by SkyFire

Disclaimer: Not mine, wish they were.

A/N: 1)This came about as a simple thought: "Celeborn doesn't say much in The Movie, does he?" ;)
I honestly can't remember if he says anything at all. He looks mighty sad, though. There just
*had* to be a reason.

2)Talan= Elven name for a tree-platform.

Thoughts are in / /, emphasis is in * *.

Please review! *g*

by SkyFire

Celeborn looked up as a somewhat bloody and bedraggled Haldir came into the recieving chamber
where he sat. He watched as the captain of the Lorien border-guard scanned the room, eyes
finally coming to rest on him.

Haldir walked quickly to Celeborn and bowed, a quick gesture, before speaking, voice equally
quick and terse. "Where is the Lady Galadriel?"

"She tends her garden," Lord Celeborn answered. He saw Haldir turn and frowned, then called out.
"Perhaps you could tell me-?"

Haldir barely glanced over his shoulder as he left. "No, my Lord. The Lady will know what to do."

Then he was gone.

Celeborn blinked at the newly-empty room. /What was that all about?/ he wondered. /Am I not one
of the wisest Elves in all of Middle-Earth? How is it that Haldir will not tell me of Lorien's
troubles? Surely, as her Lord, I should be involved in any decisions having to do with her

One of Haldir's brothers- Rumil, as bloody and disheveled as his brother- poked his head into the
room. "Galadriel?" came the blunt query.

Somewhat startled by the abruptness of the query, the answer was past Celeborn's lips before he
even consciously recognised the question. "Garden."

Then the second border-guard was gone, every bit as quickly as his brother had left.

Frowning, the Lord of Lothlorien stood up from the carved chair where he had been sitting. He
straightened his robes and walked from the room, walking toward the rail along the edge of the
broad talan, the edge that overlooked Galadriel's garden.

He blinked, startled. His smooth brow creased in confusion. /What is this?/ Gathered together
in his Lady's garden were not only the two border-guards but also several other Elves who usually
attended Celeborn's court; Elves who had been absent for weeks now. Not one of them was doing
anything even vaguely related to gardening. /Galadriel holds court without me? I am the Lord of
Lorien! This is not right!/

From above, he could hear the border-guards making their bloody reports to the Lady, could hear
her queries, her responses, her orders. Reports that should have come to him, questions he
should have asked, orders he should have given; or at least that they should have recieved and
given together.

Celeborn backed soundlessly away from the rail, a dull pain in his heart. With unusually heavy
steps, he went back to the room he had left; their recieving chamber. He saw the pale wood of
the two chairs on the dais, saw the empty room. The pain in him only spread. He turned and
walked away.

He was stopped three more times on the way back to their chambers by Galadhrim looking for
Galadriel. He answered them in a quiet, subdued voice, watched them hurry away. None came
seeking him.

It was a subdued and heavy-hearted Celeborn that entered the quarters he shared with his Lady.
He looked about the rooms as he entered, saw how most of the items therein had been chosen by
Galadriel. His own additions were mostly small things that were easily overshadowed by hers.
Usually, that fact didn't bother him, for he deeply loved his Lady. But today, it just felt...
wrong; like a portent of things to come... or things that already were.

The Lord of Lorien sat down on a low couch, lay back against the pile of pillows behind him and
fell into deep thought. He knew he should have stayed in the recieving chamber so as to be
easily found, but for the first time in as far back as he could remember, the very thought made
him feel vaguely ill. And so he stayed in their rooms as the day faded, unnoticed by him as he
sat alone in the deepening shadows.

It was only when the light of the Sun had faded from the horizon that he roused; getting up and
moving to light the lamps that filled the room with their soft, flickering light.

His long hours of thought had seen him come to several realizations that troubled him; about
himself, about Galadriel, about their whole relationship. New shadows were in his eyes as he
readied himself for bed; washing up, dressing in his soft nightclothes, then letting down his
hair, unbraiding it then running a silver brush through it until the pale strands gleamed.

Their relationship had been changing in subtle ways for years, he had seen. But it was not until
the Fellowship of the Ring had left Lorien's borders that the changes became less subtle, more
obvious. And now Galadriel held court without him, without even *telling* him about it.

