Part 12 of the Elfwine Chronicles. The Elfwine Chronicles are a series of one-shots, of which there will definitely be three, but MIGHT be more if I come up with more ideas.

A/N: Saw a picture in Westways magazine of a man and boy like this and built a story around it. I guess I'm a sucker for tender men with their kids.

A/N: you guys don't READ my author's notes! That's where I warned you I posted #13 before #12, but I still got a lot of worried pleas to make sure they hadn't missed anything! So for those of you who do read the Author's Notes, maybe I should start putting in something special – like extra story materialthat the non-readers will miss out on! Sort of like when they put "more of the movie" after the end credits of a movie, and only those who sit through the credits find out "more" of the story.


(Jun, 6 IV)

This was the first visit we had made to Dol Amroth since Elfwine was born. Prince Imrahil had always maintained it was easier for him to come see us than to drag an infant or small child such a distance. But Lothiriel was anxious to see her home once more, as well as her brothers, who with families of their own could not always come to Rohan.

Our family and Elphir's had spent the late morning at the seaside, and the younger children napped from weariness after we had eaten a picnic dinner. While Lothiriel and Elphir's wife talked and watched the children, I wandered back down to the water's edge and enjoyed the balmy breeze in off the ocean and the relaxed setting. There were few days in Rohan when I had nothing pressing that needed my attention, and it was good to have nothing more planned for the day than enjoying life and being with my family.

I heard a yell from behind me and turned to see that my five-year-old son had awakened and spotted me. With the boundless energy of youth, he went from fast asleep to full speed, and he was soon running toward me. After several steps, however, he came to an abrupt halt, and stood dancing in place as tears began to prick his eyes.

Concerned that he had somehow injured himself, I moved quickly to him, but as I drew nearer, he wailed up at me, "It's hot, Papa!"

It took a moment for me to realize he meant the sand was burning his feet and, with a chuckle, I pulled him to me and said, "Put your feet on top of mine."

He looked a little suspicious of this but did as I directed, and wrapped his tiny arms about my hips to hold on. Suddenly, he let out a giggle of delight as he realized the burning was gone, now that he was no longer in contact with the hot sand.

Carefully, I turned and walked us out toward the water until we got to the damp sand, and I assured him it was safe to step down now. We ran and splashed in the water for some time, until Lothiriel called to us and said they were returning to the palace. As the other children were going in as well, I could see Elfwine wanted to go play with them, so I suggested we follow their lead.

With a laugh, he flung himself at me and climbed back on top of my feet, snaking his arms around me once more. Looking up at me he directed, "Let's go!"

So, with some difficulty, I made my way slowly up the beach until we reached the road. I knew I would probably have had an easier time of it if I had just picked him up and carried him, but somehow this moment was more special and I was grateful to have the memory to take home with me.

Once we got to the road, Elfwine was gone, running to catch up to his cousins, and I trailed along pensively behind the others. I cherished such moments and the reprieve they were from the cares of life, and I looked forward to many more of them. Smiling to myself, it occurred to me that more children would mean more such moments, and we did presently have much free time and many who would watch our son...


End note: It is best that you read the Elfwine Chronicles in the order they were written. The more of them that I wrote, the more likely I was to make reference to one of the previous ones and something that happened there. If you want to read them in order, go to the top of this page and click on my name (Deandra). That will take you to my profile page. Scroll down and you will find all the stories I have written. The Elfwine Chronicles are in order from bottom to top since ffn shows them in the order they were posted. A few were posted out of number order, but you can read them in posting order or number order since those few won't be affected in the story content.