DISCLAIMER: The Lord of the Rings and the rest of the contents of Arda, Valinor and the Halls of Mandos (plus whatever the hell equivalent is, if they have one) belong to J R R Tolkien. Although, quite honestly, he probably wouldn't recognise this as being the same world.

TIMING: Nominally post LoTR, but it doesn't really matter

WARNING: SLASH (basically smut-less, all humour) except for Haldir who didn't want to play and Elladan who did but didn't get any. Also starring Legolas, Thranduil and Glorfindel. Elrohir mentioned, but somehow I didn't need him.

WARNING: On no account should this story be taken seriously.

This story has three parts, all written already. Vaguely thinking of adding a fourth, depends on reaction so far.

Mellon-nin – my friend Yrchions – sons of orcs (is the plural of ion ions or something else?)

'Improving Relations'

or 'Mirkwood Magic' or 'TOW Haldir's No Fun'

'Part 1'

Haldir's mouth currently hung somewhere around the level of his knees.

"Legolas," he said weakly. "I am certain I must have misheard you."

The Prince of Mirkwood looked back at him, the picture of calm, and took another sip of wine. As if he hadn't just made what could only be described as a thoroughly indecent proposal.

"Not at all. I said would like to have you naked, tied to my bed and smothered in something edible. I think that will do for starters, anyway."

Haldir's mind was less racing than it was running for its life. He'd long known that Legolas' tastes ran further towards the masculine than his own, but until this moment he'd been labouring under the delusion that any interest he inspired in the other elf was purely platonic. Apparently not.

Using his formidable willpower, he summoned enough strength to close his mouth and regain the aloof, slightly haughty expression that had always served him so well.

"Legolas," he began, "I believe we need to clarify the boundaries of our relationship."

Legolas actually had the gall to grin. "You have not yet heard my reasoning."

Relatively unaccustomed as he was to being so blatantly propositioned by a member of his own sex – since all of Lorien knew his preferences - Haldir was fairly sure he had grasped that much of the situation. His stoic demeanour faltered a little as he remembered the innocent outdoor bath they had shared just the other day. He'd thought nothing of it, something he was used to doing as a soldier, but all the time Legolas had been looking and fantasising and . . .

Legolas grasped both Haldir's shoulders firmly, mercifully ending that trail of thought before it led Haldir to insanity.

"Mellon-nin, I am not trying to seduce you. Fear not, that thought has never crossed my mind."

For a moment Haldir actually considered getting insulted by that, but on balance he decided to go with relieved.

Legolas released him and started to pace restlessly around his chambers.

"My father has it in his head that you and I are involved . . ."

That certainly explained a few things. Like why the just slightly imposing king of Eryn Lasgalen had been giving Haldir looks that suggested he would like to impale him repeatedly on his sword. Literally, that was. Although possibly figuratively as well since, when it came to Thranduil, one never knew.

". . . and naturally I would like to encourage this as much as possible."

He hadn't just heard that.

"Have you taken complete leave of your senses?" Haldir demanded. "Thranduil barely tolerates our friendship. If he finds the smallest shred of evidence to suggest that I have overstepped my bounds that far, the most I can hope for is for him to personally hurl me in the direction of Lorien. And most likely he will hasten my journey to Mandos."

"It's just one tiny little favour," Legolas pleaded, with the wide-eyed look that Haldir had never been able to understand the appeal of.

"Being tied to your bed and left entirely at the mercy of anyone who happens to walk in is *not* a tiny little favour."

"But all I want is for my father to see you there! The whole thing should take five minutes. Then he'll believe I'm bedding you and all will be well."

Somewhere in that chain of logic, Haldir was missing a link.

"Why exactly are you so determined for your father to believe us to be lovers?" he asked, studying his long-time friend intently. "What would you gain from this?"

Legolas was avoiding his gaze. That always meant bad things. "I would just like to keep his eyes from me for a while."

Haldir's eyes narrowed. "This is about the twins, isn't it? Which one . . . or is it both?"

Legolas looked as though he was going to deny everything, then dropped his act. "Elrohir," he admitted.

"You have appalling taste in lovers."

Legolas bristled. "Now see here, Haldir . . ."

Haldir held up his hand to stop the tirade before it got going. "By which I mean," he said, "that you have a knack for making the most unwise choices of partners on offer. Was not one of Elrond's sons enough for you?"

