A/N: *Sob*... last chapter folks - will explain why and thank you all at the end. You all rocked as reviewers the whole way through this collection of vignettes and I hope you'll stick with me!

Hope you like this... I went for the more 'slathered-with-sentimentality' approach than is usual for me, inspired by Sam's little speech at the end of The Two Towers that always, ALWAYS moves me to sobs, and makes one of my friends (who I *always* seem to end up watching LOTR with for some reason) laugh at me. Ah well, it's a beautiful little number, and I've tried to show how Sam's the.... beacon of hope to the rest of the fellowship. A nice ending, I feel, and hope you do to.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Samwise: Eternal Optimist ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The fellowship were utterly, thoroughly and irreversibly miserable. They were soaked to the core and chilled to the bone; they were sleep-deprived and marrow-weary; they were hungry and irritable, humourless and vicious. And all that because of rain.

The rain had started up about an three and a half hours ago... and had not stopped since. Not only had it not stopped, causing the company to have to halt for the time being, but it was freezing cold in itself, the sort of rain that would be hail if it were just a mite colder. Not that it needed to be any colder, mushrooms knew it was cold enough.

So it seemed to the nine walkers that Middle-earth had temporarily been turned into some dank, washed-out watercolour painting, the edges running and blurred, and the subject moody. They were stuck with nothing to cheer them, and no end to the misery in sight. They could not even light a fire, for the rain had drenched everything it fell upon right through. Samwise Gamgee eyed his friends with growing concern, mind plodding steadily through the varied ways of how he could cheer any of them up. They sat in a small, disfigured circle, each thinking of their own things and in too foul a mood to talk much. Gandalf was trying in vain to start up his pipe under the cover of his large blue hat, which had a waterfall dripping off the sides of the brim - even resorting to using a little bit of magic in his desperation, only to find the weed too wet anyways - he was completely absorbed in this futile task, trying to take his mind off of the dreary turn of events. Gimli was huffing quietly to himself, head angled downwards - Sam was sure that the dwarf's face had been visible, it would have been frowning.

Beside him was Boromir, laying back stiffly against a large boulder, water pooling upon his broad shoulders. At that moment, his mind was consumed in the notion of the amount of water that was beginning to soak through his water-proof leather tunic, but he was too weary to move and avoid such a thing. Leaning back on his numb legs at an angle were the small hunched figures of Merry and Pippin, the former feeling unnaturaly cold and having developed a nasty cough and stuffed nose from the day before where he had been knocked accidently into the stream by the apple tree though the childish antics of Aragorn and Legolas. Peregrin, on the other hand, was thinking of how he might just be starving to death - his stomach kept giving him nasty reminders about how hungry he truly was - a few hours ago, as the rain had started, Boromir, Legolas and Aragorn had had a whale of a time hunting this huge, majestic deer, the fun they had had rivalled only by the triumph they had felt upon catching it. They returned from their successful romp with broad, proud grins on all their faces, only to find a fire unable to be lit in order to cook their prize.

Peregrin was idily wondering just how long it would be until he ate venison raw.

At the other side of and leaning into Gandalf was Frodo, who was fairly cold and despondent, but not quite as miserable as the others. He had wrapped his cloak completely about him, as though trying to hide himself away from the rain, and pulled the collars of his jacket up and about his chin, giving him an unnaturally frail, sickly appearence as the brown velvet of the worn jerkin contrasted against his ever-pale skin, soaked ebony hair and ice-blue eyes. The gentlehobbit was willing to merely wait out this miserable period for as long as it took, and was quite happy to just sit quietly and think - though he could have done without all the rain they had been 'blessed' with.

