"Glorfindel!" Elrond called and walked up to him. Glorfindel turned around. "Have my sons visited you today?"
Glorfindel nodded and added, "But it was some time ago. What's wrong?"
"I can't find them anywhere." Elrond sighed. Even though Elrond was trying to hide it Glorfindel could see the worry on his face.
"Maybe they're still at Eregon's house." Glorfindel suggested as they started walking towards the door.
"They're not inside that's for sure and it's about to start raining." Elrond muttered.
They stepped outside and sure enough rainclouds were gathering in the sky above them. Glorfindel led Elrond down the path the twins must have taken on their way to first see him and then Eregon.
Not far down the path Glorfindel saw two figures lying side by side under one of the trees beside the path. Elrond had undoubtedly seen it as well for within a breath take he bolted towards them. As he neared he slowed down and studied them. He could see straight away that they were breathing, but their eyes were closed so he wasn't sure whether they were asleep or unconscious. It was certain that both Elladan and Elrohir were still sleeping with their eyes closed.
He kneeled beside them and shook Elladan's shoulder gently while calling his name. Before long Elladan opened his slightly disorientated eyes. He looked around a bit before his gaze landed on Elrond.
"Ada." Elladan muttered while he sat up.
"Are you all right?" Elrond asked worried.
Elladan looked at him and saw Elrond's concerned gaze. He calmly hugged Elrond and said, "Sorry for worrying you. We're fine, just got tired."
"It's all right." Elrond said and hugged him back. "I'm a father I am designed to worry about my sons."
Elladan sniggered, "Even so, we should hold back after putting you through hell last month."
"I do not disagree there." Elrond said and let go of Elladan.
He was just about to wake Elrohir when Elladan's hand shot out to stop him.
At Elrond questionable gaze Elladan said, "He's sleeping peacefully without any dreams. I know that that will start to become rare for him and therefore I am loath to wake him. He will need the rest."
Elrond nodded, "You're right, but it's about to start raining."
"Then let's try and get him back to the house without waking him." Elladan said and stood up. He went over to Elrohir and gently lifted him into his arms. Elrohir stirred, but soon his sleep deepened again as his sub consciousness knew that it was his twin carrying him.
They managed to get all the way back to the house without waking Elrohir and Elladan was soon lowering his down onto his bed.
He then walked with his father and Glorfindel towards the hall to have dinner. The first raindrops started cascading outside.
Elrohir awoke with a strangled gasp. He furiously started forcing air into his lungs as the nightmare still played hauntingly within him. Trembling he curled in on himself so his forehead almost rested against his knees. He managed to hack himself through the first couple of breaths and soon felt himself calm down some.
Where was Elladan? It was to first time in a long time that he had woken up from a nightmare without his brother immediately being there. Elrohir then felt that the mattress went down slightly behind him and he turned around. Elladan was lying behind him; his eyes were halfway closed in sleep.
Elrohir's hand immediately shot out, but he managed to stop himself before he woke Elladan. It was clear that Elladan was tired and needed the sleep, so Elrohir was loath to wake him even if he needed him.
The rain was falling strongly outside and the last thing Elrohir remembered was falling asleep under the tree on their way home from Eregon's. Somehow Elladan must have gotten him inside and now it seemed like it was past midnight.
Elrohir swallowed thickly and his heart thundered with panic inside his chest. The nightmare hadn't been as long as some of the previous had been and it had only destroyed the last part of his sleep.
Why was he panicking? He had tried this many times before! He knew what had happened and that his mind was trying to torture him every damn night! Why did he have such a strong reaction to it? It would be so much easier if there had been no scares from he ordeal! Why was he forced to see this when what he really needed was sleep? It was stupid!
Elrohir slowly got out of the bed and wobbled towards the bathroom. He took on of the last mint leaves and shoved it into his mouth in frustration. He felt sick. Why wouldn't the taste of blood just go away? Why did the even slightest passing of a cup cause him to lose himself in haunting memories? He felt like screaming!
Without having any way of controlling it Elrohir felt the panic build within him and he bolted out of the room and down the hall until he came to the front door. Without stopping he plunged into the pouring rain and kept running.
He was instantly soaked from the ferociousness of the downpour, but it didn't make him stop running. Soon he entered the tree line and ran through their leafy cover. His breathing had speed up dangerously and Elrohir began to feel sick as he continued to run like something was chasing him. Images entered his mind constantly, the boy, Celebrian, Elladan, Elrond every haunting image his mind could think about was sent to him and the more he tried not to think about it the clearer they got.
