Recourse of Fate, Elladan/Erestor/Elrohir, Rating R
Beta: Hare (who, like her namesake, is surprisingly swift!)
Disclaimer: Tolkein's. Not mine.
Warnings: mpreg, coarse language, orcs being orcs.
Summary: When history seeks to repeat itself, Erestor must sacrifice his heart to save the ones he loves.
The room had been prepared using every skill at Erestor's disposal.
A small fire crackled merrily in the hearth; its warmth unnecessary on this clear summer night but the gentle glow it radiated gave the place a much needed ambience. The flames seemed to cling to every surface, sending orange and black shapes skittering across the plush rug and along the walls. A spare set of clothes were strewn untidily over the back of one of the chairs and, on the windowsill, the remains of Erestor's morning tea sat forgotten beside a small stack of half-read books.
As tempting as it had been to tidy these items away, Erestor knew that a spotless room would have raised questions. The twins often stopped by for a chat and were accustomed to a little clutter.
It was in this room he had counselled Elladan through the burdens imposed by the expectations of rank and guided Elrohir through his first heartbreak. In this room he had consoled the guilt-ridden and distraught siblings after they had brought the broken body of their mother back to the safety of Imladris. Then he did so again, after their efforts proved to be in vain and the Lady sailed for distant shores; her pain too great for even the bonds of family to overcome.
Happier memories had been created in this room, too. Here he had taught Elladan the finer points of strategy and discussed ancient history with Elrohir. Here the three of them had drunk themselves to insensibility after the twins had returned from their first successful patrol. Here, an irrepressible pair of elflings had been known to burst through the door and catapult themselves onto his bed, startling him awake on more than one occasion.
A shame they had stopped, Erestor mused wistfully. Many a fine fantasy had involved a similar scenario involving the now very much grown twins!
Unfortunately Elladan and Elrohir had both long outgrown the freedom youth granted. Embroiled in layers of rank and etiquette that Erestor himself had helped imbue, the twins were currently relaxing on his settee, taking prudent sips of the first class wine he had managed to procure. The rather gutsy vintage had cost a considerable sum but it was money well spent. Packed with tangy red berries and subtle peppery undertones, it was just the right combination of strong and unusual flavours. If the wine left a peculiarly sweet aftertaste on the tip of the tongue, the twins would not think it strange.
Erestor had spent the majority of the evening subtly coaxing vast quantities of this potent liquid into their cups. He repressed the slight twinge of doubt that preyed upon his conscience. Too long had he acted within the tight confines his principles would allow and garnered no reward for it.
His time was growing short. There was no time to worry about his scruples now!
"More?" he offered, ever solicitous.
Elladan shook his head, followed a moment later by Elrohir's sluggish agreement. Observing their relaxed state and dilated pupils, Erestor had to concur. Any more and they would not have the capacity to hear what had to be said. All evening they had talked of trivial, meaningless things; the subject Erestor now wished to broach was anything but.
Sliding forward to the edge of his seat, Erestor took hold of the twins' hands; Elladan's right a perfect complement to Elrohir's left. They blinked in unison, identical expressions of baffled inquiry, and received a reassuring smile in response.
"Many nights we have spent in each other's company, have we not?" Erestor's question was soft and contemplative. "So many nights. I look back at them now and wonder how I could have foregone so many opportunities. Had I the nerve, I would have done this long ago."
Elladan gave him a lopsided smile and squeezed his hand. "Tonight is another opportunity. Will you prevail upon it?"
"I must. I cannot allow this to go unsaid any longer for this concerns the two of you as much as it does me. Elladan, Elrohir, you already know how highly I regard you. You have grown into such remarkable elves, surpassed every expectation anyone might have had of you, but respect and admiration aside, there is also a portion of affection that I have always kept reserved for you."
"I would not have taken you for a dote, Erestor," Elrohir quietly interjected. He was smiling warmly, pleased by Erestor's frank approbation. "We are fond of you, too."
The following hesitation was obvious even to the somewhat inebriated twins. Erestor glanced down at their entwined hands and took a deep breath. When he looked back up, it was with a determined and earnest set to his jaw.
"I do not speak of fondness, Elrohir, for no mere friendship can circumscribe the depth of emotion I feel for you. For the both of you." He paused to place a fleeting kiss upon the knuckles of Elrohir's hand. The young peredhel stared, wide-eyed, at this most unexpected act. "Elrohir, my Elrohir, so compassionate, so generous. Always the first to aid those in need. A rare breed, you are, a rare treasure I would keep close to my heart."
