36. Long Awaited Confession
Chapter 36 – Long Awaited Confession
Rhavaniel made her way down to the lower levels of the City. The devastation was horrific. Blood still stained the stones. Most of the bodies had been removed, but the people still worked to find and remove others. Fires still burned in some places.
She looked out across the field to the jagged mountains to the east. The sky burned orange and red. Sauron's armies may have been depleted, but Sauron himself still lived. Rhavaniel could not help but think of Frodo. Was he still alive? Was he there somewhere amongst the poisoned air carrying Isildur's bane? Or had he and Sam perished and the Ring yet survived?
Her thoughts were interrupted by a deep gruff voice. "You are the lady Rhavaniel I presume."
She took her eyes from the horizon to find a stout but sturdy dwarf at her side. "And you must be Gimli son of Gloin."
Gimli bowed only as low as his short body would allow and that was not much. Then he looked up to capture her eyes. She could not help but notice a glimmer within them. They had shown as bright as the stars on a moonless night. "I remember your father well from when he was…" Here she paused for the right word. "…held up in Mirkwood."
"Oh, you mean when he was so rudely misjudged and thrown into the dungeons by your King." Gimli paused and waited for her response. This one held her own though. There was no look of panic upon her beautiful face. "Oh you know I am only jesting. Those days are far behind us now. I also know that you fought upon the Lonely Mountain. It was my father that told your tale to the dwarves. Never before had any of them seen an elf, let alone a female elf fight so ferociously. He was very impressed with you." Now Gimli leaned in close as if to share a secret. "Carried a flame for you I think he did."
Rhavaniel smiled wide. "And I never expected such flattery from a dwarf."
They both shared a solemn laugh. "I must admit Gimli, I do not know much about you, but for Legolas to become such a close friend with you speaks volumes."
Gimli nodded. "Legolas did not speak of you very often, but when he did he painted such a picture that I felt I knew you well."
She knew Legolas had become very close friends with the dwarf. He would know where to find him. Then, as if he already knew, Gimli spoke. "He is over that way." he said gesturing with his head. "But Rhavaniel, you should know that Legolas has changed. He has seen things, felt things that no elf should, especially one as true of heart as him."
Rhavaniel knew this. She could sense it. "Is he well Gimli?"
"He is not hurt if that is what you mean. As for his mind and spirit… well, you will have to ask him about that. It is not my place to say, but I think you have felt this. He told me you were in despair and he called out to you."
"Yes, and I felt it then. Something drew him away. I was so worried Gimli. He completely separated from me." Rhavaniel said.
"You must talk to him. He needs you now more than ever. I cannot speak for my friend. That is for him to tell you, but he is in despair. He is confused. Go on now. Help him if you can and make him right." Gimli's tone was very sincere and she could see the love the dwarf had for Legolas. They must be very close friends indeed for him to be so worried.
Rhavaniel nodded, thanked him and went off to find Legolas. After searching through the rubble, she finally found him. He was sitting upon a broken piece of the wall, precariously close to the edge of an unstable looking bolder. The wind blew softly, lifting the ends of his long flaxen hair. It was the only thing that moved. His eyes were closed, head tilted up slightly as if listening to something far off in the distance. There was a hint of a smile upon his lips and Rhavaniel wondered what he heard. My but he was beautiful in this form. Rhavaniel gasped at the sight of him. He had changed. He looked more like a king than a prince. "He will be a ruler one day." she thought to herself. Legolas was his father's son and he looked more like him every time she saw him.
"Legolas." she called to him softly so only his elf ears would hear. He did not move or even flinch. She called him a few more times with same result. He was obviously in some sort of reverie. Even reaching out to him with her heart did no good. He was completely separated from the whole world.
There was one thing she hadn't tried yet though. She moved closer being careful of the broken stone and rock and with a raised voice yelled. "Thranduilion!"
She could see his eyes open but he did not turn to her. The smile remained on his countenance and he finally spoke. "I wish you could hear this Rhavaniel. The music calls to me. It is like nothing I have ever heard before. It is beautiful. It is loving. It wraps itself around every fiber of my being and I cannot turn away."
Rhavaniel closed her eyes and tried to listen as far has her ears could hear. She shook her head. "I only hear the noise of the city below, the cries of women and children as they search for the men."
He turned his head slightly to look over his shoulder at her. His smiled disappeared and was replaced with sorrow. "That is just it. You can hear nothing but the sound of battle. It is all that has ever really called out to you. You cannot hear anything but the sound of swords and bow strings. You smell nothing but sweat and blood. And what is your reward but for the sounds of crying women. So much sadness, it is too much for me now. I do not want to listen to this anymore. And so I hear a new melody." He finished speaking and turned his attention back into the distance.
