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alexs_storybook ([personal profile] alexs_storybook) wrote2017-02-16 11:16 am

FIC The Good Wife (Tolkien)

Title: The Good Wife
Author: alexcat
Type: FCS
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I do not own nor do I profit from the use of these characters.
Warnings: None
Beta:
Pairing: Gil-galad/Oropher
Archive: OEAM, Ao3, Alex's Story Book
Author’s Note: For 2017 MSV. For Samtyr.
Spoilers: Not really
Summary: Oropher needed to learn what any good wife knows.

~~~


Gil-galad was doing something he rarely did. He was puttering about in the garden. Usually his days were filled with either mundane arguments between other elves in the kingdom or the earth shattering work of trying to control the insidious evil that was creeping into the world bit by bit.

He’d gotten up early this morning and headed out to the gardens before breakfast. The spring flowers were blooming – tulips, daffodils, hyacinths – the garden was filled with bright colors. Growing things made him happy and calmed him like nothing else. Normally he only got a chance to walk through them.

It was a while before he noticed the page standing at the end of one long walkway.

“Yes?” He said to the child, barely old enough to be considered an adult.

“Someone is here to see you, Sire.”

“Can’t it wait? I am the king, after all.”

“No, it can’t,” said the elf who stepped around the page. He was dressed all in green with a golden circlet around his head. His dark hair was braided in two braids in the front and the rest fell freely past his shoulders

“Oropher. I might have known.”

“Not much of a greeting,” Oropher sniffed.

“I was busy.”

“What? Playing in the weeds?”

Gil-galad made a rude sound and went back to his flowers, but Oropher wasn’t deterred. He followed the Noldor king, almost on his heels.

“Aren’t you going to ask me why I’m here?”

“I thought if I ignored you, you’d go away,” Gil-galad said without looking up from his work, which did look suspiciously like playing in the weeds.

“You know better than that.”

Gil-galad sighed. “I do. You are like gas, lingering around long after you should be gone.”

Oropher laughed. “Is that the best you can do? My wife is better than that at insulting me.”

“She has the dubious pleasure of seeing you every day, though.”

“Speaking of my wife, she decided that I am not sufficiently appreciative of her so she has gone on strike. Not only that, but our cook, Bellothia, has gone on strike in solidarity with my wife.”

Gil-galad laughed out loud. “And you think I want to be your wife while she’s on strike?”

“You must admit, I am fair to behold.”

Gil-galad snorted. “So am I, but I still don’t fancy being your wife.”

“Shall I help you?” Oropher rolled up his sleeves.

“Do you know what a weed looks like?”

“Like all the other plants, as best I can tell.”

“Then no, you shall not help me. Would you like to know why your wife is striking?”

“What do you mean?”

“Perhaps you could do for me the jobs your wife does and maybe you will learn something.”

Oropher waggled his eyebrows.

“Not that job! Not now anyway. Let’s go inside and you can talk to Elrond and Erestor. They can tell you what you must do.”

Oropher frowned. “One of them looks like a crow and the other is always angry. Don’t you have any pleasant folk about or are all the Noldor stuffy and boring?”

Gil-galad ignored that remark and led Oropher into his home. Elrond and Erestor appeared as if summoned.

“Oh, here they are, Sunshine and Lollipop, the king’s happy helpers,” Oropher said for Gil-galad’s ears only as they approached.

“Oropher’s wife has gone on strike and I think that if he better understands the things she does, then perhaps he will appreciate her more. I am hoping that the two of you can give him a lesson about what people who aren’t king do all day every day.”

Erestor’s smile would have frightened even the most stouthearted individual, but Oropher was not phased in the least.

“Let’s get started then, shall we?” Oropher smiled at the king’s councilors.

Erestor motioned for Oropher to follow him. Gil-galad shrugged and nodded to the other king. He watched Oropher disappear down the hall with Erestor and he went back to his garden, glad he had no wife. More specifically, glad he wasn’t married. He had met Oropher’s wife and she was as strong willed as Oropher.

Dinner was quiet, just Gil-galad, Oropher and the two councilors. They had roasted chicken with greens and wild rice. The food was wonderful. Gil-galad prided himself on his fine cook. He thanked her as she oversaw the serving of dinner. She gave him a saucy grin and returned to the kitchen. Gil-galad wondered what that was about, sure she’d tell him after dinner was done.

“So what did you do today, Oropher?”

