Glorfindel was surprised, finding he was actually hurrying back to Erestor’s rooms. During most of the day his worries had kept him distracted and he had been relieved when the patrol had finally left, giving him a chance to look in on his charge. He hurried down the corridor to Erestor’s rooms, knocked, but didn’t bother to wait for the advisor to call him inside. Erestor looked up in surprise when he entered and a quick scan of the room told him that his charge was alone. “Where is Elladan? He is supposed to sit with you.” He didn’t like the fact that Erestor was alone now that the dark-haired Elf was helpless. “I will have a word with him later.”
Erestor sighed. “Glorfindel, I asked him to leave. What is the use in Elladan sitting here, holding my hand when they need him in the Healing House? Seriously, I can manage on my own.”
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow, indicating he didn’t believe a single word Erestor had just said. “And what if you had needed to visit the bathroom? Or grew thirsty?”
Erestor actually smiled at Glorfindel’s concern, which was unexpected. He was grateful that the sneers belonged to the past, for he liked this relaxed tone. But it also held a danger; he could lose his heart to the blond all over again. Was he willing to take that risk? /What do I have to lose? Nothing. Glorfindel rejected me once and I survived. Even if he rejects me again, I will manage eventually./ “Elladan helped me to the bathroom before he left and, as you can see, he placed a carafe filled with water on the nightstand.”
“Which you cannot reach!” Glorfindel released a frustrated sigh. “Are you thirsty? Or hungry? ‘Tis time for dinner anyway.” Dinner would be served in the Hall of Fire, but Erestor couldn’t possibly join the other Elves there. “I will ask one of the servants to bring dinner to your rooms. We will eat here.” Erestor would doubtlessly need his assistance.
Glorfindel didn’t wait for Erestor to answer him and stepped back into the corridor, where he stopped a servant to take his request to the kitchens.
Meanwhile, in his rooms, Erestor wondered how to act in Glorfindel’s presence now that the blond seemed concerned for him and most eager to please. It was a situation he had thought would never occur. Maybe he should indulge himself and just enjoy the time Glorfindel was spending with him? /No more sarcasm./
Glorfindel returned and Erestor couldn’t help staring hungrily at the Elda. Glorfindel had always been extremely handsome to him and knowing how valiant and kind the blond was had made him fall even deeper in love with the warrior. Glorfindel was the very reason why he had never taken a lover; the mere fact that his beloved had returned to Arda and had joined Elrond’s household was enough to keep him in limbo. Rationally, he realized they would never be lovers, but now he was beginning to hope they could at least be friends.
“This is embarrassing,” mumbled Erestor, hating feeling this helpless. Although he was growing increasingly stronger, he had needed to ask Glorfindel to help him eat dinner, as his arms tired quickly. Glorfindel was now feeding him small parts of the duck the cook had prepared and Erestor felt frustrated, wishing this paralysis would leave more quickly. He was already greatly improving but it would be a few more days before he was back on his feet again.
Seeing Erestor’s brooding look, Glorfindel had a fairly good idea what was troubling his charge. “This is only temporary, Erestor.” He tried to put himself in the dark-haired Elf’s position and knew he would be frustrated too. “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you… I ran into Elrond and Elros earlier and they announced they would be visiting with you later.”
“Both of them?” Intrigued, Erestor probed Glorfindel’s eyes. “What are they like?”
Glorfindel nodded in understanding. “I can hardly tell them apart. I always thought Elladan and Elrohir looked identical, but I was wrong. Elros and Elrond are impossible to tell apart, especially now that Elros is wearing Elrond’s robes.” Shaking his head, he grinned. “I thought I knew who Elrond was when I spotted him wearing his favorite butterfly clip, but I was wrong. Apparently Elrond had braided his twin’s hair and had used the clip to hold the mane in place.” Finding that Erestor was smiling brilliantly caused a strangely warm sensation to arise in his heart.
“I would have liked seeing that,” mumbled Erestor, smiling. He obediently ate when Glorfindel fed him more roast duck and fresh bread. “I am surprised that you are doing this for me.”
