Disclaimer: The Lord of the rings is the property of Tolkien. Please don't sue.

Warning: This contains slash (romance between two people of the same gender). If this is not to your liking, please leave.

Pairing: Lindir/Elladan

Note: I'm going by the canon that when two elves have sex, they are mated for life (bonded).

No Longer Unrequited

By Narthoron, beta'd by Eithelien (who very wisely insisted)

The evening chorus of crickets was broken by the voice a dark elf who was studiously looking to the north as he stood under a tree. He could not keep the laughter from his tone as he said, without taking his gaze from the distance, "Stop staring me, Lindir."

The minstrel dropped down from the tree he had been climbing, and faced the other. He cocked his head to the side and placed his hands on his hips, "How did you know I was there?"

The other chuckled softly, "After knowing you for more then a few centuries, do you really think I cannot recognize your presence?"

Lindir smiled wryly, "You are right, Elladan. I can easily sense your presence . . ."

Elladan looked at him, eyebrows raised.

". . . As well as your brother's," he finished quickly. "I suppose it makes sense that you would do the same."

Elladan frowned, "Something troubles you my friend, to make you hide in the branches of a tree. Will you not tell me what is wrong?" They fell into step together, "What burdens your heart so?"

They slowed; finally stopping at the entrance to one of Celebrían's many gardens. Lindir's mouth twisted as he considered his answer. Finally he said, "My heart is not so much burdened as it is . . . confused. I am confused, Elladan."

"Ah, but confusion is a type of burden, is it not?" Elladan said, privately thinking that Lindir was acting a bit melodramatic.

"You are correct, my friend." He gave Elladan a sidelong glance, "How is it that you can understand so easily that which I cannot?"

Elladan grinned, "Talent."

Lindir laughed.

"What?" The Peredhel said in mock indignation. "I'm not talented?"

"Of course you possess talent, my friend. But the type I shall leave entirely up to you."

Elladan licked his lips suggestively, and wiggled his eyebrows in crude imitation of some of the more raunchy Rangers they had encountered, and Lindir snorted, "Why do I doubt that you possess that particular talent?"

"You have no reason to doubt . . . ." he left it hanging and Lindir looked at him in amusement, trying to figure out how serious Elladan was.

"Yes?"

"Come, my dear minstrel," he said instead, "you never told me what troubled your heart."

"You would laugh."

"Nay, I would not!" Elladan protested, holding his hand over his heart as if trying to stem bleeding from a stab wound. "You wound me!" The tone was still light, still teasing.

"Yes, you would," Lindir said flatly, ignoring Elladan's second comment.

"No," he countered.

"Promise?" Lindir asked softly. The banter suddenly vanished from the conversation.

Elladan felt something clench inside him for a moment. "I promise," he whispered. "You have my complete secrecy. I will not laugh."

"You have my trust." The other said quietly. So quietly that Elladan wasn't even sure if he had heard correctly, "all of it."

There was a pause, while Elladan looked expectantly at Lindir. The minstrel stepped away from him, averting his eyes and turning away to face in the direction of the Bruinen. The roaring of the river was loud even from this distance, and Lindir's face was shadowed. The silence continued until Elladan, never the most patient of people, broke it. "Well?" said he, "are you going to tell me?"

Lindir smiled, "You always were impatient." His eyes shifted back and forth and then he mumbled something that Elladan didn't catch.

"Repeat that?"

Lindir swallowed reflexively, and looked at Elladan, "I . . . well, I . . . ."

"You . . . ." Elladan said encouragingly, nodding his head.

"I am in love." The other said in a rush. Why do I always have to blurt things out? Lindir wondered to himself. His cheeks flushed a dull red that was very noticeable on his alabaster skin, and he turned his face away again, trying to hide it.

"What?" Elladan said blankly, rather unprepared for such a revelation. No, he couldn't have just heard that. It was impossible. He refused to share Lindir with another.

"What I just said, Elladan, if you had been listening properly. I am in love!" Lindir cried, his jaw clenching. He had told Elladan what he had sworn to tell no one and the Peredhel hadn't even listened?

