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Title: A Secret Revealed (15/20)
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, Tatharan and Cerilion are original characters.
Disclaimer: Not mine! Characters, universe & so on belong to the Tolkien Estate. The only thing I own is my mind.

Back in the room I had been allocated when I first arrived in Mirkwood, I began to pack up my things. There was little to pack; just a change of clothes and writing materials. My sword had been returned to me, and sat beside my crossbow on the bed.
Picking up a pile of papers, a folded sheet of parchment fell to the floor.
Bending down to pick it up, I unfolded it to find something that, with the events of the past months, I had forgotten I had. Legolas's poem. Thinking back, I could remember how dejected I felt when he came to my room, asking for help with a love poem to Valrodiel, when all I wanted was for him to notice the love I held for him; but too scared to tell him so. Sitting on the edge of the bed, I read over it again, a smile spreading across my face:

"For a simple chance at love
I risk friendship, Love's foundations.
For a moment of true happiness,
I pledge my heart and soul.
My radiant friend how I feel for thee,
And yet I hide it behind closed doors
Our time together, that I cherish
Do you know what it means to me?
Can we not love as more than this?
Risk companionship for something more,
Let us love as more than friends,
For love is immortality."

I remembered finding that poem after he had left Rivendell, hours before he was almost killed by Orcs. That part of the memory was painful, but if it were not fir his brush with death, I may still be hiding my feelings for him now.
Things may have been hard for us sometimes, but each time love had prevailed, and I had no doubt it would again. Every time we had been driven apart, it seemed something had happened to bring us back closer together than we had been before.
I folded the parchment carefully, and put it into my pack.
We would be leaving at sunrise in the morning. I wondered what Legolas must be doing. There must be so much he has to do before he leaves, for this is his home. He was leaving his home for me. He knew there was but a slim chance he could ever return, but still he chose Lord Elrond's 'quest', and me over his kingdom.
Such a thing made me feel truly loved; and wonder why I had ever worried about choosing between Legolas and Gondor before; my prince would always come first.
Closing my pack, I went in search of him.

I found him in his rooms, pushing items from the shelves into his pack, books, trinkets, and other items.
"Good evening love," he said, studying the titles on the bookshelf before taking a few down and putting them into a second pack.
"Evening," I said, standing at the door and watching him.
"Oh, I cannot take all these!" He exclaimed, motioning to his bookshelves in an exasperated fashion.
"Hush, love, we will sort it out," I reassured him. "After we have reached Rivendell, we can send somebody to pick up the rest of these things."
"I doubt my father will allow it. All this will probably be burnt the moment we have left," Legolas said sadly. Then his expression brightened a little. "Unless..." he began piling the books up on the table, until there were several tall piles of books.
"I will not have these destroyed," Legolas said, a look of determination spread across his beautiful features. He picked up a pile of the books, and began walking out of the room. "Could you bring another pile please?" he called back.
Taking some of the books, I followed him. Right into the library.
"Val?" he called as we walked in.
She appeared from somewhere behind the piles of books, busy studying as usual.
"Legolas! And Aragorn! It is god to see you back in the palace again. What beings you here so late?" she asked, eyeing the books with interest.
"I am leaving. *We* are leaving," Legolas said "Lord Elrond is here, he helped us to come to an agreement with my father. In keeping to this agreement, we shall never be returning here; at least not whilst my father is still in Middle Earth."
He placed the books on a nearby table, and I followed suit.
"Undoubtedly my father will have my belongings burnt the moment we leave. He does not approve of such love; I think he feels it has tainted his kingdom. I cannot take all these books with me...so I am gifting them to the only person who will use them, and take care of them: you."
Valrodiel gave a little squeal of delight, and embraced Legolas tightly, causing him to chuckle.
"Thank you Legolas! I hope some day your kindness will be repaid," she said. "I am sad that you are both to leave." Her expression dropped.
"I too, am sad to leave, but I cannot be my true self here," Legolas said, walking towards the door. He motioned towards his books on the table. "There are many more books where those came from."
The elf maiden almost skipped like a child on the way to Legolas's rooms, and with the three of us transporting the books into the library, it was not long before they were all nestled safely on the shelves.
After saying out goodbyes to Valrodiel, Legolas and I went in search of his other friends. I dearly hoped that we would see them again, for with each goodbye he seemed to grow a little sadder.


