Author: Sivan Shemesh email@example.com
Warning: Mention of character death, OOC for incase, and tissues are probably needed.
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Tolkien. I just borrowed them to my own bunny.
Spoiler: Total AU.
Summary: could one word save the king from falling completely to grief?
Note: Legolas – Greenleaf (his elvish name) is only a baby. A short vignette.
The king was outside, waiting impatiently in the hallway as he followed the words of the healer.
His wife was giving birth, and he did not know about the baby, as it was their first birth.
Though hearing the screaming of his wife repeating second after second almost made the king burst into the room to be with her, he did not know why the healer wanted otherwise.
The door was open and the healer appeared; Thranduil scanned his face with fear as he noticed the wet eyes and the stretched face, as the healer slowly bowed to him.
“What is it? Tell me!” Thranduil ordered, his heart not being able to hold it anymore; all the waiting and screaming made him more worried than he was before.
The healer raised his head, though he looked afraid of his king’ reaction, and
said brokenly, “Your Highness…your wife… is dead… after giving birth, though your son is alive…”
“My wife… is dead?” Thranduil asked as tears burst into his eyes, though it seemed to the healer that his king did not hear him out.
The healer nodded in confirmation and added, “You have a son, my lord, and he is a beautiful as Mother Nature; go to him, be with him, Your Highness…”
“My wife is dead?” Thranduil repeated his question, it was disbelief to his own ears.
“Yes, Your Highness, your wife is dead…” the healer found himself repeating the words.
Thranduil’s head turned from side to side; his face seemed lost, and hurt.
‘No, please Valar, spare my wife’s life, bring her back to me. Please Valar, listen to my prayer…’ Thranduil prayed with heavy heart to the Valar, as he asked for his wife back.
“Let me see her…let me see my wife…” Thranduil demanded with a weak voice as the tears swelled inside his throat.
“You also have a son to take care of…” the healer reminded him, saddened also at the loss of the queen.
“I need to see her first…” Thranduil said, and left the healer alone in the hallway.
The healer joined his king in the healing room, as he held the crying baby in his arms and sang him a lullaby.
“Call Galdor in, now!” Thranduil ordered and let his eyes sink back over his dead wife that lay on the bed, the white blankets covering her.
The healer still held the baby in his arms as he left.
The news of the queen soon spread over the kingdom; the people cried over their queen and blessed the prince for the new life and faith that he might bring to his father.
Thranduil mourned for his wife; he never wanted to let go of her. He seemed to his guards and his people disconnected, lost, fragile, so much so that they feared losing their beloved king.
Galdor appeared in the room, his face was as wary as the healer's, as he stared
at his king.
“Take care of my…” Thranduil tried to say the word, but he could not.
“Of your son? Have you named him yet?” Galdor asked.
“N… no… I did not and I could not… my wife is dead… she is dead…” Thranduil answered in broken sobs; it seemed to them that his son was not important to him right now, as grief seemed to claim his body.
“I will take care of your son, Your Highness, and please, do not forget your son…” Galdor said quietly as he took the baby in his arms, and left the king with the healer.
The healer kept staring at the king, who let himself stroke the pale cheek of his wife, and kept praying for the Valar to bring back his wife.
The healer left the room as he ordered the servants to make sure that the king would eat and drink properly.
Three days and three nights passed by, but Thranduil could not bring himself to eat or sleep; he did not let the servants even to bring to food over him.
The healer opened the door, noticing his lord had grown paler, and his eyes were heavy; he guessed that his lord had not rested or eaten.
“My lord?” the healer called, and moved closer at him, as he moved his hands over the king’s shoulders.
“My lord?” he said again. When he heard no answer, he decided to act, and left the room, calling for assistance.
He found Galdor playing with the baby, with the guards watching the pretty sight of the baby, for it seemed that light shone from him.
The healer smiled, then remembered what he had come for, and asked for help.
“I need your help: I need three of us to prepare the grave for our Queen, and others to watch and guide our king after she is taken from the room, and one to watch the baby.” The healer explained, and watched the glances the group gave.
Soon the guards, led by the healer, walked into the room; they too noticed the king, and prayed they were not too late.
Galdor entered the room too, holding the baby, thinking that if his lord recognized him and gave him love, the king would feel better.
The guards buried the queen, and let their tears flow. They loved the queen for her good spirit, and felt her loss too.
The other guards who were left inside, settled their king in bed; two of them watched over the king as they brought a tray of food, to make certain that he ate.
Next to the bed, Galdor sat on the chair, still holding the baby as he played with him, his eyes moving from father to son. He was concerned, and hoped for the best.
Two days later as the guards kept watch over their lord, feeding him and making certain that he was resting, their eyes fell on the un-named baby that was held by Galdor.
