by Floating Leaf
Title: Secret Mission
"Can I speak to you alone for a moment, Dan?" Estel's smoky grey eyes were serious and troubled.
"Of course you can. Unless my evil twin is hiding behind a tree somewhere, spying on us", Elladan winked, looking around as though he trully expected Elrohir to peek out from behind the foliage.
"I'd rather he didn't. Rohir just makes fun of everything", Estel sighed.
"And what is this grave matter you do not wish him to ridicule?..." Elladan inquired curiously, leaning close.
"I... I think I might be falling in love with someone", Estel whispered, looking down and tugging nervously at the hem of his tunic.
Elladan bit his lip. "May I make a guess?...", he whispered back.
Estel looked up at him, eyes wide. "You have noticed?..."
"Only because I was watching the two of you very closely", Elladan admitted. "It's Legolas, isn't it?"
Estel swallowed, nodding gravely. "But... but why were you watching?... Are you and Legolas... I mean, I know you and Roh have known him for a very long time... long before I was born", he sighed. "But... you are not in love with him, are you?"
"He is very dear to us both", Elladan said truthfully. "And we used to be very close. All three of us", he continued, while Estel gazed intently at him, his cheeks flushing slightly. "But we do not keep his heart under lock and key. We keep our arms open, should he ever seek comfort... but we would be both very happy if he found someone who meant as much to him as Roh and I do to each other."
Estel nodded thoughtfully. After a moment he asked with trepidation: "And... and he has not found this special someone yet?... Surely he would tell you if he did?.."
Elladan smiled enigmatically. "Yes, I am sure he would. It is quite common among the elven race to live for many centuries before finding a soulmate."
"Do you think he would... um... be offended if I... confessed my feelings to him?...", the young man stuttered.
"Offended?... Definitely not", Elladan answered with conviction. "Surprised, maybe. And quite pleased, I suppose", he added with a little smile.
"Pleased? How can you know that?!..." Estel exclaimed, his brow furrowing in confusion. He regarded Elladan suspiciously for a long moment. Then suddenly he gasped, eyes widening. "Did he... did he say something to you that makes you think so?... You do know how he feels about me, do you not? He confides in you! For the Valar's sake, tell me, Dan!"
"Calm down, you rash human boy", Elladan laughed, shaking his head and putting an arm around Estel's shoulders. "You are quite perceptive, I admit. He does confide in us, and perhaps it is quite dishonorable of me to repeat his words without his permission.. . but I shall ease your torment. He does like you, Estel. Quite a lot, in fact. He is merely concerned about... approaching someone so young."
Estel's mouth hung open and he blinked rapidly, absorbing his brother's revelations. "He... likes me?... In that way?... Really?..."
Elladan chuckled. "He really does, and he's only holding back because he thinks you're still an innocent child."
Estel blushed deeply. "I'm not a child!... I'm a man. I'm... fed up with being 'innocent'!. ..", he blurted out.
Elladan laughed. "Are you now?... Well... I believe Legolas would be happy to remedy that."
The color on Estel's cheeks became even more vivid. "I... I want to be with him. I every way possible. But... I feel so very ignorant in these matters, Dan", he confessed.
"No worries here, little brother. Our Mirkwood prince is an expert. He will provide you with very detailed instructions, I am sure", Elladan winked. "All you need to do is let him know you are willing and ready. I can even do that for you, and discreetly pass on the message that you are awaiting him in your chambers tonight."
The young man's eyes shone as though in high fever, and he seemed short of breath. "Will you do that?... Truly?... And... and he will come?..."
"Probably more than once", Elladan muttered under his breath, before turning serious again. "Once I assure him he's not a cradle snatcher, I do think he will. He just needs our brotherly blessing, which has now been granted. Far it be from us to defend virginity that has become such a burden to its owner", he winked again.
"Did you just mention virginity, Dan?", Elrohir's amused tones were heard from behind their backs. "I didn't think you even remembered what it was."
Estel jumped, flustered to the point of hyperventilating, and Elladan steadied him, tightening his arm around the boy's shoulders.
"Ever heard about a pot and a kettle?", he retorted. "And I would tell you that it is unseemly to sneak in on a private conversation, but I know you too well to bother trying. Now would you please leave and stop embarrassing our little brother?"
Elrohir only smirked, eyes sparkling. "Gladly, but are you sure you don't want me to take a message to Legolas? I'd be more than happy to bear the joyful tidings of his secret mission". He ducked gracefully as Elladan aimed to box him on the ear.
"How long have you been eavesdropping, you imp?..."
"Ah, now, that is MY little secret", Elrohir answered smugly. "Besides, our Mirkwood friend is on tenterhooks since we told him Estel was for the taking, so I'd gladly ease his torment as soon as I may."
"As if you ever acted like you needed permission for anything", Elladan grumbled. "Go and tell him, then. Just don't broadcast the news all over Rivendell, if you please. All the talk going on about you and me and Legolas is quite enough."
"Valar forbid!..." Elrohir exclaimed in mock horror. "Ada would have a stroke, I'm sure. We shall strive to keep his poor troubled mind in blessed ignorance - for now."
With that he shot his brothers a saucy wink and darted back through the trees from wherever he'd come. Estel gazed after him, red-faced and speechless. Elladan sighed.
"Sometimes I find it hard to believe he is only a few heartbeats younger than I am", he said. Then he affectionately ruffled Estel's chestnut hair. "Everything will be all right, little one. Rohir may be a pest, but he means well and loves you just as much as I do. You know that, do you not?"
Estel nodded. "I do... but now he's going to tease me about Legolas all the time and tell nasty jokes, is he not?"
"He wouldn't be himself otherwise", Elladan admitted. "But if he troubles you too much, I shall tell you some secret nasty things about him, so you can tease him too."
They grinned at each other broadly before turning back and walking arm in arm towards the Last Homely House. The sun was nearing the slopes guarding the valley, and it was time to get ready for supper.
Click here to read the sequel... "Pure Bliss"!