Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to The Lord of the Rings.
I lived a happy life for hundreds of years. Really. I had no worries at all. I shot spiders, hunted Orcs on occasion, avoided my father, dodged nasty men who wanted to kill me, and turned life in Rivendell completely upside down with the help of two brothers who shall go unnamed. I was happy and content. Nothing I did ever went seriously wrong.
Then I met a man called Aragorn, and he has made my life miserable.
I am constantly amazed by the number of stupid things Aragorn does. I used to think that mortals try to prolong their lives just slightly, but Aragorn proves otherwise. He acts as if nothing bad can ever possibly happen to him. If the cliff looks unstable, he's the first one to go capering over the top of it. If the valley is a perfect place for an ambush, he is the one who decides we should go through it. If the sinister man with the mustache and evil leer appears to be a spy, he's the first to say he trusts the man implicitly.
I really must ask Lord Elrond if Aragorn was dropped on his head when he was little.
Today the two of us are fleeing another one of Aragorn's many enemies. Aragorn somehow managed to offend a psychopathic Elf who has a large collection of poisoned knives. Due to my timely intervention, Aragorn does not have one of these knives lodged in his back.
At the moment, not only do we have an assassin after us, but we accidentally crashed a party of Orcs, and they're hot on our trail.
"Legolas?" yells Aragorn, dashing through the woods beside me.
"What?" I ask, rather shortly. I admit feeling more than annoyed with the ranger by now.
"There's a stone in my boot!" shouts Aragorn, grimacing with pain.
I decide that such a ridiculous comment does not merit an answer. I am too busy focusing on breathing and avoiding trees to rant. Aragorn unwisely continues to pursue the subject.
"Maybe we could stop for a moment," he pants. "I think the Orcs are pretty far behind."
Aragorn is optimistic as well as annoying. He is also sarcastic. Why couldn't I be having adventures with Elrohir instead?
Oh yes, Elrohir says I am an obnoxious little prig.
"Aragorn, if you want to become mincemeat, you go ahead," I say. "As for me, I prefer to remain alive."
"But I'm in pain!" wails Aragorn.
I consider showing him what pain really feels like. I would love to crack his head against a tree. Before I can do something drastic (and violent), Aragorn sits down and takes off his boot.
"Aragorn! What are you doing?" I shriek.
"I am taking the stone out of my boot," Aragorn tells me. "And shouldn't you be running for your life?"
I realize that I have stopped moving. The Orcs will catch up with us! For a moment, I am indecisive.
Actually, I take that back. Elves are never indecisive. I wasn't being indecisive, I just wasn't doing anything.
Aragorn pulls the stone out of his shoe and waves it in my face. "See?" he announces. "Isn't that huge? I think my foot's bleeding."
A particularly fast (but still stupid) Orc dashes by. I knock it on the head. Killing Orcs always makes me feel better. "Aragorn," I say slowly, so he'll understand me, "put the boot back on and help me fight off our enemies."
"You needn't be sarcastic," says Aragorn, pulling the boot back on. He limps over to my side. "I know what I'm doing."
"That's good, because I have no idea what you're doing," I say, selecting an arrow from my quiver. "The Orcs will be coming from that direction."
Aragorn turns around and finally faces the right way. I shoot another Orc, and then we both get to work. Between the two of us, we kill quite a few of our enemies.
Unfortunately, more Orcs are coming at us. I have run out of arrows.
"Legolas," says Aragorn grimly, "we must hide in the caves. They are our only hope."
I stiffen ever so slightly. "The caves? What caves?"
"The caves that are somewhere in the forest," says Aragorn. "Being a ranger, I know this place like the back of my hand."
"But, Aragorn..." I begin, almost (but not quite) worried by the latest developments. I try not to sound whiny. That would never do.
Aragorn grabs me by the hand and drags me through the woods in an irritatingly self-assured manner.
"I hate caves," I say. I am calm about this, I really am.
"I'm sorry," says Aragorn, not looking sorry in the least. "We have to do this. Would you rather be dead?"
"No," I say. "But can't we climb a tree, or something?"
"How like a Mirkwood Elf," growls Aragorn.
We continue to run through the forest. I have leaves in my hair. Aragorn, poor pathetic mortal that he is, is starting to have some trouble concerning stamina. He is slowing down, panting for breath, and looking quite unwell.
Good, I think with satisfaction. Now we won't have to go in the caves. We can stop so that Aragorn can catch his breath.
Suddenly, we're in the dark.
"We reached the caves," Aragorn says happily.
"Good," I say. "Wonderful. Brilliant. I feel so excited."
We stand in the cave entrance for a moment. I become worried. I don't want to go any further into the cave than I have to. Aragorn looks overjoyed at the thought of wandering through a dismal hole in the ground. Really, the man should have been born a Dwarf.
As we stand here, considering the various possibilities, there is an earthquake. The ground shudders and heaves, Aragorn topples over, and a lot of rocks fall over the entrance. I keep my balance with my usual grace and aplomb.
