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This Was My Choice. Chapter 13

Beta: Eni
Rating: NCó17 Overall
Pairing: Glorfindel/ Erestor
Disclaimer: No characters in this belong to me. I am just borrowing them for a short while and playing. No harm or insult is meant to come of this.
Warning: References to incest, not graphic. Angst
Summary: The war of the ring is over and the third age is drawing to its close. Elladan and Elrohir has chosen mortality as has their sister and in the wake of this choice another Elfís choice is slowly coming into the open.








Glorfindel ran his fingers over the back of the books. He supposed that he should start packing them into boxes, carefully tidying away what traces were left of Erestorís life in Imladris, but he could not find the heart to do so, not yet. He leaned his head against the hard wooden edge of the bookshelves, emptiness and tiredness filling his soul. Behind him, the doors to the quiet bedchamber stood open. A week, one long week of emptiness and silence since Erestorís story had come to an end.

Outside the first signs of autumn kissed the trees and grasses as the chill in the air deepened. No longer did the rays of Anor penetrate the long shadows; no longer did they warm the valley with their gentle light. His pent up anger and frustration, built over the long months of Erestorís illness, had faded, leaving only a mind numbing grief behind.

Tiredly he closed his eyes as he stood there, golden head leaning against dark wood. Sometimes he felt as if he had to remind himself to breathe, so deeply did the sorrow and weariness reach into his soul.

****************


Elrond rubbed his eyes tiredly; not much sleep had found him over the past week and he doubted that the coming months would be much better. Had he done the right thing when he convinced Erestor to tell them about his life? He no longer knew. At the time, yes, he had been certain that nothing else would be able to bring on the healing that Erestor so badly needed; now, he doubted himself.

Putting his scroll away, he walked over to the small table by the window. He poured himself a generous serving of miruvor, drinking it deeply as he achingly missed Erestorís calming presence. He had never fully understood how much he had relied on Erestorís strength throughout the years. Glorfindel was waning, and yet again it seemed impossible to reach a friend who needed him and he could do nothing but to watch and to wait. The strong inner flame that had burned in Glorfindel since his return had faded to a flickering light as the seneschal had refused both food and drink for the past week. Elrond finally had given him the peace and solitude he craved, unable to continue to watch the pain in the sapphire eyes.

Choices. It all came down to choices, his own choice to remain with the Firstborn as the other half of his soul aged and died with men, not refusing to allow CelebrŪan to travel despite his misgivings, his children giving their hearts and remaining when he sailed. So many choices and all but his seemed to lead to death. He emptied the goblet and put it back on the table as he looked numbly out of the window, wondering what would await him at his arrival in the west.

****************


Galadriel tilted her head up for a kiss as Celeborn entered their chambers. "He remains the same?" she asked, her voice quiet as she put aside the tunic she had been folding.

Celeborn nodded tiredly and wrapped his arms around her. "Seeing Glorfindel," he started, his voice sad, "makes me wonder how I will walk these lands without you."

She sighed and leaned her head against his chest. "Our love is old and strong," she said finally, "and neither of us dwells in Mandosí Halls, love."

Celeborn buried his face in her golden hair, threaded with silver, as his arms tightened around her.

****************


The blades gleamed in the autumn sunlight as they danced, back and forth, crossing and withdrawing before both dropped to the ground at the same time. Panting for air, the twins pushed back their long hair from their faces as they regained their breath They had trained daily over the past week; for as many hours as they could remain standing they trained, swords clashing as sweat poured down their exhausted bodies.

Finally Elrohir looked up at his brother, his grey eyes tormented by memories and guilt. "How could we not see what had been done to him?" he finally asked his twin. Fury he had once thought long forgotten made his voice quiver.

Elladan shook his head, unable to answer. The feeling of failure and hatred almost choked him, the feeling of having failed both Erestor and their mother. "We failed them," he said finally. "Failed both of them, as surely as if we had held the blades that cut thought their flesh." He knew he had said what they had both been thinking, what they had been thinking for centuries and never voiced.

Suddenly all anger went out of Elrohir, his sword falling to the ground as his shoulders sagged. "It was our fault," he whispered, his voice broken. Wordlessly Elladan wrapped his arms around his twin, and for the first time in centuries they allowed themselves to mourn.

****************


Taking a deep breath, he raised his head again, walking into the bedchamber and sinking down on the edge of the bed. The raven hair spread across the pillow and the pale face looked utterly peaceful, breathtaking it its silent beauty.

