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TEMPEST AT WAR
Disclaimer: Not one Elf, man, or modern world.
Rating: T for hard war; if faint of heart, then I suggest not reading.
Summary: Thranduil Oropherion lives his life as a Homicide Detective in NYC. Everything is going smoothly until unexpected visitors arrive on his doorstep and he is needed to play his role as Mirkwood King again. Not AU. Dagor Dagorath Story. Part of Green Leaves Universe.
I wasn't happy with the previous version of this story, since I grew very much as a writer between then and now. This story, is therefore, being rewritten. Please keep in mind that this is a side project. So there are definitely mistakes in spite of my careful attempts.
TEMPEST: MODERN AGE
Everything in his apartment reminded Thranduil of his kingdom.
The colours of the living were earthy green and brown. There was a crocheted afghan draped over the ruddy brown couch that reminded him of the seamstresses hard at work in his halls. It was made by no seamstress, but rather an old kindly woman who lived next door and took crochet as a hobby. The curtains were light green in colour, accented with dark green leaves embroidered on it. His love for swords didn't fade; a real sword with blunt edges rested on its case on top of the short bookshelf in his living room.
The kettle whistled on his stove. He pulled it off and poured the water. He added crushed coffee beans to the water, and swirled the water with a teaspoon until it turned dark. He picked the remote lying nearby.
He switched on his stereo; lively music filled the apartment.
Thranduil picked up his mug of black coffee and ambled towards an open window. A smile graced his features as he leaned against the side of the window, letting the breeze caress his skin and hair. He was ready for work; dressed in blue full-sleeved shirt, sleeves rolled back to his elbows and finely creased pants.
He smiled down at the sight of his wedding ring, adorning the index finger of his right hand. Among the other rings he customarily wore, the marriage ring was lost but only Thranduil knew of its significance.
He never intended to stay this long Arda Marred once he returned from Aman. But he couldn't resist. Time brought about many changes. He watched the world change. There were skyscrapers instead of short houses, large cities carrying millions of people instead of small settlements of hundreds, vehicles that drove themselves instead of horses. He looked up at the sky, bright clear blue without a single cloud in the sky. He remembered when he first took a plane for traveling. It was a breath-taking and exhilarating experience.
He took another sip and gave a silent sigh of satisfaction. He rested his head against the edge of the window and closed his eyes. He relaxed comfortably.
The sound of his cell buzzing ruined the moment. He gave an inward sigh and checked the ID. He grinned when he saw a familiar name. He answered the call and pressed his phone against his ear.
"Can't I just enjoy my coffee in peace and quiet for once?" Thranduil asked before the person on the other end had even the chance to reply. The person on the other end of the line chuckled.
"I know you never like to miss a murder." The voice said. It was undoubtedly masculine, with an American accent and a droll of someone who was raised in the harsh environment of the Bronx. Thranduil took a small sip before asking.
"Don't be so happy about it." The man chuckled.
"In our line of work, everyone's dead. We can't be grumpy about it, Riley," Thranduil said dryly. He continued before Riley said anything. "Where is this murder?"
"Come down Central Park and you can't miss us."
"Okay, great. I'll be right there."
A golden haired Elf sat on a table outside a café. He was handsome to look upon, tall and lean, with muscled arms showing from his half-sleeved white polo shirt. He wore brown pants. He sat back in his chair, his back facing the café. His light blue eyes wandered over his surroundings with unusual alertness.
He wasn't alone. He had companions with him, men and women who were just as young and beautiful as he was. They were ten people in total- six women and four men. Grouped together, they were intimidating because of their chic looks. Sitting on wooden cushioned chairs surrounding polished wooden tables made them look as if they were picture from a brochure.
"We are sitting out in the open." The man sitting to his left addressed him. "Legolas, this isn't safe for us."
Legolas looked up and pocketed the fake ID card in the back pocket of his pants. He looked up at the Elf who spoke to him. He wore his black hair short, but slicked back from his face. His face had sharp lines, making him look stern and harsh. At the moment, his face was morphed into worry.
"I know," Legolas said softly. "I am well aware, Fion. But they'd think twice in attacking us in such a crowded street."
