Sleep did not come to me that night. Not only was the Greenwood sick, but my little Greenleaf had been fading away from me as well. No scholar or advisory board could have prepared me for all the challenges I had been facing as King. I heard the guards referring to MY Greenwood as Mirkwood because of the fading trees and light. I stole a small glance at my son, he was all the proof I needed that I had been lacking in my duties.
A small nock sounded at the end of my chamber, which drew me from my thoughts. I stood and straightened my stance before I walked over and opened it to find Esgaroth, one of my most trusted guards, holding the tray of food I had asked him to bring.
I thanked him and walked back to Legolas, who happened to be stirring. I placed the tray on a table at the foot of the bed and sat next to my son. "Good morning ion-nin."
He opened his eyes slowly and looked around the room slightly confused. I watched his face as the memories of last night came back to him. His face turned from confusion to shame, he tried to hide his face in the pillow, but I wouldn't let him. I'm sick of seeing my ion hide.
"Legolas, do not hide from me please. I want to see your face." I reached down and picked him up, placing him in my lap. All my efforts were in vain however, for he just buried his face in my chest. A small sigh escaped my lips, "Las I will give you a few options ok?" I felt his head give a small nod and a small smile appeared on my lips before I continued. "We can do one of three things; one is eat this delicious food Esgaroth brought, two would be to take a bath as well as wash and bandage your arm, or three go for a walk in the garden together. You get to pick which one you want to do first."
He grumbled for a moment before he finally chose one, "food."
I nodded and reached for the tray, setting it on the bed in front of us. "Ok Ion, you need to eat now though." He turned his head to peak at the food which had consisted of fruit and Lambas bread. He wrinkled his nose in disgust, and turned back into my chest.
"Legolas, you promised me. Please Ion you must eat something." I couldn't believe this. Here I am, the Great Elven King of Greenwood, practically begging my son to eat something. I instantly quelled my infamous attitude, telling myself there would be a time for that later. I was shocked to see him turn in my lap and reach for a piece of the lambas, taking a small bite and swallowing.
He picked up another piece and handed it to me, "Ada you eat as well."
"Aye, thank you Penneth." I took a bigger bite then Legolas and felt full almost instantly. I didn't want him pushing away from me again, I can't handle that...he can't handle that.
He finished the small piece he was holding and took a small sip of the water that was on the tray. He leaned back into my chest and I smiled, "Thank you Ion-nin." I wanted him to know that I was there, and if that took me doing everything he did that was fine. He needed someone and I refused to abandon him again.
I tried coaxing him gently out of my chest, "Come now my little Greenleaf, let us go bandage your arm."
He shook his head, "Can we go for a walk instead?"
I sighed, "Alright Ion-nin, but we need to clean your arm, when we come back inside." He thought for a moment and nodded slightly. The expression on his face was much too serious for someone his age. I helped him button his green tunic, before I put on my more casual robes and gathered him in my arms.
I walked out onto the adjoining veranda of my room before I walked down the set of connecting stairs into my private garden. I placed my little Las on the ground and took the hand of his good arm, before I led him to a small stone bench beneath a large golden Oak.
A small bluebird landed on a nearby branch. I place a hand on Legolas's shoulder and pointed at the small creature, "Do you see that Ion?" The bird flew onto a small bit of dirt and pecked at the ground, "Isn't it beautiful?"
"Adar, it's just a bird." His voice had that matter-of-fact tone that sent chills down my spine. He is so young, he has forever to be serious, it was then that I realized the wonder that used to riddle my son's eyes was gone.
"Ion-nin there is beauty in everything. Take for instance that bird, the worm will die. However, the bird will be able to feed her babies because of it. The beauty is that something so trivial as a bird feeding her young is overlooked every day."
"But Ada, the worm dying isn't beautiful, it's sad. That worm is killed for selfish reasons."
"Aye, that is the opposite way to look at it though." Suddenly an idea hit me, "Legolas! Come I want to show you something." I grabbed his hand and rushed him back into my room I set Legolas on my bed as I closed the door to the veranda and drew my heavy curtains over all the windows. I had a tiny candle that I handed to Legolas, before I rushed over to my desk and retrieved two white stones. I walked back to my son and sat across from him before I traded him, stones for the candle. "Legolas tell me what you see."
He sighed, "They are just rocks Ada, there is nothing special about them."
I smiled, "ahh but you are wrong Ion. Like I said before there is beauty in everything, sometimes it is easy to see such as gold or art. Other times," I paused for a moment, as I took the two rocks from his hand and blew out the candle, "you can't see it until you divulge deeper into it." Taking the smaller stone in my hand I struck it against the other a few times before it started sparking, only, no sparks flew from the rocks.
"This Legolas, is called Quartz. It is a special type of stone that, when striked against another rock of the same make, generates a kind of spark. This spark can't be used to start fire because it is more like a special electricity, or magic. It happens within the rock, and never leaves the surface." I handed him the rocks, my eyes now well adjusted to the dark, "You try now Ion."
His small hands gently scraped the rocks against one another. After a few failed attempts his speed and force increased, when suddenly he got a spark. My eyes lit up as a small smile of accomplishment spread across Legolas's face. The fortunes of the world will rise and fall, and all that is left for me are those I love. In this darkness, my son is a constant source of light to me. While we may not always agree on every issue, I will always be there for Legolas. All that I do, I do for him.