Title: Sticks and Stones

Author: XsilicaX

Disclaimer: I neither created not own these characters, and I do not intend to make any money from their use.

Rating: PG

A/N:

My first twins fic, so please forgive me if I get them a little wrong. This is based on a real event in my life. (I play the role of Elladan, with my little brother as Elrohir) It's pretty much what happened in Real Life, except that I didn't climb a tree, and we took my brother to the hospital. Elrond's and Celebrian's reactions are those of my parents. I still don't think they believe me now when I tell them I didn't mean it!

Anyway, as always, enjoy (and review!)

Cathy.

Sticks and Stones

" I can too!" Elladan yelled at his brother, face reddening with anger and a touch of embarrassment at being beaten by his younger brother.

"No you cant, you can't throw as far as me. I hit the log, you didn't" Elrohir responded, proud to have finally succeeded where his elder and superior brother had failed.

"Yes I can, Ada, tell him I can." Elladan turned to his father seeking to stop this argument so they could all get back to playing.

"Elladan, Elrohir, stop quarrelling! It is a game, not a competition." Elrond declared, exasperated by their squabbling, He had been enjoying the rare picnic with his family. Momentarily escaping from his duties to spend and afternoon out in the bright summer sun.

"See, you can't beat me, he just doesn't want to tell you" Elrohir nudged Elladan with his elbow, so hard he nearly fell over.

"Elrohir that wasn't nice." Celebrian scolded, half-rising to check on Elladan.

"Sorry Ammë" Elrohir ducked his head, ashamed to have been caught and scolded.

Elladan stood there, gazing out across the water, blinking back tears. He could throw as far as Elrohir, he could!

Bending down he hunted for the perfect stone, big enough to make a huge splash and let him know where it landed, but also light enough that he could throw it a long way.

Hearing a loud splash behind him, he saw his brother being cheered on by his parents; he had managed to hit the wood that was their target. Mouth compressed with concentration and effort, he spun his arm working up speed, and launched the stone through the air. Stepping forward with the momentum, he lifted both hands to shield his eyes from the sun, and follow its trajectory.

Concentrating hard, he nevertheless lost sight of the stone as it passed in front of the sun, so he turned to look in the lake, listening and watching for its splash. Hearing nothing he became greatly exciting, jumping up and down where he stood.

"I told you I could throw further than you Elrohir, I threw it right over the lake. Did you see Ada, Amme? Did you see?"

Getting no response he turned sulkily around no one had been watching him; they were too concerned with his precious little brother, to watch him.

As he looked to where his parents had last been seated, side-by-side, lying back in the warm afternoon sun, he frowned; there was no sign of them. The patterned rug was empty, food lay where it had hastily been shoved to one side. Worried now Elladan called for them, turning to look.

"Ada, Amme.ELROHIR!"

Running forward, he saw his brother lying unconscious on the ground, his parents bent beside him. Elrond brushed hair back from the little one's face, and his hand came away bloody. Elladan approached, tears in his eyes, as he looked worriedly around for what had attacked his twin.

Dropping to his knees beside his brother, he caught a glimpse of a too pale face, eyes closed tightly, tear tracks drying against his icy cheek. Reaching out a hand to wipe them away, his arm was slapped away by Celebrian. "Do not touch him, don't you think you have done enough damage already?"

"Amme?" He received no answer, as she had already run to pick up the blanket, and wrapped it around her youngest. Elrond lifted Elrohir into his arms as Celebrian tucked the blanket around him, and turned back towards their home.

"Ro?" Elladan followed, jogging along as his parents took long strides towards their rooms, paying no heed to his little legs desperately trying to keep up.

Running forward he tugged on his mother's dress, "Amme, up!" He lifted his arms, looking to be carried and hugged. "No Elladan, you don't deserve it, not after behaving like that." She grabbed his arm and pulled him along behind her, as she leaned forward to check on Elrohir, resting in Elrond's arms. The two exchanged worried looks.

Elladan tugged on her dress again, as he stumbled trying to keep up with the pace. All he wanted was to know what was wrong with his brother, why wouldn't anyone tell him? "Amme, why's Ro hurt? What's wrong?"

He was stopped in his tracks, stunned backwards as he received his first ever spanking. Celebrian held his shoulder, turned and whacked him as hard as she could on his backside. "You know what is wrong with him, we saw you deliberately hit him with that stone. How dare you try and pretend that you know nothing when you may have killed your brother. How dare you."

Elladan froze, tears falling down his cheeks. Die? Elrohir may die? More hurtful than the spanking was the fact that his Amme seemed to think he had done something to his brother when he knew full well he hadn't. As he watched her turn back to his brother, he saw a tear drip from he eye, and he began to be truly afraid.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Elrohir was carried into his bedroom by Elrond, with Celebrian close behind. As Elladan tried to follow, he was pushed back and the door closed in his face. Wanting to be with his brother, he pushed the door open, hoping to sneak into the room to be with him, he was brought up short at Elrond's knees.

