Title: Star of the sea (Let it be)
AN: first chapter of the last part, we’re almost done here! And as I said, time for some bad craziness… in all this, please remember the fluffy end I promised.
Betaed by: Lisbet
Disclaimer: none of these characters are mine, sad but true.
Summary: things don’t exactly work out as Ecthelion had planned.
Pairings; Ecthelion/Erestor (implied – Glorfindel/Erestor, Glorfindel/Haldir) (for ‘Let it be’)
Sat there looking ugly
Looking ugly and mean
Knew what you were saying
You were saying to me
Baby got some new rules
Baby said she’s had it with me
Seems a shame to waste your time on me
Seems a lie to waste your time for me
Left me with love
And what it’s doing to me.
REM – me in honey
Chapter 14 – Left Me with Love
“Elrond, I implore you,” Erestor begged, leaning across the broad desk to look Elrond right into his eyes.
“No Erestor, I wont!” Elrond hissed. “You are acting like a child. I refuse to send you with the cortege to Mirkwood. Your place is here with Ecthelion.”
“Elrond,” Erestor groaned, “Of all the flea ridden elves in Middle-earth, you know why it must be like this, let me travel to Mirkwood.”
“And do what? Leave Ecthelion to deal with this? You don’t think he will resent your absence just a little?” Elrond shook his head. “No, my friend, you are acting like an immature fool, nothing less.”
A cry of frustration rose from Erestor’s throat as he slammed his fist down onto Elrond’s desk. His chocolate eyes looked as if they were on fire. “This cannot be, Elrond! You have to understand that, and so does he!”
“Oh, so you expect this poor elf to understand that he is thrust back into life only to wind up pregnant? Both things are absolutely unexplainable, but your cowardice, that is very much explainable, Erestor.”
“I care not what you think on this matter, Elrond!” Erestor fumed. “I shall leave with the Mirkwood cortege.”
“Please, Erestor, you don’t want to abandon Ecthelion at this hour. He might never forgive you, should you choose to ride,” Elrond said, opting for changing tactics.
“Then I will just have to live with that, wont I?” Erestor spat.
“Would you at least talk with him yourself?” Elrond said, realising the battle was lost, and Erestor would leave with the Mirkwood cortege no matter what Elrond might think about it.
“There is no reason to upset him further. You are the mender, Elrond, you mend him,” Erestor said harshly as he turned to leave.
Elrond stood up so swiftly that he knocked over the chair he had been sitting in. “Erestor, why are you acting like this? Why are you so upset? It is a gift, not a curse, why can’t you see that?”
“Because,” Erestor said with his back to Elrond, “my bloodline has ended and my loins are barren, you know this Elrond.” Cringing visibly, Erestor continued with a voice thick of emotion, “this child of his, it cannot be mine.”
“Still he claims it is,” Elrond said, walking around the desk and towards the distraught Erestor by the door. “Maybe the Valar waved their magic wand? Have you thought about that?”
“A miracle? No,” Erestor mumbled.
“All right, if this is not a miracle, then explain to me why Ecthelion, who is by the way a very fine specimen of a male elf, is pregnant as a female? Is it so incredible to believe that you fathered it, even if you should be unable to.”
“I will not discuss this with you further, Elrond, my words are final” Erestor said.
Elrond could hear the doubt he had planted in the other elf, and nodded in defeat. “Have it your way, my friend, but know I do not condone this.”
“I don’t need your blessing,” Erestor spat as he walked out the door.
Elrond thought about stopping him, but instead he turned to walk to his balcony and look out over the courtyard where the cortege for Mirkwood already had assembled. Erestor had originally been assigned to this trip, but Elrond had thought that with his newfound love and family that he would want to stay in Rivendell, but never the less he stood there and watched a black clad Erestor mount his horse and after a little while the cortege started to move, taking expensive presents to Thranduil and his wife, and what Elrond feared, a new advisor to the kingdom of Mirkwood.
Elrond had made his way to the healing house. His curiosity about this male pregnancy was completely overshadowed by the ugly task at hand. Opening the door, he saw Ecthelion lying in bed, sleeping soundly. “Ecthelion?” he said softly. “I am here to examine you and see if everything is as should be expected.”
Ecthelion opened his eyes and blinked in the stark sunlight that came in through the windows. “Elrond?”
Elrond smiled and sat down next to the bed that held Ecthelion. “We need to talk, Ecthelion” he said.
Turning and looking at Elrond’s troubled grey eyes, Ecthelion felt a chill travel down his spine. “What is amiss?”
“My friend,” Elrond started, taking Ecthelion’s hand. Seeing the large frightened eyes of the other elf, Elrond hated Erestor in this moment. “Erestor, he…has he…has left.”
Blinking, Ecthelion felt his hands starting to tremble. “Le-left? Why, I mean..”
“He left for Mirkwood, and I,” Elrond paused and squeezed Ecthelion’s clammy hands, “I don’t think he will return.”
