Tae awoke early, peeling back her covers and grimacing at her reflection in the bathroom mirror as she remembered Elladan’s hissy fit the night before.
Maybe he had a right to be funny with her about the fact no one had told him that she had a ‘date’ with his father and was leaving for Lothlórien tomorrow; maybe Elladan was just generally moody.
Tae sighed and gathered her wash gear, she couldn’t be bothered going to the waterfall today, on the off chance that moody pants would be there. Instead she washed in the basin, wriggling and bending over backwards to wash her hair in the sink. Feeling nicely refreshed she pulled on a dress with a dark blue hue and set off, walkman in hand for her secret stash; she figured that she’d have to be tanked to survive today.
Retrieving the two bottles of berry liquor she headed for the kitchens to grab a quick bite and to find Celwen. Instead she found Arwen sitting at the head of the huge dining table alone.
“Good morning Tae”
“Hey Arwen, have you seen Celwen?”
“Yeah, I’m waiting for her, we we’re going to head off to the training grounds for a bit of ‘talent spotting’ as you would say”
Tae chuckled at her use of an Earth phrase.
“I’ve got a better idea” she said, smiling darkly she produced the wine bottles from behind her back to a gasp of delight from Arwen.
“Where did you get those from?” she cried excitedly, the particular brew that Tae held was incredibly hard to get hold of.
“Oh, you know, I’ve got connections” said Tae absently.
“Fancy getting to know this brew a little better? I doubt I’ll be able to cope tonight unless I’m insensibly drunk, I hate social gatherings”
“Oh I know exactly what you mean, Ada always makes me and my brothers sit right through the endless boring dancing and mellow music, I doubt tonight would be any different. Lets wait for Celwen, there’s plenty enough wine there for at least 10 elves let alone us three”
Tae was flattered that Arwen had referred to her as an elf, and smiled as Elronds daughter linked arms with her and dragged her off into the kitchens. She suddenly felt like today wasn’t going to be as bad as she’d thought- as long as she didn’t have to run into Arwen’s elder brother—
Elladan threw his bow to the ground in frustration. He was not having a good day, his bowstring had just snapped and Glorfindel had earlier refused his request to join the escorting party that would see the Lorien elves on their way.
He thought of Tae and anger filled him once more, anger that his father had purposely asked her to the dance as his partner to keep him away from her and anger that no one had told him that she was leaving; even if it was only for a few weeks.
His rage soon melted when he remembered the scared look on her face when he had exploded in his room. Elladan felt guilty for reacting the way he did but he was hurt that his father would intentionally ask Tae to accompany him when it was all too obvious that his son had feelings for her.
He shrugged resignedly and dropped to the floor, playing back the events of last night to discern if there was any chance that Tae would ever speak to him again. He definitely didn’t look forward to the gathering tonight, kin from as far as the havens had been arriving all day and he was loathe to spend his night in a room where he’d have to pretend he was happy when really he would be screaming inside for Tae’s companionship.
He didn’t expect Tae to speak to him today, just like he hadn’t expected her to be sitting on his bed waiting for him to return last night; no matter how much he wished she would be still there.
A shadow fell across him as he sat in silent contemplation.
“Looks like you need this more than I do bro” said a voice. Elladan didn’t bother looking up as his twin sat down in the grass next to him.
“Love hurt?” asked Elrohir, in the last two days he had started taking the rumours about his brother seriously; maybe Elladan was falling for the half elf that had not long arrived in Imladris. He set one of the two bottles he was carrying in front of his twin, uncorking his own and taking a lengthy gulp.
“I’m not in love with her Ro” answered Elladan almost too quickly.
“Sure, just like you were never really bothered that Glor sat on your paper boat”
Elladan took the bottle that his younger twin had smuggled him with a smile as he remembered how much he felt like crying when Glor had sat on the boat that Cirdan had made him. He watching the bottles contents swill back and forth, a warm purple colour glowing through the glass in the late morning light.
