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Author: Alfirineth
Title: An Ending of the Hypothetical
Rating: G
Theme: Bunny Hutch
Elements: 41. Fourth Age: Reasons why Elladan and Elrohir stayed at Imladris after Elrond left. (mikononyte, via Linda Hoyland)

Author's Notes: Sometimes something that we know is going to happen lies so far distant future that it seems remote and unreal. Suddenly, it looms right in your path. Unprepared, you can turn neither to the right nor the left, and you wonder when the hypothetical become the immutable future.

Summary: After the announcement of Elrond's imminent departure from Middle-earth, Elladan and Elrohir spend a moment discussing their own fate.

Word Count: 1065



After several fruitless hours of casual searching, Elrohir found his brother hoeing a row of cabbages in a field far from the main house. The sunlight fell down from the skies in torrents as the heat rose up from earth. The cicadas sang around them in joy and glory, a constant drone against the cloudless skies.

“What are you doing?” he asked as he approached and Elladan stopped, leaning against his hoe.

“Standing here talking with you,” answered Elladan blithely. Elrohir's brows lowered as he pursed his lips and exhaled loudly through his nose in Elladan's general direction.

“I would expect that what I was doing would be immediately apparent to you,” said Elladan, not even trying to hide his mirth.

“So I worded my question incorrectly. Allow me to try again.”

Elladan motioned for him to continue.

“Why are you out here in the middle of nowhere wielding a hoe at innocuous plants?” Elrohir said a little more concisely than necessary. “Especially after the announcement that our father made last night.”

“It is for that very reason that I am out here,” Elladan said, looking away unseeing into the distance. “I needed to think.”

“I had expected you to be at the training grounds, shooting something. Or somebody. Beating someone to a pulp.”

“Is that where you were this morning?” asked Elladan dryly, turning back to his rhythmic work.

“Yes,” Elrohir answered. “Battling Glorfindel and his infinite calm in the practice ring. It was most unsatisfactory. I longed for a couple of really angry orcs. As it was, Glorfindel only laughed at me after he had thrown me down.”

Elladan chuckled.

“Now you are laughing at me,” said Elrohir huffily.

“So what was the move that landed you in the dirt?” asked Elladan, unperturbed.

“He said that he wouldn't tell me until I controlled my anger.”

“You seem close to alright now. By the time you get back, you should be completely calm.”

“Don't think that you can get rid of me so easily,” stated Elrohir.

“That was not my intent.”

“Then what was your intent?” Elrohir asked defensively.

Elladan sighed expressively, tired of the thought of an argument already. He turned back to his hoeing. “There are plenty of weeds for you as well,” he suggested after a few moments of Elrohir watching him work. “Think of them as orcs. It might help.”

Elrohir kicked at a few random plants. “No. It's not working.”

“That is because that was a cabbage, as you well know. Try one of the weeds.”

Abruptly, Elrohir stopped and let loose a primal shout to the skies. Elladan looked up sharply before leaning against his hoe casually once again. He raised his eyebrows and blinked at Elrohir as he subsided. “Do you feel better?”

“I'm trying to decide,” said Elrohir.

Elladan took a deep breath and let it out slowly, suddenly acutely aware of Middle-earth around him: the insects and birds calling out around him, the smell of freshly disturbed soil, the varied smell of vegetation, the feel of the sunlight spilling down, surrounding him, the heat rising off his own skin.

“Did you know that Grandfather plans on staying in Middle-earth?” he asked. As Elrohir shook his head, Elladan clarified. “Even after Grandmother sails, he feels the call of Middle-earth too much to leave just yet.”

Elrohir's look of surprise and confusion was unmistakeable. “I thought that they have been together for millenia. Now they are going to separate over this?”

“It is not so surprising. The call of the land is remarkably intense. Just as intense as the call of the sea, I imagine.”

“You imagine?” Elrohir tilted his head to the side. “You do not know?”

“Do you?”

“No,” Elrohir stated. “Neither do I feel the call of the land.”

“Then stay for a time, until you are able to make a decision,” suggested Elladan, turning back to his work. The hoe rose and fell, rose and fell.

“Have you ever wished to be fully human?” asked Elrohir hesitantly.

“At times,” said Elladan, not slowing.

“How about fully elven?”

“At times.”

“You are maddening.”

“It is one of my best charms. Why do you ask?”

“Do you never feel conflicted about it? Being caught between two worlds?”

“Not for many years,” answered Elladan. “Those longings were laid to rest long ago. I am Elladan; I have no need to be anything else.” He looked keenly over at his brother as he paused a moment, “I had thought that you had laid them to rest also.”

