Harvester of sorrow [Between shadows] 19-27/37

author: Az
email: az.ombie@gmail.com
homepage: http://www.forgottenjuliet.net
disclaimer; dont own them, never claimed to, never will. im just goofing about
with them. they belong to the Tolkien estate.
warnings; AU, twin’cest implied, heavy angst, graphic violence, interspecies, non
sexual child abuse.
Pairings; Legolas/Theodred, Theodred/Eomer ,Elrohir/Dinalu (oc), Elladan/Irmo
(Elrond/Glorfindel implied)
Summary; Elladan goes insane from the loss of his twin, who chooses a lover far
away. Stricken by grief and madness, he decides to kill Elrohir’s lover, but in the
last minute changes his mind when he sees a little child, and he decides to take the
child instead and raise it as his own little friend/son. The child suffers a trauma
from the abduction and therefore goes mute. What will happen with the child?
Will he be returned to his parents? Will Elladan’s plan work? Or will he realise he
did something terrible?
A/N; I decided to give this fic its own opening page, because this must be the
strangest fic I ever wrote, and properly the longest too. It is a mix between allot of
things, but most of all two plot-bunny’s of Cheysuli’s, and then I added some
strange stuff of my own, and some from a slash RPG I play´, called in Silpions
light . This is very, very much AU and I am aware that the timeline can seem
messed up. And to make all this match, I made up a big brother for Legolas,
called Dinalu (roughly translated, Silent water). – And now to clear up some
issues that I know from experience will arise; there will figure child abuse (non
sexual), which is necessary for the plot. And a disease I am sure elves cannot get
should I stick to canon, but I am not. And as I said the timeline is like the wind
blows, this is NOT even close to canon it is but a story, so don’t bother to flame
me. Other stuff? Well this could perhaps be seen as a darkfic, but rest assured I
am a fluff girl at heart, even though I like darkfic’s, I actually am a sucker for
happy endings, so rest assured that this will have one of those too. Thanks to;
Miriel, Bersa, Elrohir, Anestel & BlueGold (from the RPG), Cheysuli for the
plotbunnies
Betaed by; Lisbet Karlsdottir the ever wonderful

Under the cut;
Chapter 19 – I got fading roots.
Chapter 20 – My brother, my killer.
Chapter 21 – Why can’t you just leave it be?
Chapter 22.- I got changes to ring.
Chapter 23 – your eyes they often lie.
Chapter 24 – 20,000 chances I wasted.
Chapter 25 – Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world.
chapter 26 – you wanted to dance, so I asked you to dance.
chapter 27 – What sunshine do you bring?

Harvester of Sorrow/between shadows

I’ve got a little black book with my poems in.
Got a bag with a toothbrush and a comb in.
When I’m a good dog, they sometimes throw me a bone in.
I got elastic bands keepin’ my shoes on.
Got those swollen hand blues.
Got thirteen channels of shit on the T.V. to choose from.
I’ve got electric light.
And I’ve got second sight.
And amazing powers of observation.
And that is how I know
When I try to get through
On the telephone to you
There’ll be nobody home.

I’ve got the obligatory Hendrix perm.
And the inevitable pinhole burns
All down the front of my favourite satin shirt.
I’ve got nicotine stains on my fingers.
I’ve got a silver spoon on a chain.
I’ve got a grand piano to prop up my mortal remains.

I’ve got wild staring eyes.
And I’ve got a strong urge to fly.
But I got nowhere to fly to.
when I pick up the phone
There is still nobody home.

Pink Floyd – nobody home

_______________________

Chapter 19 – I got fading roots.

(2 months later)

-Mirkwood-

Crying… Elrohir wondered when he would run out of tears, there had to be a limit as to how much liquid the glands in your head could produce, But apparently not.

He looked out at the pale dawn, knowing that today he would ride, and this was the last morning he would spend in Mirkwood for quite some time, perhaps forever if Dinalu didn’t change his mind. He admitted that it had been a tasteless remark he had made in a second of anger, but Dinalu was like a closed book. And simply refused to talk to his husband. In his frustration, Elrohir had even gone to Thranduil to seek advise, but the Mirkwood king had just shaken his head sadly and said that he would gladly assist in any was he could, but he was not able to change his son’s heart.

How had it come to this? Which wrong path had he taken? Had it been wrong to fall in love with Dinalu in the first place? Or had it been wrong to make an oath with his twin? Or… he just couldn’t straighten out his web of thoughts. None of it seemed like it had been the wrong thing to do. Yet now when he sat here in the dimly lit room, looking at his already packed saddle bag, he felt like he had led hi self astray somewhere. How could he stay by the side of a person who loathed his twin? That was impossible. But how could he sacrifice all that was him and Dinalu on this, some childish vow. He shook his head. Things just had
to work out. He just hoped that Dinalu understood that he would not be leaving forever. He would write him a letter once he arrived home.

Elrohir’s musings were disturbed by a knock on the door. He blinked confusedly – who would pay him a visit at this hour? The household was asleep; only a few servants would be awake at this hour. “Enter,” he called, secretly hoping it was Dinalu who couldn’t resist coming to see him off on his trip. But the elf who entered was one he had never seen before in his life, and his smile faded. “What do you want?” he said.

“I come with a urgent message from Rivendell to prince Elrohir, and if I am not mistaken, that would be you,” the messenger said.

“Yes, that would be me,” Elrohir said venomously, not liking the tone of the servant one bit. “Hand me the letter and then be gone.”

“As you wish,” the servant said and dropped the scroll on the floor. “Oh, forgive me, prince Elrohir, it seems it has fallen from my hands – how clumsy of me.”

Elrohir shook his head, feeling miserable. Even the staff here thought that he was being unjust to their throne heir, and most of them had had second thoughts about their prince getting involved with a half elf, and even worse a male that would produce no children. They hated him, and he knew it. There was really no point in getting angered, so he just waved his hand at the servant. “Leave me,” he said softly.

The servant left, but not without closing the door harder than necessary. This was all because they loved their prince, and they blamed Elrohir for making him miserable. Elrohir sighed and rose from the bed and picked up the scroll. It had his father’s seal on it. At least they hadn’t read his letter, he thought to himself. He sat down once more and broke the seal, and at the first sight at his father’s handwriting he felt like he would cry once more. Right now he didn’t feel like a warrior destined for greatness, or the son of a lord. He felt like an elfling who wanted his father to soothe him and tell him everything would be all right. He ran a hand through his hair and started to read the letter.

He rolled the scroll up once more. Rohan? His father wanted him to go to Rohan? He shook his head. He wondered who this strange elf was that his father spoke of. Perhaps it was an ancient soul sent back from Mandos, like Glorfindel. But there was only one way to figure that out. He looked out at the sun once more. It had risen more and it was bright dawn. He should delay his departure no more, and with that he rose to his feet, picking up the saddle bag containing his belongings. Should he go to Dinalu before he left? He sighed and pushed open the door to the corridor. No, he should leave him alone, that was what he had wanted, and since Dinalu had not wished to see him last night and had not come to his chambers, it was pretty safe to say that he felt unwelcome in his husband’s chambers right now.

He walked down to the stables and quickly found his own horse. He patted it on the nose and smiled. “Ready, my friend?” he whispered and the horse just let out a snort. “You just wait, my friend, we are going to the land of horses, and you might find that you enjoy  yourself there.”

A rustle behind him made Elrohir turn around and look directly at the king. His eyes widened. “Your Majesty!”

Thranduil smiled at Elrohir and casually leaned against the stable wall. “I thought that I would come and bid you a safe journey,” /since no one else is doing it/ he thought to himself, but had not the heart to utter those words.

Elrohir bowed slightly for the Mirkwood king and then looked up again with a smile. “Thank you, your majesty.” He took a leather cord from the saddlebag and started to make a loose braid, tying it all together with the cord, much to Thranduil’s amusement.

After some time with silence Thranduil suddenly spoke with a soft voice. “You should send him a letter once you return home, young Elrohir.”

Elrohir was throwing the saddlebag over the horse when he heard those words. “Yes, your majesty,” he said and patted the horse on the side of the neck. “But I am on my way to Rohan, my fathers orders,” he added with a dull tone.

“Rohan you say?” Thranduil said softly. “I am sure they have messengers in Rohan too.”

“Oh yes, your majesty,” Elrohir said quickly and blushed lightly. “I didn’t mean to imply that…”

Thranduil cut him off with a wave of his hand. “Peace, young Elrohir, I just assumed you would be returning home to your brother.”

“I was, your majesty, but my father sent me a message sending me to Rohan on the way. I will send for Elladan, once there.” He said and absentmindedly fiddled with the horse’s mane.

Thranduil took a step towards the horse and half-elf. “Elrohir, may the Valar keep you safe on your journey, and please send your father a greeting from me.”

Elrohir smiled at the king and softly replied “I will, and thank you, your majesty. “He took a deep breath before he mounted the horse. “W-would you…tell Dinalu I will return?”

“Aye,” Thranduil said and stepped away so Elrohir could ride out from the stall.

“I should go now, thank you for coming your majesty, Thranduil,” Elrohir said and spurred his horse to walk slowly out the stall. Thranduil just nodded and gave Elrohir one last sorrowful gaze. He knew what was causing the young elf to linger, and what it was he was looking for behind his back, but he also knew that Dinalu would not come, and so did Elrohir – he had just hoped he was wrong. Thranduil understood the disappointed self-loathing look in Elrohir’s eyes all too well.

_______________________

-Rivendell-

Elrond was looking at Elrohir’s letter. They had to have crossed messages halfway, but just as Elrond had ordered Elrohir to Rohan, his son had apparently thought of stopping there on his way. He looked up at the painting of the children’s mother. How he wished she were here now. This letter was full of heartbreak. If only she had been here to console her children, and himself too. He massaged his temples deciding that he could not do more for Elrohir right now, but would send a letter to king Theoden and tell him that aid was on its
way.

“Father?” a voice said behind him. He turned around and the sight that met his eyes made all blood disappear from his face. “Oh dear Elladan!” he exclaimed and rose from his chair.

“I just thought he would like to have it,” Elladan said sweetly and held out his hair, neatly braided with red ribbons, but to Elrond’s confusion not attached to his son’s head.

“Your hair… ” Elrond whispered and looked from the offending braid to Elladan’s face. “Elladan… What were you thinking?”

“But father, I thought he would like to have some of me to keep him company if he misses me,” Elladan stated. “And he does, you know, I can feel it.”

“I know he does, my dear child.. but that doesn’t mean that you had to maim yourself,” Elrond said letting his arms fall to his sides, just looking at his eldest son in amazement and fear.

“I didn’t maim myself father, if I had cut off my arm it would be different. This is but hair,” Elladan said and gently deposited the braid on Elrond’s large desk.

“But you have been growing that since birth!” Elrond whispered, wide eyed.

“About high time I had a hair cut then,” Elladan stated.

“Elladan,” Elrond groaned and sat down once more. “What did you expect me to do with *this*?” He pointed at the braid.

“To send it to Elrohir of course.”

“I can’t do that Elladan. He would die from a heart attack,” Elrond said.

“Yes you can and you will,” Elladan suddenly roared.

Elrond looked up at his son, who was visibly confused. “No Elladan, I simply refuse.”

“Fine,” Elladan hissed and took the little knife Elrond used to pry open seals from the desk and raised it to his ear. “What about this? Would you send this to him?”

Confused? Insane was more the word, Elrond thought to himself. How could this have eluded him for so long? “Elladan.. No!” he yelled, but to no avail. The young elf slid the paper knife down into the flesh, and streams of red blood trickled down his face.

“The hair just wasn’t enough, now was it?” Elladan yelled.

Elrond quickly got to his feet, and rushed over to Elladan and much to the young elf’s surprise he punched him.

With Elladan unconscious on the floor, Elrond quickly picked him up and carried him out of the room, making for the healing wing. He had to sew on the ear back on that now dangled strangely from a flap of skin, bleeding furiously. And then he would have to find a way discover the source of Elladan’s strange behavior.

____________________________

Rohan-

Eomer had wanted to return back as soon as possible, he was greatly curious as to what had happened to the elf. Had Theodred gotten him to finally say who had hurt him thus? And now on his walk from the stables to the throne hall, he couldn’t help but wonder if Theoden had perhaps sent the elf on his way. It was no secret that the king, no matter how just and wise, did not like the Firstborn . Eomer had always thought it was due to jealousy, as the elves stayed young and healthy. Theoden himself was beginning to look like an old man.

