by 'rith

Title: Fellowship
Author: 'rith
Fandom: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Pairing: Legolas/everyone (slash and het)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Legolas contributes to the quest in his own way.
Archive: yes to list archives
Email: kerithwyn@yahoo.com
Series/Sequel: no
Web Page: http://www.offpanel.net/kerithwyn/
Disclaimer: So very not mine. Characters by JRR Tolkien, images by Peter Jackson.
Thanks to: One of the LotR slash MLs for nicknaming Legolas "the Whore Prince of Mirkwood"; Reccea, for agreeing with me at a critical moment; and Susan Williams for excellent beta.

The quest was serious, he understood that. No one would be able to claim that Legolas of Mirkwood was less devoted to the ultimate end, to the destruction of the Ring and the Enemy, than any other. His bow and his sharp eye were both ready to serve the Fellowship, as the representative of the Elves of Middle-Earth.

And yet. Even before their departure from Rivendell he saw clearly the distress on his companions' faces. They would never reach Mordor in so dispirited a state. It fell to him to raise their spirits, to see that they did not forget what they were fighting for: life, and freedom, and the pursuit of...pleasure, if not happiness.

In his long years (though reckoned few by Elder Elves), Legolas had become very good at finding pleasure where he might. It was, after all, a most *enjoyable* way of passing the time that could not touch him.

He considered each member of the Fellowship carefully, planning his course.


Gandalf, just past Rivendell:

Start with the eldest, he'd decided, and certainly the one most in need of diversion. Mithrandir knew more than he would ever say, as was the way of wizards, and the weight of those hidden concerns lay heavy on him.

Those lips, Legolas thought, wrinkled though they be, what experience they might contain! And what knowledge might lie behind those wise eyes!

Late at night over a campfire, the scent of Gandalf's pipeweed drifted sweetly into the air. The others had gone to sleep, leaving the Elf and the wizard to guard. But the danger was slim here, so soon out of Rivendell, and there was no better time.

Nor was it wise to dissemble with one such as he. Gathering his courage, Legolas leaned forward from where he sat and laid his hand upon the wizard's knee.

Gandalf merely looked upon him with an amused eye. "Go along with you, young Elf, and try your luck elsewhere." He continued to chew on his pipe. "I am too old for such games."

"Never!" Legolas protested, leaning forward again, but Gandalf fixed him with a piercing gaze.

"The hobbit Samwise, well-named, shows more wisdom than you," he said, "remember the old adage! 'Meddle ye not in the affairs of wizards'...."

Legolas laughed and sat back. "If you *had* affairs, O wizard, perhaps I would not be tempted to meddle with you! But I meant no offense."

"And I took none," said Gandalf. "Indeed I am greatly flattered. I thank you; but no."

"As you will." Legolas replied. "Should ever you change your mind, I would be well pleased." Standing, he bowed and left the fire, hearing the wizard chuckle behind him.


Legolas, just past Rivendell:

A poor start, to be sure. But he was not one to be dissuaded by such a setback. He crept off to amuse himself, as the others still slept. After all, HE numbered among the Fellowship too. And he knew well what he liked, even if there was none to share pleasure with him this night.

"Waste not, want not," he murmured to himself, lying back and gazing up into the stars while his hands began an oft-played symphony on his flesh.


Aragorn, approaching Caradhras:

One who required delicate handling, certainly, and who was hampered with additional complications. But Legolas thrived on challenge in such matters. And he had made certain to arrange things beforehand to his satisfaction.

Legolas remembered:

{In Rivendell, he approached the Lady Arwen. "We of the Fellowship are headed into danger, Lady, and the way will be perilous and long."

"Well do I know this, Legolas," she said. "Why remind me of it?"

"Would you send your lover away unloved?" he asked boldly.

"He has my heart," she replied softly, "but more must wait until we are properly wed, in the way of his people. -- Ai!" She turned to him, laughing. "I see your purpose. And clever it was of you to approach me first. Danger, yes, and long lonely nights; and Aragorn without me to comfort him." Arwen gave him a searching look. "His body you may claim for the length of your quest, as he allows; but his love is mine."

"As I would will it, Lady," Legolas said, "I will treat him gently, or otherwise, as he may desire."

"I have little doubt," she murmured, and a blush rose upon her cheeks.

Seeing this, he felt a great tenderness toward her. "And you, Lady? When your beloved goes to war, leaving you behind unloved, will you not have a memory to keep you warm in the night?" For it seemed to him that the Elves of Mirkwood were less inhibited about such matters than the Elves of Rivendell. In his dark forest, danger lurked that might threaten even an immortal, and so surrounded his people enjoyed life to the fullest. Here in sheltered Rivendell there was no danger, no urgency, and perhaps due to that lack, no urgent passion either. And besides, so many here were her own blood kin.

The color still high on her face, she looked him in the eye. "Would you offer such a memory, in his place?"

"An' you wish it, Lady, I would." Catching her hand, he brought it to his lips.

