To say that the young Elven prince of Mirkwood was simply beloved by his people would be the understatement of the millennium. The smile that seemed to always be plastered to Legolas's face was always more than enough to warm the heart of anyone that happened to pass by. Yes, there was a time when the prince and the royal family were truly happy. There was a time when his mother and father stood proudly by him, caring for him with all the love in the world.

However, everything changed when the princeling was the equivalent of six human years. To this day he can still distinctly remember when his Nana was killed in front of his eyes. That was when everything had changed within the palace of Mirkwood. The King fell into a deep grief and became consumed in his work. With nothing to distract him, or to force him away from his work, Thranduil would lock himself in his office for days at a time. He would only come out when he had a council meeting, and even then he would never speak to anyone. After about a month of this routine, the worst seemed to be over and routine returned within the palace walls.

The kingdom had wept for the fallen mother, wife, and queen. However, eventually the shock of her death quelled and even though she was still missed, people became used to the empty throne in the palace hall.

Legolas seemed to be forgotten along with his mother. The poor child had locked himself in his room since the funeral and he had absolutely no intentions of ever moving. The prince only left his room when his body began to beg for nourishment and even then it would only be for an hour or so. Immediately after his stomach was content, he would return to his corner and would fail at banishing the many thoughts that ran through his head.

One evening, after Thranduil had recovered mostly from his grief, he felt the need to find his son to spend time with him. He felt that his son would be a pleasant distraction from his kingly duties. Thranduil walked up to the tall twin white doors that entered into Legolas's room. He knocked twice and heard frantic scrambling from inside. He raised an eyebrow at the sound and called out, "Ion-nin, are you in there?"

He heard the latch unlock from the inside of the door. Legolas opened the door a crack and peered his small head out to see who it was. His azure eyes opened widely at the man staring in front of him. As he spoke Thranduil made mental note how dry and raspy the young elflings voice was, "Oh, quel lome* Adar."

Thranduil was taken aback by the formality, since when had Ada become Adar? For as long as he could remember Legolas never called him by that name. He shakily reached out to his son and grabbed his hand, "Penneth why don't you come, walk with me in the garden."

"Nay Adar, I'm ok." His eyes traced the beige tiles on the floor.

Thranduil, now quite concerned by his son's weirdness, gathered Legolas's in his arms. Legolas immediately began to fight against the sudden contact, but Thranduil ignored the squirming elfling and pushed the slightly ajar door open all the way. Legolas stopped fussing in his arms and wrapped his arms tightly around his father's neck as if he was trying to block out the world around him. His father gasped at the sight of his son's room: the bed was a mess, covers were strewn everywhere, the large window next to his bed was broken and his clothes seemed to have exploded everywhere. However, it was the velvet red drips that scattered the floor by the bed that grabbed the King's attention and temporarily stopped his heart.

His son's head was buried into the crook of his neck he walked over to his bed and sat down, "Las what happened?"

The small frame replied, "Nothing happened Adar I swear."

Thranduil pried his son away from him and walked over to the edge of the bed. He pulled a blood stained shard of glass out from under the bed. His son stood quickly, as if prepared to run away, but he grabbed him just in time. "Legolas where are you hurt? Were you attacked?" He shook his head, "oh Penneth please, what happened to you?" It was when the boy said nothing that the thought dawned In the kings mind. He opened his mouth his voice, trembling slightly, "What did you do to yourself?" The small frame clinging desperately onto his father, sobbed into his robes wasn't the answer he had wanted to hear, but it was an answer all the same.

After a few minutes the crowned prince of Mirkwood stopped sobbing. He spoke in a voice so soft that if one was not an elf they would have missed his words, "I just wanted to be with Nana, I miss her so much Ada."

Thranduil's heart broke in two, he was so wrapped up in his own grief he forgot his son had seen everything that happened. His mind narrowed suddenly on what his son had silently admitted. Determined to find conclusive evidence He grabbed his son's wrist and brought it into view.

Immediately knowing what was going on the prince fell still and silent. "No." He stated and pulled his arm back, cradling it as if it were a wounded animal.

"Ion-nin please," Thranduil begged, "I want to help you. Please let me."

Legolas seemed to ponder on this for a minute, before he buried his head into his fathers robe again, "Ada won't like Las anymore. He'll be mad."

He kissed his sons forehead - Valar he couldn't remember the last time head did that- and swore on Adara's name that he would not become angry. His son eventually gave up and held out his arm. Thranduil's hand was shaking violently as he pushed the sleeve of his sons deep green tunic up. The many cross crossing red slashes covering his only son's arm scared him.

Thranduil felt tears fall down his cheek and even though he and his son were both a wreck he forced his hands to unbutton and remove the tunic from Legolas's frail body. There were no other visible wounds and he was honestly thankful for that. However, the countable ribs protruding softly from under his sons skin made him cry harder.

Thranduil was shocked, he had no way of knowing how to handle this and from the look of it neither did Legolas. After a tense and awkward moment of silence Thranduil gave up and decided to hold his son close to his heart. He sat on the floor of Legolas's room with his son in his arms rocking him back and forth. Never once thinking of letting him go. Legolas cried, and cried into his father's neck, but he didn't care. Nothing was going to make him let go of his son. Not even if Sauron himself were to walk in here and demand it.

