A/N: Wow, thankyou to everyone who reviewed - I really hadn't expected such a response, and was writing for my own personal enjoyment more than anything else... but you lot like your sweet humour, don;t you? Well, good! It made me smile to read your reviews, and thanks very much for writing them.

elfmage: Me? Angst? *ahem* Yes, well... no, this story isn't I'm afraid - but I suppose it could be read like that. And you can never have too much Legolas angst/in pain stories about... but this one is merely me trying to get a little away from... *properly* hurting the poor elf all that much - because I seem to manage it in all my stories some way or another pretty much. And if you like Legolas angst etc. you should definately *definately* DEFINATELY watch out for this fic I am going to publish after 'Survival' that's also set in Mirkwood, and it's about Legolas taking the fellowship with him when he returns home, three years after the War of the Ring, anxious about his father will react as he left without the King's consent. But that is not all that happens.... I can tell you right now that it'll be long and full of angst, humour, pain, fluff, *tragedy*... everything. You interested?

Deana, SireenC and Veryawen: Yes, it was a bit harsh how Legolas was the only one who did any work the whole day. But maybe the twins and Aragorn will get their commupence? You shall see!

Also warm thanks to everyone else who reviewed with this story, you have been greatly appreciated and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Please don't forget to review at the end and let me know what you thought about the whole story, as well as this last chapter. Who knows, you might see some more things like this coming up soon? Hope you like, and cheers again.

AliciA.

P.S Can I just say that I did a little detective work and the occaision mentioned later on in this chapter is exactly right... am dead chuffed with this accuracy! I also found out that Aragorn's birthday is on March 1st, if you want to know.



Aragorn yawned massively, stretching his arms out as he walked, popping his back and shoulders satisfyingly. The strong painkilling tea he had consumed that morning was wearing off now that evening had fallen, and an annoying, dull pain had returned to the sides of his head once more. He felt only a little better for the day of rest he had been given - no doubt he'd feel better in the morning, as his adar always said.

Now, he was simply wandering about The Last Homely House, trying to find something to do, something that wasn't too strenuous. He couldn't find any of his friends, and suspected they had all crashed as they'd more than likely been forced to carry on as they normally did - the young ranger was actually feeling rather smug about his unexpected break, and would not miss the chance to rub the sore fact in when he met again with his brothers and mates. But Legolas was either out still running himself into the ground, or in his well-deserved bed, dead for the next twenty hours; Martonia and his other friends probably hadn't even gotten up at all that day, the state they were in the night before; and who knew where the twins were.

As Aragorn rounded the corner leading to the doors which opened onto a sheltered verandah, overlooking the wooded path down to the pool of the waterfall, however, he spotted the narrow backs of his dark-haired brothers, kneeling either side of the high-backed bench, facing the scenery. He grinned and called out, though still being rather careful of his fragile head, "You two layabouts! What're you doing?"

It confused him to no end when Elladan promptly leapt from where he knelt, rushing over to him, waving his arms about and making an urgent "*Shhhhhhh- shu*!" sort of sound with his teeth. Aragorn stopped with puzzlement, in the process of going to shout out again, so he held his breath and bit his lip. He then raised a dark brow at the elder twin as he neared the northerner. "What's your problem?" he whispered as he leant his head in conspiratorially to Elladan's, assuming that if he talked quietly he would not get scolded. "And why am I whispering?" He spared a glance to Elrohir, to see if the younger twin could give him any indication as to the cause of such odd behaviour, but Elrohir wasn't looking at him, his eyes were diverted downwards, on a level to where he was kneeling.

But Elladan merely grinned weakly at him, face still pale from the previous night's excursions but his dark blue eyes seeming to be less bloodshot than they had been that morn. He indicated Aragorn should follow him, and led him around the side of the wooden bench. And there, previously hidden by the high back, lay the last prince of Eryn Lasgalen, dead to the world and in the realms of Elven dreams. Legolas' brilliant green eyes were more than half closed as he slept on his back, hand on heart and head turned slightly towards the back of the chair, and golden hair streaming down the side of the bench. Aragorn smiled fondly. "Aww, isn't he sweet," he said mockingly and looked to his brothers, who were grinning also. "When did you find him?"

"Only a moment or so ago," said Elrohir quietly, mindful of their slumbering friend. "Reckon he's been actually working all day, otherwise he wouldn't have chosen this spot to sleep and show his exhaustion - you know what he's like."

