Title: Duty of the Heart

Chapter Title: A New Beginning | 10/10

Authors: TrinityTheSheDevil and Karine

Archive: Just ask!

Rating: Come on, this fic is written by Kar, who took over The Void and is a Cliffie Queen and me, who took over Hell and is a torture master. If you see a fic written by her and/or me that is rated below PG-13, run away in terror.

Disclaimer: WE OWN A CHARACTER!! HAHAHA!! NANERNANERNANER!! THOMAS IS OURS!! *looks at a certain character* Er ... I mean ... er ... well. *runs while yelling over shoulder* WE OWN NOBODY!!

Summary: When Aragorn and Legolas find a young orphan in the woods, they decide to bring him with them to Rivendell. This may be the beginning of a new life for the child. But, for his new life to begin, he must survive the trip first...
Chapter Ten

Glorfindel, with Thomas in tow, nearly ran up to the horses, the wooden soldiers long forgotten. Both horses seemed pretty shaken up, but after a few soothing words in elvish, the horses were back to their calm self.

"Stay there little one, I'm going to lead the horses to the stable." Glorfindel said and left as soon as the boy had nodded.

Thomas, who, like every five years old child, had absolutely no patience in him. Instead he was a very curious boy and to his small self, the path beyond the Gate was looking extremely tempting.

He fidgeted in place for a few seconds before deciding that only a few steps toward the Gate would not matter. By the time he was done telling that to himself, he had reached the Gate.

He abruptly stopped when he realized that he had actually reached them, and he looked up, taking in the massive archway of the realm. Suddenly, his courage left him and he looked back at the retreating form of Glorfindel, wondering if he should call out to him or act like "a big boy" and make it to him by himself.

He was jerked out of his thoughts when he heard something that sounded oddly like whispers. He snapped his head toward the noise and smiled brightly when he realized that it was one of the twins.

"Elro...no...Ella...err. TWINS!" He happily screeched.

Glorfindel stop dead in his tracks and turned back, grinning when a muttered curse floated to his ears. He immediately knew why the horses had arrived riderless; the twins must had sent them first so they could sneak in when everyone's attention would be on the horses.

"My my my, two of the most sneakiest warriors of Rivendell caught by a five year old human boy." Glorfindel said snickering slightly then more loudly when he received two dark glares for his jest.

But, Glorfindel sobered when he took in the serious expression that both twins now bore. He locked eyes with Elladan and followed him when the younger elf nodded to a further from Thomas and moved there.

Thomas was oblivious to that little conspiracy and looked up to the remaining twin.

"So, which twin are you?" He suddenly asked.

Elrohir laugh softly at the tactless child and answered.

"Well, I'm glad you came back when you did Elrohir, since," The boy actually looked around before resuming in a mere whisper, "That gate is scary alone."

Elrohir smiled down at the boy, his eyes full of compassion and said,

"Well, I'm here now."

Thomas nodded, then proceed to give one of his best flying hugs.

Elrohir, who was not expected this, gasped and then winced as the boy's head collided with his broken ribs.

"You're hurt." The boy stated when he felt something was wrong.

"Shhh, I'm fine Tommy." Elrohir said, smiling nervously.

"No you're not!! You are hurt and you have to let Elrond make you better!!" The boy yelled.

Thomas' outburst had done what Elrohir had feared the most: it got Elladan's attention. And even if he couldn't exactly see his twin, Elrohir was sure that he was narrowing his eyes at him.

Glorfindel, who had heard Thomas and then felt the tension building, had swiftly walked over to Thomas and scooped him in his arms.

"What about me?" Elrohir exclaimed, sounding very much like a little elfling.

"Nu uh, I am definitely *not* standing between your brother and you again. It always ends badly for me." Glorfindel said, grinning from one pointy ear to the other.

Elrohir's expression fell, and he cringed when he saw Elladan advance toward him.

"Why didn't you tell me." Elladan hissed through gritted teeth.

"Because it's nothing?"

"That is *not* a good reason El. Last time you told me one of your injury was "nothing" you ended up staying one week in a near coma state because it was POISONED. " Elladan's anger suddenly left him, and was replaced by sadness and worry. "With everything happening right now with Aragorn and Legolas, I don't want anything to happen to you also, and that includes hiding injuries from me."

