Summary: Elladan and Elrohir are the victims of one of the worst wounds an Elf could take. Can they heal from it? Will Elrond's strength not be enough this time, even for his sons? What must be done?

Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing of the admirable world of Tolkien. I only own the plot and a couple of original characters, which will be pointed out on the way.

(21 FEB 2012)
I apologize, but this story is currently on hiatus. I became overly-absorbed and passionate about taking up and writing my other story, "A Crucial Decision" (which I had been writing at the same time as this), that my will to continue this one sort of faded. I will not abandon the story, I'm just uncertain at the moment as to when I will take it up again, though hopefully before the year is out. That's my goal. I apologize for the inconvenience, if it is indeed one.

A/N: read please: I'm sorry this took so long! I'm just not really good at writing periodically. Anyway, this story is meant to stand on its own, but it can also be loosely called the sequel to the other story of mine, "A Father's Torment". You don't need to read "A Father's Torment" to understand this story, as everything will be explained throughout the first chapter, but reading it will give you a greater understanding of what this story's all about and will answer any questions. But this story does take place after "A Father's Torment" by several years. And thanks to all the wonderful reviews of that sort-of prequel, I have been persuaded to write this up. And my many thanks to Tori of Lorien for her advice pertaining to certain ideas for the plot. So enjoy!

Warning – this chapter may seem a little bit slow and I apologize if it does. My explanation for why it might is at the end. But still, I hope it will be enjoyable. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Chapter 1

Dawn. What words could ever illustrate the unending bliss and splendor of such a precious time of day? The sight of the snow-capped mountains of the Hithaeglir kissed by the delicate newborn rays of the Sun was spirit lifting to the divine race of the Elves. The soul blossomed at the sight of the invigorating warmth of the eastern horizon, for dawn signified a new day. A new start. A new beginning. Dawn was pure of the horrors of the World and exemplified the innocence of life. Nothing could touch or taint such a precious gift of nature. And nature, in turn, presented harmony with the coming rays of dawn; the birds chirping their awaking song softly amongst the trees, the leaves yet holding the fresh aroma of spring dewy morning, and the lingering traces of night gently fading to slumber for the day as the Sun traveled its course. So powerful was such a simply moment in time that nothing could break it.

Unless it would be the disturbing sound of shattering glass that was heard from the study of one particular Seneschal.

With a short fuse, Glorfindel quickly stepped outside of the barracks, the door rebounding on its hinges and banging against the doorframe, and took a deep, calming breath as he tried to resist the overwhelming urge to grind his teeth. Hands on his hips and eyes closed, he continued to draw in those deep breaths of spring air and, as the seconds rolled by, he felt the recently riled irritation slowly begin to slip away, seeping out of his being. With one last deep breath, he opened his eyes and looked to the clear sky as though hoping to find the answers to all his problems written across the blue dome. Naturally, he didn't. Though, recalling the source of his irritation, he didn't know whether to be more angry or amused. But, at the moment, angry seemed very promising. It took a lot to stir up anger in the Elda and any anger that was stirred was usually dismissed swiftly after the matter was settled. Very few could incur the wrath of Glorfindel and see that it lasts. And only one of those few seemed to draw just a little too much enjoyment out of it when it was.

Erestor. That pestilent Noldo, he thought grudgingly. Revenge is a dish best served cold, they say. But never before, he reflected, had he seen such a statement prove to be true. But then, he grudged, Erestor had ever been able to prove his words.

He couldn't believe it. He just couldn't believe it. He had always known that that raven-haired Noldo was stubborn, but never had he figured that the Elf, curse him, could hold such a grudge for all this time!

A few years ago, Glorfindel had decided to take action to impede something that had been bothering him for quite a couple centuries. After the departure of the Lady Celebrían, when the torment of her soul had been beyond healing, Glorfindel had been beyond grieved to see how the twins had responded to it; by hunting down every Orc they could trace and killing it without hesitation. But what had concerned him further was Elrond's reaction to it; he knew the lord he served was strong and that he had refused to fade after his wife's departure because of his children – he wasn't about to leave them alone and allow them to grieve over losing both of their parents – but the twins' rampage, he had seen, had cost Elrond his joy, his happiness, and his carefree spirit; not one day had passed during his sons' rampage when his heart and mind were not swamped with worry, a fear that consumed his whole being until it reached the point of despair at seeing his children succumb to their desire for avenging their mother. And upon seeing such torment indwell his lord, whom he both respected and admired, that would not waver as the years passed, Glorfindel had decided that he had finally had enough. He could not have, and would not have, undermined the grief the twins' were experiencing, but he could not have allowed his lord to suffer any further.

