The Wrong One
A/N (PLEASE READ!): REALLY sorry I couldn't get this out any faster! RL has been horrendous lately : P OK, there is going to be a loooong authors' note at the end of the epilogue – but if you have any interest at all in possible future stories, please read it!
Aragorn eased back, his tall frame stretching the full length of the couch he was reclining on. Now able to watch as well as listen to his brothers, he basked in the familiar feel of home. Even things that would have normally been mundane now provided even more warmth for his already overflowing heart. Today Rivendell struck him with it's beauty, today he felt the joy of having Legolas, Elladan and Elrohir all close by—today he felt the wonder of simply being alive.
As if reflecting and reveling in the theme of joy that pervaded the room, nature collaborated into a beautiful gleam of bright happiness. Birds sang cheerfully and the sun radiantly agreed, shining in harmony. The gloom of late Fall was disregarded, laws of the season ignored for the day.
Officially, Aragorn was still in convalescence, but that all too was easy to forget.
Although it had been over a week since his dramatic return to Rivendell, thoughts of how close he'd come to death continued to humble Aragorn. And there was his blindness as well. After all the darkness he'd endured he'd never again take the sights and sounds of everyday life for granted. Not for the first time, or the last, he silently thanked Illúvatar.
Legolas sighed contentedly from his perch atop the arm of a nearby chair. Peace was restored… He listened to the twins, talking animatedly. Admittedly, peace was always relative around the twins. But thus far there had been no surprise buckets of water above any doorways, and neither had anyone turned up with green hair. Yes, peace was restored. Idly, he wondered just how long it would last…With Aragorn rushing though recovery at his normal perilous rate, he doubted the inhabitants of Rivendell would have to wait long before Elrond's sons recommenced their private war. A private war, he noted, that swept away anyone ill-fated enough to stumble into its path.
"Oh Legolas—you should have seen your face!" Elladan said, bringing the prince into the conversation. "Estel," he alerted Aragorn as well. "of all the sights you missed, the mortified look on Legolas' face is the most regrettable thing."
Aragorn examined his friend, who was looking so mortified it was hard to imagine him more so.
"I have to admit," Aragorn's mouth quirked before he continued, "that I really have a hard time picturing Legolas tripping…"
"Ah, support at last!" Legolas smiled triumphantly
"I have hard time picturing it mellon-nín, but…" Aragorn mouth quirked more obviously, "The pictures I do have are most amusing."
"Thank you 'mellon-nín'."
Legolas rolled his eyes and sulked as Elladan picked up where he'd left off.
"It was really too funny! I wish you could have seen him, Estel!"
By this point, Legolas was definitely feeling the need to strangle someone—preferably Elladan.
"Oh yes!" Elrohir piped up brightly, "His face reminded me so much of how your face looked, El, after that pillow got glued to the side of you head! Remember? You had to rip it off and then—" he wasn't left time to finish his sentence.
The war had begun.
With ease born of practice, Elladan hurtled a pillow directly into Elrohir's face. The younger twin gave a muffled grunt of protest before gathering ammunition and barricading himself behind the couch.
Legolas, taking advantage of Elladan's distraction, decided to turn it into a three-way civil war. He took stock of the six pillows that adorned his own chair, picked one up and, in a prize-winning shot, it connected with Elladan's head.
Poor Elladan was now helplessly and hopelessly outnumbered. Turning his wrath on Legolas, he selected the largest pillow he could find, lifted his arm and threw it. But, now he left himself vulnerable to Elrohir's missiles. A pillow landed squarely on his back, bursting open and sending feathers everywhere. Legolas threw another pillow that he was, this time, able to duck. The pillow sailed harmlessly over his head and crashed straight into a table.
Behind the couch, Elrohir realized ,with irritation, that he'd run out of ammunition. The only thing left for him to do was make a suicidal dash into 'enemy lines'. He scrambled around Elladan's chair and grabbed as many undamaged pillows as he could find. Elladan was still preoccupied with fending off Legolas and didn't notice.
