Disclaimer/Notes:Another bit of a story -- I seem plagued by these! The setting is the Second Age, directly after the fall of Eregion, and Celebrimbor's death at Sauron's hands. Incorporating some possibly AUish ideas wherein Celeborn and Galadriel were the lord and lady of Ost-in-Edhil, got ousted by the Gwaith-i-Mírdain, and Galadriel trotted off to rule Lothlórien. Celeborn went back to Ost-in-Ehil, but too late to do more than save those who would go with him. We start this story after the fall of the city, as Celeborn and those loyal to him, are accompanying Elrond and his army (sent from Lindon, by Gil-galad) to the valley that would, in time, become Imladris. *takes deep breath* Lost yet?
Thanks to Dragon Confused for reading it over and giving it the 'D' stamp of approval, and to Marnie for help with Celeborn. All errors are mine. All settings and Characters are Professor Tolkien's and whomever heads his Estate. Written for the CODE group "Dissed Elf of the Month" challenge. Hey! I wrote one story for July and August! What? You knew Glorfindel would work his way in... ~.^Such a Time as This
Leaving Elrond to tend to the wounded, he went in search of one who could be equally silent. Equally stern.
Quite a lot older.
Glorfindel found Celeborn staring out at the moon-washed hills, a brooding blackness hanging over him like the stench of death they had left in the burning city.
One far too familiar. To both of them.
Settling next to the Sinda elf, Glorfindel pulled a whetstone from the pouch at his side and tended to the edge of his sword. The rasping sound pulled the other elf from his musings, and Celeborn shifted to narrow his eyes as he looked at the sword.
"How many times, Glorfindel? How many times will we see our people fall to the darkness?"
Recognizing it for a rhetorical question, the golden-haired elf pursed a lip and carefully turned the blade over, examining it for nicks.
Celeborn shook his head, wisps of silver hair floating loose, drifting into his face with the evening breeze. "There are times I wish the Noldor had never returned to these shores."
A smile curved Glorfindel's mouth as he set the whetstone aside, and pulled a soft oiled cloth, using that to wipe the gleaming flat of the blade. "You would not have met my cousin then, nor wed her, and had your daughter if that was true."
His only answer was a grunt.
Shaking his head, Glorfindel slid the sword back in its sheath and turned his attention to his companion. "Celeborn, no one knows the pain of failure better than I."
"You killed the beast." Celeborn flicked out a hand, looking away. "Sauron yet lives to deceive."
"My city still fell, my people died, and I sat in Námo's presence long enough to realize I do not care at all for the darkness of underground abodes." He snorted, shaking back golden hair. "At least you did not die."
Eyes glinting in the moonlight, Celeborn allowed a slight smile to curl his mouth. "Careless of you, that." He arched a silver eyebrow. "You, with Vanya blood, always were overly vain of your hair."
Drawing away as if offended, Glorfindel huffed once. "I would not envy Námo if you had indeed perished."
"No?" Leaning forward, Celeborn rested his forearms on his thighs, glaring again towards the hills where the smoking ruins of buildings and bodies probably still burned. "I would not fill his ear with endless recountings of my brave deed, as you no doubt did."
Shaking his head, mouth curling into an amused smile, Glorfindel leaned back on his hands, stretching long legs out in front of him. "Perhaps that is why he released me early, hmm?" Dropping his head back, and feeling his hair catch in the grass, he gazed at the stars. "I meant that your esteemed spouse would no doubt storm the very gates of Mandos itself to demand your release."
Now Celeborn laughed, and it was not the harsh, hurting sound of the previous days. "Aye." He nodded, a silver braid falling over his shoulder. Voice much more sober, he sighed. "I am grateful she was not there. Though I do not doubt she would fight bravely, I would just as soon not ever see her wield a sword again."
"She is Galadriel," Glorfindel said simply. "Like stone, like the trees she now lives amongst, she bears what she must and goes on." Tilting his head, he regarded the other elf. "She would go sadly without you, milord."
Celeborn nodded slowly, gaze distant. "But we go on, do we not?"
"You will accompany us then? To the valley?"
Straightening, Celeborn drew in a deep breath of the fresh air, pleased to find it untainted with the stench of burning corpses and buildings. Memories would linger, this he knew from experience, but in time, they would fade. "I will." He nodded and was able to face his companion with a true smile. "And after a time, we will see if Galadriel and Celebrían will join us." He snorted, shaking his head. "If I can convince her to leave her newest subjects."
"Aye...and I do wish you luck in that." Spoken almost under his breath, Glorfindel smirked as the silver-haired elf narrowed his eyes. "She does love being mysterious and majestic, you have to admit."
"Such is in her blood." Celeborn arched an eyebrow. "And yours, for that matter."
Hand to his chest, as if given a mortal wound, Glorfindel mocked dismay. "My lord! I seek to rule nothing!"
"Mmm..." Clearly not convinced, Celeborn rose to his feet. "You are more as I, Glorfindel. The power content to remain less obvious; but no less potent for not revealing itself at every chance."
Rising to his feet, taking up sword and pouch, Glorfindel swept the elf a deep bow. "You honour me, my lord." The words rang true, and no mockery was to be seen in the Eldar's expression. Only deep, shining light, as though Glorfindel knew a secret that no one else was privy to.
Celeborn decided it might be amusing to try and pry that secret out of him during the trip. If nothing else it might bring a smile Galadriel's face, to relay to her later how he had harassed her cousin. Some day he intended to discern just what it was that caused the rivalry of sorts between the two, but for now....
Once last glance towards his lost city, the second lost to him, and Celeborn turned. A hand fell on his shoulder and he looked to the golden-haired elf, quirking an eyebrow.
"All will be well, milord. You will see."
He wondered if the other elf knew of the rings, of Celebrimbor's fatal failing to recognize the enemy before it was too late. Days there were he thought they were doomed to repeat the mistakes of Beleriand over, and over. "Mayhaps." He nodded as Glorfindel fell into step next to him, gaze going to the band of Silvan Elves who had joined them at Elrond's urging. "It is ironic to me that we now find aid in those who were called darkened and unenlightened."
Glorfindel nodded. "At times I have pondered upon just how fated they were to remain here for such a time as this." A slight smile for his musings, and his gaze turned west. "As I have sometimes wondered if we were meant to remain in Aman at all, or if our return to Endóre was for a larger purpose."
"You did not pry those secrets loose from Námo when you had the opportunity?" Spoken in a droll tone, with an expression that spoke little of the amusement the silver-haired elf found in chiding his companion.
"Alas, no." Glorfindel sighed dramatically, though a smile played over his lips.
"How remiss of you."
"Hmm..." Blue eyes narrowed slightly. "Perhaps your wife can discern it from her mirror."
Grimacing in annoyance, Celeborn stopped in front of the tent that was appointed to him. "We ride early, Captain. I suggest you find Elrond and convince him to rest lest he fall from his saddle tomorrow."
With a nod of his head, a grin that was not quite a smirk curling his mouth, Glorfindel continued on, no doubt intending to do just as suggested.
Celeborn paused at the opening of the tent, gaze going to the stars as his thoughts sought his wife. Nodding once, he smiled and slipped into the tent.
A/N:I've no doubt that there are errors in this, but I have an author's blindness to them, so please! Help out an author and point them out. Who knows, some day all of these bits and pieces might actually work their way into a whole story.
There's a thought... Thank you for sharing this with me!Peace,