Title: Sharing Beds (sequel to Twins)
Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon
Pairing: Elladan/Bevyn, Elrohir/Brys, Erestor/Maglor and Elrond/Glorfindel
Summary: Elladan and Elrohir arrive in Imladris with their charges. Maglor realizes his feelings for Erestor and Elrond finds his heart opens up faster to Glorfindel than he thought possible.
Disclaimer: Not mine. These characters belong to Professor Tolkien. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning: AU of course. And yes, new OMC’s…. They seem to be determined to bother me!
Beta read by Patricia and DA, thanks sweeties!
All remaining mistakes are mine.
Glorfindel woke to a very pleasant sensation, namely that of Elrond lying next to him in bed. The half-Elf was on his side facing him. Elrond’s hands rested on his fair hair and shoulder, as if to keep in physical contact with him. Glorfindel could have looked at Elrond’s face for hours, but for some reason the half-Elf woke up.
Elrond smiled, stretched like a cat, and patted Glorfindel’s hair. “I did not know I was that tired.” He had slipped between the covers to be closer to Glorfindel and hadn’t planned on going to sleep. “How did you sleep?”
“As well as can be expected. Bah, I hate being incapacitated like this!” Glorfindel tried to move about, but his back warned him that it was the wrong thing to do and so remained motionless. “Who is leading the guards at the moment?”
“You might not believe it, but Maglor volunteered to replace you for the time being. Erestor is explaining his temporary duties to him and I am confident Maglor will carry them out correctly. He has some experience in keeping a realm safe!” Elrond’s fingers meandered through the golden locks and he shifted closer until their faces were inches away, close enough for kissing. “Maybe you can take him on as your second in command? Maglor always wanted to be needed and I believe that serving the guard is his best option right now. He is a warrior at heart, even though he is also a talented bard and minstrel.”
“Maybe he never really had the chance to perfect his musical talents and would prefer to work on those.” Glorfindel involuntarily held his breath. Elrond’s lips were so close and he was hoping the half-Elf would kiss him, but was that still too soon? He didn’t know what pace to set where Elrond was concerned.
Elrond rested his hand on the column of Glorfindel’s neck and inched closer until he could touch his lips to Glorfindel’s. Glorfindel tasted of spices, cinnamon, musk, and even a bit of vanilla. It was a lovely taste he could become used to. The kiss remained slow and gentle; it was a first exploration, but one that lasted several minutes and when they pulled back, they were smiling at each other.
“I had hoped you would do that,” Glorfindel admitted in a voice heavy with emotion.
“I thought you would.” Elrond brushed the golden hair away from Glorfindel’s face and instigated another kiss, which remained tender and non-invasive. He liked taking his time with his new love.
Not that Glorfindel had any reason to complain about Elrond’s kissing talents, but he wouldn’t have minded a little bit of tongue. Once the kiss ended, Glorfindel raised an arm and reached for Elrond’s face. “Why must I be injured when you finally decide to kiss me?” He wanted to be an active kissing partner instead of being incapacitated like this!
“You will heal and then you can make up for it.” Elrond stroked Glorfindel’s hair and continued to smile at his new love. “For now you must rest.”
“I know that,” Glorfindel replied with a tormented sigh. “But that does not mean I have to enjoy it.”
“There will be other things for you to enjoy once you have healed,” Elrond hinted.
Glorfindel was pleasantly surprised to find that Elrond had a playful side to him. He hadn’t really expected it.
Maglor nodded. Erestor had just explained Glorfindel’s duties to him and he was confident he could take them on. “Glorfindel set up excellent defenses. Imladris is quite safe. I also like the way he organized the patrols.”
Erestor leaned back into the comfort of his chair and pointed at the papers laying on the desk in-between them. “Glorfindel has already finished next month’s rotation schedule, so you do not have to worry about that. He has also already decided who would lead what patrol.”
“Is there anything still left for me to do?” Maglor smiled, feeling happy since he could help.
“Your main task is to oversee the training sessions. If you notice any guard not being fit to take part in a patrol, take them out and replace them. Also, if anyone is injured, you need to adjust the schedule. Each morn and each evening you will debrief the patrols and if something out of the ordinary happens, you write it down in a report which you hand to me.” Erestor had covered all of the vital information and looked admiringly at Maglor, who now wore the Imladris’ blue and silver uniform. Maglor had adjusted to life in Imladris quickly and looked like he had been a part of the guards for many years. “There is only one matter left that we must address: that of your identity.”
Maglor’s expression darkened. “Do you think they will refuse to follow my lead because of who I am?” That thought had also occurred to him and he knew it was a real threat to his new life in Imladris.
Erestor shook his head. “Melpomaen has already informed everyone who you are. They know you are Maglor and that the Valar returned you to us. That last bit especially convinced the guards to give you a chance and trust you. They will follow your orders and not question your decisions.”
Maglor snorted as his hand that rested on the desk turned into a fist. “You told them the Valar returned me to you? That is a lie.”
Erestor wished once more that Maglor had been awake when Lórien had visited them. “They did return you,” he said sternly. “Lórien himself told me so.”
Maglor’s eyes widened at hearing that bit of information. Erestor hadn’t shared it with him before. “Lórien?”
“Right after we jumped and returned to Imladris he visited with us. You were fast asleep and did not notice. I talked to him, however.”
“Erestor, have you lost your mind? Do you really believe you talked to one of the Valar?”
“I did, Maglor.” Erestor leaned in closer and gave Maglor a stern look. “He told me that they had decided to return you to us and that you deserved a second chance. I should have woken you, but for some reason I did not. Maybe it was Lórien’s doing and he made sure you remained asleep, I do not know for certain.”
“But I do not deserve a second chance! Not after the many mistakes I made!”
Erestor rose from his chair, circled around the desk, and came to a stop behind Maglor. He placed his hands on Maglor’s shoulders and then slid them down. Leaning in closer, he whispered into Maglor’s ear, “The Valar decided to give you a second chance. Who are you to doubt their decision?”
Maglor swallowed hard. “You must understand where I come from! Fëanor and my brothers thwarted the Valar before. I grew up believing my father to be wiser and more powerful than the Valar!” Erestor’s closeness was distracting him and he wanted nothing more than to pull the other Elf onto his lap and hold him, maybe even kiss him!
Erestor closed his eyes, gathered his courage, and said, “Son of Fëanor you will always be. His blood flows through your veins, but you are still your own Elf. You can decide to change your old way of thinking. The Valar mean well and no one save for Eru is wiser and more powerful. You have to let go of what your father taught you.”
Maglor had sucked in his breath during Erestor’s monologue and swallowed hard. “You do not know what it was like. My father’s word was law. When he made a decision we were supposed to follow him blindly.”
