He is exhausted. None but I would be able to tell, for he hides it well, but it shows in his eyes when they meet mine. He lies still in my arms as I hold him and soon he slips into dreams.
It is not often he seeks my comfort out.
He is beautiful, my silver-lover; in mind and body and soul, he is fairer than I. Without taint and stain, but not without flaws. I reach and brush his long hair from his face; there is the first flaw, invisible to one who did not know to seek it out.
My kin have always been a proud people, some would say we think too much of ourselves. I would say we think too little of others. I said as much to my cousin when I told him whom I had chosen to love.
One small scar mars the perfection of his lips, Tilion shy and waxing, almost invisible against his pale skin. My fingers brush over it and I remember Finrod’s voice.
“Curufin did not attack him because he is Moriquendi, he attacked him for daring to court a Calaquendi.”
For daring to love me.
My own flesh and blood had marred my beloved, had hurt him on my account. I have never pressed him to know how he came by that wound. I do not think I could have borne to hear it from his own mouth, and I do not think he could have borne to tell me.
He shifts restlessly in my arms, nightmares no doubt, he has seen too much to dream as lightly as he once did. His hands tremble, seeking a long shattered sword. I take them in my own, but still he shakes and I know he has returned there once more.
I remember the touch of his hands upon my shoulders. Like burning metal into icy waters was I, so great was the shock of it. He was cold that day, darkening our bond as he hid himself from me
He had left, hot and furious, disbelieving that the sons of Feanor would repeat their deeds.
The night that we were reunited we did not speak. I held him then, much as I do now, and tried in vain to comfort him as he wept for his family. Some scars run deep, and he suffers their torment still.
I run my fingers through his hair, as his mother used to do, it quietens him and he grows still.
He is like marble beneath the moon’s rays. He is a creature made for starlight, all shadows and distant grandeur, ethereal and insubstantial. Yet he encompasses me about with a cloak of intimacy and hides us away from the world.
I could not endure here, in Ennor, without my night and my shelter from the cacophony and chaos of the day.
There are many scars he bears that show how near I have come to losing him. Scars from times when I could not hold him close without causing him pain, when he had been paler still in daylight than he was now in darkness.
I felt them often enough, arriving at the tents of the healers in helpless anxiety to find him once again clinging to life. I was no healer and I felt powerless against the forces of fate that threatened to tear him from me.
I could not ask him to cease from fighting for my sake, I could not tell him of the terrible fear which seized me whenever he bound up his hair and placed a helmet on his head.
They have healed now, lessening to fine silver lines running across his body. I do not want the fear to rule me; he lies here still breathing and still warm against me. But even now watching the gentle rise and fall of his chest; I have to hold him fast to believe he is real and has not faded into nothingness beneath the burdens I give him.
The burdens are not light. I am the bearer of Nenya, but it is he who bears me. He walks by my side and anchors me to this place, earthing the lightning. That, too, marks him more deeply than the healers can hope to reach. There are times when he has stumbled and with him my world lurched.
Nenya protects Lothlorien, but it cannot protect him; those loved by ring-bearers pay a great price.
This my daughter knew when she took Elrond as her husband.
Father and daughter bore the same burden, he was close to her in a way that I could never be.
He suffered with her when the Orcs took her; collapsing where he stood, felled by a blow that never struck him. I sat by his bedside once again powerless to help him. He, who could always fight for me, was left alone in a haze of desolation while his grandsons rode like the west wind to save not only their Mother but also their Grandfather.
The horizon was now tinged with pink and I sighed softly, the night had passed all too swiftly and soon I would have to begin anew, Lothlorien’s strength could not fail.
He knew that better than I. He could sleep while the ring dwelt here.
I must face my trial alone and he cannot be there to help me.
The fright of it fills me and my breath catches in my throat.
“Does the sight of the sun scare you so much, fair one?”
He gazes up at me with dark eyes, capturing my restless spirit and soothing its troubled thoughts.
“Nay,” I answer, “I fear for what its setting may bring for us.”
“That which we fear must be faced,” he rose from the bed, “so let us begin.”
I watched him in silence as he dressed. His vulnerability turned to strength by simple cotton and silks. With each layer he became not my beloved, but Celeborn crowned with silver and Mithril to mark his Lordship of Lorien.
It is hard to lose my beloved to this ‘Lord of Lorien’, but Celeborn is who he must be for me when we are not alone. Celeborn is without taint or stain and he hides his scars well.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.