It is strange to watch Legolas lift the girl onto his shoulders and walk her around when Thranduil has seen this scenario played in reverse. Legolas' mother used to carry him like that, the little boy's hands woven in her red hair, but now it is the small elleth that sits on his son's shoulders, her hands tangled around blonde strands as she laughs, carefree and joyous. It stirs something strange within him and he turns away, unwilling to explore the knot of confused emotions that has been growing in his gut since taking Tauriel in.

He has very pointedly distanced himself from the girl, leaving Legolas or the nurse to watch her. It is too bizarre to look at this miniature version of his beloved running about, and he finds that cannot bear to be in her presence for long. His son, who cannot remember his mother's appearance, is not bothered by the girl. Likewise, the rest of the court takes no notice of his wife's clone wandering the halls of his palace.

Thranduil is taken by surprise by a tug on his cloak, and looks down into a pair of bottomless green eyes.

"My Lord!" she smiles, and Thranduil's heart catches in his throat so hard it burns. Too close, she is far too close, and all he wants to do is take that beautiful face in his hands and...

A second later, however, she is snatched up into Legolas' arms, his son gently reprimanding her for tugging on his clothes - what the boy has obviously misinterpreted the problem to be. Thranduil forces himself through a few deep breaths before giving Legolas a nod and turning in a whirl of blonde hair and silver fabric.

He hears Tauriel call a goodbye after him and bites his tongue so hard it almost bleeds as she uses his first name with brash familiarity. Legolas begins a flustered lecture, which she laughs at, and Thranduil retreat to his throne room.

He needs a drink.

Or three.