The night was calm and peaceful. Nothing stirred in the darkness descending around the Last Homely House. Legolas strode through the gardens of the elven refuge, admiring the brilliance of the stars on the clear night. The prince sighed in contentment, pushing a strand of blond hair behind his pointed ear. Abruptly he froze. His eyebrows drew together in confusion and then his nose wrinkled in disgust. Valar, what was that smell?
The elven prince gagged and choked as he inhaled. Something that smelt truly horrible was lacing the air. Glancing around, hoping to determine where the horrible stench was coming from, Legolas was alarmed to see smoke rising from behind a group of shrubs and trees.
Quickly he darted through the shrubbery and was surprised to find himself standing beneath the balcony of Aragorn’s chambers. What startled the elf prince even more was the figure sitting on the ground, his back propped up against one of the trees seemingly oblivious to the stench wafting around.
The young ranger jumped in alarm as his elven friend came frantically through the bushes. “Legolas! Whatever is the matter?”
The elf prince looked at Aragorn with disbelief and concern. “Can you not smell it?” Indeed the ghastly stench was even stronger the closer he got to the ranger.
Aragorn looked even more confused. "Smell what, mellon nin?"
Legolas coughed and covered his mouth with his sleeve. “That horrible stench! Can you not smell it?” He looked around wildly, trying to determine the source of the smell. “It is all around...” His eyes suddenly fell on a very strange object hanging loosely from his friend's fingers. "No," he murmured, his eyes narrowing Oh it was all so clear now.
Legolas leapt forward with a snarl. Before Aragorn could react, the elf snatched the pipe from his fingers. What," he said in a lethal voice as he held the pipe barely an inch from his friend's eyes. "Is this?"
Startled the ranger tried to back up, but could not due to the tree behind him. "It is a pipe, Legolas. It is used for smoking.”
"I know what it is!" Legolas hissed. "What are you doing with it? Tell me you have not…not…" Words failed the prince and he could only gesture to the curiously carved object, his fair, elven features crinkling with distaste.
“I was using it," a dull flush crept up Aragorn's face. "It was a gift from Mithrandir," he grumbled, plucking the still smoking pipe from the elf's fingers and placed the stem between his lips. "It is a hobby of mine.” He blew a perfectly formed smoke ring towards the prince.
“It is a disgusting habit you picked up from the rangers.” Legolas waved his hand in front of him, “and with a vile stench!”
Aragorn noticed the look of disgust the elf shot him and he grinned. "I happen to enjoy the smell."
"Valar!" Legolas threw his hands up in the air. "Are the halls of Imladris ever to be haunted by the lingering fumes of that ghastly plant?!”
"Wait! Where are you going?" Aragorn called as the elf marched off.
Legolas glanced back over his shoulder as he walked away deeper into the gardens. "To some place I can no longer catch even a hint of that reeking smoke!”