- The Ride -

Disclaimer: I own nothing of Middle Earth or any of Tolkien's worlds or characters. I have no permission to use these characters. This story was written this for enjoyment only, I'm not making any money for it, so don't sue, you won't get any.

Note: Any spelling errors or character errors are my mistakes. I do not know everything of Middle Earth. So please forgive any mistakes that you might find.

Please excuse me for the lay-out. I've been working over it, but it won't allow what ever I do.

"Please Ada?" a 6-year-old human boy asked his foster father with pleading eyes.

"No Estel" the much older elf said without even looking up from his book. This had been going on all morning, and he wasn't going to give in now.

"Why not?" the child kept on begging.

"You're too young to go on a hunting trip"

"But they aren't going on a hunting trip, they are merely going for a ride!"

"Still you're not going"

"It's not fair, I never get to anything fun" the little one ran upstairs to his room tears running down his cheeks.

"Estel!" Elrond called after his son, but to no avail, the boy kept running and he could hear him slamming the door from his bedroom shut. The elder elf sighed, stood up and walked towards his adopted sons bedroom door.

"Estel?" he asked before entering. "Can I come in?"

No answer came so the Elf lord opened the door and walked in. He found the little boy underneath the covers of his bed. When he removed the covers he could see Estel was sitting with his knees pulled up His shoulders trembled which gave away that he was crying.

"Estel" Elrond said again as he sat down on the bed next to him, "there will be plenty of occasions when you can go along with them" he tried to comfort the young one.

"But I wanted to go this time" the boy sobbed, "I was so looking forward to it, and now I can't go" Estel started crying again.

"It's too dangerous for you to go hunting with your brothers" Elrond said stroking the hair out off his sons face.

"But they aren't going hunting Ada" the boy cried out, "they were going to take their horses out for a ride".

Elrond was silent for several moments, inwardly thinking if he would allow Estel to go horseback riding with his brothers.

"I'll ask them if they are only going on a riding trip, that does not mean that I will let you go along!" He quickly added when he saw his son's face light up. "First I want to know where they're going and when they are coming back, maybe then I'll let you go along".

Estel nevertheless shad stopped crying and was already anxious awaiting the result.

Two hours later he was sitting on the back of his pony riding behind Elladan, a huge smile on his face. He kept on babbling to Elrohir who rode beside him.

"Estel will you stop talking for just one minute?" Elladan said a little irritated that he wouldn't stop rambling.

Estel immediately stopped talking and the smile disappeared from his face, both brothers noticed it.

"I'm sorry Estel" Elladan whispered, turning his horse towards his foster brother. "I didn't mean it that way, but you are chasing away all the game in the wide area."

That brought a smile back to the human's face again.

"I knew we were goin to hunt something," he said smiling and taking out his bow.

"Well don't tell Ada" Elladan smiled at him ignoring the angry look he got from Elrohir.

When they were riding forth again, Estel was looking everywhere, but he couldn't see any animals he could shoot, they had all ran off after all the noise he had made. Elrohir meanwhile had spurred his horse next to Elladan's.

"You know we cannot actually hunt anything without telling Ada, don't you?"

"Yes I know" came Elladan's response. "I just said that to lighten his heart, he wants to hunt so badly..."

Elrohir smiled and they both looked back to their youngest brother.

"He's way to small to go on a hunting trip and you know it" Elladan said mocking his brother.

"But he's not for a riding trip, so let's give him one" Elrohir said spurring his horse.

"Last one to that tree over there is a rotten egg" he shouted over his shoulder to his brothers.

"Hey, no fair, you didn't warn me!" little Estel yelled at him spurring his horse onwards as well.

Elladan sighed and raced after them.

When they had reached the tree, both elves had left the youngest win, but still, he wasn't ware of that fact. They dismounted to eat a little before they went on. Afterwards they set out towards the river so the horses could have a drink. They dismounted and let the horses go their way. Estel meanwhile crept alongside the edge of the forest, scanning for something to hunt. An arrow ready on his bow.

