tuxedo_elf: (Tree Light)
Title: An Educational Visit
Author: Tuxedo Elf
Pairing: Elrohir/Legolas
Rating: PG13
Beta: [info]keiliss
Summary: Elrohir travels to Mirkwood to learn more about the reclusive Silvan Elves. What he gets is a lesson in love, jealousy and heartache.

For Naledi Seren.



Thankfully, the incident with the note did not trouble them for long. Within a few days it was all but forgotten. Though, just to be sure, Legolas organised a moonlight meeting by the forest river, knowing how beautiful it was at night.

Though when he saw Elrohir sprawled out on the grass and looking up at the sky, he quite forgot the stars.

“What are you thinking?” Legolas smiled, moving closer to Elrohir.

Turning his head to look at the Prince, Elrohir’s thoughtful expression softened. “About you – and how glad I am I came here. I was nervous at first, but it has all worked out remarkably well.”

“We were a little worried too!” Legolas chuckled. “We are not very good at letting strangers in.”

Elrohir’s expression turned positively wicked. “You have let me in very nicely – though I think you could still do better.”

“And how could I manage that?” Legolas sounded both amused and curious.

Rolling over, Elrohir pinned the Prince’s body beneath his own and kissed him deeply. Without saying a word, he pulled something from his pocket and pressed it into Legolas’ hand.

Looking down, Legolas saw what he now held. A small bottle of nearly clear oil, the purpose of which was undeniable, especially in his current position. He blushed, though he was not at all adverse to the suggestion. “Perhaps you are right... I could... let you in a little more...” His body, trapped beneath Elrohir’s slightly heavier frame, was clearly in agreement.

“Good...” Leaning down to kiss Legolas again, Elrohir wasted no time in making himself very much at home.

**********

All went well for some time after that and, despite their caution, the relationship soon became public knowledge.

Legolas had been worried about his father, fortunately, while he had expressed some reservations, Thranduil had not forbidden them to be together, only to be aware that there may be some who may not approve of their relationship.

The King could not have known how true his words were. Watching their every move was a jealous young Elf, who was just waiting for another opportunity to cause trouble for the new couple.

The first day of the next month was the day on which many rode out to go hunting, felling deer and boar to fill the king’s pantry for the upcoming cold season. Elrohir had never experienced hunting on such a large scale before – in Imladris, smaller parties went out weekly to keep their stores at comfortable levels, yet he realised in places like Mirkwood, where food in the winter was limited at best, it was the only way to prevent the people from starving. A store of dried meat, carefully preserved, could easily last until spring.

In addition to being curious about the hunt, Elrohir was also excited to participate. He had not hunted at all since coming here and his warrior’s instinct was screaming to be let out. As much as he was enjoying his time in Mirkwood, he needed a chance to refresh his skills.

The morning of the hunt dawned cool and clear. A low sun hung in the sky, golden beams pushing through the thick trees and illuminating the waking forest. Elrohir, having spent the night in Legolas’ rooms, was already in good spirits as he made his way back to his own quarters for fresh clothes and his weapons.

He washed and dressed quickly and gave his sword and bow a cursory check before heading back to Legolas’ rooms to meet him again. The dining hall would be deserted today – in anticipation, a light meal was served outside the palace and offers to the Valar given in hopes of a bountiful hunt. As soon as the meal was done, the party would leave, so it was essential that they all be ready.

He slipped quietly into Legolas’ bedchamber, stepping up behind him and wrapping his arms around the solid body.

“That was quick.” Legolas turned his head, stealing a light kiss.

“I was... eager to get back,” Elrohir grinned. He rested his head on his lover’s shoulder, looking over at the clothes and weapons scattered haphazardly on the bed. His eyes fell on a stunningly beautiful hunting knife. The hilt was long and slender, carved with leaves and inlaid with gold. The pattern continued onto the blade itself, which shone as brightly as moonlight, without a hint of wear or tarnish. Disentangling himself slightly from Legolas, he reached forward to pick it up.

