A/N: Mae g'ovanenn my fellow Tolkienists! :D Some Elladan and Elrohir angst this time. One of my OC's gets briefly mentioned so if you hear Kail's name then no you are not missing out on a major character. I started this a while ago and got writers block for a few months before returning to it, so if you notice the writing style completely change about half way through then sorry.
Disclaimer: No, I do not own the Lord of the Rings or any of Tolkien's creations. If I did, the Nazgul would be riding exploding bunnies and stabbing people with Morgul carrots.
Let me set the stage a bit cause I'm not good at doing that in stories:
It is after the War of the Ring. Most of the Elves, including Elrond, have Sailed or left the crumbling ruins of Rivendell (or Imladris depending on how hardcore you are). The twins are among the few remaining individuals who call the once-great Elven Halls home.
I sighed as I lay in bed waiting for my twin to fall asleep. My thoughts were dreary and I hoped the comfort of the forest would settle my unease.
The same unease that was eating me from the inside out.
The same unease that had taken Legolas.
My brother's breath had become slow and even. I sat up and glanced at him for a long moment before pulling my over-tunic on.
I crossed the room, opened the window and stopped, listening. The sheet on my bed still rose and fell in a subtle, rhythmic way so I ducked out of the window and scaled down two stories. I dropped the last few paces to land silently next to a pile of brown and gold leaves.
I straightened up and flitted past the edge of Imladris into the surrounding woods.
I know not how long I wandered through the trees that I had known as saplings but now stood thick and ancient. Past the streams which I had swum in on happy summer days.
I halted before a huge oak, sat at its base and sighed.
This place was once so alive. I still felt the heartbeat of the forest but it now merely seemed… empty. Life continued but there was something missing.
It was fading and I too would fade with it. I hugged my knees to my chest and buried my face in them.
My head lifted and slowly turned to face my twin. "Yes?" My voice was weary and cracked from sleep deprivation.
"Gwador nîn." It was more confirmation than question. He could see the bags under my eyes from too many sleepless nights like tonight. He could see my unbraided hair, knotted and rumpled. He could see my shoulders slumped in defeat. He could see the way the empty dullness of my very soul showed through my blue-grey eyes. He could see me fading with the magic.
He could see me dying.
He covered the ground between us in a few strides and sat down next to me. He took my right hand in his left—the hands on which we wore the bracelets our mother had given us before she Sailed.
I could hear her voice in my mind; "To remind you that you two are twins and descendants of Eärendil. You must stay together and help each other. You must never forget your lineage. You must never forget your family. And I beg of you, please do not forget me."
At the time I had thought it strange and slightly repetitive that she had said both lineage and family. Weren't they the same thing?
No. They weren't and I knew that now.
My lineage was my sister and brother and all my father's fathers and my mother's mothers. My family was also all these people but it included Estel and Kail and Legolas and even Glorfindel.
Lineage is who your name is.
Family is who you are.
"Please Gwador, tell me what's going on." It was a request, not a demand. "You hardly eat. You don't sleep. You barely even speak anymore. You have to tell me what…" He trailed off as I looked at him.
There was a moment of silence as he read the answer in my soulless eyes before he spoke.
I turned back to my knees so Elladan wouldn't see the tears of confirmation welling up in my eyes.
"I'm right, aren't I."
I stared at my knees before I gave a miniscule nod.
"Oh, Elrohir." I could feel him staring with pity at me as he squeezed my hand. He looked out at the trees around us. "I always thought… I always thought it would be me. I never expected you would get it first."
There was a length of silence as I stared unseeing into the forest. How could this be happening to me? How could the Valar be so cruel? Why did I have to hear the gulls' call in my dreams? I didn't want this. I didn't need this. Tears fell and I hated them. I hated the salty reminders of the Sea that dripped onto my tunic. I hated the reminders of my fate.
"There used to be something here." I said, more to myself than my gwador. "There used to be something but where did it go? Did the West take it just like it took all else? Did the west take all the magic just like it took Ada and Nana and Glorfindel and Legolas and everyone else?" The tears now flowed as freely as I despised them.
Another long moment before my brother spoke, "We both know what you must do and we cannot deny it. You must follow those who came before. You must sail."
The obvious truth was more than I could handle. I broke into sobs. They racked my body and soaked my tunic with small specks of the Sea. Every tear that fell, every ragged breath I drew, were like slashing strikes of a knife to my very soul.
Elladan wrapped his arms around me and began to sing softly;
"Alqua sád min glennath na
"Manen-ui daer i gwaith
"Dortha i Annún Rád
"Mí dún an ammen na afado"
I turned and sobbed into my brother's tunic. The way he held me reminded me of sitting in Nana's lap a couple thousand years ago and crying about some elfling problem now long forgotten. I don't want to follow the Sunset Path. I don't care if I never see the Undying Lands. I was born here and I want to die here.
