None of this belongs to me. I bow in humble defference to Tolkien.
Elrond looked up from the floor “Legolas,” he said calmly, “take Estel, try to calm him down. Do not let him be scared, do not leave him alone.”
Several more elves rushed into the room carrying a stretcher and various other things they would need. Legolas gave them only a fleeting glace as he dropped to his knee in front of the child.
“Tithen nin,” he tried to say clearly over the noise, “do not cry, Lord Elrond is a very capable healer, your mother will be alright.” The boy stared at him for a moment then resumed his wails, louder than before, adding pathetic cries of “Nanna!”
That hadn’t worked.
Legolas hesitated; he really did not know much about children that last infant he had held was nearly an age ago. But, quelling his shaking heart, he reached out and gathered the terrified child into his arms.
The child in his arms writhed, and with astounding force his head smacked into Legolas’ face. Blood erupted from the elf’s nose like a fountain and stars seemed to burst in his eyes. He sat down with a thump. Lights were exploded in his head as the pain from his face confused his brain. For a long minute he sat there blinking, acutely aware that the child in his arms was not moving anymore, but he could not yet see to check if the child had knocked himself out on his face, fainted from the blood that Legolas could feel soaking into his shirt, or if he was just being still.
At last his head cleared and the throbbing in his face subsided enough to permit him to see straight. Ah, that was rather surprising; the boy was still awake and staring at him again with those huge grey eyes, his mouth formed into a perfect “o”. He was not crying any more.
The two stared at each other. The flow of blood from the elf’s nose slowed a trickle, then stopped. Legolas was almost afraid to move. Up ‘til this moment everything he had done in regard to this child had somehow gone awry, this was the first time the boy met his eyes and did not hide away. For a moment he wondered what strange spell had been wrought, but quickly shook that thought away. His father had always said (with a great deal of awe in his voice) that children were the greatest mysteries in universe.
But now all of the blood from his nose was gluing his mouth shut, and that could prove to be a problem.
Slowly Legolas rose, still keeping his arms around the boy, and slowly walked over to the table where a pitcher of water, a pile of napkins and some other oddments stood. With one hand he carefully picked up the pitcher, a shallow bowl and several of the napkins, then even more slowly and carefully, for it was very difficult even for that dexterous elf to hold all these object with one hand, he wended his way back and sat on the flood in front of the fire place. The child did not move as Legolas poured some water into the dish, wetted a napkin and pressed it to his face, trying to soak away the clotted blood.
For a few minutes the boy watched with careful concentration as the elf carefully loosened the blood around his mouth then re-dampens his cloth in the water. With a sudden movement the child leaned forwards and seized one of the clean cloths, swished is sloppily in the pink-tinted water then gently dabbed the dripping napkin to Legolas’ face.
Legolas stared at the child with huge blue eyes and his mouth would have formed a perfict “O” if it had not been firmly sealed shut. The boy put his hand on Legolas’s should and leaned on it for support as he gently scrubbed away at the blood. He worked in intense attention for a while, until nearly all the blood was gone, then he paused for a minute and whispered “Sorry, s’accidnet.”
Astounded, Legolas could only nod, not being quite able to part his lips yet. The child sighed, “Tired” he said, and sniffled. But he did not cry again. Legolas took the last unused cloth and soaked it in the clean water from the pitcher, removed the last of the blood from his mouth then wiped away the final traces of blood from his face.
The boy smiled; “All Clean!”
Legolas nodded and smiled warmly back; “Thank you.” His small companion nodded and, to Legolas’ further and complete astonishment, laid his head down on the elf’s should and wrapped his arms around his neck. The sylvan elf was very still for a moment then he in turn wrapped his arms around the small body. The child sighed again, but this sigh was one of a contented tiredness, and closed his eyes. Legolas’ heart leapt and suddenly it did not matter if this child was the one who had called to his soul. He felt the young boy’s heart beating against his own and knew that, for better and for worse they were bound now.
Suddenly great peace descended upon him. He knew that this bond would be the most difficult thing he was ever to face. He would watch the boy mature, grow old, and die in what would be the blink of an eye to most other elves. He would feel the aching loss of this companion until the stars fell from their places in the sky and Illuvatar called all the worthy to join him. He knew all this, but it seemed little in comparison to the richness that this swiftly beating heart held.
With a heartfelt sigh of peace Legolas closed his eyes. His felt his heart beat more quickly as he willed his perception of time to change. They had to be in the same time, this child and him.
When Elrond and his two sons returned to the great room a few minutes later, the tall elf sitting on the floor with the small human nestled in his arms. Both had their eyes closed. At the sight of this surprised flashed across the three elves’ faces, but the surprise instantly melted into glad smiles.
Despite his restful appearance Legolas was quietly alert and opened his eyes as the three elves came closer. Elrond had a worried line in-between his eye brows as he sank down into one of the chairs. “She has recovered.” He murmured quietly, “Though I do not know how much more of this her body will tolerate before it fails.”
“This has happened before?”
“It has.” Elrohir said wearily and glanced significantly at the child in Legolas’ arms, “It is a long tale though, and one not suited to reciting here.”
Elrond nodded, “Why don’t you young elves retire for the evening; I must make sure that Estel has something to eat before going officially to bed so I will have some food is sent up.” He stood up, then stooped and lovingly gathered the sleepy child into his arms. The boy shifted and put his arms around the dark elf’s neck. “Cookies?” the child murmured hopefully.
Elrond chuckled, “No, loved one, not…” the elf lord stopped as he caught sight of Legolas’ blood stained tunic. He looked keenly at Legolas who blandly returned his gaze, not really wanting to explain how this young boy had caused him to spill so much of his own blood.
But all the elf-lord said was, “I will tell the elf who brings your repast to expect some items for the launderer.” And with the boy secure in his arms, Elrond swept out of the room.
Elladan grinned, “Good. We will finally get something decent to eat.”