Authors Note: This story will be completely Alternate Universe and I won't follow Tolkien's writings when dealing with reincarnation!
“Follow me, but be silent. He might still be asleep and he looked exhausted when I talked to him.” Elrond motioned for his sons to walk soundlessly as they entered his rooms. Elladan and Elrohir had begged him to meet with the Elf who had returned to Arda, and Elrond had relented, knowing he had a lot to make up for.
Looking into his room, he found the blond in his bed, safely tucked away under the sheets. A sea of long locks, some curled, spilled over the satin pillow and the large eyes stared blindly at the ceiling. Enraptured by the Elf’s beauty, Elrond froze in his tracks, which caused his sons to bump into him.
Elladan and Elrohir exchanged a knowing look. The blond possessed a supernatural beauty. The long golden locks, sapphire eyes and red lips made him into a vision of divine beauty, and all they could do was stare.
The sounds woke Glorfindel from his sleep, and he quickly located the source of the noise. Three dark haired Elves were staring at him with their mouth agape. He privately cursed the fact that he wasn’t wearing anything beneath the satin sheets, feeling oddly vulnerable in front of them. He let his hair fall in front of his face, hoping it would stop them from staring at him.
Elrohir cleared his throat and took a step toward the bed. He extended his hand and said, “I am Elrohir and my brother is called Elladan. As you can see, we are twins.”
Glorfindel shyly looked up, nervously making eye contact. The younger Elves looked and acted in a friendly manner, but one could never be sure.
“And Elrond is our father,” added Elladan, who joined his twin near the bed, marveling at the blond’s beauty. “And you are Glorfindel?”
He tentatively nodded his head. Why were they here, and where was Erestor? Erestor was the only one he was willing to trust at this point.
Elrohir couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer. “Ada tells me you are not, but I want to know for sure. Are you Glorfindel of Gondolin?”
Elrond released a tired sigh. “Elrohir, I told you…” But his voice faltered, seeing the blond nod once. Nay, that could not be!
“Are you the Balrog slayer?” asked Elladan in a hopeful tone.
Glorfindel nodded again, uncertain why they wanted to know. His arrogance had gotten him killed when fighting the demon. If only he had been less cocky! He averted his eyes, but accidentally looked at Elrond. Seeing the narrowed eyes, he realized that his answers had displeased the dark haired Elf. Maybe he could still remedy his mistake? It would turn him into a liar, but he didn’t want Elrond to change his mind and sent him back!
Elladan and Elrohir were releasing pleased sounds, and moved closer, sitting down on the bed and firing countless questions at Glorfindel, who looked stricken.
Unnoticed by Glorfindel, Elrond managed to rest his hand on the blond’s arm. As long as he could remember, touching someone had shown him if someone was lying or telling the truth. Now that he was touching Glorfindel, he felt nothing but honestly, no deceit, no lies. “You really are –that- Glorfindel?” Suddenly the blue eyes darkened with fear and the blond started to shake his head, Elrond instantly sensed the lie.
“Nay, am not…” Glorfindel saw the shock on the twins’ face, but hoped he had pleased his savior, who now might not send him back to Mandos.
“Do not lie,” stated Elrond calmly, seeing panic return to the sapphire eyes. “I want you to speak the truth.”
Tremors once more rocked Glorfindel’s body, realizing how close Elrond was.
“You are Glorfindel of Gondolin; the one who slew the Balrog?”
Glorfindel whispered, “I am,” and then quickly looked away, but wherever he looked, a pair of eyes met his gaze. In the end, he stared at his hands, resting in his lap.
The blond’s admission baffled Elrond. “I brought back the Balrog slayer.” And the Valar had punished Glorfindel for being the great warrior he was? Why?
Elladan smiled brightly. “Will you tell us about the Balrog you killed?”
Glorfindel shrugged, trying to read the expression in Elrond’s eyes. He wasn’t doing anything that would displease his dark haired savior.
“Later, decided Elrond, “first Glorfindel must eat and rest. Elladan, fetch me the tray and Elrohir, bring me the sleeping robe I accidentally dropped onto the floor earlier.” He recalled flinging it onto the floor in anger, but no one needed to know.
Glorfindel let Elrond and Elrohir maneuver him into the desired position whilst slipping the warm robes over his head. It was hard to believe that he had returned to Arda and that this family was willing to take care of him until he had recovered enough to fend for himself
“I can braid your hair,” said Elrohir in a hopeful tone. He collected brush, comb and crystalline beads to weave into the locks. “That is, if you want me to?”
