Farewell (Learning to fly) by Karri|
Summary: Legolas and Gimli spend an evening upon the hill of Cerin Amroth.
Disclaimer: Neither the setting nor the characters are mind. I am just borrowing them and promise to return them.
High amid the branches of the towering mallorn that stood in the centre of Cerin Amroth, Legolas sat upon the edge of the ancient white flet. Dangling his feet, he closed his eyes and breath deep the sweet sent of spring. Then he gazed out over the tops of the mallorns, glowing golden red in the light of the setting sun.
In the distance beyond, just visible from his high perch, Legolas could the sward green grass that covered the hill. It was not so green as it had been in the days when it lay beneath a ring’s enchantment. Like all else in the Golden Wood, even in spring, Cerin Amroth seemed faded.
“Yet life continues onward,” Legolas reminded himself. They were veiled now by the taller mallorns, but he smiled at the memory of pale green young leaves upon the branches of the snowy white trees of the outer ring – just as he had smiled at the sight of them as he passed beneath. It was fitting, somehow, that on this day they should be here in this fading land amidst the burgeoning growth of spring.
Beneath him, he could hear his companion singing in his deep Dwarven voice. Legolas’s smile grew as the recognized the song -- the song of the maiden Nimrodel. He thought, “That is fitting for this day, as well.”
The singing stopped at the very place he had faltered those many years ago when he had sung it to a weary Fellowship. Gimli had finished his task. The time had come to complete his errand. Legolas closed his eyes once more and breath again the sweet-scented air.
He lingered a while longer upon the flet. His companion would not mind a few extra minutes of solitude, a few extra minutes for peaceful contemplation. Finally, though, he climbed nimbly down and sat beside the Dwarf.
“Ah, there you are, Elf,” Gimli greeted with a gentle smile. He comprehended the difficulty of this day for his friend. Though Gimli had long planned and prepared for it, Legolas had only just received the news.
“It is better this way,” he thought to himself, as he had many times over the years. “He will be well on his way before the grief truly settled in his heart.”
Legolas returned a pensive smile, his sad eyes studying the Dwarf closely.
“I am certain,” Gimli said in answer to the question within them. “My place is here in Middle-earth, not in the faraway land of the Elves, though Galadriel herself be waiting upon the shore to greet me. Nay! It is here in land of my forefathers that I shall rest most peacefully.”
“Your people will think you have sailed away with me,” said Legolas a tone of barely-achieved stoicism.
“Indeed! And don’t you dare send them word that it is other,” replied Gimli, with a bark of laughter. “What a fun game that shall be, don’t you agree?”
Legolas smiled appreciatively at the Dwarf’s jest. It was so like his friend to find humour even in this. Quickly growing sober once more, Legolas asked, “But do you not wish again to see the Lady?”
At this Gimli fell silently and gazed off into the deepening tree-shadows. He drew several long puffs from his pipe before turning back to his companion.
“Nay, I see her still so clearly,” he answered, tapping his head. “Here, as she was, a golden lady amid her golden trees. I do not wish, I think, to see as aught else.”
Legolas nodded thoughtfully and himself gazed off into the deepening tree-shadows, though the Dwarf’s deep voice continued on.
“Nay, it is better that I remain here to guard forever that piece of herself that my Lady left behind,” it said.
Legolas closed his eyes, remembering Arwen, of whom his friend spoke. “Yes, it is fitting. The Lady will be much pleased to have such a faithful guardian standing beside her.”
“Besides,” Gimli added abruptly. “I am weary.”
The bluntness of the statement brought Legolas’s eyes open with a snap. They welled with tears as he peered at his friend.
“Nay, none of that now,” Gimli gently chided. “You must think instead of the great task that lays before you.”
Legolas tilted his head curiously.
“Indeed, a great task,” the Dwarf continued. “For who else among the dwellers of Valinor know all the history of the Dwarves that one such as I can share. Indeed, much you have knowledge you have gained, but there is still much for you to learn. “*In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.*”
Legolas grinned suddenly, “I see that you have learned much as well, Elvellon, for you speak like an Elf.”
Gimli laughed and said, with a wink, “Ah, a plague on the lot of you and your tangled tongues.”
His smiled faded, though, as he added, “Come now, *look to the sky, lift your spirit, set it free. You’ll find your place beside the ones you love. Oh, and all the things you dreamed of, the visions that you saw, well, the time is drawing near now. It’s yours to claim in all!*
Tears trickled down Legolas cheek as he grasped the finality of his friend’s words. He met Gimli’s eyes, and the Dwarf nodded gently.
“Indeed, the time has come,” said Gimli. He took one final puff of his pipe, as Legolas rose from seat on the edge of the Dwarf’s finely-carved, self-crafted tomb. The he lay back, smiled at his friend, and closed his eyes.
Legolas watched him sleep until the first stars of evening appeared, though he knew the Dwarf has passed with the closing of his eyes. Finally, he fitted the stone lid in place and sat down upon it.
Long he remained, until at last the first rays of the dawn lit the golden leaves above him. Then he rose and left the hill Cerin Amroth, making his way to the river Anduin and from there, to the sea.
A/N: Some of Gimli’s words are lifted directly from the song “Son of Man” by Phil Collins. Also, according to the Appendices, it is only rumoured that Gimli sailed with Legolas. It is not known as fact.