Disclaimer: Oh, not mine. So not mine. :pouts:

Summary: Though riding off to war, and perhaps certain defeat, the people of Gondor take it upon themselves to ensure their king-to-be looks his best. Aragorn unwillingly relents, but Legolas too has something to say on the matter.

AN: This is supposed to be a lighthearted moment in the middle of a war. Besides, Gimli started it!

Aragorn nearly slammed the door to his private bedchambers shut in a last effort to rid himself of a train of servants ready to cater to his every whim. Except the whim to be left along; they didn't seem to understand that concept.

He leaned against the, thankfully, solid oak door and took a deep breathe. Legolas bit back a laugh, but did not succeed in wiping the smirk off his face. Aragorn gave him a look that would have made his father proud

"Oh Estel," the Elven Prince chided, "you can hardly blame them their enthusiasm. They are perhaps a little over zealous, but I suppose they are making up for lost time."

Aragorn gave another long suffering sigh. Plainly he was tired of being king already.

"Come and behold your new wardrobe, great king!" Legolas allowed himself one last barb.

Aragorn was not amused. But he was even less so when he caught sight of what the servants had laid out on the bed. They didn't expect him to wear that on a week-long ride to Mordor, did they? And where in the Valar's name had they found that surcoat?

Legolas was joyfully perusing the items. He picked up the navy surcoat and held it up to a critical eye. "Fine stitch work. Looks almost new."

"Oh, give me that," Aragorn snatched it away, and then held it up himself. "I refuse." He stated it in such a way as to brook no argument, but Legolas was quite used to such stubbornness.

"You are their king, Estel. Tomorrow you will ride to war and almost certain defeat. It is likely most believe we will not return. Allow them this last moment, Estel. They have longed to see a king returned for a millennium. This may be their only chance."

Aragorn sighed a final time, but it was plain he was giving in.

"Very well, but I will not let them," he jerked a finger towards the door, "into help."

Legolas smiled. "In that I do not blame you. It would be my honour to help you robe."

"Hannon le, mellon nin."

It took some time, and a great deal of cussing on Aragorn's part, but finally Legolas declared him dressed and mostly presentable.

"Something must be done with that hair."

Aragorn glanced up to fin hair hanging into his faceā€¦again.

"I suppose, if only to keep it out of the way during battle."

"Allow me to braid it?" Legolas had asked this question many times in their years of friendship, but Aragorn had never relented.

"I would like that. I will not start now to forget my childhood, nor my kinship with the Eldar."

"I will make certain you don't!"

Deft hands brushed out the ebony locks, and with practiced ease twisted the strands back into a braid. "There," Legolas stepped back to admire the image, "now you are a proper king."

The image was indeed striking, though Aragorn was looking far too embarrassed to be kingly at that moment. Still, he was a sight. The people of Gondor would be struck speechless. They would follow this man to death and beyond, though Legolas hoped it would not come to that.

"Do I really have to go out there?" Estel looked more afraid then Legolas had ever seen him as he glanced towards the door. And he jumped nearly a foot into the air when a hard knocking echoed through the wood.

"I will answer it," Legolas offered.

"My thanks."

Legolas cautiously eased the heavy wood open to find Gimli surrounded by nearly a dozen servants.

"Come, quickly!" The elf ushered the dwarf hurriedly inside, but not quickly enough. The head steward managed to maneuver his way passed the elf and the rest followed.

Aragorn immediately formed the stance of a deer caught in an archer's bow line. There was nowhere to run. He was surrounded. And, the king-to-be realized, he had vastly underestimated his opponents. He looked to Legolas beseechingly as they began to draw in for the kill.

The Elven Prince grabbed his chance; he thrust Gimli forward toward Aragorn, and the dwarf used hi considerable body weight to push the servants aside and pull Aragorn from their midst.

They ran, slamming the door to the bedroom behind them, and then the door to the anti-room. Down the hall they sped, not caring how many other servants and staff they pushed out of their escape path.

Legolas was in the lead, navigating the labyrinth of corridors with ease. With an exclamation of joy he pointed ahead: a door, and daylight!

They rushed through and flung it shut behind them. Aragorn and Gimli lay gasping against the wall.

"Thank you, my friends," the king managed. "What would I do without you?"

"Well, you'd be captured and held prisoner by the enemy in your own bedchambers, for one!" Legolas exclaimed.

"Is it too late to get out of this?" Aragorn asked.

Gimli laughed and clapped Aragorn on the back. "You can take them laddie! Just remember, you're in charge!"

It was sometime later that the Head of the Guard found them there, still laughing.