Afraid to look up, Elladan stood there, breathing rapidly, trembling slightly, as Elrond turned him and marched him outside. Lifting him to sit on the window ledge he gazed sternly into his face. "Elladan, I need to examine your brother, he has received a blow to the head, and I want to clean it, and tend it. You may see him when he is awake and wants to see you, but not before. Is that understood?"

Elladan looked back at him, tears pooling in his grey eyes. "Is he going to be all right?" Elrond did not answer, just looked back, face tightening with worry. "Why's Amme so mad with me, I'm sorry I didn't protect him, but I'm only little I didn't know someone was going to attack him."

"Elladan I do not appreciate your lies. You deliberately threw that stone at him. It is your fault that he is lying there hurt." His father looked almost disgusted with him.

Elladan stared back Elrond, disbelief in his little eyes. "I didn't hit him Ada, I didn't'"

"I saw your stone hit him Elladan; you were arguing with him moments before. You were jealous because he beat you, and you took it out on him in a moment of rage. He looks up to you to protect him, and instead you have attacked him. I could tolerate your lack of self-control if you would only admit to it, but instead you are making the situation worse by lying about it. You will stay out of my sight for the rest of today. Is that understood?"

"But I don't"

Elrond spun around, "Do not lie to me young elf. You shall have no dinner as punishment for your falsehoods."

At that, Elrond spun back into his sons' room, closing the door firmly behind him.

Elladan stood there staring back at him. Hot tears of rage in his eyes, and fists clenched in anger. Why wouldn't they believe him? He wouldn't hurt his brother, no matter what he had done. He only wanted to be able to throw further than him; he didn't want to kill him.

Tears breaking free, he turned and ran down the corridor.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Elladan perched himself in the tree outside his bedroom, looking in through the window as his parents tended to his twin. Squinting, he could only make out the pale blur of Elrohir's face as his father gently cleaned the wound and bandaged it. His Amme sat beside the bed, gently stroking his forehead, lips moving in what was probably a lullaby as she soothed the pain away. A sob escaped him then, he longed to be soothed like they were doing to his twin. Shivering a little at the whiteness in his brother's features, he crept further along the branch, desperate to see as much as he could.

He was just in time, Elrohir's eyes began to flicker, and Celebrian turned to him, gently kissing him on the brow. Opening his eyes he stared blearily up at her as he was pulled into a very tight hug.

Several minutes later, after he was finally released, Elrond gazed deeply into each eye, waved a finger in front of the boy's face, nodding to himself as the eyes tracked, it. Finally, mixing a potion together, he tried to persuade Elrohir to drink it. The elfling was having none of it though, and shook his head firmly. Both parents put on their stern faces, but the little boy fervently refused to take his medicine, clamping both hands over his mouth. Realising that Elrohir would not be persuaded; Elrond lowered the mixture onto the table, and sat back.

There followed a few moments of conversation that Elladan could not hear, before Elrohir seemed to be insisting on something. Hand to his head, rubbing away at the ache, Elrohir refused to lie back down; arms crossed he demanded something. Elrond and Celebrian shook their heads, attempting to get him to lie down and rest, but he wouldn't. Pointing out the window, he spoke excitedly, trying to raise himself out of bed. Celebrian immediately pressed him down, whilst Elrond strode over to the window and opened it. Leaning out he shouted, "Elladan, your brother wishes to see you. Come in please."

Elladan jumped up excitedly, almost losing his balance as he forgot he was perched on he tree. Scampering down he pelted indoors, up several flights of stairs until he reached his brother's room. About to enter, he was stopped as Elrond exited the door.

Swallowing hard, Elladan raised his gaze from his father's feet slowly and unsurely up to his face. Perceiving from the look in Elrond's eyes that he was still angry with him, he abruptly ducked his head.

Elrond placed a stern finger to the base of Elladan's chin, and lifted it until the boy was looking at him. "I am disappointed in you my son, and will not allow you in there to see your brother unless you are truly penitent. Struggling a little with this word, Elladan looked confused at him. "You must apologise to me for lying, and you must be prepared to do the same for your mother. As to your brother, you must hope that he can forgive you. Do you agree to this?"

Elladan looked shocked, he father wanted him to apologise for lying, but he hadn't been. He wanted to see his brother, needed to see if he was all right, if the stone had hurt him, but he would have to lie to his father to do it, for there was no way that his Ada would believe him if he tried to tell the truth. He had already done that, and it had not worked.

"Elladan? Do you want to see your brother? He is much better." Elrond had grown concerned at the confusion in his son's eyes and hoped to speed things up. Elrohir had refused to take anything for the pain until he saw his brother, yet Elladan did not seem to be able to let go of his pride, and admit to his foolishness.

