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Archiving this fic here, just in case LJ decides to do crazy things.

Author: sbyte
Beta: TPOD
Title: Lost at Sea 2/3
Characters: Erestor, Manwë, Lorien, Ulmo
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction based on Tolkien’s works. It is in NO WAY intended to be anything other than that.
Warning: This is utterly AU and silly. It is slash (m/m), but that kind of goes without saying.
Summary: Oversleeping can have consequences!

Shark!

The White Ship blinked out of sight. Now there was just blue sky, water and Arien shining down. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. There was no breeze either. The water was calm and still, as was the bathtub. Erestor closed his eyes and banged his head against the side.

“Why do these things always happen to me?”

“What other elf could possibly get into a predicament like this?”

“Why did I have to come here to begin with?”

“Why did the Valar call the Firstborn home before giving us the chance to enjoy the hard won peace?”

“I travel to a place of legends, and wind up stranded in a bathtub in the middle of the ocean. Who ever heard of such a thing?”

The whys and what ifs continued till Erestor became bored with the sound of his own voice. Sighing he leaned his head back and closed his eyes. Then the tub moved. Erestor’s eyes flew open. There was indeed a small ripple in the water, but still no breeze that Erestor could divine. It had just been his imagination. The ripple was caused by his movement; nothing more.

When Cirdan jokingly asked if he was a strong swimmer, Erestor had not been kidding when he said no. Other than wading in the Bruinen, the last time he was in a body of water larger than a public bath was when he was a young elfling. Other than the White Ship, he had never been in a boat.

At a loss as to how to proceed, and seeing as how there was no one around to see how silly it looked, Erestor tried to paddle the bathtub with his hands. The tub was circular though, and not well suited to sea travel. His efforts only succeeded in sending the tub in a circle. Frustrated, he angrily splashed the water. Then the tub moved again! The water seemed to surge up slightly. Erestor peered over the side and almost wet himself when a huge eye peered back. He gasped and skittered around to the other side of the little tub. The water moved again so he slowly peeked overboard. The eye was gone.

Erestor let his head drop back and looked at the sky. “I am imagining things. I have to be, because that was not real.” He then closed his eyes and tried to still his racing thoughts and rising panic.

SPLASH!

Erestor almost jumped out of the tub in his fright.

A huge tail hit the water, creating small waves.

Under other circumstances, Erestor might have rejoiced at the prospect of riding the waves back to shore. As it was, fear of entering the Halls of Waiting after being squashed by an enormous tail, overrode any and all positive thoughts.

***

Lorien cocked his head. “Well that is something you don’t see every day. Ulmo, there is an elf in a little round tub floating around in the gulf.”

The vala chuckled. “Ah yes, that is the elf called Erestor. While you were engrossed in creating and blessing dreams last night, he was trying to ignore the sounds of Glorfindel and Elrond having sex. He finally took a sleeping draught and fell asleep on the White Ship, not knowing it would sail today. Manwë won’t let him make the jump back to Middle Earth, and halted the ship’s progress to prevent it. Cirdan set him adrift in one of the ship’s bathtubs so they could continue on their way. The sons of Elrond and Thranduil will sail soon. He needs to be there when they arrive at the Grey Havens, and Erestor definitely does not need to be with him.”

“Did Manwë happen to mention how Erestor is supposed to get back to shore? Right now, it looks like a fish wants to play ball with the pint sized boat.”

Ulmo waved his hand dismissively. “Pay no mind to the denizens of the sea. They won’t harm him. You know that.”

Lorien raised an eyebrow and looked at the bathtub skeptically. “No, I am not as certain about that as you are. He isn’t either. Why hasn’t one of us guided that poor elf back to land?”

Ulmo shook his head and grinned. “He thinks life here is going to be deathly dull, and only came under great protest. If he weren’t so attached to Glorfindel, he wouldn’t have come at all. Manwë thinks he needs an adventure to start his new life off right.”

“You’ve got to be kidding. This is Manwë’s doing?”

“Not entirely, but he was quick to take advantage of it.” Ulmo rolled his eyes. “Our esteemed leader wants this young elf’s introduction to Valinor to be unforgettable. You know how he has always taken an interest in Glorfindel. I fear that some of that interest has transferred itself to his adopted ion.”

“Wait, this isn’t the elf that got into a mess with Legolas and Elrond’s twins, Elladan and Elrohir, is it?”

Ulmo nodded. “Aye it is. This is certainly a change from the gloom and doom of his life in Imladris.”

“You are going to get him back to shore eventually, aren’t you?”

“I would if Manwë hadn’t come up with a plan.” If a vala could shudder, Ulmo would have done it.

Lorien winced. “Oh, that poor elf. What is he going to do with him?”

“I’m not sure. All he told me is that I’m not to rescue him. He has something else in mind.”

Lorien rolled his eyes. “I’m sure he would feel so much better knowing that Manwë is looking out for him.”

Ulmo sighed and shook his head. “He doesn’t know our esteemed leader. He probably would take it as a good sign. Now I should see to the denizens of the sea before they accidentally harm the elf.”

Lorien raised an eyebrow and suggested, “Maybe one of them could give the tub a push to get it started on its way.”

Ulmo chuckled. “I think that one of them is trying that very thing. Ah well, I will plant the idea. Manwë shouldn’t get too irritated as long as the sea creatures retain free will.”

Lorien smirked. “Good luck with that.”

Ulmo shrugged and travelled to the depths, leaving Lorien to wonder at Manwë’s intentions.

