Author: dixiedream1n PM
A different view on the golden warrior of Gondolin and Imladris. Contains an intimacy between friends normal in a nonhuman culture, but not slash.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Glorfindel - Words: 2,678 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 07-03-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3633134
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Translations at bottom of page.
He stood on the balcony and watched the rain. He was still barely under the overhang that covered half the space, but it was not truly protecting him from getting a bit wet. Yet, he did not care if he did. His mind was lost, far away, his eyes vacant and shoulder leaning against a stone pillar. His senses were tuned in to a point; he was quite aware of the soft sound and smell of the rain. It was no thunderstorm, not really. It was simply a very gray, wet day, water constantly coming from the sky but not in downpour amounts. And his mind was back, remembering over years, so very many years, remembering so many similar days... and one in particular...
It had been a day just like this. Quiet, gray. The thick layer of clouds overhead and all around had been drizzling for days, and the entire world was wet. The spirits of the four sitting within a waterproof tent were anything but dampened, however. They were playing a game, laughing as they tossed discs of colored stone into the air and tried to make them land on a particular, pre-called side. It was a game of chance to a point, but also one of skill. Yet, the competition remained friendly; the four friends had no reason to fight one another in any way.
He remembered turning to the smaller dark-haired, bright-blue-eyed male sitting beside him and teasing him for losing his concentration. His melyator had laughed and raised his hands, dropping out of the game, claiming tiredness. The blond had laughed too, softly, for he had known the true reason why his friend had left the challenge. He'd turned back to pick up the stones himself, smiling as he felt the warm, welcome weight of a dark head on his shoulder, and the shared rush of peace and contentment that they had found in this day and in each other. He'd tilted his head to touch a soft, unashamed kiss to the silky hair next to his chin, then turned his attention fully back to the other pair, green eyes snapping humor and challenge as he flicked the stones into the air, calling for two blue sides to come up - and that time, they had.
The four had spent that entire day together, enjoying each other's company, each other's laughter, and finally each other's peace as they lay nearly in the doorway of the tent, just out of the rain, and watched it come down. It was a gift, that day, that rain... they did not mind it in the slightest. At one point, as the water came down heavier for a short time, his melyator had leapt up and darted out into the deluge, turning round and round with arms outstretched and heart singing, laughing aloud, daring the others to join him. They had done so, all becoming completely soaked in little time, yet not caring, playing fierce but gentle warrior-games, tossing first sticks and then knives back and forth, testing their skills against the slippery nature of the rain. Eventually however, the pairs had split up, going back to their own tents to dry off.
He and his melyator had still been laughing, teasing one another, taunting warmly. At some point during the toweling off of themselves and each other, they had ended up in a wrestling match, rolling across the soft mats and fabrics below. His dark-haired companion had shrieked marvelously when he was tickled, he remembered with a small quirk of smile. Of course, he had then been all the more determined to get his revenge, and the pair had nearly rolled out into the mud before calling their mock-battle to a halt, panting for breath, still laughing, eyes bright with the joy of life.
He remembered rolling over to lie on his stomach with his chin propped on the backs of his hands, looking out into the rain, unashamed of his natural state of undress in the camp of only males. He remembered feeling so warm inside, as happy as he had ever been since the night he had awoken... His partner had curled onto his side beside him, running gentle fingers through golden hair, smoothing out tangles caused by the rain and wrestling. He'd leaned his head into the touch, half-closing his eyes, and finally his dearest friend had stretched out beside him, sharing joy, sharing bond, sharing contentment. He could still remember the warmth of the smaller male's skin against his own, the gentle chin that came to rest on his shoulder, the strong but slender arm that rested over his back. He had half-turned his head to meet those brilliant blue eyes that he loved so, and been granted the sweetest smile he could imagine. His own heart had filled with love in that moment, and he had returned the smile in kind, then rested his head on his hands again, resting in the peace of that day, wanting nothing else but to be where he was, with this one being whom he loved over all...
Two days later, despite the still-pouring rain, the city had been in flames. It had been an attack they had not expected, and now so many were falling. Friends, companions... tears had flown as freely as his sword as he used all his considerable skill to try to drive back the enemy, to try to save something that was good and beautiful. The battle was exhausting, terrifying, seemed endless. It would go down in history, but he had no care of that. He had been wounded, they all had, but he paid little heed. The people of the city were nearly escaped, soon the army could begin retreating to safety themselves.
Then he'd seen the flash of dark and flame within the rain, smoke-cloud parting from storm-cloud, and he screamed his melyator's name, for he was directly below. The dark-haired warrior had spun and ducked away with the agility that his litheness allowed, but the blond could not manage to breathe easier. A nameless terror was in his heart, and he'd leapt for the demon with all the power he held, a battle cry in his throat more borne of fear than anger. There had been no pride or thought of glory in him that day, as he had leapt and struck and dodged, one time not dodging quick enough as fiery talons seared into his shoulder, a scar he would wear ever after. There was no thought of heroism, and in that moment, despite his usual love for his city, his home, there was no thought of that either. He'd fought for one purpose, and one sake -- that of the slender, death-defying companion on the monster's other side, dealing out blows and blocking them with as much skill as the blond himself, and perhaps even more speed. The demon had been infuriated, roaring heat and howling flame, but the pair had slowly driven it back toward the rock face of the mountain. He had not dared to look around to see how the battle was faring, for he had one purpose in his life, to protect his dearest one, even as he himself was protected.
He still could not be certain what had gone wrong. He only remembered a flash of molten metal in the wrong place, and dark hair flying as his melyator was thrown back, landing on the rocky ground crumpled up like a piece of cloth, never to move again. He remembered the ripping agony that clawed open wounds in his mind and soul, the sudden loss of the warmth and love that had been a part of him since the second night he had been alive. He remembered the world narrowing in, the monster before him the only thing in sight. He remembered screaming, leaping to renew the attack with fury and horror and blinding pain.
