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           Shadow's Song

 

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


The original version of this was created March 2004, by two authors unfamiliar with writing together.  Over the development of the story, it was decided that the beginning of the story needed to be rewritten for coherence and storytelling purposes.  This new version is created as of February 20005 

Disclaimer and Copyright: this being an AU story, we request no flames, though we have taken liberties.  The canon characters and books about Arda belong to J.R.R. Tolkien, and we are not making any profit off of them.  The rest, however, is ours, and permission must be granted to use anything from this story.  Make note this is some of our older RPG writing.  It gets more coherent as it goes.

Warnings: explicit consensual and nonconsensual sex both het and slash as well as violence and some bloodshed in the wars.  If you cannot handle this, we suggest you do not read this story.  There is a reason why this is Not Rated.

Excerpts from Bring Me To Life by Evanescence

*

Part 1

 

“How can you see into my eyes like open doors?

Leading you down into my core, where I’ve become so numb…” 

*

  

Glorfindel shifted in his saddle and gathering Asfaloth's reins, he pushed his horse forward, trusting that the ancient black mare would follow him. Her rider didn't speak and for the most part didn't move either and Glorfindel often wondered if he was still alive back there. "El-" he started, only to get a snarl from the other. "Since you're obviously not dead...shall we continue on?"  The other said nothing, only followed behind him into the court-yard of Thranduil Oropherion's palace. A stable hand came to take their horses, but when he went for the black horse, her rider snarled and weeled the mare away. "Boy...don't mess with that horse...just leave her be..."  The child nodded and took Asfaloth to the back paddock. After the mare's rider dismounted, she trotted away.  "Let's go Dae..." Glorfindel said, reaching for him.

"Don't touch me!" the other snarled at him, yanking his arm away and growling at him.

"As you wish..." Glorfindel said, walking forward into Thranduil's domain, his moody friend behind him.

The air about the woods of Eryn-galen tingled with the taste of excitement, kept of course upon a low key, out where the preparations were being made for the ceremonies and celebrations that would begin this night in the groves of beeches, amongst the boles of trees, as soon as the light of Anor fell and aduial came upon the Silvan. It was spring festival, and few did not carry the blithely joyous spirit that was infectuous from the younglings. Guards, nontheless were on duty, keen bright eyes, watchers hidden but for the signals kept among them to warn one another of their presence. But they did not halt either Glorfindel or his companion. Within the gates of the semi-open Halls that were the "palace" fortress of Eryn-galen, the air was warm and pleasant and scented of flowers but it was calmer and quieter.

Glorfindel followed the corridor to the throne room of one of his favorite icy people. "Thranduil!" he yelled, walking through the arch-way to the grandest rooms in Thranduil's house-hold. "Are you having a festival or a funeral?" he asked, seeing as how they didn't have everything all the way decorated.  He knew his blonde friend would just glare at him for a few moments and go about his business.

He turned back at Elen'dae who had seemed to go back into his little world, "where lies are the only truth..." he whispered to himself.

Glorfindel brushed his fingers through his hair and wandered forward. "You...c'mon...and don't say anything. I don't want to get tossed out of here..."

Thranduil stepped in, tall and proud and emotionless seemingly but for the flash of over-patience in grey-green eyes. he was dressed finely, arrayed in silks and velvets of green and silver, and a laurel of leaves had been twined with his hair, yet the style of his clothing was that of the Silvan, bearing no robes, only tunics and leggings, and a single cloak. it was impossible, however, to mistake him for anything but a king.  “Glorfindel,” he greeted, and twitched an annoyed eyebrow.  “Do recall courtesy and remember that I do not wish Noldor shouting about in my Halls!”  His manner eased slightly, then his eyes fell upon Glorfindel's companion.  “You have brought Elen'dae.”  His voice was tinged with a certain distrust, for though he knew the one who had brought down Dol Guldur rather well, Elen'dae's reputation had been no less than bloodstained, akin to Gorthaur's himself.

Glorfindel sighed.  "Have you ever thought about getting yourself a girl?" he asked, "with someone else around you might not be so grumpy..."  The Lord of the Golden Flower had a habit of voicing his mind, whether it be good for him or not. "And yes, I brought him, I couldn't very well have left him with his sister...she can only do so much. And I'm very sure that Dae here would have devoured Lord Celeborn before he had time enough to scream..." he said. He smiled then.  "So it's alright if the Silvan population shout about in your halls then?"

“I commend your momentary wit. Not often Thranduil is thwarted in words!” came a third voice from one side, quiet and soft and steady, and the Master Healer of Eryn-galen stood within the archway that was the doorway to the throne chamber. He was often seen wherever Thranduil found himself. He was small and lithe, and held a natural unpretentious beauty about him well disguised by the simple green tunic and leggings and noble posture, purposefully so. Unusually dark hair, a shade or two above black fell braided down his back and grey eyes locked themselves quickly upon Elen'dae, with a recognition and yet curiosity. As he entered and came to Thranduil's side, the aran gestured to him. “I believe you remember Galadhen, Glorfindel.  I am sure Elen'dae must.”  The last was sharp, a jab to force the Noldo to speak.

"So..." Glorfindel teased, "you have found yourself someone...well good it's about time..."  He gave a small laugh to let the other know he was only joking.

Elen'dae brushed his fingers through his hair and glared out with icy crimson orbs, the colour of fresh spilt blood. "Read any good books lately Thranduil?" he asked with a sneer, "about Silvan battle tactics and why they end up costing more lives than they save, or are you too busy hoarding your jewels to care about anything else?" Glorfindel grabbed his friend's side and pinched, and Elen'dae merely snarled at him.

Thranduil glowered and turned his eyes toward Glorfindel. “Remove him,” he spoke carefully, in Sindarin and not the Silvan dialect. “Or I shall have both of you permanently removed.”

“If you speak of the Last Alliance, than we all know quite well that Thranduil's loss of Oropher was grievous and therefore not to be slandered,” Galadhen spoke out, calm but nearly as steely as Elen'dae, though there was little apparent reason why he should even notice him. He recalled having seen him... once... in the Last Alliance long ago. Had it not been for the introduction, however, Galadhen would not have even known that his name was Elen'dae.

"That's what I thought..." Elen’dae snarled, "but let's remember, if not for me, Annatar the Prince of Gifts would still be making his home in your back-yard..." Elen'dae's lip curled into a sneer. "Don't test me Thranduil, I could level your entire palace in a thought, it is only the fact that you amuse me that I do not..." He made a noise that sounded like a twisted purr, "I would tread lightly on such dangerous ground..." and with that he turned and walked away.

Glorfindel sighed, "I'm sorry Thranduil...he's been like that for the last millennia. And it only gets worse with each passing day..."

Thranduil gave a snort and "hmph" and caught Glorfindel's arm, gesturing toward the wine. He gave a glance toward his own friend and companion. The healer smiled pleasantly toward Thranduil and Glorfindel and with a gentle bow dismissed himself.  “I tolerate him only out of a desire to be a respectable aran,” Thranduil continued, as the strong and sweet red liquid was poured into crystal goblets.

 

*

 

Galadhen, meanwhile, stepped away calmly, following Elen'dae's figure out of the room. He spoke out to him, though his volume was still quite quiet and smooth, a healer's business like calm. “If you come with me, I will set chambers for you.”  He watched him carefully, studying the familiar and yet unfamiliar, and unnerving face.

"Healer..." Elen'dae started, "go find someone else to bother.  I'll wait till Laurefinde is done having his chat with the world's greediest Aran."  He tipped his head back and let out a shaky sigh, feeling as if living was in itself a challenge. He looked pained, pained and twisted into the tortured being that he was. It wasn't just Ereinion, it was the entire packaged deal. "You waste your breath being kind to me, people with backgrounds such as myself are not nice people..."

The Avarin healer's eyebrow twitched slightly, the glimmer of a dark past that even he did not entirely remember flashing in the grey eyes, and other thoughts, of a quick mind.  “I will be kind to you, whether or not I waste my breath. I have certain tasks that are mine to do and though you shun the world, you crave something. Someone.”  He said quietly, and met the red eyes with his own, a chill racing down his spine with the torturedness there and the feeling that he understood it.

Elen’dae smirked a bit evilly and walked forward, catching the healer's chin in his hand. "If you intend to mend me, healer, you have your work cut out for you. For I highly doubt you can erase and mend the events of the last two and a half ages..." he growled lightly. "What life has done to most, won't even match what fate has done to me..."

Galadhen tipped his chin lightly away from the hand, purposefully unoffensive, though still holding his gaze.  “I feel compassion for you, then. But all the more reason to attempt to draw you from the well of your own self-pity to mend,” he answered.  “I am a healer. I am obligated to try for everyone's sake.”

"I have no pity..." Elen’dae said with a smirk, "just years and years of confusion and anger, of things I could never have because some people were too busy taking pleasures in their own lives to worry about who was taking pleasures in mine. To make up for such things, there were substitutes...but they didn't come close to the original." He grinned there and flicked a lock of hair behind his ear. "But if you like, you con obligate yourself, as I am everyone's obligation but no one's pleasure..." he pulled away then and walked off, towards the stables.

Galadhen's eyes narrowed, and he stood for a moment, conflicting thoughts of following Elen'dae and knocking reason into him and withdrawing. Stubbornly, however, his jaw tightened and he darted forward, to stand in Elen'dae's way though he was notably smaller than the aran.  “If you do not wish people to feel sorry for you, then why wallow in your misfortunes?”

Elen'dae grinned and shoved the healer back against the wall.  "Do you want to know why I'm like this?" he asked, "would you like me to show you?"  He licked his lips as he held him there, an evil glint of something far more dangerous than just a noldo with a tortured heart residing in the mirrors to his soul. He flexed his fingers and shreded the shoulder of his tunic. "Maybe now you'll see..." he said and purred bitting deep into his shoulder with his fangs. He pulled away and licked his lips.  "Now leave me alone..." he said, walking off.