"I could have told you that would happen," I say.
"Yes, I know," snarls Aragorn. "Elves are always right, and all that."
I sit down in the darkness and try to think happy thoughts. It's rather difficult.
"Of course," says Aragorn brightly, "the Orcs can't get us now."
I would have wrung his neck, but I couldn't see where it was.
"We're still going to die," I say.
"You know, you Elves bother me," says Aragorn. "All of you are so terribly pessimistic! Why don't you just think happy thoughts more often?"
"I'm trying," I say in a reasonable tone. At least, it would have been a reasonable tone if I hadn't been simultaneously grinding my teeth.
We are silent for a few minutes. I begin to panic. No, I will not panic. I'm not panicking. It's just really dark in here. No, still not panicking. Breath deeply. Count to ten. Not panicking. The darkness is pressing down on me. Elves never panic. Lah dee dah, not panicking.
It's not until I suffer through a horrific flashback of my Horribly Bad Cave Experience that I actually panic. And even then, I am proud to say, I panic with style.
"Aragorn?" I whisper, hoping that he's still there. "Aragorn?"
Still silence. He's probably sulking.
I. Will. Not. Panic.
"Aragorn!" I wail. "Are you still in here? Say something! Aaah! I'm going mad! Someone help me!"
"You're panicking, aren't you?" Aragorn asks He sounds smug.
I wish that I had huge glowing eyes that I could switch off and on at will. If I had something like that, I could open my eyes really wide and switch my glowing eyes on and Aragorn would see two big eyes glaring at him out of the darkness and he would start screaming and I would actually be able to think happy thoughts.
I realize I'm smiling. I stop. Me? Smile? In a cave? I must be going crazy. The darkness is getting to me. Or maybe Aragorn is getting to me. Either way, I think I'm doomed.
"All right," says Aragorn, "we have about two hours before we pass out from lack of oxygen. If we don't speak, we'll last even longer."
Valar, what have I done to deserve this?
"You're moaning," comments Aragorn.
I kick him.
"Let's play a game," says Aragorn cheerfully after he stops yelling at me about his broken leg. "How about we tell a story? I'll say the first sentence, then you say the second sentence and so on."
I make a sound. Aragorn decides to pretend it meant 'yes'.
"Once upon a time, there was a brave and intrepid ranger called Aragorn."
"Aragorn was deluded; he thought he was brave and intrepid, but he was really just brainless and foolhardy," I say.
"That's cheating," says Aragorn. "That was two sentences, and it wasn't even true."
"It was one sentence," I say, "and it was perfectly true."
I think I hear Aragorn growl at this point, but I'm not sure.
"We're going to die," says Aragorn eventually.
"Yes, I know."
"I don't want to die."
"You're mortal. You were going to die anyway."
Aragorn sniggers. "You're going to die too," he says. "Tough luck."
Aragorn is really pushing it.
"Aragorn, this is all your fault. You dragged me in here. You're the one who is trying to kill me. If you say one more thing, I will..." I pause, trying to think of something really mean. "I will cut off your fingers and make you eat them."
Aragorn makes an incoherent sound of horror and disgust.
"You wouldn't really..." he begins pathetically.
"I would. Really."
"I just remembered a way out of here," says Aragorn perkily a few minutes later.
I practically explode. "WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY?"
"Uh... just come this way," says Aragorn. With my keen Elvish hearing, I can tell which way he is going. I follow after him, crawling on my hands and knees through a low passageway, smoldering with righteous indignation.
Eventually we make our way outside. I want to scrag Aragorn, but I decide to get the leaves out of my hair first. Then I actually pause to look around.
Aragorn and I are facing a huge horde of Orcs that really shouldn't be here. They are all glaring at us threateningly, looking evil and cruel. I gulp nervously.
"Legolas," says Aragorn softly, "if you need me, I'll be back in the cave, all right?"
Aragorn ducks back into the tunnel and disappears from view. I look at the Orcs. They are advancing slowly. I am armed with my knife and a quill pen I stole from Rivendell. I don't have to consider the situation very long.
I scramble into the cave as quickly as I can.
"You're crazy, Aragorn. You are crazy, and incompetent, and I'm going to strangle you," I yell.
"Wait! I think we took the wrong passage! Here's another one!" Aragorn cries hurriedly.
I stand up too suddenly and hit my head on the ceiling. While I'm saying some creative things, Aragorn yanks me down another tunnel.
"Are you sure this is the right one?" I demand.
Aragorn climbs out of the hole and pulls me up. We are standing in the kitchen in Rivendell.
My mouth drops open. I quickly shut it again.
Aragorn smirks smugly at me. "Rangers are always right."
I pick up a meat cleaver. Aragorn decides to leave the room.
"Don't do it!" he yells as I chase him through Rivendell. "Think happy thoughts!"
I smile to myself.
I am already thinking happy thoughts.