Title: Gift for Lilyfrost 2006

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Lord of the Rings

Pairings: Legolas/Elrohir

Rating: PG-13 (R?)

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters or their world. This is fanfiction and I'm just playing for fun, not making any money.

Summary: Elrohir is sick during the holidays, and not terribly happy about it.

Notes: Written for Lilyfrost as a holiday gift. Enjoy!

 

Gift for Lilyfrost 2006

Legolas stood in front of the bedside table, arms crossed, inspecting the items upon it: crumbled handkerchiefs, tea cups with the dregs stuck to the bottom, a towel and an empty bowl, a tray with the remains of a meal upon it. He'd never seen a bedside table with such a mess upon it. Then again, he'd never seen an elf who looked such a mess as Elrohir did right now, or sound as bad, for that matter. "Oh, to have the hearing of mortals," Legolas whispered, as his highly-acute ears were overwhelmed with not the sound of sneezes at present, but ferocious snores.

 

Until a few days ago, he had never heard an elf sneeze once. He hadn't even been able to picture what it would look like. Now, however, he had just about all of it that he could stand. Elrohir was supposed to be visiting and celebrating the holiday with him. Instead he was visiting and spending the week in bed with what he called "sniffles in the nose" but Legolas knew was really the worst head cold a peredhil had ever had.

 

"Leg?"

 

Legolas had intended to tidy up the room while Elrohir slept. Cleaning was just about all he was good at. Cleaning and bringing things Elrohir said he needed. Except that after days of fetching this and that, Elrohir still sounded sniffly and still looked miserable. And now that Elrohir was awake again, Legolas was sure he was in for more of it.

 

Sitting down on the edge of his own bed, Legolas reached down and stroked the silky black hair into place. Elrohir breathed through his mouth, his lips thin and dry. "You were not asleep for long." Elves so rarely slept that the short rest was not shocking, but he had still expected Elrohir to sleep longer.

 

It was clear that his cold was responsible for his being awake now. He coughed and sniffed, turning onto his side where it was much easier to breathe. "I am loathe to miss the celebration tonight," Elrohir said. "I thought, perhaps, a short rest would put me right and allow me to at least watch the star shower. Howeverů... yihhh!"

 

The dark-haired elf had fallen to sleep with a handkerchief in his hand. That item had been the most difficult for Legolas to track down, of all the things Elrohir had requested. Legolas had seen an occasional handkerchief in his lifetime, but could not for the life of him determine where he might acquire one or who might have one or more in his position. He was glad now that he had gone halfway across the kingdom to find a few.

 

"ihhhTISHHHHooo!" When Elrohir had to sneeze more than once, the first was always the worst. Strong and wet and enough to make even Legolas cringe visibly. The ones following were shorter and weaker. "ihKShh! ihhShuhh! hihShhh!"

 

Legolas resumed his stroking, his pale fingers sliding over the silky brown hair. "However," Legolas said, finishing the statement, "I believe you must stay in bed." It was a wrench to miss the star shower, but the event required an elf to be outside and up on a mountaintop or atop a tree, exposed to the elements. The sight of hundreds of stars shooting brilliantly from one side of the blackened sky to the other was nothing less than breathtaking. And no matter how else an elf chose to spend the holidays, it was one event which was part of everyone's celebration. Everyone except for a certain ill elf who did not need the freezing temperatures and the chilling wind.

 

"For just a few moments?" Elrohir asked. "I will make it worth your while."

 

"You cannot bargain your way out of a cold," Legolas told in, moving closer. There was a kiss. Two. Three.

 

Then Elrohir turned away, or tried to. He did not move far enough, for he caught Legolas' cheek in the spray. "yihhshuhhhhhh!" He made good use of the hard-to-find handkerchief. "It is not a cold. Only a little sniffle in my nose," Elrohir insisted.

 

"Well then..." The blankets were already tucked around the elf, but Legolas thought it an important point to make sure they were tucked even more tightly. "Best you stay in bed so that sniffle does not become a cold." Listening to Elrohir blow his nose a few moments later, however, Legolas could not imagine how whatever Elrohir had could possibly be any worse.

 

"I could use some more tea," Elrohir suggested, perhaps changing the subject because his nose was running and it was not the best time to make his point about not feeling ill. He had the white cloth handkerchief pressed to his nose.

 

Legolas could not help but glance at the half dozen empty teacups that Elrohir had gone through and still felt ill afterwards.

 

"Ada says there are herbs which will help. He always makes me tea with Auskin leaves when my nose is trouble. They do not even need to be dried first. Do Auskin plants grow around here?"

 

Legolas had him describe the look of the plant, down to the shiny, pointy, green leaves. Then he nodded. He did not think there was any in the storeroom, for he could not think of any use for the plant at all. But if Lord Elrond believed it would help, Legolas was in no position to argue. Like the other special requests, from a hot stone at the foot of the bed to a strong-smelling ointment that was supposed to help him breathe, Legolas promised he would track down the plant and have another special tea prepared. When Elrohir sneezed again, Legolas promised he would get the tea now.

 

Legolas wore a thick, fur-trimmed cloak when he walked about outside. Though elves did not feel cold in the same way as men, the cloak kept him toasty warm even as he walked upon the snow and was struck straight in the face with fierce winter winds. The snow crunched softly underfoot. In the bright, late afternoon sun, the endless banks of snow about him were an almost blinding white. Snow weighed down branches and sat in drifts upon landmarks such as stumps and rocks that Legolas knew where still there though they were buried.

 

He stood for a moment in one open space, unable to resist taking in the scene before him. The snow was caught in the sunlight at such an angle such that it sparkled magically. Legolas lowered his hood for a moment, letting the wind catch his long, blond hair and whipping it around wildly. Basking in the beauty, Legolas was reminded of the importance of the seasonal celebrations. And he was once again reminded of how his lover would be unable to enjoy these things for at least a little while.

