Title: Damn Elf!

Author: Me. Luin

Rating: G

A/N: This is inspired by my dear cat Pippin (named such because he is constantly asking for more food). He is the most graceful cat I've ever owned yet he still manages to fall off the stack of amps nearly every day.

Disclaimer: They isn't mine.

Aragorn smiled tolerantly as he heard Gimli muttering under his breath. He couldn't catch all the words but one phrase was evident to his ears and he heard it repeatedly. "Damn Elf." The Man's smile grew. Damn Elf indeed. They had been chasing the band of Uruks that had Hobbitnapped Merry and Pippin for two days and while Legolas hardly seemed winded anytime they stopped Aragorn and Gimli were exhausted. While it might be expected of the Dwarf it was embarassing for Aragorn who had been raised among Elves. Sometimes he forgot that he wasn't one.

Gimli and Aragorn ran side by side but Legolas was a good distance ahead, almost seeming to have forgotten that the two mortals followed. Abruptly Legolas altered his course and Aragorn glanced to his right to see a lone tree standing on the grassy plain. "What is he doing?" Gimli asked the Ranger.

"Legolas is a Wood-Elf; he draws strength from all trees. Our Elf is going to visit a friend." Aragorn watched as Legolas sped up, seeming even lighter on his feet than usual. In fact, he resembled a young fawn frolicking happily through the tall grass. Golden hair streamed out behind him as he ran and from this obilique angle Aragorn could see a wide smile on the Elven face.

"That's just what he needs. More strength." Aragorn actually laughed out loud at the disgruntled grumblings coming from his left. Legolas neared the tree and with the Elf there for scale Aragorn could tell just how big it was. The lowest branch was more than twice his height from the ground. Legolas didn't slow at all before launching himself up. His feet landed on the lowest branch and his fingers caught onto the branch above. But only for a moment. Aragorn's eyes widened as he watched the Elf plummet to the ground, his landing hidden by tall grass.

Concern washed over Aragorn and his legs found new strength, driving him foward with a new-found speed. Elves were immortal but they could still be injured. His mind brought horrible thoughts to the surface. Legolas with a broken arm, or leg, or worse yet, a broken back. Finally he reached the shade of the tree and he dropped to his knees beside the Elf who was lying on his back.

Legolas' eyes were closed and tears streamed from between his eyelids. His whole frame trembled. Aragorn placed a gentle hand on the Elf's shoulder, his other hand hovering unsurely over Legolas' torso. "Legolas? Are you okay, my friend?"

Legolas' voice quavered. "Nay." Suddenly a great smile broke across the Elf's face and peals of laughter tore loose from his throat. He laughed until his throat contracted, until his abdomen cramped. Still he did not stop. He wrapped his arms about his stomach and drew his knees to his chest. Finally, in gasped breaths between fits of hysterical laughter he managed to speak. "Aragorn... swear you won't... tell... anyone about this!" His blue eyes opened to meet Aragorn's confused grey gaze. "Promise!"

Surely the Elf was mad. He must have hit his head. Aragorn was throughly confused. "I promise." More laughter from Legolas and suddenly Aragorn was aware of Gimli's presence. He had left the Dwarf far behind in his race to Legolas' side. "What happened?"

Legolas rolled onto his side, facing the puzzled Ranger. "I slipped." He giggled. "Imagine. A Wood-Elf falling out of a tree! It's ridiculous! It's like a... like a Hobbit forgetting to eat! Like a Ranger getting lost! Like a Dwarf being afraid of the dark!" Finally the giggles subsided and Legolas coughed a few times from the sudden flood of oxygen into his lungs. He sat up slowly and wiped the tears from his cheeks.

"Are you sure you're not hurt?" Aragorn could not imagine how the Elf could be uninjured. He had at least hit his head judging from the way he was acting.

"Fortunately I landed on soft ground. Kind of." Legolas used Aragorn's shoulder to push himself to his feet but as he straightened he winced. "Maybe I am a bit sore. I landed on my back and I'm afraid my quiver was driven most painfully into my spine." A few arrows had fallen from his quiver and Gimli handed them to the Elf. "Thankfully I didn't break any arrows... or my quiver. Or bow. And no, Aragorn, I did not hit my head. It was just the absurdity of the situation that made me behave the way I did." He smiled at the Ranger and gave him a hand up. "I apologize if I frightened you." He then turned to the tree and pressed a palm against the rough bark. "And I apologize if I startled you. I shall leave you in peace."

Legolas turned back to his friends. "Come. We have a long way to go and I'm afraid I have caused a needless delay." With that he was off again. Aragorn and Gimli looked at each other and smiled. "Damn Elf." The chase resumed.