Dinîf en Qualen
Legolas watched Elrohir closely and made sure the half-Elf drank the healing tea regularly. At some time during the night Elrond checked on them, peeking around the door, but seeing Elrohir fast asleep and Legolas alert, he closed the door again to let his son rest.
Looking out of the window, Legolas found that Arien was rising and he hoped that her warm beams would lure Elrohir from his sleep. He still had to admit to the half-Elf that he had betrayed his trust and told Elrond. But he hoped Elrohir would understand he had been worried about his health and forgive him.
“Mornin',” said Elrohir in a hoarse tone. Legolas’ big eyes revealed the blond’s surprise at finding him awake and Elrohir smiled reassuringly. He cherished the touch when Legolas brushed some stray locks from his face. “Did you really stay all night long?” And why did he recall seeing his father at his bedside?
Legolas nodded once and smiled shyly. “I did.” He moistened his lips and then reluctantly continued, “During the night your fever grew worse and I… I told your father.”
“Ah, that is why I remember seeing him in my dreams.” Elrohir sighed, realizing that Legolas had acted out of concern; he couldn’t possibly be cross with the blond. “Was my father angry with me for not telling him?”
“He was not pleased, I can tell you that!” Legolas tried for an amused tone, and when Elrohir smiled, he felt relieved that the half-Elf was not angry with him. “I was so worried about you! You told me that you sleep with your eyes closed, but when the fever worsened, I was afraid you might die after all.” The realization that he wanted to wrap his arms around the half-Elf reminded him once more of the fact that he was falling for Elrohir and he regretted the distance between them.
Elrohir, who had grown warm, pushed back the covers. Even his sleeping robe felt hot. “I am surprised my father is not here right now.”
“Well, that might be –my- father’s doing,” offered Legolas apologetically. “He was rather concerned that Elrond might catch a cold as well, so he was eager to get your father back to his rooms. I offered to watch over you, which he approved of.”
Elrohir, still feeling slightly light-headed and fuzzy due to his fever, mumbled, “He is not the only one who approved.” Even in his foggy state of mind, Legolas’ frown registered. Oops, had he said that aloud? Oh well... maybe he could blame it on his fever.
“Elrohir, what did you mean by that?” Legolas, seated on the edge of the bed, leaned in closer to study Elrohir’s widening eyes. Suddenly he felt like he was missing something.
Elrohir felt torn; should he confess up or continue to hide his attraction? In the end, exhaustion made his decision for him. He just didn’t have the energy to hide his feelings any longer. “I –like- you,” he whispered, barely audible. “A lot.”
Legolas momentarily forgot to breathe, hearing those words. “I like you too, Elrohir.” His heart fluttered madly in his chest, but he was afraid to hope Elrohir’s words might mean more. “A lot.”
Elrohir and Legolas stared at another, searching the other’s eyes. In the end, it was Elrohir who could no longer bear the tension between them. “I have fallen in love with you,” he said, sucking in his breath, afraid of Legolas’ reaction. His heart would most certainly break if the blond rejected him! And the fever was making him even more emotional! “I tried to fight it, because your father and my father are lovers and I thought I should love you like a brother and not…” Raving, he averted his eyes. He really didn’t want to hear Legolas’ reaction; the rejection that would shortly follow.
Legolas was doing his best to fully understand what Elrohir had just admitted to him. “You are in love with me?” His greatest wish was quickly becoming reality!
“Aye, it started the moment I met you. I never really believed in love at first sight, but my feelings proved me wrong.” Elrohir couldn’t believe he was telling Legolas how he felt. “But I know you do not feel the same way about me, so—“ He didn’t get a chance to end his sentence as Legolas interrupted him.
“But… how do you know I do not feel the same way about you?” Legolas beamed with happiness and smiled giddily at the half-Elf.
“Because… look at you and then at me. I do not compare to you…”
Legolas’ heart contracted painfully in his chest. Was this just about his looks? If it was, his heart would break.
Elrohir instinctively took hold of the blond’s hands and moistened his chapped lips. How he wished he could have a drink of water before delivering his admission. “There is a light inside you that I never witnessed before and it comes from caring about others. You accepted my father and me in your life when you did not have to. You escorted me home, put me to bed and even now you are still here, taking care of me.”
Legolas remained quiet. So far Elrohir hadn’t managed to convince him that this was really love and not just lust or infatuation.
“Legolas,” Elrohir started again, his mouth now dry and his throat hurting, “We have so much in common! Your mother sailed for Valinor and so did mine! You have an older brother, so do I! And let us not forget that our fathers are lovers, which is just another factor that binds us!” He actually managed to draw a chuckle from Legolas and he sighed, relieved. Maybe he still had a chance if he played his cards right! “Legolas, do you really have feelings for me?”
Legolas reluctantly nodded his head. “But I am afraid to act on them.”
