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Author Topic: heavy lies the mantle  (Read 1019 times)

Legolas

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heavy lies the mantle
« on: October 22, 2016, 10:29:29 AM »


It still clung to him, the scent. That scent. Frankly, Legolas knew the scent so well, was so familiar with it these days, that it very likely haunted his nightmares. If he'd been any less than what he was, he was certain that by now, he'd be well on his way towards fully fledged arachnophobia.

Spiders.

More of them in the nest than the scout had originally estimated, to boot, and it was as such a blind miracle of whichever of the Valar watching over and patroning him [if any of them chose to at all] that they'd come away with no casualties that...well, Legolas couldn't think of anything blinder than a miracle in that moment. It risked exacerbating the headache already impinging behind his eyes to think too hard on such matters, save the most important thing: no casualties. Always the most important thing, for there to be none of those. Of greater importance still for he to ensure this was a more regular occurrence -- no casualties -- for he was prince and leader and so did it always fall to him, ultimately,  to ensure there were no casualties.

Legolas should have been happier. He was happier. Truly. It was something to be proud of, to keep all within his realm safe. He knew this, and he not only took it seriously, but he took it upon himself with pride most days. But at the same time, his shoulders were inexplicably weighed with what turned over in his mind, and perhaps it was for this reason that, in a physical, tangible display of what crawled through his mind, did Legolas now find himself sitting upon the steps to an empty throne. Drawn inescapably and for reasons difficult for outsiders to define to the place, even at the age of maturity in which he now was, glad for the odd silence of the immense room even as he rued it, for it left him to his thoughts and to the pulse of his blood in his ears even as it was blessedly, soothingly quiet -- something sorely needed after any skirmish.

Perhaps it was the scent. The smell of arachnid, and their festering webs, the poison that lingered and threatened very crevice of the land that had once been the Greenwood. He'd bathed, changed clothes, scrubbed himself as briskly as he'd dared without the luxury of lingering in the bath [even the water had turned fetid with the stench after a good, hard scrub]. He'd even made scrapes bleed in doing so [and Legolas tilted his head back wearily against the arm of his father's empty throne, bringing the fleshy pad of his right thumb to his mouth to bathe it and lap away the trickle of blood that threatened], and yet still it stayed.

Lingered. Ached. Like the rest of him did, for that one lonely moment. Like his skull ached [and Legolas knew that where he now dwelt, if he was come upon, could go two ways; he'd either find solace, or he'd end up with an actual migraine], the headache threatening enough to leave him resting his head against his knees, the scraped hand wrapping momentarily around the limbs as he gave voice to a sigh and thus, momentarily, to slumped shoulders and so to weakness.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 10:29:50 AM by Legolas »


'take strength from those who need you'

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Thranduil

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 07:39:27 PM »
Word had reached Thranduil in short order, for few things within the realm occurred that escaped his knowledge, particularly when they involved his son.  He did not wait to hear the sordid details from the young hunter who had been given the unfortunate task of reporting to him, but rather there was one single question on his mind.  Where is Legolas?  Why was Legolas not the one bringing him news of this ambush?  And for a moment his temper flared, but only so that it might overwhelm to pit of dread that had settled deep in his gut. 

Much to the relief of the unfortunate messenger, the Elvenking was quick to brush him aside once he’d found out what he wanted to know.  His mind was filled now with a single purpose and it seemed as if his heart wanted nothing more than to pound its way through his chest.  The path before him cleared, for there were few in the Woodland Realm who were not keen to avoid the king when he seemed in bad temper,  It was only as he drew in view of the throne that his momentary anger bled away and he found himself able to breathe once more. 
 
For a time he stood gazing from afar, observing all those signs of weary resignation, a near mirror to the the countenance that all too often gazed back at him from his own mirror. 
 