Next to the halfling sat Legolas and Aragorn together. The ranger sat with his knees apart and drawn up to his chest, and between his limbs sat the elf, leaning back comfortably against the strong chest of his best friend, frowning into the distance. It was a position the pair took to a lot of the time, almost as though they moved into it without thinking - it was obvious they had taken this postion many times along their former travels and adventures and disasters. Aragorn had his guarded forearms resting upon the prince's narrow shoulders, letting his hands hang down in front of the Legolas' chest while the elf had his long legs stretched out and his slender hands folded silently in his lap, scowling darkly at the sheeting rain as if to glare at it would make it leave them forever. Aragorn's dark hair was plastered to his head and completely straight, Legolas' golden hair, however, had grown quite a bit since Gimli's impromptue barbering (a lot faster than a mortal's would have done), so as it reached the nape of his long neck, just gracing his shoulders - but with the rain it was spiky and seperated, sticking up at odd angles from his head, making him look rather strange. He kept having to lick his lips or swipe away angrily at his face, the rivers running down through his long eyelashes and hanging in droplets off the end of his nose were quite annoying, and Aragorn kept wiping his face on the elf's shoulder. Both sets of eyes were fixed on nothing.

Sam frowned slightly as he thought, his freckled face scrunching. There was no way he could let this down-hearted feeling carry on and discourage his fellowship or Mr. Frodo... there *must* be something he could do. He set out bravely, "Mr. Legolas, your hair seems to be growing back just fine, heh?"

Legolas flashed him a quick half-smile, appreciating his efforts, but then went back to scowling into the distance, too vexed to help even Samwise out in his endevours.

Sam frowned ~Well, that didn't really work, did it?~ He looked to Gandalf, trying again, "I reckon that weed'll dry out no problem, once the rain stops."

Gandalf looked up at him coldly, dark blue eyes flashing, "Aye - *once* the rain stops."

"Which it probably *never* will," added Pip mournfully, rubbing at his empty belly.

Merry sneezed.

Sam opened his mouth as though to say something, but found that he actually couldn't - there was nothing he *could* say to cheer his fellowship, so he closed his mouth and looked to his large, hairy feet instead. So he never saw Frodo's knowing look and small smile as he gazed upon his gardener - Sam didn't know he had succeeded in one instance. Frodo took pity on Samwise - knowing what the younger hobbit was trying to do, just going about it the wrong way; see the problem was that Sam was asking rather close-ended questions... barely leaving any room for discussion. Frodo's sharp mind concluded that the only way to cheer up the fellowship and get them speaking would be to draw them into debates of some sorts. Hs cast his eye around the company, and spotted Sam's chance. "What are you thinking of there, Pippin?" he asked, as if he didn't know.

Pip answered immediately and without fault, "Food."

Sam looked up, confused, until he spotted his master's bright eyes twinkling gently. He grinned, understanding his kind friend implicitly, and set out again on his idea, "What's your *favourite* food, Mr. Pippin?"

This made Merry stop coughing and snuffling for a moment and look, mildly- interested, at his cousin, Boromir also turned his head slightly to hear the outcome, having nothing else to do. In fact, the whole of the fellowship had taken an interest in the topic - some a little half- heartedly, but that didn't really matter, just as long as they did. Pippin opened his mouth, and then paused, thinking steadily. Merry jumped into the pause with, "Mine's apples... in anything - pies, sandwiches, tarts - they're my favourite. Boromir, how about you?"

"Steak," the warrior said without a doubt. Gimli nodded passionately at this, indicating that that was his favourite also, numerous droplets of water flying from his rusty-red beard as he did so. Boromir continued, bemusement obvious, "And *apple sandwiches*, hobbit?"

Merry, wiping his nose on the sleeve of his coat - much to Frodo's disgust - nodded with a grin, "They're a delicacy in the Shire."

Pippin snorted, "They are *not*! You only invented them a year or so ago - no one else eats them."

At this, Aragorn called out, "Hobbits not eating things, can this be true?" Legolas chuckled softly from where he sat, and took more of an interest in the conversation than he had previously, turning about slightly. He lost the dry spot on his back that had been made with Aragorn's chest (which also became quickly soaked at the change in position) but he mused that it was going to be worth being in that conversation.

