A/N: To those of you who are regular readers of my fics (you know who you are, you wonderful people you!), you know that in my humor fics I generally like to poke fun at common conventions of fanfiction in general, and this fic is no exception. I mean no harm to anyone or anything, as I like to laugh at everything, even myself. I am personally a huge fan of slash, and mean no insult to either slash writers or slash readers. It's predictable, sorry, but it wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. In other news, the next chapter of CATOË will be up very shortly.
This fic has a complementary tale drawn from The Silmarillion, also called "The Announcement, or, Fëanor Finds Out." If you'd rather read that, then don't read this because the punchline is the same.
Rating: Extremely tame despite A/N.
Warnings: horribly AU, dreadfully anachronistic dialogue/terminology, dripping with overdone irony.
Many thanks to Bow for beta-reading.
The Announcement - or, Telling Ada
The main banquet hall of the royal household of Minas Tirith was alive with greater joy than it had been in living mortal memory. Tonight was the sixth night of the celebration of King Elessar's coronation and wedding to his Queen, the incomparable Arwen Undómiel, and every corner of Middle-Earth was getting in on the party.
In seats of honor were the four Hobbits of the Shire; the Ringbearer, his loyal servant, and his two cousins. Next to Meriadoc sat the fair Eowyn of the House of Eorl and her brother Eomer, King of Rohan. The king and the shieldmaiden were joined by Faramir, the newly-ascended Steward of Gondor, who could not be restrained from making calf-eyes in their direction. The wizard Gandalf had chosen to take his seat next to Faramir, and beside him sat Lord Elrond and his entire household, with the exception of his daughter who had taken up her seat at King Elessar's side. Several notable Elf-Lords were in the Rivendell party, many of whom were renewing acquaintances with the representatives of Lothlórien and Eryn Lasgalen, which included the Elvenking himself. Most surprising of all was that the emissaries sent by King Dáin of Erebor, led by the esteemed Sire Glóin, had chosen to seat themselves next to the Mirkwood Elves. As the evening progressed, the tone of conversation had gone from stiff and chilly to informal and downright intimate as greater and greater amounts of alcohol were consumed by all parties involved.
Despite the warm and friendly atmosphere, there was at least one person in the banquet hall who was not enjoying himself. Legolas Greenleaf, son of the Elvenking, was silent and morose throughout the dinner. The Elf was seated near Aragorn and the Hobbits, and at his side, as ever, was Gimli the Dwarf, his bosom companion.
Although Legolas appeared to be the only person in the hall not enjoying himself (not that anyone else noticed), Gimli was in reality keenly concerned about his friend. It was unlike the light-hearted Elf to be so serious. Sadly, the Dwarf realized what must be on his friend's mind. The intimacy of their relationship permitted no secrets, and Gimli knew that a certain matter was weighing heavily on Legolas' heart. Unable to bear his dear friend's suffering a moment longer, Gimli patted the Elf's shoulder to get his attention.
Startled out of his reverie by the sudden contact, Legolas looked up sharply.
"What ails you, friend?" asked the Dwarf in a gruff, affectionate tone.
The Elf sighed heavily. "Sooner or later, I must tell my lord." Gimli did not need to ask to what Legolas referred. "I long to have the burden of secrecy lifted from my heart. Yet I fear his scorn and condemnation once he learns the truth about his son."
Gimli cast his glance down the table to where the Elvenking was toasting the health of King Dáin and the wealth of the Dwarves with Glóin. Actually, they were both rather toasted. "He appears to be fairly amenable at the moment," he said wryly.
It was true enough. Elessar had wisely advised his staff to keep the spirits flowing freely to help grease the potentially bumpy wheels of diplomacy with such a diverse group of guests, and Thranduil was by now quite well-lubricated. There might never be a better opportunity to break the news to his father. This of course was not what Gimli had intended to suggest; he'd meant merely to ease his friend's mind. But Legolas had made his decision in an instant – it was time for this deception to end.
Legolas stood abruptly, startling Gimli. "Legolas?"
"You are right Gimli. It is time to tell him. I will not live a lie any longer."