After a while he gave up, there just wasn't any game around that he could hunt, so he went back to his brothers to see what they were up to. He found them lying on the grassy slope next to the river, watching him.

"Can we leave now please" he begged, "there isn't anything here for me to hunt".

"We will shortly Estel, just come and sit down with us for a moment" Elrohir said, scooting over a few inches so Estel could sit in between them. They talked a little over his archery training and gave him some more pointers. Estel clearly loved being out with his big brothers.

When they mounted their horses a few hours later, he was already showing signs of being tired, but he quickly placed his hand over his mouth to hide a yawn. The twins had seen it though.

"We best start heading back," Elladan said smiling.

"I'm not tired yet," Estel muttered. "No you aren't but imagine father's worried state by now, we have been gone for several hours, he must be worried sick by now."

"We aren't injured and I'm not sick so he doesn't need to be worried" the little one said.

"Ada doesn't only worry when we are sick or injured Estel" Elrohir sighed, "he's always worried if he can't see us, or doesn't know where we are".

"Oh" the boy answered, "then let's hurry back so he can stop worrying".

The twins laughed as he said that and watched him hurrying off towards the wrong direction.

"Euhm, Estel!" Elladan shouted after him, "Home is that way" and he pointed to the other direction.

"I knew that" Estel said, "I was merely testing if you still knew it" still a blush seemed to color his cheeks.

"Yes we still know it" Elrohir smiled at the boy and ruffled through his hair as he passed them by.

"Follow me" Estel yelled over his shoulder, "I know the way!" and he spurred his horse in to a fast trot.

Elladan and Elrohir laughed out loud and chased after him.

Estel rode up front clearly amusing his position, they had been riding next to the river for about half an hour and were still two hours away from home.

Suddenly Elladan heard something whistle towards them, but from his position he couldn't do anything. Both brothers saw in awe how a large arrow struck their brother in his chest. At the same time a relative small band of orcs appeared from nowhere, startling Estel's pony. It reared up against the treat trying to fend them off with his hooves, but its rider had lost his grip after he had been struck.

Trying to get their own horses under control both brothers could do nothing to aid their little brothers unfortunate descent of the horse. Sliding down Estel couldn't hold on to anything, he had his both hands on the arrow shaft and stared at it in disbelief. Estel fell slowly to the ground, but he missed the narrow slope they had been riding on and fell into the river instead.

Elladan and Elrohir had dismounted their horses and dealt urgently with the creatures that had shot their little brother, not having seen nor heard where he had landed.

The fight was fierce and bloody, but it didn't take the twins long before the last orc had been slain. Only then did they start to look for Estel. They feared the worst after his unfortunate descent off the horse after the arrow hit him. And not finding him immediately didn't improve on their feelings.

"Estel" they both shouted in every direction, only then did Elrohir see the marks on the slope next to the river.

"Ai Elbereth" he whispered as he looked desperately towards his twin.

"Estel" they both whispered and started to scan the surface of the water for their brother.

"There he is" Elladan shouted after what seemed to be a long while. He jumped into the water immediately swimming towards him. He pulled the unconscious human boy towards him and noticed that the arrow shaft had broken off, leaving a piece still embedded in his chest.

"Ai Estel, please be alive" Elladan thought to him self as he swam back to the shore where he handed him to his brother and pulled himself out off the water.

"Is he...?" he asked wiping the water from his eyes.

"He breathes and his heart beats, he's alive. Except from that arrow he also has a deep gash on his brow, he probably hit his head when he fell" Elrohir said after checking his vital signs

"We have to get him home, Ada will know what to do" Elladan said, standing up and picking up the boy's limp body.

They hurried their horses towards Rivendell, towards their father, who would be furious for letting his youngest getting hurt so severely.

************ "My Lord, riders are coming" a servant warned Elrond.

"Thank you" he said getting up from his chair.

"Ada!!!" he suddenly heard a very distant cry. "Ada!!!"

