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The situation was hopeless, and Legolas knew it. He watched Aragorn sift through the pile of weaponry and armor, most of it having seen far too many years of service, and felt his heart twist inside him.

“Farmers, farriers, stable boys,” Aragorn said softly, his expression grim and hardened as he looked at the barely controlled chaos about them.

“Aye,” Gimli replied gruffly, leaning on his axe. “Most have seen too many winters.”

Legolas watched a young man, no more than a youth, struggle to lift the heavy sword he had chosen and shook his head. “Or too few.” His dark eyes flew to Aragorn and his lips thinned. “Look at them! They are frightened, I can see it in their eyes.”

The crowd of men and boys around them grew silent as they heard the elf’s words, and Legolas closed his eyes in dismay. He had not meant for them to hear. He opened them and looked beseechingly at his friend.

“Boe a hûn: neled herain dan caer menig!” he continued, dropping his voice to a whisper. (And they should be: Three hundred against ten thousand!)


Aragorn’s eyebrows rose as he stiffened slightly at Legolas’ words. “Si beriathar hýn. Amar nâ ned Edoras,” he replied, his voice sharp. (They have more hope of defending themselves here than at Edoras.)

Legolas shook his head, his blonde braids flying with the force of his movement. “Aragorn, men i ndagor. Hýn ú-… ortheri. Natha daged aen!” (Aragorn, we are warriors. They cannot win this fight. They are all going to die!)

Aragorn’s expression was set, and his eyes glittered with firm resignation. “Then I shall die as one of them!” The ranger turned on his heel and left Legolas and Gimli behind, watching his retreating back with dismay.

Legolas moved to follow him, but Gimli’s hand on his arm stopped him.

“Let him go, lad,” the dwarf said softly, his voice rough. “Let him be.”

Legolas bowed his head, ashamed of his outburst. He understood Aragorn’s passion, the need that drove the son of Arathorn, and he was filled with remorse for arguing with his friend. Silently, he slipped away from the dwarf, stepping nimbly around groups of old men and boys, making his way to the main hall and towards the door that led to the battlements.

Outside, the night air was cold and sharp, biting against his face and neck, and Legolas wrapped his cloak more firmly around him, before stepping out onto the battlements to look down on the plain below. Without realizing it, his fingers played with the silver ring on the opposite hand, idly twisting the leaf-shaped circle that enclosed his middle finger. His dark eyes looked out on the plain unseeingly, his thoughts momentarily drifting away from Helm’s Deep, and the terrible forces of evil that even now could be heard approaching.

“Melon le, Legolas,” Haldir whispered softly, cupping his cheek with his warm hand. “Promise me that you will come back to me when the quest is over.”

“Melon le,” Legolas replied, turning his face to place a kiss in the center of Haldir’s palm. “I will. I promise.”

An empty ache spread through him; a longing for someone he feared he would never see again. Legolas bowed his head, closing his eyes. Forgive me, seron vell, he thought. I do not think I will be able to keep my promise to you.

Blinking against the cold wind that blew into his eyes, Legolas turned and retreated to the Keep, intent upon finding Aragorn and apologizing to his friend. They would not survive the battle to come, and he would not spend his last hours of life in this world with harsh words standing between him and his good friend.

< > < > < >

A silvery horn sounded against the battlements, causing every head to lift and every eye to turn searchingly towards the plains on the other side of the Deepening Well.

“That is no orc horn,” Legolas exclaimed, his eyes widening in surprise, and glancing at his companions.

Aragorn nodded, hope brightening his face, and he took off at a run, Legolas and Gimli close at his heels. The guards posted there were staring down, wonder alighting their hopeless expressions.

“Send for the King!” Hama called to another guard, who took to his heels. “Open the gate!”

Legolas leaned as far as he was able over the edge of the battlements, his eyes widening in surprise and delight as he saw what had excited the men.

Tall and proud, the Elven warriors marched in double lines, their hoods drawn over their fair heads, their bows ready at their sides. They were a welcome and inspiring sight, and Legolas laughed out loud in his joy at seeing them. His eyes traveled over them, watching as they drew up to the gate, and was unable to prevent a gasp of shock from escaping him when he saw who was leading the warriors.

The Marchwarden of Lothlórien stood proudly at the front of the formation, his hair uncovered and boldly shimmering in the light of the moon, his red cloak fluttering in the night breeze. As if he had heard Sinda’s gasp, Haldir looked up, and found the gaze of Legolas unerringly among the battlements.