After many days of worry and concern from the delay of the twins' return, the two had arrived in the mid of night, both wounded and both weakened from the heavy loss of blood. They had, of course, been treated by the hands of their father, but Elrond, as every time in the past, had refused to leave their side until they were well again. Glorfindel had had to speak with Elladan and Elrohir, but he had had to also make sure that Elrond would not have been present or anywhere near them when he had. So, to distract their lord from his worry over his sons and to draw him away from the healing wing, he had sought out the only person he knew who would have been able to do it.

Erestor. Glorfindel cursed under his breath again at remembering the name of that atrocious Elf. He will be the bane of my existence, he thought irately.

Erestor, too, had seen the melancholy of their lord. And even though Elrond had not requested it, he knew that Erestor had unendingly pledged his service to him the moment Imladris had been established. And his dedication to that commitment showed daily through his abiding excellence as Chief Counselor. He knew Erestor worked like a water clock – with absolute consistency. His life and daily schedule were ruled by faultless order. And doom to anyone who dared to meddle with it. He was black and white, Glorfindel knew. Grey just wasn't in his spectrum. His council was sound, invaluable, and with his and Elrond's combined hands of inflexibility, Imladris ran with admirable order. For those under Erestor, whether they would be council members, scribes, or assistants, he pushed them endlessly to strive for flawless precision, but in his own office, he expected nothing less than perfection. And that self-expectation that he placed daily on his own shoulders was the reason for his magnificence as Chief Counselor and why he had earned that title in the first place. Erestor never failed; he refused to. And his intelligent mind always saw that he would find a solution to any problem, no matter its complexity. His faultless order of life and high expectations made him an intimidating person and most people, who did not know him for who he really was, feared him; every day, his sharp tongue was ready with a smart answer for everything and no one sought to be on the receiving end of his irritation, for it usually didn't bode well for those that caused it. Simply, his consistency was not to be disturbed or put out of place by even a sliver without his knowing.

But despite the cold exterior, he was far from that on the inside. To those who picked up the courage to get to know him, they had come to realize that his caring heart radiated warmth when it was needed. And, just as much as Glorfindel, he worried endlessly for his lord, always hoping that even a miniscule amount of his worry would abate. But as the years progressed, Glorfindel had seen that the counselor had nearly all but given up the optimism that their lord would heal from his heartbreak. So, deciding to take action, he had inquired for Erestor's help so that Glorfindel would have been able to speak with the twins alone. And the Noldo's objective had been simple; to distract Elrond for approximately an hour. Just an hour.

He had played his card on the counselor artfully, he knew. He didn't deny that. There had been no tactics involved, no devious ingenuity; he had simply relied on Erestor's warm-hearted nature towards Elrond and the twins. In the end, though, he had known that the Noldo would have performed any action without hesitation if it meant alleviating the torment upon his lord's heart. They would never let their playful animosity interfere with paramount matters such as that. So, Erestor had distracted Elrond, quite a few times actually, and had suffered his lord's short temper as a result. He figured that Erestor would have tried to extract some sort of revenge on him for trapping him in a such a way, despite that he would have helped anyway without a second thought, but Glorfindel usually welcomed such attempts anyhow, so no harm done. Or so he had thought.

"Damn Elf," he cursed under his breath again. Why couldn't the start of his day just be as carefree and simple as this glorious morning was?

"Captain?" asked a familiar voice from his left.

Glorfindel closed his eyes and resisted clenching his jaw. That voice had just a little too much amusement in it, he thought darkly.

"Yes, Huradel?"

He opened his eyes as his second-in-command came forward to stand by his side. With a small sigh of his own, Huradel set his gaze out to the surrounding Valley, seeming to silently admire its endless beauty. Glorfindel's eyes narrowed as he studied his lieutenant carefully; it was all too obvious that he was just managing to refrain from allowing a smile to crease his face. The Elda shook his head in mock disgust, or perhaps it was real – he was unsure.

"Oh, be silent," he ordered in a low voice.

The corner of Huradel's mouth twitched. "I am silent, Captain," he said innocently, a little too innocently, Glorfindel thought. His tone simply reeked of knowing what bothered his captain.

