A/N: Wow. Thankyou to all who have reviewed, am exceedingly touched that you all like this so much - and special salutes to those who have read and reviewed my other stories after reading his one! Here's the ending, anyhow. Hope you like it!

Alicia x x x

Aragorn smiled softly at the memory, the fond strands of the much-loved song still lingering in his mind, but at the same time a great sadness filled him suddenly - the Sun had set, the sky now blood-red in anticipation with the darkness drawing nigh, and Legolas was not by his side... he *was* alone. There would be no elf standing by him this time. He felt utterly wretched, and wished with all his heart there was some way to mend this rift between he and his best friend before they faced battle and almost-certain death. In his unhappiness, he again jolted violently when a soft voice came from behind him:

"You are facing a storm, mellon nin, and I am at your side, facing it with you... I keep my promises." Aragorn turned quickly, the voice oh-so familiar, and there was Legolas, standing uneasily upon the stone before the ranger, both hands holding his Lothlorien bow in front of him, making him look very much like a repentant school-child. The elf himself had not changed through all their long years, he was still as fair and as beautiful as ever, except for a slight loss of innocence and gain of hard-learned wisdom in his bright green eyes. Nevertheless, the words he had spoken lovingly that day long ago were not forgotten by him either.

Aragorn stood up, and walked slowly towards his estranged companion, who would not look at him and kept his large eyes studiously averted, fixed on the large stone flagstones beneath his feet. It was not until the ranger placed himself completely in front of the elf that Legolas finally glanced up at him warily through his dark eyelashes. There was a pause were nothing was said, and the two friends were just watching one another, until Aragorn muttered gently in confirmation with a nod of his dark head, "Aye, you always do."

Legolas looked at him fully then, green eyes lit, and a stream of words seemed to burst suddenly from his soul: "I am *so* sorry, Estel, I did not mean to make you unhappy in any way. Of *course* I will stand by you and Gimli and defend these people, for as long as I possibly can." He smiled ruefully for a second, but it faded away with his tone of self-disgust, "I almost forgot that I am supposed to be looking out for you - I couldn't even look out for you when those Wargs attacked. Can you forgive me for my fear and hesitation? Even though they nearly made me break my promise?" His eyes fell away once more and focused on his green suede boots as he hung his golden head, expecting the answer to be negative, and Aragorn had to physically take hold of the elf's chin and lift it to drag the eyes back to meet his again.

"You always keep your promises," he stated firmly again, grey eyes wide and full of conviction, and the words were spoken in utter earnest. Legolas never, ever willingly broke a promise, and always did all he could to keep his word. It was a matter of honour for him, one of the reasons Aragorn respected him so much. "I know your heart better than you do, mellon nin, and know it was not fear for yourself that made you hesitate... I know you, Legolas - do not think you can fool me."

Legolas smiled faintly, and pulled his chin from Aragorn's rough hand, but still looked saddened by the way he had acted, percieving himself wrongly at that moment to be weak-minded and a coward. His pointed ears and high cheeks were tinted pale-pink in shame, an obvious characteristic he had when embarrassed, and though he would now look Aragorn in the eye, he tried not to. Instead, he looked out at the horizon, standing slightly but completely apart from his best friend - though it seemed to Aragorn that there were many leagues between them suddenly.

The ranger was left at an utter loss as what to do - he was so willing to forgive his friend, already had done in fact... there had been no qualms in his mind about that, but the question now was: would Legolas accept his forgiveness? The elf obviously didn't feel worthy of such a grace given to him by the wronged man, and Aragorn knew that the elf's heart was still troubled, one only had to look at his face. An awkward moment passed uneasily between the two warriors as they both looked out at the plains before the Deep, one of few uneasy silences that had ever occurred during their lengthy friendship.

Then Aragorn suddenly lighted upon an idea that was, in his opinion, possibly one of the best he had ever had. He hesitated, embarrassed slightly for the Rohirrim who milled all about them would hear, but then, eyes still gazing upon the landscape, he collected his courage and began to sing softly under his breath. A song of a friendship that would not be broken by any storm nor be held back by any crowd of strangers.

As soon as he heard the beginnings of the song, Legolas' golden head whipped round so he was facing his best friend, and a smile began to creep across his face, green eyes glinted gently with fondness. He simply stood there in silence for a time, listening with his head tipped to one side slightly as Aragorn finished the song, his deep voice nearly as fair as an elf's, for all the pratice it got. When it ended, Legolas spoke up quietly, his smile still lingering, "I thought you men were supposed to have memories like sieves."

Aragorn chuckled, eyes still on the elf's pale face, "Aye, in certain things... but not in others." And he held up his left hand, showing Legolas the long-cherished ring on his forfinger. Understanding flashed immediately through the prince's eyes, and after a long moment he finally nodded with acceptance, then laughed merrily - and that was what truly let Aragorn know that his best friend had forgiven himself. The ranger suddenly felt all was right in the world - it did not matter if battle was coming for them, for someone special stood now at his side.

"What a fine pair we make, you and I! Both as daft as each other!" the elf grinned in his old way as Aragorn placed a hand on his slender shoulder and gripped it brotherly, gladdened beyond words by the turn of personal events.

"I'll second that," came a gruff, weary voice from somewhere beneath them, and they both looked down to see Gimli frowning good-naturedly at them. "Finally! I thought you dozy lads would never make it up... glad to know this battle's in safe hands, eh?"

The two best friends laughed, the sound making those strangers around them smile despite their worries.

Suddenly, the clear, triumphant note of a horn rang out through the valley. Aragorn and Legolas looked at each other, and Legolas' green eyes were wide and bright all of a sudden, knowing implicitly the call of his people. "That is no orc-horn," he stated, excitement prickling his tone unconsciously. All three warriors ran to the wall with those Rohirrim about them at the time to get a better look - and there, merely bright dots on the horizon, they witnessed the coming of a huge army of fair elves that were marching steadily towards the battlement, making their way to the desperate battlement of their long-seperated allies, lending their support to the race of Men in this dark hour of need - volunteering freely to stand by their friends. Legolas looked to his best friend, eyes alight, and they shared a smile.

This brave act was not forgotten in the histories of the world... nor were any acts of courage determined by friendship during that time, for far away, in Mordor, two small hobbits struggled ever onwards.



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