Like Elflings Do by Nadja Lee

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Story notes: Written for the 7'th challenge of Library of Moria: 'First Time'

Beta: Talullah *gives her a big hug* Thank you!
"Can I have this dance, my prince?"

"Why, yes."

"Then let me hold your hand and lead you to the dance floor."

"You are so charming. Who is it that I have the honour to dance with, if I may ask so?"

"Tis I, Haldir of 'Lórien, and the honour is all mine, for thou art the most beautiful being one can behold."

"You make me blush."

"Forgive me my boldness."

"You are forgiven, Haldir of Lórien."

And both bowed to each other and started a clumsy dance.

"Do you remember it, Haldir?" Legolas asked. "Our first dance together? We were so young."

"Yes, we were. And still after so many years I haven't changed my opinion: 'Thou art the most beautiful being one can behold,'" he quoted himself and grimaced as he saw Legolas's face. "And your blush still adds more beauty than one could've imagined possible."

"Stop it." Legolas said with a grin and gave Haldir a playful slap on the butt.

"Ouch!" exclaimed Haldir, playing along. "Was that for telling the truth?"

"You are cute, that is my truth." And while declaring that, Legolas rolled over to Haldir's part of the large bed where they had been lying on and faced him with seriousness in his eyes.

"You really are cute, you know." He said it in a way full of love, but not certain if the other believed his statement.

"I know you think so, my prince." And by bringing his face a little bit closer to the prince's, their lips met. It was sweet, as sweet as a first kiss could ever be. And when both parted, they looked each other in the eyes and averted them quickly, each trying to say something clever that felt justified for the moment. But neither found something and when after having relocked their eyes, both of them knew that words would only spoil the tender moment.

They giggled as little elflings do. That was the state Thranduil had found both of them in, giggling and rolling all over the grass with their hands on their hurting bellies. Not in the mood to disturb them, but more by obligation he called both of them by their names. Startled at first, but quickly recovered, both elflings made their way over to the king.

"Now tell me, what was all that laughing about?" Thranduil asked, heading to their homes with them.

"Nothing, really!" they both answered together and giving each other a wink, one that Thranduil hadn't missed.

"Really?" he asked surprised.

"Yes, father," Legolas said and took his father's hand in his and Haldir's in the other.

"And what if I said I don't believe you?" He raised an eyebrow to stress his seriousness. In reality, he was only fooling around with a little curiosity for what they had really been up to.

Both elflings looked at each other and giggled again, trying to hide their smiles, but unsuccessfully. Thranduil smiled as well.

"I wonder if he ever found out," Legolas asked Haldir.

"Hmm?" Haldir responded dreamily. "Sorry, what did you say?" He had an apologizing look on his face. He had still been thinking of Legolas' taste on his lips.

"I said: 'I wonder if he ever found out.'" He looked Haldir in the eyes, waiting for an answer and when he only saw a confused elf in front of him, he clarified himself by adding: "About what we were laughing with afterwards."

"Oh that," Haldir replied and when he saw Legolas rolling with his eyes, he chuckled. "I don't think so. He would've loved to know though."

"Yes, I think so as well," the prince said. He felt as if he couldn't keep his eyes from Haldir's.

"What is happening, Haldir? I feel scared." The prince didn't know how to act. He rolled onto his back and stared with a sad face at the ceiling, only to find Haldir's face blocking his view.

"I don't know," the march warden replied honestly, "I think the best thing is to just let it happen." He found Legolas looking longingly at him. It set him on fire.

"When will the festivities start, father?" Legolas asked. He was eager to join the feast and watch the grown-ups dance. He liked the sweet snacks as well.

"In a few hours, Legolas. Enough time to put you in a warm bath and some clean robes." He looked disapprovingly at his son and his dirty clothes he was wearing. When the king heard some soft laughter, he quickly continued, "The same goes for you, Haldir."

The sound of laughter didn't die away though, as it was now Legolas who giggled and Haldir had an angry look on his face.

"Will you join me, Haldir?" Legolas asked him softly, extending his hand and waited for the Lórien elf to accept his offer. Haldir accepted with grace and both walked hand in hand towards the bathing place, never letting go of the other. Suddenly Legolas stopped and looked at Haldir, not knowing what to do.

"What is it, my prince?" Haldir asked with worry.

"Just hold me, please," Legolas pleaded; he felt insecure, he felt like he could cry. Haldir embraced him gently and held him for more then several minutes. He whispered soothing words in the prince's ear and also some words of love. Love was something new for both of them and neither knew how to handle those feelings that were so strong. Eventually, Haldir let go and looked the prince in the eyes.

"Feeling any better?" he asked. He felt concerned.

"A bit; I wish I could hold you forever." The sad look didn't disappear. Haldir took his hand again in his and they continued their walk. They hadn't much time left to get ready for the masked ball that night.

"Prince Legolas, please, stand still." The maiden tried to dress him. Alas, saying that was easier than doing so, especially if Haldir was in the same room.

"Look!" Haldir yelled proudly. "I'm taller than you!" And he measured the difference in height with his fingers.

"You're not!" Legolas yelled back.

"Oh yes, I am!" He smiled and started bouncing around the room. Legolas made attempts of following him, but the maiden took that joy away from him.

