BARD/THRANDUIL, THRANDUIL ACCIDENTALLY PICKS THE WRONG KID UP FROM SCHOOL LEAVING A FUMING BARD WITH A CONFUSED LEGOLAS *U*
THIS IS SO LONG HOW DID THIS HAPPEN I AM SORRY AND ASHAMED
Bard throws a weary eye at the rearview mirror as he speeds down the road at a shocking 5 km over the limit. Sigrid is waving her new pompoms out the window, laughing as the harsh wind tugs at the colourful strings. It’s all she’s been talking about for weeks; cheers, cheer practice, cheer outfits, cheer this and cheer that, and if she hadn’t finally gotten on the team Bard would have probably had to go look for her in the woods. Luckily, she aced her tryout, and it has been a long time since his daughter’s smile had been as blinding as when she told Bard the news.
On the other side of the backseat, Tilda is strapped into her booster seat - strapped being the operative word. She is bouncing like a ball, pushing against her seatbelt and singing along to the Frozen cd they keep in the car at all times. Even in the mirror’s reflexion you can clearly see the space where one of her front teeth used to be as she belts out one of Elsa’s solos. Bard smiles to himself slightly. Not that the memory of Tilda’s first tooth falling out is a particularly pleasant one to begin with, what with her running around the house, blood dripping down her chin and equally bloody tooth raised above her head victoriously and splattering the white walls. But still, the delighted squeal she had let out when she found the penny the tooth fairy left for her made up for the Saturday Bard had to spend repainting the wall.
Then, in the middle, is Legolas. Legolas is Bain’s classmate, a tall kid with fair hair and very expensive clothes, from what Bard can spy under his unzipped jacket, and he looks quite terrified to be stuck between his two daughters in the crammed car.
‘Which street did you say?’ Bard asks, raising an eyebrow at the boy.
'Greenwood road, sir,’ Legolas answers quietly, squirming away from Sigrid’s pompoms.
Bard nods, and tries to suppress a sigh as he turns onto the right street. He didn’t think that people actually lived in houses like these: towering mansions with gates and hedges and probably a moat or two. And yet here he is, stopping at the top of a cul-de-sac, in front of the obnoxiously big house the boy in the backseat points out.
As soon as the car has come to a halt, Legolas scrambles past Tilda and out of the car. Bard sighs again, out loud this time, and turns back to the girls.
'Stay in the car, I won’t be a minute.’
'Ok da,’ Tilda grins, and Bard gives her a quick smile before stepping out of the car as well.
'Bye Legolas!’ the girls call out, voices muffled by the car widow, and Sigrid waves her pompoms after him in farewell. Legolas offers a tentative wave back, and then shoves his hands in his pockets and lets Bard lead the way to the front door.
The doorbell rings out something Bard could swear is an entire symphony, and he rolls his eyes as the two of them stand in awkward silence. Finally, the jingle ends, and then the door flies open to reveal-
Bard blinks. In the doorway is a man, or well, man is perhaps not the right term. God seems more appropriate, Bard thinks faintly. Adonis? Supermodel?? This - whatever he is - is clearly Legolas’ father, though. They have the same blonde hair, though while the boy’s barley brushes his shoulders, his father’s falls almost to his waist. They have the same blue eyes too Bard notes as the man’s lock with Bard’s.
'I, er, I think I have something of yours,’ Bard says, clapping a hand on Legolas’ shoulder. There is a heartbeat’s pause, and then the tall man heaves out a deep sigh of relief.
'Yes, I think I have something for you as well,’ he says, almost laughs. As if planned, a head of curls suddenly appears next to Legolas’ father, and Bain looks up with wide eyes at Bard.
'Da,’ he breathes, and lunges forward to latch onto Bard’s middle.
'Hey son,’ Bard smiles, stroking his son’s hair as worry he hadn’t been aware he was harbouring drains from him. 'You alright?’
Bain only murmurs something against his stomach, but Bard decides to take that as a yes for now.
Realizing that he is still standing on a stranger’s doorstep, Bard quickly untangles Bain from him, and straightens up properly. The boys give each other a small nod.
'Hi Bain,’ Legolas says, hands still in his pockets.
'Hey Leggy,’ Bain smiles, pushing some curls out of his eyes. 'Alright?’
