Author: Jo Slater
Summary: The time has finally come and a young lord greets Lorien.
Time: One month after 20 Questions. The twins are three
Note: Hey all! I just want to say thanks for all the reviews on the past chapters. You're all wonderful! This is the (not so long awaited) chapter I've been lugging around for a while. Gah. Anyway, I hope you all like it. Please, as always, let me know what you think. I put a note on my bio about the Dennis situation as some of you may remember the mishap of last year with the hurricanes. Plah. Well, read on, my lovelies! Thanks for everything!
"Orophin will be around every day if anything happens. Rumil will also be about when he returns within the next two days. Be certain that he does nothing idiotic," Haldir said seriously as I watched him parade around the room in nothing less than a frenzy.
"If the twins become a problem, Litia volunteered to help and Lady Galadriel may also intervene if you need her," he continued, oblivious to the more than amused look I was giving him.
He shoved the last tunic in his saddle bag and glanced around the room briefly.
He spun, looking at me almost casually but his face was a little pale.
I smiled. "You're only going to be gone a few days. You need to stop worrying."
"I'm not worrying," he huffed, frowning at me and turning away again.
I plopped my chin into my palm, leaning on the chair's arm and remained silent. Over the past two weeks, my husband had become increasingly more chaotic about the baby's nearing arrival. However, he refused to admit.
He was muttering under his breath as he finished packing. He had been furious when he discovered that, after only two days of being home, he would have to return to the fields again due to several visits of curious humans to the borders.
Few Elves knew Westron, and those that did were spread out widely among the forest. Haldir was the nearest to call on spite his otherwise detained brother, Orophin.
I frowned then, a new thought trickling into my mind.
"Did you ever see what Onduras wanted earlier?" I asked.
Our son had been calling for his father for some time while we were in the bedroom, discussing about his abrupt departure.
Haldir halted, frowning to himself.
"No," he said slowly, turning towards the door. He opened it and called for the Elfling to come to him.
"Um...I am sorry, Ada, but I can't!" Onduras called back.
Haldir gave me a look and I pushed myself to a wary stand, unsure of why Onduras would not obey his father as he always did.
I followed Haldir down the hall and as he pushed the door to Onduras's bedroom open, I frowned.
Onduras was no where in sight.
"Out here, Ama," replied his voice.
Slowly, Haldir and I went to the window only to see our son perched on a branch some ways away.
"Onduras! What are you– " Haldir didn't even finish his question as he climbed through the window.
"I'm stuck," Onduras replied, a look of pure disappointment flooding his face as Haldir nimbly moved through the branches towards him.
I glanced around. "Onduras, where is your sister?" My voice was wary.
Something tugged on my skirt and I looked down only to find Ana standing there. She shook her head, looking out at her brother. "I told him not to," she informed me. "He didn't listen."
"I had to get Moss!" Onduras exclaimed even as Haldir plucked him from his perch and settled the Elfling in his arms.
"He's stuck, too," Ana told me, her little hand pointing out towards the higher limbs. I followed her gaze only to spot that cat crouched on a branch much higher than the one Onduras was on.
"Ada, can you get Moss, too?" Onduras asked, bouncing along on Haldir's back as he skimmed back through the limbs.
"No, I– "
"Please, Ada?" Ana chimed in as Haldir came to the window. He paused, looking at his daughter then to me.
I gave him an identical look as my child and he sighed heavily, shifting Onduras through the window and turning away to leap higher into the trees.
Moss was purring contently as Haldir came tromping into the common room. He was late, more so due to the fact that he had to tend to the clawing wounds Moss had delivered, and he didn't look one bit happy.
The children were quiet on either side of me, Ana petting the cat, as we watched him storm through the door and slam it behind him. Although Ana looked at me with wide eyes that looked nothing less than heart broken, I only smiled at her before the door opened once again.
"Forget something?" I asked innocently, beaming a smile at him.
"Hilarious, Ashk," he replied, opening his arms as Ana leapt off the sofa at him. He grunted melodramatically and grinned at his little girl. "You'll be good for Ama?" She nodded passionately before giving him a kiss.
