Elladan sighed deeply as he felt the tiny hand of his daughter firmly clasped within his own. A fine gentle breeze was blowing in the vale of his home, cooling down the stifling summer heat. Not even the many pools and waterfalls had much affect this summer.
He looked lovingly at his wife Annienna her golden tresses shone like gold in the sun and her blue eyes were looking at him as well. In her hand she clasped the other hand of their daughter.
A sudden tugging caused Elladan to break eye contact with his wife. He looked to see his brother coming towards him, with only breeches on.
“Can he never learn decent behavior?” Elladan murmured to his wife releasing his child’s hand. Annienna laughed quietly placing a hand over her mouth the light cloth of her dress rustling nearly soundlessly.
“It’s just who he is,” she said mirthfully. “Don’t think he could ever change.”
“I hope he does,” Elladan sighed heavily. “He’s caused me enough embarrassments in my life and somehow I still love him like a brother.”
“Don’t judge on the outside,” his wife told him wisely. “If I remember he had managed to pull you out of quite a few predicaments.”
“True,” Elladan admitted looking up to see his brother drawing near. Alenor, their daughter bouncing in his arms her brown wavy hair flying carelessly in the cooling breeze. “Did she take out those ribbons again?” Annienna sighed and nodded.
“Actually she wouldn’t sit still this morning and I just gave up,” she corrected.
“Not even a hello,” Elrohir mused coming forward and setting Alenor on the ground though she tried to jump back up into his arms.
“Uncle! Uncle!” she cried tugging on his bare arm relentlessly. “Up! Up!” Annienna came forward and gently took the energetic child from Elrohir. Alenor settled down instantly in her mothers arms.
“Elrohir,” Elladan greeted once the coast was clear and his daughter wasn’t in the way. He gave his brother a hug. “I haven’t seen you for a while.” Elrohir shrugged his usually bright eyes were dark.
“Can I borrow your husband?” he asked Annienna.
“Just make sure he doesn’t run off with any more girls. I’ve got to calm this child down somehow. I can’t hold her forever,” Annienna agreed and kissed Elladan on the cheek before going away back to their room.
“Shall we walk?” Elrohir suggested as he began to walk along a quiet stream that had been running strongly before the summer heat. Elladan stepped in beside his brother.
“What bothering you today?” he asked. “That look doesn’t come often to you eyes and when it does that means trouble.”
“Mirkwood is under attack,” Elrohir said heavily. “They have called for reinforcements.”
“Yes and?” Elladan pushed him.
“I know we promised you time with your wife and child,” Elrohir said slowly as if he couldn’t call up the words to form. “But I feel as if you’re abandoning everything. I haven’t seen you for weeks nor has father. You promised to come out with me on expeditions and then I come and you say sorry that you couldn’t make it.”
“Maybe when you find someone you care about deeply enough,” Elladan said giving way to his temper. “Then you will understand what I’m going through!”
“Calm down brother,” Elrohir said making calming gestures with his hands. “I only suggested it. If Mirkwood is overthrown and we don’t come then what next, Rivendell? Lorien? Will you really stay here and wait with you’re wife and see if everything will turn out all right?” Elladan gazed ahead feeling the breeze flow through his hair.
“Elrohir,” he said at last calming himself down. “I have to think. It means a lot to go away. When do you leave?”
“Tomorrow,” Elrohir answered. “I would have talked sooner, but I couldn’t get the courage to. If you’re coming you’ll meet the rest of us at the stables at first light. If you aren’t there we will leave without you. It’s your decision.” Elladan nodded.
“We’ll see,” he said in a quiet voice and turned away from his brother. As he walked away Elladan could feel his brother watching him. Elladan knew Elrohir knew exactly what he was going to do, Elladan did as well, but he couldn’t say it.
The door shut behind him with ominous click that sounded foreboding in the large silent room that wouldn’t last much longer.
“Father!” a joyous voice came to his ears. Elladan had barely enough time to swoop Alenor into his arms before the young elf collided with him. He noticed she was dressed only in her shift. Annienna appeared in the doorway that connected to their daughter’s room. His wife looked absolutely disheveled.
“Why is she only her shift?” Elladan asked raising an eyebrow. His wife held up a cute little blue dress that Elladan remembered Arwen wearing when she was a child.
