Title: To Be Made Whole
Author: Sivan Shemesh
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Warning: AU. Minor character death, violence, angst.
Summary: What if Celebrían did not leave alone but took Elrohir with her? Will the bond between father and son still hold? Will the bond with Elladan stay still?
A/N: Arwen is not in the story.
A/N2: Dedicate to rosethorn59 – Happy Birthday, Sweetie!
Why was this happening to him? Why now?
He had seen her face, the face that bore the scars of torture, and the arrows that the orcs had used to kill her, even the dagger, the gashes on her chest as they pierced her, and yet he could hear her soft voice screaming for him, screaming for his help – but…but there was nothing he could do.
His son – their son – was also nearby, having been beaten terribly; he could see the bruises, the blood and the life draining from his son's face and body… His child… He looked so…dead.
Elrond sprang awake, shaken by the vivid dream. He took a moment to piece together fragments of the vision. Had he just foreseen the death of his wife?
Without wasting any time, he alerted the guards, sending for Elladan and Glorfindel. Together they would leave, with Erestor remaining at hand to keep their homeland safe.
As they set off, Elrond stared at his first-born son and told him, "I saw how your mother died but I do not recall seeing Elrohir around. I do hope that he was not that hurt."
"He is not hurt, adar; if he was, I should have felt him, right?" Elladan asked him, the tears of worry threatening to leave his eyes.
"You are right," Elrond replied, hoping things were so, but a shadow passed across his eyes as he continued, "But when my twin passed on, I sensed nothing. I did not know of it until someone told me. Imagine the pain that I felt."
It had been a month since he sent Elladan and the elf-lords to the place where he had seen Celebrìan in his vision, dead.
Another month passed, and from his vantage point, he espied horses cantering back at a steady pace.
He could not wait any more. Rushing through the halls, he mounted the first horse available and rode hard toward them. Their faces were ashen with grief. Then he saw the lifeless body laid near his son.
"I did not find him, adar, even though I called for him," Elladan told his father as he dismounted from his horse. He collapsed into a kneel on the ground as the tears finally fled his eyes.
He had never felt so helpless.
Elrond dismounted and held his son as they both wept.
For a long moment, gray clouds surrounded Imladris as the sky mourned for the lost and dead.
"We will find him no matter what, my son, he will not be lost," Elrond promised.
Years later, a boy came with his mother toward Imladris, Elrond re-named him so he would not be recognized and plotted against.
His mother soon left in the knowledge that the boy was safe in his care. He promised her that he would give the boy the best care, as though he was his own.
She did not know that he had named him Estel, for his heart still wished to bear the hope of finding Elrohir alive.
This day, Elrond noticed the merriment in the boy's face and called for him, "Estel, my son. What have you done to Elladan?"
"Promise you will not tell him?" Estel asked, still cheerful even as he turned to check to see if Elladan was behind.
"I promise," Elrond replied.
This boy had surely brought some laughter to the house – laughter and happiness that been lost for too long.
But before Estel could say a word, a raging elf stormed through the house. "I am going to kill this boy right now!" Elladan announced severely.
Elrond now saw what the boy had done and could not resist laughing.
"Do not say a word!" Elladan implored his father.
"Oh my… Estel did it this time…" Elrond, dropping all forms of proper behavior, doubled over in sheer laughter.
"Where is he? I am going to end this once and for all," Elladan could not see his little brother anywhere; probably his father was doing a perfect job in hiding him.
"You will not kill your brother," Elrond reminded his son, "And you must admit that your brother has a good imaginative brain."
"But how do I clean myself now? Look at me!" Elladan protested.
"Well, that will be a first," Elrond commented, taking in his son's multi-colored appearance, then calling Estel from his hiding place, he continued, "As punishment, help your brother clean up – and I expect to see the both of you in the diner hall. Hopefully you will be clean enough before dinner is served. And after that, I intend to speak with both of you."
"All right, adar," Estel replied and hugged his father cheerfully, before sticking out his tongue at his brother as he snickered, "First one who reaches the river is the cutest!"
"You had better catch him, my son," Elrond advised the elf covered in paint.
"I will do better than that," Elladan assured his father as he ran toward his little brother.
As Elrond shook his head at their antics, Lord Erestor and Lord Glorfindel joined him.
"Where did Estel find the water-colors?" Elrond asked curiously.
"It seems that he walked into my room," Glorfindel replied and then he added, "Apparently someone told him that I paint with the moonlight."
"Do you?" Elrond asked the elf-lord, an eyebrow raised.
"Who told him about your water colors?" Erestor cut in.
"I have been wondering about that myself, but for now I do not have the answer," Glorfindel replied, looking at the advisor rather pointedly.
"Me? I did not tell him anything about it," Erestor defended himself at once.
"Then how did Estel paint his brother?" Elrond asked staring at the both elves, hoping to get an honest answer for once.