Elrohir was taken aback by his twin's confession, and he started to feel somewhat guilty.

"I'm sorry" He whispered, gently hugging his brother.

"I know" Elladan replied while returning the hug.

"Now, you go to Ada now and get your injury treated." Elladan said.

"But.."

"Don't make me drag you to him 'Ro." He said smirking.

"You won't, and can't, I'm an injured elf!" Elrohir exclaimed, and shrank back when he took in the mischievous' glint in his twin's eyes.

"You were fine enough to hide it from me for half a day, so that excuse won't work little brother." Elladan said.

"Fine, I'm going." The younger twin said, sticking out his tongue at Elladan and then headed for the house, with his twin one step behind him.

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


Elrohir cringed as he looked at the faces turned towards him in the room. Elrond was currently wrapping bandages snuggly about his middle, glaring at him the whole time. (Not a normal glare either; Elrond was letting loose one of his "I-have-eyebrows-and-I-will-use-them-to-put-the-fear-of-the-Valar-in-you" glares.) A few steps away, Elladan's look would have smoldered him on the spot if possible. And last but not least, Aragorn and Legolas glared from the beds in the room. Glorfindel sat bouncing Thomas on his knee, while Thranduil looked on with an amused expression. The Mirkwood king was now grateful he did not have twin sons that attracted danger like bees to honey.

"I can't believe you, Elrohir. First you get hurt, THEN you hide it from Elladan." Aragorn said.

"And if you could have, I bet you would have hidden it from all of us. Why you insist on putting yourself in danger like that is beyond me..." Legolas' darkened his glare.

Elrond snorted, looking at the two lying on the beds. "As if the two of you are any better!"

Thankfully, the two had enough sense to look slightly ashamed, so Elrond continued as he finished wrapping Elrohir up. "We are here now, to discuss the placing of Thomas." Aragorn noted his father had switched to elvish when he said this.

"Elrohir, Elladan, if you'll be so kind as to tell us what transpired on the journey to and from the town, and if you found anything."

"The journey to town was uneventful, and quite boring." Elladan started. "When we got there, we asked almost everybody we came upon. Several people were grieved to know that Thomas' parents died; those that knew them told us the boy has no other living relatives." Elladan paused. "We asked around, to see if anybody was willing to take him in. There was no one."

"Glorfy!" Thomas whispered, tugging on Glorfindel's sleeve.

"Yes Thomas?"

"What are they saying?" Thomas pointed to the others, who were conversing in elvish.

"Nothing important, young one." Glorfindel smiled as Thomas pouted slightly.

"Will you teach me elvish, Glorfy?"

Glorfindel had to admit, the question had come quite suddenly. "We'll see."

Pleased with the answer, Thomas leaned back against the elder elf's chest, watching the going-ons with increasingly sleepy eyes.

"On the way home," Elrohir continued, "We encountered what was left of the previous battle. A handful of Orcs who were desperate to escape to a haven of which to hide and lick their wounds. None now remain."

Elrond nodded, looking thoughtful. "So he has nobody left, and nowhere to call home now."

"Perhaps you could check nearby villages, for someone who would adopt him." Aragorn spoke up quietly.

"Yes, that's a good idea. If nothing else, I could take the child in myself, though I loathe to do so now." Elrond's eyes briefly tracked over to Thomas.

At this moment, Glorfindel looked down, and realized Thomas had fallen asleep, with one tiny hand clutching the elf's sleeve. With a start, Glorfindel realized something. Something his heart had steadily been trying to tell him.

"I ... I want to keep him."

Glorfindel looked up. If it had been any other situation, the view of everybody's jaw in the room hitting the floor would have been comical.

"Are you sure, mellon nin? Having a child, even an adopted one, is not an easy task." Elrond gave a mock glare to Aragorn, who put on his best innocent face.

"I know that, Elrond, as I helped to raise *your* children. And yes, I am quite sure. He has become dear to me." Glorfindel smiled. "Although, I have not a clue as to how that happened."

"We will, of course, have to ask Thomas his opinion. But I'm sure we could work this out." Elrond grinned mischievously. "Good luck, Glorfindel. For I think you will need it."

Across the room, Aragorn snickered. "Another child in Rivendell! Finally, I shall not be the youngest one here!"

