Glorfindel's Darkest Hour
Chapter 11 - Glorfindel's Choice
Elrond and Elladan exchanged a pleased look at finding Glorfindel safely tucked away in Erestor’s embrace. When the younger half-Elf had arrived to relieve his father in the morning, Elrond had awoken, startled to find his patient gone. They had first searched the Healing House and then Elrond had decided to check Erestor’s quarters next. "I was right then."
Elladan smiled, but then looked at his father quizzically. "In what way?"
"You know that Erestor loves Glorfindel?"
"I have the feeling that Glorfindel is beginning to return that emotion. He is falling in love with Erestor. That is why he can bear Erestor’s touch and wants to be close to him." Elrond frowned. "A bond, -a very strong bond-, has formed between them."
"Is that a good thing?" Elladan wasn’t sure if Elrond felt pleased, for such a bond meant that his father would lose his lover to Erestor.
"Aye, it is," said Elrond, nodding once. Soundlessly, he closed the door behind him, leaving his friends to their healing sleep. Elladan fell into step beside him as they walked down the corridor. "I will check on them this afternoon. I am certain Erestor will take good care of Glorfindel."
Elladan still wasn’t completely reassured. "Do you not regret losing Glorfindel to Erestor?" He knew it was asked bluntly, but he trusted his father to understand his concern for all involved.
Elrond took a moment to consider his son’s question. "I was very lonely when Glorfindel approached me. Celebrían had sailed for Valinor and I was hurting. Glorfindel managed to heal that hurt to a certain degree and for that I am thankful. But I do think these two were meant for each other and I won’t stand in their way."
Reaching out instinctively, Elladan stopped his father and wrapped his arms around him. "You will always have Elrohir and me… and Arwen. Hopefully she will return from Lothlórien shortly. I miss her."
"I miss her as well," admitted Elrond. Composing himself again, he smiled at Elladan. The twins were the only joy which he currently had left. "You can find me in my study if you need me."
Elladan watched his father walk away and although Elrond had assured him he could deal with losing Glorfindel to Erestor, he, on the other hand, wasn’t that sure. "You are lonely… You have been since Nana left." And the sad thing was that he couldn’t do anything to change that.
Glorfindel was the first to wake when Arien’s rays finally reached their comfortable and warm bed. Erestor’s face was relaxed in sleep and he seemed so much younger. Glorfindel smiled, realizing the dark-haired Elf’s arms were tightly folded around him, holding him close. A sense of utter safety settled in his bones and he sighed happily.
The question why he enjoyed and craved Erestor’s touch and closeness returned to him and made him wonder. When Elrond had tended to his injuries he had cringed. And the half-Elf’s touches and caresses, which had been meant to soothe him, had unbalanced him. Yet now that he was with Erestor he felt completely at ease.
/And when I looked at the tapestry Vaire was weaving, it was Erestor sitting next to me and not Elrond./ Studying his savior’s features, he wondered about Erestor. /Do you love me? Love me enough to venture into Orthanc to get me out? Is that why you are taking care of me? Why I feel so comfortable around you?/ But what if it wasn’t? He didn’t want to get his hopes up, uncertain if he could deal with the disappointment of finding those thoughts incorrect.
Momentarily closing his eyes, his thoughts drifted off to the growing life inside him. The decision to give birth to this child had been made for him. At least, it felt that way. There was no way to end this pregnancy and everyone had encouraged him to follow through, even Vaire.
What would the child be like? Being half Uruk-Hai and half Elven? Would the primal side dominate? What if claws would tear him from the inside when the moment of birth arrived? Shivering, he released a strangled sob against Erestor’s chest.
Erestor woke, feeling movement against his chest. Growing aware of Glorfindel shaking in his arms, he immediately soothed the distraught Elf. "What is wrong, meldir? Was it another nightmare? I am here now. I will always be there for you. You can confide in me. Please tell me what is troubling you."