"You- I– . . . I'm sorry," Elladan said, recovering. He wondered if Lindir was going to tell him who it was, but now that he thought about it, he didn't really want to know. Lindir in love? Why didn't I ever notice? How could I not notice? I am always with him! And now he had to share Lindir with another? How could he hide this from me? And for how long?

These thoughts in turn sparked ones of Lindir over the past few years. Had he been acting differently lately? Elladan's brow furrowed, images of Lindir flashing through his mind. The long white hair, betraying his Teleri origin, was no less silky than before. The tall slim form had not changed its un-warrior-like physique. The blue eyes, much darker than Glorfindel's (whose orbs reminded one of summer skies and other overused clichés of the like) still had found no label for their color. Unless . . . and here Elladan paused, an awful feeling in the pit of his stomach. Had Lindir's lover found the proper name for his eye color? But no, he thought, shaking his head. That was his job. No one else could come even close to the time they spent together. No one else knew how those eyes changed when the setting sun hit them as opposed to the rising sun . . . did they? Elladan frowned, thinking harder, trying to keep back the selfish thoughts that cried out in the back of his mind that Lindir was not available, because he was. Because of Elladan's cowardice, he was available, no matter how much the Peredhel might dislike it.

Elladan contemplated Lindir's music. It had not changed at all – or had it? Was the trend of playing only old and sorrowful ballads related to this? But wasn't love supposed to be happy? By the Valar, why hadn't he noticed?

Elladan's silence fueled Lindir's increasing nervousness. The Peredhel appeared to be murmuring to himself, shaking his head and frowning. At a loss, Lindir asked hesitantly, "Elladan?"

Elladan's head shot up and he stared at Lindir, a strange look in his eyes, "Who is it again, that you said you love?" he asked abruptly, dropping his hand from where he had been counting on his fingers.

Lindir blinked, "I didn't. And I can't tell you anyway." He bit his lip, trying to ignore the wounded expression that appeared on Elladan's face.

"But why not?" Elladan asked, bewildered. He lifted his hand and ran it through his hair in an unconscious gesture. A horrible thought entered his mind, "Do they not love you in turn?" But that would not be so horrible . . . yes, it would! He admonished himself. Anything that made Lindir unhappy was horrible, even if it meant that he still had a chance.

Lindir was silent for a moment, and then a very hoarse voice said almost inaudibly, "No, no they don't."

"They– they don't?" Elladan stuttered, trying to keep any sort of relief away from his voice. "But who could not–? You are beautiful and– and kind, and your voice . . . I would swear it would rival Luthien's – in a masculine sort of way of course," he added hastily, dropping his eyes as he realized what he had just said. "Please, won't you tell me?"

The minstrel gnawed upon his lower lip, trying not to read too much into Elladan's words, "Elladan, I appreciate the compliments, and that you are trying to make me feel better. But speaking of this matter pains me – it is why I did not tell you before." He held up his hand, "and no, I will not tell you who it is that I love. This– person," and here his voice hitched a little, "has no– no idea that I love them. I would not have you blame one who is ignorant."

"Nay," Elladan whispered, "I must know who this person is." He looked up as Lindir shook his head. "No, Lindir, listen! I must know! Please tell me who this person is!" In his desperation he grabbed at Lindir's shoulders and shook the now distraught elf, "I must know who you love Lindir, if it is not–" and here his voice cracked, years of refusing to speak certain words taking over and allowing Lindir to break in angrily, dashing stubborn tears from his face.

"Unhand me, Elladan!"

"I will kill whoever has dared to hurt you!" A part of Elladan's mind had time to idly wonder at his words. Why was he saying this? He would become a Kinslayer simply because someone did not return Lindir's love? Shouldn't he rejoice that someone else did not love him? That Lindir was – in a way – still only Elladan's? But no, someone had made Lindir cry, and for that they must pay.

Lindir finally managed to step away from the formidable warrior, no easy feat for the minstrel. His eyes were blazing, "Do you truly want to know?" he shouted, his voice unsteady.

"Yes I want to know!" Elladan practically screamed. Tears of either rage or sadness were beginning to break loose from the confines of his eyes, where he had tried to stop them from leaving, so that now they were both crying. "Lindir, please I must know who you love! It is very important!"