Galadhen gasped his breath as he was pressed back, his body tense, his hand groping for a dagger on his thigh, but his hand was caught. “Don't you dare rape me...” he whispered, likely inaudible to Elen'dae. Instead, a soft cry left him as the teeth buried sharp and fierce into his shoulder and he felt the welling up of his own blood, then a dizziness. He slumped against the wall, watching Elen'dae move away and drawing himself up slowly, he inspected his own wound and the grey eyes narrowed again. “You, Elen'dae,” he called after him, purposeful, just before he was out of earshot,  “have a lot yet to learn about the Avari.”

Elen'dae turned around, licking the blood off his fingers. "I know all about the Avari..." he said, a snarl resonating in his throat. "My childhood love married one, my cousin married another who nearly killed her and royally screwed with the mind of her child and one tawny-haired one with one blind eye sold me off to a mortal king for a few gold coins. If Feanor was right about anything, it was that you people have no real respect for anything, life or death...now, do stop annoying me before I kill you slowly?"

Galadhen stepped out into the middle of the corridor but did not approach him, continuing calmer. “Then I am sorry that is your opinion of them. But do not judge me by a people with which I have had no contact since my childhood. And if you must judge me, do so on my own merit. I wish to help you, Elen'dae. You carry demons that no soul ought,” he finished quietly, with a gentle emphasis.

"Perhaps not, but that's not for you to decide now is it?" he asked, biting into his wrist to suckle some of his own blood and hopefully calm down before he slaughtered the little healer right there. He wandered out of the fortress, letting his wrist drip blood down his arm to spot the floor on certain places, ignoring the healer if he had said anything else.

Galadhen did not answer, and merely withdrew, closing off the small portion of his own soul that he had bared vulnerable without realising it. He eased what could have been a pang deep inside his heart. He did not know why - as he was more than perceptive enough to know the danger in his choice of a challenge - but he yearned to see what laid past the evil. To ease an aching, tortured heart. “Like my own...” he whispered. Memories haunted him, of a past he knew was horrible. He remembered many things, torture even, in dreams, though always he would forget the memories suppressed long ago. He feared remembering at times, and at others wished nothing more than to know what he had hidden from himself. Without another sound, the healer climbed the steps ad went to his private chambers to prepare himself for the festival.

 

*

 

"Isilya!" Elen’dae called, the black horse trotted out from behind a tree, still saddled. He took the reins and wandered into the stable. Unsaddling her, he gave her a sugar-cube and leaned against her coat. Why are you so grumpy pen-neth...? the mare asked. It's not really Ereinion you're so cold about is it?

Elen'dae growled.  "Don't treat me like a child, Ithil..." he said, opening the door to let her out again.

Let someone in...for your own sake, if no one elses...

He snorted at her. "There isn't anyone in the known world who would bother trying to come in..even if I opened the doors to my soul...it's a frightful place inside...I doubt anyone would want to stay long..."

I stay... she whispered.

"You're crazy yourself."

 

***

 

Glorfindel sighed as he leaned back against his chair in Thranduil's throne room. "So tell me again Thranduil, why don't you have a girl?"  He grinned a bit. "I know a good few maidens who would just love to be married to you...one in particular..." Glorfindel grinned wider and downed another glass of wine. "You're charming, rather good looking, powerful and perhaps a rather nice fellow under there somewhere..."  He yawned. "What's not to like..." Glorfindel did it all the time, trying to get Thranduil out of his halls and into the bed of some noble lady. "If you had a different sexual preference I'd bed you..."

“Hah!” Thranduil answered, sipping more reservedly at his own wine.  “I would not lay in bed with you, Glorfindel, if Arda depended on it. Your pants have fallen on the floor of every warrior, lord and librarian's chambers, and a few arans. And I have no need for another woman.”  He was jesting in his own wry manner, then glanced out, on a more serious note, through the doorway. “Galadhen has taken an unusual interest in your "friend". Keep in mind that if Elen'dae harms the master healer of Eryn-galen, I shall have him shot on sight were he to enter my wood again.”

"Tis too bad...you would have been a good lay..." Glorfindel said with a sensual purr. "So horrible you know my hobby...and not every warrior or advisor really. I haven't slept with Elrond yet. And Erestor...how I long for him, but he'll destroy me with his sharp tongue before I can get close enough..." he yawned.  "As for Dae...I doubt he'd really do anything to hurt your healer...he's just...a very angry person..." Glorfindel downed another glass. "I suppose I would be too..."

Thranduil capped the wine bottle and stowed it away, having snatched it from Glorfindel's hand. The wines of dorwinion were potent, and Glorfindel intoxicated, or himself for that matter, was not a pleasing thought.  “He stands a great chance for hurting the healer; you are wrong. Galadhen is stubborn and while I believe he is wasting his time with Elen'dae, he may rush in where a fool wouldn't tread if he thought he could help him.”

Glorfindel reached for the wine bottle of Thranduil's best second ager and fell over in his chair, "So mean..." he replied. "I wish someone could do something for Dae...he has more demons than anyone I know of...such a horrible tortured life...some of which I had a hand in..." He brushed his fingers through his hair and yawned. "You still need a girl..."

Thranduil plucked away the second bottle.  “The festival dinner will be after the sunset, and ceremony. Please do remember to be there. Go.”

"If I don't pass out from too much wine and sex, I'll make sure to show up..." the blonde said with a bow. He walked away and down the hall, looking for Elen'dae. Glorfindel found him sitting on the steps outside, glaring at people who walked past.

"Why did you bring me here Glorfindel?" he asked, playing with a dagger.  "Did you bring me just to insult Thranduil, or was there another reason?”

Glorfindel sighed. "I was hoping I could find someone who could help you, who could mend you..."

Elen'dae snorted.  "No one can help me. I've been damned from the moment my eyes opened as a child..."

The healer emerged then as the sun set with several others, most of whom avoided Elen'dae by choosing the other side of the stairs to descend. Many were laughing and speaking quickly in their light dialects, and Galadhen alone was silent. He, like the others, wore a laurel of golden flowers in his hair, which was now down and smooth, down to the small of his back, and was dressed in dark blue suede which was simple as before but for the delicate necklace that adorned his throat. He paused upon the stairs, bowing politely toward Glorfindel with a small smile.  “Are you coming for the dedication outside before the dinner? You would both be welcome.”

Glorfindel smiled a bit and pushed himself up away from Elen'dae. "I'll be there shortly..." he said, whispering something under his breath before he left Elen'dae, going back to his room to change.

Elen'dae just leaned back on the steps, not even bothering to move. He looked at the dagger he was playing with the tossed it away, before digging his nails into his wrist to make himself bleed. "That's right, it's this ruddy blood that keeps getting me into trouble...." He let out a bit of a shaky sigh, it was hard to keep this up, to continue to be cruel when all he really wanted to do sometimes was break down. He had the mind of a child sometimes. He pulled a spell from his fingers, a cute little fire horse a friend had taught him how to do. It pranced and nickered on his finger and he closed his eyes.

The healer watched to be sure Glorfindel was gone and the slipped closer, silently, until he brushed away a droplet of blood with his fingertips tenderly from Elen'dae's arm.  “Tell me of your blood,” he whispered, steadily.  “Why does it trouble you so?”

Elen'dae snorted. "You have a death wish don't you?"  He yawned a bit and put the spell down on the top of one of the steps. "You do realise I could very easily wrap my fingers around your neck and kill you...I wouldn't think a thing of it either.  As to my blood...you're not stupid...I have fangs, I drink blood..what does that tell you?"

“In this corner of the world such things aren't common, outside of the demonic.”  Galadhen's manner hardened slightly with stubbornness.  “And I do not believe you would kill me. And even if you wished to, do not imagine yourself to be the only one with such a horrid past. As though no-one could understand. On this you are very wrong.  Why do you despise me so, Elen'dae?” he inquired quietly, tipping his head slightly, and allowing himself to be honest.

"I am demonic..." he said softly. "Used, abused, tormented, twisted, ripped, ruined, tortured and have my mind is gone..." Elen'dae looked up at him then.  "Because you're pissing me off...you're sticking your nose where it doesn't belong. You're not part of my family, my Valar damned and demon possessed family..." he muttered that last part under his breath.

Galadhen withdrew and rose to his feet, his eyes falling, veiled by dark lashes. There was an element of his own bitterness in the soft words that followed.  “If you damn me for caring, then it is little wonder why people do not show love to you. Even those who would. Because you damn love.”  He looked up to his eyes and spun about, quietly descending the steps.

"Love doesn't exist...chivalry is dead...and honor is a lie..." he whispered, wiping away one small tear from the corner of his eye. He pushed himself off of the stairs and wandered off into the woods, into the lair of the spiders without a weapon to defend himself with. He sat down near a tree and sighed into his hands.  "What the HELL is that stupid, foolish little healer doing to me?" he asked. Looking down at the ground he wondered why his vision was blury. Elen'dae whiped his eyes and found they were tears, "Tears?" he asked, "I haven't cried in years..."

 

*

 

Meanwhile, in the other side of the settlement, a short distance away came the lively strains of music, that came after the blessings were given in song. Children shrieked and laughed and pounced on Galadhen happily, a favorite teacher of theirs was he.  He kissed foreheads and cuffed behinds, sending them on their way then paused beside Gwairon, Thranduil's first neun.  “Pour me a glass of wine,” he said quietly.

Gwairon studied his friend carefully before he did as asked.  “Is there a problem?” he asked, as the stem of the goblet passed between their hands.  “You seem distressed.”

Galadhen drained the heady wine in a long gulp and laid a slender hair over his mouth to wipe away droplets.  “I will be fine.”  He smiled, a perfected calm little smile, though inwardly he felt sick somehow.

Glorfindel wandered over to where Galadhen was and sat down with a plop onto the bench. The blonde turned and eyed the healer before he poured himself a glass of wine, despite the fact that Thranduil didn't want him to drink anymore. "Do you want to know?" he asked, "I can tell you a good bit about him if you want to hear it, because he won't tell you himself, I can guarentee it..."

