Summary: When Elrond and Gandalf find that Sauron's forces are gathering in the Misty Mountains and Rhovanion, they send two unlikely companions—Legolas and Aragorn—on a scouting mission. But when Legolas and Aragorn underestimate the enemy, they are captured and must suffer imprisonment in the dark depths of the mountains, and they know not what evils will befall them…

Disclaimer: Well, we do technically own Lord of the Rings because we own the books…but, if you wanna get all TECHNICAL…we don't, ok?

Chapter 1: Misunderstandings

The sun rose silently over Rivendell. Elrond stood in the pavilion, and Gandalf the Grey rode up after his long journey.

"What have you found?" the elf asked.

"What I have found confuses me. Sauron's forces have made progress, as we suspected. But what their goal is, I do not know." The wizard looked up to the balcony. Elrond turned and saw nothing.

"Who was it?"

The wizard smiled. "It was Aragorn. He is coming down. I must speak with him." Gandalf looked to Elrond again. "Thranduil's messenger should arrive around midday." Then he went to meet with Aragorn.


Legolas urged his horse to go faster. He had been riding for three days now and was near to Imladris. Gandalf and Lord Elrond had asked Thranduil if he would send an elf to help them scout. Everyone knew Mirkwood elves were the best trackers in Middle-earth. He hoped to be at Imladris by at least midday. He wondered what had happened to make two of the most powerful people in Middle-earth call a meeting…

"Noro lim, Alagos, Noro lim!"


"It's wonderful to see you, Gandalf!" greeted Aragorn.

"And you too! I only wish our meeting was in a happier hour."

Aragorn looked suspiciously at Gandalf. "I am only confused as to why you have come. You have been speaking with Lord Elrond and I can see that you are troubled. Elrond has asked Elladan and Elrohir to be at a meeting today, and that there will also be a messenger there from Thranduil of Mirkwood. I was not asked to be there."

Gandalf was unsure of what to say. "I am sorry, Aragorn. Elrond has sent word to Thranduil because there is an important task to be done. I do not know why he has not asked you to be present at today's meeting."

"I suppose Lord Elrond does not deem me worthy to enough to carry out this task," said Aragorn.

"Elrond loves you as a son. I do not think that he has done this because he does not trust you."

"I have proven my worth in battle," he answered in a bitter tone. "I know of my true lineage. I am no longer a child, at least not by the standards of my own people." At that moment Elrond passed by, and acknowledged the two with a nod of his head. Aragorn's gaze followed him until he disappeared into the main hall. "He has said that he counts me as an equal among his sons. Yet I see that he would sooner put his trust in any elf than in me." With that, Aragorn left, leaving Gandalf alone in the pavilion.


"My Lord Elrond, you have a visitor," reported Elrond's chief advisor.

Elrond turned to look at him. "It must be Thranduil's messenger. Where is he?"

"Just outside, waiting for you in the courtyard."

Elrond nodded. He made his way out to the courtyard. A young elf clad in green stood there, grooming his horse.

"Legolas!" said Elrond, surprised. "I did not expect Thranduil to send his own son!"

Legolas smiled and bowed. "I am always willing to come to Rivendell and do whatever you ask of me, my lord."

"The meeting will take place after luncheon. I apologize you do not have much time to rest, but this is urgent. I will have a servant take you to your room if you wish, but I daresay you know your way."

"Ceru u fuio nia ha, Brannon Elrond."

"Very well, I apologize once again for the lack of hospitality. I have to tell you, I was surprised your father sent his only son…"

Legolas' face showed no emotion and he gave no reply other than, "Hannen le, my lord. I will take my leave now. I do not wish to keep you from important matters."

"Yes, of course," said the Lord of Imladris. Legolas bowed again and turned to a different path.

When he arrived at his room he sighed and put his pack on the floor. It was a large room near the twins' rooms. It had an overview of the valley and was very bright. He washed up and slipped on clean clothes. He brushed his hair and re-braided it. Then he opened his door and headed to the dining room to meet with Elrond.

He arrived and saw Lord Elrond, Gandalf, and Elladan and Elrohir. Their faces were grim. Legolas sat down quietly.

"Legolas," said Gandalf. "We have reason to believe Sauron is coming back into power."

