|JRR Tolkien – The Sons of Elrond, Fic #63: Prospects, 073: Light
||[Sep. 30th, 2016|01:19 pm]
The Ultimate FanFic Challenge!
Fandom: JRR Tolkien
Characters: Elrohir/Legolas, Elladan, Gimli
Prompt: 073. Light
Word Count: 1,504
Disclaimer: The characters belong to the wizard of storytelling himself, JRR Tolkien and/or his estate. No offense is intended or profit made in my use of them.
Summary: Middle-earth emerges from under the shadow. Part 52 of Prior Claim.
The signs of death’s passage were everywhere. The Pelennor appeared a ghastly patchwork of churned earth, ruined homesteads, trodden grass stained with ichor and charred hollows where the dead had been burned lest corpse-spawned diseases ravaged the city further. Weeping and wailing could be heard whilst one walked down the streets as Minas Tirith mourned her dead. And the air reeked of blood and rot and foul smoke alongside the sour stink of stale sweat and unwashed flesh as men labored to clear the sprawling, once verdant field of the detritus of battle.
Yet for the brethren Elladan and Elrohir, though they stood amidst carnage and destruction, none of these could dampen their spirits. Or snatch away their joy.
Sauron was overthrown. Middle-earth was free of the shadow
Granted, the final push against the Enemy had been costly. The number of widows and orphans had increased drastically in the wake of the fight before the walls of Mordor. They had been so outnumbered it was a miracle any had lived to tell their tale, let alone the surprising number of soldiers who had survived and returned to their homes and families.
It had been a last-ditch gambit to draw Sauron’s attention away from the two Hobbits who doggedly trudged their way into the very heart of that black kingdom. A desperate sacrifice that at the last had been worth every drop of blood shed and every moment of torment suffered. Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee had achieved the near impossible and cast the One Ring into the fires where it was forged an age ago.
The Free Peoples of Middle-earth had triumphed against all odds—Mirkwood, Erebor and Lothlorien’s valiant folk in the north and in the south, the Men of the West and the doughty horse lords of Rohan.
Neither Elladan nor Elrohir could foresee what tomorrow held for the land of their births. While the veil concealing the future would occasionally part to allow them a glimpse of what was to be, there was no absolute certitude of it. Only Eru almighty knew what lay in store for every one of his children.
It did not matter. The ever-looming darkness was vanquished and imminent ruin and despair banished. True, ruin and despair could never truly be eliminated. But now Middle-earth’s folk need not live in constant fear that their very lives could be snuffed out on the say-so of a soulless despot.
Elladan sighed and motioned to his brother to follow him back to the city.
“Estel’s account of our victory will have reached Imladris by now,’ he said. “The goshawk bearing his letter is strong and fleet. Father will doubtless set out as soon as possible.”
“With Arwen,” Elrohir softly added.
“With Arwen,” Elladan echoed, his tone resigned. He shook his head. “I am happy for them.”
“As am I. But we will lose yet another loved one and that merits some grief on our part. Thank Eru we shall see our dear mother again.”
“Bearing news of our sister’s choice. I do not think I am strong enough.”
“It will fall to Father. Such wretched duties always have.” Elrohir looked up at the clear skies, now unobscured by the unnatural darkness of Mordor’s sickly vapors. “How strange that ’tis our sister’s chosen path which now dims some of the brightness of victory.”
“Not so strange. Your family will be rent until the end of time.”
Elrohir smiled as Legolas came through the ruined gate to meet them, Gimli at his side. He would never fail to marvel each time he beheld his mate’s incandescent beauty and masculine grace. He would always hearken to Legolas’ strength and courage and, yea, even his pride. His stubborn, sometimes exasperating pride. But that was as much a part of what drew him to Legolas as all his other considerable virtues. Would he have fallen as hard and deeply in love with the forest prince otherwise? Elrohir doubted it.
Legolas drew him into the circle of his arms and kissed him lingeringly. The Wood-elf no longer hid what they shared. He simply ignored the startled stares and occasional glares of disgust or suspicion that greeted any open display of affection between them. He had come a long way from the secretive Elf whose main desire was to do his duty to king and country.