“I do not know what you refer to. If this is about Elen'dae, then what makes you certain I wish to inquire anything of him?” Galadhen replied smoothly, setting the cup on the table to pour another glass of wine.

"Because you're following him and you're coming in contact with something that not a lot of people would bother with. He has reasons for the way he is..." Glorfindel said. Leaning down he downed his glass. "You have a cute butt...."

Galadhen arched a brow, then a second one, pointedly, about the attempt for a compliment.  “I am a healer. He is not well and I feel... somehow connected to him, and do not know why. It is of little matter.” He downed a second glass.

Glorfindel sighed a bit.  "So...do you want to know or not, vanima-nin?" he asked, turning on the old Noldorian charm. "He went out to fight a few spiders so we have some time to talk..."

“Yes we do, but I should hardly imagine you have time to talk when you want your mouth otherwise occupied.”  Galadhen smiled smoothly, wry, and slipped past him toward the food table, then paused.  “Ungyl?!”  He spun about, though thankfully few overheard over the music and dancing just beyond the food tables.

"Fighting spiders isn't as hard as is seems to someone of Elen'dae Finarfinion's stature. He's a fire mage as well has part vampyre...meaning, sorcery..." he smiled. "He can take on an entire army by himself if he wanted to, so a few table-sized spiders isn't going to do much to him..."  Glorfindel smirked. "So while I sit and drink should I tell you of him or not?"

Galadhen's grey eyes narrowed slightly, then he sat down upon the bench beside Glorfindel. “Sorcery?” The healer drew a slow breath.  “I wish to know, but Elen'dae would not approve. He despises me.”

"He doesn't despise you..." Glorfindel said.  "He's afraid of you..." He leaned back. "Almost all of Elen'dae's lovers have met very nasty deaths...save Makalaure Feanorion...whom Elen'dae has a very unhealthy obsession for.  Ereinion was killed by Sauron and Celebrimbor was murdered by orcs.  Ecthelion and I were killed...and Maglor married an Avarin healer named Siriondil."

“I know the names... Galadhen said simply.  “Many of them highly influential in distant histories... though many of them I know nothing of.” Galadhen paused for a beat.  “But if you expect I wish to be a lover to him, then you are quite mistaken. I seek no sexual relationships.”

"Well that's a bloody pity..." Glorfindel said. "But Elen'dae's afraid of you...he's afraid you'll get too close."  He poured himself yet another glass of wine. "Let's start at the beginning. There was a time when Elen'dae was younger, less experienced and no the realm's ride.  That he caught the attention of his uncle Curufinwe Feanaro...the bane of the Eldar's existance. Elen'dae who'd been a virgin till that time, had gotten yanked into his bed and practically let his uncle do whatever he wanted to. However, something happened to Feanor and he got real nasty, real fast. Elen'dae got beaten by him, bled and was going to be used as a weapon in the uprise of the Noldor in Aman. His two cousins, Turgon and Finrod rescued him and he went to Alqualonde to stop the slaughter of the Teleri.

“Something...we're not sure what, happened between Elen'dae father, Finarfin and himself and he left Valinor to go to Maglor, whom he had loved. Cept Maglor got married, without knowing Elen'dae was in love with him. Elen'dae got really upset and let one of the Dark Avari take advantage of him...name's Athrion I think. Elen'dae found out really quick that Athrion meant to use him and Fingon and Maedhros rescued him. He was kidnapped later and sold off to a mortal king as a sex slave. By the time we, Turgon, Maglor and I found him, he didn't even remember who the hell he was. No idea, just thought he was the bed warmer of this king, Silivron. We got him back to Gondolin and straightened him out and then Gondolin fell and Ecthelion and I parished. Then...something happed to Dae...he  killed a balrog...and lived After that he fell in love with Celebrimbor, Curufin's son.   Elen'dae's affair with him is the reason there were three elven rings made...not two. Narya was made for Dae, then Celebrimbor was murdered and Dae fell into complete dispair and vanished from the face of the earth...we didn't know what happened to him.

“However there was an uprise of a new enemy...who called himself Gil-gwath Agarwaen...which means Star-Shadow Bloodstained...anyways...Agarwaen was killed by Ereinion and Elen'dae became Ereinion's bed warmer shortly after...along with his general Earvalin Erinsul. Ereinion died by way of Sauron...and then he took down Dol Guldor...and  is as you see him now..." Glorfindel finished.

“Dol Guldur.”  The music in the background had faded, or changed, but the healer did not hear the delicate plucks of fingers on harps, or notes upon the flutes.  The story was horrendous... and now he understood the words that Elen'dae had spoken before.  “Tis strange... that I do not remember him... and yet I was there... at Dol Guldur...”  Galadhen’s musing fell silent, then he rose up to his feet and set down the cup, barely able to walk straight but determined.  “I have to find Elen'dae.”  He stepped away, and one golden flower fell from his hair onto the bench as he vanished into the trees through the numbers of festive Silvan.

Glorfindel sighed. "Great..." he replied, "there goes my entertainment for the night..." He got up and nearly fell over. "Thranduil....I drank too much...come help me up...or send one of your chambermaids over..." he called half drunkenly.

 

***

 

Elen'dae himself, had found his way to the pile of rubble that had been known as Dol Guldur, coincidently. To take down Sauron had been the last time he had been in Eryn Galen, he had followed Mithrandir. "Why am I back here?" he asked softly.

 

*

 

He ran. Though he was never seen to run or fight among those who knew him, Galadhen knew his way through Eryn-galen better than many could boast. The moonlight glinted down upon his pale skin, flashing occasionally as he darted between trees. he paused here and there, to breathe and listen to the whisper of the trees as he pleaded with them. He had a frightening sense that tonight something might happen to Elen'dae... something self-induced... and he could not bear knowing what he did now without doing something about his parting comments. He followed the treeline down to a trail on which he paused. He knew this trail... he dreaded it. It was a part of the nightmares and terrors that plagued his sleep. Fear clutched like claws at his heart and panic rose.

Shaking it back, he spun about and continued on. He heard cries and saw flashes of memories. Fire. A boy's scream. He drew a sharp breath and stopped, standing on the edge of ruins.  “The ruins of Dol Guldur...” he whispered aloud... and spun. And with the flash of a hideous face carven in stone, he saw a hideous face in his mind and felt pain like fire deep within his body in ways unspeakable and let out a scream, falling back against the wall of crumbling stone.

 

*

 

Elen'dae was deep in his thoughts when he heard the scream.  "Ehat in the name of Eru..." he thought to himself. Besides notifying Elen'dae of his presence, the scream also caught the attention of a spider, whom was going about it's own business. It turned the corner and hissed lightly at the unsuspecting healer, a few more following in suit. Elen'dae picked up his sword and sighed, following to the source of the cry.

 

*

 

Galadhen turned, hearing the crackle of something, and then again, his heart pounding in his ears. He smelled the stench then and his hand reached for his dagger, finding it was not there on his thigh.  He saw them then, luminescent eyes, and then fangs, as a spider lunged forward. Giving another cry, Galadhen darted to the side and then up the stones, then running down the paths into the fortress. Then the last moonlight was covered by a tendril of cloud.  He could hear the rustling of spider feet then a shriek, and another ungol attempted to spring upon him, colliding against the wall. Two more swarmed in, through the crack. The Avar scrambled for a rock and tossed it into the eyes of one spider.  “Thranduil!” he bemoaned, trapped against the wall.

“Stupid you,” he murmured to himself and then the glimmer of moonlight appeared again, enough to see his closest attacker.  Another thrust her stinger toward him and he darted to the side, and off the flabby belly of the ungol.  He raced toward the doorway to the ruins, the spiders behind him, hissing and clacking their jaws.

Elen'dae rolled his eyes when he saw who the spiders had cornered.  "You really do have a death wish..." he whispered. He flicked a flaming whip out, a smilar smaller version than what a balrog carried and wrapped it around three of the spider's legs, yanking it on its back and over into his general vicinity. He threw a fireball at it, scotching the thing into a pile of dust. "Valar..." he replied, doing the same to the others without much effort at all. "Bloody healer..."

Galadhen laid back against the wall and his features set harder. but he said nothing particularly witty, or anything at all and stowly stepped down from his perch and spun about, exiting out through the doorway. his pride was injured and to have to be rescued by Elen'dae was the worst humiliation, much less to be seen in such a position.

Elen'dae nipped another bite into his wrist and sighed. "I wonder why I even ruddy bother..." he said.  "One dead healer means no annoyance for me..." He flicked his hair behind his ear and suckled his blood a bit. "Stupid spiders.." he said and kicked one.

Galadhen paused then and looked over his shoulder. Then silently he slipped back through the doorway to the ruins. “I am sorry,” he whispered finally, then tension around him enough to make the air tingle between them.

The spider he kicked convulsed and exploaded, Elen'dae snarled at it. He stuck his sword in the other spider.  "You know, we don't have spiders in Tirion...we don't have annoying healers in Tirion..." he snapped. "What do you want from me, enough to bloody follow me out into the woods without any sort of weaponry whatsoever."

Galadhen made no approach. his eyes fell, and then lifted again as he raised a hand to his own cheek and brushed away blood from a thin scratch.  “I wanted to say... I'm sorry...” he spoke, as softly as before.  He wished he understood his own desire to be close to Elen'dae... but he could not. Nor could he speak of it. With a polite bow he withdrew, his next words forced out against his very will.  “I will bother you no further... Unless you let me.”  He looked up again.

Elen'dae sighed and dropped next to the ruined stones, he seemed so child-like then, just leaning against one of the remaining walls. "You know not what you mess with..." he said, trying to keep his breath from hitching. "Go away before something horrible happens to you...people who are around me, they die...and in rather nasty ways..." He brushed his fingers through his sweat soaked hair and took another breath. "Just go...you're better off walking off in the other direction..." This ruddy persistant little healer was yanking down his walls. He wanted him to go away, he had said that he wanted him to go bother someone else, but something in his eyes really, really wanted him to stay. "I can't take this..." he said, laying down.

