By Any Means Necessary
Elladan felt truly content now that Elrohir was in his arms again. The younger half-Elf fit perfectly against him and he sighed blissfully. Elrohir promptly looked over his shoulder and Elladan smiled brightly. “I am so glad that we found you. It was ata’da who tracked you down. I might never have found you, emotional as I was.”
Casting a glance at Celeborn, Elrohir couldn’t help still feeling betrayed. His grandfather had somehow made him admit his feelings and attraction, and had then told Elladan. He no longer felt like he could trust the elder Elf and that realization made him ache inside, for Celeborn had always held a special place in his heart. He refrained from replying, not wanting to say anything spiteful. Celeborn’s gaze unexpectedly caught his and he quickly averted his eyes.
Being honest with himself Elrohir had to admit that he understood why Celeborn had done it. His grandfather didn’t want to lose him and watching Elladan suffer must have been hard on the silver-haired Elf. Yet, he couldn’t find it in his heart to forgive his grandfather – not yet. He needed time in order to deal with what had happened.
“We will be home again within the hour,” said Elladan, trying to make conversation now that the icy cold remained between Elrohir and Celeborn. “Hopefully Ada received the message and is on his way home.”
Elrohir’s head snapped back. “You did what?”
“We sent a messenger. Elrohir, we were under the impression that you were about to cut all ties. Ada deserves to know what is happening.” Elladan pleadingly looked at his twin. “We were so worried.”
“We still are,” interjected Celeborn in a warm tone. He tried to catch Elrohir’s gaze and when he succeeded, he smiled reassuringly. “I owe you an apology, pen-neth. I lured you into a state of relaxation before you felt comfortable enough to tell me, and once I knew what was happening, I had to act quickly.”
Elrohir remained quiet and Celeborn took that as a good sign. Maybe the half-Elf was willing to listen to him. He guided his horse closer to the twins’ and moistened his lips before he continued. “I have seen this happen once before and back then we weren’t so lucky to reclaim the one who was pining for his brother. He died eventually. I didn’t want Elladan to go through that. I want the two of you to be happy.”
Elrohir snorted, but didn’t scold his grandfather. Instead, he leaned into the comfort of his twin’s body and closed his eyes. He wasn’t really tired; he just wanted a moment of peace and quiet to sort out his thoughts, which raced in circles. As he stilled his thoughts, he became aware of the strengthened bond between Elladan and him. He sensed Elladan’s mood, emotions and even caught some worried thoughts. His twin wanted him to accept this and forgive Celeborn, but Elladan was cautious not to say it aloud, afraid he would alienate Elrohir even further. That realization hurt.
There had only been one secret between them in all these centuries. He had kept his love a secret, and in the end, Elladan had found out anyway. “I cannot forgive you yet,” he said eventually, meeting Celeborn’s eyes hesitantly.
Celeborn knew it was the best he could hope for and nodded thankfully. “I will earn your trust again.” He exchanged a look with Elladan when Elrohir closed his eyes. This would take time, but he was confident that Elrohir would forgive him eventually.
“Can we leave now?” Elrond expectantly looked at Glorfindel. The skies were clear and Arien warmed Arda. He was in a hurry to return to Imladris and, although he was trying to be cooperative, Glorfindel was testing his patience.
“Aye, we will leave, then.” Glorfindel realized Elrond was capable of mounting Asfaloth and simply riding off without waiting for his escort to follow. “But we will ride together.” Elrond might not admit it, but the enforced rest had done him good. The half-Elf looked less pale, the dark circles were fading and Elrond even seemed steadier on his feet when they made their way over to Asfaloth.
He helped Elrond into the saddle and then seated himself behind the half-Elf. Taking hold of the reins, he guided Asfaloth toward the sentries. “What do you think has happened to Elrohir?” During his sleep, Elrond had been restless, calling out to his youngest son.
Elrond swallowed hard. “Melme, it feels like he is fading. My bond with him is very weak.”
Glorfindel involuntarily pressed his heels into Asfaloth’s flanks, telling the horse to speed up. “Fading? And what about Elladan?” He didn’t want to say it aloud, but if Elrohir was fading there was a chance that Elladan was too.
