Legolas gave a small sigh. He didn't know what was worse, having another man he didn't really trust that much travel with him or the dwarf. He thought a moment, absently tilting his head to one side and chewing his bottom lip, a habit he hadn't managed to break since childhood - which was a very long time ago. The dwarf he finally decided. The dwarf was worse. Boromir he could get along with most likely, his friendship with Aragorn over the years had shown that not all men were bad. It's just that Boromir's actions at the council the other day had put Legolas on his guard and he had been careful around the other man since. But a dwarf, and Gloin's son at that, he wasn't so sure. Shaking his head at the melancholy turn of his thoughts, Legolas dragged his mind back to the matter of his packing. He didn't require packing much as he had acquired the habit of travelling light some years ago. His small pack sitting on the bed currently held a spare shirt and leggings, spare arrow heads, fletching and bowstrings, a sharpening stone for his knives and a small book of his favourite poems - which had hidden in it a picture of his parents. Legolas quickly did the pack up and finished getting dressed. They were due to leave any moment now and he didn't want to be the one to hold the fellowship up. Legolas picked up the letter he had written to his father and turned to find that he was being watched. He grinned at the two identical beings that were standing there, watching him.
"One would think that a person couldn't even prepare for a journey from this house without getting watched." Elladan smiled at Legolas, but his eyes were still troubled, as were Elhoir's.
"Well, considering it's you and Estel going out there, we thought we'd take this rare chance to see you both in one piece for a change." Legolas laughed, shouldering his bow and adjusting his quiver so it didn't dig into his back, having placed the letter down for a moment.
"Well yes, we do tend to end up sometimes not returning in one piece." This time it was Elhoir who smiled.
"Try pieces Legolas. And neither of you has ever returned in one piece." Legolas sighed, knowing where this was heading. He decided to get it out in the open straight away.
"I will bring him back safely to you, to all of you. I gave you my word that I would." Elladan walked over and stood in front of Legolas, nodding, Elhoir following his twin.
"We know Legolas, we just wish we could go with you."
"I know. But you are needed to go with the Dunadain and rally them. Estel will be fine. I promise." Legolas reached out and clasped Elladan's shoulder and squeezed it reassuringly.
"And since when have I never kept a promise?" Elhoir's expression lightened slightly as he smiled and clasped Legolas's shoulder as well.
"Never mellon-nin. Come on Elladan, we have to go say our goodbyes to Estel. Look after yourself to Legolas, we wouldn't want anything to happen to you either." Legolas smiled at the brothers.
"Nothing will, I promise. Now, can you arrange delivery of this letter back to my Father? I think he needs to know where I'm off to this time." Elladan took the letter from Legolas's hands from where he had picked it up off the bed and smiled.
"We'll take it personally. And if your Father throws us in the dungeons under your palace, we will take it out of your hide when you get back." Legolas laughed.
"I would expect nothing less mellon-nin." The twins nodded and left, leaving Legolas to gather his pack and glance around one last time. He'd been staying in these quarters ever since he started to come and visit Rivendell, all those years ago. Shaking his head and focusing his mind on his task, he left the room to meet with the rest of the fellowship.
Legolas smiled gently at the hobbits as he came down the steps. The youngest, Pippin, came running over and smiled up at him. Legolas had found himself quickly becoming very fond of the young hobbits. There was such an innocence and joy about them that he found intriguing.
"Good morrow Legolas, are you all packed and ready to go?"
"Good morrow Peregrine. Yes, I am packed. I just have to put my pack on the pony and then I am ready to depart. And are you ready as well?"
"Yes I am. Merry and I have been ready since first breakfast. And please, call me Pippin. Everyone calls me Pippin." Legolas smiled as he fixed his pack to the pony - Bill. Legolas gently caressed the pony's nose, thanking him softly in elvish for allowing his pack to be added to the pony's burdens.
"What did you just say then Legolas?"
"Well Pippin, I thanked Bill for allowing us to burden him with our belongings on this journey." Pippin looked amazed and Legolas spotted something out of the corner of his eye. He could see Aragorn approaching the fellowship, leaving Arwen behind. Legolas smiled down at the young hobbit. "Will you excuse me a moment please Pippin, I must say my farewells to a dear friend."
"Okay Legolas." Nodding, Legolas moved silently to where Arwen was standing alone, watching them all with sad eyes. Legolas bowed his head to her in greeting.
"My lady, are you well?" Arwen managed a tiny, bittersweet smile for her old friend.