< > < > < >

“Mae Govannen, Haldir ó Lórien,” Aragorn said warmly, embracing the other elf and surprising him. “You are a welcome sight, my friend.”

Haldir stiffened a moment, uncertain, then accepted the Human’s embrace, smiling up at Legolas over Aragorn’s shoulder.

“How is this possible?” Théoden asked, watching the two warriors embrace. He had been summoned by his guard with news that he could hardly believe, and even now, it was difficult for him to accept that help had arrived from an unexpected source.

When Aragorn released him, Haldir bowed slightly to the King of Rohan, one hand resting over his heart. “I bring word from Lord Elrond of Rivendell. An alliance once existed between elves and men. Long ago we fought and died together. We have come to honor that allegiance.”

“You and your elves are most welcome,” Théoden replied gravely; his eyes had counted fewer than two hundred among them, but it might be enough to turn the tide in their favor.

“We are proud to fight alongside men once more,” Haldir said, seeing the flicker of hope in the old King’s eyes.

“Do your warriors require anything?” Théoden asked. “You are welcome to what weapons we have in the armory.”

Haldir shook his head. “Thank you, but we are well-prepared for the battle ahead.”

Théoden nodded, inclining his head regally at the elf, before turning back to the hall where his advisors waited.

“Mae Govannen, mellonen,” a soft voice murmured in the marchwarden’s ear, and he smiled, turning to grasp Legolas’ shoulder, squeezing it gently.

“It gladdens my heart to see you again,” Haldir said softly, for Legolas’ ears alone. “I have missed you.”

“And I you,” came the equally soft reply, a smile curving the younger warrior’s lips. “See to your warriors, mellonen. We will speak later.”

Haldir nodded, resisting the urge to hug his lover openly, and place a tender kiss on his mouth. “I will look forward to it,” he said with a smile, before turning to the elves that waited for his command.

The outer wall was the most strategic place for the archers of Lórien and Imladris to be placed, and Haldir stood among them, watching with trepidation as the army of Saruman approached, the booming sound of their marching feet echoing eerily against the stone of the Deeping Well. He glanced around him, carefully noting the placement of the other defenders, his eyes easily spotting the long golden hair of Legolas among the darker men further down the line. His heart was full of joy at seeing his fair face once more, but he could not help but feel uneasy. He knew the Eorlingas were greatly outnumbered, and the battle would be difficult to win, despite the additional force his warriors represented.

He could see Legolas was laughing, no doubt teasing the dwarf about something, and he smiled. The Prince was almost breathtaking when he laughed, and he felt as if his heart was stolen anew at the sight.

The skies rumbled ominously, mimicking the sound of the marching army that approached, and the dark clouds above them opened up, drenching the defenders in a deluge of water. Haldir knew that the rain would make conditions for fighting that much worse, for it was difficult to see in the darkness as it was, and the rain decreased their line of sight by half.

Pushing those grim and useless thoughts aside, he narrowed his eyes, focusing on the enemy as they drew near.

Legolas glanced down the line, his eyes drawn to the red cloak of the Marchwarden and bit back a sigh.

“You should join them, Legolas,” Aragorn said from his side, looking up from his sword sharpening with a brief glance. “I am sure another archer would be welcome among their ranks.”

“I would not leave you and Gimli here alone,” the elf replied stubbornly, tearing his gaze away from Haldir. “You need my bow here as well.”

Aragorn studied his friend patiently, a small smile of understanding curving his lips.

“Haldir needs you too,” he replied finally, bending his head to his task once more. “I think you should fight by his side.”

Legolas was speechless for a moment, embarrassment flooding his fair skin.

“You love him, do you not?” Aragorn asked, glancing up at his wordless friend with a knowing expression.

“I-I,” Legolas struggled past his embarrassment, wondering how it was that Aragorn knew. “I do, mellonen,” he managed. “But I would not let that interfere with my duty or friendship to you.”

Aragorn chuckled softly, sliding his sword into its sheath with a well-practiced movement. “Go to him, my friend. I think he needs you far more than I.”

“If you are certain,” Legolas began, but Aragorn cut him off.

“If it were my love standing on the wall, I would be by her side in an instant, and nothing would keep me from that,” Aragorn said heatedly, his blue eyes flashing. “Now, go!”

Legolas gave him a quick smile of gratitude and went, walking swiftly towards the red cloak and silver hair that called to him.