"He is right." Dorián, Legolas' close and childhood friend, said. Dorián sat on the other side of Fion. He was dressed in blue shirt and jeans, and he was the only one among the males who didn't cut his hair short. His black hair was tied in a pony, trailing across his back. He brooded with his arms crossed over the table and his chin resting on his arms as he watched the tourists pass by with a forlorn expression.
He looked up when the waitress came with a large tray laden with full steaming cups of coffee. He passed her a small, wan smile as she began serving them before returning to his thoughts. One of the women reached over, took his coffee and added the sugar according to his taste. He threw distracted smile towards, and flicked a stray strand of her silver hair back her ear. The woman answered it with a matching smile of her own, before she gave him a pitying expression.
"It'll be alright," she whispered to him. Legolas smiled bleakly and traced the rim of his mug with his finger. With his other hand, he flipped the fake identification card idly between his fingers.
"This place is so different."
He looked up, at the young-looking woman sitting across from. She was black-haired, pale-skinned like him. He could see the ghost of his own features on her. A marriage ring flashed on her index finger, similar to the one his father wore.
"It is, mother." He conceded. He uncrossed his legs and took his coffee. His numb fingers warmed around the cup. Legolas took a slow, luxurious sip from his coffee. He gave an inward smile. The coffee was bitter to the taste, with barely a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar in it. It was just the way he liked it. He remembered having trouble sweetening his coffee, long ago when he lived in Ithilien Forest, where Faramir introduced him to coffee. They used honey instead of sugar, and since honey was sweeter, there were times when Legolas mistakenly added too much to his taste.
"It has indeed, Arodien," an Elf with a narrow face and eagle-like movements assured Legolas' mother. His name was Thorontur, an Elf who once served Oropher before serving Thranduil when the kingdom fell on him. "It is not easy to believe this is the same place where the Elves once walked, where the Ents once lived."
"Where the Dwarves' hammers rang, and the Hobbits lived peacefully in the Shire," Legolas murmured. "Yes, it is difficult indeed to imagine it that way."
Time changed Legolas in many ways. He went from a curious child who found himself in difficult places to a young adult fully capable of mischief, to a responsible prince, and later to the mature role of a father and husband. That was the reason why he left behind many of his antics.
At the moment though, there was an entirely different reason why they didn't indulge in their usual light banter.
That's what they were at the moment. They lost their pursuers far behind. But every minute they spent here in the café was cutting their time shorter. The wake of danger didn't leave them yet. All the men were armed. Even the women bore weapons of some sort.
They needed to take a flight to a destination where they hoped to receive some form of aid.
He felt a brief touch on his hand and he looked. Életh, his wife and love, held his hand. Her light blue eyes met his in concern. She tugged on the cloth covering his shoulder and pulled him close to her lips. Understanding what she wanted, he leaned close and ducked his head to listen.
"Are you sure he will help us?" Életh murmured softly in his ear. Legolas nodded and pulled back a bit to look at her.
"I am sure," he assured her. He twisted his hand free and squeezed her hand in comfort. "We weren't sent here to do nothing. Our allies will have to help us."
Életh's pale, smooth forehead creased slightly. She was beautiful among the standard of Teleri. She was tall, very slim, with soft curves and long silver hair braided in a single loose braid. For all her femininity, she was quite capable of protecting herself. She was dressed in loose white camisole and white jeans with brown boots. Their fingers laced together.
"What of Aman? Your grandfather can hold on for so long."
Legolas' assuring smile faded. His brow furrowed slightly. His head lowered, his thumb absently stroking over the back of Életh's hand.
"He'll be fine." He said at last. "I am sure, that with his resources and the combined help from the Valar and the rest of the Elves, we can make a stand in Aman." He hesitated. Even his assurances sounded weak to his ears. He cleared his throat. "He'll be fine." He said, more firmly this time. "All of them will be."
Életh rubbed her free hand over their clasped ones.
"And what of your father? How will he react to us being here without him knowing?"
Legolas laughed and leaned back in his chair. He lifted his clasped hands and placed his hand around his shoulders and her clasped hand in the front.
"Oh," Legolas said, chuckling. He pulled his wife close and rested his cheek against her temple. "Don't worry. My… 'Old man' can handle himself."
"Thank you." Lee said, grabbing the coffee straight out of Riley's hands. His partner said nothing but merely pulled out another coffee from the coffee tray resting on the roof of a car. He had learned some years back that Lee would take coffee, regardless if it was for him or not.
