Side Note from Wanda: First of, I must apologize for holding onto this story for so many months. I know some of you have read the trailer and were threatening to hurt us if we didn't post soon. Initially, Cat and I agreed on posting this story together. Unfortunately, she has vanished and I can't seem to get her to send me the remaining three parts of the story. I've begged, pleaded and even threatened to no avail so I had to write them myself and keep hoping that she will show up miraculously. But as you've guessed... no such luck. :P If you're reading this Cat, I still love you even though you've abandoned me! LOL!

The Need of Many
By: Wanda (in collaboration with Cat who has vanished without a trace :P)

Rating: PG-13 to R (Angst... proceed with caution)

Feedback: Yes PLEASE! Just go easy on us. This is the first story we've written together. E-mail us and

Spoilers: None that we can think of.

Archive: Please ask first. We will most likely say yes, but Cat has had bad experiences in the past with people taking her stories and claiming them as their own.

Disclaimer: We do not own anything of Tolkien's world. We just borrow it every now and again. We promise that when we're done, we'll put everything and everyone back exactly how we found them... mostly. Also, unless otherwise specified, all of the songs/poems in this story belong to Tolkien as well.

Summary: When Legolas is forced to make a decision that could very well determine the fate of all Middle Earth, what will he do? And what consequences will his choice have?

Additional Disclaimer: While we do not own anything of Tolkien's, there are in fact some characters, places, things, etc. in this story that came completely out of our own brains. Anything from the story that you do not recognize more likely belongs to us. So don't steal it but if you would like to borrow it, please ask.

Authors' Notes: First off, we would like to thank Cassia and Sio for inspiring us and also letting us borrow Celboril. We love you girls!! And, of course, we love your writing. Keep up the amazing work! Thanks also to all the list members for being such awesome people! *bigs hugs for all of Mellon Chronicles land*

And to my beta Sparx or sometimes known as Iawen, thank you for offering your help! Love you girl!! :D *megahugs*

Additional Notes from Wanda: OMG!!! I don't believe we actually did it!! It may have taken us forever (since February 2003?) but we did it!!! *hugs Cat and dances around the room* This would not have happened without you!!! Thank you thank you thank you... for all your encouragement, motivation and inspiration and for constantly kicking me when I said that I can't write. This has truly been an amazing experience. I've never thought writing could be so much fun and I've never dreamed that I'll ever write a fic but thanks to Cat, my dream has come true! I would also like to thank Val and Eleni for putting up with my insanity and constant harassment. My thanks also go out to Saber who threatened to hunt me down and whack me upside the head to knock some sense into me if I keep saying that I can't write. Thanks gals *hugs* Oh, and I forgot Aphy!! *hugs Aphy* Poor Aphy was strangled and mutilated way too often during the course of this story. We promise to treat you better next time *eg*

Additional Notes from Cat: Ohh!!! I get my own place to say things?!? *gushes* WOW! I feel so special. Well... it just wouldn't be right if my first, most heartfelt thanks didn't go to Wanda. *glomps Wanda* My darling, darling co-author... I love you dearly. Writing this with you has been such an amazingly wonderful journey. I can't thank you enough for sharing this plot idea with me and allowing me to join you in its creation. I have truly never enjoyed writing something so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can't wait to work with you again. That being said, I'd like to thank the following people: Jess-- for always telling me I that I could in fact write, even when I am so stubbornly insisting that I can't.. and for always being there for me. *hugs* Halo Son and Chloe-- for writing such marvellous stories, inspiring me to try to reach your level, and befriending me without so much as a question along the lines of "who is this crazy stalker fan-girl who keeps instant messaging me??" *grins sheepishly* You two girls rock my world. And last by not least, my other list sisters: PT, Elendil and Trin for encouraging me through everything. *lots of hugs to all* Thank you all sooooo much. I couldn't have done this without you!!!

Final Notes: This story is very AU. We changed some things around, added some things, and took away some things, etc. so that it would better fit the story. We tried to keep it as close to cannon as possible for our purposes... but the fact remains things were moved about a good deal. If you want to fit this into the timeline of the other stories Wanda wrote, it would be sometime before "By The Hands of Another". You may think of it as a prequel if you like. :D

Right... now then... thank you for bearing with us through our long, drawn out disclaimer notes. We feel we have kept you waiting long enough. So, without further adieu, on to the story....

// = elvish translations
# = flashbacks
* = thought

And for those that did not already know... Estel is Aragorn's elven name, which means Hope.


