Dinîf en Qualen
Legolas had enjoyed Elrohir’s company during the afternoon, but then the half-Elf had excused himself to check on Elladan, who was about to return from the border patrol. On his way to the guest quarters, he was overcome by a sense of melancholy that had visited him frequently these last few weeks. Sitting down beneath an ash tree, he enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Glorfindel couldn’t tear his eyes away from Erestor’s form. The raven-haired Elf was sitting behind his desk, in a room adjoining Elrond’s study. The blond had nestled on the windowsill, trying hard to not disturb his lover as he was working his way through a pile of paperwork. Erestor had assured him it would be fine if he returned to his own chores, but he had refused, unable to part from the advisor.
“You are still watching me,” whispered Erestor, trying hard to remain focused on the work at hand.
“I cannot help it,” said Glorfindel cheerfully. “You are stunning.” He smiled, pleased at seeing a fierce blush spread all over his lover’s face. It was sad really, realizing that being complimented was something Erestor still had to get used to. “You really are, nîn amdir.”
Erestor sighed, giving up on finishing the report he was working on. Looking at his lover, he returned the warm smile, which he encountered on Glorfindel’s face. “I really do not deserve you.” Pushing back his chair, he got to his feet and walked over to the window.
Glorfindel lowered his feet onto the floor, opened his arms and wrapped them around Erestor’s frame. Resting his head against his lover’s shoulders, he sighed blissfully. “I am so happy that things have eventually calmed down. These have been some very troubling weeks.” Looking up at Erestor, his smile darkened. “Only a few weeks ago I barely managed to tolerate your presence and then… I often wonder if the Valar sent that storm, for it made me see beneath your mask, melamin.”
Erestor, whose heart missed a beat, wrapped Glorfindel in a tight embrace. “I have an admission to make…” His voice faded, as if uncertain if he should continue.
Glorfindel frowned. “What kind of admission? Nîn amdir, please do not tell me you are keeping more secrets.”
“Only one,” mumbled Erestor, burying his face against the silk of Glorfindel’s green tunic. He really didn’t want to make this admission, but felt his lover had a right to know. “Do you recall the day you arrived in Imladris?”
Still frowning, Glorfindel nodded once. “Aye, I remember. Elrond had an arm around Celebrian’s waist and she was cradling Arwen in her arm. Lindir was still here and Elladan was more than curious to meet me. But Elrohir reached for you, holding your hand tightly and I…” Glorfindel wavered, bit his bottom lip nervously, and then continued, “And I wondered why he liked you that much. You seemed so cold, so distant. Now I understand why you were hiding and how much you had perfected that mask, but back then you intrigued me.” Searching his memories, Glorfindel added, “I disliked you.” Giving Erestor an apologetic smile, he hoped his words wouldn’t cause his lover sorrow. “If only I had realized how much pain was hiding beneath that cool exterior.”
“I would not have let you see beneath it,” said Erestor thoughtfully. Still kneeling in front of his lover, he cradled Glorfindel’s hands against his chest. “But the dislike was not mutual.”
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow curiously. “Not mutual? I could have sworn…” His eyes grew big, finally fully realizing what Erestor was trying to tell him. “You liked me?”
Erestor cleared his throat and averted his eyes, unable to maintain eye contact with his lover. “I thought you were the most radiant being I had ever seen.”
Glorfindel unexpectedly laughed warmly. “And I was convinced you hated me.”
Erestor’s features contorted painfully. “That was what I wanted you to think.”
“Aiya, melamin, it saddens me to know that we could have been lovers much earlier.”
Erestor shook his head. “Nay, I would not have been ready to take that step back then. You would not have gotten through to me. I am surprised you did at all.” If he hadn’t been that seriously wounded they might never have realized their love.
Glorfindel slowly rose from the windowsill, pulling Erestor to his feet with him. Smiling radiantly, he planted a passionate kiss on his lover’s lips, realizing just how fortunate he was to have gained the raven-haired Elf’s love.
Elrond watched the interaction between Elrohir and Legolas and quickly realized that his son was perfectly hiding his attraction from the blond. No matter how badly Elrohir had panicked in his study earlier, not a trace of nervousness had been left on the younger half-Elf’s face. But he knew Elrohir well enough to know his youngest son was suffering in silence.
Legolas seemed completely unaware of the situation. The blond was playing with the food on his plate, his appetite clearly gone. Elrond wondered why.
