Disclaimer:Tolkien owns all.

Darkness crept over the sky and the Fellowship edged closer to the fire. They had been walking hard for three weeks now and to relieve some of the tension Boromir, Aragorn, Gimli and even Gandalf had spent the evening amusing the Hobbits with stories of their past adventures.

Around the edge of the camp Legolas walked alone, peering into the gloom to ensure they were safe from attack. Apparently satisfied he returned to the fire and sat down in between Aragorn and Pippin. The rest of the Fellowship looked at him expectantly.

"There's nothing for leagues." he assured them.

Since they had started out, the Fellowship had heard very little out of the Elf travelling with them. In fact, the only people he had spoken to for any length of time were Gandalf and Aragorn, who'd he'd known for a long time. Legolas wasn't rude, or unfriendly, he was just quiet. Pippin, being naturally verbose, didn't understand how someone could bare to say so little. He decided to do something about it.

"Mr Legolas sir?" he questioned politely.

Legolas smiled kindly at him. "Just Legolas will do Master Hobbit."

"Yes well... Legolas then. We've been telling stories all evening and, you being a warrior and everything, I was wondering if you could tell us a tale."

"No I don't think that's a very good idea." Aragorn cut in "Legolas doesn't tell very good stories." He was sure any story his friend told would involve him in some way, probably doing something embarrassing.

"Strider!"Pippin exclaimed, shocked. "That's not very nice!"

"No, it's not" Legolas agreed, his eyes sparkling with mischief. "Very well Pippin. I will tell you a story that happened about 80 years ago in Rivendell."

Aragorn suppressed a sign. Definitely about him then.

About 80 Years ago in Rivendell...

4 year old Estel charged into Lord Elrond's study, skidded to a stop in front of the desk and looked imploringly up at the Elf who sat behind it.

"Ada, the twins and Legolas are going to the lake today and they said they'd teach me how to swim. Can I go Ada? Please?"

Elrond smiled slightly as he lifted his pleading son into his arms.

"Well I don't know..." he began teasingly.

"Please!" Estel cried.

"Hmm.. alright then, if you promise to be careful and not drown your brothers or Legolas."

"I promise!" Estel beamed up at Elrond, before jumping out of his arms and running off in search of the twins and Legolas.

"Ada says I can go." Estel said when he found them. "Can we go now?"

"Well, as you asked so nicely." Legolas laughed, scooping the child up into his arms. "Would you like a piggy back?"

Estel nodded enthusiastically and the four were soon walking to the lake, Estel giggling as Legolas jiggled him about on his back.

The lake in question was a massive expanse of water to the south of the Last Homely House. It was surrounded by trees putting the edges in shade, while in the center was a small island which enjoyed full sunlight.

"Alright Estel. Lets get you changed. You can't go swimming in your clothes you know." said Elladan, lifting Estel off Legolas back and placing him on the ground. In no time the four were changed and ready to go swimming.

Elladan and Elrohir each took one hand of their younger brother and lead him down to the waters edge. Just before they entered the water, Estel pulled away and ran further up the shore, back to where Legolas was standing. Frowning at each other, the twins walked up to where their brother now stood.

"What's wrong Estel?" Elrohir questioned.

"Don't want to " Estel mumbled in reply.

"Why not?" the twin asked, confused at his brother's sudden change of mood.

"Because."

"Oh"

The elves glanced at each other. They hadn't anticipated Estel being afraid of the water. Perhaps teaching him to swim hadn't wouldn't be as easy as they thought.

Legolas bent over and lifted the boy into his arms. He began to pace the beach.

"Do you want to hear a story Estel?" Legolas asked.

"Umm.. alright." Estel replied, slightly mystified.

"When I was younger my Father decided I should learn how to swim. So he took me down to the river and told me to get in. But I didn't want to. I was scared of the water. So do you know what my Father did?"

Estel shook his head.

"He picked me up and dropped me in the water."

Estel's eyes went wide. "That wasn't very nice."

"Maybe not, but it worked. I'm not afraid of the water any more. Estel, look at me. Does the water scare you too?"

Nod.

"Look around you Estel." He did and too the child's horror he saw Legolas was now waist high in the water. Estel's legs were only just above the surface, He had been so engrossed in the story that he hadn't even noticed. In fear Estel clung tightly to Legolas.

"Estel relax. Look at me hen." Estel turned his wide eyes onto Legolas' bright blue ones. "Now, do you trust me?"

"Of course"

"I promise nothing bad is going to happen. I'm going to get you wet, but I wont let you go."

The boy nodded his head slowly and Legolas bent his legs so Estel was submerged up to his shoulders.

"There, that's not so bad, is it?"

Smiling slightly, Estel shook his head no.

"Do you want to stand up?"

"Yes. But don't let go."

Wading back to the shallow, Legolas set Estel on his feet, one hand holding the young boy's.

"Now if we can just persuade those annoying brother's of yours to come in, we can start your swimming lesson.

As the sun began to set the four left the water and sat on the bank eating a picnic.

"Do you enjoy yourself Estel?" Elladan questioned, glancing at his brother.

"mmm...great." Estel was leaning against Legolas, his eyes closed.

"We should get back." Legolas nodded in agreement before lifting the now sleeping Estel into his arms. As the sun set they made their way back to the Last Homely House.

Pippin wasn't satisfied.

"Legolas, you're a warrior. I was expecting an adventure story like everyone else told."

Legolas turned to face the young hobbit, looking him straight in the eye. The intensity of his gaze alarmed Pippin and he was just about to look away when Legolas smiled at him.

"Master Hobbit. I could tell you stories of times when I've fought spiders and wargs, been tortured by orcs, men and even elves. For almost 3000 years I have been fight the darkness that spreads in Middle Earth. The tales I could tell you would give you nightmares for weeks to come. The story I just told you is one of my happiest memories. Is it any wonder I would rather tell that?"

Pippin looked down at his feet. "I'm sorry" he told the ground.

Reaching across, Legolas put his hand under Pippin's chin and lifted his head so that once again they looked eye to eye.

"Don't be." he smiled down. "You are young and innocent and adventurous and this will serve you well on this quest. Hold onto these qualities for as long as you can."

Pippin smiled up at Legolas. "You tell a good story."

Frodo, deciding it was time to break the tension. "What happened to Estel?"

"What?" Legolas asked confused.

"What happened to him? I do not remember meeting him in Rivendell."

Legolas smirked. He turned to face the Ringbearer full on. "Well... he became a Ranger. Then, not so long ago he met four young hobbits in Bree and escorted them to Rivendell. A council was held and it was decided he would join a Fellowship to destroy the One Ring. At this moment in time he's sitting not too far away, looking at me with one eyebrow raised."

The Fellow ship turned to look at Aragorn, who did indeed have one eyebrow raised.

"You're Estel?" Frodo asked.

Aragorn nodded.

"How many names do you have?" Pippin burst out, shocked by this sudden revelation.

Legolas rolled his eyes "Too many."

"Oh"

Silence. But silence never last long around Pippin.

"Legolas. You know in your story, where you told Strider a story?"

"Yes?"

"Was it true?"

"You know I've often wondered that." Aragorn cut in.

Legolas smiled slyly.

"You'll never know."

Ada- Father

Estel-Hope

Hen- child

Just something light to get started. More action in later chapters.