Elrond copes with the loss of Gil-Galad.
They had won, Sauron vanquished, if not destroyed. The world was once again safe for now. But the cost had been so high. So many lives, both elves and men, had been lost that it left the survivors broken and worn. Worst of all, their king, the High King, had been lost.
This was a major blow to the elves, but even more so to Elrond. Gil Galad had been more than just his liege, his hero, his friend. He was his lover and the other half of his soul.
They had made such grand plans for the future. A new home for all the elves and a haven for all the races, Imladris. There they would watch over their people in peace and tranquility until the sea called them home.
As the last of the ash cooled, Elrond felt his heart squeeze tighter. There were his hopes and dreams, lying on the ground. The bitter scent of the burnt pyre made his eyes water, yet he refused to cry. He would carry on, build their haven, and honor his memory. But the scene in front of him continued to waver and swim in his sight.
Through his haze of grief and bewilderment, he had the growing feeling that Erestor was important to the future of his haven. He just did not know how to get that across to the other elf.
"Lord Erestor?" he said quietly, hoping not to startle him. His voice was rough with unshed tears and too-long days on the battlefield.
It seemed an eternity before the other elf spoke, and during that time, something caught Elrond’s eye. A small metal object. Something that had survived the fire. Something of Gil Galad’s. Elrond wished to clutch it to his heart, to keep it close. He brushed ash away with grimy fingers, it was a buckle. Simple, but beautiful.
Erestor had spoken, and he vaguely heard his own voice answer back. They talked of the future, of where they would go, At least Elrond thought they did, his heart was too caught up in the past, the past that was now only a small piece of metal in his filthy hands.
He knew he asked Erestor to join him, because that had been his plan, but the words just swam away from him as he spoke them. He seemed unable to keep his train of thought, though Erestor did not seem to notice. He too was grieving.
On impulse, he pressed the buckle into his friend’s hand. Somehow it felt right to give it to him. He heard himself tell his friend to return it to him when he joined him in Imladris.
A brief time later, Elrond and Erestor parted ways. Nothing was resolved. Nothing was right. All Elrond could do now was hope that his old friend made the right decision and came with him.
Inside his tent, away from the prying eyes of the devastated armies, Elrond collapsed onto his pallet. Bone weary, heartsick, terrified, and lonely. Those were the emotions he battled as he lay there unsleeping in the dark.
Why was it so important to him that Erestor come to Imladris? He hadn’t thought before about it, but it seemed so desperate to him at the time. True, Erestor was wise, intelligent, brave, and organized. All these things would make him an excellent advisor. He was also the only remaining blood relative of his fallen love.
Erestor was Gil Galad’s only remaining cousin. Of course that was how he had found himself in Gil Galad’s bed in the first place.
Memory took him as his eyes lost focus and the darkness swam. If it had not been for dear, sweet Erestor, he might never have even had a chance.
Elrond knew that everyone thought he was mad, lurking around the King’s hallways. Everyone but Erestor, the gentle advisor never gave him any trouble about it.
All Elrond wanted was to be close to the king. His hero, his idol, his. . . Elrond even blushed at the thought before he could even complete it. How could he even expect Gil Galad to notice him? He was the High King, and Elrond was just a silly child. A silly child that had not yet even been kissed.
This train of thought was familiar to Elrond. He thought it all the time as he sulked around the palace. He needed someone to show him the ways of love and passion before he could even entertain the idea of trying to seduce the King. But who would be willing to do that?
Almost as if it were a sign, Erestor came into view. Erestor, the King’s cousin and advisor. Erestor his friend and confidant. Surely this was the answer.
Almost falling over himself with nervousness and excitement, Elrond hurried over to the dark elf. He asked him to walk with him.
They wandered to the small garden outside of Erestor’s chambers and sat on a bench in the shade. Elrond did not know where to begin now that he had the elder elf’s attention so he let it all pour out.
He explained how he was in love and the object of his affection would never want him. He explained how he haunted the halls just hoping to catch a glimpse of him. He explained how he had never known the touch of another elf and that it made him feel inadequate.
Listening carefully, Erestor seemed lost in thought and Elrond seized the opportunity. He leaned in and kissed his friend. Just a chaste brushing of lips really. Nothing more, but it set Elrond’s blood on fire.
When Erestor returned the kiss, deepening it and firmly holding his chin, he almost spilled himself there on the spot. He could hardly believe his luck. Erestor was willing to show him what he so desperately wanted to know.
Elrond’s head was spinning as Erestor pulled him to his feet. Another passionate kiss silenced the younger elf’s questions, and he felt himself gently walked backwards into the room. The soft mattress rose up to meet him as he was lowered onto bed. He felt cool strong hands on his body; he felt hot lips caress his skin. Before he knew it, they both lay naked, sweating and moaning.
Another long deep kiss and Erestor’s hand slid slowly around from the small of Elrond’s back to the front. One slow stroke with long elegant fingers and Elrond gasped and bucked, his seed spilling between them.
Cheeks flushed with shame, he tried to sit up and find his clothes, but Erestor was calm and simply pulled him back down for another kiss. Relieved, Elrond surged forward and felt their teeth click together as he pushed too hard.
Again, Erestor simply brushed this off and continued his exploration of Elrond’s body.
Minutes, or hours passed. Feelings and sensations that Elrond had never guessed could even exist flowed through him. It was overwhelming him, consuming him, and all he could think was that it would be even better with Gil Galad.
Slowly he woke. Erestor slept gently next to him. It was time to go.
Without a sound, Elrond gathered his clothes and slipped out through the garden. He was grateful for what Erestor had given him, and eager to put some of his new-found knowledge to the test.
He needed to find Gil Galad.
Elrond stopped the train of thought. It was too painful to remember his first night with the High King. Not now. Not when the loss was so fresh, so raw. But his memory of the night with his friend had stirred his body and he vainly tried to ignore it.
This was going to be a long night.
Dawn came cold and clear. The camp stirred to life around him, and Elrond was swept up in the frantic movement of those left living. Move. Do. Order. Don’t think.
All the elves that were coming with him had assembled themselves near the road. It was time to move. Sadly, Elrond scanned the faces in front of him. Erestor had not appeared.
It was time to go.
And they did. The elves moved on, and struggled to build a new home and a new place for themselves in this world that no longer needed them. The sadness and loneliness grew in Elrond, until he thought he could take it no longer.
That night he sat alone, drinking dwarvish spirits and thinking. He had so hoped for Erestor to come to him. The other advisors did what they could, but he needed his old friend more than ever now.
Looking up, he saw a familiar face approaching. At first he thought it a byproduct of the strong drink and wishful thinking, but the elf soon came to stand before him. The beautiful raven hair was bound behind, but there was no doubt in Elrond’s mind that this was real. A flash of bright metal caught his eye. Erestor had brought the buckle.
Without another thought he threw himself into his friend’s arms. “Erestor!” He sobbed. “You’re here.” The chill in his chest eased a little. Maybe things would be all right after all.