He took out its stopper and brought the liquid to his lips, revelling in the heat that spread through his body as he swallowed the sweet elixir. A few moments passed before he answered his patient brother.
“I don’t know what to think Ro’, I went off on one last night when I found out she was leaving for Lorien, plus Ada has decided to interfere and he’s asked to escort her to the gathering. Now I can’t help seeing the shock in her eyes when I left her standing there in my room”
“She’ll forgive you brother, besides, who can resist the puppy dog eyes trick Mithrandir taught you?” laughed Ro’ genuinely happy that his brother had finally taken an interest in female companionship; for centuries he’d been trying to introduce Elladan to the Middle Earth dating circuit, but the broody male had been more interested in flings with nameless nobodies.
“I really hope she does, I cant bear not being near her for longer than a day, her smile makes my heart sing—-I don’t know how I’m going to cope while she’s in grandmothers realm” he confessed in a rare moment of clarity. He brought the wine bottle back to his lips, seeking to drown his troubles.
“You’re scandalous Tae, no way would I do something as outrageous as that!” cried Arwen as Tae urged her to go pinch Legolas’ behind. Tae giggled with glee as the blond elf looked back to them from the archery range, hearing his name in between high pitched squeals but having no idea what the females where laughing about, nor why they were so excited.
“What about you Cel’ are you brave enough?” asked a rather giggly Tae. The elf only blushed scarlet when a reference to her and Legolas was made in the same sentence.
“Ah ha! Now I know who you’ve got your eye on!” she squealed in delight, finally figuring out who her friend held a torch for.
“That is strictly classified *hiccup* information Tae Epsom” warned Celwen seriously, well, she tried hard to sound serious between the hiccups.
Tae saluted feverently, promising that no words concerning her ‘thing for blondie’ would ever pass her lips. She lay back in the grass imagining lewd shapes in the few clouds that had appeared in the cerulean sky. A thought suddenly popped into her head.
“Hey Gil’ what’s Ro’ like? Is he as moody, sorry Arwen, sensitive as his brother?” she asked Celwen’s sister who lay out in the grass beside her.
“Ro’s sweet, as sweet as this liquor, he never has an ill word to say of anyone unless they deserve it—and he’s sooo thoughtful” gushed the loved up elf gazing into a half empty bottle of raspberry wine that she cradled in her hands like a precious gem.
“Pah, all that’s twin-like betweeen those two is the fact they look the same. Elladan’s so——-confusing”
Arwens ears perked up at Tae’s mention of her brother.
“Surely you mean that he has you ‘so—-confused’. As in; you have feelings for him that you haven’t confessed even to your bestest friends” she enquired deviously.
Arwen had spent the morning consoling her heart- stricken brother, telling him that Tae would speak to him again and all would be well. Elladan had barely left when Tae had found her in the dining room.
“Aye, we’ve all noticed the that Elladan has been happier lately, even if he still has his usual moody spells. I think there’s romance in the air!” agreed Gilwen, she and Elrohir had conspired to get to the truth of the pairs feelings about each other, for their own good and out of natural curiosity.
“I admit Elladan is a fine example of elven beauty, though I don’t really know him well enough to like him more than I already do as a friend. Although he has some sucking up to do before I speak to him again” Tae blushed as she thought of Elladan’s flawless skin and the way his toned torso appealed to Tae’s lustful side that few knew and even fewer had ever experienced.
Tae’s elven companions nodded their heads in agreement to Tae’s feelings on speaking to Elronds elder son, they all thought his actions the previous night had been terribly uncalled for, even Arwen who was his own flesh and blood did not agree with his brother’s moody reaction, going so far as to tell him so when she had learnt of the incident from him earlier that morning.
“By Eru!” shouted Celwen suddenly pointing up at the sun reaching its zenith.
Tae was left sitting as Arwen, Gilwen and Celwen stood up quickly, then after accommodating for their inebriated states they hurried off back to Rivendell. Tae got up grabbing her quarter filled bottle, her head starting to spin and ran off after them.