Glorfindel didn’t bother to pretend surprise at hearing that question. He was puzzled himself, realizing he enjoyed taking care of Erestor. “I am surprised myself, but…” He moistened his lips, briefly feeling insecure by admitting this to Erestor. “You have mellowed, Erestor.”
“The same goes for you,” said Erestor, easily meeting the blond’s gaze. “We are both trying to make this work.”
“You are right. I am trying hard not to scowl at you and you stopped snarling back at me. I like it better this way.”
“Very true,” said Erestor, pleased. His smile was plastered to his face, happy they were beginning to build a relationship. “Maybe we could continue this, instead of going back to fighting?”
“I would like that very much.” Glorfindel put down the empty plate, pleased that Erestor had finished everything on it. “Herbal tea?”
“Wine?” asked Erestor hopefully. He had no idea how long Glorfindel intended to stay, but it couldn’t hurt trying to keep the blond here a bit longer. “And a game of chess?”
Glorfindel was a bit taken aback, realizing Erestor wanted him to stay. A few days ago the dark-haired Elf would have chased him away and now he was inviting him for a game of chess and a glass of wine? Seeing the hopeful expression in Erestor’s eyes – which the advisor was unsuccessfully trying to hide – he accepted. “Where do you keep your board? And do you have any wine here or do I have to plunder Elrond’s private supply?”
Erestor grinned. “You won’t have to do that.” He quickly told Glorfindel the whereabouts of his chessboard.
Following Erestor’s directions, Glorfindel also collected a bottle of Elrond’s finest wine. The blond raised a questioning eyebrow. “I cannot remember ever seeing you drink wine.”
“I prefer miruvor,” said Erestor, relishing the fact that he was mobile enough to push deeper into the pile of pillows that supported him. “But you are correct. I hardly ever drink wine.” That bottle had been a present from Elrond years ago and had remained untouched since then.
Elrond found it hard to believe his eyes, coming upon his chief advisor and commanding officer. He had told his twin about the strained relationship between the two Elves, but Elros was giving him a puzzled look, finding Erestor and Glorfindel playing chess and enjoying a glass of wine together.
“I thought you said they didn’t get along,” mumbled Elros, puzzled at seeing the two Elves this relaxed after everything his twin had told him.
“Must be the wine,” replied Elrond in a joking tone, stepping into the room and clearing his throat to announce their arrival. “Erestor? Glorfindel?” He kept his gaze trained on Erestor and was pleasantly surprised to find him returning his smile. /Is it the wine, or Glorfindel’s company? Maybe both./ Elrond had long realized Erestor’s interest in the blond and it was beyond him why his advisor had never courted Glorfindel.
Erestor, realizing Elrond had caught on, forced himself to think rationally, but the wine made that difficult. He seldom drank wine and its effect was more powerful than he had thought. He gathered his thoughts and addressed the half-Elf. “Elrond, Glorfindel told me you would visit and I can assure you that I am growing better. I should be able to return to work in two days.”
“Elladan told me you should rest for a week.” Elrond gave Erestor a probing look. “And I trust his judgment. After all, I trained him personally.”
Erestor grumbled unintelligibly, displeased. Finding Glorfindel was refilling his glass, he gave the blond a questioning look. But the Elda reacted by making him sip again and his grumbling continued. He knew he should stop drinking, but he enjoyed feeling this calm and relaxed.
Elros cleared his throat, gently poking his twin in the side.
“Erestor, Elros has returned to us.” Elrond smiled, knowing Elros and Erestor would get re-acquainted over the next few weeks. Erestor had been a good friend and Elros and Erestor would easily settle into a routine.
“Mae govannen, Elros. ‘Tis good to see you again after so many millennia and you are most welcome in Imladris.” Erestor inclined his head in respect. “I would greet you properly, but this oaf knocked me off my feet.”
Glorfindel blushed weakly. “I was in a hurry!”
Elros smiled warmly. “I am certain Glorfindel will make it up to you, Erestor.” Placing a hand at the small of Elrond’s back, he addressed his twin. “Erestor needs to rest. We should give him some privacy.”