His gaze shifted further to Thranduil and he noticed the worried look the blond shot Legolas. The expression in Thranduil’s eyes alerted him and he wondered why his lover felt this sad. Was something wrong with Legolas? He sighed softly, hoping no one had heard. Only hours ago he had relished the peace and quiet when his lover had taken charge of the situation, and now new problems had appeared. As usual, it was up to him to solve them.
Thranduil had heard Elrond’s sigh and he searched his lover’s troubled eyes. It was most fortunate that the half-Elf was seated next to him, so it was easy to lean in and whisper into Elrond’s ear. “I do not like that look in your eyes. Should I sweep you off your feet and carry you to your rooms to make sure you stop brooding?”
Elrond actually grinned. “I would like that, but no, that is not necessary. You are right though. I am worried.”
“What about?” Thranduil, realizing Elrohir and Legolas were questioningly staring at him, straightened his shoulders. He still didn’t feel completely comfortable at expressing his feelings for Elrond, but he didn’t plan on hiding them either.
“We will discuss this later… in private.” Elrond had intercepted Elrohir’s worried glance and graced his son with a warm, reassuring smile, telling him everything was all right.
But Elrohir realized something was wrong and probed his father’s gaze. /Do not tell Thranduil! What I told you was confidential! Please do not tell Thranduil!/ When he had confided in his father, he hadn’t been thinking straight, otherwise he might have remained quiet. His father and Thranduil were lovers. It was only logical they would discuss him and his feelings!
Elrohir’s gaze darted nervously to Thranduil’s eyes, but the blond was now staring intently at Legolas. He was missing some pieces of this puzzle. His father was concerned about him and Thranduil about Legolas. The only one who was truly cheerful and unburdened was Elladan.
Elladan had watched the scene with slowly unfolding amazement and curiosity. It seemed like he was carrying out a conversation with himself as no one else was listening or reacting. He was beginning to feel sorry for his younger twin, although Elrohir did seem calmer than when he had delivered his brother to his father’s study. Talking to their father had helped, but had it soothed Elrohir’s troubled mind sufficiently?
Elrond leaned back in his chair, making his move. “Elrohir, why don’t you show Legolas your mother’s gardens? I am sure the cool, fresh air would revive your spirits, which seemed to be bored by Elladan’s chatter.” He ignored the fact that Elladan arched an eyebrow at his words and almost shooed them out of the room. “And take your time. There is no reason to hurry back!”
Elrohir, after rising from his chair, found himself unsteady on his feet, and reached for the wall, composing himself. Suddenly he grew aware of Legolas walking toward him. After drawing in a deep breath, he forced himself to smile warmly. “My father is right. I do think you will enjoy a walk in the gardens.”
Legolas nodded politely. He still wondered why Elrond was this determined to see them off to the gardens instead of spending the evening with them. But he quickly fell into step beside the half-Elf, and glanced at his companion. He just couldn’t determine if Elrohir was nervous or calm. Something just didn’t feel right.
Elrohir guided Legolas into the gardens and he deeply inhaled the flowers’ sweet fragrances. They made him feel calm and he peeked at the blond, walking silently next to him. “The night is quiet and beautiful, don’t you think so?”
Legolas smiled weakly. “I like the night; its calm, the peace that settles over the land.” Returning Elrohir’s glance he asked, “Don’t you think your brother will feel left out? As twins you will be seldom parted.”
Elrohir laughed. “Oh, it is not like we are joined at the hip. We are perfectly capable of leading separate lives, although we greatly enjoy another’s company.”
Legolas felt somewhat relieved. “I would have hated to be the reason for any separation, however brief, between the two of you.”
Elrohir rolled his eyes. “Believe me, there are times when I wished we did not share quarters. It is hard to get some privacy at times, but we have never considered asking father to assign us new rooms. They feel comfortable.” Elrohir scanned his surroundings and located a nice spot beneath an old oak tree. “We could sit down for a moment and enjoy the quiet.” He certainly hoped his nervousness didn’t show; he was doing his best to radiate calm.
Legolas accepted Elrohir’s lead and seated himself next to the twin, when the half-Elf rested his back against the trunk. He tucked his legs beneath him, sitting cross-legged and enjoying Ithil’s silver beams.
