Blood and Water

Pleading and Bleeding

Glorfindel watched as Elrond walked away, following Rat to what could have been the Elf Lord's doom. He could only guess what would happen in his absence, and those thoughts didn't bring him much assurance. Glorfindel had made a vow when he first came into Gil-Galad's services; always watch out for the High King. He had failed in the Last Alliance—Gil-Galad had died, leaving Elrond in charge of everything. Since then he had carried his oath to Elrond. No harm should come to Elrond or his family while he still lived, and even then he would try to defend from the grave if it were possible.

Glorfindel's calculating mind quickly came up with a plan. He would distract the others from Elrond and Estel. He knew with out a doubt that once they were through dealing with him their attention would turn to the others. That was something he wanted to prevent at all costs.

A harsh jerk on his shoulder brought the blond Elf back to the situation at hand. The rough treatment caused Glorfindel to stumble back some. He soon regained his balance, but the enemy would not have it. Glorfindel felt a foot connect with the back of his knees, knocking him to the moist ground.

A roll of thunder overhead was the only warning before the rain.

"Well it looks like we get ta 'ave ourselves a little fun," said Bear.

"What should we do with him?" asked Hawk.

I don't like the sound of that, thought Glorfindel all the while glaring them his eyes daring them to try something.

Hawk bent dawn to the Elf's level and ran her fingers through his golden tresses, gently tickling the points of his ears as they passed over. Reaching under the elf's chin she forced his eyes to meet hers.

"My, you are a pretty one."

Glorfindel spat in her face, a look of disgust marring his fair features, venomously spouting, "You hag."

Hawk, outraged, slapped his face, allowing her sharp nails to dig into his cheek and leaving three light cuts behind.

"Say, this is a nice knife," admired Bear, eyeing Glorfindel's sword. Snatching it from the Elf's hand he examined it. From hilt to tip he peered at the inscription, which written in Elvish.

The rain continued to fall. It started as a slight drizzle and steadily grew faster. The water stung the cuts on Glorfindel's face as it passed over them.

Before he knew it, the blond Elf was engaged in a fight for his life. Three against one was hardly fair. Hawk pulled out her whip and lashed it Glorfindel's direction. Glorfindel caught the whip, allowing it to coil around his arm, but he didn't see the enemy sneaking up behind him. Warg came up from behind in an attempt to bring him down. Glorfindel felt metal pierce his flesh. He cried out in surprise and sudden pain.

Seeing her chance, Hawk pulled tight on her whip, which was still wrapped around the Elf's forearm. Glorfindel fell face-first into the mud-flooded ground. The Gondolin Elf's head came dangerously close to a sharp rock, which, had he hit it, would have surely broken his skull.

Bear charged the prone Elf, Glorfindel's sword in hand. Glorfindel saw his intentions and, pulling with all his might, he wrenched the whip from the girl's hand and sent the thick handle across the big man's face, knocking him unconscious. Glancing around, he found he was alone in the clearing.

They must have run off, he thought. It didn't matter; now was his chance to chase after Elrond.

Glorfindel kept his eyes to the ground and listened to his surroundings, hoping to get some form of an idea of where they had gone. Because Elrond was an Elf, he left no footprints. Glorfindel had to follow Rat's. It wasn't easy with the rain pelting down on him. Multiple times he had to wipe the water from his eyes, watching as the rain swept away the prints. He had to be quick; who knew what was happening to Elrond at this moment. Looking up he saw him standing on a slope in the woods watching the storm as it passed. The lighting illuminated Rat's face. Glorfindel smiled to himself at how easy it was becoming for him. He snuck up behind the Rat-man not leaving so much as a bent blade of grass in his wake. Rainwater streaked down his face, dripping off the curves of his jaw.

Rat watched as a streak of lightning crossed the sky. He had always loved storms. The roll of the thunder was the sound of the Earth breaking as the lighting brought fire and a sort of beautiful terror in his eyes. Chaos in the sky.

