I thought I was done with this story but I guess not!
I have no idea why I decided to write this, or where my brain the idea but hey here it is, a prologue nobody asked for but I hope you all enjoy anyway!
Getting woken in the middle of the night was a blessedly rare occurrence in Valinor. Which is why the moment a hand knocked tentatively but firmly on their bedroom door Elrond nearly woke in a cold sweat, while Celebrian's heart thudded loudly in her chest.
She recovered faster than her husband and so it was Celebrian that ripped the door open to reveal one of the night guards, "I'm sorry for the intrusion my Lady, my Lord, but there is somebody who just arrived that is asking for you."
Elrond was already halfway out of the door before the guard had even finished his sentence, wrapping Celebrians cloak around her shoulders as he went. His stomach hadn't returned from where it had dropped to his toes at the sound of the knock and he knew better than to second guess his gut feelings.
This was important, he just didn't know why.
Celebrian's slippered feet could be heard softly against the floor as she was forced to jog some distance to catch up to Elrond, falling into a rushed step beside him, "Do you know who it is?"
"No. But I think we should hurry."
Celebrian knew better than to second guess her husband's gut feelings either and so the two of them went from a fast walking to nearly a run to reach the front of their home faster.
Once they finally spilled outside into the night air they were greeted by a cloaked figure standing statue still in the front courtyard, the air around the visitor was almost physically heavy and it weighed down both of their hearts.
After a moment's hesitation, the stranger pulled the hood from his head, revealing one of the least expected faces Elrond could think of to be in his home in the dead of night. The sight shattered his own heart profoundly, "Legolas."
"I didn't know where to go. I didn't know what to do…" He sounded almost as lost as Elrond's heart felt in that moment. He didn't need to take a step closer to feel how profoundly the loss of his children had affected Legolas, didn't need the healer's touch to sense how close he had come to fading a world away.
Celebrian, again recovering faster than her husband rushed forward to the Prince she loved so dear and pulled him close.
Falling into the arms of the closest thing he had to a mother Legolas quickly began to weep, "I'm so sorry. "
Celebrian just shushed him gently, sinking both of them onto the cold ground beneath their feet. "Its okay, my darling. It's okay."
Still, Elrond couldn't bring himself to move an inch. He knew they would die. He knew. But knowing for certain that they were gone, he was less prepared than he had first thought. That familiar ache tingling his heart, that same one he got whenever he thought of his brother.
He couldn't even bring himself to stay to say goodbye. Couldn't even stay long enough to meet his grandchild. But Legolas had.
Legolas had stayed with them until the bitter end. And it had destroyed him.
He had stayed to bury countless mortal friends. The hobbits, Eowyn, Faramir, Aragorn, Arwen. All the humans he came to love in Ithilien, the children of his friends. So many pieces of his heart gone. Too many.
Elrond had arrived nearly over a century ago with Mithrandir and had been checking the shores nearly daily to coming ships. The worry and guilt of leaving Legolas in Middle Earth eating a little bit more of him by the day.
Both Celebrian and the wizard had continually assured him that there was no better place for Legolas to be than in the forest with his father. But apparently, finally, the king had been met with a wound that he couldn't kiss better.
And considering that he had turned up on their doorstep, apparently, Thranduil had been forced to send Legolas away without him. He couldn't imagine the way the separation weighed on Legolas' already painfully heavy heart. The only thing that would have parted the two would have been a literal dire situation.
The poor thing had nobody here, no family, all his people still in Middle Earth or not yet released. He was alone.
That was the thought that finally got Elrond's feet moving, bringing him closer and sinking to the ground next to his wife and the sweet elf who all his children had considered one of their dearest friends.
But he did have a family. He did have those who loved him, people who would protect him fiercely until he was more himself. People who would look after him, who would help glue the broken pieces back together.
"I didn't know where to go." He somehow managed to repeat, head buried in Celebrians lap where he struggled to breathe as she still somehow managed to hug him and stroke his head.
"You came exactly where you should have," Elrond assured him, swallowing past the lump in his throat, placing a warm and comforting hand on Legolas' back as it continued to heave with tears.
He should never have fought the sea-longing so long. That had been his final advice for Legolas before he left, the last thing he sensed for his future, was that he should not fight it for too long.
Celebrian kissed his head, exchanging a heartbroken glance with her husband, "And you are going to stay here until your father arrives. You have no choice."
Usually, he would argue with this. Usually, he would tell them that he could look after himself, that he didn't need their help. Usually, he would insist on doing everything himself.
But all he managed was, "Gimli too?"
"Yes of course sweet thing, Gimli too," Celebrian assured him, she would build him a room of his own with her own bare hands if she had to. Elrond knew that tone of voice.
"How did you manage to get a dwarf here?" Elrond asked, looking around because frankly he was shocked he had already not seen the stout creature walking up the lane.
"He refused to leave me. Refused to leave the boat until he was sure I had made it to the shore. He's talking to Aule right now. He said he would be here tomorrow morning." The sentences were choppy and broken, struggling to come out faster than the almost hyperventilated breaths.
"Of course he did." If there was anything you could count in when it came to the elf and the dwarf it was that they would look after one another. Always, no matter what. Even if one of them had to sail away from everything he knew to an island he shouldn't have been able to even find. Even if he might have been turned away.
Gimli wouldn't have cared, Elrond knew, even if he had been turned away. As long as he knew Legolas was safe. As long as his best friend was safe he would have done anything.
Now that he actually was touching the prince, he could feel exactly how exhausted he was in every sense of the word. It had been a long time since he felt a heart so broken, it was a wonder Gimli got him here at all. Pushing all the healing energy he dared to at the current time, Elrond made to help him upright,"Come, let's get you inside and off this cold ground."
Thanks for coming, can't wait to hear all your thoughts!