Avnean stirred restlessly on the bed as she cast off the last dregs of the blackness of her sleep. Pain beat at the corners of her mind, but it was much easier to live with than the previous pain, when her brother’s wound had been newly made.
“Legolas,” she murmured reaching a hand across the narrow distance that separated them. His hands were lying upon the coverlet and Avnean grasped one holding it tightly. “Legolas wake up please?”
“Avnean,” he muttered lowly. His eyes were still closed, but his head turned to her voice as if seeking a light in the darkness.
“I’m here,” she whispered. “Always here.” She gave a squeeze to his fingers and saw him make an effort to awaken, his eyes creasing slightly in the corners at his effort. “No, sleep Legolas, you are still in pain. Sleep.”
“How do you always know?” he asked, his voice still very low.
“Talent,” she answered gently. “Go back to sleep. I will be happier if you do.”
Legolas’s breathing slowed until she knew in more ways than one that he was asleep. Then Avnean smiled gently and laid her head back on the pillow, wrapping her brother’s hand within her own and fell asleep herself. She didn’t see the Healer, standing quietly in the shadows watching them with a gentle smile of understanding.
// Avnean, Avnean,//
Avnean swatted a hand at the air and rolled over. She was too sleepy to register the fact that there was no pain in the corners of her mind. “Mmm, Legolas.” Legolas? She sat up bolt straight and looked at him. He smiled at her from the next bed over.
“Glad your awake,” he teased her lightly. “You nearly sent me back to sleep.”
“Oh be quiet,” Avnean cried, grabbing her pillow and flinging it across at Legolas, who caught and leisurely sent it back.
“Now, listen I’m sick,” Legolas explained. “I can’t fool around or we’ll both hear it from the healers…”
“Convince your mind of that one,” Avnean rolled her eyes skyward. “You’re ready to go hunting again without those guards.”
“Children! Avnean, Legolas! You’re supposed to be resting not up and talking and flinging pillows at each other!”
They both turned guilty eyes on Thranduil who had been standing in the door entrance of the room the twins were healing in, for all of their conversation. “Sorry father,” they muttered in one guilty voice.
Thranduil sighed and shook his head. “What are you two saying to each other?” he asked.
Avnean started and realized her brother had started as well in surprise. “Nothing,” she answered, Legolas buoying her answer. “We weren’t talking to each other.”
“As if I wouldn’t know,” Thranduil sighed and came and sat on Avnean’s bed, moving her feet out of the way. “Avnean you always get this little frown on her head, your brows crease slightly. Legolas, well his eyes just shine brighter and get bluer. If a father didn’t know his children that well, what kind of father would I be?”
“A better one,” Legolas grumbled lowering his eyes. “I feel perfectly fine father.”
“Which is thankful that you were not stung hard by the spider, but you need rest,” Thranduil told him.
Avnean rolled her eyes. “Father, Legolas is fine. He’s in no pain and wants to throttle you…oops was I supposed to say that Legolas?” she looked at her brother, there was a slight frown creasing his brow at the words she spilt.
“No, you weren’t supposed to tell” he said shortly. “But I do.”
“Your mother has already spoken to me about it,” Thranduil sighed. “About two hours ago in fact. It was because I have too many guards going out on the hunts with you Legolas.”
“And because Avean’s not there. I hate it when we’re separated.”
Avnean nodded her head in agreement and hopefully to buoy her brother’s words. “I hate it as well father. Could you possible make me skip those boring and hopeless lady lessons? I am not a lady-like Princess and I think that is Legolas’s fault.”
He stuck his tongue out at her with good humor. “Well I’m happy it didn’t happen the other way around.”
Avnean shivered at the thought. “That gross brother, don’t even think of that!”
Legolas grinned, leaning back. “I’m glad something can faze you, I thought you were a solid wall without emotion!”
“Hey!” Avnean shouted, grabbing another pillow and throwing it at her brother who grabbed it with ease.
Both Legolas and Avnean stopped looking at their father backs straight, his eyes had a hard to glint to it; the glint that forewarned growing anger.
// He’s mad, // Avnean whispered. //Real mad, behave! //
//I will… //
“Children what are you talking about?” Thranduil interjected their mind conversation.
“Nothing,” they chimed at once, trying to sound innocent, the King rolled his eyes.
