This is another story. The characters are as per usual not mine. You knew that. I don't know where this story came from. Well I do. I was thinking with my other Celebrian story that she had to be a bit special, a bit tougher than average to even get through this. Which is why I made her as she was there. Then I thought I'd write this. It was supposed to be one chapter but I can see now that it'll be longer. It isn't the type of thing I normally write so sorry if its rubbish.



She was lying on damp rock but she did not care. The roughness cut into her cheek and stung her raw grazes but she no longer had the spirit to move. She could not tell how long she had been lying here, still in the position in which she had hit the ground, watching foul smelling water drip from the algae lined streams on the walls. She wished that she could cry or sleep. Anything to break the nothingness that had enveloped her. But her body seemed to have gone beyond that. The pain from her wounds seemed insignificant now, all there was left to do was lie in the earthy smelling gloom watching as the trickle of water ran down the roughly hewn rocks and pooled on the floor, soaking through the tattered remains of her garments.

~*~

Somewhere there was disturbance. Shouts, clanging of metal, shrieks of pain. Maybe she should turn, but she could not face looking at them. Maybe she should look for a chance to escape, but there would be no hiding - not from this.

Rough hands seized her dragging her limp body to her feet. Her arm caught on the rough edge of a mail shirt. The tearing should have hurt, but strangely she felt nothing, instead watching in a detached manner as the deep red liquid welled up around the wound and trickled down her arm. The shouting was too loud now, bodies jostling past, too many faces lit only by a pale flame.

They were trying to take her somewhere. Dragging her against the rush, deeper into the shadows and slime covered tunnels. She did not want this, not again. It could not happen. Even death was better than this. Using her last ounce of strength she attempted the only defence available to her and dropped to her knees, landing on the floor with a crack, but mercifully free from the damp scaly hands.

Dazed from her fall she flinched back as claw-like hands reached for her, they must not touch her. Finally just as the hand reached greedily for her shoulder it jerked back as an arrow plunged into its owner's chest. Desperately she managed to drag herself into a corner, away from the trampling feet of the swiftly decreasing numbers of orcs.

~*~

The figure was only a shadow urgently letting arrows fly and swiping at closer opponents with a double-handed grip on his sword. Although it was dark she knew it was Elladan. The motions, the energy and the deathly silence as he fought were all his.

When had he grown into this? He was still her son, still a child. The cuddly elfling had never had any of this brutality or anger. Even as a lanky young elf eager to taste battle he had never seemed this cold, this distant. It was quiet in her mind, for the first time she seemed unable to connect with him or share his feelings. Maybe because the noise of her own grief was raging so loudly in her head that it blocked out anything else. Even hope.

Suddenly the room seemed strangely quiet. The noise of battle seemed to be fading into the distance. Celebrian relaxed slightly. Finally it had come. Peace. They could not hurt her anymore.

~*~

"Ammë." The voice was both desperate and doubtful.

Celebrian reluctantly allowed her eyes to focus. The room was now empty apart from a lean figure leaping over bodies to reach her.

Elladan.

He could not see her like this. Nobody could. The shame burnt too dreadfully. Had the Valar not the mercy to grant her wish.

"Ammë!" A strong arm slipped round her back, lifting her into a sitting position. Warm liquid soaked through her clothing at one point. He was hurt. She should be helping him. Lifting the child onto the tall stools of the infirmary and cuddling him as she daubed on the ointment. But she could not even make eye contact.

"Ammë, I am here." Gloved fingers slipped to her neck, checking the pulse, and lifting her chin to look into his face.

When had he stopped being a boy? All of the joyfulness of youth had gone there was no laugh playing in those grey eyes. Grey eyes that he had inherited from his father. Eyes that were quickly filling with horror as he surveyed his mother.

Feebly Celebrian attempted to pull the rags of her clothing to hide her wounded body. The young face had twisted in disgust and he had sprung up from his kneeling position and had walked to a corner.

She could not go back. She could not face their disgust, their condemnation, and the shame.

The sound of retching brought her attention back to her son, who was now bent over in the corner, vomit splashing to the stone at his feet.

She should have protected him from this. She was his mother. She should never have allowed him to be exposed to the horror.

Her mouth was to dry to allow her to call his name. The attempt only produced an alien rasping noise. She was useless. He needed her and she was unable to help. How many times had she put a child to bed and sat by them, wiping their face and hands with a cloth soaked in warm fragrant water. And now when she needed to most she was unable to even place an arm around the heaving shoulders.

She had to come back. She needed to be there for them. With a desperate effort Celebrian fully opened her eyes and attempted to sit up.

"Elladan." It was a hoarse whisper but enough to make him turn and wipe his mouth on his sleeve before coming over and kneeling on the floor beside her.

"I am sorry Ammë."

A warm tear fell from his cheek onto her bare arm. Celebrian attempted to make some form of eye contact. To offer some form of comfort. She had not seen Elladan cry, not for centuries. Not since he had been so small that she had been able to pick him up for a cuddle. But now she could not even lift her hand to touch his face.

~*~

Struggling to contain his feelings Elladan unfastened the small silver brooch that fastened his cloak and wrapped the warm woollen fabric around the bruised narrow shoulders. There was something in the familiar blue eyes that bothered him. It was not that they showed pain. . . just emptiness. . .almost as if the soul had gone.

Gently lifting his mother into his arms he left the dank darkness of the cavern, hoping that neither of them should ever have cause to return.