The prince threw yet another two pillows in rapid succession. He sent a third on it's way just as Elrohir's head popped up behind Elladan's chair. The pillow, of course, swerved right—and directly into Elrohir's face. Sputtering and aiming his own pillow, now at Legolas, Elrohir joined forces with Elladan, both of them already forgetting the reason the fight had been started in the first place. Simultaneously, the twins raised their pillows, looked at each other, grinned maliciously at Legolas, and threw.
As fate would have it, Legolas ducked.
Dolenil, quite innocent of the mayhem within, entered with completely peaceful intentions, and was warmly greeted by the pillow which had just sailed over his lord's head. Fast reflexes permitted him to catch the second one. Behind the curtain of settling feathers, his face was picture of astonished surprise rapidly deteriorating into indignation. Lips set in a grim line, he narrowed his eyes at the twins. Elladan and Elrohir comically pointed to each other in tandem. But Dolenil wasn't falling for their charm.
There was a long stretch of silence as they waited to see what Dolenil's reaction would be. The look of bewilderment faded, and then he did the very last thing any of them were expecting. Without any warning, Dolenil threw the pillow back at the twins. It hit a stunned Elladan who looked at a slack-jawed Elrohir. And then a grin gradually began to spread over their faces, as they realized the epic proportions of what they'd just witnessed.
As for Dolenil, he was actually looking rather sheepish, the realization of what he'd just done having the opposite effect upon him. Eru! If he wasn't careful, pretty soon he'd be slapping the prince across the back and calling him 'Legolas'. In some ways, he had to admit, it felt good to be 'one of them'. But that did not excuse such irrational and disrespectful actions. Had he lost all self control and proper regard for those in authority? Had he actually just thrown a pillow at one of Lord Elrond's sons? Yes, the way he'd just deported himself was disgraceful and childish. It did not matter if the future King of Gondor, the Lord Elladan, the Lord Elrohir, and the Prince of Mirkwood all decided to have pillow-fights, he should have known better.
He stood there, embarrassed, and not having the faintest clue how he was supposed to comport himself after having done something so uncalled for.
"I think it would be best if we all left now…" Aragorn came to his rescue, breaking the ice and allowing them all to breathe once more.
"Why, whatever for?" Elladan asked.
Aragorn scanned the room, the overturned vase of flowers, the knocked-over chairs, the tipped ink-bottle... He ended lastly on the three bedraggled elves, eyeing with amusement the feathers that clung to their hair.
"We don't have to leave if none of you want to. I was just thinking…." he smiled and ended nonchalantly, "Celboril?"
The name worked like magic, Dolenil being the only one who didn't understand just how much there was to be afraid of.
"Here, Estel, lean on me." Legolas offered.
"Let me help too!" Elrohir jumped up.
"Just a minute, I'll scout out the hallway." Elladan went to door. "All is clear, nobody in sight. Come on!" he motioned to them.
Thoroughly confused, Dolenil followed them anyways. As they slunk quietly down the hallway he couldn't help his curiosity.
"May I ask why we are sneaking around like thieves?" he asked, not attempting to be quiet.
Elladan and Elrohir turned on him with a hiss.
"But my Lords, we are in your own home—"
Elladan raised his finger to his lips and led them into another room. Legolas lowered Aragorn onto another couch and the group visibly relaxed.
"I can't believe it!" Elladan said, "We actually got away!"
Everyone but Dolenil cheered.
"My Lord." he addressed Elladan, "Just what was it that we were seeking to elude?"
Elladan, at the door, stiffened and didn't answer. Striding back into the room, he glanced around, smiling when his gaze fell on Aragorn.
"Dolenil…" he said slowly, "I have something to ask of you."
"What is it, my Lord?"
"Well," he turned his back on Dolenil and winked at Elrohir, who smiled questioningly, but nodded almost imperceptibly. "would you be so kind as to go back and get Estel a blanket?" Estel sat up a little. Elladan went on, "You know, one of those nice warm ones?"
"Elladan," Estel finally protested, "it's already plenty warm in here, and I don't need—"
Elrohir clamped his hand over Aragorn's mouth.
"He really does need one, Dolenil." Elladan spoke over the muffled grunts Aragorn was making. "He never does take proper care of himself, and he's always catching colds and all manner of illnesses. Humans: so susceptible! What can I say?"
