SUMMARY: Elladan and Elrohir's final farewell to each other before Elladan sails for Valinor.

DISCLAIMER: Elladan, Elrohir, and Valinor belong to J.R.R. Tolkien. The song "I Am Going to the West" belongs to Connie Dover.

A/N: Tolkien never gave a definite ending for the twins, this story is purely speculation. This story is set approximately twelve years after the conclusion of the War of the Ring.

A Final Farewell

By Tiger

In this fair land, I'll stay no more

Here labor is in vain
I'll seek the mountains far away
And leave the fertile plain

Where waves of grass in oceans roll
Into infinity
I stand ready on the shore
To cross the inland sea
I am going to the west

Elladan dismounted from his faithful steed for the last time. He unsaddled his horse and took the last of his belongings with him. He whispered a sad farewell to his steed, and put his cheek on hits nuzzled. He would miss his friend. Elladan handed the reins to his brother, his mirror image, Elrohir. He throat tightened, seeing his brother stand there, watching him leave with sad, blue eyes. Elladan nodded to him, not trusting himself to speak in those final moments. He turned away as he saw the tears fill Elrohir's eyes.

You say you will not go with me

You turn your eyes away
You say you will not follow me
No matter what I say
I am going to the west

Elladan walked away from Elrohir, his heart breaking. He wanted to turn back, to run to Elrohir, to his other half and never let him go. But he knew that if he faltered now, he would never make it on to the boat.

"My brother," Elrohir's voice rasped from behind Elladan. He could hear Elrohir's labored breathing as his tears flowed freely. "I am sorry, very sorry that I chose to be of the thirdborn. I wish that I could pass with you, but I cannot." Elladan closed his own eyes and let the tears flow from his own eyes.

Turn back, he had to turn back now, even if it was only to say goodbye to the person he cherished the most on Arda. Glancing at the blue waters, he briefly bowed his head and then ran to Elrohir, crushing him into a tight embrace. He felt Elrohir bury his head into his neck, making his collar wet with tears. Elladan did the same. He breathed in his brother's scent, remembering the many times they had comforted each other this way as elflings; whenever they were lost or frightened, they always had each other to turn to. But no more. This was the last time and each one had to remember what the other felt like to hold, for this was their last embrace forever.

"Elladan," Elrohir sobbed, truly not knowing how he live through what was happening to him. "Don't go, please don't go, I still need to you here with me." Elladan clutched Elrohir tighter to him.

"I have to," he cried as he pulled away to face Elrohir. "I feel the call, pulling me towards the west as if I was bound to Valinor with a string."

"Then break the string, and stay on Arda!" Elrohir exclaimed.

"I can't!" Elladan desperately said. 'I can't fight it, not now. I made my choice long ago, it is settled."

"No!" cried Elrohir once more, beating his fists against his brother's chest. Elladan let him, not wanting Elrohir to fight his grief. It was better so that the grief would not be so great later. "We're twins, we're supposed to be together, never apart."

"I know, I feel it too," Elladan forced Elrohir to look at him. "I've asked myself the same questions. Why must our family be torn apart so? First Nana leaves us, then you and Arwen are leaving forever, I won't even see you in Valinor! I don't know why, it just is. Perhaps it is the fate that the twins of our family be separated when the time comes, so that we do not take each other for granted. Tis almost like Ada and Elros."

"I never took you for granted," Elrohir fiercely said.

"Nor have I taken you for granted," said Elladan just as fiercely.

I will journey to the place

That was shaped by heaven's hand
And I will build for me a bower
Where angel's footprints mark the land

Where castle rocks in towers high
Kneel to valleys wide and green
All my thoughts are turned to you,
My waking hope, my sleeping dream,
I am going to the west.

They had both calmed down, their wracking sobs reduced to quiet sniffling. Elorhir looked behind Elladan and saw that the sun was setting, and knew that it was time.

"Never forget me," he whispered into Elladan's ear.

"How can I forget someone who is a part of me? How can I forget my own brother?" Elladan smiled sadly. "Even when you forsake Arda for the Halls of Waiting, I will not, I can not forget you."

Elrohir nodded and released Elladan. "Go now," he said, turning his twin around. "Go no, and don't look back until the ship sails." Elladan nodded and slowly walked away, his eyes staring at the ship straight ahead.

And when sun gives away to moon

And silver starlight fills the sky
In the arms of these last hills
Is where I'm bound to lie.

It was dark, save for the light of the moon when the ship finally sailed. Unlike the other elves he sailed with, Elladan had left a loved one behind. He ran to the bow of the ship, letting the wind whip his tangled hair behind him. He clutched the railing and looked at the shore the ship was leaving. His eyes rested upon the figure that stood in front of the trees and white sand. Elrohir.

Elrohir let his grief come over him once again and sank to his knees, his fall cushioned by the soft sand. His eyes never left the bow of the slowly departing ship. He blinked and let his tears fall so that they would not mar his last sight of his beloved brother. He saw Elladan look back at him with same grief-filled eyes.

"I love you, my brother," he whispered into the soft breeze that caressed his face. Elrohir looked hard at Elladan's disappearing face, committing it o memory has he had done so many countless times before. He wished that Elladan had heard his last words to him.

He stayed there, kneeling in the sand until he could see the ship no more. He was alone. He could feel Elladan's presence in his mind, as always, but even that had begun to fade until it was a tingle, rather than a comforting warmth. He gathered his robes around him and stood up. He mounted his steed and took the reins of Elladan's steed into his own hands.

"Come, mellyn nin," he softly said to them. "We must go home now, and finish our duties." He neglected to add that at the moment, he was so grieved that if he did not leave that instant, he would throw himself into the sea, even though he knew that the pain would dull overtime.

Wind, my blanket, earth, my bed

My canopy, a tree
Willows by the river's edge
Will whisper me to sleep
I am going to the west

"I love you, my brother," came to Elladan in the breeze, startling him and sending a fresh wave of tears into his eyes. Slowly the shores of Arda and Elrohir disappeared, leaving only a blue sea behind instead. He walked back to his hammock and stared up to the stars wondering if Elrohir saw the same stars. He let the soft rocking of the boat lull him into a deep sleep. Soon, his sadness was forgotten, as was the night sky. It was just him and Elrohir when they were elflings, running and laughing through the halls of their childhood home, together, as they should have always been.