Disclaimer: I do not own LOTR, or any of its characters. Elrohir: Hey, who's the chick? Me: I am not a chick. I mean...I am, but please don't call me that. I am the author. Elladan: Elrohir, who's the chick? Elrohir: She says she's not a chick. Elladan: Whoa, she's a dude? Me: I am really going to have to speak with your father. Elrond: Oh, no, lady. You're on your own.
Elrond slowly opened his eyes, and found himself lying on a sawdust floor looking up at the underside of a table.
"Ah...look who's decided to wake up!' Gimli laughed from his seat at the table, his feet dangling a foot and a half from the floor. "Have a nice nap, Elrond?"
"What...ohhh...WHERE ARE THEY?" Elrond exploded, remembering exactly how he came to be lying there, coated with sawdust. "I am going to KILL them. I am going to KILL them BOTH!"
"Ye can't kill them, Elrond...they be Elves, like yerself, remember? Can't die except in 'battle' or from 'weariness of the world,'" Gimli reminded him, watching Elrond heave himself up off the floor.
"Oh, there will be a battle, alright, Master Dwarf. A battle the likes of which Middle Earth has not seen since the Pelennor Fields!"
"Calm down, Elrond," Legolas said, pulling out a chair for the Rivendell Lord. "Sit and have a pint while you cool off. It's not as if it's the end of the world, you know...so they've done something stupid - it's not as if it's the first time!"
"Really, Legolas? And just what am I supposed to tell Celebrian when I finally get to Valinor? Oi! Galadrial! That witch will hold this over my head for all eternity!"
"I stand corrected. It is the end of the world...at least for you, Elrond," Legolas said, trying to keep a straight face.
"Oh, laugh all you want! You're not the one that has to explain how I allowed our sons to turn themselves into freaks and start a...a...what would you call this place, anyway?"
"Elladan and Elrohir call it a 'disrobing tavern,'" Gimli said, draining his mug. "Personally, methinks the idea might really take off...look at the crowds they have in here! Every male in Edoras must be in here tonight! Yer sons may not have a whole brain between the two of them, but they struck gold with this place!"
"It does seem successful..." Elrond said, looking around the pub and at the crowds standing several deep at the bar. "I suppose I don't have to mention the bald heads, or the tattoos, or the, um, young ladies..."
"See, Elrond? I told you it wasn't all that bad," Legolas said, clapping Elrond on the shoulder. "Your sons are in the back room, just beyond the bar. They said to tell you to come unarmed."
"Come with me, you two," Elrond said to Legolas and Gimli. "I really don't want to face them alone...Eru knows what else they've done!"
The three travelers made their way through the dense crowds and past the bar, just as the mandolin player began to strum again. From the corner of his eye, Elrond caught sight of a new girl stepping out onto the stage. Shaking his head, he opened the door and they stepped inside the room
Elladan was sitting behind a desk, chewing on a writing quill, studying a ledger, while Elrohir sat perched on a corner of the desk, watching him.
"What's seven plus four, Elrohir?"
'Hold out your hands so I can count on your fingers."
"Great Eru and the Valar! How do you two plan to run a business? Did I not tell you NOT to cut classes all during your schooling?" Elrond asked, frowning at his bald twin sons.
"Ada...are you feeling better after your nap?" Elrohir asked, smiling at his father.
Elrond rolled his eyes, and smacked his hand over his forehead. "I truly believe your mother was smoking pipeweed when she was carrying you."
"Ada, I heard that we're uncles, now!" Elladan grinned, putting down the quill. "Is Arwen all right? Aragorn must be strutting all around Gondor! I suppose we'll need to go visit them..."
"Yes, Arwen and the baby are fine...Aragorn hasn't left their side,"
Elrond told them. "Don't bother going to Minas Tirith...you two are not allowed to speak to the baby until he's ninety."
"Well, that's not very nice! Why?" Elladan asked, rubbing his smooth head.
"That's why!" Elrond hissed, flicking Elladan on his slick scalp. "You two are ALWAYS doing things like this! I will not have my grandson picking up your bad habits!"
"Come on, Ada...we really like it! No more tiresome braiding every morning...don't need to worry about going to bed with our hair wet..."
"And you won't believe how cool it is in the summer!" Elrohir added. "So, who does the baby look like? I bet he has Aragorn's eyes and Arwen's ears, right?"
"Now that I think of it, Laddies...the babe looks quite a bit like you two!" Gimli added, eyeing the twins' shiny bald heads.
"By the way, why didn't you sail to Valinor, Ada? I thought you were leaving on the last boat out," Elladan asked.
"Circumstances beyond my control..."
"Grandmother, huh?" Elrohir interrupted. Elrond simply sighed and nodded.
"She never liked you, did she? What did you ever do to her?" Elrohir asked.
"I married her daughter, that's what I did. And fathered a pair of half-wits."
