Author's Note: Hi! Here I am again! My family situation has improved a bit and I hope I'll be able to post regularly again. Thank you for all the wonderful reviews for "The Forest"! (hugs)
I originally intended to post this story in my "Facets of Friendship" collection, but as I can't seem to stop writing little Estel stories right now I thought it would be much easier to keep track of them or avoid them (whatever your preferences ;-) if I post them separately. So "Dawn of Friendship" will be a collection for short friendship stories featuring a grown-up Legolas and Estel as a child or teenager. All these stories belong to my Mirkwood Tales, which are listed in my profile.
I hope you'll enjoy and tell me what you think:)
Title: A Danger in the Night
Author: Silivren Tinu
Series: Mirkwood Tales
Summary: Legolas has to save a little boy he barely knows from an unexpected danger. Written for Prompt #9 "Experience" on Aragornangst.
Disclaimer: I do not own any elves, humans, creatures, or locations mentioned in this story. (sigh)
- A Danger in the Night -
Legolas jerked awake in the middle of the night when a piercing scream invaded his so far deep and untroubled slumber. The scream was shortly followed by a second one, and this time it consisted of a word:
It was something Legolas had hoped he would never hear inside of these walls. But what was even worse, the scream had come from the room right beside his own. Estel! It was like a nightmare come true. Legolas' instincts took over, and he was out of bed and grabbing his weapons before the scream had faded completely. He quickly fastened the twin knives on his back, without bothering to change into something other than his nightclothes.
Then he grabbed his bow and an arrow, not wanting to waste more time with the quiver, and hurried to the door. He allowed the door to crash loudly against the wall, hoping that the spider would be distracted by the sound and stop its attack for some precious moments. Nocking an arrow, Legolas kicked the door to Estel's quarters open, immediately searching for a target.
He saw a terrified-looking Estel, who was cowering against the headboard of his bed, looking at something in front of him… Legolas blinked. His arrow was pointed at something black and very, very small that was slowly crawling over the white blanket, completely oblivious to the danger it was in or the tumult it had caused. It was a spider, but not exactly the variety he had expected.
Legolas raised his head. The child was looking at him with big, pleading eyes. Slowly, the prince lowered his bow. He heard a cough behind him, but did not turn, knowing very well what he would see there. Legolas leaned the bow and the arrow against the bed, then he gently scooped up the spider with one hand and walked to the balcony door to set it in the garden where it belonged. He heard Estel breathe a sigh of relief behind him.
When Legolas came back into the room he found a considerable part of the population of the Last Homely House consisting of Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Glorfindel, Erestor, and Lindir looking back at him, all of them trying hard not to smirk, smile, chuckle, or show their obvious amusement in any other way. They were not very successful. Legolas sighed inwardly, hoping that he did not look as embarrassed as he felt right now.
Before he could say anything, small arms wrapped themselves around his legs (they could not reach any higher). Looking down he found his gaze met by big grey eyes staring at him with deep adoration.
"I knew you would save me," the boy said, smiling at the elf. "My brothers told me you are a mighty warrior and fight spiders all the time!"
Legolas did not really know what to answer to that, so he merely nodded and laid a reassuring hand on the child's head. Elladan came to his rescue and tried to free Legolas' legs out of the death-grip of the little human.
"Yes, Legolas has some experience with matters like that," he agreed, trying to keep his face straight. Legolas glared at him.
Finally, Elladan succeeded in drawing the boy away. He quickly lifted him off the ground and handed him over to Elrohir. "I think this little one should go to sleep now," he commented.
"Will there be no more spiders?" Estel asked anxiously.
"No," Elrohir answered, sitting the boy back down on his bed. "And even if there should be, you have a mighty wood-elf to protect you, remember?"
Legolas began to wonder how many hundred years it would take him to live this night down. A hand on his arm made him look up. Elladan smiled at him, a mixture of amusement and slight worry in his eyes.
"You did not even remember that you were not in the Palace, did you?" he asked quietly.
"No," Legolas confessed. "I was only thinking about spiders… and Estel."
He looked at the boy once more, marvelling at how protective he felt of that child though he had only met him for the second time yesterday. Feeling his gaze, Estel looked up immediately and smiled. Seeing that smile, Legolas knew that the boy had somehow managed to capture his heart. To help him had probably been worth being embarrassed in front of nearly the entire household. He smiled back.
"You looked completely exhausted when you arrived yesterday, and I think you were," Elladan commented, eying his friend. "I think you need sleep even more than the little one here does."
He picked up the bow and the arrow and began to gently drag Legolas out of the room. The wood-elf did not resist. Now that the "danger" had passed, he indeed felt very tired. Thranduil had sent him to Imladris to recover from some long and dangerous patrols, and for the first time Legolas wondered whether his father had been right to do so. He noticed that the other elves had already tactfully retreated, and was grateful for it.
Back in his room, Legolas put the twin knives on the chair next to his bed, not even looking to see what Elladan did with the bow and the arrow before he collapsed on the bed with a relieved sigh. Noticing that Elladan was still standing in his room, watching him, Legolas raised an eyebrow.
"Do you want to stand there for the rest of the night watching me sleep?" he asked drowsily.
"I just want to make sure that you do not climb out of the window to do some weapons practice," Elladan countered.
Legolas could not really deny that he had done so before, so he simply murmured, "Not tonight."
He curled up on his bed and groped around for the blanket for a few moments, not really caring whether he found it or not. A hand caught his own, stilling its movements, and then the blanket was spread over him.
"Sleep well," Elladan said. "And thank you for saving my little brother toni-"
Before he had even ended the sentence, a pillow hit him square in the face. The last thing Legolas heard before falling asleep was Elladan's soft laughter as he closed the door behind him.
- The End -
I don't know if even little Estel would ever react like that, but I could not resist. (g) This story was inspired by a nice encounter I had with a big eight-legged creature in the bathroom lately. (shudder) There's never a wood-elf around when you need one...
I really hope you liked the story, because I'm about to post a sequel next week. ;-) Until then,