1. Guardians of Gondor
Elrohir threw open the door to his chamber with brute force quite uncharacteristic of the usually calm and collected court advisor to King Elessar. If only he had not been responsible for the implementation of the law regarding settling scores by duels, for he could think of a particular minister who deserved to have his throat slit this very moment!
He let out a cry of surprise as he threw aside his cumbersome courtly raiment and turned around to see that he was not alone in his room.
"Had I been one of the Harradim, you would be dead."
Elrohir's scowl was replaced by a heartfelt smile in a flash as he approached the armchair.
Reaching up to kiss Elrohir, Legolas grinned.
"Why the black mood, meleth?"
Elrohir made a face at the reminder.
"Had I known what political intrigues being in Estel's court entailed, I would never have agreed to be any part of it!" Elrohir said, collapsing into a chair beside Legolas. He reached for Legolas's hand and started playing with his fingers idly as he ran through the events of the day in his head.
"A drop of starlight for your thoughts?" Legolas said, still smiling.
A frown worked its way to Elrohir's face.
"What are you doing here?"
"Are you not pleased to see me?"
"On the contrary, Lass, although I fear you have chosen an inconvenient time to catch me. Even now the rest of the court are awaiting my response --"
Legolas laughed. "If I had told you twenty years ago that you would be wringing your hands over Gondorian court politics, you would have ordered me taken to the healers with a fever!"
"Circumstances change!" Elrohir snapped, his tone harsher than he had intended.
Still, Legolas maintained his good humour, and wrapped his fingers around Elrohir's before bringing them to his lips and placing light kisses on them.
"Hush, Roh. I have not seen you in such a black humour for a long time. Perhaps it is time you asked Estel for a break? After all, you have not stepped foot outside Gondor in the last eighteen months --"
Elrohir shook his head, a morose expression growing on his face.
"Yet there is much within Gondor that still requires my attention."
"Dan would be glad for us to visit him."
"I cannot afford to leave all this behind. The negotiations have entered a sensitive phase. Estel needs me here."
Disappointment flashed across Legolas's features. It had been a year since Elrohir had found enough time to squeeze in a visit to Ithilien, and even that had been a hurried and official trip. Instead, he had found himself being forced to think up excuses to visit Minas Tirith to steal a few moments with Elrohir.
"Estel has been working you hard," Legolas said, trying to keep the accusation away from his tone. He was not about to mention how Elrohir was looking exhausted, frazzled, even.
A long sigh escaped Elrohir's lips.
"You know I do not enjoy being apart from you. I promise that once this is over, I shall accompany you to Imladris.
"Once again, Legolas tried hard not to show his frustration. Elrohir had said that before -- a year ago.
A loud banging on the door interrupted Elrohir's apology, and he almost screamed. A wry smile lit Legolas's face as he saw Elrohir clench his fists and stride across the room.
Once at the door, Elrohir flung it open, resisting the urge to curse as he saw who it was.
"Lord Elrohir," a familiar voice floated into the room, oily and slick.
"What do you want, Haleigh?"
The human's features registered his displeasure at being addressed so abruptly, but he covered his displeasure with a fawning smile.
"It is about today's negotiation --"
"There is nothing I wish to discuss in private, Haleigh. Everything I have said still stands, and if you wish to speak to me, the court meets again tomorrow morning."
"In that case, I apologise for disturbing your rest. I shall see you at the feast tonight."
Elrohir slammed the door and slid to the floor, burying his head in his knees. He relaxed when he felt strong arms close in around him, and allowed Legolas to engulf him in a tender embrace. Gentle fingers stroked his hair, and pliant lips brushed at his brow.
"I had forgotten about the cursed feast tonight!" Elrohir said, letting out a groan. "Why I am expected to show my face at an event that celebrates some minor victory that occurred two thousand years ago in a land five hundred leagues from my home is quite beyond me!"
"Because an invitation to the feast is the reason I am here."
Elrohir looked up, surprised.
"Estel wrote to me. It seems he too is worried for you. An urgent missive from King Elessar needs to be sent to the Lord of Imladris, and since Ithilien has unresolved business with our kin to the north, I have little choice but to accompany you."
Elrohir's face lit up, then fell again.
"Lass, while my heart wants to do this more than anything, I do not see how it is possible. You saw what I am faced with. Haleigh is on my back all the time, and --"
Legolas withdrew from Elrohir, and there was no mistaking his hurt this time.
"I was foolish to think that Sauron's downfall meant I could finally have my heart's desire."
"I am sorry, but you know I must do this," Elrohir said, reaching for Legolas's hand. "Estel's throne is not secure; he has limited experience in the subtle nuances of running a court."
Legolas did not retreat further, but instead regarded him for a long time, an unreadable expression in his face.
"Please, Lass," Elrohir said, trying to close the distance between them that yawned so suddenly wide.
"Will you go with me to Imladris?" Legolas said, and while his voice was quiet, there was no mistaking the hard edge.
Faced with such a situation, Elrohir relented and leaned him to kiss him.
"Yes, Lass. I will find a way to do so."
Accepting Elrohir's kiss, Legolas found a nervous feeling building in his stomach. He hoped Elrohir was not about to break his word -- again.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.