The dark-haired boy skids to a stop by the kitchen wall, breathless, and whistles. His cousin's head appears after a moment, then the boy himself vaults over the wall, older and taller and uncomfortable.
"So," the younger one slouches against the wall, hands in his pockets. "You're back." He darts a look at his cousin. "I missed you."
The older boy fidgets for a moment. "Yeah. It was nice up there. Quiet. I got a chance to- to think, you know? I thought a lot." They avoid looking at each other.
Finally the younger boy reaches over, as if to touch his cousin's face. His hand is knocked aside. "Stop it. That's one of the things I thought about. I, uh-" he rubs the back of his neck "-I met a girl. So." He drops his eyes. It's a lie and they both know it. The younger cousin lowers his hand.
"Is that it? It's just- I mean, no one knows, right?"
"No, but we can't do this anymore! Someone's going to find out eventually-"
"So what? I thought- we both thought it was worth it! I mean, I-" the younger boy looks away as he says this "-I enjoyed it. I thought you did too."
"I did! But- you know- there's a girl now, and that's natural-"
"This is natural too! How is it not?"
The younger boy's voice drops at the end of his sentence, and he whispers, "There isn't really a girl, is there?"
His cousin doesn't look at him. "What do you think my father would say if he found out?"
They're both silent, thinking of the older boy's hot-tempered father. "But he loves you," the younger boy says at last, voice breaking. "And he likes me better than he used to…"
"Because you're our cousin, don't you get it! He thinks you visit so much because you like playing with my little brothers!"
There is a long silence. Eventually the younger boy says hopelessly, "But I love you…"
His cousin says tersely, "You're only eleven. You'll get over it," and swings back over the wall.
About the "yeah" in the third paragraph: it makes sense to me that any language, even one as high and holy as Quenya, would have some form of slang for its young speakers. I can't really imagine Feanor or Galadriel using it, but the young characters in this short story probably would.
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.