“Your father no longer dwells among us and neither do any of your brothers. The Valar did not give them a second chance, but they are offering you one.”
“But why?” Maglor needed a reason why.
Erestor sighed. “Only the Valar can tell you that and they are not known to explain themselves to us at our demand. Can you not simply accept that you were given a second chance?”
Maglor didn’t know what sweet madness compelled him to pull Erestor onto his lap, but he did and to his surprise, Erestor allowed it. “Maybe the reason I was released from the painting is you?”
Erestor blinked when he found himself straddling Maglor’s lap. The expression in the sea-green eyes was shifting, darkening to almost a midnight-blue, and Erestor’s throat suddenly felt very dry. “Me?” Why would he be the reason the Valar had returned Maglor to them?
Maglor slid his hands down Erestor’s flanks and placed them on the younger Elf’s thighs. He pulled Erestor close to him until their groins made contact and then slid his arms up Erestor’s back and began stroking the curve of the raven-haired Elf’s spine through the fabric of the formal robes Erestor was wearing. “You are a gentle and compassionate soul and you touched my heart.”
Erestor was speechless. He had never expected Maglor to maneuver him like that and before he knew what was happening, eager and possessive lips covered his. Maglor placed his hand on his neck and pulled him closer until their groins were grinding against each other. The fingers then slipped into his raven hair and held him in place while Maglor’s greedy lips tried to deepen the kiss, which he succeeded in. Overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught, Erestor opened his lips, parted his teeth, and allowed him in.
Maglor felt victorious and explored every inch of Erestor’s mouth. He whirled his tongue around Erestor’s and moaned loudly. He had to break off the kiss in order to breathe and say, “I want to take you on this desk and make you mine.”
Erestor suddenly regained his wits and pushed Maglor away from him by placing his hands against the other Elf’s chest and pushing away some. But Maglor’s fingers remained buried in his hair. “Maglor, what are you doing?”
The adrenaline and excitement that had been pumping through his veins only a moment ago died and Maglor realized what he had been about to do. He had fully intended to claim Erestor as his mate. Shame-faced, he let go of the raven strands and lowered his gaze. “Please forgive me. My passion overwhelmed me. I am afraid it is a family trait.”
Erestor placed a finger beneath Maglor’s chin and raised the face so the elder Elf had to look at him. “You have the wrong impression, Maglor. I do not mind the kissing. Although it was unexpected, it certainly was not unwelcome. But do you not think there are certain steps we should take between kissing and you wanting to claim me on Glorfindel’s desk when any of the guards could come crashing in?”
Maglor managed a small chuckle as Erestor’s words gave him hope. “I apologize for my rash actions, but all I could think of was kissing you and really knowing you.” He rubbed his cheek against Erestor’s long fingers and gave the other Elf a pleading look. “I have taken a liking to you.”
“A liking? That is what you call it?” Erestor laughed. “You wanted to claim me on Glorfindel’s desk!” The development didn’t really surprise him. They had been moving in this direction for some days now. “Maglor, I have taken a liking to you too, but you can not simply throw me onto Glorfindel’s desk and ravish me.”
The twinkling in Erestor’s eyes showed Maglor that the younger Elf was saying one thing and meant another. “Then what are you saying?”
“That you should throw me onto my bed and claim me there when the time comes.” Erestor slid his hands up Maglor’s neck and massaged the tense muscles there. “I am not averse to becoming your lover and I would receive you most eagerly, but not yet and most certainly not here.”
Maglor nodded his head once. “I understand. I have permission to court you then?” Though his ideas of courtship might differ greatly from Erestor’s!
“As long as you are discreet and do not try to claim me in public, you have permission to court me.” Erestor smiled at the other Elf. “You could have given me a warning.”
“That I was going to kiss you? Then what would have been the fun in kissing you like that when you were already expecting it?” And with those words, he claimed Erestor’s lips again and crushed the Advisor close to him.
Melpomaen closed the door at once after having seen Maglor kiss Erestor. He had come to consult with Erestor and Maglor, but surmised the matter could wait...at least until the two of them were done kissing.
Elrond found he liked feeding Glorfindel. He was slipping parts of an apple past Glorfindel’s lips and watching the blue eyes eye him in turn. The ice had been broken after they had kissed and they felt more at ease in each other’s company. Elrond was grateful that he had taken the step to kiss Glorfindel because now the fronts between them were clear. They were almost lovers, their love new and unexplored. “Finish the apple,” Elrond instructed as he pushed the last part past Glorfindel’s lips.
“And then what?” Glorfindel smiled impishly at the half-Elf.
“And then I am going to check on your injury and if necessary dress it again.”
Glorfindel suddenly felt guilty. “I am keeping you from your work.”
“I would rather spend my time caring for you, Glorfindel.” Elrond placed a tender kiss on Glorfindel’s lips and then rose from the bed. “Do not worry. I will return to your side shortly.” There was the one big advantage to it being winter, Elrond decided: lots of time to spend in bed with his newly acknowledged love. Life was always slow in Imladris during winter.
Glorfindel sighed, closed his eyes, and endured the examination. It appeared that Elrond didn’t have to change the dressings just yet, but the half-Elf did call for fresh healing herbs, which he slipped between the bandages. “You should be on your feet again in a few days,” Elrond reiterated as he slipped between the covers again. He turned onto his side, watched Glorfindel open his eyes, and raised a hand to stroke the golden locks. “Thank you for telling me that you are attracted to me. I might not have taken the step to open my heart otherwise. Speaking in hindsight, I believe that you are the only one capable of unlocking my heart.”
Glorfindel accepted the compliment gracefully but then stated, “Someone needed to kick you in the butt, Elrond.”
Elrond burst out into laughter. “You are right, of course.” He draped an arm over Glorfindel’s shoulders and moved closer to the other warrior. “You *do* realize that my sheets will take on your scent and that it will linger here even after you have healed and moved back into your rooms?”
Glorfindel grinned. “Who says I am moving back into my rooms? I like being pampered by you.” He didn’t know why, but Elrond’s eyes cleared as the last remnant of doubt seemed to disappear. “You needed to hear that.”
“I needed to hear you would be willing to commit yourself to me.” Elrond smiled ruefully. “I will commit myself to you in turn.”
“Good, that is good.” Glorfindel whispered before his eyes started to lose their lucidity as he slipped back into sleep.
That evening, Maglor took his time to bathe and dress in his new evening robes which Erestor had kindly provided him with. Erestor had managed to procure him several new outfits and Maglor felt privileged that Erestor was taking such good care of him. He wanted to show Erestor how much he appreciated having him in his life so he had spent the hour before dinner hunting for a lyre. In the end, he had been sent to Lindir, Elrond’s head minstrel. They had talked for a while after Lindir had recovered from his shock and Maglor had received a lyre which Lindir seldom used those days. He had taken the instrument with him and had practiced a bit while Erestor had been carrying out Elrond’s duties.