Onduras bounded up next and Haldir reminded him that he was to take care of things as always as he hoisted him up into his arms as well.
With both children clinging to him, he leaned towards me. He paused with only a sparse distance between our lips and I glared.
"You will do as Erestal says, won't you?"
I sighed. "Yes, Haldir. Everything will be fine. The babe will wait until you're home."
"Good." He kissed me, much to the disgust of our cooing children. He then straightened, unloading them onto the sofa with a warm smile as he backed away. "Be good," he ordered. "All of you." He gave me a look and I winked at him, making him laugh as he turned at the door and left.
Onduras plopped down on the sofa with a heavy sigh. I frowned slightly, tugging on his hair.
"When will I jump as high as Ada does? I can't even climb a tree." The pouting scowl on his face was adorable and I had to smile at his envy of his father.
"You are but three years old, dear. You must be patient," I told him.
Onduras huffed out a sigh before Ana slid off the sofa's arm and collided into him. "Uncle Rumil fell down when he was climbing a tree once," she said, attempting to soothe her brother. "Remember?"
Onduras suddenly smiled with a giggle and nodded.
I had to marvel at that for a moment. At three years old, their bond was strong because they were twins. However, it was obvious their friendship had also bloomed and bound them tightly.
"All right. Who wants to go to the fountains?"
The two immediately sprang up, shrieking in glee.
Four Days Later
Onduras frowned at me. "Rar," he repeated, his little hands rising like claws.
"You're not very good at this game," I informed him, moving around the Elfling in the kitchener while I attempted to cook evening meal. Ashk was napping, well to her own good, and the twins were their common selves.
"When is Ada coming home?" Ana asked, swinging her feet at the table as she peered me.
"I'm not sure, my little song bird… As soon as he can."
The door burst open then and Orophin came trekking inside with Litia giggling behind him. I spotted their hands together and I smiled knowingly at my brother.
"Ashk, darling, I have arrived!" Orophin called out, making me grimace and pitch a towel in his face.
"Shush! She is sleeping!" I hissed at him and Ana turned towards him, her finger over her lips as she nodded.
"Not anymore she's not," Ashk said with a yawn as she came down the hall, swaying slightly as she walked.
"Did I wake you?" Orophin asked, a frown on his face.
"No, no. I was awake. Come in and close the door. You can stay for dinner," Ashk replied, smiling at him and Litia.
"You are having Rumil cook?" Litia asked warily as she entered the kitchener. I held up my wooden spoon as though it was a weapon and glared at her.
Ashk glanced at me with a smile as she stood at the back of a chair. "Oh, he is not so bad," she said. "Although, the last time I recall his cooking I was fairly intoxicated," she added then with a small frown.
"Thank you, Ashk," I grumbled. She and the others only laughed as she came around the chair and table to slip an arm around my shoulders and squeeze. I promptly swatted her on the rear.
"You're such a brute," Ashk scolded, laughing as Litia came and swiped my spoon out of my grasp.
"I will take care of cooking. You are a bit too dangerous for me," she said, skimming into the kitchener.
"I should warn you that it is a family trait," I called after her.
"Untrue. Orophin is a fine cook," she argued.
"Haldir isn't that bad either," Ashk added as I slanted a look at her.
While Litia cooked, I took a seat at the table and briefly engaged in a mimic game with my niece for the longest time. I eventually lost, not by intention, and she gloated with pride.
I glanced up to see Ashk at the other end of the table, her face slightly contorted into a frown as she let out a long breath.
"Ashk? Are you all right?"
Her eyes darted to me and she immediately smiled. "I'm fine," she replied. "The babe is just moving around a lot."
I let myself smile then. "He has to be rather bored," I mused.
She laughed. "I wouldn't mind being carried around day in and day out," she replied, making me laugh.
Orophin rejoined us, Onduras attached to his neck, as he served out a handful of drinks.
"Ama, I want a horse," Onduras informed his mother. "My own horse."
