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14 February 2010 @ 02:24 am
Title: Forever There
Rating: PG-13 (mostly for the themes)
Fandom: LoTR
Pairing: Elrdond/Glorfindel
Summary: With shadows inching closer on a steep path/ the feel of your hand seemed to gently, tenderly erase the pain. Forever Love--Tohoshinki
Beta: Thank you w0rld4vamps for giving this a look over and keeping me from spelling and grammar mistakes. Though those are still highly likely on my part since I changed things since the last time I sent it to you, so all remaining mistakes are not to be blamed on you.

Author's Note: This was written for sin_delight for her bid in help_haiti. She requested and Elrond/Glorfindel fic with Forever Love by Tohishinki as the prompt. I'm not sure I managed to get that in, but I think I managed to get the angst with happy ending.

sin_delight I'm not sure I managed to do your prompt justice, and if you're not happy with this, let me know and I'll make it up to you...somehow :)



Glorfindel can still remember the Halls in which he dwelt for so long. The cold, empty, echoing silence that followed him everywhere still haunts him sometimes. Especially at times like these, sitting next to Elrond outside the Lord’s chambers, waiting for his children to finish saying their farewells to their mother. Glorfindel tore his gaze from the door he’d been watching so attentively for the past half-hour, and turned his head toward Elrond. He seemed so mortal then. His long, raven tresses, normally so well brushed and arranged into a dignified style now spoke of many sleepless nights, deep grief and even deeper uncertainty. His once glowing eyes, now dull, spoke of the many sleepless days spent by his wife’s side. His once radiant skin, now pale, showed more signs of age than Glorfindel though possible on an elf.

He still remembered the silence within the Halls, yet the silence seemed more chilling here.

“I fear I’ve failed my family,” said Elrond, breaking Glorfindel out of his thoughts. His eyes continuing study on some unknown fascination on the floor. “I’m duty bound to protect the inhabitants of this vale, to ensure their security, to heal them if any harm does come to them, and…,” his voice drifted off with a sigh. “…and yet I couldn’t do the same for my own wife, my own children.”

Glorfindel couldn’t think of what to say. He simply held onto his Lord’s trembling hands and hoped that would suffice.

******

Many centuries had come and gone since those events came to pass, and while the loss of his beloved was no longer an ever present weigh on their minds at all moments, it still lingered within the depths of their hearts.

Every time Arwen’s melancholic eyes foretold, before her words were spoken, that she’d make yet another trip to her grandmother’s realm. Every time the twin’s proud, vengeful, spirits took them to yet another, longer hunt.

Elrond, however, was a different matter. Because as much as Glorfindel would have loved for him to make no more than a polite appearance at banquets instead of skipping them altogether (with the exception of those banquets held for visiting lords from other realms throughout Middle Earth); for him to simply skim over and sign the reports Erestor prepared instead of taking a day to read, adjust, and sign, like he normally did, Glorfindel didn’t see it. Glorfindel would have enjoyed being subjected to an artful eyebrow when brining the sentry roster in for approval, instead of being told he was too protective, overaggressive, but that, again, was a disappointment for Glorfindel.

And yet, what worried Glorfindel the most weren’t these actions. It was the fact that Elrond no longer woke early in the morning, before even the household staff, in order to enjoy a quick sparring session with Glorfindel.

Throughout his life in Gondolin, Glorfindel made a point of keeping up his fighting skills, and he’d wake early in morning and meet Ecthelion at either’s home. They alternated each day, depending on who’d lost the previous bout. Those skills helped Glorfindel save a few lives, and once reborn, Glorfindel knew his fighting ability would be essential in saving even more, and so again he began waking early in the mornings, the feeling of redemption always a small flutter within his heart. Except this time, he’d run through basic sword drills on his own, having no one he could spar comfortably with. No one he felt sure would walk away from a bout with him and not feel utterly defeated and dejected.

The sessions with Elrond began after a morning in which a small incident with two over amorous members of the kitchen staff caused a small fire. After making sure the flames were put out, chastising the responsible parties accordingly and ensuring breakfast would be ready that morning, Elrond had taken a walk to clear his mind and clam his nerves. His route took him to the training yard, where Glorfindel thrust and parried against an imaginary foe.

