Hello Everyone. Here is the chapter you have all been waiting for, lol – the one that brings you back to Legolas and Aragorn with a little Pippin thrown into the mix!

For people wondering about when I am updating I keep posting update notices under my bio on my author's page, so you can check there for updates if you are interested.

Welcome to my newest intrepid readers: Uchiha Itachi, doG, pupulupk & cloud-123 (sort of, lol)! I am flattered you all read so much to reach this chapter! Hope you continue to enjoy and there are personal notes for you all at the bottom!

Thanks to my sister for editing this!

Chapter #31 ~ An Elf Lost is an Elf Gained

Consciousness returned slowly; in a surreal haze the world that he knew existed beyond his closed eye lids kaleidoscoped wildly with memories of battle, bloodshed, a wizard's voice, and, as a distant comfort in the background beyond it all, his mother's smile. Legolas wearily endured the bombardment as his mind was forced back into the conscious realm. He was stunned by the overload of information his mind desperately tried to remind him of. It was with a despondent lethargy that Legolas accepted that he had once again lost consciousness, once again lost control over his body and mind leaving him helpless. It was this vulnerability that truly irritated Legolas the most. He seemed to be developing the unfortunate knack of passing out every time consciousness and clarity were most needed. It was amazing that these lapses had not yet resulted in his death.

Pushing aside such bleak self-reprimands, the elf tried to refocus his energy into a more productive act. Self-berating aside, the woodland Prince still had much to discover about his current predicament, not to mention the fate of his friends. The end of the battle of Helm's Deep was nothing but a blur in his memory, and although he could clearly remember regaining consciousness once in a forest, the trees in Rohan made little sense to him and the final outcome of the battle eluded him. At present he might be one of the few remaining survivors of that keep. The thought was as frightening as it was sobering.

Groaning, he forced himself into trying to open his eyes, and though the task he set seemed simple, Legolas was amazed by the effort it extracted. He was weak, his body had long since given out on him, and even merely trying to behold the night sky was proving to be an ordeal. Gritting his teeth together stubbornly Legolas refused to give up, his pride preventing anything but success or unconscious oblivion once again. In what seemed like the passing of hours his eyes creaked open, blue and dilated, to stare at the overriding canopy.

So he was in a forest.

The discovery prompted a small sense of triumph, of vindication, as he started to place more faith in what scrambled memories he did seem to have of recent events. As his shattered confidence once again started to mend, more vague memories came slowly back to him. The foggy recollections of a sea of green on a black battlefield, the forest seemingly coming to swallow up both men and orc alike. It had been an exhilarating rush for the elf, and he remembered drawing strength from the mere sight of the familiar landmarks of his homeland. Yet the trees that had engulfed Helm's Deep had been unlike the trees of Lothlorien, old and caring yet fading, and those of Mirkwood, scared and dying. These trees had not been as passive, and as they had drawn near, their raw emotions spreading a palatable air of anger, had pressed in upon him. It had been nothing he had ever felt before, nor wished to feel again. After that the world became a blank. Mercifully quiet.

Then he had re-awoken! He remembered as much; here, where he lay now, or somewhere equivalent, upon a mattress of fresh damp leaves. There had been an orc upon him, dead, cold and lifeless, smothering him. He acutely remembered the instant he had discovered himself, trapped, and the panic that caged state had inspired. It had felt as though he had been buried alive, doomed to share his resting place with the foulness of an orc.

Forcing himself to not relive and dwell on such horror's, Legolas used the lingering fear to push himself up to a sitting position. The abrupt movement had ramifications and the world around him momentarily spun, making him fear he had pressed his body once again to harshly. Yet as he sat, supported mainly by his arms, gulping in noisy and ragged breathes of air, the swirling motion slowed and eventually ceased, leaving the world as it was at present finally open to his contemplation.

The forest was cooing to him. The was no other word for the soft humming that filled his head as the trees soothed away the lingering darkness in his soul, caressing his wearied spirit, offering not only apology but renewal in its song. Legolas sighed his appreciation. It had felt like so long since he had last felt such tenderness, too long. This journey, this war with darkness would make him old before his times, though such an admittance would seem a defeat to Legolas, so the thought was dismissed and he refused to acknowledge it. That painful truth was one the trees themselves lamented though, for the elder were cherished to the forest, and it hurt them to see one of the first born so diminished in mind and body. Their guilt at having contributed to it an undertone in their soft song.

