My First Word
Disclaimer: I don't own any recognizable characters.
Summary: Baby Eldarion, who cannot yet talk, silently observes the word around him.
Note 1: This can also be considered Supernatural since it assumes that babies can think before they had learned to talk.
Note 2: This story is just my short moment of stupidity, don't take it too seriously :-). Very different from the rest of my works.
I don't want her to go away.
Nana rocks me in her arms and leaves me in my cradle. Then she kisses me and smiles. "Sleep well, Eldarion," she says before she walks away.
I want to tell her that I want her to stay. I want to tell her that I like it when she holds me in her arms, when she rocks me gently, when she sings to me. No one can sing like nana.
There are so many things I want to tell her. But I cannot.
I cannot talk. Not yet.
She looks at me once again before she closes the door. And this time I want to tell her something simpler – I am hungry. And I know how to do that.
I start crying and she runs to my side. I giggle when she takes me in her arms. Nana always knows what I want, even if I cannot tell her.
Once a strange creature visited me. He was smaller than anyone else I have seen, but bigger than me. If he could step on his own head, he would be as tall as ada.
But his size was not the strangest about him. His hair had a funny color – the color of the sky when the shining disk rises. But even more peculiar was that his hair grew not only on his head, but also on his face! Ada also has hair on his face, but not that much. This being was frightening!
I have to admit I was scared when I saw him for the first time, but I would never tell ada that, even when I learn how to talk. But when I realized that he wasn't dangerous, I was taken by a sudden wish.
I wanted to grab the hair that grew on his face and pull it. I thought it would be interesting to see if it would come of.
"Good morning, little one!" He said with a smile and walked towards me. "You are growing fast! Last time I saw you, you looked like a shrunken potato."
I didn't remember seeing this creature before, and even less I remembered looking like a shrunken potato. But his remark suddenly doubled my desire to pull at his hair very hard.
Then another creature walked into the room, and I couldn't help but look at him in envy. He had nana's ears! I have never seen anyone with ears like nana's, but I have always found them pretty, and I wished mine looked like that. I have often touched mine to feel their shape, but they are like everyone else's.
The being's hair was big as nana's, but it had the color of the shining disk that travels through the sky. He was about as tall as ada, but is thinner. Maybe his nana hadn't fed him often enough.
My attention was suddenly brought back to the small one. He was still too far away for me to reach his hair, but I knew just how to make him come closer…
I cannot talk, but I can still hum and blabber indistinguishably. So I started blabbing and waved my hands in the air. I knew very well what effect this has on people.
"Oh, isn't he cute!" The being said and walked towards me. I grinned inwardly. He was so easy, just as I had expected. "Little Prince Eldarion!" He said admiringly, leaning over my cradle.
And I knew that my time had come. I reached out and grabbed his hair. And I pulled, giggling happily. This was better than I had thought!
"No!" The creature screamed. "Not the beard!" I didn't know what a 'beard' was, and I still don't, but I found this very amusing. I discovered that every time I pulled, his screams intensified.
The shining-haired being was having more fun that me. He was shaking with laughter, especially when the small one tried to pull away, but I didn't let go.
"Legolas, stop giggling, and help me, you bloody elf!"
The shining one straightened at that. "First, I am not giggling," he stated. Sure. I must have snorted at that – he was giggling. "And second, I would never separate your beard from its new admirer."
"You will pay for this, you insufferable, pointed-eared, witless…" The small one continued listing words I didn't know, and I didn't remember them all. But I had to agree with him on one thing. Oh yes, the shining one would pay for that. And I knew exactly how.
His hair looked just perfect to pull. I have often played with nana's hair, but it is not so shiny. I wanted to feel what it was like to play with shiny hair. I just had to think of a way to make him come near me…
And then nana entered and spoiled it all. "Eldarion!" She almost screamed. "Let go of Uncle Gimli's beard!"
Well, I had no idea what 'beard' meant, so I had the perfect excuse for not letting go of anything. But then nana came to me and pulled my fingers away.
"Oh, Arwen, you are spoiling the child's fun!" The shiny creature complained.
"His fun or yours, Legolas?" Nana asked and looked at him the way she looked at ada when she discovered that he was secretly giving me candies. "Don't you dare set a bad example for my son!"
"Yes, my Lady," the shining creature bowed with a smile. Hmm, nana seemed angry at him. I could bet she would approve my plan to pull his hair. Too bad I couldn't tell her.
She bent over me and smiled. Nana always smiles when she is in my room. Well, almost always. Sometimes she looks through the window, in the direction where the shining disk falls behind the mountains. And there is some longing in her eyes. And then I see a tear roll down her cheek. I wonder why she is crying. She must be hungry for I see no other reason why anyone would cry. But doesn't she have her nana to feed her?
Her smile grew as I waved my hand at her. "And now, ion nin, it is time for you to learn to say 'nana'."
The shiny creature made a sound that I do not know how to describe, but it didn't sound very refined, and it certainly didn't fit his 'shininess'. "Arwen, he is too young to talk!"
"Don't listen to silly Uncle Legolas, Eldarion, I bet he didn't learn to talk until he was ten!" Nana said. The shiny being's face became the color of the small one's hair and he began to protest, while the small one burst into laughter.
"Come, on, ion nin, say it. Na-na. Like that, Na-na."
I opened my mouth. "A-a-uaua-ga-ga-ga-u-ga-ga."
"No, not 'ga'," nana corrected me patiently. "'Na'. Na-na."
The shiny creature had restored his normal color and now laughed merrily. "Why do you think his first word will be 'nana'?" He asked.