While he spoke, Rhavaniel noticed small rocks and dirt beginning to give way from beneath the boulder Legolas sat upon. If he did not come down soon, he might just slip down with the rest of the debris. However, she knew he was in no state of mind to listen to her pleas. She would have to coax him down from his spot. "Alright then, show me this music. If it is as lovely as you say, help me to hear it too. Let me in Legolas. Open your mind and share it with me."
"I can try, but you will not be able to feel it as I can. You have not been touched directly by its graces." he answered.
"Then show me what you can Legolas." she said and closed her eyes, opening all of her senses and calling to him. Suddenly, she could feel an invisible wind blowing across her face. It seemed to stick to her skin she thought. It was familiar to her and she remembered where she felt this before. It was when she was imprisoned and called out to him. It was the last time they connected both heart and soul, and then she felt the same wind and heaviness. Again, like before, she licked her lips and tasted salt. She tuned in her hearing and could faintly make out the sound of flapping. At first, she thought it was the wings of some giant bird for it also flashed white in her mind. Then she realized that it was the flapping of sails on a ship. And the saltiness on her lips was…
"The sea?" she said aloud. "But when were you in the sea Legolas?" she asked confused. "You took the Dimholt road and brought the ghost army to Pelennor. You were nowhere near the sea."
"Aye, but the sea came to me instead. We took ships and sailed the Anduin to our destination. It was the quickest way and the only way to bring others with us who wanted to fight the enemy. Many joined us on the ships. Aragorn led them and I was so proud. He has come into his own. He is Elessar and brought his namesake with him, sharing it with all who want freedom. As I stood at the bow of the ship, listening to him give his speech of hope to the men, I heard it. It was so faint at first, I almost did not recognize it. I heard it again and my attention was drawn away from what was happening on the ship. It called to me Rhavaniel, and only me."
"And what did you hear Legolas?" she asked, memorized by his tale.
"Galadriel warned me of this and for so long I feared for my life. Then, as I stood on the ship, I heard her words again and it was no longer a warning to me. It all made sense suddenly." Legolas paused and then recited Galadriel's words. "…if thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore, thy heart shall rest in the forest no more."
"Oh Legolas." Rhavaniel whispered with sorrow. Now she understood her earlier visions and sensations. "The sea-longing has reached your heart." She paused as tears flooded her eyes. "You will sail from Middle Earth. You will sail from me."
There was something in her tone and Legolas took notice. Finally, he stood up from where he had been sitting. More sand and rock gave way and slid down the broken wall to the ground far below. "That is just it Rhavaniel. I cannot sail. I still hold an oath. I promised to never leave these shores until the breaking of the fellowship. Aragorn was our leader and whom I must remain true to. I will not leave before his end, but I will not rest again. The sea is a constant reminder now of a place I have always dreamed of seeing. Now it calls me to its vibrant shores. It beckons me to make the last journey home, but I must ignore the call somehow."
Rhavaniel watched a larger rock slowly give out its hold and slip away. Legolas seemed to be oblivious to the fact that the place where he stood would soon disintegrate. However, she could see that he was not ready to leave this spot for it was the closest point to the sea from the City. All he cared about was hearing its summoning melody. He began to turn from her once more but she needed to connect with him. "Legolas." she called to him in her most loving voice. "My dear sweet Legolas, will you not stay for me?"
He laughed under his breath. "Since when do you need me? Since when have you ever needed me? You are a great warrior Rhavaniel. You have followed your heart ever since I could remember. You have never needed anyone but yourself." His words seemed a little harsh but he spoke them softly, meaning no harm to her. It was the truth though. Rhavaniel pushed everyone away from her just to follow her instincts. It was something she only recently admitted to herself. Legolas' words just put it into perspective. She could see now that she may never get Legolas back. She had never been very strong in his heart and now the sea longing may replace her. But didn't she deserve this? Still, she needed to get him down from the failing boulder and she would say just about anything to get him to safety, but could she tell him she needed him? Could she let herself become vulnerable? It was something she never proclaimed before and was proud of it.
