Title: Does This Happen Often?
Disclaimer: The characters and places of Lord of the Rings belong to J.R.R. Tolkien.
Summary: Just an ordinary day in the lives of Legolas and Aragorn, as seen through the eyes of Arwen and Thranduil.
"Does this happen often?"
Arwen turned to smile sweetly at the fair-haired elf-king beside her. "More often than you might think."
Thranduil shook his head in amusement. "I thought my son didn't like caves?"
"Ah, but this isn't a cave," Arwen explained, echoing her husband's argument, "it is a cellar."
"It is underground and liable to collapse. Therefore a cave," Thranduil replied coolly, echoing his son's reply. Then he chuckled. "One would have thought they would have learned to avoid things like this by now."
"Yes, one would," the Queen of Gondor fought down a giggle. "It happens often enough."
"Trapped in a cellar. Not very noble of the King of Gondor and a Prince of Mirkwood."
"Indeed." This time Arwen let the giggle escape, and was joined with another chuckle from Thranduil. "Not quite what you were expecting when Legolas invited you to come to Rohan with us."
"No, not really. I had been hoping he'd spend more time above ground than below it."
Arwen laughed musically. It wasn't as if they'd planned this—though with Aragorn and Legolas' reputation, perhaps they should have. She and Aragorn had invited Legolas to come to Edoras with them, knowing he would be glad of the opportunity to visit Gimli at the Glittering Caves. Thranduil had been visiting his son at the time, and Legolas had invited him along, as well.
The moment they arrived in Rohan, Eomer told Aragorn about one of his men finding an old cellar that had been built to hide weaponry during a troubled time. Aragorn, of course, was eager to see it and dragged Legolas with him. Ten minutes into their exploration the door and most of the wall caved in—standard procedure any time the two of them were in a cave.
Or cellar, she added mentally. Now they'd have to add cellars to the "Things That Aragorn and Legolas Should Avoid" list along with caves, spiders, rivers, cliffs, archery tournaments, hunting competitions, swords, Elladan and Elrohir, Mirkwood Forest, palantiri, boats, knives, Isengard, boiling water, Mordor, and the beacon at Minas Tirith. Come to think of it, she'd thought Edoras would have been one of the safer places for her husband and the elf-prince.
"He'll never hear the last of this one," Arwen murmured, not knowing quite which she was thinking of.
"I agree," Thranduil commented with a smile, obviously sharing the same sentiment—and not knowing who to direct it to.
"They really should know better," Arwen said with a sigh.
"Yes. Perhaps we should leave them there overnight," Thranduil suggested. "It seems that my son and the King of Gondor haven't yet learned why they shouldn't venture into dark, unexplored, potentially dangerous caves and cellars. It stands to reason that a night in such a place might teach them some more caution."
Arwen held back a laugh, but shook her head. "I don't know, Thranduil. You know how Legolas gets in caves."
The older elf thought about this for a moment. "Very well. A few hours then. We'll send for help around sunset."
Arwen nearly groaned. "This is either the beginning of a beautiful friendship or a diplomatic nightmare."
"Come now, Lady Arwen," Thranduil chided, his mischievous gaze uncannily like his son's. "I hardly doubt Aragorn would sever ties with Mirkwood because of a practical joke."
"Perhaps not," she replied, successfully keeping her expression neutral. "But it would not be good for either of our people if your son murders my husband for dragging him into another cave."
Thranduil laughed. "Then let us go alert the guard now," he said, offering his arm to Arwen.
The queen nodded serenely. "Perhaps this will teach them to avoid caves—and cellars—anyway," she commented.
"I highly doubt it, Lady Arwen," Thranduil replied conversationally. "I highly doubt it."
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That's the end of this one! This was actually a story I had written a few months ago but did not post until recently. A spin-off story based on "the list" is up on my profile (under a ridiculously long name).