Title: The Folly of Men

Summary: Vengeful marauders snare Legolas to be an underworld prizefighter in their cryptic domain of darkness. Aragorn finds out the only way to liberate the prince is to get captured himself but they both must combat an ancient prejudice that could mean their demise.

Authors: Celebdil-Galad and Tinlaure

Disclaimer: We do not own anything from the movie or book trilogy of Lord of The Rings. We also own nothing from Middle Earth. These things all belong to New Line Cinema and J.R.R. Tolkien. We also are not doing this for money, we are doing it because we have nothing better to do and that's as much a reason as you need! WE ARE NOT EXPERTS SO LETS MAKE THAT ABUNDENTLY CLEAR RIGHT NOW THAT WE DON'T CLAIM TO BE WHAT WE ARE NOT!

A/N: The characters Rothinzil and Ancú are ours and you can use them, but only if you contact us specifying how they are going to be used and why you need them. For instance, they are straight and definitely prefer the females as do any other OC males that you may find and females prefer the guys. If you kidnap them, trust us, we will find out and we will take action!

Hmmm...let us think...this tale starts with the court marshal of Anc, the Captain of the Guard. It is not long. We will try and back track, but we can't afford to retell the whole thing, so you will have to read the story prior, starting from roughly chapter ten and up. This should tell you that there are heavy spoilers for our previous story, "All That's Left of Yesterday." If you have not ready that fiction of ours it is not entirely necessary, but strongly advised.

We are not experts in the Elven tongue (as much as we try). Thanks to Nili we had the name of our community corrected. For that we are thrilled. If you see any mistakes...and it is highly probable that you will...do not be afraid to let us know. It will help and we really would like to get better at this whole writing thing.

Angst is inevitable. So don't be surprised to read some pretty bleak parts.

This story starts off slow, but it will pick up speed quickly. We just ask that you bear with us.

CHAPTER ONE

Justice

The Elves of Rivendell filed quietly and serenely into the council chambers. They were all too serene and quiet, thought the dark-haired Elf sharply. He drew in a heavy sigh and looked about himself as he stood before a podium upon a dais where Elrond, Lord of Rivendell had taken up residence.

Elrond seemed very grave and Ancú felt more than nervous. To say he was on the verge of having wobbling knees would not be an exaggeration by any means. But the Captain of the Guard managed to maintain a worthy composure and tried feebly to push all dark thoughts out of his mind and place everything realistically in focus.

However it was not really working entirely and he set his eyes to Elrond. He trusted his lord with his life, so why did he fear what was about to transpire?

Though he knew he deserved to be banished and yet he found it hard to believe that Elrond would do such a thing unless he had actually murdered someone and cruelly at that! But still, the thought of being banished and essentially dead for eternity and cut off from all he knew was enough to provoke more than a slight bit of anxiety.

They had to delay the trial of Ancú because of inflicted wounds. It was now a week away from the Winter Solstice or Yenearsira.

Elrond spoke calmly, "all rise." Erestor and Glorfindel stood on either side of him and Elladan stood by his brother, who was still a bit too weak to stand for long periods of time, but stood for the moment. He was allowed, along with Legolas and Ancú to be seated if the need arouse because of injuries sustained from Morceleb and his band of vengeful Elves.

Rothinzil of Mirkwood stood by his prince quietly, wondering what was going to happen. His clear, bright eyes shifted uneasily as he glanced about the fair room they were in. Legolas, gently and reassuringly touched the younger Elf's arm which he noticed was trembling slightly. The quaver unnerved the prince, but he could not deal with it now and everything was going to be alright, was it not? Of course, they were in Imladris and that meant well being and joy for those concerned. Though in all reality past events had not been so pleasant and that was the very reason for this ridiculous hearing.

Elrond spoke once more at Ancú, " Ancú son of Aglarcú, do you know and understand the charge brought against you?"

Ancú stared back at Elrond with calm, hazel eyes that showed no emotion. He did not want his

own eyes to betray his inner feelings. "I do Lord Elrond, but I do not think it would do harm to have it read over one more time."

Elrond nodded and said, "I agree. Erestor..." He gestured to the counselor.