Glorfindel still doesn’t know what prompted him to do so, but he didn’t make a motion to stop and greet his lord. Neither did he do anything to give the impression he was aware of Elrond’s presence at all. He continued his training routine thinking Elrond would tire and leave soon enough, but he didn’t. Elrond stayed for the rest of the routine, not once making a sound.

Glorfindel thought it was nothing more than curiosity about his home’s new addition that caused Elrond to watch him, yet the next morning Elrond appeared at the training grounds once more. He was quiet, just like the day before, but this time he was dressed for sparring instead of sleeping, and carried a sword.

He didn’t speak a word as we walked up to Glorfindel, or as he stood in a defensive stand, letting Glorfindel know he was ready for an attack. They didn’t say a word to each other after they’d finished sparring. They each simply gathered their things left to tend their own duties.

Glorfindel had thought the match would be a one-time thing. A way for his lord to both test his new seneschal’s ability with a blade and satisfy some need to fight with an elf he’d only heard of in tales and legends. But the next morning found him fighting with Elrond once again, as did the morning after, and the morning after that, and so on.

It soon became clear that these meetings were meant for every morning in which the two were able to meet. So it was easy to notice Elrond showing up later and later to the meetings. Sometimes he’d come fully dressed and ready to fight. Other times his clothes would be mismatched and clearly picked up from the floor on which they’d been dropped the night before. Soon a day or two would go with Elrond failing to show at the training grounds all together. Eventually, Glorfindel found he’d spent an entire week without seeing Elrond before breakfast.

Glorfindel knew firsthand what Elrond felt. He’d feel it every night after waking up to a dream in which his closest friend willingly threw himself into an agonizing death in the hopes it would save someone. He felt it every time he closed his eyes was back on that mountain pass. Trying to stay alive long enough to give the survivors a chance to flee. He saw it every time he went inside Elrond’s chamber well past morning to find him still asleep. Hair tangled and oil filled from the lack of washing the night before, clothes always strewn about haphazardly, across the two chairs before the fireplace, on the small table between the bed and the fireplace, normally used for the occasional breakfast or lunch with friends.

It was on one of these mornings, while Glorfindel stood overlooking his sleeping lord, that he realized just how painful it was to see him like this.

Here was an elf that had spent countless nights awake with Glorfindel, playing some obscure human card game just to distract him from his dreams. Someone who had help him stay away from a drink when the pain came close to unbearable. Who taught him that speaking of the loved one’s he’d lost should be meant as a way to honor their lives, and not mourn their death. Someone whom over the years had become such integral part of his life, Glorfindel no longer knew what to do without him.

Glorfindel gently shook Elrond’s arm in the vain hope that alone would wake him. When after a few minutes it proved a fruitless attempt, Glorfindel bent down lower, took both of his shoulders within his hands, and began shaking Elrond. He was about to give up after a few moments of unresponsive sleep when Glorfindel noticed Elrond fully awake, but choosing not to respond.

“You cannot continue on like this my lord,” he finally said, letting go and stepping further and further away from the bed, until the back of his knees hit the chair on the other end of the room and he decided to sit.

“Do you think this is how she’d want to see you?”

“I doubt she’d take great joy in seeing me at all,” came the terse reply from near the bed, where Elrond finally stood next to, rummaging through the clothes left on the nearby night table, looking for something reasonably presentable to wear. “I am, of course, the reason she’s sailed. I very much doubt her spirit can find a reason to forgive my abandonment of responsibilities towards her.”

“What responsibilities would those be, my lord?” he asked, knowing full well the pain, and the answer, the question would bring. But he also knew that not speaking of this subject had not done Elrond any good at all.

“Of keeping her safe,” was the whispered reply. Elrond began to dress in the robes he’d worn two days before. “If I were in her place, I’d never want to see my husband again, but I’d also want him to feel some of the pain I’d felt.”

“Do you truly believe that!?” asked Glorfindel, suddenly angered and betrayed. “Can you truly expect her to turn you away? Why? For what reason do you think her so cold?”

