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Coming to Terms

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Title: Coming to Terms

Author: washow

Rating: G

Summary: Someday everyone must grow-up and decide who they are and what they believe. Legolas has reached that point and has journey to Mirkwood to find out if his father will be willing to accept his son and all that goes with him or if he will be turned away forever.

Disclaimer: I do not own Lord of the Rings nor am I making any profit from this story. Any similarities to other fan fiction are purely coincidental. This is not slash but a tale of friendship and family love.

Aragorn smiled as he watched his closest friend raise a hand to knock at the heavy oak door only to drop it back down to his side a moment later, the two friends had just arrived from their long and dangerous journey through the wilds and despite their exhaustion Legolas had insisted they come here before retiring for a much deserved rest. Aragorn watched his friend’s arm drop for the twentieth time then gently reached out to touch the elf, “We don’t have to see him now, the elf said your father was currently in his study not that he was expecting us.”

Legolas nodded, “I know my friend but my heart will not find peace here until I talk to my father.”

Aragorn saw the intense worry in his friend’s eyes so he asked the question which had been weighing on his mind since they entered Mirkwood, “Do you regret your choice Legolas? Do you regret having brought me here?”

Legolas smiled at his friend, “Absolutely not, you are my friend and belong at my side. I will never regret befriending you because you are the most honorable and trustworthy person I have ever met and have been a source of joy these last few months.” Legolas paused and sighed deeply, “I fear I’m going to need your friendship more than ever before this night is through.” Aragorn looked at his friend with a question in his eyes so the elf elaborated, “All my life I’ve looked up to and admired my father, never once questioning his view on things and therefore never asserting myself as an individual. I’m terrified he will disown me for expressing my opinion, especially on something he feels so strongly about, so I will need you by my side if he turns me away.”

Aragorn placed his right hand above his heart and grasp his friend’s shoulder with his left hand, “I vow to you Legolas that I will always be at your side, through good times and especially the bad for as long as I live.”

The elf smiled appreciatively at his friend, “Then let us not put this off a moment longer, it is time to let my father know that his elfling has finally grown up.” The prince knocked on the door and started to enter but then changed his mind and hastily turned back to his friend, “Be sure to keep your head covered until I can gently tell my father that you are a human.”

The ranger gave a short nod in response then took the extra precaution of pulling his hood lower before following his friend through the door and into the private study of the woodland king. As soon as the ranger walked through the door he felt as if someone was watching him and when he looked up he discovered his senses weren’t wrong as he was being scrutinized by a regal looking elf behind the desk. Luckily for the young ranger he was only appraised for a moment before the woodland king turned his attention to his beloved son who was in the process of offering a deep bow to the sovereign. The king smiled wryly at the formality of his offspring before rounding the desk and wrapping his only son in a tight embrace.

While holding his son close the king whispered, “I’m so glad to see you my child” pulling back just enough to see his son’s eyes the king continued, “and in one piece no less.” The king smiled fondly and reached out to caress Legolas’ cheek, “When I received word from Elrond that you were injured when you arrived in Imladris my heart stopped.” The king shut his eyes and gathered his emotions before continuing, “Mirkwood has missed her prince and I have missed my son so there will be a banquet held tomorrow in your honor,” The king then broke the embrace and turned to the other figure in the room. “and that of your savior.” Aragorn didn’t chance speaking for fear of revealing himself as human so he instead made a deep bow in response. All was going well until the young human rose from his bow and accidentally flipped his head back to remove the hair from his eyes, which also resulted in his hood being thrown off revealing that he was not an elf but a human. Time stood still as the king stared at the human in front of him trying desperately to understand what this human was doing in his realm. After several long moments the king turned on his heal and stalked to the door at the other end of the room, “Legolas” was the only word he uttered but it was done in such a menacing manner that the ranger was glad that the king had said no more. As Legolas was about to walk through the door he turned and offered his friend the most reassuring smile he could muster.

‘May the Valar guard you heart my friend’ the ranger prayed as he seated himself for what was sure to be a long wait ahead.

As soon as Legolas closed the door Thranduil advanced on his son, “What is that human doing here?”

Legolas cringed at the way his father spat out the word human as if it tasted bad. He then took a deep breath and hoped that his answer would not anger his father further, “He saved my life Adar.”

Unfortunately Legolas’ hope was not to come true because the king’s wrath increased substantially, “That pathetic excuse for a life form saved the life of an Eldar! How can it be that he saved you when there was no benefit for him to do so?” The king paused for a moment then narrowed his eyes at his son, “Or was there? Did you have to promise him a reward for saving you? That’s why he’s here isn’t it, to collect his reward!”

The king beamed triumphantly while the prince seethed in anger, “That isn’t it ada. . .”

