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47. Legolas Gets Therapy
Stealthily Wynne hurried through the corridor, until she found the right door. She knocked once and hoped that Thranduil, whose room was nearby, would not hear too. There was a slight shuffle, and then Legolas opened. He was clad in a night robe as well, his was darker and of a more masculine cut.
He looked tired.
“Can I come in?” Without waiting for an answer, she dived under his arm, which still held the door handle, and went to sit on his bed. His room was almost a copy of hers, sharing the same view over the park.
“You should not,” he murmured, but instead of turning her out, he closed the door and sat beside her, drawing his knees up to rest his chin on them. The posture made him look younger than ever. It was clear he was unhappy.
Wynne moved close and snuck an arm around his waist. “I made a fool of myself tonight, didn’t I?” she muttered. “Running out like that… in front of everyone.” With everyone , she meant Thranduil.
“I understand why, I heard what you said to Ada.” He sighed. “I do not want that life for you, with dresses and finery you never asked for.” He stared at his bare toes, peeking out from under the robe. “Valar! I don’t even want that for myself,” he exclaimed bitterly. ”These past months on the road, and before that, during my time with the Fellowship… that kind of life is me. I’m not cut up to be a leader, to give orders and manage a kingdom...” He wiped his eyes. “And I hate living in a cave. My father’s palace is underground, did you know that? When I was little, I’d sneak out all the time to roam the forest. And Ada would have his guards bring me back, and I’d be locked up in my rooms for days.” The words came tumbling out, quite unlike his normal refined way of speaking. ”I knew I’d be caught and punished, but as soon as I was released, I sneaked out again.” He sniffed. Wynne hugged him and leaned her head against his trembling shoulder. “My father had to give in, eventually, and allow me to go out when I needed to. He’d send Galion along to babysit me, usually.” He laughed mirthlessly. “Poor Galion. But I never liked stone. I never liked cities.”
“I agree, they should put some trees in them. And flowers. I can have a word with Prince Faramir, it would be just what Osgiliath wants.”
“Trees and flowers growing in a city, whoever heard of such a notion?” He smiled weakly, fighting to regain his composure.
“I think it’s a great idea.” Wynne pulled on his shoulder until he yielded and laid back on the bed. She stretched out beside him. “I would love to roam a forest with you.” She grinned naughtily. “Without Galion, preferably. I can think of many things to discover, just the two of us.”
His eyes were still blank from crying when he returned her gaze. “I would love that too.” Then he pulled her in to a hard kiss. She felt his longing, his need for her, and her body burned with the same emotions. The kiss grew intense and hungry. Their bare legs touched and intertwined, skin against skin. When lying down, their height difference was no hinder, and Wynne pressed herself tight against him, feeling his response through the thin fabric of their underpants. The sensation was unlike anything she experienced before. Her body was on fire, and she wished there were no clothes at all between them.
As she had in the orc cave, Wynne slid her hand in under his shirt. Her fingers travelled across his silky chest, exploring the unfamiliar landscape. Legolas hesitated to follow her example, and she remembered her stupid reaction before. Taking his hand, she guided him there.
He obeyed, again moving his hand upwards. This time Wynne was prepared, and this time she did not flinch when he cupped her breast. Instead, his touch increased her need for him, and when his thumb softly rubbed her nipple she almost stopped breathing. All she could think of was how good it felt, and how her body responded.
“You are so beautiful. I am so happy I met you.” His voice was husky. “However bad I feel, just being near you makes it better.”
Wynne then remembered why she had come, and much as she loved doing this, it was not her reason for coming to his room tonight. She regretted ruining the moment, but knew she had to. Kissing and touching would not take away his sadness. It might make him forget for a little while, but soon it would return. That was not good enough.
She reluctantly pulled back, trying to calm herself and breathe slower. Legolas retreated as well, his palm leaving a chilly emptiness on her breast.
“Tell me about your quest with the Fellowship,” she said, when finally her heartbeat had slowed down to a more normal pace.
“You didn’t tell everything last time.”
“Nay, I did not.” He leaned back, gazing up at the ceiling.
“I want to hear it.”
“I… do not like to talk of it.”
“Do you remember when you had freed me from the orcs, and then you came into my tent?”
“And I told you about what had happened.” A little at least, she had not told everything. Perhaps she would, sometime, but not now.
“Afterwards, I felt so much better. Like the bad memories got sort of less bad, when someone else knew about them. I think… If you would talk about your bad memories, maybe they would hurt less.” When he did not reply, she pulled his face toward her. His eyes were stormy, full of pain. “I know you’re hurting.” She kissed his cheek, and then his lips. “And I know you don’t want me to pity you, but truly, it won’t matter, because I love you.”