Erestor nodded and said, " Ancú, son of Aglarcú, you stand charged with preventing Elf-lord's from guiding their people in war time and disobedience under a sworn oath taken years ago when you first chose to commit yourself to the service of Rivendell and its lords." This was stated rather flatly and everyone present could tell Erestor was not really concerned beyond getting this over with.

Ancú nodded and said, "thank you, Lord Erestor."

Erestor nodded back slowly. "You are welcome Lord Elrond."

Elrond frowned and inquired wearily, " Ancú, did you or did you not lock myself, Lord Glorfindel and Lord Erestor along with the Lords Elladan and Elrohir in the same room during wartime?"

Ancú said quietly, but serenely, "yes my lords."

Glorfindel asked quietly, "what was your purpose?" He seemed far off and as though he had other things on his mind and this was a side objective he really thought was wholly unnecessary and perfectly useless.

"I was thinking of their safety, as I am supposed to. If the Dark Elves attacked and would be to capture them, it could put their lives and the fate of the refuge of Imladris at great risk and I could not allow it," answered Ancú promptly. It was the truth and it was more than obvious he was hiding nothing, no hate or malice.

Erestor asked softly, "so you put aside your own safety to prevent harm from coming to your lords?" His dark eyes flickered slightly as he glanced from Lord Elrond to the darker haired captain of Rivendell.

Ancú said proudly and in a strong voice that was tranquil and withstanding all at once, "You can say that, yes."

Elrond sighed and said, "did you forget the penalty for this crime?" He raised his brows and looked at the papers before him somewhat skeptically.

The accused Elf frowned and lowered his head, "No, my lord. It is banishment. If we are not happy with the ruling of the land we are in when the ruler has done no wrong to the people who inhabit it and we are only stirring up trouble we do not deserve to live there. However, I would have you keep in mind that I did it to protect my lords, not to try and bring down their authority and I have ever been at their service."

Elrond said, "I will bear that in mind. Now I call Rothinzil of Mirkwood forward for questioning." Rothinzil looked at Ancú sadly and came forward slowly, it felt as though his feet had weights on them with heavy manacles. Perhaps it was his guilt, but he would get rid of that. "Rothinzil do you swear by the Valar and all that is good in Middle Earth to tell the truth and nothing less, so help you Elbereth?"

Roth managed to croak out, "I do my lord." His eyes met Elrond's and he looked away uneasily. These were not his people, though he be very distantly related and as he watched all the other Elves about his eyes grew a bit wider as his slight doubt began to gnaw at him. Pushing it aside, he turned to more important things at hand.

"Rothinzil, you were with Ancú at the time, were you not?" asked the Lord of Rivendell unequivocally.

"I was," he answered truthfully.

"Did he not forcefully shove Lord Glorfindel into the room that Elladan and Elrohir were in along with myself and Lord Erestor?" asked Elrond quickly. He wished to get this over with.He deemed it unecessary and a complete waste of his time that could be spent lecturing his sons for the one-hundreth time about the danger they and their foolish notions put everyone into and how they had to learn to think a bit more pragmatically.

"Yes, but may I say my lords, that I aided him so whatever fate you send him to, I would be more than happy to accompany him to it."

A murmur rose in the gathering of Elves. They had not known this. Also they applauded this klutzy wood-Elf's honestly and courage.The young dark-haired archer did not seem fearful, but calm and accepting.

"Very well Rothinzil. We will remember your request," said Elrond as he looked at the ground for a moment, wondering where to go from here.

Ancú shot Roth an annoyed look and asked silently with his lips, "why did you do that?" He had not wanted his best friend to be dragged into this mess and certainly did not want trouble to rise between Thranduil's realm and Elrond's. But of course, that meant he did not know the Elf-lord's half as well as he assumed he did.

Rothinzil just looked away and sighed. He looked at Legolas and saw his prince was smiling. He has done no wrong in Legolas' eyes. That was a comforting thought. The last thing he wished was to be estranged from two worlds. Legolas' eyes sported a dull dingy blue that showed he found this all very boring and would much rather be doing anything else, even fighting orcs the size of trolls.And it was most likely that if he would have been able to escape, unnoticed, he would have found some and been in dire need of stitches once more.

Elrond then said, "we will take a brief recess to pass judgement and when we return we will sentence the prisoner."

