Title: Star of the sea (Heartland)
AN: this is the first chapter in the part of this story called ‘Heartland’ although both this part and the next and last parts take place in Rivendell. And oh yes! I should warn and warn again! This is the part where the fun really begins, and also where we get around to the Mpreg thing! –
Betaed by: Lisbet
Disclaimer: none of these characters are mine, sad but true.
Summary: Ecthelion arrives in Rivendell, only to find the aloof advisor even more mystic than he thought. Is history repeating itself?
Warnings: Mpreg eventually.
Pairings; Ecthelion/Erestor (implied – Glorfindel/Erestor, Glorfindel/Haldir) (for ‘Heartland’)
I’m not sure of what I should do
When everything I’m thinking of is you
All of my excuses turn to lies
Maybe God will cover up his eyes
I know it’s not the right thing
And I know it’s not the good thing
But kinda I want to
Nine Inch Nails – Kinda I want to
Chapter 9 – We can pretend it’s all right.
The journey to Rivendell was absolutely uneventful, and mind numbingly boring since Ecthelion had insisted on going on his own. Upon arriving he had seen the same bridge he had seen in his vision. Galadriel was correct! His vision had taken place here! It could not be a coincidence. Elrond had known he was coming already before he arrived. At first he was taken aback of how much of Tuor was left in Elrond. His eyes! They were the exact same colour as Tuor’s and Eärendil’s. It was really both amazing and frightening, that Tuor had been that right when he had said that his only chance at immortality was heirs. At the time Ecthelion had been unhappy in love and had not been able to understand. He just wanted his beloved to stay by his side and kiss his fears away, but now he understood! Tuor had not lived forever; somehow Ecthelion was a little sad that he didn’t know how his beloved had met his end. He had been told that Elrond had a big library, and he would have to go in search there for a book that could give him the answer. It felt kind of strange to read about people he had known in a history book.
Elrond! What a delight! He was absolutely fantastic, thought Ecthelion. He welcomed him to the household with open arms, just as Galadriel had said he would. Both Erestor and Glorfindel had been absent. Elrond had made some excuses for them, and had introduced his wife instead. Celebrian had been a stunning female. Being the daughter of the fairest of all she elves he had ever seen, how could she not be beautiful? The first thing Ecthelion noticed was that she had inherited her mother’s smile. Oh, he could most definitely understand why Elrond had fallen in love with her.
The trip to Erestor’s office had been less delightful, although it had been easy to find. Ecthelion took a deep breath. The size of Erestor’s desk alone was intimidating, but he gathered his courage and stepped into the room, trying his hardest not to flinch as the heavy door closed behind him. Erestor put his pen aside and looked up at him. What had been smiling brown eyes the last time they met, were now the coldest hue of chocolate he had ever seen. “Lord Ithildin,” Erestor said, smiling methodically.
“Master Erestor,” Ecthelion said, trying to keep all disappointment out of his voice. Why should the mirror show him this elf of all elves? He would need a blowtorch to melt the ice that surrounded this beautiful elf. “Lord Elrond sent me here. He said that you would be able to find me suitable accommodations for my stay.”
“Ah,” Erestor said and knitted his eyebrows in thought. “May I ask, for how long will you be staying here at the last homely house, Lord Ithildin?”
“I don’t know, Master Erestor, but the lady sent me here to aid Lord Elrond,” Ecthelion said flatly as he fiddled his sleeve. He could almost hear Ithildin saying, ‘you lie, you always fiddle your sleeve when you lie.’ “It looks like I will be here for a while.”
“I see,” Erestor said, and opened a drawer in the desk and lifted out a heavy red book. He browsed back and forth through the pages for a while, until he finally looked as if he found what he had been searching for. “Here, it is perfect!” he looked up at Ecthelion and this time a genuine smile graced his face. “It has a window to the east.” As Ecthelion just nodded, Erestor continued, “they are rather small, but you will have your own bathroom. I take it you would appreciate that. Is that acceptable?”
“Indeed,” Ecthelion said. He couldn’t help but wonder if it was far way from Glorfindel’s rooms, but he did not dare ask Erestor.