It took much strength for the elf to respond, and when the sound emerged Legolas was slightly mortified by the raw, scratchy quality to his voice. He hummed a small thank-you to the surrounding trees, needing to see to formalities despite his poor condition. Once the task had been seen to, and with the promise of future songs once he was able, Legolas was forced to once again centre his attention upon himself.

His head throbbed. Though the elf was not usually one to admit to such apparent pain, preferring to nurse his wounds quietly without the knowledge of others, he could not deny that his head would have to be seen to by Aragorn, least he never be able to hear without a residual ringing noise in his ears.

"Ha, hmm." The noise was sudden and vibrated with such a deep tenor that it made the hair on Legolas' arms stand on end. The elf's head shot up upon hearing it, concern for his injuries forgotten as he scanned his surroundings, trying to locate the maker of the bizarre sound. Yet the forest was quiet now, settled and still, apparently devoid of all life except himself.

"Well, little elf, how is it you are now feeling, hmmm?" The deep voice spoke again, the tone attempting to sound comforting despite its thunderous quality.

Legolas frowned into the gloom, frustrated by the lack of physical form to associate with the voice. Yet the elf decided that if this person had meant him harm he surely would have already come to it, so with little option left open to him, Legolas spoke hesitantly, "Well enough, sir. Yet I would know to whom I am indebted for standing vigilance over me these past few hours." His voice still sounded cracked and weak, nothing like his usual melodious tones.

"I am known as Quickbeam in the tongues of men, and Bregalad in your own."

Legolas tried to hide his surprise. "You speak the elvish language. I had not thought to find any here in this world of men who did." Pulling himself to his feet, Legolas ignored the initial overpowering sense of dizziness, concentrating instead on the forest while the attack receded. As his sight stopped spinning, the elf asked the real question, for despite his unusual situation he did not feel threatened by the mysterious presence. "Where are you?"

"Ha, hmm." It took Legolas a moment to realize this was a form of laughter. The being was laughing with genuine happiness. The sound was beautiful and Legolas smiled softly in response. It was good to hear such noises when he was becoming all too accustomed with the wail of despair and the cries of pain. "Look, for I am here in front of you, small one. Poor lost, small child. Whoever would have thought an elf would not recognize a tree!"

Legolas blinked as he stared at the smooth bark of the tree that stood only a few metres in front of him. It was slender and young in appearance, its bark whole and healthy looking, green and seemingly blue leaves crowned its head, and its roots wound up and around its base. It took Legolas' mind a long moment to accept the fact that the tree did in fact have a head, set with two yellowish eyes that stared down at him with compassion.

"You are an Ent," he gasped, his eyes widening in disbelief, his mouth frozen open in an undignified 'O' of exclamation.

"Ha, hmm. Too true, too true my young friend. I am known as the Hasty Ent, a title bestowed upon me ever since I answered 'yes' to an elders question before he had finished asking it." The tree laughed heartily again at the memory, and Legolas felt his own voice laugh in wonder as well. He had never thought to have lived to experience this wonder, this gift above gifts.

"Then know me as Legolas Thranduilion, originally from Mirkwood, and brought to these vast plains by chance."

The Ent looked down on him gently. "Green Leaf. A more proper name could not have been christened upon you, little leaf. If brought here by chance you were, your luck is not something to be desired," the Ent teased. "Yet perhaps I might boast to bringing a change in your fortunes, for I am glad I left none of the firstborn out here alone in the wilderness to face the blackness of the wizard's treachery. The Ents have entered this war, and our revenge has been swift."

Legolas shuddered as he momentarily remembered the deep rooted anger of the Ents, and he was glad that they looked upon him as a friend, for being their enemy would be terrifying.

"Yet we cannot linger here," Quickbeam continued. "You must have your wounds tended, for I have not just found an elf to lose him again so quickly. You must also be wondering about the remains of your brotherhood - your band of warriors that defended the human fort. I will show you to the forest's edge where you might discover these things."

