Erestor poked his spoon in the bowl he was given. It was a brown lumpy mass, and he wondered how many times Glorfindel was in the position he was in, peering at food, or something masquerading as food. It was multi-toned, but it smelled like pudding.
“Chocolate,” spoke up Faelion, in case there was a question on what the flavor was supposed to be.
Erestor nodded and rested his head back. His jaw was swollen, and even the mushy carrots Glorfindel had cooked for him earlier had been difficult to eat. Any amount of chewing, talking, or even swallowing was painful, but pudding seemed like a good idea.
The first spoonful contained a large lump of something that Erestor felt should have at least tasted overly sweet, but instead, it was bitter on his tongue and grainy in the center. He deposited most of it back into the bowl.
Faelion looked quite apologetic. “Sorry, it was my first time. I followed the recipe, but I guess I still messed something up.”
“I never trust recipes.” Erestor pushed the mass about to navigate around he lumps. “This is still better than if I had tried to make it. I would have burned it or something.” He tried another mouthful. If he ate around the lumps, it was fairly flavorless, but it eased the emptiness in his stomach. “Good thing Glorfindel likes to cook.”
“He said that he was going to start some soup as soon as he returned.” Faelion originally offered to get the vegetables that Glorfindel would need, but Glorfindel explained that he needed to choose them himself. It made sense that if Glorfindel was going out, he should tend to the animals in the barn, which left Faelion to tend to Erestor that afternoon.
Erestor snoozed for a good portion of the day. When he woke, it was not because he was rested, but because the pain jolted him back into wakefulness.
“At least you can now say it is over halfway done,” said Faelion soothingly as he knelt down beside Erestor on the sofa. He stroked Erestor’s hair a few times. “Is there anything else I can get for you?”
Erestor shook his head and handed back the bowl. Two-thirds of the contents were gone, and what remained was a terribly lumpy mess. “Thank you.”
Faelion took the bowl and retreated to the kitchen. He returned a few minutes later with a glass of salt water and a bucket. Slowly, Erestor sat up and took the glass. When it was finally discovered that he was in pain daily from the weak, crooked teeth that had regrown following his captivity in Angband, Erestor was eventually persuaded that tending to the issue despite the obvious increased pain it would cause would alleviate issues in the long run.
One or two were pulled each year, and once regrown, the next would be removed. It was a slow process, but at least now Erestor would smile a little without lips pressed together. The top teeth were all in place, but the first back bottom molar had just been extracted that morning.
Faelion held out a cloth for Erestor to use to wipe his mouth after he swirled the salt water in his mouth and spit it out into the bucket. “Are you sure there is nothing else you want?”
Again, Erestor shook his head. Faelion cleaned up, and then returned to Erestor’s side. “Glorfindel should be back soon,” he assured him. “Do you want to try for sleep again while we wait?” Erestor closed his eyes and gave a little nod before he rested his head on Faelion’s shoulder and dozed off.