"What's your favourite, Strider?" asked Sam, pushing the debate furthur eagerly - he decided he would do this until everyone either forgot about the rain, or it stopped... whichever came first.

"Chicken - can't beat it in my books," the ranger said with a decisive nod that dislodged a pool of water from the top of his head so as it came craching down his face and he had to lift his arm from Legolas' shoulder to wipe it.


"Fish... a plate of smoked salmon is my absolute favourite dinner."

"You know, I don't think I've ever had salmon... is it nice?"

"Yes you have, Pippin, don't you remember Odovacar Bolger's umpteenth birthday party? You almost drank the stuff."

"You can't *drink* smoked salmon, Merry..."

"Frodo, it was a figure of speech!"

And so the debates continued, taking on many different forms and varieties, some humourous, some ending in heated arguments, but all achieving Samwise's goal in getting the fellowship's minds off of their current situation. For at least a short while, all there temporarily forgot or disgarded the fact that they were still wet and chilled, and that the rain *still* fell all about them. In fact, it was only when conversations turned to the matter of ladies that the fellowship slipped back into melancholy silence again. The incident began as such:

"So how's your Rosie, then, Sam?" Pippin asked slyly with a smile that was far too mischevious for Sam's liking upon his auburn-freckled face, green eyes alight and glinting.

Sam blushed immediately red, and looked to his feet, "She aint *my* Rosie," he mumbled with embarrassment, thankful suddenly for the vast amounts of rain that still fell and cooled his heated cheeks.

Boromir's ears almost seemed to prick up, "Rosie?" he asked, expression amusingly inquisitive - Frodo though Boromir almost looked like a small child when he was intrigued about something. When the warrior got no reaction off of Sam - except a further blushing of his apple-dimpled cheeks - he prodded Merry in the ribs, for the elder of the troublesome two could usually be relied upon to give more of the truth than Pip. "Merry, who is Rosie?"

"Rose Cotton is Sam's galfriend," Merry stated excitedly, "and she's the fairest hobbit-lass in all the Shire."

"Well, now," Pippin piped up his objections as though personally insulted, and pointed out with indignance, "That Diamond's no heiffer, is she?"

Aragorn snorted at the hobbit's bluntness ~Pippin should be refered to as 'blunt-object' from here thereforth~ he mused, rolling his slated-grey eyes to the skies, and blinking into the downpouring rain. But in exclaiming his mirth, he inadvertantly drew the company's attention to himself - and he really rather wished he hadn't almost as soon as he realised all eyes were on him.

"And we *all* know who's Aragorn's love, don't we?" cried Boromir, a wide grin spreading itself across his mirthful bearded face.

"*Lady Arwen*," chorused Merry, Pippin, Boromir, Legolas and Gimli - even Gandalf and Frodo joined in slightly. Sam didn't, as he was still too busy trying to stop blushing.

But Aragorn, however, was not easily embarrassed, and refused to blush in reference to his love which he held so proud and true to his heart - he and Arwen had struggled for others to recognise their love, and he wasn't about to be ashamed of it in front of those they had worked so hard showing. So he held his dark head up high in defiance, dark-grey eyes flashing dangerously. He turned on Boromir, who he believed had instigated the whole assault against his name - vengence would be his. "Well, at least I *have* someone of the fairer sex waiting for me when I return..." he stated catily.

"Hey, I have someone to be getting back to and all, ruffian," Boromir called out with assurance, grinning.

"Really?" Both younger hobbits turned in surprise to him, and Aragorn even leaned forward with a changed expression, not expecting the warrior to be able to contradict what he said. It seemed all the fellowship had been completely unaware that Boromir was attatched to anyone in that way. "Who?"

"My wife," Boromir answered, frowning in confusion at their reactions - he thought he'd talked of her before.

"You have a wife?" "I really did not know that!" "Why didn't you say so before?" An army of questions was volleyed at the poor Gondorimm, and he looked more and more like a coney caught in a lantern's light.