There was a momentary pause, while Lindir looked at Elladan with an expression similar to the one that Elladan had worn on his first encounter with battle and death. One of pure terror, and then he turned his face away.

"You should have learned to leave well enough alone, Elladan," Lindir moaned, covering his face with his hands, unable to deny Elladan anything for a prolonged amount of time – especially when he wept. But why is he weeping? It is not his heart that is broken. "This will destroy our friendship – it will destroy you!" he went on, uncovering his face, trying to stop the words from forming, trying to stop himself before he did anymore damage. Already the Peredhel had enough information to guess.

"Tell me!" Elladan demanded.

"Ai, Elladan, can you not guess? It is you!" Lindir burst out, trying to keep his anger, trying to hold back a sob.

Immediately Elladan froze, eyes wide, although the water dripping down his cheeks did not falter. "Lindir, you– me? But you cannot . . . I–"

"Elbereth, what a mess," Lindir whimpered. No longer able to stand, he slid to the ground, and buried his face within the confines of his hands, wishing that those hands were instead busy flying over the strings of his harp in the Hall of Fire, wishing that he had never left his bed that morning, that he had rejected to go outside that evening. But wishing would not make it better.

"Indeed a mess," Elladan muttered, looking down at the pitiful figure on the ground. "Lindir, I–" he started, but got no further.

"I am sorry, Elladan," the minstrel hiccupped, his face still concealed. "I am sorry that our friendship must end in such a way . . . I could not help but love you, you are such a bright spirit . . ." There was a choking sound, and then Lindir drew in a deep breath, "S– so sorry that we can no longer– well, just be together because now that you know . . . well," he shrugged, although it was difficult to tell that he was doing so because of the near darkness and the fact that his shoulders were already shaking. "I would never mean to– to make you feel uncomfortable, I never wanted to tell you! But you were so angry . . . ."

That, I can believe, Elladan thought, trying to find an appropriate time to break into Lindir's speech.

"I can leave Imladris, if you want," Lindir said, his voice muffled, taking Elladan's silence for disgust and fury at the very least.

These words immediately brought about a reaction, as Elladan's head snapped to attention, "You will most certainly not leave Imladris!" Lindir leave? No, that was not a possibility.

"Well what would you have me do, my Lord?" Lindir asked dully. "Spend my days avoiding you? Slipping quietly out of the Hall of Fire whenever I see you arrive?" his voice had turned from dull to bitter. "Do not make this any harder than it must be."

"What? No!" Elladan exclaimed sharply. He through his hands into the air, "Elbereth, what a mess!" he said, copying Lindir's earlier words. "Lindir, you string-plucking, heart-breaking fool, can't you see it?"

Lindir did not answer, so Elladan knelt down and gathered one of the minstrel's clammy hands in his own. Lindir closed his eyes, perhaps expecting a blow. Elladan slowly reached up another hand and gently caressed Lindir's cheek. Lindir flinched away.

"Didn't you wonder why my rage was so strong, why my need to know was so great?" Elladan asked, his voice soft. Lindir mutely shook his head, and Elladan closed his eyes, admitting what he had been afraid to admit before, "Lindir, I . . . I threatened to become a Kinslayer for you. Lindir, I- I," he swallowed, his throat refusing to work properly, still confined to the vow he had spoken to himself. He tried again, reminding himself that now that promise held no purpose, "Lindir . . . by- by the Valar I- I love you!"

At this admittance, Lindir's head rose, "Nay," he said hoarsely. "Nay, Elladan do not play games with me. You were a dear friend before my feelings made you more." His voice grew frenzied, as Elladan' expression did not change, and he tried to bat away Elladan's hands, "For the sake of that friendship, you must let me go in peace!"

When Lindir made to stand up however, Elladan's instincts kicked in. He grabbed a hold of both of Lindir's hands, yanked him down again and then pushed him so that he lay flat upon the ground. When Lindir struggled, trying to sit up, Elladan shoved him down again. Lindir shoved back, so Elladan, not seeing any other options, rolled atop the unfortunate other, keeping him in place with his body, pinning his arms to the ground. He put his face an inch away from Lindir's, dark hair falling over his shoulders, gray eyes flashing as he said in a heated whisper, "You are not going anywhere!" and then closed the distance between them, claiming Lindir's mouth and lips in a rough kiss.

