Disclaimer: this story is non-profit and was written for purely entertainment purposes. All recognized places and characters are property of Tolkien Estates and New Line Cinema.

Just a nice writing exercise to get the creative juices flowing.


~ The Romance That Never Was ~


The Elf felt the icy night air cut into him as sharply as the blade of a knife as he stood pressed against a shadowed tree trunk. His keen eyes could just make out the shivering hobbits huddled within the forest's tangled overgrowth.

"Do you see it?" Legolas watched Aragorn's breath hang momentarily in the chill air before answering the Ranger's inquiry.

"Nay," whispered the Elf, slightly shaking his head, "I see it not."

Boromir shifted noisily, unsettling the fallen leaves and snapping a few twigs. Legolas and Aragorn glared at the man. Boromir unapologetically glared back.

"Aragorn," hissed the son of Denethor, "this is folly! We have been lying in wait for nearly three hours. I do not think it will show itself now."

Aragorn sighed. As much as he hated to admit it, Boromir was right. The creature, which had fallen from the sky with a great shriek, was nowhere to be seen. Instead of taking advantage of the Fellowship's initial shock upon its arrival, the beast had simply disappeared. Even Gandalf was perplexed.

Legolas's eyes darkened and his mouth drew into a thin line. "It would be most unwise to ignore what we have seen," stated the archer tightly.

Silently cursing the Wood-Elf's stubbornness, Aragorn braced himself for the ensuing argument. "Boromir is right, Legolas. We cannot stay as such all night. The creature-whatever it was-has made no move to attack as of yet. I believe the danger has passed."

Legolas felt a flash of indignation as the Ranger sided with Boromir and quickly tried to push the emotion aside. "Aragorn," he said coolly, "friendly beasts are not in the habit of dropping from the sky and then vanishing."

Before Aragorn could reply, Boromir hoisted himself up from his position on the ground and carelessly made his way towards the hobbits. "I for one, have had enough of this," he called over his shoulder. "Gandalf, Gimli, come and rejoin us."

Boromir's words, though not spoken loudly, carried far among the still boughs of the forest. Aragorn had spent enough time in the company of Legolas to guess what his Elven counterpart's reaction would be: Boromir would soon find himself the target of several well-placed arrows.

The Ranger literally threw himself at the Elf, pinning the archer further against the back of the tree with his forearm. Though not quick enough to prevent Legolas from reaching back to grab an arrow, Aragorn did succeed in latching onto the Elf's tunic.

"I have tolerated your ridiculous feud with Gimli," growled the Ranger quietly, all the while praying to the Valar that Legolas would not decide to make use of his race's far-superior strength, "but I will not allow you to start one with Boromir."

'Legolas," he sighed, "Please."

Aragorn watched as the Elf's eyes glittered dangerously and then slowly faded to a stony calmness. Cautiously releasing his tunic, Aragorn allowed Legolas to collect himself. Legolas was not used to being treated as such, and Aragorn suspected his friend would be sore at him for a good while.

"It would bode well for the safety of the company if you scouted the area," Aragorn offered. It took every ounce of willpower not to flinch under Legolas's painfully sharp gaze.

Still glaring, Legolas nodded stiffly. Turning silently, he leapt up into the tree branches and disappeared. Aragorn watched him go with a heavy heart. He needed Legolas's support and hated being at odds with the Elf.

* * *

Legolas flew from branch to branch, feeling his temper cool as his body exerted itself. 'The foolish one will get us killed,' he fumed. Legolas was none too fond of the son of Denethor, and privately suspected he and the man would have more than a few disagreements were it not for his on- going battle with the Dwarf. "Mayhaps the Dwarf is good for something after all-he keeps me from slaying Boromir."

* * *

The creature sat huddled in a trampled thicket. The fall had been brutal, but it had survived. "Legolas, Aragorn, Boromir, Frodo, Pippin, Merry, Sam, Faramir, Eomer," the creature chanted again and again as it slobbered and rocked back and forth. There were so many to choose from. Who would it go after first?

'The Fellowship is the closest,' thought the beast deviously. 'I will go to them first, and from there I will decide.'

So saying, the creature began dragging itself towards the unsuspecting group.

* * *

Legolas returned to the hastily built camp an hour later. Away from the Fellowship and able to sort out his thoughts, the Elf's mood had improved greatly. Gimli rolled his eyes as Legolas began humming an old Mirkwood hunting tune.