The baby's face smiled at them, as a light grew around him.
The king awoke as the light filled in the room; he opened his eyes wildly, as if he noticed the baby for the first time.
Galdor and the guards noticed it too. Galdor rose from his chair, and walked over to his lord; the baby kept smiling.
“This is your child, My Lord; be with him. He needs his father, as you need your son; talk to him, My Lord,” Galdor suggested, and gave him his son.
Thranduil feared at first to hold his baby, but Galdor helped, and guided him with patience and understanding.
“Do not fear, My Lord, just talk to him...and name him first, that we may know what our Prince's name is.”
Thranduil gazed over his baby, looking at him deeply, as he noticed the blond hair; it reminded him of his father’s tales of gold that was found in the dwarf’s mines. He stroked his son's hair.
He noticed the baby's blue eyes, and thought with a smile, ‘At least he's got my eyes.’
Thranduil scanned his baby over and over, trying to find what the baby had gotten from his wife. As he noticed the baby smiling, he remembered. The smile that could melt the cold...his baby had it.
“My Lord?” Galdor called; he seemed impatient to know the prince's name.
“Have you thought of name?” Galdor asked, as no answer came from his lord.
Thranduil looked over at his loyal guard, then back to the baby, then he looked outside the window.
The breeze blew through the branches, as a green leaf fell from a tree that his father raised when he was little; the trees sang a lullaby.
Thranduil looked over his son again, and was surprised to see him asleep, still with smile on his face as the lullaby was heard. Then he figured out a worthy name for his son.
“My Lord?” Galdor asked, as he noticed the movement that his lord’s eyes did, looking from side to side.
“I have a name for my son,” Thranduil answered, looking back at his son; he looked at his sleepy face, and said softly, “Your name, ion-nin, will be Greenleaf, for the fallen leaf from the tree that my father raised.”
“That is a worthy name for a beautiful child, My Lord. We should ready a feast for the Prince, My Lord?” Galdor suggested as a smile covered his face.
Thranduil walked over to his guard and gave him his son, then he turned to leave. “I need some air; I need to be with my wife…”
Galdor held Greenleaf, as he sighed, hoping that his king would grow with love for his son, and get past his grief.
Later that night, Galdor knocked at his lord’s room, waiting for the answer to let himself in.
“My lord, may I speak with you?” Galdor asked.
He scanned his king, noticing how skinny and pale he was; it seemed that he had not eaten at all.
“What do you want?” Thranduil asked without looking at him.
“What do I want? You need to be with your son, to speak to him. Let him know about his father...you should not forget your son, Your Highness...he is your son.”
Thranduil’s eyes shifted to his guard. He nodded quietly, and spoke with trembling voice, “You are right, it seemed that I forgot about him…forgot about…about…” Thranduil seemed to have forgotten even the name of his son.
“About Greenleaf! Your son’s name is Greenleaf, Your Highness!” Galdor reminded him, glaring at his king.
“Yes, you are right, but I cannot see him yet...My heart is missing my wife; I feel the need to be with her most of all…”
Galdor cut him off, not believing his ears. “My King, with all the honor due to you, I think that you shouldcarry on with your life, not fall completely into grief. I think that you should be with your son. He is your flesh and and your wife’s blood. You need to let him know you. Speak with him, my king, just speak with him…”
“I will think on it. Now, if you have duties to do, do them, and leave me alone.” Thranduil ordered his guard.
Galdor nodded and left the room, with hope that his King had listened to his words, and not let the grief pull him completely into shade and shadow.
Thranduil let his mind run free, as he tried to remember his wife’s voice. He wanted it to never end, for he loved his wife deeply, and it hurt terribly in his aching heart.
Thranduil watched his wife, her face full of pain, her hands moving over her large stomach as she tried to stop the pain, but it seemed to Thranduil to be without success.
“Healer! Call the healer at once!” Thranduil ordered, his eyes never leaving his wife, as he embraced her with much love.
Thranduil waited and waited as he still held his wife in his arms, and kissed her tenderly.
“WHERE IS THE HEALER? MY WIFE IS IN PAIN!” Thranduil shouted in fear.
Finally the healer arrived to Thranduil’s relief, as he whispered to his wife, “Everything will be alright now…” and kissed her.
The Queen, Süitruîn, looked over her husband, and made him promise, “Promise me that whatever happens, you will take care of our son. Promise me that you will be there for our son when he needs you. Although you have duties as a king, you must know that you have other duties as a father now. Promise me that.”
Thranduil looked at her, tears streaming down, though he did not care, and answered, “I promise...I know I will see you with our son...I give you my promise as father, husband and a king...”