As Elrond, Erestor and Glorfindel filed out, Elladan went over to Ancú 's side and said seriously as he perused over all the facts and the proceedings in his head, "I know father will not give you anything unjust. He most certainly shall not banish you!" Ancú shrugged and said nothing. Elrohir looked at his elder brother and Elladan said, "we will go with you if you are banished."

Ancú smiled at the thought of their loyalty, but it also made him feel ill, and said, "my friends, no you won't. I won't allow it!"

Elladan and Elrohir laughed merrily and said, "of course you will!" There eyes were shimmering with jest, and yet he had known them long enough to know that they were in fact, not joking around and would do exactly what they had stated regardless of the consequences.

Legolas looked at Roth and said, "you did what was right. No wrong was in it Rothinzil and I will be with you, whatever happens." As Rothinzil looked at Legolas he thought it looked like the prince had awakened from a nap long awaited. He was more than obviously bored with the whole affair and would soon have it over and done with as soon as possible as did everybody else in the fair refuge of Rivendell.

Aragorn looked at him and said, "I will be with you both." If and when I can sneak away from Ada, his guards and all the rest of Rivendell. Ah, the power of friendship. It could heal and destroy everyone and everything.

About Five minutes had passed and the Elf-lords filed back in again.They seemed just as serene as ever, so their facades were no judge and that was more than annoying.

They all took their places and Elrond announced, "court is now back in session, if you will go to your places and remain standing we will sentence the prisoner and his companion then draw this trial to a close."

Ancú looked up unflinchingly at Elrond. His hazel eyes showed no fear, they spoke of no regret either. He was not afraid anymore and what he did he felt was not worthy of shame. He had a suspicion Lord Elrond did not think so either and was only putting this on for show. As a matter of fact, from the careless and apathetic look on every Elf present, it was more than obvious.

Elrond looked at the Captain of the Guard and said, " Ancú, son of Aglarcú, we find you guilty of preventing the Elf-lords from guiding their people during wartime. For this crime the proper punishment is banishment." Ancú felt a lump in his throat and he felt tears in the back of his eyes even though he knew it would most likely not happen the thought made him shiver. Elrond continued, "however, we find that since it was done for the well being of Rivendell that you shall be sentenced to probation and you will still hold your position as Captain of The Guard of Rivendell. If ever you should do this again you shall be banished."

Ancú breathed deeply and felt relief flood his senses. "Thank you for your mercy my lords," he said quietly and with much gratitude lacing his voice.

As they all filed out Roth ran up to Ancú and said in a breath, "that was close!" Obviously he did not know the Lord of Rivendell half as well as he supposed.

Ancú smiled tiredly and said, "I don't know. Somehow I doubt that Lord Elrond would banish anyone unless they had murdered someone." He shrugged slightly as though to brush the unpleasant thought off, "I guess I should consider myself lucky anyhow."

Elladan and Elrohir exchanged glances and said, "oh yes! You came really close to receiving death!" they teased.

Ancú shot them a venomous look that plainly stated in no uncertain terms that he found their humor completely off color and said, "I can just imagine it! Will you two please be quiet!" He was not in the mood to be bantered with and if they kept it up he feared he would do something that would garner death to him.

Elladan stopped and grabbed Ancú carefully by his shoulders, still cautious of his wound and he whispered, "you weren't really scared, were you?" Ancú raised a brow and gave a lop sided smile. Elladan persisted in a dead serious tone, "were you?" He hoped his best friend that he had known forever had not been frightened.

Ancú inclined his head slightly, "not really. I trust Lord Elrond. I knew that whatever I received would not be cruel."

Legolas smiled as he came up along side his friend Roth, "yes, that does make a difference, doesn't it?" Aragorn walked behind the prince, watching how his long braid that hung from the crown of his head swung from side to side in the back when he walked. He could not help but think of a little joke to ease things up a wee bit.

Roth looked back and saw what Aragorn was doing and then gave a mischievous smile. This was going to be interesting.

Legolas suddenly went stock-still. Something was tickling his hair. The only thing was, it felt like something that was big and ugly, with eight legs. Roth looked at his prince and said, "don't look now Legolas, but there is huge spider that just dropped from the tree and into your hair and is making the most horrid nest I ever saw in my life!" Legolas felt his eyes growing wide and he reached his hand back in his hair to try and brush off the beastly thing.

