Legolas's POV:

I felt like Aragorn was following close behind me. Sensing his presence I turned my head to confirm my suspicions which turned out to be true. However, I was shocked to see him closer then I had expected. It was at that moment I realized that I could still hear Gimli yelling from camp which meant I wasn't as far as I thought I was. I wasn't far away enough for it to be safe.

Desperate to lose the persistant Ranger I leapt from the ground and pulled myself into a tall Pine, hoping to escape his grasp.

However, this was not the case. I sighed and thought about how long I had known Estel, quietly I scolded myself for thinking he would just give up and leave me alone.

The faster I climbed the tree the more the air stung my eyes, all my attention was devoted on not looking weak. I began completely focused with trying to wipe the water streaks away. My eyes looked down to find Aragorn just below me. I stopped climbing to try to prepare my walls to the best of my ability before he reached me.

We were near the top of one of the taller trees. However, we were not close enough to the top where the branches become feeble and can't hold your weight. Being an Elf from Mirkwood I knew how to place my weight so I would not fall. Aragorn knew Rivendale branches, which are mostly tall sturdy oaks that can hold the weight of a man Gimli's size. No matter what inner struggles I was going through, mental or physical, I was not going to place my friend, heir of Gondor, in danger.

As I waited and savored the very few moments before I would become bombarded with questions, I allowed my eyes to travel atop the large range of the many shorter trees. It made me think of my home, in Mirkwood if you climb the tallest tree you can see the entire kingdom.

I couldn't help but sigh, here I sat a complete wreck, fighting the urge to bury my head in my hands. This talk was the last thing I had wanted, especially not now, and ESPECIALLY not with Aragorn, my closest friend.

Finally, Aragorn reached me, he placed himself on the same branch relatively close to me. Closer than I would have liked. Being close to him made me feel very uncomfortable. I leaned my head away from him, against the trunk of the Pine. The bark felt like a pillow and immediately began reassuring me that I would be ok. Aragorn's voice brought me out of my trance, "Legolas, mellon-nin, what ails you?" (my friend)

"Estel please, tis just stress. Do not worry about me for I am fine." My eyes closed as my body became stiff against the tree. He seemed to notice right away.

"Legolas, please. What is on your mind. It is very much unlike you to snap at someone in such a way." He placed a hand on my shoulder, I had to force myself not to shudder at the touch.

I did not speak, for I did not want to alert on to my...situation...too much. I sighed and looked at the ground I couldn't help, but wonder if a fall like this would kill me. I began shaking my head, "Estel, amin..." (Estel, I...) I buried my face into my familiar callused hands unable to finish the sentence.

Aragorn's POV:

To see my friend in a state such as this was something I didn't know how to deal with. Legolas was always so strong, I didn't know what was going on with him. I wrapped my arms around his light frame and rocked him, whispering things in elvish as questions swam around in my head.

What happened to him to get him to this state? So broken and empty. It seemed almost as if he had no life in him.

As I was holding him as I allowed my eyes to scan over his supple frame, he was thin. Oh so very thin, I tried to trace my memory to the last time he ate a full meal, I couldn't remember one. His face and the tips of his ears were slightly flushed so I knew he had been drinking, something he rarely did. Finally my eyes rested on a small streak of red on his pale blue tunic.

My eyes grew wide as I realized I had one of my thousands of questions were answered.

It was Legolas's blood that Pippin had found...

-line break-

"Shame is what you bring upon your people Legolas Thrandulian."

My eyes traveled around the surrounding area, where was I and what was going on?

"Penneth, how could you betray me like this."

"Ada?" Legolas screamed into the forest. Immediately knowing the voice had to be his father. However, he did not know the direction from which it came.

"Ahh my little greenleaf. I do not know the words to express my grief. I fear... I fear as though I am beginning to fade."

Suddenly a grey and feeble Thranduil staggered -gracefully- out of the thicket and into the clearing.

Legolas stumbled towards his father unable to find the words to express how broken he was, "Ada no. You can't fade I need you!"

"Ahh Penneth. Why. You did this to me, your people. Have you no remorse." King Thranduil reached up towards his son and stroked his cheek. "I worry about you, my little Greenleaf. Your Neneth died so you could live." Suddenly his eyes became hateful, "I was never able to forgive you for that, and even in death Penneth, I never will. It is YOU who leave your people leaderless Legolas Thrandulian, for Sauron himself would make a finer king for the Mirkwood people than you."

The Elvin prince watched as his father, the only family he had, fall to the forest floor in a heap of nothingness.

-line break-

A figure watched as the whimpering pale Princeling thrashed in his sleep. He was huddled in Aragorn's arms. The ranger was rocking Legolas's body back an forth. A worried look was spread across his face.

The dark figure smirked and spoke silently to the trees which were scolding him for his horrible actions, "we'll this is only the beginning." Unbenouced to the nine members of the fellowship, one more was added to the group from the shadows of the forest. One unwelcome new member bringing the total to ten, and everyone knows, ten is a ghastly number.