Erestor brought his eyes to bear on the elder twin, whose expression seemed caught between wary suspicion and anticipation, and pulled a not-quite-resisting hand to rest against the skin of his cheek. "And you, Elladan, my Elladan, bold and fearless to a fault. No challenge is too daunting, no obstacle too great, for you to overcome."
The twins listened in transfixed silence, hypnotised by Erestor's beguiling praise. Every word from Erestor's lips seemed to kindle the embers of their subdued hope. He spoke of admiration, of respect and devotion. He spoke of love and loyalty and long-hidden desire. And, more than that, he spoke always of Elladan and Elrohir; never of the twins.
Heat coiled in their bellies; their bodies responding to a promise that their minds had yet to fully recognise.
Elrohir shared a bewildered glance with his twin, overwhelmed by a fierce yearning that came from both within and without. Elladan's burning need unleashed Elrohir's own long-suppressed desires; a blazing synergy of emotion that amplified with each passing moment.
"Erestor," the gentle Elrohir whispered, "What are you saying?"
Erestor let his actions speak for him; placing his hand on Elrohir's knee and sliding it upwards, inch by laborious inch. Two sets of eyes swung to that hand, riveted to its unalterable progress. Even this smallest of touches was enough to cause Elrohir's legs to part, seemingly of their own volition, and the faintest of confused moans to escape his throat. Elladan's breath hitched; the eldest twin caught between abject horror at Erestor's forwardness and an unexpected surge of envy.
His envy ended the moment Erestor turned his eyes towards him, gazing at the young peredhel from under lowered lashes.
"I do not have the words," Erestor breathlessly admitted. "You are so perfect, so tempting. In all my years I have never met any to rival you."
Whether it was the words, the wine, or some combination of both, Elladan could not say. Suddenly he was acutely aware of his body turning traitor against all his long-standing principles and not even his brother could help him, for Elrohir's own roiling lust was seething at its confines and would not be kept in check for much longer. Already his stirring arousal felt painfully constrained beneath the layers of his clothing.
Elladan took a shuddering breath. He wanted this. Elrohir wanted this. Both of them wanted the love and devotion and heat and passion that Erestor was so willingly offering.
Rarely had he felt his brother's emotions so completely in accordance with his own. Even if he were able to deny his own desires, he would not, could not, deny his twin.
A tremulous glance passed between the two brothers. Elrohir shivered and whimpered as Erestor's questing hand reached the promising bulge at the juncture of his thighs and firmly caressed the encasing fabric.
Elladan…?" Elrohir whispered uncertainly. Elladan nodded once, sharply, unable to trust his voice.
And then Erestor leant over and placed a gentle kiss on Elladan's lips.
Narrow shafts of sunlight filtered through the sloppily closed drapery, pinpointing random areas of the floor with bright circles of gradually growing warmth. The room still resonated with the residual energy of last night's activities. It clung to the haphazardly arranged bodies lying prostrate upon the bed, shimmering over bare skin and weaving intangible patterns through their newly slaked and stabilised souls.
From this intertwined mass of pale limbs and pastel linen, three sable crowns stood out, framing faces that radiated contentment and completion in equal measure. Thus began the first morning of Erestor's connubial existence, in quiet repose and tranquil bliss.
A slight flicker of long, dark lashes heralded their impending awakening. Elladan's hand twitched involuntarily upon the mound of flesh that was Erestor's thigh even as his lips curved downwards, his slumbering mind not quite able to comprehend its unfamiliar presence.
Vague awareness of this incongruity slowly filtered into his consciousness. He shifted uneasily, mumbling some inarticulate protest into the curtain of hair that had served as his pillow.
The sound roused all of them.
The hazy confusion of sleep evaporated as memories of the previous night were recalled. Sandwiched between the stirring brothers, now his husbands and bond-mates, Erestor sought to rally his courage. He had no doubt the twins would recognise the perfidious means by which he had executed their seduction, for no wine left this strange, syrupy residue coating the tongue and lining the throat.
Satin-soft eyes focussed, and then widened in shock and horror. Elrohir clutched his head in his hands and moaned softly as a plaintive wail fell from Elladan's lips.
"What have you done?" Elladan's voice was unsteady; a hoarse rejection of this shattering betrayal. "Erestor! What have you done?"
Driven by instinct, and filled with an anxiety that was not entirely his own, Erestor reached out to soothe his young husbands. His fingertips no more than brushed the air around Elrohir's face before the distraught peredhel flinched back, wrenching himself away from the source of his distress.
"No," Elrohir whispered, and then fell quiet once more, unable to gather his thoughts into a form that could be expressed with mere words.
