Title: Whispers of the mind
Pairing: Haldir/ Elrond.
Rating: PG for now.
Summary: 1st person narrative. 21st century Scotland, Haldir feels his husband is neglecting him.
Warnings: Slash, mpreg, fatalism, depression, self-harm, eventual character deaths.
A/N: Chappie 1 is pretty light and fluffy. :D It gets much darker as the story goes along. I'll probably up the rating as the fic progresses. And yes, Elrond will make an appearance in the next chapter. /grinz /
Sitting in the helicopter with Lesz, I twiddle my fingers impatiently. I cannot wait to get back. To return to the Estate. To go back to the place I have lived for the past two hundred years. To be where my husband waits for me. To return to my beloved. To go home.
Ai, the word sings in my breast. Home! My home. The place I belong. The place I know I am loved. The place where my heart rests. My home. I am so happy. I thought today that I might loose my home forever. I had been dreading what I saw as my inevitable job transferral, and so when I received orders to report to headquarters last night, I thought the end had come. I never dreamed they would let me stay.
I feel a warm glow within me, and unconsciously I rest my hand protectively over my stomach. I hardly even realize it until I catch myself crooning to my unborn baby. I quickly glance up at Lesz, mortified at my display of ... of ... of what? Broodiness? Is there even such a term? And if there is, is it valid in this context? I don't know. And I don't care. Lesz is too busy piloting the helicopter to notice my odd behavior, and I am too happy to care much even if he does.
"How long till we get home?" I ask Lesz through the speaker of my headset.
"Not too long now. Maybe half an hour?" His voice through the receiver sounded oddly cackled and mechanical. I smile at him and fold my hands against my tummy, a compromise between my parental instinct and my desire to maintain face.
"I am anxious to return," I say quietly. I look down and bite back a smile. I cannot wait to see my husband again. He does not know I have been summoned to headquarters, but he knows how likely it is that I would be pulled out. We have been waiting for their call. We have been dreading it in silence. How glad he would be to know it is all over, and that I can stay with him in Scotland for as long as I want! What a relief it would be for the both of us, to spend our days free, no longer bogged down by fears or anxieties!
I draw a deep breath and close my eyes as I exhale, feeling my muscles relax as I do. I can feel the images of my husband dancing beneath my eyelids, and I long to reach out and embrace him. 'How long more?' I ask inwardly. 'How long must I wait to see him again!'
I feel like I would burst. I am as light as a feather, my very limbs seem to float on air. And yet there is a groundedness about me, a certain solidarity of thought that has eluded my being for so long. Reaching into the shopping bag on my lap, I finger a book of baby names I had purchased on my way to meet Lesz. It feels real in my hands, and I grip it hard. I am excited, but I am anxious too. The book has brought out both extremes in me, and I dig my nails into the soft paperback copy.
Dear Valar, it's terrifying! I still cannot say it, I still cannot articulate the thought. Though I have accepted it, I have yet to form the words in my mouth. Even my mind recoils from the thought. The very sounds of the consonants seem revolting to me, mocking me, my condition little more than a grotesque parody for the amusement of the gods. I hate it. It unmans me. My tongue cannot wrap itself around the syllables without my feeling a wave of nausea run through my entire body. It is sick. That's what it is. Sick.
And yet I do not wish to deny it any longer. Every day our child grows within me, as does my love for it. I want to acknowledge the baby, celebrate it, love it freely and openly and without shame. I want that. I desire that. But I dare not. My pride, my accursed pride stands in the way of my happiness. And not just mine alone, but my husband's and my child's as well. Every day I battle my pride, and every day I triumph just a little bit more. Perhaps soon I shall be free of it.
But an elf cannot live without pride. It is the driving force in most of our lives. Is it not pride that makes us achieve what we have achieved, and take joy in our successes? How different would I be from an average beast if not for my pride and my dignity as an elf? How then must I exert myself if not through my identity, the same identity which I have painstakingly pierced together over the years, specially devised to best flatter my pride? But oh, at what the cost! Because of it, I cannot enjoy my... my... my ....
I close my eyes and take a deep breath to calm myself down. Calm down, Haldir. That's it. Breathe. Relax, just relax. That's it. I sigh deeply and wonder if I can ever bring myself to say those words, even in the privacy of my own head.
I squeeze my eyes shut. Elrond and I have been talking about Baby (as we have termed it) and my... condition... but although I can say Baby effortlessly, I cannot bring myself to ... it is so hard. It is an effort. It is a struggle. I know that it is true. I know that it is real. I have accepted it. But I cannot bring myself to say it.
I grip my book of baby names as if it were a holy text, as if the solidarity of the pages would give me strength and keep me anchored to my reality. Ai, Elbereth, why is it so hard! I feel my eyes start to water with the effort even as I gear myself up and set my mind to form the words. Say it, Haldir. Say it.
But I don't, and Lesz's voice cackles through the headphones, snapping me out of my reverie. We touch down on the helipad, and I am dissatisfied. I feel as if I had sat for and failed a test. Cowardly guts, which cannot even bring himself to acknowledge something so simple as that! I disgust me!
I gather my belongings and step out of the helicopter, more than a little put out, my joyous mood all but dissipated. Sighing heavily, I heave my bags to the bedroom and dump them in a little pile in a corner. I sit down on the bed. From here, I can catch my reflection in the glass. It is a pretty reflection; I am the very image of elvish perfection with my chiseled features, pale skin and platinum blonde hair, and yet I turn away. I cannot bring myself to look me in the face. I disgust me.
I hear a sound at the door and I look up, hoping it would be my husband come to comfort me and reassure me of my worth. I need him to convince me of my worth. Right now, I feel lower than worthless. I cannot even acknowledge the source of my joy. I disgust me.
"Master Haldir?" Ivan says, sitting down beside me. Even though he is only an elderly human seneschal to Elrond's extensive property, he has become one of my most trusted friends. "Is something wrong?"
I arrange my features to form a smile. "No, Ivan," I sigh. I don't feel right telling him about my problem, even though he is my confidant. It has something to do with Baby, and so it is something sacred between my husband and I. Where possible, I would rather keep it between us. I don't want to taint it's sanctity. "Well, at least it's something I want to talk to Elrond about," I correct myself, and this time my smile is sincere.
"Something to do with -- hmm?" he says, purposely leaving out the last two words. Everybody in the household knows about my condition, and how awkward it is for me, and everybody is quietly mindful to avoid the words whenever possible.
I nod in response. "Yes," I say. "We have a lot to talk about." I bite my lip, desperately wanting to go to my husband, but reluctant to approach him now lest my heavy mood proves catching. "I guess I can talk to him over dinner. Can you make arrangements for us to dine in his main study? Oh, or even better, can you just have everything on a trolley so I can just wheel it in? I'd rather..." I pause and swallow hard. "I'd rather... nobody else be there."
Ivan nods understandingly, and I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from me. I look gratefully up at him and at once I remember my shopping bags. "Ai!" I cry. "I clean forgot!" I rummage around my bags until I find the one full of pastries and other sweet treats from a tea shop not far from headquarters. "There, that's for everyone, I was supposed to put it in the staff common room," I say and fumble some more. "And this is for Vernice," I say, holding up the small bouquet of flowers I had bought for his wife, "and this is for you," I say as I hand him a little book on archeology. "And look," I say, finally drawing out my book of baby names. "I got it on the way home. I thought it might come in useful."