What Used To Be

Thanks to FemaleSpock, stlova, Lozrii, Nosterineth, Aearwen22 and Martiny the one and only still for reviewing it's really appreciated :) If I haven't already I will get round to R&R yours soon. Hopefully I've worked on everything you all suggested!

Author Note: I have no idea how long it would take to reach the Havens, or what is on the road there, so I just guessed. Please don't shoot me, and if you know then please tell me!

Chapter 3

Aragorn was riding through a forest, the same forest he had been riding through for four days already. Behind him, Arwen was talking with Lauri and Gimli, Dari and Hal were having an animated discussion, while Aragorn was starting to get some nerves. He had no idea as to how his old friend would react to his turning up out of the blue like this. He was terrified about Legolas's reaction. Aragorn was so caught up in his own world that he didn't notice when everyone else fell quiet. Then his wife rode up next to him. Arwen touched Aragorn lightly on the shoulder.

"Aragorn?" She asked softly. "Look, over there." She pointed to something a little off, in the distance. Something glittering...

"The sea!" Aragorn said in amazement. Than he swallowed. "Arwen? Can you- are they-"

Arwen knew what he was trying to say. "They seem to still be there, Estel. There is a large encampment just by the sea, they must be preparing to leave now."

Aragorn nodded. He thought he might fall of his horse, he was so nervous. Luckily he didn't and they rode on, towards the Sea.

Aragorn hadn't thought about what he wanted to do once he arrived at the Havens. Eventually they set up a camp, but it was out of sight of the Elves's camp. There they washed, bathed and relaxed after their very long, tiring journey. It was just starting to get dark by the time everyone had finished eating. Aragorn contemplated going to see Legolas right away against in the morning. He chose the easy way and decided on in the morning. At least they had reached the Havens in time. No-one was going anywhere that night. Aragorn drifted off to sleep by telling himself this.

He was woken up halfway through the night by several things. Firstly, someone was shaking him awake, he couldn't tell who. Secondly, Gimli was being very loud as someone tried to shake him awake - "Get offa me!", and thirdly, a large group of people had surrounded them and were pointing bows at the whole group. Only when Aragorn was finally standing up did he realise that they were surrounded by Elves. Wood-elves. One of them, who appeared to be the leader was kind of poking around the camp and finally he arrived at Aragorn.

"Who are you, human?" He demanded. "What are you doing spying on us?"

Aragorn considered the question. "We weren't spying on you." He said finally.

"Then what is your reason for being so far from your home and so close to our camp? Who are you?" The Elf demanded.

"I am Elessar." He replied. "King Elessar of Gondor."

The Elf scoffed. "A likely story. What would a king be doing out here, in ranger clothes?" He asked. He clearly didn't know the story of the War of the Ring, even though a member of his royal family had been one of the Fellowship. He turned to the other Elves. "We'll take them back to our camp and Legolas can decide what to do with them." It seemed none of them had noticed Arwen, who was an Elf, either.

With that, the Elves began to take their prisoners back to their camp. Aragorn was at the front, but he knew that Arwen would be comforting the children at the back. Meanwhile Gimli was half yelling at the wood-elves.

"Don't you recognise me? Gimli, son of Gloin! I am constantly at your blasted palace. Aren't elves supposed to have good memories?"

"You know, Linnod, he does look like that dwarf." One elf said to the leader.

Linnod dismissed the idea. "Even if he is, he was still travelling with those men. Just leave it."

Gimli seethed. He was about to start yelling again when Aragorn told him to just be quiet. The dwarf glared at Aragorn but spoke no more. They walked in silence until they reached the Elf camp. There, Linnod sent the captives into a tent, set some guards up outside and went off, presumably to find Legolas.

"Do nothing." Aragorn said quickly to his men." Stay over there and keep quiet when someone comes back." Then he turned to his family and Gimli.

"What's going on? Why don't they believe you?" Halbarad asked immediately.

"You don't need to worry." Aragorn promised, hoping what he was saying was true. "Legolas is going to recognise us. Me, Arwen and Gimli anyway." He tried to sound confident, but he hadn't the slightest clue as to how Legolas felt about him now and didn't really feel sure his one-time friend wouldn't just ignore him.

"He has a lot of explaining to do." Gimli mumbled grumpily.

"I didn't force you to come." Aragorn reminded him. "I didn't want any of you to come. Your predicament is entirely your own fault."

"This is all just a misunderstanding." Arwen smiled a little. "Nothing is going to hap-" She fell silent as voices appeared outside. One of them was very familiar.

"We found them just out of sight of our camp, my lord, and bought them here." Linnod was saying.

"Oh? Did you ask them who they were?" Legolas asked.

"Yes. One of claimed to be King Elessar, from Gondor. There was a dwarf, too."

Legolas was silent for a moment. "You...did not believe him? The King?"

"No, he was in ranger clothes." Linnod sounded slightly unsure of himself now.

"I see. Who else was with him?" Legolas asked in a strained voice.

"Well, the dwarf, and ten men, a woman and three children." He had barely finished speaking when Legolas rushed on.

"There's a woman in there? And children? You took them?" Legolas sounded incredulous.

"Yes, Legolas..." Linnod really was unsure now.

"I don't see what harm they were doing. Why didn't you just leave them there?"

"Well, I thought they might be spies..."


If the situation wasn't so serious Aragorn would of laughed. He knew how gruelling Legolas could be.