Legolas gave him a cheeky grin. "Not at all. You should try one." He frowned. "Just not my one."

"I will take that under advisement," Haldir said dryly. "But I am not, under any circumstances, going to aid you in this ridiculous idea. When your father discovers that you are involved with one of Lord Elrond's sons, he will throw one of his tempests and you will probably find yourself exiled to Lorien along with me. The only possible way you could escape that fate would be to successfully distract Thranduil himself, and that is unheard of."

The look that had appeared on Legolas' face was one produced by a mind working furiously to produce pure evil. Haldir found himself seriously wondering if there was any possibility that Legolas might actually be related to Elrond's hellions.

Just when he'd thought that whole scenario couldn't get any more disturbing.

"Unheard of," Legolas was saying thoughtfully, "but not impossible. And I know just the elf to do it. Of course it's going to take quite some doing, but the results might just be worth it."

"What?" Haldir asked, steeling himself for a display of pure, unadulterated insanity.

"The solution is simple," Legolas said brightly. "I'll just get Adar together with Lord Glorfindel."

And there it was.

***

Elrond's long serving – and long suffering – seneschal stood at the window watching the catastrophic quad as they headed off into the forest. Elladan and Elrohir – under his sole charge for the duration of their visit – were carrying a large picnic basket between them. Behind them, Haldir and Legolas appeared to be engaged in a furious argument that involved many rude gestures. The last thing Glorfindel saw before the four of them disappeared into the woods was Legolas making a strangling motion behind Haldir's back.

"So nice to see them getting along, isn't it?"

Glorfindel turned and regarded the king of Mirkwood carefully, not entirely certain whether he was being sarcastic or just blind. From what he knew of Thranduil, he was leaning towards the former.

"I have to admit, Thranduil," he said carefully, watching to see what the reaction would be, "I was surprised to learn that such an alliance had formed between Greenwood and Lorien."

Thranduil's lips curved in a decidedly unpleasant smile. "There is no alliance there, although my son would have me believe there is. And if my son is to bind with one from outside our borders, I would have him look in another direction. Lorien fades now that Galadriel has sailed over the sea and much could be gained from an alliance with Imladris."

Glorfindel had an unpleasant feeling he knew where this conversation was leading. "Do you have anyone specific in mind?"

"They are so alike it does not seem to matter. I will let my son distinguish between them."

"You do realise," Glorfindel said, "that as their guardian for this visit, I am honour bound to object strongly to this."

Thranduil waved off that comment. "Those little yrchions are far past their majority, though admittedly they rarely act like it. If anything, my son should be protected from them."

Actually that was probably exactly what Elrond had had mind.

"Are you suggesting that you are going to attempt to match-make your own son with one of my charges?" Glorfindel said, privately thinking that Thranduil himself would be a good match for one of them.

"Nay," Thranduil said, his eyes taking on a dangerous glint as he moved to stand at Glorfindel's side. "I'm suggesting that *we* are going to *succeed* in matchmaking my son with one of your charges."

Without several millennia of practise at controlling his responses, Glorfindel might well have had to move away so Thranduil didn't realise what effect his presence invariably had on the blond. The fact that his attraction to Thranduil had existed most of that time didn't help matters.

"What exactly do you mean 'we'?" he asked, trying very hard not to like the sound of that.

Thranduil laid an arm that felt hot enough to brand him across his shoulders. "I mean just that, seneschal," he said. "What could be better for improving relations between our two realms than the two of us working together?"

Glorfindel was about to suggest that a full-scale civil war might be a better diplomatic exercise, when Thranduil leaned close enough for him to feel the king's breath on his ear. Then both speech and rational thought deserted him.

"And I believe I shall enjoy working * very* closely with you," that naturally husky voice murmured into his ear. "Towards a mutually satisfactory conclusion."

"Thranduil," Glorfindel said, keeping his voice normal and breathing level only with grave difficulty, "what exactly are you suggesting?"

Thranduil's fingers trailed down his throat, producing tremors in their wake, and casually undid the top clasp of Glorfindel's tunic. "I could explain it to you," Glorfindel heard. "But I think it would be more beneficial to both of us if I were to show you."

Well, the purpose of this visit *was* to encourage closer relations with Eryn Lasgalen. So this was certainly in the spirit of things.

"Aye," he said, closing his eyes involuntarily as the very talented fingers lightly brushed his chest. "We are in agreement on that."