"Elrohir! Give it back to me!! Ada, look what Elrohir is doing!"
Thranduil spun around almost being carried away by the young elflings that sped by them; one holding a pillow almost too big for him, high over his head and the other chasing closely behind, trying to snatch it back. Smiling broadly, the King of Greenwood watched amusedly as Elrond frowned at his children, horrified at such a disrespectful behavior.
"I am most sorry about this Thranduil, it is your first visit to Imladris and you are met with such a welcoming party."
"Oh Elrond, do not worry about it, do you forget I have a young one myself? It is most unfortunate I could not bring him with me, Legolas is a true delight. I could talk about him for hours! But he is far too young to make such a long journey."
Elrond smiled at the love with which Thranduil spoke of his son and resumed their stroll in the gardens.
For many years it had been common belief both Elf-Lords did not speak to each other after the Last Alliance, having parted in ill terms. Some even said King Thranduil blamed Elrond and Gil-galad for the death of his father. The truth was that they had indeed seldom communicated during the first years after the war, they had much to do, to restructure their realms, assume the position of leaders and see to the need of their people after times of hardship. For some time both were unaware of the rumors and after made little of it, having greater concerns, but the day came when Elrond and Thranduil resumed communication between the Kingdom and the Valley and deemed necessary to show their people, that the word spread, was no more than a rumor. It had been decided that Thranduil would be the one to visit Imladris, as elves always took it for the most unlikely for the king to leave his woods to visit the Half-Elf. Now, here he was.
"I am sure the young ones will have other chances to meet, I hope you are not horrified at the manner of my children, they are remarkable but...quite a handful." The dark haired elf's ageless features were alight with care for his children.
"We were all like that at one point, it is part of growing up, Elrond Half-Elven. For someone as wise as you, I would expect you to know it will only grow worse." Thranduil grinned and laughed along with the Lord of Imladris as they made their way back to the main house.
"Yes, I realize it will not become much easier."
"What were they fighting over? One of them even asked for your help."
"Ah, apparently Elrohir has taken to stealing Elladan's pillows. Reasoning with him does not seem enough, and so far Elladan has not complained seriously enough for me to think necessary to seriously reprimand Elrohir. You have seen it with your own eyes, he asks for help and runs off! I trust he will come to me should he become upset with the situation, but I think they have quite some fun chasing around like that."
"I believe you are right."
Allowing the Elrond to guide him through the halls of the Last Homely House, Thranduil was led to his guest quarters to prepare for dinner. Although he had been in Imladris for over two days, the king still found it hard to make his way around the large house.
Dinner was served shortly after sunset. During the meal, the King merrily chatted with Erestor and Glorfindel, the Chief Advisor and Seneschal of Imladris, respectively, and watched the love between Elrond and Celebrian. Feeling incredibly homesick, he wished he could hold his wife and son in his arms. But the young twins managed to distract him, calling to his attention every other moment to point out a funny situation happening in the main table or to share with him their plans for their next prank. He laughed wholeheartedly as they assaulted the head minstrel's, Lindir, plate. Elrohir put salt in the fair elf's wine as Elladan coated his dessert with pepper.
After dinner, Celebrian took both elflings away, to put them in bed. The elder elves stayed to prolong the good conversation and listen to some music. When all were retreating to their rooms, Thranduil left as well, dismissing help to find his quarters.
Some time later, the golden haired elf rolled his eyes at his act, still not having found the right room, but he stopped as he heard gentle arguing behind a door.
"Elrohir stop doing that! My neck will hurt in the morning! I will tell nana, you will see, you will be without dessert for a month!"
"Stop being a child Elladan, this is my pillow now, you barely even used it. Either you or the pillow always woke up lying on the floor."
"Pillows do not wake up! And I do not fall out of bed! Give it baaack!" Elladan whined, at the point of tears. "I do not like that! Stop playing like that!"
"Oh Elladan come on, can you not take a joke!"
"No!" Thranduil heard the twin yell and burst out of the room running into him. He gently held the young elf in place with his hands on the slender shoulders that were at his hip's.
"Calm down you one, where are you running to like that?"
Big pale blue eyes swimming with tears looked up at him pleadingly and Thranduil's heart went out to the young elf, kneeling before him and cupping a soft cheek.