No, he was not afraid, but who wants a beastly spider in their hair?

He knew he should not have been surprised when he felt a hand in his hair. Grabbing it, he twisted around to look into the sheepish face of Aragorn.

Rothinzil snorted as he tried to suppress a chuckle. Legolas turned on him and said, "I believe somewhere there is a rule against lying to the prince." Legolas' facade had a smile on it and Roth burst into laughter that was uncontolable. Legolas just rolled his eyes and said, "you are so lucky I am not in the mood to commit a murder!" Then he muttered under his breath, "annoying klutz of an Elf and stupid ranger!...It isn't that funny!" he finished with a near shout.

Roth laughed all the more and said between gulps of air, "I am so grateful of your mercy Prince Legolas! I am forever in your debt!"

Legolas rolled his eyes once more and elbowed his friend in the ribs none too gently. Roth gasped a minute and then shot the prince a glare as he put a hand over his ribs. If there was bruise in the morning, he decided gloomily, he would find a horrible thing to get the prince back with later. Yes, something mean and most likely very childish would be best, he thought darkly as he glared daggers at his blonde liege. Legolas raised a blonde brow into a an arch and said in a matter of fact voice, "serves you right!" Roth just looked away and to the floor. When he lifted his face again it had a grin on it and twinkle in his eyes. Legolas growled, "you are impossible!"

Ancú said quickly, "I think I am going to be alone for a while. I am just feeling a little tired, my wound and all." Everyone looked at him and he said softly, "I will be fine. But you can't heal from a torn lung just like that, unless you are the twins, who seem to recover from everything remarkably well and just in time to nearly get themselves mauled again!"

Elrond came up behind Ancú from where he had been talking with Erestor and set his hands on the younger Elf's shoulders, "no you can't. I think another week of rest and you can return to duty." Elrond then looked at Prince Legolas and Rothinzil, "when are you two going to depart for Mirkwood?"

Legolas looked a bit uneasy and said slowly, "I...I think within the hour would suit us best, as I know my father would like us home for the celebration." Rothinzil nodded. This was true and they had not been home without being in bandages and limping for so long, he ached for it.

Aragorn looked at his father and then to Legolas, "I would like to go with him half way and then turn back for home." Legolas looked at the human with a quick smile. The ranger did not like staying in one place too long it seemed. Come to think of it, Legolas didn't really right now either, however, he did yearn for his home. He hadn't seen his father in months and even though he wasn't a child, he and his father were still remarkably close.

Elrond sighed as he thought over the juvenile human's question, "I don't know Estel. You would have to return alone and you only recovered a little while ago..." he had a feeling this was an uphill battle he was fighting.

Elladan and Elrohir stepped up, "we will go with him, how much trouble can all of us get into together?" asked Elrohir with a smile.

Elladan stomped on Elrohir's booted foot and said in a harsh whisper, "you aren't helping!" Elrohir just shot a look of intense eyes at his brother and stood on the unmarred foot tensely. He would have to get Elladan for that.

Elrond drew in a deep breath, "I still don't know..."

Elladan suddenly had an idea, though he was certain he would regret it later. "We can take Glorfindel with us! Then if something happened he could help us." Elrohir gave him a 'what do you think you are doing?' look and Elladan winked back at him. Elrohir then smiled back and put his finger on the side of his nose. Elladan nodded back slowly with the most mischievous as well as the most scheming expression seen on his fair features in quite a while . The scary part was for anyone they would be with, Elrohir had the same look that matched so well, you could scare tell the pair apart.

Elrond smiled and shook his head. In an almost weary tone he called for the Gondolin Elf, who was busy arguing with Erestor over whether or not the snows were going to come early this year.

Glorfindel came over and when he saw Elladan, Elrohir, Estel, the prince and Rothinzil he knew what was going on.It was just an instinctual response he had gathered over the years. "No! No! No! No!" he said over and over. "I have no desire to go and chase orcs in the start of winter when I could be calmly sitting in a chair by the fireplace in my study reading a relaxing book!"

"Please Lord Glorfindel?" begged Aragorn with a perfect imitation of a puppy face reflecting at the golden-haired Elf. Elladan and Elrohir looked at their brother and with smiles on their faces began doing the same thing. The identical puppy faces were more than hilarious, but no one laughed, save Elrond, who chuckled tersely. It turned out that Elrohir was the better puppy face maker though and that kind of figured.

