Summary: Sometimes tears are a perfect expression of the greatest love.
Warning: Mild slash, mostly implied.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.R.R Tolkien.
A/N: For the Pigeon. I quoted you (and myself) and I hope that is OK. Thank you for your friendship.
The lingering music is a memory, an echo of celebrations past. As I wander through the gardens under a deepening blue sky the traces of ancient voices mingling seem to me especially clear. Somewhere far away the sun has been swallowed up by a horizon but during the summer it never sinks low enough for the night to turn very dark. No breeze stirs the leaves though there is a coolness in the air now.
How many begetting days have I seen come and go? They have long since lost their significance; nowadays it seems so very unimportant to me to celebrate my own moment of creation. I am but a flicker of life in this world, after all, though my duties are many and much power has been granted me. But in the grand scheme of things, should the Valar decide to tear this world asunder, to set it afire in a last glorious firework, no deed of mine could prevent them. My life is a long thread in Vairë's tapestry, it is true, but what matters is not so much the course it runs as the pattern it creates as it blends with all the other threads, the lives of others, their souls and their hearts.
The lanterns are like fireflies frozen in flight, in space and time. Their flow of light steady. I walk among them and my own solitude wraps around me, as it has always done, in one way or another. The party was small, only my children and a handful of my closest friends. To have them gathered around me, as the world darkens, is everything to me. To see them smile, to hear them speak, and to know they love me as I love them is all that I crave. I need no other gift. To hold them close, and to feel them breathe.
And so the music that faintly twines around the trees is not of today, necessarily, but part of a greater song: of wild celebrations past and the gentle touch of lips to a cheek, and the warm and lasting embrace of a loved one. Can you see, Vairë, how you have blessed me? Was it your intention to weave into my path such joy? And was it you who added this sweet ache, just a pinch of a darker shade, into the batch of dye into which you threw my thread before it touched your loom? It melts so perfectly into the rush of love that I know as I look upon those dearest to me.
I have lost myself to this mystery many times before and I am close to doing so also tonight. I can still taste the wine on my tongue but have no desire for more. I simply wish to exist, for a while longer – long enough to see the sun rise anew, over a carefree world that knows only love and peace. Let there be no dates, nor hours of consequence, only time, free-flowing, into eternity.
I did not know that my eyes had fallen closed until I feel arms encircle me from behind. You are no Valier, no Valar. You are a choice, I think. Or fate. I could never say. And you are young and splendid.
And you know that I am crying even before you look upon my face. It worries you a little, but you need not fear, though I think I shall have some trouble making you understand this. A begetting day, you think, is cause for great feasting and loud cheering, and so also it should be – for you.
I turn in your arms and my heart breaks. I would forbid you to go to war, to ever step into the line of a flying arrow shaft or the reach of a blade, but you would never have that.
I am so grateful that you are breathing.
"Elrond?" You speak very softly, your lips barely moving. "You are crying."
Thranduil does not know that I am standing here with you, so close that, even at this time of night, I can make out every shift in your blue gaze. And that I have done so before. He does not know that you have tasted me, that your lips have journeyed all over my body, in ecstasy as well as in desperation. He does not know that we have lain entangled in my bed, with moonlight and sunlight twining in our hair and cooling and warming, respectively, unshielded skin.
"Why? What is the matter?"
I shake my head. "I love you."
"That is not an answer."
Oh, but it is. And it is the only one – the very truth. I lift my hands to your face and bring my lips to yours. You yield so beautifully, for although you may be brazen and bold, I am still your elder. You too taste of wine as I kiss you.
You must understand that I have no other words to offer. Just as you must understand that I do not suffer even if that is what your quick mind tells you when you see me like this.
When the kiss is ended my heart is lighter and I can see that you are relieved when I smile.
"All day I wanted to do that," you admit, hands moving to press gently into the small of my back.
Just as you are my secret, I am yours. This should make me think twice before I undress you, before I have you spread for me and, most certainly, before I plunge into your heat. But your embrace brings forgetfulness and after today the validity of the old-age excuse has further increased; I forget, when you are willing, and you have never been anything else.
There will come a time when you are surrounded by darkness. I pray that in that time you will remember my smile and my voice; that I love you as I hope you still love me then; the way I held you close and the rise and fall of my chest when I breathed against you. The touch of my lips to your cheek, our warm and lasting embraces.
With a forefinger, you lightly and slowly follow a trail of tears. I look into your face. My Legolas.
Your smile is bleak but it is there. "I do not want you to cry," you say softly. "Unless they are tears of joy."
I know it is so, but sometimes it seems to me that tears are the perfect expression of the love that I have been blessed with.
I kiss you again as night settles down more firmly around us. "They are," I whisper. "I promise."
In this precious moment, all is well.