please forgive the errors or OOC-ness, if any. i'm not very good at being persistent with the facts *awkward laugh*

anyway, i hope you enjoy! ^^

Legolas parried a strike from Aragorn, then another, then another, and then another until both of them were all but dancing, with swords as their hands that swiftly dove in and out, never touching one or the other. They were beautiful, and yet dangerous. The elf princess Arwen, astonishingly beautiful in silken robes, watched from a safe distance away, clapping in glee, for neither of them could take the advantage, despite the many opportunities that came for one to be defeated. Arwen saw them all. And so did Legolas. But he did not want the battle to end so quickly.

It was high noon when the combating elf decided to end things, for it seemed to have gone on forever. With a graceful flick of his wrist, the sword slipped from Aragorn's hand and fell to the ground. Legolas pointed the sharp end of his weapon upon the human's throat, though making sure that it didn't cut through the soft flesh.

Legolas locked gazes with the mortal. His eyes had not betrayed him, for Aragorn was not suspecting the elf to laugh out loud, lower his sword, and clap him on the back. Though he should have known better than to think Legolas a hard heart. Legolas was one of the people that Aragorn would trust with his life, and, if the time came, give his life for. A good friend indeed.

"Well done, Aragorn, son of Arathorn!" the elf exclaimed, sheathing his sword and draping his arm over the human's shoulder. "You knew that you could not have beaten me, did you not?"

Aragorn couldn't help but smile. "A man can only dream of beating an elf in combat."

"Indeed they can!" Arwen wandered closer to the two friends, smiling from pointed ear to pointed ear solemnly. "That was very beautiful combat fighting, my love. And to you too, Legolas, son of Thranduil. Your efforts in keeping me entertained will forever be remembered!" As the three made their way back to the civilizations of Rivendell laughing, they heard a disturbance in the forest. Nothing was to be seen, however. Everything was peaceful, up until the moment the horns from Rivendell sounded. And yet none of the three saw any Orcs, nor any enemies that might have been a liability to the kingdom.

After climbing a short, but steep, hill, they saw what it was all about.

As Rivendell stood upon the rocks of a river, the sunlight even basking in its glory, an elf could not help but think of why the gates, which were always closed, were being opened. And at first Legolas didn't see the people striding across the bridge and into the gates, but when he did, he was most surprised to find that they were all women.

"Lady Arwen, wha—" he was not able to finish, for the elf princess had already started making her way towards the city, her dark tresses trailing behind her. Aragorn would have stopped to adore the sight of her looking so beautiful if it had been under different circumstances. But, unfortunately, none of them knew who these people were, or why the Lord Elrond was letting them into the city, but they were planning on finding out.

The city was not far away, and in the course of a few minutes, they were running upon the gates and yelling questions to the gatebearer. He kept saying the same thing: "It's them!" As if the company was supposed to know who "they" were.

Legolas had gone on ahead of the man, but he didn't have to go very far in order to find the group that had all but strolled into the city gates. Arwen stood before the group, kneeling, looking down at a body that they seemed to have brought with them. Legolas couldn't see who it was, but seeing the grim faces of the women who knelt with the elf princess, the figure must have been very important to them.

And they were not women. They looked barely the age of 20. The girls wore a very strange form of clothing, the kind that gave people the impression that they had come from the mountains. Legolas very much doubted that they came from there, however. They looked nothing like savages. But they all wore the same thing: thick hooded coats lined with thick white fur—that looked very suspiciously real—with a kind of garment that looked like trousers, but weren't so, for they clung to their long, thin legs so tightly. For footwear, they wore brown fur boots that seemed to have come from the pelt of a bear.

There were at least eight of them, including the figure on the ground, huddled up and looking down at the figure that Arwen was talking so fervently to. She spoke quietly. And Legolas, who had watched friend Aragorn run past him to stand by his lover, gained enough curiosity to go closer.

When he had reached 4 paces away from the company, he found reason why these people would travel all the way to the city of the elves.

Lady Arwen's hand was perched upon the fallen's breast, a soft light emitting from it as Legolas saw the terrible wound. And it was terrible indeed.

Three long marks—ones that could have only come from the claws of some beast—lay beneath the elf princess' fingers. The gashes were so wide that Arwen did not even need to open the girl's coat anymore. Blood streamed from the scratches, so much that it had formed a small puddle upon the girl's chest. But slowly, ever so slowly, it was seeping back into her body. It was then that Legolas heard Arwen's silent chanting, slowly returning the blood that was lost. He knew then that this girl would be alright, so he shifted his gaze to her face, wanting to know who she was that the Lady Arwen would be so gracious as to do the healing herself.

