Legolas Greenleaf, Agent of MESS, in

Kill Me Tomorrow

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Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction, which is why I am posting it on this site. Legolas and associated characters were created by JRR Tolkien. James Bond was created by Ian Fleming. Legolas' appearance belongs to Orlando Bloom in a wig.

Author's Notes: Well, this wasn't planned when I first wrote this fic. It was going to be one chapter. But then Nemo Returning just had to make that comment, didn't you, and look where it led. I don't know if they have roaches in Middle-earth, but I think vermin covers the sentiment nicely. We don't have them here either, though we do have charity workers with clipboards who want your bank details and spread out along one road so you get asked four or five times! Sorry, a little carried away there.

Anyway, enjoy this. A little unexpected bonus for you all for being such nice readers and reviewing (well, some of you anyway).

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Chapter 2. Some Vermin Deserve To Be Exterminated

The nearest Gondorian guardhouse was some way from the Thieves' Knot. What they can't see won't trouble them, Greenleaf supposed as he covered the distance rapidly. There were few people on the streets at that time; it was too late for any decent people and to early for the landlords to be calling time. Greenleaf, cloaked and hooded, walked with a purposeful stride and was unbothered by any denizens of the night, not that any would be foolish enough to try anything. Despite his skill at fitting in, there was something different about him that set him apart from the men and women. It was nothing that an observer could put a finger to, and in consequence was left alone.

Two soldiers stood outside the guardhouse in full armour. They seemed, at first, to be giving full attention to the task of guarding the door, but as Greenleaf got closer he could see that it wasn't quite like that.

"I spy," one of them muttered slowly, "with my little eye, something beginning with, um, beginning with W."

There was a long silence.

"Window?" the other said.

"No."

"Uh...water?"

"No. Give up yet?"

"No. Um...um...oh, go on then."

"Wall."

There was a snort. "Damn, you got me with that one again! Third time tonight an' all."

Greenleaf rolled his eyes and stepped out in front of them. The sudden appearance of a stranger before them was enough to turn the pair into model soldiers.

"Who-goes-there?" one demanded, obviously reciting a script learnt long ago. "Friend-or-foe?"

"Friend, I hope," responded Greenleaf. "I need to see your captain."

"Are-you-armed?"

"Yes, thank you very much." Greenleaf smiled.

That seemed to throw them, though the second guard recovered fairly fast. "Oh," he said, "a comedian, is it? You'll have to remove your hood, sir."

"Very well," said Greenleaf, and pushed it back. He could almost hear the pair thinking, half-expecting steam to rise from under their helmets.

"Uh, you'd better go in then," one said. He still seemed rather confused by the sudden deviation in script. You just didn't get Elves in Minas Tirith.

"Oh, and by the way," said Greenleaf, stopping just as he was about to go inside. "Has anyone ever been caught out by the 'friend or foe' question?"

"You'd be surprised, sir," came the answer.

Greenleaf laughed politely. He walked into the guardhouse, satisfied that the two were more than capable of watching the door, if not the people who went through it. Inside it was rather dark and there was a definite smell of smoke. Greenleaf traced the source of it to a man, seated at a desk in the corner. There was a pipe in his mouth and white smoke swirling in the air around him. He eyed the Elf, chin on his hand, and said nothing.

"Are you the captain of this guardhouse?" asked Greenleaf, standing in front of the man.

"I am," the man replied. "What are you doing here? We seldom have your kind here in the white city."

"My business in my own. But I know of certain...information that concerns you at the very least."

The captain sucked at his pipe then exhaled a long stream of smoke. "Go ahead," he said, gesturing with his hand.

Greenleaf gave a discreet cough and continued. "There are arms smugglers within your city. They have been involved with smuggling weapons to the Wildmen of the Drúadan Forest. It seems there are different groups for different parts of the route, starting here."

"And where's here, exactly?" the captain asked. He was clearly interested. "Somewhere in Minas Tirith?"

"Their base of operations is an inn," said Greenleaf, "called the Thieves' Knot."

"Ah," said the captain knowledgeably, "the Thieves' Knot. What was a nice person like you doing in there?"

