Title: Eyes of A Lover.
Pairing: Haldir/ Elrond.
Archive: Melethryn, ff-dot-net, LoM
Summary: The ficlet traces the characters' flow of conciousness as they realise their relationship is falling apart.
We fight all the time. It seems that is all we ever do lately, that every time we meet we waste what little time we have together locked in conflict. Or perhaps it is just me, nitpicking, just spoiling for a fight. Or perhaps that is just how we communicate. I have seen lovers act that way before, where conflict is just a means of expression, a way of showing they still care. But we are not like them. I know he hates conflict. He does anything in his power to avoid it at all costs... does anything in his power to avoid me...
But no, I am being unfair to him. The fault is entirely my own. How can I blame him for wishing himself away if all I ever do when I am with him is start a quarrel?
He doesn't spend time with me anymore. Perhaps he doesn't care for me as much as he used to. In the past he used to be so considerate. But that was then, before I declared my commitment for him. Back then I was quite the predator. I would stay up carousing till the break of dawn, and still have the thirst and spirit for yet more. I had throes of admirers, both male and female. Nobody could resist my charms. To be conquered by me was an honor of the highest kind. They wanted it. They loved it. They relished it.
They loved me.
But that was back then, back when I was still free. Back when I was widely acknowledged as the best at the game. When I was still a predator. Before I bound myself to him. Back then, I was surrounded by admirers but perhaps now that I have shut them out of my life, he no longer feels anxious to keep me for himself. Perhaps now that I have scorned his rivals, the thrill of the challenge has gone. Perhaps now that I am thoroughly his, he no longer desires me.
And that is how I feel, standing here. Watching him across the hall. Unwanted. Unneeded. Undesirable.
He doesn't approach me. Ever. We could be in the same room for hours and he would simply ignore me, ignore my presence. He never comes up to embraces me, never in public and hardly ever in private. He doesn't hold my hand. And sitting regally in his chair at the head of the council, not once does his gaze rest on me. Have I grown so ugly to him, that he no longer has eyes for me?
It chokes me, that I might not be the one he wants. Not now. Not anymore. That my time in the sun with him is over.
My entire being throbs with agony. My thoughts grow frenzied, dizzying, so that I can hardly stand upright, and my throat is so tight it feels like I must burst. I feel I must let out some sound or other, a cry, a groan, a sigh, some means of releasing this anguish in my heart.
And yet I stay silent. And yet I stand to attention. My heart is breaking, and yet I cannot give up my position beside Lord Celeborn. Such is the cruel fate of a marchwarden.
The meeting progresses, dull and mundane, and yet I must project a false show of interest to the dignitaries. Ai, if only one could let one's advisors handle the details of the trade agreement! My lover watches me across the room. I know it. I feel it. He has traveled from Lothlorien for me. He has made the journey with the visiting party for my sake.
I feel his gaze upon me, and yet I cannot meet it. One look at those handsome eyes and I will loose all coherent thoughts. When one is seated in a position of power, one's coherence is of utmost importance. Especially when one is facing a delegation led by one's own father-in-law.
Does Lord Celeborn know about Haldir and I? Most likely he would. I only hope he does not resent me this love. It has been too long since my Celebrian left me... Too long have I wandered the halls, lost and lonely... too long have I grieved... too long have I been plagued by guilt. If only I had been more careful... if only I had taken greater care perhaps she might still be here today. But I hadn't. And I will live with the remorse of it for the rest of eternity.
And yet, I feel his eyes on me, and it gives me courage. He is my light. His mere presence makes me feel more joyous and alive than I have in a long, long while. He is my light. He is my life. And I love him with all my being.
He stands across the room from me, so near yet so far... so close, but so distant. For now, we are separated by our duties, but later... later this evening...