“All right keep your secrets,” Thranduil sighed. He bent down kissing them both on the forehead. “You two are definitely not sick anymore, but I want you two here for another hour, to make sure you are more than all right.”
“What about those lessons?” Avnean asked quietly.
“We’ll talk when you wake up.”
“I’m not tired, Legolas stop making me tired,” she murmured making a fumbling motion for her last pillow, until Thranduil gently stalled her hand from making purchase upon the pillow.
“Stop making me tired,” The prince grumbled back. He rolled over and stuck his hand out searching, Avnean murmured and grasped her brother’s before she hid it beneath the covers and succumbed to sleep.
Thranduil watched them carefully unaware that he was doing nearly the exact same thing his wife had done not to long ago. Avnean was already in a curled ball on her side a sign that Thranduil has noticed that she was sleeping deeply and in her favorite position. Legolas on the other hand Thranduil noted preferred to sleep on his back his sleeping face towards the stars.
“You are so alike and so different,” Thranduil muttered. “How much you have grown since you were but little children.” He sighed and stuck his hand in his pocket, it came in contact with a crumpled piece of paper. With a slight frown creasing his smooth brow he took a note from his pocket and stared at it. It was the note that Galadriel sent him a few weeks ago requesting to have the twins visit Lothlorien for a week or two for some training in matters concerning their relationship. Other than that small hint Thranduil didn’t know what Galadriel had planned for the both of them. He knew he should let them go, but he was still protective over his kids and didn’t want them to leave his sight or realm. Oh stop this he scolded himself firmly Stop protecting them like they’re your hoard of treasures! He glanced down at the note in his hands again, the fine parchment was creased with wrinkles from where Thranduil had crumpled it countless times.
Avnean murmured suddenly and rolled over, nearly succeeding in rolling off the edge of the bed, her father just catching her as his concentration was broken from his thoughts. For one moment she blinked her eyes at him then drifted off to sleep. Thranduil tucked her back snugly under the covers and looked at the note. As soon as possible it requested as well. He rubbed his eyes, he should let them go, the Lady Galadriel had wisdom and would be able to teach them what she wanted them to know. He glanced at his sleeping children and if they went it was their first time from home alone without Thranduil there or Arrana. Would they get homesick? Would they want to come back? What would happen there without him?
Thranduil forced himself calm and controlled his thoughts, loosening his hold on the note as he had unconsciously crumpled it in his hand with the train of his thoughts. He knew he couldn’t hold onto his little children forever, couldn’t keep them children forever, but the thought of letting them go hurt. He had to send them, he knew that as well. He rubbed his temples wearily. They weren’t safe traveling anyway, the evil creatures were starting to stir in the forest, becoming braver against the elves that traversed the paths in hopes of quelling the arousal of the evil enemies. If…if and a major if he was going to let them go he would need guards, many of them.
“No,” he muttered. Arrana had already spoken about that to him. Had already told him that he couldn’t keep sending so many guards after Legolas, it was too much. He was not the little kid that had once enjoyed the company of so many men going out with him on his hunts.
Thranduil turned, trying to keep his startled senses in, his steward and best friend was looking at him from the doorway. “What is it?”
“I can see that you are in the midst of thinking my lord and I know you would love to spend time with your kids, but that villager is back again.”
“Again?” Thranduil sighed. “Send him off or throw him in the dungeons until he cooperates with me. I am losing patience with him and fast.”
“Yes,” he bowed.
“You know that I am no King when we are alone.”
“I know my lord, but Healers are always lurking in the Healing House,” he responded.
Thranduil smiled at the words, the man’s own wife was a healer herself. “Dismissed,” he waved him away. “Wait! Can you gather a group of ten…no eight, Elves for a journey to Lothlorien?” He said it quickly before he could take back his words.
“Of course my lord,” he bowed and left.
Thranduil turned back to his children, Legolas was watching him keenly, having startled from his sleep. That child had always slept lightly, Thranduil noted, waking to the slightest sound at night. “Lothlorien?” he muttered sleepily to his father.
“Yes,” Thranduil answered, bending down and kissing his forehead. “With your sister and only eight guards to go with you. Tomorrow you’re leaving.”
A sleepy smile of happiness washed over his face before Legolas succumbed to sleep once more.
“Well Lady Galadriel,” Thranduil said looking up. “They’re in your protection now.”