Hello everybody!!! Newest story of mine. It is neither movie nor book verse but a mixture of both so do not wonder if words and actions differ from the movie. you can find it in the book!!!

As always special thanks to Litlle My for beta reading!!!

And I promise. Encounters with the past will be continued soon!!!

So.. read on and do not forget to tell me if you like it!!!

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Laying Boromir to rest was a painful task and as the last note of the song Aragorn had sung faded so did the boat that carried the man of Gondor from sight. Gimli's eyes turned from the man, who was putting on the wrist guards that bore the sign of Gondor, to the elf. His face still held that strange mixture of disbelief and grief, as if he did not yet fully understand what had come to pass. His eyes met Gimli's and held them for a moment ere he turned and moved away, running over to the remaining boat. But even as he readied it, Gimli realized that Aragorn had not moved. The dwarf looked at him again, noticing the defeat in his eyes.

'You mean not to follow them?'

No, they would not. The decision was not an easy one to make, but Aragorn's words rang true.

'Frodo's fate is no longer in our hands.'

The Fellowship had broken. The price for having come even this far had been a high one. Gandalf and Boromir, both lost, and Frodo and Sam were on their own now.

And Merry and Pippin. the thought of these two in the hands of those foul beasts was hard on Gimli's heart and he could see the same in his companion's eyes.

When Aragorn asked them to leave everything behind and follow him, Gimli was ready to do so. His eyes met Legolas's, waiting for his reaction, seeing the emotions warring there. But when the dwarf let out a cry of challenge, he could see the slightest hint of a smile play around the elf's lips. And as he turned to run after Aragorn, he knew the elf would follow him.

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They moved on for hours, alternating between running and walking but never stopping. Lembas was all the food they took, and tasting the delicious elven waybread was the only delight Gimli knew in these dark hours. Despite his occasional grumbling, he had no real trouble keeping up with his companions; dwarves might be of shorter stature than man or elf but did not lack endurance. It would take more than this, Gimli thought to himself, for him to give in.

They followed Aragorn's lead; a matter that had surprised Gimli in the beginning. Surely the keen eyes of an elf would see the trail they followed even better than those of a man, even if he was a ranger? But Legolas seemed content to follow Aragorn so Gimli did not question this decision. But he did not miss the elf's eyes checking the trail even as he ran behind the man. And Aragorn seemed to trust the elf's senses, for several times he asked him for his opinion.

Sometimes it seemed that the elf tired of keeping pace with the mortals and then his swift feet would carry him away, easily overtaking Aragorn and running ahead only to slow down after some time and wait for them. In these moments, Gimli could feel the old annoyance resurface at this nimble being that seemed not to be bothered by the restrictions mortals had to endure. Walking on snow, running like the wind and never in need of sleep. Had he not come to like the elf, he would surely loathe him.

Finding the brooch of Lorien, in the middle of the destruction brought upon the green of Rohan by the passing of these foul creatures, brought hope that had started to dim back into their hearts.

Hope that would soon be brutally squashed again.

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Hiding from the approaching riders seemed like a good idea to Gimli. Seeing Aragorn stepping out and calling to them seemed a little bit more questionable, and he exchanged a quick glance with Legolas. But the elf seemed unperturbed, his trust in the man obviously unshakable.

So they stood next to Aragorn, Gimli's hand on his axe but refraining from any movement that might be interpreted as aggression. Being surrounded by horses made the dwarf feel more uncomfortable than he would have liked to admit, and the grim riders pointing lances at them did not help. Legolas stood next to him and the elf's calmness eased Gimli's mind.

He listened to the words exchanged between Aragorn and the leader of the Rohirrim, and only the insult spoken by Eomer against the Lady Galadriel finally caused the dwarf's temper to rise.

'You speak evil of that which is fair beyond the reach of your thought, and only little wit can excuse you.'

'I would cut off your head, beard and all, master dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground.' Eomer's threat was not without heat and the riders surrounding them seemed to tense.

