A Little Nudge
Story Note: Third Age 2510 Celebrían departs over Sea, a year after being waylaid by Orcs and receiving a poisoned wound. Elrond would not see her again until after TA 3021 when the bearer of Vilya finally departed Middle-earth. This story was the result of a discussion about the intervening years and what a certain golden haired Elf Lord might do to occupy himself until called upon to ride out and lend his horse to a Hobbit. Consider it AU, for the Professor himself never told us of Glorfindel's fate.
Chapter I: A Little Nudge
"Glorfindel." There was more than a touch of exasperation in Elrond's voice as he finally looked up from the book he was attempting to read. The incessant pacing of his friend kept distracting him. "I do not require a constant watch by you and Erestor to be certain I do nothing rash." He held up a hand as the elf opened his mouth to speak. "Don't bother denying it, old friend." Setting the book aside, he stood. "I can promise I'll do nothing impetuous, which is obviously what you two expect."
Glorfindel stopped pacing, but the frown did not leave his face. "I will not see you grieve to death, Peredhel, nor berate yourself continuously for what you could have or should have done to ..." Glorfindel sighed, running a hand through his hair. Nothing had been the same since Celebrían had departed. Tainted in soul and body by a wound that would not heal, Celebrían had sought the peace of Aman and the healing offered there. Glorfindel could not fault her for that, even if it did leave her children and husband to find their way without her.
"You may speak her name, Glorfindel." Elrond's sigh as he sat was weary. "Everyone is tip-toeing around here as though I am going to come unhinged at the mere mention of her name." Grey eyes rose to meet blue. "I miss her, yes. I suppose I shall until I sail myself and we are together again, but please..."
The plea in the tone of voice did not go unnoticed, and Glorfindel frowned to hear it.
"...do not deny me my memories of a beloved wife."
Huffing, Glorfindel sat across the table from him. "I would deny you nothing, you know that."
Both were silent for a time, the only sounds in the room the pop and sizzle of the wood as it burned in the fireplace.
Elrond smiled suddenly, earning a suspicious look from Glorfindel. He'd not seen that particular smile in a very long time, but it spoke only of devious things. "You say you would deny me nothing."
Glorfindel frowned, golden brows drawn together over a rather testy gaze. "I've said it before. What of it?"
"You denied me that sword whilst in Orodruin. What say you of that?"
Staring at the lord of the haven as if he'd lost his mind, Glorfindel pursed a lip. "You were over-tired, over-taxed and half-mad with pain, Elrond. Slaying Isildur would have only enraged the humans and possibly embroiled us in a conflict with them." He shrugged, settling back in his chair. "The young one came to his end soon enough through his own folly. There was no reason to hasten that."
Glorfindel's comment left Elrond to once again wonder just how much his friend truly did know of events before they unfolded. Prying information out of Glorfindel when he was in a good mood was difficult. When he was surly or stubborn one might as well go try to discern how many drops of water were carried past in the Bruinen.
"My point is you have denied me things." Elrond graced his words with an elegantly arched eyebrow and a smirk quite unbecoming for one said to be so peaceful in nature.
Shaking his head, Glorfindel reached out to trace a whorl in the wood of the table. "I try to steer you from that which would cause you pain."
"Is that why you tried to keep me from marrying Celebrían?"
A snort, and the blonde elf looked up, blue eyes twinkling. "No, that was to keep you from having Galadriel as an in-law. She is wise, but I warned you, did I not, that she is formidable?"
"Aye." Elrond shrugged, suddenly weary again. "And yet for all of her power, even she could not keep her daughter from sailing." Not adding aloud that Celebrían was now where her mother was forbidden to return, something he had no doubt greatly grieved the Lady of the Golden Wood.
Glorfindel was silent, but didn't miss the pointed look cast his direction. What he had seen before returning to life again was, at best, hazy. Half-memories that sparked to flame upon hearing the certain turn of a phrase, certainly nothing he relied on as solid warnings of a possible future.
It caused no small amount of annoyance that many looked at him, the slayer of a balrog, one of the rare elves who were returned to life in Middle-earth, as a source of divination.
As if he could say what the Valar would do?