Lindir had been kissed a few times before. He had stolen kisses with an Elleth who had lived not too far away from his home before they had both reached majority, and one does not live several hundred years without having a few romantic encounters, although none of them had been serious.

But this was different. For one thing, Elladan lay atop of him, his heavy heat pressing the minstrel into the ground so that he was helpless to move away. For another, none of his potential lovers had been so fierce, so warlike and yet so gentle. None of them had plundered his mouth with such dedication as Lindir tried not to arch up into the form covering his. None of those stolen kisses had resulted in a pleasant tingling starting somewhere within his midsection and beginning to travel lower and lower. And then of course there was the fact that Lindir had not been in love with any of his other suitors. Only Elladan.

Just when Lindir was starting to wonder if Elladan intended to suffocate him, his lips were released. Elladan leaned back a little, as they panted harshly. Lindir searching the other's face for some sign that it had all been a joke, just a little trick and yet finding none, swallowed nervously. "Elladan," he whimpered. "Elladan, will you not relent?"

Elladan's expression was fierce. Now that he had the courage to speak, the words came flooding through the gates of his mouth, "I finally have you, after years of worrying about whether I should confide in you or not, after months and months of suffering, scared that if I said something that I would frighten you out of your wits, that I would loose your friendship if I dared to speak my heart and you want me to relent?" He leaned forward again, bracing himself against the ground, his words spoken quietly almost against Lindir's mouth, "Oh no, my dear minstrel, I am afraid that I will not relent. Not now, not ever." And then his mouth was upon Lindir's for the second time, and Lindir felt as though he was about to drown in a vat of fire. Not knowing what to do, he unconsciously thrust against Elladan, who gasped and attacked his lips with renewed fervor.

Lindir was aware that the situation was slowly beginning to spin out of control, but he was powerless to stop it. He did not want to stop it. He wanted to continue to feel the slow building pleasure within his lower body as his limbs became weak and his leggings uncomfortably tight. He needed Elladan to continue to play his body like he would play a lute. He craved it. He loved it. He loved him.

And then, as if sent to purposely stop them in going any further, they both heard Elrohir call, with no small amount of irritation in his voice, "Elladan! By the Valar, where are you?"

They froze. After a moment, Elladan slowly sat up, although he remained atop of Lindir. This new action caused sparks of pleasure to go off within the both of them, and Lindir tried to hold back a moan. Elladan smiled in what only could be labeled a doting manner, "Do you believe now that I love you Lindir?" he asked teasingly.

Lindir's head fell back as he replied, "Ai, Elladan. How do I know for certain that you are not simply taking advantage of my vulnerable state?"

"Lindir," Elladan's eyes were reproachful, "Have I ever lied to you? I would not go so far as to almost bond with someone who I held no love for."

"We did not bond," Lindir pointed out, trying to sit up. He leaned back against his hands, his face still flushed.

"If Elrohir had not interrupted, I am sure we would be well on our way," Elladan said, his voice serious, as Lindir blushed. "Lindir," he paused "Do you love me?"

"What kind of foolish question is that?" Lindir demanded. "I would leave Imladris to ensure your happiness. I would die for you!"

"And I would become a Kinslayer and take my own life were it to your advantage, my minstrel," Elladan whispered, almost to himself.

"You would?" Lindir breathed, his expression fearful.

"You heard me," Elladan said resolutely, stubbornly. "Look at me, I tell you only the truth."

"Yet I cannot help but doubt. If you indeed feel so strongly for me, then why didn't you speak before?" Lindir's eyes were downcast. "It pained me to speak of my unattainable love for you, and I was frightened of what you would do when you found out. So I said nothing." He shook his head, and a small smile started at the corner of his mouth as he finally looked up at the Peredhel, "But you, Elladan. You are a warrior. What does a little pain matter to you? You are no coward, so why did you say nothing until I had spoken my piece?"

