Drip, Splatter, Ploof!


Drip. Splatter, Ploof!

By Nieriel Raina

"It's not my fault!" The golden-haired warrior frowned, looking back over his shoulder. For all his words sounded assured, that glance proved his doubt.

"It is your fault." Erestor kept walking, wishing to remove himself from the vicinity before Elrond should happen to show up and his proximity to the scene be taken to mean he also held some guilt in the matter.

A heavy sigh came from beside him. "It's not my fault." This time it was said with far less certainty; more like mumbled in a sulky tone sounding more like one of the twins.

Erestor wanted to laugh. He fought with his mirth, struggling to keep his face serene. His lips would not cooperate. He could feel them twitching despite himself.

"Don't you dare laugh."

Ah, the voice turned menacing. This just got better and better. "I'm n-not…ahem, I'm not laughing." But he could feel his eyes shining with amusement, despite his efforts to control his outer response.

"I'm warning you, so much as one chuckle…."

Erestor shook his head, while ducking his face so his hair hid his expression like a shiny black curtain. "I w-wouldn't," he coughed, "dare laugh," a snort disguised as a sneeze, "at you."

"It's not my fault!"

He lost the battle as his shoulders began to shake with his repressed snickers. Then something hit him full on the back with a soft splat. He spun around, eyes wide. "You did not!"

Glorfindel's lips were now the ones twitching. "You can't prove it."

Having no need to glance around for other culprits, Erestor narrowed his eyes, feeling something sliding down his back and plopping to the ground. He removed his robe, leaving him clad in a loose tunic, comfortable leggings and soft doeskin boots. He examined the muddy splatter on his clothing, a plan forming in his mind. "You will pay for that," he hissed.

Glorfindel's expression turned wry as he crossed his arms. "What are you going to do? Throw more on me?" he asked dryly.

It was too much. Erestor laughed as he took a good long look at his friend. Glorfindel's normally glorious, golden hair hung limp, mud-spattered and dripping brown water. His attire was nearly black with mud. One boot was missing, leaving the remaining sock filthy. Even his friend's face…. Erestor snickered. That probably had been from where Glorfindel had scraped the mud thrown at Erestor's back.

"Nah," Erestor continued to laugh. "I suppose you are filthy enough. But you deserved it. You all but started that mud fight between the twins, goading them into it! I am not surprised they turned on you."

Glorfindel's eyes narrowed to slits, which, with the amount of muck on his face, only increased Erestor's mirth. "What will you tell Elrond."

"Ah, you mean the father of those elflings that you were supposed to keep out of trouble? Not a thing." He threw Glorfindel a sly look. "Celebrían on the other hand…" He thought he saw Glorfindel pale under the mud, but it had to be his imagination. The Captain simply had no skin visible.

"You wouldn't?" Glorfindel choked out.

Erestor smirked. "I wouldn't, if you had not thrown mud on my favorite robe. But since you have done so…." He spun on his heel and resumed his walk – this time with more purpose in his step – his dirty robe draped over his arm. But all his senses were alert, his muscles all but twitching in anticipation...

"Why you!!"

Erestor sprinted away, even as he heard Glorfindel begin pursuit. His robe slipped to the ground as he ran, laughing and darting just out of reach of his companion. Glorfindel was a mighty Noldorin warrior, but all that bulk, which served him well in a fight, slowed him down in comparison to Erestor's more agile Sindarin frame.

He achieved the Last Homely House first, slipping down halls, changing direction and doubling back. Once sure he had lost his pursuer, Erestor jogged back outside, retrieved his robe and headed back towards the pond where the young twins still wrestled in the mud. He donned his mud-streaked robe, plopped on the bank, and waited with a smile on his face.

Elrond found him about ten minutes later, took one look at Erestor's back, glanced at his mud-covered sons and sighed. "My apologies, Erestor. The boys can get out of hand sometimes." He glanced around the clearing. "Where is Glorfindel?"

Hiding his amused expression by casting a glance towards the Last Homely House, Erestor replied, "Oh, I expect he'll show up any minute now." He turned back towards the elflings, who were currently throwing handfuls of mud at the other, oblivious to their father's presence.

The moment the twins realized Elrond gazed at them disapprovingly was priceless. Wide-eyed, they stood blinking through dripping dark locks, identical expressions of horror on their faces. Elladan recovered first, stepping forward while with one hand, he attempted to push his brother behind him. The eldest had a protective streak when it came to Elrohir.

Thinking Elladan would now take responsibility for their grimy condition, Erestor nearly choked when instead Elladan said, "It's all Glorfindel's fault." Erestor's head jerked to take in Elrond's expression.

Elrond barely blinked. "Oh really?"

As if on cue, Glorfindel showed up, puffing from his exertions and glaring at Erestor. Elrond took one look at his Captain and snorted. "I had doubted you were at fault, Glorfindel, but your appearance says otherwise. I assume you will see that my sons are clean before they return to their mother." It wasn't a question, and Glorfindel blanched at the reprimand-laced remark.

"Of course, my lord." He smiled grimly, a dark humor suddenly lighting his eyes.

Erestor frowned. That dangerous look hinted that he would not like what Glorfindel said next..

"Erestor volunteered to help supervise a swim in the stream. We'll scrub them clean, and their clothes can dry in the sun."

Elrond lifted a brow and nodded. He seemed appeased.

Erestor on the other hand… He glared at the Captain as Elrond headed back towards the house. "I volunteered, did I?"

A satisfied smile spread across Glorfindel's face. "Indeed."

Not minding in the least, for the day was warm and he felt the need to refresh himself, Erestor stood. But he removed his robe and threw it at the infamous Balrog Slayer, who caught it in one hand. "Fine. But you are scrubbing that clean."

Glorfindel bowed low, sweeping out a hand for Erestor to lead the way to the stream.

"Oh, no. You lead the way." He turned sharp eyes on the elflings. Surprisingly, they had remained silent through all the adults' conversation. Now they stood looking thoroughly too aware they had gotten away with something. "Come on, you two. Time for a swim." The twins needed no other prompting.

Erestor followed the filthy trio, smiling and actually looking forward to a nice swim. His fingers twirled a reed that he had cut from the pond shallows. His eyes scanned the forest floor until he found a small stone just the right size. He fit it into one end of the reed, put the other to his mouth and…


The rock shot out and hit Glorfindel in the back of the head. He spun around, glaring at the twins. "That is not funny."

Elladan and Elrohir blinked at him, then glanced at each other. "We didn't do it," they chorused in unison.

Erestor kept his face straight, the reed hidden behind his back, slipped into the waistband of his leggings. When Glorfindel looked at him suspiciously, he shrugged, empty hands raised palms up.

Glorfindel sniffed and looked up at the sky, then resumed their trek to the stream.

Erestor stooped, picked up another stone and grinned. When the twins caught sight of him, he lifted a finger to his lips. They giggled and turned back around.



Oh, it was a good day!

: - :

A/N – The twins are the equivalent to human boys of about eight here.


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