Glorfindel laughed warmly; the wine was definitely having an effect on him as well. “Yes, I doubt Erestor will admit defeat with the two of you present.”
“Defeat?” Erestor sent a mock glare in Glorfindel’s direction. It was the blond who was about to be checkmated!
“You are right.” Elrond looked dotingly at Elros and guided his twin out of the room, reassured now that Erestor and Glorfindel weren’t at each other’s throats. “I just had to make sure there wasn’t another kinslaying taking place.”
Elros nodded once. “Maybe there is some hidden attraction beneath the fighting?”
Elrond arched an eyebrow. “Erestor has feelings for Glorfindel. He just refused to make a move until now. Usually he keeps Glorfindel at a distance with his sharp tongue.”
“Ah, I was right then,” said Elros, smirking. “And do you know if there is some attraction on Glorfindel’s part as well?”
“I doubt it. He simply assumes Erestor cannot bear his presence.”
Elros absentmindedly rubbed his twin’s back. “Maybe the wine will help them relax?”
“They already looked awfully relaxed,” said Elrond jokingly. “Who knows what will happen tonight. Though Erestor is in no condition to… *receive* any special attention Glorfindel might bestow on him!” Laughing softly, they made their way back to their rooms, looking forward to spending the rest of the evening in each other’s company.
“Aiya, this wine is very potent!” Glorfindel’s head was spinning. “What was Elrond thinking, giving you that bottle?” He had lost the game an hour ago and since then they had talked softly, even reminiscing about Gondolin, which had pleased Glorfindel immensely.
“He might have hoped for something like this to happen,” said Erestor teasingly. He honestly couldn’t remember ever feeling this relaxed before. Flames danced in the fireplace and Glorfindel had lit the oil lamps some moments before.
Glorfindel chuckled, trying to push himself to his feet, but the moment he tried to rise from the chair, he swayed and accidentally fell forward, landing in a heap on Erestor’s bed. “Sorry about that.” Big-eyed, he stared at Erestor, wondering why the dark-haired Elf was so close. “Your bed is soft…” His voice trailed off, as he stretched next to Erestor, eventually curling around the dark-haired Elf and holding him close. “This…
is-s n-nice…” He was quickly falling asleep, enjoying feeling Erestor close.
Erestor, who had been shocked when Glorfindel had dropped unceremoniously onto his bed, now giggled. If it hadn’t been for the wine he might have panicked at finding Glorfindel pulling him into his arms, but all he could do now was giggle. “Yes, it is nice, my love.”
“Uhuh…” whispered Glorfindel, his eyes filling with reverie. “Ni-nice…”
Belatedly Erestor realized what he had called Glorfindel, but in his current intoxicated state he didn’t think of possible consequences. The blond was oblivious to his surroundings and even if Glorfindel had caught his slip, the Elda would attribute it to the wine. Yes, he was safe. There was absolutely no reason to worry. It took him some time, but in the end, he managed to wrap his arms around Glorfindel, determined to hold the blond close in turn. “Sleep tight, my love.” Feeling at peace now that Glorfindel was close, he followed the Elda into reverie.
Elrond studied his twin’s face, eyes closed in sleep and features relaxed. /Why did I ever reject him? Why didn’t I see in him back then what I see in him right now?/ He had wasted so much time! And he didn’t want to waste any more! Gently tracing the outline of his twin’s lips, he smiled warmly, moving closer to claim them.
“Hum…” Elros mumbled softly, enjoying being kissed awake in that manner. Opening his eyes, he stared into Elrond’s stormy ones. “Good morning.” Tenderly he ran his fingers through his twin’s long hair.
“Morning,” whispered Elrond, pleased that his twin so easily accepted his kiss. “I owe you an apology for the way I acted. You must understand that I am afraid I will lose you again. It made me act a bit… irrational. But that does not mean I spoke lightly! I do love you and want you in that way! Please do not doubt that!”
“Your current reaction is hard to reconcile with your reaction millennia ago,” said Elros thoughtfully. “I am beginning to believe you though,” he said, smiling, “But I need time, gwenneth, time to re-adjust. The past is still very close to me. My death is the last thing I remember.”
