By Any Means Necessary
Elrond cleared his throat, feeling embarrassed for having to ask Glorfindel’s help, but he couldn’t postpone his trip to the bathroom any longer. His bladder wouldn’t allow it. “Uhm? Glorfindel?” The blond Elda was seated on the chair next to his bed and now looked at him questioningly. “I need to visit the bathroom, but I am not sure I can cover the distance.”
The understanding smile that surfaced on Glorfindel’s face reassured Elrond that his lover realized how hard it was for him to ask for assistance. Both warriors, they disliked having to depend on someone. “Would you assist me in getting there?”
“But of course, melme.” (Love.) Glorfindel got to his feet and began to push down the covers, revealing Elrond’s naked body. He sniffed, and then grinned. “You could do with a bath as well.”
Elrond suspected Glorfindel had made that comment to ease the growing tension and grinned in turn. “I am not opposed to you giving me a sponge bath, meleth-nîn.” Seeing Glorfindel’s puzzled expression, he added, “I would love a bath myself, but I still haven’t regained full control over my body. You don’t want me to drown in the bathtub, do you?”
“Of course I don’t!” Glorfindel chuckled softly.
That chuckle and the definitely wicked expression in his lover’s eyes alerted Elrond. It looked like Glorfindel might have a hidden agenda, but he decided not to push the matter. “The bathroom, melme.”
Glorfindel wrapped his arms around his waist and helped him to his feet. Elrond stood on shaky legs, but didn’t falter as he set his first steps. Elrond appreciated it that his lover wasn’t trying to carry him to the bathroom. That would definitely have been embarrassing.
Slowly they made their way into the bathroom. Elrond blushed when he reached for his member, eager to relieve himself. His embarrassment increased when his fingers refused to properly wrap around his flaccid organ. Muttering curses in Dwarvish, he realized he wouldn’t manage.
“I didn’t know you could swear like that, melme,” chuckled Glorfindel bemused. But then Elrond glowered at him and the Elda understood why his lover felt embarrassed. But he still couldn’t stop chuckling. “Want me to hold it for you?” He grinned, when Elrond released another round of curses.
Elrond needed a moment to calm down and then nodded abruptly. “I had envisioned the circumstances much different when you would first touch me,” he said, grinding his teeth in frustration.
Glorfindel rested his check against Elrond’s, rubbing the skin until the half-Elf relaxed. “Kiss me.”
Not expecting that request, he stared at Glorfindel in wonder. But when his lover’s soft lips claimed his, he closed his eyes and gave in. Minute tremors coursed through his body when the blond wrapped his fingers around his member, helping him to relieve himself.
A soft sigh fled his lips and Elrond leaned heavily against his lover. “Diolle lle.” (Thank you.) It meant a lot to him that Glorfindel remained at his side during his recovery.
Glorfindel guided his charge to the chair in the corner of the bathroom and sat Elrond down.
Elrond watched with interest as Glorfindel filled a bowl with water. The Elda then added oils to the tepid water and returned to his side, carrying the bowl and a wash cloth. Realizing his lover’s intent, Elrond smiled and enjoyed the sensation of wet cloth moving over his body, removing the film of sweat that had formed there during his fever.
Maintaining eye contact with his seneschal, Elrond realized the mischievous glint was still present in his lover’s blue eyes. “I am most fortunate to have you at my side, Glorfindel.”
Glorfindel smiled and then concentrated on cleaning him up. Elrond’s tense muscles began to loosen and he stared dotingly at the blond, who was now moving the wash cloth up and down his legs. During his lover’s tender ministrations, Elrond felt the first stirring in his groin, telling him how much his body loved being touched in this matter. When the wash cloth circled around his nipples, cleaning his chest, his breathing began to quicken.
Glorfindel’s amusement was written all over his handsome face and Elrond groaned pitifully as his groin tightened, making his member rise with interest. His lover had already washed his legs, arms, back and chest and now the wash cloth moved toward his groin. Elrond swallowed hard, as the somewhat coarse, wet fabric rubbed against the sensitive scrotum, making him even harder. “Melme, I do not think we should do this right now…” His voice trailed off in pleasure when the wet cloth moved up and down his hard flesh.
