Disclaimer: I do not own the Lord of the Rings (and associated) book series, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

A/N: Thanks to Larisya, yasmin, pelle, ForbiddenShadow0 and CleverBlast for the reviews/favourite/alert, and to all of you who are still reading this and have stuck through it despite my occasional writer's block and plethora of distractions.

See the end for more notes…

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"I thank you for your hospitality," the blond waved as they rode away, "I shall not forget it."

"Wait," Daugion shouted after them, his curiosity getting the best of him, "What is your name?"

Glorfindel turned back but only smiled before heading forth to fulfill his destiny.

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Erestor groaned when the sounds of knocking woke him out of a dead sleep. He pulled himself up slowly and grabbed a light robe to cover up. Putting it on and holding it shut, he reached the door only to find a distressed Elrond on the other side.

"What's the matter?" Erestor asked.

"You've slept in quite late my friend," Elrond smiled, though it was tight, "I was starting to believe something might be wrong."

Erestor held his door open to allow Elrond entrance, "Nay, I've simply slept through the night as I have not in a while. I apologize for worrying you."

"Oh no, your health is important, "Elrond entered, taking a seat to wait for Erestor to dress.

"I never intended to sleep in this late," Erestor said from his bedroom as he dressed. "However, I doubt you came here simply to see if I was awake. Not with that look on your face."

Elrond gazed down at his hands sheepishly, "Aye, you're correct. I require your help in a certain matter."

"And what is that?"

"A special guest will be arriving this afternoon and I would greatly appreciate your help in organizing the household staff and preparing the Hall for a feast."

"I'd be happy to help of course. Who is this guest exactly? And how many rooms will you need prepared?"

"I'm afraid he has yet to reveal his name," Elrond shook his head, unwilling to get his friend's hopes up, "We'll only need on room; it's the feast I'm worried about. I do not know if the kitchen staff can handle the last minute stress."

"Of course, but shouldn't we wait for this mystery guest's identity to be revealed before we organize a feast? There is hardly enough time to organize one of proper size if this guest is truly so important, and less time to inform the people."

"Perhaps," Elrond frowned, "Aye, sound advice councillor. Perhaps a simple dinner with the family and a few advisors will do."

"Yes, that sounds much more manageable," Erestor chuckled as he entered the sitting room.

"You look… different," Elrond smiled, "Your hair?"

"Aye," Erestor brushed his hair back, having opted for simple side-braids and a delicate circlet for the day.

"It's nice," Elrond shook his head, "However much I would like to spend all day talking, we've much work to do."

"Of course," the advisor right himself, "Am I to assume that you'll expect me in the courtyard for his arrival then?"

"I would appreciate that, yes."

"Very well, I shall meet you shortly after mid day meal then."

Elrond nodded to Erestor as he stood to leave, "I shall wait for you in my office; we can walk together from there."

"Yes, híren," Erestor nodded in return and Elrond was gone.

Turning back towards the mantle, Erestor took down a small box and pulled from it 2 silver rings on a chain, smiling very softly before putting it around his neck. Satisfied with his appearance at last, Erestor went straight to the kitchens. The staff would need to know there was to be another at the table this evening. It seemed today would be a busy day.

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Glorfindel smiled gently as they stopped for lunch. He hopped off his horse and got to work collecting firewood while Feredir and Castiel paired up to find something small and quick to eat. While Castiel prepared their meal, Feredir and Glorfindel then gathered what few wild berries they could find, before setting them down by the pile of branches and twigs to start a fire.

"Will you tell me more about what I should expect?" Glorfindel inquired softly.

"Of course, what is it you wish to know?" Castiel asked, bringing over their rapid catch, ready to cook.

Glorfindel turned his gaze to her, grateful, "I'm not certain… I have so many questions, though I believe that I may be tided over by simply knowing what sort of reaction I might receive from lord Elrond and his advisor, or perhaps simply their general personalities? Something along those lines."

Castiel and Feredir spared each other a glance before continuing. Lord Elrond may have allowed this foreign elf to enter their home, but he was still a stranger to them all. And someone who knew so little of their lord was unheard of.

"Well," Feredir started caustiously, and Glorfindel nodded gratefully, obviously picking up on their reluctance, "lord Elrond is kind and generous –"

"but quite strict –"

"as is expected of any respectable lord."

Castiel continued, "He is half-elven –"

"Come now, Castiel. I'm sure he knows this."

"Actually…"

Glorfindel looked sheepish at their gasps of shock, "I was told lord Elrond might be able to help with a certain situation I find myself in. My next destination would have been the golden wood, but I was assured that I need look no further than Imladris."

"I would hope not, as he has so generously offered you a place in his house –"

Feredir frowned at Castiel before interrupting, "Lord Elrond half-elven is the son of the great Ëarendil –"

"Surely you know him?"

Glorfindel brightened considerably at the name, "Aye, little lord Ëarendil. I knew him in Gondolin. It will be lovely to…"

The blond trailed off at the strange looks they offered him, a mix of curiosity, disbelief and some somber mood he could not quite name, though he could easily guess what it was.

"Ai," he sighed, "then lord Elrond?"

"Lord Elrond, yes," Feredir nodded.

Glorfindel shook his head sadly, "Then I am all the more eager to meet him."

Castiel nodded stiffly, still distrustful, "We should eat and be on our way."

"Of course," Glorfindel accepted the portion presented to him and mumbled a grateful 'thank you,' accepting that he would receive no more answers until his arrival in Imladris. These elves, it seemed, were almost as distrustful as Turgon when it came to allowing people into their realm.

