title: King of my castle.
summary: Haldir is summoned to Mirkwood to help Legolas regain his sanity, so he can fulfil his destiny as a member of the fellowship as Galadriel foresaw it. But what really ails the young prince of Mirkwood? And can it really be cured as Galadriel thinks?
beta: None, deal!
warnings: incest, character death, kink, angst, depressing themes, au.
pairrings: Surprise! yay!
AN: So chaotic_binky and I challenged each other to write a light and a dark fic, cause i cant write fluffy stuff, and she have a hard time writing angsty stories. otherwise it wouldn’t be much of a challenge, would it? The first part here is supposed to be the dark half. (AN 2011 – So i tried to finish this, long overdue and you might feel cheated for the smut, but seriously i am just not happy with this fic, and i tried to stay within the challenge and give it a happy end, DAMN that was hard, i can’t write that happy stuff, and if i had followed LEgolas to the door, it would have been enough to make me shit rainbows for a week, so sorry, and i hope you can use this anyway. =) – And goddamn i finished it!)
Estë’s evening went perfectly, and even if Legolas had wanted to take Erestor up on his offer which had made him blush like a child. He hadn’t. He had told himself that never again would he confuse love and, well he didn’t know what it had been he had felt for Haldir, but he knew he had felt like he couldn’t breathe if the other elf wasn’t at his side, the thought of losing him had been so crushing that Legolas didn’t think he would have survived it back then. But it wasn’t love. More something between debt and the urge to own, like when you pin down butterflies to study and admire.
Legolas had gone to bed alone that night. And the next night, and the next night. And then came the council of the fellowship, and he had tossed himself into this futile quest without thinking, he had just wanted to do something good, to aid the right cause.
That night was beautiful and Erestor had just made it more perfect when he had taken Legolas’ hand and guided him to his rooms, making love to him the way it was supposed to be. And as Legolas laid there and looked at Erestor who talked in the dark, he wasn’t paying attention. This had been what Haldir had meant when he had talked about love, it had to be. This strange melancholy feeling inside had to be love.
”Legolas?” Erestor asked slightly amused, smiling.
”Oh.” Legolas smiled back, ”I wasn’t listening.”
”You don’t say.” Erestor grinned, He turned to his side, pulling Legolas close, wrapping an arm protectively around the other elf. ”Something wrong?”
”No, not at all.” Legolas sighed in bliss, ”It is like it’s supposed to be.” There was a long moment of silence before Legolas whispered, ”If I.. If something should happen to me, you would look after Estë for as long as she need it -”
”You won’t.” Erestor said with a serene smile, kissing Legolas’ soft cheek, ”The Valar can’t be that cruel to me twice.” He added, knowing it was slightly inappropriate, but still it was what he believed.
”Honestly Erestor.” Legolas said seriously, ”I don’t think the Valar care.”
”That is preposterous, of course they do.” Erestor sat up a little, looking down at Legolas in his bed. ”They gave you Estë.”
”No, I took her.” Legolas said grimly, ”I ripped that poor soul from the Valar, it had nothing to do with their ‘grand scheme’ or whatever it is you think.” Legolas avoided Erestor’s dark eyes, ”What i did was unforgivable.. And. And.. This quest, i accepted it because.” He sighed, ”It’s my atonement.”
Erestor grabbed Legolas’ arm hard, forcing the younger elf to look at him. ”Don’t you dare say that.” He growled.
Legolas smiled sadly, ”I am so sorry that we met at these times, I wish i had met you.. No i don’t, I am just sad that we are spending the time we ‘do’ have talking about death, it was not my intention. I just wanted to make sure that Estë will be cared for in case i am not here to do it. Please Erestor, it would mean the world to me, if you just answered.”
Erestor let go of Legolas’ arm and nodded, ”You have my word.”
”Thank you my love.” Legolas said, unable to hide a smile when Erestor’s eyes widened. ”Now come, it’s not morning yet, and we don’t have to get out of bed yet.”
As Legolas prepared for departure with the fellowship, he heard a knock on his door, whoever was outside didn’t wait for his answer, and just came in. Legolas smiled as Erestor stood there all dishellved and flustered, the feared advisor of Lord Elrond indeed. ”Erestor.” Legolas padded the bed next to him, waiting for Erestor to join him. ”I know you’ve done so much for me already, but i have to ask you one last thing.” Legolas said, ”I told you the truth about Estë,” He looked straight at Erestor searching the deep brown eyes for any sign of untruth. ”She can never know.”
