Legolas' Bane
by SkyFire

A/N: Inspired by a recent discussion on the Mellon Chronicles mailing list. I'm not telling you
what it was about. You'll find out soon enough! ;oP Hope you like it!

Thoughts are in // //.

Disclaimer: Not mine. Never were. Hopefully will be, but not without a *major* miracle. *sigh*

*****
Legolas' Bane
by SkyFire

Aragorn awoke with the dawn on the third day of the Fellowship's journey down the Anduin. He sat
up in his blankets and looked around the campsite, a habit formed during his many solitary
journeys through the Wild.

Boromir, Gimli and the hobbits still slept in the faint golden light of the new day, the dawn
bringing only a momentary lull to the deep, rumbling snores of Man and Dwarf. The hobbits slept
curled up together in a tangle of limbs and blankets. Plumes of breath formed above all in the
cool February morning air.

The Elf, Legolas, stood his watch at the edge of the camp. His hair hung slightly damp about his
shoulders, coloring the soft green of his leather tunic a slightly deeper shade with the dripping
moisture. Though his expression was as unreadable as ever, he still gave forth an aura of
miserable, resigned unhappiness.

"Legolas?" the Ranger asked quietly as he rolled up his blankets. That done, he stood and went
over to the still-silent Elf. "What is it?" he asked when he came up beside the blond. "Orcs?"

"No," came the equally quiet reply.

Aragorn waited a long moment for the other to elaborate. Whent eh Elf said nothing more, he
asked, "What, then? What is wrong?"

"Nothing that concerns anyone but I."

Aragorn sighed, resigning himself to the fact that he would have to wait to find out what was
troubling Legolas. He left the Elf standing watch and went over to wake the others.

//Grief over Gandalf?// he wondered to himself as he did. // I thought he had managed to deal
with that somewhat in Lothlorien. Sadness over leaving that Realm?// Somehow, that didn't
quite seem to fit, either. //What, then?//

An hour later, awake and newly-fed, the two Men and the Dwarf were busy loading the company's
gear back onto the boats for their continuing journey downriver. The hobbits sat together on the
shore nearby, watching Aragorn, Boromir, and Gimli work. Legolas stood alone near the treeline.

Getting bored of watching the current argument of where the best place to stow the latest bit of
baggage was, Pippin looked around for something else to watch. What he found was something
strange in the appearance of one of the others.

"Legolas," he called over, his voice rising nearly effortlessly above the noise of the arguing
ones, catching the attention of all. "Why didn't you braid your hair like you usually do?"

The others looked to the Elf with curious eyes. Now that the hobbit had called their attention
to it, they saw that he was right; Legolas' hair *did* hang loose about his face and shoulders,
not tied up in the braids and falls that declared his status to those who knew what to look for.

Legolas blushed a faint pink at the question. "It will not stay so," he mumbled, brushing
strands of golden hair back from his face with his fingers. "It works its way loose within
minutes."

Aragorn raised an eyebrow in question. "Ah?" he said. "Why now? It always held before."

Legolas shrugged, gestured to the horizon with one hand, indicating the angry, rumbling clouds
that hung there, dark and oppressive, even as his other hand once again brushed his hair back
from his face in quick gestures that spoke of long-standing annoyance. "'Tis the season," he
grumbled. "And the lightning in the air. This happens to me every year."

"What happens?" Boromir queried, amused at seeing the normally-composed Elf so flustered.

Legolas walked over to the others so that they could see him clearly, coming to a stop beside the
Ranger. Then he just stood there, his arms crossed over his chest, saying nothing.

It was Aragorn who broke the silence, stepping away from the Elf, batting at the air between them.
"Legolas! Your hair-"

The Elf nodded, sighed. "I know," he said simply.

The others watched in amusement, unable to hold back their grins as the golden tendrils of the
Elf's hair stood out from his head in all directions, reaching out for those who stood near to
him. Other strands plastered themselves to his face and neck, getting caught in mouth and eyes,
much to their owner's annoyance.

"Every year at this time, when I am in this climate, my hair does this. It will not stay in its
braids. It will work its way free of any tie. It will reach out for anyone and anything around
me, and stick to my face." He sighed. "I can do nothing to it that makes it stop doing so. It
is the bane of my existence."

He stood there, face a reeper shade of red now as the others laughed at his misery. Then he
looked over as Aragorn clapped him on the shoulder, saw laughter and mischief playing in the grey
eyes.

"Cheer up, Legolas!" the Ranger said comfortingly, an undertone of laughter in his voice. "Think
on this: the Elves of Lothlorien *live* in this climate. Surely every one of them is going
through the same thing right now."

Legolas cocked his head to the side, considering. Then a grin spread across his face. He once
again brushed back his hair with his hands. "You are right, Aragorn. They *will* be going
through the same thing."

"Yes," came the reply. "Just think about poor Haldir and his brothers. Or even the Lord
Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. I wonder if they move their chairs apart during this season, if
this is as much an annoyance to them."

Even Legolas couldn't hold back the laughter at the thought of Celeborn and Galadriel sitting
together in their recieving chamber, trying to keep up a calm, respectable demeanor even while
constantly batting away each others' hair.

Many long moments later, the laughter of the fellowship died down to the occasional chuckle and
it was time to continue on.

Before they set off, however, Aragorn went over to Legolas, a soft silken scarf in hand.

"Legolas," he said.

"Yes?"

"Take this. Use it to hold your hair back from your face."

Legolas took the scarf, tied it so that it passed over his forehead and underneath his hair to
the nape of his neck, where he tied it off. To his surprise, it *did* manage to hold back his
hair. "Thank you," he said. "But I told you nothing would hold my hair. How did you know it
would work...?"

"I didn't know that it would work for you. The only thing I know and that it works for
Glorfindel." He grinned. "*His* hair is *much* worse than this during *any* lightning storm."

Legolas grinned. It was such a comfort to know that he was not the only Elf to experience this...
hair-rebellion.

The image of Glorfindel, he who had slain a Balrog single-handedly, he who had returned to
Middle-earth from the Halls of Mandos, with renegade locks sticking out in all directions had him
chuckling throughout the rest of the day.

END


I think the ending could use some work, what do you think? I just couldn't think of a smooth way
to end this thing. I hate being sick. Bleh.

Anyways, click the button down there and leave the plotbunnies a nice crispy review? Some
chocolate-covered Elf-lords for the poor, sick author? ;oP