Ashk smiled at him. "You should think about that when your birthday comes around. You will be four this year, perhaps Ada will consider."
"Really?" Onduras's eyes lit up and Ashk nodded.
I, however, frowned. "A horse at four years old?"
Ashk looked at me in surprise. "I was riding when I was four. With someone, of course, by I did have a small horse of my own. It is not uncommon in Rohan."
"Home of the Horse Lords," Orophin declared in a deep voice, making his nephew and niece laugh.
Just as Litia was bringing to bring the meal to the table, Ashk shifted and pushed herself to a stand. "Excuse me. I'll be right back," she said with a small smile.
I glanced after her as she moved down the hall towards her and Haldir's bedroom before I looked to Orophin. My brother could only shrug before he began dishing out food to the children.
Some lot of time passed with idle chattering as I glanced down the hall again only to see the bedroom door still closed.
"What is she doing?" I muttered.
"You let females tend to female business, Rumil. Keep your nose out of it," Litia piped up as she slapped a spoonful of vegetables to her plate.
"Uh oh." Ana's voice was muffled into the bread that she was currently biting into. We looked at her expectantly as she froze, bread still shoved into her mouth before she bit, chewed, and swallowed.
"What is it, Ana?" Orophin asked warily. It was no secret in the family that Ana's own talents often brought with them rather unnerving information.
Ana sighed heavily.
"Ama is going to bring the babe before Ada comes home," she told us in a dejected voice.
"What?" Orophin and I chorused forcing Litia to look at us in shock.
"When?" Orophin demanded.
Ana looked at him with no mask over her utterly ridiculous seriousness. "Right now."
I sprang from my chair and practically sprinted down the hall.
"Ashk!" My hand slammed against the door as Orophin came behind me. I pushed the door handle down and we both stumbled inside as he collided into me.
The room was empty.
"Ashk?" I called again, my heart thundering in my ears.
"In here," she replied, her voice a bit meek. Meek enough to make my stomach churn as I went to the door of the wash room and pushed it open.
She was leaned over the water basin, her hands clenched to each side. She glanced at us and forced a smile.
"I suppose it is time to see Erestal," she breathed.
"Oh...All right. All right. We can do that. That's fine. We– You'll be fine. I do– "
"Where are your things? You do have things to take with you, yes? Or no? I can't remember what Haldir told me.."
I looked at the two as they babbled on, neither of them paying the least bit of attention to me as they whirled out of the small wash room and into the bedroom. I listened as they argued over who had to do what - their voices jumbled together and too loud to be anything but panicked.
A wave of heat passed over me and I breathed out against it. Clammy sweat pasted to my skin and the sound of their babbling suddenly became most annoying.
Orophin suddenly came rushing back towards me, his hand landing on my shoulder, asking me some question. His voice, however, was so loud it seemed to deafen me and I turned on him. My hand grabbed on his collar and I yanked on my beloved brother in law.
"Orophin - Get ahold of yourself. I need to see Erestal right now. You need to send someone for Haldir right now. If he is not there during this, I am holding you and your potential future children responsible, do you understand?"
Orophin literally gulped and nodded his head.
"Good." My voice abruptly lost the terrifying, deep tone it had taken and I patted out where my hand had wrinkling his tunic.
Rumil came launching into the room, words already on his lips before Orophin slapped a hand over his mouth.
I clenched my jaw as I felt my child completely turn inside me.
"May we go?" I breathed. My voice was high and nearly squeaking.
Orophin nodded, bending and scooping me into his arms. He turned, pushing past his brother then Litia, and stormed out of the room.
"Ama?" Onduras questioned from the table as we passed, Litia and Rumil parading behind us.
"Little Brother is coming," Ana told him with a nod of her head.
I pointed at them. "Who is staying with them?" I demanded, my voice a bit breathless.
Litia's eyes were as wide as eggs before she veered from our trail to the children. "I will," she said. "I– Oh dear! Ashk, are you sure you are all right?" she suddenly exclaimed in pure dismay.
My only reply was a groan as Rumil whipped open the door and Orophin rushed outside. He pattered down the stairs as quickly as he possibly could go.