And he wanted nothing more but to draw the dejected prince into an embrace just as he had all those times, long ago in another world, when Legolas had been just a boy distraught over a scraped knee or a failure at his lessons.  But even had he been so inclined to such a showy gesture, he never would have done so here, out in the open.  The halls were vast, but elven eyes were keen, and there may well be eyes watching them now, fearful and anxious, waiting to see if this would be the time in which their king faltered, for if he were to show them any hint of weakness or fear, it would only serve to dismantle all his efforts to prove that not all was yet lost.

Until Legolas could learn to master his own composure, the burden was Thranduil’s alone, and while he would have gladly borne it for the both of them, there would come a day when he was no longer there to take on the task.  And though it pained him that his son should so heavily bear the burdens of Thranduil’s failings, the past could not be changed.  It was their duty to look to the future. 
 
While he had the skill to keep the echo of his approaching footsteps silent, he made no such effort, announcing his presence as a courtesy in the event that Legolas may want a moment to compose himself.  Thranduil would have appreciated such a consideration had their conditions been reversed.  The strides themselves were measured, comfortable, almost casual if such a world could ever have been used to describe the Elvenking, completely devoid of hurried concern. Though nothing could have been farther from the truth, and if Legolas were keen enough to observe, he would note that Thranduil’s eyes studied him intently, searching with every step closer for any wound, any injury, any hurt.
 
He drew to a halt before the throne, though habit nearly carried him up the stairs to claim to advantage of its raised platform. Instead he paused, ceding the advantage to Legolas for the moment, a greater demonstration of generosity than even Legolas might understand. 

“It is customary,” he began, his voice masking all hints of his concern with long practiced ease, “to report to your king upon returning alive from such an incident.”  Even his best efforts, though, could not hide the subtle crease of his brow.  Why didn’t you come and tell me you were all right? 


Legolas

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 11:27:23 PM »
An electric shock to the spinal column would have had something akin to the same effect on Legolas’s posture as Thranduil’s voice did. His back automatically straightened, a ripple effect from bottom to top that might have been comical if he hadn’t been so…well, so Valar-forsaken tired.
 
To his credit, the Prince wasn’t quite so tired as to forget himself, and though his eyes [those large, reflective grey eyes he was fond of because those few who dared speak quietly of memories of his mother likened that one feature to hers, but that he loathed too, because he could never quite steel them to emotion] did indeed reflect weariness and the mingling that was contrariness unto itself of weary gratitude [for the loudness of footsteps that kept him from real shock] and mild annoyance, the rest of him stayed placid and languid in form, shifting only so that he no lounger hugged his knees or slouched back into the wooden comfort of the throne.
 
“It is customary,” he murmured affably, ignoring the twinge in his left buttock when he shifted his leg underneath him, the ache courtesy of the fall onto the errant tree root that had so helpfully aided him in fending off the spider that had been intent on pinning him. His head cocked to the side with the same air of careworn and placidness of miens as Legolas entertained, just a little, the rare event in which one was able to look down on the goliath of height that was his sire. His ears, however, were pricked sharply to any change in the air between them or to the sound of Thranduil’s voice, a shrewd trick he’d practiced since youth in absence of the ability to comfortably gain all knowledge from a sweeping gaze without being caught out.
 
And it worked well enough for him, no matter what others might perceive. Nobody expected a great deal from somebody who did not seem, outwardly at least, to be constantly on watch. It certainly saved him the trouble of unnecessary confrontation unless Legolas felt like initiating confrontation…usually, anyway.
 
Upset, but not angry. It could be worse.
 
The young Elf had the sudden desire to yawn mid-current thought pattern, though he suppressed the unwise urge to do so punishingly with another shift of his form, one that made the arm scraped by venom and fang [though hidden conspicuously underneath sleeves on a shirt a size too large around the shoulders] twinge horribly. It pulled him back towards wakefulness, though it also pulled forth a wave of nausea—one that Legolas knew would pass, as was the way with the elven body and poisons, though it made it no less unpleasant.
 