"Are you sure that's wise, lad?" cautioned the Dwarf. Of course he would support Legolas whatever his decision might be, but he wanted the Elf to be absolutely certain of what he wanted. Besides, Legolas was not the only person who would be affected by his confession. Nervously, Gimli began to regret that he had said anything in the first place. "Perhaps you'd be more comfortable speaking to him in private?"
The Elf appeared to consider this for a moment. "No, Gimli," Legolas finally replied. "It might as well be here and now. It will not mean as much in private – he may even try to have it covered up. This way, there will be no more secrets. I want the whole world to know." He smiled gently at his friend, touched by his concern, and patted the Dwarf's hand on his arm.
"Then I shall stand up with you, if you'll permit it," answered Gimli, knowing that Legolas would not now be dissuaded.
"I should be very glad of that." So saying, the two friends left their places at the table and made their way down the front of the table where King Thranduil was now attempting to entice the Dwarves to accompany him in a popular love ballad of Dale.
It was a truly magnificent party, and every person present felt like a king himself, everyone being royally sloshed. As Legolas passed down the table, he noticed a generous amount of interaction among the guests, a good deal of it going on under that same table. Sighing to himself, he nodded to Aragorn as he walked past the king's seat, then to Arwen and Eowyn, Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin, Eomer and Faramir, Gandalf and Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir, Glorfindel and Erestor, and all the other Elves present, to where his father was now merrily warbling away with his Dwarvish accompaniment, to the great amusement of all present.
Legolas had to address his father several times before he was heard over the drunken singing of the guests, but by the time he had raised his voice to the top of his lungs, the Elf had the attention of almost everyone in the room.
"Yes, son?" asked the Elvenking, grinning benevolently at his offspring who stood before him with the Dwarf at his side. He couldn't help but notice, despite his advanced state of inebriation, that Legolas and his friend looked extremely uncomfortable.
"Father, I've something important to tell you."
Thranduil spread his arms wide in invitation. "Of course, son. What is it?"
"Father, I…I'm in love!" he blurted out.
The Elvenking lifted one golden eyebrow and glanced at the Dwarf next to his son. It was an odd match, to be sure, but the Elf-lord had had his suspicions about the two ever since he had arrived in Minas Tirith. He'd immediately set about learning all he could about his son's new friend and was pleased to discover that the Dwarf was a well-respected and worthy companion. In truth, he'd rather expected Legolas to make some sort of dramatic announcement for a few days now. Thranduil couldn't help feeling a little relieved as he replied, "Oh? That is wonderful, son. With whom, may I ask, are you in love?"
Legolas looked down and shuffled his feet. "That's not all father. There's something else I must tell you about…about this person. And about me. I don't know how to tell you but I…I…"
"You can tell me anything, Legolas."
Swallowing with an audible gulp, Legolas decided to go ahead and tell his lord the plain, unvarnished truth, no matter how painful it was. "Father, I…I'm straight."
Straight? Straight? Suddenly his pleasant buzz had vanished as swiftly as a snowflake in Orodruin.
"I've tried to deny it," Legolas plunged on when his father did not respond. "But my heart is given. I love an Elvenmaid!"
It was almost too much for the Elvenking. How could his only precious son be straight!? "Legolas," he responded slowly, "Legolas, are you sure you are straight? Perhaps you just haven't found the right gay lover."
"Father, I am sure." Legolas shook his head sadly. "I love an Elvenmaid of our household, a wonderfully ordinary lady, and I…I mean to marry her."
"Son, you know good and well that we Elves only marry women for the sake of duty, not love. We wed to produce children and then return to our gay lovers!" Thranduil said sternly. "Legolas, have you even tried not being straight?"
"Oh, how I've tried, Father!" Legolas buried his face miserably in his hands. "But I can no longer deny what I am! Father, your son is straight!"
The reactions to this grave announcement in the hall were quite varied. Several persons present took the opportunity to burst into laughter. The son of the proud Elvenking of Eryn Lasgalen, in love with an ordinary Elf-maid? Aragorn looked at the miserable Elf in silent sympathy. He'd suspected for some time that Legolas fancied women, especially when his blatant attempts at seduction were gently turned down, but they had never spoken of it. Apparently the only other people who had known for sure were the Elvenmaid in question, and Gimli.