He rushed to the door fearing what he would see. His worst fears came true the minute he stepped out it. His eldest son was carrying the limp body of his youngest. They both seemed like they had fallen into a river, their hair wet and stuck to their faces, as did their clothes.

"What happened?" Elrond demanded when they halted their horses in front of him.

"Orcs, we were ambushed, Estel, they shot him, fell into the river, you have to help him Ada" Elladan went on. He gave his little brother to their father and he ran off with him as fast as he could, the twins on his heels.

"Get me some clean cloths, and water, and bring the herbs!" he shouted to them as he hurried to Estel's room, "We'll talk later!". He laid the little one on the bed and started examining him. He immediately saw a piece of a shaft sticking out of his son's chest. Quickly removing his tunic he checked where the arrow had protruded his son and sighed with relief. The arrow wasn't imbedded to deep and it didn't seem like it had done much damage. The wound was bleeding heavily though, luckily there seemed to be no visible traces if poison on the arrow.

He had a cut running trough his eyebrow as well, it was deep, but not life threatening. What worried him more were the arrow and the fact that he had fallen into the icy cold river.

When his sons came running back with the things he had asked he started working. He removed the arrow carefully and stitched up the wound. Then he took care of the cut on his brow. After everything was bandaged he removed the remaining wet clothing and put his sleeping clothes on. Then he covered the little human up to his chin and felt his forehead. As he had suspected he felt the unnatural heat radiating off it, Estel had a fever.

"Is he going to be alright?" Elrohir asked worried.

"He will be, at least I hope" Elrond sighed as he pulled a large chair near his foster son's bed and sat down in it.

"I'm sorry Ada, we didn't expect anything like this to happen" Elladan tried to explain.

"Why don't you get out of those wet clothes and then we'll talk" Elrond said only briefly glancing at his eldest. "In my study, I want Estel to be able to rest. You get changed to Elrohir."

Both brothers nodded and left the room leaving Elrond alone with Estel. He gently stroked his hair from his forehead and sighed again. When both his sons came back to Estel's room Elrond sent them to his study.

"I'll be right with you".

Both Elladan and Elrohir were a bit nervous about meeting him in is study. They were in so much trouble now that Estel got hurt, they feared. And so when Elrond arrived he could see the fear in their eyes.

"Don't worry, I'm not angry with any of you, I just would like to know what happened, that's all."

Elladan and Elrohir told the events of that afternoon.

"Orcs roaming so close to Rivendell" Elrond sighed, "what were they doing there?"

"We cannot let them come any closer" Elladan said angrily.

"We killed that band, but who knows how many there are still on the prowl out there" Elrohir said.

"I want you two and some warriors to check out the region," Elrond said after a while of silence. "Prepare to leave in the morning, and be careful."

"What about Estel? How fares he?" Elrohir asked hanging his head.

"He has a fever and his wounds are serious, but he'll live. He just needs some rest" Elrond said not knowing what a difficult time his son and himself would go through.

It started later that night, when all elves had retired for the night and the only noises to be heard where the rustling of the leaves of the trees, and the sounds of the night creatures that emerged on their hunt for food.

Suddenly the silent noises were scattered by a loud and terrifying cry that made every inhabitant of the house of Elrond jump out of their beds and hurry down the hall towards Estel's room.

The boy was tossing wildly in his bed kicking at his sheets as if they burned him. Elrond closed the distance between himself and his son's bedside with several large strides. He sat down besides him and grasped his shoulders trying to wake the boy up, but to no avail, he kept screaming and tossing but refused to wake up.

"Ada, what's wrong with him?" Elladan asked with his eyes wide open as he approached the bed.

"I don't know son, there must have been poison on the arrow, though I examined it and I couldn't find any trace of it."

"Can't you help him?" Elrohir asked just as scared as his twin.

"I can try, but since I don't know what kind of poison this was there's only so little that I can do" Elrond said sadly watching how his foster son squirmed in his arms.

"What do you need?" Elladan asked, "We'll get it for you".