“It is beautiful, is it not?” Legolas smiled at Elrohir’s obvious awe. “My mother gave it to me when I came of age – it belonged to her father.” Legolas’ mother had left some years ago and he cherished the reminder of her.

“Stunning,” Elrohir agreed without hesitation. “I am surprised you even use it!”

“It would be a waste not to,” Legolas replied practically. “I am always careful with it though and use it mostly for partially ceremonial occasions such as these.”

Elrohir nodded, admiring the blade for a long moment before setting it down and reluctantly stepping away so Legolas could dress and make ready to leave.

The breakfast was like nothing Elrohir had ever seen before. A seemingly never ending line of tables stretched across the grassy courtyard, decked with garlands of autumn leaves and flowers. Fruit and bread was plentiful, as were sweet nutty pastries and jugs of milk. Yet, Elrohir noticed that there was no meat in sight, the usual cured slices of venison and chunks of pheasant conspicuous by their absence.

Legolas noticed him looking and explained as he led them to their seat near his father. Thranduil would not be riding with them, but overseeing the formalities. “It is considered bad luck to eat meat before the hunt. They say that the animals will sense the death of their own kind within you and evade your arrows. I do not know if there is any truth to it, however hunts have thus far always been successful, so there does not seem to be any good reason to break with tradition and upset the people.”

Although it seemed strange to Elrohir, he understood the importance of tradition and knew it was not his place to question it. He took his seat quietly and let a servant fill his glass with milk, keeping it by his hand while he waited for Thranduil to speak.

Soon the king rose, looking even more powerful than usual in a green and russet robe, a crown of autumn leaves adoring his golden head. “My people, as the winter sets in, our warriors ride out once more for the sake of our realm. Today they ride so that we may see out the winter with full bellies and without fear of the frost bringing death. To them we give thanks and also honour the beasts that will fall to knife and bow. May the fruits of the forest sustain them as they ride to the hunt!” He raised his glass and the people cheered, loud and almost raucous cries echoing around the courtyard.

As Thranduil sat, the hunters began filling their plates, eating swiftly and soon clearing the tables of their fare. All were eager to be off and before long, the meal was done.

Thranduil stood again as the hunters gathered at the forest’s edge. He drew his sword, holding it high. “May the blessings of the forest and the Valar be upon you.” He brought the sword down and a last cheer went up as the hunters made their way into the dense trees.

Legolas turned to Elrohir and grinned. “Do not take your eyes off the forest for a moment. Whoever makes the first kill will be the guest of honour at tonight’s feast.”

Elrohir was always one for a challenge, though he wondered how he would fare against the stealthy Silvan Elves. Taking Legolas’ advice to heart, he moved quietly through the forest, aware that his lover was only a step away.

It was not long before he found his prey – a deer grazing amongst the tall trees. She seemed to be alone, though in Elrohir’s experience the rest of the herd was rarely far away. He would have to move swiftly if he was to claim the coveted prize awarded for the first kill.

Staring down the shaft of the arrow, he took aim, hesitating only long enough to be sure of a clean kill. He released the arrow, sure of his target, yet at the last moment the animal moved, and instead of a clean kill, the deer fell to the ground inured but still alive. Elrohir swore softly and glanced at Legolas, who had seen what had occurred.

“It happens,” Legolas commented reassuringly. Together they went over to the deer and Elrohir took out his hunting knife to finish the job and end the animal’s suffering. As they knelt, a low horn caused Elrohir to jump in surprise. Legolas chuckled. “And sometimes it happens just in time to deprive you of the first kill.”

Elrohir was annoyed at coming so close to the prize, though knew he could not dwell on it until his task was complete. The deer was still a good animal with plenty of meat, but the suffering needed to end. It was as he raised his blade to the animal’s throat that he swore for the second time. The knife had been used to cut firewood on the journey here and he had forgotten to get it sharpened. While still good for some things, it was not enough to end a life swiftly. “Legolas...” He looked over apologetically, knowing he would need something better than he had.

Legolas shook his head in exasperated amusement and pulled the fine hunting knife from his belt. “Be careful with it,” he cautioned as Elrohir accepted it gratefully.