"I would be grateful for such aid, for the trees here speak a language I can barely understand. Your song is foreign to me and I am not sure I could have found the way on my own. Yet given time among you I think I could learn your language," Legolas added wistfully, the desire to remain here growing.

"Ha, hmm. So you shall learn it, for I will teach it to you! But only once you are well in spirit and body, little leaf, for I would have you sit in my boughs laughing and smiling and not in pain as you are now. Come, little leaf, let me take you to your friends for some of the humans are growing bold and come closer to our boarders, and not all my kin are trusting of them. I would have you instruct your comrades to stay well away, for too many of us are still wild."

Legolas nodded and moved forward in Quickbeam's wake despite the throbbing protests of his torso, legs and head. His awe for the creature in front of him kept him moving, his eyes alight as they beheld the long graceful strides of a walking tree. Had Quickbeam requested it at that moment, Legolas would have attempted flight, so great was his euphoria and wonder.

The duo walked silently, except for Quickbeam's laughter which seemed almost constant. The Ent laughed at the drifting patterns of leaves as they fell from boughs to the ground, at the wind that tickled at him, at the nighttime dew which gathered in a silver layer over the forest. He seemed to find joy and amusement in every aspect of life and despite his physical weariness Legolas too laughed for merely seeing and hearing it.

There was no sense of time within this forest, and Legolas cared not to even try and mark it, yet all too soon Quickbeam stopped, and with one leafy limb motioned to the flat land that stretched out beyond the forest with Helm's Deep nestled into it. "Here is the end of our time, little leaf, at least for now. I shall wait here, and once you are tended to, and have rested, come and search me out again with your companions. Until that time we will wait upon you."

"Thank-you for your hospitality and for the aid you have supplied. I shall not keep you waiting long, my friend, and will return on mended legs to sing to you and hear your tales," Legolas promised quietly. "May the stars always shine upon you."

"And on you as well, ha humm, little leaf."

With the parting words spoken, Legolas stumbled awkwardly from the sanctuary of the forest back into the open air. The plains were cold, a chilly wind sweeping across their barren expanse under an overcast and starless sky. Near the blackened walls of Helm's Deep, fires were burning, and even from this distance Legolas could smell the charred remains of flesh. The Rohirrium were burning the corpses of their enemies, and the stench was nauseating.

"Hey! You there! Do you need help?" a gruff voice called out in the darkness, the heavy falls of footsteps stumbling through the still scattered corpses that had not yet been tended to, announcing the persons arrival.

Swallowing the lump in his throat, Legolas attempted to make himself appear as normal as possible. "I require no more then a point in the right direction, sir. Do you know where Lord Aragorn could be found at present?"

The human's face suddenly melted into perspective through the nighttime gloom, caked with mud and dried blood. His garments were lopsided and tattered, yet the man ginned upon getting a closer look at Legolas. "Ah! How fortunate! The elf is finally found!" the man bellowed through cupped hands back in the direction he had originally come from. Turning to once again look at the now perplexed elf in question, he grinned cheekily. "Your lord has had parties searching along the forests edge for you for nearly twelve hours now."

"I see." Legolas sighed a small sigh of relief at hearing that Aragorn still lived. "Can you take me to him?"

"Of course. This way," the human replied brightly in a pleased, self-important sort of tone. He began leading the way, and any success Legolas had had in fooling the human that he was in good health shattered, the illusion broken. The man quickly rounded and grasped Legolas's upper arm in support, his grip unintentionally firm and rather painful.

"Not looking all that steady," the man stated bluntly.

Legolas tensed at the contact, knowing it was childish yet unable to stop his initial reluctance at being touched by a human, for the last time one of the Rohirrium soldiers had grabbed him so it was to tie him to the rafters for Saurman's amusement. The elf did realize that much had changed since then, but even such logical assertions could not halt the flashes of fear and apprehension that came as a result of a single action that had been meant in friendship. Unable to stand it Legolas shook the man's hand away, determined to continue on under his own power.

"I am fine," he declared stubbornly, despite the fact that both knew he was obviously not.

The human looked at him for a long moment, letting his arm fall back to his side. "Right. If you say so," he declared finally with a small shrug of his shoulders. He obviously did not care enough to press the issue, for he too wanted to return to the warmth of the fort as Legolas did.

