8. Changing Spaces
His eyes roamed the large chamber, which had been sectioned into a comfortable sitting area, small kitchen and an eating area. He recognized some of the furnishings from Tathiel's room, but much of it he had never seen before. Several doors led off the room, and one was open. He looked furtively behind him and when he knew no one was watching him, he raced through it.
A grin spread across his face, for he recognized Tathiel's bed. He took a running leap and landed on the side of the bed on his stomach. He grabbed hold of the fabric and pulled himself the rest of the way up. He bounced on the bed a few times, plopping to land on his bottom and then he flopped onto his back. He nestled his head into the pillows and gazed at the ceiling, which had been painted to look as if one were lying outside and looking at the stars through the canopy of the trees. He kicked his feet and laughed.
He heard noise in the other room, so he rolled on to his belly and slid off the side of the bed. He dove underneath and watched as several sets of feet entered the room. He heard them setting things down and arranging them and then all the feet departed and closed the door. He crawled out from under the bed, ran to the door and stretched to his full height, but he could not reach the latch.
He scowled at this unfortunate circumstance and was just about to kick the door when he saw another door open on the other side of the room. Curiosity put a smile on his face and he entered the small chamber to find a large bathing pool. He inspected the room, burying his nose in the fluffy towels and smelling the sweet soaps that were set out next to the bath. He left the bath area and roamed about the room again, but there were no more doors and he still could not reach the latch.
His eye was caught next by a large wardrobe in the corner. He had not seen this before. One door was not completely shut, so he tugged on it and caught his breath when he saw what was within.
A sword. He climbed inside the wardrobe and fingered the heavy scabbard. It was too heavy for him to lift, so he contented himself by sitting down next to it and pretending he was big enough to carry it. Soft leather boots on the other side of the sword caught his attention next. He pulled one to him and turned it on his side. He put his foot in it, but the boot was too long for him to have one foot in and one foot out. He braced himself against the wall and slid his other foot and then pushed himself off the wall until the boot was standing upright.
"I did it!" he crowed gleefully, clapping his hands together.
He was firmly caught in the boot. He gripped the top of the boot, which was tight about his bottom, with his fingers and tried to scoot it across the floor of the wardrobe. It did not move. His brow furrowed as he considered his options. He reached for the sword, hoping he could pull himself and the boot to it, and then the unthinkable happened.
The sword came to him instead, knocking against him and the boot. He and the boot fell backward, out of the wardrobe. The boot stopped there, but Legolas himself rolled again, coming to rest on his stomach. "Ouch," he muttered as he rubbed the back of his head.
The good news was that he was free of the boot. He scowled at it, but the boot did not seem to care. He found he was rubbing his fingers and lifted both hands that he might look at them. There was something on them that made them feel sticky, and he tried rubbing the stickiness off against his leggings. This did not ease the stickiness - it just made him stick to his leggings too. He glared at the boot and the sword, not knowing which had made him messy.
He looked up and saw the bathing chamber. A smile crossed his face. He would clean himself up and then Tathiel wouldn't have to give him a bath. Or Ada. They seemed to take turns.
He got to his feet, unconsciously rubbing his oily fingers against his tunic and leggings. He skipped to the bathing room and set about fixing himself a bath. He had seen Tathiel and Ada do it many times. He stoppered the pool and then turned on the water, cautiously testing the temperature just like Tathiel always did. He looked at the array of sweet soaps and decided he wanted a bath full of bubbles. Tathiel often made his baths with bubbles, and he didn't even have to ask her. He always had to remind Ada.
He smelled several but did not know which one would make the best bubbles. He finally selected a jar and dumped all the contents into the water. He wanted lots of bubbles.
He watched as the bubbles started to rise in the tub and jumped up and down, giggling. This would be the best bath ever! He stripped off his sticky clothes, then sat on the side of the pool and lowered himself in.
This bath was deeper than his, but the water wasn't too deep as long as he was standing up. It had a nice step so he could sit too. He turned off the water and blew at the bubbles that were up to his nose. They floated through the air before settling back on top of the water. He took both hands and gathered up big handfuls of bubbles. He threw them in the air, some landing back on his head and some landing on the floor. He giggled again. He sat on the step and began to kick his feet and swing his arms into the water, sending bubbles flying every which way. He took armloads of bubbles and built himself a wall on the floor around the side of the bath by the step. He frowned because the walls kept sliding down.
