Here we have some conversation between friends. It seems to me Aragorn would be trying to relax, and let Arwen or the wedding planner do most of the planning for him. Elladan and Elrohir would be in Gondor, and it makes sense that they would, as we would put it, just 'hang out'. Hence this scene.

Day 2

Wedding preparations for Aragorn and Arwen were well underway.

If Aragorn had had his way, the ceremony would have been held somewhere small, quiet and private, and the attendees would have consisted of the wedding party and exactly eight guests - the four hobbits, Gimli, Faramir, Eowyn and Eomer.

However, Minas Tirith had not seen the wedding of a royal couple in quite some time, and somehow, Aragorn simply could not seem to convince the various heads of events and guards and such that a very small ceremony would be adequate. The fact that he was the first king in thousands of years did not help either, nor did the fact that the bride was an elven princess and daughter of one of the most powerful elves to ever have lived. All of these little details put together equaled an enormous and, in Aragorn's opinion, ostentatious wedding consisting of all the possible bells and whistles.

The guest list also included many people Aragorn did not care for. He had not realized there were so many unsavory diplomats in the world, but it seemed that they would come crawling out of their holes in order to meet with the king. After a meeting with a leader from Harad, who had in fact dared to leer at Arwen and also tried to steal a crystal goblet on display, Aragorn not only had him thrown out but also began to think perhaps renouncing his exile had not been such a good decision. In fact, accepting his responsibilities and heritage as king seemed more and more often to be a rather poor choice.

This he remarked rather regretfully to Elladan and Elrohir after they returned from 'escorting' the Harad leader out and quite calmly promising to remove certain body parts from him if he ever looked at their sister again.

The three sat in the courtyard in Aragorn's private chambers.

Elladan plopped his feet into Aragorn's fountain, which, Aragorn pointed out to him, was intended to serve as decoration only, but which did not seem to concern the elf one bit.

Elrohir lay sprawled across one of the stone benches, one arm flung over his face protecting it from the sun, the other draped lazily over his chest.

"There is too much stone in Gondor," Elrohir remarked, squirming a bit on the hard bench before gaining comfort.

"Aye," agreed Elladan, reaching behind him to pluck a fruit from the cherry tree that grew in the courtyard.

"And there, you see, I should have stayed in the woods," Aragorn said. He loved his country but he was inclined to agree; the cold stone palace, though beautiful, often made his heart long for the woods.

"It is true, it was much more fun there," Elrohir said. "And really, Estel, you need to do something about your guards. One of them tried to arrest me the other day."

"You were trying to sneak in his window," Elladan pointed out, and Aragorn's eyebrows shot up. The window in question was a good eight feet off the ground, not at all easy to ascend, and probably impossible to get through for most humans, though to an elf it would have posed relatively little difficulty.

"For what purpose, might I ask, were you trying to get into my room?" he asked, trying and failing not to sound accusatory. He would have been surprised if Elladan had simply replied that he had climbed through the window just because he could.

Elrohir waved a hand. "Does it matter? The point is, in Imladris we were never bothered where we went and here you would think you were something special."

"Oh, such as, perhaps, the king?" Aragorn said dryly. He gave his brother a very unimpressed look.

"You know, here I am the equivalent of Elrond at Imladris," he informed them.

"So? To us, you will always be the little boy who wet his pants the first time he met King Thranduil," Elladan said cheerfully.

"And who shot Father in the foot-"

"-and cooked fish so foul Glorfindel actually threw up-"

"And who thought it would be funny to cut Legolas's hair in his sleep-"

Aragorn waved an annoyed hand.

"The memories of elves are far too keen for their own good," he muttered, glaring at them.

The three were quiet for a moment before Elladan spoke again. This time, his tone was serious.

"You know, Estel, had you not chosen to ascend the throne Father would never have permitted you to wed Arwen," he said quietly.

"She is very strong-willed, and her love for you is great but I do not believe she would have directly disobeyed him had he forbidden her," Elrohir added.