“Legolas?” Elrohir heard how much his voice trembled at speaking that name and wondered if he shouldn’t have remained quiet instead. But then those incredible azure eyes focused questioningly on him and he knew he had to continue. “What is life like in Mirkwood?”
Pleasantly surprised that Elrohir was inquiring about his home he gladly obliged the half-Elf. “We live high in the trees, in telain. I like it there. The caves, which you mentioned earlier, are guarded and hold most of father’s treasure. And not all of it is just jewelry. He also possesses a large of collection of ancient scrolls and books. When I was an Elfling I sometimes liked to dwell there. And yes,” he added, just knowing what Elrohir was about to say, “At times father also uses those caves as a prison, but it has not been used in that capacity for decades.”
Elrohir briefly closed his eyes and let himself drift on the pleasant tone of Legolas’ voice. “And your older brother?”
“Valthoron?” Legolas studied Elrohir, who seemed utterly relaxed. “He is centuries older than I am and always thinks he has to keep an eye on me. I love him, but he is overprotective. When my mother sailed for the Undying Lands he tried to take her place. He tried so hard… too hard. I slowly felt suffocated and asked father permission to leave Mirkwood and explore the rest of Arda.”
Elrohir’s eyes opened and he blinked at finding Legolas staring at him. “I have patrolled the borders and I have visited Lothlorien, but I have never been into the lands of Man and Dwarves. Did you meet any?”
Legolas nodded. “They stared at me in disbelief and I quickly learned to hide my features. They are not used to Elves walking in their cities, and at first they followed me around, thinking I was one of their deities.”
Elrohir could actually picture Legolas running through the streets, being chased by a crowd of admirers. The thought made him grin giddily and he slapped his knees.
“What is so funny?” Legolas frowned; this was one reaction he wasn’t used to.
“I can just see you trying to hide from a mad crowd, which thinks that you are one of their gods incarnated.”
“And that is funny? Why?”
“I have no idea,” admitted Elrohir, slowly sobering. “I apologize for my outburst.” But he continued to grin, shaking his head to dispel the amusing mental image. “It is late. I am probably just tired.” Looking at Legolas, he caught the blond shooting him a most confused glance.
Legolas felt thoroughly confused. Most Elves didn’t dare burst out laughing in his presence, but Elrohir was apparently different, which was utterly refreshing. “We should return to our rooms shortly.”
“The night is still young,” said Elrohir slowly. Ithil’s silver beams seemed to caress Legolas’ silk hair and alabaster skin. Elrohir quickly composed himself, keeping a sigh of admiration from fleeing his lips. He hoped Legolas felt comfortable being around him and he didn’t want to ruin the hopeful beginnings of their friendship by staring at him with a maddening, lusty gaze, which would only drive the blond away from him.
Recalling his father’s observation, Elrohir carefully probed. “But you must have felt lonely, roaming Arda alone. Did your heart not call you back to Mirkwood?” Legolas tensed noticeably and Elrohir wished he hadn’t asked that particular question, but it did mean that his father’s observation was correct. Why else would Legolas become as tense as a bowstring and stare at him with such a lost expression in his eyes?
Legolas felt cornered. How was it possible that the half-Elf had seen his loneliness, which he managed to hide most of the time? He decided to skillfully maneuver around answering the question. “Mirkwood is my home and will always call my name.”
Elrohir inclined his head, realizing Legolas had dodged answering his question. He would try again later, maybe once the blond felt more at home in Imladris. “Do you already have plans for tomorrow?” He felt bold, asking such a question! He barely refrained from lowering his eyes when Legolas looked quizzically at him. /Please do not let him see the love in my eyes./ Instead, he returned the inquiring gaze, trying to appear calm and controlled.
Legolas shook his head. “Why ask?”
Elrohir shrugged his shoulders, feigning only marginal interest in his companion. “Father thought you might enjoy a visit to the Bruinen and maybe we could test some of our fighting skills? An archery contest, perhaps?” The sudden glow that appeared in Legolas’ eyes took him aback. He had obviously said something that had pleased the blond.
“Archery?” Legolas grinned. “Prepare to be defeated then. I have never been bested and I cannot imagine it happening now.”
