I am posting this one a little differently. Ennorwen obviously intended for this to be featured in two chapters. Rather than combine them, I have left the chapters separate, but both parts are located on this one page.
Email: rykscoogan AT cox.net
Sitting astride Tôrannroch*, Aragorn paused for a moment while his eyes swept the vista below him. He had come safely over the Misty Mountains and through the High Pass and now looked out over the plain between the mountains and the edge of Taur-e-Ndaedelos. He saw the Great River – Anduin, and briefly his mind turned to Gondor. It awakened in him a longing to see it. He had to just but go south and follow the river and he would reach Minas Tirith and all that Elrond had told him about. He rested his hand on the hilt of his ancestor’s sword – a mere broken blade, but within it the power of Elendil and his heirs and with it the throne in the White City.
He inhaled long and with the exhaled breath he also expelled the thought from his mind. Not yet. He would go to Gondor one day but this journey would take him through the forest path to the realm of Thranduil and to his friend, Legolas, the Elven-king’s son. He had one more day’s ride to gain the edge of Mirkwood Forest and then a potentially dangerous seven day trek through the forest itself.
He deftly guided Tôrannroch down through the craggy rocks and then turned north. He would follow the river for time and then seek for the all but hidden Forest Gate. It was a relatively simple ride, and for the first time since leaving Imladris, Aragorn could breathe easily and let his mind wander.
This was his initial solitary journey and as his brothers had taught him he had been ever watchful along the way. So tense had he been that his jaw ached and he relished the feeling of riding freely, if only for a while.
Periodically a green glint would flash into his eyes, Anor’s rays reflecting the beryl stones from the ring on his finger. Barahir - another gift from his father, along with the shards of Narsil, Elendil’s sword. The heirlooms of his house. His house. For he was Aragorn, son of Arathorn, direct descendent of an unbroken line of Kings and not simply Estel, human child in a household of elves.
Truth be told, he had not been completely surprised by the revelation, only by its magnitude. Though humans abided from time to time in Imladris he was the only one permanently in residence and called brother by Elladan and Elrohir and son by its lord. There had to have been something different about him, so lavishly was he attended to and taught in all the ways of the elves and some of the world of men. By the time he was eighteen he had begun to wonder as to the why of it, and though he never would have guessed it was he who was the dead Chieftain’s son, he had heard enough history and lore to understand it once the tale had been told.
There was much to consider of the pathway ahead of him but for now he was more than content to look toward his visit with Legolas and to seeing another elven realm. He had actually been surprised when the invitation had come, for Thranduil was not known to welcome outsiders, but he surmised that his friend had persuaded his father and was not beyond believing that even Elrond had a hand in it. It was foreboding, he had been told, the forest where Thranduil dwelt, the caves that were his residence, the Silvan elves that lived there. Aragorn did not have much experience with the Silvan race, only what he had learned in his schooling and in the encounters with Legolas himself.
His first glimpse of Legolas had caught him off balance. Imladris was largely Noldorin and most of its residents had the near black hair of that race. Only Glorfindel among them had golden locks, because it was said he was of the house of Finarfin, whose Vanyar blood brought with it light hair.
But Legolas was different. So pale was his hair that it seemed kissed by the sun and his eyes were a watery blue, by turns green or grey or deep azure. His body was lithe and his step light and his voice was as melodious as a breeze through the forest. Aragorn always felt refreshed in his presence, somehow cleansed.
He needed such refreshment now, so heavy a burden had been placed on his shoulders and he needed his friend’s counsel. He thought for a moment of the last lesson learned before he left his father’s house, the one at Glorfindel’s deft hands and gentle teaching. The one that taught him of the body and its pleasures. He thought of the blond elf Prince and felt his cheeks flush, his breeches tighten. He thought...No. Shaking his head, he spurred Tôrannroch on, the better to gain the Forest Gate by nightfall. He would rest there, under Mirkwood’s eaves and would not enter the forest until the next day.
When he came near to the place, Aragorn’s eyes narrowed as he sought for the signs. Elladan had taught him the skills of a tracker and Glorfindel had tested him and he felt confident in his ability to read the land. He found the overgrown gate nestled into the trees, gave Tôrannroch an apple and set him to graze at the edge of the grassland and forest. He unrolled his sleeping blanket and sat down, eating the dried meat he had brought and the fruit that he had found along the way. He was grateful for Tôrannroch’s presence and felt comforted in knowing that his pricked ears would warn him of any danger. The stallion was a fine horse and loyal, an elvish horse that Elrohir had raised from a foal and gifted to Aragorn upon his eighteen year birthday. Most of the time Aragorn shortened his name to Tôrann – brother-gift, and it made him smile to think of Elrohir.
As he closed his eyes to rest, a fleeting vision of sunlit hair and moistened lips crossed his mind. He meditated on his friend for a while, wondering whether he had known the truth of his heritage all this time, wondering how Legolas would see him now, on his own and full grown to manhood. Wondering whether Legolas might… Such thoughts pleased him despite this next most perilous part of his journey and he drifted off into the semi-conscious sleep of the lone traveler.
The day dawned and Aragorn arose, greeting Tôrann and leading him to drink in the small stream nearby. They would not be horse and rider for much of the trek through the forest for Aragorn had been told that the trees were enmeshed and the forest had grown dark since the advent of the Necromancer and then the Nazgûl in Dol Gulder. He knew that the forest had once been beautiful – Greenwood the Great, but now was dangerous and rife with dark creatures and orcs. This was the reason for choosing the northern path, it was just that much farther from the dark fortress in the south and orc patrols were rarer in the north.
Taking a deep breath, Aragorn mounted Tôrann and together they passed through the gate. He entered the forest cautiously and soon found that all he had been told was true. The trees were close and hardly a ray of sun permeated the dense canopy. Below his feet the roots were knotted and gnarled and every step was considered and slow. Soon Aragorn had to dismount and take Tôrannroch’s reins in his hand, leading the horse behind him through the ever thickening wood.
For three days they picked their way through the vast woodland, dodging low hanging branches and sleeping but a little. It was very quiet in the wood, but Aragorn’s ears were ever turned to the slightest rustling of the branches, a creature’s footfall nearby. The cost on his body of this keen vigilance began to take its toll and soon he felt weary, but his steps plodded onward.
