A First Time For Everything
Characters: Aragorn, Legolas, Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, and Halbarad.
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Summary: Going through adolescence in Rivendell is rough. Poor Aragorn. Thankfully, he has two VERY willing, and oh-so-helpful siblings. Lucky him.
Disclaimer: I'm afraid that, just like all the rest of you, I can't claim to own any part of Middle Earth, or it's amazing characters. They all belong to Tolkien, I'm just having some fun ;-)
A/N: I had a lot of fun writing this—probably too much, LOL. I certainly hope you have as much fun reading it, as I had writing it. -g- This is probably the closest I'm ever going to get to writing parody…
"What about this?" Elladan selected a jar off one of the many shelves that lined the room.
Elrohir looked dubiously at the herbs his brother held up for his inspection. "No, that will never work." He shook his head thoughtfully, picking up a jar of his own. "Why not this?"
"I'm surprised you even consider that an option! Don't you remember what happened last time we used that?" Elladan solidly defeated the choice.
"I suppose you're right. We're going to have to come up with some more original plans."
"Hmm," Elladan murmured his agreement. "If we don't, soon everyone might think we're running out of ideas."
Elrohir grinned. "Won't that be the day."
"We're just going to have to work harder if we want to surprise Glorfindel." Elladan's mischievous smile was only a fraction away from turning wicked.
They went back to raiding their father's herb supply, expertly sorting through them with meticulous care—anything to "surprise" Glorfindel.
A minute later, the two delinquent geniuses were guiltily cramming jars back onto their shelves as Aragorn entered the room. He took one look at their carefully arranged expressions of innocence, and began rummaging through drawers.
The twins started to speak, but he interrupted wryly, "No. I don't want to know what you were doing in here…"
Elladan smiled. "Well we'd like to know what you're doing in here."
"Trying to find a nice, sharp razor." he answered without bothering to look up.
After a pointed moment of silence, Elrohir asked as seriously as he could, "So…who are you planning on killing?"
Estel looked up with an sarcastic smile. "The next elf who dares comment, or make a stupid pun about my beard."
The twins had to work hard not to laugh at this. Ever since Estel had arrived at Rivendell as a child, he'd taken to elven customs, dress and language easily. He'd become the adopted son of Elrond Peredhil. At times it was easy to forget he wasn't of their race; but everyone, of course, knew that he was a human.
Then he'd started growing his first beard.
It was a little shocking at first to get used to, and not a little amusing. The elves of Rivendell had eventually adjusted to seeing the scraggly adolescent beard on the face of the young human—the jokes, however, had continued.
Elladan was having a hard time resisting his overpowering provocative tendencies. As if Aragorn had expressly requested that he poke fun at his highly critiqued new facial hair, he asked, "Is that…dirt on your face?" he looked scrutinizingly at Estel's face. "Oh Valar, it's…a beard!" he exclaimed, starting a bit, as if realizing what it was for the first time.
Elrohir, the more self-controlled of the two, rammed his elbow into Elladan's ribs. Not only more self-controlled, but also more sensitive to others' emotions, he'd noted the peculiar shade of red Aragorn's face had turned. "That's was absolutely brilliant, muindor." he murmured under his breath.
When Aragorn turned back to the drawer and produced a shiny object, there was a dangerous glint in his eyes that made the twins unconsciously take a step back. Elladan swallowed hard.
"Um, Estel, muindor…" Elrohir began tentatively. "What exactly do you intend to do with that?"
Aragorn looked at them with a hint of wry amusement visible behind his dark glare. "I intend to use it to shave."
Not pausing to long enough to see his brothers' reactions, Aragorn stalked out of the room, resolutely fingering the razor.
After each of them had looked inquiringly at the other, and each had shrugged with equal bewilderment, the twins trailed after their brother. Out in the hall, they quickened their pace as they saw him disappear through his bedroom door.
Estel stood before the mirror over the washbasin, still fingering the razor as he stared at his beard, a determined glint in his eyes. The twins came up on either side of him.
"Estel, do you…that is…" Elrohir stammered awkwardly. "do you know how to use that…thing?"