Legolas’ smile was infectious and Elrohir grinned madly as well. “There is a first time for everything.” Looking at the golden-haired Elf, he felt pleased at the relaxed setting their conversation was taking place in. They both seemed comfortable and maybe they would become friends. /But I want it to be so much more./ Everything he had heard had made him fall more in love with the blond. /He loves his family and is loyal to them, but he is also adventurous./ Legolas’ appearance, which had attracted him at first, was becoming less important, now that he was learning what a kind and caring person the youngest son of Thranduil was.
It also made him more determined to pursue Legolas. He would take his father’s advice and take things slowly and not pressure the blond. He wanted Legolas to come to him, because for some reason his companion seemed shy and insecure. /I am patient. I can wait./
“We should return to our rooms now,” said Elrohir, regretting the magical night had come to an end. “But I will meet you here again tomorrow?” He secretly thanked his father for suggesting visiting the Bruinen. Maybe they could go for a swim and… Oh, swooning, he quickly reached for the trunk of the tree to steady him; he might get to see Legolas naked then. But that lovely thought also presented him with a problem; what if he became aroused in the presence of the blond? But then again, maybe Legolas would have the same problem? Smiling fondly, he fell into step beside Legolas, as they returned to the Last Homely House.
Thranduil had waited until they had reached Elrond’s rooms before addressing his lover. “I know I missed something at dinner tonight; tell me what it is. I caught you staring repeatedly at both Elrohir and Legolas.”
Elrond carelessly dropped his outer robes onto the floor and removed his leggings. Clad in only a white linen shirt, he headed for the bed, his shoulders tiredly slumping forward. Why couldn’t he shake what was quickly becoming perpetual fatigue that tormented him in body and mind? Sitting down on the bed, he rested his back against the headboard and stared at the flaxen-haired Elf standing in front of his bed. “Would you hold me?” Voicing his need wasn’t as hard as he had feared.
Thranduil was beside him on the bed within a heartbeat and the obvious concern in the feline eyes made him smile weakly. Strong, soothing arms settled around him, pulling him close to a powerful chest and finally he began to unwind. “Can we discuss this later?” He was afraid Thranduil wouldn’t take the news that Elrohir was attracted to Legolas well.
“You are troubled,” said Thranduil, stating the obvious. “I thought you trusted me. Why then do you feel you cannot confide in me now?”
“I am afraid this will cause a rift between us.” He wasn’t sure how Thranduil would react. “One more moment then? I feel so tired and resting in your arms feels so good.”
Thranduil frowned, wondering how tired Elrond really felt. “I will hold you as long as you want,” he vowed, hoping to get through to Elrond. He rested his chin on the silky, raven hair and soothingly rubbed his lover’s arms. “Do you really think I will let you get away after finally catching you after all these centuries?”
Thranduil’s words slightly reassured Elrond, who now regretfully pulled away from the blond.
Thranduil reluctantly allowed it, but the distance that had now come between them felt uncomfortable. Acting instinctively, he covered that gap between them by stretching on the bed and resting his head in Elrond’s lap.
Surprised at Thranduil’s move, Elrond began to stroke the long, golden mane. Staring trustingly into the emerald eyes, he drew in a deep breath. “This afternoon Elrohir sought me out.”
Thranduil nodded, relishing the feel of his lover’s fingers moving through his hair. So this was about Elrond’s youngest son then? He decided to hold back any questions he might have and let Elrond tell his tale in his own pace.
“He was quite upset - in tears actually.” Elrond lovingly stared into his lover’s cat-like eyes. “He is a very sensitive youth, unlike his brother.”
Thranduil nodded and by doing so, moved the golden mass of hair over Elrond’s hands in a hidden caress. His lover smiled at the gesture. “Something has upset him then?” He had learned during these last few weeks that Elrond was just as close to his sons as he was to Legolas. And when Elrohir was upset, he reckoned Elrond was as well. Reaching up with his left hand, he reassuringly caressed his lover’s face. “What was he upset about?”
Elrond was incredibly thankful that Thranduil was giving him the time to explain properly this. “He is in love.”
Thranduil smiled, warmly. “In love?” He had never seen that one coming. So what was the problem? The twin had long reached his majority and was free to bind himself to the Elf of his choice.
Elrond moistened his lips, realizing he couldn’t continue to postpone this. “He was desperately trying to fight these feelings.”
“Why?” Thranduil frowned, realizing there was more to this than he had thought. “Why fight it?”
“Because he thought I would disapprove of his choice.”
“And did you?” Thranduil pushed himself into an upright position and sat cross-legged opposite his lover, looking deeply into stormy blue eyes.