Erestor blinked, ”What did you tell her?” He asked, his long slender hands figtening his sleeves as he spoke.
”That her mother died.” Legolas answered flatly, ”Erestor my love, i know you think it’s insane, but please just hear me; If she knows the truth and i return, she will loathe me, and i don’t think i can deal with her scorn.” Legolas reached up and cupped Erestor’s face in his hands, ”And if i die, there is no reason she should remember me with embarrassment. My reasons were wrong, but she is still my daughter. Surely you understand that.”
”I don’t.” Erestor said finally averting Legolas’ eyes, ”But i will respect your wish.”
”Don’t.” Erestor interrupted Legolas sounding miserable, ”Tell me when you come back.” He smiled sadly. He opened his hands and both elves looked down at Erestor’s hands, there was a neatly crafted necklace with a half-moon, ”It’s all i have from my childhood home, it was my mothers, and.. And i have told myself i was a melancholy idiot for keeping it, but now i know why.” He looked up at Legolas who looked nothing short of overwhelmed, ”It’s because it is for you.” He turned his hand over and placed it in Legolas’ palm.
”I have..” Legolas took a deep breath to compose himself, he wasn’t really good at this feelings thing, it just made him uncomfortable and blushing like an idiot. ”-Nothing for you.”
”You left your daughter here with me, isn’t that something?” Erestor said solemnly.
”First I will assist the ring bearer to fulfill his destiny, but then i promise you that i will crawl here with my dying breath if i must.” Legolas smiled and kissed Erestor’s sad face.
”Papa?” Estë called in the door, ”They are ready.”
”Yes, my heart.” Legolas stood from the bed, ”Remeber what you promised me,” He whispered to Erestor.
”I will.” Erestor said with a brave nod. ”Come back alive.”
”I will try.” Legolas said softly, ”I lived most my life in and around madness, and i survived that, so i am sure that a little trip to mount doom can’t be that hard.” He smiled and kissed Erestor’s forehead.
Erestor let out a long defeated sigh, and stood from the bed as Legolas straighted.
”Come child.” Legolas said, hooking his arm with Estë. ”Erestor promised me that he would take care of you till i return, so you can stay here, and won’t have to return to Mirkwood.” He said as they slowly walked down towards the courtyard. ”And even if i shouldn’t return, he is your guardian, and you don’t have to feel obligated, Mirkwood don’t need a king or a queen, the ministers can deal with it.”
”Don’t be daft papa.” Estë said squeezing his father’s arm a little tighter. ”Elrond has two sons to rule, surely he can let me have one.”
Legolas laughed merrily, ”I am sure he will.” He kissed her cheek, ”I will miss you, even if you are a spoiled little menace.”
Estë stuck out her tongue, but then fell her father around his neck, holding him tight. ”Come back.”
”Don’t worry.” Legolas said, kissing her cheek. As he walked down the stairs to his horse that was waiting.
Legolas was hesitant when they had to flee into the woods of Lorien, but they had no choice, and his fear for being faced with Galadriel and Haldir was overwritten by his duty to protect Frodo and the ring.
He had heard them, but he couldn’t see them, till Haldir suddenly stood there in front of them, mocking Gimli, Legolas hadn’t even thought about it, but now realised he was aiming his arrow at him. How different he looked here than how he remembered him.
As they followed the Galadhrim into Lorien, Legolas fell back as far from Haldir and his brothers as he could, he just wanted the ground to swallow him whole, he was ready to not give a toss about duty or wars and just flee, run mindlessly from this place. He knew he couldn’t keep his foul deeds a secret from the Lady of the woods, and he feared her judgement just as much as Haldir’s.
He kept a mask of courtesy as Haldir spoke, afraid that he would be able to see how scared he was.
”Legolas king of Mirkwood, you made it here.” Haldir said and nodded politely.
”Haldir.” Legolas said hoping his voice was steady, ”It has been long.”
”Not long enough.” Haldir whispered as he turned around and left the talan with the Fellowship on it, Aragorn looked puzzled, but Legolas just shrugged it off, ”I beat him in cards once.” He said and walked off, far away from Aragorn and anyone else who might have heard the underlying menace in their conversation.
And as they stood in front of Galadriel, Legolas was so scared that he thought he would faint, he had been so ready to take his punishment once, now he found he wasn’t as willing anymore.
/ Legolas of Mirkwood./
Legolas gasped, and shut his eyes tight, hearing her voice in his head.
