A/N: I wrote this a while back and posted it under the Heart of the Elvenking series, but as I'm going through that series and making sure everything is continuous with the Undying Friendship series, I found this story fits the GPS much better, so I'm moving it here.

Summary: Thranduil finds himself the object of his wife's ire.

Downhearted and a Bit Put Out

By NiRi

Elvenking's halls

Year 175, Third Age

Long had it been since they had quarreled, and always, such things were rare between them – until recently. Thranduil paused in his wanderings, stopping to look at the trees now in full summer dress, but not really seeing them. His heart felt like a stone within him. He didn't like it. Worse, he knew he'd done nothing wrong – at least he wasn't aware of anything he'd done to provoke such ire.

He continued his walk through the woods, dreading his return to his halls. It was his home, his refuge, his keep! And silly him felt afraid to return there! Thranduil kicked at a rock in his path, then howled as it turned out to be larger than he realized. Hopping on one foot, he grabbed at the toes of the other.

Cursed rock!

Leaning against a tree for balance, he removed his boot to find his largest toe already turning purple. Wonderful. Not only do I have no where to sleep, I've broken my toe!

Hobbling slowly back to the caverns that protected his people in times of need, he tried to think of ways to regain his wife's good graces. Being injured, sympathy might be garnered – or Eirien would laugh and say he deserved it for whatever imagined wrong he had committed. But then, at least, he would probably find out what it he had done to earn her ire. Thranduil hoped for the former, however; sympathy could soften her heart.

Upon entering his private chambers, Thranduil discovered Eirien seated in a padded chair with some sewing in her lap. She did not look up as he entered, and he paused to watch the needle weave in and out of the material. The object she worked on was small. Thranduil tilted his head, trying to discern what it would be when finished, but his wife turned it this way and that, and he gave up.

Limping to the chair next to her, Thranduil sat and tugged off his boot once more, cursing when the pain increased. He should have left the boot off! Dropping it, he glanced up to see if he had been observed. The needle continued its dance in the linen Eirien held. He wiggled his foot and grunted in pain. Another surreptitious glance revealed she remained absorbed in her work.

Feeling downhearted and a bit put out, Thranduil stood and hobbled to his bedchamber. He gave one last look back to see if he had gained any attention from his exaggerated limp, but still her hands remained her only focus. He sighed. Her laughter would have been preferable to indifference.

Plopping down on the bed and lying back, Thranduil settled in for a long sulk. A knock at their chamber door prevented him from wallowing in self pity. He heard the rustle of Eirien's gown as she stood and answered the door, the muffled sound of her voice and another's as they spoke, then again, the rustle of fabric as she came to the door of their sleeping chamber.



"A healer has come to check on you."


"Why has a healer come to check on you?"

He wiggled his foot, then gasped as the pain shot through his toe.

"You're hurt!"

But she did not rush to his side, did not brush the hair from his face, did not do any of the wifely things she was supposed to do. And he could nott sulk because the healer, Bellasion, entered the room.

"How did this happen, my lord?" Bellasion asked, lifting Thranduil's foot gently to examine it.



"How exactly did you know I was injured?" It never failed; if Thranduil injured himself, even just a scratch, a healer would show up at his door without being summoned. Thranduil had never asked before…but then, he usually had a devoted wife at his side, a concerned wife… He sighed.

"You were seen limping when you returned, and I was notified, my lord."

"Ah." His people were a bunch of tattlers! Thranduil's breath left him in a rush when the healer bent the toe. Thranduil glared at him.

"Your toe is broken, my lord,"

"Really?" he asked in as dry a tone as he could manage. To Thranduil's irritation, the healer chuckled and proceeded to wrap his foot.

"Stay off this for the rest of the day." The healer turned to Eirien, "Even for dinner, my lady. Have a tray sent and see he stays in bed."

The words tugged a smile to Thranduil's lips and for a moment he forgot they were not speaking to one another. Anytime the healers gave those instructions, Thranduil was guaranteed a pleasant time as his lovely wife distracted him in the most creative ways. He met her gaze across the room, and his suggestive smile faded. The eyes turned on him were not seductive, and he remembered their earlier spat.

Thranduil didn't hear Bellasion leave; his gaze stayed on his wife – questioning, pleading. But she turned and exited the room.

By the stars, I will not lay here and suffer and not know why I am being punished!

Slowly, Thranduil stood, ignoring the pain in his foot and the healer's instructions. Limping, he made his way to where his wife sat, her fingers deftly moving the needle once more.

He sank to his haunches with a hiss, balancing on the balls of his feet, his knees on either side of his wife's legs. Thranduil looked up into her eyes, one hand raising to stroke her cheek. "What did I do to earn your ire, my love?"

To his horror, tears filled her eyes. Eirien dropped her work into her lap, covered her face with her hands and sobbed. Taken completely off guard, Thranduil put his arms as best he could around her, his fingers rubbing along her spine. After the storm of her emotions settled into a gentle rain of silent tears, she pushed as if to move him away from her, but he remained firm. "You're s-supposed to be in b-bed," she whispered.

"Without you?" He pulled back enough to look deeply into her beautiful grey eyes. "I need you." His voice was low and pleading.

She closed her eyes and leaned forward so their foreheads touched. "I am sorry," she whispered. "I'm not myself. And you…you didn't notice."

Utterly confused, he shook his head slightly. "Notice what?"

She didn't speak, but reached for one of his hands, drawing it to her belly. His confusion remained but a moment longer, until he felt the brush of small spirit reaching for him.

He gasped. "You are with child?"

"And you didn't notice!"

"You didn't tell me!"

"I shouldn't have to!" Her words struck at his heart. Indeed, they had long been trying to conceive a child. He should have sensed the changes in her. "I-I… Eirien, I'm sorry. I never thought… I…" Instead of continuing to babble like a fool, he raised himself to kiss her. "I love you."

She sniffed. "I love you, too, but sometimes you are an arse."

He nodded sheepishly. "Most times."

She smiled. "But I love you anyway."

He grinned. "Enough to keep me distracted in bed?"

Giggling, Eirien leaned forward and kissed him soundly. And the rest of his day was quite pleasant.


A/N – This babe here is Arandur, in case you were wondering. :)