“I did not disapprove, and told him so.”
Thranduil’s frown remained. “Then when do I feel like something is still wrong?”
“Because he - and I must admit, myself as well - fears your reaction. Your disapproval.”
Deep lines appeared, etched onto his brow, as Thranduil tried to put all pieces of the puzzle together… and failed. “Elrond, tell me what this is about. I grow tired of trying to solve your riddles.”
Elrond swallowed hard, mentally preparing himself for whatever reaction Thranduil might display. “Elrohir is in love with Legolas.” Holding his breath, he watched his lover closely. Thranduil’s lips parted, releasing an ‘oh’, and then the blond seemed to focus inward as debating the matter privately. Nervous, Elrond waited, hoping Thranduil would give this young love a chance.
Thranduil needed a moment to digest the unexpected news. Elrond’s youngest son was in love with Legolas? During the time he had now spent at Elrond’s side he had come to know the twins somewhat and he had to confess he liked Elrohir. The young half-Elf would make a good mate for his son.
“Nîn glaur?” Elrond grew worried now that the blond wasn’t responding. He would have preferred it if Thranduil had raged, anything except this deadly silence. “Thranduil?”
Thranduil shook himself from his musings. “And Elrohir is sincere about my son?”
Elrond’s eyes widened slightly. “Aye, I think he is. He has never come to me in tears over an Elf before. I am not sure, but I feel fairly certain Legolas is his first love.” Elrond tentatively gathered his lover’s hands in his, needing the contact. “I told him to follow his heart and to befriend Legolas.”
Absentmindedly, Thranduil nodded. “Do you think Elrohir would be a good match for Legolas?”
“I do not know Legolas very well,” said Elrond tentatively, “but I do know Elrohir. He is intelligent, cunning, tender and caring. He is fiercely loyal and would never do anything to bring Legolas or you dishonor or grief.”
Thranduil finally met his lover’s eyes and saw the apprehension in them. Elrond was afraid he would disapprove and break Elrohir’s heart. “Maybe I should welcome your son’s interest in Legolas,” he said at long last.
Elrond was glad he was sitting down, for Thranduil’s mellow reaction even took him aback. “You welcome it?”
Now it was Thranduil’s turn to sigh, distressed. “Legolas has been suffering from loneliness for the last few decades.”
“Loneliness?” So he had been right after all! Elrond shook his head. “But I do not understand. He is fair, caring and a great catch.”
“And therein lies the problem,” sighed Thranduil, smiling sadly at his lover. “No one ever falls in love with –him-. They fall in love with his eyes, his hair, his body, and that saddens Legolas. He does not want to settle down in a marriage that is mostly based on his appearance. He wants someone at his side who loves him for who he is.”
Elrond nodded in understanding. “But Elrohir is not that shallow.”
“I hope not,” said Thranduil, suddenly feeling tired as well. “What do you suggest we do?”
“Let them find their way. If this love was meant to be they will find passion in another’s arms and if not… We will be there to pick up the pieces.”
“I will make sure it won’t get that far,” stated Thranduil determinedly. “Elrohir had better not break my son’s heart.”
“Nîn glaur, there is little we can do except to encourage their friendship.” He refused to play match maker.
“And what about Elladan?” Thranduil had seen how close the twins were.
“We could pay more attention to him, but in the end he must find his way as well. They are twins, yes, but that should not stop them from leading their own lives.”
“We should keep an eye on all three of them,” decided Thranduil. “Elrond?” He raised one of the half-Elf’s hands to his lips and kissed the palm.
“Aye, melamin?” Elrond was relieved they had mastered this challenge. He could have easily lost his lover, had Thranduil not been this accepting.
“I feel tired as well.” Thranduil folded an arm around his raven-haired lover and pulled him down with him until they had attained a comfortable sleeping position. “Let me make love to you in the morning and sleep now?”
Elrond smiled when Thranduil spooned behind him. “I love you for accepting this.”
“Let us hope Elrohir and Legolas will later thank us for giving them our blessing. If not… I do not dare to think of the heartache that might follow.” He buried his face in his lover’s dark hair and managed to kiss the nape of Elrond’s neck, before settling in for the night.
Elrond decided to let go of his worries as Thranduil curled around him. No one knew what the future might bring, but for the moment he was content to rest in his lover’s arms.
Return to Archive | next | previous