Disclaimer: I don't own them. If you are silly enough to believe I do, I suggest counseling.
AN: BRILLIANT! Thanx for all of the reviews for the previous installment of the Squirrel Chronicles! I hope ya'll like this new one just as much!
All was peaceful in the realm of Imladris. Elves bustled along the halls and fields, chatting with anyone who seemed inclined to listen. The sun was shining, the sky bluer than a robin's egg, not a cloud in sight. All in all, it seemed the perfect day.
The silence was shattered as though someone had put his or her foot through it. And anguished yell rang out from one of the bedrooms, followed quickly by another, more furious one.
In the stables, two identical heads popped up, each with a diabolical grin. One turned to the other and said gleefully, "I do believe it's time to run."
"I quite agree."
Each mounted their own horse and clucked their tongues, urging the horses to a quick trot. They had nearly reached the bridge and were about to congratulate each other on their latest escapade, when galloping hooves turned the pair about in their seats.
"I quite agree."
The guard pulled up his horse just a few feet from the twins. He smiled as he saw their guilty faces and noted the gear strapped to their horses, as though they were about to leave on a long camping trip.
Remembering the howl that had emanated from Lord Elrond's throat, he wasn't entirely sure he blamed them. "Your father would like to see you immediately." The guard laughed, openly enjoying the looks of horror that crossed the twin's faces.
"But… Hadlin, he wouldn't have had time to call a guard after us. It happened less than three minutes ago."
Hadlin grinned. "Do you two really think we needed him to call us out after you? Remember what happened the last time he yelled like that? Off you go then."
Elrohir glanced at his mirror image, irritated. "I told you they would anticipate our leaving this way. I said we should have waited in the forest until the cover of darkness. You said…"
"I believe that he wants to see you now."
Still grumbling at each other, they turned their horses about and started off.
"Elladan. Elrohir. Come in."
Very apprehensively, the two entered, not into Elrond's study, but into the elf lord's personal bedroom. Prudently, they realized that it was not an appropriate time to laugh, or even let a smile grace their fair features.
Elrond was 'sitting' on his bed in his nightclothes, or rather, what was left of them. Everything that had formerly been on the floor was now suspended from the high stone ceilings… the elf lord included.
The twins had managed to slip some heavy sleeping powder into Elrond's wine the night before and had enlisted the help of one of the servants (seeing as Legolas, their normal prank buddy, was several hundred miles away and probably still fuming) to take the bed (and the nightstand, dressers, etc) and suspended the furniture to the ceiling.
Last of all had been Elrond himself, and a great debate was raised about how to affix the twins' ada to the ceiling. They had finally agreed to tie a fair number of ropes to the elf lord's wrists, waist, knees and ankles, thus allowing their ada a fair range of movement without too much pressure being exerted onto one part of Elrond's body.
And by the time that was done, the twins had somehow managed to entangle twine around their ada's robes. (Completely accidentally or course…) Deciding that the strings would hamper Elrond's range of movement, the twins took out their daggers, intending to cut through the string. And completely unintentionally of course, the sharp blades had, in places, cut through Elrond's robes as well.
They had fled, sure that repercussions would be in short order. They were not disappointed.
They had been severely ordered to undo their prank, much to their dismay. They had been hoping one of the elven artists would be willing to sketch the scene of disorder. They would have to settle for the memories.
The instant Elrond's feet touched the ground; he turned upon his unfortunate sons, eyes blazing. "You two—no don't go anywhere! You're not finished here!"
Elladan, who had been trying to push Elrohir in front of him to screen his own escape, sighed inwardly and stepped out from behind his twin. They stood straight, heads appropriately bowed, hands behind their backs. Or as the position was more famously known as, the infamous elfling scolding stance.
"You will not only have stable duties for the next three weeks, but you will also help the kitchen staff for a month, go to Erestor for extra studies in history," (this elected a unified groan), "and help me with my medicinal chores. You will now go out to the forest, on foot, no horses allowed, and collect these herbs." Elrond rummaged in his desk and handed them a folded sheet of paper.
Elrohir groaned as he stubbed his foot on a hidden root. "Why did we ever do that?"
"It was your idea, don't blame me!" Elladan replied as he nearly ran headfirst into a tree.
"Twas not! You—"
Both stopped and stared at each other before realizing that, in fact, it wasn't their idea at all… Estel had made some vague remark about Elrond hanging upside down in one of his dreams… and the twins had developed their plan from that.
Silent for the moment, the two continued their search for the search their ada ordered. They had been out for nearly five hours, not daring to return without every single herb Elrond had ordered. They did not want to add any more punishment to their already considerable list.
"I cannot believe that we got caught." Elladan said, narrowing his eyes. "There is no logical way that Hadlin could have reached the bridge that fast. Someone must have told him about it ahead of time."
Elrohir was quick to agree. "But who could it have been? We put the sleeping powder into nearly everyone's drink so that we wouldn't get caught!"
Elladan snapped his fingers. "I know! Twas Estel! He did not touch his wine last night. He claimed that his stomach was unwell and drank only water!"
