Disclaimer: Characters and places described herein are property of the Tolkien Estate. I do not claim ownership. The idea was inspired by the Loreena McKennitt song, "Dante's Prayer." I do not claim ownership of the song or lyrics. They are property of Ms. McKennitt.

I welcome all feedback and constructive criticism, please feel free to leave it. Enjoy.

The Farewell
by Caraid

Elrond saw her on the balcony, her hair glistening silver in the speckles of starlight and moonlight through the trees. As ever, the beauty of her form moved his heart. This night, however, his heart was tempered with concern. "You should be abed," Elrond spoke, his voice not disturbing the quiet night noises.

As she turned to face him, Elrond could see her eyes were pained. "My love," she whispered, her voice weak. "I cannot rest. I feel my soul fading."

Elrond shook his head in denial. "No, my love, in time I can heal you."

She looked up into his face, her lips in a bitter smile. "You have healed my body, but there are some things even you and your medicine cannot mend." She touched his hands then brushed her fingers against his cheek. "When the way was dark and I thought the dawn was lost forever, you showed me again the light of the stars. You mended my fragile heart, and brought me back from despair. But even with my waking eyes, I still see the dark wood before me, the overgrown path... the fear..."

Elrond could see the distance growing in her eyes as she turned away from him to re-live her torment. "Celebrían, my love," he whispered urgently, squeezing her hand and turning her face to meet his steady gaze. "Come back to the light," he urged. "Come back to the stars. Come back to me." He kissed her forehead, kissed her hands, and caressed the long silken lengths of her silver hair.

As his healing words reached her, Celebrían clung to her husband. "I cannot stay here," she breathed. "I feel my spirit leaving. Let me go to the Grey Havens and take the ship West. Let me bear away my love for you to Valinor, where it will remain evergreen, waiting each night for you to rejoin me. Let me go West before I fade and my fëa leaves this body."

"Celebrían," was all Elrond could manage to respond.

"Tell our sons I shall miss them," she insisted, moments before her eyes grew pensive. "Tell our daughter goodbye."

"Celebrían," he repeated, almost pleading her name, knowing that this was the only way. For her to heal, he had to let her leave. It broke his heart that he could not join her, but she knew that as well. He still had a duty to Middle-earth to see to, and now he would have to see to that duty with a torn heart.

"I will be here with you though we are apart," she said, touching his heart, knowing his thoughts. "When the darkness seems endless, cast your eyes to the ocean and remember me, my love. Remember that I wait for you."

For the last time in Rivendell, they stood together in the night air, their hair entwined in the soft breeze, dark and silver like the dappled moonlight and starlight breaking though the shadows cast by the branches of the trees above.