This idea for a one-shot involving Glorfindel just struck me two days ago, when I should have been studying for the two exams that I just finished. Oh well…what can I say? Glorfindel is just more attractive than our English literature texts…
Heh, well, I hope this is good and that I did the characters well.
Disclaimer: It's all Mr. Tolkien's, OK?
To Conquer What We Fear:
Night had fallen on the Elven refuge of Imladris, bringing with it the welcome light of the stars including that of Ëarendil the Mariner with the Silmaril clasped around his chest. The residents of Imladris gladly retired to their rooms, exhausted after having entertained a company of Elves from the Grey Havens and glad to have peace and quiet in their home once more.
The beautiful Lady of Imladris sat at her dressing table, carefully brushing out her gleaming silver-hair while her husband settled himself in bed, weary and in need of a good rest. Through the mirror, she could see her husband's body relaxing as sleep took him over almost completely. She smiled softly. He had worked the most out of everyone, to keep the visitors from the Havens entertained and occupied – and to keep their sons from wreaking havoc.
Her thoughts were interrupted when she caught sight of a flash of lightning through the window. As she continued to stare at the window, she saw many more flashes of lightning, which caused her to frown. Putting her hairbrush down, she stood up and crossed the room to the window. Opening it, she shivered slightly as a chilly breeze blew inside. Hearing her husband mumble something in his sleep, she quickly closed the window but continued to stare outside.
It looked like a storm was on its way. Usually, she didn't mind storms – in fact, when she had been younger she used to sit up and watch storms the whole night sometimes with her father, but most of the time on her own. She was dreading the arrival of the storm simply because of her daughter. Arwen might be a brave little Elfling, but one thing that she was still frightened of was storms. The lightning she did not mind, but the thunder scared her so much that she would begin to tremble violently, and would only calm down when her parents took her into their room until the storm passed.
Another flash of lightning showed itself outside, but Celebrian did not make her way to her daughter's room as she usually did. It was still too early – the major part of the storm, with the thunder and heavy rain, would come later. She might as well get some rest until then. Besides, her daughter had to learn to quench her fears. As she made her way to the bed, she paused once more, unsure of her decision. Arwen did get terribly frightened of storms…what if her little girl was shivering in bed at that very moment?
"…It is still too early…give it a bit more time and then we will make our way towards her room…" She jumped, startled at her husband's voice.
"I thought you were sleeping," she said, as she pulled back the covers. Elrond shot her a weary smile.
"Just waiting for you to put that lamp out…" he said, yawning as he nodded at the lamp on the bedside table. Celebrian shot him a sheepish glance as she reached out and blew the light out.
"Sorry, I did not realize," she said. Elrond closed his eyes before opening them once more as lightning continued to flash across the sky. He stared into space thoughtfully for a second or two, before sighing.
"Maybe we should just bring her in here…" he said, changing his mind and making to sit up when Celebrian stopped him.
"No, you were right, we should wait a little more," she said. "Besides, if we continue to do this she will never rid herself of this fear…"
"But she's still a little Elfling," protested Elrond, stifling another yawn. Celebrian nodded.
"And it is the best time to get rid of whatever it is that she fears," she said. Elrond stared at her for a second longer before nodded.
"You are right, love…as usual…" he said, flashing her a tired smile. "But once the whole thing actually starts, I am bringing her here…" Celebrian nodded as she let her head fall onto the soft pillow.
"Good night, Elrond…" she said, snuggling beside him and wrapping an arm around his waist. Elrond mumbled something that vaguely sounded like 'good-night' before he was lost in Lorien's dream world once more.
The small figure trembled as she lay underneath the normally warm covers of her bed. Even though she had closed the curtains, she could still see the lightning that flashed outside. She wanted to go to her parents' room where she knew she would immediately be taken and kept warm, in between her mother and father, but that night she did not want to disturb them. She may be young, but she could still see the weariness in her father's face, and she could remember the somewhat relieved expression that had found itself on his face as he watched their visitors depart. He was tired – as was the rest of the household – and she did not want to disturb him or her mother.