/ You poor wretched child, don’t be afraid, we mean you no harm./
Legolas slowly opened his eyes and looked at his friends in front of him, and the lord and lady of the woods in front of them. He almost opened his mouth to speak but instead he looked away, / You know what i am./
/ I know what you were, and i know why./
Legolas kept silent, forgiveness was not hers to give.
/ Child. / Galadriel’s voice echoed in Legolas’ mind, / Some secrets are best kept just that. Sometimes truth serves no purpose. And at other times the lie will eat your soul. You know what you must do. /
/ Thank you, Milady./ Legolas let out a sigh as her presence disappeared from his mind.
”You seem preoccupied.” Aragorn said, sitting down next to Legolas on a giant root.
”Of course, Gandalf is dead.” Legolas said with badly hidden annoyance.
Aragorn studied Legolas for a moment, ”What was that deal with the Galadhrim?”
Legolas could have screamed, but he just smiled calmly at Aragorn, ”Elessar, it is not of your concern, it’s of a private matter.”
Aragorn rose a brow, clearly not buying it. ”That makes sense, only a lover scored will carry that much venom in their voice.”
Looking up into the majestic trees Legolas sighed, ”I wronged him, but that is decades ago.” He turned his head and looked directly at Aragorn, ”Leave it be Elessar, if you are my friend, you will let this matter rest.”
Aragorn wasn’t much for leaving the subject, worrying for his friend, but in the end he chose to respect Legolas’ wish. ”Alright, I will return to Frodo and the others.”
”You do that.” Legolas smiled friendly, ”I will sit here for a while.”
Aragorn got up and left, leaving Legolas to himself pondering on Galadriel’s words for him so he should keep it a secret, but was that to Estë or Haldir?
”Legolas.” a soft voice said, and Haldir sat down next to Legolas who tensed nervously, not really wanting to sit through a tirade. ”I am sorry i behaved like that before.” Haldir said softly.
”Why?” Legolas said, still not looking at Haldir, ”I deserve it, and more.”
Haldir sighed, ”Maybe.” He leaned up against the treetrunk too, ”I would be a poor mender of souls if i didn’t find it in me to forgive you.”
”No.” Legolas admitted. ”I have a conf..confession.” He whispered, with a slight stutter. Gathering all his courage he turned and looked at Haldir. ”I really thought i loved you, never doubt that, but you were right, i didn’t know the first thing about love, no one had ever showed me how, all i knew what how to best and..” His voice broke over, so he took a deep breath, ”I thought insanity would claim me again when you said you would leave, and i thought i would die when you told me you didn’t love me like I loved you.”
”I wish i could have spared you that.” Haldir said with a sad smile, recalling the heartbroken young elf that was calling for him in the stables, and the dirty thing he had found in that dungeon, Legolas had come a very, very long way since.
”I read that journal.” Legolas admitted feeling tears of shame welling up in his eyes, ”I realised why he had done what he had done, it didn’t lessen my humiliation, but it.. it spoke to some.. Oh Eru Haldir, i am just as crazy as Thranduil. I – I found the last potion he talked about, and.. ” Legolas finally looked away when he couldn’t face Haldir anymore, feeling hot tears of disgrace falling, not wanting anyone to see buried his face in his hands.
Haldir leaned in, whispering, ”What did you do Legolas? You have to tell me.”
”I just wanted to keep you with me.” Legolas admitted pitiful tone. ”Oh Eru forgive me, you have a daughter.”
”You used me as a donor for your child?” Haldir blinked confused trying to understand what he had just been told.
Legolas just nodded, and in a weak attempt of comfort took rubbed his fingers over Erestor’s necklace. ”I have wept myself to sleep more nights than i care to remember, first from my wounded pride, and then for my foul deed, and then for fear that Estë would hate me when she learned that i lied, and -”
Haldir took a very deep breath, ”Estë, is that her name?”
Legolas nodded, flinching as Haldir touched his shoulder.
”I’m not gonna hurt you.” Haldir said softly.
Legolas slowly turned his head looking at Haldir, never letting go of his necklace. ”Why not?” He just asked bluntly.
”Because..” Haldir paused ”I don’t know what came over me when I saw you, all i could think of what that betrayal and how angry and hurt i was back then.”
”You forgive me?” Legolas almost gasped in relief.
”I wouldn’t go that far.” Haldir said darkly, ”But i have seen so many broken souls in my time, that I know you weren’t thinking straight, because no one had ever thought you how to show compassion instead of cold conquest.