We sat there like that for hours, or maybe minutes, I couldn't tell. Elladan kept whispering soothing Elvish in my ear as I cried. Eventually I sobbed myself into silence. I looked up at my twin and stared into his blue-grey eyes. They had tears in them, tears that he wouldn't let fall because he was being strong for me. I sighed.
"When should I leave?"
The Sun touched the rim of the world and threw everything into a brilliant orange and gold glow, but in the mind of the lone elf walking the Westward road, it was the color of rust and shadow.
Elrohir Peredhil was heavy of heart as he trod away from all he'd ever known.
He had skirted the Shire and was less than half a day's journey from the Grey Havens. The Firstborn meant to finish the trip that night though he would arrive well after moonrise.
As his feet beat a light rhythm in the dirt, his mind wandered back to the last conversation he'd had with his twin brother at the Last Bridge.
"You could come with me, to the Undying Lands. We could Sail together. We could see Legolas and Kail once more and pull pranks on Erestor. We could gaze upon the white shores of Valinor and know that happiness awaited us. And we could see Nana again. Please Gwador, don't make me go alone. Don't let me go alone." My voice cracked as I fought back tears. I had no desire to be more acquainted with salt water than I already was.
Elladan stared at a clump of bushes as if the answer to all his problems lay hidden in its shadows. He didn't speak but his look was thoughtful and sad. I knew the answer would be the same as the last time I had made this plea, but the desperation of this moment of parting had driven it from my tongue once again.
"I am truly very sorry, but we both know that cannot happen. You have heard the Call of the West and must follow it if you do not wish to Fade. However my heart remains true to the land where I was born. I cannot Sail. To do so would break my spirit. It would kill me, just as not to Sail would kill you." Elladan's eyes remained fixed on the patch of shrubbery. "But I promise that as soon as my time is upon me, then—" He looked at me and seemed to stare into my soul with his last words, "as sure as Mandos may find my Fëa, I will Sail."
I had turned and walked away without another word. It had taken every scrap of my willpower not to turn and take one last look at exactly what I was leaving behind. For I knew, if I did, I would never manage to stop looking. And so I walked across the Last Bridge and began my journey, though for my mind it was not the Last Bridge but the First Water that would separate me from my twin for a long time.
But not forever.
Alqua sád min glennath na- Wherever we must go
Manen-ui daer i gwaith- However great the shadow
Dortha i Annún Rád- The Sunset Path remains
Mí dún an ammen na afado- In the West for us to follow
Gwador nîn- My brother
Gaeraniriel- Sea Longing
Valar- Gods (singular- Vala)
Mandos- Vala of the dead
Yen- 144 years
Elladan Peredhil had turned nocturnal.
Ever since Elrohir had left for the Undying Lands nearly eight years earlier, Elladan had woken up with the night and gone to sleep as day touched the East. Without his brother, Elladan found himself… directionless. He could not focus on any one thing for a lengthy amount of time without having his thoughts meander towards his absent sibling. Even the Sun couldn't lend him strength; her rays of golden warmth merely emphasized his loss. He found he could deal with night much easier than day, for the cold and distant stars seemed more understanding than the warm and cheery daylight.
Thus it was that he awoke with the sunset's Western glow, lived among the dark and the Moon, and repelled the day's light with dreams of his beloved family living peacefully in Valinor.
Elladan wondered time and again if he could leave the ruins of his once great home with its crumbling halls and overgrown buildings, but when he thought this, his Fëa told him it was not yet time.
And so he waited…
Eight years may not be very much time for an Elf— in most instances eight years is more like eight days to one of the Firstborn— but for a twin brother separated from his other half, it was a very long time indeed. Elladan had been separated from Elrohir before but that had never been for longer than several moons at a time— eight years was, in short, too long a separation to have ever even been considered at length by the twins.
Every day Elladan ached with the longing to see his brother again. It burned deep inside him and demanded to be resolved.
Yet still he waited…
Then one day— just as suddenly as a timer going off— Elladan woke at exactly noon. He bolted upright in the pile of leaves he had been sleeping in and looked around, listening. The birds sang, a creek gurgled in the distance, and from a branch a squirrel chittered angrily at its neighbor. But it was none of these normal woodland noises that interested the Firstborn.
It was the scream of a seagull echoing in his head from the tail end of a dream.
A dream of white shores.
A dream of his brother.
Elladan grinned for the first time in eight years and prayed to the Valar that Erestor had had enough peace and quiet to last him a few thousand yen before turning on his heels and sprinting towards the West.
A/N: Sooooo... Yea.
There you go. A beautifully angsty little oneshot with a relatively happy ending. I wonder if Dan will sprint all the way to the Grey Havens? And he didn't have any food or clothes with him... Hmmm... Oh well. He's an elf, he'll manage. :P
You can find more cool stuff by checking out my bio. *winkwinknudge* ;D
Please REVIEW *cue pleading look cuter than chibi Glorfindel as a kitten* and if you can't think of anything to say (even flames) then tell me this;
What would Cinderella do if she found the One Ring in the middle of the ball?