"M-my brother, he keeps stealing my pillow! I have no pillow to sleep with and..It is uncomfortable.." Elladan trailed off suddenly feeling ashamed of sounding so childish near the King of Greenwood. He looked at the older elf with curious eyes, marveled at the rich color of his hair, that shone so much more golden than his mother's, and the bright shade of green of his eyes. He pouted slightly, looking down at the floor.
Thranduil smiled and tilted Elladan's head up, looking into the saddened eyes.
"Have you asked him to stop?" His answer was a shy nod.
"And it did not work?" Dark brown strands of hair swung from side to side as the youngling shook his head.
Have you spoken to your father about it?" Thranduil tried again.
"He thinks it is a joke and I...I do not want to seem childish." Thranduil smiled warmly although he felt sorry for the twin's distress.
"Would you like me to talk to him?" Another shake of head.
"Hmm, what if I gave you one of my pillows? I have many in the guest rooms and will not use them all. What do you think? You can come with me and pick the one you prefer. There are large, small, soft, colorful.."
The King stood up and could not stop from chuckling at the eager and extremely pleased expression on Elladan's face. The young elf seemed hesitant for a moment, but then tugged gently at his new friend's tunic, looking up with puppy eyes.
Thranduil sighed and bent down, picking the elf in his arms. Elladan was only a few years older than Legolas, and although he was bigger, he was used to carrying the weight and easily left the hallway, soothingly stroking the dark head buried on his shoulder, trying to find his rooms more quickly this time. Finally succeeding, the King opened the door to the luxurious rooms and sat his charge down on the bed, looking for all the pillows scattered around the room and putting them on the bed.
"There you go, pick any you want."
"Wow, you have a lot of pillows!"
Thranduil smiled and nodded. "Yes I do, most of them are from your father's house, so you will be able to use them after I am gone, or even now, I really do not need that many pillows, I brought my own to use it during the journey. I little treat for being the king." Sitting down and leaning against the headboard, Thranduil watched curiously as Elladan moved closer resting his head against his chest and testing the on him rather than on the bed.
The older elf watched amusedly as Elladan picked one pillow at a time and rested his head on them, rubbing his cheek against the fabric of the pillowcase and rearranging them when a side felt too high. Thranduil noticed Elladan would rest his head in them for some time and switch pillows when the fabric got warm from contact with his face, always smelling the fabric before casting them aside.
Elladan found a green one that was perfect, it was soft and big, the fabric felt nice against his face and it exhaled the best smell the young one had ever felt.
"I like this one." He said in a small voice. The king grinned realizing the young Peredhel had of all pillows, chosen the one he had brought with him and nodded.
"Then it is yours."
"It smells really good. What is it?"
"It is the lemon scented soap I use in my hair." Thranduil answered.
"Oh, but then you were using this one, I cannot have it." The elfling pouted.
"No, it is all right, I have brought my own pillow, I only slept with this one because I was too tired to look for it last night." He lied pleased with the satisfied expression the news sparkled in Elladan's eyes.
"Thank you. I will walk around with it so Elrohir will not steal it."
Thranduil laughed and Elladan smiled triumphantly, as if this had been the reaction he was aiming for. The young elf rest his head against the king's chest and yawned, snuggling closer.
"Ada told me you have a son." He said sleepily sighing contentedly as he felt his friend hold him closer protectively.
"Yes I do. He is a tad bit younger than you, but I believe you would be great friends, the three of you."
"Hmm, is he as pretty as you?" Elladan asked falling asleep before any answer came, only faintly feeling the chest he was resting against shake with chuckles.
Thranduil stayed like that, gently stroking the silky hair of the young elf sleeping against him until he heard nervous footsteps passing by, only now remembering he had left the door open, and saw Elrond pass completely oblivious to him.
"Pssst. Elrond." He tried to call in a whisper, half guessing the half elf would be looking for his son. It was no surprise to see the extremely relieved expression on the wise face of his friend when Elrond stopped and saw his son comfortably huddled in Thranduil's arms.
"I could not find him anywhere! Elrohir came to me crying, saying they had had a fight and Elladan had stormed off and he could not find his brother."
"I am sorry, I should have taken him to you, but he said he did not want to complain about the pillow fight, he was afraid you would think him childish."