“I can still sense Elladan clearly. He seems troubled, but he is not fading.” Elrond sighed distressed. “I cannot lose either of them, melme. My heart would break.”
“I know that, nîn ind.” He had seen the bond Elrond shared with all his children. The half-Elf’s heart was filled with love and would break losing just one of them. He shuddered; /Aiya, what if losing Elrohir will cause Elrond to fade?/ He had to prevent that from happening at all cost! “We will reach Elrohir in time.”
“I hope so.” Collapsing against his lover’s warm body, Elrond drew in deep breath, unable to keep himself from brooding.
Celeborn felt relieved when they finally entered the Last Homely House. He shooed the twins toward their rooms, announcing he would make a quick trip to the Healing House to acquire some clean bandages, as he still needed to properly examine and bind Elrohir’s injured arm.
Elrohir let Elladan guide him to their rooms and sit him down on his bed. Looking about, he realized he had missed home. It had been folly to run away, but at the time he had panicked.
“Gwenneth?” Elladan sat on his heels in front of his twin and waited for Elrohir to look at him. “Would you like to take a bath?” Elrohir would probably want to freshen up.
“Aye,” said Elrohir hesitantly, “but I don’t think I can manage alone.” His arm still hindered him.
“I will help you,” offered Elladan in a friendly and understanding tone.
“That’s what I am afraid of,” whispered Elrohir in an unguarded moment. Startled at hearing his words aloud, he stared at Elladan.
“I will behave,” said Elladan, “if that is what you are afraid of.” He would, however, tenderly care for his brother. “I like touching you, gwenneth.”
Elrohir blushed weakly. “I know you do, but this feels… odd to me.”
“Elrohir?” Elladan hoped his brother would open up further to him. They had already come a long way. “What is it?”
“For… years… I fantasized about you. About touching you,” mumbled Elrohir, absentmindedly fumbling the fabric of his leggings. “I just have a hard time accepting that things have changed between us.” Shyly, he made eye contact with his twin. “I want to touch you so badly.”
“Then touch me, gwenneth,” said Elladan invitingly. Gathering Elrohir’s uninjured hand in his, he placed its palm against his chest. “Or would you prefer me removing my clothes first?” He grinned when Elrohir’s blush intensified. “Aye, you would.” Slowly, he rose from the floor and pulled his twin with him. “We will take that bath together and I will behave, but you may touch me in whatever way you desire.”
Elrohir, nervous, swallowed hard. “Elladan, I…”
“Im mela lle, gwenneth. Everything is all right.” Trying to soothe his twin, he stroked the long, slightly dust-covered hair. “We should wash this dust and grime off of you. And you must tell me how you ended up in that rock avalanche.”
Finding back to his senses, Elrohir nodded weakly. “It was just pure stupidity. I panicked.” He followed Elladan into the bathroom and watched his twin fill up the pool. He managed to remove his boots and leggings, but failed to unbutton his shirt.
Elladan, who had removed his clothes as well, turned to face his twin. /I never realized how handsome you are, gwenneth./
Elladan’s eyes widened. “You can read my thoughts?” It had happened on occasion, usually when they were emotional or injured, but not when they were calm.
Elrohir nodded once. “It must be due to our stronger bond.”
“Let me help you out of that shirt.” Elladan’s breath caught in admiration, seeing Elrohir naked again. “I have never seen a more beautiful being before,” he whispered, enfolding Elrohir in his arms.
“You promised to behave,” mumbled Elrohir, his resolve to keep his hands off of Elladan weakening. Elladan was warm against him and when his twin led him into the water, the other half-Elf’s erection bobbed against his thigh.
His twin was already hard, but Elladan remained true his word and behaved.
Once seated on one of the curved seats into the pool, Elrohir leaned back and rested his body against Elladan’s. His brother’s arm was still wrapped around him and he relished Elladan’s closeness. “The bandages are getting wet.” His arm and shoulder throbbed and he bit down the pain, not wanting Elladan to worry about him.