"We have other siblings?" Elladan and Elrohir asked together, looking at each other in amazement. "Why didn't you ever tell us?"
"What in all of Arda made you two do that to your heads?" Elrond asked, unable to hold it in any longer.
"Advertising. We figured that everywhere we go, people will see the name of our establishment! It's working, too. People are coming from all over Rohan to drink here."
"Yes, Laddie - I'm sure it's the drink that bringing them in!" Gimli laughed. "But it seems to be true that yer business is a success!"
"Yes, it is!" Elrohir said, nodding his head. "From the first night we opened this place, we've been packed solid! Men actually wait outside in a line until a spot opens up inside...and the gold keeps rolling in."
"Whatever gave you two the idea to open such an establishment?" Elrond wanted to know, sliding the ledger around so he could read the numbers. "I have heard of no such other place in all of Middle Earth!"
"Well, Ada...you see...um..." Elladan stuttered, looking at Elrohir.
"It occurred to us many years ago, when we were just Elflings, actually, " Elrohir continued, looking back at his twin.
"Oh, you might as well just tell him, Laddies! He'll pry it out of ye sooner or later, anyway!" Gimli cried, giving Elrohir a push on the shoulder.
"Well, Ada, it came to us that summer that you and Mother traveled to Mirkwood to visit with King Thranduil...do you remember?" Elladan began, not quite meeting Elrond's eyes.
'Yes, I remember that summer. I left you two with Glorfindel...oh, no. I suppose that was my biggest mistake!"
"Glorfindel was great, Ada! He pretty much let us do whatever we pleased..." Elrohir continued, smiling at Elladan.
"Like I said, that was my biggest mistake..."
"Do you remember what we did to his boots?" Elladan asked Elrohir.
"Ha! He had to air them out for an entire month before he could wear them again!" Elrohir laughed, slapping his twin on the shoulder. The twin dissolved into a laughing fit, snorting and gasping for air.
Elrond grabbed each twin by the top of their shiny heads. "Will you please get hold of yourselves! You were saying..."
"Oh, yes...well, then Haldir came from Lorien. Grandmother sent him because she didn't think leaving us with Glorfindel was a very good idea."
"For once, I would have to agree with old hag."
"One night, Glorfindel and Haldir thought we had gone to bed, but of course, we hadn't, " Elrohir continued, a sly smile slipping onto his face. "They invited a couple of Elleths to have a pint with them. We hid under a table, and watched them play a drinking game," Elladan explained.
Elladan picked up the thread of the story. "I don't really remember all the rules of the game, but it involved something about the slowest one to finish the pint would remove an article of clothing..."
"Stop right there...I get the picture. So you put lewd Elven behavior together with sordid drinking games, and came up with this place?" Elrond asked, shaking his head at his offspring. "You two never cease to amaze me."
"Thanks, Ada!" the twins cried, smiling with pride.
"That wasn't a compliment. For your information, judging from this ledger it won't be long before this 'disrobing tavern' will close for good."
"What? What do you mean, Ada? The gold rolls in every night!"
"And rolls right back out the next morning! You two have no idea what you're doing with the finances! This book is a mess! You haven't even been really adding and subtracting the numbers...you've just been drawing little stick figures in the margins!"
"You know, Elrond...you were looking for something to do...that was the entire reason for your journey from Rivendell," Legolas began, raising an eyebrow at Elrond. 'You could stay here in Edoras and help the twins manage this place!"
"Ada! That's a great idea! You can take care of the figures, and we'll take care of the...other figures!' Elladan said with a lecherous grin, elbowing Elrohir,
"Laddie! That be a wonderful idea! I'll tell ye something else, Laddie...methinks Minas Tirith could use a place like this! Why ye could even turn the Prancing Pony into one! That place never did recover from the Ringwraiths' last visit to Bree... Ye could own a whole string of these places, all across Middle Earth!" Gimli added with a broad smile.
"Oh no, I couldn't possibly..." Elrond began, shaking his head and looking with disbelief at his friends.
"Got something better to do in mind, Laddie?" asked Gimli. "Of course, ye could just sail to Valinor and spend eternity with Galadrial..."
Elrond cringed at that thought. "You've convinced me. I'll stay."
"Excellent, Ada!" Elladan cried, slamming his palm down on the ledger.
Legolas and Gimli approached Elrond, preparing to make their farewells.
"Where do you think you're going? Aren't you going to stay and help?" Elrond asked, looking at the two in surprise.
"Nay, Laddie...we've our own adventures to undertake...this one is all yours!" Gimli replied, giving Elrond a hug.
"Aye, Elrond. Eventually I'll need to settle down and produce an heir for my father...but there are things I want to do first!" Legolas laughed, bidding his friend farewell.
Legolas and Gimli said goodbye to the twins as well, and wished them luck in their endeavor. As they walked out the door of the room, they heard Elrohir ask Elrond, "So Ada, just how attached are you to your hair?"