The walk seemed to stretch on, with Legolas struggling to keep pace, though obstinately trying not to reveal how difficult he was finding it to do so. It was with a relieved exhale of breathe that Legolas stepped foot once again into the fort he had almost lost his life in defending. Dragging his feet now with no element of grace, Legolas trudged after his guide, stepping round the huddled sleeping forms of the refugees of Rohan. It was on sheer determination that the elf made it finally to the door in which he was told Lord Aragorn rested. Thanking the man briefly Legolas then quietly opened the door and slipped in.

It was upon seeing Aragorn alive that Legolas truly allowed some of the strained worry that had been growing in him, to leave his body. The ranger was sleeping on his side, his back facing Legolas, with his hands tucked up under his head to substitute for a pillow. From where the elf stood he could hear the human's steady breathing, sleep making it calm and deep. Stepping closer Legolas looked down upon his friend, smiling slightly at how peaceful he looked, too peaceful to disturb by waking. Legolas stood a moment longer before sagging to the floor in exhaustion. Without further thought he stretched out on the stone and let his eyes become unfocussed, slipping into a dreamless slumber...

~*~

Aragorn knew he was being selfish in allowing himself the luxury of so much sleep. In his still sleep clogged mind he could feel the warmth of the sun's rays shining in through the window and knew that he had already rested for longer then he had originally intended too. It was that sense of guilt that prompted him to throw off the last remnants of dreams and open his eyes. Stretching out to rejuvenate stiff muscles, the ranger sat up and swung his legs out of the bed... to nearly step upon the sleeping elf on the floor who had appeared there sometime during the night. Blinking Aragorn had to briefly reassure himself that he was still not dreaming, and that what he was seeing was in fact reality.

"Legolas!" The exclaimed cry came out suddenly and he regretted it immediately as he saw his friend stir sluggishly. Jumping from the bed Aragorn crouched on the floor near the rousing elf. "Mellon, I have been so worried for you. Why did you not wake me when you came in?" he demanded.

"You looked so comfortable," Legolas mumbled sitting up slowly, feeling every inch as dirty as he was. "Bath. I need a bath."

Aragorn stared in momentary disbelief at the groggy elf in front of him, before starting to laugh. Embracing his newly found friend he tried to fathom that at such a moment, when the elf was surely in a great deal of pain, as well as exhausted, Legolas' first thoughts had been devoted to hygiene. "You elves! There are some things I will never understand about your ways," he said lightheartedly, pretending not to notice the amount of weight Legolas leant upon him as they both stood.

"Let me clean and then I will let you tend some of my injuries," Legolas offered as way of an ultimatum, trying hard to ignore the grime he was covered in, and failing miserably.

"I am thinking it might be more important for me to see to your injuries, then you eat and sleep first," Aragorn said, purposefully keeping his voice sounding serious as he tried to provoke the elf.

"Aragorn I need no such thing. What I need now is not to look like some warped version of a dwarf! I don't think there is an inch of me that is not plastered in filth! You might not mind going for months without washing, something I will never understand, but I..."

Aragorn burst into full out laughter at this tirade he had managed to goad Legolas into with so little effort. Legolas, realizing he was being played, frowned as his eyes adopted a gleam of anger that the ranger completely ignored.

"But you, my friend," Aragorn said, picking up where Legolas had trailed off, once his laughter had subsided a little. "You are too vain to not be seen in your full glory. No speck of dirt can deter the eye of any who might behold you. Admit it!"

Legolas gasped. "That is most certainly not true! I simply like the feeling of being clean!" The indignation in the tone made Aragorn laugh again.

"Anything you say," he said trying to pacify the riled elf. "I tease you. If you wish to be clean first, then so be it. I am just happy to see you still alive."

Legolas gave him one final exasperated sort of expression before simply nodding, the anger that had been growing within him melting away. "I missed you as well mellon. I have been worried for you. What of Pippin?"

Aragorn smiled yet again, slinging one arm around Legolas as he lead him from the room, so he could subtly help support the elf. "Eating mushrooms in bed no doubt. He will be fine Legolas, so you need not worry for him. His head is much harder then we all gave it credit."

"And the lady? Éowyn?"

"Is also just fine. You need not worry for them, my friend. Think on yourself for once because of all of us, you look in the worst shape."

