Oh cheeky!! You just know how to make me so very happy! Thank you so very much--as always you give me a pick-me-up right when I need it most. Your Legolas and Elrohir are always a gift but this fic is one I will treasure.
There is so much unspoken through the years with these two. They know how important communication is but Legolas tends to avoid things he doesn't want to confront and more often than not, in the past, Elrohir was willing to let him do that or find a way to blame himself for the issue. It is uplifting to see just how far your Elrohir has come--to the point where he can look at the past, confront it, parse out the nuances missed the first time around, discuss it with calm and the confidence that their relationship is strong enough to withstand such openness. It's breathtaking to see him do it and to know they can do this because of each other--they have given each other the love and support and the trust to be able to confront their past demons and come out the other side.
This particular incident was awful for them both and neither truly comprehended the impact on the other at the time. It is good that Elrohir is not going to back down and let this conversation go yet again unspoken. And he knows Legolas so well--has spent so many years learning just how to do this--that he can accomplish it, in a way that supports Legolas and builds him up. The touch that he learned from Aragorn--so bittersweet a memory.
I think it was very important for him to reveal that he loved Legolas on secret for a long time. It's unbelievable that he hasn't admitted this before but just like Legolas is not who he was when they first met, neither is Elrohir. The old Elrohir was full of self-doubt, drowning in feelings of inadequacy, so conflicted and sure of his unworthiness. Legolas reached through that--saw him, understood him, accepted him, believed in him and loved him--that changed Elrohir.
Elrohir is right--there is no point in Legolas struggling to be who he was, who he thinks people expect him to be. Each of the people in his life love him for who he is and it's time he accepts who he is and stops looking back. He needs to communicate his needs to others because they are all there to help. And who he is now is just what Elrohir says--a stronger, wiser, more open version of himself. All those lives that have touched him, all the life experiences, even the accident, have made him who he is and he is worthy of their love and affection-- as he is
And Elrohir is correct: knowing him, being with him, loving him, makes me a better version of myself too.
What a magnificent much needed conversation. Thank you again, my friend, for this story.
And now I want more behind the scenes of Birds with these two and their clandestine conversations!
I found, when I wrote that most recent story on the ship at Pelegir, the contrast between that Elrohir and this one astounding. I knew he was different in this story —different than the Elrohir we saw in “Fire” but I hadn’t quite realised how different until I went back in time to write him pre Legolas.
It’s obvious to everyone, in this story and especially in Fire, what Elrohir does for Legolas . . What Elrohir gives him. In fact there was a stage in Fire when readers began to get quite annoyed with Legolas, (I think you may have been one of them) as they felt he was all give and no take . . .that it was a one way relationship, and I had to say, “wait...just give it time, it will even out.”
Now when you compare Elrohir in the Pelegir story to Elrohir here you can see what Legolas has given him. Self belief firstly. Confidence, in himself, in his partner, in their relationship. He can take the hard line he does here because he knows Legolas is his . . . No matter what. He no longer has to second guess everything. Someone loves him.... all of him ... all those parts that didn’t fit before.
I know Elrohir’s support of Legolas is visible and substantial but honestly . . . I think Legolas has given Elrohir an even bigger gift.
And Elrohir is right. Legolas has fought bitterly to regain his old self. He has railed against his disabilities and not asked for help or even been as open as he should because he believes people want him to be something else. It’s shocking that until now Elrohir —as close as they are, as significant as his mental healing ability is—didn’t realise the extent of Legolas’ struggles. How could that be? It goes to show how little Legolas has been showing the world of the chaos inside his head. I think Gimli was the only one who truly had a clue.
It will be interesting to see how Maewen reacts when they have this conversation . . . She sees more. She has Legolas day to day, Elrohir doesn’t. She knows the old Legolas all the way back to childhood, Elrohir didn’t.I think she has more of an understanding of the depths of Legolas’ problems but he is not open with her either....because he desperately wants to be her “old Legolas”
This chapter makes me so happy. Of course it's sad to see Laegolas still struggling with his brain damage so many years after it happened, but to see him finally able to talk about the Dead Marshes and how he sees himself is so moving. Elrohir is being brave when he gives Legolas his ultimatum concerning Maewen, but maybe Legolas does need pushing, or he'll forever avoid confessing his fears to Maewen.
You know Legolas is still good at running away from things that are difficult. Elrohir knows that too now! It WAS brave of him to give that ultimatum but he knows if he didn’t Legolas would not speak to Maewen. Without that follow through from Elrohir of a letter to Maewen (that is going to be coming no matter what Legolas tells him) Legolas will just duck and dive and avoid.
He’s right here, I think, Elrohir. Legolas needs to accept the person he has become more and fight against his disabilities less. That doesn’t mean giving in. But it does mean asking for help more and beginning to incorporate those lingering disabilities into his life.
Plus he NEEDS to be more open with those he loves about the difficulties he faces day to day rather than trying to fight through them on his own.
There are SO many scenes like this from “Even the Birds” that I want to write that we don’t see in the story since it is all from Estel’s viewpoint!
This is so beautiful. I really must get around to reading this series; I'm intrigued by the idea of Legolas having a son with a woman he still loves, while also having a relationship with Elrohir. There is so much weight and history behind this gorgeous one-shot, and the style is lovely - your writing feels as calm and patient as Elrohir, really clean and peaceful. I hope that makes sense!?
I really enjoyed Elrohir in this chapter. He felt very grown up and worldly wise; I do love the mad, mischievous Elrohir from your other 'verse, but this gives a whole new depth to his relationship with Legolas.
Thank you so much for sharing; I am sure Nelya will love her gift!
I am so impressed you managed to enjoy this without any of the back story! It’s really complicated now and I was sure this would make no sense without it.
Yes Legolas has a “wife” (they aren’t actually married as that is not silvan tradition and she is silvan) and two children. One of which is a boy, Estel, from whose viewpoint the story “Even the Birds” that this is an out take from, is written.
The Silvans are polyamorous which is why the thing with Elrohir is able to be....but, oh! It’s all so complicated I can’t even begin to start explaining it!!
This Elrohir IS wise and calm and more like I usually write Elladan, in this chapter and the rest of the story it’s based on. But he hasn’t always been that way. This is set in Valinor and he has experienced a huge amount of personal growth there. Previously he has been more like my original Elrohir.....not mad and mischievous so much but definitely unsure about himself and lacking self esteem and my other Elrohir was that too. (He hid it behind his mischief)
Thank you for reading it without the other stories under your belt!