Oi! It's been a while since I wrote a LOTR fanfic, eh? Actually, this idea has been stirring in my mind ever since I first saw Fellowship of the Ring. This story is actually book-verse, but inspired by...well, probably the best acting Orlando's ever done (no offense!); that curious look after Boromir has fallen. I thought that either a mistake on his part, or a wonderful insight into the mind of an elf...one who knows of death, but can well avoid it.

It's a Aragorn/Legolas comfort fic..not yaoi or shounen-ai, okay?


Aragorn gazed distantly into the small fire, snapping a twig in two and throwing it in.

The trio had stopped for the night by a smaller river; not as deep as the one they had left, but still plenty deep for fish and such creatures. Legolas glanced towards the river, then at the slumbering Gimli, then the river again.

The elf stood soundlessly, and began to walk towards the river.

"I am going to bathe; would you take the watch, Aragorn?"

"Delighted" the man murmured, snapping another twig.

Legolas bit his lip and proceeded toward the water, shedding his clothing and lowering himself in.

The water was cold; very cold, and Legolas took care to not hiss as his slid in. The running water pricked at his pale skin, the muscles across his stomach and chest pulling tight involuntary. The elf gave a shudder and rubbed his arms. He dunked his blonde hair beneath the water and up again, gently massaging his scalp; the elf had no soap at the moment.

Very soon, the elf was merely lounging against the bank, sighing deeply. Aragorn's behavior worried him; the man should not be so upset. True, his kinsman had died, but...he should have recovered by now, correct?

Legolas shook his head and pulled his leggings from the shore and pulled him on, as well as his boots after. He shrugged on his tunic and slung his shirt over his arm, then headed back towards the fire.

"Legolas?" It was more of a statement. The elf looked up from wringing his hair dry.

"Hm?"

"My behavior seems to trouble you"

"No, Aragorn, no," Legolas shook his head ardently; flinging the moisture that remained in his hair towards his friend. Aragorn didn't even blink.

"Elf," there was a pause. Legolas bit his lip again; Aragorn had never simply called him that before; the man must have been worried.

"My kinsman has died; I will grieve as I wish, even if you do not understand."

"I..."

"What do you elves know of death?" Aragorn stood his back to the fire- and Legolas. The elf fumbled for a response.

"We Elves can die, but..it can also be avoided."

"So, you don't know that pain of forever being parted?"

"Never have I, Aragorn"

Aragorn turned around, his eyes full of an emotion Legolas couldn't place; anger? No..pity? Never.

"You are like naive children in that way...you don't know what it feels like, Legolas, to know you could've done something...and someone died because you hesitated a moment too long..." Aragorn turned away again, his voice shaking.

"An elf would suffer long...if that were to happen, my fri-"

"I'm talking about you!"

The future king of Gondor spun around and grabbed Legolas by the collar.

"I'm...talking...about...you..." he breathed, and then let the elf go. Aragorn seated himself quickly, struggling not to cry.

"If only I had been there sooner...I could've, I could've..." he murmured, wiping the tears from his eyes. Legolas sat beside Aragorn and was silent for a while.

"My friend" he spoke in elvish, resting a hand lightly on the man's shoulder, "Boromir's death is not your fault."

Aragorn looked away. Legolas gave a half-smile.

"So somber...you were always such a solemn child, Aragorn"

The man looked up at the elf.

"I have not had many reasons for joy, Legolas"

Legolas smiled a bit again.

"You never let yourself have a childhood, like the others. I remember, the first time you visited Lothlorien. I was there to see the Lady, but I would never miss the opportunity to see you, my friend"

Aragorn looked up, confused for a moment. Ah yes, now he remembered; the elf was ages older than he...born in the Second Age, if remembered correctly.

"You were such a serious little boy; following either Gilraen or Elrond around, looking so grave. And the ladies in

Lothlorien...they would've fawned over you like a mother, had you ever stayed with them for more than ten minutes"

Aragorn threw another twig in the fire.

"And when you heard of hobbits, from Gandalf..it was the first I'd heard of them too."

"Legolas, I do not wish to be cheered. I have failed both my cause, and myself. Let me be."

"Aragorn," Legolas pulled his shirt on and pushed Aragorn lightly, "you must find some joy. To admit failure does not mean you're admitting weakness; you know that. Think of the ones you love, my friend"

Aragorn's fingers absently touched the Evenstar, and he sighed.

"Elrond is the only elf living who knows anything akin to death," he spoke, looking towards the heavens. Legolas felt the air grow silent.

"And so shall his children, because of me. At least, if it becomes truth"

"It shall not be like that, my friend"

"Legolas..." Aragorn patted the elf on the shoulder, "I am not fit to be a king. I can not even protect those innocent hobbits; how do I protect my kinsman? My loved ones? My friends? How, Legolas, how?"

Tears threatened the man's eyes again.

"You will find a way, my king, you will find a way. The hobbits...we must trust that they are full of enough spirit to protect themselves"

Aragorn stood silent for a moment.

"Legolas?"

"Hm?"

"You do recall that I thought you were a girl the first time I saw you?"

The elf kept his laughter low.

"Yes, I do. Why do you say that?"

"Because you still do"

Silence.

Soft laughter.

"We must be on; the sun is almost up"

The elf nodded, and prodded the dwarf.

"Come Gimli, we must hurry"

And so the three continued on.


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