The forest was so dark that the sun’s rise and set held little meaning for him and he began to lose track of time. Smiling, he thought even so, this is an elven realm and perhaps its influence had altered his perception of the passing of the days. It was ever thus, amongst the elves. And perhaps even more so among many of the Silvan race who had lived in these woods since their awakening.
He stopped to rest and to tend to Tôrann, but came to full awareness when he saw his steed’s ears pricked back and the restless stomping of his feet. Aragorn stilled him some and listened hard. Soon he heard what Tôrann had, the subtle snick, snick, snick of rustling feet. Many rustling feet. He dropped the rein in a trice and pulled out his bow, but did not see where to level it.
The sound came closer and Aragorn followed its direction and turned slightly to his left as it neared him. Tôrann had moved farther into the trees and when Aragorn turned to follow his movements, he felt a thud upon his shoulder. He quickly reached up to dislodge whatever had landed on him and saw that it was a spider and larger than he had ever seen, perhaps two hands wide. Soon two more came out of the tree above him, relentlessly stalking and seemingly coordinating their attack. He drew the bow back and let fly, shooting one of them in its fat belly and he heard it shriek in its death throes. The other two came closer and Aragorn dropped the bow in favor of his sword.
He used the sword almost as a large knife, hacking and cutting. After severing several legs and slowing their progress he was able to dispatch them with relative ease, impaling each in their bulbous midsection. Green oozed from their bellies and he knew it was poison and he kicked them away in disgust. He backed into a tree and sunk to the ground, closing his eyes and willing his breath to come easily.
When he opened his eyes he was startled to see a hand reaching out to him. He looked up warily starting at ground level and saw two feet in soft suede boots and then the green leggings. His eyes moved higher and noted a deep green jerkin, belted with leather and the edge of a quiver peeking out from behind. His eyes rose further and his breath caught for a moment as a long fall of bright cornsilk hair came into his vision. Finally he looked into the face of the elf before him and saw the dancing blue eyes and wide grin.
“Mae Govannen,” said Legolas as casually as if they were meeting in Imladris.
Aragorn’s lips edged into a smile and just as casually he replied,
“Well met, Legolas.”
He reached up his hand and grasped onto that of his friend and Legolas helped him up, but before letting go, Legolas turned Aragorn’s hand over in his, eyeing the ring that encircled his forefinger. He raised an eyebrow in question which the man answered with a nod and then Legolas said one word more.
The name sounded different coming from this elf’s lips, the r’s softly rolling and the elf made it sound noble and full of subtle meaning.
“So you knew.” said the man as he came to his feet.
“I did.” answered Legolas, “But I am glad that there will no longer be the barrier of this secret between us.”
Wishing to lighten this first encounter after so long a time, Legolas laughed and opened his arms, alluding to the dead carcasses strewn about them.
“So you have met our spiders, I see.”
“Yes, you see,” answered the man, “I heard a rustling from up high and then there was something in this tree that I have never seen before. Mirkwood spiders. Bah. Why did you not help me to dispatch them?”
“You were doing well enough. Why would I wish to interfere?”
Grunting and rolling his eyes, Aragorn looked around him for Tôrann, but Legolas stopped him saying,
“Your horse is in good hands and just beyond this small clearing. Come, I will introduce you to the rest of our company.”
Soon Aragorn had met five others of Legolas’ patrol and they began walking once more, Legolas explaining that it would be about three or four days walk until reaching his home. It seemed that Legolas’ companions were just as curious about the adan as Aragorn was about wood-elves and much of the next two days was spent in quiet conversation between them. They were reserved, Aragorn noted, but not nearly as aloof or antagonistic as Aragorn had been lead to believe. Aragorn was pleasantly surprised by their easy camaraderie and resolved to try not to form impressions without having first-hand experience himself.
Legolas and Aragorn had not much time together to speak, but on the third day, Legolas’ companions took their leave, melting back into the forest as they said their farewells. Legolas explained that they were within one more day’s walk of his home and it was safe enough for them to continue on their own and that his patrol had gone back from whence they had come to scout the forest once more.
Once alone, the pair spoke first of family, Legolas eagerly inquiring after the twins as they had been good friends for many years and the trio had shared many exploits together. Legolas told of the Greenwood along the way, and periodically pointed out a particular tree and told its story, or let the tree tell the story through him by the touch of his hand.
If it were possible, Aragorn was even more enchanted with Legolas than before, seeing him anew among the trees that he loved. It was as natural to see Legolas here as it was to see Erestor with a book in his hand. As was ever thus when Legolas was near, Aragorn felt settled and content.
That night as they rested the conversation took a more personal turn. Legolas again took Aragorn’s hand in his, looking closely at the ring on his finger. Though not as interested in jewels or gold as his father, the wood-elf was not immune to beautiful craft and he looked with learned eyes at the fine workmanship of the intricate design.
“We have many gems in my father’s caverns, but none that have come from Aman as far as I know. It is exquisite and old. Have you learned of its provenance?”
“Yes.” answered Aragorn, “I know that it was Finarfin’s ring, given to his son Finrod, then it passed as a token of friendship to the man, Barahir and then to Beren himself. Through Dior and then Elwing and then on to Elros it passed and then down through the faithful to Elendil and his house. Though unlooked for, I am proud to bear it. It symbolizes the friendship between men and elves.”
“Even so.” answered the elf, who had not yet dropped the man’s hand.
“And the sword?”
Taking his hand from the elf’s, but not before gently squeezing it, Aragorn drew the hilt of Narsil from his belt. He held it out to Legolas who took it in his hands.
“Ah,” said the elf, “So old and so famed. It is said that it shone with an inner light when it was whole and that Sauron feared it. Rightly so.”
Aragorn smiled as he responded,
“But not too useful in killing spiders, I deem. I do carry my fighting sword also.”
“You are at peace with this new knowledge?” asked Legolas.
“Not entirely. But I do not disdain it either. What I had thought of myself has been greatly altered, but now I know what I am charged to do. I am not yet sure of the pathway to take, and I would encourage your counsel. But for now I am more than content to be in your company, mellon. I would not speak of it further if that is acceptable.
“More than acceptable, mellon-nin. Consider the subject closed between us for now. But I guess my father will have something to say of it when at last you meet.”