“Eomer!” he heard a voice yell from the other end of the corridor. He would recognize that voice anywhere.

“Theodred, you made it here safely!” he said and turned towards the other young man who ran towards him.

“I did,” Theodred said with a smile. “And so did you, I see.” He embraced his cousin in a warm hug.

“What about the elf?” Eomer wondered. “Is he still here?”

“Yes” Theodred said and dragged Eomer with him. “He is right here in my chambers. Come see – he has made remarkable progress.”

Eomer laughed and followed Theodred. “I should stand before the king first, before making social visits.”

“It will be quick,” Theodred said with a boyish grin.

The warrior did not miss hearing the hidden remark, and chuckled with delight. “With you… always.”

Theodred raised a brow. “Is that a fact?”

“Oh Theodred, don’t be such a spoilsport, show me the elf,” Eomer sighed with a smile.

“Yes, the elf,” Theodred repeated and continued to drag Eomer, until they were at his chamber door. “Don’t move too fast, he might get startled.”

Eomer just nodded and moved slowly into the room where Legolas sat working on a drawing of his.

“Ferret?” Theodred said softly and Legolas looked up, flashing a smile at the man. “I brought a friend with me.”

“Ferret?” Eomer looked at Theodred for a second and then suddenly roared with laughter. “That is the most stupid thing I ever heard… Theodred, honestly…
ferret.”

“Well he *looked* like one, and he is not objecting,” Theodred answered with a pout.

Eomer just shook his head in amusement and smiled at the elf. “Hello there, little one.”

“You oaf! He doesn’t understand what you are saying. He is an elf, and thus he speak elvish,” Theodred said and delivered a slight slap to Eomer’s shoulder.

Eomer blushed slightly. “I guess you are right.”

“Eomer,” Theodred said and pointed at his friend.

Legolas just nodded and looked at the man, not understanding what it was all about, but he could sense that they were friends, so he was not the least alarmed when the man with the golden curly hair came and stood beside him, looking at his drawing.

“It’s amazing,” Eomer said. “Have you seen this, Theodred?”

Legolas looked at the man with the golden hair. His body language told him he was pleased with the drawing, and so he lifted it from the table and offered it to the man. For a second he thought he had been wrong when the man looked so baffled, but when he then took the drawing, Legolas nodded eagerly pushing the paper closer to Eomer

“He gave me his drawing! Eomer said.

“I guess he likes you!” Theodred said.

“I wonder who this elf is,” Eomer mumbled and looked at the drawing. “But it certainly is a pretty drawing.” He folded the drawing with the handsome dark- haired elf and smiled to Legolas gently running a hand over the soft hair. “Thank you, little one” he said. “Maybe someday you can tell me who this is”

___________________________________________

AN: I had some betaing trouble here, and its not that I am not grateful that Lost
Fantasy would beta for me, now that poor Lisbet got sick. But I just grew
impatient. So this is not betaed, I hope it’s readable anyways.

Summary: Elrohir arrives in Rohan
Legolas is nowhere to be found
Eomer meets the elf of his dreams
And Erestor gets quite the scare
________________________________________________

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody’s wife.
Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see Jane’s awake —
She sends her regards.

And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I’m glad you stood in my way.

If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me
Your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.

Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried.

L. Cohen – the famous blue coat

_______________________________________

Chapter 20. – My brother, my killer

-Rohan-

(Three weeks later)

Finally. Rohan. Elrohir smiled to himself, just as hard as it been to ride out that main road of Mirkwood, every second hoping that Dinalu would show. Every rustle in the leaves making him turn in the saddle hopefully looking back, but no one came. But just as much did he rejoice to finally see Meduseld, just as much did he miss his husband, and wished he had been here by his side. “See horse, we made it” he sighed bitterly

He continued down hill to meet up with the guards at the watchtower. He shielded his eyes from the sun with his hand “greetings good men of Rohan”

One guard crawled down the latter from the tower, and stood before Elrohir “state your name and business stranger”

“I am Elrohir of Rivendell, I come here by the bidding of Theoden king” Elrohir said and smiled

“a elf huh?” the guard said and looked up and down Elrohir

Elrohir stayed silent, but wondered if the idiot had expected a badger with a pointy hat. Or perhaps not many elves travelled through here. Just smiling as if stating the obvious.

The man looked at Elrohir, not seeing any reason he should not believe him “very well, follow me”

“Thank you” Elrohir said and followed the guard inside the city walls, and after he had stabled the horse, and handing over his sword to the guard outside the royal hall, he finally stepped inside the king’s halls. Elrohir sighed; he hoped he would not disappoint his father. He was apparently the master of disappointing everyone else these days. But diplomacy was something you could get taught out of a textbook, love was not.

The guards opened the large wooden doors, and Elrohir spotted the king on his throne at the other end. He took a deep breath and started to walk inside and towards the ruler of this realm.

Theodred looked at the elf from the shadows in his father’s hall. He was magnificent as he strode forth up through the pillars and benches, dressed in black, long riding boots and a cloak that moves lazily behind the elf, as had it a life of its own. Theodred peeked out further as the elf came to a halt in front of Theoden. The dark clad elf pushed back his hood with a slender hand and revealed long dark brown hair, braided in one long loose braid

“Theoden King” Elrohir said with a pleasant smile and bowed for the man at the throne “I am Elrohir, son of Elrond of Rivendell” he paused and looked up at the king once more “you asked for aid, and my sire sent me to take care of what ever the problem should be”

Theoden looked at the elf, a smile threatened to surface, but he continued as the king he was “well met Lord Elrohir” he said and made a gesture for Elrohir to stand tall once more “I asked Lord Elrond to send someone, to come collect a stray of your kin. For he has no language, but that he should send his own son is most unexpected”

“My father told me of the mysterious elf” Elrohir said

Oh no! Theodred thought to himself, the dark elf had come to kill Ferret! He had better hide him or.. or.. He turned from the throne room, making for his own chambers.

“You should speak with my son” Theoden said and waved a servant to his side, “fetch prince Theodred and the parcel from my desk” the servant nodded and disappeared quickly. Theoden looked at Elrohir “your father send a letter for you upon your arrival”

Elrohir nodded, wanting to shake the king ferociously. Why was it that rulers had this tedious habit of being slow and boring? Now he knows why he had run and hid from diplomacy lessons.

The servant returned with the parcel and handed it to Theoden “where is Theodred?” the king asked

“He said he would be here shortly,” the servant said, “forgive me my king, but he would not listen when I asked him to follow immediately”

Theoden sighed “forgive my unruly son” as Elrohir just nodded with a odd smile, Theodred decided to continue “I am sure it was a long ride young lord Elrohir, if you wish I can have someone show you your guest chambers, and then have my son pay you a visit later or first thing tomorrow”

“Yes thank you king Theoden” Elrohir said with a smile.. Everything to get out from here, he thought to him self.

_______________________

Rivendell-

Evening, it would soon be evening.. Elladan felt a smile spread on his face. Tonight he would go visit his special place once more. He looked at the sun, two hours and then he would go to Erestor’s chambers. Two hours? Did he really want to wait that long?

Elladan sat down on his bed, and wondered if he would be able to do it himself, to find that wonderful peaceful place, and *him* – the young elf smile broadened and a weak blush crept to his face, he endured the day because he knew what waited for him. Never had he had a friend like the elf from his special place. Elladan flopped down on his bed and let out a blissful sound, Irmó. His name alone was a little prayer. He could see his long silver hair
swaying as were it one with the wind or smoke. He saw Irmo stand there at the cabin in the green forest, he was fishing lazily in a pond, and Elladan raised a brow. There had never been a pond next to the cabin?

“Now there is,” Irmo said with a grin.

“Irmo? But I am not here, I mean…” Elladan stuttered

“Who said you are not here? Its lovely you would join me young Elladan, I was quite bored” Irmo said and pressed the fishing rod down in the ground, walking over to Elladan who was clearly confused

“But..” Elladan whispered

“Elladan” Irmo whispered “you finally master to visit me on your own, you no longer need Erestor to guide you past the shadows to visit my garden”

“No longer Erestor?” the young elf felt absolutely ridiculous

“Do this feel like a dream?” Irmo said softly and caressed Elladan’s cheek

“No” Elladan admitted feeling a little tinkle in his skin

“What about this?” the Valar whispered and placed a soft kiss to the half elfs lips.

“It feels real” Elladan said with a smile

“Then why don’t you think you are here penneth?” Irmo stated a-matter-of–factly.

_____________________________

Rohan-

Eomer had been sent to the new elfs chambers, all the servants had not been able to find Theodred or the mysterious elf anywhere. /oh great!/ Eomer thought to himself with a frown, now its my job to exchange polite phrases with some stuck up elf.

Elrohir had read the parcel from his father, asking him to stay there until he had some solution, or he was called home. He had sat down to write a letter back to his father and Elladan. Telling them he missed them allot and wondered about the purpose about him staying here, asking for Elladan to join him. But he only got halfway before he heard a knock on the door. “Enter” he said flatly looking at the door, expecting some little human brat to tumble in the door. But what he saw took him by surprise. It was a man all right. But he was not a little brat, a fair young warrior as far as Elrohir could tell.

“Lord Elrohir?” Eomer said bowing slightly

“Oh no need to bow my friend, and yes I am the one you seek” he said with a dazzling smile as he rose from his chair

“I am Eomer, I found the elf together with the prince” Eomer said closing the door

“Yes, the elf” Elrohir said thoughtfully “what is the story on him, pray tell Eomer”

“We found him running the plains in the middle of the night milord” Eomer said shuffling his feet

Elrohir smiled again and gestured towards a chair “sit Eomer” and watching Eomer moving towards the chair “and call me Elrohir please” he added as he joined the man

“Yes.. uhm.. Elrohir” Eomer said, as were he tasting the name

“Then?… tell me more Eomer” the elf said and rested his chin on his fingertips, as his father so often did. “Running you say?”

“Yes running” Eomer answered smiling goofy, drinking in the sight of the young elf lord, he was a vision of a river of brown hair and black leather, absolutely irresistible

“Do you know from whom?” Elrohir said studying the man intensely, tying to determine how old he was.

“No” Eomer admitted “but.. They had to be humanoid”

Elrohir noticed that the man shifted in his chair, starting to squirm his hands, clearly feeling uncomfortable “why would you say that?” he whispered and leaned closer to the man

“Because of his..” Eomer paused and tried to find the proper word “injuries” the elf just sat still, close. Too close Eomer thought, the elf was just watching him with those large slanted dark grey eyes, he took a deep breath and met Elrohir’s wondering gaze “they had forced them selves upon him” Eomer whispered looking away from the elf once more

Elrohir opened his eyes wide in shock “what?!” he gasped “you mean they?…” his voice failed him and Eomer cleared his throat before he answered “he was raped” he breathed

“A-are you sure?” Elrohir stumbled across the words, running his hand though his hair in a distraught move.

“I am sure” Eomer said and straightened up some “I may not be a healer, or well known in the world of herbs and plant lore. But I know enough to stop a bleeding from a fellow soldier in dire times” he looked at Elrohir that still slightly shook his head as if he found what he heard impossible to believe “and I searched his body for wounds when he had gotten him back to the encampment”

Elrohir looked up while he was pinching his nose, trying to prevail the upcoming headache “how can you be so sure he was not a willing participant? As my fathers assistant I have seen some individuals with pretty severe damage from frolic games gone wrong”

“He was badly beaten, and terribly torn milord” Eomer said darkly

“Ai” Elrohir sighed and bit his lip “I would have to speak with him”

“I am afraid that is impossible” Eomer answered with a badly hidden smirk “for one, he is disappeared together with Prince Theodred, second he have not uttered one word for as long as he has been here, the healer say he is mute”

“Mute? That is ridiculous. I have never heard of a mute elf”

“I am pretty sure you never heard of a elf called Ferret either” Eomer chuckled

“No I cant say I have” Elrohir laughed

For several minutes there was a awkward silence between them, the situation just seemed so absurd and terrifying that they both felt the urge to laugh and cry at the same time. Elrohir suddenly realized that it had been such a long time since he had laughed, something in his chest convulsed. How he missed Dinalu.

“Impressive sword” Eomer suddenly said, shaking Elrohir from his melancholy musings.

