15. A Way To Go
Elladan and Elrohir nodded as they passed by on their way to check on the horses.
“Has ada awakened ‘Fin?” ‘Dan asked.
“Not yet. Perhaps you should see to his rising. We need to be on our way as soon as possible. We have already lingered here longer then I am comfortable with.”
‘Dan glanced at his brother and at ‘Roh’s nod turned back towards his father’s tent.
“Very well, ‘Roh will see to the horses and I will check on ada.”
On the far side of the camp Elrond found himself slowly waking from the first pain free sleep he had enjoyed in nearly a week. He smiled as he heard the voices of his ionnath and Glorfindel discussing the plans for their departure.
*‘Rellas? * He sent out a soft mental call and flinched when she answered waspishly.
* WHAT NOW? *
* I merely wished to know how you are this morning, hiril nin. * His voice was conciliatory but belied the amusement it carried.
She was silent for a moment. * Forgive my response, hiren. I have been up and packed for hours. I am becoming impatient with your warriors. Never have I had so many eager to assist me. Every time I turn around there is another one offering to help. Can you not do something to assure them I am quite able to attend to my own needs? *
He chuckled. * They merely intend to show their relief over our safety, hiril. And you did aid me when I had need of it. Should they not show gratitude for the return of their lord? *
• As I recall it was mutually provided, Elrond. *
• Nonetheless, do not be impatient, hiril nin. Allow them to fuss over you. It is not often they have a beautiful elleth to do so. *
Mithrellas sighed and shook her head in exasperation before grudgingly answering. “As you wish hiren, I will do my best to hold my temper. *
* Good, now I must also prepare for our departure. I will join you for some tea shortly. *
• Aye, hiril nin. *
Elrond sat up and looked about the tent. He located the fresh clothes and new boots that had been laid out the night before and with a groan swung legs over the edge of the cot. He ran his fingers through his hair and made a face as he forced his stiffen muscles into movement. He knew it would only take a few minutes before he could move easily.
“Ada?” A shadow appeared on the tent door flap.
Elrond smiled. “I am awake, ion nin. Come in.”
Elladan pushed aside the flap and entered pausing as he watched his father stretch and grimace when muscles did not respond as easily as usual.
“Ada, if you are still unwell, then we will wait another day or two.”
“That will not be necessary, ‘Dan. Even if I were seriously injured, we still would need=2 0to be on our way. We have already been here much too long. The masters of the yrch you destroyed will begin to miss them and start a search. We must be far away before they turn their attention to this area.”
He looked at his son sternly. “My body is healing. It is only responding to the battering it received while I was in the river. As I move it will improve.”
“A slight headache is beginning. Some tea will take care of that. Now if you will pass me the clothes you procured for me, I will dress.”
Elladan studied his father and noted to his relief that Elrond’s color was much better and his eyes were bright and clear. “Very well ada. Do you require assistance…”
“’Dan, I have been dressing myself for several thousand years without assistance.” Elrond gestured impatiently.
Elladan sighed. “We nearly lost you ada. You cannot blame us for being worried and concerned enough to make sure you have what ever you need to get home safely without further harm.”
Elrond’s face softened. “Of course not, ion nin. Now go and see if there is any of that special restorative tea prepared. As soon as I am dressed we can strike camp and pack up the equipment.”
Elladan nodded and with one final look at his father, he turned and left the tent.
• &nb sp; ‘Fin? * Elrond sent a mental call to his friend.
• Aya, Elrond. Do you need assistance? *
Elrond groaned. * Not you too, mellon nin. I am fine. I will be ready in a few minutes and you can have the warriors strike my tent and finish breaking camp. Mithrellas says she is ready as well. We should be ready to depart with in the half hour. *
Glorfindel chuckled softly. *Are we anxious to get back to Imladris hir nin? *
There was silence then Elrond’s voice crackled with anger and resonated in Glorfindel’s head. *Enough ‘Fin. We have enough to deal with right now and do not need any of your sly intimations to add to the situation. *
Glorfindel shook his head and wryly answered. *Of course, hir nin, I only meant that it will be good to be home. *
*I know exactly what you meant, and frankly it is none of your concern. It is mine, and the lady’s alone. Is that clear? *
*Yes Elrond, it is. We will be ready to depart as soon as you and the lady have had breakfast. * Glorfindel frowned. He had obviously hit a nerve and he would have to watch his lord carefully. Elrond was seldom so easily ruffled.
The elves quickly finished breaking camp and less then an hour later they were on their way. Elrond rode stone faced next to the Lady Mithrellas and glared periodically at Glorfindel. The warriors noting their lord’s displeasure with the golden haired w arrior watched them both greatly puzzled. (with much puzzlement) Both Elladan and Elrohir finally managed to get Glorfindel’s attention and raised questioning eyebrows. The elf shrugged a shoulder at Mithrellas and grinned shaking his head. The two gwanur looked at each other and grinned as well. It was clear that ‘Fin had pricked their ada’s nerves in some way and given that they had picked up on his involvement with the lady at his side, they both had a pretty good idea just what it had been.
‘Rellas studied the silent grim faced lord at her side and finally said in a worried voice. “Have I done something to displease you?”
“What?” Startled out of his introspection, he looked at her in mild confusion.
“Have I displeased you hiren nin?”
Frowning he gazed at her until he finally understood her words. Sighing he shook his head. “No of course not, ‘Rellas. I was preoccupied with something.” He glanced ahead at Glorfindel. “It would seem our friend finds something amusing and seeks to cause me some discomfort.”
“He knows about us, does he not?”
“He suspects, and hopes, but he is not sure.”
“Oh, I am sorry hiren. I have no wish to cause you embarrassment.”
Elrond shook his head again. “You have not. Nor will he do so in a manner that would lead to yours.20He is a good friend and acts only out of affection. He knows how I have born the empty years after Celebrian’s departure. He has often urged me to take a lover and now that I will do so after all this time he merely wishes to remind me of his counsel. I did not take kindly to his reminder. I must still be somewhat unsettled from our adventure. Please bare with me for a time.”
She smiled, “I believe it is possible hiren. I will be patient.”
Elrond suddenly found himself returning the smile then shaking his head wryly. “I cannot believe how unsettle I have become. Rellas, and I must seem like an idiot.”
Rellas frowned, “Hardly, hiren. With what we both have experienced over the last few days, surely we both can for given a few odd reactions.”
“Ada?” They both turned as Elladan’s voice interrupted their conversation. “We are ready to move out. Will you and Lady ‘Rellas please mount up? ‘Fin wants to be as far away from here as possible by day’s end. One of the scouts has found yrch sign west of here. It appears they are searching for their lost friends.”
Elrond and ‘Rellas looked at each other and as one wordlessly moved to the nearby mounts. Elrond lifted her into the saddle and waited as she settled herself into her saddle and then he mounted himself. Turning his horse he faced the balrog slayer who sat waiting nearby.
“We are ready ‘Fin.”
Glorfindel nodded and waved towards the trail. “Alright mellyn nin, let us go home!”
Grinning the warriors moved out and following their lord they departed the site of the past week’s anxiety. Imladris lay ahead to welcome them all home.
Hirel nin-my lord
Ion nin-my son
Mellyn nin-my friends