"Don't touch him!" Elladan surged up and slapped the outstretched hand away from his brother with a strength born of righteous indignation. "Vile trickster!" he howled. "How dare you mock the heart you have undoubtedly destroyed with your petty lusts? How dare you continue this degenerate charade?"
Erestor recoiled, nursing his stinging limb to the chest wherein his heart cringed from the sting of Elladan's brutal accusations.
Yet Elladan had only just begun, seizing a fistful of Erestor's hair and shaking him cruelly. "Tell me, Erestor, was it worth it? Was it worth the annihilation of our friendship and the destruction of every dream Elrohir and I held dear? Was it worth the damnation of all our souls?"
At this, Elrohir uttered a choked sob, drawing his knees to his chest and wincing at the previously unknown ache emanating from his rear passage.
Elladan roared with renewed fury upon realising the source of his twin's pain. Ruthlessly, he shoved Erestor's head into the mattress, glaring down at the frightened and hurt visage with glittering eyes.
"Hear me, Erestor. You are no longer welcome in our lives. Your very presence is contemptible to us. It sickens me to think of how highly we once regarded you. False-hearted, I name you! Deceiver!"
"Elladan, please! You must listen!"
"I must do no such thing!" With that, the enraged peredhel grasped Erestor by the wrist and dragged him from the bed. The councillor stumbled and fell to his knees, gasping from the same soreness that had caused Elrohir to whimper, but Elladan was not moved by his distress. He hauled him unceremoniously to the door, ignoring the desperate, frantic pleas that fell from Erestor's lips.
Out into the deserted corridor Elladan tossed the piteous creature that had once been his friend and teacher. Erestor landed in a graceless, naked heap and struggled to rise.
"Elladan!" he begged one last time; a futile attempt but one that Erestor was compelled to undertake, for he was breaking under the weight of his husband's scorn-twisted glare. "Please! I love you. You and Elrohir both…!"
But the heavy door slammed closed with a resounding bang, cutting Erestor off from the two who had always held his heart but who now also held his soul. An anguished keening escaped him and he flung himself at the unyielding timber, hammering with his fists and wauling semi-coherent explanations and apologies.
Only silence met his efforts.
Eventually, exhausted, Erestor slid down the doorframe and succumbed to his sorrow.
There Elrond later found him: a wretched, teary remnant of what had once been his best friend, bare but for the confluent smatterings of his sons' dried seed.
"Erestor? Erestor, what happened?"
Gentle words, spoken with such tender concern, pierced Erestor's dimming senses. He curled into a tight ball and attempted to bat away the hands that reached down to help him. Not him! Of all people, why did it have to be him?
"Leave me, Elrond," he choked out. "I am not worthy of your concern."
"I'll be the judge of that, if you don't mind." Elrond lifted his feebly protesting councillor, ignoring the obvious evidence of his recent activities. The naked body in his arms was littered with red and purple marks, small in size but plentiful in number. The glorious length of dark hair was now a mass of tangles and the tear-stained face was stricken and drawn.
Erestor buried his head in Elrond's shoulder and vainly struggled to control all outward signs of his distress. He did not want Elrond to see him like this. He would rather have been left in the exposed corridor than have to face his oldest friend. Elrond would never forgive him for the atrocity he had committed against his sons.
Wax polish. Erestor knew the moment they entered Elrond's rooms by the faint scent of wax polish used to preserve the ancient desk that Elrond loved so much. Then there was the pervading warmth of the fire, kept smouldering even in summer in case the peredhel took an unexpected chill. Erestor had never appreciated Elrond's capacity to feel the cold before. It was strange.
He was lowered carefully onto a soft surface: textured cloth ingrained with the fresh scent of soap and a lingering trace of sandalwood… Elrond's bed. He rolled onto his side in an instant, shying away from Elrond's keen gaze, but Elrond was not that easily discouraged.
"Who did this to you, Erestor?"
A muffled sob was his only answer, a miserable sound that only roused Elrond's anger. Looking down at the wretched creature snivelling on the bed, it was hard to see the proud, beautiful elf Elrond knew him to be. Erestor was his longest and dearest friend. Whoever was responsible for this would pay!
Unfortunately, Elrond had a very good idea as to who that might be.
"Erestor," he began, placing a gentle hand on Erestor's shoulder, "I have known you for millennia, my friend. Do you think that, in all that time, I never guessed where your heart lay?"
Erestor froze, his body stiff but his breathing shallow. Nervous eyes flickered open and glanced at Elrond fearfully. It was all the confirmation Elrond needed.
"There is not an elf in Arda that would not welcome you into their family. Long have I considered you my brother; it will be no hardship to accept you as my son."
"I will never be your son!" Erestor's voice cracked on the painful admission. "They have denied me!"