“Excuse me?” Elrohir blinked confused

“Your sword” Eomer repeated and pointed towards the slender elven sword resting against the wall, where it had been standing since it had been returned to him “it is beautiful, just as fair as its wielder”

Elrohir laughed “thank you Eomer”

Eomer smiled and blushed slightly, the man sat in thought for a while before he looked up at Elrohir “we could spar some time, I would be greatly honoured milord” he said to test grounds

“Elrohir, my name is Elrohir” the half-elf said and looked at the man, but found himself unable to resist that hopeful stare “yes, a sparring match sounds like fun Eomer”

“Wonderful” Eomer said with a smile

Elrohir raised a brow, but couldn’t help but to flash a giddy smile /are you flirting with me Eomer?/ he thought to himself, but just stood up. “I am afraid I have to bid you a good night young Eomer, we have a long day ahead tomorrow”

Eomer rose and nodded “yes milord” he said and the smile faded

How cold-hearted can you be Elrohir? The elf thought and opened the door, turning towards the man “I wont forget our sparring match Eomer”

“Good” Eomer said as the smile returned some “sleep tight” he mumbled as he hurried past Elrohir, turning to cast the enchanting being one last glance before the door closed.

________________________

Rivendell-

“Elladan?”

“ELLADAN!” Erestor yelled, feeling himself pale as he started to shake the frame of the lifeless elf. “Wake up for the sake of all that is holy.. Wake up penneth” he heard his voice rise to hysteria when the elder son of Elrond didn’t respond. /aii Elrond will have my hide/ he thought, and continued to shake the young half-elf. “Elladan please” he pleaded as he stopped his actions and just started to stroke Elladan’s brow.

Elladan’s eyes fluttered open, quickly focusing on the blurry image in front of him “F-Father?”

“Nay it is I Erestor” the advisor whispered, his voice hoarse from yelling

“Oh Erestor” Elladan whispered “I had the most wonderful time tonight”

“You gave me quite the scare penneth” Erestor said and gave Elladan his famous pissy face

The prince of Rivendell sat up and smiled brightly “he was so happy to see me” he said dreamily “and you know what Erestor? He said he would be my brother, and my lover in one”

“Elladan, please you are speaking nonsense” Erestor whispered and watched Elladan with his mouth wide open “you are just a little confused”

“Confused, on contraire dear Erestor. I have never been so collected in my life” he grabbed Erestor’s face between his hands, leaning in and gave the baffled advisor a kiss on the nose “he said he loved me, he really did”

“Who?”

“Irmo silly” Elladan laughed “he took me to see the bottom of the lake, and then he showed me where the grass was the softest and laid me down to dry my skin.. ai Erestor he is so tender” the prince looked up at Erestor with a goofy smile “when we made love, he said he would never leave me.. He would always stay”

“Oh Elladan” Erestor sighed and drew the elf in for a hug “what have I done?” he whispered to himself

________________________________________________________________
________

AN: I am aware that the chapters get longer and longer, heavier and heavier –
but I can’t seem to do it any other way… I promise smut in the next chappy tho’
*smiles* and a big hug to you guys that are still reading this…

Summary: what is up with Eomer’s sudden interest in Elrohir? Why is no one in
this fic called bullfrog? Elrohir learns that it takes two to be lonely. And why
don’t dads just write pretty postcards?

_____________________________________________

I never said I was tough
That was everyone else
So you’re a fool to attack me
For the image that you built yourself

Just sounds more vicious
Than I actually mean
I really am soft
Yes, I’m tender and sweet

Why must you always be around?
Why can’t you just leave it be?
You’ve done nothing so far but destroy my life

Sinead O’Connor – You Cause as Much Sorrow

_____________________________

Chapter 21 – Why can’t you just leave it be?

-Rohan-

It had been fun, this Elrohir had to admit. Eomer had proven to be pleasant company, and the sparring had been much more entertaining than he had thought. He took the water hide and gulped down half of it, before he turned to Eomer and handed him the hide. “Thirsty?” he grinned.

Eomer smiled and took the hide. After drinking the rest, he gave Elrohir a smile. “Ready for one more, milord?”

“El-ro-hir!” Elrohir said with an annoyed voice.

Eomer just laughed. “All right, prince Elrohir, are you ready for one more round?”

Elrohir just nodded, and smiled before he tugged his tunic over his head. It was a warm summer day, and he had to admit that this was more exercise than he had gotten in years. He glanced at Eomer, and smiled once more, suddenly getting nervous under the man’s gaze. Why was he watching him like that?

The man tried his hardest not to look, but it was impossible. The elf was the image of perfection in Eomer’s eyes. The smooth chest with the rippling muscles that indicated the strength of a warrior. Suddenly he became aware that Elrohir had noticed him ogling him, and a weak blush crept to his cheeks. He quickly turned around and discarded his own tunic before he grabbed his sword once more. “Ready?” he said.

Elrohir nodded, still puzzled by the man’s behaviour. Could he be right? Had he noticed a spark in the brown eyes? He hoped not, he just hoped that his mind was playing tricks on him.

The sparring ended and Eomer picked up his belongings, walking towards Elrohir. “Thank you, prince Elrohir, it has been a long time since anybody won over me.”

Elrohir just laughed “it was my pleasure, Eomer.”

Silence settled, and Elrohir decided that now was a good time to leave, so he picked up his tunic and pulling it over his head once more.

“How long will you stay?” Eomer mumbled, suddenly feeling awfully nervous.

“What?” Elrohir turned around and looked at the man. “You mean how long will I stay here in Rohan?”

Eomer nodded.

“Until my father calls me home,” Elrohir answered. looking at the man who  now was fiddling the knob on the hilt of his sword nervously. “Why do you ask?”

“I was just wondering… ” Eomer looked up at the elf. “I am leaving for patrols again at dawn, and..” he trailed off. Elrohir offered no help; he just stood there and stared at the man “it might be a rude question, but would you perhaps join me later this evening?”

Elrohir’s eyes widened at this request. He hadn’t just heard what he thought he had heard! This was terrible, he hadn’t done anything to make Eomer believe that he would have any lovers interest in him.

“Just for some hot wine,” Eomer quickly added, seeing Elrohir’s mortified expression.

What was he supposed to say? And the nervous pleading look the man had… the elf nodded slowly. “Yes, I accept your offer,” he said in a slightly strained voice. He really didn’t want to, but in the name of diplomacy he’d better do it “Wonderful,” Eomer said and smiled. “Thank you, prince Elrohir.”

“You are welcome,” Elrohir mumbled and picked up his sword. “Now please excuse me, I must go and see the king.”

Eomer nodded and watched the elf walk away.

________________________________

Elrohir walked down the corridor towards his chambers. What was he doing here? The mysterious elf was nowhere to be found, and without the subject in matter he couldn’t really do much other than to pretend this was some holiday.

He was about to enter his guest chambers when he noticed some movement out of the corner of his eye. He put down his sword and tiptoed to the corner of the corridor. He heard no noise, but saw a figure sitting in the shadows, and if he wasn’t greatly mistaken this was the elf!

He composed himself and walked slowly towards the elf in the shadows. “Greetings,” he said in elvish, but the form did not answer him. He just turned his head and stared.

Elrohir got a little alarmed and lowered himself onto his knees, looking the elf in the eyes. “I said greetings, little one,” he continued, smiling at the baffled expression on the young elf’s face.

The silence was disturbing, but when the elf suddenly gestured with his hands before he flung himself around Elrohir’s neck, his confusion was complete. “What the…” he mumbled but couldn’t do much but return the embrace.

He was about to ask Legolas something when he heard a large crash on the floor behind him. He spun around to see who it was that was sneaking up on him. What he met was a pair of angry green eyes.

“Let him go!” Theodred hissed.

“You must be the prince,” Elrohir started to say, but was disturbed when Theodred frowned more deeply. “I am Elrohir,” he continued.

“I care not who you are stranger, but you are not going to inflict the elf any harm!” the young man sneered.

“Harm?” Elrohir said looking absolutely baffled. “Why would I harm him?”

Now it was Theodred’s turn to look confused. “B-but I thought that…”

Elrohir couldn’t help but let out a little relived laughter. “No, prince Theodred, I won’t hurt the elf. I am only here to find out his identity so he can be returned to his family.”

“Oh,” Theodred sighed, but if it was out of relief that this raven-haired elf from the valley would not harm his Ferret, or if it was out of disappointment to see the little golden elf go, he didn’t know.

“Now Theodred, let us all go somewhere private and you can tell me what you know about this elf,” Elrohir offered.

Theodred nodded and led the way.

This was most strange. The sign language that the elf had used was one that only one other person in the world would understand. But it made perfect sense in a strange and twisted way… he thought I was Elladan, that is why he hugged me, but why and how had this elf learned the sign language that was theirs?

/oh Elladan, I hope you didn’t do something terribly wrong/

_______________________

The sun set, sending lazy red rays over the sky, and to Elrohir’s frustration he hadn’t learned much about the elusive elfling, and with Theodred there he really didn’t want to ask too many personal questions, and for some reason Elladan kept haunting his mind. If Elrohir was correct in his suspicions, then his beloved brother had done something terribly wrong. But for now he wanted to keep this to himself. Theodred had stopped talking about what he knew of the elf, and Elrohir sighed. This didn’t get him any closer to the truth. “I will have to speak with him,” he said.

Theodred looked confused.

Elrohir let out a chuckle. “These moves with his hands are not random, they all mean something, a word or a feeling.” He turned and looked out the window. He didn’t have much time before he had promised to meet up with Eomer, so he turned to Legolas and smiled, speaking softly in elvish. “I am going to ask you some questions now, little one.”

Legolas nodded and looked at Theodred.

Elrohir continued to speak to Legolas. “I speak his language as well. He is a kind man, and speaks very fondly of you.” He smiled at the elf’s subtle blush, and continued. “I need to know your name, my friend”

Legolas blinked rapidly, as if he was trying to understand what the elf had said, his name – why on the face of Arda would Elladan ask him this?

Elrohir noticed the confusion, and smiled. “I am not Elladan,” he shook his head. “I am Elrohir, his twin brother.”

“Elrohir?” Legolas gestured. “I know of you.”

Elrohir just nodded but his blood froze to streams of ice. “Well then, do you remember your name?”

Legolas shook his head. “I am little rabbit.”

Elrohir resisted the urge to laugh, and just smiled an amused smile. What was this with ferrets and rabbits? At least he wasn’t called bullfrog or something similarly delightful.

“I have come to return you to your rightful home,” Elrohir said, and with a slightly disturbed expression noticed the other elf’s gaze wander to the man.

“What is he saying?” Theodred asked.

“That his name is little rabbit, as far as he remembers,” Elrohir said.

“Oh,” Theodred sulked. “I *liked* Ferret.”

“What is wrong?” Legolas gestured.

“He called you Ferret, little one – and he liked that name better than little rabbit,” Elrohir said, looking at Legolas.

“Fer-ret?”

“Yes those little animals that look like a hermelin or an otter,” Elrohir said.

Legolas shook his head, but then looked thoughtful and added, “I like fer-ret.”

“I will tell him that, and now I really have to go.” He patted the young elf’s head. “I will be back tomorrow.”

Legolas smiled. “Good-bye, Elrohir.”

Instead of answering, Elrohir used the same sign for good-bye and added Ferret. He then turned to Theodred, who looked awfully nervous. How cute, this protectiveness. “I will be back tomorrow, Prince Theodred,” he said and then added, “He liked the name Ferret.” He couldn’t resist winking at the confused man as he left.

Theodred stood up and sat down next to the elf. “Ferret,” he said with a smile, resisting the urge to wrap a arm around the fair elf. “I’m glad you liked my name, who wants to be named after a scared little fur ball after all?”

Legolas just smiled and yawned.

_____________________________________

Eomer had been fetching the warm wine, and now he was lighting the last of the candles. He was quite proud of his work. His chamber looked all nice and cozy. Eomer blew out the little stick of wood he had used to light the candles. Now all that was missing was Elrohir. Eomer knew he had been bold, and usually he would never ever do such a thing as he had done that afternoon – but then again it was not often he met handsome elven princes, and Elrohir was a mighty fine specimen. Honestly Eomer had never seen anything that beautiful, but he had to be careful, he could sense that.

He was torn from his musing when a light knock echoed in the room. “Enter,” he called out.