The elf reached out and traced over the man’s beard with a long elegant finger.
“You are 20 years of the sun, are you not? I was not even considered more than an elfing at 100! Many still look at me that way, but you are considered a man full-grown among your people and past your majority. You have matured, mellon-nin, in body and in mind. Did you know that Elrond and Erestor think you have the look of your grand-sire about you?”
“Arador? I do not think I have ever seen his likeness.” answered Aragorn.
“Nay, not Arador. I guess the one to whom I refer would be your grand-sire many times removed. I forget sometimes the many generations of men. I refer to Eärendil, your Adar’s sire. It is said of him that a light was in his face as the light of heaven, and he had the beauty and wisdom of the Eldar and the strength and hardihood of the men of old. I see it in you also.”
“Even you are not old enough to have seen Eärendil, Legolas.”
“Nay, but the description fits, just the same. You have become handsome, mellon-nin, even beautiful. The mithril in your eyes matches that of your brothers. And you have an elven air, as if you have seen many more turns of the seasons than you have.”
“But lest your head swell, I will tell you that I do not understand the need to keep hair on your chin. Alas, is just comes, does it not?
Laughing Aragorn replied, “Aye. But does it not make me look handsome and manly?”
“Aye, it does, in a strange sort of way. And you do not have so much as Beorn’s people or the Lakemen. It is softer than I expected.” said the elf as he limned his finger over Aragorn’s jaw.
Legolas took Aragorn’s chin in his fingers and looked directly into his eyes. Cocking his head in a way uniquely his own, the elf looked deeply and his lips curved upward into a knowing smile.
“You are changed in another way, are you not?”
“What do you mean?” asked the man.
Legolas drifted his thumb over Aragorn’s lips. “You have known pleasure at the hand of another. I can see it.”
Aragorn grew suddenly serious and somewhat defensive. How did Legolas know? Could Legolas also see where his dreams had taken him? He did not want Legolas to think….well; he did not know what he wanted Legolas to think. He wanted, but could not want. His cheeks reddened in embarrassment and he opened his mouth to speak but could not form a reply.
Smiling gently, Legolas answered,
“You blush? It is nothing to be ashamed of. I can see it in your eyes. You have reached your majority and it is to be expected. Did you like it?”
“Aye.” admitted the man.
“It is a setting free, is it not? A way of flying into the unknown and coming back changed.”
“Valar, yes.” whispered Aragorn as he closed his eyes and remembered for a moment his long night with Glorfindel.
“A way of showing love between two friends?”
So caught up in the elf’s mellifluous voice was he that Aragorn answered before he could think of Legolas’ implication.
“I would do this, if you wished it.”
Legolas’ face came nearer to his and he felt the elf’s soft breath on his lips.
“Do you want me to do this? To kiss you? Perhaps more?”
“As a way of showing love between two friends?”
“Aye. I have thought of it since last I saw you, and now you are no longer a child. I would not have either of us bind ourselves before it is time and then only with one whose fëa we truly could hold. But I would share myself with you, Aragorn.”
“Truly, I have dreamt of it, Legolas, but I would do nothing to put your soul in jeopardy. We have an understanding, then?” asked the man.
“Aye,” answered the elf, “But do not think because I have said this that I would not bind myself to you in every other possible way. I am not an elf to share my body without care.”
“And I am not a man to do so, either.” answered Aragorn.
Aragorn fluttered his lashes closed and with slightly parted lips tentatively leaned into the elf’s mouth. Legolas' lips caressed so sweetly that his heart nearly shattered at the feel of it, so much better the reality than his dreams. When they parted, a smile of acceptance came over his face.
They embraced tightly and Aragorn did as he had long wanted and pulled his fingers through the long fall of pale hair. Legolas had promised a warm bath and warm bed upon their arrival at his father’s halls, and so they did no more but rest that night, content within the clasp of each other’s arms.
END PART ONE
FOOTNOTES:A/N: *Tôrannroch – I am not an expert on Sindarin linguistics, but the horse’s name is put together from David Salo’s A Gateway to Sindarin (The University of Utah Press, 2004), from the words, Tôr = brother, ann = gift, and roch = lit. “swift horse for riding”.
All other Sindarin words are taken directly from A Gateway to Sindarin or Tolkien’s works themselves.
Taur e-Ndaedelos – lit. Forest of Great Fear – Mirkwood
Italized words or words between *** and *** (in plain text) is/are direct quotes from The Silmarillion, Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin.*~~~~~*
EVERGREEN: PART TWO (of two)
As Legolas had said, it took only one more day’s walk to arrive at Thranduil’s halls. The wood-elf had deftly wound his way through the familiar trees and soon they had crossed the small river and were at the well-guarded gate to the vast caves that housed most of Mirkwood’s denizens.
Aragorn looked right and left, taking in the very different residence of this elven realm, but noted with pleasure that like his home, the elves had worked within the natural land and built in and around it, if possible even more so than Imladris. Here there were no pillars or porticos, statuary or groomed gardens, but the Silvan elves had made full use of the natural features of the grounds; a bower of trees serving as a meeting and dining place, a niche in rocky outcropping for its armory, a clearing for the relatively small stable.
Legolas was greeted by several elves as they passed and though they noted Aragorn’s presence with curiosity, none gave the impression that he was unwelcome. Aragorn remarked on it to his friend, and Legolas answered.
“You may have forgotten that our people have long had dealings with the world of men. We trade with the men of Esgaroth and Laketown and even more, have fought alongside them. Though it is true that very few have come here, it is not unheard of. The rumors of our vast isolation are greatly exaggerated.”
“Yes, now I remember,” answered Aragorn. “The Battle of Five Armies was not that long ago. I even met the hobbit Bilbo when he passed through Imladris, though I was young. It was my first meeting with dwarves as well.”
“It is probably best that you not mention that to my father,” said Legolas, laughing.
“Though we fought beside them and shared the bounty, my father still does not harbor good feelings toward the Naugrim. It is not often that my father is outwitted, less so by a perian and a bunch of dwarves! At the end he did name Bilbo elvellon so he does at least bear some respect for the perian, but still not, I think, for the dwarves.”
“Of course,” answered Aragorn, with a conspiratorial wink.
“Come, I will take you inside the halls and show you to your chambers. There you can bathe before I take you to see Adar.”
