I am high in the trees when Elrohir falls. I hear his startled yell and the flick and crack of branches as he crashes past them, but the ground is soft and the trees will do their best to break his fall for me so I am not concerned. Instead I laugh for he is such a Noldor sometimes. Try as I might to turn him wild I am doomed to failure. And yet he allows me to try. He comes here and climbs my trees though he is hopeless at it and swims in my sea though he fears it, because he loves me.
I, in my turn spend my time in his city of stone. The city he loves, in which he burns so brightly, the city which suffocates me with its coldness. I walk those streets with him and it is because he shines there that I go, because his light transfixes me, because I love him too. I am not unhappy there for he is at his best and his best gives me joy. I think it is the same for him when he comes to my wood.
We are at my sanctuary, my place within the trees and by the sea. Where I have gone to hide so often and so long from life itself. I no longer hide here, I do not need to, for life is good. Instead we are here simply because it is the one place in this new world of ours that is closest to my heart. Truth be told I should not be here today, for my father is away and I am supposed to be watching over our people but I could not resist it, only for an hour I told myself.....or two.....or three.
"My Lord!" It is Elrohir who speaks and he is taken by surprise, I hear it in his voice. I hear him leap to his feet from his landing place.
"Elrondion. I suppose if you are here my son is too?"
It is my father and there is no point denying my presence here for why else would Elrohir be climbing in trees? So he has come home early and caught me playing instead of working. I imagine there will be a lecture.
"Legolas?" His voice when he calls me is unimpressed to say the least. "Come down boy. For goodness sake, anyone would think you still a child."
And so I leave the safety of my trees, I slide my way down and drop, lightly, quietly, in front of him.
I know I must look a state, my face flushed, my clothing astray and my hair wild. His face, when he sees me, confirms it but there is something else in that face, something different, he is radiant and I wonder at it.
"Look at you Legolas," he says, "what kind of a father do you make me look like?"
"The best." I say, because he is.
He is the rock at my centre, the support upon which I lean, the shelter which protects me, the love which enfolds me every moment of my life.
It is just the two of us, for years it has been just the two of us.
He smiles then and how he is transformed. His smiles are rare things and I am one of the few lucky enough to be gifted with them. This smile though, oh it is a beautiful one, his light shines so brightly and I bask in it, then I am in his arms. This is not what I expected.
"We have a visitor," he whispers quietly in my ear.
I look past him then, over his shoulder, and I see her standing there.
It cannot be.
It is not that I do not know her. I would know her anywhere, I have carried the image of her face close to my heart all these years and she is just the same.
But I am not prepared for this and I am not ready. It is as if I am frozen, locked within a block of ice and this is not how it was meant to be.
I pull back from my father's arms and look at him in confusion.
"You did not tell me."
"There was no time," he says gently and cups my face with his hand. "She is finally here my beloved boy."
I feel Elrohir's arm snake around my waist. He holds me up. He knows I need his strength, he always knows.
I look back towards her then, almost expecting she will be gone. This is just an illusion, a dream, it cannot be real, but she is still there, still beautiful, still mine.
"Legolas." She says my name. So long have I waited to hear her say my name, the sound of it is delicious, a balm upon my soul.
"Legolas, my son." She holds out her arms.
I know I should go to her. I should walk into that embrace, I should run. My father's hand is on my shoulder, Elrohir stands beside me, and I know, if I step away I will fall. My legs will not hold me up and I will fall. Once again, as so often it has been in these last few years, it is Elrohir who keeps me on my feet. His strength, his love, guides me on.
But she knows, she knows me as she has always known me, right to my heart. She knows my worries and my hurts, my dreams and my hopes, my fears and my delights.
She sees I cannot move.
So she comes to me.
And then she is with me, her arms around me, my face buried in her hair as it was so often in my distant past, when she comforted me after a tumble, danced with me in joy, held me close at night. I remember it all.
"Legolas," she murmurs to me, as she holds me back to look at me. "It has been so long, you have grown so strong, so beautiful." She lifts her hand to wipe away tears I did not even know I had shed.
And I reply with just one word. A word I have waited a lifetime to say, A word that at that moment holds all my joy.
Here it is then, because Naledi wanted it and I wanted to write it. The ultimate happy ending.
Legolas's grief for his mother was central to The Other Side of the Sea. This is a scene I couldn't fit into that story but still wanted to write. Their reunion.
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