But the link told Elladan of his brother’s discomfort. He was no healer and didn’t know to treat the injury. They had to wait for Celeborn to return. In the meantime, he might be able to distract Elrohir from his pain. “You said you wanted to touch me.”
Elrohir’s eyes, which had closed, now opened. He stared at his older twin, wondering if he had misheard. Elladan was incredibly close and his presence was intoxicating. How many times had he dreamt of being with Elladan in this way? How many times had he fled into the bathroom to relieve the sensual tension that had life made so unbearable? And now Elladan was willing to make some of those fantasies come true? “Are you sure?”
Elladan left no more room for doubt when he rested his brother’s hand on his erection. “This is how sure I am. This is how much I want your touch. Does this convince you?” He was painfully hard and Elrohir’s fingers – ghosting over his hard flesh – only made him hungrier for this touch. “You may do whatever you want with me, gwenneth.”
Elrohir, nervously, nodded once, slowly accepting that this was the way it would be. Tentatively, he curled his fingers around Elladan’s erection, stroking experimentally. “Will you touch me as well?”
Elladan nodded, smiled and slowly pumped Elrohir’s erection. “Kiss me?” He leaned back, as Elrohir gingerly claimed his lips. Eagerly parting his lips and teeth, he invited his brother’s tongue into his mouth, engaging Elrohir in a passionate kiss. Unexpectedly, the younger half-Elf rocked against him and Elladan raised an eyebrow inquisitively.
Feeling Elladan’s eyes on him, Elrohir blushed. “It shows, doesn’t it?”
Careful to keep up the soothing strokes to the hard flesh, Elladan kept his younger brother on the edge. “What shows?” Looking deeply into Elrohir’s grey eyes, he thought he saw a hint of silver in them, something which he had never seen before.
“You are my first,” whispered Elrohir in a husky tone. “I never had a lover. My heart always belonged to you.” Speaking coherently was becoming increasingly difficult now that Elladan was cunningly steering him toward release.
Elladan bestowed a gentle kiss onto the tip of his brother’s nose. “I worried about that when I claimed you. I tried to be extremely careful. I was afraid I would leave you sore.”
“I am a bit… sore,” admitted Elrohir reluctantly, but then Elladan’s strokes suddenly sped up and he threw back his head in delight. Elladan’s erection escaped his fingers and the older half-Elf quickly moved closer, straddling his hips. Staring at Elladan, he saw the love and pleasure in his brother’s eyes. It made him surrender to these exquisite sensations, thrusting into Elladan’s hand. “Aiya, I am so close.”
“Tell me. Tell me what would complete your happiness. Tell me what you really want.” It was a dirty trick, but Elladan was under the impression that Elrohir was still keeping back and he wanted the whole truth. “What does your heart desire?”
“You,” cried out Elrohir, finding release in the warm water. “I want to be inside you!”
Elladan nodded once and then cradled Elrohir against his chest after seeing the shocked expression in the grey eyes.
“I…” Rendered speechless by both the admission and his shattering orgasm, Elrohir sobbed softly against his brother’s chest. “I don’t know why I said that.”
“You said it because it is the truth.” Elladan pulled back so he could look into his twin’s swimming eyes. “And once you claim me the circle will be completed.”
Elrohir wiped away his tears, searching Elladan’s eyes. “You would let me do that?”
“Not for you, for us, for I want you to claim me in turn. Gwenneth, the two of us are one and we always will be, no matter what the future will bring. Now that we stopped fighting this, we need to make our bond as strong as possible. I never want to face losing you again. I want us to be truly one.”
Elrohir had listened in breathless fascination. “When you… When you made love to me, I… I felt different. Rationally I knew you were inside me, but there was one moment when it felt like I was taking you.”
Elladan nodded firmly. “I know. It happened to me as well.” He paused to gather Elrohir close to him again. Once the younger half-Elf rested against him, he supported his twin’s arm, hearing Elrohir moan painfully. “Ata’da should examine your arm and shoulder.”
But Elrohir’s thoughts were elsewhere. “Right after we had joined our bodies together, did you feel that… warmth as well?”