Elrond smiled knowingly and shook his head. "I should have expected him to find someone to protect him, he is very smart and charming, that young one. I am glad he found you. I should have guessed that as well, he and Elrohir cannot stop talking about the great King visiting the Valley." Thranduil tried to suppress a chuckle, not to awake young Elladan.
"Where did you find him?"
"Right outside his room, I heard them arguing and he bumped into me when he stormed off. I brought him here to pick a pillow for himself."
Elrond smiled thankfully. "Thank you Thranduil. I should take him to his room now, or you will not be able to sleep, I reckon he has quite a tight hold on you."
The golden haired elf nodded and allowed his friend to pick up the sleeping for in his arms. He gently placed the green pillow between Elladan's small arms and watched leave the room, leaving him feeling lonely.
Legolas strode into the throne room without announcement and grinned broadly at his father wrapping the beloved elf in a tight hug.
"Ah, my son, I have missed you! You took too long saving the world." Thranduil said grinning at the other's laughter and stepping back to take a good look at his son. The elf resembled him greatly save for the sky blue eyes he had inherited from his mother. He had become an excellent warrior, above all a distinguished archer; his character that worthy of a king and Thranduil did not tire of admiring the qualities of his only son. Legolas was his entire life, save from ruling Mirkwood .
"It seems I have not seen you for millennia!"
"I have missed you greatly as well, Ada." The blonde elf hugged his father tightly once more, although knowing better than to try to sate his home sickness in one moment. He would have time to see the wonders of his lands again.
"I have brought a friend I think you will like to see." Legolas said grinning.
"Oh no, do not tell me it is the dwarf I have been told of."
Legolas chuckled. "Well, two friends then. Yes the dwarf has come along, and his name is Gimli, but he was not the only one I brought" He said smiling mysteriously.
"Oh dear, I wonder what you have plotted for me this time." Thranduil descended the few steps that led to his throne and watched curiously as Legolas beckoned someone in.
First came in the dwarf and although Thranduil had been hesitating on how warmly he should welcome their guest, he figured this was a time of peace between all races and if the dwarf had conquered his son's friendship, it was because he deserved it.
He bowed before the elf and smiled. "Be welcomed to Mirkwood, Gimli, son of Glóin." He said smiling amusedly at the short one's surprise at being recognized, but no one could mistake that elf, he was his father's living image.
"Thank you, my Lord." The dwarf bowed and shifted awkwardly on his feet. "It is a great pleasure to visit your realm."
After the proper welcoming, Gimli had shuffled to Legolas' side, standing there like a child clinging to his mother's skirt. Thranduil had not known the elf had expected such a bad welcoming. He wondered what people said of him outside Mirkwood. The prince interrupted his thought though, beckoning their second guest in and the king wondered why he made such a matter out of it being a surprise, to the point of making the guests enter separately.
The king watched in rapture as a tall, large framed, yet graceful, brown haired elf, walked into the room. He felt utterly strange, all his senses seemed acute, he could distinctly hear very loudly each step the elf gave, each movement he made, smell his scent. The elf's features, strong yet gentle reminded him of someone, but he could not be sure. As the elf approached and stopped in front of him, the gray eyes seemed to widen, and the cold walls closing the windows to his soul seemed to crumble and shine with the innocence still living there.
Elladan had been standing in pure nervousness outside the throne room. He remembered how excited he had been about journeying here, seeing the King of Mirkwood again. He had never forgotten Thranduil, not even through the hundreds of years that now stood between the one time he had met the elf, only one visit, those few days and the king had engraved himself in the Peredhel's memory.
He had never understood it himself why this had lasted so long. He clearly remembered the day Elrohir told him he was infatuated with the king, he remembered the day he realized it was true, but he never saw the day when it ended, where he found a new love, or when his admiration for the Sindar elf stopped to grow. His broken heart had blocked it all after his mother sailed, but not erased it; never. And now here he was, standing like a fool outside the door.
He had befriended Legolas soon after they met and the clever elf had not taken long to catch Elladan's mesmerized looks in his direction. The resemblance! But it was not the same...and the Mirkwood Prince discovered that, though it was still a mystery to the half-elf. The blonde had cunningly plotted things, as it seemed, and convinced an apprehensive Elladan to journey with him to his realm.