By that time, Erestor had returned to his rooms and was in the middle of slipping into something more comfortable than his formal robes. Maglor stepped into the bedroom soundlessly and took his time watching Erestor. The lithe Elf was obviously a scholar, but Maglor would never make the mistake of underestimating Erestor. What Erestor lacked in battle skills he made up for in diplomacy and cunning. After all, it was Erestor who had freed him from the painting.
Raven hair spilled down Erestor’s back and danced against his buttocks. Maglor had already realized that Erestor preferred to wear it braided during the day when he was in the capacity of Elrond’s Chief Advisor, but Erestor would let it loose once it was just the two of them. Maglor’s breathing quickened as he watched Erestor step out of his under tunic and slip into his evening robes. He had only seen Erestor’s body for a second, but that had been enough to spark his desire.
“How much longer are you going to stand there and stare at me?” Erestor turned around and gave Maglor an amused smile.
Maglor coughed to clear his throat and covered the distance between them with a few steps. “Come, sit with me.” He guided a puzzled Erestor toward the fireplace. The flames danced to music only they could hear there and Maglor pulled Erestor down with him when he sat down on the furs that lay there.
“You are behaving oddly,” Erestor remarked, puzzled by the expression in Maglor’s eyes. They were so expressive, but Erestor still couldn’t be sure what emotions he read in them. Love might be one of them, passion, and impatience some of the others. His smile deepened as he remembered what had happened in Glorfindel’s office earlier that day. He had given Maglor permission to court him and he was curious to find out what Maglor felt were suitable courtship rituals where they were concerned.
Maglor coughed again. It had been ages since he had last sung and he hoped his voice wouldn’t fail him. “I wrote something for you and I hope it will please you.” He struck the first chords of the song he had composed on his lyre and gave Erestor a nervous look. Earlier that day, Erestor had hinted he would like to be courted properly and Maglor hoped having a ballad composed just for him would earn Erestor’s approval.
Erestor suddenly realized why Maglor was acting so nervously and gave him a reassuring smile. Maglor had the reputation of being a talented bard and minstrel and to have Maglor sing just to please him flattered Erestor. Maglor didn’t disappoint him. Maglor’s voice was hauntingly beautiful and the fingers moved across the strings of the lyre like they had always done so. It was a bittersweet melody and woven into the chords were words of longing and affection. Feeling breathless, Erestor listened to the ballad and, when Maglor had finished, tears swam in his eyes. “That was beautiful!”
Maglor was about to thank Erestor for paying him such a compliment when he suddenly found his arms full. Erestor had leaned in closer and had wrapped his arms around Maglor. Maglor returned Erestor’s smile and leaned in closer in turn to kiss the younger Elf. The lyre slid down to the furs and Maglor slipped his arms into place around Erestor’s waist. Slowly, he lowered Erestor onto his back and covered the Advisor with his body. Hands, locks of hair, and fingers twined into an arduous embrace. Maglor savored being able to kiss Erestor again and controlled himself this time, not trying to take it further. He contented himself with kissing Erestor breathless.
Later that night as Maglor held Erestor in his sleep, he realized just how blessed he was to have gained Erestor’s love. The Advisor had risked being called insane by Elrond when he had claimed the painting to be alive and Erestor had not given up until he had freed the elder Elf from his prison. “I owe you so much,” he whispered into Erestor’s hair, which smelled of lavender, Erestor’s favorite fragrance. “I love you so much.”
“You are very fortunate to have Erestor at your side, but you understand that, do you not?”
Hearing a strange voice from so close alarmed Maglor and his eyes searched his surroundings for the intruder. “Who are you? Show yourself!” A knife was within his reach and he moved his hand toward the weapon.
“I do not think that would be wise.” Lórien moved the knife out of Maglor’s reach using his powers and walked up to the bed. “You do not wish to murder one of the Valar, do you? Especially the one who pleaded your case to Eru himself?”
Maglor was surprised that Erestor wasn’t waking up and tried to wake his love, but Erestor remained asleep. “Erestor!”
“He will not wake. I put him under my spell for now.” Lórien seated himself on the edge of the bed, opposite Maglor so they could look at each other. “We need to talk.”
“Why? Are you here to take me back into the painting?” Maglor felt enraged and scared at the same time. Since he had found Erestor and had gained his love, he didn’t want to give that up again.
“Nay, the painting served its use.” Lórien cocked his head and read fear in Maglor’s mind. “It is time for us to discuss your future.”
“You are to stay here in Imladris and serve Elrond, like Glorfindel does. Elrond will have need of you in the future.” Lórien found the way Maglor was holding onto Erestor endearing. Maglor clearly loved Erestor very much. “And I am here to discuss the Oath you once took and the consequences it had.”
Maglor’s eyes darkened with unease. “I did not want to take that Oath, but since my brothers did, I could not stay behind. I never wanted to take life.”
“I know that and so does Eru. Eru knows everything, Maglor. He knows your heart – your soul.”
“So what does Eru want from me now? Why are you here?” Maglor still felt worried. “Are you here to punish me for my deeds?”
Lórien shook his head. “You already suffered through your punishment. Maglor, do you realize what it takes for the Valar, and Eru, to set aside the past and judge you anew? Your brothers will suffer for all eternity. Aye, even Maedhros.”
“I loved my brothers and I loved my father, but…” He’d had no choice but to cooperate and carry out his father’s commands.
“But you never wanted to kill for the Silmarils. We know that. That is why Eru has given you this second chance. Tell me, why do you refuse to believe Erestor when he tells you that you have been given a new chance? Do you think we would have allowed you to return to Middle-Earth if we did not approve of you returning to the living?”
“I can not believe I am forgiven.”
“Because you have not forgiven yourself,” Lórien answered, easily reading Maglor’s heart. “But you must forgive yourself or else you will poison your love for Erestor with your guilt. Do you want to lose Erestor because you are determined not to forgive yourself? Eru forgave you, why can you not do the same?”
“I need to earn forgiveness,” Maglor responded in the end.
Lórien inclined his head in thought. “Then earn it. Show Elrond and Erestor the real you. Earn their respect and forgive yourself, but work on it or else you might lose Erestor. He loves you and you love him. Do not let your past come in between the two of you. Believe him when he says that you have earned a second chance.”
“Erestor told me that you had said so before but I did not believe him.” Maglor gave Lórien a hopeful look. “Maybe things will change now that I heard you say it myself.”