I close my eyes. Already I can imagine him in my arms, a warm fragrant bundle, snug and solid in my arms. Already I can imagine the rich contentment of basking in his adoration. I love him. He is my light. I imagine him coming up to me in the evening, after his lord dismisses him for a time. I imagine him helping me dress for the evening meal. I imagine his lips upon mine, soft and lingering, etching the magical moment forever in both our minds before we step out of my chamber and into the duties of the everyday world.
I love him. He is my light. He is my world.
And yet... he has been so cold lately. So distant. I wonder what brought that change about. An air of heaviness, of melancholy surrounds him. More than once, I have tried to speak to him about it, to try to help him, to try to be there for him. But he wouldn't let me. He wouldn't tell me what was wrong. Even though he looks as handsome and robust as ever, I know he is but a shadow of his former self. The eyes of a lover sees. And so I know he is disturbed, but what it is that plagues him I cannot tell.
He shuts me out. He refuses to share what is on his mind. And when we are together, he gets impatient and snaps at me. His countenance no longer lights up when he sees me. He no longer approaches me to be kissed. And sometimes... sometimes, he turns away from me when I hold him at night.
I feel him slipping through my fingers. I know I cannot keep him forever, someone as beautiful and free as him. I know he will tire of me one day... that he will grow frustrated with my stuffiness and my unbendingness and leave me for someone younger and more exciting... leave me for someone more like himself. He is my light. He is my life. He is my reason for breathing. But though it breaks my heart to think it, I cannot delude myself. Already I have lost one love. I know one day I will loose him too.
Perhaps now that day has already arrived. Perhaps that day is now.
As the meeting progresses, I see a change come over his features... a slight drooping of the mouth, a small crinkle in his brow. I see him bite back a sigh. Nobody else notices. Only I do. The eyes of a lover sees all.
His shoulders droop. His body droops. His entire countenance droops. And yet he will not look at me. Not a smile, not a glance, nothing to show that he knows I am here. It is always this way, and I am filled with despair at his blatant show of indifference.
I feel a tingling in my heart and fingertips, of cold creeping up my arms. It is a familiar feeling. I have felt it many times before.
I remember the first time it came over me, when someone I loved was killed, slain by the blade of an orc. I felt as if the life were draining out of me. I was heartbroken, and yet I could not cry. A soldier must not cry. Ever. A soldier must be strong and show no emotions. A soldier must be like a well-oiled weapon, cold and deadly, unthwarted by softer concerns of the heart. Especially if he were a marchwarden.
She was my first love.
I stayed unfeeling throughout her funeral, but when some months had passed and the cold still remained, I grew anxious. I did not like the feeling of iciness creeping up my spine and clouding my vision when I hunted. Dragging at my limbs when I ran and thwarting my aim when I shot. I talked about it to my brother. I asked him if he had ever had a similar experience, and what I should do to be rid of it. He had not felt it before, nor did he ever hear of an illness like that. He told me he would speak to a friend of his. His friend was wise on these matters of health.
That evening, the Lady herself entered my flet. "You are fading," she told me. She sat down beside me and gave me something warm to drink, then ran her long fingers across my brow. "You are fading." I looked at her and saw only kindness, only sympathy, only love without a single trace of harsh judgments. Only kindness. Only gentleness. Only compassion for a fellow soul. She ran her fingers across my brow. "You are fading," she said, softly. Her voice was like the music of the wind in the leaves.
I wept in her arms that night, burying my face in her dress to muffle the sounds of my shame. A soldier should not cry. A soldier must not cry. But cry I did, and I was ashamed. She held me patiently and stroked my hair as I wept shamefully into her dress, hour after hour as if she were the mother I never had, until I wept all the grief out of my heart and the cold out of my system. By the time she left the next morning, I was exhausted from crying. But I was well again. In her own gentle way, she had soothed my soul.
I feel it again now, the same tingling feeling, the same icy cold, the same heaviness to my limbs. A certain numbness of the heart that comes with the feeling of utter despair. For I have lost my love. As the evening sun bathes the room in a glare of light, I know that he does not love me any longer. He no longer sees me, even when we are in the same room.