Memories and Pain
Night had now fallen in Imladris the stars were out and shining bright, the moon was big and full to the brim. The outside area surrounding the house was teeming with night life. However, inside the Homely House tension was high and very few slept peacefully if they slept at all. Inside the healers wing candles and torches light up the room. The best healer in all of Arda sat at a table across from two identical beings in nearby beds. Elrond was sifting through one of his many books from the library, Glorfindel and Erestor had brought them in from the library so he could watch the twins while he searched for a cure.
Every now and then he would look up from his work at his beloved sons and thought about what he should do. In one hand he held the life of his adopted son and in the other he held not only the lives of his twin boys, but many other beings that will surly perish should he surrender the ring. But should he not then he might loose every chance he had of saving the twins and the man called Rain would kill Estel, or worse hand him over to the dark foes of the world.
The twins still had not awakened. There had been some hope that they would, when they had earlier started to shift around and moan as if they were caught up in the pains that infiltrated their peaceful dreams. But, to everyone's sorrow they had gone back to their unconscious state.
Standing up he walked about the room trying to clear his weary mind and sooth the ache in his heart. He watched as the moon climbed a little higher in the sky before he turned back to look over his sons for any changes. So far there had not been any signs that there was even a poison in their bodies. Except they were cold, almost freezing, their eyes were tightly sealed, and the blue in their lips had spread. On Elladan he found what appeared to be bruising on his side. Tears threatened to; once again, fill his eyes as he realized it to be a sign of internal bleeding. Elrohir had bright red marks on his neck that traveled down his back. Elrond didn't know what to make of those, but they seem to be coming from a tiny hole the size of a pinprick on his neck. That was where he had found the poison darts that felled his sons; the other had been in the middle of Elladan's back. He had been studying the darts and books for hours now and still nothing had been found. The only thing he had to go by was what Glorfindel could remember from his first life. However, it was not a very reliable source, not that he didn't trust his military advisor. Quite the contrary he trusted him with his very life, but the thought that the memories had been long before Elrond's birth. That and when he had been first found after his reincarnation he remembered not even half of what he knew in his past life. Most of the memories returned with time, but still one question remained. How could he be sure he was remembering correctly?
As he watched his sons his mind wondered back a few months ago, back when everything was simple, when everyone was happy. Back to when he wasn't worried for the lives of three of his four children.
It was one of those lazy quiet days in the elven city called Imladris. It was a warm spring day, flowers were coming into bloom, baby birds were happily chirping in a nearby tree, fish splashed and jumped trying to get at the insects sitting on the clear water surface in the nearby fountains of Elrond's favorite garden. The elf lord himself was enjoying the blissful silence the morning brought. Lying comfortably in a well furnished, brightly decorated settee on his favorite balcony he watched as the new day dawned. The twins had gone to Mirkwood before the sun had completely risen to visit their friends leaving the five year old Estel behind with his foster father.
Elrond was taking the day off so he could spend some much needed alone time with his youngest. He had been very busy lately and hadn't been able to spend any of his time to indulge the child in his little games. But Estel had been very content with the way things were after all the twins would play with him when given the chance, and even when they had work Glorfindel, Erestor, and many other elves made time for him. So he was left never in want for playmates, but Elrond could tell the boy was beginning to miss his father. He could see the longing look in his eyes as his soul cried to be played with by his father. Taking notice of this Elrond decided to take a day or two off and leave the city in the hands of others for a short time. After all Estel was human and humans grow very quickly.
The familiar sound of little feet running down the hallway reached Elrond's sensitive pointed ears. Estel was awake and no doubt looking for him.
Estel dashed down the hallways searching for his foster father. He had awoken not long ago and was still a little sleepy, but yesterday his ada had promised to spend the whole day with him. Thinking he was still asleep he ran straight for Elrond's room only to find the elf lord wasn't in there. He then turned around and headed for the kitchen. As he passed one the balconies a voice called his name.
"Estel, don't run in the halls."
Estel skidded to a halt and headed back to where he heard the voice call. Looking into the room on his ada's favorite balcony he saw the person he was looking for.
"Ada, what are you doing?" asked Estel as he walked to his father.
"I'm relaxing and enjoying this beautiful morning. You are not normally up this early what are you up to?"
