The Moth & The Flame

BY : Avaloyuru
Category: +Third Age > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 2384
Disclaimer: I do not own any copyright to the Tolkien/Middle-Earth Fandom, nor his canon characters or languages. I do not receive any form of compensation for this fanfiction. Original characters are my property.

Legolas struggles to figure out the truth behind his fathers’ decision to abandon the oath as his love for Tauriel deepens, his jealousy toward Elvändéruil grows.  Thranduil and Tauriel struggle to come to terms their differences and how it will affect their relationship.  Tauriel is only just beginning to understand the very real dangers of her involvement with the King.

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The palace was quiet as the young prince strode purposefully through the empty halls.  It was to be a day of rest following the revelry of the Festival of Winter Solstice, yet he found no rest nor peace.  Pacing before the hearth in his rooms had only served to fuel his anger more as images of Tauriel and her ever present companion Elvändéruil danced before his minds’ eye.  He had no clear destination in mind as he quickly traversed the labyrinth of corridors, he knew only that he needed to keep moving.  He needed to feel like he was doing something but there was nothing he could do about the situation.

Trapped inside the palace as the kings’ order was firm, unless they were part of the patrol, no one was permitted to leave the fortress without an escort.  He had sought escape into the forest only to be informed by Captain Lárasarnë that he was under direct orders by Aldalómë not to include him in the morning patrol.  He knew better, the order had to have come from his father himself.  Flexing his fingers to hide the tremble, he felt his anger racing through his veins.  Disjointed thoughts filled his mind as he schooled his expression to one he hoped reflected the attitude of calm indifference, nodding as politely as possible to the few passersby he encountered. 

Efforts to speak with his father that morning had been futile.  In his current mood Legolas knew he should probably not be talking to him or Tauriel.  It was not unusual for his father to ignore a day of rest when there were matters that he felt required his personal attention.  There were also various guests visiting from other lands for the festival and he knew his father enjoyed all the attention he received for his role as host to them.  Particularly the Lady Gilaiwë of Lórinand and Tóriôn, her personal attendant.

Finding his way down into the kings’ royal stables, he moved silently up the ladder to the loft and found a comfortable place in the hay.  Unbidden his thoughts turned to Tauriel and the last time they were alone together in the solarium.  He had sensed something changed within her, as if she had given up and resigned herself to a life within the palace walls.  Again he felt his anger surge, knowing it was his father that kept her here.  Legolas knew of very few with the ability to withstand his fathers’ will, especially when his mind was set on certain path.

All his life his father had counseled him to disregard palace gossip yet he could no longer ignore the fact that some of those sources had not been servants.  What he knew of his grandfather King Oropher came mostly from history books in his fathers’ library or his private tutors as it was yet another topic his father had always refused to talk about.  It had been his grandfather’s lineage to King Thingol of Doriath that had secured him the position as King of the Woodland Realm over the other Sindar nobles that had made the journey east during the early part of the Second Age.

Part of him rationalized the possibility of truth to the rumors that his father would even consider abolishing the hereditary oath as he had never agreed with the separation of elves based on their clan of origin.  Yet at the same time careful records were maintained by the clerics at the temple concerning the birth and lineage of every elf born within the Woodland Realm expressly for the purpose of maintaining a written record of the line to the throne.

The events of the festival still clear in his mind, Legolas wondered at many things.  There was a strange undercurrent within the palace of late, one that did not sit well with him yet he could not separate it from his own discontent.  There was still something about the fact that his father had taken it upon himself to personally retrieve Tauriel from Lórinand that bothered him, it seemed like an impulsive act that was not his usual nature.  He understood his father better than most and knew he had always viewed her as a daughter.  As such it could have been very much like him to not only go against the council in reversing his decision to banish her but ensure her safe return, even if he had to do it himself. 

Chewing absently on a stalk of hay, he struggled to control his anger and collect his thoughts.  He loved his father and knew it had been a reckless decision of the heart to abandon him, yet he knew as well it was only his love for Tauriel that had brought him back.  Jealousy crept into his thoughts, recalling that it had been Elvändéruils’ sister, Lady Laûrläéthëe that had lead Tauriel out of the ballroom with the lord disappearing not long afterward.

Other than himself as a direct successor to the throne, Elvändéruil was second in line following Aldalómë for consideration in the event death was to befall both he and his father.  Left with an heir that had essentially abandoned him, he could see why his father would have considered it if for no other reason than necessity.  Abandoning the oath would permit Elvändéruil to marry anyone of his choosing, including Tauriel.

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Most of the lamps in the kings’ chambers had been turned down, bathing the enormous sitting room in a soft glow.  The dancing flames in the grand hearth washed the room in an inviting ember warmth as the two snuggled together on the furs with their backs against the large soft pillows.  Behind them on the low table in front of the long settee sat the remains of a partially eaten midday meal and two crystal goblets of wine left half full.