“Good evening, Eomer,” Elrohir said and nodded towards the man, looking around the room. “You did not have to go through any trouble… just to…”

Elrohir’s words died on his lips. Oh, he knew what game this man played. And now that he had agreed to come here, he would just have to get through the evening as quickly as possible, and retreat.

“Prince Elrohir,” Eomer said and gestured towards a chair. “It was no trouble. Come. Sit.”

Elrohir counted to ten and walked over the chair, smiling courteously when the man handed him his wine. “I communicated with Ferret today,” he said, trying to strike up casual conversation.

Eomer sat down opposite the elf, and smiled while he reached for his own glass, while he frantically tried to remember the proper etiquette for addressing an elf. Especially one who wasn’t just an elf, but also a prince.. and not just addressing him. Thinking about how to woo him was far worse.

The night crept up on the couple sitting in Eomer’s chamber, and the wine tasted sweeter and sweeter, while the conversation grew more and more intimate. Elrohir knew he should have left, but yet he hadn’t, and for this he had no explanation.

“Prince Elrohir?” Eomer suddenly asked with a strange seriousness.

“Yes,” he answered, taking a sip of the wine.

“I bet you broke some hearts in Rivendell!”

/What a strange question/ Elrohir thought, but just raised a brow. “No, not in Rivendell, as far as I know.”

“No?” Eomer said with a big smile. “I have a hard time understanding why every living creature doesn’t loose their hearts to the likes of you, prince Elrohir.”

Now it was becoming dangerous, and Elrohir knew it. “Such big words,” he just whispered.

“But true,” Eomer said while he almost imperceptibly inched a bit closer.

He had to get out of here! Elrohir’s mind tried desperately to find some excuse to just get up and leave. “I should leave,” he croaked.

“Why so soon?” Eomer cooed and boldly ran a hand over Elrohir’s arm.

“Because…” but before he had time to say more, he suddenly had Eomer’s lips on his. He didn’t want this… did he? He should protest, but instead he complied with the man’s request, completely melting into the sweet kiss. Cold hands grabbed his heart. This just reminded him of his own loneliness. It was tempting to just give in. But when the lips were removed and the wet softness was gone, the spell was broken. And the elf blinked rapidly as if to regain his sanity.

“That was wonderful,” Eomer whispered.

“I… I… I am t-tired,” Elrohir whispered hoarsely. “I m-must retire,” he scrambled backwards, away from the man. “I bid you a good night, Eomer,” he said hastily, falling over his own words as he almost backed out of the door,  knocking over the bottle of wine on his way. Leaving a very confused Eomer behind.

Once in the corridor, he ran – ran as fast as he could back to his own chambers and threw himself on the bed. This was wrong. All wrong… it was not that the man was not desirable, but he was just not… Dinalu.

“I miss you!” Elrohir sobbed into his pillow. “Oh please come join me” – he knew this request was stupid and childish, but it was how he felt. But the only answer was the silence of the empty room, adding to his loneliness.

_____________________________________

-Rivendell-

He was betraying Elladan’s trust and friendship, he knew this. But now the young prince had been hiding in his rooms, preferring solitude and meditation to anything. Not even the promise of a spar or a horse race would lure him outside. And now these delusions he had about Irmo. They had frightened Erestor – all seen in the light of the show he had put on in Elrond’s study, which had earned him 2 days in the healing wing. Erestor did not trust the young elf’s judgment anymore. Elladan had gone insane, it was as simple as that. It was hard for him to admit, since he had knew him since birth. But the evidence was mounting, and he could no longer ignore the fact. And neither could Elrond.

It was with a beating heart he knocked on the lord’s door, the news he had to deliver now was the hardest he had ever done.

_____________________________________

Elrond sat and watched the door through which Erestor had just left – Elladan insane? He knew his son was rather eccentric, and he had to admit that the behaviour he had show the other day with his hair and ear had frightened him. Right now he did not feel like the lord of Rivendell. He was just a father, scared to death on behalf of his son. He had to determine what to do with Elladan.

According to Erestor, no one could reach him. Elladan was lost even to him. Elrond sighed and absentmindedly cracked his knuckles. “Elrohir,” he mumbled, yes, Elrohir could reach his brother. If he couldn’t pull him out of this, Elladan was lost to life on Middle-earth.

He pulled out his pen, and started on a message to Elrohir. These were indeed dire times, and this would devastate Elrohir. But he had no choice.

_____________________________________________________

AN: I promised smut, but for some reason the muse couldn’t get it up to more
than PG-13. *frowns* I’m sorry… my autumn muse works in mysterious ways.
It makes me listen to old hippie music, I can’t help it… *laughs* I blame Ian
Anderson for any flower power in this chapter. (I admire that man to no end)

Summary: Theodred wakes with a slight problem. Elrohir learns that not all
problems can be solved with diplomacy. Theoden lets out some steam. And is
Theodred really this thick headed?!

_____________________________________________

Closing my dream inside its paper-bag.
Thought I saw angels
but I could have been wrong.
Search in my case,
can’t find what they’re looking for.
Waving me through
to cry you a song.

It’s been a long time
still shaking my wings.
Well I’m a glad bird
I got changes to ring.

Lights in the street,
peeping through curtains drawn.
Rattling of safety chain taking too long.
The smile in your eyes was never so sweet before
Came down from the skies
to cry you a song.

Jethro Tull – To Cry You a Song

________________________________

Chapter 22.- I got changes to ring

-Rohan-

”Kiss me,” he whispered, and Theodred looked up at those impossible blue slanted eyes. He tried to mouth a protest but it was killed in the first attempt when the elf’s soft lips silenced him. He was surprised of the eagerness that the elf displayed, but he welcomed it, wrapping his arms around the slightly smaller frame. He had not even noticed when the thin loose pants he wore for sleep had been pulled off, but he suddenly realized that he was naked. Maybe it was some elf trick? He opened his eyes and saw the golden hair move downwards kissing his stomach, nipping gently at the tender skin around his hipbone. Once again words failed him, and he heard himself let out a pitiful whimper when the elf
finally reached his member. Theodred moved involuntarily, thrusting up against the silky soft mouth that welcomed him. He didn’t last long, and he heard his own voice moan in delight as his orgasm spread throughout his limbs, making his heart race and bright lights erupt behind his closed eyes.

Theodred felt something warm against his arm, and slowly opened his eyes, blinking in the darkness; he slowly turned his head and saw the elf asleep under the covers, curled up in a little ball. He felt the blood drain from his face, and reluctantly looked down at himself. He was still dressed in his loose sleeping pants, but they were now stained from his vivid dream. And as the blood had left him, it now rushed back… and Theodred sat up with a jerk. It had been a dream! Oh gods no! Ferret still slept, with luck he had slept through it.

He slowly crawled from the bed, and walked to the dresser to fetch some clean pants. He looked out the window, almost dawn. He decided that since he would get no more rest anyway, he might as well take a bath and prepare for the day to come. As he walked past, he smiled at the sleeping elf, but caught himself when he was about to run his hand over the golden hair. Such folly! It had been a dream, and why he had dreamed of the elf, he didn’t quite understand. He was not attracted to him, or was he? He had spend his entire adulthood living with encounters such as those with Eomer. They had been comforting and pleasant, but never had they made his heart race the way it did now… Could this be it?
Was he falling in love?

He shook his head, and quickly left for the bathroom.

___________________________

Elrohir bit the quill. Why was he so terrible with words? All he wanted to say was ‘I love you, please please come with me’ but he couldn’t. He looked at the neat letter, full of explanations and excuses, but not one word to express his loneliness or his longing for his husband. He sat the quill against the page once more and wrote.

‘I wish I were not alone, I miss your company terribly.’

Bah! Elrohir hissed to himself. It was such an idiotic letter. He crushed the page into a ball and threw it with an irritated move over into the fireplace. He then took yet another page and started writing again, the same excuses and ridiculous excuses. He signed off with ‘Elrohir of Rivendell.’

He sighed once more. Why couldn’t he just write what he wanted to? So he added under his signature ‘I love you’ – why did those words just seem so hollow right now? But he decided that he would have to wait for Dinalu to get back to him, if he did write back at all. A sick feeling settled in his stomach. What if Dinalu had found his comfort in the arms of another elf? Or did as his people wanted of him, and annulled their bond and married a female elf to produce heirs for the kingdom? Ai! Right now he wished that Elladan was close. He needed that unspoken understanding they seemed to share. He took another page and wrote to his brother, asking him to join him in Rohan if father would let him. He looked down at the letter and read, ‘I am scared Elladan, please come stay by my side.’ Why could he express feelings to his brother, and not to his husband? He knew the answer somehow. It was because Elladan would never hurt him.

He rolled both parcels up and closed them with the seal of Rohan. He then stood up slowly and grabbed the letters as he walked out the door; he was intent on seeing King Theoden this morning. This elf had piqued his interest, and he would love to solve this strange  puzzle.

___________________

In the large hall, Theoden was sitting down, looking over some papers he had been neglecting for too long, when Elrohir suddenly opened the door in the side of the hall, instead of the main entrance. “King Theoden? Forgive me for disturbing you, but I must speak with you,” the half-elf said softly, as he kept standing on the thresh hold.

“You may enter, Elrohir of Rivendell,” Theoden said with a smile, not even bothering to hide the fact that he was happy to be disturbed from his tedious task.

“Thank you, Theoden King,” Elrohir said with a nod and walked into the great hall. He took a deep breath before he spoke again. “The little elf is quite the enigma my liege; I need more time to talk to him, and perhaps make his memory resurface.” Right at that moment he could have put his foot in his mouth. What was he thinking? He might as well have told the king that it was most likely that he knew who was responsible for this unhappy situation.

Theoden raised a brow and looked at the elf. “You understand him, then?”

Elrohir mustered all his self-control so he wouldn’t show his discomfort. “To some extent,” he said. “He apparently understands me, and he can nod or shake his head. I have yet to learn if he can write.” That was not quite the truth, but neither was it a lie, and Elrohir sent a silent thanks to his diplomacy lessons and Master Erestor.

“I see,” Theoden said as he rested against the large table with the papers spread across the surface. “And what is it you are asking of me, Elrohir?”

“I…uhm…” Elrohir started, but then held out the two parcels. “I wish to ask for my brother to join me, my liege. Perhaps he can reach the young elf better than I.” He studied Theoden’s face for a second, and then added, “If you do not wish for him here, I can bring the elf to Rivendell and finish my studies there.”

“Yes,” Theoden said and nodded. He was relieved that the elf offered this, for then he did not need to sound rude. After all, he had asked for Elrond’s help with the intent to remove this elf from his realm, not to suddenly be overloaded with them.

“But with all respect, King Theoden,” Elrohir said and took a step forward, “I think your son would be upset if I were to take the mute elf away.”

“What?” Theoden said and knitted his eyebrows in annoyance. “Explain yourself, Elrohir.”

“I think,” Elrohir started, “I think he has grown very fond of the elf, and the elf relies upon him.” Upon seeing Theoden’s almost tomato-red face, he quickly continued. “My liege, you are wise – so you must know that the elf had a rough ordeal, and your son saved him, and so he finds himself depending on his saviour, and the other way around, your son is only looking out for the elf.”

Theoden let out an extremely annoyed puff of air before he turned to his papers. “Take him away from here, I do not care how. He belongs with his kindred spirits, not here,” he said through gritted teeth.

“But my liege,” Elrohir said, “I assure you…”

“I mean you no ill intentions, Elrohir,” Theoden said, sounding less aggravated. He turned to face the elf once more. “I am forever grateful to your father, the lord of Rivendell. That he sent his son to my aid, but that elf child cannot stay here.”

Elrohir didn’t know if he should laugh or yell, and a giggle threatened to bubble up in his throat. “He is not a child,” he finally said in a strained voice.

“But my son is!” Theoden growled. “You may leave, Elrohir.”

“Yes, of course, thank you for seeing me, King Theoden,” Elrohir said and bowed slightly before he walked out of the throne room. “That went well, Elrohir you oaf!” he said to himself, he took a deep breath, fearing to tell the strange elf. He sighed. He couldn’t help but wonder if the king would have overreacted like that if it had been a female elf. Elrohir had heard the hidden fear in Theoden’s voice clearly.

______________________________________

The sun was high in the sky as Elrohir went to the burial hills to clear his mind, and the place seemed so tranquil, but he had scarcely sat down before he heard an oddly timid voice. “Elrohir?”

