Dinîf en Qualen
Elrond, who was selecting some sweets to take to his rooms with him, looked up when Legolas entered the kitchen, asking for water and hot tea. One of the maids complied and asked the blond to wait. As Legolas hadn’t noticed him yet, Elrond got a good chance to study the younger Elf.
For the most part Legolas’ features mirrored Thranduil’s, but there was one great difference; the thoughtful azure eyes. Where Thranduil’s eyes were feline and emerald, Legolas’ were as blue as the sea.
He decided to reveal his presence and walked up to the younger Elf. “Greetings, Legolas. I hope you had a pleasant time at the Bruinen?” And now that he thought about it, where was Elrohir? Elladan had patrol duty, but he had expected Elrohir to join them for dinner.
Legolas blinked at seeing the half-Elf. He had never been a good liar and Elrond would probably realize that he wasn’t telling the truth. Was there a way out? “Elrohir is resting. He was a tad tired,” Legolas replied eventually. “He asked for some hot tea and I will deliver it to his room before turning in for the night myself.” He complimented himself on not lying; he had merely omitted the fact that Elrohir had caught a chill that was quickly developing into a fever.
Elrond frowned; it didn’t happen often that Elrohir admitted to being tired, but maybe it was his son’s way to gain Legolas’ attention. He judged it best to not meddle in his son’s affairs and smiled reassuringly. “I hope he will feel rested shortly. And do tell him that I expect to see him at the breakfast table.” That was just to make sure nothing was wrong with his youngest son. As a parent, he would always feel protective.
Legolas accepted the tray that a maid placed on the table and thanked her. “I should return to Elrohir’s rooms now,” he said apologetically. He was desperate to get away from Elrond, whose piercing gaze made him feel uncomfortable. Elrohir trusted him to keep silent about his chill, but Legolas found it increasingly difficult to hide the truth from the elder half-Elf. Picking up the tray, he headed for the doorway. “I will tell him that you want to see him at breakfast.”
Elrond’s frown vanished and a smug grin appeared instead. Picking up his own tray with wine and sweets, he headed for his rooms, where Thranduil was eagerly awaiting his return.
Elrohir was shivering beneath the covers. Why did he have to catch a chill now, when all he wanted was to spend time with Legolas? Growing sad, he wondered if he had missed his chance to impress the blond. He was afraid that he had made a complete fool out of himself.
Sighing, he pulled the blanket closer around his trembling form. His throat felt awfully dry and he longed for the hot tea, which Legolas would hopefully bring shortly.
He did feel like a complete failure for contracting this chill. He had planned on entertaining Legolas and making his stay very enjoyable, but this cold had sneaked up on him! Angry with himself, he closed his eyes, trying to forget just how miserable he was.
At the sound of the door opening, he peeked out from beneath half-closed eyelids. Legolas was carrying a tray and now placed it on the floor, next to the bed. The blond wavered momentarily, but then sat down on the edge of his bed.
“I brought you lemon-flavored tea.” Legolas filled a cup.
Reluctantly Elrohir pushed himself into a sitting position. Reaching out, his shaky hands curled around the hot cup. After waiting for it to cool down, he sipped slowly. “Thank you.”
“You are welcome,” said Legolas, smiling. Raising a hand, he was about to place it against Elrohir’s forehead, but not before asking, “May I?”
Elrohir nodded and grew nervous, feeling Legolas’ fingertips brush his brow. “It will be some days before the fever goes down.”
“How long did this chill last the last time you had it?”
“About a week.” Elrohir had finished his tea and now cuddled up beneath the covers. “And I am not looking forward to being confined to bed for a whole week!”
Legolas suddenly recalled Elrond’s words. “Staying in bed might prove difficult. When I was fetching your tea your father told me he expected to see you at breakfast.”
