Once in a Lifetime by Silvertoekee

A few elves sat astride there horses in the court yard and there voices filled the air. Resting a hand on his mount's mane, Estel whispered a few reassuring words and felt him settle down. It was time for him and a few other elves to take border patrol, and he was extremely glad. The past few weeks or so had been disheartening with Glorfindel gazing at him guiltily and avoiding him. His family treated him so carefully as if he would break with one wrong word and it was driving him crazy. This patrol was a perfect opportunity to escape and hopefully forget about his pain. Maybe when he came back then he could put things in perspective and hopefully see things in a better light.

Elladan stood next to his mare and looked at him in concern. "Are you sure you should be doing this right now Estel?"

"Yes maybe you shouldn't go just yet." Elrohir asked on the other side of the stallion.

Smiling at them both, Estel shook his head a grasped the reins more tightly. "I am just fine and this trip will help me get things in perspective."

The twins both nodded at him but he could still see the doubt in their silver eyes. It was slightly irritating and yet endearing as well.

"My sons let your brother do what he wants in peace." Elrond walked over and place a hand on the twins' shoulders. Gazing up at Estel, he smiled. "Do what you have to my son and may you have a safe journey."

Estel smiled at his father and watched his family walk away. Sometimes there smothering could drive him crazy but he wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. The patrol captain signaled it was time to leave and he clucked to his horse. Turning his mare around, he followed the other elves but a flash of gold caught his attention. Standing a few feet away was Glorfindel and he was surprised to see him. The blond seneschal smiled at him in hesitation and he didn't return it. He watched as the smile slipped away and the blue eyes grew sad. Feeling his heart break at the miserable elf, Estel placed a hand over his heart and bowed to the golden elf. Glorfindel eyes widened in surprise and he smiled. Slapping the reins lightly, his horses picked up the pace and caught up with the patrol. He was glad that Glorfindel had shown up to see him off and at least he now knew that he hadn't permanently scared him away.

Glorfindel gazed after Estel and let out a deep sigh. It hadn't surprised him at first that Estel had not smiled back but the salute had. He had been avoiding the boy for weeks now and felt bad about it. It wasn't a good solution to the whole dilemma but it was the only thing he could think of at the time. At first he had thought that things would go back to normal but they hadn't since the confession. He had seen the way that Estel would gaze at him and it made him feel very awkward. It had taken a lot of thinking and Erestor berating him in order for him to even see the boy off. He had to admit that it was the right decision and that he needed to deeply apologize when Estel got back.

"I see that you have come to you senses my friend." Erestor stood next to him and smiled.

Glorfindel snorted and gazed at the advisor mock-friendly like. "Well I couldn't hide forever could I?"

The advisor let out a half snort. "That is true or else how could you call yourself the all mighty Balrog slayer?"

The blond let out a laugh but then grew serious. "I still need to apologize to Estel and explain my actions. It was wrong to treat him differently now that I know how he feels."

"Estel will forgive you Glorfindel." Erestor spoke warmly. "He has a kind heart and a forgiving soul."

Glorfindel smiled in response and watched as the riders faded from view. It would be only a week or two and then hopefully things would be resolved.

They had been roaming the land for days and had been following an Orc trail for the past few hours. Estel sat astride his horse and thought about Glorfindel. So far he hadn't been able to forget the blond elf and had a feeling he never would. It looked like he was doomed to be in love with someone who could never love him back.

"Are you alright Estel?"

Looking over to his left he smiled at the scout. "Yes I just have a lot on my mind is all Leilena."

The she-elf snorted and wagged a finger at him. "Well as long as you are ok, now pay more attention to your surroundings."

He nodded and shoved his thoughts away. For now he had to be on alert and would have more time to figure out his problems later.

A few hours later, the patrol sat in the trees and gazed at there enemies below. Estel held his arm steady and waited for one of the Orcs to come closer. Once he was in range he released the arrow and watched as it pierced its heart. Several arrows shot through the trees and horrid cries filled the air. A few more arrows were fired before the captain gave the order to attack. Leaping from the tree, he followed his comrades into battle. Sidestepping an axe, Estel slammed his pommel into the Orc's face and killed him. Many more Orcs fell under his blade and the elves before it was finally almost over. A glint to the side caught his eyes and not even thinking, he shoved the elf next to him out of the way. The arrow slammed into his shoulder and spinning around, he crashed to the ground. Pain filled his senses and it was awful. Biting back a curse he sat up and gazed at his wound. A black arrow was in his left shoulder and he felt it burn. Grasping the shaft firmly, he jerked it free and moaned soflty. Estel blinked a few times and looked at the arrow. It was poisoned from the looks of it and he wanted to curse his fate.

"Is it poisoned?"

The elf he saved looked down at him in concern and he noticed it was the captain.

"Yes and it looks like I need to return to Imladris." Estel sighed in exasperation.

He handed the arrow over to the elf and watched him examine it. The captain smiled ruefully and nodded.

"Tis best if you do since you are wounded and we do not have an antidote for that. After we clean up this mess, we will head back. Until then have someone tend to your wound and relax."

Estel watched the captain walk away and gazed at the arrow. He still hadn't figured out his problems and now would have to return earlier then intended. Things never seemed to go very well for him theses days and all because of an arrow this time.

Elladan leaned on the balcony and watched the trees sway nearby. He was a bit worried about his little brother being out in the wilds without him. All sorts of horrid scenarios were running through his head and it was driving him nuts.

Elrohir watched his twin shift positions for the third time and sighed. "Stop worrying so much Elladan."

"I cannot help it Elrohir, I mean something bad could happen without us being there." Elladan turned and faced his twin. "You know how much trouble he can get into on his own."

It was the truth and Elrohir could not deny that. Estel always seemed to get into worse trouble when alone but then again so did they. Walking over to his twin, he placed a compassionate hand on his shoulder.

"Our brother will be fine, now stop worrying."

Elladan slowly nodded and hoped his twin was right. Hopefully it was just his overprotective urges and nothing more. And yet he still couldn't shake the thought that something bad had happened.

"If it bothers you so much we could ride out and find them."

Elladan turned around a hugged his brother in thanks.

Elrohir sighed in exasperation and returned the hug. "Just remember if he is upset by this then it is your fault."

Letting out a laugh, Elladan stepped back and grinned mischievously at his twin.

"True but then again he is used to me being overprotective by now."

Shaking his head Elrohir followed his twin from the room. He was glad that they were going after there little brother since he was worried himself. Of course he would not admit that aloud but then again his twin already knew. Hopefully there worries about Estel were nothing but then again he did attract trouble like the plague.
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