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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: The characters and world belong to the Master himself, Tolkien. I am only borrowing them so they can come out and frolic a bit, not intending any copyright infringement of any sort. I do own my original characters, but they are available for parties!

A/N: This was written for Silver_Trails for the Drabble meme.

Legolas wandered the corridors, his heart heavy as familiar niches sat empty, bare walls jeered, entire wings lay barren, and silence reigned. He had returned, but not to warm welcome and open arms. The formal audience with the king had left him bereft and now he found his home was a mere shell of its former glory. Its people were leaving or had left, for white shores and green trees.

Legolas sought solace amongst the branches of a wizened oak in the royal garden. The return of dawn to his home should have been joyous, but he keenly felt the loss of all that was known. Eryn Lasgalen was a stranger.

As the branches dipped beneath him, Legolas turned and stilled. “Adar.”

Thranduil’s face was obscured by shadow for a moment, but he leaned forward and Anor’s first light revealed his expression. Love and anger warred within clear blue eyes, but finally he embraced his son. “I missed you.”

Legolas was changed. The almost innocence was gone from his azure eyes, replaced with an all-too familiar determination. He had faced down great darkness, and come out alive and strong, but not unscathed. The scars upon Legolas’ heart were obvious for Thranduil to read and his own heart ached for innocence lost.

The prince returned the firm embrace, hopeful once again. “Forgive me.”

Thranduil pulled back, nodding. “Always.”

That one word healed the rift, though could not change the strong-willed pair. They disagreed about Ithilien and oaths given to a Man. Legolas would storm away, only to be drawn back. Forgiveness granted, they continued as ever before, until the prince had to return to his new-found duty.

Hard-fought respect shone in Thranduil’s eyes as they embraced one last time. “Until Aman, Greenleaf.”

“I will be there, Adar. Wait for me.”

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