“I cannot do that!” Elrohir panicked slightly. “He will instantly notice that something is wrong!” Another coughing fit overwhelmed him and he rode it out under Legolas’ worried look. After regaining his breath, he tried to reassure the blond. “Do not look at me like that. It is not like I will die due to a cold.”
“Are you sure?” whispered Legolas thoughtfully.
Elrohir gave the blond a startled look. “I may be half-Elven, but I won’t die due to a mere chill.” He wasn’t planning on dying at all! But Legolas’ concern deeply touched him. It meant a lot to him that the blond worried about him like that. He didn’t want Legolas to leave, but he didn’t have the right to take up this much of the other Elf’s time. “You do not have to stay here.”
“I do not mind,” said Legolas shyly. His thoughts returned to Elrond’s request that Elrohir be present in the morning. “Maybe you could send Elladan in your place?”
Hidden beneath the blanket, Elrohir shook his head. “That won’t work. My father can easily tell us apart. Elladan would not be able to fool him, and my brother won’t return for at least one more day. It is his turn to lead the border patrols this week.”
Legolas didn’t want to say it aloud, but he figured Elrond finding about Elrohir’s chill would be a good thing. “Would you like me to stay for the night in case you grow worse? I would rather not leave you alone in this condition.”
Elrohir shot him hopeful but guilty look. “I am sure you would rest more comfortably in your own rooms.”
“I am not that tired,” said Legolas reassuringly. “I will make myself comfortable in a chair.”
Elrohir locked eyes with Legolas. “Why don’t you take Elladan’s bed? He won’t be home tonight.”
“Are you sure Elladan won’t mind?”
“I am sure.” Elladan would be grateful that Legolas had stayed to look after him.
Legolas moved to the twin bed next to Elrohir’s and propped the pillow against the wall. Lying propped up on his side he studied the half-Elf. “What does it feel like? Having a cold?”
“I feel miserable,” admitted Elrohir, growing thirsty again. “I feel cold and then hot. I cannot stop shaking and my throat feels raw.”
Legolas pushed himself into an upright position again, already reaching for the water. “Would you like another drink?”
“I would love some water.” Elrohir struggled free of the blankets and greedily drank the water Legolas offered him. He cherished Legolas’ touch when the Elf helped him to get comfortable again. “Thank you for staying.” He would have hated being alone tonight.
Legolas settled back onto Elladan’s bed and gave him a warm smile. Being able to help Elrohir made him feel warm inside. “I will stay, mellon-nîn, and now go to sleep. You need to recuperate.”
Hearing Legolas’ voice soothed him enough to close his eyes and relax. Slowly, he surrendered to his exhaustion. But just when he was drifting off, Legolas’ hands settled on either side of his face, almost shaking him.
“Open your eyes! Elrohir!”
Oops. Elrohir felt guilty as he realized what had happened. Smiling at the blond, he rested a shaky hand atop of Legolas’. “You should know that I sleep with my eyes closed. I am sorry. I did not mean to startle you.” Legolas’ wide eyes grew calm again and Elrohir soothingly rubbed the blond’s knuckles. “Sleeping with my eyes closed is normal for me,” he paused, and then added, “And for Elladan as well.”
Legolas felt slightly reassured, but wasn’t inclined to remove his hands from Elrohir’s face. The half-Elf was close and so were those seductive lips. /What am I thinking? He does not feel attracted to me./ The thought saddened him, and he resigned himself to just being friends. “I won’t overreact again.”
“You did not know,” said Elrohir. “I should have told you, but…” He had to pause again, as another coughing bout tormented his lungs. “I hate colds.” Legolas’ fingers combed through his hair, and after steadying his breathing, he smiled lovingly at the blond. “I will keep you awake, coughing all night long.”
“As I said before, I am not that tired.” Legolas smiled warmly, and regretted having to let go of the silk strands. He lay down again and resumed watching Elrohir, whose eyes were slowly closing again. Seeing those dark eyes close still made him feel apprehensive, but at least now he understood what was happening. For one terrible moment he had been afraid that half-Elves could die from colds after all!