Nonetheless, he managed a half-hearted rendition of his usual sunny smile for the King, the engaging twitch upward of his lips its own answer to the unspoken question he thought, hoped…no definitely thought with some certainty, was being placed before him. I’ll live.
 
“Rhaethyn needed the practice anyway. He’s turning into an excellent scout, but he’s young, shy…growing too dependant on me as his leader. A role I may not be always there to fulfil.”


'take strength from those who need you'

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Thranduil

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 12:10:57 AM »
Ever keenly observant, the Elvenking’s eyes followed every movement, reading in each shift of posture and intake of breath far more than many would credit him with.  True, he was no healer, but a trained fighter knew just as well to recognize the signs of injury, and of weariness, and to tell the difference between the two.  Weary though Legolas might be, he had also suffered hurts.   Hurts he should have known better than to try and hide from the sharp eyes of his sire. 

Yet he did not draw attention to those things he had observed, allowing Legolas the opportunity to speak for himself, to offer some explanation that might ease the twisting in Thranduil’s gut that told him not all was well.  It was increasingly difficult, at least where Legolas was concerned, to see clearly if his worries were necessary or merely unfounded, and though he strove with every breath to be wise,  it was no small part of him that wanted to forbid his son from charging into spider nests so very frequently.  From charging into them at all!  Of course Legolas was more than capable, but even the most capable could fall, despite all of the best intentions. 

These destressing thoughts, as they ever did, battled adamantly with his will to make themselves known, to find some small foothold there behind his eyes or in the set of his jaw or the clenching of a fist, but Thranduil pushed it all aside, concealed behind a single thought.  Do not allow your fears to become his anchor.

“I am pleased to hear of Rhaethyn’s success, though I hope that you have demonstrated for him the importance of seeing to one’s injuries after battle.”  It was an accusation, but also a reminder.  A safe distance from being an overbearing father, but still enough to acknowledge all of those deeper fears he kept so firmly buried.   Still, it was not an unreasonable demand, for even the strongest could be felled by a wound left untended.

It had happened.  Poisoned wounds left to fester, the poison more potent than it should have been, spreading and killing…

Such thoughts were quickly banished, hardly even evidenced save for a sudden weight on the air, almost impalpable, even to the keen senses of an elf.

“And what then of this nest?”  Best not to linger on darker thoughts.  This was more comfortable ground, as much as such a silent admission pained him. “Cleared, I am told, but far more well defended than most.  How were our scouts so easily deceived?  How is it now that these beasts lay traps that we are fool enough to step into?” And here the king’s demeanor shifted.   This emotion he allowed to break through his defenses, to be seen in the narrowing of his gaze and the angry set of his jaw.  No concern for his son, it seemed, but always concern for the realm, concern for the lives that might be lost should they fail even once to drive back the encroaching dark.


Legolas

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2016, 12:35:25 AM »
The veiled reprimand definitely found its mark, and the response from the younger male might have been amusing had it been any other situation. His spine did stiffen, yes, the motion causing the throne behind him to press unpleasantly [the feeling almost symbolic in that, he thought briefly and dourly] into the ridges of his back-- however he was hard pressed too not to give into the old, childish desire to pout, or to look at his feet underneath the intense scrutiny of his sire's gaze. Legolas did not like to be criticised, even less than he liked to cause himself and others unnecessary angst [or be needled about something, funnily enough], and it was only the slow birth of wisdom in those long years following his majority that kept his mouth shut long enough to see the value of it.

However, Thranduil moved on from that topic (for the moment, anyway), and so Legolas took his cue from the King in that, merely narrowing his eyes some up at him before looking down at where his fingers were picking idly at the sleeve of his tunic. Idly, but with purpose-- an instinctive desire on the part of his body to see to an injury that he on a more conscious level knew there was no point fussing over. A scrape, if a poisonous scrape, and he could do nothing but ride out the after effects of it, no matter how his father felt on the matter. The Prince liked to think that in this, with this enemy, he knew as much if not better, for he was out on the ground far more than his esteemed sire could afford to be these days.