"Aye," said Aragorn. And he did - Legolas was a Mirkwood elf, and it was a trait of those from Eryn Lasgalen to have a proud streak down to their core, going out of their way not to show any weaknesses they believed they shouldn't have, thinking it would make them appear less if they let others know if they were tired or ill or injured. They had this streak because they lived in such dangerous conditions, and it was natural to them to want to keep themselves distant and appear as the force to be reckoned with that they were. It seemed that they had to appear dignified and highly-capable and independent at all times. And Legolas himself had this proud streak about league or so wide - many a time had he caused trouble to himself because he did not want to admit that he was hurt or exhausted... it was something which drove Aragorn half-mad, though he himself was 'The Master of the Diversionary Tactic' when it came to injuries. "Well, I haven't," he said, remembering to gloat, "adar let me sleep through my tutorial all day... so I feel a *lot* better now."

"Well, our dearest Glorfindel is either foolish or ingenius - he let us sleep away the afternoon, so we're almost back to normal, too," returned Elrohir with a smug smile, determined not to let the human get the better of him when it came to anything..

"So, wait - Legolas has been the only one to do as he should have done all day?" Elladan asked with a confused frown, trying to sort through his thoughts.

The three brothers thought about this for a moment or so, then looked at each other and chuckled. "Poor Legolas," said Aragorn through his amusement. "Suppose he *does* deserve a rest, then. Shall we get him more comfortable?"

"Aye," said Elladan, and moved to wake his sleeping friend. "Legolas," he said softly, "come on, mellon nin, up and we'll get you to your room."

Legolas' eyes fluttered open half-heartedly and he winced - even the evening's dusky light being too much for his sore eyes and head to handle. He seemed to realise he had fallen asleep, and his tapered ears tinged pink, as they usually did when he was embarrassed, and he opened his mouth to speak, but only a strangled sort of sound emerged, so instead he tried to sit up as quickly as possible. Elrohir smiled, and rested a hand upon the archer's arm, helping him upright, "Don't worry, Dian Las [Little Leaf], we won't tell a soul," he said kindly.

The Mirkwood elf looked from the earnest dark blue eyes to another identical set, to one of starry-grey - all honest and mildly concerned. And he could no longer fight against his exhaustion, so he gave up trying, and nodded weakly, consenting to let the elder elf help him up.

"Aside from Andariun and Arianduil, that is," added Aragorn quietly with a sly grin, grey eyes rimmed with shadow twinkling merrily. At Legolas' alarmed and daring glance, and Elladan's dissapproving one, he rolled his eyes painfully, and admited, "I was only jesting, for Valar's sake..."

"That's not very funny," croaked Legolas weakly, the voice he had found was pained, and he winced again as his voice boomed inside his own mind, reverberating against the inside of his skull. "Those blasted twin brothers of mine would never let me here the end of it." The two middle princes were the least forgiving of Legolas' many brothers, seconded in their almost- complete lack of sympathy only by Legolas' closest sibling, the princess Aricelsa, who believed him far too rash in his actions and that he brought most of his injuries on himself... he supposed, this time, she was right.

Elladan chuckled, clapping his friend on the back and saying wickedly, "I shouldn't worry: we could tell you many tales of those two which would make them avoid your eye for about a century or two."

The prince's leaf-shaped ears seemed to prick up at this, and he looked suspiciously at the elder twin. "I am far too tired to ask more of that statement now, but don't think I haven't stored it in my mind for a later date," he grinned. "I need all the help I can get when it comes to that pair."

"I hear you," muttered Aragorn. This achieved the ranger a quick cuff upside his dark head from Elrohir, taking his hand from Legolas' shoulder only to commit this small action, before carrying on as before. Aragorn glared good-naturedly at Legolas when he chuckled, as though it were the archer's fault.

Soon enough, they reached Legolas' chamber, light and airy as the Mirkwood elf liked it. The Rivendell three sat their friend down upon the bed and proceeded to, without question, remove his boots and over-tunic, fussing over Legolas while he sat calmly upon the sheets with his hands placed in his lap, in a dazed sort of state. When the twins had finished, they lay the fair prince down and pulled the blankets and duvets up to his chest, while Aragorn plonked himself heavily upon the other side of the soft bed. Legolas sighed as his thumping head hit the smooth, cold pillow, and stretched his tired limbs a little, turning onto his side with a groan and closing his eyes.

"You alright there, Legolas?" asked Elladan as he seated himself in the chair at the prince's closest bedside.

"Mmmm-hmmm," murmured Legolas sleepily. "My muscles just ache a little, is all."

In answer to this, Aragorn began rubbing his best friend's narrow back absently, grey eyes looking at the painting opposite them, to the right of the door to Greenleaf's room. It was of the royal family of Mirkwood, all of them - nine children, King Thranduil and Queen Liennia, who had been lost to Middle-earth many millenias ago, the only one Aragorn had not met and loved. He had been told since he could remember that Glorfindel had painted it for Legolas, so that the young elf did not get homesick when he came to visit the twins and Arwen in Rivendell, many many years before Aragorn had even been born. It was odd to think that Legolas had been around for so long before Aragorn had even known him... and yet still seemed unable to handle a hangover, however bad it was.

