Friends of the Night
Summary: Glorfindel finds Erestor asleep by his desk late at night. He decides to become a nightly friend, and before they know it, something is changing between them. Non-slash.
Warnings: None (except for the fact I barely know anything about Glorfindel and Erestor, have mercy on me).
Disclaimers: I don't own LotR and make no money on writing fanfiction.
Rewritten April 2014.
Glorfindel yawned as he walked through the dark and deserted halls of Rivendell. It wasn't often he was this tired but he had just returned from a five-day patrol during which he hadn't slept much. Now he was longing for his soft bed, and a long, uninterrupted sleep.
As he was closing in on a door he noticed the light still on inside. Glorfindel stopped and blinked. He looked closer at the door and realized it was the door to Erestor's office. The blond elf frowned; it was well-known that he and Elrond's advisor only crossed paths when they absolutely had to. They rarely entered the same room otherwise. Elrond sometimes ordered them, but often it didn't help. They just rubbed each other the wrong way.
However, it was two in the morning and not even Erestor should be awake at this hour, much less working. Prepared for a harsh scolding by a rather intimidating albeit small elf, Glorfindel carefully pushed the door open. What met him was not quite what he had been expecting.
Erestor was fast asleep at the desk. Glorfindel walked inside. It appeared as if the smaller elf had only laid his head down to rest for a few minutes. Parchments and book lay strewn over the desk, covering every available surface. Erestor's fingertips were dark with ink.
Bending down a bit, Glorfindel peered at Erestor's face. Even in sleep, the elf appeared exhausted and his eyes were closed. The blond elf carefully put away the ink and quills, not daring to touch the papers and then slowly lifted Erestor up. The black-haired elf didn't as much as twitch. Glorfindel was amazed; the advisor was always so hostile and hated to be touched without warning but here none of that showed. Instead his head fell back to Glorfindel's chest with a gentle thump. Glorfindel froze but Erestor remained asleep.
"Dear Valar, what am I doing?" he muttered but shifted Erestor so he could hold the smaller elf more comfortably. Blowing out the candles, for he had no wish for them to cause a fire and make him loose his head to an enraged advisor, Glorfindel then moved out of the room and took the closest path to Erestor's bedroom.
It was strange to have Erestor in his arms, especially as the small elf had curled up, snuggled into his shoulder and actually grabbed onto Glorfindel's tunic. The Balrog slayer felt he was rather calm despite the situation, and soon the tension began to ebb away.
He didn't meet anyone on the way and for that he was glad. Erestor would surely have woken up by that and Glorfindel would then fear for his life. The smaller elf would not appreciate being carried around, and he was the sort of elf one never messed with no matter who you were. Glorfindel had seen the consequences. He did not want to see said consequences happen to him.
Getting to Erestor's bedroom, Glorfindel worked the door open with his elbow and quietly stepped inside. The covers were in place but he spotted a few thick comforters that he could cover Erestor in instead of starting to try get him underneath the blankets. He placed Erestor on the bed, freed his tunic from the advisor's surprisingly strong grasp, and then removed the man's boots.
With the comforters over himself, Erestor curled up a bit. Glorfindel stepped back with hands raised, ready to run for it if the advisor woke up. But looking at him the blond thought it unlikely. Erestor looked over-worked, dark rings under his eyes and skin paler than normal.
Glorfindel could tell Elrond, just drop a small comment about his appearance but knew it was fruitless; Erestor did whatever he wanted and not even Elrond dared to complain. So instead he left in search for his own bed and sleep.
Elrond found Erestor sitting up in his bed, looking disoriented and tousled hair. The lord walked up to his advisor and said:
"Mellon-nin, are you feeling quite alright?"
"Hmm?" Erestor looked up. He blinked. "Oh, my lord… yes, I'm fine. I just don't remember walking to my room."
"Erestor… were you staying up late again?"
"I was just finishing up some papers…"
"Please Erestor. You're always finishing some papers. Now, up with you. You've missed breakfast and a half-hour of our morning meeting but I forgive you for that. I've made sure some breakfast is taken to your office."
Looking bewildered at the fact he had overslept, Erestor obeyed Elrond's command without complaining.
"Well, that's a first," Elrond muttered, too amused to feel any sort of anger.
Glorfindel sighed. This habit of theirs wasn't getting any better. He stepped into Erestor's office, having seen the light spill out and once more finding the smaller elf at the desk. This time he was sitting up, his head slumped over his knees.
Glorfindel blew out the candles and gently started to move Erestor who moaned and opened his eyes to a slit.
"Go back to sleep," Glorfindel said in a low, soothing voice. "You're up way too late, you know that?"