But - she trembled as lightning continued to flash outside and wondered how she would be able to survive the night. Sitting up as more flashes of lightning made themselves visible, she threw off the bedcovers and swung her feet over the bed. The floor was cold to her skin, making her tremble. Not even bothering to go to her window, she hurried out of her room as quietly as she could. Once she was outside, she could not help but shiver again as the darkness of the corridor overwhelmed her. She thought about going into her parents' room once more…but immediately dismissed the idea. No, she couldn't.
The golden-haired Elf was fast asleep in bed, completely unaware of the approaching storm outside. Together with Elrond and Erestor, he was also one of the Elves who had worked rather hard at keeping the visitors from the Havens occupied, and was thus exhausted; exhausted enough to be dead to the world around him. That is, until he heard the familiar 'creak' of his room door being opened. His eyes snapped open and automatically adjusted to the darkness around him. He tensed up ever so slightly as he heard the creak again, as the door was opened wider, and squinted, trying to see the outline of whoever it was. He saw a rather short person, but did not have much time to think about it as he heard soft footsteps near his bed.
He made sure to keep his breathing even so that the intruder wouldn't know that he was actually awake, all the while wondering who was sneaking into his room at this time of night…and more importantly, why. Waiting for a moment or two – and thus giving the intruder enough time to make it to his bed, his left arm shot out and clasped what he thought was an arm in a strong grip, just as he sat up hurriedly. He thought he heard a whimper, but dismissed it as he reached out towards the lamp that he on his bedside table, a frown on his face as he did so. He'd teach the intruder a thing or two about disturbing him like this.
"What do you want?" he asked, his voice hard and low as he finally clasped his fingers around the lamp and as he turned the knob, lighting it. His light-blue eyes widened as he saw who exactly his intruder was. "Ar – Arwen?" he let go of the Elfling's hand at once, grimacing as he saw the dark red finger-marks that he had left behind. The black-haired Elfling rubbed her arm slowly, trying to ease the pain on it. "What…what are you doing here?" asked the golden-haired Elf, only then noticing that she was shivering. "…Arwen?"
The Elfling looked up at him, and his breath caught as his eyes locked in with hers. The usually, well alive grey orbs were wide and…fearful. She opened her mouth to say something, but closed it almost at once, her eyes straying to the opened windows opposite her. Glorfindel glanced at the windows too, wondering how the curtains were opened…he could have sworn that he had drawn the curtains closed before he went to sleep…
He heard a small, barely concealed whimper as two quick flashes of lightning from outside rather eerily illuminated the room. He turned hurriedly to the Elfling, to see her shivering madly. "Ar – "
"…I – I'm – " Arwen whimpered once more, as more lightning lit up the night sky. It was then that the golden-haired Elf put two and two together. Mentally telling his fatigue to retreat to the back of his mind, he held his arms out to the little child. She only stared at him for half a moment more before running into the comforting embrace. "I'm sorry, Glorfindel, but…I'm scared…" she whispered into his chest, feeling warmer. Glorfindel shook his head, a tender smile forming on his face.
"It is nothing to apologize for, Arwen," he said, before frowning. "You're cold…" Arwen nodded, still shivering. Making sure that he held her securely, he lifted her off the ground and turned her around, so that she was sitting on his lap, the back of her head resting against his chest. "Now, tell me, why were you wondering out? Did you not fall asleep, little one?" Arwen shook her head slowly.
"I couldn't sleep…" she said, slowly, "I…was scared." She turned her head around as far as she could, in an attempt to look at him. "Glor-findel, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you…I did not want to disturb Ada – he looked so tired – or Naneth…but I shouldn't have disturbed you…" Glorfindel shook his head, making sure she could see him.
"You did not…I could not sleep anyway," he lied, "I was just pretending to sleep…" He glanced up as the little girl continued to steal glances at the windows, where the lightning could be seen. "Arwen, I am going to move you so you can get under the sheets, alright?" he asked, waiting for her to nod before lifting her up again and holding the sheets up for her to scoot under, before tucking them around her. Her shivers had lessened somewhat, but were yet to disappear completely. Glancing up once more as the room was illuminated by the lightning he threw his legs over the side of the bed and stood up.