Elladan spoke before Aragorn had a chance to turn on them. "Of course he does, Elrohir!" he exclaimed with over-exaggerated confidence. "All human men know how to shave! It's…instinctive…or…something…" he added uncertainly.
Elrohir looked dubiously at his hesitant human brother. At the moment, Aragorn was beginning to look very young, despite his beard. He ducked his head sheepishly, face glowing with embarrassment.
Elladan followed Elrohir's gaze, and his wavering confidence was replaced with a more sober attitude. "Don't worry, muindor," he said, attempting to placate his youngest brother's mortification as painlessly as possible. "I'll help you with it."
Estel looked questioningly at the still dubiously frowning Elrohir, who transferred his incredulous glance to Elladan. "Are you sure that you know how, El?"
Elladan inspected the razor uncertainly, but his voice only faltered slightly. "Sure I do!" The waver in his voice became more pronounced. "At least…I've seen the rangers do it." He smiled confidently at Aragorn and shrugged. "How hard can it be?"
Aragorn and Elrohir exchanged unconvinced glances, but Elladan seemed oblivious to anything but his own enthusiasm.
"I don't know, El…" Aragorn interjected weakly.
Elladan held the razor to his own smooth chin, saying with alacrity, "Like I said, little brother, how hard can it be?"
Aragorn watched apprehensively as Elladan attempted to use himself as a demonstration.
"Watch and learn." He gave Aragorn a cocky smile. "Just bring it down like…ouch!" Elladan hastily removed the razor from his face. Laughing nervously, he held a hand over the small cut. "I guess it's a little harder than it looks. But here," He reached towards Aragorn. "maybe it would be better if I tried it out on you."
Aragorn retreated a step, eyes wide. "Elladan, I'm not sure that's such a good idea…"
"Come on, Estel, I don't have a beard. I can't tell if I'm doing it right—unless I do it on you."
Elrohir marched for the door.
"Where are you going?" Elladan called after him cheerfully, his hand on Aragorn's shoulder to prevent his escape.
Not looking back, Elrohir answered from the doorway, "To get help; I'm very fond of my little brother."
Turning back to Aragorn, Elladan shook his head sadly. "He has no faith in me!" A smile lingered around the corners of his mouth. "But you, muindor, trust me don't you?"
Gulping visibly, Aragorn gave an uneasy nod—not that Elladan was waiting for a response.
Halbarad sighed with pleasure.
A couple of days' rest in Rivendell had been precisely what he needed. He stretched his wounded leg and relaxed further into the comfort of his chair. The leg only ached a little now; he'd be able to leave soon. Perhaps tomorrow, or the day after, or… He stopped himself abruptly. How long was he planning on lounging around like an invalid—and of all things because of a pitiful, wounded leg? He sighed again, this time with self-condemnation. Then his annoyance gave way to a chuckle; The last Homely Home seemed to have this effect on people all too often.
You sat down in the gardens, meaning to take only a minute, and then you woke up to find half the day gone. Come to Imladris intending to spend a "few" days, and those "few" days multiplied into a week in what seemed like a day. Well he would not fall for the lure of this peaceful elven haven like he, and so many others, had on other occasions. The day after tomorrow, and no later, he would leave and rejoin the rangers. But for now… Unconsciously he let his eyelids slip further closed.
Hours—or perhaps minutes—later, a noise woke him. Only half awake, he opened his eyes to see a dark-haired elf coming towards him.
He eyed the elf before him somewhat groggily before recognizing him as one of the twins. "El…" He paused a minute, wracking his memory and mentally punching himself for his slowness, before realizing which Peredhil it was. "El…rohir."
Luckily for the ranger's pride, Elrohir was too distracted to notice. "Thank Eru you're here, Halbarad!" he breathed, coming to a halt in front of him.
Halbarad sat up straighter in his chair, the last remnants of sleep fleeing from him. "Calm down, Elrohir, and tell me what's wrong."
"It's Estel: Elladan is going to kill him!"
"What, again?" He raised his eyebrows incredulously, former concern evaporating.
"No, you don't understand," Elrohir persisted, "not on purpose! This time it's serious—and he's using a knife. Well, a razor anyways, and…"
"A knife?" Halbarad look critically at the young elf.
