And difficult. His shirt kept getting caught in all the undergrowth. He sighed heavily as he torn his sleeve free of a particularly vicious bramble.
“You should take that off.” Legolas said without even looking round.
“What?” Did he mean him to cut down the brambles? Surely not.
“You seem rather overdressed.”
Oh! Suddenly Elrohir realised he was telling him to take his shirt off.
“It’s the middle of winter. How can I possibly be overdressed?”
“Because your shirt is catching on everything we pass.”
Elrohir did not like that sarcastic tone. He was used to being addressed with a bit more respect than that.
“If we walked on the path, then it wouldn’t be a problem,” He bit back. But Legolas only laughed.
“It is true what Father says about the Noldor then,” he said. “So prudish.”
What right did this woodelf’s random father have casting aspersions on the Noldor? Elrohir decided despite the fact Legolas had just saved his skin he could not let this go.
“I hardly think your Father is in a situation to know anything about us!”
But Legolas simply smiled.
“Well you can fill him in on that when we meet him then. I am sure he will be interested to hear your point of view. Make sure you tell him just how insignificant you think he is. He’ll like that.”
This wasn’t going at all how Elrohir expected.
He was relieved when he finally stumbled out of the bushes and in to a clearing. This was obviously their camp. Thank Elbereth for that!
“Do you want some food?” Legolas asked him, raising one eyebrow as he looked at him. “You look as if you need it.” It left Elrohir tugging at his shirt to straighten it. Why did he feel Legolas was undressing him with his eyes all of a sudden?
“Food would be nice,” He said but then quickly regretted it, for what did these wild creatures eat? Poisonous berries? Insects? A million options, all completely unpalatable ran through his mind.
But it was too late, the woodelf was already off rummaging in the corner. To refuse now would be the height of rudeness and those men of his were very good shots. He did not want to get on the wrong side of them!
“You don’t have to look so terrified.” Legolas exclaimed when he turned round just as Elrohir was imagining a particularly hideous gastronomic possibility. “Here, have a scone.”
“Yes.” The scones Legolas held out did look delicious but Elrohir couldn’t help but wonder what was in them.
“What are they made of?” He asked cautiously as he gingerly picked one up.
“Cheese scones.” Legolas gave him a frown. “Galion made these. He is known for his prowess in the scone making Department. They are quite safe, I promise.”
Oh no, Elrohir thought. He had offended him. The memory of those arrows flying past his face returned to haunt him . . . And who was Galion anyway? He really didn’t know how that was supposed to reassure him, that an unknown woodelf who other unknown wood elves said made good scones was the cook.
He took a bite.
It really was very, very good. At least the equal of Glorfindel’s. If there were any insect bodies hidden in here he did not find them.
“Sit down.” Legolas said in a very commanding voice. “We have some time to wait until they arrive with your brother and you make the place look untidy."
And suddenly Elrohir remembered Elladan. What kind of brother was he? He had completely forgotten him!
“I hope your men have found him.”
“They have.” Legolas seemed very confident in his reply.
“You do not know that. You presume they have but they could be anywhere.”
“I know they have! They have told me so.”
“Hah” It was Elrohir’s turn to scoff. “They have not told you. They are not even here!”
A bird call sounded above the tree tops and Legolas looked triumphant.
“They have found him and he is being most problematic.” He tilted his head to the side, as the bird called again. It was a posture that proved to be completely disarming, Elrohir thought. “He objects to their mode of dress apparently, as do you.”
“Are you telling me that bird is your men?”
“It is indeed,” Legolas replied. “Are you telling me the Noldor do not have a form of long range communication.”
They did not, and Elrohir was about to defend that when he realised what Legolas had said before that.
“I do not object to your mode of dress!”
“Yes you do, you would not take your shirt off when it was obviously the most sensible thing to do.”
“It was not sensible at all. As I said, it is winter. There is snow on the ground. I am not walking round shirtless as if it is mid summer, and I do not object to your mode of dress. I like it very much.” His mouth had run away with him and too late, he realised when Legolas’ eyes widened in surprise, he had said too much.
"I mean . . .that fabric in your trousers is delectable." He only just caught himself before he said alluring which would have made things even worse.
"You like the fabric in my trousers?" The woodelf sounded completely disbelieving.
"Yes, what of it? Small details are important to me."
"Oh, just sit down anyway." The expression on his face told Elrohir Legolas had decided the whole situation was so ridiculous he could not be bothered even continuing the conversation. "It is going to take them some time to get your brother here and I am sure we will hear them long before they get here if he is as cantankerous as they say. Have some more scones."
It was all so strange.
Sitting in a clearing in Mirkwood, eating scones, with a half naked woodelf was not at all how Elrohir had imagined the day going when he got up that morning.