"You are not denied! Your union is manifest in your very bearing, Erestor! There is none who would look upon you now and see anything but a bound elf. Whatever misunderstanding this is, it can be resolved."
The sodden blanket beneath Erestor's face served as a welcome refuge. He buried himself into the rumpled material, cringing away from the consequences of his actions.
"I forced them into it," he brokenly confessed. "They did not want it… did not want me. I tricked them… put something in their wine…" he closed his eyes, unwilling to see the reaction to his betrayal. "I had to try, Elrond. If I had lost them, I would have faded regardless."
"Faded! Erestor, what nonsense are you spouting?"
"It is not nonsense!" Erestor cried. "History was about to repeat itself and I could not watch it happen again! Not to them! Elrond… losing Elros nearly destroyed you. How could I stand by and do nothing when Elrohir was set to follow in his footsteps?"
The blood drained from Elrond's face rapidly. He staggered back from the bed and sank into a chair, suddenly unsteady on his feet. "Elrohir?" he whispered. "I never noticed…"
Erestor sniffled and swiped his nose with the back of his wrist, staring at the opposite wall. "If you truly know where my heart lies then you know I could not have borne the loss of even one of them, never mind both had Elladan followed him. I do not ask for your forgiveness, Elrond, I only hope that you can understand."
"Forgiveness? Erestor… there are no words for what you have done!" Erestor's flinch was smothered by the strong arms that pulled him into a chaste yet fierce embrace. The angle was awkward and uncomfortable but Elrond did not care. He grasped his dearest friend tight and pulled an almost comically stunned face into the crook of his neck. "Erestor! Erestor! What have I ever done to deserve a friend like you? How can I ever thank you enough?"
"Of course I thank you! You have saved my sons! Would that Elros and I had been loved as you love them, I might never have lost him. You have my eternal gratitude, Erestor! Anything you ask, be it within my power, shall be yours."
Erestor rested his head on his friend's shoulder, shivering with relief and the slight chill of the waft of air playing across his naked skin. "A horse, then. I need a horse."
The hollow request sent a sliver of foreboding down Elrond's spine. "Any in the stables, my friend, though I would ask your purpose."
Blank eyes lifted to meet Elrond's worried gaze. "The Havens is too far a journey to make on foot. I would not make it in time."
"No!" Elrond gasped, even as he recognised the truth in Erestor's claim. "I will speak to them, Erestor, make them see reason."
"They do not want me, Elrond. Even if they did want me, I have deceived them and betrayed their trust. It is too much to ask."
"We can try!"
"No, Elrond! I cannot… I cannot bear the way they look at me now. I will sail and you will not stop me. It is my right!"
Elrond cast his gaze through the window. Though it was morning and the light of the stars was nearly obscured by the sun, he looked to the sky as if seeking answers from the wandering star that was Eärendil.
"It is your right," he echoed, "but I ask that you give me the chance, Erestor. You cannot expect me to let you go so readily."
The bright rays of sun had given way to a gentler, more greyed kind of light as the morning passed into the afternoon. The door to Erestor's room had remained firmly and ominously closed. No amount of demanding or cajoling had coaxed the twins from their retreat. Indeed, not a single sound had been heard from the other side of that closed portal, a fact which had Elrond pacing the corridor with ill-concealed frustration in his every step.
He had not been able to prevent his friend from leaving. All of Elrond's efforts to delay his departure had failed; the distraught councillor refused to see reason. Erestor had taken the fastest horse in the stables and fled as though his life depended on it. He did not wait for an escort to be prepared, nor did he care to pack any of his possessions, and nothing Elrond said had dissuaded him.
Elrond had done the next best thing and had Glorfindel ready a patrol. Now all he had to do was talk some sense into those wayward sons of his.
A quiet click alerted Elrond to the possibility of movement and his eyes snapped towards the door. It opened slowly, the hinges whining in protest under the heavy weight. A stuffy odour, heavy with sweat and sex, wafted into the corridor. Elrond quirked a brow at the dishevelled figure that appeared in the entrance, clothing rumpled and expression grave.
"Adar," Elladan greeted, solemn and succinct. "We're sorry for keeping you waiting. There was an important matter that Elrohir and I had to discuss."
"I can imagine. May I?" Elrond gestured into the room. Elladan nodded and stepped to the side to allow his father entrance.
Moments later he was staggering under the weight of his youngest son. Elrohir threw himself at his father and buried his head into his chest. "Adar! Erestor…!"
Familiar hands stroked the sable head of hair, accompanied by soft shushing noises that had never failed to calm the twins when they had been mere elflings, and Elrohir soon quieted. "I know, my son. He told me."
