I am lost in the wood.
A strange thing for an elf to admit I know—being lost anywhere, but then I am only half-elven. Perhaps that explains it?
All my life people have reminded me of that. Peredhel, they call me. Not truly an elf. Broader, stronger than they, but just not quite right. It is not even true. My father was half an elf, not I.
Still there are many times I do not feel elven at all. When we walked the paths of the dead and those ghosts of Men pressed down upon my soul, when the nazgul circled the far distant sky and Legolas could see them . . feel them, yet I knew nothing. My elven blood failed me then, and it has failed me now.
The trees are a chaotic mess around me and the more I search for a path through them the more lost I become. I wish for the stone of Minas Tirith, the grasslands of Eriador, those places I love, that make the tiny, traitorous drop of mannish blood running through my veins, sing.
I do not wish for more trees, but that is what I get.
In the end I give up. I sit and wait, for I know he will find me.
I cannot deny it is peaceful, once I stop trying to move and instead take the time to be. The leaves whisper songs to me in the breeze, though I do not understand them. My nose fills with the sweet scent of flowers that scatter randomly across the glade. I lie on the grass, soft as a bed it is, and watch the green dancing above me.
He is taking forever to get here. Surely he has noticed I no longer follow by now?
Perhaps not—perhaps he assumes I know what I am doing? Perhaps he does not realise exactly how unelven I am.
Well I cannot hide it from him now.
I hear him before I see him. He travels through the trees, not on the path, and I can hear him sing—light, sweet, happy. He knows exactly where I am for not only is he elven, he is Silvan.
"What are you doing?"
He drops lightly to the ground beside me, so gently not even a blade of grass is dislodged by his landing. I cannot do that. I sound like an Múmakil in comparison. His face as he peers down at me is creased in confusion.
"I thought we were walking, why are you taking a nap?"
"I am not napping. I am waiting for you to find me."
"I did not know we were playing hide and seek, Elrohir."
He drops to sit beside me, curling his legs beneath him in one smooth movement. So elegant, so elven.
"We are not," I reply. "I was lost."
"Lost?" He is incredulous. I can tell the idea is completely absurd to him. He has probably never been lost in his life. Certainly not in a wood.
"Lost. Something caught my eye on the edge of the path, I turned to see and when I looked back . . . You were gone. As you see I have failed miserably in my efforts to find you."
He twists a finger in his hair as he ponders on that.
"You could not feel me?"
"I could feel nothing but trees and they all feel the same."
"Oh they are not the same, Elrohir." He is earnest in his explanation. "That one is a silver beech, and it is young yet, not many years at all . . Whereas this one over here—"
"I do not need a breakdown of all the family history of the trees, Legolas! It is wasted on me in any case." He is hurt. I see it flit briefly across his face. For him there is nothing so fascinating as the details of trees and quickly I find myself rushing to explain.
"It would be like me trying to educate you on the stone which builds up Minas Tirith."
"Ah," the brief look of hurt is smoothed away, followed quickly by the briefest, self depreciating smile. "Well Gimli has already attempted that and we both know how badly that went."
He lies himself back upon the ground beside me, hands behind his head as he looks up at the sky above.
"I am sorry. I should have realised it would not be as easy for you to find me in the wood, Noldo that you are."
"It is not because I am Noldor, Legolas. It is because I am not elven at all. Not as you are."
"That's funny." He reaches out a hand to brush away my hair and drift his fingers lightly across the point of my ear, "You seem elven to me. Your father is half-elven. You, I think, are not, Grandson of Galadriel."
He loves me and it blinds him.
"I am Peredhel Legolas. That is what they call me. It matters not the percentages of blood in my veins. What matters is the loudness with which it calls to me and the blood of Men calls loudest of all." I hold my breath. I have never verbalised this, have never spoken it out loud.
"Well I know that."
He knows it? How can he know what I have never told a soul? I raise myself up upon my elbows to stare at him.
"How do you know what I have never told you? I have not even spoken to Elladan of this. How do you know?"
"I love you. I have walked the streets of Minas Tirith with you and seen how it makes you glow, how the sounds of Men are music to your soul, much as they are to Aragorn. I have heard the yearning in your tales of the Dunédain. You do not have to tell me, Elrohir. As for Elladan, I imagine he knows it also even if he has not told you so. It is obvious, Elrohir. Why do you feel is this must be secret?"
"Because it hurts those I love."
That is the main reason I have hidden this away, deep inside since I was a boy. The pain in my father's eyes when I exclaimed in joy over mannish wonders, when I poured over their history in eagerness. The way he quietly turned away when I reminded him too much of Elros, my uncle, his lost brother. He never stopped encouraging me to know all I wished to of his brothers people, but it frightened him . . . And I knew it. But that is not all.
"And I am ashamed."
"Ashamed?" He sits up then to join me, wraps his arms about his knees, head resting on them, tilted to the side to watch me, green eyes, full of questions, dancing. Every movement smooth, beautiful, graceful. Everything he does emphasising what he is that I am not.
"Look at you! You are beauty and grace, agility and dexterity. I am a lump of rock beside you. Clumsy, deaf to the world, ever so slightly wrong. It has always been this way, Legolas, growing in Imladris. You must see it. Everyone else has."
Those dancing eyes are serious as he answers me.
"I see strength and power, Elrohir. I see you shine with an incandescence so beautiful it blinds me. A wild silver fire, like that of the mortals your heart loves so much. Aragorn and Gimli—they burn so brightly but they cannot sustain it. Their light will burn out. Yours . . . yours will shine forever and I am caught. Like a moth, you have lured me to your flame. You are beauty in a way a soft, slow, gentle, elven glow is not."
He holds out a hand and takes mine in his, entwines his fingers between my own, raises it to plant a kiss soft upon my skin.
"It is what makes you Elrohir," he murmurs, "the part of you that is Man, and it is Elrohir I love. All of you, I love all of you. Do not hide it, celebrate it, for I love it all and I fear none of it. I know what you sacrifice for me."
"I sacrifice nothing."
"Yes you do, for you will leave this land, leave these people who sing to you and draw you near. For me you will leave them because I cannot stay—though it would have been my choice also."
"I would have left in any case. Valinor calls for my brother and I will not be apart from him. I will not live through the pain my father did, nor impose that on Elladan. My mother is there and I need to see her. There are million reasons I will sail. A part of me, no matter how Men call to me, has always known I would. You ease the way Legolas. You take my grief at the loss of my mortality and obliterate it with your love. I can survive now in Valinor because I have you. There is no sacrifice."
He leans across me, the ends of his hair tickling my face as they sweep past, before he kisses me, soft yet firm, a kiss of promise and of love that stills my soul at the same time as it ignites it. How can that be?
"Remember," he takes my face in his hands so I cannot look away. I must look into those wonderful sparkling eyes. I must see his love. "I love all of you, Elrohir. Noldor, Sindar, Mannish, Maia, I would have you no other way . . . Even if it means you cannot find your way through the wood!"
He laughs then; bright, light, and glorious. A laugh that cuts a path through all my fear. I get a glimpse of how he sees me. Strong, undefeatable, beautiful . . . Perfect.
I have never been perfect, I have never been whole, I have never been truly myself. I have never had one who loved me for all my parts and not despite them.
I have never before had him.
A gift for NelyafinweFeanorion to take her mind off things.
Pointless Legolas/Elrohir fluff. Follows straight after "Fire Dancing Upon Our Souls"
Legolas and Elrohir in the Greenwood.
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