Greenleaf realised that he was being both underestimated and patronised. Irritably, he leaned forwards, placing his hands on the desk and letting the man see the bruise that he knew full well was purpling on his cheek. He narrowed his eyes and left any softness out of his voice.

"Like I have said," he told the captain, "my business is my own. You would do well not to underestimate me, or indeed any other Elf you might meet. Do you want to know more about this or not?"

"Of course," the captain replied, after a brief pause in which he recomposed himself, "do go on. Can we get hold of these smugglers?"

"I met four of them," said Greenleaf, "and left them unconscious in one of the upstairs rooms of the inn. The barman may have moved them, being as he seemed to be in on it, but probably not far if he did. I doubt they expect me to inform the authorities."

"Good, good," said the captain," well done." He stood up behind his desk. "I'll send some men off to deal with it forthwith."

Greenleaf raised an eyebrow. "You're doing it again," he warned. "Don't you think I should come along and tell you who they are?"

"Oh, of course, of course," the captain blustered, "just my little joke, heh heh." He coughed a little. "Captain Welch, sir, at your service."

"Glad to make your acquaintance," said Greenleaf, with more than a little irony, which the man didn't pick up on.

The captain went to the foot of the stairs. "Wilson!" he yelled. "I want you and six men down here on the double! Hup hup! Quick now!"

There was the sound of feet on the floorboards of the room above, along with the sound of raised voices. With a noise either like thunder or a troll with indigestion, seven fully armoured men came charging down the stairs to stand in the downstairs room. The wooden steps creaked protestingly at their weight. Greenleaf looked them over in his usual fashion. At first glance they were perfectly in order, the perfect image of soldiers loyal to the defence of their city. But then Greenleaf saw the more human aspects: the hastily extinguished cigarette tucked behind the ear, the odd bits of vegetable stuck to the sword, the armour that had been bashed back into shape many times. He smiled. He never trusted a soldier who looked to smart; they generally weren't any good. Too much time spent on looking good and not enough on being good.

"Right then, lads," Captain Welch addressed them, "we have information courtesy of this here gentleman, er, Elf, I mean, concerning some of the less salubrious members of our society. There's been some weapons smuggling going on round here, and apparently they're holed up in the Thieves' Knot. We're going to go and get them out. Any questions?"

"Me mam doesn't like me goin' into pubs, sir," one piped up. He wore a scarf round his neck. "She says they're, um, places of disrep...disrepu...disreputatation."

"I don't care, Pike," the captain said, "you'll have to faced the places someday, get to know the evils of drink and so forth."

"But..." protested Pike.

Captain Welch cut him off. "You're a guard, you take none of that from anyone, apart from me. Is that clear?"

They all nodded. "Good. Let's go then, shall we?" He motioned for them to go ahead. "Smartly, now, that's my boys."

The six men and their sergeant marched out of the door. Greenleaf followed behind them with the captain.

"They're a good bunch of lads really," explained Welch, "but when there ain't a war on you don't tend to get the more intelligent ones joining up, y'know? There's only a certain number of men who actually think the uniform'll impress girls."

"Why do you do it then?" asked Greenleaf, genuinely curious.

"I used to think the armour was impressive," admitted Welch, smiling sheepishly, "luckily, so did my wife. And, well, someone's got to do it. It's a vocation, you know." The captain held himself taller, pride evident in his face.

Greenleaf nodded. He could understand that. He had been working for the Secret Service for longer than he wanted to count, and that too was a vocation. It needed doing, and he knew that he was one of the best at it, no bother with false modesty. He could no more do anything else than he would elope with a Dwarf. He couldn't help but smile at that image.

"So, um," said Welch, "if you don't mind me asking, why were you in the Thieves' Knot?"

"Business," replied Greenleaf, not unkindly, "and you really don't want to ask. Suffice it to say that it was nothing illegal. I was talking to a man called Knees when the four gents turned up. They seemed rather eager to talk about another topic, and I had to oblige."

"Oh, we know Knees all right," said Welch, "regular customer of our cells. What happened to him?"

"They killed him. Shot him through the throat with a crossbow."

