Huh so, um I really have no excuse for the amount of time I have taken to update. Not sure if anyone is still reading this but I recently decided to take another stab at writing this. Please comment/review with any feedback/criticism and hopefully I'll be able to keep writing decentish chapters :) Hope you enjoy xx

Aragorn, Gandalf and Gimli were already seated at the table when the re-entered the hall. The two elves joined them, sitting down at the table and taking some food. They all ate mostly in silence, except for the sound of Gimli's crunching and chewing.

They had just finished eating when Theoden entered the hall. His face was grim and he said nothing as he walked towards the table. He stopped in front of them, but said only "We leave in an hour."

"Will the people be ready?" Aragorn asked him.

"They will be ready, we will travel light, not taking anything we don't need." Theoden replied. He turned to his guard, "Hama, tell the people."

The guard nodded, and walked out of the room. Gandalf stood, and followed Hama outside. Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and Tauriel all stood too, and followed their friend. Outside, Hama was giving the message. "By order of the king, the city must empty. We make for the refuge of Helm's Deep. Do not burden yourselves with treasures. Take only what provisions you need." he shouted.

Gandalf hurried past him, muttering to Aragorn who followed closer than the rest of them. The two elves and dwarf followed a little further behind. Gandalf walked quickly through the town, leading them straight to the stables.

Shadowfax waited, head held high as Gandalf approached him, Aragorn walking at his side. The others waited at the entrance. They watched as Gandalf mounted Shadowfax, and Aragorn swung the gate open. They jumped out of the way, as Gandalf and Shadowfax galloped past them, all of them wondering exactly where he was going.

Outside, people were running everywhere, as they exited the stables a troop of guards came running in, all collecting saddles and bridles from the hooks. Theoden followed them, holding his own saddle. "The horses Eomer gave you are yours to ride," he called. The four of them nodded, and re-entered the stables.

True to Theoden's words, the people were ready within the hour, and they started the long hike to Helm's deep. They walked near the front of the line, with Theoden, and Eowyn. Legolas and Tauriel walked together, while Gimli rode one of their horses and Aragorn led the other.

They listened as Gimli explained to Eowyn the mysteries of dwarf women. They heard her laughter and then the gallop of a horse as Gimli's horse suddenly sprung forward. They leapt aside, as Gimli fell sideways off the horse. They couldn't hide the smiles that burst onto their faces. Tauriel stepped forward again, grabbing the horses' reins and gently petting the side of his neck.

"It's alright, it's alright. Nobody panic," Gimli called. "It was deliberate, it was deliberate." he assured everyone around him.

"Gimli, why don't we take him for a while?" She called.

"Oh very well," Gimli replied, as Eowyn helped him up off the ground, "I don't think I'm very well suited to riding."

Tauriel laughed, "It'll just take practice, Gimli," she called, as she said, as she gracefully leapt onto the back of the horse. Legolas walked beside them, still smiling.

"I used to love racing through the forest at home," Tauriel said.

"That's because you would always win," Legolas laughed.

"And that's because I'm the more talented rider," she replied.

"You're the lighter rider," he said.

She laughed, before leaning down and offering him a hand, "Ride with me?"

He laughed in return, taking her hand and hopping up onto the back of the horse. He bought his hands around in front of her, and she only just resisted the urge to lean back into his chest. But still, she marvelled at how easily they had slipped back into their old ways, their old talks.

They rode together untill Theoden ordered everyone to stop for a break. The people were obviously tired, but they still had a long way to go today. Legolas slid off the horse, lifting his hand to Tauriel, who accepted gratiously and dismounted.

Horses were tethered and gaurds posted. Families huddled together and started eating what little food they had bought with them.

Legolas and Tauriel sat together, watching as Eowyn came forward with a pot of stew. "Gimli?" she offered. The dwarf briefly bent towards the stew then quickly replied, "No, I couldn't" before continuing to walk off. They both smiled, as Eowyn handed a bowl to an unwilling Aragorn, who nethertheless had one taste before attempting to rid himself of the stew.