"That may be true, my friend, but you will still be the biggest trouble magnet." Legolas laughed. "I hope."

Glorfindel started, looking in horror at Thomas, then at Aragorn. "There is no way in Arda that I am letting Thomas near you! I do not want him picking up bad habits..."

As if on cue, Thomas began stirring in his arms. He yawned and looked around.

"Are all the grown-ups done talking, Glorfy?" Thomas rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, then snuggled against Glorfindel's arm once more.

"Now that it is decided, we should ask the boy's opinion." Elrond said then turned to look at the boy.

"Thomas, we have just discussed about where you should live and have come to a conclusion." Elrond said in a formal voice.

Thomas looked up to the elf lord, his fearful eyes settling on Elrond's ones.

"What have… what have you decided?" He said, his childish voice trembling slightly.

"Glorfindel said that he would want you to live with him, here in Rivendell, if you accept."

Thomas gasped and said,

"You mean that I can?" Thomas asked incredulously, his trembling tone now sounding over excited.

"Of course, you have become dear to us all and it would warm our hearts to have you here in Rivendell." Elrond said, smiling warmly at the child.

Thomas' ecstatic yelled easily answered the questions asked and the boy turned and hugged Glorfindel with all of his might.

"I love you Glorfy." the boy whispered in the elf's ear.

"I love you too boy." Glorfindel replied.

The "father and son" scene brought a smile to everyone's lips, as Aragorn sigh with relief.

"Why the sighing?" Legolas asked his long time friend.

"I did it Legolas. Ever since I learned that he was the son of one of my rangers, I promised myself that I would care for him until a solution could be found. And," He then nodded toward Glorfindel and Thomas, "I couldn't have done better."

Legolas smiled at Aragorn.

"I completely agree mellon nin."

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


-A Few Months Later-

Aragorn groaned, settling himself down on the grass and lying against a large tree. It had been five months since he and Legolas had found Thomas that fateful day; now, as it were, the boy had happily settled into life in Rivendell. Thankfully, the elves that were younger when Aragorn was a boy had grown quite a bit, and no longer resented humans as they did him.

The physical wounds Aragorn and Legolas carried had healed over, though at times Aragorn was left with a weariness that annoyed him greatly after doing strenous tasks. Other wounds, the ones that weren't visible, still plagued them occasionally and frequented their dreams. As time passed though, the dreams faded like a morning mist; the things that did not fade, however, were the memories and the brands that marked Aragorn and Legolas' arms. They would carry those for the rest of their lives.

Aragorn was startled as Glorfindel ran past, followed quickly by Thomas. He noted that both were wearing only leggings cut off to the knees. His eyebrows raised slightly.

"Come on Aragorn! The twins said Legolas was bathing in the river, ada and I are gonna dunk him under water a few times! Hurry!" Thomas' shrieked in laughter, pushing his legs faster.

Aragorn grinned and stood up, running along. Some things never changed...

THE FRIGGIN END!
*Kar comfortably sitting on The Void's Throne, with Trin comfortably sitting on armchair of said Throne, both looking half dead*

K&T: IT'S DOOOOONNNNNEEEEEE, after NINE months we finally actually finished it!!!

Kar: This was a fun fic to write…

Trin: full of torture…

Kar: and it's not like there was THAT many cliffies in it…

Trin: riiiiiiight *ONLY* seven cliffies out of ten chapters..

Kar: *grins* only THAT, damn, I'm loosing my touch, next fic, I'm aiming for a perfect score >:)!!!!!!!

Anyway, we are "considering" writing a few ficlets of Thomas' life in Rivendell, but, considering that the last ficlets ideas we both had separately always ended up in enormous fics, we'll see how it goes. Thanks to all who reviewed this fic, this was always appreciated :D

Reviews :D

Desertrain~ Thanks a bunch :D It's done now. We hope that you liked the end!

MagickalStar135~ Thanks :D You no likes our cliffies >:)!!!

Wilwarin~ We're glad that you loved this fic that much :D And we're honored that you want to put quotes from our fic on your site. If you actually do/did send us the url so we can check it out :D

Oracle10~ Aww, don't die, this is a little late but it's here at last!

Firniswin~ We're glad that you loved this fic, and we had nothing THAT bad happen to our fav twins ;)