“Where’s the fire?” she shouted
“We must get ready for the gathering, we have already missed lunch, there are only six hours left to prepare!!” called back Gilwen.
Tae suddenly stopped, and burst into tears of laughter as she mentally compared her elven companions to her high school friends back on Earth. She walked slowly back to the house, leisurely watching the to and fro of white and blue butterflies as they fluttered about the pristine gardens of Imladris. Reaching the dining hall she realised that Gilwen was indeed right, they had missed lunch.
Tae wandered over to the kitchens then thought better of it when she heard Elladan’s voice coming from them as he conversed loudly with Haldir about the finer points of roast venison. Instead she scurried of to her room and put on her headphones, drowning in the soulful tones of Norah Jones as she slumped down on her bed.
‘I waited ’til I saw the sun
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I left you by the house of fun
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I don’t know why I didn’t come’
‘When I saw the break of day
I wished that I could fly away
Instead of kneeling in the sand
Catching teardrops in my hand’
‘My heart is drenched in wine
But you’ll be on my mind
‘Out across the endless sea
I would die in ecstasy
But I’ll be a bag of bones
Driving down the road alone’
‘My heart is drenched in wine
But you’ll be on my mind
‘Something has to make you run
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I feel as empty as a drum
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I don’t know why I didn’t come’
<‘Don’t Know Why’ Norah Jones~ Come Away With Me>
Tae fell asleep, the effects of her early morning binge making her drowsy as she sang along to the music filling her ears.
“It’s five o’clock, maybe we should go and see if she’s alright, Arwen says she didn’t come back with them when they went to get ready, surely she’ll be dressed and nearly ready by now”
“Legolas, I bet she’s with Elladan messing about on the archery field this instant” assured the marchwarden.
“They probably don’t want any interruptions-” he snickered.
“Lets go knock at her door anyway, Elronds in a right mood over Elladan’s accusations so the whole west wing is out of bounds unless you want a mouthful of Noldor insults”
Haldir agreed and they headed in an easterly direction for Tae’s room.
Someone was banging on the back kitchen door, Tae pulled her covers over her head more, and she guessed it’d be those *** useless window cleaners that her father never had the heart to fire.
“Go away till you actually clean the windows” she shouted
The knocking grew louder until Tae could make out voices, they were calling her name. She opened her eyes groggily and threw the bed covers off, slowly realising that she wasn’t in the middle of Liverpool anymore and in fact situated in the house of Elrond.
She stood up and sat down again with a bump, the blood not quite getting to her somersaulting brain quick enough. After the darkness cleared and the mysterious knocker made their presence felt again she got up and opened the door.
“Err Tae, shouldn’t you be getting ready?”
“Jus chill, I’m sorted”
“What are you talking about Haldirolorien? I’m ready for anything, ever alert, the safety’s off” she assured, dropping into a fighters stance, hands holding an imaginary rifle.
“Tae, are you feeling alright, Legolas and I thought we’d come and see if you needed anything, there’s only two hours before Lord Elrond will come for you to make the official start to the gathering” Haldir was slightly worried by the distinct smell of ale on Tae’s breath, as well her purple tinged lips and the dark stains down the front of her dress.
“We thought you’d at least be dressed by now”
“What you chattin’ foo’? Do I look starkers?” she said indicating her clothed state.
“I’m talking about the gathering? Lord Elrond is escorting you; it starts at seven?” replied Legolas, puzzled at her strange vocabulary.
Finally the penny dropped, Tae’s face dropped and drained of all colour.
“Aye” chorused the two males in unison.
“I guess I’ll be getting ready now then” she said in a small voice.
Haldir and Legolas just smiled and walked away down the corridor, of in search of sensible conversation before they left to get ready themselves. They smiled wider when they heard Tae’s harried voice shout down to them.