"Please, just let me play," he wailed.

"Not until you're fully dressed, prince Legolas," the maiden answered. She didn't want Legolas to attend the festivity only half dressed, although the thought amused her. "Now, come back here, so I can start braiding your hair." The prince came back to her, only with his eyes directed to the floor, filled with disappointment. The door opened then, and Celeborn entered. Haldir was still jumping around.

"Haldir, there you are. Come here, so that I see to your hair. How awful it looks right now."

Haldir's joy quickly left him as well as he walked towards his lord. He saw Legolas's triumphant smile and just stuck his tongue out to him. This made Legolas grin only more.

"Can I braid your hair, my love?" Haldir asked Legolas.

"Of course you can," the prince answered. The prince loved feeling Haldir's hands run through his hair. When Legolas was seated on a fallen trunk, Haldir placed himself behind him and started with taking strands of the golden locks and braided them. Quietly they sat there, just enjoying the moment they shared. When Haldir was content with his work, he gently embraced Legolas from behind and placed some small kisses in his neck. It made Legolas purr.

"My love?" Haldir asked softly.

"Yes, my march warden?" Legolas asked lazily. He had his eyes closed and was enjoying Haldir's caresses.

"Is it not yet time to attend the feast? The sun is starting to go down." Inwardly, he cursed the sun for sinking this early; he still wanted to feel the soft skin against his. He craved for the touches.

"Aye, you are right. Let's go, I have no intention of disappointing my father." With little feeling for it, Legolas stood up and again took Haldir's hand in his. He was about to walk towards the main hall, when he felt that Haldir had got up, but was not moving. He turned his head towards him and saw a sorrowful face.

"Please," Haldir asked, and directed Legolas's hand towards his lips and kissed it gently. Legolas, not being able to deny his longing, went back to Haldir and put his arms around the other's waist. They kissed, fiercer this time. It contained all the love they possessed for each other.

Wiggling on the chair he sat on, Legolas looked around and observed the grown-ups. Next to him sat Haldir, eagerly observing the crowd that had gathered in the hall.

"Look at them," Legolas said amused. "They are kissing." He pointed them out to his dearest friend. They both giggled. Unaware of the king who had approached them, they jumped up when they heard him speaking their names.

"Legolas, what have I told you about pointing at others?" he asked sternly.

"Sorry, father," the prince said apologizing. He was still so young.

"Now, why don't you two take an appetizer?" the king suggested encouraging, a smile played on his lips. Happy that they could do something, they left their seats and hurried towards the table with food.

Both of them had still to go and take their masks and cloth themselves in their formal robes, therefore they arrived separately at the ball, not knowing how the other one would look like.

Legolas was the first to arrive and started to search the crowd. He saw no one who could have been Haldir. He shrugged sadly and went to the table with all the sweets. He loved them still.

After having another look and not detecting Haldir, he took a chair and seated himself to enjoy the little snacks. He had forgotten to put his mask in place.

"Haldir, look!" Legolas exclaimed with joy. Haldir followed the directions of the prince's eyes as he knew pointing was out of the question. He saw it then, two most beautiful blond elves, the one approaching the other.

"Do you think they will dance together?" Haldir asked innocently.

"I think so," answered Legolas. "They look stunning together."

"They really do," agreed Haldir.

"Can I have this dance, my prince?" asked one elf suddenly.

"Why, yes." Legolas replied and placed his plate on the table not far from him.

"Then let me hold your hand and lead you to the dance floor."

"Grown-ups are so predictable," Haldir said suddenly. "Our imitation wasn't that far from reality."

"Aye!" Legolas agreed, and took another bite of his snack. He enjoyed watching the couple.

"You are so charming. Who is it that I have the honour to dance with, if I may ask so?"

Legolas asked. After having heard the voice he already knew who it was, yet he played the game along that they had been playing as elflings.

"Tis I, Haldir of Lórien, and the honour is all mine, for thou art the most beautiful being one can behold."

"You make me blush." It was the truth, behind the mask which he had put in place again, Legolas really was blushing.

"Forgive me my boldness." It was not that he was really apologizing, Haldir loved to see his elf blush.

"You are forgiven, Haldir of Lórien." Legolas replied in the sweetest of voices.

And both bowed to each other and started a most gracious dance.

"They really steal the show," Haldir said.

"Who does?" asked Celeborn curiously. He was in the company of Thranduil and both had wanted to go and see how the elflings were faring. Haldir looked up above him and caught Celeborn's look.

"The two blond elves who are dancing in the middle of the hall there." Haldir said, pointing with his chin in the direction. Both Celeborn and Thranduil followed the gaze of the youngsters and saw the couple now as well. They were breathtaking.

"Your father is staring at us, you know," Haldir said with a silent voice.

"So is your foster father, Haldir." Legolas replied with a chuckle and winked at the Lórien elf.

"Do you think they approve?" Haldir asked insecure.

"From the way they are staring at us?" Legolas laughed softly. "Yes, I think they do."

And both of them giggled, like elflings do.

And when they locked eyes again, the hall grew silent around them. Both leaned towards the other and led their lips meet for a kiss full of innocent love.
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