Glorfindel let his fingers ghost over the pale face as he fought back his tears. "Oh, Erestor," he whispered to the quiet room, his voice shaking.

****************


The soft light of several candles flickered coyly at him when he opened his eyes. He was thirsty. Weakly he stretched his hand towards the carafe on the table, making a small sound of annoyance as his hand fell short. Suddenly he was there; the light of his soul sat on the side of the bed, holding a goblet to his lips, helping him drink.

"Thank you," he whispered as he sank back towards the bed.

Glorfindel looked at him; fear and hope, joy and anger battled for dominance in the sapphire eyes. "I did not think you would wake," he said finally.

He let his gaze fall at the pain in Glorfindelís eyes. "I am sorry," he offered. "I did not realise it would tire me this badly."

"Tire you?! Erestor," Glorfindel ran a hand over his face as he fought down his emotions. "You have lain as dead for close to a week! Pale and still, not moving and only barely breathing. Do you have any idea of how I feel, seeing you as such?"

"A week?" Erestorís voice was faint. "I thought a day at mostÖ" He fell quiet.

The anger faded from Glorfindelís eyes as he leant down, burying his head against Erestorís neck as deep shudders ran through him. "Do not leave me," he whispered, unable to keep himself from begging. "Do not leave me, Erestor."

Erestor wrapped his arms around Glorfindel, rubbing his back, running weak fingers though the silky hair as he pressed soft, loving kisses on the golden head. "Hush," he murmured soothingly," I will not leave you, my soul, I will not leave."

****************


Elrond stopped once he entered the room, surprised as Erestorís black eyes met his over Glorfindelís head. A hand flew up to his mouth as he struggled with his emotions. "I am glad to see you wake, my friend," he said finally. "We feared the worst."

Glorfindel straightened and tenderly caressed Erestorís cheek before he moved over to the window. Smiling, Erestor watched until the blond was seated on the window ledge before he turned his eyes to Elrond. He watched calmly as Elrond crossed the floor, knowing well that the Peredhel would not be satisfied until he had assured himself that Erestor was truly well.

Curiously, Elrond noted that there was somethingÖdifferentÖin the black eyes. Not until he reached the bed did he realise that, for the first time, he saw a semblance of peace in the dark depths. He sat down on the side of the bed and gently reached out a hand to touch Erestorís forehead. "How are you feeling?"

Erestor smiled slightly. "Stronger," he said quietly. "I will not die, Lord Elrond, nor will I drink any of your truly nasty herbal infusions. All I need is rest."

Elrond frowned. "I do not agree, Erestor; you are still weak and ill. SurelyÖ"

Erestor interrupted him, a hint of impatience creeping into the deep voice. "No, my lord."

Glorfindel turned towards them with a frown. "Erestor," he said warningly. "I want you to follow Elrondís instructions. We almost lost you this time and I will not have that happen again."

For a moment annoyance flared in Erestorís eyes as he heard Glorfindel, before the councillor suddenly relaxed and sighed. "Very well," he admitted reluctantly. "I will be a good boy." His black eyes glittered at Glorfindel as he smiled. "I will do as Lord Elrond pleases."

****************


"Erestor?"

He looked up from the book he was reading. Impatience at being restricted to the bed shone in the dark eyes as nearly a month had passed since he had awoken. He met the blue eyes of Finarfinís daughter with a level stare, inwardly sighing at what he already knew would be a time filled with questions that he would rather not answer.

"Yes?" he answered calmly as he put the book aside. "How may I help you, my lady?"

Galadrielís clear eyes glittered amusedly at Erestorís attempt to keep his distance. After he had finished telling his story, they had struggled to keep him alive and once he awoke, against all hope, he had tried to hide behind his old mask of detached politeness, his comments slightly sharper than before - and only around Glorfindel did the faÁade crumble. Whilst the rest of them were left battering at the walls that Erestor had built up around himself through the ages, Glorfindel simply shattered them whenever he entered the room, bringing a soft smile to Erestorís face and a semblance of peace into the dark eyes.

"I was wondering if you would mind speaking to me for a bit, my prince," she said calmly, knowing well how Erestor would react at such an honorific.

A shadow flew across Erestorís face as he stiffened slightly. She allowed her smile to widen at his annoyance.

"An unrecognised child has no claim on titles, my lady, save it be the one of a bastard."

She threw back her head and laughed. "Perhaps, if the childís heritage is in question. You, however, were Valinorís worst kept secret and acknowledged by all save your father. That, I believe, would technically make you our king, Erestor, as Maedhros did not have the right to give that position away."