"So it's murder as well then," commented Welch calmly.

"And concealment of the body." Greenleaf grinned. "If we're totalling up charges, one of them stole my pint as well. Not that I was going to drink it, but it's the principle that matters."

"Heinous crimes," said Welch, "for which they shall be most severely punished, you may be assured."

"My faith in justice is renewed," said Greenleaf, "I thank you kindly." They both laughed.

"Ah, here we are." Welch strode to the front. "Right, lads. This inn is simply full of people who led good, honest, apparently law-abidin' lives, but who have sadly fallen into the fate of drinking. I want you all to go in there and remind them that it's rather late and that they should be toddling off home to their beds, or someone's bed at least. Bear in mind that drink is a corrupter of minds and these poor disillusioned types may try to resist, but you will remain firm in the execution of your duty. Got that?"

"Yes, sir," came the muttered response.

"What will you do?" asked Welch.

"Remain firm in the execution of our duty," they mumbled in chorus, all faintly embarrassed.

"Correct!" said Welch. "That, and don't let the barman leave. Just clear the bar of customers. Go to it, my lads!" He turned to Greenleaf as the guards marched in. "We'll just wait for them to clear it before we wander in," he said.

Greenleaf nodded. They didn't have to wait long. After a few minutes people started leaving the pub. Some still held their drinks; obviously unwilling to leave behind something they'd paid for. There were several complaints voiced, but the presence of the armed soldiers kept them to mutters. Greenleaf saw the girl he had used as a hostage earlier, now firmly ensconced in the arms of her young man. He grinned as she noticed and pointedly ignored him. The flow of people gradually lessened until they had all gone.

"Right," said Welch, "let's go then."

He sauntered towards the door, Greenleaf beside him. The door was open and they went straight in. The six soldiers and their sergeant stood inside. The barman was between two of them, cloth still in his hand. He glared at Greenleaf.

"Well done, lads," said Welch, "that's the way to do it." He frowned suddenly. "Private Godfrey, you put that pint down now!" he snapped.

Behind him, one of the older soldiers replaced an almost full glass back onto a table with a guilty look.

"Now," continued Welch conversationally, "I believe you have been harbouring some weapons smugglers, Mr Dunelm?"

"Don't know where you heard that," muttered the barman.

"Does that mean you're denyin' it?" asked Welch, a gleam in his eye.

Dunelm made no answer.

"Write that down if you will, Sergeant Wilson," instructed Welch. He smiled pleasantly, or at least, he showed his teeth. "Now, Hibby," he addressed the barman, "you'll be kind enough to wait here in the genial company of these nice lads while we take a little tour of your charming upstairs rooms."

"But..." Dunelm began to protest.

"There's nothing hidden up there, is there?" asked Welch, raising his eyebrows. "Never mind. If you do think of anything important just tell my lads here, all right?"

"I'm not saying nothing," muttered Dunelm, folding his arms.

"You could at least work on your grammar," commented Greenleaf.

"There, ain't that polite, Hibby?" said Welch. "That's real gentlemanly, that is. He found enough time to help you with your education." He turned to Greenleaf. "Lead the way, master Elf."

Greenleaf did so with a smile. He liked the captain, and approved of his manner. It was direct and straightforward, but at the same time terribly convoluted. You could trust him to do what was right, but while knowing that his methods would be a little unorthodox.

He stopped at the door of the room. It was shut but not locked, and opened easily. Welch entered just behind Greenleaf.

"Ah, that's Feltham," said the captain, pointing at the bald man who still lay unconscious on the floor, "he's an old friend. As are those two lumps of muscle, Little Tom and Little John." He caught Greenleaf's raised eyebrow and continued. "Their friends had a funny sense of humour and no originality. They've usually got another man with them though. Nasty weaselly little fellow."

"Wears a red cap?" asked Greenleaf.

"That's the boy. Fulbrey, he's called. Horrible piece of work, enjoys hurting people rather too much."

"I did get that impression," said Greenleaf, feeling glad for the continued presence of his kneecaps in their accustomed positions.

