Summary: When Elladan and Elrohir accidentally break a figurine in Elrond's study, they're certain of discipline. Elrohir climbs a tree to hide, but can't seem to get back down to the ground. Or is he just unwilling?

Author's Notes: Well, there are plenty of cute young-Legolas stories out there, but not as many with the twins. (and I mean just the twins-not all the young-Estel ones) Thus, I've done one.. and intend for more. ^^; Second version. Thanks for your feedback - it helps me improve!

The twins are the human equal of about six years. They're speaking elvish the entire story, but I'm not about to spend that much time with a translator and I'm sure the readers would rather not be constantly referring to the footnotes. However, I have used a few words;

Naneth means mother and Ada means father.

Disclaimer: These characters belong to J.R.R. Tolkien and his estate. Fear not, I shall put the toys (in perfect condition) back in the trunk once I'm quite finished.

Rating: G. It's an all ages-show. No slash. No violence. No profanity. Bit of angst, but Elrond makes it better. Geeze, someone call quality control, I'm loosing my touch. Lots of father-son and brotherly bonding.

Archive: Just ask.

Feedback: Please?

Elf up a Tree

by Fairy Laughing

"Elladan.. we really should not be here." Elrohir glanced nervously around the small study, his dark, almond shaped eyes shifting from stained wood book shelves to the window, and back to the shelves. He lowered his voice a little, "If we broke something.. ada would be so angry!"

The older elfling rolled his almost identical eyes slightly, "Well then we will not break anything and ada shan't have reason to be angry."

"But what about us taking it.. won't that make him angry?"

Elladan shook his head, "Remember what Glorfindel taught us about cause and effect. That letter made ada upset, so ada didn't want to play with us. So if we take away the letter, ada won't be upset anymore.

Elrohir supposed that made sense-and he definitely didn't like it when his ada was upset-yet he lingered near the open door, occasionally glancing down the corridor should Elrond decide to come to his study and disrupt their search. Though there wasn't much point in doing so as the corridor leading from the study turned quite rapidly into a main corridor, and he wouldn't be able to see anyone approaching from the doorway. Should Elrond come, they would be totally trapped in the room. He heard footsteps and his slight body tensed while he watched, wide-eyed. Maybe it was ada. Maybe he should hide. A hundred possibilities flew through his mind, but he was totally frozen with fear.

A maid walked along the connecting corridor, humming softly to herself. She bore a large pile of linens, and didn't even glance in Elrohir's direction. He tittered nervously at his inane worry.

Meanwhile the other twin carelessly ransacked the room. Or so it seemed to Elrohir. Elladan was actually being quite neat-by his own standards at least. He flipped through the books on the shelf, peering and squinting at the delicate gold writing. Many of the books where in Quenya; a tongue which, though he was familiar in it, he could not read it as fluently as he could Sindar, or even Westron. Soon he was burrowing through Elrond's desk, lifting scrolls, quills, books and many, many sheets of parchment. Each sheet he had to quickly scan. It had to be there somewhere...

"Aha!" Elladan declared, victoriously holding up the ornately written letter with the red waxen seal of Celebrian, already broken.

The other twin left his post at the door and came rushing over, perhaps a little bit too quickly. Elrohir was still nervous. He misjudged the distance between the door and Elladan, and ran too fast in too short of a distance before barrelling into his twin. They both loosed very similar yells as they tumbled to the ground. Elladan, in a desperate attempt to right himself, grabbed at the nearby maroon cloth draped over a side table. The twins fell in a most ungraceful heap on top of each other, with a great 'Oomph!' At about the same time, maybe moments later, a horrible shattering noise was heard and both twins cringed. White porcelain rained down on both of them and they closed their eyes, waiting for it to stop.

Silence.

Elladan opened his eyes a crack from his position beneath Elrohir.

"Is it safe?" whispered Elrohir, his eyes still tightly shut.

Elladan nodded, then paused and said, "Yes." he shifted a little, and tried to shrug his brother off of him, "Could you move please? You're squishin' me."