He saw Legolas beckoning him into the room and he froze. How foolish would Thranduil judge him if he knew why he had come? Allowing his nerves to calm, the warrior slowly walked into the room and it seemed time had frozen when he saw the face of 'his' king.
The same ageless, impossibly beautiful features, the sparkling green eyes, the golden hair. Oh he remembered everything, every detail. Father and son resembled each other greatly indeed, but in Elladan's eyes, as guilty as he felt for it, none could reach the older elf's beauty. He looked ethereal and imposing standing before the throne. Pride, intelligence and honor shone from the eyes that every once in a while visited his dreams.
Both stood face to face, the dark haired elf mesmerized, the light haired one intrigued at the familiarity of the striking features of this guest and the strong, alien feeling it provoked inside of him.
"Father," Legolas said seriously, although he could barely hide the amusement behind his voice at the reaction each elf had had to one another, even though he suspected his father had not recognized their guest yet. "This is Elladan, son of Lord Elrond of Imladris."
"Elladan..." Thranduil whispered narrowing his eyes, immediately remembering. Snapping back to reality he bowed before the elf and smiled when the other returned the gesture.
"Be welcomed to Mirkwood."
"King Thranduil..thank you for receiving me. It is a great pleasure to visit your realm." Elladan felt like an elfling again. Long ago had he stopped having foolish feelings and hopes, his heart had hardened after Celebrian sailed, after hunting orcs until his body and soul were exhausted and he and his twin returned to their home. But now, here they were, all the childish hopes and wishes, the glow in his eyes, the soft hue of pink staining his cheeks.
"It has been a very long time since I last saw you, Prince Elladan. You have grown into a great warrior I have been told."
"Thank you for your compliment my Lord. You have not changed at all, since we last met."
Thranduil chuckled warmly and nodded. "I will take that as a compliment." The king cocked an eyebrow at the impossible grin in his sons features. "You must be tired of the journey, I will have a servant show you to your rooms, but I would like to speak to you later, hear of Imladris."
"Ada, do not worry. I will lead him, I know exactly the quarters he should be in. Do you wish to rest or will you accompany us, my friend?" He asked turning to Gimli.
"I will go with you."
Nodding, the prince headed for the door, followed by the sturdy dwarf. Looking over his shoulders he saw Elladan still standing in front of his father.
"Elladan? Are you coming?"
The brown haired elf fell back into the word, startled at being addressed and nodded frantically.
"Yes, of course." He hurriedly bowed to the king and followed Legolas.
"Did you see how impressed my father was?"
"Impressed Legolas? I am stunned he even remembered me!" Elladan said waving his hand dismissively.
"Oh do not be a fool! If you spent all these hundreds of years thinking of him, why could not the contrary happen?"
"Because I was a child, young ones fall for imposing figures, older elves, but these older elves do not fall for elflings!"
"Maybe not while they are elflings, but after..." Legolas winked.
Elladan just rolled his eyes and halted when Legolas did, in front of a carved wooden door.
"Here we are. Rest well my friend, someone will come when the sun sets to lead you to the dinning halls."
Elladan nodded to Legolas and then Gimli.
"Thank you. I will see you later then." And entering the room he closed the door and rested his back against it sighing tiredly.
Elladan laid a pair of leggings, a shirt and tunic on the bed and fetched a towel. He was heading for the private bathing chambers, he had been very pleased to find, in his rooms, when there came a knock on the door. But it was too early, the sun was high in the sky, it could not possibly be the servant to lead him to dinner.
He headed for the door and opened it, his eyes widening in surprise finding King Thranduil standing there.
"My L-lord," He bowed. "What can I do for you? Oh I am sorry, please come in." Elladan made way for the king and closed the door, staring at the king, his eyebrows arching at the utterly amused look on the elf's face.
"My Lord, what is wrong?"
Thranduil smiled and shook his head. "I can barely believe how much you have grown! Last time we met, the only time we met, you were an elfling, you barely reached my waist! Now look at you, tall, beautiful, a warrior." He chuckled.
"I am glad the changes please you. You look exactly the same as I remember." The younger elf said looking into green eyes, as if remembering every little feature his memory had kept so well. "I am surprised you would even remember me, my lord."