"The…child," admitted Glorfindel in a hoarse tone. "What if… if it is more Uruk-Hai than Elven? What if… it has fangs? Claws? What if—"
Erestor stopped him right there and then. "What if the child is more Elven than Uruk-Hai? What if he takes after you? What if he has long golden hair and your eyes, -- the most stunning eyes I have ever seen?" Oops, he shouldn’t have added that last sentence, but he had been caught up in the moment.
"Stunning?" Flabbergasted at hearing Erestor say those words, Glorfindel searched his friend’s eyes. "You think my eyes are stunning?" Where had that come from? Why would Erestor say something like that?
"Aye, I do." Erestor desperately tried to think of a way out of this predicament. The way Glorfindel was looking at him was making his heart flutter with desire and butterflies tickled his insides. "What I am trying to say is that you should not worry so much. Vaire blessed the child. How could she bless anything evil? Have faith in her."
Erestor’s words did reassure Glorfindel. "You are right, but I cannot help feeling apprehensive." He was content to lie there, letting Erestor hold him. "This is nice." Cuddling with Elrond had never given him such warm and pleasant feelings. "Can we stay like this?"
Erestor rested his chin on the flaxen hair, letting some of his life energy seep down the connection to strengthen the blond. "Of course we can." He doubted he would ever be able to deny Glorfindel anything. The blond didn’t know it, but he could easily wrap him around his little finger.
"Are you sure? Won’t Elrond miss you? I am sure a lot of work is waiting for you."
"I am sure. Let Elrond work through those papers. He *is* the Lord of Imladris and I am not. The twins can help him."
Erestor’s words made Glorfindel smile. "The twins will only create mayhem, especially Elladan. I know they mean well, but paperwork is not something they are good at."
"Let us not worry about that," said Erestor soothingly. "Would you like to go back to sleep now?"
"Nay, I want to stay like this. Just savor the peace and quiet, -- the moment."
Erestor hugged his secret love close, honored that Glorfindel trusted him this much. "We will stay like this until lunch then." Hearing the blond’s disappointed sigh, he added, "You must eat, mellon-nîn."
"I will eat," said Glorfindel softly. "But will you promise me something?"
Erestor grew alert. "What is it?"
"Don’t take me back to the Healing House. I do not feel comfortable there." Raising his eyes, he met Erestor’s dark ones. "I feel comfortable here. I know I am a burden, but can I stay close to you?"
"No burden. Never a burden!" Erestor gave in to the need to stroke the golden hair. "But I need to talk to Elrond first and make sure you have recovered sufficiently to leave the Healing House."
"I walked all the way over here," said Glorfindel thoughtfully. "That tired me, but I am no longer in… in any pain."
"That is good to hear." Erestor smiled, but then panic overwhelmed him. /What is happening to me? Us? Glorfindel should be with Elrond! Not here in my arms! I do not understand…/
Glorfindel sensed some of Erestor’s discomfort and wondered about that nagging sensation as it entered his thoughts. "Stop worrying, Erestor." The negativity of those doubts made him tremble. "Just continue to hold me… All is well for now."
"And now *you* are suddenly comforting *me*?" But it drove away the shadows of doubts that haunted him and Erestor laughed warmly. "You never cease to amaze me, mellon-nîn."
"Now stop talking… I want to rest… Just hold me…"
And Erestor did just that.
Despite his intention not to fall asleep again, Glorfindel dozed off and the nightmares stayed away. Instead he dreamt of Erestor holding him, but they were naked and had fallen asleep after making love.
Slowly, he woke up, whilst his body still tingled pleasantly. That dream seemed to have strengthened him and he was looking forward to leaving the bed. Looking at Erestor, he found his companion looking at him with a warm and fuzzy expression in his eyes.
Erestor had been worried at first when Glorfindel had begun to rub himself against his body, but then soft purrs had erupted from his lips, clearly demonstrating that the blond was having an enjoyable dream and not a nightmare. He had desperately tried to remain motionless and had ruthlessly crushed his arousal when it had started. What if Glorfindel woke, found him hard, and panicked? He couldn’t take that risk.