Don't be uncharitable. Kings are bound by their lot, and it's quite *a lot* to be bound by. The thought interrupted his more dour musings, drifting up from the part of his psyche that was kind-hearted and not afflicted by the moodiness of weariness and nausea; it might have indeed been his own words, or something he'd heard somewhere or from someone else at some point in his life. Wherever it came from, it graced Thranduil with a half-hearted version of his son's effervescent smile, and though it cost him with his stomach roiling when he drew his knees away from his abdomen, Legolas stood, listening with an ear cocked back for both words and his father's ever shifting moods even as he made his way the distance to a bowl and a pitcher of water.

Once there, he took a moment to consider Thranduil's words, watching a measure of the water pour into the lovely earthen bowl as he considered how best to respond. Ignoring the sting he'd long self-proclaimed as selfish and disguising the quick shift from his own welfare to the realm [already a boon, he knew, to be actively considered for longer than half a moment] by taking the bowl to his lips and hiding the thinning of his lips, the Prince drunk deep to soothe the dry feeling in his throat that he knew but refused to acknowledge as a side effect of the spider venom currently being purged from his body. That done, he sighed softly and felt significantly more bolstered.

"They are growing more cunning, Ada," he said finally. Voice low, though not quiet, remaining so both from habit and instinct against the angry burr to his father's words. A foil, just as the affectionate use of the Elvish term for a father was a ploy to soften that impressive temper once roused [though also, perhaps, an acknowledgement of the care shown to his own person previously].

"They have also recently taken to returning more quickly to recently destroyed nests, something they've not done before now." He tipped water again into the bowl, this time drawing back his sleeve just enough so that he could bathe in cool water the itching throb of scraped and violet-tinged skin. "One of the potters in that area did not realise this-- expected, as it's a new tactic, and came across the trap entirely unexpected. He was lucky the scouts saw it all when they did, frankly." 


'take strength from those who need you'

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Thranduil

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 07:05:11 AM »
When Legolas stepped into motion, Thranduil did as well, pacing footsteps carrying him momentarily away from the throne, an almost unconscious granting of space to his son, or perhaps to himself.  More to the point, he had turned his back out of some small fear that Legolas might read in his face something of the conflict behind his eyes.  He owed it to his son to treat such a report with the courtesy he would offer any other soldier under his command, and yet Thranduil could not trust himself to remain impartial where his son was concerned, even with so many long years of practice.

He did not ask ‘what can be done?’ for there was no answer beyond what had been done.  Fight.  Clear nests.  Push back against the invasion only to lose more ground the moment you turned your back.  There were times, more often now than had ever been, in which Thranduil wanted nothing more than to set aside the duties that bound him to his halls and to ride out and slay the beasts who dared take from his people all they held dear.  But if he had learned nothing else in his long life, he had learned the futility of charging in, of casting oneself thoughtlessly into the fray.  And so this new appraisal of their enemy made hardly a difference.   So their enemy had become more cunning.   They would adapt, as they always did.

Perhaps the prince’s quiet tone had done its job, or perhaps it truly was that simple, affectionate use of ‘ada,’ however inappropriate it might have been in the moment, but it seemed to quiet the king’s temper, though it did little to add warmth to his words.  “Your men did well, Legolas.”  The praise was offered nearly as an afterthought and entirely as a formality.  Praise improved morale, a commodity that had been lacking of late.  Yet it was offered less out of any true concern for their spirit, but simply because high morale made better fighters. 

And perhaps, just a little, because he was proud. 

“Alas, there comes little rest, even for the most worthy,” he pressed forward, lest Legolas think too long on those words of praise. “We must double the guard at all freshly cleared nests and they must remain until we have learned all we can of just how cunning these creatures have become.”