Elrond swallowed hard. “I didn’t realize that.” It did explain his twin’s hesitance to pursue their new relationship just yet. “I will be patient.”
“Patience was never one of your virtues, gwenneth,” said Elros teasingly, but he also knew his twin would do his best to give him the time he needed.
He was warm and comfortable. Arms were wrapped around him and a warm body was pressed against his. Reacting instinctively, Glorfindel pulled his bed partner closer, his lips automatically seeking out their counterparts. Still half asleep, he encountered soft and willing lips and he claimed them in a surprisingly passionate kiss.
Slowly regaining consciousness, he finally realized whom he was kissing. Erestor, still sound asleep, was in his arms and the dark-haired Elf’s lips were locked with his in a passionate kiss. /Erestor? I am kissing Erestor?/ And the amazing thing was, Erestor was kissing him back! His distant, calm advisor was now taking control of the kiss, letting his tongue slip past his teeth. Glorfindel didn’t get a chance to protest or stop the kiss, as Erestor slowly rolled atop of him, arms around his waist and their legs entwined.
Erestor’s reaction took him completely aback. He had never thought there could be such passion locked away beneath the dark-haired Elf’s cold fire. What surprised him most was his own reaction to Erestor’s passion; he found himself eagerly engaging in the kiss, trying to take back control. But Erestor wasn’t giving in easily. /My, why has he been hiding this passion?/ Getting carried away, he deepened the kiss, rubbing his lower body against Erestor’s in obvious want. /I never thought I would react to him in this way, but…/
“Aiya, Erestor,” whispered Glorfindel when his assailant gave him a moment to catch his breath. “You had better wake up before we do something we might regret later.” A part of him didn’t want Erestor to wake up, or to stop kissing him, but he couldn’t continue like this, not with Erestor not knowing what he was doing. Erestor might never forgive him if he allowed this to continue. “Erestor, wake up.”
Erestor frowned, still half asleep, but when he realized how close Glorfindel was, his eyes filled with sudden awareness. Staring at the blond in shock, he didn’t even register that he had regained more mobility. All he could think of was that Glorfindel was in his bed and *so* incredibly close! /And I am holding him! Tight!/ He was stunned that the Elda allowed this. “What?”
“I never thought I would ever say this, but I thoroughly enjoyed being kissed by you,” admitted Glorfindel amused.
“Kissed by me?” Erestor stared at the blond in apparent shock. Had he really taken the initiative?
“I might have instigated the kiss, but you surely took charge. You were definitely in control.” Involuntarily he raised his hand to brush a wayward lock away from the face hovering above him. He simply couldn’t help making his next remark. “I gather you like being on top, my dear?”
Erestor’s eyes nearly bulged from their sockets hearing that endearment. “What did you call me?” He was so in shock that he never thought about rolling off of Glorfindel.
“My dear…” Glorfindel grinned wickedly, suddenly realizing something about Erestor. The dark-haired Elf’s arousal, pressed against his thigh, had already given him a rather obvious hint, but seeing the dazed – and hopeful – expression in Erestor’s eyes told him everything he needed to know. He had never given much thought to the rumors he had overheard in the past, suggesting there was a more passionate reason for Erestor’s chilly attitude toward him. “You do seem quite comfortable on top.” He had been a bit surprised that Erestor had reacted to the ‘my dear’ instead of the ‘like being on top’ comment, but he contributed the slow reactions to the other Elf’s shock.
Erestor suddenly realized the compromising position he was in when Glorfindel wriggled beneath him, making him very much aware of the fact that the blond was also aroused. “Get out of my bed!”
“Hum, I am in no hurry to leave this warm nest.” When Erestor began to roll off of him, Glorfindel let him, realizing that keeping him in place would only make Erestor more defensive. “You feel softer than I thought, my dear.”
“Stop calling me that and leave my bed – right now!” Erestor tried pushing himself into a sitting position, hoping he could rise to his feet, but he tumbled back, ending up sprawled across Glorfindel’s lap. The blond began to laugh warmly and Erestor raised his eyes to glare at him. “Don’t laugh at me!” He had just enough strength left to pound Glorfindel’s chest, but the blow lacked real power and made Glorfindel laugh harder.