“I hope so.” Lórien rose from the bed and gave a sleeping Erestor a last smile. “Treat him right, Maglor. He saved you.”
“I will,” Maglor whispered, but it was to the air, since the Vala of Dreams had vanished into thin air.
A knock on the door woke Elrond and Glorfindel the next morning. “Elrond, it is I, Melpomaen. I have news regarding your sons.”
“Stay in bed,” Elrond ordered when Glorfindel started to push himself upright. “Stay on your stomach and rest.” Glorfindel pouted, but did as he was told. “I will return shortly, but I might have to check in with Melpomaen and Erestor for a little while.”
“Do not let me keep you,” Glorfindel replied. “I am quite safe in your bed. Nothing will happen to me.”
Elrond placed another kiss onto Glorfindel’s lips and then left the bed. Since he was still dressed in his evening robes, he didn’t bother to change when he answered the door. “Melpomaen, what news is there?”
Melpomaen didn’t try to peek inside on purpose, but from where he was standing he saw Glorfindel resting in Elrond’s bed. It seemed another pair of Elves had discovered they had feelings for each other! Melpomaen however refrained from commenting and concentrated on the task at hand. “The sentries reported that your sons have crossed the border and they are on their way home.”
“That is good news.” Elrond had missed all three of his children and was pleased that two of them were returning. But one look at Melpomaen’s face told him there was more to come.
“They are not alone. They appear to be in the company of two humans – injured humans.” Melpomaen inclined his head in question. “Shall I ready rooms in the Healing Wing or in the guest wing?”
“Let us put them up in the guest wing for now. If these humans are capable of traveling they can not be that badly injured.” Hearing his sons were in the company of men surprised Elrond. His sons had never sought out human company before. “How long before they arrive?”
“I surmise one or two more days,” Melpomaen replied.
“Warn me when they are close enough for me to ride out in greeting.”
“I shall do that.” Melpomaen bowed slightly and then marched down the corridor to ready the guest rooms.
Elrond closed the door behind him and walked over to the bed. “Did you hear that?”
Glorfindel nodded. “I did. I am just as surprised as you are.”
“These humans are injured. The twins probably took pity on them.” Elrond grew thoughtful and wondered what it meant.
“I need to rest,” Brys whispered as he turned his head toward Elrohir. “My ribs…” During the last few days, Elrohir had gained his trust to a certain degree and he had become convinced that the two Elves meant them well and had no hidden agenda as far as he could tell. It was soothing to be taken care of. Bevyn had always tried to look after him, but his twin had often also been injured and hadn’t been able to protect him much. Things were different with Elladan and Elrohir. The Elven twins seemed determined to protect them at all cost.
Bevyn smiled at hearing his twin address Elrohir. It warmed his heart that Brys was no longer too scared to talk. Brys still rationed his words carefully, but the younger twin did speak when he felt it was necessary.
“We shall rest for a while,” Elrohir decreed and told his mare to stop. He looked over at Elladan and asked, “Do you want to scout ahead?” Maybe Elladan wanted to talk to their father before they arrived.
“Nay, I will stay with you.” Elladan jumped from the horse’s back and then lifted his arms to assist Bevyn to dismount. Although the two young men were recovering, they were still rather weak.
Bevyn accepted the help, but also hoped that the day would shortly arrive when he could dismount unaided. He sat down on the grass and watched how Elrohir dismounted. With great care, Elrohir lifted Brys from the mare’s back and then carried him over to where Bevyn was sitting. Brys immediately leaned against his twin for support. His ribs were still causing him pain.
Letting the horses graze, Elladan and Elrohir seated themselves close to the two men. “We still have some bread and fruit left,” Elrohir said as he uncovered their rations. “Try to eat something.” He divided the food between Bevyn and Brys and then uncovered the water skins. “Later today, we will cross the river Bruinen and then we are home.”
“Have you lived in Imladris all your life?” Bevyn asked as he ate some of the fruit. He made certain Brys had an ample portion of the bread and the dried meat that Elladan had handed them. Brys needed the food more than he did.
“Aye, we were born in Imladris.” Elladan disliked the fact that Bevyn didn’t take any bread and meat for himself, but let it go. Once they arrived at the Last Homely House, the two men would have food in surplus. “Our father will want to make certain that you are healing well. We learned our healing skills from him.”
“What’s your father’s name?” Bevyn asked and then drank some water.
“His name is Elrond,” Elrohir replied and supported Brys as the younger twin swayed. “Careful now. You are still weak.”
“Elrond?” Bevyn frowned. He had heard that name before, but it was nothing but a dark and distant memory. He *knew* that name.
Brys sat safely wedged in-between Bevyn and Elrohir. “Do you think we will be allowed to stay?” he asked Elrohir. Bevyn carefully wrapped an arm around his twin’s waist. For one moment he had felt jealous of Elrohir, for the half-Elf was quickly gaining Brys’ trust and, until recently, Brys had only trusted him and no one else!
“You will be allowed to stay. Do not worry about that,” Elladan replied and watched Bevyn closely. He sensed some of the man’s jealousy, but couldn’t fault him for it. Bevyn and Brys had only had each other in the past. “We will rest for a few more minutes and then we will continue.”
Brys closed his eyes and tried to gather his strength, but his ribs hurt and so did many other places of his body, which had become even more bruised because he wasn’t used to riding all day long. Suddenly Elrohir’s voice was close to his ear. “It will not be long before you can rest in a comfortable bed. You have been strong for so long. Do not give up now.” Brys nodded against Bevyn’s shoulder. He would try not to disappoint Elrohir.
Maglor visited with Erestor several times during the day. He always found an excuse to let Erestor counsel him and when Melpomaen wasn’t looking, he stole a kiss from his love’s lips. He felt young, excited, and nervous and couldn’t wait to have Erestor all to himself again that evening. It was too bad that he had to share Erestor.
Elrond entered his study and grinned at seeing Maglor kiss Erestor. He had expected them to grow close and wasn’t surprised to see that they had taken the next step. “Maglor, are you not supposed to oversee today’s training matches?”
At hearing his voice, Maglor jumped and quickly straightened. “I am already on my way there,” Maglor called out and hurried out of the study.
Erestor shot Elrond a bemused look. “You did that on purpose.”
“I plead guilty,” Elrond admitted and looked at the papers which required his signature. “It is good to see Maglor finally in love.” Suddenly his mood darkened and he tried to push certain memories away.
Erestor however had noticed the half-Elf’s darkening mood and gave Elrond a questioning look. “You are keeping something from me.”
Elrond shrugged. “I only have suspicions.” Suspicions which he had never voiced aloud.
“What kind of suspicions?” Erestor grew curious as he watched Elrond.
“Maglor… He never took a lover...an official lover.”
