by Erestor

Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to The Lord of the Rings. This story was written for entertainment purposes only, and I'm not being paid for it.

Aragorn was getting excited. It was a bad sign. "Draw out Sauron's armies! Empty his lands!" he cried. "Then we'll gather our full strength and march on the Black Gate."

Éomer glared at Aragorn balefully. "We cannot achieve victory through strength of arms," he commented.

"Not for ourselves, but we can give Frodo this chance if we keep Sauron's eye fixed upon us," said Aragorn. He looked around, gazing soulfully at Gimli, then Éomer, then Gandalf, then Legolas. "Keep him blind to all else that moves."

Legolas smiled brightly. "A diversion!"

Aragorn paused, rolling his eyes. "What else?"

Momentarily embarrassed, Legolas said pathetically, "I was explaining... for the Dwarf..."

Gimli choked on his pipe. Éomer meandered over to the throne where the Dwarf sat and pounded him on the back. Gandalf, watching idly, thought Éomer was hitting him rather too hard.

Aragorn and Legolas were in throes of another painful argument.

"Legolas, why do you keep on stating the obvious like this?" demanded Aragorn. "It's getting on my nerves! Elves are supposed to be subtle creatures!"

"Some people" –Legolas glanced pointedly at Gimli– "find it hard to process complex information. So I help them."

Aragorn crossed his arms over his chest. "You needn't pretend, Master Elf. When you said 'a diversion' you had just realized what I was talking about. You needn't deny it. My strategy was confusing you."

"Do you remember the 'strategy' you thought up a few decades ago? You wanted me to pretend to be injured so that you could sneak up on some orcs, and then you walked into a tree and were blundering around the woods stunned, and I ended up being half-slaughtered before I managed to save myself! Remember that little 'diversion'?"

"You should have run when the orcs began discussing their favorite recipes," said Aragorn. "That's what any sensible person would have done."

"My problem is that I'm too trusting," said Legolas. "Your problem is that you're a mortal."

"There's a few other mortals in here," snarled Aragorn, "and they might get offended by your snooty attitude."

Legolas grinned. "You were the one who accused me of not being subtle enough."

The man smiled back, looking rather wicked. "Hey, Éomer," he yelled, "listen to my Legolas impression."

Éomer stopped hitting Gimli and Gimli stopped hitting Éomer, and they both looked at Aragorn expectantly. Aragorn plastered a dazed expression on his face and began wandering around the room, saying things like, "Orcs!", "Goblins!", "The horn of Gondor!", "A chair!".

Gimli and Éomer were rolling on the floor, laughing. Gandalf was making the strange sound of someone who is trying not to pass out.

"I never said anything about chairs!" yelled Legolas.

"Are you sure? You muttered something when we walked into the throne room today," said Aragorn.

Legolas counted to ten. Then he counted to ten again, but in Elvish. Then he counted to ten backwards, which is very difficult. He opened his mouth to say something snappy and insulting, but suddenly Gimli piped up gruffly.

"Maybe Elven women like dumb blondes," said Gimli. "Now, Dwarven women prefer–"

"What?" Legolas screeched. "I'm not dumb!"

"You're the best actor I've ever seen then," said Gimli.

Aragorn sniggered. Éomer snorted. Gandalf left the room hurriedly.

"I was just summing up what Aragorn was saying!" wailed Legolas. "I wasn't asking to be persecuted like this!"

"We weren't persecuting you," said Aragorn, kindly. "We were making fun of you."

"The last person who made fun of me..." began Legolas threateningly.

"But we're your friends," said Aragorn. "And anyway, I'm going to be king."

"Yes," said Éomer. "That means that if Aragorn says 'jump', you ask 'how high?'."

"No," said Gimli. "Knowing Aragorn, if he says 'jump', you ask 'off what?'."

Aragorn smirked. "Exactly."

"Glad we cleared that up," said Éomer.

"I'm starved," said Aragorn. "I'm going to get something to eat."