“Cheers lads, I owe you one”
The next two hours saw Tae dashing frantically to the waterfall to wash, and back to dress and style her errant waves of curls. She opted to leave half of her hair down and expertly twirled and clipped the rest up to leave a cascade of corkscrew curls and ringlets falling down to the middle of her back.
“Now for the hard part” she thought, taking the dress Elladan had found her and awkwardly slipping it over her head and attempting to dodge her hair at the same time. It was not like she had another dress as extravagant lying around for her to wear; besides, she wasn’t petty enough to not wear the dress he had given her- just because they had fallen out.
She turned to her mirror as she let the dress fall past her chest, and instantly narrowed her eyes when she realised exactly how much of her chest it revealed, yet she overruled her annoyance when she took in the beauty of the dress and how it fitted almost perfectly.
Tae took a small sprig of lavender that she had hurriedly picked on her way through the gardens and crushed the herb in a cloth, rubbing the oil around her neck and on her wrists for good measure. No sooner had she done a last quick check in the mirror than there was a gentle knock at the door.
“Coming” she called, slipping on a pair of red shoes that Celwen had lent her, downing the last of the liquor with a scowl and putting her earrings back into her ears which she had forgotten to replace when getting up this morning.
As the door opened the Lord of Rivendell nearly gasped aloud at the transformation of Tae, gone was the simple dresses or manly breeches and her hair was no longer scraped back and tightly bound. At least for one night she would show the world how much more beautiful and womanly she could look.
“You look exquisite my child” beamed Elrond, holding out his arm for Tae to link him.
“Cheers E” she giggled in reply.
“I hope I don’t stick out like a sore thumb in this—” she said, indicating her scarlet outfit.
“As I said Tae, you look beautiful” assured the elf lord, looking forward to tonight’s events but wearing a bemused expression as to the scent of wild berries which lingered around his ‘date’.
Elladan stood with Haldir and Glorfindel, awaiting his father’s arrival so the event could get started officially. Clad in the ceremonial fashion of the Imladris guard he was wearing dark breeches and a royal blue tunic, girt with a silver belt, along with shining black leather riding boots and a silver circlet upon his head.
He drank some more of the wine that Glorfindel had brought him and the marchwarden, attempting to still the nervousness he felt for seeing Tae the first time since the night before. So many elves in varying colours milled around the hall, the dull chatter was slightly soothing as Elladan stood hunched over his glass.
He turned to his father’s advisor Erestor to thank him for seeing to the pressing of his clothes and finding his star circlet; only half an hour ago Elladan had still been on the archery ranges drinking with his brother- Erestor had hurried over to them to remind them of the time.
He opened his mouth to speak but no words came out as he caught a flash of red in the corner of his eye, turning he saw his father descending the steps into the room with Tae on his arm. The younger half elf was giggling at something Elrond had told her, her habitual face hiding in full force.
The Lord of Imladris took her hand and brought it down from her mouth, whispering something into her ear. Elladan was still angry with his Ada, even though he had denied trying to keep him away from Tae when Elladan had confronted him earlier.
He still couldn’t believe that Tae had decided to wear the dress, he thought, as he surveyed her from afar. He had been absolutely right when he had picked out the dress; it fitted her perfectly and suited her far more than he could ever have expected.
He watched as Legolas and his brother greeted the new arrivals, he scowled involuntarily as the blond prince of Mirkwood took Tae’s hand and kissed it.
“Oh give over! Just cos I wear a nice dress and stand up straight doesn’t make me a lady” she laughed
“But my lady—” continued Elrohir with a smirk
“You look like a lady, I admit more than you act like one, so tonight we will treat you the way a lady so beautiful deserves”
“Well I suppose I have no choice my lord” said a suddenly straight-faced Tae as she dipped into a curtsey, and then as she rose she burst into laughter.
“My, you certainly are happy tonight Tae, which is less than I can say for my eldest son. I fear his depressive mood will last the night, such a shame as I had looked forward to this night for so long” commented Elrond with a dip of his head towards the other side of the room where his son currently resided.