"I do not believe this. You have just captured the King of Gonder, his wife and their children, as well as one of my good friends. You have also accused them of being spys." Legolas sighed. "Why on Arda would they be spying on us?"

"Why else would they be here?" Linnod asked bravely. Legolas had to admit that was a good question.

"I have no idea, Linnod but I am sure it was not that." Legolas sighed. Then he ducked into the tent.

Aragorn studied the elf as he came in. He hadn't changed in the slightest. Same style of clothes, hair and pretty much everything else. Then again he hadn't expected Legolas to of changed - he was an elf, after all.

Legolas looked around the tent. Off in the corner were the guards from Gondor. Then there was Gimli, sitting grumpily in a chair, glaring at the elf manically. Legolas smiled innocently at him before moving on. Then, there were three children. Well, one of them was nearly fully grown, for a man and the other boy not far behind. The elder looked like Aragorns identical twin. The girl, two, was a mirror image of Arwen and the other boy reflected both of his parents. They were staring at him avidly, he noticed, and wondered what Arwen, Gimli and Aragorn had told them about him. Finally, his gaze flickered very quickly over Arwen and Aragorn. The children were still watching him intently. Slightly unnerved, he cleared his throat while he though of something useful to say.

Gimli, who wasn't going to forgive Legolas for their situation yet even though it wasn't technically his fault, began speaking.

"So, Elf, are you going to let us go back to our camp and get back to sleep now or are we just going to stand around looking at each other all day?" He demanded.

"Well, Dwarf, do not forget that I was woken up to deal with your latest mess, as usual." Legolas replied without missing a beat, and folding his arms slightly defensively.

"MY mess?" Gimli looked like he was going to explode. "This is YOUR mess!"

Legolas raised an eyebrow. "My mess? I don't believe I am the one miles away from my home for who knows what reason, sitting captive in a tent and insulting the one person with the power to get me out."

"Curse the stubbornness of Elves." Gimli murmured. "We are here, Elf, because you have decided to go waltzing off into the blue without telling anybody!"

Legolas tensed ever so slightly. "I did tell people."

Aragorn felt extremely out of things now. The two seemed to of forgotten that anyone else was sitting nearby. He cleared his throat.

Both Legolas and Gimli turned to look at him.

"Er," Aragorn began spectaculy. "I- we- have come because you're sailing, Legolas. Not to stop you going. To say goodbye."

"I see." Legolas said, looking at Aragorn properly, with eye contact for the first time in more than 17 years. It made Legolas feel a little uncomfortable. He was quick to look away again.

"Because I don't know why-" Aragorn tried to say but Legolas interrupted him.

"You should stay here tonight and you can go back to your own camp in the morning. I'll have some provisions bought to you, but of course you allowed out of the tent."

Aragorn watched as the Elf hurried out of the tent and began speaking to Linnod, who appeared to still be waiting outside. He certainly wasn't going to leave things there, so he quickly dashed out of the tent after Legolas.

There was no-one about, the elves that had been guarding the tent were gone, and things were quiet. But Aragorn could see Legolas outside the camp, looking out over the sea. That was where Aragorn headed.

"Legolas?" He asked tentively, coming to a stop about two feet away from the elf.

"King Elessar." Legolas replied without moving.

Aragorn felt shocked. Had they really gone that far? When had they sunk to calling each other by title?

"Prince Legolas." Aragorn said, eventually. He walked until he was standing next to the elf.

"You don't need to call me that." Legolas said, not looking at Aragorn although he knew the man was looking at him.

"Well you certainly don't need to call me 'king'." Aragorn said and could not keep the anger out of his voice. "Why won't you even look at me?"

Legolas looked at him. There were so many questions each wanted to ask the other but didn't know where to start...

"Legolas, I came here because...well. I need to know. I can't let you leave for Valinor without knowing why you left Minas Tirith with no word, no goodbye, no explanation, nothing. Did our friendship really mean that little to you?" Aragorn asked. He half dreaded the answer but he really did need to know and what better time to find out than now? But from the look on Legolas's face he could tell that wasn't what the elf had expected. Legolas studied Aragorn to see if he was messing around. Apparently he wasn't.

"Is that what you think?" Legolas seemed hurt.

Aragorn didn't know what to say. He seemed to of got it all wrong.

"I left because I was getting in the way, Aragorn. You had a new city, a new wife, and a baby on the way. You didn't need me standing around, adding to your troubles. I left, Aragorn, because everyone else had moved on. I had to move on too." Legolas finally looked away from Aragorn. "You're wondering why I never got in touch later? The truth was I was scared. Scared of rejection, of you telling me that I wasn't needed. So I left it, and now I've...I'm sorry Aragorn." Legolas took a deep breath. That had all just come out in one large muddle, where had it come from?

Aragorn contemplated this. He was just beginning to understand what must of happened, but he didn't like it one little bit.

"What are you sorry for?" He asked. "I'm just as much to blame as you are. Maybe more. I was busy, Legolas, but I didn't want you out of my life. I never meant for that to happen."

Legolas finally looked up into Aragorns grey eyes. "I know." He said softly. The he glanced back towards the camp. "There are still lots of things to get ready, Aragorn. I have to go." Without waiting for Aragorns answer he ran back to the camp.

Aragorn frowned. Where did this leave them now? It seemed a lot had changed in the time they'ed been apart, which would take time to heal. Time that they didn't have.