Tenna' San'

by Claire

Feedback: Would be appreciated

Disclaimer: I own no recognised characters or places.

Author's note: I wrote an Ian/Orli RPS a little while ago. Since then, I haven't been able to get the pair out of my head. Plus.....I'm a sucker for romance :o)

Chapter 2

The surrounding light was bright enough to pierce the protection of Legolas' closed eye-lids, causing him to groan slightly at the discomfort. The unpleasant sensation stirred him slowly from his fitful slumber. Upon opening his eyes, Legolas was forced to squint, almost closing them once more. His previously heavy limbs felt light as he brought a hand up to shield his eyes from the enveloping brightness. He stood shakily, feeling disoriented. His surroundings seemed to consist solely of this white luminescence. Legolas was unsure as to whether it was solid, causing him to stumble slightly, not trusting the ground beneath his feet.

'I do not understand', Legolas thought as he stood still, trying to adjust his senses to the new surroundings. He searched his thoughts, momentarily unbalanced by the bewildering environment.

"Is this Mandos?", he whispered. "Am I . . . ?"

"No, my Greenleaf. At least . . . not yet."

Legolas spun his body round to face the direction from which the familiar voice had come. His own vocal was scratched and shaking as he spoke the name of the one he dared not hope for. "Gandalf?"

Legolas watched, wide-eyed, as his lover walked towards him, seemingly created from the surrounding white mass. Once-grey hair was now a blindingly brilliant white, tumbling from his shoulders and face as a silken, snowy waterfall. His white robe assumed to melt into the floor beneath as he moved.

The wizard looked perplexed for a moment, his forehead creased in thought. "Gandalf . . .", he muttered to himself, before realisation lit up his eyes. "Ah yes . . . the Grey." Gandalf smiled warmly at Legolas, stopping before the stunned elf, reaching his hand up to cup Legolas' awed face. "You must forgive me, dear one", the wizard apologised softly, a deep sadness apparent in his eyes. "This place can be a little . . . disorienting."

"Mithrandir", Legolas whispered, hesitatingly raising his fingers to brush against the Istar's cheek.

A choked sob was the only warning Gandalf received before Legolas launched himself upon his lover, wrapping his arms tightly around the wizard, his tears soaking through the crisp white robe.

The pain wracking Legolas' soul began to dispell as Gandalf folded his arms around the elf's slender frame, his own tears now flowing freely. Legolas tightened his grip slightly, nuzzling his face into Gandalf's neck, relishing the familiar scent and sensation.

"Oh, Legolas", the wizard sighed, raising one hand to softly stroke his lover's hair. "Much of who I once was is but a blur to me. A myriad of tumbling and confusing images. My connection with you is the only true clarity I have . . . . Which brings me to why you are here. Why I insisted upon seeing you."

Legolas reluctantly withdrew from the warm embrace, stepping back slightly to face his love.

"You are fading, my Greenleaf . . .", Gandalf whispered, his voice hoarse with sadness, ". . . and I cannot allow that to happen."

Fresh tears began to stream steadily down Legolas' cheeks as he stepped forward. Taking the Istar's hands in his own and entwining their fingers, Legolas rested his forehead upon that of his beloved.

"It is too difficult", he wept softly. "I have tried, my love, I have tried so very hard. But the pain is too great. It overwhelms me. I cannot continue my life without you." Legolas drew his head back, until he was almost nose to nose with Gandalf, locking his gaze with the wizards sad, tear-filled eyes. "I cannot", he reiterated in a whisper.

Their lips met slowly, in a soft sweet kiss. The familiar and welcome taste of each other mingled with the bitter salt of their tears. Gandalf sighed heavily as Legolas once again immersed himself within the wizard's arms.

"Legolas, you must not fade. It is not your time." The archer made no sound, showing his dismay by tightening his grip on Gandalf. "Greenleaf, you must listen to me my love." Gandalf took a gentle hold of Legolas' upper arms and manouvered the elf backwards slightly. "It is not your time . . . neither . . . neither is it mine." Legolas stared wide-eyed at his lover, tears still falling steadily down his startled features, some finding their way into his slightly open mouth. He wanted desperately to speak. But the effort of trying to suppress the sudden mad surge of hope had left him without words. The growing anxiety instead manifested itself as a choked sob, the force of which caused Legolas' head to tip slightly forward with the emitted sound. The elf suddenly felt his knees weaken, his body unable to withstand the emotional onslaught on his senses. Gandalf held Legolas' arms and gently lowered himself and his lover to the floor. They sat facing each other, although Legolas' head was bowed. His brow furrowed in confusion as his buzzing mind attempted to make sense of all that was happening. Gandalf reached out his hand, sliding his fingers under Legolas' chin, and gently lifted his beloved's face until they were making eye-contact.

"Saruman has become more powerful than we imagined, Greenleaf. He will not be easily defeated. You must understand, I had neither the power nor mental energy to stand against him as I was."

Legolas gasped slightly, realisation flooding his senses. "The White", he whispered, lifting his hand to lightly stroke Gandalf's face. Legolas closed his eyes, trying to summon up the courage to voice that which he had previously only dared hope. "You will come back to me?"

"Open your eyes, my Greenleaf", Gandalf gently commanded. Legolas raised his heavy eye-lids, searching his lover's gaze until he found the wordless answer to his question. The archer sobbed, wrapping his arms around Gandalf's neck as relief surged through his body. He sat back, wiping his tears before lifting both of his hands to fully cup the wizard's face.

"Ai! Will you look at me? I cry because you are gone......I cry because you are coming back to me. My father would shake his head in dismay", Legolas chuckled.

Gandalf joined in the infectious laughter. "I think your father would more than understand my love."

Legolas smiled, studying his lover's features. "Elbereth......you are beautiful", he sighed, leaning forward to place chaste kisses over Gandalf's face and mouth.

"Legolas, no one must know of this. Saruman must think of me as nothing but dust."

"I know", Legolas nodded.

Gandalf cupped the side of his beloved's face with his hand, smiling as Legolas closed his eyes, leaning gratefully into the touch.

"Oh, my heart, I wish we had more time."

"When will I see you again?", Legolas whispered.

" When I am needed, lirimaer", Gandalf softly answered. "You must open your eyes now."

" I fear to", the archer countered. " You will not be there when I do."

" I will return to you my love."

Legolas sighed in resignation. " I will miss you until then", he whispered.

"As I will you, my dear Greenleaf . . . . Open your eyes."

Legolas blinked slowly as he returned to consciousness, taking a moment to adjust to the familiar surroundings. Looking up into the branches of an overhead mallorn, he realised he must have rolled onto his back during his reverie. Legolas brought his hands up to his face, breathing in the familiar scent of his lover. "Not a dream", he smiled, running his hands over his head, smothering himself with the comforting fragrance.

A heavy, slightly stirring weight on his chest caused the archer to look down. He frowned, confused, at the mop of mousy curls tickling his chin, the slender, small arms and legs wrapped around his torso. "Young master Took?", he ventured, lightly stroking the hobbit's hair. Pippin's only response was to whimper slightly in his sleep, tightening his hold on the comforting body beneath him.

Legolas sighed, folding his arms around the Hobbit's diminutive frame and stroking his back in soothing circles. "It will be alright, my young friend", Legolas softly consoled. "Rest now."

Legolas rested his head once again on the ground. The lament still echoed around the city, but it's impact had lessened greatly to the archer. Instead, he closed his eyes, drawing comfort from the whispering of the surrounding trees.

"Tenna' san'."

The End