In a Different Light

by Dinledhwen
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1.

In A Different Light

Legolas sighed softly one rainy afternoon while he pushed the plans for Minas Tirith’s new gardens in a restless manner away from him and on across the table which was in King Elessar’s private study. Then he picked up the silver goblet containing his wine that had been sitting forgotten up till now to his right before he leaned back in his chair.

Now all of this didn’t go unnoticed by King Elessar since he was sitting to the elf’s left at the head of the table. “Is something bothering you my friend?” he asked while he went back to studying the latest revisions to the drawings of the designs which would eventually grace the fronts of the new main gates.

“I don’t know. Lately I’ve been feeling restless to the point where I find it hard to concentrate on anything,” Legolas replied in a frustrated tone of voice while he gazed down into the burgundy depths of his wine as if the answer he was seeking was contained within the liquid.

“I’m not surprised you are feeling that way. After all you have been doing nothing but preparing those plans for me as well as a set for Prince Faramir ever since you returned ahead of those amongst you people who have expressed an interest in relocating in Ithilien,” the King said while he set down the drawings he was looking at so he could pull Legolas’s plans towards him. “So I here by decree my friend that you are now to relax and think about something else for awhile since nothing more can be done until this wet weather lets up,” he added firmly with a grin while he set the plans off to his right side.

“Maybe I do just need to relax,” Legolas said thoughtfully while he continued to gaze down into his wine although deep down inside of him he still wasn’t so sure his friend was correct in thinking this would help. But since he himself had no better idea of how to cure his restlessness right now he wasn’t about to argue against taking the time off. “So do you also have any suggestions as to how I should relax?” he asked with a hint of a light hearted smile over the rim of his goblet before he finally downed some of his wine.

“No I don’t except that maybe what ever you do it shouldn’t involve quill, ink, and parchment since I have the feeling that would greatly tempt you into planning again,” King Elessar said with a soft chuckle.

Meanwhile the rain was letting up outside so that now more light was coming in through the four large windows opposite from where Legolas sat. Now this was something that the elf noticed and for a moment he felt there was something was about to happen although he didn’t know what that would be. Then for the time being he attributed it all too just his imagination and turned his attention back to the King.

“Looks like the rain maybe over so why don’t you go for a walk in the greensward by the Houses of Healing,” King Elessar said while he glanced up at the incoming light which had grown even brighter before he went back to studying the designs for the main gates. Now to him it appeared to be nothing more then just the normal brightening of a sky after a rain so he thought no more of it.

“Is that your polite way of getting rid of me?” Legolas asked with a broader smile while he set down his wine goblet on the table in front of him.

“Yes it is!” the King replied with a similar smile while he picked up his own goblet of wine. Then he gestured with it towards the closed wooden door behind the elf as a way to send his friend on his way when at the same time there was the sound of someone urgently knocking on its smooth surface. “Enter!” he replied as he set his goblet down while Legolas turned around in his chair so he could see who it was wishing his friend’s attention. As it turned out it was one of the tower guards whose quick entrance and look of dismay on his face had both instantly thinking that something was wrong.

“My lords I bring word that the elves from Eryn Lasgalen have arrived. But several were wounded some seriously when they were attacked by a large band of Orcs and Uruk-hai just as they were passing the Grey Woods,” he said a bit out of breath since he had run the whole distance to the King’s house from the tunnel way where he had received the news from a Great Gates guard who had temporarily taken on the job of messenger.

“Have Queen Arwen meet us at the Houses of Healing,” King Elessar quietly instructed the man while he passed by him before he continued on after Legolas who was already running out the door. “Unfortunately it would appear that the scattered remnants of Sauron’s army are now banding together instead of remaining apart like we had hoped they would,” he said to the elf once he had caught up to him. Then they both ran out of the double main doors of the King’s house side by side.

“And it is fortuitous that several months will pass before any more my people will be coming down here. Hopefully during that time we can rectify this problem,” Legolas said in a deadly serious tone of voice while he glanced up at the sky all around him. It was at that moment he noticed that the gray clouds above the Houses of Healing were starting to thin even more then anywhere else which furthered enhanced his feeling that something was about to happen. However as to what that would be he still didn’t have a clue.