"Legolas? You have eaten, haven't you?" asked Elrohir with the tone of a mother-hen seeping into his voice, pulling himself onto the bed and into the space where Legolas' feet would have occupied had his knees not been drawn up to his chest under the covers.

"I did," came Legolas' slurred reply, obviously upon the very brink of sleep. "You father made me, but I threw it back up again... against my will... but, I am not hungry and feel I shall be sick from tiredness," he added, anticipating Elrohir's argument. "If it bothers you, I shall get something tomorrow, but please not tonight." He waved a hand about vaguely, but did not lift his golden head.

The younger twin seemed to consider this before replying, "Aye, all right."

The room was quiet for a moment, until Legolas mumbled, soft voice muffled by the covers drawn up to his chin and pressed against his face, a greatful smile on his face, "Thanks, you lot."

Elladan looked over to Aragorn, and grinned widely. "Don't mention it, Legolas," he said quietly.

And so it was that the youngest prince of Eryn Lasgalen fell away into blessed respite, and would wake in the morn fully recovered from the morning after and the horrid day which had followed. One by one, his friends also all dropped off into a slumber, allowing their bodies to heal even further.



It was in the middle of an unusually and eerily peaceful evening when Lord Elrond and Glorfindel eventually checked Legolas' room. What they found there made them stand stock still, framed in the light streaming in through the doorway, and smile.

Slumped in the chair next to the bed was Elladan, head on chest and hands folded in his lap as his long legs lay straight out in front of him, crossed at the ankle, and his long dark hair fell in front of his face, hiding it's features. Elrohir was also there, curled up at the foot of the bed like a hound in front of a fire, one arm flung out and hanging off the bed. On top of the bed clothes lay Aragorn, asleep on his back with one hand behind his head and the other resting lightly upon Legolas' narrow back. And the prince himself had finally been given his peace, and was thankfully sleeping like a log, and would do until someone could bear to wake him. He slept on his front, strands of spun sunlight feathered out over his back and pillow once more, face turned towards Aragorn and arms beneath his pillow, pressing it to his face.

"It seems we have found the reason for the peace, my lord," whispered Glorfindel, his deep voice amused.

"So it would seem," replied Elrond, dark blue eyes twinkling. "How can those three still need sleep?" he asked, perplexed - he and his best friend had found out about each other's minor-betrayal, and had found it very amusing and relieving to discover that both had acted in the exact same manner as the other. "And I would like to bet you that Legolas, on the other hand, will have been true to his word and training all day." A slight wave of guilt surged up from his stomach, and he spared a glance at Glorfindel, who had a similarly distressed look upon his fair face.

Glorfindel looked to Elrond, an idea coming to him all of a sudden, "Well, I believe the twins tomorrow were going to be translating a long and rather obscure piece of old literature, scribed of the hands of the ancient and written all in rhunes - the storyline itself makes no *actual* sense, but I think it will be good practice for them... and something they obviously *need* to master."

A slightly wicked grin became Lord Elrond's features, and his deep blue eyes twinkled with the light of the stars as he caught on to his best friend's train of thought. He looked back to the inert form of Aragorn, "Ah, yes - I remember now that I was going to show Estel how to squeeze puss from a rancid absess tomorrow... what time is breakfast for Legolas again, Glorfindel?" He raised a hand to his chin, as if pondering.

The golden-haired lord chuckled - this feigned innocence was highly amusing, he reckoned he should indulge in it more often. "Oh... after noon- time, wasn't it?"

"I believe so, yes," replied Elrond with an assertive nod.

They shared a secret, smug smile... and Glorfindel, taking a step backwards, rubbed his hands together, "Oh, your children are going to have such fun early tomorrow morn when Mithrandir arrives from where he took leave in Rohan, for Prince Theoden's birth - he shall have more than a few words to say on the matter or last night and this day."

"Let us hope so," laughed Elrond loudly, anticipating the arrival of his great friend with much joy. "I believe Estel, Elladan and Elrohir are in for a good, sound ear-thrashing and a clip about the chops." His laughter made Legolas turn his head, mashing his nose slightly into the pillow, yet he was still deep in slumber, and sank away again almost immediately. Lord Elrond took this as their cue to leave, and pulled Glorfindel away. They took one last look at the children and Elrond's almost-fourth son, smiled softly again before leaving them to their brief peace, shutting the door quietly behind them and not disturbing them again that night.

End.



Thankyou once more to everyone who read this - please review with final thoughts! Cheers.