The both elves seemed to be rather fidgety, but were otherwise content to speak in circles – something that did not surprise him at all.
Elrond sighed, turning to watch his sons having fun in the river.
"You are getting old, my friend," Erestor told him, and then he continued, smiling, "And yet all the elves should be careful whenever the boy is around, or some of us would be next for his pranks."
"You are the one who's getting older; I have young spirits here that keep me alive and I am happy for it," Elrond reminded his friends.
"Let us see how they are doing. Shall we?" Glorfindel suggested.
"Is it safe?" Erestor asked as he remembered the last time they followed the little ones. Needless to say, they got hurt.
"Why don't you find out and let me know?" Elrond asked them, grinning. He knew his troublemakers well enough, Estel no less.
"That is a great idea," Glorfindel replied and asked Erestor, "Aren't you coming?"
"I am doomed!" Erestor cried and followed the elf-lord, behaving as though he and his friend were headed for certain death. What made it worse was that he could not excuse because he had nothing else to do at this moment and everyone knew it.
Elrond chuckled as his friends left, and entered his room and sat, enjoying his moment of calm.
He watched, through the window, as his sons pushed the elf-lords into the cold water. He could imagine how Erestor must look with his incensed expression, and Elrond laughed at that thought, knowing that Glorfindel would be enjoying himself as well.
Meanwhile, Elladan was almost in a presentable state and Estel seemed to be enjoying his fun with the elf-lords and his brother.
From time to time, Elrond would find himself wondering where Elrohir was. Was he still alive? Where did he go? Why could he not find him?
But Elrond had warned Elladan not to mention Elrohir's name; Estel should not know about that, nor the reasons for all that.
At the Dinner hall…
Elladan entered the hall, along with Estel, and to Elrond's surprise they were completely clean. On the other hand, Erestor and Glorfindel seemed tired and their hair was still wet.
"Are you all right?" Elrond asked his friends.
"Once I will get my hands on your orc sons, they will know…" Erestor replied, a warning tone in his voice.
"I did enjoy playing with you," Glorfindel told Elladan and Estel and then he added, "It has been a while since I enjoyed myself like this. Thank you."
"Erestor, mellon-nin, you need to rest, and besides, it is not as though you have much work to do lately, is it?" Elrond asked his friend as he smiled at him.
"Unfortunately I did not have any work to do," Erestor replied as he stared at his food, absently picking at it.
"Adar, he is playing with his food; aren't we suppose to eat it?" Estel asked, grinning innocently at the elf-lord.
Erestor was only getting angrier, and at that moment, anyone could see how he wished he could wrap his hands around that young man and wring his neck.
"Erestor…" Elrond called him, and noticing the glare from his friend, he tried hard not to laugh.
Life had certainly become interesting.
It was time for Estel to sleep, but even though Elladan knew it, the boys would still be the boys they were, playing in the twins' room. This place and everything there was the one thing Elrond did wished never to forget. He had left Elrohir's things exactly where they were and Elladan kept his brother's things safe.
Naturally, Estel was curious about everything but neither of the elves gave him any answer.
"Now, ion-nin, this is not the time for it. Hopefully, when the right time comes, we will tell you," Elrond would only reply, not wishing to give any more details.
"I want to be a warrior like Lord Glorfindel," Estel said. He wanted to lift the sword that was kept in place for all those years but there was no way that could happen. He did not understand the expressions that marked his father's and brother's faces; were those glares or looks of fear? "Could you teach me, adar?"
"In the morning, son, I will have Lord Glorfindel give you and Elladan a lesson. I do hope that it won't just about tactics for pulling pranks on Lord Erestor. You need to be getting ready for any attack, do you understand, my son?" Elrond asked him.
"I do, adar," Estel told him and left his brother room, ambling straight to his own.
"We have got to hide his things, adar, sooner or later Estel will want to use them," Elladan advised his father. He knew how persistent his little brother was; things would easily disappear and find their ways in his battlefield. He knew it; he just needed to make sure that his father understood it as well.
"I will take care of that after I send you both to learn how to fight properly," Elrond assured his son and then he kissed him on the forehead.
"Rest, my son, tomorrow is going to be a long day…" Elrond grinned and tucked the covers in around his first-born.
"I will, adar, thank you," Elladan thanked his father, "Estel… I believe that he is waiting for you to tell him a story."
"I think that I should send Lord Glorfindel to him one night; he certainly would have lots of tales to tell, don't you think so, my son?"
"I do, adar, but you need to tell Glorfindel not to tell him about Elrohir," Elladan replied in apprehension. Even so, he wished that he could feel his brother; it had been ages since he felt him.
"Good night, my son, sleep well," Elrond told him and left for the boy's room.
Estel was already waiting in bed for his father, knowing that he should be there soon after tucking in his brother, and that, though he was second, he would enjoy his father's tales. Elladan hated hearing stories, and Estel was glad for that.