Erestor winced and admitted defeat; the last thing he wanted was for anyone else to draw the same conclusion. "What do you want, Galadriel?" he asked resignedly.

She sat down beside him and leaned closer, pressing a kiss on his cheek. "See, that was not so hard, was it, Erestor? As to what I wantÖ. Fading kills us, Erestor, we all know this, we have known this since Mandos spoke out doom as we left the hallowed lands, and yet you live. You have faded since before the sun and moon, have you not?"

Erestor nodded and closed his eyes. He should have known this was what was she wanted.

"Can you control it?"

"Yes," he admitted reluctantly. "Yes, I can control it, as well as it can be controlled."

She tilted her head curiously. "Can you explain it to me?"

Drawing a deep breath, he wondered where to start, how to explain. Finally, he shook his head. "No," he admitted. "I can not explain. It is all in what you choose to do, Galadriel, whether you choose to fight it or to give in. I am afraid that is as much of an explanation as I can give."

Galadriel nodded thoughtfully as she contemplated his words. "You have a strong mind, Erestor," she said finally. "Maybe that is why you could keep it at bay."

He shrugged, uncomfortable with the subject. "Was there anything else?"

She looked down at the hands she had woven together in her lap as she forced herself to ask the question that had pained her for centuries. The only one that may be able to answer had remained quiet until now, and once again old wounds were torn open. "What happened to my daughter, Erestor?"

Once again he shook his head, as he hesitantly reached out a hand and laid it over hers. "I truly do not know," he said softly. "I saw no other wound than that on her neck, yet something destroyed her. But what it was, I do not know."

Freeing herself gently from Erestorís hand, she went to the door. "Thank you," she said awkwardly, "for keeping my daughter alive." She avoided looking at Erestor as she backed out of the room, pulling the door closed. A need to find Celeborn overwhelmed her as her mind recalled the images that Erestorís story had brought forth.

****************


Erestor stood up from behind his desk, stretching his back as he sighed. An insistent headache had been pressing behind his eyes for the past hour and he felt exhausted.

Reluctantly, he wondered if maybe Elrond had been right; maybe he was not ready to be here yet. He crossed over to one of the chairs in front of the fire and sat down, suddenly grateful for whoever had been thoughtful enough to leave a heavy blanket draped over the back of a chair. He pulled the chair closer until he reached the blanket and quickly pulled it around his shivering body. He was so cold and so very, very tired.

****************


Glorfindel smiled when he saw the elf sleeping in front of the fire, the raven hair gleaming invitingly in the soft light. Frowning suddenly, he realised that something felt wrong. Carefully he walked closer to the sleeping elf, not wishing to disturb his rest, and sank down on his heels in front of the chair.

Erestor was wrapped tightly in a thick blanket and yet his body shivered with cold.

"Erestor?" He could hear the panic in his own voice as he gently shook his lover. "Erestor?"

In relief, he saw awareness flood back into the black eyes before they met his.

"I should not have gone back to work yet," Erestor said hoarsely. He shivered again as he stood.

"Walk me back to my rooms?" he asked, as he wanted nothing more than to rest.

Glorfindel nodded and wrapped his arms around Erestor, supporting him as they made their way to Erestorís chambers.

****************


The blazing colours of autumn faded towards the subtle shades of winter. Erestor stared out of the window as he sat in the large bed, propped up by pillows, the vibrant colours reminding him of how long he had been forced to remain in bed.

Elrond and Glorfindel hovered over him constantly, making sure he ate, making sure he rested, making sure he did not work again. He had tried talking to them, convincing them that lying in bed like this was driving him insane, but neither listened. His mind was screaming from its forced inactivity and his bodyÖhis body ached for the touch of Glorfindel, for the comfort of holding his lover, yet Glorfindel had remained across the room for months when he visited, only briefly coming close enough for a soft kiss or a quick caress, maddening in their absentmindedness.

Listlessly, he continued to stare out the window for a while longer before he sighed. He reminded himself that he had promised to stay until Glorfindel was gone, and that he would. If Glorfindel no longer loved him, he would step back quietly, but he would live. He reached for the coal and parchment that Glorfindel had brought, months earlier, and began to draw.

He frowned in annoyance as the light in the room faded and moved until he could reach the candles next to the bed. He lit them impatiently and turned back to his drawing. A sad smile flickered over his face as his hand softly traced the lines he had drawn, so long ago; he should have drawn this sooner.