Estel grinned as he climbed into the settee at Elrond's feet. "Nothing, Can I watch with you?"
"Of course nothing would make me happier." Elrond smiled at his most beloved son.
Estel crawled up on his father's stomach and settled down contently stretched out on Elrond's chest his ear placed comfortably over the elf lord's heart. Elrond stroked the messy mass of dark curly hair that spilled in every direction on Estel's head. He would need to have it trimmed soon. As Estel started to close his eyes and relax into a comfortable sleep a strange sound reached his ears.
Thud-Thump, Thud-Thump, Thud-Thump.
The noise rang loudly, yet soothingly in Estel's ears pulling himself up he looked at Elrond.
"Ada, what's that noise?"
Elrond looked at his son, "What noise?"
"A thumping sound, right here." he put his hand over his father's heart feeling the rhythmic pulsing against his palm.
Elrond smiled "That would be my heart."
"Oh." Estel settled back down on his father's stomach. Elrond continued to stroke the child's dark hair.
Estel was about to fall back asleep when another sound reached his ears. He could not explain it. It was a gurgling and bubbling sound that drowned out the soft beets of the heart.
He didn't move from his spot to ask this time, "Ada?"
"Yes, ion nin." the elf lord gently prodded
"I hear another sound. It's different from the heart, it gurgles."
Elrond smiled 'Ah curious youth.' he thought happily, "That would be my stomach."
"Oh." Estel inched up a little higher so he could hear his father's heart better.
Soon Estel was asleep and Elrond smiled as he felt the young one breathing slow and his own heart beat changed to match his ada's rhythm. It was mornings like this that made him happy to have children, even if they weren't of his own flesh and blood. He would miss these moments when the boy grew too old and big for a parent to coddle and hold as all children do, as the day wore on the two feel asleep dreaming of pleasant dreams and happy times.
Elrond smiled in memory that day was uneventful, but one of the best he ever had. Looking down at the twins, who still had yet to waken, he was reminded of anther memory. One that was much farther back in time, one that happened when the twins were about thirteen years old.
Roll, Roll, Roll,
The twin Peredhil held their breath as the vase rolled on its stand. Neither dared to breath incase the very air they exhaled would cause the vase to come crashing to the ground. Finally the vase slowed and almost stopped. The twins released the breaths they had been holding, but as they looked to each other with relief written on their faces. The vase tipped off the stand and crashed to the unmerciful stone ground below.
The twins stood with looks of horror written into every feature of their identical faces. Both twins then dashed for the door looking every which way someone was bound to hear the crash the vase made. Sure enough their father and mother were quickly coming down the hall each having heard the noise. Both twins backed back into the room one thought sifting through their young minds. They were in so much trouble.
"You tell him." said Elladan panicked at what punishment would be in store for them should they be caught.
"No, you tell him." said Elrohir horrified that his brother, his very twin, would suggest such a terrifying ordeal.
"No, you." Elladan quickly countered.
"You do it you're the oldest."
"True, but they love you more. You're the baby in the family." Elladan began to push his brother towards the door.
"Yeah, but you're the older sibling. You're suppose to protect your younger brother."
Elrond laughed at the scene that flew through his minds eye. He remembered it like it was yesterday they had both gotten into trouble for the accident. His eyes came back to focus at the two beings lying almost lifeless on the bed and he thought on how he would give anything to have them young and small again. To hold them in his lap and take away their pain, when all he had to worry about was the burses and scratches they got from playing a little too hard. Sighing he went back to his books searching for the very cure he would need to save them. He had just found the passage on it when something happened.
The sound of a hacking cough came from beside him. Looking quickly with panicked filled eyes he saw Elladan curled in on himself coughing into his hand, which had instinctively covered his mouth while his other arm draped over his stomach clutching it. Elrond instantly went to his son's side and attempted to calm the older twins coughing. Not long after Elrohir eyes flew open as he rolled to the side a retched onto the hard wood floor. Elrond's eyes grew wide at what he saw in the mess at his feet, a large amount of blood was mixed with the fluids that were normally contained in the stomach. Elrond looked at his oldest sons hand and saw that it was covered in a sticky red substance he immediately recognized as blood.
Not knowing where to start he panicked and yelled the first name that came to mind.