Several tormenting minutes later Glorfindel had first tensed and had then relaxed against him. A sigh had happily fled the blond’s lips when finding release and Erestor had sighed as well, but due to relief. Luckily Glorfindel hadn’t woken. But he did wonder about the golden-haired Elf’s erotic dream. Wasn’t it sort of odd for Glorfindel to be aroused after all he had been through?
He didn’t know how long he had been lost in thought, but the sapphire eyes, filled with warmth and energy, made him swallow hard. Aiya, Elbereth, what was he supposed to do now? Maybe make a suggestion? "Would you like to take a bath?"
Glorfindel’s eyes sparkled radiantly whilst he eagerly nodded his head. "I would love to."
"Then you will have to let go of me; I cannot prepare your bath otherwise," said Erestor teasingly. The impish grin Glorfindel gave him made his heart thump louder.
Reluctantly Glorfindel let go. But his eyes followed every move Erestor made.
Erestor gathered his sleeping robe around him and headed for the bathroom, where he filled the bathtub and added flower-fragranced oils.
With Erestor busy in the bathroom, Glorfindel sat upright and then pushed himself onto his feet. He no longer swayed and didn’t have to reach for support. If it hadn’t been for his slightly swollen abdomen, he would have thought himself fit again. Through the fabric of his sleeping robe he rubbed his abdomen, wondering what the child would look like. Now that he had accepted that it would be born, he decided to stop angsting over it. What was destined to happen would happen. There was nothing he could do to change that.
Walking over to the bathroom, he halted in the doorway to observe Erestor. The dark-haired Elf had filled the bathtub and delicious fragrances floated through the room.
Erestor looked over his shoulder, hearing movement behind him. "What would you prefer? I can fetch some of your clothes from your rooms or you can borrow some of mine."
The decision was easily made, as Glorfindel didn’t want Erestor to leave. "I will borrow some of yours. I assume you have a spare shirt and leggings in your closet? No robes, please."
Smiling, Erestor nodded once. "I will return with the clothes and some towels once you are in the water." He stepped aside and headed for the doorway now that Glorfindel had reached the bathtub. "I will be in the bedroom."
/Good, for I do not want you to stray too far away from me./ Glorfindel smiled warmly, but didn’t voice his thoughts.
Closing the door behind him, Erestor left Glorfindel to his bath. In the meantime he would send Elrond a message to tell the half-Elf that his patient was with him. He didn’t want Elrond to worry unnecessarily.
As he removed the sleeping robe, Glorfindel frowned deeply, finding he had found release during his sleep. The realization puzzled him momentarily; that pleasant dream must have made him reach orgasm.
He was enjoying his bath when Erestor entered to place towels and clothes on the floor. Momentarily he felt nervous, but he quickly realized there was no reason to feel like that. Erestor was his trusted friend and he was beginning to suspect that Vaire had been referring to Erestor after all. He wasn’t sure he was reading the signals right, but it did seem like the raven-haired Elf was attracted to him.
"Thank you," whispered Glorfindel, smiling warmly at Erestor. He caught the weak blush that settled on the other Elf’s features before retreating back into the bedroom. /I never thought I would reach this conclusion, but it does seem like Erestor cares about me in that way. Who would have thought?/
He regretted ending his bath, but his stomach was growling. As he rose from the bathtub, one hand came to rest on his abdomen. He cringed, realizing he had been right earlier on. The swelling had increased slightly. A few weeks… That was how long Elrond estimated his pregnancy would last. How could he endure this misery?
His mood darkened and he quickly slipped into the shirt and leggings. He felt more comfortable now that he was wearing clothes, but the core of his problem remained; he was going to give birth to an Uruk-Hai.
Looking at Erestor, he grew aware of the other Elf’s concerned expression. "I was worrying about…" He didn’t have to finish his sentence, as Erestor understood only too well. His stomach growled loudly and made them laugh.
