This is for Sphinx, who requested a drabble about "Celeborn. Anyplace. Anytime."


LOVE'S WISDOM

She makes you terribly angry. She is golden, and beautiful - so beautiful! - and she loves you. Yet she hurts you. Galadriel, you have learnt to think of her, though she has taught you her other names. Galadriel who has a secret world and a secret past that she may enter at will, but where you may never follow. Galadriel who has powers that sometimes make her seem as though she is other than an Elf, like, like -

- He appears through the trees, and you almost forget to wipe away your tears of furtive anger and frustration. You adore him. Strong and tall - so tall! - with a kind of beauty that seems more otherworldly than hers, sometimes. Light, yes, but shadow as well. Silver hair that falls past his waist, and a smile that dims starlight. You understand his smile. You understand him, most of the time. Except for that hint in his eyes, so ageless and bottomless, of something, something - a light that you will never know.

The thought almost makes you angry again. You wonder if all kinds of love are so difficult.

"You remind me of someone I knew," he says as he settles easily on the bough beside you. He has taught you never to stand on ceremony. So unlike her.

"Who?" you ask, a little more sharply than you intended. But he will forgive you. More likely, he will hardly notice.

"Myself," he says. "Your heart is like to mine."

He twists the strange ring on his index finger. You know that it is no work of the Sindar.

He puts an awkward arm around your shoulder - it bothers you, how thin you are, although you have already been assured that your beauty will one day rival your mother's - and gives you a gentle, fatherly hug.

"She will want to see you," he says softly. There is an almost-placating tone in his voice that is very unlike him. "But it is you who must go to her, Celebrían."

Everything seems to fall into place after that, and suddenly you want to smile. "Yes, Father," you say, pleased, and a little shy.

"I will be along presently," he smiles, and lets you go.

You look back on him before rounding a curve and you think, of course. Of course he knows.