Finally after running recklessly for an hour Elrohir bent down next to a tree and lost the contents of his stomach. His body wasn't ready to withstand the strain running had provided.
When he was done Elrohir wobbled away from the place and some of the way back the path he had come from. He managed to keep walking for some time, but then he leaned against a tree and slid down it till he was sitting soaked in the wet grass with raindrops pouring in around him.
The boy had died because of him. They had tortured him and he had died in the worst possible way that a boy his age could have died. Raegon had told him that his mother had been there, but for all Elrohir knew she might or might not have been there. Still the thought of a mother watching her son get tortured to death… It had been his fault. Elladan had been right, he had never wanted the boy to die, but again the boy would never had died if he hadn't come to the place.
His healing ability had been at fault for his capture as well as Elladan and Glorfindel's. His healing ability had consequently cost the boy his life and Eregon his injury. It had caused all of their suffering. He had brought all of their suffering.
Now he was here feeling sorry for himself. Eating mint leaves to escape from facing everything. The taste of blood could just as well have been the boy's since he had tasted that as well and instead of facing up to what he had done he had run away constantly.
Panicking from nightmare when almost every one of those people was alive! Seeing his mother tortured when she was alive and well in another place! He was Elrohir son of Elrond and he was running because of memories and illusions of something not even real? He was pathetic!
He had saved people while being with Raegon, people who ad nothing to be happy for except being alive. He had escaped with the help of those people and now he was wasting it by running away? He should be standing right up after falling down! He should be tearing down his restrictions and rising to his feet!
Glorfindel was going to make it. He hadn't been hurt or wounded. He would heal fully when both he and Elladan were all right again.
Eregon was going to make it. His wound was healed and he was ready to go back on patrols. He hadn't been there for nearly as long as them and hadn't suffered overly much from Raegon. Besides he had his mother, she seemed like a kind person.
Elladan was tied to him. They were twins and Elrohir knew that if he continued to hurt then Elladan would as well. Elladan was right now supporting both f them. If he wanted Elladan to recover fully then he would need to take his own burden off his brother. Of course not by hiding anything from him or by refusing his help, but by standing on his own two feet and figuring things out.
The boy was dead.
Two other patients had died.
But he had saved over twenty lives. Twenty people still lived now because he had saved them. In comparison to that, what he had suffered was nothing. What had he suffered? Pain? Yes, Raegon had caused him pain. Mental wounds? Yes, he had tried to break him. He had tried to make his wounds last forever inside his mind. Tried to manipulate his fears and previous horrors.
Elrohir wasn't going to give him the satisfaction. He wasn't going to continue letting Raegon dictate his life. Sure the nightmares would come, he had no control over that, but he need not fear them. They were not real.
He was not making up for taking the boy's life this way. He had almost given up on being a healer. If he wasn't a healer then he couldn't save anyone. Why, because of the blood?
Elrohir hand brushed over a flint stone by his side and tightened his fist around it. He took the stone with his other and ran it across the palm of his hand. Blood flowed slowly down the surface of his hand and assaulted his senses. Elrohir didn't beat back the memories but instead watched them and slowly let them go.
As he did this something else inside him opened and Elrohir felt once again power stream out from inside him. The wall that had locked his healing power away now opened. Though not as powerful as before, it was there.
It was only blood. Blood kept him alive. Blood had kept the little boy alive until he had lost it as it had with countless other's. He could save more people. Use his ability with his own free will to help people who needed it. No man could stop him from doing that. No nightmares could hold him back from helping others.
Elrohir let go of the rock and made a fist with his hand. Blood dripped out from between his fingers. He bent his head over his fist and felt the same claustrophobic feeling he had had in the small room, but this time he kept calm. His hands didn't start to shake.
It cannot hurt me.
Elrohir stood up slowly and with a raised head he began walking back towards The Last Homely House. The true Elrohir son of Elrond was coming back home. Calmness had once again returned to his eyes as he walked through the rain.
Elladan woke up slowly. Why did he wake up? It was still dark outside, but he felt like something was wrong. Something he couldn't set his finger on. Then it hit him. He was lying alone in the bed, Elrohir was gone and the place where he had laid was cold so he had been gone for some time.
He had slept through Elrohir's awakening. Had he had a nightmare? Had he slept through that as well? Was Elrohir out panicking alone somewhere?
Elladan bolted off the bed and into the bathroom. He quickly went over to the table the mint leaves were on, there was one less than there had been the day before. Elrohir had had a nightmare. Seemingly bad and now he was gone.
