Author's note: This story will follow the plot line of The Fellowship of the Ring, but will focus on the times skipped over in the book, and shall change the course of the tail in the end. I am not certain on how many chapters there will be, but it will be at least seven for this part. The following books in the trilogy will be covered in two separate stories here as well. Please keep in mind that this is meant to be bookverse, not movieverse, although I have had to use quite a bit of artistic license for Legolas' background, as it is all but untold in the books and other notes/works by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Warnings: For this chapter, there are none, apart from the obvious spoilers. Aside from the well-known character death that is to come later, I actually don't believe there shall be need of any further warnings for this entire story. The rating is strictly for my desire to not have to repetitively explain that there are vast differences between the various film/theatre versions of the stories and J.R.R. Tolkien's written works. I figure anyone too young to read this is likely too young to be expected to be familiar with the book it is based upon.

Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to The Lord of the Rings. This fact will not change throughout the course of this tale, so I will not state it in every individual chapter. Thank you for reading, and enjoy.

It all started so simply, Aragorn had made a comment about the impressiveness of the fighting skills of elves early on during their first fortnight of travel, and Boromir, studying the only elf around, had not quite believed that a being that was shorter and so much more slender than himself could defeat him as easily as the ranger claimed. The thought had led to some comments and questions from the Gondorian, which ended with Boromir sparring Legolas in a small clearing away from the rest of the fellowship.

The elf was quick and agile, as Boromir had expected, however the strength hidden behind graceful movements and slender limbs was surprising as the immortal's long knife caught his sword again and again. First, the elf seemed to be simply blocking, then he slowly started to attack as well, and then began to increase the speed and power behind the attacks until Boromir found himself struggling to keep up with the swift warrior. Finally, the Gondorian knew he would have to admit defeat, albeit grudgingly.

"Are you surprised?" questioned Legolas calmly, as though they were not engaged in a heated match, having clearly read the man's expression and body language.

"Aye, I did not expect so fair a form to conceal such power," replied the man, sounding winded but still pressing the smaller being.

"Then you see that looks can be deceiving?" asked the elf as he quickly parried the man's counter attack and knocked his shield away.

Boromir gripped his sword in both hands and blocked several attacks in succession as he panted out a response, "Of course." He was confused at the immortal's line of questioning. "I knew this before; I just did not expect it in this case."

"Nor in the case of the Ring," commented the elf before deftly disarming Boromir and stopping his knife mere centimetres from the man's throat, "And you could not defeat it any easier than you could me…nor hope to dominate it."

Boromir frowned as the elf sheathed the white knife. "You do not understand…" He sighed, wondering how long his arguments would fall upon deaf ears.

"I understand better than you imagine," countered Legolas, not unkindly. In fact, he sounded distressed as he continued. "I love my land and my people just as you do yours and I have spent more than three hundred years watching both fall further under the shadow of Dol Goldur. I have watched my people wither…and my father suffer despair and madness."

The Gondorian blinked, the argument he intended dying on his tongue, to be replaced by curiosity. He recalled the elf's introduction and report in Rivendell. "Your father…he is a leader among your people?" His tone softened at the elf's nod. "Perhaps we have more in common than I thought…but surely then, you must understand the willingness to do anything to protect your people, to save your land, to honour your father…?"

"I understand it all too well," replied Legolas, "Which is why I would fight any enemy that tried to stop our quest. I would rather die, or kill, than see the weapon of the enemy turned against my people. They have suffered enough." He retrieved Boromir's sword and handed it to the man. He nodded graciously, "Thank you for the spar. I shall leave you to your thoughts;" and with those words, the elf took his leave.

The man looked at the sword as the elf walked away gracefully, deep in his thoughts, which were not as dark as they had been as of late, but still just as heavy to his mind.