Disclaimer: I own nothing, except the plotline. Even Gildor Inglorion isn't mine--Tolkien had him first.
Warnings: None except that it's slash. A faithful reviewer, Melanie, asked so nicely for this that I couldn't refuse. For anyone familiar with my previous work, this has a very different tone. Melanie wanted a tender, romantic little fic that discussed Gildor's and Haldir's relationship, so that's what this is.
Archiving: OLAS and anyone else who wants it, just let me know.
A/N: This is a continuation of my previous Unspoken story arc (Unspoken/Revelations/Changes.)
One Last Time
By Rune Dancer
Second Age: 3121: Mirkwood
The heavy iron banded door swung outward and there he was, sitting on a small cot in the corner, looking mad as Mandos. Glorfindel tried to suppress a grin, but failed. "Yes, captain, that is my, er, colleague. If I might speak with him alone, for a few moments?"
The captain nodded and withdrew, having already been given orders to let the two talk if they wished. There was no reason why not, after all; they could plot all they liked, but it would avail them nothing. His predecessor had been sacked for letting those halflings outwit him and security was significantly tightened thereafter. One thing was certain, no one escaped from HIS dungeons.
Erestor waited until the door slammed shut before pouncing on Glorfindel. "WHERE have you been? Do you have any idea what it has been like, cooped up in here day after day, no books, no music, no conversation? I thought I would go mad!"
Removing the clutching hands from his robes with some difficulty, Glorfindel stepped back and straightened his garments. "I have a package here for you from Elrond. I believe he included some books, and also some clothing," which, seeing the state of Erestor's current attire, had been a good idea. "Perhaps you can pass the time more comfortably now."
"Pass the time? What do you mean, pass the time? Haven't you come to get me OUT?" Erestor's voice rose precipitously at the last, and Glorfindel shot him a warning look. The door was thick, true, but there was no reason to be careless.
"I am here at Elrond's bidding to petition King Thranduil for your release, yes, but so far, there has been no interest shown in complying with that request." Glorfindel seated himself on the end of the narrow cot and looked around in distaste. The room was clean, and furnished with the basic necessities of bed and washstand, as well as an old, slightly rusted sconce on the wall holding two greasy yellow candles. However, it was very bare, with stone floors over which only a few rushes had been scattered, and no window other than the tiny one, currently shut, in the door. He could imagine how forlorn Erestor must have felt these last weeks--not that he didn't deserve it, of course.
"So, how long will these negotiations take?, Erestor asked petulantly, while rummaging through the large parcel Glorfindel had deposited beside the cot. "I'm needed back at Imladris, you know; it will be time for summer festival soon and the Valar only know how everything will get arranged without me!"
"You might, perhaps, have thought of that before you ran off after some tramp of a delivery boy and left us high and dry," was the acerbic response.
"I did no such thing! I was merely attempting to discover the reason for the sporadic wine supply of late, as we'll be needing quite a bit for the festival, and . . . ," he trailed off at Glorfindel's arch look.
"It's no good, Erestor. Save it for Elrond when we get back, assuming we ever do. Thranduil's people caught you sniffing about their borders, looking very suspicious and asking too many questions. They really believe you were spying. I suppose we could try to explain that you were just trying to discover where your little Mirkwood dalliance had run off to, but I doubt very much if they would believe it. I, myself, have a problem believing that anyone long trusted by Elrond in the most important of positions could possibly be so irresponsible, yet I have no choice."
"Are you quite finished?"
"No." Glorfindel rose from the cot and paced about, looking disgusted. "To compound your error, you attacked several of the guards while they were attempting to bring you here, destroyed some valuable property in what I understand was an extremely clumsy escape attempt thereafter, and then tried that ridiculous wine story on Thranduil who, whatever else he may be, is not stupid! Frankly, it's a wonder you're still alive."
"And I suppose you would have done better?"
'I wouldn't have been here in the first place! And now I have the joyous task of somehow managing to convince the king to release you into the hands of the elf he likes least in all of Arda. You are going to owe me a few hundred years worth of favours if I manage to pull this off!"
"Well, forgive my obtuseness," Erestor replied sarcastically, "but I fail to see why you have to convince anyone of anything at all. Relations between Imladris and Mirkwood can't get much worse than they already are--Elrond's very name is practically an expletive in these parts--so why waste time on diplomacy? Especially when it isn't likely to work anyway? Just break me out of here."
Glorfindel sat down again and glared at his wayward acquaintance. He usually considered him a friend, but at the moment, he wasn't feeling very friendly. Elrond had spoiled the creature, that was the problem. He managed to get his own way so much of the time that he had forgotten about such petty concerns as personal responsibility. Elrond would always be available to come to the rescue of his favourite, no matter how unwise that favourite had been. Glorfindel was highly tempted to return to Imladris, claiming failure, and let Erestor stew in Thranduil's dungeons until some other way could be found to obtain his release. His loyalty to Elrond was the main reason he did not; well, that and a fascinating pair of ancient, emerald eyes.