Lighting flashed once again, splintering beautifully in different directions.

Glorfindel took his chance and grabbed the man's neck squeezing it tightly. He could feel the bones beneath the skin. The human's neck was so fragile. He pulled the man back and whispered into his ear.

"Remember me?" he asked cruelly. Rat shivered; whether it was from the rain or out of fear, Glorfindel didn't know. "Tell me everything I want to know." He squeezed the man's throat in reminder of his position in this situation. "It'll be easier on you should you do as I ask." The man nodded his head as well as he could with hands wrapped almost entirely around his throat. "First of all, where are they?"

Rat pointed in the direction where the falls were. After a few more questions and simple answers Glorfindel kept true to his promise. Possessing the information he needed, Glorfindel eased the man's passing. A quick twist of Rat's neck was all it took to kill him. Glorfindel caught the warm corpse as it fell, gently easing it to the wet ground and not allowing so much as a twig to break beneath the dead weight. Using the gift of silence given to all Elves by the Ilùvatar, he snuck up to where Rain stood talking with Elrond. As he got close, his foot slipped slightly in the mud, nearly sending him face first into the ground. He grunted as he corrected his balance. Realizing his mistake, he quickly dodged behind the nearest tree.

The wind picked up, whipping rain and debris every which-way. Drops of rain stung his eyes as he came closer to his destination.

Rain twirled, scanning. He could have sworn he heard something.

It's probably Rat, he thought. That worthless fool.

he thought.

How he hated Rat with a passion. The man was annoying and had been planning to overthrow him for some time now; at least that's what his informants had told him. He had taken the boy Rat once was in, more out of pity than anything else. From then on the wretched human had been following him and he wouldn't take the hints and leave.

Glorfindel slumped against the tree, his wound still steadily bleeding. He watched in dull fascination as the blood mixed with the rainwater and mud causing the puddles to turn a sickly brownish-red. Realizing he was going into shock, he shook his head; he needed to stay alert for as long as possible. He winced as he put his hand on the gaping wound and tried to slow the bleeding, or maybe even stop it. Eru! That stings! Instead of focusing on the pain, he listened as Rain spoke with Elrond.

"Come now Elrond; surely this decision isn't that hard for you."

"You can't possibly believe that I would make such a horrible decision."

Decision? wondered Glorfindel. What decision? His eyes widened in horror as he realized. How could he possibly decide something like that? No parent could!

wondered Glorfindel. His eyes widened in horror as he realized.

Rain's voice drifted over to him. "Time is running out Elrond. Every second you waste brings the boy one step closer to death. Not to mention that by now, if your twins aren't dead then they are very close."

"SHUT YOUR MOUTH!" yelled Elrond, his anger breaking through the calm visage he had tried to keep up. He could take no more of the torment brought on by the decision he was being forced to make. He simply couldn't choose, nor did he want to. He loved his children more than life itself. The weight of his predicament was crushing him. His father's heart was slowly shattering; he couldn't breathe, couldn't move, could hardly think.

His mind kept drifting between two places. In Imladris, he could feel his blood sons slowly slipping away from him. They would die soon if he didn't do something. Even if he chose them, he might not make it back in time to save. Then, he would lose all three of his sons. There was also Estel behind the falls, falling prey to the icy wind and water, slowly drowning. Is this what his vision had been trying to tell him? That he would choose his real sons over his adopted one? He knew that if Estel died then twins would never forgive him...he would never forgive himself. But then again, if the twins died that would shatter the poor boy's world. To Estel the twins were everything. He doubted that his youngest could bring himself or anyone else back from that grief. The child would probably die of a broken heart.

The right to fade from grief and despair was (despite popular belief) not reserved for the Elves alone. Humans could too; however, theirs was a longer, more grueling process, whereas the Eldar could simply decide they no longer wished to live and pass quietly in their sleep...eyes closed to the world, body stiff and unmoving, the bright Elven glow would vanish from the cold corpse.