Aragorn nodded, but said nothing.

In truth, his respect and love for Elrond was too great for him to have accepted Arwen, even if she had defied her father and come to Aragorn. The elderly elf had taught Aragorn almost everything he knew, had given his own time and knowledge to see that Aragorn was restored to the throne, and loved him as a son. To take his daughter from him without his blessing would be akin to a betrayal, and it would be against his honor for Aragorn to do such a thing.

"She is well worth it," he said softly. "The blood, the tears, the fighting, the miserable meetings with diplomats and the constant hounding of the bodyguards. I knew if I survived the War and all our hopes became reality, she would be worth it and to that I hold. Not one moment of it do I regret nor shall I ever."

"It is well that you feel thus," Elladan said, suddenly chipper again. "I do not think Father would have let you live long did you feel differently."

"It is true," Elrohir agreed. "There was a suitor who sought her hand long ago, before you were known to us, Estel, when she was very young. He enticed her and drew her from us, and in her naivety she did not protest. He nearly convinced her to elope with him, and then Father found out."

"And then he was never heard from again," Elladan said cheerily. He spat a cherry pit into the palm of his hand and, very suddenly, lobbed it into the corner of the courtyard. An angry spluttering was heard, and a blonde elf tumbled into the courtyard looking very annoyed.

"Good shot, Elladan," Elrohir said admiringly, craning his neck to get a better view of the disgruntled prince of Mirkwood.

"Well, that's a first," Aragorn remarked. "You must be getting rusty, Legolas. You have not been caught off guard thus in recent memory."

Legolas stood up and brushed himself off, very dignified.

"You should do something about your guards, Estel. One of them tried to arrest me just now as I came into your window."

Aragorn threw his hands up.

"Why can you elves never seem to enter in the way everyone else does, the normal way, through the door?" he demanded.

"It was locked," Legolas said defensively.

"You could have knocked," Aragorn pointed out, eyebrows raised.

"I did not see the need," Legolas said, waving a dismissive hand. Aragorn rolled his eyes.

"Considering you have been alive more than three millennia, your behavior is remarkably similar to a small child's," he informed the elf, who shrugged and ignored him.

Legolas strode over the Aragorn's fountain, calmly pushed Elladan into it and sat opposite to where the now-wet and spluttering elf was now located.

"Revenge is sweet," he said coolly, with a sweet smile at the Noldor elf. He removed his soft boots and dipped his feet into the fountain, to Aragorn's annoyance.

"That fountain is for decoration," he said irritably.

"What good is a thing if it serves no purpose than to look at?" Legolas responded airily. Aragorn couldn't believe his ears; elves were all about pretty architecture and clothing and fine cutlery and the like, when drab clothing and regular arches would have served the same purpose. Elves loved a thing of beauty which served no other purpose than its looks. The hypocrisy was, to Aragorn, astounding, a fact that he pointed out to Legolas who gained sudden deafness and did not acknowledge a word Aragorn said until the subject changed to Aragorn and Arwen's post-wedding vacation.

"Tis not fair, you are allowed a leisurely holiday simply for wedding a beautiful lady," Legolas complained.

"We have half a mind to follow you," Elrohir said with a devilish grin.

Aragorn's eyes narrowed, then he tried to play it cool and relaxed.

"Thank you for the advance warning," he said diplomatically. "I am now adequately equipped to ward off any unwanted beings and can now give proper notification to my guards should you attempt such a thing."

Both twins and Legolas looked extremely skeptical.

"It would take half your army to stop us, if we had a mind to do such a thing," Legolas said, deciding now to include himself in the ruining of Aragorn's wedded life.

"Where are you taking our sister, anyway, Estel?" Elladan asked.

Aragorn shook his head. "You know I cannot tell you," he said. Another tradition stated that it was bad luck for the groom to let anyone know of his plans for the bride; it was to be a surprise and even she would not know where they were going until they either arrived or she figured it out.