Erestor closed the book looking very satisfied with himself. “Your room is the Chanterelle room. Go to the second floor of the south wing, take a left from the staircase and then it’s three doors down.”
Ecthelion must have looked confused, because Erestor couldn’t help but smile again as he closed the drawer. “There is a painting of a huge Chanterelle mushroom on the door. You cannot miss it.”
Ecthelion just smiled back, using all his teachings in diplomacy not to look as nervous as this icy elf made him feel. “I will find it, thank you master Erestor.”
“You’re very welcome; it is my job,” Erestor said with a professional smirk. “Do you bring any clothing, or shall I have some sent to your room?”
“I have no belongings with me,” Ecthelion said.
“I see,” Erestor said once more and made a note in a little green book. Placing the quill in the holder again, he looked up at Ecthelion. “Can I help you with anything else, Lord Ithildin?”
“No, Master Erestor, you have done plenty. Thank you,” Ecthelion said in a small voice. “Have a good day. I trust I will see you around.”
“And a nice day to you too, Lord Ithildin,” Erestor said and turned back to the scroll. Ecthelion figured he was dismissed, and left the chief advisor’s office.
Eventually Ecthelion found the Chanterelle room, quickly learning that Erestor was in the Oak room, also in the south wing. Glorfindel was luckily not even located in fungus or plants, but lived way over in the north wing, in the Blue Jay room. Elrond and his family had different kinds of butterflies. Ecthelion didn’t know what they were, just that they had an entire floor in the east wing of the main house. True, the Chanterelle room was small, but it was really perfect for him, he didn’t need a large room to be content, with fountains in the bathroom or whatever decadent madness other elves would surround themselves with. It had what he needed, nothing more, nothing less. A servant had brought him three sets of tunics and pants, and three robes, all in brown and red colours.
He had stayed for a month in Rivendell now, and even if Erestor shied away from him like a diseased animal, and Glorfindel didn’t seem all too thrilled about having him around, they were both actually pretty civil about it. Lord Elrond seemed to enjoy having him around, and so did Lady Celebrian. She had turned out to be quite the cunning chess player, something Ecthelion had never thought she would have known. Where he was from, strategic games like that were unladylike. And the little babies, they were priceless, still wee ones they would just lie on their backs and drool, but Ecthelion found them absolutely adoring, stunned to see those deep grey eyes of Tuor on them as well.
This night he was not able to sleep, and had decided to go for a ride on his horse. It did him little to pace the room, and he was not in the mood to eat. But as he neared the stables he heard raised voices. Pulling the hood up on his cloak he hid in the shadows. It had not been his intent to listen, but when he saw that Erestor was there, having a heated discussion with Glorfindel, his curiosity was piqued.
Glorfindel stood with a firm grip on Erestor’s upper arms and Erestor stood perfectly still, just glaring at the golden elf. “I am warning you, Erestor,” Glorfindel said, looking deeply troubled.
“Don’t bother, Glorfindel,” Erestor said coldly.
“I know you, Erestor, and I am telling you to stay clear,” Glorfindel insisted.
“How dare you? You know nothing of me!” Erestor said slowly raising his voice until he cried. “Nothing!”
“What will it take for you to listen to me? That I threaten you with going to Lord Elrond?” Glorfindel hissed, but let go of the raven-haired elf.
“Get out of my sight,” Erestor said calmly.
“Erestor, listen to me,” Glorfindel said, imploring the other elf.
“Did you not hear me? Get out of my sight!” Erestor growled.
“Fine! But I won’t offer you this again,” Glorfindel said as he spun around, leaving the stable with swift steps.
Erestor slumped down in a large pile of hay, breathing heavily before he suddenly started to cry softly, slamming his fists down into the soft hay. Taking a dive into the deep end, Ecthelion walked over and sat down in the hay pile next to Erestor. He pulled his hood down and smiled companionably. “I couldn’t sleep and went to get my horse for a midnight ride. I couldn’t avoid hearing you and Lord Glorfindel argue. Forgive me, I did not intend on eavesdrop, but… are you all right, Master Erestor?”