But as was often the case, doubt crept almost immediately into his mind, attaching itself to any momentary confidence with its whispered reminders.  You are still losing ground.  He might have dulled the ache of it with wine had there been any immediately on hand, but instead he pushed it aside, relying upon that stubborn will which had kept him sane thus far.  Despair was best pushed out by anger, and thus whatever headway Legolas might have made towards soothing his temper was already forgotten.   This would prove doubly unfortunate when he turned to face his son once more only to observe the attentions paid to the poisonous scrape that colored his arm.

He caught his son’s wrist, turning the arm so that he might examine the wound.  While reason told him it was no serious hurt, fear taunted him that men had died from less.  “You know what happens when poisoned wounds fester,” he scolded, his voice a harsh whisper, meant only for their ears.  There was, after all, still the risk of someone lingering too near.   Unspoken, though perfectly clear in the intensity of the king’s pointed glare, was the obvious question, though there was no true answer that might have satisfied his temper.  Why won’t you take better care of yourself?   

Legolas

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2016, 04:55:21 AM »
“As you wish, my King.”
 
The words left his lips came as easily as the lessons learned by rote in his childhood, though the illusion of mellow obedience was just that, an illusion. One that could be seen through by those who were closest to the heart of the Mirkwood Prince, and so not quite covering the sense of weariness that contradicted with wariness that had begun to touch the words and gestures that came from him as of late.
 
Legolas figured, though, that it would placate the part of Thranduil that relied upon propriety and distance to get by if nothing else. A small necessity when all else failed to do so, and certainly when it became clear that his sire’s temper was rising once again. He wondered, even as it caused him a sharp pang of guilt, how the achingly faded memory that was his mother had dealt effectively with Thranduil’s moods…or if she’d even had to at all.
 
It was a horribly uncharitable thought, and it hurt to think it. It was the lot of other races to disparage what they did not understand, in their lack of wisdom and mortal arrogance, and the taste of what seemed tantamount to disloyalty and treason was as rancid on his tongue as the nausea that still threatened to impose itself upon him as payment for slaughtering the monster that had attempted so determinedly to kill him first. Legolas had no right (and he knew it) to think so where his father was concerned no matter how worn and hurt he felt, not when he knew better than anyone, in both racial instinct and personal experience, the weight Thranduil bore that was life carried on without his mate. All other Elves save one, perhaps two that he could remember now, had died when faced with such loss. 
 
“ Ada—“
 
The soft slide back into affection and empathy that was but was not quite an open apology for what he had not uttered cut off with a start from the Prince, hunter’s instinct taking fright at the sudden action of capture without release from a party that was usually non-threatening. His common sense followed well on the heels of that though, and even had that failed, the wince that came with Thranduil’s fingers grazing the broken and patched skin of the bite gave more than enough time for Legolas’s conscious thoughts to take control of his unconscious instincts. As such, Thranduil was given quite an owlish look in response, his son’s blue eyes rounding just so at the scolding for a long moment. And for that moment, Legolas appeared properly chastened under that glower, before a reaction as natural to him where getting into trouble was concerned fought its way forth, and the young Prince offered the best he could at present in the form of his cutest, most crooked of smiles.
 
“If you let me have it back, I’ll be able to continue tending to it,” he offered gently.


'take strength from those who need you'

played by Dory

Thranduil

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 04:17:25 AM »
If Legolas truly wondered how it was that his mother had so often bested Thranduil’s temper, he might have done well to look to himself for the answer.  It was often there, buried beneath all the formality demanded by an oft unreasonable king, but Thranduil knew well how often Legolas wore her face when it was not masked by duty, amongst friends and comrades, so many others that were not him.  But time and again, it shone through so very brightly.  And it was those times that tore at the very heart of him.

