A/N: Complete and total silliness. Entirely. The idea plopped into my head and I decided not to ignore it.
Somewhere in Mandos, a small half circle of raptly attentive Elves sat listening as one of the most recent of their number related his story for what must have been the twelfth time: "And then the Dark Lord-"
Someone snorted. Several heads turned.
"You're talking the Dark Lord's lieutenant."
The interruption came from an alarmingly tall, dark-haired stranger most had never seen before and most recognized on sight. Arms crossed over his chest, Caranthir Morifinwe raised his eyebrows. "Well, go ahead. I'll be sure to correct the rest of your errors as they come up."
The new arrival went pale and glared. "You. I'd have thought your lot would be kept somewhere else-"
"Oh, not for lack of trying," Caranthir noted, dryly. "We didn't particularly want to lurk in the dark for the rest of forever, though." He narrowed his eyes, a skeptical mouth quirk tugging at one corner of his lips. "What's your name again?"
"I don't give my name to Kinslayers."
Caranthir looked amused. "You can't think I haven't heard that one before."
The newcomer glanced around and met with blank stares, as most of those surrounding him edged warily away from the Feanorian, as though he might carry some kind of highly infectious disease. "Erestor," he said, finally, reluctantly.
Caranthir coughed something that sounded suspiciously like 'Sindarin.' And then waved a hand. "Go ahead. I'm intrigued to hear the rest of your story." Erestor's look was like venom. Caranthir ignored it.
"Then Sauron turned his Eye upon Gondor, to assail the stronghold of Men-"
"And where were you during all this?"
Erestor drew himself up, proudly. "Busy." Caranthir grinned, a dangerous little gesture.
"Hiding, you mean."
"I will not hear such things-"
"Moryo? What are you doing now," said another voice, not quite waspish, as another elf, dark haired and certainly related by the resemblance of their handsome features, strode up beside him. He towered over his brother by almost a head and a half. And blinked, once, casting an appraising glance over the little group of Elves.
"My good friend Erestor is telling me a story," Caranthir said, expansively. "Come, Turco, you'll want to hear this."
A brief expression of mild exasperation crossed his face, but Erestor had recognized the second brother and went purple. "You – both of you! Get out of my sight!"
"I'm so pleased to know we're still recognized. Aren't you?" Drawled Caranthir, not moving. Celegorm twitched, slightly, beside him.
"Yes, quite. Is this really important?"
"As I was saying," Erestor said, with evident irritation. "The Dark Lord turned his eye on Gondor to crush the last resistance-"
"The last resistence?" Caranthir crowed, triumphantly. "So you were hiding. I knew it."
"The Dark Lord?" Celegorm sounded concerned, a bit. "Last we heard he'd been imprisoned, as good as permanently." Erestor looked mutinous. The rest of the Elves were merely watching the pair with a mixture of annoyance and almost fear, as though they might exhibit some of the familial crazy at any moment.
"The Dark Lord feared to touch our strongholds," said Erestor stiffly. Caranthir snickered.
"More like he didn't think your 'strongholds' were important. I can see our people have been putting up a pretty good fight, hmm, Turco? Hiding from the Enemy's second-"
Erestor flushed angrily. "We have not been hiding! We have been facing grave peril, and managed it without killing half our family in the process!"
Both brothers flushed bright red, and Celegorm, recovering from his worry, said hotly, "I don't think we need reminding of that, thank you," and Caranthir added, "Especially when it was half your lot's fault," and then another pair emerged from seemingly nowhere.
"Did we hear something about grave peril?"
"Erú Iluvatar," sighed Erestor, exasperatedly. Four pairs of grey eyes stared at him with, variously, mild curiosity, annoyance, amusement, and disinterest.
"Grave peril," said Caranthir sardonically, "Apparently this one has been bravely hiding in some secret location, watching Sauron spread his influence over the world."
Two pairs of eyes, belonging to an absolutely identical pair of redheaded twins, both flicked in Erestor's direction. "That's not true!" He shouted, looking more than a little flustered. "We have not been hiding, we have not been merely watching –"
The four brothers glanced at each other. And seemed to consider a moment.
"I'm unimpressed," said the slightly smaller of the two redheads, and his twin agreed, "I didn't hear anything about Balrogs."
"Good point," mused Caranthir. "Were there Balrogs?"
"There was one-"
Caranthir scoffed. "One. How terrifying." Erestor flushed hotly.
"I don't think-"
"Where did – I knew it," said a fifth voice, exasperated, and another redhead, even taller than the others, came stalking out of the horizon, looking annoyed. "I can't let you out of my sight for a moment-"
"Oh, shut up, mother," Caranthir said, "Just questioning the new arrivals."
Everyone in the small semicircle quailed back even more. The tallest redhead sighed. "…come. We're leaving." His tone had an air of finality to it that was inarguable. Caranthir looked unhappy. The twins downright pouted. Celegorm opened his mouth. "Maitimo-"
"No buts. Out!"
Muttering mutinously, a quartet of sullen Feanorians turned and proceeded to walk back into the horizon. Shimmering oddly, Caranthir paused and looked back.
"If anyone wants to hear a real story," he said, smirking, "We're not that hard to find."
"Out, Moryo!" Said Maedhros firmly, and Caranthir went. Their eldest brother rubbed his forehead, briefly, and looked apologetically at the small group of Elves. "—sorry about them," he said, apologetically. "It's not like…well, I'd better catch them before they find someone else-"
And he vanished as well. There was momentary quiet, and then a collective sigh of relief. The danger seemed to have passed.
"I'd like to know who let them run loose," someone complained, under their breath, and on that point, they could all agree.