"'Kay.." he opened up his dark eyes and rolled off of his brother, falling to the ground on his rear end. He quickly jumped up and stared at the floor in horror. The porcelain horse figurine that had been sitting on the desk was gone, replaced by the glinting shards that covered the ground, himself and his brother. A few tiny red trickles of blood dripped from his hands, where the little pieces of porcelain had penetrated his palms.

"You okay?" asked Elladan, noticing the blood. Elrohir hadn't even started to cry yet, and considering how much Elrohir would cry if he were hit, kicked or knocked down by some other elfling outside.

"The horsie... it's broke." Elrohir mumbled, his glossy dark eyes not leaving the porcelain. It gleamed accusingly at him. He had broken ada's horsie.. the one Thranduil had given him.

Elladan nodded in agreement, mumbling something about it.

"Ada's going to be angry." His voice was tiny.

"Not if he doesn't find out."

His brothers' eyes shone with an unholy gleam, and Elrohir protested, "He'll find out!"

"Maybe. But maybe he won't know it was us if we hide it."

"But that's wrong." he argued, his voice hitching "And if we do something wrong then something bad'll happen-you remember what Glorfindel said. For every action there's a result, for every effect, there's always a cause."

"We have to do something, and I say that we hide the pieces."

There was an uncomfortable silence between the brothers as a silent war was waged. They rarely ever got into disagreements, and usually when they did they were furious but short lived.

Elrohir relented, "Fine."

Elladan grinned wildly and glanced around until he came across a small brush and pan for the fire place. It was intended to sweep up ash and bits of wood that had flown out of the brick hearth, but it would serve for this purpose. He quickly swept up all but the tiniest bits of porcelain, while Elrohir held the pan in place. Then Elladan took the pan from his brother and dumped the bits unceremoniously out the window. They made a satisfactory sound as they fell beneath the top leaves and into the underbrush below Elrond's study window. They replaced the table cloth, and moved one of Elrond's decorative candles onto the end table so that it was not bare.

"Done." Elladan brushed his hands on his bright green tunic and Elrohir followed the procedure, wiping a bit of blood across his. He nodded in agreement.

Now Elladan picked up the letter and shoved it into his tunic, "We should go now.." He made a quick survey of the study. It wasn't too disorganized, and the horse figure was barely noticed missing. Elrond was surprisingly messy for such a prestigious elf lord. Must be his Edain blood working it's ways.

~* ~* ~*

The twins burst from the Last Homely House quickly, inhaling deeply of the late afternoon air as they escaped from the confines of indoors. It was an average spring day for Rivendell. The sky was clear, there were many small, fragrant flowers, and too the East one could see a gathering of dark, foreboding clouds. Although it wouldn't likely rain for another few hours, the threat was still present. They should have brought their cloaks, and would probably be reprimanded for this later, but now it wasn't the most of their priorities.

Together the twins ran down the beaten, muddy pathway to their usual place-a small clearing in the safe, surrounding forest which no one else knew about. Or at least they thought so. In the shelter of a massive oak tree, Elladan and Elrohir sat cross-legged facing each other. The letter was clutched in Elladan's hands, as he read it slowly, stumbling over the words, "Love," they both made a grimace, I regret to..-"

Elrohir took the letter from his brother and read quicker than his brother, his dark eyes moving along the delicately written, cursive lines. Reading always was his strong point. "It's from naneth.. she says that she won't be home for a while longer than she thought."

Elladan frowned and Elrohir mirrored the expression. So that was why their ada was upset. Naneth would be gone for even longer in Lothlorien visiting her family there. They'd been waiting for her since she had left in the autumn, and she had been held back because of the bad winter weather.

Both twins gave identical sighs, at the exact same time, then looked about. It was getting later, but they still had time for another game.

"Tag, you're the orc!" Elladan declared, tapping his brother on the shoulder before taking off to hide somewhere in the area. They had set boundaries long before, and these were usually used for any running games between the two.