It had caught him unawares this time, as he’d only just been taking satisfaction that Legolas had been appropriately chastened, for what good that had ever done.  Then suddenly it was there.  That damned gentleness in the face of his wrath, that smile that managed to be defiant and disarming all at once.   Suddenly all the little ways in which he resembled her were prominent.  All of those little things that, in happier days might have been observed with all the joy and affection that came with fatherhood.  The little things that he longed to share with her…  That smile is yours…  Those eyes are yours…   This child is more yours than ever he was mine…

For a hair’s breadth of an instant, it overwhelmed him.  The realization was there in his eyes, suddenly a mirror of Legolas’ own just a moment ago when they had been so round with surprise.  But unlike his son, Thranduil’s gaze did not soften, but rather turned to ice.  The years had made him far too skilled at pushing thoughts of her away, encasing them in frozen depths that his heart instinctively recoiled from should it dare venture too near. 
 
Through barely regained composure, Thranduil granted his captive son a rare glimpse of his own humor, for it had not been entirely lost despite how well he kept it hidden.  The ever so slightest arch of a brow giving the barest glimpse of the man he had been in ages past.  “You are not so funny as you think you are.”  And with that small victory, he released his hold, drawing back so that they might regain that safe, formal distance that kept old memories more easily at bay.   

Legolas

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2017, 12:25:58 PM »
If Legolas had been a little bolder, he might have leaped upon the momentary vulnerability his father displayed in that owlish look with all the ferocity of the starved creature scenting food in the late depths of winter. And truly, the Prince didn't lack in boldness. Timidity was, in fact, quite likely the last trait others would ever ascribe to him. Even at his gentlest, Legolas was always confident to some degree, blessed with just enough of a happy kind of courage that when he did falter, he could readily bluff his way through most situations.

Failing that, there was always honest reticence, the kind their kind were so notorious for among the races who dwelt within the rays and so the time of the Sun. Even if t'was something of an irony, when it was used to bluff.

And yet he could not, no matter he tried, boldly tread the depths of what lingered underneath the underneath of his father. It was easier, even when it hurt, to simply accept the aloofness as part and parcel of life with Thranduil. Because in the end, what he might find, what he might have to fight, and fight, and continue to fight...even as he loathed himself for the cowardice, Legolas was never quite sure he could tread through those depths and make it through unscathed. Better to be lightly scraped, again and again and again (and ignore that eventually, a place that was constantly scraped at eventually festered) and so soothe it elsewhere, than risk the possibility of a far more gaping, bloody (and so dangerous) wound on his soul.

Cowardice indeed, Legolas thought sourly even as his mouth curled unconsciously at the sliver of humour shot back at him, to prefer the leavings of Thranduil's sparing love and worry rather than the potential glory that might come with the open warfare that would be deliberately confronting the King.

And yet...

Old memories indeed. Barely a memory of his mother, and his fondest coherent memory of his father the terror elicited, and so the rare, crushing closeness that came with the same crushing guilt of eliciting such terror, of a day that seemed so long ago, and yet was never fresher than it had honestly been in that brief moment when again, a spider had had hold over him.

"Says you, oh my liege. The elleth find me positively charming."

Like a hole in the head.

Elrania's voice in his thoughts this time, and despite himself, Legolas smiled again, the odd warmth of that little expression small and stifled and yet all the more prominent as the Prince sat himself down again, gracefully cross-legged (perhaps a little less so than usual, for he did waver slightly to the side), nose scrunching slightly both with the attempt to suppress humour and contemplation of the raspy purple veins upon his exposed arm. Ultimately, the latter was simply tended to by tying the cloth tightly about his arm so as to prevent any possible avenue that the poison, dollop though it was, might spread-- his body would eliminate it ultimately, yes, but Legolas had no desire to be any sicker than he was already feeling-- before continuing the process of cleaning the wound site as best he could.

"Speaking of elleth, though-- I may take Tauriel with me when I return next to the site. I need my best set of eyes about while I speak with those who dwell near that nest...and forgive me for speaking rudely, but Hithwion I fear is more likely to try and use me as bait to lure any errant spiders in."