”I told her that her mother is dead, but I will tell her the truth if you want me to.” Legolas said, his tone innocent and naked, Haldir halfway expected him to ask for Skittles.
”No need.” Haldir said. He reached out, sad to see Legolas flinch again as he touched the necklace. ”You bonded?”
”No.” Legolas admitted but couldn’t help but to smile as he thought of Erestor. ”But I left my heart in Rivendell.”
Haldir wet his lips and stared intensely at Legolas, ”You have come so far from the feral elf I met when i came to your father’s court, I even had doubts on my Lady’s sanity when she claimed that you would play a part in the future of Middleearth. And look at you now!”
”If I could undo it-”
”Hush!” Haldir held up his hand to end Legolas’ apology. ”You can’t.”
”True.” Legolas’ shoulder slumped as he hung his head, ”But if I could.. I would.”
”You know what?” Haldir smiled fatherly, ”I am proud of you.”
”H-how so?” Legolas whispered, not sure he heard right.
”Most elves in your position would have hung themselves in a tree.” Haldir said calmly, and when Legolas looked slightly baffled, he added, ”You forget i have tried to mend many broken elven soul, and sometimes i fail. But you, you are my masterpiece and my biggest woe in one.”
Legolas nodded, not sure he understood this at all. He looked up at Haldir, holding the marchwarden’s gaze, ”So where does that leave us?”
”I don’t know.” Haldir admitted, ”Give me some time, and I will give you an answer. But we are not enemies, nor friends.”
”I understand.” Legolas said with a weak smile, ”That is so much more than i could ever hope for.” He took Haldir’s hand and squeezed it, ”Thank you.”
The next day when Legolas and the Fellowship left Lorien, his steps was lighter than they had been in years, maybe he had been right, maybe this was so much more than aiding the ring bearer, it was his personal absolution.
Legolas stood on the balcony of the room he had been assigned, having a drink, staring out over what had been the battlefield just a week before, he was watching the people who searched for dead loved ones, and those who tossed the dead on huge pyres. So lost in his thought he didn’t hear the knock on the his door.
Elrohir stopped in the door to the balcony ”Legolas.” He said softly, finally getting Legolas’ attention.
”Oh Elrohir.” Legolas said with a smile, but not turning around. ”What brings you here?”
”I missed the messenger.” Elrohir said, ”He had already left when..”
”No harm done.” Legolas said, ”Help yourself to a drink if you want one.”
”No thank you.” Elrohir said stepping out on the balcony to stand next to Legolas. ”I wanted to talk to you, uhm..” Elrohir swallowed hard and sighed.
Legolas smiled amused, ”She couldn’t have found a finer elf.” He turned to look at Elrohir at his side, ”And I mean that.”
”Thank you.” Elrohir blushed a little under Legolas amused gaze.
The messenger arrived to Rivendell and Estë tore down the stairs, almost tripping in her dress. The messenger smiled at her as he jumped off the horse, and Estë just stared at the man, waiting for him to speak. She knew little besides that her father had been alive when Elrohir and Elladan had left to aid them, carrying some special weapon for Elessar. ”Please?” She asked, grabbing the messengers arm.
”I shouldn’t be telling you this.” The messenger from Gondor said, ”But I come with a Royal party invitation.”
”What?” Estë let go of his arm, and just stared at the man. ”No news of Elronds sons? Or Legolas of Mirkwood?”
”Sorry Milady, no.” The messenger said, ”Take comfort in the fact that i do not carry any bad news either.”
”True.” Estë sighed, turning and looking at the skies in the direction of Gondor. Royal Wedding? That had to mean that Aragorn had survived the battle and Arwen was there with him. But what of her father? Her beloved? Did they breathe? She wrapped her arms around her as she felt a sudden chill in her bones.
”Do you see them?” Elrohir asked, and Elladan just laughed, ”I see something, but i don’t know if it’s a horde of orcs or Papa.”
Elrohir just growled and stretched to see if he could make out who it was in the horizon. ”It is them.” He cheered, ”Fetch Legolas!” He said to Elladan who stood infront of him.
”He already knows.” Legloas said behind him, causing Elrohir to flinch. He stood against the wall and watched as the Rivendell party arrived. He saw Elrohir help Estë from her horse, and a part of him wanted to roll his eyes, she was absolutely more than capable to get off her own horse, but he could see her happy smile as she slipped into Elrohir’s arms, and couldn’t help but to leer. He tried to recall his own youth, if he had ever laughed and let some handsome elf help him off a horse, but he knew as he thought the thought, that the idea itself was ridiculous. He had been a trained killer from his childhood, never playing, never making merry or being taught pointless games. The closest he had come to a childhood had been the haze from where Haldir had pulled him.