He remembered waking up in the care of healers some days later. He remembered being told that he had nearly not survived his wounds. He remembered being hailed as a hero. He had not felt like a hero. He had not even wished to be a warrior at that point. The breaking of the bond he had shared all his life was a pain and grief that would not go away. He had cried more than anything, those few days he had remained. And then, one night, he had simply left. Left the praise and joy and songs of his people, left the glory, left the home he had defended, left it all. He'd taken only his sword, and disappeared without a word to any. He had wandered through the wilds of the world for years, then centuries, and finally millennia. He heard tale of the events of the world, the doings of men and elves and dwarves, only from the birds, or from travelers who knew not that there were ears listening nearby. His pain had finally faded, but he still had not wished to be known as who he was, and he therefore had hardly spoken two words to any child of Eru since he had left his ruined city.
And then one day he had been startled in a gorge, come upon by a young male, separated from his hunting party and quite lost. The young one, not quite even adult, had stared at him with wide eyes, and he had stared back, embarrassed at being caught off guard and, at first, a bit angry at having his long solitude disturbed.
Until he had met those eyes, and his breath had caught in his throat, and a tight clenching had made itself known in his middle. The wide gaze had told him openly, without guile, that the other felt the same pull, and he had found himself coming forward, reaching out to steady the near-boy's tired horse, touching his fingers to the arm of another of his own kind for the first time in an age. The other had let him help him down, had shared his food and shelter for the night. They had spoken softly for a time, he briefly delighted to learn that the other spoke his native tongue as well as the new common one, but finally even that had faded, until all that was left were eyes in eyes... gray, these eyes, not blue, but still as captivating. And, finally, the brush of fingers curling around fingers, the opening of two souls, one young and one old, the sharing of dreams, memories, joys, fears. He had cried again that night, cried for the loss he had known, for the warmth he was beginning to find again. He had hardly realized how very, very lonely he had been until then. His kind had never been meant to be alone, and yet in the confusion of being suddenly left alone he had chosen to remain so for so very long, and for the first time he was regretting it deeply. The young one had held him with a wiry strength that was familiar, yet unique, and they had spent the rest of the night in that manner. The next morning, they had packed supplies on the bay horse, and he had guided the other out of the maze of ravines... and then followed him home.
It had rained that day too. A cool rain, a sweet rain. A healing rain.
Quietly he blinked himself back to the present, as he heard a squabble break out below. Stepping out further into the drizzle, he glanced down over the balcony edge to see two dark-haired boys, young warriors in training, rolling over and over on the ground, struggling against identical strength. Mud was quickly covering their clothing, but they seemed not to care, too lost in the shouting of only half-serious insults at once another. Briefly, he wondered what they had been arguing about this time... but he didn't call out to stop them. He knew they would not truly harm one another, they were too close for that, soul-bonded already. They were rough in play, these brothers, but he knew from past experience that eventually they would come limping in with their arms around each other, only waiting the brief space of a short bath before curling up in front of the fire to tend each other's scrapes and bruises. He could not help a small smile of fondness as he thought of them, these charges of his.
A whisper of movement behind him was his only audible warning of the approach of another, but he had felt the closing-in presence before that. He turned and retreated back under the overhang to join the one standing there, meeting concerned, gentle gray eyes with his own. He smiled, softly, reassuringly, reaching a hand up to tuck a stray strand of dark hair behind one well-formed ear. The other frowned briefly, then gave in and quirked a very small smile. The blond smiled back, feeling his heart fill with the warmth he had known so long before, and found again that night over two thousand years ago now, as he nudged his melyator - muindor, in the new tongue - inwardly, teasing gently. The gray eyes narrowed, and he lifted both of his own eyebrows slightly, playfully, his own green eyes sparkling once again with life.
Finally his friend had no choice. He had to laugh, softly. Shaking his head, the dark-haired one placed a hand against his companion's back, guiding the slightly taller warrior back indoors and closing the draperies against the rain behind them. Settling down next to the fire in the room, the blond poked at the logs briefly with a stick, until his companion came to kneel beside him, the gentle and strong hands of a healer removing his soaked tunic and then covering him in the warmth of a dry blanket. He closed his eyes and sighed quietly; he had not realized that he had spent that much time standing under the rain, but now the warm blanket and warmer hands that accompanied it were all too welcome.
"You were so still..." a soft voice whispered behind him, and his lips curved slightly upward just to hear it. "And your heart was so full of sorrow. Are you well?"
Sighing again, this time in growing contentment, he shifted position until he was leaning back against his muindor's chest, welcoming his partner's support for this moment. He tilted his head back onto a velvet-robed shoulder, and met concerned gray eyes again. He smiled as he reached up his hand to capture a bit of dark not-quite-silk between his fingers, stroking slowly down to curling, more easily tangled ends than had been owned by the other whose heart he had shared. But that was partly because this gentle-hearted yet strong one that he loved so was half human... and that fact bothered him not in the slightest.
"Pen muin?" his friend asked again, the care and concern of those eyes echoing in his tone as he spoke the language that the warrior of ancient lands had not known before coming to this place, one sign among many of the ways in which the world had changed during his long self-imposed absence from it. But the blond only smiled again, and let his fingers still.
"I am well," he answered, his own voice just as soft. He turned his forehead to rest against his companion's neck, peaceful within this intimate embrace. His eyes gazed outward, to where he could just barely see a sliver of gray sky between draperies. "I was merely thinking of rain..."
melyator - Quenya, "dear-brother", soul-bonded companion
pen muin - Sindarin, "dear one"