Then Legolas steps inside and disappears behind his father, and Bard is left staring at him instead. His suit is neatly pressed, dark and spotless, but he is barefoot, which strikes Bard as odd somehow. Nice.
'I’m Bard,’ he says, because he isn’t sure what else to do. The man looks a little taken off guard, but he reaches out a hand for Bard to shake nonetheless.
'Nice to meet you, though maybe not the nicest circumstances.’
'Oh god,’ the man, Thranduil, sighs, running long fingers through his hair. 'I am terribly sorry about all of this. It’s-’
'Daa,’ Bain suddenly interrupts, sounding all too much like the teenager he is all too close to becoming. 'Can we go home now?’
Bard can feel himself blushing at his son’s less than polite behaviour, and he tries not to notice as Thranduil eyes them both with barely concealed interest.
'Of course, just, just go wait in the car with your sisters for a bit.’
'Fine,’ Bain sighs, and takes the steps down from the house two at a time in his haste to get away. When Bard turns back, Thranduil is leaning against the doorframe, watching Bard somberly.
'I really am very sorry,’ he says quietly. 'I can’t get away from work on Wednesdays, and I should perhaps have realized that the description “red jacket” was a bit to general for the chauffeur.’
If Thranduil notices Bard blanch at the word “chauffeur”, he does not let on.
'I haven’t quite managed to get our whole machine to run smoothly again, not since Legolas’ mother died.’
The words land between them like a rock, and Bard thinks he can physically feel himself shake as it does. It’s like he’s seeing the man in a new light, even though they only just met a couple of minutes ago, and he isn’t sure if he likes it or is horrified by it.
'Oh,’ he says simply, if only because he can’t really think of anything else to say. 'You’re a…’ The word dies on his lips, but it doesn’t need to be said, not really. He can see in Thranduil’s eyes that he knows.
'Yes. Yes I am.'
Thranduil’s head snaps up like a rubber chord. He stares at Bard, surprise, or perhaps shock, shining in his eyes.
'You…’ he breathes, pushing himself away from the wall to stand in front of Bard properly. Bard nods.
'Since three years back.’ He hesitates, considers briefly the fact that he has only just met this man, and under less than ideal circumstances no doubt. But still he reaches out and places a hand on Thranduil’s arm, squeezing it slightly.
'It gets better,’ he says. 'Not completely, and not in a good long while, but it gets better.’ Thranduil gazes down at him silently, unreadable, but he does not flinch away or, you know, tell him to fuck off, which is perhaps the best he could have hoped for. Instead he nods, drops his gaze to the ground between them, and Bard takes the hint. He steps back, and just as he is starting to wonder what to say next the loud sound of a car horn echoes between the houses. He spins around and squints down toward his car. Tilda is in the front seat, slamming one of the bloody pompoms against the horn, while Bain and Sigrid look to be in the middle of a fight in the back.
He groans loudly, shooting Thranduil an apologetic look. The other man only chuckles however.
'You should go,’ he smiles, shooting a knowing look down toward the street. 'Duty calls.'
'Right,’ Bard nods. 'Well, it was nice meeting you.’
'Likewise,’ Thranduil nods, and Bard turns to walk toward the car. He has not made it down the stairs, however, before Thranduil calls out after him.
'Perhaps,’ he says loudly, causing Bard to jump and nearly topple down the last steps before he can turn back to look up at the house. 'Perhaps we could go for coffee sometime?’
Bard blinks slowly, willing his brain to process this new information faster as he stares up at the tall figure. Thranduil, who apparently takes Bard’s silence as hesitation, turns a bit red. A very nice colour on him, Bard thinks daftly.
'Only, it would be nice to talk to someone. Someone who understands. And who isn’t constantly trying to fit more casseroles into my freezer.'
Slowly, slowly, Bard’s brain starts to catch up, and offers up a smile.
'That would be good,’ he says, hoping he sounds less boggled than he feels. 'Coffee would be good, yes. If you have the time, that is.’ He makes a vague gesture toward Thranduil’s suit, something that in Bard’s mind equals a busy schedule. But Thranduil only smiles at him, a different smile, less polite and more… Interesting.
'I’ll make time.'