Legolas guessed that, beneath the blood and dirt that surrounded her face, she would have been beautiful. Her features were very prominent; high cheekbones, strong eyebrows… but, even considering these things, she seemed to be the youngest. Because looking around him now, every other girl looked older and more mature than her.

Abashed, the elf caught himself, and then offered his hand to the injured girl. "Lady Arwen, let me—"

Before he could finish his offer, one of the girls, the oldest, it seemed, jumped up. Her hood had fallen, revealing silver hair the colour of the moon, and eyes just as strikingly beautiful, though they were blue. Legolas could not help but see the specks of gold in them. Her complexion was pale, just as pale as his kin's, yet maybe slightly darker. The elf prince would have assessed the girl's prominent features further if it had not been for the arrow pointed at his head. She seemed to have procured it from her back in the blink of an eye. Legolas couldn't help admiring her reaction time: less than a second.

"Another move," she started, "and I shall bury this arrow shaft in thy head, man." She didn't fear the elves. Her voice didn't waver, neither did her hand, which was curved around the fletching perfectly. Had he done something wrong? Legolas thought the idea of hurting an injured guest was completely absurd! Was his hand—

"It is alright. He will not harm your friend." Arwen stated gently, right before she pulled Aragorn down and whispered something in his ear. Legolas watched as the girl with the silver hair narrowed her eyes suspiciously as the man jogged away, casting one last look at his direction before disappearing behind the city walls. But then another girl, also with her hood down, but this time revealing hair the colour of the leaves during autumn time, put her hand on the silver-haired girl's arm, muttering something soft under her breath that Legolas did not understand. It was enough, however, for the girl lowered her bow, replying in the same tone, but not with disrespect.

Taking this as a sign, he asked, "Where is he going?"

"To find my father." Arwen replied, then raised her head to meet the anxious eyes of everyone, including the son of Thranduil. "This girl must be taken to the healers at once if the wound is to stay closed." A pair, sisters, stood up immediately, but then seemed to have thought better of their actions.

They cast a sidelong glance at the girl with the auburn hair. "May we, my lady?" one of them said, the taller one. My lady? Their mistress nodded her head with a soft smile. The sisters then lifted their wounded comrade off the ground as easily as they would with a pup.

"Do you remember where they are?"

"Yes, my lady."

"Then go with haste. And you lot," Legolas guessed that she meant the other females of their group, "are allowed to leave." She said, smiling. "This is personal business." The elf watching by the sides knew that she did not mean this negatively. But…

Remember? How could they remember? Legolas knew that for one to remember, one had to have been.

Legolas watched as the remaining females left, all except for the silver-haired girl. "Lady Arwen, wha—"

"It's been a long time, my friend." Arwen said. She locked gazes with the youngest of the group. The girl with the hair the colour of autumn.

"Much too long, Lady Arwen Evenstar."

The two women shared a hug, and as the events drew on in front of him, Legolas could not help but feel envious of the girl with the silver hair. She did not look surprised at anything at all, neither did the rest of her company. They only watched with blank eyes. He didn't know what to think.

He didn't know what to think, he didn't know what to do, and he didn't know what to say. So he did what he thought was proper and respectable, but what friend Aragorn would deem foolish any day.

Legolas inched closer to the girl with the silver hair, and, talking quietly, smiled, "Your mistress has met Lady Arwen before?"

"Not that I was there for the first time, but yes, Lady Artemis has met thy kind before, a long, long time ago." She answered, almost bitterly, though her eyes never left the girl with the hair the colour of autumn, the one she called Artemis. The elf could not help but think of how old she must have been. Young as she might seem, how 'long ago' did this girl mean? "Has thee had the honour of being introduced to my lady?"

"If I did, it was probably a very long time ago as well, too long for me to remember." As much as he tried, Legolas didn't get the youth to smile. Her face remained as blank as always, still keeping her gaze locked on the one known as Artemis—an odd name for one who did not look like the virgin deity—and as other elves, other royal elves, would think this to be insulting, Legolas was not affronted. He felt refreshed, in fact.

Thinking of finally introducing himself, he held his hand out. "I am Legolas, son of Thranduil, Prince of Mirkwood—" He honestly hadn't known what he had done to put him in such an unsafe position again. All he knew was that one second his hand was in front of the girl, merely wishing for a handshake or something of the sort, and the next his offer for a proper greeting had been slapped away, instead being replaced by the broadhead of an arrow, her arrow, that was, once again, pointed at his head. Between his eyes, to be exact.