"Well, I *did* say... I think... I thought I had - her name is Jolina, and she awaits my homecoming eagerly- " Boromir trailed off with a wide smile.

"None of us knew about her," said Aragorn quietly, mildly shocked and disgusted with himself that he had not known about such a major part of his friend's life. He couldn't believe this. Boromir wore no band upon his finger, and Aragorn was sure he hadn't spoken of her before then - but he should have known anyway... right?

"Actually," Legolas raised his hand. "I knew."

Aragorn whirled on him, studying the pale face, "*You knew*? How? He hasn't said anything."

Boromir was also mildly intrigued, "Yeah, how did you know, elf?"

Legolas shrugged, "Well, you've got the golden ring on a chain about your neck... along with the silver one from your mother." The company turned as one to Boromir, who's face was just as amazed as the others. He slowly drew out the chain about his neck, not taking his golden-brown eyes off of the elf... and sure enough, there were two simple yet beautiful rings of different hues that jangled as they moved and clinked together. The company all looked back to the fair prince, jaws slack, but Legolas merely shrugged again, and murmured, "I thought it was pretty obvious, myself."

That made Aragorn immediately angry for some reason - he *hated* it when Legolas knew something he didn't and then acted as though it was something everyone should know... granted he might be taking out the frusrations he felt at himself out on his best friend, but that wasn't the point! He jabbed the elf viciously in the ribs, "Yeah, you want to talk about obvious, let's talk about Evylenn, *shaaaall* we?" Legolas' face blanched white and the ranger continued, answering the questions before Merry and Pippin managed to ask them, and before his best friend could stop him. "She's a beautiful elf-maiden, mahogany curls, hazel eyes - one of the fairest in all of Mirkwood - and she and Legolas persist to dance about one another like a pair of prudes - everyone knows Legolas has her heart, but he just won't do anything about it... he's too chicken, you see," he finished triumphantly, grinning at the predictably wide, teasing smiles on the hobbit's faces, Gimli's roaring chuckles, and the prince's apoplectic stutterings.

"I do *not* have Evy's heart!" Legolas finally managed to cry after a time, his usually-deep voice an octave or two higher than was natural, leaf- shaped ears tinged pink with flustered embarrassment as he fumbled over his words in his agitation. He turned about to stare at Aragorn, who had taken his forearms off of the prince's shoulders and was leaning back with them crossed smuggly to accomodate Legolas.

"Yes you do," Aragorn stated with confidence and a definitive nod of his dark head. "Everyone knows of it."

"*I* did not even know of it!"

"Well, you're not renowned for your brightness are you, my prince?"

"So, is Evy very beautiful, Legolas?" Sam asked loudly and pointedly, trying to diffuse the situation before Legolas could lunge at Aragorn as he had the day before over much less than a jest and question of his intelligence... Sam percieved it to be his own fault they had gotten onto this topic in the first place - he couldn't have anybody getting injured because of his bumbling efforts to help.

Legolas' silver eyes softened immediately to a deep green and he smiled slightly, body deflating and untensing at once. Sam's simple question had stopped him in his tracks and potentially saved Aragorn. "Aye, she is - heart, body and soul." And with that he fell silent again, mind wandering the paths of Mirkwood with the part of his heart that still resided there... perhaps, if he returned to Mirkwood, he would speak with her over private matters... he ignored the huge grin on everyone else's faces, concentrating only on the one that would greet him when he got back to his home.

In fact, all of the fellowship slipped into silence again when their smiles at Legolas gradually faded, their own minds taking to their homelands with their loved ones, or musing over small things. And the misery that had held such a grip on them all earlier began to creep up on them all again, feeding off their hearts and the wish of returning home when their quest was over.