He walked across the room. The window was wide open, the stringy net curtain beside it blowing erratically. While briefly pondering the point of net curtains on windows to grimy to see through anyway, Greenleaf pulled himself up onto the windowsill. The roof of the next house was directly outside, just short drop down. On the tiles was a clear pair of marks from feet landing on the roof. Handprints were visible on the grimy windowsill he crouched on.

"What is it?" asked Welch, coming up behind him.

"He left this way," explained Greenleaf, "and recently too. Probably when he heard your guards entering. He can't have gone far. I'll go after him."

Welch's hand rose to his shoulder, but Greenleaf didn't protest it. "Are you sure?" the man asked.

"Damn sure," said Greenleaf, "he can only be a few minutes ahead. I'll be fine."

With that he slipped from the windowsill, landing lightly on the roof below. Welch, standing at the window, watched him for a moment then turned his attention back to the room.

Greenleaf examined the roof. The tiles were old and mucky, and footprints were easily seen across them, leading along the edge of the roof. He followed them to the far side, where the next building was only an easy leap away. The roof here was cleaner and newer, but there had been enough dirt on the previous one for it to have stuck to the man's shoes and leave a trail. Greenleaf followed the tracks, despite the fact that they grew fainter as the distance grew greater. Fulbrey obviously hadn't attempted to hide his trail, maybe he was too afraid of being caught to slow down and do so. Or he hadn't thought that anyone would pursue him over the roofs. The guards probably wouldn't have.

It was the nature of this part of Minas Tirith for the houses to be close together. Many people lived in the city, and contrary to what the people at the top liked to think, many were poor. The most practical way of housing all of them was to have lots of small, cheap dwellings. The space available meant building them very close together. There had been experiments in building taller buildings –upwards was just another way to extend, after all- but they had been abandoned as too expensive and too difficult. Even some of the taller buildings that had already existed were known to lean, sometimes over the streets, making some ways and paths notoriously dark. It was said that in some places people could pass items across the street without leaving their houses. All this made it possible for any able-bodied man or Elf to make a path over the rooftops without much of an inconvenience.

I must be gaining on him by now, thought Greenleaf, he can't run faster than I can, surely!

His thought was confirmed when he saw a figure some distance away, heading over the roofs still. Greenleaf put on an extra burst of speed, sprinting towards his target faster. In doing so he failed to notice the trap that had been set. A rope had been tied between two chimneys at ankle height, directly in his path. Greenleaf's foot caught on it and he tripped over.

He was flung forwards abruptly, unable to stop his headlong fall. His ankle twisted. The roof he landed on was sloped and he slid down on his front. He rolled just before the edge and grabbed at the guttering. He fell over the edge, dropping to hang from the gutter by one hand. He swung there for a moment before turning, grabbing the gutter with his other hand as well and pulling himself up again. The man was no longer in sight. Greenleaf scrambled up the incline of the roof to pick up the trail again, while cursing himself for having fallen for such a simple trap. Fulbrey must have been further ahead than he thought to have been able to set it. And now he had just gained even more of a lead.

Limping slightly, Greenleaf ran on, having to search even harder for the trail. Fulbrey as being more careful, that much was obvious. Then suddenly, in the middle of a rooftop, the trail vanished. Greenleaf skidded to a halt. He bent to examine the point at which the footprints vanished and glanced around. There was no way that the man could have jumped off in any direction, and the footprints didn't indicate that type of action. Instead, they were slightly blurred. Greenleaf smiled, noticing this. He wouldn't be caught out by that old trick. Fulbrey had simply walked backwards in his own prints. Greenleaf backtracked to the edge of the roof, where sure enough he could just see where Fulbrey had turned away in another direction along the roof. He followed, being all the more careful to watch the trail, but at the same time trying to pick up speed.

He succeeded. After a little distance he caught up enough to see the fleeing man ahead of him. He was still wary for any traps but in addition to this he tried to stay out of sight, not letting Fulbrey notice how close he was getting. Despite the darkness it was now possible for him to see the colour of the red hat in the moonlight. Greenleaf, aware of how visible he could be under the stars, flipped his hood up without pausing.

Oh for my bow and arrows, he thought wistfully. I could have brought him down with a shot.