"Where – where are you going?" asked Arwen, sounding scared. He smiled at her.
"I'm just going to close the windows," he said as he walked towards them. After making sure that they were securely fastened shut, he drew the curtains over them. Turning around to walk back to the bed, his eyes softened as he saw the black-head poking out from the white sheets, looking terrified. He had only just managed to slide under the sheets when a peal of thunder rumbled across the sky. Whimpering, Arwen scooted towards him, curling up in a fetal position once she reached him.
He said nothing for a while as he turned on his side and hugged the girl, worried at the rate she was shivering. "…Why are you so afraid of storms, Arwen?" he asked, softly. He received no answer for a while. "You don't mind everything else about nature…so why fear storms?"
"Because they're too noisy," was the muffled reply he got, "They sound violent…"
"But they are not," said Glorfindel, resting his chin on the top of her head. "Well, not really…we have not had a storm violent enough to cause actual damage here for quite a while now…"
"But…but they…they cause the river to flood…" Glorfindel nodded.
"But that is only if it continues for a while," he said, "Besides, a heavy shower of rain, minus the thunder and the lightning can also cause the river to flood…" He sensed the Elfling tense, but did not ask her what was wrong. It was up to her to tell him.
"…It was a storm that caused the flood on that day…" He frowned slightly.
"On what day?" He was met with a few more moments of silence.
"The day 'Dan and 'Ro took me to the river…" whispered Arwen, her eyes squeezed shut although Glorfindel couldn't see it. Glorfindel waited patiently although curiosity was bubbling like mad inside him. What had made that particular day stand out from the rest? "It…they thought the river was…at its normal level, and promised me that…that I could even go in it," continued Arwen, after a while, "And…we were running around, hiding from each other when I – I – "
" – You wanted to go in…" helped Glorfindel, thinking he knew which direction this tale was going in. Arwen nodded – he felt it more than he saw it.
"Y-yes…but…but the water was deep…so that – that – " she stopped, shivering more as she remembered the events of that day.
"Arwen did this happen on the day I returned back from Lothlorien with your grandmother and grandfather?" asked Glorfindel, realization dawning on him as Arwen nodded again. He remembered that day well. He had arrived at the refuge with his #cough# friends, the Lady Galadriél and the Lord Celeborn, along with a number of the Galadhrim, only to find chaos reining the place. It took him a long while to find out what had happened, and even then, all he had been told was that Arwen had had a small incident concerning water and rivers.
"And – and 'Dan and 'Ro said that the river wasn't usually like that…and that it was just because of the storm we had the night before…" finished Arwen, surprised to feel a little bit better. Glorfindel nodded; it made sense.
"So…are you afraid of water?" he asked, after a while. Arwen shook her head.
"N-not really…" she said, as more thunder rumbled outside, "But Ada won't let me near the river again…"
"Do you want me to take you there?"
"Nay, perhaps tomorrow…or the day after that…" He didn't get an answer as Arwen snuggled closer to him. "Arwen, it won't do for you to continue to be afraid of storms…" he said, "Yes, I know that they are loud – well, at least the thunder is – but how can you fear them so much?" He shook his head inwardly. "When you think of a storm, think of it this way; that the sky – our friend – letting the storm happen to nourish the earth…"
"But why is it…scary?" asked a small voice.
"It is not scary, you only think it is because of that incident involving the river," replied Glorfindel. "Tell me, you do not fear rain, do you?" He felt the Elfling shake her head hurriedly.
"I like the rain!" she exclaimed.
"Then you should not fear storms," said Glorfindel, "Yes, I admit that they can be dangerous, but that is only if you stand too close to trees…and besides, you, my little one, have more brains that to go and do that, do you not?"
"Y-yes…" Glorfindel said nothing for a while afterwards, as he fought to keep his fatigue at bay. "Glorfindel?"
"Are you afraid of storms?"
"No, I am not."