"He did. I know that your binding did not take place under ideal circumstances but Erestor felt he had no choice…"
"No choice?" Elladan loudly interrupted, his voice rising to a near-yell. "We were the ones that had no choice! He tricked us, Adar! He lured us to his rooms under the pretence of friendship, laced our wine and seduced us!"
"He tricked your bodies, yes, and you have the right to feel angry about that, but there is no drug in this world that can trick your soul! Elladan, Elrohir, you are bound! You accepted him. You wanted him. If you had not, your soul would have rejected him and we would not be having this conversation!"
The twins stood in shocked silence at Elrond's declaration, desperately wanting to deny the unwelcome truth in his words. Elladan shook his head and turned away angrily, hands balled into fists at his sides. His jaw worked as he strove to contain the vitriolic rant he had formed in his mind. Only through the calming presence of his twin did he succeed. Elrohir stepped back from his father and brother, deliberately putting a distance between the three of them.
"Even if we did want Erestor… he stole our right to choose," the youngest whispered, wrapping his arms around his middle. "The mortal path is forever closed to us now."
Elladan glanced at his brother strangely. "I had not thought of that."
How like himself Elladan was, Elrond thought sadly as he looked upon his sons: so protective of his brother, so devoted and loving, and yet so utterly blind. This time, there would be no secrets. Elrond would not allow it.
"Ever the martyr, Elrohir. How long have you been considering sacrificing your immortality for your brother's sake?"
Elrohir flushed guiltily and looked away.
"No, Elrohir, you were not…?" Elladan gasped, betrayed for the second time in as many days. "Why? Why would you leave me?"
It was almost painful to watch his sons in that moment. In Elrond's mind, it was not Elladan who was desperately reaching out for his twin but himself, beseeching Elros to renounce his choice, to come back to him, though he knew it was too late. He knew what Elrohir's answer would be even before the youngest twin found the words.
"I never wanted to leave you, Elladan. You are my brother and I love you, but you wanted… we both wanted… lives of our own. By choosing mortality, our soul would be sundered. You could have found your own mate, without me. You could have been happy."
"I could never be happy without you!" Elladan was shouting now. He grasped Elrohir's shoulders and shook them firmly, staring into his brother's eyes. "You… you half-witted, bone-headed… why would you even think that?"
Elrond snorted softly. That was exactly what he would have said to Elros, had he been able to do so. Instead, he had held his tongue, pretended that he accepted his brother's choice, pretended that he didn't know the real reason Elros had forsaken his immortality. Even to his death, Elros believed he had fooled Elrond into thinking that he had made his choice out of love for a mortal woman.
She had been a remarkable woman, and Elros had held great affection for her, but it had not been love. In the end, Elrond had deemed it kinder to let Elros keep his secret, to let him think that his sacrifice had meant something.
Elrond took a breath and wiped at his eyes angrily. The past could not be changed but the future was standing in front of him, clinging to each other as if afraid to let go.
"Did you never stop to think that there are two of you for a reason?" he asked quietly. The twins turned to look at him uncertainly, as though just now remembering his presence, and Elrond felt a bitter smile twisting his lips. This was not a tale he had wished to share with his sons. Some things were too personal, even for family. "Often I have wondered might the two of us, together, have had the strength to restore your mother? If Elros had still been alive, might she have recovered and not sailed when she did? And you, my sons, you should have had two fathers to love you and guide you through all of this. In all this time, did you never even consider the possibility of sharing a mate?"
From the looks the twins were giving each other, the answer to that question would be no. A swift, silent communication passed between them, and then Elladan turned back to his father.
"Erestor knew Elros, didn't he?"
"Yes, he did," Elrond confirmed. There was another brief pause as the twins tried to absorb this unsettling information.
"We… we need to talk with him, Adar. Where is he?"
Elrond sighed and looked out at the view of the tree-line from the small crack in the curtains. "He has gone. No matter what else has transpired between you, you should know that his love for you is absolute. His time on these shores grows to an end."
"No!" Surprisingly, it was the normally reserved Elrohir who voiced this vehement exclamation. "He cannot! Elladan, we need him!"
"Hush, brother, we will not allow him to sail," Elladan murmured reassuringly.
Elrond quirked a curious brow. That was an unexpected outburst! Perhaps there was some hope for Erestor, after all? "Elladan? Elrohir?"