Nana gave him the angry look, "Of course it will be 'nana'," she said firmly.
"I doubt it." The shiny one shrugged, but nana ignored him and continued teaching me. Finally she gave up, kissed me goodnight, and they all left the room.
I waited for the door to close before I opened my mouth again.
"Nana," I whispered in the darkness. "Nana."
Of course I could say 'nana'. It has been days since I learned this. But I wouldn't tell anyone. I didn't want this to be my first word.
I wanted my first word to be something else.
I like it when ada plays with me. He holds me and talks to me. He tosses me in the air and catches me again. And he laughs.
But it is so rarely that he can come to me. "He is very busy," nana says, "he has duties." I do not know that this means, but it I do not like how it sounds. I wish ada was not so busy. The time I spent with him is better than anything else. Even better than pulling the small one's facial hair.
I am hungry and I cry to tell him. But he doesn't understand. He takes me in his arms and rocks me gently. "Do not cry, Eldarion," he whispers. "Do not fear, my little one. You are safe."
Silly ada! I am just hungry. He never knows what I want. Nana always does.
Of course I am safe, and I know it. Why wouldn't I be safe? But then I look at his face and understand.
He has a faraway look. As if he is not in the room, as if he is seeing something else. Another little boy who isn't safe. A little boy who doesn't have his ada to hold him protectively in his strong arms. And the smile leaves his lips.
I want to bring it back there. I want to see ada smile again; I want him to toss me in the air and catch him back, and I want him to laugh along with me. I want to see him happy.
That is why I want my first word to be 'ada'. I cannot say it yet, but I practice every night after nana leaves me alone. And I know I will learn it sooner or later.
The strange creatures have come to my room again. I cannot tear my eyes from the bigger one's shining hair, and I want to come up with a plan to make him come closer, so that I can grab it. But I have no ideas, so I just ignore them and continue with my practice.
"A-a-da-da-da. A-da! A-da!" I giggle happily. I cannot believe that. I said it.
The shiny being is immediately by my side and his sky-colored eyes are glistening. "What did you say, Eldarion?" He asks excitedly.
"A-da! A-da!" I repeat happily. I do not want to forget how to say the new word.
"Gimli, he talks!" He screams and a grin spreads all over his face. His leans over me and I cannot believe my fortune.
My two greatest dreams have come true in a single moment. I have learned to say 'ada' and…
The shiny creature screams in shock and pain as I grab his hair and pull it strongly. "Gimli, help me!" He shouts.
The little creature bursts into laughter. "And why would I, my friend, the lad is only having fun!"
I couldn't agree more. I am having fun. This hair is really good to play with. Even better than nana's.
But then ada enters the room, and I sigh inwardly. He is going to spoil everything!
"Eldarion!" He shouts. "Let go of Legolas' hair! Now!"
The little creature protests, and I desperately hope that ada will listen to him, but he doesn't. He knees next to me and I see that he is about to pull my fingers away from the shiny hair. No, I cannot allow that. It is time for my secret weapon.
"A-da!" I say sweetly. "A-da!"
He gapes at me and blinks a few times. I repeat the magic word to make sure he has heard it. He jumps to his feet, screams "Arwen!" and rushes out of the room.
To be honest, I feel a little disappointed. This was not the reaction that I anticipated.
The little one's laughter turns louder, and the shiny being turns as pale as the moon as he unsuccessfully tries to free his hair from my grip. "Aragorn!" He shouts. "You can't leave me alone with those two!" But ada doesn't hear him. I grin. My secret weapon has worked.
Ada runs back into the room, and nana is coming with him. She bends over me, completely ignoring the shining creature and his desperate cries for help. "Tell me it's not true," she says.
"A-da," I say happily. "A-da."
She gives me the angry look. "So this is your first word, is it?" She asks coldly. I suddenly grow frightened. Is she mad at me?
But then suddenly her face breaks into a smile and her eyes shine brightly. "He talks," she whispers. "He talks!"
"Yes, we already discovered this, now can somebody please take his hands of off my hair!" The shiny being cries miserably, the pain evident on his face.
The small creature chuckles, but he is the only one who seems to notice. Ada's face is shining and looks at me. "I am so proud of you, my son." I have no idea what 'proud' means, but it feels good to hear that. And then I see tears in his eyes. Why is he crying? He must be hungry, I see no other reason why anyone can cry.
After a while nana's first excitement is gone and she seems to realize that something is wrong. "Eldarion, you can let go of Uncle Legolas' hair," she says sternly.
Oh, no. I cannot. Fortunately, I have another secret weapon. "Nana," I say suddenly.
She gasps and stares at me, and then she just falls to her knees with a happy scream. The shiny one is forgotten.
My heart is filled with joy. Never before have I seen ada and nana so happy. They may have seen a lot of grief in their lives, they may have lost ones they loved, but now they have me. And I will make them happy; I will make them smile. And I will make them 'proud', whatever this means. I cannot speak my vow aloud, but I say it clearly in my heart. The only words I can speak now are 'ada' and 'nana'. But this is enough.
Yes, I will make them happy. But first I will make myself happy. Fortunately, this is too easy. I will play with the shiny hair in my hands until I decide to let it go.
And it is not going to happen any time soon.
Thanks for reading! As always, reviews are very welcome!
To all readers of Faces of Darkness: I am SO sorry! The next chapter is barely started, and I don't think I'll have any time to work on it by the end of next week :-( But don't worry, the story WILL be finished. There are three chapters left.