Elladan walked out of his room and slung his cloak over his shoulders. He knew from their bond that Elrohir was outside; he knew which direction he had to go in to find him. As soon as the cloak was clasped on he ran out of the room toward the front door. It was first when he was outside he noticed that it was raining and his worry grew. He ran down the path and soon saw someone walking towards him.
He immediately recognized Elrohir even though he was soaked through. He stopped amazed when he watched Elrohir. First now he realized how different from his normal self, Elrohir had been the last month. Something, he had not even realized had been missing, had returned to Elrohir's eyes.
Elladan felt himself get lost inside Elrohir's clear blue pools of calmness and strength. Strength in even the worst situations, it was never ceasing. The calmness, as always, was a perfect opposition to his fieriness.
"Elrohir." Elladan uttered.
Elrohir was finally close to him. He smiled when Elladan said his name. "Elladan." He said inclining his head.
Without warning Elladan threw his arms around his twin. Elrohir fell down and soon both of them were sprawling on the ground. Elrohir laughed and Elladan was sure he had never heard any more beautiful.
"Do you know what I realized?" Elrohir asked.
"No, but I'm guessing it was something helpful." Elladan answered.
"I have Ada and Glorfindel and Erestor and Eregon and the whole of Rivendell behind me. I have you, my lovely big brother." Elrohir grinned while tightening his arms around Elladan. "When I know I have that, then things aren't really so bad. I refuse to let Raegon stop me and dictate my life."
Elladan smiled hugely.
"My healing ability came back. Not as powerful as it was, but it's there." Elrohir said.
Elladan's brows furrowed slightly and he said, "Are you okay with that? That means you will hurt and lose energy."
"Who cares about that?" Elrohir exclaimed with a smile on his lips. "I can save people with it."
Elladan lowered his eyes with a huff, "Selfless moron." He muttered, but then his eyes caught something. He shot up and took Elrohir's hand in his own.
"You're bleeding." He stated. "What happened?"
Elrohir sat up as well, "I cut my hand with a stone."
"You did what?" Elladan exclaimed, "Why?"
Elrohir shrugged and stood up without giving an answer. He held his other hand out to Elladan and waited until he took it. Elrohir and Elladan walked down the path to the house. Both of them were soaking wet as they stepped in through the door. Elrohir immediately steered them towards the healing wing. It was empty.
"Sit down Elladan." Elrohir said. Elladan took off his totally soaked cloak and sat down in a chair while Elrohir walked around the room finding water, herbs, cloths, a needle, thread and some bandages.
When Elrohir started cleaning his wound Elladan realized that Elrohir was sitting there calmly without a tremble in his hands with blood so close to him. Elrohir was healing.
He had once been jealous at Elrohir and wished that he didn't have the ability to do so. First now he realized how wrong it would be if Elrohir weren't a healer. Elrohir was a healer. He was in his right element.
Elladan felt tears well up in his eyes as he saw Elrohir now. The brother he had not even had been missing was now back with him. There was no longer any burden on his shoulders, he could relax. Elrohir would be all right.
After Elrohir cleaned the wound he started stitching it. He worked precisely and the only thing that indicated his pain was the occasional wince.
When Elrohir was almost done the door to the healing wing opened and their father came into the room. His eyes widened when he took in the scene before him.
"I thought I heard voices, but I never thought that…" Elrond muttered as he walked into the room. "What happened?" His eyes were fixed on Elrohir seeing the clear change in his son.
"Yes, I would like to know that as well." Elladan said.
Elrohir smiled and started stitching again. "I had a nightmare." He explained. "When I woke up Elladan was still sleeping. I didn't want to wake him so I ran, in the rain, until I threw up. Then I sat down and thought for some time. After some thinking I cut my hand with a rock and let go."
Elrohir looked up from the stitching and saw that both Elladan and Elrond were wearing confused expressions. He tied off the last stitch before saying, "My name is Elrohir son of Elrond and twin to Elladan. I am a healer and I will not let Raegon take that away from me." When he looked up again at Elrond and Elladan his eyes were glowing with power.
Elrond looked amazed, "Your ability is back."
Elrohir nodded, "Not as powerful as before, but it's there."
He began wounding bandage around his hand, but Elrond stepped up to him and took the bandage from him and did it himself.
When he was done Elrond embraced Elrohir tightly, "Valar I love you two so much." He said and then embraced Elladan. "I missed you, but now you have fully returned to me. You've become so strong and I couldn't be prouder."
He kept a hand on both of their shoulders and conveyed more feeling from his eyes than he could ever express into words.
"You're back." He stated smiling.
"We're back." The twins grinned.