"I thanked you." Lee said, throwing a grin over his shoulder. "Now, come on and show me why I had to wake up so early."
"We have two victims, found by one of the cleaners here. Female victim's name is Lisa Harding, and male victim's name is Esposito Abate." Riley said, walking beside Lee. "Man and woman found dead, so far no witnesses turned up."
"God, this coffee is terrible."
"I drank from it." Riley said, grinning. Thranduil narrowed his eyes at his friend.
"Did you spit into it too?" He demanded, with slight humor in his voice but Riley continued to grin.
"It is quite possible." Riley drawled.
Making a face, Thranduil thrust the coffee back in Riley's hands and took the untouched one from him. Once he was assured the coffee was untouched by taking a sip, he changed the subject.
"And where are these two victims?" He asked.
"Over there." Riley pointed. Thranduil sobered. The crime scene was placed in a small cluster of trees, all taped together by spreading yellow tape. They reached it quickly, ignoring the bystanders and passed through the crime strip, pulling out their badges before heading into the crime scene. He spotted a young, healthy woman with tanned skin and long shining black hair tied in a ponytail, kneeling beside one of the victims.
"Riley said something about you not willing to leave your bed. Is there a reason?" she asked, looking up after greeting him.
"Don't you all have anything better to do than to prod in my personal life?" Thranduil retorted. The Hispanic doctor only shrugged.
"It makes good gossip." She replied and Lee shook his head, looking down.
"Talk about romance that kills," Lee remarked dryly, kneeling down before the two victims under a shade of a tree. A man and a woman lay side by side on a spread sheet. Thranduil looked around. "What happened?"
"There are no external wounds, but they did eat together. There is a bottle of wine and some homemade pasta-"
"A way to a man's heart is through his stomach?" Thranduil interrupted. Monique shot him a weary look.
"Ten years and you still stick to your puns. But yes, and it was probably what killed them both."
"Also explains the lack of witnesses." Riley spoke up. "We do not have any cameras in the area but I will see what cameras they can pull up for us. And it was no robbery. Both of them had their valuables and they missed that pretty gold bracelet on the victim's wrist. And the guy's watch could give some cash too."
"Time of death?"
"Somewhere from 3 to 5 a.m."
"Okay, let's get hold of next of kin and see what this is all about."
Once they reached the precinct, Thranduil declared he needed another cup of coffee.
"I don't know why I bother bringing you one when you always complain about it." Riley said.
"Because you know I will not be capable of civilized speech before it."
Riley gave a grunt.
"You are too sour, ya know. You always have this fixed schedule. Someday, some serial killer could kill you because of how you live. Hell, I would kill you because how you live." Thranduil's brows rose up at that statement.
"I will have that cup of coffee now."
"I am telling you, you need to liven up a little." Riley said to him, offering Lee a second cup of coffee before sitting by his desk. Thranduil nearly shook his head. This was one argument they had almost every day.
"I am living." Lee replied mildly. He took a small sip, and let the bitterness sooth him. He looked up at his friend and added, "Every day, in fact. I try not to do otherwise."
"No, no, no." Riley said impatiently. He was so burly and, well, huge that he often reminded Thranduil of the men of Rohan. Riley waved his pen at him. "You need to live more than just like that, man. Go to the clubs, find yourself a girl. Maybe even settle down a bit."
"I am settled," Thranduil protested but it was lost as Riley continued, heedless of him.
"Speaking of which, my wife has this amazing friend-"
"I am not interested." Thranduil interrupted, loudly this time. He held up his mug and took another sip.
"No, well I can look for someone else… I know a guy-"
Thranduil took in a hasty gulp of hot coffee, scalding his tongue. He choked and sputtered. He turned and leaned against his table as he struggled to get himself under control. Riley started to thump him hard on his back.
"Riley," Thranduil gasped. "I know you mean well but stop helping me."
"Come on, man. You have to have something to spice up your life. Look at your apartment, for example. It's too clean and tidy. Now, this friend of my wife, Clara-"
"For pity's sake, I am married!"
"Really?" Riley gave a disbelieving snort. "And who is this person?"
"A wife," Lee said through gritted teeth, catching onto Riley's hidden meaning. "And I am well happy with her, thank you."