Elrond’s sighed and stopped getting dressed, leaving his robe half open. He sat back down on the bed, his back toward Glorfindel. Glorfindel walked slowly towards him, sitting down next to his lord when he reached the bed. Neither said a word for what seemed an eternity, and Glorfindel laughed at the absurdity of it all; of the two of them, neither one well enough to deal with their own losses, yet trying to comfort the other, though rather badly, at the moment at least.

Elrond turned to him, surprised and mildly aghast. This made him laugh even more.

They truly needed a day away from responsibility.

“Do you mock me? Because I had thought you, out of everyone else, would come closest to understanding what it is I go through.”

That sobered Glorfindel somewhat, and he now looked at Elrond with only a wicked smile upon his face.

“Nay, my lord, I do not mock.”

“Then please, share what it is that you find so amusing before I’m forced to find myself a new Seneschal.”

“I was simply thinking of Erestor’s reaction when he finds us missing today.”

The look he received from that announcement made Glorfindel chuckle a bit more.

“Come,” he continued speaking as he rose and walked toward the door, “remove your formal robes and don some riding clothes, we shall skip our duties and enjoy our day filled with duties the same way your children enjoyed the days filled with schooling.”

“Are you joking? You know I can’t abandon my work on a whim.”

“’Tis no whim, my Lord, I can assure you.” Glorfindel’s voice became quiet and serious. “It is a much needed rest and you would do well, as a healer, to recognize just how needed it truly is.”

Glorfindel stood at the entrance of the room, a hand still on the door handle, ready to counter any objection spilling from his lord’s mouth. He must have looked quite determined to do so because he could slowly see Elrond’s determination to argue slowly quiet down.


“Alright,” Elrond finally relented with a sigh, “I can’t say I know what you have planned, but I’ll go along with it for now. Just let me inform Erestor so he’ll be prepared in ca-“

“No, no,” interrupted Glorfindel, “I’ll take care of everything, just get changed and meet me in the courtyard in one hour.” He didn’t wait for a response and sprinted out the room before Elrond changed his mind.

He ran down to the kitchens and asked one of the cooks to ready two meals, fully prepared for a picnic, delivered to the stables within the hour, then up to his room to change and gather some blankets and two spare changes of clothing, in case he could convince Elrond to join him for a swim, and finally, Glorfindel made it to the stables, where he readied their two horses for the day’s journey.

The food arrived shortly before the hour had ended, and Glorfindel had just stored it safely within his saddle bag, when Elrond appeared at the courtyard’s entrance to the home.

Glorfindel mounted his horses and waited for Elrond to do the same. He couldn’t help but smile at the small look of apprehension on Elrond’s face.

“You did inform Erestor of our plans did you not?” asked Elrond as he got atop his horse.

Glorfindel simply laughed, and rode out of the courtyard in a gallop, biding Elrond to follow him.

******

“I’d forgotten there were any places so beautiful still within the ring’s protection,” murmured Elrond as they approached a small stream, deep enough for swimming, but not for drowning. It's clear water putting on display the numerous fish dwelling beneath its surface.

“It’s been quite some time since you’ve ventured outside your home’s walls.”

“It’s been quite some time since I’ve felt the freedom to do so.”

There wasn’t any response he could give to that, so Glorfindel let the comment go.

They settled themselves atop the blankets under a tree, near the creek’s edge. They didn’t say much to each other, but Glorfindel, sitting cross legged, nonetheless enjoyed the look of utter relaxation upon Elrond’s face, as the latter lied on top the blankets, eyes closed and face free of worry. So entranced, was he, by the sight he didn’t notice himself staring, until Elrond opened his eyes and looked back at him.

“Thank you. As much as it pains me to admit, I truly needed this.”

“Why should it pain you? Because you didn’t realize you’re body and spirit needed the rest, or because you don’t think you deserve it, even though you need it?”

At Elrond’s slightly horrified look he kept on with his words.

“You forget I share in your grief. No, don’t misunderstand me,” he says at the defiant look Elrond shoots him. “You’re quite right in thinking I haven’t lost the same as you, but you should remember that I lost my city. A city with all the beauty and life and love I could have ever hoped to enjoy, and along with that city I lost my dearest friends, because I couldn’t save them.”

“You couldn’t be expected to save the entire city Glorfindel, you must know that,” interjected Elrond. “You fought valiantly and gave your life to save those who couldn’t fight. You saved my family Glorfindel, for that alone you have my eternal regard.”
Glorfindel gave him a small smile.

