Carry Me to My Own
Disclaimer: I don't own anything in Tolkiens' Universe and I only write to appease my muse. No infringement intended. I try to be as accurate as possible, but also give myself some writers' leeway, changing very little and staying as close to cannon as possible.
***I am currently working on a LONG Lord of the Rings fic, which may be my last. I'm not sure if I will continue to write or upload.
Summary: Elladan returns to Gondor and the White City to see his brothers one last time.
Characters: I tried to stay true to what Tolkien wrote, but I don't know the whole story as he saw fit to tell us, so I added a bit here and there to fill in what I personally think happened. You may disagree, or agree. Either way, this story tries to keep with the timeline of Aragorn dying, Arwen leaving to die of a broken heart, and the twins, Elladan and Elrohir staying behind, choosing a mortal life and not to journey to the Undying Lands to be with Lord Elrond.
Tissue Warning: If I did my job properly, then YES, you WILL need TISSUES.
Rating: G – Hurt, angst, comfort, closure
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A sharp bitter wind wound its way through the many turns and twists of the White City. Pale gray clouds dotted the sky, occasionally winking out the brilliant sun that cast a warm glow over the landscape.
The beautiful afternoon was not celebrated on this day. No people lined the streets. No songs could be heard. No animals stirred in the quiet. Only the methodical thrumming of the wind through the apparently deserted streets could be heard.
Here, standing silently admist the ghostly town, stood a single solitary being.
Elladan, son of Elrond, and brother to Elrohir and King Elessar, stood at the bottom of a set of grand steps that led up to a large pale marble building that seemed to shine like a beacon in the blinking light of the sun. Blue gray eyes flickered tiredly up the stairs that led to the large opened wooden doors, and led into the main chamber inside.
With a sigh, the elder elf began to climb the well-kept stairs.
Time had taken its toll on the now mortal elf. His thousands of years seemed to creep up on him, settling into his bones and joints, especially over the past few years. Lines creased his face, criss-crossing and marring the once porcelain smooth skin. Flecks of gray tinted the brown on the fair beings head. His once proud squared shoulders were now slumped with weariness of the ages.
Thankfully the steps were wide, and didn't require too much strain to ascend their heights. The already fatigued elf took slow deliberate strides, his breath coming in gasps which caused a stitch in his side. He grabbed painfully at his ribs, and gasped under his breath, "Not yet. Just a little further."
He took several rattling breaths, barely enough to regain his failed composure, and returned to his laborious climb. Time stretched before him, minutes ticked by, faster than it ever did when compared by immortals.
When he reached the summit, he stood for a moment, straightening up into a dignified manner and looked at the familiar structure. White, pristine walls were slightly cracked from the pressure of time and the elements pounding against its high polished surface. The large oak doors, which were inlaid with designs carved and embossed with gold, looked pale and as antique as the elf standing at its threshold. The doors stood like proud sentries, guarding the chamber and its occupants within.
With his face gray with sadness, the elf stepped through the archway, and allowed his eyes to adjust to the change in light.
Elladan looked around the room, his eyes, poor in sight now in his advanced years, taking in the familiar room. A pain dully ached in his heart as he swept the interior.
The room was circular in design with cinquefoil shaped windows carved out of the marble high in the ceiling, allowing a few rays of the sun into the dimness.
Long, cold stones gleamed with iridescent shades of lavender, pink, purple, and blue. Each cradling a golden plaque upon their surface, engraved and polished brightly. Many stones surrounded a larger middle one, forming a flower design of stones that gleamed with different hues of sweeping colors with the ever-changing sunlight seeping through the high windows.
The center of the room stood a raised dais. On it rested a white oblong stone that was highly polished and pearl white, shining more brilliantly than silver, though no sunlight fell upon it.
Elladan's eyes filled with tears as he walked between two of the stone enclosures. His heart wrenched in his chest as he took in and gazed one more time on the tombs of those that passed before him. Though his vision weak from age, he could make out the elegant writing on top of the stones, engraving the names of the honored one held within.
Here lies Meriadock Brandybuck
Master of Buckland
Dear friend of King Elessar
Here lies Peregrin Took
High Counsellor of the North Kingdom
Dear friend of King Elessar
Elladan's thin fingers traced the words delicately, his face dark with sorrow. He bowed his head, then continued to the raised center stone sepulcher. When his eyes fell upon its beautiful inscripture, tears fell down his cheeks and a muffled sob escaped his lips.
Here lies Elessar Telcontar
Son of Arathorn
Son of Elrond
King of all Gondor and Arnor
Wiping his tears on the corner of his sleeve, Elladan took a step to the right of the tomb and read the inscripture engraved among golden scrolls.
Here lies Elrohir
Son of Lord Elrond
Brother to Elessar and Elladan
Elladan choked back tears as he placed his hand on his twin's tomb. "I have come back my brothers."
The stone felt cold against the elf's skin as he ran his thin hand over the elegant writing. He stretched the other hand out, touching the crypt of his human brother as well, forming a bridge between the final resting-places of his kin.
