Disclaimer: I don't own Lord of the Rings or any of the characters I used in this story. It was written for pure fun and no money is/was made with it.

Genre: General/Drama

Rating: PG

E-mail: kaeerayahoo.de

Summary: When the twins fight too much, Elrond and Celebrian decide to separate them for a few months…How will Elladan and Elrohir find life without each other?

Notes: The last chapter! Although there will be an epilogue. I already have an idea in my mind, I just need to write it down – and to find the time to do so. School's over, yes, but I'm working now, and it's difficult to write when you come home late in the evening every day!

Anyway, I wanted to end this story, I couldn't bring myself to torture the twins any longer. I hope the end doesn't come too rash or too mushy, I wouldn't like that. Anyway, thanks for reviewing, and enjoy this chapter.

Thanks to Netty for doing such a wonderful job as my beta!

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A Life Shared by Two

by Kaeera

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Part Twelve: Tears of Sorrow and Joy

Elladan limped through the hall, angrily wiping tears from his face. He couldn't believe what Elrohir had said to him. What had happened to his brother? Never before he had seen his quiet, sensitive twin behave like that. It was as if Elrohir had been replaced by another person, a stranger Elladan no longer knew.

He sat down with a frown and continued sobbing. This was not the reunion he had imagined. Since his accident, he had been desperate to see his brother again, and now everything was ruined because Elrohir acted so strangely. Why? He said he was sorry, and Elrohir knew that he often said things he didn't mean.

But – he realized with a guilty pang – this time the words had truly been hurtful. Oh, why couldn't he control his anger better? Ada had often criticized that part of his personality.

Elladan tended to anger easily even at the smallest of things, and not everyone was as understanding as his brother. Elrohir was the only one who was always ready to forgive him, because they were twins, because they belonged together, but now it seemed as if forgiveness was too much to ask for, even for a gentle elf like Elrohir.

Had he destroyed everything? Had one irresponsible action destroyed the bond that was keeping them together?

Elladan didn't want to believe it, he couldn't believe it. But Elrohir had looked so furious, so angry…

Dazed, he realized that he had never seen Elrohir truly angry before. He had even been afraid for a few moments, and that was not a good thing! Elladan shuddered, imagining how his friends would react if Elrohir showed them that face – they'd probably run away in fear!

"He is angry with me." Elladan whispered to himself. "Why is he still angry with me?"

The elfling replayed the fight they'd had in his head. Up until now, he had avoided doing so. What had he said? Something mean, that was sure…wait…why did they even fight?

Elladan frowned, he couldn't even remember the reason for their fight. Had they fought over something trivial and unimportant? How had it started?

He had called Elrohir a bookworm, that part he remembered…and he had been agitated because he had been scolded by Elrond for not doing his exercises as he should. Then Elrohir had responded with angry words of his own, and it had developed into a fight. Then Elladan lost his temper completely and said things he had come to regret deeply…

"I bet father likes me better because I will be a warrior just like him!"

"You are dull and boring! Nobody likes such a boring child!"

And then…Elrohir hit him. Just like that. His younger twin, who rescued insects and every small animal in need of aid, hit him right into the face. Oh, how well Elladan remembered the pain he felt as the blood dripped down his face. He had been more than shocked by his brother's outburst, and way too angry to react in any other way than he had.

The elfling shook his head sadly. "In the end, we fought because I called him a bookworm." Elladan buried his head in his hands. "This is so foolish! I don't want to lose 'Ro because of that. I don't want to lose my twin!" And then he started sobbing, miserably, unaware of the small figure looming around the corner.

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As soon as Elladan stormed away, Elrohir regretted his angry words. He hadn't meant to be so harsh; he'd just been so surprised and wasn't sure how he should react. His first impulse was to follow his brother, but he decided against it. Elladan surely would be angry with him, and he certainly had a right to be. He had behaved badly, hurt his brother, and there was no excuse for that.

"I'm lower than even orcs," he told the wall beside him.

Elrohir was more than surprised when the wall replied. "Oh, that is a bit too dramatic for my taste."

"Wha…" the elfling gasped and whirled around. Walls couldn't speak, he was sure about that.

"Who's there?"