"I am telling you, if this is your imagination or it's a doll-"
Thranduil burst out laughing.
"You are being ridiculous." He said, still chuckling. "Come on, you idiot. We have to get to work."
"Detectives," one of the policemen called up to them, "Someone here for you two."
They both glanced up and caught sight of worried-looking parents standing and staring at them. Just then a young woman entered, clutching a handbag in anxiety. They made eye contact and the father lurched at her, both hands spread out.
"YOU! This is your entire brother's fault! He was no good for my daughter!"
Several things happened at once. The mother sobbed and tried to get hold of her husband. Lee and Riley shouted at the guards to restrain him. The young woman dropped her bag in fright and retreated hastily.
"Richard! Please!" The mother pleaded just as two men wrestled to get father's hands behind his back.
"You take the girl and I will handle the parents." Riley said. Recognizing what Riley meant, Thranduil rolled his eyes.
Legolas smiled widely at the man with a stooped back standing a few feet away from him.
He was a tall, thin man with a sloping back. He wore a trimmed silver-blond beard close to his jawline and matching hair cropped short just beneath his ears. He stood with quiet air, studying the papers in his hands while the men worked in front of him, gathering the cargo on of the ships needed. Legolas stepped forward confidently to the man, who seemed so different from his usual robes.
The man barely glanced his way before returning his gaze to his papers. He spoke something in fluent French, turning a paper to read its back contents.
"I do not know what you have said, my friend." Legolas replied in Sindarin. At the sound of his voice, the 'man' gave a violent start, almost losing his hold from his papers which would have been drastic. The sea wind blew hard and fast. "But I am not your regular customer."
Círdan looked at him in surprise, mouth agape.
"You-you-" It was most satisfying to see Círdan, who had seen so much in his lifetime to not be so easily rattled, was so speechless.
"It is a long story." Legolas interrupted. "I will be willing to tell you all, but tell me first; do you have some ship we can borrow to get to the States?"
"So what'd you get?" Riley asked.
"What'd you get?" Thranduil asked in return.
"Fine, I will go first, but tell me; did she swoon when she saw you?"
Lee threw a file at Riley, who ducked.
"Pray ask me again." Thranduil said, gesturing at his phone.
"Shaw's not gonna like you throwing things around."
"Well, she will turn a blind eye to it. I am the only one around here she tolerates."
"Ah, cellphone's buzzing." Riley dug into the back pocket of his pant and glanced down at it.
"Wife's asking if dinner is still on tonight." Riley said, glancing up from his cellphone.
"Tell her it is on." Thranduil replied, shifting through his papers. "Tell her she doesn't have to worry. I will make sure it will edible." Riley gave a grunt. "Alright, let's compare notes."
"So, the girl was the sister of our male victim. Said he used to hang out with the rough sort of crowd, eventually got mixed up in a gang before he met our female victim. Changed his life around for her; left drugs, left the gang and everything of his old life."
"Parents of the female victim didn't like him." Riley said, checking his own notes. "Said they couldn't forget his past and they didn't want their daughter be mixed up with that kind, blah, blah, blah. Oh, here is something interesting. Dad's a businessman and a good one too. It wouldn't do for his future image if his daughter married some reformed thug."
"Interesting. He has motive; could he be our killer?"
"3-5 a.m., he was out late with his wife at a party. Girl must have snuck out."
"Where was this party?"
"It was held by some businessman," Riley said, handing him a paper where he scribbled the address. "Let's go and see if they know anything."
They did go there, a quaint house full of expensive things and gaudy colors, but they found nothing, except the father was not their killer.
"Time to check up on this gang, then," Thranduil said.
Thranduil placed the rice in a dish and shifted it into the oven to keep it warm and dropped halves of peeled almonds in sizzling oil on a frying pan. The mouthwatering aroma of freshly cooked food wafted in the air before it made its escape through the open window in the living room.
"I can't believe you cook."
"It has nearly been ten years since you have been friends with me." Thranduil pointed out.
"Yes, but," Riley gestured at him helplessly. "You cook!" He gestured at Thranduil as he shuffled out the fried almonds into a tray. Thranduil chuckled; the sizzle of oil rang in his ears. He never cooked, not even when he traveled with his comrades.