“He does not seem inexperienced to me,” Erestor replied and couldn’t stop himself from blushing as he remembered Maglor’s intention to take him on Glorfindel’s desk. If he hadn’t stopped Maglor, the elder Elf would have done just that.
“There were certain rumors,” Elrond started and then suddenly hesitated to confide in Erestor.
“Go on. You can not stop now.” Erestor crossed his arms in front of his chest and tapped his foot impatiently.
No, he couldn’t stop at that time and Elrond realized that as well. “There were rumors that Maedhros and Maglor shared a bed…that they were intimate at times.”
Erestor’s eyes grew big. “Maedhros and Maglor?” It wasn’t unlikely that the two brothers had found comfort in the other’s arms, but if so, then why hadn’t Maglor told him so?
Elrond shrugged. “As I said, it was rumored, nothing more.” But he still wondered if anything about that rumor was true. “I never saw him with another Elf and you claim he is experienced.” Elrond left the rest unsaid since he knew Erestor was intelligent enough to draw his own conclusions.
“I will talk to him,” Erestor replied thoughtfully, though wasn’t sure he had the right to pry. After all, all of that had happened so long ago and he wasn’t certain he wanted to open old wounds.
Brys had fallen asleep resting against him and Elrohir had a tight, though not pressuring, hold on his charge. He sensed the odd look Bevyn gave him and flinched. It was not his intention to take Brys away from Bevyn, but Brys needed something Bevyn couldn’t give him at the moment. Brys needed a strong, protective presence in his life and Bevyn couldn’t be that because he was still hurting himself.
Elladan also sensed that something was wrong and turned his head so he could look at Bevyn, who sat behind him. “Why are you so tense?” He had a fairly good idea why, but he wanted to hear Bevyn say it.
“Elrohir likes my twin a bit too much. Why?” Bevyn knew he was being unfair, but he felt hurt.
Elladan drew in a deep breath and urged his horse to fall back so Brys wouldn’t accidentally hear what they were saying. “Elrohir and I are twins too, Bevyn. We know how important we are to each other and we would never doubt each other’s love. Why do you doubt Brys’ love for you?”
Damn, Elladan had nailed his fear in one go! Bevyn felt caught and shifted nervously. “It was always just Brys and I, but now…now Elrohir is there as well.”
Elladan chose his next words very carefully. “Elrohir is a naturally gifted healer and he cares for your brother. Why does that make you feel threatened? He only wants for Brys to heal.”
Bevyn closed his eyes and bowed his head so Elladan could no longer see his expression. “In the past, the people that claimed to help us always demanded something in return for their aid.”
“Ah…” Elladan had suspected as much and, although he had been prepared to hear the words, he didn’t quite know how to react to them. “Elrohir is not like that. He gives freely and without hidden intentions.”
“And what about you?” Bevyn lifted his head and timidly made eye contact with Elladan.
“I am like Elrohir, Bevyn. I do not expect anything back either. All I want is for the two of you to heal.”
“You’re right,” Bevyn admitted. “I’m jealous. Until now, Brys only trusted me.”
“I understand why you feel jealous, but Bevyn, please consider what is best for Brys. Although he has you, he also needs friends. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that Brys was hurt more than you were.”
Bevyn nodded once. “You’re right.” He bit his bottom lip, knowing he shouldn’t confide in Elladan just yet, but in the end, the horrid truth needed a way out. “For Brys, his torment didn’t stop with mere beatings.” He tried, but the words wouldn’t come. “I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you what our master did to him… I never found out why he targeted Brys and never me.”
“He abused your brother sexually?” Elladan asked, hoping to make things easier for Bevyn.
“Yes, but never me. I still don’t get it. We’re twins – we’re identical. Why force him and not me?” Afterwards he had tried to comfort his twin, but Brys had locked him out and he had been unable to reach Brys. “I failed him.”
“It was not your fault that Brys did not know how to deal with his pain.” Elladan turned his head toward Elrohir and saw that his twin had heard every word they had said. “But maybe Elrohir knows of a way to reach your twin.”
Bevyn’s shoulders slumped forward and he snaked his arms into place around Elladan’s waist. “I tried, but I can’t reach him. If you really think Elrohir can succeed…” Then he would be a selfish bastard not to let Elrohir try! “I want what’s best for my twin.”
“I know that and we do not desire to separate Brys from you. Just allow Elrohir to grow close to him as well,” Elladan advised.
“And what about me?” Bevyn hated himself for feeling so selfish. He should do what was best for Brys, but at the same time he was deathly afraid of losing his twin to Elrohir and ending up alone.
“And you will have me,” Elladan replied and placed his hand on Bevyn’s wrist. “You are not alone.”
A weak smile shone on Bevyn’s face and he rubbed his cheek against Elladan’s shoulder. Elrohir, who had overheard their conversation, wasn’t smiling though. He had just realized how much he had taken on when he had committed himself to Brys’ recovery.
“Elrond? The twins are close enough for you to ride out to greet them.” Melpomaen had already instructed the stable hands to ready Elrond’s stallion. “It is a pity though that Glorfindel can not accompany you yet.” He stood inside Elrond’s private rooms and endured the dirty look Glorfindel threw at him from the bed before smiling sweetly. It wouldn’t be long before the rest of the household knew that Glorfindel was sleeping in Elrond’s bed and not just for his injuries.
Elrond exited the bathroom. He had changed into less constricting robes and stepped into his boots. “Do not worry about Glorfindel. He will be back on his feet in one or two days.” All the tender loving care Glorfindel was receiving was speeding up the healing process. “Maybe you want to accompany me instead of Glorfindel?”
Melpomaen arched an eyebrow. “I will tell Erestor that you want him to be there when you greet your sons. Please excuse me now.” Melpomaen left, but still heard Elrond’s amused laughter.
“That one is growing cheeky on you, Elrond.” Glorfindel shifted until he rested on his side. He was growing tired of lying on his stomach. Later that night he planned on trying to stand. Being confined to bed was something that drove him up the walls. He was too impatient to rest properly.
“It is about time that Melpomaen showed some initiative.” Elrond made his way over to the bed, bent down, and kissed Glorfindel. This time, he tried to gain entrance to the blond’s mouth. Surprised, but eagerly welcoming Elrond, Glorfindel allowed the half-Elf to explore his mouth. They moaned in unison and both Elves felt disappointed when they had to stop kissing. “I have to go now or else I will be late.” Elrond didn’t want to leave Glorfindel behind, but he also rejoiced at the thought of being reunited with his sons. “Wait for me here?”
Glorfindel snorted. “You know darn well that I can not move much about yet! What choice do I have?”