There was a thoughtful pause from the group as they considered Elladan and Tae fiddled with her silver cross, oblivious to the three suspicious gazes that bore into her.
“Maybe we should go over and speak with him, cheer him up so to speak” asked Legolas, indirectly monitoring Tae’s reaction to see if Elrohir was right and the pair did have something going on.
“Arwen!” shouted Tae, desperately causing a distraction so she wouldn’t have to go converse with the moody twin.
“You all look wonderful!” she remarked as she excused herself and went to join Arwen, Celwen and Gilwen who stood not far away.
“Hmmm, seems like Tae and Elladan have had a lovers tiff” remarked Legolas when she was out of earshot.
“What else could be wrong with my son, they are not an item though are they? Glorfindel said that Tae couldn’t help emphasising that they were ‘just friends’ when last he spoke to her”
“Who knows, I’ve never seen him this affected by a maiden before” sniggered Ro’
“Thank the Lord you guys are here, your da was about to swing us over in Elladans direction”
“Maybe you should speak to him Tae, he looks awful lonely over there, reminds me of a puppy who’s been shouted at”
“Aye, he does look kinda cute doesn’t he—–maybe later; I’m not particularly angry with him anymore, I suppose he was right to get mad when no one had told him, first I need some more Dutch courage though”
About half an hour passed before the diners were ushered to their seats to eat their evening meal. The cooks brought out tray after tray of cooked meats, vegetables and breads, followed by every kind of fruit you could imagine all glazed with honey.
“Would you give me the pleasure of the first dance?” asked a rather inebriated Lord of Rivendell, as he stood up from the dining table after the food and plates had been cleared. Tae stood dutifully, her stomach churning with embarrassment she swiped her half-full glass of wine from the table and downed its contents.
“Hope your toes don’t plan on doing much walking for the next couple of days” she grinned, wiping the excess dark maroon liquid from her lips with the back of a hand. Her comment was unheard however, as when she stood the minstrels that congregated in the hall of fire next door struck up a tune.
As she reached Elrond he took her hand and the two began the procession from the dining room into the hall of fire, looking back Tae saw everyone at the table stand and follow them through.
Tae entered the hall of fire as the musicians reached a crescendo in their music, she turned to her partner with a ‘oh that was rehearsed’ narrow eyed look. The elf lord just laughed and shrugged, leading her into the middle of the room where he began twirling her about, her red skirts flying.
“Your father seems to be enjoying himself” laughed Haldir as he stood with Arwen and Elladan; he glimpsed a shadow of a frown on Elronds sons’ features before the male replaced it with a fake smile. Arwen just giggled.
“He looks a century younger!”
“Stop the bus I wanna get off!” cried Tae, as Elrond sought to keep her dancing for the fourth song. He complied only when he saw his daughter approaching and Tae gave Arwen a grateful smile as she headed off the dance floor.
She approached Legolas who was strategically positioned next to a table of booze; she greeted him and helped herself to a large measure of berry liquor. The two stood talking and drinking for a while before Legolas asked for a dance.
“Just one mind, I don’t want to be the one chucking chunks tonight, big journey tomorrow don’t forget”
Legolas promised not to let her exert herself and slipping one slender arm around her waist led her into the throng of dancers. As they began to dance Tae was immediately aware of the closeness of the blond elf, she was pressed up against him as the type of music requested and couldn’t help laying her chin on the tall elfs shoulders; he smelt like wine but Tae guessed that the majority of the people in the room smelt that way by this time.
With the liberating effects of the vast quantity of wine she had consumed becoming apparent she soon felt relaxed enough to loosen up and enjoy the dancing, soon the song was finished though and she was just about to slink back to the wine table when she felt a tap on the shoulder.
“May I cut in?”