Erestor laughed through his tears. “Don’t bother with titles when I have a hysterical fit in a pile of hay at some ungodly hour of the night!” Wiping his tears away with his sleeve, he turned his head and looked at Ecthelion. “I am fine, Ithildin, thank you for being concerned. It was just a difference of opinions.”
“He has not changed since I knew him,” Ecthelion said softly. “He is not worth your tears, fair Erestor.”
“I know, but I can’t help it,” Erestor said with a sad smile. “He can just be so frustrating.” Ecthelion nodded and Erestor reached up and took Ecthelion’s hand, squeezing it tightly before he let it go. “Will you promise me not to tell anyone about this?” he whispered.
“I promise,” Ecthelion said.
After some moments in silence, where Ecthelion had to control himself not to wrap his arms around the distressed Erestor, the fair elf suddenly spoke. “Ithildin? Did your brother really love Glorfindel as much as the legend say?”
Ecthelion smiled sadly. “No,” he admitted in a small voice. “Ecthelion loved another, a mortal man. But I guess he had a small space in his heart for Glorfindel, in some strange way.”
“Strange how time distorts everything, isn’t it?” Erestor whispered.
“Aye,” Ecthelion said, before they both stopped talking and just rested in the pile of hay in silence, until they finally got up and went their own ways.
For the next three weeks Glorfindel would be on patrol, and Ecthelion figured that he should really seek out Erestor, thinking that he might want company. With Glorfindel around he was too courteous to engage in conversation with Erestor too much, but now with the blond gone, he could seek the fair elf out, and no harm would come from it. He had quickly learned where Erestor’s chambers were. They were located on the top floor of the south wing, down at the very end of the corridor. For some reason this struck Ecthelion as sad, that Erestor would hide himself away like that.
Coming to a standstill in front of the Oak room, he studied the strange crippled oak painted on the door. He couldn’t understand why someone would portray an oak like this. It looked sick and twisted somehow, evil perhaps. Most strange! He was about to knock on the door when he noticed it was ajar. Peering inside he saw Erestor sitting cross-legged in the doorway of his balcony, looking out at the stars, slowly plucking the lyre, making the most hauntingly beautiful melody. Pushing the door open a little more, he still studied Erestor in the moonlight. His naked torso was filled with scars, and they almost looked as if they were planted there on purpose in a pattern. Realising that Erestor must have seen many hard battles, he knitted his eyebrows. Erestor didn’t strike him as a warrior, and hearing the absolutely beautiful music that flowed from under his fingertips, the softly whispered song… no, Erestor was not a warrior at heart, just like Ecthelion himself had never been.
Erestor sensed a presence in his room and turned around. Seeing Ecthelion in the door, Erestor blushed slightly. “How long have you been standing there?”
“Long enough, Master Erestor,” Ecthelion said with a little grin. “You play beautifully, and your voice is absolutely exquisite.”
“Thank you,” Erestor mumbled as he rose, tossing the lyre on his bed. “Care for a drink? Since you made it all the way up here.”
“Yes, thank you,” Ecthelion said.
He sat down and smiled as Erestor sat down opposite him in a soft chair. “Ithildin, I owe you an apology for the other night. I did not intend to make such a fool out of myself, and especially not in front of someone else. I should not have lost my temper like that in the stables.”
“There is nothing to forgive,” Ecthelion said as he sipped his drink, observing Erestor. He looked so much different like this, scarred and with his hair loose. He looked somehow more feral, and dangerous. “The way I see it, you were quite entitled to lose your temper with Glorfindel.”
“Ithildin,” Erestor said with a smile, “if you cannot sleep either this night, might I interest you with a board game? It seems so much easier to pass time, when you are not alone.”
“Certainly,” Ecthelion said, watching as Erestor found an old worn chess set.
They passed the night playing chess in silence, and even if Ecthelion had wanted to speak with Erestor, this silence was comforting somehow. And he promised himself that he would be back tomorrow night, and the one after that, until Glorfindel returned and he would have to give up his budding friendship with the beautiful advisor.