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Title: A Secret Revealed (09/20)
Arc: The Secrets Trilogy
Author: K
Rating: R (for later chapters)
Fandom: LOTR
Genre: Angst
Pairing: Aragorn/Legolas
Distribution: Just tell me where you put it
Notes: Aragorn's POV. Valrodiel, Cerilion and Tatharan are original characters.
Disclaimer: Not mine! Characters, universe & so on belong to the Tolkien Estate. The only thing I own is my mind.

Looking upwards, I saw an elf perched on a bough of the tree we stood beneath. He leapt down with a cat's grace, ash-blond hair flying out behind him as he made his descent to the earth.
"Cerilion?" Legolas sounded worried as he spoke the elf's name.
"Greetings, my friend."
I stood silently as the newcomer strode towards the prince, watching as he grasped Legolas's hand in a firm warriors handshake.
"I believe we are not acquainted," he said as he turned to me, his stormy grey eyes appearing warm and friendly. "My name is Cerilion," he introduced himself as he shook my hand.
"Strider," I replied, looking him straight in the eye, trying not to appear worried by his sudden appearance. Though I wondered how much of our conversation he had overheard.
He turned to Legolas, saying, "As I asked before, upon which path do you travel now?"
"That is not of your concern," Legolas replied, his eyes steely.
"Ah, but when it is a friend travelling such pathways as it appears you are travelling, it is of my concern," the taller elf countered. "For such a path is long, winding, and far from easy...continue along this road and you shall find many obstacles in your way, and risk losing much that you hold dear."
"What road do you believe I am walking?" Legolas asked.
"The pathway navigated solely by the heart, the most dangerous road ever travelled," he answered simply. He turned his gaze to me. "This human walks it with you."
"What is your point, Cerilion?" the prince sounded unusually impatient.
"You feel for this man, do you not?" the elf asked, looking him steadily. Legolas did not reply, but broke the gaze, studying the ground.
"Well?" Cerilion pressed.
"Yes," Legolas replied.
"How long has this been going on?"
"Quite a while now," Legolas answered calmly.
"Your father will not approve; I am sure of it."
"My father wishes me to be wed to a woman for whom I feel nothing...but I shall *not* be wed to someone who I feel nothing for, nobody will change that. I intend to allow nothing and no one to come between us. I would fight the Dark Lord himself if only to be with him." Legolas's voice was suddenly strong and certain.
"Your words are noble and fierce my friend," replied Cerilion. "I do not find fault in where you find your love, yet I fear that your father may."
"He will never find out; I do not intend to tell him. And I hope you do not either."
"Nay, I shan't tell, it is for the king to find out for himself, and if he does may it work out well for you."
"You understand?" Legolas sounded as surprised as I felt.
Cerilion heaved a sigh. "Legolas, too many people I know have lived their lives unhappily because they had to hide the true feelings, I do not wish this to become of any of my friends. However, I do suggest you find places more private in which to converse about such a relationship...and do whatever else you wish to do. The forest is not as private as it used to be," he warned.
"Yet there is nowhere here," Legolas replied. "In Rivendell, there were many private and quiet places, far from anywhere; and we were able to be together, but even there..." he trailed off, and I felt a slight pang of sadness as I realised he was probably remembering everything that happened with Boromir.
"...We were unable to be completely alone," Legolas continued. "I believed the forests of Mirkwood would be secluded enough, but it appears I was wrong."
"I am certain that you will find somewhere," Cerilion replied, "I cannot offer you a place to go myself, but Tatharan may; that is if you choose to tell him."
"Tatharan may not agree with this kind of love," Legolas said. "He always seemed content with the elf maidens he met with." He smiled a little as he mentioned an elf I had yet to meet.
"It is but a disguise," Cerilion commented. "For though it is maidens he is seen with, his desire is much different...but would be frowned upon," he sighed.
"As would *our* love," Legolas stood closer to me. "We are lucky that those who know are accepting of it, but they are few in number. I would dearly like to be rid of this fa├žade we have been keeping up, so that we might live more freely, but it does not seem to be something that could happen."
"Tatharan will understand your position, Legolas. He will sympathise. You know well that his residence is far from anyone else. I suggest you go and talk to him; I shall accompany you if you wish, for I must speak with him myself."
Legolas sighed, "We can but try."
With that, we began to make our way back out of the forest, Cerilion making cheery conversation with both of us.
He and Legolas had been friends for hundreds of years, I found out; and Cerilion now dwelt in the southern part of Mirkwood, and was a guardsman in the Kings army. He also fought with a bow and did not use daggers like Legolas did but instead had a long sword. He spoke in a friendly way to me, and I soon felt as if I had known him for years; and was glad that someone like this could understand things from the perspective of Legolas and myself.
Eventually we reached the place where Tatharan lived.
"Legolas, maybe you should knock, he would be pleased to see you," Cerilion smiled, and stepped back from the door to allow Legolas to rap on the wood.
He knocked sharply, and after a few moments there was a sound behind the door, and it opened to reveal an elf that looked slightly older that Legolas or Cerilion, his hair dark blond and unbraided, his eyes sleepy.
"Legolas!" he exclaimed when he saw the elf prince, "It has been so long since I saw you! How are you?"
"I am well, thank you Tatharan," Legolas replied. "Cerilion is with me, as is Strider, a ranger I met in Rivendell long ago."
Tatharan stepped back from the door to allow us to go in, welcoming us as we went inside.
"What brings you here?" inquired Tatharan. Legolas looked to me, and to Cerilion, who nodded in encouragement, and began to explain.


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