The next thing Elrond knew he was waking up in his own bed, and someone was hovering above him.
"C…Celebrían?" He croaked out, hoarsely.
"Thank Elbereth." Her voice murmured and she kissed his forehead, her cool hand brushing his cheek.
Elrond groaned in pain as he surfaced to consciousness enough to realize how much his leg hurt. He lifted the thin blanket covering him to look but all he could see were bandages, and it looked like a lot of them.
He looked at Celebrían for information, and she obliged.
"It was a severe wound, but it will heal well enough in a few weeks. Lucky you were not farther away when this happened, the healers said you were losing a lot of blood and there would not have been much time…"
Elrond saw the worry in her eyes and squeezed her hand.
"But I am fine." He told her.
"There is a rather sizeable difference between "fine" and "just woke up from sustaining a severe orc wound, my love." She told him, and he chose not to answer.
"So much for you getting some time to rest from the twins…" He frowned.
"Elrond!" Celebrían laughed at him. "You nearly get your leg torn off and you are worried about ruining my day?"
He smiled at her sheepishly.
"You truly are the most selfless husband in all Arda. Or perhaps just the most foolish." Celebrían shook her head, but she was smiling lovingly.
Elrond made a face at her, and then grimaced in pain again at his leg.
"Whatever were orcs doing so close to us?" Elrond asked her. "Of all the trouble I was worried the twins might, this was not on my list!"
"I sent out a party last night, almost as soon as they had brought you back. But we do not know yet. Possibly it was just a chance accident that they were so close by and you came across them." She shrugged.
"They have terrible timing." Elrond shook his head. "The twins deserved a much better time their first outing, and one that didn't get cut short."
"There will be plenty more. And perhaps I shall have to come along next time to make sure the rest of you are safe." Celebrían raised her eyebrows, in her centuries-perfected imitation of her husband's expressions.
"Perhaps you will." Elrond laughed.
He glanced at the light coming in through the window and suddenly frowned, noticing the blue-yellow tints of a late morning light.
"How long have I been asleep?" He asked her.
"Quite a few hours. You had lost a lot of blood, and you didn't wake up all yesterday or last night, and it is nearing midday already."
"The twins must have been terrified…" Elrond said softly, remembering the look on Elladan's face.
"Yes. But they did very well; they bravely rode back with Glorfindel- then begged to see you all night- but they acted very adult about the whole ordeal." She told him, proudly.
"Of course they did." Elrond started to push himself up and stand, ready to go find the twins.
"Not yet!" Celebrían pushed him back down and he frowned at her.
"You are under clear orders not to walk on that leg for at least another couple of days." She commanded him strictly.
Elrond growled in frustration and Celebrían's mouth twitched, trying not to laugh at her husband's distress.
"I will go get them if you promise not to get up." Celebrían stood, and Elrond promised nothing.
"Stay." She told him menacinglyas she walked away, turning back with narrowed eyes, and Elrond raised his hands in defeat.
She returned after a minute with a wide-eyed twin clinging to each of her hands.
Elrond smiled at them, and as soon as he did they left Celebrían in the doorway and ran across the room to him, slowing only when their mother made a warning sound to remind them not to jump on their father. They climbed up slowly on either side of him and Elrond put an arm around each of them.
"Thank you for saving us, Ada." Elladan said against his shoulder, and Elrond hugged them tighter.
"I will always protect you two," Elrond murmured. "And I will always be here for you." He added, squeezing Elrohir's hand as his son pulled on one of Elrond's braids.
"But you got hurt." Elrohir still looked worried.
"And I will heal." Elrond answered firmly. "Do not fear."
"Will you have a scar?" Elladan asked him suddenly, and Elrond laughed.
"Maybe not this time." He told Elladan, to his son's disappointment.
"Glorfindel told us all about scars." Elrohir informed his father.
"Oh? And what did he tell you?" Elrond raised an eyebrow curiously.
"He told us that all warriors have scars, old and newer, but that when he slayed the Balrog and was reborn he didn't get a single scar." Elladan answered quickly.
"Of course." Elrond tried not to laugh, and glanced up at Celebían in the doorway, hiding her laugh behind her hand.
"Tell Glorfindel that it must be because he fought such an old and weak Balrog." Elrond told his sons, who beamed.
Of course that was not true in the slightest, and the twins knew that as well as that everyone well respected Glorfindel for his deeds, Elrond included. But as Glorfindel liked to brag a few too many times per century to anyone he could get to listen, many liked to tease him about it as well.
"Someday we'll have really impressive scars." Elrohir said.
"Let's not rush that." Elrond said with a smile. "However, I do need to congratulate you for how well you did out there."
"But we didn't do anything." Elladan said, confused.
"Yes, you did; you followed orders, you stayed where you needed to be when you needed to be there. And more than that, you kept your heads and you acted intelligently and bravely, just as well as any warrior would have done. I am proud of you both." Elrond told them firmly, and they both glowed with delight at the compliment, bowing their heads respectfully before Elrond pulled them both into a hug again.
"Does this mean we can use real swords soon?" Elrohir asked carefully and hopefully.
Elrond subtly raised his eyes to look up at Celebrían, who shrugged and smiled.
"We shall see about getting some proper sized swords forged when my leg heals, how about that?"
"Thank you thank you thank you!" They chorused, bouncing up and down.
"Although I will rethink that decision if you can not remember not to bounce on your injured Adar." Elrond grunted and lifted Elladan off his leg, and then laughed at the look of pure scathe Elrohir gave his brother.
"You know I am kidding," Elrond ruffled Elrohir's hair. "Why don't you two go find Glorfindel or somebody to practice with some more before you get your new swords."
They jumped down from the bed excitedly and tore out of the room.
"Don't bother anyone who is busy, don't go outside without supervision, and behave." Elrond called after them, and shook his head at the faint, "Yes, Ada," that carried back down the hall.
"They will behave for the next day or so, they will not risk anything that could cause them to lose their sword privileges quite so soon." Celebrían laughed, coming back to sit next to Elrond on the bed.
"And then we will have two steel-wielding wild elflings on our hands." Elrond chuckled, and they watched out the window to the yard below where the twins had found one of their sword masters to practice with them.
"And soon enough we will have two fully grown warriors on our hands." Celebrían answered, looking far away.
"Let's not rush that." Elrond thought, for the second time today. They were growing up so fast, and he knew that they would be great elves one day. But not yet. Now, he wanted to enjoy this time with them, whatever trials and orcs might lie ahead.