"Oh but of course I remember, how could I ever forget the pillow episode!" The king said laughing warmly. "Has your brother stopped stealing pillows from you?"
"Oh, he does it still sometimes, to remind me of who is in charge." Elladan teased, feeling more comfortable now.
"Well, now you are strong enough to defend yourself, so if you let him do it, I would like to assume it is to give him the illusion of control, since you are such a nice brother." Thranduil was a little surprised at himself. He had expected to be hard to think of Elladan as anything but that young elf of centuries ago, but surprisingly enough he could easily treat the Peredhel as a young friend instead of a child. He still saw the same kind, innocent heart, he saw loneliness as well and that did remind him of the elfling crying over a stolen pillow.
"You have changed much, but the soul remains the same." He said seriously.
"I have suffered and changed much since that time, my heart has hardened. It is a surprise you would still see that same elfling through my eyes." Elladan said growing serious, both standing across from each other in the middle of the room.
"I have heard of your pain. I feel for you, but I do not think it hardened your heart completely. That is a good thing."
"My brother, sister and father are my life and the basis of everything I believe in. If I am not completely lost, it is because of them."
Thranduil nodded and they stood silent for a while, both wondering how they had reached such a deep subject in a matter for moments. The king pointed to the towel Elladan was holding and spoke again.
"Were you going to bathe?"
"Yes, I was, but, what is it that you needed?"
"I came here to invite you for a walk. I was curious to talk to you again, after such a long time. You might think it is not believable, but I remembered for a long time of...The elfling without a pillow. You were adorable and I remember telling Legolas of it as bed time story."
Elladan laughed. "I am glad you remember, my Lord. I would love to take a walk with you, but I really need to clean myself from the filth I gathered during the journey. Bathing in lakes is not the same as with hot water. But I would gladly accompany you later. If you o not mind...you could wait here, I will not be long." Now that was a foolish thing to expect from a king.
"Will you not mind?"
"Oh no, I am used to having Elrohir in the room while I bathe so we can talk, we could talk as well if the idea is not too strange."
"Oh no, I sit on Legolas room while he bathes so he can tell me of his new projects. Create courses here, teach this, built that...I am used to it."
Elladan smiled recognizing the kind character of the king. He had not expected to find a haughty, arrogant king, he knew how Thranduil was, but he had imagined the king would care more for formalities when in his own kingdom, and proving to be wrong, the Peredhel was actually pleased. His admiration only grew.
Nodding, Elladan headed to the bathroom and left the door ajar so he could hear Thranduil. He disrobed and sunk into the pool mesmerized at himself. He had thought his childish infatuation was gone and that the king's name only touched him because it had been hid 'first love', but seeing the blonde again made it all come to surface, his admiration, his young love, now accompanied by desire. He was in love with the king, he knew it.
Thranduil walked around the room, waiting for Elladan.
"I feel the same way you do about family. Legolas is my reason to live, him and my people of course, but I would not have been able to go on without him after my wife died." The king said sadly, although it did not hurt as much anymore. He would always love his beautiful queen, but he had resigned to her loss and he had to keep living, she had always told him to do so.
"I am sorry, my lord." Elladan spoke from the bathing chamber. "Legolas told me of it, when I shared with him the loss of my mother, although it was worse for the two of you. I know my mother still lives and is hopefully healing." He fell silent, wondering if he had crossed a line saying that.
"It is true. How is the water?" The king asked changing the subject. "I can ask a servant to bring more hot water, or cold if the temperature is not of your liking." He looked around the room and curiously stopped before Elladan's bag, seeing green fabric poking out.
"No it is marvelous, hot, just as I like it. Very relaxing. Thank you, my lord."
Thranduil nodded as if the younger elf could see his silent reply and arched an eyebrow at the green fabric. Something about it caught his attention and he could clearly smell lemon in the room. Looking to see if Elladan was out of the bath yet, the king's irresistible curiosity won the fight and he opened the bag, smiling broadly at what he found there. It was the pillow, the same pillow he had taken from Mirkwood to Imladris hundreds of years ago and Elladan had picked out of all in the room.