The youngest twin scowled. "The little--! He knew! He knew we were going to do something! He knew what it was, how we were going to achieve it, and how—"
"He was going to stop us in our tracks." Elladan finished, furious. "He planned it all out! He knew that we were going to run as soon as ada yelled, he alerted Hadlin… I know it! This is all part of his plot!" He spun on his twin, eyes flashing. "Tis all your fault! We were in his good graces because we helped him set the squirrel on Legolas, and then you had to have the 'brilliant' idea to replace all his clothes with Arwen's dresses!"
"MY fault?" Elrohir squawked indignantly, or the elven equivalent of squawking anyway. "But it was you who dumped him in ada's vat of lavender dye two weeks ago! As far as I can see, it's your fault!"
Elladan sighed. "The point being, little brother, is that Estel has probably set this whole thing up in the hopes that ada would send us into the forest as a punishment. He has probably riddled the entire forest with traps. Be wary!"
They gathered themselves, resolving to settle the matter of whose fault it was later. For the moment, they would be kept quite busy just trying to avoid the traps they were now positive were in the forest. They made quite an amusing sight to the pair of eyes that followed them. Elladan cautiously poked one foot, then the other out in front of him. He looked as if he expected the ground to break under him. Elrohir, on the other hand, was carefully inspecting each tree, checking it for traps, before wrapping his hands around it and using it as a safeguard before he carefully took a step. Perhaps he thought that the tree would save him from being either dragged under the ground or off of it.
The sons of Elrond got several hundred yards in this fashion before disaster struck. And, much to the twin's dismay, 'disaster' proved to have eight tiny feet, each with five tiny claws. That made forty tiny pricking sensations, twenty to each twin, as the squirrels crawled down their shirts.
Letting out identical howls of dismay, Elladan and Elrohir dropped their bundles of herbs and leaped around, slapping frantically at their backs and chests. Elrohir's tormentor scrabbled round his neck, nipped his pointed ear and chewed at his hair, deftly avoiding the elf's frantic hands. Elladan's, on the other hand, chose a more devious method: it promptly crawled down the elf's back, settling in that –oh-so-hard-to-reach place and commenced it's own special assault.
"Elrohir!" the elder cried desperately, twisting madly about to try and reach the squirrel, "Help! It's licking me!" The furry creature remained stubbornly in place, just out of reach.
All this happened in the first ten seconds.
A figure watched from behind a tree, scarcely containing his mirth at the sight. Things were going exactly according to plan. It had all worked out so well!
The elves managed to get their heads together enough to decide on a team effort. They went at each other, each snatching madly for the squirrels. Elrohir grasped the squirrel on Elladan's back, only to get bitten. He dropped it, swearing. The little rodent quickly recollected its wits and ducked back under the elder elf's shirt.
Elladan straightened with a yelp, knocking both off-balance as he did so. This proved disastrous as Elrohir, straining to snatch his squirrel from his hair, toppled backwards. His foot hooked his brother's, and down they went, head over heels on a slight incline, still grabbing for the evasive rodents.
Tangled in each other's limbs, Elladan and Elrohir came to a dead stop at the bottom of the little hill. Their faces slammed against the ground with muffled thumps. Neither was hurt however, because of what they had come to rest in.
Elrohir raised his head from the mud, looking more like a demonic forest sprite hell-bent on revenge than an elf. "I am going to hurt him," he declared. "I am going to disembowel him—"
"Turn him inside out," Elladan joined in, getting unsteadily to his feet.
"Trap him in a closet with Erestor for hours—"
"Dump him in the privy—"
"Throw him—AIIIIIII!" Elrohir cried, as his squirrel reappeared and began to gnaw on his ear.
Elladan looked around warily, falling into a defensive crouch as he did so. But he was too late, and his cry joined his twin, as the other rodent appeared and darted inside the top of his boot.
They bolted for Rivendell. The elves there would receive quite a surprise several minutes later as two creatures that somewhat resembled elves raced through the gates, yelling bloody murder and howling for Estel's blood. Their curses were interrupted periodically by strained laughter as the squirrels reached a particularly ticklish spot.
Estel, looking out of his bedroom window, was simultaneously delighted and apprehensive. The twins had obviously been pranked, and by a master at that. That was always delightful. But… why were they screaming his name? He had done nothing! The twins approached his window, vengeful lust burning in their eyes. Estel began to back away nervously. The situation had lost all its humor for him. "Elladan? Elrohir? Brothers, I didn't---!" They charged.
And back in the forest, where the twins had dropped their herbs, Legolas Greenleaf strolled out from behind his tree, satisfied that his three months of fuming and plotting hadn't been for naught.
AN: Lol! Don't forget to review and tell me what you think! Thanx again to the previous reviewers: Someone Reading, Deana, Aurehen, Romen, AutumnLeaves101, KerowynGreenleaf, Erasuithiel, Legolas's girl 9, Rebelelf777, and misendure. Ya'll rock!