"We do have a backup plan," he volunteered, at which Erestor perked up considerably. "A party of our best agents is on the way here now. They have stopped over in Lorien to pick up a guide--if we have to 'break you out,' as you say, Thranduil will certainly come after you and we'll need to take an alternative route home. However," he warned, seeing the smug look that was spreading over Erestor's chubby cheeks, "they will not be here for a few more days at least, and I intend to use that time to see if another solution cannot be reached. This could be an opportunity for improving relations between our two lands, so long sundered by misunderstanding and sorrow."
Erestor snorted in amusement. "Now who is telling tails? 'Improve relations,' indeed. And once you've finished doing that, assuming you can still walk, do please remember to come get me out, would you?"
Glorfindel stood and rapped smartly on the door for the guard, ignoring the pain in his knuckles. Spoiled brat, he thought again. Well, dear little Erestor, I'll get you out, as I promised Elrond, but not before you learn a few things. He isn't here to protect you now.
Third Age, 180: Imladris
"No," Gildor stopped his beautiful partner before he could let his lips follow where his hands had led. Haldir had already pleasured Gildor once that day, and spent half his morning giving him his full attention. Now it was time to even the score. "I want to give you pleasure. Will you let me?" Haldir looked surprised, but agreed, looking curious as to what his innocent partner might have in mind. Gildor repressed a smile; inexperienced he might be compared to Haldir's other lovers, but he had one very definite advantage . . .
Second Age, 3121: Lorien
Gildor had not intended to meet up with Haldir again quickly, if at all. He was confused by the torrent of unfamiliar emotions the older elf's casual actions of the night before had brought out in him, and, after a second fitful night's sleep in a row, just wanted to go somewhere quiet and think. He asked several elves where to find a stream suitable for bathing, then deliberately chose the one farthest from the city. It had taken almost an hour's hike to get to where a noisy brook fell over some dark rocks, forming a small pool below. He had been sitting there for some time, quite miserable as he tried, and failed, not to replay the previous night's encounter in his head. Yet, he was too nervous of meeting Haldir to dare return to the city until he'd sorted out his confused emotions. He had no idea if the elf, who was beginning to dominate his thoughts, was going to hate him for running away or want to pick up where they had left off. The first possibility depressed him enormously, but the second frankly terrified him, as he wasn't sure what he wanted, or if he was ready, or if he would be any good if he tried . . .
It was sometime in mid-morning when he finally decided that to remain, sitting soapy and dejected in the pool, would accomplish nothing except to make him even more wrinkled than he already was. He had just picked up a gourd dipper to wash the shampoo out of his hair, when he heard a familiar voice singing an enchanting melody in the woods. It was the song he had begun to associate with Haldir, as he seemed to always be singing or humming it whenever Gildor encountered him. The sound was unmistakably getting louder, and Gildor realised with alarm that Haldir must be coming his way.
Gildor had been trained to remain calm even in battle conditions, and to think logically and act swiftly under pressure. Nonetheless, he sat frozen as sudden and unaccountable terror swept through him. No! Haldir couldn't catch him like this! He looked down in horror at his nude, soup slicked body and glanced frantically around at the quiet, isolated, and very romantic setting, with flowers growing among the black rocks and leafy trees forming a bright canopy overhead. However, after the first instant, training took over and he snapped out of the trance, dropped his gourd, scooped up his clothes, and fled. He reached the edge of the surrounding trees just as Haldir stepped into the glade, a bathing towel slung casually over his shoulder.
Gildor dove behind a thicket of bushes, not even daring to breathe. Haldir did not seemingly notice his frantic exit, which the trickle of the fall over the rocks had muffled. He realised after a few anxious seconds that the sound of the water would probably cover his retreat, too, and told himself to get off the forest floor and start back to the city. The compost heap made from generations of fallen leaves in which he'd landed was undoing the effect of his morning's ablutions, and the remaining soap in his hair was trickling into his eyes, causing them to burn. Gildor pushed back his bangs and ran a hand over his face, preparing to scramble to his feet and rush away, but when his vision cleared he saw something that made him hesitate, mouth falling open in wonder. The figure in the glade had begun to disrobe. Some heretofore quiet part of Gildor's mind whispered that, once Haldir was actually in the water, it would be less likely that he would notice his departure. Yes, he thought blankly, he'd leave . . . in just a little while . . . when it was safe . . . and then he forgot to think at all.