So this was what the Elda had been up to when he had seen the wicked expression in those blue eyes! Elrond stared at Glorfindel questioningly when the blond replaced the wash cloth with a hand, curling his fingers around his throbbing erection. “What…?” Elrond was unable to finish as unexpectedly hot lips closed over the head, teasing the slit. “Oh…” The pleasure was sudden and intense, and instinctively he rested one hand on Glorfindel’s shoulder, whilst burying the other in the long, golden mane.
The blond’s expert moves told him that Glorfindel had engaged in this sort of activity before. He gasped, when the Elda took in his length, taking him into his throat. The rhythm that Glorfindel set was fast and pushed him toward the edge. Urged on by his lover’s bold and knowing ministrations, he used his hold on the blond’s bobbing head to maintain the speed. Glorfindel seemed to understand and suckled even harder.
“Ai!” Whimpering in delight, he thrust into his lover’s hot mouth, burying himself completely. Glorfindel took him, and allowed him to thrust a few more times. Realizing he was about to reach orgasm, he whispered, “A…bout… to… come… melme…” Even though the ecstasy was overwhelming he felt it was his duty to warn his lover, as he didn’t know if Glorfindel wanted him to pull out before finding release.
But Glorfindel didn’t move away; instead the blond increased the pressure and Elrond came shouting his lover’s name. Entranced, he stared at Glorfindel, who swallowed every drop. “Oh, my…” Lost for words, his hands slid down until they cupped Glorfindel’s face, forcing the blond to release him and look at him.
Droplets of white come dripped from the Elda’s chin and Elrond tenderly wiped them away. “Im mela lle, melamin.” (I love you, my lover.) Leaning in closer, he claimed the blond’s lips in a passionate kiss, tasting himself on the red lips.
The kiss ended when Elrond pulled back, feeling weak in the pit of his stomach. “You are very talented, Glorfindel.”
“I am glad you approve,” said Glorfindel smugly. “I hope you are equally talented in these matters. Or do I have to teach you?”
“Oh, I think I can still teach you some things,” said Elrond amused. “We are equally matched.” Glorfindel, who was still on his knees in front of him, had never seemed more alluring. “We will explore this matter more elaborately once I am recovered, meleth-nîn.” (My love.)
“I am already looking forward to that exploration,” quipped Glorfindel happily.
Elrond wriggled an eyebrow. “I will make sure you will be most pleased. But you will have to be patient until then.”
The wash cloth returned to clean him up *again* and Elrond laughed amused, but when he tried to rise from the chair, he found that his knees gave away underneath him. “You wore me out, melme.” (Love.)
Glorfindel cocked his head, and gave him a look filled with mock guilt. “I shouldn’t have done that then?” Oh, he already knew what Elrond’s answer would be.
“Nay!” Elrond quickly wrapped his arms around the blond as they made their way back to the bed. “You did everything just right.” He sat down on the bed and allowed Glorfindel to lift his feet and to tuck him in. “And you should definitely do it again some time.”
Glorfindel burst out in approving laughter. “I knew you were going to say that.”
Elrond studied his lover and realized their love life would be passionate – and exhausting!
Thranduil and Erestor had eaten breakfast, dressed, and were now on their way to visit with Elrond.
“You really cannot stop smirking, can you?” Thranduil shook his head in bemusement. Ever since they had left his private rooms, a silly grin seemed glued to the dark-haired Elf’s face.
“I cannot help it,” Erestor said apologetically. “It is knowing that you love me that makes me act in this way. When I accidentally bound myself to you I had no idea we would develop feelings for one another.” And suddenly the grin disappeared, just like that.
The unexpected darkening of Erestor’s eyes worried Thranduil, who didn’t know what to make of the change. Acting instinctively, he rested a hand at the small of Erestor’s back. “What is it, nîn-cuil? (My hero.) What troubles you? A moment ago you were grinning.”
Erestor nervously cleared his throat. “You *do* want me to stay here with you in Mirkwood, don’t you?” Although it was irrational to think otherwise, panic overwhelmed him momentarily, scared that Thranduil would tire of him and send him away.