The healer looked at them, weeping the tears that sprang to his eyes. But he was curious about something. He turned to his Queen and asked, “Forgive me, My Queen, but how do you know the gender of your child?”
“Galadriel, the Lady of Light, told me once as I looked inside her mirror, and I was told that my son will bring goodness into Middle-Earth.”
Thranduil covered his face in his hands, as the tears fell, for he knew now that he had broken the promise that he made to his wife...before the healer had helped her inside the room, never to come out to him again.
Thranduil was awakened by Greenleaf's hands moving over his chest, tickling him. Thranduil lowered his head, and noticed the smile that was upon his elfling's face, and he smiled too.
That morning, Thranduil spent the entire day with his son along with Galdor's instructions.
Soon Thranduil found himself more and more attached to his son, for he adored Greenleaf's smile, his hair, and the gray-blue eyes; he prayed to the Valar, that his son's eyes would always stay blue.
He laid Greenleaf on a small bed next to his own, and watched as his son slept peacefully as nothing disturbed his peace.
Thranduil watched till he could feel the tiredness draw to him.
In his mind, Thranduil saw his wife's face, he saw her lips move, but no voice came, so he imagined to himself what she was trying to say. He thought that perhaps she needed him too.
Unnoticed, the king felt more and more drowned in grief, as his wife's face appeared in his mind every night.
And yet every morning, when Greenleaf screamed and cried, it seemed that the elfling was letting him know that he was still there.
As Thranduil woke, he moved his hands over his son, and started to talk to him and explain to him.
Thranduil watched as the maids entered the room and took his son from his hands; he observed them as they fed and cleaned his son. He smiled, a shy smile, for in his heart he knew how big was the broken promise.
Thranduil took his son again, looking into Greenleaf's face as he stroke his cheek, and whispered with smiles and tears that he loved him, and how he reminded him of his wife, simply by the look of his face...and then an idea sprang to his mind.
"Can you say 'Ada?'" Thranduil asked, giggling over his son and stroked his hair gently; it felt like silk.
"I am your Ada; can you say A-da?" Thranduil kept asking, but no word came from his son, only sounds of laughing.
Day by day, Thranduil kept asking his son; he felt the need to hear him say the word, yet no word came...until the day unexpected visitors came.
Thranduil held his son, and kept asking for the word. Galdor came in, and let the king know.
"My king, visitors of Imladris have come, and ask about your health," Galdor spoke.
Thranduil walked over to his guard, wanting Galdor to guard him. As he did so, the elfling spoke.
Thranduil glanced at his son with surprise, not believing what he had heard.
“A-da?” Greenleaf called again with a sweet voice that seemed to melt his father, leaving him open mouthed.
Thranduil moved his eyes from his son to Galdor in wonder.
He spoke with excitement, “He called me ‘Ada’! Did you hear him? He called me ‘ADA’!”
Thranduil seemed to forget about the unexpected visitors, his attention now on his son, as he spoke his first word; it made Thranduil cry.
The King could feel the tears burst from his eyes, as he trembled yet smiled. He knew then...the tears were cries of happiness.
Galdor knew that the guests still waiting, though he did not want to ruin the king’s happiness, so he remained silent, only smiling at the sight.
The door was opened as Saelbeth entered in, only to find his king cheerful with the princeling in his hands, and Galdor smiling at the couple.
“My King?” Saelbeth asked, aware that he might disturb them.
Thranduil looked at him, still smiling, and answered: “He called me Ada!”
Saelbeth smiled, noticing his king’s own smile. Saelbeth could feel the change in his king; he hoped in his heart that this elfling might give all blessings to the widowed king, and filled his life with smiles and laughter.
Saelbeth coughed: he wanted his king to know he was still there, so he waited as patiently as he could, knowing that the guests were waiting more impatiently than he.
At that point, Galdor walked over to him, and whispered in his ear that he would take care of it.
Saelbeth nodded and left the room, smiling, the sight of his joyful king brightening his face.
As Saelbeth left, Galdor walked over to his king, and touched the king’s shoulder; he spoke softly. “Your Highness, the guests are waiting for you. Would you like to show them your son?”
Thranduil smiled with pride as he heard Galdor’s last words, and decided, “I will come with my son. Let them know, that I am coming to them soon.”
Galdor nodded and left.
Thranduil looked at his son, and whispered to him as he softly stroked his cheeks, “I love you, ion-nin, I hope you will not forget it, my…my…ion-nin.”
Greenleaf moved his little hands over his adar’s face, and tickled him, murmuring that strange, unknown language; his adar found difficulty translating his son’s meaning.
“Let us see who the visitors are, my sweet Greenleaf,” Thranduil said softly, as he continuously moved his hand over Greenleaf’s cheek.