He padded barefoot over to 'his' side of the bed and pulled back the soft sheets, sheets that
were silver-grey like almost everything else in their rooms. He sat down on the bed with a sigh,
slid his legs onto the mattress under the sheets, the bed and blankets cold against his bare skin.
He sat back against the pillows at the headboard and settled in to wait.

It was another half-hour before Galadriel came into the bedchamber, extinguishing the lit lamps
as she passed. She prepared herself for bed, went and sat with her legs under the blankets on
'her' side of the bed.

"How was your gardening today, dearest one?" Celeborn kept his voice from showing the pain in him,
kept it as light as it would usually have been upon asking that question.

"It was very rewarding, as usual," she answered simply.

"Anything different?" he asked. "Anything you would wish to share with me, beloved?"

She smiled briefly. "No. Nothing different from any other gardening-time." She kissed him, a
brief brush of her lips on his cheek, then lay down on her side on her half of the bed, facing
away from him.

He watched her for many long minutes, staring at her nightgown-covered back and shoulders,
listening to her breathing slow as she fell asleep. Then he blew out the bedside lamp, slid down
in the bed to lay on his back, staring up at the bed's grey canopy above him. The small space
that separated him from Galadriel felt like leagues of broken ground.

He loosed a sigh, silent in the darkness. It took him a long time before he at last found the
realms of Elven dreams.

Celeborn awoke at dawn the next morning with the Sun shining her rays through the open window to
cover the bed with her light.

Galadriel was already up and about, dressed once again in the white they always wore as Lord and
Lady of Lorien. She smiled briefly at him, then focused once again on brushing her long golden

"What are your plans for today, dearest?" he asked as he did every morning, voice kept carefree
with an effort.

"More gardening," she answered. "And you?"

"I think I shall stay abed," he said. "Lorien can do without me this morning." He didn't know
what he wanted to hear in return; perhaps protests and assurances that he *was* needed and always
would be. Perhaps something else, something more.

Whatever it was, he didn't get it.

"As you wish," she said. Like the night before, she gave him a brief, chaste kiss on the cheek,
then she left the room.

He lay there, the pain from the day before running through him again, augmented by that from
their last conversation. He didn't know what was wrong, or how to fix it. How did this happen
to them? How had they grown so very far apart?

At last, it was just too much. He found himself getting out of bed, watched, an observer in his
own body, as he moved about the room, collecting a few small items of sentimental value together
into a small bundle. Then he dressed in his white robes, put on the silver circlet that was his
ancient sign of rank, gathered up the bundle and left the rooms. He walked calmly over to one of
the supply-rooms, one he knew would be deserted at that time. There, he found everything he was
looking for.

He took a silver-grey pack from a stack of them, stuffed in his bundle, attached a small bedroll
to it, then added a dozen packets of mallorn-wrapped lembas. Then, he raided the clothing stores.
He stuffed several changes of grey clothing into the pack, as well as a pair of boots and a grey
elven-cloak. He took the circlet from his head, stuffed it as well into the pack before tying it
shut. Taking off his white robes, he dressed himself in more of the simple grey clothing, taking
a smooth belt from the stores, as well as another pair of grey boots, which he wore. He folded
his robes, then looked down at himself. Yes, he looked well.

He wrapped a grey cloak about himself and was about to leave when he remembered his hair; bound
up in the braids and falls that showed his rank as clearly as the circlet had. He quickly unbound
them, then rebraided his hair into a common archer's braids. Now, he just needed a bow. He took
one from the bowrack that stood against one wall, along with extra bowstrings and a quiver full
of arrows.

Finally, he really *was* done.

One last deep breath, then he left the storage room. He put his white robes in the laundry as
he left.

Then he was away, standing among the tall mallorn trees, just another Galadhrim archer among many.

He cast a last heavy-hearted glance up at the mallorn that had been home for so long, that held
so many happy memories. Then he turned away.

Celeborn of Doriath, Lord of Lorien, took one step, then another, more coming in quick succession.
And one step after another beginning on that bright and sunny morning, Celeborn left both
Galadriel and Lothlorien.

As he left, he wondered how long it would be before anyone even noticed that he wasn't there


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