And indeed he did. In his moment of current anger, Glorfindel refused to admit just how sly Erestor had played it. His talk with the twins had been successful, but fully expecting for Erestor to claim some sort of revenge, Glorfindel had kept up his guard, looking for any possible move from the esteemed counselor. But for years, nothing had come of it. And Erestor's apparent lack of interest in even remembering that crucial time for their lord had eventually led Glorfindel to believe that nothing would come of it. Why should such a small incident matter so much, after all?

Oh no. The counselor could be sly and very devious when he chose to be, Glorfindel knew. Like a snake, he had waited patiently for the bird to relax until in a trouble-free state, letting the prey fall into the belief that he was safe from all danger, while he himself waited with a vicious appetite to lunge. And Erestor's sudden act of vengeance came out of nowhere, like an abrupt slap on the face. That incident had been a two weeks ago and still, the nightmare it summoned still lived on with prime influence in his life.

Glorfindel was ready to panic. And he hadn't felt any sense of panic flood his system in centuries. But there it was – a feeling he wasn't in the slightest bit use to – slowly beginning to seep its way into his mind. Frantically, he looked around his office and then back again at the stacks of parchment on his desk. For the third time, he began searching through them again, though the hope that he would find them among all these piles of parchment was slowly beginning to die. Where, in the name of Elbereth, are they, Glorfindel wondered absently. Finishing flipping through the last stack, Glorfindel glanced once more around his office and sighed in defeat, plopping into his chair.

The conclusions for the annual security meeting were gone. But this wasn't just any conference of Imladris' security; it was the meeting held every five years. The conclusions of each year were gathered and heavily studied and then conclusions were drawn for all the past five years to get a collective insight of the happenings in and around Imladris. But they were not just the rosters of guard rotations, or listings of Orc sightings and any involving skirmishes. Many of them revolved around the inventory; the metals traded and extracted to make the coif and hauberk for his warriors, the stock and usage of wool to make the gambesons under the armor, the circulation of weaponry and how many were made yearly, to name but a few. Logistics and many of them had been compiled over the years. Truly, it was anything and everything that involved the welfare of his warriors. And now they were gone – every single one of them.

And he had no idea where they could have disappeared to. Throughout the year, up until the time he collected them himself, all the paperwork, categorically filed, was placed in a restricted storeroom behind the library where all other paperwork involving the running of Imladris was stored. He knew they weren't stolen since they had been under lock and key. With a deep sigh, Glorfindel finally accepted the facts; he would have to draw all the conclusions all over again. Fortunately, every bit of parchment and report over the last five years were still available to him. At an acceptable pace, he could write out the conclusions of one year's worth of information in a week. That meant that it would take five weeks to do again all five years. And then, at that point, he would still have to conclude all five of those sets of documents. And the dated meeting was just one month away. He already knew that it was going to be a painful next four weeks for him. He would be stretched thin and every spare bit of time would be spent on this paperwork, which would be torture since this was the most boring part of the year for him. Of course, he could ask for the day of the meeting to be postponed, but to ask for that, it would be humiliating.

"Ai Valar, why me?" he groaned, resting his head in his hand.


His head snapped up only to find Erestor standing in the doorframe with a most curious look in his eye. With another sigh, he looked back down to his desk, wishing with all his might that the paperwork would just vanish. And him with it, he added as an afterthought.

"Yes, Erestor?"

Erestor cocked his head to the side. "What has put you in such a depressing mood?"

He gestured helplessly to his covered desk. "All of the conclusions for the past five years have gone missing. And since I cannot fathom where they have disappeared to, I must draw them out all over again."


Glorfindel's gaze snapped around to the raven-haired councilor, his brow furrowed in alarm. That one word carried far too much sarcasm and superiority in it to be innocent. Suddenly dwarfed with a growing horror, he stood from his chair, staring hard at the Noldo.

"What did you do?" he demanded. Before the advisor could answer, he asked further, "Did you take them?"

Erestor gave him a small smile, one that he could only describe a wolf gave before sinking in its fangs. "Yes."

Glorfindel stood there, his mind flying, for several seconds before he realized that his mouth was slightly agape. He closed it with a snap and the silence between the two passed for several more moments and Erestor, Glorfindel noticed with slight fear, seemed to enjoy every second of it. Far too fearful to ask, he put forth the unspoken question. "Where did you put them?"

"I said that I took them," he said lightly, that vindictive grin still present, "not that I put them somewhere."

Hardly daring to breath, the Elda took the counselor's bait. "What did you do with them, then?"

There was a pause as Erestor studied the Elda with something that Glorfindel couldn't quite recognize, as though trying to measure him up. Finally, he answered.

"I became a little chilled last eve."