“One dance, but I promise if people keep asking me to I will end up using Onyx as a bed tomorrow when we leave”
“Then I’ll ride next to you and keep you from falling off your horse” promised Haldir, peeling her away from Legolas and positioning the belle of the ball in his own grasp as the elvish singers struck up another merry melody. The marchwarden noticed Taes dilating pupils and wide-eyed look and chuckled to himself at her drunken state.
Soon after Glorfindel approached the pair holding half empty wine bottle and a silly grin upon his handsome face.
“Haldir my friend, hold this will you?” he asked, taking the Lorien elfs hand from Taes back and thrusting his bottle into it.
“Cheers” he smirked, pulling Tae from Haldirs other arm and spinning her deftly through the crowd as the music picked up. Tae chuckled at the marchwardens narrowed eye scowl as he stood there holding the wine bottle and looked into the face of the mischievous balrog slayer.
“You could have just asked my lord”
“Ahh, but that would be too easy—-” he answered sagely.
Tae simply shrugged and rested her spinning head on his broad shoulders.
“So that’s where Elladan gets it from” she muttered under her breath, forgetting about the supersonic hearing of the elf she danced with.
Glorfindel smiled as he heard perfectly what his dancing partner said, looking over to a dark corner of the room where he caught a glimpse of two burning silver orbs boring holes through him.
Glorfindel looked away, balrog slayer though he was, on a night such as this he didn’t wish to face the jealous rage of Elronds son; he knew exactly who Elladan had inherited that characteristic from, looking over Taes head to smile at the passing Lord of Imladris.
He twirled again in accordance to the dance steps and was instantly greeted with the two burning eyes that had moments before been at the edge of the room. He surveyed the owner of the stare critically, noticing the strong scent of alcohol on his breath and his wine stained lips, Glor decided to let the matter of the wonky circlet pass as he smiled warmly at the newcomer, noticing how Tae stiffened when she realised who stood behind her.
Ever the matchmaker but reluctant to loose his beautiful dance partner Glorfindel turned Tae and passed her to Elladan, hiding the smirk when he caught the glare she flashed him.
“You kids enjoy yourselves, I’ve got an appointment with a well known friend” he called, walking towards the table of drinks and selecting a few before he sat down with Erestor at a low bench at the edge of the hall.
Tae was still in Elladan’s arms where he had caught her when Glor had passed her on, she looked up a few inches into the eyes of the elf lord as a song abruptly stopped and was replaced with a more mellow, slow one. She followed Elladans curios gaze to the minstrels, putting two and to together when she saw Arwen and Celwen standing suspiciously close to the musicians.
Elladan looked back to the half elf he held in his arms, the courage that he had imbibed making its effects known as he grasped her gently closer to him and began dancing slowly to the tune.
The tension between them was palpable as the two slowly and silently waltzed around the room, oblivious to the knowing stares and the space that developed wherever they danced. Tae wasn’t interested in her surroundings, she snuggled into his familiar smelling shoulder and sought to stop her stomach doing nervous back flips, she’d never been so anxious in Elladans presence before.
“You look amazing” were the first words he spoke to her that day, he lifted her chin with two fingers and looked deeply into her hazelnut coloured eyes. Her blank impassive features broke into a small grin at his compliment; she thanked him for it and again for finding her the dress.
Tae made a nervous joke that she might have known he would pick out a dress with such a low front but their weak laughter soon diminished and was replaced by silent, thoughtful expressions again.
“I am sorry” he said meaningfully but was instantly saddened when a frown appeared on his friends face and she shook her head forcefully, sending her hair bouncing like released springs.
“No, I am sorry Elladan, I should have told you that I was going, friends don’t keep things from each other”
“But—–” he started, before Tae silenced him by placing a finger across his lips.
“Its all forgotten, lets just enjoy the night, besides, I think the effects of my alcohol binge is wearing off” she chuckled, suddenly breaking into a warm smile.
It must have done the trick, as the two friends seemed to forgot their troubles to enjoy the last night they would have in each others company for a while. Elladan kicking himself inside that he hadn’t took his chance to admit that he thought of her as more than a friend.