Glorfindel narrowed his eyes and said firmly, "no." The looks continued and Elrond watched, his mouth curving with amusement. "No!" he restated in a growl. He began to wonder if this was how he had lost his sanity in the first place. He could feel himself about to say yes. But why? He could stay warm, dry, safe and perfectly happy in Rivendell, in his study. He knew the snows were coming soon, chances are he would be wet and miserable before they made it back from where ever they were planning on dragging him to. "Where are we going?" he asked with a sigh of surrender. Why did he do things like this?

Elladan smiled, "no where really, just halfway to Mirkwood, you know, over the mountains, to the River Anduin and then back over?" he answered with a contagious grin.

Glorfindel began to whine, "that has to be more than halfway! Can't we just stay right here and be warm, and dry. What do you five have against being safe? Do you try to make my life miserable or is that just a side benefit?" he growled.

Aragorn laughed, "you had better get packed Glorfindel, we leave within the hour!" The man took off towards his room. Legolas followed him, having already packed his own things since he had planned this near a week ago. Actually he had been planning it since he heard he would be well near to this date. Rothinzil had also packed prior to that morning and so he followed after his prince.

Glorfindel frowned, "within the hour! Why do I have a problem with that?"

He watched with a dark glare as everyone began to go and get their stuff together. Elrond chuckled and said, "I am sorry Lord Glorfindel, but you know as well as I do that without you they are most likely to go all the way to Mirkwood, call it an "accident" and then manage to get held up there from the snows."

Glorfindel just nodded and said, "I know. If that happened I would pity Thranduil. I already pity myself." He frowned and then grinned as he looked at the beautifully tiled floor etched with floral designs.

Elrond gave a small laugh and said, "it isn't that bad..."

Glorfindel snorted, "easy for you to say, you are rid of them for a week while I have endure weather that is anything but pleasant and baby sit!"

Elrond sighed and said, "I know you are never going to forgive me for this..." He shook his head.

Glorfindel echoed with a glare that looked nearly comical, "never."

Elrond looked into his friend's blue eyes and said, "you have about fifteen minutes to pack."

"Ai!" exclaimed Glorfindel with a snort. "Those little incompetent, bothersome, maddening..." he went off on a list of names which he thought described the twins, Rothinzil, Estel and Prince Legolas fairly well. Elrond watched as the golden-haired Elf stormed back to his rooms to pack everything he would need. He smiled as he knew that when Glorfindel returned he would hear nothing but how much the Gondolin Elf thought Lembas bread was tasteless and that he was certain that it was made that way by the bakers just to get on his nerves. The Lord of Rivendell was also more than assured Glorfindel would come back and complain that his bedroll was too hard and his muscles ached.

Erestor came up by Elrond and said smugly and with a smile pulling at his lips, "I can't wait to see Glorfindel's face when he comes back hauling Elladan, Elrohir and Estel by their ears!"

Elrond sighed and said, "that is about what it is going to take to get them home again, isn't it?" Erestor just nodded calmly and looked at his friend with a half smile that stated he thought every thing to be quite humorous.

"Too bad Glorfindel only has two hands, he will have to knock one of them out," said Erestor with a laugh. To him, this was wonderful and he had not felt happier since...a long time.

Elrond narrowed his brow and said, "I wonder which one?" It could be any of them.

Erestor grinned and said, "the first one to complain about having to turn back, knowing Glorfindel's mood."

They both looked at each other and Elrond chuckled dryly, "Estel for certain." Erestor nodded in agreement with his friend.

Legolas sat on the edge of Aragorn's bed and Rothinzil leaned up against the wall. Aragorn had his pack sitting by Legolas and was in the process of hastily cramming a spare tunic into it. Legolas sighed and said, "have you ever heard of folding your clothes human?" He said this in a tone that let the man know that he was teasing only.

Aragorn smiled and said, "you think you can do better? We are leaving soon."

Legolas just snorted and said, "we are leaving when I feel like it. I just told Elrond that so Glorfindel would have a fit and be forced to cram everything he owns into his pack." Aragorn laughed.

"No, really," he said with a smile. The young man looked up at the comical looking Elf that was grinning from one pointed ear to the other.