There was a blur of motion next to Gimli, and in less than the blink of an eye Legolas had nocked an arrow, pointing it at the horse lord's head. The riders reacted in an instant, their lances turning on the elf whose eyes flashed at Eomer, ignoring the danger he found himself in.

'He stands not alone. You would die before your stroke fell.' A voice not loud, but deadly in its determination and leaving no doubt about the truth of his statement.

For a moment Gimli's heart constricted; the deadly danger Legolas had maneuvered himself into to protect him erased any anger he had felt against Eomer, leaving only the sudden fear of losing his companion. He had never seen Legolas react like this, seemingly without thought of what consequences his move might evoke.

For a few heartbeats the situation seemed hopeless as the elf's arrow did not waver from its target. The tips of the lances almost touched his head and neck, ready to end his life should he give any indication of letting the arrow fly. Yet Gimli knew as well as anybody else here that Eomer would be dead long ere the elf would fall.

Then Aragorn's hand came up, forcing down Legolas's bow and the elf relented. His eyes stayed fixed on Eomer, letting the man know the threat was not forgotten.

Letting out a deep breath he only now realized he had held, Gimli relaxed, casting a quick look sideways. The elf still seemed tense but the arrow was loose in his hand now; the short moment of danger had passed.

So Legolas did indeed posses some kind of temper, Gimli realized. He had come to know the elf quite well during their stay in Lorien, but this side of him he had not seen before. A grin formed on his face as the possibility of using this new knowledge about his friend came to mind. For friends they had become, he realized, no matter how strange a thing it seemed. Friends close enough that one of them would endanger his own life to stand up for the other.

But Eomer's next words drove the smile from the dwarf's face.

'We found none but orcs.'

Hope that had flared died upon hearing these words. While knowing the hobbits to be prisoners had been hard enough, to think them dead was unbearable. With disbelief Gimli looked up at Aragorn, seeing his own emotions mirrored there--denial as well as shock. He refrained from glancing at Legolas, knowing the look of grief that would be on the elf's face was more than he could bear right now.

In silence he stood, as Aragorn finally succeeded in persuading the horse lord to let them have two of their horses.

Legolas's hand grasped his, and with a surprising strength not expected in someone of such slight build he heaved the dwarf up onto the horse to sit behind him. His fear and unease caused Gimli's arms to wrap tightly around the slim waist but Legolas seemed not to be bothered by the tight grip.

There was a moment of deep sorrow to find the hobbit's belt within the smoldering remains, and Aragorn's cry of outrage and dismay echoed through the stillness of the day. Gimli could hear Legolas whispering words in his own tongue and this time he saw the grief upon his fair features. He could not help but wonder how all this affected the elf. He had witnessed his deep grief over Gandalf and a slight fear formed as he wondered how he dealt with the losses of the past days.

Yet once more hope was returned to them as Aragorn's eyes found the trail the fleeing hobbits had left.

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It was frightening how easily the white wizard overpowered them. Even Legolas's elven speed was no match for him, and they stood frozen until the mist clouding their vision cleared and they could finally see the features of the one before them. Familiar yet different; the blinding white transforming the one they had known so well.

'How?' Aragorn's voice spoke for them all as he stood, staring in disbelief at the one they had all seen fall into the bottomless depths of Khazad- dûm.

But Legolas seemed not to have any doubt as he sank to his knees, his face brightened by a smile. Never before had Gimli seen him like this, seemingly glowing as his delight in seeing the wizard again radiated from him without the need of words, his position one of deepest deference.

Gimli bowed his head, showing his respect for the wizard as his eyes closed for a moment in relief and joy.

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Edoras was well built, even to the eyes of a dwarf. The welcome was frosty, and only reluctantly did Gimli let go of his axe. He could see Legolas unsheathing his knifes with a quick movement that might have been taken as threatening had it not been too quick to give anyone time to react ere he had handed them over. His bow he gave away only with warning words as it was a present from the Lady Galadriel.