Within a split second, the horror magnified to being very prominent as he understood the implication of those words. His eyes wide, he stared at the counselor in disbelief. "You burned them?" he asked, his voice high with incredulity.

Erestor nodded, cool as a cucumber. "You once complemented me by saying that I have such an interest in boring subjects." The contempt that he spoke with the word "complemented" showed that he thought it as anything but. "So I had the thought to grace you with the opportunity to see just how interesting these boring subjects can be."

Glorfindel stared at him in even stronger disbelief than before. That had been years ago! He had only said that as an afterthought when trying to persuade the advisor to – it was then, when remembering just what that particular time had been about, that he felt a strong misgiving flood him. And the satisfied expression that Erestor sported just made it all the worse.

But Erestor realized, to his delight, that Glorfindel was actually speechless. And Glorfindel, in turn, was hoping beyond belief that Erestor was bluffing, just calling this charade to make him panic. But after seeing the satisfaction in his eyes and the pure, genuine guile in his expression, that hope died like a flame in the wind.

"Well," Erestor said, collecting himself after a long enough silence had passed, "I imagine that you will have quite a bit of work to do for the next few weeks. I let you get to it." He gave a respectful nod in his direction before turning. "I bid you a good afternoon, Captain."

Two weeks had passed and now he only had less than two weeks left. And he had been working endlessly every spare second of the day to get it done. At first, he had briefly despaired over the impossibility of it, but instantly dismissed it, knowing that Erestor would not have done what he did had he known that Glorfindel, or any Elf – himself included – would have been incapable of completing the conclusions in time for the meeting. But still, at the hard-pressed rate he was going, he still had a sliver of doubt that he would get it done and at the level of expectation he always got it done with.

Half of the free time he had while off his seneschal duties was usually spent revolving around those duties anyway. He didn't really take much time for himself or for his own relaxation. But when he had all but disappeared from that normal routine, Huradel had hunted him down, worried about his Captain's wellbeing. Though when he had explained what had happened, Huradel had simply laughed himself heartedly, appreciating the sly – and brave – hand of the intimidating counselor, a reaction that did not put Glorfindel in any lighter spirits. It had quite the opposite effect, actually, and Huradel had left before the angry side of his Captain could truly come to the surface.

But still, to this day, Glorfindel noted grudgingly as he looked at his second, Huradel drew great amusement from it yet.

"What do you want?" Glorfindel asked him in a clipped tone.

Huradel made sure to keep his gaze directed in front of him. "I had heard a crash from your study. I came to make sure that all was well."

Yes, Glorfindel pondered absently, the crash in his study. In a brief moment of exasperation from the overload of work, he had quickly stood from his desk and headed for the door, consequently grazing the edge of the pitcher of water on a side table in his haste. The pitcher had fallen and shattered, and it was safe to say that that incident did not make Glorfindel's day any brighter either.

"Well, it is," he said briefly. "Return to your work."

Huradel nodded and spoke a quick "Aye, Captain," before turning away quickly enough to prevent the reborn lord from seeing the full smile break out on his face. He didn't care how angry or irritated Glorfindel became, he thought. It was just far too amusing, no matter which way one looked at it.

O = O = O

"Finish it up."

"But Ada –"

"Finish it."

With a disgruntled sigh of complaint, Elrohir looked back down at the half empty cup in his hand. A very large cup in his opinion. He could practically feel his father's glare burning the top of his head as he waited for his instructions to be followed. With another sigh, this time of resignation, he sucked it up and downed the rest of the elixir as quickly as possible.

Elrond waited for the cup to be handed back to him as he leaned against one of the examination tables. Dawn was slowly fighting its way over the peaks of the Hithaeglir and the healing wing's only illumination came from the meager beams of light through the window. His youngest son, dressed only in an underlay and leggings, sat on one of the beds with an expression of utter disgust that he could not help but find a little amusing, despite the worry of both a healer and a father that plagued him. But he allowed none of the amusement to show through his stern features.

Elrond had risen just before the breaking of dawn from feeling a certain discomfort in the core of his being that he had not been able to quite place. But it was a discomfort he had recognized as the kind he had always felt when something was out of place with one of his children. The fatherly bond that he held with all three of them allowed for such alarms to be sounded. And his two sons, being at the forefront of his mind for the past few years – more than usual, anyway – had immediately driven the sleep away when he had felt that disturbance and he had set out to search for one or both, whoever was causing it.