Tears welled up in Ecthelion’s eyes and a dull pain settled in his stomach, making him feel slightly nauseated. “Gone?” he whispered with a broken voice.
“Yes,” Elrond answered, closing his eyes as Ecthelion started to weep pitifully. Listening to the poor elf’s sobs, he soothed him best he could, but he knew only one would be able to calm him, and that one was on his way to Mirkwood. He knew the reason for Erestor’s panic, but it was not his place to tell Ecthelion. “I wish I could tell you he would come back soon,” Elrond whispered, “but that would be a lie.”
“I am truly cursed,” Ecthelion cried.
“Nonsense,” Elrond said softly. “You carry a gift, a gift so rare that it is not in any of my books in all of my library. Not even Galadriel has ever heard of this happening before, never in all the time since Eru created all with his son has a male elf fallen pregnant. This is a miracle, my friend, you are blessed, not cursed.” When Ecthelion just wept, Elrond sat down on the bed and pulled the sobbing elf on his lap to soothe him. “Trust in the Valar, they know what they are doing. They gave you this gift for a reason. With or without Erestor, you shall see this to the end, and you will see that I am right.”
“Why?” Ecthelion whispered, sniffling. “Did he say why he left? I thought he loved me.”
“He…uhm,” Elrond said, not sure if he should tell the truth, but decided that Ecthelion had had enough untruths in his life. “He cannot be the father, Ecthelion, I know this myself. Erestor is barren, he cannot sire children.”
“But…but…” Ecthelion moved out of Elrond’s embrace and looked directly into the other elf’s eyes. “Please tell me this is a cruel jest, Elrond.”
“I am afraid not, I am his physician, and I know his claim to be true,” Elrond said with a tormented expression. “I need the truth, Ecthelion, I don’t doubt that you and Erestor were in love, but who did you bed before him? Maybe the foetus is older than I think. It grows at an alarming rate as it is, so maybe I cannot narrow down the moment where you were impregnated, maybe it is in fact a month older than I first thought.”
“Again,” Ecthelion wailed, “It’s happening again! By Eru, no!” Shaking his head fiercely, he covered his mouth with his hands.
“Ecthelion”, Elrond said reaching for the pregnant elf, “calm down!”
“No!” he suddenly screamed, “why should I? You are telling me that I am lying, nothing has changed, it has just become worse!” Hammering his fist into the headboard of the bed, Ecthelion let go of his frustration and slowly sank down unto the bed again, crying his heart out. “I swear it is the truth.” he whispered. “I did not bed anyone but Erestor.”
“Let us not talk of this now,” Elrond said softly, looking up as the door opened. “Glorfindel,” the half-elf said with a smile, “would you stay here with Ecthelion for a moment? I have to fetch something.”
“Sure,” Glorfindel said and replaced Elrond’s seat on the bed. With Elrond out of the room, the golden elf leaned in and kissed Ecthelion’s clammy brow. “I heard what happened, and I thought I would come see how you were holding up.”
“You heard it too?” Ecthelion whined pitifully. “Why are the Valar this cruel to me?”
“I am sure that Elrond already made you aware what a gift you carry,” Glorfindel said, “and Ecthelion, my friend, have you stopped to think that this might be the reason for your return to Middle-earth, that you should give life to this soul, and that only you can do that?”
“But I don’t want to,” Ecthelion whispered in childish defence. “I don’t want to relive this over again!”
Glorfindel didn’t speak; he just listened and caressed Ecthelion’s dark hair in a soothing movement.
“He left me, left Rivendell in anger because he thinks I am a liar, and that this child is the embodiment of my escapades with what is no doubt in his mind numerous elves, but it is not true Glorfindel! I only ever bedded three! Tuor, you and him.” Biting his hand to not cry harder, Ecthelion curled up in a foetal position. “And now it seems like I have to be strong for myself and this thing inside me, but I don’t want to.”
Glorfindel blushed slightly, remembering his own accusations of Ecthelion’s assumed love life. “Maybe he is not here, but I am, Ecthelion,” he said, knowing what those words meant. “If you want me to, I shall claim lordship to the child, and this way you need not worry about a false reputation and gossip. After all, it is not like it is a secret we once were lovers. It is all over the history books of Gondolin.” Ecthelion didn’t answer but he seemed to calm down. “And if you want me to, I shall ride to Mirkwood myself and personally make sure that the aloof advisor will return here.”
“There is no need for a trip to Mirkwood, my friend,” Ecthelion whispered. “He chose, leave it at that.”
“But Elrond said that the child grows unnervingly fast. It shall be ready for birth within weeks, Ecthelion, and what then? Are you sure you don’t want him here?” Glorfindel argued.
“I thought he and I had something together, but apparently not, first chance he gets he accuses me of lying and…No, Glorfindel I don’t want him here, he can stay in Mirkwood and rot for all I care,” Ecthelion whispered as he rolled onto his other side, staring the white wall and away from Glorfindel.
“All right,” Glorfindel said softly, and he really couldn’t blame his old companion in his conclusion. He was sure he would have felt the same in this situation.