"Have to finish… the papers…"
"Let me ask you something, are they endless or what? Because honestly, they never seen to vanish. Do they just keep coming and you don't know how to stop it?"
"Something like that," Erestor muttered, half-asleep as he let his head fall down onto Glorfindel's shoulder. "Mmm… warm."
"Oh, I am so glad you aren't really awake right now and know who I am," the blond said. "I don't fancy being beheaded."
"Who's being beheaded?"
"No one if I have any say in it!"
Glorfindel carried Erestor back to his bedroom and this time he made an effort and pulled the covers down. Erestor was staring at him sleepily, one arm around his neck. Glorfindel decided that, just in case, he would go on patrol the whole following day in case he had to escape the wrath of the small advisor.
He helped Erestor to lay down. Erestor stared up at him.
"Glorfindel," the advisor suddenly said.
"Blond mop. Recognize it anywhere."
"Did you just refer to my hair as a mop? A mop, Erestor, really?"
"… Thank you."
Too shocked to answer, Glorfindel could only watch as Erestor rolled over and fell asleep.
The Balrog slayer would deny that he fled the following morning, very early, before dawn had truly arrived, because of the fear of having Erestor lurking around. He really didn't want to find out just how good Erestor was at hitting people. Erestor wasn't good at fighting, but he was apparently very good at improvising. Glorfindel had heard of an incident involving a book, and if it was any of the heavy tomes the advisor dragged around he could only imagine how much it would hurt.
He patrolled the outskirts of Rivendell the whole day, returning only when the hour had grown late and the man were weary. Glorfindel had lit a torch to lead them on their way. If they put some effort in they could see perfectly fine but perhaps he had driven them too hard for the last few days. Most of them weren't really focusing anymore.
Elrond greeted them at the stables. Glorfindel was surprised to see the lord awake and waiting for them.
"My lord, there was no need for you to stay up for our sake."
"I was just making sure," Elrond replied, a rather strange glint in his eyes.
Glorfindel didn't like that glint.
"Making sure of what, exactly?" he asked suspiciously.
"Oh, you will know."
Will know what? Glorfindel didn't like that at all but before he could gather his thoughts, Elrond was already gone.
Once the horses were comfortable Glorfindel had a small debate in his head. Should he go the same way as he always did or use another route to his rooms? In the end he decided for the normal way, and groaned once he saw the light underneath the door to Erestor's study. When was that blasted midget-elf going to learn when to go to bed?!
Glorfindel eased the door open and peeked inside.
Erestor was fully awake, scribbling away at a parchment. Glorfindel made a move to back away when the black-haired elf looked up. His sharp eyes met Glorfindel's.
"Glorfindel," he said. "What brings you here at this time of day?"
"I… just saw the light. Erestor. It's not day, it's more night now."
"I'm perfectly aware what time it is," Erestor replied. "Lord Elrond is only too happy to remind me of my rather poor habits. I was just finishing some reports."
"You always have reports to finish," the warrior muttered.
"Pardon? Did you say something?"
"Nothing, nothing at all! I wish you a good night."
Erestor nodded after a bit and Glorfindel fled.
In the morning, far too early for Glorfindel after the late night but he had training with some of the younger elves and he wanted to get some breakfast before that. He walked past Erestor's bedroom. Something made him stop and turn back. He opened the door, expecting to see the smaller elf asleep.
Only he didn't. There was no one there and the bed was still made. As it was barely five in the morning he doubted the scholar was up already.
Maybe he… no, impossible. He just had some reports to finish. Glorfindel then remembered something Elrond said, and which he thought was exaggerated:
"Erestor has bad habits. One of them is staying up all nights for reports that aren't even urgent."
The blond elf tapped his chin, made up his mind and steered his way to Erestor's study. Like last night, he peeked inside. He groaned.
"You're impossible, midget!" he muttered.
Erestor was clearly asleep, face scrunched up in a frown and head bent uncomfortably. He wasn't even using the table for a pillow. Instead he was sitting up with his legs curled against his chest. He was slightly shivering in the cool morning air because of course some of the windows were open.
Glorfindel knew very well that elves usually didn't feel the cold but Erestor was simply Erestor. He never could do anything the normal way. Not even go to sleep in a normal way, that was becoming apparent. Why did he even have a bed? Or a bedroom for that matter?
Of course Erestor chose to wake up when Glorfindel began to move him. He looked up with wide eyes at Glorfindel.
"You… I thought you'd be… more comfortable in your bed. So I was going to… assist you. And then inform lord Elrond that you might need a few hours rest. In a bed. Not in a chair."
