Title: Star of the sea (Playing the liar)
AN: ah, my favourite annoying trade, timeline jumps *laughs*, this is by the way the last chapter of this part (playing the liar) next time the real fun begins, this first part is really a kind of prequel to what is about to happen now. *Smiles* if I go a bit overboard here, it’s because I have a HIM cd run on repeat as I write this, so sue me.
Betaed by: Lisbet
Disclaimer: none of these characters are mine, sad but true.
Summary: Disaster strikes, and Ecthelion makes a fool out of himself.
Warnings: Mpreg eventually.
Pairings; Tuor/Ecthelion Ecthelion/Glorfindel (for ‘Playing the liar’ other and more pairings to come)
A moth into a butterfly
And a lie into the sweetest truth
I’m so afraid of life
I try to call your name
But I’m silenced by the fear of
Dying in your heart once again.
HIM – play dead.
Chapter 5 – One step away from the end.
The first days, weeks, even months after the discussion in his office with Glorfindel, Ecthelion was a nervous wreck. He had expected soldiers to show up at every hour of the day, but nothing happened. Maybe Glorfindel had found a forgiving or even believing spot in his heart. But for fear of jeopardizing this fragile truce, Ecthelion stopped talking to anyone at the royal court. He had not been at his chamber when Tuor, as promised, had showed up in the midst of night. It was better to just become invisible, and with time Ecthelion hoped that everything, including him, should be forgotten. Ithildin had worried at first. He had begged and pleaded with his twin to come with him to gatherings, but Ecthelion had refused. He had isolated himself completely, becoming a ghost in his own house. There had been letters from the royal court, but he had burned them in the fireplace without reading them, and he had not even seen the shadow of Glorfindel since that dreadful day. Lulling himself into this half existence, Ecthelion had to admit that he was lonely, so very lost within his own darkness, as the golden lord had once accused him of being. Living in eternal fear that this was the day where Glorfindel finally executed his threat.
Ithildin had watched his twin withdraw from the world around him. Even if he had been a silent bystander to this for a long time, he was beginning to fear that his twin would choose the same fate as their mother, and leave this grand new land, to travel into the west, leaving them here to live their lives, but for a long time Ecthelion had barely been breathing. He looked like a pale dead version of the twin he used to know. And here he was, standing in front of Ecthelion’s door with a bottle of spirits. It had been so long since he had even spoken to his twin, and he missed him terribly. Opening the door, he found Ecthelion reading a book in front of the fire.
“I thought you could use a drink,” he said with a crooked smile, stepping inside the room, closing the door behind him.
“That was sweet of you, Ithildin,” Ecthelion said, not even looking up from his book. “But I am afraid I am not really in the mood for company this eve.”
“You are never in the mood for company anymore, brother,” Ithildin said as he snatched the book from Ecthelion’s hands, tossing it across the room. “This night you will drink with me, and you will tell me why you avoid every living soul.” He pushed a glass into Ecthelion’s hand, and then he sat down on the sofa, uncorking the bottle, watching his baffled twin. When Ithildin poured the liquid into his own glass, Ecthelion held his out to have it filled too; he had to admit that he was dying to unburden his heart, to share these dark secrets with his twin. But he never found the moment to do so.
The had a couple of drinks in silence, until Ecthelion downed his glass and held it out to get it refilled. “I have a confession to make,” he whispered, watching Ithildin nod. He started to tell his unfortunate tale from the beginning, and once he ended it, dawn was approaching, and Ithildin was sitting staring at him, deadly pale.
“You should have told me before,” Ithildin croaked.
Ecthelion nodded. “I know I deceived you, brother, but I just thought that if I …” he sighed and reached a hand out to take Ithildin’s cold and clammy one. He smiled bitterly. “There is really no excuse for keeping you in the dark,” he mumbled, looking away from his twin, and up at a painting he had over his mantel.
“No,” Ithildin whispered, “You are my brother, my twin. I could never hate you, I love you, Ecthelion. Whatever you have done, we shall face together,” he said, softly squeezing Ecthelion’s hand.
“I refuse to have you suffer for my poor judgement,” Ecthelion said, turning his head back to look at his twin.
“Brother, let us sleep on it, and in the morning I am sure we can find a solution. Maybe the king will be lenient after all, since this situation lies years behind us,” Ithildin said, standing up and dragging Ecthelion to his feet. “I will stay here with you, if you want me to. You are not alone anymore, brother. We will find a way to solve this, and even should the worst happen, you will be in exile with me.”
Ecthelion wanted to dismiss Ithildin, but he couldn’t. He had been alone for this long, and somehow knowing Ithildin was at his side, he felt strangely secure. Ithildin had always looked after him, comforted him as their mother left, taken upon himself to run the household just months after they came of age. And so he nodded and sealed Ithildin’s fate as well as his own. “Thank you,” he whispered.
They had only slept for two hours when the door when Ithildin woke to a loud commotion downstairs. He sat up, and untangled himself from his sleeping twin. The door to Ecthelion’s bedroom was flung open and a young servant, looking all flustered and distressed, almost fell into the room. “My lords, my lords,” he gasped, short of breath, “There are soldiers at the door, demanding that you both rally at the castle within the hour.”