Lost in his thoughts he was surprised to find his arms full of his daughter. ”Papa!” She cried, ”I was so worried.”
At loss for words he just held her tight for a little while, ”He’s waiting for you.” He whispered, looking over at Elrohir who stood with Elladan and greeted their father, but as Elladan listened to Elrond, Elrohir was preoccupied, looking in Estë’s direction every 5 seconds.
”Let him wait.” Estë whispered back.
”Did Erestor travel with you?” Legolas asked hopeful.
Estë freed herself from her fathers embrace, ”No, he had to stay in Rivendell, with Elrond gone and most the advisors and all.”
”Ah, I see.” Legolas smiled at his daughter but was unable to hide the slight disappointment in his eyes.
Legolas had greeted Haldir like an old friend, and introduced Estë to him as an old friend. It was not untill later during the party where Legolas sat and listened to Gimli trying to best someone in old war stories, Legolas felt terrible lonely, and a part of him regretted that he had ever let Erestor into his life, he had missed the darkhaired elf more than he had been with him, it just seemed so unfair. But then again ‘fair’ was not really the word that came to mind when he gave his life some afterthought. He took a sip of his drink watching the party, catching a glimpse of Estë dancing. He chuckled and figured he should retire soon, he didn’t really want her to feel like he was hovering over her, even if that might be the truth. He downed his drink and stood, he knew that he had seemed depressing companionship so no one would notice if he slipped away. vaguely he wondered if Erestor was just as saddened that he was in Rivendell alone, as he was being stuck here in Gondor. As he made looked over his shoulder again he noticed Estë talking with Haldir, a shiver went through him, he had never imagined those two next to each other, it felt like a lament to his errors. Legolas turned away and exited the party thinking that it was out of his hands, whatever happened.
The next afternoon he had made his excuses to his brothers in arms from the Fellowship, praising Aragorns party, avoiding his daughter which was not really hard, she was glued to Elrond’s son, and Legolas figured that it was like it was supposed to be. Also he didn’t want to discuss why he chose to leave Gondor so quickly after the royal party.
He had made it all the way to his horse when he saw Haldir waiting for him at the exit. He knew he couldn’t escape his judgement for ever. ”Beautiful feast last night, don’t you think?” He said politely as he walked towards Haldir.
”Indeed.” Haldir said with a little smile. ”You are a hero, you know that don’t you?”
”Hero is a little much, but I know we all-”
Haldir shook his head and held up a hand to cut off Legolas, ”So where are you off to?” He asked, walking with Legolas down the windy path to the city gates.
”Rivendell.” Legolas said smiling a little awkward smile at Haldir, ”Erestor had to stay behind, and..”
”Oh so he is the one that caught your eye.” Haldir laughed gently, ”You know what? It does make sense in some strange way. That you two should find each other.”
Legolas rose a brow, ”How so?”
”I know him, well.” Haldir said with a cryptic smile, ”Anyway, that was not what i wanted to talk about.”
”I thought so.” Legolas said lamely.
”She is a delight.” Haldir said watching Legolas as they walked, ”An absolute gem.”
Legolas stopped dead and just stared at Haldir, ”So you didn’t?”
”Tell her what you told me?” Haldir asked straight out, ”No, there is no reason in her knowing that. But what i am trying to tell you,” He took a deep breath ”-is that i am really proud of you doing such a good job on her, when you had little to no tools to do it with, maybe she springs of madness and heartache, but she turned out a queen. And that is all your doing.”
Legolas actually blushed a little, ”I had help..”
”Liar.” Haldir said with a smile, but his tone was dead serious.
Legolas just nodded and started walking again, Haldir was right, he ‘had’ done it on his own, there was no elf in the kingdom who had wanted to associate with neither him or his mysterious child when she was little. ”You’re right.” He just said with a tiny voice.
Haldir stopped at the city gates, ”You ride on to Rivendell, and i will stay here and keep an eye on Estë’s virtue.” He winked.
”Thank you.” Legolas said, humbled. ”I mean thank you for, for everything.”
”I know.” Haldir said, not offering more but a little smile, and Legolas knew that it wasn’t getting any better than this, and mounted his horse, starting his journey to Rivendell, and to his beloved.