"I live alone- as you can see," Thranduil said with dry humor. "I needed to learn to cook my own food."
"Get a girlfriend then," Riley said. Thranduil gave a weary and slightly annoyed sigh. But Riley continued, some mischief lighting up his eyes, "OR- or- some hot housekeeper to clean up the apartment."
"Riley, I am handling some very hot oil at the moment, and I am inclined to spill it in your direction at any moment."
Instead of feeling offended, Riley laughed.
If Riley was fire, Thranduil was ice. When they met, Riley was hot-headed, slightly bitter, with little to lose and Thranduil was the complete opposite. For Thranduil, he lived for so long and had so much experience that very little fazed him. Because of their opposite personalities, they made the perfect team. But it was Riley's marriage and children that really settled him down.
Thranduil threw his friend an additional wry look before returning his attention to the frying pan. Of all the friendships, he never expected that he would be friends with a man. Even Bard was just more than an acquaintance.
"Yeah, but-" Riley gestured at him helplessly. "You cook!"
Thranduil said nothing, smiling as he returned his attention back to his cooking. He had never cooked, when he travelled with his guards or with his Warriors. He had taken trivial tasks around the camps, knowing it developed camaraderie between him and his people, even if it meant shoveling out the privy. They could hear sounds of a cartoon over the sizzling of the cooking.
"Since when do you keep cartoons on your laptop?" Riley asked, glancing where his twin sons were lying on their stomachs, watching Spiderman on Thranduil's laptops.
"Since I have you for a friend… and you got married… and got kids." Thranduil said, punctuating it by work here and there, placing plates on the counter, picking the almonds to dry on a tissue.
"I get the idea."
Riley's youngest, a pretty girl of five years, ran into the kitchen. Thranduil immediately picked her up. Her wavy blonde hair swung when he did.
"Oh, no, you don't." Thranduil said, making her squeal in delight as she dangled in his arms. Thranduil bounced her lightly as he carried her out of the kitchen. "You are going back into the living room. I am not used to having kids running around in my kitchen. Shoo!" Thranduil lowered her into the living room, in a circle of her toys, before coming back.
Cassie was at the balcony, laughing and talking on her cellphone, hand resting on her hip.
"You know she wanted to bring over a friend or two." Riley said. Thranduil looked up, alarmed.
"Relax," Riley said. "I talked her out of it."
"Good," Thranduil said, feeling relieved.
"Her friend Wendy has been asking for you. You haven't messaged her ever since you went with her on a date."
"I did NOT go on a date with her." Thranduil said sharply. The topic was a touchy one. "It was a blind date. I was an unwitting party. I had nothing to do with it!"
"She still doesn't like you."
"Not my fault," Thranduil said. "Besides, why didn't you come to my defense when Cassie set us up?"
"I thought you would like her company!"
"For someone who picked a remarkable woman for a wife, you have a poor taste and that is why you are not my wingman."
"BOYS!" Riley roared. He would have made Thranduil jump in surprise if he hadn't been so used to Riley's 'father' tone. "You better not be on the Wi-Fi!"
Thranduil shook his head. Riley, by all means, was an attentive dad, but with firm rules. The fear of his children growing up the way he did sat deep into Riley's heart.
"They aren't." Thranduil said soothingly. "I disconnected it and it's switched off. Relax."
"You don't have twins, Lee." Thranduil burst out laughing. Riley mistook it as if it was on him but Thranduil remembered Elrond's frustrations when the twins were growing. "Why is it so silent?"
Cassie said a quick goodbye and hurried to her sons. She disappeared into Thranduil's bedroom for a moment before reappearing.
"They only turned the volume down." Cassie said, returning to the kitchen. "Do you need any help, dearie?"
"No, thank you." He pulled out the rice and placed it on the counter, taking out the almonds to dry on a tissue before sprinkling them on the two separate forms of gravy he made. Riley, Cassie and Thranduil nearly well had the same tastes, with a great love for Italian and Chinese cuisines.
"Dig in," Thranduil said, removing his cleaning cloth and habitually cleaning the counters. Cassie helped herself first.
"Oh," Cassie gave a grateful sigh, taking in a bite and savoring it. "This is just so good."
"Thank you," Thranduil executed a faultless bow worthy of a king before sitting down and making his own plate. "I am glad you enjoy it."