Erestor's eyes slowly narrowed. Glorfindel tried not to let the fear show on his face. He glanced at the desk. Yes, there were several books the smaller elf could use as a weapon. He felt ridiculous but prepared to bolt away.
"You've helped me before." It wasn't a question. Glorfindel would have preferred it sounding more like a question. However, despite the slight slur in Erestor's speech there was no doubt the elf knew what he was talking about.
Glorfindel sent a quick prayer to someone, anyone and then answered:
Erestor now looked at him more closely and Glorfindel tried not to run away. He was not going to be frightened… or rather, he wasn't going to show this little scholar that he was frightened. He had fought a Balrog, for Valar's sake! What could this midget do?
From what Glorfindel had heard, and once or twice experienced, a lot. Erestor could truly be vicious, and being hit by him apparently hurt a lot. He knew where to hit for maximum pain factor.
Instead of doing that, or any other painfully things Glorfindel imagined Erestor simply put his arms around Glorfindel's neck and said:
"Might as well make it easier for your back."
What universe have I landed in? Did he already hit me and I'm hallucinating this? Perhaps I'm dreaming? This is all a dream? Glorfindel glanced down at the dark hair, and very carefully pinched his own arm.
It hurt. So he was awake. Erestor made a sound and Glorfindel swept him up and walked out of the room before he could do anything more than grumble.
"I'm curious. How often do you fall asleep in there?" Glorfindel asked.
"Where do you think my mood comes from?"
"I never actually thought about it that way to be honest."
Erestor growled lowly, his arms tightening around Glorfindel's neck.
"There is no need to try and choke me," the Balrog slayer wheezed.
"Oh. Forgive me. I'm just in a rather foul mood right now."
"Then stop fall asleep in your chair," the blond replied.
"I have paperwork!"
"It can wait."
"Sure they can!"
They almost crashed into the room, Erestor's legs kicking while trying to make a point. Glorfindel managed to close the door with his elbow. Erestor began wriggling, clearly wanting to be let down but the blond merely carried on. He crossed the room and dumped Erestor on the bed.
"You threw me!" Erestor exclaimed.
"Well, you almost kicked me!"
"I did not! My legs were nowhere near kicking you."
"Shut up and go to sleep."
Erestor's retort was cut off by a yawn. He covered his mouth whilst Glorfindel stared transfixed at the elf. He had never seen Erestor act so… normal.
The advisor seemed to decide to ignore the fact that Glorfindel was still there and lay down. As he was helped underneath the covers his brow furrowed but he didn't start shouting again. Glorfindel knew enough that Erestor kept everyone at a distance, so he had to be unused to the fact someone cared for him.
Glorfindel stayed perhaps for a minute or two, just enough to hear Erestor's breathing even out. Then he slipped out the door.
"Something has changed, hasn't it?"
Erestor looked up sharply at Glorfindel's words. The two were in Erestor's study. Glorfindel was actually sitting opposite of Erestor, having done so for the last hour, and they hadn't been yelling at each other. Or glaring.
"What do you mean?" Erestor paused in his writing.
"We haven't fought in over an hour, despite me being in here for over and hour," the blond elf stated.
Erestor put down his quill.
"You're right," he murmured. "Something has changed."
"For better or worse?"
"Had it been for the worse, blondie, I would've thrown you out before you could even get a word out."
"You… you just called me blondie," Glorfindel stammered.
"What? Would you rather have me calling you sword-swinging fool?" the advisor said, almost innocently. "I can assure you lord Elrond heard that one quite often coming from my mouth."
"You… you…!" Glorfindel spluttered. The nerve of this… thing! "You midget!"
"I am most certainly not a midget!" Erestor exclaimed.
"Show me then that you are not!"
Erestor grinned. It was not a pleasant sight. It was an evil sight, and Glorfindel regretted his challenge.
Elrond was taking a peaceful walk in the garden, fully enjoying the cool summer weather when he heard someone shouting. He stopped in the bright sunlight and frowned. There were the sounds of feet running. Was someone fighting?
"I said I was sorry!"
Wait a minute… wasn't that Glorfindel's voice?
"I don't care, I won't forgive you that easily!"
That was definitely Erestor but Elrond had never heard them like this. He looked at the entrance to the house and was gifted with the strangest sight he had seen in many years.
Glorfindel sprinted out into the garden, screaming apologies over his shoulder. Erestor chased after him, running faster than Elrond had ever seen him run and on top of that he was holding a book over his head, seemingly quite intent on hitting Glorfindel with it.
When the smaller elf finally managed to get a hold of Glorfindel they went down on the ground with little to no dignity at all.
"Ow! That hurts! Erestor, that hurts!"
"It's meant to hurt you oaf!"