The king cut him off, “Of course it is all humans are greedy and conniving. Just look at Isildur!”

Legolas was beyond irritated now and struck out at his father, “That human in there has no interest in wealth or power, unlike some elves in this very room!” The king visually blanched as his own son threw his love of jewels in his face. Legolas ignored his father’s reaction and pressed on, “That human is called Strider by his people but I call him blameless in the matter of his ancestors and more importantly I call him friend.”

The last statement caused Thranduil to gaze upon his child with enough ire that had the prince been made of wood he would have combusted, “Did my ears hear you call that vermin your friend?!”

The amount of wrath displayed by his father surprised the prince and caused him to comprehend that this conversation may well be their last. That thought caused him to consider keeping his silence but as scenes of his short-lived friendship with the heir of Isildur floated through his mind he quickly reconsidered. “I did Adar and I’ll say it again, the man in the other room is both my savior and my greatest friend.”

Thranduil advanced on his only child and practically thundered, “Have you gone mad Legolas!? That human isn’t worthy of your friendship; do you remember nothing of what I taught you? Or perhaps you are repaying me for my love, by throwing a human in my face!”

Legolas refused to give ground to his seething father and stood face to face with the monarch, “No adar I haven’t forgotten what you taught me, in fact it was that lesson which made me afraid to come home and face you!” The king appeared taken back by his son’s admission so the prince softened his tone a little. “Ada, at an early age you instilled in me a distrust for men, claiming them all to dishonest and greedy creatures. Now that I’m older and more traveled I’ve realized that there is more than one opinion on this topic and that you aren’t always right. Take today for example, I came before you with a man who saved my life but your bigotry would not allow you to see past your misconceptions.”

“I’m not a bigot Legolas I just know what’s best for you and this human isn’t best” the king thundered.

“Have you so little trust and respect for your only son that you won’t hear me out?” Legolas gazed at his father with hurt eyes, “Don’t you love me ada?”

That one statement did what even an orc army could not – it stopped the woodland king in his tracks. He looked at his son for uncounted moments than walked the short distance to his chair and slumped into its depths resting his head in his hand. “Of course I love you my child, don’t you understand I love you more than life itself. I would do anything to protect you, which is why I’m so against your friendship with this human. Legolas, I’m afraid that this human will gain your trust then betray you once he has gotten everything he can from you. I can’t stand the thought of you going through such pain, don’t forget that I know what it is like to be betrayed by a man. It’s because of men that your grandfather died and it was because of men that your mother had to travel to the undying lands after the devastating loss of her father and brothers”

Legolas shook his head, “Ada, those elves were killed by orcs not by men. It is time for you to let go of the past, release all the hatred and pain you’ve been carrying around and start to live in the present. Start by getting to know the man who risked everything so that you might see your son again.” The prince paused and looked at his father with pain filled but determined eyes, “But if you can not or if you will not change your ways and give this human a chance know that I will leave Mirkwood with him.” Thranduil looked up in shock but Legolas stood his ground and continued, “This world is full of darkness, every warrior needs a comfortable place to call home but the palace would no longer be comfortable if I had to pretend I agree with you on this matter.” Legolas set his jaw and looked into his father’s eyes “So the choice is yours adar, will you come with me and meet the man who has saved my life and is worthy of being called friend or will you let me walk out that door never to return?” Thranduil was quiet for several minutes so Legolas shook his head in disgust and headed for the door, “Good bye adar.”

Just as Legolas was opening the door the king’s head shot up, “Legolas wait, give an old king a few minutes to change his opinions. As I said I would rather die than do anything which would cause you pain so I’ll try to like this human for your sake. I don’t promise I can overcome my feelings but I do promise to never quit trying.”

Legolas smiled and rushed back to embrace his father in a tight hug, “Thank you Adar that’s all I ask. Come and meet him, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in my choice of friends.”

Thranduil smiled as he watched the anxiety lift from his son’s shoulders and chuckled as his only child nearly skipped out the door. As soon as the king entered his study the young human sitting there jumped to his feet and bowed low to the Mirkwood king. Thranduil brushed passed his son and moved so that he had an unimpeded view of the young man and began to visually appraise the man whom his son had befriended. Finally the woodland king addressed the young ranger, “My son tells me you are a man of honor young Strider.” The young human bowed slightly, “I am as well so I will keep the promise I made to my son and get to know you. I am in your dept for saving Legolas’ life so I would like to offer you the hospitality of Mirkwood for as long as you remain.” Strider just mutely nodded so the king directed him to a door and the pair walked out of the throne room and down the corridors of the palace with Legolas trailing behind. The young prince smiled as he watched the two of them walking along talking, he knew this wasn’t the start of a beautiful friendship but it was the start of a truce and Legolas was certain it would last long into the future.

The End