"Just do not let her talk you into skiing should you have chosen the mountains," Elladan said.

"It is true; Grandmother and Grandfather took us with them once when we were wintering in Lothlorien and they had a mission of some sort," Elrohir said, nodding in vehement agreement with his brother. "They made Haldir teach us to ski to amuse us while they negotiated some kind of trade deal. Arwen is very good and she will waste no time in proving it and humiliating you."

"You do want to bring along your guards, though, pesky as they are," Elladan said with a scowl.

"Yes, on said ski trip we drove back so many hopeful, starstruck men it nearly took the fun out of everything," Elrohir added.

Aragorn looked offended.

"You do not think me capable of defending my own wife?" he demanded.

"We do not doubt your skills, Estel," Elladan said soothingly. "Just be warned that Arwen's bond to you will not necessarily stop the hearts or tongues of men captured by her beauty."

Aragorn folded his arms across his chest defensively.

"If any man so much as looks at her the wrong way, he will regret it," he said decisively.

"And who is this lady you speak of, my dear?"

A soft female voice suddenly entered the consciousness of all four males and none other than Arwen Undomiel came floating into the courtyard, silent and unnoticed by them as their minds were on conversation.

Elladan, who had not bothered to remove himself from the pool after being pushed in by Legolas, now hurtled himself from it in an attempt to look dignified. Sopping wet, however, he did not very well succeed. Legolas jerked his wet feet from said fountain and attempted to quickly put back on his boots, wincing as the uncomfortable feeling of wet feet in suede. Elrohir sat up quickly, and succeeded the best at looking normal. Aragorn merely fell off his chair before righting himself and giving a completely lovelorn smile at the Evenstar, struck yet again by how beautiful she was.

"Brothers, I'm disappointed by your need for formality," she said, glancing first at her brothers then at Legolas, who smiled sheepishly before, at her encouraging, sticking his feet back in the fountain. Elladan shrugged and plopped back into the pool as well.

This was simply custom for them; when a lady entered the room, the men were expected to stand and show respect, even if it was their own sister.

Arwen moved gracefully to sit next to Aragorn, kissing his cheek and clasping his arm tightly in her own.

"Your door was locked and there was no response to my knock. I'm afraid I came through the window overlooking the terrace," she said, glancing at Aragorn apologetically.

"I hope you do not mind," she added, kissing him again.

"Of course not, it was most clever of you," Aragorn said immediately, prompting protests from Elladan, Elrohir and Legolas.

"This is indeed the worst of double standards," Legolas proclaimed.

"See the weakness of a man's heart when he is entranced by a wicked maiden," Elrohir added.

Arwen glared at him coolly, unaware of the grief Aragorn had given the three of them earlier for the same deed for which he now praised her.

"I just came to tell you Gimli's arrived with Gloin, and I have had word that your father will be arriving tomorrow, Legolas," she said, eliciting a smile from the elf.

"Also, I believe the hobbits are arriving this afternoon, and Sam is bringing Rosie," she continued. "Haldir arrived this morning with an honor guard, and our kin of Imladris should be in Gondor soon, according to Father."

Aragorn nodded. "That sounds lovely, my dear," he murmured. He brought his face closer to hers, nuzzling her neck gently.

"Well," Elladan said loudly, removing himself from the pool and eyeing the couple with a resigned look on his face as they began to ignore the rest of the company and focus only on each other. "As much as I would love to stay and chat, I am sure there is something elsewhere that requires my attention."

Elrohir and Legolas too leapt up as neither their brother nor sister responded. Each of the elves' sharp ears caught murmured words of Sindarin but none of which were words any of them wanted to hear.

"I am going to see whether that accursed rock-dweller has been hit on the head with one too many rocks yet," Legolas announced to nobody.

"We're coming back, so let that serve as a warning," Elrohir warned the couple, who were completely ignoring their friends now.

The three warriors escaped the small courtyard and, though they could have exited by unlocking the door, decided instead to leave through Aragorn's window. Just because they could.