Thranduil stopped walking and Erestor froze next to him. Standing face to face, he placed his hands on either side of his lover’s head, making sure he had Erestor’s undivided attention. “You will stay at my side until the day one of us dies.” He paused to ponder something. “If you are to die first, know that I will follow shortly. You have become such an important part to me that I could not possibly survive without you. I feel you,” he paused to point at his head, “here,” his hand slid downward to rest upon his chest over his heart, “and here.”
Deeply touched by Thranduil’s words, Erestor blinked once, trying to dispel the tears building in his eyes. This was not the right time to cry! “Oh, melamin. I knew you loved me, but…” He’d had no idea just how much the Sinda loved him!
“It is normal for us to feel insecure, and emotionally we are in an uproar, but together we will find a way to deal with our feelings.” He claimed Erestor’s hand and guided it to his lips, where he bestowed a kiss onto its back. “You will always have a home with me, even if you decide to return to Imladris at one point. It would cause me great pain to let you go, but you should always follow your heart.”
Erestor stared at Thranduil in disbelief. “You know something? I heard many tales about this King, arrogant and selfish, who ruled in Mirkwood, but I found him absent when I arrived here. Instead I found a kind and compassionate soul.”
Thranduil’s eyes sparkled with mirth and delight. “The rumors of my arrogance were greatly exaggerated, though I feel I must warn you. I have been known to throw some tantrums.” But they had mostly happened when dealing with irritable foes. “You will stay then?”
“Elrond already told me I could stay if I desire so. Aye, I will stay.” Erestor wasn’t prepared to be nearly swept off his feet when Thranduil reached for him, folding arms around his waist and kissing him wildly. “My, you are eager,” he said teasingly.
Thranduil chuckled, reluctantly releasing his lover and continuing their walk. He was relieved that he had received the answer he had wanted all along; Erestor would stay with him. “I must thank Elrond for taking Vilya to Mirkwood. Sauron’s Shadow no longer burdens my soul and I feel free again.”
“I am pleased to hear that. Maybe that will also mean you will begin eating again.” His eyes darkened with worry. “You are much too skinny.”
Thranduil felt relieved now that the shadows of doubt had left Erestor’s brown eyes. For one moment he had worried that his lover had drawn the wrong conclusions. “You are right, nîn-cuil, I haven’t been eating properly.” He gathered his lover’s hands in his and then knocked on the door, announcing their arrival to Elrond and Glorfindel.
Glorfindel’s gaze fastened on the door. He had a good idea who was visiting them. When Erestor and Thranduil entered, the first thing he noticed was the fact that they were holding hands. It would seem that Elrond’s worries were unfounded. The expression in Thranduil’s eyes was tender and loving, and Vilya sparkled brilliantly at the Sinda’s hand. Elrond had been right to come here and temporarily hand the ring of power over to the Woodland King. It was greatly aiding Thranduil’s recovery. /They appear happy./
Looking at Elrond, Glorfindel wriggled an eyebrow and the half-Elf smiled as well. Elrond had seen the way Thranduil and Erestor stood close to each other and his worries were lay to rest as well.
After clearing his throat, Elrond realized it was up to him to address Thranduil first. “You seem to fare better today, Thranduil.”
The Sindarin Elf elegantly inclined his head in gratitude. “That is because Vilya is strengthening me. Without the ring I would still feel weak.”
Elrond gracefully accepted Thranduil’s gratitude. “I hope you will consider forming an alliance now that I showed my good will.” He had to take advantage of the fact that Thranduil was this mellow.
“I already told Erestor that I am willing to take part in such an alliance.”
“You did?” Erestor frowned. When he looked at the blond at his side, he realized Thranduil was slightly blushing. /Ah, you didn’t tell me and you don’t want Elrond to know./ He was willing to cover up for his lover. “That must have slipped my mind.”
Thranduil coughed in an attempt to cover his white lie. “You must have been busy worrying about me.”
Elrond watched the scene with growing amusement. “I must admit you surprise me, Thranduil.” He frowned when the Sinda’s green eyes narrowed.