A mild exaggeration perhaps, and Legolas's amused look, mildly contemptuous though it was, was proof in itself that he seriously doubted the older Elf's ability to use him as such. But still, he was making it as clear as possible short of outright arguing the matter who he preferred watching his back. And he preferred Tauriel, despite her youth. Other examples could only reinforce the matter, right?

A soft word from the Prince was given to catch the attention of a passing maiden, and with a glance at his arm and a nod, she hastened off to the chambers deeper within the halls. Thus, with little to do but wait for her to return with the Athelas, Legolas let his head tilt back, a deep, measured exhale of hair leaving him even as he studied the natural artistry of what was far above him with half-lidded eyes.


'take strength from those who need you'

played by Dory

Thranduil

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2017, 06:07:05 AM »
Says you, oh my liege. The elleth find me positively charming.

Was irony the proper word?  For at such a moment of near drowning in all those little ways this child resembled her, there came so suddenly and unexpectedly what little piece there was of him.  Legolas would not have recognized it, for he had never known his father in those days so long ago they might as well have belonged to another man, but those words might as well have been a mirror of Thranduil at this age, in bold and cheeky defiance of his own father. 

In that half-blissful nostalgia there lay any number of pitfalls, as even in the most pleasant memories, the pleasure of their recollection was mingled with the pain of their loss.  There were no words sufficient to the duty of how desperately he missed those years when the world was still new and filled with so much promise.  He longed for the youth he had once been, bold and glorious, and yet unburdened by tragedy and rulership.   

It was not so unusual that such things weighed him down, but it was far less often that Thranduil felt the weight so fully, that the pain of all that had been lost became so stubborn that he could feel the claws of it as it tore its way forcibly from the recesses in which it had been so long buried.  There had been times, in safety and solitude, the door to his chambers securely bolted, that he had allowed himself to be crippled by it.  When he’d drink himself into a stupor in the darkest hours of the night, the only evidence of his weakness that he had not come down to breakfast the following morning.

And bless Legolas for simply pressing on with business as usual, even as somewhere behind him and out of his sight, his father came as near as he ever did to falling to pieces. 

“Yes, do as you wish.” Those were the words, but if viewed through another lense, those same words might have instead been I trust you.

An absurd suggestion entered his thoughts, and it was nearly upon his tongue before Thranduil had tempered his momentary insanity.  Even entertaining the thought that he might accompany Legolas on such a task was absurd for any number of reasons, not the least of which that Thranduil knew all too well the ease with which Legolas existed amongst their people, an ease Thranduil had lost along with so much else to the far reaches of the past.  He had kept himself at a distance for a purpose and a simple moment of pained nostalgia was not reason enough to change course now. 

Even if there were some still living who might have remembered him as he had been.

“But be mindful.  Tauriel is still too bold.  Do not let her impulsiveness impair your better judgement.”  He’d given no argument to his son’s choice, perhaps because he saw the truth of it as well as Legolas.  There was something in that girl that might one day be worthy of a place of honor in Thranduil’s service, and he fully trusted in Legolas to make sure she was properly educated.  And she was far preferable company to old Hithwion, at least in most ways. 

Having seen to those rather unseemly emotions, the king found it safe enough once more to approach his son, putting himself within Legolas’ line of vision as his son gazed upward, but not so firmly as to encompass the entirety of his vision.  “And see to it that she prevents you earning another bite, if you’ll not do so yourself.”   There was a weary, almost affectionate resignation in those words, for he knew damned well that Legolas would do as he pleased, even if Thranduil were to make that request an order. 

“But that all can wait until tomorrow.”  That, however, was not a request.


Legolas

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 01:21:59 AM »
"Do as you wish."

It earned Thranduil a smile, that. Not the sunniest of expressions Legolas had in his armoury of expressions, and it was just slight enough even as it was obvious to cast doubt at first glance as to whether or not the Prince was truly happy with the reply. If, to some degree of understandably, it had come across as dismissive, something both blithe and cruel and a touch of sorrow in a way that only Thranduil could effectively mingle together and convey.