“None,” Elrond retorted and flashed Glorfindel a charming smile. “Rest.” Elrond patted the fair hair and then headed for the doorway. He was dying to find out what the two humans were doing in his sons’ company.
Brys couldn’t bear it any longer. “Elrohir, I need to talk to Bevyn.” All day long he had felt his twin’s stare directed at him and he knew something was wrong. He just didn’t know why his twin was so angry with him. Elrohir promptly steered his horse closer to Elladan’s and tried to stay out of the conversation that would follow shortly. A look at Elladan showed him that his brother intended to not become involved either.
“You’re angry with me,” Brys stated as his gentle, green eyes sought out his brother’s tougher ones. “What did I do?” He felt miserable for causing his twin to be mad at him. What had he done? Maybe he might be able to undo it!
Bevyn cringed. It had not been his intention to worry Brys. “I’m not angry with you.”
“Don’t lie…” Brys whispered sadly. “I know you’re angry with me. What did I do?”
Bevyn buried his hands in the fabric of Elladan’s traveling cloak and then gave his twin an apologetic look. “You did nothing wrong. It’s something I did.”
“You did nothing wrong,” Brys declared, blinking in surprise. His brother had always been there for him and had never let him down! Not once! He admired Bevyn, who had always been his hero. He had always wanted to be like his twin – stronger and tougher – but he had never succeeded. “How can I make it all right again?”
Elladan had wanted to stay out of their argument, but his heart went out to Brys and so he interfered. “Your brother feels a bit jealous.” Bevyn immediately shoved an elbow into his side and Elladan momentarily fought for breath.
“Bevyn, don’t hurt him!” Brys raised his good hand and tried to stop Bevyn.
Bevyn however had already stopped and regretted hurting Elladan, but he felt betrayed. “Why did you say that?”
Elrohir answered in Elladan’s stead, “Because you need to be honest with your twin.”
Brys instantly felt guilty. “It’s because I like Elrohir, isn’t it?” He had been selfish and had put his own needs first instead of Bevyn’s. “I’m sorry, Bevyn.”
Seeing guilt and shame written all over Brys’ face opened Bevyn’s eyes and he realized he had hurt his brother deeply. Elladan was right: Brys and he were connected as brothers, as twins, and were as close as they could get. But Brys needed more than that. He needed friends he could count on and Elrohir was trying to be such a friend. And what had he just done? He had made his twin feel like crap for accepting Elrohir’s friendship while he had eagerly embraced Elladan’s. “Please don’t feel guilty, Brys. It’s my fault. I have no reason to be jealous. You need Elrohir like I need Elladan.” Both half-Elves smiled at each other at hearing Bevyn’s words, but they remained quiet and let Bevyn do the talking. “I don’t want you to feel guilty, Brys, please!”
But Brys shook his head and kept his gaze lowered. “No, I was wrong, not you. I should have remembered that you always come first. What was I thinking?”
Bevyn gave his twin a horrified look. What had he done? “Brys, don’t say that!” But he was too late. The damage had been done and he didn’t know how to right this wrong, so in the end, he whispered, “Help me, Elladan?”
Elladan wasn’t sure he should become involved and gave Elrohir an inquiring look. It was Elrohir and not Elladan who eventually tried to help Bevyn out. “Bevyn, Brys needs to learn that his needs are important too. Would you allow me to make a suggestion?” Elrohir waited for Bevyn to nod, and at the same time, he pulled Brys closer to his chest. The younger twin’s head was bowed and he radiated a sense of loss. “I was thinking about our housing arrangements. Maybe it would be a good idea if you stayed with Elladan and I looked after Brys.” He was convinced that spending some time apart would do the twins some good.
“No!” Brys’ head jerked back and his facial features contorted with pain when his body reminded him of the fact that he was still far from healed. “Please don’t punish me in that way. I want to stay close to Bevyn!”
“It is not meant as punishment,” Elladan explained as he realized the benefits to Elrohir’s suggestion. “Bevyn needs to heal as much as you, and when he is constantly close, you might not be able to put your own needs first. That way, the two of you would not fully heal.”
Bevyn had sucked in his breath when he had heard Elrohir’s suggestion and had wanted to strongly protest, but once he was thinking everything over, he realized Elrohir was suggesting it for both their benefit.
“You can still see and talk to each other,” Elrohir explained further. “We have no intention of keeping you apart and if it does not work out, we can quickly prepare you a room together, but please consider my suggestion first.”
Brys wanted to plead with the three of them, for he was afraid that Bevyn didn’t want him close anymore and would therefore agree with Elrohir’s suggestion. He should have kept his mouth shut to begin with! That was probably the very reason why their old master had always beaten him into silence. Whenever he opened his mouth, he did everything wrong. He deserved to be punished for what he had said. His lips became a narrow line and he was determined not to say anything again any time soon.
Elrohir sighed as he felt the body in front of him become rigid with tension. Brys wasn’t ready yet to take this step. “Please forget I ever suggested that. We will find you a room which you can share.” It was a pity though for he was convinced that both humans would have benefited from such an arrangement.
Bevyn peeked at Brys’ face and cringed at seeing the anguish in his twin’s eyes. He would need Elladan’s help to set things right again with Brys.
“Melpomaen said you required my presence?” Erestor had readied himself to go for a ride. He wore a black shirt, leggings of the same color, and leather boots. He had braided his long hair and looked ready to ride into battle.
“My sons are about to come home and I want you to accompany me.” Elrond mounted his stallion and gestured for Erestor to do the same.
“I surmise Melpomaen refused to accompany you? I am not surprised. He never learned how to handle a horse.” Gracefully Erestor mounted his mare and steered her closer to Elrond’s stallion. “What about the rumor that the twins are not alone?”
“That is no rumor. It is the truth. They are in the company of two men and the humans are reported to be injured.” Elrond gave the sign and Erestor followed the half-Elf toward the river Bruinen where they would meet with the twins.
“Brys? Do you want to rest?” Elrohir was growing increasingly worried. Brys had stopped talking and was tense in his arms. He looked at Bevyn for an explanation, but the young man was too caught up in his own thoughts to notice.
The more Bevyn thought about Elrohir’s suggestion the more he realized that the half-Elf had been right. If only he had handled things differently! Being with Elrohir would be good for Brys.
“Look, there is father and Erestor!” Elladan momentarily forgot about their problems and raised a hand in greeting. It was good to see Elrond again!
Bevyn whispered, “Is that your father?”
“Aye, that is my father and that is our good friend Erestor.” Elladan steered his horse toward the other party. “It is good to be home again!”
Elrond wanted to pull his sons into his arms, but his first glance was for the two injured men that accompanied his sons. It only took him a moment to realize that they were twins. Something about their features seemed familiar to him, but he didn’t know what. “Welcome home, Elladan, Elrohir!”