He schooled his face carefully as he heard the steps outside the door. Pretending that he had not heard the approach of any other, he picked up the piece of coal again and went back to drawing.

Glorfindel smiled as he entered the room, setting the tray of hot milk and spiced sweetbreads on the table next to Erestor. He sank down on the bed and lovingly kissed the lips that turned towards him in greeting. "What are you drawing?"

A faint smile traced Erestorís lips as he smiled, his black eyes glittering with mischief. "Something I saw a few millennia ago and have been unable to forget."

"Can I see?"

Erestor laughed and shook his head as he pushed his parchment and coals to the side. "Not yet. What have you been up to?"

Glorfindel winced and stretched. "Spent the entire morning in the exercise yard; one of the training stands fell in the storm last night and we spent the whole morning rebuilding it."

Erestor sighed and turned towards Glorfindel, laying his hands on the muscular shoulders, rubbing them until he felt the tension fade. "At least you can spend time outside," he said longingly. "If I have to stay in this bed much longer I will go insane."

Glorfindel rested his head on Erestorís shoulder as he felt the strong hands massage his sore muscles, moaning appreciatively he turned his head slightly, pressing his lips against the soft skin of the neck. Smiling, he felt Erestor shudder at the light caress.

"Of course," Erestor continued, his voice growing deeper and hoarser, "I could easily be convinced to stay here, with the right encouragement."

Glorfindel felt himself harden at the suggestion and regretfully moved away from the bed. "Elrond would kill me," he said. "You, Erestor, are not to do anything even remotely interesting until your strength returns fully."

Erestor frowned, a brief flash of hurt running through the dark eyes as he bent his head over the coals and parchment again, gathering them up on his lap.

Glorfindel cursed silently. "Erestor," he started.

The raven head shook slightly as the dark elf began sketching again.

Glorfindel closed his eyes, wishing to hit something. He was hard as mithril, aching for his loverís touch, as he had been for months, and yet he could not touch him. Suddenly, he wondered if anyone had actually talked to Erestor about their forced celibacy. "Erestor," he tried again.

Erestor looked up from the parchment, fury and hurt plain in the black eyes. "What?" Erestor snapped at him. "Speak, Glorfindel; I am not a child and I will not break! What is it with you that you can no longer spend more than a few minutes with me and when you do, you treat me as if a wrong word would kill me. What do you want, Glorfindel?!"

Glorfindel closed his eyes briefly before returning to the bed, sitting down at the edge of it. "I do want to spend time with you Erestor; if I had my choice I would not leave these rooms butÖ"

"But?" The deep voice was dangerously soft.

"Erestor, you are still not well, your strength is building very slowly and the set backs are many. How many times over the past months have you been lying unconscious, struggling for breath? We both know that all that is keeping you alive at times is your sheer strength of mind." Glorfindel swallowed. "Elrond cautioned us all, me especially, that we need to keep you calm: no excitement and definitely no physical exertion."

"Elrond is a fool." Erestorís voice was cool.

Glorfindel chuckled involuntarily at the annoyance in Erestorís voice. "He is trying to keep you alive, love, as am I. If I was to spend as much time with you as I wishedÖErestor, I am weak. I crave to touch you and I would give in."

Erestorís eyes softened slightly, something sparkling in the dark depths as he sighed. "I see."

Glorfindel relaxed, glad that the tension that had marked their days over the past months had been addressed.

Suddenly, Erestor stretched slowly, his back arching of the bed as his head tilted backwards, exposing the slender neck. Glorfindel swallowed hard at the sensual movement, his eyes trapped by the glimpse of an ear through the darkness, the ivory neck, as his mouth went dry. Erestor turned his head towards the golden warrior and noticing his enchantment, he smiled softly.

Ivory shoulders shrugged and the robe Erestor had been wearing pooled on the bed, leaving his upper body naked.

"ErestorÖ" Glorfindel warned, his voice hoarse as he continued to stare at his lover.

Nipples hardened in the cold air of the room as Erestor slowly dragged his hand down his chest, the flatness of his stomach. His whole body rippled as it followed the movements of that slender hand, arching into the caress as the hand travelled lower under the heavy blankets. Erestorís eyes did not leave Glorfindel as he gasped at the touch of his own hand, his eyes heavy and darker than night. "Do you not wish," Erestor whispered, passion making his voice lower than usual, "that it was your hand touching me? It feels good, Glorfindel, when you touch me like this."

Glorfindel reminded himself to breathe as he watched Erestor.