He turned around and smiled at the young prince. “Theodred,” he said with a smile, “Where did you hide ferret this time?”

“I didn’t,” Theodred said as he took a step closer to Elrohir. “He is around somewhere, I guess.”

Elrohir raised a brow. He had wanted to be alone, but Theodred looked so lost that he couldn’t help but pat the earth next to him, in a gesture for the young man to sit. “Come, Theodred, sit with me.”

“Thank you,” Theodred said with relief, and lowered himself next to the half-elf.

“You seem troubled,” Elrohir said softly, as he brushed a wayward strand of hair from the man’s face. The young prince was most definitely fair, maybe not by elven standards, but he had to be the most beautiful mortal he had ever seen. For a moment he wondered if Theodred was even mortal.

“’Tis nothing,” Theodred said with a small voice as he kept his gaze fixed on the horizon.

“Come now, young Prince Theodred,” Elrohir said in a teasing voice, “Pray tell, who is it?”

Theodred’s mouth fell open and he turned quickly to look at the elf. “What do you mean?” he gasped.

But Elrohir just smiled reassuringly. “The one who captured your heart, young Theodred. I would recognize that look in your eyes anywhere.”

“Is it really…” Theodred started.

“That obvious?” Elrohir finished for him. “Yes, Theodred, it is.”

The young prince offered Elrohir a strange smile and a weak blush. “Oh,” he just said.

“So are you going to tell me?” Elrohir said and scooted closer to the man.

Theodred shook his head. “I can’t, it’s wrong.”

“How can you say that, Theodred?” Elrohir said. “It is never wrong to be in love.”

But Theodred nodded. “I am not sure it is even love.” He looked up at Elrohir. “It is just me, I – I feel like I am taking advantage of him. I should not feel like this, I should…” his voice faltered and faded.

“I was right then,” Elrohir said with a smile. “You are in love with Ferret, are you not?”

“Yes, I mean no… I mean…” Theodred stuttered.

“It is all right, Theodred, Ferret is grown. He can make his own choices, and if he should return your feelings,” Elrohir threw his hands up in the air in a dramatic gesture, “Then the sky is the limit,” he yelled. Theodred chuckled, and Elrohir smiled. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with you falling in love with Ferret.”

“But it is wrong of me?” Theodred continued in a pitiful voice. “He relies on me, he trusts me.” He ran a hand through his hair in a distressed move. “They really *hurt* him, Elrohir, and here I am dreaming of his… Ehm… Forget it.”

Elrohir couldn’t help but to burst out laughing. “Dear, dear Theodred,” he chuckled before he put his arm around the confused man. “Maybe he likes you too, you will never know if you don’t try.”

“No, he couldn’t,” Theodred whined. “He is an elf and all, and what about his terrible ordeal?”

“Gods, Theodred, you make it sound like he is an emotional cripple. He had something happen that should never happen to anybody, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make decisions.” He nuzzled Theodred’s long brown hair. “And besides, it does happen, you know!” Theodred looked puzzled. “Elves and mortals,” Elrohir said with a grin.

“Oh yes,” Theodred said with a goofy grin. He had forgotten that for a second, that Elrohir was half-elven. “Is your mother mortal, then?” he asked.

Elrohir laughed softly. “No, it is my father’s, father’s, father who was mortal. But he still got to travel west with his wife, who was elven.”

Theodred looked confused. “No offense, Elrohir, but that does not make you half-elven at all.”

“I know,” Elrohir still laughed, “but just as my father and his brother, my siblings and I have a choice to belong amongst the race of men or of the firstborn.”

“I didn’t know,” Theodred whispered.

“Don’t worry about it, and besides you did not come here to talk about my old dusty ancestors,” Elrohir said with a smile. “Theodred?” The man turned and looked up at Elrohir once more. “You will never know what lies in your elf’s heart if you do not give him a chance to show it.”

“You mean I should woo him?” Theodred said with a blush.

“Exactly,” Elrohir said.

“But we cannot communicate, how should I woo him?” Theodred shook his head, and the miserable expression came back. “Nay Elrohir, I cannot woo him, it is not right.”

“Listen to yourself, Theodred,” Elrohir tried.

But Theodred just shook his head. “I am sorry I wasted your noon, and disturbed your peace.” He quickly got up and sighed before he spoke oncemore. “Please forget this conversation ever took place.”

“Theodred, please! You cannot give up like this!” Elrohir pleaded as he turned around to look after the young man, who had already begun to leave. Theodred did not even turn to look at him as he walked back towards Meduseld, the Hall of Kings.

____________________________________

Your eyes
they often lie
and leave me feeling
misunderstood

our tragedy
plays out like a symphony
a breath and a whisper
are your clues

I don’t need sympathy
or your apologies
why don’t you understand?
The face you see
well it belongs to me
and I’m doing the best I can…

just to make you smile
just to make you smile
again…

Every now and then you have to see
that the wall we’ve built has landed on me
every now and then why don’t we pretend
that things will come together in the end
every now and then just open your eyes
does every part of everything have to be right
every now and then- so that after a while
I might get through and make you smile

The cruxshadows – heart on the sleeve

_________________

Chapter 23 – your eyes they often lie

Elrohir looked over his shoulder before he slipped into Theodred’s chambers. He knew the princeling would not be there. He had heard him move down the corridor earlier, so the elf would be alone about now…

“Hello,” he whispered in his native tongue.

Legolas stepped out of the shadows at the window with a sad smile, and Elrohir came to stand at the window as well, looking out over the plain, seeing a forest in the distance. “Miss home?” he asked.

Legolas nodded slowly.

“I must ask you something, little Ferret,” Elrohir said. “When I say home, what are the three first things you think of?” It was a trick and he knew it… but he had decided to take this approach to things, since his and Elladan’s secret sign language was rather limited. – His and Elladan’s *secret* signs… This nagging thought wouldn’t let him alone. He was sure that Elladan had something to do with this, but where he fit in he didn’t really understand.

Legolas looked deep in thought, until he reached out and touched Elrohir’s hair, before ghosting his fingers over his chin. “Me?” Elrohir whispered.

Legolas nodded, and Elrohir paled.

The mute elf then made the sign for a rabbit, before grabbing a piece of cloth and petting it. “A cloth rabbit?” Elrohir breathed… “Ai! By the Valar…” he sighed, it was true, it had to be Elladan! No one else wore his face, and as a child he had had a stuffed toy rabbit. His father had told him that Elladan had sacked the attic room. Elrond had thought that Elladan had been sad and angry, but what if he had really been searching for something?!

But the next thing Legolas did really puzzled Elrohir. He grabbed some strands of his hair and braided it into a helpless chunky braid, but Elrohir could still see what it was he meant. “A Mirkwood warrior braid?” The half elf sat down in a near by comfortable chair and stared at the elf. “A Mirkwood braid, where does this fit in?” he mumbled to himself. He would have to give this some thought.

He must have drifted off for a while, because suddenly Legolas was sitting on his armrest. Elrohir looked up at the young elf. “Is there something wrong?” he asked, slightly puzzled by the youth’s sad expression.

Legolas made the sign for mortal, and pointed at Theodred’s wolf pelt.

“Theodred?”

The golden-haired youth nodded.

“Is there something wrong with him?” Elrohir asked, but upon seeing Legolas blush he chuckled. “Oh!”

“He is a good man, my friend” Elrohir said softly, seeing Legolas’ goofy smile. “You did right in following him.” He put his arm around the waist of the slender young elf. “I am sure he likes you too, my friend.” Elrohir had come here as a collector of a stray elf, but had ended up as a regular cupid. Why or how this had happened he didn’t really understand. “I am sure you will find a way to let him know,” he whispered.

Legolas suddenly touched his face, making him turn his eyes to the youth; he wore a frown and asked why Elrohir was so sad.

“Sad? I am not sad,” Elrohir said, knowing his lie would be detected right away. So he just sighed and rested his head against Legolas’ shoulder. “I miss Dinalu.” When Legolas didn’t make one single move, Elrohir continued speaking, a little uneasy at first, but suddenly the words just flowed from him. “I wish he could get along with Elladan, and I wish he would understand how important it is that I don’t hurt my brother. I cannot betray our pact. Dinalu should understand, after all, he used to have a brother.” He sighed. “And this is why I am here all alone, if he had been here, I would not…. h-have been so lonely. I was already alone when I came here,” Elrohir whispered and swallowed that lump in his throat. “He had been denying me access to his chambers, placing me in a guest room. He had not kissed me or held me for a long, long time. Neither have we been,” he searched for the word and cleared his throat before whispering, “intimate, in over a year.”

Elrohir’s voice grew thick with emotion as he continued. “Now along comes that man, Eomer. I know what it is he wants, Ai.. Why do my body and my heart want two different things?” He looked up at Legolas, searching for some kind of answer in his kinsman’s eyes, but when he saw Legolas was crying, he was no longer able to hold back his own frustration, and his tears began to fall as well. He had been crying so much for such a long time while he was in Mirkwood, so he had come to loathe the taste of his own tears, but right now they only felt liberating. “I don’t want to cry,” he offered weakly. “I want…”
He fell silent, and just buried his head in the other elf’s chest, feeling the mute elf’s arms wrap around him, in an effort to soothe him.

When his tears finally subsided, he sat up straight once more, blinking as he wiped the wetness off with his sleeve. “Forgive me,” he said with a hard voice. “I never meant to loose my composure.“ He took a deep breath to steady his shallow breathing, letting the air out slowly. “Right, then,” he mumbled to himself, before he turned to look at Legolas again, who still looked like his heart was breaking. “Don’t worry about me, little one, I will manage – you see, it will all turn out right in the end.”

Legolas nodded weakly, but Elrohir saw in his eyes that he did not really believe it.

Elrohir stood up from the chair, and Legolas slid down in the warm seat. “I must tell you something, but you have to promise me to not try and tell Theodred in *any* way.” It seemed stupid to stand here and tell a mute elf to keep his mouth shut, but he felt he had to do it.

“I had a talk with Theodred’s father, King Theoden,” Elrohir said. He looked down at his feet. Why had he just sat there and encouraged the elf to pursue his heart, and now he was telling him that it was impossible? Ai, he most certainly was confused these days. “And he,” Elrohir paused, -just get it over with- he chided himself, “told me we have to leave for Rivendell as soon as possible.”

Legolas looked confused and made the sign for *leave* and then he pointed at the pelt once more…

Elrohir’s heart sank as he nodded. “Yes, we are to leave Theodred, too.” The young elf just shook his head in refusal.

“If it’s any help, I understand why you won’t leave,” Elrohir said, “but unless we come up with something quickly, then we have to leave, with or without Theodred!”

The youth looked a bit anxious, but at last he smiled and nodded, and Elrohir  nodded back.

“Good! Then I will try and stall the king.”

_______________________________________

-Rivendell-

“Glorfindel, Erestor,” Elrond said with a sigh. “I am glad you both could find time to have this meeting.”

“But of course, my lord,” Glorfindel said and looked over at Erestor. Both of them had noticed the worn look on their lord, but had decided to let Elrond speak first.

“I wanted you both to give me your counsel on this,” Elrond said and pinched the bridge of his nose. “My son… Elladan…” he paused and looked up at Erestor, “is not well.”

“No he is not,” Erestor agreed.

Glorfindel was apparently oblivious and blinked confusedly. “What is wrong with Elladan?”

“He…” Elrond started, and Erestor took over with an icy smile. “He cut off his own ear as a gift for Elrohir.”

“Oh!” Glorfindel gasped and blushed weakly at his own stupidity.

“I have been trying to find out what needs be done about this behaviour,” Elrond said. “If his mother had been here, she would have known how to mend him, but she is not. There are only the three of us here.”

“With all due respect, what about Elrohir and Arwen?” Erestor said. “Perhaps they can wake him from this state.”

“I would rather not bring home Elrohir to see his brother like this. It would be devastating for him, and I do believe he is having a hard time himself. He would push all his troubles away for the sake of his brother. But we all know troubles do not disappear. They bottle up if they are not dealt with, and I simply cannot ask that from Elrohir,” Elrond said and with a loud sigh he reached for his glass of water on his desk.

“I see your point, my lord, but although Celebrian is not here, her mother is,” Glorfindel said with a smug grin. “And she is as wise as her daughter.”

“Ah yes, Lady Galadriel,” Erestor murmured. “I do think you are right, Glorfindel.”