Pippin was counting all those hobbit-lasses who he would miss and already was missing... in more ways than one; Gimli was concentrating vaguely over the fact that he'd never even seen a woman-dwarf - at least, not that he knew of; and Boromir was wishing his Joline was with him to sooth away the numbness in his legs the way only she knew how. Frodo was thinking of Bilbo, and how much already he missed his elderly cousin, and whether he would ever see him laughing again; Merry was back with his clan in the great Brandybuck Halls; Aragorn's mind was filled completely with the beautiful face of the Undomiel and Legolas was thinking of what he might say to the fair Evylenn when he returned... *if* he returned, and was considering the daunting notion that he might never have a chance to say what he truly felt, and not just to Evylenn, but to his father and siblings as well. Gandalf was trying to calculate how long it would take for his weed to dry out, and Samwise was wallowing in the failure of his attempt to cheer everyone's spirits.

Finally, he could not take it any longer, and he stood abruptly. "Look, we've *got* to keep our hearts up... if we start to falter in our hopes, we'll never get to where we're trying to go, and there'll be no point to *any* of this! All we've done and been through and faced already won't mean a blessed thing to anyone! And darkness such as those wraiths'll take over the Shire and our homes and our families - there'll be nowhere to hide. We *have* to keep our chins up, we have to ignore the rain and the clouds and the cold, and just keep on going, think about the Sun that's behind it all, behind the clouds. It's hard now, and it'll be hard again... but I *know* it'll get better... I know it..."

Sam trailed off in hope as he noticed for the first time his friends' reactions to him and his heart's feelings. Boromir was looking down to his still-numb legs, ashamed that he had even been thinking of himself in times such as these - he had always been so selfless when it came to the rest of the fellowship, Sam knew he had nothing to be ashamed of. Merry and Pip's eyes were wide and wary - it was obvious they hadn't really taken in a word he'd said and were just in shock, startled by the outburst that had suddenly overtaken their quiet friend. Gimli cleared his throat, not uncomfortably though, and nodded towards his boots... he seemed to understand what Sam had been trying to say and take it in his short stride.

The hobbit garderner then looked to Aragorn, who's mouth was uncouthly hung open in an unflattering picture of surprise as he sat up that little bit straighter, he seemed to be having trouble forming any words at all, which was rather unusual for him. Legolas, meanwhile, had his fair head tilted to one quizzically, green eyes narrowed in something opposite to suspicion, almost as if he were weighing Sam up, but then again, not so... Sam couldn't quite place it - a queer half smile was spread across the prince's handsome face and his eyes began to twinkle. He grinned suddenly as if he had reached a decision in his mind, nodded as Gimli had done, spraying water from his spiky golden hair, then calmly reached across to gently close Aragorn's bearded jaw with a snap.

Gandalf set aside his still-unlit pipe, pulled himself up and stood next to Sam, placing a gnarled hand tenderly upon the halfling's small, soaked shoulder and squeezing it gently with a warmth that Sam could feel beaming down upon him from the wizard's deep, wise blue eyes. Some strange sort of pride filled Sam's heart at this simple gesture. The long silver beard twitched with barely-concealed amusement, dislodging the droplets of water that had hung as if on a spider's web there. The wizard kindly said, "Samwise is spot on, as always - we have been squalling in misery for quite long enough and our indulgence has been quenched for the time being - it is time to behave like the adults we are and move on. People are counting on us, and we are *not* about to let them down." And with that, he turned, picked up his pack, and then made as if to go.

One by one, the fellowship pulled themselves and each other to their feet without another word, and followed Gandalf. As each companion passed Sam, they each patted him on the back, clapped him on the shoulder, or ruffled his hair, the affection and gratitude they felt for the young hobbit plain to all who saw. And Sam was left all alone, breathless. He looked up and his dark brown eyes immediately met those familiar ice-blue orbs of his master. They twinkled gently with fondness.

"Well, Samwise, I must hand it to you - you are the eternal optimist, if I do say so," the gentle-hobbit chuckled.