For a brief moment, I clung to him and could just see him tripping and the two of us cascading down the rest of the stairs.
We came to floor level and I breathed in relief.
"Rumil, send out for Haldir," Orophin told his younger brother, craning his neck to see him.
"Tell him to hurry!" I hissed.
"And be quick about it," Orophin added, his face pale as he nearly ran across the forest floor.
"What– Oh! Is she having the babe?" a foreign voice called out and, all too quickly, I noticed that everyone around us had stopped what they were doing to stare.
There hadn't been a birth in Lothlorien woods in over fifty years…
Voices rang out, declaring the Warden's wife was going into labor when all I wanted to do was scream at them not to be so loud.
"She is having the babe!"
"The Warden's wife-"
"Ashk is going to have her babe!"
So many voices erupted and I could only ignore them, oblivious to the small caravan that had started behind Orophin as we rushed towards Erestal's healing flets.
"Yes?" His voice was rushed and breathless.
"Haldir is going to be here, right?"
"Yes, Ashk, he'll be here," he assured me as he took the next set of stairs two at a time.
East of Caras Galadhon
I scrubbed my hands down my face, the cool water helping to wash away the feeling of the dust and dirt of the plain lands. The humans had been young and curious. I had been surprised to discover they were from Sarubrim, Ashk's former home. However, I highly doubted they would return to the Golden Wood again.
I turned my head when I heard a strange noise. It was the sound of heavy breathing, snorting, and yet no sound of running or movement.
It was the identifying sound of an Elvish horse on the run.
I frowned, not being aware of anyone scheduled to have the route I was on for the remainder of the day.
I turned away from the creek and walked up the bank, looking down the trail and waiting for the rider to appear. It took several minutes before I saw the first dash of the rider through the trees.
My frown deepened further.
It was Rumil. I could tell from even my distance.
I walked into the middle of the trail, waiting for him to come around the bend. I had no idea why he was this far from Caras Galadhon while he was off duty. Rumil rarely left the city when off duty. And he was moving at nothing short of a racing sprint.
He came around the bend and immediately yanked on his horse's reins, sitting him back on his haunches as the animal slid to a stop some ways away.
His eyes were wide and dry from the wind causing me to frown even further.
"What is it?" I demanded, my voice low.
"The babe is coming, brother. Ashk and Orophin sent me for you."
I was struck dumb. "The babe is coming?" I repeated as though I did not understand the words for a moment.
Rumil nodded his head and glanced towards my horse as I did nothing for a long moment. It was as though I couldn't think of what to do first.
"Move, Haldir! Varda's tits, get moving!" he suddenly shouted at me and I jolted out of my shock and spun towards my horse. Leaping onto the young horse's back, I shocked him enough to already go sprinting as I slammed my heels into his flanks.
How did healers deal with this! Her appearance alone had me in a near state of panic. Sweat gleamed off of her, her face was flushed red, and she clenched her fists enough to worry me that hands would bleed.
"Ashk, you can't wait much longer," Erestal warned.
"No, no! I can wait!" she shouted at him before squeezing her eyes shut against the pain.
Erestal gave me a look. "If your brother does not arrive soon, she will have no choice," he told me in a frustrated voice. "This is dangerous enough as it is."
I glanced to Ashk and clamped my hands behind my neck, unsure of what to do. No wonder fathers hated childbirth. Any male was completely helpless in these situations!
Erestal was called out of the room and I moved to Ashk's side.
"I am never doing this again!" she shouted at me.
I jumped slightly. Ashk was ever a soft spoken woman. She rarely raised her voice and she was usually smiling.
What kind of sick, demented torture made even her become evil!
"Where is Haldir?" she cried, her voice nearly sobbing.
"He's coming, Ashk. Just...Put your legs together!"
She broke into weeping laughter before cursing me in three different languages; Elvish, Westron, and Gypsinese.
I wiped the sweat off of her forehead with a cloth to busy myself even as she muffled a cry that thoroughly cursed her husband's tardiness.