He had been splashing and playing for some time when he noticed the water had become quite cool. The bubbles were much less than they were at first too. He sighed and climbed up the step and out of the tub. He found a big fluffy towel and rubbed himself dry. He tried to wrap it around himself, like Tathiel and Ada always did, but it was too big for him to manage. He picked up his tunic, but it was still sticky. He decided he was not putting that back on.
He walked naked to the chest of drawers and opened the bottom drawer. He found a soft brown tunic that did not have any sleeves. He sat down and pulled it over his head. It took some work, but he finally got his head through the head hole and his arms into the armholes. He got to his feet, and the tunic fell about him on the floor. He laughed and pulled the material up until he could see his feet. He raised his foot and wiggled his toes. He dropped the fabric and took a step to the door. His feet became tangled in the material and he fell on his face.
Tears came to his eyes and he whimpered as he felt the bump on his forehead. He sat up on the floor and looked at the door.
"Tafiel!" he called. He waited a moment. "ADA!"
No one heard him. He sighed.
He picked up the tunic by its hem and found he could walk. He made his way to the bed, climbed up on it, pulled back the covers and crawled under them. He lay his head down on the pillows again and looked up at the treetops and stars. Then he fell asleep.
* * *
Tathiel hurried down the corridor, her face brightening when she saw the elf who was in charge of setting up the apartments for her and Rawien.
"Analto! Have you seen Legolas?" she asked.
"He darts here and there as a firefly. Reviaur, we call him!" Analto answered, laughing. "Reviaur has flitted away. You have not captured him?"
"Nay," Tathiel laughed. "One of his siblings may have, perhaps."
"We will shoo Reviaur to you if he darts near!" Analto called as he went merrily on his way.
Tathiel shook her head in mirth as the elf departed, a song already about his lips. Many said Analto should be a minstrel for his silvery tongue and quick wit to be put to good use.
Tathiel continued to the family quarters. She checked Legolas' room and the family dining and sitting rooms. She knocked and called at the rooms of Legolas' father and siblings. Concern was just rising in her when she saw Thranduil and Bregolas approaching.
"Thranduil, Bregolas," she greeted them, noting their smiles at her dropping of their titles. Thranduil had started calling her My Lady at every opportunity until she had agreed to stop addressing them so formally in the private family quarters. "Have you seen Legolas? He has been darting among those setting up the apartment and I have lost sight of him," she admitted.
Thranduil smiled. "He cannot have gone far. Perhaps he is playing a game and forgotten to tell you that he is hiding?"
Tathiel rolled her eyes. "I will gain gray hairs, as the mortals do, if he plays that game much more. No, he was chasing after Analto all morning, so I know he must be near. I will search the apartment again, as he is not here."
They were nearly to the entrance to the living area when Rawien stepped out into the corridor. He beckoned them to come in and then walked silently to the door of the sleeping chamber. Tathiel stepped in, as did Thranduil, and they beheld both the mess and the sleeping toddler.
"I had to let you see this before picking anything up," Rawien whispered, barely contained mirth in his voice. "The best I can reconstruct he has hidden under the bed," Rawien pointed to the raised covers and wrinkles at the bottom edge, "played in the wardrobe and found the boot too tall and the sword too heavy," he pointed to the items that had fallen out of the wardrobe. He led them next to the bathing chamber, "and then had the best bubble bath of his life."
Tathiel began to laugh at the mess in the bath: water all over the floor, remnants of bubbles all over the room and the empty soap jar on the ledge. She walked over and picked up his clothing, feeling the oil substance. Rawien sniffed it.
"Oil from the boots," he laughed.
Thranduil had inspected the chambers as well as the mess his son had made, and now sat on the edge of the bed near his sleeping elfling. He smiled. "What is this he is wearing?"
Rawien bent close and pulled the cover back. "My summer undertunic," he grinned.
Thranduil noticed the small bruise on the forehead. "He has fallen down," he said as he lightly brushed locks of tangled wet hair from the small face.
Legolas yawned and his eyes focused. He looked up and saw his Ada and Tathiel and Rawien. He grinned his most winning smile.
"I took a bath," he said proudly.
Thranduil laughed. "I see that. What else did you do?"