"I don't understand it, sir," Sam frowned, trying to run through the past thirty seconds or so in his mind, wishing to figure out what had just happened. "Alls I said was what was needed."

"Yes," chuckled Frodo, smiling again his wonderful smile that was becoming far too much of a rarity in recent times. "Exactly." He reached out and pulled Sam into a tight hug of gratitude, always thankful that Sam was there on this journey with him. It was a hug that the garderner returned as best he could, awkward until he thought about the notion that this was exactly what his master needed, and had needed all along. He hugged back with equal fervour at once.

Frodo pulled away, dipped his head again in thanks, dark curls bobbing, and then walked past, leaving poor Sam more bemused than ever. But things became hust that little bit clearer to him as he looked to where the fellowship were beginning to start their travels again, starting to walk away from their settlement of misery.

Gimli trudging squarly at the side of Gandalf, looking intently at the wizard's long pipe as if to seek out a fault in it that prevented it from lighting as Gandalf talked to him. The height difference was comical, but somehow strangely normal, now. Behind them walked the trio of fast friends: Boromir, Aragorn and Legolas. The elven prince was in the middle of executing a pretty fair impression of his best friend's face at the end of Sam's speech as they walked, which Boromir was howling to and Aragorn was trying to look mildly offended at and failing miserably. Arms were being flung about animatedly and mouths were moving so fast they seemed to be a blur, all talking at once but listening to everything the others said. The way they usually talked.

And behind them was walking Merry, Pippin and Frodo. Pip had both his arms flung high up and around the shoulders of his elder cousins, and had begun swinging from them on every other step, letting them carry him for short periods of time. Frodo obviously did not appreciate this motion, as he promtly jabbed the young, troublesome Took under his armpit, which made Pippin squeak and lose balance at once, falling to the floor in a heap. Merry and Frodo paused only to pick him back up again before they carried on walking, their conversation not having paused once, as if nothing extraordianry had happened.

Sam chuckled, heart suddenly light - everything was how it should be again. The fellowship were in their cheerful dispositions once more, and could carry on for a fair while like that. They'd be okay, he knew it.

Something perculiar made him squint up at the sky and, surprised, mumbled, "Would you look at that." It was no longer raining, and the Sun was beginning to shine herself behind the clouds that were being swiftly blown across the horizon, out of her path. Sam grinned again, brown eyes twinkling in his happiness. He jammed his hands into his pockets and began whistling a tune from the Shire as he followed his friends there and back again.

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Well, folks... that's it - please review it; I hope I didn't fumble the ending or leaving you all disappointed. Let me know about the whole collection as well, if you want... even those who have never reviewed this before. I like to hear from you! I am gonna say something for everyone who reviewed in the last chapter, 'cause a whole load of you crawled out of the woodwork suddenly - I hope you in particular are gonna review this! Apologies to those of you who reviewed in earlier chapters and are still reading, but that's what you get for not reviewing regularly - I can't thank you so well now! You'll find a lot of answers in the following, as to why I am not continuing etc. So here goes!

Pheobe - Thankyou so much, that's very touching. I have a permenant grin writing them! It's a bit of a cheat, really, because I just write what I want our fellowship to do, this whole collection of works is really just indulging myself! I hadn't heard from you before, so I dubb you ine of the 'Woodwork Crew'!

Starlit Hope - One of my more avid followers, thanks for reading all my other things as well, hope you stick with me! Also, double- kudos for putting me on your fav. author list!

Tinania Lindaleriel - Personal developments are my favourite bits as well, can you tell? ... Also I'm too scared to handle the big epics yet, but hopefully, one day!

Lady Laswen - I can;t continue this, sorry! Loved hearing from you though! And cheers.

