Title: It Was Nothing
Author: Calenlass Greenleaf
Disclaimer: Estel, Elladan and Elrohir belong to Tolkien. This story plot and any original characters belong to me.
Rating: PG-13 for angst. No adult themes. No slash, sex, smut, profanity, or romance. Any mentioned love is brotherly, parental, or familial love.
Warning: If you're an extreme arachnidphobic (A spider fearer), then don't read. I myself am an arachnidphobic, but reading spider stories don't bother me…strange. But researching about spiders and tarantulas— (Shudder) All those pictures and descriptions—augh! My mind didn't appreciate it. Even my muse hated it, but then again, he's a Mirkwood elf who has to deal with countless spiders. :-)
Summary: Written for the EAC Competition: Spiders. Estel is bitten during a hunting trip, and he doesn't tell his brothers. Thus, he suffers! And Elrond's not around to help him…can it get any worse for poor Estel. Written purely for the sake of angst and torturing Estel.
For canon-conscious people:Iston—I cut Gilraen out of the story, and I ignored the distances.
For spiders and poison experts: I know—nobody could survive a venomous bite for a week. Saew-lam Ihingrilath (Translation: Poison-tongue spiders) don't exist. And there are probably a number of other things wrong with my spiders.
A/N: I have not given up on "Apostate's Ruse." I will never abandon any of my stories.
A/N #2: Thoughts are in italics. Translations are at the bottom of this chapter.
It Was Nothing
Estel toyed with a dagger that he held in his hands. He looked up and sighed, feeling bored. Elladan and Elrohir were hunting somewhere, leaving him to guard their small campsite. For half an hour, he had sat there, waiting for his brothers to come back. Idly, he threw his dagger up in the air, watching the blade catch the brightness of the sun's rays before falling and splitting a leaf in half. Getting to his feet, he decided to gather wood for the fire. He walked away from the small clearing and into the woods.
For a few minutes, he was intent on his task. As he reached down to pick a large stick from a pile of logs, a sharp pain made him drop the armload of wood he had already gathered. "Ow!" He exclaimed, examining his left hand. Two small holes, a few centimeters apart, stood out starkly on area where his thumb and forefinger met. They were already beginning to bleed. Estel kicked at the logs, sending them scattering. A red-and-orange spider the size of his hand scuttled out, its long legs moving quickly over the ground. The boy jumped back, and without another thought, brought down his foot to crush the arachnid. He turned away, eyes fixed on his hand. "Stupid spiders," he muttered under his breath. He found his pack, and dug through it until he found a bandage. Pouring some water on his hand, Estel cleaned the bite marks the best he could, and wrapped the bandage around his hand. It probably wasn't a poisonous spider, he thought, or else I would be feeling quite poorly right now. He rubbed the bitten area with the back of his other hand, trying to take away the sting.
"So how did you fare during our absence, little brother?"
Startled, Estel looked up to see Elladan and Elrohir standing next to time. Jumping to his feet, he stared accusingly at them. "What took you so long?" he asked. "I've been waiting for nearly an hour!"
Elrohir shrugged. "The game seemed to be scarce in this area."
"Oh," He looked at the bags they were carrying. "Did you get anything?"
"Elrohir managed to bring down two squirrels, and I caught a rabbit." Elladan poked his twin in the side. "We also saw a deer, but Elrohir scared him away when he dropped bow."
"'Twas an accident!" Elrohir protested.
"What about the time you thought a bear was a deer? Or the—"
"Do you mind starting supper?" Estel interrupted impatiently. "You can argue on the way home."
Elladan laughed. "All right, Estel." He poked Elrohir again. "We can talk about your blunders when we get home."
Elrohir glowered at him, but said nothing. Estel held back a grin.
After they had finished their meal, the sun was no longer visible. Estel sat with his back against a tree, his head on Elrohir's shoulder. He would have been comfortable had it not been for the itchiness in his hand. He rubbed furiously at it.
"Estel, what's wrong with you?" Elrohir asked him. "Is something wrong?" He looked over at his brother.
The boy shook his head. "No," he replied, "Just a stupid cut I got today on my hand when I gathered the wood." He did not want to tell his brothers about the bite, for fear they think him clumsy to be bitten by a tiny spider.
"Do you need me to look at it?"
Again, he shook his find. "I'll be fine, Elrohir. 'Tis nothing."
Had Elrond been with them, the elf lord would have demanded to Estel's hand, minor injury or no. This Estel knew, and he was glad that his father was not here.
Elladan sat down next to him. "What do you think of this whole trip?"
His adopted brother smiled at him. "It was wonderful." He crossed his arms behind his head and gazed at the stars. "Too bad it will end tomorrow."
"We can always do this again, gwador." Elladan good-naturedly ruffled Estel's hair. "Maybe next time Elrond can come with us. Perhaps after you turn fifteen?"
"That would be nice," He answered, yawning.
Elrohir grinned. "You should go to sleep now."
"I'm not tired." Estel sat up straighter, but a yawn threatened to split his jaw.