As the dancing drew to a close a few hours later Arwen found her brother standing wonkily outside on a veranda, gazing at the black night that had descended on the peaceful valley.
“Where’s your dancing partner, I take it you two made friends again?”
Elladan turned to his sister, a strange glint in his eyes.
“Shhesh inerr, Ada got er gen” he slurred.
The Evenstar stifled a cry of laughter when she realised just how drunk her brother was, she remembered him, Tae and Glorfindel playing some kind of raucous drinking game earlier that Tae had referred to as ‘pyramids’, and she had clean forgotten how Glor had tripped over a chair, dragging Tae down on top of him in tears of laughter.
She smirked at the memory of Elladans outrageously horrified expression as he saw his mentor and the half elf he obviously felt so much for, writhing around on the floor in a drunken heap of giggles. No wonder her father had dragged her off on the premise of meeting someone.
She took his hand and most of his weight as she walked him down to the kitchens to get some coffee in the hope that he would sober up.
“Did you tell her how you feel about her?” she enquired several cups later as their brother joined them in the empty kitchens.
“I think I’m falling in love with her” he cried depressingly as he nestled his head on her shoulder.
“Yes Elladan, we already know that, you’d be a bit dim to think nobody had noticed. Now tell me and your sister—did you tell Tae?” said Elrohir slowly, exaggerating his speech as if he was talking to an elderly human hard of hearing.
The two siblings waited whilst their brother took another huge gulp of caffeine rich coffee before answering them.
“She told me to shush”
“Huh? What do you mean, what did she say?”
“I tried to tell her but she told me to shush before I could say a word” he said, sobering up slightly but wishing feverently that he was snuggled up to the person in question, inhaling the heady sweet scent of her body and caressing her smooth——-
“By Eru Elladan! You are not going to see her for the best part of a month now, you had better pray she doesn’t forget about you when she’s in the Golden Wood, sometimes I think you have the mind of a cave troll!”
Elladans face took on a frightened look as his brothers remark sank in, he stood up shakily and tottered off in the direction of the hall of fire, a cry of ‘Nobody’s forgetting about me!’ echoing through the corridors.
“Oh well done brother, that was a good idea, now he’s going to do something idiotic. He’s still intoxicated and feeling love struck and now you’ve just sent him to prove himself” she congratulated Ro’ wryly.
Elrond was having trouble trying to extract himself from the balrog slayer who had fallen into a drunken stupor across his feet, he didn’t wish to wake him as the only peace from Glor was when he was asleep or concentrating on females elsewhere.
The latter he had done earlier and after Tae introduced the blond to her game of ‘pyramids’ he had stumbled around mumbling a lewd ditty incoherently; the few words Elrond made out were; Gondolin, sticks and the chorus; ‘the maidens were willing’.
As you can imagine, trying to keep Glorfindel from speaking was a difficult task, made even more so when he decided to fall over with Tae. Elrond had swiftly diffused the situation developing with his son and advisor by dragging Tae away from the pair.
She, he had had escorted unwillingly to her chambers by Celwen and Gilwen, while Glorfindel would not shut up about how pretty she was. At another time the glare on his sons face would have been priceless, but at Elladans fist clenching the Lord of Imladris swiftly intervened. He had called Glorfindel over from where he sat at one end of the room with a single sentence.
‘Glor, I was just talking with Erestor; how many orcs would you say where at Dagorlad?’
The ploy was successful and the balrog slayer teetered over and sat down, launching into a lengthy tirade about the strength of the elves and the weakness of orc strategy and such.
He had just managed to get out of the ankle hold his sleeping friend had on him when his wide eyed son tore into the room looking for something—-or someone he corrected himself wisely.
As he stood to speak to his son Glorfindel turned over in his sleep, effectively holding down Elrond again. Elrond looked down to see if he could get out of Glor’s grasp once more. Deciding resistance was futile he sat down properly and glanced up to find his son.
Except he had gone.
