Disclaimer: This is a work of Lord of the Rings fanfiction. The world of J.R.R. Tolkien is owned by Tolkien Enterprises and/or New Line Cinema. No money is being made from this story. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: This vignette is placed after Glorfindel runs off the witch-king at Fornost.
Night Over Fornost -- by Eithelien
It was always Glorfindel, the solemn figure reflected, shifting his shoulders and bowing his head. Always, crashing through the gates at the last minute, the outshining sun for every unwedded elf-maid, nevertheless walking in on Erestor at the very least of opportune moments.
Always. Without fail.
It wasn't the job of the chief Advisor to play Prince of Cats at every diplomatic meeting, nor to sit as a figurehead of majesty by his Lord's side, even if neither of them intended it to be seen that way. And Erestor hardly grudged him the task.
What he grudged were the broken candelabras, the Gondorian maidens who invariably caught head-colds after being charmed by his Golden-headed worship at outdoor parties all night, the riding-cloaks torn to shreds after the latest mad dash through the trees. He grudged that he complained and put up with everything, even going out to receive the newest green riding-cloak from the seamstress. Even after running into a Gondorain diplomat upon arriving at Glorfindel's suite and introducing himself while dripping wet, and hardly Advisorly at all.
"Oh," the Man had said with a charming smile that immediately put him in Erestor's bad books, "I thought you were the butler."(1)
But love goes beyond messy habits and occasional clumsiness and omnipresent gallantry. Because in the end, Erestor really loved the riding-cloaks too, and while he didn't appreciate the omnipresent female admirers, he had kept the pieces of the antique candelabra. Somehow, he also loved whatever it was in the mad elf possessing him to gallop up to the very manifestation of Evil and make fearful threats and prophecies, with three profusely bleeding leg wounds and a gash across the head.
And that was not even the half of it – he had held out until the last, until they had been able to meet on the field of battle when the fire in his eyes had subsided and he had stopped pulsing with white light, and Erestor gathered him into his arms and felt him slipping down the side of his horse. "Gwador!" he'd yelled over the din of subsiding battle, realizing with horror that the blood on his hand had come from Glorfindel's forehead. "Glorfindel, you are hurt!"
It was the last thing he'd said before closing his eyes and slipping into deadly unconsciousness, that made Erestor want to fly to Mandos and back for him, and pound him into the dirt at the same time. "Oh, no. You worry too much, mad old crow." Because it was so normal. The same old nickname, the same old rogue-ish gallantry, the same old irony amidst battle and history in the making, with Glorfindel on the brink of death. It didn't seem right at all, and it almost physically hurt Erestor.
But he hadn't done either of those things. He'd yelled madly for several moments, then charged someone with commanding Glorfindel to a healer's tent. And because he was one of the captains on the field, he'd returned to his duty, cleaning up the killing field, doling out tasks, tallying the wounded and dead.
Finally, he'd come to sit out a grieving vigil for the elf who ought to be up and making rude jokes with battle-hardened mortal men, who hadn't even opened his eyes yet. Erestor wanted to scream, but it wasn't something Erestor did, and his throat was completely dry anyway.
Here was a wreck of an elf, a delusional, mad, idealistic, loud, weary, fighter who always threw himself forward into the spotlight, broke multiple wineglasses per week, and always seemed to have done just the right thing at the end of the day. Erestor didn't know why it was right, it just always was. Even this, he knew, this would come out right in the end too, even if he had to wait through Glorfindel's second death to make it so.
The moon rose over the ruins of Fornost. Elves, Men, and pheriannath dined together in victory and in mourning only a stone's throw away, but Erestor never even considered the possibility of joining them. His task was to finish the battle. His task was to watch his love come to life, if only to ground his golden head into the dirt afterward.
You have always come before, by my will, gwador, meleth, but I will stand by your side until you come out of this. Because I know you too well. It was only to your nature, it was all you could have done. Strangely, I am proud of you, and I may even tell you so, you fool. I know. I know. . . .
(1) Borrowed from the West Wing, Season Two. Lord John Marbury greeting Leo McGarry (the White House Chief of Staff). Believe the episode is called "Lord John Marbury".