|Author: Athea (email@example.com)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Title: Building the Future, part 13
Pairing: Elrond/Glorfindel, Elrohir/Elladan, Lorrin/Gloin
Summary: They investigate the dark.
Date: 6 September 2002
Elrond was suspended in mid-air above the crystal white sand at the foot of the waterfall.
Elrohir held his right hand while Elladan held his left.
I had hold of his left foot looking across at Lorrin who held his right.
Glorfindel cradled his lover's head between his hands and wept silently.
The dark Elf lord was as rigid as a slab of marble, no longer racked by tremors.
Lorrin was chanting slowly under his breath and each time he whispered 'Elbereth', Elrond hardened a little more. The lord's dark eyes were closed but his eyelids twitched as if he was seeing . . . something.
The hair on the back of my neck kept trying to rise and it felt like a storm was building up around us. If lightning could be invisible, I would have sworn that this small glade was being struck continuously. His sons had worried looks and I couldn't blame them. It had been almost two hours since Lorrin had instructed Elrond in how to cast his mind out into his land.
He'd been on the sand then. An hour into his trance, he'd risen a foot above the ground. At the two hour mark, he'd floated up another foot and a half. Lorrin had said that I was channeling the element earth for the dark lord and I had dug in my feet to provide a good anchor for him. Elrohir stood for water, Elladan for air, Lorrin was fire and Glorfindel was the keeper of spirit.
This was all new to me but I wasn't the only one. The twins had listened wide-eyed while Lorrin explained what Elrond as the keeper of Vilya could do when he attuned himself to the blue crystal he wore. My mind was beginning to wander a bit while we waited for him to come back to his body. Was the crystal that I wore capable of this? At my age could I learn a new trick or two?
Gazing across at the Elf who had so unexpectedly changed my life, I had to fight back a smile. He was teaching me many different things like, how to love him and accept his love in return; how to appreciate the trees that he moved through like the wind; how to make that funny Elven way-bread, lembas that tasted so good; but mostly he was teaching me that this old dog could definitely learn some new tricks.
His gaze caught mine and the little smile told me that he was probably reading my mind again. He says that it's my body language that he's translating but I think it just might be something more. I had noticed that my sons shared something like this gift and if Gimli could learn it then I could, too.
A whisper of a sigh came from Elrond's lips or so it sounded to me but the way the Elves reacted it might as well have been a shout. Lorrin's chant grew louder then louder yet while the dark lord began to slowly sink back to earth. I could feel the difference the moment he groaned. Lorrin was checking the pulse on Elrond's bare ankle and he nodded decisively.
"Glorfindel, take him back and warm him the way you did yesterday. Elladan, order something lighter for this noon meal. Elrohir, make sure his bed has some extra blankets. He'll be cold, almost frozen. Gloin and I will be by later in the day to check on him." He watched the blond Elf gather Elrond in his arms. "He may speak disjointedly or have muscle spasms but that is normal. Hold him close and provide him a reason to return from his journey."
"Yes," Glorfindel bowed his head to my lover and followed closely by the twins, departed for the central palace.
Lorrin sighed and almost fell into my arms. I caught him close and urged him down onto the sand so I could hold him properly. Slowly, I kissed his golden face from his eyebrows down over his thin cheeks to his cool lips. He opened to me at once and our tongues tangled together. He still tasted a bit of the oranges we'd had for breakfast and I wondered briefly if we could grow those scented trees in the Vestella.
He smiled and kissed me back for a long moment before pulling just far enough away to rest his head on my shoulder. "That was intense, my friend. I could sense three areas of darkness and each will have to be checked before we can leave to return home."
"You could see what Elrond saw?" I wished I knew more about this magic.
"Not exactly, my inner sight followed his journey through the land and the patches of darkness were readily apparent." He sighed against my throat and licked it gently. I was still glad that I'd trimmed my beard. His lips felt better than good against my skin. "Two are close by but the third is on the border on our way home. That is where I believe the greatest peril lies. I . . ."
He paused then sat up, leaving his hands resting on mine while his beautiful eyes seemed to glow with an amethyst light. "I sense a presence that sours the wind and befouls the earth. Perhaps something that I have felt before."
I shivered and pulled him back into my arms. "Lord Elrond is a canny Elf and we will have his full backing when we confront this darkness. Do not borrow trouble, Lorrin."
