This is a complete surprise to Thranduil

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By QueenCria

Faramir tried his damndest not to tremble as the elven king stared down at him; his face was arranged into a careful, mildly amused expression, but his eyes held no clue as to what he was thinking. Legolas' grip on his arm tightened the barest fraction, a sure sign that he was nervous.

Oh, joy. Faramir thought grimly, His own son is nervous in his presence. That' doesn't bode well for me.

"The son of Denethor." The elven king echoed. "Impressive, my dear son. Now, do you care to explain why this Man is standing in front of my throne?"

Legolas straightened, jerking Faramir to a standing positon as well. "He came upon me in a clearing and his men attacked us, we managed to defeat them, of course."

"Well done, my son." The elven king said sardonically. "It is a testament to the skill of your teachers that you defeated a small band of Men. However, that does not yet explain why the son of Denethor is in Mirkwood."

"I thought it best to bring him along." Legolas said weakly, clearly losing confidence beneath the cold scrutiny of his father. Faramir felt a small, unkind stab of pleasure at that. Served him right.

"Ah. I see." The elven king said, slowly standing. "While I appreciate your vigilance, Legolas, in the future I might caution you to be more careful in kidnapping the children of important heads of state. Understood?"

"Yes." Legolas muttered, cheeks burning and hanging his head. Feeling emboldened by the elf's rebuke, Faramir twisted his arm out of his grasp and turned to face the king.

"Forgive my son." The King said smoothly, "He is young and somewhat overeager. I am King Thranduil, lord and leige of Mirkwood. Despite the circumstances, I welcome you to my hall with sincere apologies."

"I thank you for your welcome." Faramir said automatically. Year upon endless year of lessons in courtesy and manners, as befitted the son of the Steward, had ingrained such habits in him. "But I have no doubt that my fa-, well, my men will be frantic with worry. I must return to them as soon as possible."

"That is no concern." Thranduil assured him, "We can send a message to them far quicker than you could ever travel, Lord Faramir. I insist that you stay the night, if nothing else. Allow my son to properly atone for his rash action. If you still desire to leave our halls in the morning, we can provide you with a mount and provisions necessery for the journey."

"Very well." Faramir agreed with a readiness that surprised him a little. He'd been kidnapped a few days before and now he was agreeing to break bread and sleep in the home of his kidnapper?

"Excellent." Thranduil said. "I'm afraid, though, we are slightly pressed for adequate sleeping arrangements at the moment. I'm afraid I cannot offer you a room of your own."

"It doesn't matter." Faramir said courteously. "I can sleep wherever there is room."

"Ah well," Thranduil said, hesitating. He exchanged a brief glance with Legolas; it was a look that Faramir had seen many times on his own father. It was the look that said a decision had been made and if he valued his life he would accept it with grace and poise...or at least tacit silence.

"I'm afraid the only room available is with...Legolas." Thranduil said finally. "That, or camp in the woods."


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