Elladan shook his head, "Lindir, my minstrel. For years I have called you by that pet name, which you thought to be but the fondness of a friend. But know it now for the token of a lover. I may be a warrior of Imladris, powerful and descended from a mighty blood line, but still," and here he leaned forward. "I have always been a coward when it comes to matters of the heart. Simply having your friendship was enough for me. I did not wish to jeopardize that." He drew in a breath, his eyes having acquired a new wet sheen, "I did not want to risk frightening you. Having you here and as my friend was preferable to having confessed and you, feeling scared and betrayed, seeking sanctuary in Lothlórien, or worse, the Greenwood, from the young lord in Imladris who had terrified you with his declarations of undying love." He captured one of Lindir's hands, saying softly, "Anything, even vowing that I would never tell you, was preferable to that."

"You really do love me?" Lindir said dazedly, slumping back onto the ground.

"Lindir, I have just confessed my heart to you," Elladan complained, releasing his hands. "The least you could do would be to believe me!"

"You love me?" Lindir whispered, still seeming to be shocked. But before Elladan could say anything, he was halted by the giddy smile that slowly appeared on the minstrel's face, "You really do love me!" He sat up and before Elladan could protest, had sized the Peredhel's face, and kissed him soundly, and released him, "What a pair of fools we are . . . Meleth-nin," he said, adding the endearment for the first time.

Elladan looked ecstatic at Lindir's acceptance as he leaned down again so that the pair were in their previous position, "A pair of fools indeed," he whispered.

Lindir licked his lips, "They say that love is–"

"Elladan, where on arda are you?" Elrohir shouted, sounding too close for comfort. Elladan, having no idea whether his brother would approve or not and having no intention whatsoever of finding out, opted for action.

"–Blind," squeaked Lindir as Elladan rolled off him and stood up. Lindir propped himself up on his elbows and gave Elladan a black look, "Oh sure, just leave me down here to be found in this position by your brother why don't you?" he mock-snarled in a passable imitation of Erestor.

Elladan chuckled and offered him a hand, which he immediately grabbed, and pulled on. Instead of the desired effect of getting Lindir off of the ground, it only served to bring Elladan crashing down again. Lindir smiled smugly and rolled over to face the winded Peredhel, 'That's for giving me such a hard time today," he said. Elladan's face looked slightly hurt, so Lindir was about to kiss him, when he heard the sound of a twig being stepped on. He quickly rolled to the side as Elrohir stepped into view.

Elladan's twin paused, studying them, "What exactly are the two of you doing on the ground?" he enquired, scratching his head.

Elladan shot Lindir a panicked glance.

"Er . . . we were, well . . . we were . . . stargazing!" Lindir blustered, trying to come up with something that didn't sound too inane and failing miserably.

"Stargazing?"

"We are elves brother, in case it has escaped your notice," Elladan said dryly, coming to the rescue. "We are rather fond of stars."

Elrohir frowned at the implied insult, retorting, "Elladan you idiot, it is cloudy. There are no stars."

"Well, there were when we started," Elladan said firmly. He stood up as did Lindir, and brushed himself off, while Elrohir looked at him with an unreadable emotion on his face.

"What?" Elladan asked him.

Elrohir shrugged, "I just wondered if you knew that your shirt was half undone, that's all," he grinned at Elladan's speechless expression as he turned to Lindir, "and you have somehow managed to acquire a passion mark on your neck, meldir." Snickering, his gaze swept over his brother again, who had turned an interesting shade of crimson, "The next time the two of you go stargazing I believe you should find a place a little more . . . discreet," he advised his twin, as he turned to leave the garden.

As he vanished from view, Lindir looked at Elladan accusingly, "You gave me a passion mark?"

Elladan squirmed, "Only a small one," he protested.

Lindir glared at him, "Now everyone will know!"

"Yes well," he hesitated and then reached out to pull Lindir into his arms. "Would that really be a bad thing?"

"Hmm," Lindir considered, as inwardly he wondered if Elladan would mind if he leaned against him. "No, I suppose it wouldn't be."

"Well then," said Elladan, bringing his face close to Lindir's, who shivered. "I suppose that it would be alright with you if we continued to kiss?"

Lindir grinned as he leaned forward to gently touch his forehead to Elladan's, "That would be perfectly acceptable."

The end (for now) . . . .

A/N: Well, I took the old version and butchered it with a dull knife. It was beyond saving, I think. This is the new one.