“Where is he going?” Gimli asked confusedly, having missed the entire conversation.

“To fight with Haldir,” Aragorn replied shortly, taking his place by the dwarf.

“Oh,” Gimli said, then chuckled. “It is about time that lad figured out where he was supposed to be.”

Aragorn gave Gimli a sharp look, and the dwarf laughed knowingly.

“Aye, lad. I saw it right off.”

Suppressing his own chuckle at the dwarf’s ready acceptance of their friend’s relationship with Lórien elf, Aragorn settled for a brief grin at Gimli.

“Dwarven eyes miss little,” Gimli could not resist adding.

Aragorn’s laugh rang out, echoing brightly against the darkness that approached.

< > < > < >

Haldir glanced away from the closing enemy, surprise written plainly on his handsome features as he watched Legolas approach.

“What are you doing here, ernilen?” he asked when the elf had reached him.

Legolas gave him a warm smile. “Fighting beside the one I love.”

Haldir’s eyebrows rose slightly, and he nodded. “Then I am glad you are here.” His gray eyes gleamed fiercely for a moment. “We shall lay waste to the enemy together.”

“Aye,” Legolas nodded, his own lips curling into a snarl. “Gurth a chyth ví!” (death to our foes)

Haldir laughed. “Ortheritham hain!”(we will defeat them!)

Legolas took position next to the marchwarden, knocking an arrow and holding a second in his hand, carefully taking aim at the enemy, who had come to a halt beneath the walls of the Deep. He felt Haldir take his position beside him, his own arrows ready to fly.

Aragorn saw the enemy and blanched, for their foul forms blackened the rain washed plains as far as his eyes could see.

“Eruchîn, ú-dano i faelas a hyn an uben tanatha le faelas!” he cried to the defenders. “Show them no mercy! For you shall receive none!” He saw them preparing to charge. “Leithio i philinn!” he shouted.

At his command, arrows were loosed, flying with beautiful and deadly accuracy towards their foe.

“Faeg i-varv dîn na lanc a nu ranc,” Legolas shouted above the howls of pain from below, translating for the few Human archers who stood by their side. “Their armor is weak at the neck and underneath the arms.”

Their arrows rained down upon the orcs endlessly, but it seemed hopeless against the so many. The enemy surged forward, howling for blood as they reached the walls of the Deep, and Haldir saw with fear and dismay the tools they carried with them.

“Pendraid!” he shouted, hearing Aragorn’s echoing cry. “Ladders!”

The orcs raised their ladders against the stone walls, determined to breach the outer perimeter of the Keep’s defenses. The archers responded with volley after volley of arrows, sending them whistling into the bodies of their foes with unerring precision. Legolas’ lips were pulled back in a fierce scowl as he targeted orc after orc, relishing their dying screams as they fell from the ladders. He saw Aragorn’s sword flash out, neatly decapitating an orc that had managed to reach the top of the ladder, and sending it crashing down, taking several of its comrades with it as it fell.

Their bows sang out in the rain that poured over them, bringing death to their enemies below as swiftly as they could fire their arrows, but Legolas and Haldir could both see that as quickly as one orc went down, three more replaced it, scrambling up the ladders with vile intent.

Above the roaring din, Legolas heard Aragorn’s desperate shout.

“Togo hon dad, Legolas!” He screamed, pointing at an Uruk-hai carrying a torch, running raggedly towards the sluice gate below them. “Dago hon! Dago hon!”

His dark eyes narrowed as he sighted the running figure, swiftly releasing his arrow. He saw it strike the Uruk-hai’s shoulder, but the creature did not slow. “Ai!!!” Legolas growled in fear and frustration, quickly seeking his target once more, his bow singing as he released his arrow. It flew at the orc with a whistle and struck the creature in the vulnerable space between its armor plating, and he saw the creature stumble and go down.

Legolas’ triumphant grin faded when he saw the creature throw the torch, even as it fell to its death at the feet of its companions.

A shuddering explosion rocked the wall they stood on, and several of them fell from the force of it.

“What new evil is this?” Haldir shouted above the roar. “What has Sauruman done?”

The dust cleared and they could see what evil the former white wizard had wrought.

Hundreds of black bodies poured into the gaping wreckage the explosion had left behind, and within seconds, the Deeping Well had been breached. Their enemy’s triumphant roars echoed against the walls of stone.