Legolas sat up, squirming in the too long tunic until Thranduil pulled it up so he could move. "I wore boot and sword and got locked in and took bath," he recited his afternoon's accomplishments. He pointed at the ceiling. "I slept under the trees!"
"How did you get locked in?" Thranduil asked, one brow arched.
"Elf shut door," Legolas shrugged.
Thranduil found himself laughing again at the antics of his little elf, and he scooped the child up in his arms. "I think Ada will take you to find some clean clothes and we will comb your hair, elfling. After that we will have dinner, hmm?"
Legolas grinned and waved at Rawien and Tathiel from over his Ada's shoulder as he was carried away.
* * *
Tathiel dissolved in giggles against Rawien after Thranduil and Legolas had left the room.
"I am in awe of how much mischief he can get into in such a short time," she said through her laughter. "I called for him several times, but I guess he could not hear me in his bath."
Rawien pulled her into his lap and captured her laughter with his mouth. Her arms wrapped around his neck as she hungrily returned his kisses. He ran his fingers through her hair, then in gentle strokes down her back. She arched and he gasped as her breasts pressed against him. He felt the pressure growing in his loins and with a groan he pulled away from her.
He looked into her merrily dancing eyes and knew she knew exactly what she was doing to him.
"You are incorrigible," he whispered. He found his mouth too near her ear to resist tormenting her in return. He traced the sensitive leaf-shaped tip with his tongue, holding her still so she couldn't move and end the exquisite torture, and then he suckled on her earlobe.
Her gasps of surprise made him smile wickedly back at her. "So are you," she said breathlessly.
He sat up abruptly and set her on her feet. He patted her cheek and kissed her chastely on the lips. "Two more days, melethril," he whispered as he moved away.
She grabbed his hand and pulled him back, aggressively capturing his mouth with her own as she melted into the arms that embraced her back. She finally pulled away, grinning at the look of need in his eye and the feel of it in his body. "I am counting them down, melethron."
He growled as he let her go and hurriedly left the room.
Tathiel sank back on to the bed, smelling elfling and sweet soap where Legolas had been lying. She closed her eyes and let her senses imagine Rawien's scent, the scent she would breathe in when he had left the bed in the morning and she buried her face in his pillow, the scent she had come to expect when he wrapped his cloak about her or when she cuddled against him.
Soon she would not need her imagination to know what it felt like to have that bare skin pressed against hers or, and she felt her heart race at the thought, within her. She giggled softly. And he would not need dousing in the cold river water to ease his ache.
* * *
Legolas stood before his father in the family sitting room, arms crossed over his chest and a look of concern on his face. "Legles get new room?" Legolas asked, speaking in the third person as he still did when excited or, in this case, confused.
"No, you will stay in your own room, next to Ada," Thranduil replied gently. He held his arms out to the confused elfling and snuggled the tiny body close to his own when Legolas came to him.
"Tafiel stay in her room," Legolas said resolutely, his palms pressed on either side of his ada's face as he looked his father straight in the eye.
Thranduil shook his head. "Tathiel and Rawien will move to their new rooms after their binding ceremony. Rawien and Tathiel will share a room." He watched as the little elfling's brow furrowed in confusion.
"No, Ada," Legolas finally decided. "Tafiel stay in her room and I stay in my room."
Thranduil pressed Legolas close, the small head nuzzling into his neck as the child wrapped his arms about his ada's neck. "Tathiel and Rawien are going to be married, Legolas. They will have their own rooms - their own sleeping room, their own kitchen and eating room. You will eat with Ada and Bregolas and Lathron and Duil and Elumeril and Elenath here. Sometimes you will eat with Tathiel and Rawien. Sometimes they will eat with us," Thranduil explained.
"What if I need Tafiel at night?" Legolas asked.
"You can come to Ada," Thranduil reminded him. "Sometimes you come to Ada now. If you really need Tathiel, you and I will go find her."
Legolas was quiet as he considered what Ada said. Thranduil grinned wryly. Legolas proved today that he knew the way to Tathiel's new rooms and was very much at home in them, and he did not doubt if Legolas really 'needed' his 'Tafiel' he would go find her.
"Adar, the northern patrol has returned," Bregolas announced as he stuck his head in the room.
"Elenath is home!" said Elumeril joyously. She jumped up from her loom and raced to follow Bregolas to the palace entrance.
Thranduil picked up Legolas and joined the family procession to greet his daughter.