I tumbled off my horse and didn't bother to tell the stable keeper anything as I ran off.
I ran at a full sprint towards Erestal's flets and nearly stumbled to a stop as I saw a small horde of Elves gathered at the base of the stairs.
An Elleth turned and spotted me, her hand flying up and pointing. "He's here!" she cried.
The school of Elves turned to see me and, over their words and my own storming thoughts, I somehow heard my wife up the stairs belting out a cry of agony.
The people split as I pushed through, ignoring them and moving to take the stairs two at a time.
Erestal came out to a balcony and spotted me. A smile broke his frowning face as he saw me. His hand waved towards himself. "Come quickly, Haldir. We're in the second room," he told me, turning away once again as I burst through the first level door.
I was shocked to see Litia and the twins sitting on the stairs. Onduras was dangling his arms through the rails before he saw me and smiled.
"Ada!" he cried. Then his joy faded. "I think Ama is mad at you."
"She has been saying a lot of bad words," Ana added and Litia gave me a shrug as she pulled Ana to her and made room for me to pass.
"It's all right. Just stay here," I told them, pushing up the stairs onto the second level.
Orophin opened the second door on my right and I turned to him. Before I could do anything, he grabbed me and hauled me inside.
I muttered a curse as I saw her. Her face was flushed red and shining in sweat. Her eyes were red as well, clawing at me with tears.
"I'm here, Ashk." I moved to her side and reached for her hand.
"I wouldn't recommend that," Erestal said in all seriousness. Orophin provided his hand limply to the air and I shot them both a look.
"What took you so long?" Ashk breathed.
"I came as fast as I could, Idril," I told her.
"And you made it just in time. Ashk, we can't wait any longer," Erestal said urgently. The door suddenly opened then and he sighed heavily. "Now what?"
Galadriel entered with a smile and Erestal immediately paled in his own idiocy.
"Well, it appears I am not too late to break tradition," she said lightly, much to my dismay. I could dimly feel the first prickles of panic returning to me. She laid a hand on Orophin's shoulder and he jolted slightly.
"Pardon me, but we hav– "
The door opened again and Rumil came stampeding through.
"Good Gods, do we require all these people in here?" Erestal demanded.
"Yes!" the entire room chorused and he jumped slightly. Finally, he only rolled his shoulders and nodded.
Ashk pushed back against the pillows with a groan. "Oh, I want this over with!" she cried, thrashing against the bed.
"Get it over with!" Rumil demanded, jumping up and down slightly before Orophin grabbed him.
Ashk screamed, shredding my ears.
"Can't you give her something to help?" I demanded.
"I did!" Erestal exclaimed.
"Not enough!" Ashk shouted at him in return as Galadriel brushed back her hair.
"It is too late now - Ashk, I need you to push when I say," Erestal said sternly.
"I don't think pushing is such a good idea!" Rumil argued, his hands hovering near his ears to cover them if needed.
"Quiet, Rumil!" Orophin ordered, shoving him into a chair.
"Haldir - I love our children...But no more!" Ashk told me, her fist clenching in my tunic.
Looking at her face that was now paling, I nodded. "I agree."
"Push, Ashk!" Erestal demanded.
Rumil covered his ears and I was tempted to do the same as she screamed again. A moment later, she fell back to the pillows with a curse.
I looked to Galadriel and she only offered me a reassuring smile.
"She's fine, Haldir," she told me.
"She doesn't look fine!" Rumil cried before receiving a smack to the back of his head by Orophin.
"I am not fine!" Ashk exclaimed. "I will be fine when I can see my son!"
"Breathe, Ashk," Erestal instructed.
"I am breathing!"
"You're shouting, Idril. You need to breathe," I soothed, petting a hand through her hair even as she gave me a withering look.
"Get ready, Ashk. You need to push as hard as you can this time," Erestal coached. His only reply was nothing less than a growl and I gave the healer a warning look.
"Short, choppy breaths, Ashk," Orophin instructed from the corner he and Rumil were dwelled in.
"No, long, deep breaths," Rumil argued.