"He still has it..." Thranduil whispered picking up the pillow. It was definitely the same. It weighted the same, had the same size, shape, the pillowcase was the same, a little discolored, but still green, the fabric holding practically the same quality it did before, very well taken care of. And the scent, it was the same. Thranduil brought the pillow close to his face and smelled it, resting his head on it. Lemon. But that yes, was an impossible thing to have lasted centuries, the scent.
Elladan left the bathroom only with a towel wrapped around his waist, having forgotten his clothes laying on the bed. He froze seeing Thranduil smelling the pillow, his heart thundered in his chest as he blushed furiously.
"Elladan..I am sorry, I did not mean to pry..it just caught my attention." The king apologized setting the pillow down. "I hope you are not cross with me."
The half-elf frowned. Thinking of it, he could indeed be upset with Thranduil, but it seemed ridiculous, he was not cross in the slightest, he was embarrassed.
"It is all right...my lord. I..." He trailed off realizing he had nothing else to say.
"Is this..the same pillow? The one you chose from my room?" Thranduil asked and turned around, his mouth opening slightly seeing the elf's semi-nude body glistening with droplets of water, the darkened hair clinging to his body. Graceful beyond words, despite the strength made obvious by the well developed muscles.
"It is..." The younger elf had barely whispered when there was another knock on the door and he absent mindedly beckoned the person to enter.
Legolas opened the door and stopped dead watching the scene before him. Elladan with nothing but a towel covering him, his father standing in front of him, staring until that moment.
"Ada...Elladan...I came here to invite Elladan for a walk..." He blurted out.
"Oh ah..." Elladan looked from Legolas to Thranduil and the king smiled.
"Go with him, surely it is much more entertaining than walking with me."
"You had invited him Ada? Oh then forget it! You go take a stroll with him, I need to show Gimli around anyway." Walking over to the bed, Legolas picked up the clothes he saw laying there and tossed the at the dark haired elf, leaning in to whisper in his ear.
"You are swift, are you not?"
Elladan's eyes widened and he tried to explain the situation, but Legolas was gone in a moment, leaving him alone with the king once more. Nodding to the older elf, flustered being explaining, he quickly made his way back to the bathing chambers and got dressed.
"That was certainly embarrassing and...quick." Thranduil mentioned waiting for the other elf to come out. "Would you still like to go explore the gardens with me? They are once again beautiful now that evil is gone."
Elrond's son came out of the room smiling, having calmed down from the previous situation. He wore a simple light blue shirt with brown leggings, his hair loose to let it dry faster.
"I would still love to, my lord."
"Good. Shall we go now?"
"If you wish so." Elladan nodded and shyly accepted the arm the Elf-Lord offered him.
Their walk to the gardens was silent, and although it was an awkward silence to younger elf, it was a comfortable one to the elder and so neither broke it.
The gardens of Mirkwood were not as beautiful as the ones of Imladris. The flowers were still growing, some of the trees not as tall as they used to be, but most of the forest had been preserved. Despite the attacks, the fact the gardens were in clearings inside a forest appealed to the place, to the mysteries hiding in there. The bright green leaves and the flowers with the most wonderful colors gave a cheerful aspect to the place, bathed by the warm sunlight. Butterflies and small birds with beautiful songs brought life to the beautiful picture.
"It is beautiful here." Elladan commented, forgetting about their apparently agreed silence.
"Not nearly as beautiful as what I remember of Imladris." The king admitted.
"They are still growing after suffering from the attacks, give it time, it is beautiful as it is. Your gardens will be breathtaking once they grow."
"Just like it happened to you?" The king asked smiling gently and looking into surprised gray eyes.
"My lord, you flatter me."
"No I do not, I say the truth."
Thranduil smiled although inside he was confused, wondering why he suddenly felt so interested in this elf. Since the moment Elladan had walked through the door to his Throne room, before he realized who it was, something had changed in the king. He had been immediately lost to his beauty and upon realizing who this elf was, a part of his heart, that held friendship, care and protectiveness had been lost to him as well, but now there was more and the king saw himself forced to believe in destiny, for it could not be love at first sight...
"Please Elladan, do not call me that, I know I am the king here, but I consider you a long time friend and there is no need for such formalities, especially when it is only the two of us."
"I am sorry, I will not do it any longer, Thranduil."
