Finger Pants

Story by Java Green & Zhie

It was one of those quiet, lazy days – the sort of day that everyone spent outside if they could and those who could not spent it in the open areas of the house. Elrond and his chief of staff chose this option, and were in a room with large open windows that faced the south and let in a cool breeze. There was work to be done, but work that could be done slowly- a thankful thing for the peredhel.

Elrond was lounging on a bench across from the window he favored that overlooked a small pond flecked with the movement of small fish beneath the lilies. He was quietly reading a document of some dull legislation from an old tome. Although he would not admit to aloud, he had restarted reading it a number of times after his thoughts wandered away from the script. Sitting on the floor was one of his sons, Elrohir. It had been Celebrian’s request that the twins spend a little time alone with each parent, and so today Elrond had Elrohir and Celebrian had taken Elladan out into the gardens to look for insects. Elrohir was humming to himself and painting on the large sheets of paper, dipping his hands into the various colors and scribbling them across the blank sheets.

Not more than a few feet away, Glorfindel sat in an overstuffed chair, smoking a pipe which he sometimes did when he was thinking. He was reading from the ledgers of the previous year, and was obviously deep in thought. Not as deep in thought as Erestor, however, who was concentrating so hard on his task that he did not notice he was mumbling to himself about the trade negotiations with Mirkwood. Elrond smiled behind his book, wondering if all full elves were this dedicated to their strict tasks even at times when they were to be at leisure, or if only this pair acted thus.

It seemed that Elrohir was picking up the serious vibe that the two advisors were giving off as well, for he looked up at their frowns and then to his father with a questioning look. Elrond gave a little shrug, and looked back at his reading. It was then that Elrohir got an idea.

“Uh.. oh, Elrond?” asked Glorfindel suddenly as Elrohir climbed into his lap and began to wipe his finger pants across Glorfindel’s tunic, “Elrond? Do you know if this is washable paint Celebrian gave him to play with?” Glorfindel set his pipe aside and gave Elrond a worried look.

Without removing his eyes from the page he was looking at and keeping himself from smirking, Elrond responded with, “No idea.” Glorfindel cringed as some dripped onto his boots.

Across the room, Erestor looked up and stopped his mumbling, blinking at the sight. His mouth was still open, but it was turning up a little at the corners. Elrohir was now painting a big yellow flower on Glorfindel’s chest and orange happy faces around it.

“Oh.. my..,” sighed Glorfindel, who, as everyone knew, never had the heart to scold children. Erestor simply snickered.

“You need to stan’ up,” instructed Elrohir as he climbed down from Glorfindel’s lap. Glorfindel, at a loss for what else to do, stood up. He placed his book onto the chair and allowed himself to be led to the center of the room where the paint was. Elrohir pulled on his hand until Glorfindel knelt down (now sporting a blue and green stripe on his arm) and then started to hum as he dipped his fingers into the red paint.

Elrohir concentrated on making some interesting shaped blobs and stick figures on Glorfindel’s back. Erestor cleared his throat, and when the young peredhel looked up, he said, “I think you missed a spot.” The counselor pointed to the spot in question while Glorfindel glared at him.

“Oh!” Very seriously, Elrohir dipped his fingers into the blue paint and colored in a patch on Glorfindel’s shoulder.

“Lovely job. Quite excellent,” remarked Erestor, staying out of reach of the paint.

Smiling, Elrohir pointed to different parts of his work. “It’s a cloud! An’ see? There is Nana, an’ Ada, an Ewadan, an Gala an’ Gwanpa Celebern an’ you, Tor, an’ Glor is protecting us all from dat nasty spider.”

“You have outdone yourself, penneth,” said Erestor as he nodded, avoiding the narrow-eyed look Glorfindel was giving him. Behind his book, Elrond still said nothing.

Beaming proudly, Elrohir continued, “An’ there is Legolas, an’ mean Haldir an’ his broders in a tree house!”

“It’s a very nice treehouse,” Erestor commended.

“And there is ‘Ing Thwandooill being...” Elrohir scrunched up his face trying to remember what he had heard said about the king. “Stubborn an’ bubnoxious an’ foolish!”

Elrond’s gaze lifted over his book with a frown. “Elrohir! Where did you hear that said?”

Elrohir’s big grey eyes went wide and he cowered behind Glorfindel, getting small handprints on the warrior’s leggings. Despite this fact, Glorfindel was grinning, and mouthed to Erestor ‘Now, where oh where might he have heard THAT said?’

As for Erestor, he had taken his reading and walked with it to the bookshelf, where things were suddenly much more interesting. “Children say the darnedest things, do they not, m’lord?”

‘You are in trouble now,’ mouthed Glorfindel when he caught Erestor’s gaze. Erestor mouthed back, ‘And you are covered in paint!’

Elrond snapped his book shut and turned to look toward his chief advisor with an arched brow. “Children do indeed say strange things, and they also have a gift for accurate quotations.”

Erestor shrugged sheepishly, attempting to hide behind the bookshelf. “My, look at the time.. I really must be going..” he said quickly, but Elrond had stood and was now blocking the doorway out.

“Somebody’s in trouble,” murmured Glorfindel in a low sing-song voice.

Elrohir peeked around one of Glorfindel’s strong legs, getting a green hand-painted print smudged onto his cheek. He glanced up at the golden warrior and whispered urgently, “Did I get Masser Tor in trouble?”

Glorfindel whispered back, but loud enough for Elrond to hear, “No, I think he got himself there all on his own.”

Sternly, Elrond began to scold Erestor about setting a proper example for the children – while Glorfindel lifted the little lad up behind his father so that he could put pink paint into his Ada’s hair...