Elrond gulped down the water and smiled at the Balrog slayer. “Lorien,” he whispered. “You are a genius Glorfindel… yes, his heart and soul will mend in Lorien.”

“So be it, my lord,” Erestor said with a smile. “I will go and write a letter for the lord and lady.”

“Yes, you do that, Chief Councilor.”

_______________________________________

I would give my life to find it
I would give it all
Catch me if I fall
All alone
Waiting to fall

40,000 stars in the evening
Look at them fall from the sky
40,000 reasons for living
40,000 tears in your eye

I would give my life to find it
I would give it all
Catch me if I fall

REM – Texarcana

_______________________________________

Chapter 24 – 20,000 chances I wasted

-On the road to Lorien-

Glorfindel felt his heart sink as he set out on this task, taking Elladan to see his grandmother. Only a few months ago he would never have thought twice about letting Elladan take this trip alone, but now he sat here on Asfaloth’s back, riding to Lorien with Elladan in the saddle in front of him. Elrond hadn’t even trusted his son with his own horse. Elladan seemed normal enough right now, Glorfindel thought to himself. He was chatting away about the different flora and fauna they passed. But the Balrog slayer knew it was a charade. There was nothing normal about Elladan anymore, not these days. He looked at the neatly bandaged left ear and frowned. At first he had been nervous about this task. He feared not the perils on the road, but to face an angered lady of light was not on
his top ten list of wonderful ways to spend your afternoon. Elrond had written a letter for Galadriel so Glorfindel didn’t have to explain himself too much, and the golden elf was more than relieved about that.

Elladan pointed at a faun. “Look, Glorfindel!” he said.

Glorfindel looked. “Yes, it’s a pretty faun.”

And as Elladan went off again talking about the faun’s life cycle, Glorfindel couldn’t help but sigh. He prayed that the lady would be able to ease Elladan’s troubled mind, and hopefully he could return to Elrond with his son, and not this…. odd alien being.

_________________________________________

-Rohan-

Elrohir was sitting on a rock, watching Theodred exercise his horse, as a servant approached him. “Lord Elrohir?” Elrohir turned and nodded with a smile.
“There has come a messenger from Mirkwood,” the servant said and handed Elrohir a letter. The half-elf took it and mumbled a thank you to the servant.

He turned the letter over and saw the royal stamp of Mirkwood, but the insignia in the middle was his and Dinalu’s. They had gotten their own royal insignia as a wedding present. This letter had to be from his husband. He slowly broke the seal, not sure how he should feel, trying to ignore the butterflies in his stomach. He bit his lip and started to read. He grew increasingly pale. “No!” he suddenly gasped and stood up.

Theodred noticed the elf acting odd, and spurred his horse, riding up to Elrohir, and once there almost throwing himself from the horse. “What is amiss?” he panted, grabbing Elrohir’s shaking shoulders.

“H-he said that…” Elrohir mumbled, “he is l-leaving”

“Who? What? Why? Where?” Theodred said, looking utterly confused.

“Dinalu,” Elrohir said, turning away from Theodred.

“Wait,” Theodred said, but let go of the elf. “Perhaps I can help…” He knew it sounded stupid but he just couldn’t let Elrohir walk off like that.

“No Theodred, please leave me alone,” Elrohir whispered before hurrying off, his mind racing around the letter from Dinalu. It had been so sad, and cold – it could not be true, he didn’t want to believe those words. How could he just give up?

He was so distraught he didn’t even notice that Eomer, who had returned from the plains, called for him from the stables.

Eomer stood and watched Elrohir almost run towards the guest wing of the royal halls. He had looked forward to coming home. Elrohir confused him, but after all he had come on pretty strongly, he knew that. But he couldn’t help himself.

________________________________

Theodred went looking for his Ferret, and found him without much effort in the stables petting Eomer’s horse. Eomer himself was standing close, looking at the elf and his horse. At Theodred’s presence he turned and smiled “He seems to like horses,” he said.

Theodred nodded. “And they seem to like him as well”

Eomer laughed. “You are such a mushy git,” he bowed lightly and chuckled, “my prince.”

“Bah!” Theodred pushed Eomer, who then fell on his butt.

And this made Legolas turn around, and upon seeing Eomer sitting in straw and horse manure with a pretty annoyed expression, and Theodred laughing and pointing, he felt an insane laugh bubble up inside.

And then he laughed.

Both Theodred and Eomer froze on the spot as they heard the elf laugh; it was a light and contagious laughter, the two men looked at each other, not saying anything.

Eomer slowly stood up and brushed off the straw as much as possible, and Theodred just watched Legolas with a huge grin. “Go tell Prince Elrohir,” Theodred finally whispered. “I am going to borrow your horse.” And before Eomer could answer, Theodred jumped up on Eomer’s horse, and held his hand out to Legolas. “Come.”

The elf didn’t understand the fuss, but took Theodred’s offered hand, trying his hardest not to smile to widely at the prospect of a horseback ride with Theodred. Elrohir had told him the man’s name was Theodred.

With unnatural ease Legolas swung himself on the horse, surprising even Eomer to the point where he didn’t even have a snappy comeback. Was this really Theodred’s mute elf? He shook his head as Theodred spurred the horse and rode out of the stable in a quick trot.

The man looked down at himself and sighed. He had manure everywhere. “I’m going to get you for this, son of Theoden King” he mumbled with amusement, before he gathered his belongings and made his way to his own chambers. He would not seek out Elrohir until after he had bathed and rested.

__________________________________

Legolas let out an amused squeal as Theodred made the horse go into gallop, and Theodred laughed. In minutes he had decided that he would never get enough of the elf’s voice, but having heard that sweet laughter only made his heart ache more to hear his voice.

“I want to show you something,” Theodred shouted as they hurried over the plains.

____________________________________

Elrohir went to his chambers and slammed the door shut, leaning against it and feeling the tears that had been welling up since Theodred had grabbed him finally starting to fall. He threw the letter away from him in anger. That was soon followed by a vase that stood on a little flower table. What was he supposed to do? Go against his father’s will and leave Rohan, setting off in pursuit of a husband who wouldn’t even address him as his mate? Or stay and lose his heart?

He moved over to a cabinet and pulled out a bottle of wine, not quite as good as the one he had shared with Eomer, but good enough for him to drink. He didn’t bother to pull out the cork, but just pushed it down the bottle with his thumb, put the flask to his lips and drank.

______________________

-the plains outside Rohan-

Theodred stopped the horse and politely let go of Legolas. “This used to be my hideout as a child, mine and my cousins’.”

Legolas just smiled, looking at this oasis and when Theodred got off the horse so did he.

It had all seemed so easy when he had stood in the stables, but now it seemed far more difficult, but where nothing dared, nothing gained. He remembered Elrohir’s words, and the elf was right. And even if Ferret did not like him in that way, they could still have fun; there was no reason for recoiling. And so he took a deep breath and gestured for Legolas to follow him to a little creek. “I used to bathe here as a child,” he said, well knowing Ferret would not understand one word.

The first piece of clothing was the hardest, but seeing the blush that increased on Legolas’ cheeks made his heart thunder. Stripped to his thin inner leggings, he decided to keep them on, and with a grin started to walk towards the water. And now it seemed as if Ferret caught on, and quickly followed his example.

Theodred tried not to ogle, but his eyes were glued to his elven friend. He had seen this elf naked, yes, but this was just different. The skin was healed from the bruises and cuts, and looked smooth as silk, very different compared to his. Ever since he had become a young man, the other men had teased him about his lack of body hair; they were there all right, but just not in abundance.

He tore his gaze from Legolas, very aware that it could be uncomfortable for his friend, and dove under the water.

____________________________

-Back in Meduseld-

His first thought was that Glorfindel would have had his hide if he had known this, because suddenly a blond woman stood next to him. He had seen her before. But most importantly he had not heard her enter his room.

“Lord Elrohir?” she said. “A letter arrived for you.”

“Oh great,” Elrohir sighed and wiped his tears away with his sleeve. “Hand it over,” he said slurring slightly.

“Are you drunk, Lord Elrohir?” the woman asked as she handed the packet to Elrohir.

“Yes, I am drunk as a skunk,” Elrohir laughed hollowly, and looked at the packet. “Home sweet home.” He looked up at the woman. “It is from my father. I wonder what he wants.”

Elrohir sat down to read the note, not really caring that the female took his bottle from him; it was a short letter that only said:

**************************

My dearest Elrohir

We received your letters, but I am afraid Elladan is not well, and thus has gone to your grandmother. I trust all is well in Rohan.

Your loving father.

*************************

“Not well?” Elrohir gasped. What had happened, Elladan was sick? And their father wouldn’t even say why. This was pure torture, sitting here not being able to be there for either Dinalu or Elladan.

“Who is not well, if you don’t mind me asking?” the woman asked.

“My brother” Elrohir said. He looked up at the woman and faked a smile. “The Valar hate me,” he whispered with a pitiful sigh. “Oh I wish this day was over; I wish I was so drunk I could just sleep and never wake up.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, for Theoden King has sent me to deliver this message, and ask you to join his table at dinner.”

“Please tell your king I cannot attend dinner,” Elrohir said, “uhm…”

“Eowyn,” she said.

“Ah, Eomer’s sister, I have seen you and heard of you,” he answered flatly.

“What excuse shall I give the king then?” Eowyn asked.

Elrohir stood up and snatched the bottle from her. “I care not! Tell him my brother is sick, tell him I’m too drunk to eat or tell him my husband just left me!” At the last word he hurled the bottle in the fireplace before he slumped down on the coverlet of his bed. “I care not, Eowyn, just tell him I cannot attend.”

Eowyn came and sat next to the elf and wrapped an arm around him. “I am sorry to hear of your misfortune.”

Elrohir felt his tears being to fall again, and he was quickly sobbing, not caring that another person was in the room.

“If I were you I would get drunk as well,” she said and Elrohir laughed dryly between his tears

“If he goes through with this plan of his, I will follow him to the shores of Aman, if necessary,” he whispered, more to himself than to Eowyn. He turned his head and looked at the woman. “He is not only leaving me, he said he was thinking of leaving Middle-earth all together.”

Eowyn smiled and shook Elrohir lightly. “I am sure you will find a way to make him stay.”

“I can’t make Dinalu do anything he doesn’t want to, and if I am not enough to keep him here, then I don’t know what to do.” He shook his head in despair.

“I wish there was something I could do for you to unburden your heart, Elrohir,” she said as she let go of the elf, “but sadly these things are out of my reach.”

Elrohir nodded.

“I can do one thing for you. I hear that Theoden wants you and the mute elf to leave,” Eowyn said, and when Elrohir just nodded again she continued. “I can talk to him, and hope he will listen, so this won’t burden you as well.”

“Thank you, lady Eowyn,” Elrohir whispered.

_________________________________

-Outside Rohan-

They had bathed for a while, and then lain in the sun to dry. Now they were almost home once more. Was he imagining this or was the elf leaning towards him in the saddle?

It had been a wonderful trip out in the sun, and he hoped they could have many more of these hours to themselves.

They rode into the city and on to the stables. Once there, they both dismounted. Theodred took care of Eomer’s horse for the night, and Legolas waited by the side of the stall. As he finished, he turned to the elf. “Right, its time for dinner, and all this riding and bathing has made me hungry like a wolf.” Legolas just looked at him, and Theodred grew worried. “Ferret? Is something wrong?”

Legolas smiled and made a sign and pointed at Theodred. The man was confused, but after the fourth time it occurred to him that perhaps this was the sign for him. Elrohir had said that these gestures meant names and words, so he repeated the sign slowly and pointed at himself. “Me?” he asked, and Legolas nodded eagerly, pointing at him again.

“Oh, I have a sign of my own!” he laughed giddily. He was a bit sad that he hadn’t heard more of that beautiful voice the elf had, but he was extremely excited that he had understood something. Perhaps in time he could learn to understand some of these signs, but he needed Elrohir’s help with that.

Then Ferret suddenly leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. By the gods! Ferret had kissed him. He blushed ferociously, not quite understanding if this was another sign for something. He blinked rapidly and when he had finally grounded himself enough to say something, the elf was gone. He touched his cheek. Perhaps Ferret really did like him, and this prospect made Theodred  smile a goofy smile that wouldn’t leave his face for the rest of the day.

______________________________________________________________

AN: yeah I know, I skipped over Eärendil the mariner pretty fast, but I wasn’t
about to sit here and tell the story from start to end, that would just be too
boring.

