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Endless Night

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Title: The collection is called The Love of a Father.

          The story is called Endless Night.

 

Author:  washow

 

Rating:  PG

 

Summary:  In the dark of night a father may lose yet another piece of his heart.

 

Disclaimer:  I do not own Lord of the Rings nor am I making any profit from this story.  Any similarities to other fan fiction are purely coincidental.  I tried to remain as true to the books as I could but there may be a few discrepancies.  This is not slash but a tale of friendship and family love.

 

Warning:  Each of the stories in this collection is written to stand-alone.  However, it is necessary for you to know the history of Elrond and his family to really understand the stories.  You can get this information from reading the appendix of The Return of the King or by reading the previous stories in this collection.

 

 

 

Endless Night

 

 

It had been a long and trying day for the lord of Imladris and there was no end in sight because he was sitting vigil beside the sick beds of two grievously wounded patients.  Under normal circumstances the lord would have turned the night vigil over to his assistants and taken his rest but these were not normal circumstances.  Unusual because the two elves in these sick beds were the lord’s own sons and he would entrust their care to no one else. Elrond rose from his place between the two beds and walked to the window where he considered the events of the day.

 

 

Flashback

 

  It had been a morning like many others in the past; all of Imladris was preparing a feast to celebrate the return of the young lords from an orc hunt.  Since their sister had moved to Lorien the twins spent most of the time hunting orcs in order to exact revenge for what was done to their mother and ultimately to their family.  The normalcy of the morning had been broken with the clatter of hooves on the cobblestones in the courtyard.  When the lord of the valley heard the noise he left his work and headed for the door hoping that his sons had arrived early.  However, the sight that greeted him wasn’t the happy reunion that he was expecting.  There in the courtyard were two horses, one without a rider and the other bearing two riders.    Elrond didn’t hesitate a moment but ran down the stairs to Elladan’s horse who was shifting restlessly with his two burdens.  Upon closer inspection the elven lord found that both of his sons were unconscious so apparently the only reason the twins had arrived at all was the loyalty of their mounts. Glorfindel came and helped Elrond get the twins off the horse and onto the ground where Elrond could determine their status.  Elrond’s hand shook ever so slightly as he reached down to feel for a pulse on his youngest son, it took a moment but he found weak signs of life flowing through Elrohir.  Satisfied he moved the mere inches to his eldest son and held his breath while he searched for signs of life and when he found what he was looking for he sent a silent praise to the Valar.  Looking up he met the concerned gaze of his advisor. “They live.”  He then quickly looked over his shoulder at the large group of elves standing in the courtyard, “Please, go move Elladan’s bed into Elrohir’s room.”  He quipped shortly than turned back to his friend, “It will be easier to watch them if they are together.  Now lets get them upstairs because although they are alive now I’m not sure how long that will last.”

 

The two elf lords didn’t wait a minute longer but instead scooped up their charges and ran up the stairs.  When the four elves arrived the beds were in place so the two lords gently deposited their charges and began removing their clothes.  When Elrond removed the younger twin’s tunic he froze in place.  It appeared that Elrohir had nearly been sliced in half by an orc because there was a gash just above his right hip that extended nearly to his spinal column.

 

When Glorfindel finished getting Elladan undressed he turned and noticed Elrond was standing motionless.  Afraid that the youngest had made the journey to the halls of waiting Glorfindel quickly crossed to his friend’s side, “Oh the Valar” he exclaimed when he saw what had caused his friend to freeze.  Glorfindel realized his friend was in shook so he motioned to the healer-in-training who had just entered the room with warm water and bandages.  Glorfindel quickly took some clean bandages and pressed them to Elrohir’s side than grabbed the young healers hand and put it on the bandages, “Hold this.”  He then turned to his long-time friend, “Elrond come with me.”  Glorfindel didn’t hesitate a moment but grabbed Elrond’s elbow and pulled him into the hallway.  “Elrond, Elrond!”  When the healer’s eyes met his Glorfindel continued, “You can’t do this now your sons need you!”

 

Elrond took a deep breath, “Your right my friend.  How is Elladan?”

 

Glorfindel visibly winced, why did that have to be the first question out of his lord’s mouth?  Glorfindel sighed in defeat and met his friend’s eyes, “He is much better off than his twin.  He has one shallow gash on his back” Glorfindel took a moment to steel himself for what came next, “but that wound is poisoned my friend.”

 

Elrond’s eyes widened as he took in the information, “Poisoned!”

 

Glorfindel squeezed his friend’s shoulder firmly, “Yes, but you can beat this poison.  I know you can heal him if you just try.”