"What?" exclaimed Legolas.

"We have found parties of Orcs and Goblins around the Misty Mountains and Rhovanion. We-"

"Rhovanion? When was this discovered? I planned to send these three to the Misty Mountains. I need at least two scouts for both places!" said Elrond.

"Elladan and I can go to Rhovanion," said Elrohir.

"I'll need someone to go to the Misty Mountains." Elrond said worriedly.

"I will go, my lord, if you will send me." Legolas offered. Gandalf turned to him.

"Legolas, this is a dangerous mission. I would not send you alone."

Legolas looked from him to Elrond.

"Who, then, will you send with me?" inquired Legolas.

"No!" Elrond attempted to avoid the wizard's gaze.


"No! He's too young. He's not ready."


Elrond sighed. "Bring him in."

Elrohir stood up. "I'll get him, Ada." He stepped away and opened the door.

Elrohir stepped out the door and almost ran into Aragorn. "Estel! What are you doing here?"

"I was…" Aragorn fell silent.

"Don't tell me you were eavesdropping!"

"Nay! I was…"

"You were!"

Aragorn winced. "Don't tell Ada."

Elrohir laughed. "I won't. I would have done the same. Now come, we must wait for a few minutes before we go back inside."

Aragorn looked relieved. They waited for ten minutes before returning.

"Legolas," said Elrond, "This is Estel. He will be your companion to the Misty Mountains." Legolas looked the man up and down. He gave Gandalf a look. For awhile, all was silent. Finally Gandalf broke the uneasy silence.

"Well," he said. "I suppose that concludes this meeting. You leave tomorrow at daybreak. Aragorn, come with me. I will tell you about what we have been discussing." Elrohir gave Aragorn a sly look. Then Gandalf left with him.

Immediately, Legolas turned to Elrond. "You expect me to travel with HIM?!"

"He is a man of noble lineage!"

"That does not make any less treacherous!"

"Legolas, give him a chance! Contrary to what your father may have taught you, not all men are bad. Just give him a chance…"

"I will, Lord Elrond…but I cannot promise you anything." Legolas replied slowly.

"Thank you," replied Elrond. "I suppose that's all I can ask."

Legolas stood up. "I take my leave. I must prepare." He left the room. As he left he began to look for Gandalf. He knew he was speaking with the human. He wished to find out the exact situation. He was just about to give up twenty minutes later when he turned a corner and nearly ran into Estel. He merely nodded to him, and was about to leave but Estel stopped him.



"If you are looking for Gandalf, he is up in his quarters."

"What if Gandalf is not the one I seek?" Legolas' voice was defiant.

Aragorn's eyes flashed angrily, yet he kept his voice steady. "I know that he is." Legolas said nothing. He merely fixed his gaze on Aragorn. Then he finally spoke.

"No man can know what I think."

"I am not inferior to you, Legolas!" Aragorn retorted angrily. "I saw from the moment we were introduced that you thought of me in that way. But now, I am your companion, therefore your equal. You will not treat me as someone inferior."

Legolas narrowed his eyes. He could hardly control his rage. "I am the son of Thranduil, King of Mirkwood. Who are you to speak to me in such a manner?"

"Ask that of Gandalf." Aragorn said. Then he left.


Legolas stood alone in the hall silently seething. How dare the human speak to me in such a manner! And what did he mean anyway? "Ask that of Gandalf"? He began to walk, not caring where he was going. He did not like the idea of anyone knowing what he was thinking; especially a human. He slightly toyed with the idea of abdicating the mission. However, he quickly threw that idea away. He would not disappoint Gandalf or Lord Elrond.

In fact, he already felt slightly ashamed of himself. He had let his stubborn streak rise to the surface, and his pride got in the way. He supposed he would apologize to the human; yes, perhaps he might. In the meantime, however, he realized he was in front of Gandalf's room.

He knocked lightly and awaited the answer. After waiting for what seemed like far too long, he opened the door.

Gandalf was in a deep sleep. Legolas needed to speak with him, but to wake him seemed a terrible thing to do. He took a step forward, then turned to leave. Suddenly, he heard a groan and saw Gandalf getting up.

"Yes, Legolas?"

"Mithrandir, I am so sorry! I did not mean to wake you."