"Really. Although, I will admit that I would like to make it home in time for the Yenearsira Festival,"confessed the prince with some remorse. He shook his head and said, "if I don't get back I will hear of nothing else for the next ten to fifteen years!"

Aragorn snorted and said sarcastically, "who knows? Maybe it will blow off!"

Legolas straightened up and said in a deep and 'royal' voice, "now Strider, this is a serious matter!" He gave a dignified snort that sounded totally fake. Then he laughed to himself and said under his breath, "though it is not as light as we could wish either."

Aragorn was looked at his friend for a moment and then at Roth, "why are you so quiet? Thinking of locking someone else in a room?" he asked with a grin. There was no response. Aragorn looked at Legolas and the prince frowned then a smile crept back across his face.

"Roth?" No answer. Legolas tried again. "Roth I just received word that father has relieved you of your command and you are going to have to be put on kitchen duty!"

Roth didn't even look at him. All he said was; "that's a good idea. Tell me how it turns out." His voice was quiet and Legolas rolled his blue eyes. Although this was funny and he was indeed, very amused, he was going to have to do something about it.

"I found a warg pup and it attacked Glorfindel and demolished his study," he eyed the raven-haired Wood Elf incredulously.

Roth just smiled quietly and said in a low voice that sort of drifted along, "Legolas that isn't funny, someone could have gotten hurt."

Legolas scowled and yelled, "Rothinzil!"

Rothinzil glared at his blonde prince and said with anger edging his voice, "what!" He obviously was clueless, and embarrassingly so. His glare deepened as Legolas smiled and began to chuckle.

The Prince of Mirkwood snorted, "were you even listening?"

Roth looked more than puzzled and Aragorn said, "Legolas found a warg pup." He watched as Roth's entire demeanor changed.

"He did?" asked Rothinzil excitedly. "Do you still have it? Can I keep it?" he begged. He narrowed his eyes and then said in a serious and low voice, "you didn't kill it, did you?" His eyes went from Aragorn to Legolas and back to the man who was trying not to laugh. Roth was normal as far as mental stability went unless he found a helpless, orphaned baby animal, then he had to keep it or drive everyone insane until it was permitted. Legolas thought if it weren't for the fact Roth needed more energy, he would be a vegetarian. But then of course, the prince had to admit, if Roth had less energy he might actually act sane all the time and not just when it counted.

Legolas looked at Aragorn with his eyes hardly able to be seen under his scrunched brows that were a clear sign of his aggravation and mouthed, 'thanks.' He then looked at Roth and said, "well now that I have your attention..."

Roth looked wounded, like a little cub that had thought it had found a home and it turned out it was no more wanted than a plague. "So there's no warg pup?"

"No Roth, now listen..." began the prince quickly but it was wasted. He was going to gag that young miserable Elf any to think of it, that would be rather fun and he was rather bored at the moment.

He frowned as the dark-haired immortal said, "but why did you tell me there was?" He looked so pathetic Legolas was about ready to snap. He was not going to choke his friend, he was not going to choke his friend, he was not going to choke-

Aragorn relieved the situation, or tried to..."Roth, when you get back home you can go and discover some poor creature that really needs help."

But now Roth had put the animal aside. Why had his prince lied to him? He wasn't so much hurt as he was annoyed and he glared before asking in an agitated tone of voice. "Legolas why did you lie to me?" his glare turned into a full-fledged frown and it intensified immensely.

Legolas rubbed his brow in frustration and peeking around his fingers he said, "I didn't know if you were listening and I managed to catch your attention...Roth you are acting childish!" he yelled finally. Aragorn finally snorted and laughed. He could not help it and let chuckles burst out. Legolas gave him an edgy look and kicked him teasingly with his boot. Then he glared at Roth and said, "get your stuff out of your room, we are leaving!"

Roth growled back in a tone that was torn between laughing and screaming, "you think you are so funny! You know what? You're not so funny!" He pushed himself off from the wall and muttered to himself as he left.

Legolas stood up and said tiredly, "I need to get my pack as well."

Aragorn grabbed the prince's shoulders and forced the fair being to look at him. Legolas looked at the human like he had spouted two heads. What was the ranger's problem? Aragorn looked into Legolas' amused, silvery azure orbs and said, "are you well? I mean since the wound you took? It has only been a few months..."