"Come with me. It is time to eat lunch." Erestor was about to turn around when Glorfindel unexpectedly extended his hand. Seeing the hopeful expression in the blond’s eyes, he smiled reassuringly and placed his hand in the Elda’s.
At the contact, Glorfindel’s eyes regained their sparkle.
Elrond had taken a break from work. He was hungry, tired and downright miserable. He wished he could terminate the pregnancy, but even that option was unavailable. It was just another occasion on which he had let a loved one down, another failure to add to the score.
Elladan had joined him for lunch and Elrond forced himself to eat, instead of just poking at his food.
Both Elves looked up when Erestor and Glorfindel entered unexpectedly. Elrond immediately noticed the radiance to the azure eyes. /And they are holding hands as well./ Seeing his suspicions confirmed made his heart ache. He had definitely lost Glorfindel to Erestor, and although he should be happy for his old comrade in arms, he mostly felt sad. Glorfindel’s presence had kept his loneliness at bay. Now he was alone again. But he hung onto his composure. He wanted to be happy for his friends and forced a smile onto his face. "You look well today, -- both of you."
Glorfindel blushed weakly at finding the two half-Elves in the dining room. Instantly his discomfort reappeared, but as long as Erestor was close, he was confident he could manage. "I feel better, thank you. The fact that I managed to rest helped." Glancing at Erestor, he thought, /It was *your* company that helped./
Erestor and Glorfindel seated themselves and sipped their tea.
Glorfindel hesitantly made eye contact with Elladan. Seeing the insecure expression in Elladan’s eyes, he just knew that the twins had been informed about his pregnancy. The silence was beginning to make him feel pressured to start some conversation, but he didn’t know what to say! Luckily Erestor came to the rescue.
"Glorfindel told me that he would rather not return to the Healing House and I tend to agree. I could keep an eye on him," offered Erestor, addressing Elrond. The look that passed between them spoke of everything they needed to know.
Elrond nodded, accepting the fact that Glorfindel had chosen to be with Erestor. And this time, Erestor had accepted. The two Elves might not fully realize that yet, but it was obvious in their touches and interaction. /I am happy for you, mellon-nîn. Glorfindel and you are well suited for each other. But I cannot help feeling the way I do… Alone./
"You might be right," started Elrond, trying hard to hide his true feelings, "If Glorfindel’s recovery will be sped up by staying with you, I won’t keep him confined to the Healing House. But I will still check on my patient regularly."
Glorfindel released a relieved sigh. "Thank you, Elrond." He gave the half-Elf a grateful look. They would have to talk in time, but at this moment he couldn’t deal with Elrond’s feelings, and he trusted the half-Elf to be strong enough to cope with their changed relationship. /What? A changed relationship?/ The thought baffled him. Until now, he hadn’t realized that their relationship had changed! But it was true; instead of longing for Elrond’s company and affection, he now wanted Erestor’s.
Elladan, who had been quiet until then, suddenly realized that Glorfindel was holding Erestor’s hand under the table. An impish grin surfaced on his face. /They are *so* in love, but they do not even realize that themselves!/
"It is decided then," said Erestor, smiling at Glorfindel, "You will stay with me." Although he felt ecstatic that the blond had chosen him above Elrond, he still felt a stabbing pain in his heart. For when he looked at Elrond, he saw sorrow and solitude in his misty eyes and he almost reconsidered. But, looking at Glorfindel’s radiant smile, he realized the blond needed *him* and not Elrond. That realization deeply moved him.
Gently squeezing Erestor’s hand, Glorfindel smiled. Any doubts, which he might have had, were gone. /I want to be with you, Erestor. I want to get to know you. And I *will* find out if you love me./
Unable to tear his eyes away from the blond, Erestor lovingly rubbed Glorfindel’s knuckles to demonstrate his support. If only he didn’t feel this guilty about taking Glorfindel away from Elrond!