"Oh, and you could grab him an extra pillow too." Elrohir added, hand still firmly in place over his younger brother's mouth.
Dolenil looked dubiously from the sun, streaming in through the window, to the four pillows already supporting the human. But he shrugged and only nodded as he left. Perhaps they wished to be a alone? The huge smiles the two young Peredhils had worn, admittedly, hinted of something more sinister. He hoped he was just imagining things. They were, after all, the sons of Lord Elrond, weren't they? Surely they wouldn't be planning anything… He shook his head. Yes, it had most certainly been nothing more than his imagination.
The instant Dolenil left, Elrohir removed his hand and Elladan resumed his post at the door.
"Just what are you two up to now?" Aragorn asked, still catching his breath, "And why do your plans include suffocating your brother?"
"And what are you doing with poor Dolenil?" Legolas put forth his own question.
"Shh!" Elladan waved them both off. "I can't see Celboril anymore. I hope he hasn't gone into a different room…"
"Elladan!" Legolas said reproachfully, "You didn't! Don't tell me you just sent Dolenil back into the parlor knowing Celboril was coming; you wouldn't be so cruel! This is not funny!"
"My dear Prince," Elladan turned to Legolas. "if you don't think that this is funny, then wipe that grin off your face and go help Dolenil. If you hurried I'm sure you could catch up with him…" he looked back down the hallway and resumed his report, not receiving, or expecting, an answer. "There he is now, Celboril's coming out of that room with… Yes, he has two books in his hands." he smiled broadly at them, "It looks like he's returning them to the parlor."
Soon the sound of Celboril's voice came drifting down the hallways to them.
"…and I really would have expected more from you Dolenil."
Dolenil listened patiently. With downcast eyes and a repentant posture, he accepted Celboril's lecture. He did, after all, deserve it—didn't he? The Lords Elladan and Elrohir had started it, but that didn't give him an adequate excuse. Still, the way they had sent him off to receive the brunt of this lecture…
"…how am I suppose to keep Imladris looking like an elven haven! At the moment this room looks more fit to haven pigs! Really, it you would only try…"
Lords or no, they were going to feel his wrath—if he survived this.
"Just look at this room!" Celboril motioned around the room. "There's black ink poured all over the carpet, feathers everywhere, this blanket is torn… And there's hardly an un-ruined pillow left! New pillows don't just make themselves!" he looked at the penitent elf before him, satisfied with the effect his words seemed to be having. "Now, I have more important things to do besides reproving elflings. I must gather things to get this room cleaned, if you'll excuse me?"
"Of course." Dolenil humbly bowed his head in apology. "Forgive me for the trouble and time I have cost you."
Celboril, now at the door, addressed Dolenil once more:
"Oh, and please pass all I have told you on to the twins? Something like… this…" He waved his hands, indicating the disaster area that had once been a parlor. "can hardly occur around here without them at least giving their approval for it. You will tell them?"
Back to the door, Elladan was talking to his brothers and Legolas just as Dolenil appeared in the doorway behind him.
"I wonder what could possibly be taking Dolenil this long?"
"Um, El…" Elrohir said this as he watched the ominously dark countenance of the tall figure behind his brother.
"I mean he was only going to get a blanket and some pillows!" Elladan laughed in his oblivion.
"Elladan, you might want to —"
"Oh, don't worry, muindor. Dolenil can't hear us! Not with all the noise Celboril will be making!"
"Yes, poor Dolenil, so naïve…"
It finally struck Elladan that neither his brother, or Legolas were listening to him. They weren't even looking at him. Yes… He decided, slowly turning around, they were definitely looking at something behind him—or someone.
His eyes went wide as they met with the piercing glare of Dolenil.
Elrohir jumped to his feet as the blond elf's eyes roved around the room, catching him up in their condemning gaze as well.
Slowly backing their way towards a side entrance, the twins offered, in their most soothing tones, excuses and claims of innocence. Under the advancing elf's withering glare, these pretences turned into entreaties for mercy as they retreated out the door.