Legolas smiled calmly and said, "you humans amuse me. I am an Elf, I heal faster than you and anyway, even if I was hurting, would I tell you?" he asked doubtfully, his eyes narrowing into slits of dark blue with a glimmer of laughter behind them.

Aragorn shook his head and said with a frown, "no, you wouldn't! And there lies the problem!" He gripped the immortal's shoulder tighter and said, "you know even Elves go through painful healing processes and need to talk to people about it." Aragorn's steely colored eyes constricted to match the prince's.

Legolas brushed the man off briskly and said, "I know if I need you you'll be there, so I don't plague myself with worry. I do trust you, more than I would willingly entrust any other mortal with my life."

Aragorn frowned and asked quietly and yet firmly, "so do you suffer?" He honestly did not expect the Elf to give any answer and just walk away, but he was surprised.

Legolas whispered lower than Aragorn had spoken, "only now and then." Legolas then raised his eyes brows and shrugged. "I had better go and check on Roth . You and your brothers need to drag Glorfindel out of his study."

Aragorn looked at Legolas and knew if he questioned the Elf further he would only anger the immortal and then things could get worse. He just smiled and said, "I can just imagine the sight that is going to make!"

The blonde being gave a smirk and said, "what, me getting Roth, or you getting Glorfindel?"

Aragorn said wistfully, "I don't know. Both I guess." He gave a shrug and then he laughed, "most likely Glorfindel being torn from his study."

It was not long before they all stood in the Hall of Fire, awaiting Lord Elrond to bless them on their journey. Glorfindel was not looking pleased in the slightest. He stood, leaning on the wall frowning at Elrond's chair. Aragorn guessed he was imagining the raven-haired Elf-lord sitting in it, reading a book. He also dimly guessed that Glorfindel was begrudging Elrond for getting to sit quietly, in safety and comfort, reading. With and inward chuckle, the human looked at the twins. Elladan was standing beside Elrohir who was sitting on the ground. Rothinzil and Legolas just stood nearby, not doing anything. Roth still looked irritated and weary and Legolas just looked tired.

Elrond came and his eyes did not look at all calm. He could not believe it, but he had nearly forgotten about Elrohir's wound. In his judging of Ancú, and sending the prince and his companion on his way he Lord of Rivendell had forgotten that his son's injury might not be healed enough to allow travel.

As he walked in Elrohir rose up. He knew that his father knew. If his father had utterly forgotten (which Elrohir had been praying he would) then he would not have that look of debate and intense doubt in his eyes. "Ada?"

Elrond sighed and said quietly, "Elrohir, may I have a word with you alone?"

Elrohir looked at Elladan and then at Glorfindel. He saw no attempt to relive him flickering in their eyes so he sighed heavily and said, "yes, Ada." He went quickly over to his father's side and Elrond set his am about Elrohir's shoulders gently. Elrohir noticed he was careful not to put all his weight on his shoulders.

"How is your wound Elrohir?" inquired his father closely. His eyes glanced down to Elrohir's side that had been pierced with Elladan's blade by accident months ago. To Elrohir the memory seemed very old and was not so vivid n his mind.

Elrohir smiled up at his father, "it is well. It is not very painful anymore. As a matter of fact, I would have to say it is near healed," he finished hopefully.

Elrond was not amused and hardly taken at unawares. They had held these conversations many times before and he knew exactly how it was going to go.

Elrond looked at his middle child for a moment and then spoke quietly, "I am not sure you should go on this journey, Elrohir. If it reopens or begins to burn again..."

Elrohir said calmly, "then I will come home. We should be back before the winter snows."

Elrond frowned and answered his son back darkly, "not before the mountains close up with snow and you are forced to take other paths inhabited by orcs and goblins. You know of which I speak."

Elrohir frowned and then responded softly, "I do. But what if we do not go past the mountains?" he asked quickly. "Please let me go. If I begin to feel wearied I will return for home with Glorfindel and let Elladan and Aragorn escort the prince and Roth home."

Elrond said thickly, "but that is just it, they will most likely find more trouble than you can imagine." He narrowed his eyes and furrowed his brow with concern. He was not going to send his son out there to die, again.

