Rating : G
Summary not given
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything from the Lord of the Rings books or films.
“It’s good to be home” Estel sighed happily, breathing in the not-so-fresh air of the stables.
“What? Did you not enjoy our little jaunt through Mirkwood?” Legolas asked innocently, grinning widely.
“You’d better watch out you don’t insult the prince’s home” Elladan warned playfully from his seat in the corner, “he might take you back to prove how nice it really is”.
The remark earned the twin a couple of glares before the elf and human went back to untangling the burrs from their horses’ coats. “Spiders should not be that big”, muttered Estel.
“They weren’t that big” Legolas countered, “I’ve seen larger ones”.
Estel shuddered. “Whatever, but can we please explore someplace else for a while. I’ve had enough of spiders for the time being.”
Chuckling, Elladan exchanged a glance with his twin who stood beside him, fiddling with the strap of a backpack underneath Estel’s jacket.
“Sure, let’s stroll around your home and grow another forest on our clothes” Legolas said irritatedly, as he wrestled with a particularly stubborn burr.
“It’s not my fault you wanted to take the shortcut.” Estel argued “and it’s not as if Ada would have minded us being a little later”
“Well if you’d been here on time you would have caught a glimpse of the mysterious messenger we had earlier” Elrohir spoke up, garnering the interest of both Legolas and Estel. “A human, with a letter for Ada, who rushed off as soon as the message was delivered without waiting for a reply or stopping to rest his horse.”
“A ranger?” Estel asked intrigued.
“No. I did not recognise him but he did not dress or act like a ranger. He seemed wary of us and of being here. Perhaps if I describe him you may be able to tell where he came from.”
Elladan wandered towards the stable entrance as Elrohir gave a detailed account of the messenger’s uniform and gear. He had seen the man himself and did not need to hear what was being said. Letting the evening sun bathe his face, he glanced about the exterior stable walls.
A few minutes later when Elladan wandered back to the group, Legolas was working on his last burr and Elrohir had just finished his lengthy description.
“If I have seen the uniform before I can not recall it” Estel said, frowning. Elrohir nodded, “we’re hoping Ada will tell us what is going on during dinner since we have no guests tonight who might overhear”
“Talking of dinner, you do intend to change first don’t you, Estel?” Elladan asked, lifting up Estel’s rather grubby jacket for emphasis. “The dirt on this thing will soon be thick enough for creatures to live in.” Both twins chuckled at the look their younger brother gave them. “It’s good to have you back tithen gwador. Playing jokes on Glorfindel is not nearly as much fun as…”
“Uhm-Hum.” Four sets of eyes snapped to the stable entrance where Glorfindel now stood, almost silhouetted against the sunset. “The kitchen staff ask that you remove your archery equipment from dining table so they may set it for dinner” he stated, looking at the twins and reserving an especially disapproving glare for Elladan.
“Right, we’ll er … go do that now” Elladan agreed as both twins glanced downwards guiltily and started trying to slip out of the stable.
“Don’t worry mellon nîn” Elrohir whispered to Legolas on his way out, “we wouldn’t dream of leaving you out of our games”. The smirk on the twin’s face was skilfully suppressed as he turned back towards Glorfindel and quickly followed his brother back to the house.
“Those two” Glorfindel shook his head, wearily uttering the now recurrent question: “will they ever grow up?”. Walking further into the stable he continued, “at least you two are back safely and nearly on schedule. That’s one less grey-hair-causing issue to worry about at least”
“We would have been here in time for lunch if not for Mirkwood’s rather inquisitive fauna” Estel muttered, putting away the horse brush he had been using.
“How long do we have before dinner starts?” Legolas asked, wondering if there was time for them both to wash and watching with distaste as Estel slipped his filthy jacket on. “Long enough for you both to get cleaned up” Glorfindel smiled, sensing the younger elf’s train of thought. Legolas was about to reply when a sudden movement caught his eye.
He turned to see Estel squirming and fidgeting and made to ask what was the matter when the human suddenly ripped his jacket off and threw it several feet across the stable. “Estel, what the…?”
Legolas fell silent and watched with confusion as Estel advanced on the heap of clothing lying crumpled on the floor like a predator stalking it’s prey. Curious, the elf followed and waited as Estel carefully lifted the jacket, glaring at it as if it had betrayed him. Holding the offending article close to the ground, the human gave it a viscous shake. Something scuttled out past Legolas’s legs causing him to step back suddenly.
“The twins” Estel stated simply with disgust as he tossed his jacket towards where their packs still lay. Legolas, realising what had happened, was caught between amusement, sympathy and embarrassment that he had been startled by a normal-sized spider.
Glorfindel merely looked on, grateful that he was no longer the prime target for Elladan and Elrohir’s infamous pranks. “They’re not going to get away with this.” Estel ranted “I’m going to get them back in such a way that they’ll wish the thought of this had never even crossed their minds. I’ll teach them to…”
“If I may” Glorfindel interrupted smoothly, “I think I may have an idea of how to put those wishes into practice”. Returning both of the questioning stares directed at him, he continued: “listen and learn young ones, for in learning you will teach” ‘and in teaching you will learn revenge is better when one does not become the target for counter-revenge.’ Glorfindel added mentally. With that he gleefully explained the plan, whispering conspiratorially despite the fact there was unlikely to be anyone was within hearing distance.
The twins would get their just desserts for their behaviour these last few weeks and he would be able to go about his business without fear of practical jokes.