They fought with silent desperation, sending their arrows into the leading ranks of orcs, watching them fall, trampled underneath their comrades who followed behind them. They swarmed into the breach in an endless flood, and Legolas could see they would quickly be overwhelmed.

“Na barad!” Aragorn shouted, his strong voice carrying over the screams and cries of the defenders. “Na baraad! Haldir, Legolas na barad!”

They stayed long enough to cover the other archers as they followed Aragorn’s command to retreat to the safety of the Keep. The Uruk-Hai had gained the walls, having managed to reach the tops of their ladders, and the new threat was keeping both elves from retreating.

Haldir’s sword flashed as he cut down his enemy, his body moving with deadly grace as he killed. He heard Legolas behind him, his knives working in tandem, leaving death in his wake. Still more came over the wall, howling for blood, and Haldir felt one of them slip past his guard, the orc blade slicing into his arm before he could prevent it. The wound burned, and added to his fury, and he took its head off in one powerful blow.

“Behind you!” Legolas screamed.

Haldir turned, feeling as if the world had slowed, and his sword locked with the orc blade that had been aimed at his unprotected back. The orc gave a startled grunt of pain and sank, slowly to its knees, before falling onto its side, twitching in its death throes. Haldir blinked in surprise as Legolas bent and swiftly retrieved his knives from the creature’s back.

“Come! To the Keep!” Legolas shouted, grabbing his hand and racing for the safety of the stone walls, pulling Haldir after him.

Together they fled, killing anything that rose up in their path to stop them, until both were equally splattered with the foul and black blood of the orcs they felled. They reached the safety of the Keep at last, darting through the narrow doorway behind the others.

< > < > < >

Legolas had lost track of how many he had killed. He was conscious only of the struggle to survive the night. Haldir fought beside him, the marchwarden seemingly tireless as he struck again and again with his sword, bringing swift and merciful death to their enemy. Together they were a deadly and beautiful pair, killing machines that worked in tandem, each dependent upon the other to guard their weaknesses from attack.

The gate had held, but only through the efforts of Aragorn and Gimli; the man and dwarf had taken out the attackers who were pounding at the gate, but had only barely escaped with their lives. Still, it had given the Men of Rohan enough time to regroup and form another plan of defense.

The battlements were overrun, and both elves had been pressed further and further back, fighting with every ounce of strength and skill they possessed.

Legolas and Haldir both knew it would not be enough.

The sun rose above the rim of the valley, and they could finally see the army they faced in its entirety. A shudder went through Legolas as he gazed upon the black and evil forms of the orcs that covered the plain below. Despite how many of them that had fallen, their numbers still seemed endless.

A low and rumbling sound shook the Keep, and Legolas looked up, trying to find the source of it. It came again, longer and deeper, and he felt the hairs on his neck rise with its resonance.

“The Horn of Helm Hammerhand!” a man cried next to him. “The Horn! The Horn sounds for the Rohirrim!”

The horn sounded again, and the doors to the Keep flew open. Théoden rode through them, his sword raised high in challenge. He was followed by Aragorn and as many horsemen who could still ride, following their king to death and glory.

“Look!” Haldir shouted, pointing to the rim of the valley.

Legolas looked upwards, his dark eyes widening in disbelief. “Mithrandir!” he cried joyously. “It is Mithrandir!”

Over the rim of the valley rode the wizard, his robes gleaming white against the gray flanks of Shadowfax. Riders of Rohan, led by Eomer, galloped behind him, their shields and spears glinting brightly in the morning sun.

The attackers on the wall fell back slightly as they saw the riders come, and the men and Elves on the battlements took advantage of their momentary confusion. Haldir and Legolas found their strength renewed as they waded into the fray, their blades flying with lethal precision, and their heard the cry taken up by the men around them.

“Forth Eorlingas!”

The battle turned swiftly with the arrival of reinforcements, and Legolas saw how quickly their enemies fell, some of them trying to flee, only to be cut down by a horseman or Elven arrow. His blood sang with fierce joy as he saw the last orc fall, struck down by a hail of arrows. And for the moment, it seemed as if the sun shone that much brighter over them.

A cry rose from the throats of the men of Rohan, a ragged cheer of victory over their fallen foes, and the elves found themselves echoing the cry, lifting their voices defiantly to the cloud cast sky above them.

< > < > < >

“Aye, it was a victory,” Haldir said grimly, lifting the legs of a fallen comrade while Legolas lifted his shoulders. “But at what cost?”