Realizing how hoarse and raw Elrohir’s voice was, Legolas filled a cup with water and handed it to the half-Elf, who sipped slowly after shooting him a grateful look. “Because I… do not trust or believe easily.”
“Why?” Elrohir frowned, seeing Legolas shift nervously on the bed.
“I had… suitors before. Male and female, and they told me how much they loved me. But when I probed deeper they either were in love with my looks or wanted to gain more influence at my father’s court. I learned to be cautious.” The look of startled disbelief on Elrohir’s face surprised him. “Something like that has never happened to you?”
“Legolas, you are my first… love. I never had these kinds of feelings before and no one ever proclaimed to have them for me.” Elrohir shook his head in disbelief. “It never occurred to me that you might feel… cautious around me.”
“I must admit that I was relieved when you did not make a pass at me,” said Legolas, putting down the now empty cup. “But I must also confess that I soon regretted that you kept your distance and only wanted to be friends. I never felt drawn to someone in that way before and I am glad you feel the same way.” Blushing, he weakly squeezed Elrohir’s hand.
“I would like to give this a chance… when I am feeling better,” Elrohir said with a tired smile.
Legolas, feeling shy, looked and slowly nodded his head. “I want to get to know you better as well.”
“No pressure,” said Elrohir reassuringly. “We will take things slowly.”
Legolas nodded, feeling thankful. “I would like that too.”
Feeling utterly drained, Elrohir closed his eyes. “I am afraid I am going to fall asleep again… I do not want to, but…”
Legolas lovingly brushed a strand of waywaird hair back behind Elrohir’s ear and smiled as he continued to watch over his new love, who was quickly dozing off.
Erestor followed Glorfindel into the dining room where Elrond and Thranduil were already eating breakfast. He frowned at seeing the dark circles beneath the half-Elf’s eyes and asked, “Did something happen last night that I am unaware of?” Sitting down next to Glorfindel, he studied Elrond.
Elrond placed his knife on the plate and nodded once. “Aye, but I did not deem it necessary to worry you about it.”
“What happened?” asked Glorfindel, placing freshly baked bread and a slice of cheese on his plate.
“Elrohir caught a chill and tried to hide it from me,” said Elrond with a sigh. “But I already checked on him. I expect him to be back on his feet within the week.”
Erestor did worry, however. “Could I visit him later? Or would you prefer that he rests?”
“You may visit,” said Elrond, chuckling softly. “But I suggest you do not try to nurse him back to health. Legolas would not like that idea.”
“Legolas?” Glorfindel was beginning to feel lost.
“Elrohir is in love with Legolas,” said Elrond.
“And I know my son well enough to recognize the warmth in his eyes when he looks at Elrohir,” added Thranduil, amused. “We should disturb them as little as possible, to give them a chance to get to know another.”
Erestor grinned smugly. “I just knew it.” Seeing Elrond and Thranduil’s questioning glances, he added, “I suspected as much, but I was not sure. I will keep my visits limited then.”
Elrond smiled, shaking his head. “You could have told me.”
But Erestor didn’t agree. “I did not want to interfere. Love usually finds a way when it is supposed to be.”
Glorfindel’s face radiated love when Erestor squeezed his knee under the table. That reminded him he was supposed to ask Elrond a favor. After clearing his throat, he drew in a deep breath and looked at his old friend. “Erestor and I want to exchange vows. We want to marry officially. Would Thranduil and you be our witnesses?”
Pleased, Elrond released an approving gasp. “Of course! But you should invite Elrohir and Elladan as well. The two of you always were very important to them and they greatly care about you.” Elrond was rather sure that his sons wouldn’t forgive them for not including them when exchanging vows.
Erestor nodded and then exchanged a look with Glorfindel. The blond nodded as well and Erestor said, “We will wait one week, and when Elrohir feels better we will exchange our vows. Elladan and Legolas are also invited.”
“We will be there,” replied Elrond, placing his hand atop his lover’s. Maybe in future they would want to exchange vows as well.
Elladan was glad to be returning home. Some uncanny feeling had haunted him since leaving his twin behind in Imladris and he was eager to be reunited with his brother. For some reason he felt worried and he needed to make sure Elrohir was fine.
He dismounted, told the stable hand to attend to his horse, and headed for his rooms. He was desperate to take a bath and change into a fresh set of clothes. Opening the door to his rooms, he halted abruptly, seeing Legolas hold Elrohir whilst his brother was asleep. A wicked grin surfaced on his face. It looked like Elrohir had been successful in his quest to conquer the blond’s heart.
Startled, Legolas looked at the doorway. Seeing Elladan grin at him, he wondered how to react to the twin’s presence. His growing nervousness made him explain quickly. “Your brother caught a chill and I offered to sit with him after Elrond left.”