“That alone made my death a worthy one.”

Elrond returned that smile with a shy look and a smirk of his own.

“But do you not see,” continued Glorfindel, “the same happened to you. You feel you’ve not lived up to your duties for your family, yet what else could you have done? Yes, had things been done differently maybe such a tragedy would not have occurred, but how were you to know what needed to be done? No one let you know the Orc band would be in that place at that time. No one let you know what numbers they would have and what weaponry they would carry. If you do not blame my scouts and myself for the lack of intelligence, or your own sons for their negligence in defending their mother, then don’t blame yourself for something you couldn’t do a thing about.”

“I have the gift of foresight, I should have been able to see the trouble coming,” continued to protest Elrond.

“You’re ability of foresight doesn’t show you what you want to see, but what the Valar wish you to see? Will you question their wishes as well?”

Elrond closed his eyes and sighed. He looked so small, so tired, and so vulnerable.

Here was a the descendant of some of Middle Earth’s greatest heroes, an elf who fought valiantly next to Gil-Galad, who saw as his own twin wither and perish, as is the way of men, and yet this one event….

He couldn’t continue on that train of thought because he couldn’t truly blame Elrond for feeling the way he did. He could only offer as much comfort and support as needed. And so Glorfindel reached out and took a hold of Elrond’s hand, and felt his heart flutter a bit, as Elrond smiled and held back.

“You should sleep,” whispered Glorfindel.

“You as well,” he heard replied in a truly content voice, and Glorfindel soon found himself lying next to Elrond, hands still clasped.

Glorfindel awoke slowly, pleasant dreams easing his way to consciousness. He felt warm, comfortable, and loved. It was only a short time before he realized his hair was being caressed.

“As a child, I’d hear tales that spoke of Glorfindel of Gondolin Lord of the Golden Flower.,” he heard murmured in his ear. “They all spoke of his fair face, his golden hair, and his valiant heart. No one ever mentioned his loving soul.”

*********

Turning his head to face Elrond, Glorfindel saw him resting his head atop his left hand, his right still caressing golden tresses. The bright sun hid behind Elrond’s face, making him look more ethereal, more beautiful. Glorfindel kept staring into those deep, sable eyes, and it took him a moment to realize they were getting closer. He looked slightly down and saw a tongue peek out to wet pink lips. He closed his eyes as he felt those lips press innocently against his own, and then recede, just as slowly. He kept them closed, not wishing to ruin the beauty, the purity of the moment, but he opened them a few moments later when he heard Elrond speaking again.

“I had a vision,” he said softly, lovingly. “It was actually more a message from the Valar, really.” At this he paused. And Glorfindel just looked up at him, completely mesmerized by those eyes.

“Don’t you want to know what they told me?” Elrond asked teasingly, and Glorfindel could only nod slightly.

“They calmed my heart, how I cannot say,” he answered somewhat enigmatically, and Glorfindel remembered how much the Valar enjoyed playing these games with them.
“Just know,” continued Elrond, “that my eyes have been opened.” Here, Glorfindel noticed Elrond moving quite sooner than before, and so he closed his eyes, waiting for those soft lips to touch his again. But instead, he felt that mouth whisper more words against his own lips.

“I saw the sleepless nights you spent by my bedside, calming my dreams. I’ve seen the ever increasing workload you’ve taken on yourself to complete, just so I wouldn’t feel troubled with it. I’ve seen the increase in patrols you’ve gone out with, so that you can better guard for my sons when they leave for a hunt. I’ve seen the way you’ve instructed Arwen to defend herself so that she’s better prepared during her journeys.” Glorfindel finally felt those lips touch his own.

“I’ve seen it all.”

Another kiss, a little longer, a little stronger, but just as chaste as the one before.

Elrond pulled back and Glorfindel opened his eyes. The same shinning smile, same glowing eyes, he saw that day he rode into Rivendell for the first time were once again looking at him. He knew they couldn’t promise eternal companionship, or even look sweetly at each other across the dining table full of guests, but they could have this. They could have love and support, friendship and honesty. They could have what both thought forever lost.
 
 
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