"Gimli!" said Glóin, rising to his feet and glaring suspiciously at his son where he stood at the Elf's side. "I suppose you're here to tell us that you are straight as well?" he asked, half-jokingly.
"Yes, sire," Gimli replied, nodding his head gravely. "I, too, am in love with an Elvenmaid."
The elderly Dwarf appeared to stop breathing upon hearing those words. His face turned an alarming shade of blue as he clapped a hand over his heart. Concerned, Thranduil whacked him solidly on the back, nearly knocking the shorter being over.
"Father! I am only jesting!" said Gimli. "Of course I am gay!"
"Son," said Glóin in a gasping breath when he could speak again, "don't scare your father like that!" Gimli's little joke was certainly upsetting, but he was too relieved that it was a joke to be too angry. Besides, it had drawn some of the attention away from Thranduil and his poor straight son and broken the tension in the hall.
People began to resume their merry-making, but Legolas was not yet ready to let it go. Gazing into his father's stern visage, the Elf raised his voice to be heard in the whole hall. "Father, I must know! Will you accept my choice? Will you still have me as your son?"
Slowly, silently, Thranduil rose to his feet. The hall was hushed once more as the Elvenking made his way around the table to stand before his son. The lines of his face were hard as he quietly said, "I do not like your decision."
Legolas felt his heart breaking inside him. "Then, we are parent and child no longer, for I cannot be anything but what I am!" Again he covered his face, miserably attempting to conceal the tears which had sprung to his eyes.
"Nay, I said not so," said Thranduil in a louder voice. "Legolas, I do not approve of your choices, but you do not need my approval. You are and always shall be my son. Nothing you say or do will change that. You are my flesh and blood, and I love you no matter what."
The Elvenking's son looked up, hope dawning for the first time on his tear-streaked face.
"While your choice of mate does not bring me joy," Thranduil continued, "my heart is glad that you have found love. I do not approve of your choice, but I will accept it, as I accept you. Gay or straight, you are still my son." Drawing Legolas into his arms, the Elvenking embraced his son in front of the entire hall, to the murmured approval of the crowd. Drawing back, Thranduil added with a smile, "Do not expect, however, that this means I won't continue trying to change your mind."
"Of course not, Father," said Legolas with a weak and watery smile, wiping his face on his sleeve. "I would expect no less."
"Very well then! Let us meet this Elvenmaid of yours. Perhaps I can bring her to her senses!" his father replied, half-jokingly. "Her family, I'm sure, was quite devastated to learn that their daughter was straight?"
Legolas turned grave once more. "More than devastated. They refuse to accept her choice, and deny that she might not be gay. We have sworn not to let that stop us, but they say they will refuse to allow her to wed me, upon pain of disinheritance."
"Well, we shall see about that!" said Thranduil darkly under his breath.
Legolas had to smile. His father was still on his side, no matter what. By summer's end he would be wedded to his lover, and his father would stand at his side.
"Well, with all that out of the way!" said Gimli, rubbing his stomach, "I do believe there's a touch more feasting and celebrating to be done here before the night is through!"
"You are right of course, Master Dwarf," replied Thranduil, guiding his son back around the table. "Let us drink and be merry indeed!"
"Be merry indeed!" chorused the Hobbits, raising their glasses as one to toast the happy couple. In truth the Hobbits were not a bit surprised that their Elven-friend had turned out to be straight. He had always been strange. "Merry indeed!" repeated Merry. He and Pippin began bawling out some drinking song they had made up in Entwood, and the crowd soon joined in.
And so it was that Thranduil, King of Eryn Lasgalen, learned the truth about his son and his impending marriage. There was some resistance on the part of the other Elven realms to what they considered to be a most unsuitable match, but with the stern and often vociferous support of his father, Legolas and the Elf-maid he'd chosen persevered and were wedded on the last day of summer. The Elvenking stood at his son's side, and kissed his daughter-in-law with joy. Representatives from every realm on the Hither Shore attended to offer their blessings to the happy couple, and they lived happily ever after indeed.
Hope you enjoyed. Reveiws are appreciated. Flames are given to Fëanor, who is forging us a flame-thrower. Cheers!