"I highly doubt that. I am fine. Just dirty," Legolas insisted.

Aragorn raised one sceptical eyebrow but decided he had best not push the elf any farther. If Legolas wanted to believe himself fine, then Aragorn decided it was probably best not to argue the point since the elf was the most stubborn person he knew, and he realized the chances of either of them convincing the other of their stance were slim. Instead, he simply steered Legolas to the bathing chambers where he himself had, washed his face and hands in earlier.

~*~

Pippin stretched tenderly in his bed. The sheets were warmed by the sun that had risen through the window, and he felt toasty and secure under the thick blankets. Blinking his eyes open slowly, he yawned contentedly, wiggling his toes as he awoke from slumber. It was going to be a beautiful day, the hobbit decided with a lopsided smile.

Turning his head from the window, he glanced over at his companion, albeit a somewhat reluctant one. The King of the Mark was propped up by pillows, one hand holding up a book and the other twisting in the blankets that had pooled around his waist. The human seemed absorbed in what he was reading, and yet Pippin could detect an air of impatience emanating from the man. The hobbit was sure that Éomer was still feeling cheated by his inability to move.

Pippin then glanced at the third cot. The lady Éowyn lay in it, curled upon her side, her hair in disarray around her head. The hobbit could not quite recall at what point during the night she had entered and collapsed here but he was glad to see that she was at least granting herself some rest. Her face looked incredibly pale in contrast to the purple bruises which were beginning to appear on it, and Pippin felt she had well earned the chance to sleep.

The door was pushed open then, swinging back roughly to crash lightly against the stone wall. Pippin's head shot up as he saw Aragorn enter, one of his arms wrapped about Legolas' waist. The hobbit opened his mouth, about to offer exciting words of welcome and relief but a sharp shake of Aragorn's head made him pause.

"Lady," Aragorn said softly to the woman who had sat bolt upright upon the pairs entrance, "would you move please."

"Aragorn, I hardly need to displace a lady from her bed..." Legolas began to protest and Pippin was struck with how soft and distant his voice sounded. Éowyn did not need to be told twice, and she leapt from her position, pulling back the blankets a bit more as Aragorn lowered the elf down. Both ignored his objections.

Legolas seemed about to say more, but as he hit the soft bed, his mouth closed and within a moment he was asleep, his eyes nearly shut in exhaustion. Aragorn shook his head lightly, pulling the blankets back over his friend, tucking him in securely.

"Is he going to be alright?" Pippin asked in a soft whisper. Seeing his normally stoic companion in such a state of weakness made Pippin's heart clench in worry, forcing him to voice the question, despite the fact that he did not wish to disturb the elf.

Aragorn frowned, sitting still on the side of the elf's bed, watching him for a long moment as if to assure himself that the elf did sleep. "He has taken some severe injuries in this battle, and old injuries have been re-opened," the human's voice said coldly. He turned grey eyes upon Éowyn who stood near his side. "I had not realized he had come to such harm through your people's actions."

Éowyn blinked for a moment, and then recalled Legolas denying Aragorn the chance to tend the wounds that she herself and seen too. She realized, in a new wave of shame, that for the first time Aragorn was now familiar with the crimes of her people. Her mouth went dry as she attempted to provide him an answer, and yet as she saw the accusation and the disappointment in his gaze, no words could come forth. To her utter horror she felt tears gathering, though she refused to let them fall.

Pippin looked on in confusion, utterly unsure of what to make of this scene. The hobbit wanted to ask questions, and yet the tension in the room was not one he felt comfortable challenging. Éomer cleared his throat, much to the hobbit's relief, ending the staring match that was taking place between the ranger and the lady.

"My people tortured him most brutally," Éomer stated plainly, his tone flat as he made the confession. "We have apologised for our actions and sought ways to make amends. I realize such crimes are not easily atoned for, my lord, but such matters are for Legolas to judge. If you wish to blame someone for the elf's injuries then blame me and not my sister." There was a subtle warning in the King of the Mark's voice that did not go unnoticed by either ranger or hobbit.