Summary: Eärendil suddenly plays a part in Middle-earth once more and Eomer
gets a nightly visitor.

_________________________________________

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but

If I ever lose my faith in you
There’d be nothing left for me to do

I never saw no miracle of science
That didn’t go from a blessing to a curse
I never saw no military solution
That didn’t always end up as something worse but
Let me say this first

If I ever lose my faith in you
There’d be nothing left for me to do

Sting – if I ever lose my faith

_______________________________

Chapter 25 – Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

-Rohan-

Theodred, Elrohir and Legolas was sitting at a grassy hill enjoying the sun. “This will be one of the last summer evenings,” Theodred said. “Soon autumn will be upon us.”

Elrohir nodded. Yes, this makes one strangely melancholy, does it not?”

“Yes,” Theodred said.

Legolas poked Elrohir on the shoulder and made some quick signs with a childish smile, and Elrohir answered, before he looked at Theodred. “He wants me to tell a story.”

“Oh yes, please do,” Theodred said, stretching out on the long grass.

“Very well,” Elrohir said. “You asked me about my ancestors once, and I will tell you a story about Eärendil the Mariner. I can tell it to Legolas as we go along.”

Legolas nodded, understanding nothing, but he just curled up next to Elrohir.

“This is a story about love,” Elrohir said with a smug grin. “Half-elven and Dragon-slayer. Eärendil the Mariner was the son of the Edain lord, Tuor, and the elven lady, Idril of Gondolin.” Elrohir paused and winked at Theodred, who just looked away, getting Elrohir’s message crystal clear. “Eärendil was born in the year 504 of the First Age in Gondolin, but grew up in the elven haven of Arvernien. He became the lord of Arvernien and married Elwing, the elven daughter of King Dior and the inheritor of the Silmaril.” He smiled down at Legolas. “She was a sight to behold, so the legends say, and Eärendil had no choice but to woo her as he saw her.” Elrohir laughed and continued, “They had
two sons: Elrond and Elros.”

Theodred looked at Elrohir. “But is Elrond not?…”

Elrohir laughed. “Yes, Elrond is my father, but that is not important for this story.”

“Oh, forgive me for interrupting!” Theodred whispered.

“Ah ’tis all right, I would not want for you to sit there and be confused,” Elrohir sighed softly and continued. “For Eärendil, whose name means ‘sea lover’, Círdan built a miraculous ship called Vingilot.” Elrohir paused. “While Eärendil was at sea, Arvernien was attacked and Elwing was forced to flee. Seeing no means of escape, she threw herself and the Silmaril into the sea.”

“Oh, oh,” Theodred gasped. “What about her sons?”

“They were captured by the Fëanor sons,” Elrohir said. “But that is another story.”

Both Theodred and Legolas sulked but Elrohir just laughed. “I can tell that tale some other day!” He ruffled Legolas’ hair and continued. “Ulmo, the Ocean lord, saved her by transforming her into a sea bird and allowed her to fly to Eärendil. The couple used the power and light of the Silmaril to find their way to the Undying lands, to ask the aid of the Valar. In response, the Valar and Maiar host, along with the Elves of Eldamar, came out of the Undying Lands in the War of Wrath. It ended in the Great Battle, in which Eärendil the Mariner also fought. With the Silmaril bound to his brow, and his magical ship given
the power of light, Eärendil slew Ancalagon the Black, the greatest Dragon that the world has ever known. After the end of the First Age, Eärendil led the surviving Edain to the new island kingdom of Númenor. Ever after, Eärendil was destined to sail Vingilot through the firmament. Called the Evening Star and the ‘flame of the west’, the Silmaril on his brow shone down from the night sky forever after.”

Theodred smiled sadly, “That was a beautiful story… but.”

“But what?” Elrohir said.

“Didn’t they miss their children?”

Elrohir offered a weak smile. “I’m sure they did, but the destruction or salvation of the Silmaril was more important in those times. Had Elwing not cast herself in the sea, Middle-earth might perhaps not be as we know it now. Besides, you can see him sail the skies at night.”

“You can see him?!” Theodred gasped.

“Nay not really, you can see the Silmaril on his forehead, as he sails Vingilot at night, while his wife waits in the white tower of Aman.”

“But if we can see him, then..” Theodred said with confusion obvious in his voice.

“He can see us as well. Yes, I like to believe that,” Elrohir said.

__________________

It was dark when Elrohir ventured back from the hill he had been sitting on with the two youngsters. He looked up at the sky, seeing if he could spot the brightest star there, but it was a cloudy night. He sighed. How he wished that he were not so torn, and he wanted to will that strange sensation away that Eomer had started inside him. He growled softly at himself. Perhaps Dinalu wanted to give up on all that was them, but he was still bound to his mate. He should not fall into temptation so easily.

He took a deep breath and changed directions to go find Eomer; he should do this now before his reasoning faltered.

He found himself in front of Eomer’s door. Now he suddenly weren’t so sure of what to do, but as in a trance he watched himself knock the door, and he was sure he must have looked like an idiot when Eomer opened the door. “Good evening,” he said softly.

“Elrohir?” Eomer said, surprised. “I did not think you would visit me here this night, had I known then…”

“Don’t,” Elrohir whispered. “Can I come in?”

“Of course” Eomer said and moved away from the door, so Elrohir could move inside and sit down in a chair. “What brings you here?” Eomer said as he closed the door, and when Elrohir didn’t answer he walked to the elf and squatted down in front of him.

“E-Eomer,” Elrohir said and sighed, “I really wish I could.”

The man looked up at Elrohir, who appeared to be on the verge of tears. This scared Eomer no end. He had never thought this composed warrior could cry.

“A part of me really wants to,” the elf said.

“What?” Eomer whispered.

“To bed you,” Elrohir whispered back as he lowered his head, “but my heart won’t let me.” Eomer said nothing and Elrohir started to wring his hands in his lap. “I have a mate.”

“Is he the reason for this haunted look in your eyes?” Eomer whispered.

Elrohir said nothing but bit his lip. This was harder than he thought. All of his body reacted to Eomer’s warm hands that rested on his knees, and for a brief second he wondered what these large hands would feel like caressing his skin.

“I understand,” Eomer said softly and stood up, noticing that Elrohir almost let out a sad sigh at the loss of bodily contact. “I will not try and court you again.” He turned around and watched the night sky through his window. “You are a noble soul, Elrohir, and I would be greatly saddened if you should scorn my friendship as well.”

“Oh Eomer,” Elrohir whispered, “I would cherish your friendship. “The man nodded and Elrohir stood up and walked over to him, just instinctive wrapping his arms around him, resting his head in the broad shoulder, looking out the window as well. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.

Eomer felt himself tremble under the touch. “Me too,” he whispered.

The trembling went right into Elrohir and he felt this odd feeling inside him once more, and as Elrohir leaned into his embrace he felt his groin awaken and his heart beat faster. This was ever so tempting. “I should leave,” he whispered, “before I do something we will both regret.”

“No, something ‘you’ would regret,” Eomer said coldly.

“I.” Elrohir started, but then just untangled himself from the man, and as a ghost left the room. It had been the right thing to do, hadn’t it? Why did it just leave him with a feeling of emptiness?

________________________________

The next morning Elrohir was on his way to see Legolas. He had not been able to sleep all night so he had instead worked on what to do with the mute elf, and when Eomer had told him that he had laughed, a theory had come to him. And so instead of knocking on the door this morning, he just tiptoed into Theodred’s chambers. The prince was out. But the elf would be here. He smiled as he heard water splash in the bathroom and he walked inside, seeing the young elf in the tub. “Boooh!” he yelled.

Legolas quickly turned at first with fright written all over his face, but when he saw Elrohir he relaxed and smiled and greeted him. Elrohir made his way to the edge of the tub. “Today we are going to try something else, because I am sure you can do this.” He stood up again and walked over and sat down upon a small table. “Remember I told Theodred a story yesterday?”

Legolas nodded.

“Very well. I will now tell you the same story, but I will sing it,” Elrohir said, knowing that if Elladan had something to do with this elf being mute, then he would surely have heard this song many times before, as it had been their favourite song when they were wee ones.

“Eärendil was a mariner
that tarried in Arvernien;
he built a boat of timber felled
in Nimbrethil to journey in;
her sails he wove of silver fair,
of silver were her lanterns made,
her prow was fashioned like a swan,
and light upon her banners laid.

In panoply of ancient kings,
in chained rings he armoured him;
his shining shield was scored with runes
to ward all wounds and harm from him;
his bow was made of dragon-horn,
his arrows shorn of ebony,
of silver was his habergeon,
his scabbard of chalcedony;
his sword of steel was valiant,
of adamant his helmet tall,
an eagle-plume upon his crest,
upon his breast an emerald.”

Elrohir sang, and then stopped, seeing the happy face on Legolas as he recognized the song. “What is next?” Elrohir asked.

Legolas gestured like mad, but Elrohir was relentless. “Beneath the Moon and under.” he whispered. “You tell me and I will sing the rest.”

He looked at Legolas as he apparently struggled with himself, but nothing happened. Elrohir sighed, his plan had failed. “Your bath must be cold by now, I shall be in the next room.” He then got up and walked into the next room, waiting for Legolas to finish up.

The young elf opened the door and looked at Elrohir, who was looking at his drawings. “Star,” he said with a little voice. “Star.”

Elrohir’s head snapped up as he heard those words, and he rushed to Legolas. “That is right, it’s Beneath the Moon and Under Star!” he grabbed Legolas and swirled him around in the room. When he sat him down he hugged him. “Oh little one, you did it, you spoke!” He looked into Legolas’ eyes which gleamed with happiness. “Theodred will be absolutely ecstatic!”

And Legolas giggled, and Elrohir had to hug him once more. “You have the most fantastic voice I have ever heard,” he said with a smile, and apparently now that the dam had broken, sound came a bit easier to the young elf.

Theodred walked in the door seconds later and looked absolutely baffled at Legolas and Elrohir’s happy grins. “What happened?” he asked as he took off his armour, letting it fall to the floor.

“He spoke,” Elrohir said, trying to put a damper on his enthusiasm. “He has a voice, do you realise what this means?”

“He spoke?” Theodred looked flabbergasted. “What did he say?”

“Star,” Elrohir answered, “but Theodred, this means that he has not always been mute, and with some tutoring we can perhaps get his memories to the surface as well.”

“You spoke” Theodred said to Legolas, and Legolas blushed under the man’s adoring gaze. Then much to Elrohir’s amusement, the man strolled right up to the elf and planted a kiss on Legolas’ lips, and as the elf wrapped his arms around the man’s neck as the kiss deepened, Elrohir silently exited the room. This was a good day after all.

___________________________________________________________

Don’t save a prayer for me now.
Save it til the morning after
No don’t say a prayer for me now.
Save it til the morning after

Feel the breeze deep on the inside look down into the well
If you can you’ll see the world in all his fire
Take a chance (like all dreamers can’t find another way.)
You don’t have to dream it all, just live a day.

Pretty looking road I try to hold the rising floods that fill my skin
Don’t ask me why I’ll keep my promise I’ll melt the ice
And you wanted to dance, so I asked you to dance

No don’t say a prayer for me now.
Save it til the morning after

Duran Duran – save a prayer

__________________________

chapter 26 – you wanted to dance, so I asked you to dance

(3 months later)

-rivendell-

Elrond looked at the letter that he had received from Lorien; it wore Celeborn’s seal, so he guessed it was something about Elladan, there were also a letter from Glorfindel, and Elrond smiled and tore open the seal on Glorfindel’s letter, as he read it he smiled, the warrior would never risk anything by writing a personal letter to him, but Elrond could read between the polite words, he missed him just as much as he missed Glorfindel, as much as he wanted his secret lover home, just as much did he want him to stay in Lorien forever if that was what it took for Elladan to get well.

He picked up Celeborn’s letter and opened it; Elrond had thought he had braced himself for whatever news was in there, but this. Celeborn wrote that they had tried everything, and now even the lady had given up, there was nothing they could do for Elladan. And therefore recommended he should return to Rivendell. He had now totally closed himself into his own dream state world, and not even Galadriel could find him.

Elrond felt tears well up in his eyes, what should he do? Was there really no hope for his son? Where had he failed to see the hints? How had it gotten this far? He picked up his quill and wrote back to Celeborn, to send Glorfindel and Elladan home.

