A/N: this is sheer, utter fluff, written for Holly for her birthday. Holly, happiest of birthdays and I hope this brought a smile to your face! :)
A golden-haired elfling shrieked joyfully as he was flung upwards, outwards and landed in the gentle swell of an incoming wave, riding the wash of water back towards the smiling, tall figure that held arms out to scoop him out of the water.
Lounging in the sand, enjoying the caress of the breeze, the warmth of the sun, Erestor smiled for the sight. Many an evening he had sat with his friend and listened to him tell of the love he had left behind in Aman. Many dreams they had, all put aside when Glorfindel had decided he must follow his family and their lord Turgon to Middle-earth. It had been a bittersweet parting; her family forbade her to follow, but she swore to wait, even if the world should end.
Erestor knew that promise had carried his friend through many a long, dark night and hour. He had been there, watching from the ship when Glorfindel had first spotted his beloved on the quay. Seen the way the golden warrior's very face had lit up, and had laughed as he hauled the exuberant idiot back by his tunic when he would have dived in to swim. The ship had barely touched to the dock when Glorfindel was off, and she had, indeed waited all that time for him.
And now….now there was a son, so much like his Adar that Erestor hoped Aman would survive the child's enthusiasm.
He was happy for his friend. If anyone had earned a happy ending it was Glorfindel, for he had sacrificed much in both lives. They had all lost much, those who had been born in the First Age and lived through many horrors.
Aman was indeed a place of healing.
An armful of wet elfling leaping upon him brought the ebony haired elf back to the present and he laughed as the boy threw small arms around his neck and giggled into his neck. "'Ressor! Come place wif us!"
"With us, youngling." Erestor caressed golden curls out of the boy's face and smiled. Such a joyful elfling, and he did adore his 'Uncle 'Ressor'.
A sigh, so much like that of his father, that Erestor was hard put not to laugh, and the boy sat back to regard the older elf with merry green eyes. "Come play! Pleeeeeeease?"
"Yes, come play, Erestor!" Glorfindel sprawled on the sand next to his wife, earning a swat as he shook his wet hair all over her. A grin, golden hair falling in his face, and he winked at his friend. "Tire him out a bit for us."
"I believe we need to bury your Ada in sand, youngling. How does that sound?" Dark eyes gleamed with good humor, Erestor stood and held out his hand. "Do you have your bucket?"
"Yes!" A hop of excitement and the boy raced down to the water where his bright red bucket, full of wet sand, sat. "I can't wift it!" He tugged, grunting and huffing with effort.
"Oh, darn," Glorfindel sighed in mock sadness. "I suppose you cannot bury me now…"
Arching one dark eyebrow, Erestor jogged to where the elfling struggled with the bucket. "I'll carry it, pen-neth. You go move your adar to a good spot and we shall make a castle of him!"
"It's vewy heavy, 'Ressor."
Regarding the green eyes watching him in concern, Erestor grinned. "It is, but I am very strong."
"I will help."
And so he did, though Erestor had to bend quite low to allow the tiny hand to also 'carry' the bucket. Black hair caught the wind and blew into his face, and he gave Glorfindel a look when he caught sight of his friend laughing. "Oh, laugh now, Glorfindel, for soon…"
"We bury you!"
And so they did, with even Bronwen, Glorfindel's wife, getting in on the act. Erestor built an elaborate castle on the golden elf's knees, chiding him for moving, and topped it with a perfect shell. "There! A fine castle indeed."
"Nana and I built one too!" Racing around and around his father's prone figure, the child halted and crouched at his father's head. "Ada, you comfoble?"
Gazing at his son solemnly, Glorfindel nodded, digging sand into his hair as he moved his head to look up. "Aye, ion-nin…"
"Good!" A wet smack on his father's cheek and the child raced back to Erestor. He squatted down and gazed at the castle. "Is pwetty, 'Ressor."
"Pretty." Smiling for the wrinkled nose of the boy, Erestor rose and caught the elfling up, tossing him to his shoulders. "Let's go get you cleaned up, pen-neth." For the boy was yawning already and a nap was likely in his future. Pretending to be a horse, Erestor cantered down to the waves, elfling laughing gleefully, holding two long braids for reins. They romped in the waves for a bit until the child was entirely worn out, and then Erestor carried him back up to where Glorfindel and Bronwen sat, watching. Starting to hand him over, the boy whined and clung to the dark-haired elf.
"I don't mind," he assured them, and sat, leaning back against a boulder as the child snuggled against his chest. One small thumb snuck into the elfling's mouth, the other hand twined into a black braid. In a matter of several breaths, the boy was asleep.
"He loves his 'Ressor," Glorfindel said, and smiled for the sight of his old friend with his son. "I suppose we left that grumpy old elf the twins used to be so in awe of back in Middle-earth?"
"Oh, wait until he's older." Erestor ran his hand through the golden curls of the child's head. "I have a suspicion this one will be far more trouble than either Elladan or Elrohir."
Sprawling, Glorfindel laid his head in his wife's lap and sighed in contentment. "Just wait, Erestor. Some day you will meet a lovely maiden and then we shall see what well-behaved elflings you raise."
Erestor smiled and looked down at the sleeping child before looking out at the ocean. He hoped so, and there had been that lovely Telerin maiden at the festival last week, the one who had smiled so sweetly at him. A child of his own? "I'll just have to settle for spoiling your son for now."
"Spoil him all you want, Erestor." Bronwen tugged gently on a golden braid as Glorfindel opened his mouth and he subsided with a grin, twining his fingers with hers.
The soft breathing of the elfling, the warm sun, the company of his friends…. Yes, Erestor decided, life really was worth all the struggle and days like this made it sweet indeed.