Arachnophobia

By: Eleniel

Rating:

Warnings:

Summary: Our favorite Elf twins, Glorfindel, and Estel must travel to and stay in Mirkwood for a bit. What is Mirkwood famous for? Spiders. Who's afraid of a little spider, right? Someone in our group is. Humor ficlett.

Spoilers: none that I know of

Disclaimer: I do not own anything, I'm merely playing with someone else's toys. I promise I'll put them back in the same shape I found them in (not very good if you go by some other fics out there...for loving these characters so much, we sure do take care of them, don't we? (note the sarcasm, please)). ALSO I don't pretend to be an Elvish expert. Sorry if I get it wrong. It should be Sindarin, and I was using the Grey Company Sindarin Dictionary, which is only loosely based on Tolkein's work. I'm sorry if you see it as wrong.

Feedback: Rowen_Chan@hotmail.com or the review button works well too.

A/N: Thank the plot bunny. I was reading an old email from a yahoo group I was part of about fears of the LOTR characters, and this bunny bit. Hard. So I wrote the story so I could get back to chapter five of Not Old Enough. And by the way, I know it'd be a bit off for a Prince to act as the escort, but you also have to take into consideration that the Mirkwood palace gates open at night only to royalty (at least in this story).

This story is placed when Estel is still Estel, before he's learned his heritage. He is right about seventeen. Thought you may want to know. Now on with it.

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It had been a long journey so far. Lord Elrond to had sent Elladan, Elrohir, Estel, and Glorfindel to Mirkwood on business, but they were detained along the way by Orcs and were a day or so behind schedule, and slightly wounded as well.

They were just now entering Mirkwood. The once-green woods were now dark and foreboding, lovable it seemed only to those who lived there. The trees spoke so much even the Noldor Elves, who did not have the connection with the trees Silvan and some Sindarin Elves seemed to have, could hear them.

"What is that?" Elrohir asked, spotting something moving swiftly in the treetops. The party immediately unsheathed their weapons, prepared for battle.

"Oh...It is only a spider, and not even the extremely dangerous kind," Estel said after seeing the creature once more.

Most of the group relaxed at this news. Most of them...but one remained on edge.

"Elladan, what's wrong?" his twin asked. Elladan had gone rigid, fear showing in his eyes. Elrohir started to grin. "You're not...afraid...are you?" he asked, putting special emphasis on the word 'afraid'. "Now what could you possibly fear? It wouldn't be..."

"Elrohir, shut up!!" Elladan replied defensively. He moved his horse to the front of the group, away from his brother, who was laughing so hard he was almost crying.

"You are, aren't you! Elladan! You of all people, afraid of..."

"ELROHIR! SHUT IT!" Elladan shouted, momentarily silencing the wood around them. Anger and embarrassment showed clearly on his face, and Estel and Glorfindel soon picked up the idea.

"Elladan, are you afraid of the spiders?" Estel asked, struggling to hide a grin.

Elladan did not answer but instead rode far ahead of the group, ignoring their laughter.

Even Glorfindel was snickering- it was hard not to when you saw an Elf over 2000 years old panicking over a spider that wasn't even there anymore. Elladan was a prince of Imladris, battle-trained and afraid of few things...but spiders? Honestly, it was very funny.

Elladan did not speak to them for a while, leaving them to their wants. He was hurt by their laughter; it wasn't his fault he was scared of spiders and he did not appreciate being made fun of for it. It was an irrational fear he could not seem to rid himself of.

Before long, however, Elladan found himself within the middle of the group again. A large group of spiders appeared directly in front of them.

The spiders were soon disposed of, leaving Estel and Elrohir to laugh once more at Elladan's frightened face.

"I think that is enough," Glorfindel said quietly as Elladan huffed angrily once more, venturing out as far as he dared in front of the group.

That was how they rode until they reached the palace, which was not until dark. As soon as Elladan could see the gates, he loped easily ahead, and by the time the main party had reached the entrance to the palace, Elladan already had the gates wide open and ready for them, thanks to the Prince Legolas, who'd been summoned quickly-King Thranduil was already asleep.

"Our apologies, My Lord, we were detained," Glorfindel said, greeting the blond prince with a slight bow.

"It is well, Lord Glorfindel, many are the things now making travel dangerous in these parts," Legolas replied, turning to greet the rest of the party.

"Mae govannen ((well met)), and welcome to Mirkwood. Guest chambers have been prepared, and as I see you are injured I will send for healers to tend your wounds," he said, leading the way to the palace before anyone could protest. Elladan and Elrohir merely glanced at each other before following, Elladan moving much faster than Elrohir, trying to keep away.