"Somebody else cooks instead of me. Of course I am enjoying it." Cassie said. "Why not leave your job as a detective and become a chef?"
"There are very few talents I have, Cassie, and cooking is definitely not one of them."
"What he means that he likes action more," Riley said. "Sometimes the way he pushes himself into a fight is like he is ready to go into war." Thranduil grinned.
"I can't help it I am spoiled for a good fight." Thranduil remarked. "Although, I think I think guns are overrated." Riley snorted.
"That you do," Riley said. He turned around and addressed his wife. "Did you know, one time when we were chasing some juveniles, he places his perfectly loaded gun in his halter and fights them with a knife-"
"I didn't like the thought of pulling a gun on teenagers just because they made bad choices." Thranduil said mildly.
"Oh, no, even when they had guns at you," Riley argued.
"Yes, well, as you said, they were juveniles." Thranduil said. He popped an almond half into his mouth for effect. The almond crushed in his jaws. "They made a beginner's mistake; they stood too close." Riley raised both hands for concession. Thranduil bent and placed the dishes in a line on the counter.
"Dinner is served," Thranduil said. He threw a playful wink at Cassie. "And I assure you, it's good."
"As long as I don't have to cook," Cassie said with a warm smile. Then she added, "And the meal is free."
Thranduil laughed. Cassie entered the kitchen and patted Thranduil once on the shoulder as she passed him.
"Remember to take the leftovers with you." Thranduil called after her. The petite woman stood on her tiptoes as she opened Thranduil's overhanging cupboard and pulled out a stack of plates.
"I'll negotiate after dinner," Cassie said.
"We'll take it." Riley remarked. Cassie threw a mock scowl at him as she laid the dishes on the table. Thranduil felt someone bump against his legs. He looked down and found Dawn's arms wound about his leg. Dawn looked up at him with a sweet smile. Riley's youngest and only daughter was painfully shy. She barely spoke, but possessed a bright mind behind her silence. Thranduil was among the first to hold her, and when she grew, she began to shadow him whenever he was around.
"Oh, are you saying that you prefer your partner in crime's cooking more than that of the love of your life?"
"Well, sometimes a change doesn't hurt anybody-"
"Oh, you!" Riley flinched away, laughing, when Cassie slapped her hand against his arm. Thranduil grinned and picked up Dawn effortlessly, making her squeal in delight.
"You have silly parents," he told the girl. Dawn giggled. He interrupted the couple's bantering. "Alright, lovebirds, let's sit down for dinner. I'm starving!"
He placed the leftovers in containers for Riley and Cassie to take, in spite of their protests. "You know if it stays, I'd be eating Chinese a week." He told them. "I like a bit of change in my food."
They cleaned and washed the dishes together while "A Wonderful World" played in the background.
Círdan managed to get over his shock quickly enough to take Legolas to his office. It was a spacious one, but full of French antiquities. Legolas stopped by a clock and admired the woodwork.
"19th century," Círdan said. "It once belonged to a French noble." There was a lilt of French accent in his voice.
"You speak French." Legolas said.
"You speak English." Círdan returned. He sat down behind his desk. Legolas went to the desk and picked up the metal statuette of a ship shaped into a swan. He ran his fingers on it, feeling the smooth, cold surface of the ship. "How did you come here?" Círdan queried.
Legolas looked up from the statuette. Then he threw a meaningful gaze from the ship to Círdan.
"By a ship," he said dryly. Círdan smirked.
"Since when?" Círdan pressed. Legolas carefully placed the ship back on Círdan's table.
"It's been a while." Legolas said. "We need to reach America."
"I have a ship." Círdan supplied.
"We have enemies on our tail." Legolas added carefully. Círdan smiled and shook his head.
"You needn't worry about them." Círdan returned smoothly. "I have people to take care of for nuisances." Legolas raised both brows but he decided it was better not to ask. There was already enough on his mind.
"I am sure you do." Legolas returned in just the same dry tones. Círdan flashed a grin at him, white teeth glittering in the lamplight. Legolas noticed Círdan kept the blinds shut for privacy. He threw a short gaze at the various framed documents behind Círdan.
"Silver Star Line," Legolas read. "How did you come by the name?"
"The light of Eärendil the Mariner guides us. And the stars have always been a seafarer's friends."