Legolas knew somewhat better though, even though he always didn't (and had his fair share of moments of resentment to go with it). The recent passage of time since returning to the Halls seemed to have had something of a soporific effect on his temper though, even as it had tormented his sire to some degree. Thus, Legolas was feeling something more akin to complacence and sweetness even despite the weariness of his miens and the sickly ache of his wounds, and with it came the space emotionally that nurtured the slow and steady growth of wisdom that came to an Elf over time (to most, anyway).

Thus, though hardly bright and blinding, the smile was acknowledgement of the whole placed before him rather than the half of it, the slight crookedness of it what conveyed the affection forever tinged with exasperation that seemed to come naturally within any family unit, and the quirk just so of his head to the side a somewhat wryer but still acknowledged hit at the remark about Tauriel that followed.

"She'll learn, just as I did," he murmured, before adding glibly and with enough self-deprecation to keep Thranduil's resigned fussing somewhat in check, "Somewhat."

His ears pricked then, to the sound of rain outside, and the Prince of the Woodland Realm turned his head away just so to both hear better and catch the moment the heavy fall made its path along the forest canopy, finally ending its journey with a muffled rapport against the shelter of the Halls. The elf maiden returned with the Athelas then too, and as he took it and began the inexorably painful process of packing it into his wounds, Thranduil was offered another glib, cheerful...and finally, something more like contentment and less like world-weariness again as his son settled himself more comfortably, so that he might enjoy Nature at work with her cleansing of the world even as he, himself, cleansed his body of impurity.


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Thranduil

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Re: heavy lies the mantle
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2017, 09:19:04 AM »
She'll learn, just as I did.
 
Even as he still fought to bury the remnants of that momentary turmoil that had nearly broken him, Legolas did not escape such a statement without earning a sidelong glance that might have become something more had he not had the good sense to acknowledge what they both knew was true.
 
“Somewhat,” the king echoed, both affectionate acknowledgement and scolding reminder all rolled into a single word, and for once, a rare occasion to be sure, the later did not fully overwhelm the former. It was there, if Legolas were so inclined as to look for it, offered purposefully, and perhaps selfishly, to assuage his own guilt at having to so long persist with offering only the barest scraps of affection in the name of some greater necessity that few in this world could understand.
 
There are times when even ‘somewhat’ counts as a generous estimation.  The thought came unbidden, and nearly it had escaped before Thranduil could think better of it. He’d already said his piece, and though the concern stirred up within him upon the first suggestion that his son had been in danger still battled for a greater part of his focus, he had learned a long time ago that scolding Legolas only ever earned measured results.  An apology, that disarming smile, a promise to be more careful, all to be disregarded the very next time Legolas got word of some danger or other.  The Elvenking may not have been one to give in to futility, but he also knew well not to belabor the point.
 
Besides, as he was often reminded of late, it was not entirely fair to blame his son for having learned already those qualities that seemed all too common to a prince of Mirkwood, of which there had only been one other, of course.  And again, Thranduil was forced to remind himself that he’d been far worse and his father had not seen fit to scold him near as often.  Thranduil had been allowed to be reckless then, but only because it was far safer to be so in those days.  Like so many of the lessons of his youth, he learned too late the merits of caution.
 
So, as he always did when old memories emerged that called into question his choices where Legolas was concerned, the king reminded himself that his own father had not really been so very wise after all.
 
He sighed, resisting the urge to close his eyes for just a moment and gather himself.  There was too much risk in it with memories of Dagorlad already far too near to conscious thought.
 
“You would do well to teach her that I find wisdom a thing far more valuable in my captains than reckless courage.”  It was a reminder to Legolas as well, though not directly stated as such.  It was also a courtesy, a demonstration of respect, that he did not present it as an observation of Legolas’ own failings.

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