"Legolas, you have always been in my heart. No matter where you were or what you were doing, whether you loved me or hated me, you have been there embedded deep within my very soul. I am sorry. I am sorry for treating you any other way than the way you deserved to be treated. I love you Legolas. I love you whether you are dancing with me beneath the full moon or besting me in competition. Whether you are on the other side of this earth or lying beside me, I love you. And if you are dreaming about the sea and I am dreaming of our Greenwood home, my love for you will never falter. I guess what I am trying to tell you is that… I need you Legolas. I am not ready to let you give into your longing. I need to know you are here with me and still loving me like you did once."
Legolas turned around now and was facing Rhavaniel. The boulder shifted but he didn't even take notice. His attention was trained on her and her admission. However, Rhavaniel saw that the ground would not hold much longer and she quickly went to him. She reached out her hand to him. "Please Legolas, stay with me and let me stay within your heart. I will do whatever you ask of me, just please do not sail without me. Do not give in to the longing and forget me."
Suddenly, a light shown in Legolas' eyes. "You do not know how long I have wanted to hear you say this. I love you Rhavaniel. He captured her with his stare and she felt him once again. She felt him in her heart and in her soul. He reached his hand out to take hers when the boulder finally gave out from under his feet. Time seemed to slow down and Rhavaniel missed his hand as he fell with the giant rock.
"Legolas no!" she screamed feeling completely helpless as she watched him slip away with the rocks and sand. She tried to chase after him, tried to grasp his outstretched hand but all she felt was the tips of his fingers. And then he disappeared over the edge.
Rhavaniel's heart beat wildly. "Oh Valar no!" she repeated as she carefully made her way as far to the edge as she could get without herself falling over. "Oh please sweet Eru. Not now." she begged aloud.
Finally, after being able to get close enough, Rhavaniel crawled to the edge and looked down, expecting to find his body crumpled on the ground far below. All she saw was the boulder and her mind raced, thinking he was underneath it. "No Legolas." she said softly to herself. "I cannot go on without you."
Then from somewhere below came a moan or what she thought was one. She stopped and listened and then like music to her ears she heard it. "Rhavaniel."
"Legolas? Oh, by the gods I thought you fell. I cannot see you because of the debris. Are you injured?"
"I am alright but I've landed on a small jetty and I do not think it will hold for very long. Find Gimli. He knows where there is rope, but hurry." he called to her.
She rushed off and thankfully did not have to go far. Gimli heard the commotion and was heading her way to see what happened knowing Legolas was in that area. Quickly, he grabbed a length of rope and followed Rhavaniel to where Legolas was. He crawled to the edge and yelled down.
"I cannot leave you alone for even a short time and already you have gotten your princely self into a bind. So I guess it is only a wives tale that elves always land on their feet." he jested.
"Throw the rope down Gimli or I shall have bested you by one when I get my hands on you." Legolas yelled back.
Gimli seemed not to have a care in the world as he chuckled at Legolas' threat. He threw one end of the rope over the edge. "Now wrap it around you and tie one of those fancy elf knots so it won't come loose. The lady and I shall pull you up." He turned and gave Rhavaniel part of the rope, then smiled. "And then I shall reap the reward of telling his kin how a dwarf and a she-elf saved his princely hide."
"I heard that Gimli. And let us not forget your meeting with the Lady of Light." Legolas yelled back.
Rhavaniel stood by and wondered what he knew that made Gimli blush even through his thick facial hair. He cleared his throat and in a gruff voice said. "Pay no attention to him my lady. Must have hit his head on the way down."
On the count of three, Rhavaniel and Gimli pulled Legolas up and soon he was standing safely upon the wall. Rhavaniel dropped the rope and ran to him, wrapping her arms around his waist and holding him tight. "I thought I lost you. Twice today I thought I lost you."
Legolas nuzzled his face in her hair, kissing the top of her head. She clung to him and shivered. He could not recall a time when she needed him so. Then he whispered in her ear. "Did you mean it? Did you mean what you said about needing me?"
She looked up at him with a tear-streaked face. "I meant every word of it Legolas. I need you in my life or I will not go on."
This was a side of her he had never seen. She had never admitted to anyone that she had any kind of weakness. Legolas' heart soared and his mind cleared. He listened for the melody of the sea. It was still there but very faint. Now he knew just how he would manage living under the trees once more. Rhavaniel was what would hold him here. "As long as I have you in my life I will not despair. As long as you need me, I will not long to sail. I do not need a bond to know you love me. I just need you and nothing else."
"Oh Legolas, I love you so." she said before capturing his warm lips and kissing him with every ounce of her being.
From somewhere in the background there was a boorish grumble and the sound of heavy footsteps hurrying away from the reunited couple. "Humph… elves." Gimli grunted.
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.