The Thing About Loving Trees

Disclaimer: Don't own any of the recognizable characters. Nope. Not one. There have been several kidnapping attempts aimed at Legolas, and one for the twins, but the stupid human just keeps getting in the way. Guess that I'll have to get him out of the picture first, won't I? Also, the only profit that I turn from writing this is the lovely reviews that you'll be leaving.

Author's Note: This is the first fic that I've posted, and Suri is my beta, so any errors, typos, indescrepancies, un-truths, extreme out of characterness, general bad writing skills, etc. are all the mad plot bunny's fault. If you would be kind enough to point them out to me, then I will be sure to give said bunny a good flogging, and the error, typo, indescrepancy, un-truth, extreme out of characterness, or general bad writing skill will be punished severely as well. Also, I am a very busy little squirrel, and coughsplutter REVIEWS coughsplutter help keep me motivated to write/update my story quicker.

Chapter 1

Aragorn sighed theatrically. Rivendell had gotten rather dull since Legolas left for Mirkwood two weeks ago. He wanted to be out doing something. But here he was, sitting on the balcony of his room in Rivendell, watching pale slivers of light dance on the ground, created by the last rays of the setting sun as they filtered through the leaves of the tall birch tree in the courtyard.

He sighed. Elladan and Elrohir were on a hunting trip. When he had showed up at the gates yesterday with his bow and his pack, they had turned his pleas to accompany them down forcefully. They argued that any party he was a member of was doomed not to return in one piece, and they wanted a nice, relaxing trip. When that had not deterred him, they simply stated, "we need some time to bond", turned on their heels, and marched away, leaving him standing at the open gate, his mouth gaping wider.

The twins were extremely close, in fact, it really wasn't possible for them to get any closer, so this made a rather poor excuse to leave Aragorn, but also made him realize that they hadn't really had any time to themselves in a while. With the twins, "alone" time was really "together" time. Aragorn sometimes liked to think of them as conjoined twins; their minds were certainly connected. However, with this perspective on their relationship, he sometimes forgot that they still needed time to talk, just the two of them. Well, he didn't really feel like hunting anyway.

Restless, Aragorn decided to take a walk through the gardens, but rather than bothering to climb down the stairs, he simply jumped off the railing of the balcony, and into the nearest tree.

He didn't land quite perfectly, missing the branch that he was aiming for. He still managed to catch onto a lower one, but not without getting a little trophy scrape on his arm. Well, that's what you get for thinking that you could pull one of Legolas's tricks, he thought. He climbed down the tree, and stood at its base for a moment, inhaling the pungently sweet scent of green grass and blooming flowers.

Aragorn walked along a small path, watching the fireflies flickering in the trailing branches of the willow trees, spiraling towards the ground to alight on silky wildflower petals. As he walked deeper into the gardens, and the plant life became a bit more unruly, he began to hear the sound of rushing water.

Ah, he was getting close.

He sprinted the last hundred yards, more to stretch his legs than to get where he was going faster. He broke through the foliage, and into a small cove. This was his favorite place in all of Rivendell. The grass was long and soft and cool, and perfect for napping on during hot summer days. It swayed softly in the cool night breeze, it's blades musical rustling combining with the slight whistle of the willow leaves and the soothing sound of the small waterfall that splashed over the lip of the cove, cascading down the rocks in a shimmering stream, and falling into a pool that couldn't be more perfect if it had been carved out of the rock by dwarven kings. It was just big enough to swim in, but more often than not, he chose to sit and soak in the water, drinking in the scent of blooming water lilies.

He also liked to lie on the bank in the cool, tall grass, and watch the stars. He had spent many a day playing in the water, and many a night discussing life and all of it's complications, or sometimes just watching the stars reflecting off the tranquil surface of the water in companionable silence, with his best friend, Legolas Greenleaf.

He was lonely without anyone to talk to, and he secretly wished that Legolas had ignored his father's summons and stayed in Rivendell. He had been summoned back to Mirkwood. It was rather unexpected, because Legolas had made plans to spend the whole summer in Rivendell with Aragorn, and had informed his father of these plans before he left.

Legolas had received word from a messenger not three days after he had arrived. He had been annoyed at his father's brazen-ness, but was also worried that maybe something really serious was happening. He decided to return home immediately, promising not to be too long, and flatly refusing to let Aragorn accompany him.

Aragorn wasn't exactly given a warm welcome in Mirkwood. In fact, he was practically shunned. King Thrandruil thought it extremely unbefitting for a prince of Mirkwood to befriend a human, no less a human like Aragorn, who had too many oddities to be a good influence on his son. Thrandruil also thought poorly of lord Elrond, not seeing why the seemingly wise elf would have adopted such a strange human into his family, and allowed him into his house.

Legolas had thought that it was going to be a fairly short visit, and he didn't think that bringing Aragorn along was worth the trouble it would cause, especially since he also only wanted to spend a nice, enjoyable summer among friends, and he didn't think that he would be able to have as much fun in Rivendell if he was thinking about some petty argument that he had had with his father back in Mirkwood. So Legolas had left for home, only a few days after arriving, quashing Aragorn's plans for the next week or so, but assuring him that he would hasten back.

Aragorn looked at the elm tree towering above him. It was Legolas's favorite tree in Rivendell, and rightfully so. It must have been at least a thousand years old, it's strong old branches reaching out over the pool, and concealing the cove from above. He walked over to the tree, placing his hand on its trunk. "Ai, if only I were an elf like Legolas, than you would talk to me. I think that I would like to hear your voice, great tree." He told it, then he turned his face upwards, eyeing the great boughs searchingly.

He could almost see Legolas flitting between the branches, climbing one of the longer ones out over the lake, diving into the water with a shout of joy…or sometimes when he was in a more somber mood, he would climb into the higher branches, and nestle himself into them, and begin to sing. And Legolas sang beautifully.

His voice lifted on the wind, and he sang of many things, though most often he sang about the great tree itself, about how it had watched the woods grow and change through all the long years it had stood there, from the time it was merely a seedling, fighting for sunlight to nourish itself as weeds threatened to overgrow it, and tried to choke it's roots away from the water that the pool supplied it. How it hadn't given in, and it had soon grown taller than the weeds, it's roots stronger, and when it was big enough, it protected and sheltered other young saplings from them.

These trees grew and flourished, repeating the kindness that it had done them for the next generation of saplings. So the forest grew, the trees strong and pure and healthy. Yes, this was indeed a magnificent tree. Oh how he longed to talk to it, how he wished to hear its voice. Legolas loved this tree, and spent many an hour cradled in its boughs, listening to all of the wonderful tales it had to tell. He would laugh softly, his eyes glittering. Legolas often relayed these stories to Aragorn, who instead swam or watched the stars on warm nights, when the tree had endless stories to share.

He wondered if the tree missed Legolas. Aragorn did, and he had only been gone for a few days. The tree must have noticed Legolas's absence from this particular visit. It was getting late, and Aragorn's stomach rumbled, reminding him that he would miss supper if he didn't hurry back. Placing his forehead to the tree's trunk, he whispered a goodbye in elvish. The highest branches swayed slightly in the wind as he sprinted lightly towards his home.