Let Me Be Your Strength
Elrond slipped his arm around Celebrían's shoulders, pulling her closer. They sat on a blanket spread out on the sand of a deserted beach overlooking the Sea. The reunion with his wife had been joyful. Wonderful. He sighed as the memory came to him.
Celebrían had thrown herself into his arms, and met his kiss with so much passion it had stolen his breath and made his heart pound. How he had missed her! There had been introductions, meetings with old friends, but most of those gathered seemed to understand the need for the couple to be alone, and he found himself being led away to a residence not far from where the ship had docked. The night had been filled with good food and his wife. It was a night he would long remember.
It had not been until this morning, the day after his arrival, that he realized he had not explained why he had come alone. He had tried, but she had shaken her head, grabbed a blanket and led him here, where they sat watching the waves for a time before he began to tell her of their children: Arwen's choice to follow the fate of her husband, and the twins decision to delay their choice for a time.
She cried softly hearing of Arwen's choice and the wedding she had missed. But there was no bitterness in her eyes. Not so for him. The wound of his parting with his daughter and then his sons festered deep within. He looked out across the Sea.
Then a hand on his jaw turned his head so he looked into her silver eyes, and she smiled up at him. "It is good she followed her heart. And while I will miss her, long I knew she would never sail. Her fate is different from ours, and more important." Her smile turned wistful as her eyes drifted to the Sea. "Her line will remain in Ennorath for all time. A little piece of our Eveningstar will stay, though we see it not. Grieve your loss, but do not let bitterness consume you, my love. We will see her again. Of that I have no doubt."
Her words held no comfort for him. "We have no guarantee of seeing her again. Of seeing Estel, or any of those we loved not of elf-kind. Our fates are sundered, and we have do not know our ultimate destiny."
But she just smiled with that knowing smile of hers, as she had when the children were small and she had known what they would do before they would do it. "We know not our fate, but we can hope. Hold to hope, my love."
He shook his head, the word hope only stirring his bitterness. "I have no more hope. Our children are lost to us."
"And what about me? Do I not have your love?"
A sob shook him, and she gathered him into her arms. He had not meant to hurt her. With unshed tears in his eyes, he assured her. "Of course you have my love. But I feel lost without them, especially Elladan and Elrohir. For so long they were my strength when I had none."
She stroked his hair, and pressed tender kisses to his brow. "Then let me be your strength for now."
He nodded, and she continued her ministrations. He lost himself in the feel of his wife's arms, and the ache began to fade.
"They will come, you know," she told him. "Eventually. It may take them a while but you will hold your boys again."
Those words snapped the dam within him and he wept long, allowing the tears to wash the bitterness from his heart. And all the while, Celebrían held him, whispering reassurances into his ear.
Finally, when the years of hurt that trickled down his cheeks eased, he returned her embrace. "I love you."
He smiled. Then a truth dawned on him. "I will survive even if they do not come."
He laughed, and for the first time in many years, he began to feel lighter. "We could have more," he teased.
She turned a secret smile upon him, and his eyes widened. "I was jesting!"
She just laughed.
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