To his surprise, he found he needed some sort of physical contact to reassure himself that Elrohir was fine. Reaching out, he managed to curl his fingers around Elrohir’s right hand, which rested above the blanket. He rubbed the half-Elf’s fingers, wondering about the strong attraction he felt. But he resigned himself to just being Elrohir’s friend, because that was what the half-Elf wanted.
Staying awake during the night, he guarded Elrohir’s restless sleep.
Glorfindel had lovingly twirled a strand of dark hair around his index finger and now enjoyed the sensation it caused against his skin. Making love with Erestor had felt incredibly right and he was so happy that his lover had been able to take this step. He doubted exchanging vows could deepen their relationship further, but he would happily make Erestor his officially. Maybe Elrond could help him organize a ceremony.
Erestor moved in his arms, sighed, and snuggled closer. During the night, his lover had rolled onto his other side, allowing the blond to spoon up behind him. Releasing the silk strand, he relished running his fingers through the raven mane, expecting his fingertips to encounter the scars at the nape of Erestor’s neck.
Frowning, he brushed aside the dark hair and probed the skin. Looking closely, he realized that the scars were completely gone. A smile surfaced on his face; their love had empowered the dark-haired Elf’s healing abilities and Erestor had healed eventually. “I love you, nîn ind.”
Erestor’s eyes slowly regained their awareness and he sighed, hearing Glorfindel’s whispered words. Turning around in the blond’s embrace, he dotingly looked at the Elda. He brought up his arms behind Glorfindel’s back and held his lover close. “I love you too, nîn faer.” Waking up in the blond’s arms felt divine.
“Thank you for trusting me the way you did.” Glorfindel returned to play with the raven strands, wondering if he should tell Erestor that the scars were gone. But their silence was comfortable and he decided to mention it later, once he braided Erestor’s hair. “We should take a bath.”
Erestor nodded, but didn’t want to let go of his lover. His gaze moved to the window, realizing it was still night. Ithil still rode the dark sky and it would be several hours before Arien rose.
Glorfindel broke their embrace, slid out of bed and extended his hand. “Come with me. I will prepare a warm bath and afterwards we will snuggle up together.”
Hearing it phrased like that, Erestor couldn’t resist. He quickly rose to his feet and allowed his lover to lead him into the bathroom.
Some time during the night Legolas’ worry increased. Violent coughs and tremors wracked the half-Elf’s body and at times the eyes opened, only to close again. Sitting upright, he reached out and placed his hand on Elrohir’s brow. He hissed at the heat that seeped into his fingertips. It felt like his charge was burning up.
“Elrohir? Elrohir!” He tried to awaken him, but Elrohir mumbled incoherently in his sleep.
Legolas frowned; he no longer felt comfortable keeping this a secret. Elrond had a right to know that Elrohir wasn’t well. “I am sorry to betray your trust, but I cannot let this continue, meldir. A few hours ago you were alert and healthy, but now you are growing worse fast. I need to tell your father.”
Elrohir didn’t react to his words and Legolas rose from the bed. The last time he had seen his father, Thranduil had been moving his belongings to Elrond’s rooms, so he decided to head for the half-Elf’s quarters. He would have preferred to talk to his father first, but now he would go straight to Elrond.
“There is someone at the door,” remarked Thranduil, lying propped up in Elrond’s bed. He was enjoying a honey-covered sweet and was not inclined to leave his warm nest. Elrond on the other hand, still needed to undress as the half-Elf had been answering some letters. “Would you get it?”
Elrond, amused, glanced at the blond beauty in his bed. He still regretted wasting all these centuries by being angry with his lover. Indulging the blond, he walked to the doorway and opened the door. “Legolas?” He was rather surprised to see the younger Elf on his doorstep. The worried expression on Legolas’ face made him feel apprehensive. “Is anything wrong?” Why else would Legolas seek him out at this late hour?