Beth - Did you notice I put in the bit about Legolas' hair growing faster just for you? Consider it your reward for your constant reviews the whole way through this saga. My ego just keeps swelling with each and every one of your lovely reviews! I would love to continue with more dramatic vignettes, but at the moment I haven't even tested the water of that genre yet - plus, I personally think the vignettes have run their course. They weren't supposed to have any plot to them, they were just the light- hearted banter bits in between... designed specifically for relief, whether comic or emotional. They've been such a joy to write, but... don't tell anyone, but I've run out of ideas for mere vignettes! And I think you'd all get a bit bored of me if I continued them any further! I going to quit whilst I'm ahead for the first time in my life! Thankyou, Beth, for your ongoing support - it was truly appreciated.

Xena - Another one of the old-school crew... thankyou so much for sticking with me from the beginning - I'm hating this story going as well!

Arwen Granger - This was the last one, I'm afraid... but cheers for reviewing!

Amorous - Another veteren of Vignettes... look to Beth's bit above as to why I am not carrying on. Hopefully you're gonna keep with me - I have some solid gold stories coming up that I am not only chuffed to bits with, but think you'll like! Good guess, though - that Sam was last... I'm sure I've been busted by you before! I love doing fellowship stuff, it's my fave, aside from Aragorn/Legolas friendship, of course. Yeah, I was talking about my unintenional making Legolas' physical attributes extremely handsome without realising it! I've been told off in my Bounty Hunter story about fixating on Han too much... I can't help it - I always go on about the one's I love! Thankyou!!! Also, double-kudos for putting me on your fav. author list!

Hobbitfeet13 - You know, I didn't even think about the Ring when Frodo's in the pool! You are startlingly observant to catch that... so, to save face, I'm going to say... 'Yes, it *was* because it was early in the storyline and the Ring isn't growing on everyone's minds yet' *ahem* And, no - the thing with Legolas' mother is my take on what could have happened to her - I'm all for angst and tragedy, you see. Nothing is acutally written about Legolas' family, I don;t think, except for his father and grandfather... so you can just fill in the gaps! If you're looking for a story with a plot, I have a fellowship one coming up when Legolas takes his friends with him when he finally returns back to Mirkwood 3 years after the War of the Ring. It's all about Legolas' family, prejudices against Dwarven-kind, friendship, and something terrible happens... how's that for a plot?

Rigue Sparrow - I think, when it comes down to it, all my stuff is a little like this. The element of farce! Thankyou for expressing your mirth!

Artemisa - *blush* Thankyou... that was really nice. And there's no need to yell. *grin* Thankyou for pledging your intention of staying with me! Your support from the beginning has always been looked for, cheers again.

Grumpy - Despite your name, you've been really kind in your reviews, and I am thanking you for the on-running support.

Serpent of Light - You're very amusing in your reviews, sometimes you love a chapter and are all excited, other times you sound so sophisticated and experienced. Either way, your rewievs have definately been appreciated, and I am glad you read these stories, however late you joined us!

James8 - Very nice to hear from you, you lurker! I was so pleasantly surprised when you reviewed - I don't think you're terrible at it, your kind review made me grin. Thanks.

Dragonfly32 - And a hello to you too! I am glad you like Legolas/Aragorn antics... They're my favourites, too, and I can't resist putting them in all my stories! Stick with me, there's a Mirkwood friendship story I'm posting pretty darn soon - reckon you'll like it!

Jebb - Again, someone who's read and reviewed from the beginning - thankyou so much. No can do with the sequel, I'm afraid... but other stories will be coming up!

LilyBaggins - Have heard from you a few times and it makes me smile when I spot your reviews... thankyou for your kind reviews.

Sirith - *ahem* PITCHFORKS! *ahem* I am waiting for your post!!!! I don;t think I need to say how greatful I am that you have reviewed... you already know!

Star-Stallion - Double-kudos for putting me on your fav. authors list, and thankyou so very much for reviewing.... hope you stick with me! Unfortunately, that was the end, but I have other stories to come!

Well, that's it... I've loved every minute of writing this story; never has it been a chore. Sad to leave it, but life must go on... and that's it for cliches as well! Thankyou so very much, all of you! Hope to see you again! AlicA x