Elladan sensed his father’s concern and curiosity and deemed the time right to introduce his charges. “Father, may I introduce our new friends to you? This is Bevyn, and his twin’s name is Brys. We extended our protection and friendship to them.”
“My sons’ friends are always welcome in Imladris. Please look upon me as your host and Imladris as your home.” The healer in him had quickly assessed their injuries and realized that Brys needed medical attention. “I trust my sons already attended to your injuries?”
“They did, Milord,” Bevyn whispered since he knew that Brys would never dare to address the Elf-Lord. Elrond seemed as kind as Elladan and Elrohir, but Bevyn still felt intimidated because Elrond wielded power in the valley. Elrond could chase them off or offer them a home.
Erestor inclined his head in greeting and addressed Bevyn. “We already readied guest rooms for you, but maybe you would like to share a suite instead? I can imagine that you do not want to part.” Elladan and Elrohir had also always been close.
“Thank you, Milord. We would like that.” Bevyn was growing pale since the mighty Elves continued to address him. He lowered his gaze and fidgeted with a strand of Elladan’s hair that had got caught between his fingers.
“Come now. I want to know you safe at home again!” Elrond gestured for his sons to put their horses into motion and steered his stallion closer to Elrohir’s horse. He wanted to have a closer look at Brys’ injuries. “Do your ribs pain you?” he asked as he saw how difficult it was for Brys to remain upright unaided. Elrohir’s arms were wrapped around Brys’ waist and kept the young man upright.
Brys panicked and Elrohir reacted at once. He came to Brys’ defense and said, “Brys is rather shy, father. He does not speak to strangers.”
Bevyn was grateful that Elrohir had come to Brys’ aid and admitted to himself that Elrohir possessed the qualities which his twin needed the most. Elrohir was emotionally stable, strong, and committed. What Bevyn needed was Elladan at his side.
Elrond read between the lines and did not question Brys further. Instead he said, “You are most welcome here and can stay as long as you like.” Brys nodded but kept his face carefully hidden behind his fair hair.
“I hope this suite is to your liking.” Elrond had dismissed Erestor and had taken it upon himself to escort their guests to their rooms. He had suggested Brys stayed in the Healing Wing for some days, but his guest had panicked and clung to Elrohir while whispering that he didn’t want that. So Elrond, being a good host, had stopped pressuring Brys, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t keep an eye on the younger twin. He would make certain that healers checked on the young man regularly. Maybe it would be best if his sons took on that role and he could personally supervise the progress Brys made.
Bevyn swallowed nervously. The rooms were spacious and luxuriously furnished. A fire burned in the fireplace and food had been laid out on the table near the window. Two big comfortable looking beds awaited them, but they would only use one. Ever since they had been little they were used to sleeping close together. That way they could keep each other warm and safe.
Elladan smiled and came to Bevyn’s help. “He likes them, father.” He refrained from using any Elven dialogue since he didn’t want the twins to feel left out.
Brys stood in between Elrohir and Bevyn. They both supported him and he was hoping he would be allowed to lie down some time soon. Not in the luxurious bed of course. The rug on the floor would do. Feeling Brys lean more against him, Elrohir slipped his hands beneath the young man’s knees and shoulders and lifted him. “Allow me.”
Not long ago, Brys would have panicked at being picked up like that by Elrohir, but he had started to trust the half-Elf and clung to Elrohir instead. With his good hand, he reached for his twin. Bevyn walked alongside Elrohir and held Brys’ hand.
“Pull down the covers,” Elrohir ordered and Bevyn pushed the covers down. Next, Elrohir lowered Brys onto the mattress and Bevyn pulled up the blankets so Brys would be warm. Brys was stunned to be lowered onto the bed. He hadn’t expected it and gave Elrohir a surprised look.
“We shall let you rest for now,” Elrond said and exchanged looks with his sons, telling them silently that he wanted to talk to them in depth. “You are safe here,” he added because he thought the two young men needed to hear it.
“Thank you for your kindness, Milord,” Bevyn said and waited for the three half-Elves to leave the suite. Once Brys and he were alone, he crept into bed with his twin and hugged him tight. The mattress was soft, the blankets would keep them warm, and Bevyn released a deep sigh. “This is too good to be true,” he whispered, voicing his fears.
For once, Brys didn’t agree with his twin, but he was afraid to say so. He remembered what had happened after he had asked Bevyn why his twin was angry with him. “We are safe here,” he mumbled, barely audible. “I trust them.” His eyes closed and Brys drifted off into a much-needed sleep.
Bevyn however couldn’t sleep. He knew he had hurt Brys, although he hadn’t wanted to hurt him and was trying to think of what would be best for his twin. Elladan and Elrohir were right and he accepted that. Brys needed to be with Elrohir and he needed Elladan, but how was he to accomplish that?
Elrond released a deep and troubled sigh when his sons finished telling him and Erestor why Bevyn and Brys were traveling with them. “You did the right thing,” Elrond stated eventually. “You saved them and took care of them. That is how I raised you. You make me proud.”
Erestor nodded his head to show he agreed. “What do you suggest we do next regarding our guests? The way they look, especially Brys, makes me wonder why you did not take them to the Healing Wing instead.”
“Because that would have
scared them further,” Elrohir replied. He sat opposite his father while Elladan
was restlessly pacing Elrond’s study. “They need to trust us first. We can not
simply force them into doing something because we want them to do so. They were
forced to follow orders for much too long.”
“I agree,” Elrond said. “It is good that you told us what their ‘master’ did to them. That knowledge will help us understand them better.”
“You need to be patient with Brys,” Elrohir whispered absentmindedly. His thoughts were with the younger twin. “He is easily intimidated and always blames himself for things that go wrong. He lacks any self-esteem.”
“You have grown attached to him,” Erestor concluded.
Elrohir shrugged his shoulders and sighed. “You are right. I feel for him and it vexes me that it takes us so long to gain their trust.”
“You said it yourself a moment ago, Elrohir,” Elrond replied. “We need to be patient with them. Hopefully they will come to us once they realize that we mean them no harm.”
Bevyn woke because Brys was crying in his sleep. “Brys? Brys!” Concerned for his twin’s well-being, Bevyn tried to wake Brys. “What’s wrong?”
Brys opened swimming eyes and wiped at his face with his good hand. “You’re still angry with me.”
Bevyn drew in a deep breath. “I’m not.”
Brys continued to sob softly, even though the movement caused his ribs to act up again. “You’re angry with me. I know it. I’m sorry that I like Elrohir. I really am.”
Bevyn pulled Brys close and hugged him as tightly as he dared. “Brys? I’m not angry with you.”