 

Elrond took a deep breath, “You’re right my friend.  Go back in and do what you can for them while I get the supplies I need.”  Glorfindel nodded than turned and entered the room while Elrond made his way down the corridor.  As soon as the door to Elrohir’s chamber closed Elrond halted his forward motion and leaned against the wall.  Why did it have to be poison of all things?  He had failed to save his wife from its influence and now there was the possibility of losing his eldest son to the same fate.  Elrond closed his eyes and breathed deeply.  Glorfindel was right this wasn’t the time to fall apart because his sons needed him.  With his resolve regained he set out at a fast pace to retrieve the things he needed and was soon back at his son’s side.

 

When he removed the pressure bandage from Elrohir it took all of Elrond’s self control not to be physically ill at the extent of the damage that was done to his son.  He quickly ascertained that the elf had been extremely lucky because no organs had been damaged.  Elrond sewed the tissues back together than applied a poultice and bandaged the wound.  He gave his son one last look and than sat back satisfied he had done all he could, the rest was up to Elrohir.  Elrond was weary but he knew he could not rest until he had tended to his eldest.  He quickly moved to Elladan’s side and applied a salve of many strong herbs to the wound in his back.  Glorfindel than bound the wound up tight while Elrond moved to the fire and added Athelas to some boiling water.  Elrond sat for a moment breathing in the refreshing scent of the herb before returning to his eldest son. Elrond observed his son with concerned eyes; something just didn’t seem right with this child.  He placed his hand on Elladan’s brow and soon discovered what was causing him to worry over his son.”

 

“What is it my friend?” Glorfindel asked quietly.

 

“Elladan gave all his strength to his twin.  It’s probably the only thing that kept Elrohir alive but now Elladan needs that strength to ensure his own survival.”

 

Elrond positioned his hands to channel his energy into his eldest when suddenly there was a hand on his shoulder, “Allow me to do it because you need to be at full strength to ensure their survival.”  Elrond nodded at his friend and Glorfindel began channeling his energy into the twin.  After a few minutes Glorfindel pulled away and collapsed into the chair Elrond offered him.  “That’s all I could do.  I’m sorry if it isn’t enough.”

 

Elrond again put his hand on his eldest’s brow, “It’s enough my friend.  You have given him the strength to survive.  Go and recover your strength.”

 

Glorfindel considered telling his friend that he also needed to rest but than reconsidered knowing that not even the arrival of Sauron in the courtyard could make the father leave his sons.  So instead Glorfindel bowed and went in search of his bed.

 

End of flashback

 

 

That brought Elrond to where he was now, waiting and worrying over his sons.  How had they become these hardened warriors whose taste for blood overshadowed everything else?  He could still remember when they were but elflings and catching fire flies in the gardens.  Elrond sighed deeply because they were so different from those carefree elflings.  Ever since their mother left and their sister moved the two elves in front of him had devoted their lives to seeking revenge but with every kill they made they lost a piece of themselves.

 

It was getting late but the twins still hadn’t woken so Elrond began to pace and beg the Valar to spare his children.   He was sure his heart couldn’t take the strain of losing another family member.  However, despite his ministrations and beseeching the Valar the night continued on and yet the twins didn’t wake.  Finally just as the pink hue of sunrise was lighting the eastern sky the youngest twin opened his eyes.

 

“Ada” Elrohir croaked.

 

Elrond jumped at the sudden sound and hurried toward the bed of his youngest.  He smoothed the elf’s hair and gently sat beside him on the bed, “Don’t talk or move my son, you are grievously wounded.”  The elf lord than gently raised his son up and helped him drink some tea.

 

Just before drifting back to sleep Elrohir turned his head toward the bed his twin was lying in, “Elladan?”

 

Elrond followed his son’s line of sight, “He’ll be fine little one, just rest and when you wake again perhaps he’ll be waiting for you.”  Once Elrohir was asleep Elrond moved to the bed of his eldest.  He desperately hoped this one would be all right, the poison had been in his system a long time and he had given all of his energy to Elrohir.  As Elrond sat stroking the young one’s hair he thought of his eldest and his habit of giving all of his concern to those around him and saving none for himself.  While it was a noble thing to do the elf lord wondered if Elladan had ever thought what the loss of his life would do to those around him.  Elrond was consumed with those musings when there was movement beneath his hand.  When he looked down he saw the gray eyes of his eldest looking back at him than turning and looking at the bed upon which his twin lay.  Elrond helped his son sit up to drink some tea and answered the unvoiced question, “He will be fine.  He woke up an hour ago.  In fact you will both be fine once you have regained your strength and your wounds heal.”  Elladan just nodded as his eyes started to close again and within seconds he was fast asleep.

 

Elrond stood from his place on Elladan’s bed and gazed at both of his sons.  Yes they would be all right given time but how long would that last?  How long could they go out avenging their mother before the day came when they no longer came home?  How long would it be before their desire for revenge killed them?  Elrond didn’t have the answers to those questions and he desperately hoped he never would.

 

 

The End