Closing her eyes, Tauriel snuggled closer to him, smiling as kissed her forehead softly, his arms tightening slightly around her in a gentle yet possessive embrace.  She listened to the steady beat of his heart as his fingers absently toyed with the loose strands of her hair.  As a small child she had often sought the comfort and safety of his fatherly embrace, curled protectively in his lap.  A soft, almost silent chuckle escaped her lips as she remembered how she would press her cheek against his chest, cuddling close to him letting the vibrations of his deep baritone voice lull her to sleep as he read her stories.

“What is so funny?”  Thranduil asked softly as he tipped her chin upward, allowing him to gaze curiously down at her.

“I was just remembering when I would curl up in your lap and listen to your voice as you read me stories.”  She replied quietly, smiling up at him. 

“And now?”  He whispered, his arms tightening around her as he kissed her lips softly.  There was an uncertainty in the smile that curled his lips as his gaze flickered over her face, studying her.

“I have not been that child for a very long time.”  She told him quietly, her gaze meeting his evenly as she slipped her hand beneath the soft silk of his open tunic.  Enjoying the way his breath caught slightly in his throat, feeling the warmth of his skin as she ran her fingers teasingly over his lower belly.

“You are most definitely not a child.”  He said softly, his tone deepening as he reached down to grasp her hand to keep it from going any further.  “I feel as though I have crossed a forbidden boundary.”  He continued almost to himself as he lifted her hand to his lips.  “All those years ago...”  He let his voice trail off as he kissed her fingertips, closing his eyes as he held the palm of her hand to his lips for long moments.

“Perhaps because I knew it was forbidden by decree.”  He said quietly, turning to look at her as he pressed her hand to his cheek.  “Still, as I watched you grow.”  His voice trailed off as he searched for his words.  “I called you daughter to keep you close because I loved you then.”  He told her, his voice was thick with emotion as he leaned forward, pressing his lips to hers.

“Thranduil.”  She whispered, her lips teasing his as she spoke.  It was odd yet at the same time it felt right to call him by his given name.

“There is so much we still need to talk about, things you need to know.”  He said quietly as he adjusted his position against the pillows, pulling her down into the crook of his arm.  “It will take time for you to adjust to certain hardships as I am never truly alone outside of these rooms.”  He told her, his expression was almost apologetic as he smiled down at her, gently tracing his finger along the outline of her chin.

“Nothing can change between us beyond these rooms.  You know this right?”  He asked, a slight frown creasing his brow as he studied her, watching the play of expressions within her darkening green eyes.

“I don’t like it but I understand.”  She sighed after long moments.

It was already difficult as her thoughts turned to the previous evening and how empty her bed felt without him to curl up against.  She had loved him silently from a safe distance for so long, actually denying it to herself in her mind but her heart had always known different.  The scent of him still lingered on the pillows as she clutched them tightly to her, remembering the feel of his body curled against hers.  Trembling as she remembered the feel of his desire for her, his gentle touch as he took her beyond anything she had felt before.

Pressing his lips to her forehead as he hugged her close, she felt more like a frightened little bird in his arms than the fiery headstrong young elleth (elf maiden) she had grown into.  Smiling to himself as he held her, he knew it was the part of her that he both loved and struggled with for so long.  It had been the fire within her, her inner strength that had drawn him to her like a moth to the flame and he knew he would do anything to keep her safe.

“There are things I will not be able to discuss with you but I want us to promise each other that we will have no secrets between us.”  He said quietly, pulling slightly away from her after long moments.

“What things, what kinds of secrets?”  She asked, frowning up at him.

“There are council matters that will not be of any concern to you.”  He told her, a subtle note of laughter laced his tone as he smiled down at her.  “You know this.”

“I doubt very much there is anything about me that you do not already know.”  She stated, a slight smile curled her full lips as she narrowed her eyes at him.

“Touché.”  He chuckled, his face lighting up as he smiled broadly down at her.  “Still, I want no secrets between us.”  He continued as he reached up, brushing a few stray tendrils of her hair back from her face, tucking them behind her ear.

“I have nothing to hide from you.”  She told him, a deep frown creasing her brow as she studied him.  “What is this about?”  She asked, feeling the tension within him in spite of his smile.

“Thranduil.”  She began quietly as she reached up to caress his face, noting the pain that seemed to radiate from his eyes as he seemed to look inward for long moments.  “We have lived separate lives for many years.  There are things that will take time to reveal to each other.”

“There are things you need to know now.”  He stated, a slight smile softened the stern expression on his face.  “When Athëálÿssíä left us.”  He continued, his tone becoming thoughtful as his gaze took on a distant look as if he were in another place and time.  “I could not replace the mother my son had lost.  I devoted my life to being whatever he needed in her absence.”  He sighed as he finally looked at her.  “Yet I did not deny my own needs.”  He told her, his gaze becoming more intense as he paused for a moment, remembering how she first reacted when he revealed his relationships with Galion and Gilaiwë.