Legolas nervously shuffled his feet and averted his eyes. With every passing moment he felt guiltier. “May I come inside?” He didn’t want to inform Elrond that his son was ill whilst standing in the corridor.
Hearing his son’s voice, Thranduil’s brow furrowed. “Legolas, is that you?” He wrapped a sheet around his waist and got to his feet, whilst Legolas walked over to one of the chairs near the balcony. Oh, he knew the expression in his son’s eyes; it usually meant trouble.
Legolas cleared his throat, not looking forward to this. Glancing at his father, he was nearly overcome by amusement, seeing Thranduil clutch his sheet close. But he quickly sobered again. Meeting Elrond’s eyes shyly, he said, “It is about Elrohir.”
Elrond’s heart missed a beat. “Is something wrong with my son?” He didn’t like the way Legolas was dodging his gaze. He barely refrained from storming out of his rooms in search of his youngest son.
“When we were at the Bruinen, he contracted a chill,” said Legolas. His features contorted briefly. “He asked me not to tell you, but I grew worried, sitting with him. He feels so hot and I cannot get used to seeing him sleep with his eyes closed.” After drawing in a deep breath, he made eye contact with Elrond. “I could not keep quiet, seeing him suffer like that. I do not want him to be in any pain.”
Elrond shook his head. “What was he thinking? He should have told me!” Locking gazes with Legolas, his tone softened. “You did the right thing in coming here. Thank Elbereth that you listened to your common sense instead of my thick-headed son!”
Legolas swallowed hard. “Is there anything you can do to help him?”
“I will check on him –now-,” said Elrond determinedly.
“I am coming with you!” said Legolas at once, but then shied back. “If I may.”
Elrond nodded once and then looked at his lover. “Are you coming along as well?” Seeing Thranduil nod, he added, “Get dressed first and then join us in the twins’ rooms. I cannot have you wander around only wearing that sheet!”
Thranduil had the grace to blush weakly. “Go on, I will catch up with you later.”He briefly wanted to ask Legolas to stay, but the concern on his son’s face kept him back. When Elrond had told him about Elrohir’s crush, he had hoped Legolas would develop feelings for the young half-Elf and now he was fairly sure his son had fallen in love as well.
Legolas tagged along after Elrond, who now rushed from the room. The ruler of Imladris was muttering to himself and Legolas tried to stay in the background.
When they reached the twins’ rooms, Elrond rushed inside, not bothering to knock. He cursed privately, seeing his son’s sweat-covered brow. “By the Grace of the Valar, what were you thinking?” He headed for the bed and placed his hand on his son’s brow. “Oh, Elrohir, you are burning up!” Looking over his shoulder, he addressed Legolas. “Go to the healing house and ask one of the healers to gather the medical herbs that will bring down his fever and drive the cold from his body. Go!”
Legolas came to life and immediately ran down the corridor, grateful that Elrohir had shown him around earlier. At least now he knew the way around!
Elrond peeled the blanket from his son’s damp body and checked his pulse. “Elrohir? Can you hear me?” He took hold of his son’s shoulders and shook him gently, trying to wake him.
Elrohir’s eyes reluctantly opened. A big, dark form appeared in front of him, and it took him a moment to identify it, expecting to see Legolas instead. “Ada?” What was his father doing here?
“Why must you always be this stubborn? You take care of everyone except yourself. Well, it looks like Legolas and I have to do it for you.”
“Lego…las… Where is he?” He tried to look past his father, but his vision was becoming increasingly blurry.
“I sent him to gather healing herbs,” explained Elrond, who looked over his shoulder at the doorway when Thranduil entered. “Would you ask one of the servants to bring hot water for tea?”
Thranduil, grateful he could help, nodded once and instructed a maid to bring the hot water. Then he returned to Elrohir’s room, coming to a halt behind Elrond. Cocking his head, he took in Elrohir’s rumpled appearance, and the sight made him wonder. Until now he had never really considered the fact that Elrond was half-Elven. “Elrond, can you catch a chill as well?”