He drew closer and closer, gaining on the man with long strides. Fulbrey stumbled a little as he ran, clearly tiring. His endurance was nowhere near as great as the Elf's. Greenleaf gained steadily. Fulbrey was beginning to try and take the easiest route he could, with the shortest leaps and least obstacles. Inevitably, he couldn't keep his lead. He glanced back and saw Greenleaf behind him, expression set and determined. Panic crossed the man's face, to be replaced by anger. Greenleaf knew he would have to be careful. Fulbrey wouldn't be able to outrun the Elf, so he would have to turn and fight. And when he did he would be like a cornered animal, vicious and fighting for his life.

Then they were both on the same roof and Greenleaf was very close behind. Fulbrey took an apparently desperate leap from the roof edge. Greenleaf stopped just before it, peering over. There was nothing between the gutter and the road below, but nothing on the stones underneath. Only barely noticing the bend in the gutter, Greenleaf leapt backwards, blessing his senses as Fulbrey charged him from the side, trying to knock him from the roof. Greenleaf rolled across the tiles, grateful for the fact that the roof had only a slight slope. He was on his feet in moments, ready as Fulbrey ran at him again. The man headbutted Greenleaf in the stomach, sending them both to the tiles. They struggled hard, each wanting to gain the upper hand.

Greenleaf kicked out, but couldn't dislodge Fulbrey, who had wrapped his arms around the Elf. The man appeared to be trying to throw him off the edge, a move which seemed suicidal to Greenleaf. Fulbrey's arms squeezed tightly about him, attempting to squeeze the breath from the Elf.

No finesse, decided Greenleaf, echoing his earlier thoughts.

He brought his hands up then slammed them, palms first, against Fulbrey's ears. The man's grip loosened with a surprised grunt and Greenleaf pulled away getting to his feet. He gave Fulbrey a challenging look as the man also got to his feet.

Bring it on, he thought. He readied his stance.

"I've always wanted to kill and Elf," said Fulbrey. He was a little unsteady on his feet but his voice was fanatical.

"You've been reading too many books," responded Greenleaf, "Elves don't do being killed by little toerags like you." He looked at Fulbrey for a moment then wrinkled his nose in a movement calculated to annoy. "If you can read, that is."

"Damned snooty Elf!" yelled Fulbrey, and charged again.

Greenleaf sidestepped, avoiding most of the force of the man's rush. He wasn't pushed to the floor this time, and the pair grappled for a minute before Fulbrey pulled back, standing crouched a little way from the Elf, glaring at him. There was a delicate tapping sound that filled the silence, a tapping that got heavier and louder. It had begun to rain. Greenleaf's hood had been thrown back sometime during the fight and the raindrops soon soaked his hair. He stared straight back at the man.

"You Elves think you're so great," spat Fulbrey, face twisting in hate, "you should learn that you're not welcome here."

"I got that impression," replied Greenleaf, "from the greeting I received from you and your friends."

Their eyes met squarely and neither would look away. Normally Greenleaf would have been confident of winning any staring competition, but this one he wasn't so sure of. The man was odd. Cruel and mean-spirited definitely, but in this somewhat scrawny figure Greenleaf was sure there was something to fear. Something in the fact that he seemed utterly uncaring for any form of life. He'd probably go off his path just to step on an ant. Unwillingly, Greenleaf found himself remembering the glee in the man's eyes as he anticipated removing the Elf's kneecaps. It had been a horrible, disturbing sight, and the memory of it distracted him for a split second.

But that was enough, and Greenleaf suddenly found himself pinned against the chimney block behind him. He tried to bring his knee up –always a helpful move- but Fulbrey was pressed too tightly against him. Greenleaf hadn't pulled his knife out earlier, preferring the idea of a fair fight. Now though, looking at the man, he wished he had. The rain continued to fall around them, thoroughly drenching everything.