Aragorn looked away from Éowyn, not knowing why he suddenly felt betrayed by her, and wondering if perhaps he was being unfair. "My apologies, my lord King. I meant no insult to your honour or that of your kin's," he stated hollowly as his hand stretched out and brushed a damp strand of hair from Legolas' forehead and cheek, laying it aside tenderly. The elf was his closest friend, his most staunch supporter. For years the two had shared confidences and adventures. Legolas was his brother by choice, and a sudden surge in protectiveness was perhaps making him slightly irrational he concluded.

Standing slowly, the ranger offered a small nod of his head, as way of an apology to Éowyn, though he avoided looking into her eyes, not wishing to see the hurt he knew would be visible in them. Looking over at Pippin, the ranger offered him a small encouraging smile. "Elves are resilient creatures, Pip. What would disable a man or hobbit for a week, an elf might mend in a night." It was a slight exaggeration, but not much of one, and if it reassured the hobbit then it was not something Aragorn would regret saying. "He just requires rest. He is exhausted and is suffering the disorienting side-effects of a concussion. He will be well shortly."

The hobbit released an audible sigh of relief, nodding his head and smiling. "Then it is all well. Have food brought up for him, Aragorn, for food heals all ailments! A long standing hobbit remedy is soup broth. It does wonders for the stomach and the mind!"

Aragorn laughed lightly, looking back down on his soundly asleep companion. "I will do this, once he wakes, and I shall place you in charge of making sure he eats every bite of what I send up."

Pippin nodded his head, accepting the charge with determination. "I will make sure he eats. He is far too skinny, though most elves seem to be. It cannot be healthy though! A good hobbit stomach - that is what ever person needs."

"You will have to tell Legolas that when he wakes," Aragorn replied with an amused expression on his face. "Now I must go and tend others. Look after him well Pippin and don't let him get out of bed until I have looked at him again, alright?"

"Understood," Pippin declared.

Still avoiding Éowyn's eyes, the ranger turned and left the room.

Reviewer Responses:

Mellaithwen-ElvenMaiden ~ Yeah, I am sorry there was no Legolas in chapter 30. I really like writing him as a character (he is my favorite) but I am determined to try and give all characters an equal amount of time in the spot-light so I had to go back to Faramir and company. Besides, I am growing rather fond of Merry and Gimli so I like writing about them too! I really like the pronunciation of your pen-name too. It sounds very musical. Very unique. I hope you had a merry Christmas as well and a wonderful new year.

Roper ~ LOL. I know I have gotten bad with updating. I use to update once a week at least but recently… well my new year's resolution was to try and update my story more often so we will see if I can keep it or not. Thanks for your continued support and interest.

Wellduh… ~ Welcome back. I am flattered that you liked my story enough to wait for me to update! Yeah – the last chapter was short… and crappy… I did not like it but I had promised an update and nothing else was coming out so I posted it in the hopes that it would jump start me writing again. I am planning to remain fairly book oriented from here on in. Don't get me wrong I loved Jackson's RotK but there were things in it that I simply do not want to include in my story so Denethor who I am nervous and yet excited about writing will be book-based for the most part. LOL. High-speed chases… I had not thought of it that way but you are right. I should take a stabe at writing second-rate Hollywood action flicks, lol. Yeah – they did get their act together quickly (perhaps fringing on the unrealistic) but I was feeling lazy, lol. Lousy excuse, huh? Glad you are still enjoying regardless of the flaws!

Sirithiliel ~ Hey! Thanks again for all your help on the last chapter. Poor you! Why can't you see RotK in theater? I feel bad for you but I mean if you have to wait then you have to wait and it will be just as good on tv – maybe better since you will be in your own home watching it instead of movie seat!

Elfling ~ Yeah – I know it was short and I am sorry about it, lol. I was just having trouble with that chapter and wanted it done as soon as possible. I am enjoying trying to write Merry and Gimli especially after everything they have been through and developing their bond is important to me – so I am glad you are enjoying it. LOL. Here was lots of Legolas and Aragorn for you! I saw RotK and I liked it overall though there were things that bothered me in it (*cough* Arwen's-fate-being-linked-with-the-destruction-of-the-one-ring *cough*). How did you find it?

Gwyn ~ First off, I am sorry I took so long to review your vignette (which was brilliant). Secondly, thanks for understanding the need of the last chapter and forgiving its all around lameness. I personally could not stand it but posted it for lack of anything else to post, lol. I guess not every chapter of a story this long can be perfect.