He dared to step forward and knelt a small distance away. “Elen'dae... I want to help you...”  In catching the look in the tormented crimson gaze, he dared to slip forward and touch Elen'dae's cheek as he might a frightened rabbit.  “Shh..” he whispered.

Elen'dae tipped his head against the fingers at his cheek, his eyes dipping closed as the other touched him, not used to anyone showing such kindness. He made a soft whimper, blinking back a few tears. "Valar..." he said, sighing a bit. "It's not just about Ereinion...it's about everything...Isil was right..."

Galadhen slipped closer and brushed away a stray tear with his thumb, frightened of Elen'dae, and also daring to hope that he could help him now... which is all he wanted... it was his healer's calling.  “Isil?” he asked gently.

"That randy bitch over there..." he said, pointing to the black mare who watched them between the trees. He sighed touching his fingers over the healer's hand. "Why do you want to help me...?" he asked, "Why do you feel you need to? Glorfindel been talking out of his ass again?"

The healer withdrew his hand carefully. “Glorfindel spoke of much to me. But I wished to help you before then. I feel... I know you... and that you know me...  But I cannot remember,” he finished at a whisper.  “And I cannot see a soul so tortured and do nothing.”

"Glorfindel talks out of his ass when he's drunk as a skunk. He and Thranduil are such good friends, he let's Glorfindel drink as much as he wants...Laurefinde then starts spouting off things he knows nothing of..." he yawned a bit. "I told you once, Galadhen...you can't help me..."

Galadhen caught the crimson gaze steadily, his face now just shy of two feet away.  “Give me chance...”  The Avar glanced over his shoulder then quickly, toward the edge of the woods, as branches rustled in the wind and moonlit shadows skattered.  “We must return... tis not safe to stay here...”

"No...it's not safe for them..." Elen'dae said, "I'm a rather hard person to kill..." he sighed a bit. "Why are you so afraid out here? Sauron's gone...he wouldn't dare come back here..."

“What do you know of me and Sauron?” he asked quickly, a tinge of alarm in his eyes, and confusion, as he looked back, a strand of his hair brushing down before his eyes*

"Are you suggesting that there's something between you and Sauron?" he asked. "I was generalizing, everyone's afraid of Sauron..."

Galadhen shook his head then.  “Forgive me... I... I...” he touched a hand to his temple.  “I do not know. I saw things.... in my mind... and I screamed.”

"Sauron can rot for all I care in his stupid castle in Mordor, so long as he doesn't bother me..."

“Will you come back with me to Thranduil's kingdom?” Galadhen asked gently, after a moment, and offered his hand to Elen'dae, slightly afraid but determined. he searched the sharp features with his eyes.

Elen'dae sighed and licked his lips then took the healer's hand and pulled himself up to his feet. "I'll come back with you, but I can't promise to be nice to Thranduil...I don't like him much..."

“You don't have to be,” Galadhen whispered and stepped away, his eyes and senses tuned to Elen'dae. It was dangerous... truthfully Elen'dae could kill him on a whim and he knew it. But how could he pass up this chance... if he had a chance to help him? But he had made one mistake that laid on the ground as they left the ruins together. A single golden flower as had been left with Glorfindel, laid upon the ruins of Sauron's throne, among the dead spiders.

 

***

 

The following morning found Elen'dae peacefully sleeping in one of the guestrooms in the palace. He pushed himself out of bed and looked around.  "Where in hell's name am I?" he asked, growling lightly. He pulled a robe on and looked outside the room. "Where the hell is Glorfindel..."

One of the chambermaids blinked. "He's still sleeping ,m’lord..."  Not many were awake and those who were scurried about, cleaning up. And outside the rooms and down the hallway and a short flight of steps were the sound of children's voices singing a merry tune, and one soft tenor was correcting them now and again to the sound of harp music. The noble family was not to be seen, father or son, or steward.

"WELL THEN!!!" Elen’dae’s voice boomed, "WAKE HIM THE HELL UP!!!" Something had happened and the elf was not the same as he use to be the night before.

The chambermaid squeaked and ran down the hall to Lord Glorfindel's room. "My lord...wake up..your friend...he's insane!"

The singing paused, then came the murmur of quiet voices and the soft steps of the young troupe moving away. Then with a scroll of the song which had been sung rolled up in one hand, the Master Healer moved up toward the origins of the noise.  “Elen'dae, you are disturbing the teachers and the children,” he said calmly, tactfully, but firmly.

A youngling glimpsed the angry Noldo and raced after the young female.  “Lord Glorfindel!” he called, passing the young son of Thranduil in the hallway. The prince moved toward Galadhen and the healer offered an emphatic shake of his head.  “No, Legolas. Go outside.”  With a slight frown Legolas glanced up toward Elen'dae and then reluctantly obeyed.

"My apologies, I wasn't thinking..." Elen’dae snorted at him. Growling a bit he grabbed him by his tunic and yanked him inside, slamming the door behind him, he shoved him against the door. "So...nobody bothers to tell me where the hell I am and Lord Glorfindel's still sleeping..isn't that nice..." he said, he licked his lips and kissed him harshly on the mouth.

Galadhen was unprepared for this and made a protesting sound into the kiss once he'd managed the scrape up a breath, crushed against the wall. He twisted his mouth away from the kiss and tried to bring his knee up between Elen'dae's legs, struggling to escape his hold with a soft growl.  “What are you doing?!” he demanded, squirming away and stepping back, eyeing Elen'dae with suspicion and a certain open measure of fear. “Elen'dae...?  You know where you are. you are in Eryn-galen.,”he answered the demands, and made a move for the door.

"I know exactly where I am...I'm in the presence of a very beautiful little silvan whose about to become my breakfast..." Elend’ae said with an evil purr.

Glorfindel banged on the door then. "Leave him alone!" he yelled.  "Galadhen get out of there!"

Elen'dae laughed bitterly. "You're too late, Glorfindel, I'm going to eat him..."

Galadhen did not understand him fully, but knew quite well that this could mean death.  “Stay away from me,” he whispered, stepping back, toward the balcony.

Glorfindel kicked open the door and moved over to Elen'dae.  He flipped out a dagger and slammed it into the side of the crossblood. Elen'dae coughed and spat up black blood.

"Valar...sorry...Glorf..." he shivered. Glorfindel brushed his fingers through the black hair, "Eru...you're going to have to go to someone for that...anyone..."

Galadhen shook his head, his mouth open for a moment, then he rounded a wide berth around Elen'dae toward the door, pausing there.  “Glorfindel... that is a bad wound you just gave him!” he said suddenly, crossly, then his eyes flashed.  “Someone tell me what is going on!” Despite himself, the healer in him made him tear at the sleeve of his tunic to press the fabric against the wound and stop the blood flow.

"Don't talk out of your ass...Glorfindel..." Elen'dae snarled. Glorfindel just ignored him.

 "Remember when I said there was this demon who called himself Gil-gwath Agarwaen..." he replied. "Gil-gwath...means Star-Shadow...Elen'dae means star-shadow...they're the same person...and Dae is demon possessed...."

“I gathered that much!” the healer interrupted, and then stepped back from Elen'dae, wiping the blood from his bandaging upon his already torn tunic that he pulled over his head. He glanced up, distrustful, toward Elen'dae and then stepped away quickly and polite.  “Excuse me.”

Elen'dae snarled at Glorfindel. "You know, you set me up for your own disasters and then you wonder why the HELL I don't like anyone!" the blonde rolled his eyes. "You didn't like him anyways...what's your point?" Elen'dae stepped past him. "I am going for a walk, if you follow me Glorfindel, I swear I'll use your head as an ornament for my damn door!"

Galadhen wasted no time in taking the most direct route to his own chambers, and as soon as the latch clicked and the door separated him from the dangers beyond it, the slender healer slumped against it, his eyes closed. Terror. He had felt terror, beyond even the other thoughts that had seemed more important at the time. And it was not the terror in itself that made him afraid of those things he had seen the night before at the ruins in his memories. It was the sickening deja vu. The presence of the evil that he could veritably smell from Elen'dae. Then, dropping his bloodied tunic to the ground, Galadhen stepped forward and entered the small bathing chamber. He paused, watching his reflection dance in the water, and for a long time studied the grey eyes that gazed back.

“Why do you try?” he whispered. Then, dipping his hand in the water, he splashed it down his shoulder, and cleaned himself of the blood that stained his hands. Drops of water dripping from long dark lashes, he studied himself again, and then turned a glance over his shoulder, his jaw setting in determination.  “Somehow I will find my way to your heart. Somehow. This evil cannot linger over your injured soul forever.”

Rising to his feet, the master healer moved to his wardrobe for a simple green tunic. He tugged this over his head and plaited his dark hair into a single long braid. There was work to be done with the children, and he would best get to it.

Galadhen made his soundless way down the steps and toward the gates to the Halls, confidence again in his stride. Darkness set aside, the brightness of the sunshine would do him good. The younglings plucked their harps and sang in a circle on the training grounds, their few books and daggers and bows strewn around them. They awaited only Gillaron's arrival to begin their sessions. One child came scampering up with a spring.

“Galadhen!”  Startled, the Avar caught the child and smiled faintly.  “Why so sad, Galadhen?” the boy asked, touching a fingertip to his cheek, empathic as children were.

“Tis nothing to worry about for you, dear child,” he answered and set him down gently. Truthfully, he did not know what troubled him entirely.. which was even more troubling.

 

*

 

Ithil sighed and nuzzled Elen'dae's side, standing over him in the pasture. "Glorfindel starts everything. If he had just kept his big mouth shut perhaps I would be a little less angry," He said softly, brushing his fingers through his hair and closing his eyes. He flicked a long cut up his arm and slowly suckled on the blood that pooled there, calming down just a little. "I want to go home....to wherever the hell home is for me and just die..."