Gandalf's refusal to hand over his staff was highly amusing, and Gimli could see the suppressed laughter in Legolas's eyes as he offered his arm to the old man to lead him into the golden hall. Aragorn's lips twitched but he kept a straight face as he followed the elf who walked slowly with Gandalf leaning on him.

To dispatch those that tried to block their way was easily done, as the ones still true to their king held back, watching the scene unfold without interfering. Too long Grima had played his games, and too dire had the situation in Rohan become, for them to not hope for the help Gandalf might offer. And in the end, their trust in the wizard was proven to be well placed.

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A hot meal and ale after so many days without were a delight Gimli savored as he ate slowly and with relish. Aragorn only took a few bites, his mind obviously more on the discussion with the king than on food. And Legolas only stood, a silent presence at their side who spoke not but watched from his place leaning against the column to Aragorn's right. He took no food, and once more Gimli wondered what elves lived on.

King Theoden was a great man, but his situation was dire and he did not wish for an open fight. Aragorn's opinion was not wanted and the king's decision to leave for Helm's Deep could not be shaken.

So they left--a group of men and women, carrying their wounded and children, their fear a cloud that had settled over them.

Legolas had disappeared to scout ahead; he seemed ill at ease in the company of men, Gimli realized. Alone on a horse for the first time in his life, Gimli begrudged him for leaving him in this situation but found himself drawn into conversation with Eowyn. He missed not her frequent glances towards Aragorn as she seemed quite taken with him. Then the warning cry came.

'Wargs!'

The group parted, only the men on horses staying behind to fend off the attackers. When the command came for the riders to move, Gimli realized Arod was still with them. The horse had not allowed anyone to mount him, much to the irritation of the Rohirrim for he was one of their own horses. Only Aragorn's explanation that a horse once used by an elf would stay with him and allow no other rider seemed to calm their rattled pride.

But Legolas on foot would hardly stand a chance against a group of attacking wargs. Swift with the bow he might be and deadly with his knives, but fighting against such an adversary from the ground with weapons like these could prove to be a great disadvantage.

So it was with little thought of his own fear of horses that Gimli shouted to be helped upon the tall horse, hoping Arod would at least accept him. The horse snorted, his reluctance obvious.

'Stop fighting me, you stupid animal,' Gimli hissed at him. 'Is he your elf, or not? Do you wish to be with him, or stay behind like a frightened deer?'

If he understood the meaning or simply was calmed by the knowing hands of the ones that held him Gimli would never know, although he would never hesitate to choose the latter option. In the end he found himself in the saddle and grabbing the reins, called out: 'Forward! Forward I say!'

Instead of bucking as Gimli feared, for one moment the horse stilled, then suddenly rushed forward, following the other horses. Holding on for dear life, Gimli found himself wondering how he would ever manage to raise his axe if he needed both hands to keep from falling.

Then his eyes turned forward, horrified at their speed and even more so to see the slender form of the elf, standing tall and firing arrow after arrow at the quickly approaching mass of wargs that all seemed to bear down directly at him. The horses reached him and he turned, his gaze finding Gimli as if he had known all the time the dwarf would come. Then he seemed to jump right in front of Arod, and for one frightening moment Gimli expected to hear the sound of breaking bones beneath the hooves of the galloping horse. Then a blur moved to his left and the elf was seated in front of him.

With a breath of relief Gimli let go of the reins, one arm wrapping around the elf's waist. As they raced down towards their foes, a realization dawned. Holding onto the elf like this did not only hamper the dwarf's movements but Legolas's as well. Eyeing the wargs once more, Gimli's decision was made. He let go of the elf, grabbing his axe with both hands to neither lose it nor injure himself, and let himself fall.

Legolas's cry of dismay followed him as he fell, connecting with the ground in a hard but expected impact. He was on his feet again just in time to see a warg approaching. With a flash of glee he readied his axe in sudden desire to let out emotions bottled up during those last days. He never saw Legolas turning his horse around, the elf's worry over his fallen friend driving him back to see for himself that the dwarf had not taken hurt.