is supporting him has suffered. It will help him if his thoughts are not always swirling about only himself.
You can see how she has grown here. Back in "Darkness" she would have fallen into his trap, taken the bait, and allowed this conversation to descend into argument. Here she was wise enough to spot the clues of his mindset and walk away.
Ah poor Elrohir. He was fated not to do well this evening.
Both you and Legolas have a point here.
You are right....strong masterful, antagonistic Elrohir is not going to be the only Elrohir Legolas sees now. There is another side of him, softer, and Legolas has to learn to appreciate it. Plus Elrohir has done absolutely everything asked of him....and some of it has been so incredibly difficult....and he's done it all for Legolas. For all his introspection Legolas didn't get as far as thinking of that, even though Maewen pointed it out to him in the previous chapter.
Dont worry. Someone is going to give Legolas a lecture about this in the next chapter.
But Legolas has a point also. He probably shouldn't compare Elrohir with Maewen...he's done it before and it isn't fair but that's what's triggered this reaction here.
Maewen has just stood up to him. She has treated him as Legolas Thranduilion, Lord of Ithilien, not Legolas the poor damaged creature everyone must whisper around and pander to. That's what he needs now. To be held to account. They need to raise the bar for his behaviour. To be normal. It was the comparison between her strength and Elrohirs gentle attempt to dissuade and cajole that irritated Legolas.
He wants to be normal and treating him as such is invigorating. He resents being "looked after and protected" He needs to see they have enough faith in him to challenge him. And Elrohir....yes he has a softer side but his behaviour at the moment around Legolas is full of guilt and anxiety. It's driven by the wrong things. He is scared of making a mistake, (we saw it in that scene with them in the bedroom when Legolas managed to get Elrohir to talk about his mother) He is awkward and unsure and doesn't know how to relate to Legolas as a "normal" person. He has two modes of operation with Legolas. Confrontational, disdainful and aggressive —and conciliatory and pandering, tiptoeing around a sick person. He needs to find a more normal path.
Legolas was being ridiculous. Elrohir needed to tell him so.....and that's what Legolas wanted.
Yeah...going to see Aragorn in the middle of the night is foolish. But Legolas is all about impulsive behaviour at the moment. He thinks something then he must do it. There was never any stopping him. It's all down to Aragorn now!
What you see at the end is, in fact, Elrohir as a healer. (Although he doesn't know it.) Elrohir's strength...from his Maia blood...is mental/emotional health. And this is not confined to Legolas. He induces wellbeing in Elladan as well, and if he explored it he could probably take it further. His "fire" as Legolas called it, the touch of his spirit, has wiped Legolas' depression aside much as it defeated the sea-longing. No wonder Maewen is so anxious for Legolas to visit Elrohir in that other Valinor story.
I don't know how Legolas managed to resist Elrohir now he's reverted to his masterful self - I know I couldn't! It's lovely to see some of Legolas's spirit return, but I don't think either Aragorn or Arwen are going to thank him for interrupting them in the middle of the night! It's good to see Maewen give him a piece of her mind, too. It was time he woke up to what the others were going through.
Yes, he needed to be told off. Legolas is guilty of becoming a bit selfish.
And how on earth DID he resist that sexy Elrohir?
But he was focused on Aragorn and would not be diverted by that.
Seeing Aragorn could all go wrong. It's not the best idea. Aragorn is a grumpy sod when woken —and he is damaged as well. Fingers crossed Aragorn can hold it together this time!