“Living with Sauron’s Shadow changed me, Elrond. I am no longer the Elf you knew.” Thranduil drew in a deep breath, knowing he was about to make himself vulnerable with his next statement. “And Erestor has upended my life. For so many years I hated the Noldor, but Erestor changed my views of them.” He shrugged once, trying to hide his growing nervousness. “The fact that you came here to aid me, made me realize how wrong I was in the past.”
“I must admit that I am glad you did not follow up on your threat to end my life if I ever set foot on your lands,” whispered Elrond thoughtfully.
Thranduil realized he was quickly forming a habit of coughing to make up for his embarrassment. “Maybe I was out of line to threaten you in that manner.”
“Let us not dwell upon it,” said Erestor, coming to the rescue.
Elrond nodded thankfully at his chief advisor. /Though I wonder if you are still my councilor. I suspect you rallied over to Thranduil’s side./ And he couldn’t really blame Erestor. /By any means necessary. You succeeded in forming this alliance and this is the price I have to pay. But I will gladly pay it, if it means knowing this realm safe and you happy./
“Maybe we can meet for dinner and discuss the alliance?” suggested Glorfindel. All four of them needed time to sort out their feelings and thoughts.
“A splendid idea,” commented Thranduil. “We will see you in the evening. I suggest you rest until then,” he said, addressing Elrond. “Don’t underestimate the power of that venom.”
“Ah, now that you mentioned it, I would love to learn about the ingredients of that salve you used to cure my paralysis.” Elrond gave Thranduil an apologetic look. “I am a healer and interested in exploring its healing abilities.”
“I will make sure you get a list of ingredients and their quantities,” promised Thranduil. Considering their conversation ended, he steered Erestor back toward the doorway. “I will send a servant to fetch you when dinner is ready.”
“Diolle lle,” said Elrond sincerely. “I am glad we managed to settle our differences, meldir.” (Friend.)
Thranduil shot Elrond a curious look, hearing that last word. “You are most welcome here, mellon-nîn.” (My friend.) A look of understanding passed between them and then Thranduil stepped into the corridor, pulling his lover with him. It had taken centuries for them to bury the hatchet, but Mirkwood and Imladris were finally on friendly terms.
“Ata’da?” Elladan’s eyes widened, catching sight of Celeborn and his escort as the ‘Lorien Elves entered the courtyard. Surprised, he hurried down the stairs. Celeborn’s arrival was unexpected, but more than welcome. He hadn’t known his grandfather was about to visit Imladris.
As he ran toward the party, he felt relieved now that Celeborn was here. He had hoped to contact his father when he had reached out, but Elrond hadn’t replied. But now Celeborn was here and his grandfather could hopefully talk some sense into his twin.
“Ata’da!” Elladan called out and wrapped his arms around Celeborn’s shoulders the moment the silver-haired Elf’s feet had touched the ground.
Celeborn caught his grandson and braced himself, sensing the emotional turmoil Elladan was in. /I did the right thing in coming here. Elladan needs me!/
“The Valar must have sent you, ata’da.” Elladan trustingly looked into his grandfather’s eyes. “I hoped they would send help!”
“Help?” Celeborn exchanged a look with Haldir, briefly looking away from Elladan. “Take the horses to the stable and arrange for sleeping quarters.”
“Ata’da, Elrohir and I are in charge. Ada, Elrond, Erestor, Glorfindel and even Lindir are in Mirkwood. I will ask one of the servants to take care of your escort.”
“I am perfectly capable of doing that as well,” replied Haldir, catching the panic in Elladan’s eyes. “Your grandfather is eager to talk to you and you should not postpone that conversation. I will take care of my men.”
Elladan nodded, thankful that Haldir would see to his men’s needs himself. But then the march warden’s words fully registered. “What conversation?” Staring at Celeborn, he read understanding in the azure eyes. “You know?”
It was time to take charge and Celeborn guided Elladan into the Last Homely House, steering the half-Elf toward Elrond’s study, where they could talk without being disturbed. He wanted to talk to Elladan before confronting Elrohir.
“When you tried to contact your father, you reached me instead.” Celeborn saw the shock in Elladan’s eyes and led the younger half-Elf to a chair, gently pushing him down.