"Adar," Elrohir began tentatively. "There is another matter of which you should be aware…"
It had been many years since Erestor had last ventured outside the boundaries of Imladris but he remembered the route as if it were yesterday. He leant over the horse's neck and pressed his heels lightly against the spirited mare's belly. The eager mount leapt forward with renewed vigour. She was a fine horse, with an intelligent head and powerful hindquarters. In her, Erestor could see the culmination of centuries of carefully selected breeding. It was good of Elrond to make a gift of her.
He was hoping to make good time to the Havens, having only a pannier of food, a sword, and the lesser part of his heart to weigh them down. Nothing else had any value to him.
The twins – his twins - were still, in many ways, as innocent as they had been as elflings. They had always had such an enthusiasm for life. Their blind devotion to their family; their light-hearted faith in the world… Erestor didn't know what it was that made Elladan and Elrohir the way they were. It was something he had always taken for granted, until he had seen that faith begin to waver.
Looking back on it, he should have seen it sooner. After their mother had sailed, the twins had begun to take longer journeys, exploring far and wide, and visiting their Dúnedain allies for extended periods of time. They had slowly withdrawn from their circle of friends, seeming to prefer their own company.
It had happened so gradually that no one had really noticed it, not even their father, who should have been watching.
Yet Erestor could not blame Elrond. Their Lord was lonely after Celebrían's departure and spent much of his time in his office, losing himself in the everyday routine of work.
If anything, Erestor felt the burden of guilt land squarely on his own shoulders. He, who had watched them grow from scruffy little saplings into the handsome and noble warriors they were today, had failed to see how their seemingly indomitable spirit had, little by little, lost its fire.
The twins had grown tired.
They were tired of wandering and fighting and constantly searching for something that they were never going to find. Erestor knew what they sought. He also knew why they hadn't found it.
They tested everyone. They adored it when one could tell them apart, though that was but a part of their stringent requirements. Every day was a fight to be acknowledged, not just as 'the twins,' but as Elrohir and Elladan; two distinct and separate elves each with their own unique set of quirks and foibles, their own ambitions and desires.
One could not simply be substituted for the other.
What Elladan and Elrohir refused to recognise was that this constant struggle for individuality was tearing them apart. While they were two very different people, their identical bodies housed but one soul between them. They were never going to find an elf who could love only one of them; not unless they found a way to split that soul.
Erestor knew this better than most. After all, he had been in love with his best friend's sons for a very, very long time.
What else could he have done? He had seen the lingering death of their hope, seen the dejected looks they shared with each other after each failed relationship. So he had taken that innocence, that trust, and twisted it to his own advantage.
And yes, he had hoped! Of course he had hoped! He had dreamt of waking up to be met with delight and acceptance, though had known that would never come to pass. He knew his young husbands too well.
His vision blurred and he sat up to wipe his eyes with the heel of his hand. That slight movement probably saved his life.
An arrow sliced through the air where his body should have been, swiftly followed by another that embedded itself into the mare's neck with a dull thud. Erestor stared at the thick, black shaft protruding from the chestnut hide in a split-second of surreal, disbelieving horror.
The mare's agonised scream filled his ears and she crashed heavily into the ground, their momentum dragging them several strides before Erestor was thrown loose. He smashed into the hard earth shoulder-first and rolled twice, jagged stones and twigs tearing at his clothing and skin. Fallen leaves and clumps of dirt found their way into his eyes and mouth and he spat weakly.
Then he smelt them. Valar, had his fate come to this? Was this to be his punishment for his transgression against the twins?
Piss. Blood. Vomit. Sweat. Semen.
The final moments of their previous victims clung to them as strongly as their own vile secretions. Erestor felt the bile rise in his throat but he did not try to move; the cold touch of metal below his jaw held him fast. Erestor kept his eyes closed. He did not need to see his captors to know what they were.
Rough laughter sounded from somewhere above and around him.
This had to be one of the strangest days Glorfindel had ever experienced. That morning Elrond had ordered him to make ready a patrol, which he did, only to be kept waiting several hours. Luckily his soldiers were the epitome of professionalism and did not grumble. At least, not within his earshot.
He had thought that perhaps Elrond had heard word of an attack on one of the villages just outside the borders, or maybe there was an important visitor due and they were to provide an escort. What he had not expected, however, was to end up haring across the countryside in pursuit of his Lord's chief councillor, who had apparently consummated the quickest courtship ever conceived with the aforementioned Lord's twin sons.
Both of them.
Glorfindel was still not quite able to wrap his mind around that part. He spared a glance towards the young peredhil, who bore the same determined expression. The twins were pale, especially Elrohir. Every so often Elladan would look at his brother questioningly, to which Elrohir would only nod, sometimes with a grimace or a bit lip, but always with the same quick conviction.