Legolas led him to a grand doorway made of heavy stone and stained with a shiny glaze of deep green. It was inlaid with gold and small gemstones, lapis and garnet. It opened into a great hallway with high ceilings and stone walls. Aragorn looked with amazement at the vast cavern, never having seen rooms cut into rock such as these. He had expected it to feel close and dank, but it was neither.
“It is somewhat an irony is it not, that your home is said to be patterned after Menegroth? Delved first by the dwarves, and with their help made into a great underground city?”
“Aragorn! Though it may be true, we do not speak of it here. As I told you, there are few things that my father is adamant about, despite his reputation, but the admiration of things dwarven is not one of them! Though he came to respect Thorin, he still does not esteem the race as a whole.”
“All right, Legolas. Though there is more than one similarity between your father and that race. Perhaps he will come to see it in time.”
“Aye, when the Valar come to Arda, he will see it,” laughed the elf.
“Come, I will show you the rest and then to your chambers.”
Quietly they walked the long hallways; Legolas pointing out the Elven-king’s receiving hall and study, meeting rooms and banquet hall. Schooling his features, Aragorn tried not to be over-awed, but with every turn of a corner some new wonder appeared before him and it was hard not to show his amazement at the vastness or beauty of the underground dwelling. Gemstones and gold were periodically set into the walls and ceilings and though lighted by sconces, the glint of their facets made the caverns seem even brighter, in some places as if lit by the stars.
Legolas smiled as he watched Aragorn’s first perception of his home and was pleased that his friend seemed to appreciate it. Truly he had not thought otherwise. Aragorn was learned, if young, and wise for his years. Elrond and Erestor had taught him well the expected conduct of a guest and Aragorn had taken it to heart.
Entering a long hallway, Legolas showed Aragorn the doorways to the private chambers. Here were the rooms of the King himself, his chief counselors, Legolas and some few others of his father’s confidants. He also showed Aragorn the rooms where his mother had dwelt when she had lived there.
“Tell me of her, Legolas. I have not heard you speak of your mother.”
“Ah,” said the elf, “She was, or shall I say is, an elf of full Silvan blood. She was no delicate flower to be coddled and catered to and it is one of the reasons my father loved her, I think. She was one of the few elves that I ever saw stand up to him and even sometimes put him in his place, but she was curious of the world in a way not usual of her kind and one time, long ago, my father allowed her to sate her curiosity with travels to the other elven realms.”
“She visited Lórien and Imladris and then went to Mithlond. That last visit was her undoing, for her eyes beheld the vast ocean beyond. You are aware of the sea-longing?
“Not really.” said Aragorn, “I have heard of it, but it was not much spoken of in Imladris.”
“It is not often that Sindar or Silvan elves even think of the sea, so much do we love our woodlands and forests, but for some, once sighted, the longing for Aman grows and it becomes as a sickness, never fully healed until the song is heeded. It awakened in my mother and alas she was never more fully content in Arda. It was difficult to watch her turn from gaiety into melancholy, but it happened often enough that my father at last resigned himself to her leaving. She has sailed, Aragorn, and I miss her.”
“But you will see her again when you go,” answered the man.
“If I go, yes. And I will be glad for the reunion. But that is a long time away, if at all. I do not feel the need to see Valinor. Her name is Laegelin.”
Aragorn smiled when he heard it. “So you were not named merely after the foliage?”
“Nay,” laughed the elf, “Not merely.”
They walked a bit further before stopping at a doorway, which Legolas opened with a flourish.
“These will be your rooms for the duration of your visit, mellon-nin, which I hope will be a long one. Come, let me show you.”
Aragorn entered the room and noted its furnishings. A large bed carved of wood was its centerpiece and about it were velvet curtains of deep green. There was a table and two chairs and a slim wardrobe to store his belongings. There was also a small fireplace, though Aragorn wondered at how such a thing existed deep in an underground cavern.
“How is it that there can be a fireplace here? Are we not deep in the rock? Not that I am not grateful, mellon, if fact I am very glad of it, for it will warm me both in body and in spirit.”
Legolas came up behind him and slipped his arms around the man’s waist. He nestled his head on Aragorn’s shoulder and replied,
“There are vents in the walls, mellon. But if you are cold, you need not a fire for heat. I will happily provide all the warmth that you need.”
Aragorn turned in Legolas' arms and returned the embrace, holding the elf’s lithe body close to his.
“I shall endeavor to be cold then, mellon-nin.” he whispered.
Aragorn could not get enough of the feel of Legolas' hair, and he touched the side braids, following them down to their end near small of the elf’s back. Holding them firmly between calloused fingers, Aragorn leaned into Legolas, taking his mouth with his own and kissing him soundly, determined lips meeting soft pliant ones.
Legolas’ eyes danced at the touch and he smiled into Aragorn’s mouth.
“I am glad that you did that, mellon-nin. It was hard not to touch you for these last few hours and though it is not wrong for us to be close, it would not be wise to be flagrant. I look forward to more…, later on. But now you must bathe and ready yourself to meet Adar. He is an impatient elf and will not take kindly to our being late.”
“Is there anything else I should know of your father, ere we do meet? Other than that which I have already learned? He does not disdain the Secondborn as you have said, so I will not worry on that account, but is there ought else I should know?
“Nay, he will not scorn your very race, and you are a king also, even if yet uncrowned, and well he knows this. It is only your Noldorin upbringing that is in question, I deem. Despite our friendship and even his with Elrond, if not at arms-length, he holds long memory and the Noldor he does not fully trust.”
“I will walk there carefully then, mellon - nin. Lle hannon…for everything.”
“I will be back in one hour’s time. The bathing chamber is through that door. If you need anything, please find Galion, our butler, or one of the house elves and they will be pleased to provide it for you. Until later, mellon.” With a glance of a kiss on Aragorn’s lips, Legolas took his leave.
Once alone, Aragorn unpacked his few belonging and stored them in the wardrobe. Though he had traveled light he had, at Glorfindel’s bidding brought a dress tunic of Imladrian blue velvet which he laid out carefully on the bed, along with his black suede leggings. He moved into the bathing chamber and was surprised to find an already full tub of hot water. He considered the ducts leading to it for a moment and inferred their workings before pulling a lever. Indeed it opened a spigot which allowed cooler water to flow into the tub, tempering the hot to a more tolerable level.