The wizard laughed. "It is all right, my dear elf. What troubles you?"

Legolas went and sat down next to him. How did Gandalf know that he was troubled? Valar, everyone knew what he was thinking these days.

"Well? Legolas?"

"I am confused about the human, Estel. We have spoken, and not it seems that neither of us is looking forward to being companions. Tell me, what is his true name? I do not think it is Estel."

Gandalf raised his eyebrows. "No. No, perhaps not. But neither is it my place to tell you. All I will say for now is he is no mere ranger, and it would do you well to remember that. I think your journey may pass much easier It would also do you well to keep your patience and give him a chance, eh? Now if you don't mind, I'll be getting back to my nap and I suggest you do the same, princeling. You have to get up quite early tomorrow.

Legolas nearly rolled his eyes. "Early? Nay, not early in my father's home. I am practically sleeping in!"

"Yes, well, all the same. I have a feeling you won't be getting much sleep."

Legolas looked at him suspiciously, then took his leave. He went down to dine with the Elves. During the meal, he looked around for Estel but found him not. Well, he could apologize the next morning. After eating, he went upstairs to his quarters and fell into a troubled sleep.


The next morning, Aragorn awoke early and knelt before his mother's grave. He looked into the eyes of the stone statue, and asked silently for her blessings, as he always did before his journeys.

Aragorn felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. He turned, and saw Arwen Undómiel, daughter of Elrond. He stood and took her hands in his. They stood silently, enveloped in a simple moment of love and trust. Then Arwen kissed Aragorn lightly on the cheek and left him alone.

He watched her leave. Suddenly, Aragorn was aware of another presence in the garden. He turned around, but saw no one there. He shook his head, bewildered, and turned back around. He barely held back an exclamation of surprise as he involuntarily stepped backwards.

Legolas hid a smile and said, "I'm sorry, did I startle you?"

Aragorn replied defiantly, "No!" Knowing he had been startled. He had thought he finally knew how to hear an elf. "What do you want anyway?" he asked, not bothering to be polite. He had not forgotten their fight earlier.

Legolas' eyes flashed as he tried to keep his temper in check. "Actually," he said icily. "I came to apologize for the way I acted earlier, but apparently forgiveness is not an easy thing for men."

"Legolas, I-" but the elf had left the garden.

Aragorn sighed and sat down, feeling very alone and regretting his harsh words. As soon as everyone was ready they would be leaving, and he was still at no better terms with Legolas.


He looked up to see Gandalf's familiar face. "Gandalf."

"Come, my friend, you have to get ready."

"I know, I know."

"I saw everything."

"You always see everything." Aragorn said with a smile. "I don't know how, but you always do."

"What are you going to do about him?" asked the Istar.

Aragorn sighed. "I don't know…apologize, I guess. That seems to be all we are saying to each other…Gandalf, do you know why he hates he me so much?"

Gandalf smiled encouragingly. "Do not take it personally, Aragorn. All Mirkwood Elves are highly distrustful of other races. Especially King Thranduil, who taught his son no different. No doubt you know Legolas is the Prince…hmm." He finished as thought talking to himself.

"Gandalf," Aragorn asked curiously, "Why are they so mistrustful?"

"Ah. That, my dear boy, is another tale to tell. One we do not have time for right now. For the moment I suggest you get to the horses. Thranduil's son does not care for tardiness. He must get it from his father, though he is not always on time either," Gandalf mused to himself, as a smile tugged at his lips. "In any case, take care of yourself, Aragorn."

Aragorn smiled. "Thank you." He went to ready his horse.

He found Legolas in the stables. The elf was smiling, and speaking quietly to his horse He did not seem to notice Aragorn as he walked in and started to tend his horse, Brethil.

Brethil was restless. Legolas heard her, and saw Aragorn. He kept quiet, though, to observe how he would handle it.

Aragorn took the horse's head in his arms and cradled it gently. He began to speak to him in Elvish, his voice hardly more than a whisper. Slowly, Brethil calmed down.

Legolas watched this with interest. It was obvious that this man had lived amongst the Elves for some time, because he knew both their language and their ways. He smiled to himself. Aragorn then started to look around for the pack that he carried with him, for he always left it in the stable.

"Are you looking for your pack?" asked Legolas.