"Now that's the poetic Círdan I once knew." Legolas said under his breath. But Círdan heard him and he laughed in return. "Don't you miss Aman?"
"Indeed, I do." Círdan agreed. "I missed it dearly." He gestured Legolas to sit down. Legolas complied, sinking into the soft cushion of the chair. "I miss the beaches, especially, with white and blue gems strewn over the shores. I hear it is getting difficult living in Aman."
Legolas' smile disappeared completely.
"It is." Legolas' voice was barely above a whisper. He spoke so low, as if the evil that plagued Aman was capable of eavesdrop, as if the danger can somehow materialise over the distance until it fell right between them in the secluded office. "It's getting dangerous. We had no choice but to leave it behind and come here."
"How long have you been fleeing from your enemy?" Círdan asked. Legolas found the shipwright's brow furrowed. He imagined how he looked; Legolas had no doubt he looked tired, weary, and eager for a good rest without the fear of ambush or attack.
"It's been nearly a week." Legolas said. "We are a group of four Ellyn and six Ellyth. The Ellyth do their share. But even keeping the watch and changing it by the hour, shifting at even the slightest hint of our pursuers can be exhausting."
"Oh, no doubt," Círdan agreed immediately. He ran his eyes over Legolas' form, noting the clean, new clothes and the style of the outfit.
"You are certainly well-dressed for someone on the run." Círdan said in dry tones. He turned around until his back was towards Legolas and carefully pulled out a file. "I could say the same for the rest of your crew."
"If you had seen us before, you'd know." Legolas said calmly. His English rolled off his tongue as if it was his native language. There was a faint hint of British accent to it. "We barely took baths, and our clothes were torn in pieces." Legolas gave a loud exhale. He was tired- tired of running. "We barely slept."
Círdan turned around and walked up to the younger Elf. He pressed his hand on his shoulder in comfort.
"You'll find rest here." He said, trying to put him at ease. Legolas passed him a small grateful smile. Círdan returned it with one of his own and released him. Legolas tilted his head lightly.
"You left Aman." Legolas said. "Many wondered why."
Círdan looked up from his iPhone. His lips were lightly pressed together. His jawline rotated. He looked pensive.
"I was never the kind to live a life of peace." Círdan said. His voice was quiet. He looked up with a small smile. "The Sea is my mistress-"
"-And I have long since given my love to it," Legolas finished. He smiled at Círdan. "It's a famous saying of the Teleri Elves."
"Indeed," Círdan demurred. "What do you intend to tell your father once you meet him?"
"How did you know he was here?" Legolas questioned.
"We have the same contact supplying us information." Círdan replied. Legolas made a soft 'ah' sound in understanding. Silence fell between them until Legolas finally spoke.
"I don't know what I will tell him," Legolas admitted. "I think he will be very surprised to see us here." Círdan said nothing but he was listening attentively. Emboldened, Legolas continued. "He lived here for so long, and we barely heard anything of him."
"I am sure he is still the same father you always knew." Círdan returned. "Not even a century has passed. An Elf can't change so fast." Legolas only frowned and said nothing. He had some doubts but he didn't voice them. Some fears were better left unspoken. An uncomfortable silence stretched out between them.
"I have spare rooms in my house," Círdan said at last. "You will be safe there. Take the rest you need, and I will supply you and your friends with everything." Then the shipwright paused briefly. "Does… Thranduil know of other Elves living here?"
Legolas winced inwardly. No, his father wasn't aware. He didn't want to tell him either. He doubted his father would react kindly if he knew.
"No, Oromë said he didn't know." Legolas answered. He tapped his fingers over the surface of the desk. "I don't intend to tell him until its necessary."
"I suppose that is for the best." Círdan conceded. Then he stood up. The chair screeched backwards as he did so. Legolas did the same. "Come on. Let me take you home." The shipwright opened the door and gestured at Legolas to go through first. Círdan's next words stopped Legolas in his tracks.
"It's starting, isn't it?" The shipwright asked quietly. His voice was barely above a whisper, as if some unseen force could hear them. Legolas didn't look at him. He nodded wordlessly.
"In a way, it already started."
-This story was written long before I knew the actor of Thranduil was named "Lee". By then, the name was woven into the story.
-Do leave a review! :)
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