 

As he took it all in, Legolas heard the wind and a bird here and there. And then he heard the sound of light footsteps on the snow, and thought he recognized the pacing. "Ro?" he called out, not daring to look and hoping he was much mistaken.

 

"hihh-IHSHHHHH! ehhShuhhh! ihhhChihhh! ihhShhh! ihhKShhh!"

 

Legolas turned around, fighting the wind as it tossed his hair into his face. He found Elrohir standing not more than a few paces away, sleeve of his tunic pressed to his nose. He must have dressed hurriedly as soon as Legolas left him, because his boots were unlaced and the under-tunic was untucked and visible beneath the over-tunic. He wore no cloak, however, which Legolas immediately remedied by taking his own off and wrapping it around Elrohir's slightly-shivering body.

 

Elrohir pulled the cloak around himself at once, but he didn't have the same use of his sleeve. His nose began to run without stop, even though he sniffled continuously. Legolas offered the cuff of his own sleeve, and stood in front of Elrohir as the elf sniffled into him. "Are you entirely out of your mind, Ro?"

 

"T-two leaves," Elrohir replied. He had described the plant incorrectly to begin with. And he had also insisted upon showing Legolas he was well enough to be outside. Legolas was not the least bit convinced. But he led his lover about, without the use of his own left arm, as they looked for the plant.

 

Fortunately, it was not long before they found a spot where it grew in abundance. Legolas had to admit to himself that he would have overlooked it initially without Elrohir's correction. But Elrohir probably wouldn't have needed it as badly if he hadn't ventured to the great outdoors. As it was, he continued sniffling without stop long after they had gone back inside. Elrohir gave a particularly wet sniffle as he sat back down on the bed, and Legolas pressed a handkerchief into his hand before tucking the elf back in.

 

Elrohir was unusually cold and shivering. It eased a bit as he got used to the warmth the covers brought, but grew worse when he shook off the cloak Legolas had lent him. Feeling sorry for him, Legolas climbed into bed, as well, and let his lover snuggle up to him until the shivers ceased.

 

That took a while. Elrohir spent the time blowing his nose and Legolas spent it petting Elrohir's head. The elf was foolish and far too reckless for his own good, to be sure, but even weak and helpless like this, he had a certain undeniable appeal. And the sensation of the body pressing desperately into his own was nothing if not arousing. But when Legolas attempted to make a subtle move, his hand slipping from one head to the other, the one under the bedsheets, Elrohir responded by pulling away and admitting he did not feel well enough for that. He admitted this with little energy but great regret and a touch of embarrassment.

 

To make matters even more embarrassing, another sneeze crept up on him at that very instant. "hey-eh-IHShhh!" He sneezed directly against Legolas chin and neck, then rolled over onto his other side to avoid having to face Legolas during an apology.

 

Kindly, Legolas took it in stride. He climbed back out of the bed. "I should go make you that tea, at any rate," Legolas said. "Stay comfortable, and I will be back soon."

 

Elrohir replied with something like, "I ab dot cobfortable without you..." But his voice was congested and the mumble trailed off into silence before Legolas was even halfway across the room on his way out.

 

Legolas was mysteriously gone for longer than it would take to brew tea. When he returned, he found Elrohir in the same spot, curled up in bed, sniffling into a handkerchief. Elrohir looked up at Legolas from across the room. "I am better," Elrohir said, struggling to sit up in bed. He coughed a little, from a tickle in his throat that clearly went beyond a mere sniffle. But the tea would help him significantly, or so Legolas assumed. "I should be able to handle star gazing tonight."

 

"You are better," said Legolas, sitting down on the bed and carefully handing over the teacup. "However, you are better because you are in bed, resting."

 

Elrohir took a few sips and nodded. "I have missed the dancing and the feast, all the traditions. I cannot miss the holiday celebration entirely," he said. "I simply cannot. Just a few... minutes?" He began to try to do more than simply sit up.

 

Legolas shook his head and scooted closer, sitting down right on top of Elrohir's lower legs, so he couldn't go anywhere. "I think not. However..." He pulled something from his pocket and held it out, cupped in his palms.

 

Elrohir's eyes widened considerably. "Where did you get this? I thought they never grew this far north." And then, beyond his disbelief, he smiled. "How did you know? It is not a Mirkwood tradition. Even in Rivendell at this time of year it... yihhh-IHSHHHOO!" Strong and harsh, the first of many, Elrohir dropped the questions for the moment in order to sneeze more. "hihShuhh! Hihh-Chh! ihhShhh! ehhShihh! hihShhh!" When finished, he managed only a simple, "How?"

 

"You mentioned it a few days ago, amidst your other complaints," Legolas told him. "I thought we might eat it together, later, instead of watching the stars."

 

Elrohir set the tea aside and took the large, bright orange from Legolas. He sniffed it, which was more of a sniffle and less of any effective smelling. "I want to eat it now."

 

With a complete understanding of how miserable Elrohir was, Legolas agreed. Taking his lead from Elrohir, he helped pull away the thick peel, piece by piece. Then Elrohir took a small section, and handed one to Legolas.

 

Legolas had seen an elf eat an orange before. But he had never seen this elf eat one, and he found himself spellbound at the sight. As he took his first bite, and the sweet juices filled his mouth, he watched unblinkingly as Elrohir devoured one piece. Two. Three. Elrohir chewed only when necessary, sucking, swallowing. His lips seemed alive now, moist and adventurous. "Oh, to be this orange," Legolas whispered, sure that Elrohir could not hear him over the smacking and licking.