***

The huge sea creature that owned the enormous tail that scared Erestor out of a century’s growth suddenly stopped its splashing. Once more, all was calm. Erestor was not calm for long, though. First he saw one fin rise above the water. While it was circling the tub, another fin rose out of the water and began circling. Five more fins appeared. Seven fish of some sort were swimming in circles around the little bathtub. Judging from the size of the fins, they were all as big as the tub. The only fish that Erestor was very familiar with were those making an appearance at the dinner table. Even so, it took only a few short moments to realize that he had read about these. There had been a sketch, and the fins were distinctive and unmistakable. They were sharks! He was stranded at sea in a bathtub that was surrounded by sharks! Overwhelmed, frightened and in shock, he fainted.

Erestor lay, passed out, in the little bathtub for several minutes. Elrond would have been concerned at the length of time, but thankfully there was no need. The loss of consciousness was Lorien’s way of calming his frayed nerves. He was exasperated with Ulmo’s interpretation of his suggestion that he ask a sea creature to give the little tub a push. In theory, it was a good idea. Asking sharks to do the job was not.

Erestor woke with a start. The tub was being batted around like a ball!

“What the… Oh Mordor!”

The sharks had formed a semi-circle around the tub, and were bumping it with their heads! It was moving, which was good. However, Erestor was convinced that it would not take long before they knocked it over. That was not good. Even if they didn’t make a meal of him, he couldn’t swim very well. He would drown long before anyone found him.

Though none were there to see it, Manwë grinned. He knew that Ulmo would find a way to aid the elf. He just hadn’t known quite what he would do. As long as Erestor didn’t fall out of the tub, Ulmo’s plan would work to get the elf near to shore. Then fate would take its course. It was high time for an old Noldo to remember how to help his fellow elves, rather than just scare them. Even if it took a vala to do it, his reputation was going to change!

Finally, Erestor dejectedly accepted that sharks controlled his destiny. By nightfall, hunger and thirst had set in. He knew not to drink of the salt water, but he was so thirsty. Not wanting to become ill and make things worse, assuming that things could get worse, he decided not to tempt fate.

The sharks continued to bump the tub throughout the night. Sometimes, one or two would leave for a short while, but they always returned. Early on the second day, Erestor began naming them. The largest and scariest of them, he named Melkor the Menace. Then there was the smaller Sauron of the Sea, so named because of the way that particular shark hung close to Melkor the Menace. Shark o’Rohir seemed to be the least trustworthy of the bunch. He was sure that it wanted, more than any of the others, to make a meal of him. He hated it with a passion, and as with the elf, was pretty sure that the sentiment was returned in full measure. Legofin the Swimming Sindar was so named for the odd resemblance that a patch on its fin had to Legolas in profile. Findoshark the Magnificent was the most playful of the bunch, if an elf can call a shark playful. Ellad’ofin seemed to be the most graceful of the sharks. Lastly, there was Gandolfin; a gnarly old thing that looked as if it had been swimming those waters since the beginning of time.

After daydreaming for a couple of hours, Erestor began talking to Galdolfin and Ellado’fin about his situation, thinking them to be the most intelligent of the lot. Of course, they didn’t have any suggestions. He cursed Shark o’Rohir, saying things that he was unable to say to Elrohir due to his position as Elrond’s son. If only that night had never happened, but it did and there was no going back. Their relationship had died a sudden and ugly death. Legofin seemed interested in the things he was saying, but then he couldn’t read the elf so why would it be any different with a shark? With nobody around to see him do it, he would have cried if his body had enough fluids to do so. It didn’t, so he didn’t.

Mid-afternoon brought a sudden and unexpected rain shower. It cooled Erestor’s heated skin, but brought about a panic when water began collecting in the bottom of the tub. The shower didn’t last long enough to be a real cause for alarm, but it reminded him of just how helpless he was. It also served to show just how much his mental faculties had suffered. He scooped the water out of the tub as fast as he was able, not realizing till too late that he could and should have drank at least some of it.

Unbeknownst to Erestor, once in a while Manwë checked on him to ensure all was going as it aught. The Lord of the Valar couldn’t suppress a grin. The elf would have a riveting adventure story when he returned. It wouldn’t be as thrilling as his ada’s, but Glorfindel was a special elf and hero. It shouldn’t be. But the real purpose for Erestor’s trip in a bathtub had nothing to do with creating adventure tales. Very seldom on Aman did an elf require rescue to avoid certain death. It was an opportunity that he wasn’t about to squander.

Erestor slept fitfully on the second night. Part of it was spent curled in a tight ball, dozing. Another portion of the night was spent squirming around, and trying rather unsuccessfully to alleviate muscle cramps. Through it all, the sharks continued knocking around the bathtub.

The next day began with fierce hunger pangs. Erestor knew that his ada would have figured out a way to obtain food by this time. He laughed as he pictured Glorfindel pulling Melkor out of the water with his bare hands. It would certainly surprise the fish, but he had no doubt that Glorfindel could do it. He would probably eat the fish, scales and all, and never bat an eye. About two hours later, he spied land. In his relief, he jumped up and shouted only to be brought firmly back to reality by Findoshark the Magnificent. When Erestor jumped up, so did Findoshark. The result was a soaked elf that immediately sat back down. He didn’t mind that he looked and felt like a drowned rat. He would survive. With that thought in mind, he leaned his head against the side of the tub and smiled.

To make sure things worked as planned, Manwë sent a gentle breeze to lull Erestor into a peaceful sleep. Now all he could do is wait. Erestor was not awake to witness the departure of the sharks, nor did he take note of where the tide was taking him. Likewise, Ulmo and Lorien lost interest once the elf was within sight of land. Pleased, Manwe smiled.
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June 2013

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