Aragorn smiled and was just about to approach the archer when Legolas suddenly stiffened and reached for his bow.

"What is it?" he asked, hand instinctively going to rest on the hilt of his sword.

Legolas stared intently into the forest depths. "It is coming," he hissed. "The creature. It drags itself ever closer." He nocked an arrow with astonishing speed and aimed in the direction of the noise.

Aragorn and Boromir both drew their swords, sending a metallic ring shivering through the air. Gimli gripped his axe tightly. Gandalf stood protectively in front of the hobbits, who in turn drew their own short swords.

The sound, which was previously heard by only the keen ears of Legolas, eventually became louder. Branches snapped and leaves crackled as the creature dragged itself along the forest carpet. "Legolas, Aragorn, Boromir, Frodo, Pippin, Merry, Sam, Faramir, Eomer!"

The Fellowship tensed as the creature drew closer and closer.

"There!" cried Legolas. "It is there!" The Elf pointed his arrow at a slow-moving shape cloaked in black.

"Do not move," commanded Aragorn, "or we shall end your life. Who are you, and what do you want?"

The creature painfully stood up. It laughed in cruel delight, but the laugh was not the bitter, harsh din of Sauron's minions. It was a clear Elvish laughter that danced pleasantly on the night air. Hood still drawn and covering its face, the creature turned to look at Aragorn. "I am Bryn," it stated, and proceeded to remove the hood.

"No!" cried Frodo in terror. "Not another one!"

"Shoot it Legolas, for the love of Valinor, SHOOT IT!" screamed Pippin.

Boromir and Aragorn attempted to charge The Author before she removed her hood. But they were too late. "Don't look at it!" bellowed Gandalf as all averted their eyes. "Do not fall victim to its unearthly beauty and rare hair and or eye coloring!"

"What if it's discovered its special powers," moaned Merry.

The Author feigned innocence. "Oh dear. I seemed to have landed in Middle Earth, turned into an unearthly dazzling, tall, 5 pound Elf, and I'm certain the Orcs-no, the Nazgul-no, Sauron-no, ALL OF THEM and a big dragon- will be after me soon. Maybe a few trolls for good measure. Ah, and I am in need of a character to fall in love with," Bryn's mouth twisted into a grinning sneer. "Legolas and Aragorn top the list right now, but I'm sure once the second and third movies come out I'll really have to consider Faramir and Eomer. Is Imrahil going to be in them? I hear he's not too bad. I think I need an Elvish name. Something no one can pronounce."

The sudden twang of a bowstring sounded and the creature screamed in agony. Legolas allowed himself a grim smile of satisfaction as he launched a deadly volley of arrows into the dreadful beast. The creature screamed again, and attempted to swoon gracefully into the arms of the archer. Instead, it met the welcoming tip of Aragorn's blade.

Convulsing and choking, dreadful curses never before heard in the fair realms of Middle Earth spewed from its mouth: ".Slash within your own families. replacing Frodo with Warwick Davis from 'Willow'. Personal slaves. Torture scenes."

Finally, it shuddered and moved no more. Boromir approached the body cautiously and gave it a hard kick for good measure.

Gimli sighed in relief. "Thank the Valar we came unscathed from that one," he stated gruffly.

"Easy for you to say," mumbled Frodo under his breath, "they never come after you."

Legolas tried not to look at the beast as he disgustedly retrieved what arrows he could. "By my count," concluded Boromir, "that's the fourth one this week. Gandalf, how long did you say this journey would take us to complete?"

The wizard pretended not to hear him-after all, there were still two movies to go. "Come," called Aragorn, ever the sensible one, "Let us break camp and go forth. Perhaps the dawn will greet us with far better tidings."

Shoving their vanquished foe down the mountainside, the Fellowship watched with satisfaction as it rolled downward, hitting several rocks along the way before finally coming to rest at the base of a tree. A rosy dawn broke over the Misty Mountains and lent a bit of warmth to their frozen limbs and chilled souls. Perhaps, as Aragorn suggested, the dawn would greet them with far better tidings. Spirits lifted, the Fellowship continued their trek under the guidance of the sun's morning light.



A/N: A round of applause to the talented authors who give us all those lovely romance fics. They ARE more difficult to write than they look!

Please do not attempt to hunt me down and inflict any sort of bodily harm. I am not worth the effort. And I lock my doors. I seem to be decidedly dead, anyways.

Will be extracting arrows from self for remainder of week (and plotting revenge).