Cold by Tala Silverwind

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The fire crackled on the hearth. The lone figure on the couch shivered slightly as a brief draft blew down the flue and across his form. Even though it was spring, a winter chill still clung to the city in mornings and evenings. Today had the added threat of a cold rain, judging by the low gray clouds hanging in the sky outside the window. Pulling the rabbit-skin blanket tighter around him, he luxuriated in the warmth even as he felt a pang of sorrow for the lives lost in its making. He murmured in Elven. You gave your lives so others may live. I thank you.


The figure lifted his head at sound of his name, gold hair glinting in the firelight. "Aragorn." he breathed, smiling at the worried frown creasing his lover's face and trying not to laugh. The man truly wore his emotions on his sleeve when it came to the elf.

"Is every thing all right, Love." stepping closer, Aragorn knelt before his Prince Consort, brushing the long blond hair from his beloved's face, "Are you feeling unwell?" checking for fever.

Legolas truly laughed then, shaking his head, "Nay, My love, I am well. Just cold." He sighed, happily. It was the truth, at least in part. He had been feeling chilled since he had awoken this morning, and would for some weeks to come. And soon after that I shall be wishing for the chill again. It wasn't an altogether unhappy thought.

"Elves don't get cold." Aragorn's concern was deepening. Things had been strange with Legolas for weeks now. He had little or no appetite for breakfast and looked pale and wane in the mornings, though he always recovered by evening. He had also been sleeping late and napping in the afternoon. Now his hands and face were ice cold. Something was defiantly wrong with the Elf.

"Elves sometimes get cold, Love, under the right circumstances." Legolas replied in a teasing tone, drawing an exasperated sigh from the Man.

"This is no joking matter, Legolas."

Legolas reached out and stroked his love face. "Perhaps I just miss the sun's warmth. Maybe you could take her place and warm me up?" His tone was gentle and low, full of warmth and love and faith.

Aragorn smiled, a bit forced but with real warmth. "Perhaps." He slide in behind Legolas under the blanket, wrapping it tight around them. He tried to will himself to believe that Legolas was alright. That it was just the cool, wet, cloudy spring that was making his love cold. Elves were supposed to be close to nature, after all. But he had grown up with Elves and knew better. Elves only got cold when they were sick, fading, or in extreme circumstance, like in a blizzard on Caradhras. Even in the latter, they try not to show it. Aragorn grinned as he remembered Legolas boasting about "bringing back the sun" like he was unaffected, when in fact he wanted off that mountain as much as anyone, if not more.

That was just one of the many perils they faced together on the quest of the Ring. That journey was the hardest of Aragorn's life, for many reasons. He pulled Legolas tighter as the memories washed over him. "I don't want to lose you, Love."

Legolas decided he had teased the man long enough. "You won't. In fact, it's the exact opposite." He turned to see his love's confused look. "Come now," he laughed "you are a healer, are you not. Surely you can piece it all together." He pulled Aragorn's hand to his stomach. "What could make a person ill in the mornings, take all their energy, and bring more life, not take it?"

Aragorn gasped, "You don't mean you're...?"

Legolas nodded, "Yes, you and I are going to have a child" Kissing the stunned man, Legolas turned round in his arms, pulling himself closer to his beloved.

Aragorn kissed back with fervor, only pulling back for lack of air. "And what of the coldness of hands and face?" That fact still bothered him.lit

"An infant is like a little furnace. Mortal women often overheat when carrying, do they not?" Aragorn nodded. He knew that fact well. Legolas continued, "Elven bodies compensate for that heat, sparing us from running hot. The down side is that our bodies tend to over-compensate in the first months, especially for the few males who carry."

Aragorn chuckled, "How is it that I was raised by Elves, and yet I've not heard of this before?"

"We Elves do not tell all our secrets to mortals." Legolas teased. "Besides, my people have been leaving these shores for centenaries. Not many choose to bring new lives to this land when our time is ending here." The sea longing was clearly etched Legolas' face as he buried himself into Aragorn's arms and the blanket, his resistance to the cold weakened further by a sharp pang of grief. He let out a soft sob at the thought of losing Aragorn on day, of leaving their child behind when he finally sailed west to the Undying lands. The sudden grief felt like a cold knife piercing him to his core, spreading cold and pian though his whole being. And I was so happy a second ago.

Aragorn stroked his elf's hair. Now that he knew what ailed his beloved, he knew how to help Legolas whenever he needed it, like right now. He understood these tears. For one brief moment they had been as they once were, younger, wilder, free. A time when their only real concern was their immediate survival. When they use to wander the wild between Rivendell and Mirkwood. Before the Ring, before the final flight of the Elves, before Aragorn became king, before the thoughts successions and heirs. Before Legolas frist heard the call of the sea. Before their teasing flirtations turned from friendship to love. Before Legolas' final doom fell upon him.

Aragorn rocked his elf. "shh, Love, it's alright. I'm here and well. Our child grows with in you. The future can wait. For now there is only the warmth of the fire, of the blanket, and of our love."
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