Their meals were finished in tense silence, and when they put out the fire and moved one in much the same manner, Glorfindel missed their prior friendly silence. This tense deafness did not please him in the least. Thankful that they had almost arrived, he turned his eyes to the road ahead, gasping at the sheer beauty of the hidden valley he hoped he'd come to call home.

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Erestor huffed as he made his way to Elrond's office. All this running about to make sure everything was perfect was wearing him out. His hair was coming loose and his sleeves were wound tightly around his arms from all the frantic movement. He stopped before the heavy wooden door and knocked, taking a moment to straighten himself before entering.

Elrond looked up from his paperwork and chuckled, "I certainly hope you don't plan on greeting our guest in such a state?"

Erestor groaned exasperatedly, "It wasn't my plan, no."

The councilor moved to stand before the small mirror in the corner of the room and gasped at his appearance, "Ai, it is worse than I believed."

"Yes, it is," Elrond did not even try to cover up his laughter, but stood behind Erestor and pulled his hair back, "However, I think it can be salvaged."

Elrond slowly removed the circlet from Erestor's brow before untying the braids, plaiting them anew and replacing the headpiece.

Erestor smiled at his reflection, "Good as new. Thank you, Elrond."

"It is no trouble at all, mellon nín," Elrond clasped Erestor's shoulder gently before stepping back. "Now how about we go meet this mystery elf who's got you so ruffled?"

At the councilor's frown, Elrond laughed out loud, "Come my friend, it was only in jest."

"Yes, I'm sure it was," Erestor smirked slightly, "However, you are correct; we should go, lest our guest arrive before we do."

The two left the office, shoulder to shoulder, on their way to the courtyard, gentle chatter passing between them both.

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Glorfindel smiled in relief as the bridge came into view. All this tense silence was beginning to get to him, not to mention that he was worrying more and more each second about meeting lord Elrond and the ever-mysterious chief councillor. The time had finally come; it was now or never. He looked forward anxiously, only wishing to catch a glance of the pair.

The first dark head of hair came into view and a small smile grew on his lips. Ëarendil was still very young when he'd last seen him, but there was a certain something about this elf which reminded him of the once-prince. The elf had to be lord Elrond.

The figure by his side, previously obscured by trees and bushes was slowly revealed to him as he approached. His robes were dark, nearly black, but not quite. His hair held only two small braids, not the complex designs usually reserved for one of his status, and a silver circlet rested over his brow.

That must be the chief councillor. He is beautiful… So like… And suddenly his heart swelled. The raven-haired elf was turned to face lord Elrond in conversation, but he need not see the other's face, he knew. He knew that hair was like the midnight sky, and if he were to turn, those eyes would shine like stars.

Bright, blue eyes welled with tears and he could not hold back the large grin that stole across his face when a gentle hand brought his attention to the silver bands around the councillor's neck. It truly was him.

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Erestor smiled and titled his head toward the sun as he stepped outside. Today truly was a beautiful day. Elrond smiled happily for his friend. After all the recent stress he'd been under, Elrond was glad to see him smiling again.

"How long until this mystery guest arrives?" Erestor asked.

"Not long most likely," Elrond nodded to the road beyond the bridge, "It seems they are almost here."

"They?" Erestor's eyes almost bugged out of his head.

"Aye," Elrond laughed, "I sent an escort out to greet him last night."

"Do not worry me so, Elrond, not so close to his arrival."

"Everything will be fine, mellon nín."

"I certainly hope so," Erestor reached up to touch the bands around his neck, "I do hope so…"

It was then that he turned back to the bridge and froze. Time stood still around and his breath left him as he watched the golden-haired elf approach. Dark eyes met light and the dam finally broke. Tears flooded his eyes and streamed down his face, taking everyone who could see him by surprise.

Glorfindel reigned in his stallion just before the two he'd been waiting to meet. The blond slowly dismounted and stepped forth to introduce himself to lord Elrond, only just managing to clasp his arm in greeting. No words fell from his lips, but tears fell from his eyes and Elrond nodded in understanding, struggling not to tear up himself.

Glorfindel took a deep breath before stepping to face his beloved. A watery smile spread across his handsome features. "Hello," the blond spoke simply, nothing more coming to mind.

"Hello?" Erestor grinned stupidly through the tears, "Hello? After all this time, all you've to say for yourself is hello?" He shook his head in disbelief, a choked cry leaving his lips – a sound between a sob and a hiccup of laughter, "I have waited a very long time for this…"

Erestor reached forth and grabbed Glorfindel's tunic, pulling him forward without a second thought, and bringing their lips together in a perfect dance for the first time in centuries. The kiss lasted only a moment, but for them it was an eternity. On-lookers gasped at the sight. The couple's magnetic beauty was inescapable.

After stopping to catch their breaths, the pair gazed into each other's eyes lovingly.

"Welcome home," Erestor whispered, and they both smiled widely before pressing together once more.

Elrond politely signaled those who were still watching to move on. He had the horses brought to the stables and thanked Feredir and Castiel for their work. Meetings and dinners could wait, right now, it was time for two lovers' reunion, and he would not get in the way of that.

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"No smile is more beautiful than the one that shines through tears."

-Anonymous

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Translations:

híren – my lord

Feredir – m. Hunter (hunter)

Castiel – f. Terry (tender)

mellon nín – my friend

A/N: Well here we are now. Here, at the end of all things. It's been one hell of a ride. I hope this was as good for you as it was for me. I may have gotten a bit emotional writing this one. Either you will too, or I severely screwed up because tears. I do hope you all enjoyed this ridiculous thing.

I may add another chapter eventually or a separate story to show the bonding ceremony and such, but perhaps not for a while, if at all. I'd like to start writing more, and for different fandoms but I'll see how that goes.

So long my lovelies. Go forth in angst.