He nobly resisted the urge to chuckle. The pictures that Elrohir's words suggested—namely Elladan chasing Estel with a knife down the deceptively peaceful halls of Rivendell—couldn't help but make him smile. That seemed rather… improbable. Perhaps the twins had decided to aim one of their ridiculous pranks at him? Still, Elrohir was doing an amazingly realistic, and convincing job of acting. From the way he was babbling on so uncharacteristically, he seemed truly worried.
Shrugging inwardly, he rose from his chair. Who knew, perhaps Elladan was chasing Estel with a knife. It wasn't impossible; stranger things had been known to happen.He'd learned long ago, the hard way, never to underestimate the catastrophic possibilities of anything involving the younger Peredhils and their human brother.
Besides, he though amusedly, Elrohir looked like he was about to grab his hand and drag him along. He would much prefer to traverse the halls of Rivendell in a more…dignified…manner.
As they neared Aragorn's room, a loud "Ouch!" resounded down the corridor, as if ominously prophesying what they would find when they reached their destination. "That hurts! You don't know what you're doing, Elladan, please—Ow!" Halbarad flinched. So, Elladan was doing something to his brother with a knife. From the sound of it, torture. And here, Elladan had always been so overprotective of Estel…
The sight that greeted them was…well, indescribable. Halbarad took it all in in one glance. Elladan, razor in hand. Aragorn, several scratches decorating his cheek, cringing, and looking miserably at him for salvation.
The older ranger grabbed the razor from Elladan. "Out." He looked meaningfully at the two elves. "Both of you."
Later that day…
Steadily, wearily, Elrond climbed the stairs.
No matter how long, or short, the trip, it was always wonderful to come back home to the comfortable surroundings of Rivendell. All the familiar objects, and surroundings, and faces… His smiling reminiscences were jerked to an abrupt halt by a new, very sobering, thought. There were three faces, in particular, he was looking forward to seeing—but not without a contradicting measure of apprehension.
So, now you'll see what those three horrors of yours gotten themselves into this time... A voice in his sub-conscious taunted.
Horrors? Part of him repeated indignantly. Whatever his sons were, they certainly weren't horrors! Well…they…are…
Going to be the death of me? His mind supplied helpfully.
Where had that come from? His sons could be a trial, but they were most certainly not that bad.
Really? The same mocking inner-voice questioned incredulously.
He sighed. Was he reduced to arguing with himself already? Horrors, or not, he was going to have to face the three of them, and whatever trouble they'd gotten into, in a minute. He could never be prepared enough.
But, as a rule, he always clung to optimism; after all, he could always hope for the best. Maybe they wouldn'talmost kill each other, maybe they would restrain themselves from dyeing Glorfindel's hair, maybe they would use a little self-control and…
Maybe all orcs will have a sudden change of heart?
This time he had to concede the point; it wasn't likely any of them had managed to stay out of trouble.
He looked up to see the twins, with Estel and Halbarad behind them, trailing out of the library. His three sons smiled a greeting. As for Elrond, his eyes were traveling over the myriad of scratches on Aragorn's face. He managed to keep his smile of amusement from showing. So Estel had shaved his first beard, but not without acquiring some "war-wounds". Halbarad's eyes met his, shining with the same concealed amusement—apparently his son had had some help in the end.
From there, Elrond allowed his eyes to wander over his other sons. Elrohir seemed alright, and Elladan…His attention lingered on his eldest. Elladan had a scratch running down the side of his cheek. It looked rather like he'd been trying to…
By now the three of them were shifting uncomfortably under his steady, and appraising gaze, that was so obviously missing nothing.
Elrohir tried to stammer an explanation, "Ada, Elladan was just…That is he…"
"Yes?" Elrond watched his sons squirm. Whatever their explanation was, it was bound to be an interesting one. "Well, my sons, I'd be most interested in hearing the whole story."
From the sheepishly exchanged glances his three sons exchanged as he urged them towards the Hall of Fire, he knew he was in for an entertaining evening of news.
It was good to be home.
Hope it gave you a laugh...or a smirk...or at least a little smile... ;-) I would LOVE to hear your comments, including criticism (but please, be nice!).