Aragorn disrobed and stepped into the water. He was glad for its warmth and for this time in solitude. He needed to think of all the new things he had learned and done and seen. Most of all he wanted to think of Legolas and how their friendship was changing. He closed his eyes and imagined the elf nude, the long smooth limbs displayed before him, the curtain of pale hair unbound. He reached down between his legs and began to touch himself and soon his imagination took him further, seeing Legolas’ face in the throes of his passion, feeling his tight channel clutching. Aragorn stroked harder and then came to his peak, long spurts of his essence arching over the water.
He lay back sated, glad for the release for it was more than just appetite. With it he had released the tension of the long journey and his apprehension at meeting the Elven-king, the disquieting feeling of so much that was new to him. Sighing, he finished his bath, rubbing his body with the soapstone at the tub’s edge and washing his hair. He stepped out of the tub and put on the robe that had thoughtfully been provided for him.
He ran his fingers through his hair several times to dry it and then used a brush. It felt good to be clean and as he was donning the black leggings he heard a knock at the door and his heart leapt into his throat when he heard his own name upon Legolas’ lips.
“Aragorn? Are you ready?”
“Come in, Legolas,” he answered and reached for the tunic.
Legolas entered and Aragorn’s breath caught for the elf had bathed also and if it were possible, his hair gleamed even more brightly and the blue-green silk tunic he wore made his eyes look like aquamarines, icily shining.
Swallowing hard, Aragorn reached for the tunic and drew it over his shoulders, but Legolas stayed his hands saying,
“Let me help you.”
“Do not touch me!” Aragorn answered and then checked himself.
“I am sorry. I did not mean it in that way. It is only that I fear the feel of your fingers on body will undo all the preparations I have made and even more, undo me. I would be single-minded when I meet with your Adar...”
Legolas laughed but still reached out his fingers and closed the metal toggles that held Aragorn’s tunic together. Smoothing it down from his chest to his waist, Legolas stepped back and regarded the man.
“You look more than presentable, mellon-nin. If it were not for other obligations, I would even now work toward your undoing but that will have to wait until later. Are you ready to go?”
Aragorn finished his dressing by donning the sword hilt, if only to give him a touchstone as he went to meet the Elven-king.
“Adar has asked to greet you in his study. I think you will find it less intimidating there. Remember Aragorn, he is just an elf, the same as me.”
“Yes, right,” said the man, rolling his eyes.
They came to the large wooden door and Legolas knocked.
The voice from beyond the door was sonorous and dignified and Aragorn gulped and took a deep breath.
Legolas steadied him with a touch to his cheek and then smiled as he ushered the man through the door.
Once inside, Legolas greeted his father and the King stood up, seemingly towering over both of them. Aragorn’s mind raced as he beheld the powerful elf-Lord. He could only compare him to Glorfindel and even that did not suit. Both were surpassingly beautiful and had hair of gold and both radiated mighty authority, but where Glorfindel’s had a mystical quality, Thranduil’s resided in his sheer physicality. He was decidedly of Ennor, the near embodiment of the woodland itself, venerable and discerning.
He was dressed not in robes, as the elf-Lords of Imladris, but in a tunic of deep forest green, with threads of gold swirling in vines and leaves throughout. The sleeves were full, but cuffed at the wrist and his fingers were bejeweled with rings of emerald. His leggings were black and as he came from around the desk, he moved as a lion, long limbs sinuous in their tensile strength.
“Adar,” said Legolas, “May I present Aragorn, son of Arathorn of the Dúnedain and son of the House of Elrond.”
“Mae Govannen, Aragorn, son of Arathorn.”
Aragorn came out of his momentary reverie and took a step forward. Bowing slightly at the waist he touched first his forehead and then heart before holding his hand forward in the universal greeting of respect for an elf of high station. His eyes met those of Thranduil and held them for a moment as one king met another and each did not look away but regarded each other respectfully.
“Mae Govannen, Sire,” answered the man.
“It has been long since a man of Númenor has graced our halls. How find you our realm?”
“It is beyond what I had been told and more than I expected,” Aragorn replied.
“Yes, well, I understand that you were greeted by some, shall I say, less welcome of our forest dwellers?”
Smiling Aragorn replied, “Yes, I have now seen Mirkwood spiders, but dispatched them easily enough,” and before he could stop himself added,
“No thanks to Legolas.”
“Hah!” barked the King, eyes dancing.
“He needed no help, though his technique could be refined.” answered a smiling Legolas, as he shot a look toward his friend and a knowing glance to his father.
“Come then, let us share a meal and some wine. We have arranged a feast of welcome, but not until tomorrow’s eve. We are glad to welcome our distant cousin, but will dine here together this night.”
“Distant cousin?” asked Legolas
“Why yes, Legolas. Are you not a scion of Elu Thingol also, Aragorn? If not many generations past?”
“I suppose I am.” answered the man. “But I would say that blood has been thinned to near non-existence. I am proud to be of the house of Elendil.”
Now the King smiled at Aragorn, regarding him with increasing esteem. He valued authenticity highly and he saw nothing false in the man.
“Ah, Elendil,” replied the King. “I understand you bear Narsil itself. May I see it?”
Aragorn withdrew the sword hilt from his belt and reverently handed it to the King. Just as respectfully, Thranduil took it, turning it over in his hands, and for a moment he was lost in reflection, a distant look in his eyes.
“As well you know that battle holds no good memories for me, as I suppose no battle should, but there in Dagorlad I lost my father and many of our people and even now it grieves my heart. But still, never have I seen men and elves fight so bravely, against such impossible odds, and your ancestor wielded this sword mightily. It was truly a weapon of great power. And it saw the end of the Great Enemy, if only for a time. Will you have it reforged?”
“Truly, sire, I have but just learned of my heritage and been given the gifts of my house. I have not yet thought that far ahead, but I suppose it is useless as it is. I carry it as a touchstone or as a reminder of my charge. I do not yet know of the pathway before me.”
“But you will go to Gondor?”
“Someday, yes.” answered the man, “When the time is right and I have discerned what should be done. I would welcome your advice if you would give it.”