“A chill?” Elladan walked over to his twin, and after pulling a chair close to the bed, he sat down. Studying his brother, he couldn’t repress a chuckle. “The last time this happened we were Elflings!”
“We went swimming and the water of the Bruinen was cold,” offered Legolas. “I never realized he could catch a chill.”
“It will pass within the week. I had a few chills myself and although they made me feel miserable, they will pass.”
Legolas arched an eyebrow. “Elladan? Should you be in here then? If you can catch it as well...”
“I could move into some guest rooms,” said Elladan, shrugging. He wondered if Legolas’ inquiry was made out of worry or the desire to be alone with Elrohir. Elladan’s grin broadened. “I will just collect some of my clothes then.” Oh, he didn’t plan to interfere in this matter! If Elrohir wanted to be with Legolas, he was happy to oblige!
Whilst collecting his belongings, he watched Legolas closely. The blond brushed hair from Elrohir’s face and at times whispered softly. In the end, curiosity got the better of him. “You look like you greatly care about him.” Legolas’ eyes darted wildly, as if hesitant to make eye contact with him. /Interesting./
Legolas nervously cleared his throat. There was no way out of this. Sooner or later he had to tell Elladan. “Elrohir told me he is in love with me and I… I feel the same way about him.” Averting his eyes, he tightened his hold on his charge, as if drawing strength from the trembling form resting in his arms.
Elladan correctly interpret the look in Legolas’ eyes. “Don’t be afraid that I will meddle in this affair. I want Elrohir to be happy as well.”
Legolas sighed, relieved. He hadn’t been sure that Elladan would approve. “Elrohir and I want to take this slow.”
“Good.” Elladan headed for the bed, carrying a bag with clothes in his hand. Briefly, he reached out and rubbed his twin’s brow, which still felt clammy and hot. “You have taken good care of him so far. I trust you to continue to look after him.”
“I will,” vowed Legolas, looking deeply into Elladan’s eyes.
Satisfied, Elladan smiled, whispered words of love to his brother and then headed for the doorway. Closing the door behind him, he hoped Elrohir and Legolas would be happy.
Elrond quietly opened the door to his sons’ rooms and entered soundlessly. He smiled, finding both Elves asleep. Legolas must have given in to exhaustion at one point, but he was still tightly holding Elrohir in his sleep.
Reassured that his youngest son was recovering, he closed the door behind him. He addressed one of the servants and told him to bring more hot water to his sons’ rooms so Elrohir could continue to drink of the healing tea.
Walking down the corridor, he peeked into his study, finding Glorfindel and Erestor working their way through a pile of papers; the backlog of these last few weeks. He continued his walk, heading for his rooms, where Thranduil was waiting for him.
Now that Elrohir couldn’t lead the border control, Thranduil had offered to take over and Elrond wanted to say goodbye to his lover. It was amazing; Thranduil wasn’t gone yet and he already missed him!
Entering his rooms, he found his lover girding on his sword. He was reminded of that one shameful moment when he had thought Thranduil had attacked Elladan.
He really didn’t want his lover to leave, but duty called and it meant a lot to him that Thranduil was willing to help protect Imladris.
Thranduil turned around and met his lover’s stormy eyes. He knew Elrond didn’t want him to leave, but he refused to let the half-Elf lead the patrols instead. Imladris needed Elrond safe and sound in the Last Homely House. “Do not worry about me. I will be back in a few days.”
Elrond nodded and forced himself to smile. “Promise me to be careful.”
“There have been no sightings of Orcs for quite some time now, and even if they dared attack, they would find me more than they can handle. I disarmed you, didn’t I?”
Thranduil’s words slightly reassured Elrond. “Just be careful.”
“I promise.” Thranduil planted a possessive kiss on his lover’s lips and then marched out of the room.
/Hurry back to me,/ thought Elrond, his heart contracting in pain. /Always come back to me!/
Elrohir dotingly looked at Legolas, obediently eating the small pieces of fruit the blond was feeding him. He wasn’t sure if it was due to his father’s healing tea or Legolas’ excellent care – probably a combination of both - but he was beginning to feel better.
Legolas offered him a slice of an orange, and as he wrapped his tongue around it, he accidentally licked the blond’s index finger as well. To his surprise, Legolas blushed fiercely and muttered something unintelligible. “Sorry,” Elrohir whispered, realizing Legolas was feeling shy. “I did not do it on purpose.”
Legolas offered him a weak smile. “This is going to be awkward.”
“In what way?”
“You are my first lover and, from what you told me, you are untouched as well. It makes me wonder if either of us knows what we are doing.”
“Oh, do not worry about that! I am sure we will figure everything out.” Elrohir felt lost staring into the azure eyes. “Aiya, the way you make me feel...”
Legolas chuckled softly. “You are doing the same thing to me.”