"Do you wish to see me, Glorfindel?" he whispered, his voice husky, as his other hand travelled to the edge of the blankets. "To see my hand on myself?" He laughed throatily as he watched Glorfindel devour him with his eyes and slowly he pushed the blankets down until his pale body lay naked to his loverís eyes, gleaming in the candlelight. The hand that was wrapped around his arousal moved in a slow rhythm as he caressed himself, moaning as his other hand clasped at the sheets. "So good, Glorfindel, pleaseÖ" Erestorís head fell back against the pillows as the black eyes fell closed. "Your handsÖ your tongue."

Glorfindel fisted his hands at his sides, fighting the urge to throw himself at Erestor and take him hard until they both were sated. Transfixed, he watched as Erestorís hand moved faster, harder until Erestor arched, keening as he spent himself, the thick, milky strands of fluid coating his stomach and chest.

Erestorís body shuddered as he flung an arm across his face. "Not even now," he whispered tonelessly as he started to push himself up from the bed, his dark eyes closed.

Strong, calloused hands pushed him back as a hungry tongue attacked his chest, eagerly devouring the seed from his sensitive skin. Erestor stiffened in surprise and instinctively tried to squirm away from the touch. His eyes flew open and, entranced, he looked at Glorfindelís mouth on his skin, tasting him, devouring him. Gasping, he relaxed into the cushions behind him and gave himself over to the sensation of the wet heat lavishing his body as Glorfindelís lips and tongue moved across his chest and down his stomach, desperately lapping up his seed.

Glorfindelís hands struggled, frantically with his tunic and leggings, desperate to be out of the cumbersome clothing while refusing to move his mouth from the quivering body beneath him. Panting a curse at himself, he left his clothing as his shaking hand reached for the bottle of linseed oil that Erestor kept beside his paints. Fumbling, he heard the sound of brushes and colours falling to the floor before his suddenly clumsy fingers closed around the small bottle.

Erestor moaned at the sensual waves that washed through his once more aroused body as Glorfindelís mouth moved lower. He spread his legs wantonly, allowing Glorfindel to kneel between them as the golden oneís lips reached his arousal.

Moaning, Glorfindel swallowed the throbbing erection in front of him, eagerly lapping up the last of Erestorís fluids as his trembling hands tried to open the vial. The sound of Erestorís moan made him drop the small bottle and, whimpering in need, he blindly searched for it with his hands. Once his hands again wrapped around the cool glass he tugged at the stopper viciously before dropping it again, golden oil spilling on the bed, over his stomach and over his hands. Cursing, he tore his mouth away from Erestor and snatched the bottle up again, placing it back on the small table at the same time as he thrust one finger into Erestorís body.

Black eyes flew open at the sudden penetration as Erestor arched off the bed, pushing back against Glorfindel, his breath coming in quick, ragged gasps. He neededÖ The pleasure in his body rose even higher, leaving him unable to speak, unable to think. All he was aware of was the heat rushing through him, the need to move, harder and faster, as his breath changed from gasps to sobs. He did not notice when the finger was joined by another; only when the fingers were removed did he react, desperately moving against Glorfindel, trying to find that delicious fire again.

Growling, Glorfindel slid up across his lover, the calloused hands digging deeply into the raven hair as he plunged his tongue into Erestorís mouth, desperately trying to drink in as much of Erestor as he could. His body rubbed against Erestorís, hard and aching. His body was shaking with barely restrained need when he slowly entered Erestorís tight body, using whatever remains of his self control he had to stop himself from slamming into the lean body beneath him. Long, muscular legs wound themselves around his waist, pulling him closer. Glorfindel forced himself not to move. He let out a harsh breath. "Erestor, wait."

Erestorís dark eyes met his, heavy with want and arousal. "No," he whispered. "No waitingÖ" He wrapped a hand in the golden hair, dragging Glorfindel down for a deep kiss as he arched up again, feeling Glorfindelís flesh slide deeper. "Move." Erestorís deep voice was darker than ever as he wrapped his arms around Glorfindelís shoulders.

Glorfindelís self control burst and he withdrew from the heat of Erestorís body before burying himself again. The sight of Erestor writhing beneath him, lost to pleasure, urged him on and he started to move faster, plunging into Erestorís tight body. Deep, hard thrusts, over and over in a rhythm older than time. He would not last long, he knew, not after seeing Erestor pleasure himself. He closed his eyes and moved faster. The soft, whimpering, gasps of Erestor drove him insane as he strained to get deeper, move harder and utterly claim his lover, body and soul. An image of Erestor reaching completion fluttered behind his eyes as he thrust wildly. Beneath him, Erestor stiffened and threw his head back, exposing the slender neck, and Glorfindel growled and buried his face against the side of Erestorís neck, biting hard as he spilled himself inside his lover.