Though, he had had a pretty shrew idea on where to look. Usually, when one or both of them couldn't sleep, they would either be found in the library or kitchens. And this time, he had found Elrohir in the deserted library, reading, with only the minimal light from a small candelabrum. It was then that Elrond had known that his youngest son, once again, had trouble sleeping, though he had half-heartedly tried to deny it. So, he had dragged his son to the healing wing, which was something that Elrohir had eagerly tried to refuse since he knew what came hand in hand with the healing wing.

With a grimace of disgust, Elrohir handed the cup back to his father. "Valar, why do herbs have to be so bitter?" he mumbled.

"Valar, why do patients have to be so complaining?" Elrond mused in return as he stored his supplies away. He gestured towards the double doors. "Come now; let us get you to bed before the herbs take affect where you sit."

With a sigh, Elrohir stood and immediately wished he hadn't so quickly. With a hand to his forehead, he grasped the bed behind him for support as he nearly toppled over. Once sure that he had regained control over his equilibrium, he uttered a curse and looked at his father in disbelief. "Ada, how much poppy did you put in that mix?"

Elrond allowed a small smile. "Like I said, it was enough to take affect where you sit. Come now." He grasped his son's upper arm and guided him towards the door, tightening his hold whenever his son began to sway again.

His sons' state of welfare was ever at the forefront of his mind these days, though it was now very much different compared to what it had been a few years ago. His mind had been in a frantic state of helpless worry as he had to stand aside and watch his sons, over and over again, ride out to hunt Orcs, the foul beasts who tormented their mother beyond healing. Elrond didn't believe that there had ever been a time before then when he had been so scared and so worried for his sons. To see them succumb to such a morbid desire had been heart-wrenching to the extreme.

But, to his everlasting joy, his twins had decided to remain home, to stop their Orc hunts after having a, apparently, difficult conversation with Glorfindel. He knew Glorfindel had spoken about the pain their hunts had caused him, but he hadn't been present for the conversation, so he did not know what had entirely been spoken, but it had obviously been enough for the twins to opt to remain in Imladris, except for the times, of course, when they would ride to and aid the Dúnedain settlements or head to another Elven – or human – realm. They had not left the borders of Imladris for the past few years under their own decision, knowing that their attention would be distracted should they run into trouble. But in the future, when they would head out, Elrond knew that, though they would kill any Orc and any creature of Sauron, they wouldn't deliberately hunt them down again to kill them for their sole purpose of obtaining vengeance. They would head out again, in time, but they wanted to heal of the pain from their mother's torment and departure first.

And that was now the current problem, he knew. The process of his sons' healing had been a difficult road and still was to this day. Elrond had been there for them, as always, as had everybody else, but there was only so much he could do, he knew. And right now, it wasn't a matter of reaching his limit on how to help, but he was unsure of what step now to take or what could be done. Elladan and Elrohir had begun to have nightmares and they became such a state of prominence during their sleep that he, like now, had to drug them with elixir with a minimal base of poppy. And he tended to add more of the herb in there without them realizing it. Both he and they knew that the mild dosage of poppy would send them into a deep slumber, too deep for any nightmare to creep into their subconscious. And in the end, when the drug wore off, the twins were always both thankful.

Elrond knew that the nightmares would probably come at some point. They hadn't been present during their Orc excursions, he knew, because their mind had had something to constantly focus on. That had been one of the main reasons that they hadn't wanted to remain home and heal; they knew that, without something so red to occupy their time and mind, they would be open and vulnerable to the pain and anguish that the memories brought. And right he was; they had taken hold just after a few months of the twins being accustomed to staying at home those few years ago. The nightmares, he knew, were memories, memories of seeing what the Orcs had done to their mother, hearing her screams and cries along with the Orcs' laughter and the horror and fear they saw in her gaze each time she afterwards opened her eyes. And, of course, when a memory was turned into a nightmare, it was worsened by a tenfold.

Eerie as it was to most, Elrond knew that his sons even shared the same dreams or, in this case, nightmares. The fact that their subconscious seemed to be connected to one other even in the deepest of sleeps tended to creep up most people's spines. But Elrond was used to the phenomena. At first, his twins had tried to hide the fact that nightmares were plaguing their sleep nearly every night, but neither of them was ever able to lie to or deceive their father. He saw all the signs when they continued to try and hide it; shadows under the eyes, the face strained, a sleepiness throughout the day that resulted from little to no sleep at night, the fatigue that began to build, the list was endless. And he was ever watching them. So, giving them little say in the matter, he had begun to give them an herbal mixture with a strong poppy base whenever a nightmare was evident.