“Promise me you will hear me out before you say anything.”  He said as he leaned into her hand as she held his face.

“There is a secret passage that connects our rooms.”  He stated when she only nodded.  “I had it made when Legolas was old enough to be given his own rooms.  It is important to me that my private life...”

“What?!”  He exclaimed, his eyes widening as he pulled back from her when she unexpectedly burst into laughter.  “What is so funny?”  He demanded, his eyes now narrowing dangerously at her.

“You!”  Tauriel gasped as she struggled to control herself.  The startled look on his face was too funny even as she had felt his tension as he struggled for his words.

“I am being serious!”  Thranduil exclaimed, completely confused by her reaction.

“I know you are and that’s why it’s so funny.”  She chuckled as she wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly.  “We are not going to be able to talk to each other if you don’t relax.”  She told him, kissing his cheek softly.

“I just do not want to argue with you.”  He sighed heavily as he hugged her fiercely, burying his face in her neck.

“Thranduil, we are going to argue.  It is the way of things.”  She told him pointedly, stroking his hair softy.  “We are both very stubborn, you know this.”

“You are right.”  He sighed, pulling back enough to look at her.  “For so long I have felt the need to guard my words so they are not used against me.”

“If you do not want me to remind you of your words, don’t make promises you can’t keep.  As far as you and your privacy.”  She stated as she shifted away from him slightly, forcing him to look at her.  “Did it occur to you that I want the same thing for myself?”  She asked, arching a brow inquisitively at him.

“I sought only to protect you.”  He told her, his shoulders slumping slightly.

“Do not treat me like a child.”  She stated sternly, her eyes narrowing as she struggled with the anger rising within her.  “I am not child nor am I a fool.  There is talk throughout the palace that you want to abolish the oath.  Whether we like it or not, all eyes will turn to us, to me.”

“I am not treating you like a child.”  He replied as he leaned back from her slightly.  “There is a council meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning at which time I will announce your return to the forest patrol.  But!”  He exclaimed quickly as her face lit up.  “You will be returning as their commander, not as a captain.”

“What?!”  She gasped, her eyes widening as she stared at him in disbelief.

“It is why I made you wait before I told you of my decision.”  He continued, his tone taking on his customary regal air.  “You are being given the position because of your abilities not our relationship.  I will expect no less from you than I would from anyone else.”

“What of Legolas?”  She asked quietly, still stunned at his decision.

“My son has no plans to remain here.”  He told her, studying her.  “I am surprised he has not already told you of this.”

“He has spoken to me only briefly since...”  She cut herself off as thoughts of their encounter in the solarium filled her mind, remembering the moment when she knew in her heart she did not love him.

“When he found you alone in the solarium?”  Thranduil asked softly, a soft smile curled his lips as he arched a brow at her.  “Very little happens within this palace that I do not know of it.  And I know everything when it comes to my son and now you.”  He told her quietly as she stared at him through widening eyes.

“And the answer is no.”  He told her before she could speak.  “The guards will remain.  Unless they receive a direct order from me, they will shadow your every movement both in and out of the palace.  It is not open for discussion Tauriel.”

“I don’t have to like it.”  She stated angrily as she met his gaze defiantly.

“It was no different for Legolas.”  Thranduil told her, realizing she was not going to let it rest between them.  “He was not in favor of it yet he understood the logic of it.”

“He is the prince and heir to the throne.”  Tauriel countered, struggling to hold her ground with him.  “It was a necessity.”

“And soon enough there will be those who see you as something that can be used against me.”  He stated pointedly.  “You said it yourself.  Once the oath is abolished, no matter how careful we are, all eyes will turn to us, to you.  I am no fool either Tauriel.  There are those who would seek to find some way to use you to control me and I cannot allow that.”

“No one would dare harm you!”  She exclaimed, fear gripping her heart as she stared at him.

“Tauriel.”  He sighed heavily as he pulled her into his arms.  “You must trust me, it is not harm to me that I fear as much as harm coming to you.  Agreeing to allow you to return to the patrols was the hardest thing I have had to do in a very long time.”

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End Notes:

It took a while to get this chapter written!  Had a few tech issues with my computer among other things.

Yes, Thranduil is what some may see as ‘a fool in love’ at the moment, but I needed to write him in his true nature (as I see him).  He is just as ordinary as anyone else when it comes to love and matters of the heart, but he is still very much the King and not to be taken lightly.  As with any story/novel written within this type of setting (Renaissance Era Europe), there is always courtly intrigue created by those who would secretly try to control the crown, or wear it themselves!

Thanks again for reading!

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