"Is Elladan asleep?" Estel asked his father.
"He is now," Elrond replied his son and then he asked him, "Why are you not tired?"
"I want to hear your stories, adar, I am always awake for your stories," Estel replied with a wide smile.
"And I thought after this long, tiring day, you will be asleep in your bed and I will be glad for it. But it seems that I was wrong," Elrond teased his son. "So, what story do you want to hear from me today, my son?"
"Warriors, kings, monsters…" Estel replied eagerly.
"All in one story? I will think about that…" Elrond hummed, trying not to fall asleep in front of the boy as it had been a long, tiring day for him too.
"Think quickly, adar, before the monster eats me while I am sleeping," Estel added.
"Well, the last time I checked for the monster was last night," Elrond reminded the boy. "Nothing was wrong then; what has changed since last night?"
"I hear voices under the bed; can you check again, adar?" Estel asked.
"I will, after I tell you the story, alright?" Elrond replied.
"Thank you, adar," Estel clung onto the elf's neck and hugged him. Then he lay back on the bed expectantly. "What story are you going to tell me, adar?"
"Let see, in the story I have a king, monsters somewhat, and warriors – lots of warriors for you, my son," Elrond replied with a grin.
Elrond could sense someone approaching the room and turned around just as he heard the first touch of a hand on the door.
"It's you, Glorfindel. What are you doing here at this time of the night?" Elrond asked his friend.
"Did I hear the word 'story'?" Glorfindel asked as he took one step into the room.
"I will be right back, my son," Elrond told Estel as he walked over to his friend. "Are you willing to tell my son a story?"
"I am," Glorfindel replied, smiling a little too cheerfully for Elrond's liking.
"Just a reminder, my friend, do not tell him anything about Elrohir, not even in your story," Elrond added before he turning back to his son.
"It seems that Lord Glorfindel wants to tell you a story for once. Would you like that, ion?" Elrond asked him.
"Yes, adar, but tomorrow I want to hear your story," Estel replied as he sat on the bed, leaning his head against the wall in eager anticipation.
"Good luck," Elrond told Glorfindel, grinning, and then he added, "Oh, and tomorrow, Glorfindel you will be teaching both of them how to use a sword in combat."
"Me? That will be my pleasure, my lord," Glorfindel exclaimed in pride. He would love to teach his friend's sons how to fight.
"Yay!" Estel jumped up on the bed.
"Estel…" Elrond warned him.
Estel quickly sat back down. "Sorry, adar," he said, though he was still grinning.
"I suppose it is time for a warrior like Glorfindel to tuck you in now. In time to come, I will need you to become a man and fight as a great fighter," Elrond told him softly as he returned to his son's bed. He sat down at the side, raised the boy's head and kissed his forehead.
"I love you, adar," Estel thanked his father.
Elrond nodded and smiled. Leaving his son's room, he returned to his own for some much needed rest.
"Now, what story would you like me to tell you, young one?" Glorfindel asked the boy.
"Stories about monsters, like the one that's hiding under my bed…" Estel took his blanket and pulled it over his body, using it like an armor against the monster.
"I will see what is hidden beneath your bed," Glorfindel said and then he knelt down to check. "There is nothing here beside toys, young one. I think that your head is too full of imagination, though that is not a bad thing to have."
"There is nothing under the bed?" Estel asked the elf-lord.
"No," Glorfindel confirmed and then he added, "Nothing at all."
"Tell me a story," Estel asked, now more relieved.
"Alright," Glorfindel told him as he stretched himself out on the bed near the boy. "It all started when…"
The next morning, Elrond looked up from his desk to find his little son waiting in the doorway.
"Estel, ion, is there something amiss?" Elrond asked as he walked toward the boy.
"I have been wondering, when are Elladan and I learning how to fight?" Estel asked.
"Very soon, my son," Elrond told him and then he added, asking, "Why don't you go and find Elladan, and meet me in the garden?"
"I will, adar," Estel replied and hopped out of his adar's room.
Once the boy had left, Elrond returned to his chair and sat. The boy was so obedient and he was sure that both Celebrían and Elrohir would have loved him. At that thought, he could feel the tears welling in his eyes. So many years, and yet, he had never gotten over the loss of his dear wife and son.
"My lord, are you alright?" Glorfindel asked as he passed the room. He seemed to have smelt the salt in the tears.
"I am, thank you, my friend," Elrond managed a smile as he brushed the tears away.
"I believe there are two impatient young ones waiting for me in the garden – and for you as well," Glorfindel said, urging his friend to join him.
"Good luck with the first lesson; Estel is a very impatient child," Elrond warned his friend.
"I know, but please do not forget, my lord, that you are blessed by his keen observation of things…" Glorfindel teased him as he left the house, embraced by the rising sun that smiled at him.
Glorfindel smiled. It was going to be a beautiful day.
End of Chapter 1.