She could see the emotions flicker across Legolas’ fair features as he pondered this. Then he sighed in resignation.
“If you wish it, I will tell you everything,” he mumbled, leaning in to bury his face in her neck. She wrapped her arms around him.
His voice was low and unsteady when he began, starting with his decision to join the Fellowship without telling his father. He and Thranduil had always been different, and he felt like his father had never really understood him. So, just like when he was an elfling, he had run away. This time, though, he did not go on a harmless walk in the forest, climbing trees and practicing with his bow. This journey was dangerous, and had changed him irrevocably.
”Ada’s heart would have broken, had I not come back. He already lost so many loved ones… his parents… his wife.”
”What happened to your mother?”
”I killed her… when she gave birth to me. Aye, I know it was not my fault,” he added before she could protest.
Wynne’s heart ached for Thranduil. No wonder he found it hard to let go of his son. He had nobody else left.
As Legolas’ story unfolded, Wynne could not hold back her tears. She had never really thought about how the members of the Fellowship must have felt during their adventures. Her own experiences this summer had been dangerous and frightening many times, but that was nothing in comparison. Legolas had been through countless terrifying situations, and seen so much death and pain close up.
Then he described what it had felt like to kill. Not orcs, for at that time Legolas had thought them little more than animals, but humans, such as the Corsairs and the Haradrim. He had heard their shrill cries in pain when his weapons cut them up and spilled their blood, felt their fear, and watched the light fade in their eyes as they died. He had so many lives on his conscience.
Wynne felt almost physically ill. The loving and kind elf beside her, whose tears were wetting her chemise, was also a killer. It did not fit into the picture; as if that puzzle piece belonged to someone else. But killing was what warriors did.
“I see their faces sometimes at night, like they have come back to judge me,” he whispered, self-loathing tinting his voice. “And I hear them. ’Was it really necessary to shoot me?’ they ask. And I think of what I have done. Children orphaned, women made widows, all because of me. Most of the enemies probably just obeyed orders, they had no choice.” He silenced, drawing a ragged breath.
“You had no choice either,” replied Wynne, knowing it to be true. “It had to be done, or we would all have been doomed.”
”Aye. I know...” He sighed. ”I know.”
When Legolas had finished, it was late. They lay close together in the now dark room, he still hiding his face in the nape of her neck, and Wynne softly combing through his hair with her fingers. First now, she could begin to fathom the enormous sacrifice they had made to save Middle-earth; the Fellowship, the soldiers, everybody involved.
She wondered if the others she had met also suffered. Did Gimli, Faramir and Éowyn lay awake at night, reliving the horrors, seeing ghosts from the past?
“Do you think less of me?” It was barely more than a whisper.
“Of course not.”
“But I’m weak.”
“Weak? You?” She huffed. “You forget all the times I’ve seen you battle orcs and lake monsters and trolls and…”
“The troll fight went well, aye,” he said bitterly.
“You never once hesitated to attack, and you didn’t run even when it hurt you.”
”But I feared it.”
”It’s not weakness to be afraid! Don’t you think Aragorn and Gimli were scared during your quest?”
“They probably were,” he admitted after a moment’s silence.
“I think it’s brave to be afraid, and still go out and do what you have to do.”
“Oh Wynne, I love you so much.” His voice was distorted. “Thank you for comforting me.”
“When you’re sad, I’m sad, remember?” She hugged him close, like she could shield him from all the bad memories.
Her fingers resumed they caress of his hair, and after a while she felt his body relax and his breathing become even.
“You were right, it does feel better,” he murmured drowsily. “Please, stay with me.”
“I will never leave you,” she breathed into his hair.
But of course she had to, this was not out in the wilderness, there would be servants talking if they found a lady in the prince’s bed. She waited until she heard he was asleep, and then silently untangled herself from his warm body.
When she left the room, Wynne nearly bumped into someone, a stout figure coming out of the opposite door.
“Gimli!” she whispered, surprised. His own room was in another corridor.
The dwarf started, looking guilty. Then he saw where she had come from and his expression changed into a knowing grin.
“I dinnae ken ye were that close already,” he snickered. “I thought elves were all proper about… these things.”
“We have done nothing wrong,” she retorted, feeling slightly annoyed by his insinuation. “As I am sure you haven't either.”
“Me? Ehm.” He coughed. “I’d better be off. Getting a wee late! G’night, lassie!” The dwarf hastened away, his embroidered night robe flowing behind him.
I'm no fan of wars, which you probably figured out by now...
I hope I didn’t ruin Gimli for you dwarf fans by the way… ;)
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