Author's Note: Not Tolkien, make no money, am really poor, hope you enjoy, read!

Chapter 22

Legolas felt warmth seeping through his skin and he took a deep breath. He knew he should open his eyes, but he did not want to just yet. There was something he should be doing, something that had to be stopped, but it did not concern him so much right now. All he wanted was to lay like this forever, in a state of calm and warmth.

But then he became aware of a sound that was disturbing his rest and his eyes opened on their own anyway. Legolas found himself blinking in the bright sunlight that streamed in from a window overhead. He took a quick look around and discovered that he was laying in his bed in his own chambers.

Another small survey cleared up the mystery of the strange sound he had been hearing. Gimli was seated in a chair pulled up to the right side of the bed, and his head was down on his chest, his snores loud as ever.

Legolas grinned. For some reason he was not as annoyed as he usually was at the dwarf's heavy breathing that caused him many sleepless nights.

Legolas tried to sit up, but stopped when a sharp stab of pain shot through his back. Legolas gasped at the unexpected pain and Gimli awoke with a start.

"Legolas," he said with wonder when he saw the elf in a half reclined state.

Legolas looked over and forced a smile. "Is there a simple explanation for the pain I am feeling? Or am I better off not knowing?"

Gimli was on his feet and had a hold of one of the elf's hands before Legolas could protest. "Just lay back down and I will tell you," he said. Then, "I can't believe you're awake already, both of the healers were not that confident of your survival. But I told them, I knew you would wake up."

Instead of laying back down, Legolas moved gingerly so that he was leaning against the wooden headboard. Just as he was about to ask Gimli what this was all about, he had a sudden flash of memory. He remembered he and Gimli passing each other, and then the bow, and the rush towards Thror. And that was it.

Legolas looked grimly at Gimli and Gimli knew that he need not tell him what had happened. "You remember now," he said. It was more a statement than a question. "You have been asleep for almost five days now," he added.

Legolas nodded, then he remembered something else. "Gimli, how are you here?" He looked around quickly as if expecting elven guards to burst in any moment. "Does my father know you are here?"

Gimli smiled. "After you saving Thror like that, there were more negotiations. Though I cannot say your father and mine are now the best of friends, there is an understanding. There is no law saying I cannot be in Eryn Lasgalen, and elves are free to come to Erebor. There was also no compensation exchanged, though both gave some treasures as signs of peace. No more threat of war, and no more feud, least as far as I can tell."

Legolas returned the smile. "Then it was not for nothing after all."

"I told you there'd be a way out of all this," Gimli said. "Though I'm glad Aragorn did not have to get involved after all."

"I imagine he has his own worries," Legolas said dryly.

"Right," Gimli agreed, "so from now on, whenever we have a problem, we only both have to be at death's door and everything will work out for the best."

Legolas raised an eyebrow. "If it was not for your being at death's door none of this would have happened."

Gimli raised both his eyebrows. "Now if we must get into that I shall have to remind you that this time the fault lays entirely with the elves."

"Ignorance of your personal threshold to wine does not constitute blame on my behalf," Legolas said.

To which Gimli roared with indignation. "I can hold any wine or mead you throw at me. It is not my fault you elves insist on doing everything differently and affect your wine so. Must I remind you of the outcome when you decided to test your boastings about an elf's ability to outdrink a dwarf?"

Legolas winced slightly. "I was not aware human mead was so foul."

"Aware or not, you lost the bet. And I spent the next few hours holding you upright and trying to get you safely into bed."

Legolas laughed, and stopped abruptly when the action sent fresh pain down his back. He did not entirely mind though, this was the lightest conversation he and Gimli had had in some time and it was good to throw their insults at one another again.

"I will let the dwarves claim that victory then if it is so important to you," Legolas said.

To which Gimli solemnly replied, "That it is."

A few day's time passed and Legolas was outside and seeing Gimli off. Thranduil was with them and asking Gimli for the last time if he was sure he did not need a horse.

"Yes, I will be fine without the beast," Gimli answered again. "Trust me, a horse would only be a hindrance to us."

Thranduil nodded and let the matter drop. Legolas stepped forward and regarded the dwarves before him. Thror had decided to stay to accompany Gimli back when he was ready to leave, but so far had yet to say anything to Legolas.

"I will meet you out on the plains in two week's time," Legolas said.

Gimli nodded, "I will not be late."

The two had decided to go back to their original plans and return to Gondor to help Aragorn with his reconstructions. They were allowing the time for Gimli to go back to Erebor and gather a few of his kinsman to go with them and for Legolas to heal completely. The elven healer had remarked that the stitches, though an odd form of medicine, had worked very well and would be able to come out next week. Legolas himself would also be seeking a few of his own kinsmen to come with them to the White City. He knew there was a forest on the boundaries that needed repair.

"Until two weeks then," Gimli said and he and Legolas gripped hands again.

"May your journey be pleasantly uneventful," Legolas said and Gimli grinned.

Then the two dwarves picked up the bundles of provisions the elves had provided for them and turned. As they were going through the open gates, Thror hesitated. He stopped and turned on his heel so that he was facing Legolas again. Legolas was surprised by the intense look on his face.

"Thank you," he said after a moment's silence, "for what you did. I am ashamed of the way I thought of you and will make it up to you someday. You have my word."

Legolas quickly concealed his shock at hearing the dwarf actually apologize to him. "All is well," Legolas said. "If you feel the need to redeem yourself, I hold you to no obligation to do so."

Thror nodded, and then turned abruptly again. Gimli was watching and Thror hurried past him without looking at him. Gimli turned and raised a hand towards Legolas. Legolas touched his chest and extended his own hand. With a nod and a small smile, Gimli turned and set off after Thror.

Legolas was left with his father standing beside him. "He stayed at your bedside the entire time you were unconscious," Thranduil said after a few moments of watching the dwarves fade into the forest. "He is a good friend."

Legolas gave a small nod. "I know," he said.

The End.

Author's Note Part Deux: Finally, and so we come to the ending of yet another story. As always, I bow down to my lovely reviewers, without you guys, I'd probably never be able to finish anything. So thanks so much for all the lovely encouragement and kind words, they're the best motivation anybody could ever have and I feel truly special to have repeat reviewers who offer nothing but the best, and in return hopefully I am giving you the best of my ability. It would be the greatest downfall for me to disappoint one of you.

That said, for anybody who is wondering if I shall be returning to the world of fanfiction, fear not. I have a new one in the works, called The End of the Beginning. Of course, it features our favorite elf, only this time it's got a bit of a twist. I will be taking slight AU liberties (as I've tried to avoid that in the past) and it will actually be set in modern times. But before you fret, it is not so he can meet some kick-ass modern girl teenager, I will try to keep it as canon as possible. Other major characters will be Elladan and Elrohir, and possibly others I have not yet decided on. What's that? Will there be action and angst you say? Just remember who you're talking about here, of course!

So until next time faithful readers, thank you so much and this concludes another fanfiction journey.