Disclaimer: All characters and facts related to Tolkien's works are his.

The Fountain

Summary: An old fountain in the palace garden invokes wistful thoughts in Legolas as he ponders over present and past.

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It was not so much a palace garden as a less dense part of the forest enclosed in the palace grounds. Legolas walked across it everyday. When he was still very young, and the world was not yet darkened by shadow and pain, there had been a special place in the garden that he went to often, to reflect over the day's events or simply rest.

Now, there was just too much to do. The matters that called for his attention outweighed the amount of time in one day…

Legolas stretched and tried to suppress a yawn, his eyes watering in the process. The flame of a candle flickered and went out abruptly throwing the room into darkness. The Prince of Mirkwood sighed tiredly. A stack of parchments lay to the left of his table awaiting his inspection - reports that needed to be read.

As a prince of the realm, one of his duties was to review the reports submitted by the elves stationed at the south. There had been an increase in activity in that part of the woods in recent years and Legolas was more than a little worried about the implications of this.

He frowned and deep furrows marred his otherwise flawless face. His eyes were tired from staring at the elvish scripts for so long. He got to his feet and made his way out of the room.

He needed a breath of fresh air to clear his tired mind. The moon had cast a phosphorescent glow on everything and Legolas' skin was bathed in the silvery moonlight.

A familiar sight made him pause and he stood still, staring at the good sized fountain that called forgotten memories forth. It had been constructed ages ago before his father had become king.

When he was younger, he had often stopped by the fountain on his way home from archery practice to spruce up his appearance before having dinner with his adar. He would wet his hands and hurriedly splash some water onto his dirt streaked face, wiping it clean again with his sleeve, the other hand smoothing his hair down with the cool liquid from the fountain.

There had been a secret between the fountain and he; a place known only to him which he had discovered one day, quite by chance. The structure of the fountain was such that there were two parts to it. A flat piece of stone was raised a good way above the lower portion where the water filled a good sized pool of water. Water flowed downwards from the upper layer, forming a curtain of water from the top to the bottom.

The part of the fountain just below where the stone sheltered the pool remained relatively dry.

Legolas searched frantically for a place to hide. All that was in sight was the old fountain. He glanced behind him uneasily. Faroth was not taking the prank played on him too well. In fact, judging from the stream of threats Legolas had heard him utter after the pot of dye had drenched him head to toe, he was furious.

He had vowed revenge on the one who had planned and carried out the deed. Legolas had a nagging suspicion that his friend knew who had done it.

Footsteps sounded behind and Legolas panicked. He waded into the fountain and dove into the inner part of it. The footsteps died away.

Legolas took a good look at where he was. He was only a little damp from cutting though the curtain of water. He was quite out of sight from the outside for the arrangement of the stones that made up the fountain hid him from view. He had entered the interior of the fountain through an opening in rough walls that supported a flat piece of rock raised above the ground.

The Prince of Mirkwood's eyes shone with glee at his very handy discovery.

A sudden desire to see his old hide out struck Legolas and for a brief moment he entertained the notion of doing just that. However, common sense won in the end as he realized he would not be able to fit anymore.

He walked closer to the fountain and peered at his reflection. The passing of time had changed little of his appearance as with all of his people, but the air or innocence and lightheartedness that he used to possess seemed to have diminished without his knowing.

When had it happened, he mused. His hand reached out absently and traced the cool stone of the fountain. He stroked the surface of that water, letting the crystal water caress his fingers.

He wished all was right with middle earth again. Why couldn't all the nasty things in the world just disappear and leave everyone in peace? He smiled at his own naïve thoughts, knowing in his heart that this was not possible.

The years would pass, the seasons would fly by and someday, all would be righted again. He knew this to be the truth and yet it brought little comfort for it was so hard to believe and hold on to when darker things happened.

He wished that he could fit in that secret place in the fountain again, and hide from everything until times of peace returned, untouched and untainted by the woes of the world… alas, he could no longer fit in that place.

He sighed tiredly and poised his hand above the smooth surface of the water, letting beads of liquid return gently to rest.

With one last longing look at the fountain which held so many memories for him, he turned his back and waded through the moonlit path back to the palace.

End

There! Another vignette done. Took me awhile to get it done but I like how it turned out. I know I've writen quite a few fics with Legolas musing over 'dark times', so I hope this wasn't too dull.

Please review!!!!!!!!