Erestor shuddered and arched, his body almost coming off the bed again as his essence pumped in hard jets against Glorfindelís stomach.

Glorfindel struggled to regain his breath before he lifted himself off Erestorís body and collapsed on the bed beside him. He wrapped his arm around Erestor and pulled the blankets over them, neither noticing nor caring that the oil that stained both them and the sheets before he fell asleep.

****************


Midwinter came and Erestor was once again sent back to bed, shivering with cold and exhaustion. No celebrations lit up Imladris that year as Glorfindel and Elrond sat awake by Erestorís bed, doing what little they could to ease his breathing, through long, painful days and nights.

The months passed, long and slow, as Erestor gradually grew stronger. There were times when they truly despaired that he would ever regain his full strength as the attacks of sickness were many and not unusual, but when spring came they lessened in occurrence and severity.

****************


Elrond looked around the empty room before closing the door behind him, his hand shaking slightly as he fought for control. For over five thousand years this had been his home, but no longer. Reluctantly he walked through the echoing hallways, down stairs ringing with his footsteps until he reached the courtyard. Galadriel was already there, he saw; Celeborn was not.

His eyes fell on his sons; tall they stood, arms wrapped around each other for support as they looked at him. This, they all knew, was farewell. Never again would he see the twins he had loved since the day they were born, never would he stand on the White Shores waiting for a ship from the east. He felt tears burn behind his eyes as he opened his arms to them. So little time. He hugged them close when they flung themselves at him, whispering words of love and reassurance until he felt a light touch on his shoulder. Reluctantly he stepped back and turned to Erestor.

"Glorfindel has the key," he said hoarsely. "There should be plenty of herbs to last untilÖ" He fell quiet, unable to continue.

Erestor nodded at him. "I know," he said calmly as he led his lord to the horse awaiting for him.

Elrond mounted his horse and glanced at Galadriel. At the same time, they nudged their horses and left. The train of elves that were leaving with them followed, and soon the valley was quiet. Those remaining drew back into the house until only Erestor and Glorfindel remained.

"We will sail when our time comes," Glorfindel said, seeing the sorrow in Erestorís eyes.

Erestor cast him a look and squeezed the calloused hand wordlessly.

****************


It had been days since the tall white tower had become visible on the horizon - days, and yet they only now approached the shores of the Lonely Isle. He could see them from where he stood on the ship, the elves gathered on the sands to greet their loved ones. The sight of the tall elf with hair redder than flame made him smile sadly; some of those waiting would be disappointed.

He felt Galadriel beside him, her hand quickly squeezing his in reassurance or support, or maybe both - and the ship docked.

As they stepped ashore, the feel of land beneath their feet for the first time in months, they were surrounded by chaos; so many elves. He saw Galadriel caught up and swung as if she were a child by a tall, golden haired elf, tears of joy streaming down both their faces. No one approached him. Not his mother, not his father; not that he had expected either, knowing their fates, and his brother had been dead for centuries. The hope that he would once more see CelebrŪan, to see love and peace in her eyes again, flickered and died inside him. All lost. Opening his eyes again, he made for that tall elf he had seen from the ship, stopping hesitantly in front of him.

"Erestor is not here," he said quietly. "He refuses to sail."

Maedhros stiffened and his grey eyes darkened. "You know," he said; it was not a question.

Elrond nodded as he watched the other.

"Is he happy?"

Elrond hesitated, not sure of what the truth was. Was Erestor happy? "I think he is finally finding peace with Glorfindel," he answered after a long silence.

"Glorfindel," Maedhros said tiredly. "I am glad he realised at last. I am glad for him." He pulled Elrond closer, giving him a loose hug before releasing him again. "Someone, I believe, is looking for you."

Before Elrond had time to react the tall elf turned and left. Confused, he turned in the direction Maedhros had been looking, and froze.

Her hair was the same pale silver as he had seen in his dreams for over five hundred years and those sky-blue eyes looked at him hesitantly.

"CelebrŪan."

Suddenly she ran towards him, tears streaming down her face as she threw her arms around him in a tight embrace. His own arms came up around her waist and somewhere he was aware of his own tears as he held her close. She had come.

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