Laughing, the King answered,
“Ah pen-neth, would you not heed the words of the adage? Go not to the elves for council for they will say both no and yes. Mithrandir is quite fond of that saying and repeats it often when he visits this land. But I will give you advice nonetheless, when the time comes. It will be up to you to determine its value.”
“And the ring?” asked the elf-Lord.
Aragorn held out his hand, extending his forefinger. Thranduil took the man’s hand in his own, resting it over his left palm. Aragorn was momentarily taken aback with the touch as for a moment he felt a spark shoot through his body. He could not explain it but surmised that Legolas’ touch was in his father’s also and that what he had felt was a faint echo of his son’s.
Eyeing the ring closely, Thranduil spoke as if only to himself, “Fine craftsmanship indeed. Perhaps it is true and it is the work of the kin-slayer Fëanor.”
And then he looked at Aragorn, eyes narrowed,
“So. Are you the snake that devours or upholds?”
Aragorn was quick to respond, “Neither!”
“Or perhaps both. I do not know.”
“Words of wisdom indeed. Perhaps you will be one after another in its turn.”
And then dropping his hand, he became a King of Wood-Elves, eyes twinkling in mirth and merriment.
“But enough of such serious talk. Let us eat! And drink. Legolas, show our friend to the table and seat him between us.”
Smiling broadly and with pride in both his friend and his father, Legolas swept the room with his arm and then rested it gently at Aragorn’s waist.
“Come, Aragorn,” he whispered, suggestively “The sooner we eat, the sooner we can be at our leisure.”
The remainder of the meal was spent in amiable conversation, and Aragorn was glad to let the King expound on the merits of his woodland home. He breathed more easily now and let the wine do its work, lulling him into a quiet contentment. Periodically he stole a look at his friend, so like and so unlike his father. He saw it, the same strength; and Legolas was strong both in body and in character but it manifested differently in each, Thranduil’s more obvious, and Legolas’ more enigmatic And he saw the father in the son’s countenance but where Thranduil was handsome, Legolas was…beautiful.
Just as he was about to drift into a dream, a gentle hand on his arm brought him back to Thranduil’s table. Legolas looked at him knowingly and the end of his lips curved upward as he spoke,
“Are you tired, mellon-nin? Perhaps you should find rest after your long journey.”
“Of course, you should rest, Aragorn,” said the King, “Tomorrow, I just may show you what remains of the dragon’s hoard, and other wonders besides.”
“Lle Hannon, Sire. And I thank you as well for your welcome. I especially appreciate your provisions for my warmth. It was most thoughtful of you.”
Taking their leave, Legolas pulled the man into the hallway. With wide eyes he regarded Aragorn, a look of disbelief on his face.
“Overall, I think it went well, but you are bold, mellon-nin and cheeky besides. I could barely contain myself when you spoke those last words. Now. Are you truly that tired?”
“Nay, I am not that tired,” Aragorn replied and then added,
“But I am cold.”
Legolas’ eyes sparkled as he made his reply,
“In good conscience I cannot allow a guest of our realm to be discomfited. Come with me and you will find warmth.”
“I am glad to hear that you take your responsibilities seriously,” answered Aragorn wryly.
“Where will we go?”
“To my chambers. Come.” Legolas reached out his hand and Aragorn took it, following the wood-elf as he made his way through the cavernous hallways.
They came to a large wooden door and Legolas opened it, beckoning Aragorn to enter. Once inside, the elf closed the door solidly and threw the bolt.
The chamber was filled with a soft light; its walls were green and silver and its roof was gold. So like him, Aragorn thought. The silver for the moonlight which was Legolas’ fair skin, and the gold for his hair. The green for the very soul of this wood-elf and for the refreshment that he offered.
But for the soft light provided by the wall sconces it was dark and close, warm, thought the man and as if grown from the very walls and floor itself there were plants abundantly placed throughout. He felt nestled in the very heart of the woodland and indeed, as men will, felt an intense need to possess it, to take it within him, to imprint it upon his very being.
He advanced toward the wood-elf and Legolas turned toward him. They met and touched foreheads, recapturing the province that belonged to them alone and they lingered long, denying the world beyond the thick door. Legolas slipped his arms around Aragorn’s waist and together they stood, eyes closed and breathing deeply, as if to inhale the very essence of one another.
Reaching out a tentative hand, Aragorn touched the wheaten hair that he so loved and with both hands spread the locks back and downward exposing Legolas’ ears. Making sure he brushed over them, Aragorn followed the long trail of pale silk down to its end and held fast for a moment, letting the tendrils fall through his fingers.
His arms came together at the small of the elf’s back and he pulled Legolas close, reveling in the feel of the elf’s body molded against his. He nestled his head in Legolas’ shoulder and a small groan escaped his lips as he took in a deep breath and relished all that was his friend, the smell, the feel, the taut musculature of the elf’s lithe body.
Legolas sighed into him and rested his head on Aragorn’s shoulder sinuously moving his hips against the man’s allowing the longing to build. The heat between their bodies grew more intense and soon each felt the other’s sex begin to awaken, growing and prodding against one another’s undulating hips.
Aragorn lifted his head and pulled Legolas’ hair back; exposing the sensitive skin of his neck. He used his tongue to begin learning his friend’s body, savoring the very taste of him. He licked up the long pulsing vein in his neck and swirled over the whorls of Legolas’ right ear. An “ah” escaped from the elf’s mouth and he could feel Legolas’ warm breath riffle the hair at the side of his head.
“Are you yet warm?” gasped the elf.
“Nearly,” answered the man.
Legolas reached out to unclasp the toggles on Aragorn’s tunic, but Aragorn took his fingers between his own and moved the elf’s arms down to rest on his hips.
“Wait, please. There is something that I wish to do first,” said Aragorn.
Legolas’ questioning look turned into a smile as Aragorn took the left archer’s braid between his fingers. Beginning at the bottom, he untied the strip of leather and slowly unwound the twisted hair, enmeshing it with free fall behind it as he went. He skimmed his fingers over Legolas’ fair cheeks as he moved to the other and soon had untwisted the braid on the right. As he drifted his fingers to the large braid in back, Aragorn moved his lips gently over Legolas’ forehead and eyelids and Legolas leaned into him, relishing the feel of the man’s fingers in his hair.
“How did you know?” Legolas asked as the last of the center braid fell freely down his back.
