Title: Fear, Elrond, Fear!
Author: Sivan Shemesh
Disclaimer: Not mine, blame the bunnies… grin.
Rate: T for safe.
Warning: Angst, AU, family/friendship
Summary: It was all Estel's fault, and now they will need to learn how to take care of little Elrond…
Gandalf had finally come to Imladris and that brought relief to Elrond, as, for the last three weeks, Estel had been asking him when the wizard would come.
Elrond knew that Estel would be now as satisfied as he had been before Gandalf was supposed to have come. Even though the healer had hoped that Legolas' coming would ease the boy's longing somewhat, that seemed to be going nowhere.
As he turned around the corner, Elrond noticed the elfling sitting there, seemingly caught in a vision that only he could see, and he thought to ask, "What is it, Legolas?"
"Nothing, Lord Elrond," Legolas replied and, noticing the frown and the flicker in Elrond's blue eyes, he added, "Just wondering what would happen if the orcs caught me? What would my adar do? What would Estel think of me?"
"Do not worry about it, Prince Legolas. You are safe, and that is what's important. As for Estel, it will be all right."
As though on cue, Estel ran past them to play with the twins in the garden. At this, Elrond nudged Legolas to go over and join the boy.
"You had better go, Legolas. If you sit here all day, Estel will think that you do not want him as a friend," Elrond told him.
Legolas rose, though he still felt that Estel would not want to be near him. As he went over to Estel, he could feel Elrond's gaze following him.
"Estel," Legolas called after the boy, "Why do you want Gandalf to come so badly?"
"I cannot tell you why; you will ruin it," Estel replied and turned abruptly to leave to find Gandalf.
"I am your friend, Estel, and I will not ruin it if you tell me what is going on with you," Legolas told him, hoping to get some information.
Elrond watched the two, observing the near-mocking attitude from his foster son, and knowing by the elfling's look that he was feeling insulted, he knew that he should do something.
"Estel," Elrond warned the boy who had hurried over the where the tall gray figure was approaching, "Come here at once."
Estel walked back toward his adar, passed Legolas without saying a word, and asked his father, "What is it, adar?"
Elrond sighed heavily, "I will not let you act like this toward your friend. Legolas and you are friends, Estel, not enemies."
"But… But Legolas could ruin it," Estel protested.
"Ruin what exactly?" Elrond asked, wanting to know what exactly the boy seemed to have planned.
"I want Gandalf to… to… do some fireworks tonight… or doing something spooky," Estel replied, a slight fear showing as he did not know how his foster adar would react to that.
"You could share the fun with Legolas. I am certain that Legolas would love to take part in your plan if you allow him to," Elrond suggested.
"I do not want to! This elf will only ask more questions and that will mean getting us caught by Gandalf and he will not let me see those fireworks ever again," Estel protested.
"Estel, you need to explain to Legolas before you go ahead with your plan. I believe that Legolas will not ask more questions; after all you two are more curious than Lord Erestor," Elrond gave his son a reassuring grin.
"He will still ruin it," Estel stated and with that, he left to find Gandalf.
"Legolas," Elrond addressed the Mirkwood elf, and then he added, "I do not know what is wrong with Estel, nor do I know why he is acting this way."
"It is all right, Lord Elrond. From what I know of him, he will tell me about it eventually, even though I had hoped that he would trust me by now," Legolas replied, his gaze wandering to Estel as the boy approached the wizard.
"Gandalf, you are here at last!" Estel said to the wizard as he saw him reaching with his wagon.
"Of course I am here, son, did you expect me not to come?" Gandalf asked him, grinning as widely as a Cheshire cat.
"I expect you to come, Gandalf…" Estel grinned and joined him as he sat on the welcoming ground.
They sat there, enjoying the silence while Legolas watched then from the distance, not knowing why Estel preferred the company of the wizard to his.
"Can you make Legolas go away?" Estel asked all of a sudden.
"Why would I do that?" Gandalf asked the boy in curiosity.