"My Lord?" Lindir bowed respectfully when he approached the party seated at the table.
"Yes, Lindir?" Elrond wondered if he would ever get a moment of true peace in the next decade; probably not with a baby around.
"One of the Galadhrim has arrived, carrying a letter from the Lady Galadriel." Lindir exchanged a worried look with Elrond. "And he is injured. He is limping."
/More work…/ But Elrond would never turn his back on someone in need. "Take him to the Healing House. Offer him some food and herbal tea, and tell the healers that I will join them shortly."
Lindir nodded, turned about and left to carry out his Lord’s instructions.
"You look tired, Ada, maybe I should tend to the Galadhrim?" Elladan disliked seeing the beginning of dark circles under his father’s eyes. Elrond was burying himself in work to escape his loneliness. He made a mental note to tell Elrohir that they needed to spend more time with their father.
"Nay, Elladan. I need to read that letter at any rate." He was surprised that Galadriel had sent a messenger to deliver a letter to him. Galadriel usually far-spoke with him when something troubled her.
"Well, should you need to rest, please let me know. Elrohir and I are perfectly capable of taking care of the injured." Elladan placed his hand atop of his father’s, offering him his support.
The gesture made Elrond smile weakly. "Thank you, Elladan." His children meant the world to him, especially now that he had lost another companion. Pushing back his chair, he got to his feet. "Excuse me, but it seems one of the Galadhrim needs my healing skills. I will check on *you* later, mellon-nîn," he said, looking deeply into Glorfindel’s eyes.
Gathering his courage, Glorfindel slowly rose from his chair. After walking over to Elrond, he bit his bottom lip and folded his arms around the half-Elf.
Elrond froze, scared that any movement might startle Glorfindel, and he calmly accepted the embrace. He knew that reaching out like this was hard on the blond and he felt honored that Glorfindel had set aside his fears in order to hug him.
"Thank you, Elrond," whispered Glorfindel into the half-Elf’s ear. These words were only meant for Elrond. "I know you greatly care about me and that you would have seen me through this ordeal, but… for some reason I feel more comfortable around Erestor. I cannot explain it myself."
/But I can./ Elrond met Glorfindel’s eyes and to his surprise, he realized that the blond wanted his permission to move on. "Your health is of the utmost importance to me, Glorfindel, and as you will find love and support with Erestor, you have my blessing to be with him."
/*Love* and support?/ Glorfindel frowned, pulling away from Elrond. /Love? Was I right after all? Does Erestor love me?/
The confusion in Glorfindel’s eyes made Elrond chuckle. "You *will* find out," he promised softly. He walked toward the doorway, looked over his shoulder and gave Erestor an approving nod. /Take good care of him./
Erestor nodded in turn, having a fairly good idea what was going through Elrond’s mind. /I will love and cherish him as long as I live./
Elrond nearly dragged himself over to the Healing House. Until now, -until actually losing Glorfindel to Erestor, - he hadn’t realized how much he cared about the blond. But still, it wasn’t love that he was feeling; it was desperation. He just didn’t want to be alone.
The healers welcomed him and took him to the room the Galadhrim was in. Before opening the door, Elrond drew in a deep breath, straightened his robes and tried to appear as regal and controlled as possible.
Opening the door, he resolutely stepped inside. "My healers tell me you are…"
His voice trailed off, entranced by the beauty of the Elf sitting on the bed. Long, silver hair cascaded down the grey and greens of Lothlórien and hazel eyes seemed to see right into his soul. A slightly haughty expression colored hypnotizing, hazel eyes and Elrond realized he should finish that sentence before the silence became uncomfortable.
"Injured…" he finished awkwardly.
Amused, hazel eyes met his, as the Galadhrim struggled to his feet.
"Master Elrond, I presume?"
"Aye…" Elrond moistened his lips, enraptured by the silver-haired beauty.
"Then allow me to introduce myself… I am Haldir of Lórien."
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