"Everyone stop telling me how to breathe!"
"Push, Ashk! Push hard!"
She did and to the point to which she was weeping when Erestal told her to breathe again. I wiped uselessly at her tears and turned on the healer.
"Do you know what you are doing?" I demanded, my voice booming in the room.
"Of course, I do!"
"Then why is she crying?"
"Females cry in childbirth, Haldir," Galadriel said softly. "Do not get angry with Erestal."
I fumed, feeling heat flame through my body as I glared at the healer. As far as I was concerned, he was the sole reason that Ashk was still in the pain she was. And, in my terror, it made complete sense.
"I want my baby!" Ashk shouted.
"She wants her baby!" Rumil exclaimed.
"Give her her baby!" Orophin added, his own face and voice now as panicked as our younger brother's.
"Try again, Ashk. Hard push when I say - Ready?"
She cursed, doing as he ordered her to do. I ignored Erestal's previous warning and wedged my hand between her clenching fingers.
Ashk cried out my name, making me grimace even as Erestal told her to stop and breathe yet again. Her breath hiccupped and I hadn't felt so utterly useless in many years. It was a sickening feeling as Galadriel mopped my wife's sweaty glistened and teary face.
Some time passed and with every minute my frustration and horror was mounting. Ashk's face had lost the red hue and was now slightly pale. Rumil looked as though he was on the verge of passing out and Orophin had taken his place in the panic.
I looked to Galadriel, I silent plea swarming in my eyes that I knew she understood. She, however, only offered me a dim smile.
I looked hopelessly back at Ashk.
I watched her eyes droop once and felt it like a kick in the gut. My free hand grabbed her jaw, turning her head to me and I glared into her eyes.
"Do not even dare to think of giving in to this," I warned her seriously even as my heart had lodged itself in my throat with my stomach close behind.
She clenched her jaw and nodded before I kissed her forehead.
"Last time, Ashk. Swear it and we'll see our son," I demanded, more for my own good as hers.
"Last time," she repeated with a nod.
"Push now, Ashk! Push hard," Erestal demanded and Ashk's face turned away from me. Another cry left her and her hand clenched on mine painfully. I ignored it, silently demanding to see my son in that instant.
Then, with a scale in my wife's voice, there was suddenly another sound.
Ana sighed, leaning into me heavily. "Is Ama going to be all right?" she asked.
"Yes, sweet. She will be fine," I told her even as my hands shook.
"Did Ada do something wrong?" Onduras asked quietly.
I smiled at him. "No, lovely, he didn't."
"Then why was Ama mad at him before?"
I bit my lip and briefly tried to figure out how to explain to the toddler that his mother was not really mad.
Ashk let out another blood curdling scream and her two children huddled closer to me. I grimaced under the torturous sound to my ears as her voice broke to another level higher.
But then, there was suddenly another voice. It was young, innocent, and wailing to the world that he had finally arrived.
Haldir was beaming as Erestal finally delivered the infant into his blanketed arms. My Warden smiled down at that child as though he had found the world's greatest treasure while the babe continued to wail.
He turned to his wife and gently shifted the precious charge into her arms. Ashk's tears had dwindled away to happiness and her smile was warm and soft. She murmured a mother's soothing lullaby and her son slowly stopped his crying.
As with all Elvish children, he immediately opened his eyes minutes after birth.
A familiar steel blue met the warm brown of his mother and I smiled. His eyes were exactly the same as his father's.
I glanced at Haldir to see him press a kiss into Ashk's damp hair, murmuring a soothing praise to her that I doubted she even heard.
Suddenly, I realized that Orophin and Rumil were both hovering near me, peering over my shoulder at their brother's young son without patience.
I smiled and backed away, leaving the family to themselves.
"Will you name him in my stead this time?" Rumil asked urgently, causing his family only to laugh at his ridiculous question.
"You, Rumil, were aptly named," Haldir told his brother with an affectionate smile. "As he will be."
There was a gentle knock at the door behind me and I stepped out of the way as it opened. Abruptly, Onduras stepped through, poking his head into the room. His sister did the same.
