DISCLAIMER: We don't own the Lord of the Rings, so please don't sue us.
WARNING: Glorfindel/Erestor, maybe Elladan/Lindir slash. You no like, you no read, okay?
Chapter 1. Insanity Thinks It Knows Best
By Eithelien and Narthoron
Lindir beckoned Elladan across the hall. While the bemused Peredhel looked on, Lindir flattened himself against the wall and sidled along its length making no noise whatsoever. "Come, Elladan!" he hissed. "And keep your voice down!"
Elladan rolled his eyes, but copied his eccentric friend. They walked down three halls in this manner, and every time they reached a doorway, Lindir peered in, smirked, then jumped soundlessly across the opening. After about ten minutes, they started hearing raised voices. If Elladan had thought Lindir's expression couldn't grow any more smug, he was wrong.
Elladan paused. Ai, Valar. . . . He knew those voices.
"Glorfindel! I don't see how you can just . . . do that!"
"Quite easily, my friend. All it takes is-"
"I do not want to know!"
Elladan glanced at Lindir. The minstrel looked back, laughter clearly reflected in his eyes.
Elladan raised his eyebrows in imitation of his father, and Lindir winked.
"It is as I said," he whispered conspiratorially . "Can you not hear the love?"
Elladan's mouth dropped open. He'd known his friend was insane, but, well . . . he'd have to have a word with Cook about the wine at last night's supper. There was no possible explanation except severe intoxication.
"Lindir," he finally forced out. "You are crazy. All I hear is quarreling."
Lindir pressed a finger to his lips once again, and they continued down the hall in his uniquely stealthy manner. The shouting grew louder and louder.
"How could you manage to topple that candelabra? As you have been telling me for the past half hour, it is over four thousand years old-"
"Incorrigible moldy relic of the Age of Stars! You are worse than both of Elrond's sons combined, and they do not-"
"I AM WORSE THAN BOTH OF THE TWINS?"
There was the sound of a slap and Elladan winced. Then something occurred to him. Are they speaking about me? He was ready to get offended, then heard....
"WELL, YOU ARE MORE- MORE- ECCENTRIC THAN THAT MINSTREL ELLADAN IS SO FOND OF . . . THAT LINDIR!"
Dead silence. He leaned over to Lindir, who was looking startled and, oddly, pleased with himself. "You never hear good things about yourself when you eavesdrop, do you?"
"No," Lindir agreed, "You don't. But it's educational, all the same."
Elladan imagined he could hear Erestor's knuckles cracking. He wondered which candelabra Glorfindel had managed to break - because it was always Glorfindel. He didn't believe the seneschal's accusations for a minute.
A low hiss filled the hall. Then, through a door at the opposite end, a dark-haired Elf in a dark red robe came storming out. His ears were almost steaming, and he swept past the two younger elves without even noticing them. Elladan caught a glimpse of his face, and was a little shocked. Were those tears? Then he was gone, and all was quiet. Lindir grabbed the back of Elladan's tunic and yanked him into a room to his right.
This was a wise move, it transpired, because about three seconds later, another Angry Elf trotted past. This one was blond, and although angry, he also looked a bit guilty and slightly ashamed of himself.
Lindir sank into a chair, one of many placed around a long table at the center of the room. The walls were covered with maps and lists, and a huge bookcase was set against one wall. This was the Lesser Council Chamber, and Elladan remembered many a day when he, Lindir, Lothvaen, and Elrohir had hidden from Angry Adults in their youth.
Lindir shook his head, "Lovers' quarrel."
"Lovers' quarrel?" said Elladan weakly. "That sounded more like a war between the dark forces."
Lindir grinned, "You will see my friend, you will see." He reached into a drawer under the table, and pulled out a stack of playing cards. "Fancy a game?"
Erestor opened his door, almost blinded by his tears. Why did he cry? Why did he always have to cry? The dark haired elf sat on his chair, and contemplated the argument that had transpired earlier. It had started out as a simple thing, an argument over redecoration. Then it had turned into a full blown war. If Elrond ever got wind of this. . . . He winced at the thought of the lecture he and Glorfindel would receive. Glorfindel! How could that elf just . . . just accuse him of breaking something he hadn't? Nothing really made him upset -- annoyed, yes, but that elf.... Why did he always get under his skin? And what was worse, why did he always have to cry when it happened? He was six thousand years old, and most definitely not an elfling!
There was a knock at the door, and Erestor quickly brushed his hand across his eyes, making the tears disappear. "Come in," He said, voice even.
An elf entered and said, "Lord Elrond requests you in his study."
Erestor smiled bitterly. Elrond wasn't the Lord of Imladris for nothing. He knew what was what and when it happened. There were very few secrets to be kept from Elrond Peredhil, son of Eärendil the Blessed in his own realm.
Erestor sighed and stood up. "I will be there momentarily."
The other elf bowed, and left.
Erestor walked over to a basin, and splashed his face with cold water. Once he was sure that there was no trace of tears -- it would not do for the rest of the realm to know he had been crying. The Advisor never cried. Ever. It was just a known fact. He opened the door, and made his way to Elrond's study, which was a goodly distance away from his rooms. Perhaps that was intentional. With Glorfindel's quarters situated in the same wing, their end of the Last Homely House had the habit of being very noisy. Erestor was not usually an especially vocal person, but something about Glorfindel often made him want to scream. He was a little bit like High King Ereinion Gil-Galad in that respect.
Erestor stood just outside of Elrond's study, and was about to knock when he heard voices. "Glorfindel, this is the last time! I can hear you both all the way down the hall! And I am not the only one!"
"I apologize, my lord," said the other. "I am . . . unused to having to keep my arguments at a reasonable volume. In the hidden city . . . "
"You are no longer there!" Erestor could hear the sound of Elrond's fist hitting the table. "Those days are over, Glorfindel! As I have told you time and time again, you must accept that! But you will not. In fact, I think you believe that you cannot."
There was a stony silence, and Erestor squeezed his eyes shut, leaning against the wall. Though he was utterly confused and very sure he shouldn't be, he did know that this was a conversation he should not be overhearing. If he hadn't been so befuddled, he later reflected, he would have found it quite informative.
Elrond's voice -- much softer this time -- broke through his clouded reverie. "My friend, when will you let go of what was?"
Glorfindel drew in a ragged breath. "Perhaps when I may forget what was. When I may forget the seven great gates of my city, forget the banners flying from the turrets of white stone . . . forget the faces of the great lords, of the ladies and children . . . every time I remember, Elrond, I cannot also forget the sight of the ravaged and ruined. When I forget what was. . . . I fear that may never happen."