[Set during the Silmarillion, with a little plot tweaking…  Based on the assumption that Beren was captured from Doriath by the forces of Menegroth after Daeron betrayed Luthien to her father.  So this would fall shortly before Luthien leads Beren to confront Thingol and Melian…]

"One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets oneself be tamed"[1]

The manacles didn't hurt, really.  The Sindar are fierce, but not cruel.  I would be held quite securely, but they had no intention of inflicting unnecessary pain.  I don't think it would even have occurred to them.   All the same, being chained is, if nothing else, demeaning.  But I was alive, and that was the important part.

The guards studiously ignored me, so I was surprised to see a figure stop in the gloom outside the door of my cell.  Would I be brought before King Thingol so soon?  Had Luthien somehow…

But my hope died when the figured stepped forward into the ring of illumination cast by the lamp.

"Daeron," I stated.  His was the second of the first two faces I had seen in Doriath – Luthien's friend, the minstrel.  She'd spoken of him as well. 

"So they caught you at last, trespasser," he said, voice cold.

"Does Luthien know I'm here?"  She would be worried, if I was not in the glade…  By the Lady, they might kill me now, and she would think I left her, without a word or even a warning…

"That is hardly your concern, trespasser," he answered swiftly.

I strained against the manacles a little.  They hurt after all.

"Please, will you tell her for me?  Please, by whatever friendship you share with her…"  I gritted my teeth.  Maybe it was my pride that was bothering me, not the manacles.

"By all the Valar, I will not," he swore, voice shaking with anger, and hands clenching, as though around my throat.

I could be mistaken, but I had a feeling Daeron severely disliked me.

Or was it…

"You love her, don't you?" I asked softly.  "You love her as I do."

Wrong thing to say.

"My love for Luthien," he began, voice chill and perilous as the road to Doriath, "is beyond what your shallow mortal soul could begin to comprehend."

There really isn't any way to respond to that sort of thing, is there?

"I have loved her since before the Sun rose to awake your race of children.  I have loved her for years unnumbered.   And how long have you even known her, trespasser, to compare your love to mine?  A season?" he demanded scornfully.  "I have watched her grow in wisdom and grace, and felt my love grow with her.  Can you say the same, trespasser?  Do you know her as I do?  Indeed, I am not certain how you know her," he spat.

"Daeron," I said, as calmly as I could, which was not particularly calm, "Say what you will of me, but do not question Luthien's virtue.  Our behavior has been beyond reproach.  If she is your friend, ask her such things directly, and do not make vile insinuations to me."

"If she is my friend?" he sneered.  "I have been her friend, and nothing more, when my love and desire burned as if to consume my soul."

Perhaps it already had. 

"Has the love you claim to feel for her been so patient, and unselfish?"

"You claim unselfish love, Daeron, and yet you seem not to care for her happiness," I replied fearlessly, feeling pity for him in the core of my soul.  What if Luthien had not loved me?

He laughed, so bitterly and harshly that I hesitate to apply the word.  "You think to bring her happiness, mortal?   Do you think you can bring her anything but anguish?"

I dropped my eyes for the first time.  My life was seeped in pain.  How could it fail to reach her?  I raised them again when he spoke on.

"I have wiped her tears over little matters.  She feels deeply, trespasser, and she mourns hard.  Perhaps she might be happy in your arms, but for how long?" he asked, his voice taking on an earnest quality.  "It would be the slightest fraction of her life. You would die, and she would be alone.  The Eldar wed for eternity.  If she is joined to you, she will be eternally broken, with a wound that will never heal.  Can you love her, if you would do that to her?"

Tears shone in his eyes – agony at the thought of his beloved in pain.

"You speak with wisdom, and with love, Daeron.  But I could not make Luthien stop loving me, even if I had such a mad desire," I said heavily.

"Would you, if you could?" he demanded.

Did anyone have that kind of strength?

"It is folly to agonize over impossibilities.  I don't know."

He smiled bitterly.  "You would not choose contentment for her, if you could?  You would not spare her pain?"

"That choice is not for me to make.  Nor is it for you, Daeron.  Nor Thingol, nor Melian, nor the Valar, nor the Creator himself."

"We are all of us helpless then?" he sneered.

"The choice," I replied, "is Luthien's."

[I'm sorry Mr. Tolkien, sir.  It's a habit, you see.  I just can't keep my imagination out of your world!

My name's Julie… and I'm addicted to Middle-Earth.]

[This story will serve as a supplement to one I will be posting soon, from Luthien's point of view, "Of Stars in Shadows Shimmering"…. as I go crazy with the quotes for titles.   That should be showing up before too long, I hope.  As it progresses, there will probably be other one shots from other characters' perspectives, as well, relating to it.  We'll see.]

[1] A quote from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  If you haven't read it, do.   

And many thanks to Miss Anne for thinking to apply it here.