Elladan made his way to Taes quarters, hoping that she would be there and yet awake he stood outside her room for a moment seeking to sober up more. He straightened the circlet on his head and smoothed down his raven black hair. Hesitantly he knocked on the oaken door to her chambers.
There was silence but as he went to knock again the door opened with a rather dishevelled Tae hanging onto the doorknob.
“Can I come in Tae?”
“I wish to speak to you before you leave tomorrow”
“Because there is something I want you to know”
“Why?” she giggled childishly.
“Pack it in Tae, will you let me in?”
“Be my guest friend elf” she said, opening the door more fully and sweeping a hand in the direction of ‘in’. She walked over to the bed and dived full length across it, Elladan noticed the black soles of her shoeless feet as they pointed towards him across the large bed.
“You should wear shoes, you could tread on something sharp”
“Urghh, you sound jus like my ole man, I’m a steggin half elf Elladan; I was born to feel the wind on my feet”
He just laughed and sat down next to her on the bed as she lay on her stomach fiddling with something on the floor on the other side of the bed. His own stomach lurched as he thought of the implications of the challenge he had set himself, he suddenly wished that he had kept drinking after their game of ‘pyramids’ as the alcohol was nearly all worn off.
As he was about to ask what she was doing Tae turned onto her back and sat up with a grin on her face, she held something in her hands and reached out to him.
“So you don’t forget me” she said meekly, passing him a sheaf of paper with a picture drawn on one side.
“Who is it?” he asked, trying to decipher the identity of the three stick figures scrawled drunkenly across the page. Tae looked aghast at his question, she thought it was obvious who it was.
“Me, you and Glor. When we were playing pyramids? Look, there is the bottle in my hand” she said pointing to an oddly shaped object in one of the figures hands.
“Ahh, I see it now. Thanks Tae, though it would be hard for me to forget you” he smiled as he recognised the curls coming off at odd angles from the illustration of Tae, and the makeshift lumps in her chest that distinguished her form from the other two.
Tae had a silly smile on her face as she remembered the song Glorfindel had taught her before Elrond had summoned him away and she had been ‘sent to bed’.
“Does your ole man ever send you to bed?” she asked curiously
“No, why would he—–”
“Why did he make me come back here then? I’m a lil too ole to be treated like a whippersnapper”
“Well, I’m a little older than you are though aren’t I”
“Still, I see it as dog years, you may be thousands of years old but equivalently you’re just as old as me really”
“Good thing I swiped a bottle on the way out, otherwise I’d be as sober as a fish now” she laughed, getting up to recover her stolen prize which resided, three quarters empty, on her dressing table. She grabbed two glasses from a drawer and poured drinks for them. She set them down on a nightstand next to the bed and walked over to the wardrobe.
“Close your eyes Elladan”
Elladan did as he was bid, unsure what she intended. After the noise of Taes hasty undressing and a few curses she spoke again.
“I’m done, you can look now” she called, coming back to the bed wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. She stumbled over her shoes as she neared the bed and flew headlong into Elladan. He caught her in his arms but was still pushed back on the bed with the weight, Tae’s face buried in his stomach.
“Good job you were there!” she called from midway down his body, she crawled up over him until she was level with his face where she broke out in a vast smile.
“I thought tonight was gonna be rubbish, but it turned out all right in the end” she said, leaning perilously close to Elladan’s cheek. She suddenly jumped up and clambered to where she could reach the bedside table, she took hold of the two glasses, and when Elladan sat up to prevent her from spilling their contents she passed him one.
“To friends!” she toasted, leaning over to plant a kiss on his cheek. She didn’t notice that Elladan was facing elsewhere though, bumping his face with her own and then kissing him when he looked at her in surprise—- right on his open mouth as he was about to agree to the toast.
The room suddenly went quiet as they each pulled back in surprise at the kiss, then a few seconds that seemed to stretch for hours went by as they just gawped at each other before something snapped in Tae and she leaned right back in.