"You may call me Arwen," she said, and led him into her bedchamber.}

As they journeyed it became clear that the man was strangely shy, though his battle-prowess and wilding-skills could not be denied. But he made no acknowledgement of Legolas' subtle advances, and finally the Elf determined that he must take a direct course.

He waited until Aragorn had left their camp, purportedly to scout the terrain ahead, more honestly to indulge his tendency to brood. Legolas followed, walking above the snowdrifts. When he reached the Man, Aragorn simply nodded to him and continued to stare blindly out over the white landscape.

"It is a hard road," Legolas offered softly. Aragorn merely grunted in agreement.

Well, then.

Legolas reached out with a gentle hand and traced the strong line of Aragorn's jaw. The Man trembled under his touch but said nothing, and did not push him away. He made no other motion, and after a moment Legolas dropped his hand and turned away to go back to the camp.

Aragorn's voice stopped him, broken and rough. "Legolas...."

He turned again to see Aragorn, flushed and clearly discomfited. "This is...new to me," he said, "for while such things are not unknown among the Rangers of the North, never was there one who stirred me. And Arwen--"

"Has no objection," Legolas said, "save only that she remains first in your heart; and I have no intent to displace her there."

"Does this mean, then, that such matters are arranged without my consent?" Aragorn asked, temper flaring.

"Never without consent!" Legolas cried. "The Lady and I merely discussed a possibility. The choice is up to you and you may decide freely, knowing that she would not disapprove." He lowered his eyes and said more softly, "The night grows cold, Aragorn, and our way more perilous by the moment. Will you not take comfort where you may?"

"I-- what you offer--" Aragorn seemed to lose his speech, then, gazing at the Elf with wondering eyes. Legolas saw his indecision and took pity on him.

"You are a leader of men, destined to be King," he said. "But not yet. Perhaps you wish to be freed of the responsibility, if only for a very few moments."

"You see clearly," Aragorn said, obviously ill at ease with the thought.

Legolas did not reply, but drew closer, trusting his instinct. Aragorn neither raised a hand to stop him nor pulled away, and after a moment the Ranger's mouth opened to his.


Sam and Frodo, nearing Moria:

So stalwart, so solicitous. So clearly in love with his master, Legolas wondered how Frodo could fail to see it.

He approached Samwise while the hobbit was grooming Bill the pony, speaking quietly so none of the others would hear.

"Why do you huddle in your blankets alone at night, Sam, when the one you desire lies but a hand's breadth out of reach?"

Sam whirled to look at him, wide-eyed and panicked. "What? I don't know what you're talking about!"

Legolas motioned for the hobbit to keep his voice low. "You love the Ring-Bearer, Sam. It is no crime."

Sam, seeing perhaps that Legolas had guessed rightly and would not be deterred, turned away. "It ain't right, it ain't proper," Sam muttered. "And he's not to know, d'you hear?"

"He will know before the quest's end, I would wager," Legolas said. "But your own actions will tell him, not I. He shall hear naught of it from my lips."

"Th- thank you," Sam said, stuttering, "I couldn't bear it. Not yet, anyhow."

Legolas looked at him, considering. "And what will give you the courage? "

Sam looked back at him, uncomprehending. "I don't rightly know what you mean." "Should the day come when you reveal yourself, what will you do? Have you no experience in these matters to draw upon, Samwise?"

The hobbit flushed a violent red and leaned against the pony, hiding his face. He mumbled indecipherably into the creature's flanks. Legolas reached out to pull him gently away.

"Did I upset you, Sam?"

"We don't *talk* about such things," Sam burst out in obvious embarrassment, "I don't know how it is with Elves, but beggin' your pardon, I just don't think it's right."

Legolas looked after him thoughtfully as the hobbit scurried away. Sam's admiration of Elven-kind ran deep, but his fear must run deeper to speak to Legolas in so hasty a tone. He wondered at the source of it; hobbits as a rule had little prejudice in matters of love, as long as the love was true. So why, then, did Sam refuse to speak of it?

He resumed currying the pony where Sam had left off, using the simple patterns of the brush to concentrate his thoughts. Perhaps Sam's hesitation had to do with Frodo himself?

Legolas had not expected the Ring-Bearer to be so beautiful. Hobbits in general had a certain appeal, a fresh-faced charm full of open sensuality. Frodo glowed as if from within. His features were as delicate as any Elven-lord's in their proportion, and they drew the eye. But it was clear that Frodo knew little of love, no doubt to the despair of hobbit- lads and lasses throughout the Shire.

There was a delicious temptation, of course, in the idea of being the first to teach him.

Yet somehow it seemed...almost sacrilegious to think of the Ring-Bearer so. Frodo had a great task before him, and even now Legolas could see it weighing on his heart and his mind. The hobbit would need all his strength, all his dedication bent to this one quest. He should not be distracted from it by the fleeting desire of a capricious Elf.

Besides, Legolas thought, Sam would kill him if he tried anything.


Merry and Pippin, in Moria:

He heard them moving together under the blankets, deep in the night when they thought all others were asleep or far away on watch, listening down the echoing passages of Moria. But his Elvish hearing was as keen as his sight. He listened to their small noises: Peregrin's high-pitched and muffled squeal, Meriadoc's quieter moan. The sounds of their lovemaking warmed him.