The king smiled at how easily his name fell from Elladan's lips, flowing better than when he used titles. He stepped back allowing his guest to freely explore the gardens, but the younger elf did not seem to want to go far.
"Why did you keep it?" Thranduil whispered, locking eyes with the other as he looked up from a flower, a startled expression on his face. How was he to explain this?
"I..." Elladan sighed. "I cannot explain it. It is far too embarrassing."
"Why? I do not mean to make you uncomfortable, my friend, but I am entitled to being at least curious about this situation."
"I know." The Peredhel fidgeted with his hands looking flustered, but the eyes never looked down from the king's.
"You do not have to be ashamed, you were much younger back then, it is natural that you could have done this for a reason you now consider silly."
"The exact problem is that I do not." Came the truthful admission and finally gray eyes were cast down.
The older elf seemed intrigued by this information and even more curious. He needed to think of a way to extract the information.
"It smelt like lemon."
Elladan remained silent, nodding his head.
"Just like when I gave it to you. I assume the original scent did not last this long..."
"No, it did not. I...I will tell you then, but you will very likely laugh at me, Thranduil."
"Try me." The king said smiling kindly and guiding his guest to sit by a tree, taking the place next to him a moment later. He looked into the brow haired elf's eyes and saw something new, hesitance, fear? Maybe a little. Hope? It was definitely there, the soft glint in the pale eyes told him so.
"If you remember, I liked that pillow exactly because of the scent, but not only because it smelled of lemon, but of you. You had told me it was from your hair and that was what made me want to keep it."
Elladan shot a brief glance at Thranduil and noticed the king seemed amused and interested.
"I could not admire you more than I did that moment, you were my hero! You gave me a pillow!" Elladan said laughing. "And every night I went to sleep with the fresh scent of your hair invading me, and it made me dream of you even in my waking moments. Of how great you were, a king! How respectful and kind, extremely kind. But most of all beautiful. I remember describing you as the elf with sparkling green eyes, rose red lips and sun shine hair."
"It is a beautiful description, you were a talented poet even as a child."
"Oh do not tease me! I was a child and completely smitten with his hero." Elladan allowed his eyes to wander up, meeting Thranduil's and they stayed silent for some time.
"When you went away I was sad, I wanted to be close to you, to do all you liked, be everything you admired. That was when I started using the lemon scented soaps and oils myself..." He admitted blushing.
"Some time later Elrohir made the favor of telling me I was in love with you. An elfling! But it was true. That love mixed with deep admiration that we all feel at one time for someone we look up to, someone who had an important role in our lives."
"And I was that for you? Elladan you flatter me more than you know." The king turned to sit right across from the other, his eyes closing in bliss as the warm rays of the sun caressed his skin, leaving a warm trail of comfort behind, just as the peaceful song of the birds.
Elladan smiled bitterly despite the beauty of the place, of the scene before him. "It does not stop there, Thranduil. With time I found other things to occupy my time with, enough to think it was all gone, I convinced myself I had learned to like the lemon scent and kept using it, but I never disposed the pillow. I slept with it every night, I cared for it as the most precious object owned, but never really noticed. I thought it was a childish love and that it was gone. But the moment I saw you...I realized it was not."
When he looked up, it was with surprise he saw Thranduil smiling brightly at him, sweetly, with no rejection words in his lips, or sneering laughter.
"You know, I did not keep a scented pillow for centuries, nor did I fall in love with you back then, it would have been extremely inappropriate if I had done so. But I did know that you would play an important role in my life, just by the way you entered it. I just did not know how big."
"Do you know now?" Came the expectant question.
"Yes." The blonde elf leaned in, a slender hand gently cupping Elladan's face as he drew their lips closer and sealed the distance between them with a kiss.
The younger elf's heart fluttered in his chest, barely believing the existence much less the sweetness of this kiss. His eyes close, hiding him from his surroundings but not from the sensations running through his body. Of utter joy, excitement and thrill.
Thranduil watched the other through half lidded eyes, marveling at the beauty of this young soul who claimed to be his. The traces of Man kind were barely evident in the fine traced face, but Elladan looked masculine, not femininely beautiful as most male elves and it appealed to the king greatly. Beauty was a feminine quality that softened and brought delicacy; charm and strength were the male beauty and that the Peredhel possessed it.