And Elrohir knew that a nightmare would be coming, which was why Elrond had found him awake in the library so late at night. Elladan had gone to sleep before him and the nightmare that attempted to penetrate his subconscious had touched Elrohir's wakeful mind. So, refusing to either sleep or drink the herbal tea, he had gone to the library to occupy his time. But, as usual, his father had caught him.

Elrond let go an inward sigh. He still wished that he could take all this pain from them and place it on his own shoulders. Seeing his children suffer so and being unable to do anything other than stand to the side and watch twisted his heart. He would give anything just to see them heal and be whole again.

Elrond tightened his grip on Elrohir's arm again as his son swayed. The herbs were certainly working, he thought absently. But, fortunately, before they could fully claim Elrohir's wakeful state, they arrived at the twins' compartment of rooms. Quietly opening the door, Elrond guided his son in and had to suppress a smile at how inebriated Elrohir looked when he grabbed the doorframe. The room was dark, of course, but they were both able to make their way to his bed easily.

Elrond had always found it both endearing and amusing that the twins still shared a suite of rooms together, after all these centuries. He had told them at a young age that they could have their own wing if wanted, but they had declined the offer rather firmly. So, respecting their wish, he had given them a larger suite of rooms to satisfy their needs and comfort. Briefly, he looked over at Elladan's sleeping form through the doorway of the neighboring room as he helped Elrohir find his way under the sheets. Finally situated and unable to hold up his head any longer, Elrohir collapsed on his pillow with a deep sigh.

"I hate your herbs, Ada," he droned.

Elrond let go a deep chuckle as he unconsciously began tucking him in, sitting down beside him when finished. It was a fatherly instinct that had stayed with him that he wouldn't have realized he was doing it unless told so.

"You just go to sleep, son," he whispered, considerate of the other person asleep in the room.

"Like I have a choice," he grumbled. "How long will I sleep this time?"

Elrond paused as he considered. "For quite a while," he answered. "Do not worry, though," he pushed on quickly before Elrohir could express his malcontent with that further. "It will be a peaceful rest and you will be up before the Sun begins to set."

Elrohir sighed. "All right," he said, his voice lulled with sleep. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Elrohir," he murmured, kissing his son's forehead. "Sleep well." When he stood from the bed, he knew Elrohir had already fallen asleep. Taken just a few more moments to watch him, Elrond turned, entered the other darkened room, and went to sit on the bed of his firstborn.

Through hearing Elladan's deep, slow breaths, Elrond knew that he was not quite ready to wake yet, but he knew he would be within a few hours. He had given Elladan a dose of the herbal tea last evening as well, ensuring that his rest would be undisturbed. Extending his hand, he lightly brushed his forehead, pushing back those few wayward strands of hair. Elladan, he knew, bore the guilt slightly greater than his brother. There was no reasoning for it, Elrond surmised. It was just the weight his son placed on his own shoulders from being the first to be born, despite that he was a twin of only two minutes difference. But the guilt they both carried was beyond heavy. And irrational. Their journey of healing was not just a matter of moving past what had happened, but accepting that it did and that they also had no fault in it.

But where they currently were in that journey, Elrond was uncomfortable with. Trying to confront their grief and rage was proving to be more of a challenge than he had expected. In his eyes, they were standing on the crossing line. At this point, a flip of a coin might as well decide which way they could be headed; to eventually heal and live life or to submit to the grief and allow it to be taken. Elrond felt tears prick his eyes once again at the realization that they just might not heal from this. For all he knew, they could be fading right now and there was nothing he could do about it.

No being, no matter how small or great, could stop fading. And that sense of despair he felt at being unable to heal Celebrían's spirit was welling up again. But this time, it was worse, unfathomably worse. These were his children and he feared with every fiber in his being that he would lose them, too. He felt as though he were grasping blindly for what direction to take, for what action to perform in order to alleviate his beloved sons' grief. But nothing came to him nor was offered to him.

He didn't know what to do. Valar, he just didn't know.

To be continued….

A/N: Okay, I am truly sorry if this chapter was a little boring (or even really boring, though I'm praying that that wasn't the case). There was just a lot of information that had to be placed in the first chapter to either remind or inform the audience of what happened in "A Father's Torment". But the process of the resolution starts in the next chapter. That is a promise. :) And I'm hoping to catch you off guard with what I have in store, or at least to go the unexpected route.

But for this chapter, please, please review! Every word given will mean so much to me. Well, any concrit might not be that exciting to get, but it's still welcome nonetheless. :) Please review!