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Shout Archive

When All Is Lost. by Glorfindel

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Story notes:
Thank you to my wonderful beta, Keiliss, whose generosity knows no bounds. I am honoured to have such a great writer as my beta and also as a friend.

Thank you to the lovely Ignoblebard, whose cheerleading and support has proved invaluable. I am also honoured to have him as a friend.

This story is for Nuredhel - enjoy :)
"Galion is drunk again," Legolas said after shutting the doors to his Father's sitting room. "I went to get a bottle of elderflower, and there he was, fast asleep with an empty bottle of red gooseberry beside him."

Thranduil shrugged. "Just lately he is always drunk." He rose from his desk and motioned for his son to join him on a large sofa woven from black spider silk. The predators were useful for some things, but they would not be missed if they disappeared completely.

The sofa was complemented by a light wood table that was studded with delicate silver tracery. Beautiful to look at but a complete headache for the maids who were charged with polishing away the inevitable tarnish every single day. However, Thranduil hardly took notice of such things, whereas he was very keen to know what was going on with Galion. He gave Legolas a glass and poured some wine from a carafe carved from a single piece of blue jasper decorated with white pastoral scenes of life in Imladris - a Yule present from Elrond, who was always keen to promote his home as some sort of idyll, especially when compared to the other elven realms.

"Do you suppose that he has been thwarted in love?" Legolas asked, idly twirling the stem of his glass. "Have you ever drank wine out of a cup?"

"I would die before drinking wine in such a way," Thranduil exclaimed haughtily, knowing that Legolas had indeed drank wine from any receptacle at hand. "I have no idea what is up with Galion, but I think I should find out. We can't have him drinking all the wine, there will be none left for everyone else at this rate."

"A slight exaggeration," Legolas observed quietly before sipping his wine.

"One of the bottles he finished yesterday belonged to you. He said he was tasting it to see if it was worthy enough and, somehow, the whole lot swilled down his throat."

"I have hundreds of bottles. I am sure one won't be missed." Legolas had no time for teasing.

"Well that's good. I am sure Glorfindel will send you another bottle of Old Elanor if you explain what happened."

"Galion's dead. That was the last bottle in existence!" Legolas' eyes blazed with anger. He went to stand up, but Thranduil pulled him back down.

"Relax, we have quite a few bottles of Old Elanor."

"But none for that year. That bottle was from Glorfindel's private collection," Legolas protested. "I was going to open that at my wedding."

"You haven't even got a lover!" Thranduil laughed, open mouthed with astonishment. "How are you going to get married if you aren't with anyone?"

"You banished the last girlfriend I had!" Legolas stood up. He marched across the room and flung the door open so hard it bounced back off the wall and stubbed his toes. That did not deter Legolas though. As a parting shot he shouted, "And the one before that!" before storming off.

Thranduil chuckled to himself. Allowing two of his girlfriends to sail was hardly banishment, and the fault lay with Legolas entirely. He didn't like to party and have a good time with friends. He didn't see why he should woo girlfriends and make them feel loved, apparently a prince shouldn't have to do anything like that. He would choose a maiden to be his girlfriend, and she had no choice in the matter. What lay ahead for any of them were long evenings reading worthy, fact based books, mostly concerning the social structures of wild dogs and their interactions with humans, and the occasional one about the possible existence of backward walking sheep. Then the poor, hapless girl would have to discuss the passages they had read together. Legolas would mark her contributions out of ten. Sometimes Legolas would practice his flute. He was not a natural flute player. The poor girl would have to sit with a fixed smile, clap and show excitement at the end of each hour-long performance. No wonder they had asked to sail, Thranduil thought to himself. However, he suspected there was a reason behind Legolas' behaviour and wondered if he could get to the bottom of that as well.


Galion woke up with a headache the size of Mount Doom. "Why do I always do this to myself?" he mused as he looked in the bathroom mirror and tweezed a stray hair poking out his left nostril. "I look like a dog, like I have been dragged through a hedge."

"Right," he said aloud to his image in the mirror. "This has got to stop. I am only hurting myself." He said that every morning, but this time he would make an extra effort to make it happen, just like he did every day. The trouble was that working in the cellars was boring. He was King Thranduil's wine taster; his other duties included storing the wine, maintaining quality control, tons of audits, and a mass of paperwork.

"If only I was still a warrior," he mused quietly. His mind conjured up an image of Feren, the Captain of the guard, the most handsome, bravest, fairest warrior in the whole of Middle-earth. He was directly responsible to the weirdo Legolas. "I shouldn't think of Legolas like that, but he is one." The thought made Galion grin.

For the first time since waking, Galion felt all right. "I am glad I drank his Old Elanor," he thought. "He should never have fired me for joking that he fancied Glorfindel. Serves him right, especially as it's true."

He combed his hair and wove it into a plait down his back. "Not bad looking at all. Scrubbed up well again," he said out loud, as he looked this way and that in the mirror. "I doubt that Feren will want me though. I have never known him be interested in anyone who wasn't a warrior." He sighed, resigning himself to the fact that he would have to look elsewhere, or not at all, before hurriedly making his bed and then leaving his rooms for another boring day in the wine cellar.
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