"Oh, it's just me." Someone chuckled, and then a tall elf stepped out from the shadows.

"Glorfindel!" Elrohir crossed his arms and scowled. "You know it's not nice to eavesdrop."

"Yes, but I could not help it." The warrior smirked.

Elrohir blinked and shook his head. He wasn't in the mood to deal with Glorfindel's wry humor right now.

"Would you care to tell me why you think you are lower than orcs?" To be quite honest, Glorfindel already suspected the reason, but he wanted to hear it from Elrohir himself. He had been walking down the corridor when he heard the shouting, and he heard enough to get a clear picture of what had happened. Those two stubborn elflings…they were often prone to misunderstandings!

Elrohir gnawed on his lower lip. "I said something really foolish."

"Well, that happens to all of us from time to time."

"But it was really, really foolish!" Elrohir's voice held a note of desperation. "And now Elladan is crying and I've made everything worse and it is all my fault…and he apologized and I don't even feel happy about that!"

Glorfindel sighed and knelt down on the floor. "Elrohir," he said and cupped the elfling's chin in his hand, "We all make mistakes. And sometimes, those mistakes are so horrible that we think we can never make things right again. But Elladan loves you Elrohir, as much as you love him. I'm sure everything will be well as soon as you two stop being so stubborn."

Elrohir sniffed miserably. "I don't know why I said the things I did. I just wanted him to see why I was so hurt, but instead, I only hurt him!"

"Sometimes, when you are confused about things, you may say things you don't really mean." Glorfindel smiled gently. "Very often, words are spoken that were never meant to be heard."

The small elfling looked at the taller elf, his eyes huge and full of tears. "What am I supposed to do now?" he whispered, seeking words of wisdom from this elder elf.

"Well, you should first look for Elladan and then you must talk with him."

Elrohir didn't move while he contemplated this. Talk with Elladan? After the last time had been such a disaster? He was afraid to trust himself to say the right things – it was so easy to hurt each other, wasn't it better to say nothing at all? But then Elladan probably wouldn't stop thinking that he didn't care about him anymore…but…he did, he just wanted Elladan to change a little bit…

"Elrohir." Glorfindel's gentle voice pried him from his thoughts. "Do you hate Elladan?"

"NO!" Elrohir nearly shouted, so shocked was he by this question. "I could never hate my brother!"

"Then…he is important to you?"

"I…" Elrohir's voice trailed off. Was Elladan important to him? He was his twin, and he had never lived without Elladan by his side almost every waking moment of his life. He thought about all those weeks without his brother. They had been fun, sure, but somehow, he had missed the steady presence of his stubborn twin. He had missed Elladan's remarks, his outrageous antics…

"Yes. Yes, he is important to me. Very, very important."

Glorfindel nodded as if he had expected that answer all along. "Then you need to make sure that the bond between you remains. It must not be broken by foolish actions and petty words."

Elrohir's voice was so soft, Glorfindel could scarcely hear it. "And what if I hurt him again?"

"Then you apologize."

"But…what if he won't forgive me? What if…he has stopped liking me because he thinks that I don't like him anymore?"

Glorfindel rubbed his eyes tiredly. Why was it so hard to make this little elfling understand things were not as difficult as he thought they were. If he and Elladan would only talk, they would both realize how much they needed each other. Then that would be the end of this whole complicated mess. He shook his head, his patience was wearing thin.

Somehow, this whole thing reminded him of when Elrond had been hopelessly in love with Celebrian from the moment he met her. He had been just like his son was now. 'Do you think she will like me? What if she doesn't like me? What if she laughs at me?' He had nearly driven Glorfindel mad with his constant self-doubts. But he had smiled with joy when the two had finally gotten together.

"Elrohir!" He called, startling the little elfling. "Now, dry your tears and go find your brother. And by the Valar, little one, talk to him with your heart, not your head." he chided gently."

The elfling just stared at him with big, round eyes.

Glorfindel frowned. "That is an order. Would you disobey me?"

Elrohir's eyes widened and he quickly shook his head. Then he turned around and ran away, anxiously looking for his twin everywhere.

Glorfindel stood up again and shook his head wearily. "Honestly, sometimes I think without my intervention, this whole place would fall apart!"