“A soft glow.”
“I felt it, Elrohir, and to be honest, I want to feel it again.” Tangling his fingers in his brother’s hair, he recalled he was supposed to clean Elrohir up. “I will wash your hair and then we will see ata’da. And gwenneth, please try to forgive him, for he means well.”
“I will try,” said Elrohir, sighing. “But I cannot make any promises, for he betrayed my trust.”
“Give it time, gwenneth. Give it time.”
Celeborn wasn’t sure what to expect when he knocked on the door to the twins’ rooms. Elladan had welcomed his help – interference – unlike Elrohir. Both half-Elves were dear to him and he didn’t want to lose their affection. He simply had to regain Elrohir’s trust.
Stepping inside, he scanned the bedroom. Elrohir stood in front of the window and was looking out over the valley, whilst Elladan was building a fire in the fireplace. “I brought clean bandages and I would like to examine your arm now – if you will let me.” Studying the younger half-Elf, he encountered an unreadable expression in the grey eyes and he held his breath, waiting for Elrohir’s answer.
“Gwenneth…” Elladan’s voice echoed softly through the room, as the half-Elf advanced on his younger brother.
Elrohir sighed deeply and gave in. There was no use fighting both of them when he was in pain. His arm and shoulder throbbed angrily now that his panic had ebbed away, causing him to grow very much aware of his injury. He followed Elladan obediently and sat down on the bed. He hadn’t bothered to put a shirt on and had only dressed in clean leggings. “You may check on my arm.”
Celeborn released the breath he had been holding. “Diola lle.” He realized that this was hard on his youngest grandson. After placing the clean bandages on the bed, he pulled up a chair and began to cut away the wet fabric. Apparently Elladan had judged it safer to keep the bandages in place whilst cleaning Elrohir up. From the corner of his eye, he caught Elladan standing at the head end of the bed, lending his younger brother his silent support.
“Are you in any pain?” Celeborn asked, placing the drenched bandages aside. Gently, his fingers probed the arm and then the shoulder joint, manipulating it cautiously. Elrohir hissed, answering his question without words. “Where does it hurt?”
“I am not sure,” said Elrohir reluctantly. “It is my shoulder and my arm.”
Celeborn rose from his chair and continued to manipulate the shoulder, drawing more pain-filled groans from Elrohir. “I cannot believe I didn’t realize earlier that you have a dislocated shoulder.”
“Dislocated?” Elrohir briefly made eye contact with Celeborn. “That must have happened when my horse threw me off. She panicked, seeing the rock avalanche.”
“You probably landed on your shoulder,” concluded Celeborn. “Elladan, would you assist me? We need to pop the arm back in.” Looking at Elrohir, he added, “This will hurt.”
“Do it. I can take the pain.” He had endured worse! Gritting his teeth, he reluctantly leaned against Celeborn’s body when the elder Elf began to ease the arm back into the shoulder joint. A nauseating ‘plop’ echoed through the room, signaling it had slipped back into place.
Elrohir gasped in pain and his face contorted, desperately trying to stop himself from whimpering. He refused to display his misery in that way. Staring at the floor, he tried to control the waves of throbbing ache that swept through his shoulder.
Celeborn, sensing Elrohir’s pain, carefully bandaged the injured area and then created another sling for the half-Elf to rest his arm in.
Elladan, who had half held, half supported his twin, now moved in front of Elrohir and sat on his heels, making eye contact. He didn’t need to see the pain in the grey eyes to know it was there; he felt it like it was his own. “It is done, gwenneth. Your shoulder can now begin to heal.”
Realizing he should thank his grandfather for taking care of him, Elrohir mumbled, “Diola lle.”
Celeborn felt disappointed, realizing Elrohir still refused to call him grandfather. “You should favor that shoulder for a few days, pen-neth. Your healing ability is not yet what it used to be.”
Elrohir bit his bottom lip in frustration; he wanted to be alone, but Elladan and Celeborn refused to stop fussing over him. “I will be fine.”
“I am sure you will, because we will look after you,” said Elladan sternly. “Now what do you want to do?”
