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Beyond The Shadows

Beta: Eni
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Erestor/ Glorfindel
Warning: Angst
Disclaimer: Not in any way mine
Summary: And the world broke…

The world breaks beneath our feet and there is nothing. No earth, no sea and no air. In nothingness we exist, my arms wrapped tightly around he who is my anchor, my sanity, my flame. There is no light around us; no darkness for our eyes to see. It is just…empty.

I hear the voices around us raised in song; not since the time the world was created had I heard such music. Then, I had participated, my own voice raised in jubilation for the beauty of creation, unflawed and unscathed. This time I am quiet, my music gone or mellowed, for I am nothing but a shell of whom I had once been. Never again will I have the right to join them as their music builds beginnings - and I grieve. Never again will I be what I once was. The presence of my brother and sisters shames me; I failed. I have lost my purpose.

Shamed, I listen, apart from the others of my kind, for how can I join them? I have fallen into shadow. I have betrayed our purpose and caused death; I am no longer worthy of being. The music soars and my attention to it deepens; there is an error in the tune. No strands of sorrow and remembrance run through the flow of voices and so all that has happened, all they have learnt in this world, will be forgotten. Can I let the children heal in such denial? Can I stand aside and let them forget about the dark one that twisted us and them, forget choices of evil? Before I am aware of what I am doing my voice has joined theirs, singing a lament to what was, weaving a new thread into the beginning and end in sadness and desperation. The fire inside me pulses hotly, burning stronger; my voice rises higher. This is who I am.

Then they rise; out of nothing they appear against the darkness, shining brighter than ever against the unbroken setting, as brightly as the souls of the children once did, out of earth and sky and water that no longer is they rise, burning brighter than any other thing or life, save him, save the golden one that is my soul - and around me the children cry at the sight of them. Beneath us land forms, grass and woods and sands stretching over the naked ground, bringing it life. Water once more flows in the crevices of the earth, wide and deep as it laps against the sands and stones; the soul of the world is returned. The nothingness around us deepens into the dark midnight, untouched by moon or star, that I can recall from the earliest moments of the world, from when I was whole.

Soon the world stretches in front of us, the same and yet different; no mountains stretch towards the sky, hiding what was once Arda marred, only wide open sea, deep and dark under the velvet sky. Still and breathless, beauty unmarred and untouched lies in front of us as the world is reborn. Faintly the song of nightingales breaks the silence, the cry of an eagle above us and the faint thundering of hooves, as life returns. I am aware of voices among the children who have been gone for millennia as their beloveds return, their bodies once more heightening the beauty of life. He who was brightest is crying, unrestrained tears flowing down his face. Does he regret what he did? Does he repent the evils that were done for his oath; he, most talented among the children?

She, whom the children praised above all others, raises her voice, clear and bright. It swirls to the midnight, enticing, enchanting, until they appear, one by one, the stars under which the children were first born. Brightly they shine, clean and beautiful before her song fades and the stars glitter in silence.

They pulse stronger against the faint light, filled with fire, with passion, with life, as their radiance increases to the point of blinding. She who is among the mightiest of the singers holds out her hands and gently they fall into the silver fingers only to break and shatter beneath her touch. Around us the light mingles, gold and silver, mellow and sharp, dancing, twirling as the Trees straighten, the bare branches swelling as leaves bud on stems too long dead, and then slowly they flower. The light of the Trees has returned and the curse of the children, the symbols of their struggles, of their defiance and of their courage - the Silmarilli – are gone.

There is an awed quiet around us as the lights entwine themselves, dancing again in the hour of mating lights as the children and singers watch. Many stand with their hands clasped as the miracle they had longed stopped believing in is born before them. The trees of Valinor restored to a world with no shadows, clean from horrors and betrayal, and many cry. Cry for what was lost and failed through suffering and hardship, cry of hope and love as what is offered, at new beginnings and at peace, too long has passed since the children knew peace.

The one in my arms gasps in wonder and I lower my gaze, marvelling at the way the golden hair shines in the mingled light, the dance of silver on hair more golden than the light of Laurelin. I long to bury my face in the silk, breathing in his essence, and my arms tighten around him. He is my hope, my soul and my light. The Trees mean little to me compared to him and his chest constricts, breathing suddenly becoming difficult. He turns in my hold, sapphire eyes glittering, his lashes heavy with unspilled tears of emotions that I can only begin to understand. Are all the Quendi so emotional? Yet I cannot deny the emotion within myself; perhaps my long years as one of them has influenced me in ways formerly unknown. I do not know.

His beauty has not dimmed; if anything it burns brighter than before and I raise my hand, unable to keep from touching his face any longer. The ashen colour of my skin is heightened by the fire that is running beneath it and my hand falls away as I back from him, my heart breaking in my chest. I am still marred and marked, still tainted by the shadow. No evil, I thought, and yet a look at my own hands proved differently. He reaches for me but I pretend not to see as I flee towards the water. My kind can drown, that has been proven well by Ecthelion, long years past. I have no intention of marring this world any further; the tainted among us do not belong here.

Someone grabs me and spins me around and my heart sinks; I will not fight. If anyone wishes me gone they only have to wait or slay me; either way I will do nothing to hinder them. I barely have time to see the flurry of gold and sapphire before warm lips are pressed against mine, drinking me deeply, tasting me, claiming me, and I whimper into his mouth. Slowly my hands wrap in silken hair and I claim him with equal fervour, wildly, desperately. When we break apart there are no words as our eyes lock, surprised, shocked, as we drown in each other. My hand trembles as I raise it, running my fingers lightly over his cheek in wonder and love. “Glorfindel,” I whisper, and all is well.