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Elrohir ran as fast as his little legs could carry him, but he soon stopped when he heard a familiar sound not too far away. Someone was crying. It had to be Elladan, Elrohir determined, and he followed the sound until he reached a deserted hallway. It was the same hallway he and Elladan often played in for it was rarely used. Here, the elflings could do as they pleased.

Worriedly, he peered around the corned and saw the huddled form of his twin sitting against the wall. Elrohir's heart arched when he realized how wretchedly Elladan was crying and how lost he seemed to be.

For a moment, he hesitated. Glorfindel's words were still clear in his head, but he found himself unable to speak. What should he say? After all, it was his fault that Elladan was crying.

However, he couldn't fix things if he remained in hiding. So the younger twin gathered all his courage and stepped into view. "'Dan?"

Elladan's head spun towards him. "'Ro?" With big, watery eyes he stared at his twin suspiciously. "What do you want?" he croaked. "I thought you didn't need me anymore."

Elrohir was too shocked to reply at first. It was actually the first time he had seen his brother crying like this, and it was…strange. "That's not true." he whispered.

Elladan just shook his head. "Stop it, I don't want to hear anymore…"

"I never meant it like that…"

"But you said it!"

They were on the verge of fighting again, Elrohir realized, so he took a deep breath and forced himself to relax. "Now, if you just would listen to me…"

Elladan's chin lifted defiantly and his lips pressed into a hard line. "I won't!"

That was the last straw – Elrohir's patience snapped. "NOW JUST LISTEN TO ME, BY THE VALAR!" He shouted, his eyes blazing with anger.

His twin stared at him, mouth agape. This was the first time he had heard his brother curse, and it was indeed a rare sight to see Elrohir so furious.

Elrohir took deep, calming breaths and tried to explain his confused and jumbled emotions. "I…don't hate you, 'Dan. You are my brother, my twin, and you are very important to me. Without you, I would feel as if a part of me is missing, as if I am no longer whole. But…sometimes you can be so annoying! Can't you understand that?" He looked at his brother with pleading eyes. "You get us into trouble so often and I always have to suffer the consequences too. If I don't participate in your pranks, you always call me weak and so many other names, I cannot remember them all. So many times, you've hurt me with your words, but you never even realized that you had! There were times when I wondered if you would be better off without me – I certainly got the impression you thought that way!"

"That's not true!" Elladan was shocked at the mere idea of being better off without his twin.

"But it seemed true to me!" Elrohir said sadly, and a tear trickled down his cheek. "I've always felt that you resented me because I like reading, and because I am not as brave and strong as you are. When you are angry, you always say things you regret later, but they hurt nonetheless. That's why I was glad to leave for a while. I wanted to be on my own! I don't hate you, but sometimes I just don't know how to feel anymore!" Elrohir threw his hands in the air, unable to continue.

"I've thought the same about you as well." Elladan replied softly.

"Don't look at me like that," he defended himself when Elrohir sent him a doubtful look. "There were times when I thought that you were better off without me!!"

Elrohir was shocked by this revelation. "What?"

"Yes." Elladan sighed. "You know, as you said, it's always me who gets us into trouble. I don't know why, but somehow, I always end up in the worst situations possible. When an idea comes into my head, I just act on it without thinking of what might happen. I'm not as smart as you, and I always feel bad because you are so much better at our lessons than I am. Why would you want to bother with dim-witted brother like me?"

"You are not dim-witted!"

Elladan waved the denial off. "You are far more intelligent than me and you know it. Ada is always happy when Erestor tells him how well you have done. I do not think Erestor can tell him that I do well, for I do not."

"I could say the same about you," Elrohir disagreed, "You are much better in sword-fighting than I am, and Ada is proud of you. But I do not think my frequent misses and mistakes give him cause for happiness."

"It's not only that. You are good at making friends, while I do not make friends easily. Everybody likes you!"

"But the elder elflings always pick on me, but they leave you in peace!"

They looked at each other with equal looks of confusion written on their faces. Then Elrohir blinked and sat down on the floor, pondering about this new revelation. "So it seems that the whole time…we were envious of each other?"

Elladan stared at his brother, realizing that this was true. His entire life, he had always admired Elrohir's ability to deal with people. Everybody liked the younger twin, while he was often reluctant to strangers. "Yes, we were."