He chuckled in surprise. "Is that a wise old Dwarven saying?"
"No, actually it was my mother who taught me that at her knee." I told him with a grin and enjoyed his laughter. When he finally stopped, I looked him straight in the eye. "We will face it together, Lorrin, and whatever it is we will banish from this fair land. Together, the way we came."
"My stalwart Dwarf, you are right." He tucked a loose bit of hair back behind my ear and I leaned into that long-fingered hand. "We shall face it and leave for home tomorrow if it is at all possible. We're needed there." His gaze went unfocused and a shadow crossed his face. "Pip has delivered his child. The warding is shaken by . . . her power. The circle is complete."
"What of the others?" I asked with a sense of foreboding.
"They are well, Gimli." His gaze sharpened and his stomach growled in time with my own. "Let us away to our noon meal and perhaps an afternoon nap. You can help me replenish my energy." Springing to his feet, he tugged me to my feet. "I find I have an appetite."
I chuckled and put aside my burgeoning fear that something was wrong with our families. But I had another old saying learned from my mother - what can't be cured must be endured. If we faced it together, I planned on triumphing over what ever evil we found. Failing wasn't an option, not when my children needed us.
I awoke earlier than usual. Glorfindel had shooed us off after we made sure that Father ate something. We'd met up with some old friends and traded stories with them until supper. Elladan had complained of a headache and we'd turned in early after the singing. I'd have checked on Father but I was afraid of what I'd see or hear.
Looking down at the beautiful head on my chest, I ran my fingers through El's black hair. He'd been letting it grow longer and he loved it when I brushed it for him. Of course, I loved it when he returned the favor. Closing my eyes, I thought about Father coming to us and telling us that he knew of our secret. I was more than glad that Lorrin had helped him accept our love.
El' would have been devastated if he'd rejected us. And if I looked into my own heart, I would have been, also. Poor Father, his daughter marries a Man and his sons can't see anyone but each other. At least he had someone who loved him unconditionally. Glorfindel had always been someone we could go to when we were afraid to tell Father something. He'd give us the truth and explain our options, which usually meant we told Father anyway. But sometimes just the practice telling helped figure out how to tell him.
"You're thinking so hard that I can hear you." Elladan's husky voice drifted up to me.
"Sorry, I was just thinking about Father and Glorfindel and things." I rolled us to our sides so I could kiss him. I love the taste of him first thing in the morning. It's pure El' and wonderfully tasty.
"Hm-m-m," he murmured and pushed me a little bit away. "Things, my love?"
"Marrella was very pleased to see you. She looked like she'd enjoy getting you alone."
He chuckled and kissed the end of my nose. "Why do you think I got a headache? She's gotten no more subtle in the last few years. What about Roland? He had his eye on you pretty much from the moment we stepped into the dining hall."
It was my turn to laugh. "He's a randy sod, no mistake. Maybe we could get the two of them together?"
He pushed me onto my back and swarmed over my chest. "No matchmaking, my brother, it causes nothing but trouble. And we won't be here long enough to do a good job. I have the feeling that we're needed back in Friendly. Lorrin had an odd look in his eyes."
I kept on running my hands down his back while I thought back to the elder Elf who was our friend. "You're right. I wonder how Pip is." I pressed down a bit and he wiggled our groins together in a most familiar way. "You know what? I'm ready to go home."
His lips curled up into the sweet smile that I loved the most. "Back to our own cottage and our friends, not to mention Jallico's inspired cooking. I'm ready, too." He pressed down suggestively. "In more ways than one, brother dearest."
I tickled his crease and his legs splayed to either side of my hips. "I can feel that, El'."
He chuckled again and sat up, guiding me home within his velvet soft channel. "I can feel many things, Elrohir." He pulsed around me before beginning to move slowly. "I feel your heartbeat." His hands smoothed over my chest, tweaking my nipples with just the right amount of strength. "I feel you within me, giving me your power." His strong thighs pushed him up then back down again while we both gasped. "I feel the other half of my soul nestled in yours."
"Always, my Elladan, you carry half of my soul within you." I thrust up when he came down and felt him shiver. He rode me until it grew too much and we released, each into the other's keeping.