"…Can – can you teach me how to…stop being afraid of storms?" Glorfindel smiled.
"…I can try…but you will have to do some work too," he said, "For it is with your hard work that you can stop being afraid." He waited for an answer, and was satisfied when he felt the Elfling nod again. "…How soon do you want to start working on this?" he asked, as an idea – a reckless one as Erestor would have said – popped into his head.
"Getting rid of your fear of storms?"
"I…I don't know…" It was a good thing that the Elfling couldn't see the grin on Glorfindel's face, or she would have gotten rather worried.
"How about right now?" Arwen pulled herself away from the golden-haired Elf and stared up at him, in disbelief.
"N-now?" Glorfindel nodded, his light-blue eyes gleaming.
"What better time, Arwen? Who knows when the next storm will come?" he reasoned. Arwen just stared up at him. "What do you think, Arwen?"
"…It…won't be dangerous?"
"Not as long as I'm there."
"I – I won't get into trouble?"
"Do you think anyone else is awake at this hour?"
"…I – it will help me?"
"Great! I knew you'd say that! Come, let's go!"
A little while later, the pair were standing outside the large, intricately designed building, staring out into the gardens that were lit-up due to the rather frequent lightning flashes. Glorfindel had to give the Elfling some credit; she had only stopped walking once as they made their way outside, and that was when thunder rumbled at the same time that a window that hadn't been fastened properly slammed shut with a rather loud noise.
He winced as he felt the tight grip that Arwen had on his hand, but didn't say anything. He didn't want her to get discouraged…not now. Looking down at her, he shot her a reassuring smile, before prying his hand out of hers. Arwen stared in alarm as Glorfindel turned away from her and walked out into the gardens, and into the midst of the rain. She shielded her eyes against the bright flashes of lightning and found herself being forced to hold her nightclothes down with her other hand, thanks to the strong breeze. Her eyes widened in amazement as she saw the Elf stop, quite a fair distance from her, and as she watched him turn his face up to the sky, not seeming the least bit frightened.
Glorfindel sighed as cool droplets of rain hit him, piercing his clothes. It was rather refreshing, and it was then that he realized he hadn't enjoyed being out in a storm for quite sometime. Aware that he was being watched by a certain tiny little Elfling he spread his arms out as he turned his face to the skies, closing his eyes against the water. Aahhh…now this felt good.
A moment or two later, he turned around and gestured for Arwen to come to him. She shook her head and stood where she was, trembling. No matter how many times he signaled for her to come, she refused.
"You came this far, Arwen," he yelled, over the noise of the rain and the thunder, "You can't give up now!" Arwen just shook her head again, staring at him in wonder. He guessed that he did look a little strange, standing there in his nightclothes and allowing the rain to just drench him completely. But that's not the point. He gestured again, thinking to himself that if she didn't come, he would wait there – and probably do the impossible and catch a cold until she came to him.
He didn't have to wait much longer as, a particularly violent and loud rumbling of thunder later the Elfling was sprinting towards him in a hurry. Once she reached him, she buried her face in his wet clothes, her heart beating hard. Glorfindel gave her a quick hug, causing her to look up at him. Ignoring the fear he saw in her eyes, he smiled once more. "See? This isn't too bad, is it?" he asked.
"…Cold…" whispered Arwen, trembling. Glorfindel nodded.
"Yes, but it's not scary, is it? Didn't you tell me a while ago that you liked the rain?" Arwen nodded slowly, although she still stayed close to him. Deciding that something drastic needed to be done, he put on a solemn expression on his face – one that didn't last for long. With a playful war-cry, he tackled the Elfling to the ground, grinning as she let out a yelp of surprise.
"Wh – what…what are you – " Arwen was cut off by a series of giggles as she was tickled. "Glo-Glor-Glorfindel!"
"I'm the Tickle Monster, and I'm coming to get you!" said Glorfindel, theatrically. Arwen rolled on the wet grass, her arms flailing around as she attempted to stop him. The giggles continued, and after a while, it seemed as though the Elfling had forgotten she was outside as she reached out, a viscous gleam in her grey eyes, and pulled hard on his hair. "Ouch!" yelped Glorfindel, pulling back for a moment as he saw a few bubbly stars in his head.