Silence ensued between both of them, it seemed heavy at first, but then Elrohir started laughing. "That's quite…ironic, don't you think?"

"Why?" Elladan was bewildered.

"Because we both thought we despised and looked down on each other, but in reality, it was the other way around. We fought for nothing after all!"

At first, Elladan didn't understand what Elrohir meant, but the more he thought about it, the clearer it all became. He had been jealous of Elrohir, but the whole time, his twin had been jealous of him as well!

"That's just ridiculous." he muttered and shook his head. "And the whole time, neither of us knew…"

Elrohir laughed, relief shining clearly in his eyes. "Well, I guess it's time to start over again." he said, standing up and bowing formally. "My dear twin, I'm sorry for what I said and I'll try to keep my mouth shut next time. I promise I will never hit you again, given your promise never to call me a weakling!"

"Hm, I might consider that." Elladan started grinning from ear to ear. He stood up a bit shakily, balancing on his good leg. "My dear 'Ro, I'm sorry I caused you pain and I apologize sincerely for my harsh words. I don't think you are weak, and I want to keep you as my twin, because you are the best twin ever!"

He looked at his brother and there were tears shimmering in his eyes. "I'm glad that you're home."

"Me, too." Elrohir smiled, and then he threw himself at his brother to hug him fiercely.

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End.

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Well, just the epilogue left! .

Tara – Thank you for your encouraging review! Right now, I feel as if I can't write anymore. The words never come out like I want them to, and I often sit in front of the screen and only stare at it stupidly. Maybe it's the burn-out syndrome lol I've written too much fanfics, I need a vacation! Anyway, really thanks for your kind words – they made me feel better.

tHe InSanE OnE – Well, that was a confused review doesn't know what to think of it. It's nice to hear that you are still reading, though – I kind of missed your weird reviews, they were always funny!

HissoriOokami – Thank you for your offer to beta, but I already found another one. It was very kind of you, though – I'm flabbergasted at the idea of how many people want to help me if I ask! It's…nice. By the way…what kind of job do you have since you seem to have so much free time?

Iawen Londea – Uh…please don't smack me! I won't say anything else! vows Ah, yes, it must be difficult being an elfling, huh? Elrohir wants to act all grown-up, but he's just a child and no better than Elladan. But they finally realized the truth about themselves! hugs the twins No more fighting, boys! scolds

Carcanet – I can't really say why I portray them how I do it…I just imagined them like that, and pouf, Elladan is the rash one while Elrohir is more sensible. shakes head Crazy, huh? Anyway, I'm glad that you like it!

Vicki Turner – Nay…I'm not really good at nice and fluffy. Everytime I try to write something fluffy, it gets weird and horrible. shrugs I don't know how. I can't write romance either, although I would like to, just for fun. However, my few attempts went horribly wrong…

trustingfriendship – I often realized that children can be very rude without knowing it or wanting to. So I made Elladan and Elrohir the same. Maybe elves are different, I don't know – but human children are often selfish, and very honest. That makes them adorable and difficult to deal with! thinks back of her time as a counsellor in summer camp

Felice – Ehm, no. I don't have more time to write, in fact, I have even less. I never expected it to turn out like that. I mean, hello! school's over, graduation is over, and I? I work every day to earn money for my trip to Australia…Maybe I'm cursed. Yeah, I'm under the curse to-never-have-time-to-continue-writing-fanfics!!! shakes fist Whoever did that to me…

Lutris – Heya! Thanks for the offer to beta, but I already have found another one. Well, my mother tongue isn't English, either (where are you from, by the way? Just curious!), so we'd be like to blinds leading each other. chuckles Thanks anyway, and I'm glad that you like my story.

elvendancer – I don't think that writing itself costs guts; everybody can write. Maybe you need guts in order to post it on the internet (although I have to admit that I never was afraid to do it – I was looking for honest opinions, and if somebody doesn't like it, well, then he doesn't like it. Criticism is always welcome, because I want to improve). I basically just write down what I see in my head, that's all.

Terri B – Why, thank you! blushes furiously Uhm…that was really a nice review. Be proud of my work, huh? Well…we'll see…