"He is making me angry, because he kept asking me questions," Estel replied.
"Maybe he is just acting like a friend, which is the same way you should act," Gandalf suggested, hoping that the boy would listen to him.
"I do not want a friend like this. He will ruin everything I want to do," Estel protested.
"I thought that both of you were best friends, what changed?" Gandalf asked.
"The way Legolas' acted when he came here," Estel replied simply.
"How was he acting?"
"I do not know, just that he kept asking me questions at the wrong time and place," Estel replied.
"Did you ask him what is wrong, and why is he asking you so many questions?" Gandalf asked.
"Did you know that in Legolas' homeland there was a big fight with the orcs and Legolas was almost taken as a prisoner by them?" Gandalf asked, watching the boy carefully.
"Was he hurt?" Estel asked.
"I do not know; he will not tell anyone if he is," Gandalf replied and continued, "Maybe he asked you questions because he feared that you would be lost to him as he was almost lost to his family. That's maybe why he tried to take care of you by asking questions."
"Maybe he just wants attention," Estel said stubbornly.
Legolas, who was still behind a tree, still could not believe that Estel refused to be with him, and he wondered if there was still hope that Estel would continue to be his friend. Maybe he should return to his homeland instead of being here.
"I am going to my room," Legolas excused himself, glancing at the twins who were beside him.
The twins nodded, though they showed identical worried expressions. They had heard the conversation between Gandalf and the boy and they knew Legolas would not take well to that.
As they walked toward Gandalf and Estel, Elladan warned Estel, "That was uncalled for; he is your friend, and you might lose him."
Gandalf stared at the twins and he could see the hurt emanating from their expression and he asked, "Where is Legolas?"
"He's going back to his room. Maybe he would never want to come here, and I cannot blame him," Elrohir replied.
"Good," Estel replied and smiled brightly.
"Estel, I will not tolerate this kind of attitude; what kind of friend are you?" Gandalf rose from the ground, holding his staff in a clearly angry manner.
"No fireworks?" Estel asked in an innocent voice.
"Maybe after I will punish you," Gandalf replied, warning him, "Then you will see stars."
Elrond came in time to hear Gandalf's threat. "Do not punish my son so harshly," he said.
"Why not? Maybe it would be good for him to learn something." Gandalf replied the elf-lord.
"No, today was supposed to be a good day," Elrond replied, and sensing that Legolas was missing, he asked, "Where is Legolas?"
"He is back in his room, and might want to leave forever, because of Estel," Elrohir replied.
"Tell him to come here. His presence is very important, and I will not be the one to explain to Thranduil why his son returned home alone – or do any of you wish that honor?" Elrond replied, biding them to call the elfling.
"Why, is the mature elf not all ready?" Estel asked, his voice clearly mocking.
"No, he is not, and he is King Thranduil's only son, and he almost lost him," Elrond replied, giving Estel a stern look.
"Is it so important that Legolas is here?" Estel asked.
"Yes it is," Gandalf was the one to reply this time.
"Why?" Estel asked.
"To celebrate both your first day as a man and that Legolas was saved," Elrond replied.
"I can say by his attitude that he is much more like a child than the man he is supposed to be," Gandalf told the healer.
"I will not let you do this," Elrond told the wizard. He could feel the presence of Legolas whom his sons had gone to fetch and on cue, Legolas spoke.
"What is so important for me to be here for?" the elf asked, already slinging his bow and quiver across his shoulder, clearly prepared to leave.
"You can be gone for all I care," Estel shot back.
Legolas flinched but tried to stay calm. But before he could speak, Gandalf had enough of Estel's insolence and Elrond's speech had little effect on him. As he moved his staff toward the boy, his lips muttered a spell in a low growling tone.
Elrond had little idea of what the wizard was doing, but he instinctively moved Estel out of the way, feeling a strong impact on his own back as he took the full brunt of the force. For a moment, he started wondering if it was too late for regrets…