Elrond could see Glorfindel would be sporting quite a few bruises, and knew something had most definitely changed between the two of them.
They looked up at Elrond, Erestor sitting on Glorfindel's stomach with the book held above his head. Glorfindel groaned.
"What happened?" Elrond asked gently.
"What do you mean, my lord?" Erestor asked innocently. Elrond felt a shiver work its way up his back; Erestor never, ever sounded innocent and if by chance he tried to come off as innocent the best thing one could do was back away and hope he wasn't coming after you.
"Well, you two are… enemies?"
"We most certainly are not," Erestor huffed out.
"You had a different opinion not even two minuets ago," the blond elf groaned. "Get off me, you midget!"
The book slammed down.
"What did we agree on that particular nickname?" Erestor asked dangerously.
"Not saying it in front of you," Glorfindel nearly whimpered.
"How about never saying it again?" Erestor continued, lifting the book again. They seemed to have completely forgotten Elrond's presence.
"Now, now," he said, "come to your senses. I'd rather not have to treat any concussions on one of my captains, so please talk like grown people. Because you are grown people."
"Talking like grown people doesn't help with him," Erestor said, "since he's only a sword-swinging fool."
"Blondie," Erestor hissed.
"Alright, that's it!"
Glorfindel swung Erestor up over his shoulder. Erestor dropped the book, the only weapon he had, and began to use his fists instead.
"You're taking a bath, right now!" Glorfindel declared.
"What- oh no, I will most certainly not!"
Elrond stared as Glorfindel carried Erestor to one of the streams running through the garden, Erestor fighting back.
"Put me down this very instant or you shall suffer permanent damage!" Erestor growled.
"Try it then, after this. Here we go!"
Glorfindel raised the smaller elf further up in the air with the intention of throwing him into the water. Erestor however had a different idea. He quickly grabbed onto Glorfindel just as the blond hurled him. The end result was that they both went down.
Elrond's eyes were wide as he watched the scene the two presented. Erestor got up first, dripping like a wet cat and looking just about as pleased as one. He glared at Glorfindel and kicked the larger elf's shin once the captain got up from the water.
"Damn it, Erestor!"
Glorfindel hopped about on one leg, his hands clutching his pained shin.
"You're crazy!" the blond exclaimed.
"You're the crazy one," Erestor retorted.
"Will the two of your quiet down for a moment?" Elrond said and the two looked over at him. They seemed to finally realize their lord had been present all along. Glorfindel stood up straight, and Erestor muttered to him:
"You will regret throwing me into the water, mark my words."
"Somehow I don't doubt that a bit. Stop glaring at me."
"I will not."
"Children," Elrond said.
The two stared at him. Elrond spread his arms.
"Fight like children, and be treated like children. Go inside, take a bath, change clothes and then sit and think about your actions."
Erestor gaped. Glorfindel at least looked a bit embarrassed. Erestor was the first one to walk away, and Elrond saw it took effort to walk past Glorfindel without kicking him again. Glorfindel merely smiled and shrugged at Elrond before following the advisor.
"You're impossible. You promised me, and more importantly, you promised lord Elrond to stop this nonsense and what do you do? Ignore it all!"
Erestor chose to ignore Glorfindel, hiding his yawn against the man's shoulder as the blond carried him back to his rooms."
"Erestor, no, I will not-!"
"It was just a few papers, I can't see what you're getting so upset about…"
"Because a few papers for you are at least thirty! That's not normal! A few papers is no more than five!"
"Is that how you judge it?"
"Then it must be a significant difference between our intelligence," Erestor said with an air of innocence around him.
Glorfindel knew nothing good would come out of that. Erestor and innocence should never be put in the same sentence, for Erestor never was simply innocent.
"What did you just say, shorty?"
Since the word midget was forbidden in their conversations, Erestor had hit and kicked Glorfindel enough times to make the blond stop, the Balrog slayer had turned to other words with the same meaning.
Further down the hall Elrond listened to the two of them bickering, shaking his head in amusement. It was nice that Erestor and Glorfindel had finally become friends, but the two were rather peculiar and it was a common sight now to see Erestor chase Glorfindel down with a book in his hands, ready to "hit the stupidity out" of the blond. That was Erestor's words, not Elrond's.
It wasn't that Elrond found it annoying. It was the opposite. Whenever he heard them shouting he couldn't focus on his own work in favour of watching them instead. He never got any work done.
"Ow! Erestor, did you just bite me?!"
Elrond stifled his laughter at that before turning away to go back to his room. Perhaps they fought and argued more than they ever agreed with each other, but the mere fact that Glorfindel still voluntarily went to check on Erestor every night spoke of the friendship they had made.
Until another time,