A shout from his second brought the party to an abrupt halt. Within moments his soldiers had fanned out in a defensive formation. A seasoned veteran of many battles, Brasseledh was not one to raise an alarm without cause. Glorfindel kicked his pale stallion forward.
"What is it, Brasseledh?"
"A disturbance on the trail, Captain. Do you see, there, where the earth has been churned?"
Glorfindel nodded slowly and the pair guided their horses towards the spot, senses heightened to new levels. Both were experienced trackers. The land told the story of what had happened as clearly as if they had read it from a book.
"The horse fell at speed. It skidded. The rider was thrown," Brasseledh commented unnecessarily.
"There were others. They took the rider…" Glorfindel frowned, before looking eastwards, "…in that direction."
It was then he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, that Elladan had dismounted from his horse and was retrieving an object from the ground. As he straightened, there was a collective cry of dismay. In his hand, Elladan held the rear half of an arrow; its shaft heavy and thick, it's fletching ragged.
Elladan stared at the hateful object in dismayed realisation before flinging it away in disgust and leaping back onto his horse.
The twins' faces changed; became hard and cold. Glorfindel did not try to stop them when they wheeled their horses as one and gave chase. Instead, he ordered his patrol to tighten their ranks and follow.
He almost felt sorry for the orcs.
Crunching… slurping… snarling…
In desperate straits, Erestor strove to contain his nausea at the sickening sounds. He had not yet opened his eyes, choosing instead to pretend that he was lost to oblivion as he was roughly dragged to this secluded spot.
Somewhere nearby, the orcs were feasting upon the flesh and bones of that once beautiful and willing mare; tearing into muscle that had once thrummed with the vigour of life and drinking the still warm blood from her veins.
Should fortune favour him, his fate would be the same as the mare's. If not… Erestor did not care to dwell on that possibility. Only yesterday had he given the gift of his body to those whom he loved above all others. He could not abide the thought of having that same gift taken and used against his will.
It would make no difference to his fate, that he knew, for he was doomed to fade no matter what his captors did to him, but his body was not a plaything for their amusement. It was theirs: Elladan's and Elrohir's. He could not allow it to be used so callously.
A tear slipped past his temple from beneath his closed eyelids. He felt it dampen his face and seep into the hair just above his ear before more followed its path.
Someone… something… laughed harshly.
"Awake, are we, my pretty?" the taunt grated at Erestor's frayed nerves. A thick tongue, oozing viscous mucous, lapped at the wellspring of those tears. Erestor could not stop his violent flinch and screwed his eyes even tighter closed. The stench of death assailed his nostrils, growing heavier with each depraved word the orc spewed forth.
The elf's obvious revulsion only seemed to amuse the creature and it pulled the unwilling body into a grotesque approximation of an embrace, clutching at the slim waist and rutting lewdly against Erestor's bruised hips. A cacophony of sniggers and foul suggestions rose from their appreciative audience; mingling with the wet, rhythmic slaps and vulgar grunts of orcish masturbation. Erestor could no longer hold back his cry of terror.
It had come to this, then. Alone, rejected, used for another's twisted pleasure. Erestor could not pretend to be brave; he was not a warrior. He knew his end would not be dignified, no matter what words he said or what actions he took. These creatures would never allow their victims to die a valorous or noble death.
In one final, frantic act he pushed against his assailant, his hands slipping in the tacky, half-dried blood smearing the creature's armour. He screamed and struggled vainly to throw the heavy weight of the orc's body away. Scratching, punching, kicking, wriggling… anything he could do to try to escape this abhorrent reality…
The orcs hooted and roared their encouragement.
"Break his bones!"
"Smash his feet!"
"Bind his wrists with that pretty, long hair!"
"Fuck his mouth!"
"Not his mouth, stupid! We want to hear him scream! Cut a hole in his belly and fuck that!"
Loud shrieks of approval met that proposal. Erestor cringed and tried to curl into a ball, hands instinctively curling around his abdomen. The rasp of metal on metal was almost drowned out under the din but Erestor heard it nonetheless.
The blade flashed in the afternoon sun. Erestor's blood roared in his ears, hammering like the pounding of hooves on compacted earth…
…and then the outraged cries of hatred and anger and the promise of vengeance rent the air. Erestor's eyes snapped open in shock, just in time to see the underbelly of an elven gelding soar overhead, the battle-trained steed shrieking his fury to all that would hear him.
The horse smashed into the orc and pummelled it onto the ground with steel-tipped hooves, bloodied entrails splattering onto his forelegs and chest. Another gelding followed soon after, passing his companion to charge into the disorganised throng of orcs. Frightened and fading, Erestor could only watch as gleaming steel cut through orcish flesh and rendered the vile forms to mere, lifeless corpses.
