One Up, One Down, One Missing
Someone was talking, and very loudly that much was clear to Elladan as he listened to the distant voices that surrounded him. He couldn't make out what was being said or who was saying it all he knew was that both were shouting to his ears causing a dull pounding in his head to steadily grow. He knew that if he woke at any time the dancing trolls and oliphaunts in his head would hasten their tempo, and that would hurt, a lot. But the voices would not stop as they slowly pulled his conscious state back from the dark recesses of his mind.
A moan escaped his lips as a sharp pain exploded behind his eyes. It was unlike anything he had felt before, it was as if his brain was trying to break out of his head through the sockets of his eyes or the hallow channels of his ears. His side hurt down the very bone, no… through the bone, muscle, and tissue. The sudden intensity almost caused him to blackout a second time. The darkness offering to take away the pain was awfully tempting.
The voices that had been drowned out by the pain came again.
"Elladan, look at me. Please open your eyes. Let me know you're alright." said one soothing voice. He knew the voice, he knew he did, but he could not place it at this time. Thinking was quickly becoming painful.
"Hurts" was all he said.
"I know ion nin, but please do it for me." The back of the speaker's hand gently stroked his cheek trying to coax him back to the land of the living.
Elrond leaned over the bed after hearing the moan he instantly knew which twin was waking, as happy as he was by this find he was still worried about the younger of the two who still had yet to make a sound. Glorfindel stood off to the side out of the way so as to give the father time with his son. He would have left, but he would need to be there if anything went wrong, which was still a very real possibility.
Elladan did as he was told and slowly cracked open one eye only to be blinded by the bright afternoon sun pierced through the pupil. He quickly shut it tight to block out the sun.
Seeing the light was hurting his eyes Elrond spoke to his second in command, "Glorfindel close the curtain and turn down the lamps some." Elrond never once moved from Elladan's line of view. With the lights out Elrond once again tried to get his son to open his eyes. "It's alright now Elladan; you can open your eyes."
Elladan growled a little at being spoken to like a child, but followed the orders anyway. With the curtains closed the light now longer hurt his eyes he slowly opened them back up and started to focus on a pale peach and purple blur in front of him.
"Elladan?" asked a voice full of worry and uncertainty. The blur slowly taking the shape of his father. Elladan was relieved to be home, now he wouldn't have to walk back. He was sure any movement would increase the pain, especially the one in his side that was steadily spreading across his hip bone and up to the lower portion of his ribs.
"Ada?" his voice sounded week even to him.
Elrond nearly cried with joy. His son was awake, and probably week and in unbearable pain, it didn't matter now he was awake. Perhaps there was hope after all.
"Yes my son." Elladan looked like he was about to fall back to sleep, "NO! Elladan, stay with me! Don't go to sleep!"
Elladan's eyes flew open though not without struggle. "I'm tired ada and in pain. Please let me go back." he quietly stated feeling the void, and its promise of a quiet, painless plain, calling to him again.
"No, not yet, please don't go. If you do you may not wake. You don't want to that us now do you? Think about how that will affect everyone."
Elladan remained awake for the others, but at the last sentence he remembered what had happened at the river. His eyes went wide when he recalled how Estel had called for his help and said something about Elrohir. He had thought that was a dream.
Elladan grabbed the lose sleeve cuff of his ada's shirt. His eyes wide with panic and fear, "Ada, Elrohir, Estel what happened to them? Where are they?"
Elrond quickly went to calm his older son before he did any damage to himself. "Shh. Don't worry about that now. They are fine."
Somewhere in the back of Elrond's a voice stared wide eyed, 'What a lie.' it said, 'you know full well that is not the case. How could you lie to him, like that?'
Elladan was not to be fooled, no matter what Elrond tried. He saw how his father reacted when he mentioned his brothers. Why was Elrond keeping the truth from him? "Why do you lie ada? I know there is something wrong."
Elrond closed his eyes, well he had tried. He looked at the bed that held Elrohir; Elladan followed his gaze.
Elrohir laid as still as death and with a pallor to match the sheets. That was not all that had captured Elladan's attention; the white sheets were blotched in large dried blood spots. Elrond hadn't had the chance to change the sheets yet. Elladan's tear filled eyes met Elronds, as he silently asked for every detail of what had happened. Elrond complied and started to tell what he knew.
While Elrond spoke with his eldest Glorfindel looked through the books that sat forgotten on the table that Elrond had been using. A passage had been written on the very poison they were looking to cure. He was reading it as it described in detail what would happen should the poison had been injected, alone it was fine you could touch it with your bear hands, but upon entering the blood stream, even the tiniest amout, it became lethal.
In the pages it wrote how the poison reacted to each creature, apparently it was worse for men and dwarfs versus elves. He hoped Estel hadn't been subjected to this type of poison. It was then Erestor barged in, a red leather bound book in hand and a rare grin on his face.
"Elrond, I found it. I found the cure." Erestor's grin soon disapeared when he laid eyes on the twins. Uncontrolled joy filled his heart at the sight of Elladan being awake and seemingly allert, but it quickly vanished when his trained eyes traveled to Elrohir. Something about the younger twin wasn't quite right. Looking closer he realized what the other two elf lords had yet to see.
"Elrond, Elrohir isn't breathing!"