A/N: My loyal readers! I just can't leave you! I felt a burning need to write this epilogue. It is always the highlight of a long day to read your reviews and therefore I will continue to write fanfiction until I no longer have any inspiration. Again, I am open to ideas from the audience, but if I don't get any I will likely just make something up.
Epilogue: Letter of trouble
"You two had better be in those beds..."
Elrond had spoken loud and clear as he rounded the corner and started down the corridor of Mirkwood's palace that led to the Healing Chamber. Legolas and Estel had been completely unruly patients since their return to the palace.
He heard a few grunts and thuds, but when he entered the room, Estel and Legolas were sitting up in bed, propped against pillows, and Elladan and Elrohir were sitting at the foot of Estel's bed.
Bardon, the Mirkwood healer, was no where in site. Celronen, who had completely recovered from his spider sting, was sitting in an armchair beside Legolas' bed, eyes twinkling, but not giving anything away.
Elrond frowned. He knew these Elves and Human too well. There was no way they had been in those beds before he called out. Legolas and Estel both had innocent looks on their faces. Too innocent to be truly innocent.
"Hello, Ada. We were just listening to Elladan tell the story of Carcharoth and Huan," Estel said with a broad smile, idly scratching his shin under the blanket.
The Elf Lord's eyes narrowed. "Really? And I suppose if you were listening to that tale you would be able to tell me what Carcharoth was bred for?"
Estel bit his lip. Come to think of it...since he had not been listening, nor had Elladan been telling, he couldn't name that purpose. "Well, he was...see...it was all so that...you know, Ada. Why are you asking me?"
The Elf chuckled. "Yes, I do know. Which is why I'm certain you four...rather...five," he looked pointedly at Celronen whose eyes widened, "were up to no good."
"Us? Up to no good!" Elladan said with mock indignation. "Never, Ada! How could you think that of us? We are guests in the Kings house...surely we would behave ourselves."
Elrond sighed. He quickly checked over Legolas and then Estel. Both seemed to be healing just fine. "Where is Bardon? I left him in charge of you two while I dined with King Thranduil."
No one answered. Elrond looked up. "Where is he?"
Celronen finally piped up. "We went for a walk. He needed to get out of here. Those two were driving him mad. I said I would make sure they stayed in bed."
Elrond glared at the Elf warrior. "You would, would you? Somehow I doubt that. These young hooligans have rubbed off on you, I fear. You are no better then they are and don't try to deny it!"
Legolas chuckled. "He is right, Cel. You are one of us now, there is no use denying it. But feel blessed because it isn't everyday you are counted among elflings of our age...nor our cunning in the area of pranks."
Elrond now glared at the blonde prince. "Fair prince, this may be your home and you may be royalty, but don't think I do not have control over you as well, Legolas. I can tie you to that bed just as sure as I can tie Estel to his."
"Just be certain that the people do not learn of a Noldor Elf tying up their Prince."
Thranduil entered the room now, laughing as he finished his statement. "They might not find that agreeable." He saw the look on Legolas' face and quickly added, "but they would not mind if I were to do the tying."
Legolas gaped at his father. In all his years he had never heard his father joke so often. He wasn't about to let this moment pass. "Ada! You are so...so...light-hearted right now. What has changed you? You never used to joke thus."
Thranduil sighed. "Well, Legolas. You young ones really do rub off on an Elf. I am not immune to that it seems. As a matter of fact, I much relish seeing the look on Elladan's face when I reveal the next bit of information."
Elladan's eyes widened and he began to frantically shake his hands in front of him and turn his head from side to side. "No, hir nin! Do not...I beg you...I'll never live it down!"
Estel and Legolas' heads snapped up. "Live what down, Ada? What did Elladan do?"
The King, enjoying this situation very much, smiled at Elladan, a sweet, innocent smile. "He mistook a twig for the snake we sought. You should have seen it...it was really quite funny."
"A twig!? A TWIG?"
Estel couldn't stand it. He burst out laughing. Legolas stared at his father, then Elladan, then the laughing Estel. Then, he too began to laugh...slowly at first, then harder until he was shaking and tears were falling.
Thranduil, Elrond and Elrohir began to laugh as well, laughter is truly contagious. Elladan remained stoically silent. For about a minute. Then he burst out in loud guffaws. Finally, the laughter drew the attention of one exasperated healer.
