As ever, nothing belongs to me, this is strictly Tolkien’s sandbox which I am endeavouring not to mess up too much.

“Aragorn? Are you well?”

Aragorn looked up as Legolas sat down beside him, looking out over the valley of Helm’s Deep.

“Aye, well enough. Just thinking.”

“Anything you can share with me?”

Aragorn just smiled a little and shook his head, turning back to stare over the wall. Legolas laughed.

“Ah, I think I can guess.”

“And what would you guess, my friend?”

“The lady Arwen.”

Aragorn raised his eyebrows. “A good guess! How did you know?”

Legolas smiled, resting his chin on his hand, but the smile faded as he spoke. “The look in your eyes told me you were thinking of one that you love, who you fear you will never see again.”

Aragorn’s wry grin died on his lips. He had never supposed that, of all the little company that had set out from Rivendell, Legolas would know of such things. Legolas apparently saw his expression, for he hooked out a chain that hung around his neck, under his clothes. On it was a golden ring.

“I never wear it when I travel, for fear of losing it. instead, I carry it like this, next to my heart.”

“I didn’t know you were married.”

“I never gave you reason to.” Legolas smiled. “You and the others had greater things to worry over.”

“You saw that I miss Arwen. I should have seen that you missed your wife.”

“Dimfeníel. But I knew of your love for Arwen, while you did not know anything of Dimfeníel.”

Aragorn shook his head a little, though he knew that Legolas was right. He’d had no reason to think that there was anything more to Legolas’ occasional fits of melancholy than weariness and maybe homesickness. Still, he felt guilty that he had not thought to ask.

“Have you children also?”

“Aye. Two sons and a daughter.”

Aragorn nodded, his eyes straying to a young Rohirric boy standing not far away. Legolas followed his gaze and sighed, looking away.

“Too young,” he said, shaking his head and going to stand at the parapet, looking out in the direction of his home, so far away. Aragorn watched as he glanced once more at his ring and then tucked it back inside his collar.

“You’ll see them again,” he said, standing up to join him. Legolas turned a little to hide his face, raising a hand to wipe his eyes, and Aragorn put a hand on his shoulder, hoping to comfort him a little. After a long moment of silence, Legolas turned to face him with an attempt at that old, light-hearted smile.

“When you and Arwen are wed, I’m sure my father will invite you to visit our home. I would like you to meet Dimfeníel, as well as Númenhil, Sídhon and Galuvan.”

Aragorn guessed that those were the names of Legolas’ children. It was strange, now that he thought about it, that he had never once considered Legolas as the sort of person who might be a father, though there had been nothing to suggest otherwise. Still, he kept his thoughts to himself and squeezed Legolas’ shoulder again.

“I should like that, my friend.”

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