"I.I'm sorry father." Elladan whispered in a hushed voice, ducking his head so that his father would not perceive the lie he was sure was showing in his eyes.

"Thank you Elladan, try to make sure that this situation does not happen gain." Elrond nodded in relief.

Elladan's head rose wildly, nodding vigorously at this; he would never let anyone hurt Elrohir, ever again. Elrond allowed himself a little smile, much of his worries now eased. Taking his firstborn's hand, he led him into the room.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Elladan approached the bed faster than he would have wished, being dragged along as he was by his father. Standing beside his mother, he apologised, keeping as close to the truth as he could. "I am sorry I threw that stone. I.I lost my temper, and I'm sorry, I didn't want to hurt him I didn't." Breaking into tears he could no longer hold back, he was pulled close into a warm comforting hug. Gentle hands lifted him until he was nestled on Celebrian's lap, hand gently stroking through his hair, calming him. Eventually his tears passed, all that remained were the hitching breaths.

Still lying enclosed in the embrace, he felt a small hand patting him on the back. Turning, he raised a tear-stained face to see his younger twin staring anxiously at him, reaching out towards him. Taking his brother's hand he climbed onto the bed beside him, and embraced him gently so as not to hurt him further. Sitting back up a bit he gazed down at Elrohir's pale face marred now with a swelling purple lump, streaking out fro, below the bandage. Resting a small hand on his brother's cheek, just below the bruise, he leant forward and kissed him on the forehead, whispering "I'm sorry Ro, I didn't mean to hit, you. I'm sorry, you weren't meant to get hurt." His tears started to fall then, as a matching pair welled up in Elrohir's eyes.

"All right, I think that's enough for now. Elrohir, you have seen your brother, now it is time to take your medicine, eat and then sleep. Elladan, you will sleep in a guest room tonight as your brother needs peace and quiet." Elrond commanded.

Celebrian leaned forward to lift Elladan away, but two arms wrapped around his waist holding him close. "No, Dan stays."

"Elrohir you need quiet, and rest, I very much doubt that you'll get it with your brother in the room." Elrond was frustrated by Elrohir's stubbornness.

"Dan stays" Elrohir clutched his brother closer as his father bent to lift him.

"Elrohir" Celebrian tried to intervene.

"Dan stays!" Elrohir's outburst faded as he sank tiredly back into the pillows, breathing hard as the sound reverberated through his head.

Elrond caved in, knowing that his little elfling needed sleep and was obviously too stubborn to get it without his brother there. "All right, Elladan may stay as long as you drink this and then eat some dinner."

Elrohir made a face at the foul tasting drink he was forced to consume, but swallowed it all and lay back pulling Elladan down to lie next to him. Heavy lidded eyes began to descend, and Elrond and Celebrian crept out after leaving some bread and a jug of water by the bed should Elrohir awaken hungry.

As soon as they left Elrohir's eyes opened, and he turned to face his twin. Elladan ducked his eyes, ashamed to look at his brother, seeing that bump, and knowing it was his fault that he had been hurt.

"Elladan, his brother whispered, "Elladan!"

"What Ro, you're supposed to be sleeping?" Elladan mumbled into the pillow, hiding his face.

"Are you all right?" Elrohir shook his twin to get his attention.

Elladan sat up, stunned by his brother's words. "Am I all right, you are the one who was hurt."

"You're hurting too. I'm sorry if I hadn't teased you, then none of this would have happened." Elrohir picked at the sheets in front of him.

"Its not your fault, Ada is right, I shouldn't have let my temper get the better of me. Even if I was angry at you, I should have taken more care to throw my stone away from you." Elladan's stomach rumbled then.

"Dan, are you hungry?" At his twin's reluctant nod, Elrohir picked up the plate of food, and placed it on the bed between them. Taking a slice from it he offered it to his brother.

At Elladan's headshake he pressed it on him again, confused as to why he was refusing it if he was hungry. "What's wrong?"

Elladan looked away, "Ada sent me to bed without supper."

"Why?" The younger twin asked.

The eldest twin's head lifted then, anger and hurt raging in his eyes. "He thinks I threw it at you on purpose. He hates me."

Elrohir threw an arm around his brother, hugging him close. "He doesn't hate you, he was just upset and worried about me."

Elladan could not be appeased. "He thinks I lied to him."

"Well I know you didn't. I know you didn't mean to hurt me, and that's all that matters. Come on, eat this." Elladan smiled then, pleased that his twin forgave him so easily. He nibbled at the bread, eating little. His hunger hadn't returned fully yet; he had had too much worry this day.

Seeing his brother's eyes start to close again, he held him close, and quietly hummed a little lullaby. When Celebrian checked on them an hour later it was to find the two curled up together, arms around each other fast asleep; contented smiles upon their faces.

The End.