"What in the world is going on in here...I thought I told you to keep them calm, Celronen...what are you doing, trying to get them killed, they are not healed yet...I can't deal with you childish, litt..."
Bardon froze in the doorway, eyes wide. The laughter had ceased and everyone was staring at the loudly breathing healer in shock. When Bardon had regained enough of his senses, he stammered, "My liege...forgive me. I did not mean you...nor you, Lord Elrond...I was just...they are so hard...I don't kno..."
"Easy, Bardon..." Elrond laid both hands on the healers shoulders and turned him around. "They are a handful, trust me, I know. I am certain King Thranduil will realize this soon enough. You go on to your room...you deserve a break from them. I will watch them now."
He sent the still stammering Bardon on his way.
"Well then," Elrond said, turning back toward the occupants of the room. "Now that we got that little laughing bout out of us, let us discover just what these young ones were up to when I entered."
Estel and Legolas exchanged glances. Elrond saw the looks, then perceived that Estel looked the more nervous of the two. So, the elf lord strode over to the bed, grabbed the edge of the blanket and pulled.
Estel gasped and tried to pull his hands from sight. He wasn't quick enough. A piece of parchment lay on the bed beside his legs.
Thranduil, seeing it, snatched it up before Legolas could protest. The prince looked positively white. Thranduil began to read:
"Most esteemed Dwarven leader,
I, Thranduil, Elvenking of Mirkwood,
invite you to a gala at the palace in our
wood. You are welcome to wine, meat
and anything else you desire at our
hospitality. We, the Elves of Mirkwood,
look forward to meeting, greeting and
dining with you.
The king looked up, eyes wide. "You...you...you were going to send this to the Dwarves?"
His eyes locked on Legolas, who was blushing profusely. The Prince, seeing the daggers in his father's eyes, pointed to Elrohir. "It was all his idea! He thought it would be fun to see an envoy of Dwarves enter Mirkwood thinking they were invited! Thought it would be neat to see how you would react...would you kick them out, lock them up, what!"
Elrohir jabbed Legolas so hard that the prince broke off his words. "Shut...Up."
Thranduil's ire now rested on the younger twin anyway, so it was no use shushing Legolas. "Your idea, Elrohir? Did you think of the diplomatic repercussions of this little note you were about to send? We could have had a serious diplomatic crisis on our hands!"
He looked to Estel. "And you are not scott free here either, Estel. You were writing it, I doubt it was under much duress."
Elrond was trying hard to hold in his laughter. This was something he was quite used to. But Thranduil, ah, he added a bit of spice to the situation. The twins, Legolas and Estel had no idea what the King would do to them for this.
"We're sorry, Ada. We were just having a bit of fun. It is awfully boring in here."
Legolas had hoped this would ease his father's ire, and it appeared that it had. But he soon found that wasn't a good thing. "Bored, eh? Well, since you all seem to much better now, how about I give you alittle something to do?"
"I want to go home!"
Elladan flung a turnip over his shoulder into the basket that was now overflowing with the vegetable.
"At least at home we don't have as many vegetables to harvest. Mirkwood is a big place...this garden is...huge."
Legolas frowned, wiping his nose and leaving a brown smudge on his face. "Tell me about it. This is my usual punishment. But never before has he made me do the entire turnip and lettuce beds. This is going to take us ages to finish."
"Ages..." Estel hrmphed at that. "I, for one, don't live for ages...I'll die before we finish."
"Not funny, Estel..." Elrohir grunted, pulling a particularly snug turnip from the ground. "Death is not a joke."
"Sure...easy for you to say...you don't feel like your back is going to split in two...or that your arms will fall off...or that your head is going to explode..." Estel slumped back onto the ground and wiped his eyes.
"No...guess not," Elrohir answered with a small smile.
Thranduil and Elrond, watching from above, heard the banter of the four friends. "So, Thranduil? What do you think? Could you handle them for a few weeks?"
Thranduil looked down on the young Elves. "Well, I'd have the harvest done in no time..."
A/N 2: Hope you enjoyed that! Lemme know! PLEASE! You guys, once again, are the GREATEST....
AND: InsanePirate624: I would advise sending me the chapter BEFORE you post it...that way I can make any necessary changes/suggestions, then you can post a finalized version and people won't have to come read an edited version if you change something!!