Tauriel looked at the woman, who was talking to Aragorn with a look of of shy admiration on her face. Tauriel tilted her head slightly, she recognised that look in the young maiden's eye. It was the look she had worked so hard to hide and disguise in her own eye. Tauriel watched as she made her way cautiously through the temporary camp, offering the stew to everyone she could. Her walk was proud, and as she intereacted with the people, Tauriel could sense the genuine care and concern she had for the people her uncle rueld over.

Tauriel stood, and Legolas looked up at her questioningly. "I'll be back soon," she said, already moving away, "I wish to assist Lady Eowyn." Legolas smiled, watching her as she walked towards the young shield maiden, "Try and avoid the stew" he called, though softly so only she would hear. She turned, her red hair flicking behind her, a mischevious grin on her face as she looked back at him briefly, before continuing towards the Lady. Legolas watched her leave, and continued watching as she approached Eowyn, who allowed her to take the cauldron from her and walk beside her as she continued her rounds.

"They are not unalike" a voice said from behind him, who he immeadiatly recognised.

Legolas nodded in agreement, "They are both amazing women," he replied. Aragorn moved to sit beside him.

"Is Tauriel also a horrible cook?" he asked.

"She is not bad, although she would rather wield a knife in battle, then use it to chop ingredients." he replied, turning and smiling at his companion.

Across th plains, the elf maiden and the human Lady walked amicably through the people, distributing the stew among the men, women and children of Rohan. Their conversation topics varied, although Eowyn seemed very curious about life in Mirkwood.

"I have never been to Mirkwood, or any elven forrest," she told the she elf while spooning stew into yet another bowl for a young boy. "Of course, I have never really travelled far from Rohan in my life, although one day I hope I shall."

Tauriel smiled, "It is a wonderful place, in my opinion," she told her, "although in recent times its atmosphere grows dimmer and the company..." she paused, unsure how to continue, "Less appealing." she stated.

Eowyn quirked an eyebrow, silently asking for an explanation. Tauriel frowned, "A small incident, concerning myself and the King." she said, purposely allowing her answer to be vague. Eowyn sensed this and tactfully turned the conversation away from this.

"But you are fortunate, that our gender is permitted to fight," she said, almost wistfully. They were now approaching the last few people, and drawing closer to where Aragorn and Legolas sat together.

Tauriel nodded, "I'm not sure what I would do if I were not allowed to take part in combat. It's a part of my life." she replied. "But I saw you with a sword my Lady, you are also allowed to fight?"

Eowyn laughed slightly and shook her head. "Women do not often enter combat here," she replied. "However many of us do have skills with a blade or weapon, and we are not afraid to fight."

Tauriel smiled, her respect for this woman growing greatly.

"But you are in Mirkwood's army?" Eowyn enquired, as they approached Aragorn and Legolas, having finished serving the stew, with only a tiny pool of the liquid remaining at the bottom of the blackened cauldron.

"Captain of the guard," Tauriel replied softly, "Although my position was in question at a certain point."

Eowyn observed the elf curiously, she had not known her long, hardly two days, and yet she could tell the red haired elf had an element of sadness that surrounded her. It was more obvious at times, and she hid it well, however Eowyn could see, the elf's life had featured tragedy before.

The blonde elf's voice cut through her thoughts as he called out to them, "We would have been unlucky to lose you, she is a fine warrior." he told Eowyn, turning towards her as he rose to greet them.

"Well, I am lucky I have such an excellent training partner." she replied. Eowyn watched as the elves conversed easily, wondering about the exact nature of their relationship. She was aware of the small incident regarding their rooms, and now as she regarded them it was easy to see why Hama had arrived at the conclusion he did.

"We will soon be continuing our journey," she informed the two elves and Aragorn. "Lady Tauriel, you would be welcome to walk with more for some of the way."

Tauriel smiled back at the women, "I'd be delighted to," she replied.

To the many people who suggested Tauriel and Eowyn interacting thankyou, I was always aiming to do this so good to see people agreeing with some of my ideas. I know the interaction in this chapter may seem somewhat lacking but I hope to have quite a decent conversation between the two in the next chapter. In this chapter however I didn't really want the first conversation between these two great women to be about Aragorn/Legolas or men because I feel its slightly degrading to the characters. However in saying that, I do aim to include such a conversation and I hope I can do both characters justice. Reviews are always greatly appreciated and will most likely mean quicker updates ;)