As their lips parted they lazily opened their eyes.
"Do you mean that? This?" Elladan asked uncertainly, full of hopes and apprehensions.
"I do. I really do. I cannot explain what you did to me today when you arrived, but I mean it. I think you purposefully charmed me with your adorable kindness as a child, just to keep a safe place in my heart for when you grew." Thranduil let the hand that had been cupping the elf's cheek, gently caress it.
"I did not know you were good with words as well, my lord. I thought expressing oneself so beautifully was an art only the poets and ladies mastered." The Peredhel teased, feeling extremely at ease now his heart no longer feared rejection or mockery.
"Oh Elladan, what a foolish thing you say. You may have come to think that living with so many hardened men and elves who found it hard to show their true feelings, but it is not a rule. We all can do it if we know what we want to say."
"Very wise too. I keep praising myself of the choice I made."
The Sindar King's musical laughter rang through the clearing, bringing a smile to the younger elf's lips.
"I am glad you are pleased with your own judgment. I am greatly pleased with it as well."
"When Legolas invited me to come here, never would I have thought something like this would happen, especially this quickly, but I believe he had it all plotted in case we did not work for ourselves."
"Oh yes! That is just like my son. So you had told him of what you felt for me?" Thranduil asked grinning.
"I had to, he is just as curious as his father." Elladan said cupping the other's neck and bringing them in for another kiss.
"Ah I see, so you are already accustomed to the family traits."
"Yes, I am." Elladan grinned into the kiss and watched with amusement as the king opened his lips melting into his embrace when the young warrior gently asked for entrance in the warm mouth, deepening the kiss.
"I wonder what I have gotten myself into."
"Something good." The prince assured.
"Good." Looking up in the direction the sun came from, Thranduil sighed and closed his eyes. "It is such a beautiful day. For a long time the sun did not shine like this upon Mirkwood. The darkness barely let it's rays peek through the trees. Would you like to stay here? Lay down and enjoy the sun?" He ask laying back on the soft grass.
"That would be a lovely idea."
Elladan lay beside his king on his side, drawing invisible patterns on the smooth fabric of the other's robes, letting his fingers trail up to the top button, slowly undoing it. Thranduil tilted his head up looking quizzically at the dark haired elf.
"Calm down, Thranduil. I will not ravish you here and now." He said grinning.
"I would not mind if you did, my prince, I only wonder if it Is not too soon for that."
"It is. I merely want you to enjoy the sun better and to feel you close to me."
"That you shall." The blonde said smiling and sat up, his hands tugging at the hem of Elladan's shirt, gently lifting it over his head as the other lift his arms to aid him. His fingertips gently touched the silk like skin, a look of wonder in the king's eyes, as if he was adoring a god.
Elladan shivered at the feathery touches, barely believing Thranduil would look at him so reverently. Following the example he finished unbuttoning the older elf's robes, then tunic and finally the shirt.
"So many clothes!" He said in mock annoyance, tossing aside the hindering fabric and pushing the elf back down.
Thranduil chuckled and opened his arms to receive his new lover in them. Their eyes fluttered shut when their bare chests touched, the feeling of warm skin pressed against their own sending shivers down their spines.
Elladan cuddled close, draping an arm and a leg over the king's body, his head rested on the firm chest, tucked under the blonde's chin. He moaned and purred in content and could not help looking up questioningly when Thranduil laughed again.
"Have you found a suited pillow?" The king asked grinning.
The peredhel smiled brilliantly and nodded.
"The best one. One that Elrohir cannot steal from me." He said adoringly.
They both chuckled.
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Pillow Case by Melyanna
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Table of Contents
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Story notes: WRITTEN FOR SAS: This story was written as a birthday gift for Sas_Bratprincess a lovely, very talented girl I had the chance to meet this year. Sweetie, I wish you an extremely happy birthday and I hope you will enjoy this.
Author's notes: To write this story I chose three elements secretly inspired by Sas; they were: Thranduil (*snatches elf to herself*), Elladan and a pillow.
The beginning of this story features the twins as elflings and therefore has *no* romantic/sexual connotations to it. Things will change once they are grown up of course. : D
Now sit back, grab a piece of cake, and ENJOY!