Summary: Elrond, new to being a captain of warriors, finds his soldiers extremely unruly. He seeks Gil-galad's advice.
Notes: Weird fic - am unsure if the logic is sound? Recently read a few articles on gender as a social construction and the changes in the definition of masculinity over time. Anyway, it messed with my head and this fic popped out.
When King Gil-galad appointed young Elrond to the post of captain: a task that required he coordinate and instruct a group of soldiers both for and in battle, Elrond quickly found himself in a dilemma.
"Gil-galad," the half-elf confessed to the King over breakfast one day, "I cannot control them. They have no respect for me. They are so aggressive. I feel that they resent every single command that I give to them. I almost feel that if I turn my back on them for a moment, they might stab me there."
The King simply smiled, distractedly raising a hand to tuck a jewel studded lock of his hair carefully back behind his ear. "Elrond," he said, "you suffer from the unfortunate condition suffered by most new captains. You enter the military and are immediately squeezed, by fortune of your seniors having already seized the right to command the more obedient students, into the position of having to teach the worst kinds of students and in the worst conditions."
"So what do you suggest? That I refuse to remain a member of your military force and instead devote myself entirely to the professions of healing and loremastering as I would have wished had you not asked this of me?"
"No. But I will offer you some advice. As you should know, Elrond, elves are very much a social creature and they conduct their social lives by creating a hierarchy. The dominant elves sit at the top and the less dominant further down." Gil-galad's smile faded slightly and he looked back down at his meal, one hand that was drenched in the finest gems to be found on Middle-earth idly caressed a golden spoon.
"So you mean to say that I need to be more dominant? More aggressive? More... rude, like them?"
"Precisely." Gil-galad smiled at the spoon. "But not 'like' them. You need to be even more aggressive than them. More stoical and less emotional. More intellectual. More brave. More masculine."
Elrond sighed and the rest of the meal continued in silence.
Later that day, Elrond interrupted Gil-galad in the middle of afternoon tea. He invited Elrond to sit and eat a little with him. Elrond shook his head and declined the offer, instead moving to stand beside Gil-galad's chair, a confused, but delighted smile on his face.
"I just came to tell you that you were absolutely right!" he said. "By the time noon arrived, they were as eager to follow me as... well, I would not say sheep, but they were considerably more docile."
Gil-galad said nothing, instead indicating for a servant to pour him another cup of tea with an elegant flick of a hand. Elrond watched him; a slight knit appeared on his brow.
"Elrond," Gil-galad said suddenly, "in general, once elves are demoted down the hierarchy and subordinated to others, they become less aggressive, regardless of their former masculine prowess." He reached down to fussily adjust a fold in his robe. The knit in Elrond's brow deepened.
There was a long pause.
"Yes," Elrond said finally, slowly, "but Gil-galad, you are the least masculine person of my acquaintance. Why is it then that you are the most powerful elf on Middle-earth?"
"Not masculine? Indeed?" Gil-galad looked up, his face perfectly blank. Then he suddenly snorted, smiled, and reached up to seize Elrond by the front of the half-elf's shirt and yank him down to kiss him firmly on the lips. His other hand twisted around the back of Elrond's head, tangling in the tresses to force Elrond into a passionate kiss. Elrond almost collapsed into his lap and when Gil-galad finally pushed Elrond back, the half-elf fell to his knees on the floor before him, breathing hard, his body trembling, his hands on Gil-galad's knees.
"Indeed," Gil-galad said, dry amusement colouring his voice. "Not aggressive at all." And with that, he reached out for his refilled cup of tea and resumed drinking.
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