Elrond told his sons what he needed to calm Estel down and they hurried off finding it. Meanwhile Elrond stayed seated next the small child, kept him in his arms and started to rock back and forth, slightly humming a soothening lullaby.

When the twins arrived again he set to work, mixing the herbs and meanwhile applying a cold compress so his fever would not rise even more. Both Elladan and Elrohir struggled to keep him still so that he wouldn't hurt himself.

Elrond poured the boiling herbs into a cloth and caught the fluid in a goblet. Quickly pressing the herbs together on another piece of clean cloth he then removed the bandages on the little one's chest and pressed the new bandage on it securing it with several more bandages tied around his chest to keep it in place. The he took the goblet and motioned his twins to keep him sitting upright for just a few seconds longer.

He brought the goblet to his son's lips but he refused to drink, not knowing that it was for his own good. After struggling with him for a while Elrond managed to get some of the draught into him. As he had swallowed it the gently laid him back down.

After a while of nervous watching the youngster squirm he seemed to relax some bit. Finally he lay still, seemingly asleep. All three elves sighed at this sight.

"You two get some rest now" Elrond said softly as not to wake the little one up. "I'll stay here and watch him, you have a early morning ahead".

Both nodded and left the room after kissing their little brother on the forehead, feeling the fever raging in his body. As they left Elrond pulled the chair closer to the bed again that he had thrown aside to get to his son easier. As he sat down in it Estel sighed deeply and turned his head towards him, still not opening his eyes and apparently still deep asleep.

Elrond stayed with him for the reminder of the night.

When Elladan and Elrohir entered their little brother's room again in the morning, they found both in the same position as they left them. Elrond hadn't moved and Estel was still fast asleep.

Elrond could clearly see the questions in their eyes and could do nothing but shake his head. There had been no improvement in his foster son's condition.

"Why don't you go freshen up Ada" Elladan said softly, "we will watch him for a while until you are back".

"Thank you my sons" Elrond replied as soft as spoken to. Standing up carefully he stretched his cramped limbs from sitting in the same position all night long. When he walked to the door he glimpsed back and saw that Elladan had taken his place in the chair and Elrohir gently sat down on the bed next to his little brother.

Only a few minutes later he returned.

"I will sit next to him again now, you two have work to do" he said softly looking at his youngest.

"Yes we have Ada" Elladan said as he stood up so that his father could sit again, "we are all but ready to leave".

"Be careful my sons, I could not bear to have to patch up another of my sons today" Elrond said as the stood in front of him.

"We will" they said together.

Glancing one last time at the still form upon the bed, they turned and left the room.

"Valar protect them" Elrond muttered as he sat down in the chair next to his youngest.

The day went by uneventful for both parties. Estel did not budge and kept sleeping. No orcs were found anywhere near Rivendell, which made the warriors sigh with relief.

When darkness started to fall, they decided to return home. Elladan and Elrohir where anxious to see if Estel had woken yet.

Barging in the front door they startled Elrond who had dozed of slightly. Looking at his surroundings he quickly saw that Estel had his eyes open and was looking at him.

"Estel!" Elrond said surprised to see him awake, standing up quickly to take the little human into his arms.

"You snored Ada" the little boy in bed giggled.

"I most certainly did not" Elrond replied mirth filling his voice as well. "I wasn't even asleep".

"Yes you were!" Estel persisted.

At that same moment the twins entered the room, they had heard noises radiating from the room and smiled as they walked in.

"Estel, you are awake!" Elladan cried as he crossed the distance between the door and his brother's bed with a few large steps.

"You had us worried sick pen neth" Elrohir said as he raced across the room to sit on the other edge of the bed.

"Ada snored" Estel said giggling again.

Al four of them started laughing until Estel suddenly started coughing and lay back on his pillows.

"It hurts to laugh" he said still giggling. "We will leave you to rest then" Elrond said standing up and motioning his sons to do the same.

Closing the door gently as they left a smile stayed on Elrond's face. His son had pulled through.

"Thank Valar!" he whispered softly as they walked away from the door.

The end