Dolenil turned to Legolas and Aragorn for just a minute, saying, "My Prince, Lord Estel." as he bowed politely to each of them and handed Aragorn the pillow and blanket that he'd gone through such terrors to procure. "If you will excuse me…"
Aragorn and Legolas watched the proceedings silently, and they could hear Dolenil, out in the hall, pronounce a cruel judgment.
"Celboril asked me to pass this message on…"
It was no more than they deserved.
The sounds of protestation and judgment being meted out faded away, and the two friends were left alone.
Legolas turned to Aragorn with an amused smile.
"That really was an unusually cruel thing that the twins did to poor Dolenil."
"It was." Aragorn agreed. "But right now, I pity Elladan and Elrohir more."
"Yes, Dolenil never was a silent victim of even the smallest pranks, even as an elfling…" Legolas chuckled as he settled himself further on the chair arm, and then changed the subject, "You know, sometimes I think Lord Elrond is right."
"About what?" Aragorn asked as he relaxed onto the couch.
"What do you mean?"
"Do you suppose either of us will ever be able to leave our homes and return to them, without one of us being dragged back half-dead?"
Aragorn smiled, answering with his habitual optimism.
"Next time, mellon-nín, next time."
The End…For Now…
Hehe… I hope no one is too upset over the fact that Acharndil got away… Hey, I can't help it if I like to recycle villains, can I?
jacquelinestel and wackorangerGenius! (points at JE) She's a genius! You are SO right – the epilogue IS about "epilogue-ish" stuff! LOL…you are pure genius, mellon-nin, pure genius… Hehehe, so Estel and Legolas are already throwing "freedom celebration" parties? LOL, you told 'em right – I certainly hope to right another one! (looks evilly at characters) And Legolas/Aragorn friendship stories are never complete without a fair amount of angst… (characters scream in terror as Nefhiriel pulls out plot outline) Well at least YOU won't mind : ) Thank you so much for consistently reviewing – as I told you when you first reviewed – I absolutely LOVE your sense of humor!
zeetusHurrah! I missed you : ) Hehehe, well as you can see, it didn't last quite as long as I at first predicted… But I'm so glad that you like it enough to actually complain now that it's ending. LOL, oh yes, I'm very partial to those inner-voices. I was talking about them with Imbecamiel (my sister), and I just realized that they're sort of 'my' voice in the story (I have a very sarcastic sense of humor in writing). (g) You know when you're reading a story, and you just wish you could shout something at the characters when they're doing something stupid? Well, the "inner-voice" is my way of doing that without messing up the plot completely by jumping in myself to give them a good talking-to ; ) I'm so happy that my story 'kept you alive'! Thank you so much for all your reviews!
HarryEstel(dons condescending voice) Down on your KNEES! I want to see you crawling in the dust! (snort) Ok, ok, I'm not going to make you grovel ; ) I'm just happy, and not a little excited, that people actually would want a sequel! Well, I'm definitely still writing – I explain more about what I'm working on in my last "author's tome" at the end : ) A thousand thanks for being such a consistent reviewer, mellon-nín!
Hyperactive ForeverHehe, I bet you are an incredible bodyguard! Well, Aragorn and Legolas are safe… at least till my next story… (eg) Hey, since they don't need you services any more, can you guard me then? Does that include guarding me from other reviewers? I must warn you, should you accept, that in your job you may encounter such things as "miniature Nazgûl horses", "vampire gerbils" and "zombie bunnies of horrible screaming pain" (really, those are only a few of the "creatures" I've been threatened with). In comparison to those things, I think I'd be able to survive you ; ) Well, I'll keep you in mind while I'm writing, and hopefully give you (and Bob) some Elladan-angst – if in turn, you convince Bob to send me some Krispy Creams. (drools) I love those doughnuts… (g) Of COURSE Aragorn can see again! What kind of author do you think I am? Ok, don't answer that question... LOL. Thank you so much for all your encouragement, mellon-nín!
