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From Wilderness to Cities White  by Larner

Written for the LOTR Community "Nostalgia" fixed-length ficlet challenge.  For La-Prime, Just_Ann_Now, Nierielraina, Virtuella, ThunderaTiger, and Illereyn, for their birthdays.

A Promise ere Parting

            “For what do you pine, ion nín?" asked the Elvenking.

            Legolas’s eyes were distant as he turned to meet his father’s gaze.  “What leads you to believe I pine for anything, hir nín?” he asked, his voice toneless.

            Thranduil shook his head, examining his golden-haired son from head to the toes of his soft leather shoes.  “For the past yen we have barely seen you here within the Greenwood, for you have been about the establishment of your own realm, spending time amongst your mortal acquaintances.  But now that Elessar is gone it was my hope you would perhaps return here for a time ere you resumed your rule.  And here you are----” he indicated the balcony on which Legolas had spent so much of this visit, staring westward, “and it is obvious that your heart is not with us, your family and your people.”

            For a time it was not clear what it was the younger Elf considered, but at last he truly saw his father and King.  “For what do I pine, Adar?” he asked.  “Not for anything within your power to grant to me.”

            “I almost wish that the Enemy’s Ring had remained lost, for then I would not have lost you.”

            The answer was a twisted smile.  “Would you truly prefer it were this stronghold still surrounded by tainted trees, the great spiders, and Sauron’s other atrocities?”  Legolas sighed.  “My time to go West approaches swiftly, Adar.  I began the building of my ship long ago.  Gimli sails with me.”

            Thranduil’s heart twisted.  “I cannot tempt you to stay, my son?”

            “I was lost to you the first time I heard the wailing of the gulls.  They call, and I must sail.”

            A pause.  “Then greet your naneth for me, my beloved.”

            Wordlessly, Legolas assented.

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