Legolas’ face was pale, his eyes burning with grief as he counted the bodies of the elven dead. Even in death, his kinsmen retained their regal beauty, and it struck something deep inside him to see them lie in the cold stillness.

“Many have fallen,” Gimli said gruffly, lifting another elf into his strong arms and cradling it with a gentleness that belied his gruff nature as he carried it to where the others lay. “Yet more survived than would have, if it had not been for them. They died bravely, defending the lives of the helpless.”

Haldir watched him silently, his gray eyes shadowed with his sorrow. The dwarf spoke truly, yet it did not ease the pain within him.

“Enough, Haldir,” Legolas said finally, clasping the marchwarden gently by the shoulder. “Let others finish this task. You have hurts that need tending.”

The older warrior nodded, following Legolas past the dead and into the Keep. The halls within were crowded with Men and wounded, the healers tending to those who were not too badly injured, and simply comforting those who were too far gone to live. There were elven wounded as well, and Haldir made a point of checking on each of them, grateful that Elrond had sent his best healers along with his warriors.

Legolas watched Haldir speak with Rúmil, and saw the marchwarden’s smile of relief when the healer reassured him that his youngest brother would live. His other brother, Orophin, sat beside him; a sword cut marred the beauty of his face, but otherwise he was unharmed. He gently held Rúmil’s hand while the healer worked on his brother’s wounds, speaking in soft and reassuring tones to Haldir.

Satisfied that his brothers and the rest of his comrades were in good hands, Haldir allowed Legolas to lead him away from the noise and activity, following the younger elf up a short flight of stairs and into a small room off of the corridor.

He recognized Legolas’ cloak and personal effects leaning against the wall, sharing space with the belongings he could only assume belonged to Aragorn and Gimli. Their bedrolls were laid out haphazardly on the stone floor, and it was to the nearest one that Legolas led him, pushing him gently down until he was sitting on it.

Silently, Legolas tore the fabric of Haldir’s tunic to expose the wound on his arm, his lips tightening slightly as he examined the damage inflicted to the muscles and skin.

“Does it hurt?” Legolas asked softly, looking up at Haldir’s face with concern.

The marchwarden shook his head. “It no longer pains me,” he replied, touched by the worry he saw in his love’s eyes.

“I will cleanse it and bind it for you. It does not look serious enough to warrant a healer’s attention at the moment, but I want you to have them examine it later,” he said firmly, reaching for his water skin.

“Yes, melethen,” Haldir replied, his lips curving slightly at Legolas’ tone.

Legolas raised his head slowly, and he suddenly realized that they were alone together for the first time. His eyes sought Haldir’s, and he smiled when the older warrior touched his face gently with his fingertips, leaning into the touch with a sigh.

“I missed you, melethen,” Legolas said softly, turning his head to kiss Haldir’s fingers. “I felt as if a part of me was missing, each day that passed that took me further from you.”

Haldir smiled and leaned forward, pressing his lips gently against his lover’s, shivering slightly at the contact of Legolas’ warm mouth against his. Legolas groaned softly, opening his mouth to Haldir’s kiss. Their tongues collided briefly, tangling and brushing against each other with growing passion, until finally, they were forced to break away, their breath coming in short gasps.

“I will never get your wound treated if you distract me, Haldir,” Legolas smiled wryly, reaching for his water skin once more. “This will only take a moment.”

“Aye,” Haldir nodded reluctantly pulling away, his lips curving faintly. “I will try to behave myself.”

Legolas chuckled softly. “See that you do, Marchwarden.”

Haldir’s eyes narrowed slightly in discomfort as Legolas poured water over the wound, cleansing the dirt and dried blood from it. When the Prince was satisfied that it was clean, he reached for the strips of cloth Aragorn kept for emergencies, making a silent promise to replenish the ranger’s supply later. He wrapped Haldir’s arm carefully, binding the wound with the absorbent strips of fabric, tying the ends together so they would hold with the older warrior’s movements.

“There,” he said, nodding in approval. “That should do for now.” He stood, moving over to the belongings against the wall and replacing his water skin and the remaining strips of fabric he had not used.

“Legolas.” Haldir’s voice was low and commanding, and the Prince looked up from his work and met the marchwarden’s gray eyes with his own.

“Come here,” his demand was a soft murmur.