A moment later the deer was dead and bound with ropes for a collection party to carry back. They would be along soon, trailing just far enough behind so as not to disturb the hunters. They would take it back and, once all the kills were collected, would decide if it was to be eaten tonight or the meat stored and preserved.

“Shall we move on?” Legolas smiled at Elrohir once they were done. “There are many more deer and rabbits to be found and no kill is rejected so long as the meat is good. I have yet to make a kill of my own!”

Elrohir nodded agreement and they moved deeper into the forest, each intent on bringing back as much as they could.

*******

It was not the young councillor’s favourite task. Dead animals nauseated him and having to catalogue every one of them was almost too much to bear. Swallowing down his revulsion, he looked jealously towards the forest. His Prince was in there, alone with that interloper. He glowered as he marked the numbers onto the parchment. Perhaps today would provide an opportunity of some sort. It was pointless the Prince being with that Half-Elf anyway, he would leave for his own home soon enough and break the Prince’s heart. Better to end it now and save Legolas the pain. At least that was his justification, and since no other knew of his actions, it was all that mattered.

********


The hunt was a great success, with enough meat being collected to ensure that no one would starve that winter, though the supplies would have to be carefully rationed. The hunting party returned in high spirits, no longer quiet, but loud and cheerful, all looking forward to the celebrations the night would bring, for it was the last great feast of the year.

Elrohir was also in high spirits. Now that his relationship with Legolas had crept into the open, he no longer had to be frustratingly discreet and had his arm casually around his lover’s waist. “Tonight should be quite an occasion,” he smiled, pulling Legolas in for a kiss. “I am very much looking forward to it.”

“I think you will find it most enjoyable,” Legolas agreed, wrapping himself around Elrohir. “I know I shall enjoy it more than any before.” Resting his cheek against Elrohir’s, he sighed happily.

The moment of contentment lasted until more of the party returned and Legolas, slightly embarrassed at being caught in such a compromising position, pulled away. “We should go and change... it would never do to turn up looking like we are still hiding in bushes seeking prey!” Although reluctant to move away, Elrohir agreed and the two went their separate ways. Neither noticed the young councillor watching them again, and even if they had, would not have realised why.

The young Elf smiled to himself as they left. He had heard what had happened with the deer and had already worked out how to use it to his advantage. It was risky and depended on the Prince being distracted, but he had to take advantage of the situation. All he had to do was wait for the right moment and that would come tonight, when almost all the realm was at the feast. If he was lucky, it would be easy.

*******

The feast was as much of a success as the hunt had been. Food and wine flowed freely and the music went on long into the night. Elrohir had wondered if it would be like some of the formal dinners at home, where the ruling classes looked on as the others enjoyed themselves, but much to his relief Legolas and his father seemed as willing to enjoy themselves as anyone else and the warrior who had claimed the first kill was excellent company, though by the end of the evening was looking slightly worse for wear and would be grateful for a day or two off duty.

When most of the revellers had departed or fallen asleep where they were, he found time to corner Legolas behind the nearest tree, pressing up against the handsome Silvan Prince.

“Did you have a little too much wine as well?” Legolas chuckled, though he was certainly not resisting the advances. Quite to the contrary, he was relaxing more with every touch.

Elrohir grinned. “Oh, not too much... just enough.” He was almost purring as he nuzzled Legolas’ neck, his hands starting to explore the lithe body as if he had never touched him before. “I am certainly not ready to go to sleep just yet...” He smirked wickedly and reached down to slip his hands into Legolas’ leggings. “I hope you feel the same...”

Legolas groaned, trying to retain his wits while being so erotically touched. “Oh... I do...though here is probably not the best place... father would have my head if I caused too much of a scandal...” he moaned, as Elrohir had not ceased his actions while he had been talking.

“So what do you suggest?” Elrohir’s hands had wandered round to Legolas’ rear and was reluctant to stop without good reason.

“My rooms are really not that far away... and once there we will be much more comfortable... if you think you can wait that long.” He was both amused and highly aroused by his lover’s eagerness.