Gildor watched as Haldir laid his tunic and shirt over a rock, well away from the water's edge, and paused to stretch languorously in the warm morning sunshine. The movement of well-toned muscles under flawless skin, darker gold at his neck and hands, but fading to pure cream on the parts of his body clothes usually covered, was the most wonderful sight Gildor had ever seen. Haldir appeared truly a creature of the forest, the blue of his eyes echoing that of the sky overhead, the silver-gold of his hair almost exactly the shade of the mallyrn leaves, and the green of his garments blending perfectly into that of the underbrush. It was more than his colouring, though, there was something about Haldir that was as free and untamed as the forest he called home, as demonstrated by his sensual enjoyment of a simple thing like a bath. Of course, Gildor thought, swallowing slightly as Haldir turned away to tug off a boot, baring a long pale back to his view, it could be that he had previously underrated the possibilities inherent in bathing.
The boots were soon removed, and despite the beauty of their workmanship, tossed carelessly aside. The skillfully wrought hair ornaments were treated with more respect; after being pulled from fine blond tresses, they were tucked into folds of the discarded tunic. When Haldir's hands dropped to the lacings of his leggings, Gildor felt somewhat giddy, and wriggled silently into better position under his leafy blind. The dark green fabric hugged Haldir's body tightly and only came away slowly, baring first creamy buttocks, then silky thighs and finally well-muscled calves to view. By the time the garment was negligently tossed on top of the tunic, Gildor could no more have forced himself to turn away than he could have flown.
Haldir perched upon a smooth, flat topped rock well covered in spray from the waterfall, and droplets filled with tiny rainbows were soon sparkling off his water slicked skin. Beads of moisture gathered on his high arched brows and dark lashes, before cascading down his high cheekbones to wet his lips; other tiny streams soon formed on his shoulders and ran down his chest, gathering in a small pool on his reclining stomach. When he bent to retrieve a washing cloth from his clothing, the motion caused a small cascade over the muscles of his upper thighs.
When Haldir added soap to the cloth and began to run it leisurely over his entire form, Gildor found himself in a new predicament, as his body responded to the seductive picture before him. He shifted slightly, but could not make his growing awareness fade, and his eyes simply ignored his brain's order for them to look elsewhere. Instead, they followed that lucky washcloth as it roamed over the elf's fine chest and arms, moved on to the satiny skin of his inner legs, glided along the jointure of his hip, and finally caressed the velvety orbs and fine, silver hair at the base of his flaccid sex. When Haldir suddenly tossed the cloth aside and began to gently stroke himself, Gildor's gaze lingered helplessly on the tantalizing image, despite the fact that he became immediately fully hard himself.
As the beautiful elf before him slowly brought himself erect, brushing teasing fingertips over the plum coloured head before beginning long, slow strokes along his full length, Gildor found himself wishing fervently that it was his hand who fondled him, his fingers that played along that warm, pulsating flesh and were wet by the even warmer liquid leaking from its tip. He dropped a hand to his own arousal, and found himself stroking in time with the beautiful creature under the waterfall. When Haldir finally cried out his release, Gildor came at almost the same instant, biting down hard on his lips and burying his face in the compost, to keep from echoing that cry over the forest.
When Gildor finally looked back up, Haldir had finished his bath and was drying off. Dressing quickly, he wrapped his bathing materials in his damp towel, and walked back in the direction of Caras Galadhon, the same joyful tune lingering after him on the morning breeze. Gildor waited until the notes had completely faded from his hearing before he ventured forth from his hiding place, covered in dirt and leaves and the evidence of his own recent arousal, and weak kneed from emotions too strong for him to fully understand or know how to deal with.
Creeping back into the glade, he rinsed himself off, then paused halfway through, dismayed to see his clothing sitting in full view on a nearby rock. His heart stopped for an instant, until he remembered that he had taken his clothes with him, snatching them up just before had Haldir entered the clearing. They now resided almost in the water, where he had dropped them only a moment ago. These others must, then, be someone else's, only he did not remember any being there when he arrived that morning, and they were sitting in plain sight. Emerging again from the pool, he walked over to the neatly folded clothes to investigate.
It was only when he lifted the top layer, a greenish grey cloak that could have belonged to anyone, to reveal the silky dark orange fabric beneath it, that he realised, with plummeting stomach, what he was actually seeing. They were his clothes, but he had not brought them. The last time he had seen them was the night before--when he had left them behind in his flight from Haldir's talan.
