I went and did it.

I… went… and… slashed… Celebrimbor… and… Annatar…

Valar forgive me…

Disclaimer: characters, everything created by J. R. R. Tolkien. The twisted notions I find in the Good Professor's work are mine, but who would want them anyway?

Here's one for Finch, in eternal gratitude for introducing me to Elfslash.

No, don't look away.

Don't look away yet. Gaze in my eyes just a little more. I shall speak, I promise, but give me a while, just a little while more. Don't turn away, not yet, let me look at you.

Let me see your face, not yet, not yet, let my eyes stay open a while longer. Let me look at you, look in my eyes, look deeper, past the pain. There is a lot more than pain there, do you see? Oh, you see, that is why you are so eager to turn, not to look at me, the dried blood on my face, the open wounds, they hurt you too, do you think I cannot feel it? Deeper, there is more than pain, past the betrayal, there remains some love.

Or did you think love could be driven away with whips and white-hot iron, Lord of Gifts?

Don't look away yet, let me see your face, for if there ever was one sight I wished to see before I died, always I have thought it would be your face. The cruelest torture could not undo what the Curse was helpless to undo, what the councils of all the Elven-wise could not. "Do not let yourself love him, Celebrimbor," they have said, do you think I should have listened?

I know I do not.

I can hear it in my mind, how you would laugh if you were to hear this. Past the darkness, past the pain, I hear your laughter, cool and low and purring, sustaining, I will have you know. How you would laugh, because if I had listened, would I be here now in your dark chambers? Would my death be growing near?

Laugh, laugh all you wish, but somewhere inside, you know I would have been just as dead making any attempt at all not to love you.

Ah, how you wince away when I say that word, love.

Know, then, that I love you. Know in this dark hour, in this dark place. Know as you strike me with cruel, metal-clad fists, know as you drive iron spikes into my flesh, know as you pour molten metal over my skin, know that I love you. Know that I cannot stop.

You understand that, do you not, Gift-Lord?

You of them all understand what that must feel like, to burn with a fire you cannot quiet, though you are well aware that in fire lies your doom. You of them all, for whom else had such love for his art as I? Such passion? I still remember, I cannot forget, I remember there was real joy in your laughter, long ago, and real love in the work of your hands. I remember it was a love I could understand, a pain I could understand, your gift, Annatar Lord of Gifts, my gift, my curse, the true curse of the House of Feanor, that love. Everything else comes from that love, every deadly mistake we make.

Such as loving you.

I remember, I remember the fire of the forges that now have cooled, I remember the glory we brought to Ost-In-Edhil, you and me, deny it all you wish. I remember bright days, and fiery nights. Oh, how I remember the nights. How you must remember them too.

Have you thought of this day when we lay together at night? Have you thought of what you will have to do this day?

I think you have, always, I think you pride yourself for having loved me despite it.

Oh, you loved me, do not think I will ever think otherwise.

And you still love me now, as you crush my body and spirit. Every single moment of it.

I understand, truly I do. I understand the feeling of power, I understand the hunger, I understand the need, I understand the ravaging mad desire, none but I understands. I know what the smooth gold feels like, I know how the light calls, I know how the fire beckons. None but I knows, not in the entire of Arda. I alone know. In creating, in the Curse, in love.

I understand, and I forgive, all of it.

No, don't look away yet. Let me look at you, for my vision grows dim now. I do not know how much longer, I do not care. My life was over long ago, over and done, doomed to be lost to fire, to hatred and lust and rage. Long ago, when I created the Rings.

Not in loving you.

Yes, I know of it well, I knew all along.

And do not ask me why I did it despite everything. Who else but you knows, Lord of Gifts?

I do not care for the pain, but let me look at you. I know not why you look away. Does it not please you to see me in torment? I do not seek to mock, truly I ask, for always I wondered. How beautiful, how wonderful it must be for my father, my uncles, my grandfather to indulge in it as they have. What would have changed if I tried, just a bit, just a taste? Would I be at your side at this moment, tormenting another, laughing as we do? I wonder; would I have paid the price if I knew I would be by your side right now.

Do not look away, please look into my eyes one last time. The pain is fading, the light is fading. It will be gone soon, but I care not. Soon I will be free.

Do you think, Lord of Gifts, that in the Halls I shall be condemned for loving you? Or perhaps it shall be different; perhaps that in itself shall be considered punishment enough.

Be done with it, I have told you all I know. You have no more use of me, be done with it. Quickly, for I feel nothing, there is not even pain, a good, liberating pain. There is darkness; soon I will not see you anymore. Be done with it, please, let it be you who ends it.

Look in my eyes and end it. End it, I know what you seek there, and it cannot be found.

No, Annatar Lord of Gifts, I will give you not the grace of hating you.


Author's note: This is actually my first slash story. Yes indeed. Hopefully it doesn't suck. Am I welcomed to the club? *evil smile*