Elen'dae took another deep breath and pulled himself up from the ground. "C'mon Ithil...I'll get you some sugar cubes..." he said, grabbing a fistfull of black mane to help guide her back to the stables, even thought she knew the way on her own. "Valar..." he whispered, "I just want to leave...to go somewhere where I can rot in peace..."

 

 

*

 

Meanwhile, in dark places where nothing stirred, not lark nor deer, nor even the wind, lay the corpses of the spiders that had attacked the night before. There came the quiet crunch of bootsteps on rubble, as cold eyes scanned the passages of stone. A few muttered words in a hideous speech from his companions caught along the rocks. The steps paused them as he looked toward one of the rotting tangles of ungol abdomen and legs, and he bent, capturing the only piece of beauty there - a single golden flower in his hand. The dark Elda brought it to his face and scented, then a slow sadistic smile spread across his lips. “Found you.”

A scrabbling came behind him, and the Elda looped the flower in his belt.  “Report.”

An orc bared fangs.  “There is nothing here, my lord, but the spiders.”

The dark Avar chuckled and fingered the flower.  “Oh but there is...” he answered, his voice silken.  “Bring my mount.”

 

***

 

Evening came, as quiet and uneventful to many as an evening could be, though it was merely peaceful to others. The younglings, however, found it delightful and went about scampering through tree limbs, as the settlement of Eryn-galen rang with the silvery strains of music. The sun had fallen behind the hill as Thranduil watched it from his balcony, the first stars beginning to appear in the violet twilight. The river from this view ran on and on, like a thread of silver. And where was Galadhen? The healer had ever joined him in the evening, especially during the festival spirit, and they often shared a sip of wine. Yet tonight as the night before, Galadhen had slipped away unseen. There was something brewing in the air - encroaching into his mind.

Elen'dae on the other hand caught a glance of the healer slipping off and had sighed. "He really does have a death wish..." he said, ignoring the situation all together. He had put Ithil back into her stall and wandered slowly back into Thranduil's palace. Glorfindel put a cup of Thranduil's good 2nd ager in his hands and sat down by the fire. "Come sit down and stop being a pouting fool..." Glorfindel said.

"Thranduil's consort has a death wish.."

Thranduil growled and looked over his shoulder toward the irritating Noldo, though he did sip at the wine he held.  “Galadhen has no desire to die. but, for my part, I am concerned. He is not a brooding sort, but he has barely been seen anywhere since Elen'dae arrived. Do you know what your companion may have spoken to him?”

Glorfindel sighed. "Elen'dae, what did you say to him..." he said softly. "Because I know you did say something..."

Elen'dae downed the glass, "I told him that I hated the Avari...and I do...because hey, most of them ruined my life..."

“There is always credibility for Galadhen, Avar or not,” Thranduil countered sharply, turning full to look toward the other of his guests, the grey-green eyes icy cold. “He has high respect from all, and he has earned it. His position in the court is because of his loyalty to me in times of need and he deserves more praise than you or any Noldo whose business is to destroy all in their path. In my opinion, he is a fool to care for your wellbeing, but he does, and he is not to be thrown lightly!”

Elen'dae rolled his eyes, "Thranduil...if it were up to you, you'd have the Noldor entirely killed off. But ya know what, Silvan's aren't so perfect either. They're greedy and vicious and all most of them want is a good lay. Keep in mind Thranduil the only reason you ARE NOT up to your neck in ORCS is because I came in here and FIXED it for you!" He said, setting the glass down.

“For which I am grateful. But it not on my own behalf for which I despise you now.”  Thranduil snorted, as though slightly disgusted, and then poured himself another glass of wine quietly.

Glorfindel sighed. "This entire argument comes back to one person. If you really hate him so much, why don't you find him and take your anger out on him instead of us..." the blonde said.

"Because, you people are here...if not for that bitch, Maglor would have been mine...:"

Thranduil glanced skyward, his ear twitching in annoyance and he turned his back to Elen'dae, ignoring him, unintimidated.

Glorfindel sighed and Elen'dae stood up. "I'm going for a walk..." he replied, making for the door.

"We won't follow you..." Glorfindel said. Elen'dae grabbed his sword and closed the door behind him, making for a nice good long walk in the woods.

 

*

 

The evening air Galadhen found pleasant and cool, as he gathered up the books beyond the edge of the halls. Tucking them under one arm, he bent to grasp the last one, then paused. Eyes narrowed; he scented. Nothing. Then the slender hand caught the last book, and Galadhen began the small trek back into the halls, to stow away the precious pieces of history in his arms. He paused again. It was the same as before, a fleeting sound, as that of a bat's wing. His heart was audible in his ears, a fluttering quick beat, a small element of fear rising without his truly knowing why. Perhaps it was the forest telling him....

He turned and circled, the dark trees closing in over him, their shadows spinning in his mind and clawing at his heart. I am imagining... I must go, he whispered to himself and took a quick step back.

Galadhen fought the urge to run, though he moved quickly, but not quick enough. No sooner than he passed the oak tree than an arm snatched around his neck, crushing him against a hard male Eldarin body. A hand clamped his mouth to muffle his cry and the steely kiss of a blade dug lightly into his throat. “Well well. Tredorn Cianarion. or are you Galadhen to everyone now?” cooed a quiet voice to his ear. It sent a chil through him; he knew the voice... it was the voice that brought pain in his memories, soft and horrifying.

His eyes closing, Galadhen whispered as the hand fell to clutch his hip. “Let me go, or by Eru, I shall have every warrior in Eryn-galen here.”

 

*

 

Elen'dae stood on a hill and looked up at the stars. Ereinion's star. He fell back against the ground and sighed deeply. "Aiya....Ereinion...what has become of me?" he asked softly. "I loved you...and I didn't love you. I loved Celebrimbor and I didn't love him either...I love Maglor and I hate him. Why will I not let this go. Why must I hold this grudge, why must I love someone I can never have?" he sighed after a moment. "Why did you have to die? Why couldn't I have been strong enough to hold that BASTARD off..." he whispered.

Elen'dae sighed after a moment.  "Why...am I talking to stars?" he asked himself. "I won't get the answer I seek this way..." After a moment, he pushed himself up off of the ground and walked back to the palace. He twisted his head gently and narrowed his eyes.  "What in the name of...Eru..." he whispered, a weird chill in the air gently brushing it's fingers across his cheek and a very familiar feel of evil sweeping through the forest, like an animal running through his legs. He continued to walk, dashing behind a tree when he caught sight of Galadhen and his strange visitor.

“Why would I let you go? I just found you again?” the stranger laughed quietly, and spun the healer from his grasp so that he could look upon the one who now had him so closely trapped. Galadhen spun back, and tossed a bit of his hair from his eyes, looking upon a fairhaired Avar - he knew he was Avar. From his childhood, this one, but what was his name? Piercing eyes snared his own fast. And within them came, slowly, and then so rapid he could not steady himself, images. The flash of red, of hot metal. Clothes stripped from a boy. A scream as this male penetrated him without consent. Chains. Piercing eyes... “Arnaedh...” he whispered. A chill took his very soul.

“Forgotten me so soon?” Arnaedh chastened, fingering his blade.  “I thought for sure you would remember my loving flattery of you.”

Galadhen's eyes widened and body tensed, preparing to flee or fight.  “Get away from me!”

“All those years... and you do not appreciate me. “ Arnaedh offered a clicking sound with his tongue as all the hidden memories were brought to daylight. Galadhen darted; Arnaedh sprang. They both fell into the dust, until Arnaedh held the healer's arms pinned painfully above his head and pressed down with the weight of his body. “Yield to me,” he murmured darkly into a delicate ear. “To my desire, and I may spare you torment.”

Tredorn's teeth bared themselves slightly with a soft snarl borne of fear and desperation. “Get away from me!” he shrieked louder, and struggled, a cry escaping him.  “Help!!”  A hand lashed his face, with a strength greater than he could have anticipated, and stunned him.

Elen'dae's eyes slowly widened as he felt the familiar sting of Narya on his finger. The ring of fire tied to Gorthaur's ring of power. Elen'dae smirked, it was time to exact his revenge on the prince of gifts. "Well, well, well..." he purred, stepping out from behind his tree. "It apparently seems like you can't stay away from Eryn-galen, can you?" he asked. "So...what poor dead soul's skin are you wearing now?" he asked.

Arnaedh darted to his feet, facing the Noldo for a moment, then a sadistic smile crossed his handsome features and he drew his sword.  “Elen'dae Ner'sil. How pleasant to see you are still not dead after I slaughtered all of your lovers. Should thought you to have shriveled by now.”  He hardened then in manner, leaning cockily to one hip.  “And you are not. And coming to the rescue of this pathetic creature. You need not waste your time rescuing whores.”

"I should gut you and nail your head on a stick outside my door...but then again...I really don't want the head of some elf outside my door. I want yours. Your real head..." he said, walking forward. He purred dangerously. "The difference, Annatar...between you and me is that YOU were the one coming to the doorstep of MY Iron palace in Angmar to ask for my assistance..." he said.  "You grovel at my feet, I don't grovel at yours..." He licked his lips and continued forward. Shoving the other elf into a tree and held him there. "You know, blonde is a good look for you..."

Gorthaur eyed him with disgust, then shoved him back, spinning around, and drawing his blade up before him, as it hummed with his power, creating a barrier between he and Elen'dae. “You will grovel before me... the way you did when you wept as Ereinion's body lay burning.”  He smiled then, and his eyes moved down Galadhen's frame.  “But I am here now only to collect what is mine.”

Elen'dae smirked. "No, I don't think so." He rolled his eyes and drew his sword, a strange black blade that never looked clean of blood, whether it was or not. "You amateur..." he said, slamming the sword through the barrier and thus, dispelling it. "You are nothing more than a maia who has to keep stealing the bodies of others in order to stay alive...so much like my own demon that I'm surprised you two have no relation..." Elen'dae looked at Galadhen then, watching the near terrified grey eyes of the persistant little healer, he softened for a moment. "I'm sorry...I can't let you take him..."