Elrohir narrowed his eyes as he realize he was losing the argument. "I will go back with Elladan then and leave Glorfindel to drag Estel back."

Elrond smiled at his child warmly and said, "I will let you do this, only because I think your wound is fit and I trust you will be well. But I want you to be careful."

Elrohir just hugged his father and said into the Lord of Rivendell's shoulder, "I will, Ada."

As both of them began to head back Elladan looked at Elrohir and Elrohir said, "I can't go Dan." Elrond looked oddly at Elrohir. Did he not just give him permission to go? He had a feeling this was a brother tease brother thing and that he had better stay and watch where it went.

Elladan said in astonishment, "what?" Elrohir had always found a way to get what he wanted unless it was extremely dangerous. He was finding this very hard to believe...

Elrohir said simply and with a sigh that sounded more than false, "sorry."

Elladan watched his brother and the fact that Elrohir was not too upset tipped him off. He suddenly growled, "Elrohir you brat!" Elrohir just grinned and went behind Aragorn.

Aragorn tried to fend off the younger twin who was about to get pounded by an over reacting Elladan. However, Elrohir would have none of it and he gripped Aragorn's shoulders, keeping him between him and the furious elder brother that wished to take his scalp, or at least come so close it would be scary. Aragorn said, "I am your little brother. You are supposed to keep me out of danger."

Elrohir frowned as Elladan nearly grabbed his tunic around the human. "Um...well...today is special," he muttered quickly. He then looked at Elladan, "I just got better. You wouldn't want to hurt me in front of Ada would you?" He looked at Elrond, who was watching the entire thing with a smile on his lips.

Elladan smiled and said in a low voice, "that is why I will wait until later." With a devilish smile and a sly look in his eyes, he lunged at Elrohir, faking him out and gripping his younger brother's tunic collar. Elrohir smiled sheepishly.

"Weren't you going to wait until later?" he asked with a playful grin as Elladan scowled at him-if it could be called a scowl. Elrohir thought it was more of a smile that was trying to turn upside down and failing.

Legolas just watched with a smile and Roth watched with frown. He thought the twins were insane at times and chose to hide it others. Aragorn ran over to the prince and dived behind him, not ready to be used as a human shield again. Legolas looked down at him and said, "I am going to protect you why?"

Aragorn snorted and gave the prince gentle shove, for he still feared that the Elf's wound was not as well as he thought it was. "You are cruel, you know that?"

Legolas laughed grimly and said, "so I have been told." He gave the human a shove back then refocused his attention on the twins who were still smirking and joking among themselves. They did bounce back too quickly and there were times when all of Rivendell wished they would have to stay in bed an extra month, but of course that was not going to happen. They would have to be chained and chances were they would run away before they would allow that. Unless they were conveniently knocked out, thought Legolas with a curl of amusement pulling at his lips that made him look mad to anyone who did not know his present thoughts.

Elladan laughed and said, "but who said I was going to hurt you now?" Elrohir just grinned and was about to respond back and maybe break free when Glorfindel broke up the joyful little fray.

"Can we just leave? The sooner we leave, the sooner I get back!" he seethed. His expression was mirth provoking. He was scowling and yet amusement flickered beyond his eyes. Elrohir laughed slightly before being released of Elladan's grip on his shirt. Both of the twins gave Glorfindel the, 'you-are-the-worst-spoil-sport-we-have-known' look. It made the Gondolin Elf chuckle inside and he said, "well its good to know I am appreciated that much!"

Elrond smiled and said, "I agree, you had better leave soon. Otherwise winter will be upon us before you are near there at the pace you are insisting on going." He looked out at the world beyond the Misty Mountains and said, "May your journey be well and may you come home speedily."

But his gut instinct told him that was not going to happen. It never did anyway, so in all actuallity it was probably reality speaking. Why did they always insist on going on expeditions that Valar wouldn't even do?

At least Glorfindel had argued a little...that was...hopeful. He began to think it was pretty sad when he had to say that Glorfindel was one of the more sane Elves of Rivendell counting himself. But then when he thought about that assertion further he decided that Erestor would have to be the most sane. After all, who actually fights a Balrog and then goes looking for more trouble after he is brought back to life?

We are a bit nervous about this fic, it is not going as well as we hoped. Review please? It would make us feel so much better and ease our tensions.