Summary: Movie-canon. After I saw ROTK, I decided that Aragorn looked completely awe-inspired by Legolas at his coronation ceremony. I joked to my friend that he had that classic, "Where have YOU been all my life?" expression on his face, and maybe that he kind of regretted choosing Arwen, when he could have such a pretty ivory-clad Elf. That thought amused me to no mercy, so I decided to try my hand at writing a semi-short fic about it. The plot bunny was just about ready to chew my damn leg off. I had to shut it up somehow. (One-off, hence, no sequels intended)
Warnings: Nothing really extreme. Mostly fluff. If the idea of Aragorn loving someone other than Arwen, especially another male, either offends you or irritates you to the point of either crying or choking someone, then I would strongly advise that you not read this.
Author's Note: Okay, so I realize that not everything is EXACTLY as it went in the movie. Chronology may be a bit off and I left out some quotes. I took a few author's liberties, but I tried to stay as true to the events as I could without digressing from my own plotline.
Disclaimer: I desperately want to possess all characters involved, especially the fair Elf-prince, but alas, I own nothing. Tolkien is one lucky guy to lay claim to them. And I have precious little money, so sueing me would only serve to be extremely disappointing for you and fiercely entertaining for me.
It was my day. My long-awaited day. The day that I, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, shall claim what is rightfully mine by either determination of destiny or luck of lineage, the throne of Gondor. The day that I would become the king I was born to be.
I was filled with anxious trepidation as I stood before each and every last denizen of Gondor.
I couldn't help but wonder what they were thinking. I was so scared that they would hate me, that they would not be able to accept the new king who hid from them for so long.
So many doubts...I had so many doubts.
I looked down, and couldn't suppress a small smile at the sight of Gimli, who had been patiently standing by my side through my entire long-winded introduction.
He glanced back up at me, then paused a moment, probably to draw out the suspense. The stout little creature can be quite theatrical when the mood strikes him, let me tell you.
Then he finally turned his full attention to Gandalf, who stood before me. He handed the elaborate crown he was holding to the Istar, then stepped back, lowering his head respectfully.
Gandalf's wise eyes were twinkling as he motioned for me to kneel. I offered a small grin, then did as I was bade, and the wizard placed the crown atop my head.
The weight of the crown was new and alien to me, and I decided the heaviness was befitting for this day. After all, I was taking on a new, alien responsibility.
From this day forth, I would be responsible for the fate of not only an entire kingdom, but all that dwelled within as well. It was ominous, to say the least, but for some reason I have yet to understand, I was experiencing a calm determination to see my duties fulfilled without flaw or failure. I was fiercely determined to be the absolute greatest king possible. I owed it to the people of Gondor. I had neglected them far too long.
Now was my time to make up for all the time lost.
I rose to my feet, and my entire audience erupted into a cacophony of encouraging cheers. I couldn't hide my grateful smile.
I have been told that I can be quite the orator when I set my mind and heart to it, but that knowledge did not still the butterflies dancing about in my stomach.
I took a deep breath, then began to speak. I don't know how long I went on and on about trivial matters, but I'm sure it was quite awhile.
Then I sang, a song of old that made my heart leap and my spirit soar. It gave me comfort and brought me joy. I just had to hope my audience felt the same. I was beginning to lose my voice by the end of it, but I was enjoying myself nonetheless.
When my song drew to a close, I let my gaze travel over the crowd of gatherers, making eye contact with as many as I could to let them see how sincere I was.
Suddenly, my gaze was distracted by a flash of white.
Dazzling white, mingled with radiant gold and brilliant sapphire.
I damn near swallowed my tongue. My mouth seemed to fill with sand.
It took my startled mind a long moment to register an identity.
*Legolas.* The lilting name reverberated through my mind.
The shocked hush that immediately fell over the crowd of denizens was deafening. I was certain all present would be able with ease to hear the suddenly frenzied beat of my heart.
I truly wanted to close my mouth out of respect to the admiring crowd of Gondorians, for I knew that propriety demanded that I not continue to stand there like a dunce with a wide-eyed, slack-jawed expression of flabbergasted stupidity.
But the sight of Legolas immediately rendered all my efforts useless. I could do nothing but gawk at the slender Elf.
For all the want of my heart, I could not tear my dumbfounded stare from the golden vision in white. My hungry eyes could not feast upon him enough.
Moth to flame. It never failed.