Glorfindel nodded shyly, uncertain what to do next. Elrohir began to brush his hair, removed the tangles and then braided it. Glorfindel closed his eyes and almost purred his comfort at the feel of hands gently moving through his locks.
Elladan, who had placed the tray on the side of the bed, exchanged a smiling look with his youngest brother. “Eat,” he said, addressing Glorfindel. The look the blond gave him was unreadable.
But Elrond realized what was going on. “It has been centuries since you ate last.”
Glorfindel wanted to nod, but at the same time he didn’t want to distract Elrohir who was doing an excellent job braiding his hair.
Elrond reached for the bread and placed it in Glorfindel’s shaky hand. “Do not eat too much. You are not used to eating large quantities after so many centuries.”
Glorfindel stared at the bread and then took a small bite out of it. He tried to swallow it, and nearly choked on the dry substance.
Elrond laughed warmly. “Maybe we should start with some tea instead.” Elrond placed his hand over Glorfindel’s and touched the cup to the blond’s lips.
Sipping slowly, Glorfindel’s eyes widened, actually tasting tea and recognizing the hint of mint.
Elrohir, who had finished braiding the long golden hair, heard the sobs as well and wrapped his arms around Glorfindel’s waist. He was so used to comforting Elladan that it now came natural as well. “You will get used to it again.”
Elrond rescued the tea and placed it back on the tray. If drinking tea evoked this kind of reaction what would eating a piece of fruit do to the blond? “Open up,” said Elrond, who had peeled and sliced an orange.
Glorfindel moaned in surprise at tasting the orange.
“Elladan? Elrohir? Leave us alone for some time?” Elrond waited for his sons to walk over to the doorway before seating himself on the edge of the bed. The door closed behind the twins and Elrond cupped the blond’s chin in the palm of his hand, forcing Glorfindel to look at him.
Glorfindel was trying hard to regain his composure, but failed.
In the end, there was only one thing Elrond could do. He leaned forward, pulled him into a hug and held the blond close.
Elladan and Elrohir were whispering, when Erestor came upon them in the corridor. He hoped Elrond had taken his advice and talked to his sons. Inclining his head in greeting, he studied their expressions, relieved to see a smile on their features.
“Erestor!” Elladan smiled brightly and hugged the advisor. “You sent Ada to talk to us, or did you not?”
Erestor smiled smugly. “And for once he listened. Aye, I sent him. I take it you talked?”
“We did,” replied Elladan, “And he introduced us to Glorfindel! I never thought we would ever meet the Balrog slayer in person, but –“
Erestor raised an eyebrow questioningly. “What did you say?”
“You did not know? He is Glorfindel of Gondolin! He died, killing that Balrog.” Elladan didn’t want to say it aloud, but he was relieved that Elrond had failed in bringing back Gil-galad. Although his father obviously still had feelings for the great Elven warrior, he had never liked Gil-galad when Elrond had described him in his stories.
Erestor frowned. “Glorfindel of Gondolin?” He had lived in Gondolin for some time, but he had never met the famous Glorfindel. It could very well be possible. “I take it Elrond is with him?”
“Aye,” said Elrohir, “I have the impression that everything overwhelmed Glorfindel and Ada wanted him to have some privacy.”
“Then I will check on Elrond later,” said Erestor slowly. “Will you join me for breakfast now that your father is occupied?” Later that day he would attend to matters of state that demanded immediate attention.
“We will join you,” said Elladan, cheerfully. “But I hope to spend more time with Ada and Glorfindel later. The tales he can tell us…” Elladan’s voice faded, looking forward to finding out more about Gondolin and the battles Glorfindel had been in. What were the odds of Elrond bringing back Glorfindel? He silently thanked Elbereth for not sending back Gil-galad; like Elrohir he had always felt a distinct dislike when Elrond had spoken of his former lover. “I like Glorfindel.”
“You only just met him!” said Erestor teasingly, but he thought he understood; Glorfindel was utterly charming. Once the blond realized that, he would easily wind them around his little finger. “I am glad your father decided to allow him stay instead of sending him back to Mandos.”
The twins nodded. “And we will visit him later. Maybe he can help us improve our sword fighting. His fighting skills were legendary.”