“As soon as I have seen to your people I will send out scouts so we can locate this band and any others that may be out there and then clear my kingdom of this filth once and for all!” King Elessar replied firmly while he took greater care of where he was placing his booted feet on the rain slick cobblestones then the more agile elf which meant he never noticed the thinning of the clouds above their destination. And by the time they had descended to the sixth level and had reached the front steps of the Houses of Healing they were in time to see the first of the wounded elves arriving. Soon the healers and their assistants were running out of the building and helping them down from their gray or white mounts.

Suddenly the sun’s light broke through the clouds and a wide golden ray fell upon one of the elvish maidens still astride her gray mount and caused her pale golden hair and fair face to glow in an ethereal way. And that was the moment when Legolas’s heart was captivated in a way he had never felt before towards Lailaswen the maiden in question. As for the maiden she was surprised to find herself so illuminated and when she looked about her to see if anyone else was in it too she noticed Legolas standing just outside the light’s boundary while he stared at her as if he was seeing her in a different light which meant he was now considering her to be more then just his good friend. Now this brought out a rosy blush on her fair cheeks while she gave him a confused smile back at his new reaction to her. Then the front of her gray traveling cloak slid open on its own so that the make shift and now bloody bandage around her right fore arm was revealed.

Instantly Legolas was at her side while concern for her well being also filled his love struck heart. Now this wasn’t to say he wouldn’t have felt that same concern towards Lailaswen if she were still his good friend. It was just that the feeling was now linked to what Legolas felt in his heart to be a very special moment in his long life. Then he realized that this was the something that was about to happen which had been heralded to him by the light coming in through the windows and again with the thinning clouds above the Houses of Healing. Now he had no idea who amongst the Valar would be behind this but he still felt quite sure that it had to be one of them for only they could have herald such a happening in this fashion. “Here let me help you down,” he then said with a warm smile when he held his hands up towards the maiden.

“Thank you Legolas,” Lailaswen said graciously while still looking confused by his behavior as she slipped her feet free from the stirrups. And once she had leaned over far enough towards him the Prince then gently but firmly placed his hands on her slender waist. Then he kept her from falling to the cobble stones while she slipped the rest of the way out of the saddle and once she was standing before him Legolas kept his hands on her waist while Lailaswen looked up a the taller elf so she could meet his steady proposing gaze with a searching one. It was then that she saw mirrored within their blue depths his true heart felt love for her. So she quickly gave him a warm and accepting smile back since she had always felt this way for him but had been too shy to let it show. Now this broadened his smile and after that the golden sunlight that had been only bathing both of them suddenly flared to include the whole city which brought out smiles on the faces of all who were outside since it had been raining almost non-stop for the past few days.

“Are you badly wounded?” Legolas asked softly while he removed his hands from Lailaswen’s waist so he could carefully begin to unwind the make shift bandage from around the maiden’s right forearm with one as he supported her arm with the other.

“It’s nothing but a simple cut,” the maiden said although she couldn’t keep from wincing every now and then from the intense tenderness that had replaced the stinging sensation she had first felt from the back of her wrist and all the way up to her elbow after an Orc had used his sword on her when the snarling evil creature had tried to pull her off her mount. It was then that the Orc learned too late that Lailaswen wasn’t as hapless as she appeared after she had nearly decapitated him with her single fighting knife.

“That is no simple cut my dear!” Legolas exclaimed in dismay after he had finally uncovered the wound which was now red and swollen along its whole length.

Meanwhile King Elessar had made his way over to where the couple stood after he had briefly checked each of the wounded elves. Fortunately their wounds although serious in some cases were not beyond the skill of those in the Houses of Healing so he felt comfortable in now leaving them in the healers care while he turned his attention to Legolas and the lovely maiden his friend only had eyes for. Now this caused the man to raise a questioning eyebrow for the elf had never said anything to him about having some one he was romantically involved with in his life. However this wasn’t the time or the place for him to ask more about it so instead he gave the maiden a welcoming smile and a polite bow while his friend finally noticed his presence and introduced him to Lailaswen.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Lailaswen,” he said kindly while he motioned towards her arm that he wished to look at it closer.