Elrohir raised a hand and buried his fingers in the flaxen hair. Legolas was right. Neither of them knew what to do. /But that does not matter. The only thing that matters is that we love one another./
Two days later, Elrond finally allowed Elrohir to leave his bed for the first time. Elrohir wasn’t sure how he felt about that; he had loved being fussed over by Legolas.
Pushing back the covers, he swung his feet to the floor whilst being closely observed by three pairs of concerned eyes; his father, Elladan and Legolas. “Stop looking at me like that… Please!” He was growing uneasy beneath their stares. “The fever is down and I no longer feel groggy!”
Legolas lowered himself and sat on his heels, gathering Elrohir’s hands in his. “We are worried. We cannot help it.”
“I know you are worried,” said Elrohir, softly, “But I do feel better!” Momentarily forgetting his father and brother’s presence, he stroked back a strand of golden hair behind Legolas’ ear. “At least now you are no longer stuck with me in these rooms. Once I am back on my feet, we—“
Elladan cut his twin short. “Don’t even think about leaving our rooms yet! Ada told you to stay indoors for a few more days.”
Elrond fiercely nodded his head. “You are –not- leaving these rooms, Elrohir!”
Elrohir sighed. Still holding Legolas’ hands, he slowly pushed himself onto his feet.
Legolas immediately reached out to steady Elrohir if necessary, but the half-Elf seemed to have recovered nicely and was steady on his feet. Somewhat reassured, Legolas walked beside Elrohir when the half-Elf headed for the bathroom. After closing the door behind his charge, he turned and looked at Elrond. “He is getting better.”
“He is.” Elrond still felt slightly disappointed that Elrohir hadn’t confided in him about the chill, but realized his son had had his reasons for keeping quiet. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t lecture Elrohir about it when his son had recovered. “Continue to keep an eye on him, Legolas. Elrohir always worries about others, but tends to neglect himself.”
“I will watch over him,” said Legolas, smiling. The bemused looks he was getting made him worry that their love was no longer a secret. Had Elladan and Elrond realized Elrohir and he were in love? Legolas blushed and wrung his hands behind his back.
Elrond moistened his lips, sensing Legolas’ discomfort. Now that Elrohir wasn’t close, he decided to address this matter. “I assume Elrohir told you that he is in love with you?”
“I suspected you knew,” whispered Legolas, feeling ill at ease.
Elrond raised a hand and rested it on Legolas’ shoulder. “Elrohir came to me a few days ago and admitted he had lost his heart to you. For one moment I feared his feelings were one-sided, but it seems you feel the same way about him -- or am I wrong?”
“You are right,” admitted Legolas. His gaze shifted from Elrond to Elladan. “But I do not feel very confident about courting him. I would like your blessing first. I want both of you to approve of this relationship before it deepens.”
Elrond squeezed Legolas’ shoulder gently. “You have my blessing, Legolas. And I very much approve of the choice of Elrohir’s heart. You will be good for him.”
Legolas breathed a relieved sigh, hearing Elrond’s words, but he still had to face Elladan. Looking at the half-Elf, he said, “I know Elrohir and you are close and I do not want to come between you, but… I love him.”
Elladan could tell by the expression in Legolas’ eyes that the blond wasn’t sure of his reaction. Elladan smiled warmly and nodded once. “It was love at first sight for Elrohir. I know, because I was there when he admitted his feelings for you. Make him happy, Legolas, for he deserves to be happy. And don’t ever hurt him, because if you do, you will answer to me.”
Legolas paled, but then saw the wicked grin on Elladan’s face. “Uhm, and I think Valthoron will be rather upset if Elrohir hurt me,” said Legolas, teasingly. “That is what older brothers are like, aren’t they?”
Elladan laughed warmly and exchanged a pleased look with his father.
Elrond smiled as well and headed for the bathroom when Elrohir appeared in the doorway.
Elrohir, having heard Elladan laugh, narrowed his eyes and stared questioningly at his brother. Had something happened during his short stay in the bathroom? Then his gaze drifted to Legolas and he felt relieved, seeing the grin on the blond’s face; Elrohir instantly knew everything was well.
After allowing his father to escort him to one of the chairs next to the window, he sat down. “It is rather crowded in here. Don’t you think so, Legolas?”
Elrond and Elladan chuckled softly. “That is our hint to leave,” said Elladan, pleased that the attraction between his brother and Legolas was mutual.
“But do not get –too- comfortable,” said Elrond, wickedly, “I will check on you later. Both of you had better behave!”
Elrohir grinned, seeing the blush on Legolas’ face. “I cannot guarantee we will!”
Elrond and Elladan left the room, both shaking their head in mock annoyance.
Elrohir signaled for Legolas to sit with him and after the blond had seated himself on the windowsill, he gathered his companion’s hands in his. “I thought they would never leave.”
“But they are right. You should rest.”
“Oh, I will, provided you will stay here with me.”
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