Ecthelion woke with a shock, and almost rolled off the bed. Ithildin climbed out of bed and stalked over to the young servant elf. “Did they say why?” he growled, scaring the young elf, but he was unable to hide his own fear for the reason of this early call from king Turgon.
“War, my lord,” the young elf cried. “War!”
“By Eru!” Ecthelion gasped and got off the bed. This could only mean one thing; the hidden city was no longer hidden. For some odd reason Ecthelion’s first thought was of little Eärendil. He had prayed that the child would live out his life here, cocooned in love and peace, but it seemed like fate had other plans with their lives. He looked over at Ithildin, who had sat down on a chair, trying to understand this message. He didn’t know if he was relieved or scared. War! War would mean death and pain, but for a second he had thought that the soldiers had come to take them to see the king for a different matter. One thing he did know was that life as they knew it was over, and the future was as uncertain as it could possibly get.
They had dressed in silence and now stood in the giant hall where they had so many times been attending gatherings of a happier kind. Now Ecthelion could smell the fear, the elves in the hall were nervous and frightened, waiting for the king to speak. Everyone talked with strangely hushed voices, as if it were blasphemy to speak normally. Finally the king appeared. He did not at all look like the beacon in the dark they needed, he looked just as frightened as the rest of them, worn and pale. “Good lords and soldiers of Gondolin,” the king called, silencing the crowd. Ithildin reached for Ecthelion’s hand, clutching it desperately as they waited for the king to speak his mind.
“Forgive me for waking you all so brutally this fine spring morning, but the enemy is close. They have taken up camp on Tumladen, it is true! They have found the entrance and are planning to destroy us all. Someone has sold us to Morgoth. I do not know who, or why. And this is not really important at this time.” A frightened whisper went through the crowd, as they were faced with the reality of a battle so close at hand. “Go home, kiss your wives, children, and loved ones, send your prayers to the Valar, arm yourselves, and come back here. The battle will begin at nightfall” As Turgon’s voice faded, the hall was silent. And elves started to slowly leave for their homes.
“Go home, brother,” Ecthelion said. “I shall join you very shortly.” When Ithildin looked puzzled, Ecthelion nodded towards Glorfindel, who stood at the far end of the hall, speaking with another blond elf. “I need to speak with him, just in case…” he closed his eyes and frowned, “you know.”
“I do,” Ithildin said, and kissed his brother’s cheek. “Hurry home,” he whispered as he too left the king’s halls to head home.
Ecthelion took a deep breath and walked over to Glorfindel, and tapping the golden lord’s shoulder, he cleared his throat. “My lord? Do you have a moment?” he said with a smile. Glorfindel turned around smiling, but seeing Ecthelion, his smile faded. The other blond elf silently left, leaving the two elves facing each other.
“War,” Ecthelion said softly, “who would have thought.”
“Get to the point,” Glorfindel said coldly, crossing his arms across his chest.
“We might perish,” Ecthelion whispered, “and… I miss you, lord Glorfindel.” He blushed slightly at his own words, knowing the full extends of his rather indecent proposal. Looking directly into the deep blue eyes of the blond lord, Ecthelion whispered, “Will you love me one last time? I don’t wish to die lonely.”
Glorfindel frowned. “Have you no decency?” and as Ecthelion lowered his head, Glorfindel slapped the dark haired youth hard across the cheek. “Consider that my answer, you deceased whore from the deepest pits of Angbard!”
Tears welled up in Ecthelion’s eyes, both from the humiliation and the pain from the backside of Glorfindel’s hand. His lips trembled. He wanted to tell the blond that he had a really bad feeling about this upcoming battle. He was sure he would not survive, something inside him just knew this would be his last moment, and he regretted not being able to return the love that Glorfindel has showered him with once. Now all he wanted was to suck up that strength once more, just one last time before the end of all things. But he just stood still, knowing just how many elves that had heard the sound of Glorfindel’s hand meeting his cheek echo in the hall.
“Go and die in whatever way suits you best, and stop pestering me,” the golden lord hissed. “You are not even worthy of wearing the kings uniform,” he said, before he quickly left the scene, leaving Ecthelion standing in the corner of the hall alone.
Ecthelion shortly after ran all the way across the city of Gondolin, only to find their front door open. He ran inside and flung himself around Ithildin’s neck. “I love you, brother,” he cried pitifully.
“I love you, too,” Ithildin whispered, feeling tears come to his eyes as well. “Whatever happens, I know he is wrong, you are a valiant and brave elf, and most of all you are my beloved twin.”
Ecthelion’s heart contracted painfully hearing those words. Ithildin had such faith in him, and it almost broke his heart. “When all this is over, you and I brother, we shall take our horses and ride to the shore, ride into oblivion and be free of all titles and restrictions, and only be Ithildin and Ecthelion, exploring things new and amazing.”
“I pray for that,” Ithildin whispered back, clutching his brother. Then something rumbled outside, followed by a deafening roar and then screams. “It has started,” Ithildin whispered.
“Yes,” Ecthelion breathed and kissed his brother’s cheek before he let go of their embrace to find his uniform and weapons, preparing for battle, to defend Gondolin from ruin.
– tbc –