“Truth be told, I haven't thought about it in many a long year. I think,” Elrohir said slowly, ordering his thoughts, “That it troubles me again because of Arwen choosing mortality and our father leaving these shores. It seems to be happening all at once.”

“That makes sense,” said Elladan turning back to the waiting row of cabbages. This time Elrohir joined him a row over, stooping and pulling out the offending weeds and leaving the defenseless cabbages alone. Several minutes of silence passed.

“Middle-earth does not call me as it does you,” Elrohir stated at last.

“Then go with our father. Maybe you should cross over the sea. It is said that peace can be found there,” said Elladan, “and if anyone needs peace right now...”

“Here you go, trying to get rid of me, again,” interrupted Elrohir as he tossed a weed harmlessly in Elladan's direction.

“Is it working?” asked Elladan, turning with a big smile to look at his brother.

“No.”

“Oh,” said Elladan, trying his best to sound downhearted. “I guess I'll have to try harder.”

“What do I do?” sighed Elrohir to himself.

Elladan stayed silent for a time, ridding the cabbage patch of intruders while allowing his brother the comfort of his presence.

“Stay a while and delay your choice,” Elladan said again. “Arwen has made hers. We can put off our choice for a time. Cirdan has said that he will wait until the last of us wish to leave these shores.”

“That was rather rash on his part,” blurted out Elrohir.

“But comforting for those not ready to leave,” said Elladan.

“It is,” Elrohir admitted and heaved a big sigh. “I'll stay for the time being.”

“Nothing like putting off 'til tomorrow what could be done today,” chanted Elladan.

Elrohir tossed a few more weeds at him.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
someplacetobe
May. 16th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
I quite liked this conversation between them; it feels as though 't'were a conversation that could have very well happened.
alfirineth
May. 19th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)
Thanks! I am glad that it came across as a natural-sounding conversation.
engarian
May. 16th, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
I almost feel sorry for those poor cabbages...almost. The conversation is real, the debate is ongoing, and the decision is once again delayed. All in all a satisfactory morning's work - LOL.

- Erulisse (one L)
alfirineth
May. 19th, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
Exactly. All in a satisfactory morning's work. :D
dreamflower02
May. 16th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, the choice has moved beyond hypothetical to imminent, yet even now the choice is not to choose-- yet.

I love this interaction between the sons of Elrond.
alfirineth
May. 19th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I am glad that you liked the interaction.
blslarner
May. 16th, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Nothing like procrastination, is there? As good a decision NOT to make one now as any other, I suppose.
alfirineth
May. 19th, 2012 03:21 am (UTC)
So true. One day, they are going to have to choose. Maybe I will write a story about that day. Sometime. :)

ellynn_ithilwen
May. 17th, 2012 06:44 am (UTC)
I think you caught their feelings well; yes, it's very probable that one or both would be a little confused in a situation like this, and not yet ready do decide what to do. Lovely little story. :)
alfirineth
May. 19th, 2012 03:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad that you liked it.
virtuella
May. 17th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
Interesting conversation! And I do approve of the cabbages...
alfirineth
May. 19th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
In truth, I debated what kind of field it should be, but decided that something mundane would be best. Grounding, you know. ;)
virtuella
May. 19th, 2012 11:21 am (UTC)
Absolutely. Someone's got to do the farming, since even Elves can't live on thin air, however much Tolkien gives that impression!
mrowe
May. 18th, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
Lovely bit of prevarication - and of aggression against poor innocent weeds *g*
alfirineth
May. 19th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
Thanks!

I got to say that I like your avatar. It makes me smile. :)
mrowe
May. 19th, 2012 04:25 am (UTC)
I found it, so credit goes to the maker, but it did seem appropriate for a story on gardening.
mikononyte
May. 18th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Oh ho that was fun!
And very human of them too it seems; to put off to tomorrow, delay the inevitable.
And the cabbages are a nice touch. Actually I loved the cabbages; I never imagined the great hunters and orc killers as cabbage weeders. It tickles my funny bone. LOL
Thank you so much for this exploration. Even though the twins have delayed yet again, this has added fuel to my fire (or bunnies to the hutch, take your choice).
alfirineth
May. 19th, 2012 03:39 am (UTC)
So this was yours! I am glad that you liked it. I hope that I did justice to what you imagined, though it probably went in an entirely different direction. ;)

I confess that I had intended on making a field of something...elvish and high-sounding...but in the end decided that cabbages fit the scene better.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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