Eventually the boy's body gave way to sleep, even then the kings body couldn't stop shaking. Not even as he stood and walked to his chambers. He walked over to the large empty bed and tucked his son in the large feather pillows and covers. Thranduil removed his kingly robe and placed it on a chair by a window. He walked to the adjoining bathroom and removed his tunic and boots, for at the moment he felt to confined. He looked at his pale reflection in the mirror and hung his head, his hands gripping at the edge of the sink.

His little Las, his poor baby. "Valar what was going through that boys mind to make him think he had no way out." He whispered to himself. The mental image of the boy that lay in the room behind him surfaced behind his eyes. Immediately he felt sick. The historic blank face of the great Mirkwood king slowly began to fall. He gripped at the wall behind him as he sank to the ground. He curled into himself and allowed his chin to rest on his knees. Tears rolled down his cheek like a flowing river. He tried to stay composed as long as he could, but eventually he caved in silently sobbing to himself. For the first time since his wife's death he was scared for his son. Immediately he started blaming himself, why hadn't he seen the signs of his only child fading. Valar why was he so oblivious.

He didn't know how long he stayed there, curled up on the floor in a heap of his own mess. He didn't hear the door open nor the tiny footsteps that walked up to him. The golden haired boy looked at his father and felt immensely guilty. Even though he was young it was always said that Legolas had an old soul.

Legolas walked back out into his father's chamber. He walked over to the night table and opened the drawer, his father always kept a small dagger there in case he would have to defend himself of his...wife. At the thought of his poor Nana he slid to the floor the dagger in hand. He loved his Nana and he missed her so much. Every time he closed his eyes he saw her laying in a heap on the ground.

He closed his eyes and held the blade over the already marred wrist. Tears slid silently down the scrunched face. Valar why couldn't he forget her face, the screams, her last words. He was scared, would he ever forget her face. Pain made him forget every time, it was reliable. Legolas brought the blade to his skin. The metal felt cold against his wrist, as he was about to apply pressure a large hand was placed on top of his and removed the knife from his hand.

Lost blue eyes met scared grey, and for a moment Legolas thought he saw anger. He opened his mouth to speak but realized he had no words to say. Thranduil sat in front of his son dagger in hand, he held out his bare arm and brought the knife to it. Legolas was confused, "Ada wha?" Before he could finish a twin red line lay on his fathers arm.

Thranduil watched his sons shocked face as his eyes watched the small amount of blood that poured from the fresh wound, "So Penneth, is this what you do to yourself? Is this how you feel?" The boys fathers voice quivered.

Legolas said nothing and brought his small knees to his emaciated chest. Thranduil leaned forward and pulled the boy into his lap, "there is a grief that can't be spoken Penneth, that you live and your Nana is gone. I have no answers for you, Valar I don't know if I have any words that can pull you from this grief. All I know is that I need you ion-nin. I wouldn't be able to handle losing you. A half of my heart was lost when your Nana died, if you were to leave me I wouldn't have any heart left. I love you too much." His father buried his head into his sons hair, "my strong little Las. You are so strong, and I believe in you just like I always have. I know you can overcome this. If you can't live for me live for Nana."

"Ada why?" He asked through his tears.

His father held him tighter, "I'm trying to understand, I've never done this nor do I know what to do. I'm just as scared as you are right now. Probably more scared then you."

"Nana, I watched her die Ada. Every time I close my eyes I see her laying there. I hear her screams in my dreams. I'm so cold Ada I can't stop feeling cold since she went away." He paused for a moment, deciding whether or not he wanted to confide in his Adar. "I can't get it to stop Ada it hurts so much, my head hurts, I just wanted it all to stop."

His father looked at the boy in his arms, his eyes were clenched shut and his head lay buried on his bare chest. He sat there his heart in his throat, "it's ok Penneth, I am here and I am not leaving anytime soon."

Legolas's breath hitched, "It started as an accident. Las had hit the window with a book because a birdie wouldn't be quiet. I was trying to clean up so you wouldn't get mad at Las when I accidentally hurt myself." He took his Adar's hand and ran his finger across the single red line, "This helps make things quiet in here." With his free hand the tiny blonde gestured to his head.

"My little leaf." Thranduil spoke softly, finally beginning to understand, "Why didn't you come to me? I could have helped you."

Legolas looked down, breaking the intense eye contact, he had previously been engaged in with his father, "Ada was busy, didn't want to bother him." Guards said I shouldn't be a burden. He added silently to himself.

"Legolas, look at me." Thranduil lifted his son's head, "you can always come to me when you have a problem. You are my son and I love you so much. It hurts my heart to see you in pain." The Great Elven King of Mirkwood inhaled shakily, "We shall get through this together ion-nin, but please promise me that you will come to me whenever you need help."

Legolas nodded slightly and promised he wouldn't. What Thranduil didn't know was that his son felt it was the biggest lie he had ever told.


ELVISH PHRASES:

Quel lome: Good evening

Prestad: Is there trouble