Taking whole handfuls of the elf’s hair between his fingers, Aragorn simply smiled and took the elf’s mouth with his own, closing it with a kiss so gentle and loving that Legolas nearly melted at the touch. Deepening the kiss, Aragorn’s tongue limned at the opening of Legolas’ mouth and the elf’s lips parted slightly. He barely grasped the man’s tongue and held the tip just inside where his own tongue could meet it. Soon both were engaged in a torrid meeting, tongues entwined and delving deeply, mouths open and lips bruising.
Now both fully aroused, the man and elf ground their bodies together, inflamed flesh meeting ardent and in an intense burst of appetite began unclothing the other. Toggles flew and cloth ripped and soon both man and elf stood nude, fully erect and facing each other.
Aragorn stood awestruck, astounded by the sheer intensity of what had just happened and drew in a long breath as if trying to regain his lost senses. He looked upon Legolas and gasped anew at the luscious flesh laid bare before him. So long and lean and supple it looked; so hard underneath, muscles rippling, sinews tensing. How he wanted that flesh to writhe under his fingers. Legolas smiled enigmatically while Aragorn stared wide-eyed and the elf’s eyes glittered as he beheld the man.
“It is surprising that you should get cold, mellon-nin. All that fur. It is I who will be warmed when you wrap yourself around me.”
Aragorn groaned at the thought of covering Legolas with his body and he drew in a deep breath as the elf stepped toward him. Legolas laid the palms of his hands on Aragorn’s chest and then moved them over the man’s body, feeling the texture of the hair under his fingers. Aragorn’s turgid column twitched with each touch and soon Legolas’ fingers surrounded it gently cupping the sacs underneath. Breathing hard, Aragorn thrust into the elf’s textured fingers feeling each calloused whorl as it moved over his flesh. His fingers fumbled to encircle Legolas’ own hardened column and the elf gave way, allowing Aragorn to take both of them into his heated hand.
Hardened flesh met hardened flesh and they slid against one another mingling the juices that emerged from the engorged tips until Aragorn gasped at the strain of holding himself back. Gently letting go of Legolas, he encircled his fingers around the base of his sex and squeezed. Hard. He groaned at the touch and his knees buckled, but came back to himself and smiled at the questioning look in his friend’s eyes.
“A trick I learned from my teacher. I would save myself for you, Legolas, if you would permit it.”
The elf smiled as he moved closely again taking Aragorn’s hand in his own. He led them to the bed and laid himself down, long limbs splayed and arms reaching out.
“Come,” said the elf.
He nodded toward the bedside table and Aragorn saw what was alluded to. He reached for the vial and laid it between them and positioned himself to the right of his lover. Turning the elf’s face Aragorn took Legolas’ mouth with his own, gently nipping at the elf’s swollen lips as his fingers worked downward, tracing the elf’s chest in small circles. His fingers flicked at the puckering nubs and soon had them hardened and Legolas pushed into Aragorn’s hands as his breath came in short pants.
Aragorn slid a long leg over Legolas’ sex and the elf hissed at the touch. He bucked into the man as Aragorn straddled him, but Aragorn covered the elf with his body holding him down to the bed.
Legolas’ breath came faster as the man leaned into him and his skin prickled as the fur swirled over his now fully sensitized body. He ground his hips upward feeling the friction he so desired and Aragorn pressed into him granting it but for a short while.
“Please. I want to take you inside” gasped the elf.
“Soon,” Aragorn replied.
He removed himself from the elf’s body and with gentle hands guided Legolas onto his stomach. Aragorn sighed as he beheld the long unbroken lines of the elf’s torso, the muscles heaving with every breath and he moved his fingers down those long lines, from shoulders to waist and then over the hips lower down. Legolas quivered under the touch and moved the taut globes of his buttocks into Aragorn’s hands and Aragorn took them, squeezing the flesh beneath flexing fingers.
He pulled at the flesh, upward and downward and with each upward stroke the elf’s cleft opened just a little wider. Aragorn delved a finger down the crevice and felt Legolas shiver beneath his touch. Grasping the vial with his left hand, Aragorn raised it to his lips and pried open the top with his teeth. Spitting the cork to the side, he parted the elf’s buttocks and poured a fine line of the scented oil down the crack. Legolas wriggled as he felt the viscous liquid make its way slowly down and he clenched and unclenched his buttocks as the oil surrounded his opening.
Closing his eyes, Aragorn followed the trail of the oil, the forefinger of his right hand slipping down through the crevice. He circled the elf’s entrance with the slickened finger and then slowly edged a knuckle inside. Legolas’ move upward had his finger soon fully seated into the grasping passage and Aragorn gently withdrew and reseated it, and soon he was withdrawing and entering the elf’s opening with two joined fingers.
The elf bucked up into the man’s hand and he heard Legolas moan as he withdrew them from the elf’s body.
“Will you turn toward me?”
Legolas turned over on his back and the sight of the elf’s weeping alabaster column made Aragorn pause for a moment, suspended temporarily between wanting to take the elf between his lips and the craving to be inside him. He squeezed his hands tight and felt his fingers close over the vial in his left and made his decision.
He used the fingers of his right hand to limn over the tip of the elf’s phallus and circled slowly the engorged glans at the top. He drew swirls down the vein at its midline until reaching the heavy sacs just below. He cupped them with his hand, rolling the balls between his fingers, gently squeezing.
Legolas moaned and bucked upwards, the pendulous sacs now slipping through the man’s hand until his fingers were positioned over the elf’s intimate opening. Aragorn drew the vial nearer with his left hand and poured some of the oil over the poised fingers. As soon as he felt the thin drizzle hit them they entered Legolas again, two fingers gently prodding and prying the elf’s ringed muscle apart. He opened and closed them, carefully preparing his lover and with the long middle finger felt for the gland. As he turned his palm upward he grazed over it and the elf withheld a long breath while his passage clenched over the crooked finger demanding more.
Aragorn skimmed it twice more, slowly entering and withdrawing and so thrilling was the touch that Legolas barely felt the three tented fingers as they entered him. Aragorn pushed them through the loosened ring and briefly widened them, assuring himself that Legolas was ready. Nearly loosing consciousness, the elf managed to gasp out a plea,
“Saes, Aragorn. I want you.”