“Oh, Erestor, stop this.” Smiling curiously, he folded an arm around the other Elf’s waist, keeping him in place. “Explain this to me?”
“Never!” Erestor’s struggles to free himself were futile, as his body was still recovering from the injury. His chin now rested on Glorfindel’s chest and he stared directly into the azure eyes. Realizing the blond had him in a tight hold, he stopped squirming. The wriggling to get away from Glorfindel had only resulted in them growing even harder.
“Erestor? Why did you kiss me like that?” Glorfindel stopped laughing, seriously interested in Erestor’s answer. “There was passion… There was demand in that kiss. The way you held onto me…” He hoped Erestor would finish his sentences and enlighten him.
“I don’t want to talk about this! And let me go!” He was *not* having this conversation with Glorfindel in the position he was in! The worst thing was that his attraction showed so obviously, and so did Glorfindel’s. /Why is he aroused? He is not even attracted to me! Must be the close bodily contact and nothing else!/
Glorfindel’s eyes narrowed when revelation hit him. “You like me!” He firmly nodded his head once and smiled again. “You like me!”
Erestor sighed. “I don’t like you. You are arrogant…”
“And gorgeous,” said Glorfindel, giving Erestor a wink. Seeing the dark-haired advisor blush fiercely, he knew he was right. “You *like* me, Erestor. Admit it.”
“I don’t like you.” Erestor closed his eyes, wishing he was somewhere else, anywhere else, just not atop Glorfindel.
“You do… Erestor likes me… Who would have thought that?” Glorfindel wished the dark eyes would open again so he could search them. “Why did you never tell me?”
Erestor knew he had lost the battle. “Because you don’t like me, Glorfindel.”
Glorfindel raised an eyebrow and ran his fingertips along Erestor’s eyelashes, causing the chocolate brown eyes to open. “You never gave me a reason to like you, Erestor.”
“That is true,” admitted Erestor, “But I am trying to do things differently now.”
Glorfindel nodded in understanding. “May I inquire when these feelings for me started?” He was truly intrigued now. Erestor tried to avert his eyes, but Glorfindel cocked his head, making sure Erestor remained in view.
“Many millennia ago.” Why was he telling? Why was he making himself this vulnerable? Was it the amazingly soft expression in those azure eyes? “I have loved you for a long time.”
“You have?” Flabbergasted, Glorfindel tried to understand what Erestor was telling him. “You love me?” He had gathered the dark-haired Elf was attracted to him, but now Erestor was speaking of love; a word not idly used by Elves.
“I have loved you from a distance for a long time.” There was no way back now and Erestor plunged ahead. “But I know you are not attracted to me
-- a mere scholar. I am not a valiant warrior or skilled swordsman, so I never mentioned it to you. I didn’t see the point in doing so.”
Glorfindel slightly shook his head. “You didn’t see the point…” And he had never realized Erestor had feelings for him! “You hid your passion surprisingly well.”
“I did my best,” said Erestor, uncertain what to make of Glorfindel’s reaction to his admission. He had expected the blond to quickly get to his feet and flee his room – and his presence. But Glorfindel was still here, holding him in place. “Why are you still here?”
“I am thinking…”
“Well, that can take some time,” said Erestor, surprised he could still tease Glorfindel in his current predicament.
“Erestor, don’t,” whispered Glorfindel, thinking this over. “I am trying hard to figure this out.”
Erestor grew quiet and his eyes remained trained on the blond’s face. /What is there for Glorfindel to think about? I know he doesn’t like me in that way. He told me so./
“I did enjoy that kiss,” said Glorfindel eventually, deciding Erestor might be worth taking the risk. “Maybe we should try it again?” Erestor’s baffled expression told him that the other Elf had never expected this particular reaction.
Mouth agape and his dark eyes widened, Erestor asked, “What did you say?” He must have misheard! Glorfindel couldn’t possibly have suggested *that*!
“Maybe it would be best to demonstrate,” whispered Glorfindel, smiling as he finally claimed Erestor’s lips again.
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