Elrohir tucked the letter quickly into his tunic and raced after his brother, laughing at the momentary distraction. They would hide and chase each other across the field, climbing trees and burrowing beneath thick brush, laughing all the while. The sun above smiled upon them even as grey clouds, pregnant with rain, approached and threatened to hide his fair face. Both twins were tired from their games, but they still played into the deepening dusk. They knew that a scolding was in order when they got back and neither cared.

Elladan had last been declared 'the orc', and was currently poking around and occasionally throwing a discerning look to the sky. Settled in a comfortable nook on a branch in the great oak tree, was his brother, looking down at the letter with cloudy, uncertain eyes. They shouldn't have taken it, and he knew this. They shouldn't have broken ada's horse either. That was bad, and they should say something. He bit his lower lip and released a low, strangled sob. The mirth of a few hours ago had diminished into silence and the first splatters of tears from the sky.

"'Rohir?" Elladan asked hesitantly, his head tilted back as he gazed into the thick branches, attempting to discern his brothers form from the greenery.

"Yes?" asked Elrohir, at last, his voice tiny compared to the rising wind.

"We should go home now. 'Tis late and ada and naneth will be angry."

"I.." he stuttered, "I can't."

"You're stuck?" asked Elladan, blinking in confusion. An elf get stuck up in a tree? Well, he wouldn't put it past Elrohir. He was so high up..

"No." came Elrohir's curt reply, but it was too quiet to be heard even by elven hears above the wind, which by now was blowing harshly. It chilled their skin very slightly and tangled their long hair.

"I'm going to go get adar," cried Elrohir "wait here and don't fall down!" With that he broke into a run back towards the last homely house and left his brother in the tree, stuttering in protest.

Alas, there was nothing he could do or say. He was too frightened to climb down. In all his distraction and intent on escaping his brother, he had gone very high up into the branches. Now, he looked down and felt faintly dizzy. The tree seemed to go down forever! Gulping, Elrohir clutched the branch even tighter.

Oh, but what would his ada say when he found him up there! He was afraid, certainly ada couldn't get up the tree, so he was safe. That was right, ada couldn't get mad at him because he wasn't there and he didn't know. But both the letter and horsie were missing.. surely he would have noticed.

Elrohir's salty tears mingled with the cool rain water that slid down his face. He normally loved the rain, but in the tree it became a nuisance. It made the branch slippery and his hair plaster to his pale, slender face. His fingers were starting to hurt from clutching the bark so hard, but if he let go. Eyes closed, he didn't want to think about that. So he waited.

The rain grew heavier and the sky became darker and darker and with each passing moment. At last he saw the bright point of a lantern approaching. He sniffled and opened his red-rimmed eyes to glance in the direction of the spot. How long had he been waiting there for? His tunic was thoroughly soaked, and his dark hair heavy with the rain water. It was cold; colder than he could remember being since Elladan had buried him in snow last winter.

"Elrohir?" called Elrond, peering through the leaves. On the ground Elrohir could just make out the tops of two dark heads, one a lot lower than the other and wearing Elladan's dark green hood. That was obviously his brother, and the other figure was apparently Elrond, his dark cloak tossed back as he scrutinised the tree and the trembling elfling in it.

With a resigned sigh the Lord of Imlandris removed his heavy outer robe and the thicker pieces of jewelery he wore while in the city.

"Wait here." he told Elladan, making it sound important. The elfling nodded and leaned against the truck as he observed his ada ascend into the tree. Rain water trickled into his eyes, and at last he looked away, staring dumbly at the finery. Eventually he picked this up, to prevent it from becoming too muddy.

Elrohir looked down to see the dark head bobbing as Elrond climbed the tree. He gasped a little and clutched the tree. He hadn't thought his ada would actually climb up to him!