Legolas’ breath caught at the fiercely loving look the older warrior gave him, and he found himself back at Haldir’s side without realizing he had moved.

Haldir reached up and pulled the other elf down to the floor, rolling Legolas onto his back and stretching his lean frame beside the Prince. He leaned on his good arm, his chin resting on his hand as he looked down at his lover, a smile of pleasure on his lips.

Legolas looked up at Haldir, reaching up with his hand to softly touch the fair face that leaned over him.

His eyes closed in delight at the simple caress, and a sigh escaped his lips. He opened his eyes once more and bent his head to kiss the Prince, his lips barely touching the other’s in the lightest of caresses.

“I need you,” Haldir whispered against Legolas’ mouth. “I cannot live without you.” He continued to gently tease the soft lips that opened beneath his, flicking his tongue out to lick the sweet curve of Legolas’ upper lip. “Seron vell,” he sighed, before fully claiming the delicious warmth of his lover’s mouth.

Legolas groaned softly, his hands sweeping up the marchwarden’s broad shoulders as he gave himself into the kiss. How he had missed Haldir’s touch! Burying his hands into the silky strands of his lover’s hair, Legolas turned slightly, pressing the length of his body against Haldir’s, feeling the heat of the older warrior’s body spread through him. He insinuated a leg between the marchwarden’s strong thighs, and pressed it gently against Haldir’s arousal; the soft moan of pleasure from his lover was music to his ears.

Haldir’s hands cradled Legolas’ face as he deepened his kiss, his tongue exploring the heat and velvet depths of the elf’s mouth. He could loose himself in the Sindar’s kisses, the sweet taste of his lips and the delicious warmth of his mouth, a heat that seemed to almost consume him, yet left him yearning for more. He felt Legolas tug at the end of his tunic, pulling it upwards to slide his hands underneath it, exploring the smooth flesh of Haldir’s back, sending shivers of desire through his body.

Haldir’s lips left his and traveled down his throat, licking and biting the smooth column of flesh that Legolas offered him, his hands pulling at the ties of the Prince’s tunic until the material parted for him, and he was free to explore the warm and silky skin underneath it. His fingers danced lightly over the young warrior’s collarbone, sweeping down his chest until his thumbs brushed against Legolas’ nipples, eliciting a gasp with his touch.

“Haldir,” Legolas breathed his name like a prayer, closing his eyes as his lover bent to lick one of the sensitive nubs, his fingers teasing the other nipple until it ached from the sensation.

Haldir smiled against Legolas’ skin, flicking his tongue against his nipple once again, earning another groaning sigh for his efforts. He knew, from previous experimentation, that the Prince was extremely sensitive on this particular spot, and he delighted in exploiting the knowledge fully, until Legolas’ groans took a more desperate edge.

“Please, Haldir!” Legolas cried, shuddering with his need. “Anirón le!”

Chuckling softly at his lover’s pleading, Haldir moved lower, licking wetly down the flat and firmly muscled stomach, exploring the small indentation in the center with the tip of his tongue.

“Ai!” Legolas cried breathlessly, his back arching under the ticklish onslaught. “That tickles!”

“Hmm,” Haldir replied, his lips curving in a tender smile. “So it does.” He took pity on the Prince, and moved lower, pressing his mouth against the growing evidence of Legolas’ arousal, rubbing his face against the soft fabric of his leggings.

Legolas moaned softly, feeling Haldir’s clever hands quickly divest him of his leggings, pulling them swiftly away and tossing them aside. His own clothing followed suit, and he returned to his lover’s side, reaching out to pull the other elf into his arms.

They did not have much time, and there was an urgency in their caresses that had not been there before. Haldir took the Prince’s arousal into his hand once more, leaning down to kiss the young warrior deeply, his tongue mimicking the movements of his hand on Legolas’ length. He felt the lithe body grow taut beneath him and swallowed the cries his lover made as he reached his release, the warmth of his seed spilling over the marchwarden’s hand.

Legolas trembled, gasping when he felt Haldir’s fingers enter him, probing his entrance with careful touches, gently preparing the way. His lover used the moisture of his own release to coat his hardened length, before pressing the tip of it against him. Legolas opened to the invasion, welcoming the brief pain as the marchwarden slid into his heat, relishing the feeling of having his love so close, so deep inside him, that for the moment they became one.

