-Note- I apologize. Humbly. Sincerely. Deeply. I haven't posted anything in quite a long time. But I have these AP and subject tests, you see, and they're next week. Anything that is not related to my tests has been temporarily blanked out of my mind (which might explain any errors I haven't caught, though this has been written for quite some time). :P

-Disclaimer- All characters and settings belong to Tolkien.

Of the Waters

The sand was cool, running through his fingers. His knees were drawn up to his bearded chin, his grey eyes looking across the water.

It was winter, but it would not be so for long. The water was still, a silent silver glass, and his long gaze could pick out the ghostly, vague shapes of the submerged ice-field lying just below the surface. Caps of ice stood out, stepping stones across a wide sea.

There was fog today, and he knew the harbor would be empty forsome weeks yet. Few ships came in this time of year, for snowstorms brewed without warning out ofthe northand dash a ship against the cliffs; indeed, he decided, the only ships that could navigate the ice were the hoped-for ones out of the West.

He heard footsteps, but did not turn. The boy emerged from the low dunes, trudged past him, and sat unceremoniously in the sand several yards off, no doubt to avoid any affectionate greeting. Círdan glanced surreptitiously to him: knees drawn up like his own, with rough hands clasped around.

"Elros," he said. "Good morning."

"Good morning."

Youth, thought Círdan. And yet not so; for the sons of Elwing, there would be no innocent childhood. Unfortunately and a little unfairly, this did not mean that they would be spared this awkward adolescence.

Elros was broader than an Elf across the shoulders and more muscular. His height was that of his mother: tall and graceful, though he had yet to grow into the latter trait. His hair was dark, his eyes a piercing grey. In his manner, he favored his father.

Now Elros looked across the sea, where the horizon blurred with the white sky. "The ice will melt ere the month is out, I think," he said. Yes, thought Círdan, he favored his father. "I should like to go sailing when it does."

"Do, but make sure of the weather first," advised Círdan. Elros nodded, his expression mostly passive. Mostly passive, because he could never quite conceal things as well as his brother. "Perhaps your skiff will be finished by the spring."

"Not a skiff," Elros said with slight indignation; he had been working on the small craft throughout the autumn and winter and it was nearly finished now. "Too big to be a skiff. And she's beautiful."

"I recall the first ship I built," said Círdan, smiling faintly. "It was made of reeds, very magnificent…I'd say it towered at about knee-height." It had also sunk quite miserably to the bottom of Cuivenen. But he did not say that now, and his story elicited no response.

"Will you speak of what is troubling, or shall I leave you to your thoughts?" Círdan asked. He had the sneaking suspicion thatyoung Elros had dodged his tutors to come out to the beach.

"No," came the hasty reply. "Please stay."

Círdan nodded and picked up a handful of sand. The small grains ran quickly through his fingers, and soon they were gone.

"I want to build a ship and sail up and down the coast. I want to explore new places. I want to sail far away." It came out very quickly. "And I told Elrond and he said he would never come."

Ah, thought Círdan. Perhaps he should have known.

"He doesn't like ships as much as I."

"Must he?" asked Círdan.

"No…but I want us to be together."

Círdan was suddenly glad he had no siblings. "You are alike in many ways, but you are not the same person. Being apart from him, you may find more of yourself," he said slowly. A white gull swept overhead and across the water, cried out once, and alighted on the ice. "Distance does not temper love."

The twins they had found years ago had, at first, not left each others' sides. But even twins could not be together all the time, he supposed; a nagging feeling in his mind told him that their quiet togetherness would not last forever.

"Go back to your brother," he said, his voice firmer that he expected it to be. "I believe he is in my library."

Elros sighed. "I'll go."With an effort, he rose and plodded unenthusiastically across the dunes, retracing his steps.

Círdan was alone again. He stood and approached the water, seeing his face reflected back in silence. Accompanied by a rush of feathers, the gull took flight once more, his blurred mirror-image following him across the water until he disappeared against the sky.

(l)

Thanks for reading!

256 FA: Círdan leads Elves to the Isle of Balar following the destruction of Eglarest and Brithombar

525 FA: Elrond and Elros born

1 SA: Lindon and the Grey Havens founded

442 SA: Death of Elros after a reign of 410 years