Silver in sunlight. It almost blinded him. He was more accustomed to deep, dark colors and the warm comfort of shadows, and twilight. She smiled at him. He smiled back. How had he gotten here? He was a child of darkness, and of bloodshed. She was nothing like that.
Elrond felt that his life, no matter how difficult it had been up to now, was changing for the better. He was whole. He was out of the darkness, and basking in the light of his silver queen, his hope for the future, and the soft blue glow of Vilya. His life had begun again.
-Excerpt from Silver In Sunlight, the Beginning of Elrond and Celebrian's life together.
Over two thousand years. Long, but not long enough. He wanted to throw himself at her feet, to beg her to stay, to let him help her heal. He was supposed to save her. He'd failed her. He'd failed his children too.
The orcs, and the evil that drove them couldn't get Elrond, and Vilya, but they could get at him through his family. He should have insisted that Celebrian stay home. If for no other reason than to be selfish. He hated her absence from the valley. He wore a ring, but she was the real light in his life. She made him whole. When she left, even for a short time, he was out of sorts, and at a loss. He couldn't concentrate; he worried about her.
He knew the exact moment she left the protection of the valley. He knew when she reached the borders of the Golden Wood, under her mother's protection. And this last journey, he knew exactly when the Orcs attacked, he felt her terror, the horror she saw as the warriors traveling with her were cut down, killed or left to die.
She was strong enough to shut her mind to him when the Orcs tortured her.
His sons brought her home. Broken. Elrond could heal the physical hurts; he could even ease some of the emotional pains, the nightmares. But he couldn't take them away. As time dragged on, she was less and less his light, his life. Now, the light shone through her as she faded.
He was strong as he handed her into Cirdan's care. He cursed under his breath that he couldn't even leave the valley long enough to put her on the ship himself. He had his duty to fulfill. He was strong as his sons left with Cirdan and Celebrian. It was only when they came back without her that he wasn't strong.
His sons grimly put him to bed, sat with him until he slept. Then they left to avenge her. When Elrond woke up, he knew they'd gone. He had his duty. He had to be strong—alone—again. That first night after the twins had left, he nearly gave up. He was ready to leave himself. It wasn't fair. He always had to give up the ones he loved. He always fulfilled his duty, at cost to himself. He would refuse this time.
He found it when he was rifling through wardrobes and drawers for the clothing he would take with him when he boarded his own ship. A dried bouquet of flowers in a small velvet bag. The flowers she'd carried on their wedding day. She'd saved them, preserved them, and left them here for him. She'd added a note, as if she'd known how he would feel.
'My love. Bring these when you come. When you are done. When you can rest.'
She was still his light. She'd be a beacon, calling to him to come home, to rest, when he was done.
He had work to do. Celebrian was waiting for him.
Go to the companion piece: Where Was He?
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