Greenleaf giggled at his adar, and moved his own hands to feel his adar’s skin, and to smell his scent.
But before Thranduil left the room, he felt the need to hear his son say the word, only to him, alone in the room.
“Say A-da…A-da?” Thranduil spoke softly, scanning his son’s eyes, noticing more the shade of blue than gray that he had seen before.
“A-da?” Thranduil kept asking when he only saw his son smiling at him; he smiled back.
Greenleaf did not say the word that his father wished, instead he moved his hands over his adar’s chest and played, giggling.
Thranduil was disappointed that his son had not called him Ada again, and it is hurt him a little. His heart ached.
That little smile reminded him of his wife, and the pain...he could still feel the pain... it felt like it would never let go.
Thranduil waited for his son to say the word, but Greenleaf only looked at him, and giggled.
Thranduil sighed in defeat and went to find the guests, his son in his hands.
He saw Lord Elrond, his old friend, who came to him first and clasped his shoulders; he could see the way Thranduil looked at him, it was different. But then, he noticed his son.
“Is this your son?” Elrond asked in wonder and excitement at the sight of the elfling.
Thranduil nodded, and answered, “His name is Greenleaf, for the fallen green leaf from my father’s tree.”
Elrond took another look at the elfling and said, “He is copy of your wife.” Elrond then turned around and called for his own sons, to meet the King’s.
“Elladan, Elrohir, come see Thranduil’s son!” Elrond called in excitement, and soon Thranduil could see the twins, that he had known from their birth, though it had been long ago.
The twins approached their father, and smiled as they saw the elfling.
“He is so cute…” Elladan said softly.
“He took my finger…” Elrohir exclaimed, as a smile covered his face.
Elladan too, had been caught by the elfling’s little hands, and said in defeat, “He took mine too. That is it, I give up.”
Elrond glanced from his sons to Greenleaf, then to Thranduil. He noticed the smile that appeared, he saw the sparkles in his eyes. It seemed to be a moment of laughing, and yet it also seemed to be a moment of remembrance; perhaps Thranduil was remembering his wife.
“He did what?” Elrond re-joined them, and laid his hand over Thranduil’s shoulder.
Thranduil glanced over him, nodded and smiled.
“He took our fingers, Ada…” The twins spoke at once.
Greenleaf’s face turned from side to side, making Thranduil think that something might have disturbed him.
“Wait, my friend…” Elrond said softly.
Thranduil waited uncomforted, wishing to know what wrong, hoping everything was all right with his son.
Greenleaf’s face stopped, as his eyes lay upon Thranduil. The elfling moved his hand over his adar, and stuttered, “A-da? A-da…”
Thranduil could only smile, a large smile that covered his face, and tears of happiness fell upon his cheeks.
The twins found their fingers free, and looked down at the elfling in amazement.
“What did he say?” Elladan asked, still not sure of what he heard.
“A-da…” Greenleaf said, as he affirmed his adar’s presence.
Thranduil could not stop smiling; he seemed at loss in the moment as his son kept saying the word, again and again.
If the elfling knew what happiness this only word meant, if the elfling only knew what this word meant for his adar…
“I think we will stay…mellon-nin, as your son might need some company to play with, and I might guide you more with the sweet elfling…” Elrond said, knowing that his sons would be pleased with that decision.
The twins were happy, as they thought of what things they would teach the elfling, or what adventures would happen when the elfling would reach his maturity. They smiled indeed.
Thranduil raised his head from his elfling and looked deeply into his friend’s eyes; he nodded and spoke, “So be it! Stay as long as you wish…your company is always welcome in my kingdom.”
As Imladris’ elves left, the guards guiding them the right way, Thranduil moved his head back to his son, and smiled.
Greenleaf smiled back, still pointing out his adar; he said in a sleepy voice, “A-da?”
Thranduil answered, the smile still covering his face, “Yes, ion-nin, I am your Ada…”
Thranduil left the guest’s room, walking to his own, and laid the elfling in the small bed, and tucked him in.
“I will take care of you, ion-nin. I will be there for you when you need me.” Thranduil assured the sleepy elfling; he kept looking at the little one from his own bed, till at last his eyes dropped, and dreams came.
Thranduil dreamed of Greenleaf saying the word; he smiled in his sleep and moved his lips.
If only his wife could see, he thought in his dream, but soon that thought faded, as Greenleaf awakened him.
Thranduil woke, and went to the little bed, and thought smiling, ‘Fathers’ work never ends.’
Galdor heard the screaming; he trotted to his king’s room, and opened the door, only to find his king held in tight embrace by the elfling, being sung a lullaby.
Galdor closed the door, leaving father and son alone with each other.
The time of grief had come to end.
The time of happiness had started; the people rejoiced, for their king could now begin to heal.