Title: A Secret Revealed (16/20)
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: Legolas's POV. Valrodiel, Tatharan and Cerilion are original characters.
Disclaimer: Not mine! Characters, universe & so on belong to the Tolkien Estate. The only thing I own is my mind.

"...so you are not coming back?" Tatharan sounded surprised.
"Unfortunately...no," I replied. I hated these goodbyes.
"You will be greatly missed by many," my friend replied.
I sighed, "My father thinks that I will return one day; that the 'quest' Lord Elrond spoke of will stop me feeling the way I do. That when they do, I will return, come back and do as he wishes. It will not happen. I know my feelings are true, and cannot - will not - ignore them."
"May your love ever flourish and your life be full and happy," Tatharan said kindly.
"Thank you, Tatharan," I smiled at my friend, "I hope that one day you will find a love as strong as the love that I know...and now I shall bid you both good night and goodbye."
"Goodbye Legolas, Goodbye Aragorn," Tatharan said to us, "Travel safely."
With that we left him, and I fought the urge to look back at the old friend who I would never see again.
Aragorn stifled a yawn. He looked haggard, and had obviously not slept at all well recently.
"Aragorn, please go and rest...the time you spent in the dungeon cannot have been easy. I will be fine, there is only a few others I need to see before we leave, then I too shall retire for the night," I told him.
He looked as if he was about to protest, but bid me a good night and made his way back to the palace.
Alone, I walked over to the place where Cerilion lived. At this time of night, he would probably be asleep, but such a thing did not cross my mind at the time.

"Legolas? What brings you here so late?" he asked sleepily, letting me inside.
"I have come to say goodbye."
"Goodbye? Where are you going on your travels this time?"
"I am returning to Rivendell, with Aragorn. I...I shall not be returning." I went on to explain the 'settlement' we had come to with my father.
"So this is the last goodbye then," Cerilion stated a little sadly.
"Yes," I replied, "Mirkwood and my friends here shall be dearly missed; and shall forever hold a place in my heart. I hope that one day I may see you all again, but know that it is hopeless wishing to see Mirkwood once more."
"Never give up hope, Legolas," Cerilion told me.
Before I knew it, he had embraced me firmly, his arms tightly wrapped around me. He held on for long minutes, before drawing away.
"I shall miss you Legolas...I love you as I would a brother."
His words warmed my heart.
"Dear friend, you shall be missed too. I have known you so long, and it is hard to leave all what I have known since childhood."
We talked for a while longer, before I finally left. Cerilion, like Valrodiel and Tatharan, was one of my closest friends, it was difficult to say my final goodbyes to them all.

I finished saying my goodbyes only hours before sunrise, and fell into bed, sleeping soundly until it was time to rise again. Time to leave Mirkwood forever.

My heart felt heavy as we loaded our packs upon horses. My father did not come to say goodbye or wish us safe travels.
I was about to mount my horse when voices called my name. I turned to see Valrodiel, Cerilion and Tatharan walking towards us. One by one, they embraced me, wishing me a goodbye. I fought back the tears at having to leave them for good, though Valrodiel was crying openly, Tatharan and Cerilion placing reassuring hands on her shoulders as I walked away.
I mounted my horse, and Lord Elrond, Aragorn, and the rest of our travelling party began to ride away. Raising a hand to my friends, wishing them a final goodbye, I took one last look at Mirkwood palace, and rode down the pathway into the forest, never looking back at the place I had always known as home.


A/N: Yes, I am aware of the shortness of this chapter. Much as I'd love to be able to churn out chapters of 1,500 words at a time, the short chapters are short because making them longer would ruin them :)


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