"It is very difficult," Legolas admitted to Gimli as they sat together, the Elf sipping at a goblet of Ithilien's peach wine, the Dwarf with a tankard of ale. "I will have to leave soon now, Elvellon. But this land has become a home to me." He gazed out over the throngs of people, sapphire eyes seeking out the King, dancing with his sister. "The king is dead...long live the King," he murmured, eyes prickling with tears. "May the Belain bless your spirit, Estel, wherever you are."
"Aye, 'tis difficult, Elf," Gimli said gruffly, placing his rough hand over Legolas' slender one. "Aragorn was a dear friend to both of us. You knew him far longer than I did, so I will not pretend to understand your grief. No doubt it eclipses mine."
"Nay, Master Dwarf," Legolas rejoined, "no doubt yours is as great as mine. No need for competitions here and now. We two were among his dearest friends, and were the hobbits yet with us, they too would grieve as we do today."
"Nonsense, Master Elf," Gimli snorted, "they would say 'it is too bad Strider's missing out on this fine feast, but more for us now, isn't there!'" He managed a smile, and Legolas laughed reluctantly.
"Where will you go then, Legolas? Home to Eryn Lasgalen?" Gimli asked, "if you mean to forsake Ithilien?"
"Nay, I cannot even call the Wood of Greenleaves home, Elvellon-nin," Legolas said, shaking his head slowly. "Do you remember the day we heard the gulls?"
"Aye," Gimli said gruffly, having managed to successfully not think of that until just now.
"It is time, Elvellon. I must seek the uttermost West. Adar will not stop me."
"Nor will he be pleased," Gimli remarked, "if you are running away again." His words died on his lips, as Legolas turned to him with a look so completely and utterly other that Gimli was forcibly reminded of just what his immortal friend was.
"I am not running away. I am going home," Legolas said, the light of his Being flaring with such a presence that Gimli was awestruck. "Will you come with me, Elvellon?" Legolas asked, once he had calmed. Gimli blinked. "Me? A Mortal?"
"A Son of Aule and Companion of the Ring-bearer," Legolas corrected. "The Ring-bearers were given such grace. Why would you not have earned it, Elf-friend?"
"Besides," Legolas added, "will not your lady desire to see you again?" He had the satisfaction of seeing his friend's face warm considerably.
"Then, if you are certain," Gimli said eventually, "how can I not join you, Master Elf? Never let it be said a Dwarf was afraid."
"I will be glad to have your company, Elvellon," Legolas said sincerely. "Thank you."
"You are most welcome," Gimli replied. "We will take this last adventure together, come what may."
Legolas nodded, and as the two considered their plans, the feast celebrating the life of the first King and the accession of his son went on into the night.
Chapter End Notes:
A/N: I've had it noted that it's interesting Eldarion was able to overcome his grief at their father's passing enough to dance with his sister. This is something I hadn't thought of; of course, grief presents itself in different ways, but I wouldn't have been able to bear up as much as Eldarion is here. Of course, our time is not theirs, and our cultures are not theirs. Still, maybe the Muse will give me something, in B2MEM or some other time, to explain it...
If it's not B2MEM, it'll go under "Heirs of Elessar" Instead.