Gorthaur stepped back.  “I will deal with you soon enough when my full strength is gathered and this weak mortal body does not sway me. You will bend before me as you did when I struck your sword from your hand,” he answered, his voice silken again.  “As for him,” he snorted toward Galadhen, who lay frozen in shock and the horrors of his own mind.  “He is no concern of yours.”  The maia smiled again then, coldly.  “And if he is, better yet when you hear his screams as I make his body writhe for me. He is a catch isn't he? Hair so dark as the twilight sky and silken, eyes of pale grey and skin smooth and supple to the touch. No doubt you have noted him.”

Elen'dae coiled his whip around the Maia's neck and yanked it tightly. Holding it he snarled lightly, "get out of Eryn Galen...before I have to throw you out like I did the last time.  And anyone you mess with is a concern of mine. So get out. Don't let me see your face back here again, or I will destroy you...no matter what body you have.”

The Maia scoffed and snapped the whip with the edge of his sword, tossing it aside like fiery lace. “Oh, I will be back. When you lay souring in your bed, I will be back.” He withdrew then, into the darkness of the trees as though he were one of them.

"I look forward to it..." Elen’dae purred at him.

Galadhen slid up, silent, preparing to flee again, quiet fear now of Elen'dae in his eyes. If they were to both pursue him... now that he knew what he knew... “What are you?” he whispered.

 Elen'dae made no move towards him, just sat down in the grass. "I'm a lot of things...a lot of dangerous things that a lot of people are very afraid of. For one...I'm at least a quarter vampyre...or have some blood of it in me. I'm possessed by a blood demon named Agarwaen that I usually have control of and I'm a sorcerer with the element of fire at my fingertips. I'm also a broken soul who has had many many people killed by others just to get to me. Ereinion, Celebrimbor, Glorfindel, Ecthelion, Turgon..." he whispered.  "And one that I loved more than anyone whom I can never have...you can't fix me Galadhen...so give up before I somehow kill you too."

Galadhen turned his face away, listening but not willing for the thoughts and fears to be so easily seen by Elen'dae of all people.  “Why save me,” he whispered.  “You wanted to kill me.”

"No, I wanted you to leave me alone.  Most people who get involved with me end up dying horrible gruesome deaths. I don't want your blood on my hands..." he whispered, brushing his fingers through his hair. "And I just couldn't let him take you..."  He leaned back in the grass and rolled to his side. He shivered and hid the tears behind his hair.

Galadhen did look toward him this time, and slid forward slowly, afraid to touch him, but the healer's heart in him was winning the battle against his own fears.  “I have nothing to lose... nothing to live for but life itself.”  His voice remained soft as before.  “I do not think you are hopelessly lost.”  His voice fell to a bare whisper.

Elen’dae breath stilled for a moment and he looked up at the healer, wide crimson eyes blinking softly. "You...don't?" he asked, for a moment a bit of that child so lost resurfacing. "Why? Everyone that I love, they die...horrible deaths...." he whispered.

“No.” he answered, soft and grave, as slender fingers slipped forward and brushed a tear from Elen'dae's cheek.  “If you had lost every hope in life you ever had you would not still live now.”

"I've tried to kill myself...several times...Glorfindel always happens to show up and stop me. Stupid blonde..."  Elen'dae leaned against the caress of fingers as a few more slipped from his crimson eyes. No one had ever been so kind to him, no one had ever offered affection to his tortured soul. He thought he had shed enough tears for his sorrow, but it seemed not so.

Fears and worries surfaced from before of those same eyes that had earlier been hard and cold, and the kiss promising death. Galadhen did not know if he ought do this; he could not trust the change of personalities... but despite his own trauma of the evening, the healer caught another few tears, and then curled his arms around Elen'dae and brought his head against his shoulder gently.

Elen'dae nestled his face into his shoulder and sighed deeply. "I'm sorry...if I scared you..." he whispered, a shaky breath slipping past his lips. "Valar..." He brushed his fingers through the healer's hair and sighed softly again. "Galadhen..." he asked slowly.  "Can I...kiss you?" he asked, whispering nervously into the healer's ear.

Galadhen dared not breathe for a moment. Now he wished to kiss him..? Elen'dae was surely insane now, having crossed from killing to kissing, and following good sense and reason, Galadhen would not be here now. But the soft voice and touch of fingers in his hair as he allowed no others to touch him made him shiver and the word came.  “Yes.”

The crossblood shivered softly against him and gently touched his lips to the healer's, shifting gently. It was a soft kiss, perhaps something Elen'dae had never even felt himself give to another, not since Maglor. He shivered and left his lips there, before he pulled back and leaned his head against his neck. The Avar slipped slender fingers through the dark hair, clinging to Elen'dae to give support from his own strength, as the tip of his tongue touched his own lips lightly, tasting. He felt oddly now... and all the more afraid.

Elen'dae shifted and licked his own lips, nuzzling into his soft warm throat. He purred against him though, taking a deep breath. Fingers curled into the soft dark hair and held gently. "Mmmm...."

“Elen'dae...” Galadhen whispered, and shifted then, brushing fingers along the lips of the lord who could frighten any creature with wits about them, then he pressed a soft kiss to his lips again, enjoying the pleasantly new sensation.

Elen'dae licked the healer's fingers, nipping gently at a nail. He purred softly and kissed him back, gently, sweetly. He brushed his fingers over the point of an elven ear and licked over his lips, slowly. Glorfindel peered slowly from behind a tree and raised an eyebrow, before he turned around and walked off to tell Thranduil his consort was okay.

A soft sound of delight escaped Galadhen, though he pressed no closer but to frame the angular face between his hands, his thumbs stroking over his cheekbones softly as his lips parted.  Then as sudden as it began, it ended with a soft gasp, and shift away from the kiss, fingers touching against Elen'dae's lips.  “I... think we should go in...” he spoke very carefully, quiet, not quite willing to allow his body dominance over his mind, though he felt oddly flushed by such a simple thing.

Elen'dae licked his lips and curled his fingers gently into the soft dark hair of the silvan healer. "You're beautiful..." he whispered, "but I suppose you hear that all the time..." he smiled at him and kissed the tip of his nose.

“Thank you...” he answered quietly, and then a small smile twitched at the corners of his mouth, a rare smile, possibly for the first since he had spoken to Elen'dae toward him. Then he feathered kisses at the halfblooded Noldo's cheeks, and the corners of his mouth, choosing to brush aside the concerns that tomorrow come daylight Elen'dae would likely change yet again.

Elen'dae touched his fingers down the neck of the healer and shivered.  "Mmm.." he whispered, curling his fingers around the curl of his ear. "Aiya..." he purred at him, nibbling on his lips, he kissed him again, sliding his arms around his waist.

“Is it your intent to seduce me or... is this... spontaneous?” flitted up a witty comment past the Avar’s lips, as his eyes were veiled by dark lashes and he bared his throat slightly, then melted into Elen'dae's kiss, sliding his arms gently around his neck.

"I'm not seducing you..." he whispered. "I'm loving you.." Elen'dae whispered against his lips. He slipped his fingers through his hair and tangled them, purring gently. "Valar...Galadhen..." his breath a ghost upon his lips.

There was no reply to this as the breath left him, and their lips parted, his nose brushing Elen'dae's instead. He pressed his chest to the other's, and kissed him soft and touching his tongue to Elen'dae's lips, a small sound caught in his throat.

Elen'dae smiled softly. "Do you want to go in?" he asked, "or stay out here?"

Galadhen smiled slightly and drew himself up to his feet.  “May we go in?”

 

*

 

Glorfindel whistled lightly as he walked back into Thranduil's chambers. "I found your healer, Thrandy...and don't worry about him. He's just fine..." Glorfindel said with a perverted smirk.

Thranduil glanced up from the manuscript he was reading on his bed.  “Your knock is getting very weak, Glorfindel o Imladris.”  Then he sharpened.  “Where is he?”

"Out in the courtyard..." he said, "with Elen'dae..."

“Elen'dae had better not lay a word or hand to him. If he harms Galadhen, I shall most cetainly harm him!” The Silvan aran rose tall to his feet.

"I don't think he's harming him, not from what I saw..." Glorfindel said.

“What are they doing then!” Thranduil demanded, his voice clipped to keep his volume depleted tolerably.

"Kissing..." Glorfindel said. "And touching..."

Thranduil's first expression was that of shock, then anger, then it slid to disbelief, and steely green eyes narrowed.  “Do not play games, Glorfindel!”

"I'm not..." he replied. "Galadhen's letting Elen'dae kiss him.  It's really rather cute actually..."

Thranduil blinked once, and then shoved Glorfindel aside with a hand to his chest, moving swiftly to the doorway. “Stay away from my wine! Galadhen is not a courtesan to be kissed!”

"I am NOT DRUNK THRANDUIL OROPHERION!!!" he yelled, "don't believe me? Go out and see for yourself!"

“I shall! he shouted back, and stalked down the hallway and onto the large balcony, looking down below into the courtyard. he scanned it, and even in the dappled moonlight, he knew he could see well enough to glimpse a figure there. “There is no-one in the courtyard,” he announced as he returned to his chambers.

"They were just there!!" Glorfindel said, growling a bit. "Why would I make something like that up?"

Thranduil snorted in answer, then paused for a beat of silence, glancing back over his shoulder. “And if I choose to believe you, where would they be now?”

"I don't know..." he said, "Elen'dae's chambers?"

 

*

 

Galadhen withdrew from Elen'dae, ever keeping the corner of his eye upon him.  “Would you mind waiting while I clean myself in my chambers?” he inquired.

"Sure..." the other whispered. He licked over his lips and kissed the healer once more before he let him go.