Elrohir smiled into the kiss, the sting of disapproval by the ignorant many or bigoted few soothed by his mate’s unrestrained loving.
He noticed Gimli eyeing a scowling noble with such malevolence that the man paled and scurried off. Legolas’ mouth curve into a grin that indicated he was delighted with his good friend’s defense of their embrace.
“When think you will they arrive?” Legolas asked at length, one hand firmly on Elrohir’s hip.
“Not later than Mid-year’s Day,” Elladan replied. “They will travel swiftly and even if they sojourn in the Golden Wood, that will not delay them much.”
Gimli perked up. “The Golden Wood? And will the Lord and Lady come here as well?”
“Most assuredly,” Elrohir replied. “They would not miss Estel and Arwen’s wedding for all the mithril in Khazad-dûm.”
Gimli beamed with pleasure upon hearing the Dwarvish name of his people’s greatest stronghold uttered by an Elf. “That is good to know. Minas Tirith will be twice blessed when the Lady and your sister arrive.” He glanced up and squinted. “Is it just me or is it overly warm and bright today?”
“Nay, it is only that the sun now shines freely upon us,” Legolas said. “Sauron’s murk is no more.”
The city bells began to chime the midday hour. Gimli patted his belly and announced, “I am for the dining hall. Best to get my fill before those dratted Hobbits show up for their third breakfast or second nuncheon.”
“Or first lunch,” Legolas added jovially.
With a grunt of agreement, Gimli strode back into the city at a brisk pace. The Elves chuckled, not the least surprised by his haste. The Halflings’ collective appetite and consumption of food easily rivaled that of the Dwarves. It was a wonder they had not yet eaten Aragorn out of house and home considering the post-war rationing Gondor was currently subject to.
The twins made to follow him but Legolas caught Elrohir’s hand and held him back. Elrohir motioned to Elladan to go on before turning a questioning gaze on his mate.
“Is something wrong?”
“Nay. That is, not unless you deem what I have to say an evil.”
Elrohir raised his eyebrows in some puzzlement but he only nodded to Legolas to continue.
“Would you be angry with me were I to travel about with Gimli when we leave for home?” Legolas asked with uncharacteristic sheepishness.
“Travel about? Where—”
“Fangorn first and then perhaps farther east. Gimli challenged me to visit the Glittering Caves with him when we journey to Rohan. In return, he must explore Fangorn with me. I would dearly like to see his face when he wanders amongst the trees and especially when we encounter the Ents again.”
Elrohir sensed the anxiety coming off Legolas. His mate was actually nervous that he might have displeased him.
“How long will you be gone?” he asked.
“A year at most.” Elrohir’s expression must have changed because Legolas quickly amended his reply with a hasty, “But we can make it six months if that is too long.”
Warmth filled Elrohir’s heart at this evidence of the archer’s desire not to foist any more distress on him. Looking fondly at him, he pressed a finger against his spouse’s lips to shush him.
“Take your year, beloved,” he murmured. “This is your chance to indulge the wanderlust you’ve repressed for so long. I will be there when you return.”
Legolas exhaled a tad shakily. “I was so sure you would not…” He pulled Elrohir close until their foreheads touched. “You continue to indulge me when ’tis I who should be making amends for my neglect of your needs.”
“You have made amends.”
“Not enough. Not yet.”
Legolas raised his hands and cupped Elrohir’s face. His eyes conveyed such love and devotion, Elrohir felt quite breathless from the intensity of his gaze.
“You are as air and water to me, Elrohir nín. I wonder that I managed to live so long without you at my side. Or mayhap all I did was exist these many years.” He pressed their mouths together briefly. “In truth, a year apart from you is all I can bear,” he whispered against Elrohir’s lips. “I pray you will not resent having to wait for me this one last time.”
Elrohir smiled. “You are mine now, as I am yours. My waiting will not feel as if in vain for I know you will come home to me.”
He pulled away and drew Legolas’ arm through his. They walked together into the city.
High above, the sun continued to shine upon the land, bringing light, comfort and warmth where once malice, fear and darkness had reigned.
mithril - true-silver
Elrohir nín – my Elrohir/my Elf-knight
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