As the door shut and the elf lords left, something began to happen in the healing wing. One of the twins began to stir as the other healers, who had been hand picked by Elrond himself, stood nearby, ready to do anything and everything necessary at a moment's notice. This time, it was Elrohir who began to wake. The healer immediately went to his young lord's side.
"Lord Elrohir?" he asked tentatively, not quite believing the elf was waking.
Elrohir moaned as he tried to force open his eyes. It hurt so much, and yet a strange numbing sensation swiftly followed, bringing the pain down to a dull ache. The light stung his eyes the second he opened them.
The healer turned down the nearby oil lamps before returning to his charge's side.
Elrohir's vision, after much trying and focusing, finally cleared and blurred figures took on recognizable shapes and features.
Elrohir squinted his eyes to better see the elf before him. "Celsil?" he asked, not quite sure who was their.
Celsil smiled and nodded, "Aye. How are you feeling? Don't tell me you're fine," he stated before his charge could say it.
Elrohir merely stared at the elf. Celsil had lived in Imladris for as for back as the twins could remember. Born in the first age and being raised with Elrond in his younger days, before he and Elros had lost their family, he was one of the first to be mentored by Elrond in the art of Healing. He was really the only one Elrond felt confident enough to leave in charge of the lives of his favorite patients while he was detained elsewhere. Unlike their father, however, Celsil was a lot more understanding of his patients and kept his hovering at a minimum, allowing things that Elrond would have frowned at. He was the healer everyone wanted to see.
Celsil was now becoming worried by Elrohir's silence. The Elf hadn't said a word and stared at him as if he wasn't there. "Elrohir?" he snapped his fingers in front of the Elf's eyes, hoping to get some form of reaction.
Elrohir blinked when the slight wind from the snapping fingers hit his eyes. "Hmm?"
"I asked if you were all right."
Elrohir smiled, "You also asked if I was fine. Adar is always complaining about us saying that and not meaning it. So instead of an annoying and overused bicker I decided to hold my tongue."
"So in other words…" the healer left the sentence open.
Celsil didn't know if he should be proud of this admission or worried. The only time any of Elrond's children admitted to being in pain there was when there was something very wrong; usually, they were on the verge of death before they would admit to being injured or ill.
Seeing the look in the healer's eyes, Elrohir managed a weak smile, "Don't worry Celsil I'll be fine. In fact I'm feeling better already."
Celsil looked Elrohir from head to toe suspicion clearly written in his ageless features,
"Hmmm. That remains to be seen."
Elrohir looked around the white room, "Where's ada? He's never left us when we were hurt."
Celsil had been expecting this. Lord Elrond had given specific instructions to not tell them where he was going, "He stepped out for a while," he said, shifting the younger twin into a sitting position. As he touched Elrohir's hand he felt icy clod of his skin.
"Elrohir your hands are ice!" he exclaimed, reaching for both hands in an attempt to warm them.
Elrohir eyes began to droop as the darkness came for him, but this time, it felt different. This time, he knew if he feel asleep, he would not wake up. His lithe frame began to shake as goosebumps coated his arms. A freezing feeling began to engulf him as he slowly lost the battle with consciousness.
Not getting any sort of response from the younger Elf, Celsil began to shook him gently, calling his name.
The last thing Elrohir heard before he left was his name.
A Few Hours Later
Elsewhere, two horses galloped in the direction of the now setting sun. Neither would sleep this night they had too far to travel and only a short time to travel it in. Both were prepared, though loath to do it, to run their horses into the ground if they must. The twins only had so much time left, if they didn't get the antidote soon… well no one wanted to think way just yet.
Sensing their riders needs and urgency the horses swallowed up the ground beneath them. They would have flown if they only could, but they came as close as any ground animal could. Their feet hardly touched the ground before they were off again.
Glorfindel's hair flew behind him in a curtain of gold as he sped his horse along. He was anxious to get to Weathertop, but not because he wanted to be there for Elrond when he got the antidote (though that was part of the reason). Something about this whole thing was off. Something like this shouldn't be this easy. There had to be a catch somewhere, something that Elrond had to do to get both the antidote and Estel. Sure there was the ring, but to simply hand it over and retrieve the child and the antidote….it was too simple.
'There has to be more to this.'
Elrond had similar thoughts racing through his mind, but they were not as pressing as the others that flooded his senses. He could only hope this was as easy as it seemed. The thought of who awaited him at Weathertop sent an angry fire coursing through his veins. If Rain had hurt his son in any way, there will be blood shed and it would not be his.
The next problem came without warning.
Elrond was back in Rivendell; in the healing room, to be exact. Something was wrong here…he could feel it. As he walked through the door he saw someone he did not expect.
Legolas walked right pass the elf lord, as if he wasn't there. Elrond almost asked his reason for being there (not that he disapproved of the prince's presence; he simply hadn't heard he was coming). However, the look he saw on the blonde Elf's face stopped him from uttering a syllable. His features were filled with sadness, as if he had lost someone close to him. It was a look he had seen before, in many other faces; even in his own children. Legolas eyes were puffy and bloodshot, like he had been crying. Dried tear streaks stained his pale face, and dark circles sat below his eyes. His chest heaved with every breath as he was fighting to hold back tears that filled his eyes.
He soon found the cause for the elf's sorrow; it was a sight he had dreaded seeing since he had taken Estel in. Estel lay atop one of the many beds. He was pale and motionless, his eyes dark and sunken in. There was no movement beneath the lids, his lips and eye lids blue-purple in color. However, the most startling discovery was his small chest. It wasn't moving.
"No…" Elrond whispered in horror.
Yes, Estel Elrondion had died.
Sobbing sounds from beside him brought him back. His twin sons, Elladan and Elrohir were standing next to the bed eyeing the unmoving form that was once Estel. Elrond couldn't believe what he was seeing; they were alive and appeared to be healthy. Elrond would rejoice, but had this come at a terrible price. Had Estel died for them, or was this something different?
Sensing Elrond's presence, Elladan turned to look at his father. Elrond saw the same look in his oldest son's features as had earlier seen on Legolas….except, the instant Elladan's eyes laid on Elrond, a fire burst behind them. He was angry…with him? What had he done?
"How could you?" Elladan growled at Elrond.
"Elladan, what happened?"
"What happened? What happened!" This was Elrohir who was now as angry as Elladan; a very rare event indeed.
"You know full well what you did." Elladan's voice was low and menacing.
This was another difference between the two twins, and one not often seen. While Elrohir would loose his temper in one swoop, Elladan would draw his out, preferring to let the anger boil and seethe while he drew out the rest in menacing tones and semi-hallow threats. When it came to anger he was the one to avoid at all costs. One could always tell when he was not to be trifled with; his eyes would turn completely black. Currently, his irises were indistinguishable from his pupils.
"Why could not just let us die ada?" said Elrohir, looking back at his newly deceased sibling. "It would have been better."
'What?" thought Elrond. "I did this? I let him die? No!'
"Yes, you let him die. You did, Elrond."
'Did Elladan call me Elrond?' This is truly a bad sign thought Elrond.
"You couldn't help it could you? You had to choose us over him." Elladan grabbed the back of Elrond's neck and pulled him close. Whispering into his ear, he hissed, "Now you may loose all of us. Ada." The name he had used to call Elrond when he was young was spat back at him in disgust.
The twins left the room leaving a shocked and greatly disturbed Elrond behind to stare at the one he had let down.