Chapter 1 - Shortcut To Disaster

The hill overlooked the river, with flat sun-drenched meadow banking either shore and dense, shadowy woods ringing the outskirts. A narrow ravine lay to one side, the river running rapidly between the two precipices. The river was a shimmering sapphire, narrow as it curved into the meadows and gradually wider until it dropped out of sight through the ravine. The new spring leaves were green and vibrant upon their branches as they swayed gently in the breeze. Their coloring was a strong contrast to the brown, dead ones that lay on the ground revealed by the melting winter snows. The sky was clear and bright, the air crisp and fresh. The sun had just begun to descend behind the horizon.

Legolas gazed around him, taking in all the beauty of the land and atmosphere. He had never taken this path to Rivendell before. However, as it was he would already be arriving in Imladris several days after he had intended and he was sure this road would cut some of the time off his journey. It was almost three months since the elf had last seen his best friend, and so the messenger arrived in Mirkwood with Aragorn's invitation to his birthday celebration, Legolas was more than happy to attend. Aragorn's birthday was the first of March and Legolas decided to get there a week early so he could spend some extra time with the human before the festivities began. Yet it would seem the fates did not look kindly on that decision. The day before his scheduled departure a small group of men arrived. As luck would have it, they were sent as representatives of Lord Ceoran from the town of Vaenyc, just outside the borders of Mirkwood. They desired an audience with his father, and King Thranduil had insisted Legolas stay and be present as well. It seemed to him that Thranduil was very fond of reminding him that he was a prince, and as such his duties always override his desires. Legolas hated this fact, and often became quite frustrated with the people in his realm for being a constant indication of it. At the moment he was increasingly frustrated with his father. There had been no need for his presence during those meetings with the men of Vaenyc. Legolas had expressed his feelings on the issue to the Elf King, and had parted from his father with harsh words. His eyes flashed with anger momentarily at the memory of his departure from Mirkwood.

His mood could not be dampened for long, however, and as the sky flamed with pinks, oranges, reds and deep maroon, and the dipping sun lined passing clouds with gold, Legolas decided it was time to make camp for the night. He steered his horse over to an area of the plains that looked ideal for setting up camp. He slid gracefully off the elegant beast and began to unload his gear from its back, singing to himself all the while.

Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall,
We must away ere break of day
Far over wood and mountain tall.
To Rivendell, where elves yet dwell
In glades beneath the misty fell...

His melodic voice rang out through the glade, and slowly faded at the song's end. When everything was finally prepared for the night, the fire emitting a warm, comforting glow, Legolas walked over to his horse. Gently and affectionately stroking the animal's mane, the elf whispered softly, "Quel esta, Brethil, mellon nin. Lye caela anlema tul're, voronwer."

//Rest well, Brethil, my friend. We have a long journey tomorrow, loyal one.//

Letting his hand linger on the horse's neck for a brief moment, he turned and walked back to his camp. After having a light meal and setting one last log on the fire for the night, Legolas was about to lie down on his bedroll when a feeling of warning washed over him. His body tensed and become impossibly still, his elven senses completely alert. He cursed himself silently for leaving his bow and quiver with his daggers on the other side of the fire.

Suddenly his keen ears picked up the sound of a released bowstring, and he quickly spun around and danced out of the way, the arrow barely missing him. Luck was not on his side however, and a second arrow was shot split seconds after the first. This one's aim was true, and the arrow sunk deeply into the elf's right shoulder.

Legolas cried out, more from surprise than the pain, and stumbled backwards. Although it wasn't long, this momentary distraction was all his assailant needed. Legolas cried out again, this time from a harsh blow to his head. He sunk to the ground with a loud thud as his senses left him, and he retreated into darkness.


He watched the lone figure intently as he rode closer into his territory. A wave of hope and excitement surged through his body, making his heart beat faster. He had not expected the elf to take this route but luck seems to be on his side today. For many centuries, he had been planning and waiting for the perfect time and place to set his plans in motion but circumstances had always prevented him from doing so. They either travelled in pairs when they ventured off their normal route or the route they took was too far away from his lair. But today, everything was perfect. Finally, the day had come for him to reclaim what was originally his.

The corners of his mouth twisted into a wicked grin and with elf-like stealth, he cut across the path behind the lone traveller and moving closer to his target, concealing himself behind a large oak tree. An arrow already notched and strung tightly on his bow. The elf tensed, sensing the danger and he knew that this would be his only chance although he realised that he did not have a clear shot. He let the arrow fly and as the first arrow left his bow, a second one was already notched and ready. The elf managed to sidestep his oncoming projectile but fortunately, his movement brought him into clearer view, making him an easy target. His second arrow struck the elf in the shoulder, the impact almost sending him to the ground. As the elf staggered and tried to regain his balance, he made his way to his victim in a flash, smashing the hilt of his knife into the side of his head. A cry of triumph broke from his lips as he watched the elf crumpled to the ground.


To Be Continued...