Third Age, 180: Imladris
Remembering the humiliation he had suffered that morning, Gildor vowed to make his partner pay, in the sweetest way, for it now. Haldir had obligingly reclined on the bed, his eyes amused as they followed his companion's actions. They did not stay amused for long. Gildor recalled clearly every image, every slight touch Haldir had given himself on that morning so long ago. He had lost count of the times had he played that scene over in his mind, of the nights had it formed the centre of desperate, longing dreams that ended only in lonely wakefulness. He knew exactly where and how Haldir most liked to be touched, and, within a few intense moments, had his companion writhing beneath him in want, rubbing his arousal along the muscular thigh that spread his legs. Sliding full-length against Haldir, Gildor dragged his own arousal across the smooth stomach until their erections met, thrilled to see the wild look that came into his partner's eyes, which darkened so much with need that it was impossible any longer to say their exact colour. At last he slowly, teasingly, took Haldir into his mouth, caressing every inch of him with a warm tongue, allowing his companion no rest from overwhelming sensation until the elf beneath him arched up, spilling himself in hot, strong pulses and hoarsely crying out his companion's name. It was, Gildor decided, the sweetest music he'd ever heard.
Second Age: 3121: Mirkwood
It wasn't until dinner that evening that Glorfindel realised the true extent of Erestor's folly, and it took all his long years of experience to keep a diplomatic smile plastered firmly to his face. "I'm going to kill him," he thought, and, as Thranduil introduced him to his fine-looking sons--including his youngest, Prince Legolas--he was very close to meaning it. The elfling had a beautiful face, a truly memorable face, but that hardly mattered as Glorfindel could not very well have forgotten someone he had just encountered a few weeks before.
He recalled perfectly the last time he had seen those fair, smiling features, outside the kitchen stairs in Imladris as Legolas and several other wood elves unloaded heavy barrels of wine bound for Elrond's cellars from a laden cart. Glorfindel had paused in his conversation with Erestor to admire the way the muscles in the young elf's arms were shown off by his exertion, and how the bright gold of his hair shone even in the dappled sunlight of the tree shaded garden. Erestor had seen the direction of his friend's gaze and laughed, pulling him away from the window. "That one is taken," the old roué had informed him, jovially but with a serious undertone. Then, a few days later, Erestor had disappeared, leaving only a brief note for Elrond and an even briefer one for Glorfindel, explaining that he was taking a journey to check on the wine delivery.
Glorfindel, of course, had immediately suspected the truth, but had said nothing to Elrond, hoping that Erestor would quickly get the young one out of his system and return to Imladris without causing any upheaval. He sighed inwardly as he firmly grasped Legolas' hand and smiled as charmingly as he could manage. He should have known better; getting over this one would be a task of more than a few days. As those bright young eyes met his, brimming with laughter and self-confidence, he found his own smile becoming more genuine. Yes, he could see the temptation that had made Erestor act like a besotted youth in the midst of fenneth, for the elfling before him had inherited his father's beauty, but also had an innocent quality about him that was . . . well, very alluring. Glorfindel found himself releasing the young one's hand with a bit more reluctance than he should have had, and sharply brought himself under control. One of them had to maintain some degree of sanity, if this situation was to be salvaged, and the Valar knew it wasn't going to be Erestor.
As exquisite course followed exquisite course, Glorfindel carefully watched Legolas, who had been seated across the table from him, and learned several useful things. First, the young one had either not seen him during his short visit to Imladris or else did not remember him; Glorfindel's pride far preferred the former. Secondly, Thranduil had no idea where his youngest had recently been, as it was mentioned that he had just returned from a lengthy tour of the border regions. Legolas smiled calmly enough at that, and readily answered his father's queries about several of the outlying areas, but said nothing whatever about having made any side trips. What he had been doing, dressed as a common labourer, all the way in Imladris--which could not by any stretch of the imagination be considered a borderland of Mirkwood--was beyond Glorfindel. However, it did give him a useful lever, as it was obvious Prince Legolas did not want his father to know anything about it.
So he smiled, chatted and, eventually, allowed himself to be persuaded to relive the whole disturbing Balrog incident, which he made into a glorious combat instead of the long, painful, drawn out slog it had really been. Legolas listened as avidly as everyone else, giving Glorfindel reason to believe that obtaining a private word with him after the meal should be easy. However, it seemed Thranduil had other plans.
"Walk with me, seneschal," his host said as the meal came to a close, and his strong hand gripped Glorfindel's arm in an iron hold. It was rather startling, as no one had dared to touch Glorfindel in such a manner in . . . . well, he couldn't actually remember when. Certainly not within the last age. It seemed that Thranduil was not particularly intimidated by either his reputation or his person, and the novelty of that thought caused Glorfindel to rethink his after dinner plans. Ah well, he thought, as Thranduil led him from the dining chamber, shrugging off with a few brief comments all attempts by his courtiers to detain them, one more night in his cell would hardly kill Erestor, and perhaps it was time to begin mending a few diplomatic fences.
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