This story has been written in honor of the birthday of THEWAYFAREINGSTRANGERS. It has not been beta'ed, so there may be more mistakes than usually. I still hope you will enjoy it, RandomCelt and DarthMihi! :) Thank you for your wonderful comments and corrections! :)
"Naye, Estel, don't…!" Too late. At the moment Legolas cried out, the creaky tripod forsook its duty to support Estel's lithe form and fell over, causing the boy to tumble to the ground with a sack of flour coming after him. Legolas tried to reach out for it, but he was too far away, and Estel was blocking his way. As in a dream, he saw the cotton touch the ground, sagging while the flour sprayed away to its freedom, as foam on a turbulent sea.
A white storm conquered the kitchen. The dry substance took profit of this one opportunity to explore every little corner and creak in the kitchen, sticking on Legolas' lips and nestling in his hair. It took several minutes before the powder had fluttered down sufficiently for Legolas to see anything, and when he did, he groaned.
The kitchen was an absolute mess. There was barely any wood to see anymore - or any colour at all. The flour had conquered everything. Even the little black cat, that usually took in the sunlight on the balcony, had straightened indignantly and was stepping away to the grass. The tiny claws left prints on the floor. Further than that, nothing else moved.
While Legolas was taking in the disaster, a small form, sprawled on the floor, coughed dryly and sat up. Estel rubbed his eyes and blinked. In the flour substance that momentarily covered his face, a small, dark 'o' appeared – a silent cave in the snow, for the boy was too taken aback to utter any sound. He just sat there, his legs stretched before him, a powdery figure in a sea of white. Then he turned great eyes to Legolas.
With four large steps, the elf had closed the distance between them and dragged Estel to his feet, harshly brushing the flour away with his hands. The white dust quickly covered up the marks his shoes had made on the floor. When he had whisked most of the flour, he pushed a clean broom in the boy's hands.
"When you are finished, I don't want to detect a single flake in the kitchen anymore." His voice was controlled but clipped. The boy's lips quivered.
"I am sorry, Las."
"I bet you are. You always are sorry after you messed it up," he retorted curtly, trying to get the flour out of his hair. When he felt it sticking together, he pulled a face. "But you know what the problem is? Next time, you will do exactly the same. You'll learn nothing from this." He went over to a large bucket filled with clear water and emerged his hair in it, rinsing the flour out of it. With his ears in the water, he only caught the last words of the boy.
"… it again."
"I am sorry?"
"I won't do it again! I promise, Las!"
"You won't do what anymore? Climb on an old chair to get a sack that is way to heavy for you? Or disobey my order?" The boy was silent, and Legolas nodded.
"I see. I told you, Estel Elrondion, not to grab the flour. If I remember correctly – and I do – I forbade you three times to do so. And still, you thought you would manage. So even if next time, you won't stand on such a creaky chair anymore, if you won't obey me, your apologies have no value." Drying his hair with a towel, he turned to Estel and bit his cheek. The boy was staring at the white ground, a lone tear running over his cheek. A silent sob shook his body.
"I am sorry, Las," he whispered. "Next time, I will listen to you. Really." Legolas closed his eyes for a second, before taking the boy in an embrace.
"It's alright, Estel. I shouldn't have become so mad. Will you forgive me?" He felt the nod against his cheek the moment two slender arms were wrapped around his cheek. Sighing, he grabbed the boy tight.
"Thank you. I did however mean what I said. No more I-still-do-it-even-though-I-am-not-allowed-to, okay? Come now, we should clean up the kitchen before Elrond or Aestûg find out what happened." Immediately, Estel let go of him and took the broom.
"Will you tell them?"
"That depends on how quickly you can sweep," he chuckled. "But be carefully! We don't not want to floor to float in the air." With Legolas' soft admonitions and helping hand, the kitchen was cleaned within a short time – even though after a few weeks, the cook still would find some flour in the pots or on a high shelf. When most of the flour was captured in the sack again, Legolas nodded contently.
"Very good, you worked quickly. Now, shall we continue to prepare the cake?" Estel nodded eagerly.
"Fine, but for now you will listen to me, okay?"
"Then take two eggs while I start spreading the dough." The boy hurried away. Legolas heard him ruffling in the provision chest, before he came back with the ingredients. He tiptoed near Legolas to stick his nose over the kitchen plate.
"What are you doing?"
"I am putting the dough in the tin, so we can pour our mixture in it later. Perhaps you can throw the almonds, butter and sugar in the bowl already."
"And the eggs?"
"No, penneth, the eggs are a little bit too difficult. I will add them once you are finished." The boy pouted, but obeyed. Soon enough, Legolas could break the eggs over the bowl and handed over the wooden spoon to Estel.
"Here, stir well!" The boy grinned and set to the task with devotion. The mixture quickly turned in a smooth mush.
"Why are we making a cake actually?" From his seat near the fire, Legolas frowned.
"Don't you know? It's the birthday of Teitha-narn and Teitha-plada, the writer and the poet! You surely have seen them in Rivendell. They usually dwell in the gardens, or in the Hall of Fire." Estel nodded slowly.
"The twins? Is it good like this?" He showed the mixture. Legolas hummed approvingly and rose.
"Very well! Now, we have to add the chocolate. Will you take the pears? And yes, the twins. I'll show you a picture of them once we have finished this." Quickly enough, the dough had turned into a sweet brown when the chocolate was added. While Legolas was stirring, Estel laid some pear parts in it.
"What do we have to do now?"
"Now, we'll pour it in the dough." Soon enough, the tin went in the oven. While they were waiting, Legolas showed two paintings Andaith had made of them.
"Do you recognize them now?" Estel beamed.
"Yes! They are very nice! They always help me with my essays for Erestor! They are very clever!"
"They are indeed," Legolas agreed, "and gentle souls too. Teitha-narn once sang on the Solstice for Lindir, when the other singer had been injured on the festival. I heard Lindir almost kissed her when she told him she would help him out! And Teitha-plada wrote a love poem for Prestanneth, so he could give it to his beloved. They married some years ago."
"Where are they now?"
"I have seen Theita-plada is in the gardens. I don't know where Theita-narn is."
"But they are twins!"
"Then why aren't they always together, like Dan and Ro?" Legolas grinned.
"Twins aren't always together, Estel. They also love to do things separate, but they have a close band. Ah, I think the cake is ready!" He gave the oven mitts to the boy and opened the furnace. "Careful!" With his tongue between his teeth, Estel lifted the tin out of the flames and placed it on the kitchen table. A sweet smell filled the kitchen. The boy clapped happily.
"It worked! Can I have a bit?"
"No, penneth, it's for the twins! But you can write something on it! Here!" He handed him an icing syringe filled with whipped cream. Carefully, Estel began to pour it on the hot cake. After a few minutes, he stepped back to view the result. Legolas proudly clasped his shoulder. The letters has been formed elegantly and sweetly.