The patrol was just entering the gates as the family of the King descended the stairs. The patrol was whole; all members accounted for and led by Galithon. Whatever hesitation Elenath may have had about her whole family seeing her off was not of concern on her return. Thranduil smiled as he saw the parents and sibling of the other novice moving quickly towards the group as well. Galithon released both novices, not requiring them to wait until after their horses were cared for and the patrol debriefed before greeting their families.
Elenath slid from the horse and ran to her family, the bemused grins of all the older warriors following her and the other novice, who was doing the same. She caught Elumeril in a hug, swinging her around in the air. Bregolas, Lathron and Celebrinduil hugged Elenath each in turn and Elenath laughed in delight when Celebrinduil swung her around as she had just done to Elumeril.
Thranduil patiently waited his turn, and finally his daughter was in his arms. "Welcome home, Elenath," he embraced her and kissed her on each cheek. "We have missed you."
"Oh, Ada, I have so much to tell you!" Elenath's face was shining. "I have never been gone for so long, Ada." She paused as she felt a tug on her tunic. "Legolas!" She held out her arms, unsure how he would respond to her after her nearly six-week absence.
Legolas held his arms out, allowing his sister to pick him up. "Elnath come home!" he grinned as Elenath kissed and hugged him. His fingers, however, were reaching down to finger the top of her sheathed sword, which rested against his leg. He looked at her wide-eyed, in awe. "Elnath has sword! Ada, Elnath has sword like Rawen!"
Everyone laughed, for they had just heard Thranduil tell of Legolas' escapade that afternoon at dinner. "I think you have just risen in his regard for you," Thranduil said dryly. "Come, you must eat and tell us all about your first patrol." Thranduil led his children back into the palace, a look of contentment on his face at having all of them with him again.
Elenath ate dinner in the family sitting room, Legolas at her side, her sword lying sheathed at his feet. She told them of having seen men and dwarves near Erebor, chased orcs beyond the forest borders and into the Grey Mountains, and killed spiders nesting by a path near the Forest River. She had killed her first orc and then promptly vomited, only to find out that was a natural response. She had held her own, learning to scout and track and fight with the warriors. The novice minder sent with them had looked out for them, but by the end of the journey they had melded in with the patrol.
Thranduil watched as Elenath spoke, seeing her joy at all the new experiences and especially at the 'well done' she had received at the gate from the warriors she had served with. He was glad to have her home, but knew she would be ready and willing to go again as soon as she was called upon. He looked at his little Legolas, eyeing this big sister of his with awe and amazement. He watched as the child tugged on her sleeve.
"Elnath see bad men?" Legolas asked.
All in the room caught their breath and Thranduil started to rise from his chair.
"No, tithen pen, we saw only good men," Elenath answered truthfully, unsure why the elfling's question put everyone on edge.
"Good elves?" Legolas clarified.
"All of the elves were good, Legolas. So were the men - they were good men. There were even nice dwarves," she answered, her eyes twinkling.
Legolas rose and walked to Thranduil. Thranduil picked him up and remained silent as the elfling curled up in his arms. Legolas did not say a word.
Everyone was silent, waiting to see if the child would further respond. Elenath finally broke the silence. "Ada, what is wrong?"
Thranduil rocked the elfling, stroking the small head and back tenderly. "Legolas had a bad experience not long after you left. He was visiting Sadron in the healing chambers and he saw a man, a visiting healer. The man ended up standing between Legolas and Tathiel, and this evoked a strong memory of the man Hazad, who had hurt both of them." Thranduil paused, as the elfling shifted in his lap, finding a braid of his ada's hair to play with. "He has not wished to talk about men since then."
Thranduil rose as Elumeril began to tell Elenath of the marriage plans of Tathiel and Rawien. "Legolas, do you want to say good night to your sisters and brothers?"
"He is sleeping, Ada," Lathron answered. "I think you may have to go to bed with him." He laughed when his father looked at him strangely. "He is holding on to your braid so tight that you might have a large gap of missing hair if you move too fast."
Thranduil sighed and smiled as he worked to pry the small fingers loose. He grinned triumphantly as he freed his braid, then shifted Legolas in his arms as he walked out the door. Behind him he heard laughter. He slowly pulled the elfling off his shoulder, only to find another braid firmly grasped in small but strong fingers.
* * * * *
melethron--------- lover - male
tithen pen----------little one
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.