“Let him rest first,” advised Erestor. “We do not know what it was like in Mandos but it seems to me that he needs to relearn many things. Physically, he seems weak.”
“Ada will have him back on his feet in no time. He is a very skilled healer!” Elladan nodded enthusiastically. “And then Glorfindel can spar with us!”
Erestor loved seeing them happy and felt thankful that the Valar had sent back Glorfindel instead of Gil-galad.
“I am sorry. I am normally not such an emotional mess,” Glorfindel panted softly, trying to steady his breathing. Breaking down in Elrond’s arms made him feel embarrassed. Elrond’s opinion of him couldn’t be any lower.
Elrond allowed Glorfindel to pull back and settle against the pillows, which had been placed against the headboard. It was the strangest thing, seeing the blond in his bed. “Why did you not tell me who you are?”
Glorfindel’s eyes showed confusion. “But I did.”
“You told me, or to be exact Erestor, that your name is Glorfindel, but you forgot to mention that you are Glorfindel of Gondolin.”
“Does it matter?” Glorfindel wiped the remaining tears from his face and stared at Elrond.
“Maybe,” said Elrond evasively. “But we can discuss that later. First I want to know how you feel.”
Glorfindel shrugged. “It feels odd, having a body again after so many centuries.” Being able to communicate was even stranger, but he kept that private. The mere fact that he was no longer ignored, no longer treated as if he were invisible, made him happy.
“I suggest you eat some more. You are probably still hungry.” Elrond placed the tray on his guest’s lap and then rested one hand on the blond’s brow.
“What are you doing?” whispered Glorfindel, nervously. Touch was something else he still had to become used to.
“I am checking if you still feel cold.” Elrond raised an eyebrow, seeing shivers run through Glorfindel’s body.
Glorfindel’s breath caught, when small sparks of heat exploded and then seeped into his flesh, warming him from the inside. “You are using your healing powers on me…” His voice trailed off, surrendering to this warm sensation that rolled through his body.
“Would you like to take a bath? The warm water might help as well.”
Elrond chuckled at the way Glorfindel’s eyes widened impossibly. He was slowly beginning to understand how new everything was for the blond. “Aye, a bath.”
Glorfindel was lost for words. Only a day ago he had aimlessly wandered the depressing Halls of Mandos and now Elrond wanted him to take a bath? His happiness suddenly faded, realizing he still felt too weak to make into the bathroom alone and he refused to take up more of Elrond’s time. Judging from what Erestor had told him earlier, Elrond ruled Imladris and was an Elf of great importance. He couldn’t impose on Elrond like that when urgent matters demanded the Elf’s attention!
Elrond’s saw the disappointment in Glorfindel’s eyes and frowned. “What is wrong?”
“Maybe I should stay in bed instead.” Glorfindel felt thankful for the robe, no longer feeling that exposed and vulnerable. “You do not have to sit with me. I am sure I would also be fine in some rooms far away from yours.”
Now Elrond was truly becoming worried. “Was it something I said or did? I am trying to better my ways. It was the shock of realizing that it was you and not Gil-galad I had brought with me. It is not personal.” The wavering look Glorfindel gave him, told Elrond that the blond didn’t believe him. “Stay here whilst I prepare the bath.”
Glorfindel considered protesting, but realized it would be futile. Elrond ruled the Last Homely House and would not be denied. Eventually he nodded meekly.
Elrond got to his feet and entered the bathroom. After filling up the large pool in the center of the room, he added healing herbs and lavender to it and returned to collect Glorfindel. His heart nearly stopped beating, seeing the blond sway on his feet. Suddenly Glorfindel released a startled yelp, tripped over the long robes and lost his footing. He began to fall and Elrond moved quickly, catching the blond before he could hit the floor. “I told you to stay put,” said Elrond, instantly worried.
“I do not want to be a nuisance,” whispered Glorfindel, lowering his eyes.
“You are not a nuisance,” said Elrond in a firm tone. He tightened the hold he had on the blond and together they headed for the bathroom. “It must feel strange, being able to walk again,” mused Elrond, trying to make Glorfindel open up to him.
“It does.” Glorfindel was busy putting one foot in front of the other, but managed to peek at Elrond between steps. The dark haired Elf seemed relaxed and was sincere when it came down to helping him.
“Sit down,” said Elrond, guiding Glorfindel over to a chair.