Troubles8806(g) YAY! I have permission to be nosy! Well, I'm glad that, on the whole, you had a relaxing Thanksgiving too : ) I've got hardly any relatives at all, so I always have envied those who actually have family to get together with : b I hope you have a wonderful time in Louisiana with your uncle (at least it sounds like you'll have plenty of good food, LOL). I'm going to get a break from the cold this Christmas, and go down to Arizona to be with my Grandparents : ) Hehehe, yup, he can SEE! LOL, believe me, Dagron can be pretty dumb… Hmm, I really like your idea (honestly I do!), but I'm afraid that I really don't have the time or inspiration to put a new twist into this story… I wish I had your ideas while I was writing my story : b It would be fascinating to play around with what would happen if he were to go blind again. It would certainly be horrible for him emotionally to go back to being blind, especially after finally coming to terms with it the first time, only to have his sight unexpectedly returned to him. Anyways…I hope you have a wonderful Christmas - thank you SO much for all your encouraging reviews!
Dagnir ErynionLOL, I'm glad you liked it : ) Thank you for your reviews!
Erulasse(g) Now I get to read your story and get my Aragorn-angst "quota" filled : ) Hehehe, no it's ME who can't believe that YOU are glad that I like your story! (did that make any sense at all?) LOL, what I mean is that I'm so used to reading other peoples' stories, and being so eager to hear the opinions of authors that I respect, that to BE the person that OTHER people really want to hear from… Well, it's kind of weird to think of other people especially caring what I think ; ) Well, I'll let you go get back to working on that story of yours… Thank you so much for all your reviews!
Naesse: Yup, he can see again : D Hehe, it Is so like all of them to get all worried about him so quickly : )Thank you SO much for being such a consistent reviewer – you have been so encouraging!!!
MornflowerHmm… "Cooking with the Characters" – it sounds like it would be a great hit on TV! Let's see, Legolas and the twins could share there secret lembas recipes, and Aragorn could teach all about outdoor cooking… LOL. Hmm, torment with a feather…? Well, lots of feathers in evidence in this chapter, but I think most of the torment more involved Celboril and Dolenil than the feathers ; ) Thank you so much for reviewing, mellon-nin! Your reviews have been so encouraging – not to mention funny : )
EverKitsune(cheers) YAY! A long chapter : ) I'm looking forward to reading it (I'm glad you don't mind e-mailing, I always feel so bad when I don't realize someone's posted, and I never reviewed : b ). (g) I'm glad you liked the chapter! Oh, you like to swim? That's a lot of fun! I absolutely LOVE swimming, but for some reason I used to be scared of swimming lessons (I'm homeschooled, so some might say I've just lived a "sheltered life" LOL). Anyways, sorry to jabber on like that : b Thank you so much, mellon-nín, for all the reviews!
annika: (g) "I really, really like this story" will definitely "do" : ) Hehe this probably sounds rather heartless, but I'm so happy that you're sad to see my story end – it means (I hope) that I really haven't been torturing you with my scribblings, LOL. Sorry I took so long to update : ( Thank you for all your reviews!
elvingirl3737: (laughs manically) I'm RID of IT! It's FRIED, it's FINISHED! Bwahahaha… (sees elvingirl watching) Oh, I mean…Awww, the precious, sweet little thing went and got itself killed…poor thing… (g) I believe you – you don't see weremonkeys of doom every day. (screams) "zombie bunnies of horrible screaming pain"! (gets down on knees) Please, not them… LOL, you see, my dog has rather a reputation as a rabbit killer, and I would so hate to see your poor, precious bunnies get hurt... (eg) Yup, Estel can finally see again. Hehehe, I don't think Estel agrees with you about the scolding ; ) Tragic? To see my story come to an end?! (g) I'm glad you've enjoyed our "witty repartee" – I certainly have! (huggles) I'm very honored that you're honored to be my friend… if that sentence makes any sense whatever : ) Thank you so much, mellon-nín, for consistently encouraging me throughout this story!
Lizzie Blakeney: I'm glad you liked it : ) Thank you SO much for all your encouraging reviews!!!
elitenschwein: Well, as you'll read at the bottom, I certainly intend to keep on writing, and hopefully I'll have a few vignettes to bridge the gaps between stories. (g) Yup, the ranger got his sight back, finally! My dad's doing a LOT better – thanks for asking : ) (sigh) I'm so glad you liked that line of Mora's, and Aragorn's inner voice (it sounds like my inner voice too, LOL, I suppose Aragorn's inner voice is kind of "my" voice in the story). (snort) I totally agree: it would take a miracle to keep Estel in bed for a week, LOL. Hehehe, I know, it was positively brilliant of me to come up with the title "epilogue" : ) Sorry I couldn't update sooner : b Thank you SOOO much for consistently encouraging me with you reviews, mellon-nín!