“I went over household accounts and didn’t stop until every account was balanced to the last number.”

“Did it take long?” Gil-galad smiled as he asked. Erestor was forever complaining that Elrond, who kept the books, could not add or subtract.

“All afternoon! I wonder that you have enough funds to run this place with the awful book keeping.”

“Oh, Erestor always goes over Elrond’s figures and we do all right.”

Oropher made a rude noise.

“What else did you do?”

“I supervised four giggling girls while they did laundry. Do you wear ten outfits a day?”

“No, we only do laundry once every fortnight. It saves water and time to do a lot at once rather than a few things every day. The girls do have other things to do as well.”

“Yes, I know. They giggled and cleaned the place. I supervised that, too.”

“Everything does look nice.”

“It should!”

“Did you help Merien with the dinner menu?”

“Uh, I tried but she was rather adamant that you do not eat liver sausages.”

“She is right. I am not fond of liver of any kind and she only makes it for Erestor and Elrond when I am away.”

Oropher snorted again. “So this was a lesson for me?”

“Did you learn anything?”

“That I am glad I am not married to you.”

Gil-galad laughed out loud. “Do you think you are different? Does your wife do all the things you did today? Do you even know what she does?”

Oropher reddened. “I do not know all she does. Our home runs smoothly. I assumed it was because my people respect me and I am a good king.”

Erestor spoke up. “You do know that the reason you worked so long on the accounts is because you can’t add any better than Elrond can, do you not?”

Elrond whispered, “Jackass!” under his breath to Erestor.

“What will Oropher be doing tomorrow, Erestor?” Gil-galad asked his aide. Oropher groaned.

“It is time to choose fabric for new curtains in the great hall and to put in our order for this season’s wines. We have to decide which ones of the samples we like the best… You might have to help with that, too, milord.”

“I’ll look forward to it. I shall take a bag of apples to the human settlement tomorrow morning and give them out to the children. They do love me,” Gil-galad said with a wink at Oropher.

The next day was very busy for Oropher though not so much for the Noldor King. He visited the humans in the morning and came back with several cakes and boxes of homemade cookies that the women of the village sent with him. He showed up to test wines that afternoon.

“I’m rather stuffed from all the treats, but I will try to sip each sample as best I can,” he said as he sat at the head of the table, waiting to be served.

Oropher looked as if he might explode at any minute. Gil-galad was wise enough not to bait him needlessly.

Yet.

Dinner was subdued. Oropher was unusually quiet.

“So what is wrong, my friend? You aren’t talking.” Gil-galad could only stand the silence so long. He loved lots of talking and laughing at this dinner table and right now, it was so quiet, he could hear Elrond chewing.

“You are making fun of me, insulting me to my face.”

“No. You seemed mystified that your wife would go on strike. I simply wanted you to see what she does every day.”

“Do you truly believe that she does all these things?”

“Of course. Someone has to.”

“Lesson learned. I shall apologize and not take her for granted from now on. Can we go hunting? Or maybe visit Círdan and go fishing?”

Gil-galad smiled. “Círdan is expecting us in the morning. He says he knows a spot with so many fish that we will need five line each to keep up.”

Oropher was in a much better humor after their talk. He told tales of his youth and his time in Doriath, not mentioning any of the tragic things that happened there. The four elves played cards and Elrond won every hand. Perhaps he never mentioned that he wielded a little magic even then.

When the evening drew to a close, Gil-galad walked Oropher to his quarters.

“How did you get so wise?” Oropher asked him.

“Oh, I am not wise. Erestor and Elrond went on strike once. I had to do all the things they made you do. I was awful at most of them. Being king is easy compared to being responsible for everything every day.”

Gil-galad stepped close to the handsome king and kissed him gently on the lips. “Besides, if she won’t have you back, I had to see if you’d make a good wife for me.”

He pulled Oropher close and kissed him much more passionately, then stepped back, smiled rather roguishly and walked down the hall to his own apartments. Before he reached his door, he turned and called to Oropher. “And you do make a fine wife!”

*

“What on earth has changed you so, my darling?” Oropher’s wife asked as they lay side by side after he had made love to her. “You’re so different.”

“I spent a few days as someone else’s wife.”

She sat up. “Oh really? Did your husband teach you the things you did tonight, too?”

”Maybe, maybe not.” He pulled her close and for a fleeting second, thought of the Noldor king and his lessons…