The water gave Greenleaf a flash of an idea. The tiles beneath his feet were becoming increasingly slippery. He shoved forwards, knocking Fulbrey off balance. The man skidded backwards, flailing his arms wildly before gaining his balance again. He snarled, an animalistic sound, and rushed Greenleaf again. This time the Elf was better prepared to meet him head on. They both slipped on the wet roof as they struggled together, wrestling. The inclement weather hindered both equally, also soaking both through. Hands slid as they sought to gain a grip on wet skin. Hair stuck to faces and fell in eyes. Unlike his usual calm and control in adverse situations, Greenleaf was more desperate, as was his opponent.

Everything seemed to slow suddenly as a knife appeared. It didn't gleam, as the moon and stars had long since been obscured by cloud. It just suddenly existed in Fulbrey's hand, its blade dripping wet in seconds with rain.

"Didn't think I was armed, did you, Elf?" hissed Fulbrey.

And then it was dripping wet with blood. Greenleaf just managed to push aside Fulbrey's arm before the dagger was jabbed at his stomach, but was unable to prevent it catching his side. The blood mingled with the rain, falling to the roof. Greenleaf thrust the man away, pushing him as hard as he could manage. The man stumbled backwards then fell as he reached the edge. His face suddenly wore a surprised expression as he realised there was nothing beneath him but a long drop.

Greenleaf watched him vanish, and then heard –or thought he heard over the noise of the rain- the thud of a body hitting stone. He walked to the edge of the roof and saw a dark shape on the cobbles below, obscured by the rain. A quick shin down a drainpipe brought him beside it. Fulbrey lay, clearly dead, on the ground, arms and legs spread-eagled. His eyes were open and blank, staring at nothing. The rain streamed down his face like tears. Greenleaf bent down and closed the man's eyes.

So that was it. Another job done, another body to add to the list. This man probably hadn't any family, or at least none that would care that he was gone. Greenleaf doubted that he had been an upstanding member of the community. He had been a rat; that was all. A rat in human form. And some vermin deserved to be exterminated.

The stupid red cap lay on the cobblestones, a sodden mass. Greenleaf picked it up, wringing it between his hands for a moment before pulling Fulbrey's corpse over his shoulder. He began the walk back to the Thieves' Knot, all the while getting steadily wetter. There was no one else out on the streets, no one to see the pall bearer and his corpse. They were all safe and dry indoors. The little drama played out on the rooftops hadn't affected them at all. All evidence of it would be gone by morning, washed clean by the rain. And the man would still be dead, probably without them knowing a thing.

Captain Welch was sitting inside the inn at one of the tables when Greenleaf entered. Silently, the Elf laid the body on a table, placing the soaked red cap on the top like a wreath. He stared at it for a minute, only now seeing it in the light.

"You got him then," said Welch eventually.

"I did," replied Greenleaf.

"Thank you."

Greenleaf gave no response. He didn't want gratitude for this part of the job. It just didn't seem right.

Welch stood and walked over, examining the body. "He was a bad lot, you know," he said, "it's nothing more than he deserved."

Some vermin deserve to be exterminated. "I know," said Greenleaf.

Welch took a long look at him, taking in the sodden clothing and drenched hair. There was nothing like a good soaking to make someone look dejected. "You're wounded," he said suddenly.

"I can deal with it myself."

There were no goodbyes, no farewells. Greenleaf simply walked out of the door, back into the rain. Welch watched him go then returned his gaze to the corpse. The Elf had walked abruptly into his life, and he had just left in a similar fashion. Welch would probably never see him again, but Greenleaf had left his mark. One criminal would never walk the streets again at least. The captain sighed, leaned back in his chair and pulled out a soggy rollup. He put one end in his mouth and lit it.

Greenleaf strode through the rain, his thoughts still on Fulbrey's dead face and those staring eyes. That was how Elves looked when they were asleep, except they still breathed. Any death diminishes, but what does it diminish? The urge to kill, or the urge not to? Is it possible to kill so many times that one can become immune to its effects? Greenleaf hurried on in the downpour.

Some vermin deserve to be exterminated. But what of their exterminator?

The End.

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Really the end this time, boys and girls. Honest. The story continues, as I'm sure you know, in 'You Only Live Forever'. Sorry about the rather depressing ending; I was listening to the ROTK soundtrack and you know how it is, just gets all morose.