Elrond allowed himself a small smile as he heard the sound his son made, muffled by the rain. So he didn't think his old ada could climb, did he? Why, in his youth Elrond had been quite the tree climber. Though he could remember being in a similar situation to his son. Elrohir probably didn't dare climb down with the branches as slippery as they were. Indeed, even Elrond was fumbling and slipping a little while holding onto the slick trunk. So he ascended into the branches instead, lighting jumping from one to the next with only a grace that and elf or half-elf could muster.

At last he swiftly pulled himself onto the large branch Elrohir was perched on, and he smiled at his son's shocked expression. But quickly his smile turned into a look of concern as Elrohir buried his face in his knees, refusing to meet his ada's gaze.

"Elrohir, what is wrong?" he asked suddenly, reaching out to place a hand on the elfing's shoulder.

He sniffled and shook his head, reaching out to slap away the hand.

Elrond drew back, hand hovering hesitantly in the air before falling to his side. A sigh was emitted, "Please my son.."

Soft sobbing was barely discernible above the hum of descending rain and Elrond could detect the shuddering of Elrohir's wet, slim shoulders, his clothing clinging to them snugly. His voice was little more than a quiet murmur, "I'm sorry ada.."

The half-elf's brow creased and he gave his son a tender, concerned look, questioning gently, "Sorry for what?"

Elrohir drew quiet. If he told his ada.. what would he say. He had to confess now. Something bad would happen. The words came out in a torrent, punctuated by the oocational hiccup, "Elladan and I broke your horsie and took naneth's letter."

Elrond's first reaction was anger, but he could never remain angry when one of his sons was crying. A though occurred to him, and a smile made it's way across Elrond's thin lips. His tone was affectionate when he asked, "Is that all?"

With a small nod, the elfling glanced above his knees with tear-reddened eyes, gauging Elrond's reaction. To his surprise he was.. laughing?

Elrond laughed until he could almost no longer hold on the branch. "Oh, my concerned little youngling. I hated that figurine and I had thought Erestor had finally found somewhere to hide it."

"Really?" Elrohir squeaked.

"Really." replied Elrond with a nod, his tone becoming more explanatory, "The Lord of Mirkwood gave it to me. I hated the ugly thing from the moment I set eyes on it."

Elrohir allowed himself a small chuckle. He attempted to dash the tears from his eyes, but found it rather hard with such a wet sleeve.

"And as for the letter," Elrond waved his hand "I had been trying to figure out a way to tell you of naneth's delay. I suppose it's best that you found it on your own then, and I am pleased that you were able to read it with such ease."

The elfling smiled at his father and whispered like a conspirator, "I read it because Elladan could not." He paused, "Do not tell him, for he would be quite upset."

Elrond nodded, his eyes shinning as he gathered his son into his arms for a brief embrace, "You remind me of your naneth."

"Oh?" asked Elrohir as he allowed Elrond to make his slow, cautious way down the giant oak tree, clinging to his back as he would have done when he was a mere infant.

The half elf nodded and smiled to himself. Celebrian did have a tendency to run away from her problems, and had often kept things from him for fear of hurting or worrying him. And everyone knew what how cranky Elrond became when he was stressed. But instead of explaining this to his son, he simply said, "You can read very rapidly.. and so can she."

Elrohir wasn't certain that he was telling the truth, but accepted this answer with a nod and a smile.

With a firm, muddy squelch Elrond landed, and gently swung Elrohir down to stand shakily on his own legs. The elf Lord then turned his attentions to the other twin, who had fallen asleep leaning against the tree, his eyes open-but clouded-in elven sleep. 4

Shrugging and smiling, Elrond gathered Elladan into his arms and wrapped his outer robe around Elrohir who accepted it gladly. Then all three made their way back to Rivendell for sleep (and perhaps a late meal on the Twins' part).

Later on Elrond would find out that Celebrian had remained longer than intended in Lothlorien because she had found out that she was pregnant with their daughter and was unsure of what Elrond would say to another child. He embraced her too with open arms and reprimanded her for being as silly as their son. At this she gave him a strange look and shook her head, then asked, "Which?"

fin