“And it’s a pleasure to finally meet the man behind the great deeds which helped to keep Middle-earth from Sauron’s evil darkness,” the maiden said with a smile while she curtsied as best as she could since she now had allowed him to hold her arm like he had wanted. Then she winced again while he gently touched one swollen area of the wound.

“It would appear that I still have some unfinished business with Sauron’s army,” the King said while he let Legolas hold the maiden’s arm since his friend now wanted to hold it again once he had indicated to Lailaswen that he was through looking at it. As for Lailaswen she obviously was perfectly content with this arrangement which showed by the warm smile she gave to Legolas while she looked up at him. Now this brought out the hint of an amused smile on the King’s face before he turned serious. “This wound requires my immediate attention for the blade used to create it was tainted with a poison. Fortunately it was a weak one or you wouldn’t be standing here at all. So I need for you to come with me now and after I have tended to it I would like to hear more about this Orc attack.”

“As do I,” Legolas added out loud while he escorted Lailaswen up the steps behind the King. Then for the maiden’s ears only he whispered “Maybe we should talk about what just happened between us this afternoon too once we’re alone.”

“I see no need for that my dear. Let us just accept it for what it is and go from there,” Lailaswen replied with a loving smile.

“Then accept it we will from this day forward!” Legolas said both eagerly and softly with a similar smile before he gave the maiden a quick tender kiss on the lips just as they followed King Elessar through the open doorway and on into the Houses of Healing.

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2.

Once inside King Elessar led Legolas and Lailaswen down a wide well lit hallway to a private room which contained a comfortable bed covered in white linen and a sitting area of plain but well chairs and a table that looked out over the immaculate courtyard garden. Then he had the maiden take a seat in a chair by a small table after Legolas had slipped her traveling cloak off of her. “I will need to bathe your wound first with warm water that has had athelas steeped in it,” he explained to her while he rolled up the sleeves of his tunic. Then he bruised two of the athelas leaves from a bowl on the table before tossing them into another bowl filled with steaming water both of which had been brought to him on tray by an alert female healer who had noticed his entrance into the Houses and who knew his preferred method for treating the wounded.

Now the air in the room was already wholesome due to the large arched windows. But as soon as the bruised leaves touched the water it took on an even sweeter freshness that all present couldn’t keep from breathing in deeply. Then the King smiled at Lailaswen while he took her right hand in his so he could hold her arm over the bowl of water before he began to bathe her wound by dipping his left hand into the water and ladling it carefully over it. And as soon as the water had touched it the tenderness instantly vanished which made her smile appreciatively up at him.

“The athelas will keep you pain free until the wound heals. And now that I’ve cleansed it I think a warm poultice of athelas is also needed to draw out any remaining poison within the swollen areas,” he said before he sent the still present healer off to prepare it. Then to Lailaswen he added “Now this will mean you will have to stay here for tonight at least since this poultice will have to be change once during the night.”

“I will see to it then that your belongings from the pack animals are brought here instead in case you have need of something from them,” Legolas offered the maiden with a loving smile from his place alongside her where he had been watching quietly everything his friend had done for his beloved one. “I noticed you had strapped your bow, quiver, and knife to your saddle. I will bring them to you too. But why did you do that in the first place. Unlike Edoras you’re freer to carry your weapons here.”

“Thank you my dear,” Lailaswen replied with a similar smile while she looked up at him. Then she gently took his hand in her free hand and squeezed it tenderly. “As for my weapons I put them there because the young guard who led us to the Houses said we couldn’t bring them in here after him and some of the other guards there at the gate had argued that the no weapons rule was meant for those entering the city.”

“I never issued such a rule! Clearly there has been a miscommunication some where down the line which really doesn’t surprise me due to the number of new raw recruits that have had to be pressed into service to fill those lost during the war,” King Elessar replied in an apologetically while raising an eyebrow out of curiosity at the signs of affection going on between his friend and the maiden. However before he could tactfully ask why this was so the female healer had returned with the warm poultice in a cloth covered bowl in one hand and a folded piece of cloth and a roll of bandages in the other. Nor was she alone for Queen Arwen was now with her.

“Welcome to Minas Tirith Lailaswen,” the Queen said pleasantly with a kind smile while her husband began to apply a thick coating of the warm green poultice on the maiden’s wound with the fingers of his left hand. “It grieves me to hear of this Orc attack and to see the end result on you and the wounds I’ve seen on your people before I came here. How was it that your wound was made?”

