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Thranduil shut the trunk of his car, pleased that he was done with his Christmas shopping and all the gifts were done! He fiddled with his keys, musing about what needed to still be done. Stocking stuffers and then all the goodies for breakfast and dinner feasting and then there was the gift for his neighbor…


A snowball smacked him upside his head. Thranduil blinked in shock, turning to see who threw it at him and THAWP! This time the snowball caught him just above his ear.

Peals of laughter floated behind him and he rounded to find a group of teens pointing at him, their grins wide and happy.

Why those little punks! Thranduil stepped towards them, ready to give them a dressing down for being immature and bad behavior to throw snowballs at strangers, when he caught motion from the corner of his eye and instinctively ducked down.


The snowball exploded on the rear window above him. From two rows away he heard “Shoot!”, in an distinctive Welsh accent, one he knew well. Thranduil quickly scuttled around the side of his car, keeping crouched down as he frantically scooped snow, forming it into balls.

“Ooooh, game on Bowman!” Thranduil muttered. Bard Bowman, his next door neighbor, the very person he had been thinking about before being pelted with snow. Now all thoughts of gifts and what they could mean were replaced with one thought…Bard Bowman with a face full of snow!

“Nice try Bowman!” Thranduil shouted out, ignoring the grinning teens, who seemed interested in what was going on. “You got lucky as I was distracted, you are toast! I am going to DESTROY you!”

“Whatever Oropherson!” Bard called out. “The only thing you can destroy is a fence!”

Thranduil groaned, a flush of embarrassment at the reference. Was it really his fault that the fence between their properties collapsed as they chatted (or flirted?!?)? Sure he had been the one leaning over the top of it when it gave a groan and fell in. But come on! They both had been doing that from the moment the Bowman’s had moved in. Plus he had already repaired the fence, putting a gate in instead, a hopeful indication that either was free to come and go, but still they hung over the fence line. Still on the fence on whether there was something more then friendship going on between them.

The jibe about the fence only made Thranduil want to see Bard’s (most likely smirking face) covered in snow. Thranduil rose up slowly and peeked over the roof of his car and saw Bard toss a snowball at him. He dodged it and returned fire, which Bard easily avoided.

Bard blew a raspberry at him, grinning as he taunted, “Tilda throws better then you, you big blouse!”


Thranduil, along with the teens, whooped at his direct hit to Bard’s face. Bard wiped snow from his eyes and scooped up as much snow from the top of his car. “You are so DEAD!” He laughed as he came charging towards Thranduil.

Thranduil didn’t even hesitate, he took off running, weaving between the parked cars, grabbing handfuls of snow off of them as he passed, throwing them wildly at Bard when he could.

They laughed and shouted out insults as their impromptu snowball fight took place. Thranduil was vaguely aware of the odd looks and a few disgruntled comments of “Disgraceful!” or “Act your age!” from some of the shoppers that they careened around them in their battle. Thranduil didn’t care, he was having so much fun and most people simply laughed and cheered them on. Surprisingly, the teens and a few others followed in their wake, eager to see who would be the victor.

They had been weaving and dogging across the parking lot moving away from the main mall. Thranduil had doubled back and was now on the attack, when Bard made a dash towards a meridian that was wooded and slightly inclined, no doubt thinking he could use the trees and the height to defeat Thranduil.

Thranduil grinned. Bard was by far the better “marksman”, his soaking beanie and scarf testament to it, but Thranduil was a faster runner, he only need to catch Bard and then he was going to rue the day! Bard was up the hill, breathlessly laughing when Thranduil snagged his leg and he went down. Thranduil pounced, pushing Bard’s face into the snowbank and grabbing a handful of snow to shove down the back of his coat and shirt.

Bard’s shriek at the wet snow slipping down his back was music to Thranduil’s ears. As was the “You scream like a girl!” shouted out by a man watching, then his own girlish scream, when snow was dumped down his back. “So do you!” A woman’s voice rang out amid laughter.

Bard twisted and shoved Thranduil over, they tumbled and rolled down the hill, landing with Thranduil sprawled on top of Bard, pinning his arms to his side with his knees as he scooped up massive amount of snow, ready to deposit it onto Bard’s panting and grinning face.

“Say Uncle!” Thranduil wheezed out between huffs of cold air and laughter. Bard squirmed, trying to free his arms.


Thranduil tsked tsked him, ready to drop the snow when a whoop of a security vehicle siren sounded. Thranduil glanced behind him as Bard craned his neck around Thranduil to see a mall cop getting out of the car, frowning at them and glancing at the crowd gathered around. A few quickly scurried away but the teenagers and the couple stayed.

“What is going on here?” The officer demanded gruffly as he came towards them.

“Their just goofing around, Sir!” One of the teens said.

“It’s only a snowball fight!” The man added. The cop’s frown deepened. “Ah, come on man, they are almost finished anyways.”

The officer huffed. “Well…I suppose I can let this go…there were reports of two men having a fight…I can see they are just being immature…” The teens snickered. “Are you two about done acting like children?” He addressed them. Bard and Thranduil nodded. Boo’s erupted from the teens.

“Awwww!” One of the teenage girls protested, “They didn’t even kiss yet!”

Thranduil felt Bard jerk under him. Thranduil realized how they must look, he quickly shifted so Bard could free himself. Thranduil started to get up when Bard caught the lapels of his coat and lifted up to kiss Thranduil.

It was cold and wet and about the most perfect kiss…soft and sweet. Bard let go and smiled shyly at Thranduil. “Couldn’t let our audience down after all.” Whistles and cheers rang out, along with the officers “Alright, folk’s let’s be moving along…that includes you two!”

Thranduil helped Bard up and they exchanged goofy smiles and muttered apologizes to the officer who shook his head and headed back to his patrol car. The other people moved off too. The girl smiled widely as she followed her friends, calling back, “You guys are the cutest couple!”

Thranduil stiffened and glanced at Bard, who reached out to brush so snow off of Thranduil’s shoulder and curled his finger into a lock of Thranduil’s long, wet trusses, tugging them playfully.

“I agree…what do you think?”

Thranduil’s smile threatened to split his face, “Yeah…yeah I think we could maybe talk about that, but let get the hell out of here, I am freezing MY ball’s off!”