Kate Barancik ~ Thanks so much for your continued support. I was amazed by how many people came back to this story after I took forever to update. LOL. Don't worry about updates… I suck at them too and at least you are going to continue writing eventually… as long as you don't stop you can take as long as you would like too in getting the next chapter up. Thanks for your encouraging words!

Bookworm2000 ~ I am glad you like Faramir. In the books he struck me as such a noble and intelligent character. I mean in the books he turned the ring down flat and didn't hold Frodo and Sam up all that long… he certainly did not bring them all the way back to Gondor almost! I really wanted to capture a non-movie influenced Faramir and I am glad I am succeeding. I wanted philosophical. LOL. Glad that reading this entire story was worth it. I am glad you did too as I like sort of getting to know my reviews and I was becoming more and more excited by reviews with Living Legends so now I have your reviews for this story to look forward to too now.

SpaceVixenX ~ LOL. Well I really did deserve that scolding. I know I have been horrid to you all by not updating for so long. It was very cruel of me to do and believe it or not but I felt guilty for doing it especially when I know repeat reviewers like you are so enjoying it. My new years resolution was to try and update more often again so I promise you will not have to wait another four months for the next chapter. Actually Faramir's company was chased back into Gondor by a Nazgul but in the books Gandalf was there and chased them away with a spell of some sort. I am trying to be more book-based for the end of this story. I love the movies and all and will draw on them to an extent but my main information guild now will be Tolkien himself. LOL. Your reviews are never pointless! I love getting them! Thanks for your continued support!

Uchiha Itachi ~ Welcome new reviewer! I don't blame you for skim reading parts of it… this story is supper long. It is over 180 pages on my word processor and that is at size 10 font! It is a LONG story and the first 10 chapters (although setting the stage for the story) were rougher. This is the first real story I have ever written so there were a lot of mistakes and stuff at the beginning that I am glad you missed. I have some bad news for you though – Gandalf is gone. That was really the whole premise of the story… how everything becomes more difficult due to his absence. LOL. I know… I sort of built up your hopes that he would have help and then crushed them. It was my belief that no one else could have gone on with him but Sam because anyone else would have been corrupted by the ring. Even if Aragorn, Pippin and Legolas had been there I still see the ring managing to corrupt them all eventually as it was Merry and Gimli so in essence Frodo had to go on alone. That was my theory behind it anyway. Hope that clarifies my reasons for doing that plot wise for you. Yeah – poor Boromir. Loyal to a fault. I like him as a character. Of all the fellowship I feel that I personally am most like him because he had visible flaws and desires – was the essence of humanity – but that in turn was the seed to his destruction. He is the first character to go and I will warn you now others will follow so he will be in good company. LOL. Yeah… I am proud of the fact that I am cruel, lol. ^_^ Okay that was a really long note to you and I hope it doesn't scare you away… I just love to talk to ignore me, lol.

Rosie ~ LOL. Glad that last scene was movie worthy. I am pleased you could picture it in your head. I wanted to go from graphic so I am pleased I succeeded. LOL. I am glad you find this addictive. That was my goal with it! I love reading your story and will continue to do so Rosie… I have to see how it ends!

Lembas Pot ~ Yay! You came back. I find that usually my anonymous reviews don't leave repeat reviews (with the exception of wellduh…) so I am pleased you are continuing to leave me feedback (since I crave feedback!). I am glad you want to be an author! Writing is an amazing skill and creative writing in particular is just so expressive! I really hope you continue writing (even if is not LotR's fanfic, lol). You should try posting your stuff… if it is original work post it on fictionpress.com… I have an account there and I would go and review you if you left me the link. (^_^) Hope this chapter gave you the Aragorn and Legolas info/attention you were craving! LOL. Wow. *blush* Related to Rowling, huh? She is like a goddess. I love her books. Don't think I am quite on par with her yet but thanks for the comparison. I will try to be quicker with updates from now on!

merrylyn ~ LOL. I am so glad you are back! I get such a kick out of your reviews! I always look forward to getting them (not to put pressure on you, lol). I am so pleased you liked the action, dialogue and interaction of the past three chapters. Everyone seemed to love chapter 29… were baffled by it… but loved it none the less. I was fairly pleased with my descriptions in it as well (not to sound vain). Chapter 30 I was personally disappointed with but it is because I am still unsure with writing action sequences. I love the Nazgul too and I loved the scene in RotK where Eowyn kicks the Witch King's butt. It was perfect! You must have seen RotK by now, what did you think of it? I liked it but the whole Arwen's fate linked with the one ring really ticked me off personally. I found that stupid. Anyway – hope you enjoyed this chapter too!