“My Lady it was a glancing blow from an Orc sword while the vile creature was trying to pull me from my saddle. That was the last thing it will ever do for I nearly decapitated it with a swift stroke of my knife blade as it tried to get a firmer hold on me,” Lailaswen replied with clear disappointment in her voice that she hadn’t cleanly rid the creature of its head.

Meanwhile Legolas was tenderly squeezing her hand back while he smiled respectfully down at her since he was quite familiar with the maiden’s fine skill with a knife after having competed against her in some friendly spur of the moment matches during festive gatherings in Eryn Lasgalen. Now this earned him another squeeze back and a loving smile which caused Queen Arwen to look questioning at her husband for she also was of the same mind as he that Legolas didn’t have such an interest in any maiden since he had never spoken of one before.

By now King Elessar had let go of Lailaswen’s hand and had moved on to carefully winding the bandage over the folded cloth he was using to keep the poultice in place. However he had noticed his wife’s look and he slightly shook his head and shrugged his shoulders to show he was just as baffled by it as she was. And when he was finished a few minutes later he then dismissed the female healer with kind words about her help and instructions concerning what needed to be done during the night for Lailaswen. Then the healer smiled and nodded back that she understood before she gathered up everything she had brought to him and left with it while closing the door behind her. “My friend and Lailaswen please forgive my boldness in asking you both this but are you two romantically inclined towards on another?” the King suddenly asked with a big grin now that the two couples were alone.

“Honestly my dear husband you could have been more tactful!” Queen Arwen gently chided with an amused smile.

“I know but my curiosity won’t stand for my beating around the bush about it!” he replied with a wink towards her which caused her to shake her head as if he was too hopeless to try and correct further.

In the meantime Legolas and Lailaswen had been watching this exchange also with amused smiles on their faces. Then together they first spoke of their pre-existing friendship and then they explained as best as they could without sounding too odd the wonderful experience that had happened between them when the sun’s light had fallen upon Lailaswen.

“I was out there too but I noticed nothing special about the sun’s light except the beauty of it against the dark clouds that were still present,” King Elessar said with a slight confused look on his bearded face.

“That’s because you were not meant to see Lailaswen in a different light,” Queen Arwen spoke in a knowing tone of voice that all females use when they speak of romantic affairs of the heart to a male who is clueless at the moment about them. The she looked at the maiden and gave her a joy filled smile. “If I had to guess I would say that one of the Valar was probably behind nudging Legolas in your direction.”

“I was thinking the same thing earlier. And I’m very thankful to the Valar responsible for opening my eyes to you my dear,” Legolas softly added with a loving smile for the maiden before he lightly kissed the back of Lailaswen’s hand which he had been holding all this time.

“And I’m so very thankful too!” the maiden replied with a similar loving smile while the couple settled for losing themselves in each other’s eyes for several seconds instead of sharing a kiss since the King and Queen was with them and who were now politely averting their eyes and pretended to be interested in something else on their person while they fondly remembered those first days together after their marriage and how love struck they had acted.

After that Legolas left so he could gather up Lailaswen’s belongings and weapons and bring them back to her room while she, Queen Arwen, and the remaining members of the group from Eryn Lasgalen visited those amongst the wounded elves who didn’t require something to put them into a deep sleep so they could escape their pain. And when Legolas joined them he reassured his people that the Orcs and Uruk-hai would be tracked down and then dealt with first by King Elessar and himself before any of them was to start their gardening work in Minas Tirith and Ithilien since some of the plants they were going to use needed to be gathered from out in the wild.

Meanwhile King Elessar had returned to his private study where he now spread out on the same table top where the gate and garden plans still lay a large map of the area surrounding the Grey Woods. Then he summoned the small group of Dúnedain rangers that he now had included amongst the Tower Guard and together they worked out a search pattern that would hopefully find the band of Orcs and Uruk-hai quickly. After that he sent them on their way before he leaned back in his chair while wondering with an amused smile if all that had happened so far especially that concerning Lailaswen had cured Legolas of his earlier restlessness. However he wasn’t going to ask the elf if it had for he was quite certain that the maiden had done just that and much more.