Aragorn turned to him. "Do you have it?"


"Do you know where it is?"



"Elrohir took it."


"I know not." Legolas mounted his horse.

"Where are you going?" asked Aragorn. The elf did not answer. Aragorn looked up to him. "Legolas…I am sorry for the way I acted earlier. It was wrong."

Legolas hesitated for a moment, then replied. "I accept your apology." He looked out of the stables. "Well, Brannon Elrond asked that we go out front. We are leaving soon." He then galloped away.

Aragorn looked over at Brethil. Though Legolas had forgiven him, there still existed an unnatural tension between them.


Legolas rode out, and found Elrohir and Elladan quietly looking through Estel's pack. A smile tugged at his lips and he jumped down from Alagos. While they were intently looking through his pack, he snuck up behind them. He waited for a few moments before commenting, "Having fun?"

The twins both jumped and looked behind them guiltily. Upon seeing Legolas they breathed a sigh of relief and Elrohir said, "Valar, Legolas. You really need to stop sneaking up on people."

Legolas laughed and asked, "What were you two doing with his pack, anyway?"

They smiled sheepishly and replied in unison, "Nothing."

"I'm sure," was Legolas' reply. "I hate to ruin your fun, but we do have to leave sometime this millennia. So I'll be having his pack back." He gave a mock stern look and the twins stuffed everything back in and said, "Oh, Legolas, how touching. Looking out for your new friend?" they mocked.

Legolas grabbed the bag and replied, "No! Of course not. I just wish to leave while it's still early."

They laughed and said, "Safe journey, Legolas. Come home in one piece."

"Don't worry, I will. You take care of yourselves also." Then he turned away and jumped back on his horse, carrying Aragorn's pack in his hand. He rode toward the gates to meet with Elrond.

As he was riding away, Elladan turned to his brother. "Think they will ever learn to get along?"

"If you ask me," responded Elrohir. "They are both too stubborn for their own good. But I think, also, that if they do learn to get along, they will become the best of friends. If they don't then they will become enemies. I think they will both come around to be closer than any of us could have ever imagined."

Elladan nodded his head. "It seems Legolas has already become more forgiving and kind to Estel. I highly doubt that if Legolas had met him just a few minutes ago, he would have helped him get his pack back. It seems he has already beginning to care about Estel."

Elrohir agreed. "Yes, it seems Estel has that effect upon people. Now we should get going; they are not the only ones leaving this morning."


Not long after, Aragorn, Legolas, Elladan and Elrohir were gathered to depart for their journeys. Elrond and Mithrandir were there, also, to bid them farewell.

"May you always travel in safety." said Elrond.

"And if you should encounter any problems, report directly back to Imladris," added Mithrandir.

The four bowed. After saying a few departing words to one another, the two groups went their separate ways. As they started to ride away, Legolas remembered Aragorn's pack. He took it out and gave it back to him. Aragorn received it with a quiet: "Hannen le*" and continued to ride on in silence.


Legolas's and Aragorn's rode led them east. They rode swiftly and silently, taking short rests to eat and to sleep at night. As night fell, they found a spot and set up camp.

As they sat down, Aragorn pulled some dried fruit out of his pack. As he was doing this, Legolas noticed for the first time the ring on his finger. A jewel there was, and two snakes, one devouring the other. The elf recognized the ring. Could it be that this man, this ranger and fosterling of Elrond, be Isildurs heir? Legolas knew that Elrond had fostered many of that line in Rivendell. If so, this was the one destined to inherit the throne of Gondor, destined to rule the world of men, if he should accept that as his fate.

He silently pondered this as he too ate some dried fruit from his pack. He laid down upon the ground and looked up at the elenath*. After laying there for a few minutes he sat up. He turned and saw Estel looking at him.

"What is it?" Legolas asked.

Aragorn shook his head. "Nothing."


Aragorn looked up startled. "What did you say?"

"That's your name, is it not?"

He looked confused. "Yes, but…how do you know that?"

"You are the son of Arathorn, Isildur's heir."

Aragorn was silent for a moment, then said, "Yes."

Legolas nodded. "I suspected so." The elf did not speak again. After awhile, Aragorn lay on the ground and fell asleep.

