Outside the cave King Thranduil paced restlessly back and forth as several elves moved as much as the fallen rubble away as possible. Gandalf had ordered him back after heavy stones had nearly collapsed on him; the wizard had insisted that the Elven King not get himself crushed. Elladan and Elrohir, Elrond's twin sons, also hovered nearby helping treat the injured elves. Gandalf, Thranduil, and his elves had meet up with the twins on the road. The twins at finding out about their foster brother's predicament immediately decided to tag along.
"Everybody stand back!" Gandalf ordered after as many of the stones that could be removed were. "Elladan, Elrohir, when I tell you I want you to go in there and get Legolas and Estel."
"I will go in after my son." Thranduil stated stepping beside the wizard as he let his cloak fall.
Gandalf raised his bushy brows but knew there was no arguing with Thranduil where Legolas was concerned. "Fine. Elrohir you go with him."
Gandalf moved closer the entrance of the cave raising his staff up and muttering in an unintelligible language. The earth around them seemed to shift and groan causing several of the elves to give startled cries of alarm. The boulders at the entrance rasped and creaked as they moved against each other. Then stones slowly began to rise up and away leaving the way clear. Deciding it was safe Gandalf nodded. "Go."
Thranduil and Elrohir quickly passed into the dark and dusty tunnel only to reappear a moment later with the wayward youths. The rocks thundered back into place as Gandalf released them from their hold.
Thranduil let Legolas slide to the ground as the elven youth coughed harshly trying to expel the dust from his lungs. Legolas nodded to try and reassure his father he was all right as he finally took a breath of clean air. He didn't resist as Thranduil caught his face in his hands before gathering him close.
"I'm fine Ada." Legolas murmured into his father's ear.
Thranduil did not reply right away only squeezing him tighter as he ran a hand down Legolas' tangled hair. Finally the Elven King pushed his son away to look at him closely. "What kind of foolish stunt was that?!"
"Ada." Legolas pleaded.
"I saw the rope. That cave was set to fall!" Thranduil chastised. "Do you want me to die from heart failure?!"
Legolas bit his lower lip but a smile hinted at the corners of his mouth. "No Ada."
"Don't look at me like that Legolas." Thranduil stated firmly. "You are in trouble."
Legolas wrapped his arms around his father. "I love you Ada."
Thranduil sighed defeated. "Where did you get that dim witted idea anyhow?"
"It was Aragorn's."
"Aragorn's." Thranduil echoed sounding less then pleased.
"We couldn't have the spiders follow us. We never would have been able to get away." Legolas insisted. "We did destroy the tunnel and the matriarch is dead. Our people will be safer for a time."
Thranduil pursed his lips. The Elven King threw a look over to where Elladan and Elrohir were kneeling with Aragorn. The human youth looked up and met his eyes a moment before looking away.
Legolas tugged at his father's shirt to get his attention. "Ada?"
"He is a human."
"I know." Legolas said softly. "I would like to get to know him better. He is interesting for a human. Could he stay with us for a while?"
"If I say no you will just follow him to Imladris." Thranduil sighed. "Well if I have to worry about him I would rather do it under my roof were I can keep an eye on him."
Legolas smiled brilliantly. "Thank you Ada!"
"Next you will be dragging a dwarf home." Thranduil muttered.
Aragorn groaned half heartedly attempting to push Elrohir's hands away. "Enough already. I am fine."
"Of course you are." Elladan snapped. "That's why you have a bandage around your head."
"Stop it!" Aragorn swatted at his brothers' hands. "You two are just going to start it bleeding again!"
"Fine but when we get to Thranduil's halls I am going to take a look at it." Elrohir commanded.
"It may need stitches." Elladan remarked.
"No stitches." Aragorn shook his head wrinkling his nose. He stopped though feeling the world tilt a bit.
"Are you all right?" Elrohir asked worriedly.
"Still a little dizzy."
Elladan snorted. "A little?"
Elrohir swatted his twin. "Enough." He watched Aragorn closely. "You probably have a concussion. We should get you to Thranduil's halls before long."
Aragorn cast a glance over at the Elven King and his son. Thranduil's gaze was not warm. He looked away. "Maybe we should just head home. How are the other elves?"
"No we are not heading home and they are just fine, quit changing the subject." Elladan stated firmly.
"I don't think he likes me." Aragorn muttered under his breath.
Elrohir smiled slightly. "You are not traveling any further than needed right now. Once he gets to know you he will like you."
"Thanks, I think." Aragorn sighed before looking at the twins shrewdly. "What are you two doing here anyhow? You both were not due back from LothLorien yet."
Both twins winced. Elladan grimaced. "A story for another time. Suffice to say that the Captain of Lorien's guard was going to kill us if we didn't leave."
"Haldir?" Legolas asked sitting down beside Elrohir. "What did you do to him now?"
"Don't ask." Elrohir muttered.
Elladan took a hold of Legolas' chin looking him over. "Wonders will never cease, for a change your not injured 'Las."
Legolas shook off his hold. "Last time, if memory serves gwador, it was you we had to drag in front of your father."
Aragorn perked up. "Wait a minute I never heard about this."
"And you are never going too." Elladan returned.
"How's the head?" Legolas asked Aragorn.
The man reached up to touched the bandage gingerly. "All right if I don't move to fast. How are the other elves doing?"
Legolas looked over to where his father and Gandalf were checking the other warriors. "Good. Ada says Rowan is muttering nonsense but that is normal. With some rest they will all be fine, considering the alternative. 'Thank you' for helping me."
Aragorn grinned at his newfound friend. "See I told you it was good that one of us was human."
Legolas laughed but the twins just snorted in skepticism.
"Are you sure you want to let him into your home Legolas?" Elladan asked.
"Cause once he's there your life will never be the same." Elrohir finished.