We rode towards the third dark hole in Rivendell's fabric while I drank in as much energy as I could gather. Sunlight was fire and I'd loosened my collar and rolled up my sleeves so I could absorb more of it. Arod, my prince's own horse which he'd insisted we take on our journey, moved almost silently through the ancient oak trees. Gloin rode behind me with those burly arms of his holding me tight. I'd never been more grounded in my long life.
The phrase 'salt of the earth' had been nothing more than a saying until I met and fell in love with Gloin. His power had begun to grow when a crystal chose him deep within the mountain. How my people would have marveled at his strength. The Vestella Forest now housed some of the most powerful mages of any age, although some of them were less than a year old.
Pip and Merry's daughter was the last of the five needed for a complete Circle. I just wondered what price the little one had paid for her gift of spirit. Hopefully, I would be there when they discovered what sense the Old Gods had taken. When I heard that the two Hobbits were first cousins, I'd known that a price would be extracted. Even in the womb, I could feel her gift glowing.
The five of them were going to be more powerful than any Circle ever raised by my people. But first they needed time to grow up. I was praying that this contaminated spot would be a manifestation of the alien and not actually one of them. Lord Elrond's powers were strong but so new that he would not be an equal partner in a battle. Vilya would help but her powers were also newly awakened.
If I was right, Gandalf had met the Dark One and drained him of energy but then been trapped in their meeting spot, which we were even now approaching. I halted our small band and swung my leg over Arod's neck so I could slide to the ground. Gloin growled but landed right next to me. The others looked a question at me and I smiled.
"The horses need to stay here. They will not react well to this darkness." I said simply.
Lord Elrond dismounted gracefully and bade his horse graze. The twins and Glorfindel did the same and I explained what I was sensing. Even from here, the wrongness of the small glade could be felt. The twins were uneasy, back to back as if to protect each other. I knelt and dug my hands into the soil, willing my senses into the shadowed grove. Gloin's hands held my shoulders instinctively and I silently blessed him for it.
The dark was a memory only. I almost fell over in my relief. "Something is still there but it is not what I feared. Something," I turned my head from side to side as if that would help pierce the shadowy curtain that veiled the spot. "A heart of fire set in a band of fire-made metal calls to me."
"Narya, one of the three Elven rings of power was given to Gandalf." Lord Elrond said quietly and even with my eyes closed, I could see Vilya shining in answer to her sister crystal.
Standing up, I led them to the grove and sent them equidistant paces from me so we could advance in a circle. There was resistance, left over from the energy battle but Narya had been activated and she was helping pierce the veil from the inside. My crystal blazed on my chest and as if in answer, Gloin's white crystal shone forth like the light of the full moon. I could feel his surprise and the unexpected surge of energy that flowed from him to meet with Lord Elrond's and mine.
With a clap of thunder, the veil was torn aside and the long figure of the missing wizard was revealed lying on the scorched grass. His once white robes were tattered and rent with a thousand slits. His beard was singed and his hands were burned almost black. Narya's glow grew with a pulsing red fire that flowed over him like a crimson tide. The glare was like a miniature sun flaring in the center of the glade.
And suddenly a heart beat could be heard. The glow slowly died and left the wizard looking like he had the last time he left Friendly. Our crystals ceased their flaring and Lord Elrond approached his old friend cautiously. But there was no more danger to be found, just a slight smell of brimstone rising from the earth itself. I would spend a few hours here to make sure that nothing remained but it appeared that Narya had done a through job of cleansing.
"Gandalf!" Lord Elrond knelt by the wizard and touched his forehead with the hand that bore Vilya. The soft blue glow pulsed for a moment then subsided. "Wake up, old friend. You're missing out on all the news."
"Harrumph," the wizard groaned and opened his eyes gingerly. "It's about time, Elrond. Don't you ever visit this part of Rivendell? A body could lie here for months without you noticing anything wrong."
The dark lord just laughed and helped him sit up. Glorfindel knelt by his other side and offered the water flask, which he took with alacrity. He drained it and sighed. "Havens, I've been wanting that for months. May we move to the stream over there? I have the urge for more."
I chuckled and watched them help him to his feet. Gloin joined me and we followed them to the tiny stream that meandered through the trees. His story should prove interesting, I thought. I could hardly wait to hear it.