A/N: Why hello there. This is the long-absent AliciA speaking.

Look, here's the deal: I wanted to write a story about Aragorn and Legolas' first meeting, and already had in mind a pretty good plot... however, I've got these nast, evil exams starting next week that go on for about a month... but I couldn't wait to post this chapter.

So I was hoping you'd all trust me enough to give you this first chapter now, then stick with me for about a month, when I'll get started on the story for real... okay?

Please read, and let me know what you think. Cheers!

Aragorn stifled a yawn and stretched out lazily, cradled in the boughs of a great beech tree close to the border of Rivendell's large gardens. Distant sounds of many waterfalls lulled him, and the peaceful sunshine soothed him.

He knew Elladan and Elrohir were going to find him - it was only a matter of time with elves, and he hadn't chosen a particularly good hiding place - but he was not about to go fretting about it: he thought he might as well enjoy the glorious sunshine in the hazy summer Imladris was experiencing.

This was the life for him: ten summers old and he felt like he ruled the worlds. His father was a King - or at least, as close as: Elrond was just as powerful... if not more so... than any of the other realm-leaders. This made him a prince. The idea was very appealing to him, and his young mind had always been rather taken with it. He couldn't begin to imagine how good it would be not to have to do anything people told you to do - if he was a real prince, he'd be able to do just as he pleased. Like sit in this tree all day...


Suddenly, Aragorn was rudely thrown from his place of rest. He hurtled towards the ground before deftly being caught again just before he hit its surface.

He glared up into the beaming face of the younger twin, who held him in his strong arms only in inches from the earth beneath them. "Elrohir, that's not fair! I wasn't expecting it!" He whined slightly, something he rarely did, for he was upset at not being able to enjoy his daydream of being a prince any longer.

Elrohir laughed musically, light dancing in his deep blue eyes, "Correct me if I'm wrong, young one, but is that not sort of the point of hide-and-seek?" He set the bossy little mortal down gently on the ground and ruffled Estel's wild black curls: he loved the human with all his heart, and considered him very much a brother, as close as if with blood.

"Ah, who cares - when I'm King, I'll abolish the game anyway," Estel grinned cheekily, beginning to head back towards the house.

The dark-haired elf started in surprise, black eyebrows shooting skywards: did Estel know of his lineage after all? Surely their father hadn't told him already, that he was destined to rule the mortal world - he was still a child, for Valar's sake!

"Whatever do you mean, Estel?" Elrohir asked innocently, voice a bit too light, starting to walk once more.

But the young human didn't notice this - too busy simulating a fight with a nearby elderberry bush... great fun until his 'sword', a large stick he'd found, broke unexpectedly. He looked at it mournfully, bitterly disappointed.

"Mmmm? Oh, sorry - I was just thinking it'd be great to be able to tell everyone what to do, and get what you want all the time... I promise, I'm not being greedy, Elrohir," Estel was at pains to make this clear, not being able to bear the idea of his elven brother thinking less of him. "I just think it'd be great to be a prince, is all."

Elrohir mentally sighed in relief. Estel does not know.

Then he chuckled, mind filled with the smiling image of a certain, golden-haired elven prince he knew, and his face if he could hear the human's talk, "I wouldn't be so sure of that if I were you, child."

He knew Prince Legolas of Mirkwood would probably shave off all his hair if it meant he were able to give up his royal position, the amount of trouble it had caused him over the years. All the disagreements with his father, that time when he was kidnapped and tortured by a mad exiled elf who wanted revenge on King Thranduil, let alone the fact Legolas had found it incredibly hard to be thought of as a warrior in his own right. All Legolas wanted to do was be a warrior for his father's kingdom: he abhorred the diplomatic and political side of princehood.

Estel, however, did not seem too convinced, and would not have his dreams dashed so easily. "No, I'm serious: when stories speak of real princes, they are always valiant, kind to their subjects, brilliant and..." Here the child stopped uncertainly.

"And what, Estel?" prompted Elrohir, intrigued.

The child blushed slightly, looking down at his feet unexpectedly, "Well, you know... handsome and the like."

Elrohir kept his laughter in check, feeling it would do the boy's pride no good if he laughed at him, something Estel in particular hated, "You don't say? And you wish to be like this, do you?"

"No..." Estel replied, a little sullenly. "It's just something to think about, really."

The tall elf beside him nodded silently, and smiled to himself as the pair approached the resting figure of Elrond's other twin.

But what Estel didn't know was that he'd encounter a 'real prince' very soon... though unfortunately not in the nicest of circumstances: Estel was to learn the very real truth of being a very real prince.

A/N: There you have it, the beginning of my latest tale... I'm off now to write an essay on political extremism in Britain in the 1930s and, just for fun, one on the poetry of John Donne. Wish me luck. Please.

Also, please review and let me know what you think. Also, if you put me on your author alert, you'll know when the next chapter comes up in about a month. Sorry again for the delay etc. Speak to ya'll soon!