Tinorial Peredhil: (sigh) Last post, and then I'll be going on vacation to Arizona… Ah! What am I saying? No more lovely reviews, no more Tinorial humor, no more last minute dashes to get the chapter up in time... (Tinorial raises an incredulous eyebrow) Hey! Rushing to get the chapter up is well… (Tinorial snorts) It invigorating – you really get that adrenalin flowing! LOL. Ok, so everyone needs a break… But, I am hard at work on a couple more stories! (groans) And just HOW do you expect me to follow THOSE guidelines? No killing ANYONE you like?! Are you kidding? (laughs nervously as Tinorial glares) I guess not… (snort) MORE hilarious Guard dialogue!!! I want MORE! Well, you be sure to bring guard to see me sometimes…'k? (huggles Guard) Guard: You're going to LEAVE me with HER?!?!?! Nefhiriel: Why of course, don't you want to be left with my friend? Guard: You're serious then? (down on knees) I'll do ANYTHING, only don't leave me to this eternal torment! Nefhiriel: (rolls eyes) Such a drama queen…er…soldier. Well…Thank you SO much for all the encouragement – and the laughs – mellon-nín : )
Ok, if anyone would like a response to their reviews for the last chapter, I would be delighted to send you one if you leave an e-mail address where I can send it!
Also, if anyone isn't a member a , but would like to know when I post a new story, let me know and I'd be happy to send you an e-mail when I start posting again!
For those of you who DID enjoy the story, and asked for a sequel, I just wanted to say a little about the other stories I'm working on at the moment. I have about sixty plot-bunnies chasing me right now, but I have selected only about four to work on at the moment. I'm working on three Action/Adventure/Humor fics (all the following titles are tentative, and may change):
1. Changing Places - Centric on Elladan, Elrohir, and Elrond's relationship. Angst all around! Hehe not to mention lots of humor! Oxymoron? Not when the insane Nefhiriel's writing it ; )
2. Just an Adventure – Aragorn and Legolas friendship fic. I'm afraid anything more than that would give away too much of the plot, but LOTS of humor!
3. Uncommon Friendships – A direct sequel to The Wrong One featuring Aragorn, Legolas, Dolenil, and…a surprise character : )
All three of the stories will probably be rated PG or mild PG-13.
I'm also working on co-authoring a story with my sister, Imbecamiel. We're not sure what it will be titled, but (take my word on it!) it WILL be full of LOTS of angst (Action/Adventure/Angst). It will be another Aragorn and Legolas friendship story, and will be rated a solid PG-13.
I don't know which way my inspiration will run (I've been running into some severe writers' block lately), but I already have a few vignettes to post, and after that I'll post whichever story I finish first. I'm afraid, however, that it will be at least a month before I can even post one of my vignettes, as I'm going to be in Arizona till about the middle of January. I'm not sure how long it'll be before I can start posting one of my longer stories, but rest assured that I'll be hard at work on them!
!!!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!! I can't say it enough. None of you can quite know the stress I've been going through for the past few months (and I won't bore you to tears with details), but I've had some major family problems, health problems, and on top of it all I'm moving away from the house I've lived in since I was three… (sigh) Your reviews have been SO encouraging! And when I say "thank you, this story would not have been possible without you all" – I honestly mean it! I've enjoyed talking with each and every one of you, and I feel like I've made quite a few friends. (huggles) A special thanks to all of you, and especially to those who loyally reviewed almost every chapter – your insights have been invaluable, and also so much fun to read! So, from the very bottom of my heart…thank you.
Well, I think that's everything! I hope I haven't forgotten anything, or anyone… Thanks so much, all of you! I'm really going to miss you : (
I hope to see you on my next story : )
Vice President and Co-founder of the SNWCG & member of the F.F.F.F.F