Once the man was sleeping, Legolas stood and walked to the edge of the hill where their camp was. He looked out. The view was beautiful, and the night was still. That was good, because he had a lot of thinking to do.

Expectations ran high for the Prince of Mirkwood. Lately, he had become slightly uncomfortable with his title. In fact, his father had almost not allowed him to come on this mission. He had planned to send another of his court, because a simple scouting mission seemed "below" his noble son. he had thought of giving up the throne, but he loved his father dearly and knew that he would be dreadfully disappointed, not to mention distraught. And now, on top of these troubles, he had to travel with the human Aragorn, of whom he had mixed feelings.

Legolas heard a rustling sound. He smiled slightly. It was, of course, the human. Men tended to make much noise, even when trying to be quiet and discreet. The same was true of dwarves, and it always made Legolas smile.

The elf turned and waited. He knew that any minute Aragorn would come out. Sure enough, he did.

"I heard you coming," Legolas said.

"I figured you would." answered Aragorn. He went and stood by the elf, admiring the view. "The night is very quiet." He said.

"It is a beautiful night," said Legolas. "Quiet, beautiful days and nights are rare during times like these."

Aragorn sighed. "The times will get worse before they get better."

"That is true of many things."

Aragorn looked slightly confused but said nothing to his statement. Instead he asked, "How did you find out my name? Did Gandalf tell you?"

Legolas smiled and replied, "Nay."

"Then how did you find out?"

"Your hand," said Legolas, amused when Aragorn looked at his hand confused. "I saw the Ring of Barahir," said Legolas.


"You are lucky," said Legolas wistfully. "You grew up in the house of Elrond with a caring family. I know Brannon Elrond must have been a wonderful father and the twins as brothers."

"Do you not have a caring family?" questioned Aragorn.

"I suppose you could say that my family was caring, but in a much different way." The elf paused. "How did you come to live in Rivendell?"

"I was brought to Rivendell by my mother, many years ago." He said no more.


"I know that life in Mirkwood is very rough, especially for the King and his son. You must lead a very difficult life."

Legolas nodded. For a moment they were quiet, silently thinking to themselves. Then Legolas started singing to himself quietly.

"What are you singing?" Aragorn asked.

Legolas smiled. "It is a song about the stars. A dear friend taught it to me." Then the smile faded. "But he has been gone for some time now. How he loved the stars. But back in Mirkwood he could never find peace."

"What happened to him?"

"He went in search of solitude, a place where he could abide in peace. However he found it not and he was led into peril. He passed away, to a place where he is forever gone from my sight." Legolas looked over at Aragorn, a deep sorrow in his eyes. "The one I mourn was my brother. This was his song."

And Legolas' clear, resonant voice sounded through the night.

"The stars are shining overhead
Silent as a prayer
A soft light in the darkness Beautiful and fair

Oh, why doust thou who made the stars
Not create a perfect world?
Why must we all wait in darkness
As hateful events unfurl?

If only the world could be at peace
And simply watch the stars
They would see how much better the earth could be
Had it not been marred

Then his voice faltered and he fell silent.

Aragorn looked over at Legolas, and realized that the elf had trusted him with this story about his brother; a story that brought back emotional memories for him. Again Aragorn felt a bond between them, only instead of the bond of tension that existed there before, they were now connected by friendship.


Legolas looked to Aragorn and said softly, "The hour grows late. I suggest you get some sleep. We have yet a long journey ahead of us. Idh mae…Aragorn."

Aragorn looked to the elf and said, "Hannen le, Legolas."

"I will take the watch tonight." said Legolas.

Aragorn stood up and began to walk away. He went through the bushes and Legolas stared after him for a long time afterwards, pondering their conversation. He did not know why, but he trusted this human enough to tell him about his brother. He missed Gildur desperately. They had always been close, and at the death of their mother, they have become even closer.

He looked up to the stars and whispered, "I miss you, muindor nin*."


The sun rose over the Misty Mountains, illuminating everything with a warm, golden light. Legolas kneeled down next to a sleeping Aragorn and softly shook him. "Aragorn…Aragorn…"

The human moved slightly but did nothing else. "Estel…" Legolas said his name softly again.

"Five more minutes, Ada," Aragorn moaned.