“Melon le,” Haldir whispered, his eyes closing in bliss as he slowly thrust into the willing warmth beneath him, hearing the Prince’s soft gasps of pleasure as he rode his body, taking the growing hardness of Legolas’ arousal into his hands once more. He timed his strokes to his lover’s length with his steady thrusts, and felt the young warrior’s body tighten inexorably once more as he brought him with him to the edge. Their cries echoed each other as they found their release together, Haldir rocking against Legolas’ trembling body as they reached their climax.

Shuddering and spent, Haldir rested against Legolas’ chest, feeling the pounding of his love’s heart beneath his ear, feeling the young archer’s arms curl protectively around him.

“Will you come with me to Mirkwood?” Legolas asked softly, stroking the silver hair that spilled over his chest like a curtain of mithril. “When the battle is over and Sauron defeated, will you return to my home with me?”

Haldir sighed and closed his eyes. “I was hoping, rather, that you would choose to stay in Lothlórien.” He lifted his head and gave Legolas a quick smile. “We could always use another archer among the wardens.”

“And my father could always use a fine warrior to lead his own wardens,” Legolas returned. “You would be welcome among my people.”

Haldir sat up, reaching for his hastily discarded clothing, using one of the cloths from Aragorn’s pack to clean the evidence of their passion from his skin. “I do not know,” he said finally, glancing up at the Prince, his expression serious. “Now is not the time to make such decisions, I think.”

Legolas nodded, his smile fading into hurt confusion as he watched his lover dress. “Do you want to be with me?” he asked haltingly, dropping his gaze to his hands and steeling himself for Haldir’s answer.

Gentle fingers lifted his chin, brining his eyes up to meet Haldir’s, and the marchwarden smiled tenderly at him. “Seron vell, of course I do.” He pressed a quick kiss against Legolas’ mouth. “Forgive me if I gave you the impression that I did not. It is simply that with what is happening around us, I find it difficult to make a decision regarding where we should live. I feel it can wait, until we can truly be together. We can decide then.” He reached forward and pulled the young archer into his embrace, holding him tightly. “I want to be with you,” he whispered softly, feeling the lithe form tremble in his arms.

“And I with you, melethen,” Legolas replied, his voice equally soft. “Forgive me for doubting it.”

Haldir’s hands captured one of his own, the hand which bore the ring the marchwarden had gifted him. “I would not give my father’s ring to just anyone,” the older elf chided lightly, placing a kiss on the palm of Legolas’ hand. “You have my heart.”

Legolas lifted his head, his dark eyes gleaming with fierce joy. “And you have mine as well. Melon le, bevae. Uireb.”

< > < > < >

“I wish you could come with us,” Legolas said softly, the flickering light of the torch above him casting shadows across his face as he looked out across the fields below them. He felt Haldir’s hand on his shoulder and turned to look up at the marchwarden with a rueful smile.

“I wish it too, pen-vuil, but my duty takes me elsewhere. I must gather those of our people who would join in the fight, for my warriors here were taken in haste in our hurry to aide the people of Rohan. There are others who would join us, I think, if the call was sent out to them,” Haldir replied, brushing the soft golden hair back from Legolas’ face. “I have no fear that I will not see you again.”

“I wish I could share in your certainty,” Legolas returned, his face clouded with worry. “For as dark as times are now, I fear there are darker tidings ahead.”

“I give you my promise, Legolas, seron vell. I will see you again,” Haldir said solemnly, his hand briefly touching his heart.

Legolas’ eyes widened in dismay. “Do not promise such a thing!” he exclaimed. “For you would be forsworn should either of us fall!”

Haldir smiled at the worry on his lover’s face, and heedless of any that might observe his actions, he bent his head and kissed the Prince. “I will not be forsworn,” he whispered, before tasting his sweet mouth once more, pulling Legolas into his embrace, remembering well his Lady’s words to him on the banks of the river.

**“A great and terrible danger lies in your path, but if your heart is true, you will be reunited with the one you love.”**

Haldir had faith in his Lady’s words, and found strength in the promise of them.

-FINIS

Translations:
Some Translations, taken gratefully from Council of Elrond: Transcript of The Two Towers at http://council-of-elrond.com/index2.html

Other translations – Many thanks to Orchyd Constantine for her Sindarin words and phrases.

Erinilen = my prince
Seron vell = dear lover (beloved)
Melethen = my love
Melon le = I love thee
Pen-vuil = dear one
Melon le, bevae. Uireb. = I love you, too. Forever.
Aníron le = I desire/need thee
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