Fortunately, I managed to get a hold of myself just enough to shut my mouth as I walked toward him with a false air of confidence.
I had to really summon all my restraint and resolve as I grasped Legolas on the shoulder. I wanted nothing more than to grab his other shoulder and drag him closer, then claim those lips as my own in a feverish, bruising, soul-stirring kiss. And I would pour every word that I could never dare to utter into that kiss.
Maybe then the gorgeous Elf would understand.
But I...ai, *I* would never understand. Would never understand how this young Elf-prince of Mirkwood had stolen my breath, how he had captured my heart, how he had bewitched me so with his beauty. How I had fallen so deeply for him.
Oh, by the grace of the Valar, how could it be that I had fallen in love with Legolas?
Legolas lowered his eyes out of respect to me, the faintest trace of a grin on his lips as he once again lifted his eyes to mine, then returned the friendly gesture. I thought my heart would be rent in two at his firm, yet tender touch.
But my heart was already swelling from the deeply-rooted longing to be with him forever, and shattering into a million pieces from the painful knowledge that it could never be.
I couldn't help myself; I just had to take a moment to simply admire the beauty before me.
The sunlight gleamed upon the smooth hair which fell down over slim, proud shoulders. The fair tresses were held back by one mere intricate braid, leaving the rest to spill down his back like liquid gold.
Set atop the flaxen hair was a delicate, ornate silver circlet that sparkled in the early light. It made for a fine contrast. Gold and silver. Sunshine and starlight. Mithril and mallorn leaves.
The shimmering white garb his slender form was clad in was a startling contrast from the usual rich, earthy greens and browns. The brilliant color was absolutely gorgeous against the perfect pale skin and the sleek, fair hair, but most riveting of all was the emphasis such a quiet color placed on the deep blue eyes, which were positively glowing with warmth as they met and held captive my own.
His lips curved into the most heart-wrenching smile I had ever dared to imagine possible, a soft, tender grin so innocently sweet and breathtakingly sincere it could have charmed a sprite out of its lair.
I had not seen him smile like that since before the Quest of the Fellowship of the Ring.
How I had missed that smile.
*Oh, sweet Elbereth,* I thought detachedly, *he is so beautiful.*
By now, Legolas was starting to give me a really puzzled, strange look. His eyes narrowed and his head tilted almost imperceptively, silver flashing on his brow.
I couldn't blame him. I was staring at him as if he was growing a horn in the center of his forehead.
So I finally spoke, saying the only two Sindarin words my stunned mind was able to come up with.
*Thank you.* It sounded so stupid that I suddenly felt the need to slap myself.
The grateful smile that lit up Legolas's face could have melted Caradhras. I was reassured, knowing now that he at least did not find it so ridiculous a thing to say.
But honestly, of all things, *why,* for the love of the *Valar,* did I have to say *thank you?!*
I should have said that I loved him, that I always had and always would love him, that I was absolutely terrified that I was making the biggest mistake of my life by marrying Arwen, that he would always be first in my heart...something, anything...
Anything but *thank you.*
I nearly winced at the bitter irony.
How painfully shallow that phrase can sound.
Thank you for *what?*
For aiding Frodo in the Quest to destroy the One Ring?
For lending your skill with a bow to the Fellowship when doom was near at hand?
For following me without doubt or question despite the prospect of nearly inevitable doom?
For being such a steadfast companion, trustworthy comrade, unfailingly true friend?
Thank you for...
*Wake up, Aragorn!*
I shook my head as if to clear it. I had been very obviously distracted. Embarrassed, I lowered my gaze, removing my hand from the Elf's slim shoulder.
When I raised my eyes, I caught sight of a small procession of Elves.
One who stood behind a banner of Imladris stepped from the group and approached me slowly, languidly.
When the banner was lowered, I realized that it was Arwen.
Arwen, the lovely Evenstar whose light would never diminish. Arwen, who had forsaken her immortality for me. Arwen, who soon would become my queen and help me to rule this kingdom.
She appeared ethereally beautiful beyond measure, with her dark, flowing hair and bottomless azure eyes. And her smile was stunningly lovely, filled with naught but the deepest, truest love.
Love for me. Love that I never would return.
I smothered the urge to let out a long, mournful sigh as my eyes shifted of their own accord and settled on another Elf altogether.
Nay, Legolas, o' fairest son of Thranduil, thank you for being the greatest love in my life.
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