Any who ventured such questions were met with the acerbic replies with which Glorfindel was known for. He'd pointed many towards his cousin, towards the mirror she prized so highly. Let them go to Galadriel for foretelling. He lived in the present and preferred to keep it that way. Let the future take them where it would.
He truly did not want to know the future, for if the Valar had some grand scheme to have him die valiantly a second time... No, he most certainly did NOT want to know that beforehand.
Heroics were far overrated in his opinion. How many heroes had been normal people who simply did the most they could in the given situation? Ecthelion certainly would not thank him for weaving tapestries that showed him in semi-deification, or sing those blasted awful songs minstrels made up glorifying a heroic death.
The truth was it had hurt like blazes and he still didn't like talking about it.
Ecthelion probably wouldn't either, for that matter. How many times had his friend already heard how ironic it was for the Lord of the Fountains to drown? Glorfindel should probably be glad it wasn't a balrog bearing a huge flower-shaped sword that struck him down.
Sometimes the Valar had very wicked humors, and it never did serve to try and gain their attention. No, far better to live a life not entangled with that of the Powers. He snorted at his own folly - how likely was that given that the father of his current lord was a star?
"Go to Mithlond."
"Eh?" Called back from his mental musings, Glorfindel blinked owlishly at Elrond.
Smiling indulgently, Elrond dismissed his captain with the regal wave of a hand. "Go. I have Erestor to talk me out of any mad plans I have to walk a rope over the falls or throw myself in..."
A snort spoke volumes. If anything, Erestor's tongue was far sharper than his own. Between the three of them they suffered fools, but not entirely willingly. "I believe it was Elrohir who attempted the rope walk, and dangled there above the falls for a candle mark before his twin stopped lecturing him." Glorfindel's lips curled up at the memory. "Just as well Elladan did talk him into the safety rope."
Elrond shook his head. Sometimes it surprised him that the haven had survived his sons. "'Twas your fault you know."
The outraged expression on his friend's face was enough to encourage Elrond to continue. "Who told the twins the tales of whitewashing the towers of Gondolin, and how you and Ecthelion would walk the ropes between towers simply to outdo one another?" Glorfindel glowered at him. Though Glorfindel was the best of friends, most loyal of companions, and a formidable warrior, he had not always been the best of influences on two lively boys.
With a haughty frown Glorfindel looked away. "I didn't tell them to do so. I never advise anyone to try half the bone-head things Ecthelion and I did." He crossed his arms. "And as I recall 'twas I who typically wound up fixing whatever it was those two did."
"You," Elrond pointed a finger, "were the only one who knew how they had accomplished half their stunts!"
"Yes, yes, and you and Elros were the perfect images of innocence." Glorfindel arched an eyebrow, mouth curling upwards. "Shall we hunt up Maglor and verify it with him?"
"Stars above, no!" Elrond shook his head, rubbing his forehead. "I'm only thankful there was only you to fill their ears with tales." Storm-grey eyes twinkled in good humor. "My point, however, before you distracted me..."
Glorfindel snorted, shaking his head.
"...was I will be fine. I..." He sighed, dropping his head for a moment. "I want to go on with my life, my friend. If that means for a time pretending that I am fine..."
"I can grant you that." Nodding, Glorfindel tilted his head. "If I hear you're moping about, however, I'll be back, and Erestor will hear of it!"
A smile quirked Elrond's lips. "Just go. Go and say hello to Bronwë and Círdan for me."
"I will." Standing, he started to turn, stopping as Elrond held up a hand.
"Peredhel?" Allowing his amusement to show, Glorfindel arched an eyebrow. "Did you change your mind and decide to accompany me?"
"Hardly." Gazing at his friend, Elrond chose his words carefully. "Think on your own life whilst you're there. On what you would do from now until we sail some day." He nodded in satisfaction at the annoyed scowl aimed at him. "You cannot wait upon me forever you know."
"Truly?" Said in the driest tone possible, Glorfindel swept a mocking bow. "Then I shall attempt to find something to amuse myself beyond watching over you and your kin."
"Do." Elrond nodded, suddenly very serious, and turned back to his book before the other elf could comment. "Safe journey. Give my best to everyone there."
With a frown of annoyance, Glorfindel nodded and pivoted, to stalk out of the library, entirely missing the curl of Elrond's mouth as he smiled.