Legolas rolled his eyes. He took a container and filled it up with some water he found earlier. A clear stream flowed just a ways away and Legolas had visited it early that morning.

He shook Aragorn once again and said, "Aragorn! Wake up!"

When the human still did nothing Legolas grabbed the water and threw it on him. Aragorn jerked up and let out a stream of curses. His eyes focused on Legolas right as the elf muttered something about it working well on dogs.

"Excuse me?" he asked.


"Did you just call me a dog?"

"Nay! Of course not!"

"Oh…" Aragorn got up silently and started to walk away.

"Where are you going?" Legolas asked. But he did not get a reply. He followed Aragorn and found the man putting water in a container at the stream. Without warning, he turned around and threw it all over the elf.

Legolas gasped. He had been caught off-guard. He gave Aragorn a dirty look, and saw that the man was laughing and pointing. Legolas pushed him into the stream.

Aragorn stood, wiping himself off. He splashed some more water on Legolas playfully, then the two of them headed back to camp and started to ready their horses. They packed up and started to ride again.

They kept riding, until they found a narrow trail leading into the mountains. There they slowed their horses, and rode one behind the other.

"I can smell Orc filth," whispered Legolas, "They are not far. I can hear their voices, now, speaking in their accursed tongue. Can you hear them?"

"Nay. I have not the keen hearing of the Elves." Legolas smiled, slightly amused. "They are not far," he repeated. "Even you should be able to hear them soon." He suddenly stopped and lay down upon the ground with his ear to the ground. After a few minutes he scrambled back up, notching an arrow.

"Arda is groaning with disgust. Can you not hear it?" asked Legolas. "They are coming."

Aragorn's eyes widened. "How many? Can you tell?" He pulled his sword out of his sheath and readied it.

"I cannot tell, but there are many. Hide in the bushes over there. Perhaps we can ambush them. I will be in the tree above you."

Before the human could say a word, the elf was already climbing the tree with a skill unrivaled by any he had ever seen. As he hid in the bushes, prepared to jump out at any moment, he looked upwards. He could not see or hear the elf at all. "Legolas?" he asked.

"I'm right here, Aragorn," came a voice above him. Before he could reply he heard other voices.

"Come on, you maggots, faster! We don't have time to go at the speed you're goin'!" a fetid voice came. Many shuffling sounds and other noises came also. Soon they were within sight. There were not many in sight, only about twenty strong.

"Aragorn," said Legolas. "Go!"

Aragorn leaped out of the bushes, his blade glinting in the sun. With a mighty cry he went fearlessly into battle. Arrows flew from the tree, and soon the twenty Orcs were slaughtered. Then, suddenly, more harsh voices were heard.

"Aragorn, get out of there!" yelled Legolas. The Orcs were many, and would soon overrun him.


Aragorn was dimly aware of the elf's voice. He saw his enemies, believed their number to be few, and Legolas saw much further, and could see that their number was far greater than the ranger perceived. There was little he could do; his arrows were almost spent.

Aragorn charged forth. Legolas used the few arrows he had left, then turned to get down from the tree. But when he turned a rough hand was clapped over his mouth.

"You have been discovered, elf," said the Orc. "Your comrade will not last long. What are you going to do? Your arrows are spent."

Legolas whipped out his Elven blades and slew the Orc where he stood. More followed into the tree. Legolas jumped up higher and looked for a way to get to the ground. As he got even higher he took a chance and jumped to a different tree. From there he jumped down and ran towards the battle; to where Aragorn was. Suddenly, he stopped and watched in horror as an Orc was about to behead the human. "Estel!" he cried, but Aragorn did not hear. Thinking quickly he grabbed one of his arrows from a dead Orc and strung his bow. The arrow went whistling through the air right as the Orc knocked Aragorn out. A millisecond later the Orc fell to the ground with an arrow between his eyes.

He began to viciously kill any Orc in his way, but soon a squalid voice spoke to him. "Put down your weapons, elf scum, or we will kill the man!" When Legolas hesitated he snapped, "Now!"

Legolas slowly dropped his weapons and his world went black.


Elvish translations:

Hannen le: Thank you
Elenath: Starry host/All the stars of heaven
Idh mae: Rest well
Muindor nin: My brother

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~Steel Sword and Silver Bow