The elf prince took an alarmed step back, holding his hands up as a sign of innocence. The girl with silver hair, unaware of Legolas' true motives, bared her teeth in a deadly snarl. "If you ever try to touch me again, I swear to the gods and goddesses in Olympus that I will—"

"Senna." It acted like a slap to the face; it seemed to Legolas, for as soon as the silver-haired girl's ear twitched with recognition—was that her name? Senna?—her grip on the string softened, and her bow, lowered. Her head tilted downwards, she turned to face her Lady Artemis, a look of dishonour upon her features. But she found the courage to raise her head, and when she did, to her surprise, a gentle smile from her mistress greeted her. "The elven men here do not mean to touch you, Senna. Alleviate yourself with this knowledge in mind."

"Yes, my lady." Senna answered immediately, looking as though she had not a care in the world other than to please the lady Artemis. Legolas could have understood why. And as grateful as he was to the one who had saved him from further hostility, his questions were yet to be answered.

He stuttered, "Forgive me, I did not mean to insult. I only meant to—"

"Stand down, Greenleaf." Arwen cut him off, and though it was not unkindly, the firmness in her voice made enough sense to Legolas for him to obey and keep quiet. As much as he trusted that his kin would explain everything he would want to know about, he couldn't help but feel very uncomfortable around the people who knew what was going on.

It seemed to him that the girl, Senna, did not hate him. Her actions were very considerable up until the point that she threatened to kill him a second time, for reasons Legolas had yet to know about. She only lashed out on him extremely when he had almost touched her.

Was that her insecurity? Was it that she did not want to be touched? Artemis had mentioned something about something of the sort, that the elves in Rivendell "did not mean to touch" her.

Again, Legolas had to wait for more answers.

"Of course, Lady Arwen." He answered, inclining his head politely before backing away—very slowly. Senna's eyes trailed after him, narrowed like a hawk's, her limbs slightly bent like a cat's. Nevertheless the elf kept his mouth shut, waiting for further urgent orders from Arwen.

But it was Artemis that spoke next, her words pointed to the only female youth left in the company that had not left aside from herself. "Senna, go and attend to your sisters."

"… leave you, my lady?" The girl seemed utterly surprised that Artemis would suggest such a thing.

But the lead maiden herself expected a different reaction. "I will be fine, Senna, and though I appreciate your concern for me, I am sure Hayley needs it more than I."

Senna, knowing that these words were true, and that hers weren't very smart at all, nodded her head. "Of course, Lady Artemis." There was still one problem, however, one that she did not want to admit, though she needed to, because it would only bring more complications. She didn't need to say anything for her mistress to have understood. The girl with auburn hair smiled, a glint in her eyes, before muttering something into Lady Arwen's ear. Senna blushed slightly, but took enough care to keep a straight face. Though Legolas, who had kept a safe distance away from her, saw this but did not understand. Nor did he know who Hayley was, nor why Senna was shocked by Artemis' proposal of leaving her.

Arwen, who had watched Legolas staring at the girl for almost the whole conversation, issued forth a laugh that successfully lightened the mood. She had heard Artemis' plead, which was Senna's as well, and would comply. "I will have someone escort you to your kinsfolk as soon as you enter the city, daughter of Dana."

It did not shock Senna that this woman knew who her mother was. And she trusted her enough to understand her predicament and send a female consort to lead her to their city's healers. "Thou shall have my gratitude, Lady Arwen." And as she bowed low, she also heard approaching footsteps, though it was nearly impossible to hear. They were so light; anyone else would have thought that it was the wind making the grass sway, or a squirrel climbing up a tree.

Senna heard Artemis' voice. "Greetings, Lord Elrond."

"It has been a while, Lady Artemis." A deep voice replied. Senna looked up to find a man with dark, flowing hair that cascaded down his back. He had a firm face, one that, without the creases, would have looked almost like Arwen. She guessed that they were kin, then. "I have heard that your Hunters have brought a dying girl to our healers…" his voice took on a grim tone; a shadow seemed to cross his face as he continued. "What has happened during your journeys?"

"We weren't originally headed here…" Artemis answered, and as she did, Senna's head drooped low, remembering the horrible events that occurred during the night, the events that had caused their comrade's safety.

So, not wanting to hear any more, she excused herself with a bow, turned, and strode towards the city, trying to keep the overbearing thoughts of the possible dangers that Artemis might have to overcome. She hardly knew these people. And Senna wasn't a very trusting person.

The last thing she heard of their conversation was: "We will not be so unprepared the next time."

reviews pleaaassee~~ 3