He felt a small fist connect with his chest at the same time that he was kicked – unintentionally, of course – rather hard in the gut. "Ooof…Arwen – " Seeing what she was trying to do, he simply allowed himself to fall back as one of her barely effective 'punches' hit him again, and a moment later, Arwen was leaning over him, arms crossed at her chest and with a triumphant gleam in her eyes. "You cheated."
"No, you just didn't concentrate," said the Elfling, looking smug and much to Glorfindel's horror, looking exactly like her father as she did so. He settled for shaking his head, resigned.
"What can I say? It was my fault after all…" he said. The pair was silent for a while afterwards, allowing the sound of the rain to fill their ears. As he heard the rumbling of thunder, Glorfindel glanced hurriedly at the Elfling. Her brows were furrowed as she raised her eyes to the skies. One of her hands that was placed on his shoulder to steady herself, unconsciously gripped the now thoroughly drenched fabric of his tunic. Glorfindel reached out and squeezed her hand reassuringly. "Is it that bad, Arwen?"
The Elfling was still looking up at the sky, her face being illuminated by the flashes of lightning that signaled the arrival of the thunder. It took a gentle prod to her side for her to look down at him. "…I – " She stopped, looking thoughtful, although Glorfindel didn't see this. "Is this what…you like doing in storms?"
Glorfindel shook his head. "Nay, I do not do this all the time," he said, truthfully, "For I have not had the time to enjoy myself in this manner." He paused, observing the silhouette of the Elfling for a while before speaking again. "Why did you ask?"
"I was just…curious," said Arwen, slowly, looking up at the sky as thunder followed lightning. "…The rain feels nice and cool…" Glorfindel nodded.
"Aye, it does, doesn't it?" he asked, resting his head back on the wet grass. "And don't you feel free? Don't you feel refreshed?" Arwen took a while to answer, and when she did, Glorfindel allowed a smile of triumph to appear on his face.
"It does," she replied, being forced to raise her voice to be heard over the thunder, even though Glorfindel was right beside her. "But…still…" Glorfindel looked up suddenly, placing his hands on her shoulders.
"I want you to do something," he said, "I want you to lie down on your back, like what I'm doing…" Arwen shot him a curious glance.
"Like…that?" she questioned. "But, why?"
"Just do it, Arwen…" He felt her shift and move off him, and a rustle of grass later he knew that she was lying on her back beside him. He smiled. "Now take a deep, deep breath."
"A deep breath?" He nodded. He heard her take the breath and waited, wanting to know what she felt. He heard a soft almost inaudible gasp and waited, rather anxious. "…That…that smell…"
"It's…it's so…fresh…and it smells of – of…" Arwen's voice trailed off as she couldn't find the words to describe the smell that she had just inhaled. Glorfindel placed a hand on her head, knowing what she had just experienced. When she had taken the deep breath he had instructed her to take, the smell that reached her nose was one of pure freshness. It was, possibly, one of nature's best scents – with everything from the grass to the trees and the plants giving off a fresh scent that indicated a fresh start. "It's…wonderful…"
"It is, isn't it?" he asked, lazily. "Are you frightened now?" Arwen tensed, before answering.
"Not – not as much as before…" she whispered.
"All fears can be conquered, Arwen, it just takes a bit of time…" said Glorfindel, knowing the truth of his statement. A particularly cool gust of wind blew across the gardens, and he had to grit his teeth as the wave of coldness swept over him. Sensing the Elfling's shivers, he sat up suddenly. What had he been thinking? If Arwen got ill now…
"Come on, it's late and getting too cold…we should go back inside…" he said, standing up and helping her up. "We don't want you to get sick now, do we?" With that, the two made their way back to the building and squelched their way back to his room.
Glorfindel stood patiently by the window, his back to the rest of the room as he waited for the Elfling to change out of her clothes. A moment later, when he was told it was safe, he turned around and made his way to her. His blue tunic was much too large for her, but she did look adorable in it. Taking her nightdress from her, he placed it on one of the chairs in his room, before they repeated the same procedure only this time with Arwen looking out the window while he changed.
