Disclaimer: Wakabe Writing Firm doesn't own Lord of the Rings

A/N: Okay, she's finally taking a slight break from all the more serious/angst/wondering kick she's been on and giving us another cute one. Thank the gods, because I'm so over editing those. Anyways, hope you enjoy, and please remember to leave a review! Many thanks –Moriah (Secret Secretary, Wakabe Writing Firm)

Any parent that let their child handle paint before they were ten was insane. Lord Elrond of Rivendell believed this more fiercely than ever as he looked upon his five-year old son; his five year old, paint covered son. How in all of Arda he was able to take five hours and transform himself from the well-groomed, neat, clean little boy who Lord Elrond had seen him as earlier in the day and become... well, a mess, would have been beyond comprehension if he hadn't seen him do the same, but usually with dirt and twigs.

Now, after what was supposed to be a day spent indoors, clean, had turned into something else entirely. Even with his twin sons supervising, Estel had managed to become covered in paints. From bright reds to vibrant blues, eyesores of orange and yellow, mellow greens and soft or dark purples and the occasional more neutral colors of black and brown and one large streak of white running down his pant leg, Estel was positively in dire need of a bath. His little fingers were dripping all of the colors he'd been using, and that mess crawled up to his elbows, where it dripped from the tip as he held his face with one hand looking upon his project. Both his cheeks were covered in reds or yellows that were perfectly small finger shaped globes. On his nose, as though someone had gently tapped him, was a light blue, and looking at Elladan's hands, he could see the same color on the tip of his index finger. His shirt had a splash of emerald-green running down his front, and both sides were lathered in color, no doubt due from Estel forgetting that his fingers were still stained with color and wet. Even his pants had not escaped, and were littered with smaller but more frequent splotches of color. The only mercy was that he was wearing his spares, not his finer clothes that had all the embroidery and finery that would have been ruined forever by such activities.

But oh, how adorable he was, standing in front of his creation with a look of fierce concentration on his face, as Elladan and Elrohir stooped down in order to point out things to him and smile, even as their own clothes were showing the signs of an afternoon of childish fun and mess. Estel had not yet seen his adoptive father enter the room, looking upon his little colored form with amusement and exasperation, and a touch of something softer. He smiled warmly at the sight of the child concentrating on his project, little pink tongue trapped between little white teeth, a slight frown, and eyes trained on whatever it was that he was making. He tilted his head, and his unruly dark hair fell over his face. He brushed it aside, painting a bluish-green on his skin, and turning his eyes up from his work to his silent watcher.


He abandoned his painting, quickly toddling over to Elrond, who instinctively picked him up and held him to his chest, laughing at the enthusiasm that his littlest attached himself to his ada.

"Hello, penneth," he said affectionately as he peeled his son from his neck, eyebrow raised but smile firmly in place as he got a close up look at what had become of Estel. "Tell me, my own, what have you been up to that has turned you from my little clean boy to this paint covered one."

"We were painting!" The smile on Estel's face was brighter than the sun, eyes that Elrond hoped beyond hope would never become clouded with despair.

"Oh? And what were you painting?" He turned to Elladan and Elrohir with this question, taking in their suddenly slightly bashful mannerism.

"Family picture!"

"Oh? And may I see it?"

"A ha!"

Elrond crossed the distance to where the easel stood; circling around in order to see what had been done. As he looked upon the still wet canvas, he felt a bit of his heart melt. Crudely drawn, there were six figures. Five had dark hair, and one had yellow hair. Five were tall, one was small. They were all holding hands, with red smiles on their faces. Behind them, he can see that someone attempted to help guide small, squirming fingers into creating at least an outline of Imladris. Some trees were drawn, and the sky had blue clouds, and the sun had a smiley face on it. Some of the paint was still running, and it was not at all like the masterpieces that were in the halls of Imladris.

But to Elrond, it was more precious than them.

"You are an artist, ion nin," he praised, his eyes sparkling as he watched that precious little grin widening enough that Elrond thought that if it got any wider, it would split his face.


"Really." He kissed the little forehead, making sure he missed the areas covered by paint. "But now, I think that it is time for a bath."

"Ah! Not a bath!"

The three elves laughed, even as the little boy put on his Most Fierce Pout. "Yes, ion nin, a bath. And may hap, your brothers will take one with you."

Elladan smiled sheepishly and Elrohir rubbed the back of his head, before grimacing as he remembered too late that his hands were still wet with paint. Elrond laughed as he handed Estel to the twins, ushering them to the baths. He smiled as he listened to them, closing the door, leaving the family portrait to dry; one of many more to come.

Dedicated to my lovely artistic friend, Gina.