Elladan shifted on the chair, growing hopeful. “You heard me?” He had thought his attempt to farspeak had been fruitless!
Celeborn seated himself behind Elrond’s desk, for the simple reason that the half-Elf’s chair was the most comfortable one in the room. He felt tired after traveling from ‘Lorien to Imladris in only a few days and wanted to rest as comfortable as possible. “I did not receive the whole message so I need you to tell me what has happened to cause Elrohir to fade.”
Sudden calm descended onto Elladan. Now that Celeborn was here things would turn out well. His grandfather was a wise Elf who would get through to his stubborn twin. “He told me he is in love, but he refuses to tell me who he is.”
Celeborn raised an eyebrow inquisitively. “He won’t tell you? Why is that? Elrohir and you are very close and always confide in each other. Why would he stop now?”
“I tried to find out,” added Elladan quickly. “I asked him if it was Erestor or Glorfindel, or even Lindir. But he remained silent. I even asked him if it was Haldir or another ‘Lorien Elf but he refused to tell me. I do not know what to do. Nana traveled to Valinor because she was fading and that is the only reason why she is alive today, even though she is out of my reach. But Elrohir refuses to sail to the Undying Lands. He even threatened to choose mortality. I did manage to talk him out of that. But I still fear losing him within the year and I cannot let that happen!” Elladan continued to rave, his voice gaining a sharp edge. “I cannot live without him. He did not fully understand when I told him I would travel to the Halls of Waiting with him. He just won’t listen to me!”
Celeborn quickly rose from behind the desk and pulled up a chair so he could sit down next to Elladan, whose eyes were dancing wildly in their sockets. The stench of fear emanating from the half-Elf made him almost nauseous. “Calm yourself, Elladan. We need to be calm and controlled when dealing with him.”
“You must talk to him, ata’da! Show him the wrong of his choices. Make him reconsider. He cannot fade!” Elladan had grabbed Celeborn’s hands and pleadingly looked at his grandfather.
“I will talk to him,” promised Celeborn. His heart ached, seeing Elladan’s distress. “Do not give up yet. Your twin’s love does not have to be unrequited. There is a chance that his loved one just does not know about the attraction and Elrohir is too shy to tell him. Maybe he thinks he has no chance with his chosen one.”
“I hope so!” Elladan sighed, feeling more confident now that his grandfather was taking charge. When Celeborn squeezed his hands for comfort, he even managed a weak smile. “I am so glad you are here, ata’da. I had almost given up hope, but your words strengthen me.”
Celeborn enfolded his trembling grandson in a tight and protective hug. As they sat in silence, his thoughts returned to Elladan’s words. All elder Elves were in Mirkwood and he wondered why they had left together. Elrond should have been sensible enough to leave either Glorfindel or Erestor behind in Imladris. Now that the twins faced problems, they were lost.
He decided against telling Elladan that he had failed to contact Elrond as well. The elder twin was already burdened by his brother’s fading and he didn’t want to add to Elladan’s worries. He would send a messenger to Mirkwood to inquire when Elrond or his seneschal planned to return. /Elrond needs to know his youngest son is fading. But should I entrust that information to a messenger as well?/ He had no idea how Elrond would react to learning such distressing news. /I will inform Elrond when he returns and I will tell the messenger to implore Elrond to hurry home because it is a matter of life and death. That will tell Elrond to hurry./
Elladan leaned heavily against him and sensing the twin’s despair, he soothed the troubled half-Elf. “I will talk to Elrohir and find out what is making him fade. Together, the three of us will find a way to unite him with his chosen one.”
Elladan nodded against his grandfather’s chest. Tears slipped unnoticed from his eyes, and were absorbed by the fabric of Celeborn’s tunic. “Please make him stay. Don’t let him fade.”
Celeborn bit his bottom lip, knowing he shouldn’t make that promise, but Elladan’s pain hit him physically. “I promise you won’t lose him. I vow he will stay with you.” Elladan sighed relieved, but Celeborn felt a twitch of guilt. What if he failed to keep that promise?
/I will just have to find out why Elrohir is fading and unite him with his beloved. I should be able to bring them together./ He just had to do his best.
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