Elladan sat alone in the library….like he always did, especially when he was upset. And right now, he was upset; very upset. And he didn’t know why; and that might have been the worst torture he’d ever endured.
“Good morning little brother!” Elrohir shouted as he clapped a hand on either of his brother’s shoulders, “How was your ‘evening stroll’ with the fair Lady Elerrina of the Greenwood Great?”
“Hush!” Elladan scolded, “Back off and mind your own affairs!” he shrugged his brother’s hands away, “I am busy right now! Can’t you see that?”
Elrohir frowned in confusion, “No.” He said simply, “If you were busy you would have actually picked up the pen and set it to the paper sometime in the last half of an hour.” Elladan tried hard not show how upset he was…but what good was it against the understanding of a twin?
“You are upset.” Elrohir did not ask, “What is it that you think you cannot tell your only brother?” Elrohir pulled another chair up beside his brother and sat down expectantly, “Come now, tell me!”
“It is none of your affairs” Elladan muttered, a slow blush creeping up into his face.
“Perhaps not…but you are my twin and we have always shared affairs” Elrohir smiled encouragingly.
“And how do I know you of all people have my best interests at heart?”
“What in Eru’s name are you talking about?” Elrohir looked hurt, “I would never tell anyone your sorrows, I never have and you know it! It has something to do with Rina doesn’t it?” a mischievous grin slowly began to appear.
“No it doesn’t” Elladan quickly answered, “And why do you insist on referring to her in such an intimate way? she has only been here a week.”
“Because she is a friend, and friends refer to each other by name, do they not? And besides, I saw her come back through the halls much sooner than expected; and very upset.” Elrohir leaned his arms onto the table, “Tell me about it?”
Elladan sighed defeatedly, “Alright…”
“There’s a good brother!”
“But I don’t want you repeating a word of this! Ever. To anyone. Promise me that, little brother?” Elladan raised his eyebrows expectantly.
“I promise, upon my extreme torture,” Elrohir paused and held up his right hand, “And upon reliving the punishment we endured together as children after the tapestry incident, I shall not say a word!”
“Which tapestry incident? I’m sure you know that one holds more significance than the other?” Elladan demanded.
“Of course I know….the one where we knocked down and tore the lovely tapestry of Isildur and Anarion at Gorgoroth…”
“And you decided it would be a brilliant strategy to stick it back to the wall with magnanimous amounts of honey? Because that definitely held the worse punishment.” Elladan finished.
“Yes” Elrohir nodded deeply, “Upon reliving that punishment, I shall say no word!”
“Very good…I believe you” Elladan took a deep breath. “Last night I requested our Lady Elerrina to come for a walk with me in the garden….And to start with, I’m not sure why. But I asked her, and she came with me, and it was…less than comfortable.”
“Wait…” Elrohir interrupted, “You don’t know why you asked her, yet you did? What went across your mind when you decided, ‘hmm, I think I’ll see if Rina wants to have a moonlit stroll in the same place my mother and father walked together.’ Honestly, what went through your mind?” Elrohir looked confused.
“I don’t know! And I most certainly didn’t think of her as ‘Rina’ it was definitely ‘Lady Elerrina’ the entire time! And I think…that maybe I just thought…I” Elladan sighed, “Alright, I didn’t want to be alone last night of all nights!”
“I see” Elrohir said quietly, “Did you tell her the significance of the day?”
“Yes, of course! Well, after she asked why I asked her to come with me” Elladan looked down.
“You used that as an excuse?” Elrohir sat up, “You told that sweet girl that you asked her to come with you so that you would not be lonely on that night?”
“I didn’t tell you that!”
“I read it, Twin.”
Elladan glared formidably, “What else did you read on my seemingly open mind?” he demanded.
“Well, I can’t tell much with you scowling like that, but I think you got a bit turtle-shell when she asked why you didn’t tell her before…and now she thinks the whole day was simply a way to mask over a deep pain, doesn’t she?”
“Well…in so many words…” Elladan stammered.
“Unbelievable” Elrohir fell back n his chair and laughed mirthlessly, “I really don’t know what gets into you sometimes. Did you at least say that we do indeed love her presence here as much as birdsong in springtime?”
