Author's Note: Please don't take this too seriously. This is something I just thought up in that hazy time between late night and early morning. It has been heavily edited, but the fact remains that this entire drabble was composed for the sole purpose of the last line - no, don't go there right now! So, though it may be labeled as angst, please don't take it as such. I just wanted to get this out there: the title and story are liable to change.

I would like to say that I did think about putting this under the Silmarillion category. I would have, but seeing as the main character of this drabble is in all probability not even alive during the events of the First Age, I was forced to put it here. I do hope you enjoy this, but take the beginning with a grain of salt. Legolas' thoughts at the end are simply echoing my thoughts at that part of the film. :)

/~/

Legolas stared at the gleaming jewel, his mind a whirl of thought. Dead? Impossible. Aragorn had survived 72 years of wandering Middle Earth with the Rangers. He had lived many times, when all others thought he must surely be dead. Could this be one of those times? His heart screamed yes; but his mind looked upon the cliff, and despaired.

But all of this hope and hopelessness was at a subconscious level. He felt them, deeply. Too deeply: had anyone asked him at that moment what he was thinking, feeling…he would not have been able to tell them. There were too many thoughts, chasing each other around his mind, to pick merely one; too many emotions to stop and fully feel each individually. Though clear-minded in battle, he now waded through the deep shadows of grief and uncertainty.

Somehow he found himself on Arod, riding steadily towards the death trap that was Helm's Deep. Had Gimli somehow guided him to mount? He vaguely remembered the dwarf's own attempts to ride, and decided against it. He must have acted through his daze, as he had done countless times during the battles of his own home. Aragorn was not the first friend to be lost.

But I pray he will be the last.

It was hours before he finally could begin to sort through his thoughts. Hours before his heart would allow him a clear view of the situation, untainted by emotional irrationality. Did he believe Aragorn dead? Yes. Though his heart may deny it, his mind knew what it had seen: that drop was fatal, and even Aragorn could not have survived it. The most skilled warrior could fall at the smallest whim of luck, and Aragorn was not immune. Had not been immune. He and Gimli would simply have to follow Gandalf now, as they all had at the beginning of this mad quest.

But he could not help but hope. If he had learned anything from the Dunadan, it was that Hope survived when all else failed. He would keep the Evenstar close. To save it against Aragorn's return, he prayed; to return it to Arwen, if need be.

But it seemed luck had followed his friend. No sooner had he made his resolve than there was a great clattering of hooves and surprised shouts. He surged to his feet, afraid to hope. Could it be Aragorn? Or was it just another refugee, lost on the way and only now finding the safety of the stronghold?

He caught a glimpse of dark hair and filthy clothes, and smiled. It was Aragorn, come late with ill news no doubt. Valar forbid he should survive to bring good news, for a change.

With relief lightening his heart, he looked again upon the Evenstar. It shone brightly in his palm, truly a work of art: finely wrought and magnificently crafted by the smiths of Imladris. A symbol of all that Arwen was, and all that she was giving up. It was powerful to Aragorn, he knew. But still: only a symbol.

With new-found levity of heart, he found himself smiling wryly at the thing.

Noldor and their jewelry.

~fin