“She decided to jump in a chest deep pond,” Annienna explained heavily. “I managed to get her out without having to go in myself. She just won’t get in the dress though!” Elladan set his daughter on the ground.
“Go put that dress on,” he said sternly. Alenor turned to him crossing her arms her brown eyes had a look of childlike innocence.
“It’s too hot!” she announced stubbornly.
“Go,” Elladan commanded and he waved a hand to Annienna.
“No,” Alenor said. “It’s too hot. I’ll melt.” Elladan forced his face straight even though a smile wanted to break through.
“For the love of Arda,” he sighed. “Come on young lady put the dress on.”
“No,” Alenor said unmoved. “I don’t want to. Uncle walks around with no shirt I can walk around like this!”
“Eru! You’ve blessed this child with the stubbornness of the Dwarves!” Elladan cried to his wife. Annienna sighed heavily.
“I wish it were not so,” she set the dress on a chair near the doorway. “Put it on Alenor when you want too.” The child clapped her hands in delight that she won and darted into her room. “So what did Elrohir wish to speak with you about?”
“Hmm?” Elladan asked as he watched Alenor disappear. “He wanted to me to come to Mirkwoods aid with him.”
“And I hope you will,” his wife said sitting down at a chair that occupied a round table.
“Alenor won’t understand,” Elladan said. “Don’t know how I’ll explain that it’s important. I don’t want to leave her with you alone, that child’s got more energy then she should.” He stopped everything was too quiet. Annienna noticed as well.
“Probably gone to tell your father,” she said smiling. “I don’t think he’ll be too impressed.” Elladan shook his head.
“I’d like him to calm her down,” he said. “She can’t sit still for two seconds.” His wife laughed.
“She’s just a child I’m sure she’ll grow out of it,” Annienna assured. “Now get ready, I’ll keep Alenor out of the master room, she’d be too curious to see how sharp the tips of those arrows are.”
“I’ll lock the door,” declared Elladan and walked into the room and as promised locked it behind him.
Taking his time carefully Elladan made sure his weapons were still usable and he stowed them carefully in the corner of the room when his was done. His heart was heavy, he didn’t want to leave his family, but Elrohir’s words rang true in his mind. Sometimes he just hated his brother and that he could always be so serious when he chose to. Unfortunately he usually chose the worst times to act serious. When he was finished Elladan unlocked the door and came out.
As soon as he cleared the doorway his father came in from the main door, Alenor’s hand firmly encompassed in his own. Elrohir was behind him, finally with a shirt on and trying to keep a straight face for his father’s sake. Poor Alenor looked close to tears and with Annienna not around he would have deal with his father on his own.
“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded reining in Alenor as she tried to dart away. “There is no excuse for a child to be running around in just a shift. I understand it’s hot outside, but Elladan this goes beyond what I thought you would allow your child to do.” Elladan closed his eyes for a few seconds and wished his father was gone, when he reopened them he found Elrond still standing there and Alenor was deathly silent. Had it been any other situation Elladan would have welcomed the quiet gratefully, not now.
“Father I’m sorry,” Elladan said taking his daughter from his father’s grasp. “But this child has been blessed with the stubbornness of the Dwarves. Me and Annienna could not get her into that dress.” He nodded to emphasize what he meant. Elrond crossed his arms.
“Alenor go get that dress on now!” Elrond said firmly and with anger. As if suddenly snapping out of a spell Alenor sat up in her fathers arms and crossed her own small arms.
“No!” she said. “It’s too hot! I’ll melt.” Elrohir still standing behind Elrond and obviously forgotten couldn’t hold back suppressed laughter and he began to laugh.
“This is not the time for this!” Elrond cried whirling to face his son. “If you continue to behave like this I’ll have to ask you to leave.” Elrohir straightened his face, but giggles still escaped his lips at times.
Elrond turned back to Alenor and looked her firmly in the eye the small child looked back without looking down. After a few more moments Elrond threw his hands up in exasperation and left the room Elrohir following behind and before the door closed Elladan heard him fall into bouts of laughter again. Elladan set the child down again and let her run off. He grieved silently that his child would not understand why he was leaving tomorrow.
*- I have two stories going at the moment here. The first is called Elf of Rohan, but I decided to post this as well. To make things easier comments would be helpful in deciding if I should keep up the stories. Comments are welcome in any form too I might add. Thank you!