As if reading Elrond's thoughts Glorfindel closed his eyes to keep from crying. Sure, the twins annoyed him, especially by making him the favorite victim of many pranks. More recently, they had made Estel an accomplice in their plans. Still, that didn't mean he didn't care for them. He loved them as much as would his own, if he had had any. He was the uncle none of the boys had. Should anything happen to any of the three, the heartache alone would kill him. He wondered if any of them truly realized how loved they were.

"Is there no other way you would be satisfied?" Elrond whispered. The rain masked the tears that began to seep from his eyes. "Forget this foolishness Rain. I am the proper owner of that ring and the only one who knows how it works. Please, leave my children alone. I beg you; release Estel and give the antidote to my friend. I will do anything you ask. I was the one who killed your son, after all." The last part was a lie. Elrond didn't know who he was, or how the young man died, but he would say anything if it helped to release his children. "If you wish I will cut out my own heart and hand it to you. I will bleed all life from me and all you have to do is forget my children. Leave them alone; never again bother them. Do this and I will fall at your feet and take whatever punishment you wish on me."

Glorfindel stiffened at the sound of defeat and despair he heard within the mighty Elf Lord. In his mind's eye, he could see Elrond falling to his knees, begging Rain to do as he asked. Is this what it had come to? One of the most powerful beings on Middle Earth, begging for punishment and death at the release of the children? Was this how it ended? Rage began to replace the sorrow and remorse eating its way into his heart. No; he wouldn't allow that to happen, not while he still lived and breathed.

Drawing up his knees, his hand traveled to the throwing knife he kept in his boot. He carefully removed it, not allowing the metal to sing as it was withdrawn from its sheath. He loved this knife—it had been a gift from the twins when they had celebrated one of his many begetting days. Throwing knives had never been his specialty, but for this he made an exception. He practiced with the knife every time there was a chance, and being an Elf sometimes he had nothing but time.

The blade finally free he grasped the cool, now wet, metal in his palm. Glorfindel eased himself off the muddy ground, using the tree to hold him. He gritted his teeth as his wounds scraped against the bark. Slowly he carefully placed his feet and weight until he could at last see what was once hidden from him. Rain's back was facing the blond Elf; he was completely hidden. It would take one hit and the man would be dead before he hit the ground. Rolling the knife until it was positioned between his fingers he aimed at the humans back. It would have to be quick.

Unfortunately the world decided this was the perfect moment to take a rather large spin. He gripped the tree tightly as the world whirled faster than he thought possible. The blood loss was getting worse and the rain wasn't helping either. He would have to act fast. The blond Elf closed his eyes, willing the dizziness to pass.

After a bit, the world stopped and his vision returned to close to normal. He was leaning heavily against the tree for support; almost his full weight was resting on it. Looking up, he saw that Rain still had yet to notice him. He was speaking again to Elrond. The words were lost in the rainwater flooding his ears.

'Must…be…quick.' His breath was becoming more labored with each drop of blood that hit at his feet. 'Must be quick.' He repeated over and over while he aimed for Rain's unprotected back.

His breath was becoming more labored with each drop of blood that hit at his feet. He repeated over and over while he aimed for Rain's unprotected back.

His vision began blurring again.

After what seemed like hours, he was finally ready. Pulling back, he threw the dagger straight at Rain's back.

Sensing something coming towards him Rain turned. Seeing the knife, his eyes widened in horror. Before he could blink, the throwing knife hit his chest. It was said that just before one dies, they see their life flash before their eyes, watching everything from the outsiders point of view. Rumor had it you see everything from ones' first breath to their last. After seeing ones' life, the spirit flies. Rain saw everything, old playmates long since past, his parents, his first love, every fight he had ever had. The first time he killed, the children he took in, his wedding, his love, then his son. Everything up to this very moment; he saw it all again before he drew his final breath.


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