"I fear I diminish my brothers. My body grows weak. My mind grows tired. I find that I can no longer enjoy this world without you. I feel my strength slip from me as the waters that ran freely through Rivendell." The mention of the elf's former home caused a deep pain to settle into his heart, his mind filling with memories of his father and brothers, and the state of joy and happiness that was shared in the protective embrace of Rivendell, long since ruined by time and decay.
The afternoon sun pierced through the room, the rays resting perfectly on the engraved names upon the shrines of the King and his most trusted followers. Each stone facing seemed to glow, as if shining brightly for the one held within. The light was a small comfort to the troubled elf.
Elladan fell to his knees, his hands sliding down the side of the two tombs of his brothers. His head dropped to his chest as memories flooded into him.
"Elrohir, remember when we watched Father sail to the Undying Lands?" Elladan asked sadly, though knew no answering was forthcoming. "We said we would see him again, but we had vowed to remain behind. We never told him that we chose a mortal life."
Tears leaked down the elfs' face as he panted for breath, his voice choked with regret and lamentation. "I wish to see Father again. One last time. I want to tell him I love him and that I do not regret the choices I have made in this world."
His hand rubbed the lifeless stone of his Elven twin fondly. "I wish to see you again also brother. I have missed you so. Years have past since you've gone, but they feel like only yesterday to my heart."
"And you Aragorn," Elladan said, his face turning to the stone tomb that beheld his human brother. "I miss you as the mountains miss the snow that fall. When you left this world, I thought I would feel no worse heartache. But yet, that was not so."
A sharp pain hitched in the elf's throat as he still touched the crypts of his kin. His clothing was stained as he wept, his breathing ragged and harsh as sobs so deep, caused his soul to ache and grieve anew.
"I miss Arwen so badly it feels like a knife in my heart." Elladans' misty gray-blue eyes stared out into the distance, unfocused. "I can still see her face before me. So happy and loving of you, my brother." He patted Aragorn's tomb gently. "I thought her love would last through time, but alas, it could not. She could not bear this life without you and left to lands unknown, never to return. Choosing to live out her remaining time in seclusion."
Elladan gasped suddenly, his lungs aching as he sucked in air. His heart pounded hard against his ribs, feeling as though it would explode in his chest. Bright bursts of light winked before his closed eyes as he desperately fought to hang onto consciousness.
When the spasms subsided, he leaned against his human brethren's stone enclosure. "Can it be that when you grieve, your heart weeps when your body can no longer sustain its sorrow? That tears form from your heart, and fall into your soul?"
The sun disappeared behind a cloud and cast the room into semi-darkness, though the tomb of King Elassar remained luminescent, quietly supporting the elderly elf now slouched against its cool exterior.
"I believe that the body, mainly for mortals, can only mourn so much. I can not remember pain or sorrow so deep, so consuming, all during my thousands of years as an immortal. My soul is heavy with grief, and I wonder how mortals can ever bear such pain."
"I remember your words of comfort Elrohir, in my most sorrowful moments. I look to the sky, as you said, and find the star that shines brighter than the others and know that Arwen looks down on me. Your words and her bright bearing gives me peace when my mind is trouble and my body ailing." Elladan shakily patted his brothers' tomb, his hands no longer sensing the cold harshness of the stone.
"I believe that Aragorn shines just as brightly beside his love. The heavens almost sing with their presence when the moon is full and the sky clear. I know you have your place there with them, Elrohir. I have noticed you as well, do not think I could miss you shining there."
Elladan's face turned to the sky and he smiled warmly. "I hope Father sees you as well as I. I do miss him so."
His breaths became even and steady, his heart beating to a slow rhythm. Elladan gently stroked the side of his Elven twin's tomb, his face somber. His wasted arms shaky with their exertion.
"I fear I do not have any more strength left my brothers. I feel my life fleeting from my body." Elladan shuttered slightly from the contact his back made with the icy stone of Aragorns' crypt, and the brief chill from Elrohirs' under his fingers, running deep into his soul and piercing through the grief and heartache that toiled there. "Oh, how I have missed you, my brothers."
His eyes drooped, his breath coming in shorter gasps as he used his remaining strength to keep the contact with his brothers' tombs. His vision blurred into blackness, his mind slipping into a deep eternal sleep.
"I love you Father." He whispered to an unseen wind that gently wrapped his words protectively as it carried them afar.
With a deep sigh his arm fell slack, life drained from his body, and his eyes closed as he relaxed into death, surrounded by those who had gone before, and awaited him.
Far away, in the Undying Lands, standing on the shore of Belegaer, Elrond, Half Elven stood, his eyes facing east. A single tear traced down his cheek.
A soft murmur met his heightened hearing "I love you Father."
He glanced up into the sky and saw a bright star form, its brilliance flashing, joining several other points of heavenly light, shining for only a moment, then disappearing into the dawns rays.
With a heart full of sadness and love, the Elf turned away from the east, never again looking to the horizon for his kin. Into eternity, he smiled to the heavens, at a constellation no one else had remembered being there before, and knowing that his children were looking down on him, and that they are once again together.