One by one, the creatures were cut down. Erestor had never seen such pitiless rage as displayed by his mysterious benefactors. The orcs never stood a chance.
As quickly as it had begun, it was over. In the surreal silence that followed, Erestor's terrified breathing was only too audible. The riders turned their horses about, dried leaves crackling with every step.
Erestor peered up at his saviours through blurred, swollen eyes, his face red and raw from wounds and weeping alike.
"Erestor!" The anguished wail came as a physical shock to the injured councillor. It sounded like… but it couldn't be… could it?
Gentle hands brushed the matted strands of his hair from his face and he looked up at the concerned, near painfully-tender, countenance that was his beloved Elladan's. Erestor blinked and whimpered in confusion.
A moment later, Elrohir joined him. The twins knelt beside him and, despite all his efforts, he could not stop his soul from reaching out and seeking the comfort of its other half. Elrohir smiled down at him and Erestor could only stare in pained confusion. His hands were taken in a careful, yet loving, hold - Elrohir's right a perfect complement to Elladan's left – and Erestor's heart leapt to see the relief in those identical expressions.
In unison, the twins gathered his broken body, calmed the frantic thudding of his heart and cleansed and bound his wounds.
"Erestor," Elladan finally spoke, "Beloved. You are safe now."
"You should not have left us!" was Elrohir's pouting contribution. "We were so worried!"
"But… but… you did not want me. I tricked you!"
The twins grinned.
"Yes, you did, and we thank the Valar for that sneaky little mind of yours!" Elladan told him. "Always you have been the wisest of us, the most perceptive and the most observant. You saw what everyone else, including ourselves, failed to see, and for that we are grateful. Erestor, were it not for you I could have lost Elrohir in perpetuity. Instead, I am granted the greatest fate an elf could ever hope to have bestowed upon them!"
"What fate is that?" Erestor whispered through cracked lips. In the background, he was vaguely aware of the arrival of more riders. Glorfindel's patrol thundered into view; a little late to help with the rescue, though just in time to witness the historic event that was about to unfold.
"A future, Erestor!" Elladan gushed. "And while I acknowledge that our minds have yet to recognise this love between us I have no doubt that it will grow, for the Valar themselves have blessed our union!"
Erestor frowned and examined the beaming faces hovering above him, searching for an explanation. Eventually Elrohir took pity on him. The youngest twin took Erestor's hand and placed it gently on his abdomen.
"A future, Erestor!" he repeated in a reverent whisper, and Erestor cried out in astonishment. Beneath his fingers, beneath the layers of armour and fabric, beneath the protective flesh of Elrohir's stomach, lay the beginnings of life. Life!
"Elrohir!" he gasped, eyes wide with wonder. Gone was his despair. Gone was his hopelessness and doubt. Beneath his fingertips he felt the evidence of their love and it was flourishing! It was so bright, so beautiful! It nearly brought fresh tears to his eyes.
"Elrohir!" he cried once more, straining to rise so that he could take up this most welcome of duties! Elrohir needed his love and protection! He could not afford to dwell on his own wellbeing at a time like this!
It was Elladan's amused chuckled that brought him back to reality. "Peace, beloved! You must rest first and recover from your injuries. Let me care for you both. After all, there are two of us for a reason!"
The twins shared an enigmatic smile at that bizarre statement and Erestor could not decipher its meaning. To be fair, he had other things on his mind.
"I'm going to be a father!" he finally announced in a surprised tone of voice.
Elrohir snorted. "Yes. It came as rather a shock to me as well."
Erestor blinked and smiled sheepishly. "You will make a wonderful parent, Elrohir, I just know it! You are so patient and loving! I can hardly wait for it to be born!"
Erestor blinked. "What?"
Elrohir smiled shyly. "Them, Erestor. I'm having twins."
Erestor was speechless. Grinning, Elladan took advantage of his stunned state, swiftly bundling him onto horseback for the journey back to Imladris.
It was time to go home.
Twelve months later, Elrohir bore twin sons.
They named the eldest Nandoron, meaning 'heart of the valley.' The younger they named Nandalas, for 'valley's joy.'
To Erestor's mind, they could not have been more fitting.
This story was written to fulfil a request. The request was: In order to keep the twins from choosing the mortal path Erestor tricks the twins into bonding with him. Afterwards the angry twins reject Erestor who in love with the twins begins to fade. Would also like to see Elrond confronting the Twins over their actions towards Erestor. Erestor being kidnapped by orcs and rescued by the twins and mpreg is would be loved. (Do not want rape, death, the twins choosing to be mortal)