Elrohir wanted to shrug, but stopped himself just in time. “I don’t know.”
“Maybe you would like to rest?” suggested Celeborn, hoping Elrohir would lie down and sleep for some hours.
“Nay.” Elrohir unexpectedly looked at his grandfather. “I don’t want to be cooped up in my room. Can I go outside?”
Elladan cringed, but made sure Elrohir didn’t see. “We could sit in the gardens for a while.”
Elrohir smiled happily at that. “I will even eat something after our walk.” The truth was that he was growing hungry.
Celeborn, realizing his presence was no longer needed, stepped aside. “I would love it if the two of you joined me for dinner.”
Elrohir wanted to refuse, but sensing Elladan’s eagerness to accept that invitation, he found himself nodding. “We will be there, then.”
Celeborn left, and headed for Glorfindel’s office near the barracks, knowing he would probably find Haldir there. He wanted to look upon his love and share a moment with him before duty called again.
Haldir’s heart missed a beat, recognizing the firm footfalls in the corridor. He had long ago learned to recognize Celeborn’s walk and now smiled, pretending to read a report.
“Haldir?” Celeborn’s heart pounded madly in his chest, seeing his trusted march warden behind Glorfindel’s desk. Haldir had been his confidant for many centuries and they knew each other well. At times, he even deluded himself into thinking that Haldir had feelings for him as well, but that was just wishful thinking. The march warden was intelligent enough not to lose his heart to the Lord of the Golden Wood, who was bound to Galadriel. “Did everything go well here?”
“Everything is under control,” said Haldir, rising from behind the desk. “Did you find the elusive Peredhel?” He could tell Celeborn felt troubled, but also knew the elder Elf would tell him if his Lord thought he needed to know.
“Aye, we did. Walk with me?” Celeborn waited for Haldir to fall into step with him and then headed for the stables. “I want to go for a ride.”
Haldir signaled for the attending Elves to get two horses ready and waited until Celeborn had mounted before he followed suit. Once they had left the stables and ventured into the valley, Celeborn made speed and Haldir was forced to do the same. /What is it that vexes him?/
The horses ran until they protested and Celeborn, feeling guilty, immediately slowed down, guiding them to the Bruinen. After dismounting, he encouraged them to drink some water and collapsed beneath an ancient oak tree. Burying his fingers in the earth, he drew his strength from the lands. He had almost forgotten about Haldir, but then the march warden sat down, reminding him.
Haldir remained quiet, waiting for Celeborn to tell him of his own accord.
After a few more minutes, Celeborn said, “We found Elrohir and he is back in Imladris. He dislocated his shoulder during a fall, but is no longer fading.”
Haldir nodded once, and then decided to be completely honest with Celeborn. “I take it Elladan claimed him?” Celeborn raised an eyebrow and Haldir explained. “It is in the way they look at each other. They way they move. You might not notice this because you know them so well, but to the stranger they seem very much in love. I heard it before when they visited Lothlorien. Several Galadhrim told me so.”
Sighing, Celeborn nodded. “Elladan claimed him and thus stopped Elrohir from fading.” He studied his march warden and then ventured a guess. “You approve, then?”
“I was there when Elrond came to Lothlorien to be comforted after Elros’ death. I heard his cries at night. We stopped Elrohir just in time. We might have lost him, much like we lost Elros.”
“Their love was a tragic one,” agreed Celeborn, “And it will greatly pain Elrond to tell his sons the truth, but I do think they deserve to know.”
“It will clarify matters for Elladan and make Elrohir more willing to accept this.” Haldir gave Celeborn a look filled with longing when the Lord of the Wood stared at the Bruinen and he quickly hid his desire, afraid of being caught by Celeborn.
Celeborn’s eyes filled with fatigue, seeking out Haldir’s hazel ones. “Will you watch over me whilst I tell our Lady was has happened here?”
“I will guard you with my life,” vowed Haldir passionately. He would die, trying to keep his Lord safe.
Celeborn smiled, saddened, once more wondering how far his march warden’s dedication ran. After nodding once, he drew in a deep breath and followed the bond that led him home.
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