Once in a Lifetime by Silvertoekee

Estel gripped the reins tightly as agony flared in his shoulder and he could feel the poison spreading. Leilena had helped clean the wound and packed it with healing herbs. It helped with infection but could not help the poison. He could feel a fever taking over and everything was getting dizzy. It was only several more hours until they arrived in Imraldis and he hoped that he could hold on until then.

"How are you feeling Estel?"

Hoping the pain didn't show on his face he turned and smiled in reassurance.

"I am just fine Leilena."

The she-elf looked at him in annoyance. "By fine do you mean in pain young one?"

Estel looked guilty at the ground and heard her musical laughter. Glancing up again, he smiled and shrugged.

Leilena rolled her eyes. "You truly do remind me of your brothers when you say fine young one. I remember them saying that after every injury or accident the have had these past few centuries."

"Must run in the family." Estel grinned mockingly.

The she-elf glared at him and snorted. "Right. Now let me look at the wound."

Slowing his horse to a stop, he patiently waited while she undid the bandages. Gazing down at the wound he grimaced at the spreading blackness and the angry look. He watched as Leilena packed more herbs on the wound and put a new bandage on it. Patting his arm gently Leilena smiled at him in reassurance but he could see the worry in her eyes.

"It is getting worse I take it." Estel asked quietly.

Leilena was about to reply but stopped when one of the scout appeared. The other elves had stopped a ways ahead and were looking back at them.

"The captain wants to know is anything wrong?"

Shaking his head, Estel smiled at the worried elf. "No just having my wound changed. Tell the captain everything is okay and we will catch up. "

The elf nodded in reply and smiled back. Turning his horse around, he raced back to the patrol. Estel watched him go and turned back to his companion. He could still see the worry in her eyes but there wasn't much she could do. And he was glad that he hadn't told her about the agony that was slowly spreading through his body or else she would have felt extremely guilty. They didn't have an antidote and only his father could help him now. Smiling in reassurance at Leilena, he turned his horse and followed the scout. He could hear the she-elf following and almost laughed at her muttering.

"Stubborn human."

Elrond's head snapped up and he gazed towards the balcony. Something was wrong and he couldn't tell what. He had been mulling over his paperwork for hours when a horrible forbidding had hit him. Somehow he knew it had to deal with his youngest but what?

"My friend what is wrong?"

Erestor gazed at him worriedly and he shrugged.

"I do not know my friend but hopefully we will soon find out."

He watched in confusion as Elrond stood up and left the room. Sometimes he just didn't understand his friend and probably never would. Setting aside his paperwork, he stood up and followed the half-elf out of the room.

Glorfindel leaned against Asfaloth and yawned tiredly. He had come to the stables in order to clear his head and spend time with his horse. The past few weeks hadn't been easy and he worried about Estel. He truly wished that he had talked to the boy and apologized to him before the patrol. Maybe then everything would have been resolved and not causing him sleepiness nights. He snapped into full wakefulness when he heard footsteps followed by an argument outside the stable doors.

"Shouldn't we tell father that we are going brother?"

"The note should be good enough Elrohir."

Snorting at that comment, Glorfindel calmly opened the stable doors and gazed into twin sets of guilty grey eyes.

"I think you should tell your ada young ones and you two know that a note is not good enough."

Elladan was about to reply when they heard footsteps approach. All three elves turned and watched as Elrond and Erestor walked towards them.

"Tell me what my friend?" Elrond asked.

Glorfindel smiled at the questioning looks and then gazed at the twins. "I was about to find that out myself before you two arrived."

Elrond turned and gazed at his sons in question. Elrohir wouldn't meet his gaze but Elladan did.

Elladan took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. He could feel his twin's silent support and it boosted his courage a bit. "I was worried about Estel and wanted to find out if he was okay."

A feeling of dread swept through Elrond and somehow he definitely knew something was wrong. The twins rarely went after there brother on patrols and only if they felt he was in danger. Hopefully it was nothing serious but somehow he doubted it.

Glorfindel watched Elrond closely and could see he was worried as well. Something must be wrong with Estel in order for it to worry all three of them. He was beginning to feel worried as well and almost laughed. It was almost funny how one mortal could worry them when they didn't know if anything truly had happened. He was about to make that comment when he heard a horse in the distance.

A rider raced into view and slowed his horse to a stop. Jumping down from the saddle, he bowed to Elrond.

"The patrol has returned and Estel had been injured."

The dizziness was getting worse and he nearly fell out of the saddle. Feeling his horse shift a bit he patted him in thanks. Estel could feel a fever coming on and knew it was because of the poison. Sweat was breaking out on his for-head and he almost moaned in agony. He could feel Leilena watching him in concern but didn't glance her way. Seeing the gates of Imladris appear before them he sighed in relief. It was only a few more minutes until he arrived home and then he could collapse into his father's arms. Seeing the worried looks the gate guards were shooting him, he smiled at them and saw there worry increase. Almost rolling his eyes in irritation, he watched as the captain sent one of the scout's ahead. He just knew that it was to inform his father of his injuries and for once he didn't care. Hopefully his father could cure whatever ailed him and then he could sleep. The horses continued riding though the gates and he closed his eyes. It took everything he had to just stay in the saddle and he gripped the reins tightly. He almost didn't hear his name being called or that they had stopped until he opened his eyes. Everything appeared hazy and glancing down he noticed his father approaching his mount. Blinking in confusion, he smiled at his father and fainted.

"Estel!" Elrond shouted in alarm.

Glorfindel caught the boy and held him in his arms. He could feel unnatural heat and a shiver from the boy. Glorfindel had watched as the patrol had entered the gates and had seen Estel. The boy had been extremely pale and had his eyes closed. There was a bandage wound around his left shoulder and he could see blood staining it. Something hadn't felt right and he walked over to the boy. Luckily he had or else Estel would have hit the ground hard. Gazing down into the pale face, he felt something awaken inside of him and was startled.


Hearing his name, he snapped out of his daze and looked at Elrond. The elf lord was gazing at him worriedly and he smiled in reassurance.

"He just fainted Elrond but he is a bit feverish."

Elrond nodded in reply and stepping forward took his son. He could see something flash in the blonde's eyes and wondered about it. Turning around, he called to his sons and they hurried off to the healing wing.

The blond seneschal watched them go and felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning around he gazed at Erestor in question and saw him smile in triumph.

"It's about time my friend."

He watched as Erestor walked away and gazed after him in bewilderment. Sometimes he just didn't understand his friend and this was one of those times. Shrugging his shoulders, he followed his friend and headed to the healing wing.
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