Galadhen brushed his tongue across his lips, then slipped into his chambers. When inside he shivered and looked skyward. “Ai, Eru...”  Glancing across his shoulder toward the doorway, he moved into the bathing room. Once inside, his loosened his hair from the braid and felt it fall around him. He stripped slowly, and tossed aside the clothes, taking a moment to order his thoughts properly and rein himslf back into submission to his mind.

He splashed himself again, and wrapped a thin silver silk robe around his body, as the damp healer sought more comfortable evening clothing.  There came a quiet sound from the balcony, but this time he spun, and sure enough there was the body of Arnaedh and spirit of the dark lord.  “You remember me now, don't you?”

Galadhen's eyes narrowed.  “I am no longer yours!”

Gorthaur snorted as he approached him.  “Of course you are.”  He snatched the healer's arm then, catching his hands behind his back with one of his own, then his second hand teased up the inside of Galadhen's thigh.  “As long as you wear this, you are mine.” He murmured quietly and brushed the scar.

Galadhen flinched.

“Oh but I see you are already slightly interested... in the bastard Elen'dae no doubt.” He teased his fingers across his naked groin, making the healer gasp in guilty pleasure.

Galadhen was about to cry out, when Arnaedh's head snapped up then like a startled deer, and he released the Avar.  “I will be back for you,” he hissed and fled to the sound of approaching footsteps.

Elen'dae knocked at the door, "Galadhen...are you okay?" he asked, leaning his ear against the door. He touched the handle of the door. "Galadhen...answer me...I don't like this...."

Galadhen drew the robe tightly around him and opened the latch on the door, fighting a trembling he hoped that Elen'dae did not see.  “I... I am fine,” he answered quietly.

Elen'dae scanned his eyes over the healer and reached out to touch his cheek gently, brushing his fingers over his lips he looked inside his chambers. "I thought...I felt...something..."

“So did I... for a moment,” he murmured quietly, his eyes closing and lips brushing the fingers, then he stepped back.  “I haven't had the chance to dress yet... excuse me...”

Elen'dae let his hand drop and stood outside the door, he sighed and parted his lips to breath. "Valar..." he said softly. "Why was Gorthaur so interested in him...and that comment was clear off the chart...whore? That healer's too quiet to be a whore..."

Galadhen chose a soft velvet nightshirt that was somewhat looser on the slim frame, then a pair of leggings, of the same material, then he opened the door.  “Come?”

Elen'dae nodded and opened the door, walking into the room, he pulled it lazily closed behind him, so lazily that it didn't entirely close. The crossblood slipped his arms back around his waist and kissed him deeply on the mouth, curling his fingers through his hair. "Mmm..." he whispered, touching his face softly.

Galadhen made a sound that was nearly a protest as such an unashamed kiss after such a short acquaintence, then he kissed him back deeply, brushing his tongue to Elen'dae's softly, shivers moving through his body and making each nerve tingle alive. He slipped hands into the black hair, leaning into the aran.  Elen'dae slid his hands down his sides and whimpered gently. "Mmm...Valar..." he whispered against his lips, shifting. He held his hips and slowly moved in a grinding motion against his groin. He curled his fingers into his hair and whimpered gently. "Galadhen..." he whimpered.

The Avar shuddered and ground himself back, then his head tipped back with a moan. “Elen'dae...” He could not find it in himself to tell him he was afraid of what might ensue. He did not give of himself lightly, and thus never, but he doubted he could escape being taken to bed by Elen'dae this night. He could not contol the fire welling up insistently in his body. Losing balance, he flung a hand out, steadying himself on the bed, and then fell back entirely, the aran on top of him, as he kissed the corners of his mouth and his lips again.

Elen'dae pulled his clothes off and dropped them in a pile by the bed. He pulled at the ties to the nightshirt and opened it. He moved down and kissed at his lips, licking over his mouth just a bit. "Mmmm...." he whispered. He made a soft noise and wrapped his lips around a nipple, licking at it gently.

Galadhen quivered quietly as cool air brushed skin now exposed again to the air and to the mouth teasing him so skillfully. He offered a quiet mew, his back arching slightly and fingers tightening in the raven-dark hair, the horrific thought that Elen'dae may not even remember him after this crossing his mind yet again and making him feel oddly ill.

The crossblood suckled softly on the small pink nub and moaned gently. "Mmm..." he whispered, before he moved to the other one. He pulled at the ties of his baggy velvet leggings, continuing to suckle at his nipple. Elen'dae slipped his fingers down the sides of his body, he gripped the leggings and slowly pulled them down, dropping them in the pile on the floor.

Suddenly tensing, Galadhen's eyes flashed with a sort of fear, his thighs quickly closing to hide the mark there.  “Do not hurt me, Elen'dae...” he was no virgin, as Elen'dae would probably discover, but the fear was there.

Elen'dae leaned over him and blinked soft eyes at him. "I won't hurt you..." he said, "I promise..." He brushed his fingers between his thighs, nipping just above his hips. He slowly pushed his thighs apart and leaned his head down to take him into his mouth.

Finally slowly he let his thighs be parted, warm breath caressing Galadhen there to make him ache for attention. The moment the mouth touched him, his eyes closed and he bit his lip, allowing this touch for the sake of gaining some way to get to Elen'dae.

Elen'dae pulled away from him just as he was about to lick at him. "What in the name of Eru..." he whispered, pushing his thighs open more. "What level of power is this?" The crossblood brushed his fingers across the brand mark and watched as it gave him a shock. "Mm...how very interesting. This isn't amateur magework..." he purred gently and licked his lips, licking the tip of him as he ignored it for a moment longer.

Galadhen drew a sharp breath, at the unexpected gentleness of the pleasure, but his mind was now awhirl with want, his few thoughts scattered. His fingertips stroked the sharp curve of Elen'dae's jawline. “Aiya...”

Elen'dae dug his tongue into the tip of him and then slipped down on him. "Mmm..." he hummed around him. He brushed his fingers over his thigh and shivered, holding his hips down as he suckled on his length. He watched the healer writhe under him with his crimson gaze, licking the underside of him he purred.

Torture. The healer craved movement against the pleasing pressure, but could find none, the slick warmth of his mouth making his shudder and a fine trickle of sweat at his lower back from the tension and small struggle against the hands that held his hips. “Ai! Elen'dae!”

"Hmm?" he asked, "what? What do you want?" He slowly licked down the side of him and purred gently. "Tell me what you want..." he licked over his enterence and slowly pushed his tongue inside, licking him.

Galadhen bit off a gasp and swallowed another sound, his head tipping back into the pool of his own hair.  “Ai! El'en..” he breathed, clipping off the word in Avarin speech, and continuing with disjointed words in his native tongue.  “I want... want you...!” he finished in their common tongue finally. “And you know all too well how to have me say that!” he finished.

Elen’dae shivered gently and gripped ahold of his hips.  "Good...I was hoping you'd say that..." he said, licking over his lips. He kissed him hotly and deeply on the mouth as he slowly, very slowly slipped inside of him, so not to hurt him. "Aiya..." he whispered as he let go of his kiss. "So..tight..."

“Nnnh! Elen'dae!” The healer clung to him, his eyes glazed, then he tested himself and slid down, against him, and closing internal muscles around him. Fear was quickly being overrun. Then he kissed him hard and flexed.  Hands slid up to brush the curves of the aran's ears, rather lovingly despite himself.

Elen'dae shivered and gripped his hair with his fingers as he thrust into him. "Vanima-nin.." he whispered, suckling on the tip of his ear. He pulled near out of him before he thrust back inside, holding onto him tightly. He nipped into his neck, suckling on the flesh as he felt his release coming closer, nearer.

With each movement he moved back, and the heat quickly built until Galadhen nearly could not stand it, the edge of something approaching all too fast.  He cried out softly, nestling his ear against his mouth, his own hands sliding down Elen'dae's hip and short nails digging in there sharply.  “I can't... I'm...!”

Elen'dae purred slowly against his ear, licking over his lips. He took his hand and wrapped it around him, stroking gently, in time with his thrusts. He tipped his head back and let out a moan. He nipped into his shoulder as he released hard inside of him.   Galadhen slipped into an old manner and obediently took it, the strength of thrusts, the trickle of hot fluid inside him, but finally with an arch up, he released against Elen'dae's hand. Flushed, he lay back bonelessly and trembled.  Elen'dae licked the other's release off of his fingers and kissed him gently on the mouth.

Elen'dae pulled the covers over him and nestled against his shoulder.  "Are you alright?"

The Avar swallowed, and curled slightly, onto his side, drawing a careful breath for he felt strangely.  “I am fine...” he said finally.

Elen'dae nestled against his shoulder. "Shhh...sleep...you'll be alright..." he said, holding him tightly.

 

*

 

Meanwhile, outside, Glorfindel was doing everything in his power to keep Thranduil from bursting through the door and killing Elen'dae. "You can't...go in...there..." he said.

Thranduil finally caught Glorfindel's arm and dragged him away, struggling not to end up, himself, upon the floor.  “I have had enough of Elen'dae!”

"But you can't go in there!" he said, "Elen'dae wouldn't hurt your healer! He's not the type of person to take someone without their consent! If he and Galadhen had sex it's because Galadhen said he could!"

“He has blasphemed my father's name time and again and I have taken it,” he growled, low.  “But this I will not stand for. Elen'dae does not know what he has done!”

"And what has he done?" he asked, "do tell me?"

Thranduil snorted.  “Something far worse than you could envision. But his secrets are none of your concern.”

"Really..." Glorfindel said, letting him go. "Fine...go on, go in there..."

Oropherion's eyes narrowed at Glorfindel, then he moved toward the door and paused, watching through the crack that had been left open. Galadhen settled his head upon Elen'dae's chest, his eyes fluttering closed.  Elen'dae, brushed his fingers gently across the other's cheek and gently kissed his lips. Brushing locks of hair behind his ear, he smiled. "I think..." he whispered, "there is something you have broken through..." he said, smiling a little.

“Mmh,” Galadhen murmured softly and shifted.  “Hide me...” he whispered, stroking fingertips across his chest.  Elen'dae pulled the covers over the head of his lover and smiled. "Anything you so wish..." he said with a soft purr. He held him tightly, and kissed his lips.