“I am sure did…I think I made it quite clear…” Elladan halted, “Well…perhaps not…But she didn’t even give me a chance to say she rushed off so quickly!” Elladan exclaimed before his twin could make a comment.
“Why, Elladan?” Elrohir asked incredulously, “Why in Middle Earth would you say such a thing to that sweet, sad, kind girl?”
“I don’t know!” Answered Elladan with a sigh, I truly do know why. “When she asked me I panicked, and I didn’t mean a word of what I said and I didn’t really know why I asked her to start with, and when she asked me why…”
“Yes! How’d you know?”
“You said it earlier in the same sentence” Elrohir explained patiently. Elladan dropped his face into his hands, “Don’t worry little brother, it will be all right, I am quite sure!” Elrohir grasped his brother’s shoulder firmly, “I think she is a forgiving creature, and if you want I will tell her how terribly sorry you are and how you didn’t mean a word.” Elrohir smiled as his brother looked up at him.
“You know I ordinarily wouldn’t hear a word of such talk, don’t you?” Elladan demanded.
“Of course!” Elrohir assured him.
“Then will you?” A pleading look came across Elladan’s face, “I do not Rina to be angry with me for such stupidity” he moaned. “Why in Eru’s name are you smiling at me like that?”
Elrohir’s smirk grew stronger, “You don’t know why?”
“You really, truly don’t know why?” Elrohir teased.
“You just called her ‘Rina’!”
“I did not!”
“You most certainly did.”
“I am sure I didn’t!”
Elrohir fell back laughing again, “Why do even attempt to hold such an air of formality with the girl, it has never been a custom of ours to do so with any friend!”
“I don’t know! It just feels best with her.”
“Best does it?” Elrohir mocked, “Well very well then little brother, whatever you say!” He called laughingly after Elladan as he walked away quickly.
“Just tell her I’m sorry!” Elladan called over his shoulder.
“Rina?” Elrohir called outside her door, “It is Elrohir, can I speak with you?” No answer. “It is very important, I assure you, you want to hear what I have to say…please hear me out!”
Elanna pulled the chamber door open, “Come,” she said with a sharp towards Rina.
Rina was sitting on the window sill with her chin on her knees, looking painfully sad.
“Friend Rina?” Elrohir put his hand on her shoulder, “Will you hear me?”
Rina looked up at him absentmindedly and smiled wanly, “Of Elrohir, I will always hear you…you are a friend.”
“Rina, Elladan wishes you to know that he didn’t mean a word of what he said last night…”
Rina’s head jerked up, “And he doesn’t have the stomach to come and tell me himself?”
“No! no, no it’s not like that…Elladan is not an Elf of words, Rina. He fears other people to some point and he’s terrible at apologizing…I am his twin, I know what he is thinking and I have none of those problems!” Elrohir explained.
Rina thought hard for a moment, then smiled, “Alright…continue.”
“Yes, yesterday held some painful significance for us, but that would never have had any sway on our celebration of you! As my brother and I decided, you are as loved and welcome here as birdsong in springtime!”
“Then why did he say what he said to me? About not being able to trust me with the knowledge of that pain?”
Elrohir arched an eyebrow, this Elladan had not really mentioned, but Elrohir knew, “He is not good with words…as I said…he is also worse with emotions. You touched something he did not want to discuss, and he struck out…he does not mean it, trust me! He does the same to me almost every day!”
Rina laughed, “And you are sure he is not bitter with me for any reason?”
“Of course he isn’t!”
“And he really was glad about yesterday? For me?”
“He most certainly was!”
Rina smiled a real smile, “Then I suppose I must forgive him.”
Elrohir smiled in return “Lady, you have no idea how much that shall mean to him!”
Rina frowned in mock anger, “Now, you call me ‘lady’?” Elrohir grinned mischievously.
“I suppose it will have to make up for Elladan’s accidentally referring to you as ‘Rina’ in the library!” He laughed and rushed away, leaving Rina stunned and inexplicably happy.
“He called me ‘Rina’…”