Never had more sweet words been heard by the man and he rapidly moved to sate Legolas’ need. He moved his legs between the parted thighs of the elf and poured the rest of the oil over his dripping sex allowing the excess to fall on Legolas’. Briefly he fisted them together, coating them both with the thick fluid and teasing the elf with his manhood as he slid them together.
Aragorn sat back on his haunches and gently lifted the elf’s thighs over his own. Moving down slowly and letting his erect column slide down that of the elf, he skimmed the tensing sacs and moved Legolas' legs upward exposing the pulsating passage to his sight. It beckoned to him and he positioned himself over it, but not yet prying.
Sliding his hands up Legolas’ sides he moved slowly forward. The elf’s clasping passage began to enfold him and the man’s eyes held the elf’s as he pushed a bit further. He slid home then and held for a moment watching as Legolas closed his eyes and parted his lips in a silent moan. The mere sight of Legolas’ open mouth quickened the man’s sex and deeper he delved inside the tight tunnel until he felt his own drawn up pouch hit the elf’s parted buttocks.
When he could go no further he fell into the elf and stayed for a moment. So lost was he, so utterly and thoroughly enraptured by this feeling of the heated warmth clasped around him that it was some moments before he came back to the elf that laid under him. He withdrew slowly, feeling every ripple in the tight flesh and moved forward again, this time sliding over the nub that made Legolas gasp.
He was rewarded at once by a long moan and Aragorn moved more quickly now, pumping his hips into the elf as he thrust. Legolas met him and together they moved one into another; one clutching and one driving forward, until both were in harmony and the sound of flesh slapping flesh became their only music.
Aragorn looked up at the elf and watched Legolas in his passion, eyes dilated and deep azure, lips sucking in great breaths of air.
“Are you near?” gasped the man.
Legolas opened his mouth to speak and in between deepening and faster thrusts, choked out his answer.
“Ai. Valar. Yes.”
Aragorn reached out his hand to touch Legolas’ burdened erection but barely had his hand circled it before it convulsed with his touch and long jets of the elf’s essence spewed forth, shooting through his fingers and coating his hands. He watched Legolas’ face contort in his passion and it became his undoing. Twice more he plunged forward before he too came, holding himself rigid as he felt his liquor spool out into Legolas’ depths.
Both man and elf gasped for breath as they emptied themselves and both now laid out bonelessly, Legolas bearing the man’s weight over him with ease. Legolas stroked the dark Númenorean locks of his friend, twisting the edges with the ends of his fingers and breathlessly managed to speak.
“Ai, Aragorn, I have lain with but a few, but with none has it been as fiery as with you. That was wonderful. And I am utterly spent. It must be so that men burn as elves smolder.”
Aragorn smiled broadly, glad that he had pleasured Legolas well and stroked over the elf’s torso, replying.
“Truly, it was better than any dream I have had of it. You are beautiful mellon-nin and never as much as in the throes of your passion. Do you not think you light a fire in me also?”
“But not quite so urgently, melethron. I now see that being with a man is different than an elf, but both have their merit.”
Thinking for a moment, Aragorn’s eyes lit with an idea.
“Then what you must have is a man-elf, mellon-nin. I can think of two that I can offer for your consideration.”
“You would play matchmaker? Perhaps one day I would look in that direction. They are both more than pleasing to the eye and there is the Edain blood…”
Laughing they both rose from the bed and Legolas directed them to the bathing chamber where they cleansed themselves of their passion. As they donned robes, Legolas looked at the man curiously, asking,
“So will you tell me?”
“Tell you what?” replied Aragorn.
“Whose hands were the first to bring you such pleasures? Where did you learn this?”
Aragorn smiled as he remembered his night under Glorfindel’s tutelage. He closed his eyes at the thought and then answered his friend.
“Glorfindel. It was Glorfindel.” sighed the man.
“Valar, Aragorn, but you aim high. It was the golden warrior who took you to his bed?”
“Aye, Legolas. It was Glorfindel who taught me, with Erestor’s permission and blessing.”
“You are not the first to be gentled under Glorfindel’s hands. I know of another who has a story to tell of a lesson learned from that elf. But it is not mine to tell and I should not have mentioned it.”
“It is well, Legolas, I will not ask. Glorfindel has many stories within him and I am just pleased to be one of them.”
They completed their washing and went back to the bed, Legolas’ long arms encircling the man as Legolas laid his head on Aragorn’s chest. Entwining his legs with the elf’s, Aragorn enmeshed his fingers in the unbound hair and he stroked the long tresses until he slipped into the deep unconsciousness of a contented sleep.
From that night forward, and for the fortnight of his visit, whether in his chambers or Legolas’, Aragorn did not sleep alone. He relished this time with his friend and lover, learning more at the elf’s hands than he ever thought possible and as the time came near for their parting Aragorn fully appreciated the deepening bond with his friend. He had come to love him, in nearly every way possible and before Aragorn left they had each named the other gwador. Legolas recalled his words to the man,
“Remember I said that I would bond with you Aragorn. In every way possible, save one. I hold to that promise and will come to you when you have need.”
Aragorn was overcome with love and gratitude and moved to assure his friend of its reciprocity.
“And I too, will come at your need, Legolas. Melethron. But I deem you should come to Imladris. That is where you will find your peredhel, mellon-nin, and perhaps with it, your destiny.”
Legolas blushed at the thought and lowered his eyes. Then smiling, dipped his head to the man.
“Good journey, Aragorn.”
He slapped Tôrann on the rear and stood watching as the man went through the gate and disappeared into the forest. Legolas envisioned himself in Imladris and with a gleam in his eye and with lightened steps, returned to his home.
A/N: The italized portion or the words between *** and *** (in plain text) is a direct quote from The Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring, Book One: Chapter Three, ”Three is Company.”
The reference to Galion, the butler is exactly as Tolkien referred to this elf in The Hobbit.
All elvish words are Sindarin and I am not an expert in Sindarin linguistics, though the name Laegelin for Legolas’ mother is composed of Laeg (green), or Laegel (green-elf) and the suffix “in, or lin” denoting a female. All other Sindarin words are taken directly from David Salo’s, A Gateway to Sindarin, (The University of Utah Press, 2004) or Tolkien himself.
Naugrim – dwarves