He smiled as Arwen ran to the bed and jumped under the covers. He could tell that she was tired, but also that she had enjoyed the romp in the rain. Leaving the lamp on and pushing it to the far side of his bedside table, he snuggled under the covers, smirking as the Elfling immediately made her way to him.
"…Do you think I'll get into trouble for running out in the rain like that?" asked Arwen, suddenly. Glorfindel grinned.
"No one will really have to know, will they?" he asked. "Besides, if they do find out, I'll be blamed, not you…"
"I'm sorry…" said Arwen, sleepily wondering why she was so exhausted. She stifled a yawn, hoping that the golden-haired Elf wouldn't notice, but she should have known better. Sensing her weariness, Glorfindel placed a kiss on the top of her head.
"Don't be," he said. "Good night, little one."
"…Good night…Glorfindel…" Some time later, he joined her in dreaming, his weariness finally catching up with him.
Elrond smiled softly when he poked his head through the door to his friend's quarters. When they had gone to their daughter's room and found her missing, they hadn't panicked, knowing that there was someone else that she would have turned to in her fright. Sure enough, he and Celebrian were right.
"…There's no need to wake her up," said Celebrian, a fond smiling forming on her face. Her daughter was snuggled up next to the figure of the golden-haired Elf, with her head resting on him, and he in turn rested his chin on the top of her head. They were both dead to the world.
"And absolutely no need to wake him up," added Elrond, smiling at his friend's sleeping figure.
"No doubt they've been out adventuring in the rain…" mused Celebrian, nodding at the wet clothes on the other side of the room. Elrond nodded.
"I'll let it go…this time," he said. Celebrian raised an eyebrow at him.
"This time?" she whispered. "You always let 'it' go wherever Arwen's concerned…I see you've got a soft spot for out daughter." Elrond smiled.
"When she's that adorable, how can I not?" he asked, before softly closing the door and following Celebrian back to their room.
Many years later:
"I don't understand," said Aragorn, as he stared at his son who had returned from year's holiday in Imladris with his Uncles and his extended family there. The now somewhat taller little-boy grinned at him before turning his attention back to the opened window in the room and taking in a deep breath as lightning continued to flash outside.
"What don't you understand?" asked Arwen, smiling at her son's back. Aragorn was wide-eyed when he next turned to her after a bout of thunder.
"Eldarion…he – he's not…he didn't even flinch at the thunder…" he said, stunned. "And – and he's actually enjoying the storm…"
"Is it wrong of him to do so?" questioned Arwen, raising an eyebrow. Aragorn shook his head hurriedly.
"Of course not! I love storms," he said, "But…but Eldarion was terrified of them…" Arwen turned back to their son.
"Then maybe we should ask him what happened," she said, "Eldarion? Would you care to enlighten you dear father as to what happened to you to make you love storms?" Eldarion flashed his mother a wide grin.
"What happened?" he echoed. Arwen nodded. "I just had a romp in the gardens of Imladris one night, took a deep, deep breath…and was amazed…" He turned to his mother again. "I was told that you'd know what I went through…"
Arwen's grey eyes twinkled as she spoke. "Aye…" she said, her tone one of fondness. "I think I know exactly what you went through…" Aragorn stared from his wife to his son, utterly confused. What in the name of the Valar was going on? And how was Eldarion not deathly afraid of storms any longer?
"Er…would someone care to enlighten my as to what happened…?" he asked, finally, unable to keep quiet any longer. Eldarion and Arwen both exchanged conspiratorial smiles, before Arwen answered him.
"Let's just say that…Glorfindel happened," she said.
"Glorfindel? What did he do?" asked Aragorn. Arwen shook her head.
"That, love, is between him and us…" she said, "But rest assured that Eldarion has gotten over his fear of storms for good." Just like I did…
Well…I know that was kind of long, but I hope it was good for a one-shot! Reviews will be gladly accepted!