The blond sat down, and allowed Elrond to remove the sleeping robe. In stunned disbelief, he stared at his new body, which closely resembled his old. He had a body again!
“Here, let me help.” Now that Elrond had disposed of the sleeping robe, he helped Glorfindel into the pool. A moan, which revealed utter bliss, tumbled from Glorfindel’s lips as the water closed over his body.
Elrond stood back and watched Glorfindel closely. Even his lonely heart had to admit the blond’s beauty. “I will be back shortly. Try to not drown.”
Glorfindel nodded absentmindedly, lost in sensation. The water caressed his skin and his body reacted to the warm stimuli. His groin tightened and his eyes widened in shock at finding himself growing erect. Looking up, he was relieved to find that Elrond had left the bathroom.
His hand stole beneath the surface of the water and he curled his fingers around his erection. By Elbereth, he had thought he would never feel anything like this again! Stroking slowly, he brought himself to orgasm and tears escaped his eyes when ecstasy swept through him.
“Why? Why me?” Staring at the water, he wondered why the Valar had sent him in Gil-galad’s place. He was smart enough to understand that nothing happened accidentally; the Valar had sent him here on purpose.
“Did you enjoy your bath?”
Expecting Elrond, he was surprised to see Erestor and he immediately relaxed. He liked Erestor a lot better than the angry looking Lord of Imladris. “I did.” He couldn’t stop a blush from spreading over his face and hoped the observant advisor didn’t figure out what he had been up to during his bath.
Erestor had a good idea why the blond was blushing, but discarded the matter. He would probably have touched himself as well after so many years at Mandos. “Elrond is hoping you will join us for dinner.” Erestor picked up a large towel and draped it over Glorfindel’s shoulders. “Can you get to your feet or do you require my help?”
“I do not know,” said Glorfindel honestly. Slowly, he pushed himself onto his feet, but he swayed at once.
Erestor moved in, quickly wrapped the towel around the wet form and steadied the blond as Glorfindel stepped out of the water. “Just take a moment to get used to being on your feet again.”
Glorfindel drew in a deep breath. His blush deepened when Erestor lightly rubbed his skin dry, sending a pleasant warmth through his body.
Erestor noticed the quivers, revealing Glorfindel’s pleasure at his touch, and dropped the now wet towel to the floor. “Lean against me.”
Glorfindel leaned heavily on Erestor when the Elf helped him back into his robes. Long, midnight blue robes reached down to his ankles and he finally felt warm. Erestor’s arm remained around his waist when they made their way back into Elrond’s room. Growing nervous, Glorfindel noticed that the twins had joined them as well. Both were staring at him with big eyes, filled with expectation.
“Please sit down.” Elrond already sat at the head of the table, with Elrohir to his right and Elladan to his left.
After Erestor had helped him sit down, the friendly Elf occupied the other head end of the table and Glorfindel found himself seated next to Elrohir. Was it time to eat again?
Elrond read the question in the blond’s eyes and nodded. “Arien has set and it is time to eat dinner.”
Glorfindel cautiously looked from one to the other, trying to read their expressions. The twins seemed curious, Elrond concerned and Erestor… Erestor seemed hopeful, but why he didn’t know. He was slowly beginning to understand that they wouldn’t send him back to Mandos, for which he felt eternally grateful.
“You will stay in my rooms until you have recovered sufficiently to take care of yourself,” said Elrond, whilst closely watching Glorfindel. “Try the salmon, it is excellent.” The cook had outdone himself, and the salmon was served with one of Imladris’ best wines.
Glorfindel was still trying to deal with the fact that he would be staying in Elrond’s rooms, when he realized they were staring at him expectedly. What was wrong?
“Eat,” said Erestor, amused. “I know this must seem strange to you, but it is best for you to grow used to life as quickly as possible again, eating included.”
Glorfindel tried the salmon and briefly closed his eyes at the delicate taste.
“Here, have some wine as well.” Elladan filled Glorfindel’s goblet and pretended to not see the fine tremors that coursed through the blond’s fingers upon picking up the goblet.
Glorfindel took a single sip, uncertain what effect the wine would have on him. The last thing he wanted to make a fool out of himself in front of his savior. The wine almost sloshed over the rim as he unsteadily put it down, but Elrohir acted quickly and stopped the goblet from falling.