Niori ~ LOL. Wow… favorite story, huh? Pleased you liked it. I had to drive down to Bathurst to see RotK, which is a 2 and a hald hour drive but it was well worth it. It was amazing and there is nothing like seeing the Witch King battle on a mega-big screen. I was just blown away by it for the most part. Christmas was good if not hectic for me, thanks for asking. I am glad to be back at school though… I find home so small now after living in toronto for 2 years, lol. I am in the middle of doing catch-up reviews and I think I reviewed your already and loved it. I can't wait for your next story!

doG ~ I am so pleased you are enjoying the story. Yeah, poor Boromir. I feel bad for him and I was not intentionally targeting him. As I have said many times before of all the characters I feel the most like Boromir because of his flaws and desires and those same flaws result in his own destruction – both in Tolkien and in this story. If it is any consolation I plan on killing other main characters before the story is done so Boromir will just be one of many… that probably didn't make you feel better though. I am glad you like my writing. I love creative writing and do a lot of original stuff too. I am trying to get into a creative writing course in university but I have to submit a portfolio for it so my fanfiction writing is like practicing for me. Yeah… a few of my book-smart reader's have pointed out that Gandalf did die with the Balrog and was sent back so technically if he were killed by an orc arrow he would still be sent back. This is why I have classified this as an AU story. It's plot was designed as 'what if' he did not come back and just showing how everything becomes more disastrous and difficult due to his absence. You are right in pointing that out though and I hope you simply overlook it. Thanks for your kind words and questions and I hope you continue to read, review and enjoy!

WhiteWolf1 ~ Hey! First off I would just like to say sorry that I got so far behind with your story. You have been such a loyal reviewer to me that it makes me feel guilty when I am not loyal back and I love your story so much that I regret not being there right away to read it! Well on with my response to your review… Legolas and Aragorn were both in this chapter for you. I like Merry as a character too so having a chapter devoted to him was nice – though the last chapter in general sort of sucked. I will try to be quicker with updates from now on… school has just been keeping me so preoccupied but I am going to try and write more this semester. Thanks for your continued support.

Artemisa ~ I know I keep saying this but the twins are coming… I even know when they are going to appear but I do not want to rush my writing to that point. Very soon though… in the next few chapters. Every time I say this now I feel like I am teasing you with it since I have been saying it for like forever! Hope you forgive me for that.

Lisette ~ Yeah… that last chapter I really just wanted to get through. I was not into it at all. It was a gap filler… something that needed to be said. I regret it when I write like that though – I am never satisfied when I rush either. Yet at the same time this story has gone on for much longer then I had anticipated and I do want it to end eventually… maybe by chapter 50, lol. LOL. Yeah I know it was evil of me to leave you hanging with that Legolas cliffy but I have sworn to keep track of all the groups so I was due to go back to Faramir and company, lol. Sorry for the confusion and consequential disappointment. Wow – rereading it all, huh? I have to do that quite a bit just to remember details about what I did to what character and so on and I have gone back and reread stories that I have really liked before too… but I am just pleased that you think this is worth rereading. *blush* I agree – some of the emotional impact was lost in chapter 30 due to the long pause between posting it and the last few chapters. It took me a while to get back into it too. Thanks so much for waiting for me to overcome my writer's block – that was much appreciated as well! I always love getting your reviews!

Cloud-123 ~ Well if you ever get this far I hope you are reassured that I did not get rid of Legolas… he just does not ever impact upon the quest to destroy the ring ever again. Sorry if that upset you.

pupulupk ~ Welcome new reviewer. I am so pleased you are enjoying this story and I am amazed by how much you read to catch up to this point. I am glad you like long stories since this is going to be another 10 to 15 chapters at least, lol. Thanks so much for your compliments and I hope you continue to read and enjoy.