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[personal profile] seikilos
Title: Nighttime Haven
Fandom: [community profile] castle_perrault, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Undertale, Tales of Legendia
Genre: Gen
Rating & Warnings: G
Words: 1078
Disclaimer: I don't own the above fandoms.
Summary: Tauriel has carefully prepared her family's bedroom for a good night's sleep, but where are they?
Author's Notes: I got an adorable mental image in my head and just had to share it with everyone. Enjoy the cotton candy. ♥

In a castle that floats in the sky above an unknown land, there is a bedroom that has been readied with the greatest care.

There is a fire in the hearth, once steadily burning, that has been allowed to fall to embers. Over it had been heated three smoothed stones, checked with a wrist so they will not burn. The stones now lie in the large bed in three places, warming blankets to stave off cold feet in the night.

There are three glasses of cool water freshly drawn from the well that stand upon the two bedside tables. The pillows have been brought to softness and the covers turned down, ready for three sleepy ones to slip beneath.

Yet they do not come.

Tauriel sighs, but she is smiling. So it has happened again.

She leaves this haven and walks with long strides to the library. There, among a pile of cushions upon the floor, are four people, all fast asleep.

Grune is at the centre. Her head is bowed over a book of stories, open almost to the last page. In her lap, tucked like a young dog, is Estu. Esfor leans against Grune, his head upon her shoulder. Surely this must be painful for his body, for he is taller than she, but in his sleep, he smiles.

She almost does not see Sans. He is behind Grune, half lying against her back. In his sleep, he looks as happy as the others.

She takes a moment to look on her family, savouring the love that rises from her heart and warms her better than any fire. Then, though she is loath to disturb them, she slips into the room.

Grune wakens as Tauriel draws Estu from her arms. When she seems ready to rise and lend aid, Tauriel shakes her head. Grune settles back with a sigh.

Though Estu gives no sign he has left sleep behind, he shifts in her arms so that his head rests upon her chest while she walks. As she lays him in bed and draws the stone from its place at his feet, small fingers catch at her clothing.

"I will be back soon with your brothers, hênig," she tells him, smiling.

His hand relaxes and he gives a soft sigh; she leans in to kiss his brow before returning to the library.

Next is Esfor. He is heavier than his brother, though he weighs little to her. Instead, it is moving through doorways without causing harm to his skull or his feet that is the challenge.

It is as she edges through the door from the library that a sleepy voice asks, "Mom?"

"Hush, ionenin," she murmurs as her heart thrills. "Go back to sleep."

He yawns and tucks his head into her neck. "All right." His body relaxes into hers with perfect trust.

When she lays him in the bed in turn, even in their sleep, he and Estu find each other. They embrace and they smile, and once more Tauriel takes a moment to kiss a brow and watch with quiet joy.

She cannot stay just yet, though, for there is one last member of her family not yet abed.

When she returns to the library, she finds Grune and Sans still to back. Grune has fallen asleep once again, and Sans has yet to waken, she thinks.

With care, she steps around Grune, kneels, and takes up Sans. He is loose of joints in her arms, and he seems to have found the peace that escapes him in daylight. She has learned he suffers from dreadful nightmares, but those dreams seem far from him now.

"You love him very much, don't you?"

She looks down to see Grune awake and smiling up at her. Though she blushes, she answers, "I do. I have come to care deeply about him—even if he can be a dôl asg."

Grune laughs softly as she stands; Tauriel blinks. Surely she has not told Grune what those words mean. Sans must have instead.

"Would you like me to walk you to your room?" Tauriel offers. More than a few times, she has found Grune asleep in an odd corner of the castle. With Grune so tired already, she cannot think she will make it to her room tonight.

Grune yawns, then says, "Oh, thank you, but it's all right. You should go tuck in your family."

Her blush warms her cheeks anew, yet still only lightly. "I will. Sleep well."

"You too—oh!"

Grune laughs softly; she must have remembered that Tauriel does not sleep as mortals do. Tauriel smiles.

She is not far along the hall when a sleep-filled voice speaks.

"I could seriously get used to this."

"Gwador úgar," she chides him fondly. She no longer has need to tell him of the words' meaning, for she has called him an "idle brother" often of late. "You are setting a poor example for your brothers."

"That's what you're for," he says. He has yet to open his eye-sockets, but his smile grows wider.

She could jostle the foolishness from him, but for Sans, true rest is so rare. She will not rob him of it, however slightly.

Instead, she cradles him a little closer and keeps walking.

"Hey," Sans says as they draw close to the room. He sounds still more sleepy than before. "You're really something special, you know that?"

"As are you," she says, her love plain.

He mumbles a laugh and settles into her still more fully. "You're saying that so much, I'm actually starting to believe it."

Though his poor regard for himself still makes her heart ache, she cannot help her smile. Little by little, she, and those others who love him, are helping him to learn his worth.

She had thought the children long asleep, yet, when she slips Sans beneath the blankets, Esfor reaches to draw him to his other side. There they come to rest: Sans on the west, Estu on the east, and Esfor in the middle.

She kisses Sans' forehead; his smile becomes truer. Then she cannot resist kissing Estu and Esfor one last time, for she loves them so.

At last, she takes her place in the chair by the fire's embers. She picks up her carving knife and the first of many arrow shafts that need to be made straight. All through the night she works, as her family sleep in safety close by.

hênig = my child (uses the -ig diminutive suffix, which is reserved for family members or close friends)
ionenin = my son (ion = son + enin = possessive suffix for people)
dôl asg = bonehead
gwador úgar = idle (sworn) brother
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