In a Heartbeat - love for the fallen

A heartbeat. Legolas heard a whisper in the wind and it's sweet kiss upon his face. Someone was calling to him and it made his heart beat come faster. He whirled around to find the one who beckons him. And from not a distance he saw a slender figure standing. Horror shot through him as he fought his way to her, catching her before she fell. She leant limply on him trying not to show much of her pain.

"Atalantea! Stay still, I will bear you back to the palace, where does it hurt?" He said calmly, carefully hiding the huge lump of fear that was slowly gnawing him.

"Hush now, there is no need, do not trouble yourself anymore," she said weakly.

"I will hear none of these, now let me bear you," he cradled her but she held his hand quickly staying him.. "My love, we cannot do away with this," she said, tears making their way across her features.

"No," he said stubbornly. "I will bring you to our houses of healing, there is no time! Come now," he said desperately and fear came overwhelming as he felt her blood spill on his hands with her slightest movement.

"No! there will be no time, I have two deep wounds my love and both wounds are poisoned. Even as we speak, my life is draining away and I can no longer feel myself," she said weakly, trying to smile but it turned to a grimace.

"No!" he cried in anguish, as he heard her admit both their fears. "I will not last long," she said.

He tightened his embrace and started rocking her back and forth. Amidst the battle they were now alone, separated from the rest. "Please do not speak of that, please do not, I can only bear as much,"

"No, I have to speak, this will be the... there may be no other time, listen to me, do you remember all the questions I used to ask you every time?" she said, lifting her hand and reaching for his face. He held it there too and kissed it tenderly.

"Yes, I do remember, you used to ask me why Beren put himself through all the hardships, why Tinuviel did not her father's will," she looked at him, her face searching, a bitter smile on her lips as he continued "Why Arwen embraced mortality for Elessar..." he finished looking at her, memorizing every line and everything that was her.

"I do know the answer now... they were willing to do all because of love..." she chocked.

"Your hands are cold, please save your strength, help is on the way, Elessar is coming..." he said achingly but knew it too late. "Let me warm them..." he whispered brokenly.

"You have already warmed my life Legolas... If I were to be given a choice, I will never prefer it otherwise," she said looking deep into his eyes. "I am glad to have loved you even in the shortest of the times," she took a painful breath. "I love you Legolas, I have always loved you," she said and he embraced her . He felt each struggling breath she took and it was as if he shared the same pain. He was crying away with her. Hurting as she did if not more.

"I will wait for you," she whispered and that shattered him more. She lifted and faced him with a bitter sweet smile and lifted her face to kiss him.

"Always and forever," she said and then she gave herself to him. The last of her breath, the last of her strength, the last of her self to him , everything to him.

Legolas felt her. He lingered in the kiss, knowing it the last. And he took what she offered. Took all of her to him, drank it hungrily as if his life depended on it. He embraced her more closely. Almost like fusing her body to his, molding her to him.

Here he felt his world stop turning.

Now, he felt the time freeze.

He was robbed of breath and his heartbeat seemed to cease.

Her hand fell limply down her side.

She has left him...

He embraced her, rocking her back and forth, whispering promises in vain in an effort to as if rouse and awaken her. The embrace came tighter, afraid to let her go, afraid that if he did she will be lost to him... and deep inside knowing that she already was.

"Don't leave me, please, I plead, don't leave me...!" he said achingly, his voice hoarse and ragged. "Don't leave me... I will go to where you are, I will come, wait for me..." he chanted over and over again. He was shattering from everything. Torn and broken in pieces never to be formed to one again. He cried until it hurt, until he was too tired, too weak to continue.

"I love you..." he cried in anguish.

***

Elassar stood with Arwen beside him in front of a great host.

Eldarion, Eomir, Lorlirien, Eowyn, Faramir, Sam, Rose, Pippin, Merry, Diamond, Elanor, among those closest to them stood not faraway.

The sun rose high and brightly but it seemed weak and dim to who now stands among the crowd in the Golden Woods of Lothlorien which now in the new age, as the elder left for the sea, is the resting sanctuary for the weary and the fallen.

Gimli cried in heart wrenching sobs as he laid a flower on the already growing heap in front of him. His beard was torn off as their grief grew to strong to contain. They mourn for their friend of whom grief took.

Legolas died the very day they set Atalantea to rest. He was said to have lingered a while more and to have slept on her very mound... never to awaken again.

And yet, as they all recalled, his face wore the happiest smile of all time. It has been a year and yet the wounds were yet raw and all were yet to heal. They lost two dear friends and yet they felt them surround them.

They still lingered...

So passes the elf whose beauty surpasses all men's measures and the elf, whose voice soothed all weary. And so passed the love whose tale would stay through time.

Always, forever, in a heartbeat.

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