“I know you are, but I didn’t do it on purpose. Elrohir is kind and I like him. I’m sorry…” Brys cried softly against Bevyn’s chest.
Bevyn realized he had to take action. “Brys, please look at me?” He had to wait a few minutes before Brys finally looked him in the eye and, when his twin did, Bevyn saw new tears lurking in the muddy green eyes. “Do you remember Elrohir’s suggestion?”
Brys wiped at his tears and continued to sob softly. “You didn’t like his suggestion.”
“I spoke too quickly. I have changed my mind.” Brys gave him a look that told Bevyn that his twin didn’t know what to make of his words. “Would you like to stay with Elrohir?” Panic appeared in Brys’ eyes, but Bevyn had also seen the hope that had preceded the panic. “Spending time with Elrohir would be good for you.”
“You don’t want me any more?” Brys couldn’t believe it. Was his twin dumping him? He had always been afraid that might happen one day. “I’m sorry that I’m not as strong as you are. I will try harder. I won’t cry any more. I won’t wake you any more!”
“You don’t understand.” Bevyn soothingly stroked his twin’s face. “We both are a mess and we have different needs. Elrohir and Elladan are right about that. We need someone stable in our lives, someone who can helps us rebuild our lives and show us who we are. I can’t be that person for you. I’m damaged, like you are. And you, Brys, I love you so much… You’re my twin…the only family I have left and I will never desert you, but you – you need so much more than I can give.” Brys had grown quiet in his arms and the large eyes revealed shock and fear. “I want what’s best for you – for both of us.”
“I don’t understand,” Brys whispered, stunned.
“It’s simple. You need someone strong and balanced to help you find your way and that’s not me. I need guidance myself. But Elrohir is strong and balanced and you trust him.”
“And what about you?” Brys still didn’t know what to make of any of this.
“I need Elladan. I was a fool not to accept what they were offering just because I was jealous. But I understand now, Brys. They’re right. We need to accept their offer, can’t you see?”
Brys’ head reeled. “Are you saying that I need to stay with Elrohir?”
“And I need to stay with Elladan. Brys, I need to fix this.” Bevyn let go of Brys and sat upright. “No, stay where you are. You need to rest. I will bring Elrohir to you.”
“What are you going do?” Brys was so used to living in a constant state of panic that he always felt exhausted and simply lacked the strength to get up.
“I’m going to search for them. Trust me, Brys. I know this is hard on you. It’s hard for me too, but we need to do this if we want to recover.” Bevyn kissed his twin’s brow and hugged him. “Trust me.” Brys didn’t feel like he had much of a choice. Bevyn left their suite and all Brys could do was wait.
Bevyn had walked the corridors for several minutes in search for someone who could direct him to Elladan’s rooms before he finally found an Elf who might be able to help him. “Forgive me,” he said and quickly lowered his gaze. “I’m searching for Elladan.”
“Child? You do not need to fear me.”
Bevyn swallowed hard at being called a child. He was far from being a child. Too many sordid things had happened in his life for him to feel young, but he still peeked at the other Elf’s face and sucked in his breath, overcome with wonder and admiration. The Elf was tall, lean, and possessed golden hair that seemed alive. The fair locks framed a handsome face and the eyes possessed a dreamy quality. He gathered his courage and asked, “Do you know where I can find him?”
“I will walk you to his suite, which he shares with his twin. Follow me.” Bevyn made certain he stayed at least one step behind the fair Elf. He didn’t want to offend the stranger. “Bevyn, do not be afraid of me. I am a friend.” Bevyn’s head jerked up. How was it possible that this stranger knew his name? “I know many things,” Lórien answered the unspoken question as they reached the twins’ suite. “Knock and Elladan will answer. I must be on my way.” But they would see each other again. “Do not give up, Bevyn. Your life has changed. Have faith.”
“Faith in what?” But the fair Elf had rounded the corner and was gone. Bevyn remained behind alone and he timidly knocked on the door. “Elladan? Are you in there?”
“Bevyn?” Elladan looked up and saw that Elrohir had also recognized the voice.
“Something must be wrong with Brys for him to seek us out,” Elrohir said, growing worried.
Elladan rose to his feet and walked over to the doorway then opened the door. His heart contracted painfully at seeing Bevyn’s downcast eyes and submissive stance. “Bevyn, what is wrong?” He pulled the young man into his rooms and raised the face with a finger beneath Bevyn’s chin. “Is it Brys?”
Bevyn swallowed hard when he made eye contact with Elrohir. The half-Elf cared as much about Brys as he did. “Brys needs you, Elrohir. And I need you, Elladan. You were right when you suggested I stayed with you instead. Please, Elrohir, will you go to my twin and comfort him? He needs you.”
Elrohir nodded and hurried out of the room. “I will take care of him,” he called out as he marched down the corridor.
Elladan pulled Bevyn into a loose embrace and guided the trembling man to his bed. “Sit down. You are shaking all over.”
Bevyn sat down on the bed and collapsed against Elladan. “I can’t do it. I don’t know how to help Brys. I used to be the strong one all the time, but I can’t do it anymore. I’m so tired. I feel beaten.”
Elladan eased Bevyn onto the bed and then stretched out beside him. “Do not think right now. Do not torment yourself. You are tired and you need to rest. You did the right thing in coming here. I will take care of you.” Bevyn had been lulled into sleep by Elladan’s soothing voice. Elladan curled himself protectively around Bevyn and held him tight.
“Brys, may I come inside?” Elrohir didn’t want to enter without permission.
“You can come inside,” Brys replied and flinched. He had hoped Bevyn would return to him, but his brother had sent Elrohir in his place. The door opened and Elrohir stepped inside. Brys closed his eyes and curled up beneath the blanket as far as his mending ribs allowed.
Elrohir made his way over to the bed and sat down on the side. “Brys? I am here to look after you, but you know that, do you not? Bevyn is staying with Elladan. This might be hard to accept or understand, but it is for the best.” Bevyn needed Elladan’s support as much as Brys needed his. “May I hold you? You might not feel so alone that way.” Brys peeked at him from below the rim of the blanket and seeing the fear in the eyes broke Elrohir’s heart. “My intentions are honorable. I would never hurt you.” Brys timidly pushed down the blanket in invitation and Elrohir gave him a grateful smile.
Elrohir stretched out onto his side and raised an arm in case Brys wanted to move closer. Brys accepted the invitation and shifted closer. His facial features however contorted because of the discomfort his mending ribs still caused him. Sharing a bed with Elrohir didn’t scare him that much and he relaxed eventually. “Please do not think that Bevyn is angry with you. This is for the best for the both of you.”
In his heart, Brys knew that, but it would take him some time to really accept that.
TBC in Answers