"Im hiraetha, toror'nin, I should not have teased you, ((I am sorry, my brother))" Elrohir called, eliciting a disdainful huff.

"No, you shouldn't have," was Elladan's only response. He walked faster, chatting amiably with the Prince and leaving his brothers and protector far behind.

"Elrohir, give him time. He is not yet ready to forgive you; he is ashamed of his fear," Glorfindel said quietly. He wasn't about to tell anyone, but when Lord Elrond had been younger, he too had feared spiders. He'd grown out of it though-it appeared Elladan was growing into it. He hadn't feared spiders before, and Glorfindel wondered what'd set him off. An idea occurred. "Estel, Elrohir, when was the last time Elladan actually saw, meaning he noticed, a spider?"

"I do believe it was when he woke to find the large, hairy one on his chest. He screamed enough to wake the house," Estel said, chuckling at the memory. Elladan had indeed woken most of the house with his cry that morning, loud and shrill. Elrond had thought he was dying, and had rushed to his side only to realize it was simply a spider. A very, very large one, but a spider nonetheless.

"Yes, and the time before that, Estel dropped one on his head. He couldn't get it out of his hair, it was quite humorous," Elrohir chipped in, smiling a bit. Glorfindel looked a little lost in thought, walking slowly along the path.

"Glorfindel? Mankoi rashwea lle? ((What troubles you?))" Estel asked after a moment.

"Nothing, young one, I was just thinking. Elladan seems to have developed this fear because of repeated traumas-I know you've put more spiders on him than you are admitting, and yes, Estel, I know you put the spider on his chest that night." A look of shock flitted across Estel's face before he regained his composure.

"What are you talking about? I would never," he said innocently, but Glorfindel knew he was lying. The boy had a way of refusing to look you in the eye if he wasn't being totally honest, and he was not looking Glorfindel in the eye right now.

"And if I did? Elladan threw me into the training corral with a wild, ungentled horse the week before that. Do you have any idea whatsoever how much that hurt?" Estel asked, his face growing a bit red as his temper rose in preparation for an argument.

"Peace, Estel, I do not mean to offend. I simply sought to find the source of Elladan's arachnophobia," Glorfindel said, raising a hand. Estel was back to his happy demeanor within seconds.

The travelers reached the palace and each went to his room and washed and was tended, and left to recuperate from the journey. The morning, and many days after that, would be devoted to business.

Not all of the visitors were sleeping, however. Estel was awake, and he had a nasty feeling about him.

"Something is going to happen, I can feel it...but what?" he asked the night. Silence was his only answer, and he decided to stop pretending to sleep and walk awhile, in hopes of easing his mind. He had only to find his robe.

Reaching into his pack, a strange texture tickled his fingers. Lace? He pulled the garment out - it was indeed lace, a very lacy article belonging to an Elf-maid in Imladris...Estel remembered she had been very, very angry about it going missing, along with many of her other clothes...now where could the rest be? He only had one.

A few minutes later, Estel was wandering about the hallways of the Palace of Mirkwood. He had not been able to sleep, and had hoped walking would ease his mind.

"Something plagues my mind..." he said quietly, looking about him. The world outside was asleep and quiet, all except for...

...a large, hairy, red and black...

"SPIDER!!" Estel cried, stumbling backwards. The spider was larger than he, and the clicking of its large fangs resonated in the hall.

"What?" A sleepy and confused Prince Legolas appeared from behind a door, roused by Estel's cry. The spider had begun to advance on Estel.

Seeing the spider's movement, Legolas grabbed an ornamental knife off of his dresser and stepped into the hall. Taking aim, he hurled the knife directly into the spider's head, and its stench filled the corridors.

Glorfindel, Elladan and Elrohir had appeared by this time, and Elladan, seeing the giant spider in front of his door, immediately yelped and ducked back inside. Estel had a death grip on Prince Legolas, who looked bewildered by the frightened responses Elladan and Estel were showing.

"You know, if you were faced with one of these in the forest, you would most certainly perish," he stated after a moment, eliciting laughter from Elrohir and Glorfindel.

"No, they have us to protect them," Glorfindel replied. "They'll need it on the trip home, I'm sure."

Elladan peeked his head out of his room, glaring and Glorfindel. Estel was also glaring, and had released the prince to stride over and cuff Glorfindel. "I do not need your protection," he stated fiercely.

The hallway just laughed.

"Wait until father hears of this," Elrohir said, shooing his brothers back to bed. In many weeks, when Elrond could be told, the halls of his home were filled with mirth and laughter, as well as two very annoyed people suffering from arachnophobia.