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Title: A Secret Revealed (20/20)
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.

Arwen is dead. The message arrived early one morning, causing the usually happy atmosphere in our little house to become silent and melancholy. Aragorn sat down heavily when he heard the news, his old age suddenly showing.
"Dead?" he asked, his voice quavering.
"It strikes pain in my heart to tell you so, my love," I replied, cradling his head to my chest as he wept.
My heart had sunk the moment I heard the news. Arwen was as a sister and close friend to both of us. She had wed a human, and lived her life as a mortal. She had given birth to three healthy children, one boy and two girls, all were mortal; none would ever know what it is to live endlessly.
Her death filled me with worry, for it made me realise that Aragorn, to whom I was devoted - to whom I too would readily give up immortality had I the choice - would not live forever. It filled me with dread to think of how empty this house would be when he died...and to think of how empty my heart would feel.

There were very few of my kind in Middle Earth now. Many had left long ago.
Cerilion had been killed whilst doing duty to his kingdom; attacked by Orcs. I hated myself for not being there. But then, whilst he was fighting Orcs on the borders of Mirkwood, I too was fighting, miles away. Fighting side by side with Aragorn, felling hundreds of the same disgusting creatures that had killed my friend.
Tatharan had quietly left Mirkwood a decade ago; a letter from Valrodiel said that another member of the palace guard had disappeared on the same night Tatharan left.
And Valrodiel, she studied all her life. We kept in contact throughout her time on Middle Earth, her letters filled with the knowledge she gained from the ancient texts, her happiness at finding such things obvious. She rediscovered so many things, weapons long-forgotten, contraptions that would make life much easier. But as she was female, my brother, who had taken to the throne by then, ignored her, passing her findings off as useless and silly. Valrodiel left Middle Earth an unacknowledged genius, and the great wisdom she had unearthed was buried again on the dusty shelves of the unused library.

Many elves had been killed during the war with Sauron, and slowly those remaining began to leave. It was years later that I was able to return to my birthplace, once the kingdom's inhabitants had left. Mirkwood had become nothing more than deserted, half-buried remains; and though I attempted to salvage the tomes that Valrodiel had devoted her life to, many had disintegrated with age, or had been taken as keepsakes by those who had left. Rivendell too, became uninhabited; most of the elves who lived there left after the war.
Elladan and Elrohir were the last to leave Middle Earth, regretful to abandon the beautiful place known to them as home, but their hearts longing for something else.

Now Arwen was gone too. I was sure that there were still other elves in Middle Earth, there had to be...didn't there?
There were still those of elven blood, Arwen's children possessed great skill at archery and were almost as stealthy as elves; her daughters both looked a lot like her.

Aragorn was mortified at Arwen's death. He still blamed himself for her giving up her immortality, and knew as well as I did that she still loved him long after she wed another man. Neither Arwen nor myself could persuade Aragorn that it as not his fault. Arwen was lucky to be able to choose between a mortal life and the immortality of the elves. She chose in the same way I would have done; in the same way that any of my kind would have done. To elves, living a mortal life was nothing but a wonderful dream.

He took to his bed shortly after the news of Arwen's death, with a frightful fever. I tended him day and night, willing him to be better. He did get better, but the news of her death had certainly taken its toll on him. I wondered if he still felt something for her, beyond friendship, but dismissed the thought, reminding myself that he would have stayed with her if he did. I couldn't convince myself this was true.

Winter came, and Aragorn contracted many ailments. Each time he was bedridden with illness, I worried that he would never be well again. And though he always recovered, it seemed he aged another year every time he was ill. I was glad when spring arrived, with it came the blossoming of the trees outside our window, and I was happy to see a little colour appear on Aragorn's face as summer warmed our little house.
But all too soon came the growing coldness of autumn, bringing with it sickness, and my worries for my lover's health returned.

Each day that went by caused me to wonder how long I had left with him. If it had not been for Aragorn, I would never have known true happiness.
I would cherish our love forever.

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