"Legolas, we are long past formality between us." Legolas gave her a brilliant smile but then he noticed the tear that seemed to form at the corner of her eye. With supreme gentleness he reached up and wiped the tear away.
"Arwen, please, tell me, what is troubling you?" Legolas rested his hand against her cheek gently. "If it is Estel returning, you do not have to worry about that, I will make sure he does." Arwen blinked and leaned into the support of her friend's hand.
"No, it isn't that Legolas. It's just that…" Arwen seemed unable to continue and Legolas removed his hand from her cheek and took up both her hands in his.
"Arwen, please tell me what is wrong?"
"Estel wants me to sail over the sea with the rest of our people. Father has decided that Rivendell will empty while you are on your quest. Our time is over here Legolas, Father has foreseen it. After the coming darkness, very few of our people will remain here much longer. Father wants me to take the ships, Estel says I should take the ships. I'm just confused, I am not sure what I want to do. I want to be with Estel more than anything in this world Legolas. Why would he try and make me do this." Arwen's heart was in her eyes and Legolas brought her hands up to his chest and held them against his heart.
"He does not want to loose you Arwen. He knows if you stay that you will have to give up your immortality, he does not want you to pay that price, so he will suffer the heartache instead." Arwen stared in Legolas's eyes.
"But I choose a mortal life Legolas, my soul is not complete without him." Legolas smiled brilliantly at her.
"Then stay my dearest Evenstar. My heart knows you both so well that neither will be complete without the other. As for Estel's words, do not worry on them. My heart tells me he was trying to do the right thing. He will realise his folly soon enough." Arwen thought about his words and then nodded, smiling slightly.
"Any one ever tell you that your wiser than you years mellon nin?" Legolas gave a small laugh, carefree and joyful.
"Not lately. I will hold you to that the next time my Father decides that I'm not old enough to do something." Arwen stared into his eyes and then laughed softly, unable to stay melancholy for too long in her dear friend's presence. Legolas laughed with her and gently cupped her face with his hand.
"I will see you soon, mellon nin." Arwen smiled, gently putting her hand against his face.
"You look after yourself as well Legolas." Legolas grinned at her.
"I will." With that, he bowed his head to her and stepped back, taking his place over where the rest of the fellowship had gathered. Aragorn looked at Legolas, a question in his eyes. Legolas just shook his head and Aragorn nodded, knowing they would talk later. Legolas's eyes wandered over the Fellowship once more, taking in each member.
Gandalf was standing next to the ringbearer - Frodo. Gandalf was unchanged and unchangeable. Having known the grey wizard his entire life Legolas was best pleased to have his wisdom and also his presence for this most dangerous of missions. Gandalf was an asset that they would defiantly need down the track. His gaze strayed to Gimli, a dwarf. He seemed competent enough, time would tell though. His gaze then fell on Boromir. He wasn't sure about this man, but for the moment, was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But his reaction to Aragorn wasn't something that Legolas would soon forget. Aragorn and he had been friends were almost all of Aragorn's life, and Legolas would bare no bad words said against his friend. But Aragorn had asked Legolas to be fair, so out of loyalty and love of his friend, he would. His gaze then fell onto the hobbits, all of them, and he could not help but smile. Such small but hardy creatures. Ever cheerful and happy, nothing seemed to make them happier than when they were with each other and they were eating one of their numerous meals. Merry had tried to tell him yesterday when he had asked, the origin of each and every meal and what it meant to the hobbits, but he had gotten lost after the first hour. They were a delight to be around and Legolas was glad for their company. The other three would provide tremendous support to the ringbearer, and for that, he was glad. And then finally his gaze landed on his best friend. Aragorn looked troubled but resolved. He knew that the road ahead would not be easy, for any of them. He felt Legolas's gaze and looked up, his silver grey eyes having a question in them. Legolas smiled and nodded, letting his friend know that no matter what, he would be at his side. They had seen much and done much together. Aragorn smiled back, his eyes warm as they held his friends. And for just that moment, Legolas knew that no matter what, Aragorn would always be Estel to him. They broke eye contact as Lord Elrond came forward to wish them well. Legolas listened to his words and when he finished, he was amused to see that both he and Aragorn bowed low in respect at the same time. Frodo and Gandalf led the way and Legolas was hard pressed to keep the smile off his face. He fell into the middle of the group, taking one last look back. He knew that it would be some time before he saw any of his kin, or even any Elvan refuge. But he wasn't concerned. He was with two of his oldest friends, on a quest to save Middle Earth and he wouldn't trade places with any other elf. It felt right as he walked out of the gates of Rivendell, even with the dwarf along.