“As long as we go quickly!” Elrohir laughed and removed his hands. He kissed Legolas roughly and stepped back, allowing his lover to move before taking his hand and almost dragging him off to the Royal quarters.

********

Elrohir awoke the next morning tangled in the sheets and Legolas. He smiled contentedly, rolling over to press his still naked body closer to the Prince’s. “Good morning.”

“It is indeed...” Legolas smiled. “Though I am afraid that, as much as I would like to stay here all day and make love to you, the day after the feast there is much for me to do... though we can continue later if you so wish.”

“I most certainly do wish!” Elrohir sat up, allowing Legolas to disentangle himself. “I will see if I can make myself useful, I am sure I can be of assistance to someone.” Still, he was content to watch Legolas as he dressed, enjoying the view.

Legolas dressed swiftly, discarding the clothes from the previous night in a basket by the door, for the servants to collect and clean. He removed only his belt, wishing to use it again that day. It was as he belted it up that he realised something was missing. “Oh, Elrohir – I need my knife back.”

Elrohir frowned. “I gave it back – as soon as I killed the deer.”

“No, you used it again later, on the stag and the rabbits,” Legolas reminded him.

“Oh... yes... but I am sure I returned it to you.” Elrohir got out of bed, grabbing his own leggings. “I will check my rooms, but I do not think I have it.” Yet he was already doubting himself, trying to remember if he had given the knife back. He was sure he had and did not recall seeing it when he undressed after the hunt. He hurried back to his rooms, looking through the discarded clothes and anywhere he thought it might have been.

He was going through his own weapons for the third time when Legolas entered the room. “It is not in my room.” He sounded anxious, the knife was the most precious thing his mother had ever given him. “I am always careful with it, you must still have it.”

“I do not... I gave it back... after the stag...” Though, he recalled, he had set it in the grass as he bound the stag – but surely he had picked it up again? His doubt was clear in his voice and they were both fast reaching the same conclusion.

“You left it there...” Legolas looked accusingly at Elrohir, even though he was simultaneously blaming himself for not checking that nothing had been left behind. “How could you?”

“I...” Elrohir was lost for words, wanting to apologise but knowing it would mean nothing. “I will look for it...” What else could he do? He still could not believe he had been so careless.

“As will I.” Legolas’ voice was unusually cold and he avoided Elrohir’s gaze. “This is not just a knife, Elrohir. It is the last gift my mother ever gave me. It is a part of her.”

Elrohir’s heart sank. “I understand.” They had to find the knife, or the newly blossomed relationship might come to an abrupt end.

********

They spent all day in the forest, retracing their steps and searching for the hunting knife. Even the parts they had not been in were checked, just in case. Word was also spread amongst the warriors on duty that day, in case any of them should come across it. Yet as the sun began to set in the early afternoon, Elrohir knew the search was useless. Had the knife been left here. it had most likely been carried off by now, or buried so deeply that they would never find it, even if it was right by their feet. Many animals lived here and the tracks vanished within hours, let alone an entire night.

Elrohir turned to Legolas, wondering what to say. How could he ever make such a mistake up to him? Were anything to happen to his own Mother, Eru protect her, he knew he would treasure such memories and that trinkets would mean much more.

“Legolas...” He spoke softly, uncertainly.

“We should go back – it is not safe in these woods after dark.” Legolas’ reply was abrupt, cold.

Elrohir approached cautiously. “Legolas... I am so sorry. I never meant to be so careless... I know my words cannot repair the damage done, but I will always regret my actions.”

There was silence for a long moment and Elrohir wished he could see his lover’s face. “It does not matter,” Legolas finally replied, the lie so obvious it was barely worth saying. The Prince turned and headed back through the forest to the palace without another word, leaving Elrohir to follow him.

As Legolas walked away, Elrohir wondered if their newly formed relationship could stand such a blow.

End Chapter 3

Date: 2011-02-22 07:23 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] elflover59.livejournal.com
I loved this story. This two make a nice couple.:)

April 2013

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