Ashk turned her head to see the two and she motioned them towards her. "Come here. Your brother has come."
Both the twins stayed where they were even as Litia stood in the door behind them.
"No more screaming?" Ana asked, her eyes wide with genuine concern.
Haldir smiled at her. "No more screaming, Ana. Come here."
Ana ran forward to her father and he hoisted her into his arms. Onduras went to the bed before Orophin snatched him up, warning him to be careful with his mother. However, I doubted the Elfling heard him. He was looking in nothing less than awe at his younger brother.
"Did the bird come, Ama?" he asked, making me laugh softly.
"Yes, dear. The bird came," Ashk told him with a giggle of laughter before she grimaced slightly.
"He's quiet," Ana said softly. "Why won't he talk to us?"
Haldir chuckled, kissing her temple. "He can't speak yet, Ana. He will not be able to speak for some time."
She frowned. "Then how do we know his name?"
"Well, we can't very well call him babe all the time, can we?" Ashk said, her love for her daughter shining.
Ana shook her head and I smiled, moving forward.
"May I?" I motioned to the child.
With an understood reluctance, Ashk let me take him into my arms. As I looked down at the tiny child, I smiled at his little nose and tiny ears. He peered at me with bright eyes, so like his father's, and I rocked him slightly.
"Youngest Lord in Lorien," I mused aloud.
"Nethin," Ana said quickly, a smile beaming on her face. "His name is Nethin."
"Is it?" I smiled at Ana and carefully shifted the young child of Haldir to his mother once more.
"Isn't that his name, Ama?" Ana demanded, looking at her mother.
"Nethin," Ashk repeated, smiling down at her son. She then glanced to Haldir who gently touched the child's face.
"Nethin," Haldir said, agreeing silently. Ana giggled and clapped her hands.
Onduras leaned as far as he could out of Orophin's arms. "Hello, Nethin," he greeted. "I am the big brother - You are the little brother."
"Just to clear that up," Rumil chuckled.
I glanced to Ashk, seeing the exhaustion in her face and I gently touched Orophin's shoulder. "Perhaps we should let them all become more acquainted," I said softly.
He and Rumil looked adorably disappointed, but obeyed my silent command. Orophin gently put Onduras on an empty space on the bed where the child was completely fascinated by the infant in his mother's arms.
Silent Erestal followed us out of the room and I glanced back only to see Haldir slowly sitting to Ashk's side. I smiled and silently thanked the Valar that his son and wife were both healthy as could be.
"How is everything?" Litia asked nervously as she stood from a bench with my husband.
"Everything is perfect," I told her. I looked to Celeborn. "Haldir's son is named Nethin and he is completely healthy."
Relief washed over Celeborn's face. He knew of my nightmares that had occurred several times over the past months. I had worried myself over Nethin and his mother so much so that I had forced my dreams to turn dark.
"The family is getting acquainted," I added then.
"Wonderful," Celeborn said, smiling at me. "But I hope they do not take long. My patience with the Elfling Nethin has run short - I am anxious to see him."
I smiled at my husband. "Soon enough," I told him. "Soon enough."
Ashk was sleeping soundly on the healer's bed. Her head was turned towards the moonlight and it rained on her a beautiful glow as she wandered the world of dreams.
Yet, as she slept, I stood at the doors of the balcony with my youngest child nestled in my arms. He was tiny as could be and he, like his mother and siblings, slept with his eyes closed.
I smiled, trailing a finger down his tiny nose.
Nethin - Young Lord. Son of Haldir and Ashk.
And how perfect he was, I mused. Utterly perfect.
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Finally, we have the last (or is he?) addition to the Warden's family. Please let me know what you guys think! I am working on a short multi-chapter fic of H/A that should be posted either next or the one after the next one. That is...if I don't get blown away by Dennis in the mean time. Sigh.
P.S. I think I cleared most of the typos, but this site (which won't let me put it's name..) wouldn't allow the ? and ! to be together. Why, I don't know...But anyway, just an FYI. Love all!