Avnean absently brushed the tears from her face, fully aware of the aching feeling of emptiness in her mind. She regretted the words that she had spoken to her twin but wasn’t about to say sorry for it. The tears started rolling down her cheeks again as she stared at her mother’s favorite possessions; she hadn’t even taken those when she had left. Avnean knew that her father had returned and was standing behind her, as if wanting to open a conversation. Instead she curled up tighter and ignored him, it wasn’t long before she heard her father sigh deeply and leave the room. She knew herself that he needed comfort but Avnean was not the one who wanted to give it.
She stiffened, this time not hearing the intruder enter her parents’ room. “Go away!” she had not meant this time for her words to be a snap but they snapped anyway. “I hate you! Can’t you just leave me alone?”
“Avnean,” his voice was begging her. “Avnean please you’re torturing me. Just….just let the barrier down. Please.”
“No!” she shouted. “I don’t want you ever to mess up my life again.” She shivered and brushed the tears away, trying not to think of the emptiness in her own mind. “Go away why are you still standing there?”
“I…” Legolas stopped speaking. “Avnean I want to talk to you.”
“And I don’t,” she snapped back. “Leave me alone.”
She heard him walking away and pain welled within her chest, realizing that she had forced her brother away for the second time that day. “Avnean,” he whispered painfully. Even though she had shut her mind from his, the pain emanating from him made the lump rise in her throat. She heard his footsteps come closer now, stepping away from the door as if someone had put the notion in his head to stand up to her and not let her shouts drive him away.
“Didn’t you hear me?” she whispered, she couldn’t manage a shout. “I hate you. Go away.” A quivering note had entered her voice and she gripped the coverlet in her hands to stop them from noticeably shaking. His soft, familiar footsteps hadn’t stopped. She heard the creak of the bed as he sat down. She felt his hand gently grasp hers.
“Avnean,” his voice was pained. “Avnean please….can we just talk?”
“No,” her voice quavered and she closed her eyes finally shutting out her mother’s possessions. “I don’t want to talk.” She would have brushed away the shaming tears on her cheeks had Legolas’s hand not been covering hers. “I want you to leave.”
“We need to talk,” a firm note had entered his voice. “We….we can’t do this it’ll kill us both. Mother….mother’s leaving was hard.”
“Hard?” Avnean heard her voice jump up an octave or two higher. “Hard? You weren’t the one who let her leave! You weren’t the one that saw her there! You…” she choked to a halt and the tears that had been slowly falling down her cheeks turned into a river’s torrent. She had never noticed shrugging her twin out of her life was going to be so hard. She had never noticed how much she had leaned on him for support, never noticed how he had always been there for her. Never noticed how impossible it would be to live without him.
“Let the wall down Avnean please,” he begged her. He gripped her hand and she noticed he was crying as well. “This hurts me too but you shutting me out is harder then that. It would be better if we could all just go through this together.”
Avnean shivered as she felt a gentle finger brush against her cheek taking away her tears with it. She sat up slowly and looked at Legolas. “I’m….I’m sorry!” she sobbed and grabbed her brother into a tight hug, gripping him tightly as he wrapped his own arms around her waist. “I’m sorry! I didn’t….I didn’t.” she snapped the mental wall that was hiding her thoughts from him and his thoughts from her. As his thoughts and feelings rushed back into the emptiness she had felt Avnean cried all the harder.
Silently in their tears, shed for both their mother and for Avnean’s foolish anger, they were quite oblivious to the fact that Thranduil had entered the room once more; his own face a mirror of his terrible grief. They didn’t notice until he had sat beside them gripping both his children in his arms and whispering fiercely. “Nothing will happen. We’ll survive.”
Avnean wasn’t sure how long they stayed like this, wrapped tight in each other’s embrace gathering the strength they would need for the long days ahead. All she knew was that Legolas’s comforting thoughts were with her and her father’s warm arms were around her telling them both that everything would be all right.
It was Thranduil that broke the embrace sitting back and rubbing the tears from his eyes as if he were ashamed of them. He gave them both hard stares. “Now,” he said sternly, trying to get humor from their grief. “Nothing about me crying leaves this room do you hear?”
Avnean smiled wanly nodding her head. “Okay,” she said quietly. “Nothing leaves this room.”
“That’s right,” Thranduil looked down, his gaze purposefully away from the shelves. “Let’s just keep in mind that it might have been worse for us both all right?”
Beside her Avnean felt her brother shiver and placed a hand on his arm, knowing his thoughts. //Don’t think such thoughts! Father is right in this.// she whispered to him.
//I know,// he answered her //The thoughts just came. Sorry. Father’s looking at us oddly.//
Avnean couldn’t help but give a weak laugh as she saw the expression on her father’s face. The expression was something between confusion and `I give up!’
“Well,” he stood up. “I’ve talked to the maid Avnean, she should be replacing your clothes right now. I’ve warned her not to do it again or I might just let you at her.” He raised an eyebrow.
Avnean shook her head. “Thank you,” she told him. “Father, please no humor right now? I don’t feel up to it.”
“Of course,” Thranduil said. “I think you should go get packed both of you. Try not to think about this alright? Your first visit to Lothlorien should help. Come on.”
“What’s wrong Legolas?” Avnean turned to look at her brother. “You…”
“Nothing,” he shook his head. “I just have to go and have breakfast with my mentor.”
“Oh,” she lowered her eyes. The last thing she wanted after the fight was for them to be alone. “I….”
“Why don’t you come?” Legolas suggested. “I’ll even let you two crash the hut down with an argument. Is that okay?”
Avnean smiled weakly and nodded her head. “That’s good with me,” she agreed. “Father?” Thranduil stopped with his hand on the door knob, caught trying to escape. “Do you want to come to? An argument might help us both.”
The King of Mirkwood shook his head. “No,” he said. “I have to….I have to tell the people here that the Queen has left. It’s my duty.”
“Surely when the pain is less?” Avnean cried looking at him in shock. Her father turned his face away so she couldn’t it.
“No,” he said painfully. “It would do no good later. I have some things to look after that need to be looked after now. Go and have your breakfast and promise to pack later?”
“We will,” Legolas answered. “It’s a promise father. Can we help?”
“No,” he shook his head. “I want to this alone.” He left the room silently.
//Everyone grieves in different ways Avnean// he said to her. //Don’t worry father’s right we’ll all be alright in a few weeks.//
//I hope so// she sighed. //How about breakfast?//
//Sounds good// Legolas stood skirting off the bed. He offered his hand. //My lady?//
“No humor,” Avnean shook her head. “I told you.” She accepted his hand however and let him help her off the bed. “Nothing about the nightdress either.”
“Not a word,” Legolas smiled faintly.
Avnean smiled herself thinking faintly that perhaps everything would be alright in time. If time could really heal the betrayal she still felt within her gut.