Thranduil slipped back, his gaze pointed toward Glorfindel.  “Very well,” he said quietly.  “There will be better times to speak to Elen'dae.”

 Glorfindel sighed and put his hand on Thranduil's shoulder. "C'mon, let's get something to drink.."

 

***

 

Elen'dae yawned the following morning and pushed the covers back, he leaned over and nuzzled the healer gently, kissing his shoulder, before he pulled on a robe and wandered out of the door. "Morning, Glorfindel..." Elen'dae said when he passed his friend. "What are you doing up so early?" he asked.

"Eh...nothing....”  Silence.   “Careful'a Thranduil, Dae..." Glorfindel whispered.  "He's out for your head for sleeping with his healer. Personally, I think there's something o'l Thrandy isn't telling me. Perhaps he's in love with his consort..."

Elen'dae sighed.  "That's going to be very hard, because I think I fell in love with him...Galadhen...I mean..."

“What did you come out here to get anyways?" Glorfindel asked.

"Thranduil's wine..."

Glorfindel made a noise.  "You're already in enough trouble with Thranduil, I wouldn't steal his whine too..." Elen'dae sighed. "You make my life so hard, Glorfindel...." he said and started back towards the bedroom.

Galadhen murmured something soft, shivering lightly as air brushed his skin, then his eyes flitted open and the room was lit with filtered sunlight. He drew the blankets back over his shoulder, snuggling down into the bed, then sighed. There was no resting now; he felt terribly alone and for the first time it was disturbing.

He slowly peeled back the covers and slipped naked to his feet. he gathered the bathrobe of the night before and wrapped himself in it before me moved to the balcony and drew the drapes back, stepping out into the sun of a pale morning. he drew a deep breath and smiled slowly. He scented of Elen'dae heavily, and it was comforting for the present.

Galadhen stretched and drew his arms tight around himself. There came the click open of his bedroom door, and of all people, startlingly enough it was the aran. Galadhen stepped back inside, wrapping the robe tighter around himself with a courteous bow. “Aran anim.”

Thranduil smiled faintly and bowed his head.  “Are you well?”

“I am, yes,” Galadhen answered, then studied his friend and slipped past him to stretch down in a sit upon the bed.  “What disturbs you, Thranduil?”

Their gazes met, humor fading in grey-green eyes.  “Elen'dae. I know about last night.”

Elen'dae found the door half open and he looked inside. "Hmm..." he said gently, listening in on the conversation.

The master healer glanced down and back.  “Rest assured that I am well. 'Tis my body is it not?”

Thranduil paced a step away. “Yes... but you are not one to give or yourself lightly. I could as your aran withdraw you from him but I shall not.”

“In this case, I would not obey, mellon,” Galadhen answered, quiet and steady.  Thranduil turned sharply and the Avar continued.  “I do recall you spoke similar words the night you met Gilwing. 'Tis my place alone, and nothing more of it am I free to speak.”

Elen'dae sighed softly and brushed his fingers through his hair. "Come out of there, Thranduil.." he whispered, "I have questions for the healer myself..."

Thranduil glanced between them. “Elen'dae, I would speak with you this afternoon.” he said simply and then glanced at Galadhen again before he departed.

The healer drew a deep breath and laid back slowly. “What questions?”

"I found something last night..." he said softly. "And I want to know what is it..." Elen'dae shivered and breathed deeply. "Someone stuck a high level spell on the inside of your thigh, and...if...you want this relationship we have...to go any firther...then I want to know who..."

Galadhen looked away and drew the robe over the exposed part of his thigh.  “I... cannot tell you this,”  he said quietly, his voice pained, but nevertheless determined.

"Why?" he asked, "I'm not going to hurt you. I promise..." He took his hand and touched his fingers to his lips. "Please tell me..."

“Elen'dae...” he shivered and touched the soft lips, aching to tell him and terrified. Arnaedh could be near... hidden.  “I.. It...”

"You really don't need to be that worried about him..." he said, "because I'll just trounce him like I did when he was living in Dol Guldur..." Elen'dae looked back at him then.  "Why are you so worried about him?"

Galadhen shivered, his skin crawling with memories.  “He came to me last night. I lied to hide it.”

"Why does he have such an interest in you?" Elen’dae asked, brushing his fingers through his hair.

His voice fell low, his eyes staring intensely toward nothing, as his head tipped into the hand slipping through his hair, trapped.  “Why do you have such an interest in me?” he countered.

"You were kind to me.." he said, "and you didn't push me away...like so many others..."  Elen’dae shivered. "I'm alone...Galadhen...my entire family has been completely wiped out. Everyone from Finwe down...except my sister Altariel and Dwarendel. I thought that maybe...for just once...I could have someone love me...with no strings attached."

Slowly the grey eyes did lift and met Elen'dae's.  “Ages ago, a young boy was selected by a traitor named Arnaedh and his family murdered... and he was branded.”  He looked away, trembling, and the next words were a whisper. “For two thousand years he belonged to him.  It is Sauron's snake I bear, and as long as I wear it, I belong to him,” he finished, ashamed now to remember these things and recount them to one who barely knew him.

Elen'dae sighed and pulled up his robe, "I have one too...a brand mark anyways..." he said, showing a little moon on the inside of his thigh. He slipped his arms around the healer and pulled him into his lap. "A dark Avar named Athrion...kidnapped me and sold me off to a mortal king named Silivren...and I was his bed-warmer for about a good three hundred years...not so long as you...but long enough to give me a good memory wipe..."

“Elen'dae I wish he had killed me,” he whispered bitterly. “Whether on the rack or by the sword or stolen the life from me. But to take me... day after day... and rip my skin and drink my blood... to feel his seed festering deep inside my body like acid...”  A tear streamed down his cheek.

Elen'dae brushed his fingers across the healer's cheek and kissed the tears away. "I know..." he said. "What it feels like...to fight against someone who has more power than you, to scream for help even though nobody can hear you..." He touched his lips to his forehead. "To be bled to see if your blood cures wounds and makes people immortal...I know... Except for me...the torture begins when you get a half-assed rescue attempt by someone who will never love you...can never love you.”

Galadhen drew his arms about Elen'dae and buried his face in the dark hair, holding his lover of the night before to him quietly. “But as much as I wish he had killed me, I know the lives that have been saved because he did not. This is the kernal of wisdom that has kept me alive... til now.”

"I lived...because nobody would let me die..." Elen’dae said. He showed Galadhen his arms and his scars, deep as the deepest sorrow. "All these were made because I couldn't get the comfort I needed from the people who were there. I was abused...by so many people for so many years, I'm surprised that I'm still alive. And nobody would help me. Everyone was too busy with their own problems to help a mentally wounded, physically scarred elfling...not even the one who I thought cared about me the most. Sometimes I think I was better off with the mortal, at least he *pretended* he loved me..."

             “Do not speak like that.”  Galadhen drew up the hands in his own.  “I will not have you say that, not now.”  Slender fingers stroked the sharp features and then caught his chin up. Slowly, he touched soft lips to Elen'dae's, anticipating something cruel to happen.

 

Elen'dae did not, however, change into a demon. He merely whimpered a little, a few soft tears slipping from his crimson eyes. He brushed his fingers through a lock of the soft dark hair. Perhaps, this would be the end of all eternal torment for this tortured soul.

Galadhen let his lips linger softly on Elen'dae's, stroking, brushing, seemingly tasting him in the scent so near. Slender fingers slipped up and brushed away the warm, wet tears, like a mother comforting a child... almost. He knew torment. And they were bound now inescapably; the first they spoke they shared destiny, dark and uncertain though it was. It frightened the healer, deep inside, in the secret part of him even Elen'dae had not yet seen.

Elen'dae shivered against his lips and blinked back more crystal tears. The soft drops falling on the emerald sheets, soft as silk. He trembled against him, nestling his fingers into the tangle of dark chocolate hair, nuzzling his face in his shoulder. Whimpering, every wall slipping down and crumbling into dust as he just let go of everything. He heaved a shuddered sigh, sobbing gently into that warm shoulder. The shoulder of someone who wouldn't push him away, who wouldn't hurt him, who thought he was worth the time.

Slowly Galadhen pulled arms around Elen'dae, nestling his chin upon the crown of his head on the silky dark hair. Heaved breaths soothed, his own fingers trailing down the small of Elen'dae's back, as shaded grey eyes darted to the side, seeking movements in the shadows... seeking Arnaedh. Suppressing an involuntary shudder he turned his head, his eyes veiled finally by dark lashes as he touched a kiss to Elen'dae's temple.  “Shhh... You're safe here...”

Elen'dae curled against him, tighter, closer. Wanting a comfort he had lost, so very long ago. While Elen'dae was the comander of soldiers and Aran of Tirion, he was still, inside, a child who had never fully recovered from such darkness, such torment that had been enflicted upon him. He coughed and gave a angonized whine, nestled closely.  Galadhen let him remember; he could do little to stop it but to hold him here and pray for the dawn to come again to them both before they either killed one another or were destroyed by their own revelations. What angered him was the certain callous with which many spoke of Elen'dae's past. And the pity. Elen'dae was to be watched warily, and cared for, but not to be pitied, and to do so could bring more possible ruin than he wished to imagine.

Elen'dae knew the way people spoke of him, he had heard them on the edge of his sanity and most of them had gotten a good kick or two from him. The worst of all of them was his sister's husband, Celeborn of Doriath. He nestled firther into his shoulder and held him tightly, a whimper escaping his parted lips. "I should not let you love me..." he sobbed out, his breath hitched.  "People die who get close to me, horrible...horrible deaths..."

Love Elen'dae. Did he love Elen'dae...? Or were they together for survival as it had felt until this moment. Galadhen was silent for a long time, pondering slowly the words of his answer.  “I will take that chance...” he whispered, stubbornly, a safer answer for the moment.

 

 

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