__________________________________

-rohan-

Theodred dragged Legolas along, they had stayed out for too long, and now the thunderstorm was upon them, they had been bating in the little secret grove by
the river, and now they had had to hurry on the horses and home, but upon their arrival, they handed over the horses to servants and when Theodred yanked Legolas, Legolas pulled back, and with amazing strength and ended up dragging Theodred into the garden, the lithe elf pushed the prince up against a large tree, the look he got made his cheeks fluster, “Ferret, there is a thunderstorm and..” the elf leaned forward and kissed him, “we are soaked..” Theodred mumbled against Legolas’ lips, if the elf heard him, he didn’t care one bit. He just bit Theodred’s lip gently, and the man wrapped his arms around Legolas’ neck

Legolas kissed his way up to Theodred’s earlobe “Theodred” he whispered

The dark-haired prince had never heard a sweeter word in his life, sound itself send jolts down his spine, and a whimper escaped his lips, once he had thought he would never hear his name from those lips, but now that he had, it was more intoxicating than he could ever imagine.

Legolas pushed Theodred tunic up and the man raised his arms so it would come off easily, the rain splashed down on his bare chest, but he didn’t mind, instead he started to pull off the elfs tunic as well, to Theodred surprise Legolas started to unlace his suede pants. They had kissed and gently touched, but this was new, this was.. What he had waited for so painfully long, and never had dared to take the initiative for, but the elf made him very well aware that he was ready.

The sight of Legolas that knelt in front of him, removing his pants made his erection twitch in anticipation. But he reached down and grabbed the elfs arm gently and pulled him to his feet, the slanted blue eyes shone of something he had never seen before in them. Theodred stepped out of his pants and dragged Legolas into a embrace “I love you” he whispered

Legolas smiled and returned the endearment he didn’t understand with a gentle bite to Theodred’s shoulder. The man opened Legolas’ pants as well, letting his obvious arousal bob out, and to Theodred surprise the elf blushed, but Theodred just wrapped his arms around Legolas waist and rubbed himself against the smooth skin of the elf, as were he feline.

The little moan that spilled from Legolas lips were the sweetest music Theodred had heard in his life, and right there he decided he would want to hear this sound over and over again until his body would no longer host his soul. Even though the experience here was delightful, the haunting images of Legolas when he was examining him in the bonfires light in the camp that day they had found him, kept returning, and Theodred made a decision, as he turned around in Legolas embrace, grabbing the tree trunk, pushing up against the elf, feeling as his hair stuck to his back.

The elf got the message, and started to kiss Theodred’s back, moving down to his buttocks, as were he determined to keen a wail from his lover. And as he ran a finger over Theodred guardian muscle he got it. The man trembled and clutched his hold on the trunk, arching his back to feel more of his lover.

When he felt the elfs erection brushing against him he pushed back even more, almost loosing his grip on the slippery tree. He whimpered at this slow pace, he needed to feel his lover, it seemed like Legolas was a bit confused at the sounds, but in the end decided that they were of passion, not of fear. And he placed himself behind Theodred so he would slide in easily.

This was sweet torment, he had expected it to hurt some when there had been no preparation, but right now it just added to the excitement, and his heart
hammered away as was it trying to make its way out of the ribcage. He felt the elf lean in over him and a hand slide down his arm until they laced their fingers. Legolas made some little timid thrusts, but Theodred needed to feel more, and he thrust back, trying to set the pace.

Legolas caught on and quickly trusted harder and faster, more self confident than before, and as a result Theodred felt his world spiral down towards the ground, he would be spend way too fast, this was beyond all fantasies, because this was reality. Legolas’ thrusts had pushed Theodred up against the trunk, and with each push he felt his face rub up against the rough surface of the trunk, far away he heard the elfs voice moan softly and felt their laced fingers tighten.

The blood raced to his ears drowning out all sound as he felt the intense pleasure feeling spread with the haste of light through his body until every nerve was singing, he spend himself while tasting the blood in his mouth from his scratched cheek.

Legolas slowly moved off him, and Theodred turned around, hoping his legs would hold him. His lover almost frightened him when he looked so scared, and Theodred whipped some droplets of blood from his eyebrow “don’t worry about that, I can always say I fell from the horse” Theodred whispered, but still he leaned into the gentle touch when Legolas started to wiped off the tiny red drops. Theodred leaned in and kissed Legolas greedily as were he claiming his lover back “I love you so much” he mumbled and let Legolas push him against the trunk once more

_________________

Elrohir had stopped writing, and now was lost in the beauty of the thunderstorm, he was still not sure if it had been the right thing to do, what if Dinalu’s heart was closed to him for ever?! He shook his head “don’t be so pathetic Elrohir” he chided himself “you did the right thing”

He took a sip of his wine and returned to the task at hand. This letter had to go to Elrond without Theoden getting his hands on it, this was meant for his father’s eyes only. He dipped the pen and wrote

Beloved father

I made amazing progress, the mute elf called Ferret by the residents of Rohan, now uttered a word. But his memory is disturbing me greatly, he knows Elladan, how and why I do not yet know, but it is dawning to me that this strange elf could very well be the long lost son of king Thranduil, who the world believed dead, but no one ever recovered his body, did they? Father, I am afraid that Elladan did something terribly wrong. I am keeping this knowledge to myself, and I ask that of you as well. Tell my brother I love him and miss him.

I miss you.

Elrohir

He put down the pen and blew on the ink until it was dried into the parcel. he then rolled it up and branded it shut. “I’m sorry father, but I had to let you know”
___________________________________________

AN: meldir means love as in an endearment as far as I know. I am not an elvish
expert, nor do I really care…
_______________________________

What moon-songs
Do you sing your babies?
What sunshine do you bring?

Who belongs
Who decides who’s crazy
Who rights wrongs where others cling?

I’ll sing for you
If you want me to
I’ll give to you
And it’s a chance I’ll have to take
And it’s a chance I’ll have to break

I go along
Just because I’m lazy
I go along to be with you

And those moon-songs
That you sing your babies
Will be the songs to see you through

I’ll hear your song
If you want me to
I’ll sing along
And it’s a chance I’ll have to take
And it’s a chance I’ll have to break

Smashing pumpkins – Luna

_________________________________

chapter 27 – What sunshine do you bring?

(2 months later)

-Rivendell-

Elrond had been waiting for Glorfindel and Elladan to return home ever since he had read the letter from Celeborn, and now a scout told him they were on their way. He wrung his hands worriedly and paced the room. Why couldn’t he get some divine vision? Someone to tell him what to do. He suddenly found himself not only missing Celebrian’s intellect but also Elros’ advise. He was stuck here all alone, without a clue what to do for his sick child.

He had been meaning to write Arwen, but he was sure Celeborn had filled her in. “You are a coward, Elrond,” he hissed at himself. He walked to the balcony and overlooked the Last Homely House’s courtyard. It was almost dusk, but he was sure he saw a horse on the bridge far away. He turned and ran, as he hadn’t run since he was a young elf, down the stairs, careful not to slip and hurt himself in his long robe. ‘They are here.’

Glorfindel rode into the courtyard of the Last Homely House with an empty feeling. He was happy to be home, but he had wished he could have brought better news with him. Instead he had brought home a completely empty shell. On the way to Lorien he had been annoyed with Elladan’s strange babblings, but now he missed it. All the way home the only indicator that Elladan was actually alive was his breathing and occasional blinking. He was almost like a soulless shell.

“Glorfindel! Elladan!” Elrond forgot about formal greetings and rushed to the large white horse that had both his beloved ones on its back.

“Elrond,” Glorfindel sighed and lowered his head, “I am sorry there was nothing more that could be done.”

Elrond paled, looking at his son. “What is wrong with him?” he whispered.

“The lady said that he preferred to dream,” Glorfindel said with his head still bowed.

“Dream? He is lost to a dream?” Elrond said and raised his arms to take his son as Glorfindel handed him down from the horse.

Glorfindel got off the horse as well, and stood In front of his lord. “My lord, you have to know that he does not, talk, move, eat or.” he took a deep breath, “.recognize anybody.”

“Oh, my little baby,” Elrond sighed and felt tears well up in his eyes. “What have you done to yourself?” He blinked the tears out of his eyes and looked up at Glorfindel. “We will have to set him up in his rooms; I cannot bear to have him in the healing wing.”

“Of course,” Glorfindel said. “I will get Erestor to help me. We will have it done in no time at all.”

Elrond nodded. “Thank you, meldir.”

Glorfindel couldn’t help but to hush Elrond. “Watch what you are saying.”

Elrond nodded weakly. “I forgot,” he offered before he carried Elladan towards the main entrance to the Last Homely House. “There, there penneth. I am here for you now,” he whispered.

___________________________

-Rohan-

Theodred walked into the large hall and saw his father at the end, standing over his charts and notes as always with his advisors. These were times of faint peace, and he knew they had to hold those orcs and other foul creatures that lurked in the shadows. “Father?” Theodred called as he walked through the hall.

Theoden turned and saw his son. “My son!” He put his notes down on the table. “What brings you here?”

“You do,” Theodred answered. “You summoned me yesterday.”

“But that was yesterday,” Theoden said and turned towards his advisors. “You may leave.” Both the advisors and Theodred turned to leave. “Not you, Theodred. You stay here, for even if you are a day late for my summons. I still wish to speak with you.”

Theodred turned to face his father and sat down at the foot of the throne. As Theoden sat down on his throne, Theodred asked, “Why did you summon me, father? Did I do something wrong?”

“No my son, you carried out all your duties perfectly,” Theoden said and smiled at the young man. “It is something else, it is that stray elf of yours.”

“What about him? He did not do anything wrong.” Theodred said and quickly added, “It is not his fault I did not come when I was summoned yesterday.”

“Peace, my son,” Theoden said. “I just wanted to make sure you understood that he cannot stay here.”

“What do you mean. father?” Theodred whispered and looked up at his father above him.

“The mute elf is now Elrohir’s responsibility,” Theoden said and rested his hand on Theodred’s head. “You did right by saving him, but now he must return to his kin.”

Theodred shook his head. “He is not ready yet, sire.”

“If Elrohir says he is, then he is,” the king said softly. Thinking of the promise he had made to Eowyn, to let the elves stay until Elrohir said they were ready for departure, for he had the best knowledge of elven endurance, and if he returned a dead elf to Elrond, it would surely look bad. “And you have a busy schedule during the next months, my son.”

“I do?” Theodred said, completely surprised. “What will you have me do?”

“I summoned all the finest ladies to our halls, my son,” Theodred said with a smile. “You are to pick yourself a wife.”

“No!” Theodred gasped, “I cannot!”

“You can and you will, Theodred.”

“Please, do not ask this of me, father” Theodred begged.

“You are to be king of Rohan, you need yourself a queen to provide you with sons when I am no longer here,” Theodred boomed.

The prince visibly cringed. “Why so sudden, father?” he whispered softly.

“You will obey me, without questions, Theodred!” the king yelled as he stood up.

Theodred sprawled backwards and quickly got to his feet.

“I will have that elf moved to the other elf’s rooms,” Theoden said and when Theodred was about to protest, Theoden silenced him with a move of his hand.”I will have no more of this nonsense; you are excused.”

“Yes father,” Theodred hissed through his teeth. And as he made his way out of the hall, he thought to himself that he would get his father to eat those words

__________________

-Rivendell-

Later that evening Elrond sat at his son’s bedside and read Elrohir’s letter. “What did you do, Elladan?” Elrond whispered. “Did you harm that elf?”

He sighed and stood up, intent on writing a letter back to Elrohir, telling him the truth.

Glorfindel entered the door with a tray of food. “I thought you would be hungry by now,” he said.

“You are a gem, Glorfindel,” Elrond said and took the tray.

Glorfindel took a bowl of soup off the tray, and pulled out a spoon and cloth from his pocket. “You just eat, I will feed Elladan.”

Elrond nodded but instead of eating he turned to Glorfindel. “Meldir?”

“Yes, my love?” Glorfindel said softly and laid a hand on Elrond’s.

“Will you come and share my bed tonight?” he asked almost timidly.

“Of course, you have but to ask,” Glorfindel said and captured Elrond’s chin with his other hand. “Do you wish for me to stay until the morning?”

And Elrond smiled vaguely. “Yes.”

“I will have Erestor watch Elladan tonight so I can dedicate myself to you,” the blond elf whispered and leaned in for a kiss.

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