He spoke quietly, after Merry had risen to relieve himself. "I am glad you two have found joy in each other. Such love is much needed, on our arduous path."

Merry jumped but did not cry out, as Legolas judged Pippin would have. Merry turned to glare at him. "I'm glad it pleases you," he said tartly, "if I'd known we had an audience, I'd have made more a show of it!"

"I am stung!" Legolas replied, laughing. "But do not be angry; I meant no harm. I am simply glad you find comfort where you might."

Merry looked at him for a long moment, and finally grinned. "So you like to listen, do you?"

"It does no harm. I would not intrude where I was not invited," he added.

"Oh!" said Merry. "And if you had an invitation?"

"Why, I would accept and be glad, for comfort is hard come-by in these dark times," Legolas said, holding Merry's eye.

Merry snorted. "For some less than others, I gather."

Legolas spread his hands. "It does me no good to pretend to shyness, or to delay what pleasure may be found along the way into darkness. For who knows what horror tomorrow may bring?"

"To speak of trouble invites it, or so we say in the Shire," Merry said, making a warding gesture. "But I take your meaning. Consider yourself invited, then!"

Legolas laughed. "What of Pippin?"

Merry grinned wickedly. "He loves surprises. I think between the two of us, we can devise a surprise he won't soon forget!"

They did indeed.


Boromir, in Lothlorien:

The Elves' lament for fallen Mithrandir lasted long into the night. Legolas remained awake to hear it even as most of his other companions drifted into sleep. After their voices faded, he found himself restless.

So, it seemed, did another member of the Fellowship. He found Boromir well away from the others, sitting on a stone bench, head heavily in hands.

"Boromir. Are you well? You should be resting."

The Man looked up. "I have...too much in my thoughts for sleep. And this place--I admit, Legolas, with no offense intended to your kinsfolk--this place unnerves me. And its Queen most of all."

Legolas nodded. "Her power is great. It keeps this forest safe, even from our darkest enemies. Even to the Elves, she can be fearsome." The southern warrior seemed shaken. "She looked *into* me, she saw things, I know not what. The future, mayhap. It seems she...disapproves of me. And who knows what one such as she would do to an enemy?"

"Not an enemy," Legolas said, "or you never would have pierced the depths of Lothlorien. The Lady Galadriel sees much, even what lies hidden in our hearts. If you are disquieted, perhaps you may take it as a sign of things to come, and mend your ways. Even she would not say that Fate is immutable."

"Was it Gandalf's fate to die in Moria?" Boromir snapped, then fell silent. Legolas turned away, shaken, his own grief at Gandalf's fall too raw to bear such words. After a moment Boromir spoke again, rough and low. "I apologize, truly. You most of all do not deserve my temper. I have not forgotten that it was you who pulled me from the edge in Moria, when I would have fallen."

Legolas did not turn back. "I would have done the same for any member of the Fellowship."

"Even the Dwarf?" Boromir's voice had gone teasing, mercurial in the way of Men. Legolas chose to let the shift carry him and glanced back, smiling.

"Even the Dwarf!"

Boromir laughed and stretched. Legolas took the opportunity to admire his long body, the way his thigh muscles stretched and bunched under the tight leggings, the way the broad arcs of his chest rippled when the warrior yawned, long and loud.

Legolas let his gaze linger, until Boromir took notice and grinned. "Do you like what you see?"

"There is beauty in your strength," Legolas replied boldly. "If you have no need of rest, I would like to share in it."

Boromir laughed again, a booming noise. "So! It took you long enough. I have seen you, Sir Elf, and your wanton ways. But as it pleases you to make the offer, I shall not refuse your hospitality!"

In moments he was pinned under Boromir's weight, unresisting, being quite thoroughly *taken.* Ai! thought Legolas blissfully, now *here* is a Man who knows what he wants!


Gimli, on the river from Lothlorien:

The Dwarf had given him long pause. The ancient enmity between Dwarves and Elves was not so easily forgotten, even in so desperate a time. But seeing Gimli's forthrightness, his refusal to surrender even in the fresh grief of finding his cousin's tomb, had made Legolas reconsider. As a whole the Dwarf race might have little to recommend itself, but THIS particular Dwarf had proven himself a stalwart companion.

He was gruff, he was uncouth, he was...far more *hairy* than the Men. And yet. Despite Elvish prejudice, it was true that the Dwarves were an ancient and honorable race. Legolas had already found much to admire in their representative among the Fellowship.

Now Gimli huddled against the hull of the boat and complained bitterly with the traditional dislike of his people for ships and volumes of water greater than might fill a bathtub. Legolas bore his grumbles in amused silence, looking forward to their further adventures together with great anticipation.

It was said, after all, that Dwarves were great and deep delvers.


Notes: Of course, "Sam would kill him if he tried anything" is copyright Cassandra Claire. If you haven't read the Very Secret Diaries, for goodness' sake, go here immediately if not sooner: http://diaries.diagon.org/.

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