Elrond looked up at the blond. “It is possible.”
“Then you should not be tending to him. If you catch a cold we will have to nurse you back to health as well. Why don’t you tell me what to do and Legolas and I will tend to Elrohir?”
“That won’t be necessary,” said Elrond dismissively. Rationally, Thranduil was right, but he wasn’t going to leave his son’s side. “It wouldn’t have been this bad if he had come directly to me.”
“But he didn’t. At least let me help then.”
“I think Legolas will want to do that and I do not want the room crowded.”
Thranduil sighed, giving in. “Suit yourself.”
The argument was ended when Legolas returned, carrying several leather pouches. He placed them on the floor next to Elrond and then stood back, watching eagerly as Elrond sorted out the herbs.
Thranduil walked over to the door when the maid appeared, and carried the hot water over to the bed where he helped Elrond add the right herbs to the water. He stirred it, helping the herbs release their healing potential. “Legolas, sit down on the bed and help Elrohir sit upright.” He knew Elrond was dying to help Elrohir, but he wanted to limit the risk of his lover contracting a cold as well.
Elrond briefly glared at Thranduil, but then realized why his lover was acting in this way; Thranduil was concerned for his health. That realization made him give in.
Legolas sat down, pulled Elrohir into a sitting position and then supported the half-Elf.
Elrond placed the cup, filled with the healing essence, against his son’s lips and encouraged Elrohir to sip.
Elrohir, barely coherent due to the fever, swallowed instinctively. After emptying the cup, he rested his head against Legolas’ shoulder, relishing the other’s closeness.
“If you tell me what to do I will stay with him and watch over him,” offered Legolas, friendly but determined.
Elrond and Thranduil exchanged a knowing glance. Although he worried about his son, Elrond smiled warmly. “I will take you up on your offer.” Legolas’ relieved sigh told him how sincere the younger Elf was. “He must stay in bed, keep warm, and make sure he drinks a cup of this tea every hour. If he is thirsty give him water. I will check on him in the morning.”
Locking gazes with Elrohir, Elrond added, “And we will talk once you feel better. You should know better than to neglect a chill. I cannot understand why you did not come to me! But we will discuss that later. Elrohir, you must take better care of yourself. Take the time to recover.”
Elrohir nodded, although he wasn’t sure what his father had just said. Elrond’s words sounded distorted. His eyes began to close and he slipped back into sleep, resting comfortably against Legolas. The blond felt soft in the right places and he cuddled up to him.
Legolas nervously peeked at Elrond, wondering what the ruler of Imladris was thinking, but he relaxed slightly, seeing the amused and approving expression on the elder half-Elf’s face.
“He looks extremely comfortable,” commented Thranduil, enjoying seeing Legolas squirm at his words. He couldn’t remember seeing that particular expression on his son’s face before. Wasn’t it ironic that his youngest would fall for Elrond’s youngest son?
“Stay with him,” said Elrond, rising to his feet. “Use fresh herbs to make more tea and do not hesitate to call for me, should Elrohir grow worse. But I expect him to sleep peacefully for the rest of the night now that he has drunk this healing tea. It should bring down his fever rather quickly.”
Legolas wondered if Elrond expected him to move away from Elrohir. After all, Elrohir was Elrond’s son and he would probably like to sit in his place and hold his son.
“No, stay,” said Elrond, raising his hand, reading Legolas’ expression. “No need to wake him now. You will have to wake him anyway when it is time for his herbal tea.”
Thranduil tucked the blanket back around Elrohir’s form and exchanged a smile with his son. “Take good care of him, Legolas.”
“I will, Ada.” Legolas smiled, realizing Elrohir fitted perfectly in his arms. Watching the two elder Elves leave, he sighed contented. Now that Elrohir was in his arms, he didn’t want to let go ever again.
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