“You must work on your hand-eye coordination,” said Erestor teasingly.
Glorfindel nodded, unable to stop a blush from forming on his face. It had been so long since he had been among his kin that he no longer knew how to act properly. Once he had been the light of the party, the center of all attention, easily amusing and entertaining all present, but he could no longer act like that. The long centuries spent in Mandos had changed that. “I will work hard.”
A frown crossed Erestor’s features and he made eye contact with Elrond. The half-Elf nodded in understanding; they had to work on the blond’s self-esteem, among other things.
“Maybe you can spar with us when you feel rested?” Elrohir smiled enthusiastically. “Your skills were legendary and we hope you might teach us.”
Glorfindel stared at Elrond, at hearing Elrohir’s question. First he wanted to know Elrond’s opinion on this. The half-Elf could still send him back to Mandos and he desperately wanted to please Elrond.
“Aye, you could still teach them a thing or two. They are quick in their studies.” Elrond disliked seeing the uncertain look in those sapphire eyes. “You will be resting most of the time, but once you feel up to it, you can supervise their training.” It would give Glorfindel something to do, to look forward to.
Glorfindel nodded his head once. “I will help the best I can.” He didn’t understand what was happening, why they seemed to care about him. Their interest seemed so wrong after centuries of being ignored.
“Now finish dinner and then we will return you to bed. You must be exhausted.” Elrond exchanged a look with his sons and Elladan and Elrohir excused themselves. After smiling at Glorfindel, and assuring the blond once more that they were looking forward to the training sessions, they left Elrond’s rooms.
Erestor, seeing the nervousness in Glorfindel’s eyes, stayed a little longer and quickly engaged Elrond in a conversation about road maintenance, giving the blond a chance to recompose himself. Dinner must have been quite a surprise to Glorfindel, judging by the baffled look in the sapphire eyes.
Glorfindel swallowed hard, trying to sort out his feelings. Being alive again was harder than he had thought! Every now and then fatigue got the better of him and a vacant expression appeared in his eyes, hoping none of them would notice. It would be impolite to fall asleep on them!
Erestor waited for the blue eyes to turn empty again and then quickly addressed Elrond. “You should put him to bed; he is exhausted.”
Elrond pushed back his chair and the noise woke Glorfindel again. Disorientated, he looked about, suddenly remembering where he was. Elrond had appeared in front of him and he felt hesitant to meet the other’s eyes.
“Come with me; you need to rest.” Elrond extended his hand, hoping Glorfindel would take it. But the blond just stared at it. “Glorfindel? I want you to go to sleep and the bed would be the best choice.”
Glorfindel finally realized what it was that Elrond wanted, and slowly pushed himself to his feet. The heavy fabric of his robes nearly pulled him down again, but by then an arm had settled around his waist, supporting him. “I can walk on my own.” He hated being this dependent, knowing Elrond had far more important things to do than looking after him.
“Nay, you cannot,” said Elrond in an equally stubborn tone. From the corner of his eye, he caught Erestor’s amused smile. His advisor seemed to think this was funny! But then he recalled dumping Glorfindel on Erestor last night and he felt grateful that his friend had looked after the Elf.
They had reached the bed and Elrond slowly lowered Glorfindel until the blond was sitting down on the edge. Bending down, he took hold of Glorfindel’s ankles, lifted them and told his charge to lie down. After covering the blond with several warm furs, he stood back and watched Glorfindel doze off.
Suddenly a hand settled on his shoulder and he looked into Erestor’s sparkling eyes. “I automatically assumed he could not be Glorfindel of Gondolin. If the twins had not asked him, I doubt he would have told us.”
Erestor cocked his head, smiled at the peaceful expression on Glorfindel’s face, and said, “He is beautiful, is he not? Even for our kind he is ethereal.”
“He told me the Valar punished him for being arrogant in life. I did not see a single trace of arrogance in his eyes tonight.”
Erestor sighed, sorrow echoing through. “He will need you to show him how to live again. You have a very important task ahead of you.”
“I will do my best,” promised Elrond. “At first I cursed him for returning in Gil-galad’s place, but now that my anger has lessened I look forward to getting to know him and spending some time with him.”
Erestor, standing behind Elrond, smiled, pleased. /Ah, maybe I was right after all. The Valar did send Glorfindel for a reason. He is already unlocking your heart, my old friend./
Beta read by Ilye, thanks!
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