"Indeed you are," Elrohir playfully pushed him into Elladan.
"Am not." Estel flung an acorn at the younger peredhel, who easily ducked it
"Are to." Elrohir dropped some leaves on the boy's head.
"Just go to sleep, Estel," Elladan growled, throwing a blanket onto Estel's head. "I will take the first watch. Elrohir can take the second."
"And me?" Estel pulled the blanket of his head. He caught the bedroll Elladan flung toward him.
"You can sleep." Elladan grinned at him. "Good night."
As Estel lay down on his bedroll and pulled the blanket over himself, he could still hear his brothers bickering over the afternoon's hunting results. He smiled to himself. "My children will never grow up." He had once heard his father say to Glorfindel. "Not one of them."
I don't think I'll terribly mind that, Estel thought sleepily. If it means seeing Ada every day…
Eyes closing, Estel curled up and finally gave in to sleep.
The next morning did not start well. Estel awoke with a headache, and his hand felt hot and itchy. The skies were grey and overcast, the sun hidden behind the dark clouds. I wouldn't be surprised if it started to rain, he darkly said him himself. He forced himself to eat a few bites of food before excusing himself, saying that he ate too much last night. Much to his annoyance, both Elladan and Elrohir were in a good mood. As they mounted their horses, Estel fell into the back, hoping to avoid any conversations. He tried to think of happier thoughts, but the spider kept him from thinking anything else.
He did not have such luck. His brothers could sense he was in a dark mood, and they attempted to lighten it.
"My, Estel," Elladan said teasingly. "Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?"
"Maybe he slept on a rock during the night, and woke up feeling sore." Elrohir reached over and poked Estel's arm. "Or did you not sleep enough."
"Stop it!" The boy said irritably, pushing away Elrohir's hand. "You're not helping me a bit."
"What put you in such a foul mood, gwador? Was it—?"
"For Eru's sake, would both of you just shut up?" Estel snapped tersely.
"You could ask nicely, Estel." Elladan told him. "Hasn't Ada told you not to tell people to shut up?" He tried to catch Estel's eyes, but the boy was steadfastly staring straight ahead.
"Be that way, Estel." Elladan shrugged. "If you want to be ill-tempered day, that's fine with us."
An uncomfortable silence descended on the three. Elladan and Elrohir made a point of ignoring Estel, who pretended not to notice.
The boy pulled his cloak tighter about his shoulders as it began to drizzle. "Can this day get any worse?" He muttered to himself, flicking a raindrop off his nose. "All I want is a warm room and a soft bed." He rubbed his hand. "And some ointment."
It was nightfall when they finally reached Rivendell. By now, Estel felt as if his head would break open any second. His hand fared no better. It itched horrendously, and the irritation seemed to have spread up his whole arm. Dismounting his horse and handing the reins over to a stable hand, he trudged with his brother into the warm abode of his home, blinking at the bright lights.
Elrohir appeared beside him. "Do you not want anything to eat?"
Estel shook his head. "I'm not hungry."
The peredhel wrapped one arm around his shoulder, and frowned when he felt Estel pressed against him. "You feel quite warm."
"I do?" Estel looked up at Elrohir with a frown on his face. "Maybe I'm sick." Inwardly, he was groaning. He hated being sick.
Elrohir rested the back of his hand against the boy's forehead. "You are warm," he observed. "How do you feel?"
"I feel tired, and I have a headache."
The half-elf gently pushed him away. "Go to your room; I will meet you there."
Estel did not reply but simply walking in the direction of his room. He tiredly climbed the stairs and walked through the hallway until he reached his room. Turning the knob, he opened the door. He rubbed his eyes with back of his right hand as he dropped his pack unto the ground with his other hand. Pulling his wet things off, he quickly change into his nightclothes and sat on the bed, waiting. Elrohir came into the room, a cup of tea in one hand and a jar of something else in his other.
"Where's Ada?" Estel asked.
"He went to Mirkwood." Elrohir informed him, dipping a spoon into the jar. "He should be back next week."
Estel groaned when he realized what Elrohir was doing. "'Roh, must I—"
"Yes." Elrohir mixed the powder in with the tea before handing it to his brother. "Here," He said in a no-nonsense voice.
Reluctantly, Estel took the cup from him and took a sip. He grimaced.
"All of it, Estel." Elrohir tapped the bottom of the cup.
He gave him his most innocent smile. "What?"
Elrohir reached over to tug on his hair, smiling. "Never mind." He helped his brother pulled the covers down. Estel crawled in, sighing when he rested his head against the cool pillows. Elrohir pulled the blankets over him, and lightly touched his cheek. "Sleep well, Estel. I hope you feel better tomorrow."
"Mm…" Estel closed his eyes. "'Night."
He was asleep even before Elrohir left the room.
Gwador – sworn brother
Peredhel – half elf
Adar – father
A/N: This will be a short story, with only two to three chapters. After this, I will give you the fourth chapter of "Apostate's Ruse."